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Political Propaganda: Not the Exclusive Domain of Tyrants

By Jeff Ziegler
Published September 1, 2001

Propaganda, its form, usage, and effect has been discussed and analyzed throughout the centuries. It would be fair to say that a majority of Americans have a contrary reaction to the word. Given the modern refrains of the Twentieth Century, it is easy to understand why this would be so. Visions of Stalinist or Fascist pageantry, revisionistic history, wild claims and rumors from morally anarchistic political action groups, or the nightly fare of political “spin doctors” on the major news networks is enough to raise an alarm when confronted with the word.

Yet, taken in its most pristine form, propaganda is nothing other than the action, practice and art of communicating ideas, facts or doctrines that undergird and promote one’s cause or institution. Conversely, the same tactics and skills may be employed to diminish and defeat an opponent’s belief system and aspirations.

In the modern era, the printed page, radio, television, motion pictures, drama, dance, books, the Internet, educational institutions, seminars, mass demonstration and protests may all be marshaled and used to advance ideas while creating an atmosphere conducive to their promulgation. In this sense, it is of chief importance that we who support the mission of the National Reform Association think in terms of the full mobilization of resources, skills, and application of the same to convey our message on as many different levels as possible.

Van Til’s emphasis on antithesis as a philosophical tool must be transferred from the mannerly halls of the seminary to a robust articulation in our rambunctious culture. Public set piece battles must be aggressively sought so as to auger our beliefs over and against our ideological adversaries. Rhetoric must inflame our cause to stir the passions of men. Symbols, proclamations, and tangible rallying points must be used to recruit new members to our organization, and then to mobilize the same into practical action groups.

These are but the beginning embryonic thoughts that must form a proper understanding of “propaganda” sanctified for noble usage. This is more than the mere “marketing “ of our message. The modern marketing strategist would approach the National Reform Association’s mission statement with trepidation. Hence pathetic attempts to soften the supposed unpalatable claims and aspirations of our unique and vital message would be the common refrain. Marketing seeks to “sell” under current conditions and accepts such circumstances as immutable. However, the Christian propagandist seeks to change the current conditions! This task seeks to advance the message in a pure form, and to create an atmosphere surrounding the message that impacts the whole of a man’s senses. Propaganda, when successful, never accommodates the current populist trend but creates an entirely new self-sustaining momentum that displaces the old cultural paradigm altogether.

At minimum, the NRA message must not be neutered for mass appeal. However, simply holding the fort will produce nothing toward victorious results. Asserting that we’re a “no compromise” organization is of little value unless our protest can be heard. Instead, we must view the NRA vision in optimistic terms and seek every opportunity to declare, present, and demonstrate our cause to a greater audience without diminution of content. To think as a propagandist, to win converts, and publicly engage and defeat our ideological competition is but one way to advance our mission, and to ultimately birth the complete renovation of our culture along biblical lines.

Rev. Jeffrey A. Ziegler, the president of the National Reform Association, is also founder and president of Christian Endeavors and Reformation Bible Institute, and moderator of The Association of Free Reformed Churches. He has lectured in over 600 churches and ministerial conferences in North America, Great Britain, and Germany. Jeff is also president of The Continental Group, a think tank for political activism. His writing has appeared in The Christian Statesman, Chalcedon Report, and in the book Explicitly Christian Politics. He can be reached at CEE/CSR, P.O. Box 47 Unionville, OH 44088. E-mail: ceejz@ncweb.com.

Your comments are welcome!

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

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In the Days of These Kings (Book)

Perfect-bound Paperback — 740 pages

The Book of Daniel in Preterist Perspective

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).

The overarching message of Daniel is that Jesus the Messiah is even now ruling over the nations. He is the King of kings. Daniel tells us that Messiah’s kingdom will advance in the whole world from “generation to generation” (Daniel 4:4,34). Christ’s dominion is “given to the people of the saints of the most High” (Daniel 7:22). Our purpose then is to see “all people, nations, and languages … serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:14,27).

This comprehensive work offers a fascinating look at the book of Daniel in preterist perspective. Great attention is paid to the writings of ancient and modern historians and scholars to connect the dots and demonstrate the continuity of Daniel’s prophecy with all of Scripture.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

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