What Obama Said

By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

Sometimes, inadvertently maybe, folks will say things that to a philosopher’s ear rings like a dinner bell to fine ham and beans (with cornbread). In a recent interview with Gayle King of CBS, Obama was told that seventy-two million people voted for Donald Trump. “What does that say to you about the state of this country?” she asked. “The power of…that alternative worldview that’s presented in the medium that those voters consume…it carries a lot of weight.” “Are you worried about that?” “Yes,” he answers. “It’s very hard for a democracy to function if we are operating on just completely different sets of facts.”

This is a loaded statement. First off, the term “worldview” admits that “Trump voters” and “Biden voters” operate on a worldview (Weltanschauung). Correct. They do. The phrase, “completely different sets of facts” means that “facts” (raw data) are being interpreted differently (Hermeneutics). They are being interpreted on the basis of a worldview (Presuppositionalism). Second, “hard for a democracy to function” means that unless one worldview succumbs to the other worldview, then the country will continue to operate under division. But this perhaps betrays Obama’s unclear answer. The good ole USA is not a “democracy”. This fact may be lost on students in the public schools, but it is a fact. The very understanding of a functioning democracy infers that factions exist. Let us quote James Madison from Federalist Paper 10: “The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended” (The Federalist, Regnery Publishing, 1998, p. 109). Madison then goes on to use words and phrases like, “factions,” “stronger party,” “weaker party.” President Madison continued, “Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.” A democracy is not the solution to national ills and cures. “A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.” America is a Republic. America was founded upon the idea that multiple worldviews exist in its citizenry. America was founded upon an idea that function of principles (“we shouldn’t arbitrarily kill people”) in spite of factions would unify the Republic through fair representation (voting). Why have “freedom of speech” if everyone is forced to believe the same “worldview”?

Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion (Freedom of the Press, or “medium” – Media) is based on the fact that human beings do not agree on matters that define these enterprises. Arguments about what constitutes a “fact” has been debated for centuries. The reader may wish to consult Fritz H. Heinemann’s Existentialism and the Modern Predicament (Harper Torchbooks, 1958) for a fine discussion of Kierkegaard, Marcel, Heidegger and Kant.

One may use Merton’s guide for how one acts in a given culture. If there is anomie, or social breakdown, then stress is produced in a given section of the population. Merton defines a people as having “culture goals”, “norms”, and the “institutionalized means” which are the structures that let people achieve goals through norms (Social Theory and Social Structure, New York, Free Press, R. K. Merton, 1957). Strain arises from “a sense of frustration, despair, or injustice” (Grunlan & Mayers, Cultural Anthropology, Academie Books, 1988). Drawing from Merton, there are five ways to operate under a sense of political strain: 1. Conform. 2. Innovate. 3. Ritualize. 4. Retreat. 5. Rebel (p. 209-ff.). Conform means to simply go along with what one is told to do. Innovation accepts the norms or goals, but bypasses the means; i.e., they cheat the system. The Ritualists are those who hallow the “laws” of a given party or idea and have no ambition of changing them. The retreatist simply opts out and “goes off paper”. The Rebel seeks to replace the system by revolution. Each of these types operates on the basis of given facts as they see (interpret) the world(view) around them. It is precisely here that President Obama appears to suggest that having differing worldviews is wrong for America if his version of America is to survive and thrive.

Finally, the idea between what constitutes a “fact” and an “opinion” is very difficult to split. “This is a rock”. “Karl Marx had some good ideas.” “God created the heavens and the earth in six days.” “This universe is a happenstance collision of photons.” Can you spot the fact from the opinion?

In Leftist thinking, the idea of a Freedom of Press simply means that the society can never come together in order to achieve the social goals necessary for the true emancipation of the human species. All opposing “views” must, then, be curtailed to the singular Truth of the collective representation of the People that get to run the government. There does not exist the idea that two human beings can look at the same rock and come to two different interpretations of how the rock got there. We agree to call it a rock. We are free to say the rock is six thousand years old, or six million. Both cannot be right. However, both interpretations can be argued for rationally. A true form of government lets and protects these interpretations and does not interfere either for or against them. It also will function in such a way that certain laws will be followed by both views when it comes to killing, stealing, eating and the like. In our case, we have a Constitution. A Republic. It’s messy. There are hoops and hurdles. Checks and balances. There are also “Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, [who] may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.” If you think Trump is such a character, that’s your right and your opinion and no censorship should defrock you. If you think Biden is such a person, the same applies. Free access to information (facts) and the freedom to put together evidence is a right. Thus, when the Media begins to clearly favor a political idea, it is the right by innovation to create another form of Media to compete. The Government would make no decision to censure whatsoever the media outlets. The People get to decide what they will watch, read, and collect. You have a right to be wrong, and you can be wrong but still right when you insist that your opponent is also guaranteed the same equity. Both must insist, however, that the right to collect “facts” together under a particular worldview will not at all be restrained by the State. Without developing a further inference from this conclusion, let me state that the issues facing our nation are debatable precisely because the methodology of argumentation utilized for these issues are the same while the conclusions cannot be definitively (absolutely) absolved. No man and no Party is omniscient. The inerrancy of Scripture? Debatable. Climate change? Debatable. Evolution? Debatable. Social constructs? Debatable – and so on. What we all have to agree upon though is that we are allowed to debate in the universities and marketplaces these ideas without fear from the State. If that agreement is ever lost, then this great experiment in social engineering and culture is lost and the prediction of its future is dim.

Author: Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

Samuel M. Frost has gained the recognition of his family, peers, colleagues, church members, and local community as a teacher and leader.  Samuel was raised in the Foursquare Gospel tradition and continued in the rising Charismatic Movement of the early 1980’s.  While serving in local congregations he was admitted to Liberty Christian College in Pensacola, Florida where he lived on campus for four years earning his Bachelor’s of Theology degree.  It was there under the tutelage of Dr. Dow Robinson (Summer Institutes of Linguistics), and Dr. Frank Longino (Dallas Theological Seminary) that he was motivated to pursue a career in Theology.  Dr. Robinson wrote two books on Linguistics, Workbook on Phonological Analysis (SIL, 1970) and Manuel for Bilingual Dictionaries: Textbook (SIL, 1969).  It was under these teachers’ guidance that Frost entered into his Master’s studies, being granted a scholarship for Greek I and II at Pentecostal Theological Seminary, accredited, in Cleveland, Tennessee (adjunct of Lee University).  Frost completed his study under Dr. French Arrington, who used the text of J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners. Frost studied Hebrew for two years under Dr. Mark Futato (author, Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Eisenbrauns, 2003) and Dr. Bruce K. Waltke (author, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Eisenbrauns, 1990) at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida. With combined credits from PTS and RTS, Samuel completed his Master of Arts in Christian Studies and Master of Arts in Religion from Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland, Florida under the direct tutelage of Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, co-author of the well reviewed work, Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism (Whitefield Media, 2005) with Dr. Gary Crampton (and Foreword by the late, Dr. D. James Kennedy).  Dr. Talbot also oversaw Samuel’s Dissertation, From the First Adam to the Second and Last Adam (2012) earning him the Magister Theologiae (Th.M.) degree.  He also helped put together A Student’s Hebrew Primer for WTS and graded exams in Hebrew. Samuel’s studies lead him into an issue in the field of Eschatology where his scholarship and unique approach in Hermeneutics garnered him recognition.  Because of the controversial nature of some of his conclusions, scholars were sharp in their disagreement with him.  Frost’s initial work, Misplaced Hope: The Origins of First and Second Century Eschatology (2002, Second Edition, 2006 Bi-Millennial Publishing), sold over four thousand units.  While arguing for the Reformation understanding of sola Scriptura as defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith, Frost’s book launched a heavily footnoted argument for a total reassessment of the doctrine known as the Second Coming of Christ.  The conclusion was that the events of the war of the Jewish nation against their Roman overlords in 66-70 C.E. formed the New Testament authors’ eschatological outlook, and went no further than their own first century generation; a view otherwise known as “full” or "hyper" Preterism.  Internationally recognized Evangelical author and speaker Steve Wohlberg remarked, ‘On the “preterist” side today…we have such influential leaders as Gary DeMar, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., David Chilton, R.C. Sproul, Max King, James Stuart Russell, Samuel M. Frost, and John Noe.  To these scholars…the beast is not on the horizon, he’s dead” (Italics, his)” (End Time Delusions, Destiny Image Publishers, 2004, page 133).  It should be noted that only Noe, King and Frost supported the “full” Preterist position. Thomas Ice and co-author of the best selling Left Behind series, Tim LaHaye, quote Frost’s work, Misplaced Hope, as well in their book, The End Times Controversy: The Second Coming under Attack (Harvest House Publishers, 2003, page 40).  Dr. Jay E. Adams, who single handedly launched “a revolution” in Christian Counseling with his work, Competent to Counsel: An Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling, (1970, Zondervan), also wrote an analysis of Frost’s work in Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox? (Ministry Monographs for Modern Times, INS Publishing, 2004).  Dr. Charles E. Hill, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, wrote of Misplaced Hope that Frost, “attacks the problem of the early church in a much more thoroughgoing way than I have seen” (When Shall These Things Be? A Reformed Response to Hyper Preterism, Ed. Keith Mathison, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2003, ‘Eschatology in the Wake of Jerusalem’s Fall’ p. 110-ff.).  There were several other works as well that took the scholarship of Frost seriously, like Ergun Caner in The Return of Christ: A Premillennial Perspective, Eds., Steve W. Lemke and David L. Allen (B&H Publishing, 2011). Because of the controversial nature of Frost’s conclusions on these matters, it was difficult to find a denomination within the Church-at-Large to work in terms of pastoral ministry.  That situation changed when Samuel was called by a Bible study group in Saint Petersburg, Florida to found a congregation.  Christ Covenant Church was established in 2002 operating under the principles outlined by Presbyterian historian James Bannerman’s work, The Church of Christ: A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church (Banner of Truth Trust, 1974, original, 1869).  By-Laws and a Constitution were drawn up in the strictest manner for what was considered an “Independent” establishment of a Presbyterian Church, granted that a “call” was received and recognized by Presiding Elders duly ordained from existing and recognized denominations.  Two Elders, one ordained in the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Mike Delores), and another ordained in the Presbyterian Church of America (Dr. Kelly N. Birks, now deceased) tested and reviewed the call, ordaining Samuel on October 20th, 2002, the Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity.  Proper forms were submitted to Tallahassee, Florida with the stamp of a Notary Public Witness.  Christ Covenant Church (CCC) functioned as a local church for five years with a congregation as large as 30 members.  Frost was gaining recognition after Misplaced Hope had been published in January of that year, and conferences were hosted that included debates with another prominent "full" Preterist educator, Don K. Preston.  CCC hosted best-selling authors, Thomas Ice, and Mark Hitchcock from Dallas Theological Seminary; and Dr. James B. Jordan (Westminster Theological Seminary), well-known author/pastor in Reformed theological circles.  Frost was invited for the next several years to speak at over 25 conferences nation-wide, was featured in articles and an appearance on local news in Tampa for one of CCC’s conferences.  The Evangelical Theological Society also invited Samuel to speak at the Philadelphia conference (Frost is currently a Member of ETS as well as Society of Biblical Literature). During this time Samuel had submitted one more book, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection of the Dead (TruthVoice, 2008; repr. JaDon Publishing, 2010); and co-wrote, House Divided: A Reformed Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Vision International, 2010).  Frost also wrote several Forewords for up and coming authors who were influenced by his teaching materials, as well as cited many times in books, lectures and academic papers.  However, because of certain aspects of Hermeneutics and Frost’s undaunted commitment to scholarship (with always a strong emphasis on the personal nature of devotional living to Christ), several challenges to the "hyper" Preterist view he espoused finally gave way, largely due to the unwavering commitment to Samuel by the Dean of Whitefield Theological Seminary, Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, who continually challenged him.  In what shocked the "hyper" Preterist world, Samuel announced after the Summer of 2010 that he was in serious error, and departed the movement as a whole, along with Jason Bradfield, Assistant Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, Florida .  Christ Covenant Church had dissolved after 2007 while Samuel continued as a public speaker and writer, largely due to reasons that would unravel Frost’s commitment to "hyper" Preterism as a whole. The documentation of Frost’s departure was published by American Vision’s Founder, Gary DeMar, with a Foreword by Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry.  Why I Left Full Preterism (AV Publishing, 2012) quickly sold out its first run.  The book was later republished under the arm of Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry and is sold today (GoodBirth Ministries Publishing, 2019).  Dr. Keith Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida, endorsed the book as well.  Samuel has gone on to write, Daniel: Unplugged (Kindle/Amazon, 2019); The Parousia of the Son of Man (Lulu Publishing, 2019); God: As Bill Wilson Understood Him, A Theological Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous (Lulu Publishing, 2017).  He is also active as a certified Chaplain with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana, and enrolled with ICAADA (Indiana Counselor’s Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse) working directly under Dr. Dennis Greene, Founder of Christian Counseling and Addictions Services, Inc.  Frost’s passion is in the education of the local church on various issues and occasionally works Pastor Alan McCraine with the First Presbyterian Church in Lewisville, Indiana where he periodically is called upon to give the sermon.  He also is working with Redemption Life Bible Church with Pastor Tyler Jackson in New Castle, Indiana.  Samuel, with his wife, Kimberly, helped to establish Heaven’s Bread Basket food pantry that donates food items to local families in need once a month – a ministry of the Session of First Presbyterian Church. Samuel has four children, one step-son, ages sixteen to twenty-eight and has worked part time at Ace Hardware in New Castle, Indiana for over five years.  He has a solid reputation in the community, and has performed marriages and funerals.  He also sits on the Board of the Historical Preservation Committee in New Castle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.