.Emmaus News

December 1998

A Friendly Word

Greetings in the Lord,

I wrote this residing with my realtor and her family in Alexandria, Virginia, while searching for a house, originally hoping that I might get it out before Christmas.  But it was not to be.  By the time you get this, I will have closed on a house I have in mind in Alexandria, and maybe even be moved in.

Three computers, two of them brand new, thanks to the generosity of a very kind friend, need to be reorganized and set up with the Road to Emmaus BBS and Website.

The House of Representatives has, thankfully, made its decision to impeach, and the Senate trial will probably be still underway.  The issues broached in the article below will still be playing themselves out.

But in any event, I want to wish everyone a belated but heartfelt merry Christmas and Epiphany season.

Faithfully in Christ,
Earle Fox

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Our Reasonable God

Sex, Perjury, and the Law (of God)

- 1. Two Conservative Failures   -

I rejoiced in the stalwart performance of Kenneth Starr before the House Judiciary Committee, and his continued pursuit of justice with respect to William Jefferson Clinton, whom I believe to be sold out to evil.
But the House Judiciary Committee  meetings and Senate trial (just beginning as I write) on the impeachment of the president have provided yet another window into the inept workings of current American politics and law.  An issue worth examining for the sake of doing better in the future.

Kenneth Starr had presented, in my opinion, an extraordinarily competent indictment of Clinton, for which he was rewarded with savage attacks on himself by the Democrat minority (see last two issues).  The Democrat minority with great consistency refused to deal with the evidence presented, and did its best to shoot the messenger.

Two general reactions emerged in my mind:  1) the Republican majority (and, to be fair, almost the whole of the American public) were unable or unwilling to respond to the downplay of the sexuality issues, and 2) they were unable or unwilling to put the whole mess in the proper political and legal context -- i.e., under the sovereignty of God.

The alleged liberals were bad enough -- pseudo-liberals who have no concept of liberation.  But, despite signs of emerging backbone, the conservatives were also, on the whole, pseudo-conservatives -- who do not know how to conserve.
 

 - 2. What, Sex?  An Impeachable Offense?!? -

The "liberals" hammered again and again on the notion that the whole flap was about a merely private, mutually consenting sexual escapade, all of which was none of anyone else's business.  Private sin, we are told, is not a political crime and thus not publicly prosecutable.  Many Democrats granted that Clinton had systematically lied, but lying about a private, consensual adultery is not impeachable, they insisted with considerable passion and drama.

I suspect that people (such as the Democratic leadership) who support homosexuality (really pansexuality), do not really believe that Clinton's sexual behavior was even privately wrong, and that, as pansexual principles dictate, we have a right to sexual freedom, untrammeled by the law of God (or anyone else).

That assumption upheld by Democrats went unchallenged by Republicans.  There were, to my knowledge, no conservative voices raised to say that sexual behavior is not merely a "private" event, and that sexual morality has some of the most powerful social and political consequences imaginable.

America's families are the backbone of American society, and they are suffering grievously from the pan-sexual revolution which the world, the flesh, and the devil unleashed upon us in the 1960's, an essential principle of which is that sexual behavior is wholly "private" -- and thus not of public, and certainly not of legal, concern.

It may have been wise for Starr to concentrate on perjury and obstruction of justice issues, because in our ignorant and degraded culture, convictions on such sexual behavior as that of Clinton will be much more difficult.  It is, most assuredly, not right to spy on behavior which is generally and rightly considered private and personal.  But -- it must be said, and should have been said -- the sexual sin of the president is not immune from scrutiny when it is made public by his own stupidity and arrogance, and when it is made public in court by the person whom he abused.  It then becomes the concern of the public -- who must demand of their leaders a Godly righteousness.

Family Research Council (1 800 225-4008) publishes a booklet, Character in the Crucible, on the presidential scandal and our children.  Gary Bauer in the introduction quotes a letter to the editor of the Washington Post:

If actions speak louder than words, here is what our children can learn from our president.  Women are sex objects...  Rules are for losers...  Anything goes if you are not caught...  You may not judge others (hear that, parents?) if you are not perfect...

Such scandals make our job as parents more difficult.  If public figures in positions of honor do not behave respectably, we have to counteract their negative examples.

This alone would be sufficient reason to impeach a public officer.  The protection of family social structure is of paramount interest, morally and legally.  To attribute such concerns to mere subjectivism or to "imposing your religion on us" is to deny the connection inherent between God, morality, and law.  Many would be happy to do that, but neither fact nor logic are on their side.

The Constitution refers to "high crimes and misdemeanors" as items for which a federal official could be impeached.  It appears to be assumed that the word 'high' modifies not only 'crimes' but also
'misdemeanors', implying that there are "high misdemeanors" as well as "high crimes".  We are then to believe that Clinton's sins are only "low" misdemeanors.  That, however, makes no sense, since the point of a misdemeanor is that it is not "high".  In other words, the House of Representatives and Senate are given a wide latitude of discretion in using their moral judgment as to whether a federal official ought to continue in office.

The current lack of wisdom on the matter is based on the  logically and legally false notion that law and morality are separate and distinct items, coming out of the same mentality which tells us that God and His law are irrelevant to politics.  The truth is that all law is based on morality, and that all morality is rooted in the law of God.
 

- 3. Public Business is God's Business -

John Jay, our first Chief Justice said (a quote I have used many times),

Providence has granted us the privilege of choosing our own leaders, and it is our duty to choose Christians for our rulers.

It is our duty.  It is our moral (and therefore political) obligation  That is an inescapable deduction from the sovereignty of God over all things whatsoever.  Until our spiritual and political leaders will say that out loud, pseudo-liberalism and pseudo-conservatism will continue to beat on each other as they spin wheels and sink into the mire.  As the old hymn says: "All other ground is sinking sand..."

Fact and logic also tell anyone (who bothers to look) that our so-called "sexual revolution" has given us a disaster.  We clever humans have even invented a new and incurable disease (HIV/AIDS), the spread of which is tied specifically to the level of sexual promiscuity, and which is ravaging the whole world.
To protect our hard won sexual license, we are now killing our babies so that one in three babies never sees the light of day.  If that is not horrible and vicious, what needs to be added to make it so?

We have witnessed, specifically since 1962 (the Engle v. Vitale decision, to outlaw prayer in government-controlled schools) and then again in 1973 (Roe v. Wade, declaring unborn children not to be persons), not only this extraordinary rise of sexually transmitted disease, but also the rise of violence against children, including our mean-spirited attack on the unborn.  We have witnessed the unparalleled rise of violence of children against other children, and the destruction of nearly half of our marriages.  (It needs to be noted that the problem above is not prayer in schools, but government control of schools.  If parents paid for and thus controlled their own schools, prayer would never have become an issue, and almost for sure, God would never have been dismissed by the highest court in the land as our Sovereign.)

To say that our sexual behavior is of no public consequence is silly, irrational, and irresponsible.  Our people are becoming increasingly unable to think straight (logically and factually), and we see almost across the board the saying come true that evil is called good, and good evil.   American has blood on its hands, and is an accomplice to violence and debauchery which is becoming legendary around the world.

All human behavior is at least one other person's business -- God's.  The law of God trumps all other obligations.  And when your behavior affects all the rest of us, then we humans also have both a personal and a legal interest in how you behave.  So, sorry, Barny Frank, William Clinton, and all such sophisticated French folks who laugh at America's lingering concern for sexual purity, your sex life is not merely "your own business".

Nowhere in Scripture can one interpret sexual sin to be merely a private affair.  That false privacy was a myth concocted by sexual rebels, and engraved in law by our arrogant and rebellious Supreme Court so that we could enjoy unfettered sexual gratification without the unfortunate consequence of having to raise a child.

It is thus ignorant and deceitful to say that sexual behavior is unrelated to the public good, or that violation of marriage, the most important social covenant relation we can humanly make, a covenant which is at the very foundation of social and political stability, is no one else's business.

That self-centered people will make such claims is no surprise.  But that our political and spiritual leadership will consent to such nonsense, and that the electorate will stand passively, even approvingly, on the sidelines is appalling.  One asks:  What happened to our thundering clergy?  Have we nothing but cowards in the pulpits?

The point is much easier to digest if one understands that a civil officer holds the gun over the rest of us, both to decide what laws we will be forced to obey, and then to enforce them.  No one has a "right" to hold that gun over other people.  Anyone who holds that gun is under an absolute obligation to prove his trustworthiness before it is placed in his hand.  He must earn the trust of the people so that they know that he will use the gun righteously -- at any cost to himself.

We are have a government of equal opportunity, not of equal results.  Each person has the same opportunity to prove either himself as a candidate for governing or his program of laws as a candidate for legislation.  He has no "right" to expect to win.  In either case, the person and the legislation must pass the test of conformity to that Moral Law which is over us all -- as interpreted by the people at the polls, educated by the churches, the media, and others in open public debate and discussion.

So it is the business of the people to ensure that their political leadership is above reproach as Godly example to the population, especially the young, even in those areas that are not specifically "political" in nature.  The distinction between public (or political) behavior and private behavior collapses when the private behavior impacts the very meaning of public leadership.
 

- 4. Political/Spiritual Leadership -

Anyone who elects a leader (civil or ecclesiastical) known to be immoral, known to be unfaithful in his "personal" affairs, is a fool -- for he is electing someone who has a greater likelihood of betraying not only him but others as well.  It is logically impossible, in other words, to separate one's political life from one's moral and spiritual life.  Harry Truman is reported to have said, "If a man's wife can't trust him, how can I?"  William Clinton has demonstrated himself to be a man not to be trusted at all -- and certainly not with supreme command over the enormous coercive power of the mightiest nation in history.  Only fools or knaves would promote such a thing.

And that, of course, is precisely why God insists on Godly leadership.  God does not want His people mistreated.  God invaded Egypt to trounce a tyrannical and malicious Pharaoh.  He will do the same in America if His people awaken, repent, and cry out to Him -- and if God can find leaders willing to risk their lives with Him.

Some would have us limit the meaning of "leadership" to mere technical political skill, as though politics were not connected to the moral and spiritual impact of a leader.  Such a view untethers politics from morality and the law of God, and so reduces politics to a dog fight.  The allegation that adultery is not an impeachable offense because it is not a "political" act is wrong because leadership, even political leadership, is much more than merely "political" activity in the narrow sense of political expertise.

The truth is quite the other way around.  A potential leader should be examined at the very first for his moral and spiritual qualifications even before he is examined for his political skills -- as God did with David.  A wise and Godly people will make it clear that any unGodly man need not apply to hold the coercive force of civil law over the rest of us.  The electorate can neither understand nor do its duty unless it understands that fact.

The apparent  popularity of William Clinton in the midst of his lies and betrayals is not a justification of Clinton, it is, quite the contrary, an indictment of the people.  The law of God, not the will of the people, is the plumb line.  The people are charged with discerning the will of God and requiring obedience to that of both themselves and their governors, not with inventing their own morality.

Whatever one makes of the constitutional ban on religious testing for holding federal office, the founding fathers universally rejected "democracy" as a political form, because a democracy (in its pure form) is, as they said, "mobocracy".  In a democracy, the majority has sole determination as to the laws to be enforced.  They are under no law higher than themselves.  Democracy is the tyranny of the majority because the majority can "legally" enforce any law they please, no matter how it affects any minority.

The American government is not a democracy, it is a democratic republic under God.  God is supreme, the people are second, interpreting the will of God via elected representatives, and the civil government waits humbly third in line, thank you.  That is the only way civil government will ever be the servants of the people.  Once the people lose their standing on the law of God, civil government will replace God and act as though it were under no law higher than itself.  That is exactly what the American government, led by the Supreme Court, has been doing, openly and abusively, since Engle v. Vitale in 1962 (telling God that He could no longer speak to our children in government-controlled schools, nor they to Him).

The greatest leaders of mankind combined their political skills with strong moral and spiritual backbone -- of which our own founding fathers were some of history's most powerful examples.  But it is precisely the founding fathers' and early America's almost universal commitment to the general Biblical spiritual life which is under frontal attack today -- bringing us to our present self-destruction.

Rulership over any part of God's world is not a "right".  Bill Clinton does not have a "right" to hold his present office despite immoral sexual behavior, and he is not being abused for being called to account.  Any one of us should be in a rulership position only if we are called by God and tested by the people of God.  No one else should ever hold the gun of coercive power over the people.

Political office, in other words, is not for someone to "fulfill" himself, the denial of which would be an insult to his dignity as an American citizen.  Political office is for one to be a servant fully accountable to the people under God.  It is not a right, it is, as our Declaration of Independence spelled out to George III, a revocable calling.  It is rightly revocable for any offense which would inhibit his moral, spiritual, or political leadership.  It not possible to separate political leadership from spiritual leadership.  Most especially, not so long as Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.
 

  - 5. Perjury: an Impeachable Offense - .

Perjury fares a bit better than sexual sin as an impeachable offense, even among Democrats -- who are willing to say that perjury is generally not allowable behavior, though in the case of "merely" sexual offense, one winks at it, legally speaking.

Even "liberals", who have consistently upheld the relativity of truth, will not say in public that lying is "OK".  But if truth is really "relative", then lying is not only not impeachable, lying  is not even possible.  One can lie only if there is a real truth about which to  lie.  If there is no real truth, then there is no standard by which one can be called a liar.

Everyone knows that, of course, so even Democrats and  wimpy Republicans will not publicly support lying.  Or they will support just enough of a pretense of truth to make it seem as though they were truth-seekers.

If we are wise, we will use this sad event to force into the public awareness again the absolute necessity of building our political foundations on objective truth and objective morality.  We will force a discussion on whether these objectivities can be sustained in a Godless world.  The fact is that neither truth or morality will survive the loss of the Biblical worldview.  Christians need to learn how to present and uphold that truth in public discussion.
 

. - 6. God and State - .

 "What, ho! Violation of Church and State!!!"  (Here we go again.)  "On what grounds do you impose your religious view on the rest of us???"

Why, on the same grounds that republicans, democrats, and everyone else impose what in fact are their religious views on the rest of us.  That is the nature of politics.  Just as all citizens do, I hold up my "religious" view for public debate and testing, and seek have it voted in.  Every person has his "religion", his source of value and meaning, which he promotes as his basis for public policy.  There is no logical or legal reason for excluding the Biblical view of political values and goals from contending openly and honestly with the others for public acceptance.  Unless, of course, you are afraid of the contest.

By what right to Democrats or Republicans "impose" their political views on the rest of us?  From where to they get their views and their values?  From their religion -- whether it be a secular religion such as materialism, or a pagan religion such as earth worship.

The truth is that religion is always the real issue behind every political debate.  Somebody's views will be enforced at gunpoint.  Unless you are a total anarchist, you agree that some laws must be enforced.  Honest pluralism allows equal opportunity for all to present their views on the matter.  So honest pluralism is all about which religion is the right one for a given culture.

Christians (who are up on the matter) will say that as a matter of logical fact, only God can obligate any of us to obedience to any law, and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is far and away the best empirically defensible presentation of the will of God.  If we are looking for a God, we ought to look for one who has taken the trouble to reveal His will to us in a manner that can survive public debate and discussion.

It should be no surprise that God Himself had already, long ago, initiated that process:

Come, let us reason together.  (Is. 1:18) 

  ************ .

Quote of the Month

"If a man's wife can't trust him,
how can I?"

- Harry Truman  -

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Copyright, Earle Fox 1998