“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
Does Jesus still matter in our culture today? Was his impact on history significant enough to warrant our attention? What does His impact tell us about Him? Is Jesus history’s most significant “person of interest”? J. Warner answers these questions in this episode of the NRBtv Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast.
The letter to the Hebrews, as our studies throughout the year have shown, is full of Old Testament language and ritual. Running throughout it is an ongoing sense that as believers we are on the move, on a pilgrimage through the wilderness. This motif echoes in our ears as we turn the pages. We are seeking to reach the land of rest (4:1). Indeed we can already come near enough to see the throne of its King (4:16; 10:19). It is the throne of grace before which Christ our High Priest stands. So we run the race before us with perseverance, our eyes fixed on Him (12:1–2).
All this lies behind the remarkable words of Hebrews 12:18–28. We have come to Mount Zion — not to Mount Sinai, as Moses and the first pilgrim people did. As participants in the new exodus accomplished by Christ (see Luke 9:31, where “departure” literally means exodus), we have come to Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem. We have already received a kingdom that cannot be shaken (12:28). That is why we must see to it that we “do not refuse him who is speaking.”
This sustained use of Old Testament imagery is all-pervasive in Hebrews, although elements of it obviously appear throughout the New Testament. But the underlying structures of thought are the same in three ways. First, the promise of the old has been fulfilled in the new, in Christ. Second, another grammatical pattern is evident, one which we usually associate with the apostle Paul; namely, the indicatives of grace give rise to the imperatives of obedience. Third, this principle is also evident in the way in which Christians are urged to live in the light of the privileges they enjoy already and therefore to persevere to enter those they do not yet fully experience. Thus promise leads to fulfillment, grace leads to obedience, already is linked to not yet.
Now, as the author comes to the final warning passage in Hebrews 12:25–29, it helps if we see its apparent severity in the light of this third principle. “You have not come . . . But you have come” (Heb. 12:18, 22). What are our privileges? They are truly amazing. Rather than come — as did believers in the day of promise and shadow — to an assembly convened at a mountain engulfed with a sense of awful judgment, we have come to the abiding city of God. Indeed we have come to God Himself, not with Moses, but with Jesus. For we have received the new covenant in His shed blood.
This is the assembly in which we gather for worship to hear the voice of Christ in His Word, to lift our voices under His choral direction in praise, to share His trust in His Father, and to gather around Christ as His brothers and sisters (see Heb. 2:10–13). Consequently, this is also our family — composed of the redeemed from among all mankind and the elect among the angelic host. This is the kingdom in which we are enrolled as citizens (12:23). Moreover, it is a kingdom, unlike all the kingdoms and empires of this world, that cannot be shaken (12:27–28). What riches are ours in these three dimensions of the life of grace! And they are already ours in Christ! Here and now, our lives are punctuated by special visiting rights to heaven’s glory as we assemble with our fellow believers.
“See that you do not refuse Him” (Heb. 12:25ff.). Here is the final extended warning passage in Hebrews. They have often been regarded as “problem” passages because of the implication they seem to carry, namely, that believers might fall away from Christ and be lost. But to read these passages in such a way is to abstract them from their contexts in the letter and from the covenant dynamic of the Gospel. For when we read these passages in the context of the letter as a whole, we come to realize that they belong to an ongoing series of exhortations to be read in the light of the privileges of grace.
In fact, the author of Hebrews thought of his entire letter as a word of encouragement to persevere (13:22). As any father would do, so the author, as a spiritual father, and speaking on behalf of the “Father of spirits” (12:9), encourages his spiritual children with exhortations that are both positive and negative.
The key here is the new covenant structure of the Gospel. It is built on a better Mediator and better promises than the old. But it remains a covenant. Its dynamic is the same: God gives His promise of grace (fulfilled now in Christ); His promise is life through faith in Christ, and death for any who spurn the blood of the new covenant (see 10:26–31).
So, we have already “come to Mount Zion … the heavenly Jerusalem.” But we have not yet finally entered it. We hear its worship, we experience its power; its light enlightens our camping ground (Heb. 6:4–5). But there is a River still to be crossed. The doors of the City are never shut (Rev. 21:5), but we do not yet dwell inside the city gates. We must still wade through the River. Like Christian, (in virtually the last words of The Pilgrim’s Progress, part one), we know that there is “a way to Hell, even from the Gates of Heaven, as well as from the City of Destruction.” God’s covenant faithfulness calls for faith that perseveres to the end.
When we have seen the privileges that are already ours, we have every reason to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and persevere in penitential faith until that which is now ours in part becomes ours in whole and forever.
This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine.
“A Lively Rousing Up of the Heart” Psalm 96:1; 98:1–4; Isaiah 42:10; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16
As God requires outward and inward worship, so a spiritual frame for inward worship may be forwarded by the outward composure. Gazing drowsiness hinders the activity of the soul, but the contrary temper furthers and helps it. Singing calls up the soul into such a posture, and does, as it were, awaken it. It is a lively rousing up of the heart.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
We Naturally Seek Communion with Others Genesis 2:18; Psalm 68:5–6
We are not by ourselves sufficient to furnish ourselves with competent store of things needful for such a life as our nature does desire, a life fit for the dignity of man; therefore to supply those defects and imperfections which are in us living single and solely by ourselves, we are naturally induced to seek communion and fellowship with others.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
What comfort is there for persecuted Christians? As we saw last time, in Revelation 2:8 Christ reminded a suffering church that He also suffered persecution. More than this, He has overcome death itself.
In Revelation 2:9, the Lord continues His reassuring words to the Christians in Smyrna: “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”
Needless to say, Smyrna was a difficult place to be a Christian. The believers there likely faced persecution on multiple fronts. To begin with, the city was deeply devoted to the worship of Caesar and the celebration of all things Rome. They even worshiped Rome itself—the Dea Roma was a goddess who personified the city. During Domitian’s reign, annual sacrifices to Caesar were mandatory; refusing to offer them was a capital offense. In fact, simply failing to say the words “Caesar is Lord” when prompted could cost a believer his life. While Christians could submit to Rome’s civil authority (see Romans 13:1–7), they could not partake in the idolatrous devotion to Caesar. Maintaining that dividing line made them look like seditious rebels, incurring Rome’s wrath.
In addition, Smyrna was awash in paganism. Pagan temples, festivals, and rituals of every kind dominated the social life of the city. And believers avoided it all. Christians in Smyrna were out of sync with the culture in every way. Moreover, they worshiped an invisible God—a completely counterintuitive idea in the ancient world which led to false accusations of atheism.
Adding to those forms of persecution was their “poverty” (Revelation 2:9). The believers in Smyrna weren’t just poor. The Greek word here (ptōcheia) means they had nothing. They lacked not only basic resources, but also the means to improve their situation. It’s possible that many in the church were slaves. And whatever meager possessions they once may have owned were likely forfeited in the persecution of believers. They were destitute, barely surviving on whatever they could scrounge together.
However, Christ includes a curious parenthetical note: “I know . . . your poverty (but you are rich).” Contrast that with the His condemning words to the church at Laodicea: “You say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17). The Laodiceans might have had material wealth, but in the things that mattered most—faithfulness, holiness, perseverance, and love for God—they were spiritually bankrupt. Conversely, the Christians in Smyrna had nothing, but they were spiritually rich.
There was one other major front of persecution for the tormented believers in Smyrna. Christ describes it in Revelation 2:9 as “the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” The Jewish community in Smyrna hated the Christians. They spread vicious gossip about the church, poisoning the minds of the people and inciting the local government. Why? Because they fiercely despised the gospel of Jesus Christ and anyone who declared Him to be the long-awaited Messiah.
Israel’s religious leaders endlessly schemed to stifle the progress of the gospel and silence the apostles. Luke recorded many of their attempts in the book of Acts. In Acts 4:18 for example, the Sanhedrin commanded the apostles “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” When the apostles continued, “the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail” (Acts 5:17–18). Acts 13 records the Jewish leaders’ reaction to Paul’s preaching in Antioch. “But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. But the Jews incited the devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city, and instigated a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district” (Acts 13:45, 50). In Iconium “the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren. And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them, they became aware of it and fled” (Acts 14:2, 5–6). Luke tells us the trouble followed Paul and his companions to Lystra, where the “Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead” (Acts 14:19). In Thessalonica “the Jews, becoming jealous and taking along some wicked men from the market place, formed a mob and set the city in an uproar” (Acts 17:5). That was the kind of treacherous persecution the Jews in Smyrna were bringing against the church. They were so desperate to curtail the growth of the church that they partnered with heathens.
Christ refers to them as the “synagogue of Satan.” This is a chilling commentary on the apostasy of New Testament Judaism. Whatever lip service they still paid to the one true God was worthless after they rejected His Son as Messiah. Their religion was every bit as opposed to God’s truth as the emperor worship and paganism that dominated Smyrna, and their synagogues as spiritually vacant as the temples littering the Pagos.
The identification of these persecutors as “those who say they are Jews and are not” is not intended to say they were merely masquerading as Jews. Instead, it’s an echo of Paul’s statement in Romans 2:28–29:
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
By birth they were Jews, but spiritually they were blasphemous pagans and enemies of God.
The letter to the church at Smyrna contains no rebuke or condemnation. The Lord had nothing but praise for this downtrodden church, and their faithfulness stands as a shining example to all churches everywhere.
However, the letter does carry a warning—not of judgment, but of more persecution to come. In Revelation 2:10 the Lord encourages them, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days.” There are no records to tell us how these prophecies were fulfilled in the church of Smyrna. We don’t know whom the devil inspired to cast them into prison; just that it was a common destination for believers in that city. Nor do we know specifically what occurred during the ten days of tribulation and testing. Some have suggested that the Lord was using figurative language to signify longer periods of persecution, but there’s no indication in the text that the Lord is referring to something other than ten twenty-four-hour days.
What we do know is that persecution of some kind in Smyrna carried on for decades and turned one of the heroes of the early church into one of its most famous martyrs. Polycarp was the bishop or pastor of the church at Smyrna. Tradition tells us he was ordained to preach by the apostle John—a plausible claim, since he was in his eighties when he was burned at the stake in AD 156, only fifty or sixty years after John wrote the book of Revelation. It’s possible he faithfully ministered in the churches of Asia Minor alongside John before the apostle’s exile to Patmos.
The story of Polycarp’s martyrdom illustrates how the entire city was aligned against the church and eager to usher in its demise. History tells us Polycarp died during a festival of public games (under Rome, that meant public executions). The Jews and the pagans banded together and clamored for his head.
Polycarp had no selfish interest in running for his life. He had a dream in which he saw the pillow under his head burning, and was convinced that this was a sign he would be burned alive. But in deference to the church, he did leave the city to stay with friends in the countryside. His pursuers were enraged when they couldn’t find him. They seized two children and tortured them until one gave up his location.
Tradition tells us that even the soldiers who arrested him and returned him to the city did not want to see him die. They pled with him to curse God and say, “Caesar is Lord,” or offer a simple sacrifice to the emperor to save his own life. We’re told the faithful pastor responded, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?”  Quoted in Alexander Roberts, Sir James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 10 vols. (New York: Scribners, 1905), 1:41.
When news of his capture spread throughout the city, the excitement was so great that crowds gathered whatever scraps of wood they could find in shops and baths to build the bonfire. The Jews were so eager to see him killed that they brought more wood than anyone else, violating the Sabbath in the process. But Polycarp was unmoved by the threat of death. He challenged his persecutors:
Thou threatenest me with fire which burneth for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but art ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why tarriest thou? Bring forth what thou wilt.  The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1:41.
Tradition tells us that his executioners did not nail him to the stake, as was customary. Before they could, Polycarp told them, “Leave me as I am; for he that giveth me strength to endure the fire, will also enable me, without your securing me by nails, to remain without moving in the pile.”  The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1:42. Some accounts include the detail that he seemed so tranquil amid the flames that someone reached in with a sword to hasten his death.
That’s what life was like for the church in Smyrna. Every believer in the church had to live daily in the Psalmist’s bold proclamation: “In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11).
So far, Christ has acknowledged that these believers are persecuted, poor, and facing imprisonment. How can Christians remain faithful in the face of such intense persecution? Next time, we’ll examine Christ’s final word of encouragement to this suffering church.
Scripture clearly tells us that persecution is an essential part of the Christian life (Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12). Thankfully, God’s Word also assures us that persecution is never without a purpose.
Through the years, I’ve had the privilege of traveling through Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. On those trips, I met with many pastors who had suffered severe persecution in communist Russia. They told me what it had been like—how they couldn’t get an education or keep a job. They lived under constant surveillance and abuse by the authorities. Some were banished to Siberia, and I heard of many more who had died for their faith. Most churches were forced to meet in secret, always knowing that discovery could mean imprisonment, torture, and even death. That was life under the aggressive atheism of communism. And we know Christians today live under similar circumstances in parts of the world still dominated by communism or Islam.
However, after the Iron Curtain fell, what amazed me was the remarkable strength of those persecuted churches. Everywhere I went, I met devout, dedicated Christians. The years of persecution had forged them into a pure church, zealous for the truth and deeply devoted to Christ. Their faith was alive and genuine, unleashed after years of suffering through fierce opposition.
In Revelation chapter 2, we see Christ’s own words to believers in a similar situation (Revelation 2:8–11). The believers in Smyrna were also purified by persecution, and praised by the Lord of the church for their steadfast faithfulness. Theirs was the kind of Christian character that is born out of hardship and opposition.
Persecution with Purpose
When the Lord told His disciples, “I will build My church,” in Matthew 16:18, He included the promise that “the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” The “gates of Hades” was a common euphemism for death. What He was saying is that Satan was going to attack the church with deadly force. And as church history reveals to us, Satan has continuously waged a relentless, hell-bent assault on the church. The entire world system hates God, His Word, and His true church.
As a result, Christians should expect to face persecution. In 2 Timothy 3:12, Paul said, “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Peter told his readers, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12). Suffering is not out of the ordinary, but neither is it without purpose. “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10). That is the divine comfort for believers—that we do not toil and suffer in this world in vain. James tells us to greet trials and suffering with joy, “knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:3–4). Consider this: For Christians, there is no such thing as meaningless suffering. The Lord is always refining us, always sharpening us for the building of His church.
There are also the purifying effects to consider. Hypocrites and charlatans don’t stand up in the face of persecution; they run. Heretics and hirelings don’t last long when the church is under fire. And those who make merchandise of the faith are forced to close up shop when the very name of God is outlawed. Persecution purges the church of false teachers, false gospels, and false professions of faith. If the church today is on the cusp of another wave of persecution—as it seems—it will be beneficial. As Peter said, even the fiercest persecution comes to us with great spiritual benefits. It perfects and confirms our faith, it strengthens our commitment to the Lord, and it establishes His church in the world aligned against it. Persecution doesn’t destroy the church; it makes it strong.
Paul declared that reality out of his own experience:
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9–10)
Such was the case in Smyrna.
Located on the coast of the Aegean Sea almost forty miles north of Ephesus, Smyrna was, historians tell us, the most beautiful city in Asia Minor. From the bay, the city stretched up into rolling foothills and the Pagos, a hill that was home to temples in honor of several gods and goddesses, including Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite, Asclepius, and Cybele. To cover all the religious bases, they had temples for Caesar and Rome as well. Smyrna was also known for science, medicine, and academics. Homer was supposedly born in Smyrna (there was a temple for him, too). It was also one of the oldest cities in the region, possibly first settled as early as 3,000 BC. The Smyrna of the apostle John’s day had been rebuilt in 290 BC by successors of Alexander the Great. Unlike Ephesus, Smyrna is still a thriving city to this day. It’s now known as Izmir, one of the largest cities in Turkey.
And in Smyrna, there are still Christians. While most of the churches are Catholic, Coptic, Orthodox, or Syriac, there are indications that faithful, Bible-believing Christians still live in Izmir to this day, under fierce persecution at the hands of Muslims. The Lord eventually removed the lampstand from Ephesus (Revelation 2:5), but there is still light in Smyrna.
We don’t know when the gospel first reached the city. The church was likely founded during Paul’s ministry in Ephesus, when “all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord” (Acts 19:10). Acts doesn’t give us any insight into the life of the church at Smyrna. The few biblical details we know about this faithful congregation come from Christ’s own words to them in Revelation.
As the Lord does in each of His letters to the seven churches, He begins by vividly identifying Himself as the letter’s author. To the church at Smyrna, He refers to Himself as “the first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life” (Revelation 2:8). This is an echo of the Lord’s comforting words in John’s initial vision: “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades” (Revelation 1:17–18).
“The first and the last” was an Old Testament title for God (see Isaiah 44:6; 48:12). It’s an affirmation of Christ’s divine nature and authority. Christ asserts that title again at the end of Revelation, proclaiming, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). Our God is eternal. He was already in existence when all things were created, and He will remain after the destruction of all things. He transcends time, space, and all of creation.
And yet, for the sake of wretched sinners, He “was dead, and has come to life.” How does an infinite God die? Only in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, as He took on human flesh to die a substitutionary death on our behalf. Peter tells us Christ was “put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). He died as a man for sin and now lives, as the author of Hebrews puts it, “according to the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:16). Death could not hold Him. The body of Jesus died and went into the grave. But “Christ . . . was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay” (Acts 2:31). His resurrection from the dead is the proof that God accepted His sacrifice as full atonement for sin. The resurrection is also the guarantee of our hope for an eternity with Him.
Those would have been particularly comforting words to the beleaguered church of Smyrna. Despised, pursued, oppressed, and outnumbered; there could be no greater encouragement than to hear from the Lord Himself, who suffered far worse than they had been chosen to endure (see Hebrews 12:3–4). With the Lord by their side, they could face any threat—even death itself. They could cling to Christ’s promise in John’s gospel, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die” (John 11:25–26). Death could not hold them any more than it could hold Him.
Notice that Jesus does not comfort His suffering sheep by taking away their suffering. Instead, He reminds them that He transcends temporal matters and, through their union with Him, so should they. The following verses contain more comforting words from the Lord to this downtrodden church. In the days ahead we’ll to examine those words more carefully.
Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)
This is our hope. He to whom we have already looked as coming once to bear the sins of many will have another manifestation to the sons of men; this is a happy prospect in itself. But that second appearing has certain peculiar marks which glorify it exceedingly.
Our Lord will have ended the business of sin. He has so taken it away from His people and so effectually borne its penalty that He will have nothing to do with it at His second coming. He will present no sin offering, for He will have utterly put sin away.
Our Lord will then complete the salvation of His people. They will be finally and perfectly saved and will in every respect enjoy the fullness of that salvation. He comes not to bear the result of our transgressions but to bring the result of His obedience; not to remove our condemnation but to perfect our salvation.
Our Lord thus appears only to those who look for Him. He will not be seen in this character by men whose eyes are blinded with self and sin. To them He will be a terrible Judge and nothing more. We must first look to Him and then look for Him; and in both cases our look shall be life.
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Does it surprise you that Paul wrote today’s passage when he was in prison? He didn’t know what his future held—whether he’d be freed or punished or killed—but he had learned to be content in all circumstances, good or bad. How many of us can make that claim?
It’s not uncommon to feel discontentment when we cannot control our situation. And as long as our satisfaction depends on whether certain things work out, circumstances will continue to steal our peace. Paul was not saying that we’ll never experience anxiety or frustration again; rather, what matters is how we respond when those feelings grip us.
This is something Paul had to learn. He endured tremendous suffering, from shipwrecks and hunger to unjust imprisonment and beatings (. He knew as well as anyone that situations can be painful and seemingly hopeless. But he finally discovered that true contentment came from Jesus, not the situation he found himself in.
2 Corinthians 11:24-30‘Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.”
How do you respond when circumstances are out of your control?
Paul chose to give his anxieties to Jesus in exchange for peace that “surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:7). That same peace is available to you and me.
“..I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”’ John 10:10-11
Cora was only fifteen. But she needed to work to support her widowed mother and family. Three years later her mother died. Cora worked even harder to keep her five siblings together. One by one they graduated and went off on their own. Then Cora was alone for the first time in her life. She felt her purpose for living was gone.
Cora took pills to lift her mood, but her depression got worse. She gave up on life, overdosed and woke up in the hospital. By her bedside was a Bible. She began reading the book of John. Cora saw how much God truly loved her. She prayed and gave her burdens and her heart to Jesus. She left the hospital with a brand new purpose for living!
Oh, friend, God can, and will, give you a new outlook on life.
Unless We Love the Truth, We Cannot Know It 2 Thessalonians 2:10
Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Blessed Are Those Who Desire to Carry Their Cross Luke 14:27; 1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 2:19–20
O truly blessed Cross of Christ, which did bear the King of Heaven, and which did bring to the whole world the joy of salvation! By you the devils are put to flight; the weak are cured; the timid are strengthened; the sinful are cleansed; the idle are excited; the proud are humbled; the hard-hearted are touched; and the devout are bedewed with tears. Blessed are they who daily call to mind the Passion of Christ, and desire to carry their own cross after Christ.
THOMAS À KEMPIS
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
…but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:15,16
Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:13-16
After assuring us with the riches of the blessed hope that is ours as sojourners by God’s grace to us, in Jesus, Peter arrives at the inevitable call to holiness: Be holy, because God is holy. So, be like God. Not so easy, right? The bare command leads either to despair in the defeated recognition, “I can’t!” Or, it leads to arrogant, self-confident Pharisaical pride that says, “Of course, look at me!”
But, as a bare command, this call to holiness actually is unattainable for us. Thanks be to God, it never comes to us in Scripture in that way. In the Bible, the call to holiness always comes in the context of hope. Hope leads to holiness.
As sojourners set apart from sin and devoted to God, we want to be holy as God is holy. But we have probably learned the hard way that holiness is not attained by our seeking to do more and trying harder. Peter encourages us that it comes by setting our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Do you want to be holy? Remind yourself of the grace God has shown you in Christ. Rest in that. Take your stand again in that. Then you can be forward-looking in hope. You know there will always be more grace. It’s that hope that gives us an eagerness, willingness and the ability to want to be like God. Pray it will show in grace-filled, hopeful lives that set you apart.
Suggestions for prayer
Reflect on whether the call to holiness causes you to despair, or to boast. Ask for God’s grace to overcome both. Thank God for the holiness that is ours in the Holy One (1 Corinthians 1:30). Pray for growth in hope-filled holiness and pray that it will be seen.
Rev. John A. Bouwers is pastor of the Hope Reformed Church (URCNA) in Brampton, ON, where he has served since December 2017. He is married to Julie and they have been blessed with six children and twelve grandchildren. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.
“It is an object of vast magnitude that systems of education should be adopted and pursued which may not only diffuse a knowledge of the sciences but may implant in the minds of the American youth the principles of virtue and of liberty and inspire them with just and liberal ideas of government and with an inviolable attachment to their own country.” —Noah Webster (1790)
The nation’s largest teachers union will conduct opposition research on CRT opponents.
The nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association, ostensibly representing its 2.3 million members, has voted to make a high priority of ensuring that children are fully indoctrinated with racist anti-American Critical Race Theory curriculums — which are repackaged Marxism. A resolution to that end notes the NEA will “share and publicize … critical race theory (CRT) — what it is and what it is not [and] have a team of staffers for members who want to learn more and fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric.”
According to the NEA, all K-12 schools should teach children that “White supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cis-hetero-patriarchy, capitalism, ableism, and anthropocentrism” form the oppressive foundation of our culture and society. This is the educational component of the “systemic racism” lie that the Democrat Party has embraced.
The NEA’s CRT resolution notes, “It is reasonable and appropriate for curriculum to be informed by academic frameworks for understanding and interpreting the impact of the past on current society, including critical race theory.”
The NEA brain trust concluded its statement by declaring: “To deny opportunities to teach truth about Black, Brown, and other marginalized races minimalizes [sic] the necessity for students to build efficacy. The ancient African proverb says, ‘Know Thyself.’” Actually, “Know Thyself” is a well-documented ancient Greek aphorism noted by the writer Pausanias. We’re calling cultural appropriation on this one.
As for opposition to the CRT curriculums, despite the lack of attention from the mainstream media, that opposition is coming from grassroots and parent groups, which are upending plans to instill CRT in a growing number of our nation’s public schools. Even in the liberal bastion of northern Virginia, opposition to CRT and other race-based programs has stymied those who wished to indoctrinate our children with the 1619 Project notion that our republic was founded on the basis of racism solely to promote slavery.
One black parent of two kids in Illinois, Ty Smith, whose recent CRT objections at a school board meeting were posted by Newsweek, protested: “You’re going to deliberately teach kids that he’s got it better than you because he’s white? You’re gonna tell a white kid, ‘Oh, black people are all down and suppressed.’ How do I have two medical degrees if I’m sitting here oppressed? Two medical degrees. No mom or dad in the house. Worked my way through college. Hustled my butt off and got two degrees. You’re gonna tell me white folks are gonna keep me from doing that? Are you serious?! … I’ve been talking to black folks. You know what? None of them are buying this nonsense.”
To their great credit, several states have already banned CRT curriculums in public schools, and more have plans in the works to excise as much race-based and biased education from the school day as possible.
Leftists aren’t used to facing such opposition to their educational agenda, so they have been caught a bit flat-footed by the recent upsurge in counter-protest activity. The NEA is coming to the rescue on those fronts.
The NEA has delegated $56,500 to conduct opposition research on groups objecting to CRT indoctrination and other false racial narratives. The union adopted a motion stating, “NEA will research the organizations attacking educators doing anti-racist work and/or use the research already done and put together a list of resources and recommendations for state affiliates, locals, and individual educators to utilize when they are attacked.”
The NEA also allocated $70,000 to a program to regain the initiative on CRT. According to The Daily Wire, the union “also vowed to team up with organizations such as Black Lives Matter at School and the Zinn Education Project — named after the anti-American and factually challenged historian Howard Zinn — to call for an October 14 rally in honor of George Floyd’s birthday ‘as a national day of action to teach lessons about structural racism and oppression.’”
Granted, the funding for these initiatives is small compared to the $23 million the union spent on political initiatives in the 2020 election cycle. But compared to the limited resources of grassroots parent groups standing in the gauntlet between CRT and their children, the NEA is a Goliath-sized adversary.
Let’s ask a simple question: Who are the aggressors in the culture war? Is it parents who want their children to learn basic American history and civics? Or is it the Marxist indoctrinators who wish to train a new generation of anti-American zealots to upend everything most Americans hold dear?
While the NEA would rightly consider our humble shop among its most vociferous foes, we, and those who believe as we do in American exceptionalism, are the defenders of American history in its proper context. It’s time for the NEA to face that fact, and we’ll tell it that for free.
(Note: The NEA has removed pages on its CRT resolutions and actions from its website.)
It isn’t Joe Biden, according to a new poll of the American people.
Last month, we wondered — not for the first time — about President Joe Biden’s mental state. We wondered whether he was really up to the job he’d been pushed into by a Democrat Party desperate to get rid of Donald Trump.
We’re still wondering. And so, clearly, are a lot of other Americans, if a new poll by the Trafalgar Group is any indication. The poll asked one simple question of 1,086 likely voters: Do you believe President Biden is fully executing the duties of his office? The results make clear that certain things can’t be hidden forever by a complicit mainstream media, as 56.5% of likely voters don’t believe Biden is fully in charge, 36.4% believe he is, and 7.1% aren’t sure.
Think about that: Just over a third of us think Joe Biden is fully carrying out the duties of the presidency. The rest of us, to varying degrees, are pretty sure that he isn’t.
Perhaps even more remarkable is that 31.7% of Democrats don’t think Biden is fully in charge. Here, it would’ve been fascinating to know what percentage of that percentage is actually relieved that other hard-left elements within the Biden White House are actually directing policy.
The latest painful example of Biden’s cognitive struggles played out during his visit to a northern Michigan ice cream shop over the July 4th weekend. When he was asked about the latest Russian cyberattack, he appeared completely at a loss while he fumbled around in his coat pocket for some talking points.
This is just one of many episodes in which Biden, unscripted and forced to think on his feet, fails to do so. And we mentioned the media’s complicity, because it’s worth recalling how differently they treated Trump when he was in office. Recall the regular discussions about the 25th Amendment against Trump — the amendment that outlines the pattern of succession should a president become incapacitated. Further, recall the media’s repeated demands that President Trump take a cognitive test — demands that have fallen utterly silent during the Biden presidency.
Perhaps more than any other American citizen, first-term Texas Republican Congressman Ronny Jackson is qualified to weigh in on this issue. After all, he understands the great strain and the awesome cognitive demands of the American presidency, because he served as White House physician to both Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
Last month, Jackson penned a letter to Biden, cosigned by 13 fellow House Republicans, which urged the president to submit to a cognitive test and share the results with the American people. He also issued a written statement, which read in part:
The American people deserve to have absolute confidence in their President. They deserve to know that he or she can perform the duties demanded of the office, and they deserve to have full transparency on the mental state of their highest elected leader. I would argue that the American people don’t have that confidence in President Biden. When I was Physician to President Donald J. Trump, the liberal media relentlessly pushed a narrative that he needed a cognitive test and that it should be the standard for anyone serving as Commander-in-Chief and Head of State. I administered the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) test and President Trump excelled. Given the precedent set and Biden’s clear mental impairment, I believe it is past time he undergo a cognitive test.
“You don’t need to be a physician to look at this behavior and see there’s something concerning happening,” Jackson said of Biden over the weekend. “You can go back — there’s 40 years of tape of this man. He’s always made gaffes and stuff, but these are different. He’s confused, he’s disoriented. … He’s just not aging gracefully at this point.”
Indeed, he’s not. Nor is the mainstream media carrying out its duties to ask the essential question about this most vital matter of national security: Is the American president of sound mind?
Joe Biden wants to be “literally knocking on doors” to get people vaccinated.
An odd but somehow predictable thing has happened with the COVID vaccines — they’ve become political. And they might be coming to your front door.
Let’s review. President Donald Trump initiated Operation Warp Speed, a partnership between the federal government and several pharmaceutical companies, to produce multiple vaccines to a novel virus in record time. He set in motion a distribution plan that had nearly a million Americans receiving shots in the arm every day.
President Joe Biden liked to take credit for this early in his administration, but then he failed to reach his own goal of 70% of Americans fully vaccinated by July 4.
Why? As we noted yesterday, he blames racism and hesitancy among young people.
The real reason might be that his administration has so politicized the vaccines that Republicans are receiving the shot at a far lower rate than Democrats. CBS put the numbers at 45% and 86%, respectively.
How bizarre is that? The people that suffer Trump Derangement Syndrome, the people to whom you must not even whisper the word “hydroxychloroquine” because Trump once talked about it, are the ones lining up to get Trump’s vaccine. Meanwhile, Trump’s voters are rejecting it en masse.
Is this a great country or what?
Now, that brings us to yesterday’s news, which included both Biden and his spokesperson, Jen Psaki, talking about a door-to-door vaccination effort.
To be clear, neither one directly said they’d be giving shots to people at their doors. That would be a whole other level of authoritarian creepiness — and perhaps not beyond Team Biden. But even the notion of sending either bureaucrats or volunteers to knock on your door merely to evangelize you about the vaccines has, at best, a cultish feel to it, and the only effect it will have for the unvaccinated is to confirm their determination not to receive the shot(s).
“Our administration is going to devote the remainder of the summer to a special focus on five ways to make gains and getting those of you who are unvaccinated vaccinated,” said Biden. “We need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes door to door, literally knocking on doors to get help to the remaining people, protected from the virus.”
Psaki likewise talked about “a targeted community-by-community, door-to-door outreach to get remaining Americans vaccinated, by ensuring they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the vaccine is.”
Some of the alarm no doubt comes from the fact that Psaki went on to use the term “strike forces” to describe the effort. Nothing says “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” like a vaccination “strike force.”
Even if the effort is far more benign than “strike force” implies, how will the government know which doors to knock on? Vaccine passports?
Either way, there was a certain mob threat implicit from Psaki. “There are much higher rates of vaccinations in some parts of the country over others,” she said, “and we certainly support their decisions to implement any measures that they think will help [keep] their community safe.” In other words, reimpose restrictions.
Nice community you’ve got there. Shame if anything happened to it.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction from Republicans was swift and defiant. “How about don’t knock on my door,” said Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw. “You’re not my parents. You’re the government. Make the vaccine available, and let people be free to choose. Why is that concept so hard for the left?”
Why indeed. Because “progressives” think they know everything and therefore make better decisions than you do. They can make you buy health insurance, make you celebrate someone else’s gender dysphoria, teach you what history to appreciate and which historical figures to hate, decide what generates your electricity, and spend your money more charitably.
Why can’t they knock on your door and kindly ask if you have a personal relationship with the COVID vaccine?
The scandal-plagued New York governor addresses the spiking violent crime rate by blaming guns.
Cutting law enforcement funding to appease the “defund the police” Left and Black Lives Matter yielded the all-too-predictable result — spiking crime, especially in The Big Apple. That has New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declaring a disaster emergency … against “gun violence.” That’s right — according to Cuomo, blame for this growing crime wave is all the fault of guns.
“If you can beat COVID, you can beat gun violence,” Cuomo declared on Tuesday. “We’re in a new epidemic, and it’s gun violence, and it’s a matter of life and death also.” Cuomo further asserted that “gun violence” is a “public health crisis” that he plans to aggressively tackle with the same resolve he applied to COVID. Given his deadly nursing home debacle, touting his COVID record seems like the wrong direction to go for building public confidence in his plan, but we digress.
Cuomo elaborated on his new “gun violence” initiative by stating: “This new strategy treats gun violence as a public health crisis, using short-term solutions to manage the immediate gun violence crisis and reduce the shooting rate, as well as long-term solutions that focus on community-based intervention and prevention strategies to break the cycle of violence. The disaster emergency allows the State to expedite money and resources to communities so they can begin targeting gun violence immediately.”
The trouble is the leftist fallacy of “gun violence,” which ignores the reality that guns are merely a tool wielded by individuals for either good or evil. Suggesting that guns and not criminals are the problem will do nothing to address the actual problem.
At least Cuomo recognizes that the spiking crime rate is a problem. Yet, like the Left’s attack on police over false claims of “systemic racism,” Cuomo’s “solution” is a problem and a threat to New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights.
Meanwhile, there’s the Democrats’ soft approach to crime. Alvin Bragg, the winner of the Democrat primary and therefore likely soon to be district attorney for Manhattan, has made it clear he won’t prosecute “minor” crimes because to do so would go against his woke views on justice.
As National Review’s Kyle Smith writes: “Bragg holds that locking up criminals does not make a city safer: ‘In the 80s when I was growing up, when we were incarcerating more, I was not safer.’ He suggests ‘diversion’ into therapeutic programs for those charged with drug offenses, but when asked whether the criminals in question should at least be forced to complete drug-treatment programs before their charges are dropped, he said merely that a ‘good-faith’ effort is all he expects. He has also said that police should not be responding to ‘mental-health crisis calls,’ so don’t expect the police to come by to deal with anyone who might be merely a ranting lunatic, until it’s too late.”
Democrats like Cuomo and Bragg epitomize the long-running problem with the party of the donkey. Democrats repeatedly create bad public policy that predictably results in greater societal destruction and decay, and then they turn and blame the fallout on America’s commitment to individual liberty and freedom. In truth, New York’s public crisis is one of leftist politicians seeking to amass ever more control over the lives of those they were ostensibly elected to serve.
Try solving problems such as the spiking violent crime rate by supporting law enforcement, helping cops to better do their jobs, while at the same time refraining from burdening citizens with ideologically based virtue signals that only serve to further divide people rather than bring about greater unity.
The social media giant is testing new ways to censor speech it doesn’t like.
RedState editor Kira Davis got the message. So did Newsmax’s John Cardillo. And Virginia State House delegate Nick Freitas. And writer and commentator Alex Berenson. But, strangely, no one on the Left appears to have gotten it. Nope, none of those folks from the anti-America party — the party of kneelers, rioters, statue-topplers, and assorted race-baiters and haters of the “wealthy white men” who founded this great nation.
The “it,” in this case, is an Orwellian notification from Facebook that seems to have been directed at conservatives but not progressives. The message reads: “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist? We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support.”
Below that is a call to action: “How you can help: Hear stories and get advice from people who escaped violent extremist groups,” followed by a clickable “Get Support” button.
Not the Bee has catalogued the various if-then scenarios being deployed by Facebook to keep you safe from the extremists in your life.
It seems like overkill, though — if you’ll pardon the violent extremism — if the goal is to root out those 22 violent extremists that Joe Biden keeps talking about when he says, “Terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today.” But then again, we thought it was overkill when Facebook exorcised its Donald Trump demons by banning him from its platform for at least two years. Same with its deployment of circular “fact-checks” for every bit of COVID-19 news its leftist censors didn’t agree with.
In any case, Facebook, in addition to allowing you to lord it over your “friends” about just how smart your kids are, or how clever your cat is, or how great that trip to the lake was, is now encouraging folks to rat out their friends for wrongthink and other potential thought crimes. Nice.
As Cardillo quipped: “This just popped up when I checked my Facebook app. And you doubt the NSA is illegally spying on Tucker Carlson and every other conservative?”
And if it’s really extremists they’re looking for, former lefty Dave Rubin announced that he’s on the case: “I just reported AOC, Omar and Tlaib,” he tweeted.
Or, as Berenson put it: “Yeah, I’m becoming an extremist. An anti-Facebook extremist. ‘Confidential help is available?’ Who do they think they are? Either they’re a publisher and a political platform legally liable for every bit of content they host, or they need to STAY OUT OF THE WAY. Zuck’s choice.”
This, in a nutshell, is the conservative argument against Facebook’s constant suppression of speech that its thought police find fearful. It’s either a publisher or a platform, but it shouldn’t be allowed the privileges of both.
Relaaax, say the good folks at Facebook. All this is only a test.
“This test,” they say, “is part of our larger work to assess ways to provide resources and support to people on Facebook who may have engaged with or were exposed to extremist content, or may know someone who is at risk. We are partnering with NGO’s and academic experts in this space and hope to have more to share in the future.”
The publication ran an article suggesting Christians defending gun rights are opposed to Jesus.
Everyone’s heard it, yet there are those who simply continue to reject the basic truth of it: “Guns don’t kill people; people do.” Defenders of the Second Amendment have long understood that it codifies the right of individuals to protect themselves against those would seek to do them harm. And the firearm is one of the best tools ever invented for the purpose of self-defense, as it serves to level the playing field, no matter the size or strength of the individual wielding a weapon. Yet this truth doesn’t overcome the objection of the anti-gun activist.
“Imagine a world with no gun violence,” the anti-gun activist suggests, presuming that this would be a safer, less violent world. But the truth is we don’t have to imagine such a world, as we have a long historical record of a world before the invention of firearms — a dangerous world from which most gun control advocates today would quickly recoil.
People were killing, maiming, threatening, abusing, enslaving, stealing, etc. long before the firearm was invented because the source of violence lies in the hearts and minds of people.
And yet the anti-gun lobby denies reality with the disingenuous term “gun violence.” As if firearms were self-willed entities roaming the streets shooting people at random for spite or sport. “If we could just get guns off the street,” the political talking point goes, with the assumed outcome being some utopian dream world free of violence.
It’s one thing when secularists, whose concept of evil is limited to forces within society, espouse such pie-in-the-sky imaginings, but for a Christian to espouse such views is a sure demonstration that they are not thinking biblically.
Recently, Christianity Today ran an op-ed entitled, “Are We Attempting to Serve Two Masters, Jesus and Gun Rights?” It’s an excerpt from a forthcoming book from anti-gun activist and Christiansburg attack survivor Taylor Schumann titled, Beyond Thoughts and Prayers. It’s clear from the title that Schumann believes the right to bear arms runs counter to Christianity.
“When I log into my online survivors support group I see posts of despair by people who miss their children, their parents, and their friends who were stolen by guns,” Schumann writes. “While some people sit in homes admiring the guns on their nightstand or in their display cases, there’s another group of people who are trying their best to figure out how to live in a world where those guns are more important than their lives and the lives of people they love.”
This is a classic display of blaming the tool rather than the perpetrator, as well as assigning guilt by association. As a Christian, Schumann should know that the source of evil is sin in the hearts of people.
Before the gun, people used swords, knives, clubs, rocks, or any of a plethora of tools to commit acts of violence and evil. But it is also true that before guns, people used swords, knives, etc. to defend themselves against evil, prevent crimes, and protect the innocent. It’s the intent behind the use of these tools that matters, not the mere existence of these tools.
By failing to make this obvious yet profound distinction, Schumann’s desire to “end gun violence” ironically works against the very concern she later espouses, which is to “bring the Kingdom of God to this earth with our hands and our feet.” By avoiding humanity’s fundamental problem, sin, which is the reason Jesus came to the earth in the first place, Schumann is actually doing the opposite of “being a follower of Jesus” and inviting “other people into His kingdom.”
Schumann creates a false and non-biblical dichotomy between following Jesus and the right to bear arms, as if the two were mutually exclusive. She attempts to make this argument stick by insinuating that those concerned about defending the Second Amendment are essentially engaged in the sin of idolatry — worshiping their firearms (“admiring the guns in their nightstand or in their display cases”). She apparently cannot conceive of the possibility that the vast majority of gun owners, Christian or otherwise, own guns out of a desire to protect life rather than take it.
In the end of the excerpt, Schumann presses hard on her false dichotomy by referencing Jesus’s parable of the good Samaritan. “We can’t keep passing the dying man on the side of the road,” she writes. “We’ve desperately tried for decades to hold a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other and we have no hands left to serve each other, or Jesus. We have to choose. We have to lay one down. So I ask, who will you serve this day?”
To take some liberty with Schumann’s rather ill-conceived illustration, suppose the good Samaritan were to have come upon the scene of the victim actively being attacked by bandits. Should that Samaritan have stood by and waited until they were done beating the man near to death before helping? According to Schumann, he wouldn’t have a hand free to serve if he was carrying a weapon.
Offering straw man arguments that don’t actually engage the fundamental issues at play doesn’t serve people, nor does it honor Jesus. Smearing Christians who defend the Second Amendment as tacitly promoting “gun violence” is deceitful and demeaning. One could just as easily ask Schumann whether her apparent obsession over ending “gun violence” is becoming a two-masters issue — serving her own vision of the kingdom of God versus that of the Bible.
Insight: “There are those who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American Dream.” —Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982)
For the record: “I am angry as a hornet by the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the federal ‘eviction moratorium.’ … Since when can the government tell a private enterprise that it can’t collect its rightful payments from its customers? What’s next? Politicians promising to end hunger in America by allowing poor people to go into a grocery store or 7-Eleven and taking whatever food they want without paying? … This country really is headed down the road of tyranny when the government tells our citizens they don’t have to pay their bills.” —Stephen Moore
The BIG Lie: “We are always for voter ID.” —House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (“Long voting lines. Closed polling locations. Voter ID laws. They’re all voter suppression.” —Congressman Clyburn, October 23, 2020)
Hot air: “Extreme heat is a justice issue. Within the same city, some neighborhoods can be up to 20°F hotter than others. Studies have shown that heat risk is disproportionately distributed to communities of color in patterns associated with segregation and redlining.” —Senator Ed Markey
Non compos mentis: “Call me crazy, but I think it should be easier to vote than it should be to buy a gun.” —Terry McAuliffe (“Please let me know when they’ll mail a gun directly to me because I’d love that.” —Caleb Hull)
Belly laugh of the week: “I think that, in general, Joe Biden has done very well.” —Jimmy Carter
Race bait: “The ‘crime surge’ crowd shares the same ideology as The Birth of a Nation.” —Kate Chatfield, senior director for legislation and policy at the San Francisco DA office
And last… “Nikole Hannah-Jones became de facto editor of the New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize for telling a false history of America she had to issue corrections for, bullied a university into giving her tenure, and then declined it. Wokeness is truly the ideology of power.” —Greg Price
Kevin McCarthy: Democrat Party Has Not Evolved from Its Days of Slavery, Jim Crow, KKK, While It Supports Critical Race Theory House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarty (R-CA) proclaimed on Tuesday that the Democrat Party has not evolved from its days supporting slavery, Jim Crow laws, and the Ku Klux Klan, because today, the Democrat Party supports Critical Race Theory. “Democrats are desperate to pretend their party has progressed from their days of supporting slavery, pushing Jim Crow laws, and supporting the KKK,” McCarthy tweeted. “But today, the Dem Party has simply replaced the racism of the Klan with the racism of Critical Race Theory,” the congressman added.
Biblical Prophecies To Prepare For Now! These are the ancient predictions that are about to roll off of their parchments soon and pound down on the world’s pavement. These are globally impacting events that could happen before the biblical Seven-Year Tribulation Period begins.
Poll: 36% Believe Biden Is in Charge, Majority Say ‘Others’ Are Directing His Agenda a majority say “others” are directing his agenda, a Trafalgar Group/Convention of States Action survey released Tuesday found. The survey, taken June 23-25, 2021, among 1,086 respondents, asked: “Do you believe President Biden is fully executing the duties of his office?”A majority, 56.5 percent, said “no, others are directing policy and agenda,” compared to 36.4 percent who believe Biden is truly directing all his own policies and agenda items.
3 Dead in Explosion, Massive Fire at Iranian Oil Field Three people died and four others were injured Tuesday when an explosion tore through an oil pump structure and pipeline transporting crude oil from Cheshmeh Khosh to Ahvaz, according to a report by the official Iranian SHANA news agency of Iran’s Oil Ministry.
How 23 giant Chinese rockets could save the world from ‘doomsday’ asteroid China’s space programme could one day save the world, with massive rockets travelling for years to defend the planet from huge asteroids capable of wiping out entire cities, according to a government-backed study. Now a new government-funded study says China can launch 23 Long March 5 (CZ-5) rockets – the largest in its fleet, weighing almost 900 tonnes on take-off – to break up the rocky objects in our solar system.
Why Is NASA Working So Hard To Learn How To Defend The Earth From Giant Asteroids? Did you know that NASA is going to send a spacecraft on a suicide mission in an attempt to change the trajectory of a massive space rock? The good news is that the space rock that NASA will be crashing this spacecraft into is not on a collision course with Earth. It is only a test. But why has NASA suddenly become so concerned with figuring out how to defend the Earth from giant asteroids? Could it be possible that there is something heading toward Earth in the future that they haven’t told us about yet?
5.2 quake on Hawaii’s Big Island felt as far away as Kauai A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has hit off Hawaii’s Big Island. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake hit less than 3 miles (5 kilometers) offshore of the northwest coast of the Big Island Monday. The earthquake was about 17 miles (27 kilometers) below sea level. The epicenter was about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of both Hilo and Kailua-Kona.
Drought: The end of California’s groundwater free-for-all The water spigots on California farms will soon be twisted tighter. As the state faces a growing threat from drought, an increasing number of water agencies are planning to require flow meters on agricultural wells, part of a landmark effort to measure and constrain pumping that used to be free and unlimited. It’s a controversial step aimed at protecting water supplies that could change cultivation practices in the Golden State’s thirsty fields.
Taal Volcano sulfur dioxide stays relatively high on July 5 In the past 24 hours, added Phivolcs, the Taal Volcano Network recorded 39 volcanic earthquakes.Steam-rich plumes up to 3,000 meters or three kilometers high also rose from the volcano’s main crater, before drifting south and east. If a strong eruption occurs, there could be pyroclastic density currents, which are clouds of hot gas, ash, and other volcanic debris. A volcanic tsunami is also possible since Taal Volcano is situated within Taal Lake.
PM Bennett at July 4th event: America was founded on principles of the Bible Bennett noted that part of his childhood was spent in the United States. He reminisced about his American experience, including memories of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school. “Two hundred and forty-five years ago the founding fathers of the United States of American put down those amazing words, ‘We hold these truths self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ And this proclamation has echoed down generations. Inspiring people all around the world to follow in the footsteps of America’s founders.”
Arkansas Republicans Help Give Professional Licenses to Illegal Aliens Arkansas Republicans, including Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), have helped secure professional licenses for illegal aliens enrolled in former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program thanks to the passage of new state law. The law, which took effect July 1, will now allow the state’s nearly 5,000 DACA illegal aliens, along with illegal aliens who hold federal government-issued work permits, to obtain professional licenses to hold jobs in education and healthcare, among other industries.
Twitter Restricts Account of China Scholar Who Dared to Mock Xi Jinping A globally renowned China scholar said Twitter temporarily restricted her account after she mocked Chinese President Xi Jinping. The New Zealand academic added Facebook, LinkedIn, Zoom and other major social media players appeared just as eager to silence critics of the Communist Party dictatorship.
Mysterious explosion stops Iran’s countdown clock to Israel’s annihilation An explosion at a warehouse in Iran seems innocuous but takes on greater import when viewed as the latest in a multi-year series of catastrophes at key facilities. …an explosion at a state-owned warehouse in Karaj, west of Tehran led to a major fire. Reports on Iranian state media said the blaze was the result of an electrical fire.
Storm Elsa Batters Cuba as It Heads Toward Florida Keys After battering Cuba with a dangerous storm surge, mudslides and “flooding rains,” Tropical Storm Elsa gained slightly in intensity on Monday as it headed north toward the Florida Keys, the US National Hurricane Center reported.
New York City Continues Meltdown From a Blowtorch of Violence The wave of violence sweeping through Democrat controlled cities shows no signs of diminishing. The woke politics of the left is sowed seeds of chaos that is now sprouting into rampant, unchecked violence. Here’s the latest tally for New York City and Chicago:
The Biden administration is set to deploy more resources to areas where vaccine uptake remains low after narrowly missing its Fourth of July goal of getting 70% of adults at least one shot. Biden narrowly missed his holiday goal to get 70% of adults at least one dose of vaccine and 160 million adults fully vaccinated.
Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, will sue Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook founder at CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a class-action lawsuit, according to a report in Axios.
‘Tis the season to commemorate our nation’s independence. This year we once again celebrate the creation of a “more perfect union” while living amongst many who decry our nation’s history as so far from perfection that we should not even be celebrating. The true history of America’s founding and of our consistently overcoming injustices is a heritage for which all Americans should be proud.
Sadly, too many who sit in the halls of power seem to be ignorant of our proud heritage. It also appears that corporate board rooms are devoid of this knowledge.
All across the land, corporate America is going “woke,” embracing organizations and “movements” with an appalling lack of discernment. As believers, we must remember Paul’s counsel to the Corinthians found in the second letter to those believers. There Paul writes about the false teachers of the day:
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.
2 Corinthians 11:13-14
We should all be like the noble Bereans found in Acts 17:11; we should be on the lookout for false teachers within our churches. However, that same principle should apply equally outside the church walls. We should not tolerate false teachings inside nor outside the church.
Many of today’s false teachings are coming in the form of the “woke” movement. That movement has since turned into “cancel culture,” and it is getting out of hand.
“Many of you wrote to me about Joe Biden,” said host Alan Jones, who played more footage of Biden’s confusion.
“Suddenly, the world’s greatest power is in the hands of a slightly dazed bloke who looks like he’s always waking up from heavy anesthesia,” Jones said. He also quoted New York Post columnist Kyle Smith, who asked “whether it’s safe for [Biden] to be near a pair of scissors.”
Jones noted that that Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) — former White House doctor to President Obama — has proposed that President Biden take a mental acuity examination at once.
“It’s clear there’s no way that Joe Biden would pass a test to determine his cognitive ability or memory impairment,” said Jones — who noted the geopolitical implications of having an impaired commander-in-chief in the White House.
“The disturbing thing here is that the free world depends on the United States as the unfree world gains momentum. And the free world is run by a bloke who most probably couldn’t find his way home after dark,” he said. “The greater concern is he would be replaced by the ideologically dangerous Kamala Harris.”
These Aussies definitely know how to tell it like it is.
If only our media was this honest…
This piece originally appeared in WayneDupree.com and is used by permission.
WASHINGTON, D.C—Confederate statues are once again on the chopping block as the House pushes to have them removed. Following their removal, Democrats have vowed that these confederate monsters will be replaced by statues of Chairman Mao.
“This sacred space has been defiled for too long. We ought not to forget history. We must learn from history. But we ought not to honor that which defiles the principles for which we stand,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “That is why we must remove these hateful symbols and replace them with something that does reflect our true values, someone like Chairman Mao.”
Immediately, the House floor erupted with praise and thunderous applause, save for a few conservatives.
“Finally, these racist, evil statues can be cast down and replaced by wonderful statues of Chairman Mao.” cheered Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. “Now this nation can begin healing as we look up to the timeless ideals of Mao.”
“I never thought I’d see this day come,” AOC continued, getting a little choked up. “It’s just the way he led his people. The way he created the perfect society with no more murder, starvation, or oppression. It’s people like Mao Zedong who give me hope.”
Some Americans found this change to be “objectively worse and horrific in every way.” They are now being investigated by the FBI.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson says he feels ‘threatened’ after ousting the NSA for allegedly spying on him. Carlson discusses the act’s potential threat to journalists, social media censorship and his new Fox Nation show on ‘Mornings with Maria.’ Subscribe to Fox Business!
In this weekly clip, we discuss the attributes of God. How well do we know God? Not just experientially, but do we know God in all his attributes? Tozer once said ““What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. … Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.” – Knowledge of the Holy.
We discuss how God has revealed himself in nature and history as well as some of the attributes of God that we can imitate in our own lives.