Why I’m Not an Activist

activism

Research has a minor place in the scheme of things because research is dependent on an objective researcher and an objective examiner of the research. But man is not an objective creature. He does not use his reason to determine what is true; he uses his reason to defend that which he wants to be true. Is there then no way out of the rationalist dilemma? Yes, there is:
“You can prove anything with figures; and reason can lead you anywhere; but if you’ve got a real strong feeling about something, deep-seated and unshakable, it is bound to be right.”

— P. C. Wren in Bubble Reputation (Cited at CWNY). H/T to H.Mucklewrath.

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While my shift in attitude over the years wont be of much interest to my readers, I believe I’ve struck upon a few conclusions that might be of overall interest:

I spent the entirety of my intellectual development (up to a few years ago) assuming without thought, the attitude of an apologist.  “Apologists”, so I thought, were the knights of the new democratic world order, where men attacked with ideals instead of force of arms.  I envisioned Sunday School classrooms like rural aristocratic courtyards, where young squires were trained in the art of rhetorical warfare, and upon graduation, were set loose upon a hoard of slobbering Satanists.

That the Sunday Schools of America were woefully inept for even this much training, was shelved and unconsidered.  And that the slobbering Satanists had vastly superior training grounds only intensified the glory of the intellectual contest.  We’d beat them despite their scientific institutions – the way Rocky beat the Russian; with guts and passion.

I got so good at this sort of rhetorical combat, atheists began avoiding the arguments all together.  But here-in I discovered a truth – one that the antique-Conservatives had known all along:  ideals *never* sway passion.  Rather, the passions sway the ideals.  As the heart, so the mouth speaketh…

Stalwart Reformed Kinists disagree here.  This point runs counter to their preferred dogmatics, which claim a man’s intellect guides his heart (or that the two are bound in such a way that the intellect and heart are ostensibly united, but that the intellect wins out in practice).  To say otherwise would damage the strictly rational apologetic these men were so passionate about.

I was passionate about it as well and tried to reconcile the antique-Conservative “heart” with the Reformed intellect:

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The distinction between “heart” and “mind” is sometimes construed (in the philosophical literature) as a distinction between dispositions and intentional states.

I’m convinced that if we construe what is normally meant by “heart” (in western literature, as well as in certain Biblical texts) as an emotional disposition, then we can easily appropriate the antique-Conservative material into a Reformed framework.

Our emotional dispositions are intimately involved in the belief-forming process. For instance, consider Quines famous illustration. We have three beliefs:

1. Apollo is a god.
2. Gods are immortal.

and

3. We see Apollo die on the battlefield.

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Now these three, at face value, are inconsistent. We must give up one of these beliefs, or all three.

Our emotional state determines which of the three propositions we are more devoted to maintaining. So, for instance, if we’re emotionally attached to 1, we might reject 2 (maybe gods aren’t immortal after all?) or we might reject 3 (maybe an evil witch hexed us on the battlefield and only made it appear as if Apollo died?). Or we might be more emotionally attached to 2, and reject 1 or 3 (or both). Or, we might be so emotionally attached to the reliability of our senses that we keep 3, but reject 1 or 2 (or both).

At this point, the only way we can save “reason” from the shifting “arrow of modus tollens”, is by suggesting that there is a “correct” emotional state.

Only the Christian worldview can provide this – God has created us to have certain emotional dispositions towards all the states of affairs we encounter, and only if we maintain this “regenerated” emotional state (ie: only if we have a regenerated heart) can we reason to the correct conclusions.

Poetically, we might refer to this as “thinking with a Christian heart” or some such.

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Whatever the merits of this view (if any), I’m convinced that no apologetic will ever sway the heart of the zealous Satanist.  At best, apologetics simply annoy the Satanist and force him to jump through a few rhetorical hoops to rationalize his evil business; but his evil business will continue…and business (for the Satanists) is booming.

“Activism” is apologetics writ large.

I see it as prancing around with so many signs and flags, in a religious ceremony aimed at petitioning a minor deity of Satania – namely: “the people”.

“Please, dear people, hear our petitions and act accordingly!”

And it’s no mistake all the “conservative” activists are picking up the ways, means, and habits of all the vile degenerates who’ve pioneered “activist” strategies.  They’re copying the strategies because they’ve copied the theory – that is: they believe the nature of man is plastic and able, with enough rational engineering, to be molded into the desired form.

This is in stark contrast with the antique-conservative view.  STARK STARK STARK contrast!

The “conservative” activist needs to be active on his farm or homestead, or in his local area of influence, actively working away at children and community stability.  The “conservative” activist, to save himself, must either flee the offending Satanic encroachments, resist them when possible, or suffer under them … but the conservative can’t play the liberal’s game of trying to shape and mold his neighbors.

This is an evil desire and, while it seems temporarily successful for the Satanists, can’t yield anything other than Satanic fruit for the would-be conservative activists.

…or so it seems to me…

Cambria Doesn’t Yield to Calvinist Speculators

“Kinism” is formally associated with Calvinist dogma, growing out of the Presbyterian cultural milieu of the early 90’s…and as such, its adherents have retained many of the proclivities so common among modern Presbyterians.

I have an off-the-cuff suspicion about Presbyterian church history that bears on this subject.

I believe (but can’t prove with relevant citations) that when the North won the war against the South, Northern religiosity was thought to have also defeated Southern religiosity.  The zealous, uncompromising love for abstract doctrines, so common among the puritans and their secular ancestors, slowly dominated the agrarian, medieval-minded southerners.  I say “dominated.” Maybe “infected” is a better word?

Kinists have retained some of these infected traits, while also wanting to hold an old European worldview.  But it seems difficult to get Calvinist dogma to mesh with antique-conservatism.

So that leads us to the topic of today’s blog post:  I routinely hear some Kinists express disagreement with  “Cambria Will Not Yield”.  All Kinists I know are fans of the blog of course, so I wont mention names here.  It’s not my intent to call anyone out.  But it is interesting that these objections keep cropping up.

There was an offending citation in Cambria’s most recent post that set off the discussion anew.

When it was objected that certain of Cambria’s statements in the post didn’t accord with Calvinist dogmatics and that the man might be “off his rocker”, I responded by noting that it’s hard to reconcile a characteristically Reformed penchant for doctrine with Mr. Cambria’s worldview.

“We can easily reconcile the two!” it was countered…. “we simply cut out all his false material!”

“That’s not reconciliation”, I replied… “that’s mere picking and choosing.”

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I recount this (paraphrase) of the conversation to show what I mean about the tension among Kinists.  On the one hand, we want to hold on to the zeal for theological systems that our puritan forebears taught us; but, on the other hand, we want to hold to the conservative worldview that’s hostile to systematizers and rationalistic ideologies.

I think the two are compatible, as long as we’re careful about it.

Look at the South as a paradigm case.  Before the War, there were Christians of all denominations (even Presbyterians) who, nevertheless, still held to the antique-conservative worldview.  They meshed naturally and organically.  Even Calvinists believe God is incomprehensible, after all.  If only they stay consistent with that view, they’d be laid-back Southern-fried theologians instead of zealous ideologues who try fitting God into their tiny heads.

The key is loving a Person instead of loving a system of doctrines, but that’s very difficult to do in our modern age.

Dr. Bahnsen’s Economic Argument Against Alienism

Most all modern Reformed theories of state and society are (unbeknownst to the Evangelicals) premised on neo-Marxist presuppositions.  While their emotional motivations are grounded in the civil-rights era, these anti-tribalists premise their intellectual objections to tribalism and ethnic-based social orders on a desire to implement a state-sponsored, fiat order, where men arbitrarily associate with each other, not in terms of Godly family units, but rather, in terms of allegiance to propositions (like laws, constitutions, and ideologies).  In his critique of Marxist theories of man, Dr. Bahnsen gets into an interesting discussion with Dr. Kickasola and in the course of their discussion, criticizes this anti-Christian position.  Starting at 26 min. in to lecture 23 of his “Philosophy of Christianity” series:

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Kickasola:  Why is communism, especially Chinese communism, so anti-family?  Why do they divide the children from parents and so forth?  Because there’s nothing inherent in communism that would demand that.  In fact, communism would accentuate the family?  Then I realized: if the biggest sin is private property in the sense of domain (which comes from the Clan), we, daddy, mommy, kids, inherently own something … then if I can get rid of the family, then private property would vanish.

Bahnsen:  You’re exactly right.  Private property and the family go hand in hand in Marx.  The only way to break the hold of the family, and therefore private property, is to have the state do the education and raising of the children.

Kickasola:  But I don’t know if the Marxist considers the family intrensically evil.  It’s private property that seems to be evil.  So they say the family has to go.  In other words, they see the dispensing of the family as an act of mercy …

Bahnsen:  Well, I don’t know how many Marxists you’ve talked to.  It may be true that the ones you’ve run into have not felt that way, but Marxist philosophy says family is inherently evil.  The family essentially breaks up society into units that consider themselves owners of particular property and inheritances as you’ve mentioned it.   The idea that the parents own the children and can control the children apart from the state, is essentially the claim that the state doesn’t have the ultimate power that it must have in terms of Marxist dialectic of history, so that eventually there’ll be no state at all.

We all have to become one large family, to put it another way.  As long as we perpetuate individual families we’ll never have this “communal” society that we’re looking for.

Kickasola:  So precisely, the sin is not ownership, but rather private property?

Bahnsen:  Oh yes.  Oh yeah.  The ultimate sin is private property.

Helping Whipps Understand Kinism

A few months back, a “presuppositionalist” blogger named Joshua Whipps wrote a “slam” article against me, implying (and I loosely paraphrase): that I’m an evil racist everyone should avoid.

His comments were apparently sparked by my “Van Tillian Fire” blog, where I offered a few criticisms of his arguments against pop-apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate.

Now, unfortunately, I published my criticisms a day after he published an asinine (and badly-written) article defending a neo-Marxist view of “race”. He basically accused me of publishing my criticisms as an underhanded tactic of getting him back for that “race” article … because, don’t-cha-know, us evil racists simply cannot stand to have an article written that denies racial realism.

As a matter of fact, I had been talking to people about posting my article (and its clever title) months before I actually did and can easily prove (should I be inclined) that I had these criticisms of Whipps long before he published his article on race; I agree the timing of my posting was awkward, but it’s simply not true that I posted my criticisms of Whipps as a way to get revenge on him for writing that article.

And by the way, both Whipps *and* Sye have (effectively) damned me to Hell and advocated for the breaking of all bonds of fellowship with me. (If they don’t think I’m Hell bound, then I invite them to give either Scriptural or Confessional support for suggesting I be rejected from fellowship with believers).

Both have made very public statements about their opinion of me.  So if I was intent on getting “revenge”, wouldn’t it make sense for me to criticize both Whipps *and* Sye?

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Anyway – what of Whipps’ article on race?

He claims to have kept up with my blogging material for years now, but I find that hard to believe since he (for some reason) thinks writing a post rejecting racial realism somehow does damage to my “Kinist” position.

While the reality of “race” is an interesting and important topic, it’s only tangentially related to “Kinism”. Whatever sort of genotypical or phenotypical realities may be true of tribal groups, the important thing about them (as far as we Kinists are concerned) is that they have an inherent dignity that not only should be respected, but should be celebrated!

On our view, God meant for humanity in general (as well as the new humanity in Christ more particularly) to express a unity amongst diversity that is reflective of His nature.

This directs Kinist commentary towards entire social structures. The “United States” for example, is an Enlightenment inspired / humanistic social order and does *not* formally respect tribal distinctions.  Rather, it seeks to merge all tribal groups together under an umbrella of abstract allegiance to man-made propositions (ie: the constitution).

This is clearly an un-Biblical state of affairs and fosters an unhealthy mixing of all the tribal groups in a way that “blends out” their uniqueness in favor of a “melting pot” view, which seeks to unite men together in an arbitrary, fiat way.

The family (and by extension: the tribe) is the foundational, God-ordained social order for man…and those Christians who seek to destroy this system by advocating for an anti-tribalist system, are working contrary to the Kingdom.

When will Christians like Whipps give up their allegiance to Satanic political theories and become truly self-conscious of their own presuppositions with respect to society and political theory?

For someone who supposed to be an authority on presuppositionalism, Whipps shows an unfortunately typical aversion to self-consciously examining his presuppositions in these  areas.

We can only have Marx or Moses.

Chooseth this day which you’ll serve.

Got Integrity?

From time to time this “Got Questions” article surfaces as a “refutation” of Kinism.  As usual for social Marxists, the author shows little knowledge of Kinist ideals.  At least he recognizes that we’re not Christian Identity advocates.  That’s more than most Evangelicals are able to realize.

Even the author of Green Baggins, Lane Kiester, (who ought to know better) was unable to see the distinction.  His article  “The Main Biblical Problem With Kinism” would be more aptly titled “The Main Biblical Problem With Christian Identity” …it simply doesn’t touch Kinism.

Since the “Got Questions” article pops up from time to time, I’ll provide a brief critique:

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Kinism is one branch of a diverse series of religious movements that promote racial segregation. This movement is based in Christianity and, for the most part, is populated with people who are historic, Calvinistic, orthodox and Reformed in their doctrinal views. The tendency to adhere to some true doctrines, however, does not mean that Kinists are orthodox in belief and practice. In fact, their adherence to true doctrines, and the extensive theological knowledge of some of the followers of Kinism, makes this legalistic cult all the more dangerous.

Is there a diverse series of religious movements promoting racial segregation?  Not that I know of, and I’ve spent some time trying to categorize the spectrum of Christian racialist ideals.  While people may disagree with me – I see the entire Christian racialist spectrum as divided between those with Christian Identity-type ideals, and kinism (lower case – where people accept that all races can be saved, but they should, nevertheless, stay segregated to some degree).

Also notice how in this first paragraph, it’s admitted that Kinist (upper case, denoting the specifically Reformed expression of kinism) are “ORTHODOX” in our doctrines.  So another cudos to the author for not mindlessly calling us heretics.  Apparently, we just need some correcting on our “practices”.

I love how he says we’re smart …makes a fella feel good about himself; but the last line of the paragraph blows it.  Kinism is a “legalistic cult”?

Let’s first reject the “cult” label out of hand, as needlessly pejorative.  The more serious charge is that of “legalism”.

“Legalistic” here seems to imply that Kinists teach a works/righteousness motif, where people are saved by law.  So, if this *is* what the author means by “legalistic”, then he is claiming that Kinists both hold orthodox Reformed doctrines, and that we do not … at the same time.

So we have two possibilities.

1.  Either Kinists are blatantly unintelligent and don’t realize they believe contradictory propositions:  Sola Fide as well as Salvation by Works (legalism).

or

2.  The author has misrepresented Kinist beliefs.

Both I and the author agree that Kinists are intelligent and well-versed in Reformed theology, so I think we both reject 1.  That leaves us with 2.

It is difficult to get a direct answer about Kinism, because the movement is relatively new and “un-formed” and also because Kinists themselves tend to be quite scholarly and esoteric. But a few things are clear. Unlike the Christian Identity Movement, or the Aryan Nation, Kinists do not believe that non-white races cannot be saved. Also, unlike Anglo-Isrealists, they do not believe that national Israel’s true descendants are the British and American people groups.

Maybe it’s difficult to get a direct answer because the author hasn’t ever tried having a prolonged “real life” conversation with an actual Kinist?  Eh?

As for the movement being “new” and “unformed”, well, the title “Kinism” is new, sure, but the positions we hold are not new – not at all.  Applying very old ideals to contemporary (and frankly: Satanic) social orders, is difficult even for trained theologians.  We Kinists are mostly laymen trying to forge this ground on our own while simultaneously coming under attack from every conceivable angle.  I think, given these circumstances, a little “unformed” rhetoric is understandable.

What makes Kinism different is the belief that God has ordained an order for mankind that goes beyond personal and individual worship.

…as all competent Reformed thinkers would.

Remember that every inch of creation belongs to God – not just those few areas of personal holiness Joel Osteen likes to talk about.  If we’re going to be consistently Christian in our thought, then we need to apply the Bible to EVERY area of life – politics and social-order included.

God has not left us to our own devices to come up with forms of government on our own.  He’s given us a blueprint of political ethics.

They believe that God has set boundaries for groups of human beings and that human beings should respect those boundaries by maintaining a tribal order. What this means is that you could have a group of white Kinists, and a group of black Kinists, but they would not worship together. They believe that man is usurping God’s authority when they “co-habit” with different races, when (as they say) God has ordained a necessary distinction. In the words of one Kinist, “This [belief] affects our ecclesiology since it would consider a multi-racial, drum-banging mega-church to be a foul stench in God’s nostrils.” Besides being unloving, this assertion is simply un-biblical, promotes a racist point of view, and is a platform for pride and legalism.

We believe God has set all kinds of boundaries onto creation that should be respected, including tribal boundaries – yes.

And while I do believe this would (of necessity) mean that different tribes would not worship together, it’s not because they’re different tribes.  Rather, it’s because the different tribes would be worshiping in different parts of the world.

When is the last time an alienist worshiped with someone from Iceland?  Been awhile?  Of course it’s not because the person is Icelandic, rather, it’s because they simply don’t have access to each other.

But what about in a sinful sort of post-Enlightenment nation like the United States where Biblical order is irrelevant?  In this environment, various tribes *are* close enough to worship.

As a Kinist, I have a few observations about ecclesiology in this sort of order:

1.  Segregation among different races in America happens naturally.  There are various racial communities that emerge organically.  (Even Dr. Bahnsen admits that this is natural).  This is as it should be because God has created us with an affinity for our own (similar to how men are naturally attracted to women).  We should not lead campaigns to “merge” all these groups together.

2.  Suppose we’re in some metropolitan situation though, where a church is composed of many races?  Well, this is fine (from a Kinist perspective) as long as the individual races are formally recognized.  For instance – it might be possible for such a church to have racially segregated small groups.  Also, as we see in the book of Acts – there is warrant (Biblical and practical) for having an elder to represent each group.

On this model, the races would all worship and fellowship together, but also have a formal respect for each other’s unique group identities.  Ideally – this would make for a harmonious church environment to last long enough for the ideal goal of one race (that, perhaps grows in membership faster than some of the others) branching out to form its own congregation.

The author says this is “unbiblical” and “unloving” and makes for a “platform of pride and legalism”.

Well, it remains to be seen how it’s unbiblical…also, I’m not sure how it’s “unloving” (at least as I’ve presented it here).  And if a doctrine is wrong because it has potential to lead humans into pridefulness and legalism – then ALL positions are wrong.  Humans can and will exploit any doctrine to prideful ends.

Also … still not sure what is meant by “legalism” …

Kinists insist on racially segregated churches and communities, and of course, families. They believe that Christians should still adhere to the Old Testament Laws that forbade Jews to intermarry with other tribes / families. They also say that God “separated” the races at the Tower of Babel, and that to “re-integrate” is an affront to the order for mankind that He has ordained. Both of these beliefs, despite having a copious amount of scholarly support in Kinist camps, can be easily dismantled with Scripture.

Scholarship anyone?  Where is the author getting these ideals about Kinism?  Are we supposed to take him at his word?  But shoddy scholarship aside, these ideals are close to what Kinists believe, but not quite accurate.

We believe Christians should adhere to the general equity of OT case laws (because we Kinists are also theonomists), and that includes the general equity of the laws governing inter-tribal association, as well as the laws governing how non-tribal members (ie: aliens) were to be treated.  But this general equity is also derived from the very creation ordinances themselves – where God established the family (and thus: tribe) as the foundational social order for mankind.

Also, while some Kinists do believe the Babel narrative helps as an explanatory model for the origin of racial diversity – it’s not foundational to Kinism.  *That* racial categories exist and should be maintained is what is important, not *how* they came to be.  It remains for some enterprising young Christian to come up with a scientifically-precise (and Biblically harmonious) anthropological model that adequately explains the diversity we see in the world today.

As for “dismantling” our ideals with Scripture … that part remains to be seen.

First, to determine whether Old Testament law regarding segregation pplies to the New Testament church, we should ask what the reason for segregation was in the Old Testament. God’s reason for this law was very clearly to avoid the introduction / assimilation of pagan idolatry into Jewish society

I’m not going to cite this entire paragraph, because it’s a big straw man.

Yes – we Kinists realize that God often separated His people from others as a way of “sanctifying” them and keeping them holy.  Yes, maybe some younger Kinists have inappropriately appealed to this sort of thing as a way to support racial segregation in general.

Nevertheless, God has established tribalism as the normative order for man.  This is not disproved by noting that He also promoted segregation for other reasons as well.  Just because the sanctification of a particular people-group has passed away, doesn’t mean that tribalist social order has also passed away.

The author needs to note that Kinists see all redeemed people as members of the Covenant of Grace, which makes them part of a new “Kingdom”.  The Kingdom is international in scope – meaning: it includes various races (ie: Biblical nations).   So God is the King of an international kingdom of various races.  He is not the King of a single, raceless blob of a propositional, post-Enlightenment nation.

Kinists believe in an “international” kingdom.

Alienists believe in an unbiblical “national” kingdom. 

As for God’s action at the tower of Babel being taken as His ordaining racial segregation, the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) is about God confusing the languages of men so that they would not be able to work together to accomplish evil against Him. It is not about racial segregation. This is proved by Galatians 2:11-14, where Paul opposes Peter for separating himself from the Gentile believers in their church.

As noted above, Kinists don’t usually believe the races emerged *at* Babel, yet, even if some do believe it, that doesn’t really matter.  How races emerged and *that* they emerged are two different issues.

Also – I’m not sure how the author’s position on Babel is “proven” by the Galatians narrative.  He’s not even doing damage to his own straw man!

Look at Galatians 2 more carefully.  Peter’s offense wasn’t “racism”, it was more of a jewish snobbery and being uncomfortable with the idea that non-jews were part of the Covenant.

Another example would be Paul’s ordaining as a Christian pastor the Greek-born Timothy (2 Timothy 1:6). He even calls Timothy “my true child in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2). Timothy’s mother was Jewish and a woman of the faith. This implies that Timothy lived and ministered in a community that was both Jewish and Gentile. Did his own mother not attend his church?  And, if God wished the races to be segregated, which church would he, being half Jew and half Gentile, be able to pastor?

See my comments on Timothy here.

And what about Paul himself, who was a self-proclaimed “preacher, apostle… and teacher of the Gentiles” (1 Timothy 2:7)? If Kinism were true, would not God have sent a Gentile to preach to and teach the Gentiles?

If we hold to the model of inter-racial worship outlined above, then there’s no reason why God wouldn’t send preachers out to preach to other tribes.

The author maliciously tries to make Kinists defend a view of strict separation when really we Kinists just want to see Godly tribal boundaries formally recognized and maintained.  Let non-whites come to my church and preach if they’re authoritative and learned and have something worthwhile to share.  Nothing wrong with that.  And there’s nothing wrong with Paul preaching and teaching to the Gentiles.

The problem comes when modernist hipsters try to force us all to accept an ungodly social order that eradicates tribal boundaries all together and when they try to merge everyone into a giant propositional mud-bowl.

In short, Kinism is simply another attempt to be justified by Law, rather than by the gospel of God’s grace. “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile”

Wow … again with the “Justified by Law” stuff …

Can anyone point to me where, in this entire article, the author demonstrated that Kinists teach some sort of justification by works or justification by keeping of the law?  Where?

Where do Kinists reject justification by faith alone???

This author needs to publicly repent for so carelessly (and offensively) misrepresenting Kinists.

I wont hold my breath while waiting…

Schwertley on the Kinist “Heresy”…

Schwertz

It’s a shame that unchecked zealots like Brian Schwertley exist in the Reformed community – and yet, they’re amongst us.[1]  Back in 2010, Schwertley preached a series of FOUR sermons on the so-called “Kinist” heresy.  Chocked full of arbitrary and ambiguous statements and seasoned with unsubstantiated slurs, Schwertley’s material represents the worst of Evangelical scholarship.  That Christians continue to take the man seriously is a sad testimony to the state of contemporary Evangelicalism.  (See my brief statements in response to the Choosing Hats guys, who try citing Schwertley’s material.)

I’d like to cut to the heart of Schwertley’s argument that Kinism is “heresy”.  We’ll examine it and see if it has merit.

At about 36 min. into sermon 1, Schwertley launches into an irrelevant tantrum about culture.  During this meandering side-trail, he gives what amounts to an argument for why Kinism is “heresy”.  Before stating it though, it’s important to note that Schwertley assumes a particular definition of “heresy” without argument.  We can define it as “…any teaching that denies in some form or other, the truth of the Gospel.”

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Granting this view of “heresy”, we can examine his argument.  It proceeds as follows:

1.  Kinists teach that the normative social order for man is tribal and ethnic.

2.  This is a model of “societal sanctification” without appeal to the Gospel.

3.  Sanctification is by appeal to the Gospel alone.

Conclusion:  Kinists are heretics.

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This looks formally valid.

At least, the conclusion seems to follow necessarily from the premises, as well as from the definition of “heretic” we’ve granted.  Let’s move on then and consider the soundness of the argument – by that I mean to examine the premises to see if they’re adequate and true.

Premise 1 is fair enough and likely comes from one of the many “statements of Kinist beliefs” on the net.

Premise 2, however, is where we see the problem.

What is “societal sanctification without appeal to the Gospel”?

Presumably, Schwertley is suggesting Kinist teach that societies ordered along tribal and ethnic lines are more “sanctified” than societies which are not.  On this view – a society which becomes more and more “sanctified” would, eventually, attain perfection and thereby gain access to the Kingdom for successfully keeping God’s commandments.  This sanctification is supposedly accomplished by adherence to a tribal norm rather than any mechanism tied to the Gospel.

In response:

1.  I don’t know of any Kinist who teaches this sort of “societal sanctification”.   Kinists routinely criticize tribal-groups, African tribes or jewish elite ethnocentrism, for instance.  There’s no routine teaching in the Kinist community (that I’m aware of) that such societies are more “sanctified” in holiness than other non-tribal societies.

So – Schwertley’s premise 2 fails at this point since it presents a straw-man caricature of Kinist teaching, rather than a fair and accurate statement.  His argument may succeed against anyone who holds to some non-Christian ideal of “societal sanctification”, but it doesn’t touch Kinism.

2.  To be technically precise, as Reformed thinkers, we might agree that if someone (or by extension: an entire group) is able to keep God’s commandments perfectly, then they would have kept the Covenant of Works and earned their salvation.  This is, afterall, the only way to gain eternal life.  We do believe in salvation by works.  Of course, because of our fallen nature, no one, let alone an entire society, is able to attain this level of perfection, and so we rely on Christ, who was perfect, to impute to us His righteousness and declare us holy on the day of judgment.

For Schwertley’s argument to be relevant to Kinism, he’d have to show that Kinists believe entire societies might be sanctified by their own works somehow…and as pointed out in 1, this is just not something Kinists believe.

3. We must consider if the idea of “societal sanctification” even makes sense from a Reformed perspective.

Traditionally, Reformed systematicians have taught that union with Christ simultaneously brings about both justification and sanctification.[2]  But while our justification is immediate, our sanctification takes a lifetime.  If entire generations of a particular social group are regenerated at the same time, and they all experience an even rate of sanctification, then it may be possible to determine the total “sanctification” of a given population.  Accordingly – if we apply our rubric to the social order in the abstract, it may become possible to measure different societies against each other to see which, if any, are more “sanctified” than the others.

4. So it DOES seem like “societal sanctification” makes sense within a Reformed framework; it doesn’t look possible without tying sanctification to the doctrine of Union-With-Christ, though.[3] Attempts to get sanctification without the doctrine of Union-With-Christ, place us in the “works-righteousness” camp, which denies the Gospel…as Schwertley’s argument suggests; and as we’ve seen in both 1 and 2 – this simply isn’t what Kinists, as Reformed folk, teach.

5.  The word “sanctification” is the wrong word to use anyway.  When Kinists talk about social order, they’re not usually speaking about it in a soteriological sense.  Rather – they’re specifically referring to its adherence to the “normative” pattern of Godly governance.

Schwertley may not understand Christian ethics as clearly as he should at this point.

If we take John Frame’s meta-ethical framework for granted, we would note that there are three “perspectives” to Christian ethics – all three of which must be taken into account when determining if any action, act, or attitude, is “good” in a moral sense.[4]  We have the “normative” perspective – this deals with the law in the abstract.  We have the “situational” perspective – this deals with the particular situation in which we find ourselves, including possible outcomes of our actions, and how they govern our application of the normative law.  And finally we have the “existential” perspective, or an examination of our internal motives for performing any given act.

When Kinists speak about the “normative” order for any society, they’re speaking about what God has ordained in the Framean sense of “normative”.  In this way – all sorts of societies can live up to the “norm” of tribalism without being “sanctified” – without the doctrine of Union, they would not have proper motives (existential) nor enact their tribalism in God-honoring ways (situational).   Kinists can still speak of these non-Christian and unsanctified societies as “living up to the normative, Godly standard”.

Consider this analogy:  we acknowledge that some atheists keep parts of God’s law.  They don’t steal or murder.  But pointing out that an atheist doesn’t murder is NOT to make any statement whatsoever about his “sanctification”.  It’s merely to say that he’s living up to certain normative standards.  Imagine someone telling us that we teach “sanctification by works” because we teach that atheists should not murder…that’s ridiculous.

In the same way, we’re not teaching “sanctification by works” because we teach that societies ought to be arranged tribally.  Schwertley is confusing sanctification and normative adherence to God’s standards….he needs to understand that commenting on the latter has little to do with the former.

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We might quibble with premise 3 in the same way.

Schwertley might be suggesting that “union with Christ” comes only through the sharing of the Gospel, and hence, by extension, one can only be sanctified by first believing in the Gospel … and yet, given how ambiguous his presentation is, he may mean something else entirely.

If we give him the benefit of the doubt here, though, then we can accept premise 3 as is.

Deconstructing premise 2 was enough to defeat the entire argument anyway.

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[1] Schwertley is a pastor in the “Westminster Presbyterian Church in the United States”, an organization whose legitimacy is in some doubt.   Also, the man himself is known for his over-zealous and inaccurate critiques of opponents.  See this article as an example case.

[2] I’ve linked to a “Christ the Center” episode, featuring Dr. Lane Tipton; Tipton and others at Westminster Theological Seminary have numerous great lectures about Justification / Sanctification / and Union with Christ available for free on the net.  They offer general overviews of the standing of the doctrine in the Reformed theological community…which I’ve tried to faithfully re-produce in my brief comments above.

[3] Roman Catholics or Lutherans might object to my wording here, claiming that their ideals of Union and Sanctification might work as well as the Reformed model, but as this is a debate internal to the Reformed camp, I’m delicately laying aside such issues; I hope my RC and Lutheran friends will forgive me.

[4] As a theonomist and a presuppositionalist (at least – I suspect Schwertley is a presupper), I expect him to consider Frame an authority on ethics…as did Dr. Bahnsen.  Dr. Frame’s “Triperspectival” view of ethics is an outworking of his devotion to Cornelius Van Til’s apologetic methodology, and tries to present ethics as a “reflection” of God’s trinitarian nature.  See Frame’s “Doctrine of the Christian Life” for a thorough exposition of this view.  Also, see Frame’s lectures on ethics, available free from i-Tunes.

Spreading the Kinist Message at the Bahnsen Conference

I flew out to California to attend the first ever Greg L. Bahnsen conference – a conference focusing on presuppositional apologetic methodology as well as theonomy and Christian ethics.

Dr. Bahnsen’s work has meant so much to me and changed my life in so many ways; I couldn’t resist going.

I found the California culture strange and in some ways uninviting.  But in other ways, it was beautiful, especially the Pacific coast line, the trees, and mountains.  I could write an entire article on my experience in California before the Bahnsen conference even began, but , that’s for another day.

I didn’t intend on discussing Kinism at all at the conference.  I love Christian apologetics so much (and theonomy is a branch of ethics, so, is naturally a part of apologetics) I was hoping to fill my time discussing those issues.

Nevertheless, the conference turned into more of an echo-chamber, bouncing the old introductory talking-points off a like-minded audience.  There was nothing new added to the work of Dr. Bahnsen, and the best part of the conference were the personal recollections of his close friends.

So, during the question and answer period of the last lecture, I decided to ask a round about question that might cause the speaking pastor to scratch close to where Kinists were itching.

“There is a lot of speculation involved in extracting the “general equity” from old testament case laws and applying it to contemporary contexts; I understand that.  But, I’ve always been curious what, in a general sense, it might look like to extrapolate the OT tribal laws to contemporary contexts.  What would that look like today?”

The Pastor, to his credit, immediately brought up Kinism, mentioning that there was a small group of Reformed people who utilize these case laws to show that race mixing was sinful – a statement which elicited boos from the crowd, some of them patting the shoulders of their black friend (who was sitting there with his white, pregnant wife).  “How could the Reformed community entertain such vile ingrates as these kinists?” was the general sentiment in the crowd.

But again, to his credit, the pastor never condemned Kinists.  And while he arbitrarily dismissed the tribal laws as “ceremonial” and thus “done away with”, he didn’t provide argumentation for this assertion, and even admitted that it was something the Reformed community needed to have honest, and civil dialogue about.

Afterwards, when the conference was over, I stayed around talking with people.  We talked for hours.  Finally, racial topics came up; someone mentioned that they were upset about comments from Pastor Morecraft concerning slavery and how, perhaps the white slave owners in Dixie weren’t evil incarnate.  I was being circumspect about Kinism up to that point, but couldn’t resist answering this frankly.  My frank replies brought more inquiry, especially about the nature of my question during the conference QnA.  “What do you think about this Kinism, stuff?”

At that point, I said I had to leave, got in my car and drove off.  As I drove, I began mentally kicking myself for passing up the opportunity.  Hindsight told me to damn civility and go for truth next time.  I prayed that God might give me a chance to redeem myself.

Then HARK! I realized I had accidentally left my laptop inside the building!  I sped back to get it, and when I returned, there were still two people in the parking lot.  One, a deacon from the church who had stayed behind to lock up, and the other, the member who had asked me about my thoughts on Kinism.

I snagged my computer, then walked over to him and said “you know, to be honest, I am a Kinist.  I consider myself a passionate spokesman for the view and have even been in the national news because of it.”

His eyes got big.  We stayed there talking for another two hours, him, condemning me (in civil, friendly tones) and me expounding on the nature of Kinism.

Eventually, the deacon had to leave, but promised to look up Kinism to learn more; me and the other gentlemen drove out for dinner, where our conversation continued on into the evening.  And while he would certainly never agree with me about racial issues, we got to be good friends and parted on excellent terms.

I hope the thrust of my position was made clear.  I’ll list a few of my main contentions:

1.  I wanted it clearly understood that we Kinists love everyone, don’t wish ill of anyone, and that we just want what’s best for the Reformed community.

2.  I wanted it known that EVEN IF Kinism were wrong, I’d be happy because at least we would have forced the Reformed community to take charge and lead the way on working through racial issues.  We shouldn’t take our talking-points from pop culture, or blindly adhere to whatever Oprah or Michelle Obama say about race.  We should be the ones providing ideology to the culture!  So, if the Kinist movement makes the Reformed community address these issues from a consistently Christian position, then Kinism is a blessing, even if wrong-headed.  (It’s not wrong-headed though, of course).

3.  I wanted them to realize that we Kinists argue the same way for Kinism as they argue for any other aspect of theonomy (they were all theonomists).  We look at the OT case law, extrapolate the general equity therein, and apply it to today’s context.  And the OT case law clearly teaches tribalism as the normative order for man.

“In history, we have Tribe, Tribe, Tribe, Tribe, … now, bam!  America! Where did this come from?  It came from the French Revolution and Enlightenment rationalism!  Be aware of your presuppositions, gentlemen!”

I made other points, especially about the nature of “race” and how Scripture teaches ethnic nationalism.  I made plugs for all our websites, including Tribal Theocrat and Faith and Heritage.

But, I can’t emphasize enough, the spirit in which these discussions took place – they were very civil, very loving, and very friendly.  We all parted on excellent terms, even though we knew the seriousness of our disagreements.

This is how it should be in the Reformed community …

…leave the flame wars, disingenuous censorship, and general nastiness to the pagans.

An Argument Against Certain Forms of Christian Identity

I have great fellowship with some Christian Identity advocates.  Nevertheless, certain forms of CI teaching are not only false, but harmful to us as racially self-conscious Christians.  Furthermore, the sheer arrogance and vitriolic rhetoric from many in the CI movement, begs for a response.

What is Christian Identity?

It’s hard to define Christian Identity because there is little consensus about it in the CI community.  There are different versions with differing beliefs inherent in each.

They teach God has chosen one race of people in all of history for salvation.  This race is thought to be the white race (however “white race” might be defined) which is usually considered to be descendents of Shem and Abraham.  As such, whites are the sole benefactors of God’s covenant promises.

In short: only whites are going to Heaven.  Everyone else is either going to Hell, or will simply cease like the rest of the animals.

How to argue against it?

CI proponents use a biased hermeneutic.  Whatever verse is appealed to in an attempt to refute them will be filtered through this hermeneutic (it will be interpreted according to their overarching narrative) and returned to you with incredulity.   “That verse doesn’t mean what you say it means!” is a common refrain heard when debating a CI proponent.

As an all encompassing hermeneutic, therefore, CI must be dealt with at a presuppositional level.  The theological implications of the system must be deconstructed and shown to be fallacious (or at the very least, inconsistent).

The following argument is aimed at a particular sort of CI belief that says non-whites are not born of Adam.  This is the most offensive form of CI (to most Christians) and also the easiest to refute.

Those CI advocates who believe all humans, even non-whites, are descended from Adam, but who, nevertheless, believe only whites will receive salvation, must be treated separately.  Different arguments (and perhaps, a different approach) must be used with them.  For the rest of this article however, I will be referring to the various Dual Seedline versions of CI as simply “CI” with the understanding that some CI do not fit into this camp.

The Incompatibility of CI with the Christian Doctrine of the Imago Dei

The Imago Dei (or the image of God in man) is a doctrine that all Christians believe in. Scripture clearly teaches that God created humans in His image (Gen. 1:26).

Christian Identity advocates want to believe that all humans are created in the Image of God, but they want to claim that only white people are human.  As a result, they have to come up with some way to confine the Imago Dei, solely to the white race.   This, I will argue, reduces their position to absurdity and therefore, the belief that the Imago Dei is “unique” to white people, must be given up.

The argument is as follows:

1. All Christians are obligated to believe in the Imago Dei

2. CI advocates are Christians.

3. CI advocates cannot consistently be CI advocates and believe in the Imago Dei.

Conclusion: CI advocates must either give up Christianity or give up CI.

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Usually, premises 1 and 2 are uncontroversial (though, I have had some CI advocates contest 1).

Premise 3 is the focus of CI disagreement.  Most CI folk that I’ve encountered, are not systematic in their CI views and see no problem with simply affirming two contradictory beliefs.

However, some have tried to show how their CI and the Christian doctrine of the Imago Dei can be consistently held together.  All the attempts I’ve either thought of, or heard, seem to fail.  So, in the end, it seems there is no rational way to believe these two doctrines consistently.

I’ve classified the attempts to reconcile the two doctrines into three broad categories, each of which will be briefly described and criticized:

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1.  To reconcile the two doctrines, the CI advocate might claim the Imago Dei is somehow related to, or equated with, actual genealogical relation with Adam.

This move allows them to restrict the Imgo Dei to all descendents from Adam without making the “Imago Dei” a physical thing.  Non-adamic descendents would not be made in the image of God, no matter how similar their physical bodies are to Adam, since they do not have a physical descent from Adam.

This trivializes the Imago Dei. It would mean there is nothing different between those with God’s image and those without, other than the accidental fact that one group happens to descend from Adam, in which case the Imago Dei is nothing at all, other than an arbitrary declaration of God.

It also seems nonsensical to claim that the Imago Dei is a genealogical descent.  Anyway, it’s the individual man that is made in the image of God, not a characteristic shared by an aggregate of men.

There are other considerations to be thought of:  does the Imago Dei pass through the mother or the father?  If the father, then we have to wonder if Christ was made in the image of God.  Further, supposing in the near future, children are manufactured in a test tube, without mother or father.  It seems they would still share all the same characteristics of a human, but the CI advocate would have to say they were not made in God’s image; a seeming absurdity.

This attempt must be rejected.

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2.  The Christian Identity advocate might appeal to substance dualism.

He could say only white people have souls, and the “soul” is the image of God.  In this way, the image is not something physical (which leads to absurdity – see argument 3) but is nevertheless, restricted to the white race which is presumably the only race with souls, on the CI view, thus excluding all non-whites and successfully reconciling the doctrine of the Imago Dei with CI teaching.

However, most all philosophers and theologians have rejected substance dualism because of seeming insurmountable difficulties.  If the CI advocate tries to argue this way, he runs the risk of pinning his entire theological scheme on a shaky philosophical premise (Alvin Plantinga, being an exception.  He argues for substance dualism.  Nevertheless, it seems undesirable for an entire theological position to hinge on this one philosophical topic.  The CI advocate would be penned into living or dying on substance dualism).

But even were we to grant this premise, there are further problems which ultimately rend the attempt unsuccessful.  What does it mean to say that the image of God is a “soul”?  Would that mean part of man is created in the image of God and the other part of him (the non-soul part) is not?  That seems odd.  Also, souls are created things.  To maintain the traditional Christian understanding of the Creator / Creature distinction, we cannot give God created properties.   So, no matter what “spirit” turns out to be — it would be a restricting “form” of some sort, which cannot be applied to God.  The “Imago Dei” must be a set of non physical characteristics.

And if the Imago Dei is a set of non physical characteristics, then we can easily see that all people (the world over) share the same characteristics, regardless of race – characteristics like intelligence (even though they have it in varying and unequal degrees), sense of humor, rational thinking, language, etc.

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3.  This leads to the third, and most popular way CI advocates attempt to reconcile the doctrine of the Imago Dei with their CI position.  As racial realists, we all acknowledge certain physical differences among the various races.  (At least, when the pagan white nationalists classify race, or when racially self-conscious geneticists classify race, they always talk about it in purely physical terms).

Usually, it’s said that a “race” is simply a population group with a statistically relevant pattern of genes.  So “whites” have a particular trend / pattern of genes that are unique to them.  Negros have a pattern that is unique to them, Asians have a pattern, and so on.

The CI advocate wants to claim that somewhere, inherent in that statistically-relevant gene pattern unique to whites, lies the Image of God.

By way of criticism:  claiming the Image of God is a physical characteristic of man necessarily leads us to conclude that God has some sort of physical characteristics, which is theologically absurd.

Long ago, theologians believed the Imago Dei was man’s ability to walk upright, but after reflection, this position was rejected.  It would have meant God walks upright.  Furthermore, if a man is disabled and loses the ability to walk upright, it didn’t seem right to claim that he was no longer made in the image of God.

To avoid this problem, the CI advocate might try claiming that the Image of God is not patterned after the non-human aspects of God, but rather, is based on the physical nature of the Incarnate Christ who, presumably, was also a white man (so the CI advocate will claim).

This seems arbitrary and lacks Scriptural warrant, but supposing it were granted, then we’d be stuck claiming that only those who have the exact physical features of the Incarnate Christ, are made in His image.  Supposing Christ had brown hair and a brown beard, then those with blond hair would be out of luck.

What is the Right Answer?

It’s not my intent to outline a Kinist view of the Imago Dei.  Suffice it to say, however, that the Bible obligates us to believe that all men are created in the image of God.  And while there is little consensus over what the Image is exactly, most Christians believe it is some aspect of the moral and/or rational nature of man.  As Rushdoony believes, it is the “knowledge, righteousness, holiness, and dominion” of man.

These things (knowledge, righteousness, holiness, and dominion) are unique in varying degrees, to all humans (be they white, black, red, yellow, or what have you).  All “races” of men share these characteristics.

Only by rejecting the “Dual Seedline” view, can we reconcile the Bible’s teaching about the Imago Dei with our views about the common humanity of both regenerate and unregenerate.

Roots of a Christian Romantic Nationalism — Man in Context

“In Him, we live, move, and have our being.” ~ Acts 17:28

Nationalism must have its roots in sound philosophy or else it will never present itself as a viable political option in a post-Christian world.  And if the philosophy is to be sound, it must be Christian.

There’s a sense in which Romantic Nationalism, if it turns out to be a true accounting of the world, provides for its own downfall by creating a society that presupposes itself with little self-reflection.   So, with a measure of caution, I’ll consider the roots of a possible Christian conception of Romantic Nationalism.

The development of man into a society of men is important when considering ideal social orders.  So it’s best to begin a discussion of Romantic Nationalism by looking at man and his proper context.

What does it mean for man to have a context?

Without getting into the details of linguistic philosophy, it can simply be admitted at this point, that a word only has meaning when it’s used in a certain context.  Consider the word “dog”.  De-contextualized, it’s nonsensical.  The word has no meaning in and of itself.

“Dog” could be a man’s name.

“Dog” could be a word that describes our four-legged, furry companion.

“Dog” could be a nonsense word used to fill space in a song: “doggitta dog, a dang a dang dang”.

Until we place the word into a meaningful relationship with other words (to form a sentence), it cannot be defined.

In a very real way, the same is true of man.  In order to become self-conscious of his own identity, a man must see himself in a particular context.  Without context, man will be unable to recognize himself or distinguish between himself and everything else in his experience.

What is man’s context?

The most basic context for man is his physical existence in a world that has been created by an all-sovereign God.  It’s important to look to orthodox Protestant theology at this point, specifically as it has found voice in Christian theologian Cornelius Van Til.

Van Til’s accounting of God’s trinitarian nature, and God’s personal Covenant relationship with creation, provides the theological framework in which to view “nature” as man’s context.  God is man’s ultimate, metaphysical environment.  Every thing man experiences — every “fact” he knows — is what it is, because God has created it so.

But within this metaphysical relationship (between God and man), man is placed into the created realm as an actor, with will, abilities, honor and the capacity to love and feel.  God created man with the ability to interact with and change parts of the created realm.  Man is to observe and interpret creation in the same way God observes and interprets it (at least, to the extent he’s able to imitate God).   Van Til referred to this as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”

In this creation, there are rivers, streams, continents, and land features of all types.  There are also other animals and other men.  Man, by virtue of being created along side these other things, is automatically in a God-ordained relationship with them — similar to a word being written into a sentence.

Eventually, families and nations arose from the first two humans.  They migrated to different parts of the world.  This act of migration placed each of the families in different places within creation.

Here, societies were born; complex social relationships and interactions between groups of humans.

As we can see from this brief examination, man, by virtue of his creation, is automatically placed into a particular context consisting of social and economic relationships.  The Christian cannot allow ideas of “de-contextualized man” to have any merit, else he’s positing a man that can define himself, without being placed into a proper context by God.

Consider what the great Southern thinker and politician John C. Calhoun says on the matter:

“It is, indeed, difficult to explain how an opinion so destitute of all sound reason, ever could have been so extensively entertained …. I refer to the assertion, that all men are equal in the state of nature; meaning, by a state of nature, a state of individuality, supposed to have existed prior to the social and political state; and in which men lived apart and independent of each other.  If such a state ever did exist, all men would have been, indeed, free and equal in it; that is, free to do as they pleased, and exempt from the authority or control of others–as by supposition, it existed anterior to society and government.  But such a state is purely hypothetical.  It never did, nor can exist; as it is inconsistent with the preservation and perpetuation of the race.  It is, therefore, a great misnomer to call it “the state of nature.”  Instead of being the natural state of man, it is, of all conceivable states, the most opposed to his nature–most repugnant to his feelings, and most incompatible with his wants.  His natural state is, the social and political — the one for which his Creator made him, and the only one in which he can preserve and perfect his race.”

Where I’ve been using the word “context”, Calhoun speaks of “natural states.”  He would refer to “de-contextualized man” as a man in the “state of nature” which, as we’ve seen, is only possible hypothetically.  It cannot ever be a possibility since man can never escape the context in which he’s been placed by the almighty.

Calhoun concludes this way:

“As, then, there never was such a state as the, so called, state of nature, and never can be, it follows, that men, instead of being born in it, are born in the social and political state; and of course, instead of being born free and equal, are born subject, not only to parental authority, but to the laws and institutions of the country where born and under whose protection they draw their first breath.” ~ Disquisition on Government.

These concluding remarks are important because they show that a man, being necessarily in a context, is necessarily defined by his place and role in a social-order.

It is not true as Rousseau says, “man is born free, but is everywhere in chains.”  He implies that man is born completely free from all binding “contexts” but as life progresses, is violently imprisoned by them.  This thinking is at base of all Existentialist philosophy and informs the thinking of trans-humanists, alchemists, and mad-scientists who wish to destroy all context in the world, since context implies that man is defined by forces beyond himself.   *THEY* want to determine which context they will be placed in, and thus, become the author of their own lives.

The same thinking informs the radical egalitarians who wish to see all racial contexts destroyed as well.  Race, sex, religion, nationality, ethnicity, family and any division among men, are all “contexts” that God has created — created for us to prosper in.

What does a proper social context look like?

As Christian Romantic Nationalists, we must support a social order that cherishes and nourishes these Godly contexts so that man can become fully man, and define Himself in a Godly way.  In this sense, we are applying Van Til’s maxim of “thinking God’s thoughts after Him” to society at large.

Our European ancestors had the greatest of these societies, where Godly contexts were formally respected.  Sir. Walter Scott’s novel “Quentin Durward” is peppered with wonderful illustrations.  Consider the following passage:

“I blame not thee, Jacqueline, and thou art too young to be — what it is pity to think thou must be one day — a false and treacherous thing, like the rest of thy giddy sex.  No man ever lived to man’s estate but he had the opportunity to know you all.  Here is a Scottish cavalier will tell you the same.

Jacqueline looked for an instant on the young stranger, as if to obey Maitre Pierre, but the glance, momentary as it was, appeared to Durward a pathetic appeal to him for support and sympathy; and with the promptitude dictated by the feelings of youth, and the romantic veneration for the female sex inspired by his education, he answered, hastily: “That he would throw down his gage to any antagonist, of equal rank and equal age, who should presume to say such a countenance as that which he now looked upon could be animated by other than the purest and the truest mind.”

Notice at first, that Durward’s chivalry was taught to him in his youth!

Not only was he taught to respect and defend the female sex, he was taught it formally.  Formal respect for these sorts of social conventions (social “contexts”) permeate Durward’s adventure.  Durward’s culture and society respected social contexts so much, that Durward even followed a certain protocol with whom he would or would not duel.

Just in this passage alone, we see that Durward was very self-conscious about who he was, his position concerning the lady, and his station in regards to who he would and would not fight.

Contrast that with the modern American male of Durward’s age who, upon seeing a woman insulted, if he didn’t laugh along with the other, would have no clear sense of duty or responsibility.

When man is de-contextualized, he loses himself.

Dr. Bahnsen on Galatians 3:28

One of the most often misquoted verses of scripture by our alienist friends, is Galatians 3 verse 28:

There is neither jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Any of my readers brave enough to challenge the alienist will likely hear this verse cited as proof that God not only allows, but ordains and encourages wholesale mixing of the races.  I’ve heard this verse appealed to as a support for grotesque sexual sins (homosexuality) as well.

But as Dr. Bahnsen shows, no serious Bible scholar can use this verse to imply the righteousness of wholesale race-mixing.  Even one of the most theologically-rigorous alienists out there, J. Daniel Hays, in his book “From Every People and Nation” admits that the verse does not abrogate physical distinctions among the church (see page 186).

It seems only the naive alienist, who isn’t interested in fair exegesis, or perhaps the lay-egalitarian who isn’t very systematic in his position, allude to this verse as the first volley in their attack against the walls of traditional European Christendom.  Dr. Bahnsen is no Kinist by any means (though his work has proven invaluable in helping form a Kinist case against Modernism) and has no intention of refuting the alienist in the following commentary.  If anything, he’s more concerned with upholding his theonomic interpretation of the NT and only makes a few brief concluding remarks about the passage.  However, these remarks are important and demonstrate a refreshing attitude towards the text, even though Dr. Bahnsen makes unfortunate concessions to contemporary whims.

The following citation is transcribed from Dr. Bahnsen’s lecture on Galatians 3:23 through chapter 4.  The file can be purchased at Covenant Media Foundation and is named: GB1162-Gal3.23-4.7.  The transcript begins at 30:55 into the lecture:

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Back in chapter 3, verse 28:

There can be neither jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ and have become the seed with Him.  The seed of Abraham and the children of God.  He tells us, there cannot be distinctions of rank within the household of God.

And he refers to three particular ones, but I think there are only three chosen examples because they were so prominent in Paul’s culture and day.  There are no distinctions within the household of God that puts one or another person ahead of the other in terms of spiritual privilege.

You know?  Whether you’re fat or thin or rich or poor or whether you’re black or white.  We can think about any number.  But the three Paul talks about are jew Greek, bond free, male female.  These are obvious distinctions, especially in jewish culture.  Jews prided themselves in being better than the Greeks and better than the Gentiles.

In Romans 2, Paul goes on and on about how, you know, “you pride yourselves in the law and you think you’re a teacher of the ignorant,” and on and on and on.  But the jews clearly thought of themselves as superior.  Paul now crushes jewish pride.  He says in Christ, jew or greek: makes no difference.

In Christ being master or slave, being freeman or bond servant means nothing.  In fact, we know in the days of the New Testament that some bond servants were spiritually much further along; saved or more mature than their masters. See?  Spirituality is not tied to privilege in this world.

And then he comes to another one which has been the source of unending controversy, it seems like, in my generation.  There’s neither male nor female.  You see?  To be a man, to be a male, is no better than to be a female if you’re in the household of God.  There’s no better or worse spiritually because of sexual differentiation.  Peter tells us in 1 Peter, that husbands and wives are co-heirs in the grace of life.  That they are on a par, spiritually, with one another.

Now, what conclusions — what inferences, can be logically drawn from this?  Can we conclude that, since in Christ there is neither Greek nor jew, that all ethnic distinctions have been biologically and sociologically eliminated?  That would be silly, wouldn’t it?

Would we conclude that, because in Christ, in terms of spiritual privilege in the House of God, there’s neither bond nor free, that therefore, slaves are not really slaves, and masters are not really masters?  Do we believe that all sexual differentiation has been removed because spiritually those that have these differentiations are one in Christ?   It doesn’t follow at all, does it?

When someone says “well, since there’s neither male nor female, then men can no longer have dominion over women.  Men cannot exercise authority over women in the church and husbands cannot have the dominance in the home!”

That just does not follow from what Paul is saying at all.  That isn’t what Paul is talking about.  Well, what is Paul talking about?  Our position of privilege in the Household of God.  And on that, though we are quick, and I am quick, to defend conservative theology against the intrusions of women’s liberation, I should be, and all of us should be, quick to insist that women ought not to be considered second class citizens.  And I do think there is that tendency to be rebuked among us.