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: email@example.com.
Your comments are welcome!
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
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