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Tuesday 7 January 2020

Nationalism is God’s Gift to Humanity (Genesis 10-11:9, May 5th 2019) - Sermon Eleven from my Genesis Series:


So last week we spoke about how God is progressively redeeming humanity from our fallen sinful state. Not only is God saving individuals from their sin, he is progressing humanity generally towards rejecting certain evils and lifting up our standards of morality. Obviously this is not a straight line, civilisation goes through many hills and valley’s of righteousness and evil. But generally God is moving society forward. There was a time when raping and pillaging were once normal actions in war, indeed some cultures considered them a conquerors right, now they are war crimes. Slavery was once a basic fact in society, now it is seen as immoral, and most modern slavery is illegal. There are other examples. 

But God is not just progressing humanity towards a better state of morality, he also restrains evil in this world through various means. Think about it, Genesis 8:21 says this: “…Every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood…” If humanity is so internally fallen, how can there be any hope for civilisation and for humanity to flourish? Well God has to put boundaries in different parts of our society to restrain evil. One of those restraints is government, God gives government the authority to carry out justice on criminals, and protect property rights. Another restraint is a limited life span, imagine how horrifying humanity would become if we were fallen and immortal? We would become like the demons. Another one of those restraints he has given to protect humanity from evil is nationalism. 

Now a lot of people freak out at this word. In fact the French President gave a speech condemning nationalism earlier this year. The reason a lot of people run from this term is because it drums up visions of Nazis and uniformed soldiers goosestepping through city streets. But the Nazis, even though they called themselves National Socialists, were actually hell bent on dominating other countries, which is the opposite of Nationalism, they were Imperialists in every sense of the term. Remember that China calls itself the People's Republic of China, when it is not really a republic. 

God gave nationalism to humanity for a reason, and our passage today deals directly with that reason, so let’s jump in Genesis 11:1-9, and see why God gave us this gift, and why we should make sure we make use of it for the good of humanity.

1. A Contradiction?? (10:5, 20, 31, 11:1) – Before we go very far, we have to deal with the obvious apparent contradiction between Genesis 10 and 11 which seems to stand out like a sore thumb. Three times we are told in Genesis 10: “5 From (Japheth) these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations…20 These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations…31 These are the sons of Shem, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.” And then chapter 11:1 starts this way: “Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.” 

1.1 This seems like a blatant contradiction until you realize that Genesis has done this before. You get a broad generalized account of creation in chapter one, and then a detailed look at the creation of humanity in chapter 2. 
       1.1.1 This is just a narrative device which serves to highlight what the author thinks is most important. 
       1.1.2 A lot of modern movies and TV shows do the same thing. They tell you a story, and then go back in time to show you how it happened. (I personally am not a fan of that type of story-telling).
1.2 So, Chapter 10 tells us about the breakdown of the 70 nations, who are the descendants of Shem, Ham and Japeth. Verse 25 tells us humanity was divided in the days of Peleg, and the first part of chapter 11 takes a closer look at why and how this happened. So let’s see what it says. 

2. The Tower of Babel (11:1-4) – “11 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” So again this verse is giving us a jump back in time to before humanity was divided by languages and nationalities. They decide to make bricks, bake them thoroughly, and use them to build a city and a tower. What’s happening here?

2.1 Some people focus on the fact that they say “Come, let us…come, let us”, and make the point that their self-referencing is highlighting their pride. This may be so, but this is also just normal language. 
        2.1.1 There is nothing sinful about saying: “Come let’s build something.” So what’s going on here that’s bad? 
2.2 Well Shinar, is another name for the land of Babylon, there was a reference to this land in chapter 10 where it says, “8 Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.” 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” Now those of us who know their Bible well, know that Babylon is the great enemy of God’s people, all the way through from here to Revelation. 
        2.2.1 In this land they decide to built a city and ‘a tower with it’s top (literally head) in the heaven’. And they want to make a name for themselves while doing it. Why is this so bad? What’s happening here that’s so bad. 
2.3 Well the biggest clue is in the phrase ‘let’s build a tower with it’s top in the heavens’. “Throughout Mesopotamian literature, almost every occurrence of the expression describing a building “with its head in the heavens” refers to a temple with a Ziggurat (Walton, 373). So what is a Ziggurat? 
        2.3.1 A Ziggurat would accompany a temple, and the role of the Ziggurat was to bring heaven and earth together, to be a connecting point between the gods and man. 
         2.3.2 Indeed we see this in their names, a ziggurat at a place called Sippar was called” “the temple of the stairway to pure heaven.” Another is called, “Temple which links heaven and earth.” You could say if a woman bought a ziggurat, “She was buying a stairway to heaven…”
        2.3.3 The ziggurat, the tower to heaven, was the most powerful representation of the pagan religion of Babylon. A religion that re-made the gods in the image of humanity.  
2.4 So what is happening here is that the unified humanity is corrupting religion. They are building a temple to bring the gods down to earth, they are forming the corrupt Babylonian religious system that will dominate most of the world. But there is more to it than that, as well, and we see that in God’s response. 

3. The Biggest Threat To Mankind (Genesis 11:5-6) – “5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” I love the subtle humour in this passage. God is mocking Babylonian religion. See that massive tower that they built to connect heaven to earth, well, he’s going to have to come all the way down here to look at it. It’s so tiny and insignificant. But the most important point is verse 6: A unified humanity is dangerous. 

3.1 We tend to think of a unified humanity being a good thing. We even see this in science fiction. The Utopian future of Star Trek is a unified humanity, with everyone getting along, there is no need for money, or war, and crime is almost gone.
3.2 But the truth of humanity is far from that. Usually when humanity get’s together it is to achieve great evil. Remember Genesis 8:21 clearly says, “…Every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood…” The Bible teaches that humanity is sinful and craves power. The tower of Babel is an episode where all of humanity united together to seek to lift themselves up as great as the gods. This is what it means when it says they wanted to make a name for themselves.
3.3 Think of every conquering emperor, or would be emperor, in history, what was his goal? To increase power and to make a name for himself. From Nebuchadnezzar, to Alexander the Great, to Napoleon, to Hitler, all of these men and more sought to subject multiple nations into their empires, to extend their power over people, and in doing so they all did great evil. This is what is happening in the tower of Babel episode of history.
3.4 Think about how dangerous sinful humanity would be, unified under one false religion, opposed to God. And it’s already starting to happen, Nimrod is building for himself an empire, and these early Babelites, are creating a false religion that will guide that empire. “And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” No amount of evil will be impossible for them. 
       3.4.1 A unified sinful humanity is the greatest threat to mankind. 

4. God Creates The Nations (vv.7-9) – To protect us from the threat of a unified sinful humanity God creates the nations - “7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” 8 So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.” 

4.1 So God’s response to the unified humanity, coming together to do great evil, is to confuse their language and disperse them over the face of the earth. God had commanded humanity to fill the earth, and here they were congregating in one place, looking to replace God, and make themselves great. 
4.2 To protect humanity from evil God created the nations, each one “by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.” So why does the creation of nations protect humanity from the evil in this passage? Because it prevents the greatest threat to humanity happening: global empire. 
4.3 The desire of many world leaders in history has been global empire, from Nimrod, to Sargon of Akkad, to Nebuchadnezzar, to Rome, all the way to Hitler. Globalism or world Empire was the goal, or at least to get as much of the world as possible. But no conqueror has ever achieved it because they have gotten resistance from nations defending themselves. 
       4.3.1 The Persian Empire’s advance was stopped by Greek nationalism standing up for itself. In fact that is highlighted well in the movie 300. 
       4.3.2 The Roman Empire’s advance in Europe was stopped by Germanic tribal nationalism standing up for itself. 
       4.3.3 Nazi Germany’s advance through Europe was halted by English nationalism and Russian nationalism standing up for itself.
       4.3.4 America’s Empire is now being halted by many different nations standing up for themselves. 
        4.3.5 It’s a consistent pattern throughout history that empires reach natural limits, because other nations, sometimes other empires, halt their advance. 
4.4 God gave the nations their sovereignty and their boundaries, Deuteronomy 32:8 “8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” Often when God condemns the nations in the Bible it is because they went outside their inheritance, their boundaries and sought to conquer or oppress other nations, or create empires: Amos 1:13-15 - “13 Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of the Ammonites, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead, that they might enlarge their border. 14 So I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour her strongholds, with shouting on the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind; 15 and their king shall go into exile, he and his princes together,” says the Lord.” God condemns nations trying to conquer other nations for unjust reasons. 
4.5 God uses nations to restrain the evil of conquest and empire in the world. Nationalism is simply identifying with your people and wanting the best for your nation. When a nation thinks that because it is better than another nation it can conquer the “lesser” peoples, they are breaking the boundaries God placed on nations. Eventually another nation, or nations, will oppose them.

5. Nationalism vs Globalism: So nationalism is God’s gift to protect us from empire. Globalism and Empire are the same thing: the desire to move more and more of the world under centralized control.  Many of our leaders in Australia are obsessed with globalism, which is really part of the sin of Babel. Because the ultimate goal of globalism is to have international governments ruling the nations, and I guarantee they will then seek to enforce their version of religion on us all.

5.1 God dispersed the people’s at Babel to protect us from this evil. So as Christians we should oppose empire, we should oppose globalism which is just empire redressed and we should oppose any leaders who lift these things up as ideals. 
5.2 Biblically God is ok with nations co-operating, he’s ok with nations helping defend each other against empire, he’s ok with trade, but when nations seek to rule other nations, they are breaking the boundaries God places on people’s. 

6. So what does this have to do with us today? Well we need to recognize that if God set the boundaries for the nations of the world to protect us, he did it for a good reason, and we would be foolish to ignore that. I think it is fascinating that this sermon fell during election season. I didn’t plan that, I started writing this series last year before the election was called. But the Tower of Babel has implications for how we vote:

6.1 We should judge our potential leaders on how well they prioritize their own peoples, not other nations. 
6.2 We should judge our potential leaders on how much they push globalism, and try to push global agendas, this is just another form of the threat at Babel. 
6.3 We should never trust any policies put forward by our leaders that give away our national sovereignty. Because this goes against God’s boundaries for nations, and therefore is a sign that such policies come from the evil one.
6.4 Don’t let anyone guilt you for voting for leaders who are determined to do what is best for our nation and our nation alone, because that is the basis upon which God judges leaders: how they shepherd their own people: Ezekiel 34:1-10 – “34 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? 3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; 6 they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them. 7 “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As I live, declares the Lord God, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.” There is obviously more to working out who to vote for other than this, but this is very relevant. 

7. Conclusion: God has given nations and nationalism as a gift to humanity to protect us from the evil of empire. But even more than that he has given us a multi-national gospel which he expects us to take to all people and teach them why they must trust in Jesus and obey his commands. It’s our purpose to take this gospel to all people’s and point to the king they will bow the knee to, either in this life or the next. 

Thursday 2 January 2020

Abortion Advocates: The Would Be Heroes Who Are Actually Villains

There are those amongst us who present themselves as heroes, often view themselves as heroes, and expect others to account them as heroes. Movies are made about these people. News articles talk about them as if they were the great liberators of the modern age. Actors and Actresses in Hollywood lionize these people. Who are they really though? They are the intersectional "heroes". Tearers-down of power structures, and they are obsessed with power politics. What do I mean by this?

Intersectional thought, is a realm of discourse that deals with people’s intersecting identities and ranks people’s access to power and privilege based on those intersections. An example would be a blind, lesbian, black woman. Because this woman’s experience intersects with differing degrees of “marginalized” experience, she would rank high on the oppression index, as compared to say a straight Asian man, and therefore she would need to be suitably recompensed, by a repentant society.

We are all familiar with the results of intersectional thinking: quotas for women on board rooms, quotas for diversity in university enrolment, the military and police force, also indoctrination programs like safe schools or “respectful relationships”, and many other aspects of our modern society have been infested with this kind of thinking. Just watch the ABC show talk show The Drum, and you will get to see intersectional thought play out in real time.

Power politics is an integral part of intersectional thinking. It deals with the concept that those at the tops of power structures will often use extreme means, including violence (which is now being defined as types of speech) to hold onto power. Examples offered are easily recognisable: slave owners beating slaves, domineering men abusing their wives, apartheid, militarized police, and symbolic violence like lower wages for those less privileged, etc, etc. All of these examples are used to seek to pull down the “patriarchy”, but many of these things are illegal, harshly punished, some, like slavery, are banished from the West, at least legally speaking, long ago. None of these things is celebrated today. 

Like all good lies, intersectional thinking is connected to some truth and the concept is easily understood. The powerful will often crush the powerless to hold onto power. Power politics is real, and some people seek to abuse their power. Intersectional thought leaders, or what we call progressives, will often align themselves with those whom they consider “oppressed” and state that they oppose the powerful. And let’s be honest, the powerful do some very wicked things.

For example, what Herod did to the innocent boys of Bethlehem, slaughtering them to hold onto his power. The Feast of the Innocents remembers this tragedy every year on December 28. It was a horrific event. 

But a more potent example, because it is still around today, is feminists crushing their unborn children to maintain their power. No one is more powerful than the person who can kill with impunity, and even be celebrated, rather than punished. That is true power, and used for genuine harm. That is true privilege, beyond any other kind in existence today, in the West at least. Yet feminists are the ones pushing the intersectional thought policing of society. They present themselves as the destroyers of power, yet they exercise a power over life that the abolitionists of slavery thought they were eradicating once and for all: the ability for one human being to utterly dominate another for their own gain.

Will 2020 be the year, finally, where intersectional thinking is turned towards the last true fortress of unabashed power over the other, displayed in the West: abortion? I hope so. But I also seriously doubt that it will. 

These people will continue to present themselves as heroes, when they are the exact opposite. They are the example of the most naked display of the wicked abuse of power in existence in this world. At every honest appraisal of the intersectional hierarchy, innocent children are the lowest on the totem pole: they cannot speak for themselves, they are innocent, they rely on their mothers for all sustenance, they cannot see the world around them and it’s harms, they have no means, and I mean none, of self-defence, they are represented in the legal code as less than human, at the whim of their mothers feeling any given day in her pregnancy. They are the ones who should most be recompensed, because they are the most disadvantaged. All they want is life. Yet the very opposite is the experience of too many of their kind.

If there was ever a group in society which intersectional thinking should seek to liberate, it is the unborn. But their ardent refusal to do so, exposes their true goals: access to power, access to power they imagine every white, Christian male, has, but actually a power that only very few people in history have ever actually had, or even wanted. Most people just want to live their life, free of harm, not have the power of life over another. Yet this is the power the intersectional feminist has laid claim to.    

If the goal of the progressive truly is about pulling down power structures, isn't abortion the most glaring example today of corrupt power?

The modern world is teaching everyone a simple lesson: power politics is a real thing, and the genuine oppressors are not who they thought.

“8 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31:8-9

Some Of My 2019 Reading List

Some of the books I read last year:
John Locke's: Two Treatises on Government.
J B Bury's: A History of the Freedom of Thought.
Hellaire Belloc's: The Jews (dedicated to a Jewish woman, the author had deep affection for. He actually predicted the holocaust, and the holodomor, and tried to prevent both with his book).
Alexander Solzhenitsyn: Two Hundred Years Together, (a must read to understand who the Bolsheviks really were, and how internationalism harmed Russia and the World).
A J P Taylor's: The Origins of the Second World War (mandatory reading for a rudimentary knowledge of why it began, according to Oxford at least).
Charle's Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities.
Martin Van Creveld: The Privileged Sex (why women always have been, always will be, and indeed must be the privileged sex).
William S. Lind: On War (so, very good, read it).
Karl Marx: The Communist Manifesto (2nd or 3rd time I've read it, had to refresh for an article I wrote).
Jordan Peterson: 12 Rules (had to read it for accuracy and credibility's sake on an article I published).
Stephen Meyer's: Debating Darwin's Doubt.
Peter Schafer's: Jesus and the Talmud. (a Jewish scholar's perspective).
Martin Luther's: On the Jews and Their Lies.
The Unseen Realm: Michael S Heiser.
Walton: Genesis Commentary: Christian academia has been overrun by the same globalist nonsense the rest of academia has been infected by. Which is sad.
John Marshall: John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture.
Oh and the correspondence between John Locke and Philippus Van Limborch, two men who shaped our modern world.
(Still reading: Aristotle's Rhetoric, Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, Faxneld's Satanic Feminism. Grimm's Fairytales, Greuber's Norse Mythology and Creveld's Equality: The Impossible Quest).
And other books, countless articles, and more.
The highlight was William S Lind: Because of his insight into 4th generation war, which will effect us all in the coming century.
The most informative was Solzhenitsyn. Why? Because it shows how much our western media lies about how and why the Russian Revolution actually happened.
The best Christian theology book was Heiser's Unseen Realm. Why? Because it opened my eyes to God's majesty in amazing ways.
The most controversial book: Luther's on the Jews. Too many people talk about this book without reading it. They should stop talking about it, they know not what they are saying. Read controversial books while you can, it is only a matter of time before the Bible is added to the list of too controversial in some parts of the West.
Most heartwarming book: Easy, Dicken's Tale of Two Cities. The guy was a literary genius, and a true man of God. Boy we have lost so much of our Christian heritage. The book illustrates the greatest love; to lay down one's life for one's loved ones.
Worst Book on the list: That's an easy pick: Peterson's 12 Rules. But hey, to be fair there are some real historical greats on this list.
Biggest Lesson I learnt: The forces of evil are constantly seeking to rewrite history, twist Christianity, and make us forget who we really are in the west, and most westerners don't care, and blithely let it happen.
Look forward to finishing the books I'm reading, and reading more in the new year. Too many books, not enough time to read.
What's on your list?