Gun Control, Old Testament Style

By Steve Matthews

taking aim

Until just a few years ago I had never fired a gun. Mind you, it wasn’t that I was opposed to gun ownership. That was never the case. I understood and supported the constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms. It just seemed to me that the Second Amendment had little application to my life. It was for others to uphold, not for me.

About four years ago all that changed. I bought my first gun and since then have acquired more. I did this for both symbolic and practical reasons. Free men tend to be armed men, and as the attacks on gun ownership mounted over the years, I more and more felt called to support in practice what I have always believed in my heart. Further, I must confess that the temptation to engage in an activity so hated by the Obamas, Feinsteins and Bloombergs of the world is absolutely irresistible. Ah, the joy of bitterly clinging to guns and religion.

Of course, the practical case for gun ownership is at least as compelling. I hate the thought of living life as a victim. Street thugs and tyrants alike offend me, and I have no intention of being and easy mark for either. Few things say I’m serious about life, liberty and property like a loaded gun and the ability to use it if need ed.

It was for defense against crime, and in particular state-sponsored crime, that was the impetus behind including the Second Amendment in the Constitution. Economist Walter Williams, long a hero of mine, recently wrote a wonderful column in which he cites several American founding fathers, true patriots all, speaking with one voice on the relationship between an armed citizenry and freedom. You can read it here.

But Williams didn’t leave it at that. Not only did he quote those who defended the right of citizen’s to bear arms, but he also provided a few juicy statements from various and sundry tyrants who, with very good reason, preferred to keep their jackboots on the necks of the defenseless than take their chances with a nation of gun owners. One quote in particular stood out. It reads,

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to posses arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.”

Now there’s insight for you courtesy of a true prince of tyrants, Adolph Hitler. But Der Fuhrer was in no way being original when he made this statement. Almost as if to prove Solomon’s point about there being nothing new under the sun, the Old Testament relates the story about a like minded gang in 1 Samuel, chapter 13. There we read,

“Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, ‘Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears.’ But all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to sharpen each man’s plowshare, his mattock, his ax, and his sickle; and the charge for a sharpening was a pim for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to set the points of the goads. So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, but they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son.”

And there you have it, gun control Old Testament style. The Philistines enjoyed being in the driver’s seat did not want the Hebrews armed “lest they make swords and spears” and turn them on their Philistine “benefactors.” But as bad as the Philistines and Nazis were, in one respect they were better than contemporary gun grabbers: they told you the truth about why they were taking people’s weapons. Sentimental and sanctimonious propaganda was not for them. It was all about the power, the power, and, lest I fail to mention it, the power.

Further, the loss of weapons was accompanies by the loss of other freedoms. In this case, the text specifically mentions the loss of economic freedom. To ensure that the weapons ban was effective, the Philistines didn’t stop at just confiscating weapons, they went to great lengths to suppress an entire Israelite industry, “Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel.” Not only did the Hebrew people suffer the loss of their weapons, but also an entire industry. In this you can see the logic of tyranny at work. To effectively suppress one freedom requires the suppression of other freedoms, the logical stopping point of which is a charming society along the lines of East Germany.

Of course, even the most competent tyrants usually fail to remove all the potential dangers to their authority. If the Philistines really had known what was good for them, they would have shown more concern about banning stones. They should have realized if one were to fall into the hands of the wrong person, he could put someone’s eye out, or worse.

obama_hitler_stalinIt is worth noting too, that while the common Hebrew people did not have swords, somehow Saul and Jonathan managed to possess them. This seems to be one consequence of the Israelites sinful demand for a king, recorded in 1 Samuel 8. When the Hebrew people asked for a king to fight their battles like all the other nations, they were sternly rebuked by Samuel, who warned them about the high-handed, arrogant behavior of the future king. And Saul, the incipient tyrant of the homegrown variety, would not suffer himself to be bound the rules governing the common folk.

Another lesson we can take from the account in 1 Samuel is that our freedom does not depend upon gun ownership, gun ownership depends upon freedom. When the Israelites escaped from bondage, plundered the Egyptians and saw the destruction of Pharaoh’s army, they did so not on their own steam, but by the mighty hand and outstretched arm of God. They trusted in God and he delivered them. Later, the Lord furnished his people with more ordinary means of defense. The Hebrews were an armed people, because they were first a free people. And yet their armaments were of little help their struggle against Philistia. Why? In the Old Testament when Israel was defeated in battle, it was never due to lack of men or shortage of arms, it was due to sin. The nation first was enslaved spiritually, temporal conquest, including the loss of their swords and spears, came later.

Americans are a gun owning people, because they were first a free people. And they were a free people, because they were a Gospel believing people. Jesus’ words, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free,” is not a reference to spiritual freedom only, but has implications for political freedom as well. The founding of the American republic was a political by-product of the Reformation. But Americans today have largely rejected the Christian teaching and no longer believe what their 18th century ancestors believed. We have become enslaved spiritually and are, therefore, in the process of becoming enslaved temporally. Unless things change and the Gospel, the good news of what Christ has done to save his people, is once again heard, believed and allowed to influence our public discourse, odds are that one day all of us will be making a trip to our local Philistine blacksmith. And that would be a pity.

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114 Comments on “Gun Control, Old Testament Style”

  1. Steve M Says:

    This post hits the nail on the head. Watch out for hammer-control legislation to follow.

  2. Sean Gerety Says:

    You mean God’s Hammer control ;-)

  3. John McW Says:

    Thank you for this post.


  4. What firearms have you acquired?

  5. LJ Says:

    Train with them. Learn to shoot like a pro, or as close as you can get. Hopefully you won’t need to use them. But the effects of the stress of an actual encounter, the adrenalin rush, will affect your ability to hit your target. Whatever you shoot at the range, in the target ring of a paper target, you can expand by about 10 inches in the event of an actual encounter. Now imagine that at about a 10 – 15 ft. distance in your living room at 2:00 AM.

    Peace, love, and tight groups,
    LJ

  6. LJ Says:

    Sorry Sean, everybody, heck I just ran across this video of Sean at the range, LOL! I didn’t know you were THAT good!!!!!

    LJ

  7. Bob S Says:

    Maybe before gun control comes mind control.

    IOW if the Psalmist tells us that children are like arrows in a man’s quiver (127:4,5), maybe we don’t send them to the Philistines in the govt. schools to get sharpened.

  8. Steve M Says:

    Bob S
    I was raised attending “Christian” churches from childhood, but the first time I ever heard about the doctrine of predestination was at a government high school which was disparaging the idea as a ridiculous notion that puritans and the like used to believe. I think that this nations churches are as much to blame as the government schools for the state we are in.

  9. Hugh Says:

    I would have added Mao Zedong (&/or Pol Pot & Idi Amin?) to the nefarious trio pictured above. @ least Mao,

  10. Bob S Says:

    Steve, I hear you. I still have my eighth grade essay on “The Protestant Reformation” written at Roman Catholic parochial school.
    After attending a Jesuit high school and learning about the gloomy John Calvin and his doctrine of predestination, I ended up at a state university where for the first time in a freshman remedial English class, I heard about the First Great Awakening and read Edwards’ Sinners in The Hands of An Angry God. It’s a sad day when the government does a better job in some respects than Roman or Arminian institutions. But then maybe we shouldn’t expect too much from faux or deficient churches.

  11. Steve Matthews Says:

    The first one I bought was a Smith and Wesson 9 mm M&P pistol. After that it was a .22 rifle, a Ruger LCP for concealed carry and The Judge by Taurus.

  12. Steve Matthews Says:

    Thanks, Steve. I think I’d better make a trip to the hardware store while I can.

  13. Steve Matthews Says:

    Agreed. I say that as a former government school student myself. It took me years to unlearn all the false ideas I had drilled into me in public school.

  14. Steve Matthews Says:

    You’re welcome, John.

  15. Anthony E. Fierro Says:

    Absolutely awesome!

  16. Pht Says:

    Great article sean. I either didn’t know or remember that particular OT reference; glad to have it.

    Just my mostly uniformed 2c, but I do wonder if a part of why we are commanded to defend ourselves and others from unjust violence doesn’t have to do with the inherent irrationality in those sorts of immoral and violent crimes…

    That and the fact that these criminals seem to be trying to take somewhat of God’s sovereignty to themselves.

    It would seem to be a direct assault on the image of God in man…

    —-

    While written from a secular viewpoint, and exhibiting the usual epistemic holes because of it, I believe these two articles still manage to stumble upon some biblical truths:

    http://www.rkba.org/comment/cowards.html

    Pretty much kicks the whole idea of “roll over and do what you’re told” in the teeth. Police need to STOP telling people to do this. If someone offers you unjust violence, and it is “in your hand” to resist … do so, in a godly manner, right then and there.

    IMO, this one falls under the whole “don’t do evil so that good may follow” – Always do good, and leave the results in God’s hands.

    When someone offers you unjust violence in order to get something from you – be it a possession or the chance for him to assault our God-given dignity… it is sinful to give it to them.

    If we do so, we have consented to an act of evil – and what is worse, we have reinforced their evil behavior pattern and thinking.

    We have to spend the time thinking over the implications of the biblical worldview/morality on these encounters – when they happen, we won’t have the time to think about what’s right or wrong to do… and sadly, I suspect most of us have most of our thinking on how to resolve these things shaped by movies, TV, and pop culture.

    —-

    This one:

    http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/why-the-gun-is-civilization/

    I like mostly for his pointing out that those who vote for a gun-free society are (knowingly or ignorantly) voting for the tyranny of the many, the young, the strong, the vicious, and the immoral.

    —-

    As far as hardware is concerned: if you’re looking for a very easily concealed defense tool that can be brought to bear quickly and very easily – you’ll always know where the round is going:

    http://www.crimsontrace.com/products/manufacturer/kel-tec-pistols/01-2040

    Unlike most of these pocket size guns, this one doesn’t seem to have the habit of jamming or being ammo-picky. For people with big hands, get the original manufacturers extended clip; it gives you more handle to hang onto.

    Yes, it’s a “mouse round,” but the point of the thing is that the most useful defense tool is … the one you have. Your average 9mm/.40-.45 doesn’t fit in a pocket and profile as a wallet. For that matter, if you’re really desperate, you can point-shoot the thing from *inside* your pocket. Scary, yes, but potentially life-saving, if you’re careful.

    I think as far as the rest is concerned… we all know that shotguns, the bigger the better, is the rule for in the house. Just be careful about overpenetration!

  17. Pht Says:

    Well, pardon me, Good article, Steve! … I should pay more attention!

  18. Angelo Says:

    Well, I think Ryan H. Has won the debate on the Trinity.

  19. Sean Gerety Says:

    @Angelo. It would be true if Ryan actually believed in the Trinity, but he doesn’t. In the future your posts will be banned if they’re posted on a thread that has nothing to do with the topic.


  20. @Pht. Thanks, I’m glad you liked the article.

    Regarding the nature of violent, criminal acts, it is better to call them sinful or evil rather than irrational. Men always act purposefully and in their own perceived self-interest. The problem with murderers is not that they are senseless, but rather that they have evil intent

    Your point about the murder being an assault on God’s image is supported by Gen.9:6. There, capital punishment for murder is based on the the fact that man is made in the image of God.

  21. Steve M Says:

    “Regarding the nature of violent, criminal acts, it is better to call them sinful or evil rather than irrational. Men always act purposefully and in their own perceived self-interest. The problem with murderers is not that they are senseless, but rather that they have evil intent”

    Amen!

  22. LJ Says:

    Heading to the desert this weekend to run my AR for several hundred rounds. Depending upon what further restrictions our benevolent government decides is best for us, this may be one of my last trips. Of course here on the Left Coast they’re likely to make the laws even worse if that’s possible.

    So here’s to beautiful wide open spaces, the 2nd Amendment, and practice, practice, practice … which just happens to also be fun, fun, fun!

    Wish yall could be there!

    LJ

  23. Steve M Says:

    LJ

    Don’t you mean you are heading out with your PR (Practice Rifle)?

  24. Pht Says:

    Steve Matthews Says:

    January 14, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Regarding the nature of violent, criminal acts, it is better to call them sinful or evil rather than irrational. Men always act purposefully and in their own perceived self-interest. The problem with murderers is not that they are senseless, but rather that they have evil intent

    … it strikes me that all sins are irrational as well as immoral.

    How can it be rational to decide that it is in your self interest to do something God has not only told us is evil, but that he will mete out punishment for?

    Your point about the murder being an assault on God’s image is supported by Gen.9:6. There, capital punishment for murder is based on the the fact that man is made in the image of God.

    … and that reference is exactly what I was thinking about… Yes, it’s wrong because God says it’s wrong – I was just wondering about the particulars.

    Looks like caesar (version … who knows which) is going to be telling us tomorrow how he plans to make us victims.

    Should be interesting…

  25. Pht Says:

    … and leave it to me to forget the proper blockquote tags!

  26. LJ Says:

    Steve M: Don’t you mean you are heading out with your PR (Practice Rifle)?

    No it’s definitely a non-PC (politically correct) AR that I love to use as a PR!

    Cheers,
    LJ

  27. Steve Matthews Says:

    The Bible tells us there is a way that seems right to a man, the end of which is death. When men sin, they are acting out of a mistaken sense of their own self-interest. In short, they disbelieve God. Adam and Eve did not act irrationally when they ate, they did so, at least in Eve’s case, thinking that they were going to get a better deal by listening to the devil than by obeying God’s commandments. The Bible speaks of Adam’s sin, not his irrationality.

  28. Steve M Says:

    LJ
    I have a problem with accepting the term assault weapon that the left attaches to a certain type of rifle that is more often used for target shooting or hunting than assaulting anyone and is just as useful for self defense as anything else. To concede the term assault rifle as appropriate is to grant the anti-gun lobby a powerful tool in their propaganda effort. Perverting language has been a means to distort the truth on many issues for the left. I have a problem with accepting their phrases and using them myself.

  29. Steve M Says:

    “The Bible speaks of Adam’s sin, not his irrationality.”

    Amen again!

  30. Cliffton Says:

    Sin is by definition against the logos.

  31. justbybelief Says:

    @SteveMatthews

    “I understood and supported the constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms.”

    Great article!

    I do take issue with the above statement, though. I think it would be better to say, “a constitutionally protected right.”

    There is a USA Today poll going around that is being sent via email as follows:

    <>

    There is a link with the above question to vote with a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

    Most 2nd Amendment advocates are fooled into voting ‘yes’ in this poll. Below is my response to someone who sent me the poll via email:

    <>

    The bottom line is that the 2nd amendment is simply a recognition of a right by our founders that preexists human documents. It is endowed by our Creator. If there were no Constitution the right would still exist.

    FWIW, Abraham Lincoln was the one who set the precedence for most of the abuses taking place today at the hands of the federal government–trampling the rightful authority of the state and usurping power not authorized in the Constitution and solidifying power at the national level. The rhetoric now in light of this by the progressives is that the Civil War settled not only the question of secession but also state sovereignty. In other words, federal law trumps state and local law. Always.

    This present attack on our rights did not happen in a vacuum. It has been a long progression. If we don’t recognize one of the major contributors in this downward progression then we can never set it right. It’s like supposed conservatives squawking that we ‘get back to Reagan conservatism.’ If Reagan is as far as we look for ‘conservative values’ we’re in BIG trouble.

    Eric

  32. justbybelief Says:

    Sorry. For some reason wordpress did not like the ‘<>’

    I’m posting again with quotes…

    @SteveMatthews

    “I understood and supported the constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms.”

    Great article!

    I do take issue with the above statement, though. I think it would be better to say, “a constitutionally protected right.”

    There is a USA Today poll going around that is being sent via email as follows:


    USA Today Poll on Gun ownership

    Obama’s new Attorney General, Eric Holder, has already said this is one of his major issues. He does not believe the 2nd Amendment gives individuals the right to bear arms. This takes literally 2 clicks to complete. Please vote on this gun issue question with USA Today. It will only take a few seconds of your time. Then pass the link on to all the pro gun folks you know. Hopefully these results will be published later this month. This upcoming year will become critical for gun owners with the Supreme Court’s accepting the District of Columbia case against the right for individuals to bear arms. After you vote notice the results. Makes you wonder how Obama and Attorney General Holder can be so out of touch with what Americans want and believe.

    The Question is:

    “Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to bear arms?”

    There is a link with the above question to vote with a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

    Most 2nd Amendment advocates are fooled into voting ‘yes’ in this poll. Below is my response to someone who sent me the poll via email:


    I saw this poll before. Holder is correct, the 2nd Amendment gives us nothing, but this does not get him off the hook.

    First of all, the 2nd Amendment is a command. The implications of this is that there are two parties involved in a command–the one giving the command and the one who is to obey the command. In the case of the 2nd Amendment it states, “the right to keep and bear arms [SHALL NOT] be infringed.” The one giving the command is ‘We The People.’ The one who is to obey the command is the Federal Government. It is obvious then,
    that the 2nd Amendment gives us nothing but was written by the people in order to restrain their newly found government. The Declaration of Independence states that our rights come from the Creator. So, when a public servant swears to protect our rights, they are swearing to God that they will protect those rights endowed on us by Him. It is obvious then that most, if not all, of them are blasphemers.

    The bottom line is that the 2nd amendment is simply a recognition of a right by our founders that preexists human documents. It is endowed by our Creator. If there were no Constitution the right would still exist.

    FWIW, Abraham Lincoln was the one who set the precedence for most of the abuses taking place today at the hands of the federal government–trampling the rightful authority of the state and usurping power not authorized in the Constitution and solidifying power at the national level. The rhetoric now in light of this by the progressives is that the Civil War settled not only the question of secession but also state sovereignty. In other words, federal law trumps state and local law. Always.

    This present attack on our rights did not happen in a vacuum. It has been a long progression. If we don’t recognize one of the major contributors in this downward progression then we can never set it right. It’s like supposed conservatives squawking that we ‘get back to Reagan conservatism.’ If Reagan is as far as we look for ‘conservative values’ we’re in BIG trouble.

    Eric

  33. Pht Says:

    Cliffton Says:

    January 16, 2013 at 5:14 am

    Sin is by definition against the logos.

    Bingo. It’s not that I’m trying to say that the traditional definition of sin is wrong; I’m just trying to point out that wrong-thinking, in and of itself, probably fits the definition of a sin.

    I’m thinking in particular of all the times we’re commanded by God to be of sound mind, and that we should stop thinking as children and start thinking like men, etc.

    No, I don’t mean follow human-centered “rationality” – just that it’s basically irrational to go against God’s commands; it would seem that this is a key component of pretty much every sin out there.

    JBB, you’re absolutely correct about the 2nd and how it doesn’t give us any right at all.

    In fact, the framers and founders were worried that the inclusion of the first ten amendments would wrongly give people the idea that it was the government or the constitution that “gave” people these rights.

    How often do we read the pro-ratification (federalist) papers, but never the anti-ratification papers… you can find the fed. papers everywhere, but the anti-fed papers are virtually unknown.

  34. justbybelief Says:

    Pht,

    I think it was Patrick Henry who, in regard to the constitutional convention that replaced the Articles of Confederation, said, “I smell a rat.”

    Weren’t the Anti-Federalists originally called Federalists, and didn’t the Nationalists assume (steal) the ‘Federalist’ title to deceive people into their cause. Hmmm…nothing new under the sun.

    I might add that the Republican Party, whose first president was Lincoln, is the bastard child of Nationalists’ (Whig) tradition. The GOP is big government (in bed with big business) and always has been.

    Eric

  35. justbybelief Says:

    Food for thought…

    The practical difficulty with our government has been, that most of those who have administered it, have taken it for granted that the Constitution, as it is written was a thing of no importance; that it neither said what it meant, nor meant what it said; that it was gotten up by swindlers, (as many of its authors doubtless were,) who said a great many good things, which they did not mean, and meant a great many bad things, which they dared not say; that these men, under the false pretence of a government resting on the consent of the whole people, designed to entrap them into a government of a part, who should be powerful and fraudulent enough to cheat the weaker portion out of all the good things that were said, but not meant, and subject them to all the bad things that were meant, but not said. And most of those who have administered the government, have assumed that all these swindling intentions were to be carried into effect, in the place of the written Constitution.

    –Lysander Spooner

  36. LJ Says:

    SteveM: I have a problem with accepting the term assault weapon …

    Me too. I prefer to call them “defensive weapons.”

    I know most of us support the right to bear arms, but has anyone given due consideration to the right to arm bears? This may be a seriously neglected topic ;-)

    Be that as it may, I’m off to the desert to give that AR, actually a DPMS, 5.56/.223 Oracle, M4 style AR15, California legal (LOL!!), a good healthy workout! And while I’m at it I’ll also work in some handgun practice. Whew, I’m tired already … NOT!

    Cheers,
    LJ

  37. LJ Says:

    BTW, SteveM, you probably already know this but “AR” doesn’t stand for “Assault Rifle.” It’s the abbreviation for “ArmaLite model 15.” ArmaLite was the first developer and manufacturer.

    LJ

  38. Pht Says:

    justbybelief Says:

    January 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Pht,

    I think it was Patrick Henry who, in regard to the constitutional convention that replaced the Articles of Confederation, said, “I smell a rat.”

    I think even Jefferson said something to the likes of his thinking that they should have just modified the articles of confederation instead of deconstructing what had come before.

    Weren’t the Anti-Federalists originally called Federalists, and didn’t the Nationalists assume (steal) the ‘Federalist’ title to deceive people into their cause. Hmmm…nothing new under the sun.

    Yes, there was indeed a name-swap on the topic. You need a score card to keep up with who believed in what…

    —-

    Eech. .223 … good for … what, miniature poodles?

    Had one for a while, never did like that round. You could never predict the ballistic behavior of that round.

    Gimme a good ole’ 308 any day.

    —-

    “assault rifle” – you know what’s funny, the guy that runs “reformed musings” has pointed out that there actually is a military definition for assault rifle – basically, it has to be a rifle capable of selective fire mode. No full auto, no AR.

    Not that any of the talking heads care about definitions …

    Speaking of which, someone ought to go find some of those guys from koreatown who had to use high-capacity semi-auto rifles to … defend their lives and lively hoods.

    I wonder how the media would melt-down if someone told them they needed semi-automatic rifles with high capacity mags to defend themselves from … masses of angry democrat voters!

    (witness virtually every riot in living memory)

    *drumroll – rimshot*

  39. justbybelief Says:

    “Not that any of the talking heads care about definitions …”

    Exactly!

    This is not about logic, reason, truth or anything else Godly, but about full-spectrum-dominance–totalitarianism.

    Eric

  40. LJ Says:

    PHT: Eech. .223 … good for … what, miniature poodles?

    Had one for a while, never did like that round. You could never predict the ballistic behavior of that round.

    Gimme a good ole’ 308 any day.

    Haaaa! Good one. I’ll take that .308 too. But there wouldn’t be enough poodle left to eat.

    May you ever shoot tight groups,
    LJ

  41. justbybelief Says:

    “I’ll take that .308 too. But there wouldn’t be enough poodle left to eat.”

    Use a match bullet–diminished physical effects but just as dead.

    Judge Napolitano has a good article (Guns and the Government) on the limited role of the federal government, even though he quotes Aquinas (who seems to be right in this case).

  42. Hugh Says:

    Taking away guns is the only sensible thing to do!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wt1Zy_ASNyA

    NO GUNS = NO CRIME!

    Guns make good people do bad things.
    ;)

  43. justbybelief Says:

    My gun has told me to do some pretty bad things, so, I took it out and shot it.

  44. Hugh Says:

    Eric- that was the only humane thing to do!

  45. Hugh Says:

    back in the day (BC), we would’ve laughed with the SNL gang:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyMsZsL9Umo

    Today, it’s sad that folks CAN’T do this!

  46. justbybelief Says:

    I loved the lady coming out of her house with a Tommy Gun.

    “… behind every blade of grass.” Just as it should be.

  47. justbybelief Says:

    Good video. Laughter is a symptom of freedom.

    “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Prov. 29:2

  48. Hugh Says:

    in SNL video, the guy chasing the two with pistols reminded me of

    y’all probably saw it, but it’s so good

  49. Steve Matthews Says:

    When Eve sinned, she chose to believe the lies of the Devil and her own sense perception – the tree was pleasing to the eyes, good for food, etc – rather than believing God. Her eating was the result of and consistent with her prior acceptance the devils statements and her own sense perception. Eve’s action was rational in light of what she believed.

    We can see the something similar in the life of Paul. As Saul of Tarsus, he imprisoned believers, because as a good Pharisee he rejected the claims of Christ. His persecution was perfectly consistent with his beliefs, that is to say Saul was acting rationally. Further, his actions were purposeful in that Saul thought he was helping his own goal of advancing in Judaism. Later, he had a change of heart and began preaching the Gospel, an action consistent with his faith in Christ.

    When you say that sin is by definition against the logos, you are correct. But my argument has been – and I’ll have to beg your indulgence if I’ve been unclear – is that when men act, they do so purposefully in their own perceived self interest. The Bible teaches that no man ever yet hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it. When men act, they do so for the purpose of doing what they believe will bring them good. In the case of Eve, that meant eating the fruit. In the case of Saul, that meant persecuting the church of God beyond measure. These were both sinful actions, but they were also rational in that both Eve and Saul were acting in a way consistent with their beliefs and doing so to advance their perceived self-interest.

    The same holds true for murderers, they act in their own perceived self interest. For example, John Hinkley Jr.’s attempt to murder Ronald Reagan in 1981 was meant to impress Jodie Foster. As bizarre and evil as it was, Hinkley’s act was not irrational in the sense that there was no logic or purpose behind it. He had a reason for doing what he did. Likewise, those who commit school shootings have some reason for what they do. They are not acting in an irrational – that is to say random- fashion. They want to accomplish something that they believe – wrongly – will benefit them.

    It seems to me that the very idea of sin depends on rationality. If Adam Lanza’s act of shooting elementary school students were irrational in the sense that no purpose or goal attached to it – and in fairness to you this may not be what you mean by irrational – I don’t see how it could be considered sinful. Guilt requires intent. This is expressed in criminal law by the term mens rea (guilty mind). If a tree falls on a man and kills him, we don’t say the tree murdered the fellow. A tree has no logic, does not plan or have goals, and knows nothing of the law of God. Therefore the tree is not sinful. Men are guilty of breaking God’s law because they intentionally act in a way that is contrary to his revealed will and do so for the purpose of achieving some end (becoming wise, advancing in Judaism, impressing Jodie Foster). And if men act in this fashion, their deeds are not irrational as I have defined the term, but they are, in the language of Scripture, sinful.

  50. Steve Matthews Says:

    @justbybelief

    I’m glad you like it. And, yes, point taken about the wording. Constitutionally protected is the better wording.

  51. Cliffton Says:

    Steve Matthews: Eve’s action was rational in light of what she believed.

    Cliffton: It is against the logos to act in light of a belief that is against the logos.

    Steve Matthews: When you say that sin is by definition against the logos, you are correct

    Cliffton: Therefore there is no sin that is not against the logos…including Adam and the woman’s sin of eating from the tree.

  52. Steve Matthews Says:

    Clifton,

    My argument is that men act purposefully in their own perceived self interest and that this behavior is rational. Eve chose to believe the devil and her own senses and to disbelieve God. In that, she used poor epistemology. But given the premises she chose to accept – you will not surely die, the tree was good for food – her decision to eat was rational, that is to say her action made sense in light of what she believed. Her problem was that she chose the wrong premises.

    Paul makes the same argument in 1 Corinthians when he writes, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:7, 8). Those who crucified Christ were operating under a false set of ideas – what Paul called the “wisdom of this age” in v. 6 – and those false ideas led them to crucify the Lord of glory.

    In logic, one must distinguish between the formal validity of an argument and the soundness of an argument. An argument can be in perfectly valid syllogistic form and at the same time be false.

    Take for example the account in Mark Ch.2 where Jesus heals the paralytic. The account reads, “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ ” If we were to put the Pharisees’ argument into a syllogism, it would something like this: All men who claim to forgive sins speak blasphemy. Jesus is a man who claims to forgive sins. Therefore, Jesus speaks blasphemy. This is a formally valid argument. It is in good syllogistic form. It is rational. It is also, as the logicians would say, unsound. Or to put it another way, it is false and also sinful. And it is false and sinful, because the minor premise – Jesus is a man who claims to forgive sins – is false and sinful. The premise is false, because while Jesus is a man, he is also God. It is sinful, because the Pharisees failed to recognize this fact.

    If it is possible to distinguish between the formal validity of an argument – does the conclusion follow from the premises – and the soundness of an argument – is it true – this means that it is also possible for men to think and act rationally and at the same time sin. So while it is true that all sins are against the logos, it does not follow that they are at the same time irrational.

  53. Cliffton Says:

    The Scriptures call the wisdom of this age, the wisdom of this world, foolishness. End of story. If you are simply trying to make the point that it is impossible to think a contradiction, and men (even sinful men) are the image of God, this is true. However if you are attempting anything more, you are positioning yourself against the Logos. If your “argument” concerns sin, then per your concession, all sin is against the logos, and there is no sin that is not against the logos.

  54. Steve Matthews Says:

    From what you say, Clifton, I think we’re on the same page.

  55. Hugh McCann Says:

    International Disarmament Organization (IDO) sounds pretty contra-Constitutional to me!

    Freedom from war sounds pretty good, though. So too does freedom from disease, poverty, hatred, all want, even fear itself. Oh wait, we’ve tried all this… :(

  56. Hugh McCann Says:

    The logos is logic (a tautology, I know). And as Dr Robbins reminded us, it’s as possible to be too logical as it is to be too healthy or too intelligent.

    Therefore, to be anti-logos (anti-God, since “God is [the] logic”) is to be anti-logic and hence, eminently irrational, no?

    Speaking of rationality: http://www.trinityfoundation.org/PDF/The%20Trinity%20Review%2000246%20Review272masters.pdf

    A quote therefrom: “The gift of reason is our highest and noblest faculty — the ability to think, discern, and weigh things in a sensible, logical, organized, and rational manner. Clearly, when man was first created he was a more glorious image-bearer than now. We have certainly lost the original innocence and unique spiritual compatibility with the Lord. In the Garden of Eden our first parents could hear God’s voice audibly, and talk with him as we now speak to one another. But though the image has become gravely tarnished by the Fall, yet the human race continues to reflect the Creator in possessing moral awareness, an eternal soul, and a rational, reasoning faculty.” {Peter Masters}

    Masters goes on to relate how man tries to suppress his reasoning abilities through drunkenness, charismaticism, and the like.

  57. Hugh McCann Says:

    And from the late Dr Robbins [in the latest Trinity Review]:

    “In the act of speaking God reveals his rationality: The laws of speech are the laws of logic. The rules of grammar are derivative from the principles of logic…

    “In the act of distinguishing, God reveals not only his rationality, but also the rationality of the creation, which is implied by John’s statement that “All things were made through him [the Logos], and without him nothing was made that was made.”…

    “By separating one thing from another, God displays his rationality as well as the rationality of the creation…

    “We are commanded to act as rational creatures, to use the gift of rationality that God has given us.
    Judgment
    “Because we are creatures with the gift of rationality, made in the image of the rational God, the Logos, refusing to judge is impossible…

    “…The question is not whether we will make judgments or not, but whether the judgments we make will be righteous judgments or not. Rationality is the ability to judge. To be rational is to make judgments, including moral judgments. Therefore, to refuse to make moral judgments is impossible, for even those who misquote Christ’s words, “Judge not,” judge that those who make moral judgments are wrong. All moral judgments are judgments; that is, they are matters of true and false, right and wrong…

    “Today’s churches and churchgoers lack discernment because they lack knowledge and wisdom. They lack knowledge and wisdom for two reasons: There is a famine of the preaching of God’s Word in America, and churchmen and churchgoers despise logic, clarity, definition, and precision. There is a famine of preaching and hearing God’s Word and a disdain for logic because God apparently intends to destroy us, either temporally or eternally or both. The only way in which to improve the situation is by repenting of the sin of unbelief, the sin of irrationality, the sin of moral agnosticism, the sin of silence, and the sin of collaboration…”

    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/PDF/The%20Trinity%20Review%2000290%20Review309TheChurchIrrational.pdf

  58. Pht Says:

    Steve Matthews Says:

    January 18, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    If it is possible to distinguish between the formal validity of an argument – does the conclusion follow from the premises – and the soundness of an argument – is it true – this means that it is also possible for men to think and act rationally and at the same time sin. So while it is true that all sins are against the logos, it does not follow that they are at the same time irrational.

    How meaningful is it to say that someone is thinking rationally when they haven’t applied rational thinking to the truth of their premises – or in other words, their epistemology?

    While they may be formally right in every argument they make – if they make these arguments based upon first premises that are irrational, all that follows after is still irrational, even if the forms of their arguments after their first premises are correct – because those arguments still stand on irrational grounds.

    The house on the rock and the house on the sand comes to mind…

  59. Cliffton Says:

    Steve Matthews: From what you say, Clifton, I think we’re on the same page.

    Cliffton: So that there may be no confusing of ideas, from what you have said, I do not think we were on the same page.

  60. Steve Matthews Says:

    “How meaningful is it to say that someone is thinking rationally when they haven’t applied rational thinking to the truth of their premises – or in other words, their epistemology?”

    It’s meaningful because it supports my original point that it is better to refer to acts such as Adam Lanza’s as sinful and evil rather than irrational. When man fell, he lost his original righteousness, not his ability to reason. As a result, instead of using his reason to please God, he turned his intellect to do do evil. As the Scripture says, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen.6:5) Notice the language of the verse; “intent” and “thoughts” are acts of intellection. If man became irrational as a result of the fall, it would have been impossible for him to have intents or thoughts. The Bible does not say that man was irrational, it says that he was evil.

    If we accept the idea that fallen man is irrational, then it follows that punishment for sins and crimes is also irrational. God does not hold a tornado responsible for vandalism destruction and murder. Tornados are irrational, they are unthinking, and therefore unable to sin. In like fashion, if we accept that criminal acts are the result of irrationality rather than evil, then we fall into the trap of supporting the insanity defense. If we say that Adam Lanza – or James Holmes, the Colorado movie shooter – acted irrationally rather than with criminal intent, then would you not agree that we must also say that they are not guilty of murder by reason of insanity?

    “While they may be formally right in every argument they make – if they make these arguments based upon first premises that are irrational, all that follows after is still irrational, even if the forms of their arguments after their first premises are correct – because those arguments still stand on irrational grounds.”

    First premises – or first principles – are neither rational or irrational. This is because first principles, as Gordon Clark taught, are selected and are not subject to logical proof. Were they subject to proof, they would not be first principles. However, since we are commanded by God to believe him rather than the devil, any epistemology that rejects God’s revelation in favor of something else – e.g. the lies of the devil – is, by definition, sinful.

  61. Cliffton Says:

    Steve Matthews: From what you say, Clifton, I think we’re on the same page.

    Cliffton: So that there may be no confusing of ideas, from what you have said, I do not think we were on the same page.

    Steven Matthews: “…it is better to refer to acts such as Adam Lanza’s as sinful and evil rather than irrational…instead of using his reason to please God, he turned his intellect to do do evil…if we accept that criminal acts are the result of irrationality rather than evil, then we fall into the trap of supporting the insanity defense…First premises – or first principles – are neither rational or irrational…”

    Cliffton: We are definitely not on the same page.

    Steve Matthews: However, since we are commanded by God to believe him rather than the devil, any epistemology that rejects God’s revelation in favor of something else – e.g. the lies of the devil – is, by definition, sinful.

    Cliffton: …therefore it is against the logos. And if sin is by definition against the logos then it is “better” (your word) to speak of it truthfully. Your continued use of this term (“better”) has no place in a discussion concerning what is true or what is false, what is right or what is wrong. And it is a manifestation of the incoherency of your “argument”.

    This is my last word.

  62. Pht Says:

    Well, let’s see if the blockquote operator works nested… if not, this comment is going to look VERY weird!

    Steve Matthews Says:

    January 20, 2013 at 1:31 am

    “How meaningful is it to say that someone is thinking rationally when they haven’t applied rational thinking to the truth of their premises – or in other words, their epistemology?”

    It’s meaningful because it supports my original point that it is better to refer to acts such as Adam Lanza’s as sinful and evil rather than irrational. When man fell, he lost his original righteousness, not his ability to reason. As a result, instead of using his reason to please God, he turned his intellect to do do evil. As the Scripture says, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen.6:5) Notice the language of the verse; “intent” and “thoughts” are acts of intellection. If man became irrational as a result of the fall, it would have been impossible for him to have intents or thoughts. The Bible does not say that man was irrational, it says that he was evil.

    It’s meaningful because it supports your original point? … Not because it’s more truthful?

    … Wow.

    And if I were to ask you what evil is… you would say it is … ?

    Irrational is not normally used to mean the same thing as “without the ability to use logic” – and I did not intend it as such. However, if you can think of a better word, I’d like to know it.

    To make it very clear, I meant that when we don’t use our God-given ability to use reason, or we use it improperly (using false argument forms), or not applying it to our premises (first or otherwise) we are, contra God’s commands in the bible, denying God’s image in us.

    This is a descriptor of what you are calling “evil” or “sin” – and no, I am not proposing this as a complete definition of evil and sin, but simply as a single necessary part of what those things are.

    “While they may be formally right in every argument they make – if they make these arguments based upon first premises that are irrational, all that follows after is still irrational, even if the forms of their arguments after their first premises are correct – because those arguments still stand on irrational grounds.”

    First premises – or first principles – are neither rational or irrational. This is because first principles, as Gordon Clark taught, are selected and are not subject to logical proof. Were they subject to proof, they would not be first principles. However, since we are commanded by God to believe him rather than the devil, any epistemology that rejects God’s revelation in favor of something else – e.g. the lies of the devil – is, by definition, sinful.

    I wasn’t trying to say that first principals are arrived at as the result of an argument. I was merely pointing out that they are still subject to the standards set by the logos – a first premise of “it is absolutely true that there is no absolute truth” is an irrational first standard and nobody should select it.

  63. Pht Says:

    … greeat. Forgot to close my italics tag. :rolls eyes:

  64. Steve Matthews Says:

    “And if I were to ask you what evil is… you would say it is … ?”

    I use evil and sin interchangeably. My definition of sin is taken from the apostle John defined sin as lawlessness. Or as the Shorter Catechism puts it, “Sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God.”

    “It’s meaningful because it supports your original point? … Not because it’s more truthful?

    … Wow.”

    You had asked me “How meaningful is it to say that someone is thinking rationally when they haven’t applied rational thinking to the truth of their premises – or in other words, their epistemology?” My response, which was an attempt to explain the idea that sin depends upon rationality, was in support of my argument that it is better to call what Adam Lanza did evil and sinful rather than irrational. In that way, it was directly related to our conversation and, in this sense, meaningful. Further, the statement was made in support of what I believe to be the truth.

    FWIW, my argument is based on that of Gordon Clark. He wrote,

    “Paradoxical though it may seem, man could not be a sinner at all, even now, if her were no still God’s image. Sinning presupposes rationality and voluntary decision. Animas cannot sin. Sin therefore requires God’s image because man is responsible for his sins. If there were no responsibility, there cold be nothing properly called sin. Sin is an offense against God, and God calls us to account. If we were not answerable to God, repentance would be useless, indeed impossible nonsense. Reprobation and hell would also be impossible; for God has made responsibility a function of knowledge.

    The same idea can be put another way. Whatever the fall did to man, it did not reduce him to the status of an irrational animal. Man is still man after the fall. He is still a person. He is still rational. To be sure, he acts irrationally. Yet his life is not one of instinct as is the case with animals. Sin does not eradicate the image; but it certainly causes a malfunctioning.”

    “Irrational is not normally used to mean the same thing as “without the ability to use logic” – and I did not intend it as such. However, if you can think of a better word, I’d like to know it.”

    I’m glad to hear that you do not mean by irrational “without the ability to use logic.” I have suspected as much. My point, though, has been that there are better ways to talk about murderous acts than to call them irrational. For while you do not mean by irrational “without the ability to use logic,” this is the basic meaning of the word. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the primary meanings of irrational as, “not endowed with reason” and “contrary to and not in accordance with reason; unreasonable, utterly illogical, absurd.”

    From what I can tell, I believe you would agree with that what Adam Lanza did was sinful. My argument has been that it would be better to use the Biblical term sin to describe his action rather than to call it irrational. Sinful or evil are more precise terms than irrational, and as Christians we should strive to be as clear as possible in what we say.

    With that in mind, I apologize if I have been unclear in my language or unfair to you in any way.

  65. justbybelief Says:

    Just pointing out the rapid change in emotions…

  66. Hugh Says:

    bit of a stretch to claim he’s fake. one’s emotions are going to be rather screwed up after one’s grade-schooler is slain in a bloodbath. his breathing is understandable given his grief and speaking of his girl.

    as a recovering ex-actor, and father of a four-year-old, I’m very reticent to judge him as the youtube poster has. plus, any actor would have prepped off-camera.

    the absence of tears or bloodshot eyes proves nothing. this is perverse b.s.

  67. justbybelief Says:

    From laughter to working himself up into ‘grief’ for a photo op, that’s what I see as B.S.

  68. Hugh Says:

    you see it your way, boss – I see it mine.

    let’s pray we never have to undergo what Parker did
    (and have judgment passed upon our on-camera comments by Internet kibitzers!)

  69. Sean Gerety Says:

    FWIW a long time and close friend of my brother is a Trooper in CT and was one of the first responders. He was also the one who slid his badge under the bathroom door so that the teacher who was hiding the kids would come out. He saw it all. As much as I don’t trust our gov’t it wasn’t a hoax.

  70. LJ Says:

    The Internet is abuzz with all kinds of conspiracy speculations that this was a “false flag” setup by the government, etc.

    Thanks for passing this word along, Sean. The way things can be spun on the net and photo-shopped, one often doesn’t know what to believe.

    I have to admit that one series of interviews with relatives of victims was weirdly lacking in tears. All of them were emotional but were wiping away at tears that simply weren’t there, at least in the videos I saw.

    It’s terrible that our government has degenerated to the point that the idea of a vast conspiracy within government is not only worth considering but tops of the list of the usual suspects.

    LJ

  71. justbybelief Says:

    Yes, LJ, something isn’t right. Neither with the familial responses nor with the timing and disinformation associated with this as well as other recent shootings. It’s all too convenient. There are too many unanswered questions and inconsistencies in the story line.

    Our founders thought it wise to mistrust government and thought that we should be diligent and watchful of it in preserving our liberties. We should not only be wary of our government now but should have been doubly so at the beginning knowing what it could become.

    Sean,There may have been legitimate first responders, however, that does not preclude this from being some sort of psyop or black-op.

    Hugh, I wasn’t judging Parker’s comments but his demeanor. If I undergo what Parker did, I won’t be laughing one second and coaxing grief the next. In fact, I can’t see any reason that anyone would speak with the media or why the media would pursue input immediately after ones child has supposedly been murdered. Make no mistake, I’m not some non-participant in all this and this IS about you and me. Obama said as much in the aftermath when he said, “We all have to change…”

    All, As children of the reformation why would depravity amongst a group of men, especially in government, surprise us? Why would it surprise us that those who sanction the murder of unborn babies could not also conspire to bring about circumstances to disarm us so they could kill us with similar ease. Isn’t it the agenda of the globalists to depopulate? Do you think that Satan (their father) is sleeping? Or, that he will not use ALL manner of evil in bringing about our undoing? Hasn’t God said, “I will put enmity…” As I see it, every attack on our God-given liberties is an attack on Christ and His people. In order to deceive us in the attack Satan must disguise (or hide) himself (and his doings) as something he’s ( and they are) not.

    Eric (kibitzer)

  72. Hugh McCann Says:

    Eric the K,

    I wasn’t judging Parker’s comments but his demeanor.
    Gotcha.

    If I undergo what Parker did, I won’t be laughing one second and coaxing grief the next.
    Hard for you to say what you’d do, brother. It’s wasy playing Internet quaterback. God willing, none of us will ever face what those parents faced (face daily). Before judging his emotions suspect, you might study how people deal with shock/ trauma and grief. The range of possibilities is large. What Newtown went through is horrific and will never be “gotten over.” The video poster is ludicrous and your suspecting Parker is cruel.

    In fact, I can’t see any reason that anyone would speak with the media or why the media would pursue input immediately after ones child has supposedly been murdered.
    Neither do I, but why are we judging this guy (or others)? The media was told to lay off the parents (as they damn well should have!).

    I don’t trust our gubmint either, but we don’t have to be judging how people grieve or why they grant interviews as if we’re Simon Cowell or Piers Morgan!

    We ought to be praying for the families, rather than concerning ourselves with how people comported themselves in the wake of unspeakable tragedy and horror.

  73. justbybelief Says:

    Hugh,

    Hard for you to say what you’d do, brother. It’s wasy playing Internet quaterback. God willing, none of us will ever face what those parents faced (face daily).

    I know myself. I don’t change emotions like socks.

    It’s all suspect, and, I won’t yield up the right to judge in light of a supposed “tragedy.” To hold that someone’s actions may be suspect is not internet quarterbacking ESPECIALLY in light of the media’s (and government’s) using such events to manipulate the weak minded into a predetermined course. They are using the death of children to manipulate us into a trance in which we do not question anything. Again, I won’t give up the right, and most especially, the duty, to judge.

    I make comments on local talk radio quite often. On one such show they had a grief counselor helping people in the aftermath of 911. I called questioning inconsistencies in the official 911 story and was told by one of the hosts “How dare I question the event as there are grieving families.” I responded by saying that in a murder investigation, detectives, do not stop investigating or asking the hard question even of family members of the victim. Moreover, in such a situation the truth is more important to the healing of grief than lies.

    In light of events like this, do not check your brain at the door. Do not allow even a consistent looking photo op to go without scrutiny. Do not allow tragedy, no matter how great, to be used against you.

    At this very moment the government is using ‘the children’ to violate the Bill of Rights in every way imaginable. (In NPR voice) “It’s all about the children”. In the same way Masonry uses its ‘benevolent’ arm–Shriners Hospitals–as a cover for its Satan worship so that anyone who speaks against it is seen as completely calloused. It should go without saying that this is the implication: to speak against Masonry is to hate children. Where, oh where have we heard this before? Oh, I know. RACIST!

    We ought to be praying for the families, rather than concerning ourselves with how people comported themselves in the wake of unspeakable tragedy and horror.

    More importantly, we ought to pray that the truth comes out.

    Eric

  74. Steve M Says:

    JBB:” Make no mistake, I’m not some non-participant in all this and this IS about you and me. Obama said as much in the aftermath when he said, “We all have to change…” ”

    I voted against him!

  75. justbybelief Says:

    I voted against him!

    Good! I want him tried for usurpation and sedition.

  76. Steve M Says:

    It’s nice to dream, but I wish he wasn’t President.

  77. LJ Says:

    All,
    I do not trust the government. The DEBT bomb that is ticking away, with no EOD even thinking about defusing it, is greater dare I say than one, or two, or five mass murders. The consequences of it exploding may make mass killings the soup of the day.

    I’m all for praying for grieving families, providing they really are grieving families and not government schills.

    Look, I think the killing was probably mostly like its come down to us publicly; but I reserve the right to be skeptical.

    LJ

  78. LJ Says:

    That’s “shill” of course, not “schill.” Sometimes I hait spail chick worse than gubmint :-)

  79. Sean Gerety Says:

    @Eric “I know myself. I don’t change emotions like socks.”

    All I know is that when my wife and I almost lost our daughter I would be fine one minute and in complete anguish the next.

  80. justbybelief Says:

    All I know is that when my wife and I almost lost our daughter I would be fine one minute and in complete anguish the next.

    Point taken, Sean (and Hugh). I know you guys aren’t the sort, but please don’t check out cognitively on this.

  81. Hugh Says:

    Eric,

    Condemnation and discernment (both, ‘judgment’) are of course two different things. One is condemned (Matt. 7:1-5) by Jesus, the other commended (John 7:24 ~ Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.; Matt. 7:6, 15ff).

    I know myself. I don’t change emotions like socks.

    Why the need to be derogatory and dismissive? Do you despise the grieving when their emotions don’t mirror yours?

    It’s all suspect, and, I won’t yield up the right to judge in light of a supposed “tragedy.” To hold that someone’s actions may be suspect is not internet quarterbacking ESPECIALLY in light of the media’s (and government’s) using such events to manipulate the weak minded into a predetermined course. They are using the death of children to manipulate us into a trance in which we do not question anything. Again, I won’t give up the right, and most especially, the duty, to judge.

    Again, what judgment: Unto discernment (valid) or condemnation (invalid)?

    I disagree about Parker and have above stated why. The gubmint is another matter, of course. I have not (and I sincerely doubt that Sean has) “checked out cognitively on this.” Jesus could blast Pharisees and weep at Lazarus’ grave; afflict the comfortably self-righteous, as well as comfort the afflicted. We ought to be able to both to some degree, too.

    It’s not about being stoic like Eric, or like us who “aren’t the sort,” but of esteeming others better than ourselves, of having compassion with the grieving, of weeping with (not condemning) those who weep. But I’ve repeated myself.

    I close with Isaiah 57:18 ~ I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners. We can pray and speak (and blog) with compassion, understanding, and redemption, seeing how much mercy we’ve been shown! We can likewise tear down bogus arguments and pretensions (2 Cor. 10:4f).

    * I contend that those judging Parker based on some carnal criteria (eyes, breathing, etc.) are not judging righteously.

  82. Hugh Says:

    Eric,

    I said: We ought to be praying for the families, rather than concerning ourselves with how people comported themselves in the wake of unspeakable tragedy and horror.

    You said: More importantly, we ought to pray that the truth comes out.

    I say: No, you’re missing something here. Pray that truth comes out,* but that’s not more important than sympathizing with and praying for our countrymen & women who are bereaved.

    * Of course, how will we know that we’ve learned the truth here?
    Or of Sept. 11, 2001,
    or the moon landings,
    or Kennedy’s death,
    or Roswell UFOs,
    or

  83. Hugh Says:

    Sean,

    I need to bow out of our Internet battles, checking in but once in a while.

    With much on my plate here in real-life-ville these days, cyber-space banter is wearisome and probably fruitless.

    Reminiscent of the end of Col. 2: These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom . . . but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. ;)

    And in this case, they are distracting from Steve’s great article. Thanks for posting it.

    Hugh

  84. LJ Says:

    @ JBB: “First of all, the 2nd Amendment is a command.”

    I just read what you wrote and i have to admit this is the first time I’ve ever seen it put this way. FWIW, I think you’re right! Is this your thought or have been missing a defense of the 2nd Amendment, like this, all along?

    Why isn’t this argument, that the Amendment is a COMMAND, not put forth by our side? Or have I just missed it.

    LJ

  85. justbybelief Says:

    Condemnation and discernment (both, ‘judgment’)…

    And, yet, no one here judged to condemnation. The real question is, why do you bring it up?

    Do you despise the grieving when their emotions don’t mirror yours?

    And, most other peoples.

    As was pointed out, ones emotions will vary in times of grief. But, when one is laughing at one moment, when perhaps they think they’re off camera, and coaxing tears (that never come) the next, when they know they’re on camera, this should cause us to be wary. We should even be wary if ones emotions seem to be ‘normal’ as “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” To trust a person implicitly simply because he seems to be grieving is not spirituality its naivete.

    This photo op in and of itself does raise some but not a lot of suspicion in my mind, but when it is linked with the event as a whole it raises much suspicion.

    It’s not about being stoic like Eric

    Stoicism wasn’t the charge, and you know it, Hugh.

    * Of course, how will we know that we’ve learned the truth here?
    Or of Sept. 11, 2001,
    or the moon landings,
    or Kennedy’s death,
    or Roswell UFOs,
    or

    I’m not sure that all of these events should be lumped together and each should be examined on its own merits.

    To blindly submit to official stories when there are blaring inconsistencies in them is absurd and idiotic.

    Do you suggest I look at the below event and accept the official story? Not a chance! To do so would be to indulge the flesh–believing a lie.

  86. justbybelief Says:

    LJ,

    I just read what you wrote and i have to admit this is the first time I’ve ever seen it put this way. FWIW, I think you’re right! Is this your thought or have been missing a defense of the 2nd Amendment, like this, all along?

    I don’t know exactly when this came to me, and I have never heard the argument put exactly this way before. I do remember, however, thinking about the 2nd amendment at one time and the words “Shall not” hit me like a ray of light. I remember thinking, “this is worded like one of the Ten Commandments.”

    My father-in-law was the one who introduced me to the concept that the Bill of Rights was a restraint on government and did not give me anything or apply to me.

    Others introduced me to the concept that our rights precede human documents like the constitution and come from God.

    So, at the moment of this epiphany I realized that “We The People” through our representatives commanded those who would assume office at the state and national level that they are not to touch our right to self-defense manifested in the bearing of arms (military weapons).

    Through my realization of the likeness of the 2nd Amendment with one of the Ten Commandments in the words, “Shall not,” it occurred to me that just like the Ten Commandments there was the one giving the command and the one expected to obey the command. My father-in-laws’ input at this point was essential. He made me realize that it was “We The People” or “We The States” who formed the federal government and put on it the restraints we did. We were the ones giving the commands, not them. How all this has changed.

    Anyway, I believe this is how the founders intended us to understand the 2nd Amendment. A blind man cannot see what exists, yet it still exists. In the same way the 2nd Amendment always said and meant the same thing, I was simply blind to it as are most Americans.

    I think you should defend the 2nd Amendment this way, as it was intended, and I will continue to do so myself. I think we should tell our federal servants as they violate our rights, “Get back on your reservation, punks,” with all Christian charity we can muster. ;-)

    Eric

  87. justbybelief Says:

    LJ,

    If you’ll bear with me a little, I also believe that taken in its context, (Declaration of Independence) one could rightfully interpret the 2nd Amendment as follows:

    …The right to keep and bear arms [SHALL NOT] be infringed [OR ELSE].

  88. Hugh Says:

    Just for fun, saints:

    Are we to EVER turn the other cheek?
    Ever give our complainant our tunic and our cloak?
    Ever go an extra mile with one who forces us?
    Or is this only when we are being persecuted for preaching the gospel, but in all other cases, tight groups?

    Are we EVER to submit to the governing authorities as if they were placed there by God, or only the ones we approve of (per our theonomist friends*)? I missed that in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2.

    * Seems everyone talking about revolution is citing OT texts like we’re Israel! {Lennon’s revolution or the Airplane’s?}

  89. LJ Says:

    Hugh,
    You asked: Are we to EVER turn the other cheek?

    Answer: Yes. We are not to seek personal revenge and retribution.

    I think this principle applies to most of your questions above.

    While granted we are not ancient Israel and I imagine the ceremonial aspects of the law we would agree have been fulfilled, what standard would you go to if you were, say, a Founding Father and you wished to establish government? I’m sure you wouldn’t endorse just making it up NATURALLY out of your own notions. So what standard would you use for government?

    We are to submit and not be unruly citizens providing a decent and Christlike example, not being generally lawbreakers, for all to see. But submitting to the governing authorities of Rome, an absolute dictatorship, and submitting the unique form of American Constitutional government whereby the People have authority, are two different things.

    Just sayin’

    LJ

  90. LJ Says:

    Hugh, just one more quick thought. In America the “governing authorities” are GIVEN their authority by THE PEOPLE under the Constitution. When the governing authorities violate the trust DELEGATED to them by us then they get der boote!

  91. justbybelief Says:

    Hugh,

    Glad to see you didn’t stay away for long ;-). I would miss your input.

    Being short of time I’ll address briefly “Turning the other cheek.”

    I think this has to do with insults and not a self-defense when life is threatened. I remember asking a pacifist what he would do if someone broke into his house and began to rape his wife. He responded by saying he would, “Turn the other cheek,” to my utter dismay.

    Eric

  92. LJ Says:

    FWIW, I’m also glad der Hughester didn’t take his toys and go home! :-) I enjoy his input and, occasionally, even his wit ;-)

    I mean, really Hugh, what else do you have to do that’s more important than correcting the errors of your brethren? Just think of me walking around in a theonomic postmill libertarian haze without you to guide me, LOL! Now THAT would be cruel and a dereliction of duty on your part.

    Cheers,
    LJ

  93. Hugh Says:

    My Bibles are missing all the footnotes LJ & Eric are finding! They must be in the oldest, most reliable manuscripts…

    Agreed about defending the weak, but not self-defense. Esp. against bad Caesars. (You’d have us submit only to Constitutionally-qualified or saint-sanctioned authorities?) Otherwise, Paul wasted holy ink. Both he and Jesus failed to give the Constitutional or ‘common sense’ or other caveats… Abject failures, eh? At least, to las theonomistas.

    Y’all make Jesus sound absurd:

    From Mt. 5 ~ “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

  94. Hugh Says:

    We can email offline rather than clog Sean’s blog with this.

    HUGHMC5 at HOTMAIL

  95. LJ Says:

    Oh Most Hughest!

    You wrote: From Mt. 5 ~ “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

    Admit it, you didn’t read my post, right? Please see above. Oh, what the hey, here it is again:

    Answer: Yes. We are not to seek personal revenge and retribution.

    To stretch this principle that the Lord has given us to apply to the American Constitutional Republic seems, well, a stretch to me.

    LJ

  96. Hugh Says:

    LJ,
    So the guy slaps you, you don’t defend yourself?

  97. Hugh Says:

    BTW: Feinstein’s Proposed List of Banned Weapons
    Rifles: All AK types, all AR types, all Thompson rifle & pistols.
    Pistols: All AK-47 types, all AR-15 types, some MAC types, all UZI types. A dozen or so shotguns…

    Feel safer, America? FULL LIST:
    http://www.townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2013/01/24/list-of-guns-banned-under-feinsteins-legislation-n1496672

  98. LJ Says:

    So the guy slaps you, you don’t defend yourself?

    Well, of course, if you’re me you grab his fist in mid throw, lighting fast ninja style, and throw him on the ground tied up in a rear naked choke where he’s immediately presented with the gospel. Overcome by both logic, overwhelming superior physical strength and coordination, and the gracious work of God the Holy Spirit’s regenerating power and it all works out very, very well.

    I have to sign off till later.

    LJ

  99. Hugh Says:

    W.W.L.J.D.?

    For not with swords’ loud clashing, or roll of stirring drums;

    …grab his fist in mid throw,
    lighting fast ninja style,
    and throw him on the ground
    tied up in a rear naked choke
    where he’s immediately presented with the gospel.
    Overcome by both logic,
    overwhelming superior physical strength
    and coordination,
    and the gracious work of
    God the Holy Spirit’s regenerating power
    and it all works out very, very well.

    and thus…the heav’nly kingdom comes.

  100. justbybelief Says:

    Q. 136. What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?

    A. The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves, or of others, except in case of public justice, lawful war, or necessary defence; the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life; sinful anger, hatred, envy, desire of revenge; all excessive passions, distracting cares; immoderate use of meat, drink, labor, and recreations; provoking words,oppression, quarreling, striking, wounding, and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.

  101. justbybelief Says:

    Who would Jesus bomb?

  102. justbybelief Says:

    Hugh,

    My Bibles are missing all the footnotes LJ & Eric are finding! They must be in the oldest, most reliable manuscripts…

    How about the full testimony of scripture? Scripture interprets scripture and one passage cannot overturn the rest.

    Let’s take “Turning the other cheek” again.

    Can this be a blanket verse to dictate every response of the believer when accosted?

    Consider the following verses:

    Acts 23:

    1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

    2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.

    3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?

    John 18:

    19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.

    20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

    21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.

    22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?

    23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?

    Eric

  103. justbybelief Says:

    Larger Catechism:

    Q. 135. What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?

    A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves and others by resisting all thoughts and purposes,subduing all passions, and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any; by just defence thereof against violence, patient bearing of the hand of God, quietness of mind, cheerfulness of spirit; a sober use of meat, drink, physic, sleep, labour, and recreations; by charitable thoughts, love, compassion, meekness, gentleness, kindness; peaceable, mild and courteous speeches and behaviour; forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil; comforting and succouring the distressed and protecting and defending the innocent.

  104. Hugh Says:

    Sean,

    Your title reverberates in me wee li’l head to the noxious tune of “Gangnam Style”! :(

  105. Steve Matthews Says:

    That’s an excellent point you make bringing up the WLC. Q. 136 is pertinent here as well. It reads, “What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?” Answer: “The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves, or of others, except in case of pubic justice, lawful war, or necessary defence…”

    The term “necessary defence” (sic), is used in reference to personal defense. The supporting Scripture passage is from Exodus 22:2-3: “If a thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for this theft.”

    A note in the New Geneva Study Bible explains the distinction between the treatment of a nighttime burglar and a daytime burglar this way, “The killing of an unknown nighttime burglar did not incur bloodguilt, since confronting the burglar could endanger the homeowner’s life. The daytime thief was readily identifiable and killing was not justified.” Killing was justified, not in defense of one’s goods, but of one’s life. As you pointed out by your citation of the WLC, our right to self defense is rooted in the sixth commandment, you shall not murder.

  106. Sean Gerety Says:

    The title was all Matthews.


  107. [...] Gun Control, Old Testament Style (godshammer.wordpress.com) [...]


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