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[COMMENT: Below is a slightly revised version of an email I sent out about July 22, 2008.
But why "Conservative/Liberal" in the title above? Is that not contradictory? How can the two ever be a part of the same movement?
We are not witnessing a battle between liberals and conservatives. Both terms have been hi-jacked by their respective adherents. We are watching a battle between pseudo-conservatives (who cannot conserve anything) vs. pseudo-liberals (who do not liberate anyone). Pseudo-liberals do not think there is a real truth (which is impossible), and pseudo-conservatives think there is a truth, and that they have it all. You will not get much intelligent conversation between these two.
There is another more recent version of the pseudo-conservative, the one which has allowed the pseudo-liberal to define the terms of public debate, which is scared to challenge pseudo-liberals at their vulnerable points, and who do not stand on their own professed ground of objective truth and objective morality. Our so-called conservatives of today have (with just a few notable exceptions) become the lackey's of the pseudo-liberals because they will not stand on the only intellectual, moral, and spiritual ground which can support the -- that of the Bible.
True liberals are hand-in-glove with true conservatives, because both are focused on the truth. Liberals focus more on getting the new, as-yet-undiscovered truth (Jeffersonian liberalism), while conservatives focus more on preserving the truth already garnered.
But because they both focus on truth as the standard of their quest, they are still part of the same family. They may have family squabbles, but they are capable of resolving their disagreements because they respect each other as persons, and are committed to the open, free-market-of-ideas contest to resolve their differences.
The only conservatism or liberalism which can succeed is that which works together with the other. Like right and left, up and down, front and back, masculine and feminine, they imply each other. And they keep check on each other, keeping each other honest.
A successful renewal of political sanity requires a
recapturing of honest definitions. We can put in that list the above
definitions of 'liberal' and 'conservative'. There will be many more.
I have been profoundly blessed by the discoveries and ministry of John Haskins (see www.undergroundjournal.net ) and Gregg Jackson (www.greggjackson.com ), especially their insights on who is betraying whom and the illusion of judicial activism vs. executive activism. I have no doubt that they are right concerning the betrayal by pseudo-conservatives (who cannot conserve anything) by their refusing to go after the executives. It is not, in many cases, a matter of leaders innocently making a mistake any more. (For more articles on this, go to Conservative Collapse.)
When I was writing Homosexuality: Good & Right in the Eyes of God? I puzzled about how we can anymore make a serious distinction between good and evil, the two were so totally confused in the public debate.
I came to the following conclusion: The first sign of evil is the subversion of truth (see Romans 1:18 ff.). When anyone systematically subverts truth in any area of life, we are no longer in an honest discussion, we are in spiritual warfare, behind the scenes of which is the father of lies. Whether knowingly or not, those who subvert truth are aiding and abetting Satan.
So far as I can see, most of those who disagree with Gregg and John refuse to have an honest conversation about the matter, they just shut down discussion or call them names. That is subversion of truth. And we are indeed in a spiritual battle -- with anyone of any side who does that. Persons who will not honor open discussion of issues are seriously guilty.
My difference with John and Gregg is on how to go about dealing with it. I think they sometimes overstep the "prophetic" role in which they see themselves, sliding into name-calling rather than speaking the truth in love.
Here is a list of thoughts which I wrote down recently explaining why I differ. I do not disagree with exposing subversion of truth. Scripture tells us to expose evil. It must be done. The question is how much time to spend on it, and just how to go about speaking the truth in love. Love is the hard part. No surprise about that.
I am using Gregg's description of his aims as a starting point,
"In my opinion, nothing will change unless these Pharisees and experts on the law are exposed for breathing life into the Big Lie...totally defrocked so that people will no longer be deceived by the dangerous lies they perpetuate."
1. Jesus did castigate the Pharisees publicly, but He is God Himself judging, we are not, and He can see with an exactitude we do not have. We are to imitate Him, but we need to be wary of how badly we can miss the target. We do not want to pull up the wheat with the tares.
2. How do we know when we have reached such a goal as Gregg gives? Is there any way of knowing clearly? What does "defrocked" mean, and how do we know when we have done it? If we do not have a clear notion of our own goal in such a matter, we are bound to go off track.
3. In what way is their present manner of exposing and defrocking actually accomplishing whatever that might be? Is it really happening?
4. Jesus had, and has, as His main effort, the gathering and training of disciples, His positive goal, drawing them toward the Kingdom, and preparing them to draw others.
5. Except at the end when He headed for Jerusalem to force a conclusion, He did not seem to seek out the Pharisees to castigate them, He did it when they showed up to attack Him. (This is an unresearched opinion...)
6. If we do not major in the positive goal, we will lose. I do not see signs that we have a clear vision of our positive goal. We had better work on it. A clear notion of Biblical government would be a start. With what do we want to replace the mess we now have?
7. Jesus did not succeed in defrocking His enemies. They succeeded in killing Him. Jesus knew that would happen and provoked the encounter anyhow. He was never the victim, He was the aggressor. He forced the issue.
8. People are relieved
of their deceptions more by light shining from the positive goal than by
critique of the negative side, though both need to be done.
As Alan Schaeffer, Pres. of the Alliance for the Separation of School & State says, people need a Promised Land to which to look forward, or they will not leave the Egypt which is enslaving them. People will not leave government schools until they begin to trust freemarket education. And they will not leave terrible misjudgements about the nature of the judiciary and executive until they see a consistent vision of the separation of powers. Our side has done only very partial work to clarify and market that vision.
For my take on the separation of powers, go to http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/21PbAr/Pl/Cnst/FrMktEdVsWall.htm
9. With the rise of science, and of due process in civil law (the two crown jewels of Western Civ.), God has with precision sharpened the 2-edged Sword of the Spirit to discern between truth and falsehood. We Christians gave away both of those jewels to the secular/pagan folks. We need to take them back and learn how to speak the truth in love -- which will do the exposing which Gregg and John rightly want with the precision of the Lord's sharpened Sword.
10. It is always dangerous to target individuals, but especially if we do not include specific evidence of wrongdoing, especially of lying and when assigning motives. Risky stuff. When we prove to be wrong, our cause is badly damaged.
11. We DO need an offensive, learning how to force the other side to respond to our initiative rather than we always to them. Building a clear, comprehensive and positive vision of Biblical government will go a long way to more clearly distinguishing us from them. (I will be preaching on this July 27 and will post the sermon on my website. See also ).
12. I did not get converted on this issue because of critiques of "them", but by the clarity of the judicial vs. executive activism issue and you all standing up for the truth, separation of powers, etc. I had been adrift on those issues for decades, and then suddenly -- clarity.
13. Somewhere in Jewish apocryphal literature, there is a discussion about a contention between Michael the archangel and Satan over who owns the body of Moses. Jude, vs. 9 refers to this, and says, "But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to proounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you.'" Suggesting that we be very careful about how we rebuke, and maybe ought to leave most of it to the Lord. That does not at all inhibit our speaking the truth and forcing clarity. Clarity will not come without severe contention. Satan and his comrades have too much at stake in keeping things in the dark.
14. As with any family, there is a lot of "vigorous fellowship", which takes a lot of boldness and patience, forgiveness and repentance. Only led and undergirded by the Holy Spirit can we put those together.
15. It is not clear at all to me that "nothing will change" unless all the Pharisees are brought low in the public eye. Executive activism is truly an important fact, and a very helpful discovery by John and Gregg. But there are other issues even more fundamental, such as understanding the Biblical stance on truth-seeking, on government, on science, on worldview, etc.
Resurrection Blessings, Earle Fox
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