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Posts By Donald Schanzenbach


The Problem with Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories & Gossip When nations gossip we often call it a conspiracy. Sometimes the conspiracy sounds plausible but others are so absurd that you just have to wonder how any rational person could believe such nonsense. Often, the plot is so complex and the number of people involved so large that you have to throw out everything we know about human nature to believe the story we are told. After all, the Scriptures do assert that we are prone to gossip. It is a sin God warns us about more than once, presumably because we needed that warning. And. . . Read more »

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Why Big Government Can’t Save Us

What Does the Bible Say About Big Government? In writing this column I had to choose which of many good ways to fulfill this assignment. I had to think through what might be the best way to approach the subject RC asks me to address. What Scripture applies? How can I avoid stretching a passage just to fill the necessary word count? What did God actually say and how should that word be applied? Proverbs on Work & Wealth Writing about why the state cannot save us is not like that. The Bible is full of reasons why the state. . . Read more »

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God’s Providence Gives Hope

God’s Providence When it Looks Hopeless There is a lot of fear out there over what the government will do next. Will we be taxed insensible? Will our guns and gold be seized? Will homeschooling remain legal? Must we obtain more registrations and numbers from the central government? Are the banks going bankrupt? Will the dollar devalue into uselessness? Things look very grim. But we are already taxed insensible, gold was already seized once (in 1933), homeschooling has often been treated as illegal, we already have a universal government registration number, the banks have been essentially bankrupt for decades, the. . . Read more »

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Is Humanist Philosophy Circling the Drain?

Do you find humanistic philosophy really crazy and pointless? Are you, like me, convinced of the seeming uselessness of humanistic philosophy? Humanists for several hundred years have explored every avenue of possible thought attempting to find higher truth. They pursue metaphysical questions seeking access to that universe by means of things that are seen. Their quest has proven to be useless, for the phenomenal world, by its nature, can shed no light on the neumenal realm. Studying the stars or the atoms will never unlock truth about the existence or nature of God. It will never show us what is. . . Read more »

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What about separation of church and state?

Written: October 2011 As we gyrate through the pre-election candidates’ masquerade event, we glimpse bits of the guests’ secret faces and wonder about their closeted pasts.  Shhh-did you hear? Oh, sorry, careful, but anyway her husband councils people queerly, and, yes, I am certain now, the dancer in the cowboy boots sponsored an event with public prayer – Jesus and everything. Of course you’re shocked dear. We all are. Ooof, whose foot did I just step on? It’s those dominionists I tell you, they’re the ones forcing their churchy noses into everybody’s business. Why can’t they just stay in their. . . Read more »

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The Mighty Hand of God

There are a few rare days when we find a glimpse of God’s raw character, His fearsome majesty, His rule in every detail, His mighty hand and out stretched arm as our forefathers in the faith referred. At those moments we know we have seen not only the arm of God but something more. Yesterday was a difficult day. Everything went bad on top of everything going bad. It was out of my hands. People are cruel. Not always surely. Yet yesterday seemed like a cruel day as every moment unfolded. It was a rare conglomeration of ugly and strange. . . Read more »

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Busted

I have been reading about the many states that are in the red on their budgets. The number is now at 46 states that are borrowing money every day just to keep doing what they do. There are only four states living within their means (Alaska, Arkansas, North Dakota, and Montana). Along with all this accumulating debt there is also an endless list of counties and cities that are wheezing  financially. The county in which I live was in debt over $140,000,000 last I heard. Besides all this there are scores of municipalities that have spent away the retirement funds. . . Read more »

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Covenant: Building Block of Christian Nations

Covenantal Government in Early America I was reading the Mayflower Compact (Covenant) this week. The Compact formed the first civil government by Europeans coming to America. It was written and signed in 1620 by the Pilgrims before they got off the ship. This was the start of American Christian governance. While short, the Compact does carry several references to it being a covenant. It was not called a constitution, a charter, a Bill of Rights, or any of the other titles we might associate with modern western style governments. It was a Compact which in the language of the time was. . . Read more »

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Kings and Tyrants

Kings and tyrants may seem a peculiar topic now at the beginning of the 21st century. After all, America has never had a king and the despotic and bloody tyrants, well, weren’t they rulers of other countries? We elect presidents here. No kings or tyrants we can see. What brought the topic to mind however, is that I have begun to notice disparate voices literally calling for the return of earthly kings “…We were also musing – on Bastille Day – on why monarchy was not such a bad system of government, after all. At least, Louis 16th was less sensitive to. . . Read more »

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Obamacare and the Good Samaritan

Written in 2012   The giant news all week was the hearings before the Supreme Court over the Obamacare health plan. Twenty-seven states sued to have the mandated insurance program overturned. It was the government’s contention that everyone must somehow have health insurance and that the government should be the entity deciding the nature and limits of that care. The states pushed back, asserting the feds had no such power to make people buy health insurance, and that the proposed government system is in fact unconstitutional. Amidst all the articles, arguments, and buzzing buzz this week I rarely heard any. . . Read more »

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Milquetoast Men in a Milquetoast Church

Blessed be the Lord my God, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle wrote David in Psalm 144. What a Godly and righteous sentiment. More than a sentiment, it is a recognition of how God often works in the life of a righteous man. I have not seen these kinds of statements written about the female heroes in Scripture. The men however, are often presented as fighters. This is disconcerting in its political incorrectness. It is also disturbing to many in the church who seem to believe that the main point of the Christian life is to. . . Read more »

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Gardening and THE Gardener

Learning from Our Garden It is early May here in the Appalachians, in southwest Virginia. Everything is green. The lawn is mowed twice, could have been thrice, already. When you live in the wilderness every year is partially taken with chopping, hewing, burning the ever accumulating vegetation that abounds faster than you can whack it down. There is enough winter here to stop the machine for a few months, but by mid-March the weedy bounty has come to full bloom. We have a large greenhouse about twenty-five yards from the house, and some raised beds up on the hill above.. . . Read more »

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Biblical Plan for Representative Government

As we approach the Fourth of July holiday, celebrating the birth of our American Republic, I am reminded of the greater republic which preceded and helped to inspire ours. This is not just idle babble either. Rather, it is the re-introduction of Biblical ideas that we desperately need to bring back to rebuild the civil government. This is no small thing, nor is it a futile dream that has no chance. It is, in fact, the fulfillment of God’s own revealed plan for human government in the nations. It is a wedge, a fine Christian, Biblical, wedge, that ought to. . . Read more »

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Income Tax Debates

Written 2010 Republicans & Democrats Talk Taxes The fight is on to decide if the American people will pay more in income taxes in 2011. Our congressional leaders are busy positioning themselves right and left. Some say they want no more tax increases of any kind while others are saying we ought to tax the rich another bite. Taxes are an endless topic in popular politics so I suppose tax talk will be a recurring theme here. The good news is that the Bible has a lot to say on the subject so we never have to just guess it. . . Read more »

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Babies Are Murdered Here

The spectacle of the Kermit Gosnell trial has captured the attention of quite a lot of Americans these past few weeks. At first the major news outlets refused to air the story but eventually they were shamed into talking about this sordid case. We have been dragged (shall we say) kicking and screaming through the gates of Hades to gawk at the horrors now laid bare. There we discovered again the masterful, beguiling language of the ultimate Evil Genius being worked toward its usual destructive ends. We found that “suctioning pieces” meant pulling off arms and legs of an unborn. . . Read more »

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Hope in Difficult Times

There is a lot of fear out there over what our government will do next. Will we be taxed insensible? Will our guns and gold be seized? Will homeschooling remain legal? Must we obtain more registrations and numbers from the central government? Are the banks going bankrupt? Will the dollar devalue into uselessness? Things have never looked so grim. But wait—we are already taxed insensible, gold was already seized once (in 1933), homeschooling has often been treated as illegal, we already have a universal government registration number, the banks have been essentially bankrupt for decades (although they have been keeping. . . Read more »

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Easter—Crossbeams, Elbows & Missed Meaning

It is Holy Week, and this season, always grabs me by surprise. The word of its coming blows past my unlistening ears carried away on winds of hurry, work, and inattention. The days approach, but my soul may be prepared—unprepared. How precisely, does one prepare for the greatest solemn gift without somehow diminishing its value? Does analyzing facts prepare the heart? Do studies of the methods and means of crucifixion transfix our eyes in studied loss of the mightier truth? We so often shift our focus. Crossbeams & Elbows As Resurrection Day approaches the radio blares attempts at holy, only. . . Read more »

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Idolatrous Patriotism

What is Patriotism? Patriotism seems to have a distinctive meaning. It is difficult to think of a synonym. For instance, ‘loyalty’ does not exactly capture the heart of what patriotism is. Love of country is closer, but, ‘love of country’ is not one word and so cannot be a synonym for anything (Do I have my English correct here? I think I do). Patriotism may be better understood by living among the people of a land, loving what they love and hating what they hate. Nobody believes their country is right all the time but almost everybody thinks themselves patriotic. . . Read more »

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The Return of Christendom

Waiting for the End There is a lot of wailing right now about the coming crash, the mid-east spoiling for war, Israel at battle stations, and the general unwinding of the American system. There are a whole lot of my evangelical brethren who believe we are at the end of the age. Not just the end of politics as we know them but the end of the entire book of history. There is a sense of desperation on the nerve as of those without hope, or of men who believe their end is branded in time with prophetic surety. Churchmen. . . Read more »

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Christian Liberty and The Unmanned Drone

“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings” Psalm 17:8 Rand Paul’s grand filibuster speech this week pointed up the concerns many of us have about the growing fleets of drones being operated by agencies of government at every level. It seems the governments find it almost impossible to understand why citizens are worried. For the people who operate these machines these are simply a natural extension of their existing practices and philosophy. To the citizens, these new spy tools are another extension of an already over-grown state enterprise that seeks to. . . Read more »

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A Biblical Response to Climate Change

Super Storm Sandy, Katrina, western drought, northern snow records, have all been supposed evidence of global climate change. With every troubling weather event we are informed with dire assertions and breathless prophetic assurances that surely, we are seeing the hand of omnipotent nature slapping us again for our infractions against the planet. Have we angered Gaia? Has evolution brought us to our diminishing demise as we pollute our way into oblivion? Will our species die as the planet is throttled by man’s strings of environmental malfeasance? The ice packs are melting and the oceans are rising and, still, here we. . . Read more »

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Is the Drug War a Second Prohibition?

The drug war, so called, has become a fixture in the news cycle as every city, county, federal agent, cop, detective, undercover agent, or agency hack of whatever stripe, has stacked up his career arrest record picking up anybody that has a bit of weed or a little package of naughty powder stuffed under a seat. This is a war alright, but for what precisely are we fighting? More importantly, what Biblical principle are we attempting to enforce? If there is anything we can understand clearly from Biblical law it is this: that for anything to be a crime punishable. . . Read more »

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Civil Government: American Idol?

The great sin we all remember from the Old Testament stories is that of idolatry. With tiresome repetition we have read of the Israelites whoring after the idol gods of Baal, Asherah, Moloch and others. We read how they burned incense to them on every hill and under every green tree. They were sent prophets who warned them in the clearest of terms that they must turn away from those idols and worship and serve only the Lord (Yahweh). We read these prophetic shoutings and shake our heads in wonder at how blind and foolish these people were after all God had. . . Read more »

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Students Should Learn to Understand ALL Subjects in a Christian Way

…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ 2 Corinthians 10:5 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ Colossians 2:8 No Neutral Subjects The idea that neutrality may exist in any classroom is an evil illusion. It attempts to create a middle ground between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man. Jesus has told us there is no middle ground. In all areas of our existence we are either for Him or against Him. Nothing else exists.. . . Read more »

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What Does the Bible Say About Homeschooling?

One of the key Scriptures delineating God’s mind is found at Deuteronomy 6:6–9: And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thine gates. We. . . Read more »

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A Christian Response to Women in Combat

The old insult, “Your mama wears combat boots” may reflect an out-dated sentiment pretty soon. With Leon Panetta’s approval of women in combat we are forced to ask if mama ought to be issued those boots? Or, have we now pushed a supposedly good idea beyond its useful application? Some people want to make this about equality (though surely they want those boots in smaller sizes). For decades we have been using a steam-driven pile-driver to smash home the concept that men and women are able to do the same things. The mailman has been re-termed the mail carrier. Handy-men. . . Read more »

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Abortion: Pro-Lifers and the Art of Compromise, part 2

In politics we are told, the art of compromise is brought to bear fruitfully in the struggle between parties and opposing ideals. The cherished hopes of right and left, conservative and liberal, are often fought under the precept that everyone must give a little in order to reach an agreement. Compromise then, is seen as almost an ideal, something for which to strive in the effort to rule well. Those who are unyielding, who refuse to shake hands at some center, are viewed as obstinate perfectionists who are playing at a game wrong for them. Those rare few are thought. . . Read more »

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Roe v. Wade—40 Years and Counting (to 55 million Abortions), part 1

After 40 years of public battles over this American holocaust there is no end in sight. Pro-life (or ostensibly pro-life as we shall see) activists have lobbied, picketed, introduced legislation, worked on committees, and in general made noise for their position. Entrenched against the pro-life advocates stands the unyielding pro-abortion crowd. As we enter this fifth decade of battle it seems fitting to consider, or more wisely perhaps, to reconsider, how better to structure our resistance. Now, the very word resistance indicates a passive or defensive position. No one who is advancing in their cause uses the word resistance. Resistance is what. . . Read more »

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Hobby Lobby Heroes

In this first week of January, 2013, the Hobby Lobby legal fight is an opening salvo marking an historic moment for America and the American church. With the results of the presidential election in, and the direction seemingly set for our aggregate futures, it may be more than a bit surprising to the non-Christian (even anti-Christian) society at large to see the Hobby Lobby owners in a direct confrontation with the powers that be. Steadfast Christians that they are, they cannot in good conscience, pay for government mandated health insurance that pays for birth control drugs, some of which they. . . Read more »

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A Christian Response to Gun Control

It started in 1866, that is, the beginning of gun control laws in Ottoman Turkey. Article 166 was the first, then further laws were enacted in 1911 and 1915. First permits were required, then came a government list of all gun owners, and finally, a ban on possession. It was gradual. The entire process took 49 years. Finally however, the citizens were disarmed. The government, of course, was not. The death toll? So many their number was never fully counted, 1 million to 1.5 million Armenians, mostly Christian people, who had become helpless before their enemies. In the Soviet Union. . . Read more »

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Baby Jesus – Mysteries of Christmas

With Christmas now at hand, our hearts are naturally turned toward the mystery and wonder of Jesus. I say mystery and wonder because everywhere I look in Scripture the writing about the incarnation is revealing, and yet shrouded where we cannot penetrate, or, at least defies full understanding. Jesus told us He is our brother and our friend. Because of those assurances we sometimes forget He remains the King of the universe. He is the mighty warrior who rides a white horse to victory in Revelation, or is predicted to arrive with hosts of angels. He sits upon the Great. . . Read more »

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Mass Shootings and the Terror Culture

This week’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut instantly became the talk across America. Everyone wondered how anyone could so callously murder twenty little kids, and six adults, with seemingly no remorse. It is an ugly day, a tragic era, when these kinds of things are brought before our faces. It is disconcerting to me though, how our responses and expectations have changed over the past few decades. I am thinking about our emotional response to this event, and how different it is from a similar one 46 years ago. It was in August of 1966 that Charles Whitman, a college. . . Read more »

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Santa Sleds Off Fiscal Cliff

Reporting From Gnome Alaska In what may be a disturbing report, Mission to Restore America researchers have uncovered a previously frozen, block-buster story of the most famous resident residing north of the Yukon, Chris Kringle, AKA Santa Claus, occasionally also using the alias St. Nick. Normally sheltered from public scrutiny, Mr. Claus has recently been discovered to be in some very serious financial struggles. While unsuspecting children around the world are trusting in his munificent deliveries, insiders are predicting a long sleigh ride ahead for the financially troubled Santa. With the FBI capturing every e-mail, and the NSA storing each. . . Read more »

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Mission to Restore America: Fiscal Cliff Follies

All this talk about the fiscal cliff has gotten the attention of more Americans than any economic question in recent months. A problem like this is made more quantifiable when a date is attached, January 1st. It is like a cheap alien flick where the invading space ships have been detected, their speed calculated, and their date of descent fixed. Do what you can to get ready before the disaster is upon you. At least, as a Christian man, I know that there are answers to this, and any other similar conundrums, within the framework of Biblical thought. We know. . . Read more »

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The Spirit of Thanksgiving

The spirit of thanksgiving invaded some of our homes this week. It is queer how, while knowing we ought always to be thankful, the habit is so little practiced. I am like you. We are all busy, distracted might be accurate. Life, in its multi-facets careens around us. Ohhhh, shiny object, look what I bought! See ya, I am off to work, or, finally home – gotta snack? Life rolls past and somehow in its daily clutter we rarely remember, or better, discipline ourselves, to give thanks in all things. In this respect we are imitating the world.   The. . . Read more »

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Mission to Restore America: Tax the Liberal Churches

It has been popular of late for liberals and atheists to agitate for, Taxing the Church. Facebook has their graphics traveling about with claims that the civil government could raise $70,000,000,000 a year by this means. Man, that is a huge sum! As a practical matter we can be certain the idea would never work as its promoters claim. Many smaller churches would simply move to a house-church model, some would be unable to pay and go out of existence, and others would fight the action in court for years to come.   However, the main point of trying to have. . . Read more »

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Kingdom of God Advances: Humanist Nations Totter

With a gasp of horror, conservative Christians felt their hearts ripped loose as the election counts came in. Anyone having the slightest caution of Biblical understanding reasoned that the American people have just received a severing blow to their pocketbooks and their freedom. Like a gravity bomb from 10,000 feet, the impending crash appears predestined. What exactly do faithful Christians do when the end of days appears, as objects in your rearview mirror, closer than you think?   This is no time for quoting fuzzy platitudes. We hate those don’t we? Just trust, help is only a prayer away, footsteps. . . Read more »

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Return to Liberty – Return to Christ

Written 2008 As we race up to election day many of us are wondering what ever became of the land of liberty in which we were supposedly born. Stories of our heritage speak of independence, personal strength, faith in God in the face of trials and of all those manly traits that inspire our souls. Our nation, like no other, filled the hearts of nations with admiration. Like Israel before us we were the ones of whom even our enemies knew “surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” The French writer Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that it. . . Read more »

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Body Bags — the Cost of Unjust War

Unjust War on Terror As the number of innocents killed mounts it seems to me that we have to ask ‘how many are too many’ in our war against terror. Now, I understand that in an absolute measure there are no innocent people. I am speaking about innocent people in the sense that they have not violated God’s law sufficient to receive a death sentence from the hand of civil government. The words ‘you shall not murder’ apply to governments just as well as they do to individuals. Most of us know this instinctively but have not thought the implications. . . Read more »

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Giving Till It Hurts

It is strange how normal it is for us 21st century Christians to assume, just like the society around us, that if anybody needs help it is the duty of the government to provide that help. It’s hard to think about life in any other way. If people can not afford rent we expect government rent subsidies. If food is lacking that is what food stamps are for. Is college too expensive? You get the idea.  I was going to make a long list but I might start to sound like a guy that has a bone to pick (hmmm-USDA? just. . . Read more »

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Donald Schanzenbach

Donald Schanzenbach.

Don Schanzenbach is the author of two Christian Worldview books, and writes a weekly column on Christian Culture. His articles may be found at missiontorestoreamerica.com/blog
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