Over time we receive many questions on a wide array of topics. Yet there are periods where we take in many questions of a similar vein. When this occurs we like to publish common Q&A for all SGI readers. My hope is for your growth and benefit as culture warriors. – JZ
Q: I’m concerned about the conduct of “the war on terror” and our inability to understand Islam and its goals. Is there a better way to protect our nation?
A: Our State Department and successive administrations refuse to understand the undergirding ideology of Islam as a warrior religion bent on global dominance. Instead, one hears a constant refrain from the modernist school of statecraft that assigns all blame for international conflict on poverty, disease, or technological impoverishment. When we apply such motif to the Muslim world we are continually “surprised” by the asymmetrical response that is received in response to our secularist policies. This is a consistent outcome for us in that we cannot conceive of a people that are actually driven to action (even bad actions) by theological impetus. We tend to make any excuse possible for terrorism from the previously mentioned economic deprivation, to racism, despotic urges, to (are you ready for this?) sexual insecurity. Anything, any pretense, to not have to admit to a theological confrontation. Yet that is exactly what we are facing! It’s not about “Palestinian” displacement or geopolitics, but a religion (Islam) that is at its Koranic roots, bent on global societal dominion. It’s that simple. Yet our State Department offers secular answers to a theological conundrum.
The war we face is a war against the foundations of Islam. It can only be won by theological means. I for one feel no obligation to apologize for ancient Christian crusades. In fact yet another is needed! You will never displace Islam’s faith with humanistic enlightenment spewed from life-long bureaucrats at the State Department. Gen Douglas MacArthur knew the answer to cultural confrontation during the occupation of Japan, when he asked for 5,000 Christian missionaries to assist in the conversion of Japan from a warrior cult to a peaceable society. Mac’s voice must be heard again if victorious results may be achieved!
Q: I am challenged by the direction and stand at SGI. How do I know if I’m called into civil work or even into ministry?
A: In one sense, as Americans, we are all called to a civil conscientiousness. Moreover, if one is a Christian, there exists the clear Scriptural injunction that all have a certain ministerial responsibility, both to your family within the Church, and your Gospel mission in the civil sphere. These examples are basic and foundational.
However, if you are considering either Church ministry or civil service as a vocation, then the issue of Divine calling is at stake. If you are attracted to a Church vocation, there are myriad of scriptural benchmarks that must be met. Space does not permit a full deliberation here. Yet, I would simply ask; do you feel called-out to ordained ministry? That’s the foundational question around which all else pivots. If the answer is yes, then testing of that direction will be appropriate. If there is no sense of a call, but instead you are acting out of an obligation or duty, submit your ideas to your ecclesiastical leadership and then see how you may be used.
This may not always have the desired effect, however, it remains the starting point, and at times acts as the “test” to gauge your vitality. In the same way examine any call to public office. None of these issues should be decided on a whim or emotional fancy. Frankly, there are far too many well-intentioned clergy, who don’t have a clue when it comes to having a Divine calling, and who should not, under any circumstance, inhabit the pulpit. Yet, this fact alone points to a need that only “called” men can fill. Think well on these things. Whether you are led in vocational public service, ordained Church ministry, or active lay ministry, please serve in the capacity God enables!
Take the steps necessary to show competency and efficacy in your field of service! Do not hold back! We need every man in his position! Men with calling, conviction, courage, and fidelity to reorder our culture and to see our Republic once again restored under God!
Q: I am Roman Catholic. I know that a lot of Catholic thought can agree with the message you are promoting. I’m thinking of the teachings of St. Augustine. Yet I don’t hear my parish priests saying anything near what you are suggesting, or even teaching the basics of what we are supposed believe as the Church. What do I do?
A: First know that you’re not the only Catholic who feels this way. I know of hundreds of Catholics both priests and laymen who desire a return to Orthodoxy and for a demonstrable, consistent witness for Christ’s reign over all spheres of life. I do believe there are valuable resources that you can avail yourself of within your Church. One such venue is the ministry of Marcus Grodi and his various educational outreaches. The second, is Dr. Scott Hahn and the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Both of these ministries can properly equip you to challenge, instruct and mature your local parish to be more conformed to the Orthodox ideal. This approach added to the outreach of “Priests for Life” should create the proper synergistic actions you seek. Meanwhile; if there is anything we can do at SGI to help you in your quest, please let us know!
Q: What do you see as the general trends in attracting the present generation to the Church?
A: The so-called “trends” are exactly opposite of what moderns imagine. Modern evangelicals see the young and for that matter suburbanites generally attracted to entertainment, as well as casual forms and dress, and hence assume the Church should don like motifs in ecclesiology. Yet because recent generations have become some of the least well-read in the last 500 years, they have in fact regressed to an “iconographic” culture. Hence, as with the medieval era, the Church will need to return to symbols, liturgy, and representations that will encourage greater literacy over time.
“Slouching” toward a casual expression of Church life and ecclesiology will not “attract” anything in particular, but will in fact represent deterioration from the vertebrate to the invertebrate, from the cogent to the ridiculous, and from a visible testimony to a subterranean nominalism.
That being said; in the whole matter of “attracting” any demographic, I for one have never bought the paradigm. Only the vision of God, the Word of God, and the Gospel of Christ can attract, convict, disciple, and convert sinful men be they young or old, rich or poor, urbanite, or country! Frankly if the Church doesn’t look like the church, speak like the Church, pray like the Church, or believe like the Church; you have nothing more than a pseudo-religious spiritist club with no more authority on earth than your local Moose-Club fraternity! As Gen. Patton once remarked “an Army that doesn’t dress like an army, act like an army, train like an army can’t be expected to fight like an army when the war is it hand.” This leads to our next question …
Q: With so many people from so many denominations reading the SGI newsletter; is there some sort of minimum expectation of Church that we can be part of and still be active?
A: First and primarily you need to be in a Church that cogently upholds the primary tenants of the first four Ecumenical Creeds of The Christian Church. By name The Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian and Chalcedon creeds. Secondly, seek a Church that believes in the comprehensive lordship of Christ in all realms and arenas of Life. This fact is upheld in the aforementioned Creeds but should also be reaffirmed and cogently taught with explicit applications. In the same fashion, The Sacramental Rites must be regularly observed and taught. Especially poignant are Baptism and Holy Communion. Without these you have no “Church” just a religious study that is good only for picking lint fibers from the belly button.
Beyond these basic elements you should seek to encourage a large sweeping view of Sanctification. Meaning, you want to see the Body of Christ embracing Christ’s Lordship as comprehensive and absolute, not only in a forensic theological sense, but also in an active and vibrant expression of Christ’s dominion over every aspect of life. Those who have a small individualistic sense of Sanctification, tend to view “Holiness unto the Lord” as inward self-effacing acts and disciplines. In these cloistered churches, such actions theoretically lead to a “purer” life, but at the expense of national or cultural renewal. So when it comes to sanctification “size” truly matters! The inward kind of religion turns The Church toward the monastery and subsequently neuters her role as The Embassy of God on Earth. Finally, wherever you are stationed, encourage your Church as a prophetic voice in the humanistic wilderness. Seek antithesis to properly position the truth of the orthodox ideal over and against pagan competing visions. Never allow truth to be sacrificed on the altar of relationalistic malaise, and 5th Avenue marketing schemes. The treasure you hold cannot be reduced to the siren song of huckstering hordes.
Q: How can you and the staff of SGI be so judgmental toward President Barack Obama? Where is the love of Christ in these actions?
A: There is little if anything in the scope of our articles or actions that have had anything at all to do with judging the heart and motives of President Barack Obama. All of our articles and actions have taken on a covenantal theme that proclaims “ethical cause and effect” for each topic we address. It is true, that in this ethical metric we do indeed judge both the form and function of the President’s rhetoric, writings, policy initiatives and actions. None of these items measure his deep inward thoughts, but instead the gravity of his deeds. In fact we have no interest whatever in his hidden thoughts. However; while Scripture warns us against judging with an unrighteous judgment, there exists no Pollyanna motif in rendering judgment in and of its self obsolescent.
Therefore, in the light of the President’s willful and deliberate actions to 1) Promote all forms of abortion even overriding state laws, and advancing said death culture to foreign lands 2) Promote so-called same-sex marriage 3) Advance state sponsored thievery in the form of corporate takeovers of medicine, automobiles, and financial institutions 4) Sell-out our national security to Islamic tyrants under treasonous policies 5) Undermine the bedrock of The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms 6) Advance the systematic destruction of The First Amendment right of free speech 7) Silence American pulpits as to the sin of homosexuality through so-called hate crimes legislation and 8.) Undermine all legal Constitutional guards, treaties, and laws that guard our National Sovereignty; we do judge these actions on their own merit as villainous and without Biblical, Constitutional validity.
Taken together these eight “Obama initiatives” are evidence of atheistic communist ideologies that run contrary to a Biblical worldview and to the historic anthem of American exceptionalism. Now you may not agree with our statements. You may even promote the treasonous rot of our President. But make no mistake, like Luther of old, we have made our stand. We will not be moved.