“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” – Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
The inauguration is set to take place this Wednesday in Washington, D.C. It’s said to be a ‘virtual’ inauguration yet there are some 25,000 National Guard troops on hand for security. One TV station has reported that Virginia will be limiting access to the Capitol, closing some interstates and bridges.
On another front, there’s been mass censorship of conservative thought sweeping social and major media.
In the midst of all this, Joe Biden says he will unify the nation, yet his stated plans seem to contradict that idea. On day one, as well as on the days to follow, he plans to target and reverse many items that were supported by tens of millions of Americans while introducing socialist policies to our republic.
Joining Jim to discuss these and other related matters was Alex Newman. Alex is an international freelance journalist, author, researcher, educator and consultant. He’s a foreign correspondent and regular contributor for The New American.
Alex began by noting that if you listen to President Trump’s speech from January 6th, you can clearly hear that he didn’t incite anyone to commit any sort of violence. In fact, he specifically told the crowd to march peacefully to the Capitol to make their voices heard.
From this Alex believes what took place was planned in advance while also being guided and instigated by more than just a few provocateurs in addition to some overzealous Trump supporters.
Alex described a man wearing horns who appears to be receiving a tour of the Capitol by a police officer. A well-known Black Lives Matter/Antifa extremist from Utah, who was arrested by the FBI, is seen on video speaking with a reporter and celebrating while in the Capitol.
So Alex believes that you had 9 months where the media was glorifying violence, insurrection and the burning of cities. Yet this latest incident at the Capitol is being used as a pretext to silence Americans and strip us of our rights.
What’s perhaps most telling is that we were on the verge of having a national discussion about massive voter fraud as both chambers of Congress were just about to get started. The media couldn’t have covered it up yet right at that moment, that opportunity was thwarted because some individuals just happened to ‘breach’ the Capitol.
Other related points for discussion included:
The massive troop build-up in Washington and at state capitol buildings around the nation.
The war on terror. Has it turned inward to now target Americans in America?
Massive censorship of major and social media.
China’s relationship with the Biden administration.
Biden and the Equality Act as well as a new federal law on domestic terrorism.
Bernie Sanders and his comprehensive reconciliation bill.
…and much more including calls from listeners around the nation.
It’s breathtaking, but we’re on the eve of the communist takeover of the United States of America. It has been a sickening, disgusting takeover, an almost five-year-long criminal coup led by enemies within our nation, hell’s children who love to make lies, just like their father the devil.
Yes, we lawfully re-elected President Trump in a landslide, and yes, in the dead of night the morning after Election Day, freedom-hating evildoers conspired to pull off the biggest election heist in our nation’s history. I can imagine the kinds of terror tactics that were used afterward against courts, judges, and political officials, resulting in their refusal, almost to a man, to even hear the overwhelming evidence of massive election fraud that was witnessed and discovered.
We had close to a year-long preview of some of the likely terroristic threats with the feral demoniacs of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa as they killed, stole, and destroyed. This included the Antifa/BLM infiltrator/provocateurs at the Patriot rally in Washington on January 6th who planned and executed the violent breach of the Capitol building. Yes, they did the violent incursion, not the peaceful Patriots. And, of course, the President had nothing at all to do with it. The communist Democrats and quisling Republicans darned well know it, too.
People in positions of authority who had the power to let the light shine on the evidence and render a proper judgment on the stolen election wanted no part of being targeted by those drunk-on-violence junior anarchists, so they did the wrong thing and let the stolen election stand.
Whatever the true number of voters for President Trump is, we are a large majority of the American people who voted. We know that President Trump has been a God-send, giving us a blessed four-year reprieve on the road to tyranny that our nation has been steadily traveling for many years now. We know the relentless assault against him by the children of hell – the purely insane, vicious attacks, lies, charges, and schemes, all meant to destroy him, his family, and anyone who would dare support him. But we easily see through it all, never wavering in our love, support, and deep appreciation for him.
We know that President Donald J. Trump has been a President of the ages, the best our nation has had since the beginning. His accomplishments and the good things he has done for our nation and allies are excellent and numerous. His policies led to a roaring economy, a grand tax cut, record-breaking low poverty and unemployment rates, American energy independence, and so much more. He ditched countless unAmerican policies of previous administrations. He honored Israel and Jerusalem. He honored the Lord, innocent life, and the freedom of worship. The long list of goodness goes on and likely would’ve continued in his second term.
Then came the planned weaponization of a flu-like virus (one with a near-100 percent recovery rate) to impose despotic control over people and destroy the economy, countless small businesses, and the lives of untold millions everywhere. This was the final phase of the coup against President Trump and the beginning of the ushering in of the global communist order they’re now calling The Great Reset. The darkest, most evil days of our nation and world are flying toward us.
At the start, our country’s Founding Fathers established the United States of America on the righteous foundation of godly principles and under God’s providence. The men who signed the Declaration of Independence truly and fully pledged all they had and all they were—their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor—in pursuit of freedom. They were men of means, and in the subsequent terrible times, they had to make good on their pledge. Many made enormous sacrifices.
The Sacrifices Made by the Men Who Signed the DeclarationThey sacrificed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for the cause of independence.
Unlike any American President since our founding, President Trump willingly pledged his life, fortune, and sacred honor to the service of this nation that he dearly loves. He has already given so much, and it remains to be seen how much more the reprobate people now in power may try to take from him.
Those of us who call on the name of the Lord must continue to hold up in prayer President Trump and his family, to pray that the Lord will greatly protect them and continue to thwart the demented hate-mongers who plot evil against him; that their wicked designs will be turned back on their own heads; that President Trump will be safe, saved, and free in God’s great, caring hands.
And again, I close with continuing mega-prayers, love, and appreciation for Rush.
Gina Miller, has been a long time friend of the Ignorant Fishermen Blog and a native of Texas and current resident of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, is a conservative Christian political writer and radio/television voice professional.
If your economy is “spiraling downward”, is that a good sign or a bad sign? To me, that doesn’t sound good at all, but if I am mistaken please tell me. I just want to make sure that I am not “misinterpreting” anything. Brian Deese, the man who will shortly be serving as the head of the National Economic Council, has publicly stated that our economy is “spiraling downward” at this moment. When I hear that, I picture a passenger airplane that completely loses control just before it crashes. But according to Deese, there is a solution. All we need to do is to pass the 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus package that Joe Biden is proposing…
A top economic adviser to President-elect Joe Biden warned the US economy is “spiraling downward” and called for swift action to address vulnerabilities that the global pandemic has drawn into focus.
Brian Deese, who will serve as director of Biden’s National Economic Council, said Sunday that the incoming administration’s $1.9 trillion spending plan would generate “the kind of robust recovery we need.”
That sounds so good.
All we have to do is press a button and we will be on our way to a “robust recovery”.
But what about all of the trillions of dollars that we already spent on all of the previous “stimulus packages”.
If they didn’t fix the economy, why will this one do it?
Perhaps they weren’t big enough, and so why don’t we make this next one 19 trillion dollars instead of just 1.9 trillion dollars?
If printing, borrowing and spending 1.9 trillion dollars is good, surely 19 trillion dollars would be so much better.
Of course I am being facetious.
The truth is that over the past year we have literally been committing national financial suicide.
We used to talk about “hyperinflation” in the United States in theoretical terms, but this is not a theoretical exercise any longer.
I cannot even begin to express how horrifying this is, and now our politicians in Washington plan to add another 1.9 trillion dollars to the fire.
As a part of his “stimulus package”, Joe Biden also wants the federal minimum wage to be raised to 15 dollars an hour…
It also calls for a $15 federal minimum wage, from $7.25, higher taxes and more regulations. Those initiatives have already alienated some Republicans and drawn criticism that the proposals are far removed from an emergency effort to shake off the coronavirus-related slowdown.
But at the rate we are inflating our currency, that certainly won’t be a “livable wage” for long.
So I have an idea.
Let’s make the minimum wage 150 dollars an hour.
Surely that is a proposal that our socialist friends can really get behind.
And when I use the term “socialist”, I am referring to most of the politicians in Washington.
If we force all of the “greedy” small businesses in America to pay their employees $150 an hour, then all of those workers will finally be able to live the lifestyles that they have always dreamed of living.
But of course many of them also wouldn’t have their jobs for much longer, because most of their employers would shortly go out of business.
Unfortunately, the socialists in Washington don’t understand how businesses actually operate. In fact, the vast majority of our politicians have never actually run a successful business.
What they are good at is spending other people’s money, and members of “the Squad” are publicly calling for even larger “survival checks” that Biden is proposing…
–AOC: “$2,000 means $2,000. $2,000 does not mean $1,400”
–Ayanna Pressley: “The people deserve, demand and require $2,000 recurring monthly survival checks.”
–Ilhan Omar: “The American people are struggling to make ends meet and need relief. We must immediately pass $2,000 survival checks.”
–Rashida Tlaib: “$1400 < $2000 Math teachers know this. That $600 is already in the clutches of landlords and bill collectors. Stop compromising the working class, and our most vulnerable neighbors.”
As I discussed yesterday, the cost of issuing $2,000 “survival checks” a single time would be approximately 600 billion dollars.
If we do it on a continual basis, the cost per year will be more than 7 trillion dollars.
So where does Ayanna Pressley suggest that we get an extra 7 trillion dollars?
Should we just print it into existence and make our transition to a “banana republic” complete?
Sadly, now that we have opened Pandora’s Box the American people are going to be demanding more government checks on a regular basis from now on.
As I detail in my new book, Shane Warren once warned that we would get to a point where people would be in the streets demanding their “entitlements”, and if you doubt that we have arrived at that time just look at what radical leftists did to Nancy Pelosi’s house.
When people try to convince me that the United States is in danger of becoming a socialist country “someday”, I just smile.
The truth is that we already are a socialist country, and we have been for a long time.
Even the stock market has become a rigged socialist game. Every time it starts to slip, the Federal Reserve steps in to bail out investors.
According to one recent survey, the vast majority of millionaires believe that we are either in a “stock market bubble” or that we are heading into one…
16% think we’re “fully in a bubble”
46% in “somewhat of a bubble”
29% think the market is approaching one
But most of them continue to pour more money into the market, because they know that the game has been rigged in their favor.
However, what happens if things get so crazy that the Federal Reserve eventually loses all control?
Many are convinced that this can never happen, and we shall see if they are correct.
Meanwhile, the real economy continues to get even worse, our politicians continue to spend even more money, and social unrest continues to grow.
America has entered a long national nightmare, and what most people don’t realize is that this nightmare is still only in the very early stages.
The problem with CT is that it is anti-biblical. It promotes interpreting the realities of life through categories and lenses that are contrary to what the Bible teaches and that actually fuel division rather than encourage harmony.
The issue of Critical Theory (CT) has become the hot-button issue for evangelicals over the past couple of years, as evidenced by SBC debates over the now infamous Resolution 9, controversy over the death of George Floyd, BLM riots over the summer and fall, and recently climaxing with evangelical opinions about the 2020 election and tensions over the SBC Seminary president’s statement condemning CT.
Others have helpfully addressed the problems with CT at length, especially the Dallas Statement on Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel; however, a number of people have asked me for a simple explanation of the issue, so I would like to provide a succinct description and biblical evaluation of CT by addressing four questions:
May Christians use systems of thought that do not come from Scripture?
What is CT?
Is CT compatible with Scripture?
Does CT help resolve racism?
Using Extra-Biblical Ideas as Tools
A core question in this debate is whether Christians may use systems of thought, theories, or ideas that do not come from Scripture as “analytical tools,” to quote Resolution 9. In my opinion, some critics of CT have been incorrect to claim that Christians may never use any ideas that come from outside Scripture. This is simply not true. Christians have always been willing to use ideas outside of Scripture as long as those ideas are consistent with biblical truth.
So the question is not whether CT comes from Scripture; it certainly does not, but neither does calculus, free market economics, or microbiology. The more critical question is whether CT is consistent with biblical truth.
Defining Critical Theory
A central issue causing confusion and misrepresentation is lack of clarity in defining terms, so let me provide a simple definition of CT:
Critical Theory analyzes all aspects of society through the lenses of structures such as race, class, and power, divides groups into categories of oppressors or oppressed, and proposes methods for pulling down oppressors and liberating oppressed.
CT assumes that everything that happens in society, including successes and failures, results from oppression between groups divided by race, class, and power. By definition, according to CT, whiteness, wealth, and power inherently oppress non-white, poor, and weak; therefore, in order to resolve injustice, poor weak non-whites must be elevated, while rich powerful whites must be pulled down.
These assumptions lead, then, to certain conclusions like,
Only white people can be racist.
Racism does not necessarily involve individual action; it can exist in systems.
Someone can be racist without intending it.
Failures by non-white, poor, or weak are always a result of oppression.
It is wrong to be “color-blind.” We must actively elevate non-white and demote whites.
Non-white, poor, and weak people cannot succeed when white, wealthy, or powerful are in control.
Is Critical Theory Consistent with Biblical Truth?
Christian advocates of CT argue that it is a helpful “analytical tool” because since racism is inherently unbiblical (and it is!), CT can help us uncover systemic racism that is buried deep within societal structures and otherwise difficult to recognize, eliminate racism by elevating the oppressed and putting down the oppressors, and thereby enable the oppressed to flourish.
But here is the problem with this line of defense: it is circular reasoning—it already assumes the conclusions of the theory in defending it. In other words, this defense of CT is based on the assumption that whiteness, wealth, and power are inherently oppressive, and poverty and weakness, especially for non-whites, is by definition the result of racism buried deep within society. The very perceived problems advocates of CT are trying to address are already the result of applying the theory, and thus this cannot be a defense.
This is why we must step back and evaluate the underlying assumptions of CT compared with Scripture. Let’s assess these assumptions based on a few core biblical truths:
There is only one way to heaven because there’s only one way to hell—rebellion. There is only one way to be saved because there is only one kind of person who needs to be saved—sinful rebels like you and me.
It is an audacious claim of the Christian faith that there is only one way to heaven. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” we believe. Not most, not some, but all. Since all of us have sinned, all of us are lost and in need of saving. And this saving we so badly need can come from only one Savior since “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Thus, we believe, there is only one way to be saved, only one way to heaven—Jesus Christ who is “the way, the truth, and the life.” No one comes to relationship with God, no one comes into the presence of God, no one gets to heaven, except through faith in Jesus Christ.
But why? Why is there only one way to heaven? The answer is far simpler than we may think. Far more logical, too. There is only one way into heaven because there is only one way out of heaven.
The fact is, in essence, there is only one kind of person on this earth. While in some regards humanity is a stunning display of diversity, there is something that unites us, something that is essentially the same: We are all descendants of one man. This first man Adam was our representative. He stood before God as the head of the human race and was able to choose whether we would be at peace with God or at war, whether we would submit to God or rebel against his rule. He chose war. He chose rebellion. And he made this choice not only on his own behalf, but on behalf of all who would follow in his line. He was, after all, our head, our representative. When he went to war, we went to war.
Murder is a crime and a capital offense at that, because it is a strike at God Himself. In man’s act of killing man he is, at the root of the matter, seeking to murder God. This, of course, God hates.
Perhaps you have noticed by now that Proverbs 6:16-19 is not simply a list of ills that God hates though it most certainly is that. But it is more. On the surface of this list is an explanation. God is not only telling us the things He hates but why He hates them. Have you noticed what is included in this list? We have eyes, a tongue, hands, a heart, feet and even breath! If we were Dr. Frankenstein we might create an entire person! And that is the point. God is telling us that the entire person is corrupt.
It’s not only the externals but the entrails that are problematic. By entrails we are not simply talking about the muscle that pumps our blood. No, when talking about the heart Solomon has inclinations and motivations in mind. The person is rotten to the core. What’s the message? Quite simply, God hates these things because they are evidence that the image of God in man has been destroyed. Of course, we are talking here about the image of God in the narrow (e.g. knowledge, righteousness and holiness) and not the broad sense (rationally and linguistically). The point is that these behaviors are evidence of our hatred for God.
This is even clearer when we think of “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17). After the flood we read that murder is a capital offense. This was not new. But annexed to this statement regarding the capital crime of murder is the explanation, “for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6). In other words, murder is a crime and a capital offense at that, because it is a strike at God Himself. In man’s act of killing man he is, at the root of the matter, seeking to murder God. This, of course, God hates.
In this article, we will take a look at each of the thirty-one questions on the survey in an attempt to help readers understand the orthodox Christian view on these issues as well as the biblical grounds for it.Every other year since 2014, Ligonier Ministries has partnered with LifeWay Research to survey the beliefs of Americans on a number of theological and ethical issues. Like past surveys, the 2020 State of Theology survey reveals some encouraging results, but it also reveals confusion and a lack of theological knowledge among evangelicals. In this article, we will take a look at each of the thirty-one questions on the survey in an attempt to help readers understand the orthodox Christian view on these issues as well as the biblical grounds for it.
To take the survey yourself and explore the data, go to http://www.thestateoftheology.com. New this year is the option to create a group survey that you can send to your friends, family, or church. It’s completely confidential and is a great way to start a discussion on what the people in your community believe.
1. God is a perfect Being and cannot make a mistake.
Christians strongly affirm that God is a perfect being because to deny that God is a perfect being is to deny that God is God. An imperfect being, by definition, is not God. The great Princeton theologian Archibald Alexander rightly said, “The very idea of God is that of a being infinitely perfect.” God’s work is perfect (Deut. 32:4). His way is perfect (2 Sam. 22:31; Ps. 18:30). His law is perfect (Ps. 19:7; James 1:25). His knowledge is perfect (Job 37:16). All this is true because God Himself is perfect (Matt. 5:48). Westminster Confession of Faith 2.1 expresses this biblical truth in the following words: “There is but one only, living, and true God: who is infinite in being and perfection” (emphasis added; see also Westminster Larger Catechism 7).
The Apostle James makes it clear that to be perfect means to be complete, to lack nothing (James 1:4). Theologically, this idea is most obviously related to God’s attributes of self-existence (aseity) and self-sufficiency (independence). Unlike creatures, whose being is contingent and dependent, God’s being is necessary and independent. In other words, God cannot not exist, and God depends on nothing else for His existence. The One who is “I am” does not have the potential to be anything more or less than what He is. He is, therefore, infinitely and unchangeably blessed in His being, and He is infinitely and unchangeably blessed in His being because His being is infinitely and unchangeably perfect.
For God to make a mistake, there would have to be in Him some imperfection in His holiness, goodness, knowledge, or wisdom. The fictional pagan gods make mistakes because they are created in the image of man, and human beings are less than perfect in goodness and knowledge. God, on the other hand, is neither malicious nor ignorant. Instead, He is perfect in all His attributes because He is His attributes. He cannot, therefore, make mistakes. To suggest otherwise is blasphemous.
2. There is one true God in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirt.
In this short sentence we find a concise statement of the orthodox Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Although the word Trinity is not found in the Bible, it is a helpful way to speak of a doctrine that is a “good and necessary consequence” of what is expressly taught in the Bible (see WCF 1.6).
The doctrine of the Trinity is grounded in several explicit teachings of Scripture. First, according to Scripture, there is one, and only one, God. We read, for example, in Deuteronomy 4:35, “To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.” Second, Scripture affirms that the Father is God. Jesus often speaks of “God the Father” (e.g., John 6:27). Paul speaks numerous times of “God our Father” and “God the Father” (e.g., Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3).
Third, Scripture also affirms that the Son is God. In the prologue to the gospel of John, the “Word,” who is revealed to be Jesus (1:14), is identified as God (v. 1). Fourth, Scripture affirms that the Holy Spirit is God. He is equated with God in Acts 5:3–4. Elsewhere, the New Testament authors identify the Holy Spirit with Yahweh through their use of Old Testament quotations. Compare, for instance, Isaiah 6:8–10 with Acts 28:25–27 and Psalm 95:7–11 with Hebrews 3:7–11. Fifth and finally, although the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are affirmed to be God, Scripture also distinguishes the three. They are distinguished, for example, by use of the language of sending, loving, speaking, interceding, etc. (see Luke 3:22; John 3:16–17; 3:35; 11:41–42; 14:15; 15:26; Rom. 8:26–27).
The biblical doctrine of the Trinity is summarized in the Nicene Creed:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life; who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spake by the prophets.
The doctrine of the Trinity is fundamental to the Christian faith. If any element of it is rejected or altered, every other Christian doctrine is negatively affected.
3. God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
In the contemporary world, it is common for people who believe in God to affirm that God accepts the worship of all religions as long as the worshiper is sincere. There is no evidence for such a view in Scripture, however. In fact, from Genesis to Revelation, Scripture reveals the exact opposite.
This is clearly seen in the first of the Ten Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:2). The ancient Near Eastern world in which Israel lived was filled with all manner of religions and “gods.” God rejects these other religions. Why? Because the “gods” of these other religions are actually demons, and the worship of these demons is an abomination (Deut. 32:16–17; Lev. 17:7). The Apostle Paul teaches the same in the New Testament (1 Cor. 10:20).
During His temptation, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:13 to Satan, saying, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” (Matt. 4:10). That is religious exclusivism. In the incarnation, the Word who was with God and who was God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1, 14). He is now the one mediator between God and men (1 Tim. 2:5). There is no other.
Jesus Himself clearly expressed the exclusivity of Christianity when He said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). “No one” means no one. This is why Peter, when filled with the Holy Spirit, proclaimed the following regarding Jesus: “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). For those seeking salvation, there is no one else.
If God accepted the worship of all religions, there would have been no need for the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ because there were plenty of existing religions already during the first century. If God accepted the worship of all religions, there would also have been no need for the Great Commission and the evangelization of the nations. If God accepts the worship of all religions, the evangelism that Jesus commanded is a waste of time.
God does not accept any religion other than the one He graciously provided. He does not accept religions that substitute worship of the creature for worship of the Creator. God does not accept false worship. God does, however, accept the worshipers of any religion when they repent of those religions and trust in Christ.
4. God created male and female.
A fundamental aspect of human nature is that human beings are male and female. This is the case because God created human beings as male and female: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). The same truth is repeated a few chapters later: “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created” (5:1–2). Jesus refers back to this basic fact of creation when the Pharisees pose a question about divorce. He begins His response by saying, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?” (Matt. 19:4).
Nature teaches this same truth, as any student of biology knows. There are noticeable physical differences between males and females due to the way God created the human reproductive system. Every other system in the human body can fully function in a single human body. The digestive system, the respiratory system, the circulatory system, the immune system, etc., can all fully function in an isolated single human being. The reproductive system, on the other hand, requires a male and a female to fully function and to actually reproduce human beings. Because of the fall, birth defects and other abnormalities in the reproductive system sometimes occur, but we recognize these as abnormalities only because we clearly know what the normal reproductive system is.
Maleness and femaleness are given biological realities for human beings because God created that reality. It is as much a part of reality as gravity.
5. Biblical accounts of the physical (bodily) resurrection of Jesus are completely accurate. This event actually occurred.
To deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is to deny one of the central tenets of Christianity. It is, in fact, a rejection of Christianity. The Apostle Paul made this abundantly clear when he included the bodily resurrection of Christ in his summary of the Christian gospel (1 Cor. 15:4). He goes on to say, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (v. 14). If that were not clear enough, he then says, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (v. 17). He says both of these things in the context of a lengthy discussion of bodily death and resurrection.
The Gospels also clearly teach that the resurrection of Jesus was the raising from death of the same body that was crucified. It’s why the tomb was empty (Luke 24:3). When Jesus appears to the disciples after His resurrection, He goes out of His way to make it clear to them that He has been raised bodily:
And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. (Luke 24:38–40)
He goes so far as to tell Thomas to touch the wounds He suffered at the crucifixion (John 20:26–27).
Numerous alternatives to bodily resurrection have been suggested by skeptics over the centuries, but none of them explains the actual evidence we have. The “swoon theory” suggests Jesus did not really die on the cross. He merely fainted, and then the cool air of the tomb revived Him. He rolled the massive stone away and walked out. Given what we know about Roman scourging and crucifixion, this would have required a miracle on par with bodily resurrection.
Others have suggested that the many people who saw Jesus after His death and burial experienced a mass hallucination. A hallucination involves perceiving something that is not actually present in the world outside the mind. In other words, a hallucination is internal to the individual experiencing it. It is completely subjective. In order for the hallucination theory to even approach plausibility, one would have to posit multiple people, one after another, experiencing the same subjective hallucination. On top of that, one would have to suggest that hundreds of people simultaneously experienced the same hallucination (1 Cor. 15:6). In short, one would have to change the very definition of hallucination in order for the hallucination theory to be plausible. There are other theories that have been suggested, but like the swoon theory and the hallucination theory, they cannot account for the actual evidence.
6. Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God.
To affirm this statement is to align oneself with one of the most serious heresies ever to confront the Christian church. The orthodox Christian doctrine, as found in the Nicene Creed, states that the Lord Jesus Christ is “the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.” The Nicene Creed was a result of the Arian controversy in the fourth century. Arius, and those who followed him, taught that the Son is the first and greatest being created by God. This puts the Son on the creature side of the Creator-creature distinction, which would mean that the Son is not “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God” and not “of one substance [Greek homoousios] with the Father.”
The original Nicene Creed was produced at the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. It was a direct response to the teaching of Arius. After the council, variations on the Arian theme developed along with new heresies regarding the Holy Spirit. The Council of Constantinople met in AD 381 to deal with all this. It supplemented the original Nicene Creed to more fully address these new developments. The Nicene Creed summarizes the church’s belief in the teaching of the Scriptures regarding the Holy Trinity.
The Scriptures assert that the Son is on the Creator side of the Creator-creature distinction and has, in coming into the world, assumed a human nature. In short, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God incarnate. The evidence for this doctrine is found throughout the New Testament. The Word, who is identified with Jesus in John 1:14, is said to be God in John 1:1. The New Testament also repeatedly attributes to Jesus words, deeds, and properties that can be properly said only of One who is truly God. Jesus is rightly worshiped (Matt. 2:2). Jesus encourages His disciples to pray to Him (John 14:14). Jesus forgives sin (Matt. 9:1–8; Mark 2:1–12; Luke 5:17–26). Jesus is sovereign over nature (Matt. 8:23–27). Jesus will be the judge on the last day (John 5:22; Acts 10:42). None of these things could be properly said of Jesus if Jesus were not very God of very God. The Son of God is not less than God. He is God.
7. Jesus was a great teacher, but He was not God.
Arians, who believe Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God, affirm that Jesus was a great teacher, but those who believe that Jesus was a mere man often affirm the same thing. They will say that Jesus was simply a great teacher. Many people in our day affirm something along these lines. What many of them do not understand is that one cannot affirm that Jesus was merely a man and at the same time affirm that He was a great teacher. Why? Because if He was merely a man, what He taught is delusional at best and demonic at worst. Many years ago, C.S. Lewis made the same basic point in his book Mere Christianity when he argued that given the things Jesus said and did, He is either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord.
The problem with the claim that Jesus was merely a great teacher but not God is that His teaching and actions repeatedly included both explicit and implicit claims that He is God. If a teacher is not God and yet claims to be God, then that teacher is not a great teacher. He or she is either a liar or insane. So, what did Jesus teach through His words and actions?
Jesus claims to have existed with the Father before the creation of the world (John 17:24). He uses the Old Testament name of God in reference to Himself (8:58). He claims authority to forgive sins (Matt. 9:6; see Isa. 43:25). He encourages His disciples to pray to Him (John 14:13–14). He taught that He is to be the object of men’s faith (14:1). He claims sovereign authority to judge all mankind (5:21–27; see Matt. 28:18). He claims omnipresence (18:20). He claims a kind of knowledge that requires omniscience (11:27). Anyone who is not God and says all these things is not a great teacher. Jesus said these things. He can be a great teacher only if He is God incarnate.
8. The Holy Spirit is a force but is not a personal being.
The idea that the Holy Spirit is a force rather than a person is an old heresy dating back to at least the fourth century, but it has survived to this day. It is the view, for example, of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who argue that the Spirit is God’s “active force.” They argue that Scripture speaks of the Holy Spirit’s being “poured out” on someone or “filling” someone. A person cannot be “poured out” or “fill” something, they argue, so the Holy Spirit must not be a person. They argue that when Scripture uses personal language in regard to the Holy Spirit, it is using figurative language.
Those who argue in this way have the facts precisely backward. In the first place, the language of “pouring out” and “filling” is applied to subjects in the Scripture about whose personality there is no doubt. David (a human person) cries out, “I am poured out like water” (Ps. 22:14). Paul (another human person) speaks of being “poured out” like a drink offering (Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6). Since we know that David and Paul were real persons, we know that the language of “pouring out” is being used figuratively. What about the language of filling? In Jeremiah 23:24, God declares that He fills heaven and earth. This does not mean that God is an impersonal force. Jesus is also said to “fill” all things (Eph. 1:23; 4:10). Jesus, too, is not an impersonal force. In short, if someone is said to be “poured out” or to “fill” something, it is not proof that that someone is not a person.
Additionally, personal language is applied to the Holy Spirit in a multitude of ways and in a multitude of contexts that make it impossible to conclude they are all examples of personification of an impersonal thing. Scripture regularly uses personal pronouns when speaking of the Holy Spirit (e.g., John 15:26; 16:13–14; Acts 10:19–20; 13:2). The Holy Spirit is “He,” not “it.” Scripture ascribes to the Holy Spirit personal properties such as understanding (Isa. 11:2; 1 Cor. 2:10–11) and will (1 Cor. 12:11; John 3:8). Scripture also ascribes numerous personal activities to the Holy Spirit, including speaking (Mark 13:11), revealing (Luke 2:26), guiding (John 16:13), teaching (Luke 12:12), bearing witness (John 15:26), loving (Rom. 15:30), warning (1 Tim. 4:1), and appointing people to office (Acts 13:2).
Has a force such as gravity ever appointed anyone to office? Has a force such as magnetism ever exhibited understanding and will and the ability to speak and love? No. The Holy Spirit does these things because the Holy Spirit is not a force. The Holy Spirit is a personal being, the third person of the Trinity.
9. The Holy Spirit gives a spiritual new birth or new life before a person has faith in Jesus Christ.
The important theological truth communicated in this statement is that regeneration precedes faith. Regeneration must occur first because every descendant of Adam is born dead in sin (Eph. 2:1; see Rom. 5:12). Eventually our spiritual death will be followed by our physical death (Gen. 3:19). This is why Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). Those who are spiritually dead—and that includes every human being—must be brought to spiritual life. We must be spiritually resurrected, and this is not something we can do ourselves. It is a sovereign work of God. We cannot be regenerated by having faith because dead people cannot do anything.
Our situation is similar to that of Lazarus (John 11). Lazarus was dead and could do nothing about it. Jesus stepped forward and commanded Lazarus to come out of the grave. It was impossible for Lazarus to respond, however, unless God gave him life first. In a similar way, we are all spiritually dead when Christ comes and commands us to believe in Him. It is impossible for us to respond until and unless God first gives us spiritual life. God first regenerates us (gives us spiritual life), and as a result we have faith, which itself is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8–10).
Throughout his ministry, Dr. R.C. Sproul often said that this little phrase, “regeneration precedes faith,” captures the essence of Reformed theology. He could not have been more right.
10. The Holy Spirit can tell me to do something which is forbidden in the Bible.
For this statement to be true, two things would have to be possible, both of which are false. First, the Holy Spirit would have to be able to contradict Himself. Scripture, the Bible, is the very Word of the triune God: “All Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Tim. 3:16). The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, is closely associated with the inspiration of Scripture: “No prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). In other words, that which is forbidden in the Bible is forbidden by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit cannot command you to do something He Himself has forbidden because He doesn’t contradict Himself (Num. 23:19).
Second, for the Holy Spirit to be able to tell you to do something forbidden in the Bible, the Holy Spirit would have to be able to sin. Encouraging someone to sin is a sin (Jer. 28:15–17). When God forbids something in Scripture, that law is an expression of His will. Sin, by definition, “is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God” (Westminster Shorter Catechism 14). As John puts it, “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). The Holy Spirit is holy. If a spirit is telling you to do something forbidden in the Bible, you can be certain that it is an unholy spirit.
11. Everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature.
The idea that people are basically good by nature echoes the ancient Pelagian heresy, which affirmed that Adam’s sin affected Adam alone. According to this view, human nature was not affected by Adam’s fall. Scripture teaches otherwise, asserting that Adam’s sin affected all his natural-born posterity (Rom. 5:12–14). By nature, human beings are “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3). This is the theological point behind the phrase total depravity—the T in TULIP. This doctrine is found throughout both the Old and New Testaments (e.g., Gen. 6:5; Pss. 14:1–3; 143:2; Eccl. 7:20; Isa. 64:6; Mark 7:18–23; Rom. 1:21–32; 3:10–18, 23; 8:5–8; Gal. 4:3; Eph. 2:1–3; 4:17–19; Titus 3:3).
Christians can become confused because Scripture teaches that human beings were created by God in His image (Gen. 1:26–27), and God calls all that He created good (v. 31). If everything that God created is good, and if God created human nature, then isn’t human nature necessarily good? Yes. As originally created, human nature was good. However, part of human nature is the human will. The first human beings had the responsibility to align their created wills perfectly with God’s will—to obey Him. Instead, they disobeyed God. Like Satan, they turned their will, as it were, perpendicular to God’s will, introducing sin and misery into the world and into their own natures. In other words, they sinned. When they did this, human nature was distorted and corrupted. Like begets like, and all humans are now born with a corrupted and fallen human nature. Human beings are now born slaves to sin.
This is why the claim that “everyone sins a little” is also incorrect. We tend to measure ourselves against other human beings, and we like to pick the absolute worst specimens for comparison. We like to compare ourselves to people like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, or Mao Zedong. It’s easy to feel good about ourselves if the standard is refraining from killing millions of human beings. But this is not the standard by which the Word of God measures sin. The standard is God’s will, and the requirement is perfect obedience to that will. “Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” (James 2:10; see Gal. 3:10). The question is not, Did you refrain from murdering millions today? The question is, Did you perfectly “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” today, and did you perfectly love “your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37–39)? How often did you fail to do this perfectly? Was it just “a little”? No. We fail to do this a lot, and that means we sin a lot. This is why we need the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. He is the only One who has ever perfectly fulfilled the law.
12. Even the smallest sin deserves eternal damnation.
This statement is difficult for some Christians to affirm because we frequently lose sight of the true nature of sin. We fail to grasp the true nature of sin because we do not grasp the true nature of the holiness of God. When we begin to understand better the holiness of God, we begin to get a clearer understanding of how utterly evil sin is. To be as blunt as possible, all sin is satanic. Every time we commit any sin, we are following in Satan’s footsteps. We are turning against our holy God, spitting in His face, and defiantly saying to Him, “Not Thy will, but my will be done.”
A seemingly “small” sin, eating a piece of fruit, led to the fall of humanity and the curse under which all creation still groans (Rom. 8:18–24). Many people, even Christians, look at this and ask how a just God could inflict such a punishment for eating a piece of fruit. What they fail to realize is that in the act of eating that piece of fruit, Adam and Eve were doing much more than biting and chewing food. They were trusting the serpent rather than God (Gen. 3:3–6) and disobeying a direct command of God (2:17). In doing so, they were choosing to follow Satan rather than God. The moment they acted on that temptation, they became, in effect, Satanists and “children of the devil” (1 John 3:10).
The world is starved for truth and is living on lies. We must respond:
Many Christians are wondering how we are to proceed as the days get darker, as evil accelerates, and as lies and deception abound. There would be many responses to this, but let me offer one: we must speak truth, we must speak it boldly, and we must speak it regardless of how it is received.
The proclamation of truth in the face of evil and lies is our chief weapon. The truth of God is what we must use to tear down strongholds. It is how we are to take on the surrounding darkness. And that has always been how God has operated.
What God told Ezekiel long ago in Ez. 2:7 is relevant for us in dealing with the surrounding culture today – and even much of the church: “You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen.” The fuller word of God to Ezekiel is found in Ez. 2:3-8:
Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people.
Like so many of the other prophets, God told Ezekiel that the people would not listen to the prophetic word. ‘So why even bother?’ some folks might ask. The answer is this: if God calls us to do something, we are to do it, regardless of the outcome.
Whether we have been involved in the culture wars for decades on end, with no one seeming to listen or take any heed, or whether we are on the mission field with little or no fruit in evidence, we keep speaking truth. Our job is to proclaim the truth, and we leave the rest up to God.
Ian Duguid comments on this portion of Scripture, and he also speaks to this reality, in light of the missionary task of the church. He is worth quoting at length:
Were those pioneer missionaries who died within days or weeks of arriving on the mission field wasting their lives, because they saw no one converted? Are those who today labor for many years in the difficult areas of the Middle East or Japan, while seeing only a handful of converts, operating in the wrong place? If the primary goal of missions is to see the world converted, then the answer to both questions is yes. But if the primary goal of missions is the same as the goal set before Ezekiel – faithfulness to the task to which one has been called, no matter what the consequences, so that God may be glorified – then the answer is different. In biblical perspective, reaching the world is only the secondary goal of missions, behind the primary goal of bringing glory to God through faithful obedience.
We are, after all, followers of the Son of Man, who came to his own and his own did not receive him (John 1:11). Yet to all those who did receive him, and to all those who will receive him through our proclamation, he gives the right to become children of God (1:12). In this obedient mission, he brings glory to the Father’s name (12:27-29).
In order to carry through such a ministry where there is little success in the eyes of the world, a strong sense of calling is essential. Why should we preach the gospel to those who stubbornly refuse to hear? Because God has called and sent us, and he has the right as our Sovereign King to use us as he sees fit. He is not only the One who calls us to the task and strengthens us for it; ultimately he alone is the One whom we are seeking to please. Thus, in Isaiah 49, when the Servant of the Lord struggled with the idea, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing,” his reply to himself was, “Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God” (49:4). The Puritan William Greenhill comments:
“Sometimes God gives large encouragement, promises, hope, success, providing for our infirmities; at other times a bare commission and command must suffice to do that which would make one’s heart ache: it is his prerogative to send whom he will, and upon what service he will.”
We can be thankful that Scripture gives us examples of these brave prophets who kept speaking truth despite all those who would not listen. And as mentioned, often God told the prophets ahead of time that their message would not be received. It takes real commitment and dedication to speak truth when you know ahead of time that it will be rejected.
And it is not just their message that was rejected – the prophets themselves were rejected. Think of the experiences of Jeremiah for example. He was hated on by the people and thrown into prison, into a miry pit, and so on. When you risk your life to proclaim truth, that is a great example of bold faith.
Jesus of course had some very strong words to say about those who rejected the prophets and their words. For example, we read this in Matthew 23:29-37:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”
This is the way it is. Dare to speak the truth of God, and you will be hated on, rejected, and persecuted. And as I said, it is not just those in the world who will respond this way – many in our churches will react in the same manner. Truth always hurts those who live in lies. They will accuse us of hate speech, when in reality it is speech they hate.
But given how truth is in such short supply nowadays, all the more reason to proclaim it. This was also the case when the prophets ministered. As we find in Isaiah 59:14-1: “So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice.”
Jeremiah said much the same. For example, in Jer. 7:28 we find these words: “Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the LORD its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips’.”
As we seek to speak truth to a truth-starved culture where politicians, the media, the tech giants, etc., have all seemed to conspire against the truth, we need a few things to persevere. We need a strong faith in God and a good grasp of his Word. And we need his heart as well.
What angers God should anger us. What breaks the heart of God should break our hearts. I very much like how John Stott put it in his classic 1992 volume, The Contemporary Christian: “I long to see more Christian anger towards evil in the world, and more Christian compassion for its victims.”
And I always must turn to the words of the great Alexander Solzhenitsyn. As he stated in his Nobel Prize in Literature lecture in 1970: “Proverbs about truth are well-loved in Russian. They give steady and sometimes striking expression to the not inconsiderable harsh national experience: ONE WORD OF TRUTH SHALL OUTWEIGH THE WHOLE WORLD.”
Let us go on and share words of truth. The world is desperate for such truth, whether they know it or not – and whether they initially receive it or not. Being enslaved to lies, the truth is exactly what they need. As Jesus put in John 8:32: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Fingerprints Are Inevitable Hebrews 4:12; Colossians 3:16
The things of God which we handle are divine; but our manner of handling too human: and there is little or none that ever we touch, but will leave the print of our fingers behind us; but if God should speak this word himself, it would be a piercing, melting word indeed.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
What a Person’s Attitude Toward Others Shows Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31–33; Luke 10:25–37; Romans 9:3; 13:8–9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8
If a man is gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them. If he is compassionate towards the afflictions of others, it shows that his heart is like the noble tree that is wounded itself when it gives the balm. If he easily pardons and remits offences, it shows that his mind is planted above injuries; so that he cannot be shot. If he is thankful for small benefits, it shows that he weighs men’s minds, and not their trash. But above all, if he has St. Paul’s perfection, that he would wish to be anathema from Christ for the salvation of his brothers, it shows much of a divine nature, and a kind of conformity with Christ himself.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
15:55Where, O death, is your victory Paul quotes Hos 13:14 to taunt death on account of Christ’s victory.
15:55 This verse may well be a taunt song which believers sing as they rise to meet the Lord in the air. It is as if they mock Death because for them it has lost its sting. They also mock Hades because for them it has lost the battle to keep them as its own. Death holds no terror for them because they know their sins have been forgiven and they stand before God in all the acceptability of His beloved Son.
15:55. As in the allusion to Isaiah 25:8 (1 Cor. 15:54), Paul again recalled an Old Testament passage which prophesied the cessation of death (Hosea 13:14). (The recollections were adapted by Paul and do not correspond exactly to any of the extant Gr. or Heb. texts.) The apparent victories of Satan, in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:13) and on Golgotha (Mark 15:22–24) were reversed on the cross (Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14–15) and vindicated in the resurrection of Christ. From the vantage point of the certain resurrection of the saints, Paul voiced his taunt against death and Satan.
15:54b–55. Paul looked forward in these verses to the fulfillment of two Old Testament prophecies at the general resurrection: Death has been swallowed up in victory (see Isa. 25:8); and Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? (see Hos. 13:14). Though he did not quote either of these texts precisely, these were unmistakably his references. These quotes may represent Paul’s own rendering of these verses from the Hebrew. Of course, his point is clear: because believers’ resurrected bodies will be immortal and imperishable, death will never affect them. Death will not be able to destroy them or to plague them. Instead, believers will live eternally, free from the worry of physical deterioration and death.
Paul issued these taunts to death in the present tense. Although the general resurrection had yet to occur, Paul’s confident hope in Christ to bring about the resurrection removed all fear of death. Further, because he understood believers’ resurrections to be an outworking of Christ’s own resurrection, and because Christ’s resurrection had taken place, he saw death already in the process of being defeated.
15:55 This is a reference to Hosea 13:14, which reverses the order by quoting the Septuagint. Most OT quotes in the NT are from the Greek translation of the OT. It was the Bible of the first century church.
55. In language reminiscent of Scripture (Hos. 13:14), Paul sings of the triumph to come. He is not basing an argument on Scripture, but using scriptural language for his exultation over the total defeat of death. The word kentron (sting) may refer to a goad (as in Acts 26:14), but it is also used of the sting of bees, scorpions and the like (cf. Rev. 9:10). Death is a malignant adversary, torturing people. But Christ has drawn its sting, and it is harmless to those who are in him.
15:55 / Paul continues to quote Scripture, but now turns to Hosea. How he knew or produced this harmonized, blended quotation is uncertain, although the two original prophetic words are made closer by the alteration of the wording of Hosea. The word victory (Gk. nikē) is an original element of Isaiah, but Hosea reads “judgment” (Gk. dikē), which has been changed to victory so that the texts blend smoothly. This doubling up of questions produces great rhetorical force and dramatizes the point.
55 In light of the swallowing up of death in the victory of the resurrection-transformation, Paul proceeds to taunt death in the language of Hosea (13:14, somewhat modified). Whether Paul intended to “cite” this passage as such, as part of the preceding “fulfilled” word, is moot. By a series of modifications, Paul seems to be taking over the text of Hosea so as to make it his own derision of death in light of the preceding affirmation (vv. 51–53) and the citation from Isaiah (v. 54). He does this in three ways: (1) by changing the LXX word dikē (“penalty”) to nikos (“victory”), thus bringing it into verbal agreement with the previous quotation from Isaiah; (2) by substituting in the second line the vocative “O Death!” for the “O Grave!” of the LXX, thus making both lines a derision of death itself; and (3) by bringing forward the possessive pronoun “your” to first position (after “where”), followed immediately by the vocative, thus emphasizing the personification (lit., “where your, O Death, Victory?” which replaces the LXX’s “where the penalty of you, O Death?”).
The net result is a powerful taunt of death that looks in two directions at once. First, it completes the argument of the paragraph as a whole as well as the citation from Isaiah. Even though Paul still lives in the “already,” and in his own body experiences both the perishability and mortality of the present age that is passing away, the apostle has also seen the risen Lord. Thus with a clear vision of what is to be he mocks the enemy, whose doom has been sealed through Christ’s own death and resurrection; and it is precisely because of Christ’s victory that the mockery obtains, even if in the meantime believers “fall asleep.” Thus this taunt is Paul’s way of looking forward to the triumph of the ages. Death’s victory has been overcome by Christ’s victory; and death’s deadly sting has been detoxicated—indeed, the stinger itself has been plucked—through Christ’s resurrection. Death, therefore, is “powerless over the dead”;398 God’s people will be raised and changed into the likeness of the risen and ever-living Christ himself.
Second, even though the taunt has to do with the future resurrection of believers, it is expressed in the present tense, precisely because the beginning of the End has “already” set in motion the final victory that for us is still “not yet.” The mention of the word “sting,” therefore, leads Paul from the future to the present; what is to be has in effect already begun. Thus, he concludes this exalted description of the “not yet” with an appropriate reminder of the victory that is “already” theirs in Christ (vv. 56–57). It has been well said, “Death is also powerless over the living.”
55 Because God’s last word is resurrection, glorified and imperishable bodies, and the abolishment of death, Paul cries out in the words of Hosea, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (cf. Hos 13:14). Right now death does have a sting. Right now it appears as though death does have the victory, for there is not a single human being alive who will escape death if the Lord tarries. But what appears to be victory for “the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon” (Rev 9:11), will ultimately end in his defeat, for death itself will be vanquished along with its angel (20:10, 14–15).
 Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Co 15:55). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
 Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (p. 355). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
 Fee, G. D. (2014). The First Epistle to the Corinthians. (N. B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. D. Fee, & J. B. Green, Eds.) (Revised Edition, pp. 889–890). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
 Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 404). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Without an Honorable Life It Is Impossible to Know Scripture 2 Timothy 3:16–17; Hebrews 4:12
For the searching of the Scriptures and true knowledge of them, an honorable life is needed, and a pure soul, and that virtue which is according to Christ; so that the intellect guiding its path by it may be able to attain what it desires, and to comprehend it, insofar as it is accessible to human nature to learn concerning the Word of God. For without a pure mind and a modeling of the life after the saints, a man could not possibly comprehend the words of the saints.
ATHANASIUS OF ALEXANDRIA
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Early Church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Depending Daily on God’s Provision Exodus 16:13–35; Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3
Grant us, this day, Our daily manna, without which he roams Through this rough desert retrograde, who most Toils to advance his steps.
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Democrats prevailed in the House and Senate by the skin of their teeth. In the lower chamber, they hold a 222-212 majority, with Republicans still likely to secure one more uncalled seat. Functionally, it’s 219-212 until three Democrats are chosen to replace the three Joe Biden picked off to serve in his administration. A bare majority is 218. In the Senate, Democrats cling to a 50-50+1 majority. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to pursue a 50/50 agenda of moderation.
The elephant in the room, of course, is the Democrats’ second round of impeachment. Without defending President Donald Trump’s irresponsible rhetoric, it’s a sad reality that twice now Democrats have made a mockery of a solemn and serious tool to check power. At best, it’s not an agenda of “unity,” which is supposed to be the theme of Biden’s inauguration.
Not content with having exploited the coronavirus pandemic to grease the ballot skids for themselves in November, however, Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats have reintroduced HR 1, a zombie bill from 2019 called the “For the People Act.” It is decidedly for certain people — elected people with a “D” after their names.
Our Lewis Morris and Thomas Gallatin each covered the bill two years ago, and little has changed. Still, some things bear repeating, especially right after a hotly contested election.
First of all, we’ll note one overarching feature: It gooses voter rolls for Democrats by irresponsibly lowering the bar for our most important civic duty. Rules for voting eligibility would be relaxed beyond reason. Voter ID laws would be gutted. Mail-in ballots would be greatly expanded, as would early voting. At best, people with no civic knowledge or engagement will line up to (mail-in) vote themselves more benefits from “generous” Democrats. At worst, voter fraud will only increase.
The bill also damages federalism by stripping states of the ability to draw their own congressional districts in favor of an “independent” commission. Its campaign finance provisions will hurt conservatives but putting a target on the backs of larger donors to political nonprofits, as well as by adding disclosure requirements for paid political advertising. Given the rampant cancel culture of the Left, we know exactly where this will lead.
In short, Democrats want to repeat the 2020 election in every cycle from here forward.
Meanwhile, Chuck Schumer’s Senate Democrats naturally chafe at the thinness of their majority, because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris may often be called up to provide the tie-breaking vote. So the other big thing early on their agenda is admitting the District of Columbia as the 51st state. The goal is as plain as it is cynical: two more guaranteed Senate seats for Democrats. This has nothing to do with “representation” for the District’s residents and everything to do with consolidating power for Democrats. Besides, the Founders specifically designed the seat of the federal government to not be in a state, much less be a state.
Having those two extra votes sure would come in handy, though, because the rest of the Democrats’ agenda is no better. The Green New Deal, Medicare for All, a $15 federal minimum wage, and more “social justice” than you can shake a stick at.
There’s no sugar coating it. Conservatives face a very long and tough two to four years. But the fight for Liberty is far bigger than one election cycle, and we thus have the chance to turn this crisis into an opportunity to win over more Americans to that cause.
It’s news to no one that our country has a two-tiered justice system and that it feeds among us a dangerous sense that the game is rigged. Actually, though, our nation increasingly delivers four tiers of unequal justice: rich versus poor, of course, but also Left versus Right.
The legal process has barely begun for the Capitol rioters, but we’re already getting a sense of how it’ll play out: They’ll have the book thrown at them. After all, most of them support Donald Trump. But we need only remember back to 2016, to President Trump’s inauguration, to see an example of the Left-Right tiers at work and the markedly different justice meted out to those leftist rioters and what likely awaits the Capitol mob.
As Jon Dougherty of BizPac Review writes, “Video footage that was taken the morning of Trump’s inaugural shows black-clad mobs occupying streets, smashing storefront windows, attacking police officers, overturning trash cans, and generally causing mayhem in protest of what they perceived as a stolen election.”
A month after the 2017 inauguration, CNN reported that 214 people had been indicted on felony rioting charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $25,000. This seemed altogether appropriate for the “black bloc” antifa thugs who “smashed storefronts and bus stops, hammered out the windows of a limousine, and eventually launched rocks at a phalanx of police.” Six cops were injured that day, and 230 rioters were arrested. So far, so good, right?
Wrong. More than two years later, on July 6, 2018, the Associated Press reported that the government had dropped the charges against all inauguration protesters.
“Federal prosecutors on Friday moved to drop charges against the last 39 people accused of participating in a violent protest on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration,” wrote the AP’s Ashraf Khalil. “The motion to dismiss charges by the U.S. attorney’s office seemingly ends an 18-month saga that started with the Justice Department attempting to convict more than 190 people. That effort saw the government facing off against an intensely coordinated grassroots political opposition network that made Washington the focus of a nationwide support campaign — offering free lodging for defendants, legal coordination and other support.”
What are the odds that a “coordinated grassroots network” will convince Joe Biden’s Social Justice Department to drop all charges against the Capitol rioters?
To be clear, we’re not advocating that the pro-Trump rioters walk. Quite the contrary, in fact. As this cherry-picked footage from the New Yorker shows (language warning), this was anything but a bunch of middle-aged patriots milling around the Capitol and admiring the artwork.
On the other hand, it wasn’t what Nervous Nellie Representative Jamie Raskin made it out to be, either. To hear him tell it to a sympathetic Jake Tapper, “A violent mob … broke into the Congress of the United States, broke into the Capitol, and came within a hair’s breadth of hanging Vice President Pence. … They built a gallows outside the Capitol of the United States. There was an assassination party hunting for Nancy Pelosi. … This was an attack on our country.”
Perhaps Raskin has never heard of the term “effigy,” but one look at the scaffolding Raskin mentions reveals that it was both hastily constructed and nonfunctional. And for a mob that was ostensibly hell-bent on murdering Speaker Pelosi, they seemed to disband rather peacefully.
As for “an attack on our country,” that perspective is, like art, entirely in the eye of the beholder. “We all know that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” said Reuters global news editor Stephen Jukes back in the day.
Were they attackers, or did they perceive themselves as defenders?
Now that Joe Biden is about to step into the Oval Office and is calling for lockdowns to be relaxed or ended and for kids to get back to school within his first 100 days — because he has a plagiarized COVID rescue plan, after all — it has suddenly become appropriate for Democrats and the Leftmedia to prioritize economic concerns and even question the efficacy of lockdowns.
Case in point, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing for reopening his state. “We simply cannot state closed until the vaccine hits critical mass,” he now says. “The cost is too high. We will have nothing left open. We must reopen the economy but we must do it smartly.” Hmm. Where have we heard this argument before?
On Thursday, Newsweek published an article titled, “COVID Lockdowns May Have No Clear Benefit vs Other Voluntary Measures, International Study Shows.” Who could have possibly guessed this would be the case? The article notes that researchers comparing the pandemic’s impact on mandatory-lockdown countries to that of less restrictive and voluntary-response nations found “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country.” Furthermore, “We fail to find an additional benefit of stay-at-home orders and business closures.”
Conservative commentator Noah Rothman wryly observed, “Major metro mayors are on a mission to retroactively validate everything lockdown skeptics have said for months only to have their motives questioned and characters impugned.” And as Power Line’s John Hinderaker notes, “Now that the presidential election is behind us, Democratic governors and mayors will be happy to see the economy rebounding. And, of course, Joe Biden will take credit for all improvement that results from abandoning the lockdowns that have crushed our country for the last ten months.”
Indeed, our bet is that in the coming weeks and months, the pandemic will no longer dominate the headlines. The daily updates on the number of new COVID-19 cases and coronavirus-related deaths will be relegated to a back page or ignored entirely. In their place will be stories covering the stunning success of Biden’s coronavirus response in working to get the U.S. vaccinated coupled with glowing reports of an economy on the rebound credited entirely to the leadership of the new administration.
Of course, any significant flare-ups of the virus can easily be blamed on those selfish “anti-science” Trump supporters who failed to don their masks.
Perhaps the most infuriating thing about the Republican Party is the sad reality that is it a reactive party, not a proactive one. For decades, this spineless collection of go-along-to-get-along milquetoasts has allowed Democrats and the American Left in general to define the nation’s agenda to the point where any dissent from that agenda can make one an “unperson” in all its Orwellian permutations. Yet just as there is an exception to every rule, there are Republicans who refuse to embrace the party’s self-imposed impotency. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and members of the Sunshine State’s Republican-controlled legislature have decided to meet the nation’s foremost censors head-on. In Florida, Big Tech is headed for a well-deserved reckoning.
State Representative Randy Fine is leading the charge. A letter he sent to DeSantis urges the governor to stop doing business with tech giants Amazon, Twitter, Apple, Google, and Facebook and have the state divest all of its investments in those same corporations.
“I am deeply disturbed to see the country’s major technologies use the actions of these few as a pretext to silence tens of millions of good, patriotic Americans, millions of whom live here in Florida,” he wrote. “It is clear that Twitter and Facebook are engaged in one-sided viewpoint discrimination targeting conservatives … and it is not disputed that Amazon, Apple, and Google are actively working to eliminate any alternative outlets where conservatives can speak freely.”
Fine’s timing couldn’t be better. Last Thursday, Project Veritas released a video given to it by a purported Twitter “insider whistleblower.” It shows Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealing that his company’s decision to permanently suspend the account of President Trump is just the tip of the deplatforming iceberg.
“We know we are focused on one account right now, but this is going to be much bigger than just one account, and it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week, and the next few weeks, and go on beyond the inauguration,” Dorsey warns.
Florida intends to return the favor and Fine isn’t alone. Representative Anthony Sabatini has introduced House Bill 33, a.k.a. the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act.” It allows residents over the age of 18 to sue tech companies with more than 75 million subscribers if they delete a user’s political or religious speech, or use an algorithm that does the same thing. Each deletion can precipitate a minimum of $75,000 is statutory damages, along with actual damages, possible damages, and other forms of equitable relief.
Republican Senator Danny Burgess has also filed a bill that would require social media companies who deactivate or suspend someone’s account to give notice to account holders within 30 days, explaining why the action was taken.
In his letter to DeSantis, Fine added some much-needed perspective regarding the difference between those who breached the Capitol building and the contemptible effort by Big Tech and its equally despicable allies in the media and the Democrat Party to conflate that relative handful of rioters with 74 million conservative Americans.
“Last week’s attack of the United States Capitol was one of the saddest days of my life,” Fine wrote. “Those terrorists defiled a sacred temple of democracy, and in my mind, there is no penalty too severe for them. I say this because those terrorists do not define me. They do not define you. … And they do not define conservatives.”
He also noted the rank hypocrisy that attends all of it. “These companies allow actual terrorists around the world to use their platforms to target America, Americans, and our allies, without as much as a peep,” he added. “Florida taxpayers should not be forced to do business with entities that censor them.”
Democrats are upset. “These social media companies stepped forward to take responsibility! They didn’t want to be complicit in additional acts of violence and insurrection,” Florida House Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith insisted.
That is, quite simply, a lie. Big Tech, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube (owned by Alphabet, which also owns Google), not only allowed their sites to be used to promote and organize seven months of rioting over the summer, but it allowed their platforms to be used by the Capitol riot organizers as well. “In DC, we saw QAnon conspiracists and other militias that would never have grown to this size without being turbo-charged by Facebook and Twitter,” asserted Fadi Quran, campaign director at the human rights group Avaaz.
Nonetheless, only the Parler website was singled out for destruction, even as other social media sites, just as guilty of promoting violence, remain unscathed.
Why? “In part it is because these Silicon Valley giants — Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple — donate enormous sums of money to the Democratic Party and their leaders, so of course Democrats will cheer them rather than call for punishment or their removal from the internet,” liberal columnist Glenn Greenwald explains. “Part of it is because Parler is an upstart, a much easier target to try to destroy than Facebook or Google. And in part it is because the Democrats are about to control the Executive Branch and both houses of Congress, leaving Silicon Valley giants eager to please them by silencing their adversaries.”
Those “adversaries” are overwhelmingly conservative and Republican, and Florida Republicans are taking it upon themselves to upend this monopolistic, authoritarian effort to outlaw dissent. And DeSantis is proving to be one of the few bright lights in a party that still makes voting for the lesser of two evils as evil as it’s ever been.
Thus a question arises. Where are the rest of the GOP governors and legislatures? Republicans control the governor’s office and both houses of the legislature in 24 states, compared to only 15 controlled by Democrats, and it’s long past time to stop reassuming the fetal position every time a progressive accuses them of exactly what progressives are doing. Moreover, if they can’t take a stand against the de facto cartel tech companies have become, and begin a full-throated pushback against those who would hide behind private ownership to effectively crush the First Amendment, they are worse than useless.
They are collaborators.
Above all else, the deplatforming of Parler revealed the utter fraudulence of assertions by the likes of Dorsey et al. that one can simply choose another social media platform if they don’t like the terms and conditions of Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, or Google. Amazon, Apple, and Google purposefully destroyed Parler to protect their own interests — period.
It’s time Republicans protected the interests of millions of decent Americans. Florida is leading the way. The 23 other Republican-controlled states, along with any Democrat ones smart enough to understand the long-term ramifications behind a Big Tech power grab of unprecedented proportions, should follow.
As the boiling pot of politics in the U.S. roils, Americans have been shown one more massive example of selective application of standards in the area of Big Tech and free speech. Parler, a social media app, was completely canceled based on its content and audience. Amazon, the multinational tech company known for online shopping and the “world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform,” announced on January 10 that Parler’s access to the AWS Internet server would be discontinued. Billed as “unbiased social media,” where users are able to “speak freely and express yourself openly without fear of being deplatformed for your views,” Parler was booted from the Internet entirely because Amazon, Apple, and Google colluded to kill a competitor.
Speech calling for violence is clearly and absolutely unacceptable, but it must be treated as universally unacceptable.
As recently as May 2020, the Israeli government petitioned Twitter to have posts removed from Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that called for the death of all Jews and the elimination of Israel. The social media giant’s response was to deem the activity as “comments on current affairs.” Khamenei has free speech in America while conservative Americans don’t. Posts by a known enemy calling Israel a “cancerous growth to be uprooted and destroyed” and bellowing “death to America” did not offend the standard that prohibits violence based on “race, ethnicity, national origin or national affiliation” or “calls for mass murder.” Yet Americans trying to understand an already chaotic election cycle and asking questions around the integrity of the voting process were openly censored.
It’s also worth noticing the actions of these tech behemoths in their treatment of the protected “speech” of pornography. Five years ago, the pornography industry was monetized at $97 billion globally, and up to $12 billion of that was in the U.S. Permitted as sexual expression and protected under the First Amendment as artistic free expression, pornography is a guaranteed and guarded speech. Morally objectionable to many, there is evidence that the industry also feeds other crimes like human trafficking and child pornography. Nevertheless, in 2019, just one major pornographic website measured more than 5,824,699,200 viewed hours of content, or 655 centuries logged into one year. Simply put, online access to pornography is unhindered and sheltered despite its destructiveness and influences. In the case of child pornography, The Guardian openly criticized the length of time to complete child abuse cases, saying that even after such material and content had been discovered, some websites still published the illegal content as long as a year after being identified.
In the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the first attempt in the U.S. to regulate Internet pornography for both indecency and obscenity, Section 230 offers immunity through interpretation that operators of Internet services — Twitter, Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. — are not publishers. This very law is all that regulates online pornography while protecting the current practices of Big Tech.
The tools and technology that should provide more freedom of speech to each American are being used to apply selective partisan and cultural standards. Those acting as the moral screeners of speech, thought, and intent silence Americans who won’t parrot leftist party lines while refusing to condemn nations that harbor terrorists and fund heinous activity or entities that sexually exploit and abuse women and children.
When it comes to bringing leftist crooks to justice, it seems like Charlie Brown is a Republican, the football is a Democrat, and Lucy is Lady Justice.
And depending on the outcome of Special Counsel John Durham’s criminal investigation, justice may never be served to the Obama-era Spygate co-conspirators. But at least we now have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s true — that Barack Obama and his intelligence services did willfully spy on candidate Donald Trump and, later, on his presidential administration.
As John Solomon reports, “Delivering in his final days on one of his last unfulfilled promises, President Trump is declassifying a massive trove of FBI documents showing the Russia collusion story was leaked in the final weeks of the 2016 election in an effort to counteract Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. … The president authorized the release of a foot-high stack of internal FBI and DOJ documents that detail significant flaws in the investigation and provide a detailed timeline of when the FBI first realized the Steele dossier was problematic.”
Yeah, yeah, you say, we know all about the phony Steele dossier. What about the spying?
“The documents,” Solomon continues, “also will settle a long-debated question in Washington about whether the FBI’s tactics amounted to spying on the Trump campaign. Tasking instructions the FBI gave to [Stefan] Halper, an academic who long worked as an FBI informant, make clear he was instructed to infiltrate the Trump campaign by posing as someone who wanted to work for the GOP nominee and then targeting campaign advisers to find out what they knew about Trump or his campaign’s ties to Russia” (emphasis ours).
To be clear: Pretending to be someone you’re not in order to surreptitiously obtain information you wouldn’t otherwise have access to is spying.
Let’s hope Durham can deliver a lot more justice than he has so far, which amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist for an Obama administration cutout named Kevin Clinesmith. An otherwise anonymous FBI lawyer, Clinesmith fabricated evidence that helped secure a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
It strains credulity to think that a nobody like Clinesmith would’ve done what he did without any direction from above. And yet when we consider the cushy plea deal he got without having had to rat out even a single co-conspirator, we can’t help but wonder whether the fix has been in all along.
We’ll soon find out.
President Trump isn’t the only one looking to provide some transparency. On Friday, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham released the transcripts of the “Crossfire Hurricane” interviews conducted in recent months by the Senate Judiciary Committee — a committee he chairs for a few more days.
“We have released as much material as possible,” he said in a press release, “but some classified material has still been withheld.”
Graham had harsh words for those involved in the investigation: “I believe that Crossfire Hurricane was one of the most incompetent and corrupt investigations in the history of the FBI and DOJ,” he said. “The FISA court was lied to. Exculpatory information was withheld on those being investigated. The investigators, with some notable exceptions, were incredibly biased and used the powers of law enforcement for political purposes. The subjects of the investigation had their lives turned upside down.”
Harsh words, indeed. But to what end? If there’s one thing we’ve learned during this investigation of the investigators, it’s that talk is cheap. How many times, for example, have we been told that James Comey and John Brennan had better lawyer up? That one day soon we’d see them cuffed and frog-marched?
“It is my hope,” said Graham, “that counterintelligence investigations will be reined in and this never happens again in America.”
Hope isn’t a strategy, Senator Graham, and it won’t deliver justice. And without justice, we can be all but certain that this will happen again. And again. And again. And again.
Recently, a group of friends and I visited a local grocery store to stock up on emergency supplies. While walking around the rather large and open warehouse, a store employee approached us, lecturing us about wearing our masks properly. Her eyes filled with this gleeful sense of authority. It was almost as if she looked forward to the encounter.
Unwilling to budge until we complied, I put on a mask, only for it to break. Already prepared, the employee pulled out a new mask for me to wear. I put that on only for it to also break. The now irritated drill sergeant then pulled out her PA radio and called another employee to request a face shield. She would have been any store manager’s dream, but people like this are a nightmare in the midst of this pandemic.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and desperate people sometimes fall into one of two camps — childlike and seeking comfort and entertainment, and authoritative tyrants who embrace paternalism, rules, and regulations to maintain power. The latter is what I’ve encountered quite frequently. As a man who loves Liberty and practices it liberally, I am the very threat that these tyrants look forward to each day. Liberty-loving people are target practice to these “Masketeers.”
The people who have a tendency to become tyrants are typically without power themselves. But once bestowed with a new role — be it through new workplace rules or because the TV said so — these individuals feel empowered by a false sense of control. All of this is in response to perceived fear. In this case, the China Virus (and its low rate of death for most populations) has fueled the paranoia that created every tyrant standing in front of businesses ordering people to put on their masks. From receptionists to restaurant workers, now everyday people can feel like they’ve done their part — for society’s sake, they claim.
It doesn’t just stop at deathly glares and accusations of killing Grandma. Videos are going viral in which noncompliant people are being pursued and followed by Masketeers. Angry masked drivers roll down their windows to shout expletives at random people who are enjoying their God-given fresh air.
Another incident that comes to mind was my one trip to a music store. Maskless, I entered the shop, browsing the merchandise and making selections. Eventually I was tracked down by a manager who confronted me and ordered me to comply with the mask mandate. I chose not to cower to her demands, resulting in the police being called. By this point, all of the customers were ordered out of the store, even as they were checking out. Soon the police officer arrived, and when the manager shared what happened, the officer rolled his eyes and saw us off.
The situation left me thinking this: What did the manager hope would happen to me? Did she expect for me to serve jail time over her misappropriated fear of a virus? Did she enjoy the idea of a fellow citizen being handcuffed and carried away? Would seeing that grant her the satisfaction she needed to feel like everything is under control?
What America is witnessing is canon to the Marxist playbook. This notion that gives power to the people comes packaged with a police state enforced by the very people it oppressed. Desperate for life to return to normal, these tyrants will do anything to offer atonement to the state, including putting down their fellow countrymen. This terrifying notion is growing like a cancer. It’s an infection that has made America very ill. The diagnosis is the deprivation of freedom from within. The cure? A return to the one who is truly in control of our health and well-being: God Himself.
Upright I: “If you say that targeted deplatforming, though not Stalinist, is troubling, the same people who want to compel everyone to buy state-mandated health insurance, who want to dictate how corporations compensate their employees, who want to force nuns to buy abortifacients and who want to destroy the lives of bakers and florists who run businesses according to long-held religious beliefs will vigorously defend the value of free-association rights that allow corporations to act this way. So I’m pretty skeptical that most of these people are genuine champions of individual market choices, and aren’t just super excited about silencing people.” —David Harsanyi
Upright II: “Perhaps we could take Twitter’s claim that it is upholding the sanctity of democracy more seriously if it didn’t host Chinese Communist officials who treat slave ownership as a social good or anti-Semitic Iranian officials who regularly use exterminationist rhetoric. I’d rather we just hear everyone, and mock, stigmatize, debunk and undermine bad actors.” —David Harsanyi
Upright III: “Cable news is bad for you. It doesn’t matter if you are addicted to Fox or MSNBC. It’s all infotainment. With some notable exceptions, and there are some, TV is not designed to inform or educate you. TV producers are a lot like the engineers who obsess over how to keep us in casinos. Casinos famously spend amazing amounts of time and money figuring out how to keep people at the tables: the sounds, the air pumped in, the free drinks and the confusing layouts with the hidden exits. These are not perks or design flaws. They are all deliberately placed to keep you in your seat gambling more than you planned on. Most cable news is the same. They know what you are emotional about, and they play it up to keep you watching. If guests aren’t partisan enough, the producers tell them to up the volume and the rancor. This can make for entertaining programming, but it’s not good for us.” —Neil Patel
Upright IV: “We have an amazing country, unique and impressive in so many ways. It’s worth fixing. Given where we are, though, things are not going to fix themselves. It’s easy to pretend that the problem is just with our leaders or with the people who think differently, but it’s not. We have the leaders we deserve. We are the problem. We each have some responsibility for the sad place we are at, and we each have a role to play in fixing it.” —Neil Patel
Upright V: “[Democrat leaders] put these [COVID] rules in place. They’re not even following their own rules. I mean, how many people have gotten caught? ‘Don’t travel. Don’t leave the state.’ Oh, here’s so-and-so on a vacation. Oh, here’s so-and-so at a salon. ‘Don’t eat out at a restaurant unless you’re wearing a mask and separate.’ Oh, here’s a picture of the governor of California violating those rules. Oh, public schools are closed, but I can send my kids to a private school in person.” —NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Non compos mentis: “[Not wearing a mask is] chemical warfare so far as I’m concerned.” —Rep. Ayanna Pressley
Hot air: “In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both. … It is their constitutional and patriotic duty… They will do so guided by their great love of country, determination to protect our democracy and loyalty to our oath to the Constitution. We know that we faced enemies to the Constitution … and we know that the President of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country.” —Nancy Pelosi on the Democrats’ “oath to the Constitution” and protecting “our Democracy [sic]”
Orwellian: “We have to turn down the capability of these conservative influencers to reach these huge audiences. There are people on YouTube, for example, that have a larger audience than daytime CNN, and they are extremely radical and pushing extremely radical views.” —Alex Stamos, former chief security officer of Facebook
And last… “A week before Biden’s inauguration and a study is released announcing that lockdowns don’t work, [Andrew] Cuomo comes out and says that New York can’t stay closed, and the mayor of Chicago is urging restaurants to open ASAP. We are supposed to believe that the timing is coincidental.” —Matt Walsh
A new study from the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science has proven that a robot can anticipate another robot’s actions based solely upon visual cues. This means that robots may one day be able to use empathy to make predictions in a very basic way. Using a cognitive framework called “Theory of Mind,” the scientists believe that they’ve come across one of the very first stepping stones for artificial intelligence to understand how to anticipate actions purely through visualization.
Ghost Fleet Overlord Passes Latest Sea Trials
The Navy’s new unmanned surface vessel, dubbed “Ghost Fleet Overlord,” successfully passed recent sea trails, sailing more than 4,700 miles, almost entirely autonomously. According to a Department of Defense statement, during recent testing, approximately 97% of Ghost Fleet Overlord’s travel from the Gulf Coast to the Coast of California was done autonomously.
Russia Elevates Importance of Northern Fleet Upgrading it to Military District Status
In a further sign of the strategic importance of Russia’s Arctic military assets President Putin has upgraded the status of the Northern Fleet. The fleet, primarily based near Murmansk, which was previously upgraded and designated a Joined Strategic Command in 2014, now joins four other military districts in Russia. It consolidates a large part of Russia’s Arctic capabilities under one roof and contains territory of the Republic of Komi, the regions of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk and the Nenets Autonomous Region.
Shock as two female Afghan Supreme Court judges gunned down in Kabul ambush
In the latest of a wave of assassinations that has gripped Afghanistan, two female judges were killed on Sunday by gunmen in central Kabul as they headed to work. Identified as Zakia Herawi and Qadria Yasini by family members, the women were two of the 200 female judges employed by the Supreme Court of Afghanistan.
Ice Cream From China Contaminated With COVID: Officials
Officials in a Chinese municipality said that three samples of ice cream tested positive for the CCP virus, and thousands of boxes were confiscated, according to state-run media. Storage of the ice cream, produced by Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Co., was sealed after samples sent by the firm to a local disease control center last week tested positive for the virus.
Fox News Ratings Plummet After Abandoning MAGA Viewership
Before the 2020 election, Fox News was dominating its cable rivals – in large part due to Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, … Then, after host Chris Wallace ‘moderated’ the first Presidential debate by overtly protecting Joe Biden while attacking Trump, the network’s establishment bias upstaged even their ratings darlings. Disgusted MAGA viewers began turning to alternatives such as One America News and Newsmax for pro-Trump coverage after Fox made clear where they stand. Fox News’ ratings have plummeted
Parler’s website is back online, but app still not in stores
The chief executive of social media platform Parler, popular with American right-wing users but which virtually vanished after the U.S. Capitol riot, posted a brief message on the company’s website. Parler’s app, however, remains offline. “Hello world, is this thing on?,” Matze asked in a message dated Saturday, posted above a note from the company saying the platform would be restored after challenges were resolved.
Psalms in Space: Astronaut recites Bible Verses in Orbit
“Took these photos today, I love sunrises and sunsets,” Glover wrote on Instagram and Twitter. “Can you see the bands of color? They remind me of the scripture in Psalm 30, ‘weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.’ It seems darkest just before sunrise. I wish you all love and light. Goodnight from the @iss.”
EU demands Israel nix housing plans, raze fledgling settlements
Brussels slams Israel’s plans for 792 new homes in Judea and Samaria, calls for freeze on Jerusalem neighborhood, dismantling of ‘outposts’.
In a statement issued Sunday night, the EU castigated Israel for planning new construction in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, calling the move a violation of international law.
City of David recognized as ‘testament’ to US Judeo-Christian heritage
The City of David was recognized as a “testament to America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and founding principles”…at a special ceremony… US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Chairman of the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad Paul Packer dedicated a plaque recognizing the “seminal role” the City of David plays in connected visitors to “the origins of the values that helped shape America.”
IDF strikes Hamas tunnel workshops after 2 rockets fired toward Israel
The IDF struck tunnel excavation workshops belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip on Monday morning after two rockets were fired toward Israel, according the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. The strikes took place after two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip and landed in open areas near the coast off of Ashdod in southern Israel. Rocket sirens were not activated because the rockets fell in open areas.
Egypt, Jordan intelligence chiefs meet Abbas in Ramallah
On the eve of the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden, the heads of the Egyptian and Jordanian intelligence services on Sunday visited Ramallah, where they met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas…The visit of the two intelligence chiefs was within the context of ongoing coordination between the Palestinians and the two Arab countries in preparation for engaging the Biden administration…
Facebook Censors Mexican Cardinal for Denouncing ‘New World Order’
Facebook has censored a video of Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, archbishop emeritus of Guadalajara, for suggesting that globalist leaders are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to bring about a new world order. In place of the cardinal’s weekly video, Facebook exhibited a greyed-out screenshot emblazoned with the banner “False information.”
Google Is Evil
Famously, Google’s motto is “Don’t Be Evil.”…”Hilariously” is more appropriate because Google is, in fact, an evil company. But it’s not just Google. Name the tech giant and they are pretty much working in ways that are detrimental, if not downright destructive, to the United States of America and the freedoms we hold dear. Google not only tracks every keystroke you make, but it also manipulates your worldview without you even knowing it.
Ethiopia Tigray crisis: Fear of mass starvation
“Hundreds of thousands might starve to death” in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, according to a government official quoted in a leaked copy of notes taken at a meeting of humanitarian workers. The government-run Tigray Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) is assessing needs following the conflict there. The federal government declared victory at the end of November.
Tunisia arrests dozens as protests break out for second night
Riots and violent clashes between Tunisian police and protesters broke out on Sunday in the capital Tunis and several other cities for the second consecutive day, while security forces arrested dozens of young people. The disturbances came as the country faced an unprecedented economic crisis and a nationwide lockdown imposed since Thursday as part of efforts to rein in surging coronavirus infections.
Egypt condemns new Israeli West Bank settlement project
Egypt’s foreign ministry has condemned an Israeli project to build 780 new settlement units in the West Bank, labeling the campaign a “new violation of international legitimacy decisions.” Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez stressed Egypt’s “complete rejection” of the continuation of settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, urging a “complete cessation” of settlement building.
Jordan condemns Israel’s approval of new settler homes in West Bank
Jordan has denounced Israel’s decision to construct more than 780 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank and to recognize two additional outposts. Daifallah Fayez, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, said that the Israeli decision constituted a flagrant and serious violation of international law and the pertinent resolutions…
Earth is spinning faster than it has in 50 years, scientists reveal
The Earth has been spinning on its axis faster than it has in five decades, scientists around the world have revealed. 2020 already saw some of the shortest days recorded in history, with 2021 predicted to be even shorter. “It is certainly correct that the Earth is spinning faster now than at any time in the last 50 years,” confirmed Peter Whibberley, a senior research scientist at the National Physical Laboratory.
Tropical Cyclone “Kimi” to make landfall over Queensland, Australia
Tropical Cyclone “Kimi” formed at 02:10 UTC on January 17, 2021, as the 3rd named storm of the 2020/21 Australian region cyclone season. Kimi is moving slowly south of the north tropical Queensland coast and is expected to turn southwest tonight (LT) and cross the north tropical coast on Monday, January 18 (LT).
Trump Finally Drops the Sledgehammer and its Beautiful
President Trump has signed a five page memo ordering all federal agencies to initiate a review, and send a report to the White House Office of Management and Budget that would detail funds that could be redirected from “lawless” cities and states.
H.R. 1: Democrats’ Latest Attempt to Rig Elections
Democrats love to rig elections. After all, why should they take a chance on losing and play by the rules, when they can just change the rules to make it easier for themselves to win? Changing the rules to give themselves an unfair advantage is exactly why Democrats introduced H.R. 1, a radical bill that would change both our campaign finance laws and our voting processes across the country.
55 People Died in US After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines
Fifty-five people in the United States have died after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, according to reports submitted to a federal system. Deaths have occurred among people receiving both the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, according to the reports.
DECLASS begins, CNN complicit in capitol raid
Trump’s “declass” bombshell is part of the exposure of the corrupt, criminal cabal that currently runs America. Joe Biden may even be implicated, and it’s certain that Chief Justice Roberts will be named in some of the documents, as he signed the illegal FISA warrants.
With all the political news coverage, the media hasn’t had time for stories like record rises in shootings and murders in our major cities, and medical professionals refusing to take the new COVID vaccines.