Category Archives: crony capitalism

Watchman on the Wall

The Church’s role in America’s Culture War

Introduction 
America is currently engaged in the longest Religious War since the Reformation, a war between Biblical Christianity and secular Humanism. Make no mistake about it; we are in the midst of a very grim war in which only one side can triumph, a war waged, not with bullets and bombs but with ideas and reason; A war that few Americans recognize and even fewer understand the serious consequences for the loser. The battlefields are our churches, our courts, our schools, our legislatures, and our political institutions. At stake are our Republic and the traditional American Culture left to us by our forefathers.

Although the struggle between good and evil began in the Garden of Eden, the religious war in America started in the latter part of the colonial period during the “Unitarian controversy”, the first major political assault in modern times was launched in the Presidential campaign of 1912 when four political parties vied for the office of President. All four nominated progressive (American Socialist) candidates, leaving the American people to select between the lesser of four evils. The party platforms on which the candidates ran were all slightly different, but all contained the most important planks of the then defunct Peoples Party; a graduated national income tax; the popular election of Senators, and protective tariffs, among other things.

Eugene Debs was nominated by the Socialist Party, Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt by the Progressive Party, Woodrow Wilson by the Democratic Party and incumbent President William Howard Taft by the Republican Party. Taft and Roosevelt split the Republican vote giving the Presidency to Woodrow Wilson. In 1913, the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments to the Constitution were ratified, paving the way for the Socialist’s primary goals of income redistribution and a consolidated national government. The Seventeenth Amendment providing for the popular election of Senators weakened the protection of the Tenth Amendment making the consolidation of national government all but certain. Since that time, successions of Progressive Presidents and Congresses have waged a relentless attack on the institutions of American Society.

It is only since the election of socialist Barack Obama and the rise of the patriot movement, known collectively as the Tea Party Movement, that many Americans have become aware of the battle raging around them and the possible devastating consequences of its outcome. However, of those who are now paying attention to what is going on, few recognize the real nature of the conflict. Most see it as a political struggle for control of government and the enemy as the socialists in the progressive Democrat party, when in reality it is a conflict between two worldviews for control of the American culture. The real enemy is the progressive religion of Humanism that has become the Official religion of government, political progressives and the Democrat Party, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12)

The identity of a nation is determined by the nature of its three primary components, its form of government, its economic system, and its common culture. In America, the form of government is drawn from the principles set forth in our Declaration of Independence and codified in our Constitution. The Constitution contains the rules and limitations placed on the federal government, but deals only tangentially with the culture and the economy. American Socialists are determined to destroy all three components of American society and replace them with the institutions of socialism based on the progressive-socialist religion of Humanism. For the most part, they have been successful in shredding the Constitution and corrupting our culture and economic system without the American people fully understanding what is happening.

The American Culture 

The American culture is built on the foundation of our Christian principles; not the denominational doctrines quibbled over among America’s nine hundred self-identified Christian denominations, but the principles set forth in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. Our Founders recognized the necessity of a religious foundation for our culture in order for the Constitution to fulfill the purpose for which it was created. John Adams, our second President, stated plainly that, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

George Washington reminded the American people of the importance of religious principles in connection with governance in his Farewell Address when he said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.”

“Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”(1796)

The wisdom of President Washington has become evident over the past few generations with the left’s determination to cast out the moral values on which our culture is built. Along with the efforts of American Socialists (progressives) to purge Christianity from our culture and replace it with the modern religion of Humanism, we have witnessed a steady decline in the moral foundations of our politics and economy as well.  We marvel at the equanimity of our elected officials as they look directly into the lens of the TV camera and lie to us with a sanguine belief that the American people will believe their fabricated assertions in spite of the evidence of experience and common sense; unfortunately too many of us do.

Our economic system rests on the centuries old principles of free market capitalism where individuals make their own economic decisions based on their perception as to what is in their own and their family’s best interest. The system worked fine in the days when “a man’s word was his bond”, and deals were sealed with a handshake. However, the corrupting influence of the continuous, incremental successes of American Socialism has replaced free market capitalism with an amoral, and often immoral, “crony capitalism” and is moving us ever closer to the centrally planned economy coveted by socialists the world over.

Both our political and economic well-being is dependent on the moral character of the culture that gave it birth. As Benjamin Franklin Observed on the final day of the Philadelphia Convention, “I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

As we continue to move further into the twenty-first century we have to make a national decision; we must decide which course we will follow. One leads to a return to liberty and prosperity, the other to poverty, misery and servitude to the state.  There can be no middle ground. We cannot compromise with an enemy whose objective is to destroy our way of life. It must be defeated. Have we, as Franklin mused, become so corrupt as a nation that we can only be ruled by despotism? Are we so lacking in character that we prefer the false security promised by American Socialism, or are we willing to take the risk proposed by a growing number of Patriots and battle for liberty, freedom and a return of the blessings of God, settling for nothing less?

Church And State 

Of all the institutions in America that affect our culture, there are none more important than the Church. And yet, for the most part the modern Church has remained on the sidelines as our culture continues to decline and we move ever closer to a point of no return. In fact, many churches give “aid and comfort” to the enemy by embracing many of the Humanist religious doctrines espoused by progressives. There are many reasons why churches do not become publicly involved in the political and cultural controversies of the day. Perhaps the most prominent one is the doctrine of “separation of church and state”. 

It should be pointed out however, that this is neither a constitutional doctrine nor a Biblical doctrine. It is taken wholly from a metaphorical clause in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1801 in reply to a letter from the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association, seeking assurance that Jefferson, as President, would respect “freedom of conscience”. In his reply Jefferson writes, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

The first clause of the First Amendment reads, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” This clause actually establishes the independence of religion from the legislative and judicial powers of the federal government, not separation. It also prohibits the federal government from regulating or otherwise interfering with any form of worship or expression of religious faith, publicly or privately. Over time, this “first principle” of religious liberty has morphed into religious toleration only, applying mostly to Christianity. In practice, Christianity is heavily regulated by all levels of government today. Christian worship or expression is limited to places of worship, religious gatherings or among willing acquaintances. It is prohibited in virtually all public venues and events.

As Christianity is forced out of our public institutions by law and popular opinion, it has created a vacuum of faith that has been filled with the progressive religion of Humanism. Anthropogenic climate change, environmentalism, LGBT equality, internationalism, “reproductive rights” (abortion), multi-culturism, and sodomite marriage, are all Humanist religious doctrines supported and promoted by government through legislation, the courts and bureaucratic rule making. These same Humanist doctrines are taught in all our educational institutions and propagandized through the popular media.

Humanist religious doctrine is presented and defended as being based on “settled science”. It represents logical conclusions drawn from the acceptance of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution popularized at the turn of the twentieth century. Evolution is the accepted science of our day, but it is by no means “settled science”. Most people are surprised to learn that there are over a thousand scientists, every bit as credentialed as those who teach evolution, who oppose evolution theory. Creation science is a fairly new scientific discipline that has experienced rapid growth and increasing acceptance over the past two or three generations. The reader can type the term “creation science” into an internet search engine and find a plethora of scholarly websites, white papers, theses, articles, books and video presentations on the subjects of creation science.

Both the evolution scientists and the creation scientists are usually educated in the standard scientific disciplines of physics, anthropology, geology, astronomy, astrophysics, quantum mechanics, etc., but they often arrive at completely opposite conclusions from the same data. Beginning with a preconceived hypothesis that the theory of evolution explains the origin of all things, the evolution scientist concludes that, “the universe [is] self-existing and not created…that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process [of evolution]”. The creation scientist begins with a preconceived hypothesis that the Bible story of creation is the true explanation of the origin of the universe and all life, and he finds ample support for the faith-based belief that, “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is,” (Exodus 20:11)

Evolution Science and Creation Science generally agree on those things that can be studied and tested in the physical world using scientific methods. It is when Evolution Science leaves the world of science in the here and now and speculates about events before secularly recorded history that the diversity of opinion arises. All the confirmed findings of real science are consistent with claims of Creation Science that the universe and all its life forms could have come into existence as described in the creation story recorded in the Book of Genesis.

On the other hand, Evolution Science has a number of problems with both science and reason; matter evolving from nothing and life evolving from inanimate objects are two of the most obvious. According to evolutionism, in the beginning there was nothing. Over time, this “nothing” gathered itself into a highly charged ball of energy, possibly no larger than the period at the end of this sentence. At an unspecified point in time, billions of years ago, the ball of energy spontaneously exploded (the Big Bang), its fragments creating the universe. A tiny part of that exploding universe, Earth, just happened to end up at precisely the right location, and with just the right amount and types of resources to support life. A molecule of these resources eventually evolved into a living cell that grew, divided and multiplied, gradually evolving into all the living things on earth.

Evolution was presented by Charles Darwin in 1859 as a theory: “an idea of or belief about something arrived at through speculation or conjecture.” (Encarta), not a theorem: “a proposition or formula in mathematics or logic that is provable from a set of axioms and basic assumptions.” It was routinely referred to by writers of science textbooks as “Evolution Theory” until fairly recently.  It was not until sometime around the middle of the twentieth century that it started to be accepted by the academic science community as “settled science”. The speculative claims of Evolution Science about how the Universe, earth and mankind came into existence still have to be accepted by faith without objective scientific proof of their validity. For that reason, evolution should be considered as a religious doctrine not a system of scientific facts.

Of course, the same thing could be said of creationism; however Creation Science does not claim to prove the creation story. It only claims to show that proven scientific facts do not contradict any of the events or circumstances recorded in the Book of Genesis, possibly by eyewitnesses to those events, during man’s first 1700 years on earth. Christians readily admit to accepting the Biblical record on faith alone. While the findings of Creation Science may strengthen the Christian’s belief in the accuracy of the Biblical record, they are irrelevant to his faith.

The Bible And Politics

Christians often give as their reason for not being involved in the culture war politically as a belief that the New Testament teaches we should “suffer evil”, “turn the other cheek”, and “submit to all the laws of government”. Their usual authority for this is Matt. 5:39 “But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” And, I Pet. 2: 13-14 “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” In the quote from Matthew, Jesus is warning against the very human desire for personal revenge and “getting even”. In I Peter, Peter is encouraging good citizenship as a testimony to the Gentiles.

At the time of Christ and the founding of the Church, Rome had consolidated its authority over the entire civilized world and was generally at peace. It had a pagan, idolatrous culture with many different religions and gods. Because of the many and varied religions practiced in Rome, for the most part, religious freedom was permitted and citizens could practice whatever religion they wished. The persecution of Jesus and the early Church came, not from the Roman Government, but from the Jewish religious leaders of that day. Due to the short period of history covered by the New Testament and the fact that whatever political strife that existed within the Roman Empire at the time did not substantially affect the ministry of Christ or the Church there is not a lot of guidance in the New Testament for the modern Christian to determine how we should deal with the apostasy and political animosity prevalent in America today. For answers we need to look to the Old Testament.

Some might object that the Old Testament does not apply to the Church and that we should seek answers only in the New Testament. However, in 2 Timothy 3:16 the Apostle Paul reminds the young preacher Timothy that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” At the time Paul wrote this, the New Testament was not complete and the New Testament canon had not been firmly established; Paul was referring to the Old Testament Scriptures.

There is certainly no shortage of Old Testament teachings and examples of God’s dealings with nations and governments that would apply to conditions in America today. We can open the Old Testament randomly at any page, and the chances are good that before we have read more than a few pages we will learn something about God’s standard for dealing with nations, governments, cultures and leaders. The Old Testament is a history of God addressing the apostasy and idolatry that was rampant throughout the history of Israel.

Two lessons stand out about God’s relations with men and nations. First, God usually  works through people to carry out his will. Second, God routinely uses nations and governments to chastise and punish His people for disobedience, apostasy and idolatry. One of the most familiar stories in the Old Testament of God using a nation and its ruler to punish his people is the story of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, who God sent to punish Judah for the iniquity that took place under King Manasseh. Parts of the story are found in two historical books and five prophetic books in the Old Testament. The most important parts are found in 2 Kings and the Book of Daniel.

2 Kings 21, records the reign of Manasseh over the Kingdom of Judah, 2“And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.”

As a result of the idolatry that permeated the culture of Judea during the reign of Manasseh, God pronounced judgment on the land through His prophets.

11” Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: 12 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.”

Even here, however, we see the longsuffering and mercy of God. After the death of Manasseh, his son Josiah took the throne. Josiah, after rediscovering the Books of the law, led a revival in Judah. The idols were destroyed and the groves were burned. The people returned to the worship of the Lord. It was not until the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah that God brought the judgment prophesied against Judah.

24:1“In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets. 3Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;”

From these and hundreds of other passages in the Old Testament we can see that God punishes and chastises his people when they turn their back on Him and reject his commandments. Perhaps not as dramatic as the founding of Israel, but nevertheless, just as certain, America was founded as a Christian nation. It was not until after a series of Supreme Court decisions in 1962 and 1963 that America officially rejected God in our national public life. (Engel v. Vitale, 1962, Murray v. Curlett, 1963, and Abington Township School District v. Schempp, 1963); dissenting Justice Potter Stewart criticized the Court’s ruling saying, “It led not to true neutrality with respect to religion, but to the establishment of a religion of secularism.”(Humanism)

A statement by Thomas Jefferson in his Notes on the State of Virginia is certainly appropriate here, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever..;

Events over the past dozen or so years, when viewed in the light of history and Scripture, can easily be seen as the beginning of God’s judgment on America. The Church today (in the institutional sense) is much like the Church at Laodicea described by Jesus in Revelation 3; “15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”

Today’s “Laodicean” Church of provides a mixture of psychology, philosophy, entertainment, clichés, and platitudes, with an occasional Bible reference thrown in to give it a Christian flavor. It watches with equanimity as our culture, our political system, and our economy collapse. It is neither Christian nor pagan, embracing many of the Humanist’s doctrines so as not to appear staid or old fashioned. It values inclusivity with little or no standards for church fellowship. It strives for self-aggrandizement and worldly success rather than the glory of God. The “Laodicean” Church has become as “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal”. (1 Cor. 13)

The Last Days

False prophets are one of Satan’s favorite tools for misleading the Children of God. Prophesy was not given by God that we might be able to predict the future, but that when prophesied events take place we might understand and glorify God. “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations,” (Deut. 30:1) Since the desire to predict the future is a part of human nature, Bible prophesies concerning the last days are fertile ground for false prophets. Much mischief has come to the Church from attempting to establish the prophetic chronology of events prophesied in the Bible concerning the Return of Jesus Christ to earth. The nineteenth century witnessed the rise of several new “Christian” denominations inspired by false prophets who believed they had determined the time when Christ would return for his saints.

In 1822 William Miller, a Baptist lay preacher, produced a twenty-point document in which he wrote the following; “I believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ is near, even at the door, even within twenty-one years,—on or before 1843”. Miller began publicly proclaiming his new doctrine, based primarily on the book of Daniel, in 1831. By 1840 Miller’s beliefs had become a national movement. By 1844 over a million copies of his writings were in circulation. Several dates were proposed for the return of Christ, with the final date being set as October 22, 1844.

When Christ failed to return on the expected date, many of Miller’s followers became discouraged and left the movement, returning to the Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Campbellite churches from whence they came.  Others stayed true to the faith, and after some adjustments in prophetic doctrine formed into what is today, the seventeen million members strong, Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Around 1870, Charles Taze Russell, combining some of the teaching of the Adventist movement with the Pyramidology of Charles Smyth and Joseph Seiss, began developing a new prophetic chronology for Christ’s second coming. Russell and his associates later formed the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society. Russell was succeeded in 1917 by Joseph F. Rutherford who, in 1931, introduced the name of Jehovah’s Witnesses to distinguish his group from other groups associated with the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society. Today this group claims a worldwide membership of over seven and three-quarter millions followers.

Another prophetic doctrine that was popularized during the “Second Great Awakening”, not quite as radical, yet very important in the days in which we live, is the doctrine of the Rapture. Many born-again evangelical Christians are aware of the corruption in our government and culture. They see the immorality and lasciviousness in our entertainment industries, and the licentiousness creeping into our civil laws; yet they fail to see the seriousness and urgency of these changes in our culture in relation to themselves.

Rather than actively resisting the evils in society, their attitude seems to be, “we know that in the last days there is to be a great falling away and a time of troubles, but our duty is to hold fast to the faith and to look and pray for the coming of the Lord.” They know that tribulations are coming but are persuaded that the Rapture will rescue them from having to endure it. There are many New Testament passages that seem to support this belief. 2 Peter 3, and 2 Timothy chapters 3 and 4 are perhaps the two best examples.

The Rapture

 For more than ten years in my early Christian life I wholly believed in the doctrine of a secret Rapture; my church taught it and my Pastor preached it. As a new Christian, whatever my Pastor taught, I accepted as Biblical truth. Later I surrendered to the ministry and enrolled in Bible College. One day, our hermeneutics professor assigned our class the task of substantiating a pre-tribulation Rapture, using the Bible only. I, of course, was certain this would be an easy assignment. I still recall the anguish of soul, as I diligently and daily searched the Scriptures, slowly beginning to realize that what I had previously believed so strongly may be different from what the Bible actually taught.

It is easy to find proof in the Bible for that which we already believe. I often think of an event that occurred during the third visit of Jesus with the disciples after His resurrection, recorded in John, chapter 21. Jesus had just charged Peter to feed His lambs and His sheep as a sign of his love for Christ, He then tells Peter, “18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, follow me.”

20 “Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.”

23” Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?”

We could easily speculate from this exchange that Peter harbored some jealousy toward John because of his relationship with Jesus. That may be true; however, that is not what the passage is about. We could also speculate that Peter started the rumor mentioned in verse 23, but again, the passage does not support that. The valuable lesson we learn from this passage is to  never base our belief on what we think the Bible means but rather, on what it actually says. A belief based on an implied meaning we find in a text must always give way to a clearly written contradiction elsewhere.

At another time our hermeneutics professor asked us to explain the meaning of Mark 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;” It was utterly amazing to listen to the speculation of the class as to what message Mark was attempting to convey. Some related it to Genesis 1:1, others to the ministry of John the Baptist as the forerunner of Jesus Christ. Still others focused on Jesus as the Son of God. The lesson the Professor was trying to get across to his aspiring students was not to read more into a passage than was actually there.

With that thought in mind. Let us consider the doctrine of the secret Rapture and how it relates to the Church in the twenty-first century.

The word “Rapture” is not found in the Bible, although the idea is found throughout the New Testament. Its meaning is to be “caught up” or “taken away”. In 1 Thessalonians 4:17 the Greek verb form ρπαγησόμεθα (harpagisometha), is used, which in the KJV is translated, “caught up”. The word “Rapture” is believed to have been coined by John Nelson Darby sometime around 1830 from the Latin word, “raptus” which means “a carrying off”.

Darby was ordained as an Anglican priest in the Church of Ireland in 1826. While recuperating from a serious injury he sustained in a fall from his horse in 1827, he spent his time studying Bible prophesy and revising his theological views, particularly in eschatology (Bible Prophesy). During this time he began meeting with an interdenominational Bible Study group who simply called themselves, “The Brethren”.  In 1831 he separated from the Church of Ireland and a year later presented his beliefs concerning dispensationalism and a pre-tribulation Rapture at a prophetic Bible Conference held at the Powerscourt estate near Enniskerry, Ireland. Darby is considered to be the father of dispensationalism.

The Bible study group Darby was associated with eventually became known as the Plymouth Brethren. In addition to its teaching on dispensationalism and a pre-tribulation Rapture, Plymouth Brethren also objected to the use of clergy, insisting that the Holy Spirit could speak through any member of the assembly. Darby traveled extensively throughout Europe and Britain, eventually arousing the ire of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

In the June 1869 issue of Sword and the Trowel, Spurgeon commented on a treatise by a Mr. Grant; “Mr. Grant has done real service to the churches by his treatise on ‘the heresies of the Plymouth Brethren’, which we trust he will publish in a separate form. It is almost impossible for even his heavy hand to press too severely upon this malignant power, whose secret but rapid growth is among the darkest signs of the times.”

The teachings of John Darby were widely disseminated in America during the twentieth century through the popularity of the Schofield Reference Bible published in 1909 by Cyrus Schofield, Bible Colleges such as the Dallas Theological Seminary and two bestselling authors, Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye.

Hal Lindsey graduated  from the Dallas Theological Seminary in 1958 earning a Master of Theology degree. After working with Campus Crusade for Christ for several years Lindsey published his bestselling book, The Late Great Planet Earth in 1970. After selling several million copies in hard cover, the book was republished by Bantam Books as a paperback, selling over 28 million copies by 1994. It was also made into a popular 1979 movie, starring Orson Wells. The book featured the dispensational eschatology of Darby including the pre-tribulation Rapture.

The most widely known author of “Rapture” literature is Tim LaHaye, the writer of more than fifty books, both fiction and non-fiction. The most popular of his books were the “Left Behind” series of apocalyptic fiction depicting life on earth after the Rapture. Between 1995 and 2007 LaHaye published a total of 12 titles in the series, selling over 65 million copies.

By the end of the twentieth century virtually all of the fundamental, evangelical denominations had accepted the doctrine of a pre-tribulation Rapture. Lay Christians and Ministers were heavily influenced by Schofield’s comments on the Rapture found in his study notes.  Nominal Christians and many un-Churched of all persuasions were persuaded by the books of Lindsey and LaHaye.

What someone believes about a secret Rapture and the chronological sequence of events accompanying it is not essential to the gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and should not be a test of Christian fellowship. However, it is a stumbling block for many Churches, Pastors and Christians, excusing them from defending the faith against the continuous onslaughts of Humanism and the corruption of our culture as they patiently wait for the Rapture and the hoped-for deliverance from the troubles prophesied for the end of the Church Age.

For this reason alone we should learn and teach as much as we can concerning what the Bible actually teaches about the second coming of Christ. There are more than thirty passages in the New Testament that refer to Jesus returning to gather up his Church, most of them unequivocal and not open to speculation. For example,  “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2, 3)

The passage most often quoted by pre-tribulationists is I Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:16;

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

5 1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night .3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

A common misperception among New Testament Christians was that the return of Jesus was imminent.  That idea still persists today among pre-tribulationists. The saints at Thessalonica were becoming concerned because some of their brothers and sisters were dying and Jesus had not yet returned. Paul wrote this passage to comfort the loved ones of those who had died. (Verse 18) Jesus and the New Testament writers did not teach an imminent return. In fact, there are many prophesies given in the New Testament that are to be fulfilled before Christ’s return. The phrase that fosters the belief of an eminent return is, “as a thief in the night” used by Paul in verse 2, Chapter 5 above. Peter uses the same phrase in 2 Pet. 3:10. These are the only two places in the New Testament were the phrase is used.

Jesus uses the word “thief” in the same sense in the parable of the unfaithful servant in Matt. 24:43, and Luke 12:39. He also uses it in Rev. 3:3 as a warning to the Church at Sardis, and in Rev. 16:15 as a general warning. In all of these passages where Christ is pictured as coming unexpectedly as a thief, it is as a warning to non-believers and unfaithful Christians, but as Paul says in verse 4 above, “ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” Notice the usage of pronouns in verses 3, 4, 5 and 6.

This passage also calls into question the idea of a “secret Rapture”. Verse 16 says Jesus will return, “with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:” Couple this with the descriptions of the Rapture in Matthew 24:40, 41 and Luke 17:34, 35, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left,” and it is difficult to understand how the Rapture  could be in secret without someone noticing. Certainly if a family was sitting at dinner and mom or dad, or one or two of the kids suddenly disappeared, someone would notice and tell others.

Paul continues to address the expectation of the Thessalonians for an imminent return of Christ in 2 Thess. 2:1-12 where Paul beseeches, “2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

“3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

The “man of sin” in verses 3 and 4 evidently is a reference to the “Beast” of Revelation 13, and “the abomination of desolation” in Matt. 24:15, and Mark 13:14, foretold by Daniel the prophet.

None of the many passages in the New Testament concerning the return of Christ for His Church reveal a definite sequence of events as they relate to the great tribulation, with the exception of two, Matthew 24 and Mark 13. In Matthew 24 we read;

“24 1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

“3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Mark identifies the disciples who spoke privately with Jesus as John, Peter, Andrew, and James. (Mark 13:3) Note that the disciples asked three questions, (1) when shall these things be; the destruction of the temple? (2) What will be the sign of Jesus’ coming? (3) What will be the sign of the end of the world (age)?

Most Bible commentators relate this passage to the destruction of the Temple by the Roman general Titus in 70 A.D. That is speculation on their part and may or may not be true. It is also possible that Jesus chose not to answer the first question, instead giving a summation of the entire Church age up to the time of his return in verses 29 – 31, including the Great Tribulation in verses 15 – 22.

Matt. 24:  “4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows”. (Run-up to the Tribulation?  Sounds like the twentieth century)

9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

“14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come”. (Also see Rev. 14:6)

The phrase “gospel of the kingdom” is used only three times in the Book of Matthew — here, and in Matt. 4:23, and 9:35. However, the phrases “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Kingdom of God”, which appear to be synonymous, are used 86 times in the four Gospels and is the central theme of Christ’s preaching throughout the New Testament. Jesus continues…

“15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)”

(Daniel 11:31, “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.”  Daniel 12:11, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”)

Matt:24 “16 Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

From the description given in verses 21 and 22, this could not be the tribulation brought about by Titus. It is said to be worse than any in the four thousand years preceding, including those of the Egyptian Pharaohs, Babylon, the Medes and Persians, Greece and Rome (“since the beginning of the world to this time”); and worse than any since, including those of the Dark Ages, the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land, The Holy Roman Empire, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. (“nor ever shall be”) This passage can only be referring to The Great Tribulation.

Matt 24:  23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

This passage and the parallel passage in Mark 13: 24-27 are the only two passages in the New Testament that clearly gives a time sequence connecting the Tribulation and the Rapture. In order to establish either a pre-tribulation Rapture or a mid-tribulation Rapture we have to explain away the phrases “immediately after the tribulation” in verse 29 and “after that tribulation” in Mark 13:24.

Our purpose is not to proselytize for a post-tribulation Rapture, although if we have piqued your interest and your independent study of Scripture with the aid of the Holy Spirit convinces you, so be it. Our purpose here is to show the very real possibility that the Church will go through the Great Tribulation, the necessity of preparation, both spiritually and mentally, and to encourage pastors and laymen alike to take a more pro-active role in resisting the evils of Humanism that permeates our culture.

Everywhere, when Christ or the Apostles warn us about the end times or the Return of Christ for his Church we are exhorted to watch. But, what are we to watch for? I have heard more than once from the pulpit, “Jesus could come before this service ends.”  If that should happen, I fear there would be more stripes given out than rewards. (Luke 12:42-48) The command to watch is a warning not to slack off in our devotion to Christ, especially as we see the day approaching.  One such warning is found in Luke 21: 34-36.

“34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

Pre-tribulationists often read the words in verse 36 as implying that Christians will be taken out of the world before “these things that shall come to pass”. Matthew uses a similar phrase in Chapter 24:13, 13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” A synonym for the word saved is “rescued”. Since this passage is talking about the Tribulation, Jesus is saying that those who endure to the end of the tribulation will be rescued; by the Rapture.

Just what we are to be watching for is found in the parable of the fig tree. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors”. (Matt: 24: 32, 33) Jesus is talking here about the signs He has just given to the four disciples who asked. The most important sign is the “abomination of desolation” in verse 15, which ushers in the most severe part of the tribulation that “except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved”. It is this sign that gives hope to those Christians that are found watching that they may endure to the end and be rescued. They know they only have to hold out for a short time until Jesus returns to rescue them.

The Watchman

When we are dealing with Bible prophesy, we need to be careful that we teach only that which is revealed in the scriptures. We know from history the damage and destruction that can be brought about by false prophets, and we are not prophets, false or otherwise. God makes it clear in Deuteronomy 29: 29 that, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” There is no need for prophets today because everything we need to know is revealed in the Scriptures by prophets of the past.

There is certainly enough revealed in the Bible concerning how God deals with cultures and nations who defy him that we do not need to claim the gift of prophesy to know that the hand of God that was once the source of so many blessing for America, is now a hand of judgment. We need only look at the changes that have transpired over the past century in our culture, our politics, and our churches, and realize that God’s longsuffering and mercy cannot last forever, to recognize that America is in danger of His wrath and in fact, may be experiencing it already.

Awareness of these facts should make the responsibility of the Church, its Pastors and its Teachers clear. The Churches are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Pastors and teachers are the watchmen for the Church. The warning given by the Prophet Ezekiel should be heeded by our Church leaders of today.

Ezekiel 33:2-11; 2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? 11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Remember, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” This passage is certainly appropriate for the churches of the twenty-first century as we see the doctrines of Humanism crowding the doctrines of God out of our culture daily.  The satanic doctrines of Humanism; abortion, sodomy, and environmentalism (Earth worship), promoted by our public institutions, that defy the authority of God and even question His very existence, can no longer be ignored by the churches.

There are several things in this passage that should be profitable for us today. First of all, we see that the sword is brought upon the land by God himself in response to the iniquity of its culture. Second, note the three-fold audience to whom this message is addressed, the watchman, the entire culture, and the individual. Third, the end goal of the message is that they “turn from their way and live”. Fourth, the watchman is selected by “the people of the land”. In the Church that would be the Pastors and teachers. If America is to avoid the wrath of God, there must be a national repentance and a return to God with an acknowledgement of His sovereignty over all the affairs of nations. If the people will not hear because, as Franklin said, “the people [have] become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other”, the church will have done its duty and the blood of the land will be on the heads of those who promote America’s official religion, secular Humanism.

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If We Only Had a Constitution

United_States_ConstitutionWe are learning today what it is like to live in a Democracy without a Constitution; and it is not pretty. No Democracy has ever lasted more than two hundred years before falling into chaos to be replaced by a tyrannical oligarchy headed by a “strong man” dictator. We have lasted a little longer only because of the lingering influence of the Constitution we once had. In a non-constitutional Democracy, or in our case, a post-constitutional Democracy, politicians have to give the majority of the people whatever they perceive it wants in order to hold onto power. This arrangement only lasts until the government has grown powerful enough that it no longer needs the approval of the people to stay in power. At that point, messy elections can be dispensed with, and the newly minted “leader” can rule by fiat until the next successful revolution.

Imagine how different things would be today if we had not abandoned our Constitution. We would not be sixteen trillion dollars in debt because the government would only be allowed to spend money for things the Constitution delegated as its responsibility. We would not be spending four million dollars to send our President on a Hawaiian holiday, because all expenditures would have to be first appropriated by the House of Representatives, and approved by the Senate for that particular purpose, with an accounting made to Congress and the people. The President would not be allowed to issue “Executive Orders” with the force of law, affecting the every day lives of the American people.

Federal laws would only be made by the federal legislature. Courts would not be making laws telling us how and when we can pray, or how we should educate our children.  Bureaucracies would not be issuing “rules” to tell us what kind of light bulb we should use, what kind of transportation we should buy, or what we should eat or drink and how much. Bureaucratic activity would be only what is needed to administer the specific laws written by Congress. Those bureaucracies and departments not established under the delegated powers of Congress would not exist. Our doctors would not have to consult with government to know how to treat our illnesses. Business failure or success would not be dependent on favorable laws by government; the market would determine what goods and services were needed and how much we were willing to pay for them.

We would have more control over the laws governing how we live because they would be made by our state and local legislative bodies whose members are within easy reach and more sensitive to our wishes. Laws passed would be more in keeping with the values of the community, not the values of politicians who had never set foot in our state, much less our community. We would not be working forty percent of our lives to supply the government with money used to buy the votes of its government-created dependents. Our tax burden would only be what is needed to carry out the delegated powers of government. Our schools would not be used to indoctrinate our children in statism and immorality, because they would be under our control and community supervision. Our teachers would consider their jobs a “calling” not a career and would teach for the love of teaching and not for fringe benefits.

Ah, for the good-old-days when America was ruled by law and not the whims of men; and those laws could be written in a few paragraphs easily understandable by the average person with a workable knowledge of the language and a good dictionary; when all laws flowed from the Supreme Law of the Land and not from the desire of “do-gooders” who believe that we all should live in a two-tier society made up of the ruling elites and the worker drones who subsist on the largess of government. Is it possible that liberty, once lost, can ever be regained? Let us pray that it can.

Paul Ryan’s Acceptance Speech

Full text of speech
Delivered August 29, 2012

“Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States.

I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity – and I know we can do this. I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready.

Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life has prepared him for this moment – to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words. After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.

I’m the newcomer to the campaign, so let me share a first impression. I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power.

They’ve run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division are all they’ve got left.

With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money – and he’s pretty experienced at that. You see, some people can’t be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics, because their ability, character, and plain decency are so obvious – and ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney.

For my part, your nomination is an unexpected turn. It certainly came as news to my family, and I’d like you to meet them: My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our boys Charlie and Sam.

The kids are happy to see their grandma, who lives in Florida. There she is – my Mom, Betty. My Dad, a small-town lawyer, was also named Paul. Until we lost him when I was 16, he was a gentle presence in my life. I like to think he’d be proud of me and my sister and brothers, because I’m sure proud of him and of where I come from, Janesville, Wisconsin.

I live on the same block where I grew up. We belong to the same parish where I was baptized. Janesville is that kind of place. The people of Wisconsin have been good to me. I’ve tried to live up to their trust. And now I ask those hardworking men and women, and millions like them across America, to join our cause and get this country working again.

When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, “Let’s get this done” – and that is exactly, what we’re going to do.

President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.

Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work. Twenty-three million people, unemployed or underemployed. Nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty. Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life. Half of them can’t find the work they studied for, or any work at all.

So here’s the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?

The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. It was President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government. It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs, and make-believe markets.

The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal. What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.

Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent. You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.

But this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.

Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.

The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare.

And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly.

You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.

An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.

In Congress, when they take out the heavy books and wall charts about Medicare, my thoughts go back to a house on Garfield Street in Janesville. My wonderful grandma, Janet, had Alzheimer’s and moved in with Mom and me. Though she felt lost at times, we did all the little things that made her feel loved.

We had help from Medicare, and it was there, just like it’s there for my Mom today. Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours.

So our opponents can consider themselves on notice. In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the Left isn’t going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate.

Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close.

It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis. It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.

It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.

President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, well, “I haven’t communicated enough.” He said his job is to “tell a story to the American people” – as if that’s the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?

Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What’s missing is leadership in the White House. And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago – isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?

In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time. Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt “unpatriotic” – serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer.

Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined. One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.

Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. How did the president respond? By doing nothing – nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue.

So here we are, $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing. In Europe, massive debts have put entire governments at risk of collapse, and still he does nothing. And all we have heard from this president and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious.

They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don’t have.

My Dad used to say to me: “Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.” The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems.

And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have that much time. But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this.

After four years of government trying to divide up the wealth, we will get America creating wealth again. With tax fairness and regulatory reform, we’ll put government back on the side of the men and women who create jobs, and the men and women who need jobs.

My Mom started a small business, and I’ve seen what it takes. Mom was 50 when my Dad died. She got on a bus every weekday for years, and rode 40 miles each morning to Madison. She earned a new degree and learned new skills to start her small business. It wasn’t just a new livelihood. It was a new life. And it transformed my Mom from a widow in grief to a small businesswoman whose happiness wasn’t just in the past. Her work gave her hope. It made our family proud. And to this day, my Mom is my role model.

Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere. A lot of heart goes into each one. And if small businesspeople say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place. Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning. Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them. After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.

We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years.

In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less. That is enough. The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government.

I learned a good deal about economics, and about America, from the author of the Reagan tax reforms – the great Jack Kemp. What gave Jack that incredible enthusiasm was his belief in the possibilities of free people, in the power of free enterprise and strong communities to overcome poverty and despair. We need that same optimism right now.

And in our dealings with other nations, a Romney-Ryan administration will speak with confidence and clarity. Wherever men and women rise up for their own freedom, they will know that the American president is on their side. Instead of managing American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us, we will act in the conviction that the United States is still the greatest force for peace and liberty that this world has ever known. President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record.

But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you.

None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.

It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That’s what we do in this country. That’s the American Dream. That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.

By themselves, the failures of one administration are not a mandate for a new administration. A challenger must stand on his own merits. He must be ready and worthy to serve in the office of president.

We’re a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I. And, in some ways, we’re a little different. There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, I hope it’s not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.

A generation apart. That makes us different, but not in any of the things that matter. Mitt Romney and I both grew up in the heartland, and we know what places like Wisconsin and Michigan look like when times are good, when people are working, when families are doing more than just getting by. And we both know it can be that way again.

We’ve had very different careers – mine mainly in public service, his mostly in the private sector. He helped start businesses and turn around failing ones. By the way, being successful in business – that’s a good thing.

Mitt has not only succeeded, but succeeded where others could not. He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending, and corruption – sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

He was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in ten legislators are Democrats, and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded.

Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. And I’ve been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.

Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.

We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.

Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.

The founding generation secured those rights for us, and in every generation since, the best among us have defended our freedoms. They are protecting us right now. We honor them and all our veterans, and we thank them. The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders. And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge.

We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead.

We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.

We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.

The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this.

We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this.

Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me. Let’s give this effort everything we have. Let’s see this through all the way. Let’s get this done.

Thank you, and God bless you all”

Crony Capitalism is Hazardous to Your Wealth

Market Capitalism
Market Capitalism is the natural way man interacts with others to satisfy his needs. It is the oldest economic system in existence. Market Capitalism, based on Nature’s Law of “spontaneous order”, has been the dominant economic system in America since its settlement over four hundred years ago. In a spontaneously ordered economy such as ours, millions of people make billions of economic decisions daily, based on their perception as to what is in their own best interest. The principle of spontaneous order arranges these decisions into a natural system that results in the highest possible level of prosperity for the maximum number of people.

The principle of spontaneous economic order is the foundation of our capitalist system. The liberty of individuals to make their own personal economic decisions and live with the consequences is protected by the Constitution in Article I, Section 10 and defended by Jesus in Matthew 20: 1-15. In order for it to function properly requires a relatively honest and moral people. One of the legitimate functions of state and local governments is to establish and enforce laws to protect the public from dishonest, unscrupulous and fraudulent business practices, and little else. At the federal level, the national government is given the power to provide the same protections for buyers and sellers across state lines. That is the primary meaning of the “interstate commerce clause” in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

Central Planning
At the other end of the economic spectrum is the centrally planned economy. A centrally planned economy is absolutely necessary to the existence of a socialist or communist society just as a free market economy is essential to maintaining the freedoms and liberties of a free society. In a centrally planned economy, government bureaucrats attempt to predict needs and organize resources to provide for an equal distribution of goods and services to everyone. The result is inefficiency, shortages, and a general decline in overall prosperity.

Central planning does not and cannot work because no individual or collection of individuals has the intellectual capacity or management skills to anticipate and fulfill the needs of any group of people larger than those of an individual family. Even that does not always result to everyone’s satisfaction. The current trend of the American government away from free market capitalism and toward the socialist ideal of a centrally planned and bureaucratically directed economy is not sanctioned by our Constitution or by the Judeo-Christian traditions of our culture

Crony Capitalism
Crony Capitalism is the “bridge” between a free market economy and socialism or communism. It occurs when there is a “marriage” between the government and the economy. Just as marriage between government and religion always ends in disaster for both, so marriage between government and the economy eventually ends in disaster. Crony Capitalism is a major cause of the unemployment crisis and economic dislocation prevalent in America today.

Crony Capitalism gained its foothold in America at the beginning of the progressive era at the turn of the twentieth century. It has progressed during the last few decades to the point of corrupting both our political and economic systems. Major businesses and entrepreneurs must cultivate the favor of government in order to survive and prosper. One of the most common legal means for accomplishing this is by funneling money into the electoral system via campaign contributions to politicians who make the laws and who still maintain some degree of influence over the bureaucracies that govern our economy.

This tenuous and corrupting state of dependency between government and business was made necessary by the creation of the bureaucratic “shadow government” that governs an ever increasing portion of our personal and economic lives. The bureaucracies that make up this bureaucratic state operate with powers equivalent to those given by the Constitution to the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the federal government. Traditionally they were headed by Cabinet level Secretaries appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. None of the officials in the bureaucratic state is accountable to the public through the election process.

In recent years, especially under the Presidency of Barack Obama, the supervision of these agencies has slowly shifted from the Secretaries to Czars appointed by the President, unconfirmed by the Senate and accountable to no one but the President. This arrangement sets up a fertile atmosphere for the establishment of a dictatorial tyranny emanating from the Oval Office itself. As draconian regulations and fines, coupled with exorbitant taxation forces many companies into bankruptcy, those deemed “to big to fail” are bailed out with taxpayer money, making them easy targets for government takeover. The regulatory-taxing-squeeze-play on the economy has two highly negative consequences for the American People. Many companies escape America’s oppressive business climate by moving their operations overseas, eliminating American jobs. Those who do not move, find themselves short of capital for expansion and growth, resulting in fewer jobs being created while increasing job losses.

If progressive Democrats and establishment Republicans retain control of government after the next election, we are in danger of losing forever, any control we have left over the affairs of government. There are less than six months left until Election Day for educating, informing and persuading our friends and acquaintances.

Socialist-NO; Big, Obtrusive Government Adocate-YES

By W.C. Augustine
A friend who most often sees political issues differently than I recently sent me an excerpt from an articlein Daily Finance with the subject line “not bad for a socialist”.  The article said Fortune 500 companies’ profits increased 16.4% over last year and exceeded “the roaring economy” of 2006. (interesting the left was not describing it such in that year’s midterm elections)

I presume he saw the article as evidence that President Obama is not a socialist. To be clear, I believe it is a mistake to allege Obama is a socialist as it is counter productive.  The last generation outputted from the state-controlled school system does not know the meaning of the word.  Describing the President as an advocate of big, obtrusive government is descriptive with more impact.

 Socialism is defined  as an economic system in which the state has ownership or control over the means of production.   Control can be acquired through regulation, taxation, public ridicule or other bullying tactics (think Boeing) without ownership (think GM).  National Socialists (the real name rather than the acronym) found control more effective than ownership.  Without outright ownership a scapegoat is available for politicians to lay blame for problems. Government ownership of BP, in which  he was the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money  over the past 20 years, would have hampered Obama’s ability to lay blame on the company for the oil spill.

Early in the last century businesses became successful by developing products consumers wanted and then making it efficiently.  Later in the century marketing the product became as important as innovation and cost control.  Today a large company ignores pandering to government at its own peril.

According to a study  political activity typically results in a 20% increase in a company’s performance.  Another look at firms doing intensive lobbying shows they have returns much in excess of the S&P.  Think of Microsoft’s change after a hands-off-politicians policy precipitated an anti-trust investigation.

A superficial observer may say the evidence only suggests large corporations are buying government favors.  True, they are, but at what expense and at what competitive disadvantage does that place the small business owner who can not curry sufficient favor?  The favors and payoffs are mutual-think paying the piper.

Does Ma and Pa Heating and Cooling get to keep tax loss carry-forward after their creditors write off debt as General Motors was allowed?  Does the small company receive the tax breaks of General Electric?

Large companies can spread government regulatory burdens over huge sale volumes and still keep overhead under control.  Small companies can not.  A fortune 500 company is more than happy to relinquish some control to the government in return for the government giving them a competitive advantage in addition to the protection of a bailout to recover from mismanagement.  Hence small businesses are caught between large companies’ gained advantages in collusion with the government and a government that through huge deficits usurps more capital from entrepreneurs.

When Democrats seek a way to pay for reducing the interest on student loans,they don’t look to big corporations, their high paid executives, trust funds or highly paid entertainers and athletes, they go after small business via their common organizational structure, S-Corps.   Many in the media are ever available to carry the left’s message such as the Tribune’s Lisa Mascaro whose disparaging use of the adjective “so-called” preceding S-Corps bears her tilt.

Given that 70% of new jobs come from small companies, government putting them at a competitive disadvantage does not grow the economy, but gives government more control over the economy, enhancing the growth of a big obtrusive government.

Have a fulfilling and profitable day,

 

W C (Bill) Augustine,  www.atlasrising.tateauthor.com

Seven Keys of Liberty

1. Follow the Constitution
No nation can survive for an extended period of time without a written, objective and proven set of rules governing its national institutions. The United States Constitution is the “Supreme Law of the Land”. It is the final authority for the administration of our government. We must insist that our elected officials follow it faithfully.

2. Fulfill Your Responsibility As A Citizen
Liberty is our most fragile and valuable possession. Its preservation and nurturing is the personal responsibility of each of us. The surest way to lose it is to sit on the sidelines and expect the government, elected officials and the courts to protect it for us. Government is the antithesis of liberty unless kept in check by an ever-vigilant citizenry.

3. Defend and Promote Our American Heritage.
The dictionary defines heritage as “Something that is passed down from preceding generations; a tradition.” Our American heritage consists of a government system based on our founding documents, a culture based on Christian principles, and an economy based on nature’s economic laws of market capitalism.

4. Reject the False Promises of Utopian Socialism.
Dreamers have always sought a utopian society with universal equality in health, wealth and happiness. Human nature, however, is not compatible with such a society. The annals of History are littered with the wreckage of nations and cultures that have attempted to establish utopian ideals by government fiat. In the modern world we have the examples of Cuba, Russia, Europe, and the ongoing efforts of the Progressives (American Socialists) in our own country.

5. Respect Private Property Rights of Others and Defend Your Own.
The accumulation and possession of private property is the product of how we expend our time and effort. It is the physical manifestation of how we use the time God has given us in life. One of the primary purposes for establishing governments is to protect the property rights of its citizens. Tyranny is when government takes our property without our permission and uses it to expand or strengthen its own power. Liberty is when we are free to use it for our own enjoyment and the benefit of ourselves and our family.

6. Keep Yourself informed.
America has many enemies both foreign and domestic, working to destroy our American way of life. None are more determined than the fifth column that has infiltrated our political and cultural institutions over the past century. Our current President speaks of this destruction favorably as a “fundamental transformation”. Without the concerted actions of the American people, our enemies will succeed in their plans. Liberty can only be preserved by informed citizens. Fortunately, information and knowledge is more available today than ever before. It is the responsibility of each of us to stay informed about events on a daily basis, and to work together with other patriots in the effort to restore the principles that have served us so well in the past.

7. Support Market Capitalism
There are three competing economic systems in operation in America today, Market Capitalism, Crony Capitalism and an Americanized version of socialism. The mixture of socialism and government fostered “crony capitalism” prevalent today is at the heart of our current economic problems.  It was Market Capitalism that made America into the most powerful economy in world history. The survival of our liberty depends on our success in abolishing crony capitalism and restoring once again market capitalism.

Social Capitalism

I have struggled for two weeks to get this posting out. Even as I write, I cannot reconcile exactly where I should stand on the issue of supporting businesses that absolutely offend my sensibilities as a consumer. The genesis of this posting began when I read about all of the companies that pulled their advertising from the Rush Limbaugh Show. I am not here to defend or support what Rush Limbaugh said,  (he can do that himself), only that he has the right to say whatever he wants. What struck me as appalling was the speed and efficiency in which the left was able to mobilize to bring Rush down. We all know, or should know, the progressives have entire organizations dedicated to listening to conservative voices, waiting for the perfect moment to be offended so that they can snuff out free speech they disagree with.

I must say that I was quite awestruck by the fact that a minority of people, 20% liberal if we go by the latest Gallup survey I could find, could force companies into action despite the fact that 42% of Americans identify themselves as conservatives in that same poll. (Apparently 38% of the people have no idea what they believe in, will not take a stand and they’re called moderates.) With self-righteous indignation I was angered by the fact that companies like Carbonite and ProFlowers.com would acquiesce so quickly to such a small group of people and while I don’t have the purchasing demographics for these companies, I almost have to believe that there are more people purchasing their products and services on the recommendation from a Beck or a Limbaugh or a Levine than the left could ever muster up the support for. (Full disclosure: I tried Carbonite based on one of these recommendations – it didn’t work for me – and I give my wife a box of Sheri’s Berries, a subsidiary of Provide Service which owns ProFlowers, every year, again based on one of these recommendations.)

The original intent of this posting was to point out the fact that these 26 or 27 companies had made a choice. In the name of social Marxism, they would cave to this small but highly vocal group despite the fact that people that label themselves as conservatives are the actual majority of the population. I intended to point out the fact that they could get away with this because we, as conservatives wouldn’t do a damned thing about it. This was going to be a rallying call to all conservatives that believe in the free markets and our freedom of speech to get out there and vote with your purchasing power and call these companies up and let them know that you will not do business with a company that has zero regard for you and what you believe in. All I needed was a few days to think about the best way to articulate how we can make a real difference by supporting other businesses that care about all of their customers. We would take on the defense of our causes by employing the lefts’ tactics. Saul Alinsky would not be remembered if his tactics did not work. And then the wheels started falling off in my thinking….

I believe in capitalism. Not the crony-capitalism of the General Electric / General Motors variety, but true free market capitalism. And while I stand firm on what I’ve previously mentioned, I can’t say that I’m for using the progressive tactic of calling for boycotts every time I disagree with someone. (Note: To be fair, I just found out that some conservatives are also looking at the tactic in the research of this article.) I’m not even sure how effective boycotts are, when they’re actually implemented. Off of the top of my head I do not recall hearing of a boycott that was truly effective in hurting a business’s bottom line. But then again, it’s hard to measure the effectiveness of what a boycott can actually do when any group of fifty people can call, claim they were offended, threaten a boycott and meet their goal of suppressing freedom of speech in the name of tolerance. (Don’t spend too much time thinking about that last sentence; it’s mind numbing when you do.)

However I do believe in personal responsibility when it comes to making purchasing choices but even this has significant downside. I pride myself for the fact that I refuse to pay money to HBO because of what Bill Maher spews out about people – specifically conservative women and people of faith. He has the right to be on cable and say whatever he wants and I have the right not to support the company that supports him. It is hard for me to understand why anyone that calls themselves conservative would pay HBO for their services so that HBO can pay Bill Maher for his services so that Bill Maher can donate one million dollars to a progressive super-PAC. This is an easy case for me to make because there are several choices out there for watching movies and while I do have some movie channels, I rarely watch movies anyway.

What about products this author really likes? I’ll apply the same logic to ice cream. Ben and Jerry’s has some of the best flavors put in pints and they’re everywhere and easy to get. But according to an ABC News story, founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are giving money to the Resource Movement Group, a group designed to fund this year’s Occupy Wall Street protests. Their website openly supports everything I’m against. Using the same argument as delivered in the previous paragraph, every time I purchase a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, I’m paying Ben and Jerry to support and advertise for the OWS movement. So much for “Pistachio Pistachio” and “Everything But The…”. The argument for voting with your wallet remains as sound as ever but the practical application of that argument can be very difficult when the purchasers’ choice is to accept a product of lesser quality. I apologize in advance to the fans of Haagen-Dazs. I made the switch but they’re really not the same.

I’ve “war gamed” these issues with several different people over the past couple of weeks and the conversations ranged from, “whatever we do doesn’t make a difference anyway” to “well, if you’re going to stop buying Ben and Jerry’s, you should stop buying Unilever products as well since they own them”. If this is the case, I’ll need more time to get rid of my Lipton iced tea. I really don’t know what the “answer” is. My next jeans purchase will not be Levi’s. My next pint of ice cream will not be Ben and Jerry’s. My wife will get something that’s not Sheri’s Berries next Valentines Day. But is it even possible to stop doing business with every single company that pulled their advertising from the Rush Limbaugh show to make the point that we are the majority and respect the freedom of ideas – even if we don’t always agree with those ideas?

20% of the population has figured out a way to set the agenda for the entire country. They set the tone and decide what the rest of the country is allowed to say and how they are to say it. I read somewhere that Vladimir Lenin was able kick off the Russian Revolution with 10% of the population. We might want to figure this one out.

Authors Note: In my research for this posting I read a little about the history of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. It is one of the greatest capitalism stories I have ever read all the way to the point that they even won the title of U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year, awarded by President Regan. And yet they support the anti-capitalist movement. Figure that one out.