All posts by Eternity Matters

A good time to ask once more: Who is better at economics, Leftists or my dogs?

And which group, Leftists or conservatives, truly has the best interests of the poor at heart?

Given that the tax bill is about to (hopefully) pass and the Left is in full pants-wetting mode over it, one might ask a couple questions about Leftists, and especially “Christian” Leftists:

  1. Are they qualified to opine on economic matters?
  2. Even if they were qualified to understand basic economic concepts, do they really want conservatives — and the poor! – to be successful?

I’ll answer the second question first: No.  They hate Trump and conservatives with the heat of a thousand suns and they have shown no reason to believe that they actually want to help the poor.  They could tell just by the stock market reaction just how successful this will be.   Just one example: Having a sale on taxes, so to speak, and letting corporations bring back literally trillions of dollars in profits at much lower tax rates means that we’ll reap billions in taxes that we never would have received otherwise, and that the money will be invested in the U.S.  That means lots of tax $$ and lots of jobs.  What’s not to like – unless you are an America-hating Leftist?

And if they really wanted to help poor blacks, for example, they’d  stop their open borders policies which allow illegals to take jobs and suppress the wages of remaining jobs.  They have had monopolies on education, politics, media and entertainment in inner cities for half a century and yet things keep getting worse for those residents.

A bunch of “Christian” Left drama queens got themselves arrested for an illegal protest and pretended it was because they were reading Bible verses about giving.  Right.  And the verses they read outed them for the frauds that they are, referencing, for example, how Jesus said to lay up treasures in Heaven by giving.  Yes, He said that, but no, He obviously didn’t mean that it involved petitioning Caesar to take from your neighbors by force to redistribute to others via counterproductive social programs.   He said to give your money.  Did I actually have to type that?!  Apparently so.  But wolves like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis pretended that Jesus really wants us to look to their government god and that the bill is bring brought by a bunch of big meanies trying to hurt the poor.  Uh, yeah, because we make so much money off of jobless poor people or something.  (This is also a good time to remind them that conservatives give more time, money and even blood than Leftists.)

The Left knows they’ll lose power, influence and votes when the tax changes actually help the poor and middle class, so why would they want that?  And before you accuse me of being cynical, keep in mind that the people most likely to cite the Matthew 25 “least of these” passage out of context aggressively advocate for taxpayer-funded abortions to the child’s first breath.  Because compassion.  And giving.  And patriarchy.  And Molech.

And did you notice how Nancy Pelosi, Cokie Roberts and other political and media Leftists have helped cover up sexual predators for decades while insisting that conservatives were waging a war on women?  Why would anyone trust them on anything?

So the answer to the second question is a resounding no.  And to answer the first question: Also no.  Here’s one of my all-time favorite posts explaining why.


Note: The message here is more important than the title indicates.  I’ll eventually share how Leftists literally fail at basic economic concepts and how that has enormous implications for every aspect of society.

I am not making this up: My dog once submitted a college test in Economics and passed.

OK, there is a little more to the story.

When my youngest daughter home-schooled her last two years of high school, the dogs would hang out with her all day.  Once when she was in the middle of an online Economics test one of them jumped on the bed, landed on the keyboard and submitted the partially completed test.  And he passed!  Fortunately, the folks at the school were good sports about the high-tech version of “the dog really ate my homework” story and re-opened the system so the that real student could complete the test (she got her usual 99% or so).

But I offer that as a segue to remind people of an extremely important fact about basic economic principles, namely that those on the Left literally fail at them.  They aren’t just a little worse than Conservatives, they fail horribly and it drives their ideology.  The details are here, but note the results of a simple eight question economics test given to those across the political spectrum (and especially note how my dog fared):

Letter grade
Very Conservative 84% B
Libertarian 83% B
Conservative 79% C+
My dog 72% C
Moderate 54% F
Liberal 41% F
Progressive/very Liberal 34% F

Got that?  Progressives / very Liberal people only get a third of the questions right.  They could double their scores and still only get a D.  But the more conservative people are the better they do, with very Conservative people achieving a solid B.

Here’s an example of one of the questions:

Consider one of the economic propositions in the December 2008 poll: “Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable.” People were asked if they: 1) strongly agree; 2) somewhat agree; 3) somewhat disagree; 4) strongly disagree; 5) are not sure.

Basic economics acknowledges that whatever redeeming features a restriction may have, it increases the cost of production and exchange, making goods and services less affordable. There may be exceptions to the general case, but they would be atypical.

In this case, percentage of conservatives answering incorrectly was 22.3%, very conservatives 17.6% and libertarians 15.7%. But the percentage of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly was 67.6% and liberals 60.1%. The pattern was not an anomaly.

To recap that example, 2/3 of Leftists don’t know that restrictions — regardless of their merit — always increase costs.  How can they possibly make wise economic decisions?

Do not let the handsome canine below cause you to miss the key takeaways:

  • Understanding these basic economics concepts is crucial to leading properly. Therefore, Leftists should not be in charge of government.  Or economics.  Or much of anything else.  If you can’t get the basic building blocks of society right then all you will do is create more problems.
  • As the good folks at Freaknomics will tell you, Economics isn’t just about seemingly arcane financial metrics.  It is about behavior and incentives.  If you don’t understand how the basics of human nature work then your worldview is doomed to poor decision making.
  • The Law of Unintended Consequences will bite you far worse than my dog ever would (Italian Greyhounds are amazingly friendly) but the truth is that most consequences of Leftist policies are easy to anticipate.  The “War on Poverty” is a perfect example.  It wasn’t just a colossal flop, it was a completely predictable colossal flop.  It has deeply harmed tens of millions of people. We need to undo it as quickly as possible.  Leftists don’t realize or ignore that you get more of whatever you subsidize.  They subsidized single motherhood and got lots more of it, with the inescapable crime and poverty that comes with it.
  • This issue carries over to religion as well.  It is no surprise that Leftist Christian groups do much more harm than good.  False teachers don’t understand economics any better than they do the Bible.
  • All schools should host Junior Achievement classes.  These are proven to increase graduation rates and they teach critical life skills about budgeting, economics and more.  I taught them for 12 years and was continually impressed with their program.  You don’t need a PhD in Economics to understand the most important concepts.  Give me 30 minutes with a bunch of 7th graders and I will have them more fluent in basic economic principles like supply and demand than Congressional Democrats are.  And that isn’t an exaggeration.

 

The way people understand basic economic principles has an enormous influence on how well they will govern.  You should vote accordingly.  And if you love God and neighbor you won’t ignore how He wired the world.

——–

Economist Dog (TM), the hero of this story, could not be reached for comment.  He was on a conference call discussing how the demand for dog food is completely inelastic.   Also, he died last year.  We miss this special little guy!  He and his mate (pictured below) brought us countless blessings and good times and we thank God for that.

bluetooth dog

He also understood intellectual property rights and helped us earn a few $$ when this picture was used on a t-shirt sold by a large retailer.  But mostly he just chased squirrels and then sat on my lap and slept.  Backup Dog (TM) was equally loved but not quite as active.dogs

She was as cerebral as she looks here.
Back Camera

 

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Leftist journalists and politicians protected harassers and abusers

Journalists like Cokie Roberts admit that they’ve known for years about how wicked that serial sexual harasser Representative Conyers is but they did nothing.  Nancy Pelosi knew as well, and she has aggressively protected other predators like Bill Clinton.  But those politicians help keep abortion legal, they helped bring in more illegal aliens that take jobs and suppress wages for the low income folks that the Left pretends to care about, they help mainstream perversions and more.

And those are women who have hidden these things.  They valued their own wealth and power over all else.  Surprise!  They care as much about the average woman as they do minorities, the poor, etc.

They just now pretend to realize that, by their standards, Bill Clinton is a rapist.  Of course, they still ignore how Hillary was his great enabler in trying to further destroy his victims, and they insult us all by acting as if we’ll believe that they would have had these realizations about Bill had Hillary won.  It is a transparent and desperate attempt to attack President Trump.

And are “Christian” Leftist feminists so naive and ignorant as to not realize these truths, or are they malicious partisans?  People like Rachel Held Evans went on for days about Roy Moore.  I’m not a fan of his, but allegations that he did things 40 years ago as a Democrat that just happen to come out a month before an election drive Mrs. Evans et al into full “Oh, the humanity” mode.  Yet they are completely silent on Conyers, Franken et al and, more importantly, the wicked cover-ups and enabling by people like Pelosi and Cokie Roberts.

While most of these perverts and abusers (Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Harvey Weinstein, John Conyers, Al Franken, Matt Lauer, George Stephanopoulos, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose and so many more) and enablers (Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Cokie Roberts and countless other journalists, politicians and entertainers) are Lefitsts, I realize that Republicans have their share of bad guys, too (just a lot less of them).  But you don’t see any Leftists having to defend their equivalent of the “Pence Rule.”  People like Mrs. Evans couldn’t stop complaining about how awful the VP’s standards are for women.  They’ve even tried to keep those criticisms up as this tsunami of Leftist perverts has hit them.  They are truly shameless.  Does it ever occur to them that the conservative principle of having smaller government would help rein in these injustices?  Less power = less opportunities for corruption.

Keep those frauds in mind the next time the Left wrings their hands about a supposed “war on women” from Republicans just because we oppose killing children to their first breath. Those Molech-worshiping ghouls of the Left — including the “Christian” Left — will fight for that above all else.  Conservatives will critique the Left and the Right, including highlighting Trump’s errors, but the Left is all in for their perverse agenda.  Just keep going through the giant list of perpetrators and enablers — who were key leaders in politics, media and entertainment — and mock them for trying to lecture you on morality.

Leftist teachers getting mugged by reality

Public school teachers, who are mostly Leftists, are getting mugged by reality. Why? Because the Obama administration’s Department of Education required equal racial outcomes for student discipline.  Of course, student behavior is similar to criminal behavior in that it is much more dependent on home life (i.e., no solid male presence at home) than race.  Via School discipline issues reach fever pitch as districts fear the racial bean counters:

The bane of “racial proportionality,” which in many ways personified the Obama administration, continues to burden school districts across the country.

Over the last decade, school officials have loosened the “discipline grip,” so to speak, out of fear their schools’ racial percentages may not be viewed as “correct” by government bureaucrats.

Ironically, it’s that very reliable Democratic voting bloc — teachers — which have borne the brunt of this slackening, which no doubt explains why even they frowned upon the previous Department of Education’s race-based “discipline” measures.

Take a recent story from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: City schools have lost almost four dozen teachers since July due to what they deem as “an unprecedented level of misbehavior among children” . . .

So whenever a student misbehaves the teachers must clairvoyantly know the racial discipline ratios to date for their school and/or district to know if they can punish the student.  And you can imagine how quickly the students will pick up on that.  If they know the minority quotas have been achieved then they can do almost anything without getting punished.

Maybe the teachers will reconsider their political views. The elites don’t care if teachers suffer as long as they prop up the charade that disparate outcomes are always driven by discrimination.

And what about the poor students who can be victimized at will by those who aren’t permitted to be punished?  Hopefully their parents will protect them by home schooling or at least protesting — and voting for true conservatives!

And this would be a good time to remind the elites of the one set of disparate outcomes that they ignore: Blacks are aborted at three times the rate of whites and Hispanics at twice the rate. Why not oppose abortion because of that?

This is one of the many reasons we should eliminate the Department of Education to save money and improve schools.  Polices like this are transparently ridiculous and, ironically, racist at their core.  Parents should know that if their children chronically misbehave then the rest of us are under no obligation to fund their education.

“Why do you believe in Jesus? And how can I?”

Are you equipped to answer those questions in a clear, winsome and biblical way?

I actually got an email with those two questions in the subject line.  The sender was a guy from  a Sunday school class I was teaching.  He attended with his wife, who was a committed believer, but he was a skeptic. We ended up having a great conversation about the real Gospel, the importance of reading the Bible, etc.  (We ended up leaving that church so I’m not sure of his current beliefs.  But I trust the process.)

Those are the ultimate softball questions for Christians, right?  They recognize that you believe in Jesus, they are interested in the reasons and they want to know how to do it as well.  Not all encounters will be that tailor made, but my question is this: Are you ready to give effective answers to those questions?  If you aren’t then you need to equip yourselves starting now.

I always start any evangelism / apologetics training with that anecdote.  I want people to get away from thinking that evangelism is only about knocking on doors (not that there is anything wrong with that) and pushing through hostile encounters (Jesus gave us the pearls before swine commandment in Matthew 7:6 for a reason).  I want people to be prepared, but not to give up before they start.

I highly recommend reading this book and having extra copies to share with people.  You will learn how to give an effective presentation of the Gospel, explain the main themes of the Bible and Christianity and address common objections.

P.S. There was an interesting side note with the email.  The guy was a trustee of a 3,000 person Methodist church at the time.   They didn’t even know he was an explicit non-believer.  I knew the church had agnostics in other roles who thought they are Christians, but this guy knew his real spiritual status.  Maybe churches should get to know their leaders first, and as a bonus, their members.  /sarcasm

The one good thing about The Passion Bible “Translation” . . .

. . . is that it will make it easy to spot wolves.  It is bad as The Message, just for different reasons.  From GotQuestions.org:

The most important problem with The Passion Translation of the Bible (TPT) is actually found in its name—specifically, the term translation. In truth, The Passion Translation is a re-worded and re-written Bible, apparently intended to support a particular strain of theology. If the same material was marketed as a “commentary” or as a “study guide,” it would still be concerning. As it is, The Passion Translation cannot honestly be called a translation or even a paraphrase. The TPT goes well beyond the idea of “translation” and reimagines the Bible as one human author thinks it ought to be written.

The article goes on to list many of the places where the book makes huge translation errors to fit bad theology.  It was written by one guy, which a red flag.  But here’s the biggest problem to me: The author, Brian Simmons, insists that his changes were divinely inspired.

The work, according to Simmons, was commissioned directly by the Lord in a spiritual encounter. Simmons explained that in the encounter, God breathed upon him and spoke to him, clearly commissioning him to do this work. Jesus promised Simmons he would help him, there would be persecutions and misunderstandings because of the work, but he would be with him.

I’m skeptical.  Then again, it was endorsed by Hillsong and Bill Johnson of Bethel Church, so there’s that . . .

Seriously, run from this translation and avoid any church or teacher who uses it.

Most charismatics are closet cessationists

Until recently I was a fence-sitter on the continuation/cessation of spiritual gifts debate topic, never really researching it enough to pick a side.  My position was that while the gifts could continue, I’d never seen them done properly (e.g., those enamored with the gift of tongues never obeyed the handful of verses governing their use, the faith healers were obvious fakes, etc.).  Other than some “sloppy God talk” that I’ve addressed many times, I never went to a church where leaders took things too far (e.g., the Benny Hinn / Bill Johnson – Bethel / etc. nonsense).

Now that I’ve done more research (including reading Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship by John MacArthur) and understand the history and Bible verses better, I’m a cessationist.

But in a very real and relevant sense, both sides are cessasionists, just with one side being less so than the other.  Many who believe in the continuation of the “sign” gifts (healings, tongues, prophecies) are very sound when it comes to the essentials of the faith, the inerrancy of scripture, etc. , yet they concede that many things have indeed ceased since the 1st century.  Consider these:

  • The canon of scripture is closed.  Even when you point out the claims made by books like Jesus Calling, which insist that the authors heard directly from Jesus, the continuationists don’t think that anything should be added to the Bible.
  • The New Testament-style healings have ceased.  The healings of Jesus and his apostles were vastly different from what charismatics claim to do today.  Biblical healings were 100% successful, immediate and public.  The continuationists explicitly redefine “healings” to be private, partial and not always successful — and of course, dependent on the faith of the healer and/or the sick person.
  • The office of apostle has ceased.  Even charlatans like Bill Johnson and Bethel don’t embrace the “New Apostolic Reformation” tag (although their buddies consider them part of it).
  • The gift of foreign language tongues has ceased.  In Acts 2, people miraculously spoke in foreign languages that they previously didn’t know, and the other references to tongues use the same terms.  Continuationists explicitly redefine what “speaking in tongues” means because none of them have that gift of speaking in foreign languages.  That is why their “tongues” aren’t recognizable to anyone.
  • Infallible prophets ceased.  Continuationists explicitly redefine what prophecy is to allow for the obvious errors of their “prophets.” In the Bible, prophets had to be 100% right 100% of the time – and the penalties for being wrong were severe.  The charismatic “prophets” readily concede many errors and can’t name a single infallible prophet among them, yet they cling to their belief that their random correct “prophesies” are divinely inspired.  They have to ignore 2 Peter 1:21 and more to do that (For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit).

Also, the receiving of gifts has also been redefined.  In the Bible, the gifts were immediate and full.  With the continuationists you usually need to be trained to heal, prophesy or speak in tongues — hence the Harry Potter Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (it makes up for its cost by being unaccredited).

That is a significant list of things that we agree have ceased or changed.  So there is no debate with these folks that some things have ceased, just about what other things have ceased.

And I think it is significant that, as noted, above, they have had to redefine healings, tongues and fallability of prophets from the original biblical definitions and even the nature of what a gift is.  That is a huge liability for them.   If the three main things they focus on don’t resemble what we see in the Bible and now you have to be trained in the “gifts,” have they truly continued?

And even with the redefined gifts, did they really continue?  No.  History is clear that they did not, so the continuationists need to twist scripture to say that they did cease for 19 centuries but are back now.  Again, most agree that even the redefined gifts didn’t exist during that time frame.

Other considerations:

  • If babble tongues (my term for non-real foreign language tongues)  is a gift of the spirit, why do some fringe Catholics and many other non-Christians practice them?  Since when does the Holy Spirit give supernatural gifts to non-believers?
  • These healing ministries unwittingly breed contempt for those without enough “faith” to be healed.  The sick and hurting people feel pressure to at least show some improvement so they don’t let the healers down or give “evidence” of a lack of faith.    Then groups like Bethel chalk up those improvements (not even full healings) as miracles.
  • John Piper acknowledged that one charismatic leader was completely wrong about multiple prophecies about him, but then was impressed when the guy got one right about someone else.  But the prophecy was about a guy who was nervous about whether a visa was going to come through.  How do people like Piper forget about Satan and his demons?!   The man’s visa issues were easily known to the demons, and the “prophet” got one right.  So what?  But Piper et al have let the charismatics’ redefinition of a prophet stand, so they can’t be dismissed even when they get loads of prophesies wrong.

So many things have ceased and even those that allegedly continued have significantly different definitions — making them more like new gifts — if real — than continued ones.  How is that biblical?

One of the biggest problems with the continuationist/charismatic movement is that it conditions people to look outside the Bible for new revelations and experiences.  It also encourages people to speak for God when He hasn’t spoken.  Those things are dangerous and blasphemous.  The movement claims to be all about the Holy Spirit but they ignore what He really does and fixate on things that He doesn’t do.   Giving lip service to the Bible while constantly seeking experiences and allegedly new revelations from God is not Christianity.

Even if the gifts of prophecy and/or tongues continue . . .

  1. It doesn’t mean that you can give someone else the gift.  Only the Holy Spirit does that.
  2. It doesn’t mean you need to be trained to use the gift.  Gifts, by definition, are ready to use.
  3. It doesn’t mean the gift of prophecy would involve telling the future.  The context of 1 Corinthians 14 is that the prophecies are immediately assessed by the church body.   Even if they did involve the future, they wouldn’t necessarily always have good news.
  4. It doesn’t mean that you’d get vague messages from the Holy Spirit about possibly “living on the East coast” or that you “had financial problems” in the past.  Those are about as meaningful as “prophesying” that someone is a carbon-based life form.  Those are Psychic 101 tricks.
  5. It doesn’t mean that non-believers would have the gifts.
  6. It definitely doesn’t mean that you’d give affirming “God is proud of you / no need to change anything / don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise” type prophesies to non-believers (that literally happened to a self-identified unrepentant, polyamorous, pagan witch).

The Continuationists I’ve come across get most or all of those wrong.

Once again, you should start with the gift of discernment.  If you don’t have it, ask God for wisdom and He’ll grant it.