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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Seven Men Who Rule The World From The Grave

There is a war going on in this world. It is a war of ideas. Satan has used many promoters of his ideas to conquer and deceive the world
Dave Breese of Hillsboro, Kansas, has written a most thought-provoking book, entitled Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave (Moody Press, 1990). The ideas of these men literally rule the world. Their concepts affect everyone, even if you do not believe them. You may never have to study Darwin, Marx, Wellhausen, Freud, Dewey, Keynes and Kierkegaard, but the principles these thinkers promoted are now affecting your life and may have insidiously infected your mind.

Darwin: Devolution into Depravity
Charles Darwin, as we all know, popularized the theory of evolution, and revolutionized modern science. How do his ideas rule from the grave? Instead of staying in science, the theory of evolution is now thought to apply to society at large. "Social Darwinism" is a foundational belief of our culture. This concept says that the social structure is engineered and controlled by impersonal forces, natural selection, and the survival of the fittest, rather than by a personal God. Society has become secularized, and God is resented and opposed at every opportunity. Along with this, Social Darwinism has overthrown the authority of the Bible, made religious belief pluralistic, and destroyed the family and morals. Social Darwinism says society is moving upward from a mean past to an improving future. Utopia, the Millennium, comes not by the Messiah but through biological evolution ever upward, from "slime to divine."
The fact is, Darwinism is not true, not in science, and not in society. Man is digressing instead of progressing, just has God said he would, II Timothy 3:13. "Social Darwinists" and psychologists think nothing of God's Word. Instead of evolving into a higher life form, mankind is devolving into the depths of depravity.

Marx: Discredited, But Socialism is Alive and Well
The ideas of Karl Marx ruling the world from the grave? This may sound preposterous since the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, and the end of the Cold War between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. However, godless atheism produced in the wake of Communist revolutions in Russia and China has not been overthrown. Socialism and the welfare state is alive and well in Europe, North America and Australia and New Zealand. Marxism continues to have a profound influence on western intellectuals, who reject the Judaeo-Christian morality in favor of atheism.
Atheistic Communism (socialism) primarily is a denial that there is a just, holy, loving, and personal God who has created the universe and presides over its continuance. Communists are materialists, i.e., they believe that all is material, and deny the existence of the spiritual. They do not believe God is working out a purpose here below, but that history moves in a dialectic wave, and that state socialism is the wave of the future and will inevitably triumph. Marxism, a form of evolutionary dogma, says that history is determined by economics, and the revolution of the working class will thrust out the bourgeois (middle class) societies.
The revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1989, which overthrew corrupt Communist governments, brought a shocking fact to light: Communist dictators live like kings all the while claiming to be promoting a "classless society"! Far from bringing about a utopia where the working man enjoys the fruits of his honest labor, fifty to seventy years of Communist government have proven Marxist socialism to be an utter failure. Without God Almighty, any human system results in misery and suffering!
And yet, the beat goes on! Rather than learning the lesson that state control by wicked men results in disastrous consequences, the governments of the western "democracies" continue the path toward more socialism, more government control, more corruption in high places, more crimes being committed in the name of the country! The ghost of Karl Marx continues to haunt the world.

Wellhausen: Higher Criticism, Religious Liberalism
Why is the so-called Christian religion today a shadow of its former self? Why has it rolled over and played dead to the ideas of Darwin and Marx? Why has religious liberalism done so much damage, in destroying belief in God and the authority of the Bible? Why has the Church of God been so damaged by religious liberalism? Up until the middle of the 19th Century, if a person in the West called himself "religious" it meant something. The Bible was held to be God's revelation of His will for mankind, the government was to be respected, and order in society was to be kept. Although human reason was admitted to be fallible, the Bible was held to be infallible.
Then, religious liberalism was born, and all that was changed. Julius Wellhausen, a German rationalist, Old Testament scholar, and theologian, declared that human reason was totally dependable and the Bible could not be seriously trusted. Moses, Wellhausen claimed, did not write the Torah. Rather than divine inspiration, the Old Testament was said to be a product of evolutionary thinking of several individuals (referred to as the Elohim, Jehovah, Priestly and Deuteronomy, or EJPD, sources). Wellhausen became a leader in a religious school of thought called "Higher Criticism." Basically, this consists in bringing Darwin's ideas of evolution into biblical scholarship. The result was that the Christian religion became a complex set of human rationalizations, rather than the simple truth of God. The Spirit of God was taken from the Bible. Ministers quoted everything but the Bible, and what part of the Gospel they had was gone.
Religious liberals spawned by Wellhausen and others accepted biological evolution as a fact. They carried evolution to a next rational step: Man's ideas have evolved upward from the primitive to the complex. And so, the religious liberal says that our ideas of God have evolved and are continuing to evolve. Religious change is the evolution of ideas, part of the natural order and survival of the fittest. We used to think of God as a judgmental ruler of the universe, but now know Him as a God of love. Hence, there is no sin of violation of God's law. To the liberal theologian, sin is only lack of maturity, lack of proper evolution. The answer to sin is not the redemption of Jesus Christ, but education, man directing and controlling his own evolution. As mankind in enlightened, we will do away with war, hatred, famine and greed.
In contrast to religious liberals who are always changing (evolving) their religious concepts, based upon scholarship and human rationalism, we believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, the deity of Messiah and His pre-millennial return. That makes us "fundamentalists" in the eyes of some.
It would be all well and good if these religious liberals and "Higher Critics" just followed their rationalistic theories to their logical conclusion and left organized religion, because according to them, the Bible is a sham anyway, and God is merely the "ground of our being." But that's not the way it works. Breese notes that liberals insist on calling themselves Christians, and are not apt to leave a church organization:
While denying the inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the true nature of faith, and most of the other cardinal Christian doctrines, the liberals still want conservative Christians to think of them as "one of us." As a consequence, it is almost a rule of life that the liberals do not leave the visible church (Seven Men, p. 103).
Like a cancerous sore, liberals draw their strength by concessions made by conservatives, and labor subversively until they are the majority. Once this happens, they begin to exert their power to squeeze conservatives out of the church altogether.

Freud: Looking for the Truth Within
If we are indeed the product of evolution, and the Bible is the product of evolution, and state socialism is the wave of the future, we might as well look some place other than the Bible for the Truth. Why not look within ourselves? Enter Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis. Freud is the fourth man whose ideas rule the world from the grave, as explained by Dave Breese.
The basis for Freudian thinking is the idea that the driving force behind all human action is the sexual instinct or urge. What we do, and the cause of our mental problems, stem from repressed sexual urges or desires. We need to talk about those repressed urges, and get them out in the open. The way to salvation is to be analyzed by a Freudian psychologist. Expressing contempt for all religion, which Freud saw as "mental infantilism" or "mass delusion," the essence of psychology is the belief that God does not intimately interact with man, and that there is a force, or libido, within mankind that, properly analyzed and controlled, will lead him to greater social progress. Freud opened the door for the New Age Movement, which insists that man can discover and control his own "life force" and obtain a utopia. The Freudian influence from 1890-1930 led to the permissive society, where sexual urges and wrong desires are not only talked about openly, but practiced without society's judgment. Christianity in general has moved along the Freudian path.
Freud's ideas were drawn from Hitler's favorite philosopher, Frederick Nitzche, who coined the phrase, "God is dead." His book, dictated by his demon named Zerethustra, was distributed to every German soldier in Hitler's army. Zerethrustra said (in part) "good is whatever gives you power; evil is weakness; Christianity is evil because it has compassion on the weak; your problem is a lack of self-love." Self-esteem and freedom from bondage are of primary importance in finding the truth within yourself.
No, the Truth is not within ourselves, as Freud and the New Age Movement claims. Truth is revealed from the Almighty Creator of mankind.

Dewey and Humanistic Education
If man is no longer a sinner and can find the truth within himself, then we need to be educated rather than regenerated. And, the church is right in switching from a message of salvation through the cleansing blood of Christ, to a message of salvation through the improvement of the social structure. Enter John Dewey and our liberal education system.
The missing dimension in Western thinking is the Christian viewpoint. Western man thinks about economics, politics, government, education and many other things without ever once asking, "What does God think about these things?" They never ask this question because they are not taught to think in our educational system. In fact, the foundation of our educational system, developed by John Dewey, is that there is no foundational truth. Nothing is settled, final and sure, but only subject to further research. Nothing is constant, given, or finally true, but rather all is pragmatic, adaptable, and subject to reinterpretation deemed appropriate to the time.
In a word, Dewey's educational philosophy can be summed up in one word: experience. Truth, he believed, was only found in experience. We must not concern ourselves with truth, but with meaning. What it means to you might be different than what it means to me. Final truth is illusory and we shouldn't bother finding the impossible. Dewey presided over a "vast emergence" of ideas in the Twentieth Century which revolutionized education. Rather than instilling morals in students, teachers were led to teach by experiment. "Progressive education" took over not only public schools, but also churches and most of religion.
Today, as the result of Dewey, most churches believe in progressive revelation. They pragmatically adapt doctrines to fit changing times. They are open to everything and every idea, except those who claim to have absolute truth as taught in the Bible! The moment Christianity agrees with Dewey, that there are many forms of truth, its cause is lost, and it can merely meander along with the relativists and mumble sweet nothings about God. Dewey has done his job in convincing Western man that God's Word is out of date, and evolving moral concepts and principles are "progressive." The fact is, Truth is once given, but many times forgotten and ignored, as men devoid of understanding throw it away.

Keynes: The Government is God
In Plato's Republic, the wise philosopher king ruled over his kingdom. And so it is today, with God dethroned from His rightful position of Lord and Master of our lives, the government is thought to be god. One man has had a profound influence on the development of our government economic system: John Maynard Keynes. In the wake of the devastating global depression of 1929 through the 1930s, economist Keynes came up with a recommendation to solve economic woes. His ideas were readily accepted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and formed the basis for socialistic governments around the world. To get the economy moving again, Keynes taught, it was the responsibility of government to create full employment, even if it had to borrow money and assume mounting debt to do so. Rather than get rid of the sins which cause economic depression, vanity, jealously, lust and greed, Keynes promoted the idea that government had all the answers. In the short term, Keynesian policies of excessive government spending and mounting public debt, appear to do some good. But in the long term, Keynesian economics only make worse the inevitable collapse of the whole nation. Keynes knew this, but did not care, for as he said, "In the long term, we are all dead."
In twenty years, no President and no Congress has even seriously promised to reduce the debt. "We owe it to ourselves!" some say, in a vain attempt to justify this flagrant spending frenzy. That is not true. The debt of the United States of America, the world's leading debtor nation, is funded by foreigners such as the Chinese. The colossal public debt is a giving away of our sovereignty, and the establishment of a one-world government and economic system, the Beast. God's economic system is not founded upon usury debt money. When the government becomes god, it opens itself up to satanic control in an increasingly vicious way.
Self-reliant pioneers who were our forbearers knew that government could not and should not do for them what they could do for themselves. They believed the Word of God is the foundation of knowledge. Modern religious hucksters follow Keynes. They spend other people's money to do what they think is best. These policies are spiritual economic disasters.

Kierkegaard: Confusion Everywhere
Finally, the seventh man whose ideas rule the world from the grave is a Danish philosopher few know much about, Soren Kierkegaard. During his short life (1813-1855), Kierkegaard's ideas did not gain much prevalence. About one hundred years after his death, his philosophy was re-discovered and quickly conquered the world. His mission was plain: "I conceived it as my task to create difficulties everywhere." He intended to create religious confusion, and he has. Breese correctly states, "It is doubtful that anyone perfectly understands Kierkegaard." On one page, he seemingly contradicts what he has said on the previous page.
Why did Kierkegaard take the religious world by storm? They needed his message. Religious liberals, unwilling to repent and obey the Bible, and abhorring the idea of Messiah's return to quell evil and rule the earth with a rod of iron, seized upon Kierkegaard's philosophy of existentialism. The essence of Kierkegaard is expressed in the title of one of his books, Truth is Subjectivity. The refusal to belong to any school of thought, repudiation of any body of beliefs whatever, that is the heart of existentialism. The only thing that is real is "the moment." If it feels right, do it, now! This is insanity dressed up in a tuxedo, yet existentialist philosophy is the base of every department of philosophy in every major university in Western civilization. Existentialism is not just another point of view, it is a denial of all points of view. There is no truth, no right or wrong, only the moment, without causes and consequences. Moral relativism and situation ethics are the harvest of Kierkegaard.
For the believer, the Bible is the inspired word of God. For the existentialist, the Bible becomes the word of God only when the believer experiences "inspiration" and "does his own thing." Rather than a reconciliation with the Almighty, salvation is merely an experience with Jesus. Illicit sexual relations are believed to be neither "right" or "wrong," but relative. Modern followers of Kierkegaard preach a doctrine of "fornication without tears."
Kierkegaard revolted against all religious doctrine. He put every doctrine on the table, subject to passionate, subjective picking and choosing. He renounced clear and distinct thinking altogether. The spirit of Kierkegaard is riding through churches today. We have confusion in more flavors than Baskin Robbins has ice cream. Too many are quite willing to throw out their beliefs and try something new. They are not founded on the Rock, the sure, unchanging Word of God.

Conclusion: We Must Defend the Truth
Dave Breese concludes that these seven men rule the world because they astutely gave people what they wanted to hear. There was no forceful rebuttal from those who believed in the Word of God. These seven men rule the world not through fair speeches but through the sustained impact of the printed page.
Let's not roll over and play dead. Unless we challenge the theories of Darwin, Marx, Wellhausen, Freud, Dewey, Keynes and Kierkegaard, their philosophies may yet undo us. We had better be able to defend ourselves against these "black belt" philosophical masters.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Real McCoy

Gerald picked up his diploma last week. The degrees were conferred at commencement and the graudates received a folder with a certificate promising a diploma would soon arrive. Here is the real McCoy which is now on display on the living room wall.

Gerald also received his temporary nursing permit last week. With all the important papers in his possession, he went to the Lehigh Valley Hospital on Monday and got his new uniforms to begin working the next day. He began as an intern in the Cricital Care Unit of the Emergency Room. When he was just a tech in the ER he wore blue uniforms. Now that he is a graduate nurse his uniforms are black. In the past seven years (since he became an EMT in 2003) he has collected quite a rainbow of colors in uniforms---several shades of blue, white, maroon, gray, and now black. But the best part of this job is the green part. He is finally getting paid and can start climbing out of the hole instead of digging it deeper. And now Leroy can retire any time he wants to.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wenger Reunion

Leroy's grandpa Wenger used to live on a farm along what is now Fulton Street in Ephrata. He sold the farm in the early 1950s and built a house east of Hinkletown where he lived until 1967. Then he moved back to the farm he had owned earlier and lived there again for several years as a renter until his heart condition forced him to go to a nursing home.
Other people lived in the house until about two years ago. The property was purchased by the Ephrata Township and turned into a park. All of the buildings were demolished and the land was regraded to provide a flat place for a ball diamond, parking lot, and pavilion. The pavilion was finished just before winter set in.
Leroy thought it would be nice to have a Wenger reunion on Grandpa Wenger's farm. So we arranged to rent the pavilion today and about 150 people showed up. Grandpa Wenger's house is gone and no one carried on the Wenger name in the family, but it was still a Wenger reunion. Although it was around 90, a nice breeze was blowing. The natural fan kept it from becoming unbearable. Doing this on Father's Day was a nice way to honor the memory of Grandpa Wenger. It sounded like everyone enjoyed it and wants to do it again another year.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No Joke!

I went to the post office to mail a package. A guy came in and said, "I need to buy a stamp for an out-of-state letter." The postmistress asked him where it was going. He said, "Vermont." She sold him a 44-cent stamp. I don't know where he was from but he had a Pa. license plate on his car. He must not get out much!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Family Time

Friends, fun, and food. That's how you spell a great family weekend at the cabin.

Kayla found a turtle in the woods.

Gerald brought his friend TO the woods. As far as I know they were in total agreement about which of them is Thing 1 and Thing 2. That's a good sign! :-)

Austin brought his go-kart and shared the fun with his cousins.

Everyone brought food. It was good and plenty! Our clan has outgrown the cabin so the food was set on the porch and served caffeteria style. Fortunately, the weather cooperated until the middle of Sunday lunch when a sudden downpour chased us all inside. The men carried the table inside the cabin and we finished the weekend in close fellowship.

Now that we are home again and all the vacation time is behind me, I'm ready to settle back into my comfortable rut at home and go on with some ordinary life.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Refueling Stop

About 6:30 last evening we completed the 3500-mile circle from home to Sioux Lookout and back. It was a worthwhile and enjoyable trip. The men got siding on three sides of Merle's shed and we women finished the colorful quilt Edith had in the frame for Elaine.

On Sunday we went to the Believer's Fellowship church in Sioux Lookout which Merles attend and helped to sing at the nursing home in the afternoon. The men had been out in the canoe with Merle when they were fishing but Betty Ann and I had not been on the lake. So after supper, Merle and Edith took us canoeing on the lake.

It was a beautiful evening and everything was so lovely. We saw a couple beavers and were privileged to see some moose up close. We got close enough to two females to hear them chewing as they fed along the edge of the lake. Then we heard a little calf whimpering for its mama and spied it through the bushes. After awhile we circled around to another spot where Edith heard a bull moose. He was more nervous and took off before we could get very close. So we circled back to where we had seen the first ones. They were out of sight and we thought they had gone but as we reached the point of land where the calf had been the mother came crashing out of the woods and ran away. The calf, which was only a week or two old, followed her into the water and then stopped. He had probably never seen people or a canoe before. He just stood there and watched us with big wondering eyes until we rounded the bend and were out of sight. That was a rare experience! I desperately wished I had taken my camera with me and not been so afraid of having it fall in the lake.
We left Merle's place about 7 a.m. Monday (June 7) and drove to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Before we left Canada we saw a bear along the road which cooperated nicely and crossed the road so we could get a good look at him. The bear rounded out the northern wildlife we were hoping to see--moose, loon, beaver, bear.

On Tuesday we drove about an hour to Pepin, Wisconsin, which was the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder. She was born in a log cabin seven miles north of the village of Pepin. We drove out to see the recreation of the log cabin on their home site. Unfortunately, it rained all day and was not the best day to be sightseeing.

We also went to the shore of Lake Pepin and saw the oldest part of town. Remember how Laura went to town and, for the first time, saw houses standing next to each other? She knew then how Yankee Doodle felt when he said he couldn't see the town because there were so many houses. She went down to the lake and picked up so many pretty pebbles the pocket of her dress tore out from the weight of them. I remembered the lesson she learned and allowed myself only two pebbles. There were many shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from. The rest of Tuesday we drove through (sometimes heavy) rain to Racine, Wisconsin, and got a motel just a few minutes from the Case IH plant. We had made arrangements to tour the plant at 8 a.m. Wednesday and we didn't want to have to hunt the place in the morning.

Chuck, our very friendly and knowledgeable tour guide, met us at the door on Wednesday morning and conducted a tour just for the four of us. He grew up on a farm and worked in the Case plant for 50 years. He has been doing tours since he retired in 1992. We were told the tour would take two hours but he was in no hurry and it took four hours. This tour was Marvin's delight and Leroy was interested but would have been more enthused if the tractors had been green. We women just sort of trailed along not comprehending most of what we were seeing. Betty Ann and I agreed a German tombstone makes more sense to us than machining gears and clutches. The most interesting part was seeing the tractors come together on the assembly line. The red Case and blue New Holland (Ford) tractors are made on the same line and most parts are interchangeable. Cameras were not allowed in the plant so I have no pictures.
The Case plant was our last stop. From there we made a bee-line for home. The rest of Thursday and Friday was simply driving south and east. We will be home less than 24 hours until we leave again this evening for our family weekend at the cabin. I hope next week the dust will begin to settle and I can find my place again around here. I'm glad we could go and everything went smoothly. But now I am ready to get back in the saddle. The summer is zipping by and I have a lot to try to accomplish before it fades into history.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Greetings From Ontario

We had a good trip to Ontario and are enjoying the trip. We took a different route this time and saw more of Michigan than ever before. We drove up through the center of the state to Mackinaw City where we spent the night of May 31. The next morning we took a 15-minute ferry ride across Lake Huron to Mackinac Island.
Mackinac Island has been always been a summer resort. The Indians used to come here every summer to fish. European settlement began in 1671 when Father Jacques Marquette established a mission to Huron Indians on Mackinac Island. During the American Revolution the British constructed a fort on top of a steep limestone bluff on the island.

The first conflict of the War of 1812 occurred here but there was no battle. Surprised and outnumbered, the American soldiers surrendered to the British without a fight. The view of Lake Huron from the fort was gorgeous. It is easy to see why the fort was constructed on this spot.

The fort was returned to the Americans as part of the peace treaty at the end of the War of 1812 and became a military station. In the years before the Civil War, Fort Mackinac became an increasingly obsolete military station and was nearly abandoned. Soldiers returned to the island, after the Civil War and were followed by crowds of tourists looking for a place to escape the summer heat and congested cities. The federal government created Mackinac National Park in 1875, making it America's second national park.
Mackinac Island is a beautiful Victorian village. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island. All transportation is by horse, bike, or foot. Being thrifty Mennonites, we chose the free method and hoofed it through the town. Everything is very expensive on the island and the price of one hamburger was over $4. We were glad we had the foresight to buy our lunch on the mainland and could eat at a picnic table.
We took the 1:30 p.m. ferry back to the mainland with an energetic group of 62 second graders accompanied by over 30 parents. As a favor to the children, the captain of the ferry took an extra loop under the famous Mackinaw Bridge. Lake Huron and Lake Michigan join at the bridge so we can say we were on the water of both lakes. We got to see the underside of the bridge and men painting the sides; a viewpoint not many people get to see. If you look closely maybe you can spot the painter's scaffolding hanging just below the roadway of the bridge.

We crossed the bridge then and drove all the way across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, stopping for the night at Ironwood, just two minutes from the Wisconsin border. June 2 was a day of driving. We crossed the border at International Falls around 2 p.m. and got to Sioux Lookout around 5:30.
We have been staying with my brother Merle and Edith. The men have been fishing and putting vinyl siding on Merle's garage. Edith had a quilt in the frame. We women quilted for two days solid and finished it. Now we are free to do whatever we wish today. It was raining steadily yesterday so the men could not work on siding. This morning it is cloudy but not raining so they are out there trying to get some more done before going fishing again.
Merle said yesterday they should do the important things first and go fishing before it starts to rain. Leroy brought home a nice string of seven fish. We cannot have more than eight fish in our possession at a time. We are eating fish every day so they can go fishing again. the next day The Walleye are delicious and I am not tired of eating fish.

Our time with Merles is half over. They live ten miles out of the town of Sioux Lookout. We women have been pretty much tied to the quilt until now but will be seeing more of the town today and tomorrow when we go to church. If the weather is favorable we might to canoeing on Sunday afternoon. And then Monday morning it will be time to strike out toward home again.