Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fight the Good Fight.

Taverners have been waiting patiently for our patient the Southern Gal to recover and rejoin us. She is doing far better than the doctors expected, largely because (I trust she will not mind me saying) she has 'fighting spirit'. Her health is restoring in body while her mind has been busy getting on with the daily grappling with family life  joys and challenges, and Theo-philosophical matters. And as yesterday was Independence Day she was particularly thoughful about 'Fighting' for what is right.

America as a nation was born to fight. It was born in fight, although as an Englishman (originally) I might take a slightly different view of the issues that propelled that decision and effort.  Americans today, when they consider the matter, go by their education. I go by a different view. It still engages thought in some, although as yesterday's post showed the modern, younger, more 'diverse' population give it scant thought.  Sound Christian and military folk on the other hand think more deeply.

As our Gal does.

She had a few things to say today. She read a few words from a French chappy of the 'sociologist' persuasion with a very mixed background, who fancied himself as a theologian. I suppose many of us have our different views. Many are close, even if no cigar is forthcoming.
“The Christian who is involved in the material history of this world is involved in it as representing another order, another master (than the prince of this world), another claim (than that of the natural heart of man). 
Thus he must plunge into social and political problems in order to have an influence on the world, not in the hope of making it a paradise, but simply in order to make it tolerable — not in order to diminish the opposition between this world and the Kingdom of God, but simply in order to modify the opposition between the disorder of this world and the order of preservation that God wills for it — not in order to ‘bring in’ the Kingdom of God, but in order that the gospel may be proclaimed, that all men may really hear the good news of salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ”. – Jacques Ellul
I don't think many would find too much fault with that. I might offer a caution that to plunge into the social and political problems of the day, one is best advise to prepare properly and be right. The road to hell is littered with  unprepared people.
SG: There are many misconceptions in the Christian community about what our role is in government (or if we should have any at all for that matter).  Christ was not inactive in government during his time here on earth.  
Christ’s example on the cross demonstrates that freedom comes at a price…freedom from our sins, freedom to express ourselves and the freedom of faith.  For Him, the price came in the form of the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. 
The Pharisees killed Christ for two main reasons: first, He claimed to be God, and second, He continued to clearly put them in a bad light by pointing out their hypocrisy and arrogance.   He was also a threat to their power.  
In the United States we have enjoyed religious freedom over the past couple of hundred years without the shedding of blood.   
Maybe many of us have taken those freedoms for granted.   
As Christians, we are called to fight injustices in our country, not to lay down and turn it over to the evil one.  We are to be the light and salt of the earth, a fragrant aroma.  Like William Wilberforce who by God’s grace stood against the British Parliament and led the Slavery Act of 1833, abolishing slavery in most of the British Empire; or Dietrich Bonheoffer who resisted the tyranny of Hitler and still reminds us very powerfully of “The Cost of Discipleship.” 
” For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?—the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip” Psalms 18:31-36
 Every generation has a choice to defeat the evil that they face as a nation or submit to it.    Oftentimes unity in a country can come in the midst of hardship and suffering.   I wonder how The Greatest Generation would respond to the evil of communism, progressivism, radical Islam and socialism within our own borders?  Would they whine and complain?  Did they run from shore to shore hoping it wouldn’t meet them at their doorstep?  I think not, they weren’t the cowardly type.  If freedom was going to be taken away, it wasn’t going to be without a fight.   
But have Americans lost our teeth?  
“We’ll fight terror like there’s no peace, and make peace like there’s no terror.”
–Yitzhak Rabin
I can remember watching a documentary about a Nazi SS officer who was a doctor who conducted medical experiments on Jewish people during World War 2.  When asked why he did the things he did, his response was something like this, “ When we went to take the Jewish people from their homes to the concentration camps they never fought us, not even when we would take their children away.  At that time I knew that they had no right to live.  They wouldn’t even fight for their children!”  
Obviously many Jews came to the realization that their means to freedom and the right to exist was simple - fight or die.  Evil, when not confronted, even by physical force spreads like an infection.   
I am not sure many Americans understand this fully.
“Until the wolf shall lay with lamb, we’d better be the wolves.”
–Ehud Barak
  I would hope that many American’s still have a fighting spirit.  The reality is many of us may not be combat soldiers but we have a responsibility to be active in our communities to keep our way of life safe again.  If we see things happening in our country we don’t like, we are obligated to take action in order to bring about change.  Whining usually does not get people far and it certainly doesn’t provide any solutions. 
Christians, when rightly informed and motivated, change the character of political debate.   
They bring the moral standards of God’s kingdom into the civic realm and thereby become agents of His common grace- of his provision for those who believe as well as those that don’t.
Faith Without Works Is Dead. 
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works. 
(James 2:14-22)
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin, Memoirs of the life & writings of Benjamin Franklin. 
We do ourselves a disservice by believing we have rights to things that are not earned.  Especially for those of us that have read the scriptures, we can see that Christ came to serve others, and to make an impact. 
 Many think we can run from the problems we face in this country or that this land is not worth fighting for.  We shouldn’t become modern day Gnostics.   
The Almighty cares about our spiritual lives. but He also cares about food, housing, jobs, and water.   Whining and complaining about the conditions our country is in without becoming engaged in a solution is not acceptable behavior. 

 Human politics is based on the premise that society must be changed in order to change people, but Christians understand that it’s the other way around:   
People must be changed in order to change society.   
Good citizens feel compelled to give a moral account of their country. We have a duty to work through civic authority for the advancement of justice and human good.  Once God is removed from civic life, we are left with only two political actors: the individual and the state.  With God out of the picture there’s no meditating structure to create moral values.  Without religion, there’s no counterbalance to the state’s ambitions.   
As believers our citizenship is ultimately in heaven – but we live in a dual- natured world, physical and spiritual.  We have a responsibility in both, including acting upon civic responsibilities.  That did not change with the arrival of Jesus.  
“Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.” - Benjamin Franklin
Where do we run when evil knocks at your door?  If you flee to another country and it meets you there will you run again? 
 At certain times, Christians have disobeyed the state.   
It is our duty to stand for righteousness and justice of the Almighty God.  William Tyndale, John Bunyan, Martin Luther, and John Knox are just a few examples of men who sought to reform tyrannical governments that were abusing their God ordained authority.  “In almost every place where the Reformation had success, there was some form of civil disobedience or armed rebellion…”  A Christian Manifesto, Francis Schaffer, p. 93
“Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. Liberty has meaning only if we still believe in it when terrible things happen and a false government security blanket beckons.” 
― Ron Paul
“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” Albert Einstein

At a certain point we are faced with a decision, to fight evil or to allow it to overtake us.

In her own way, gentle compared to some, she hoists a Standard.  

Even old men take note.

America has been very active in projecting its 'Sword' in countries far and wide, but has made too much of a habit (IMHO) of neglecting the home front. America is a scaly creature, beautiful like a Dragon. It flies and breathes fire. But it has a soft under-belly in its people, its education system, its Universities, its civic square. It forgets who it is.

It may be becoming too, more like the Lacedaemonians, judging all matters by self-interest.  One waits for a Moral man - or woman - to take the helm. Or grow in morality when in the job.

A Minty tea for the Lady of the House.



  1. It is lovely to hear that Southern Gal is well on the road to recovery :-)

    I agree that it is people who need to be changed in order to change society. It is a matter of debate whether that can be done through politics or it has to be done another way.

    1. We have had a lot of practice with politics, to little effect. So I agree. People need to change for the better, for more mature and more insightful. For more kind and more integrity. More Moral. But that cannot come through laws.

  2. I wonder how The Greatest Generation would respond to the evil of communism, progressivism, radical Islam and socialism within our own borders?

    They were the ones who started the rot. If you look at all the things that have grievously undermined our culture practically all of them were initially the work of the two generations that preceded the Baby Boomers.

    The idea that the pre-Boomer generations were noble and virtuous and wise is a total myth.

    1. Hmmmmm. Letus not take 'inclusiveness' too far. Every generation has its good and bad, its saints, its heroes and its sinners. Some very bad sinners indeed. But the reference to 'The Greatest Generation' is a peculiarly American phrase describing an ideal of those who willingly strove to make the world a better place. They did not include all.

  3. Sound Christian and military folk on the other hand think more deeply.

    If only that were true.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..