Additional Weapons for the Christian Warfare

“…abide in my word.”  John 8:31

If Wm. B. Yeats didn’t see the cure, God certainly does in his Word! We cannot change society single-handedly, but we can live by God’s Word in our individual lives.

We can engage in the following actions—


(1) We can pray.

I have come to love the poem, “I Still Have Prayer.”

O give me, Lord, a task to do
And strength to walk and be true,
Someone to love me, someone to love;
This I ask of the Lord above.

Children whose lives will glorify
The Lord of glory ere I die.
A church that ever faithful stands
Midst an alien world’s demands.

And having these, I have my share –
But if none, I still have prayer.
And having these, I have my share –
But having none, I still have prayer.

(See “I Still have Prayer” below)

Hebrews 4 gives us this option clearly—

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

(2) We can vote.

Abraham_KuyperWe still have a ballot available to us. We can and must vote to maintain our freedom. Abraham Kuyper (1827-1920; pictured to the left), Dutch theologian and prime minister of the Netherlands (1901-1905) warns—

And yet [John Calvin] does not hesitate to state, in an ideal sense, that the most desirable conditions exist [in regard to government], where the people itself chooses its own magistrates (see “Civil Magistrates” below for a definition).

Where such a condition exists [Calvin] thinks that the people should gratefully recognize therein a favor of God, precisely as it has been expressed in the preamble of more than one of [our] constitutions;—”Grateful to almighty God that He gave us the power to choose our own magistrates.”

John Calvin 1844 etching

John Calvin pictured to the left.

In his Commentary on Samuel, Calvin therefore admonishes such peoples—

“And you, O peoples, to whom God gave the liberty to choose your own magistrates, see to it, that you do not forfeit this favor, by electing to the positions of highest honor, rascals and enemies of God” (see “Abraham Kuyper” below; emphasis mine).

We have the responsibility to vote for those we believe to be qualified to govern us using Biblical principles so dear to Western Civilization. That responsibility is not to political parties, or the lesser of two evils, but to conscience in this matter.


(3) We can act within the sphere God has assigned to us!

We are parents, and we can teach our children, grandchildren, and those with whom we are friends.

Our part is limited. We are but one person and must act as an individual.

After the devastation of Hiroshima by the Atom Bomb, a medical doctor emerged from a surviving building on the outskirts of town. He saw the carnage and the suffering. He asked himself, “What can one man do amid so much horror?”

As he slowly walked further into the smoke, he suddenly tripped over something. Looking down, he saw a person and heard groans of pain.

A thought occurred to him. “Why not start where you are and work your way out as far as you can as long as you can.” (Our Daily Bread reading).

The thought that occurred to the doctor is not bad advice for us as we see chaos all around us threatening our freedom and wonder what we can do. We can always perform the actions mentioned above: (1) Pray, (2) vote, and (3) act in our sphere.

The rest we must leave to God!


Civil Magistrate. “In ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest ranking government officers, and possessed both judicial and executive powers.” Accessed 18 September 2018 from
N.B. A Magistrate is not a judge in traffic court in Kuperian thought. He refers to government officials elected by the populus. 

ESV. (2016). All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version accessed 17 September 2018 from

I Still Have Prayer. (2015). Accessed 12 September 2018 from

Kuyper, Abraham. (1898). Lectures on Calvinism. Kindle Edition. Accessed 15 September 2018 from N.B. This is a presentation of a full-orbed world and life view born from the writings of John Calvin. It is not a defense of the Five Points that came out of the Dutch Reformation later. It is available free of charge from at

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved

What We can Do to Preserve Freedom

“…abide in my word.”  John 8:31

We are familiar with the first part of the “motto” of the French Revolution: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” However, the last phrase is often omitted in our politically correct age—”or Death!” 


Life in  a Culture of Death

God says in Proverbs 8

35 For whoever finds [wisdom] finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find [wisdom] injures himself;
all who hate [wisdom] love death.

Job 28:28 clarifies what wisdom is—

And he said to man,
“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.”

The current climate in Western Civilization is a culture of death. Suicides are rampant as people lose hope. Human life is cheap on the streets of our once great cities. What are we to do who are committed to Christian principles of life as outlined in Holy Scripture? 

The Battle is Titanic! 

We are witnessing the death, not of God, but of secular humanism itself. The “revolution” and its activists are intent on destroying Western Civilization with the misconception all must be destroyed for a new world order to emerge. (see “Rushdooney” below)

As Christians we must not lose hope. Our hope is always in the Lord! 

We Wage War on Jesus’ Terms

Remember, we cannot act on a public stage and physically oppose the enemy, as the opposition to Christianity often does. We must do what we do in our own sphere using Christ’s resources provided to us. We have greater weapons than the opponents of Christianity! God’s Word makes this abundantly clear

II Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ… . [see “ESV below; emphasis mine]

We have powerful weapons: the Blood of Christ, our testimony to Christ’s finished work, and our unswerving commitment to Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the face of all opposition. 

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. [see “ESV below]


Above is Gustave Doré’s depiction of the truth presented in Revelation 12, the casting of our enemy and his cohorts from heaven. This occurred as a result of Jesus’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead! 

We have the testimony to the truth of the Gospel of Christ! Let us use this Gospel and our testimony to it as our weapon. 


ESV. (2016). All Ascripture quotations are from the English Standard Version accessed 17 September 2018 from

Rushdoony, R. J. (2013). “The Death of an Age and Its Faith.” Accessed 15 September 2018

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved


Freedom Disconnected from Morality Leads to Chaos

“…abide in my word.”  John 8:31

John 8:31 In Light of Society’s Departure from God 

Many modern translations render the word “abide” by “hold to.” I think the NKJV translation is closer to the mark. “Abide” means to “to continue to be present [in].” To put this idea in the negative is “equivalent to not to depart, not to leave.” So, rather than our holding to something, this text exhorts us “to keep ourselves within the sphere of being influenced by Jesus’s teachings.”

All the world has slipped beyond the pale of Jesus’s teachings, it seems. In any discussion in the public arena, the only wrong answer to any moral question is the one given by Christianity. Society is tolerant of every opinion except that of the Christian. As Christians, we need to keep ourselves under the influence of and within the sphere of Jesus’s teachings. His is the morality we need today! His teaching is what is missing from the discussion. 

In this post I want to look at the result of uncoupling freedom from morality. What happens when we do not abide in Jesus’s word?

William Butler Yeats’ Poetic Vision

I don’t like to quote long portions of material in this blog, but William Butler Yeats poem, “The Second Coming,” is the most quoted poem of the Twentieth Century. Yeats saw that absolute autonomy produces moral and physical chaos. I can’t say that he saw the solution, though. (Yeats is hardly a paragon of orthodoxy! However, common grace means he saw dangers beyond his own belief system.)


Portrait of a young William Butler Yeats (Image Public Domain)

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. 

I won’t quote the entire poem since the latter part is difficult even by Yeats’ poetics. 

In the first part of the poem, Yeats uses imagery drawn from falconry to illustrate what happened to Europe after WWI. The trained hawk has flown so far from the falconer, it can no longer hear its master. The imagery is applied to society in Europe after the devastation of war. Nations are no longer able to view their past foundations as having any modern application. Anarchy creeps over the continent and passion takes the place of principle. It is indeed a bleak picture! (See “Second Coming” below)


Robert Bork’s Assessment

It gets much worse after WWII, Korea, Vietnam and all the other “conflicts” in the Middle East. Robert Bork adds: 

Passionate intensity [has been] uncoupled from morality [and] has shredded the fabric of  Western culture. The rough beast of decadence, a long time in gestation, having reached its maturity in the last three decades, now sends us slouching toward our new home, not Bethlehem but Gomorrah” (see “Bork” below, p. vii; “slouching toward Bethlehem” is a reference to the second half of  Yeats’ poem). 

Judgment takes on Apocalyptic Dimensions

We see chaotic judgment in the Revelation of John. “The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the Four Horsemen are to set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment.” Revelation is not a newspaper account, but it is a message to us that God is in control and He will judge sin. 

What we have in the vision of Revelation 6 is a picture of the effects of God’s judgment on the world as a result of war and anarchy that follows. 


Above is “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” an 1887 painting by Viktor Vasnetsov. Depicted from left to right are Death, Famine, War, and Conquest. The Lamb is visible at the top.

Uncoupling freedom from Biblical morality lets loose this chaos and causes us to “slouch toward Gomorrah!” Far from bringing greater freedom, immoral behavior looses chaos in every area of life and leads to greater slavery to sin. 


Bork, Robert H. (1996). Slouching Toward Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers. 

Second Coming (written poem), The. (2018). Accessed 29 August 2018 from

Yeats, William Butler. (2015). “The Second Coming” (audio recording). Accessed 31 August 2018 from

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved


Total Autonomy is not Freedom

“…abide in my word.”  John 8:31

Popular Preaching and Unbiblical Content

I heard a pastor telling his television congregation that he was committed to the autonomy of each individual congregation. He went on to say that he even be­lieved that each member of his congregation was autonomous.

“No one can tell anyone else what to do,” he added.

This sounds very American. However, this sentiment is in reality the essence of a sinful autonomy. At the heart of autonomy is the spirit of rebellion against all external authority, and ultimately, even rebellion against God’s own legitimate authority.

“No one can tell me what to do!”
“I did it my way!”
“Have it your way!”


Quotation from John Calvin’s The Necessity of Reforming the Church

All these expressions are very American, but they are also unbiblical in the extreme. Total autonomy for the individual is a result of a radicalized view of freedom.

Radical Individualism and Society

Bork Book Cover

The subtitle of Bork’s tour de force, Slouching towards Gomorrah is: Modern Liberalism and American Decline. According to Judge Bork, the defining characteristic of modern liberalism is “radical individualism.” In essence this falsehood reduces “the limits to personal gratification.” It wrongly surmises “the individualist[s] pleasures can be maximized only by freedom from authority,” Bork points out.

…When egalitarianism (belief in equality of outcomes) reinforces individualism, denying the possibility that one culture or moral view can be superior to another, the result is cultural and moral chaos, both prominent and destructive features of our time. (Bork, Slouching towards Gomorrah, p. 5)

Our lifestyle of unbridled gratification has unleashed the chaos we see all around us today. We do not have to participate in it, though. 


Bork, Robert H. (1996). Slouching Toward Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers. 

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved

Fullness of Faith is Necessary!

“…abide in my word.”  John 8:31

Abiding in Christ’s Teachings

It’s not enough to know about the teaching of Jesus. Those who know and receive intellectually Jesus’s teachings are not his disciples, at least not yet. They are on the right path.

Different Aspects of “Faith”

Jesus attempts to instill in his listeners that it is important to have a full commitment to, and not just intellectually believe in, him. What is the distinction?

Theologians enumerate “three distinctive aspects of biblical faith”:

(1) Receiving the truth intellectually—”intellectual acceptance of the content” (notitia in Latin; I highlight the meaning in English since I am not writing for scholars.).
(2) Agreeing with the truth volitionally—persuasion of the truthfulness of the content (assensus in Latin).
(3) Committing to the truth completely (fiducia in Latin). (For these theological distinctions see “Sproul” below)

Jesus’s followers in the popular sense were those who had heard and had received the content of his teachings. He wanted to compel them to the next level and ultimately to the final level of full reliance upon Him. Let me illustrate this. 

An Illustration of Faith at its Fullness

Suppose you were swimming and suddenly got in dire straits. Let’s suppose you were in deep water with a cramp in your leg. You look about for help. You see people in a row boat nearby. You suddenly think, “There is a rowboat!” You have received the information correctly. You are not yet rescued, though.

Then, you think to yourself, “That rowboat is able to rescue me from drowning!” You have information and have assented to the facts as true. Are you safe, yet? No.

You begin to tread water over to that rowboat. When you get close, you receive helping hands from its occupants and are pulled into to boat. You immediately cease flailing your arms about and lie on the bottom of the boat in perfect satisfaction. Only then have you been saved from drowning. 

rowboat save

Only when our faith reaches the level of trust will we be safe in the arms of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Let me give a classic definition.

Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel. (see Westminster Shorter Catechism below; emphasis mine)

If Jesus’s teaching abides in our hearts and minds, we abide in a relationship with Him.


Study Bible. (n.d.) Accessed 22 September 2018 from N.B. I use this simple dictionary for ease of lay access.

Sproul, R. C. (2016). “What Does It Mean to Believe?” Accessed 5 October 2018 from

Westminster Shorter Catechism; Question 86. Accessed 5 October 2018 from

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved

Freedom Re-defined for Us

When I think of what freedom is, John 8:31-36 comes to mind. Let me quote one verse for now, and we will look at the others in due course. 

36 …if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

The Biblical Basis of Freedom

This verse sums up the theme of this passage where Jesus teaches us—

Freedom, at its primary level, is liberation from sin, so that a person can do the will of God.

It is obvious that many today do not understand the Biblical concept of freedom as Christ explained it to the Jews. The tragedy is that we once knew and accepted the Biblical concept of freedom as Christ explains it, but we  have, as a society, now lost that Biblical conception. We all need to hear the Biblical basis of freedom once again.


Inscribed on the “Liberty Bell” is Leviticus 25:10—“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all inhabitants thereof.” The foundering fathers recognized the Judeo-Christian religious tradition under-girds the freedom we enjoy in the Western World! 

John 8:31-36 presents the necessary spiritual dimension which underpins our freedom. Despite the fact that the founders of our country understood this so clearly, we no longer believe that Christianity is necessary to maintaining freedom in any country. However, without this spiritual dimension, freedom cannot exist for long among any people.

Bork Book Cover

Our Real Immigration Problem

At some point in the past, we failed to educate immigrants in the Biblical basis of our freedom. As a result, America has a huge immigration problem today. What has caused this? The late Judge Robert H. Bork reminds us that the immigrants to our nation in each generation are always of two kinds.

(1) There are foreign immigrants who come from other countries to our shores and are in need of instruction about the Biblical basis of freedom.

However, we are not sufficiently aware of a second group of immigrants who are in need of instruction, as well.

(2) They are biological immigrants—our own children.

Our country since WWII has failed to initiate its own children in the true meaning of freedom. Bork reminds us—

Every new generation constitutes a wave of savages who must be civilized by their families, schools, and churches. An exceptionally large generation can swamp the institutions responsible for teaching traditions and standards. …[since World War II] heap after heap of human beings have been dumped on to the historic scene at such an accelerated rate, that it has been difficult to saturate them with traditional culture. This is what Rathenau called “the vertical invasion of the barbarians.” (“Robert Bork,” p. 21, see below.)

What I want us to see in future posts is—

Freedom is a God-given privilege which carries with it certain Biblical underpinnings necessary to its maintenance.

Each new generation must be instructed in the Biblical basis of freedom. If all people, young and old alike, do not learn what Biblical freedom is, their own sinful human natures will infuse a meaning into freedom which will lead our society into further ruin.

Jeremiah 6.16

If mature adults seek to change their views to please the next generation, they will become a part of the problem and not provide that needed solution.

When I visited central Europe shortly after the Berlin Wall fell, I remember hearing Eastern Europeans tell what escapees to West Berlin expected when they first arrived. They said they came to the West expecting to get a Bible. Instead they got 50 DM (money). They would have rather had a Bible! 

We do not free our children by giving them a credit card and a car. We wrongly think since we didn’t have them growing up, they need them to be free. They like us need God and God’s Word first and foremost. 

We cannot Follow the Trends of the Times and Remain Free

Our society needs for mature adults to step up to the plate! Live free, in the Biblical sense; teach others how to be free, also. This is our task! It may not be popular, but G. K. Chesterton reminds us: 

He who marries the spirit of the times will soon find himself a widower. 

I John 2:17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (emphasis mine) 

“Lust” is epithymia in Greek—desire, craving, longing—especially for what is forbidden, lust. This fallen world infuses into its followers a desire for that which God has forbidden to human beings. At issue is whether we get our conception of freedom from the fallen world of humanity or from God’s infallible Word. 


Bork, Robert H. (1996). Slouching Toward Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers. 

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved