Category Archives: Religion

Bill Lockwood: Is Freedom Disappearing in America?

Is Freedom Disappearing in America?- “The government will create ‘zones of exemption’ for a time which presumably will include churches.”

by Bill Lockwood

The issue is freedom. It always has been. The two-world views, a God-centered Christian worldview and the socialist/communist worldview, have always clashed in America, but now that the latter has the upper hand, freedom is on the chopping block. An absolutely perfect example of this is now occurring in the state of Iowa. The Iowa Civil Rights Act has banned places of “public accommodation” from expressing their views regarding “human sexuality” if those places either “directly or indirectly” make persons of any gender “feel unwelcome.”

Under the 1964 Civil Rights Act places of “public accommodation” are forbidden by the federal government to “discriminate” against persons of any class—be it race, color, national origin or religion. Along with this the federal government empowered itself to investigate alleged violations and prosecute.

The misstep here was to reverse what the founders had intended for a limited government. As right as it may be to eliminate discrimination based upon race, the very reason that the framers of America left the oversight for this in the hands of the states and local municipalities and forbade it to the federal government was a matter of principle. Freedom has historically been enjoyed only under limited federal government.

Our second misstep has been and continues to be the refusal of the American people—even Christians—to oppose homosexuality. This in spite of the fact that the Bible demonstrably shows that sodomy is a sin, and therefore a choice that people make. Our culture has by default placed homosexuality in the same category as race. Therefore, the same laws will apply. Now comes Obama to cram “transgenderism” into the same folder. Compliant weak-spined states meekly comply.

For example, the Iowa Civil Rights commission recently explained in a brochure that refusing to use the correct pronoun in addressing transgender individuals is a form of harassment. God’s grant of freedom of speech be hanged. Discrimination is defined by that Commission as “publicizing that the patronage of persons of any particular sexual orientation or gender identity is unwelcome, objectionable, not acceptable or not solicited.” The standard is: do not to make others feel unwelcome.

Now comes the third misstep, which naturally follows from the first two. The government decides what is a legitimate or illegitimate usage of speech; in what places or zones it may occur; who might be exempt and under what conditions. The Des Moines Register reports that Kristin Johnson, director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, assured churches that the “state code provides some exemptions for bona fide religious institutions engaged in activities with a bona fide religious purpose.”

The problem with this, as everyone who has not had their thinking by-passed by liberalism can see: this places the state in charge of deciding what is and what is not a legitimate religious institution. And remember, we are not talking about human or animal sacrifice or killing, which violates basic natural law codes.

The government will create “zones of exemption” for a time which presumably will include churches. I write, “for a time,” since it is already being discussed in some circles what constitutes a “legitimate” sermon or Bible lesson and what does not. Maura Strassberg, Drake University law professor said that “sermons that stick to human sexuality matters pertaining to theology would be constitutionally protected.” But according to the Des Moines Register she suggested that sometimes a situation may occur where a preacher’s sermonic material “crossed the line” into harassment. “There is a line: You go from ‘this is what God believes’ … to ‘You are bad, so we don’t want you here.’”

This would amount to the the state deciding what is and what is not proper sermon etiquette and content. Freedom is fast disappearing in America. Time to retrace our steps.

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Bill Lockwood: Socialism is Slavery

SOCIALISM IS SLAVERY- “It is the mainspring of socialism as well. Not only do these superior beings need to recognize the equality of all men, having been created by God, but to count others better than themselves (Philippians 2:1-4).”

by Bill Lockwood

Socialism begins with the basic tenet that some people are superior to others and should therefore manage the activities of the lesser. All men are created equal but some of us are more equal than others. It is a dictatorship of the elite who are required by the very nature of things to govern the lives of others.

Oscar Jaszi, the famed Hungarian socialist, explained socialism as: (1) A condemnation of the existing political and social order; (2) Advocacy of a new order; (3) A belief that this ideal is realizable; (4) A conviction that the immorality of the established order is traceable not to a fixed world order or to the unchanging nature of man but to corrupt institutions; (5) A program of action leading to the ideal through a fundamental remolding of human nature or of institutions or both; and (6) A revolutionary will to carry out this program.

Max Eastman, in his 1962 book Reflections on the Failure of Socialism, mused about the years he wasted in the doctrine of Socialism. Referring to socialism as a “Marxian religion” he emphasized that the real issue is “the usurpation of power” and that the “tyrant has no honest instinct for the liberties of man.”

The common denominator of all socialist theories, be they fascism, communism, Nazism, environmental paganism, economic theories championed by humanism—or whatever, is the following: “… that society can be made more free and equal, and incidentally more orderly and prosperous, by a state apparatus which takes charge of the economy, and runs it according to a plan.” Bottom Line: some people consider themselves to be naturally endowed to govern the rest of us.

Slavery

This is why Socialism is in reality another system of slavery. Socialism is a theory of government which requires the strong arm of the state to re-distribute private resources according to its plan. As an institution slavery begins with exactly the same assumption, both in the ancient and modern world. Some people are “more equal” than others.

Thomas Edwards, in his classic commentary on the biblical book of 1 Corinthians (p. 182), explained slavery on these terms while discussing the apostles’ remarks in chapter 7:11-24: “Slavery was an institution that sprang from other fundamental ideas—namely, the superiority of men over women; the religious pre-eminence of Jew over Gentile; the Greek consciousness of creative political genius; so that in discussing the question of slavery, the apostle [Paul] not only arbitrates between master and slave, but addresses himself to the antagonisms most deeply seated in the religious, political, and social condition of the time.”

It is THIS that Christianity alters—the view of mankind.  “All men are created equal” is a Christian axiom. The fact that biblical principles reconstruct one’s view of humankind from the ground up also explains why Christianity did never create firebrands of people to march in the streets demanding the overthrow of the social order, but instead operates over a period of time as leaven on a society.

As Edwards put it, “The distinction between master and slave ceases at the door of the church. But Christianity abolishes slavery by assimilating and sanctifying the relation of master and servant in its inmost nature. While it refuses to wield the sword and destroy civil institutions by violence, it so transforms their ruling ideas that those institutions become what they never were before.”

For instance, Christ bestows on the most degraded and despised slave who is a believer, spiritual endowments that cannot fail to inspire him with a consciousness of freedom. He ceases to be a slave by the very fact of knowing that in the sight of God he is free, and his service ceases to be a bondage because it is now a willing obedience to Christ.

See the slow but constant growing influence of these principles in the early ages of the church. Christians began “manumitting slaves” at Easter; then later on the Lord’s Day; at last they were freed on a daily basis. In the law Constantine forbade the owner of slaves to break up slave families; later came the sentiment that led rich men to consider the education and manumission of slaves an act of piety; finally, one witnesses the election of slaves to offices of the church, such as Calixtus, once an indentured servant, who became a bishop of Rome in 3d century.

Warped View of Mankind

Both slavery and socialism begin with a warped view of mankind, namely, that some people are more sufficient to manage the lives and activities of others. In reality, socialism is another face of slavery. This also demonstrates why the environmentalists continue to tend towards the socialistic Democratic Party.

In the following quotes, centered chiefly around the doctrines of environmentalism, one finds recommendations for massive population control, eugenics, and euthanasia. All of these require an elitist disposition. These geniuses are clearly positioning themselves to be the caretakers of ‘we the people.’

David Graber, once a biologist with the National Park Service, declared that “a particular species of a free-flowing river is of ‘more value’ to me than another human body, or a billion of them. Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”

The late Jacques Cousteau was quoted in the UNESCO Courier in November 1991 and again in November 1994 as saying, “The United Nation’s goal is to reduce population selectively by encouraging abortion, forced sterilization, and control of human reproduction, and regards two-thirds of the human population as excess baggage, with 350,000 people to be eliminated per day.” It’s terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn’t even say it. ” But say it he did.

Barbara Marx Hubbard, former Democratic vice-presidential candidate, prominent futurist and occult leader, in her The Book of Co-Creation, (self-published, 1980, Part III, p. p. 59), says, “The present vast overpopulation, now far beyond the world carrying capacity, cannot be answered by future reductions in the birth rate due to contraception, sterilization and abortion, but must be met in the present by the reduction of numbers presently existing. This must be done by whatever means necessary.”

Barack Obama’s top science advisor, John P. Holdren, opined that “A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men. “The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.”

Quotations like these are endless. They demonstrate that the very mindset which produces slavery throughout history and around the world– the supposed superiority that too many nurture in their own minds when they compare themselves to others–is alive and prevalent today. It is the mainspring of socialism as well. Not only do these superior beings need to recognize the equality of all men, having been created by God, but to count others better than themselves (Philippians 2:1-4).

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A Cruciform Life

A Cruciform Life

by Bill Lockwood

One of the truly great moments in Paul’s inspired writing is the appeal of Philippians 3. Beginning with former “advantages” found in Judaism (5,6) Paul explains that this “gain” turns out to be a total loss—mere “refuse” in comparison to the ultimate gain in Jesus Christ. The apostle will endure great suffering (10) only that he might know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

In Christ Paul “presses on” [12, the word literally means “pursue”] that me might “seize” the prize. Diligent “stretching forward” [the word here means “straining” toward the goal] is the sum of his life (13). This lifelong passion is what might be termed “a cruciform life”—a life forever marked by the cross of Jesus Christ and conforming to it. The cross forever marks our behavior. Paul makes two points as he applies this.

One, Imitate My Behavior. “Brethren, be imitators of me” (17), Paul encourages. Two other occasions in Philippians he advises the same —1:30 and 2:18 —and it is instructive to find that both of these occur in the context of suffering. Remember, Paul is in a Roman prison as he writes. Added to this is the imperative to “mark them that so walk, even as you have us for an example.” The word “mark” is the Greek “skopeo” which means “have a discerning eye towards.” In other words, Christians are to be on the lookout for others, besides Paul himself, whose lives are most clearly dedicated to Christ Jesus. Observe them! Copy their behavior!

Two, Take Careful Note of Those Whom NOT to Imitate. The very reason we must be “on the lookout” for cruciform lives to imitate is because, sadly, “many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ” (18). Of these the final word is that “they mind earthly things” (19).

The fact that Paul weeps over them shows that these are Christians who have now become unfaithful. Instead of living a “cruciform life” in which they continually stretch forward to the prize they have become “earthly.” The word is “epigeios” which translates the idea that their mind is on the mundane things of this world. Their pursuit is for temporal things—prestige, business, entertainment, notoriety, money, success, … the list goes on. Their thought processes are concerned with themselves (see James 3:15); their goals are far from “heavenly” (see Colossians 3:2); their lifestyles are marked by the world. “World” does not mean “sinful” but merely the things that pertain to this life. Their occupation is set on temporary things and their time allotments show it. God is crowded out and their own appetites eventually become the measure of all. This is what Paul means by “whose god is their belly” (19). Their entire effort is on this present “scheme of things.”

Sober reflection upon the thrilling chapter 3 of Philippians encourages us all to forge our lives according to the cross of Jesus Christ, as did Paul. Live a cruciform life!

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Myth-Maker’s Magic

Myth-Maker’s Magic

by Bill Lockwood

Delos McKown, long-time head of the philosophy department at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, wrote an atheistic screed entitled The Myth-Maker’s Magic.  An ardent evolutionist, McKown chided creationists in the following. “…the more we understand our brains by ‘chemicalizing’ their functions, the more the person is ‘biologized,’ and the greater our success in mapping the human genome, with its myriad markers of predilection and vulnerability, the more difficult it will be to see human beings as a little lower than the angels.  A little higher than the animals, but of their kind, is more like it! Furthermore, some studies in neurophysiology indicate that our brains select among alternatives before delivering to consciousness intuitions of choice. If so, what of the vaunted ‘free will’ upon which so much of Western religion, morality, and jurisprudence is based? With notions of deity held hostage to cosmology, with the alleged spark of divinity in us deeply doubted, and with free will at risk, what stock can we place on intimations of immortality? Precious little, if any, it would seem” (p. 31).

Here we have a good sample of one who adheres to a Naturalistic Religion which looks to science for its complete picture of reality.  Unfortunately, his kind is numerous and predominant in the scientific, legal, educational and religious fields.  See where his religion takes him!

First, man is merely an animal.  Perhaps a higher form of animal, “but of their kind!” is how McKown puts it. If man is composed of no more than that which biology can examine, man is no more than an animal.

Second, there is no ultimate morality.  The word “morality” may be used by evolutionists, but it is emptied of all meaningful content, equaling no more than the personal tastes of each individual. At least Dr. McKown is “honest” enough to indicate that the evolutionist view of man calls into question the very concept of “morality.”

Third, mankind’s free-will is removed.  There is here an open confession that man has absolutely no free-will if the evolutionary worldview is correct.  No wonder that most leading evolutionists declare “there are no moral or ethical laws that belong to the nature of things” (William Provine, Cornell University).  So must it ever be with a concept that reduces the mind to nothing more than chemical reactions to stimuli.

Fourth, rationality is denied.  Rationality says that men should draw only those conclusions warranted by the evidence.  As Lionel Ruby put it, “We ought to justify our conclusions by adequate evidence.”  The very study of “Logic” is an examination of the “science” of correct reasoning by which men draw proper conclusions from premises.  Isn’t it strange that those who adopt these evolutionary positions style themselves “free-thinkers” in our society?  If their position is true they are not free at all!

Such are the lengths men will go once they deny the historical evidence of the New Testament and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Remove God from the equation of man’s existence and one end’s up with a worldview that denies every aspect of his own essence. Yet prominent culture molders say they believe these ideas. Powerful indeed is the evolutionary myth!

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