Posts Tagged ‘blasphemy’

Independence Day, Flags, and Rainbows

July 3, 2015

Romans 2:4-5:  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 


To help us appreciate the Sacred nature of America’s birth, and the way in which the celebration of her birth was to be commemorated in a Christian society, I offer the words of Founding Father John Adams (emphasis mine):

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epoch, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty (http://www1.american.edu/heintze/Adams.htm.)


This independence Day, July 4, 2015, will be the first in which mourning rather than celebration is the appropriate behavior, as we remember an America that once was, but now is deceased.  Oh, there will be celebrations all right, but many of the celebrants will be committing acts of devotion to Bacchus, not God Almighty.  America has rejected God’s blessings, and now stokes the fires of His Rage. We are but one or two steps from retiring the Stars and Stripes and raising the Rainbow flag in its place.  


The funny thing about that Rainbow flag, representing Sodomy as it does.  When God destroyed all living with a flood of water, saving only Noah and his family, God used the rainbow to symbolize his covenant with a fresh new world, purged of sin and ready to be replenished.   

Genesis 9:13:  I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.


But sin found its way into the New Earth soon, with Noah’s son Ham committing an act of sexual perversion on his own father.  It is thought by some that Ham’s son Canaan participated in the evil deed also, or even that the “younger son” referred to in the passage is in fact Canaan, not Ham.

Genesis 9:24:  And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

As to what exactly what was done, it is clearly inferred from the text that a gross act of sin was “done unto him”;  one that warranted one of the most severe curses found in scripture:

Genesis 9:25-27:  And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.  And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.  God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

So God blessed mankind and symbolized the covenant with a rainbow, and man responded by reintroducing sin into the freshly purged world.  And today man takes that sacred symbol and uses it to blaspheme God; to revile Him, to display for all to see their hard and impenitent hearts, their hatred of God, and their love of death. Yet for all their provocations of God’s wrath and abuses of His patience, when they have finally filled full the winepress of His wrath, as He pours out His vials upon them, they will yet again accuse God of cruelty and malice, and will not repent of their blasphemies.

Revelation 16:11:  And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

Even so, come Lord Jesus.  

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Perhaps the Day of Purification has Arrived

June 29, 2015

I have done very little posting on this or any of my other blogs since the re-election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States in 2012, due in great part to the overwhelming sense of rejection I feel from my own fellow American citizens.  On 26 June 2015, only two and a half years after that, the final blow to the American version of Western Civilization was delivered.  Somehow, someway, the haters of God have succeeded in turning not only Godliness but the very course of nature on its head, and have twisted the holy relationship of marriage into an unholy deformity of the original meaning of that God-Ordained institution.  The relationship between the Church and American society and its government is now officially broken.  Maybe now Christian Evangelicals and Fundamentalists will cease the blind patriotism that this wicked nation’s politicians has exploited.  The United States and well as modern Israel are wicked nations that have been promoting homosexuality for at least six decades, if not longer; yet even with the homosexualization of the military itself, Christian young people are going into foreign lands to fight wars that have ambiguous goals, to be injured or killed for reasons that are either kept secret or are arbitrary, for a nation that exalts wickedness as a virtue, and shames Godliness as a vice.  The Beast is already mandating its mark; to “buy or sell”, one must bear it.  Can worse things be very far behind?  No.  And shall you and I stand on the day of our trial?  Well, according to scripture, God desires “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”  Perhaps the day of purification has arrived.

From Joel McDurmon at American Vision: Blashphemy and Freedom

June 7, 2009

The following article is copied directly from the American Vision website at http://www.americanvision.org/article/blasphemy-and-freedom/

I’m assuming that I am not violating any copyright laws or Internet eticate by copying the post as I am doing here, but if so, somebody let me know and I will delete it.

I urge my readers to read this article and think about what it is saying.

Although I don’t consider myself a “dominionist”, nor do I hold any particular affection for theonomy, I do listen to the Gary Demar Show and visit the American Vision web site almost daily.  Whether I agree with them or not, I appreciate the usually well-researched and thought-out opinions they articulate.  

This article and the one I will be post afterwards shows us the eternal, transcendent significance of words, something I tried to express way back in one of my first posts on this blog in attempting to exegete the word “logos” in John 1:1 (and clumsily trying to work in some Clarkian scripturalism with it).

Joel —not me— but McDurmon, gets it right here, as does Erick in the post to follow.

Blasphemy and Freedom

Article Image: 2009June05 - Blasphemy and Freedom

by Joel McDurmon

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Ex. 20:4-6).

You’ve probably heard the question, “What’s in a name?” Remember that it comes from that famous dialogue between Romeo and Juliet? The maiden from the window above says,

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?

Deny thy father and refuse thy name;

Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,

And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

…which was her surname. Romeo mumbles to himself, listens on; Juliet continues:

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;

Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.

What’s a Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,

Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part

Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,

And for that name which is no part of thee

Take all myself.[1]

In Juliet’s view, names are, or should be, so meaningless that they can simply be switched whenever convenient. The problem is, society just doesn’t work that way. In fact, her own woe, you may recall, derived from the fact that her and her lover came from feuding families, and those families having detested each other for generations, could not even stand the nameof the other for all that it entailed. She argues that the substance of the thing, or of the person, and not the label, should determine why we value them. But when long use establishes a certain character with a certain appellative, then to overturn that relationship will cause a great social shift. Sometimes, perhaps, that shift needs to take place, other times it necessarily should not. And nowhere is that relationship between character and name more important that at the very foundation of society—religion.

The concept of “God’s name” so closely pertains to His Being and Nature that any affront to any of God’s attributes is subsumed under the very mention of His name. Calvin writes of the Third Commandment, “It is silly and childish to restrict this to the name Jehovah, as if God’s majesty were confined to letters or syllables.… God’s name is profaned whenever any detraction is made from His supreme wisdom, infinite power, justice, clemency, and rectitude.”[2] The reference to God’s name invokes all that God is and stands for.

We have similar references in the New Testament: of Jesus Paul says, there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow (Phil. 2:9-10).

So the idea of the majesty of God as represented by God’s name confronts mankind at every turn of life. And so, the commandment against taking God’s name “in vain” fairly warns us against all forms of action, or neglect, concerning the very nature of the God we serve. It means that the Biblical doctrine of God (Who is He?, What is His nature?, What has He done in history?) must inform every act and every decision we make. If the foundations of society rest upon anything less than that God, when we act in the name of God Almighty (for example, the presidential oath including “So help me God”), we have violated the Third Commandment. Conversely, when society begins to denigrate, curse, or swear at the name or mention of God, then we have an even worse situation in which society has attacked God Himself, and has sought to replace Him with something else as the foundation.

Consider for a moment the language of the Commandment. What does it mean to “take” in this passage? We can understand the word in the sense of “carry” or “bear.” Think in this sense of the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant, or of the Israelites pitching their tents beneath respective standards which bore their identities as children of YHWH. Think of the label “Christian,” first given in Antioch (Acts 11:26), and which we bear today. How do we “carry” that label? How do we present that label to the world, and what justice do we do it? Do we bear it in any degree of vanity or emptiness? Implicit in this Third Commandment is a condemnation of hypocrisy—of wearing a label we don’t measure up to in substance. And in not measuring up, we prove ourselves hypocrites, and we dishonor, we can even say blaspheme, the name of the God whose name we bear.

We have such a low view of taking the Lord’s name in vain today. This results from the overall decline of the religion and the influence of the church in society. Today the idea of cursing seems to have much less to do with God’s name than with more mundane forms of vulgarity. This always happens when religion wanes in society. The Oxford scholar Christopher Hill, a renowned expert on the Puritan era, notes the phenomenon long after the end of that age of piety. Speaking of the power of swearing and oaths he writes, 

They survive in industrialized and protestant countries, but as shadows of their former selves, and often the users are unaware of the original significance of swear-words which they employ every day. Blasphemy is no longer a fine art. The live swear-words in such societies are those which offend against something which has much more social reality than God—respectability. Sex and the lavatory have replaced deity, saints and devil as the source of live expletives to-day, because their use breaks a taboo that is still worth breaking.[3]

This has always been my experience. I personally don’t remember a time when cursing didn’t refer to bodily acts, and I was always taught, of course, that these certain words are the curse words, these words are “bad” words and you don’t say them. And while all of that may be true, there was always this great disconnect between the idea of taking God’s name in vain, and what I understood as cursing. That list of bad words, of course, included instances in which the word “God” or the name “Jesus Christ” served as expletives—as we hear all over the radio and TV today—but this only caused me greater confusion. Were theseinstances the actual sin of taking God’s name in vain? If so, why were the other words bad? Later in life when I actually thought about these questions, and grew a little more biblically literate, I decided that the distinction didn’t matter, because St. Paul went well beyond merely the Lord’s name and said, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying” (Eph. 4:9). “No corrupt communication,” pretty much covers it all. But this was a sort of happy state of ignorance for me, since I still really didn’t understand what it meant not to take the Lord’s name in vain.

So what was this “original significance” that Hill mentions above? He gives us a hint of it with an introductory quotation from that same chapter. The following appears in an anonymous tract written in 1614:

The safety of the King himself,… every man’s estate in particular, and the state of the realm in general, doth depend upon the truth and sincerity of men’s oaths.… The law and civil policy of England, being chiefly founded upon religion and the fear of God, doth use the religious ceremony of an oath, not only in legal proceedings but in other transactions and affairs of most importance in the commonwealth; esteeming oaths as not only the best touchstone of trust in matters of controversy, but as the safest knot of civil society, and the firmest band to tie all men to the performance of their several duties.[4]

Proper, honest, godly oath-taking, forms the mortar of healthy society. At the bottom of all, is the foundation of allegiance to God; and the commandment does not forbid swearing period, but swearing in vain. Bearing God’s name in truth—not in vain, but in truth—is the bedrock of religion and therefore of social health. In fact, the very word “religion” means “to bind” in the sense of binding allegiance. Such language fills the Bible: the whole concept of being God’s servant relates to this idea. Paul was a servant of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:1). I hear St. Patrick singing his hymn, “I bind unto my self today, the strong name of the Trinity.” With it all I hear a Scripture passage that Christians hardly ever quote: Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name(Deut. 6:13)!

How often do we as believers exhort each other actually to swear? Swearing, we’ve been taught, is a “no-no” across the board. And yet God commanded the Israelites to do so—to swear by His name. The point is that at the bottom of every way of life, of every religion and every society, stands an ultimate oath. You have to serve somebody. Somebody is your god and you have sworn allegiance to him (or her) already whether you know it or not. You cannot escape worship, authority, or oaths. If you zip-your-lips, and lock the door and swallow the key, and refuse to take any oath whatsoever, you just took one. The question is not “oath or no oath.” The question is Whose name did you take it under? Here we must follow the example of God Himself, “For when God made the promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, He swore by himself” (Heb. 6:13). No wonder He commands us to swear by that name, too.

Not to swear allegiance to God, is to profane His name, and put yours in place of it. The misuse or abuse of God’s name is an initiatory act of rebellion. In society, it represents revolt and revolution. “All swearing is religious, and false swearing represents a subversive drive in society.”[5]This fact manifested recently in a debate between atheists and Christians at Cape Town University on the subject of blasphemy. The atheist professor who agreed to debate backed out two hours before the event started, leaving Peter Hammond of Frontline Ministries alone to lecture from a Christian viewpoint and then field questions. One atheist young lady expressed the myopia of humanistic reasoning in trying to denigrate religion while exalting man: “To call me stupid would be hate speech and be illegal; however, to call Jesus stupid is not illegal and is a religious issue not a legal one.” Another added that hate speech “should of course be illegal,” yet Blasphemy given free reign “because unlike hate speech against homosexuals, no one is going to get hurt.”[6] The first argument, of course, begs the question, assuming up front what it intends to conclude: that religious issues don’t count as legal issues, therefore blasphemy is not “hate speech.” Christians, rather, should argue that blasphemy is the most fundamental and most serious and subversive form of hate speech, and should carry requisite legal sanctions. The second argument simply ignores the facts, that 

every year over 200,000 Christians are murdered worldwide for their Faith. Over 400 million Christians in 64 countries live under governments which do not allow religious freedom. Every year government sponsored hate speech in these countries leads to mob violence against Christians, the burning of churches, often with the congregation inside it, the beheading of Christians, even of young teenage girls, the stoning to death of Christians, crucifixions, mutilations, enslavements, etc.[7]

Logical and factual blunders aside, both arguments display the implicit attack on religious faith that humanism entails. When man sets a higher legal standard for speech against man than he does for speech against God, He explicitly rejects God as King and sets himself in the place of God. Legalized blasphemy represents treason to God and country. George Washington, spying the revolution of atheists, radicals, and deists in France, devoted a portion of his “farewell address” to warn our nation of the consequences of such blasphemy. In this passage—often quoted merely for its positive reference to religion—notice the emphasis on reputation (name), and oath:

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?[8]

Atheists and humanists begin with man and wish to derive “hate speech” from that standard. This devolves into a state where individuals, culture, law, and art can curse and mock all religion, virtue, sexuality, and all transcendent standards, and seek legal protection for such acts. Thus, homosexuality for example, which incarnates a gross perversion of the sex act—indeed the ultimate mockery of it—seeks legal protection from even criticism. To even decry homosexuality as a perversion is to practice “hate speech” in such a worldview, and in some so-called liberal democracies that boast of so-called “free speech,” a preacher who even reads the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual perversion publicly can find himself in jail. Mankind cannot escape “blasphemy” laws: the question is of who determines whatconstitutes blasphemy. Meanwhile, to highlight a degenerate society’s social hypocrisy, the standard interpersonal curses themselves pertain to sexuality: listen to any rap radio station and you will drown in a deluge of racial slurs interspersed with epithets of maternal incest, while any given foul-mouth on the street finds his readiest curse in willing a forcible sex act upon his annoyer: “f— you.” Humanism wishes legally to protect its perversions while in practice admitting them to be perverse, employing them as curses.

When society displays such characteristics, it reveals the depth of its rebellion against the Creator. The proper way to protect name, reputation, and human rights in general, is not to profane God and exalt man, but just the opposite. Unless men first revere God and honor an ultimate allegiance to the divine origin of mankind, and protect these beliefs by legal consequence, they shall denigrate everything glorious that man can be, and then protect their perversions and obscenity by recourse to legal force.

And so, as with many others of the Ten Commandments, the Third presents us with something that sounds elementary and almost trivial on the surface, but in reality reaches to the most profound depths of human experience. Based on something that we take for granted every day—a name—God shakes us to the very core of our identity. “What’s in a name?” If you’re talking about God, the answer is “everything.”

Endnotes
1
Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet,” II.ii.33–49.
2
Quoted in R. J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, 116.
3 Christopher Hill, Society and Puritanism in Pre-Revolutionary England(New York: Schocken Books, 1967 1964]) 419.
4
Hill, 382.
5R. J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Religion, 110.
6
Reported by Peter Hammond, “Blasphemy Debate at University,” rontline Fellowship News, 2009 Ed. 2, 7.
7
Peter Hammond, “Blasphemy Debate at University,” Frontline Fellowship News, 7.
8
Partially quoted in R. J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Religion, 112.

 
Article posted June 5, 2009