I remember a line from The Idyll's of the King, the story by Tennison of King Arthur and his Round Table, which we read my junior year in high school. My memory is not quite accurate, but it went something like: "The old order changeth, yielding place to new... lest one good custom should corrupt the earth." The line came when King Arthur's Round Table and his whole kingdom were going down in flames in a war between himself and Lancelot, his chief knight who had committed adultery with Guenivere, Arthur's queen. I was profoundly moved by the destruction of what had seemed so good and right. But I have seen the changes of the "old order" many times yielding place to new, often painfully, sometimes joyfully.
This memory has been prompted by another change in my own life. I will be moving down to Washington, DC, to become the director of Transformation Christian Ministries, an ex-homosexual ministry which is part of the Exodus network of well over 100 such ministries, helping persons trapped in the homosexual lifestyle come out. Anthony Falzarano, an ex-homosexual who founded the ministry several years ago, has gotten another network going, Parents and Friends of Ex-gays (a support group, like Alanon is to AA), or PFOX (nothing to do with me). So he needs someone to take the leadership of Transformation, and has asked me to come down and do that.
You may have seen Anthony quoted in Newsweek a few weeks ago in a cover-story interview. Transformation and PFOX are high profile ministries because the homosexual issue is currently front burner, and because the media in Washington call in rather often to get a story from the local ex-homosexual folks.
You may also have seen the full-page ads placed a few weeks ago in national publications by ex-homosexuals declaring that "Yes, you too can change. We have." They have raised a fire storm of protest from the "other side" who want the public to believe that change is not possible. The solidly defended and often self-imposed ignorance of the public is beginning to crack as the news gets out. Also, Family Research Council (Gary Bauer) is gathering a team of heavy hitters in Washington to help with the homosexual issue. Robert Knight who works for them, is on the Transformation board.
If the Lord grants us a victory on the homosexual issue, that will be a major shift back toward sanity. He will -- it is just a matter of how long it takes for us to get aggressively and gracefully obedient. (Moses, are you coming to Egypt with Me or not?) The question is whether the Church will be ready to help pick up the pieces of broken lives, and whether the clergy will be capable of leadership in that area. The clergy need a lot of prayer and support, and yes, correction, on that issue. "The people perish for lack of vision...."
Anthony and I have worked together on those issues for several years. I have lectured several times at the Exodus conferences on the Biblical understanding of human sexuality and how God can heal sexual addiction. I helped him get both Transformation and PFOX going, and we think we can work well together. Their governing board seems to be a no-nonsense group of people, as you have to be in that kind of ministry (well in any kind of Christ-following ministry, but it shows quickly in ministries dealing with compulsive and addictive behavior).
It is hard to leave behind the many friends I have made here in the Beaver Valley and Diocese of Pittsburgh. But as I said to my parish, St. Peter's in Blairsville, I am 63, and not looking for another career. These are the Lord's marching orders. I am looking forward to Washington (much to my surprise...), and, though my house in Ambridge is just now getting into the shape I would like it to be in, the Lord has given me a peace about leaving it behind. As I go about fixing it up for sale, I know that I do not "belong" here any more, so it will be a blessing to someone else. Truly the grace of God.
I want to concentrate on getting the website and BBS operating as a shopping mall when I get to DC, so they will be up and running ASAP, because the Christian apologetics side of things is the reason for being on the internet.
The BBS and website address will still be "theRoadtoEmmaus.org". But you will see a radically changed website when it re-emerges, hopefully right after the New Year.
Faithfully in Christ,
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The "Clinton event" has raised issues of morality in government which have been lying darkly in the background, doing much harm to our souls and our society. The issues have to do with a nonsensical and grossly inaccurate view of "Church/State" relationships, which we have come to accept as natural and right, namely that never the twain shall meet.
America has deteriorated from being (during its first fifty years) the most free, independent, and Godly nation on earth (as fallen nations go, at least) to being among the most brutal, self-centered, debauched, and morally adrift nation on earth -- and we do not even know it. The unbelievable popularity of the Clinton regime only proves the case. That extraordinary spiritual slide downhill from a Godly to an officially anti-Christ nation deserves an explanation.
We have come to believe that the obligations and resources which God alone can provide are now to be provided by the state. "Prayer" has been the presenting issue (as in the 1962 Engle v. Vitale Supreme Court decision), but rejection of prayer is only the surface of a much deeper rebellion against the authority and provision of God for our lives.
The deeper issue is "Who owns the world? God or civil government?
Who is sovereign? God or civil government?" And "Who is the
provider for the necessities of life? God or civil government?"
Regardless of what we say, in practice we have come to believe that God and His law are irrelevant, and have therefore been cast onto the tender mercies of those who rule over us at gunpoint -- civil government, the only entity big enough to look like it can replace God in the public arena.
The "at gunpoint" part is necessary to understand because all civil government is carried out at gunpoint. The legislature makes laws which will be enforced at gunpoint. The executive branch holds and points the gun. And the judicial branch decides who has violated the laws and thus at whom the gun will be fired. Civil government is about coercive force.
Civil government has a near monopoly on coercive force which it rightly uses to enforce the law of the land. But we wisely in America (by our Second Amendment) have reserved a measure of coercive force to the citizens so that they can fend off criminals -- the worst among which are those who come to control the levers of civil government.
A criminally minded person (self-centered, power-oriented, subverter of truth, sociopath, psychopath) who controls the power of the police or the military is far more dangerous than the criminal who may want to mug you or steal your car. One with a criminal mentality does not cease being a criminal because he gets elected to public office. He seeks rather to use the prestige and force of law to support his criminal intentions.
Richard Cohen in his syndicated article, "What is this whole mess about anyway?" remarks:
Presidents of all people do not get to pick which laws they will honor and which they will breach. They took an oath. They give us their word, and we give them our country. [Beaver County Times, 9/13/98]We give them our country. We put the coercive force of military and police power in their hands to use against us should we break the law. It is imperative, therefore, that the people of the land be keen observers, who at the polls distinguish a criminal mentality from a servant mentality.
A primary way of doing that is observing a person's "private" life, the way he behaves with his family, his friends, his neighbors. If he will betray his wife, then we have good reason to believe that he will betray his countrymen when he thinks he can get away with it.
We cannot make those kinds of moral distinctions without knowing
the law of God, knowing which obligations are placed upon all of us, and
which are in particular placed on civil servants.
Civil officers hold the coercive force of law in their hands. They hold the gun pointed potentially at any one of us. It is thus moral, spiritual, and political insanity to put that gun into the hands of any person who shows no clear submission to a law higher than himself -- for which there is no option other than the law of God.
The American presidency is the most powerful position anywhere on
earth. The president has at his command all the military might of
the United States, which has never been equaled in history. To trust
that kind of power into the hand of a philanderer is betrayal of God who
is sovereign over all things, and betrayal of the people who he is obligated
to serve, even at the cost of his life.
But the secularization of our minds and hearts has led us to believe that one's sexual escapades are one's own business, not that of those whom one may be serving, and that it is therefore quite OK for the President of the United States to use his office space for satisfying his addiction to sexual pleasure.
That is arrant nonsense, and shows how ignorant we have become, and the degree to which we are trying to justify our own sexual sin and rebellion.
The very practical (and obvious, if you look) fact of the matter is that our sexual behavior is not separable from our public behavior. Our sexual behavior has many and manifest public consequences: On the unpleasant side -- illegitimacy, pornography, sexually transmitted diseases, broken homes; and on the good side -- solid families, healthy children, stable societies.
So, how we think of ourselves as men and women will dramatically change our commitment to public obligation. In the long run, a moral disjunction between public and private must and will lead to social and political degradation and tyranny. A self-centered people cannot maintain a democratic republic. A people not under the law and grace of God cannot maintain the freedoms granted and guaranteed only by the law of God.
The public continues to back a president who supports criminal acts of brutality (abortion), treason against the people (selling out our security to Communist China), suspected involvement in the murder of persons who have opposed him (well over fifty persons associated with Clinton have died violent deaths), use of the office of the highest political position in America to betray his marriage vows (Monica Lewinsky, and who knows how many others), and on it goes.
The issue upon which Clinton is being examined almost daily now in the press and elsewhere is his sexual sin, adultery and abuse of power over an employee to satisfy his own admitted lust. But even these are not the largest issues. Betrayal of our sovereignty, selling power for votes to foreign interests, killing unborn children are equally grounds for impeachment.
Members of both parties are involved in these crimes, and members
of all three branches of government. The tragedy of a president who
behaves in such a manner is sufficient to cause alarm. But a population
and a Congress which has lost its moral and spiritual bearings so that
it will not immediately impeach such a man is far more terrible and tragic.
But no longer in America. America has in practice been in rebellion against the sovereignty of God for well over a century. The rebellion became open and official in 1962 when prayer in schools was declared outlaw.
Back in the 1800's, collusion was afoot between those who controlled the financial power of industry and commerce on one hand, and those who held the reins of coercive force on the other. The wealthy found that they could buy and sell political power (i.e., coercion) and thereby create a system which catered to their own lusts for pride, power, and pleasure. And the politicians found they could curry favor of the rich by selling political favors to these enormously wealthy persons.
Not all rich nor all politicians are such evil-minded folks, of course. But as Lord Acton told us, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Many of these people have come in their megalomania to believe, thanks to Darwin, Gault, Dewey, and others, that they themselves are the leading edge of evolution, and that they have been "appointed" to take control of evolution as we advance into the unknown future. As John Taylor Gatto, powerful advocate of the separation of School and State, points out, their program is a religion, the religion of secular humanism -- for which Biblical religion is the enemy. [Tapes by Gatto can be purchased from the Separation of School and State Alliance - 209 292-1776]
Secular humanism will always drift toward totalitarianism, no matter how high-minded its adherents, because it has no moral principle, no principle of obligation, under which coercive force can be bound. So life is all a crap shoot and a power struggle.
The move toward totalitarianism earlier this century was more open and honest in Italy, Germany, and Russia. There were some "stylistic" differences, but the principles of freedom and self-determination in all cases were subverted by those who sought to control the people through the media, education, and commerce.
The significant difference between the earlier totalitarianism and that being perpetrated upon us today is that today's criminal politicians have the benefit of a more developed science of thought-control through well-run media and education systems. Much more efficient than the military -- which will be employed only if the other fails.
The differences between the two American political parties have been marginal. Both appear to be controlled by the same financial and political interests. The people are entertained and distracted by the political election show every four years, but those in control have no intention, if they can help it, of giving the people an honest choice -- as illustrated by the Republican desertion of its own pro-life plank in the 1996 elections.
In the ensuing corruption over this century, America has almost totally lost its capacity to think of civil government in Godly terms. That has not been an accident. Our education system has been subverted specifically to give the impression that America was created as a secular nation (which is historical, and in some cases, deliberate, nonsense), and that therefore the Supreme Court was quite right in declaring (against all historical evidence and previous Supreme Court decisions) that God is not sovereign over America.
I have run into that attitude here in Ambridge where the clergy,
almost to a man, have refused to participate in discussions with town officials
in matters of obvious common concern. The clergy and lay people of
western Christendom have next to no understanding of Godly government.
They do not understand that civil government is coercive force, and they
do not understand that God has specific plans for how we are to administer
that coercion. We are already paying a terrible price for our foolishness
and cowardice, which surely will get much worse before it gets better.
We are told that the French and other Europeans, being more sophisticated, laugh at the American "obsession" for sexual righteousness and purity (such little as we have). The French and the other Europeans, however, did not produce the most powerful nation on earth, and they did not produce the enormous freedom which that most powerful nation has enjoyed. We were blessed by God because to a significant degree we had come to understand ourselves to be a nation under the law of God.
So it is silly, indeed, quite stupid, for us to listen to those who envy us but who also decline to honor the substantial reasons for our success. We will not be successful because we listen to the foolishness of "French" views on sex. We will be successful to the degree that we return and bend our knee to the living God.
We are told that we need politicians who can rule the country efficiently, get things done, all of which is irrelevant to his private sex life.
God does not see it that way. Sexual offenses are offenses
against His law, not merely the private business of individuals.
The electorate is responsible and answerable to God for the people it elects.
It is one thing to say that we ought not be peering and snooping into each other's private lives (which is true), it is quite another to say that one's private life is irrelevant to public office. Much of our private lives is quite open to view by the public.
And when one against whom I have sinned chooses to make my sin public,
then my sin immediately becomes relevant to any public office I may be
holding. Sin is sin, no matter how committed. Office holders
(like any other person) ought to live in fear of exposure of their sins.
Fear is s prime deterrent to those who have no conscience otherwise.
They have no "right" to be comfortable that they can do what they please.
If I have sinned in a manner that corrupts my ability to hold office with dignity and integrity, then I am obligated to confess that, publicly where appropriate, and to repent. If my capacity to carry out my duties has been compromised, I am obligated to show my repentance by resigning. I have no business waiting until I am thrown out.
The American public appears to think that Clinton has a right to his office, and that his critics are thus abusing him. Americans have little awareness that, quite to the contrary, a civil servant has no rights, no claims against anyone. He has rather obligations to God and to the people. The sense of obligation to the people will not hold when the sense of obligation to God has evaporated. We see in our president a man who shows no sense of obligation to God or the people. If some French commentators wish to believe that to be sophistication, that is their business. We need not honor their ignorance or rebellion.
The recent November elections bode ill for America, but old order
or new, God is in charge and He is raising up an army of truth-seekers
and truth-speakers who will bear witness to His sovereignty. I trust
the you, dear reader, will be part of that army.
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Copyright, Earle Fox 1998