11/27/2015

The immorality of plea bargaining

Micah 6:8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? 
Modern court systems have become dependent on the relatively new phenomenon of ‘plea bargaining’. It has become more or less the regular thing for someone to be accused of a crime, let us say ‘Class A jaywalking’ and for the prosecutor to offer to ‘cut him a deal’ and let him plead guilty to ‘class B jaywalking’ .

This deal is to the advantage of both parties: the prosecutor don't need to put on a case, spend all that time and effort, and risk losing to a jury; the defense doesn't have to spend all that time and money and risk losing; the defendant gets off with a lesser sentence, and the judge didn’t have to sit through a case.

The only two people who lose in such a deal are the innocent defendant, and any idea that we have a  system of justice.

One of the things that plea bargaining has allowed the modern prosecutor to do that his historical predecessors would not have been able to do is to accuse far more people than he could try. In societies in the past where the prosecutor had no need to ‘try’ a case, where he was basically judge, jury, and executioner; they could accuse as many people as their system of punishments gave them room for.

But in our society we theoretically have a system of juries that try cases; and no one is supposed to be punished unless they have been tried by a jury of their peers, yet the plea bargaining loophole has allowed millions of, possibly innocent, people to be sent to jail without our society having to go to the trouble of trying them. This is a very efficient system, and one that has allowed us to ‘accuse’ far more people than we would have otherwise ignored.

Is that a good thing? Or is it a bad thing? It certainly is a powerful thing. The United States leads the world… by far… in prisoners. Far, far, above our nearest rivals even in totalitarian governments.

Deuteronomy 27:25  Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen. 

You can debate, amongst yourselves, the morality or immorality of that result. But while we are discussing plea bargaining I think it incumbent upon us to discuss a couple of other aspects of the issue that join mass incarceration as issues we have to face.

The first is the fact that plea bargning is, basically, a form of extortion. Let’s take our infamous Jaywalker. Except let us suppose that he is innocent. Let’s suppose that the policeman did not see the situation correctly and he is not guilty of either class A or class B jaywalking. He is not guilty of jawalking at all.

When the prosecutor comes to him with his ‘offer’ the man is in a bad place. He can risk a jury trial, and hope that justice prevails, or he can ‘admit’ guilt to a crime he didn’t commit and get a lesser ‘punishment’ than the one he might end up getting from the jury.

When the crime was serious this was a huge issue. Sometimes the difference between the two might even be prison or not; working and living with your family, sleeping with your wife, raising your children… or not, for years!

And plea bargaining happens in the beginning of the process; before very much information is known about what evidence the police might have, how they will try the case, what the judge would allow. The defendant, who may never have faced the ‘criminal justice’ system before, is now faced with a whole world of possiblities, few of which he might understand. And a prosecutor who ‘holds all the cards’.

It isn’t the defense who gets to go before the judge with a ‘plea bargin’, but the prosecutor. It isn’t even the judge who decides what is fair. It is the prosecutor: the man with the police working for him. The man whose whole goal in life is to get a conviction.

Ironically in many jurisdictions the judge literally asks the defendant if ‘anyone had pressured him or offered him anything in regard for his plea’… and then deliberatly and specifically makes an exception for the plea bargain! The system recognizes as profoundly immoral the idea of falsely pleading guilty, or even giving up your rights to a trial, because someone pays you or offers you something, and then excepts the person with the most power in the situation, the person whose job it is to put you in prison.

Does the word ‘extortion’ come to mind? Let us remember that the prosecutor is offering this ‘plea bargain’ not in order to let you get a reduced sentence, but in order to lessen his own work load and allow him to do the same thing again to someone else!

Jeremiah 22:3  Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. 

Now let us look at an even more disturbing nature of the plea bargain. Assuming that few innocent people are placed in the position of being extorted by the prosecutor, we need to recognize that every single use of the plea bargain represents a perversion of justice. Without exception. All of them.

Let’s work through the various possibilities:

First of all lets ask ourselves a question: is there a ‘just’ punishment for class A and class B jaywalking? There are two possibilities:

Yes. There exists a just punishment for both crimes. In that case everyone who gets the just punishment has been punished justly, and everyone who doesn’t, hasn’t been.

Or no, there is no just punishment for these crimes. In that case everyone who is every punished is punished unjustly.

So if we even dream of having a just society, we have to hope that there is such a thing as a just punishment for various crimes. So let’s suppose there is. Let us suppose that a punishment of $1000 is a just punishment for class A jaywalking, and $500 for class B. And let us suppose that, in their infinite wisdom, the legislature discovered this and passed the appropriate laws, and the governor signed the appropriate laws and so, viola, there they are on the books.

Now let us begin the plea bargaining process. We begin, as we said before, with a guilty party. He is guilty of outright, clear, Class A jaywalking. But he obviously doesn’t want to pay a thousand dollars. And we have our prosecutor who is eager to get our boy convicted, but doesn’t want to spend the time and energy it would take to get a jury of ten men sound and true to do it.

Enter the plea bargain. The prosecutor goes to the defense lawyer and says, “Let’s cut to the chase. I’ll let your boy plead to class B and we can avoid all the fuss of a trial."

So our defense lawyer goes back to our boy and he reaches for a pen. Five hundred bucks is a lot better than a thousand, plus lawyer expenses, so he signs on the dotted line. And we have… injustice. We agreed, above, that the correct, just, moral punishment for the awfulness of class A jaywalking was one thousand dollars. And here this skunk has committed that vile crime and is walking for only five hundred dollars. Injustice.

If we turn it around the situation is no better. Let us suppose that five hundred dollars is actually the correct punishment, so our boy paid his due. How then do we justify it when the next man walks in and says, no, I want my rights, gets his jury trial, is convicted, and has to pay the full thousand dollars? He was judged guilty of class A jaywalking, and is fined double the just amount.

And the injustice of the system is compounded a thousand fold if we throw our innocent man back into the system. Not even guilty of class A jaywalking, or class B, if he loses at trial he ends up paying twice as much as the man who knew he was guilty! His very knowledge of being innocent has cost him, in this perverse system, five hundred dollars, plus lawyers fees and the like.

Let's look at one more glorious feature of our former system of plea bargaining: it engraves deception. In a feature worthy of 1984 we have defense, prosecutor, judge, and defendant literally saying something that they all know isn’t true. It is false on its face, it is known to be false, it has been stated to be false in open court.

The defendant has been accused of class A jaywalking because that is what the prosecutor believes has happened. The defendant pleads guilty to class B jaywalking even though everyone knows that isn’t what happened.

Whatever the qualities that move jaywalking from class B to class A everyone knows they took place.

Unless, of course, and this is one of the more profound evils of the system, unless the prosecutor knew he did NOT have the evidence to prove class A jaywalking. Unless he charged him with class A, despite the evidence, in order to get him to plead guilty to class B, which he thought he really did commit. Unless, that is, the prosecutor is deliberately being deceptive in his accusation.

That might be the most evil possibility in a system rife with evil possibilities.

No enactment of man can be considered law unless it conforms to the law of God”
-William Blackstone

Exodus 23:7  Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. 

So many of our books, blogs, movies, and the like make it seem as if justice was a game. As if, as long as everyone played by the rules, the defendant, and the society, gets 'due process'. No one can define a perfect justice system for imperfect humans. Indeed the very need for a justice system indicates we are dealing with human evil, and we all know that that evil resides in the heart of every man.

But far too many of the aspects of our modern judicial system seem far better suited to something that happens on a playing field. We all chuckle when one chess player lays a cunning trap for his opponent. We love watching trick plays on the football field.

But when a prosecutor uses some trick, some device, some loophole... even without evil intentions... just in pursuit of his stated goal of 'getting a conviction', that is the time when we all ought to take a step back and realize that this is not a game. That this is not a matter of one touchdown or not, of one pawn one or lost, but of a real persons real life, and the real issue of justice as a society.

Whether a plea bargain lets the guilty get off with a lesser punishment, or extorts an innocent person into confessing a crime he did not commit, it is always a miscarriage of justice. And we should very much care about that.
 

Further Reading

http://www.realcostofprisons.org/writing/Jeter_Injustice.pdf
http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/09/24/wanting-a-trial-by-jury-is-not-a-crime-so-why-do-we-treat-it-like-one/
https://www.themarshallproject.org/2014/12/26/plea-bargaining-and-the-innocent#.eRRH0KomO







Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

10/29/2015

Romans 13 from a theonomic standpoint: Overall Principles

In the light of the recent issues with police beatings and bratty children in Government Indoctrination Centers I was asked for my exegesis on Romans 13. First of all, the text:
Rom 13:1  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Rom 13:2  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Rom 13:3  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Rom 13:4  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Rom 13:5  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Rom 13:6  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Rom 13:7  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Rom 13:8  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Rom 13:9  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Rom 13:10  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 
Now let's look at some overall issues that we see in this text:

Honor to whom honor

Romans 13:7  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 

The first thing that we need to ask, altho it is rarely asked, is 'who is this talking about?'. All too often it is simply assumed that this text is exclusivley talking about government authorities; particuarly the police.

But even a cursory examination of  the text should make it obvious that 'the police' are not the only people covered by this text, even assuming that 'the police' are covered. For example:

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 
None of the ten commandments mention any obligation to the state or the church, but they do mention one other authority. And the command uses a particular word... honor. So when this text says 'honor to whom honor is due' one of the primary people to whom honor is due in Scripture is... the father (and mother). The New Testament also speaks of honoring all men, the wife, slave masters, widows, elders (including double honor), the unsightly parts of our body, repeats the honor due to the father and mother, and, above all, repeats the Old Testament injunction that honor be given to God.

So as an overall guide to exegeting this text we need to remember that whatever it says it says to us in regards to everyone that we are to honor, in particular everyone that is a 'higher power' than we are.

What is good

1Jn 3:4  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 

The second issue that must be addressed when exegeting this text is that the topic of this text is not 'whatever the power wants' but 'what is good'. Several times in several ways the text speaks of 'what is good' or 'what is evil' and 'minister of God' or 'damnation' and even 'concience'.

And of particular interest to readers of my blog, the 'good' talked about here is clearly God's law. The passage concludes with:
Rom 13:10  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 
In a fascinating twist this passage does not tell us that following the law is good because it shows us how to love our neighbor (which is true), but it supports and defends the idea of loving our neighbor because it is a way in which the law is fulfilled.

Whom to Honor II

1Ti 1:8  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
1Ti 1:9  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1Ti 1:10  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
1Ti 1:11  According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 
So now we come back full circle and have to deal with the fact that the people that this passage is calling us to honor are any authority in our life... who is calling us to obey God's law. That is what the text says. All too many people treat this text as saying, "Do whatever the guy with the machine gun tells you to do, cause that is what God commands." Treating the text in that way is to ignore pretty much everything the text actually says!

Imagine that the text was to be used this way in world war II. Imagine Christians rounding up Jews to be slaughtered on the theory of 'well, we're obeying the guys with the machine guns'. Does that match this text? Are they 'being a terror to evil works'? Or are they, in flat contradiction to the text, being a terror to those who were minding their own business?

So while the passage contradicts anarchy and extreme forms of libertarianism, it stands in equally stark contrast to the 'guy with the machine gun' view. In order for a 'power' to be a 'power' within the meaning of Romans 13, it has to be a force for good, a force that is acting as God's minister  against evil. We read:
Rom 13:3  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: Rom 13:4  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 

Jurisdictions or Whom to Honor III

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 

Thus it is necessary for us, when asking whom to honor, to not only include everyone who stands in authority over us, to limit those who are included in the text to those who are actually a terror to evil works, not to good ones. But it is also necessary to remember that Scripture teaches very clearly, including in this passage, that each Christian is under multiple authorities.

And each of these authorities have their own area of authority. An authority which might have the perfect right to judge a man for murder might not have the authority to order his family. The rulers of the synagogue did not have the responsibility to tell the apostles not to preach Christ.  

Conclusion: Making up our own right or wrong

Rom 13:11  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
Rom 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Rom 13:13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. 

What this text also makes clear is that neither the state nor the citizens get to make up their own right or wrong. The goal of this text is to teach us to cooperate with the authorities in our life in redeeming our life and our culture.  The goal of this text is concluded in verse 14, that we 'put [] on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.'  Any exegesis of the text must end there. A reading of the text that leads us away from service to Christ, away from obedience to His Law, that rejoices in evil or punishes the good... is not a proper reading of the text.






 and here is the end.... Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

6/16/2015

Winning the battle... and losing the war.

Winning the Battle...

Exodus 21:12  He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death. 
A response to 'When Perfection Kills'.

Have been a little frustrated recently watching the debates between Abortion Abolitionists and 'Incrementalists'... which is to say your run of the mill pro-lifer.

First of all, let me be quick to say that the incrementalists are wrong. And the Abolitionists are, more or less, right. But neither one of them seems capable (the incrementalists less so than the abolitionists) of framing the actual debate in such a way as to bring forward the very real, very deadly issues. Let me be very clear: with each 'victory' the incrementalists win, they sacrifice more ground. With each baby they save, they kill ten more.

Abolitionists are fond of standing on the moral high ground and shouting out 'It isn't right!'. And they are right. It isn't right. But they tend to cede the pragmatic low ground: tacitly seeming to acknowledge that their opponents are right 'down there': that their tactics in the legislature actually save people on a daily basis. But there they are both wrong. The incrementalists tactics actually kill far more than they save.

The debate tends to be framed, by the incrementalists, as 'we do this or we do nothing'. Now nothing is, sometimes, the right thing to do, and we should compare to it. If a new drug came on the market and we found more people died with that drug than if they 'did nothing', then that disproves that drug, anyway.

But usually we don't 'do nothing'. Usually a new drug is  best compared not against nothing, but against the old drug, or a different new drug. And in this case 'incrementalism' fails dramatically against the 'old drug'. So let's examine the issues:

Political Realities

Matthew 22:21  They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. 

The incrementalists, in this discussion, focus a great deal of their rhetoric on so-called 'political realities'. Now that's an oxymoron for you. Unfortunately the abolitionsists don't seem to notice the oxymoron, and just go on about their moral high ground.

In politics there is no such thing as a 'reality'. Politics is the art of the surreal, but, above all, it is the art of, well, politics. It is the art of telling people 'I would make a better candidate than person X', and then convincing them of it. There is no way that Margret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Ron Paul, or Adolf Hitler fit within their societies 'political realities'. They were all radical outsiders who sold themselves and their policies to those who did not, at that time, fit those policies.

Incremental Disaster

Psalms 15:1-2  A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 

The 'incremental' strategy has been an unmitigated disaster. Oh, they may have had some successes at various regulations and the like, but while they have been fiddling, Rome has burnt.

We are now faced with a society where any kind of Christian morality has been thoroughly washed out of the public conscience. These 'incremental' leaders forgot that their job was to lead: to actively teach, and preach, and call a society to Godliness. "This is the best we can get" is hardly a moral clarion call.

So for every one child they have 'saved', they have lost ten more. By abandoning their role as moral shepherds, they have won a few battles, and lost an entire nation.

Not Nothing

Micah 6:8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? 

Abolitionism is being portrayed as 'doing nothing'. Or, rather, 'waiting' until the political winds change before doing anything: doing nothing in the meantime.

And some abolitionism seems like that. But that is not what it is supposed to be, not what it is defined to be, and not what they have been in history. William Wilberforce, their hero, did not 'do nothing'.

One 'nothing' that they don't do is to state, and state clearly, their goal: the abolition of all child murder. To the extent that any pro-lifer states that their goal is to eliminate all child murder (even if they call it the weasel word 'abortion') they are, to that small extent, an abolitionist.
An abolitionist can never say 'I want to get rid of most abortions' or 'all abortions except'. They must desire to end all abortions.

Nor is there anything to prevent abolitonists from supporting 'incremental' legislation... as long as the legislation is not deceptive and has a clear goal: the elimination of child murder. The problem is that 'incrimental' legislation is almost always written in an untruthful, indeed deliberately deceptive, way. It does not speak of 'child murder' but of 'the health of the mother'.

Speaking the Truth

John 17:16-19  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

Abolitionists, indeed all Christians, are required to speak the truth. Incrementalists...  not so much it seems. Let's take one sentence from the article:

Ahmad patiently explained that he was not deciding which girls could be enslaved and which could not.

That sounds good... but is it true? Do you notice that one thing we don't see in the example is the legislation itself? What does it actually say? 

It is actually possible to write legislation in the fashion described... but it is not usually done. Most legislation, and all of the recent 'pro-life'  has seemed to be of this type, reads something like this:
"No abortion shall be carried out *except* those before 20 weeks gestation...."

Do you see? They have, actually, put the 'exception' into the law. They have not actually spoken the truth in their description. Let us see what a 'true' incremental law might look like:
"All so called 'abortions' are murder. The state of Texas, in this legislation, provides for the following penalties for these murders if carried out after 20 weeks gestation..."

There. That's still a horrible law, but it is, at least, honest. It would have the same practical effect as the other. Why is it not passed? Because the dishonesty, itself, was part of the 'comprimise' that allowed the first bill to pass. The obligation to lie was part and parcel of the 'political reality' that the incrementalist spoke of... and part of the reason why no abolitionist could support the bill.

Ten Plagues

Exodus 9:14  For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. 

The article linked begs the obvious counter-argument of Moses and the slaves he liberated. But neither side seems to realize that Moses didn't just come forward and say 'my way or the highway'. He didn't say 'all the slaves or nothing'. What he said was 'all the slaves or face the wrath of God'.

We have not been divinely sent and equipped to call forth ten physical plagues upon our country. But in the light of the false argument of 'political realities', here are ten plagues we can call forth:

  • I) Stop speaking of  'abortion'. Ever. Call it 'child murder'. Speak of 'child murderers'. Recognize that society should treat these murderers as they treat other murderers... if not even more severely.
  • II) Stop speaking of 'doctors' and 'nurses' in the context of child murder. Speak of 'murderers' and 'assistant murderers'. Even the receptionists, guards, parking lot attendants... the 'teachers' in universities. We should speak of them as murderers and murderers assistants, and seek to treat them as murderers.
  • III) Stop speaking of 'Christians' in the context of those who murder children. Someone who murders children for a living is not a Christian. Someone who supports it is not a Christian. God may know their heart, but we are forced to judge by their actions. And their actions are not Christian. Indeed, they are anti-Christian.
  • IV) Stop speaking of 'women's health' in the context of those who murder children. Few things could have been as nauseating as 'pro-life' speaker after 'pro-life' speaker got up in Texas a couple of years ago and spoke of how their 'pro-life' bill was 'for the health of women'. Except for the women being murdered by child-murder, this was either an obvious lie or, worse, a total miscarriage of justice.
  • V) Stop lying. It is one oft hinted at but never seemingly acknowledged feature of the incrementalist position that they do a great deal of lying. "Health of the mother", "clean safe facilities" and the like. Yes, you are motivated by your religion. Yes, child-murder is a sin. Yes, you are legislating morality. Yes, you are a Christian. Yes, everyone else is going to Hell.
  • VI) Get your children out of government schools. Having your next generation trained up in all of the lies of government school, including pro-murder, pro-statist, and pro-Sodomite propoganda, is hardly the way to be 'pro-life'.
  • VII) Support capital punishment. It was God Himself that pointed out that the only appropriate way to reflect the value that He puts on life is to execute murderers (and kidnappers, etc.)
  • VIII) Get your children married young, and frutifully. Nothing is so good a witness for the 'pro-life' cause as young, fruitful, marriages.
  • IX) When you support 'incrimental' legislation, be honest about it. In your preamble state, "Whereas all child murders are murder most foul, and a dreadful insult to God and man, and yet whereas too many legislators are too cowardly to support the outright repeal of all child murder in our state, be it enacted that no left-handed three and a half month old children may be murdered except with the signature of three so-called doctors indicating that the woman who wishes them murdered will be 'harmed' if they are not murdered."
  • X) Remember that honoring God will always result in God fighting your battles for you. Above all, honor God. Give God the honor, and praise, and glory for anything 'you' do.

One point of the above ten plagues is none of them are outside of the 'political realities' of the pro-lifer's position. Each and every pro-lifers is physically capable of doing thiese things. They may not want to. Indeed I doubt they want to. But they are capable of it. They cannot whine that these are outside of the 'political reality'.

Another point is that these will all spell disaster for our country's false civility on the issue of child murder. It is very difficult to sit down and chat about upcoming legislation with someone you are calling a child murderer. And that is how it should be.

And they will be plagues to the current system of indoctrination. If even one national leader, let alone all of those who claim to be pro-life, were to adopt even half (and they should adopt them all, and more) of the plagues above, our system of indoctrination would fall apart. A 'real' politician willing to speak of abortion is 'murder'? Willing to call out the other politicians, 'doctors', 'nurses' and the like and call them murderers and murderers accomplices? That would change the way our country looks at the universe!

Let us not be fooled, our country will be, and is, undergoing God's own plagues, sent down from on high and, if we do not repent, they will destroy us. But that does not absolve us of our responsiblity to speak His truth, will we be heard or no.

More of this debate can be found starting here.











.. Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

4/04/2015

My View of Baptism

I hold to a covenental view of Scripture, and also hold that the NT ordinance of Christian baptism is an ordinance designed to apply to those who have confessed Christ; or those whom Christ has confessed.

I hold that NT baptism is not a continuation of or replacement of circumcision, but is a continuation of, indeed a fulfillment of, the OT rites of baptism (ceremonial washings, 'mikveh'). I believe that John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ in this as well as in so many other things. That it is a baptism of repentance, for those who have repented.

I do not hold, unlike so many of my credo bretheren, that paedo-baptists, at least those who have afterward confessed with their own mouths and lives the saving work of Christ, and who 'confirm' their earlier baptism, are unbaptized and thus in continual disobedience to the Word of God.

I hold that baptism is best performed by complete immersion but, again, I do not hold that those baptized by other means, provided they confess their faith and trust in their baptism, are unbaptized.

While I do believe that it is allowed for a former paedo-baptist, who having come to believe their baptism was wrongly administered, to ask to be immersed, as a believer, as a witness to the church and their faith; I generally hold that all of other forms of rebaptism are wrong: such as those asked for on joining a church or denomination.[1] And I believe it is fully acceptable for a former paedo-baptist who comes to credo views to still hold that their former baptism is valid, and to 'confirm' it.

I hold largely to the LBC (1689) with certain exceptions.

I do not hold to 'adult' baptism but to 'credo' baptism. I do not object to baptizing 'children' but to baptizing 'non-confessors'. I hold that the grammar of the commands such as 'repent and be baptized' indicate that baptism is both an event that requires an active subject, but also a passive recipient. The individual submits to baptism as the wife submits to her husband: an active role in submission.

This contrasts both with what I see as the totally passive nature of circumcision, where fathers are required to circumcise their sons, male slaves, their sons, etc; and the active/active nature of other forms of sacrifice, where the same believer both believes and performs the sacrifice.

I consider the doctrine of an 'age of accountability' to be entirely unScriptural, and not only unnecessary to a right doctrine of baptism, but contradictory to it. 

Besides having no Biblical warrant, the age of accountability strikes me as a lack of trust in God's sovereignty, and a naive belief in baptismal regeneration. As if something had to be done to 'save' those too young to repent and be baptized.

In contrast to many of my credo-baptist brethren I do believe that there are great benefits promised to the children of believers. I hold that all men are under God's overarching covenant but that the children of believers (in parallel to the physical children of Abraham) are under special blessings and potential curses.

I believer that the Jewish religious leaders did not react as if John the Baptist was inventing an unknown rite, or ending circumcision, but as if he was fulfilling an expected prophecy in an unexpected way.

I believe that the baptism of John, and then of Christ, can be best understood in light of the OT washings that implied full body immersion in running water.

I believe that both paedo (having to do with one's physical lineage) and credo (having to do with one's stated belief or other action) signs of the covenant have been present from the beginning.

I do not believe that the commands given specifically to the physical household of Abraham have ceased.

I am a theonomist. I believe that God's law is holy and perfect and that, while parts of it may have fulfilled their purpose, the various civil laws are still binding on all of mankind.


[1] I would make an exception for Jewish Christians who, not calling it baptism nor claiming it is a NT ordinance, continue the Jewish ceremonial washings, such as that for a woman's time, demanded of them in the law... Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

3/10/2015

Full Time Parenting

I was recently sent a review copy of Israel Wayne's book 'Full Time Parenting'. I told him it was foolish to let me review his book, but he insisted :)
The book is obviously of interest to us here on True Love Doesn't Wait, since we are so wrapped up in the various aspects of family life, including parenting. We do hold that all couples should be open to having children, but that doesn't mean we don't also believe they should raise those children in Godliness. So a book on that is, obviously, very relevant.
Let me start my review by saying that I think the overwhelming majority of modern parents will have their parenting improve several fold if they were to read and follow the guidance in this book. When I say I am disappointed in it I am saying nothing against that. Most of the criticisms I level are of the form, "... but it would have been better if..."

This made a lot of sense to me

god-s-promises-to-abramProverbs 2:1-6 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
One of the problems when a lifelong Christian starts speaking is that they take their Christian upbringing for granted. Thus they will say things like, "This makes a lot of sense to me". (Proper Nutrition) This is a problem not because what they say isn't true, or doesn't make sense to me, but because it is a weak reed to rely on. The reader will read this book and then another book with a completely opposite message, and find both of them talking about what 'makes a lot of sense' to the author.
Missing in Action
But a Christian should bring a lot more to the table than any mere author. The Christian should bring not just his wisdom to the table, but the wisdom of God. And I believe that Mr. Wayne does... but he does not do so overtly. Many of his ideas, passages, and chapters are derived from the wisdom of God, but he does not make that clear. He does not do the necessary linking and even exegesis to show his readers how he is speaking, or at least explaining, God's words not his own.

Easing in

ships-in-the-stormy-sea-1866.jpg!xlMediumDeuteronomy 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Mr. Wayne suggests that families 'ease in' to the idea of, say, daily family worship. I cannot agree, either practically or Scripturally. First of all, it is never right to do the wrong thing. So if daily worship is a Biblical concept (and it is) then failing to do it is wrong, and no 'easing in' is proper.
But secondly, and this is what we see in Scripture even in such stories as Nineveh, true repentance and change is truly done when it is done truly. The father who has failed to insitutute daily family worship will be better off spending the first couple of sessions, full long sessions, fully explaining what he has done wrong and what they will be doing in the future than just kind of quietly 'easing in' his family to longer and longer unexplained times.
Like Nineveh there are times when we need to sit around in sackcloth and ashes. All of us.

Finding a Virtuous Wife

maid-with-garland-1843.jpg!xlMediumProverbs 31:10-12 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
A particular nitpick of mine, which leapt out at me because I write on this subject: Mr. Wayne says that Proverbs 31 is about a 'Mother teaching her son how to find a virtuous wife'. This is false on several levels.
It is a mother, that is true. But there is nothing about 'how to find'. In fact the text specifically denies this. It literally says 'who can find?'. It literally denies that such a wife is 'find-able'. And we read elsewhere in Proverbs why: it is only God who can provide such a wife.
And there is nothing to indicate that the mother is telling the son to do the finding! There is nothing to indicate any 'who' in the finding.
What the text is about is what that wife will end up looking like after years of marriage. What the 'end result' of marriage to a virtuous wife will be.

Why children leave the faith

the-prodigal-son-in-modern-life-the-departure-1880Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
One chapter in this book seems literally contradictory. In the chapter on why children leave the faith Mr. Wayne speaks of families who 'seemed to do everything right'. He then proceeds through the chapter and lists things that they did wrong. If they visibly did these things wrong, and their children left as a result, then they don't seem to be the families he promised to talk about. But if they did these things wrong, and he didn't see it, then how does he know these things happened and were the cause of the loss of these children?

Successful handoff into adulthood

on-his-holidays-norway-1901.jpg!xlMediumJeremiah 35:18-19 And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.
Here is one area where I believe Mr. Wayne departs dramatically from what Scripture teaches. The 'baton' analogy is simply not at all Scripural, the 'pass off' is simply not what Scripture teaches. There is no such thing, in Scripture, as an 'adulthood' where the 'baton has been passed'. There is, instead, a vision of multi-generational patriarchy: of arrows that, even as they leave the quiver and the bow, take aim on the enemies of the father, and do his will. Of sons, sent out into the world so that they can bring that world under the authority of their father.

The missing chapter

the-new-suitor.jpg!BlogJeremiah 29:6  Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.
This book is dramatically missing a chapter. The chapter on finding your son a wife, of giving your daughter to a husband, of seeing your children's children, the crown of your old age. And of teaching that.
Readers of our site should find plenty to read about that here, though.

The final chapter

pregnantRomans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
The final chapter in this book is almost excellent. Indeed I think everything that is needed is there, I just miss the tying together.
The final chapter is all about 'Grace'. Of how, even when everything is done wrong, God is still capable of bring blessing. And that is very, very true. But it is only half the truth.
We need to remember Paul's curse on those who would sin 'that grace might abound'. That we are called to obedience, even when saved by grace. It think that ties together both of this threads, and indeed his whole book.
We as father's are called to do most (albeit not all) of the things in Mr. Wayne's excellent book. And, indeed, we are called to more. And God promises blessings on those who raise their children 'in the nurture and admonition of the Lord', which includes so much of what Mr. Wayne teaches in this book.
And God speaks of His Grace, which can take even those lost in sin, dead in trespasses, having been raised to serve the evil in the world... and save them. And bring them out from darkness into light.

Conclusion

224_0012 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I end where I started: this is a good book. It is not the great book I think Mr. Wayne capable of, but it is a good book. A good book with some flaws. I would encourage the father who buys this book to read it with Bible and notebook in hand. (If you don't have three hands, feel free to use a table.) And then, as he reads each line, to ask himself how that accords with Scripture? What Scripture adds to or subtracts from what was said. What examples Scripture gives of this... or what counter examples?
But I do recommend the book..

2/25/2015

Homeschool or work from home job opportunity

My son is looking for a programmer to work with the company he is working for. It's a small company programming aps or some such. I've never been real clear smile emoticon
Anyway, looks like a opening level position for a programmer, great for a homeschooler or someone else who wants to work from home.:
https://quip.com/ZJlWAZXoU0T5
.. Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

2/07/2015

Render Unto Caesar -A Christian response to the vaccine controversy


My FB wall has been overwhelmed in the last few weeks by posts for and against vaccines. Altho, truth to tell, it isn't really 'pro' and 'anti' vaccine, per se. The real debate has concerned the morality of government force in regards to forcing people to take vaccines; versus the 'stupidity' of those who do not take them.

This has kind of distorted what we mean by 'pro- and 'anti'. If one is 'pro' most things, say, McDonalds, one likes to go there one's self. And, to a certain extent, one might be 'pro' convincing one's friends and the general public to go to McDonalds. And, similarly, if one is 'anti' McDonalds, one does not spend one's own money there, and may even object to having a friend do so. One might even be inclined to write nasty blog posts telling the general public why they shouldn't go.

And occasionally the 'anti' McDonalds might give some reason why they believe McDonalds (or WalMart) should be shut down by the government. But almost never does one have a 'pro' crowd that believes the government should force people to eat at McDonalds!

So the sides are interesting in this debate, and I find myself in a very interesting potion. My position, based on the various positions, as expressed on the web, is this: I am an 'anti-pro-vaxxer'.

I am not an 'anti-vaxxer' per se. I find the question of vaccines, for myself and my children, to be suitably complex and nuanced that that position does not describe me well. Nor can I call myself 'pro' vaccines: both for the reason that this implies something about my view of government force and, again, because I believe that the issues are sufficiently complex that that any such general term does not work.

However given the nature of the 'pro' vaccine argument, I feel comfortable describing myself as 'anti-pro-vaxxer'. Now to describe my view.

Render unto Caesar

But the first thing I have to do, when taking that position, is to list an exception. If we take the 'pro' vaccine position that government should force people to use vaccines, then there is an exception: government schools.

Not, I would haste to say, because they are *schools*, but because they are government. If the government is going to have a school, then the government really should get to set their own policy.

Of course, for those who know me, you will know this is not much of a concession, since I don't believe that government schools should exist. And, taking the risk of offending people who might otherwise agree with me, can we not see how ironic it is that anyone who is pushing the idea of the jurisdiction of parents in the giving or taking of vaccines should send their children to government schools; the single most damaging thing they can do to their children.

No liberty minded person should send their children to government schools: they are the country's greatest destroyer of liberty. No Christian should send their children to government schools: they are the country's greatest force against Christianity. No small government conservative should send their children to government schools: they are an indoctrination factory for government solutions.

But as far as vaccines, let the dead bury their dead. Let the government set the rules for the government schools, but get your children out of government schools, and get your tax money out of government schools.

The Jurisdiction of the Parent

But as far as the rest of the uses of government force, no, they should not be allowed to force vaccines. The first issue is the jurisdiction of the parent. Does God give to the government, or to the parent, the responsibility for the health care of the child?

OT Quarintine laws

On that specific issue, for this specific case, Doug Wilson of 'Blog and Mablog', put forward the idea that the Old Testament quarantine laws give the government jurisdiction in this issue. This use of the OT law is, obviously, very interesting to anyone who writes a blog entitled 'the Practical Theonomist', and so I read the article with curiosity. Unfortunately for this debate, or at least one side of it, Doug's analysis of the issue fails in three fundamental ways: a) It incorrectly address who would be covered by this issue b) It fails to correctly state the appropriate action and c)It misses the mark as far as jurisdiction.

Addressing these in reverse order:

-The law in question (Leviticus 13) actually address the individual and the church, not the government. It is the individual who is responsible for bringing himself forward, the priest who is responsible for determining if the law applies (including a seven day quarantine), and the individual, again, who is responsible for implimenting the law. The government does not appear anywhere in the law.

-The action of the law of the leper does not involve great government camps, or exclusion from schools, or anything of the like. The leper is to live 'outside the camp' until he is pronounced healed.

-And the action involves a completely different person. The law of the lepers, not to put too fine a point on it, involves lepers: those diagnosed with the disease. It does not involve those susceptible to the disease.
And even if it did, the current debate would still have it wrong. If we really were going to quarantine based on susceptibility to disease, then we would have to include all of these cases
1) Those who have not received the vaccine due to religious or philosophical objections.
2) Those who have not received the vaccine due to coming from overseas or the like
3) Those not yet eligible for the vaccine
4) Those who cannot revive the vaccine because of disease etc.
5) Those who received the vaccine but it did not 'take' and
6) Those who have compromised immune systems due to taking drugs or having cancer, etc.
7) Those who have just received the vaccine
8) Those who have the disease

And yet, of those groups, it is only groups (1) and (2) who are proposed to be quarantined; along with (in some cases) group (8). Altho in many cases the idea of quarantining group (8) is actively opposed, even called 'prejudice'. No reason is typically given for this distinction but, reading between the lines, the reason is because these people 'can help it'. In other words, it is a punishment in disguise, not a disease fighting plan.

If we really wanted a disease fighting plan, and really believed that the state had authority over our health, we would not start with such a trivial thing as the measles vaccine. Once we got done locking up everyone with Aids, TB, and the flu, we would start looking at infants who aren't breastfed, children who go to school or daycare, etc etc.

Prisoners dilemma


Another interesting part of this debate is that one side, the pro-vax side, literally puts forth contradictory arguments. They (or some of them) argue that vaccines are safe, harmless, and the like even while others (or the same people in different contexts) understand that vaccines are a variety of 'prisoners choice': that any given individual is better off not taking the vaccine, but that society as a whole is better off if everyone takes the vaccine.

Thus anti-vaxxers are accused of being 'stupid' in one thread (because they don't understand that vaccines are 'safe' and that their children will be 'better off' if they take them) and 'selfish' in another thread (acting for what is for the obvious good of their children, but leading to a society that is less well off). One can only hope that, eventually, the pro-vaxxers will make up their minds.

Conclusion


I believe that the Christian position in the vaccine debate is to be 'anti-pro-vaccine'. To recognize that it is to parents, not the state, that all health decisions are given concerning their children. To recognize that vaccines are different and different vaccines have, at different times and in different ways, different pro's and con's to them, and to allow individuals and families to make their own choice.

We need to realize that the state has no jurisdiction in this area. That if we are to make an analogy to the OT laws, these would need to concern only those who are diagnosed with the disease, and would need to involve the individual and the church, not the state...

But, to my 'anti-vaxxer' friends, let us please cease the debate as to the government schools! Just get your children out of them, and realize that, if we are going to have government schools, we need to let the government decide when, and how, and why our children should be educated. Which is why we shouldn't have government schools! And definitely shouldn't send our children there.



Note to the Canadian Human Rights Commission: This article may cause people to have contempt for certain groups, including those who murder innocent children, 214th District Court Judge Jose Longoria, Judge Keith Dean , and members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I support The Constitution Party. Items copied from Life Site News are: Copyright © LifeSiteNews.com. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article or portions of it without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "LifeSiteNews.com". Any website publishing of complete or large portions of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to www.LifeSiteNews.com. The link is not required for excerpts. Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews.com from other sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.
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