The Wandering Ship
Good Engine; No Rudder, No Anchor
By Al Cronkrite The Covenant News ~ June 04, 2010
I always enjoy the columns Laurence Vance posts on Lou Rockwellís page. In many ways we are in agreement. Mr. Vance is a pedagogic, Dispensational Christian. A recent contribution titled ďEvery Crime Needs a VictimĒ was of particular interest since I believe we need to recall all of our congresspersons and senators; federal, state, and local, and hire a rational group of Christian individuals to sort through our laws discarding those that are sinful, foolish, unjust, too costly, cannot be enforced, conflicting, duplicating, oppressive, incomprehensible, or otherwise deplorable. Once that is finished, we should cut their numbers, compensation and working time in half saving taxpayers billions of dollars and paring down the 5 to 1 prison population ratio Vance mentions.
We have too many laws and too many elected representatives wasting too much time.
The tyranny of the majority could not be more clearly defined than in the current situation in my home state of Florida. The pandemic propaganda about the wisdom of the electorate must have influenced the drafters of the 1968 Florida Constitution since they listed the following method as one of five ways to amend it: ďBy voter initiative, as a proposed amendment to appear on the ballot (limited to a single subject). and assuming the claim is correct the State of Florida allows amendments to the Constitution by popular vote.Ē This legalization of an erroneous assumption has resulted in some new legal standards that run from serious to almost laughable. In 2002 an Amendment was passed banning pig gestation crates on Florida hog farms. This bit of laughable Constitutional hoy was accompanied by another amendment that required class sizes of 18 or less through grade 3, twenty-two or less through grade 8, and no more than 25 in high school. Since the legislation is scheduled to take effect in the coming school year there is great fret on where in the midst of a recession they will find the money to build new schools and hire new teachers. The legislature has now approved a new Constitutional Amendment that if passed by the voters would rescind the previous one by increasing mandated class size. Democracy is not a sustainable form of government. In general, the electorate is not too smart, not too well informed, and easily manipulated by clever propaganda.
Vanceís Dispensational theology heavily flavored with Libertarianism creates a pocket of fantasy that is at odds with the God of the Bible. Back in the 1960s when Christian revival in America was in its infancy a popular bumper sticker read ďThe Bible says It, and I believe itĒ. This naÔve saying is no longer popular since most American Christians believe only small portions of Scripture.
Of the 66 Books in most Protestant Bibles 39 or 59 percent are in the Old Testament. In my Bible there are approximately four times as many pages in the Old Testament as there are in the New Testament. Following Genesis, the story of creation, Godís Covenant with Abram, and the giving of The Law, the major theme is obedience and the tragic rebellion of Godís Chosen People. The New Testament tells of Godís New Covenant, the sacrifice of His Son as propitiation for the sins of His Chosen People. It was the rejection of Godís gracious sacrifice that resulted in the Diaspora.
There is a theological balance that should accompany the Gospel. When the Old Testament and Godís Law is rejected in favor of New Testament Grace the balance is lost and along with it the prime weapon for societal change, Godís Law. God can and does guide us through His Holy Spirit but this guidance flushed through our sinful natures is often unreliable. Without Godís Law we are unable to obey, unable to create a righteous social order and unable to please God.
Vanceís Libertarianism is particularly dangerous when coupled with Antinomian Dispensational theology. Vance contends that the government should not be involved in legislating against victimless personal behavior. With one major exception I agree with him. The exception is Godís Law which Vance ignores in favor of his own opinions. Laurence Vance is a very smart man but intellectual prowess un-tethered quickly loses its way.
Quoting Lysander Spooner, an eccentric Nineteenth Century New England Anarchist, and H. L. Mencken, an acerbic Baltimore wordsmith who was a role model for Ayn Rand, Vance digs himself into a deep secular hole from which he never emerges.
He chides the Puritans and the Blue Laws, disregards Godís demand for just weights and measures, considers prostitution a victimless crime, and ignores the fact that one bad apple quickly contaminates the bushel. He maintains that ďReligious people in particular make a grave mistake when they look to the state to enforce their moralityĒ. He seems to have accepted the humanist point of view that man is essentially good and left to his own devices will bring peace and prosperity to Godís creation. Does he understand that law forms the religious base of society? Obedience to Godís Law creates a righteous society; Anarchism creates chaos and immorality. Manís righteousness is like filthy rags!
Sorry, Mr. Vance, though I agree with much of your criticism, Libertarian humanism has robbed you of your senses. The heart of man is desperately wicked and left to his own devises he will create murder and mayhem. It was Godís gracious love for His Chosen People that caused Him to provide Moses with perfect Law.
Man was not created to govern himself and the market does not create its own morality. Without the anchor of Godís flawless, immutable, Law Christianity becomes a superficial farce unable to provide social righteousness and prone to destructive error.
The last vestige of righteousness was lost when the Puritans, overwhelmed by antinomian Europeans, were unable to sustain their Godly existence. Our government and our universities, power centers in our society, were quick to denounce Godís legal code in favor of a system that was more lenient with sin. Godís system was too harsh. The death penalty for incorrigible teens was too cruel and harnessing our government with Godís Law was too restrictive. The result of that humanistic folly is a prison system that contains 25 percent of the worldís prisoners in a nation with only 5 percent of the worldís population and a past century that saw governments murder millions of their own citizens.
Laurence Vance misses two important truths: One, the Bible teaches the actions of one individual pollute the entire society. Two, disobedience to Godís Law always creates a victim.
Yours is an elegant ship, Mr. Vance, but it is rudderless, anchorless, and afloat on a stormy ocean. I hope you will soon arrive at a port where it can be repaired and put to more purposeful use.