By Jeff Ziegler
Published November 1, 2000
In scrutinizing the orgiastic exclamations of America’s political commentators, I am dismayed by the lack of critical thought and the convoluted reasoning so consistently displayed by the national media both electronic and via the printed page.
While media gurus on rare occasion give some tacit acknowledgment to the notion “ideas have consequences,” this lofty ideal is generally overshadowed by a folksy egalitarianism that sets raw emotion as the dominant impulse in national politics. In this sense, the modern media culture doesn’t even field an objective humanistic social-political agenda. Hence, we as reformers who often posit our biblical ideal as the antithesis to Humanism, are put in the unenviable position of having to inform the humanist as to the pinions of his own beliefs in order to articulate its persuasive defeat.
To modern media politicos, subjective warm fuzzies carry greater sway than objective policy. This was recently illustrated in Ohio with the endorsement by a major newspaper of a liberal female judge for the Ohio Supreme Court. That they endorsed a liberal judicial activist is not the great wonder but instead the rationale or lack thereof in doing so. The newspaper in question, had over the years, consistently opposed the statist and tyrannical views of this particular judge. Yet, when it was time to proffer endorsements in the latest election cycle, the newspaper enthusiastically endorsed the same wayward woman! The editorial staff lionized her as a judge who renders her decisions with “fearlessness and total passion” and fully ignored the injurious consequences of her judicial oppression which they had only recently opposed.
Such schizophrenic behavior is not confined to Ohio newspapers. In our current national crises regarding the Presidential election, the national media has passed some surreal boundary. Emotionalism marked by hourly polls has overshadowed all concerns for the Constitution, the thoughts of the Founders, or the objectivity of the rule of law. It matters not to the media culture whether the candidate is a socialist, a communist, or a fascist, all is acceptable as long as there is a demonstrative gush of total passion, and mercurial emotion. In other words, subjectivism rules supreme!
The media boys just don’t get it. Public officials make public policy. Those policies have real consequences which are beyond polite debate fraternities and stale, moribund think tanks. In the case of abortion, demonstrated sincerity on the part of the judges who enacted Roe v. Wade is of little consequence to the 40 million babies who have been slaughtered by their “total passion.” Raw emotion, while an underdeveloped humanistic urge, is just as dangerous, if not more so, than its more intellectually advanced and philosophical cousin. The challenge for the reformer is in cutting through the schizophrenia of hyper-emotionalism and exposing the lie of the humanistic ideal with the objective truth of God’s inscripturated will. This is not an easy task and is akin to nailing “Jell-O” to the wall. Indeed, when examining the national media and its political discourse, it has devolved, to coin a phrase, “from the vertebrate to the jellyfish.”
Rev. Jeffrey A. Ziegler, the president of the National Reform Association, is also founder and president of Christian Endeavors and Reformation Bible Institute, and co-founder and moderator of The Association of Free Reformed Churches, and a minister at Shiloh Christian Church in Leroy, Ohio. 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 articles have appeared in the Chalcedon Report, and The Christian Statesman. He can be reached at 35155 Beachpark Drive, Eastlake, Ohio 44095. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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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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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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