While this article could not realistically address exhaustively every impact reported in the scientific literature or the media, it does highlight the necessity for a serious re-evaluation of priorities by bishops, pastors, counsellors, and administrators at every level, of the more detrimental consequences of the measures taken to purportedly combat COVID-19. It is hoped that this will lead to concerted efforts to block and terminate the various inhumane measures, replacing them with more common sense efforts that respect the true dignity of the human person in its fullness and, as a result, truly serve the common good.
We’ve been told since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that significant restrictions in the form of lockdowns, social distancing, quarantines, and mask mandates are necessary for the “common good.” This refrain has been heard from medical professionals, politicians, our bishops and other Catholic leaders, and even the man on the street. Yet, looking at data from all disciplines, including the physiological, psychological, and psychosocial, calls into question whether the common good has truly been served by these restrictions. In all that has taken place, in all that we have observed, one has to ask whether the real pandemic was truly virus-induced or human-imposed.
In this article, we will briefly explore the background of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the measures taken to slow its spread, the confusing messaging given to us by health experts throughout the pandemic, the fatality rates associated with the virus, and potential treatments. Then we will examine the COVID-19-related restrictions and how they affect the common good. By doing this, we can analyze the impact of the disease itself vs. the impact of the restrictions.
It is important to recognize at the outset the fact that SARS-CoV-2 is a virus within the family of corona viruses which were first characterized in the 1960s (Kahn and McIntosh, 2005). These viruses have been around for a long time. In fact, this is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, that coronaviruses have affected the global community—the SARS epidemic of 2003 was also caused by a coronavirus. Whether this virus originated in bats (Zhou et al., 2020; Zhu et al., 2020) or modified in a lab (Piplani et al.; Latham and Wilson, 2020) or not (Andersen et al., 2020), does not really matter much to most people. What does matter is how the virus has impacted everybody’s life.
Measures taken to minimize spread
Starting in early 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) and most governments across the world implemented a series of measures touted—without any real scientific or other evidence—to help reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These included lockdowns (also known as “stay-at-home” orders) that shut down schools, work places, economies, and nations; quarantines, social distancing, and compulsory mask wearing. However, the hallmark characteristic of how authorities at all levels have handled this disease can only be described as confusing, contradictory, and, as evidence continues to accumulate, clearly inhumane.
One such example of confusion is the WHO warning against early termination of lockdowns in March of 2020, only to warn against lockdowns in October of the same year. Even the relaxing of the lockdowns brought only limited relief to the public. Mask mandates, social distancing, closure of so-called “non-essential” services, barriers in stores, classrooms, and anywhere where two humans would, God forbid, face each other, disinfection of surfaces and hands continued—and I am sure that this is not an exhaustive list. Many of these behaviors continue to be practiced to this day.
While many arguments are raised to justify the necessity for the measures taken, there is one aspect that seems to be constantly either ignored (intentionally or unintentionally) or spoken of as an issue of lower priority: the human psychological impact that will be felt for several generations.
COVID-19 in context
Another difficulty regarding the response to the pandemic is putting COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths into their proper context. Realistically speaking, there remains plenty of confusion pertaining to the real number of deaths associated with COVID-19, and part of this stems from the ambiguous definitions applied by authorities such as the WHO (WHO, 2020) or CDC (National Center for Health Statistics, 2020). However, the WHO and CDC are clearly not solely to blame for the confusion, given how some deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 despite a clear lack of connection.
One noticeable source of confusion is the persistent choice of members of the media and of politicians to speak in terms of raw counts rather than percentages. Raw number counts mean very little, given that they can only be understood appropriately if a context is provided. For example, claiming that 100 people died means different things if you are addressing a small rural community with a population of 1,200 or a city of 120,000. In the context of other diseases, and not taking the intentionally ambiguous definitions mentioned above into consideration, COVID-19-related deaths have not, realistically speaking, been any more alarming than any other global disease. It therefore appears that news outlets and politicians present the raw numbers not to aid understanding, since it does not, but to put forward a more dramatic view of the disease.
In 2020, globally, 1.8 million people were reported to have died of COVID-19. However, global deaths from diarrheal disease was reported to be 1.7 million in 2016 (Troeger et al., 2018), while cardiovascular diseases claim 17.9 million lives a year. Last year abortion claimed 42.7 million lives while the first ten days of January 2021 alone claimed the life of 1.1 million unborn children globally.
Knowledge about COVID-19 and Potential Treatment
One might argue that COVID-19 is a far greater threat to life than diarrheal disease because we don’t know how to treat it. So what do we know?
As indicated earlier, COVID-19 is caused by a virus (SARS-CoV-2). Recovery rates have been reported as being between 97% and 99.75% (Nikhra, 2020) and most of the COVID-19 deaths are related to comorbidities, meaning that only 6% of deaths are solely attributable to COVID-19 alone. Comorbidities include hypertension, diabetes, and obesity (Petrilli et al., 2020; Richardson et al., 2020).
A look at the number of deaths in relation to confirmed cases—at both the global level and also within the United States—indicates that at the global level deaths account for 2.22% of those confirmed, or 0.03% of the world population. In the United States deaths account for 1.8% of those confirmed, or 0.16% of the US population (data accessed March 4, 2021).
Additionally, we do have potential ways of treating COVID-19 or minimizing its impact. These include hydroxychlorquine (Klimke et al., 2020) and chloroquine (Vincent et al., 2005), alone or in combination with antibiotics (Arshad et al., 2020) or antivirals (Wang et al., 2020), the use of zinc supplementation (McCullough et al., 2021) that has been shown to enhance the absorption of chloroquine (Xue et al., 2014), in addition to immune modulators and steroids that target the so-called cytokine storm that drives the inflammation (Recovery Collaborative Group et al., 2020; Vijayvargiya et al., 2020). Moreover, increasing evidence supports the protective role of vitamin D against COVID-19 (Bilezikian et al., 2020; Teshome et al., 2021), which makes the lockdowns—which prevent people from being outside in the sun, the major source of vitamin D—clearly nonsensical.
Additionally, there are practices that people can and should be utilizing to minimize risk of serious infection, including basic hygiene practices such as hand-washing (Alzyood et al., 2020) and appropriate nutrition (Zabetakis et al., 2020; Demasi, 2021; Greene et al., 2021)—practices that, realistically, should be common sense.
The Common Good? Lockdowns, Social Distancing, Quarantines, Masks, Vaccines, and Testing: The Psychosocial impact
Although it appears that many possible treatments have been ignored, that does not mean that actions haven’t been taken to slow the spread. Quite the contrary. However, many of the steps taken to address the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear rather questionable.
Firstly, from a statistical perspective as addressed earlier, given the low mortality rates (measured as Infection Fatality Ratio (IFR)), given the prognosis of most of those infected, given the abundance of potential methods of minimizing death in those infected, and given the potential common sense and non-stressful methods for minimizing the spread of infection, the measures imposed are disproportional to what the disease has shown itself to be.
Advocates of the Equality Act want you to think of it as a basic civil rights measure necessary to protect people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender from unjust discrimination. What it actually does is impose a radical ideology with sweeping implications on all Americans, including making it a form of unlawful discrimination to act on the belief – based on actual science – that maleness and femaleness are determined by biology rather than feelings, even in the way you raise your own children.
Consider the following scenario, rooted in the actual experiences of some parents.
Your 14-year-old daughter, who has never before questioned her gender identity, comes home from school one day declaring herself to be a boy after hearing a transgender teenager speak at a school assembly. She persists in her claims and demands cross-sex hormones, even though her experiments with a transgender identity seem more about winning peer approval in school and on social media than about any deep-seated discomfort with being female.Scenarios like this, which were unheard of a decade ago, are now increasingly common, particularly among adolescent girls. Abigail Shrier documents this in her disturbing new book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.”
You take a cautious approach. You delay allowing your daughter to begin taking powerful hormones or undergo surgeries that will irreversibly masculinize her appearance and eventually render her sterile. You also seek a therapist who won’t unquestioningly affirm her transgender identity, but will probe more deeply to see if underlying psychological or social issues might be the real cause of your daughter’s transgender identification (psychiatric comorbidities are high among those with gender dysphoria).
Enter the so-called Equality Act, or its so-called “compromise” bill, the Fairness for All Act. Both would imperil your right to protect your daughter from risky and unproven gender reassignment “treatments.” They would also make it even more difficult than it already is for all parents to prevent their children from falling prey to gender ideology.
Advocates of the Equality Act want you to think of it as a basic civil rights measure necessary to protect people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender from unjust discrimination. What it actually does is impose a radical ideology with sweeping implications on all Americans, including making it a form of unlawful discrimination to act on the belief – based on actual science – that maleness and femaleness are determined by biology rather than feelings, even in the way you raise your own children.The Fairness for All Act is no better. The only significant difference is that, unlike the Equality Act, which explicitly exempts itself from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Fairness for All carves out limited and insufficient religious exemptions. But it still elevates “sexual orientation and gender identity” to protected classes in the Civil Rights Act, defining adherence to biology (and to traditional understandings of marriage and sexuality) as bigotry, akin to the racist belief that blacks are inferior to whites.
Religious exemptions won’t do anything to help those whose objections are based on common sense, science or medical evidence rather than religion. And once the idea that objections to same-sex marriage or gender ideology are akin to racism becomes enshrined in law, religious freedom exemptions will offer extremely limited and short-lived protection.
Returning to our not-so-hypothetical case, if the Equality Act or the Fairness for All Act becomes law, you would not only find it difficult to protect your daughter from the irreversible harms of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, but your failure to unquestioningly affirm your daughter’s new identity and your refusal to consent to hormone treatment for her could be considered abusive or neglectful.
You would also have a hard time finding a therapist who supports your cautious approach because both of these bills would likely make it illegal for therapists to question a client’s transgender identification. Such an approach could be considered “conversion therapy,” which the activist group GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) defines as “any attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” Both bills outlaw “conversion therapy” as a form of discrimination.
The proposal will direct the Florida Department of Education to create the Florida Civic Seal of Excellence, a new professional endorsement for civics education. Teachers who complete the training will be eligible for a $3,000 bonus, DeSantis said. “Let me be clear: there’s no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory,” DeSantis said. “Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”
NAPLES, Fla. – Saying Florida needs to take the politicization out of its civics curriculum, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced a $106 million proposal to support civics literacy and civics education in public schools.
“Our schools are supposed to give people a foundation of knowledge, not supposed to be indoctrination centers, where you’re trying to push specific ideologies,” DeSantis said during a press conference in Naples.
The proposal will direct the Florida Department of Education to create the Florida Civic Seal of Excellence, a new professional endorsement for civics education. Teachers who complete the training will be eligible for a $3,000 bonus, DeSantis said.
“Let me be clear: there’s no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory,” DeSantis said. “Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”
Former President Donald Trump, who has received support from DeSantis, has also attacked critical race theory, calling it “toxic propaganda” that will “destroy our country” as he ordered all federal agencies to stop funding any training that “teaches or suggests” that the United States is a racist country.
Some experts have argued that critical race theory, “which presupposes that racism is embedded within society and institutions,” is not propaganda but instead is “a toolkit for examining and addressing racism and other forms of marginalization.”
The Biden administration is being criticized for policies critics say are muzzling the media along the southern border.
It’s only been roughly 60 days that Biden has been president and already his administration is an absolute joke.
While there’s plenty of things that have popped up during Biden’s term thus far, his humanitarian crisis at the border is definitely looking to be one of his biggest failures thus far.
It’s an absolute free-for-all at the U.S. Southern border with thousands upon thousands of undocumented immigrants flooding in, many of which are not getting tested for COVID-19.
I mean, the situation has become so dire, that even the media is giving Biden a hard time.
Like ABC, who hosted a segment on the border which absolutely eviscerated Biden’s disastrous policies, which have definitely contributed to the crisis.
Watch the video:
It’s absolutely shocking to hear the media talking this way about Biden.
Especially considering how they usually bend over backward to defend him on literally any issue.
Of course, you can’t blame them for their frustrations considering that Biden has given the press and photojournalists zero access at the border.
This is an absolute disaster.
Anyone who thinks this isn’t a total PR disaster for the Biden administration needs to have their vision checked because you can tell just by looking at this for a few seconds that it’s a complete disaster.
Things are starting to get really crazy out there. In recent interviews, I have used the term “stability” to describe the current state of affairs, and some people may think that is quite strange. But I stand by that assessment. In the short-term, we have experienced a period of relative stability over the last couple of months, but of course that will soon change. I believe that global events will soon greatly accelerate, and much chaos is on the horizon. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that nothing of importance is happening at the moment. In fact, the following are 7 plagues that are hitting our planet right now…
#1 A Plague Of Millions Of Rats In Australia
Could you imagine having so many rats infesting your community that it is literally impossible to ever get away from the smell? Right now, millions upon millions of rats are making lives miserable for countless residents of Australia, and in some instances it is literally taking hours just to clean up all of the poop that they leave behind…
Mice in the cabinets. Mice in the streets. Thousands upon thousands of mice in the barn, pooing so much it takes six hours to clean up their waste.
These are scenes from Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, where an out-of-control mouse infestation is making life miserable for farmers, grocers and other citizens of the eastern Australian states.
Needless to say, it isn’t just poop that is the problem. At this point, many farmers in Australia “have already lost entire grain harvests to the rampaging mice”…
Some farmers have already lost entire grain harvests to the rampaging mice, according to local media reports, while hotels have had to close because they can’t keep the critters out of the rooms. Staff at a grocery store in a small town northwest of Sydney reported catching as many as 600 mice a night.
#2 Large Earthquakes
According to the USGS, usually we get about 15 earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater each year…
According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 16 major earthquakes in any given year. That includes 15 earthquakes in the magnitude 7 range and one earthquake magnitude 8.0 or greater.
So far in 2021, we have already had 7 that are magnitude 7.0 or greater, and that includes a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that just shook Japan…
A 7.0 preliminary magnitude earthquake has struck Japan off the coast of Ishinomaki, a city located just 65 miles (104 km) from Fukushima, the site of a devastating 9.0 magnitude quake 10 years ago.
Latest information from USGS shows the earthquake has a depth of 54 kilometers (34 miles). CNN teams in Tokyo felt the tremor.
#3 Volcanoes Are Roaring To Life All Over The Globe
The Fagradals Mountain volcano in southwest Iceland had been dormant for 6,000 years. But on Friday night, following weeks of earthquakes in the area, the volcano came to life.
The eruption is the first that the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the volcano is located, has experienced in 781 years.
Video of the eruption show the bright lava oozing out of the earth, lighting up an otherwise stark dark night.
#4 The “Megadrought” In The Southwestern United States
Earlier this month, I wrote an entire article about the megadrought in the Southwest entitled “You Were Warned That Dust Bowl Conditions Would Return, And Now It Has Happened”.
Well, this drought just continues to get even worse. In fact, NBC News is telling us that there is “little hope for relief”any time soon…
With nearly two-thirds of the United States abnormally dry or worse, the government’s spring forecast offers little hope for relief, especially in the West where a devastating megadrought has taken root and worsened.
Weather service and agriculture officials warned of possible water use cutbacks in California and the Southwest, increased wildfires, low levels in key reservoirs such as Lake Mead and Lake Powell and damage to wheat crops.
#5 Armies Of Locusts In Africa And The Middle East
In 2020, giant armies of locusts the size of major cites relentlessly marched across parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Millions of farmers had their crops wiped out, and experts told us that it was unlike anything they had ever seen before.
That was only supposed to be a one year plague, but now it is happening again…
A single locust swarm can contain up to 80 million locusts and fly 30 to 80 miles in one day depending on the wind. By the time, spraying planes arrived at the WhatsApp coordinates the next day, it was often too late.
The locusts had warmed up in the morning sun and moved off into the wilderness, laying millions of eggs. Every day, each locust can eat its weight in vegetation daily and multiplies twenty-fold every three months. A swarm can easily eat as much food as 35,000 people in a single day and multiple two dozen times in three months.
#6 H5N8 Bird Flu In Russia
When cases of H5N8 bird flu started to pop up in Russia, many experts started to become extremely concerned that it could start being transmitted from human to human.
Because if it starts spreading widely among humans, the percentage of victims that will die will be far higher than for COVID.
Unfortunately, one of the top experts in Russia says that there is “a fairly high degree of probability” that it is now being passed from one person to another…
A mutating strain of bird flu that has emerged in Russia has “a fairly high degree of probability” of human-to-human transmission, the head of the country’s health watchdog warned in a report.
Anna Popova, who heads Rospotrebnadzor, made the worrying prediction almost a month after scientists detected the first case of H5N8 transmission to humans at a southern Russia poultry farm, the Moscow Times reported.
#7 The COVID Pandemic
Even though people are being vaccinated at a feverish pace all over the globe, the number of confirmed cases in Brazil is higher than ever before and experts are telling us that a “fourth wave” has begun in Europe.
Could it be possible that the vaccines are not going to be the “saviors” that so many people were anticipating?
At this point, more than 2.7 million victims have already died from COVID, and more are passing away every single day.
But even though so many bad things have already happened, if you are familiar with my new book then you already know that I believe that what is on the horizon is going to be much worse.
We live at a time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and what we have experienced so far is just the beginning.
So buckle up and get ready for a bumpy ride, because things certainly aren’t going to be getting any easier.
Many conservative elites know that cultural resentment has the potential to take the Republican Party in an ugly direction. That’s why so many of them cling to the alternative explanation: “It wasn’t racism or misogyny that was motivating Trump voters! It was righteous anger that their government hasn’t done more to protect them from the ravages of globalization!” In reality, to the extent that the Trump coalition was unified and energized by anything, survey data suggest that it was cultural issues, not economic ones.
If there’s one thing the “post-liberal” conservatives can agree on, it’s that 2016 should have been a wake-up call for the Republican Party. According to the new conventional wisdom within the conservative movement, Donald Trump’s shocking electoral victory four years ago represented a blue-collar economic revolt against GOP elites, who had lost touch with their base. Rural and small-town Americans, disillusioned with the globally integrated modern economy, were desperate for a hand up. Trump alone noticed, and they rewarded him with their energetic support.
These basic assumptions undergird a push by many conservative commentators—and a concomitant pivot by a number of Republican officials—to reimagine the GOP as the party of workers, comfortable with much more direct government intervention into the economy than ever before. As Sen. Marco Rubio put it in a 2019 speech, “Our challenge is an economic order that is bad for America.” And David Brooks wrote last year that “over the long term, some version of Working-Class Republicanism will redefine the G.O.P.”
The post-liberals take great satisfaction in labeling the libertarian economic agenda of open trade, low taxes, and deregulation with sneering epithets like “zombie Reaganism” and “market fundamentalism.” They are persuaded that voters overwhelmingly share their disdain for the free-market economic regime. The empirical evidence for that belief, though, has always been thinner than they appreciate. To the extent that the Trump coalition was unified and energized by anything, survey data suggest that it was cultural issues, not economic ones.
To the extent that the Trump coalition was unified and energized by anything, survey data suggest that it was cultural issues, not economic ones.
A New Nationalism Emerges
In an August 2020 essay for The New York Times, Brooks explored three possible paths forward for Republicans. Notably, he insisted that each option begins with the Trumpian presumptions that “the free market is not working well” and “economic libertarianism is not the answer.” He’s not alone. Both money and attention have been lining up behind a new conservative nationalist element in the last few years. In July 2019, a multi-day conference convened in Washington, D.C., to hash out a better conservative economic program. As I reported at the time:
Practically speaking, the nationalist agenda is largely focused on the need for a federal “industrial policy.” For Breitbart’s John Carney, that means tariffs, and lots of them. Americans need to be willing to pay higher prices to protect the jobs of their fellow citizens, according to [activist David] Brog. For American Affairs founder Julius Krein, “protectionism is not sufficient. . . . It’s not radical enough.” The Manhattan Institute’s Oren Cass laid out a plan involving research and development subsidies, infrastructure investments, preferential tax rates for favored firms, punitive taxes on companies that move jobs overseas, “trade enforcement” to make other countries play according to our rules, and more. “We should have a National Institutes of Manufacturing just as we have a National Institutes of Health,” he said.
It’s true, of course, that President Trump was a free trader’s nightmare, surrounding himself with radical protectionists and slapping import levies on goods not just from China but from many of our closest allies, often with devastating effects. He also embraced a sort of economic strongmanism in which a president may dictate business decisions to private companies and use the full arsenal of federal powers to compel their submission. You know, for the common good. All of this is pretty far from the libertarian economic ideal.
At the same time, the Trump years saw one of the largest tax cuts in American history, alongside some noteworthy efforts to roll back the federal regulatory burden—two archetypically Reaganite policy moves. More to the point, these years also saw mixed support—at best—for top-down management of the economy.
Polls Show Broad Support for Free Enterprise
The new economic nationalists posit that, to remain competitive, the Republican Party must learn from 2016 and jettison its crippling commitment to economic libertarianism. Yet public polling suggests that America is still a country of people who broadly support free enterprise. In the fall of 2019, Gallup found that just 28 percent of Americans (and just 7 percent of GOPers) think there is too little government regulation of business and industry. But a desire for greater oversight of market actors—stronger fetters, if you will—is at the core of the nationalist alternative that people like Cass are articulating.
Pollsters also found support for foreign trade increasing over the course of the Trump presidency. According to Pew Research Center, the proportion of Americans who thought free trade agreements have been a good thing for the country jumped from 45 percent in 2016 to 65 percent in 2019. According to Gallup, 58 percent of Americans said in February 2016 that free trade represented an opportunity for increased economic growth, compared to 34 percent who saw it as a threat to the American economy. Three years later, 74 percent said it was an opportunity (a 16-percentage-point increase), compared to 21 percent who saw it as a threat (a 13-percentage-point decline).
These numbers all predate the COVID-19 crisis. Amid a once-in-a-century event, it should come as no surprise that support for emergency spending would be sky-high across the board—and so it is. Still, recent data reinforce the supposition that something other than broad disapproval of limited government and free market capitalism animates today’s Republican coalition. A January surveycommissioned by the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) found that only 35 percent of 2020 Trump voters thought the United States should reduce trade with foreign countries. Meanwhile, 93 percent agreed that “government doesn’t create wealth; people and businesses do.” Again, these figures are among self-identifying Trump supporters. Ask yourself: Does this sound like a cohort mobilized primarily by disgust with “zombie Reaganism”?
While the evidence is mostly anecdotal at this point, it has even been posited—including in the left-wing Mother Jones—that the Democratic Party’s socialist turn explains the unexpected gains for Trump in places like South Florida last year. Where there are sizeable pockets of immigrants from countries with less-than-rosy experiences of state-controlled economic systems, people may have shifted toward Trump out of a last-ditch desire for relatively more economic freedom.
Where there are sizeable pockets of immigrants from countries with less-than-rosy experiences of state-controlled economic systems, people may have shifted toward Trump out of a last-ditch desire for relatively more economic freedom.
Cultural Anxieties Are the Real Driver
There was always good reason to suspect that cultural anxieties, far more than economic anxieties, were driving support for Trump. His success was indeed evidence of a backlash. But voters, rather than retaliating against supposedly stale GOP talking points on NAFTA, likely were acting on something more primal: a strong feeling that people like them are under attack from powerful cultural institutions in America. Under such conditions, it is tempting to conclude that extreme medicine is warranted.
This sense of being besieged is epitomized by two issue categories that every journalist and congressional staffer knows garner disproportionate, and disproportionately passionate, attention from the public: the perceived dual threats of runaway political correctness and legal assaults on religious liberty.
Immediately following the 2016 election, my colleague Robby Soave drew attention to the former phenomenon. “Ever since Donald Trump became a serious threat to win the GOP presidential primaries,” he wrote, “I have warned that a lot of people, both on campus and off it, were furiousabout political-correctness-run-amok—so furious that they would give power to any man who stood in opposition to it.” Soave acknowledged the phrase is difficult define but argued that “the segment of the electorate who flocked to Trump because he positioned himself as ‘an icon of irreverent resistance to political correctness’ think it means this: smug, entitled, elitist, privileged leftists jumping down the throats of ordinary folks who aren’t up-to-date on the latest requirements of progressive society.”
On the religious liberty front, I too speak from experience. After four years of writing about the Obama administration’s efforts to make evangelical Christian colleges pay for their employees’ birth control, state and city governments’ efforts to forbid wedding vendors from opting out of same-sex marriage celebrations, and the ACLU’s efforts to force Catholic hospitals to provide elective abortions and gender transition services, I had no trouble understanding why conservative voters might feel radicalized, even if I reacted with equal horror to the man they appointed to do something about it.
Last month’s EPPC poll bears this theory out. While a mere 2 percent of Trump voters thought the federal government was too small, 89 percent said “Christianity is under attack in America today.” 90 percent said “Americans are losing faith in the ideas that make our country great.” And 92 percent said “the mainstream media today is just a part of the Democratic Party.” Only 20 percent agreed that “white people have an advantage in today’s America because of their skin color,” while a staggering 87 percent were worried that “discrimination against whites will increase a lot in the next few years.”
Here, not on economic questions, is the overwhelming consensus. Many Republicans—and even some non-Republicans—feel that people who look like them and believe what they do have been unjustly branded as enemies by Hollywood, academia, the mainstream media, and the tech sector. More than a few of them are prepared to strike back in any way they can.
A quick aside: It’s clear that most Trump supporters are highly skeptical of immigration. The EPPC poll found, for instance, that 86 percent support building a wall on America’s southern border, 89 percent support a federal requirement that employers verify their workers are here legally, and 65 percent think the United States should reduce the number of people it allows to come here from abroad. What’s less clear is the extent to which these views are rooted in cultural concerns (e.g., a fear that white Americans are being replaced by ethnic minorities) or economic ones (e.g., a fear that an influx of workers are driving down wages). Although I suspect the latter concerns are often used as cover for the former, the data are not particularly clear on this point.
Voters, rather than retaliating against supposedly stale GOP talking points on NAFTA, likely were acting on something more primal: a strong feeling that people like them are under attack from powerful cultural institutions in America.
Against Grievance Politics
History books are full of reasons to be exceedingly nervous when identity-based grievance politics find a foothold in your country. This is no less true when it happens on the right, among “regular folks,” than when it happens on the left, among “historically disadvantaged groups.” It’s also just as true when, as is virtually always the case, there’s some validity to the underlying grievance.
I think many conservative elites know that cultural resentment has the potential to take the Republican Party in an ugly direction. That’s why so many of them cling to the alternative explanation: It wasn’t racism or misogyny that was motivating Trump voters! It was righteous anger that their government hasn’t done more to protect them from the ravages of globalization!
Brooks and Cass and the other new conservative nationalists are trying to offer a constructive policy agenda that reflects this alternative story. But in doing so, they’re building on a foundation of sand. The data just don’t support the idea that most Republicans reject free markets or free trade. And the further the GOP moves in a big-government, economically interventionist direction, the more it risks losing fusionists like me.
If the 2016 election was a wake-up call, it was for the left, not the right—a warning to the Democratic Party that dabblings in socialism and critical theory are suited to college dorm rooms, not the national political stage. We saw in 2016 that pushing past the electoral center of gravity will provoke a backlash you probably won’t much like.
Now that I think of it, that might be a lesson both sides need to hear.
Faith Is Linked with Hope
1 Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 5:5; Hebrews 10:23; 11:1; 1 Peter 1:21
As your faith is, such your hope will be. Hope is never ill when faith is well, nor strong if faith be weak.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
God Arranged the Fall of the First Man
Romans 8:28–30; 9:11; Ephesians 1:3–6
The decree, I admit, is dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree.… Nor ought it to seem absurd when I say that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure arranged it. For as it belongs to his wisdom to foreknow all future events, so it belongs to his power to rule and govern them by his hand.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
1:17 All things refers to everything created (v. 16). The preposition before most likely is a temporal reference to the preexistence of Christ before creation. The phrase by him all things hold together presents Christ as the one who sustains all creation.
1:17 A strong restatement of the temporal priority and universal significance of Christ, this verse makes explicit what was implicit in v. 16: Christ existed before all creation. He is Himself not created. Nor can it be said, as followers of Arius (c. a.d. 250–336) later maintained, that “there was a time when he was not.” The thought that Jesus is the moment-by-moment sustainer and unifying power of the universe is echoed in Heb. 1:2, 3.
1:17 in him all things hold together. Christ continually sustains his creation, preventing it from falling into chaos or disintegrating (cf. Heb. 1:3).
1:17 He is before all things. When the universe had its beginning, Christ already existed, thus by definition He must be eternal (Mic 5:2; Jn 1:1, 2; 8:58; 1Jn 1:1; Rev 22:13). hold together. Christ sustains the universe, maintaining the power and balance necessary to life’s existence and continuity (cf. Heb 1:3).
1:17 before all things: Both in time and in supremacy. Because of Christ’s supreme authority and oversight, all things consist (hold together).
1:17 He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. Paul says, “He is before all things,” not “He was before all things.” The present tense is often used in the Bible to describe the timelessness of Deity. The Lord Jesus said, for instance: “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58).
Not only did the Lord Jesus exist before there was any creation, but also in Him all things consist. This means that He is the Sustainer of the universe and the Source of its perpetual motion. He controls the stars and the sun and the moon. Even while He was here on earth He was the One who was controlling the laws by which our universe functions in an orderly manner.
17 Because Jesus exists before all things, one could not rightly say, as the second-century. heretic Arius did: ‘There was once when he was not’. As the pre-existent one (Jn. 8:58) Jesus is Lord of the universe. The emphatic he corresponds to the solemn ‘I’ of the OT which refers to Yahweh, the Lord himself. In him all things hold together. The whole of creation is established permanently in him alone. He is the sustainer of the universe and the unifying principle of its life. Apart from his continuous sustaining activity (indicated by the tense of the Greek verb) all would fall apart (cf. Heb. 1:2–3). Although there are similarities with the language of Stoicism here, Paul’s statement is different from the all-embracing world-soul of the Stoics. All men and women, whether they recognize it or not, are totally indebted to the Lord Jesus as Creator and Sustainer. For not only has he made every person who enters the world; he also sustains their lives daily, giving life and breath to each one. Those who are ‘in Christ’, and therefore know him in a personal way, should express their gratitude to him as Creator and Sustainer by living godly lives. Those who have not honoured him or given him thanks (Rom. 1:21) are urged to repent and turn to him in faith.
1:17. Jesus is eternally existent (an attribute that can only be true of God) because he is before all things. Jesus is also the powerful sustainer of the universe. Because of him all things hold together. His power guarantees that the universe is under control and not chaotic.
© 1:17 “He is before all things” There has never been a time when Jesus was not! Jesus is preexistent deity (cf. John 1:1–2; 8:58; 17:5, 24; Phil. 2:6–7; Heb. 10:5–7)! Notice the emphatic use of “He” (autos) in vv. 17 and 18, “He, Himself, is before all things” and “He, Himself, is head of the body”!
|NASB, NRSV, NJB
|“in Him all things hold together”
|“in Him all things consist”
|“in union with him all things have their proper place”
This is a PERFECT ACTIVE INDICATIVE of the “syn” compound “to stand with” (sunistēmi) which implies “to continue, to endure, or to exist.”
This is the doctrine of providence (cf. Heb. 1:3) and it is personal! “All things” refers to creation—material and spiritual. Jesus is the sustainer as well as creator of all things. In the OT these functions describe the work of Elohim (God).
17. Now if all things have been created through him and with a view to him (verse 16), it stands to reason that he preceded all created beings in time. In fact, “there never was a time when he was not.” He was “begotten of the Father before all worlds” (Nicene Creed). Accordingly, the “hymn” continues, And he is before all things. He is, accordingly, the Forerunner. The doctrine of Christ’s pre-existence from eternity is taught or implied in such passages as John 1:1; 8:58; 17:5; 2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:6; Rev. 22:13. He is indeed the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. And this temporal priority in turn suggests pre-eminence and majesty in relation to all creatures: And all things hold together in him. The central position of Christ is defended here over against those who rejected it. The One with reference to whom, through whom, and with a view to whom all things were created is also the One who maintains them. The unity, order, and adaptation evident in all of nature and history can be traced to the Upholder or Sustainer of all (cf. Heb. 1:1–3).
All things hold together; that is, they continue and cohere.
There is, accordingly, unity and purpose in all of Nature and History. The world is not a chaos but a cosmos. It is an orderly universe, a system. This, to be sure, does not always appear on the surface. Nature seems to be “raw in tooth and claw,” without harmony and order. Yet, a closer look soon indicates a basic plan. There is adaptation everywhere. For their perpetuation certain plants need certain definite insects. These insects are present, and so wondrously constructed that they can perform their function. The polar bear is able to live where there is ice and snow. It is kept from slipping on the ice by having fur even on the soles of its feet. The yucca plant can live in the hot, dry desert because not only does it have roots reaching down deeply into the soil for water but also leaves so formed that evaporation is very slow. Our lungs are adapted to the air we breathe, and our eyes to the light by which we see. Everywhere there is coherence.
This is true also in the daily events of History. Here, too, things are not as they seem. Often Confusion seems to be rampant. A Guiding Hand is nowhere visible. Instead, we hear the cry of battle, the shriek of anguish. The newspapers, moreover, are filled with accounts of burglary, murder, rape, and race-clash. If we compare the wheel of the universe to a machine, we might say that its gear-teeth seem not to mesh. To be sure, one day in the far-flung future, all will be harmony: the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.… They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:6–9). But that time has not yet arrived. All is chaos now. But is it really? Should we not rather compare our world to a weaving, whose underside forms no intelligible pattern, but whose upperside reveals beauty and design? Or to an international airfield? Though its planes, constantly coming and going, make us dizzy, so that we expect a collision any moment, we need not really hold our breath, for the man in the control-tower directs each take-off and landing. Thus, too, all creatures in all their movements throughout history are being held together. And that which holds them together is not Chance or Fate or the laws of Nature or even the “nine orbs, or rather globes” of Scipio’s Dream. On the contrary, “all things hold together in him.” It is the Son of God’s love who holds in his almighty hands the reins of the universe and never even for one moment lets them slip out of his grasp (cf. Rev. chs. 4 and 5). Though the man of flesh regards this as so much pious twaddle, the man of faith proclaims with the inspired author of the Hebrews, “Now we see not yet all things subjected to him. But we behold … Jesus … crowned with glory and honor” (2:9). The believer knows that while the rule of Christ has not been established in every human heart, the over-rule is an actual fact even now (Rom. 8:28; cf. N.T.C. on Phil. 1:12). And at the sea of crystal the Church Triumphant will forever praise and glorify God for his mighty works and ways (Rev. 15:1–4).
Summarizing, the hymn has shown that with respect to all creatures, Christ is Firstborn (verse 15), Point of Reference, Agent, Goal (verse 16), Forerunner, and Sustainer—Governor (verse 17).
Ver. 17. By Him all things consist. That is, Christ upholds, rules, and governs all things by His providence, as is shown elsewhere (Heb. 1:2, 3; Prov. 8:15; John 5:12). Christ is not like a carpenter that makes his house and then leaves it, or like a shipwright that frames his ship and never guides it.
- All things are said to consist in Him in respect of 1. Conservation: in that He keeps all things in their being. 2. Precept: in that from Him are prescribed the laws by which nature, policy, and religion are governed. 3. Operation: in that all things move in Him. 4. His position of means to end. 5. As the universal cause of nature and natural instincts in all creatures, by which they further their own preservation.
- In Him all things consist. 1. As He is God—(1) In respect of ubiquity; He comprehends all things, and is comprehended of nothing. The nations are but a drop of His bucket, and time but a drop of His eternity. (2) In respect of power; in that this whole frame stirreth. (3) In respect of omniscience and wisdom, for all is within His knowledge, and receiveth order from His wisdom. (4) In respect of decree, for the world to be made did from everlasting hang in the foreknowledge and pre-ordination of Christ. 2. As He is Redeemer. All things consist in Him—(1) Because He is that atonement which kept the world from being dissolved. (2) Because the respect of Him and His Church is that which keeps up the world to this day. Were His body complete the world could not stand one hour. (3) Because the promise made to man concerning His prosperity in the use of all creatures is made in Christ.
III. In Him all things consist. Which word notes—1. Order. By an excellent order the creatures agree together in a glorious frame; for God is the God of order, not of confusion. (1) But are there not many evils in the world? (a) There may be order in respect of God, though not in respect of us. (b) It follows not that there is no order because we see none (Rom. 11:33). (c) Many of the reasons of human misery are revealed—sin entailing punishment. (d) There may be order in respect of the whole, though not in respect of every part. (2) But there are many sins in the world, and those consist not in Christ, neither tend they to order. (a) These are restrained by Christ. (b) Work out His purposes. 2. Continuance. The world, men, and lower creatures, &c., are maintained in being by Christ, 3. Co-operation. By the providence of Christ all things work together. (1) For Christ’s glory; (2) for His people’s good. 4. Immortality. Uses—1. For reproof of men’s security in sin. Seeing that all things consist in Christ, they cannot stir but He seeth them. 2. It should teach us to trust in Christ, not in second causes. 3. If all things consist in Christ, then much more are the righteous preserved with a special preservation. (N. Byfield.)
All things exist in Christ:—All things stand together in Him as the causal and conditional sphere of their continued existence. In Him they live and move and have their being, and in Him the sustentation or upholding of the universe rests. How wondrous, then, the glory and power of the Son of God! Without Him the sun would not shine, nor the seasons revolve; without Him the rain would not descend, nor the rivers run, nor the trees grow, nor the oceans ebb and flow. His power is necessary to summer and winter, seed time and harvest, to earth and sky. He upholdeth all things by the word of His power, and without Him creation would collapse. Every province of the empire of immensity, with all its contents of life, force, and motion, depends on Him. The intellect of angels reflects His light, the fire of seraphs is the glow of His love, the energy of our own souls is an evidence of His beneficence and skill. In Him all things consist—the power of their support, the primal centre of their order, the rule of their operation. This is the Being in whom we have redemption. What sublimity His greatness sheds around the gospel! What moral richness His gospel throws around nature and humanity! How lofty should be our adoration, how strong our confidence, how warm our love, how complete our submission! (J. Spence, D.D.)
17. Paul now sums up his statement of Christ as the intermediary of creation, before setting in parallel to this the fact of his work in the new creation. He (niv omits the ‘and’ at the start of the line, thus losing the exact parallel with 18a) is before all things, and in him all things hold together. ‘Before’, like ‘firstborn’ earlier, is ambiguous, and probably refers again to primacy of both time and rank. The second clause, asserting that the world is now sustained and upheld by Christ, transfers to him one more aspect of ‘wisdom’ thought (see Wisdom 1:7; Ecclus. 43:26; and in the NT cf. Heb. 1:3). The verb, again, is in the perfect, indicating that ‘everything’ has held together in him and continues to do so. Through him the world is sustained, prevented from falling into chaos. No creature is autonomous. All are God’s servants (Ps. 119:91) and dependents (Ps. 104).
17. All things were created by him, and for him. He places angels in subjection to Christ, that they may not obscure his glory, for four reasons: In the first place, because they were created by him; secondly, because their creation ought to be viewed as having a relation to him, as their legitimate end; thirdly, because he himself existed always, prior to their creation; fourthly, because he sustains them by his power, and upholds them in their condition. At the same time, he does not affirm this merely as to angels, but also as to the whole world. Thus he places the Son of God in the highest seat of honour, that he may have the pre-eminence over angels as well as men, and may bring under control all creatures in heaven and in earth.
1:17 / The phrase he is before all things reaffirms some of the things that Paul has already said about Christ. But the new thought is that, in him all things hold together. The Greek word synestēken here connotes preservation or coherence. Thus the Lord who creates the universe also sustains it.
The glory of Christ’s pre-existence (v. 17)
This verse speaks of Jesus Christ’s dignity: ‘He is before all things and in him all things consist’. Jesus was not part of Creation but he was before it. The Nicene Creed (A.D. 325) says ‘there never was a time when he was not’. The doctrine of the pre-existence of Christ from eternity is taught in several places (John 1:1; 8:58; 17:5; 2 Cor. 8:9). He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last (Rev. 22:13). He did not pre-exist in human form but became man at the Incarnation (Phil. 2:6–8). Everything is held together and sustained by him (Heb. 1:1–3). Through him the cosmos is prevented from falling into chaos and the principle of coherence (unity) is found in him.
17 With the glories of the Son as Creator—eikōn and prōtotokos—now spelled out in vv. 15–16, the hymn’s author recapitulates the whole in one simple sentence: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (1:17). Two claims are made, involving the Son’s temporal, hierarchical superiority and his life-enabling sustenance of “all things.” This verse emphasizes what has been said by repetition of vv. 15–16. There are but two concerns for the exegete: the meaning of “before” and the nuances of “hold together.”
Some scholars see here a focus on temporal priority: “he was before all in time.” But in light of what has been said in vv. 15–16, the superiority of the Son is complex: temporal, hierarchical, and ontological. The more correct rendering then is “above all.” Evidence for this understanding can be found in the hierarchical nuance of pro in Jas 5:12; 1 Pet 4:8, but even more at Col 1:15, 18, where the Son is given an all-encompassing preeminence. The problem with “above” as a translation is that it erases the temporal priority, but both are involved: the Son is superior in temporal priority as the preexistent one, and he is hierarchically superior in ontology.
All of this content is tied into one verb in the perfect tense, a tense (as we have indicated already) that is used by authors to depict hyperpresence: the Son is depicted right now in front of our very eyes as sustaining life, holding all things together by virtue of his temporal priority and hierarchical superiority. Because he is before all and above all, he can sustain life for all things. In fact, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews says that the “Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (1:3). Once again, the work of Christ sustaining all things occurs “in him” (see notes at 1:2). As Harris puts it, “What Christ has created he maintains in permanent order, stability, and productivity.”
Paul’s language and terms trade in the language of the Hellenistic Jewish wisdom tradition much more than in Stoicism or later gnostic thinking. Wisdom had temporal, creational priority (Sir 1:4), and the Logos sustained all of creation (Sir 43:26; Wis 1:7); though the Greek terms are not identical, the evidence suggests we are in the same world of thought:
Wisdom was created before all other things,
and prudent understanding from eternity. (Sir 1:4)
Because of him each of his messengers succeeds,
and by his word all things hold together. (Sir 43:26)
Because the spirit of the Lord has filled the world,
and that which holds all things together knows what is said. (Wis 1:7)
However much the language reveals a connection with the Jewish wisdom tradition, the startling fact remains that Paul sees cosmic, universal unity, not in an idea or personification (Word, Wisdom), but in a person. And not just a person, but one who had recently been crucified at the hands of Rome but raised from the dead by God. The language may be culturally connected, but the theology at work is remarkably bold.
17 The teaching of vv. 15 and 16 is now recapitulated in a twofold reaffirmation of the preexistence and cosmic significance of Christ: “he is indeed before all things, and they all cohere in him.” “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” says Genesis; but in that beginning, says John, which was the beginning of all created things, the divine Word already existed (John 1:1). No matter how far back our imagination may press, we can never reach a point of which we may say, with Arius, “there was once when he was not.” For he is “before all things”124—a phrase which not only declares his temporal priority to the universe but also suggests his superiority over it (as the title “firstborn” has already implied).
As for the statement that all things cohere or hold together in him, this adds something to what has been said about his agency in creation. What has been brought into being through him is maintained in being by him. Similarly, in Heb. 1:2–3 the Son of God is not only the one through whom the worlds were made but also the one who upholds them by his almighty and enabling word. The Greek verb translated “cohere” is found as a Platonic and Stoic term: according to Philo, the material of the human body “coheres and is quickened as into flame by the providence of God.” Ben Sira affirms that by the word of God “all things hold together” (Sir. 43:26). But for Paul the living Christ, who died to redeem his people, is the sustainer of the universe and the unifying principle of its life.
17 The assertion that Christ is the “firstborn over all creation” (1:15b) is reinforced in the statement “he is before all things.” Once again, while temporal overtones may well be intended here, as in 1:15b, the claim that Christ is before all things serves to emphasize Christ’s supremacy and not solely or even primarily his temporal priority (so Caird, 179). That being said, even though 1:17a affirms and underscores the present lordship of Christ (note the present tense verb estin, “is”), it does not deny and could well imply that the One who is before all things was (and forevermore will be) before all things. In fact, Lightfoot, 155, has suggested that the “he is” here corresponds precisely to the “I am” of John 8:58.
This “hymn” not only celebrates Christ as the agent of and Lord over creation; it also proclaims his guardianship over all things. Bruce, 65, notes, “What has been brought into being through him is maintained in being by him.” Paul does not portray Christ as a distant deity away on an extended holiday; rather, he presents and praises an ever-present Power who has held and continues to hold the created order together. (Note the perfect tense of the verb synistēmi, “hold together,” GK 5319.) The cosmos (and all who inhabit it) owes its existence, coherence, and continuance to Christ (cf. Ac 17:28; Ro 11:36). Additionally, as the second strophe of this “poem” will pronounce, the One who holds all things together is the very One who placed all things together through his reconciling work on the cross (v. 20).
Jesus Christ in Relation to the Universe
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (1:16–17)
Paul gives three reasons for Jesus’ primacy over creation. First, He is the Creator. The false teachers at Colossae viewed Jesus as the first and most important of the emanations from God, but they were convinced it had to be a lesser being much further down the chain who eventually created the material universe. But Paul rejects that blasphemy, insisting that by Him all things were created. That truth is affirmed by the apostle John (John 1:3) and the writer of Hebrews (Heb. 1:2). Because the Colossian errorists viewed matter as evil, they argued that neither the good God nor a good emanation could have created it. But Paul maintains that Jesus made all things, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible. He refutes the false philosophic dualism of the Colossian heresy. Jesus is God, and He created the material universe.
By studying the creation, one can gain a glimpse of the power, knowledge, and wisdom of the Creator. The sheer size of the universe is staggering. The sun, for example, has a diameter of 864,000 miles (one hundred times that of earth’s) and could hold 1.3 million planets the size of earth inside it. The star Betelgeuse, however, has a diameter of 100 million miles, which is larger than the earth’s orbit around the sun. It takes sunlight, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, about 8.5 minutes to reach earth. Yet that same light would take more than four years to reach the nearest star, Alpha Centauri, some 24 trillion miles from earth. The galaxy to which our sun belongs, the Milky Way, contains hundreds of billions of stars. And astronomers estimate there are millions, or even billions of galaxies. What they can see leads them to estimate the number of stars in the universe at 1025. That is roughly the number of all the grains of sand on all the world’s beaches.
The universe also bears witness to the tremendous wisdom and knowledge of its Creator. Scientists now speak of the Anthropic Principle, “which states that the universe appears to be carefully designed for the well-being of mankind” (Donald B. DeYoung, “Design in Nature: The Anthropic Principle,” Impact, no. 149 [November 1985]: p. ii). A change in the rate of Earth’s rotation around the sun or on its axis would be catastrophic. The Earth would become either too hot or too cold to support life. If the moon were much nearer to the Earth, huge tides would inundate the continents. A change in the composition of the gases that make up our atmosphere would also be fatal to life. A slight change in the mass of the proton would result in the dissolution of hydrogen atoms. That would result in the destruction of the universe, because hydrogen is its dominant element.
The creation gives mute testimony to the intelligence of its Creator. Max Planck, winner of the Nobel Prize and one of the founders of modern physics, wrote, “According to everything taught by the exact sciences about the immense realm of nature, a certain order prevails—one independent of the human mind … this order can be formulated in terms of purposeful activity. There is evidence of an intelligent order of the universe to which both man and nature are subservient” (cited in DeYoung, “Design in Nature,” p. iii). It is no wonder that the psalmist wrote, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world” (Ps. 19:1–4).
The testimony of nature to its Creator is so clear that it is only through willful unbelief that men can reject it. Paul writes in Romans 1:20, “Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” Like those who deny Christ’s deity, those who reject Him as Creator give evidence of a mind darkened by sin and blinded by Satan.
Jesus also has primacy over the creation because He is before all things. When the universe began, He already existed (John 1:1–2; 1 John 1:1). He told the Jews in John 8:58, “Before Abraham was born, I am” (not “I was”). He is saying that He is Yahweh, the eternally existing God. The prophet Micah said of Him, “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Mic. 5:2). Revelation 22:13 describes Him as “the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” As was previously mentioned, anyone existing before time began at the creation is eternal. And only God is eternal.
A third reason for Jesus’ primacy over creation is that in Him all things hold together. Not only did Jesus create the universe, He also sustains it. He maintains the delicate balance necessary to life’s existence. He quite literally holds all things together. He is the power behind every consistency in the universe. He is gravity and centrifugal and centripetal force. He is the One who keeps all the entities in space in their motion. He is the energy of the universe. In his book The Atom Speaks, D. Lee Chesnut describes the puzzle of why the nucleus of the atom holds together:
Consider the dilemma of the nuclear physicist when he finally looks in utter amazement at the pattern he had now drawn of the oxygen nucleus.… For here are eight positively charged protons closely associated together within the confines of this tiny nucleus. With them are eight neutrons—a total of sixteen particles—eight positively charged, eight with no charge.
Earlier physicists had discovered that like charges of electricity and like magnetic poles repel each other, and unlike charges or magnetic poles attract each other. And the entire history of electrical phenomena and electrical equipment had been built up on these principles known as Coulomb’s law of electrostatic force and the law of magnetism. What was wrong? What holds the nucleus together? Why doesn’t it fly apart? And therefore, why do not all atoms fly apart? ([San Diego: Creation-Science Research Center, 1973], pp. 31–33)
Chesnut goes on to describe the experiments performed in the 1920s and 1930s that proved Coulomb’s law applied to atomic nuclei. Powerful “atom smashers” were used to fire protons into the nuclei of atoms. Those experiments also gave scientists an understanding of the incredibly powerful force that held protons together within the nucleus. Scientists have dubbed that force the “strong nuclear force,” but have no explanation for why it exists. The physicist George Gamow, one of the founders of the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe, wrote,
The fact that we live in a world in which practically every object is a potential nuclear explosive, without being blown to bits, is due to the extreme difficulties that attend the starting of a nuclear reaction. (cited in Chesnut, The Atom Speaks, p. 38)
Karl K. Darrow, a physicist at the Bell (AT & T) Laboratories, agrees:
You grasp what this implies. It implies that all the massive nuclei have no right to be alive at all. Indeed, they should never have been created, and, if created, they should have blown up instantly. Yet here they all are.… Some inflexible inhibition is holding them relentlessly together. The nature of the inhibition is also a secret … one thus far reserved by Nature for herself. (cited in Chesnut, The Atom Speaks, p.38)
One day in the future God will dissolve the strong nuclear force. Peter describes that day as the one when “the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10). With the strong nuclear force no longer operative, Coulomb’s law will take effect, and the nuclei of atoms will fly apart. The universe will literally explode. Until that time, we can be thankful that Christ “upholds all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3). Jesus Christ must be God. He made the universe, existed outside and before it, and preserves it.
Jesus Christ in Relation to the Unseen World
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities (1:16b)
Thrones, dominions, rulers, and authorities refer to the various ranks of angels. Far from being an angel, as the Colossian errorists taught, Christ created the angels. The writer of Hebrews also makes a clear distinction between Christ and the angels: “Of the angels He says, ‘Who makes His angels winds, and His ministers a flame of fire.’ But of the Son He says, ‘Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom’ ” (Heb. 1:7–8). Jesus has been exalted “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come” (Eph. 1:21). As a result, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth” (Phil. 2:10). With that truth the apostle Peter agrees: “[Christ] is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him” (1 Pet. 3:22).
Scripture is clear that Jesus is not an angel, but the Creator of the angels. He is above the angels, who in fact worship Him and are under His authority. Jesus’ relation to the unseen world, like His relation to the visible universe, proves He is God.
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 Bruce, F. F. (1984). The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (pp. 65–66). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
 Still, T. D. (2006). Colossians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 290–291). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
The “Libertarians of ’43” were outspoken advocates of American individualism and human ingenuity.
• https://fee.org, Kerry McDonald
In 1943, as collectivist policies were ascendant, an extraordinary thing happened. Three women published three books that year that would jolt Americans from their socialist stupor and remind them of the fundamental American values of individual liberty, limited government, free-market capitalism, and entrepreneurship. This Women’s History Month is an ideal time to reflect on how Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, and Ayn Rand helped to catalyze the 20th century libertarian movement.
The “Libertarians of ’43,” as Paterson biographer Stephen Cox dubbed these women, were outspoken advocates of American individualism and human ingenuity, and vocal critics of socialist ideology and big government policies. Cox explains that “women were more important to the creation of the libertarian movement than they were to the creation of any political movement not strictly focused on women’s rights.” The work of these three women continues to inspire a new generation of libertarian writers today, with their message more urgent than ever.
Rose Wilder Lane
The daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane is “Baby Rose” who many of us remember from the ninth book in the Little House on the Prairie series, The First Four Years. Born in 1886 in Dakota Territory, her years of growing up on the prairie likely instilled in Lane a sense of rugged individualism and self-reliance that ultimately found their way into her writings throughout the 20th century. Initially sympathetic to the ideas of socialism during World War I, she became one of its fiercest opponents after visiting the Soviet Union and parts of Europe with the American Red Cross and witnessing widespread corruption and the eradication of personal freedom. When she returned to the US, she wrote widely, publishing books and writing articles for outlets such as Good Housekeeping, McCall’s, Ladies’ Home Journal, Harper’s, and the Saturday Evening Post.
Don’t Let Tares Force You to Withdraw from the Church
Matthew 3:12; 13:24–30; 2 Timothy 2:20
Although there seem to be tares in the Church, yet neither our faith nor our charity ought to be hindered, so that because we see that there are tares in the Church we ourselves should withdraw from the Church. We ought only to labour that we may be wheat, that when the wheat shall begin to be gathered into the Lord’s barns, we may receive fruit for our labour and work. Let us strive, dearest brethren, and labour as much as we possibly can, that we may be vessels of gold or silver. But to the Lord alone it is granted to break the vessels of earth, to whom also is given the rod of iron. The servant cannot be greater than his lord, nor may any one claim to himself what the Father has given to the Son alone, so as to think that he can take the fan for winnowing and purging the threshing-floor, or can separate by human judgment all the tares from the wheat. That is a proud obstinacy and a sacrilegious presumption which a depraved madness assumes to itself.
CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
The People Not So Bad as the Priest
Isaiah 24:2; Jeremiah 50:6; Ezekiel 34:2–10; Hosea 4:9; Zechariah 10:2–3
One cannot now say the priest is as the people, for the truth is that the people are not so bad as the priest.
BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
The Obama Administration is flooding the borders and US facilities with a massive surge of illegal aliens. Now they are housing many illegals with COVID in luxurious living arrangements built for oil production employees.
This past week even the corrupt Mainstream Media (Big Media) reported on the insane Biden/Obama – made crisis at the Southern border. ABC reported:
The U.S. government has stopped taking immigrant teenagers to a converted camp for oil field workers in West Texas as it faces questions about the safety of emergency sites it is quickly setting up to hold children crossing the southern border.
The Associated Press has learned that the converted camp has faced multiple issues in the four days since the Biden administration opened it amid a scramble to find space for immigrant children. More than 10% of the camp’s population has tested positive for COVID-19 and at least one child had to be hospitalized.
An official working at the Midland, Texas, facility said most of the Red Cross volunteers staffing the site don’t speak Spanish, even though the teenagers they care for are overwhelmingly from Central America. When the facility opened, there weren’t enough new clothes to give to teenagers who had been wearing the same shirts and pants for several days, the official said. And no case managers were on site to begin processing the minors’ release to family elsewhere in the U.S.
Bringing in teenagers while still setting up basic services “was kind of like building a plane as it’s taking off,” said the official, who declined to be named due to government restrictions.
Biden’s illegal immigration policies will never fly, but this won’t stop them from destroying America. As dire as Big Media claims it is, the facilities for the illegals are advertised with kitchen areas and other amenities:
Biden/Obama brings in illegals without vetting anyone. Some of these individuals have COVID, they bring them in any way, and then house them in nice facilities for oil workers.
The cost of Biden’s insane immigration policies is astronomical to already dysfunctional fiscal policies put in place by Democrats.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Americans have sent letters to the Russian Embassy in Washington slamming President Joe Biden’s insulting remarks about President Putin as “disgraceful” and “crass”, adding that they do not want Russians to feel that he was speaking on behalf of the whole nation.
Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that the six-foot social distancing mandate that was employed across much of the United States and the world to deal with the CCP virus pandemic “wasn’t based on clear science.” “This six-foot distancing requirement has probably been the single costliest mitigation tactic that we’ve employed in response to COVID … and it really wasn’t based on clear science … we should have re-adjudicated this much earlier,” he said in an interview with CNBC.
Dr. Moncef Slaoui, a chief scientific adviser on former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed panel, said that 90% of President Joe Biden’s vaccine rollout plan is the same as the previous administration’s approach to vaccinating U.S. citizens against coronavirus.
At this point, it is more surprising that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is still being allowed to hold office after seven women have already accused him of everything including sexual harassment to groping. With each new story, the Democrats continue to remain silent on the matter of forcing Cuomo to resign. Instead, they choose to wait until the investigation is done. But how many women have to step forward before people start to listen? This brings us to the newest and now-eighth woman to step forward against Cuomo.
Unlike the other women, this victim was currently working for Cuomo when she decided to make her voice public. Identified as Alyssa McGrath, the aide recalls how Cuomo would make sexual remarks about her looks and even eye her body while she worked.
First reported by the New York Times, McGrath told reporters “He has a way of making you feel very comfortable around him, almost like you’re his friend. But then you walk away from the encounter or conversation, in your head going, ‘I can’t believe I just had that interaction with the governor of New York.’”
McGrath went on to describe the toxic environment that Cuomo created around the workplace. According to reports, Cuomo would often pit the girls against one another, and in one case even asked if the girls were going to be mingling with guys while they took a trip to Florida. But it didn’t stop there. McGrath recounted an incident during a dedication speech.”I put my head down waiting for him to start speaking, and he didn’t start speaking. So I looked up to see what was going on. And he was blatantly looking down my shirt.”
Even as eight women have come forward with accusations against the Governor, Cuomo remains to stand by his statement that he never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, nor did he make advances on any of his aides. One of his attorneys, Rita Glavin said, “None of this is remarkable, although it may be old-fashioned. He has made clear that he has never made inappropriate advances or inappropriately touched anyone.”
This piece was written by Jeremy Porter on March 21, 2021. It originally appeared in DrewBerquist.com and is used by permission.