All posts by Matthew Bedford

What Is Orthodoxy And Why Does It Matter?

The word “orthodoxy” refers to the generally held doctrines of the Christian church. When someone talks about the orthodox teachings of the Church, they are talking about beliefs that are held more or less strongly by all branches of the Christian Church. This includes the evangelical church, the Catholic church, the Orthodox church, the Lutheran church, and their many branches and offshoots.

Succintly: it is the points on which we agree.

Why does this matter?

Because the reasons we agree on these are meaningful and substantial.

These teachings have usually been held more or less consistently for 1500 years or more. They were arrived at by painstaking research, careful study, and deep debate by men and women of the very early church. These people were scholars, teachers, pastors, scientists, and lay-people of their time, and their minds and thoughts would lay many of us to shame.

To think that because they were thinking and studying 1500 to 2000 years ago their thoughts were less advanced or less able to catch nuance or to dig through enigma and paradox is foolish.

They also weren’t operating in a vacuum. When Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun, he wasn’t speaking in hyperbole.

Most of what we hold today as orthodox and can describe clearly and concisely in a catechism or systematic theology was held before it was codified, but it was assumed, or there had simply not been careful thought given to the specific implications and or outworkings of the generally-assumed belief.

Heresy plays an important part in the development of a clear theology because through history it showed where more careful thought had to be given to what a certain belief was or wasn’t.

For example, while the doctrine of the Trinity is clear throughout scripture, both in the old and the new Testaments, and many early church fathers wrote more explicitly about it, it was assumed that all Christians accepted it for truth, and therefore little specific thought was given to what it meant that we worship one Godhead in three Persons.

There are many heresies regarding the Trinity, and each had their teachers popularizing their particular deviations, and with each one there were discussions and research and careful thought, and a response was given clarifying what specifically scripture taught and how the heresy departed from that teaching.

The result of this is that we can clearly state the nature of the Trinity such as it has been revealed to us, that God is one in essence, but three in Person, that all three are coequal and coeternal.

The Athanasian Creed, which came to be after the church had dealt with the heresy of Arianism, which taught that God the Father had created God the Son, is the most comprehensive definition of the Trinity, and is a worthwhile meditation as we seek to understand who God is as He has revealed Himself to us.

So summarize, orthodoxy is that set of teachings which have been arrived at after much deliberation and study by wise and godly people who have been led by God to carefully note what scripture does and does not teach so that we can know God more truly and so that we can trust that what we understand of God is true and accurate.

Scripture is sufficient, and all orthodox teachings come entirely from scripture and will not disagree with it in any way.

None of this is to say that we cannot study scripture carefully and understand God’s word on our own, but it is a blessing that we are standing upon the shoulders of myriad great men and women who have done the same before us and left us a great legacy of knowledge and wisdom on the matter.

If you believe you have found something which seems to disagree with orthodoxy, tread carefully. Learn why this idea was studied in the past, and the reasons it was rejected.


“Come for the economics, stay for the social engineering.” – Rejected but accurate slogans for the EU.

There are things more important, more valuable than economics, and Britains exit from the EU (ie, #Brexit) is proof of that.

Yes, the British Pound is far from the admiration of the world today, but they have their Pound today, and it is once again to be theirs alone.

In the same way that the healthiest and most interdependent society is one with a high proportion of independent people within it, a healthy league of nations is one wherein most of the nations are healthy themselves, by themselves.

Incidentally, the very principle of a league of nations is a capitalistic one, as the primary purpose of any such league is to allow nations to specialize in their particular talents and ease the means by which others can benefit from their products by trading their own.

The EU is an alpha-bureaucracy.  As with any other bureaucracy, it centralizes power to itself, and in so doing demands a weakening of each of its member’s national identities. As more and more of the nations in the EU faltered and ended up throwing themselves upon the mercy of that bureaucracy, the bureaucrats were only to happy to take more power to “fix” the situation, inevitably and in each case providing band-aids and hand-outs that fell short of requiring the sort of wholesale change any sane person could clearly see was needed to actually resolve the systemic issues causing these nations to flop in the first place.

As the weak gave up, even the strong, to continue in membership, had to weaken themselves as well, giving more power to the center.

The UK has a hard road ahead, but that is not because of the leap they made, it is because they’ve only just awoken mid-fall. The trouble was the years past, the decades of volunteering their autonomy and authority because the bureaucrats promised it was the price of peace.

Since when have bureaucrats been right?

And no, Trump isn’t the same thing at all. Trump is the result of a cancer that had eaten the heart out of conservativism. Yes, the cancer was caused by the pack-a-day habit of the elite forever promising and just as surely giving us the back of their hand when we called upon them to keep their word, but that cancer has metastasized, and now we are stuck with a gilded liberal toad who has convinced a huge number he is the best chance of their own rainbow road and unicorn to ride upon it.

Trump is failure.

Brexit is the first step of the future.

Burn It Down

Burn it all down,
burn it down to the ground.
Then gather round,
and dance around the mound.

Today a lying, cheating, philandering, pro-abortion, pro-amnesty, anti-Constitution, anti-1st and 2nd Amendment, pro-government crony capitalist virtually secured the Republican Presidential primary, and the best hope to stop him said he couldn’t in good conscience continue.


A key component of #NeverTrump is the word “never”, as in:

I will never, under any circumstances, against any competitor, for any reason, support in any way the lying, cheating, philandering, ignorant and stinking mass of a man, Donald Trump.

That does not mean I will vote for Hillary or Bernie. It does mean I will not vote for Trump.

And the Republican party? It has made this bed, and it shall sleep in it.

Trump will probably lose, and he will not lose because of me or because of others who will #NeverTrump. Trump will lose because he is so unfit for service that he makes even the otherwise supremely unfit Hillary Clinton seem fit by comparison.

This isn’t a hissy fit, this is a cold calculation resulting from observing the publicly accessible facts regarding the recorded words and actions of a man who is a Democrat, a leftist Democrat, and a leftist Democrat without soundness of mind or consistency of morals at that, who ran for and appears to have secured the support of a sufficient portion of those who call themselves Republican and probably consider themselves Christian and conservative also.

Donald isn’t a mystery; he is a nearly entirely known quantity. Believing a politician’s words in the face of contradictory facts from that candidate’s history is what many of us cautioned Democrats about for the last decade, and yet here we face our very own Hope ‘n Change.

Trump isn’t hope. Trump isn’t change. Trump is glowing but unintelligible words strung over a wobbly and soon to be discarded mask, and buyers remorse will be painful for this one because you should have known better. You’ve been laughing at Democrat’s buyers remorse for the better part of a decade.

The Republican party apparatus, its ancillaries and hangers on, the blowhards in “conservative” media who showed themselves to be penny-hunger fools, the “establishment” who got both their man and their worst nightmare: these all are dead to me. They would not listen and so they chose the path of hardship. They are the addict that must reach rock bottom and keep digging until their fingers are bloody stumps because they cannot and will not give up their addiction despite the cries and wisdom of their friends and family.

I will not go along for the party. I will support those candidates and those ideas which are best for the country. They called Cruz Lucifer and Trump their golf buddy. They called on Cruz to kneel and apologize when they were the liars and he the truth-teller. They have received what they wanted, and now they will suffer for it, not by my making them suffer, but as an inevitable result of their own failings which we warned them about, but they continued on in desperate pursuit of their own continuing power.

I’m sorry. This will hurt. This will hurt badly. People will hurt.


Good news! The President is but one person. One very powerful person, but still only one person. There are many other people who are seeking to do the correct and right thing in many other places, and enough of these people can stymie and stop much of the damage that will be done by a despot in the White House.

States can be made strong by strong legislatures and strong governors. The conservatives in the US have a recent track record filled will success on this front, and we can continue this. A criminal in the White House will not stop this.

Congress can be filled with people like Cruz and Lee and Amash and others who have stood against the corruption and debauchery.

We are still graced with a government that is ours. Ours, sadly, reflects the general idiocy of the populace, but it does not have to be that way. We’d held our noses and lived through the last 8 or 12 years, and we can keep on. Clean house. Take victories when and where we can.

#NeverTrump does not mean giving up. It just means we have more work to do.

Headline image credit DonkeyHotey.

Leftists In Charge, Socialist Theft, And Cruz Trumps Trump

Democrat mayor:

Since the blizzard began last Friday, the District has issued $1,078,000 worth of parking tickets and $65,600 in fines so far. It has towed 656 cars.

Vehicles are being towed at the owners’ expense. Violators face $250 tickets, $100 tow charges and a $25-per-day fee until they pick up their vehicles.

“Don’t park your car illegally, and that includes parking it kind of in the middle of the street next to the snow bank,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday. Cars should be parked no more than 12 inches from a curb, not a snow bank, or drivers risk a ticket, she said.

They don’t care about the little person except to get their vote come election time.

I experienced this myself living in the Chicago suburb of Cicero. After the blizzard we received tickets for not moving our snowed in cars to make way for street sweeping.

They didn’t sweep the street.

They didn’t even plow the curbs.

But they sure as heck ticketed us for not moving our cars for what wasn’t going to happen.

WASHINGTON – During July 16, 2014 testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson outlined serious problems regarding access to healthcare and key actions the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken to get Veterans off wait lists and into clinics. “The trust that is the foundation of all we do – the trust of the Veterans we serve and the trust of the American people and their elected representatives –has eroded,” said Acting Secretary Gibson. “We have to earn that trust back through deliberate and decisive action, and by creating an open and transparent approach for dealing with our stakeholders to better serve Veterans.” (VA/Robert Turtil)
WASHINGTON – During July 16, 2014 testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson outlined serious problems regarding access to healthcare and key actions the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken to get Veterans off wait lists and into clinics. “The trust that is the foundation of all we do – the trust of the Veterans we serve and the trust of the American people and their elected representatives –has eroded,” said Acting Secretary Gibson. “We have to earn that trust back through deliberate and decisive action, and by creating an open and transparent approach for dealing with our stakeholders to better serve Veterans.” (VA/Robert Turtil)

Socialist Sanders hasn’t succeeded at anything in life except for truly believing most sincerely in a fairy tale.

Parents, don’t raise your children to be socialists. Save yourself the heartache.

Despite claiming a poor upbringing (this is a key point for those seeking power in socialist systems, “the poor” are considered morally praiseworthy merely for that fact)…

It wasn’t as bad as he says. His family managed to send him to the University of Chicago. Despite a prestigious degree, however, Sanders failed to earn a living, even as an adult. It took him 40 years to collect his first steady paycheck — and it was a government check.

“I never had any money my entire life,” Sanders told Vermont public TV in 1985, after settling into his first real job as mayor of Burlington.

Sanders spent most of his life as an angry radical and agitator who never accomplished much of anything. And yet now he thinks he deserves the power to run your life and your finances — “We will raise taxes;” he confirmed Monday, “yes, we will.”

He does have the rare, and commendable, distinction that he has avoided the siren songs of DC better than anyone else who has spent as much time there as he has. That doesn’t make him right, just distinctive.

After all, he believes theft is morally acceptable.

And I’ll leave with Cruz, because I like him, especially when he calls out bloviating cowards:

Democrat Debate In Primetime?

What are we to make of the just-announced Democrat debate in primetime on Monday?

We have to start with the assumption that the leadership of the Democrat party are in all but name paid staff of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Sure, Sanders and some other people might be running, but the evidence clearly indicates that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and her apparatchiks have orchestrated their entire involvement in the campaign to do the utmost to support their preferred candidate, the illustriously corrupt Mrs Hillary Clinton.

They know she is deeply unpopular, unpleasant, unpersonable, and corrupt (they especially like that part), and so they have worked to minimize her exposure. Debates have thus far been conducted in as much secrecy as a public debate can be, off primetime, off the beaten path, and nearly off the record. The sycophants in the media, devoted shills for the leftists in power, are only too happy to be roped along on the campaign trail, nary a question about the reality of the promises, the truths of the deals, the facts behind the unicorn dust.

So, Ms Wasserman-Schultz is doing all she can to make Hillary the next President, but she forgets that people are fickle, and in their lucid moments, unwilling to be shepherded along. (Isn’t THAT the biggest lesson from this election?) The problem is, they didn’t bet on someone else promising more free things, someone with an apparently larger store of unicorn dust, someone handing out bigger candy bars than their own candidate could promise.

Hillary is the oddity: she is the thinking-person’s silly candidate. She promises enough that, without critical thought, she sounds OK-ish, enough that leftists can sate their sanity along with their need for hard-line party pablum, feeding their cognitive dissonance.

But, there are few enough of those, and more on the left who cannot control their impulses, and thus will vote for the person giving more away.

Another consideration is that because so much effort and political favor and trust has been expended in the slavish pursuit of what very well may end up in failure, rather than seeking to minimize the loss, instead they are doubling down and investing more blood, more credibility, and adding to the already hefty damage of the Obama years to the Democrat party. Hillary truly is the second coming of Obama, and certainly that fact must grate on her as she also realizes it is the only chance she has of succeeding, and also her surest chance of utter failure.

So, the Democrat party, having bet the house on Hillary via a strategy they realize late is wrong, are trying to stop the bleeding by putting her in prime time in hopes that Bernie will be Crazy Uncle Bernie, and people will see their choices in sharp relief and choose corruption over stupidity.


And people think the Republican party is in trouble.

(Granted, I think it kinda is. That so many people completely fail to see not only the stupidity of Trump, but also the fundamental dishonesty and sometimes downright evil of his campaign, is, frankly, frightening. But, at least the bad isn’t all on one side.)