Is Josh Tolley a Totalitarian?

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A person in the Idaho liberty movement encouraged me to check out radio host Josh Tolley, saying that he ought to be promoted as a media personality who supports liberty. I subscribed to his YouTube channel and watched a video every so often (or rather listened to his videos, which are mostly excerpts from his radio show that rotate still images instead of actually being video). However, the one to which I listened today was rather disturbing. It is entitled “Bible Vs Constitution: Only One Supports Freedom (it’s not the one you think).” You can see it below:

Josh Tolley interviews Ted R. Weiland, the pastor of Christian Covenant Fellowship in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and who wrote a book called Bible Law vs. The United States Constitution: A Biblical Perspective. Mr. Weiland argues that the US Constitution is not inspired by Judeo-Christian values or Biblical law, but not for the reasons one might think. Rather, the reason that the US Constitution is anti-Christian is because it fails to establish a nation-state theocracy that enforces the Mosaic Law.

In the above-mentioned book, there is a chapter dedicated to each of the articles in the US Constitution, as well as one for each of the amendments. In this interview, Weiland mentions the arguments he makes against the First Amendment, particularly freedom of religion. If it weren’t for this anti-Christian provision, he says, we wouldn’t see the rise of Islam or polytheism in the United States. “But wouldn’t this mean forced conversions?” a caller asks. Forced conversions are not real conversions, Weiland replies, but we are talking about the government and not individuals and there is a big difference. So here we have the obvious indication that Weiland is a statist totalitarian: he believes something that would be absolutely morally reprehensible for an individual to do is a duty of the state. And yet Tolley does not bother to challenge this point.

Weiland also claims that under what he believes to be a Biblical government, there would be almost no need for prisons. Before you think,” Wow, this guy must really be progressive,” please note that the reason why is the immediate execution of those convicted of capital crimes and the payment of restitution to victims of non-capital crimes (who are summarily executed if they fail to pay restitution). When a caller asks about whether it is just for offenders who fail to pay restitution to be executed, Weiland replies that such a penalty would rarely, if ever, be enforced. Why, whoever would choose not to pay restitution must have a death wish, he claims. But if we are to accept that reasoning, we would have to say that people would rarely, if ever, do anything that incurred the death penalty, which is 1) not true in practice and 2) sounds like a basis for totalitarianism: just have the death penalty for all undesirable behaviors and they will go away!

Weiland also seems very confident in his Biblical interpretation skills, as he says most Christians are wrong in how they believe Jesus freed us from the requirements of the Mosaic Law. Not so, says he, we still need to stone adulterers and homosexuals. If we only followed God’s perfect law (strictly enforced by the state), we wouldn’t have any of the social problems we have today. Weiland shows the tendencies common among totalitarians: he believes in an earthly utopia brought about by state power and he is clearly willing to execute people to reach his objectives.

And even through all this, interviewing someone who is obviously not a libertarian and shows many of the signs of being a totalitarian, Josh Tolley expresses no disagreement with anything Weiland says. In fact, he wants to have him on his show again. What are we to think of Josh Tolley?

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3 responses »

  1. Just poking around doing a bit of research and seeing where it takes me and found this post. A couple of things:

    There is a movement out there called the Hebrew Roots Movement which mandates Torah observance for Christians – that we are to ‘keep’ the Laws given to Israel at Sinai. Weiland, while not HRM, is definitely for a theocratic society including stonings for qualifying offenses and adherence to Old Covenant Laws. He is also listed as a resource on Christian Identity and British Israelism sites.

    Josh Tolley is much harder to pin down. He has no statement of faith on his website and sells himself as an ‘evangelpreneur’, whatever the heck that is. Josh has been a guest speaker at Passion For Truth Ministries and has had PFT’s ‘pastor’ on his radio show regarding paganism and holidays. You can search PFT’s YouTube channel for both videos.

    While I don’t know much about Josh Tolley, I know a lot about Jim Staley, the ‘pastor’ at PFT. You can read about one of his key teachings (which delves into the whole British Israelism with a Hebrew Roots twist, actually) as well as his ministry style (abusive) and origins (echoes of Joseph Smith) at JGIG – it’s consistently in the top ten read articles in the left sidebar there, titled, “Gateways into the Hebrew Roots Movement – An Examination of ‘Identity Crisis’ and Related Teachings of Jim Staley”. A Hebrew Roots teacher, Staley has attempted to re-brand *his* movement as ‘Christian Roots’, as more and more Christians are understanding that much of what is taught in the HRM is a rehash of Herbert Armstrong’s now-defunct and splintered off Worldwide Church of God.

    Also noteworthy is that Josh Tolley, someone who promotes himself as a motivational speaker for small businesses is aligning himself with Staley, who this past June was federally indicted for financial fraud on a pretty large scale. You can read about that here: http://www.fbi.gov/stlouis/press-releases/2014/wentzville-man-indicted-on-fraud-charges

    It seems that Josh is intentionally vague in print, but looking at his guests and who he associates with, one has to wonder just what his agenda is.

  2. Thank you so much for your comment. I don’t imagine that Josh Tolley is a totalitarian, and perhaps he was trying to be polite to his guest, but it is very surprising that someone who cares about liberty would sit silently by while his guest said such things.

    You are clearly more knowledgeable on these differential theological matters, and I will definitely check out your blog.

  3. Basically what you are saying when you condemn the law of God is that God didn’t know what He was talking about when He wrote the Old Testament. You are wiser than God in your understanding of what constitutes true justice. That’s what the Devil told Eve in the Garden.

    The ceremonial law (e.g. animal sacrifices) was obviously fulfilled by the death of Christ, but the judicial case laws remain. “and why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, Honor your father and mother,” and, “He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.” (Mt. 15:4,5). In that passage Jesus upheld one of the 10-Commandments and it’s case law illustration in a single sentence.

    But you prefer your own man-made, traditional definition of justice, which has led to the death of countless thousands in the 20th Century alone. There is a commentary handbook on the law of God at http://www.kingswayclassicalacademy.com/commentary

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