Thursday, June 14, 2012

No, You Move

I have a new favorite superhero.

I'm not a comic-book kinda guy, but the following frame from Captain America gives me chills.

It's interesting that this would come from the mouth of Captain America.  The strong association between America and truth makes this something so appropriate for this character, and that's an association that just isn't there with any other "superhero."  There is also a danger implicit in Americana moralisms like this, because we see a strong devotion to principles, to ideals, but often without the foundation of Christ, the real "river of truth."  We as Christians must be faithful to supply that foundation.

Today we began filming on the inaugural episode of Church & State, a series of web videos providing cultural and political commentary from a distinctly Christian perspective.  These videos will be the attempts of one believer to point to Christ as the foundation for life and liberty.  God willing, they will provide some of the foundations for the moralisms upheld by conservatism today.  While statistics are helpful and history is instructive, if that is all that we base our arguments on then we still, at the core, are humanists.

So stay tuned.  Here's my YouTube channel- subscriptions and shares are always an encouragement:

It's easy to talk about how bad things are getting, but "mere talk leads only to poverty."  It's easy to say "where are the Godly men?" but it's another matter to say "Here am I, LORD- send me!"  Please prayerfully consider this.  The God-fearing Americans that our nation needs so desperately might well be the people who are reading this right now.

That means you.

Edmund Burke pointed out that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

We need good men to stop doing nothing.

We need God-fearing Americans to rise up and say "Thus says The LORD," to proclaim His Word of Truth, to tell the kings of the earth to kiss the Son, lest His anger consume them.

In the midst of a world of compromise, we need Christians who will stand up and say-


You move.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pastor Arrested for Preaching Spanking

“Philip Caminiti, 55, was pastor of Aleitheia Bible Church... Caminiti was found guilty by a jury in March of eight counts of conspiracy to commit child abuse for teaching church members what he said was a literal interpretation of discipline prescribed by the Bible...”
 – The Wisconsin State Journal, May 25, 2012

The Wisconsin State Journal recently reported about a pastor jailed for encouraging child abuse- or spanking, depending on who you talk to.  You can read the full article here.

Now, I don't know exactly what this pastor was preaching, the kind of disciplinary practices that he was endorsing, or what exactly the methodology of spanking was which he was encouraging.

Maybe he was right, maybe he was wrong.

He was certainly right about one thing: kids need spanked.  I'm a graduate of the school of more than a few parentally-inflicted hard knocks, and I'm a better man for it.  But my experience isn't authoritative.  Let's look to Something that is.

The Bible repeatedly exhorts parents to spank their children- mostly in the book of Proverbs.  (Pr. 13:24, 23:13)

This does not equate to teaching child abuse.  The Word of God encourages loving parental
involvement in the lives of their children- teaching them, training them, and disciplining them when necessary.

To do anything otherwise is to abuse the child- whether by ferocious and angry beatings or by a failure to train the child in ways of righteousness.

So spanking isn't wrong- actually, it is very right.  It's hard to see this in a world where we rarely look past our nose.  We are used to microwave solutions.  We don't log in the brain-hours necessary to see the end results of our policies.

Thomas Sowell, in his excellent book Basic Economics, explains that governmental involvement in the economy should be judged by the incentives created, not by the ostensible purposes of the programs.

We are so susceptible to so much when we allow ourselves to be driven by emotion, by passion, by the tyranny of the urgent, by the simple need to DO SOMETHING!!!

When we look at life from this “do something, even if it's wrong” perspective, things like socialism make sense.  “Of course we need to steal from the rich- these poor people need help!”

We don't realize the devastating end results of these decisions.  We don't realize that by stealing from the rich we discourage wealth, that by indiscriminately feeding the poor we incentivize poverty, that by counting to fifty instead of spanking the child we train that child that instant obedience is really not that important.

And then what happens?  They grow up a terror, join the military to get away from their parents, and get spanked into obedience in boot camp.

I don't know whether this pastor was portraying the Biblical picture of loving discipline or the worldly stereotype of angry abuse.  I do know that the Biblical picture of child-raising involves spanking, and that God's Way is the best way.  If we can't see the benefits that come from walking in obedience to God, it just means that we need to open our eyes.

But there is something much deeper, much more disturbing here than a questionable interpretation of Scripture.

Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumy said, according to the Journal, that “the sentence, in part, was intended to send a message that child abuse will not be tolerated and to prevent Caminiti from once again teaching members of his church to spank their children with wooden objects to cure them of selfishness.”

Dare I say “wow”?

Not only did this judge just arbitrarily condemn the very definition of Biblical spanking, but she
condemned a man- punished him- to send a message?

Punishments are not to be administered as a method of communication!  The guilty are to be punished, the innocent are to be vindicated (Rom. 13, Ex. 23:7). 

But this pastor was not only sent to jail to send a message.  He was also being punished for his actions- or was he?  This man has not been convicted of any crime.  He has been convicted of “conspiracy to commit” a crime. At least, the judge thinks it is a crime.

This would be laughable if it weren't so horrifying.

The judge arbitrarily defines child abuse to include spanking.

I'm going to make up a word here: Fungusonomy.  Fungus-law.  This is what we see happening today, and it is the logical outworking of the humanistic worldview.  Fungusonomy teaches that the law has to be ever expanding, ever growing- we have to DO SOMETHING!!!  As good little humanists, we aren't limited by any law outside of ourselves.  It is up to us- well, actually, up to our nanny state- to police everything, to hold it all together, to punish hate crimes and thought crimes and mistreatment-of-mother-earth crimes.

So if a pastor encourages spanking, he must be silenced.  Because that might mean abuse.  Never mind The Bible.  Never mind the Constitution.  Never mind the years of misery that untrained children go through until they're finally spanked in much more painful ways later in life.  Never mind that this might result in many, many innocent people being convicted of child abuse.  Never mind any of that.

Somebody might get hurt.

We have to do something.

Read Gary North's excellent article on this case here.