Evangelicals Flying Blind

 

NAE’s next project: Updating the Ten Commandments.

Prominent on the list of things we didn’t know we needed is the new code of ethics for preachers released this year by the National Association of Evangelicals. It appears evangelical pastors have been flying blind, without any sort of guidance as to Christian behavior in the pulpit and church offices.

Leaving church ladies at the mercy of pastors gone wild.

The new code also means I’ve wasted hundreds of dollars on Bibles and commentaries that — judging by the NAE — provide no real structure for living a life that glorifies Christ.

Dang! Where did I put those receipts?

Until now I’d assumed external offenses are handled quite nicely by criminal law and internal offenses governed by the Bible. That’s what I get for practicing theology without a divinity degree.

Luder Whitlock, former president of the Reformed Theological Seminary, explained in a Christianity Today interview, “Clergy intend to do the right thing, but…when you have a world that’s swirling with change like ours and so few people know the Bible well, it’s all the more imperative to come up with something like this.”

In other words, the Bible might have been comprehensive enough for nomadic tribesmen who followed a smoke signal instead of a GPS signal, but not modern iPhone man. But if these people “don’t know the Bible well” what are they doing in the pulpit?

Helping God out when it comes to rules and regulations is nothing new in ecclesiastical circles. I belong to a church that was so strict Jesus couldn’t be a deacon. You see the Lord and Savior was also a drinker and it was forbidden to imbibe.

But even our canonical rule writers failed to stay current. So it came to pass that one could smoke crack with Mayor Barry and be a deacon in good standing, but one “easy pour” Miller and you’re out.

However, I remain convinced the Ten Commandments, Golden Rule and the New Testament will cover any modern eventuality. The NAE cites pastors involved in extramarital affairs (7th Commandment), sexual assault (7th & Golden Rule) and financial fraud (8th & 10th Commandment, Golden Rule). Expanding our search we find pastors guilty of homosexual abuse of minors (7th, 1st Corinthians 6:9, Luke 17:2), visiting prostitutes (7th and 1st Corinthians 5:1), tax fraud (8th & 9th Commandments), stealing babies (8th & 10th Commandments), assault (Golden Rule) and misrepresenting credentials (9th Commandment).

So where are the loopholes?

Pastor Joel Hunter, who signed the code, told the Washington Times: “There’s a need that we’re reminded of when we see pastors living unethical lives. We want to raise the level of accountability because apparently some pastors believe they’re a law unto themselves.”

A statement that sounds remarkably like the boastful Pharisee in Luke 18:10–11: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.”

Pastors are already held to a higher standard. In James 3:1 it says, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” Not a verse you hear too often from the pulpit since it puts a real damper on Sunday school teacher recruitment.

It just goes to show somewhere, someone is pouring the foundation on a new Tower of Babel every day. Codes like this were only a matter of time after churches started developing “mission statements.” If the Great Commission isn’t your mission, what is?

Too many Christian leaders are slightly embarrassed by the Bible. They’ve forgotten their apologetics and simply apologize when it comes to the eternal Truth.

No wonder people are leaving the church. If the religious leadership doesn’t have enough faith in the applicability of the Bible to modern life to live by it, why should the congregation pay attention? Meanwhile the morals and tone of the culture at large continue a precipitous decline as Christians and pagans alike make it up as they go along.

The earnest people at the NAE with their new “code” are unfortunately contributing to the erosion of confidence in the Bible among their own believers and certainly among the secular world. Where does this quest for relevance stop?

For example, NAE is currently holding firm on homosexual marriage, but for how much longer? Biblical marriage certainly doesn’t conform to modern mores. If you can revise and extend the commandments, what’s to stop you from joining the Unitarians and revising marriage?

Paul tells us — pastors and parishioners alike — to “put on the full armor of God.” He certainly felt that “armor” was up to the challenge. I wonder why the leaders of the NAE don’t feel the same?

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Distinguishing Leadership from Politicianship

Defendants await a ruling from the Prince William Co Human Rights Commission

The feds aren’t alone in dealing with budgets this time of year. Although “dealing” is somewhat generous, since Uncle Sam doesn’t have to balance his. Congress and the President are content to blame unforeseen circumstances — George Bush, climate change or a spontaneous reaction to an anti–Mohammed video — for causing deficit spending, while they wait in the ‘withdrawals only’ line at the National Bank of China.

State and local governments don’t have that luxury and how your local elected officials deal with budgets can provide a useful benchmark in evaluating the performance of Republicans in Congress during discussions designed to avoid the fiscal cliff. (There is no need to evaluate Spendacrats. They will spend as much as possible and mislead gullible Republicans when it comes to budget “cuts.”)

Where I live in Virginia, Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, takes an approach to cutting the budget that I wish Congressional Republicans would emulate. Stewart has actually marked individual programs for termination or severe cuts. This alone qualifies as leadership.

Lazy, gutless politicians avoid being pinned down on which programs to cut. And this failure includes both conservatives and liberals. Instead they advocate “equitable, across–the–board cuts.” This budget–cutting socialism is a gift to the lazy at the expense of the competent. In this way the Intergovernmental Steering Group for Immediate Climate Action and Icecap Outreach gets the same ten percent cut as the police department.

This is politicianship and elected “leaders” do it so they won’t be blamed for eliminating a program a handful of “community activists” support. Come election time the shameless pol can even claim he “saved the program from drastic cuts that would have imperiled its mission.”

Arlington County, VA politicians use another dodge. They direct the county executive to choose the budget cuts. When outraged poodle owners want to know why working–women–doggie–daycare was cut from the parks and recreation budget, the spineless “leader” blames a heartless, cat–owning bureaucrat.

Skeptics will say Stewart had to cut the budget because he’s running for Lt. Governor and a tax increase would make it impossible for him to win the nomination. But Stewart could just as easily call for across–the-board cuts or delegate to the county executive like Arlington Democrats. Not doing so is an important point in his favor.

Stewart wants to cut $9 million from the 2014 budget so property tax bills will remain flat. Some of his larger cuts include eliminating $3.6 million from the Health Department and $626,000 from the Juvenile Court Services Unit.

Stewart courageously advocates ending $941,000 in feel–good donations to non–profits. If he succeeds, supervisors will no longer be able to use public tax dollars to subsidize their private charitable preferences. Stewart also vetoes “arts” grant donations, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Northern Virginia Family Services and Legal Services of Northern VA.

An almost $2 million cut comes from the Transportation & Roadway Improvement Program — another public money kitty that allows individual supervisors to spend our taxes on traffic light installations and road improvements in their district.

In addition to fellow board members, Stewart is willing to take on friends of the library, seniors and the school board. He would close neighborhood libraries two days a week, make senior recreational tours self–supporting and remove four middle school police officers.

This is why leadership is hard. Decisions to cut spending are unpopular, particularly with those who were doing or receiving the spending. The vast majority of politicians in Washington just want to be loved and re–elected, without being bothered to make decisions that produce discord at town meetings. One of the few exceptions is Sen. Tom Coburn (R–OK) and you can imagine how popular he is.

If you ask me, it makes more sense to keep the libraries open and save $500,000 by abolishing the Prince William County Human Rights Commission. This pretentious engine of local moral posturing has been wasting money since 1993. Our own little Nuremburg duplicates federal and state programs, while entertaining a punishing 145 cases a year, most of which have — according to the executive director — “no probable cause.” Which is a nice way of saying the plaintiff is either lying, delusional or a board member of Mexicans Without Borders.

When asked by reporter Graelyn Brashear if the commission is effective, the director said that’s a tough question because there are no measures of success. Translated for taxpayers, it means this job is almost as good as being a diversity bureaucrat in the school system.

Budget cutting, like liberty, requires constant vigilance. According to Stewart the PWC budget more than doubled between 2000 and 2006, while during his seven years as chairman it only increased a total of 6.6 percent.

Stewart’s budget cutting won’t win him friends on the board or get him invited to speak at annual banquets put on by non–profits to flatter the politicians who distribute tax dollars. But it is leadership and it is a standard conservatives should apply to politicians at all levels.

 

Republicans Advocate Surrender After Defeat

Evidently Romney campaign consultants were paying way too much attention to Michelle Obama’s War on Cafeteria Lunch Ladies. Consequently, when her husband offered a campaign built around Bread & Circuses; they countered with healthy eating and free–range elephants.

A role reversal that proved fatal.

More than once I’ve heard discouraged conservatives complain that ignorant voters were responsible for re–electing Obama, but that’s simply not true. Misguided and short–sighted voters, yes, but certainly not ignorant.

Obama supporters voted for the candidate who gave them the most freebies. Union members voted for the Government Motors bailout and the prospect of “card check.”

Government employees voted for bigger government and its number one disciple. Hispanics voted for a freeze on deportation and amnesty for illegals. College students voted for low interest student loans and possible loan forgiveness.

Unmarried mothers voted for food stamps, welfare, free contraceptives and — for the sexually disorganized — federally–funded abortion. Homosexuals voted for homosexual marriage. And blacks voted for the black guy.

Now, proving there is no one more gullible than a panicked Republican, some of our “leaders” are considering amnesty for illegal aliens.

Amnesty for illegals will be called “immigration reform,” just as adulterers call fornication “marriage reform.” Passage will be equivalent to allowing a family who squatted on land inside a national park to keep the land as part of “ownership reform.” It wouldn’t be fair to evict them, don’t you know, because they built a house and their kids would have to change school districts.

Unfortunately for Republican leaders who put power before principle, amnesty is wrong for four reasons.

First it’s morally wrong. Rewarding lawbreakers, only encourages more lawbreaking, erodes respect for the rule of law and discriminates against potential legal immigrants who are waiting their turn. Amnesty also serves to take jobs from low income US citizens and depresses the wages of those that have jobs.

Secondly, it solves nothing. Democrats — who make short–term memory loss part of their governing philosophy — conveniently forget the US granted Hispanics a massive amnesty during the Reagan administration. That “never to be repeated” amnesty legalized over 4 million illegals. This final solution possessed such deterrent power that over 12 million illegals are demanding amnesty this time, a four–fold increase.

Third, amnesty will damage Republicans at the ballot box. Let’s assume 4 million of the approximately 12 million illegals are of voting age. These are not Republican votes in waiting, they are, as fellow columnist Mike Adams says, “undocumented Democrats.” All 4 million will be voting Democrat from now on.

It’s a fact the GOP never gets credit for anything involving civil rights. When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed a larger percentage of Republicans supported the bill than Democrats, yet Democrats get all the credit. If I recall correctly Ronald Reagan was a Republican, yet even after the passage of amnesty during his administration, the GOP still has a problem with Hispanics.

Four, “socially conservative” Hispanics are like Iranian “moderate mullahs.” GOP “experts” claim Hispanic “family values” mean their natural home is the GOP. Yet on Sunday, November 4th, these “socially conservative” Hispanics sat in Catholic churches and heard homilies about the Obama administration forcing the church to violate basic Catholic beliefs. Then they rushed to the polls to vote for the most radical abortion–supporting president in history.

The only way for Republicans to profit from amnesty is to invest in companies producing the velvet Obama paintings that will soon be joining the velvet JFKs gracing the walls of many minority homes.

No wonder Democrats are so eager to cooperate with the GOP on this “bi–partisan reform” legislation.

Republicans simply cannot win a bidding war with Democrats and remain Republicans. It will take time for a values and civic virtues campaign to be successful, because changing public attitudes is a long-term project. So I suggest Republicans conduct asymmetrical electoral warfare.

Presidential election years have larger turnout that favors Democrats. Off–year elections have smaller turnout and give our base a larger impact. Nationally, during the education process, the GOP can concentrate on winning off–year elections and build up conservative margins in the US House, gain a Senate seat or two and defend the rest during Presidential years.

All the while concentrating our message on the benefits of individual liberty, personal responsibility and marketplace competition. Democrats and “progressives” are now using the ballot box to exploit the cultural pathologies their incompetent policies have created over the past 40 years. Over the short term it may prove to be an indestructible ideological loop.

But if conservatives aren’t in this fight over the long term, why are we in it at all?

 

 

RepubliKKKans Fail to Defeat Obama

The Associated Press image of white America.

Tuesday I spent almost an hour waiting in line with a bunch of racists. Previously I would have described the experience as I waiting in line to vote, but thanks to the Associated Press, I now know different.

A recent AP poll on racial attitudes proves conclusively that should Obama lose the election, journalists will blame his defeat on white Republican racists.

According AP, “Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.” (emphasis added). How’s that for white America being bad to the bone?

The survey also confirms the vast majority of mainstream journalists still suffer from chronic liberal guilt, a pre–existing malady Obamacare will actively promote.

The Thought Police at AP explained, “The Associated Press polls were designed to dig into one of the most sensitive subjects in American Politics: racial attitudes and their effect on how people will vote in an election in which the nation’s first black president could be re–elected.

Overall the survey found that by virtue of racial prejudice, [Obama could lose] an estimated net loss of 2 percentage points due to anti–black attitudes…”

The Obama defeat story practically writes itself, particularly when Monday’s Rasmussen Reports tracking poll has the race at 49 Romney and 48 Obama.

The AP survey was not conducted over the phone. Instead the respondents were invited to complete the questionnaire on a computer because: “Studies have shown people are more willing to reveal potentially unpopular attitudes on a computer than in questioning by a live interviewer.” They certainly watch a lot more porn and use bad language online, so why not express unpopular attitudes, too.

But since AP researchers know white supremacists are devious and will try to mislead earnest scientists by doing something like electing a black president; they also tested “implicit” racism by means of an “affect misattribution” test. They claim this is accurate because social scientists say so.

What they don’t tell you is the research sample is often composed of a handful of university graduate students that need the credit for participating or simply need the money. The test is taken in an artificial environment where the subjects know they are being tested (see Heisenberg Effect for details). Then ‘mirabile dictu’ the test confirms what the “scientists” already knew.

The “affect misattribution” test —America Found Guilty — involves flashing photos of people of different races (ugly, fierce, plain, beautiful, the number of variables beggars description) for a nanosecond or two. Followed by a neutral image — in this case a Chinese character — and asking whether the logo for egg foo young is a pleasant or unpleasant symbol.

In an earlier time this technique was called “subliminal advertising” and it was found unpersuasive when used to try to convince movie goers to buy more Coke; but AP is convinced this technique will root out those who still think Rodney King should have gotten his behind kicked.

As David Moore points out, when you apply the same AP “methodology” to black subjects, you find 43 percent of the blacks express “anti–black sentiments.” While 30 percent of the whites express “anti–white” sentiments (no word on whether this group was composed of journalists or Democrats).

Maybe it’s just me, but I would question the accuracy of a survey that purports to reveal hidden white Republican racism, when it also “reveals” 43 percent of the black sample doesn’t like blacks either. Unless they are self–hating black Republicans.

Even if you ignore the voodoo part of the test the normal questions only confirm AP’s stereotype of white Republican racists.

To goad survey takers into being explicitly racist, the questioners ask if they agree, “Other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors,” “it’s really a matter of some people just not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder…” and “blacks who receive money from welfare could get along without it if they tried” to name but a few.

By my count the only one they left out was “Jackie Robinson was a credit to his race.”

As for the special condemnation of Republicans, you simply have to take AP’s word for it, since readers are denied access to the crosstabs.

But as I write this at 12:47 AM, the mainstream media won’t have to blame racists for defeating Obama, because he was re–elected. Instead results of this poll will simply be saved for some time in the future when reporters need to explain Republican motivation for opposing that nice President Obama, assuming it ever happens.

 

Hurricane Sandy: Obama’s Social–Worker–in–Chief Moment

Obama urging the National Weather Service to find more bad weather before the election.

Hurricane Sandy — much like Barack Obama — turned out to be an over–hyped phenomenon that failed to deliver. Our portion of the storm in Northern Virginia was so weak the Multicultural Commissars didn’t even bother to give it a Hispanic name, like last summer’s “derecho” (formerly known as “severe thunderstorm”).

I tried to lend a hand and come up with a culturally–sensitive name, but Spanish for “Sandy” is still “Sandy,” making it tough to appear cutting edge during a TV broadcast.

“Hurricane” translates as “huracán” and the resulting “Huracán Sandy” fails to advance the cause of linguistic arrogance. It doesn’t compare with changing the perfectly good name of “Bombay” to “Mumbai.” All that did was confuse millions of Americans looking for a particular large city in India. (The Indians already knew where it was.)

Besides, where does one draw the line? Does the “pecan sandie” cookie become the “sandie pacana?”

There were houses smashed by downed trees in my neighborhood — certainly a disaster for the affected homeowners — but nothing to compare with the “derecho.”

Even during the height of the hype, my household preparations were limited to bracing for a potential power outage. Since our family has never associated bowel movements with natural disasters, we even missed the ‘Assault on Food Lion.’ Because we don’t feel compelled to buy a pallet–load of toilet paper anytime it’s overcast for three consecutive days.

The local paper wrote of a Dominion Power repairman that just missed being drowned by rising floodwaters. But who noticed the unsung American Disposal Services crews braving wind and rain to pick up household trash during the beginning of the blow? While government employees, enjoying the shutdown, watched from their front window.

Naturally Obama’s media amen chorus and the administration itself, are doing their best to politicize the storm. There was extensive damage in New Jersey and New York. So the WaPost proclaims, “Storm provides Obama with a commander–in–chief moment.” Which only goes to show the mainstream media (MSM) thinks we’ll believe anything.

The attack on the consulate in Libya provided Obama with a genuine “commander–in–chief” moment where he could have affected events on the ground, which is something “commanders” do. But Obama failed miserably.

Hurricane Sandy provides him with a Social–Worker–in–Chief moment, a situation with which community organizers are much more comfortable. Obama took a helicopter tour while the wind was still blowing. Yet FBI investigators had to wait weeks before they could visit the ruined consulate in Libya, only to discover the scene hopelessly compromised by hundreds of journalists and sightseers who didn’t wait for administration approval.

And to show benighted conservatives how fortunate we are to have Obama in the White House, the WaPost adds: “Rarely, if ever, has a president had to deal with such a major disaster so close to Election Day…”

What’s “rare” — in fact unprecedented — is the MSM allowing an administration to take a bye on a disaster like Libya so close to an election. Governors in New York and New Jersey call Obama for help and he’s Johnny–on–the–spot. SEALs in Libya call for backup during an attack that kills four Americans, including the ambassador, and get an administration brush off.

If only Libya had a few more votes in the Electoral College.

The story also includes a breathless blow–by–blow of his day.  During a videoconference Obama uses the MSNBC slogan as he orders the bureaucracy to “lean forward on this.”

Then he holds a conference call with utility executives and “underscore(s) the urgency of restoring electricity,” as if the people at PEPCO were unaware their customers depend on electric power.

This is busy work in a pathetic effort to look engaged and presidential. It compares unfavorably with Obama’s trip to a Las Vegas fundraiser the evening we learned of Ambassador Stevens’ death.

The New York Times editorial page weighed in with, “A Big Storm Requires Big Government,” possibly indicating the NYT believes severe weather to be a recent invention.

Maybe they have a point. How could we do without FEMA officials “embedded in states’ emergency operations centers” getting the latest from local police, local fire and local officials. Then trying to decide how to give tax dollars taken from the states, back to the states after Uncle Sam has taken his cut for overhead, motivational speakers and government employee awards.

How did we survive disasters before Jimmy Carter’s FEMA got involved?

When I think of the abandoned buildings, the decaying harbor and the rusting trolley cars — all this could have been prevented if only Washington had helped after the San Francisco earthquake.

To say nothing of the vast desert, formerly known as Chicago, after the fire of 1871…