"All truth passes through three stages: first, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; and third, it is accepted as self-evident." – Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860). "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information infotainment tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and partisan activist opinion/commentary reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell
And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.—Romans 8:23.
It is blessed to receive from the Holy Ghost such gracious interpretations of his own most holy word as bear a correspondence with what we feel in a life of grace. We know that our adorable Jesus is the Saviour of the body as well as the soul; but we know also that these vile bodies of ours are not regenerated, as the souls of his redeemed are. In this tabernacle, therefore, we groan, being burdened. I know, saith Paul, that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing. And I too often know, to my sorrow, the same. Pause, my soul, this evening, over this solemn scripture, and look up to the great Author of it, to unfold its sacred truth to thy comfort. I hope I can humbly adopt the language, and say, that I have “the first fruits of the Spirit.” I know what it is to enjoy the first dawnings and leadings of grace. I know what it is to have been once afar off, living without God and without Christ in the world, an enemy to God by wicked works. And I know what it is to have been brought nigh by the blood of Christ: Jesus, by his Holy Spirit, hath come nigh to me, and brought my soul nigh to God. I know also what it is at times to have sweet seasons of communion. I am as sensible of the reviving, comforting, strengthening, refreshing graces of the Spirit, as the earth is of the falling showers, or the sweet return of light. I know no less what it is to have an enlargement of soul, in the going forth of the exercises of faith and grace upon the person and work of the Lord Jesus. When the Redeemer is pleased to call forth into lively actings upon himself the graces he hath planted, I can then find a blessed season in contemplating his glories, his beauties, his fulness, suitableness, and all-sufficiency. I then sit down as the Church of old did, under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. The Lord hath then brought me into his banqueting house, and my whole soul, under the banner of love, is delighted with fatness. But amidst these first fruits of the Spirit, these blessed earnests and pledges of the glory that shall be revealed, I know no less also what it is to groan within myself, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of my poor, polluted, sinful body. I find the partner of my heart, this earthly half of myself, at times the greatest opposer of my better dispositions. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit; the soul is straitened, shut up, so as to say nothing, and do nothing, when appearing before the Lord. I dare not neglect prayer; I dare not absent myself from going to court. The King will know and mark my neglect. But if I go I am cold, dead and lifeless; I hear as though I heard not; I pray as though I prayed not. Can I do otherwise than groan? Can I help at times being deeply affected, although I have the first fruits of the Spirit? Lord Jesus, undertake for me, and let all the sanctified blessings, intended by thy love and wisdom from these painful exercises of the soul, be accomplished. Let this thorn in the flesh make me humble; root out the very existence of spiritual pride; reconcile my whole heart to the humiliation of the grave; and above all, endear thee, thou precious Emmanuel, the Lord our righteousness, more and more to my affections, since it is thou, and thou alone, that canst be our peace here, and our salvation for ever.
When deciding what to believe about the Bible, who should we listen to?
That’s a rather basic question, and I suppose there are many possible answers. We could listen to our friends—maybe a roommate or a co-worker. Then there are family members, maybe our parents or siblings. Surely they would have an opinion. Or we could look to our leaders, a pastor or professor who seems to be an “expert.” And there’s always Google if we really want to know what to think!
But in the midst of all the options there is one person that, ironically, Christians (and non-Christians) overlook. Jesus.
Now, of course, Christians don’t overlook Jesus generally. He is central to about everything Christians think and do. But, strangely, he is not often the ultimate court of appeal when they are deciding what to think about the Bible. But, just a few moments of reflection suggest he should be.
First, and most obviously, Jesus’ opinion about the Bible matters most because he wrote it. Now, obviously, he didn’t literally write it—we have no evidence that Jesus himself left any written records. But, as the incarnate Lord, as the very God of Israel enfleshed, he is the divine author of Scripture. If he is who he claims to be, then he is the one who inspired the Old Testament authors. When you hear the voice of the Old Testament Scriptures, you are hearing the voice of the Lord—the voice of Christ.
Who better to tell us what to think about the Old Testament than its author?
By way of example, imagine if someone asked what we should think about the painting, The Mona Lisa. There are a lot of opinions out there, from art historians to lay folks, about the identity of this mysterious woman. Not only have numerous female names been suggested, but others have argued the painting may even be a disguised self-portrait of da Vinci himself!
But there would be one way (perhaps the only way) to settle the matter absolutely. And that is if we were able to ask da Vinci himself about The Mona Lisa. Surely the author’s own testimony about the painting would be definitive.
Of course, at this point someone will object: How can base our opinions about the Bible on Jesus’s testimony, when that testimony comes from the Bible? Isn’t that circular reasoning?
In a sense, it is circular. But not in a problematic way. When it comes to ultimate authorities there is always an inevitable level of circularity when we authenticate them. After all, if an ultimate authority is only valid because it conforms to some lesser authority, then it would no longer be ultimate!
Put simply, we can’t account for an ultimate authority without using it.
Even so, there’s another reason why this “circularity” is not a problem. Even if a person doesn’t believe the Gospels are divinely-inspired documents, there are good reasons to think they are historically reliable in a general sense. If so, then we have good historical grounds to think Jesus actually believed these things about the Old Testament. And that is still a very helpful place to start building our doctrine of Scripture.
So, if we are correct that Jesus is the “author” of the Old Testament, then that raises an additional, and very critical, point, namely that the integrity of the Old Testament and the integrity of Jesus are inevitably intertwined. They stand or fall together. If the Old Testament is wrong, then Jesus is wrong. And if Jesus is wrong, then the Old Testament is wrong.
Here we come to a debate that has been swirling the last couple of years in evangelical circles, namely the question of whether Christians really need, or should use, the Old Testament. Most famously, mega-church pastor Andy Stanley has argued that Christians should “unhitch” themselves from the Old Testament (see my response here). After all, a person doesn’t need to believe in the OT to be saved, so let’s just take it off the table.
Stanley is partly right. People don’t have to believe the Bible to be saved (at least not all of it). Indeed, they don’t even need to know a Bible exists to be saved (imagine a missionary preaching to a tribe in the remote jungle). But we can’t forget a key distinction: While a person doesn’t have to believe the Bible is true to be saved, the Bible has to be true for them to be saved.
Why? Because Jesus said the Bible is true. And if it’s not true, then he was wrong.
Just think about this verse for a moment: “For if you believed Moses you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:46-47)
Sure, Moses may seem like a dusty ol’ crank that is no longer relevant for the era of grace under Jesus. But, Jesus doesn’t agree. What you think about Moses—and the five books he wrote—will determine what you think about Jesus. The two go together.
So, then what exactly did Jesus believe about the Old Testament? And did he have anything to say about a future New Testament? We will answer these questions in the next post. Stay tuned!
“Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” (Eccles. 7:3.)
WHEN sorrow comes under the power of Divine grace, it works out a manifold ministry in our lives. Sorrow reveals unknown depths in the soul, and unknown capabilities of experience and service. Gay, trifling people are always shallow, and never suspect the little meannesses in their nature. Sorrow is God’s plowshare that turns up and subsoils the depths of the soul, that it may yield richer harvests. If we had never fallen, or were in a glorified state, then the strong torrents of Divine joy would be the normal force to open up all our souls’ capacities; but in a fallen world, sorrow, with despair taken out of it, is the chosen power to reveal ourselves to ourselves. Hence it is sorrow that makes us think deeply, long, and soberly.
Sorrow makes us go slower and more considerately, and introspect our motives and dispositions. It is sorrow that opens up within us the capacities of the heavenly life, and it is sorrow that makes us willing to launch our capacities on a boundless sea of service for God and our fellows.
We may suppose a class of indolent people living at the base of a great mountain range, who had never ventured to explore the valleys and canyons back in the mountains; and some day, when a great thunderstorm goes careening through the mountains, it turns the hidden glens into echoing trumpets, and reveals the inner recesses of the valley, like the convolutions of a monster shell, and then the dwellers at the foot of the hills are astonished at the labyrinths and unexplored recesses of a region so near by, and yet so little known. So it is with many souls who indolently live on the outer edge of their own natures until great thunderstorms of sorrow reveal hidden depths within that were never hitherto suspected.
God never uses anybody to a large degree, until after He breaks that one all to pieces. Joseph had more sorrow than all the other sons of Jacob, and it led him out into a ministry of bread for all nations. For this reason, the Holy Spirit said of him, “Joseph is a fruitful bough … by a well, whose branches run over the wall” (Gen. 49:22). It takes sorrow to widen the soul.—The Heavenly Life.
The dark brown mould’s upturned
By the sharp-pointed plow;
And I’ve a lesson learned.
My life is but a field,
Stretched out beneath God’s sky,
Some harvest rich to yield.
Where grows the golden grain?
Where faith? Where sympathy?
In a furrow cut by pain.
—Maltbie D. Babcock.
Every person and every nation must take lessons in God’s school of adversity. “We can say, ‘Blessed is night, for it reveals to us the stars.’ In the same way we can say, ‘Blessed is sorrow, for it reveals God’s comfort.’ The floods washed away home and mill, all the poor man had in the world. But as he stood on the scene of his loss, after the water had subsided, broken-hearted and discouraged, he saw something shining in the bank which the waters had washed bare. ‘It looks like gold,’ he said. It was gold. The flood which had beggared him made him rich. So it is ofttimes in life.”—H. C. Trumbull.
The Christian life is not a playground; it’s a battlefield. Since we are in a war, and the world, the flesh, and the devil are always working against the Spirit’s agenda, we must get serious about sanctification, overcoming sin, and becoming like Christ. But we cannot do it without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
“But” indicates that what is to follow is in contrast to the works of the sinful flesh, the Holy Spirit produces a harvest of righteousness in the believer’s life. To reap the harvest of walking in the Spirit, you need to occupy yourself with four ongoing actions…
Recognize the outworking of the Spirit’s sanctifying work (vv. 22-23).
“But the fruit” in contrast to the works of the flesh. Jesus used gardening language when describing our growth in Him (John 15:1-5). The fruit of the Spirit is the outworking of the new life of Christ which is active within you. William MacDonald writes, “It is significant that the apostle distinguishes between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. Works are produced by human energy. Fruit is grown as a branch abides in the vine (John 15:5). They differ as a factory and a garden differ.”
Notice that “fruit” is singular. It is not fruits, but fruit. The fruit is Christlike character. The primary evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in a believer’s life is not some form of bizarre behavior, but that of stable, godly character that reflects Christlikeness. So, again, we are reminded that God’s goal for us is to become conformed to the image of his Son: For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). Other Scriptures indicate the same Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:13).
What does it look like to be becoming more and more like Jesus? There will be a harvest of righteousness. You and others will see that you are growing in the following nine virtues. No doubt, as the list of the works of the flesh was not exhaustive, so this list is not either.
LOVE is the supreme Christlike virtue. “The greatest of these is love,” as Paul says in 1 Corinthians. Love holds all the other character qualities together (Col. 3:14). Love is the demonstration of putting others before yourself. It is the outworking of the life of God within you (Eph. 5:1-2).
JOY is an inner stability of spirit. It’s being satisfied with God and how his will is being worked out in your life. It opposes the striving of the spirit that too often characterizes us, because we are discontent. Joy is finding one’s contentment in Christ, not in our circumstances, and in knowing him more and more.
PEACE probably includes both dimensions of peace: Peace with God, as the Spirit bears witness with your spirit that you are a child of God, and the peace of God, as you walk in prayerful dependence upon the Spirit your anxiety is brought under his control.
PATIENCE is longsuffering. This kind of patience is not easily annoyed, but describes the patience that awaits God’s will to be done in your trials and suffering, and in God’s timing. Longsuffering waits for God to vindicate you of false accusations, while you continue to love your enemies and pray for them.
KINDNESS is as the ESV Study Bible says, “Kindness means showing goodness, generosity, and sympathy toward others.” Romans 2:4 says this is the attribute of God that brings us to repentance. Paul asks the religious person who is trusting in his good works to save him: Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
GOODNESS is kindness in action. The Good Samaritan models this kind of character. While the Levite and the priest avoided the wounded man, as if he was a leper, the Samaritan outcast drew near and met his needs.
FAITHFULNESS refers to trust in God which leads to obedience to God. But it also refers to being a person that people can rely upon. Sadly, this is an often-neglected character quality. Everyone just wants to follow their heart, instead of following God and being faithful to others (1 Cor. 4:2).
GENTLENESS is the combination of humility and servanthood. In the four Gospels, Jesus only once describes himself in a personal way: “I am gentle and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29).
SELF-CONTROL is the ability to govern yourself. You don’t need others to govern you, because you have learned to say No to your own fleshly desires, and yes to the Spirit. This quality describes the person whose life is disciplined. It’s the opposite of laziness.
Against this fruit “there is no law.” If these qualities are becoming more and more evident in your life, there is less and less of a need for outside governance. Instead, you are learning to govern yourself from inside, as you walk in the strength of the Spirit.
Represent Christ and your union with Him (v. 24).
“Those who belong to Christ” are true believers. The harvest of fruit, or the lack of a harvest of the fruit of the Spirit, says something about your true spiritual condition. Believers “have crucified the flesh,” which refers to a completed action in the past. It’s referring to what happened at the moment of your conversion. Armand Tiffe has published a helpful personal Bible study of Romans 6. It’s entitled The Liberating Truth of Romans 6. Working through that study will give you a firmer grasp on your position in Christ, and how Christ sets us free from our sinful habits and lazy tendencies. God says that your sinful passions and desires were crucified when you first came to Christ. So why return to them? Why would you want to return to that which once enslaved you?
Relinquish control to the Spirit’s leadership (v.25).
“If” means since. Since you are a new creature in Christ. Since the life of God now dwells within you, in the person of the Holy Spirit, do not be controlled by your sinful flesh. Instead, walk in submission to the Spirit. The word walk here, in verse 25, is a different word than the one used previously. Here it means to keep in step, or march in line, with the Spirit (see also Eph. 5:15-21).
Repent of prideful attitudes and actions (v. 26).
Pride is an enemy. It is the enemy of the development of Christlike character. When you say in your heart, “I’m not going to change that part of my life” then you are demonstrating a stubborn determination to remain in control. Instead, the Holy Spirit wants to help you change—to be humble, flexible, and moldable like a lump of soft clay. Paul mentions three prideful attitudes to repent of.
Conceited = holding false, empty opinions of yourself. This is the person who enjoys always being the center of attention. Christians should not be puffed up, larger-than-life characters.
Provoking one another = challenging one another, describes the person who is argumentative simply because they enjoy a verbal fight. It flows from and feeds pride.
Envying one another = craving what others have, due to your own discontent. MacDonald says, “Envy begrudges another person’s superior success, talents, possessions, or good looks.”
He goes on to say, “All such attributes are foreign to grace.” Wherever you see these attitudes in your life, you need to repent of them. You need to humble yourself and esteem others are more important than yourself.
God’s call is clear. In Christ, we are called to walk in a manner that is worthy of our calling. But we cannot do this successfully without the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. As we yield the control of our mind and heart to the Spirit’s will, as revealed in the Word of God, we will see His fruit become increasingly evident in our lives. Seeing progress in your Christian life is the chief means by which God builds assurance of your salvation (2 Pet. 1:3-11). This is the work of God’s grace in our lives, not only saving us, but transforming us into the image and likeness of Jesus.
The deadly Chinese virus is turning up in more and more places, and the number of cases tripled over the weekend. But how bad could things get, and is there anything that could stop it before it’s too late?
It seems a bit like the beginning of a Hollywood thriller. An ordinary winter’s day at Wuhan’s seafood and wildlife market. Market traders, stalls packed with meat and fish, trying to flog their wares. The shoppers, handling the produce and trying to find the best deals. But Wuhan is hundreds of miles from the ocean, meaning any ‘fresh’ fish and shellfish for sale was probably anything but.
We know that something at the market, perhaps a batch of dodgy crabs or some squawking chickens packed together in cages, was carrying a deadly microscopic threat. Little could punters know that hundreds, if not thousands of them, were being infected…
What is it?
The virus, 2019-nCoV, targets the respiratory system and causes coughing, fever and breathing difficulties. Fluid can be drained from the lungs, the airways cleared and expanded and oxygen delivered by mask but these are all just ways of alleviating the symptoms.
Also on rt.com
Antibiotics are useless against viruses — when you get one, the doctor tells you to get plenty of rest and gives you a lollipop. Against a virus, your body’s immune system is your only line of defense. The only real external protection against viruses are vaccines — but these can take a long time to develop, and are not always effective. Moreover, if and when the virus mutates, vaccination becomes useless — this happens almost every winter with influenza, when the doctors play a guessing game about which strains of flu will spread that year.
An old enemy comes back… different
Some have speculated that 2019-nCoV is in fact severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which killed almost 800 people across Asia in 2002. DNA analysis of 2019-nCoV revealed that it is very similar to SARS — essentially a modified form. But Chinese officials are anxious to distance this new bug from SARS; perhaps they are worried that the name would panic the public. So far, their ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ message seems to have been holding — commuters in Beijing were not overly concerned about 2019-nCoV, despite five confirmed cases there.
How far has it spread?
Wuhan, where the virus originated, is right in the center of China. By the time the first reports started coming in it had probably already spread to other Chinese cities, and now there are confirmed cases in Japan, Thailand and South Korea; all of whom are people who had traveled from Wuhan.
Thousands of people fly from Wuhan to other countries every day, and throughout the epidemic flights from Wuhan have been landing in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. Passengers on those flights, as well as those to Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong, are now being screened for 2019-nCoV, but who’s to say how long the virus and symptoms can remain dormant before they are easily detected?
It hardly matters anyway, as it is likely too late for quarantine. Experts in London believe that the Chinese officials have been playing down the extent of the epidemic, and that the true number of infected people is over ten times their figures. They estimated 1,700 last week, and it must have risen further since then. There are 11 million people in Wuhan, which makes a big target for a newly mutated virus.
How bad could things get?
Chinese scientists have been testing people close to the infected, and as it stands, they have yet to find a case of human-to-human transmission. If 2019-nCoV can only jump from its animal origin to humans then this should run its course pretty quickly—only those who contracted the disease at the market will get sick.
Also on rt.com
But if the virus is actually contagious, or it mutates to be, things could get very dire, very quickly. It would spread by the inhalation of respiratory droplets in the air, such as those sprayed around by coughs and sneezes. In developed countries, this could cause it to spread even faster than Ebola does, which can only be transmitted via bodily fluids. The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa killed over 10,000 people, but that was with a mortality rate of 40 percent.
Since there have only been three reported deaths from 2019-nCoV so far, two of whom were elderly men, this virus is much less lethal than Ebola. But if it is even more contagious (especially as it has already reached several massive population centers) the eventual death toll could rival that of SARS, and who knows, maybe even creep into the thousands. In reality, humans are only ever one superbug away from decimation.
Happy New Year!
One small silver lining is the fact that many Chinese already wear face masks as a matter of course, to protect against air pollution. That said, this outbreak could not have come at a worse time. China will celebrate the Chinese New Year later this week, a time when everyone gets holidays from work and travels to visit faraway relatives. As a result, hundreds of millions of Chinese are on the move, on planes, trains and automobiles, in the world’s biggest annual travel rush. The dream scenario for a little virus whose only aim in life is to propagate itself by infecting as many host organisms as possible.
The World Health Organization is not currently recommending any restrictions to travel or trade—everything is under control, according to them. But in the Chinese zodiac, after January 25 we will be entering the Year of the Rat. Let’s hope that this Rat doesn’t carry a new Black Death to ravage half the world.
It doesn’t take a skilled code-breaker to figure out the liberal networks’ stance on President Donald Trump’s impeachment: There’s no doubt we need witnesses if the Senate is going to conduct a fair trial; impeachment is necessary to prove that nobody — not even the President — is above the law; and there’s no more pressing task for Congress if we’re to keep this President, and future Presidents, from acting like tyrants. But when the President being impeached was a Democrat, the spin was completely reversed.
New caravans of migrants have been stopped cold by Mexican national guard forces at the border with Guatemala, prompting one reporter to observe Mexico has become President Trump’s wall.
A caravan of about 4,000 migrants that originated in Honduras last week tried a different crossing point at the Mexican border with Guatemala than previous caravans but were met by Mexican forces that blocked efforts to rush the border crossing on Saturday.
The migrants regrouped and crossed the Suchiate River on Monday only to again be met by Mexican forces.
Mexico is offering to screen migrants for entry into Mexico, which some have accepted, however most will end up being deported.
El Faro reporter Carlos Martinez reported on the new ‘wall’, “This is the complete story about the caravan that failed. Mexico fulfills its role as Trump’s wall:”
The wall of the Southern Border swallowed the last caravan. He extinguished it, left no trace of it, absorbed it whole in a sigh. And announces that he will deport her.
Of the almost four thousand people who left San Pedro Sula four days ago in Honduras, there are only crumbs scattered on the map of Guatemala and a few wandering the Mexican south wandering, with no one to call them a caravan. Mexico proved to be the efficient wall that promised the White House of Donald Trump to contain Central American migration.
…This mass exodus will be, perhaps, the last. Or at least it will mark a very clear before and after: if before Central American walkers dreamed of crossing the American wall of Tijuana and were desperate to understand that these cold cans are immovable, they will now dream of crossing the Mexican wall. The Border, thus with capital letters, moved towards the south equally immovable and immovable…
…A promise fulfilled from Mexico to President Trump, who has made Mesoamerica as his sentinel.
Video posted Monday shows Mexican forces stopping migrants from illegally entering Mexico.
Guatemalan police accompanied by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have swept up hundreds of migrants, returning them to the Honduran border and in effect dashing their plans to travel together in a “caravan” to the United States.
Other, smaller groups traveled on in dribs and drabs in a movement involving several thousand people but very different from previous caravans.
Praying and singing songs, the group of 300 migrants – adults, teens and young children – had set out from a shelter in Entre Rios under rainy skies before dawn and walked about six hours before stopping in the town of Morales to eat and rest. There they were challenged by police, loaded on to buses and returned to the border to register under rules governing freedom of travel between Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Guatemalan police officers said the United States paid for the buses.
This is what winning the battle against mass illegal immigration looks like.
Many government officials with long entrenched power are unwilling to give up any of that power. In their minds, they have a right to control our lives as they see fit, with complete indifference to our wishes. To avoid rebellion, they need to hide this fact as much as possible. They want the citizens to believe the lie that we are a nation of laws with equal justice under the law. To advance this lie, they have staged many theatrical productions that they call “investigations”. They try to give us the impression that they want to expose the facts and punish wrongdoing.
Most of the big ‘investigations’ in the news in recent years have not been at all what they pretended to be. The sham investigations of Hillary’s email, or the Clinton Foundation, or Weiner’s laptop, or Uranium One, or Mueller’s witch hunt, or Huber’s big nothing, or the IG’s whitewash, or the Schiff-Pelosi charades, have all been premeditated deceptions.
There are three types of investigations that call for different deceptions by the Deep State.
The first type is the rare honest investigation. Examples would be the attempt to find the truth about Fast and Furious (Obama’s gunrunning operation), or the IRS scandal (Obama’s weaponizing of government). In response to real investigations, the criminals do two things… lie and hide evidence. Key evidence, even if it is under subpoena, just disappears. In the IRS case, Lois Lerner’s relevant email and the email of 6 others involved in the scheme was just “lost”. The IRS “worked tirelessly” to find the email, but hard drives had been destroyed and back-up drives were missing, so the subpoenaed evidence could not be provided.
For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a “glitch” that destroyed the key evidence and that’s the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence.
The second type of ‘investigation’ is when the Deep State pretends to investigate the Deep State. In these ‘investigations’ the outcome is known in advance, but the script calls for pretending, sometimes for years, that it an honest investigation is underway.
There was nothing about the Hillary investigations that had anything to do with finding facts. The purpose from the beginning was exoneration. Key witnesses were given immunity and many were allowed to attend each other’s interviews. There were no early morning swat team raids to gather evidence. Evidence was destroyed with no consequences.
When Anthony Weiner’s laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named “insurance”, the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the ‘lost’ email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that.
The dirty cops are so comfortable about getting away with lies like this that Huber can announce that he found no corruption, when it is readily apparent that he did not interview key witnesses. He even turned away whistleblowers who wanted to submit evidence. A real investigator, Charles Ortel, could have given Huber a long list of Clinton Foundation crimes. Like the Weiner laptop fake investigation, you don’t find crimes if you don’t really look for them.
The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don’t even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want.
IG investigations have proven to be flimsy exonerations of Deep State criminality. Any honest observer can see that there was a carefully organized plan by top officials to control the outcome of the Presidential election. This corrupt plan involved lying to the FISA court, illegal surveillance and unmasking of citizens and conspiring with media partners to make sure lies were widely circulated to voters. The government conspirators and the majority of the media were functioning as nothing more than a branch of Hillary’s campaign. That’s a lot of power aimed at destroying Trump.
To an IG investigator, this monumental scandal was presented to us as nothing to be very concerned about. Yes, a few minor rules were inadvertently broken and there did appear to be some bias, but there was no reason at all to think that bias effected any actions. If the agencies involved make a training video and set aside a day for a training meeting, then that should satisfy us completely.
The third type of investigation involves investigating an imaginary crime for political reasons. The Mueller investigation and the impeachment investigation are two examples of this. Probably as a justification for illegal surveillance they were already doing, the conspirators pretended that there was powerful evidence that Trump was colluding with Putin to win the election. Lies about this issue propelled the country into 3 years of stories about nothing… stories and investigations about something that never happened. Never in the history of nothing has nothing been so thoroughly covered.
Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, “there is no big there, there”, the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone’s home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word “Russia” could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election.
Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay ‘whistleblower’ submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing.
The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance.
We are increasingly angry that there is a double standard of justice in this country. There is a protected class of people who are not prosecuted for their crimes. This needs to end.
“It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.” —Thomas Jefferson (1775)
The lawyers representing President Trump and lawyers representing the Office of the Presidency collectively file a response briefing, a trial memorandum, to the Senate (full pdf below). The 170-page rebuttal to the House articles is HERE and embedded below:
The Articles of Impeachment now before the Senate are an affront to the Constitution and to our democratic institutions. The Articles themselves—and the rigged process that brought them here—are a brazenly political act by House Democrats that must be rejected.
They debase the grave power of impeachment and disdain the solemn responsibility that power entails. Anyone having the most basic respect for the sovereign will of the American people would shudder at the enormity of casting a vote to impeach a duly elected President.
By contrast, upon tallying their votes, House Democrats jeered until they were scolded into silence by the Speaker. The process that brought the articles here violated every precedent and every principle of fairness followed in impeachment inquiries for more than 150 years.
Even so, all that House Democrats have succeeded in proving is that the President did absolutely nothing wrong. All of this is a dangerous perversion of the Constitution that the Senate should swiftly and roundly condemn.
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not: for God took him.—Genesis 5:24.
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.—Hebrews 11:5.
A GREAT deal is being said about holiness. Every true child of God desires to be holy, as His Father in heaven is holy. And holiness is walking with God. Enoch had only one object. How simple life becomes when we have only one object to seek, one purpose to fulfill—to walk with God, to please God! It has been said that the utmost many Christians get to is that they are pardoned criminals. How short they fall of the joy and blessedness of walking with God!
Happy New Year, friends. We can’t wait to spend another year with you. To kick off 2020, we’ve pulled your favorite posts out of the vault. Enjoy them again (or for the first time) with our “Best of” series all month long.
In today’s post, Samantha reminds us we have strong arms to turn to even when we don’t have a shoulder to cry on.
Just a shoulder. What if that’s the one thing you’re looking for?
A safe and kind and sturdy shoulder. A shoulder that says, “I’m here for you,” without saying a word at all.
It’s when you find yourself on the floor, your back against the wall, your head slumped forward and holding the weight of that pain, that sorrow, that betrayal, that unanswered prayer . . . and your battered, war-weary heart wishes for a shoulder, on your right or your left, on which to slowly transfer your weight, in a sort of helpless surrender, a silent act of trust.
A shoulder that doesn’t mind when your tears drop down your cheeks and onto it.
A shoulder that doesn’t offer solutions or demand explanations or brush you off with thoughtless cliches.
A shoulder that listens as you spew your faithless doubts when you rip the bandage off your wounds.
A shoulder that’s content to sit in silence when you’re out of words.
A shoulder strong enough to support a firestorm of anger.
A shoulder gentle enough to ease your numb-from-shock body back into feeling.
Maybe that shoulder would smell like a boy who’s kind to your heart or a dad who’s not going to leave or a friend who’s not scared away by your raw honesty.
It’s so simple, just a shoulder to lean on, to cry on, to fall asleep on. But something that safe, that tender, that sacred might be the thing our souls long for most deeply.
And what if there’s no shoulder—on your right or your left? What do you do then? When loneliness adds more weight to your already heavy load? The hard stuff gets harder when you’re alone . . .
But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. (Ps. 3:3)
It takes a lot of faith to believe that God’s presence is better than a flesh-and-blood shoulder. We want something physical and concrete, something to grab onto and hold tighter. We long to lay our eyes on someone who’s there for us; we ache for a warm shoulder with muscles and veins pumping with blood and warm skin that feels our own.
It takes a lot of faith to believe that Jesus is better than any comfort in this entire world.
But what if He really is? What if His wrap-around presence is real and rescuing and ready for you and me?
Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge. (Ps. 62:5–8 CSB)
And what if you asked Him to be your shoulder?
What if we trusted His forever-dependable presence in our most lonely places?
What if we heard His invitation to rest in the truth that He is with us, that He is sufficient, that He sees the load that’s got us breaking down?
What if we actually let Him carry the load?
We’d discover peace in a never-going-anywhere Father, even when we have no shoulder to cry on.
Then one day, when a trustworthy shoulder does come along, we’d recognize that shoulder as not a replacement for our Father, but as one of His good gifts, an extension of His wrap-around presence.
Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed! For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Ps. 84:9–11)
How can we live with shame and regret so deep that we dare not tell anyone about it?
Voddie Bauchum reminds us all of who Martin Luther King really was, the false gospel he embraced, and the neo-Marxist worldview he espoused.
Reformation Charlotte has covered Martin Luther King showing how the idolatry of King within Evangelical circles has taken on an unprecedented status as he’s been practically deified by the Evangelical social justice movement. While we acknowledge much of the good that came from King’s contributions to the civil rights movement, we must also be honest and forthright about who King was.
As Christians, we can appreciate the good while acknowledging the bad. Unfortunately, Martin Luther King denied the true gospel and rejected Jesus Christ as God precluding him from the Kingdom of God. We cannot gloss over this and deify him into Heaven. His gospel was false. His worldview was false. And any good that came from his contributions is the work of God who alone deserves the glory.
In a culture that has a hard time accepting the notion there are objective, transcendent truths about the nature of God, it’s sometimes hard to take a stand for what we believe without offending someone. Non-Christians aren’t the only people who get offended. The cultural acceptance of relativism (and pluralism) has already impacted the Church dramatically. “Doctrine” has become a dirty word. Many current theologians and Christian writers reject the claim any established doctrine of Christianity is objectively true. These thinkers and church leaders have been profoundly affected by the culture around them; those who refuse to relinquish the orthodox teachings of Christianity are seen as rigid fundamentalists. Some “postmodern” theologians believe all classic Christian claims are now up for negotiation:
“…the doctrine of the Trinity is still on the table. Some people, it seems to me, would like for us to no longer debate certain ‘sacred’ doctrines — the Trinity, the nature of Christ, the nature of scripture, the nature of marriage etc. And these persons tend to get very jumpy when emergent-types discuss these ‘sacrae doctrinae’, especially in books and at conferences that are being taped. ‘This is dangerous,’ they say. I say it’s dangerous to stop talking about these things, and it leads to a hegemony among those who already control the seminaries, colleges, magazines, radio stations, conferences, publishing houses, and magazines. We (Emergent Village) will continue to debate such things” (Tony Jones, from his Theoblogy Blog entry, “De Trinitate” – emphasis in the original).
It’s interesting to note the effort to seek and uphold the ancient, objective, Biblical truth is now seen as “hegemony” (the desire of those in authority to dominate and exercise control over others). The pursuit and defense of truth is now seen as oppressive, not only by unbelievers, but also by fellow believers. Christians today seem to have forgotten how important truth was to Jesus and to the first believers. Many current Christian teachers actually believe it is divisive for us to take a stand for truth at all, and they dislike being publicly rebuked for holding a position described as “un-Biblical”. But both John the Baptist and Jesus were quick to point out the false teaching of those around them, and they did so in a pointed and biting manner. Take for example, John’s public condemnation of the Pharisees on the shore of the Jordan River:
Matthew 3:7-9 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves,’ We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.”
John sounds pretty bold to me. He had no problem calling people out for their beliefs. Was he being Godly? Was He following a Biblical model? One thing is certain: he was behaving in a manner consistent with Jesus. Look at how Jesus addressed the same group:
Matthew 12:34 “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”
Both John and Jesus had no problem addressing false teaching and warning false teachers. Perhaps there is something we can learn about the importance of identifying what is true and addressing what is false:
We Should Call Out the Teacher By Name
We simply must identify those who are teaching error. Paul certainly had no problem doing this and he instructed those who followed him to do the very same thing. In these passages written to Timothy in Paul’s “pastoral” letter, Paul does not hesitate to name names. He publicly identifies false teachers and ungodly men so others can be warned:
2 Timothy 4:9-10 Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica
2 Timothy 1:15 You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.
1 Timothy 1:18-20 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered over to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme.
We are called to (1) Identify false ideas, and (2) Publicly expose those who are either living by or teaching others these ideas.
We Should Describe the Teaching
We also need to be very articulate about what is false in the teaching of these false teachers. We need to take the time to describe the error. Paul also did this, even as he named the false teachers by name:
2 Timothy 2:16-18 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and thus they upset the faith of some.
We are called to (1) Know the truth well enough to see the lie coming, and (2) Describe the lie to others so that they can be warned.
We Should Do All We Can to Silence the Teacher
In some ways the first two principles seem rather defensive, particularly when compared to the next set of principles which are a bit more aggressive and proactive when dealing with error. Paul asked his followers to do their best to stop false teaching by silencing the false teachers and denying them a platform from which to teach.
Titus 1:10-11 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain.
2 John 9-11 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.
We are called to (1) Understand how false teaching impacts believers and their families, (2) Recognize the worldly motives of false teachers, and then (3) Do all we can to these teachers the platform from which they can spread the lie.
We Should Refute the Teaching
But what do we do about those who have already gained a foothold in the Christian community teaching false ideas and doctrines? How are we to respond once the error has already started to permeate the Church? Paul tells his followers that they are to refute the lies. They are to identify and demonstrate why the false teaching is false, and then replace this false teaching with the truth. They are to do this in an emphatic and strong manner:
Titus 1:7-9 Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless-not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
Titus 1:13 This testimony is true. For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith…
We are called to (1) Identify doctrinal errors and describe their false nature, (2) Strongly correct teachers who teach this kind of error, and (3) Replace the errors by describing the Biblical truth of the orthodox Christian Worldview.
We Should Avoid Those Who Continue to Follow or Teach the Lies
Even though we may make a dedicated effort to identify, call out, and refute false teaching and false teachers, many may still decide to follow lies, particularly if some worldly desire can be satisfied by accepting a lie. How are we to live in regard to people who either teach falsely or live according to false views? Well, according to Paul, we are to avoid people like this:
Ephesians 5:11-14 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.
Romans 16:17-18 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.
Titus 3:10-11 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.
We are called to (1) Avoid those who have embraced false teaching, and (2) Warn and ultimately reject those who are false teachers. Paul is clear about how we are to treat those who are living according to false teaching. We are not to try to make peace with or embrace this kind of person or teaching. God calls us to separate from people who say they are Christians, but are following false teaching. That’s pretty severe, but it is what God clearly calls us to do if we are to take the words of Scripture seriously.
The Truth Matters to God
God is calling us to be very careful about Biblical truth. We must study the truth, then set careful boundaries so we will know when someone has crossed over into a lie or false teaching. God then wants us to deal strongly with those who are leading others astray. Why would God require us to be so harsh and judgmental? God calls His children to study, understand and defend the truth because the truth does matter to God. Faith, in and of itself, is not what God is looking for. It’s not enough to be sincere or intense. Faith, in and of itself, has no magic power. It’s a faithful, reasonable trust in the truth that matters to God. Trust placed in the correct and true God of the universe is what matters to God. That’s why God is so particular about truth and calls us to have an accurate understanding of who He is. And that’s why God has called us to treat heresy very seriously.
God calls His children to study, understand and defend the truth because the truth does matter to God. Click To Tweet
What have they ever done? They have only been your slave masters and oppressors for decades and have only used and deceived you. They have sold you over to a godless and lawless tyranny void of any godly blessing. The “white Democratic Party has destroyed your families and has fed you a godless, lawless agenda that has only furthered your oppression and misery.
The only TRUE friend of the black man and women in this fallen world today is none other than the One who stretched forth His hands on an old rugged cross 2000 years ago for the Sins of the entire world (red, yellow, black, white).
My dear black friend, DO NOT let Satan deceive you and oppress you with his godless leftist minions of lawlessness, who only seek your ETERNAL destruction (John 8:44). Almighty God sent His Son for YOU to deliver YOU out of this oppressive world and has a HIGH and HEAVENLY calling for YOU in the last days (2 Cor. 5:17-21). I beg you to hear His voice and to be delivered from your trespasses and sins (Matt. 11:28-30). All of those (red, yellow, black and white) who once walked the course of this world (including me), who were slaves of sin and Satan’s tyranny can fully attest that Jesus TRULY saves and sets one free from the shackles of this doomed and fallen world (2 Cor. 5:17-21, Gal. 1:4, Eph. 2:1-10)! God’s Word is the ONLY way for any to learn the TRUTH and REALITY of who Almighty God is and what He has done for all (John 17:17). When – by faith (Heb. 11:1,6) – you take Almighty God objectively at His Word you will begin to see what this life is all about and it will set you free from the Satanic and Leftist oppression of this world (John 8:32,36, Gal. 1:4). ETERNITY is ALL of our future! Do not let Satan and the oppression of this fallen world poison your mind and make you bitter, hateful, angry and hard against Almighty God and the white man. That is Satan’s trap and snare! He wants you ruined and oppressed along with all of Adam’s fallen race – red, yellow, black and white – (Rev. 20:11-15). That is one of his hate-filled plans, to divide and to destroy and he is doing it here today in America pitting black against white. Do not fall for his deception my dear friend, Jesus came to rescue YOU from this evil world and to bring you to Himself! Oh my dear friend! Is there anything more wonderful than that for a fallen son of Adam (John 1:12, 3:16-17, Rom. 5:12-21)! The Lord Jesus Saves! The Lord Jesus cares! and… the Lord Jesus LOVES YOU!
Red and yellow, black and white ALL are precious in His sight! Jesus loves the little children of the world!
As America comes to its tragic end, may you see the BURNING light of hope found ONLY in Almighty God’s Son for you. Place your trust in Him today! You will NEVER, EVER be the same!!
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán battles George Soros, global secularists and anti-nationalist elites to create a world safe for Christians.
Not since the Calvinist William of Orange united a diverse coalition to save the liberties of Europe from the overreaching aggression of Louis XIV has a Calvinist politician attempted to shape the world order like Viktor Orbán. Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary, is a leader unafraid of his nation’s Christianity, He loves his people and their history. That is why he is a trailblazer in the rediscovery of nationalism in the West.
Naturally, Orbán’s ideas cause the global elite discomfort. He challenges the orthodoxy of this secular age.
“A thousand years ago, there was the birth of a special Christian cast of mind, and a special Hungarian Christian state. Over the past one thousand years there were times when we left this path, but we always found our way back eventually. This is why the Hungarian Constitution states: ‘We recognise the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood.’ So the Hungarian people and the Hungarian government believe that Christianity can help peoples and nations to survive, as it has helped us.”
To understand Viktor Orbán one must understand his historical conception. History shows Hungary experiencing aggression from the Soviets to the Ottomans to the Habsburgs. Is it any wonder that its people would prefer their own national identity?
The History Gap in American foreign policy is serious. Henry Kissinger stressed the importance of historical understanding to foreign policy. Niall Ferguson quoted Kissinger as saying, “No significant conclusions are possible in the study of foreign affairs—the study of states acting as units—without an awareness of the historical context.” And the biographer reinforces Kissinger’s point by another quote: “But in reality a people defines its identity ‘through the consciousness of a common history. . . . History is the memory of states.”
Applying that to a specific case, Kissinger noted as Ferguson quotes: “The statesman cannot choose his policies as if all courses were equally open. As a multi-national state, Austria could not fight a national war; as a financially exhausted state, it could not fight a long war.
Orbán knows Hungary’s history, its people and its resources. And its people are religious.
So is Viktor Orbán.
Orbán is a member of the Calvinist Hungarian Reformed Church. The denomination is the largest Protestant group in Hungary and has its origins dating back to 1500s and the spread of the Reformation from Calvin’s Geneva and Luther’s Germany. Its doctrine is shaped by the Heidelberg Catechism and the Second Helvetic Confession. However, suspicion of the new “German Religion” made Hungary more open to Geneva. As the official church website explains:
“The Hungarian petty nobles were still suspicious about Lutheranism because of its German origins. This could be the reason why the Swiss wing of Reformation, especially Calvinism, was more favored and popular in Hungary than Lutheranism.”
Orbán’s faith is personal too. He recently met with Australian evangelist Nick Vujicic—and shared an image of both men praying together. Vujicic said, “Thank you Mr. Prime Minister @orbanviktor for meeting with me today and praying together for Hungary! Thank you for your welcome and I am overwhelmed by your courage and faith in God. I am excited to see what God has in plan for Hungary! Looking forward to preaching tonight in front of 12,000 people tonight in Budapest plus the online audience! God Bless you and God Bless Hungary!”
“We don’t confuse our calling with the mission of our churches. Our calling is to protect the ways of life that have their roots in Christianity. We defend human dignity, we defend families, we defend the nation, and we defend our faith communities. For us, this is not a mere task, but a duty and a calling which we must perform to the best of our abilities. We can see that the Hungarian people and Christian Europe are in need of spiritual and intellectual renewal.”
This religious motivation guides Orbán’s policies—much to the chagrin of Evangelical Elites and their globalist buddies.
And the conclusion of his speech triggers them even more. He said, “God save Hungary! Soli Deo gloria!”
There is a “God Gap” in contemporary politics. George R. Middleton writing in Providence explained, “The ‘God gap’ references the conceptual gulf that opens up between a person—or nation—and their actions when we fail to account for the role religious belief plays in motivating their behavior.” It is a serious problem in our understanding of foreign states. Hungary’s historical understanding was shaped as it stood at the intersection of the West and the Ottoman expansion into Europe.
Perhaps, Americans and American Christians would better appreciate Orbán and Hungary’s view of immigration if it understood Hungary’s religious history fighting religious, expansionist empires?
Orbán seems to hold history up as a personal message for today’s Hungarian leaders. He said in a December speech:
“Our first Christian king was more than an outstanding ruler; he was also a prophet. He wrote a book, a set of guidelines, which would become a moral and political compass. Though he wrote it to his son a thousand years ago, we Hungarians read it as a personal message to us. And we believe that if we heed his words, if they form our solid ground, then we can build for ourselves a strong country, a flourishing culture, a loving home and a happy family…
“The Hungarian people and the Hungarian government believe that Christian virtues can lead those who exercise them to peace and happiness. This is why our Constitution states that ‘The protection of the constitutional identity and Christian culture of Hungary shall be an obligation of every organ of the State.’”
And the defense of Hungary’s Christian culture is the organizing mission of the state. Orbán declared:
“The starting-point for Hungarian policy is that we Christians have the right to defend our culture and the way of life that has grown from it, and that we are free to do this… And unlike politicians in many European countries, we believe that people must be encouraged to live and flourish in the lands in which their ancestors have lived for centuries. What we must help them to do is not to move away, but to stay in their homes. Therefore, through the ‘Hungary Helps’ program we’re financing the rebuilding of many schools, hospitals and homes in Iraq and Syria – in places where perhaps people had not even known of the existence of Hungary. We’re also helping many persecuted young Christians from the Middle East and Africa to study at universities in Hungary: young people who – due to their faith – could perhaps never gain admission to such institutions in their own countries.”
Viktor Orbán even created an entire ministry in 2016 to fight oppression of Christians in foreign lands.
And all this nationalism and Christianity does not please the cosmopolitan crowd.
Viktor Orbán & George Soros
Orbán is despised by the global elites. George Soros targets him. The prestigious journal Foreign Affairs placed Orbán in the same company of autocrats as Turkey’s R Recep Ergdogan, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duerte. In the September/October 2019 edition, it profiled Orbán among those others as one of the new wave of autocrats afflicting the world. The profile wasn’t flattering.
It attacked Orbán’s battle with billionaire George Soros. Foreign Affairs opined, “In a stomach-turning twist, the main target of these attacks has been his former patron, Soros. In recent years, Fidesz has blitzed the Hungarian public with anti-Semitic attacks on Soros, painting him as a behind-the-scenes manipulator bent on seeing his homeland overrun by migrants and refugees.”
“We don’t have a Soros phobia,” Orbán said, “We are not fixated. But we confront a very strong group that is directed by George Soros,” and their goal is to influence the politics of the EU. “I consider, George Soros a talented, Hungarian man. That’s exactly the problem. I’m very sorry that he is not with us but against us.”
Viktor Orbán’s battle against global elites is not only political. It includes education.
According to PJ Media, Orbán is fighting the corruption of education by eliminating useless programs like Gender Studies. According to PJ Media:
“In an effort to restore curricular and administrative sanity to university education, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party have passed legislation to abolish Gender Studies as an area of official study. Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen has stated that such programs “ha[ve] no business in universities” as they represent “an ideology, not a science,” with a market profile “close to zero.” Similarly, Orban’s Chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said, “The Hungarian government is of the clear view that people are born either men or women. They lead their lives the way they think best [and] the Hungarian state does not wish to spend public funds on education in this area.”
The New Global Order: Viktor Orbán shaping National Conservatism
Orbán is set to speak at the God, Honor, Country: National Conservatism Conference February 4, 2020, in Rome. The conference is presented in part by the Edmond Burke Foundation and the Danube Institute. The focus of the conference is: President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and the Freedom of Nations. The conference attempts to answer the question:
“Is the new national conservatism a menace or is it—on the contrary—a virtue?
“This international conference in Rome will seek to answer this question. It is John Paul II’s centennial year, and we will begin by revisiting the historic alliance between an American President and a Polish Pope that defeated Communism and succeeded in re-establishing national independence, self-determination, and religious freedom in Eastern Europe after 1989.”
You can follow the conference livestream and get more information via the Conference Twitter.
Orbán has his own thoughts on political theology. He wants the state to strengthen the nations because that is how Christ is glorified. He said in a 2018 speech:
“Christian democracy is not about defending religious articles of faith – in this case Christian religious articles of faith. Neither states nor governments have competence on questions of damnation or salvation. Christian democratic politics means that the ways of life springing from Christian culture must be protected. Our duty is not to defend the articles of faith, but the forms of being that have grown from them. These include human dignity, the family and the nation – because Christianity does not seek to attain universality through the abolition of nations, but through the preservation of nations. Other forms which must be protected and strengthened include our faith communities. This – and not the protection of religious articles of faith – is the duty of Christian democracy.”
The preservation of nations is at the heart of the new National Conservatism movement. This focus on nations makes Viktor Orbán a critical voice at this moment of European history. Elites hate the local. Elites despise the average, God-fearing patriotic citizen.
But there is a rising tide of nationalism in Europe and the United States.
Viktor Orbán and similar politicians know this and are trying to harness this new political force to protect liberty and Western Civilization. And much of this political theology flows out of Orbán’s individual Christian faith.
“After all, everything truly important in life derives from grace,” Orbán said in a speech. He went further and attributed all the good that happened in Europe to Christianity. He said,
“For two thousand years every major renewal in Europe has derived from Christianity: from the edict of Constantine, through the Reformation, to the foundation of the European Union – a project originally rooted in Christianity. It is important to remind ourselves of this – and particularly important today.”
And the Prime Minister concluded this speech in familiar manner for Protestants: “Soli Deo gloria!”
What Orbán is doing in Hungary ripples in many nations. This Calvinist and his political theology are shaking the foundation of the global elites. American Evangelicals should take note. They are not alone in the struggle against those who wish to destroy Western Civilization and Christianity.
Well, this is one of the more incredible testimonies you will ever see.
Phan Thi Kim Phúc is an unfamiliar name in our culture today. Most of us, however, have seen the horrific images of the “Napalm Girl” running in panic, naked, down the street shortly after a bomb landed nearby and burned the clothes right off her body.
A photographer snapped a picture that would forever change her life — even more so than the injuries she sustained.
Watch her powerful testimony. Continue reading below the video.
She was so traumatized by not only the attack, which she recalls in vivid detail. “I saw the airplane and it’s so loud, so close to me. Suddenly, the fire everywhere around me. The fire burned off my clothes, and I saw my arm burned with the fire.” she explained.
With the picture of her naked now everwhere, she became ashamed, as not only was the picture public but the video of her running down the street naked as well, badly burned.
By 1982, she was suicidal, because, as she says, “I thought after I die, no more suffering, no more pain.”
At her most desperate hour, as she contemplated the horrific decision of taking her own life, God had other plans. She “found” the New Testament in the library in Saigon.
By Christmas of that year, she had become a Christian.
“Since I’ve had faith, my enemies list became my prayer list,” she said, before tearfully recalling realizing that she had “love” inside of her instead of wallowing hatred. “Forgiveness set my heart free. I forgive everyone who caused my suffering. Even the pilot, commander, people controlling me,” she said.
She also discussed having children, and when they were old enough, sharing the story with them. Her son’s reaction was incredibly sweet. “Mommy, hurt here?” he said, before kissing her scars.
An interviewer asks what she thinks of now when she sees the picture taken on that horrific day in Vietnam. “Now, I can see the picture. I am so thankful.”
God, who is sovereign over all things, has a purpose in all things — even the bad, even the horrible. Praise Him for leading this brave woman to the Bible in her hour of need, and for using her story as a searing testimony on the power of forgiveness and faith!