Critical Thinking Skills: Capitalism Questions and Answers for the Millennial Generation

Critical Thinking Skills:

Capitalism Questions and Answers for the Millennial Generation

Welcome to the family-friendly classroom! A young Millennial, a nice young man, schooled in leftist philosophy, asks the right person to help him understand Socialism and Capitalism better. It’s a little long, but just enjoy the dialogue, and the true history lesson we all need. ~C.D.

Young Leftist on Capitalism

Rush Limbaugh

RUSH: We’re back with Mac in Ithaca, a 27-year-old who describes himself as a — did you say liberal or leftist? Which do you prefer? I don’t want to —

CALLER: Yeah. I’m definitely not a liberal. Leftist. Yep.

CALLER: Yeah. Um, well, I listen to you every day on my way home from work. Uh, actually, I listen to the talk — talk news pretty much all day, and I love listening to you guys but I pretty much disagree with you on everything. I’m a leftist. So, um, I just wanted to… The other caller said, like, you can never — never win an arg… Well, he said “liberal,” but I — I assume he meant leftists in general. So, uhh, I just wanted to call in and say, like, we try to be reasonable. Ha! Ha!

RUSH: You listen to this program on the way home from work so you’re on the way home from work now?

CALLER: Well, um, right now it’s summer. I’m in the education business,

RUSH: My question, if you listen, say, to this program or to F. Lee, how can you — how have you — remained a leftist?How has this happened? I’m genuinely curious.

CALLER: Well, I mean, I read Marx and it just talks about how the fluctuations in the market are going to get worse and worse, and looking through history it seems like since capitalism has been around the fluctuations in the market continue to get worse and worse, you know?

RUSH: Well, what would be the solution to market fluctuations? You think they shouldn’t fluctuate then?

CALLER: It’s not that they can’t fluctuate at all, but, personally, I think that we should tax capital or… Yeah, pretty much taxing capital I think would probably be the way to do it.

RUSH: We do.

CALLER: I know. Yeah. But I don’t think we should have any other taxes. I just think that we should only tax capital.

RUSH: Why? To solve what? What problem?

CALLER: Um, well, I think, like, people who work really hard should get ahead, right? I know a lot of people that work really hard, but they don’t get ahead.

CALLER: You think getting rid of the unions would help those workers out?

RUSH: You don’t like capitalism because you think it’s unfair. Some people make too much, some people don’t make enough, capitalism doesn’t accommodate for the differences, the market fluctuates wildly —

CALLER: Rush, I mean, that’s not quite what I said. Capitalism would be fine. I just don’t think that it’s, like you said, sustainable. I don’t think, like, that’s a big word with my generation, you said, but, yeah, I just think that it’s headed for ruin and —

RUSH: Can you cite for me — and don’t misread my tone. I’m not being contentious. I genuinely am trying to learn the way you think. Can you cite for me anywhere in the world where a noncapitalist form of government has created wealth and plenty for the majority of the population? Or the opportunity for wealth and plenty. Can you cite for me that country where it exists?

CALLER: Well, Japan.

RUSH: Wasn’t kind of sustainable, though, was it? ‘Cause where are they now?

CALLER: Japan?

RUSH: Yeah. They’re in massive debt.

CALLER: They’re killing themselves.

RUSH: Japan Inc. came together. They had a combination of business and government that didn’t quite solve the problem, ended up in massive debt. Point is, you can’t find a country on earth with a higher standard of living. You can’t find a country higher than America. You can’t find a place on earth where the opportunity to grow your standard of living, as an individual, is greater than the United States of America.

Capitalism may not be perfect, but it’s better than anything else that’s out there.

RUSH: Your problem is, you’re focusing on punishing achievement rather than trying to figure out a way for people to achieve. Punishing achievement isn’t gonna help anybody. Trying to equalize people by lowering the people at the top, that’s not good. All that is is punitive. Why don’t you find a way to elevate people at the bottom?

It’s like teachers. I often hear that it’s unfair that athletes should make what they make versus teachers, because who’s more important. But that’s not how the market works. Markets don’t sign things. You know what you’re worth is what somebody will pay you. It’s not some arbitrary — the purpose of a company is not to create jobs and health care. That’s not why they exist. And it’s not to create fairness or any of that. That’s not why people form businesses and try to sell a service or a product.

CALLER: Yeah, I hear ya, I just think you’re not seeing, like, the bigger picture. I think it’s headed for ruin if we keep trying to push it, personally. I don’t want to punish those that achieve. You know, I do agree that, you know, businesses are job creators, you know, businessmen are job creators. But it just seems, like, if this level of disparity continues, like, there are gonna be some people that just, you know, it’s asking for terrorism and class welfare —

RUSH: Mac, let me tell you something. There’s a benefit to having lived longer than other people and that is that I have the benefit of having seen more and experienced —more than you have. I’m 66 and you’re 27. I’m gonna tell you something that’s truthful. You think we’re facing ruin now. There have been times in the past where things have been much better and opportunities have been greater. What you don’t understand is why it was better in the past and why it seems to be fledgling right now.

We are under the stifling regulation and taxes of a predominantly left-wing type of thinking and philosophy. The eight years of Barack Obama have shrouded this country in punitive regulations. We haven’t had economic growth higher than one and a half percent for the last eight or nine years, and that was done on purpose.

But your way of doing it is what we have been doing the last eight years. We have been trying to equalize it. We have been trying to take the rough edges off capitalism. Obama has been trying or was trying to transform the country away from the way it was founded, and it is causing misery, and it is causing a lack of optimism about the future. It’s resulted in massive student debt, worthless college degrees, no job opportunities.

CALLER: Well, I wasn’t around in the eighties, but I actually think we were a lot closer to ruin in the eighties than we are now —

RUSH: Trust me on this. You’ve been lied to by people who have been educating you about that. The 1980s were one of the robust periods of economic growth that sustained all the way through the nineties and into the early 2000s ’til the recession. Don’t doubt me.

RUSH: So young Mac thinks the eighties we were close to ruin, but he wasn’t alive then, so why does he think that, do you wonder? Hello, education system. Capitalism, the only system of economics that allows for upward mobility. There’s no other system that does that.

RUSH: Where Mac was coming from is classic. It’s classic Marxism. I don’t know if he’s aware of that; it doesn’t matter if he’s up to speed on that or not.

Here’s a man, 27 years old, and he’s a nice guy, and he identified as a “leftist” and wants to be called a leftist, and he thinks the 1980s saw the United States near ruin! He wasn’t even alive then. So he only knows of the 1980s what he’s been told and maybe what he’s seen in movies and television shows. There’s no way that he could understand that the 1980s led to one of the greatest 20-year economic booms this country has ever seen. He doesn’t know it because the left cannot allow for that to be realized.

The left has been revising the history of the eighties since before the eighties ended.

They have been mischaracterizing the eighties as “trickle-down economics, didn’t work.” And what is trickle-down economics? Trickle-down (what the left teaches young people like Mac) is that we experimented. “We gave the rich all the tax cuts! The theory was that those tax cuts would lead to more money for the rich and that they would share the money and they would spread the wealth or give it away or whatever, and that would cause everybody to do well.”

There’s disparity everywhere! People are different. People earn different amounts of money. People have different standards of living. People have more possessions than others, different kinds of possessions.

People have different material lives than other people do. Marxism capitalized on this disparity by calling it immoral and unfair. It was not fair, not right that some should have so much and others shouldn’t, and the disparity (with young, impressionable minds) works every time it’s tried because it’s rooted in the idea of fairness — or unfairness, depending on how you choose to look at it. And since the United States has always been a capitalist system this disparity — this inequality, this lack of sameness, this lack of fairness — has been blamed on capitalism.

In fact, the disparities that exist in any culture exist because of the differences in people.

There are differences in ambition. There are differences in capabilities. There are differences in intelligence. No two human beings are the same because no two souls are the same. No two human beings have the identical skill set. Never will. Never have. These disparities are as much a part of nature and creation as is anything else.

Marxists Blame Differences in Human Nature on Capitalism

But the Marxists have come along, and they have taken these disparities and have attached them as existing solely because of the unfair nature of capitalism, which captivates young minds because it is unfair that there’s such great disparity. We shouldn’t have so much disparity. People shouldn’t have so much more than others. Once the Marxists — in the form of professors and teachers and moviemakers. Once they have young skulls full of mush ensnared on this premise, they pretty much own them.

You never have to succeed in equalizing things primarily because you can’t. Like I asked Mac, “Can you point to any place in the world where life is better? Can you point to anyplace in the world where there’s more opportunity? Can you point to anyplace in the world where there’s a greater opportunity for you to live your dream than the United States?” There’s an immediate no-answer to that because that’s not the way it’s taught nor looked at. The United States is taught/portrayed as a very punitive place and very discriminating place and unfair place. Elsewhere, like Cuba, is said to have “the best health care system in the world — and China!

“Look at all the railroads and look at all the sameness and the lack of disparity.” The only way you can have a lack of disparity is if most people are equally miserable, because there is no system that mandates — that can offer and deliver — mass prosperity to the tune these people are talking about it. Because people are different. It’s not capitalism that creates these differences; it’s freedom. Capitalism is rooted in freedom, market economics and freedom. You have the freedom to join the union and accept the terms.

You have the freedom to say:

“You know what? I don’t want to join a union. I want to be the owner of the construction company. I don’t want to join a union; I want to own the radio station!” Or “I didn’t want to make movies.” Whatever you want to do in the United States — if you’ve got the ambition, if you’ve got the drive, and if you have the desire — you can do. Desire, I believe, is 80% of achieving anything. If you have that, this is the one place in the world where you can pursue it. Whether you get it? There are a lot of factors involved.

Nothing is guaranteed except the opportunity to make the most of life —

and we’re all going to encounter different obstacles. Everybody’s gonna encounter somebody who’s got more connections than you do. Everybody’s gonna encounter somebody that has more of something than you do. You’re gonna encounter mean people. You’re going to encounter people that will try to undermine you. At the same time, you’re gonna run into people that want to help you. You’re gonna run into people that will be great mentors. You’re gonna run into all kinds, which is what opportunity is.

Socialism, leftism takes all of that away —

and claims to also take the risk away. And when the risk is removed, there’s no pain, right? And since there’s no risk and no pain, if you’re no different than anybody else, or if you’re only marginally different, then the way you end up is considered okay because everybody’s that way. Socialism, communism, literally kills the lifeblood of opportunity and energy and creativity because there is no outlet for it, and yet all of those things are a natural part of the human existence, desire, ambition, energy, creation. We all have those things in different amounts, different allocations. And they change.

There is no Croatian dream. There is no European Union dream. There is no Chinese communist dream, except maybe to get out.

But there is and always has been an American dream.

And the dream is possible. The dream can become real. And nobody in government stifles the dream. You’ll run into people that will try to talk you out of it because there are negativists everywhere. But the United States standard of living is expressed also as, “How are the vast majority of people in our country living?”

Under Communism, Only the Elite get their Dreams

It’s not about whether some have more than others, because that’s always gonna be the case, even in communism! Especially in communism. Especially in socialism. Socialism and communism are set up so that a select few elite get most of everything and the rest of society is equally miserable in poverty and oppression. So if you can be in the ruling party elite, socialism, communism, you’ve got it made. That’s less than one half of one-tenth a percent of the population in those countries.

In the United States, the vast number of people are living well. It isn’t whether some have more than others. It’s how is the economic system for everybody? People in the United States of America today, even after eight years of Barack Hussein O, people in the United States of America today live better than people ever have. The poor in this country would be considered affluent in most poor and poverty ravaged regions of this world.

The poor in this country have a car, air-conditioning, a TV and cell phone.

The United States of America provides the freedom,

I should say permits, allows, does not constrain the freedom that we’re all born with that allows each of us to pursue whatever it is that we define as a quality of life. Access to quality-of-life services, access to quality-of-life products is unparalleled in the United States of America.

American Exceptionalism

Most societies — this is what American exceptionalism really is when you get right down to it. Most people in most countries don’t have anything approaching —I’m not talking about disparity. I’m talking about the population at large, there is no country on earth where the population at large lives anywhere nearly as well as the population of the United States.

Most countries feature societies of populations of people that just barely get by.

Socialism, leftism, liberalism not only doesn’t respect the unique abilities of free people; it attempts to quash them and to eliminate them.

Because it’s unfair not only to have more than somebody else, it’s unfair to be better than anybody else at whatever you do. That’s not fair. So we define everything down to the lowest common denominator. We take the people at the top, bring ’em down to people at the bottom and say that’s equality. We punish achievement if liberalism and leftism rules the day. But capitalism is where the respect for unique abilities and freedom resides.

 

A 27-Year-Old Leftist Thinks Capitalism Isn’t Sustainable

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Western Culture Dinner Topics Newsletter: Foundation of Faith

Western Culture Dinner Topics Newsletter: Foundation of Faith August  2017 Welcome to Western Culture Dinner Topics!  WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? In the 70s, there was a popular song by that title. Nowadays there are many people wandering the streets, who … Continue reading

Critical Thinking Skills: Difference between Communism and Fascism

Critical Thinking Skills:

Difference between Communism and Fascism

Communism,  Socialism, Fascism = Tyranny

Excerpt from Birthright, Critical Thinking: Defining Communism, Socialism, and Fascism

Chapter 53—At the Memorial

                Darcy Lipscomb makes the following comment to her father: “Don’t you know that Nazism is the German word for National Socialism? Nazism, socialism, communism, fascism—they’re all the same. You know, the old tyranny thing—controlling people’s lives and stifling freedom of speech …”

Comment: In today’s society, many people think that Nazism (or fascism) is the opposite of socialism. This is incorrect. Don’t allow yourself to be confused. Darcy is right. These four “isms” are simply variations of the same thing: Tyranny

Communism and socialism—all property and businesses are owned and controlled by a large bureaucratic government; the government controls the nation’s economy. Karl Marx, founder of communism, encouraged war between the rich and poor, or “class warfare”.

                Fascism (formerly Nazism)—although big businesses may be owned by individuals, they are controlled by the government, which is led by a strong dictator. In addition to class warfare, fascism includes racial strife. Fascist tyrants enforce their demands with groups of bullies, which under Nazism were called the Gestapo. Islam is a type of fascism, because they hate Jews and Christians, and their Shariah Law, which stifles freedom, is the opposite of our Constitution.

                All these “isms” engage in thought control, stifling freedom of speech, press, and religion, and persecuting dissenters, to the point of imprisonment or death. In Birthright, these tyrannical systems are called the Order of Kohor. As you study current events, history, and foreign affairs, just keep it simple by remembering that all these systems enforce their ideology with the sword, or violence.

 

History Facts: Snopes Bias and Islam Founder

History Facts,

Critical Thinking Skills

Snopes Bias and Islam Founder

Truth Matters—Discern it. The billboard does not name the subject . . . but truth is. . .

the truth hurts too much to ignore and EVERYONE knows who it is.

Snopes: The Left’s “Fact Checker” That Carries Water For Muhammad

Robert Spencer

The self-proclaimed fact-checker Snopes.com has been harshly criticized for its Leftist bias, and as is so often the case, a tilt to the Left also means a willingness to foster ignorance and complacency about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat. After a billboard went up in Indiana pointing out six unsavory aspects of the life of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, Snopes labeled the billboard’s charges “Mostly False” – but that label applies far more accurately to the Snopes report than to the billboard.

Complete article:

Snopes: The Left’s “Fact Checker” That Carries Water For Muhammad

 

Moral support:

Michigan Gov. Signs Law Making Female Genital Mutilation a Felony

Science Facts: Study shows Greenhouse Effect Theory is more of Man-Made Global Warming Hoax

Science Facts,

Critical Thinking Skills

Study shows Greenhouse Effect Theory is more of Man-Made Global Warming Hoax

Study blows ‘greenhouse theory out of the water’

Alex Newman

‘All observed climatic changes have natural causes completely outside of human control’

Thanks to A.F. Branco at Legal Insurrection.com for his great cartoon

BOZEMAN, Mont. – A new scientific paper contends the entire foundation of the man-made global-warming theory – the assumption that greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere by trapping heat – is wrong.

If confirmed, the study’s findings would crush the entire “climate change” movement to restrict CO2 emissions, the authors assert

Some experts contacted by WND criticized the paper, while others advised caution.

Still others suggested that the claimed discovery represents a massive leap forward in human understanding – a “new paradigm.”

The paper argues that concentrations of CO2 and other supposed “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere have virtually no effect on the earth’s temperature.

They conclude the entire greenhouse gas theory is incorrect.

Instead, the earth’s “greenhouse” effect is a function of the sun and atmospheric pressure, which results from gravity and the mass of the atmosphere, rather than the amount of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere.

The same is true for other planets and moons with a hard surface, the authors contend, pointing to the temperature and atmospheric data of various celestial bodies collected by NASA.

http://www.wnd.com/2017/07/study-blows-greenhouse-theory-out-of-the-water/

Study: ‘Nearly All’ Recent Global Warming Fabricated

Bible Stories: Character Education and Self-Government

Dinner Topics for Friday

Bible Stories: Character Education and Self-Government

Samson and Delilah—

Internal Government

*Teaching about the Fall

keySociety cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. ~Edmund Burke

samson-delilahSamson was raised from infancy, prepared by diligent parents to fulfill a mission of liberating Israel from the Philistines. Instead, he is known in scriptural record as the epic hero who never was. On the surface, the Biblical account of Samson looks rather amusing. That Samson’s remarkable physical prowess was connected to the length of his hair reads almost like one of Grimms’ fairy tales. The fact is, the length of Samson’s hair was only one outward manifestation of the Nazarite vows he had taken. The immense strength was a spiritual gift, contingent on his faithfulness to the Nazarite discipline.

Samson failed to develop the necessary self-discipline to merit the spiritual gifts he had been blessed with. As he became boastful, and trusted in his own strength rather than giving glory to God, Samson one by one broke all his vows. He indulged his selfish passions and appetites, including marrying out of the covenant with an immoral Philistine woman. He did not think anything through; his behavior was driven by his feelings.

When he trivialized the source of his strength by playing games with the Philistine Delilah, this represented the final breakdown of his discipleship to God.

She pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death. (Judges 16:16)

mockingpeopleAt some point, most of us can probably relate to having experienced this kind of pressure from someone else. Samson’s failure came first from dallying so much with sin and temptation. He constantly surrounded himself with it. Is it any wonder that he finally broke when he was pestered long enough?

Samson’s lack of internal government caused his personal downfall and deprived his nation of liberating leadership.

One may also be pressured when trying to do something right. Even then, it is easy to react in anger, fear, or foolishness.

The “wise man who builds his house upon a rock” knows that true freedom comes from acting by choice rather than being acted upon.

buildingonrock“Discipline” is defined as “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” Simple, brute-strength “will power” is not mentioned. Because the natural man rarely has sufficient “will power,” the “wise man” trains, molds, and corrects himself on a daily basis. It is a building process— on rock. No shortcuts.

The wise man looks ahead, constructing his house to stand independently of forces that tear down and undo his work. Day by day, a step at a time, he schools his feelings, delays gratification, and subordinates foolish impulses to the larger character he is capable of. The less he indulges himself, the more substance he has, and the less room in his life for that which would cause irreparable downfall.

The builder’s to-do list might include practicing courteous actions rather than angry reactions. Discussing and using peaceful resolutions to conflict and misunderstanding. Using moderation in appetites and showing appreciation for the gifts and services of others. Teaching wisdom and order. All these seemingly small things make up the firm inner structure that can withstand incessant adverse elements and bring enduring peace of mind.

Character Education Concepts

gavarret-follow-christFor the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Mosiah 3:19 )

  1. Why is daily discipline in small choices more effective than “will power” in times of crisis?
  2. The three areas of temptation are: 1) appetites and passions 2)vanity 3)greed and power. How can this knowledge help us prepare to resist temptation?
  3. How can we avoid dallying with sin in the following areas? Movies and TV. Music. Reading material. Internet. Dating.
  4. What does “temperance” mean? Compare dedication and fanaticism.
  5. Choose five or more epic heroes from scripture and outline their ministries. How did they exemplify Christian discipleship?
  6. How does the Savior help us overcome our weaknesses through the atonement?

christs-outstreched-hand-lindsleyAnd if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.(Ether 12:27)

 

 

Copyright 2010 © by Christine A. Davidson

 

The Parable of the Empty House

As a Man Thinketh

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Prov. 23:7)

golden-calfAfter God had delivered them from bondage, the children of Israel began their epic journey to the promised land. Freedom, however, was not what they expected. Food was plentiful — indeed, bread from heaven rained down upon them daily. Yet they were not accustomed to the simplicity of the Lord’s way of life. Gone were the heathen groves wherein one could indulge in sensual pleasures. The flashy graven images were missing. Their new wilderness home was free of Egypt’s distractions. Now they could concentrate on building new lives for themselves, replacing the taint of idolatry with an eye single to the glory of God. They had but to look to God and live. Simple. They brought no Egyptian idols with them. Even so, they turned to idolatry, for in their minds, they were still in bondage.

The Savior gave a parable about this condition.

empty-house-2When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished, for the good spirit leaveth him unto himself.

Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Matt. 12:43-45)

 

empty-houseThis oft overlooked parable of the empty house might speak of a man who leaves his old life behind, accepts the gospel and embarks upon the strait and narrow path of Christian discipleship. On that path the first obstacle is in the form of habits from his past. The iron rod [word of God] is steady and secure, but plain. It does not glitter and allure. In vain he searches for something on the road to heaven that will give him the same thrills and carnal satisfaction that his pre-conversion world held. He finds none.

Still, his soul has been cleansed, released from the chains of past wickedness. Agency has been extended to him anew. He has arrived at the pivotal point of his life, the brink of glorious opportunity.   However, if a traumatic experience in his previous life robbed him of spiritual roots, that opportunity could have a dangerous edge. His mind might be a spiritual vacuum. With what will he fill his mind? The choice is his, and his alone. Will he lay hold upon every good gift, or will he touch the unclean thing?

apathydudeThe trials and adversities of life are painful. Seeking comfort, the man turns, not to God, but to his old habits. He goes to Church every Sunday, but during the week, the old ways take over. Instead of looking to God to heal his pain, he numbs it with worldly distractions, which God calls idols. Seemingly innocuous habits move in and make themselves comfortable, and make him comfortable. Upon arising, the man turns to phone and social media. This programming is the first thing that enters his mind in the morning. What can be wrong with that? During lunch, social media. After work, TV. After dinner, games, social media. Before bed, social media, video games. After Church, electronic media, video games.

On Sunday, the man dutifully dusts off his scriptures and hauls them to Church. But they don’t mean anything. He doesn’t understand them. After years of worshiping images, he can no longer recognize the real thing. He has succeeded in numbing his pain. In fact, now he is “past feeling,” just like the idols which have received his unwavering attention for so long.

Moses was faced with the monumental task of sanctifying his people— removing the ungodly habits from their lives and filling their minds and hearts with the word of God. Most importantly, he had to keep the children from being sullied by the unholy baggage their parents had brought out from Egypt.

So he taught them,

family5prayingdinnerAnd these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deut. 6:6,7)

“Holy habits and righteous routines,”[1] when practiced daily, are part of holding to the iron rod [word of God], and will steady us on our path back to Heavenly Father.

Dinner Topic Questions

Dinner Talk Topic: Our conversation, use of leisure time, and choice of entertainment are a reflection of what is in our minds. *Controlling our thoughts

  1. How are our conversation, use of leisure time, and choice of entertainment a reflection of what is in our mind? When you are alone, what kind of background do you like to “keep you company? Is there a better companionship to seek?
  2. What do you dwell on when you have nothing specific to think about? If you look around, can you see someone who is worse off than you are? How does it make you feel?
  3. Are you alone in your circumstances? Why not?
  4. Can a self-absorbed person be truly happy?
  5. Can you recognize the presence of the Spirit? How?
  6. In what conditions will the Spirit withdraw?
  7. What seemingly small things can offend the Spirit?
  8. How can continual exposure to the sensationalism of electronic media cause a person to be “past feeling”? (1Nephi 17:45)
  9. What must we do to be worthy of having the continual companionship of the Holy Spirit?
  10. In what ways can games and social media dull our senses? How can reading scriptures or a good book, or listening to classical music,  be active rather than passive? Can we go through the motions and not understand the life lessons God is trying to teach us?
  11. How can failing to actively nourish our minds with spiritual food create a spiritual vacuum, and what are the dangers of such a vacuum?
  12. A “graven image” is a tangible object a person might worship instead of God. Also, spending time and money on things that distract someone from God might also be considered as idolatry. How can we avoid this problem in our lives?
  13. Look up “idolatry” in the dictionary. Is idolatry only an ancient evil? How can idolatry affect our lives today? Why do you think their idols caused the children of Israel to be immoral? Do cold, lifeless idols, or even movie idols, hold their worshipers accountable? What happens when there is no accountability?
  14. James 1:8. “ A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” What must we do to stay out of spiritual Babylon?
  15. Isaiah 7:15 “Refuse the evil, and choose the good.” Is it possible to “touch the unclean thing” without letting go of the word of God?

 

Copyright 2010 © by Christine A. Davidson

 

            [1] Elaine Dalton, “Look toward Eternity!”. Ensign, November 2006, p.32

Judeo-Christian Culture: Ode to the Epic Hero

Dinner Topics for Friday

Defining Moment

Critical Thinking Skills

childrenlitreadingartEpic Literature— has the following features.
Broad scope in time, with nationalistic emphasis
Narrative motifs including warfare and rulership
Historical impulse, with allusions to key events in the life of a nation
Supernatural context
Plot with recurrent patterns or situations
Narrated in a ceremonial style or exalted diction which is deliberately distanced from ordinary  speech
~Richard Dilworth Rust, Feasting on the Word, pp. 49-51

Mayan hieroglyphic, and it came to pass

Mayan hieroglyphic, and it came to pass

To a child learning to read, at first, those symbols loom on the page, defying understanding.  If you have stood before rock monuments or stelas in Central America, gazing at the hieroglyphs, you know how it feels.  Now that the dense jungle has been cleared away to reveal the remains of the Mayan civilization, that is only the first step.  Men and women have since dedicated their lives to learning the meaning of those glyphs.

Sometimes we feel that way about the Bible and other epic literature.  It’s like a whole different language.  It’s true— the written word, or literature, is in a different realm from the spoken word of our day.  And epic literature has special characteristics that set it in a class all by itself.  The first feature that creates a barrier for most of us is the diction, or choice of words.  Richard D. Rust, in his book Feasting on the Word, tells us that epic literature is “narrated in a ceremonial style or exalted diction which is deliberately distanced from ordinary speech.”

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “epic” as “otherwise called heroic. . . which narrates a story. . . in an elevated style. . . usually the achievements of some distinguished hero, and intended to form the morals and affect the mind with the love of virtue.  The end [or purpose] is to improve morals, and inspire a love of virtue, bravery and illustrious actions.”

If we as parents wish to give our children a foundation as firm as Rock, that will be remembered in the hearts of our children, and their children, and so on, we must develop teachings with staying power.

ScripturePoetry After thousands of years, the Bible remains the chief and most widely read of classic literature. What makes it an enduring best seller, past the peak of three weeks, six months, or even a year?  Why is it never really obsolete? Its language remains untouched by the jungle of our modern day semantics.   As we leave the mundane behind, and lead the way through that straight and narrow passage, past the language barrier, we begin an epic adventure with our families.  We begin to. . .

Discover things that will be treasured,

Perhaps not always in money measured—

Gems of knowledge, virtue, truth,

Eternal standards for our family and youth.

Best of all, if we as parents faithfully train, or “direct the growth of” our children, we will watch them discover great truths and heaven-sent messages in the exalted diction of the word of God. Youth will rise to the noble standards in epic literature, and find the epic hero within themselves.

Epic Hero resize medThe following poem pays tribute to the hero of epic literature and presents a pattern for the successful quest to build good character. It invites the reader to discover the epic hero within you.

          Ode to the Epic Hero

Your epic quest begins at birth

To find your purpose here on earth.

Along the way your heart will learn

How good from evil to discern.

Moments in time will come to define

Trials of your soul, to test and refine.

Discover things that will be treasured,

Perhaps not always in money measured—

Gems of knowledge, virtue, truth,

Eternal standards for families and youth—

To strengthen, protect, and to prepare

A way to escape the enemy’s snare.

faithjourney2The journey of life demands your part—

Courage, faith, and a willing heart.

You need not fall, though you may stumble,

For angels fail not to help the humble.

Your lone small flame may not seem bright,

Yet it reveals the way to greater light.

Day by day, big and little—

Answers await life’s every riddle.

Just when you think you can’t continue,

You’ll find the epic hero within you.

Honor and virtue will be your choice.

Return home triumphant, and rejoice.

~C.A.Davidson

Copyright © 2010 by Christine A. Davidson

Critical Thinking Skills: Parable shows Unseen Realities of Bad Economic Policy

Dinner Topics

Critical Thinking Skills:

Parable shows Unseen Realities of Bad Economic Policy

Frederic Bastiat and Legalized Plunder, or Socialism

Frederic Bastiat: The Law

keyNote: I found the Parable of the Broken Window when I clicked on just one more link. Parents, teach your children to pursue topics they are interested in. Your young people will excel in their education when they educate themselves, and they acquire a thirst for learning. You will not find any teachings of Frederic Bastiat in typical public schools. And look what they are missing!

The Law, by Frederic Bastiat. This is a short little book written in the nineteenth century. It really nails the notion of governments who think they can plunder the citizenry, just because they are the government and “above the law.” This is classic literature that you will want in your library, and which teens and young adults will find thought-provoking. It is well known by reliable historians, and should be easily available to purchase online. I highly recommend this little book to read aloud and discuss together. It will give you a clear understanding of how economics should be. ~C.A. Davidson

 

The Parable of the Broken Window

Bastiat’s original parable or story of the broken window from Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas (1850):

brokenwindowHave you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation-“It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.[1][2]

Bastiat’s argument

Austrian theorists, and Bastiat himself, apply the parable of the broken window in a different way. Suppose it was discovered that the little boy was actually hired by the glazier, and paid a franc for every window he broke. Suddenly the same act would be regarded as theft: the glazier was breaking windows in order to force people to hire his services. Yet the facts observed by the onlookers remain true: the glazier benefits from the business at the expense of the baker, the tailor, and so on.

Bastiat argues that people actually do endorse activities which are morally equivalent to the glazier hiring a boy to break windows for him:

Whence we arrive at this unexpected conclusion: “Society loses the value of things which are uselessly destroyed;” and we must assent to a maxim which will make the hair of protectionists stand on end—To  break, to spoil, to waste, is not to encourage national labour; or, more briefly, “destruction is not profit.”

What will you say, Moniteur Industriel[3]-what will you say, disciples of good M. F. Chamans, who has calculated with so much precision how much trade would gain by the burning of Paris, from the number of houses it would be necessary to rebuild?[1][2]

Bastiat is not addressing production – he is addressing the stock of wealth. In other words, Bastiat does not merely look at the immediate but at the longer effects of breaking the window. Moreover, Bastiat does not only take into account the consequences of breaking the window for one group but for all groups, for society as a whole.[4]

Complete article from Wikipedia

Biography

BastiatBastiat was born in Bayonne, Aquitaine, a port town in the south of France on the Bay of Biscay, on 29 June 1801. His father, Pierre Bastiat, was a prominent businessman in the town. His mother died in 1808 when Frédéric was seven years old.[2] His father moved inland to the town of Mugron with Frédéric following soon after. The Bastiat estate in Mugron had been acquired during the French Revolution and had previously belonged to the Marquis of Poyanne. Pierre Bastiat died in 1810, leaving Frédéric an orphan. He was taken in by his paternal grandfather and his maiden aunt, Justine Bastiat.[2] He attended a school in Bayonne, but his aunt thought poorly of it and so enrolled him in Saint-Sever. At 17, he left school at Sorèze to work for his uncle in his family’s export business. It was the same firm where his father had been a partner. Economist Thomas DiLorenzo suggests that this experience was crucial to Bastiat’s later work since it allowed young Frédéric to acquire first-hand knowledge of how regulation can affect markets.[3] Sheldon Richman notes that “he came of age during the Napoleonic wars, with their extensive government intervention in economic affairs.”[4]

Bastiat began to develop an intellectual interest. He no longer wished to work with his uncle and dreamed of going to Paris for formal studies. This dream never came true as his grandfather was in poor health and wished to go to the Mugron estate. Bastiat accompanied him and took care of him. The next year, when Bastiat was 24, his grandfather died, leaving the young man the family estate, thereby providing him with the means to further his theoretical inquiries.[2] Bastiat developed intellectual interests in several areas including “philosophy, history, politics, religion, travel, poetry, political economy and biography.”[3] “After the middle-class Revolution of 1830, Bastiat became politically active and was elected justice of the peace of Mugron in 1831 and to the Council General (county-level assembly) of Landes in 1832. He was elected to the national legislative assembly after the French Revolution of 1848.”[1]

His public career as an economist began only in 1844 when his first article was published in the Journal des economistes in October of that year. It was cut short by his untimely death in 1850. Bastiat had contracted tuberculosis, probably during his tours throughout France to promote his ideas, and that illness eventually prevented him from making further speeches (particularly at the legislative assembly to which he was elected in 1848 and 1849) and took his life. In the fall of 1850, he was sent to Italy by his doctors. He first traveled Pisa, then onto Rome. On 24 December 1850, Bastiat called those with him to approach his bed. He murmured twice the words “The truth” then passed away.[2]

Bastiat’s most famous work, however, is undoubtedly The Law, originally published as a pamphlet in 1850. It defines, through development, a just system of laws and then demonstrates how such law facilitates a free society.

 

manwbagBastiat asserted that the sole purpose of government is to defend and protect the right of an individual to life, liberty, and property. From this definition, Bastiat concluded that the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes socialist policies, which are inherently opposed to these very things. In this way, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the only things (life, liberty, and property) it is supposed to defend.[12]

He was also a strong supporter of free trade. He “was inspired by and routinely corresponded with Richard Cobden and the English Anti-Corn Law League and worked with free-trade associations in France.”[1]

In The Law, Bastiat explains that, if the privileged classes use the government for “legalized plunder”, this will encourage the lower classes to revolt or use socialist “legalized plunder” and that the correct response to both the socialists and the corporatists [crony capitalism and corporate socialism are the same] is to cease all “legalized plunder”. Bastiat also explains why his position is that the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes socialist policies. When used to obtain “legalized plunder” for any group, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the thing it is supposed to defend.[12]

 

Dinner Talk

1. What do you learn from the Parable of the Broken Window? Why do Progressives and Socialists use the broken economy to make people dependent on them? (Hint: They get more power and votes.)

2. Bastiat writes of “legalized plunder.” In ancient American history, there was a group called Gadiantons who took over the free government and engaged in plunder. How is this a type of what governments do today? What recent examples can you give of our government engaging in “legalized plunder?”

Culture Wars: Contrasting Biblical Christian Worldview with Secular Humanism, part 2

Culture Wars and Critical Thinking Skills:

Contrasting Biblical Christian Worldview with Secular Humanism

Part 2

Who will we worship?

The winner of the present battle of worldviews in America will have great impact upon everyone in our nation. If the forces of humanism prevail, the fruit will be loss of liberty, increased crime, more broken homes, and less prosperity. Christianity has been the life-blood of America. If the Christian worldview prevails, it will once again nourish every aspect of the life of this nation producing freedom, justice, prosperity, and life for all. ~Dr. Stephen McDowell

Dr. Stephen McDowell

PART 2 OF 2.

June 2017 – Understanding the two views of law and government presented in (Culture Wars: Contrasting Biblical Worldview with Secular Humanism, part 1) reveals why leftists are more outspoken than conservatives about loss of power. Leftists will be more radical and even militant in their opposition to conservatives governing than conservatives would be in the opposite position, because to leftists, government is their “church” and is a primary place where they can execute their god’s (that is, man’s) vision for life. To them, government is the place to advance man’s kingdom in the earth. Government is their highest source of authority, their highest place to appeal. They have no higher power or savior to trust in – no belief in a sovereign God who works in the hearts of men and events in history.

Conservatives only want to get control of government to slow it down, to keep government from trampling upon the unalienable rights of man. Christian conservatives have God as the highest source of power to which they can appeal. They have a savior Jesus Christ who brings positive transformation by changing the hearts of man.

Two warring worldviews


While the worldviews of those people reflected (See red/blue map from Part 1.) vary greatly, the general ideologies can be reduced to two positions: Christian versus humanistic.

In short, a biblical Christian worldview has been the source of liberty in history, while a humanistic, man-centered worldview has promoted tyranny. The founders of America believed, in the words of Thomas Jefferson’s pastor, Charles Clay: “[T]he sacred cause of liberty [is] the cause of God.”1 Those who oppose God and freedom of worship, oppose true liberty.2

On one side of the war is a humanistic worldview. With this religion (and all worldviews are religious), there are no absolutes. Right and wrong are based upon what a majority says or what a minority in power says; hence, law is evolving. Law is whatever the people or courts or legislators say it is.

Humanism taught in Colleges, then High Schools at turn of 20th Century

This view began to be taught in various law schools and colleges around the turn of the 20th century, with state secondary schools following in succeeding decades. Over time, this evolutionary view of law began to impact the courts’ actions. Judges began to see our law as evolving. In the words of Charles Evans Hughes, Supreme Court Chief Justice from 1930 to 1941: “We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.”3

Most people are not aware of how much a humanistic worldview permeates our society. It is predominant in the marketplace of ideas – in movies, newspapers, television, public schools, civil government, and most books, including dictionaries.

Comparing Definitions of Immoral

Christian Definition

As an example let’s compare the definition of immoral from a modern dictionary and from America’s first exhaustive dictionary produced by Noah Webster in the early 19th century and first published in 1828. Webster, as most of our founders, had a Christian worldview, which is reflected in his definitions. Under his definition of immoral, he writes: “Every action is immoral which contravenes any divine precept.” To him, divine precept is the standard to judge immorality.

Humanistic Definition

The “Happy Human” is an icon that has been adopted as an international symbol of secular humanism.

The modern Webster’s New World Dictionary defines immoral as “not in conformity with accepted principles of right and wrong behavior.” Immorality today is usually presented in this light where man determines right and wrong conduct. He is his own god.

Christian Worldview has Absolutes, Right and Wrong

In great contrast is the Christian worldview, where there are absolutes, right and wrong. Since God is the source of what is right and wrong, He is the source of law. To those with a Christian worldview, God reveals His truth in the Bible.

Some would ask, “What difference does it make if we have a Christian or humanistic foundation just as long as I have my freedoms?” We must understand that ideas have consequences.

The fruit we get is determined by the seeds we plant. It is important that we understand the seed principles upon which America was built. If we change seeds, we will get different results. The external state of nations today, as in all of history, has been determined by the foundational principles of the nations. Since these foundational principles are primarily rooted in the religion of the people, we should ask, “In what religion was America’s foundation rooted?”

One reasonable resolution


If you base your answer on what is taught in government schools, you would think we are a product of the secular European Enlightenment. But if you were to examine the laws, the schools, the writings, and the lives of early Americans, you would conclude, as did the U.S. House of Representatives in 1854, that “the great vital and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”4

This same view was summarized by President Andrew Jackson when he said on June 8, 1845, “[the Bible] is the rock on which our Republic rests.” Early Americans would almost universally agree that the religious, social, educational, and political life of America was primarily shaped by the Bible.5

George Washington: no freedom without God and bible

Our states were colonized by people who desired to freely worship the God of the Bible; our schools were begun so that everyone would be able to read and understand the Bible for themselves; our universities were founded to train ministers who were knowledgeable of the Scriptures; our laws and constitutions were written based on biblical ideas; and our Founding Fathers overwhelmingly had a biblical worldview.6

The winner of the present battle of worldviews in America will have great impact upon everyone in our nation. If the forces of humanism prevail, the fruit will be loss of liberty, increased crime, more broken homes, and less prosperity.

The leftists rage because they have a wrong worldview. We must not only oppose them in the political arena, but we must also teach and demonstrate the principles and ideas that made America exceptional.

Christianity has been the life-blood of America. If the Christian worldview prevails, it will once again nourish every aspect of the life of this nation producing freedom, justice, prosperity, and life for all.  

See Part 1

Culture Wars: Contrasting Biblical Worldview with Secular Humanism, part 1

1 Quoted in Stephen McDowell, The Bible: America’s Source of Law and Liberty, Charlottesville: Providence Foundation, 2016, p. 181. See Chapter 12 for more on “Liberty.”
2 For historic support of this, see Thomas S. Kidd, God of Liberty, A Religious History of the American Revolution.
3 Charles Evans Hughes, speech at Elmira on May 3, 1907, The Autobiographical Notes of Charles Evans Hughes, David J. Danelski and Joseph S. Tulchin, editors, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973, p. 144.
4 B.F. Morris, Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864, p. 328.
5 Stephen McDowell, The Bible: America’s Source of Law and Liberty, p. 15. See Chapter One for more on the influence of the Bible in the history of America.
6 See various books published by the Providence Foundation that document the Christian foundation of America, including America a Christian Nation, America’s Providential History, and The Bible: America’s Source of Law and Liberty.

____________________
Dr. Stephen McDowell is president of Providence Foundation and a prolific author who focuses on the Christian roots of the U.S. Find his resources at afastore.net or call 877-927-4917 (toll free). Find more at providencefoundation.com or 434-978-4535.

 

 

Critical Thinking Skills, Bible Study, and Guarding against Self-Deception

Critical Thinking Skills, Bible Study, and Guarding against Self-Deception

You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog … if you feel like you are.
In a new series from Wretched TV and Radio, the Christian media ministry visited campuses in the nation’s Bible Belt. Untethered documents the delusional thinking of many college students, some of whom say they are Christians.

The following exchange between Todd Friel, host of Wretched’s popular YouTube channel, is typical of students’ beliefs.

Friel: When I die, I am going to go to Graceland and spend eternity with Elvis Presley eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches, if I sing “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog” three times before I die. Am I wrong?

Student: No, it’s certainly a little weird, but …

Friel: Ok, I’m wrong?

Student: No. You’re not wrong.

Friel: I’m not wrong?

Student: What’s wrong or right? There is no wrong or right. That’s what I’m saying.

Friel: So, I’m going to go to Graceland for eternity.

Student: If you feel like you are.

Watch Untethered at youtube.com. Use the search words “wretched untethered.”

Do not be deceived

Ed Vitagliano

AFA Vice President

April 2017 – Well-known celebrities embracing homosexuality. Young people rejecting absolute truth. Widespread biblical illiteracy. And that’s just what’s happening in the church.

For example, one study of the beliefs of members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) found that just 39% agreed that “only followers of Jesus Christ can be saved.” Even worse, the percentage for pastors was still lower (35%).

It should come as no surprise to Christians living in America that there is a war against the Bible and its truth. Satan has always started his work of deception by asking, “Has God said?” (Genesis 3:1).

America is not the sole location for this battle, of course. It is universal. It is also not limited to 2017 – it is timeless and will only end when the Lord completes His triumph over evil.

Within the church, the fight against deception is both a corporate and an individual battle. The corporate war against error depends on church leadership holding fast to the truth and teaching sound doctrine. Leaders must also continually guard the flock against wolves in sheep’s clothing.

beware of false prophets

However, there is a war for the individual Christian to fight, too. The Bible places a lot of emphasis here, with consistent exhortations like, “See to it that no one misleads you” (Matthew 24:4); “Let no one deceive you” (Ephesians 5:6); and “Do not be deceived” (Galatians 6:7, 1 Corinthians 6:9, James 1:16).

At first glance, it might seem rather strange for Scripture to command us not to be deceived. After all, we tend to think that deception happens because someone tricked us. If someone fooled us, it’s not our fault, right?

Well, God certainly faults deceivers for teaching error. Those who are false prophets and false teachers are condemned in the Bible in absolutely frightening terms. As an example of this kind of language, read the Book of Jude.

But there is no escaping the nature of warnings to individual Christians that they not let themselves fall prey to deceivers. For example, in Matthew 24:4, Jesus said to us, you see to it that you’re not misled.

The reason for such exhortations is simple: The susceptibility to being deceived comes from our approach to God’s truth. The Lord expects us to pursue truth – and holds us accountable for doing so. The following are three passages that bear this out.

 

John 3:19-21 (King James Version)

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.


Here Jesus makes it clear that, when it comes to God’s truth, there are only two directions: toward it or away from it. There are plenty of contrasts used in these few verses: light versus darkness; evil versus righteousness (implied); and truth versus error (implied).

Clearly, Jesus is the light spoken of here, and light is frequently used as a metaphor for God and His truth. From human experience, we know that we see better in the light, and things can only stay hidden in the darkness.

Even Christians sometimes want things to stay hidden (although nothing is really hidden from God). If we want to hide our sins from the light, we tend to avoid His word – and avoid Him. Evangelist Leonard Ravenhill made a similar observation when he said:

 “A sinning man stops praying, a praying man stops sinning.”

Again, there are only two directions; to move away from the light is to move into darkness. That is a sure path to deception.

Romans 1:21-28 (KJV)

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;


A similar sentiment is expressed by Paul in this famous passage in Romans. We see the same human stubbornness on the part of pagans, refusing to acknowledge God’s glory and refusing to honor Him. They “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18) because they love their sin.

However, there is an additional danger emphasized here. Paul makes clear that the refusal to embrace the truth as God shows it to us only leads to further deception. Rejection of God’s truth sets in motion something like a death spiral into greater and greater darkness. There is no standing still. We are all pulled toward one pole or the other. This is even true for the Christian.

Thus, Paul says, thinking can become a futile exercise; foolish hearts can become darkened; people who see themselves as wise because they reject God’s truth actually become fools; and rebellious minds can become depraved (vv. 21, 22, 28). Deception comes upon those who reject light, even though they do not realize it, and it only gets darker.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (KJV)


Smack in the middle of a passage that most commentators believe applies to the time of the antichrist, Paul’s words here are yet another warning about the nature of sin, darkness, and delusion. Once again, we see the same two categories of people.

First, there are those who receive the truth and “believe the truth.” These are people who have a “love of the truth” that supersedes everything else. This love for the truth enables them to be saved, and, for the continuing Christian life, we might say that their love of the truth allows for sanctification to be ongoing.

Paul identifies a second category of people, as those who “do not receive the love of the truth,” but instead “took pleasure in wickedness.” There are consequences for this, too. Sin deceives the sinner – i.e. there is a “deception of wickedness.” Continuing in this darkness leads to further deception – “God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false.”

Now, these three passages are probably best understood as warnings to unbelievers who reject the light of God in Christ altogether. On the other hand, as a general principle regarding both human nature and the nature of spiritual things, there is an implicit warning to Christians as well. It is important how we respond to the light of God’s word. It makes all the difference in the world whether we love the truth in order to be sanctified or prefer to love our sin.

 Christians are to take the danger of delusion seriously.

When Scripture says, “See to it that no one misleads you,” “Let no one deceive you,” and “Do not be deceived,” it is a warning against embracing darkness. Christians are to take the danger of delusion seriously.

On the other hand, there is also a wonderful promise.

For those who love Christ above all other things, we really can walk in the light, as He is in the light, “and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Unless otherwise specified, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible.