Saturday, April 30, 2005

Human Rights By God’s Grace

In my last post, I observed that rights belong to Almighty God by right and authority. The obvious follow-up question then, is what does that do to our rights as human beings?

I’ve read the Bible more than a dozen times all the way through, and there are books in the Bible I have read literally thousands of times. For all the claims otherwise, I have decided that God is consistently good and just at all times. The problem lies with human will and its consequences. As people presume to judge God by human perception, they fall prey to the illusion that God does wrong, or that His word cannot be trusted. Once this error is embraced, people fall to their own judgment for decisions, which fails to accomplish those things which need God, and opens the door for grievous harm.

In that last post, I referenced the Declaration of Independence. Here, it occurs to me to mention that God uses people to teach lessons, whether by prophets, by kings, or simply by serving His sovereign will. America serves God’s will for the most part, and in return is rewarded with prosperity, influence, and power. We are, accordingly, expected to serve God’s will to continue receiving these rewards, and serving God includes protecting the rights God has given to all men. We are the guardians of human rights, and we are the minions of justice. America is, unquestionably I think, the most influential power on the earth today, but that includes responsibility in the same degree as power. If we stop pursuing the rights of men and the protection of the right, we will lose our place to another, just as happened in the past.

Now, what are those rights of man? As I see it, there are four basic rights given to us:

The right to Honor, to Peace, to Freedom, and to to Justice. Everything we value is driven by these rights in action. I will write on each of these rights in subsequent posts.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Rights of God


Along the way in debating religion, a lot of people find fault with God. Generally, they use their arguments as proxy; they either do not believe in God, and use their argument as some kind of straw-man against those who do believe, or else they believe in God, but only on their terms, and rather than defend their position with reason, try to discount other beliefs by heckling God as they pretend the others see Him. Neither course is valid, I think, but it does raise an interesting often ignored in these conversations; the rights of God.

Humans are innately selfish. The secular sort would like to claim that the worse behaviors and attitudes must be taught, but in fact it’s the good which has to be learned; children sometimes become the worst of monsters if they are not shown a better way. When Jesus spoke of the need to be like little children, it was because little children have learned from their parents how to be good, but have usually not yet strayed from what they know to be right. By the time they’re adults, people have become very good at lying, especially to themselves.

I love the Declaration of Independence, not least because the document lays out rights pretty directly; all men are endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights. Life, Liberty, Justice, Mercy, Hope, Honor, Love, all these things come from God. Indeed, by their very nature they could come from nowhere else, and so, all these things by right belong to God. That is, man does not have the right to deny these things to another human, but since they belong to God, they remain His rights in any dispute, not Man’s. This is not to say that God does not give His gifts freely, but receiving these gifts does not mean that Man may disparage God while claiming His grace.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Final Days

Pope Benedict XVI held his first full mass as the new Pope, and the world, superficial as always, has moved on to other things. But I think it still matters to consider the significance of these changes we have seen in the Roman Catholic Church, especially as it might pertain to God’s will in the Final Days.

Non-believers often sneer at Christians for believing we are living in the last days of this world. 2nd Peter warns us, “They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:4) , also “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. “ (2 Peter 3:8-9). Small wonder then, that so many would mock the Roman Catholic Church, the most visible and enduring of the denominations on this earth. Where we see stability, the mockers see intransigence. Where we see faithfulness, the mockers see a defiance against their ‘superior’ humanism. It is a hard thing, to be faithful in public to a faith so derided. On this point, Roman Catholics and Protestant Evangelicals can see eye to eye, and points of debate between the two denominations fade to insignificance in the light of our common hope and faith through Jesus Christ.

These are the ‘Final Days’, because Christ has already come the first time, and accomplished what He set out to do. Now, like a good farmer, the Lord is merely waiting for the planting to bear fruit, for the harvest of righteousness on the Earth.

What this has to do with the new Pope, is the role we play as followers of Christ. And while there are many areas of doctrine where I do not agree with the Roman Catholic Church, I agree completely that the Pope, of all people, should represent the RCC as it is. He is the figurehead of the RCC, and if you believe the RCC dogma, the Vicar of Christ. For my end of the pew, there seem to be far too many Evangelicals willing to cater to the secular culture, to change their message to ‘package’ it for the masses, believing that the Gospel needs human improvements on the original message.

Seems to me, we ought to keep an eye on the basics:

1. Believe in Christ
2. Follow His example as best we are able
3. Explain what we believe gladly to anyone who asks
4. Don’t give up our ‘first love’

Time to be fruitful.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Counter-Terrorist Agent Arrests Democrat Leadership


Hollywood (Fox) - Jack Bauer, the lead actor in a fictional task force assigned to attack terrorists and defeat their plans, took over the Democratic Party Caucus, which was meeting with leading actors in Hollywood for the purpose of raising funds, morale, and munitions.

Held in custody by Bauer were Senators Reid, Clinton, and Baucus, as well as attempted demagogues Martin Sheen, Rosie O’Donnell, and Michael “Make Me Money” Moore. Authorities were uncertain of Bauer’s authority to hold the actors and pretenders, as an unnamed FBI source explained:

Most of these Leftists types are no longer living in the real world, so a fictional government agent would hold jurisidction in such a case. No one has seen any indication that Senator Reid is living or working in the real world, so someone from fiction had to go get him.”

Bauer explained the matter in rather blunt terms:

These people want to destroy America and all it stands for, and I’m not going to let that happen.”

Sunday, April 24, 2005



I saw “The Empire Strikes Back” again today, and it took me back. Partly because 1979 was a long time ago, and who doesn’t change from their teenaged years? But I also remember how this movie inspired me. Science Fiction doesn’t usually do that; heh, movies don’t usually inspire me, but TESB did just that. And all because of a muppet.

“The Empire Strikes Back” is the best of the Star Wars movies, and that includes the Episode III coming out this summer. That’s because TESB didn’t rely on special effects or star power to make its story work; it had decent acting, a good plot, relative suspense, and a great theme using ‘The Force’. The first three (now renumbered ‘Episodes 4, 5, and 6’) movies showed the force as a moral element, and a personal choice; the next three (‘Episodes 1, 2, and 3’) treat it as little more than a chemical component in the blood stream. For all the financial and marketing success, George Lucas blew this call. What could have been a true epic, lost its message. But in TESB, the message was still true and valid.

Back to that muppet. Yoda the Jedi Master spoke of choosing to do better than just live, to be a part of directed goodness. We could use Jedis today, and I don’t mean light sabers and acrobatic stunts. A man who orders his life in pursuit of the good and productive, is a man of honor.