No Twitchy. I Am Not Celebrating

Would I celebrate a redefinition of marriage because it’s two conservatives? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many of you know that politically, I’m a conservative. I would say on that spectrum, I’m somewhere to the right of Rush Limbaugh. Normally, Twitchy has been a favorite site to go to to see some of the hilarity that can take place on Twitter. Yesterday was not one of those days. While Allie had an appointment, I was sitting in a waiting room and I get an update. Conservatives celebrate the marriage of two gay conservative men. (And it’s lovely!)

This has to be a parody. Right? I mean, there has to be some joke I’m missing.

No. There wasn’t.

The whole idea was a narrative had been busted. Here were two homosexuals who were conservatives marrying and fellow conservatives were celebrating. See! Conservatives don’t really oppose the redefinition of marriage! We’re celebrating homosexuals marrying!

That’s just ludicrous really. It would be like saying I oppose two atheists getting married, but I will celebrate when two Christians get married. I celebrate marriage the way it is and the way that every culture has seen it since the dawn of history. I do not celebrate an artificial creation of the state.

You see, if you’re a conservative, one of the things you want is limited government. Government is put there largely to help keep evil in check, but if it extends its power too much, it can become the evil. Should we really think that we have the power to redefine marriage to make it be whatever we want it to be?

I mean, there are people who say it’s fine because there are two consenting adults, but if we can make this change, why not the others? Why does it have to be two? Why does it have to be adults? Why does it have to be consent? (And if we get rid of consent, does rape qualify as some kind of marriage?) Now as soon as you say that marriage requires X, then you are saying that marriage is something and that something cannot be changed.

What has happened here is that the state has made an artificial creation and called it marriage. What is the result? For one thing, it changes the rules for everyone else. It means that every other marriage relationship is on par with a union of two men or two women. These relationships give the same benefit to society that a man/woman marriage does, but they don’t. One obvious reason? These relationships can never naturally produce children. They will require heterosexual activity for that.

Furthermore, with this change, the government will be in charge of this and defending this. If the government says it is true and some people resist, then we are in essence enemies of the state. Someone who is wanting to follow their conscience and not serve a homosexual ceremony can be forced into bankruptcy because they could not bring themselves to do what they think is wrong. These people have been happy to serve them on any other occasion and glad to refer them to someone else. It’s already started in America. Why should I think it won’t get worse?

Will we get to a day where someone who says that homosexuality is a sin is brought before the government for a crime? We could even grant the person is wrong for the sake of the argument, but that is their freedom of speech and of religion at that point. Why should we sacrifice that?

I have no doubt that we will get to this day. I know of some liberals who say they want no “tolerance” for the right. It was a great virtue when they were not in the favor of the state, but now that they are getting there, it is becoming less and less of a virtue. We’re getting to the point where someone can be penalized because they didn’t use a gender the person identifies with for that day.

The cry raised up here is that this is a theocracy, but it’s not. It’s simply remaining in line with human tradition for a few thousand years and there is no new major information I know of that has led to any justification for a major change. It also does not mean going and criminalizing homosexual behavior.

So Twitchy, I am not celebrating. I do not want to see the state give more power and infringe upon the freedom of the majority of the people due to a decision to think we have the power to change a metaphysical reality. I will stick with celebrating marriage as it has been seen for thousands of years.

Someone alert me when Twitchy becomes conservative again.

In Christ,
Nick Peters


Book Plunge: Aquinas and Modern Science

What do I think of Gerard Verschuuren’s book published by Angelico Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

What did Aquinas know about modern science. Very little no doubt. If you asked Aquinas his opinions on general relativity, he would not know what you were talking about. What about the Big Bang Theory? What about evolution? Oh he would know some basic ideas of what we call physics and such today, but this was a man who was a monk and lived when people thought the Earth was the center of the universe. What hath Aquinas to do with modern science?

Quite a lot actually.

You see, part of the problem is we enter into the discussion thinking often that science is the supreme field. Why not? It’s what’s been ingrained into us. “People in the past today believed in miracles, but we know that they didn’t happen. We live in a world of science.” If you want an expert on any subject for a TV show, bring in a scientist. A scientist is automatically assumed to be the beacon of knowledge and wisdom.

None of this is meant as anti-science. Many scientists are no doubt very knowledgeable and wise people. The problem is that science has its limits. Bring it out of its area and put it where it has no business and it does a lot of damage. Much of the problems in discussions about science today are not so much about the data as they are the metaphysics behind the data.

That’s a dirty word today. Metaphysics is often seen as “Studying things that are nonsense” or just a catch-all term for “the supernatural” or something of that sort. Those who mock metaphysics though have their own metaphysics that they are doing, and it’s quite normally a bad one in that case. Metaphysics is the study of being as being. How does existence work and function?

All that is science is a part of this existence and so Aquinas, the great metaphysician, has something to say. He can’t tell you about evolution, but he can tell you about substances and potential and change. He can’t tell you about the Big Bang Theory, but he can tell you about potential and actuality. He can’t tell you about DNA, but he can tell you about formal, material, efficient, final, instrumental, and exemplar causes.

If we study science with all of those in mind, then Aquinas can believe it or not shed a lot of light. Thankfully, Verschuuren has written a great book on this. The knowledge he brings is highly impressive. He has a great love of Aquinas and familiarity with him and his metaphysics, yet also looks to be highly read in the scientific literature.

But isn’t Aquinas’s view all about faith? Not at all. Faith and reason were not opposed to Aquinas. He would say that there are things known by revelation and things known without, but we must never make the two contradict. While Aquinas did believe the Earth was the center of the universe, he was going with the science of his time. If he thought the science today was overwhelming, he would also agree with that.

Verschuuren gives us an introduction to the metaphysics that is simple enough for the layman to understand. My only puzzle here was when talking about causes why the instrumental cause was left out. I consider this one highly important to understanding many cosmological debates and such, but it seemed to be forgotten.

While many will see a war between science and religion, Aquinas would not. What about evolution? If it is true, Aquinas would have no problem. Evolution is one thing becoming something else. It is not nothing becoming something, which is entirely different.

There is also the question of areas like neurology and such. How does the brain work? What about the mind-body problem? Aquinas has something to say in each case. Even something like NDEs receive something from Aquinas.

Finally, what about government? Here, Aquinas might have some more experience. What would Aquinas say about our constitutional freedoms today? What would he say about the role of money in our culture? What would he say about our rights?

I leave Aquinas’s positions for the readers to find in this book that should be read. Today, scientists are trying to understand our world by looking through telescopes and microscopes and other such tools, which they should do. Maybe they should look through old Aquinas as well and see if they can bring out treasures of old instead of just new.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

A Response To “Jesus Was A Liberal”

Does the Bible show a liberal Jesus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I don’t often go into political ideas here, but when it comes to Scripture, I’m more likely to make an exception. I am a conservative up front, yet I found this page I saw through Facebook recently quite troubling. It was a lot of the bad reading of Scripture that I’ve expected to see and the sad part is I’m sure the authors think it’s totally convincing as do many of the readers.

So let’s get into it. Will I as a Christian right-winger hate these twenty verses? Let’s find out.

“Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” John 13:16.

What we are told is that Christian right-wingers like to have class distinctions. After all, we favor stealing from the poor and giving to the rich and forget the middle class. Well, no. Jesus is not saying anything about a classless society. In fact, in the very passage, he says it is right that his disciples call Him Lord and Master. In the same way that He is their Lord and Master, they ought also to serve one another.

Something people on the left regularly seem to get incorrect is the idea of intent. They think that if they have good intentions, then the results will be good. Conservatives don’t see that. We realize that the road to hell can be paved with good intentions. We’re not interested in where someone’s heart is when they come up with a plan to help the poor. We’re interested in if it works.

LBJ’s war on poverty has been going on for fifty years. It has not been working. We need something different.

As for government programs, my wife and I have to rely on some of those right now due to her disability. I don’t like that. Neither does she. I’m one of the poor spoken of, and I’m a conservative because policies of the left only make it harder for us. The right doesn’t want to give me the same outcome as everyone else. They want to give me the same opportunity. I’d rather have that.

Next one is this passage.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2

We all knew this one would show up. Of course, the writer of the piece then goes on to complain about the attitudes of Christians towards anyone who isn’t a rich white male. Naturally, the author can’t help but make a judgment about those she disagrees with. Jesus is making a statement about judging without evidence. Hypocritical judging is the problem.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Luke 6:41.

Of course, the anti-judgmental writer wants us to realize that we talk about the sanctity of marriage, but go on to cheat on our spouses and seek gay sex and other such things. Well to be fair, yes. There are hypocrites out there. How does that prove the idea is wrong? It doesn’t. As for myself, the writer can rest assured by listening to those who know me that I am a man who honors my wife and does not cheat on her or anything like that. In fact, I have said that if the world does not honor the sanctity of marriage, it’s because the church helped lead the way.

So no. Once again, this is not a verse I hate.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9

The writer uses this to show how conservatives are the first to go to war. Well sometimes, we think war is a necessary evil. The Old Testament that Jesus believed in and affirmed contained many examples of righteous warriors. No one should like war. No one should delight in war, but unfortunately not every evil person out there responds to peace and love. Sometimes restoring the peace means eliminating those who war against it.

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26

This is supposed to make Jesus look like a hippie, but conservatives oppose government aid. Well not necessarily. Even a number of conservatives have no problem with a safety net. I don’t. We should be able to help those who through tragedy have fallen on hard times. Of course, I do think that larger responsibility should go to the church.

What Jesus is talking about is living in a society where you lived from day to day. There weren’t grocery stores where you could buy food in bulk and refrigerators where it could be hold. You also didn’t have safety-deposit boxes at your bank to make sure nothing happened to your wealth. In this case, a person was to trust on God, but at the same time there is no call to stop working.

Many people on the left look at how many people are being cared for and consider that a success. I don’t. I consider it a success when we take someone who has fallen and empower them so that they no longer need our support. More people needing support indicates more of a problem.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7

Somehow, this is meant to show we have a war on women. Actually, I think people who are pro-abortion are really engaging in a war on women. Something that makes women unique is their ability to give birth. Destroying the baby in the womb (Which could about 50% of the time be a woman being killed by the way) is a way of going against the femininity of the woman. I really think the author is making a major stretch with this one.

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 1 John 3:17

The writer asks us how we can see the verse and not support programs that give government aid and support tax cuts for the rich. It’s really simple. We don’t think many of these programs work and they in fact only enable what we don’t want to see. We think the war on poverty has been a failure and just throwing money at a problem won’t solve it. We believe the rich are the ones who can invest the most in society and when we enable them to do that, the economy is built up. Note also that this is about individuals giving to those in need. It’s not about having the government do it.

Suppose you are a rich person and I come and rob you at gunpoint, take all your money, and give it all to a homeless shelter. Have I committed a crime? Yes. You can say I did something good with the money, but I still did something wrong. I didn’t give my money. I gave yours. It’s just as wrong when the government does it as when we do it.

What is noble is if you’re that rich person and you give that money to the homeless shelter. It is not noble to take money from others and give it away and claim you’re a person of charity. That is a way of saying you can do whatever you want as long as you have good intentions.

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. Matthew 9:35

How does this one work? Well since Jesus healed diseases, we should support government health-care. Yeah. It’s a major stretch. Jesus gave freely of himself. Government health care is not doing that. We freely admit we have a problem, but the solution is not to look to the government to be our savior. I favor other options such as allowing states to compete with one another for health care. Let people compete with one another.

In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Matthew 23:28

This is said to describe conservatives to a T. Let me just remind the writer that she earlier pointed to Matthew 7:1-2. Apparently, she’s allowed to do it but no one else is.

14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves,and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” John 2:14-16.

Ah. Now we see what makes Jesus really angry. Capitalism! Yes. It wasn’t seeing people living in oppression under Rome. It wasn’t seeing sin all around him. It wasn’t knowing that people were sick and demon-possessed. It was that capitalism! Nothing gets Jesus angry like capitalism! (You know, the Jesus that according to Luke 8:1-3 was supported by wealthy women)

No. Jesus’s anger here was quite likely because this area of the temple was a holy spot meant for worship and it was instead being used a marketplace. Jesus didn’t oppose a marketplace. He instead opposed having a place for worship become a place for making money. There are better places for that.

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:24

Why is it this way? Because the rich often think they don’t need anything more and think they already have the favor of God. The ministry of Jesus changed this. The early church did consist of people who were wealthy and they were never told to sell all they have and give it all away. They would often use their wealth for the good of the community still, such as allowing their houses to serve as churches. We should all be wary of the love of money and watch ourselves from it, but having money is not a sin. It is a sin when the money has you.

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40.

Yes. We are to love our neighbor, therefore we should support redefining marriage and anti-poverty programs. I’ve already said why we don’t support the latter. The former we don’t support because we don’t think there’s any behavior there we should celebrate and affirm. We in fact think we’re in line with Jesus who upheld the moral standards of the Old Testament and in Matthew 19, said that God made us male and female and then said the two shall become one flesh. Note which two he spoke of. He spoke of male and female.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:5.

Of course, the writer wants to compare us to the Pharisees again. Note this is the same writer who emphasized Matthew 7:1-2. No further reply is needed.

If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. Matthew 12:7

Jesus did preach mercy, but the writer wants us to ask why we ban abortion and seek the death penalty and want to charge children as adults in crimes. The writer apparently didn’t notice the last part. Let’s look at it.

“Condemned the innocent.”

What crime did the baby in the womb commit to deserve death, other than existing at the wrong place and time? For the death penalty, that is for people who are guilty. It would need to be someone beyond a shadow of a doubt. For children as adults, it’s because many times they are old enough to know what they’re doing and committing crimes of a far more serious nature.

Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:16

We’re told that because of this, we should not seek to cut programs that give food to the poor. It would probably blow this author’s mind that a researcher like Arthur Brooks found that conservatives actually give more of their income away to charity than do liberals. We have no problem with helping the poor. We have a problem with helping them in ways that don’t work.

Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. Luke 11:46

The writer wants to thank the GOP for cutting programs that help the poor. As someone who is among the poor, I do not support these programs designed to help. Usually, they come with so many conditions that it’s hard to get away. I also do not support a minimum wage increase at all. That only makes things more expensive for me. I understand the left likely has their heart in the right place, but good intentions are not enough. If the program doesn’t work, scrap it.

But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48

Yes, and we agree with this. We don’t force the rich to give to the poor, but we think it would be wonderful if they did. If they don’t, then God will give take them to account. It is not right for us to commit theft in the name of a good. Those who are conservative and have wealth should indeed lead by example.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28.

The writer points to how we don’t raise the minimum wage to help with cost of living. Unfortunately, the minimum wage does not help. If it worked, it would have already done so. We have to keep raising it. Why? Because it creates more expenses. Suppose you are an employer. You can hire one of two people. One is an entry-level guy with no experience. The other is a guy with experience. Odds are you go with the one with experience.

If you had more resources, you could hire both, but you can’t because the government has forced you to do it this way. Therefore, people who need those jobs, entry level people, cannot get those jobs. They require then more often government aid. That means higher taxes. Higher taxes in turn leads to things being more expensive which in turn leads to a demand that the minimum wage go up.

Let the economy do its own thing. Stay out of it. It will work.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:34-40

Once again we have the same mistake. Since the poor should be helped, the way to do it is through the government. No. The way to do it is to have people give of themselves. Theft is theft regardless of who does it or why.

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ Matthew 25:41-43

Finally, we end with this as a reminder about how we should find religion for the above. I would instead suggest the writer finds some good material on Biblical exegesis. This is all a fine example of how not to read the Bible and it’s like she thinks we’ve never read the Bible before. We have. Perhaps the writer should start by really reading it herself.

In Christ,
Nick Peters


Some Thoughts For The Election Year

What should we remember when we go to the polls? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’ve made it a point to not really comment on the election this year. I have an interest in politics, but not enough to be an authority in that area and frankly, I’m not really motivated strongly enough to fully support a candidate. For all wanting my position overall, I am decidedly conservative. That is in on fiscal issues as well as on social issues.

I have heard some commentators who are wanting us to vote Republican saying that this could be our last chance in this country. Now truly, I think we should be concerned for the well-being of our country. I also do think we should try to vote wisely and get in elected officials that we think are more likely to do what it is that is good for this country. We should not hold back on our political duty to vote.

The problem today is we live in a country where we have many issues with the morality that we see all around us, such as the redefinition of marriage by the Supreme Court last year. We live in a country where we are hearing about school shootings and violence on a regular basis. We live in a country where we are facing economic problems and our national debt rises consistently.

My fear in all of this is that the more we say we have to vote to change all of this, is that maybe we’re going to the wrong place. Again, I’m not saying don’t vote. By all means do so. You should. I am asking what will it take to turn this country around?

If we compare ourselves with the Roman Empire, the early church did not have the freedom to vote for the new Caesar. Whatever government came into power, they had to live under that government anyway, and while we can think our government is getting tougher on Christians, they haven’t done anything like regularly slaughtering us yet.

And this is the government that the early Christians not only survived, but eventually overcame. This was done without a sword. It was done without a mass election. It was done one way.

The church was being the church.

The leaders at the time were standing up to the government and letting them know what the Christians believed and why. When heretics rose up in the church, they were being dealt with. Note this also means the church was just as much facing opposition from within and from without. That we have so many copies of the NT shows how seriously the church was taking the text. After all, copying did not come cheap.

It amazes me that so many of my fellow conservatives who want to keep saying government is not the answer think that if the wrong person gets elected, then it’s game over for America. If you want to see your country be better off, be the church. The government is not called to be salt and light. You are.

After all, for we Christians, our ultimate Caesar is Jesus. Live in a way that you show people why He’s not just your savior, but also the rightful king of this world. Have the intellectual backing for what you believe, the emotional passion to care about it, and the practical living out of it in a world that denies Christ.

This is your responsibility after all. Otherwise, you’re just blaming it all on the government. As Christians, we should not be surprised when those without God live like they are without God. What we should be scandalized by is that those who say they have God live the exact same way.

Do your duty and vote, but do your Christian duty and be the church.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

God’s Authority Outranks Government’s

How does one interact with government if Jesus is King? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

The following is an article that I wrote for the local newspaper in my monthly column.

In my last column I wrote about the gospels as campaigns with Jesus as king. What does that mean for the American political scene if Jesus is king? We are often told to render unto Caesar, but does that mean what we think it means, or have we imbibed some modern ideas into our thinking that are foreign to the 1st-century text?

In our enlightened time, it is common to think of the “world of faith” and the “world of reality” as separate. You can have your Christianity, but just make sure you compartmentalize it. Don’t bring it with you into the political sphere. Just keep it at home and go to church on Sunday and don’t interfere with education.

The Christian can have none of this. If Christ is Lord, He is Lord of everything. Jesus came on the scene essentially challenging Caesar. It was what British scholar and historian N.T. Wright called “fighting words.” Herod knew what Jesus was claiming. The priests in power knew it. Caesar would have known it as well. Jesus was claiming kingship.

Enlightenment thinking has said that faith belongs to a world above while man will rule the world down here. Now in essence, man has long ruled the world down here. Until the day when God is recognized universally as king, he has allowed men, even sometimes wicked men, to rule so there will be some order and justice.

Secularism, meanwhile, has decided that the old systems of the past must be rebuilt, and so we see an attack on everything the church has held to be sacred — be it Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox — throughout the ages. Any hint of religion is being removed to form a secular state, even now to the point where life in the womb has been killed and the world seeks to redefine marriage itself. The secular machine is on the march and is destroying all in its path under the label of “tolerance.”

What is a Christian to do? In a voting society, a Christian is certainly allowed to vote with what he believes to be true. A Muslim, an atheist and a Jew should all have the same right. If you think something is true, why should you compartmentalize it away from reality? Of course, I also hope more Christians would educate themselves on reality to get more than just “the Bible says” as to why they hold a certain moral stance. Our own Bibles tell us that moral truths are known apart from scripture and we need to be able to establish those moral truths, and if we can use the weapons of the enemy against them (weapons, by the way, that come from the Christian church and have been hijacked), then all the better.

Secularism has been tearing down the fences that have been built without asking G.K. Chesterton’s question: “Why were they put up in the first place?” Yet too many of us know that when man seeks to expel God from the world, he will have to put something in God’s place, and usually that something will be a mirror. If man thinks he has no authority that is greater than him that he is subservient to, then we can expect that his true colors will be revealed. If any doctrine of Christianity will be established then, as it can be today easily enough by watching the evening news, it will be that of original sin.

How do we follow Jesus’s advice, then? We give Caesar what is his due, but make sure we do the exact same with God, and keep in mind that God is a higher authority than Caesar. We are by no means to take up arms and seek to destroy Caesar that way, but we are also not to lie down and do absolutely nothing when Caesar comes after us. We must make our stand today and state that we are people of the true king of this Earth and seek to further the time when his rule will be completely realized on the Earth.

In Christ,
Nick Peters