Monday, May 25, 2015

Making a deal with the devil

I'm going to comment on this:

In his response, Reasnor's political philosophy is ripped straight from the playbook of theonomists like Bahnsen and Rushdoony. Hs slogans mirror stock theonomic slogans. He says:

All the world is commanded to be subservient to God. Jesus Christ is King… 
Jesus Christ is Lord and King of every square inch of this world. There are no realms of neutrality that one can go about doing evil so good may come (not that I believe pro-life incrementalism has done any good, though that is their claim). 
If you deny that Jesus Christ is King of all the world, and that faith can overcome the world, then incrementalism makes perfect sense. If faith is not a viable option, then all you are left with is political compromise, situational ethics, and moral ambiguity. If you believe that Jesus is King, that all power on earth and heaven has been given to Him, and that by faith we can overcome evil, then immediatism is the natural position to hold. In conclusion, if you understand the terms in their historical context, you serve Jesus Christ as the reigning King that He is, and if you view God’s word as applying to all of life.

Compare this to theonomy. For instance:

No neutral ground means that every square inch of life is claimed by Christ, including law, civil government and social ethics. No neutral ground means that the Bible must be the ultimate authority in every sphere of life. 
CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION A recently articulated philosophy which argues that it is the moral obligation of Christians to recapture every institution for Jesus Christ. It proclaims “the crown rights of King Jesus.” 
But Kuyper today is most famous for his “not one square inch” quotation, one that’s well known to all Christians dedicated to the society transforming strategy of the Dominion Mandate. It’s this: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” Yes! Everything is His, and Kuyper’s proclamation says that without Him there wouldn’t be any square inch or inches of anything for us to ever be concerned about. Every sphere of life has a God-ward component that must be first factored in before interacting with the sphere overall.

i) So that raises a question: Is AHA theonomic? Is it committed to Christian Recon, a la Bahnsen, Rushdoony? 

ii) I'd add that different theological traditions take different positions on how the old covenant is fulfilled in the new covenant. How much carryover there is between OT ethics and NT ethics.

Baptists, Anabaptists, Lutherans, and Dispensationalists see more discontinuity, while Anglicans, Presbyterians, theonomists, &c. see more continuity. There's a spectrum of views.

In addition, different theological traditions may see more continuity in some respects, less in others. That varies from one tradition to another. Baptists of the LBCF see more continuity whereas Baptists of the new covenant theology or progressive covenantalism persuasion see less continuity. 

Since AHA denies that it's an "organization" or even a "group," how can it stipulate a theologically monolithic view of how the OT relates to the NT? That's something you'd expect from a denomination.

Another claim that Clinton makes is that Abolitionists are sacrificing children that would have been savable with incremental legislation. This is a false claim and unprovable. Incrementalists often make the claim that their iniquitous and partial decrees save many lives. However, the primary effect and the only proven effect of any incremental bill is solely the stated effect of the bill. A law outlawing partial birth abortion only does just that. A law banning after 20 weeks only does just that.

How does his denial follow from his admission? How does a law banning partial birth abortion not save the lives of babies protected by that particular law? How does a law banning abortion after 20 weeks not save the lives of babies protected by that particular law? 

Take laws against murder generally. Let's construct a parallel argument: 

Another claim that Clinton makes is that anarchists are sacrificing innocent lives that would have been savable if murder was outlawed. This is a false claim and unprovable. The primary effect and the only proven effect of any law criminalizing murder is solely the stated effect of the bill. Legislation outlawing murder only does just that. 

Well, what else is a law supposed to do? Does Reasnor think laws with penalties don't deter the crimes they ban? 

There are many factors involved (namely the decreasing birthrate and the mass availability of abortifacient birth control methods) that greatly affect any honest statistics. 

How is that germane to the specific claim? The specific correlation regarding what a law bans. 

Notice that Reasnor doesn't present an actual argument. He doesn't begin to show how decreasing birthrates are relevant. It's like saying: "Due to decreasing birthrates, laws against murder don't deter or reduce murder." How does Reasnor derive that conclusion from his premise? 

The pro life movement has yet to demonstrate that these incremental steps “in the right direction” have been in the right direction at all. In fact, incremental legislation has many secondary effects, primarily the reinforcement of ageism within our culture, the legal legitimization of murder, and the protracting of abolition. 

Even if he doesn't think incremental legislation is moving in the right direction, how does that disprove the fact that laws targeting specific forms of abortion save babies covered by those provisions?

If faith is not a viable option, then all you are left with is political compromise, situational ethics, and moral ambiguity.

That's another textbook case of how AHA routinely resorts to fallacious arguments. "Situation ethics" was the title of a book by Joseph Fletcher. He used that phrase to designate his particular ethical system. It's a brand name.

That hardly implies that if you take the situation into account in decision-making, you are a situation ethicist in Fletcher's idiosyncratic sense. That confuses one man's position with a much broader concept. The fact that Fletcher used the word "situation" doesn't mean his usage defines the concept. 

To take a comparison, there are Christian Identity movements. But that hardly implies that if a theologian uses the word "Christian" or "identity," he's endorsing the Christian Identity movement. The fact that words are used as brand names doesn't mean they only or primarily denote that specialized sense. 

This is just a guilt-by-association tactic. "Situation" in "situation ethics" is a technical term for a particular system of ethics. But taking circumstances into account in decision-making is by no means equivalent to "situation ethics" according to Fletcher's position–any more than using "Christian" or "identity" makes you a member of the Christian Identity movement.

Much like Gregg Cunningham, I’m convinced that all the Pro-Life Celebrities and organizations would work with the embodiment of evil itself to save the babies. 

i) Here we see how AHA has fabricated an urban legend. Look at how quickly it took hold:

Abolish Human AbortionMay 20 at 9:05am  
You will never gain a single thing by making deals with the Satan. Not one thing. Not ever. All his promises are false. Obey God and trust God.

Abolish Human AbortionApril 26 at 1:33pm   
"I would not take the Devil's deal to save every baby if he could just sacrifice this one" 
-Gregg Cunningham . . . as he waived a thick stack of papers which is the deal with the devil that he did take.

Abolish Human AbortionApril 27 at 10:46am Fruit from the recent debate!Scott Klussendorf, Jill Stanek, Mark Harrington, and Gregg Cunningham have all clearly outed themselves as methodological moral relativists who stand on the studies of men and twist scripture to support their own fears and faithlessness in the power and gospel of God. 
They are claiming that Jesus is a pragmatist and that he recommends that we only truly fight against the sins which our culture gives us permission to fight and that we survey the culture and determine whether "we have the votes" before we cease making deals with the devil.

Notice, though, that AHA actually quotes Cunningham saying "I would not take the Devil's deal…"

However, they immediately proceed to impute to him the polar opposite of what he actually said. They misattribute to him the claim that he'd make a deal with the devil, even though he explicitly denied that, and they extend that misattribution to other prolifers. 

It's a fascinating illustration of legendary embellishment. What does it say about how the insular groupthink of AHA that this patent misrepresentation, which is dialemmetrically contrary to what he actually said, becomes the unquestioned false premise for their subsequent aspersions?

ii) Moreover, even if Cunningham said what they impute to him, do we really need to explain to abolitionists that making a "deal with the devil" is a figure of speech? 

It's not a literal pact with Satan. Don't abolitionists understand idiomatic metaphors? For instance, it's often used in reference to military alliances, where one country combines forces with an unsavory regime to oppose a more dire threat. We could debate the merits of that strategy, but the immediate point is that there's nothing literally Satanic about it. Don't abolitionists have a basic command of vernacular English? Don't they grasp a colorful colloquial metaphor? 

1 comment:

  1. Where's the love? AHA reminds me of the Westboro Baptists. Practically cultish.

    Through their behavior AHA gives evidence that they are not actually motivated by true Biblical virtues. They're not motivated by true Biblical righteousness, even though they loudly and proudly claim they are.

    They're clearly not motivated by true Biblical love for those they publicly castigate within the pro-life movement.

    They're not motivated by saving the unborn as they've repeatedly made clear, and it's equally clear by their tactics and bitter fruit that they're not motivated by obedience to the God of the Bible for His glory, even though they haughtily protest they are.

    Therefore it's plain that they're motivated by something else. Perhaps it's something as petty as jealousy, or a desire for prominence. They're obviously a self-seeking bunch.

    Their well-established pattern of intellectual dishonesty in addition to their demonstrated inability to argue in good faith is also evidence that they do not have an interest in speaking the truth in love.

    It's abundantly clear that they don't desire the unity of the church.

    They don't seek the good of the fellow Christians they attack, thereby giving further evidence that they don't seek to honor the Lord, their protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

    Instead they seem to have their own set of twisted goals and priorities, seeking for their own prominence, position, and influence.

    And when those they attack speak the truth in response, AHA simply ignores, twists, or sets aside the rejoinders, and continues the attack.

    He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one an Immediatist and the other an Incrementalist. The Immediatist, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, faithless, unjust, compromisers, or even like this Incrementalist. I share the gospel at abortion clinics; I open air preach, I agitate at local churches, and I blog and debate.’ But the Incrementalist, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”