Now He Wants to Be Friends
I don’t know much about an individual named Chuck Baldwin, but I’ve been receiving unsolicited emails from Baldwin since sometime in mid to late 2010.
What I do know about Baldwin, is that he ran a ministry down in Florida for some time, has run for Congress, and is now residing in Montana and beginning a new ministry in Big Sky Country.
Anyway, the emails I receive from Chuck Baldwin usually are a copy of one of his columns, with a link to the column itself at his website. I’ve not posted any links or comments on Baldwin’s columns, til now, and I felt compelled to post some commentary after reading Baldwin’s most recent column titled Identifying Our Friends. Specifically, I wanted to comment on the following from Baldwin’s most recent column.
To a packed out crowd of over 500 Montanans who had assembled in minus zero weather to hear me speak, I made the statement, “Not all Christians are our friends, and not all non-Christians are our enemies.” Indeed, being able to identify our friends is more than half the battle.
When I spoke of identifying friends or enemies, I was talking about one’s overall positive or negative contribution to the principles of liberty. I will say it again, not all Christians are our friends, and not all non-Christians are our enemies. This is difficult for many Christians to wrap their brains around, I know.
Immediately upon reading those words, I thought of something I wrote back on June 9, 2003 under the heading A Short Religious Discourse Regarding Natural Law (this post is at my old Blogspot place, you’ll have to scroll down a bit to read it) wherein I stated the following, which is related to a quote from John Dewy’s book A Common Faith, which in turn was the impetous for the post.
For myself, being well acquainted with organized religion of the Protestant variety, I have found that men who profess no faith in God, yet stand as honest men, adherents of natural law, as described by Spooner, speak with a clarity and honesty that I do not find from men aligned with organized religions. I find that men professing no faith, but who embrace the tenets of natural law, are a more stalwart breed of men than many professed Christians. Why? Because men who accept natural law, or the science of justice or peace, typically have no hidden agenda to wield as a power over me. Whereas men aligned with organized religions typically have an agenda of power they hope to apply to me rather than just dealing with me honestly…
If the men of organized religions, and governments, would honestly review their purpose, and the true meaning of liberty and natural law, they would recognize themselves as the robbers they are. As for me, a believer in God and an adherent to natural law, I’ll take dealing with men, honest men, who accept natural law as the only law, over dealings with the men who comprise governments or organized religions. The natural law men are more religious.
While I’m pleased that Chuck Baldwin spoke the words, quoted within this post regarding “identifying our friends,” I’m curious as to why it took him so long to understand the truth of his words. I’ve known that not “not all Christians are our friends, and not all non-Christians are our enemies” since I was at least 12 years old, though I was 43 years old by the time I articulated it and put it down in writing.
UPDATE: Oops, I was 43 in 2003, not 33.
John . . .
The first thing that goes is birth dates and age!
That many of the faithful do not understand natural law, which is in reality the “rain falling upon the just and the unjust” . . . they are still of the faithful.
I would hesitate, for a number of reasons, to say that the “natural law men” are “more” religious. Rather, I would angle that idea more toward Lewis’ insistence that some know more of the Christ than do others, but they all know of Christ. Do the “natural law men”—-if they exclude Christ? In their own words they choose not to, despite the evidence.
God gives us all the clues. Picking and choosing about which of them we will accept is not one of the clues. Beck rejects Christ, he is also, most likely to be converted. Frustratingly simple, yet complex as the devil and his hell.
Just saying . . .Posted by jb on 01/30 at 03:32 PM
I would hesitate, for a number of reasons, to say that the “natural law men” are “more” religious.
I utitlized the word religious, here, and in the post from 2003, in the adjectival sense Dewey attempts to enunciate in his book A Common Faith, and I’ll repeat the quote here.
It is widely supposed that a person who does not accept any religion is thereby shown to be a non-religious person. Yet it is conceivable that the present depression in religion is closely connnected with the fact that religions now prevent, because of their weight of historic encumbrances, the religious quality of experience from coming to consciouness and finding the expression that is appropriate to present conditions, intellectual and moral. I believe such is the case. I believe that many persons are so repelled from what exists as a religion by its itellectual and moral implications, that they are not even aware of attitudes in themselves that if they came to fruition would be genuinely religious. I hope that this remark may help make clear what I mean by the distinction between “religion” as a noun substantive and “religious” as adjectival.
Dewey, John, A Common Faith, Clinton, MA, The Colonial Press, Inc., twenty-seventh printing, 1974, pg. 9
In utilizing that quote, as I did, I will stand by my statement that natural law men are more religious, adjectivally.
I’ll not delve into individual mens’ salvation, or conversion.Posted by John Venlet on 01/30 at 07:43 PM
If by religious, you are speaking of a “faith”—whatever the object thereof might be—then yes, I have to agree with you.
Will that satisfy the “ultimate?” That is a different matter. But you got me on this one.Posted by jb on 01/30 at 08:08 PM
As a follow-up . . .
Hell may well be nothing of what any of us commonly believe it to be (actually, I believe it is WAY past common understanding). But that is intensely theological, and misunderstandings thereof the fault of limited theology and preaching.
Be that as it may, even the holiest of natural men reject the concept of hell altogether, so it is there that there is a departure of though and adjectives. Nouns, too.Posted by jb on 01/30 at 08:59 PM
I’m curious as to why it took him so long to understand the truth of his words.
This why, copied from somewhere out there:
Alan Scholl’s post is a good example of a false enlightenment. His position comes from being at a level of consciousness that requires order, but that also seeks “something bigger” and a “higher purpose”. In consciousness studies terms, he’s a “blue”, trying to become an orange/green (see Spiral Dynamics or similar consciousness classification systems). Scholl has found what is called a “local truth”. Which means is has found a truth that is true at his current level of consciousness.
This is why Christians believe they are so right about everything, and likewise Muslims believe they are right about things. They are both at a stage of development where the things they believe seem so obvious to them that they believe that everyone believes what they do. How could it be otherwise? For instance, his quote:
“Even the most “advanced” among us in the science of the mind, genetics, history, cellular structure, psychology, archeology, all see indisputable evidence of intelligent design.”
He believes that the most advanced among us believe in intelligent design (presumably designed by a creator). That is false of course, but his level of consciousness (Blue level) requires it to be true. So for him, it is true. Once he reaches high green, or even possibly tier 2 consciousness, he will not feel the need to sell everyone on this wonderful Bible discovery he has made.
At Tier 2, that would be silly. But at Blue, he NEEDS other people to believe what he believes. At that level, it is not enough to believe, one has to convince others to believe. Belief by others is a way of validating the belief within yourself (a very weak form of belief).
If you are interested in this topic of consciousness, please look into the works of Ken Wilber, Integral Studies, and Spiral Dynamics. It’s worth knowing about. It is easy to make fun of those who practice various myths (Christians, Muslims, etc), but keep in mind they are on a spiritual path that requires them to live through the stage they are at in order to advance.
The problem comes when that belief creates spiritual stagnation, due to fear of “being wrong”. The in-group/out-group psychological dynamic created by the modern religious mythologies acts to prevent advancement.
Speaking of ages, today I am turning another page on the age calendar…
Excellent! Congratulations, Don. If I was down Franklin, IN way, I’d buy you a beverage of your choice and hand you a cigar.Posted by John Venlet on 01/31 at 03:51 PM