“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
I and many others have real misgivings about all those who are now calling for and/or demanding vaccine passports. The supposed benefits to public health and safety seem to be far outweighed by the very real threats to freedom and democracy.
The fact that Communist China is basically running with things like this with its social credit system should be warning enough. Or consider the yellow star identification badges that had to be worn by a certain group of people not all that long ago in Germany. But I have already laid out some basic concerns about these passports: billmuehlenberg.com/2021/04/07/on-vaccine-passports/
In that piece I discussed how a number of jurisdictions have said they will not run with these. And more places are getting onboard with this. As yet one more example:
Governor Brad Little has issued an executive order banning so-called “vaccine passports” in his state. Amid a national row over the passports, Idaho is the third state to ban them. “Vaccine passports restrict the free flow of commerce during a time when life and economy are returning to normal,” Little said on Wednesday before signing the order, which bans all government entities in Idaho from requiring proof of vaccination to receive services or enter facilities. http://www.rt.com/usa/520412-idaho-bans-vaccine-passports/
And in my previous piece I mentioned how the Biden government said it will not be pushing these passports. But of course it does not need to push them, since plenty of corporate giants already are – along with a whole range of institutions, businesses, schools, and so on. So we will end up getting the exact same result – and bypassing the democratic process to boot.
Cheryl K. Chumley explains why this is such a huge concern:
The left, the coronavirus-loving left, has successfully taken the coronavirus and used it to great political advantage, shoving through the free market and into private business all the clampdowns and shutdowns and regulatory chills they can’t do the constitutional way — which is a case in point of why the left is so coronavirus-loving.
The worst is the weaponizing of the free market. The left has created this sort of oligarchy with the corporate world, using CEOs to drive policies that can’t pass legislatively, that wouldn’t meet constitutional muster in the courts, that aren’t in any way, shape or form in line with U.S. values, U.S. liberties or U.S. governing principles.
Example? Here’s a telling headline or two: “Fauci says federal government won’t mandate COVID vaccine passports,” CBS News reported, in reference to the nation’s top disease doc, Anthony Fauci, speaking about the ongoing discussions of mandated vaccines versus voluntary vaccines, and how the two shall meet.
“Fauci: Federal government won’t require COVID vaccine passports,” Axios also reported.
Well, news flash: That’s because the Constitution doesn’t exactly support the federal government’s right to make vaccines a condition of entry to public venues, a condition of travel, a condition of access. So what’s the go-around that the Biden government’s got planned?
“The Biden administration is working on creating a set of standards for people to prove they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19, according to an administration official,” CNN reported a few days ago. “The official said they’re currently working with a range of companies on the standards … Multiple government agencies are engaged in conversations and planning, coordinated by the White House, as this kind of system will play a role in multiple aspects of life, including potentially the workforce.”
In layman’s, that means the White House is taking a leadership role in helping — “helping” — companies develop a vaccine passport system that will stand the test of court scrutiny. It won’t be federally mandated — technically. But it will be federally developed and enforced by the private sector.
The same private sector that isn’t held to the same constitutional binds as the government.
Many others have been sounding the alarm. Let me feature a few of them. Jeff Crouere speaks about how Cornell University and other schools are making vaccines mandatory. He goes on to say this:
The vaccine requirements will not be limited to colleges and universities. Soon, the leading corporations in the country may require a vaccine for their employees to work in office settings. Such vaccine passports may also be required to fly or to attend special events such as concerts and athletic contests.
The concept of vaccine passports should horrify Americans, regardless of their personal stance on the issue. As Americans, we should have the freedom to either take the vaccine or not.
While older Americans may feel more vulnerable and want to take the vaccine, others should be able to refuse it for whatever reason. Some Americans might not trust the government or the pharmaceutical companies; others may have read online reports about serious side-effects, including deaths, that have occurred after taking the vaccine. In America, we should have the right to say “no,” especially on issues regarding our personal health….
U.S. representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is the first to act in Congress. She introduced legislation entitled the “We Will Not Comply Act.” The purpose of this bill is to “ban vaccine ‘passports,’ prevent discrimination against the unvaccinated, and much more to protect the freedom of the American people.” Rep. Taylor Greene is showing more courage than the vast majority of her Republican Party colleagues in the House or Senate.
Vaccine passports are the definition of medical tyranny. The entire idea is Orwellian and dangerous. It is what would be expected in a country ruled by a tyrannical government, not in a constitutional republic. Even liberal author Naomi Wolf understands the dangers that vaccine passports represent. She says that if these plans are implemented, it will mean “the end of human liberty in the West.” http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/04/vaccine_passports_to_hell.html
Writing from the UK, Josie Appleton puts it this way:
The vaccine passport is the nadir of ‘permission slip’ officialdom. It means that before you can go to the cinema, or a concert, or a football match, or perhaps even to work, you must first have obtained official clearance. Every person is declared a risk to others until they have proof that they have been tested or vaccinated.
The vaccine passport means that participating in civic life is not a right, something every citizen can do without having to prove anything to anybody. Instead, it can only be done with official clearance. There are conditions, there is a barrier of entry; papers must be shown at the entrance of the nightclub.
With the full rollout of vaccine passports, as seen in Israel, those without a ‘green pass’ are thrown out of their gyms or choirs and cannot enter many public places. In China, those without the Covid ‘green code’ on their smartphones cannot enter the supermarket or go on the subway.
It becomes a constant obligation of every citizen to obtain a Covid green status and show that he or she is Covid-secure. The person who is not regularly vaccinated or tested is marked out as a danger to others, and his or her permission to participate in civic life is revoked.
This means that citizenship becomes a provisional thing. There are certain conditions of entry today but tomorrow they may change, by a simple change in the app. In China, people have a green, amber or red status on their phone, which can be changed suddenly without warning….
People may think that a vaccine passport is a small price to pay for certain practical freedoms, but this is a dangerous bargain. Agreeing to the vaccine passport means that you have sold your freedom. You may be able to go to the pub but this will be a privilege and not a right. The vaccine status check on the door is not a formality; it tells you that your right to go to the pub, to participate in civic life, has been taken away, and you can enter only with official approval. Today it is Covid, but tomorrow it might be another illness, or something else entirely.
Of course, it may be that Covid checks operate at borders for some time to come, and that you have a Covid passport to go alongside your real passport. But this is crossing a border, a time when we always revoke some of our rights to citizenship. The rights of a citizen or resident within their own country should be an entirely different matter.
A common argument against vaccine passports is that they create a ‘second-class’ citizenry, who for medical or other reasons are unable to prove their ‘Covid-secure’ status. There would be two lines of people, two sets of rules, two different sets of rights. This is a real concern. It is also the case that vaccine passports violate medical ethics, pressuring people to undergo a medical procedure in order to participate in civic life.
But the larger point is that vaccine passports will have changed the nature of citizenship and freedom for all citizens, including those with Covid green status. It would be the final victory for ‘permission slip’ officialdom; it would revoke any presumed rights of citizens to participate in civic life. We would have sold our freedom for a measly price, and would find out the consequences of this deal in the months and years ahead. http://www.spiked-online.com/2021/04/07/why-we-must-oppose-vaccine-passports/
And Emily Mangiaracina notes just how widespread and pervasive these are becoming:
Numerous countries have either introduced vaccine passports, or are considering introducing them. Most recently, E.U. Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said the European Union’s brand-new “Digital Green Certificate” — or “sanitary certificate,” as he called it — has been approved by the 27 E.U. member states and will be released on June 15. Which activities will require the certificate, such as traveling, reportedly will be left up to the member states.
Conservative American politicians are sounding the alarm about the future of COVID-19 vaccine passports, which have already been issued by the state of New York and are being developed by the Biden regime, as well as numerous governments and public and private organizations worldwide. “Proposals like these smack of 1940s Nazi Germany. We must make every effort to keep America from becoming a ‘show your papers society,’” Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), told Fox News. “The Constitution and our founding principles decry this type of totalitarianism.” “America faces a dangerous future when its leader’s ideology shares more commonalities with Leninism than liberalism,” he continued….
Cannot Know God but by the Means of His Revelation Isaiah 5:24; Jeremiah 6:19; John 12:48; Ephesians 1:17–19
Prize and study the Scripture. We can have no delight in meditation on him unless we know him, and we cannot know him but by the means of his own revelation. When the revelation is despised, the revealer will be of little esteem. Men do not throw off God from being their rule till they throw off Scripture from being their guide; and God must needs be cast off from being an end when the Scripture is rejected from being a rule.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Our Talents Are Gifts from God Matthew 25:14–30; 1 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Timothy 1:6
We must remember that the talents with which God has favored us are not excellencies originating from ourselves, but free gifts of God, of which if any are proud they betray their ingratitude.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
10:13 This well-known verse has provided great encouragement to Christians faced by temptations. At the same time, Paul’s words contain an implicit rebuke. If God keeps us from temptations greater than we can withstand, we cannot plead our temptations as an excuse for sinning. Sin is never a necessity for a believer.
10:13Temptation Scripture depicts God testing the faith of His followers (Gen 22:1) or allowing other heavenly beings to tempt people (Job 1:6–12).
what is common to humanity The temptation facing the Corinthians is unexceptional—Paul encourages them to resist. Compare Heb 4:15 and note.
10:13will not let you be tempted beyond your ability … will also provide the way of escape. Even when Christians face morally confusing situations, they should never think that they have no options other than sinful ones. There will always be a morally right solution that does not require disobedience to any of God’s moral laws.
10:13 Paul provides the Corinthians with a word of comfort. The various temptations they were experiencing were normal; all believers throughout the ages have had to resist temptation. God is so good that He will not let believers experience anything for which He has not prepared them. He will give every believer the grace and power to endure. Furthermore, endurance will bring its own reward (9:24–27).
10:13 But then Paul adds a marvelous word of encouragement for those who are tempted. He teaches that the testings, trials, and temptations which face us are common to all. However, God is faithful, who will not allow us to be tested beyond what we are able. He does not promise to deliver us from temptation or testing, but He does promise to limit its intensity. He further promises to provide the way of escape, that we may be able to bear it. Reading this verse, one cannot help but be struck by the tremendous comfort it has afforded to tested saints of God through the centuries. Young believers have clung to it as to a life-line and older believers have reposed on it as upon a pillow. Perhaps some of Paul’s readers were being fiercely tempted at the time to go into idolatry. Paul would comfort them with the thought that God would not allow any unbearable temptation to come their way. At the same time they should be warned that they should not expose themselves to temptation.
10:13. After kicking out the props of false security, Paul pointed toward the One on whom the Corinthians could rely. The temptations that seized the Corinthians were like those people had always faced. They could be met and endured by depending on God, who is faithful. Part of the Corinthian problem, of course, was that some in the face of temptation were not looking for a way out by endurance, but a way in for indulgence.
10:13. The warning to be careful not to fall raised another issue that Paul addressed. What if Christians are so tempted that they cannot resist turning from Christ? Perhaps he had in mind the attraction some Corinthians had toward the idolatrous fertility rituals practiced in Corinth. What if they were not able to resist?
First, all temptations that Christians experience, including that of idolatry, are common to man. Others had resisted the temptation toward idolatry, and the Corinthians could do so as well.
Second, God is faithful, and he will not desert his people (see Deut. 7:9; 1 Thess. 5:24; Heb. 10:23; Rev. 1:5). God can be trusted not to allow temptations beyond what Christians can bear. God will always provide a way out of temptation so believers can stand up and not fall into apostasy. He himself tempts no one (Jas. 1:13), but he is in control of Satan, who tempts believers to sin (Matt. 4:1; 6:13). Because of his great love for his children, God does not allow temptations to be so great that they overcome us. Instead, Christians sin because they do not search for a way out.
10:13 “temptation” This word is used three times in this verse and means to tempt with a view toward destruction (see Special Topic at 3:13). There are three sources of temptation in the NT: (1) fallen human sin nature; (2) personal evil (Satan and the demonic); and (3) the fallen world system (cf. Eph. 2:1–3; James 4:1, 4, 7).
This aspect of God’s character is first stated in Deut. 7:9, which is an amplification of Deut. 5:9–10. God’s justice moves through time to three and four generations, but His lovingkindness (covenant loyal love, hesed) to a thousand generations. This same affirmation is continued in Isa. 49:7.
This is a major theme in the Corinthian letters (cf. 1:9; 10:13; 2 Cor. 1:18), as well as 1 Thess. 5:24 and 2 Thess. 3:3. Believers are to faith God’s faithfulness, to trust God’s trustworthiness. This is the essence of biblical faith!
“but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it”
“but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it”
“but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it”
“at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out”
“with any trial will also produce a way out by enabling you to put up with it”
This Greek word was used of a way of escape for a trapped military unit. Believers do not face temptations alone!
The problem in this text is how one relates “provide the way out” with “be able to endure it.” Do some get a way out and others bear it or is God’s way out really a means of enduring? Does the testing stop or do believers work through the testing by faith? Although this ambiguity cannot be settled, the good news is that God is with us in the problems (cf. Ps. 23:4). God will not leave us or forsake us. The exact mechanism of victory is not clearly revealed, but the victory is!
13. No temptation has overtaken you except that which is common to everyone. But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond that which you are able to bear; however, with the temptation he also will provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it.
a. “No temptation has overtaken you.” What an encouragement to every believer! What a relief to know that God has set limits! Paul is taking time out from his argument, so to speak, to reassure his discouraged readers with a pastoral word. As a corollary to his directive to stand firm and not to fall (v. 12), he encourages them to view their life realistically. In truth, Paul addresses every person who has come to grips with the daily problems of life.
As is true of all languages, Greek has words that have several meanings. The expression temptation is one of them, for it can also denote “trial.” In his epistle James says, “God does not tempt anyone” (1:13). True, yet Jesus teaches his disciples the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:13). He leaves the origin of temptation an open question; a succinct distinction is that temptations are from Satan but trials are from God.
Does Paul intend to say “temptation” or “trial” in verse 13? Perhaps he wishes to convey both meanings. To illustrate, Satan appears before God in heaven, and God allows him to tempt Job, to put his faith on trial. But God uses Satan to demonstrate that Job is able to endure his trials, for in the end Job’s faith triumphs (Job 1, 2, and 42).
b. “No temptation has overtaken you except that which is common to everyone.” The main verb in this sentence is in the perfect tense and connotes a lasting condition. It also conveys that tempting or testing takes possession of people. The degree and extent of any temptation is limited by what is common to everyone. By contrast, at both the beginning and the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus withstood Satan’s temptations beyond what is common to everyone. The hellish agony which Jesus withstood in Gethsemane and at Calvary no ordinary human would ever be able to endure. No believer will have to be subjected to the same experiences.
We ought not to ask to which temptations the Corinthians were subjected. Paul gives no details but only speaks a general word of encouragement that is valid for all Christians.
c. “But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond that which you are able to bear.” God’s faithfulness to his people is perfect, even though man’s faithfulness to him is imperfect. Scripture proves that not God but man is a covenant breaker. Biblical writers extol the divine attribute of God’s faithfulness that reaches to the sky. With variations, the theme God is faithful is a recurring refrain in Paul’s epistles and elsewhere in Scripture.
How does God demonstrate his faithfulness to believers? God promises that he will not permit anyone to be tempted beyond the point of human endurance. Even if believers knowingly place themselves in circumstances where temptations are rampant and inevitable, God demonstrates his faithfulness by coming to their rescue. Take Lot as an example. He took up residence in Sodom and had to put up with “the dirty lives of evil people,” yet God helped him and rescued him from sudden destruction (2 Peter 2:7, NCV).33 In brief, as a faithful shepherd rescues his wandering sheep, so God watches his people and delivers them from predicaments which they encounter. Paul implies that God sets the limits for man’s temptation in accordance with what he can bear.
d. “However, with the temptation he also will provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it.” The adversative however is influenced and strengthened by the word also. God sets limits to human temptations and he himself comes to help his people during their trials. He encourages believers to persist and eventually overcome. He becomes personally involved in the trial by opening a way of escape for those who are tempted and tried. In the Greek, Paul writes the definite article the in the phrase the way of escape. That is, for every trial God prepares a way out. A period of temptation and testing may be compared with a ship approaching a rocky shore and facing inevitable shipwreck. But, “suddenly and, to the inexperienced landsman, unexpectedly, [it] slips through a gap on the inhospitable coast into security and peace.”35
The purpose for the way of escape is “that you may endure [the temptation].” The main verb which Paul uses conveys the meaning to bear up under the temptation. Believers’ endurance prevents them from falling and makes them stand firm in the faith. God’s abiding faithfulness sees his people through their trials and causes them to triumph.
A Word of Hope (10:13)
Paul sums up this entire passage begun with his own example of self-discipline (9:24–27) with a magnificent ‘word’ about the faithfulness of God and the triumph of his power.
No temptation has seized you
that is not common to man.
Paul’s word peirasmoi can mean either or both ‘temptations’ and ‘trials’. Let all believers understand that ‘temptations’ and ‘trials’ are part of general human experience. As fallen people in a fallen world we are all subject to moral temptation and prone to trying circumstances right through our lives, from the cradle to the grave. It is not helpful to think that God has cursed us or singled us out for special punishment.
God is faithful
who will not permit you to be tempted (or tested)
beyond your power.
Several times Paul asserts that God is faithful, that is, true to his promises and constant in his love to his people (1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Cor. 1:18; 1 Thess. 5:24; 2 Thess. 3:3). God is not fickle, petulant, arbitrary or vacillating like the gods of Greece and Rome, or for that matter deities generally. When Patrick preached in Ireland he emphasised the constancy of the character of God as against the perverse changeability and capriciousness of the local gods. It is a huge relief to know that the God of the universe is a moral, constant and good Being, who is unchanging in his faithfulness.
And, assures Paul, the faithful God simply will not allow you to be tempted or tried beyond what you can bear. In context Paul is addressing the moral crisis in Corinth at that time. The people may have felt that the strength of temptation was too great and that they must succumb to it. Not so, Paul promises. The sovereign God is not absent from his world. His loving hand will be there to shield you, but only if you desire him to.
On the contrary (‘But’—alla) God will not only allow you to escape by the ‘skin of your teeth’, as it were. In his strength you will be empowered to resist whatever pressure that temptation or trial places you under.
But with the temptation [or trial]
he will make for you a way of escape
that you may bear up under it.
God, who is powerful as well as faithful, will not allow you to be shut in a room with no exits. Whatever the temptation we face or the trial we must endure we are not locked in by it. Rather, God will always also provide us with at least one door through which to make our escape. Paul does not say that we are enabled by God merely to ‘bear’ the temptation or trial, but that he will empower us to ‘bear up’ under it, that is, prevail in it. Paul is, of course, speaking of matters from an eternal perspective. In this life believers, like all others, are caught in the sufferings and disappointments of life which none of us in the end can regulate or control. But in the long term and in the eternal perspective we place ourselves with confidence and quiet trust in the loving and faithful hands of our God.
One final observation. The ‘way of escape’ may often prove to be by means of a human agency. It may be a friend who will hold me morally accountable or one who stands with me in my trial. Clearly, then, we should seek to be such true friends to others in their temptations or trials. There is a significant role for the pastor who faithfully and wisely teaches the Word of God to the people, through which God’s ‘ways of escape’ are frequently discerned. Such a friend, as well as pastor, Paul proved to be for the Corinthians.
Ver. 13. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.—
The limits of human experience:—
I. A great many believe that there never were such people as themselves. 1. Nobody ever did what they have done, or came through what they have come through. There never were such children as theirs; nor such toils, nor even such headaches and worries as theirs. All this comes of a morbid self-conceit. 2. But there is a particular manifestation of this tendency which deserves our heartiest sympathy. There are those who fancy there never were such sinners as they are: that you may just leave them alone, as past all redemption; and there are others who have found some little measure of hope and peace in Christ, but who seem likely to be desponding pilgrims to the end. They will have it that there never were believers so weak as they are, and never such temptations and perils as those which they must pass through. It was to such as these that St. Paul wrote.
II. We may understand the text as reaching to all that makes the common lot of human-kind. We fancy, when painful trials come, that things so painful were never felt before. But our text reminds us that there is a limit, within which all human experience lies. Human ability and human endurance have their tether, and cannot range very far. Here is a lesson of humility for the self-conceited; let them remember that thousands more have been at least as good. Here is comfort for those bowed down under the sense of sinfulness; thousands are now in heaven who have sinned as deeply as they. Here is encouragement for the tempted: thousands have by God’s grace been led safely through. So you see that the text may be useful as a medicine for two opposite spiritual diseases, presumption and despair. But it is to the comforting view of the text that I would direct your thoughts. It speaks—1. To those under deep conviction of sin. If you wish to persuade a sick man to send for the physician, the first thing you must do is to convince him that he is sick. So the Holy Spirit begins His saving work by showing the careless soul how sick it is. Now there is something very startling in this. It is something quite strange. For the natural thing is, to think that we are not very great sinners. Then the soul is sometimes ready to run from presumption to the other extreme of despair. In that sad time, what unspeakable comfort to know that other men have felt the like! 2. To those under the pressure of temptation. Now there is comfort under any trouble in the bare thought that others have known the like; but the special comfort of the text is, that if no temptation is likely to assail us, except that through which souls as weak as we have by God’s grace passed safely into glory—then that we too may hope, by the same blessed aid, to fight our way through. That which man has done, man may do. The great adversary, and the ensnaring world, fairly vanquished in a hundred battles, may well be vanquished again. But if you are an insincere and half-hearted Christian, seeking to just reach heaven at last after having held by the world here, you need never think to cloak your own proneness to go astray under the pretext that temptation overpowered you. Never think, as some hypocritically do, to cast wholly upon Satan the sin into which they went quite readily themselves. 3. Those under great sorrow and bereavement. The mother who has lost her child is consoled when another, who has passed through the like trial, does but come and sit by her, and say no word but that she has felt the same. Surely there is something consoling amid our earthly sorrows, in the bare remembrance that our Saviour understands them, because He has felt them all! But the text suggests comfort more substantial than this, viz., that others who have known such sorrow as we feel, have been enabled by God’s grace to bear it, and profit by it; and surely there is something in that thought which should enable us to bow the more submissively to our Heavenly Father’s will. It is not alone that the mourner travels through this vale of tears; apostles and prophets are of the company; saints and martyrs go with him; and the sorrowful face of the Great Redeemer, though sorrowful now no more, remains for ever with the old look of brotherly sympathy to His servants’ eyes and hearts. Nothing hath come to us, nothing will come to us, but has been shared by better men. (A. K. H. Boyd, D.D.)
Very peculiar circumstances:—“Ah,” said one to me, “you do not know the peculiar circumstances in which I am placed.” “I ask your pardon,” I replied, “I thought I had spoken of peculiar circumstances.” “Yes, but mine are very peculiar circumstances.” “But is Christ not a mighty Saviour?” “Yes, but mine are very, very peculiar circumstances.” “Will you look away from me now, and speak to God in heaven thus: ‘God, I thank Thee for Jesus Christ. I thank Thee Thou hast looked down on my lost, hell-deserving state, and that He died to save me. I want to live a holy life to Thy glory. But my circumstances are so very, very peculiar that I cannot think Jesus Christ is quite able to keep me in them. I am very sorry for Jesus Christ, and I wish He were a little stronger?’ ” “But,” she exclaimed, “would not that be blasphemy?” “Not more than your saying that in your very, very peculiar circumstances He cannot keep you. Let us try another way. Address yourself to God thus: ‘I go out to my very, very peculiar circumstances, believing that there is for me a very, very peculiar Saviour, able to keep me every day in my very, very peculiar trial. I go believing He will help me if I trust Him, and go trusting Him.’ ” “Is that all I have to do?” “Yes, that is all. Go on trusting, moment by moment, and He will keep you, however peculiar the circumstances, moment by moment, to the end.” (H. W. Webb-Peploe, M.A.)
I. None of our temptations exceed our powers of endurance. 1. We shall never be placed where to sin will be inevitable. God will so adjust our surroundings that we shall always be able to do what is right. Even when our difficulties arise from what we unexpectedly find in the Church, we shall not find them invincibly obstructive. 2. There is great ground of encouragement in this. We are apt to suppose that our difficulties are unique, and some have sought to improve their position by entering on some more favourable line of life. But the apostle says, “Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.” And this is the highest and most practical wisdom. For every sphere of life has its peculiar temptations, and while we know something of those that meet us where we are, we know nothing of those that may meet us elsewhere, and they might be more perilous to us. But to one trying manfully to make the most of his lot my text comes with very potent help. All things seem to be against you. It was quite otherwise when you never tried to serve God. Still there is nothing in what you have to bear which may not be manfully borne. Christ has not come to save us by taking us out of the world, but to save us by a grace that brings salvation. Wherever you are, therefore, from that very point you may advance to sure, complete, and final conquest. Look at your sources of encouragement as well as your trials. And be sure if any man can be a Christian you are that man. There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear.
II. With every temptation God will also make a way of escape that we may be able to bear it. 1. This is but an application of the general law that Christ’s grace is sufficient for us. God is here said to make the temptation as well as the way of escape. He knows precisely the strength we need, because He has prepared the occasion on which we shall be called to use it. He never breaks the bruised reed, nor quenches the smoking flax. 2. But how is it He makes a way of escape? He does not withdraw the temptation any more than He took away Paul’s thorn. This would be to defeat the very purpose for which He has sent it, viz., to develop by exercise the strength we possess, and train it into greater maturity. If the temptation were removed we should only be confirmed in our feebleness. We escape it by not only avoiding the sin to which it leads, but by using it as a stepping-stone to farther attainment. 3. This way of escape must be sought for, or it may not be found. It reveals itself to the eye that waits only upon God. In our very praying we shall enter into it, and by our very prayer we shall pass through it into larger liberty and strength.
III. God is faithful. Therefore He not only controls the strength of temptation, but will also enable us to sustain it. Should you be disposed to doubt this, remember His faithfulness. He cannot be true to His purpose of grace, and yet allow us to be overcome by the sheer weight and pressure of evil. This would also place Him in contradiction to Himself, which cannot be. His actions are never at variance with His nature, though sometimes they may seem to us to be so. He has pledged Himself by the gift of His Son to leave nothing undone to give it the victory. Let us, therefore, be of good courage. His presence is the guarantee of victory. (C. Moinet.)
Temptation:—Many think that their temptations are—
I. Singular. But they are common.
II. Intolerable. But they are proportioned.
III. Invincible. But there is a way of escape.
God the helper of the tempted:—A sentinel posted on the walls, when he discerns a hostile party advancing, does not attempt to make head against them himself, but informs his commanding officer of the enemy’s approach, and leaves him to take the proper measures against the foe. So the Christian does not attempt to fight temptation in his own strength: his watchfulness lies in observing its approach, and in telling God of it by prayer. (W. Mason.)
Able to bear the pressure of temptation:—Professor Wyville Thomson remarks that the fact that a shark “can bear without inconvenience the pressure of half a ton on the square inch is a sufficient proof that the pressure is applied under circumstances which prevent its affecting it to its prejudice; and there seems to be no reason why it should not tolerate equally well a pressure of one or two tons. At all events, it is a fact that the animals of all the invertebrate classes which abound at a depth of 2,000 fathoms do bear that extreme pressure, and that they do not seem to be affected by it in any way.” We turn from the kingdom of nature to the kingdom of grace, and we say to every child of God in the depths of doubts and distresses, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.”
I. What is temptation? Generally an incentive, enticement, or provocation to sin. But there are other things called temptations which are not so in their own nature, but only as they become, through the corruption of our hearts, the occasions of sin, viz., afflictions, and the self-denying duties of the Christian life. God tempted Abraham, to try him whether he would be obedient or not. Afflictions are called temptations because they stir up impatience and provoke unbelief and apostasy. “Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted of God.” Strictly speaking He can tempt no man. He never provokes us to sin. But He does try and prove us, whether we will keep His commandments or not.
II. Whence come temptations? From what has been said it is evident that they come—1. Permissively, from God. But permission does not imply approval. God looks on, and suffers creatures to work out their own purposes: that is all. 2. Externally and instrumentally, from Satan, the world, or providential circumstances. 3. Internally, and by way of assistance they derive their force from our own corruptions, and liability to be overcome. Our natures are like dry fuel, ready to kindle at the least spark. It is a happy thing that, while God permits temptation, He also governs and controls it, holding Satan himself in check.
III. Why does God permit temptation? 1. To prove and develop character. 2. To show His own power and wisdom in bringing good out of evil. 3. To strengthen the graces of sanctification in His people. (1) By giving scope and exercise to those graces. What would become of them if they were not called out into action? (2) By necessitating nearness to God and perpetual dependence upon Christ.
IV. How does God limit temptation? 1. By controlling the power and malice of the tempter. 2. By adopting, moderating, alleviating providential circumstances, so as to suit the measure of our strength. 3. By raising our own strength in proportion to the temptation. “As thy day is, so shall thy strength be.”
V. What security have we that God will so limit temptation? This: “God is faithful.” 1. Therefore He will not break His word. This is the subject of express promise; and God is not a man that He should lie. 2. Therefore He will not falsify the assurances which He has given of His tender regard for the weakest of His people. They are His jewels. Will He suffer them to be trampled under foot? They are the sheep of His pasture. Will He, the Great Shepherd, permit the ravager to make havoc in the fold? They are His children. Will He abandon them to the rage of an implacable foe?
VI. What are our duties in reference to temptation? 1. Beware of rushing headlong into danger. The Word of God gives no sanction to foolhardiness. Why should Peter, in the plenitude of his vainglorious zeal, thrust himself into the high priest’s palace, and dare the jealous scrutiny of a thousand eyes, as though it were impossible for him to faint in the hour of trial? 2. Be armed against timidity and discouragement. If God allows you to fall into circumstances of temptation, be not dismayed. What servant of Christ was ever conducted to heaven without being often confronted by the enemy? 3. Resist to the uttermost. (D. Katterns.)
I. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. Our translators were not satisfied with this rendering, so they gave “moderate” in the margin, which is further still from the meaning of the original, which signifies “such as is suited to man’s nature and circumstances, and what every man may reasonably expect.” Consider—1. Your body. How many are the evils to which it is liable! Now considering that all pain implies temptation, how numberless must the temptations be which beset every man while he dwells in the body! 2. The present state of the soul. How weak is the understanding! How liable are the wisest to form false judgments! 3. The situation of even those who fear God. They dwell amidst the ruins of a disordered world, among men that know not God, with sin remaining if not reigning, and exposed to the assaults of evil spirits. “The servant is not above his Master”; and if Christ was tempted can we expect exemption?
II. God is faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able. “He knoweth whereof we are made; He remembereth that we are but dust,” and His justice could not punish us for not resisting a temptation disproportionate to our strength. Not only His mercy but His faithfulness is pledged, for the whole tenor of His promises is “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Our great Physician observes every symptom of our distress that it may not rise above our strength.
III. He will with the temptation make a way to escape, i.e., a way out. 1. By removing the occasion of it. “I was walking,” says one, “over Dover cliffs with the lady I was to marry in a few days, when her foot slipped, and I saw her dashed in pieces on the beach. I cried, ‘This evil admits of no remedy. I must now go mourning all my days. It is impossible I should ever find another so fitted for me in every way.’ I added in an agony, ‘This is just such an affliction as God Himself cannot redress!’ And just as I uttered these words I awoke: for it was a dream!” Just so can God remove any temptation; making it like a dream when one waketh. 2. By delivering in the temptation—suffering the occasion to remain, but removing its bitterness so that it shall not be a temptation at all, but a ground of thanksgiving. Thus the Marquis de Renty, when asked while suffering from a violent attack of rheumatism, “Sir, are you in much pain?” answered, “My pains are extreme: but through the mercy of God I give myself up, not to them, but to Him.” (J. Wesley, M.A.)
Temptations not irresistible:—Among the various extenuations of sin, none is more common than that, considering the weakness of human nature and the strength of some temptations, it is not to be expected that we should get the better of them. But how groundless this is the text may inform us. Let me—
I. Explain and state this truth. Observe—1. That the apostle is not speaking of the powers of mere human nature, but of human nature Divinely assisted. 2. That he does not affirm that the measure of Divine grace shall be such as to enable us so to baffle all temptations, as to live perfectly sinless, but only that we shall be preserved from falling into such sins as to throw us out of the favour of God. 3. That the supernatural assistance which enables us to resist temptations, supposes our use of means and our concurrence with it to the best of our power.
II. Confirm this by various ways of proof. 1. By experience. There is no temptation but what hath been actually withstood by holy men and women, and what hath been already done may be repeated. 2. By reason. They who say any temptation is not to be conquered speak absurdly and inconsistently. For—(1) A temptation is an experiment, a trial, whether we will do or forbear such a thing; and therefore it supposes it to be in our power to do or forbear, else it were no trial. (2) What is grace but an extraordinary supply of strength to resist temptations? And therefore, if it be not now equal to every temptation, the grace of God has been given us in vain. (3) Is not man by nature a free agent? But if there be any such things as inducements to sin that are altogether insuperable, there is an end of his boasted freedom. The great end of man is to glorify God by living according to the perfect rule of right reason and virtue; and yet impossible it is that he should ever attain this end while he converses with temptations which he cannot surmount. Now all other beings have powers that enable them to fulfil the design of their creation. Is man alone utterly destitute of these powers? (4) Consider the nature and perfections of God. (a) How can He be holy, who is the author of sin? And how can He but be the author of sin who hath so adapted us that it is impossible for us to withstand the force of them? (b) How can He be said to be just who places us under irresistible temptations; and yet, as He Himself assures us, will punish us for not resisting them? (c) Again, how can He be true? His promises are most express and lull (2 Cor. 12:9; Rom. 8:37; Numb. 23:19; Rom. 3:4).
III. Application. 1. There is matter of encouragement arising from hence to the good (Psa. 112:7, 8). Is not He that is with you stronger than he that is against you? And hath He not promised that His strength shall support your weakness? 2. Here is ample matter of reproof to the hypocrite and the profane person. Let them not indulge the hope that in this thing the Lord will pardon His servant (2 Kings 5:18), and that one small fault will be overlooked among a crowd of other good qualities. 3. Wherefore, laying aside shifts and excuses, let us set ourselves in good earnest to resist all temptations; let us put out all the strength which we naturally have to this purpose, and beg of God supernaturally to supply us with what we have not. (Bp. Atterbury.)
Temptation and suffering limited and made useful:—The word “temptation” in the first passage is the same as “trial” in the second; and this difference only reproduces the different use of the original word by Paul and Peter respectively. The testing to which Paul refers arises from solicitation to wrong-doing; while Peter speaks of a testing that takes the form of persecution. Our discipline arises first from the sin that is in us, and, secondly, from the sin that is without us. The first constitutes our temptation; the second our trial. The first has to do with our salvation; the second with our equipment for Christian service.
I. It is a universal law that a man’s real life only begins when he has fought and won his first great battle with sin, or when he has met and endured his first great crushing trial. And yet, it is hardly less universally true that every man, when the hour of his temptation or his trial dawns, imagines that both are peculiar. As long as the thunder-cloud does not gather above their heads and burst upon them, they see nothing strange in the ways of God with men; but, when the storm breaks upon them, it is “something very strange, very peculiar,” they say. Now the great temptations in this century were never better summarised than they were in the Ten Commandments. The same is true of trials. They have their sources in the poverty, sickness, and bereavements which are common to man. You cannot mention a temptation or a trial of which you will not be able to find illustrations in your own community, to say nothing of past generations; so it will be to the end of time.
II. Now, this fact of the universality of temptation and of trial suggests that there must be some profound necessity for its existence. And this necessity is partly—1. Because we are human—creatures of limited capacities. How many things we pant to do! How many things we want to know! And yet every advance only renders us more conscious of our constitutional limitations. Now, it is a severe trial to a man who is wide awake for him not to know what he wants to know, and to do what he wants to do. It is just here that we discover how it was possible for man, without any tendencies to sin, to fall from his first estate. The temptation was to resent the limitations that were imposed, to seek after a freedom that should be like the freedom of God. There will be always many more things in heaven and in earth than our loftiest philosophies dream of; problems in the moral government of God that stagger us, and where faith in His goodness and righteousness is our only refuge. 2. Because we are sinners, and because a heroic treatment is needed if we are to secure salvation from sin. We are full of pride and obstinacy, and that covetousness which is idolatry, and self-righteousness. And so comes in the serious discipline of life, to teach us our weakness and show us the weakness of our supports, that we may hasten to find refuge in His grace.
III. So universal and necessary a discipline as this must be perfectly adjusted to our capacities and necessities. God does not deal with men in the mass. He deals with each soul singly. In all wise parental government there is the most careful study of each child’s peculiarities. One needs to be pushed; another needs the check. As a father pitieth his child, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. 1. No man is subject to any temptation for which there is not provided a way of escape; and there is no burden that needs to involve necessarily any serious injury. We hear a great deal about irresistible temptations, but there is no such thing. Sin always begins in an evil heart, and for the possession of that evil heart the sinner alone is responsible—not his circumstances nor the government of God. It is the plea of the devil when men say, “The temptation was so strong that I could not resist it.” God bars no man’s way up so that it becomes necessary for him to fall into captivity and to abide there. 2. And, as there are no irresistible temptations, so are there no trials so crushing that a man needs to be buried under them. God is too kind ever to impose any burdens that are heavier than our shoulders can bear. 3. And this brings me to the promised and assured deliverance. The fight may be long and hard, but it need not be of uncertain issue. The trial may be very severe, but God’s pruning-knife never goes further than the requirements of the case. Every death-pang in your experience may be, by the grace of God, a birth-cry. The grave where your dearest hopes are buried may be the garden where the fairest flowers are blooming, filling your life with the very fragrance of heaven. 4. Perhaps some of you are tempted to say that your experience is like that of the apostle of the Gentiles, who had his thorn in the flesh. Well, that drove him to his knees when he found God’s grace sufficient, and after thirty years of service for Christ, he learned to rejoice in tribulation and to glory in infirmities, because in his own weakness the strength of Christ was magnified. 5. But deliverance is not the sweetest nor last word in the gospel of consolation. The discipline is intended to leave us richer than we could have been without its endurance. Temptation and trial are God’s drill and dynamite to blow up the obstructions that choke the channels of our affections and energies until the whole broad stream of God’s life shall course through our own and have its own sweet will. There are three forms of gladness—the gladness that wells up from the comparatively innocent heart of the child, and which is only more intense in the youth; the joy which takes to itself the form of quiet contentment in the maturer years of manhood; and the blessedness of a ripe old age that has learned to submit its own will to the will of God. (A. J. F. Behrends, D.D.)
Our safety in temptation:—It is said of a good portrait that the eyes of it seem always turned to the observer. So it is with Scripture. To the loving it rays forth love; to the trembling, comfort; to the presumptuous, admonition; to the desponding, encouragement. Mark this in the passage of our text. For the careless it has a look of warning: “Let him who thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” But to the anxious it turns a look of encouragement. Rouse up a child to its peril in playing on the brink of a precipice: for the moment this peril is increased; it may be scared into falling over. The hand of help, therefore, must second the voice of admonition. Hence the sudden turn in St. Paul’s words, “But.” Your safety lies:—
I. Not in what you are to yourselves. Those Corinthians “thought they stood.” But we may not trust—1. Our wisdom. Paul had complimented the Corinthians on their wisdom (chap. 1:5). He makes appeal to them as wise (chap. 10:15). They could talk contemptuously of the emptiness of idolatry (chap. 8:1–7). Yet they ran into the peril of the idolatrous banquets. 2. Our wakefulness. This indeed is an important means of safety. St. Paul had warned the Corinthians, “Take heed lest ye fall” (ver. 12). Forewarned is forearmed. But this is not enough. The disciples were forewarned (Matt. 26:31). Yet they all “forsook Jesus and fled” (Matt. 26:56). Therefore Jesus did not say merely, “Keep awake,” but “Keep awake and pray” (Matt. 26:41). 3. Our will. The resolute man fancies he has built up a breakwater against sin. But who knows the height to which the tide may rise? “Let not a man,” says Bacon, “trust his victory over nature too far; for nature will be buried a great time, and yet revive on the occasions of temptation. Like as it was with Æsop’s damsel, turned from a cat to a woman, who sat very demurely at the board’s end, till a mouse ran before her.”
II. But in what God is to you. “God is faithful.” 1. To His love for us. Mark the implied contrast in the word. You, alas! are becoming unfaithful to your relation to God (vers. 1–9). 2. To His care over us. “God will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.” One seems to see a careful father fitting gymnastic exercises to his son’s age and skill and strength. The youth must indeed be exercised; trial is the very condition of growth; the fresh breeze is indispensable to the opening leaf; in the furnace we must be hardened into vessels unto honour, meet for the Master’s use; but see the care with which the Father proportions these exercises, laying on such burdens only as the son’s weak shoulders can bear; changing them according to his proficiency, fitting his discipline to his powers, and his powers to his discipline, so that while he becomes well breathed he may not be breathless; while stimulated, not broken down. 3. To His designs for us. “God will make a way to escape.” He has ulterior views in everything. He makes all things work in concert for our ultimate good. And He will help us to bear up under every intermediate evil, till the way of escape, the passage out of it, is found. Imagine a forlorn hope, sent forward with promise of “supports” to follow (as in the storming of the Redan): the enemy may be mighty; he may now urge by promises, now scare by threats, into surrender; the spirits may faint; a treacherous whisper may arise, “It is no use to struggle any longer.” But the “supports” are coming! Bear up therefore; hold on. Each particular temptation has its outlet; Jesus found it so with Satan’s reiterated attacks. “Consider,” then, those who have fought before you: observe “the end of their struggle”; the “way of escape out of it” (the same word in Heb. 13:7, as in our text). (T. Griffith, M.A.)
How God delivers from temptation:—1. Of all the evils incident to man, there is none from which an escape is so difficult and desirable as from temptations. All escape imports some precedent danger—the difficulty of getting through it, and a final deliverance from it: so in this business of temptation, the danger threatening is damnation; the difficulty of escaping it is due partly to the importunity of the evil one, and partly to an inbred inclination to sin heightened by custom, and inflamed by circumstances. 2. Therefore nothing less than a Being infinitely wise can sound all the depths, and outreach all the intrigues of this tempting spirit; and nothing but a Being of infinite power can support the weaknesses and supply the defects of a poor mortal engaged against him. Now how God does this we shall now inquire.
I. If the force of the temptation be chiefly from the importunities of the evil spirit, God often puts an issue to the temptation, by rebuking and commanding down the tempter himself. For although he acts the part of an enemy, yet he does the work of a servant. He is in a chain and that chain is in God’s hand. Certain it is that God has put it into the power of no created being to make a man do an ill thing against his will; yet though Satan cannot compel to sin, yet he can follow a man with vehement and continual solicitations to it. Though none of his fiery darts should kill, yet it is next to death to be always warding off deadly blows. And being brought thereby to the very brink of destruction, God is then pleased to step in and command the tempter to hold his peace, or his hand, and so takes him off before he is able to fasten.
II. If the force of a temptation be from the weakness of a man’s mind, God oftentimes delivers by mighty inward supplies of strength. The former way God delivers a man by removing his enemy, but this latter by giving him wherewithal to conquer him. It is with the soul and temptation as with weak sight and the sunbeams: if you divert the beam you relieve the man, but if you give him an eagle’s eye he will look the sun in the face, and so if God gives an assistance greater than the opposition, the man is delivered by a method as much more noble as the trophies of a conqueror surpass the inglorious safeties of an escape. Thus it was with St. Paul (2 Cor. 12:7–9). God Himself fought his battles, and that brought him off, not only safe, but triumphant. But this kind of deliverance was never so signal and illustrious as in the noble army of martyrs. As God brings His servants into different conditions, He fails not to measure out to them a spirit proportioned to the exigences of each condition. And, therefore, let us so prepare for the day of trial before it comes, as not to despond under it when it comes.
III. If the force of a temptation springs chiefly from those circumstances which expose a man to tempting objects, God frequently delivers by a providential change of the whole course of his life, and the circumstances of his condition. And this He may do either by a general public change which always carries with it the rise and fall of a vast number of particular interests, or by a personal change, affecting a man only. Accordingly, if God shall transplant a voluptuous person from a delicate way of living into a life of hardship, those temptations which drew their main force from his opulence will attack him but very faintly under penury. There is, however, such an impregnable strength in some natures as to baffle all providential methods, and even when occasions of sin are wanting, to supply the want by concupiscence from within. So that a man can be proud though in rags, and an epicure with the bread and water of affliction. In a word, a man can be his own tempter, and so is always sure of a temptation. Nevertheless, the way God took with His own people was to plague them in their bodies and estates for the salvation of their souls. And so now if riches debauch a man, poverty shall reform him. If high places turn his head, a lower condition shall settle it. If his table becomes his snare, God will diet him into a more temperate course of living.
IV. If the force of a temptation be chiefly from the solicitation of some unruly affection, God delivers from it by the overpowering influence of His Holy Spirit gradually weakening, and at length totally subduing it. The tempter for the most part prevails not so much by what he suggests to a man as by what he finds in him. Archimedes said that he would turn the whole earth if he could but have some place beside the earth to fix his feet upon. So, skilful an engineer as the devil is, he will never be able to play his engines to any purpose unless he finds something to fasten them to. If he finds a man naturally passionate he has numberless ways and arts to transport him into a rage. It being with the soul as with some impregnable fort, nothing but treachery within itself can deliver it up to the enemy. “I withheld thee from sinning against Me,” says God to Abimelech (Gen. 20:6); and no doubt God has innumerable ways by which He does this. God may withhold a man from sin by plucking away the baneful object, by diverting his thoughts and desires, by putting impediments in his way, and by various methods of restraint. But when, over and above all this, God, by the powerful impressions of His almighty Spirit, shall subdue and mortify the sinful appetite and inclination itself, and plant a mighty contrary bias in the room of it, this is a greater, a nobler, and a surer deliverance out of temptation than even the prevention of the sinful act itself. (R. South, D.D.)
God’s promise of assistance under trials:—The design of the apostle seems to be the establishment of two things—1. That it is not man himself, but God, who delivers out of temptation; and—2. That the ways by which God does this are above man’s power, and for the most part beyond his knowledge. Now these considerations are great in themselves, but greater in their practical consequences. These are:—
I. That the only true estimate of an escape from temptation is to be taken from the final result of it. From whence these two things follow. First, that an escape from a temptation may consist with a long continuance under it; indeed so long, that God may put an end to its life altogether. Secondly, that a final escape may well consist with several foils under a temptation. For a foil given or received is not a conquest. The tempter may be worsted in many a conflict, and yet come off victorious at last. True, “if we resist the tempter he will fly from us,” but he may return and carry all before him. It is not every skirmish which determines the victory. Let no man then flatter himself, yet let him not despond; for God may deliver him for all this; only let him continue the combat still. Nothing should make us give up our hope till it forces us to give up the ghost too. But God will have us wait His leisure. There is a ripeness for mercy as well as for judgment, and consequently there is a fulness of time for both.
II. No way out of any calamity if brought about by sin ought to be accounted a way made or allowed by God. On the contrary, it is a seeking to cure the burnings of a fever by the infections of a plague; a flying from the devil as a tempter, and running into his hands as a destroyer. The temptations which men generally attempt thus to rid themselves of are either from suffering, or from the pretence of compassing some great good by an action in itself indeed evil, but vastly exceeded by the good brought to pass thereby. But this is a wretched fallacy. The procurement of the greatest good cannot warrant the least evil, nor the safety of a kingdom commute for the loss of personal innocence. While men fly from suffering, they are so fatally apt to take sanctuary in sin: which is to go to the devil to deliver them out of temptation. For so men certainly do where suffering is the temptation, and sin must be the deliverance.
III. To choose or submit to the commission of a lesser sin to avoid the commission of a greater ought not to be reckoned amongst those ways whereby god delivers men from temptation. I have heard it reported of a certain monk, who for a long time was worried with three temptations, viz., to commit murder, or incest, or to be drunk; till at length, quite wearied out, he pitches upon the sin of drunkenness, as the least, to avoid his solicitation to the other two. But the tempter was the better artist. For having prevailed upon him to be drunk, he quickly brought him in the strength thereof to commit both the other sins too. Such are we when God abandons us to our own deluded and deluding judgment.
IV. If it be the prerogative of god to deliver men out of temptation, let no man, when the temptation is founded in suffering, be so solicitous how to get out of it, as how to behave himself under it. Nothing so much entitles a tempted person to relief from above as an unwearied looking up for it. In every arduous enterprise, action must begin the work, and courage carry it on; but it is perseverance only which gives the finishing stroke.
V. There can be no suffering but may be endured without sin; and if so, may be likewise made a means whereby God brings a man out of temptation. The Christian martyrs were a glorious and irrefragable proof of this. No evil, how afflictive soever, ought to be accounted intolerable, which may be made a direct means to escape one intolerably greater. And death itself, which nature fears and flies from as its greatest enemy, is yet the grand instrument in the hand of mercy to put a final period to all temptations. (Ibid.)
God in relation to the trials of the good:—The verb to tempt meant originally to try, to test, or to prove. This is its meaning in John 6:6; Acts 26:7; 2 Cor. 13:5; Rev. 2:2, &c. This is its meaning in the Lord’s Prayer, which means “Lead us not into trial.” The text suggests that—
I. God permits them. “God will not suffer you,” &c. It has been asked, Is not a being responsible for an evil which he can prevent? Answer. 1. If the prevention would outrage the constitutional liberty of the moral creature, it would be wrong. 2. If the permitter of this evil had determined to subordinate it to the highest beneficence, its permission involves no wrong. If I had the power of preventing a terrible trial befalling an ungodly man, which I knew would turn him to God, should I be justified in preventing it?
II. He adapts them. “Above that ye are able.” He adapts them—1. To the character. The trial that would touch one man’s leading central imperfection would not affect another. Some men require a blow that shall wound their sensuality, others their greed, others their ambition, others their love. The trial that is needed He will “suffer” to come. 2. To the capacity. He will not allow any trial to happen which the sufferer is incapable of bearing. “As thy day so thy strength shall be.”
III. He subordinates them. “Will with the temptation also make a way to escape.” Or, “make the issue that ye may be able to bear it.” Whether the trial is a temptation to your patience, honesty, resignation, confidence in God, &c., He will cause this issue to be good. And this virtually will be for you a deliverance. All the good in heaven have come out of “great tribulations.” (D. Thomas, D.D.) What keeps the Christian (text and 2 Cor. 12:9):—There is nothing more wonderful than a man whose nature is essentially evil, whose path is thronged with spiritual enemies, should be brought off “more than a conqueror.” The only explanation is to be found in our texts.
I. This is matter of distinct, positive, repeated promise. God has bound Himself, even by covenant, to stand by His child and never to suffer the enemy to prevail over him. He never goes back on His word.
II. These promises are matter of experience. They have been put to the test in every age, land, and occasion, and such a thing as a failure was never known.
III. These promises are world-wide in their application. They cover every moment of life—extend to every need and duty—are equal to any emergency or strait.
IV. The significance, the fulness, and the all-sufficing of the pledges of god’s faithfulness can be known only when we have put them to the proof! (Homiletic Monthly.)
A fair chance for salvation:—Let us consider the matter by way of objections. It is objected—
I. That men are depraved citizens of a fallen world. The answer is that the world is redeemed.
II. That there is an unusual, startling, compelling element in their temptations. The answer is, that even temptation is tethered by law, and the special severity of it is a myth.
III. That the total moral and social environment must conspire with the inner depravity to make sin victor. The answer is that, practically, there is much in these relations of ours to sin, on the one hand, and righteousness on the other, to break the force of temptation. 1. There is the danger which attends sinning. This is one of God’s ways for our escape. 2. Our memory reproduces the pain and sorrow which past sins caused us. This is another of God’s ways. 3. We know that sinning is wrong, and conscience, more or less alert in all souls, makes another of God’s fire-escapes. 4. Every sinner is, to some extent, conscious of coming retribution, and that mingles with his motives and makes a way of escape. 5. Nor is it a small thing that every grace and nobleness are honoured in the consciousness of sinning men. Is it no way of escape that right-doing wears the purple of royalty?
IV. That, though these things may be true, yet common experience proves that men are in a hard case as related to righteousness. Admitted. Because it is hard infinite love stoops to help us. A hard case, therefore, is not a hopeless case. Redemption has made obedience possible. Suppose you were as anxious to win righteousness as to win your way in the world?
V. That “anyhow some men have not a fair chance,” e.g., the heathen in the slums of our cities and the heathen abroad. But what does this objection mean? “The race is not fair, and though I might win, I’ll not run where my fellows must fail.” Beautiful self-abnegation! But will this objector apply the principle? These same people have not his chance to be rich—will he surrender his chance on that account? What good of Providence does he refuse because street Arabs have it not? And how can any of us know that others have not a fair chance for salvation?
VI. That general experience confirms the view that the chance is not fair. And now we study arithmetic and the saints are few while the sinners are countless legions. But is there one saint? Has one climbed the hill of virtue? Then you also may climb. That men choose to be morally lazy, rather than agonise for righteousness, may be true. But the men who escape prove to us that there is a way of escape.
VII. That the law is rigorous and men very weak. Here the sinner stands by the sea and tells us it is wide, at the foot of the mountain and declares that it is high. All this is pretty enough. The rigour of the law and the far-offness of perfect character may be admitted. But that is not our practical question. When men began to sail the seas they did not hesitate to creep along the coasts, because the ocean was wide; knowing the Alps to be high, early men struggled up them and through them. The practical man has never hesitated to do what he could because there seemed to be no end to his possible labour. The practical question is not whether you can do all, but have you a margin? Are you conscious of no power to do anything that the law of right asks of you in betterment of your life? This which you can do is your fair chance for salvation. (D. H. Wheeler, D.D.)
The way of escape:—1. St. Paul was writing from Asia to Europe. Many things divide us: time and place, rank and worth, age and country, and yet, in Christ, all may be one; and St. Paul can write, under the shadow of Diana, to dwellers in another idolatrous city, and touch a chord to which their hearts vibrate as one, because Christ is the theme, and the Spirit of Christ the inspiration. And that theme and that inspiration enables us to read, as if written to us, this ancient Greek epistle, though Ephesus and Corinth have passed away. 2. And there is yet another thought in this obliteration in Christ of all natural distances and differences. Mark how St. Paul freshens into new life the old histories of the Bible—makes these Corinthians see in Israelite wanderings the type of all human wanderings and in Israelite judgments the history of the dangers and catastrophes of their own. Such is the setting of my text. 3. Temptation is another word for trial. It is exploration. It is the probing or the sifting which shows what is in us, how much and what kind of natural or acquired evil—how much, if any, of the grace of God’s Holy Spirit, sought and cherished by prayer. 4. Though St. Paul would have us be serious, he would not have us to be despondent, and therefore he adds three words of encouragement about this life of trial.
I. Do not imagine that you are alone in this experience. Your temptation is quite common. Every physician of the soul knows it perfectly well. 1. There is consolation even in the sympathy of faith. It is no selfishness, it is nature as God made it, to find comfort in the fellowship of suffering. On this principle, in part, the Cross was uplifted. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them.” If you could place yourself in imagination among the first readers of this letter, you might have said to yourself, “I live here in a city wholly given to idolatry. My own house—wife or husband, sister or mother—scoffs at my faith in Jesus, and threatens me with excommunication if I confess it. How can St. Paul tell me that I am under no temptation but the commonest of all?” But when we turn to our own life, with Christians all around, ought we not to say, “I, at all events, cannot call myself exceptionally tempted.” 2. Yet there is not one who has not some imaginations of a peculiarity in his own temptation. One says, “If my disposition were but passionate instead of being sullen!” Or, “If my snare were only temper instead of being the flesh!” Or, “If I had but a parent who could feel with me, or a husband who was helpful, it would be so much easier to be a Christian! But as things are with me, there is a force in my temptation which is not common at all.” 3. Now let this message straight from God weigh with you in this matter. “Depend upon it,” St. Paul says, “there is more of equalit than you reckon in the spiritual circumstances of God’s creatures. Temptation is not so disproportioned as you, in your own little instance, may imagine, and if you knew all you would admit it.”
II. St. Paul affirms that, if it were not so, there would be a breach of engagement, where we are quite certain there cannot be, in God Himself. 1. If God did suffer this, He would not be faithful. It is like St. John saying, “God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” There is nothing in the religion of nature which binds God to forgive sin, or to so temper temptation as to make Him unjust if He did not do so. But the gospel, which is God’s covenant in Christ, has introduced new equities; God has promised salvation; therefore all things that accompany it, strength as the day, and a Fatherly hand so guiding that all shall work together for good. It cannot work for good that a man should be overpowered with evil; therefore the promise that the temptation shall be coerced into an exact adaptation to the strength given, i.e., grace, is involved in the promise that faith shall save. 2. What a serious hue does this give to being tempted! With many of us it is a light thing. It is but to sin and be sorry, and all will be well again. St. Paul assumes the terribleness of sin, and says that God Himself would be unfaithful if He left you to it.
III. The temptation comes, but with a way to escape. “The exit”—“the way out.” 1. It may have happened to one of you, on some dull November evening, to find yourself surprised by a sudden transition from twilight to darkness. You have been, perhaps, in a meadow, surrounded by woods. There was one little wicket gate somewhere, but you could not find it. You went round and round the enclosure, but the light was gone, and you might remain there till morning. Accident or Providence at last guided you to it; and then you could understand what St. Paul means—the one way out which makes all the difference between a hopeless entanglement and a remediable perplexity. 2. There is a moment in every temptation when God makes the exit. There is a pause between the suggestion and the execution of every wrong thing, which leaves room for escape. An angry retort is upon your tongue: it need not become articulate. A passionate impulse is upon you: you need not strike. A sinful desire is in your heart: you need not take that turn which will lead you by the house of danger. When lust conceives it bringeth forth sin; but it takes time. Conclusion: 1. If no temptation is above the common, away with our excuses for being what we are. 2. If God adapts the temptation to the strength, you must pray. It is not the strength of nature, but the strength of grace. 3. When temptation is upon you, look out for the way of escape. It is there: take heed that you miss it not. God makes it: it is yours to watch for it, and not to lose it. (Dean Vaughan.)
The limitations of the law of antagonism:—We are all familiar with the severity of life; we often feel, and feel bitterly, the extreme tension and painfulness of our present situation. It may be quite true that the fiery law is on the whole benign, that the battle of life ends with a victory for the better, ere it begins again a battle for the best; but so far as we are concerned individually, it is very difficult to bear the pressure and pain. Very delightful, then, is our text, showing how the Divine love tempers life’s fierce tyranny.
I. Whilst discipline is essential to the perfecting of our nature, the struggle of life might be excessive and destructive. “Tried above that ye are able.” How easy this might be! We see in nature that the law of antagonism may become so severe and unremitting that it makes impossible those things of beauty and joy which prevail under normal conditions. In Arctic regions plants, which under more genial conditions would unfold themselves in a delightful perfection, remain stunted and mean, exhausting their vitality in withstanding the severities of the climate. The same is true of animal life. The Newfoundland dogs of Kane in the Polar seas become mad through the excruciating severity of the cold. The birds come to a certain strength and glory through the necessity of awareness, but there is often such a fearful bloodthirstiness in the tropical forest, such a profusion of cruel hawks, owls, serpents, and beasts of prey, that a bird’s life is one long terror, and it forgets its music. And this applies equally to man. He is all the better for a regulated conflict with his environment, but all the worse if the conflict attain undue severity. Sometimes a hopeful people have collapsed because they have been compelled to struggle at once against human oppression, and the destructive forces of inorganic nature; with both combined against him, man sooner or later succumbs, and the fields he has won from the primæval wood relapse once more into wild forestry, or into barren wildernesses. And all this is just as true of our moral as it is of our physical and intellectual nature. A fair share of hardship develops heroic qualities, but when existence becomes too hard it breaks the spirit; the child cruelly treated becomes cowed; men and women bred in misfortune’s school becomes timid, nervous, cowardly. So, if Heaven did not temper life, the finer qualities could never be developed in us. Overborne by unmitigated pressure, we should lose all faith, courage, hope; nothing would be left to us but atheism, cynicism, despair. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.” Amid all the confusion, waste, ruin, sweat, tears, and blood of the groaning creation, God stands with the measuring-line, dealing to every man trial, as He assigns to every man duty, according to his several ability. “For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.”
II. Some of the limitations which God has imposed on the severity of life. “But will with the trial also make a way of escape.” 1. There are doors of escape in the direction of nature and intellect. It is not all conflict with nature. Summer hangs out a gay flag of truce. Men shout in the gladness of the vintage; the sky rings with the joy of harvest. We have all gracious hours in which the discords of life are drowned in the music of the world. There are doors of escape also into the intellectual world. The door opening into the library, the picture-gallery, the observatory, the museum—all are doors of hope and salvation. In literature, art, and science increasing multitudes are finding bright intervals which make life endurable, and something more than endurable. 2. The Divine government softens the severity of life by the disposition and alternation of the trials by which we are exercised. A door of escape from one trial is sometimes found in the door which opens upon another, and one, perhaps, not at all less severe. Now, this variation of trial must be regarded as a mitigation of trial. Peter speaks of “being in heaviness through manifold temptations”; but that heaviness might have been utterly crushing had those temptations been less diversified. We little know how much we owe to the vast variety and unceasing change which obtain in the discipline of human life. Change and novelty play their benign part in trial as in pleasure. Manifold temptations are counter-irritants; they relieve one another; together they work to a complex strength and perfection. 3. The severity of life is broken by that law of reaction which God has established within our nature. Trials without discover forces within. Mighty forces often lie latent in nature until peculiar conditions elicit them. The trembling dewdrop is an electric accumulator, and within its silvery cells is stored a vast energy; the raindrop and the snowflake are the sport of the wind, but, converted into steam, we are astonished at their potentiality; the tiny seed seems weakness itself, yet, beginning to germinate, it rends the rock like a thunderbolt. Thus is it, only in a far more eminent degree, with human nature strengthened by the indwelling Spirit of God. Says Victor Hugo, “There are instincts for all the crises of life.” A deep perplexity awakens a flash of insight; a bitter opposition sets the soul on fire; a grave peril opens our eyes to horses and chariots of fire; a severe catastrophe evokes a heroism of which the sufferer had not thought himself capable. The mere metaphysician perceives the extraordinary virtue of this mystic interior power: “In extreme cases the inner-deriving activity will conquer. Martyrs may find the flames at the stake as pleasant as rose-leaf couches.” God dwelling in us, working in us, speaking in us—here is the limitation of the otherwise overwhelming burden of life. As we pass through scorching flame and sweeping flood, He giveth us the victory through the Spirit which worketh in us mightily. 4. The rigour of life is abated by the social law. If, says the modern evolutionist, stern competition is the fundamental law of nature, coalition is the fundamental law of civilisation. The social law is the principle of civilisation, and the process of civilisation is nothing else than the giving to the principle of reciprocity ever more complete ascendancy. 5. Finally, life is blessedly tempered by the religious hope. “Behold, a door was opened in heaven.” What a hiding-place is the Church of God from the storm and stress of life! Strengthened by its sacraments, uplifted by its songs, ennobled by its solemnities, the penitent believing soul forgets its griefs and cares, tasting the powers of the world to come. No language can express the infinite preciousness of the grace flowing to us through the ministers and institutions of the Church of Christ. A lady recently related in one of the journals how she went through a veritable blizzard to see a flower-show. With one step she passed out of the wild night, the deep snow, the bitter wind, into a brilliant hall filled with hyacinths, tulips, jonquils, cyclamens, azaleas, roses, and orchids. It is the privilege of godly men, at any time, to pass at a step from the savage conflicts of life right into the sweet fellowship of God, finding grace to help in the time of need. It is the knowledge of God, the light of His truth, the power of His Spirit, the hope of His glory, which makes us more than conquerors in the times when men’s hearts fail them for fear. “For which cause we faint not.” No men knew more of the travail of existence than did the apostles, but by laying hold of the Eternal they smiled at life in its darkened aspects, at death in its cruellest forms. (W. L. Watkinson.)
Escape from temptation:—“Chronicles of Froissart” relate the issue of a siege, which took place in the days of chivalry, and somewhere, I think, in France. Though gallantly defended, the outworks of the citadel had been carried. The breach was practicable: to-morrow was fixed for the assault. That none, alarmed at the desperate state of their fortunes, might escape under the cloud of night, the besiegers guarded every sally-port, and, indeed, the whole sweep of wall. They had the garrison in a net, and only waited for the morrow to secure or to slaughter them. The night wore heavily on: no sortie was attempted; no sound came from the beleaguered citadel; its brave but ill-starred defenders seemed to wait their doom in silence. The morning came: with its dawn, the stormers rushed at the breach; sword in hand, they poured in to find the nest empty, cold. The bird had flown, the prey escaped. But how? That was a mystery: it seemed a miracle, till an opening was discovered that led by a flight of steps down into the bowels of the rock. They descended, and explored their way with cautious steps and lighted torches, until this subterranean passage led them out a long way off from the citadel, among quiet green fields and the light of day. It was plain that, by this passage, the doors of which stood open, their prey had escaped under cover of night. A clever device, a wise precaution. It was a refuge of the besieged, provided against such a crisis. And when affairs seem desperate, and the worst has come to the worst, how should it encourage God’s people to remember that He has promised them as safe a retreat! (T. Guthrie, D.D.)
13. Verse 13 confirms that promise and warning work together to strengthen the Corinthians as they run the race to the end (1 Cor. 9:24–27). Paul warns them against presumption, but he then assures them of God’s faithfulness. The temptation they are facing is not atypical or extraordinary, but accords with the experience of all people everywhere (cf. Jas 1:13–14). In such temptations, particularly the temptation to apostatize—which is here represented by eating food offered to idols—God is faithful. He does not abandon his people in the midst of temptations to sin, even if the temptation is quite strong in that the Corinthians would be cut off from society if they did not accept invitations to the temples of false gods.
The focus in the verse is not actually on temptation in general, but, in context, on the temptation to apostatize, as the failure of Israel (10:1–10) and the subsequent verses (10:14–22) verify. God’s faithfulness is such that he will not allow the temptation to exceed the capacity of believers. He also provides believers with the ability to withstand the temptation. God’s grace is such that he gives believers the resolve to resist the temptation which beckons them, and they are thus able to withstand the temptation, which in this case is the desire to eat food offered to idols.
The assertion that God is faithful is consistently tied in Paul’s thought to a divine pledge to sustain his people until the end. The Corinthians are assured that they will be ‘blameless’ till the end, and the basis of this promise is that ‘God is faithful’ (1 Cor. 1:8–9). Similarly, in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul prays that believers will be ‘kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ’, and then assures them that the petition will be fulfilled since the God ‘who calls you is faithful’ (1 Thess. 5:24). So also, in 2 Thessalonians 3:3 the Lord’s faithfulness reveals itself in protecting and keeping believers from Satan, which is another way of saying that they will be guarded from committing apostasy. We read in 2 Timothy 2:13 that believers may be ‘faithless’, yet Christ ‘remains faithful’, which means that those who sin by being faithless do not sin irreparably and thus are saved from final destruction. All of the texts that affirm the faithfulness of God or Christ occur in contexts that promise final salvation.
Paul’s reading of the Old Testament is quite fascinating. Israel and the church are not equated in every sense, and yet Israel is designated ‘our ancestors’ (10:1). In the same way, Israel’s rock was Christ, and Israel tested Christ in the wilderness. A typological relationship is forged between Israel and the church. Typology is not merely retrospective, for God, as the Lord of history, planned from the beginning that Israel would serve as a type for the church. Another feature of typology is escalation. For instance, Israel suffered physical punishment, but the punishment threatened for the church is eternal destruction. Discontinuity between Israel and the church is also present since Israel was a theocracy, whereas the church is not restricted to any particular nation but has members from every people and nation.
Verses 12 and 13 are quite remarkably juxtaposed. On the one hand, Paul warns the readers against presumption, calling them to vigilance and perseverance. In the next verse he assures them of God’s faithfulness, which promises them final preservation. Clearly, there is tension between the two themes, which Paul himself surely recognized. The solution proposed here is that the warnings actually build assurance instead of dampening it, since believers, by heeding admonitions, grow in their confidence that they will finally be saved. Still, perseverance is ultimately grounded in divine strength, in divine preservation.
13. Temptation (see on v. 9) is sometimes understood simply as ‘test’ (gnb, Héring), a meaning it certainly has on occasion. But here it is used in a broad sense which includes both ‘test’ and ‘temptation’. Nothing exceptional in either way had happened to the Corinthians. They had experienced only what is common to man. And God is not simply a spectator of the affairs of life; he is concerned and active. Believers can count on his help. He will always make a way out. This word (ekbasis) may denote a mountain defile. The imagery is that of an army trapped in rugged country, which manages to escape from an impossible situation through a mountain pass. The assurance of this verse is a permanent comfort and strength to believers. Our trust is in the faithfulness of God.
10:13No temptation has overtaken you. The Greek word peirasmos can mean “trial,” “test,” or “temptation.” When the expected result is negative, translators prefer “temptation”; when a text expects a positive result, “test” proves preferable; “trial” hints at a period of struggle (cf. James 1:2, 14). In this text, there is no agreement among the English Bible translations. All three translations are possible. If Paul speaks to the weak (which would be a shift in emphasis), “temptation” could be a fitting translation. The weak could be tempted to participate in certain idol banquets for social prominence, financial security, or other reasons. If so, Paul recognizes the difficulty associated with declining an invitation to such an event and encourages them to recognize God’s faithfulness (Deut. 7:9). If he speaks to the strong, however (which seems most likely), who consider participation in such banquets their right, the word “test” may best express the sense. If they abstain from participation in these idol banquets, they are heeding Paul’s call to watch out that they do not fall. They will therefore pass the “test.” God is faithful; his test is not intolerable—they will be able to endure it. The test reveals their willingness to follow Christ. They do not need to worry; God will provide a way out of the test (Gen. 22:1–19).
10:13 / More directly, verse 13 declares that the real crisis (temptation) that is besetting the community is manageable and conquerable. In fact, Paul declares the theological basis of such management: God is faithful (cf. 1:9). God provides the antidote to the reality of temptation that humans necessarily face at the juncture of the ages. There is no avoiding this temptation, but in this overlapping of times God’s saving provision is mixed with the temptation. Paul is confident in God’s sustaining grace. Although one can imagine different ways in which Paul would name this divine provision—the Spirit, Christ, the power of God—the apostle does not name God’s grace at this point; rather, he declares God’s faithfulness. In developing the argument as he does, Paul establishes the necessity of the Corinthians’ being related to the God who saves.
Dealt with in isolation from the passage in which it occurs, this verse is sometimes turned into a quasitheological philosophical explanation of human suffering, evil, and divine will. The statement is elaborate and does perhaps invite such exposition and speculation. Yet, one must see that this verse is not an isolated philosophical statement that purports to delineate intricate facets of life. Paul speaks to the Corinthians in context: They are arrogant, overly self-confident, believing themselves to be “standing firm.” But, Paul says, “Watch out!” The Corinthians are not above the unpleasant complications of normal human existence, and facing that fact they have one hope: the faithfulness of God. God is trustworthy, and even if the situation seems impossible, nothing is beyond God’s power and grace. When the Corinthians confront times of trouble they should not deny their susceptibility to temptation or trust their own superspirituality to see them through. Rather, they need to remember, to know, and to act on the one ultimate assurance that is their real security: God is faithful. The tendency to overread this verse is a temptation within itself, but despite the mysterious matters that it raises, the plain sense of the verse is a call to recognize and to trust God.
Temptation and the answer to it (v. 13)
Along with warning about disqualification from the prize, Paul gives tremendous encouragement: no temptation is unique to us, and God’s faithfulness guarantees strength to counter it successfully (v. 13).
THE COMMONNESS OF TEMPTATION (Mark 1:12–13; 1 John 2:16). Someone else has already gone the road we have to take. Bishop Lightfoot, a Bishop of Durham, travelled in a horse carriage, along a very narrow mountain road in Norway. It got so narrow that there were only inches between the wheels of the carriage and the cliffs on one side, and the precipice on the other. The driver suggested in the end that Lightfoot would be safer to get out and walk. Lightfoot surveyed the road and then said, ‘Other carriages must have taken this road. Drive on!’
GOD’S FAITHFULNESS in our times of temptation. God’s faithfulness (v. 13) is a frequent emphasis of Paul (1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Cor. 1:18; 1 Thes. 5:24) and other New Testament writers (Heb. 10:23; 1 Peter 4:19; 1 John 1:9). It is a truth upon which to meditate for our comfort and encouragement.
GOD’S PROVISION WHEN WE ARE TEMPTED (see also Heb. 2:18). The ‘way out’ is not to escape the trial or temptation but to stand up under it. God uses testings and trials to make us spiritually mature (James 1:2–4).
13 These final sentences of the paragraph are among the better known in this letter, having served generations of Christians as a word of hope in times of difficulty. Unfortunately it is also usually cited in isolation from its present context—understandably so, since it is difficult for almost any reader to see how it fits into the scheme of the present argument, especially since the application to come (v. 14) so nicely follows what has preceded (vv. 1–12). The best solution seems to be to regard it as functioning in two directions at once, both as a continuation of the preceding warning (vv. 1–12) and as a word of assurance leading to the prohibition to “flee from idolatry” (v. 14). There is no risk of their falling, Paul seems to be telling them in response to what he has just said, as long as one is dealing with ordinary trials; God will help them through such. But they must, “therefore, flee from idolatry” (v. 14) because by implication there is no divine aid when one is “testing” Christ in the way they currently are doing (v. 9); such activity is decidedly not in the category of “everyday trials.”
Thus, following hard on the heels of the warning to “be careful that you don’t fall” (v. 12), Paul reassures his Corinthian friends that they need not fall, at least not in the vicissitudes of Christian life common to all. The eternal God has already made a divine commitment to them when it comes to everyday human trials: “No temptation [or trial]530 has overtaken you except what is common to mankind,” that is, “to our human condition.532” The “trial” or “temptation” probably harks back to the sins enumerated earlier (vv. 7–10), but now against the backdrop of the larger “trial” that such Gentile converts in Corinth must have undergone through their conversion to this new religion out of the East (cf. esp. 1 Thess. 2:1–3:10). By persisting in attendance at the cultic meals with pagan friends they have put themselves in grave danger of “falling”; but the “temptation” (cf. p. 508 n. 530) to do so as part of the “trial” of their new life in Christ is not of such a nature that they must succumb to it.533
The divine alternative to succumbing that Paul offers is to remind them of God’s prior faithfulness on their behalf. When it comes to the trials common to this human life, “God is faithful” (see on 1:9), meaning God can be counted on to help them, and this in two ways. First, God has pledged “not to let you be tempted/tested beyond what you can bear.” This, of course, speaks not only to the fact of God’s prior activity in behalf of his people, Paul’s emphasis, but also to the fact that they will be called upon to endure. They must be prepared for “a long obedience in the same direction.” In his own faithfulness God has pledged not to allow what is beyond that endurance.535
Second, and as the other side of the same coin, “when you are tempted,537 God will also provide the way out (or make an end) so that you can stand up under it.” This sounds like a contradiction in terms: finding “the way out” so that you can “continue to bear it.”539 But the problem lies only in the less-than-precise wording. There is a “way out of,” or “end to,” whatever testing one may undergo; but that is to be seen from the divine perspective. One may yet have much to endure before the “end” is realized. In any case, one may trust the faithful God to provide the “end” to a test that has not necessarily had divine origins, but that God has “allowed,” as it were.
Paul’s point, then, is that in ordinary human trials one can expect divine aid. There is no danger of “falling” here. But it is otherwise with idolatry. The “way out” in that case is simply put: “Therefore, flee from idolatry,” which is the concern of what Paul says next.
The concluding affirmation of this paragraph helps to put things into perspective. The warning, based on the tragic examples of Israel, is straightforward and powerful. Some sins are so incompatible with life in Christ that sure judgment, meaning loss of salvation, is the inevitable result of persistence in them. These are not matters of being “taken in,” as it were, by temptation, thus falling into sin. These are deliberate acts, predicated on a false security, that put God to the test, as though daring God to judge one who has been “baptized” into Christ. Such heady disobedience, Paul assures us, is headed for destruction. But on the other side is the faithful God, ready to aid those enduring trial, assuring them that there is a way out, an end to it. And in the meantime God is there to apportion the necessary ability to endure, appropriate to the trial, to which our appropriate response is, “thanks be to God!”
13 But before Paul shifts back to that topic, he cannot leave what he has just said without an aside related to his warning in v. 12, which he uses to comfort and reassure the Corinthians (and which has done the same for Christians ever since). Trials and temptations (both concepts are covered in the single word peirasmos, GK 4280) are common to us. Certainly the history of the Israelites just mentioned justifies the meaning “temptation,” but the rest of this verse suggests that the meaning “trial” (whether as a result of persecution or as anything that might tempt us to give up on the faith) is also within Paul’s semantic range here. Perhaps in the back of Paul’s mind here, too, is the awareness that if the Corinthians do, in fact, flee from all idolatry (cf. v. 14), they will suffer from social isolation and perhaps even persecution from their neighbors.
We all have plenty of both types of peirasmos in our lives. But for believers, “God is faithful.” Paul never tired of rejoicing in the faithfulness of God to the promises of his Word (see, e.g., 1 Co 1:9; 2 Co 1:18; 1 Th 5:24; 2 Ti 2:13). Especially relevant here is the promise in 2 Thessalonians 3:3, written in the context of persecution and suffering: “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” The Lord will indeed give us the strength by his grace to bear up under any peirasmos that we experience, if we will only depend on his strength (see esp. 2 Co 12:7–10). For we can be confident that he will eventually provide for us a way out, so that while we are still under the peirasmos we can endure it.
 Fee, G. D. (2014). The First Epistle to the Corinthians. (N. B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. D. Fee, & J. B. Green, Eds.) (Revised Edition, pp. 507–510). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
 Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 344). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
“Who are those who fear the LORD? He will show them the path they should choose.” Psalm 25:12 (NLT)
The word fear does not sound appealing. Feeling fearful is not what we want. Yet, while other types of fears can lead us towards making wrong decisions and causing a mess, the fear of the Lord leads to good decision-making.
When someone fears the Lord, this means they revere him.
Therefore, they’ll seek to honor him. This form of fear is a good fear.
It doesn’t mean that we will not fail now and then.
But, the more we become aware of our weakness, the more we learn to depend on God’s strength. Respect for God will help us pay attention to our support system. God is our Source.
For instance, when we can stand on our own, we might think that we don’t need to lean on anything or anyone and we can do as we want. Yet, a person with weak knees will accept their need to lean on to something, right? In the same way, our weaknesses can work for good — teaching us to fear God more and to be humble. It helps us to let go of our own ways and lean on God for support.
The more we realize this, the more we’ll be mindful of the mistakes we can make. This can help us yield more and more to choices that will honor God.
Can you see how reverence for the Lord guides us? It leads us towards one right choice at a time. Those small and big decisions will keep us on the right path.
Dear Father God, give me wisdom to choose what is right in your eyes, and to obey you in the strength you give me. In Jesus’ name I ask. Thank you.
Focus on honoring God in all your choices, trusting his Spirit gives you the strength to obey him moment by moment
Godless America: Anticipating The Antichrist Oh, how America is preparing for the Antichrist with a Godless mindset. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times and Yahoo News is headlined, “Why America’s Record Godlessness is Good News for the Nation.” In part it reads, “The secularization of U.S. society–the waning of religious faith, practice and affiliation–is continuing at a dramatic and historically unprecedented pace. While many may consider such a development as a cause for concern, such a worry is not warranted. This increasing godlessness in America is actually a good thing, to be welcomed and embraced.” Are you serious?
Arizona Governor Signs Bill to Defy Any New Federal Gun Control Laws Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation on April 6 that would prohibit police and sheriffs in the state from enforcing new federal gun laws that may violate the Constitution’s Second Amendment. Proponents of the bill have argued that it would ensure that the rights of gun owners are protected from what they have described as potential overreach by the federal government, while critics say the law will undermine cooperation between Arizona law enforcement and federal officials.
‘Odds are increasing’ for Trump to become U.S. House speaker Nearly every U.S. president has held political office before their Oval Office tenure. Many have been members of the Senate, and more than a dozen were governors. A few have held posts such as secretary of the Navy and CIA director. And one even was on the Supreme Court after his presidency. But now there’s a suggestion that Trump, who never held office before the presidency, in two years could be the next House speaker.
‘Witch Harlots’ hold Rally in Jerusalem: A direct prophecy from Book of Nahum In the wake of the inconclusive elections, several groups protested in front of the Knesset, including a group of self-proclaimed witches whose magic seemed to be based on their unique ability to appear in public in their undergarments. Witchcraft is, of course, prohibited by Biblical mandate. For anyone who does such things is abhorrent to Hashem, and it is because of these abhorrent things that Hashem your God is dispossessing them before you. Deuteronomy 18
Under-skin sensor uses bits of gold to show bloodstream drug levels Currently being developed by scientists at Germany’s Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the sensor is described as being “not much bigger than a penny and thinner than one millimeter.” It’s made up of a biocompatible porous hydrogel, inside of which are gold nanoparticles that have been coated with receptors for specific drug molecules. Although the nanoparticles can’t be seen with the naked eye, they show up through the skin when a special infrared reader is used.
Ingenuity robotic helicopter survives its first Martian night NASA’s Ingenuity robotic helicopter has survived its first night on the surface of Mars. After being deployed on Martian soil by the Perseverance rover, the miniature rotorcraft had to keep itself warm through the night for the first time using only its internal power and warming system.
Jordan Regains Control over Temple Mount Waqf, Sacks PA Members The Waqf, a.ka. Council of Endowments and Islamic Affairs and Holy Places in Al-Quds Al-Sharif, held its first session on Monday, after being “reconfigured” by the Presidency of the Jordanian Council of Ministers, according to the Jordan-based Husna FM radio station. … removing PA Arabs, increasing the size of the council (from 18 to 23) – a move that makes it weaker, and transforming the Waqf from a local council governing the sanctuary into a Jordanian-government entity.
Asteroid equal to the size of football field to fly past Earth on May 4, but here’s the good news NASA has detected another asteroid heading towards the Earth at a much faster pace than the previous ones. This comes after the God of Destruction Apophis, and the biggest asteroid of the year 2021, has passed through the Earth. Scientists have said that this asteroid will pass safely from a distance of about 3.4 million kilometers from the Earth. … this asteroid will pass near the Earth on May 4.
US Won’t Commit to NATO Membership for Ukraine The United States reaffirmed its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity Tuesday but stopped short of publicly backing Kyiv’s call for a quicker path to membership in NATO.
What is Macron up to? Merkel suspects ‘crafty’ French plot to snatch UK’s top spot in EU EMMANUEL MACRON’s ambition for more strategic autonomy in the EU is raising eyebrows in Berlin, with Angela Merkel suspecting the French leader wants to replace the UK at the top seat of the bloc’s table. The French President has longed for more military autonomy for the bloc since his ascent to power in 2017. Mr Macron’s vision is for the EU to have a clear defence identity within NATO, pushing for greater European military spending.
Solar storms: Why we need to get better at forecasting the weather in space The Sun is the most important source of energy for sustaining life on Earth, but it gives us a lot more than just light and heat. It also gives us solar storms. Disturbances on the Sun, such as coronal mass ejections produced by solar flares that emanate from active sunspot regions, can cause solar storms. Solar flares and coronal mass ejections emit vast quantities of radiation and charged particles into space. As our civilisation becomes more advanced, we become more vulnerable to the effects of solar storms. Now, as the Sun’s activity is on the increase, we need to get better at predicting solar weather.
IDF establishes ‘expose and destroy’ companies for the modern battlefield The changing battlefield requires adaptations to the battle doctrine…As part of IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi’s multi-year plan …he tasked the army’s Ground Forces Command to thoroughly examine changes to the modern battlefield, and establish a mechanism in which new techniques and technologies could be quickly assimilated in the different units.
4 Syrian soldiers injured in alleged Israeli airstrikes on Damascus Four Syrian soldiers were injured and material damage was reported after an alleged Israeli airstrike targeted Damascus on Wednesday night, according to Syrian state news agency SANA. The strikes reportedly came from the direction of the Golan Heights and Lebanon, with Lebanese media reporting Israeli aircraft flying over large portions of Lebanon.
Israel slams Biden’s resumption of UNRWA funding for Palestinians Israel warned the Biden administration that its decision Wednesday to restore funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) would only help perpetuate the conflict. “Israel’s position is that the organization in its current form perpetuates the conflict and does not contribute to its resolution,” the Foreign Ministry stated.
Israel fails to decide on response to ICC with 2 days to deadline A meeting of senior government echelons on how to react to the International Criminal Court’s announced intention to probe alleged Israeli war crimes, ended inconclusively on Wednesday, two days before the deadline to respond. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, their ministries, the Justice Ministry and the IDF presented their recommendations.
Biden to target ‘ghost guns,’ stabilizing braces in new gun control actions President Biden will announce gun control measures on Thursday that an administration official described as an initial set of actions aimed at addressing all forms of gun violence. The president will detail several initiatives to be achieved through a mix of executive and legislative action, the official told reporters.
US Navy sends warship near Taiwan as China sends 15 warplanes On Wednesday, USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer sailed through the Taiwan Strait, between the Chinese mainland and the island of Taiwan, amid China flying 15 warplanes around Taiwan in an ongoing pressure campaign against the island. The U.S. 7th Fleet…said, “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific…
Biden administration to restore $235m in US aid to Palestinians US President Joe Biden’s administration plans to provide $235m (£171m) of aid to Palestinians, restoring part of the assistance cut by Donald Trump. Two-thirds will go to the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, which has suffered a financial crisis since it lost $360m of US funding in 2018. Mr Biden wants to “restore credible engagement” by the Palestinians in long-stalled peace talks with Israel.
Egypt’s el-Sisi warns ‘all options open’ after dam talks fail Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has warned that “all options are open” after the latest round of talks between his country, Sudan and Ethiopia about a giant dam built by the latter on the Blue Nile ended without progress. Delegations from the three countries met in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo…in an attempt to break the deadlock in negotiations.
Acceptable political solution in Syria needed: Jordan minister, UN envoy say It is important to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis that will be acceptable to the Syrian people, Jordan’s foreign minister and the UN special envoy to Syria have said during a phone call between them. Ayman Safadi and Geir Pedersen stressed the necessity to maintain the country’s unity and territorial integrity, restoring peace, removing terrorism and ending foreign interference…
Kim says North Korea facing its ‘worst-ever situation’ Experts say Kim is facing perhaps his toughest moment as he approaches a decade in rule, with North Korea’s coronavirus lockdown unleashing further shock on an economy devastated by decades of mismanagement and crippling U.S.-led sanctions over his nuclear weapons program.
Texas 2021 deep freeze left nearly 200 people dead, new analysis shows Nearly 200 people died as a result of the unprecedented winter storm that lashed Texas in February 2021, a new analysis showed, making the disaster one of the worst in the state this past century. The toll is expected to grow in the coming days as investigations continue. Most of the deaths were caused by hypothermia during prolonged massive power outages.
“The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it.” —Federal Farmer (1787)
He plans to issue executive orders today in an effort to ban so-called “ghost gun” sales.
Joe Biden is expected to reveal his planned executive actions on firearms today. According to reports ahead of his announcement, Biden will specifically take aim at requiring background checks for the sale of a new bogeyman — so-called “ghost guns,” or firearms without serial numbers that are often homemade. Is this just tinkering around the edges, or is he getting a foot in the door for something bigger?
The so-called “ghost guns” category is intentionally vague terminology that creates an impression of illegality, similar to the erroneous “assault rifle” designation. Biden’s order would classify 80% lowers, components sold separately without serial numbers, as firearms. By classifying them as such, a buyer would be subject to a background check. But Biden hopes for an essential ban on the sale of these “ghost guns.”
A Biden administration official claimed that “criminals are buying these kits, which contain nearly all of the components and directions for finishing a firearm within as little as 30 minutes, and then using them to commit a crime.”
Biden’s order will also compel the Justice Department to come up with a “red flag” legislation model for all states. Furthermore, he wants the DOJ to come up with a rule regarding a pistol “stabilizing brace” in order to have them “subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act” — a rule that will force gun owners to pay a $200 tax stamp on those firearms.
Meanwhile, what may be even more troubling is Biden’s choice for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — gun-control activist and former ATF agent David Chipman, whose understanding of the Second Amendment is wanting to say the least. “What I support is treating [AR-15s] just like machine guns. To me, if you want to have a weapon of war, the same gun that was issued to me as a member of [the] ATF SWAT team, it makes sense that you would have to pass a background check, the gun would have to be in your name, and there would be a picture and fingerprints on file,” Chipman stated in a recent interview. “To me, I don’t mind doing it if I want to buy a gun. These policies just protect the criminal. Like, I don’t think you should be able to anonymously purchase 20 AR-15s at one time, and the government shouldn’t know. I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all that you have to pass a background check to own a weapon of war.”
You know it’s bad when CNN praises Chipman as a “fierce advocate for gun control.”
While Biden has backed away from attempting to order an outright ban on so-called “assault rifles” like the AR-15, he’s only doing so knowing that such an order would be immediately challenged and likely overturned. He and other Democrats want to get an “assault weapons” ban passed through Congress, where it would be much more difficult to strike down.
Lives are at stake when a major airline promises to count by race when hiring pilots.
Don’t miss the almost hilariously bad irony that an airline called “United” is now going to start dividing by race when it comes to hiring pilots. Apparently, this “woke” HR department run amok is what taxpayers get for last year’s $5 billion federal bailout.
The title of the company’s press release is “United Sets New Diversity Goal: 50% of Students at New Pilot Training Academy To Be Women and People of Color.” Out of a planned 5,000 pilots to be trained, United says its “plan is for half of them to be women and people of color.” The company’s current percentages are 7% women and 13% minorities.
It should go without saying that no one is clamoring to block women or minorities from becoming pilots. Nor is anyone insisting that 50% of pilots ought to be Republican so as to represent the nation’s political divide. The ultimate measure for any number of career choices, including pilots, is (or should be) qualification and expertise.
For pilots, this is even more important, as a commercial airline has one job: transport hundreds of passengers aboard a metal tube flying at 35,000 feet safely to their destination. Would you rather enjoy yet another routine safe landing in one of the safest industries on the planet or, as your plane plummets out of the sky, console yourself with thoughts about the glorious diversity of the pilot’s skin color or genitalia?
This is certainly not to say women or minorities are inherently less qualified to be pilots than white men. But it is to say that the fact of a white-male dominated industry doesn’t mean there’s systemic racism any more than the NFL or NBA are systemically racist because two-thirds and three-quarters of their players, respectively, are minorities. All players, by the way, are male. So far.
There are a lot questions United must answer. What happens if its diversity plans yield less-qualified pilots? What if there simply aren’t enough women or minorities interested in becoming pilots to fill the quotas?
Moreover, is United admitting to having previously discriminated on the basis of race or sex so as to disenfranchise minorities or women? If so, it’s only tacitly with past actions to address it. In its current statement, the airline vaguely blames the “financial barriers that limited access to the airline pilot career path for generations of women and people of color.” So how will this airline discriminating against this generation of white men make up for someone else discriminating against a different generation of minorities or women?
Finally, will this blatant racial discrimination bring legal trouble? It certainly should, because it plainly violates the Civil Rights Act. Besides, it’s one thing to pull a baseball game from a city over deceptive mischaracterization of a voting law. It’s another thing to put people’s lives at risk with inferior pilots in the name of “diversity.”
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With the launch of a new political organization, the former VP is showing all the signs of a 2024 presidential run.
If Mike Pence isn’t planning a run for president, he’s got a strange way of showing it.
His launch yesterday of Advancing American Freedom, a policy and advocacy organization promoting “the pro-freedom policies of the last four years that created unprecedented prosperity at home and restored respect for America abroad,” sounds like the effort of a man with serious designs on 2024.
“It has long been clear,” writes the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, “that the Republican Party, after President Donald Trump, will not return to the political, ideological, and cultural place it had been before Trump. On the other hand, it will not become a carbon copy of Trump. The question is, who will lead the GOP to create some sort of post-Trump synthesis?”
And the answer could be Mike Pence.
“Advancing American Freedom,” the former vice president says, “plans to build on the success of the last four years by promoting traditional Conservative values and promoting the successful policies of the Trump Administration. Conservatives will not stand idly by as the radical Left and the new administration attempt to threaten America’s standing as the greatest Nation in the world with their destructive policies.”
This is all quite a reemergence for the fundamentally decent Pence, especially given what transpired at the Capitol building on January 6. At that time, he was vilified for having refused to snap his fingers and unilaterally overturn the 2020 presidential election — as if that was ever more than a fever dream.
“Hang Mike Pence,” the angry mobs shouted that day. Really?
“A Trump run in 2024 is highly, highly unlikely,” says York, “and Pence and all those Republicans preparing to run will have to do the work of creating a new Republican Party while Trump is being Trump. There will be a fine line to walk between acknowledging Trump’s accomplishments and their debt to him, and creating a Republican agenda going forward. It will be a difficult job, but somebody will figure out how to do it.”
Pence, it would seem, already has. He served for four years as the mercurial Trump’s steady and loyal number two, always supportive, always deferential, and always articulate when it came to promoting and defending the Trump record. And from a newly launched Twitter page, Team Pence appears poised to pick up where he left off three months ago.
As for Trump, Pence’s new organization appears to have his blessing, and the two have been in regular contact since leaving office. “It was the most successful first term in American history,” Trump said in a statement sent to the Washington Examiner. “Nice to see Mike highlighting some of our many achievements!”
“Aides shrug off questions about 2024,” as the Washington Examiner’s Rob Crilly writes, “but with a list of advisory board members that reads like backers, former Vice President Mike Pence’s new political group looks like a bid to position himself as Trumpism’s heir apparent and for a White House run. Advancing American Freedom’s advisory board includes Trump administration alumni such as Kellyanne Conway, former Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought, and Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer, along with luminaries of the conservative movement such as Jim DeMint and David McIntosh.”
The 2024 campaign may be a long way off, but Mike Pence has clearly set down a marker.
“Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.” —Thomas Jefferson (1775)
This week, our community, our state, and our nation lost a genuine American Patriot hero.
The word “hero” is too often misapplied by today’s media outlets because most of those reporting don’t have any reference point for genuine heroics.
However, in the case of T/Sgt. Charles Henry Coolidge, the word applies in full.
Charles Coolidge was the last living WWII European Theater Medal of Honor recipient — survived by only one remaining WWII recipient, Hershel “Woody” Williams, who was recognized for his service in the Pacific Theater as a young Marine in the battle of Iwo Jima.
In 2015, I devoted my Veterans Day column to Mr. Coolidge, a quiet and unassuming man I have known for the last 40 years. He was a lifetime contemporary of my WWII veteran father, beloved and respected by everyone who knew him.
Mr. Coolidge was drafted in 1942 and assigned to the 36th Division, 141st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Co. M. In 1943, his unit was deployed to Algeria for the North Africa Campaign. T/Sgt. Coolidge was awarded a Silver Star for valor in combat as his unit swept Italy.
In the offensive battles to capture heavily defended German positions in the Vosges Mountains, he received the Medal of Honor for his actions defending Hill 623 east of Belmont sur Buttant, France, near the German border. Between October 24-27, 1944, his unit faced overwhelming odds defending its battalion’s right flank, but he and his machine gunners and riflemen held that strategic hill through four days of relentless battle.
By way of inviting you to read about his actions, here is an introductory excerpt from that Veterans Day column: “On Oct. 27, 1944, after having pressed Germans in retreat for more than a year, Mr. Coolidge, then a 23-year-old technical sergeant, found himself staring down the barrels of not one, but two German tanks, 25 meters from his position.” When the first tank commander demanded his surrender, in what Mr. Coolidge described as surprisingly good English, he responded in his Southern Mountain drawl, “I’m sorry, Mac, you’ve got to come and get me.” The angry tank commander then fired five times at Mr. Coolidge, who dodged those near-point-blank 85mm rounds. (Watch Mr. Coolidge recount that confrontation in his own words here.)
Mr. Coolidge, as with every recipient I have known, was quick to declare that he accepted the Medal of Honor on behalf of the countless American demonstrations of bravery in combat in defense of Liberty, and the resulting casualties.
Mr. Coolidge was, above all, a model of integrity, honor, and determination. He was, first and foremost, guided by his Christian faith and devoted to his family. He conducted his small family printing business, from which he retired at age 95, with great character. He battled multiple sclerosis, a disease that he refused to allow to define him, for more than half a century.
His legacy lives on in the thousands of lives he influenced for good during his 99 years.
The Heritage Center is located in Mr. Coolidge’s hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, near the site of actions for which the first Medals were awarded to Andrews’ Raiders in 1863. It will honor his legacy through its mission of teaching and building character in future generations and inspiring young people to embody the values of Patriotism, Citizenship, Courage, Integrity, Sacrifice, and Commitment in their daily lives in order to make the world better for all.
Our board Chairman Emeritus, Bill Raines, Major General, U.S. Army (Ret), noted: “He was the embodiment of the Greatest Generation, and his legacy has and will continue to shape the lives of countless people and children in our state and across the country. Many people know Charles Coolidge as an American hero from World War II, but I believe he was much more. His legacy will continue to serve as an inspiration for all of us, today and for the future, on how ordinary people can face and overcome an extraordinary challenge in life.”
B.B. Bell, General, U.S. Army (Ret), a Patriot Postanalyst who heads the Heritage Center’s National Advisory Board, added: “The passing of Charles H. Coolidge is an enormous loss for America, and for the world. All free people should mourn the loss of this great man. He, along with his fellow Service members, saved our Republic during World War II. I pray that we can live up to his magnificent legacy.”
Mr. Coolidge’s son, Air Force LtGen Charlie Coolidge Jr. (Ret), serves on Gen. Bell’s Advisory Board.
Narrowing the range of thought is the essence of totalitarian control.
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” ―John F. Kennedy
In 1941, a movie called “Sullivan’s Travels” was released. It was the story about a Hollywood film director yearning to make a socially relevant drama instead of the “shallow” comedies for which he had become famous. Ultimately, he discovered that being able to make people laugh — and taking their minds off their troubles — was a great talent to possess. Its release date was December 29, 1941 — as in 22 days after America was dragged into World War II.
The bet here is that virtually no one under the age of 40, or perhaps even 50, has ever heard of this movie, much less watched it. And if they did, much like so many other Hollywood classics that were made in the early years of the industry — movies loaded with creativity, humor, action, and drama — many of them would undoubtedly be offended by something that didn’t measure up to their “superior” sense of morality.
The statues toppled by angry and oh-so-self-righteous mobs last summer were emblematic of a cancer that has afflicted this nation for quite some time. A contemptible combination of political correctness, an expanding cancel culture, and the burgeoning sense that history must be erased in order to “purify” the nation — all reinforced by the entire entertainment industry, public schools and colleges, virtue-signaling corporations, professional sports, and even many of our religious institutions — has transmitted a singular message across the proverbial fruited plain:
Either conform to progressive dogma, or you will be “un-personed” — in every Orwellian manifestation of the term.
The first and foremost casualty of such a society? Creativity. And perhaps no field of entertainment has made that clearer than comedy. A number of comedians, including Chris Rock, Pete Davison, and Larry the Cable Guy, have made it clear that performing on college campuses has become a fool’s errand because the entire premise of comedy — making fun of something or someone — is a bridge too far for today’s monolithic-minded, hypersensitive snowflakes.
Monolithic-minded snowflakes who nonetheless take great pride in their commitment to “diversity,” in all its searing irony.
Perhaps the best insight into their mindset was expressed by comedian David Deeble in a 2018 article for Ricochet. “We’re at a point now where if you still have a sense of humor you’re considered part of the problem. So no, I have no interest in returning to the college circuit — and just as assuredly I won’t be missed. It’s not that today’s college students have no sense of humor. It’s that no one wants to be the first one to laugh [italics original].”
Why? Because laughter represents an escape from the ideological gulag that apparently must be maintained at all costs. And nothing is better for that maintenance than the politicization of everything.
Thus, it doesn’t matter whether you listen to a pop song, watch a TV show about buying and selling real estate, or tune into an NFL, NBA, or MLB game. Sooner or later the virtue-signaling, along with a seemingly unprecedented level of insipidness, will become apparent. While classic Warner Brothers cartoon characters are canceled for being offensive, “WAP” (“Wet A** Pu**y”) is nominated for Song of the Year, even as the most progressive publications are forced to use the same asterisks to obscure its title. The real estate show overwhelmingly presents same-sex couples as buyers and sellers. The professional sports leagues lecture us about “systemic” racism, even as they take billions from Chinese enslavers.
Hollywood? Beginning in 2024, movie-makers will have to conform to a series of diversity standards set by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences if they wish their films to be allowed to compete for a Best Picture Oscar award. For on-screen representation, at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors must come from “an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.” Thirty percent of secondary or minor roles must include actors from at least two of the following “underrepresented groups”: “Woman, racial or ethnic groups,” LGBTQ+, or people with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The “main storyline” or “subject matter” of the picture must also center on those underrepresented groups, and the same criteria apply off-screen and includes the casting director, cinematographer, composer, costume designer, director, editor, hairstylist, makeup artist, producer, production designer, set decorator, sound person, VFX supervisor, and writers.
When the standards were announced, The Washington Post gushed about how 73% of the Best Pictures over the past 15 years “would have met the criteria without altering any casting practices or crew hires.” In other words, more than a quarter would have been eliminated, wholly irrespective of artistic merit.
Does anyone seriously believe holding story-telling hostage to enforce diversity will improve creativity? Now add in demands made by the industry’s Chinese communist masters whom, like our “woke” sports leagues, Hollywood increasingly accommodates. Soon, Hollywood “creativity” will be indistinguishable from a Venus Paradise coloring set that contains colored pencils and pages that have numbers correlating with the color that should be used. That hundreds of potential story choices will no longer qualify for create-by-quota movies?
The inevitable vapidness will again be promoted as a triumph of diversity.
A poll taken last year by the libertarian think tank Cato Institute revealed that 62% of Americans are afraid to speak their minds. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is changing the meaning of words to accommodate “woke” political sensibilities. Classics of Western and American literature, including Homer’s Odyssey and Shakespeare, are being removed from college curriculums, and Dr. Seuss is being canceled, all for the “crime” of being offensive. Every bit of it, and so much more, is about narrowing the range of thought.
Narrowing the range of thought is the essence of totalitarian control.
There’s a reason American entertainment dominated the planet for decades, despite our nation being one of the youngest in the world. It was because people were encouraged to be both creative and competitive in the best senses of the words. People who created seminal works of entertainment translated into hundreds of languages for all the world to enjoy. People who put creativity at the top of the list when pursuing their dreams of achieving greatness.
Today, greatness is on the verge of being completely replaced by the institutionally approved mediocrity that enforced homogeneity truly represents.
I have always been big fan of movies. For the first time ever, I cannot name a single picture nominated for an Oscar this year. As a lifelong musician, I have also played, created, and listened to pop music both for enjoyment and out of curiosity about its ongoing development. I find today’s pop music increasingly puerile and rife with faux emotionalism — when it’s not busy promoting blatant pornography and/or violence. Modern TV is a series of reality shows that has no relation whatsoever to reality — especially when one remembers that every “intimate” moment is being captured by a film crew.
Unless there’s a sea change, American entertainment will soon be no better or worse than that produced by the most oppressive regimes in the world. It’s what conformity ultimately engenders.
Pretty soon, no one will be laughing — first or otherwise.
China, Russia, and Iran are all testing the new president and finding great weakness.
Joe Biden hasn’t even reached the 100-day mark of his presidency, but the verdict is out on the world stage that he is a wet noodle when it comes to projecting American strength abroad. As Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have no doubt already surmised, if Biden can’t (or won’t) even keep America’s southern border secure, what can he possibly do to advance American interests abroad?
Biden, a lifelong politician who meandered his way through an unimpressive decades-long career as a senator and vice president, was never a strong thinker. His former boss, Barack Obama, used to like to pretend that Biden was the “tough guy” in the White House. “You don’t wanna mess with Joe,” he would tell reporters. But everyone from the president to the press corps knew that Biden was the living embodiment of what happens when a man rises to the level of his own incompetence.
But now, for no other reason than the Left’s unshakable determination to get Donald Trump out of office by any means necessary, Biden is president of the United States. His shallow grasp of world affairs and his backward view of foreign policy have combined with his clearly diminished mind to put America into a precarious state on the world stage. It’s a good time for the dictators.
Biden came into office signaling his desire to renew the nuclear deal with Iran, a foolish gesture that seems motivated by his desire to shore up Obama’s legacy, such as it is, and also because it’s 180 degrees in the opposite direction of what Trump did. There can be no sane reason for trying to rebuild such an awful agreement that was built on bad faith and a lot of U.S. cash paid directly to the biggest terrorist supporter in the Middle East. To top it all off, Biden has indicated that he’s willing to remove sanctions against Iran and unfreeze Iranian assets just to bring the mullahs to the negotiating table. In boxing, this strategy is mockingly called leading with your chin. And Biden has a what grizzled old pugilists would call a glass jaw.
Iran is obviously quite happy with this state of affairs. The country, which never really halted its nuclear weapons program, will be able to keep going, and it will be rewarded for destabilizing the Middle East. Biden seems unconcerned with what happens in that region, though, as the halting of military sales to Saudi Arabia and a planned withdrawal from Iraq indicate.
China is likewise pleased with the Biden administration these days — and why not? Biden’s in Beijing’s pocket. As that country continues to aggressively expand its footprint in the South China Sea, intimidate its regional neighbors, and expand its presence in Africa and South America in its quest to corner world markets on precious minerals, Biden has yet to make any substantive moves to check China’s power. He hasn’t even confronted Xi over China’s role in the spread of the ChiCom Virus pandemic. China has deliberately blocked international efforts to investigate the pandemic’s origins and insists on blaming the outbreak on the U.S. military. Biden has sent the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group into the South China Sea. But even this show of force isn’t what it used to be when one considers the rapid materiel and technological growth of China’s military in the past two decades; growth that has gone largely unchecked by the United States.
Russia is also ramping up its territorial ambitions, leaning hard on Ukraine as Putin continues his private quest to rebuild the old Soviet empire under the flag of the Russian Federation. Putin has used political maneuvering to extend his term of office indefinitely, and we can be pretty much certain by this point that he fully intends to remain president of Russia until the day he dies. Xi has similarly removed pesky rules that could remove him from office through elections, and the two leaders have grown close in recent months, forging an alliance to position as a counterweight to U.S. power.
Sad to say, but with Joe Biden as president, this will not be difficult. Biden sorely underestimates the cunning and savvy nature of the adversaries the U.S. faces, and he also dreadfully overestimates his own ability to steer America through the tough times that are sure to come as our country’s enemies prepare to challenge America head-on in the international arena. Will someone please send some backbone and some brains to the White House? We will surely need both in the months and years to come.
Congress wants to repeal the 2002 AUMF, which Republicans warn is dangerous.
Following Joe Biden’s retaliatory air strikes in Syria last month, Democrat members of Congress put forward legislation to repeal the existing Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) resolutions of 2001 and 2002. More than that, however, they propose to rewrite the War Powers Act of 1973, which would effectively take away authority from the president to engage in military action to protect Armed Forces personnel and interests abroad.
If Biden, who appears to agree with congressional Democrats, were to go along with this misguided and unnecessary effort, all under the guise of ending America’s “never-ending wars,” it would be a profound break with our nation’s long-running history while also severely handicapping the ability of the executive branch to act both quickly and covertly against terrorists and other foreign enemies.
As John Yoo and Robert Delahunty observe in National Review, “The U.S. armed forces have fought American Indians, Barbary pirates, and Russian revolutionaries without any congressional approval. Harry Truman did not wait on Congress to intervene in Korea in 1950; Dwight Eisenhower threatened nuclear war with Communist China; JFK imposed a quarantine on Cuba during the missile crisis; LBJ sent troops to Latin America; and Richard Nixon expanded the Vietnam conflict in Laos and Cambodia. President Reagan invaded Grenada and attacked Libya; George H. W. Bush sent troops after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait; Bill Clinton intervened in the Balkans. The 1991 Persian Gulf war, the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, and the 2003 Iraq war received legislative “authorization” but not declarations of war. The practice of presidential initiative, followed by congressional acquiescence, has spanned both Democratic and Republican administrations and reaches back to Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.“
Representative Andy Barr (R-KY) contends, “Voting to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) without a replacement is voting to disregard the terrorist threats in Iraq. This decision also surrenders the role of Congress in consenting to the use of military force under Article I of the Constitution. Congress should instead reassert its role in the process of authorizing military force and examine ways to update the 2002 AUMF to better reflect the current national security threats in the region.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) offered similar objections, stating, “The terrorism threats that underlie those authorizations are still there. There’s clearly terrorist activity inside of Iraq.” And Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN) called repealing the AUMF a “dangerous mistake.”
Joe Biden may not have trustworthy cognitive abilities with the nuclear button (or with much else, for that matter), but that’s not a problem of presidential powers to be solved with this Democrat effort.
Thomas Frank has for years written about his side’s abandonment of its blue-collar roots. Now it’s abandoning free speech.
Critiques of the Left are always welcome here, but they’re especially welcome when they come from the Left. These are eyewitness accounts, so to speak, and they’re that much harder for leftists to summarily dismiss.
Such was the case last week when bestselling liberal author and journalist Thomas Frank took his side to task for its abandonment of traditional liberalism and its embrace of censorship. He must’ve struck a nerve, too, even among those whom he considered political allies. As he put it to fellow liberal Matt Taibbi, “People were like, ‘F— you, Frank!’”
There are, of course, many pathologies on the Left, but paper-thin skin is among the worst — which is why we on the Right should be ridiculing leftists and their bad ideas at every turn. Lots of folks can dismiss a thoughtful critique, but far fewer can stand being made a laughingstock. And no one — perhaps ever — did a better job of that than Donald Trump.
“In 2016,” Frank writes, “liberals chose to blame Russia for their loss rather than look in the mirror. On other occasions they assured one another that they had no problems with white blue-collar workers — until it became undeniable that they did, whereupon liberals chose to blame such people for rejecting them.”
Adding insult to this injury, whenever they attacked Trump, the guy who made a fool of them en masse, he simply doubled down on ridicule. No wonder Trump Derangement Syndrome continues to course through the Democrat Party.
As for his side’s lurch toward censorship, Frank points to what the always reliable New York Times dubs a “reality crisis” — a term that can fairly be described as the Left’s realization that its ideas are bankrupt and that its political enemies must therefore be silenced. “In response,” Frank writes, “Joe Biden has called upon us as a nation to ‘defend the truth and defeat the lies.’”
Yep, the same Joe Biden who reflexively tells the most awful lies, the same Joe Biden who promised he’d “work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did,” and the same Joe Biden who called the Georgia voter reform law “an atrocity” and “Jim Crow on steroids” is rallying his dullard brigades to “defend the truth and defeat the lies.”
As Frank puts it, “The remedy for bad speech, we now believe, is not more speech, as per Justice Brandeis’s famous formula, but an ‘extremism expert’ shushing the world. … Criticism, analysis, mockery and protest: these were our weapons. We were rational-minded skeptics, and we had a grand old time deflating creationists, faith healers, puffed-up militarists and corporate liars of every description. Censorship and blacklisting were, with important exceptions, the weapons of the puritanical right: those were their means of lashing out against rap music or suggestive plays or left-wingers who were gainfully employed.”
He vastly overstates the case on right-wing censorship, but Frank is essentially arguing the Left and the Right have switched places. We discussed this Great Switcheroo just prior to last year’s presidential election, and we’re no less convinced of the soundness of that analysis. Need more proof? Guess how many of the 10 richest congressional districts are controlled by Democrats. Five? Eight? Try all 10. And 19 of the top 20.
So much for The Party of the People. Instead, leftists — and the Democrat Party they’ve co-opted — have created the party of the affluent, the elite, the paternalists, the scolds, the censors.
Frank’s sense of this shift long predated ours. In fact, he warned of it at the end of his bestselling 2004 book, What’s the Matter with Kansas? Unfortunately, those on the Left weren’t listening. They were clearly too busy telling Frank to have sexual relations with himself.
“Let me confess,” writes Frank now. “Every time I read one of these stories calling on us to get over free speech or calling on Mark Zuckerberg to press that big red ‘mute’ button on our political opponents, I feel a wave of incredulity sweep over me. Liberals believe in liberty, I tell myself. This can’t really be happening here in the USA. But, folks, it is happening. And the folly of it all is beyond belief. … To say that it is a betrayal of everything we were taught liberalism stood for — a betrayal that we will spend years living down — may be too complex a thought for our punditburo to consider, but it is nevertheless true.”
Frank thus offers a scathing indictment of the speech-censoring Left — an indictment that has the added quality of absolute truth. No wonder leftists are trying so hard to ignore him.
Why are Coke, Delta, and MLB slamming the Peach State while kowtowing to Beijing?
Stephen Miller of the Spectator takes on the new “wave of woke corporatism” that he notes “has been sweeping America.” Much of this is a result of the latest Georgia election law, which Democrats led by Joe Biden have falsely labeled as “Jim Crow.” Meanwhile, there’s a huge blind spot when it comes to China and its genocidal practices.
While appearing on CNBC, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey called SB-202 “unacceptable” and “a step backward.” He said the company would work to remedy the legislation, through both public and private advocacy.
Yet Coca-Cola is very selectively “woke.” Miller adds:
In March 2020, a Congressional Executive Commission on human-rights abuses in Xinjiang listed Coca-Cola as a major American company with ties to forced labor camps in the Chinese province. Other companies on the list included Nike, Adidas, Calvin Klein, Campbell’s Soup Company, CostCo, H&M (who has since distanced themselves from China and paid a price for it), Patagonia and Tommy Hilfiger. The report went on to specifically name Coca-Cola’s COFO Tunhe sugar facility in Xinjiang as having direct ties to forced labor. It was reported in the New York Times in November of last year that Coca-Cola was one of the primary companies lobbying against congressional legislation targeting companies who engaged with China’s forced labor policies. The New York Times piece said “Lobbyists have fought to water down some of its provisions, arguing that while they strongly condemn forced labor and current atrocities in Xinjiang, the act’s ambitious requirements could wreak havoc on supply chains that are deeply embedded in China.”
The media is no better, Miller says.
Quincey will likely not have to answer for these corporate hypocrisies while appearing on friendly media outlets who also do not want to see Chinese threats to their valuable media markets.
Miller goes on to explain similar hypocrisy from Atlanta-based Delta Airlines, which is building its relationship with China while condemning its home state. Naturally, Miller moves to Major League Baseball and its despicable punishment of Georgia, also while expanding operations in China. Then there’s Hollywood, which has a growing presence in Georgia … and China. Guess which one is facing Hollywood’s wrath.
What about President Biden himself, who struck a harsher tone with the state of Georgia than he and his State Department have over genuine human rights abuses in China? … Biden and his team can whisper in quiet grandpa-voice “Jim Crow” terminology all they want, but until he and his administration begin to strike a stronger tenor on China, he should be wheeled off into the corner of the home and ignored.
The corporations bowing to woke online mobs should be willing to cut ties with the real authoritarian regimes around the world that commit the most brutal atrocities. Will it happen? I guess the market will decide…
“Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner Robert Manfred decided to move the All-Star Game on his own after holding extensive discussions with voting rights groups associated with Lebron James, Stacey Abrams and Rev. Al Sharpton, sources familiar with the move tell Fox News. Abrams and Sharpton told the commissioner players would boycott the game if not. Sources say that Abrams’ current stance, that she is disappointed about the Georgia boycott, is suspect as she was a key player in the decision.”
Political theater: Officer William Evans to lie in honor in Capitol Rotunda (WORLD)
Editor’s Note: To be clear, it’s not that Officer Evans isn’t deserving of honor. The problem is that the Left will keep using these law enforcement deaths — which they otherwise ignore — to perpetuate a narrative and keep the new Capitol security features permanent.
Government & Politics
“I don’t care”: Andrew Cuomo ignored accuser’s warning when he allegedly groped her at governor’s mansion (Washington Times)
For the record: Trump says Matt Gaetz never asked him for a pardon (Washington Times)
“The Biden administration is now presiding over the abuse of children”: Allegations emerge of sexual assault at Texas child migrant facility (Fox News)
Insight: “The view has been gaining widespread acceptance that corporate officials … have a ‘social responsibility’ that goes beyond serving the interest of their stockholders. … Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible.” —Milton Friedman (1912-2006)
Double standards: “Coca-Cola and Delta falsely claim that Georgia is rolling back civil rights. But that’s exactly what communist China did in Hong Kong. And these American companies haven’t said a word in protest. In fact, Coca-Cola, Intel, Procter & Gamble, and Visa are all corporate sponsors of the Olympic games, which are scheduled to take place next year in Beijing.” —Gary Bauer
Political futures: “There’s a saying attributed to Vladimir Lenin that communism would ultimately prevail because stupid capitalists would sell the rope that the communists would use to hang them. When the Soviet Union fell, I thought Lenin was wrong. But Coca-Cola, Delta, and other Fortune 500 companies seem intent on proving Lenin right.” —Gary Bauer
Hate bait I: “Though the days of flagrant cross burnings and Klan rallies may be behind us, bigotry and racism are not. To excise these evils from America once and for all, we must recognize and understand how they take shape today. That is exactly what the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Year in Hate’ report really forces us to do, to track and monitor active hate groups, whether they’re plotting insurrections, vandalizing places of worship, or committing other acts of extremism.” —Senator Dick Durbin
Hate bait II: “It is time we extinguish all bigoted beliefs, address the urgent threat that extremism and hate groups pose on marginalized communities, and end actions motivated by hate. I hope you will join me in supporting the Southern Poverty Law Center and their commitment to making a safer and more inclusive nation.” —Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (“The SPLC’s list exaggerates the number of ‘hate groups’ by listing defunct or essentially non-existent groups along with the KKK … but it also tars the reputations of law-abiding mainstream conservative and Christian organizations like the Family Research Council (FRC), Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and ACT for America.” —Tyler O’Neil)
Grand delusions: “Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure.” —Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (“This tweet sums up the Democrat Party agenda now very well: Obvious falsehoods, repeated with religious zeal, brainwashing the simple to obey the powerful.” —Buck Sexton)
And last… “Many conservatives — myself included — deplore the politics of boycotts. We’re not interested in patronizing companies based on political differentiation alone. But if the left is going to hijack the most powerful institutions in America and then weaponize them against voters in red states, conservatives will be left with little choice but to exert counter-pressure. The only alternative is the formation of alternative companies in every industry. … The left has politicized everything. The right has avoided that tactic, because it’s ugly and divisive. But it’s too late to put the genie back in the bottle. It’s time for mutually assured destruction. There’s only one thing worse than having nuclear weapons: unilateral disarmament. Better to establish mutually assured destruction now and put corporate America on notice that, by stepping into the middle of fraught political debate, it risks just as much blowback from the right as from the left.” —Ben Shapiro
As the White House and state governors have ruled out mandatory vaccine passports, the WHO says that their introduction could sharpen social divides. Nevertheless, some educational institutions and companies want to push forward with plans for such a document.
A first-hand look at the border crisis as more Americans say they aren’t satisfied with the Biden Administration’s handling of it. Heart-breaking video of a little boy abandoned at the border goes viral as thousands of children are at risk. …
Attorneys uncovered material related to the Seth Rich case from the Federal government.
Yesterday they learned that their evidence related to the case must be destroyed by April 28th. These attorneys contacted Attorney John Durham months ago and he won’t respond to their request asking that the evidence be maintained and not destroyed.
Here is the content from the letter:
On October 12, 2020, I sent a letter to you and then-Attorney General William Barr about the need to preserve evidence related to the origins of the “Russian collusion” investigation. Neither you nor anyone else at the Department of Justice responded to the letter.
Yesterday I learned that the evidence is due to be destroyed not later than April 28, 2021 pursuant to a protective order. I urge you again to take steps to secure the evidence and prevent its destruction, in no small part because I believe the public has a right to know what it reveals. I cannot discuss the exact nature of the evidence, however, because of the restrictions in the protective order.
If another lawyer informed me about the evidence that was relevant to one of my cases, I cannot imagine sticking my head in the sand the way you have. Like President Trump, I’ve come to suspect that you and Mr. Barr were acting in bad faith, and that you appeased President Trump with the pretense of a legitimate investigation even as you were “running out the clock.” That said, please feel free to prove me wrong.
Back in 1999, leading U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official Dr. Peter Patriarca contended that modern advances in vaccine technology were rapidly “outpacing researchers’ ability to predict potential vaccine-related adverse events.” Patriarca mused that this could lead to “a situation of unforeseen and unpredictable vaccine outcomes.”
In a new research article published in Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, veteran immunologist J. Bart Classen expresses similar concerns and writes that “RNA-based COVID vaccines have the potential to cause more disease than the epidemic of COVID-19.”
For decades, Classen has published papers exploring how vaccination can give rise to chronic conditions such as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes — not right away, but three or four years down the road.
Classen’s study establishes the potential for the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna to activate human proteins to take on “pathologic configurations” — configurations associated with chronic degenerative neurological diseases. Although his specific interest is in prion diseases (conditions associated with misfolded versions of normal proteins), Classen also outlines a handful of other mechanisms whereby RNA-based vaccines could give rise to “multiple other potential fatal adverse events.”
Ensuring that patients clearly understand risks — including known risks as well as potential unknown risks — is an important component of the informed consent process. This is all the more true when the intervention is experimental and lacks long-term safety data, as is the case with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against COVID-19. The FDA authorized the two vaccines for widespread emergency use based on just two months of clinical trial data.
Whether it is a Syrian Muslim gunning down “Trump supporters” in Colorado, the attack near the Capitol by a Nation of Islam supporter, the change in laws that protect police in New York, or the campaign against the state of Georgia, we must acknowledge the widespread assault on the conservative, Christian community. I use the phrase “White America,” though ironically we are comprised of all ethnicities and races but united in our stand for biblical and democratic values that are the foundation of our country. The radical left characterizes us as “angry white people” so they can garner support for the vilification of our principles as part of a broader scheme to undermine our way of life. It is critical that we do not look at each of these issues as separate unrelated events when each of them is a critical aspect of how insidious movements weaken traditional social structures.
For over two decades, I researched and published about how these nearly identical tactics are used by radical Islamists to transform the Middle East, South Asia, and to a lesser extent, even parts of Europe. For over 50 years, radical Islamists have used outright violence, political upheaval, and large public campaigns to dramatically alter relatively tolerant societies into oppressive countries that eliminate personal liberties and freedom to practice any religion other than radical Islam. Most prominently, we see the results of their efforts in countries like Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, and Egypt where Christians are either driven out completely or suffer tremendous persecution. In Europe, I personally visited distinct neighborhoods in London and the Netherlands where non-Muslims are driven out and the immigrants are so isolated from mainstream society that their communities seem to be parts of a foreign country.
Islamists have engaged in similar campaigns here in the US, successfully creating a group of homegrown terrorists and political organizations that seek to affect US policy, but their efforts remained marginal. The Judeo-Christian principles that govern American society and its legal system, coupled with a strong law enforcement apparatus, have been the bulwark against any ideological movement fundamentally changing American society.
However, the assault on “White America” that unites Islamists and the radical Left is particularly dangerous, not only because it has followers capable of terrorizing the population, they also have tacit support from the Biden administration, local and state lawmakers, and a large portion of mainstream society. Together these two movements have the power to murder opponents and sabotage traditional legal and political structures.
The recently enacted law eliminating qualified immunity for the New York Police Department is an important example of this assault. The City Council said in a statement that it passed a bill creating a local civil right protecting the city’s residents against unreasonable search and seizures, excessive force, and a ban on the use of qualified immunity as a defense. The general public thinks this is valuable to reduce police brutality cases but many are not considering the broader ramification of this dramatic change. From my personal experience working with NYPD for years on counter-terrorism cases, it’s difficult enough to engage in the complex legal world of law enforcement and investigations, but this legislation will make the police department even more hesitant about programs and procedures that could potentially bring civil action against the department. Though the extent of its current application is unknown, this law could dismantle the massive counterterrorism effort in place after 9-11 because terror suspects would cripple the police by filing countless lawsuits that protest ongoing investigations, allegations of unreasonable searches, and arrests under the guise of discrimination against Muslims.
Anyone who has ever been in a legal battle can tell you, the greatest consequence of lawsuits is not who wins or loses but the emotional and financial drain of fighting them. It creates many opportunities for abuse and though this bill doesn’t impose direct liability for the officers, it puts their jobs at risk when a lawsuit is brought against the department for their conduct. It will limit the pool of good quality candidates in policing because they would fear the unbridled public scrutiny. It is clearly a mechanism to harass and intimidate white officers and even Christians by accusing them of engaging in discriminatory practices. Simply put, it will weaken the structure of our law enforcement as we know it, which is exactly what destructive social movements seek to do.
The orchestrated boycott and vilification of Georgia is another alarming example of how these movements operate. We are seeing mainstream social structures such as corporations like Coca-Cola, Major League Baseball, as well as President Joe Biden himself supporting the effort to isolate and punish Georgia for creating voting restrictions. The law protects the integrity of the voting system but it’s being purposely mischaracterized as racial discrimination to inflame the emotions of the public and cause financial harm, which they hope will force the legislature to retract it. The radical left is using social and financial coercion to compromise the sanctity of how we vote in this country. The threat this poses to the future of America as we know it cannot be overstated. Just ask immigrants from Venezuela what happens when an ideological movement has the power to change political safeguards. The result is catastrophic.
Ideological movements like socialism, communism, or Islamism wear away at the fabric of a society in order to supplant it with a new and dominant ideology. This can only be accomplished by first dismantling the existing strongholds — traditional institutions like houses of worship, schools, political structures, and law enforcement. I have published reports detailing this phenomenon as it relates to Pakistan, Southeast Asia, Egypt, Europe, and the US, but I never thought I would see the same patterns gaining prominence in the US, with the help of large portions of the American people. The alliance of the radical left with Islamists is a dream come true for Islamists because it gives them a national platform and credibility that was impossible on their own.
There has never been a more important time for Christians to defend our way of life. Not only are we facing physical violence at the local store as we saw with the Colorado shooter or the attack near the Capitol, but our law enforcement and political structures are at risk. Remember, the Lord warned us of such times when He said:
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
We cannot ignore this assault on our way of life and we should be compelled to defend the values we believe in. The Apostles faced far worse in defense of the Gospel. They were persecuted, isolated and even tortured but they did not waiver because the Lord told us it would happen. “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. Yet they knew, as we should know now, it was their obligation as Christ followers to preach the Gospel so that others would be saved, regardless of the personal consequences. As the Apostle Paul said, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of…” 
Hedieh Mirahmadi was a devout Muslim for two decades working in the field of national security before she experienced the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and has a new passion for sharing the Gospel. She dedicates herself full-time to Resurrect Ministry, an online resource that harnesses the power of the Internet to make salvation through Christ available to people of all nations, and her daily podcast LivingFearlessDevotional.com.
It’s not exactly hidden that the Revoice Conference has been used to promote homosexuality within the church specifically the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA). While the ideas of this notorious conference seem fringe, they do represent heretical ideas that will become mainstream challenges in the years to come, if they are allowed to be. Just like how Critical Race Theory was an issue long before Resolution 9 in the Southern Baptist Convention, so too are the teachings at Revoice poised to divide the church at large. In truth much of this ideology is reminiscent of Sam Allberry’s teachings which differentiate between homosexuality and same-sex attraction. But the application of this premise has made for some alarming practices. In this video, I expose how Revoice is perverting both friendship and marriage as a means for “celibate gay Christians” to live. You will also notice the speakers promoting Queer Theory, a branch of Critical Theory.
The video details their obsessive friendship, detailing how they met, became close, and eventually started living together. Art explains how he came out as gay and how Nick supported him through that. Art expressed how at times they had to deal with Art developing romantic feelings for Nick.
Art’s intentions for the relationship are for him to be a permanent fixture in Nick’s life. This not only includes living together as they currently do, but eventually when Nick gets married, to still live with Nick and his hypothetical wife then. Obviously, no woman in their right mind will want to sign up for that package deal and compete with a prospective mate’s best friend for the entirety of their marriage.
The friendship does not allow for Nick to find a wife and start a family. Art’s actions encourage him to not seek real repentance for sinful desires. Multiple times he expresses preventing himself from going down a “shame spiral” for experiencing homosexual attraction by accepting it.
Even worse, Art and Nick detail how they communicate the needs of their relationship, at several times employing “love languages.” Art even talks about how he goes to his pastor and his wife for relationship counseling. Essentially, Art and Nick have a backdoor homosexual marriage without sex. Furthermore, this friendship is a real idol in their lives.
Where Critical Theory really shines is when Art and Nick explain that Nick, being straight, can never achieve “ally” status because he can never escape his oppressor status as a straight white male. It’s worth repeating that Art has no intentions of ever not being a homosexual.
We are not meant to live with our friends all of our lives. Ideally as we come into adulthood we should be wanting to start a family. However, this Revoice video titled “Better Together” shows effeminates men substituting marital relationships with women with a nonsexual relationship with each other, believing it to be sustainable for the rest of their lives. They are also pastoring youth while living in this lifestyle.
There are a lot more videos of Revoice subverting biblical sexuality but specifically here, they are trying to subvert friendship and marriage as paths for homosexuals to not repent.
“The woke revolution is not a grassroots movement. It is powered by a well-connected and guilt-ridden elite. Yet the religion of wokeness assumes that these high priests deserve exemptions. Their wealth, credentials, contacts and power ensure none are ever subject to the consequences of their own sermons.”
(Victor Davis Hanson – PJ Media) Ed Bastian made $17 million in 2019 as chief executive officer of Delta Airlines, Georgia’s largest employer. Bastian just blasted Georgia’s new voting law. He thinks it is racist to require the same sort of ID to vote that Delta requires for its passengers to check in.
Yet most Americans believe voting is a more sacred act than flying Delta and, moreover, may have noticed that Delta has partnerships with systemically racist China. Also, a recent Associated Press poll showed that 72 percent of Americans favor requiring photo ID to vote.
The most privileged CEOs of corporate America — those who sell us everything from soft drinks and sneakers to professional sports and social media — now jabber to America about its racism, sexism and other assorted sins. View article →
“In order for Communist China to dominate the world, any chance of a Republican comeback on the national stage must be nipped in the bud. The MLB has, in effect, become an adjunct of the Chinese Communist Party. Other corporations have followed this trend. Marxists see this as a major development in America’s transition to socialism and communism.”
(Cliff Kincaid – Renew America) It seems strange to some that Major League Baseball (MLB) pulled its All-Star game out of Atlanta, to punish Georgia for its new voter ID law, but signed a deal with a Chinese company for rights to broadcast MLB games….
It’s an indication that MLB recognizes China is in charge internationally, and that the Republicans’ days as a national political force in the United States are numbered. The MLB wants to help hammer the final nail into the coffin of the Republican Party. That means crushing free, honest, and fair elections, to make sure another Trump-like figure can never win a national election.
Former President Donald Trump thunders, “It is finally time for Republicans and Conservatives to fight back – we have more people than they do – by far! Boycott Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, ViacomCBS, Citigroup, Cisco, UPS, and Merck. Don’t go back to their products until they relent. We can play the game better than them.” View article →
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, finally, will change not only what we do but also who we are. It will affect our identity and all the issues associated with it.
Speaking at a virtual meeting of the environmental charity Conservation International the other day, Prince William slipped in a codeword to tip his hat to the actual agenda he and his New World Order buddies are promoting. He said ‘All of us, across all sectors of society, and in every corner of the globe must come together to fundamentally reset our relationship with nature and our trajectory as a species.’ That codeword ‘reset’ tells you everything you need to know about, well, everything. So let’s connect all the dots, shall we?
“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Revelation 14:7,8 (KJB)
The ‘great reset’ has a lot of working parts, so many in fact that you may be tempted to think they are different events when in fact they are one in the same event. So today I want to give you a high level overview of the actual and active nefarious plan by the New World Order, happening now, to bring the whole world into submission to the authority of Antichrist.
The Great Reset
The Great Reset: Think about COVID-19, the lockdowns, the economic crashes, the mandatory mask wearing, the race riots, ANTIFA, ID2020, Bill Gates, Black Lives Matter, the Declaration Of Human Fraternity, Chrislam, ponder for a moment on all of it. When you have wrapped your head around all those things, now wrap your head around this. Everything we have been experiencing, it is all part of the Great Reset, and it is all driving towards the same outcome. That is, the resetting of the entire world to prepare the people for the arrival of Antichrist. That’s how close we are to seeing him step out of the shadows and onto the world stage.
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: This nasty little bit of God-hating peace posturing comes to us straight from the pit of Hell via the United Nations, and it envisions a world at peace without the interference of Almighty God who created it. Take a look what this plan is, in their own words, all about and you will see what I mean.
“This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.” source
Lol, they say that “no one will be left behind”, but in reality they all will be left behind! The prophet Zephaniah tells us what the fate of the United Nations shall be when we return with King Jesus Christ to fight the Battle of Armageddon at the Second Coming.
“Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” Zephaniah 3:8 (KJB)
The One World Religion Of Chrislam: Revelation 13, 17 and 18 shows us the Antichrist ruling a political kingdom and the False Prophet ruling a spiritual kingdom. John the Baptist was the ‘advance man’ for Jesus Christ, and the False Prophet will do the same for Antichrist. Pope Francis, looking for all the world like the False Prophet, officially birthed the One World Religion of Chrislam, and back in February, Chrislam was officially codified into universal recognition by the United Nations. Chrislam is the spiritual component to the Great Reset.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Awake, yet? I hope you are, because this is what the Fourth Industrial Revolution is all about, and yes, it is being brought to us by the exact same group of people that gave us COVID-19, the global lock-downs, the crashing of the world economies, the coronavirus vaccine and the digital Immunity Passport by the ID2020 Alliance. Everything that has happen since the start of 2020, all these wacky, crazy, ‘living in Revelation‘ events are all from the same people and geared towards bringing about the same end, the New World Order. This is what all the other stuff has been about, and what it is all leading to. This is not some hazy, far-flung prediction, it is an accurate depiction of what is happening all around us right now.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastics 12:13,14 (KJB)
Are you starting to see what I am talking about, these are not all different end times agenda items, they are the same agenda item. Everything you have been watching happen over the last 13 months are different arms of the same beast, and The Beast, who is on his way right now, will be the crown jewel in the ungodly crown of evil. COVID, lockdowns, vaccines, vaccination passports and everything else are the tools by which this new order is being fashioned.
Be honest, saved or lost you feel what’s happening, you know things are never going to go back to the way they were before. You find yourself in the uncomfortable position of being in the middle of two worlds that are suddenly in motion, one going out and one coming in. Every day is unsettling on every level, and it is affecting you in ways you can hardly even put into words. So let me tell you what’s right now happening. If you’re saved but lukewarm, consider this your wakeup call. If you’re lost and headed for Hell, consider this your rescue operation, this is your red pill of truth.
“Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.” Habakkuk 1:5 (KJB)
The good news is if you’re saved, you’re about to get out of here in the what the King James Bible describes as the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church. Those of you who are bible believers and on the front lines of the end times, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you’re saved but a lukewarm Laodicean, you’re going in the Rapture with us, but it’s not all good news for you. The reason for that is when you get to Heaven, you will stand before Jesus Christ at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and there you will have to explain why you got nothing done for the Lord while you lived on Earth. You will face loss of rewards, and you will shed tears of sorrow in Heaven. Your salvation can never be lost, but you will lose plenty of other things at the Judgment Seat. Let these words sink down into your brain, meditate on the high cost of sitting on the sidelines, and then change it while you still can.