Ben Stein’s Expelled and Marxism

Ben Stein’s Expelled is a brilliant (and long overdue) shot at dogmatic evolutionism in the scientific community.

This is a subject that I hit every now and then, and his documentary confirms a lot of what I said in Circling the Wagons Around Evolution.

One thing he doesn’t spend as much time as I would have liked is the subjet of Darwinism and Marxism.  I did this in my piece Creation, Evolution and Lysenko, most of which I reproduce below:

A bill had been introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly which would give students additional redress in the event they felt they had been downgraded by a professor because same faculty member didn’t care for the student’s views. This is primarily aimed at liberal faculty of the arts.

Needless to say, this piece of legislation got a cool response from the faculty. The surprise came from which part of the faculty; the most vociferous opposition came from evolutionists, who feared that another Scopes trial was in the making. Coming back at them were the new earth creationists, and this led to a long, generally informative but serious debate on the subject of creation and evolution.

I mentioned this to my state representative, who cooly responded that the faculty should have stuck to the subject matter at hand. For me, however, as a Christian, an old earth creationist, an adjunct and someone who deals with geological issues in Soil Mechanics, this was a perilous situation. If the evolutionists win, I get the boot over the origin of the universe and being a theist (the evolutionsts are for the most part rabid secular humanists.) If the new earth creationists win, I get the boot over the age of the earth. Real academic freedom these days consists of forcing the administration to find really creative ways to give people the boot!

As the debate drug on, things started to get a little satirical, and one evolutionist mused that the state would endorse Lysenkoism for the teaching of biology. Paul Krugman made a similar statement in an column for the New York Times; evidently this is becoming a liberal talking point. But bringing up Lysenko is a perilous business for secular humanists of any stripe.

The story of the Ukrainian agronomist Trofim Denisovich Lysenko, his rise and those of his theories and the liquidation of his opponents, is a complicated one, but it basically involves a combination of genetic theory and Marxist ideology that resulted in science being thwarted by political considerations. The problem in bringing up a controversy from Stalin’s Soviet Union is that creationists are nowhere to be found. The regime that oversaw this purge (along with all of the others) was fuelled by the most important single secular ideology in human history–Marxism.

As was the case with both of the major ideologies that turned the twentieth century into a bloodbath (the other was of course facism,) Marxism drew a great deal of inspiration from Darwin’s work. Both Marx and Engels (especially the latter) were committed Darwinists. When Marx died in 1883, Engels pronounced at his graveside "just as Darwin discovered the law of the development of organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history." Marxism was "scientific" socialism, as opposed to the "utopian" kind popular in Europe at the time. At the same time Lysenko was running like a bull in a china closet through the Soviet biological establishment, Stalin’s regime was attempting to destroy belief in God throughout the country by killing or sending believers to gulags and blowing up churches, a result that many secular humanists probably find satisfying.

After all that, though, we have a situation where a "scientific" regime not only stymies research for ideological reasons; it now gets pilloried by secular humanists with short memories! The whole story of Marxism is a reminder that it’s easy to turn any system of thought–no matter how secular–into a religion when it comes time to force it on humanity. One of the things that bothers me about secular humanists, this debate included, is how they on the one hand tell us that the basis of science is "free inquiry" and then fanatically defend their dogmas when they are attacked.

With such contradictions, it’s hard to know whether one should take an ideology like secular humanism seriously outside of their access to power in our society. Such was the case with Marxism. At one time Marx got into a conversation with the wife of the publisher of Das Kapital in Germany about who would do the chores in Marx’s "new world." It started light heartedly but turned serious, at which point the woman said, "I cannot picture you in an egalitarian period since your inclinations and habits are thoroughly aristocratic."

"Neither can I," Marx replied, "those times must come but we must be gone by then."

The Chinese Discover “Certainly Not Neutral”

The Chinese are discovering what many in the U.S. have known for a long time: that much of the "mainstream" media is biased, and especially CNN, which G. Gordon Liddy humourously referred to one time as "Certainly Not Neutral."   This has been brought home to them by the remarks of Jack Cafferty.

Some Chinese have started the website to vent their frustrations, and I hope that they get a hearing.  It’s time that some else in the world got their canful of this kind of thing.  I’ve commented myself on the issue of Tibet before.

It always amazes me that an organisation supposedly commited to world unification as CNN dredges up xenophobes such as Cafferty and Lou Dobbs.  But, as the Episcopal Church is testament to, the left is perfectly capable of jingoism when it suits their purpose, even after years of telling us that American culture is irredeemably inferior.

Cafferty and others at CNN may soon discover that their "Situation Room" may have a situation they hadn’t bargained for.

Why the New Madrid Fault is the Most Dangerous

The earthquake near New Salem, Illinois–on an extension of the New Madrid fault–is a reminder that, for all of the publicity that earthquakes in California get, the fault system that caused this quake is the most dangerous in the continental United States.

The reason is twofold.

First, California has an extensive system of faults.  While the number of faults increase the sheer likelihood of quakes, the faults also provide natural "firewalls" against seismic wave propagation from a quake, which is why quakes that occur in one place are felt in others.  In the case of the New Madrid fault, there are few faults surrounding it, so there’s little to stop the wave propagation.  This is why, during the major New Madrid quakes in 1811 and 1812, they were felt so far away.

The second reason is that the states surrounding the New Madrid fault have not been as proactive as California in preparing their structures for a seismic calamity. It’s true that, in recent years, they have taken steps to retrofit the major bridges and other structures for such an event, but upgrading the building codes to weed out unreinforced masonry structures–the worst type of structure in an earthquake–has been sorely lagging.  A parallel problem with timber structures exists down the Mississippi River, which are in turn unprepared to withstand calamities such as Hurricane Katrina.

One time I was reading an article in a technical journal about the New Madrid fault, and the researcher being interviewed frankly confessed that we really don’t know why there are earthquakes in the New Madrid region.  It’s a reminder that, for all of the confidence that we exude about our knowlege, there’s still a lot to learn about God’s creation, and a little humility–in addition to proper preparation–never hurt anyone.

The Example of Ambrose

Travis Johnson’s proposal concerning the election of state Administrative Bishops in the Church of God is an interesting one.  From its start the Church of God has appointed its state and regional (diocesan, for you Anglicans and Roman Catholics) prelates centrally at the biennial General Assembly.  It’s easy to draw from this (and current Roman Catholic practice) that centrally appointed bishops are the rule for centrally organised churches, but this is not necessarily the case.

Let’s look at an era of Christian history which first had to deal with the New Testament’s idea of church government, namely the Roman Empire church between the end of the New Testament and the end of the empire itself.  The role of bishop was in a state of flux, as my discussion of Iraneus and Jerome illustrate.  Rather than a long historical diatribe, let’s consider an example, and a relatively late one: Ambrose of Milan’s election to the episcopate of that great city in 374, long after Christianity was legalised and during the Arian controversies.  The account of this is taken from the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

Ever since the heroic Bishop Dionysius, in the year 355, had been dragged in chains to his place of exile in the distant East, the ancient chair of St. Barnabas had been occupied by the intruded Cappadocian, Auxentius, an Arian filled with bitter hatred of the Catholic Faith, ignorant of the Latin language, a wily and violent persecutor of his orthodox subjects. To the great relief of the Catholics, the death of the petty tyrant in 374 ended a bondage which had lasted nearly twenty years. The bishops of the province, dreading the inevitable tumults of a popular election, begged the Emperor Valentinian to appoint a successor by imperial edict; he, however, decided that the election must take place in the usual way. It devolved upon Ambrose, therefore, to maintain order in the city at this perilous juncture. Proceeding to the basilica in which the disunited clergy and people were assembled, he began a conciliatory discourse in the interest of peace and moderation, but was interrupted by a voice (according to Paulinus, the voice of an infant) crying, "Ambrose, Bishop". The cry was instantly repeated by the entire assembly, and Ambrose, to his surprise and dismay, was unanimously pronounced elected. Quite apart from any supernatural intervention, he was the only logical candidate, known to the Catholics as a firm believer in the Nicene Creed, unobnoxious to the Arians, as one who had kept aloof from all theological controversies. The only difficulty was that of forcing the bewildered consular to accept an office for which his previous training nowise fitted him. Strange to say, like so many other believers of that age, from a misguided reverence for the sanctity of baptism, he was still only a catechumen, and by a wise provision of the canons ineligible to the episcopate. That he was sincere in his repugnance to accepting the responsibilities of the sacred office, those only have doubted who have judged a great man by the standard of their own pettiness. Were Ambrose the worldly-minded, ambitious, and scheming individual they choose to paint him, he would have surely sought advancement in the career that lay wide open before him as a man of acknowledged ability and noble blood. It is difficult to believe that he resorted to the questionable expedients mentioned by his biographer as practised by him with a view to undermining his reputation with the populace. At any rate his efforts were unsuccessful. Valentinian, who was proud that his favourable opinion of Ambrose had been so fully ratified by the voice of clergy and people, confirmed the election and pronounced severe penalties against all who should abet him in his attempt to conceal himself. The Saint finally acquiesced, received baptism at the hands of a Catholic bishop, and eight day later, 7 December 374, the day on which East and West annually honour his memory, after the necessary preliminary degrees was consecrated bishop.

The following is noteworthy:

  • The bishop was elected popularly, with both clergy and laity involved.  This was normal practice at the time and earlier.
  • Becuase of the Arian/Trinitarian controversy, the bishops around Milan appealed to the Emperor (not the Bishop of Rome or Constantinople) to appoint a bishop.  But the Emperor wisely declined, and went on to confirm Ambrose’s election.
  • Ambrose’s nomination was spontaneous (pre-Pentecostals, perhaps?)
  • Ambrose wasn’t even a member of the clergy when he was elected bishop.  He hadn’t even been baptised! (Infant baptism, although practiced some, really didn’t get traction until Augustine proposed the doctrine of original sin.)  So much for a credentialling process!  So they had to elevate him on a "quickie" basis.

Ambrose, of course, went on to become one of the "Doctors of the Church."

Miami-Dade County and Beach Baptisms: An Update

Lifepointe Pastor Travis Johnson got to meet with Frank Faragalli of the Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department about their unceremonious ejection of Lifepointe’s beach baptism last Sunday.  This is part of Travis’ account of that meeting. (You can click here for the rest.)

It was a pleasant meeting that did not achieve our desired result. Here’s what did happen:

  • Frank could not cite which policy we violated. No one has been able to do that.
  • I offered to show Frank the footage and he declined because he already knew about what was on there and didn’t need to rehash a bad situation. He said we shouldn’t have been treated that way.
  • I told him I wasn’t looking for apologies or reprimands. I just wanted to fix a situation that involved our civil liberties, present and future.
  • He invited us to do the baptisms at the bordering park, “Biscayne National Park.” It is a Federal Park and they do not have a policy against baptisms. On a side note, they also do not have a beach, only a canoe ramp, a jetty, and a boardwalk. I’m not sure where we would do that…though I’d be glad to go there. As it remains, Bayfront is the only public space available within a 35 minutes drive.
  • We were told we could baptize before 8 AM lessening the chance it would be offensive to anyone in the park.
  • The only difference in what we do and what others do is that about 60 feet off shore, a pastor prays, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” I asked if they were prohibiting all prayer, monitoring t-shirts content, and disallowing prayer before people eat their food. I got a smile and a non-answer.
  • Since no one could cite a policy we violated, I asked what would happen if we baptized out there again. He said he wasn’t going to say if we were right or wrong and could not comment on what would happen. I responded by saying that they already did say we were wrong when they kicked us out of the water using sirens, mega phones, and abusive language toward our people in front of at least 200 bystanders.
  • The resolution was that Frank suggested we contact the County Attorney’s office for a ruling from them.
  • I told him I didn’t want to be an activist kicking up a bunch of sand over what should be a non-issue. We didn’t look for this civil liberties issue. But, it has found us. As a citizen, a person who loves my community, a follower of Christ, and as someone who wants to further contribute to the growth and health of my community, I have to respond. I really have no choice.

My thoughts on this are as follows:

  • I think that Travis has acted in a restrained and responsible manner.  I know I probably would not have been quite this restrained.  My patience with South Florida’s "God-hating liberals" is very thin, as readers of this blog well know.
  • I would think long and hard before going the litigation route.  Litigation is long, expensive, and unpredictable on any matter, especially on one like this.
  • I would release the video before initiating litigation.  Public opinion–such as it is in a place like that–can be much more effective than litigation.  It would create more potential embarrassment for the county, but if they caved they would save the taxpayer’s money.
  • Faragalli’s suggestion to use a Federal park is amusing, to say the least.  The only way this could be justified is if the State of Florida’s idea of religious freedom as relating to public property is narrower than the Federal one.  But I can’t see how this could be.
  • Travis states that "The guys and gals at Life Pointe have my back. You better believe I have their’s."  In a situation where the church is persecuted, that’s a big role of the pastor–to protect the flock.  That’s something that we in the U.S. have forgotten, but it’s been that way since the Roman Empire church.
  • I smiled when I read Travis’ expression "an activist kicking up a bunch of sand."  A true South Floridian.

You guys at Lifepointe are in my prayers.

More Thoughts on Eastern Orthodoxy

Catherine Tremper has brought up some interesting (and well documented) points about my post Why People Shouldn’t Become Orthodox.  So let me make some response, citing her first:

Taking the long view, Avvakum wasn’t very representative of Orthodoxy. In a long ago Russian history class I was told that early Orthodoxy in Russia focussed on ritual rather than theology. For various reasons service books came by way of the Bulgarian Church, not Constantinople. When, in the 17th century, Nikon tried to realign the Russian Church with Greek practice, many Old Believers indeed were afraid that the new practices were heretical. In addition, some have seen a kind of urge toward democracy in the Old Believer position (note 1). Also, the controversy was part of a struggle between church and state that was resolved by a church council in 1666–Nikon was demoted to simple monk, the Byzantine formula of cooperation between church and state was reasserted (as opposed to Nikon’s claims of the political superiority of the Church to the tsar), *and* Nikon’s reforms were accepted, making non-compliance with the reforms both a civil and ecclesiastical offense (note 2). Eventually, the state became predominant, at least by the time of Peter the Great. But that’s another story.

First, anyone familiar with Orthodoxy knows that the form of worship is very important, which is why Nikon’s changes were so controversial.  That’s true with any form of Eastern Orthodoxy, be it Russian, Greek, Serbian (her daughter is Serbian Orthodox) or what not.   But the fact that Nikon felt it necessary to make any changes at all calls into question one of the strong appeals of Orthodoxy, as I noted in my piece about Avvakum:

But Avvakum’s story–and that of the Old Believers in general–puts much of what many claim for Orthodoxy today into question. To their credit, Orthodox churches are beginning to realise the mistake they made in the suppression of the Old Believers. Today we see many show Eastern Orthodoxy as the alternative to the chaos that many churches find themselves in. They do this based on an absolute continuity of Orthodoxy with the faith that Our Lord laid down, both in practice and in worship. We see from Avvakum’s experience that this claim cannot stand from a historical standpoint.

I won’t argue that the Russians got their form of worship from the Bulgarians.  But the Bulgarians were (and are) right next to Constantinople.  Is it possible that the Bulgarians and Russians preserved some forms of Orthodox worship from an earlier era that the Greeks of Nikon’s (and our) day had discarded?  It’s the same problem with the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, one which the Greek Orthodox use.  Everyone (from Origen and Jerome onward) knows that, in theory, the Hebrew original is better overall.  But the Septuagint was based on Hebrew manuscripts that are older than anything we look at today, and that’s why Biblical scholars have recourse to it in their research, its manifest defects notwithstanding.

Nikon was in no position to know this kind of thing one way or another. All he knew was what the Greeks did, and that the Russians had to "keep up with the Joneses" on liturgy and practice.  Russian Orthodoxy was and is, however, the "crown jewel" of the Eastern church, and if anyone needed to keep up with the Joneses, it was the Greeks. What he put the Russian church through was, from a doctrinal standpoint, unnecessary and a blight on the history of Eastern Orthodoxy.

In case my Pentecostal and other Evangelical readers are totally lost at this point, let me include the following from Avvakum’s account:

But why be surprised at that cellarer? He had drunk of that tobaccoplant, sixty pounds of which were discovered at the house of the Bishop of Gaza, together with a lute and other objects for merrymaking. 31 I have sinned, forgive me; ’tis none of my business, but his own; let him stand or fall before his Master. I just happened to mention it. Such were the teachers of God’s law most favored among them.

Same Bishop of Gaza was one of Nikon’s "foreign experts" who was brought to help him make the reforms.  Avvakum already took a dim view of this bishop, but the fact that he used tobacco only made it worse.  The Russian Orthodox Church was, to my knowledge, the first Christian church to take a stand against tobacco.

That leads me to Catherine’s next point: the imposition of state authority to settle a theological/liturgical dispute.  It’s easy to lose sight of this, but Eastern Orthodoxy was the first to actually carry out a serious marriage between church and state in the Byzantine Empire, a pattern that was repeated in Russia.  It was only natural that, once the church had made up its official mind about things, the state would come along and enforce it.  In the version of Avvakum’s life that you cited (there are more than one,) Avvakum makes a very stirring speech about how unChristian it is to use torture and the power of the state to enforce doctrine.

As Catherine alludes to, that cut both ways: Peter the Great basically nationalised the church by abolishing the Patriarchate of Moscow and placing it under the Most Holy Synod of his own choosing, taking the cue from the Church of England.  It wasn’t until the Bolsheviks seized power that the Patriarchate was restored, but that victory was short lived.   Today, of course, we see the same pattern emerging of the Russian Orthodox Church reasserting a spiritual monopoly on Russian life with the help of the state, and Avvakum’s life and words once again haunt us.

Let’s turn to the second point:

The Mystificator from Romania seems not to know that then, and, I hope, now, Russians regard children as pure blessings from God. My former Russian history professor could explain whether that is a holdover from the days of the Dual Faith (retention of pre-Christian beliefs and practices alongside Christianity in early Russia) better than I can.

I’ve known enough Russians to confirm what you say about their attitude towards children (the ones that believe in God, at least) is correct. The problem here is a pagan carryover, but not of the kind you’re thinking about.

The sexual standards of the New Testament time amongst the Gentiles were rather "wide open," to say the least.  That led to a reaction in later Roman history, one that Christianity was at the centre of.  (Part of that reaction was to some of the onerous regulations the Romans put on marriage, but that’s another story altogether.)  The result was the general (if not very Biblical) view that sex was sinful in just about any form.  The main result of this was monaticism, but it manifested itself in both West and East.  In the West, it led to the celibate priesthood (the backwash of which plagues Roman Catholicism to this day) and such practices as the "Tobias nights," where marriage consummation is deferred.  In the East it led to a celibate episcopacy (not priesthood: Avvakum was married, for example) and regulations such as the Mystificator described.

Evangelicals, of course, can be very smug about this, but frequently tend to err in the opposite direction, which is why is can be very hard to be single in an Evangelical church (to say nothing about being single in ministry.)  What we need is a balanced, Biblical view on this subject.

Barna and Tithing

It’s inevitable that George Barna would chime in on the subject of the tithe:

"Born again adults remain the most generous givers in a country acknowledged to be the most generous on the planet," said the veteran researcher. "But their donation decisions must be seen in the larger context of the changes occurring in a wide range of religious behaviors. With millions of people shifting their allegiance to different forms of church experience, and a more participatory society altering how people interact and serve others, many Christians are now giving their money to different types of organizations instead of a church. They attend conventional churches less often. They are expanding their circle of Christian relationships beyond local church boundaries. And they are investing greater amounts of their time and money in service organizations that are not connected with a conventional church. That doesn’t make such giving inappropriate or less significant, it’s just a different way of addressing social needs."

"The choices being made by born again donors have huge implications for the non-profit sector. Realize that a majority of the money donated by individuals in the U.S. comes from the born again constituency," Barna pointed out. "If this transition in the perceptions and giving behavior of born again adults continues to accelerate, the service functions of conventional churches will be redefined within the next eight to ten years, and conventional churches will have to adopt new ways of assisting people in need."

The tithe is a big issue these days, and those of you who follow this blog remember my long back and forth with Russell Earl Kelly on the subject.   My interest in the subject stems from my position as my local church’s Finance Committee chairman, where I deal with people’s shifting giving patterns on a very practical level.  The simple fact is that people’s giving patterns are changing, and in the middle of the debate on whether tithing is Biblical it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that people will make their choices either because of or in spite of what we might say about it.

Just to reiterate, let me encapsulate my thinking on this subject:

  • Barna is correct that tithing is not a New Testament command.  IMHO, selling all is, and failing that (for whatever reason) it’s necessary for the Christian to make a total life commitment of everything that he or she has, and that includes money.  10% can’t be said to do justice to that kind of commitment.
  • Tithing is nevertheless a good spiritual and practical discipline for the Christian.  It’s not the end of giving but a good start.  It forces the Christian to set aside a certain amount to support the church, irrespective of the emotion (or lack of it) of the moment.  It puts giving past impulse.  Many Evangelicals are bothered by a practice that isn’t explicit in the New Testament, but think about the many things we expect that aren’t explicit in the NT.
  • Although many opponents of teaching tithing focus on the tithe as unjust for the poor, I think that, if the wealthy really tithed, the windows of heaven would really open for many churches, because as a general rule, the higher the income level, the lower a proportion of that income goes to the church.  The poor need to be taken care of though the church’s benevolent (I know that’s an antiquated phrase, but I don’t have another) activities.
  • Any church that holds its membership to a high standard on "stewardship" needs to be diligent in practicing some on its own.  That includes recognising that the gifts they receive from the congregation are a sacred trust and should be treated that way.  Churches should also be stronger about teaching thrift and debt reduction/elimination.  Doing that would free up more of their members’ funds for giving and time to actually do the work that God called lay people to do.
  • The church not worth tithing to–and that includes all the forms of "church" we see today–isn’t worth belonging to.  But, as Neal Cavuto says, that’s just me.

Focusing on What’s Important in Christianity

Recently received the following response from my post Is Evangelism unAnglican?:

I just discovered your blog this afternoon.  Haven’t explored it much yet, but I feel comfortable here already.  Currently, I remain a traditional Anglican (Episcopal Missionary Church) who came to Canterbury by way of Constantinople (altough brought up as a vaguely Protestant Army brat).  My daughter, baptized Greek Orthodox, and exposed to Anglicanism along her journey, now attends a Serbian Orthodox church.  My granddaughter is being reared in that tradition.  My husband is a very-lapsed Presbyterian with more than a nodding acquaintance with evangelicalism (Christian and Missionary Alliance).  Our small family practices many varieties of Christian expression, and I personally have learned to respect all of them. (Close Catholic friends round out the picture.) Your inclusion of Anglicans ("Is Evangelism unAnglican?" posted 9 April) is very gracious.  Thank you for your charity, and clarity.

Such a mixture of traditions and institutions isn’t uncommon these days.  It makes a lot of people in Christianity nervous.

With my own broad background, I think that three questions are central in sorting out the real value of people’s spiritual situation:

  1. Are they really different as a Christian than they would have been otherwise?  That’s the essence of being "born again," that the change makes you into a new person.
  2. Is that change centered on the person of Jesus Christ, and made possible (both in this life and in eternity) by Jesus Christ?  (If you’re not sure of what that entails, click here.)
  3. Is the church you’re in making it possible for you to fulfil God’s purpose for your life as described in the Holy Scriptures?

Evangelical churches are successful primarily because they make it relatively simple for people to come to the place where they can answer all three questions, "Yes!"  But two things need to be kept in mind:

  • Evangelical churches do not have an exclusive franchise on this kind of success.
  • If they fail in this task, God will find someone who will do it.

As far as this woman’s husband is concerned, reading this would be profitable.  Her daughter has signed up with a tough bunch with the Serbs.

Barack Obama May Be Right. But It May Not Help.

Barack Obama fights back from the reaction to his statements that people turned to their guns and their God in the face of economic adversity.

To be honest, he’s right.  People have turned to other sources of help than the government.  What were we supposed to do, anyway?  In many respects Mike Huckabee’s populist campaign was based on just that.

The flip side, however, is the problem.  The reverse implication that Obama doesn’t verbalise is that, if the government did what it was supposed to do, people wouldn’t need God or their guns.

But human rule isn’t capable of such a utopia.  The Marxists tried to pull this off and they failed.  This country was founded on setting up a level playing field and letting people draw their strength from somewhere else, and the success speaks for itself.  It’s no accident that Satan’s unchallenged rule is only supposed to last seven years.  When Our Lord returns on the white horse, he will not only have to deal with the aftermath of the plagues and other disasters from above, but from the economic collapse from the Antichrist’s system.

I’m sticking with God myself.

Supressing Baptism Where It’s Needed the Most

The authorities in the land "where the animals are tame and the people run wild" (South Florida) have struck again, this time by blocking the beach baptisms of LifePointe Church in Homestead.  Travis Johnson is the pastor of this church; you can see his link in the blogroll on the left.

You’d think that the police in that area, given what else happens on beaches in South Florida, would have better things to do with their time and resources.  Evidently they don’t think so, and that’s a good part of why South Florida is the place it is.

I’m sure that many Evangelicals wonder why I take the attitude I do towards the higher secular powers in our society.  But it’s hard to reflexively link "God and country" when you’ve lived in a place and with people who work so hard to separate the two.  That’s one of the main reasons why I wrote this and really all of this as well.

Fortunately Travis has about an hour’s worth of video documenting all of this.  I hope he shares it with us.