“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
16:3 Commit. Hebrew “roll.” The expression is unusual. It may mean that our plans should be entrusted to the Lord (Ps. 37:5), or devised with conscious application of the principles of God’s Word.
16:3Commit your work to Yahweh To commit one’s work to Yahweh is to trust Him (Psa 37:5).
16:3 Only through union with Christ can we bear fruit (John 15:1–11).
16:3 Commit. Lit. “roll upon” in the sense of both total trust (3:5–6) and submission to the will of God (Pss 22:8; 37:5; 119:133); He will fulfill your righteous plans.
16:3 — Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.
How do we commit our works to the Lord? Not merely by asking Him to bless what we’ve already done, but by committing ourselves and our plans to Him before, during, and after we have done our work.
16:3 The verb commit to is from a word meaning “to roll.” The idea is to “roll your cares onto the Lord.” Trusting the Lord with our decisions frees us from preoccupation with our problems (3:5, 6).
16:3 The best way to insure that our dreams and goals will be achieved is to dedicate our works to the Lord. J. Allen Blair advises:
Occasionally we find ourselves disturbed and depressed, even in trying to do the Lord’s work. Could anything be further from what God desires? God cannot work through anxious hearts. Whenever a Christian reaches this state, he should stop at once and ask himself, “Whose work is it?” If it’s God’s work, never forget the burden of it is His, too. You are not the important person. Christ is! He is at work through us. What should we do then when things do not go well? Go to Him! Anything less than this is disobedience.
Prayer: “Give me the eye which sees God in all, and the hand which can serve Him in all, and the heart which can bless Him for all” (Daily Notes).
16:3. Committing one’s plans (vv. 1, 9) to the Lord is essential to success. This verse, however, does not offer divine assistance to all plans. The fool (1:32) and the sluggard (6:9–11) are said to come to undesirable ends. Commit is literally “roll” (cf. Ps. 37:5).
16:3. Given God’s sovereignty (v. 1) and human limitation (v. 2), the wise entrust (commit) all that they do to the Lord. Such trust includes submitting one’s plans to the Lord. When those plans accord with His will, they will be realized. It is a principle Christians articulate every time they pray, “if it be your will” (cf. Mt 6:10; Lk 22:42; Ac 18:21; Jms 4:15).
Ver. 3. Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.—Doing our duty is committing our way to God:—
There is no instrinsic value in things. They only possess a relative value. All things depend upon seasonableness. The Scripture speaks of a “word in season.” If there can be words in season, there can be words out of season. A word not in season is merely a right thing in a wrong place. Therefore it is not the value of the thing in itself; there is no such thing; values are all from without. The idlest dream a man has is that a bit of gold has an intrinsic value. But a thing that is worthless to-day is not therefore worthless at another time. The word for to-day, in this text, is one of rest. Many people say that “committing your ways to the Lord,” is to tell them to Him when you pray. But that is only saying something. A large part of the piety of the people consists in saying feelings instead of doing. When we say “Commit thy works unto Him,” it is with a view to put down fret, fever, and distress, and to learn a lesson of the holiday of the soul, rather than of the work-day and mammon. Committing your burden unto the Lord is getting Him to carry it. It does not mean sit still and do no work. There is always something left for man to do, even when God takes the matters up. “Commit thy ways” must mean something in the spirit by which, while a man goes on in life, he gets the fret, and the burden, and the gall, and the weariness off his shoulders. There are two difficult and painful businesses. One is, to fit your circumstances to yourself; and the other is, to fit yourself to your circumstances. Ambition is seldom desirable. A profound sense of duty will do all that ambition can do, and leave nothing of the bitterness behind. Suit thyself to thy circumstances; do thy duty; and so commit thy way unto the Lord. Committing your ways is just the absence of ambition: it is to do thy work, and leave it to the great laws of God. He commits his ways unto the Lord who does his duty simply in the state in which he is. As to the results. The text notes the establishment of the thoughts—not always the success of the work—but the establishment of the man. Quietness—uprightness—“Slow gains and few shames.” Commit thyself, with all thy way, and work, and soul, to Him. Say thy prayers, confess thy sins, do thy little piece of work, and do it honestly; God will redeem thee, atone for thee, regenerate thee, be the guardian of thy tomb, fashion for thee a new body, weave for thee an eternal dress, and provide for thee “a house not made with hands.” Think of the blessed result. Be at rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him; He shall establish thy thought; He shall save thy soul; He shall crown thee with eternal peace. (George Dawson, M.A.)
Works and thoughts:—
The precept or counsel.
The object, or thing itself, which is committed: “our works.” Either the works done by us, or the works done to, or upon us. Our affairs and businesses. Whatever action we go about, we are to commit ourselves to the Lord, and to refer ourselves still to Him for the disposing of it. We are to commit our works to the Lord in regard to our performance of them; to the acceptance of them; and to their success. Our conditions; those things which in any way concern us, we are also to commit unto the Lord.
The act: “committing.” In a way of simple commendation: presenting them, and laying them open before Him. This is required in order that God may direct and assist us; and also as a piece of respect to God Himself. In a way of humble resignation. Implying that we have some sense of the difficulty and burdensomeness of those works that are upon us. This is necessary, that we may labour the more for strength and ability to the discharge of them; that we may be the more humbled for our failings and neglects in it, as coming short of that exactness and perfection that was required of us; and in reference to others, in a way of compassion; to pity those in the same condition: in a way of assistance, and concurrence with them, for easing their burden; and in a way of thankfulness and acceptance, by acknowledging that labour and pains which hath been taken by them. Committing our works to God must not be taken as allowing us to omit the doing of them. In a way of faithful improvement. Order, dispose, and direct all thine actions unto Him. Roll our works to Him as we would roll a bowl to the mark. Make Him the scope and end and aim of all our endeavours. In a way of thankful acknowledgment.
The person to whom the deposition is committed. Consider His wisdom and knowledge; His strength and power; His faithfulness and truth; His willingness to undertake our burden. We are to commit our burden to Him, and to no one else: to the Lord, not to self; not to other men; not to fortune or chance.
The promise, or argument to enforce it. Something implied in this sentence: “thy thoughts shall be established.” Where there are works there will be thoughts. Our chiefest business is composing and settling our minds. Establishing of our thoughts is a very great happiness and mercy. Something expressed. Thou shalt have a mind free from any other trouble and distraction when thou hast practised this counsel in the text. (T. Horton, D.D.)
Dependence on God:—
The counsel implies—
That all our purposes and all our doings should be according to God’s will.
That none of our works can prosper without God.
That it is therefore the imperative duty of intelligent creatures to own their independence, and to seek, on all occasions, the Divine countenance and blessing.
That what is our duty is, at the same time, our interest.
A general truth is expressed, that God will graciously smile on the efforts, and accomplish the purposes and wishes of him who, in all that he does, piously and humbly acknowledges Him and seeks His blessing. (R. Wardlaw, D.D.)
16.3 God’s safe hands. Our activities and plans (av, rv, thoughts) will be no less our own for being his: only less burdensome (commit is lit. ‘roll’, as in Ps. 37:5), and better made.
16:3 / Synthetic and progressive. The distinction here is from action to plans. If the actions are done according to God, then the plans will succeed. In Hebrew the imperative form can be considered the equivalent of a conditional clause (cf. also Ps. 37:5). Trust in God is also urged in Amenemope 22.5–7=23.8–10 (AEL, vol. 2, p. 159).
16:3. Commit your works to the Lord, And your plans will be established.
This third verse continues the theme of verses 1–2 and uses synthetic parallelism to advance its point. The first line calls upon us to ‘Commit’ our endeavors to God. The verb is, more literally, ‘roll,’ and is used to describe rolling a large stone from the mouth of a well (Gen. 29:3, 8, 10). The idea here seems to be rolling one’s planned, and proposed, ‘works’ over onto the Lord. Through prayer, we roll the anxiety of whether or not our hopes and plans will come true over onto God (Ps. 22:8; 37:5; 55:22). ‘… [C]asting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you’ (1 Pet. 5:7).
The second line takes up ‘your plans’ (Prov. 16:1, 9), revealing that the parallel ‘works’ of line one were not yet completed, but merely projected. When we do put the burden of seeing our dreams come true upon the Lord, He promises they ‘will be established.’ The verb is one used to describe God’s work in creation (Prov. 8:27–29). God ‘established’ the heavens and the earth. So, we too are given the privilege of seeing our hopes, dreams and aspirations become a part of His-story for the world!
God does not guarantee any, and every, plan we may conjure up, but those which the Lord has had a part in (v. 1) and which He has been allowed to scrutinize (v. 2). When our plans are in line with His plan, our plan becomes a part of the story of God’s redemptive plan for this world. If we plan and undertake our dreams with utter dependence upon the Lord for their fulfillment (v. 1), and if we humbly acknowledge our accountability to Him (v. 2), He delights to mold our plans to conform to His and thus ‘establish’ them (Prov. 4:26; Ps. 90:17).
3 This proverb draws the inference of the preceding two proverbs. Since the Lord assumes ownership of the disciple’s initiatives (v. 1) and he alone can evaluate the purity of the motives behind them (v. 2), the disciple should commit his planned deeds to the Lord (3a) to establish them permanently as part of his history that outlasts the wicked’s temporary triumphs (3b). Verse 2 implies that the Lord finds the prepared words and the performed deeds as pure, otherwise he would not effect either. When the motives are pure he will integrate them into his fixed righteous order (10:22; Ps. 127). The admonition commit to (gōl ʾel, lit. “roll to/upon” cf. Gen 29:3, 8, 10; Ps. 22:9, 37:5) connotes a sense of finality; roll it unto the Lord and leave it there. Gol ʾel is onomatopoeic; one almost hears the rolling sound of a stone. The indirect object the Lord, the sub-unit’s key word, infers rolling away from oneself. Works (maʿaašeh, from the common root ʿāsâ ʾto do make,” see 2:14) refers either to a planned deed (cf. Mic. 2:1) or a performed one (Gen. 44:15). The faithful must not fret or worry about their effectiveness, or even their purity, for that assessment and their achievement depends upon God, not on the doer (Ps. 22:9; 37:5; 55:23; 1 Pet. 5:7). Secular man, who feels so self-confident, paradoxically is plagued with fear. Pious people, who know God’s sovereignty and their limitations, live in prayer and peace. Conjunctive and links “your works” with your thoughts (see 12:5) that inform the deed. Verset B emphasizes their personal and subjective element by addition “heart.” Plans and deeds performed in conjunction with a total commitment to the Lord will be established (see 4:26) What you think in your inner creations will become overt historical events as enduring as the elements of the Lord’s cosmos (see 8:27–29).
3Plans, committed to God. For our plans to succeed, we must depend on the Lord. This proverb of instruction includes the result for compliance. The verb “commit” is literally “roll” (gōl, from gālal, though the LXX and Targum assume gal, “reveal”). The figure of rolling, as in rolling one’s burdens onto the Lord, is found also in Psalms 22:8; 37:5; 55:22. It portrays complete dependence on God. This is accomplished with a spirit of humility and by means of a diligent season of prayer, but the plan also must have God’s approval.
The syntax of the second clause shows that there is subordination: the waw on yikkōnû, coming after the imperative of the first clause, expresses that this clause states the purpose or result of the first. People should commit their plans to the Lord so that he may establish them. Not every plan we have is pleasing to him; but for those that are, this verse is a great comfort. Greenstone, 172, says, “True faith relieves much anxiety and smoothens many perplexities.”
Asked about the border rush by illegal immigrants, Biden responded, “Well, look, I guess I should be flattered people are coming because I’m the nice guy; that’s the reason why it’s happening — that I’m a decent man, or however it’s phrased. That — you know, that’s why they’re coming, because they know Biden is a good guy. … I like to think it’s because I’m a nice guy, but it’s not. It’s because of what’s happened every year.”
No, the surge and crisis are precisely because they think you’re a “nice guy” and your borderless-nation agenda will provide lots of free stuff — housing, food, education, and healthcare — while migrants take jobs from American workers and put downward pressure on wages. Meanwhile, Biden has left border states, most notably Texas and Arizona, to fend for themselves.
Biden said, “We’re trying to work out now, with Mexico, their willingness to take more of those families back. But we — that’s what’s happening. They’re not getting across the border.” Of course they are “getting across the border” en masse. Furthermore, Donald Trump had that all worked out with Mexico before Biden blew it up.
Biden attempted to deflect the surge, insisting: “There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. It happens every year. The reason they are coming is that it is the time they can travel with the least likelihood of dying on the way, because of the heat in the desert. It’s because of earthquakes, floods, it’s because of the lack of food, it’s because of gang violence.”
He added, “If an unaccompanied child ends up at the border, we’re [not] just going to let him starve to death and stay on the other side. No previous administration did that either, except Trump. I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to do it.”
There are abundant fact-checks for everything Biden said yesterday, but regarding his lies about the humanitarian crisis at our southern border, former Trump administration immigration policy advisor Stephen Miller addressed that disinformation best.
Here is Miller’s rebuttal to Biden: “He explained that he was resettling minors in the US in lieu of ‘let[ting] them starve to death and stay on the other side’ (Mexico) which he accused Trump of doing. This is spectacularly false and a grave smear on our border agents. First off, illegal crossers returned to Mexico are transferred to migration authorities not the desert. But unaccompanied minors were returned to their home countries to be reunited with their own families. They were not returned to Mexico unless Mexico was their home. This humane policy from President Trump brought unaccompanied minor numbers to record lows. Biden’s disastrous decision to exempt minors from Title 42, and to stop the at-home reunification process in favor of domestic resettlement, single-handedly created this crisis. Worse still, Biden made this decision with no planning, no preparation, no extra facilities, and no thought as to the tragic human consequences on both sides of the border. He is straining U.S. communities while keeping young illegal migrants from their families back home. The youth migrant crisis will only end when Biden does a full 180 and switches from a resettlement policy to a repatriation policy. As long as he admits every minor crossing illegally they will keep getting smuggled in record numbers — and the needless suffering will continue. Finally … [his response] on revoking Trump’s proven border tools defies human logic. If you stop removing illegal immigrants, and instead release them en masse, then of course they will come in ever-larger numbers. This shouldn’t be that hard to understand.”
More succinctly, Senator Lindsey Graham concluded: “The Trump policies created dramatic decreases in illegal immigration. The changes made by President Biden have created a virtual human tsunami.”
For his part, Trump responded, “By the time we finished what we were doing [on the border], very few people were coming up because they knew they weren’t going to get through. We stopped ‘catch and release’ — which was a disaster. The very biggest thing was, we had the ‘Remain In Mexico’ policy. … We wouldn’t allow people to wait in our country.” In other words, be released in our country and disappear.
Finally, when asked about the administration’s border media blackout — specifically, “Will you commit to transparency on this issue, Mr. President?” — Biden responded, “I will commit to transparency, and — as soon as I am in a position to be able to implement what we are doing right now.”
Asked again, “And just to be clear: How soon will that be, Mr. President?” he responded, “I don’t know, to be clear.”
In other words, there will be “transparency” as soon as the optics suit Biden’s open-border agenda.
The president dishonestly answered questions about many issues yesterday.
How could you tell President Joe Biden was lying in his long-awaited first press conference? His mouth was open. No wonder he had to use cheat sheets to keep his story straight.
The president dishonestly addressed numerous topics yesterday, including immigration, COVID, election law, and the Senate filibuster to name a few. And on every single topic, he deflected, blamed, or outright lied. If only there were a few media “fact-checkers” to address the problem…
Bizarrely, Biden asserted, “I’ve not been able to unite the Congress, but I’ve been uniting the country.” Wrong. Creating a border crisis, forcing girls to compete against boys, injecting racism into everything, and spending $2 trillion on Democrat constituents is not unifying.
Our Mark Alexander covered immigration, so let’s get to some of the other deception.
The ChiCom Virus is one of Biden’s favorite lies, and he began with it Thursday — the only topic he addressed before taking questions. It was just two weeks ago that Biden gave a prime time address to falsely claim credit for Donald Trump’s vaccine achievements. Yesterday was no better. Biden spiked the football on reaching 100 million vaccine doses 42 days early, even though it was Trump, not Biden, who set us on that course. Some 22 million doses were distributed before Biden even walked into the Oval Office.
Biden has now set a new goal of 200 million shots in his first 100 days. This too is virtually certain given the pace of distribution. All he has to do is not bungle it.
“What I’m worried about,” Biden explained, “is how un-American this whole initiative is. It’s sick. … This makes Jim Crowe look like Jim Eagle.” Huh? He was talking about Republican opposition to bulk-mail balloting, but the question he was asked had to do with both state Republican efforts at ensuring election integrity and his own party’s efforts to “pass voting rights legislation.” His condemning words would be more appropriately applied to Democrat legislation.
Democrats are lying about what ails our elections. Requiring voter ID and limiting access to mail-in ballots is not “Jim Crow.” In fact, Democrats are grossly patronizing minorities by arguing they’re somehow less capable of meeting basic standards of integrity. Democrats are trying to exacerbate the problems we all saw in 2020 and force them on every state and jurisdiction.
“Filibuster. Filibuster,” Biden began to answer a question. “You know, with regard to the filibuster, I believe we should go back to a position on the filibuster that existed just when I came to the United States Senate 120 years ago [sic]. And that is that — it used to be required for the filibuster — and I had a card on this; I was going to give you the statistics, but you probably know them — that it used to be that, that from between 1917 to 1971 — the filibuster existed — there was [sic] a total of 58 motions to break a filibuster that whole time. Last year alone, there were five times that many. So it’s being abused in a gigantic way.”
Last year, Democrats were in the Senate minority.
He expressed frustration that his radical leftist agenda is facing trouble in a 50-50 Senate. “I’m a fairly practical guy. I want to get things done,” he said. Sadly, his dementia then kicked in: “The best way to get something done, if you — if you hold near and dear to you that you like to be able to — anyway…”
Asked about it again later, he affirmed that he thought the filibuster was “a relic of the Jim Crow era.”
He certainly didn’t think that in 2005 when as a senator he made a lengthy and passionate defense of the filibuster. Heck, he didn’t even think it 10 days ago, when Press Secretary Jen Psaki insisted that Biden preferred “not to make changes” to the filibuster but was “open to hearing” ideas. That doesn’t sound like it was a pressing racial issue last week.
On a final note, while Joe says he doesn’t “know if there will be a Republican Party” in 2024, “My plan is to run for reelection.” It’s okay to chuckle.
A docile press served up straight softballs to a seriously struggling president.
The first question from the White House Press Corps was a two-parter asked by ABC’s Jonathan Karl, and it couldn’t have been more brutal: “Why did you lie to the American people? And why should we trust what you have to say now?”
Wait. You missed it? Well, that’s probably because Karl didn’t ask that question yesterday. He asked it on September 10, 2020, during one of many White House press conferences when Donald Trump was president.
The point, of course, is that the media of today is unrecognizable in its newfound subservience to our nation’s chief executive. Joe Biden told a basketful of lies yesterday at his streak-snapping first-ever presser, but no one in the assembled press corps had the temerity to trouble him with a tough question.
Why, it was almost as if it were all scripted, right down to detailed presidential cheat sheets and a call-them-by-number listing of journalists’ names and faces.
So much for speaking truth to power. So much for comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. So much for the aggressive and obnoxious Jim Acosta types. Instead, the atmosphere was unlike that of any presidential press conference ever — or certainly in the post-Watergate era.
Kayleigh McEnany, who was White House press secretary at the time of Jon Karl’s ambush of Trump, could only marvel at the night-and-day difference between that bunch of jackals and this bunch of pantywaists.
“An eerie silence prevailed during the press conference,” observed Power Line’s John Hinderaker. “Reporters held their breath as Biden weaved for minutes at a time through bizarre chains of association, hoping they would have some idea what he was talking about. This is in sharp contrast with President Trump’s press conferences, where he would get 10 seconds into an answer and the air would be filled with reporters trying to interrupt.”
At least the assembled media, during Donald Trump’s many press conferences, always paid him the compliment of bringing its meanest, nastiest, most partisan selves to the party. As for the media’s deferential treatment of Joe Biden, it seemed most interested in protecting him; in keeping him from falling and hurting himself.
“Stonewalled for 65 days by President Biden, reporters decided their first opportunity to question him should be used to let him monologue on his favorite topics,” wrote the New York Post editorial board. “It’s shocking how low the bar has been set for President Biden. He seemed confused going from questioner to questioner, rambling to the point where he finally said, exhausted, ‘…anyway.’”
Biden took ordered questions from 10 reporters. Fox News’s White House correspondent Peter Doocy didn’t rate a single one. That the administration avoided the nation’s most consequential news network speaks volumes about its fear of exposing Joe Biden to real questions from legit journalists.
Fox News media analyst Joe Concha was disgusted by what he saw. “This was a disgrace for most of the press corps and for the president,” he said. “[President Biden] said some outrageous things that demanded to be pressed on, and of course no one in the room can decide to do it.”
As David Rutz reported, “Concha took particular exception to PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, who told Biden he was perceived as a ‘moral, decent man’ while asking him a question about the migrant border crisis that critics say is a direct response to his immigration policies.”
“Your tax dollars at work,” said Concha, noting that Alcindor’s praise of the president and her subsequent softball were “patently embarrassing to the profession.”
Alcindor also appeared to urge Biden to find a way around the Senate filibuster — a tool that Senator Biden spent some five decades defending. “This wasn’t only bias in broad daylight,” Concha said. “It was activism.”
Indeed, activism is the essence of it. A healthy republic depends on many things, but few of them are as important as a free, fair, and ardently inquisitive press. But think about how far we’ve fallen in this regard: The press reporters our Founders protected within the Constitution’s First Amendment have become naked advocates for one particular political party.
And worse, they’ve gone directly from hating the former American president to having pity on the current one.
Silicon Valley has become a common target for both Democrats and Republicans, but for polar opposite reasons.
Big Tech has increasingly become an easy and favorite target of both sides of the political aisle. This reality was on display again Thursday during the latest congressional hearing involving the CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Twitter. As Representative Angie Craig (D-MN) put it, “This panel has done something truly rare in Washington these days — it’s united Democrats and Republicans.” She then added, “Your industry cannot be trusted to regulate itself.”
The trouble is that this seeming unity between Democrats and Republicans against Big Tech is for polar opposite reasons. To put it succinctly, the Republicans’ objections to Big Tech center on its increasing censorship of Americans’ free speech, specifically the speech rights of conservatives, whereas the Democrats’ primary objection is that Big Tech has not been doing enough censorship of conservative speech.
Expressing the Democrats’ primary issue, Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) blasted the CEOs for overseeing “havens of hate, harassment, and division,” before warning, “We will legislate to stop this.” Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) asserted that social media sites are “being used to undermine social justice.” He also contended that Congress should “compel you, perhaps with penalties, to make meaningful changes” to force more racial diversity among Silicon Valley employees.
Again, Republican concerns focused on censorship. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) took Jack Dorsey to task over Twitter’s blatantly political decision last October to block the New York Post’s story exposing Hunter Biden via the discovery of his laptop. Dorsey dismissed it as a “total mistake” that “we corrected … within 24 hours.” (Fact-check: False information.) When Scalise pressed Dorsey on whether Twitter’s “censoring department” was held accountable for the mistake, Dorsey wryly deflected, “Well, we don’t have a censoring department.”
Scalise then warned, “Just recognize if you become viewed and continue to become viewed as an anti-conservatively biased platform, there will be other people that step up to compete and ultimately take millions of people from Twitter.” The trouble is Scalise’s complaint was too narrow and his warning lacked teeth. For example, just look at how Big Tech worked in concert to eliminate the threat of Parler just as a massive number of conservatives were jumping on board the free speech-promoting platform.
The reality is that Big Tech’s suppression is much broader and insidious than the mere deplatforming of some notable figures like Donald Trump. Big Tech’s suppression of speech might better be described as redlining the First Amendment.
Using devious and underhanded tactics such as shadow banning and dubious “fact-checking” agents clearly beholden to leftist political biases, Big Tech effectively exerts massive and increasing control over what content users are allowed to see and what content/opinions users are allowed to post. By erroneously declaring certain conservative opinions and views as “hate speech” or “missing context,” Big Tech justifies its speech controls.
And this is where the Washington game is being played. Both sides are calling for greater regulation of Big Tech, and this regulations gambit is playing right into the hands of Democrats. By calling for Big Tech to better regulate speech, Democrats are effectively calling for all speech to be regulated according to their own values and views, not according to concerns over protecting American citizens’ First Amendment rights. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board cogently observes, “The gatekeepers of online expression increasingly resemble government regulators, navigating threats and exhortations from politicians.”
Republicans want regulations preventing Big Tech from engaging in censorship, while Democrats want Big Tech to do their bidding by regulating the information and ideas that Americans are allowed to see and express on social media platforms.
That’s how Joe Biden dismissively handled the surge of illegal migrants thanks to his policies.
Brian Mark Weber
You know our nation’s border policies are failing when Mexico’s Marxist president blames America for the surge of migrants heading for the border.
And that’s exactly what Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador recently asserted when he observed that President Joe Biden’s promise of better treatment for migrants encouraged them to seek refuge in the United States. Lopez Obrador added, “They see Biden as the migrant president.”
For his part, Biden was dismissive in his first press conference yesterday. “The truth of the matter is nothing has changed,” the president said of the crisis he’s created on the border. “It happens every year.” As Joe himself might also say, that’s a bunch of malarkey.
The new drapes weren’t even hung in the Oval office when America’s “migrant president” made it clear that people leaving El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala would have a home in the United States.
Within a few hours after his inauguration, Biden immediately suspended Donald Trump’s Remain in Mexico program. On an important side note, Biden suggested yesterday during his presser that all families should return to Mexico, basically endorsing the very program he just halted weeks ago.
Biden also pledged to increase the annual number of refugees allowed into the country to 125,000 from Trump’s cap of 15,000. Again, the message was clear: Our borders are wide open.
Jim Clifton, the chairman and CEO of the Gallup polling organization, posted results of a survey in which 120 million people currently living in Latin America and the Caribbean would like to migrate to another country. Of those, 42 million want to come to the United States.
That’s a wonderful testament to the American Dream that Democrats are always running down, but we cannot sustain that level of immigration. Yet Democrats encourage it.
Eager to appease leftists and establishment Republicans, Biden ended funding for Trump’s border wall. The problem is he didn’t have the authority to bypass Congress. Biden is under review by the Government Accounting Office for cutting off that funding. This comes after dozens of Republicans in the House and Senate pressured the GAO to look into the matter.
Meanwhile, President Biden has so far failed to nominate someone to take the reins of the 60,000-member Customs and Border Protection agency. Put it all together and it’s no wonder that more than 100,000 migrants crossed the border last month alone.
As Neil Diamond sings, “They’re coming to America.”
All of this could have been avoided, but no worries. Biden just handed off the crisis (yes, it’s a crisis) to President-in-Waiting Kamala Harris. Yes, the same Harris who once compared ICE agents to the KKK, introduced legislation to cut back on detention beds by 50%, and claimed holding kids in detention centers for more than 72 hours was inhumane.
Let’s be fair. The Biden-Harris administration does have a plan: pile migrants onto Greyhound buses and ship them to a town near you. But some state governors aren’t ready to roll out the red carpet.
The plan to transport migrants from the southern border to the U.S.-Canadian border is being met with resistance in Montana. Anna Giaritelli reports, “Gov. Greg Gianforte and Attorney General Austin Knudsen told Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that they opposed the idea of Customs and Border Protection using Immigration and Customs Enforcement airplanes to transport migrant families and children across the country due to a shortage of holding facilities in states on the southern border.”
The border disaster unfolding before the eyes of the American people is changing minds.
In just one month, support for a so-called pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens has dropped from 57% to 43% among registered voters, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll released this week. Democrat support fell from 72% to 57%.
What’s happening on the border is criminal, and human lives will be lost in the process. At some point, the Keystone Cops running the White House need to decide who’s running the show and come up with a plan that’ll be humane for the migrants and respect the rule of law in America.
There’s federalism at play, but also sound energy policy and national security.
Back in October, Joe Biden claimed, “If you can’t get the votes … you can’t [legislate] by executive order unless you’re a dictator. We’re a democracy. We need consensus.” As we’ve learned over the longest two months of our lives, those were just feel-good platitudes uttered by the titular head of a movement that’s completely turned the idea of good government on its head despite the thinnest of majorities in both houses of Congress. No mandate here, just a slew of executive orders that divide us.
Since Congress has been rendered impotent, the last resort for the opposition is the courts, which — fortunately — have been bolstered in the last four years with conservative, constitutionalist appointees. In the latest defensive salvo against President Biden’s overreach, a group of 13 energy-producing states, led by Louisiana, has filed a lawsuit in federal court to overturn his proposed halt of oil and gas leasing on federal lands.
“By executive fiat, Joe Biden and his administration have single-handedly driven the price of energy up, costing the American people where it hurts most — in their pocketbooks,” said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, the lead plaintiff who filed the suit in his home state. “Biden’s executive orders abandon middle-class jobs at a time when America needs them most and put our energy security in the hands of foreign countries, many of whom despise America’s greatness.”
The suit alleges Biden’s order violates both the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Mineral Leasing Act, and it follows previous suits regarding his cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline and his declaration that greenhouse gases have a “social cost.”
Biden regime mouthpiece Jen Psaki claimed the previous administration “flooded the oil markets with cheap federal leases,” but also that reversing it “will not affect oil and gas markets for years to come.” We may circle back to that economically illiterate point, but there’s another important lesson here.
As you may recall, America had finally become effectively energy independent for the first time in decades under the Trump administration thanks to energy companies being able to extract the resources with which we’ve been blessed. Under Biden, though, the only American extraction will come from our wallets with a proposed tax on mileage driven. More importantly, though, losing our energy independence means that our adversaries around the world, in particular Russia, stand to gain at our expense. Imagine Biden trying to convince Vladimir Putin in person why he can talk tough yet give away one big advantage we held over Russia with our allies in Europe as a more friendly supplier of natural gas. Putin is probably still pinching himself because things are falling into place better than he ever dreamed.
So there’s bad policy and there’s BAD policy. “Cheap leases” or not, states that received half of the revenue generated from drilling on the federal lands within their borders will need to make budget cuts or figure out ways to restore this lost revenue, while Americans in all 50 states have to deal with increased prices for gasoline and electricity. The thousands of jobs dependent on the energy industry have also been placed in jeopardy, with those who were furloughed after working on the canceled Keystone project being the tip of that spear at a time when the economy’s unsteady recovery could use a sure job creator in an essential industry. All because Washington wants dictatorial power over how we stay warm and get around.
Certainly the new broom sweeps clean, and in this case Biden and crew are trying to rid every nook and cranny of what they perceive as dirt from the previous occupant of the Oval Office. But did the people really want this radical change in policy? Those newly jobless in the energy industry who are pumping gas that costs several dollars more per tankful are certainly wishing the clock could be turned back to last year when Joe Biden was merely lying to us about consensus instead of destroying it.
White supremacy, we’re told, is behind a surge of anti-Asian hate crime, but the truth is much less convenient for the Left.
“It looks racially motivated to me,” said Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, commenting on the fact that six Asian women were among the eight people murdered last week at two Atlanta massage parlors by a deranged young man.
And when it comes to racially motivated behavior, the Thailand-born Duckworth ought to know. After all, she vowed on Tuesday not to support any more of President Joe Biden’s executive branch nominees who were either straight or white, because he didn’t have any Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders in his cabinet. Duckworth’s threat didn’t last long, though. Someone must’ve clued her in that anti-heterosexual bigotry is technically still bigotry, and anti-white racism is technically still racism — even when the bigoted racist is a Senate Democrat.
Which brings us to today’s topic: the purported wave of white supremacist, anti-Asian hate crimes sweeping the nation due to former President Donald Trump having routinely referred to the China virus as the China virus. (We’re still waiting for those vile racists at Wikipedia to purge their website of its Spanish flu page, its West Nile virus page, its Middle East respiratory syndrome page, its Ebola virus page, its Lyme disease page, its Rocky Mountain spotted fever page, and, well, you get the idea.)
But if the identity pimps on the Left are going to create another massive voting bloc of aggrieved-and-hyphenated Americans (just as they have for blacks and Hispanics), it appears they’ll have to do it by lying. And, frankly, they’re off to a good start.
For one thing, the “surge” isn’t really a surge — at least not in the way we generally understand and use the term. In fact, the race baiters are simply having some fun with statistics. As Dennis Prager writes, “The Atlanta lie is part of the greater lie that there is a national epidemic of white supremacist anti-Asian racism. On March 18, for example, The Washington Post reported: ‘Anti-Asian hate crimes have spiked 150 percent since the pandemic began, according to a recent study.’ The study cited by The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN and the other left-wing media is from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. The 150% increase in anti-Asian American hate crimes is contained in its ‘Fact Sheet: Anti-Asian Prejudice March 2020,’ according to which the number of anti-Asian American incidents rose from 49 in 2019 to 122 in 2020. So, the entire edifice of hate against Asian Americans is predicated on an alleged increase of 73 incidents.”
Think about that. Ours is a country of 330 million. And the Left wants us to believe that Asian Americans are under siege because the number of attacks against them (NOTE: a “slight” is considered an “attack”) jumped from 49 in 2019 to 122 in 2020. That means the ratio of assaults against them “jumped” from 1 for every 6,734,693 Americans to 1 for every 2,704,918 Americans. This is the equivalent of a bad year for lightning strikes.
For another thing, if there is an increase in violent crimes against Asian Americans, it isn’t being perpetrated by white supremacists — or whites generally. As Robert Cherry writes in The Spectator, “Using 2019 FBI statistics — the most recently available data — I computed black and white perpetrators of hate crimes as a percentage of men 18 to 44 years old in their populations. The black rate was 40 percent, 76 percent, and 303 percent higher than the white rate for hate crimes against the Asian/Pacific Island, Latino, and LGBTQ communities respectively. Even more troubling, black rates for hate-crime assaults were 94 percent higher while for property destruction and vandalism, they were 14 percent lower than white rates.”
So the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans is minuscule, and the group most responsible for it is most likely another minority group, Black Americans. But, yeah, other than that, the vile narrative being foisted upon us by the Left is accurate.
Republicans note that HR 51 is all about Democrats accumulating more power.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing Wednesday on HR 51, a bill that would advance the District of Columbia on a path toward statehood. Democrats have long touted this action under the guise of finally providing “representation” for the city’s residents, but the truth is far more partisan — the overwhelmingly Democrat District would grant the party a full voting member in the House and two more Senate seats. But there’s actually a bigger problem for Democrats than pure politics: the Constitution, specifically Article I, Section 8.
Veteran political analyst David Harsanyi sums up the issue: “There are numerous principled reasons to oppose D.C. statehood. But, really, no arguments are more applicable than the ones offered by the Founders, who created a federal district for the distinct purpose of denying it statehood. First, because they were concerned about the seat of federal power being controlled by a hostile or intrusive state government. Second, because they knew that if the capital were in a state — much less its own state — the people would vote to grow and accumulate federal power. Both situations were incompatible with the proper separation of powers and state rights.”
Democrats want to undo our Founders’ vision? Who knew?
Even if the Democrats were able to push through a DC statehood bill, that would do little to ensure that DC becomes a state. To make DC a state would require a constitutional amendment ratified by two-thirds of the states. The prospect of that happening is highly unlikely, to say the least.
Still, Republicans are taking the Democrats’ partisan power play seriously. Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) warned, “DC is a pawn being used by congressional Democrats to gain power, all without regard to the constitutional and practical issues that making the district a state presents.”
The National Review editors observe, “Washington, as it now stands, has already accumulated far more political power than any city in the nation. Transforming the seat of this authority into a state would create voters who are almost wholly incentivized to grow the power and size of the federal government at the expense of other states.”
While Democrats love to argue that the 670,000 residents of DC lack the same congressional representation enjoyed by residents of the 50 states, it’s telling that they are unwilling to consider less politically contentious solutions. If representation is really such an issue, why not shrink the district and seek to have many of the residents of DC incorporated into the state of Maryland? In other words, there are more workable solutions that won’t run counter to the Founders’ purpose in placing the capital outside of any one state.
Michelle has a new Netflix show featuring a gay puppet to attract “LGBT+” kids.
There’s no getting around it. America has turned into Sodom and Gomorrah. I’ll prove myself right. The president of the United States of America handed the keys at the Department of Health and Human Services to a “transgendered” pediatrician. He/she is the first openly “transgender” federal official in U.S. history. Richard Levine, a.k.a. Rachel Levine, is the double-minded doctor. He/she will be making health decisions for Americans. What type of health information can you give the American people if you can’t comprehend the basic element of the two genders, male and female?
Guess who’s still making sodomy look right, good, and acceptable? Yes, it’s the Obamas.
Michelle Obama took a page out of Dr. Levine’s opinion. She has a homosexual puppet sidekick to “inspire” LGBT+ children on her upcoming children’s food show.
In the new Netflix series “Waffles + Mochi,” the former first lady is joined by an effeminate puppet sidekick, Busy the Bee, to help Mrs. Obama teach children how to “eat healthy.”
Jonathan Kidder, the puppeteer behind Busy the Bee, makes sure that children understand Busy the Bee is LGBT. Why do your children need to know such sodomy exists in a show about making healthy meals?
Kidder explained, “Making children aware of the puppet’s same-sex proclivities is important because he wants to use his character to inspire more LGBT+ kids.” He went on to say, “They never said overtly, ‘We need you to be as gay as possible, please.’ But I got the sense that they liked that I brought this diversity to the mix.”
So far, Kidder is one of the only openly gay creators in children’s puppeteering. A gay puppet with a same-sex loving handler. I can’t make this stuff up if I wanted to.
He joked that “all puppets are a little bit gay” and he hoped to bring more diversity to “Waffles + Mochi” by channeling his own “dry, gay sass” personality and sexuality through Busy.
He said his job was to let Michelle Obama’s sidekick “be colorful and let my rainbow out through him.” The rainbow has been hijacked. The symbol of love wrapped in the color wheel from heaven has been stripped of its purity. It’s time for God’s people to take our rainbow back.
Peter Kirsanow explains the anti-white and anti-American nature of the growing fad of CRT.
Peter Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He also happens to be black, which gives him a bit of a platform to speak out against Critical Race Theory. We’ve described CRT before as racist by design. Kirsanaw agrees, and that’s why he worries that “CRT has occupied an increasingly prominent place in public discourse.”
What is CRT? Many people think critical race theory is part of the civil rights movement, but this is incorrect. Most Americans of a certain age believe that Martin Luther King Jr.‘s hope that his children would be judged “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” is what society should strive toward, and is the practical definition of not being racist.
CRT, and the many millions of millennials, Gen Z-ers, and current school children who have been steeped in its tenets, rejects colorblindness as both impossible and inequitable.
CRT isn’t merely training, but a practice, that means it isn’t confined to one day or even one aspect of life. It’s something you do over and over again so it becomes ingrained in your way of thinking and seeing the world.
Because it’s “evolving” and “malleable,” you can never say “these are the rules” or “we have a just social system.” You can never rest, because this practice and evolution entail constantly searching for new aspects of injustice. Thus, people who ascribe to CRT are fond of phrases such as, “We have not yet reached the mountaintop,” “The arc of history bends toward justice,” and so on.
“A racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers” implies that race is used by all white people (and only white people) to oppress all people of color. It doesn’t matter how many black CEOs, doctors, engineers, politicians, or celebrities there are. Nor does it matter that Asian students academically out-perform white students. Because whites are the single largest racial group in the country, under CRT they and anything that can be even remotely linked to white culture are considered oppressive to all non-white people.
The more “victim” categories a person falls into, the more oppressed he or she is by whites, particularly straight white men (even if the person never experiences disparate treatment). If you are a disabled black lesbian, you are oppressed because of your multiple and intersecting identities, according to CRT and closely related intersectionality theory. …
Because the United States was primarily founded by and populated by whites, and because slavery and Jim Crow were due to whites, every system in the United States is tainted by racism to this day.
CRT is thus not only anti-white but anti-American. That makes it worth opposing everywhere we find it.
Georgia governor signs sweeping, though imperfect, election reform bill (Business Insider)
“The bill did not eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, unlike another election omnibus bill presented this session … would have done. But it does modify requirements for absentee voting. The bill requires voters to provide an identifying number from a government-issued ID, such as the number on their drivers’ license or state ID card, to apply for an absentee ballot, and include one of those numbers, or the last four digits of their Social Security number, on their ballot envelope for their ballot to be accepted. … The bill also shortens the window for voters to request absentee ballots, moving the deadline to request a ballot from four to 11 days before an election.”
Government & Politics
Secret Service intervened in Hunter Biden gun incident; he may have lied on background check form (Daily Wire) | For the record: Most gun owners aren’t as reckless as Hunter Biden (The Federalist)
Bump stocks not “machine guns” and not subject to ATF ban, federal appeals court rules (Washington Times)
Around the Nation
Of course she did: Governor Whitmer vetoes bill that would have limited her admin’s emergency powers in Michigan (Fox News)
Arkansas dignifies women, bans biological men from female sports (UPI)
Washington state to automatically restore voting rights for people on parole and probation (Axios)
San Francisco school board, which wasn’t satisfied with her attempts to make amends, strips VP’s title after anti-Asian tweets surface (Fox News)
Irony: Abe Lincoln statue vandalized by Black Lives Matter activist in Boise, Idaho (Daily Wire)
USC reaches $852 million sex abuse settlement involving former doctor and 710 female victims (UPI)
New survey finds majority of Republicans now support same-sex marriage (Disrn)
High school cancels teacher after she accurately disputes cause of George Floyd death during class (Disrn)
Odds & Ends
Parler says it repeatedly warned FBI about violence planned for January 6 (Daily Caller)
Dominion Voting sues Fox for $1.6 billion over 2020 election claims (AP)
Policy: Why does American infrastructure cost more and take longer to build than it used to? (Reason)
Editor’s Note: Each week we receive hundreds of comments and correspondences — and we read every one of them. Click here for a few thought-provoking comments about specific articles. The views expressed therein don’t necessarily reflect those of The Patriot Post.
Insight: “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” —Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Upright: “We should be leaving innovation to the innovators, not entrusting to politicians the decisions about what should and should not be made and commercialized. History shows that political leaders have an endless supply of ideas about how to enrich themselves, entrench their power, spend other people’s money and kill their enemies, but are largely dull and unimaginative otherwise. Innovators save lives. Politicians, not so much.” —Laura Hollis
Observations: “China is in a race to achieve global hegemony. It seeks sympathetic world opinion — at least until it has achieved superior military and economic power. So for now, China feigns victimhood, and it seeks solidarity with others inside the United States and abroad who claim to be fellow victims of American racism. Such naked artifice and hypocrisy may seem crazy, given China’s atrocious human rights record. But Chinese leaders view our exploding budget deficits, staggering national debt, lax immigration policies, 2020 summer riots and other internal strife as far crazier — and most welcome supplements to their efforts.” —Victor Davis Hanson
Good question: “Was the filibuster really a tool of Jim Crow when it was used against Tim Scott [regarding police reform] last year? … If somebody wants to come to the floor and repent of their racism for having used the filibuster last year, please do.” —Senator Ben Sasse
For the record: “Democrats want to do to AR-15s what they did to drugs. Which is to create black markets for them, increase crime, empower cartels/gangs & make criminals out of nonviolent people — the process of which costs our justice system billions & prevents real crime from being solved.” —Hannah Cox
The BIG Lie: “The Southern Poverty Law Center is not anti-Christian at all.” —SPLC Chief of Staff Lecia Brooks
Gaslighting: “A once-in-a-century pandemic cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings in this country. We shouldn’t have to choose between one type of tragedy and another. It’s time for leaders everywhere to listen to the American people when they say enough is enough — because this is a normal we can no longer afford.” —Barack Obama
Alpha jackass: “The life of [Boulder shooter] Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa shows that people can come from all over the world and truly assimilate into our beloved American culture.” —Michael Moore
Nope: “Jesus was a revolutionary. And the job of the Christian is to revolutionize society [and] the job of the Christian is to liberate society from the powers on Earth that are oppressing humanity. … So that’s liberation theology in a nutshell. Savior theology is a different type of theology. The job of the Christian is to go out and save these individuals who are behaviorally deficient. In other words, we’re to bring them into the church, these individuals who are doing all of these evil, sinful things, and heal them and save them. And then once we’ve saved them, we’ve done our jobs. And to me, antiracists fundamentally reject savior theology that goes right in line with racist ideas and racist theology and which they say, ‘You know what? Black people, other racial groups, the reason why they’re struggling on Earth is because of what they’re behaviorally doing wrong.’ … That type of theology breeds bigotry. And so to me … liberation theology breeds a … a common humanity against the structures of power that oppress us all.” —Ibram Kendi
And last… “Republican should not ‘work together’ with Biden if Biden’s agenda is taking away our guns, radical transgenderism, abortion on demand, raising taxes, ignoring science, anti-free speech, & ushering in anti-American socialism.” —Liz Wheeler
Landmark brain cancer vaccine passes first phase of human trials A new article published in the journal Nature is reporting promising results from a landmark Phase 1 human trial testing a novel vaccine designed to help a patient’s immune system better target brain tumors. The data suggests the experimental vaccine is safe and stimulates a significant immune response that slows tumor progression. A larger Phase 2 trial is currently being planned.
‘I Have Never Seen the Asian American Community Galvanized Like This’ she’s turned her lens toward some of the most high-profile protest movements in the U.S., including Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. For her, however, this past week has felt like something new. “Maybe it’s because this all strikes closer to home,” says Kim, who immigrated from Korea to New York at the age of 10 in 1972. “I have never seen the Asian American community galvanized like this.” It’s the first time Kim says she’s seen the Asian American community come out to protest so intensely—and she thinks it’s a sign of the changing times.
Time to Crank the Fear Gauge to Infinity: “Double-Mutant” COVID Strain Will Kill Us All! “Though VOCs [variants of concern] and a new double mutant variant have been found in India, these have not been detected in numbers sufficient to either establish a direct relationship or explain the rapid increase in cases in some states.” Now, here’s the deal: if you sequence a sample from every person, it will contain a mutation. They claim the mutations are “more infectious”, but have no evidence of this. They all say, they believe. They don’t know. This is fake science masquerading as fact. You want real science and known facts. Here you go.
Marine Corps Officer Warns Congress Against Classifying Christians in Military as ‘Religious Extremists’ A slide used in a Department of Defense (DOD) training manual identifies Catholics and evangelical Christians as “religious extremists,” along with members of the Ku Klux Klan, al-Qaeda, and Hamas, according to a Marine Corps officer. “First Liberty also obtained a screenshot of an unclassified slide from a U.S. Army training manual. The slide is entitled ‘Religious Extremism’ and it purports to identify religious extremists,” Michael Berry told the House Armed Services Committee, during a hearing on March 24 titled “Extremism in the Military.”
Macron and Merkel have poisoned minds of people of Europe – SIR BERNARD INGHAM They have to decide whether to go ahead with the proposed ban on the export to Britain of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine made in the Netherlands regardless of the company’s contractual obligations. If they do, they will prove conclusively that the EU is in a delirious state. After all, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President. Emmanuel Macron, among others, have first rubbished the vaccine and then conducted such a comprehensive U-turn that they want to hoard supplies. Yet all the while millions of doses are lying unused in their ‘fridges because they have poisoned their citizens’ minds against it.
Sign Of Things To Come? Amazon Drivers Forced To Sign ‘Biometric Consent’ Amazon delivery drivers nationwide have to sign a “biometric consent” form this week that grants the tech behemoth permission to use AI-powered cameras to access drivers’ location, movement, and biometric data. If the company’s delivery drivers, who number around 75,000 in the United States, refuse to sign these forms, they lose their jobs. The form requires drivers to agree to facial recognition and other biometric data collection within the trucks they drive. The company says cameras are being used to improve “safety” and the “quality of the delivery experience.” But as Thomson Reuters reported earlier this month, some drivers are quitting their jobs because of privacy concerns.
Iran fired missile at Israeli ship in Arabian Sea – report An Iranian missile was fired at an Israeli ship in the Arabian Sea, hitting and damaging it, N12 reported Thursday. The container ship is owned by an Israeli businessman and was making its way to Tanzania from India, it reported. As the ship sailed between India and Oman, it was hit by a missile and damaged, the report said.
The Russian Navy Is Becoming a Mach 9 Hypersonic Killer The Russian Navy conducted a number of hypersonic missile launches in the final months of 2020, including three from October to December. In those tests, Tsirkon missiles were fired from the 3S-14 universal naval missile launchers installed on Project 22350 frigates and Project 20380 corvettes.
North Korea claims ‘new tactical guided’ missiles launched North Korea has claimed the missiles it launched Thursday were a “new-type tactical guided projectile”, in its first statement since the test. It was the country’s first ballistic launch in almost a year and the first since Joe Biden became US President. Mr Biden has said the US will “respond accordingly”. The US, Japan and South Korea have condemned the tests.
Israel election: PM Netanyahu short of majority as vote count ends Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu could struggle to secure enough parliamentary seats to stay in power, preliminary results from Tuesday’s election show. Local media said Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc would end up with 52 seats – nine short of the threshold. In a surprise development, an Arab party which is projected to get four seats could hold the balance of power.
New York poised to legalize marijuana as lawmakers agree on terms: reports Democrats, who control the New York legislature, have come to terms on a measure to legalize marijuana, which would make the state the 15th in the country to allow recreational use of the drug, according to two reports on Thursday. The proposed bill…would establish a regulatory structure for controlling marijuana sales…
Five killed as tornadoes sweep Alabama At least five people have been killed in Alabama, as tornadoes continue to batter the southern US state. The deaths were in the small town of Oatchee in Calhoun County, the local emergency agency said, as the storm damaged houses and uprooted trees. The tornadoes later hit Chilton County and were nearing Shelby Country.
Turkey asks Kosovo to reconsider embassy in Jerusalem Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked Kosovo’s new prime minister to reconsider the Balkan nation’s recent opening of an embassy in Jerusalem. Erdogan made the request in a letter congratulating Prime Minister Albin Kurti, who took office earlier this week. Kurti’s media office released a copy of the letter Thursday.
US gives $15m to Palestinians to fight against COVID-19 The United States said on Thursday it is giving $15m to vulnerable Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a sharp reversal from the Trump administration which cut off almost all aid to the Palestinians. US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield made the announcement at the United Nations Security Council’s monthly Middle East meeting…
The GREAT GUN GRAB of 2021 Begins! It was only a matter of time before the first major false flag mass shooting took place on the watch of POTUS imposter Joe Biden. Actually, the second MCE after the Atlanta area massage parlor shootings.
Patreon, Censorship, & The Self-Inflicted Wound Already this year we’ve seen the best of our journalists driven out of high-profile positions and going independent. From Glenn Greenwald being forced out at the company he helped found, The Intercept, to Matt Taibbi leaving Rolling Stone, the days of the independent voice in media is being driven underground. Even with them gone to newcomer Substack, that hasn’t satisfied the gatekeepers of political correctness, who want them unable to even make a living.
God the Father’s Love for His Children John 1:12–13; Romans 8:14–17; Galatians 4:4–7; Ephesians 1:5–6
Whatever is feeble and tender, as needing help on account of its feebleness, is kindly looked on, and is sweet and pleasant, anger changing into help in the case of such; for thus horses’ colts, and the little calves of cows, and the lion’s whelp, and the stag’s fawn, and the human child, are looked upon with pleasure by their fathers and mothers. Thus also the Father of the universe cherishes affection toward those who have fled to Him; and having begotten them again by His Spirit to the adoption of children, knows them as gentle, and loves those alone, and aids and fights for them; and therefore He bestows on them the name of child.
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Early Church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Fear God over the World Psalm 8:3–9; 33:8; Hebrews 12:28; James 4:4
Will you let the fear of a false world, that has no love for you, keep you from the fear of that God, who has only created you that He may love and bless you to all eternity?
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Modern church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
26:40Could you not watch with Me one hour: Although addressed to Peter, the question was meant for all three disciples. Earlier Peter had claimed that he would never forsake Jesus and that he would even die for Him (v. 35); yet Peter could not stay awake to pray with Jesus at the time of His greatest need.
26:40 “And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping” Before we are too quick to condemn the disciples, let’s note that in Luke 22:45 the phrase “they were asleep from sorrow” describes that they were unable to bear the pain of Jesus’ prophecy about His own death and their subsequent scattering. Though Jesus longed to have human fellowship and intercession at this time of ultimate crisis in His life, He had to face this moment alone, and He faced it for all believers!
40. And he came to his disciples. Though he was neither delivered from fear, nor freed from anxiety, yet he interrupted the ardour of prayer, and administered this consolation. For believers are not required to be so constant in prayer as never to cease from conversing with God; but on the contrary, following the example of Christ, they continue their prayers till they have proceeded as far as their infirmity allows, then cease for a short time, and immediately after drawing breath return to God. It would have been no slight alleviation of his grief, if his disciples had accompanied him, and taken part in it; and on the other hand, it was a bitter aggravation of his sufferings, that even they forsook him. For though he did not need the assistance of any one, yet as he had voluntarily taken upon him our infirmities, and as it was chiefly in this struggle that he intended to give a proof of that emptying of himself, of which Paul speaks, (Philip. 2:7,) we need not wonder if the indifference of those whom he had selected to be his companions added a heavy and distressing burden to his grief. For his expostulation is not feigned, but, out of the true feeling of his mind, he declares that he is grieved at having been forsaken. And, indeed, he had good grounds for reproaching them with indifference, since, amidst the extremity of his anguish, they did not watch at least one hour.
Spirituality is a vague concept these days – both inside and outside the Church. As David F. Wells has put it: “Today, we think that each person must find his or her own way of being spiritual, something that is comfortable to that person; each spirituality is particular to each person.” Too often it’s something esoteric and about self-discovery with no connection to how the Bible defines spiritual life.
Scripture is clear that spiritual life comes from the Holy Spirit alone. In the New Testament, the word “spiritual” means “of the Holy Spirit”. Like Lydia the heart is first opened by the Spirit to receive the truths of God’s Word (Acts 16:13-14). Samuel Rutherford observes:
We do not have the Spirit till we are brought into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. Christ is not owner of the man who does not have the Spirit “If any have not the spirit, he is none of Christ’s” (Romans 8:9). Christ and the Spirit cannot be separated. The Spirit that is in the first heir (Christ) is in all the rest. We must be diligent to make our calling sure or else be “none of Christ’s”.
Spiritual life is dependence on the Spirit. Samuel Rutherford wrote a large book dealing with the relation of the Spirit to the believer work in the matter of spiritual growth and experience. This is something that concerns the Christian every day in his devotional life. The book is called Influences of the Life of Grace.
He deals with many important questions, such as what believers should do when they do not feel spiritually exercised. Rutherford asserts that the believer is to do his duty in prayer and worship even if he feels otherwise. It is the believer’s duty to pray away spiritual indisposition. We must pray for the Spirit’s help but we must make the Word our only rule and not our feelings. He emphasises that spiritual life centres around the Word of God: “the word is the chariot, the Spirit the driver of the chariot”. Rutherford also stresses the believer’s union Christ who bestows the Spirit and His influences. “Know the way to the well of life, be much with Christ, and lie, and be near to the well, if you would have influences every moment”. “Make sure union with the Vine-tree, if you would be sure of growing to the end”.
The following abridges and updates an extract fromInfluenceswhich identifies ten characteristics of a spiritual person from the Bible. He is answering the question: how can we identify a spiritual person and spiritual influences?
1. A Spiritual Person Submits to the Guidance of the Holy Spirit
The guide is the one who determines the journey. The commands of the Spirit have much free grace and persuasive leading (Acts 10:19; Acts 11:2; Acts 18:9-11; John 14:16, 26; John 16:13). Where the will presses forward strongly with much liberty in obedience, there is much of the Spirit. Drawing back in spiritual actions, however, indicates much of the flesh. Christ, who had the anointing of the Spirit without measure, was all will and all heart and all spirit to obey and suffer (John 10:17-18; Psalm 40:8-9).
2. A Spiritual Person Runs Strongly After the Holy Spirit
A spiritual person runs strongly in following the leading and drawing of the Spirit (Song 1:4; Psalm 119:32). “I held him and would not let him go” (Song 3:4).Is this not vehemence? It is followed by sweet feelings and high commendation of Christ. The Spirit’s power in drawing and the bride’s energy in running combine. He that is willing to be led shall be led. Keeping Christ’s commandments makes room for the Father and the Son to come and dwell (John 14:21 and 23). Fire makes more fire.
3. A Spiritual Person Cherishes All of the Spirit’s Activity
A spiritual person takes care that none of the parts of the new creation are damaged. He loves and honours his guide and leader. Scripture notes our wrongs we do to the Holy Spirit: (a) vexing; (b) quenching; (c) tempting; and (d) resisting.
(a)A spiritual person will not vex the Holy Spirit(Isaiah 63:10) or grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30). To grieve is to sadden rather then to anger (see Matthew 14:9; 17:23 and 26:22). Can a friend lodge in a house, where he is saddened every hour? Is not this to chase him away? The signs of grieving the Spirit are when we acts in a deadened condition. For instance in praying when a Christian knocks faintly and life, liberty and godly boldness are absent.
(b)A spiritual person will not quench the Holy Spirit(1 Thessalonians 5:19). Some cast water upon the fire and holy flamings of the Spirit. This makes a cold hearth-stone and mightily obstructs the working of We should rather add new fuel to His fire, blow away the ashes and wrestle against deadness, dullness, faintness, andstir up the grace of God.Do not quench it in your self by unbelief and cheerless walking. When men cast water on the flamings of the Spirit and crush His work in others they are doing Satan’s work.
(c)A spiritual person will not tempt the Holy Spirit(Acts 5). We must acknowledge and adore the Holy Spirit as God and not follow Ananias in trying the Holy Spirit to see if he will find out hypocrisy, (Acts 5). A spiritual person will not say “but I may do this and be pardoned”. Tempted free grace is a transgression with so loud a cry, it is heard all heaven over.
(d)A spiritual person will not resist the Holy Spirit and do despite to the Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10:28-30; Matthew 12:31-32). Do you find not the actings of the Spirit sweet and heaven-like? If so, it indicates a spiritual disposition.
4. A Spiritual Person Displays Much Self-denial
He who will be least his own is most God’s, and partakes most of the divine nature. There is little of self in children; the children of God are like such as are learning to walk. So does the Spirit act without resistance in the sons of God. It’s true, there is much of renewed self, in spiritual actions and this increases the excellency of the actions (see 1 Corinthians 15:9-10; Galatians 2:20; Romans 7:17, 22; 1 Corinthians 9:20-21)
5. A spiritual person is spiritually bewildered
A spiritual person doubts every way he walks in except the way that he is sure to be from God (Psalm 143:10). This shows that:
(a) The spiritual person doubts every way and knows that he is a bewildered and ignorant traveller in himself. He is not able by his own light to know the way, the home and lodging or the guide.
(b) The spiritual person esteems God’s Spirit to be a good leader and guide.
(c) The spiritual person commits theirgoings to the Spirit and asks Him to be a guide to them.
He fears lest the way be hidden to him(Psalm 119:19).The commandments are the way, and a hid and covered way is misery to a stranger or pilgrim. Seeing our ignorance and errors frequently and being in love with the Spirit’s leading is good.
6. A Spiritual Person Finds Spiritual Actions to be Natural
Action is easy when it comes from an inward principle. The stream flows from the fountain naturally without violence. Likewise heat comes from the fire naturally. It’s neither toil nor labour to the sun to give light. All these come from internal principles. There is violence in the motion of a clock, and therefore the wheels will be worn out by time. But the actions of the Spirit are sweet and natural. Grace makes the commandments to be not grievous. It is no effort but easy to a gracious pastor to love Christ. It breaks neither leg nor arm to desire Christ and be sick for Him and feed His flock out of love to the Chief Shepherd.
Meekness is easily led and drawn. When the Spirit comes in, the man is made pliable for counsel. O wrestle not against warnings, but yield to them! All gracious influences are sweet, delightful and easy. It is not a struggle but sweet and pleasant for a field of roses, of vine-trees to receive showers and summer influences from the sun and heaven. It was sweet for the baptised man Christ to receive and lodge the Holy Spirit who came down in the form of a dove on Him in all His influences.
7. A Spiritual Person Acts Much in the Spirit
Acting much in the Spirit brings greater abundance of the Spirit.
(a) The more that someone acts for the good of others (especially the people of God) the more the person is under the Spirit. Christ was under mighty flowings of the Spirit in redeeming His people. He was willing to have the influences of spiritual comfort withdrawn and be under that sad cloud of being forsaken by God in order that God might embrace us. It is the characteristic work of the Spirit to glorify God. “He shall glorify me (Christ says about the Spirit) for he shall receive of mine” (John 16:14).The more we glorify God and Jesus Christ God’s Son, the more we testify that we partake more of the flowings of the Spirit. The Church shows more of the Spirit in being willing to bear the Lord’s indignation because she has sinned (Micah 7:9) and bear public sufferings to illustrate the glory of His justice.
(b) If we have much of the spirit, we will patiently submit to the Lord’s sovereign withdrawing influences of comfort. What if He withdraw joyful influences of believing, of glorying, and rejoicing in the Lord, and feed the poor sinner with absence and exercise him with sad desertions?
(c) We are in a spiritual condition when Christ casts in feelings and discernible motions of the Spirit and we are moved and our soul fails for Him (Song 5:2, 4-6). “Quench not the spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19) includes the positive requirement to cherish kindly and yield sweetly to the flowings and sweet influences of the Spirit.
8. A Spiritual Person is Watchful
The Spirit of God keeps the soul watchful. “Praying with all prayer and supplication in the spirit” is combined with watching “with all perseverance” (Ephesians 6:18 see also Jude v21). “The spirit is willing” (Matthew 26:4 – forward, watchful i.e. the renewed part) “but the flesh is weak” (i.e. sleepy, and lazy). How much a person has of the Spirit is the amount they have of holy watchfulness. Watching guards against sleeping, and watchfulness makes the soul resolved to watch. Since the Spirit is a spirit of life, and a quickening and living spirit, (Romans 8:1). The more watchfulness in any, the more of the Spirit. “Let us not sleep as do others: but let us watch, and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-7; see also Romans 13:13).
9. A Spiritual Person Keeps Company with Other Spiritual People
They are born of the Spirit by the same Father (John 5; John 3:1; John 3:14; Psalm 119:63). Brothers love one another; the common nature and spirit of their Father dwells in them. Birds of the same feather and colours flock together. Beware of becoming weary of the Spirit’s company or that of spiritual men. Beware of loathing a spiritual ministry. The saints keep their spiritual being with the excellent ones in whom is all their delight (Psalm 16:2). God ordinarily showers influences and promises influences to the flocking together of the godly and pouring His Spirit on them, (Jeremiah 50:4-6; Zechariah 8:21-23; Malachi 3:16)
10. A Spiritual Person Speaks About Spiritual Things
When the well is full it must run over. When there is a treasure and abundance in the heart, the Spirit comes to the tongue in Zechariah and Simeon (Luke 2:25, 27). Grace seethes and boils up to the tongue when the conceptions of the King Christ are the good matter indited by the heart (Psalm 45:1). Men show their spirit by their language. The spiritual person speaks about Christ, redemption and imputed righteousness. The pilgrim’s heart, tongue and thoughts are all on his way and his home. In the same way the spiritual person dwells much on eternity, heaven and Christ.
12 “While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, 13 at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? Acts 26:12-18 (NASB) Read verses 15-18 on the site.
A hypocrite is someone who implies he or she stands for one set of values, but actually lives out their life doing the opposite. Since the post-modern church is mired in hypocrisy, one might assume that Christianity was the problem. If Christianity really was the one and only true religion and Jesus’ disciples truly are changed by their new birth in Christ, the hypocrite label should not stick. Why? True Biblical Christianity professes that all in Christ not only have their sins forgiven them, but they are also new creations who are no longer under the power of their former sins.
Sadly, the vast majority of post-modern professing Christians is in bondage to sin and is far more in love with this world than they are with their savior. This should not be! The problem is not with Christianity, but with a doctrinally unsound aberration of it. This “counterfeit Christianity” is rooted in Humanism. It places Man’s will equal with God’s will. Salvation is taught in such a way that people believe they “choose” salvation by accepting Jesus as savior by reciting a “sinner’s prayer.” As a result, these “Converts” believe their salvation came because they made the correct decision while the lost have not done so. After a short time, however, most of these conversions fail to stick. They fall away as soon as the going gets tough. Most of the remainder fall into the role of “hypocrite” while a small remnant lives in a spiritual mode while growing in grace. View article →
“And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!“ Matthew 14:29-30
The phone rings, and you answer. A sullen voice informs you of a tragedy. Your heart is so heavy that you feel as though you could die. What do you do?
Bad news, danger, and pain all cause us to look for help. As believers, we dwell with the almighty God, who is able to aid us. At those moments when we are sideswiped by life’s circumstances, we should cry out to Him.
In the Bible, crying out refers to speaking audibly with great emotion concerning an urgent need. God invites us to use this form of prayer to communicate that we desperately need His mercy.
It takes both faith and humility to share our heart’s concern aloud. Crying out, then, is a way for God’s children to express trust in the Lord’s ability and willingness to help. By calling upon Him with such urgency, we also lay down our pride and any attitude of self-sufficiency.
The Word of God assures us that our Father hears our cries and responds. In Psalm 3:4, for example, David wrote, “I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered from His holy mountain.” When we call aloud for help in Jesus’ name, we invite His power into the situation. Remember that there is strength in just speaking His name.
When we cry out to God, He may remove the problem immediately, yet we often have to wait for His perfect timing. Harsh circumstances might even be allowed to remain for His good purposes. But we can always count on His comfort and presence, which enable us to live with joy and hope.
We have learned about God’s call to be joyful as we live in the fear of the Lord. In our text today, God calls us to live by faith too. God calls us to live by faith in Christ for salvation, but here, as God’s covenant people, He calls us to live by faith because life is vanity. But what does this mean? Vanity in Ecclesiastes does not mean meaninglessness. Life might seem meaningless, but it is not. Even the wicked are for the Day of Judgment. In this book “vanity” also does not mean emptiness. Life is not empty, though it might feel empty. Vanity in Ecclesiastes means life can seem empty and uncontrollable because it is uncontrollable by us. From our point of view, it seems that sometimes life is running away from us, or that all our work has brought nothing, or that trying our best is hopeless because we get it wrong anyway.
We know life is a vapor; it appears for a little while and then it is gone. The whole point of Ecclesiastes is that we are not in control of our life, God is. All that comes is beyond our control; God has the whole world in His hands (Romans 8:28). Therefore, we are to remember our Creator all our days, living by faith in Him, trusting His Word. Jesus came to save us and bring us to the “obedience of faith”(Romans 1:5; 15:18), and this includes remembering God and His Word every day of our lives.
Suggestion for prayer
Pray God would help you seek first His Kingdom. Life is short, but it is a gift from God to be lived for Him.
Rev. Henry Bartsch has been serving as pastor of the Trinity Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (Chatham, Ontario) since 2003. He and his wife Tammy have seven children and two grandchildren. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.
Jesus knows, understands, and sympathizes with our human weaknesses. Just as every human priest who preceded Him “can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness” (Hebrews 5:2), the Lord is also able to identify with us as His frail people.READ MORE
Growth in personal holiness is largely determined by our progress in self-discipline. Without this foundational discipline, there can be no advancement in grace. Before other disciplines can be administered, whether in the home, business, or church, there first must be self-discipline.
Admittedly, personal discipline is not a popular subject today. In our society, any insistence upon self-discipline is largely resisted, even among many Christians. Legalism, they cry, defending their rights of Christian liberty. These free-spirited believers maintain that discipline restricts their freedom in Christ, binding them in a spiritual straightjacket.
But many of these believers have so abused their freedom in Christ that they have virtually no spiritual discipline. They have swung the pendulum so drastically toward Christian liberty that their spiritual lives are out of balance. Such neglect of self-discipline prolongs their spiritual immaturity, leaving them with little self-control to resist temptation and sin.
Let us be clear, if there is no discipline, there is no discipleship. If we do not discipline ourselves, God Himself will discipline us (Heb. 12:5–11). One way or another, there will be discipline in our lives. Given our tendency toward sin, we must discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness, lest we be disciplined by God.
What Is Self-Discipline?
The Greek word translated “discipline” (enkrateia) comes from the root krat, which denotes power or lordship. Self-discipline means to exercise power over one’s self. It is the ability to keep one’s self under control. The word indicates self-mastery over one’s inner desires, thoughts, actions, and words. It is the control a believer must exercise over his life (Gal. 5:23).
This same word is used in 1 Corinthians 7:9 to indicate the “self-control” one must show over unlawful sexual desires. Likewise, elders must be “self-controlled” (Titus 1:8), disciplined in their inward attitudes and outward actions. Mastery of self is non-negotiable for spiritual leadership.
The opposite of self-discipline is a self-indulgent lifestyle that produces “the works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19-21). Any lack of self-control will inevitably result in sinful deeds. But where self-mastery exists, there is a strong resistance to sensual appetites and sinful choices. Self-rule brings every thought, word, and deed captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Any advance in personal holiness demands self-control.
What Self-Discipline Is Not
To best understand what self-discipline is, we need to see what it is not. Two erroneous views of the Christian life—Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism—distort the truth of self-discipline.
In the fourth century, a British ascetic named Pelagius (AD 354–420) taught the fatal error that man has the inherent ability to both save and sanctify himself. By a person’s sheer force of will, he claimed, he is able to accomplish the divine will. By this, Pelagius denied original sin and the total depravity of mankind. The mere knowledge of the divine law, he insisted, is all that is needed. By his own free will, man may discipline himself by self-determination.
Pelagius was denounced as a heretic by the Council of Carthage for this fatal teaching (AD 418). Tragically, however, Pelagianism remains with us. Many today falsely assume that they can simply will themselves to be whatever they want to be. This mindless mantra is found in today’s self-help movement and prosperity gospel, chanting, “What the mind can conceive, the will can accomplish.” The ability of self-discipline, they claim, is within us.
A second erroneous view is semi-Pelagianism. This syncretistic approach assumes that man has some ability to save and sanctify himself. A person must supply his willpower in partnership with God. In this joint venture, God and man are co-contributors to self-discipline. God gives a measure of grace, but man supplies the rest.
Semi-Pelagianism is only half-Christian. This compromising position was likewise declared heretical by the Western Church in the Second Council of Orange (AD 529). Yet tragically, this tainted legacy remains to this day in the man-centered theology of Arminianism and in the pragmatic methods of Finneyism.
Instead, the truth was taught by another fourth century teacher named Augustine (AD 354–430). This gifted leader asserted that God is the sole author of man’s salvation and sanctification. By His sovereign grace, God monergistically regenerates spiritually dead sinners.
Every Christian is responsible to pursue holiness, yet God must work within us to produce personal godliness (Phil. 2:13– 14). Augustinian teaching rightly understands that only God can produce authentic self-discipline in the believer.
Who Produces Self-Discipline?
This virtue of “self-control” is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23). As a vine produces fruit, self-discipline is created exclusively by the Spirit. Self-control is never self-generated; rather, it is a work of grace within us. Though we are active in practicing it, we simply bear this fruit of self-discipline. We never produce it.
Jesus maintained, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). In our own willpower, we cannot do anything that pleases God. Only by God’s enabling grace can we exercise self-control in our ongoing war against sin. The Apostle Paul affirms, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). That is, Christ must be mightily working within us.
As sap flows into the branch, producing fruit, divine grace must fill the believer, producing self-control. The self can never produce self-discipline. Only as Christians live under the Holy Spirit’s control can they live self-controlled lives.
In Galatians 5:22–23, we read that there are nine aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. Self-discipline appears last on the list. By occupying this final position, self-discipline assumes a place of strategic importance. In reality, self-discipline is the summation of the previous eight qualities that the Spirit produces. The work of the Spirit reaches its consummation in self-control. This virtue enables us to realize every other aspect of spiritual fruit.
What Does Self-Discipline Look Like?
The Apostle Paul compared the self-discipline required in Christian living with an athlete training for and competing in the ancient athletic games: “Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in small things” (1 Cor. 9:25). If a runner would win the prize, he must bring his entire life under the strict discipline of rigorous training. The strenuous workout of the athlete demands that he seriously restrict his personal liberties. If he is to be victorious, he must refuse many individual freedoms. Liberties are largely for spectators, not a champion athlete. He must pursue a proper diet, sufficient rest, and arduous drills. Every area of his life must be brought under control.
So it is in the Christian life. Paul urges, “Train yourself for godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7). To pursue holiness, a believer must hear biblical preaching and teaching, and participate in corporate worship, the Lord’s Supper, Bible reading, meditation, prayer, and fellowship. Further, he must deny many legitimate pleasures if he is to win the prize.
This kind of self-discipline is a rebuke to half-hearted Christians who do little to train for spiritual victory. They are out-of-shape believers with flabby faith. They are spiritual couch potatoes with bulging spiritual waistlines. Their lifestyle is self-indulgent due to their lack of self-control.
Paul adds, “I box in such a way, as not beating the air” (1 Cor. 9:26). A champion boxer must have a clearly-focused aim in the ring. But an undisciplined fighter throws wild punches, never landing a blow on his opponent. An undisciplined believer suffers great defeats in his bout against sin. To the contrary, a believer must live with self-control in fighting against sin.
A champion athlete must beat his body into submission. If not, he will be disqualified from the race. Paul warns: “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (v. 27). The Apostle urges us to discipline our bodies and resist sinful desires. If we do not, we will forfeit the prize.
What Is the Price?
Believers have liberty in Christ to pursue what is not forbidden in Scripture. But we cannot afford for anything to gain mastery over us. Victory always comes at a price. The Christian life is no different.
This necessitates that we exercise self-discipline in areas like food, drink, sleep, time, and money. We must exercise self-control in the entertainment and recreation in which we engage. We must restrict our liberties in whatever would hinder us from winning the prize.
If we are to exercise self-control, we must relinquish the control of our lives to Jesus Christ. Here is a paradox of the Christian life: We must give up the control of self if we would gain self-control. May God enable us to exercise self-discipline, an absolute necessity for victory over sin.
This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine.
Mark, my soul, the care that Jesus displayed even in His hour of trial toward his precious sheep! The ruling passion is strong in death. He resigns Himself to the enemy, but He interposes a word of power to set His disciples free. As to Himself, like a sheep before her shearers He is dumb and opens not His mouth, but for His disciples’ sake He speaks with almighty energy. Herein is love—constant, self-forgetting, faithful love. But is there not far more here than is immediately apparent? Do we not have the very soul and spirit of the atonement in these words?
The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep and pleads that they must therefore go free. The Surety is bound, and justice demands that those for whom He stands as substitute should go free. In the middle of Egypt’s bondage, the voice rang out with power, “Let these men go.” Out of slavery of sin and Satan the redeemed must come. In every cell of the dungeons of Despair, the sound is echoed, “Let these men go,” and out come Despondency and Fearful. Satan hears the well-known voice and lifts his foot from the neck of the fallen; and Death hears it, and the grave opens her gates to let the dead arise. These men go the way of progress, holiness, triumph, glory, and none shall dare to keep them from it. No lion shall hinder their progress, and no fierce opponent shall prevent them.
The Lord Jesus has drawn the cruel hunters upon Himself, making the most timid of His followers to discover perfect peace in His unbounded love. The thundercloud has burst over the cross of Calvary, and the pilgrims of Zion shall never be smitten by the bolts of vengeance.
Come, my heart, rejoice in the immunity that your Redeemer has secured for you, and bless His name all day and every day.
In this week’s lessons, we are reminded of the need to continue in those things we have learned from Scripture, in order to live a holy life.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:1-17
The second form of encouragement is that of Timothy’s earlier teaching he had received. This is why Paul tells Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (vv. 14-15).
Assuming the person has received proper teaching in the past, it is foolish to decide at some point in life to radically throw over everything he has been taught. How much more true when what that person has been taught is the Word of God. Someone who has had the blessing of Christian teaching in the home, at church, and through other means is a fool to relinquish that kind of heritage. When worldly temptations come to challenge our Christian thinking and behaving, we need to remember what we have been taught, some of us from our earliest days, and stand firm.
I think of that occasion when Peter was standing around the fire on the night of Jesus’ arrest. He was afraid to acknowledge that he was one of Jesus’ disciples on account of what might happen to him, and so three times Peter denied he knew Jesus at all. But after he did that, he felt a deep sense of shame and remorse. Peter had been with Jesus for three years, and could not go back to being what he was before.
In your own experience, you will find that the world has its appeal, and will try to lure you away from what you have been taught and enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. But if you yield to those calls you will find that you won’t be able to do it well, because God will make it miserable for you. Just as Peter repented from doing what felt right at the time out of fear, so you will repent and return to those truths you have been taught and become convinced of.
The third encouragement Paul gives is the power and efficacy of Scripture itself. Paul reminds Timothy in verses 16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Bible came from God himself. It is God’s word, and was communicated through men, but it is not the word of man. All of Scripture has been breathed out by God and is therefore useful and effective in those important categories Paul lists.
If you will read the Word, study the Word, meditate upon the Word, and inwardly digest the Word so that it becomes a part of you, then you will find that the power of God working through his Word will do everything you need to live a godly life, and to equip you for the work that he has for you to do. In other words, God through his Word will give you the ability and grace to continue in the things that you have learned from his Word, and God will bless that. You will see men and women come to faith in him, and you will find that you will grow spiritually, and families will together grow spiritually, and churches will be built up. This is why Christians have valued the Word as they have throughout all the centuries of the Church’s existence.
When a new British sovereign is crowned at the coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland presents the monarch with a Bible, and the Archbishop of Canterbury gives these words: “…to keep your Majesty ever mindful of the law and the Gospel of God as the Rule for the whole life and government of Christian Princes, we present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords.” And then the Moderator continues: “Here is Wisdom; this is the royal Law; these are the lively Oracles of God.”
And it is. And foolish is the man or woman who tries to build or continue on any other foundation.
What is the second piece of encouragement Timothy receives from Paul?
What is the third encouragement Paul gives?
Prayer:Pray regularly for someone you know who has been taught the Word of God from his earliest days, but today shows little or no interest.
Key Point:Someone who has had the blessing of Christian teaching in the home, at church, and through other means is a fool to relinquish that kind of heritage. When worldly temptations come to challenge our Christian thinking and behaving, we need to remember what we have been taught, some of us from our earliest days, and stand firm.
March 26 Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25 Luke 7:11-35 Psalm 68:19-35 Proverbs 11:29-31
Deuteronomy 5:7-21 – If you missed this in Exodus 20, we have the Deuteronomy (Second Law). Why is this important? This was the covenant of verse 2, spoken by the LORD “face to face.”
Deuteronomy 5:29 – Why can’t people keep God’s commandments? They need a new heart! (Ezekiel 36:26).
Deuteronomy 6:4 – is the Shema:
The Shema is one of only two prayers that are specifically commanded in Torah (the other is Birkat Ha-Mazon — grace after meals). It is the oldest fixed daily prayer in Judaism, recited morning and night since ancient times. It consists of three biblical passages, two of which specifically say to speak of these things “when you lie down and when you rise up.” This commandment is fulfilled by including the Shema in the liturgy for Ma’ariv (evening services) and Shacharit (morning services). Traditional prayerbooks also include a Bedtime Shema, a series of passages including the Shema to be read at home before going to bed at night. –Judaism 101
v.2 – The best prescription for long life isn’t an herbal supplement but fearing the Lord and keeping his commandments!
v.5 is the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).
v.6 says you should memorize this passage
Deuteronomy 6:9 – The Mezuzah is affixed to the door of devout Jewish homes (and hotel rooms)! What’s on the doorpost of your home?
Deuteronomy 6:25 – You can obtain righteousness by the law – IF – you fulfill all the commandments of the LORD. All 613, all the time. We can’t, but Someone did (2 Corinthians 5:21)!
Luke 7:22 – a reference to Isaiah 35:4-6
Psalm 68:20 – The one who obtained the righteousness of Deuteronomy 6:25, who preached salvation from Isaiah 35:4, as testified in Luke 7:22, was the God of Salvation of Psalm 68:20.
Proverbs 11:30 – Is this an ancient text for an evangelism conference? Yes!
Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.
Then they called to Yahweh for help in their trouble;
he saved them from their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and gloom,
and tore off their bonds.
Let them give thanks to Yahweh for his loyal love
and his wonderful deeds for the children of humankind,
for he shatters the doors of bronze,
and cuts through the bars of iron.
Reading: Mark 14:66–72
And while Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the female slaves of the high priest came up. And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked intently at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean!” And he went out into the gateway, and a rooster crowed. And the female slave, when she saw him, began to say again to the bystanders, “This man is one of them!” But he denied it again. And after a little while, again the bystanders began to say to Peter, “You really are one of them, because you also are a Galilean, and your accent shows it!” And he began to curse and to swear with an oath, “I do not know this man whom you are talking about!” And immediately a rooster crowed for the second time. And Peter remembered the statement, how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times,” and throwing himself down, he began to weep.
We recognize in the apostle two acts of will: the one, by which he willed not to die, a thing wholly free from blame; the other, by which he delighted to be a Christian, which was highly praiseworthy. In what then was the apostle blameworthy? Was it in that he preferred to lie rather than to die? Plainly this act of will was deserving of blame, for he willed to preserve the life of the body rather than that of the soul.…
He sinned, therefore, and not without the consent of his own will, which was feeble indeed and wretched, but certainly free. He did not sin by rejecting or hating Christ, but by loving himself too much. Nor did that sudden fear of death forcefully compel his will to this perverse self-love, but it proved it to exist. He was, without doubt, already such a man as this, but he knew it not—even though he heard Christ, from whom the truth could not be hidden, say: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times” (Matt 26:34 nrsv). That weakness of will—which was revealed, but not caused. It was by fear inspired. And it made known the extent to which he loved himself, and the extent to which he loved Christ. It was made known however, not to Christ, but to Peter.
—Bernard of Clairvaux
Concerning Grace and Free Will
Do you love yourself—your comfort, your safety, your reputation—more than you love Christ? Are you defensive when challenged about these things, or are you repentant like Peter?
In this episode, Dinesh undertakes a futile search for Biden’s brain, and then spells out the implications for democracy when the man who is elected to run things is quite obviously not running things. Pondering America’s petty obsessions and China’s global ambitions, Dinesh asks whether China is now in the position that America was in the 1950s, ready to take over the world. Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson joins Dinesh to talk about the decline of investigative journalism, and what she discovered on our southern border. Drawing on African American anthropologist Elijah Anderson’s work on the streets of Philadelphia, Dinesh reveals the perverse logic of cultural dysfunction in the black underclass. Also Dinesh spells out the new American class structure, with a class at the top that pretends to belong to no class at all.