Friday, September 02, 2005

The Fact of Truth and the Debate of it.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Anabaptist/political blogosphere (myself included): Get a grip. For vanity of vanities, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. Solomon, in all his wisdom, found the ENTIRE planet vain! We have in this verse presented to us a perfect rebuttal of the spirit of politicism in many of our blogs today. Several of my friends are the writers behind them, and it has not till now occurred to me that this is most obviously vain! A perfect example, hosted on "The [Not So] Daily Me", was given when Joshua B. Good and Hans Mast left a series (something like 125 comments, assisted by several other visitors) of contradicting (basically, liberal vs. conservative, JBG the former, HM the latter) comments, solely for the purpose of superimposing their own opinions on the other party. While I, by pressupossition, would have sided with the conservative, but I found the controversy so overwhelmingly STUPID, it's overall content borderlining on childish. It prompted me to leave a comment attempting to bring to light the vanity of such a discussion. Actually, discussion barely fits the bill.

Josh or Hans, if you're reading this, please, nothing personal, seriously! But how much does fundamental faith play into your discussions, and what, REALLY, does it matter who wins? I submit, gentlmen, that none of you have taken into consideration the level of hypochrisy that is percieved by readers not believing in Christianity; and that perhaps you, looking at, say, evolutionists bickering in the same manner as proof positive that the theory is flawed! Take care, gentlemen that you don't override the foundation of your faith, the reason for which you have a moral fiber on which to base your political opinions, with the intelligence that you have garnered. I'm speaking more specificaly to Josh, since Hans is still in his senior year in HS, and Josh has a BA in American Political History and MA in Historical Education. Amazing, though, that such a discussion would exist, a young guy vs. college grad/public school teacher with various participants on both sides.

The fact is, I myself wished to know more about politics in order to be involved in such discussions. That's why I went to the site in the first place. Then I printed the entire 125 comments and took them to lunch, where I began reading them, and the more I read, the more I saw: This is vanity. And I'm not talking to knock either one of these guys. I've had the priveledge of joining Josh for breakfast once, and Hans for lunch once, and I appreciate them both. I respect them both highly for their respective levels of intelligence. This is not about them! This is about us Christians not being able to discuss our differences amicably and with reason rather than trying to superimpose each other's opinions upon the other party. How is it that we Christians often forget the sacrifice payed for us, and we only care that WE are right. That our political views are established. What if, ladies and gentlemen, we would all discover that it is impossible for the government to legislate morality? Isn't that what politically conservative Anabaptists are all about. What would we conservatives do next? What if we conservatives would discover after this fact that liberal foreign policy was superior to our conservative foreign policy? What would we do then? Would we create a new group? Or would we just shrug and say, "shucks, they're right."

As is happens, there are holes in both groups, Conservative and liberal. Both have their shortcomings, none of which are very short in coming at all! If the liberal agenda saw that not all conservatives tout the death penalty, and conservatives found that not all liberals were pro-choice, etc. we might start to see a greater good. We might start to work together to overcome this useless wall. And maybe, just maybe, from the outside looking in, people can start to see the difference that Christians can make, instead of seeing the differences that we have and look at it as we look at two bickering evolutionists: Neither one is more right, they just both prove flaws in the theory. Do we want to make Christanity look like it has flaws in the "theory?" Au Contraire, my friends, Au Contraire.

Fundamentals, people. It's all about the fundamentals. Get back to them. Get a grip.


Anonymous said...

This blog is awesome! If you get a chance you may want to visit this Free PDF Creator site, it's pretty awesome too!

Anonymous said...

Funny. The feeling that they were missing the point kept nagging me too. (Though I never would have expressed it quite so strongly.)

By the way, about the book. Guilt beyond measure. I thought it was yours. I will get it to you as soon as possible.

Janet Miller said...

amen to getting a grip! u got a great blog here keep it up its very intersting and say r u gonna post some of ur pictures that you take on here? just wondering.....Gbu! bye.

Anonymous said...

Although I normally tend to agree with the ideas and thoughts expressed on this particular blog, I must take "offense" with the last blog posted here. First of all, although politics is vanity, we should be aware of how our world will effect our lives. Politics definitely have an effect on our own lives. Our lives are not vanity. Everything in the world may be vain, but our lives are not; thus, we must be aware of things that do affect our lives. We should try to effect a Christ like response in our world, and thus do everything we can to affect the culture for Christ. Taking an active part in politics (ie voting) is a definite way to do that. I do not believe that it is necessary to be a position of public office, but we can have an effect on our government. Simply discussing different political views with another person, we can deduce, is not totally vain, as politics do have an effect on our lives.

Dave B said...

Good words, Nic. What you're saying is soo true. There are other, bigger things to discuss than politics. As ambassadors here in this contry, of focus needs to remain on our "home country"

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I would like to interject something. The debate Hans and Josh are having is one the descendants of the Anabaptists must have. Today, too many of us have adopted the worldview of those who once killed our forefathers. I dont know what Josh and Hans' motives are and I wont defend them; I am only speaking for myself. I have posted on Hans' site in the hope of getting him to rethink his underlying assumption that conservative is good and liberal is bad, that to be a "conservative Anabaptist" (if that oxy-moron is even possible) is not to be blessing the bush regime.


Nic Miller said...

Thank you, patrick and jul for your objective posts. You're the kind of people I'm looking for. I don't agree, however, jul, with your reasoning. It is not my opinion that *discussing* it, in the manner of Josh and Hans will leave either one of them more inclined to the opinion of the other, basically, the only thing acheived is that each of them becomes more and more strongly polarized in their own opinion, rather than coming to a mutual agreement.

Patrick, is it possible to legislate morality? How do we really affect our culture by taking an active part in politics. From a philosophical standpoint, politics has (similarly to science) lost its foundation and objectivity when it lost Christ. There is simply no room for Christ in modern politics (and per your comment to JBG, modern politics is key, not classic liberalism and conservatism). At this point, there is simply NO philosophical reason for morality to exist, as, without a God, the foundations for such are completely obliterated. The government, as a totally atheistic association (which they have to be, apparently, in order to acheive complete religious balance in a system), has no reason to legislate morality, because the Creator of the very CONCEPT of morality, or Good and Bad, is not part of the equation. In order to be constent with its philosophy, the government is not able to legislate morality.

So tell me how a Godless society is going to figure out how to make moral law, how they're going to get their judges to use precedent, and how to teach abstinence in high school as more than just an AIDs prevention thing, and STILL BE CONSISTENT, and I'll join your political battle with gusto.

Anonymous said...

I think I can see your point. But do you mind telling me what you think of my debate with hans? I think that what I was trying to say applies better to our interaction


Anonymous said...

"Patrick, is it possible to legislate morality?"

Yes! Is murder illegal?

Outlawing murder is legislating morality. There is no other basis, except morality, to outlaw murder.

"The government, as a totally atheistic association (which they have to be, apparently, in order to acheive complete religious balance in a system), has no reason to legislate morality, because the Creator of the very CONCEPT of morality, or Good and Bad, is not part of the equation."

That is a liberal lie that we are constantly fed through the media and other venues. We are constantly told that: "We can't legislate morality." "We can't have any elements of Christianity in gov." etc, etc. It's not true!

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." Proverbs 29:2

Regarding: To debate or not to debate:

I love intellectual stimulation. Debating things helps me think through things in a thorough way. JBG is the same way. We're still very friendly with each other. It hasn't made so that we don't like each other. We still like each other fine. We are both passionate people and thus our arguments are passionate, but it's not that we thus don't like or feel bad toward the other.

The Bible never says that we can't disagree. Indeed the Bible says that we are to rightly divide the word of truth. Because we are human, we obviously don't get it right straight from the cradle. We need to process these things and figure out the best thing to do with our lives. One of the best ways to think something through thoroughly is to have a discussion about it. If an idea can't endure a serious discussion about its validity, you shouldn't be holding it (the idea). You can't have this "discussion" within yourself, because if you believe a certain way, you don't think of things that contradict your point of view as readily.

I also find it highly ironic that you are passionately and forcefully arguing that we shouldn't argue.

Nic Miller said...

Thank you Hans. I am entirely understand, and appreciate what you're saying. I think probably that I'm the poorer writer, and wasn't able to express exactly what I meant. We talked right past eachother. I'm not arguing to not argue, I'm just arguing for more valuable argument, although I see where you're coming from.

Anonymous said...

My two cents: Politics can never legislate morality in that politics can never change a persons heart. Sure it can attempt to control fallen, sinful man but it can never fix the basic problem- the sin nature.

No, we can't back down on what Scripture teaches about "gay marriage", abortion, etc. We need to speak out against it. Is it our job to force people to change? Does God force us to choose Him? I think it would be better to speak out to those we meet and then allow the Holy Spirit to convict.


Nic Miller said...

In regards to the first part of Hans' comment that I failed to reply to in my previous comment,
–(which they have to be, apparently, in order to acheive complete religious balance in a system),– I was NOT saying that from my own beliefs. Going back to what I said earlier, I'm defenitly the poorer writer and did NOT communicate as I inteded.

In order for the government to be consistent, they have to be completely evangelical or completely atheistic. That's a fact. And until they're consitent they will always have people opposing "moral" legislations because, in fact, they have to basis on which to set "morality". It is not possible to be fully consistent.
Thanks for your insightful comments, Hans, as well as everyone else!