The Christian Life is not Easy

•July 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The Christian Life is Not Easy

by AW Tozer

As we move farther on and mount higher up in the Christian life we may expect to encounter greater difficulties in the way and meet increased hostility from the enemy of our souls. Though this is seldom presented to Christians as a fact of life it is a very solid fact indeed as every experienced Christian knows, and one we shall learn how to handle or stumble over to our own undoing.

Satan hates the true Christian for several reasons. One is that God loves him, and whatever is loved by God is sure to be hated by the devil. Another is that the Christian, being a child of God, bears a family resemblance to the Father and to the household of faith. Stan’s ancient jealousy has not abated nor his hatred for God diminished in the slightest. Whatever reminds him of God is without other reason the object of his malignant hate.

A third reason is that a true Christian is a former slave who has escaped from the galley, and Satan cannot forgive him for this affront. A fourth reason is that a praying Christian is a constant threat to the stability of Satan’s government. The Christian is a holy rebel loose in the world with access to the throne of God. Satan never knows from what direction the danger will come. Who knows when another Elijah will arise, or another Daniel? or a Luther or a Booth? Who knows when an Edwards or a Finney may go in and liberate a whole town or countryside by the preaching of the Word and prayer? Such a danger is too great to tolerate, so Satan gets to the new convert as early as possible to prevent his becoming too formidable a foe.

The new believer thus becomes at once a principal target for the fiery darts of the devil. Satan knows that the best way to be rid of a soldier is to destroy him before he becomes a man. The young Moses must not be allowed to grow into a liberator to set a nation free. The Baby Jesus dare not be permitted to become a man to die for the sins of the world. The new Christian must e destroyed early, or at least he must have his growth stunted so that he will be no real problem later.

Now I do not think that Satan much cares to destroy us Christian physically. The soldier dead in battle who died performing some deed of heroism is not a great loss to the army but may rather be an object of pride to his country. On the other hand the soldier who cannot or will not fight but runs away at the sound of the first enemy gun is a shame to his family and a disgrace to his nation. So a Christian who dies in the faith represents no irreparable loss to the forces of righteousness on earth and certainly no victory for the devil. But when whole regiments of professed believers are too timid to fight and too smug to be ashamed, surely it must bring an astringent smile to the face of the enemy; and it should bring a blush to the cheeks of the whole Church of Christ.

The devil’s master strategy for us Christians then is not to kill us physically (though there may be some special situations where physical death fits into his plan better), but to destroy our power to wage spiritual warfare. And how well he has succeeded. The average Christian these days is a harmless enoough thing. God knows. He is a child wearing with considerable self-consciousness the harness of the warrior; he is a sick eaglet that can never mount up with wings; he is a spent pilgrim who has given up the journey and sits with a waxy smile tryint to get what pleasure he can from sniffing the wilted flowers he has plucked by the way.

Such as these have been reached. Satan has gotten to them early. By means of false teaching or inadequate teaching, or the huge discouragement that comes from the example of a decadent church, he has succeeded in weakening their resolution, neutralizing their convictions and taming their original urge to do exploits; now they are little more than statistics that contribute financially to the upkeep of the religious institution. And how many a pastor is content to act as a patient, smiling curator of a church full (or a quarter full) of such blessed spiritual museum pieces.

If Satan opposes the new convert he opposes still more bitterly the Christian who is pressing on toward a higher life in Christ. The Spirit-filled life is not, as many suppose, a life in Christ. The Spirit-filled life is not, as many suppose, a life of peace and quiet pleasure. It is likely to be something quite the opposite.

Viewed one way it is a pilgrimage through a robber-infested forest; viewed another, it is a grim warfare with the devil. Always there is struggle, and sometimes there is a pitched battle with our own nature where the lines are so confused that it is all but impossible to locate the enemy or to tell which impulse is of the Spirit and which of the flesh.

There is complete victory for us if we will but take the way of the triumphant Christ, but that is not what we are considering now. My point here is that if we want to escape the struggle we have but to draw back and accept the currently accepted low-keyed Christian life as the normal one. That is all Satan wants. That will ground our power, stunt our growth and render us harmless to the kingdom of darkness.

Compromise will take the pressure off. Satan will not bother a man who has quit fighting. But the cost of quitting will be a life of peaceful stagnation. We sons of eternity just cannot afford such a thing.

•July 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

“There is not a place to which the Christian can withdraw from the world, whether it be outwardly or in the sphere of the inner life. Any attempt to escape from the world must sooner or later be paid for with a sinful surrender to the world.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Armed well

•July 16, 2009 • 4 Comments

Send me not naked into this battle, o Father. Am I not thy son, and art thou not my Father? Dress me in Thy royal robes, and put upon me your own armour. I know, and Thou knowest yet more fully, that I am witless and nothing. Thy enemies pursue me where ever thou has sent me. Do not let me fall to their wicked schemes. For the sake of thy name, O Father, arm me for this fight. Your glory fills the halls where you reign, and Thy name shall be known in all the land. I will bear Thy crest, and carry Thy banner. As shields crash and crumble, and the wicked tremble at Your might seen through me, the loudest sound that is never heard, the sound of the heavens announcing Thy coming shall resound. Magi, sorcerers, and dreamers alike pause in holy wonder. The day has come! Lift up your head, O you weak and darkly troubled. Incline your heart and your ears for the King is coming! No more shall hell’s raucous tyranny peel away thy very skin and bones. No more shall the dead be dancing with the dead, or the dust whirl with the dust.  The burning, cracking, bursting light of morning, a mysterious and holy morning, slips quietly and politely into the expanses. Every blade of grass, every flower, and every heart reaches for its luminescence. The last fading star inclines the poet to put down his quill, and with a resolute sigh, “Behold the world swaying her orbed mass, lands and spaces of sea and depth of sky; behold how all things rejoice in the age to come. Ah may the latter end of a long life then yet be mine, and such breath as shall suffice to tell thy deeds! O dear offspring of gods, mighty germ of Jove!”

Arm me, O my Father. The day is hastening, and the burning fires of the enemy’s approach burns hot down my very neck. The walls are crumbling down, my hand shakes, and my heart wavers. I have resolved not to surrender, only come, come quickly!

The American Commissars

•July 16, 2009 • 1 Comment

Czar? You mean Commissar

A great blog from Mat Rodina.blogspot, original here: http://mat-rodina.blogspot.com/2009/07/czar-you-mean-commissar.html

There is a new silliness in the Western Anglo Media, comparing the US Emperor’s Czar program to the number of Tsars that Holy Russia had. It is a good thing that the US/UK public is ignorant not only of ancient history but also of recent history, otherwise they might start to worry.

So let us go back and establish some historic references. Czar or rather Tsar, is a degradation of the Latin term Ceasar, similar to Germany’s Kaiser. Ceasar, originally the family name of one Julious Ceasar, who almost became Rome’s first Emperor, before his assassination, lent his family name to the title of Roman emperors.

The first use of the term in Russia was during the reign of Ivan Grozny (Ivan the Feared, which the Anglos mistranslate to “The Terrible”) Before this, the term “князь” knyaz or “принц” prince, was used. The Moscow princes, being the new center of the Rus, Kiev being held by Catholic Poles, were called the grand princes (велики князь).

Ivan Grozny got the other princes under his rule, to refer to him as Tsar. They did it to humor their half mad overlord, not realizing the importance of words. Ivan, however, knew their power and that of titles in the human psyche and knew that once the title of Tsar stuck, he and his prodigy would forever be associated as some one absolutely separate and above the regular knyazi: an emperor rather than a challengable grand prince.

Now we forward several hundred years to the Wall Street sponsored Russian Revolution and Civil War and the Marxists take over of Holy Russia.

In order to control the vast nation and its revolutionary reshaping during a chaotic time, Lenin and later Stalin, created a system of Commissars. These were not limited to military and instilling party loyalty, but were used throughout Soviet society. A commissar and his staff had absolute authority, answering only to the dictator and by-passing the various local councils and people’s senates. Two things to note here:

1. their spheres were ambiguous and often over lapped responsibilities of other commissars. This in turn caused a large volume of infighting. Sure this is very wasteful of resources and confusing, but what it does do, is allow the dictator to keep ultimate power by keeping his most powerful minions at each others throats with the dictator as the ultimate arbitrator of power.

2. The commissars were mostly young, had little achievement outside the power structure, self assured, true believers. They knew very well that outside their positions, created and granted by the dictator, they had little hope of career success. They were given responsibility much higher then their experience levels, further beholding them to their owner. It made them extremely jealous of their power, which in turn made them vengeful against anyone who stood in their way, especially other power hungry commissars.

Fast forward to modern transitional America. The American Emperor has taken the six commissars of his leftist predecessor and created at least 28 more. Yes, commissars do multiply quickly at first and many more are in the works, until the American parliament (congress) and the oblasts (states) assemblies (state senates) are powerless show pieces and all power centers (commissars) flow only to the dictator.

So while the Anglo owned talking mental traps compare the American commissars to Russian holy emperors (Tsars) answerable to God, the Church, holy and societal tradition, the nobility and popular uprisings (we had plenty).

The Commissars (Czars) of Emperor Obama, answerable to none but the Emperor, consolidate power on a level realizable only in the Marxist, Godless society of absolutes, not in a traditional Orthodox Christian monarchy.

So Americans can call them what they want, but we Russians and the US emperor know their true name: Commissar.

Will the Real “Right” Please Stand Up?

•July 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The Associated Press reports, “House Democratic leaders, pledging to meet the president’s goal of health care legislation before their August break, are offering a $1.5 trillion plan that for the first time would make health care a right and a responsibility for all Americans.” With the passing of this bill, “the federal government would be responsible for ensuring that every person, regardless of income or the state of their health, has access to an affordable insurance plan. Individuals and employers would have new obligations to get coverage, or face hefty penalties.” (http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090715/D99EO8BO0.html).

There is a problematic contradiction in this formulation. If healthcare were to be considered a ‘right’, on the same level as the rights in the Bill or Rights and famously declared in the American Declaration of Independence, it would require the state to take property away from individuals through taxation or inflation as well as forcing individuals and companies to use their own money to purchase something by law. They would be required to buy a product. The law, by definition, is coercion. The law only has any bearing as long as it can work forcefully. Murder can only be outlawed if it can be forcefully prevented and punished. The Bill of Rights requires, then, that the law act forcefully to protect the rights outlined therein. With the addition of a right to healthcare, a new set of coercive measures must be taken by the government. Namely, taxation to pay for healthcare, and penalties to require people to purchase healthcare. This ‘right’ is of a different sort than the rights that made up the original framework of this country: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are ‘negative rights’. They are rights that are protected by protecting against actions that would take them away. Murder is negatively punished, because by doing so, it protects and enforces someone else’s right to life. Anything that would hinder the freedom of the press is punished in order to protect that liberty. Anything that would infringe upon someone’s right to legally and freely purchase healthcare should be protected against. A positive right is a right in which something must be given to you that you don’t already have. A ‘right to healthcare’ is a positive right. Yet, positive rights come at the expense of losing negative rights. In order for healthcare to be provided, the government must take property away from someone in order to redistribute it. Or, the government must force people to use their own private money in a certain way so that they get healthcare. The right to property is thus eroded, and stealing by the government becomes a lawful activity.

According to French political philosopher, Frederic Bastiat,

“[the law] could not organize labor, education, and religion without destroying justice. We must remember that law is force, and that, consequently, the proper functions of the law cannot lawfully extend beyond the proper functions of force.”

“But when the law, by means of its necessary agent, force, imposes upon men a regulation of labor, a method or a subject of education, a religious faith or creed-then the law is no longer negative; it acts positively upon people. It substitues the will of the legislator for their own wills; the initiative of the legislator for their own initiatives…Try to imagine a regulation of labor imposed by force that is not a violation of liberty; a transfer of wealth imposed by force that is not a violation of property. If you cannot reconcile these contradictions, then you must conclude that the law cannot organize labor and industry without organizing injustice.”

“With this in mind, examine the protective tariffs, subsidies, guaranteed profits, guaranteed jobs, relief and welfare schemes, public education, progressive taxation, free credit, and public works. You will find that they are always based on legal plunder, organized injustice.” -Frederic Bastiat

When government gets into the business of securing ‘positive rights’, negative rights are lost. The government must steal, trampling upon property rights, in order to secure positive rights. There is no way to solve this contradiction. A government can not secure both. Education, healthcare, welfare and other ‘social justice’ issues destroy true justice. If the law becomes an agent of social justice, it is no longer an agent of true justice and can not protect people against stealing, murder, or anything else that would take away human rights. This was the set up of the totalitarian governments of the 20th century. People could be killed, tortured, stolen from, forced to believe lies, spied upon, in order to institute some sort of ‘social justice’ (like racial purity, or social equality). You can not have it both ways. You can either have your welfare state of positive rights, or your negative rights to protect you against murder, theft, and oppression.

Deuteronomy 16: 20: “Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” -C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis “Great Books” College in the Works

•July 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The learned life is then, for some, a duty.” -C.S. Lewis

http://www.cslewis.org/programs/college.html

C.S. Lewis College

As part of its long-range vision, the Foundation looks forward to founding a fully accredited, four-year “Great Books” college with a School of the Visual and Performing Arts.

The College will be rooted in the historic Christian faith and so structured as to ensure its fidelity to that profession. It will be characterized by a firm commitment to “Mere Christianity,” and therefore be inclusive of Christians of all traditions. In the spirit of C.S. Lewis, the envisioned college will actively encourage opportunities to discover the vitality and profound relevance of the Christian faith as it is lived openly within the larger pluralistic setting of mainstream colleges and universities.

C.S. Lewis College is about to become, at long last, the focal point of the Foundation’s efforts, with the objective of confirming its exact location within the next three years. The four areas currently under consideration include sites close to Princeton, Duke/UNC, Amherst, Massachusetts and Claremont, California.

The Foundation is prayerfully seeking benefactors of vision who might wish to enable the founding of C. S. Lewis College.

Justice Gingsburg: ‘[Roe v. Wade to Limit] Populations That We Don’t Want to Have Too Many Of’

•July 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Justice Ginsburg Says She Originally Thought Roe v. Wade Was Designed to Limit ‘Populations That We Don’t Want to Have Too Many Of’
Friday, July 10, 2009
By Christopher Neefus

(CNSNews.com) – In an interview to be published in Sunday’s New YorkTimes Magazine, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she thought the landmark Roe v. Wadedecision on abortion was predicated on the Supreme Court majority’s desire to diminish “populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

In the 90-minute interview in Ginsburg’s temporary chambers, Ginsburg gave the Times her perspective on Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s first high court nomination. She also discussed her views on abortion.

Her comment about her belief that the court had wanted to limit certain populations through abortion came after the interviewer asked Ginsburg: “If you were a lawyer again, what would you want to accomplish as a future feminist agenda?”

“Reproductive choice has to be straightened out,” Ginsburg said. “There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that changed their abortion laws before Roe(to make abortion legal) are not going to change back. So we have a policy that only affects poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.”

Ginsburg discussed her surprise at the outcome of Harris v. McRae, a 1980 decision that upheld the Hyde Amendment, which prohibited the use of Medicaid and other federal funds for abortions.

Here’s a transcript of that portion of the Times’ interview:

Q. Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

Justice Ginsburg: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the Court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.”

The comment suggested Ginsburg eventually changed her mind and concluded that Roe was not decided with the idea that abortion could be used to limit “growth in populations we don’t want to have too many of.”  But she did not qualify her position that the policy enacted under the case put an unacceptable burden on poor women.

During the interview, the justice also affirmed a position she took on abortion during her Clinton-era confirmation hearing, suggesting the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was a better grounds for justifying abortion on demand than the “right to privacy.”

“The basic thing is that the government has no business making that choice for a woman,” Ginsburg told the Times.

In 1993, she told the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation hearing:

“(Y)ou asked me about my thinking on equal protection versus individual autonomy. My answer is that both are implicated. The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When the government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a full adult human responsible for her own choices.”

The Court legalized abortion under Roe v. Wade based on a “right to privacy” that it found in the 14th Amendment—and not the Equal Protection Clause.  In doing so, it said the state had an interest in protecting the unborn child that increased as pregnancy progresses. Ginsburg’s position that women have an equal right to abortion as a result of their gender would appear to allow for no state restrictions on abortion.