Here's the Problem:

https://mediamatters.org/embed/206855

This scene from the TV series Homeland was featured on Monday’s MSNBC news, as a commentary on the Paris attacks. Notice around the 1:35 mark, when the solutions are proffered: “200,000 ground troops indefinitely to protect an equal number of doctors and teachers,” OR “bomb Raqqa into a parking lot.”

Those are the only options available to the mind of popular media (which is a mirror of popular thought). I fear that Western leadership suffers from the same tunnel-vision, when the question should be asked, “Why are we so impotent?”

We, the West, are powerless to fight against the ideology of Islam, as the clip correctly shows. But the problem is not one of strategy, but one of moral nerve. This moral nerve cannot be mustered, because the West has committed spiritual suicide, having finally and completely rejected its spiritual foundations in Christendom.

Christendom gets a lot of bad press right now, often without describing what it really was, could be, and really entails. Mention it and you will get one of two comments: “You can’t go back to the days of ‘Leave it to Beaver,'” or, “Yes, but the Crusades were terrible.” The first comment only demonstrates ignorance; the second, fails to understand that the soldiers of the Crusades actually believed that what they were fighting for had eternal consequences.

Today’s soldiers will grow weary fighting for freedom when, upon their return, find that their governments define freedom as confused young men’s rights to shower with their daughters after gym. The growth of government has been a solution to the wrong problem for decades, and when freedom is celebrated in the West, it is done so with the proper permissions, permits, and waivers.

The spiritual underpinnings of Western freedoms and democracies have not simply faded away, they have been banished. This is why in popular culture, the two options of humanistic education and health care (the 21st centuries’ version of salvation) or elimination through bombing are the only two choices available.

The option of national repentance, from leaders to the led, across all segments of society, is not on the table, and this is certainly why the West must fall.

We, the West, have tolerated the destruction of generations of children. We cannot, then, think of ourselves as the moral superiors to Islam in any form, violent or not. Our cultural sins have brought great judgement upon us, and God will give our lands to those who do not kill their children.

Consider God’s words against Nineveh, who a century and a half repented under Jonah’s preaching, but was to fall for their sins. Nahum compares Nineveh to Thebes of Egypt, a nation that Nineveh (Assyria) slaughterd:

Nahum 3:10 (ESV)

10  Yet she became an exile;

she went into captivity;

her infants were dashed in pieces

at the head of every street;

for her honoured men lots were cast,

and all her great men were bound in chains.

Notice the infanticide that Nineveh inflicted upon Thebes, and how that was a cause of judgement. Nineveh was known for its cruelty, yet somehow Western post-Christian nations think that they are not! The thousands that Islam has killed in the past decades is such a small number compared to the mass destruction of the innocent by the West.

In Nahum 3:11-13 we read how easy it will be for Babylon to defeat Nineveh. Keep in mind that Nineveh and Assyria were the regions superpowers at the time, and were thought for years to be invincible. No military strategist could have seen this coming.

11  You also will be drunken;

you will go into hiding;

you will seek a refuge from the enemy.

12  All your fortresses are like fig trees

with first-ripe figs—

if shaken they fall

into the mouth of the eater.

13  Behold, your troops

are women in your midst.

The gates of your land

are wide open to your enemies;

fire has devoured your bars.

Drunkenness, fear, pursuit, an easy target, women soldiers and open gates all describe Nineveh before her enemies. Nineveh, and her neighbhours, did not believe this for a moment, but this is how their end came.

God mocks their preparations, as He mocks our strategies today:

Nahum 3:14–15 (ESV)

14  Draw water for the siege;

strengthen your forts;

go into the clay;

tread the mortar;

take hold of the brick mold!

15  There will the fire devour you;

the sword will cut you off.

It will devour you like the locust.

Multiply yourselves like the locust;

multiply like the grasshopper!

Get ready, and die anyway, is the message of Nahum.

More doctors! More teachers! or, More bombs!

Since we’re not treating our cancer, it must metastasize. God granted Nineveh repentance during the days of Jonah, but did not do so again. We have no certainty that He will grant us repentance, and we should just reflect upon that.

Here’s the Problem:

https://mediamatters.org/embed/206855

This scene from the TV series Homeland was featured on Monday’s MSNBC news, as a commentary on the Paris attacks. Notice around the 1:35 mark, when the solutions are proffered: “200,000 ground troops indefinitely to protect an equal number of doctors and teachers,” OR “bomb Raqqa into a parking lot.”

Those are the only options available to the mind of popular media (which is a mirror of popular thought). I fear that Western leadership suffers from the same tunnel-vision, when the question should be asked, “Why are we so impotent?”

We, the West, are powerless to fight against the ideology of Islam, as the clip correctly shows. But the problem is not one of strategy, but one of moral nerve. This moral nerve cannot be mustered, because the West has committed spiritual suicide, having finally and completely rejected its spiritual foundations in Christendom.

Christendom gets a lot of bad press right now, often without describing what it really was, could be, and really entails. Mention it and you will get one of two comments: “You can’t go back to the days of ‘Leave it to Beaver,'” or, “Yes, but the Crusades were terrible.” The first comment only demonstrates ignorance; the second, fails to understand that the soldiers of the Crusades actually believed that what they were fighting for had eternal consequences.

Today’s soldiers will grow weary fighting for freedom when, upon their return, find that their governments define freedom as confused young men’s rights to shower with their daughters after gym. The growth of government has been a solution to the wrong problem for decades, and when freedom is celebrated in the West, it is done so with the proper permissions, permits, and waivers.

The spiritual underpinnings of Western freedoms and democracies have not simply faded away, they have been banished. This is why in popular culture, the two options of humanistic education and health care (the 21st centuries’ version of salvation) or elimination through bombing are the only two choices available.

The option of national repentance, from leaders to the led, across all segments of society, is not on the table, and this is certainly why the West must fall.

We, the West, have tolerated the destruction of generations of children. We cannot, then, think of ourselves as the moral superiors to Islam in any form, violent or not. Our cultural sins have brought great judgement upon us, and God will give our lands to those who do not kill their children.

Consider God’s words against Nineveh, who a century and a half repented under Jonah’s preaching, but was to fall for their sins. Nahum compares Nineveh to Thebes of Egypt, a nation that Nineveh (Assyria) slaughterd:

Nahum 3:10 (ESV)

10  Yet she became an exile;

she went into captivity;

her infants were dashed in pieces

at the head of every street;

for her honoured men lots were cast,

and all her great men were bound in chains.

Notice the infanticide that Nineveh inflicted upon Thebes, and how that was a cause of judgement. Nineveh was known for its cruelty, yet somehow Western post-Christian nations think that they are not! The thousands that Islam has killed in the past decades is such a small number compared to the mass destruction of the innocent by the West.

In Nahum 3:11-13 we read how easy it will be for Babylon to defeat Nineveh. Keep in mind that Nineveh and Assyria were the regions superpowers at the time, and were thought for years to be invincible. No military strategist could have seen this coming.

11  You also will be drunken;

you will go into hiding;

you will seek a refuge from the enemy.

12  All your fortresses are like fig trees

with first-ripe figs—

if shaken they fall

into the mouth of the eater.

13  Behold, your troops

are women in your midst.

The gates of your land

are wide open to your enemies;

fire has devoured your bars.

Drunkenness, fear, pursuit, an easy target, women soldiers and open gates all describe Nineveh before her enemies. Nineveh, and her neighbhours, did not believe this for a moment, but this is how their end came.

God mocks their preparations, as He mocks our strategies today:

Nahum 3:14–15 (ESV)

14  Draw water for the siege;

strengthen your forts;

go into the clay;

tread the mortar;

take hold of the brick mold!

15  There will the fire devour you;

the sword will cut you off.

It will devour you like the locust.

Multiply yourselves like the locust;

multiply like the grasshopper!

Get ready, and die anyway, is the message of Nahum.

More doctors! More teachers! or, More bombs!

Since we’re not treating our cancer, it must metastasize. God granted Nineveh repentance during the days of Jonah, but did not do so again. We have no certainty that He will grant us repentance, and we should just reflect upon that.

Nineveh and Us

I recently read an opinion that went something like this: “Perhaps God has spared the USA from judgement (particularly over its love affair with abortion) because there are still enough Christians who provide so much funding to missions around the world. I think the statistic was that 95% of all missions giving in the world is from the US (I have not verified this).

I do not believe that the missions giving from the US has somehow saved it from God’s judgment. I think the judgment is underway, and we’re just not seeing it for what it is. For what it’s worth, I don’t think God needs our money, and will raise up missionaries and funds for works that we cannot imagine, and that they will be accomplished outside the box of the modern missionary movement. This movement was and is good, but God is not limited by it, even if it seems to be a tradition that has been with us since the beginning of the church.

Pertinent to the discussion however: I just completed a short series on Nahum, and was struck by this:

In both prophecies against Nineveh (the Assyrian empire), God closes with a rhetorical question (these two books are the only two in the Bible that end in questions). In the first, God asks Jonah, “Have you no compassion?” In fact, Jonah is much more about the messenger than it is about those who received it. He hated Nineveh with good reason. His message offered no hope. His message was one sentence: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” (Jonah 3:4). The people repented, God showed mercy, and Jonah hated the whole deal.

Note, though, in God’s question to Jonah, that he mentions 120,000 innocent people and “much cattle.” The innocence of the potential victims, is important, because in Nahum, God calls the Ninevites to account for the innocent victims of their warfare.

In Nahum, God asks the people, “For upon whom has not come your unceasing evil?” which is to say, “Have you no limits?”

In the Jonah, God’s mercy and compassion was given (though not offered by Jonah), there were innocent people; in Nahum, God condemns Nineveh for their evil—there is no offer of mercy or repentance. They crushed the innocent.

It is as if Jonah and Nahum are juxtaposed against one another to show the worst case of righteous condemnation by a messenger, and the worst case of evil by an empire.

All this goes to say that God’s patience is long, and the longer a people goes without repentance, the more total the judgment. God’s slowness is no sign of weakness. If you can’t hear a train coming down the track, and can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it’s not coming, and that with sudden effect.

I also noticed several other things:

  1. God’s judgements are impossible; that is, there is no hint in world affairs that this could happen. The Assyrian empire was as entrenched as sunrise and sunset—it was never going away. Let’s say in 10 years, the capital in Washington, D.C. is paved over to make a Sam’s Club, and the greatest empire in the world in 2025 is run out of Iceland or Zimbabwe. It’s that kind of impossible.
  2. God judges in kind. A hint of the brutality of the Assyrians is shown in their conquest of Thebes. Thebes was similar in protection as Nineveh (using water as a means to buffer against invasion), yet they fell and were brutalised (Nahum 3:10). It is not unlikely that the children of Nineveh suffered the same fate that the Assyrians inflicted at Thebes.

When I say that “God judges in kind,” I mean that, many times, what is done to others is done to the perpetrator. The Assyrians can expect no less than what they did to Thebes (3:10ff).

  1. When I read Nahum 3:10, I think of the millions of children aborted in the West, many who are quite literally “dashed in pieces” in abortuaries. And this is done “at the head of every street,” that is to say, in public, publicly acknowledged and financed. In the West, abortion is not carried out in a dark place away from the authorities, but applauded by them. Add to this the Western export of abortion to the developing world, and we may see ourselves as a modern Nineveh.

I agree that judgment against the West seems to be delayed, except for this: while we are not experiencing the wrath of nature from God for our tolerance of abortion, we are suffering the demographic crises that unrestricted abortion allows. We are not experiencing floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes at an obviously high rate, but we are reaping what we have sown, and our children and their children will live in a remarkably different place than the one we occupied.

China has 15% fewer female children than male; Europe, Japan, and Canada have negative birth rates, and the US is barely treading water in replacing its population.

Could it be that the immigration crisis is God’s certain judgment for eliminating an entire generation of children? By disallowing immigration, Japan will simply cease to exist and be annexed by North Korea or China. By 2020, it is estimated that in Japan there will be more adults in diapers than infants. It is in Japan that sad elderly people rent families on weekends.

Russia’s population decline (also with a high abortion rate) has made annexation of its extreme Eastern parts by China a likelihood.

We witness the crisis in Europe now, whose leaders see hope in the mass immigration from the Middle East, a hope that someone will pay the taxes and debt of the future.

In the US, the Mexican immigration will continue unabated, no matter who is elected president.

Interesting thing about almost all of the mass-movements of people right now: both the Muslim and Mexican populations tend to be family people, and much less likely to kill their children.

I personally believe that the judgement is already beginning. In North America, we should be learning Spanish.

It seems that no Western leader is willing to say the real reason for allowing nearly unlimited immigration: there are not enough natives in the host countries to carry things on. If a leader admitted it, and someone were awake enough to ask “why?” the only valid answer is that we have forfeited our future by refusing to allow a generation of children to live.

God has not, it seems, granted any of our leaders repentance for this crime.

 

The Antithesis in Educational Philosophy

van til

“The whole Christian church is based upon the antithesis idea. But, if anything, it is still more pointedly true of Christian instruction in particular than of Christianity in general that it is based upon the idea of the antithesis. Oh, yes, I know there are voices heard on every side that we must not always emphasize the negative and the destructive but that we must emphasize rather the positive and the constructive. We are told that such is far wiser in the end. Now we all wish to be positive and constructive. But in this world of sin no Christian individual and no Christian organization can be positive and constructive till after they have been negative and destructive. To deny or to ignore this fact is to deny or to ignore the fact of sin. For anyone who recognizes the fact of sin in its unadulterated biblical connotation of insult to God on the part of man under the leadership of the devil, antithesis is in the nature of the case basic to synthesis. He who seeks to bring good tidings and to publish peace, he who calls upon Judah to perform her feasts and pay her vows, is a false prophet unless he offers as a reason for his optimism the assurance that the “wicked one will no more pass through because he is utterly cut off” (Na 1:15).”

Cornelius Van Til and Eric H. Sigward, Unpublished Manuscripts of Cornelius Van Til, Electronic ed. (Labels Army Company: New York, 1997).