Yeah, but are YOU open to dialogue (Poserorprophet, Dan Oudshoorn)

Dan Oudshoorn, one of the leading radicals that was critical of Tyndale Seminary and University College for having a fund raising event featuring U.S. President George W. Bush, claims that Tyndale has stifled dialogue with dissenters, such as their accusation that the Tyndale president Gary Nelson censored professors–after a meeting with Nelson, Oudshoorn wrote:

When pressed on the ways in which it appears as though Tyndale is muzzling professors who present an opinion that is more critical of the ways in which the administration has handled this process (i.e. the puzzling redaction of the Christian Week article written by Arthur Boers, compared with the remarks made by Carter and Masson), Gary was adamant that he would never muzzle any professor and that he is a very firm believer in academic freedom. Instead, Gary presented a fairly compelling narrative as to why the article was redacted but I don’t want to get into the details of that, or the details that I have heard from another reliable source that provides a somewhat different narrative (which I mention for the record because, in this case, I don’t want to appear as though I have taken a stand one way or another).

[snip]

So, we see claims of transparency yet a refusal to speak with us, which was only broken down due to the threat of ongoing pressure (NB: I’m not claiming that this means that Gary does not value transparency; the conclusion I’m drawing is that he is in an institutional position that is situated amongst the elites in such a way as to have certain blind-spots about what transparency does or does not mean).

Yet try commenting on Oudshoorn’s blog.  I did once when he mentioned me by name, and he summarily erased my comment, though he has come here and commented so far without censorship.  So I conclude that his intention is to insist on dialogue on our turf but won’t permit it when he is in control.  This is typical of the radical Left, which insists on the freedom to say what they want but then will attempt every sort of speech code to stifle what they don’t like.

PROOF:  At a recent blog post of Oudshoorn’s, I made the following comment that he later erased: Continue reading

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I am victim

Leftists always claim to be on the side of victims, the poor, and the marginalized.  Often these so-called victims are criminals, the worst elements of our society, who are sociopathic in behavior, e.g., substance abusers, and are unable to function in normal society.  Some Christian leftists claim that since Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor”, these poor are the true church.  They are the focal point of God’s love and care, not the “rich”.  And you, because you are middle-class or “rich”, you belong to the oppressors.  It doesn’t matter how many good jobs you provide and how many families depend on you, you are an abuser.

When you turn the tables on these leftists and claim, “I am a victim”, they ignore you, mock you, claiming that you are an extremist or mentally ill.  But those of us who pay taxes are being robbed regularly by government.  We work hard and we risk our capital, and the government expects its pound of flesh and strips us of our wealth, and then gives it to the “poor”–such as the banksters or the people who refuse to get a job and call their welfare cheque their “pension”.  This is abuse and we are oppressed victims.  We are like the people in biblical times called the Am haEretz, the people of the land, who were oppressed by Roman tax collectors.

Consider that Charlie Engle went to prison for mortgage fraud while not a single bankster went to jail.  I’d sure love to put my mortgage broker in jail, but I’m sure he’s still free.  I won’t mention his name to protect the guilty, but he received over $5000 in fees for his claim that my brother’s business could earn more than three times its historical cash-flow in SBA loan papers for a commercial building that he couldn’t afford.  As my brother’s partner, I lost a lot of money on that deal.  Yet Engle goes to jail, and the big fraudsters are free.  And so are the Congressmen who pass the unjust laws and receive sweet-heart loans from the banksters.

Today I read an essay on “Morality and the IRS” which claimed that many people are so frightened and demoralized by their treatment at the hands of IRS that they commit suicide.  Indeed, it doesn’t take long to find stories to that effect.  Joe Stack who flew his plane into a IRS building in Austin, TX, left a public suicide note explaining that the IRS drove him to self murder–and the leftists who run the media call those who sympathize with Stack “extremists in the patriot movement“.  One IRS agent testified to the Senate Finance Committee in 1997 that she knew of at least five suicides but thought that the number could be much higher.  If the IRS threatens a person with prison and fines, or steals from their bank accounts and garnishes their pay cheques, then it can really cause a lot of domestic havoc, marital discord, and personal suffering.  I know.  My own wife is tired of hearing of my woes and is not above threatening me.  Such tribulations could lead the weak among us to Selbstmord.

The socialists want this.  They want big government that takes care of us cradle-to-grave.  They begrudge even our little savings accounts, such as the TFSA, where we are allowed to gain interest without taxation–even though the pathetic returns from interest accounts don’t even keep up with organized government robbery called “inflation”.  And yet government does a very bad job of providing services, and we would be much better off if they would just get off our backs and let us fend for ourselves.

The IRS–and probably every other revenue service in the world–is no better than the mafia.  Consider that American citizens are required to pay taxes to the USA no matter where in the world that they happen to live.  Non-residents cannot receive US healthcare, grants, education, or whatever the service might happen to be, because they don’t even live in the United States.  But this taxation is justified because they receive “protection” from the US government.  It makes me think of how Richie Aprile offers protection to Beansie (See video below: viewer discretion is advised because of foul language and violence).  Yeah, the US government has the right to tax me here in Canada because it is protecting me from all the bad guys out there who want to harm me or steal from me.  Wait a second, the only ones who are constantly threatening me work for the government.  You see!  The government has become a criminal organization and I am victim.  Well, excuse me IRS sirs.  I am now under the protection of Canadian organized crime.  In order to make that clear, I’ve lost my right to live in the United States of America.  Poor Beansie, Tony Soprano didn’t protect him from Richie.  Hopefully, the Canadian mob boss will do a better job for me.

What is counter-cultural, charismatic giving: A Response to Poser or Prophet

Poser or Prophet, Dan Oudshorn, in response to made the following comments in response to my sermon on charismatic giving :

Okay, I read the sermon. You think that “counter-cultural generosity” is charismatic giving that is done cheerfully and is not performed based upon mandated compliance with any sort of law of tithing (BTW, I agree with a number of your criticisms about the supposed 10% local church tithe rule).

Still, that doesn’t get us much closer to providing any sort of concrete example of what “counter-cultural giving” looks like in our day. You do say this: “the generous giving of the early Christians, so that no needy person was found amongst them, was a response to the amazing reality of the Holy Spirit” (emphasis mine). So, I take it that the absence of any poor people within contemporary Christian communities would mean that “counter-cultural generosity” is being practiced appropriately. Is that correct? That seems to contradict things you have written elsewhere.

Well, not quite.  Certainly the local church is a start.  We must care for one another within our local assemblies.  But the mission of the church is global.  So the scope is much bigger than what happens in our local community.

You also write that this practice “sets us free also from the bondage of materialism, of trusting in material possessions instead of in the God who created all things.” Could you explain in more detail how exactly it does this? The only way I can imagine it doing so, is if we give so much that we are actually uncertain about our own stability not just in the distant future, but tomorrow as well (hence, “give us this day our daily bread” regains the urgency it had in Jesus’ day). However, I can’t imagine you agreeing with this interpretation, so clarification would be good.

We don’t need to live unwisely in order to demonstrate liberation from material possessions.  To a degree, all of us need food, shelter, and clothing.  And for most places in the world, the struggle to provide all of those things for oneself and one’s family is very consuming.  Your suggestion of giving so much that we become uncertain of the future is not a good way to approach the matter.  (By the way Greek behind the line, “Give us this day our daily bread,” probably means, “Give us this day the bread of the future kingdom”).  I think it is better to make giving a passion or a preoccupation rather than a road to personal poverty.

Here are some other suggestions:

(1) Charismatic Giving becomes a higher priority than consumption. Consumer debt in Canada is $25,000 per person at end of Q3 2010.  The Bible teaches the avoidance of debt (though I don’t hold that all debt is bad).  So those who can claim that they have no consumer debt  are on average counter-cultural.  It is counter-cultural in a Christian manner when one can say, “As a result of having no consumer debt, I am able to give more to charity and to respond to the needs of others.”

(2) Once one has made enough wealth to survive, then charismatic giving becomes the motivating factor for further work or investment.  The goal of many people in our culture is what Jonathan Chevreau has called “Findependence”, financial independence from the obligation to work.  Others are more ambitious and wish to have more power or be able to consume more.  The charismatic gift would lead the Christian to work beyond what is needed to comfortably survive in order to be even more charitable or to be able to maintain a constant revenue stream towards their charitable gifts.  Paul says work with your hands so that you have something to give (Eph 4.28).

(3) A charismatic investor whose hope is not in material possessions can become an investor par excellence. Why?  Because investing requires risk taking.  Those in bondage to riches may be the worst investors because they are afraid to lose what they have.  An investor has to be able to risk when market fear is palpable.  The Christian investor whose confidence is in the Lord instead of riches will be able to risk at the right moment.

(4) While some may be called by the Lord to sell all they have, most charismatic givers are called to use what they have in service to the Lord. It is far better in the long term vision of the Kingdom of God that donors provide a revenue stream to charitable projects than a one time gift which will be spent and then lost.

(5) Since death is the ultimate separator from wealth, the charismatic giver must have a will with designated charities and people they intend to help.  In this manner, the charismatic giving is not ended by temporal death of the person.

(6) Do not muzzle the ox that treads the corn (1 Tim 5.18).  Charismatic giving does not require that the giver wallow in mud eating pig crap.  Above all, those who have the gift of giving must be able to enjoy their wealth too.  Paul says (1 Tim 6:17): “As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy.”  It is ok for a Christian to drive a nice car, if that is how he enjoys his wealth, or have nice house, or go on an expensive vacation.  If it were not the case, then neither Abraham nor Job would have been lifted up as models in the Bible, for they were wealthy men who had many servants and lived in fairly opulent conditions compared to their contemporaries. Wealth is also a blessing of God according the Bible.  For those who have received from charismatic givers, it is also important not to criticize them for trivial matters such as their choice of foods or vehicle.  The person who receives has the duty to be grateful to God but not the right to criticize the trivial luxuries that help the giver to enjoy God’s creation.

(7) The charismatic giver should obtain wealth through righteous investments or honest work and business, not through exploitation, extortion, or gaming the system. I personally have a problem with the tobacco investments because it is a product which exploits its clients’ addiction to nicotine, though there may be some room here for other opinions.  Other businesses have less legitimacy.  But this principle does not mean becoming hostage to trendy ideas about the environment.  I am heavily invested in the Canadian oil industry because it is a righteous investment.

(8) Recipients of a gift have no right to expect support beyond what has been promised, for God’s riches are fungible. If a charismatic giver has made a pledge, then it is normally right to keep that pledge.  But the recipient has no right to say to the giver, “Because you are rich and I am poor you must give to me.” Or, “Because you have supported us in the past you must do so now.”  The charismatic giver is answerable to the Holy Spirit.  If God is behind the project, then those seeking funds must seek God’s face first and foremost, because ultimately it is God’s responsibility, not the responsibility of the charismatic giver.

(9) Socialism destroys the relationships that could otherwise be established through charismatic giving. Charismatic giving is an overflow of God’s love.  Socialism is forced redistribution voted on by the majority and enforced through threats of fines and imprisonment.  Christians therefore should avoid lobbying the government to spend more money on social systems, because the government goes into de facto competition against the Holy Spirit for the people’s money and time.

(10) The primary motivation of charismatic giving is the advancement of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God. It is the Lord’s prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done.”  Our motivations should be in line with this prayer.  Hence, it is not social justice or the alleviation of the poor that is the primary focus, but the advancement of the gospel and God’s Kingdom.  If this is our main focus, then God will take care of the rest (See Matt 6.7-34).

Intolerably Pharisaical Progressive Christians

Randal Rauser, Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Taylor Seminary, Edmonton, says that evangelicals who drive SUVs are hypocrites.

Poser or Prophet, Dan Oudshorn concludes that I am neither generous nor counter-cultural in my giving on the basis of zero evidence. (My tax returns are protected by Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act).  My wife says that if this is the kind of slim basis upon which he makes judgments, he is a very poor scholar indeed.

Brandon, a missionary in South Africa, judged me because I mentioned making a six fold increase in my RRSP through investing of which he is also critical.  Yet he doesn’t seem to ask his donor base whether their funding was appropriately gained, i.e., not through ill-gotten investments or usuary. As a donor to missions, I would certainly be less inclined to give to a missionary who is critical of the way I make money. I am not at all sure how such progressive views are going to help collectivist Africa either.

The one thing all three of these people have in common is that they depend on those who work hard and those who make risky investments in the real world.  They can sit in an ivory tower pontificating about how evil investors are; meanwhile, their bacon, their very livelihood, depends on the real-world risk taking of investors, who provide jobs, who pay taxes and who make it possible for missionaries, educators, and street workers to get paid to do their jobs.

Theological Education Bubble II: Driving an SUV could make you a goat, but an atheist advocate of abortion might be a sheep

Close to forty years ago Singer wrote a powerful paper in ethics on the culpability of rich people in allowing the poor of the world to die. And yet rather than read that paper and Singer’s other work on the plight of the world’s poor, self-righteous suburban evangelicals continue to drive their big fat SUVs, tithe 4% of their income (on average) and stand in judgment of his views on abortion. What damnable hypocrisy. Before you call Peter Singer evil try reading the parable of the sheep and goats half a dozen times whilst setting aside your self-righteous certainty that you’re a sheep and Singer is a goat.

Randal Rauser, Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Taylor Seminary, Edmonton

I live in literalville.  I suppose Prof. Randal Rauser could provide nuance for the above quote that is cited at Triablogue, or perhaps deny that he made it.  But I find it curious that he would prefer an atheist and an advocate of abortion–which is in my book the killing of youngest, poorest and most innocent human beings–over evangelicals who drive SUVs.  Given that  abortions in the last few decades number in the 100s of millions, it is a genocide of epic proportions.  Millions of Rauser’s own contemporaries have already been snuffed out  (as he was born circa 1975, after Roe vs. Wade).

I wonder also about the finances of Taylor Seminary.  I know that they recently went through a financial restructuring.  Hey, all you donors and friends of  Taylor Seminary and College. Do you live in a suburb?   Do you drive an SUV?  Perhaps you think that abortion is worse than driving a SUV.  Did you realize that your hard earned dollars were going to support a professor who thinks that your driving a SUV is damnable?  Perhaps it’s time you got on the phone with the president there.

I’ve written about this sort of thing before. As a donor to theological education, I don’t understand why I, a business man and an investor, have to donate to progressive education which is inimical to those who create wealth.  It’s a contradiction and an absurdity, when the livelihood of those who teach in theological education depends wholly on such people.  For if we let this sort of thing continue, we will end up with theological students like PoserorProphet, and it is a waste of our money to help him along his way so he can teach others to be anarcho-marxist-zealot Christians like himself.

Signed,

A suburban driver of a big fat SUV (but only when my wife lets me drive it), who “tithes” a mere 2.64% on average