Tag Archives: Liberty

Zinzendorf 2.0

In a world increasingly defined by its crises, it is time for a radical shift back to an old approach to Christian community. The 21st Century has barely begun and already we are confronted with a growing plethora of complex challenges that must be overcome. The global economy that has defined much of world politics over the last 100 years appears to be increasing in instability. The ecology of the planet is increasingly taxed by unsustainable human practices, some of which could very well bring in the devastating effects of droughts and famines. Technology has allowed for great leaps forward in human wickedness, including the massive growth of the pornography and sex trafficking industries. In addition, here in these United States, the political situation is rapidly increasing in instability since our government has broken loose from its Constitutional moorings and has been careening wildly towards Federally imposed tyranny limiting free speech, freedom of religion, and the other freedoms American’s claim to hold dear. In the midst of all these difficulties the Church of Jesus Christ, as a body called out to serve their fellow man and seek and save the lost, has an incredible opportunity to take the lead in resolving these difficulties.

From its inception, this blog has been about Faith, Sustainability, and Liberty. The idea that follows is still in the rough, it needs refining and tempering, but above all it needs people of God to be willing to make radical changes in obedience to Him. What follows represents Thetonedeafbard’s total solution to the crises that are converging around us. Please join the conversation by leaving a comment or sending me an email at thetonedeafbard@gmail.com

That this shift is definitely necessary needs to be made clear, but effort has been taken to not overly dwell on the problem. The following is a brief summary of the problems looming on the horizon of the 21st Century, details of each issue are abundantly available from other sources.

The Problems
As this post is rather long, those well acquainted with the difficulties I mentioned in the first paragraph may skip this section.

First and foremost, the Western Church is facing a crisis. Much of it is becoming increasingly irrelevant to young people, while simultaneously many churches are selling out core Christian values and in the process giving up any influence they had left. Even good churches struggle to accomplish their Biblical role because their members aren’t really doing life together. Even for those who are still truly following Christ, it has become increasingly difficult for their worship not to be crammed into one of several compartments in their lives. At the end of the day, Christianity must be communal to survive in an increasingly antagonistic post modern culture, and right now it just isn’t.

Simultaneously, the Global Church is experiencing a massive transition. The success of Christian Mission in reaching the unreached, while not complete, has seen massive success. So much so that the West no longer makes up the majority of the Christian world. Western influence is still very strong, but will likely begin to wane in the near future, as our Majority World brethren take more and more responsibility. In the meantime, there are still thousands of unreached people groups perishing without the Gospel. The Church needs to make a concerted effort to make a functional hand off of this task, before the Western Church drops of the scene more completely.

Industrial agriculture is failing. All the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, genetic tampering, monoculture, etc. is beginning to take effect. The global food supply is increasingly vulnerable to disease and an increasingly unstable climate. In particular soil degradation and deforestation are taking a heavy toll, causing decreased crop yields, alterations in weather patterns, drought, failure of the soil to retain moisture, increased plant disease, aquifer depletion, and a whole host of other environmental issues. Our expensive fossil fuel based inputs are yielding more and more diminishing returns. Sooner or later, as yields decrease and soil depletes industrial agriculture will no longer be able to feed the earth’s growing population.

Our cheap energy era has also come with tragic human consequences. Urbanization and industrialization, while allowing some to reach levels of prosperity never before imagined, have also created massive pockets of urban poverty. In many of these pockets people are unable to meet their own basic needs for food, water, shelter, healthcare, hygiene, etc. Those living in these areas are suffering from daily deprivations, and are also more prone to exploitation such as that by the global sex trafficking industry. The Church of Jesus Christ has a Biblical command to meet these physical needs while introducing the Savior. At this time we have seen great strides towards relieving this suffering, but what is needed most deeply is a cultural shift that will address the larger problems causing poverty and suffering.

Exacerbating all the problems listed above is the increasing risk of economic collapse at the hands of rogue nations. The United States has led the way in treading a path towards tyranny and economic slavery. Americans are losing more and more of the liberty they cherish, while supporting a military industrial take over of the rest of the world spearheaded by super corporations. The tragic results are that, while even American’s who have more traditional ability to defend themselves against the rise of authoritarianism are giving up their liberty, those in the rest of the world with less resources are also paying the price for our negligence. As the cost of all of this government increases, the entire globally connected economy is facing increased threat of hyperinflation and collapse. Since this is happening simultaneously to these other global issues, the entire world could face massive amounts of suffering and loss simultaneously as much of what we have thought of as civilization risks passing away.

With a series of issues of this proportion and level of interconnectedness, a giant game of whack-a-mole isn’t going to work. These solutions call for a concentrated solution that will address all of the dangers and suffering that are happening now and are yet to come. The good news is, that solution has already been found. There is a historically validated answer to the current situation, that can be implemented today.

A Historical Solution

Count Nicolaus Zenzendorf and the Moravians provide one of the most fascinating expressions of Christian community available. While not historically well known in many circles, the Moravian community continues to have a disproportionate historical impact. The Moravian community launched the Protestants into world mission well ahead of the “Father of Modern Missions” William Carey. Their community life influenced the thoughts and practices of both John Wesley and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Even now there are churches all over the world who originally received the Gospel through the ongoing ministry of the early Moravian missionaries.

The Moravian Brethren were originally from a variety of theological backgrounds that were being persecuted in other parts of Europe. Count Zinzendorf provided them with shelter and allowed them to form a community on his estate. When theological infighting grew intense, Zinzendorf decided he had better take a more active role in the community. He sat down with the various community leaders and they studied the Scriptures continually until the issues were resolved. What came out was not a unified doctrinal statement in the traditional sense, but instead a set of standards for Christian living in community. Over time this deliberate practice of Christian community in sharing of the word and life together developed into a mission sending community the world has not really seen the like of since.

With an emphasis on practical skill development such as agriculture or various useful trades, the Moravians went forth equipped to provide for their physical needs while physically serving those to whom they went. They went forth with a passion for Christ so deep that several literally sold themselves into slavery to reach unreached African slaves. A survey of the modern mission movement, and how disproportionately it has been touched by this small community of brothers and sisters, gives us a great deal of insight into the effectiveness of doing life and mission in intentional community.

The temptation when looking at such an effectual community as that of the Moravians is to think that such a place must have been a historical anomaly. The fact of the matter is though, it has long standing in the classical Christian tradition. Eusebius records communities such as this one as early as the first century, and while it is not entirely clear, the Acts gives us some clear indicators that the New Testament Church was living in a very communal setting as well. All the way through the medieval period, and even today in the Roman Catholic church, the monastic tradition emphasized life together as a means to know God and serve man better. The trouble with discussing the monastic movement, for the purpose of this conversation, is that many today focus on how withdrawn members of the monastic movement were from daily life so much that they fail to see the innumerable acts of intentional mission performed within it. Suffice it to say, that the Moravians provide an excellent example to work with, provided it is recognized that they stood on the shoulders of others and did not represent some entirely new idea.

The New Moravians
The question then is: How could such intentional living impact the difficulties faced by the Church today? This kind of intentional living comes with an impact that has the power to reverse a great many of the problems faced today. What follows will be a brief outline of the impact of a return to Christian community in the Church today.

Many of the problems faced in the Church, especially the western churches, stem from a lack of true Christian community. Despite being active members of local churches, regularly attending services, and even partaking in a plethora of church related activities, many Christians are not in anyway getting the kind of community required for a vital Christian faith. Biblical Christianity cannot be had apart from Biblical community. This is why we are a called out body of believers, not merely called out individuals. The Christian life can simply not be attained without Christian fellowship.

This is particularly true when we are talking about purity and relevance. Purity cannot be maintained in the face of a hostile post-modern society without a community for support. Even if a theoretical individual had the will not to give into perceived social pressures, the ability to recognize the numerous areas where ground had already been given would be absent. Only in community can individuals see the dangerous flaws in the societies they have grown up in and then actively reject those flaws through their actions. This is a process, it doesn’t happen over night; but it can’t even begin if there apart from a group of people doing life together.

Without community, Christianity is also largely irrelevant. The Gospel was written for communities, not individuals. The command to love one another only applies if there are others to love. How can the transforming power of the Gospel be modeled before a broken world, unless radical disciples submit themselves fully to the life together. When Christian interaction is limited to intentional times of worship and fellowship and then each believer goes back into a largely secularized environment, what is put on display? Nothing more than the actions of a single individual. However, when a body of people do life together in a way that reflects the love of Christ in them, then their individual witnesses joins together into a compelling case to a different kind of life – a life in Christ. Separated Christians have very little opportunity to impact the world around them, but in intentional community whole communities, and even nations, can be transformed by the power of the Gospel.

Not only is intentional community required for basic Christian life in purity and relevance, it is also vital to the Christian mission. The Moravians successfully sent a disproportionate number of laborers into the harvest field largely because they had the community support structure to do it. There was a community to hold accountable each individual to the call of God to the nations, but there was also community in place to insure that each individual was equipped and supported in living out that call. No one left for the fields unsure of who would be upholding them in prayer 24 hours a day. In a time when the global leadership of the church must transition, nothing can be more unifying or missional than moving back towards this kind of intentional life together. As the majority world church rises to influence, now is the time to insure that the Church moves forward rooted in solid community, rather than empty times of fellowship.

This isn’t simply a matter of transitioning to a better form of Christian community while we transition to new leadership. Moving towards more intentional community will also make this transition more smooth and effective. The Western Church has gained a tremendous amount of insight, through experience, over the years into how to Biblically and effectively reach the unreached. As much of this knowledge as possible needs to be shared with our brothers and sisters around the world as quickly as possible, so that they can begin to fulfill their role in the mission of God. Unfortunately most Western education structures, among them colleges and seminaries, are not very compatible with the majority world church. Even if they were more compatible, they have often proved to be a barrier to those headed toward full time Christian service. The model Jesus provides for us, and that the Moravians displayed so well for us, is that of the life together. The disciples experiences with Jesus were ultimately the base of their entire ministry in the book of Acts. In the NKJV, Acts 4:13 says of the Pharisees “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” It was this act of doing life together that resulted in the Apostles missional effectiveness and understanding of the Gospel. Life together takes education and information sharing out of the classroom where it is theoretical and out to the streets where it is practical. Not only is this a more effective tool for teaching and equipping God’s people, it is also universally applicable in all cultures because community life is defined by those who live it.

At this point it is clear that community, as modeled for us by Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians, has a powerful impact on Christian living, but what about some of the other 21st Century issues in discussion? In an age where our agriculture system is such clear trouble, there has been a growing movement of people “back to the land” who are focused on subjects like self sufficiency. The reality is, there is no such thing. The success of our ancestors in living sustainably off the land was rooted firmly in community not individualism. That said, if a dedicated community chooses to radically focus on Permaculture as a sustainable design system, it can live in a way that not only protects the community itself from the growing list of short comings of our current system, but that, whether urban or rural, also protects the larger community around it. The ability to design and work together in restoring natural patterns of design in the land, provides the ultimate opportunity for communities to live out the already present positive alternatives to our failing industrial model.

This kind of sustainable living together also answers the questions posed by urban poverty and suffering. Focusing on sustainable food production and high quality community healthcare that combines modern knowledge with natural patterns allows us to not only alleviate the suffering of the poor in the short term, but also to educate poverty out existence by modeling a better way forward. Hands on education that demonstrates the success of those who practice it can cause the whole economics of poverty to be abolished. Especially where we are talking about greening the food deserts and equipping people with the ability to meet their own basic needs. This is especially true when intentional Christian communities make the choice to set up in the heart of poverty blighted urban centers. The end result of this change not only removes poverty, but also makes impossible the all to uncommon exploitation of the poor that is too common today.

Finally solid communities doing life together in a way that is sustainable by design to the glory of Christ are not only hedged from the destructive effects of sin and temptation, but also from global economic uncertainty and the growing push towards statism. How this ecological liberty impacts poverty and redefines local economies has already been discussed, all that needs to be added is that this redefinition removes those local areas from the chaos of global markets by bringing all of the most important economic needs of the community back within the community. When all of these needs are met locally, communities are not so adversely impacted by the larger scale economic problems we face.

Community also lies at the root of solving our problems with the push towards Federal control of everything. First, it reverses the push to honor the state as though it were God through dependency, instead asserting the value of each member of the community to assist in living sustainably before God. Second, in community, those who love their God given liberty can more effectively work to protect it. Since small, self sustaining communities are already economically fairly autonomous and free, they are much less susceptible to being bullied by the State. With so much of the aggressive tyranny happening at the local level, replacing local governments with deliberately free communities puts a stop its growth. Not only that, but the kind of community being discussed here also sets forward a model for free living that can continue regardless of what happens in the country as a whole.

Intentional communal living then is a key tool for educating and equipping the church to carry out its essential mission. In addition, it is the key to sustainable living on this planet and will assuage and shelter against the suffering present and coming in our nation and world. It should be a great comfort that this has been done successfully before, and, while perhaps not being done as completely as discussed here, is being done successfully even in our times. It is time for the Church to make a concentrated effort to return to vital Christian communities, communities that heal people and the earth they inhabit.

The Next Zinzendorf

Only one thing is lacking. The leadership necessary to begin implementing and calling for this change needs to emerge. The Moravian community was successful to a large degree because of the passion and commitment of Count Zinzendorf to the success of Christian community. In a day in age where much of the Church has moved far away from such principles of community, it will take strong leadership to return to it. The call and push towards effective community is urgent and time is moving quickly.

Would the next Count Zinzendorf please stand up?

Rogue Government

It’s been a busy year or so for questionable activities within the US government. Just in the past few weeks we have had breaking stories about the IRS deliberately persecuting certain types of political organizations and the NSA engaging in massive surveillance of the American people, the 4th amendment not withstanding. A growing, but still relatively small, number of Americans are deeply concerned about the state of affairs in Washington DC. Many have taken to blaming their elected officials for this mess that we find ourselves in.

Let me be clear. This is not President Obama’s fault. This is not Congress’s fault. This is our fault. Speaker Boehner tried to blow off the NSA spying program as no big deal, because there is supposedly plenty of congressional oversight in place to protect us.

Get real Mr Speaker! The NSA is estimated to have around 30,000 employees, and that is not counting this new trend Mr Snowden uncovered of using government contractors to engage in surveillance work. The IRS is even more bloated with over 100,000 employees. Let’s look at a few more agencies: USDA 105,000; FDA nearly 10,000; CIA around 100,000. You get the point.

The problem we are facing today is not that our President or Congress are actively engaged in these kinds of unconstitutional behavior, although they certainly condone them. The real problem is that we have developed a giant bureaucracy that is far to large, just in terms of manpower, to actually be overseen by our elected officials.

When we put these kinds of systems in place, most people believed that our government was just looking out for our best interest and that our elected officials would keep things from getting out of hand. The reality is these kinds of departments get far to big, and far to powerful for Congress or the President to remotely keep in check. In fact, in many ways these agencies have far more power and influence over the decisions of our elected officials than the other way around.

As if that wasn’t enough, a multitude of the people controlling these agencies are former employees of organizations they are supposed to regulate. Monsanto for example has a plethora of people at the USDA. If you think lobbying is a bad thing, imagine free lobbying by loyal ex-employees who are now supposed to give key advice on issues that affect your company. These agencies aren’t looking out for us, they are looking out for themselves. Why should we really be surprised when the IRS persecutes political groups, many of which have sought to abolish the IRS. They are just seeking to protect their own paychecks.

There is no amount of oversight possible that can reign back in these rogue agencies. They have accumulated a vast amount of power, often under the cloak of secrecy; and as the NSA leaks reveal, will use it as they see fit whether Constitutional or not.

The only answer is to return to our Founding Principles and begin abolishing the myriad of Federal agencies we’ve created. The NSA has served to strongly prove that our Founding Father’s were right, and that we can’t compromise our liberties in the least to the Federal Government. Supposedly we were trading liberty for safety, in the end it looks like we’ll have neither. The only way forward through this mess, is to return back to principles that have always been there to protect us.

Liberty and limited government cannot be halfway done. Once we begin to compromise the bureaucracy takes over and the steady march towards tyranny cannot be stopped unless the bureaucracy is first abolished.

I’m Still Glad Obama Beat Romney: An Open Letter to My Republican Friends

I’ve been a pretty staunch opponent of the actions of the Obama administration since day one. I even tend to get vocal when actions are taken that need to be addressed loudly by the American people, and I have more than once contacted my congressman and Senator to encourage opposition to legislation this administration backed heavily. So it came as a great surprise to many of my conservative friends when I announced that I would rather keep President Obama rather than see Mitt Romney elected. Most called me idealistic, and many said I didn’t know what I was asking for. I was even told that a vote for a 3rd party candidate was a vote for Obama. One of the Tea Party leaders in our area even came out and whined about all the third party voters who made it easier to get Obama re-elected.

The truth is, I knew exactly what I was asking for, and thus far this second term has proved me right. A dangerous candidate, who is recognized as dangerous and is well opposed is much safer than a bad fix who is just as dangerous as the incumbent. This is precisely what we had in the 2012 election cycle. Barak Obama’s agenda is well known and fairly well understood, although most people need to look further up the rabbit hole to see who really runs this country. On key policy issues, Mitt Romney stood for almost all of the same things as the President, except for a couple of issues where he changed his mind just in time to run for President.

This bears serious consequences. Organizations like the 10th Amendment Center have fought this administration tooth and nail at the State and Local level with a great deal of support. There have been court battles, Republicans have been forced to oppose legislation they might support if it they didn’t have to “stop Obama”. Does anyone think a gun grabber like Mitt Romney couldn’t have engineered a bi-partisan plan to restrict magazine capacity or end private sales of firearms? His record indicates he’d try it, but unlike Barak Obama he might have actually succeeded. What’s more, with the national debt spiraling out of control we are headed towards an inflationary collapse. At least under a socialist policy like that of Barak Obama we know what to expect. Based on the USSR we should go down fairly slowly. Get a fake budget hawk like Paul Ryan up there and all bets are off. There is no way to anticipate what will happen in a system where a repair has literally been faked. So yes, I knew what I was getting, and given the choice I’m pretty happy about it.

It’s time we had a serious discussion about the Republican Party. Many members of the liberty movement think they can retake the party, but lets be real. Do we really believe that can happen after the shameful treatment of Dr. Paul’s supporters at the RNC last year and the recent events in Alaska?

We have reached the point where a vote for the Republicans is a vote for statism, just like a vote for the Democrats. There are a handful of high quality candidates fighting it out for control of the party, but like their democratic colleagues there isn’t much chance they’ll win. It’s time for all lovers of liberty, everyone who cares about our Constitution, anyone who wants to see this country move back to its founding principles, to leave the Republican Party to rot.

We have other solid choices. The Constitution Party resonates more clearly with the values of most American’s than either of the two main parties today. Stop propping up a dying party by voting along party lines.

As for myself, with a handful of exceptions for men I personally admire, I will not vote for another Republican again. We’re way passed that point folks, it’s time to actually get serious about who we elect to office because at the end of the day we are morally responsible for their actions.

UN Small Arms Treaty is Back

According to the NRA ILA the Obama administration could sign the UN Small arms treaty as early as Monday. This should come as no real surprise, and while I appreciate people’s jealous defense of their liberty, I feel compelled to address this every time it comes up, due to confusion over this issue.

1. All treaties MUST have a resolution approving ratification passed by the 2/3 of the US Senators present to go into effect. The President cannot unilaterally enter a treaty.

2. No treaty can be entered into that violates the US Constitution. This stems from the nature of the Constitution, as a compact made by the people of these United States that explicitly defines the limitations of Federal authority, the Constitution can only be altered or abolished by the American people. Any treaty that contradicts all or part of the Constitution is null and void in passing it the President and Senate voted directly against the very authority that empowered them to enter a treaty in the first place.

This doesn’t mean don’t contact your Senator, but make sure they know they do not have Constitutional power to approve this treaty.

For more good reading on the now popular topic of magazine capacity also read my post “why would anyone need a high capacity rifle or pistol magazine?”

They Fired The First Shot

They Fired The First Shot 2012 By A Friend of Medjugorje might very well be the most important book of our time. It reintroduces the principles and concepts that lead to the American Revolution, and ultimately would undergird our Constitution. In addition it thoroughly addresses the Spiritual issues behind the times we have come upon as a nation; and then proceeds to introduce a practical, workable solution that every American can work out.

Let me begin by saying that I only read this book because it was highly recommended by one of the very few people on this earth whose advice I take with little reservation. The reason I wouldn’t have read it is this: The book was written by a devout Roman Catholic who chooses to center much of the teaching in the book around the appearances of the Virgin Mary to the Medjugorje visionaries.

This whole concept will be, without a doubt, very foreign to protestant and evangelical readers; but I would urge you put your qualms aside and read this book anyway. To be honest, I have no real reason to either believe or doubt the testimony of the Medjugorje visionaries; but I chose instead to simply apply the test our Lord gave us to the teaching that was presented. That is, I looked instead to the fruit of the words conveyed and not the source. The teaching, in my opinion is glorifying to Christ and edifying to His body and therefore should be accepted as good teaching regardless of my belief or unbelief in the source.

My only other qualm as I read the book is that at least at one level it probably could have gone deeper into the forces arrayed against our nation. The author chooses to address primarily actions taken by the Obama administration during the first few months of 2012, and while he hints at forces working behind the scenes to place Obama in power, he doesn’t really choose to address them other than a brief chapter on George Soros and some veiled references to communism. This, however has its advantages, information about the false two party paradigm and the powers behind the scenes that are manipulating our government has become fairly mainstream and is relatively accessible. With the focus being mostly on things going on behind the scenes within our current government, this book is easy reading for average conservative readers who don’t trust the current administration but have as of yet been unwilling to admit to the gravity of the situation. If you are already better informed than to focus solely on the actions of this administration, you will still learn a good deal about actions being taken through executive order you were likely unaware of and can just make a mental note that there is more going on that just “liberalism” or “socialism”.

That said the author goes much deeper into the issue than the average author, because he recognizes that the real issue is a struggle between good and evil. As a devout follower of Christ A Friend of Medjugorje recognizes that evil cannot rise to a place of power and prominence unless Christ’s followers turn aside from holy living and fail to uphold Christian moral values in the pubic square. The ultimate responsibility for what has now begun to happen lies not with the government, but rather with the American Church, which has largely failed to positively impact our society. In presenting his solution, the author focuses on the fact that no change will be possible without first shedding tears of repentance and turning back to God. In doing so the author lays out very clearly how a Christian principles can, and indeed must, underpin the nation in order for it succeed.

In addition to a passionate cry for repentance, the author gives a phenomenal reintroduction to the Constitution and founding principles of the United States. I have read a good bit of the writings of our nations Founders and found this book to be just as clear and well written on the principles of liberty. The author addresses key issues, such as the concept of Natural Law, the responsibility of Christians to resist tyranny (for a brief look at this issue see my post Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God), the difference between Democracy and a Republic, and the balance of power between the States and Federal Government just to name a few. In addressing these issues the book is filled with quotations from the founding fathers, which help point to further reading in the future.

After addressing the need for personal heart change as well a change in mindset the author delves into a detailed plan to restore our nations liberties. He chooses to focus on changing things we have control over, or can easily get control over rather than on some vague attempt to “take our country back”. The author instead advocates forming small, Constitutional Prayer Groups and allowing them to lead to a move back towards, small, rural, sustainable pockets of freedom in small towns across America. He then advocates moving at the county level to elect a constitutional sheriff, and does a good job explaining the ability of the sheriff to put a stop to all the various forms of tyranny that are currently being wielded against American’s today. My post A Revolution in Miniature sums up many of the concepts the author addresses in detail.

This book is essential reading for all God-fearing patriots in America today, focus on the truth of the message and don’t be distracted by the more Catholic references. I would also advocate as many pastors as possible read this book and in so doing rediscover the role you ought to be playing in preserving American liberty.

A Revolution in Miniature

In light of the overwhelming list of problems faced by these United States today, it is very easy for lovers of liberty everywhere to feel discouraged, and even depressed about the cause of liberty. With the constant barrage of executive orders, Federal regulations, Federal laws, State laws, etc. encroaching on our rights as a free people. It is difficult for a single individual to feel they have any power.

The most politically involved persons might attend a bunch of rallies, and campaign aggressively for certain candidates. When nothing happens, especially in attempts at electing a better President, the result tends to be exhaustion and fatigue from over involvement. I mean lets just be real here, Mitt Romney was, in many different ways, a substantially more dangerous enemy to American liberty than Barak Obama. Continuing to be real, we are not going to elect a Rand Paul, Gary Johnson, or Virgil Goode anytime soon. The simple fact is, people just don’t have a clear enough understanding of what is going on in our country. Most Americans still think this is some sort of battle between the right and left or some such thing.

So let me be clear, no matter what they tell you, the vast majority of elections don’t have consequences. The two candidates who actually have a shot at the job never vary substantially from one another. Don’t get discouraged just yet though. There is a solution to this whole mess that most people aren’t talking about. Protests, rallies, elections, fund raisers, lawsuits, etc. don’t work because we are foolishly choosing to play the game according to the rules set down by those already in power.

In order to set America right again, what is actually needed is a miniature revolution. We will never reset the nation as a whole, until we reset it one small part at a time.

We must begin by changing the one thing we have the most control over: OURSELVES.

The Revolution in Miniature begins in our own hearts and homes. America MUST move back to God if she is going to be saved. How does that happen? Can we legislate it? No, we need men and women of faith who boldly bring the presence of God into everything that they do.

Begin by restoring your own Faith, and remember America was founded on Christian principles because it was ALREADY a Christian nation, no because we can some how legislate Christianity into the government:

We talk about how “they” took prayer “out” of our public school system. The truth is they really didn’t need to, because it was already gone. Even now, as we protest the removal of prayer, how often do we pray in our homes? Are you praying each night with your children? Your spouse? Do you set aside a personal prayer time each day?

Godliness has largely been removed from the public square. Is this the governments fault? I would suggest instead that the reason our society as a whole lacks godly behavior is because we the church have failed to live in a holy and godly way. There is no godliness on display in the church house, and consequently neither is there any in the White House, the State house, or on television.

Even as we complain that they are removing the 10 Commandments from public display, along with other crosses and Christian symbols, are we asking ourselves how often we actually read the Scriptures we claim to base our lives on? We need a return to the Word, and not just the reading of it but full obedience to its commands. If we are living lives obedient to the Word then all through the United States there will be Christian symbols and crosses on display in the lives of men and women who have taken up their cross daily for all the world to see.

Then begin to restore your Liberty:

We need a mindset change, we talk like we want less government but we live like we want more. Get rid of the belief that we “need” the government to do this or that. Instead recognize that “We the People” can take care of any crisis the nation faces. We don’t need the government to solve the economic problems, for example, we just need them to stay out of our way.

Read up on the founding documents of this nation. At bear minimum read: Declaration Of Independence, Constitution Of The United States Of America, Bill Of Rights And Constitutional Amendments, The Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers, and Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England so that you’ll have at least a basic understanding of the worldview that our Founding Fathers were working from when they wrote the Constitution. Most of these are available free. Sometime soon I’ll post a page with a public domain reading list for Patriots.

One key to restoring your liberty, and part of the reason I am suggesting this extensive reading list, is that more likely than not you believe things about our government system that are not true. If you are confused about any of the following you need to relearn American law:
* These United States are a Constitutional Republic, NOT a Democracy. Democracy was, in fact, considered by our Founding Fathers to be the worst and most tyrannical form of government
* Liberty is a God-Given Right, which the government has no right to seize or encroach upon except by due process when you have violated the rights of someone else.
* The Constitution cannot be annulled or abridged by any part of the Federal government either by law or treaty because the Federal government does not have the authority to do so. If they claim such authority THEY ARE BREAKING THE LAW.
* An unconstitutional law is unconstitutional from the moment of its passing, and according to long standing principles of American jurisprudence is never law. We do not have to wait for a court to tell us what is an isn’t Constitutional.
* Juries maintain the power to acquit a guilty party regardless of the law, if they hold the law to be unconstitutional or unjust.
* States maintain the power to nullify unconstitutional commands of the Federal government and reject them as law over their citizens.
* The County Sheriff ought to be the greatest champion of liberty you vote for. He is vested with full Constitutional authority to block the enforcement of unjust and unconstitutional laws within your county.

Just like we have to completely repent of our sin and turn back towards God and holiness to take back our faith, we need to change in order to take our liberty back as well. The use of the government to enforce a law against a neighbor or some other group of people in this country, constitutes the threat of lethal force. For this reason the law, and the sword of government, should ONLY be used in situations where lethal force is fully justified. This means the governments sole job should be the protection of the people from foreign enemies and criminals.

In addition, to take back your liberty means taking back things we gave away:

Take back the right to educate your children in godliness and liberty by homeschooling them if at all possible.

Take back your home economy, and economic freedom, by completely getting rid of all debt and establishing various forms of cottage industry to produce useful items for your friends and family.

Take back the right to feed yourself by feeding your family by the work of your own hands.

Which leads to a personal revolution in Sustainability:

Ask yourself how much do I depend on outside sources for my income, food, security, etc? The time is long past come to move back to a point where you only rely on trustworthy sources for the things you need most: Divine Providence, hard work, your own ingenuity, close friends and family, a community of believers (Church), etc.

Learn to provide at least food for yourself through gardening, keeping chickens, rabbits, bees, etc. If you have more property graduate up to larger stock like goats, sheep, maybe even cows.

To be honest in all of these areas there is probably going to be a need to vote with your feet. At bear minimum to live a life of Faith, Liberty, and Sustainability you will likely need to move out of the city. Urban areas consistently damage all 3 of these areas. In addition you should consider how much freedom your state actually allows you to have, it is great to believe in the 10th amendment, but if your home state is as tyrannical as the Federal government then it is probably time to move. If you move in state consider trying to find a state with a Constitutional Sheriff already in place, if you can’t find one work with others to elect one.

Once the revolution is begun in your heart, then and only then, is it time to begin to expand it. Bring in close friends and members of your extended family and help them realize why you are doing the things you are doing. Reteach the truths of our Faith, Liberty, and the need for a new focus on Sustainability. Meet frequently together to pray, and to encourage each other and hold one another accountable in pursuing life change. Then bring in your local pastors if at all possible, remember the American Revolution was largely the result of fervent preaching. Work together to try and form your own community, possibly even moving to a town small enough that you will be the new majority and reinstituting the concepts of Constitutional law by greatly reducing the legal load of the town. Then seek to spread this Revolution in Miniature to the County level by electing a Constitutional Sheriff, and good county commissioners, start with the Sheriff.

In gradually moving forward until we refound one county at a time, things will not always be easy, but we will see progress. We will peacefully retake our liberty, even if we can’t take it for our neighbors. The despair of being powerless goes away, when we recognize that the first change needs to take place in our life, and then in those immediately around us. It is in starting at the bottom and working up that we can actually see positive change in this country.

Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God

Following the events in Boston yesterday, it is my full expectation that we will see yet another push for the American people to trade their liberties for security. With growing resistance to drone surveillance, the TSA, the growth of our police state, our unjust policy of endless war; and the growth of the liberty movement, I have every reason to believe that this event will be used to “bloody the nose” of the American people to continue trading liberty for safety. As Benjamin Franklin, who is quoted in the title as well, said “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.” I hope this post serves as a timely reminder to all Americans.

The battle taking place in America today, the one that is playing out in our court houses and in the halls of congress, is not merely a contest of political ideologies. It is becoming clear, certainly, that many Americans strongly disapprove of the actions of their government – whether Republican or Democrat. It is also becoming clear that the two parties have conspired together to push an agenda that is damaging to the cause of liberty. The battle taking place, however, should not be summed up as some mere difference of political opinion; rather it is an all out war for the heart and soul of the nation.

These men in power today, who swagger around Washington D.C. like aristocrats and attempt to bully the American people into submission didn’t come to be there overnight. They came to be there because we the people turned our back on the fear of The Lord and with it wisdom. They came to be there because we neglected our sacred duty and gave up the watchfulness that so long protected our cherished liberty. They came to be there because we came to worship the state instead of God.

You don’t think we worship the government in this country? Who do we turn to in the event of a crisis? When an event like Hurricane Katrina happens, who gets blamed if it isn’t handled well? Who do we run to when our enemies attack us and kill us? Who do we turn to when we don’t like the behavior of our neighbor, whether how he handles his own property or his moral choices? Most Americans turn first to the government to act on all of these issues. And because, like the children of Israel we neglected The Lord and sought after a king, now in His righteous judgment God has given us kings.

The question now, is will the Church, the people of Faith, those who are to have no king but King Jesus stand idly by while these events unfold. Many Christians today seem to not understand that they have an innate Biblical command to resist tyranny. Not only is it ok to resist, it is Biblically mandated. This is the case for two reasons.

First, we are commanded by the Holy Scripture to protect those weaker than ourselves. Do you think God cares that the American government has violated the principles of Just War and begun rampaging about the earth like the pagan empires of old, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia? Do you think he cares that we have shed the innocent blood of several hundred Pakistani children, who by the way have likely never even heard the Gospel, with drone strikes from above? Where does it stop friends? We live in a Constitutional Republic, which means at least in theory that our government answers to us. This means, that we are morally responsible for the actions our government commits, particularly those carried out by men we helped to elect.

Second, when the government engages in tyrannical actions and takes away the peoples liberty, activities like forcing Catholic and Christian organizations to violate their consciences by paying for abortions, it is acting in direct opposition to Natural Law and in so doing to nature’s God. God has set in place on this earth His own law, a law by which all men are to be free and are created with certain rights. When the government attempts to seize these rights it violates the law of God, and those who submit to its unjust authority align themselves with this rebellion against their creator.

The people of God cannot remain on the sidelines on this issue. There is no neutral ground. Either we take a positive stand for the honor, reputation, and righteous rule of our God and Liberator or we stand with the kings of this earth in their quest to destroy His image and the liberty he placed in the heart of every man. I have heard it argued that the Gospel, and the Kingdom of God must come first above other earthly considerations, and indeed they must; but do we really think God will honor the advance of the Gospel in the hands of churches and Christians with blood on their hands, at the hands of those who have engaged in active rebellion against his law through the support of their nations false authorities?

Christian, it is your sacred duty, Divinely commanded, to stand with liberty. To protect the law of God and defend the weak and helpless. Those who act in tyranny are in rebellion to God and have no authority for their actions, you on the other hand have full authority vested in you from on high to resist, and ultimately stop, the actions and crimes they are committing against God’s law. Will you stand with liberty and the God who endows it to every man, or will you rebel against the only King you ought to have?

Pray for our nation, pray the prayer of repentance. Pray that the Church would be revived and again take her proper place in society. Pray that the people of God would recognize the duty they have to protect His law. And then STAND.

Essential Liberty

Why there is no other sound basis for government than the preservation of liberty.

I was challenged recently as to why the protection liberty was the only valid basis for government. The person I was having the discussion with, pointed to a couple of other potential possibilities, such as human happiness, as other sound motives for government. The problem is, at the end of the day there is no other lawful purpose for government than the protection of liberty.

As I begin, let me address a few of the more popular alternatives put forward today, after all people don’t typically go around advocating for tyranny.

Democratic Socialism

The argument for democratic socialism, stems from the fact that all resources are shared up “equally” among the people as a whole. The government serves a mediator type role in making decisions about what is necessary for the public good, and uses regulations to push things in the right direction. At a moderate level the United States could be argued to be like this today, and Europe certainly is.

However, democratic or not, all forms of socialism are immoral and in violation of the Divine Law because they are fundamentally built on theft. Any time that the threat of government force is used to take a resource away from those who lawfully obtained and give it to another, including for government projects, it is theft.

At some point we need to begin applying the same standards to government that we do to individuals. The government after all only represents the people. Those who favor this type of government need to realize that every regulation they pass, every dollar they take for the “public good”, all of it is the use of force, threatened or actual. To force a minority to comply.

In addition, democratic socialism is ultimately self defeating for the same reason that communism was. By repressing the minority view in the name of “equality”, innovation is stifled. By taking by force wages from those who lawfully earned them, the incentive to succeed is stifled. The people on the border of being provided for by the wages of others, regardless of how low the initial limits may be, recognize that their poorer neighbors have more disposable income and move to get assistance themselves. This gradually results in a tipping point moment where the producers cannot provide for the rest of the country any more.

So essentially all socialism, democratic or otherwise, is immoral and fails to work.

Human Happiness

As mentioned above it is frequently suggested that human happiness, not liberty should be the basis of government. Typically, like the various forms of socialism, democracy is thrown into the mix to hopefully make everyone happier.

Let me be clear, history and all of the wise men who have gone on before us teach that democracy is far and above the worst form of government imaginable. Any time that the majority believe they have the right to press forward with their will, over and above any rights or wishes of the rest of the nation, oppression and tyranny are sure to follow. Look at the extraordinary violence and failure of the French Revolution, even when wielded against admittedly tyrannical aristocrats, democracy manage to produce worse results than the system it was trying to prevent.

So the question then becomes: Whose happiness? If we are talking about allowing each individual liberty to pursue happiness as they please, then we are just talking about liberty from the perspective of the pursuit of happiness. If, however, we are talking about the collective happiness of society, then we are talking about democracy, and that is indeed a very dangerous road.

The problem comes in this, sooner or later the collective majority will greatly desire something that requires the oppression of a minority to obtain. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but they will decide it is necessary for their happiness. Pretty soon a sense of entitlement will spring up and the minority will come to be viewed as oppressing the majority by withholding the desired resource. Sooner or later the minority will be forced to either “voluntarily” give into the demands of the majority or they will suffer violence and oppression for refusing.

The result, without liberty, is always the happiness of some at the expense of others.

Anarchy

I’m not sure why at the present, but I am seeing more and more calls for an anarchical system. Several of these have even gone so far as to attempt to argue that “anarchy” isn’t actually a system without rules, but one without rulers.

I find this redefinition strange, because it leads one of two directions. Either we are talking about no government, which historically has proven impossible. Or we are talking about a fixed set of laws carried out directly by the people to preserve individual liberty, in which case we aren’t talking about anarch at all but constitutional democracy.

The trouble comes in when we are talking about the first of these 2 choices, which is a more standard definition of anarchy. First of all, there is no historical basis for the idea that such a government could even exist. It has been attempted throughout history, and never with any success. Anarchy exists mostly in chaotic times for very brief periods, it is not possible for it to continue long term. Even the most primitive peoples on earth have some form of government and rule of law.

Second of all, despite its claim at being most free, anarchy is actually extremely oppressive. Scripture and history both teach us that mankind has inherit sin problem, we are not capable of being completely good. In fact, in many cases even 100% Christian societies have exhibited symptoms of this condition. Since man is not inherently good and will naturally tend towards oppressing his neighbors in his own selfish cause without some form of check upon him we have created government.

While I certainly favor limited government, we cannot have no government, because we must have means of protecting the weak from the strong. This can be best done when society as a whole recognizes the rights of each individual and forms a government exclusively to protect them.

Liberty is the only lawful form of government

What was once clear to our forefathers has drifted out of the public knowledge in relatively recent history, a government built on liberty is not simply a “better” form of government, rather it is the only lawful form of government that can exist.

There is, built into the very fabric of creation, a set of laws. Laws which make it clear that each and every man, woman, and child has certain intrinsic rights that they cannot be deprive of. These laws flow from a basic understanding of morality, and can be rooted in the Scripture, particularly the 10 Commandments. Let me give some examples:

Individuals have the right to life. A human being, cannot be lawfully deprived of his right to exist. Thou shalt not murder.

Individuals have a right to maintain control over their own property and to use their goods as they see fit. Thou shalt not steal.

The right of each man to liberty, follows naturally from His being created in the image of God; as well as from the basic laws of morality, without which no society can be organized. This natural law, which dictates the rights of mankind, derives its authority from nature’s God and not from any government or social contract. As William Blackstone noted, the natural law is of equal authority to the law of scripture, though scripture must have a fuller authority since it has been fully revealed by the Holy Spirit.

The issue at stake then, is that no government can be formed in opposition to that natural law. If one does, then it is an unlawful and unjust government. Governments built on other means than this are in direct opposition to the natural order and its Creator and are in error.

Instead, legitimate government, is set up coincide with, and protect people’s rights under, the natural law.

This means, when governments take action to seize people’s liberty, whether by taking away their possessions, taking them as slaves, taking away their right to protect themselves, taking away their religious freedom, etc; they are actually violating a higher law. They are acting outside the bounds of Divinely set authority and those who stand up to them are acting lawfully.

It is high time as a nation, that we reeducated ourselves on these principles, so as to be better able to take a stand on the oppressive tendencies now brewing within our government.

Are Alabama’s Legislators all Tyrants?

I haven’t taken on any local issues here on the blog, but this one is very important to me personally. It probably won’t surprise many of you to find out that I am a big believer in natural and wholistic medicine as is my wife. Here in my home state of Alabama, it is actually illegal for a midwife to assist at a home birth. This is, as I said, pretty personal for me since I have had to make the drive to Tennessee to use a licensed CPM there for the births of my children. There has been a lot said about this issue already, but I think I offer a pretty unique perspective that needs to be addressed.

This is not an issue of appropriate healthcare, this is an issue of liberty versus tyranny. The question that Alabama’s legislators need to be called to task on is this:

Why is it that you believe you have the right to dictate to Alabamians the choices they may or may not make about their own health?

We got all up in arms about Obamacare in this state, and yet here are our own state representatives enforcing their will freely upon the people of this state in the very area of healthcare to affect every single one of us at the moment we come into the world. The government of this state is literally trying to control our lives in the very moments we are being born.

Let me tell you something folks, you may not be particularly pro-midwife, and if you aren’t that is ok; but a government that believes it can tell you what healthcare choices you can and cannot make doesn’t actually believe you have any rights at all. Despite their being Republicans, and despite their bold talk it seems very clear that we have a house full of tyrants in Montgomery who really do think this is their decision to make. They, through their actions, are willing to override the carefully thought out actions of families all over Alabama who recognize that midwifery is a better choice for their families, because they aren’t comfortable with it.

I don’t care one bit whether they are comfortable with my healthcare choices, it isn’t any of their business. The people of Alabama, contrary to the apparent opinion of our legislators are not total idiots. We are fully capable of making our own, informed health care decisions without the help of the special interest groups that run Montgomery.

Next time you decide to call or email your elected officials on this issue I suggest a general change in the way we address the issue. We can talk all day long about how midwifery is a beneficial form of healthcare that is much needed in Alabama, and it very much is; but that argument needs to be made to the people of Alabama at the grass roots level. The focus of our discussion with our legislators needs to be about discovering why they believe they have the authority to make health care decisions for us in the first place.

On this issue I would contend that our legislature is behaving itself as bad or worse than the Federal government in intentionally limiting health care choices that Alabamians clearly want. Until we begin to recognize that our states are just as quick to seize our liberties as the Fed, we will never get our freedom back. The way the state of Alabama has acted on this issue and a few others, if the old south “rises again”, I’ll move.

Dare to defend your rights! Take action on this issue while you still have the right to do so!