Why We Are Moving To Montana

By Chuck Baldwin

By now, readers of this column should be aware of the decision my
family and I made to leave the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches, and move
to the majestic Rocky Mountains: the Flathead Valley of Montana, to be
specific. Mind you, Pensacola, Florida, has been my wife’s and my home
for 35 years. It is the place where each of our children was born and
raised, and still resides today. Rest assured, each of my family is
aware of the cold weather climate to which we are headed. We are also
very cognizant of the extremely difficult economic circumstances that
exist. The truth is, if we were basing this move on things such as
“practicality,” or “job opportunity,” or “a place to retire,” we would
either 1) stay where we are, or 2) move somewhere else (someplace
warmer), because this move, in many ways, is impractical, financially
challenging, and could bring personal discomfort to all of us during
those harsh Montana winters. The fact is, none of that has any bearing
on our decision to move.

I know unbelievers and skeptics have a hard time when I say this,
but, we are moving to the Flathead Valley of Montana for the same
reason we moved to Pensacola, Florida, 35 years ago: we know it is
God’s perfect will for our lives. Period. Why else would we do it? Why
would we leave the comfort and security of home, family, and friends?

Why would we attempt such a major move in such an economically
depressed housing and job market? Why would I walk away from the
church that my wife and I started and have poured our hearts and soul into for over 35 years, and that took such very good care of us? On a
human level, this move makes absolutely no sense. But as Christians,
we are not supposed to live our lives on a purely human level, are we?

So, instead of moving south (like most every preacher you ever knew
over the age of 50), I feel God moving me north (about 75-miles-south-of-the-Canadian-border kind of north!). And so does every man in my family. Count them: that’s 5 households and 17 people ranging in ages from 3 months to the upper 70s (I am 58).

I promise you, we have bathed this move in intense and prolonged
prayer and meditation. This was not a quick decision. But why would
God move us?

For one thing, it became very plain to me that my ministry was over
in Pensacola. The brook had dried up, to borrow from the life of
Elijah. And I’ve known too many pastors who allowed their personal
affections for a prolonged ministry to obfuscate the clear revelation
and reality that their ministries had ended and it was time to move
on. And in every such instance, the longer they stayed, the more the
ministry declined. I had vowed many years ago to not let that happen
to my wonderful church family. They deserved God’s best, even if that
meant my departure.

For another thing, my family and I are ardent patriots. To us,
freedom and liberty are much more valuable and desirable than wealth
and riches–or even comfort and security. And we believe God has been
showing us that if there is a place left in America where true freedom
has an opportunity to experience a rebirth, it is in the Mountain
States of America’s great Northwest. I love the fact that Montana is
often referred to as “The Last Best Place.” And as far as freedom and
liberty are concerned, it just might be.

Now, we are not naïve. We realize that there are many Big-Government liberals and neocons in the Mountain States who will not be pleased to see us come. When compared to the rest of the country, however (and I’ve seen most all of it), I would dare say that there are more freedom lovers in the Mountain States (per capita and per square mile) than anywhere else in the country.

Since the release of my last two columns announcing our move to
Montana, I have received more emails than over the last several months combined. And believe me, I’m talking about hundreds and even
thousands of emails. I have received more than 200 emails just from
people living in Montana, and 99% of them were enthusiastically
supportive. I can assure you, the response that my family and I have
received from Montanans has made us feel at home even before getting
there.

Many Montanans are excited about the prospect of my starting a new
ministry in the Flathead Valley, and once again being able to
livestream my messages over the Internet. Others are excited about the prospect of us entering the freedom fight. But most seem excited about both!

Furthermore, it is our studied opinion that America is headed for an
almost certain cataclysm. As Christians, we suspect that this
cataclysm could include the judgment of God. As students of history,
we believe that this cataclysm will most certainly include a fight
between Big-Government globalists and freedom-loving,
independent-minded patriots. I would even argue that this fight has
already started. And as this battle escalates (and it will most
assuredly escalate), only those states that are willing to stand and
fight for their independence and freedom will survive–at least in a
state of freedom. And we believe that God has already put the love of
liberty deep into the hearts of the people of the Mountain States; and
we further believe that God is already calling (and will continue to
call) many other freedom lovers to those states. One thing is for
sure, we know He called us!

We are not going to Montana to sunbathe (or even ski); we are not
going to play games, or play politics; we are not going to “take it
easy,” or “hide,” or hibernate. We are not going to “enjoy the
climate.” We are going to fight! We are going to work! We are going to
help the freedom-minded people of Montana make their stand for
liberty! In many ways, the Mountain States just might become The Alamo of the twenty-first century, with, hopefully, much better results. But if not, I would rather die fighting for freedom with liberty-loving patriots by my side than be shuttled off to some FEMA camp after having been rejected and betrayed by soft-living, comfort-seeking, materialistic statists who simply “don’t get it” and have no desire to “get it,” which seems to be pretty much standard practice for a sizeable majority of people today–Christian and non-Christian–around most of the country.

The Mountain States are also attractive due to the distance
separating them from the great regions of the country in which the
tables are truly stacked against any growth and extension of the
principles of federalism or limited government, namely, the Northeast,
Southeast, and Southwest (with my apologies to freedomists in those
areas). Big-city liberalism dominates most of the states in these
regions. The federal government has invested billions of dollars and
thousands of personnel establishing and oiling the Orwellian machine
in these areas. There are exceptions, of course, but they are few and
far between, and therefore, quite isolated should any kind of serious
stand be required.

Add to the intrinsically oppressive nature of big-city liberalism and
UN-sponsored globalism the out-of-control illegal immigration problem
along the Southern Border and one has a recipe for disaster! And that
is exactly what is coming: a disaster!

If I am correct in my analysis, and Montana (and surrounding states)
really is in store for a FREEDOM RUSH, then it is certain that
patriotic businessmen, laborers, tradesmen, professionals, clergymen,
physicians, technicians, and people from virtually every walk of life
will find themselves among the “gathering of eagles.” From an economic
and spiritual perspective alone, the prospect of such a rush could be
not only exciting, but also historic!

Therefore, let no more be said of hardship! Our Pilgrim forebears
crossed the Atlantic Ocean without maps and with no one to greet them in their quest to find a land of liberty. Our Patriot forebears
challenged the greatest military force in history (at that time) and
stood on Lexington Green, Concord Bridge, and Bunker Hill to defend
this land of liberty. And our Pioneer forebears traversed thousands of
miles in covered wagons with no roads or bridges in their quest to
carve a land of liberty out of the wilderness. Traveling 2,500 miles
in trucks and cars across mostly an Interstate highway system,
sleeping in hotels, and eating at restaurants seem like mighty puny
sacrifices to make to find that land where this latter-day remnant can
live and stand together.

Yes, I realize the real work will only begin once we have arrived. I
completely understand that Montana is not the Garden of Eden and that the Serpent is already there, waiting for us. I expect a fight. And I
know I speak for the men of my family when I say, Bring it on! Freedom
and liberty, along with the Natural Law principles of federalism and
independence, are worth fighting for. In fact, they are worth dying
for. So, living or dying, we intend to circle the wagons around the
State of Montana and fight to our dying breath for the right of that
State to live free! And while we are at it, we believe God will let us
help many good, freedom-loving people of Montana find true inner
freedom that comes from Christ alone. After all, any true student of
American history knows that revival and revolution go hand in hand.

To borrow from the Apostle Paul, “And now, behold, I go bound in the
spirit unto , not knowing the things that shall befall me
there.” (Acts 20:22) But I also have faith in another Biblical
principle, that God opens doors that no man can shut (Rev. 3:8). And
for the Baldwin family, that open door is the Flathead Valley of
Montana. And no recession, or ridicule, or opposition, or false
accusation, or cold and snow can shut that door. Montana, here we
come!

(c) Chuck Baldwin

Chuck Baldwin is a syndicated columnist, radio broadcaster, author, and pastor dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America was founded. He was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party. He and his wife, Connie, have been married for 37 years and have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.

Readers may also respond to this column via snail mail. The postal address is P.O. Box 10, Kila, Montana, 59920. When responding, please include your name, city and state. And, unless otherwise requested, all respondents will be added to the Chuck Wagon address list.

Please visit Chuck’s web site at Chuck Baldwin Live

30 Responses to Why We Are Moving To Montana

  1. Illegal Immigration says:

    Liberty and justice for all. Immigration status doesn’t deny a person of their human rights.

    • We wonder at the cognitive dissonance and bottles of antacids Chuck must consume as he bashes one group of terra firma travelers but rejoices in his own sacred movements.

      In his last paragraph he even borrows from Apostle Paul to boldly go where he wants to go, flatly proclaiming that God opens doors that NO MAN can shut (Acts 20:22 and Rev. 3:8).

      Somehow we are to believe and rejoice in SOME human movements over terra firma, but meet other movements with bullets, drones, fences, and walls…things that make you go hmmmm!?!

      Who WOULD Jesus use the bullets, drones, fences, and walls against?

      It is indeed saddening and disheartening to witness Chuck’s resistance to becoming fully philosophically mature as a student and advocate of the non-aggression principle.

      Regardless though…We’ll keep Wyatt’s Torch shining brightly in the continuing hope of those still maturing!

      Tending Wyatt’s Torch,
      John and Dagny Galt

      .

      • Nathan McMurray says:

        Thank you for pointing that out, I was getting ready to say the same thing when I saw your comment. This shows that it is possible to justify any kind of thinking as long as you have a god behind you. I respect Chuck immensely, and hope for his success, but it is impossible to be “philosophically mature” with god answering the tough questions for you. Here is to hoping for a rebirth of secular rationalism in whatever new nation arises out of the corpse of America.

      • Chuck says:

        Nathan: “…it is impossible to be “philosophically mature” with god answering the tough questions for you.”

        Without the Christian God (by Whom not “everything” can be justified–He has revealed Himself) there is no answering the tough questions. Man is finite, and cannot defeat defeaters which may arise from that finitude but about which he doesn’t know. His efforts always end in self-contradiction or arbitrariness.

      • dumpdc says:

        Mr. Jackson- Your assertions are instantly suspect when you use absolutes like “no” and “always.” It is entirely possible…and desirable…to be philosophically mature without God answering the tough questions for you. What does one do if one does not accept that the Creator revealed Himself in a 66-book Bible that was assembled over a couple thousand years, voted upon by bishops in the 4th Century? The efforts of many wise men and women find that they can KNOW the character of God, rather than simply BELIEVING what is written by someone who asserts that the text is of divine origin. I, for one, enjoy a deep meaningful relationship with God without relying on the information provided in the Christian Bible. Perhaps you might go back to our Archives and read “He is There and He is Silent.”

        Russ

      • Nathan McMurray says:

        Chuck, (I assume you are not the esteemed Mr. Baldwin around which these responses are centered)

        It seems you may have misconstrued my point. Philosophical maturity posits a willingness to examine your position, the foundation on which it is based, the bias you currently hold, the merits of your position in relation to its effects on society, and then moving forward taking action based on that philosophy.

        Your assertion that the “Christian God” is, in fact, necessary for philosophical maturity simply is not true based on the following evidence.

        1) The “Christian God” does not exist outside of the Christian bible (by that I mean no other evidence points to a god that adheres to the tenants and faith as outlined in the Christian religion.)

        2) Based on that truth, the only source one can reference to understand the “Christian God” is the bible; a document of dubious quality for the reasons Russ has already mentioned.

        3) The Christian Bible, as interpreted and believed by around a billion Homo Sapiens, was conceived around a time of fantastic ignorance. By which I mean the world view of the average person in turn of the millennium Palestine was so amazingly narrow you literally cannot find a person more ignorant of the world around them than those who wrote the Bible.

        4) Since this bible is intended to be the sole source of philosophy for the Christian, and by extension the “Christian God”, you are left to mature your philosophy with this book being your only reference point.

        I assert that a series of documents written in a time where diseases were caused by demons, natural disasters were proof God’s displeasure, ritual sacrifices were routinely performed for cleansing, and apostasy was punishable by death should never be the foundation on which one lays their philosophy.

        Moreover, the bible itself claims its perfection and threatens eternal damnation for any who disagree, thereby making it impossible to ask the questions necessary to arrive at a point of even beginning to become philosophically mature.

  2. Aaron says:

    Chuck, your main obstacle in Montana will be the thousands of Californians who’ve already moved in. Can’t be any worse than Florida is, of course, and will probably be a big step up. I guess Wyoming was just too easy, so God’s sending you to Montana instead.

    Maybe I’ll come visit, though. If you’re going to be where I think you’ll be, that won’t happen until next summer when all the snow’s melted off.

  3. Fortunately, Chuck Baldwin and the Black Regiment are indeed traveling the path to philosophical maturity.

    For example, he immediately included Tom Baugh’s book Starving The Monkeys on his mandatory reading list once we personally requested it.

    Then there was his educational efforts via his 2008 Constitution Party Presidential Campaign.

    Now he continues to put his money where his mouth is by Going Galt and moving from Florida to Montana.

    Plans may well be in the works for his crew to join forces with the Montana Shooting Sports Association, Gary Marbut, Joel Boniek, Mike Fellows, and many others in promoting Sovereignty, FIJA, The Firearms Freedom Act, and supporting Montana folks in their new manufacturing endeavors!

    We’ve got first dibs on serial number ONE of the Chuck Baldwin Montana Sovereign Barrett M82 Frontier Freedom Rifle!

    Tending Wyatt’s Torch and Building Chuck’s Rifles,
    John and Dagny Galt

    .

    • Nathan McMurray says:

      Like I said, I respect this man immensely, voted for him in ’08 and will gladly join him if he begins to make headway. I have reservations about a new nation founded under theistic principles.

      • Aaron says:

        It’s the basis for the Constitution Party, which like the Libertarians, is falling under its own inability to take actual action.

      • dumpdc says:

        OK folks, you’ve had your say about your concerns about theistic governance. I share it. But remember that many of the 1776 colonies…which became sovereign nations…supported the church of their choice. That is what sovereign nations do. Sure they could be secular, and might govern better that way. But that is for the newly minted nation to decide after they secede.
        Russ

  4. Chuck says:

    Russ,
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Mr. Jackson- Your assertions are instantly suspect when you use absolutes like “no” and “always.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Suspect, only if one presuppose the falsity of the Christian worldview, otherwise, no.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    It is entirely possible…and desirable…to be philosophically mature without God answering the tough questions for you.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Again, “Man is finite, and cannot defeat defeaters which may arise from that finitude but about which he doesn’t know.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    What does one do if one does not accept that the Creator revealed Himself in a 66-book Bible that was assembled over a couple thousand years, voted upon by bishops in the 4th Century?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    …all consistent within the entire Christian worldview (the part about the bishops is a caricature)…
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The efforts of many wise men and women find that they can KNOW the character of God, rather than simply BELIEVING what is written by someone who asserts that the text is of divine origin.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The proof of the existence of this self-revelatory God is that without Him, there is no proof of anything. Without Him, there is no foundation for the inductive principle necessary for any human language which might be used to argue against His existence. This is the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I, for one, enjoy a deep meaningful relationship with God without relying on the information provided in the Christian Bible.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    John and Dagny and Nathan and I would all, I suspect, disagree with that, they for their own reasons, and I because in my worldview men “suppress the truth in unrighteousness”(Romans 1.18) without God’s grace which includes His written revelation.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Perhaps you might go back to our Archives and read “He is There and He is Silent.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I would like to have time to do that; I never finished the “for and against Natural Law” article. Here’s hopin’.

    Chuck
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    • dumpdc says:

      Chuck-

      Simply restating your sentences like they are correct no matter what doesn’t do much for me. Your comments argue about the existence of God, and I did not disagree with His existence. I merely disagree that He revealed Himself through a book. And the bishops are not a caricature of anything. It is historical fact that they voted on the canon of Scripture at the Council of Laodicea in 364 AD. And your statement that you disagree that I have a relationship with God extant the scriptures calls me a liar. Of course the Bible says that everything that disagrees with it is “unrighteousness”. What else would anyone expect it to say if it was arguing that it is THE truth? Finally, if you have time to keep this discussion alive, you have time to visit the Archive.
      Russ

      • Chuck says:

        Russ,
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Simply restating your sentences like they are correct no matter what doesn’t do much for me.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        I restated one sentence because you didn’t deal with it.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Your comments argue about the existence of God, and I did not disagree with His existence. I merely disagree that He revealed Himself through a book.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        We disagree about which God exists. The Christian God is self-revelatory. He speaks to us through the Bible. We take it or leave it. But if we leave it, we as finite humans must solve the mind/body problem, the one and the many problem, the problem of induction, etc. without reference to an infinite, personal, self-revelatory God. (This also addresses Aaron.)
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        And the bishops are not a caricature of anything. It is historical fact that they voted on the canon of Scripture at the Council of Laodicea in 364 AD.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~
        This was not an isolated event which was to settle the Christian canon all by itself. It was part of a necessarily lengthy process of God’s people in communication with one another in order to see how God would make good on promises such as, “My sheep hear my voice.” This is very basic, but entirely consistent with the rest of the Christian worldview—true if the Christian God exists.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        And your statement that you disagree that I have a relationship with God extant the scriptures calls me a liar.
        ~~~~~~~~~~
        I’m sorry that I didn’t make it clearer that I was not calling into question your sincerity. I assure you I was not.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Of course the Bible says that everything that disagrees with it is “unrighteousness”. What else would anyone expect it to say if it was arguing that it is THE truth?
        ~~~~~~~~~~
        Of course. Just as you presuppose what you take to be THE truth, even in arguing for it. There is no neutrality; neutrality is a myth. For any human, there are beliefs to which he will cling though every other belief fail him.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Finally, if you have time to keep this discussion alive, you have time to visit the Archive.

        ~~~~~~~~~
        I will finish this discussion first.
        Sincerely,
        Chuck
        I have just noticed that Nathan has chimed in; Nathan, I will get back to you.
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Russ

      • dumpdc says:

        Chuck – I don’t know about you, but I consider this discussion fun.
        RE: The Christian God- I used to believe it, now I’ll leave it, thank you.
        RE: Bishops and Canon- lengthy process, my arse. The canon has not changed since 364 AD. Perhaps you do not know that there were 60 canons voted on and passed at that Council, and they are ALL available for reading. It was ENTIRELY the intent of the bishops to settle the 66 included and 44 excluded books of the Bible at that meeting.
        RE: Neutrality – I do not argue neutrality. But I do not BELIEVE now….I KNOW based upon God’s revelation through His own creation. Knowing trumps believing every time. Hanging onto beliefs and faith in the face of contrary reality and no visible proof of the validity of the beliefs seems counterintuitive.
        RE: God as self-revelatory: I argue that the one God is infinite but not personal. He revealed his character in the creation of all things. At once he is creative, kind, loving, the embodiment of beauty, expansive, abundant and receptive. I now reject the ideas that he requires mankind to jump through silly hoops to achieve “salvation” and avoid “damnation.” The entire compilation of Biblical stories make little sense except as morality tales, but to accept these stories as THE TRUTH or historically factual strains credulity.
        Russ

      • Aaron says:

        Chuck,
        “The Christian God is self-revelatory” in what sense? If you believe the Bible? What about the Jewish God, the God of Islam, etc., etc.? Thor was self-revelatory every time the thunder struck. Perseus was self-revelatory every time a fire was started.

        Sorry, that’s not an argument for Christianity, it’s just a circular bit of b.s. used to pretend to be proof of something.

        The Christian Bible is full of loopholes, inconsistencies, contradictions… Is God the Lord Thy God, Jehovah, Yaweh, or what? All of these gods in the Bible have very different attributes. One is vindictive, destructive, and hateful. Another is jealous and demanding. Yet another is kind, thoughtful, and helpful. One more is some kind of floating ethereal thing that “speaks to our hearts.”

        So which God is it?

        The Bible was written by man. I highly doubt God would craft something so fallible and inconsistent as the Bible.

  5. Aaron says:

    Well, since the discussion has melted into theology, I guess I’ll chime in. I had the good fortune of being raised in a home that was Mormon but that was not located in Mormania (Utah). [/sarcasm]

    Having read the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon (and accompanying works), large portions of the Torah and Koran, and many philosophies of both East and West, I finally came upon the works of Albert Einstein and of Thomas Paine.

    Albert Einstein, probably paraphrasing Alhazeen or Aristotle, described science as the search for God. Thomas Paine explained to me why God wouldn’t be found in the printed works of Man. A general understanding of Eastern philosophy (you’ll find it summed up nicely by Bruce Lee in The Tao of Jeet Kun Do) rounded the whole thing out.

    Without evil, there is no good. Without light, there is no dark. Without emptiness, there can be no full. In short: God and the Devil are the same and must be so, or neither can exist. Lucifer was given his name for a reason, back when theologians contemplated such things.

    Knowing these things, I have come to the understanding that yes, God must exist because I can perceive evil and good in the world. Because He exists, it is my duty to either seek him out (commit acts of good or evil) or attempt to become completely neutral (non-existent).

    There is no logic behind the idea that God would require that I read a specific book, act a specific way, or commit specific acts of worship with or without a middle man (priest). Instead, it seems that He asks only that I decide whether I will be a force for Good or a force for Evil. Most people, unless they work really hard at it, are both, but some manage to tip the scales in one direction or the other.

    This is my view.

  6. Chuck says:

    (I will address Aaron and Russ later, God willing.)

    Nathan,

    Correct. I am not the esteemed Mr. Baldwin, for whom I also voted in ’08.

    On your definition of “philosophical maturity”, you are correct. The Christian Theism is not necessary for philosophical maturity; it is only necessary for philosophical success. This is why philosophy professors tend not to emphasize having a belief system which is actually workable and succeeds in avoiding self-contradiction and arbitrariness; they tend to emphasize “clarity” and “good writing” and “good form.”

    With respect to your four points,

    1) Correct.

    2) Correct except for the “dubious quality” part.

    3) People of every age exhibit such chauvinism with respect to the others. And I disagree with you about turn of the millenium Palestine, if by that you mean Jesus’ time, roughly. I think the means of communication and technology available at that time (e.g. the Roman roads) were far superior to those which existed before. But all this is not the important thing. The important thing is the way in which one’s presuppositions determine the ways in which he or she evaluates evidence. All of this only matters if you presuppose the falsity of Christian Theism. That is where the debate needs to be. If one presuppose the truth of Christian theism, he or she has no problem with the context from which the Scriptures arose.

    4) Incorrect. Christian philosophy includes interaction with all other philosophies.

    What you wrote about diseases, natural disasters, cleansing, and apostasy are unbiblical caricatures.

    But by what standard do you judge Christianity, Nathan? On what foundation do you stand in order to cast judgment? What are your ultimate commitments? You have to believe in something. You can’t doubt everything. Doubting comes to an end.–Wittgenstein

    Chuck

  7. and…because the interwebs have it all…hahaha!

    what we found by dialing this URL:

    http://www.mygodisbetterthanyourgod.com/

    God bless the interwebs…for better or worse…indeed!

    Tending Wyatt’s Torch and Building Chuck’s Rifles,
    John and Dagny Galt

    .

  8. Gentlemen:

    The next step of the dialectic is for all of you to turn around and “argue” the other sides of your previous positions.

    Or…you could explore:

    1. “Is Allah a ‘more mature’ God than YWHW since he wasn’t invented until after 600 A.D.?

    2. Is it polite to accuse others of “philosophical immaturity” without establishing one’s own credentials, or even then?

    3. Is a good explanation for the book of Job that God was younger then and took refuge in “The Devil made me do it?”

    Oh…everybody go read Epictetus. Epictetus is ALWAYS right.

    Nobody asked, but the answer to “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” is “As many as want to and know the steps.”

    • dumpdc says:

      Linda- You have the most delightful brain!
      1. Was Allah invented or just first noticed by Muhomet after 600 AD?
      2. It is never polite to accuse. It is much more polite to ask questions and learn before bellicosity.
      3. I did a spit take with Coke here, but none came out of my nostrils.
      I’ll look up Epictetus.
      Are the steps the Cotton Eye Joe or the Texas Two-step? I wonder if Dear Charles would allow me to whirl you around a dance floor some fine day.
      Russ

  9. Aaron says:

    1. “Allah” is just another name for “God” – only in Arabic. There’s a good chance that many Jews have used the term for their god at one point or another in history.

    2. You said it, Russ.

    3. Coke is another word for Devil. I lived on the stuff in college.🙂 Well, when I couldn’t get Jolt, anyway.

    Epictetus basically believed that fate ruled everything and man could do little to change anything that is outside of himself. In short, he was a fatalist. The Greek version of a Welshman, if you will.🙂

  10. Chuck says:

    (Russ, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Probably tomorrow morning.)

    Aaron,

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Chuck,
    “The Christian God is self-revelatory” in what sense? If you believe the Bible?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Of course. If you presuppose the non-existence of the Christian God, you are not going to believe in His self-revelation.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    What about the Jewish God, the God of Islam, etc., etc.? Thor was self-revelatory every time the thunder struck. Perseus was self-revelatory every time a fire was started.
    Sorry, that’s not an argument for Christianity, it’s just a circular bit of b.s. used to pretend to be proof of something

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    What do you think my argument is, “God reveals himself, therefore He exists”? I don’t know how you would get that. God’s self-revelation is merely a pre-requisite for having a successful philosophy. Without the self-revelation of the right kind of God, man as finite has no way to be sure he knows anything (which is not to claim he doesn’t know anything, that’s another issue); there may in principle be a defeater for finite man’s beliefs about which he doesn’t know.

    But Aaron, how do you criticize, how do you predicate, how do you warrant the inductive principle necessary for the language you use to predicate? On the basis of your arbitrary God = Satan philosophy? You would have to multiply arbitrariness upon arbitrariness in order to predicate the “written-by-man-ness” of the Bible.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Christian Bible is full of loopholes, inconsistencies, contradictions… Is God the Lord Thy God, Jehovah, Yaweh, or what? All of these gods in the Bible have very different attributes. One is vindictive, destructive, and hateful. Another is jealous and demanding. Yet another is kind, thoughtful, and helpful. One more is some kind of floating ethereal thing that “speaks to our hearts.”
    So which God is it?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    All of the *actual* divine attributes in the Bible are those of one and the same God.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Bible was written by man. I highly doubt God would craft something so fallible and inconsistent as the Bible.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You understate your doubt. You have made a commitment to the non-existence of the Christian God (i.e. that Christianity is false) which is immune from revision. It would take an active of divine conversion of your mind to change it. In His place you have put something completely different. It is at that point that you have eliminated the possibility of divine self-revelation (in the Christian sense). You go on from there circularly to conclude that the Bible is not a product of divine self-revelation.

    Sincerely,

    Chuck

    • Aaron says:

      Alright, Chuck, here is the inherent problem in your argument versus the inescapable truth to mine: you presuppose belief before you’ve read the proof, which to you means that what you’ve read (the Bible) is truth. You can’t see the fallacy there? I, on the other hand, presuppose that nothing is truth until proven empirically to be so.

      My proof is based upon simple observation. The kinds of observations that anyone can make at any time without need of any training, learning, or special understanding. No middle man, no special rites, no dogma, and no ability to overlook blatant contradictions. Nature tells me that God exists. The duality of nature (good/evil) tells me that God must also be dual in nature. Doesn’t matter what language you speak, what kind of education you’ve had, etc. Anyone can make these observations by just watching plants and animals for a while and making observations.

      Yet you continue to argue as if there is something wrong with not first assuming the Bible to be true until proven otherwise? You say God, in the Bible, is “all of the divine attributes.” Yet I listed no divine attributes, but instead listed all of the HUMAN attributes attributed to God by the Bible. By the Christian world view, God is nothing more than a petty tyrant who happens to have more power than the rest of us. That’s how the Bible reads to those of us who can be objective about it.

      Here’s my main personal issue with your argument, Chuck, and the reason why I haven’t just told you to go about believing whatever you’d like and leave me out of it: it’s the same argument the Mormons use to guilt their membership into believing the Book of Mormon and related works. Those, too, are full of loopholes and obvious inconsistencies, but members are told that if they read them “seeking understanding” and “with purity in their hearts,” that God will “touch them” with faith and testimony that what they are reading is the truth. Inferring that if you don’t feel God’s touch, you are somehow inferior or unworthy. Therefore most members magically feel the touch. Or face ostracism.

      When I walked away, I was only a teenager, but was severely punished and criticized for my decision. When I attempted to argue fact or logic, I was instead met with name-calling and abuse. I was called (by adults, mind you) everything from “lost” to a “masturbater” and worse. Members of my own family questioned my loyalty and some of my friends were told not to hang around with me because I was a “bad influence.”

      Now you are attempting to tell me that I’m somehow mentally inferior or unable to grasp your holy screed because I am not willing to approach the Bible as self-revelation of the Word of God.

      Sorry, Chuck. I’ve had this argument dozens of times with many practitioners of various Judeo-Christian faiths.

      Amazingly, of all of the laymen, priests, ministers, etc. I’ve argued with in this way, only one, so far, has been willing to attempt a logical argument based on actual self-evidence (meaning no Book required, just what’s around us all the time, for anyone to observe). That person had the purest Christian understanding I’ve ever seen and even agreed with me that the Bible probably wasn’t the literal Word of God.

      He was a Jehovah’s Witness. He’s since left his religion and practices a one-on-one relationship with God, no middle man required. We trade phone calls occasionally. He’s a philosophical giant and understands, at a pure level, much more deeply than I.

  11. John and Dagny Galt says:

    [sarcasm]
    Our Gods can kick your gods asses…and we’ve got the nukes to prove it…and we’ve turned cities to ashes to prove it…repeatedly…shock and awe, indeed!
    [/sarcasm]

    Also, with reference to philosophical maturity…it is complete when one dishes out to others, the same exact dish they serve to themselves.

    Cyanide anyone?

    Tending Wyatt’s Torch and Building Chuck’s Rifles,
    John and Dagny Galt

    .

  12. Chuck says:

    Russ,
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chuck – I don’t know about you, but I consider this discussion fun.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Yes, when I have time to keep up with it, my friend.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    RE: The Christian God- I used to believe it, now I’ll leave it, thank you.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Well, as I said, if we leave it, we as finite humans must solve the mind/body problem, the one and the many problem, the problem of induction, etc. without reference to an infinite, personal, self-revelatory God. And, like Aaron, you have an arbitrary philosophy. You seem to think you can know without believing. But knowledge is warranted true belief. And when you go on to argue from your position, I have to ask the questions I asked Aaron: how do you criticize, how do you predicate, how do you warrant the inductive principle necessary for the language you use to predicate? You have no warrant, you are just piling arbitrariness upon arbitrariness.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    RE: Bishops and Canon- lengthy process, my arse. The canon has not changed since 364 AD.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I was talking about the lengthy process leading up to the late fourth century.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    RE: Neutrality – I do not argue neutrality. But I do not BELIEVE now….I KNOW
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    See my comment above.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    based upon God’s revelation through His own creation.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I agree with that. You, I, and everyone know God. “For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1.19, 20)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Knowing trumps believing every time. Hanging onto beliefs and faith in the face of contrary reality and no visible proof of the validity of the beliefs seems counterintuitive.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I agree. But the Scriptures including Romans 1 make it clear that everything, visible and invisible, reveals God. Facts are not brute. Facts are theory-bound. God has pre-interpreted every fact, and we are to “think God’s thought’s after Him.” Continuing in Romans 1, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.” (Ro 1.21, 22) You, I, and everyone know facts, but only because we know God. And it is the infinite, personal, sovereign, and self-revelatory God that we know. And we need to honor Him and give thanks to Him. Without Him there would be no foundation for induction, no language, no predication. We could not be having this discussion.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    RE: God as self-revelatory: I argue that the one God is infinite but not personal.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Just curious: Why do you use personal pronouns when referring to him?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    He revealed his character in the creation of all things. At once he is creative, kind, loving, the embodiment of beauty, expansive, abundant and receptive. I now reject the ideas that he requires mankind to jump through silly hoops to achieve “salvation” and avoid “damnation.” The entire compilation of Biblical stories make little sense except as morality tales, but to accept these stories as THE TRUTH or historically factual strains credulity.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Such interpretations are governed by one’s presuppositions. And the precondition of human experience (language, etc.) is an infinite, personal, sovereign,…, self-revelatory God of Scripture. And he has revealed that in order for we and our philosophies to be saved, we must, in faith, submit our presuppositions to Him. If we don’t, we are “without excuse.” (Ro 1.20)
    Sincerely,
    Chuck
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Russ

    • dumpdc says:

      Chuck- We will have to agree to disagree at this point. You are not convincing me and I have no real interest in convincing you. I certainly accept happily God’s existence. I do no longer accept that he spent thousands of years “revealing himself” to isolated individuals, some of whom did not even write about their alleged interactions with this God…or Jesus…until decades later. To consider the sweep of the Bible’s themes is to see a spoiled brat Deity who will love you one minute and kill you later, possessing the worst of human foibles. To consider the sweep of the Bible’s themes is to see a Deity that chooses intricate, complicated games stacked against most of humanity…all tied to some system that you must believe in stuff you can’t see or can’t prove, all while that same Bible tells you that it alone is THE TRUTH.

      Bringing this discussion to an end, I make this comment: The Creator God I KNOW…not the same God in the Bible…has the ability to reveal Himself (by the way, I’ll use “herself” if you like…even “itself”, but Himself is a literary term) to all humans individually or collectively. If He chose to do that, all religion would become worthless instantly. But for whatever reason, he has not chosen to be the big face in the sky. But there is enough “evidence that demands a verdict” (Josh McDowell) in creation to convince man of both His existence and His character. I’ll KNOW the provable stuff. You keep believing the unprovable stuff that requires faith…the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Eventually, we’ll both find out who is right.
      Russ

  13. […] H. on a pogo stick!  Speaking of Jesus, someone tried to tell me (over on DumpDC) that God is self-evident because the Bible is self-evident, but only if you believe in the Bible […]

  14. Nathan McMurray says:

    Hey Russ, sorry about this post devolving into religious nonsense, i guess it is still a very touchy subject. For the record, I would happily accept a country based on deist principles, as long as those principles weren’t used to force morality (with no “deist bible” that doesn’t seem very likely). Love the site, love the discussions.
    Thanks

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