Daily Archives: October 23, 2020

President Trump Make America Great Again Rally – Pensacola, Florida – 8:00pm EDT Livestream… — The Last Refuge

Tonight President Trump moves from central Florida to the panhandle with a campaign rally at ST Aerospace in Pensacola.  President Trump is driving up the margin of victory in Florida and every region plays a key and pivotal role in the strategy.  The anticipated start time is 8:00pm EDT. [Livestream Links Below]

Trump Campaign Livestream – RSBN Livestream – Fox News Livestream

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President Trump Make America Great Again Rally – Pensacola, Florida – 8:00pm EDT Livestream… — The Last Refuge

John MacArthur’s lawyer blasts LA Times for ‘fear-mongering’ & ‘misleading’ readers — Capstone Report

Evangelical pastor John MacArthur is waging a battle against Los Angeles County and the State of California over the right to hold church services. Now John MacArthur battles the fake news of the mainstream, Leftist press. Lawyer Jenna Ellis blasted local reports about COVID-19 infections at the church as “grossly misleading and fear-mongering.”

Three very mild positive tests among more than 7000 people is hardly news. 0.0004% is not an ‘outbreak.’ The LA Times and others’ grossly misleading and fear-mongering headlines aim to mischaracterize Grace Community Church as irresponsible and a superspreader,” said Jenna Ellis. 

Ellis represents MacArthur and Grace Community Church in its legal fight against local and state restrictions on religious services. Ellis is working as a Thomas More Society Special Counsel. 

The statement released Friday evening was in response to an LA Times report claiming there was an “outbreak” of COVID-19 at the church. 

Ellis said that the three positive tests do not change the facts of the case–that the state favors some businesses and protests over religious services.

“It has never been the Church’s position that it is only safe to hold services if no one ever tests positive, or for example, if no one ever gets the flu during flu season,” Ellis said. “Our position has been that LA County shutting down churches indefinitely amid a virus with a 99.98% survival rate, especially when state-preferred businesses are open and protests are held without restriction, is unconstitutional and harmful to the free exercise of religion.”

John MacArthur’s lawyer blasts LA Times for ‘fear-mongering’ & ‘misleading’ readers — Capstone Report

Evangelicals and Trump — CultureWatch

Some thoughts on John Piper’s views on the US election:

Those who have followed me over the years know that I wrote quite a lot about Trump during the 2016 presidential cycle. Back then I and millions of other Christian conservatives had legitimate concerns about the guy. But during the past four years he has proven to be far better than many of us thought he could be. See here for more on my turnaround: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/02/04/on-trump-for-potus-in-2020/

The debate still rages among Christians – especially evangelicals – over Trump, and how we might vote this time around. There are, however, many Christians like me who have shifted from hesitancy about Trump to support for him – warts and all.

Sure, I and others full well knew that a Clinton win in 2016 would have been real bad news for America, but in the last four years the Democrats and the left have become even more radicalised, more “progressive,” and more opposed to everything we care about.

Never have the Dems moved this far left in their history, and a Biden/Harris win really would be disastrous for the US. Yet some evangelical leaders are still trying to tell us not to vote for Trump, or not to vote for either candidate. American pastor John Piper has been one very famous example of the latter.

He recently wrote an article that some – including myself – have found to be somewhat confusing and concerning. He says for example that the sin of pride is just as deadly as the sin of abortion. Well, yes, in the sense that all sins are deadly, and all sins lead us away from God and to eternal punishment.

But a sin like abortion of course leads to the actual physical death of the innocent. That is something God has often strongly spoken against. And I am sure that over the years Piper has taken the view that most of us have that not all sins are equal, and some are more odious than others. I make that case elsewhere: billmuehlenberg.com/2010/11/12/are-all-sins-equal-part-one/

You can read Piper’s piece for yourself here: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/policies-persons-and-paths-to-ruin

So how might I and others respond? Needless to say, I have long liked Piper, and have often quoted from him. Indeed, I own 35 of his books. He has been a key populariser of the theology of Jonathan Edwards, perhaps America’s greatest philosopher and theologian.

Thus I for the most part always appreciate what he has to say. But here I might have to beg to differ. The stakes are getting too high to effectively waste a vote, or argue against picking sides. Yes, we have no perfect parties nor perfect candidates, but in a fallen world we have to make do with what is available.

While I could offer a lengthy discussion on all this, let me draw upon a few responses to Piper made by others. Their wisdom is also worth running with here. I begin with two shorter replies. In a Facebook post James White said this:

John Piper’s article demonstrates that even godly men can fall into the same pit of error: this isn’t about either Trump or Biden, both of whom are horribly flawed candidates. This is about a Marxist revolution and whether you will even *get* to vote in 2024. The reality I wish he understood is seen not in Trump’s arrogance or Biden’s cowardice–but in history in that Marxism brings death and tyranny. One side is literally promoting the utter abolishment of the Imago Dei. I do not understand how that can be missed. I would “get” (but disagree with) Piper saying he cannot vote for Trump due to morality, or Biden due to worldview and cowardice; but if this is a statement that he believes you could positively promote the worldview professed by Kamala Harris—astonishing if true, deeply disappointing as well.

Or as Jenna Ellis tweeted, “Unfortunately, @JohnPiper conflates the responsibility and privilege of voting with the need for the Church to take a more active role in culture. We must vote to PROTECT our God-given right to BE THE CHURCH. This article is designed to suppress Christian vote – DON’T LET IT.”

And several full length articles can be cited here. A few quotes from an article by Gary DeMar are worth offering. He says, “There are stark differences between the two political parties on most issues. When weighed on the scales of God’s law, it’s clear that the Democrats deserve all the criticism they are getting and then some. The Republicans need to be taken to task as well, but in terms of this election, the Democrats need to go down in flames.” And again:

Seeing evil and doing little or nothing to stop it because it might “undermine” an “authentic Christian witness” is bewildering to me. The numerous policies being promoted by the Democrat Party will hurt Christians as well as our unbelieving neighbors. Abortion and forcing parents to allow their eight-year-old children “change” their sex are just two examples. If you love your neighbor, the choice on November 3rd is clear. Piper offers no practical or tactical advice on how to confront the present social, cultural, and political evil….

I’ll end with this: I am sure the Jews being sent to the gas ovens were more concerned about their own physical death at the command of a tyrant than someone who might be arrogant but worked to stop the trains on the way to their doom. There is a difference, and anyone unable to note the difference is confused. americanvision.org/24777/my-response-to-john-pipers-paths-to-ruin-article/

I also like what Michael Brown had to say on this. He begins by offering seven areas in which he agrees with what Piper said. But he then goes on to discuss his differences. Here is part of what he wrote:

To begin with, the political system itself is earthly and flawed, with all candidates being far from perfect. While it would be ideal for our presidents to be shining examples of morality and character, very few in our history would live up to that ideal. This is not to make excuses but rather to be realistic.

Next, it is one thing to elect a boastful, divisive leader. It is another thing to empower a party that will sanction the killing of the unborn. Or strip away religious freedoms. Or give free reign to foreign, tyrannical regimes.

When it comes to Trump, we can vote for his policies while saying, “I don’t like many of the things he does and feel his example is often very destructive. I will therefore speak out when he acts wrongly and will model something different in my own life.” But a vote for Biden and the Democrats is a vote to empower a party that wants to impose an overtly godless agenda.

He concludes:

Finally, when it comes to listing the sins of Trump, Pastor Piper may have gone a little too far. Has Trump promoted or practiced sexual immorality since announcing his candidacy? To the contrary, hasn’t he expressed regret about some of his past actions? And does he get credit for keeping his promises and commitments in ways that few presidents in our lifetime have done?

Once again, I wholeheartedly agree with Piper’s emphasis on the gospel first (rather than “America first”). But I wonder if future generations would understand if we explained the loss of our freedoms and the slaughter of millions of more babies by saying, “Yes, one party espoused these terrible policies. But we couldn’t vote for the man whose party opposed them because he was too boastful and divisive.”

At times like this, my counsel is simple: Be idealistic in terms of living out your own faith as a witness for the Lord. But be pragmatic when it comes to casting your vote. stream.org/pastor-john-piper-and-the-2020-elections-a-respectful-response/

Of course Brown has penned a recent book on the Christian case for Trump. See my review of it here: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/07/30/a-review-of-evangelicals-at-the-crossroads-will-we-pass-the-trump-test-by-michael-brown/

Other more generic pieces by evangelicals who critique the ‘Christians for Biden’ camp can also be found. As one such example, consider a new piece by Peter Jones. I offer just one paragraph from it:

This election is an attempt at a cultural revolution. If Biden wins, we will be forced to live in a society made up of endless irreconcilable identity groups whose rule depends upon pure power. The power grab will define America’s political past as evil, impose a cancel culture package that will undo the created structures of family and sexuality, protection of the unborn, the practice of Christian religion, everyday fair play based on the Constitution, and free speech. It should be clear that the accusation of systemic racism now coursing through the veins of many of our institutions and corporations, is actually a call for the overthrow of the so-called corrupt American system and the way of life that made America the most civilized nation in human history. cornwallalliance.org/2020/10/a-plea-to-my-evangelical-friends-for-biden/  

Suffice it to say that I have penned hundreds of articles over the years dealing with related themes, be it the case for Christian political and social involvement; the importance and the limits of politics; the need to not fully equate the gospel message with any one political party or program; and so on.

At the very least, all American Christians must vote very carefully and very prayerfully in the next week or so. This is a very important election indeed, and how we vote will have far greater ramifications than many might begin to realise.

Evangelicals and Trump — CultureWatch

In UN Rebuke, Trump Administration Leads A 32-Nation Signing Ceremony Of Declaration That States There Is No ‘International Right To Abortion’ — Now The End Begins

The Trump administration led a 32-nation signing ceremony of a declaration that affirms there is no international right to abortion.

Last night’s debate showed the startling differences between what you would get in a Joe Biden administration versus what we have seen over the past four years of the Trump administration. But there is no more clear-cut difference than what happened just today. The Trump administration firmly rebuked the blood-thirsty United Nations who are pushing for something they call the ‘International Right To Abortion’, and led the battle charge against them. Joe Biden would have sided with the UN against the babies, think about that when you vote.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, thatI have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”Deuteronomy 30:19,20 (KJB)

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support due date abortion, and it will become the law of the land under their administration. Not only that, it will be celebrated as “progress and advancement” when in fact it will be a partnership with the Devil himself. Donald Trump and his team today stood up and a resounding “no!” to the murderous Democrats and the UN who demand infant blood sacrifice upon the altar of Planned Parenthood.

That’s my president, and if value human life, you’d do well to make him your president as well. Murder is not a human right, it’s an inhuman wrong. Abortion is not health care.

united-nations-creates-global-abortion-consortium-to-kill-babies-on-unprecedented-scale-planned-parenthood-herod

UNITED NATIONS COMBINING THE WORLD’S LARGEST ABORTION PROVIDERS TO CREATE A UNIFIED GLOBAL NETWORK TO SLAUGHTER CHILDREN AS A ‘HUMAN RIGHT’

Trump Admin Leads 32 Nations in U.N. Rebuke: No International ‘Right’ to Abortion

FROM BREITBART NEWS: On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar co-hosted the virtual signing of the Geneva Consensus Declaration along with the governments of Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda.

The declaration serves as a rebuke to the pro-abortion rights U.N. and World Health Organization (W.H.O.).

It states the nations join to promote women’s health as well as the “strength of the family and of a successful and flourishing society.” The governments also affirm “the essential priority of protecting the right to life.”

The nations that signed onto the declaration, which represent 1.6 billion people, also “reaffirm ‘all are equal before the law,’” and that “human rights of women are an inalienable, integral, and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” The governments declare “the inherent ‘dignity and worth of the human person,’ that ‘every human being has the inherent right to life,’ and the commitment ‘to enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant.’”

The declaration emphasizes that “in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning,” and that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

The governments also assert that “women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources, and political participation,” as well as equal access to employment and decision-making. “This is the first time these nations have committed to working together – despite cultural and religious differences – to ensure that human rights are extended to every member of the human family,” Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, observed in a statement.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser praised the commitment of the Trump administration to the right to life:

Abortion is not health care. Sovereign nations have the right to protect their most vulnerable citizens, including the unborn, and to be free from bullying and coercive efforts to expand abortion on demand. From day one, President Trump and his administration have worked to stop the exportation of abortion, making respect for life the official policy of the United States in our international relations. We join our friends around the world in celebrating this landmark declaration, which builds on the Trump administration’s commitment to promote authentic human rights and dignity at every turn.

Additionally, seven member nations of the Organization of American States (OAS) signed a joint statement that affirms “every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person,” and that it is the sovereign right of nations to make their own laws protecting life from the moment of conception.

“President Trump is standing for the defense of life in the Americas like no other president in history,” Alfonso Aguilar, president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, said, and added:

At a time when the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights, which ironically are supposed to promote and defend human rights in the region, are actively seeking to undermine the fundamental human rights of the unborn, the United States, acting in unison with eight other OAS member states, is raising its voice to say in no uncertain terms that the Organization of American States and its affiliate bodies must respect the sovereignty of the counties of the Western Hemisphere to enact legislation that protects life from the moment of conception.

In August 2019, Pompeo and Azar sent a joint letter inviting other world leaders to stand with the United States in defending life against the efforts within the U.N. to create an international right to abortion on demand.

In their letter, Pompeo and Azar asked other governments to join with the U.S. “in ensuring that every sovereign state has the ability to determine the best way to protect the unborn and defend the family as the foundational unit of society vital to children thriving and leading healthy lives.”

“[P]lease encourage other countries in your region to join this growing coalition to push back against harmful efforts to interpret long-standing international instruments as requiring anti-family and pro-abortion policies,” Pompeo and Azar wrote to the other world leaders, “and to promote proactively positions that will protect families and strengthen the health of all people.” READ MORE

In UN Rebuke, Trump Administration Leads A 32-Nation Signing Ceremony Of Declaration That States There Is No ‘International Right To Abortion’ — Now The End Begins

Media Goes Into Overdrive To Spin Biden’s Disastrous Remarks About The Oil Industry During Debate — American Lookout

Joe Biden admitted during the final debate that he would follow the far left’s lead and “transition” away from the oil industry in the United States.

This would destroy millions of jobs and have a horrific effect on the American economy.

This admission could cost Biden an untold number of votes.

The Hill reports:

Democrats play defense, GOP goes on attack after Biden oil comments

Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s comment that he would “transition” away from oil made in Thursday night’s presidential debate could compromise the candidate’s carefully laid pitch to voters in Pennsylvania, a key swing state.

The former vice president quickly sought to clean up the comments, telling reporters Thursday night after the debate that “we’re getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time.”

On Friday the Biden campaign said the candidate’s plan does not call for the total elimination of oil and gas.

Here’s the video in case you didn’t see it:

The Biden campaign knows how bad this was. They immediately went into damage control:

It’s amazing how many people in the media jumped to Biden’s defense, trying to explain his comments.

Why does anyone in the media think it’s their job to explain for Joe Biden?

Media Goes Into Overdrive To Spin Biden’s Disastrous Remarks About The Oil Industry During Debate — American Lookout

Joe Biden Promises Forced National Mask Mandate and Regulatory COVID Nightmare When Elected… — The Last Refuge

Earlier today those behind the Biden campaign dropped all pretense, openly having their candidate state publicly his intention to control the lives of all Americans using the authority of a weaponized federal government to advance national COVID-19 regulations.

As you watch this video from Biden’s campaign today it is important to remember state government officials have already moved to define “essential businesses” and “essential workers” during the forced shut-downs.  That is going to become a bigger issue downstream; however, for now just watch closely what Joe Biden is saying here:

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The Dept of Transportation would be the agency enforcing a national interstate transit mask requirement. However, don’t focus on the DoT part of what he is saying… that’s only one creek… Instead focus on the downstream use of all federal regulatory agencies and how they align within a Federal COVID compliance network… that’s the river.

Think about the Dept of Agriculture, the Dept. of Labor, the Dept of Education, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and how they would join with the DoT to create the aggregate raging river of regulation.

Here’s what I mean:

Think about the federal government using mandates for enforced national COVID-19 compliance rules. Think about USDA (Dept of Agriculture) and OSHA federal inspections for social distancing (etc) in all businesses, not just restaurants.

Think about the COVID-19 regulatory and compliance system and what political beneficiaries stand to gain.

Think about how the Dept. of Labor (complaint division) can be weaponized against political opposition based on arbitrary inspections under the guise of employee health and safety…. using federal COVID compliance rules.

Think about the larger Green New Deal (goals and objectives), and then contrast those objectives while aligning an overlay map of how federal COVID mitigation rules can be applied as a back door to the EXACT SAME objective.

Far, far, far, beyond masks…. Workspaces being forced to be redesigned. New rules on labor density. New rules on labor proximity. New rules on uniforms. New rules on hand-washing stations. New rules on sick pay, shift hours, time-off when a COVID infection is detected in the workplace.

Think about everything from rules on surfaces, to rules on packaging, to rules on ALL business operations as an outcome of federal regulatory policy under the guise of CVOID-19 mitigation. OSHA, Labor, Agriculture, Transportation, Energy, Education, Housing, Health and Human Services, and even federal building permits… the entire regulatory system and compliance network.

If you think this is fear-mongering, I want to to evaluate that cynicism while contemplating the latest example from California:

Think about those types of business regulations applied on a Federal and National level…. and then, as seen in prior Democrat administrations with IRS etc, think about them also being enforced through the prism of political affiliation.

Think about what happens to Main Street USA?

Think about companies on the NASDAQ or national companies on the stock-market?

Think about how those USA-specific federal COVID compliance regulations apply when considering U.S. business operations -vs- just taking operations overseas without those worries. Think about who in Washington DC determines winning and losing.

Think about how Federal COVID-19 regulations can be used to put the multinational corporate world back (the globalists) on their former financial pathways, even without TPP and TTIP trade deals. Every domestic regulation weaponized against Main Street USA is a win for the Wall Street multinationals.

Think about how much China and Europe would love to see our economy knee-capped in a Biden regulatory stranglehold; essentially achieving the same objectives as the Paris Climate Treaty.

Think long and hard about how far the tentacles of achieving the Green New Deal can extend under the auspices of federal COVID-19 mitigation. Remember, those who are working on this don’t care about the middle-class and they have not for decades. This is about government bureaucrats using their DC power-base to control trillions in economic value and sell their ability to influence the winners and losers to the highest foreign bidder.

Look at what blue states have already done to seize power and control. Now think about that same manipulative intent spread throughout the entire country by weaponizing federal agencies with advanced regulation.

That should scare the hell out of anyone.

Joe Biden Promises Forced National Mask Mandate and Regulatory COVID Nightmare When Elected… — The Last Refuge

October 23d The D. L. Moody Year Book

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.—Proverbs 11:30.

IF we have known Jesus Christ for years, and have not been able to introduce an anxious soul to Him, there has been something wrong somewhere. If we were full of grace, we should be ready for any call that comes to us. Paul said, when he had that famous interview with Christ on the way to Damascus, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” Isaiah said, “Here am I, send me.” No man can tell what he can do until he moves forward. If we do that in the name of God, instead of there being a few scores or hundreds converted, there will be thousands flocking into the Kingdom of God. Remember that we honor God when we ask for great things. It is a humiliating thing to think that we are satisfied with very small results.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 187–188). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

October 23 Life-Changing Moments With God

One’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.

Lord, a little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked. Better is a little combined with fear of You, Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Godliness with contentment is great gain. Having food and clothing, with these I shall be content.

Give me neither poverty nor riches—feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, Father God, and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane Your name. Give me this day my daily bread.

I do not worry about my life, what I will eat or what I will drink; nor about my body, what I will put on. Life is more than food and the body more than clothing! When Jesus sent His disciples without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did they lack anything? No, “Nothing.” May my conduct be without covetousness; may I be content with such things as I have. For You Yourself have said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Lord, Your truth runs so counter to the world’s teachings. Keep me aligned with You and content in You.

Luke 12:15; Psalm 37:16; Proverbs 15:16; 1 Timothy 6:6, 8; Proverbs 30:8–9; Matthew 6:11; Matthew 6:25; Luke 22:35; Hebrews 13:5[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 318). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

If Christianity is True, Why Are There So Many Denominations? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

Christians can’t even agree with each other, why should anyone else think Christianity is true? If so many Christians are in disagreement, how can we be certain Christianity is true? In this video from J. Warner’s “Quick Shots: Fast Answers to Hard Questions” series on RightNow Media, J. Warner answers this common question related to the claims of Christianity.

For more information about the reliability of the New Testament gospels and the case for Christianity, please read Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Cold-Case Christianity DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.

If Christianity is True, Why Are There So Many Denominations? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

October 23, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

26. How the mind of the Reader is relieved again and again in this melancholy account of Eli’s sons, in the relation that is given by the Holy Ghost, of the progressive state of Samuel in the ways of the Lord. Reader! doth not this bring to your recollection what is said here of Samuel’s Lord. See Luke 2:52.[1]


26. This commentary on the growth of Samuel in favour with the Lord and with men provided a description of the development of the boy Jesus (Luke 2:52), who like Samuel had to recognize God’s way in an evil world, and resist temptation.[2]


Ver. 26. And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men.Child growth:—

One of the most beautiful things that God has made in the world is growth, and the world is full of it. God did not make a great Samuel at once, but a little child Samuel, who grew before Him. I will speak of four thoughts as included in growing before the Lord.

  1. Samuel grew at the Lord’s House. At this time there was no temple. There was no tabernacle, with the court round about, where the burnt offerings were consumed on the altar.
  2. Samuel grew in the Lord’s sight. This means that the Lord was pleased to see Samuel grow as he did. “Grow in grace” is the Apostle’s word. Growth in love is the true progress; for love is holiness, and holiness is light, and light is God.

III. Samuel grew by the Lord’s grace. His mother had lent him to the Lord, and the Lord saw to his growing.

  1. Samuel grew for the Lord’s service.
  2. Little services from little people are acceptable to God.
  3. The little grows by and by to the great. (J. Edmond.)

The training of a prophet:—

The Bible tells us very little about the childhood of its great men. We know nothing of the early days of Abraham, or of the child life of Moses, David, St. Peter, and St. Paul. Even of Jesus there is only one beautiful picture given of His young bright days. The only exception which the Bible makes is the instance of Samuel. The account of his early life is really the only thing of the kind which the sacred pages contain. It is the story of a child’s growth, of a child’s education, of a child’s first prayers and religious beginnings, of a child’s shaping into a man of God.

  1. It tells us of his mother. No biography is complete without that. The father is not of so much consequence in the story; the mother is indispensable. Paint her moral portrait for me, and I can guess what the child will be like. Samuel’s life began well, with a praying mother kneeling beside his cradle, and praying lips teaching him the first words he knew. She laid her dearest treasure upon the altar, and prayed, “Take him, O God, and make him Thine and make him worthy.” And the Lord answered, as Jesus might have answered, “O, woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” Our children will become in the main features what their mothers prayerfully and persistently determine they shall be. The picture of life which the mother always holds up before them will be the end, the ideal towards which they strive, and her daily habitual thoughts, her dominant and ruling thoughts will shape and colour their hopes and dreams.
  2. We are told about his schoolmaster. He was the one pupil of a sad-hearted old man. There is a touch of pathos in that part of the story. This child became the one joy of a lonely house, the music in its silent chambers. He came to Eli as the sunbeams come into a prison, or the smell of flowers to a sick man on his bed. He was a joyless old man, wearied and disappointed, who trailed behind him the broken threads of all his life’s hopes. His own sons had become his shame, so that he wished he had buried them when they were little ones. His country was in danger, for the people had forsaken God and all good things, and were on the downgrade towards ruin. He was a gentle and kindly old man, but with no strength for the position which he filled. His hands were weak and his eyes dim. Dark was the outlook, and his life was going down with sorrow to the grave. And now see the goodness of the Lord. There comes into his house this sunbeam, this ripple of laughter on the sullen stream, this song in the night. A child whose feet ran in the way of his commandments, a child whom it was good to love and a joy to teach, a child who would take the place of his lost sons and provide new interests and create new hopes. There was something to live for and work for again. The child’s presence brought summer into the drear winter, and warmth and cheerfulness into the cold desolate heart. On that child the old man poured his affection and gave all his remaining strength, and the child took lovely shape under these worn but tender hands. He must have been a good schoolmaster though he was no great good at anything else. He was no prophet, but he helped to make a prophet. He had no greatness of his own, but he developed the greatness of another. If Israel owed him nothing else, it owed him a Samuel, and that was no small debt. His life bore that magnificent fruit in its old age, and many a successful life has far less to show at the end. Call no man or woman a failure who has sent out one brave true life to enrich the world. When you think of Samuel do not forget the gentle, tired, old man who was his schoolmaster.

III. We are told of his growth. But there are different kinds of growth. Some children grow taller and stronger, but they do not improve in other things. They get a little more knowledge, but they do not get much wiser. They increase in stature, years, and strength; but they seem to lose, bit by bit, all their goodness, and what was beautiful in them becomes ugly, and what was kind and gentle and innocent becomes selfish and peevish and hard and unlovely. Samuel grew in favour with God and also with man. He grew by prayer. God heard him, and for every prayer gave him a little more wisdom and a little more goodness. And so he grew in obedience, in truthfulness, in modesty, in kindness of heart, in helpfulness. And everybody saw that he was shaping well. For just as we can tell from the first signs whether a tree will grow crooked or straight, and whether a plant will grow into poisonous nightshade or into a fragrant rose bush, and whether the glittering particles under the sea will form a common oyster shell or crystallise into a pearl, so can those who watch a child’s life to-day know what the coming man or woman will be. Samuel was steadily shaping into the life which God had designed for him.

  1. That he was the rising star in a dark sky, and the hope of a godless land. It was a dreary and desperate time. The few who, like old Eli, still believed in God and righteousness were at their wits’ end. They saw no tiniest rift in the black stormcloud which darkened the sky. And yet, in the midst of all that, God was training this child as a teacher and deliverer, keeping him outside all the impurity and unbelief, giving him a big heart and a wise mind, and fitting him for great leadership. If you read these three chapters, you seem to hear two distinct voices speaking. One is a voice of groaning complaint, sad foreboding; the other, a voice of hope, promise, and good cheer. One tells of greedy priests who were robbing the people and plundering the sanctuary; and then the other voice breaks in, “But the child Samuel grew and ministered before the Lord.” Once more the doleful lips take up the strain, and tell again how the ruling men are wallowing in the filthiest sins and the people mocking at religion, and all the wisdom turned to folly; and again the other voice replies, “But the child grew on, grew in favour with God and man.” Clouds thickening above, and danger and ruin threatening on every side. Still the child grows, and God is with him. And so God is training our children to-day. There are always new hopes given to us when we see child life, for in every group of children, especially if they are God-taught children, there are the bright and great possibilities of the future. Instead of the fathers shall come up the children. When there is a dearth of great men there is often a larger abundance of young souls slowly growing into greatness. The seed has been sown and the harvest will be reaped further on. We shall have them again, never fear. The Samuels, the brave leaders, the men made mighty by faith and prayer, they are growing in many a godly home to-day. The Lord knows them though we do not. (J. G. Greenough, M.A.)

The child Samuel:—

  1. Now, first of all, what was Samuel, as described in the Word of God? There are among others three things about him, which I want to tell you of: his character, his conduct, and his circumstances. First of all, about his character. God loved him, and men loved him too; every body that knew him could not help loving him. That was his character. The first thing was, that he had God’s love. That is of the utmost importance, dear children; because if everybody in the world loved us, and we had not the love of God, we could not be truly happy. Now, one proof of being accepted of God is, that our conduct will be that which is right. We read that Samuel had the character before men of being a good boy. He “was in favour with men.” If Samuel had been accustomed to tell lies, do you think that men would have liked him? But I dare say you would like me to tell you something more particularly respecting Samuel’s conduct.
  2. In the first place, then, Samuel was very obedient. He was obedient to Eli’s will. Eli had only to tell him what to do, and Samuel ran as hard as he could to do it.
  3. The second is, respect and affection for an old man. Now, there are not many children that are disposed to find their pleasure in showing respect and affection to old people. Little children very often are inclined to treat old people with neglect—not to show them proper attention.
  4. But another thing in Samuel’s conduct was his humility. It pleased God to reveal Himself to Samuel. Now, many children would have been puffed up with pride at this.
  5. There is one thing more in Samuel’s conduct that you ought to notice; and that is his truthfulness. “Samuel told him every whit, and hid not the whole truth from him.” When he was examined, he kept nothing back. There was no deceit, no guile, nothing of this kind to spoil his character, or to cause him to lose that favour which he had with all that knew him. But we must say a word about Samuel’s circumstances; because perhaps there are some children present who think that he had everything to favour him—that he had no temptations to do wrong. They may think that he had a pious mother, and perhaps a pious father too, and that Eli, with whom he lived, was God’s minister, and that he was employed in God’s house, and that there were therefore around him circumstances that all tended to make him good. But, if God had not given Samuel a new heart, all these circumstances would not have made him good. But Samuel’s circumstances were not all favourable. The two sons of Eli that Samuel had to do with every day were very bad young men.
  6. How are you to become like little Samuel? I think I ought to ask you, in the first place, whether you wish to become like little Samuel. In order to be like Jesus, to be in “favour with God and men,” you must have “the mind which was in Christ Jesus.” I have told you that you must pray to be like Jesus: then, secondly, you must pray to remember the truth of your Bibles. “My son, forget not my law, but let thine heart keep My commandments. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart. So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and men.” Now, in order to remember God’s Word you must know it—you must learn it. Let me advise you, then, never to let a single day pass without learning some one text of Scripture. The third thing is be go and practise what you know immediately. Our blessed Lord says, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” (W. Cadman, M.A.)[3]

(V 26) Again the reader’s attention is brought back to Samuel. He is the foil or contrast to Eli’s sons. In v 21 we had read of his approval by God; now we hear that he continues to grow in both divine and human approval. The interweaving of the story of Samuel and of Eli’s sons leaves no doubt who has divine approval and who stands under condemnation.[4]


2:26 Compare the description of Samuel childhood with that of Jesus (Luke 2:52). The contrast between Samuel and Eli’s sons is inescapable.[5]


2:26 growing in stature and in favor. In contrast to the apostate sons of Eli, Samuel was maturing both spiritually and socially (cf. Lk 2:52).[6]


2:26 in favor with the Lord. The gravity of Eli’s sons’ refusal to listen to man or God is emphasized by the striking contrast with Samuel, who grows in favor with God and men. The emphasis on Samuel’s growth as more than merely physical foreshadows a theme that is later developed in contrasting portraits of Saul and David. The expression of v. 26 is used by Luke to describe the childhood of Jesus (Luke 2:52; see Prov. 3:4).[7]


[1] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Deuteronomy–2 Samuel (Vol. 2, p. 469). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Baldwin, J. G. (1988). 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 8, p. 66). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[3] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: I Samuel (pp. 60–62). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[4] Klein, R. W. (1983). 1 Samuel (Vol. 10, p. 26). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[5] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 350). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (1 Sa 2:26). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 381). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

Plagues Throughout Christian History and Some Christian Responses — Banner of Truth USA

When coming to consider plagues throughout history and some Christian responses, it is appropriate to begin with this extract from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer:

O Almighty God, who in thy wrath did send a plague upon thine own people in the wilderness, for their obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron; and also, in the time of king David, didst slay with the plague of Pestilence threescore and ten thousand, and yet remembering thy mercy didst save the rest; Have pity upon us miserable sinners, who now are visited with great sickness and mortality; that like as thou didst then accept of an atonement, and didst command the destroying Angel to cease from punishing, so it may now please thee to withdraw from us this plague and grievous sickness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Down through history, plagues, including very terrible ones, have struck societies at various times. In 431BC, the historian, Thucydides, barely survived a serious one in Athens, where people dared not visit one another, nor help one another, and became indifferent to the gods due to their ineffectiveness.1 In all plagues, there is an element of unpredictability and uncertainty as to the right responses.

The Early Church

There was what was called the Antonine Plague, and also called the Plague of Galen, because it was described by the physician and philosopher (a Platonist of some kind who wrote against the Stoics). The plague itself was probably smallpox. Various death rates have been suggested from 1% to over 50% of the Empire’s population, both extremes of which seem implausible. Possibly five million perished, but that is not certain. With breaks, it went from ad 165–180 and claimed the life of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (161–180). Meanwhile, the pagan physician, Galen, escaped out of Rome as soon as he could.

The so-called Plague of Cyprian, which was possibly measles, is sometimes said to have derived its name because it supposedly claimed the life of Cyprian, bishop of Carthage (248–258). However, he described the plague and did not succumb to it. His death came through persecution, being beheaded in the amphitheatre. Eusebius of Caesarea cited Dionysius of Alexandria (bishop 248–264), who described a terrible and unexpected plague in his city. It affected all, from infants to old men. The Christians stood out, in the estimation of Dionysius:

Most of our brother-Christians showed unbounded loved and loyalty, never sparing themselves and thinking only of one another. Heedless of the danger, they took charge of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them in Christ, and with them departed this life serenely happy; for they were infected by others with the disease, drawing on themselves the sickness of their neighbours and cheerfully accepting their pains.2

Dionysius saw this as ‘the equal of martyrdom’ and contrasted the behaviour of the Christians with the heathen who threw out their family members onto the roads even before they were dead.3

In Cyprian’s day the plague was also terrible, with about 5,000 a day dying, as he recorded in On the Plague (often called On Mortality):

But nevertheless it disturbs some that the power of this Disease attacks our people equally with the heathens, as if the Christian believed for this purpose, that he might have the enjoyment of the world and this life free from the contact of ills; and not as one who undergoes all adverse things here and is reserved for future joy. It disturbs some that this mortality is common to us with others; and yet what is there in this world which is not common to us with others, so long as this flesh of ours still remains, according to the law of our first birth, common to us with them? So long as we are here in the world, we are associated with the human race in fleshly equality, but are separated in spirit. Therefore until this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal receive immortality, and the Spirit lead us to God the Father, whatsoever are the disadvantages of the flesh are common to us with the human race. Thus, when the earth is barren with an unproductive harvest, famine makes no distinction; thus, when with the invasion of an enemy any city is taken, captivity at once desolates all; and when the serene clouds withhold the rain, the drought is alike to all; and when the jagged rocks rend the ship, the shipwreck is common without exception to all that sail in her; and the disease of the eyes, and the attack of fevers, and the feebleness of all the limbs is common to us with others, so long as this common flesh of ours is borne by us in the world.4

Cyprian understood Paul’s warning against grieving like those without hope (1 Thess. 4:13) to mean that Christians should not grieve at all.5

Christian care of those afflicted by the plague can be contrasted with the way many responded to the persecution unleashed by the emperor Decius in 250. Cyprian recalled, ‘Many were conquered before the battle, prostrated before the attack.’6 Decius, who like most tyrants, saw himself as a saviour and bringer of peace,7 desired a revival of the state cults. According to Cyprian, many, indeed most, Christians were ready to oblige him, and the bishop graphically described the panic: ‘They ran to the market-place of their own accord; freely they hastened to death, as if they had formerly wished it, as if they would embrace an opportunity now given which they had always desired.’8 Presumably, if only a minority held firm in dealing with persecution, only a minority showed similar bravery in dealing with the plague.

Rodney Stark, who is a sociologist rather than a historian, considers that plagues in the ancient world made a significant contribution to the expansion of Christianity.9 Pagan morale was devastated, its interpersonal attachments were greatly weakened, and its survival rates were significantly lower than that of Christians (despite what Cyprian said). The emperor, Julian the Apostate (who was given that nickname after his death) lamented as he neared death in 363 that the pagans readily abandoned the sick, while the Christians looked after sick, and even the pagan sick. Unwittingly, Julian provides evidence for the Christian testimony.

Around AD541, the bubonic plague broke out under the reign of the emperor Justinian, who was the Eastern Emperor from 527–565. Justinian himself caught it but survived. Whilst it is now treatable, recovery was more unusual in the ancient and medieval world. It is customary to say that tens of millions died and that the Empire never recovered, and that it led to eight years of famine. Originating in Ethiopia, the plague seems to have devastated Europe, Asia, North Africa, and Arabia, and those who survived probably developed some kind of immunity, although that is not certain.

As far as the earlier period is concerned, it is clear that many Christians, whether as individuals or through the deacons of the Church, looked after those in distress. The sick and dying were nursed, most often by Christians, whereas the pagans tended to abandon those who might infect them.

The Medieval Period

Having travelled through Asia and North Africa—but not originating in China as sometimes thought10—what was probably bubonic plague ravaged Europe in the fourteenth century. The Black Death, to use its later name, was especially severe in 1347–1348 when probably well over 30%, and even up to 50% or more, of Europe’s population was wiped out. The plague would die down in the winter, only to re-emerge in the warmer months, so the sunnier Mediterranean societies in the south suffered most. The medieval chronicler, Jean Froissart, commented that ‘a third of the world died’, although that may draw on the Apocalypse as much as sober history.11 Paintings and drawings of Le Danse Macabre dealt with the universality of death, while in 1582, over two centuries after the worst plague, Pieter Bruegel painted The Triumph of Death. Europe could not forget what had taken place.

A common epitaph was ‘As I am, so you shall be.’ Black humour was common. Ring Around the Rosey is a song about the plague, the rosey being the reddish ring that preceded the skin blotch. Tumours grew mainly in the armpit and groin, to be followed by acute fever and vomiting of blood. The Pied Piper story may derive from about this time. Chaucer, who was born around 1340, mentions shops that sold rat poison, but the rat flea would look to human beings when there were not enough black rats upon which to feed.

The poet, Petrarch, has left a famous description of the plague. Writing from Parma to his brother in a monastery in Monrieux (who with his dog had alone survived to guard the monastery when 34 or 35 others had succumbed), Petrarch lamented:

Alas! My beloved brother, what shall I say? How shall I begin? Whither shall I turn? On all sides is sorrow; everywhere is fear. I would, my brother, that I had never been born, or, at least, had died before these times. How will posterity believe that there has been a time when without the lightnings of heaven or the fires of earth, without wars or other visible slaughter, not this or that part of the earth, but well-nigh the whole globe has remained without inhabitants. When has any such thing been even heard or seen; in what annals has it ever been read that houses were left vacant, cities deserted, the country neglected, the fields too small for the dead and a fearful and universal solitude over the whole earth?…Oh happy people of the future, who have not known these miseries and perchance will class our testimony with the fables. We have, indeed, deserved these [punishments] and even greater; but our forefathers also have deserved them, and may our posterity not also merit the same…12

Philip Daileader comments that Petrarch could make receiving a parking ticket sound tragic,13 but the Black Death remains the most devastating natural disaster in human history. The death-obsessed poet came to see the recurring plague as ‘a sign of the divine anger at human crimes. If those crimes were to end, the divine punishments would grow less or milder.’14

The practice of quarantining the sick was prominent in Venice, which kept newly arrived sailors in isolation for thirty days, later extended to forty days. In Poland and Milan, the practice was reasonably successful. Flight from infected areas was the primary response, and bad air was often blamed. The young suffered in higher proportion than the old, and women more than men.15 King Alfonso XI of Castile died, as did Boccaccio’s mistress, while the historian, Giovanni Villani of Florence, died without finishing a sentence he was writing. Three Archbishops of Canterbury died August 1348 – August 1349. Peasants dropped dead in the fields, and in Austria, wolves came down to attack sheep but fled back into the wilderness. The stench of dead bodies could be quite overwhelming.16 Boccaccio’s well-known quip is that people ‘ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors in paradise.’

A bishop in England permitted confessions to be made to laymen and even laywomen, while Pope Clement VI (1342–1352) granted remission of sins to all who died of the plague, as there were few priests to give the last rites.17 He finally came to prohibit processions as they spread the plague. The pope’s physician, Guy de Chauliac, saw so much abandonment of sick people that he declared, ‘Charity was dead.’18 Still, not all charity was lost, and the nuns of the Hôtel Dieu in Paris tended the dying with sweetness and courage.19

Flagellants, usually in groups of 200–300 but sometimes more, paraded through the towns of Europe, and punished themselves with whips, for their own sins and the sins of their communities. They were anti-clerical and often attacked the Jews. Pogroms were known before the Black Death, but there were massacres of Jews in Languedoc and Catalonia, and then across the Germanic lands and France as Jews were blamed for the plague. In many places, such as Mainz, Erfurt, Antwerp, and Brussels, entire Jewish communities perished. Pope Clement VI did his best to protect the Jews from accusations such as the blood libel. However, says Barbara Tuchman, ‘The period of the Jews’ medieval flourishing was over.’20

To many, it seemed to be the prelude to the end of the world. Medicine was linked to astrology and so looked to the planets to explain events. The Pestilence did lead to the invention of the beak-like mask with glass eyes and two breathing nostrils filled with herbs and flowers to ward off miasmas. In September 1348, the pope spoke of the ‘pestilence with which God is afflicting the Christian people’, while Piers Plowman declared that ‘these pestilences were for pure sin’.21 Oddly, Chaucer barely mentions it. It was said that the manufacturers of dice turned to the making of rosary beads, but others thought that morals declined. In 1350, the Archbishop of Canterbury lamented that priests had become ‘infected by insatiable avarice’, and were charging excessive fees and neglecting souls.22 Still, 1350 was declared a Jubilee Year, and pilgrims flocked in large numbers to Rome, although the Pope was in Avignon. The impact of the Great Mortality can hardly be overestimated, and Barbara Tuchman refers to it as ‘the equivalent of the First World War’.23

The Reformation

Zurich

On 27 December 1518, Ulrich Zwingli moved to Zurich, whose bishop lived in Constance. It was at Zurich that Zwingli undertook his life’s work. Zurich was a prosperous town of about 7,000. Birnbaum estimates that there were about 5,000 in the city and 60,000 in the Zurich state.24 Zurich, however, had a poor reputation, and Bullinger once commented that ‘Zurich was to Switzerland what Corinth was to Greece’.25 Zwingli himself had already fallen sexually in both Glarus and Einsiedeln. He claimed that he avoided married women, virgins, and nuns, but lamented that he was like a dog returning to its vomit.26

In 1519, Zwingli abandoned the Church’s lectionary, and began to preach through Scripture—Matthew, then Acts, 1 Timothy, Galatians, 2 Timothy, 1 and 2 Peter, and Hebrews. In the same year, Zwingli began to read Luther (he had already read much of Erasmus). It was also 1519 when a plague devastated Zurich’s population, with 2,000–3,500 succumbing to it, including Zwingli’s brother Andrew. Zwingli himself had caught the disease and almost died.

His ‘plague hymn’ dates from this time, with its twelve stanzas neatly divided—four written as the disease struck, the next four as his health deteriorated, and the last four on his recovery.27 Beginning with ‘Help me, O Lord, my strength and rock; Lo, at the door I hear death’s knock’, it works through to his healing, but also the realisation that death will come, perhaps ‘in deeper gloom’. Its triumphant conclusion is: ‘But, let it come; with joy, I’ll rise, And bear my yoke straight to the skies.’ Clearly, Zwingli underwent a sobering spiritual experience.

Wittenberg

In 1527, Martin Luther stayed behind in Wittenberg as plague threatened the town. To Rev Dr Johann Hess, pastor at Breslau, Luther sought to answer the question as to whether one may flee from a deadly plague. He argued that one could not place the same burden on everyone: ‘Peter could walk upon the water because he was strong in faith. When he began to doubt, and his faith weakened, he sank and almost drowned.’ He heaped up many examples from Scripture as to the lawfulness of fleeing, from pestilence, famine, sword, and wild beasts (Ezek. 14:21). However, he took all sensible precautions to protect his own life and not to spread the plague, as he considered it wrong to tempt God. Leviticus 13–14 shows that separation and quarantining are not contrary to the Word of God. Nevertheless, he added: ‘If my neighbour needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely’.28

Elector John of Saxony urged Luther and the faculty at Wittenberg to flee to Jena, but Luther refused. He maintained that if one would stay to minister to Christ or his mother if they were ill, one must stay to look after the least of Christ’s brothers (Matt. 25:40). It can be inferred that the churches were still open, for he recommended to prepare for death by attending church and hearing the sermon, and by going to confession and taking the sacrament once every week or fortnight. Finally, he suggested that it was best that burials took place outside the town.

The great Reformer lived through three plagues in his lifetime. All in all, Luther’s response was measured, full of common sense, faith, caution, and courage.

England

There were epidemics in England in 1553, 1563, 1593, 1625, and, as will be noted next, in 1665. The 1563 plague was the most severe, and Elizabeth I left London for Windsor, along with all her court. She ordered that gallows be erected for anyone who followed suit, in case he or she also brought the plague. John Hooper spoke for virtually all preachers of the day that ‘the chief causes (sic) of all plagues and sicknesses, is sin.’29 That being said, he did maintain that Christians ought to respond to plague in both human and divine ways30 — namely, medicines, flight, and repentance.

The Modern Period

1665 in London

In 1722 Daniel Defoe, the nonconformist novelist and author of Robinson Crusoe, published a journal of the plague year in London, 1665, which was apparently based on the journal of his uncle who lived through it. Samuel Pepys’ diary is often regarded as more reliable, although it is only marginally less subdued. Defoe’s numbers are high, but he goes out of his way to downplay rumours, for example, about the murders that supposedly took place that were disguised as plague victims.31

As a novelist, Defoe was also something of a chronicler and statistician. He mentions that many fled the towns, while those who stayed behind flocked to quacks and astrologers as well as churches. The magic incantation ‘Abracadabra’ came into its own. Red crosses were painted on the doors of those who were infected, often with the words, ‘Lord have mercy upon us’. As it wore on, and people became more used to the death toll, Defoe recorded, ‘Time inured them to it all.’ People began to take fewer precautions concerning rulings that houses were to be shut up for 28 days. This last regulation was much resented, as it meant that whole families, including the well along with the sick, were locked up together. Watchmen were appointed, by day and by night, to keep them locked up, but there were many escapes. The airing of linen was to last 5–6 days. At the suggestion of the Earl of Craven, the practice of locking up whole families was abandoned, and pest-houses built—although not many proved to be needed.

All public activities except worship were banned. Church services were held in the open fields, with the congregation observing what has recently been called ‘social distancing’. No mourners were allowed at funerals. There were orders that dogs and cats be destroyed, although one might wonder if the feline culling did not have the baneful effect of stimulating the rodent population. The Great Fire of London in 1666, however, may have helped in destroying the rat population. Many people fled London for the countryside, and some of them made little shelters for themselves in the woods and fields. It is almost certain that Bills of Mortality underestimated the true figures.32 Jews and Quakers were not counted, for example, and there was a desire not to encourage panic, which is always an effective way to promote it.

Although, as we have seen, church services were often held in the open air to hinder the spread of the disease, Thomas Vincent (one of the 2,000 Puritans ejected in 1662) sometimes clambered over pews in order to get to the pulpit. It was all rather illegal, but as Vincent said: ‘if you ever saw a drowning man catch at a rope, you may guess how eagerly many people did catch at the word’.33 It is worthy of note that Daniel Defoe considered that Christian unity between Anglican and Nonconformist was enhanced by the plague, as the great issue of eternity swamped all others.

1860–1861 on Aneityum, New Hebrides

As is well-known, the coming of Westerners, including missionaries, to the Americas, Australia, and the Pacific Islands was often the prelude to devastating depopulation due mainly to diseases. In December 1860, a measles epidemic broke out and decimated the southern islands of the New Hebrides, especially Aneityum, Tanna, and Erromanga. The missionaries blamed a sandalwood vessel, Hirondelle, owned by Captain Towns and commanded by Captain Rodd, for the introduction of the disease. J. G. Paton claimed that the introduction of the disease was deliberate and that the sandalwooders had then blamed the missionaries.34 Geddie stopped short of making the same accusation, but he did claim:

No care was taken to prevent the spread of the contagion, and it almost seemed as if the parties who introduced it were determined that this island should not escape a disease, which has been sweeping the natives of other islands into the grave by thousands.35

As it happened, it was not the measles that killed the New Hebrideans, so much as the dysentery which followed.

Geddie’s own little daughter, Helen, aged two, almost succumbed during the epidemic. Geddie predicted, accurately, that the epidemic would carry off perhaps one-third of Aneityum’s population.36 In Scotland, Inglis predicted, rather less accurately, that:

The middle-aged, those who are invariably the worst opponents of Christianity, have been cut off; while the young, those who are the most hopeful, the most easily impressed, have been left. For some years after this the public health is likely to be unusually good. The hurricanes of last season will have purified the atmosphere; the weak and sickly will all have been swept away, and nothing but the strong and healthy left; and, consequently, it may reasonably be expected, that the sickness and mortality will be greatly less for some years to come.37

Inglis was certainly no Darwinist38 nor follower of Herbert Spencer, and he lived to see the error of his hasty proclamation of the doctrine of the survival of the fittest. As Geddie explained: ‘The mortality has been greatest among persons in the prime of life, while many of the old and young have been spared.’39

The poignancy of the whole tragedy which engulfed the community has been captured by Geddie’s pen:

It would be difficult and painful to describe the distress and suffering which the sickness has caused. When it enters a place the whole community is soon laid prostrate, so that the sick can receive but little attention. Many, who might otherwise recover, die from want of food. They cannot go to their plantations, and cook it, and there are few who can do this for them. It is with great difficulty that the dead can be buried, and this duty is often performed by persons who are on the verge of the grave themselves.40

The Geddies spent all their time attempting to alleviate the suffering, as all other work was virtually suspended. Naturally, Geddie was deeply affected by the events around him:

It is sad indeed to see so many of the poor natives, whom we love almost as much as if they were our own children, cut off so suddenly, and in such numbers, around us. Many who were our earliest and warmest friends, and who endured along with us the first trials of the Mission, are no more, and it seems as if we would be left to labour among a new generation.41

Geddie particularly mourned the death of Simeona, the Samoan teacher who had begun work on Aneityum in 1842, six years before the Geddies’ arrival. Another victim of the epidemic was Dora, the wife of Williamu, who was with Inglis in Britain. This may have contributed to Williamu’s breakdown, although Inglis placed more emphasis on the impact of the news of the Gordons’ murder.42

Within three months, 1,100 out of a population of fewer than 4,000 had perished. Still, the epidemics which afflicted Aneityum in the 1860s provided much evidence to indicate that seed had fallen on good soil. The Dayspring Report for 1866 stated:

One very gratifying feature of Christian character among the natives was brought out prominently during the sickness; they were remarkably attentive to the sick; they ministered without ceasing, both to their temporal and spiritual wants; and we have reason to believe that a large number died in the faith of the Gospel.43

Ultimately, this is what counts.

Australian Aborigines: A Race Dying Out?

At one stage, Daisy Bates (1859–1951) had a reputation for being a kind of nomadic Florence Nightingale to the aborigines, and in 1933, was informed that she would receive the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire). She tends to be unpopular now because she often referred to aboriginal cannibalism, supported the removal of children from abusive situations, and believed that the aborigines would become extinct.44 Until the 1940s or even later, it was a common view.

If massacres slew their hundreds, even thousands, disease slew their tens of thousands. Arthur Ward, the historian of the Presbyterian work at Mapoon in north Queensland, believed the doomed race theory: ‘The time is fast approaching when the Australian natives will be extinct.’45 As early as 1841, the Congregationalist missionary at Lake Macquarie, Lancelot Edward Threlkeld, in his last report predicted that ‘ere a few years elapse’ Aborigines would become extinct or amalgamated.46 In Melbourne, James Forbes (1813–1851) spoke in similar terms of ‘these precious but perishing souls’.47 Aboriginal numbers in Victoria declined to about 780 in 1889, from about 15,000 fifty years earlier.48 As late as 1937, Aeneas MacDonald was still writing of the ‘blackfellow’ in terms of ‘his doom already written across his brow.’49

Disease killed far more aborigines than anything that might be called genocide.50 In 1789, a smallpox epidemic killed thousands. Watkin Tench called it ‘an extraordinary calamity’. Henry Reynolds suggests, ‘The epidemic may well have been the single most destructive event in the history of relations between Aborigines and the European colonists.’51 Governor Phillip estimated that the aboriginal population on the coastal strip from Broken Bay to Botany Bay was about 1,500, with perhaps 700 dying in the smallpox epidemic.52 Richard Broome suggests that in Port Phillip 1835–1853 there were perhaps 8,000 aboriginal deaths, with about 5,000 due to disease.53 This probably underestimates the impact of disease. The Roman Catholic Archbishop, John Bede Polding, delineated three causes of aboriginal depopulation: the aggressive mode of taking possession of their country; the sensual indulgence of white males with indigenous females, even children; and the introduction of diseases for which they had no proper remedy.54 It was one of the few times when the redoubtable Presbyterian John Dunmore Lang agreed with Polding.55

 Charles Spurgeon in London in 1854 and After

There was an outbreak of cholera in 1854, and Charles Spurgeon describes how it sobered many people, causing them to ponder the brevity of life and the reality of eternity. Spurgeon was barely twenty when he had to deal with this crisis. There were over 600 deaths, with a mortality rate of about 12.8% in parts of the city. Most of Soho fled in a week. Geoff Chang has made five observations of Spurgeon’s response.56

  1. He prioritised local ministry. Spurgeon refused all invitations to preach in other parts of the country in order to remain with his people.
  2. He adjusted his meetings but continued meeting. Spurgeon’s church was not quarantined, and he continued preaching and pastoring. He thought people were subdued by events: ‘There was little scoffing then.’
  3. He cared for the sick. He recorded: ‘Family after family summoned me to the bedside of the smitten, and almost every day I was called to visit the grave.’ He described one young woman who was singing on her deathbed. He preached that for the Christian, sudden death meant sudden glory, and cited some verses, as he often did: ‘Plagues and deaths around me fly, Till He please, I cannot die.’
  4. He was open to new evangelistic opportunities. He would enter the houses of afflicted people in order to evangelise. One notable occasion took place when a man who had denounced Spurgeon as a hypocrite summoned him at 3:00 a.m. when he was dying. By the time Spurgeon arrived, the man was unable to give any response although Spurgeon spoke to him. Spurgeon knew of many who responded, but fell away, and in 1857 declared:

How many of the same sort of confessions, too, have we seen in times of cholera, and of fever, and pestilence! Then our churches have been crammed with hearers, who, because so many funerals have passed their doors, or so many have died in the street, could not refrain from going up to God’s house to confess their sins. And under that visitation, when one, two, and three have been lying dead in the house, or next door, how many have thought they would really turn to God! But, alas! when the pestilence had done its work, conviction ceased; and when the bell had tolled the last time for a death caused by cholera, then their hearts ceased to beat with penitence and their tears did flow no more.

  1. He entrusted his life to God. As he carried on his work, Spurgeon felt more and more exhausted, both physically and mentally. Psalm 91:9–10, in a shoemaker’s window, revived his spirits when he thought that he was in danger of succumbing.

In 1866, amid another cholera outbreak, he charged pastors and Christians:

You have the Balm of Gilead; when their wounds smart, pour it in. You know of Him who died to save: tell them of Him. Lift high the cross before their eyes. Tell them that God became man that man might be lifted to God. Tell them of Calvary, and its groans and cries, and sweat of blood. Tell them of Jesus hanging on the cross to save sinners. Tell them that: ‘There is life for a look at the Crucified One’. Tell them that He is able to save to the uttermost all them that come unto God by Him. Tell them that He is able to save even at the eleventh hour, and to say to the dying thief: ‘Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.’

He saw the plague in terms of the gospel because he saw all things through a gospel lens.

During the 1866 cholera outbreak, Spurgeon preached on Amos 3:3–6, on ‘The Voice of Cholera’. He was comprehensive and commended greater cleanliness and better dwellings for the poor, as well as medical research. He could even state: ‘It seems to me that this disease is to a great extent in our own hands…and much as we advocate holiness, we always have a good word for cleanliness and sobriety.’

Still, he went on to declare that ‘the hand of the Lord is in all this.’ He saw the judgment of God, particularly on four sins: drunkenness, licentiousness, neglect of worship, and Popery in the Established Church. ‘My brethren, our God is too gracious to send us this cholera without a motive…The great Lion of vengeance has not roared unless sin has provoked him.’ To Spurgeon, as to the Bible, all things work for a purpose: ‘Let us conclude most surely that a purpose consistent with the love and justice of God lies hidden in the present harvest of death.’ Although we have responsibilities regarding clean air and good sanitation, the truth is that ‘God himself is traversing London.’

The 1918–1919 Spanish Flu in Australia

From 1855, plague re-emerged from the Chinese province of Yunnan. This finally reached Australia in 1900, causing about 100 deaths, and causing much consternation and some ill-feeling towards Chinese people. Indeed, the plague lingered on throughout the world for the next five decades.57 However, it is the Spanish flu, striking at the end of World War I, which was more drastic.

This pandemic received its name not because it originated in Spain, but from the fact that its king, Alfonso XIII, caught it and survived. Neither the Axis nor the Allied powers wished to admit that flu was devastating their troops, and Spain, in this at least, was conveniently neutral, and so ‘Spanish flu’ was a useful and diversionary nomenclature. It possibly originated in isolated Haskell County, Kansas, although that is by no means certain.58 Worldwide deaths have been variously estimated between 19–50 million—perhaps even 100 million—and its spread among German troops may have hastened the end of the war. It can be said to have rivalled and even exceeded the Black Death in terms of mortality and social and economic effects. Furthermore, the Spanish flu was not the only pestilence. In December 1919, the Bolsheviks struggled with a typhus epidemic that claimed more than five million lives, leading Lenin to declare that ‘either socialism will defeat the louse or the louse will defeat socialism’.59

In Australia, over 12,000 died, out of a total population of a little over five million. It came to Australia later than it did the rest of the world, and it was less severe in its effects. There were cases in Australia in September–October 1918, but then it seemed to die down. It was even believed that Australia would escape with only relatively mild flu.

The pandemic did not die out, however, and in 1919, there were roughly three waves in Australia. The first wave (late January–late February) was relatively mild, the second wave (19 March–27 May) was much more virulent, and the third wave (28 May–5 August) was more virulent still. The first wave claimed about 50 lives in NSW, the second wave 1,542, and the third wave 4,302.60 Males aged 25–39 registered the highest number of fatalities,61 and indigenous communities suffered disproportionately. Medical advice kept changing, and a vaccine that was produced may have been close to being useless..

Reactions to the pandemic provoked much contention. On 3 December 1918, a nurse, Annie Egan, who was a Catholic, died at the Quarantine Station in North Head (all major ports had quarantine stations). She was denied the last rites as no ministers of religion were allowed into the quarantined area. Even an appeal to the Prime Minister, Billy Hughes, proved to be of no avail. There was a public outcry at this, especially from the Roman Catholic community. Archbishop Daniel Mannix protested strongly, and the Freeman’s Journal portrayed government policy as a cruel and pagan attempt to ‘divide man from his Maker by official red tape’.62 Meetings of Roman Catholics protested, and a written protest from East Maitland saw the same spirit as moved Henry VIII and Cromwell!63

The Roman Catholic protests did not move J. Laurence Rentoul, the fiery Irish-born Presbyterian minister from Ormond College in Victoria. He accused Mannix of discovering new grievances and not cooperating with rational and merciful laws. He suggested that Roman Catholic priests could visit those in quarantine but stay there until the danger of infection was past.64 Some Anglicans sided with the Roman Catholics although there was an Anglican chaplain stationed there, having been isolated as one of the crew and passengers on an infected ship. A month after Nurse Egan’s death, a Roman Catholic priest, John Peoples, was allowed within the precincts for six weeks and to bless the grave of Annie.

Quarantines meant that family reunions were delayed and victory parades cancelled. Still, on 6 June 1919, the Peace Ball was held, and all 1800 tickets were sold—the age of the flapper was not to be denied, even in the midst of the deadly third wave. Lockdowns were of relatively short duration—about 36 days. Schools were closed. Outdoor activities were actually encouraged, but not in crowds. Over 50% of Sydney’s population was inoculated.65 There were official calls for prayer, but church services were cancelled. In February 1919, one Presbyterian lady, who had never missed church, repeated ‘all the “comforting” passages she knew’ and preached to herself a sermon on ‘the duty of trusting God’.66 On 8 February 1919, the Sydney Morning Herald published a suggested order of service for Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, Baptists, those in the Churches of Christ, and Salvationists who were denied public worship on the next day as no services were allowed.

All was not well. Public houses were sometimes left open, albeit with a restriction as to air space that was not likely to be enforced. Even open-air services were banned in church grounds, but trams and boats could be crowded, and no restriction was placed on the use of beaches. Picture-shows and all places of public entertainment were closed. The wearing of masks, popularly known as ‘dog muzzles’, was compulsory, although some wearers cut a little hole in them to allow them to smoke. By the end of February, some of the regulations on churches were relaxed, and services were held outside with the parishioners wearing masks, although the officiating minister was excused. Restrictions were re-imposed during the second wave but not for the churches.

Some Comments and Lessons

  1. The early Church showed great compassion during plagues, in ministering to the sick, even those who were pagans. This is also seen in the responses of Luther, Spurgeon, the new Christians on Aneityum, and countless other Christians.
  2. Both Luther and Spurgeon commend sensible precautions but point out that the love of neighbour remains God’s command to us all.
  3. Luther refused to lay down one rule for all Christians in a plague.
  4. Inconsistent restrictions such as those in London in 1665 and Australia in 1919 fail to win universal consent. These can unnecessarily divide society and the Church.
  5. There is nothing wrong with the Church obeying state regulations. Indeed, it ought to do so, but it must be wary of state power becoming all-devouring.
  6. The obvious lesson comes from Luther: ‘Death is death, no matter how it occurs.’ Life is short, and the mortality rate is always 100%. Therefore, preach Christ and the resurrection. Psalm 91:3–4 has been often cited in dealing with God’s promises to keep His people from the fowler’s net and the deadly pestilence. Spurgeon’s paraphrases this promise most memorably: ‘No bird of paradise shall die in the fowler’s net.’67

This article was first published in the August 2020 edition of the Reformed Theological Review and has been reproduced with permission.

Notes

  1. Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity (London: HarperCollins, 1997), 84–85.
  2. Eusebius, The History of the Church, trans. G. A. Williamson (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984), 7.22, 305.
  3. Eusebius, The History of the Church, 7.22, 305–306.
  4. Cyprian, ‘On the Mortality’, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5 (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1981), 8:470–471.
  5. Cyprian, ‘On the Mortality’, 20–21:474.
  6. Cyprian, ‘On the Lapsed’, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5 (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1981), 8:439.
  7. W. H. C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church (Oxford: Blackwell, 1965), 407.
  8. Cyprian, ‘On the Lapsed’, 8:439.
  9. Stark, The Rise of Christianity, 74.
  10. Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century (London: Papermac, 1995), 101.
  11. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 94.
  12. Cited in George Deaux, The Black Death 1347 (New York: Weybright and Talley, 1969), 93–94.
  13. Philip Daileader, The Late Middle Ages (Chantilly: The Teaching Company, 2007), Lecture 8.
  14. Cited in Renee Neu Watkins, ‘Petrarch and the Black Death: From Fear to Monuments’, Studies in the Renaissance 19 (1972), 218.
  15. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 98–99.
  16. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 98–99.
  17. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 94–95.
  18. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 97.
  19. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 97.
  20. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 116.
  21. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 104.
  22. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 118.
  23. Tuchman, A Distant Mirror, 124.
  24. N. Birnbaum, ‘The Zwinglian Reformation in Zurich’, Past and Present 15 (1959), 29.
  25. R. Tudor Jones, The Great Reformation (Leicester: IVP, 1985), 50.
  26. Jean Rilliet, Zwingli: Third Man of the Reformation (London: Lutterworth, 1964), 33–34.
  27. See Christian History 4 (January 1984), 20.
  28. Martin Luther, ‘Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague’, Works 43 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 119–138.
  29. John Hooper, ‘A Sermon to be Read in the Time of Pestilence’, Godly Directions in a Time of Plague, ed. C. Matthew McMahon (Crossville: Puritan Publications, 2020), 13.
  30. Hooper, ‘A Sermon to be Read in the Time of Pestilence’, 22.
  31. See Daniel Defoe, Journal of the Plague Year, read by Andrew Cullum (Naxos AudioBooks, 2018).
  32. Rebecca Rideal, 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire (London: John Murray, 2017), 47.
  33. Cited in Rideal, 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire, 52–53.
  34. James Paton (ed.), John G. Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides, 2 vols, vol. 1 (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1890), 267–268.
  35. John Geddie, Misi Gete, ed. R. S. Miller (Launceston: Presbyterian Church of Tasmania, 1975), 260.
  36. Geddie, Misi Gete, 260.
  37. John Inglis, Reformed Presbyterian Magazine (November 1861), 350.
  38. John Inglis, Bible Illustrations in the New Hebrides (London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1890), 85.
  39. Geddie, Misi Gete, 261.
  40. Geddie, Misi Gete, 260–261; see Home and Foreign Record of the Presbyterian Church of the Lower Provinces of British North America (September 1861), 225–231.
  41. Geddie, Misi Gete, 261.
  42. Home and Foreign Record (December 1861), 326.
  43. Dayspring Report, 1866, 3.
  44. See Susanna De Vries, Desert Queen: The Many Lives and Loves of Daisy Bates (Sydney: HarperCollins, 2008).
  45. Arthur Ward, The Miracle of Mapoon (London: Partridge, 1908), 127.
  46. Niel Gunson (ed.), Australian Reminiscences & Papers of L. E. Threlkeld, Missionary to the Aborigines 1824–1859, vol. 1 (Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, 1974), 169.
  47. Mairi Harman, James Forbes of Melbourne (Sydney: Crossing Press, 2001), 118.
  48. Malcolm Wood, Presbyterians in Colonial Victoria (North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2008), 218.
  49. Aeneas MacDonald, One Hundred Years of Presbyterianism in Victoria (Melbourne: Robertson and Mullens, 1937), 73.
  50. See Judy Campbell, Invisible Invaders: Smallpox and Other Diseases in Aboriginal Australia, 1780–1880 (Carlton South: Melbourne University Press, 2002).
  51. Henry Reynolds, An Indelible Stain? (Ringwood: Viking Books, 2001), 36.
  52. Cited in Roger Milliss, Waterloo Creek (Sydney: UNSW Press, 1994), 44.
  53. E.g. Richard Broome, Aboriginal Australians, 3rd edition (Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 2001), 65. Broome’s book is savaged by Michael Connor, ‘History on Fire’, Quadrant (April 2010), 32–36.
  54. Cited in John Harris, ‘The Myth of the Humane Colonisation of Aboriginal Australia’, Aboriginal History 27 (2003), 82.
  55. Roger Milliss, Waterloo Creek, 126, citing Colonist (31 December 1835); R. H. W. Reece, Aborigines and Colonists (Sydney: Sydney University Press, 1974), 167, citing Colonist (5, 12, 19 November 1835), 1–3, 1–2, 1–2 respectively.
  56. Geoff Chang, ‘Five lessons from Spurgeon’s ministry in a cholera outbreak’ Evangelical Times (May 2020), https://www.evangelical-times.org/58435/
    five-lessons-from-spurgeons-ministry-in-a-cholera-outbreak, accessed 6 July 2020.
  57. John Frith, ‘The History of Plague: Part 1. The Three Great Pandemics’, History, Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health 20, no. 2 (April 2012), 15.
  58. John M. Barry, ‘The site of origin of the 1918 influenza pandemic and its public health implications’, Journal of Translational Medicine 2 (2004), 3.
  59. Cited in Henry Ergas, ‘Australia’s tough fight to defeat ‘the louse’, The Australian (1 May 2020), 10.
  60. NSW Government State Archives and Records: Pneumonic Influenza (Spanish Flu) (1919), 8.
  61. NSW Government State Archives, 8.
  62. Robyn Arrowsmith, A Danger Greater than War: NSW and the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic (Curtin, ACT: Homeland Security Communications Groups, 2007), 45–46.
  63. Arrowsmith, A Danger Greater than War, 46.
  64. Arrowsmith, A Danger Greater than War, 47.
  65. Peter Curson and Kevin McCracken, ‘Australian Perspective of the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic, NSW Public Health Bulletin 17, no. 7–8 (2005), 105.
  66. Cited in Humphrey McQueen, ‘The ‘Spanish’ Influenza Pandemic in Australia, 1912–19’, Australian Society for the Study of Labour History (2018), 7.
  67. Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, for the morning of January 24.

Plagues Throughout Christian History and Some Christian Responses — Banner of Truth USA

October—23 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

Afterwards shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king.—Hosea 3:5.

What a sweet scripture is this, and what abundant gospel contained in the bosom of it. Afterward shall the children of Israel return. After having been long scattered on every high mountain, wandering over the face of the whole earth, the Lord will bring them back; “he that hath scattered Israel will gather him.” There shall be abounding grace, for abounding transgression; and what sin hath ruined, grace shall restore. But to whom shall they return? To seek the Lord their God! Yes! this may be done, and this will be done, if the Lord incline their hearts; the same that gives the grace to seek, will give the mercy to find. “He hath never said to the praying seed of Jacob, Seek ye my face in vain!” But it is said also, that they shall return to “David their king.” Alas! David, king of Israel, had been dead many a year, when this promise was made, and his sepulchre, as Peter afterwards remarked, was with the people unto his day; how then could they return to David their king? Oh! the blessedness to see David’s Lord thus preached in days before the gospel. Though David, king of Israel, be dead, Christ, the seed of David after the flesh, ever liveth, and to him shall Israel seek; after all their rebellion, and after all the pursuit of their idols. Oh! precious Lord Jesus! be it my portion also to seek unto thee in all thy covenant relations and characters; “for where should a people seek, but unto their God?” Let my soul feel the same longings as David himself felt, when he cried out, “O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee, in this dry and thirsty land where no water is!”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 304). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

October 23 – “We will obey the voice of the LORD” if it matches my desires. — VCY America

October 23
Jeremiah 42:1-44:23
2 Timothy 2:1-21
Psalm 92:1-93:5
Proverbs 26:3-5

Jeremiah 42:2-3 – It’s about time! Jerusalem has fallen, the military governor was assassinated, the assassin’s coup was scattered, and those who are left want to listen to God finally…. or do they?

Jeremiah 43:2 – God gave them a simple command – stay put (Jeremiah 42:10-12). They claimed they would obey (Jeremiah 42:2-3), not just once but twice (Jeremiah 42:5-6), and they called Jeremiah a liar.

Jeremiah 43:3 – Baruch is again named. “According to Josephus (“Ant.” x. 9, § 1), a member of a very distinguished family. ”

Jeremiah 43:8 – Where is Tanpanhes? Roughly along the Suez Canal in Egypt. The children of Israel are regressing. They lost their kingdom, they did what was right in their own eyes, they recrossed the Sinai, and have now returned to Egypt!

Tanphanes

Jeremiah 43:12 – So one invasion and defeat isn’t enough, there is another one coming!

Jeremiah 44:8 – They disobeyed with a king, they disobeyed without, and now they are offering incense unto the gods of Egypt!

Jeremiah 44:17 – Who is the “queen of heaven?” The “queen of heaven” is a false idol similar to Baal. We know this because v.16 says they will not listen to the voice of the LORD but to this other one. They ascribe their blessings not to the LORD but to the “queen.” We then see that the LORD regarded it as an evil abomination (Jeremiah 44:22).

2 Timothy 2:1 – Paul wants his son Timothy to be strong. As strong as a soldier (2 Timothy 2:3), as strong as an athlete (2 Timothy 2:5), as strong as a farmer (2 Timothy 2:6).

2 Timothy 2:11-13 – Many people believe Paul is quoting an ancient hymn. This hymn emphasized the cost of discipleship – death, suffering, refusal to deny Jesus. And yet if we believe not – it doesn’t matter – His Word still stands!

2 Timothy 2:15 – The AWANA theme verse – AWANA standing for “Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed.” 4 million kids every week are studying God’s Word because Lance Latham and Art Rorheim started a ministry to kids in Chicago.

2 Timothy 2:19 – We are told that we are under grace – the Old Testament law does not govern us. Yes the 613 laws of the Old Testament are given to Israel, in a previous dispensation (1/3 dealt with the temple, and 1/3 were conditional, so the average Israelite didn’t have as much of a burden as we think). But we have over 1,000 imperatives given to us in the New Testament. We are commanded to depart from iniquity. We are held to a higher standard than Israel was. We are called to be a “vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use” (2 Timothy 2:21).

Psalm 92:2 – Morning by morning and evening by evening, let’s praise the LORD!

Psalm 93:4 – The oceans cover 71% of the world’s surface. A hurricane produces “200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity.” Yet the LORD is mightier!

Proverbs 26:4-5 – How do we handle contradictory statements? In our society we have dueling maxims:

  • “Haste makes waste.”
  • “Strike while the iron is hot.”
  • “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
  • “Penny wise, pound foolish.”

The challenge is to deal with the fool without being like him. Let’s avoid being a fool (Proverbs 26:12, 29:20).

Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

October 23 Thoughts for the quiet hour

As my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do

1 Kings 2:38

There is something infinitely better than doing a great thing for God, and the infinitely better thing is to be where God wants us to be, to do what God wants us to do, and to have no will apart from His.

G. Campbell Morgan[1]

 

[1] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

Weekly Watchman for 10/23/2020

In His Image: Truth & Grace vs Delusion & LGBT Agenda

We discuss the new documentary, the goal for it as well as other contributors. Plus, Joe Biden wanting children as young as 8 to be able to choose their gender, NFL pushing social activism and LGBT history month, and Oreo running gay pride ads with rainbow colored Oreos.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Alex Newman: The Deep State and Who’s Behind It

Today we discuss what’s going on behind the Deep State curtain. How do you define it and who’s pulling strings and manipulating markets and politics? According to a Monmouth poll, 74% of people believe “Deep State” exists, but few talk about it or understand what it is exactly. Alex Newman is here to explain and inform.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Carl Teichrib: UN Global Agenda, Saving the World Man’s Way

We discuss the United Nations Global Governance Forum, a conference built around the UN’s 75th anniversary; their goal is for the salvation of the earth – and Christians and America are in the way. Action points that underscore this Forum include supporting the UN system, alongside the IMF and World Bank, in developing a post-Covid economic and social reset.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

Sen. Cruz criticizes mainstream media for blackout on Hunter Biden allegations, including press conference held by former business partner | Disrn

Sen. Tex Cruz (R-TX) delivered a scathing rebuke to mainstream media outlets Thursday for not covering the ongoing revelations regarding Hunter Biden’s alleged criminal foreign business dealings, calling them “shameful” and accusing them of “shilling for Joe Biden.”

Cruz referred specifically to a special press conference held Thursday before the final presidential debate, where Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner Tony Bobulinski delivered a scathing indictment of the Biden family and its reported involvement in overseas financial transactions.

 

In Bobulinski’s press briefing, he said he had talked directly with Joe Biden about the family’s business dealings in China and that he had been installed as the CEO of the company created to funnel funds to the Biden family.

“I have heard Joe Biden say he has never discussed his dealings with Hunter. That is false. I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family, including Joe Biden,” Bobulinski said.

Bobulinski had earlier confirmed the legitimacy of an email showing Joe Biden set to get a 10% stake in a Chinese company. Bobulinski said he would be meeting with the Senate committee – which published a full report in September on Hunter Biden’s dealings – and turning over three private phones with more evidence to the FBI.

Speaking to Fox News – the only major outlet to cover the briefing – Cruz reacted strongly to the news revealed by Bobulinski.

“[It] was remarkable and…raises serious questions about whether Joe Biden has personally enriched himself, whether he’s been paid millions from communist China and — and the allegation is that he had a secret share potentially in this business deal that Hunter Biden held for him,” Cruz said.

Cruz then slammed the media for avoiding most of the allegations against the Bidens and criticized the censorship of the original New York Post article by tech giants last week.

“The media is not even pretending to do their job and I think that’s really dangerous, particularly when you combine it with big tech censorship where what is at stake in the election is — is really fundamental about whether we are going to preserve our freedoms, constitutional liberties,” Cruz said. “…I think the degree to which the media and Big Tech are shilling for Joe Biden are protecting him, covering him up, and not even asking these questions, I think it’s really shameful.”

Source: Sen. Cruz criticizes mainstream media for blackout on Hunter Biden allegations, including press conference held by former business partner

Are We Fed Up with Being Censored Yet? — David Fiorazo

If they can’t win the election, they’ll cheat, lie, and steal. But, are people finally catching on?

Less than 30 percent of Americans believe today’s so-called “news” media – and for good reason. Then, over on social media, Donald Trump is censored at a ratio of 65-0 compared to Joe Biden. You heard that right.

If this wasn’t bad enough, 95% of political contributions from big tech and media employees go to Democrats.

This all makes sense in light of what should have been a huge breaking news story about corruption in the family of a presidential nominee. But the Democrat media suppressed the story – and big tech censored it.

When the complicit media refuses to report anything negative about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Americans who want the truth try finding other ways to get the news out, but what happens when social media outlets censor us as well?

U.S. Senators on the Judiciary Committee say they will subpoena Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey for ‘actively interfering’ in a national election after his platform censored news reports on alleged corruption involving Hunter Biden.

While Twitter banned people who linked to the story, the Democrat media acted as if the story didn’t exist! We’re not talking about anonymous sources which the left often use against Trump. In an August 2017 email on Hunter Biden’s laptop, he allegedly received millions of dollars from a corrupt Chinese billionaire in perhaps an annual fee.

Imagine if this was anyone in the Trump family or administration. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York said it would be important to know if Hunter introduced a Ukrainian businessman to Joe Biden. According to York:

“…we already know that the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, put the younger Biden on its board to win influence with the Obama administration, whose point man on Ukraine policy was Hunter Biden’s father Joe, then vice president of the United States.”

[Now that]…an executive from the corrupt Ukrainian company that was paying his son $50,000 a month to do nearly nothing, much of the political world’s reaction is not only to deny the story without investigating, but to praise social media companies for banning it.”

So are we to believe there’s nothing else to see on Hunter Biden’s laptop which reportedly contains a cache of 40,000 emails, text messages, and countless documents containing dates, times, and financial details that can be checked against already known information?

Where are the few true journalists to look into what has been alleged? These people are fake, ideological hypocrites, liars and political hacks protecting their friends in positions of power. This sounds more like North Korea or China than the free republic of America with free elections and a free press.

The Hunter Biden MacBook points to the need for answers. If evidence of corruption does exist, it reveals a national security risk that the country should avoid by not electing Biden and Harris. There’s a reason they’re being so evasive.

The few times anyone disobeyed Democrat media marching orders and actually asked Joe Biden about the story, he either ignored the question, laughed, or said, “I have no response, it’s another smear campaign…”

Don’t think this is a cover-up?

NewsBusters exposed Twitter and Facebook who have censored President Trump’s social media accounts and the accounts belonging to his re-election campaign at least 65 times. In contrast, they have not censored Democrat nominee, Joe Biden or any of his campaign accounts. Never.

Whether it’s social media or the news media, they’re no longer even trying to hide their allegiance to one political party and their open hostility toward Christians.

It’s no surprise an overwhelming majority of people in this country no longer trust the so-called “news” media. A 2016 Gallup poll revealed that only 32% of Americans have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the liberal media. For a comparison, in 1976, the number was 72%. Almost a complete flip!

Sadly, we now must demand that those who control information and those who preach equality and tolerance be fair and stop discriminating against people who don’t agree with liberalism, socialism, atheism, globalism, progressivism, or communism.

Next, what can we learn from contributions to political campaigns? Lots, actually. Since the 1990s, a majority of media elites, corporation CEOs, and tech leaders have endorsed or supported liberal politicians. What about today?

In a report just last week, employees at Alphabet, a massive Silicon Valley company founded by Google donated nearly $1.8 million to Joe Biden’s campaign, compared to just $23 thousand to Donald Trump.

In an analysis at WIRED magazine entitled, “Silicon Valley opens wallet to Biden” it states:

WIRED found that employees at Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Oracle have contributed nearly 20 times as much money to Biden as to Trump since the beginning of 2019. According to data released by the Federal Election Commission, which requires individuals who contribute $200 or more to a presidential campaign to report their employer, employees at these six companies have contributed $4,787,752 to Biden and just $239,527 to Trump.

From all forms of media to the entertainment industry, to the university system dominated by Democrats and progressives, to corporations and radical, anti-American non-profits, to Planned Parenthood and the National Education Association which has supported every single Democrat presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter – the scales are tipped so far to the left it’s astounding Republicans still win elections.

That’s how bad their policies are but the media would have us think all the polls suggest Joe Biden should win hands down. Not so fast. Even with an information and media monopoly, we the people still live in a blessed constitutional republic with free elections.

They can ban us, censor us, hide or suppress our posts and try to silence us, but we will fight for the right to remain free, to share information and speak openly about our faith.

Jesus Christ and biblical morality have been abandoned by our country, absolute truth rejected, and the complicit, corrupt media is just one consequence of the rebellion. But countless Americans are praying and engaging.

A massive prayer rally with tens of thousands of people took place last month in Washington D.C. as part of a Prayer March led by Franklin Graham and others. They spent hours in prayer to God for our nation, and reports said 3 million more watched on line as believers crowded the Lincoln Memorial and National Mall praying for repentance, healing, and the salvation of America.

Unreported by most media, but very encouraging.

If you’re like me, it’s a challenge to believe things could change much for the better. The individual solution remains the same: faith in Jesus Christ and a relationship with Him, the only source of true, lasting peace.

Yes, there’s hope for our nation, but only if God’s people pray and return to the Bible and our Judeo-Christian values again. It’s not impossible, but time is running out!

Video courtesy of Freedom Project Media

Are We Fed Up with Being Censored Yet? — David Fiorazo

Mid-Day Snapshot · Oct. 23, 2020

THE FOUNDATION

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors?” —Thomas Jefferson (1781)

IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Donald Trump Won Last Night’s Debate. Here’s How.

Douglas Andrews

If you’re one of those suburban moms who President Donald Trump has been scaring away with his bombast, his boorish behavior, and his bullying of poor Joe Biden, you saw a completely different candidate last night. And you just might have begun to reconsider your vote for his opponent, “the typical politician.”

And if you’re Donald Trump, you did exactly what you needed to do, if we do say so ourselves.

Yeah, the president may have missed an opportunity to land another zinger here or there. He may have failed to mention the crack-addled sex tapes and the child pornography that’s allegedly on Hunter Biden’s laptop, or, more importantly, to even really explain why the Bidens’ corruption is a real problem. But if he’s looking for more votes from that massive electoral trove of suburban women, his performance was spot-on.

Throughout the night, Biden preached pessimism and a “dark winter.” Trump, on the other hand, offered real and Reaganesque optimism.

Oh, and he probably won Pennsylvania last night. Biden’s amateurish remark about “transitioning” from our oil and gas economy, and his say-anything-to-get-elected doublespeak about the crucial issue of fracking, will certainly move voters in the Keystone State. He let the mask slip, and the only question now is whether the administration’s voting-integrity efforts can keep the fraudulent Philly vote to a less-than-decisive number.

As John Hinderaker notes, “[Last night’s] debate went well for President Trump, I thought. The moderator was pro-Biden; she didn’t ask him any hard questions and avoided the subjects where he is most vulnerable. But that was a given. She was considerably better than Chris Wallace, and better than most. Unlike the first debate, President Trump stayed calm and in control. His answers were generally sharp and he got in plenty of shots against Joe Biden.”

One of those repeated shots the president took was at the lifelong ineffectiveness of his opponent. “Joe, I ran because of you,” he said. “I ran because of Barack Obama, because you did a poor job. If I thought you did a good job, I would have never run.” Sticking with this theme of Biden’s all-hat-no-cattle career in Washington, Trump said, “You were the vice president. You keep talking about all these things you’re going to do, and you’re going to do this. But you were there just a short time ago, and you guys did nothing.”

After one attempt by Biden to change the subject by looking into the camera and invoking the kitchen table, the president pounced. “That’s the typical political statement,” he said. “‘Let’s get off this China thing.’ And then he looks, ‘The family, around the table.’ … Just a typical politician. … I’m not a typical politician. That’s why I got elected.”

Trump also persevered through a thicket of steady interruptions by moderator Kirsten Welker. Every time the president began to draw blood, it seemed, Welker would interrupt him to save Biden’s bacon. Post-debate analysis had the count somewhere around 30 interruptions of the president compared to just two — two — interruptions of Biden.

Nevertheless, during the pressure-cooker of this final debate, President Trump even had the wits and the wherewithal to pause and send a compliment Welker’s way: “By the way,” he said, “so far I respect very much the way you’re handling this, I have to say.” It’s hard to know how many thousands of votes that single thoughtful sentence was worth, or how much it meant to Welker. But notice, too, how two tiny words within that compliment worked the ref ever so subtly: “so far.”

There’ll be plenty of fact-checking today and over the weekend, and plenty of it will be directed at Biden, who lies as easily as a dog licks its, er, paws.

As National Review’s Kyle Smith writes, “Joe Biden is a career liar and he lied some more in the debate, for instance when he dismissed the now well-supported New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s business dealing as ‘a Russian plant.’ There is zero evidence for this. … Biden’s lie about fracking — ‘I never said I opposed fracking’ — was so egregious that even CNN’s Daniel Dale mentioned it in his after-action report.”

When CNN calls out its guy for lying just 12 days before an election, it must’ve been a whopper with cheese. And it was.

Biden also looked straight into the eyes of the American people and said, “Character is on the ballot.” He may well come to regret that bit of bravado.

Conservative pollster Frank Luntz called last night’s debate “a tie,” but he wasn’t paying attention to his own focus group. The words they used to describe Donald Trump? Controlled, reserved, poised, con artist, and surprisingly presidential. And the words they used to describe Joe Biden? Vague, unspecific, elusive, defensive, and grandfatherly.

President Trump won last night’s debate. No doubt. You could tell just by looking at the giddy grins on Fox News and the dour demeanors on CNN. The question is, Which of these two candidates is best equipped to run through the finish line?

As The Washington Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti notes, “Trump adviser Jason Miller mentioned on Twitter that Trump’s underdog victory in 2016 began with a good performance at that year’s third presidential debate. The Trump campaign hopes 2020 will turn out to be a replay of 2016: a last-minute scandal dogging the Democratic nominee, a disciplined Trump criss-crossing the nation on behalf of the forgotten man, and an unexpected Electoral College win.”

“Unexpected”? We’re not so sure it’ll be unexpected.

Trump Catches Biden on Fishy Fracking Flip-Flop

Thomas Gallatin

Often in presidential debates there’s an “uh-oh” moment when a candidate gets caught on a baited hook, endangering their election chances. That moment came in the second and final 2020 presidential debate last night when Joe Biden admitted he would end America’s fossil fuel industry.

One of the primary goals in any debate is to catch your opponent in a contradiction or lie. In presidential debates in particular, the objective is to get your opponent to expose themselves on an issue that isn’t popular with the American public. For Biden, that issue is his position on fossil fuels and, more specifically, on fracking.

President Donald Trump has been badgering Biden over his fracking flip-flop, noting that Biden had repeatedly referenced his support to ban fracking during his Democrat primary run only to suddenly turn and claim he doesn’t support a fracking ban.

Last night, Trump worked to set the hook and catch a slippery Biden.

Early on, Trump chummed the water by first mentioning fracking as a way to highlight that Biden is beholden to his party’s socialist polices: “You’re going to have socialized medicine. Just like you went on with fracking — ‘We’re not going to have fracking. We’re going to stop fracking. We’re going to stop fracking.’ Then he goes to Pennsylvania … and he says, ‘Oh, we’re gonna have fracking.’”

As the debate turned to the topic of energy, Trump once again baited Biden by asserting, “We’re going to have the greatest economy in the world. But if you want to kill the economy, get rid of your oil industry. And what about fracking? Now we have to ask him about fracking.”

Biden took the bait, falsely claiming, “I never said I oppose fracking.”

Trump set the hook, firing back, “You said it on tape.”

Biden retorted, “I — show the tape. Put it on your website. The fact of the matter is he’s flat-out lying.” Biden was clearly caught on the line, and Trump reeled him in.

Trump asked, “Would you rule out banning fracking?” It was at that moment that Biden realized he was caught and the flailing began, as indicated by Biden’s bumbling equivocating, “I do rule out banning fracking because the answer we need — we need other industries to transition to get to, ultimately, a complete zero emissions by 2025. What I will do with fracking over time is make sure that we can capture the emissions from the fracking. Capture the emissions from gas. We can do that and we can do that by investing money into — it’s a transition to that.”

At that point, debate moderator Kristen Welker attempted to save Biden by interjecting, but to no avail. “Excuse me, “Trump continued to press. “He was against fracking. He said it. I will show that to you tomorrow. ‘I am against fracking,’ until he got the nomination [and] went to Pennsylvania. Then he said — you know what, Pennsylvania? He’ll be against it very soon because his party is totally against it.”

Biden, knowing he was caught in a BIG lie, sought to further equivocate, falsely claiming, “Fracking on federal Land, I said. No fracking or oil on federal land.”

Welker again came to Biden’s aid with an anti-oil-industry question, but Trump knew he still had Biden on the line and didn’t let him off. “Would you close down the oil industry?” he asked. Biden answered, “I would transition from the oil industry, yes.” Welker’s follow-up said it all: “Why would you do that?”

Finally, Trump showed off his trophy catch, simply observing, “Basically what he’s saying is he’s going to destroy the oil industry. Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania? Oklahoma? Ohio?”

True to his word, Trump posted the tape.

If Trump comes out on top in November, he will likely have done so by winning Pennsylvania. And Trump may have Biden’s “uh-oh” moment to thank for it.

Biden’s ChiCom Deception Is Rapidly Unravelling

Mark Alexander

In one fast-paced week, Joe Biden’s efforts to conceal his family Quid Pro Quo Crime Syndicate pay-to-play schemes with Red China are falling apart.

Biden has avoided any substantive response concerning his knowledge and role in a lucrative “political influence for profit” arrangement with a ChiCom company, and there has been a massive Leftmedia propagandist and social media blackout to assist his obfuscation and evasion.

That effort has been aided and abetted by high-profile political assists from former Obama-Biden deep-state hacks, with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) leading the “dezinformatsiya” charge. Schiff has summarily and repeatedly declared the Biden/ChiCom story “comes from the Kremlin” and is a Russian disinformation campaign, and the “disinformation” mantra has been repeated everywhere.

However, we now know that the party who validated the China pay-to-play email from Hunter Biden, who identified the 10% cut for “the big guy” as Joe Biden, is Hunter’s former business partner, Tony Bobulinski. He is a former naval officer, was approached by Hunter Biden to head up the ChiCom deal, and has briefed Joe Biden directly about the political-access-for-profit setup. It is apparent that there was a template for these corporate fronts, as details of others in Russia, Romania, and ­Kazakhstan are emerging.

Yesterday, an hour before the final presidential debate, Bobulinski, a registered Democrat, met with members of the press to “set the record straight.” What follows are the highlights of his statement:

“My name is Tony Bobulinski. I served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy with high security clearance. My father and grandfather both served for decades in our country’s armed forces. Since leaving the Navy, I’ve been involved in various successful businesses both in this country and abroad. I’m making this statement to set the record straight about the involvement of the Biden family, Vice President Biden, his brother Jim Biden, and his son Hunter Biden in dealings with the Chinese.

“I have heard Joe Biden say that he’s never discussed business with Hunter. That is false. I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family, including Joe Biden. I have also heard that Vice President Biden said on Tuesday that Senator Ron Johnson, the chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, should be ashamed for suggesting that Biden family sought to profit from their name.

“Well, here are the facts I know, and everything I’m saying is corroborated by emails, WhatsApp chats, agreements, documents, and other evidence, and the American people can judge for themselves. … I was told this past Sunday by somebody who was also involved in this matter that if I went public this information it would bury all of us. … I have no wish to bury anyone. I’ve never been political; the few contributions I’ve made have been to Democrats. But what I am is a patriot and a veteran. To protect my family name and my business reputation, I need to ensure that the true facts are out there.”

Bobulinski detailed how he was contacted and how the Bidens proposed to structure the company.

He then noted his conversation with Joe Biden:

“On May 2, 2017, the night before Joe Biden was to appear at the Milken conference, I was introduced to Joe Biden by Jim Biden and Hunter Biden. At my approximately hour-long meeting with Joe that night, we discussed the Bidens’ history, the Bidens’ family business plans with the Chinese, with which he was plainly familiar at least at a high level. After that meeting, I had numerous communications with Hunter, Walker, Gilliar, and Jim Biden regarding the allocation of the equity ownership of Sinohawk. On May 13, 2017, I received an email concerning allocation of equity, which says, ‘10 percent held by H for the big guy.’ In that email there’s no question that H stands for Hunter, ‘big guy’ for his father, Joe Biden, and ‘Jim’ for Jim Biden. In fact, Hunter often referred to his father as the ‘big guy’ or ‘my chairman.’”

“On numerous occasions, it was made clear to me that Joe Biden’s involvement was not to be mentioned in writing, but only face to face. In fact, I was advised by Gilliar and Walker that Hunter and Jim Biden were paranoid about keeping Joe Biden’s involvement secret. I also had a disagreement with Hunter about the funds CFC was contributing to Sinohawk. Hunter wanted $5 million of those funds to go to himself and his family, so he wanted the funds wired directly to an entity affiliated with him. I objected because that was contrary to our written agreements concerning Sinohawk. He said referring to ‘the chairman,’ his father, that CFC was really investing in the Biden family, that he held the trump card, and that he was the one putting his family legacy on the line. He also said to me on May 17, 2017, that CFC wanted to be my partner, to be partner[ed] with the Bidens.”

“During these negotiations, I repeated to Hunter and others that Sinohawk could not be Hunter’s personal piggy bank and I demanded that proper corporate governance procedures be implemented for capital distributions. Hunter became very upset with me. CFC through July 2017 was assuring me the funds would be transferred to Sinohawk, but they were never sent to our company. Instead, I found out from Senator Johnson’s September report that the $5 million was sent in August 2017 to entities affiliated with Hunter.”

“Tomorrow I will be meeting with the Senate committee members concerning this matter, and I will be providing to the FBI the devices which contain the evidence corroborating what I have said.”

The Biden response: Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter allegations.

Despite three years of fake Russian-collusion allegations that Trump was in the Kremlin’s pocket, the emerging ChiCom links to Joe Biden are much more direct in affirming he was picking Beijing’s pockets.

Political analyst Kimberley Strassel observes: “The former vice president is running on trust and good judgment. The Hunter tale is … at worst, an example of the entire Biden clan cashing in on its name with a U.S. rival.”

As Wall Street Journal editor James Freeman concludes, “Now the corruption story is about Joe, not Hunter.”

At this point, we can say for sure that EVERYONE who has declared Joe Biden’s corrupt involvement with this scheme to be “Russian disinformation,” most notably Adam Schiff, is LYING. Biden’s ChiCom deception is rapidly unravelling. Whether any of his equally corrupt constituents cares is another matter.

Leftmedia Corruption Reaches New Heights

Nate Jackson

“Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.” —David Burge, 2013

With Big Media obsessively “fact-checking” President Donald Trump’s “pillows and sheets” comment in last night’s debate, that old quote came to mind because Big Media is vigorously smothering news about the Biden Crime Family. The corrupt alliance between the Democrat Party and the Leftmedia is the biggest threat to American Liberty we face today.

Let’s survey the landscape just this week.

We’ll start with National Public Radio, which receives $250 million in annual taxpayer funding. Will NPR commit actual journalism by asking a few questions about Joe and Hunter Biden? Nope. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories,” says Terence Samuel, NPR’s managing editor for news. “And we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.”

NPR Public Editor Kelly McBride agrees, first saying there are “many, many red flags” about the New York Post’s Biden exposé, while also regurgitating the debunked canard about it being “Russian disinformation.” Then she adds that even “if that story could be verified” (fact check: it has been), NPR still won’t touch it because “the assertions don’t amount to much.”

A candidate for president is alleged, with some pretty damning apparent evidence, to have exploited his drug-addicted son and his public office to rake in millions of dollars for his family. That’s a “pure distraction” that doesn’t “amount to much”? Ponder that one for a moment.

And as the Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams quips, “Anyway, for no reason at all, it is probably worth mentioning now that a search on NPR’s website for the term ‘Russian collusion’ produces 2,859 results.”

Which brings us to another story the Leftmedia is smothering.

President Trump sat down for an interview with CBS’s Leslie Stahl for an upcoming “60 Minutes” episode. He obviously smelled a rat, because he preemptively released the interview himself before CBS could selectively edit it. What was the rat? There were at least two: the debunked narrative of Russian collusion and the Biden corruption scandal.

When Trump asserted that Biden is embroiled in scandal, Stahl shot back, “He’s not. He’s not. No.” Obviously, her assertion is false. When Trump argued that the even bigger scandal was the way his campaign was subjected to spying by the FBI, Stahl again argued contrary to the facts, “There’s no real evidence of that.” She even indignantly lectured, “This is ‘60 Minutes,’ and we can’t put on things that we can’t verify.”

You can now wipe up the coffee you just spewed on your keyboard.

Fact check: The FBI did spy on Trump’s campaign, and it did so based on the phony Steele dossier that Hillary Clinton paid for. The Left spun the yarn for three years that Trump colluded with Russia to win in 2016. Given Stahl’s demonstrably false claims, it’s not surprising that Trump cut off the interview and preemptively released it.

CBS hilariously responded, “The White House’s unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement with CBS News and release their footage will not deter ‘60 Minutes’ from providing it’s full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades.”

In a separate interview also set to run Sunday night, Stahl huffed to Vice President Mike Pence, “I feel that you both have insulted ‘60 Minutes.’”

No, it is “60 Minutes” and the rest of the Leftmedia that have insulted the American people by serving as the dezinformatsiya outlet and super PAC for the Democrat Party. When the full might of the mainstream media is leveled against one candidate while covering for the other, American Liberty is in danger. And as Trump put it to Stahl, “I don’t have to discredit you. You’ve discredited yourself.”

Imagine

Douglas Andrews

Imagine Donald Trump Jr. left his MacBook at a repair shop and never claimed it.

Imagine the owner of the repair shop looked at the contents of the laptop and was alarmed enough by what he saw — including, allegedly, child pornography and videos of Don Jr. smoking crack while engaging in sex acts — that he made a CYA copy of the hard drive before turning the laptop over to the FBI.

Imagine the FBI sat on that laptop for months until the nation’s fourth-largest newspaper broke a story about it. Imagine the FBI then confirmed that the laptop is being held as part of a money-laundering investigation.

Imagine the hard drive purportedly includes an email to Don Jr. from a senior executive of a corrupt Ukrainian energy company that reads, “Dear Don, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”

Imagine a former business partner of Don Jr. — a former U.S. Navy officer and a donor to only Republican political candidates — vouching for the authenticity of the emails and explaining their meaning because he himself was included on the emails. Imagine, further, that he’s agreed to turn over his cell phones and their many incriminating text messages to the FBI.

Imagine neither Don Jr. nor his dad denying the authenticity of the laptop or the emails.

Imagine the nation’s directors of National Intelligence and the FBI refuting the claims of Trump surrogates and conservative media that the story is “Russian disinformation.”

Imagine President Trump dismissing the allegations as “a Russian plan” and “a last ditch effort to smear me and my family.”

Imagine the New York Post, which broke the story a week ago and tried to share it via Twitter, being locked out of its Twitter account ever since it broke the story.

Now imagine our nation’s leading media organs — including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, and PBS — all refusing to cover the story less than two weeks before President Trump stands for reelection.

Now imagine the outcry from the Left.

Just imagine.

Americans WILL Pay More in Taxes Under Biden

Thomas Gallatin

Joe Biden has been selling the latest iteration of his tax plan by erroneously claiming it will only increase taxes on Americans earning $400,000 or more annually. Campaigning in Florida last week, Biden sounded like a used-car salesman, promising, “I’m not going to raise taxes on a single solitary American making less than $400,000 a year. You won’t pay a penny more. It’s a guarantee.”

And how does Biden plan to pay for his trillions of dollars in new government programs? Why, taxing the rich, of course. And by taxing, he means nearly bleeding them dry. According to a CNBC analysis, top-earning Americans living in high-tax states like California or New York would pay a combined state and federal tax rate of a whopping 62%.

Biden’s claim that he won’t raise taxes on lower- and middle-class Americans also fails the basic economics test. While Biden’s plan may not directly target those households for tax hikes, his tax increase on the wealthy and increasing the corporate tax rate would impact lower- and middle-income earners via lower wages and higher consumption costs. The Tax Foundation found that Biden’s plan would lead to a reduction in Americans’ income across the board, with the wealthiest 1% seeing a 6.5% reduction in after-tax income and the rest of wage earns seeing a 1.7% decline. That’s not a recipe for economic growth.

The American Enterprise Institute determined that “in 2021, Biden’s proposal would increase taxes, on average, for the top 5 percent of households and reduce taxes on households in the bottom 95 percent.” Yet by 2030, his plan “would increase taxes, on average, for households at every income level, but tax increases would primarily fall on the top 1 percent of income earners.” So, essentially, Biden can dubiously claim that he won’t raise taxes on 95% of Americans by putting off the tax hike until after he’s out of office. It’s a classic bait and switch, just like ObamaCare.

As National Review’s Kevin Williamson observes, “Most economists agree that at least some of the payroll taxes that are in theory paid by employers end up being paid by employees, whose wages are reduced in order to offset the expense of the tax. Inevitably, that kind of cost-shifting falls most heavily upon low-wage employees, who, by definition, have relatively little power in the market.”

But those tax increases are also passed along to consumers, the majority of whom are lower- and middle-income Americans who find themselves shelling out more of their hard-earned money for goods and services as prices increase in order to pay for the increased tax rates. The Washington Times notes that, according to a Hoover Institution report, “the Biden agenda would result in a 7% drop in real consumption per household and a $2.6 trillion drop in GDP, factoring in his plan to expand ObamaCare and aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Indeed, that’s the hidden taxation of regulatory growth. One of President Donald Trump’s most effective actions in stimulating the American economy has been slashing government red tape. Biden would reverse this cost-cutting practice with his plan to expand or add new government programs. “With all these spending programs come regulations to implement them,” observes American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin. “Last time we saw Joe Biden in office, there was $100 billion in regulatory costs added every year for eight straight years. That’s nearly a trillion-dollar disguised tax increase that comes along with these spending programs.”

But sure, Scranton Joe cares about families around the kitchen table worried about making ends meet.

Cali Crazy Comes to Congress

Michael Swartz

It was just four short weeks ago when we covered California’s bid to increase the market for electric cars by mandating all new cars sold in the state be electric by 2035. Left unresolved by that mandate, of course, is just how the state will come up with all that electricity considering it couldn’t even keep the lights and air conditioning on this summer.

Not to be outdone, this week the usual suspects in Congress introduced legislation taking that mandate national, with the added kicker of requiring half of all vehicles sold in 2025 be zero-emission vehicles. (In California, ZEVs are defined as “electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell vehicles.”) Among the Senate cosponsors behind Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley are Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker.

It’s worth mentioning, as the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal pointed out, “Last year a mere 2% of car sales were electric, notwithstanding the $7,500 federal tax credit, state subsidies and other incentives such as car-pool lane access.” The editors added, “Progressives have been hyping electrics for years, and that’s fine if consumers want to buy them … but they are still out of price range for 99% of Americans.” As an example, the reborn Hummer from GM, which has evolved from the epitome of a gas guzzler to a ZEV, will have a 350-mile range … and a colossal $112,595 price tag. The editorial board concluded, “Folks in middle America can buy a home for less.”

Speaking of middle America, there are a lot of farmers who may be hopping mad about this mandate. Along with their senator, Chuck Grassley, the leaders of two Iowa-based agricultural-advocacy groups condemned the ZEV proposal, stating that “banning the sale of new vehicles powered by biofuels would be a hammer blow to Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel producers and would crush a vital market for [our] farmers.” Remarkably, and perhaps alarmingly to those who like to eat, over half of Iowa’s corn crop and one-third of its soybeans go into producing ethanol and biofuels. As they explain, “Losing this market could very likely trigger another farm crisis.”

We’d be remiss not to point out that the ethanol market exists solely because the government mandates that, too. Thus, with the Democrats’ legislation, we’d end up with competing mandates that benefit opposing constituencies.

To be sure, Merkley’s legislation is intended more for a revisit under a Biden-Harris administration and a far-left progressive Congress, but should it somehow pass it would also bring back the prospect of resellable “zero-emission vehicle credits.” These credits allow larger automakers — those who actually produce and sell cars that people want — the opportunity to purchase their penance from the smaller manufacturers, who’ll specialize in making a limited number of boutique cars. In essence, this amounts to selling each car twice — once to a customer and once for the credit. Welcome to the newest version of wealth transfer.

We were once told that if we liked our health insurance plan, we could keep it. (Who could forget that lie?) And because a ZEV mandate for California would “create the biggest market for used cars and vintage parts this side of Cuba,” don’t be surprised if and when this passes nationally that we see another “Cash for Clunkers” type of program to eliminate gas-powered cars and make their replacement parts more difficult to obtain.

After all, we need to cut the planet’s temperature another hundredth of a degree somehow.

The Heinous Team-Up of Harris and Planned Parenthood

Brian Mark Weber

It’s hard to believe some pro-life Christians are about to vote for Joe Biden, despite his strong pro-abortion stance and his other anti-Christian, anti-religious liberty policy preferences.

But upon reading a letter from some prominent ones, we see that these so-called Christians aren’t worried much about the killing of preborn babies. Instead, it’s racism and climate change that keeps them up at night.

It’s probably a good thing this group of radical leftists disguised as evangelicals doesn’t care much about abortion, because it’ll have good company if Kamala Harris becomes the next president. (Does anyone really think Biden will finish out his first term?) Then we’ll have the most radical pro-abortion president in American history.

As Matt Hadro of the Catholic News Agency writes, “Senator Kamala Harris’ 2016 senate campaign was supported by several large donors who were executives at pro-abortion groups. Harris went on to repeatedly grill judicial nominees on abortion while in the Senate.”

Hadro adds, “Harris is considered a champion of the abortion industry. When the Biden campaign announced her inclusion on the ticket in August, Planned Parenthood Action spent five figures on an online video ad promoting Harris.”

Harris’s obsession with protecting Planned Parenthood, an organization that sells body parts of aborted fetuses and collects half a billion taxpayer dollars each year, became evident in 2016. At that time, Harris was the attorney general of California and ordered a raid on the home of David Daleiden. His crime? Investigating Planned Parenthood and going under cover to expose the organization’s most heinous practices. Daleiden had his laptop and hard drives seized, some of them containing footage yet to be seen in public.

As Leah Barkoukis reports at Life News, Harris worked directly with Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation to pull off the raid and to meddle with Daleiden’s defense.

Why did Harris and these pro-abortion organizations find it necessary to silence Daleiden? It certainly had nothing to do with providing women with essential healthcare. Instead, Harris was defending Planned Parenthood’s practice of coercing women into getting abortions and profiting from the sale of fetal body parts.

One might think Daleiden had a fighting chance once Harris took him to court. After all, even Planned Parenthood admitted to illegally selling fetal organs. But what jury can reach a fair conclusion when even the judge suppresses evidence? In this case, Judge William Orrick had ties to Planned Parenthood. In the end, Daleiden and one of his colleagues at the Center for Medical Progress were found guilty on various charges.

The battle to bring justice for Daleiden, and to go after the real criminals, continues.

Sam Dorman writes, “While the federal government hasn’t brought any criminal charges, the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee did send criminal referrals to the Justice Department, which opened an investigation into the group. For Daleiden and others, the core of the ongoing saga is whether Planned Parenthood violated federal law by selling fetal tissue.”

It’d be one thing if Harris kept her own radical views to herself, but she wants to silence anyone with pro-life views. Two years ago, she supported California Assembly Bill 775, known as the Reproductive FACT Act, which would have forced pro-life pregnancy centers to provide abortion information to vulnerable women.

A president who doesn’t have basic respect for human life can’t claim to respect the very ideals of life and Liberty that are enshrined in our founding documents. Millions of preborn children never had an opportunity to pursue their happiness, and a President Harris would be just fine with that. Along with a packed Supreme Court, there will be nothing to stop her from forcing her radical agenda on the rest of us.

The Dangerous Drift of American Youth

Douglas Andrews

Next spring, if all goes well, yet another museum will open up in the heart of our nation’s capital. Our sense, though, is that this grand opening will receive little media fanfare. The museum, in fact, might even open its doors to organized protests. But this would be in poor taste, because not a single one of the 100 million people for whom the museum is built will be there to defend it. They’re all dead.

The museum we’re talking about is the Victims of Communism Memorial Museum.

There’s a statue — a rather humble one by Beltway standards — currently standing at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, New Jersey Avenue, and G Street, NW, two blocks from Union Station and within view of the U.S. Capitol. She’s holding a torch in her hands, and her arms are stretched outward and upward. The inscription on her front pedestal reads, “To the more than one hundred million victims of communism and to those who love liberty,” while her back pedestal reads, “To the freedom and independence of all captive nations and peoples.”

The memorial was dedicated by President George W. Bush on June 12, 2007. June 12 was chosen as the 20th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s famous Brandenburg Gate speech at which he said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Two years after Reagan’s speech, the Berlin Wall fell. Two years after that, the Soviet empire collapsed.

We mention all this to tee up the release of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s fifth Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism, Communism, and Collectivism. The YouGov report synthesizes data from 2,100 representative U.S. respondents ages 16 and older, and the results are grim. A full 40% of Americans now have a favorable impression of socialism.

As the Foundation notes, “This year’s study showed increased favorability of the term ‘socialism’ (49%) among Gen Z compared to 2019 (40%). Opinions of capitalism declined slightly from 2019 to 2020 among all Americans (58% to 55%), with Gen Z (ages 16-23) slightly up (49% to 52%) and Millennials (ages 24-39) down (50% to 43%). 35% of Millennials and 31% of Gen Z support the gradual elimination of the capitalist system in favor of a more socialist system.”

Man, are we ever doing a rotten job of educating our nation’s young people about the deadly perils of socialism and communism. But wait. It gets worse.

“It also showed growing concern for Donald Trump as president,” the report continues, “especially among younger generations of Americans, with 34% of Gen Z and 35% of Millennials seeing him as the greatest threat to world peace, up 8% and 7% from 2019, respectively. This sentiment held true regarding his handling of the pandemic as well, with 39% of Gen Z and 32% of Millennials believing Trump is more responsible for COVID-19 becoming a pandemic than Xi Jinping of China.”

So a third of our young people believe that their president is more to blame for the worldwide spread of the coronavirus than the leader of the communist regime that unleashed it on the world and then conspired with the World Health Organization to withhold information about it. Got it.

There’s a nightmarish scene toward the end of George Orwell’s 1984 wherein Winston Smith’s torturer, O’Brien, tries to describe to Smith what a totalitarian future holds for humanity: “But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — for ever.”

The Victims of Communism’s Memorial Statue should be a must-see for every ninth-grade trip to our nation’s capital. And 1984 should be required reading for all young Americans.

Finally, as Reagan said back in 1964, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” Those words suddenly have an alarming ring.

NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Top of the Fold

  • Hunter Biden business associate’s text messages indicate meeting with Joe Biden (Fox News)
  • Judiciary Committee votes to subpoena Twitter and Facebook CEOs following attempts to suppress Hunter Biden story (National Review)

Elsewhere in Politics

  • What could possibly go wrong? Socialist Bernie Sanders makes a play for Biden labor secretary (Politico)
  • Lincoln Project boosted Iranian disinformation that claims Proud Boys group intimidated voters (Disrn)
  • At least 47.1 million have voted nationwide, and there are still 11 days until Election Day (The Washington Post)

The Latest on COVID-19

  • At least 14 states have a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations (The New York Times)
  • Factors that could lead to long-term issues (New York Post)
  • Remdesivir receives full FDA approval to treat coronavirus (Disrn)
  • The pandemic has led to a “national mental health crisis,” APA survey finds (The Daily Signal)

National Security

Stranger Than Fiction

  • National Abortion Rights Action League slammed for tweet blasting “family separation” (Disrn)
  • Biden falsely says America “had a good relationship with Hitler” (Disrn)

Other Notables

  • Third-degree murder charge dismissed against Derek Chauvin, but he still faces second-degree charges in the death of George Floyd (National Review)
  • Iran ordered to pay Robert Levinson’s family $1.4 billion (Sharyl Attkisson)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: Iran is targeting the Strait of Hormuz. The world needs to take heed. (The Daily Signal)
  • Policy: Trump’s four-year national security report card: As, Bs, Cs, and several incompletes (Washington Examiner)
  • Humor: Democrats insist Biden was actually a Republican when he committed those crimes (Genesius Times)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

VIDEOS

Yes, Kamala Harris Targeted Pro-Lifers — Evidence of the former California AG’s vendetta is spurious, Facebook claims. Actually, it’s not.

Twenty-Three Times Biden & Harris Have Dodged the Court-Packing Question — Their avoidance is because voters loathe the idea. But a non-answer is an answer.

Humor: Virtue Signaling 101 — “Awareness is great, because we never actually have to do anything.”

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve.” —Henry George (1839-1897)

Nailed it: “‘We can’t vote for [Amy Coney Barrett], because our radical base will get mad. We can’t vote against her because she’s immensely qualified and Americans actually like her. So we will just be dramatic juveniles and not show up.’ That’s Senate Dems for ya.” —Rep. Dan Crenshaw

Sad, but true: “Joe Biden … lied about healthcare. He lied about his family taking in millions of dollars from foreign adversaries. He lied about asking congressional Democrats to pass more legislation that gets relief money to the unemployed during the pandemic. Fact-checking really is dead. That’s a good thing for Biden.” —Eddie Scarry

Nothing to see here… “I’m not answering those questions. … I don’t have all day.” —Nancy Pelosi on Hunter Biden

Pick a lane: “I don’t look at this in terms of what he does, blue states and red states. They’re all the United States. And look at the states that are having such a spike in the coronavirus. They’re the red states.” —Joe Biden

Non compos mentis: “We had a good relationship with Hitler before he in fact invaded Europe.” —Joe Biden

Belly laugh of the week: “I think we have to be very careful about any statements coming out about the election from the intelligence community.” —Nancy Pelosi, who impeached President Trump earlier this year over statements from the intelligence community

Lack of self-awareness: “Family separation is an unconscionable policy. 545 children are without their parents. The cruelty was always the point for the Trump administration.” —National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) (NARAL has advocated for the permanent separation of 60 million American babies from families since 1973.)

And last… “Just be honest and say you won’t report any stories that reflect poorly on Biden because you believe it’s so vital that Trump lose that anything is justified — including suppressing reporting — to ensure it happens. People know this is the reality of the national press. Why lie?” —Glenn Greenwald

TODAY’S MEME

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

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Swing Voters Give Debate Win To Trump: LA Times Panel | ZeroHedge News

A LA Times panel of 14 undecided voters conducted by Pollster Frank Luntz – most recently in the news for a leaked email exchange with Hunter Biden – thought that during Thursday night’s debate, President Trump was ‘controlled, reserved, poised, con artist and surprisingly presidential,’ while former Vice President Joe Biden came off as ‘vague, unspecific, elusive, defensive and grandfatherly.’

While all participants felt more disheartened after the debate than inspired, all but two said they would vote for Trump, with one going for Biden and another saying they might not vote at all.

“I am leaning more toward Trump now, however I still don’t feel like I have good answers on the race issues and that’s a very, very important issue to me in this country right now,” said one participant.

“In the mind of the undecided voters, Trump won,” Luntz told CNBC‘s “Squawk Box” following the debate. “But he did not win by a significant margin. It’s not going to change any votes.”

The focus group also wants to know more about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Only two people said they don’t care and they are “annoyed that we’re wasting time on it,” according to RealClearPolitics.

Luntz said that while Trump won the debate, he’ll lose the election.

“You got to give Trump a minor victory because he’ll bring some [undecided] voters home, and it’ll close the race a little bit. But in the end, I think Joe Biden won the war,” said the pollster, who said that even if polls are wrong as they were in 2016, it’s “virtually impossible” for Trump to win at this point.

And while three MSM snap polls following the debate found that Biden won, snap polls over Twitter largely favored President Trump.

We’re sure Trump getting Biden to admit he’d destroy the oil industry didn’t hurt.

Source: Swing Voters Give Debate Win To Trump: LA Times Panel

Joe Biden claims that he and his son Hunter aren’t corrupt – are they lying?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Is Joe Biden "The Manchurian Candidate" for president? Is Joe Biden “The Manchurian Candidate” for president?

There was a neat story that broke late on Thursday night by Kimberly Strassel, writing for the Wall Street Journal. It’s covers additional information about the Hunter Biden – China scanda. The latest story is that an investor involved in the deal between the Biden family and EFC China Energy, a Shanghai-based conglomerate, has decided to come forward and speak out.

The article says:

[A] former business partner of Hunter Biden’s has come forward to provide the ugly details of the “family brand.” Tony Bobulinski, a Navy veteran and institutional investor, has provided the Journal emails and text messages associated with his time as CEO of Sinohawk Holdings, a venture between the Bidens and CEFC China Energy, a Shanghai-based conglomerate. That correspondence corroborates and expands on emails recently published by the New York Post, which says they come from a Hunter…

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