The war on drugs

war on drugs

The war on drugs has cost the western world. Australian civil governments have ploughed huge sums of money into policing, courts, rehabilitation programs, hospitals and other medical care, social security and a raft of other things. As always the bill is footed by Australian taxpayers via the theft of wealth redistribution. And we love it! We want more to be done by our civil governments. Why? Like the Jews in Moses' day, we love slavery. The food and drink are good.


A pretty penny

The drug war has cost the Australian taxpayer millions:

war on drugs graph

These Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) 2011 figures included "13,849 public and 6,928 private hospitalisations due to principal diagnoses related to illicit drugs...65,376 closed-treatment episodes...[and] the number of people in pharmacotherapeutic treatment in 2010–11 was 46,446." These figures are staggering but they exclude "social welfare payments made to those who are drug dependent." [1]

Trying to solve drug addiction via civil government programs is a total drain on our economy and is a form of idolatry. It does not work and will not be blessed by God. History attests to this. The Bible tells us so. Whenever the civil government oversteps its God-ordained responsibilities, disaster/judgement is near. Ignoring the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus in dealing with addiction is costing us and our children thousands of millions every year; and many, many lives. We have been trusting in the untrustworthy. Our faith has been placed in the strong arm of civil government instead of individuals, families, churches and private organisations. 

Drug addiction is a Gospel issue

The same 2011 AIC figures attributed approximately 974 deaths directly to illegal drug usage.[1] What type of warfare is going to end drug addiction, crime and deaths? This is a good question. As Christians, we must ask; "by what standard" are we to design a solution? Do we run into the open arms of secular humanism's wisdom or do we return to the Scriptures?

Only Gospel centred counselling can destroy drug addiction and its nihilistic lifestyle. But whose gospel? Many conservatives and Australian Christians desire this warfare to be fought by the civil government. Salvation via the messianic state. Our father who art in Canberra must act and save his children who have "waywardly" become involved in "illegal" drugs. This is achieved through policing, civil government approved rehabilitation and clean, "safe" areas to inject oneself. Such a gospel and its arbitrary law is absurd. The civil magistrate is not God, he does not have the power unto salvation nor does he possess the authority to legislate anything other than the Law of God.

So, again; "by what standard?" How should we address the problem of drug addiction in Australia? Through the Gospel of Jesus and His law of freedom. It is a worldview issue. No amount of civil government legislation or redistribution of taxpayer money can cleanse a person of their addiction and deliver them from death. Only the gospel of Jesus brings salvation (Mk 16:16, Jn 3:16, Acts 4:12), new life (Ro 6:4, 2 Cor 5:17) and a renewed mind (Ro 12:2, Eph 4:23).

If we are serious about how Australians, our neighbours, are addicted to illicit drugs we must be serious about the Gospel. And we better stop truncating the sovereignty and authority of King Jesus. Only the Gospel of the crucified, resurrected, ascended and enthroned Messiah alone transforms lives, families and communities. Civil government programs are part of the problem. They ride rough shot over the kingship of Jesus and rob individuals, families, churches and communities of ministering to neighbours in need. If we really love our neighbour we ought to not give the Gospel ministry work of healing drug addiction to the civil state.

Now let's filter out some background.

The war on drugs

What exactly is the war on drugs? Where did it come from and how did it start?

The war is an international effort. It is not unique to Australia. President Richard Nixon's administration declared war on drugs in 1971. At that time John Ehrlichman was the President's domestic policy chief. He should know something about this nefarious war. Ehrlichman said this in an interview; "the Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did." [2]

Our pet war was simply a political game play. It was never designed to deliver people from their addiction. It increased the ungodly power and limits of the civil government. And we bought the lie.

Politics

What is the basis for our law, "by what standard" are we to legislate? This is an important question. It is a theological hot potato. For decades modern evangelical leaders have shied away from the applicability of God's law to politics. We are eating the fruit of their and our unfaithfulness. Our societies are degenerating due to the myth of political neutrality. Politics and law cannot be approached within an ethical/religious vacuum. Our civil state passes legislation that determines what is good/bad, right/wrong in our society. Thus, by the very nature of the case, politics and law making are religious. The battle is over whose religion will be codified into legislation. Note that carefully. Don't let any secular humanist tell you otherwise. Law making is the codification of a religion. Scripture tells us that the civil government is the minister of God who must avenge evil with the sword (Ro 13). Civil government's duties are deeply moral. As a minister of God, the civil magistrate is to use the Word of God to determine good from evil. Paul clearly identifies law (and politics) as Gospel issues (1 Tim 1:8-11). Yes, pic the mic back up. A nation's laws are a Gospel issue.

The very early church was confronted with the very same battle over sovereignty. These early Christians were told, surely there is no harm in pinching a little incense and admitting Caesar is the lord? Come on you sticklers, even Jesus said, give to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar. Politics and legislation belong to Caesar, right? Now hang on a minute; let's think that through a little bit more. Caesar wants that which belongs to God - determining good and evil. Autonomous man in the civil state is always tempted with "did God really say that?"

Let's be clear, all power and authority in heaven and on earth have already been vested in the God-Man, Jesus (Matt 28:18-20). All means all. The implication of this single word paradigm shattering. If Jesus has all authority then everything matters. If Jesus has all authority on earth then everything that happens on earth is important. Further than this. To assert that Jesus and His Law-Word has nothing to do with politics and law is to empty the Great Commission of its meaning. The Church's mission is covenantally bound to Jesus' authority. Because Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth the Church is to go and disciple the nations. The Gospel is deeply political. Our good news is that there is a new King, Jesus, who demands all people everywhere to repent and subject themselves, their families, societies and nations to Him. Why? Because He has all authority and power in heaven and on earth. Words matter, a lot.

In the Gospel, Jesus destroyed the earthly thugs and tyrannies. Through the humiliation and servitude of the cross, God destroyed and then recreated the world's power structure. Satan was dethroned. Jesus was enthroned. Satan thought that he thwarted the Creator of the universe. Through weakness, the strong, proud and arrogant were brought low in defeat. The Gospel is political. Deeply. Caesar or the civil magistrate must bow the knee to Jesus or face His wrath and judgement (Ps 2:10-12). Every law debated in our parliaments is fundamentally a moral issue. Whose morality should our civil government legislate? God's Law or that of autonomous, sinful man? Every Bible believing Christian should declare that our Australian parliamentarians must quietly bow the knee to King Jesus and reform our laws to reflect His Law-Word (Ro 13:4).

This should drive us to ask, if Jesus is the new authoritative King and the civil magistrate is to submit to Him, then who determines what drugs are illegal and the associated punishments. If we answer this question Biblically we would drop to our knees and ask God to have mercy on us. God's Law-Word is the only objective truth to which our civil government ought to go in order to define crimes and their punishments (Ro 13:1-7, 1 Tim 1:8-11, Ps 2).

There is a King above Caesar and He demands our civil governments implement His Law as the law of our land. Jesus does not accept lip service. He commands faithful obedience (Ps 2:10-12).

Lier, lier, weed on fire

Does the usage of so called "illicit drugs" bring about harm to individuals. Yes. Does it cost society? Yes. Does this mean the civil government has the authority to arbitrarily make certain drugs illegal? No. Our ultimate question remains, "by what standard?" The Law-Word of God, and it does not give the civil magistrate authority to arbitrarily outlaw and attach penal sanctions to certain drugs, period. 

The system needs to be rolled back. Legislation and penal sanctions developed in the "war on drugs" political game has had enormous unintended consequences. Every law that makes a drug illegal creates a cartel and a black market. Ultimately users of so called illegal drugs will go bust funding their addiction. This leads to increased crimes in order to fund the addiction. Another unintended consequence is outlawing other application of a substance. Marijuana is the perfect example. This God-given weed can be used for a variety of medical issues. It is illegal in Australia. When our civil governments legislate outside of its God given sphere of sovereignty there are negative consequences. Plus, the "war on drug" laws presuppose that the government can redeem man. Only God through the gospel has the power to save those addicted to death and sin.

If we want to address our nation's drug addiction we must see through the smokey haze of the political game plays. Next, Christians must realise that these games are played by liberals and conservatives, leftwingers and right wingers. Then, we must realise that this issue is moral/religious at heart and thus needs to be addressed with the Gospel at every point. Our duty is to urge our civil government leaders to repent and submit to the Lordship of Jesus in their life and work (Matt 28:18-20, Ro 13:1-7, 1 Tim 1:8-11, Ps 2). This will lead to a reduction in the number of Australian laws. Serpents' heads will be trampled and the bride of Christ will have Gospel opportunities in many areas of life.

Where do we start?

Repentance and worship. Our national drug addiction [3] is a moral/ethical/religious problem. It must be addressed with the Gospel by individuals, families and churches. The first issue is that of repentance. The gospel is "the power of God unto salvation" (Ro 1:16). Addiction is broken firstly by the Gospel. Once a man repents he is to walk in faithful obedience to the Law of God (1 Jn 5:3-5). This gives man dignity and responsibility. The imago dei (image of God) is valuable beyond all the creatures. He has worth in the eyes of His Creator. Further than this, when a man repents he gets to know that he has responsibilities before God. These responsibilities include looking after his body and taking up his position on the battlefield to advance the Kingdom. Nothing can thwart God; not even illicit drugs. Law does not save. As Christians we must repent of passing the buck to our civil magistrates and then vote for local, state and federal leaders who will honour the Law-Word of Jesus by reducing the size, power and authority of our civil government. This will take time; perhaps even many decades. 

Please note that I am not proposing a simplistic solution; say a little prayer and then all will be well. No. Repentance and submission to the Lordship of Christ is the starting point. Individuals, churches and organisations are then to apply the Gospel to the counselling, treating and loving of drug addicts. We simply cannot continue in our idolatry by giving this ministry to the civil government.

The civil government does not help drug addicts end their addiction. Civil government have used a two edged sword to hamper true healing: social security and illegalisation of the drugs themselves. Paying men to sit around and find a job is sinful. No civil government has the authority to take hard earned wealth from one man and redistribute it to another; full stop. Thus our social security system needs to be removed and replaced with individual, family, organisation and church based care. This will be accomplished over time, decades or even hundreds of years.

Our profession of Christ as Lord matters. How we submit to His Lordship in all of life is important. Our Great Commission is not to silently look on as our nation is deformed into a secular humanistic hell; we must stand for the authority that Jesus has over our nation. We must apply our saviour's Law-Word to every inch of our lives, families, churches, societies and nation.

We must refocus our war on drugs. It is a moral/religious issue. The Gospel of Jesus must be applied to the rule and laws of this land; only then will freedom, true freedom, triumph over our idolatry and addiction.

End notes

1. Cited on the Australian Institute of Crimonology website, 23/03/2016: http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/rpp/121-140/rpp129/20-drug-abuse.html

2. Cited on the Harper's Magazine website, 03/04/2016: http://harpers.org/archive/2016/04/legalize-it-all/

3. Australian Crime Commission, IDDR 2013-14 Snapshot, cited 23/03/2016: https://www.crimecommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/IDDR-201314-SNAPSHOT.pdf

Dark MOFO and Christianity

Dark MOFO Winter Feast

**Language warning for the faint of heart**

Hobart is considered a Mecca for alternative art and food. Fresh produce and dark art comingle. Trade is booming. It’s all about the economy, right? Let’s leave the food for another discussion. Artists are a free lot. They don’t want stupid rules. Norms are there to be challenged. Laws are made to be bent and broken. Artistic expression transcends all things. So we are led to believe. Every raised eyebrow and furrowed brow is a sign of a bygone era, an age of religious bigotry. And it was boring as all hell anyway. Are you with me?

Culture

Christianity does not simply engage with culture. The gospel transforms cultures of death and delusion into life and beauty. All of this world belongs to the risen Messiah. Jesus owns everything (Matthew 28:18-20). Even the arts. All is His.

“Culture is simply the service of God in our lives; it is religion externalised.”1 Culture reflects a people’s religion in art, music, clothes, food and a myriad of other activities. Culture cannot be religiously neutral. It displays a people’s religion.

Darkness covered the face of the earth

Imagery of light conquering and transforming darkness weaves through Scripture. In the beginning darkness covered the face of the earth. God then performed a creative and cultural act of transforming darkness into light. Through sin the world fell into darkness again. God did not give up. His eternal plan to transform this world stood fast. Jesus the slayer of darkness, the ultimate light of the world came and conquered sin, Satan and death. Light comes after darkness. The deepest night is followed by the dawn. The Son of God destroyed darkness, brought in a new creation and reclaimed a dark world for the Father.

Jesus is the darkness slayer. His bride continues His work and must have no part with darkness. Christ cannot be mixed with Belial. The bride is not a soothsayer with a foot in both camps, trying to engage with dark culture through hosting the armies of darkness. No. Death has no part with life. Death seeks to destroy life. But the gospel won. Jesus was victorious. He ascended and is seated in the position of all power and authority in heaven and earth. His will is to be done her in the world. The dragon, death and darkness lost the war for planet earth.

Mop up

Know this; the warrior bride of Christ will not lose the war. Victory was gained by Jesus at Calvary. Christ is the new King. He has all authority and power beyond the blue sky and down here in the dirt. Christ’s people are more than conquerors. We are in the business of mopping up through heralding the truth of His victory to the ends of the earth. Jesus will return when all the nations have been discipled. He will come on the clouds when all enemies have been placed under His feet. Much work needs to be done.

“Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ‘all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’” Matthew 28:18-20

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-26

Light transforms darkness

Darkness does not spawn freedom. Nor does it produce cultural beauty. Darkness produces nihilistic culture. Death is darkness’ still born child. The light of this world brings freedom. Christianity produces cultural beauty, advancement and achievement. Christian culture is to reflect and glorify the Triune God of Scripture.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Art matters. Music matters. Literature matters. Culture is your religion externalised. What our society approves, creates and promotes displays the people’s god. Consistent Christianity transforms nihilistic societies into glorious civilisations. The Great Commission is grandiose. Resurrection from the dead is the start. Transforming all to the glory of God is the objective.

Flirting with death 

app hymns to the dead cult of fire option 1 to be heroTasmanian churches will not transform society through cultural co-mingling. Becoming all things to all people does not equal artistic, musical and literature idolatry. Dancing with the Devil ends with tears. The church is to baptise and disciple. Through the Spirit she will produce a gloriously diverse culture that honours Christ as the sovereign over hearts, minds and all of culture. This is exciting. It is huge. Christians are not to shrink back from society. We are culture transformers. All of life is to presuppose and glorify Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This produces inspiring, glorious art, music and literature.

Darkness is to be transformed not partnered with. Christianity takes nihilistic culture and turns it on its head. It does not sell its soul to appear relevant and hip. There is objectivity in art, music and literature. A crucifix floating in a urine filled test tube is objectively yuk. Dark MOFO is objectively and unashamedly insidious. Tasmanian Christians ought not to be culturally approving of and partnering with Hobart’s Dark Mother F#####s2 (Dark MOFO).

hymns to the dead

 

Dark MOFO

Hobart’s mainstream winter festival is unashamedly saturated in wickedness and darkness. It is not a family event. Dark MOFO is a cancer. Death follows in its wake. The food may be good; the idolatrous culture of nihilism is putrid. From the Hymns to the Dead: “a celebration of dark and extreme music... Full of dark, brooding, extreme and cult bands,...”3 Dark MOFO is about “hopes, dreams, desires.”4 It presents and desires to baptise you in an anti-Christian religious worldview. Don’t be fooled.

The Bacchae event is set to tickle the senses; “a city teeters on the edge of crisis. A god arrives in the guise of a mortal. Boundaries collapse; old, young, boy, girl, human, beast, mortal, divine, light and darkness. Featuring an ensemble of young performers and musicians, The Bacchae is a hallucinatory theatrical event; a dream-like invocation of Dionysian excess and violence as told through the eyes of teenage girls. Please note: this production contains strobe lighting, smoke effects, simulated sex scenes, and violence.”5

Dark MOFO is a place for evildoers and evangelists; not your family’s mid-winter feast.

Earthy faith

Pietism has nothing to do with Christianity. There are many provocative, sexually charged stories in the Bible. Much violence is weaved into the plot. God did not back away from producing an R rated Bible. But evil, sin and their consequences falls appropriately within the story arc. We must recognise story arcs and aim to develop and support those who tell stories that present the Christian worldview. Sin leads to certain consequences. Raging against God's Law and man destroys civilisations. But mercy and grace deliver man and his culture from death. Not every Christian story must have a happy ending. But we ought to see darkness being overcome with light. Struggle, faithfulness and diligence leads to victory. The weak overcome the powerful. We ought not idolise sin, death and darkness. They are results of the curse. We ought not gloat in them and celebrate them in our culture and story telling. Rather our celebrations are in the glorious conquering of these things.

Dark MOFO preaches darkness. It is a festival of evil. No Christian should want to support or partner with it.

“Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on.” Proverbs 4:14-15.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” Ephesians 5:8-12

depart from darkness

Depart from darkness

St David’s Cathedral should immediately withdraw their industry partnership with and support of Dark MOFO. 6 An orchestra in a cathedral does not give free passage to partnering with evil. The church does not have a heart of darkness. 7 Let’s not begin pretending. St David's, please evangelise at Dark MOFO but end your association with it.

“They joined themselves also to Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices made to the dead. Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds, and the plague broke out among them...They angered Him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses on account of them; because they rebelled against His Spirit, so that he spoke rashly with his lips. They did not destroy the peoples, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them, but they mingled with the Gentiles and learned their works; they served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they were defiled by their own works, and played the harlot by their own deeds. Therefore the wrath of the Lord was kindled against His people, so that He abhorred His own inheritance. And He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles, and those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.” Psalm 106:28-42

“For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had feared other gods, and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. Also the children of Israel secretly did against the Lord their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the Lord had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger, for they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, ‘You shall not do this thing.’” 2 Kings 17:7-12.

End Notes

1 van Til, Henry, Calvinistic Concept of Culture, P.190. Free PDF version of the book here: http://www.contra-mundum.org/books/Concept.pdf

2 The acronym MOFO means Mother Fucker – see http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/mofo, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mofo.

3 Sighted here: http://www.eventfinda.com.au/2016/hymns-to-the-dead/hobart

4 Sighted here: https://darkmofo.net.au/#news

5 Sighted here: https://darkmofo.net.au/lineup/the-bacchae-fraught-outfit-st-martins/

6 Sighted here: https://darkmofo.net.au and scroll to the bottom of the page.

7 Sighted here: https://darkmofo.net.au/heart-of-darkness/

Hostage videos from the Sydney Siege

sydney-siege

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the kidnapped hostages who were wickedly murdered in Sydney this morning.

Here are the four hostage videos released onto social media by the Islamist who kidnapped and murdered two in Sydney. It is clear that this "siege" was an Islamic act of war and terror; it was consistent Islam.

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Love is Love

love is love

Catchphrases are about us everywhere. These tiny slogans, often only using a few words, are the droplets of a distilled philosophy. As the droplet hangs, it gorges itself on the rays of light emanating from the full philosophy and then diffuses the philosophy into the world as a bright, eye-catching display of colour. Many are bedazzled by this light display. The pretty lights, dancing before our eyes, are intoxicating and mesmerising. The trouble is that while your view is obscured by the coloured lights, someone is picking your pockets!

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