Day 189: The Moab Mirror

Jeremiah 48:39-47

“How it is broken down!
How they wail!
How Moab has turned the back with shame!
So will Moab become a derision
and a terror to all who are around him.”
For Yahweh says: “Behold, he will fly as an eagle,
and will spread out his wings against Moab.
Kerioth is taken,
and the strongholds are seized.
The heart of the mighty men of Moab at that day
will be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.
Moab will be destroyed from being a people,
because he has magnified himself against Yahweh.
Terror, the pit, and the snare are on you,
inhabitant of Moab,” says Yahweh.
“He who flees from the terror will fall into the pit;
and he who gets up out of the pit will be taken in the snare,
for I will bring on him, even on Moab,
the year of their visitation,” says Yahweh.

“Those who fled stand without strength under the shadow of Heshbon;
for a fire has gone out of Heshbon,
and a flame from the middle of Sihon,
and has devoured the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones.
Woe to you, O Moab!
The people of Chemosh are undone;
for your sons are taken away captive,
and your daughters into captivity.

“Yet I will reverse the captivity of Moab in the latter days,”
says Yahweh.
Thus far is the judgment of Moab.

The crime that Moab committed that caused them to receive this horrible punishment from God was that they dared to magnify themselves against Him. In other translations it says that they exalted themselves against God. As a result, God intended to hunt them down. He even said that if they appear to have gotten away once, He would catch them again and if they get away the second time, He will catch them again. Their children would also go into captivity.

When you look at the history of Moab, you see that they actually thought that they could fight against God by harming those He had chosen to bless. They used their abilities to find a way to wage a war against the will of God, as if they could actually win that war. As we look at others, it’s easy for us to see how foolish and horrible it is to attempt to do something like that, but I have found that when I take the same measuring stick and measure myself, it doesn’t look very good.

When I have a mind to sin, I tend to do what I can get away with too. For instance, when driving on the road, do we see how far below the speed limit we can legally go, or how high above it? My mind is quite willing to work overtime to figure out a way how to live in the flesh while walking in the Spirit, which is quite impossible. Even the concept of being “neutral” is an example of this war against God and His word. God says that those who are not for Him are against Him. If we claim that we are just being neutral, we are calling God a liar because He says there is no neutral! That’s just another war against God that He will judge. Our pride is very deep and deceptive. We tend not to see it because, of course, we wouldn’t do such a thing, would we?

The truth that God has made known to us is that we were all Moab and we still have our Moab moments. We all had that pride that guided our actions as we breathed God’s air and lived in the bodies that God made while doing things we knew He didn’t like. We were fighting against Him and both sin and death took us captive too. The wonderful thing about this passage is what it says at the end. God not only promised punishment, He also promised release. After all that Moab had done to God and His people, God determined to “reverse the captivity of Moab in the latter days.” This is a big reason for us to praise God. We all have sinned and deserve God’s eternal punishment, but God intended to free us by His grace. Praise God.

Christianity and the Separation of Church and State

This document addresses a popular but irrational interpretation of “the separation of church and state.” It’s a fairly common belief today that the separation of church means that the government is required to operate in a completely neutral way when…

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A “Neutral” Government?

If philosophical neutrality is a fallacy, as I previously asserted, then building a government on this philosophy is a critically serious problem.  It appears to be a trend in governments across the world and it looks like a plan forged by the powers of darkness to me.

Peace does not come by the careful application of a fallacy.  It only comes through love and proper reasoning and that will mean that those who are thinking irrationally will have to be exposed.  That exposure doesn’t feel very good and some will fight to death over it, but I know from experience that true humility brings peace when we are finally willing to admit that we are wrong.

I was reading a report from a few years ago, about a Canadian ruling that was addressing the contents of prayers before meetings.  I am told that they were warning that there are prayers that may not be legal.  This appears to be a clear case of philosophical absolutism to me.  The United States has it share of the same kind of thing, as do other countries.

We may be tempted to assert that a government should stay out of speech related issues, but in reality, how can they?  A government must assert a philosophy of some kind or else it cannot function.  It has no choice.  The problem with what governments are doing is that the philosophy they are asserting is often irrational.  You can’t rationally assert a philosophy that assumes that no philosophy should be asserted. A government built on a foundation of irrationality is in no position to bring about peace or anything else.

With great sorrow, I see the problem again in the recent speeches of both President Trump and Vice-President Pence.  Their words sound like an attempt to respect all religions and creeds, even though it is obvious that they can’t.  In many of the same speeches, they rightly express that that there are certain creeds and religions that they do not respect, such as those that kill people or promote the destruction of the United States or disrespect its constitution.  Are these not creeds and religions?  This is confusing to say the least.  That’s not what made America great.

If they intend to go back to America’s foundation, they must return to the doctrine of Christian tolerance which asserts that although Christians don’t respect other creeds and religions, they do tolerate them to a degree in civil life, because that’s what Jesus expects us to do until He chooses to deal with them Himself.  Christian tolerance is built on the concepts of free will, grace (meaning favoring others when they don’t really deserve it), and the fact that Jesus is still alive and able to take care of the wicked without our help.  Christians desire that all men will come to know Jesus by willingly accepting His offer.  This means that, according to Christian tolerance, there can be no force when it comes to individual choice either.  This is the basis for American liberty and it also happens to be non-neutral.

So why is this a big deal?  It’s because it’s this issue that leads a people toward either liberty or tyranny.  If a government doesn’t have the authority over life, liberty and personal property, it definitely doesn’t have authority over the Creator that endowed those rights.  Any government that thinks it does that is indicating that it believes it is the supreme authority in certain matters.  Even if taking God’s place isn’t intentional, that’s what is being communicated and it leaves the door open to serious future problems.  Even now we are seeing the desire for philosophical respect drive the followers of various ideas to converge against Christianity, asking that it either comply or be silenced by “civil” government.  Since Christian tolerance is the basis for our liberty,  freedom as we know it is in serious danger.  What governments must do is to acknowledge that their right to rule comes from the God of the Bible, the true One that the Christians have acknowledged.

Other brands of neutral thinking have already been used in the west and have failed quite miserably at critical times.  Recall that Neville Chamberlain attempted to bring peace in his time using a method that would allow the UK to respect Hitler’s choices.  President FDR signed a peace agreement with Japan in a similar gesture right before we entered the war.  It’s important for us to remember how well those things worked out.  How about those Israeli peace agreements?

It’s important to ask ourselves: What good is peace if freedom is taken away?    There is a way for peace and freedom to coexist, but it depends on Christian philosophy, because that’s the only way they fit together without the government becoming an irrational tyrant.


 

The Fallacy of Neutrality

Neutrality is actually a fallacy. That’s because “neutrality” is a position.

A person who decides to be neutral is taking a position of neutrality, therefore, they are not being neutral.   They are relying on a self-refuting logical argument. Not only that, they are implying that every philosophy that takes a position is wrong, usually while convincing themselves that it is an expression of tolerance!

It is not unusual to hear people assert that they come to scientific evidence neutrally, but this a denial of the obvious fact that everyone takes a position.  Evidence can’t talk (even though some say it speaks for itself). Evidence requires a method of interpretation or else the “evidence” is just a set of objects without significance.  To deny the method of interpretation is another way to deny taking a position.

It is also common for nations, business and individuals to claim the be neutral in regard to religious beliefs.  Once again, this attempt to tolerate them all, denies them all since all of them are asserting their own position.  Just because a person claims to not be doing something, doesn’t mean that that is what they are actually doing.  You can claim to love someone while harming them.  The same thing happens when a person claims to be religiously neutral and then disallows any of them to be expressed.  The fact is that a secular position is being promoted under the disguise of “neutrality.”

The claim: “I am neutral” is itself a non-neutral claim because it assumes that “Neutrality exists.” Asserting this claim, is taking a position against those who don’t believe it exists. When a person asserts a position, they are not being neutral. Therefore, the claim that neutrality exists is a fallacy.  Dr. Jason Lisle calls this fallacy: “The Pretended Neutrality Fallacy” in his book “The Ultimate Proof of Creation”.

Both Evolutionists and Creationists aren’t really neutral. They may convince themselves that they are, but by choosing to believe in neutrality they are not only taking a position, they are being irrational. It’s understandable that evolutionists would be irrational, because they don’t have a basis for logic or morality in their worldview, but Christians actually have a moral obligation to be rational because it’s biblical.

Christians are supposed to be honest about the fact that they are not neutral. Jesus said that people were either for Him or against Him. He never said that there were people who were “on the fence.” Instead, He made it clear that the fence didn’t exist. By doing this, He exposed everyone’s position. Claiming to be neutral is to say that Jesus is wrong. When you say that Jesus is wrong, you taking a very bold, non-neutral position.

So, the claim that a person is neutral is fallacious because it is based on the non-neutral position that neutrality exists.  Christians should be aware of this and not be persuaded by the fallacy of neutrality.

Further Study

What is a Worldview
We all have a worldview. We see the world through a set of presuppositions that we can’t prove scientifically.  This is how I describe it.