Sucking the Public Tit[This post is -possibly, depending on how things go - the beginning of a short series]

Item I

In 39-40 AD, the Emperor Caligula was determined to set up his statue in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and dispatched his Syrian governor, Petronius, to do so. Distraught over these events, the farmers and fishermen of the Galilee region – who provided most of the food in Palestine, including the Roman armies – met Petronius and half a legion of Roman soldiers on the road from Caesarea to Jerusalem, where they laid down on the road, threatening mass-suicide (followed by starvation of the people in the region) if the mission to desecrate the temple continued.

Petronius stood down and retreated, while in the mean time Caligula was assassinated, and the desecration of the Temple was avoided…

Item II

In 1957, Ayn Rand published Atlas Shrugged, considered one of the greatest fictional works of the 20th Century. In it, Rand visualizes a future America, in which the government has intruded on almost all aspects of life, and forcibly extracts the wealth of “producers” to distribute to the masses (who, generally, are not producers), as a moral imperity.

One of the protagonists of the book, John Galt – an inventor and influential ‘producer’ – quietly organizes a strike of all of the key producers in the country against the corrupt masses who use the law and guilt to confiscate the fruits of their labors (thus the image of Atlas – who holds the world on his shoulders – to “shrug”).

For a brief time, the government drastically tightens its grip, which is really just the beginning of its inevitable collapse. With this as a backdrop, Galt emerges as a unifying figure to remake society in a more fair and equitable fashion.

Tytler CycleItem III

Alexander Tytler, an Eighteenth-Century writer, is credited with making the following observation of the historical cycles of government:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

  • From bondage to spiritual faith;
  • From spiritual faith to great courage;
  • From courage to liberty;
  • From liberty to abundance;
  • From abundance to complacency;
  • From complacency to apathy;
  • From apathy to dependence;
  • From dependence back into bondage.

A number of modern philosophers have studied the “Tytler Cycle”, as it has come to be named, and tend to believe that America is moving into the final stage of the cycle – from dependence back into bondage.

I would agree with them.

Obama Budget BEFORE Adding in Health 'Reform'Item IV

The US government is poised to bankrupt itself in an orgy of spending, by taking over 1/6th of its economy (under the half-baked guise of “moral imperity”) and imposing $300-400 Billion in new taxes on those who can least afford it, along with new fees/taxes on its society’s “producers”. Central banks are dumping the dollar and looking for ways to supplant it with a mixture of other foreign currencies. Smart investors are putting their bets on precious metals and hard commodoties. The Obama administration has placed its bets on grossly obscene spending – like a junkie on a payday coke-bender. And that’s all before we even discuss its upcoming astronomically misguided budget busters – cap-and-tax and a VAT Tax.

Meanwhile, a growing number of conservative/libertarian bloggers lend some support that now may be the time to start “Going Galt”

Item V

In the latter-Twentieth and early-Twenty-First Centuries, the American church predominantly vacates the Democratic parties and moves past healthy support into allegiance with the Republican party, becoming an enabling entity to the GOP, for which it will receive lip service and scraps – much like the monolithic support of the Dem’s by African Americans. Increasingly, moderate-to-liberal Mainline and Evangelical Christians see this support for politics as unhealthy – serving as an appropriate critic to the blind service to the GOP. Then, upon the election of Barack Obama, these groups just as quickly become sycophants of the left – blind to their own equal-and-opposite idolatry.

In the end, it is revealed that far too much of the church – both right and left – have corrupted Psalm 121

lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

My help comes from Washington,
(left) the guarantor of fairness and redistribution.
(right) the protector of ‘Christian values’

In either case – whether seen as pledging allegiance to the flag on Sunday morning, or blessing our new ‘hope and change’ from the pulpit – the salt has lost, or is losing, its saltiness when it sees Washington as anything more than a necessary evil with a VERY limited purpose.

Where From Here?

I have recently been mulling on all of these “Items” – and their obvious connectedness:

  1. I believe that cycles in human history do repeat themselves – even when recognized
  2. I do believe a crash – a huge one – is on the way
  3. I believe that the current administration could do very little, apart from what it is already pushing, to make this crash come sooner and harder
  4. I believe that, the longer the crash lasts, the longer the period of “bondage” will be, and the bloodier its demise will be. In the Tytler Cycle, the transition out of bondage is historically Revolution – often quite protracted and bloody.
  5. I believe that “Going Galt”, as a strategy, has the ability to hasten the crash, but lessen the period of bondage – because it preserves the underlying mechanics of the market while destroying the mechanics of government. In itself, it can create – and bring to a quick end – the Revolution.
  6. Even so – true “Going Galt”, in its purest sense – will result in a LOT of people being hurt…

The question becomes – how does a Christian deal with this situation? Can we “Go Galt” and show compassion in such a way that the next cyclical step – “Spiritual Revival” – be one rooted in a healthy balance between temporal and eternal emphases in orthopraxy?

What would this look like?

In the next article (tentatively), I will try to examine some underlying precepts on a Christian’s “Going Galt”…

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78 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 13th, 2009 at 8:58 pm

We have no king but Jesus. Our relationship with any government must be redemptive rather than entangled. The Tytler cycle may be accurate, however it has no part with us, the followers of Jesus.

Our sails must always be completely unfurled against the wind of the Spirit and never catching the wind of fleeting and partisan political motivations. An 8 year old little girl who trusts Jesus alone every day can be more free than the founding fathers, even as she may climb the steps to the guillotine.

How wonderful is our Lord!

2   Joe C    
October 14th, 2009 at 12:49 am

It Can’t Happen Here

Tell me if you’ve read it.

I’m not sure I buy the hype on all this, but being the sci-fi and end of the world buff I am…it’s interesting. The moral dilemmas you bring up are interesting…and scary.

3   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 1:22 am

Joe –

I’m familiar with it, but I’ve not read it.

Not being a “Left-Behinder”, I don’t look for hope in escape provided by a “we interrupt this economic death spiral to provide deaux-a-machina” ending. Rather, I take the view that we will have to find a way, with God’s help, through this and whatever ills arrive.

I DO see “Going Galt” as a potential tactical response – a lesser of two evils – which is why I’d like to explore this more, to weigh it, and how we could best go about it.

4   Aaron    
October 14th, 2009 at 1:25 am

I saw the Tytler cycle and thought it said “Tyler cycle” as a reference to Fight Club. Hmm, the morals of that book seem to be relevant to the OP.

A very intriguing read, I heartily await your next entry!

5   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 6:29 am

“Rather, I take the view that we will have to find a way, with God’s help, through this and whatever ills arrive.”

A novel idea!

6   M.G.    
October 14th, 2009 at 9:08 am

If Ayn Rand were a virtue theorist (which is a stretch… she’s basically just a second-rate novelist and a third-rate philosopher) her virtues would be something like intelligence, courage, strength, empiricism, and independence.

Her vices would be weakness, compassion, grace, charity, and faith.

Basically, Rand’s stuff is pretty anti-Christ. It’s the crap for puerile teenagers who think (wish) they are smarter than they really are. It’s not for people who love God.

John Galt is the hero, basically, for people who wish they were better, smarter, and cooler than the world.

And the Tytler cycle is even worse. Where is England in this? Bondage? After all, they did manage to kill Charles I 360 years ago.

7   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
October 14th, 2009 at 9:17 am

Chris,

You began this post with a reference to the resistance of Jewish farmers who resisted Rome. It seems to me that their opposition to the statue in the temple was one of moral, perhaps theological, significance.

I wonder if we can say the same about the rest of the post? Can we conclude, justifiably, that the current economic morass is the same as the theological revolution of the Jews? The Jews in your story didn’t have too much issue, as I recall, with the Roman economic imperative. ‘Show me a coin. Whose image is on it?’ kind of thing.

You know, I’m reading through Claiborne’s book right now and I’m mulling over a great deal of revolutionary thoughts. I agree that this problem we have is not one that can be solved in Washington. But the lie continues to spread because Washington continues to feed it.

On the other hand, I don’t know that we have any such imperative (theological or otherwise) to be interested in revolt–although it might be fun. If the cycles happen, they happen. We can not stop them, we should not foment them. As it is, we are strangers in this place, pilgrims, sojourners.

And if the disciples won’t fight for his kingdom, then we shouldn’t fight for this one. In short, I don’t know that the theological resistance of the Jews in Item #1 is the same as the economic resistance suggested in Item’s #2-#4.

jerry

8   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 10:20 am

Jerry,

Actually, I agree with some of your points (and that Rand’s view of society is an amoral, rather than an immoral one).

The curse/blessing of those who might be in the “producer class” as described by Rand is that their basic stance in any crisis is “what should I do now?”

So, for me, as I examine history, as I examine sociology, and as I lay these within the theological framework of what I believe, I see America on a road of inexorable “slow bondage” – only a few years behind the Nanny State of the UK.

So, the question becomes – “do I accept this and become a spectator to the withering decline – or, do I seek a third way – to ‘trip the trigger’ sooner, and artificially – so that the revolution comes more quickly and can be recovered from, more quickly, as well.

Or, to use a word-picture – Do we pull the band-aid off slowly and painfully, while we bleed to death, or do we just yank if off all at once and debride the wound now?

The latter path looks more appealing to me.

MG –

I agree with your moral assessment of Rand – but I think her ideas in Atlas Shrugged have merit and can be built upon in a moral fashion, in the same way that Alinsky’s ideas can work for either end of the political spectrum, even though they were developed for the left.

9   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 10:21 am

Where is England in this? Bondage? After all, they did manage to kill Charles I 360 years ago.

I’d suggest that they’ve been through the cycle, and that – from looking at the Nanny State they’ve become – they’re back to bondage (a few years ahead of us…)

10   pastorboy    http://riveroflifealliance.com
October 14th, 2009 at 10:22 am

Actually, the point is well taken that we ought to, as Christians have a revolution within ourselves first, falling on our face as it were in repentance and allow God tochange us so that we can face an uncertain future with confidence and faith, and be ready to share the only hope-Jesus Christ

11   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

As long as we care about what the antichrist governments do, to say nothing of suggesting God wants us to be entangled with them, we will continue to tread water spiritualy while being blind to the current carrying us away from Christ.

12   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Here is someone else who is also concerned about America’s direction.

The disagreement I would have with the cycle illustration is that I have never seen an entire nation have “spiritual faith”. During the two Great Awakenings this nation approved and turned a blind eye to the systematic torture and bondage to African slaves. And this nation’s so called “liberty” was won through a bloody and violent revolution, completely at odds with those pesky red letters in the gospels.

Unless you only believe Paul and not Jesus. :cool:

13   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Rick –

If the cycle is directionally correct (as a predictive model), I don’t think “spiritual faith” is an assumption of completeness or correctness. However, are there things we could plan for now – or for during a period of disruptive change – that would place the church in a better place?

I do have some ideas for this, but I’m capturing them in the next article…

14   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Yes, but first we need to see things through a spiritual prism without the refraction of any nation or government. The epiphany that would take place when believers are awakened to a foundational error we have all fallen into.

The “orthodx” crowd has a big problem with being called post modern, or seeker, or purpose driven, or followers of Jesus, or even evangelicals sometimes. But this same orthodox crowd has no problem with identifying themselves as conservative Americans. Is it just me, or does anyone else see the obvious hypocrisy here?

15   Neil    
October 14th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

While I agree that evangelicals of the past 50 years have become too aligned/allianced with the GOP. I also do not see anything in Scripture prohibiting Christians from caring about and participating in the political processes of their culture/country.

Therefore, I think such discussion healthy – as long as we do not confuse economic systems with biblical faith – such as lamenting socialism as a proof that we are no longer as Christian as we used to be.

16   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
October 14th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Every now and again I hear from people who say, “Write your congress[it] and protest this or that.” I have wondered about that for a long time.

Should we?

Should we lead the revolution? Participate in it? Should we be caught up in the trappings of those who are already undone? The powers have already been defeated and if the cyclical nature of things is true, then any revolution now would only need to be repeated again later and often and again and it would likely continue growing in violence and bloodshed.

I have a hard time believing we should be. After all, what role does the stranger play? How can a non-native, non-citizen participate in the things only lawful for the citizenry? So I came across this in Claiborne (I’m sure I will wear out his welcome soon if I keep quoting him, but it is surely no coincidence that this post was made at the time I started reading the book):

Jesus and Paul were telling the people that they must live here with their identities as aliens. They must live by the rules of heaven amid the violent earthly powers. And to claim that one’s citizenship is in heaven is to say that you pledge allegiance not to any of the kingdoms of the world but to Jesus and the body of those who take on his suffering, enemy-loving posture toward the world. This is what Peter meant when he called the church ‘a holy nation, a people set apart,’ a people who are supposed to live as ‘aliens and strangers in this land.’ (107)

That may not capture all of it, but it is close. The problem is that I don’t yet know where Claiborne is going to fit the cross. He mentions it often, but not in direct relationship to sin–yet. I’m anxious to see where he takes his ideas and how the cross fits into those ideas.

So I’m not sure if we should participate in or foment revolutionary ideas or revolutions. I think, and here I’m guessing, that the catalysts of revolution might need to come from outside the church. I think for Christians to start it would be a bad, bad idea.

I think we live with the tide. And the church prospers in spite of oppression and violence.

jerry

17   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Socialism is closer to being Christian than is Captalism.

“I also do not see anything in Scripture prohibiting Christians from caring about and participating in the political processes of their culture/country.”

I understand, but can you not see that this type of partcipitation puts believers at odds with each other, both in the same country and among different countries. When believers seek the good of Norway, while we seek the good of America, that is disunity and places between us unbiblical divides.

We are servants of Jesus without any allegiances to anyone or anything else.

18   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 14th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

As long as we care about what the antichrist governments do, to say nothing of suggesting God wants us to be entangled with them, we will continue to tread water spiritualy while being blind to the current carrying us away from Christ.

I understand this and agree with it to some extent, although, I don’t know that we’re given the luxury of simply throwing our hands up in the air and doing nothing.

It seems that if we are given opportunity to influence in some way, we should take responsibility. Christians should work at their given vocation to the best of their ability, and I think within any vocation there are choices that we can make that can be considered Kingdom choices and choices that are “anti-Kingdom”.

I think to deny that is in a way promoting a spiritual/physical divide that isn’t really Biblical. I think the thing that trips people up as far as politics goes is that it’s very easy to start thinking that the solution I think is best or the party I like the most represents some sort of ultimate solution – like if everyone just saw things my way, all the world’s problems would be solved. That is when it becomes idolatry.

19   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
October 14th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

“I also do not see anything in Scripture prohibiting Christians from caring about and participating in the political processes of their culture/country.”

Nothing prohibits it, true, but neither does it suggest that we should either. I think the cross makes it different. And just because, say, Daniel participated doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a good idea. (Although I think I can make a strong case that Daniel and his friends actually subverted the political machinations of Nebby and the like. That is, their interest was disinterest all the way down to the the food they refused to eat. Their allegiance was always the Kingdom of God and we really learn little about what they did–except when they refused to do something, i.e., worship statues, eat royal food, etc.)

Scripture may not prohibit it, but the national political scene is decidedly not the way that God’s Kingdom moves, expands, and takes over the world. The national kingdom, with it’s kings and oppressors, is necessarily opposed to the Kingdom of God.

I don’t think we can serve this master. And I don’t think we should.

20   Joe    
October 14th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Claiborne seems to me to be advocating abandoning government to only “the Pagans” which seems both odd to me and against early church history (even before Constantine)

21   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 14th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I understand, but can you not see that this type of partcipitation puts believers at odds with each other, both in the same country and among different countries. When believers seek the good of Norway, while we seek the good of America, that is disunity and places between us unbiblical divides.

This is true, too, but are believers really required to be of one mind about everything? Even my wife and I aren’t of one mind about everything?

Certainly it isn’t right for believers to advocate killing each other for the sake of their nations, but I don’t see that there’s anything requiring that we see eye to eye on every issue. Again, it’s really a matter of priorities. I think that it’s just very easy to get our priorities all out of whack.

Perhaps for Christians who have participated in political idolatry, a type of political fast would be wise. Maybe stepping back and realizing the weight of the world isn’t on their individual shoulders isn’t a bad idea. Brian McLaren linked to this article in Christianity Today the other day, and I found that the author had a lot of good things to say. I like this paragraph at the end:

Thus the paradox of Christian labor: the master desires one coin to become ten, but the event is in his hand. Strive as if the world is worth dying for, though it is not your death to die. Engage the demonic power systems that comprise the principalities of this world, yet do so knowing that there is nothing you can finally do to them but point to the One who made them a laughingstock on the cross. Labor as if the work of your hands will stand forever, though all that will endure to eternity is the love that occasions it. The distilled worth of our blood and sweat and tears is the testimony they bear to the Lord.

22   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
October 14th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

I understand this and agree with it to some extent, although, I don’t know that we’re given the luxury of simply throwing our hands up in the air and doing nothing.

Why? Because we are Americans?

This is what happens in other countries. This is what happened in Item 1 above. They didn’t revolt, or take up arms, they simply laid down and said ‘do what you will.’

I think we are given that luxury because we are given that choice, that freedom. We don’t have to participate, we don’t have to use the same methods that the world uses.

23   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

“I think the thing that trips people up as far as politics goes is that it’s very easy to start thinking that the solution I think is best or the party I like the most represents some sort of ultimate solution – like if everyone just saw things my way, all the world’s problems would be solved. That is when it becomes idolatry.”

That is the inevitable cycle, regardless if in some rare instance you can remain dispassionate and spiritually aloof. I still feel an allegiance to America in some ways even though I believe it is wrong. Why? because it has been ingrained in my for 57 years.

That is the problem – it is difficult to see something clearly when you have been taught something so forcefully since birth. I would think you enlightened thinkers in other areas would see this easier than others.

I mean here is Chris Lyons, a modern thinker and an obvious student of the Word and progessive thought theologically, and yet he still is engaed with the health care government political game. Is it not obvious that government politics make it completely impossible to achieve anything that is tethered to the kingdom of God?

Sometimes I am a dinosaur, but other times I am dragging you guys into a more progressive and enlightened area. My new book:

“Clairborne, Boyd, and Frueh: Come Out From Among Them!”

24   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 14th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

This is what happens in other countries. This is what happened in Item 1 above. They didn’t revolt, or take up arms, they simply laid down and said ‘do what you will.’

I think we are given that luxury because we are given that choice, that freedom. We don’t have to participate, we don’t have to use the same methods that the world uses.

When I say “participate”, I guess I am not so much thinking of actively participating in the political process through voting, lobbying, etc. as much as I am thinking of being involved in the nuts and bolts of everyday life. The early church was apolitical in the sense that no political party could claim them, but they were certainly political in the sense that they were involved enough in the affairs of the Empire, that they became a nuisance.

I think it’s very easy to simply say I not going to be involved at all and sort of fade into oblivion. That’s what I’m saying we shouldn’t do. I believe there is still a place where we can call for justice and mercy for those on the underside of power without selling out to the system.

25   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

We are supposed to participate in the American system. Our participation is the kingdom of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. All other genres of participation are well represented by others.

26   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

#16 -

Jerry,

You are asking many of the same questions I started asking myself about a month ago, as I started down this train of thought about the direction of society…

Most folks who deal with me day-to-day tend to see me (or at least say they do :) as an optimist – both in general outlook and in my expectations of those I choose to work with. I have not bought into a “path of downward trajectory” – I see the coming crises as opportunities – ones to be prepared for.

I agree with you that the church should not start the revolution – but I think it has a key part to play that fits very much the character that Claiborne is getting at… Assuming my evening goes as planned, I should have the next article done tonight or tomorrow morning – which will include some hints at this…

27   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

My portrait of New Testament believers:

Amish evangelicals that interact with their neighbors. (And are a little more liberal with the clothing and car thing!)

28   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Jerry – “So I’m not sure if we should participate in or foment revolutionary ideas or revolutions.”

We should be because the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most radical revolution of all – or at least it should be. What would the general populace do with people who were not concerned with the garden variety political issues? (money, rights, morality, gays, etc.)

But instead of us being judgmental and harsh, and instead of us spewing political rhetoric, and instead of us protesting the latest fad, we were genuine, loving, and aggresively humanitarian while still sharing the gospel?

29   Neil    
October 14th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Every now and again I hear from people who say, “Write your congress[it] and protest this or that.” I have wondered about that for a long time.

Should we?

Should we lead the revolution?

These are, or course, two different things… technically the American revolution was unbiblical – but that’s not very popular now is it?

But writing to a congressman to share an opinion on legislation is our right as citizens. And while we are citizens of heaven we are also citizens of Rome – so to speak. So we balance the two as Jesus suggested and Paul modeled.

While I agree that we should be careful about promoting national interests at the exense of a brother/sister in other countries (insert Palestinian, Iraqi, Afgani reference here) I see no harm (yet) in having an opinion on an internal matter and expressing it.

30   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Excuse me for the long comment, but this is what a church should be in America:

*****************************

A few years ago Tony (Campolo) flew to Hawaii to speak at a conference. The way he tells it, he checks into his hotel and tries to get some sleep. Unfortunately, his internal clock wakes him at 3:00 a.m. The night is dark, the streets are silent, the world is asleep, but Tony is wide awake and his stomach is growling.

He gets up and prowls the streets looking for a place to get some bacon and eggs for an early breakfast. Everything is closed except for a grungy dive in an alley. He goes in and sits down at the counter. The fat guy behind the counter comes over and asks, “What d’ya want?” Well, Tony isn’t so hungry anymore so eying some donuts under a plastic cover he says, “I’ll have a donut and black coffee.”

As he sits there munching on his donut and sipping his coffee at 3:30, in walk eight or nine provocative, loud prostitutes just finished with their night’s work. They plop down at the counter and Tony finds himself uncomfortably surrounded by this group of smoking, swearing hookers. He gulps his coffee, planning to make a quick getaway.

Then the woman next to him says to her friend, “You know what? Tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m gonna be 39.” To which her friend nastily replies, “So what d’ya want from me? A birthday party? Huh? You want me to get a cake, and sing happy birthday to you?”

The first woman says, “Aw, come on, why do you have to be so mean? Why do you have to put me down? I’m just sayin’ it’s my birthday. I don’t want anything from you. I mean, why should I have a birthday party? I’ve never had a birthday party in my whole life. Why should I have one now?”

Well, when Tony Campolo heard that, he said he made a decision. He sat and waited until the women left, and then he asked the fat guy at the counter, “Do they come in here every night?”

“Yeah,” he answered.

“The one right next to me,” he asked, “she comes in every night?”

“Yeah,” he said, “that’s Agnes. Yeah, she’s here every night. She’s been comin’ here for years. Why do you want to know?”

“Because she just said that tomorrow is her birthday. What do you think? Do you think we could maybe throw a little birthday party for her right here in the diner?”

A cute kind of smile crept over the fat man’s chubby cheeks. “That’s great,” he says, “yeah, that’s great. I like it.” He turns to the kitchen and shouts to his wife, “Hey, come on out here. This guy’s got a great idea. Tomorrow is Agnes’ birthday and he wants to throw a party for her right here.”

His wife comes out. “That’s terrific,” she says. “You know, Agnes is really nice. She’s always trying to help other people and nobody does anything nice for her.” So they make their plans. Tony says he’ll be back at 2:30 the next morning with some decorations and the man, whose name turns out to be Harry, says he’ll make a cake.

At 2:30 the next morning, Tony is back. He has crepe paper and other decorations and a sign made of big pieces of cardboard that says, “Happy Birthday, Agnes!” They decorate the place from one end to the other and get it looking great. Harry had gotten the word out on the streets about the party and by 3:15 it seemed that every prostitute in Honolulu was in the place.

There were hookers wall to wall.
At 3:30 on the dot, the door swings open and in walks Agnes and her friend. Tony has everybody ready. They all shout and scream “Happy Birthday, Agnes!” Agnes is absolutely flabbergasted. She’s stunned, her mouth falls open, her knees started to buckle, and she almost falls over. And when the birthday cake with all the candles is carried out, that’s when she totally loses it.

Now she’s sobbing and crying. Harry, who’s not used to seeing a prostitute cry, gruffly mumbles, “Blow out the candles, Agnes. Cut the cake.”

So she pulls herself together and blows them out. Everyone cheers and yells, “Cut the cake, Agnes, cut the cake!”

But Agnes looks down at the cake and, without taking her eyes off it, slowly and softly says, “Look, Harry, is it all right with you if…I mean, if I don’t…I mean, what I want to ask, is it OK if I keep the cake a little while? Is it all right if we don’t eat it right away?”

Harry doesn’t know what to say so he shrugs and says, “Sure, if that’s what you want to do. Keep the cake. Take it home if you want.”

“Oh, could I?” she asks. Looking at Tony she says, “I live just down the street a couple of doors; I want to take the cake home, is that okay? I’ll be right back, honest.”

She gets off her stool, picks up the cake, and carries it high in front of her like it was the Holy Grail. Everybody watches in stunned silence and when the door closes behind her, nobody seems to know what to do. They look at each other. They look at Tony. (Agnes went to show her mother her cake.)

So Tony gets up on a chair and says, “What do you say that we pray together?”

And there they are in a hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon, half the prostitutes in Honolulu, at 3:30 a.m. listening to Tony Campolo as he prays for Agnes, for her life, her health, and her salvation. Tony recalls, “I prayed that her life would be changed, and that God would be good to her.”

When he’s finished, Harry leans over, and with a trace of hostility in his voice, he says, “Hey, you never told me you was a preacher. What kind of church do you belong to anyway?”

In one of those moments when just the right words came, Tony answers him quietly, “I belong to a church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning.”

Harry thinks for a moment, and in a mocking way says, “No you don’t. There ain’t no church like that. If there was, I’d join it. Yep, I’d join a church like that.”

**********

I’d join that church too.

31   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

A Christian attitude here.

32   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

#27

I fully agree, Rick.

“Going Amish” would have the same affect on the economy as “Going Galt”…

I’m writing that one down for later…

33   Aaron    
October 14th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Rick,

That was a wonderful story to read, thank you for that. :) It very much made my day.

-Aaron

34   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 14th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I like that story, too, Rick…

The irony, of course, is that Tony Campolo is not exactly what you would call politically uninvolved. He was Bill Clinton’s spiritual adviser and he’s been pretty active in the Democrat Party. I don’t really hold that against him or anything. I like a lot of what he has to say, really. I just find it somewhat ironic that you posted that story… ;-)

35   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

I don’t everyone to the same level of perfection that I have ahchieved. :cool:

36   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

What Church Would You Join?

Brothers, if it’s all about written theology then sinners are in trouble because we need not eat with prostitutes, addicts, and most of all pink boa wearing gays.

And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Somewhere in a drug infested dive Jesus sought me and found me. Thank God the Savior has a place in His heart for the vilest among us, of which I count myself as a charter member.

37   nc    
October 14th, 2009 at 6:28 pm

“Going Galt” in Rand’s thinking is a pure laissez-faire capitalism.

We’ve already seen how that works in the past…

Ayn Rand’s ideal “producer” and society was as godless and unchristlike as the Soviet Union that she was over-reacting against in her writing.

just my 2 cents.

38   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 7:22 pm

“Going Galt” in Rand’s thinking is a pure laissez-faire capitalism.

We’ve already seen how that works in the past…

Unless you’re somewhere other than America, no we’ve not…

government meddling has been part of the US pot from the beginning…

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Greed is a Biblical word for “capitalism”.

40   M.G.    
October 14th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Chris L.,

To be clear, you think the answer to CEOs who can bankrupt companies with a golden parachute, banks that can slice and dice collateralized debt obligations to the point of unrecognizability, and investment banks that can be become so highly leveraged that they burst at the slightest touch is *less* regulation, not more?

Really?

Modern Capitalism is a game that can be played, creating short-term incentives to engage in behavior resulting ultimately tremendous negative externalities. People who deny this simple fact usually just speak in the broadest of platitudes… kind of like Ayn Rand.

41   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Greed is a Biblical word for “capitalism”.

No, “Greed ” is a Biblical word for Greed.

Capitalism is simply the fair exchange of goods and services for an equitable price.

Government’s primary role is ensuring the exchange is fair and equitable – primarily by regulating monopolies and intellectual property.

Greed enters when people try to jigger what is “fair and equitable”…

42   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 8:00 pm

MG -

The Bank failures came about because of perverse government pressure to lend to people who obviously could not afford it – combined with allowing lending practices that could not be backed with solid investments.

The regulations that were in place had perverse incentives (kind of like health care), rather than simple accounting rules & regs. Unfortunately, Congress is better at turning out crap like Sarbanes-Oxley – which costs lots of money, business start-ups and jobs, while gaining nothing.

43   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Modern Capitalism is a game that can be played, creating short-term incentives to engage in behavior resulting ultimately tremendous negative externalities.

Seeing how the “incentives” come from government meddling (example – forcing lenders to lend to people who can’t afford it out of “fairness”…), not from the market, itself, it doesn’t seem like it is a failure of the marketplace…

44   M.G.    
October 14th, 2009 at 8:05 pm

RE:43

Nope, sorry… wrong. Money doesn’t come out of nowhere. Prior to the financial crisis, the world was awash in capital, mostly from China, which needed to be parked somewhere. Trying to blame both the housing and finance bubbles solely on Fannie Mae is disingenous, at best.

45   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

The most expensive boondoggle in the past decade was…(drum roll)…the invasion of Iraq, and it’s not over yet.

Afghanistan will be moving up the charts soon.

46   merry    
October 14th, 2009 at 8:12 pm

The question becomes – how does a Christian deal with this situation?

There are some scary times going on, but I also see God working in huge ways lately. It isn’t time for fear, but for Christians to have faith. If we could quit the kneejerk reaction of running for the hills out of fear, we’d see some awe-inspiring things happen, I think.

47   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Merry,

I agree, which is why I wouldn’t advocate a full-on “Going Gault” in which we ‘headed for the hills’. Instead, I’d just suggest we give the forces at play a push in the direction they’re already headed…

M.G.

It wasn’t a LACK of regulation that caused the financial crisis. It was an abundance of meddling (not just Freddy and Fanny), sanctioned loopholes, and a willingness of the regulators to look the other direction when it served their political purposes.

48   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

“Government’s primary role is ensuring the exchange is fair and equitable – primarily by regulating monopolies and intellectual property.”

Using the words “fair and equatable” as it pertains to governments is niave. But the elephant in the room is that the largest and most inequitable monopoly in America IS the government. I cannot imagine how anyone can believe that when carnal mean women, with all their sinful accoutrements, suddenly become sacrificially equitable especially when they are faced with unimaginable temptations.

The answer – they become worse. But we can continue to hope.

49   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 8:21 pm

“carnal men and women”

BTW – When we get all entangled with government issues (mostly money issues, the abortion thing has died down) it’s like acquiescing our freedom to the government. God’s will for Paul was that he would die at the hands of the government. That is the template for us – serve Christ and leave the politics to Satan, he’s better at it anyway.

50   M.G.    
October 14th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Two quick thoughts…

First, the idea that “sanctioned loopholes” does not amount to a lack of proper oversight is practically Orwellian…

Second, Rick, did you know that politics is nothing more than the process of getting along? That’s it. I understand your sentiment regarding the corruption of the American political process… but you musn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Avoiding politics is like avoiding air… it can’t be done.

51   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Governmental politics is what I am referring to. Combine power, money, and the need for self promotion to retain those two, and voilà, you have a continuing corruption.

The answer is the gospel.

52   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 9:07 pm

MG –

“sanctioned loopholes” as a lack of oversight?

It’s like dynamiting a new channel for a river and then complaining that it runs too fast through the new channel.

If you create simple fail-safes (like requiring lended money have solid assets behind them, and that those borrowing the money have justifiable means for paying it back over the life of the loan) and then turn around and create loopholes in the rules for personal or PC reasons, it is not a sin of “underregulation” – it is a sin of meddling and trying to play favorites in a free market.

53   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 14th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Is usury Christian?

54   nc    
October 14th, 2009 at 9:30 pm

i guess my main point, Chris L, is that Rand was uncompromising in her economic POV.

laissez-faire is not the answer.

she was over-reacting to the ugliness of her experience with the other side.

your ideas are intriguing, i just don’t know if Rand is the one to help you get where you want to go.

55   nc    
October 14th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

btw,

if anyone really believes anymore that “the market” is a self-correcting thing…

you’re naive…at best.

seems to me that some regulation by government isn’t meddling…

isn’t it an out growth of punishing evil and rewarding good?

unless that strict take on the biblical role of government that gets trotted out only applies to moralistic behavioral issues and the prosecution of war.

so don’t touch my money, but do pass laws about what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms.

seems to me a lot of conservative Christians would be totally ok with that.

56   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 14th, 2009 at 9:43 pm

if anyone really believes anymore that “the market” is a self-correcting thing…

you’re naive…at best.

I don’t see how it’s naive – the market is self-correcting. What happened with the latest bubble was that financial products were created that in essence passed the risk of this correction onto largely unwitting investors. Too many people were simply operating under the assumption that housing and real estate prices would perpetually rise. So, yes, in one sense greed was a motivation behind this mess. But you can’t really blame natural market forces for working the way they work.

seems to me that some regulation by government isn’t meddling…

isn’t it an out growth of punishing evil and rewarding good?

In some sense, I suppose that’s true, although ideally, I don’t think it’s the government’s place to necessarily reward anyone. I would say that at the most basic level, its job is to protect the rights of all citizens equally. And there is room for regulation within that scope.

57   nc    
October 14th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

was anybody offended at the idea of a golden toilet and a 17 million dollar office renovation for a CEO during the bailout?

does anyone see that such spending is immoral and wrong even if the economy was sound?

i know it’s not popular to say such things…i know some people think it’s wrong for someone to make a value judgment about how much money people are making…

but beyond issues of “socialism vs. capitalism” there’s simple right and wrong. especially in light of the experience of global poverty, virtues of prudence and temperance and, more importantly, the christian witness of moderation, sacrificial self-giving, etc. etc.

the church doesn’t have a stake in “socialism vs. capitalism”. The church has a stake in bearing witness to a Kingdom that is coming that will sweep away BOTH and judge all human endeavors apart from God.

golden toilets are immoral. legal, but immoral.
10k shower curtains with diamonds sewed into it is immoral. (a la Ken Lay’s NYC penthouse bathroom)

again, legal, but immoral.

Rand would HATE it that people say that…but she was wrong insofar we’re talking about the degree to which she advocated for the kind of immoral capitalism she favored.

Jesus isn’t coming back to affirm democracy and capitalism.

58   nc    
October 14th, 2009 at 9:50 pm

hi phil,

hope you’re doing well.

the idea that the market is self-correcting is one that is based on the idea that people will not act against their own interests.

people all over were acting against their own interests for short term gains.

rules/regulation isn’t a bad thing.

we like rules for everything else…we need them.

i just don’t understand why people suddenly think it’s wrong/suspect to have rules when it comes to the economy.

59   nc    
October 14th, 2009 at 9:52 pm

#57..

I said Rand would HATE, etc. etc.

i should’ve said she “would have HATED”…

i mean, she’s dead and all…

60   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 14th, 2009 at 9:54 pm

was anybody offended at the idea of a golden toilet and a 17 million dollar office renovation for a CEO during the bailout?

does anyone see that such spending is immoral and wrong even if the economy was sound?

i know it’s not popular to say such things…i know some people think it’s wrong for someone to make a value judgment about how much money people are making…

Well, it is offensive, of course, but it gets back to the idea of why should we be surprised when the world acts, well, worldly? I don’t think Christians should defend or condone that behavior, but I don’t know that it is worth the moral outrage. America isn’t a Christian nation by an stretch of the imagination.

What I find much more disturbing is the fact that the average American Christian only gives 2-3% of their income away and the American church spends 80% of its money on itself. That is what we will be held accountable for – not the size of a CEO’s bonus.

Until the Church can lead by example, it really has no valid prophetic voice.

61   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 14th, 2009 at 10:02 pm

the idea that the market is self-correcting is one that is based on the idea that people will not act against their own interests.

people all over were acting against their own interests for short term gains.

rules/regulation isn’t a bad thing.

we like rules for everything else…we need them.

i just don’t understand why people suddenly think it’s wrong/suspect to have rules when it comes to the economy.

I don’t think it’s wrong to have rules at all. For example, there are plenty of rule regarding insider trading, short-selling and the like that make perfect sense.

The rules that I don’t think are great are the ones that try to negate risk or shield people from their own stupidity. I.e, if someone wants to invest in an inherently risky proposition, I don’t know that they should necessarily be prevented. However, I do think that there should be laws that require full disclosure of what these financial instruments actually are in clear terms.

62   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 14th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Oh, and nc, I’m doing fine… I hope you’re doing well also!

63   nc    
October 14th, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Phil,

glad to hear it.

i hear what you’re saying about the world/worldy action, at the same time i see Christians un-bothered OR outright defending such behavior in the interests of “american” ideals.

in light of people dying for lack of food and clean water (solvable problems), I think a golden toilet does merit outrage.

my darker impulses unmoderated by my non-violent values would like to see that CEO shot…publicly.

but i hear what you’re saying…

64   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 15th, 2009 at 6:16 am

Let us be candid. Almost everything the government does and stands for, even the best parts, are either at odds with or are worthless counterfeits to the kingdom of Christ.

Even if there were no golden toilets, and even if the government was the most philanthropic organization on earth, it would still draw men’s allegiance, dependence, and hearts to see the government as their provider/god, protector/god, and adovocate/god.

I remain somewhat confused as to the meaning of God ordaining human government. The best I can resolve in my own mind is the creation of the institution of government since to believe God directly placed Hitler and Stalin etc. in power is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Himself.

We as followers of the living Christ have no part in the contrivances of men, especially when those contrivances suggest a substantial element of “parenthood”. Our attitudes should never be smug or superior, but the followers of Jesus should obey the law with humility and grace, but with a serpent’s wisdom that realizes the government has no place in our divine calling.

I honestly and before Jesus my Lord believe that becoming involved with the government and politics has been a subversive influence on genuine Christianity and has surreptitiously stolen the spiritual value from the church. Like Hezekiah showing the golden artifacts in the temple to the Babylonians, only to have them return and steal them later, the church has built an unholy alliance with the government and hasn’t realized the high cost of that alliance.

I believe many Christians, like me, who once did not give it a second thought, are rethinking this entire government issue. I judge no one but myself, but I believe I have a responsibility to speak out about these issues. And if we “left behinders” are wrong, and if we are to affect this world for Jesus instead, then I would assume that this issue might be a paramount prerequisite before the Kingdom of God can thrive apart from compromise and dilution.

Nations rise and fall, but that fact is of no importance to me. God’s kingdom will continue for eternity. Men may call me an American, but I am a child of God, a brother of Jesus Christ, and a citizen of a country that is not of this world. And as such, I am free from any government or earthly king regardless if I wind up in jail, or wind up destitute, I will still be free.

In some ways the preacher in China who is spending his 20th year in prison is more free than many American Christians who believe their “freedoms” are being stripped away from some earthly government.

In Oregon some apartment complex attempted to make people remove their display of the American flag since they claim it might offend their diverse clientel. That is goofy to me, however how should we as followers of Jesus Christ react to such a thing? Here is how a professing follower named Ingrid reacted to it:

“My advice is for any Oak Apartment resident who is offended by the American flag to leave the country within 24 hours. If you’re so “diverse” that you despise this country and its freedoms, than what in the name of common sense are you doing here? Return to your superior homeland and free up some housing for those who love America!”

If that isn’t modern day idolatry I don’t know what is. And that is only one example of how we have lost sight of our unseen kingdom in favor of some misguided, prideful, and caustic allegiance to even a flag itself.

65   troy    http://www.sheepandgoats.blogspot.com
October 15th, 2009 at 8:59 am

#64
Good points, Rick.

RE: our freedoms being stripped: what freedoms did Jesus Christ guarentee us? Maybe a freedom ‘from’ sin, but what earthly freedoms?
In fact, He taught us to give up our rights.

66   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 15th, 2009 at 9:22 am

The Dow went over 10,000 while unemployment soars. The rich rejoice, especially because they can build bigger capitalist barns!

This just in: Jesus was discovered among the poor and without a stock portfolio.

67   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
October 15th, 2009 at 9:56 am

in light of people dying for lack of food and clean water (solvable problems), I think a golden toilet does merit outrage.

my darker impulses unmoderated by my non-violent values would like to see that CEO shot…publicly.

Well, I hear what you’re saying as well, but the way I see it, the problem is not really capitalism, but rather the choices of individual capitalists. Saying there is something inherently wrong with the capitalist system is akin to saying there is something inherently wrong with a car, or perhaps more to the point, the car’s engine, after someone is hit and killed by the car. The car is simply a vehicle that was directed by the driver, and if a car hits and kills someone, the fault lies within some other entity, i.e., the driver of that car, the decision of a pedestrian to jump in front of a car, etc. Now of course, we can design cars with safety features that try to limit risk to some extent, but there’s nothing we can really do to prevent a determined homicidal driver from driving his car into a crowd of people.

At the heart of it, it really get to a discussion of responsibility of freedom. If you want a system that enables people to do great good, that system inherently will enable them to do great harm. For example, God created us with the capability to make choices that will turn us into people like Mother Theresa, but we could also make choices that will turn us into the next Hitler. That’s not a fault of creation, it just that freedom of choice is really irrevocable. You can’t say to someone, you’re free to invest your money as wish and make a profit, but then at a later time, limit the profit they make.

I guess what I’m getting at, is that if we are going to agree to have a system that offers rewards for risk across the board, we are going to have to accept the fact that there are some people who use their rewards in ways that we do not approve of. The way to change the behavior of the richest of the rich is really a moral change that has to take place within that person’s heart, and it can’t be really enforced externally. Jesus never said anything to make Zacchaeus give back what he had taken unfairly. Zacchaeus gave it freely because his heart was changed.

In my opinion, both the left and the right will fail at what they want to accomplish politically because the government can never change men’s hearts.

68   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 15th, 2009 at 10:15 am

“In my opinion, both the left and the right will fail at what they want to accomplish politically because the government can never change men’s hearts.”

Phil Miller circa A.D. 2009

69   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 15th, 2009 at 11:10 am

The Dow went over 10,000 while unemployment soars. The rich rejoice, especially because they can build bigger capitalist barns!

Rick – I’d note that the only reason the Dow is over 10,000 is because the dollar continues to plunge in value. I don’t know many people ‘rejoicing’ that the Dow is ‘recovering’ – at least those who understand investment and aren’t trying to sell fake sunshine…

70   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 15th, 2009 at 11:20 am

The money systems of this world are profoundly antichrist. And I am amazed that orthodox believers who shout and stomp about the gay issue, are blind to the overwhelming number of verses and teachings that completely countermand their own financial practices.

It leads me to this: If there are 10 verses that have some gay references, and 100 verses that clearly castigate greed and avarice, what am I to assume about each? It is much easier to attack gays then to examine ourselves in the light of Scripture as it pertains to money.

I will say it again – Shane Clairborne’s financial views are light years closer to the New Testament than most of the orthodox evangelical practices.

71   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 15th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

72   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
October 15th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Chris L,

I thought the celebrity video was stupid but slightly humorous. That video, however, was hilarious.

73   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 15th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I liked this one, too, though I think the first one is a bit better focused on the problem:

74   nc    
October 15th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

i hear you phil, but if capitalism is merely a neutral set of economic theories/practices, then the same can be said of socialism.

75   Kevin I    http://ominousknife.com
October 20th, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Wow, thought I accidentally went to Verum Serum, which is usually where I go if I want weird political rants to creep into a blog I go to to read about church and spiritual matters.

I’m not one to tell you what to do with your blog (and you can check my record of comments, It’s usually a pretty rah-rah kind of streak) but this seems like an odd distraction for the blog.

I know one of the ending paragraphs tries to spiritualized it by saying “how can a Christian go about this? which was a way of saying “if you’ve followed me up this list of hypothetical situations to stand many rungs at the top of this construct I’ve presented, here’s how a Christian can go about it”

Just odd, and suprised to see it here.

Also, if you want to see the logical end of Ayn Rand style philosophy, play through Bioshock.

76   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
October 20th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Kevin,

Some of Rand’s ideas have a degree of merit, though I would agree that one need diverge before reaching some of her end conclusions.

77   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
October 20th, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Ayn Rand is one of a number of erudite philosophers who present thoughts and ideas in a circular fashion with no foundational reference material except her own lifetime experiences and her own collective observations.

“Some of Rand’s ideas have a degree of merit”

That describes the entire human race.

78   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
October 27th, 2009 at 9:55 am

Chris,
I haven’t been blogging at all lately but saw in incoming link to my own blog from this site.
Why in the world are you linking a pray I posted by John Eldredge to your post, insinuating that it is a prayer from the “left” to put trust in the government?

How absurd of you. Yet, I am not surprised.