Showing posts with label Social Justice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Justice. Show all posts

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Waking and Breaking

We live in a broken culture. Not breaking. Broken. They did not see fit to acknowledge God, and God has given them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

In Romans, that manifests in heartlessness and ruthlessness, dishonesty and disobedience, among a litany of other bad things. In reality, a debased mind manifests in all these ways at the expense of others, but it is also unbelievably self-destructive and internally contradictory.

Debased thinking is fundamentally unfit to accomplish anything. But debased people make the best pawns imaginable.

Friday, September 08, 2023

Too Hot to Handle: Churches in the Crosshairs

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Tom: Last week, IC, Bernie and I discussed the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Toronto, Canada, which consisted of 8,000 Catholics, Buddhists, Baptists, Bahai, Jews, Muslims, Wiccans and indigenous spiritualists. They gathered to complain about Donald Trump and disseminate tactics for effectively infiltrating evangelical churches in order to convert us to the globalist / ecumenicalist cause.

Since they’ve been so kind as to warn us of their intentions in advance, I thought maybe we could consider how best to keep them out, or perhaps how to bring them in while thwarting their efforts.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Collective Madness

“They said, ‘Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name.’ ”

What is collectivism? It’s not just the belief that it helps to have others around, or that a group can do more than a lone person can. Rather, it’s the belief and practice of making a group more important than any or all individuals in it.

It requires us to define the value of each human being by the crowds to which we suppose them to belong — their cultural, racial, economic, educational, sexual and historical peer-groups. It’s a form of Marxism, really, but Marxism in new clothes, because the evils of Marxism are too well known.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

What’s in the Glass?

There’s an old bromide about a glass that may be considered half empty or half full, depending on whether the person drinking it is an optimist or a pessimist. Nobody ever stops to ask what we are in the process of consuming, which seems to me to be the more fruitful inquiry.

Before we ever begin a discussion of whether its half-emptiness or half-fullness is more desirable, Christians need to learn to ask this simple question: “What’s in the glass?”

Some substances you don’t want to drink at all, even if it’s only six ounces.

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Church ‘Problematics’ (Part 2)

Yesterday we considered a newly-coined word: “problematics” (and its relatives “problematize” and “problematization”). Social Justice advocates are transforming both secular institutions and churches by showing us we have problems. These problems are all related to racism or discrimination of some sort, and they are invariably systemic.

For the Social Justice advocate, it is not a question of whether we are racist, but in what particular ways. In making this assumption, they neatly sidestep the obligation to prove their case, hoping we will make it right along with them.

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Church ‘Problematics’ (Part 1)

This article is a short “heads-up” for church leaders and other decision-makers who are currently dealing, or will soon be dealing with issues of race, ethnicity and other so-called “equity” issues in the church. There’s a serious danger here, and you need to be aware of it before it arrives.

Because after it arrives, it’s almost too late.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Intentions and Outcomes

Back in March and April of this year, Immanuel Can and I had a two-part discussion of the validity of Tim Keller’s accusations of systemic racism in evangelical support for Christian workers. You can find those posts here and here.

But in working through the issues raised by Mr. Keller, what struck me most forcibly was the apparent ease with which an otherwise-discerning Christian accepts “equity” (as the social justice crowd defines it) as a valid metric for assessing race- and culture-related issues.

I’ve been giving that a little more thought. Because Mr. Keller is not the only one in the evangelical community assuming “systemic” injustices can be uncovered by examining statistics.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Locating the Thought Police

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Immanuel Can: This is super interesting.

Tom: Do tell …

IC: It’s a chart measuring what proportion of two-sided debate and its opposite, so‑called “social justice” indoctrination, is being practiced at the various university campuses in Ontario, Canada.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: A Zipper-Lipped Life

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Evolutionary biologist Colin Wright, who believes sex-associated personality differences are at least partly genetic, is deeply unhappy anyone would dare to challenge his worldview, set limits on his contribution to the public discourse, and disrupt his ongoing pursuit of intellectual fulfillment.

Who is doing such a thing, you ask? Why, it’s not the “moral majority” or the Christian Right; Wright dismisses Creationists as irrelevant. No, it’s the social justice Left.

Tom: It turns out the current state of evolutionary psychology has finally collided with the “blank slate” ideology of progressives, IC, and the sparks are making both sides unhappy. How unfortunate for “science”!

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Why Your Pastor Won’t Help You Now

Michael O’Fallon, host of the very worthwhile Sovereign Nations podcast, says he’s perplexed.

Some time ago he discovered a very nasty kind of false teaching was creeping into the churches in his denomination, a false teaching prepared in the fires of Marxism but now channeled by respected evangelical sources. It seemed obvious to O’Fallon that the first people who would be concerned and who would have a stake in understanding the danger would be those charged with maintaining sound doctrine on behalf of the church.

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Sticky Situations

I have used the expression “tar baby” in a couple of posts here over the years.

A tar baby is a wonderful old metaphor for a sticky situation, and particularly a sticky situation that never needed to happen. But its age and origin make it an obscure figure of speech — so obscure I later discovered even my own mother had never heard of it.

Well, that’s a situation that cannot go uncorrected!

Thursday, February 03, 2022

The Language of the Debate (5)

[Editor’s note: Nobody ever wants to be called racist, and yet the word is everywhere these days. It also doesn’t mean what it used to mean, which means it was one of those words I planned to get to in this series eventually. All too conveniently, Immanuel Can sent me an email this week analyzing the current usage of the term (and the logic behind the change in meaning) better than I might. I have reproduced it below.

Trust you enjoy it. — Tom]

Friday, January 28, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Brimstone and Deceit

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Tom: Here’s a hot topic we’ve yet to discuss, IC — at least, it’s generated some serious heat for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, sufficient to rate an article in The New York Times.

At issue is the government’s determination to tie federal funding for youth job programs to the expression of politically correct opinion. It’s about $113 million annually, give or take, and approximately 70,000 jobs are at stake.

The Prime Minister dismisses the very predictable negative reaction from Canadian conservatives as a “kerfuffle”.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Mining the Minors: Amos (21)

We hear a lot in the current environment about how the powers that exist have been instituted by God, and that whoever resists them resists God’s ordinance. And that is certainly true, but only to a point. Scripture is full of men and women who didn’t simply go along with unlawful orders from tyrants, and who, far from incurring judgment, were blessed by God for resisting the expressed will of those very “powers that be”.

It falls to each one of us to decide before God at what point Romans 13 no longer applies to our circumstances. Invariably, some of us will make mistakes, either acting too hastily in defiance of authority, or else waiting too long to put up resistance. But if I’m going to be one of those acting in error, I think I’d prefer to be too quick off the mark than to drag my feet and regret it later.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Foulness is Downstream

I like to fish.

I’m very fortunate. In the town where I live, a river runs nearby. It starts above the town, and it meanders its way through, coming out at the far end and continuing for some distance. I live in the upstream end, very near the river. In a few moments I can be out fishing on any summer’s day; and the fishing is pretty good. The river’s clean, flowing and healthy.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: Abandoning Evangelicalism

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Rachel Held Evans, who is post-evangelical herself, documents dissatisfaction among those she calls “defenders of the marginalized” in U.S. evangelical churches. In some quarters, it appears, the fact that so many of their fellow pew-occupiers voted for Donald Trump is not going down well.

Brandi Miller tweets, “I drafted my divorce papers with evangelicalism a long time ago. Tonight I serve them.” Glennon Melton asks, “Does a Love Warrior Go? YES. If that’s what her deepest wisdom tells her to do.”

Tom: What do you think, Immanuel Can? Imagine your fellow churchgoers voted for an immoral, bigoted incompetent with no regard for the dignity of women, as Rachel so delicately puts it. Something worth leaving your church over?

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Running Out of Time

Utopian schemes are everywhere these days, and we would be remiss if we failed to acknowledge that they have a certain appeal to Christians as well as secularists.

Who could argue with solving the food crisis, ending unjust incarceration, abling the disabled, elevating the downtrodden, promoting the good, caring for refugees, or providing protection for the most helpless members of society?

Apart from using their plight to his advantage, the current ruler of this world does not concern himself one iota with the men and women at the margins of society. And yet they are of great interest to God. Social justice matters when it is social justice of the biblical sort.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Collective Madness

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The New New Atheism

Chris Hall of AlterNet has a special announcement to make: “Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris are old news. A totally different atheism is on the rise.”

This even newer New Atheism is all about social justice. Hall sums it up this way:

“The activists who insist that atheism address matters of social justice are not distracting the movement from its purpose or being divisive; they are insisting it deliver on the promises that attracted so many of us to it in the first place.”

If the most significant promise of atheism is social justice, I can’t wait to see atheism try to deliver. It seems to me that an absence of belief (or belief in an Absence), is in a pretty poor position to promise much of anything.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Too Hot to Handle: Churches in the Crosshairs

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Too Hot to Handle: Locating the Thought Police

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Faith, Fear and Prudence

Christians are entering troubled times.

I suspect we are already well on our way into a thick and rather gloomy forest, but because the sunlight has been diminishing only a very little bit with each passing step, some of us have been less attentive than others about exactly how far into the underbrush we really are.

When Alex Jones’ InfoWars was recently deplatformed by Apple, YouTube (Google), Facebook and Spotify, few evangelicals noticed or cared. Most have no idea who Alex Jones is in the first place, and many of those who do recognize the name are still getting their news from CNN or other mainstream sources that despise Jones and his ilk and view them as unwanted and amateurish competition.

In any case, Jones’ speedy purge perturbed few. I would argue we need to start paying a bit more attention.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Too Hot to Handle: A Zipper-Lipped Life

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Too Hot to Handle: Brimstone and Deceit

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Too Hot to Handle: The Social Gospel and Social Justice

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Tom: Immanuel Can, I’m going to quote from my favourite source of lowest common denominator info, Wikipedia, to get us started.

Wikipedia calls the Social Gospel a “protestant Christian intellectual movement” that “applied Christian ethics to social problems, especially issues of social justice such as economic inequality, poverty, alcoholism, crime, racial tensions, slums, unclean environment, child labor, inadequate labor unions, poor schools, and the danger of war. Theologically, the Social Gospellers sought to operationalize the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:10): ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ ”

You know how I love words like “operationalize”. But would you say that’s a reasonably accurate description?

Monday, May 28, 2018

That Wacky Old Testament (11)

A hundred years ago the social safety net didn’t exist. The earliest U.S. government assistance program was conceived in 1910 and most of the rest were enacted post-1935.

Sure, there have always been rich parents that coddled their children through adulthood, handing them fully-operational businesses to destroy or trust funds to bleed dry. And there may even have been a certain number of less-well-off parents willing to sacrifice their meager savings on a dissolute youngster who stubbornly refused to pull his weight and bear his family responsibilities.

But beyond the family level, no institutions existed to provide for the welfare of society at large. There was no taxpayer-financed crutch available to help failed or unfortunate citizens get back on their feet.

Good thing times have changed. Or maybe not.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Quiet, Not Silent

“For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they devise words of deceit.”

Contentious, evil people always take advantage of those who can’t or won’t fight back. If that’s not a universal truism, it’s as close to one as matters.

Our political, legal and social structures are so constructed as to allow the forceful and aggressive to dominate the peaceful.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

‘Christian’ in 2017

What does it mean to be “Christian” in a day of access to a near-infinite plethora of diverse perspectives and opinions?

We might choose to ask Mihee Kim-Kort, who calls herself a “Presbyterian minister, agitator, speaker, writer, and slinger of hopeful stories about faith and church.” For Mihee, being Christian means being Feminist, Democrat, pro-abortion, pro-immigration, a community activist and an advocate for and supporter of all women of color — not necessarily in that order.

This is all in the course of a single blog post, by the way, one that makes no reference whatsoever to the word of God.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

On Tactics and Their Acceptability

A well-known biblical precept begins with the words “Do unto others ...”

Context strongly suggests the Lord intended his followers to engage with his teaching actively rather than passively, by performing positive moral acts toward those in need of them.

That said, the negative implication most commonly drawn from his words (“Refrain from doing things you WOULDN’T like done to you”) is not wrong.

Either way, the social justice crowd would do well to pay attention.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Too Hot to Handle: Canadians Under Siege

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Yesterday, Immanuel Can and I discussed the potential fallout from Donald Trump’s election to the office of president of our esteemed neighbor to the south. For the most part, I think we’re actually pretty upbeat about being evangelicals in a country strongly influenced by a cultural environment that temporarily excludes compulsory politically correct gender pronouns and open hostility against all things Christian.

For Canadian Christians, our situation will probably turn on whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes his cues and influences from The Donald or from the inevitable moral drift of the last eight years of Leftist dominance.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Too Hot to Handle: Crossing Jordan

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Coming soon in your size and mine
Those of our readers who don’t live in Canada — which will be most of you — may be unfamiliar with the current plight of University of Toronto professor Jordan B. Peterson. Professor Peterson is under the gun — protested by students and censured by his own administration — for refusing to address his students with gender neutral fake pronouns like “zhe”.

Tom: U of T trans studies instructor Nicholas Matte has called on Peterson to “stop abusing students”. But the threat of having to appear before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal doesn’t seem to bother Professor Peterson. He’s drawn a line in the sand: “If they fine me, I won’t pay it. If they put me in jail, I’ll go on a hunger strike. I’m not doing this, and that’s that. I’m not using the words that other people require me to use. Especially if they’re made up by radical left-wing ideologues.”

A tempest in a teapot, Immanuel Can? Or something more serious?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Not Enough Fingers

When everything is falling apart around me, when things are going south in a big hurry, I find it helpful to ask myself “What is MY role here? Is there something I should be DOING rather than just standing around looking concerned? Should I pray, act, consult others or wait (or some combination thereof)?”

Sometimes that question gets asked very quickly, or skimmed right over: if there’s water shooting out of a leaky pipe and accumulating on the kitchen floor, going away to pray and meditate about my next move is probably not the most useful response. On the other hand, if the issue is the ongoing decline of my local church and its increasing disobedience to its Head, the question of what I should do about it deserves some serious consideration in the presence of God.

Ideally, my stored knowledge of scripture or that of others is what provides the answer to that question when it is needed.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Blissful Incoherence

Work with me here: the secularist mindset prizes this life — and this life only — since it cannot reasonably contemplate any other.

Further, having dismissed notions of God, sin, righteousness and judgment, the worldview that begins from an evolutionary viewpoint is unconcerned with the moral quality of the lives it seeks to preserve. It only matters that life exists, and therefore the taking of it is always “wrong”. This despite a couple of glaring logical inconsistencies: (1) in a random universe with no Creator, nothing can be objectively immoral, only inconvenient or undesirable; and (2) many of the same folks who deplore capital punishment are perfectly fine with the taking of innocent life in and outside the womb.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Generational Train Wreck Alert!

It’s becoming increasingly hard for me to dismiss the conviction that this generation deserves whatever it gets.

I refuse to believe every college or university student in the Western world is out of their minds, but the media seems bound and determined to prove me wrong.

For these lost twenty-somethings, the capacity to invent drama where no drama exists is apparently beyond measuring. Their will to be miserable no matter what their circumstances seems boundless. Their sense of entitlement and victimhood is off the charts.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Disappearing Platform

There’s something wonderful about finding like-minded souls with whom to share our beliefs and concerns.

Totalitarian regimes grasp this, so they make it difficult for their citizens to exchange ideas, however trivial those ideas may appear to be. Censorship in Nazi Germany was extreme and strictly enforced. Stalin sent fellow Russians to the gulags for up to 25 years simply for telling jokes about Communist Party officials. None of this was original to Hitler or Stalin: the second century Romans had their own secret police equivalent called the Frumentarii that not only covertly gathered military intelligence throughout the empire but even spied on the members of the emperor’s household.

If people can’t freely and comfortably exchange ideas, they can’t form effective political opposition, or so goes the thinking.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Tender Sentiments and Easy Living

How delicate can we get?
God, we are reliably informed, is eternal. He is also unchanging.

Oh, things certainly happen where God dwells; events on a scale we can hardly imagine. Think of passages like “there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord”, or “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” or, best of all, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you”. Momentous events indeed.

Still, if it is possible to speak of a heavenly culture (or perhaps atmosphere), that culture must, like the unchanging character of God, be impervious to trends.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The “Loving Society” and Category Error

In 1949’s The Concept of Mind, Gilbert Ryle gives this example

“One day a girl visited a college campus. After seeing buildings, teachers, students, and dorms, she looked at the tour guide and sweetly asked, ‘This is all nice, but when do I get to see the university?’ ”

Now I don’t agree with Ryle on too much, but he deserves credit for coining the expression that describes what is wrong with the girl’s thinking in this story. The mistake she makes is called a category error. She has seen buildings, teachers, students and dorms, and thinks a “university” is just one more item in the same category or on the same level as these things. She fails to grasp that all these elements make up the university. The university itself is in a different category.

Christians and unbelievers alike are susceptible to category error.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Quote of the Day (4)

One wonders exactly how long the present social order can sustain itself in North America.

If you believe the pollsters, public trust in government is at an all-time low, the influence of religion is waning, the wealth gap in America between middle-income and upper-income families is currently the widest on recordrace relations are getting worse, families are falling behind on the cost of living and almost nobody believes what they read or see in the media anymore.

Accusations from Islamic leaders that America is corrupt are difficult to rebut when U.S. business analysts seriously contemplate whether America is as corrupt as the third world.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Too Hot to Handle: The Social Gospel and Social Justice

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Co-opting Christ

Or is it “The Democratic Party is my god”?
They’re lining up to make use of the Lord Jesus Christ, it appears.

Carey Lodge at Christian Today writes about how both ends of the UK political spectrum seem determined to make the eternal God the poster boy for their social agendas.

As a Christian, if there’s anything more off-putting than the sort of cynicism that makes merchandise of or leverages political advantage from the Saviour, I’m having trouble thinking of it right now.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Christians Against Climate Change

Mick Pope is marching about climate change, not in spite of his faith, he says, but because of it. He insists that:
“… a solid theology of creation and of the resurrection means that Christians should be concerned about climate change.”
Huh. Remember the whole “What Would Jesus Do?” fad from a few years back? It became a trendy thing to have on a bumper sticker or t-shirt, sold its share of merch in Christian bookstores and has largely disappeared, I think.

So what would Jesus have said about climate change, I wonder?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The New New Atheism

The most recent version of this post is available here.