Thursday, November 03, 2005

"Democrats love to mock the Republican base for believing the Bible is true. Democratic basemen believe "Fahrenheit 9/11" is true!" - James Taranto writing in Best of the Web Today about the differences between the Republican and the Democrat bases.

Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:17:00 AM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |  Trackback
 Saturday, October 29, 2005

Someone wrote to me offended by what I had written about Colorado C & D tax increases. This post is adapted from my reply.

The individual who wrote me is a MD who did not feel he could do what he does to care for the poor without the taxes that C & D would bring in. I replied:

It is the height of irresponsibility to pick the programs folk feel are most vital and threaten to cut their funding in order to try to blackmail the taxpayers into paying more taxes. It is not as though the state has been enduring economic hard times.

C & D are excuses for the legislature to not have to make real decisions about what is worthy of funding and what is not. I can't see how it benefits the residents of Colorado to reward legislators who refuse to do what we hired them to do with even more money with which to act irresponsibly.

This MD further correctly pointed out that we as Christians have a mandate to care for the poor. He felt I needed to temper my "rhetoric to include a Biblically based concern for the poor". I replied:

Concern for the poor has nothing to do with this situation (raising taxes at a time when there is a surplus).

Yes, as Christians we have a mandate to care for the poor. Both as individual Christians and as churches we are commanded to care for the poor.

However, we can't rob someone by force and claim God's blessing on what we do just because we happen to use some (very small) portion of what we take to fund what God commands us to do.

What if the Good Samaritan had setup a toll booth on the highway and charged everyone who wanted to use the road a fee to "help the poor man who was robbed and beaten". Instead of binding up his wounds and paying for his care and treatment himself, he made up posters with the likeness of the wounded man and told everyone the poor man would die if they did not pay the toll. Of course part of the money collected went to pay for a nice house for himself, a really nice toll station, assistant toll collectors, and armed guards for the toll facility. Even though he was collecting tolls there were still robbers attacking travelers so there was a never ending supply of new wounded folk to use for the posters to convince folk they should pay the toll. Those traveling the road knew they had paid a toll "to take care of those attacked" so they no longer felt they needed to take personal responsibility for those robbery victims they might happen to see. After all the "toll collector" was taking care of them. Thus their hearts were hardened and turned from God.

This is the dilemma of raising taxes to "do good". It is intellectually dishonest to use the commands of scripture to Christians to justify governmental action. Sorry it just will not wash! Government can only get the funds to do anything by taking those funds (by force if required) from the governed. You can look at it at best as "Robin Hood" and at worst as "Highway Robbery". In neither case can you justify this by quoting what scripture commands Christians to do, as not all the governed are Christians (and today very few are), and even God does not compel Christians to obey him. Government however compels obedience on pain of imprisonment or death.

This does not mean I am opposed to all governmental welfare programs, but it does mean I believe they must be justified to the taxpayers on their own basis as good things to do, without trying to twist scripture into supporting such programs.

I believe that caring for the poor and sick must start with the individual:

1) Christians must do what God leads them to do as individuals first.

2) Christians then should do what the Lord leads them to as families.

3) The local body of Christians must work together to follow God's commands.

4) Larger groups (state, national, and international in scope) of Christians should work as lead by God.

I truly believe that if Christians did all of the above there would be little left over for other groups to do.

In particular I believe governments should be cautious in what they do to "help folk" because of the danger of unintended consequences. The dangers of governmental action are the least when the control is local since folk can see what is going wrong and take action to fix things with the least bureaucracy. Therefore what can be done at the town or city level should be left for this most basic governmental unit to deal with. Only when things absolutely must, should they be bumped up to County, State, or Federal levels.

Saturday, October 29, 2005 5:20:00 AM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |  Trackback
 Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The most important issues on the ballot next week here in Colorado are Referenda C & D. The effect of these would be a massive tax increase.

Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) Amendment passed by Colorado voters in 1992 has been one of the main reasons Colorado's economy is in as great a shape as it is, and why we have done better than many other states. Now Referenda C & D would in essence repeal TABOR and reverse the last 13 years of progress.

For more information on C & D read "The Dirty Dozen: 12 Reasons to defeat "C" and "D"" and TaxIncrease.org

Those in favor of these massive tax increases have tried to paint pictures of all the good things Colorado will no longer be able to afford if they don't get this huge tax increase. This is nonsense. First they assume there will be a massive budget shortfall. Then they assume that this entire shortfall will be taken out of the budget items of most importance to the average taxpayer, and not out of any of the massive amount of stuff the average taxpayer would be horrified to learn he has been paying for. This is the height of dishonesty and irresponsibility. We elect our representatives to make the hard choices and decide what is worthy of funding and what is not. If they can't make such choices in a responsible way then we need new representatives. We don't need to give then even more of our money to be irresponsible with!

If you want to help defeat C & D please contact Jon Reynolds or Dick and Sue Rehg. They can show you practical things you can do to help defeat C & D in your community and church.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 2:43:00 PM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |  Trackback
 Friday, October 21, 2005

Power Line among others posted House Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay's mug shot photo and said it would not be useful as Democrats had hoped for attack ads against DeLay.



I would like to add that not only is Tom DeLay smiling, and wearing a suit and tie, but also is wearing his pin which identifies him as a currently serving Congressman. (The pin design is revised every Congress.) I thought this last was a nice touch, and serves as a slap in the face to those who would love to use this incident for political attacks against the Congressman and the GOP in general.

The local attack machine is already calling homes to try to smear our excellent Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave by association with Tom DeLay. I don't believe it will work.

Friday, October 21, 2005 2:17:00 PM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |  Trackback
 Saturday, October 15, 2005
GodBlogCon God Blog Convention

Hugh had a panel of three blogging pastors.

Dr. Tod Bolsinger told how he got into blogging and why he limits his scope to just those issues where he feels he has something worthwhile to offer which is almost never politics.

Dr. Mark Roberts told how Hugh got him to start blogging, and how his posts addressing some of the issues raised by The Da Vinci Code started his influence to spread.

Dr. John Mark Reynolds said he comes the closest of the panelists to dealing with political issues. When he deals with politics it is more to show himself as a rounded person than to be a political commentator. He wants to present a Christian world view, and will visit sites from non christians to see what they believe so that he can better present the Christian world view.

Hugh then presented his 7 questions:

1) You were all busy people, how have you balanced your time to fit in blogging? - Reynolds took from his football time and put limits on his time devoted to blogging. - Roberts said he started calling it a hobby but now realized it is a ministry. - Bolsinger feels blogging is part of being a Pastor. Reynolds asked about ghost blogging.

2) The dangers of email, or what motto would you put over your computer? Roberts mentioned the danger of posting when angry. Bolsinger said “do not let the Send button go down on your anger.” Reynolds talked of developing a thick skin as a blogger. Wait till you have won.

3) The dangers of fame in the blogosphere? Bolsinger quoted the Sermon on the Mount on doing things “to be seen of men” as opposed to doing it as a service. It is an issue of motivation. Reynolds said that in his profession blogging fame can harm his career. He quoted C.S. Lewis on the humble man thinking he is humble which means he is not. Roberts told of how a stranger complimented his blog, and how that felt so strange. He mentioned he must keep centered on serving the Lord.

4) The warning signs of the person who should not blog? Reynolds said if you are convinced you have something you must share. If you can’t abide criticism, or if you can’t take a stand. Roberts said if blogging is an escape from the world, or if blogging takes you away from things you must do, or if you are angry, or if you can’t use proper grammer. Bolsinger said you have to know how to write, and be comfortable writing. Blogging must be part of your Christian community.

5) It is against the law in the USA for a pastor to do candidate advocacy from the pulpit, but they can as a private individual blog on these issues. Should they? Roberts said if political things distract from your primary mission you should steer clear of politics. Bolsinger said he keeps his blog separate from his church, but that is just to keep a line of separation. However, he must always keep in mind his main job is as Pastor. Reynolds also keeps his blog separate from his job, but limits what he says in this sort of public forum.

6) Have you encouraged someone to blog? Bolsinger encouraged a Christian liberal to blog, and hopes he will come back to blogging. Reynolds would like Matthew Anderson and his other students to blog, and some Islamic friends who are upset with the hijacking of Islam. Roberts would love to see more thoughtful and wise folk including academics blogging. He mentioned Dennis Prager.

7) Christians of the past who it would have been great as bloggers. Reynolds - Joan of Arc & Charles Stewart. Roberts – Luther, the Apostle Paul, Calvin. Bolsinger – Abraham Kyper, Jurgen Multline [I’m sure I have mangled these last two names].

Joe Carter raised the fact that the best bloggers are servant leaders. Being a servant is limiting, and sets limits for the scope of our blogs. Matthew Anderson asked about being a specialist versus a generalist. Reynolds said both can be valid, where the generalist can show how to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. GodBloggers say Jesus is Lord, and that colors all they do.

Hugh asked if women bloggers have a harder time getting respect? Most women felt women bloggers face no undue hardships.

I was not able to keep up with all the final questions and comments.

Reynolds concluded he blessed bloggers since they can reach some of his students he can’t. Bolsinger said he needs interaction with people to help him improve his communication of the gospel to laymen. Roberts mentioned how his church became a partner of a church in New Orleans via the Internet.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 6:29:00 AM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  |  Trackback
GodBlogCon God Blog Convention

One of the blessings of GodBlogCon has been the connections that have taken place between Christian bloggers in attendance. Besides the folk mentioned in Thurs Eve at GodBlogCon there were a few others I should mention. Marvin and Lisa Hutchens spent a lot of time fellowshipping with me which was neat since I think we were the only folk from Colorado to make it to GodBlogCon. Marvin is the blogger (www.LittleRedBlog.com), but he would not be able to if it were not for the support of his wife. Truly a Godly wife is a blessing from the Lord!

Peter Shinn of MarchTogether.com is passionate about uniting Christians to end abortion. I was able to be a small help by letting him post using my laptop. John Gillmartin of The SHEEP'S CRIB has neat sheep graphics on his business card.

Shelley Henderson of Kicking Over My Traces was one of a number of women bloggers at GodBlogCon. Others included La Shawn Barber, Melinda Penner of Stand to Reason, Christy-Lynn Wilson of B Relevant and The DeMoss Group, Amy Hall of A-Team Blog, Lores Rizkalla of Just a Woman, and Denyse O'Leary of Post-Darwinist. There were others but these were those that I remembered meeting.

Travis Fell of Voice in the Wilderness is working to influence the Texas legislature for God. As a former Texan I can only pray his efforts are sucessful. In his post of this evening he mentions Dr. Mark Roberts allusion to blogging as "a harsh mistress" but appears not to have gotten the reference to Robert A. Heinlein's classic "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" which is an updating of the story of the American revolution set in the future.

I am so blessed to have met these brothers & sisters in Christ who are also using this new tool, the Blog.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 6:19:00 AM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [5]  |  Trackback
 Friday, October 14, 2005
GodBlogCon God Blog Convention

This afternoon I got to meet Dr. John Mark Reynolds, Dr. Mark Roberts, Dr. Andrew Jackson, Joe Carter, David Wayne, Marvin Hutchens, DJ Chuang, Stacy Harp, and La Shawn Barber. Then this evening Dr. John Mark Reynolds gave a great opening session.

His theme was "The Long Running Tension between Live versus Preserved Performance" complete with quotes from Plato and Dante, where Christianity fits into this divide, and how Blogging helps span the divide. Very interesting look at how bloggings fits into history, and the future. I believe Biola may post the recording of this talk at some point, and I will link to it if they do.

Friday, October 14, 2005 6:25:00 AM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |  Trackback
 Wednesday, October 12, 2005
GodBlogCon God Blog Convention

Tomorrow I will be heading to GodBlogCon held at The Torrey Honors Institute of Biola University in La Mirada, California. I hope to meet some of you there!

If you are local to Biola here are some things you should be aware of. There are some seats open to the public for the Friday night dialogue between Hugh Hewitt, John Mark Reynolds, Mark Roberts, and Tod Bolsinger. There is also a one-day only fee of $35 for Saturday only. Last, courtesy of Grace Hill Media, GBC are excited to offer a pre-screening of [ http://www.elizabethtown.com ] Elizabethtown for all GodBlogCon attendees. To take advantage of any of these offers please contact GBC directly. Click on the GBC logo above to reach their website.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 1:54:00 PM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  |  Trackback
 Monday, September 12, 2005

Over at Protein Wisdom there is a post disecting Newsweek's latest on Katrina and the response to it. I have rarely seen such a blatent example of media bias, and Protein Wisdom has done a service by (at least partially) responding to it. Newsweek casts President Bush as the uncaring fool, and Mayor Nagin and Govenor Blanco "a motherly but steely figure known by the nickname Queen Bee" as the heros even if they have to throw out all inconvienient facts and rely on slanders from "aides" who it is implied are fearful for their jobs, to attack the President. Newsweek also displays a total lack of understanding of how our Federal system of government operates under our Constitution, not to mention how disaster response and FEMA operates.

Read the whole thing! HT Michelle Malkin.

Unfortunately as I was posting this the Protein Wisdom site has been taken down, probably due to all the traffic this post has brought. Check back later if you can't get through.

Monday, September 12, 2005 1:17:00 PM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |  Trackback