“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
Fight vigorously against the wolves, but on behalf of the sheep, not against the sheep. And this you may do by inveighing against the laws and lawgivers, and yet at the same time observing these laws with the weak, lest they be offended, until they shall themselves recognize the tyranny, and understand their own liberty.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
His heavens shall drop down dew. (Deuteronomy 33:28)
What the dew in the East is to the world of nature, that is the influence of the Spirit in the realm of grace. How greatly do I need it! Without the Spirit of God I am a dry and withered thing. I droop, I fade, I die. How sweetly does this dew refresh me! When once favored with it I feel happy, lively, vigorous, elevated. I want nothing more. The Holy Spirit brings me life and all that life requires. All else without the dew of the Spirit is less than nothing to me: I hear, I read, I pray, I sing, I go to the table of Communion, and I find no blessing there until the Holy Ghost visits me. But when He bedews me, every means of grace is sweet and profitable.
What a promise is this for me! “His heavens shall drop down dew.” I shall be visited with grace. I shall not be left to my natural drought, or to the world’s burning heat, or to the sirocco of satanic temptation. Oh, that I may at this very hour feel the gentle, silent, saturating dew of the Lord! Why should I not! He who has made me to live as the grass lives in the meadow will treat me as He treats the grass; He will refresh me from above. Grass cannot call for dew as I do. Surely, the Lord who visits the unpraying plant will answer to His pleading child.
11:4 cords … bands … yoke … fed. The imagery apparently returns to Israel as a work animal (10:11), but here God pampers the creature.
11:4human ties The prophet uses imagery of a farmer caring for his livestock.
one who lifted up a yoke Yahweh used cords, bands, and the yoke for gentle guidance—not oppression.
11:4 — “I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.”
God prefers to deal with His people in love and grace, not in anger and judgment. Sometimes, however, it is that very tenderness that allows us to forget how seriously God takes our relationship with Him.
11:4 The image of v. 3 changes as God is compared to a farmer and Israel to a beast of burden. The Lord had placed restraints—cords and bands—on Israel, but His regulations, rather than being overly strict or harsh, reflected His concern for the people’s well-being. God did not drive them mercilessly but provided for their needs, like a farmer who periodically removes the yoke from an animal’s neck so that it can eat.
Ver. 4. I drew them with cords of a man.—God’s saving method with the soul:—
I. God in the action of great solicitude. “I drew them.” There are two ways by which this thought is confirmed—
1. By Scripture.
2. By experience. God is represented in the Song of Solomon as drawing us with the odour of a great ointment.
II. God drawing man through the principle of human agency—“Cords of a man.”
1. God did this in the use of the prophets.
2. God did this in the Person of Christ.
3. God is now doing this in the Christian ministry.
III. God drawing man through the principle of spiritual conditions: “With bands of love.”
1. There is the voice of the inner life,—telling of wrong, and pointing to right and duty.
2. There is the agency of the Holy Spirit,—pointing to holy decisions. Dr. Doddridge once said to his daughter, “My dear, how is it that everybody seems to love you?” She answered, “I do not know, papa,—unless it is that I love everybody.” Jesus loves us. Shall we not love Him? (W. A. Perrins.)
God’s redemptive agency:—
I. The uncoerciveness of His redemptive agency. He draws, not drives. This Divine mode of action implies two things—
1. That God respects the moral freedom of human nature. He has endowed us with moral agency. We have a consciousness of freedom which defies and spurns all the logic that would prove us slaves. The Holy Father treats us according to the natures He has given us. God neither condemns nor saves men contrary to their own will.
2. That God’s moral power in the Gospel is extraordinarily great.
(1) It is a power to draw souls. Brute force can only drive bodies. Mere might has no magnetism for the soul. There is a moral power, the power of anger, falsehood, disgusting immorality, that can drive souls away—repel them with disgust. But holy moral power alone can draw the entire soul.
(2) It is a power to draw depraved souls. It is something therefore extraordinary—greater than the moral power of nature. It is the power of infinite love, embodied in the life of Christ.
II. The humanity of God’s redemptive agency. It is by a man’s intellect, heart, life, example, influence that he draws. God saves man by man.
1. The reasonable draws man. God appeals to our reason through man.
2. The merciful draws man. God appeals to our gratitude through man.
3. The excellent draws man.
4. The desirable draws man. (Homilist.)
The place of love in the Gospel:—
It is God who speaks of the humanity of His treatment of us. When a man would influence, he must begin by loving. Few can resist that spell. I need not tell any one how mighty, how almighty, in a man’s being is the force of love. There are not two definitions of love, though it has many modifications. The symptoms common to all loving are delight in presence, impatience of absence, eagerness for reciprocity, intolerance of coldness, joy in exchange of thought, sympathy in each change of circumstance; delight in the opportunity of benefiting, and corroding grief in the prohibition of intercourse. We have claimed for hope—we have claimed even for fear—a place in the Gospel. Can it be needful to do the same for love? Yet there may be some comparative, if not positive, disparagement of this grace. I have heard men speak slightingly of Gospel love. They judge it better, on the whole, for the character of Christ’s Gospel, that in its central innermost shrine the Deity of deities should be rather obedience than love. Thus, in improving Christ’s Gospel, they spoilt, marred, ruined it.
I. The Gospel is a revelation of love. Herein lies its power, the secret of its strength. It reveals the love of God. That God loves virtue, and will compensate and make up for the sufferings of the good, is a tenet which needs not a revelation. But that God loves all men, even the sinner, is that quite right T Must there not be something here not altogether sound in doctrine, because not altogether conducive to morality and good? The Gospel risks this perversion. It refers us to Christ. Did Christ’s example, did Christ’s life, encourage or favour sin? There is, in the immeasurable love of God, room for all His creatures. There is a yearning of soul over the scattered, dispersed, erring, and straying race. He loves, therefore He pleads. The whole secret of the drawing lies in the spontaneity of the love. Tell a man,—“Seek God, and He will be found of you,”—and you waste words. Tell him—“God loves you as you are. God has come after you, with far-reaching endeavour.” He will find there is strength in that which will not, cannot, be resisted.
II. There is an invitation of love. There is something always pathetic, to the unsophisticated ear, in the petition of love. The outcries of barren, thirsting affection waste themselves oftentimes upon the desert. And yet there was a love for them, would they but have had it, a love better than of son or daughter, better than of wife or husband, a love indestructible, satisfying, eternal. It is permitted to you to love God. Ought not that to be joy enough and privilege enough for any man? God makes it religion to do the thing which will make us happy; and therefore He turns the invitation into the injunction of love, and bids the fallen self-ruined creature just love and be happy—just love and be saved.
III. There is a communication, or transmission, of love. He who has been loved, and therefore loves, is bidden by that love of God to love his brother also; and then, in that transmission, that handing on of the love, the whole of the Gospel—its precept as its comfort—is in deed and in truth perfected. Little, indeed, do they know of the power of the Gospel who think either that obedience will replace the love of God, or duty be a substitute for the love of man. Christ teaches us that both towards God and towards man love goes first and duty follows after. Not, indeed, that we are idly to wait for the feeling, and excuse the not doing on the plea of not loving. There is such a thing as worshipping because I desire to love. So there is such a thing as doing good to my brother, if so be I may love him; a setting myself to every office of patient and self-denying charity, if by any means it may at last become not a labour but a love to me. But how can we love the unlovely? Surely whosoever sees with the eye of Christ, can discern, if he will look for it, on the most tarnished, debased, defaced coin of humanity, that Divine image and superscription in which God created, and for the sake of which Christ thought it no waste to redeem. This is love’s place in Christ’s Gospel. Love revealed, love reciprocated, then love handed on. (C. J. Vaughan, D.D.)
This is not a day for difficult doctrines, but for the simplest and humblest feelings. The great work of this day is quite beyond the reach of our understanding. The appeal is not made to our understanding, nor even directly to our conscience. With the cords of a man we are drawn. The human affections which all men share, the feelings which even the poorest, the meanest, the most ignorant partake in, the pity, the tenderness, the love that can only be called forth by love, these are now the cords by which our Father draws us, the cords of a man. To the heart that loves like a child, to the sinner deeply laden with his burden of unhappiness, to the broken spirit that secretly longs to escape from fetters which it is powerless to break, to the soul that is ready to despair, this Gospel speaks, and tells of hope, and love, and eagerness to forgive, and embracing arms, and falling on the neck, and tears of joy, and the welcome of the prodigal son. We cannot study here. We can but surrender our hearts to the love which is too much for them to contain. We are sometimes cold and dead. There are times when our feelings towards God seem to lose their warmth. We can obey and do, but we feel like servants, not like children, and we are unhappy because we cannot rouse any warmer feelings in ourselves. And when this is so, where can we go but to the Cross of Christ? Perhaps under a decent exterior we hide some sinful habit which has long been eating into our souls. It is possible that we may be discharging every duty as far as human eyes behold us. Yet time after time the temptation has proved too strong, or we have been found too weak. Our besetting sin has clung to us, and we cannot get rid of it. Then let us once more turn to God, and gaze upon the Cross of Christ. Or perhaps we have never striven to serve God at all. We have lived as best suited the society in which we were, as most conduced to our own pleasures. Whenever the thought of God or conscience comes across us, we find that but a dull subject to think on, and we turn to pleasanter and more exciting themes. What then shall warm our hearts but this plain story of sadness? If we have human feelings still left us, and sympathy can yet touch our souls, it will be impossible to read of the Cross of Christ without emotion. (Archbishop Temple.)
God’s gracious dealings:—
I. I dealt with them Rationally, as men, not as beasts.
1. My statutes were according to right reason.
2. They were supported by many arguments.
3. And by persuasions, motives, and exhortations.
II. I dealt with them gently, not with rigour and violence.
1. Suiting Myself to their dispositions.
2. Dealing with them when they were in their best temper.
3. Giving them time to consider.
III. I dealt with them honourably, in a manner suitable to that respect which is due to man.
1. My instructions ever exceeded My corrections.
2. Whatever spark of ingenuousness remained in them, I took care to preserve it.
3. I aimed at their good, as well as My own glory, in all things. (Jeremiah Burroughs.)
No man ever does come to God unless he is drawn. Man is so utterly “dead in trespasses and sins” that the same Divine power which provided a Saviour must make him willing to accept a Saviour. But many make a mistake about Divine drawings. They seem to fancy that when the time comes, they will, by some irresistible power, without any exercise of thought or reasoning, be compelled to be saved. But no man can make another man lay hold of Christ. Nay, God Himself does not do it by compulsion. He hath respect unto man as a reasoning creature. Love is the power that acts upon men. God draweth no man contrary to the constitution of man, but His methods of drawing are in strict accordance with mental operations.
1. Some are drawn to Christ by seeing the happiness of true believers.
2. Another cord of love is the sense of the security of God’s people, and a desire to be as secure as they.
3. Some will tell you they were first drawn to Christ by the holiness of godly relatives.
4. Not a few are brought to Christ by gratitude for mercies received.
5. Some have been caught by becoming convinced that the religion of Christ is the most reasonable religion in the world.
6. A far larger number, however, are attracted to Jesus by a sense of His exceeding great love.
7. The privileges which a Christian enjoys ought to draw some of you to Christ. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
God’s goodness to His people:—
Let us see what this goodness did for Israel, and what it does still for God’s people. Three leading articles.
I. Attraction. “I drew them.” God attracted the Jews to Himself as their Lord and portion by conviction and affection. The attraction is to Him as well as by Him. In pushing and driving you urge a thing from you; but in drawing it you bring it towards you. God’s aim is to bring us to Himself. This aim regards the state that we are previously in—a state of distance and alienation from Him. As in this state we see his sin, so we equally see his misery, for with God is the fountain of life, and we can never be happy save as we are near Him. Look at the manner in which this attraction is accomplished. “With the cords of a man.” That is—
1. Rationally. Hence religion is called a “reasonable service.”
2. Affectionately. Love is the supreme attraction. There are four heads of goodness which are peculiarly attractive and powerful.
(1) Unreserved kindness is very attractive. So is
(2) Disinterested kindness. And
(3) Magnanimous kindness. And
(4) Costly and expensive kindness.
II. Provision. “I laid meat unto them.” Meat means food generally. To show the plenitude and riches of the Gospel provision it is represented in the Scriptures by a feast. The provision is found in the Scriptures. It is “laid unto you in the preaching of the Gospel.”
III. Emancipation. He takes off the yoke from our jaws. What yoke?
1. The yoke of Judaism.
2. Of popery.
3. Of persecution.
4. Of bigotry.
5. Of ignorance. (William Jay.)
A weeping willow stood by the side of a pond, and in the direction of that pond it hung out its pensive-looking branches. An attempt was made to give a different direction to these branches. The attempt was useless; where the water lay, thither the boughs would turn. However an expedient presented itself. A large pond was dug on the other side of the tree, and as soon as the greater quantity of water was found there, the tree of its own accord bent its branches in that direction. What a clear illustration of the laws which govern the human heart. It turns to the water—the poisoned waters of sin, perhaps—but the only streams with which it is acquainted. Remonstrate with it, and your remonstrances are vain. It knows no better joys than those of earth, and to them it obstinately clings. But open to its apprehension fuller streams, heavenly water; show to it some better thing, some more satisfying joys; and then it is content to abandon what it once worshipped, and turns its yearning affections heavenward. (J. A. Gordon, D.D.)
4 I led them with cords of compassion,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one
who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.
More than once we have been reminded of the bright promise of Israel’s youth, so rapidly to fade. The promise arose out of God’s grace rather than their good qualities, and the fading of it out of their sheer perversity—for it is one of Hosea’s emphases that Israel’s sin, so far from springing from ignorance or hardship, was their reply to heaven’s kindness and concern.
The grace of God shines out at once in the words ‘I loved him’ (implying, when used by God, not the involuntary emotional reaction which it tends to mean to us, but a choice as free as it is affectionate), and still more clearly in His naming Israel ‘my son’.
Incidentally the quotation of this verse in Matthew 2:15 is far from arbitrary. Israel in its childhood was already set apart for the world’s ultimate blessing, and was described to Pharaoh as God’s ‘first-born son’ (Ex. 4:22f.). By God’s providence it had taken refuge in Egypt, but must return to its own land to fulfil its calling. Therefore, although it had been threatened with extinction through (among other things) the massacre of its infant sons, it was miraculously delivered. Not surprisingly the infant Christ, who summed up in His person all that Israel was called to be, was likewise threatened and delivered; and although the details differed, the early pattern was re-enacted in its essentials, ending with God’s Son restored to God’s land to fulfil the task marked out for Him.
After that digression, the tragic anticlimax of verse 2 comes to us with added force. Between the great beginning and great fulfilment of the saying, ‘I called my son’, there stretches the long age in which the words ‘I called’ received the worst of answers. There are similar sequences of ‘The more … the more’, equally perverse, at 4:7 and 10:1, and it would be a mistake to imagine that this off-handed reaction to divine love and to prosperity was confined to ancient Israel. Familiarity can still breed contempt, and success conceit, as though the very gifts that bring prosperity were not gifts at all, and the patient love of God were weakness.
The tenderness of verses 3 and 4 completes two (or perhaps one—see below) of the pictures God has used in nearby passages. Fatherly love, merely stated in verse 1, is now charmingly portrayed in a scene that any family will recognize, with father absorbed in coaxing and supporting the child’s first staggering steps; picking him up when he tires or tumbles; ‘making the place better’ when he hurts himself (though Isaiah 66:13 will remind us that father is only second-best at this). But Ephraim (that is, Israel) is a child no longer. Like some aloof and scornful adolescent he has forgotten or never realized—or simply does not want to know—what he owes to this relationship.
The second picture, that of verse 4, seems to take up and surpass that of 10:11a (the contented heifer and the considerate master). The heavenly farmer is now shown, in retrospect, as having treated his beast more as a pet than as a working animal. Every detail of this pampering drives home the extraordinary graciousness that Israel has experienced, far beyond anything that she had any right to expect, or any prospect of receiving at the hands of her new masters. The next paragraph will make the last point brutally clear.
The Prophet states, first, that this people had not been severely dealt with, as either slaves, or oxen, or asses, are wont to be treated. He had said before, that the people of Israel were like a heifer, which shakes off the yoke, and in wantonness loves only the treading of corn. But though the perverseness of the people was so great, yet God shows here that he had not used extreme rigour: I have drawn him, he says, with human cords and lovely bands. By the cords of man, he means humane government. “I have not,” he says, “treated you as slaves, but dealt with you as with children; and I have not regarded you as cattle, I have not driven you into a stall; but I have only drawn you with lovely bands.” The sum of the whole is, that the government which God had laid on the people was a certain and singular token of his paternal favour, so that the people could not complain of too much rigour, as if God had considered their disposition, and had used a hard wedge (as the common proverb is) for a hard knot; for if God had dealt thus with the people, they could have objected, and said, that they had not been kindly drawn by him, and that it was no wonder if they did not obey, since they had been so roughly treated. “But there is no ground for them,” the Lord says, “to allege that I have used severity: for I could not have dealt more kindly with them, I have drawn them with human cords; I have not otherwise governed them than as a father his own children; I have been bountiful towards them. I indeed wished to do them good, and, as it was right, required obedience from them. I have at the same time laid on them a yoke, not servile, nor such as is wont to be laid on brute animals; but I was content with paternal discipline.” Since then such kindness had no influence over them, is it not right to conclude that their wickedness is irreclaimable and extreme?
He then adds, I have been to them like those who raise up the yoke upon the cheeks. “I have not laden you,” he says, “with too heavy burdens, as oxen and other beasts are wont to be burdened; but I have raised up the yoke upon the cheeks. I have chosen rather to bear the yoke myself, and to ease these ungodly and wicked men of their burden.” And God does not in vain allege this, for we know that when he uses his power, and vindicates his authority, he does this not to burden the people, as earthly kings are wont to do; but he bears the burden which he lays on men. It is no wonder then that he says now, that he had lifted the yoke upon the cheeks of his people, like one who wishes not to burden his ox, but bears up the yoke himself with his own hands, lest the ox should faint through weariness.
He afterwards adds, And I have made them to eat in quietness, or, “I have brought meat to them.” Some think the verb אוכיל, aukil, to be in the future tense, and that אוכיל, aukil, is put for אאכיל; aakil; that is, I will cause them to eat; and that the future is to be resolved into the past: and it is certain that the word אט; ath, means tranquil sometimes. Then it will be, “I have caused them quietly to eat.” But another exposition is more commonly received; as the word אט, ath, is derived from נטה, nathe, to raise, it is the same as though the Prophet had said, that meat had been brought to them.
God then does here in various ways enhance the ingratitude and wickedness of the people, because they had not acknowledged his paternal kindness, when he had himself so kindly set forth his favour before their eyes; I have, he says, extended meat to them; that is, “I have not thrown it on the ground, nor placed it too high for them; they have not toiled in getting it; but I have, as it were, brought it with mine own hand and set it before them, that they might eat without any trouble.” In short, God declares that he had tried in every way to find out, whether there was any meekness or docility in the people of Israel, and that he had ill bestowed all his blessings; for this people were blind to favours so kind, to such as clearly proved, that God had in every way showed himself to be a Father.
4. This is a sweet verse, and serves very blessedly to explain the powerful efficacy of the Lord’s grace, at the same time the tenderness of the methods made use of is as plainly set forth. The cords of a man; not the yoke of the beast of labour; the bands of love; not the compulsive force of terror and fear. We have several beautiful illustrations of this: Jeremiah 31:3; Song 1:3, 4; 2 Cor. 5:14. It is a sweet doctrine of the gospel this, and thus graciously set forth. The effect produced is not by human persuasion, or human power; but by divine inducements wrought in the soul. The sinner feels constrained in the contemplation of Jesus’ love, like the fragrancy of ointment to the senses, or the allurements of music to the ear. See John 12:32. And observe, the same Lord that thus drew them to his love, gave them food for their support. Yes! Jesus is both shelter and food; the teacher and the feeder of his redeemed. He is the bread of life, and the water of life; the garment of salvation, and the whole glory of his people Israel.
11:4 With cords of a man I kept pulling them,
with bands of love;
and I became to them like those who raise a yoke on their jaws,
and I stretched out to him, I made ˻him˼ eat.
Interpretation of this verse depends on whether the father-child metaphor continues (at least in part), or whether it changes to one of farmer/trainer-animal. Decisions regarding this focus on the Hebrew word ʿōl, ‘yoke’ in the third line, which has the same consonants as ʿul, ‘a young child’ (cf. nrsv, cf. Isa. 49:15; 65:20, where the word is spelled in full). This would give rise to a translation such as, ‘I became to them like those who raise an infant against their jaws/cheeks, and I stretched out to him, I made him eat’ (cf. reb, nrsv). The plural in ‘those who raise’ suggests that this is not a simple extension of the father-child metaphor. It is more probable that there is a switch from the imagery of the previous verse, and that language similar to that of 10:11 is again used.
‘Cords’ and ‘bands’ suggest pieces of harness to control an animal, though it is possible mothers did use light cords to keep their toddlers from straying too far. With cords of a man/‘human being’ (ʾādām) may indicate restraints imposed by the Lord on the people through the human instrumentality (cf. ‘rod of men’ and ‘stripes of the sons of men’, 2 Sam. 7:14, NIV, HCSB), or it may just suggest humane and sensitive treatment. I kept pulling them points to their repeated attempts to go off on their own, and the Lord’s restraining influence as he educated them in the way that was right. The verb denotes grasping something with a view to pulling it or drawing it along (cf. ‘With everlasting love I have loved you, accordingly I have drawn you with steadfast love’, Jer. 31:3), but there was no harsh treatment since all was done with bands of love (cf. 11:1).
Raise a yoke on their jaws does not describe cruel, insensitive action, but a considerate, humane attitude, lifting the yoke to change its position so that it lay more easily on the animal (‘jaws’ seemingly is used for ‘neck’, cf. niv). Alternatively, if this clause is in sequence with the following line it may picture the removal of the yoke so that the animal may feed unimpeded (cf. 10:11), but a break between the lines seems more likely because of the switch from plural to singular. It is unclear whether the first word of the last line is an adjective ‘gently’ (so Laetsch 1956:87; McComiskey 1992:185) or a verb I stretched out to him, indicating an action of tender care, stooping down of father to the child, possibly to listen to something which has been said. I made ˻him˼ eat completes the picture of God’s loving provision for the needs of his people.
4 Interpreters have split over the training metaphor of v. 4. Some have seen a change from the parental imagery to a complementary one of farming and the training of animals. That is the interpretive conclusion offered here. The shift in imagery is consistent with the MT, which vocalizes the crucial lexeme ʿl as ʿōl, “yoke,” and apparently has Israel in the role of a plow animal and YHWH compared to those who lift a yoke (probably with harness) from the animal. The other option, which employs a slight emendation of the term to ʿūl, “infant,” also requires the image of lifting a child to the face. This option does keep the parental metaphor consistent, although its popularity among interpreters is a modern phenomenon. The choice between the two options is difficult, with interpreters lined up to support either option. In favor of the animal husbandry image is the MT, along with the Latin and Syriac versions. In addition, the change in imagery is more a change in semantic field (from parent to animal husbandry) than in basic metaphor, which is that of care and training in the broader household. The animal husbandry metaphor is not inconsistent with, or out of place in, the context. In favor of the parental metaphor is first and foremost a consistency with the designation of Israel as “son” in v. 1. The plausible emendation from “yoke” to “child,” while it has no support among the early versions, is essentially a change in vocalization.
There are three reasons finally that favor the MT and the resulting animal husbandry imagery. The first is the limited parallels with Isa. 30:28, which refers to “a harness on the jaws of the people” (ʿal lĕḥāyê ʿammîm), and Hos. 10:11, where Ephraim is referred to as a trained heifer. The former text shows the employment of similar vocabulary and imagery applied to God’s people, albeit in a mode of judgment rather than nurture, and the latter text provides a metaphor of Ephraim as a trained plow animal as a positive image. The second reason is the awkward parallel between YHWH and those who lift (mĕrîmê, Hiphil pl. participle) an infant, if the imagery is parental. One would expect a parallel in the singular, perhaps even a reference to a father or mother embracing an infant, and the imagery of embracing to the jaws/face is not otherwise attested in Hebrew. Given the animal husbandry imagery (yoke), the comparison with those who care for an animal is more straightforward. The third reason follows from the first two: cords and bonds are also better understood as devices for animals, even when used metaphorically for people.
The initial phrase in v. 4, human cords, does not occur elsewhere in the OT. Its interpretation is best understood in comparison with the corresponding phrase bonds of love and is thus a further illustration of divine love for Ephraim/Israel. YHWH loved Israel as a youth and his constraining and training activities were on behalf of the people’s education and upbringing. The cords or bonds used in training are drawn (māšak) by YHWH. While such language fits the tasks of animal husbandry, assisting animals to fulfill their appointed tasks, it is also used for the divine-human relationship. Perhaps the closest parallel to v. 4 is the affirmation in Jer. 31:3, where YHWH says to either Israel or Jeremiah himself: “With an everlasting love I have loved you; therefore, I have drawn (māšak) you with loving-kindness (ḥesed).” As in many texts, Jeremiah is here an interpreter of Hosea. In 31:3 readers encounter the same combination of love and drawing as found in Hos. 11:4, and in a similar context of divine action toward a human figure. Whether the “you” (masc. sing.) in 31:3 indicates Israel or the prophet himself, YHWH’s redemptive work in history is set forth in 31:1–3 as a restoration of the covenant relationship with Israel and the rebuilding of the nation in 31:4–6. In Hos. 11:4 the emphasis appears to be on the efforts expended by YHWH in nurturing his people.
Does the phrase human cords give any indication of the actual means by which YHWH trained and cared for Israel? More specifically, the question concerns the relationship between the construct noun cords and the noun human (ʾādām). Does ʾādām mean human in the sense of “humane,” and function as an adjective to define the cords? Another possibility is that ʾādām defines the cords; or put another way, the “cords” employed by YHWH to guide Israel were human beings. In light of other references in the book, such people would likely be prophets (6:5; 12:10 [MT 11]), with Moses numbered among them (12:13 [MT 14]). This makes good sense of scattered references elsewhere to prophets in Hosea and likely undergirds Hosea’s own conception of his prophetic task.41
The last two verbs of v. 4 are difficult to interpret for both grammatical and functional reasons. The term ʾaṭ, translated here as stretched out, appears to be a Hiphil imperfect first person singular form of nāṭâ. It may be a shortened form of the phrase to “incline an ear toward,” i.e., to hear and to take notice of someone. In context the verb should be taken with the next verb, apparently a Hiphil imperfect first person singular form of ʾākal (“to feed”). The basic sense would be that YHWH responds and feeds his charge, assuming from context that the actions are describing a relationship, not indicating future actions. One problem with this interpretation is that the verb “to feed” would typically have an explicit object. An option is to regard an object as implicit. Another is to follow the LXX, which has “him.”42 This latter option, however, has implications for the rendering of v. 5 (see below).
In summary, v. 4 completes the portrayal of YHWH’s love and calling of Israel begun in 11:1, along with the subsequent sketch of filial failure against the background of divine guidance and care. The training metaphor serves the purpose of defining Israel as prepared from an early stage in the household to serve YHWH faithfully. The portrait underscores the personal, parental commitment of YHWH to them and thus the depth of their familial betrayal. YHWH’s portrayal of the people continues on in what follows, but the subject matter for the moment turns to the impending consequences of Israel’s failure.
4 The sense of gracious nurture continues. What is debated is whether the image shifts to an agricultural setting with the metaphor of Israel as an ox (cf. 4:16; 10:11) or whether the familial ambiance is maintained. If the former, the image is of Yahweh as the kind farmer, merciful in his yoking, using cords suitable for humans and lovingly providing for Israel (NASB, NIV, ESV; Stuart, 179; Macintosh, 445–49). I prefer the latter view (NEB, NJB, NRSV). The parent-child metaphor can be visualized either as a reference to God as a father who lifts up and carries the tired or frightened child (Dt 1:31) or as a picture of a loving mother guiding the little one in its very first steps (Yee, 277; H. Schüngel-Straumann, “God as Mother in Hosea 11,” in Brenner, ed., 194–218). Perhaps it is better to use the label “parental” and avoid imposing gender categories on God (Kakkanattu, 57–63, 127–31). In any case, tenderness is the spirit of the verse.
“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4 & 5
It can be challenging to live in a calm way when all around us things often feel unsettled. God knows every detail of our lives. He knows every choice that will be made on this earth and how it will affect us. God’s word tells us that His desire is for us to live with His peace in our hearts. But how do we do that on a Monday morning when the daily news floods in and our own corner of the world feels unsteady and not so peaceful?
The writer of these verses in Psalms gives us a prayer that can be our daily prayer, a place to start each morning and throughout the day. As we pause to invite our Lord to guide us and teach us and keep us on His path, He will reveal truth to our hearts and reassure us of His presence. We can have our hope in Jesus all day long as we focus on inviting Him to show us the way.
Try memorizing these verses, or put it on some stickie notes where you will see it during the day. We often need reminding that our hope can be securely put in God, our Saviour. He will guide us and show us and teach us as we invite Him to in every situation that arises in our day. We can walk calm, knowing our hope is not in ourselves or in the circumstances swirling around us, but our hope is securely in our God – all day long.
Lord Jesus, Please help me today to walk calm. Remind me at every question mark, every joy, or every confusion in this day, that my hope is in You to show me the way. Thank you that You keep me calm and bring peace to my heart and mind when I pause to shift my eyes from what is going on around me, and ask You to show me Your path. Thank you for Your peace. May I walk calmly today In Your strength. Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
Anxiety is worry over things which we cannot control and which we do not remove from our thoughts. Anxiety dominates and controls a passive mind and a troubled heart, filling both with doubt, fear, and dread. But, anxiety cannot be removed; it must be replaced. We remove our anxiety by giving our concerns and worries to the Lord, trusting him to care for us. Then, as we give him thanks for what he has done and what he is doing in our lives, we replace those concerns and worries with a genuine sense of his presence. As a result, our confidence in his future for us can return.
Father, I know you love me. You have done so much to bless and save me. I deliberately place the worries and concerns of my heart in your hands… (specifically mention the things that burden your heart today). Father, I also want to thank you for the many ways you have blessed me over my life… (specifically mention blessings you have received from God). Now, dear Father, please fill my heart with your Spirit and my mind with the sense of your presence and peace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
Preferring to Believe in an Efficacious Limited Atonement Isaiah 53:10
I had rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than a universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of man be joined with it.
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
When wrath takes possession of the breast, wisdom takes to flight even from the wise. He that speaks hastily is like a snarling hound; but a meek answer breaks the violence of wrath, and gives to the afflicted roses in the stead of thorns. Blessed is the prudent tongue, for it heals the wounds of the hasty.
THOMAS À KEMPIS*
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Covid Vaccination Tattoos, Biometrics & The Mark Of The Beast What was intended as a grab for attention may have much deeper ramifications after a student in Italy went viral on Tiktok for tattooing the barcode of his covid certificate on his arm. Andrea Colonnetta’s left arm now bears a matrix of black squares from the QR code of his official Italian green pass. The pass gives proof of coronavirus status — that you are vaccinated, have recovered from the virus, or tested negative in the last 48 hours. It has been required in Italy since August 6 to get into cinemas, museums and indoor sports venues or to eat indoors at restaurants. The barcode tattoo has apparently become much more than just a novelty as it actually works for scanning. Colonnetta was able to show a video of himself entering a McDonalds after a security guard scanned his tattoo.
Afghanistan: A historic turning point in global Jihad against Christians, top Islam expert warns He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone’s hand against him; He shall dwell alongside of all his kinsmen.” Genesis 16:12 ” Dr. Mordechai Kedar has a deep understanding of the Arab mindset. It was therefore deeply concerning when he posted a warning on his Facebook page explaining what he believed was the actual significance of the Taliban victory in Afghanistan. “August 15, 2021, the day in which Taliban resumed their rule over Afghanistan after 20 years of Western occupation, will forever be viewed and remembered in the Islamic world as the victory of Islam over Christianity, the victory of faith over heresy, and the victory of tradition over permissiveness,” Dr. Kedar wrote. “These events are pumping new blood into jihad arteries and the results will soon be seen around the world, including in Israel.”
Minnesota nurses say vaccine injuries likely underreported Minnesota nurses say that injuries related to the coronavirus vaccine are underreported as hospital administrators discourage use of the adverse reaction reporting system. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a government-administered database that health care professionals are required to use to report adverse reactions their patients have to vaccines. However, Minnesota nurses say that negative reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are underreported as hospitals discourage their staff from recording them. One of the nurses who spoke out said that her and her friends at other hospitals are “seeing more reactions with their patients post-vaccination than they’re seeing COVID patients.”
Why So Many Americans Reject Legal Due Process In The Age Of COVID The policy response to the covid panic of 2020 in the United States was one of the most widespread direct attacks on fundamental human rights in decades. Overnight—and without any deliberation, debate, or checks and balances—millions of Americans were denied their basic rights to seek employment, to freely assemble, and to engage in religious practices. This was all done with no legal process other than the issuance of edicts from a tiny handful of politicians, usually executives such as state governors and city mayors.
‘Insane Joe!’ Republican launches furious Biden attack over ‘evil’ and ‘sinister’ agenda JOE BIDEN should be impeached for “the worst domestic agenda in the history of the United States” that risks destroying the country “at its core”, according to a Republican state representative from Florida. Anthony Sabatini, who will run for Congress as an “American First” candidate in next year’s elections, described the US President’s economic plans as “evil” and “insane” and a flagrant attempt to build socialism in the USA.
EU drops U.S. from list of COVID-safe countries for travel European Union governments agreed on Monday to remove the United States from the EU’s safe travel list, meaning U.S. visitors and those from five other countries are likely to face tighter controls, such as COVID-19 tests and quarantines.
‘No restrictions on Western Wall without the same for Temple Mount’ Ministers Elkin and Shaked vote against restrictions at Western Wall after their demand to restrict prayers on the Temple Mount was denied. ”In previous waves, both places were excluded from the regulations and received special treatment. It makes no sense to implement coronavirus restrictions at the Western Wall and not to address in parallel what is happening on the Temple Mount,” Minister Elkin added.
Hurricane Ida Death Toll Will Go Up ‘Considerably’: Louisiana Governor Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said that the damage caused by Hurricane Ida is “catastrophic,” and the death toll would go up “considerably.” “The damage is really catastrophic,” Bel Edwards told NBC on Monday morning. “This storm packed a very powerful punch. It delivered the surge that was forecasted, the wind that was forecasted, and the rain.”
Last US forces leave Afghanistan after almost 20 years The United States has completed the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan, US officials told Reuters on Monday, following a chaotic airlift nearly 20 years after it invaded the country in the wake of September 11, 2001, attacks on America. “There’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure. We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” Marine General Frank McKenzie, the head of the US Central Command, told a Pentagon news briefing.
Deadly Blood Clots Caused by COVID-19 Vaccine As of March 16, 2021, 19 European countries plus Thailand had suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, either in full or in part, following reports of deadly blood clots. March 2, 2021, The Defender reported U.K. data showing the AstraZeneca vaccine was responsible for 77% more adverse events and 25% more deaths than the Pfizer vaccine, which in the U.S. has been connected with a majority of death reports in the Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS).
Largest US Food Distributor Having Trouble Keeping Shelves Stocked; Price Shock Imminent One of the defining features of the early phases of the covid pandemic, when public fear was rampant and when few wanted to take chances that supply chains would remain viable, is that for a brief period US supermarkets resembled those of the USSR circa the late 1980s: many items were in short supply, and some – notably toilet paper, clorox, and perishables such as milk – were out of stock for weeks.
West Virginia Sees 25% Increase in Deaths of Fully Vaccinated West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice shared alarming news in his COVID-19 press briefing on August 23, 2021. And while the small state’s local news is barely a blip on the radar of larger networks, the contents should alarm vaccine advocates everywhere.
“If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.” —George Washington (1793)
What Milley, Austin, and the other Beltway high command failed to see was the red flag right in front of them.
Amid all the exit fanfare yesterday from feckless Joe Biden and his inept senior military and diplomatic cadres, I was deeply moved by a single sentence that sums up what was conceived as an orderly troop drawdown under Donald Trump, but devolved into a disgraceful retreat under Biden.
“In what f***ing world was it a good idea to just hand over a country to these people.”
Those words were from Operation Enduring Freedom combat veteran and former Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw (R-TX). That post was over a video of a seized Blackhawk helicopter being flown by Taliban militia over an Afghan town — lumbering low over rooftops with one of our former Afghan allies dangling lifeless, hanging by the neck, under the aircraft.
Despite the assertion by Biden and his Leftmedia parrots that our AFG mission is over, take no comfort — this was NOT the end of the war. It is the beginning of a violent purge of those Joe Biden just abandoned — our allied Afghans and their wives and children, along with hundreds of American citizens who were seeking to exit but were left behind. It is the beginning of the rise of a new age of terrorism — Biden has reseeded al-Qa’ida’s turf, and demonstrated to far more powerful tyrants in China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea that they have nothing to fear from Biden.
For Biden’s boundless ineptitude, we will pay a price much heavier than the disaster we left in Afghanistan. Brace yourself, America.
We disgracefully abandoned our citizens after Biden’s commitment not to do so. We also abandoned more than 80,000 Afghan “Special Immigration Visa” holders — those who were already vetted as being clearly allied with our military and now marked for death — along with tens of thousands of others who were waiting on visas. That disgrace was captured by these words from our national security analyst, Gen. B.B. Bell, U.S. Army (Ret.), who described the circumstances as “the single most dishonorable act by my country that I have witnessed since my first day of military service on 5 June 1969.” Gen. Bell added: “Today I am ashamed of my country. I am ashamed of my country’s political leadership. I am ashamed of our military leadership. Today, in my heart, America died. I hang my head in shame. I’m so very sorry for those Americans and our Afghan allies we have abandoned. May God protect them as we have not.”
Announcing mission over but certainly not accomplished, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, declared: “I’m here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan and the end of the mission to evacuate American citizens, third country nationals and vulnerable Afghans. The last C-17 lifted off from Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 30, this afternoon at 3:29 pm East coast time…” He added, “No words from me could possibly capture the full measure of sacrifices and accomplishments of those who served, nor the emotions they’re feeling at this moment.”
Well, here are a few words that put numbers to that sacrifice: Over the last 20 years, 2,461 of our military personnel were killed by Taliban militia, the Islamist extremists who invaded Afghanistan in 1996 and became the hosts of terrorist who struck out against the world, including those who perpetrated the 9/11 Islamist attack on our nation. We suffered more than 20,000 injured veterans, many of whom endured life-altering injuries. We spent $824.9 billion on military operations, but we have spent far more than that when considering care for injured veterans. Over the same two decades, our allied Afghan deaths top an estimated 69,000, and an additional 47,000 civilians were killed.
So we leave the AFG theater, and the Taliban thugs are now in a much more powerful position than when we arrived in 2001. They are far more dangerous and deadly because of billions of dollars in U.S. military equipment Biden left behind, and Afghanistan is a fully restored breeding ground for the world’s most deadly terrorists.
According to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, “There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.” How could that be? As Tucker Carlson noted: “Our intelligence agencies received a combined $85 billion last year. For perspective, that’s more money than Russia, Germany, and the UK spent on their entire annual military budgets.”
What Milley, Austin, and the other Beltway high command failed to see was the red flag right in front of them the whole time: Joe Biden. And it is because the Taliban had no fear of Biden that this evil overran the Afghan government and people in just days. With Trump gone, the Taliban summarily discarded all the conditions he set for withdrawal and ousted the Afghan government.
After McKenzie’s announcement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s staffers issued notice that our Afghan embassy had suspended all operations.
Regardless of how Biden et al. attempt to spin this disaster, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was clear about the national security threat outcome. He noted, “This is one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history, much worse than Saigon,” because the withdrawal from Vietnam did not signal a significant threat to Americans. To that point, he added: “Just because we decided to stop fighting doesn’t mean the terrorists go away. So they’re still out there. They’re invigorated. They’re emboldened. They’re excited about the success they see in bringing America to its knees in Afghanistan.”
Biden’s compressed Afghan exit schedule was motivated by his desire to take a political victory lap ahead of the 20th observance of the 9/11 Islamist attack on our nation. There will be no victory lap. There will be more Islamist attacks against the U.S.
“The United States has broken the most fundamental commitment of trust, safety, and security.”
Statement from national security analyst Gen. B.B. Bell, U.S. Army (Ret.), on the military exfil from Afghanistan:
The admission by the United States Central Command Commander, General Kenneth McKenzie, that all U.S. forces have departed Afghanistan and that on departure they left American citizens behind who wanted to be rescued is the single most dishonorable act by my country that I have witnessed since my first day of military service on 5 June 1969. America has abandoned its citizens behind enemy lines and surrendered their fates to radical Islamic extremists. The United States has broken the most fundamental commitment of trust, safety, and security that I always believed was sacrosanct during my 39 years in the military. I was wrong. Today I am ashamed of my country. I am ashamed of my country’s political leadership. I am ashamed of our military leadership. Today, in my heart, America died. I hang my head in shame. I’m so very sorry for those Americans and our Afghan allies we have abandoned. May God protect them as we have not.
(Gen. Bell is a member of the Patriot Post’s National Advisory Committee. He served in uniform for almost four decades including extended deployments overseas in both peace and war.)
At a solemn ceremony at Dover Air Force Base, the president kept looking at his watch.
“I actually leaned into my son’s mother’s ear and I said, ‘I swear to God if he checks his watch one more time’ — and that was only probably four times in. I couldn’t look at him anymore after that, just considering especially … why we were there. It was, I found it to be the most disrespectful thing I’d ever seen.”
So said Mark Schmitz, the father of Missouri’s Jared Schmitz, a 20-year-old Marine Corps Lance Corporal who was one of 13 warriors killed in last Thursday’s terrorist bombings at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
Perhaps the toughest role taken on by every American president is as consoler-in-chief. In times of national mourning — whether the disaster is natural or man-caused — it’s the solemn duty of the president to console the nation, the friends, the family members. Here, according to the grieving families themselves, Joe Biden has failed miserably and utterly.
Schmitz was joined on Sean Hannity’s show yesterday by another Gold Star father, Darin Hoover, whose son Darin Taylor Hoover Jr. was a 31-year-old Marine staff sergeant from Utah. While Schmitz chose to meet with the president — “I felt I owed it to my son to at least have some words with him about how I felt,” he said — Hoover and his family chose not to. “We said, ‘Absolutely not.’ We didn’t want to deal with him, we didn’t want him anywhere near us. We as a family decided that that was the way it was going to be.”
Hoover, though, noticed that same thing Schmitz did as the fallen warriors’ caskets were being offloaded: “That didn’t happen just once. It happened on every single one that came out of that airplane. It happened on every single one of them. They would release the salute, and he would look down at his watch on every last one, all 13, he looked down at his watch.”
It’s impossible to defend such conduct, especially from a commander-in-chief. Was it simply a nervous tic? Or was it an unmistakable non-verbal betrayal of Biden’s desire to be anywhere in the world but precisely where he was at that moment?
Perhaps just as bad was Biden’s behavior among the individual families, when the president seemed to want to talk more about his own deceased son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015. As The Washington Post reports:
Schmitz did not want to hear about Beau, he wanted to talk about Jared. Eventually, the parents took out a photo to show to Biden. “I said, ‘Don’t you ever forget that name. Don’t you ever forget that face. Don’t you ever forget the names of the other 12,’ ” Schmitz said. “ ’And take some time to learn their stories.’ ”
Schmitz and Hoover weren’t alone in their anger toward Joe Biden. The sister of Marine Corps Lance Corporal Rylee McCollum, from Wyoming, reported that her sister-in-law, Rylee’s wife, Jiennah, who is due to give birth to their child next month, felt the president’s words were “scripted and shallow, a conversation that lasted only a couple minutes in ‘total disregard to the loss of our Marine — our brother, son, husband, and father.’”
Here, we can’t help but think of the difference between this president and past presidents, especially George W. Bush, who spent more time with the families of the fallen and the grievously wounded than any commander-in-chief since Vietnam. And we’re reminded of a specific article we read a few years back, an article excerpted from a book written by his press secretary, Dana Perino, which told us more about the role of consoler-in-chief than anything we’d ever read before or since.
Getting back to Joe Biden: All of this sorrow, this wrenching grief, is compounded by word that his Pentagon had specific advanced knowledge of the attack, including its likely timing and location. As Politico reports:
During the meeting [last Wednesday at 8 a.m. at the Pentagon], Gen. Mark Milley, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned of “significant” intelligence indicating that the Islamic State’s Afghanistan affiliate, ISIS-K, was planning a “complex attack,” the notes quoted him as saying.
Commanders calling in from Kabul relayed that the Abbey Gate, where American citizens had been told to gather in order to gain entrance to the airport, was “highest risk,” and detailed their plans to protect the airport.
The bombing that one day later killed the 13 Americans did, of course, occur at the Abbey Gate. Whether we could’ve stopped it, or somehow limited its lethality, is wholly unknowable. But it seems fair to say that we could’ve done more than we did.
And so, we’re left to wonder: Where are the resignations, Mr. President? Where’s that of Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley? Where’s that of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin? Where’s yours, for that matter?
Isn’t anyone in this administration man enough to be held accountable?
Biden’s disaster in Afghanistan has invited aggression from America’s enemies.
The last American soldier has left Afghanistan — though not the last American, as Joe Biden broke his word and left hundreds behind — signifying the end of a nearly 20-year military engagement. But this deadly debacle wasn’t how it should have ended, and America’s greatest enemies must have popped a celebratory cork because Biden’s weak and feckless leadership has served as an invitation to take advantage now.
Like clockwork, the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently issued a report observing that North Korea has restarted its main nuclear reactor facility in Yongbyon. The plutonium production site had not been in operation since December 2018, following the historic meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un a few months prior. While the Trump administration was not able to secure a long-term denuclearization agreement with the rogue regime, it was able to apply significant pressure while making some geopolitical headway in the long, tense relationship.
It is significant that Biden’s Afghanistan defeat has motivated action by Pyongyang to essentially strike while the iron is hot. What better opportunity to press for sanctions relief than with a president who is so concerned with not breaking his agreement with terrorists that he’s willing to leave Americans behind?
Smelling this same feckless leadership, it should come as no surprise that the IAEA also reports that Iran has engaged in accelerating its own uranium-enrichment program. And the strategy is obvious: Pressure Biden to lift economic sanctions in exchange for a deal to supposedly delay nuclear weapons development. You know, kind of like the terrible deal Barack Obama “negotiated,” complete with pallets of cash.
The great irony here is that while Democrats and the Leftmedia warned of Donald Trump delegitimizing America’s leadership and in turn making the world more dangerous, the exact opposite occurred. Now, with Joe “C’mon, Man” Biden calling the shots, the world actually has become a much more dangerous place. Biden has delegitimized America’s leadership. Now America’s enemies see an opportunity to rapidly advance their nuclear weapons programs with little concern that Biden will do anything to stop them.
Apparently, it’s now a “civil right” to force students to wear masks in school.
If you don’t want the government to mandate that you or your children wear a mask, you might be a terrorist who’s violating people’s civil rights. That’s the message coming from the Biden administration and other Democrats. Does anyone still wonder why masks feel political?
President Joe Biden has weaponized the Department of Education, saying earlier this month, “We are not going to sit by as governors try to block and intimidate educators protecting our children.” By “protecting” he means forcing kids to wear a mask.
He has therefore directed Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to launch civil rights probes in five states — Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah — and Florida and Texas are next. Republican governors in those states had the gall to ban school mask mandates. They didn’t ban masks, mind you. They banned mandates. And for that, they’re being treated like … well, racist Democrats of the 1950s.
To be fair, the actual “violation” the Education Department is investigating is not racial, but it is two-fold: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
“The Department has heard from parents from across the country — particularly parents of students with disabilities and with underlying medical conditions,” Cardona explained. These parents, he says, are concerned “about how state bans on universal indoor masking are putting their children at risk and preventing them from accessing in-person learning equally.”
Did anyone at the DOE ask about the harm done to children by mask mandates? What about the loss of facial recognition in communication, particularly for the hearing disabled? What about the difficulty breathing for those with asthma, or the additional impediment to concentrating for those with ADHD? What about their civil rights?
Those are rhetorical questions. A civil rights violation comes about because of some kind of provable discrimination against certain individuals or groups. The efficacy of masks is a public policy debate, not a question of animus toward anyone.
Besides, if one governor can mandate masks, issue stay-at-home orders for “nonessential” workers, and even debate about vaccine requirements, why can’t another governor issue an order banning such mandates?
Masking ought to be decided as locally as possible, where regular people have the most say. And between the two government policies — mandates or mandate bans — the one-size-fits-all mandate approach is the problem, not the one that allows for individual freedom of choice.
“It’s simply unacceptable,” lectured Cardona, “that state leaders are putting politics over the health and education of the students they took an oath to serve.” We have a fundamental difference of opinion on which state leaders are doing that. And it’s evident in the next sentence of Cardona’s press release: “The Department will fight to protect every student’s right to access in-person learning safely and the rights of local educators to put in place policies that allow all students to return to the classroom full-time in-person safely this fall.”
Which party generally kept students out of the classroom the longest? Which party’s union bosses clamored loudest to keep schools closed?
We mentioned the word “terrorist” above, and that’s because Cardona’s comments were mild compared to his Obama administration predecessor, Arne Duncan. “Have you noticed how strikingly similar both the mindsets and actions are between the suicide bombers at Kabul’s airport, and the anti-mask and anti-vax people here?” Duncan opined. “They both blow themselves up, inflict harm on those around them, and are convinced they are fighting for freedom.”
It’s hard to imagine more disgraceful comments. In one fell swoop, Duncan manages to denigrate the lives of the 13 Americans killed because of Biden’s Afghanistan blunder, as well as the millions of Americans who are simply tired of being told what to do by statist know-it-alls.
The science certainly isn’t settled on whether any of our public policy approach to COVID has been successful. In fact, the picture is so politically blurred that no one can stake a claim to much of anything. But we’re obviously long past the stage where the response to the coronavirus pandemic had anything to do with science or health. It mostly has to do with the exercise of raw political power.
Biden’s CDC director announced the restart of a program researching “gun violence.”
Leftists have long played with definitions. As the late, great Rush Limbaugh astutely noted, they employ this underhanded redefinition tactic in an effort to confuse and convince Americans to embrace their incessant push for greater expansion of the government. The latest example comes from Joe Biden’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced that the healthcare agency would be restarting a “gun violence” research program in an effort to better address America’s “epidemic” of firearms-related injuries and deaths.
“Something has to be done about this,” Walensky stated. “Now is the time — it’s pedal to the metal time.” The criminal use of firearms is made to “fit” under the purview of a bureaucracy intended to combat communicable diseases by stretching the word “disease” far beyond its original and commonly understood definition to include volitional human behavior.
Due to the propensity toward this underhanded abuse of language, and thanks to efforts by the National Rifle Association and other Second Amendment defenders, Congress passed the Dicky Amendment in 1996 to specifically prevent the federal funding of “gun control” research. Firearm-related criminal activity falls squarely under the purview of law enforcement, not healthcare officials. The Dicky Amendment was explicitly designed to prevent government support of the anti-gun lobby, which endeavors to erode Americans’ Second Amendment rights under the guise of promoting public health.
Walensky is taking advantage of the COVID pandemic and government’s broad power grab to pull a fast one against Americans’ constitutional rights. “The scope of the problem is just bigger than we’re even hearing about, and when your heart wrenches every day you turn on the news, you’re only hearing the tip of the iceberg,” she declared. She then asserted, “We haven’t spent the time, energy, and frankly the resources to understand this problem because it’s been so divided.”
It’s so divided because the CDC should have nothing to do with researching firearms, which are neither a “disease” nor a “healthcare” issue. Firearms are simply tools; they are not viruses, nor are they germs, nor are they psychoses. Walensky has no business attempting to classify them as such. Her expansion of the CDC’s role goes beyond the pale, and it needs to be addressed for the egregious overstep that it is.
We can help the CDC cut to the chase regarding the so-called “disease” of “gun violence” — it doesn’t exist. What does exist are criminals engaged in criminal activity, quite often trafficking illicit drugs, using guns. Guns don’t make criminals of individuals; choices do. If everyone obeyed the law, would there be any “gun violence” to speak of? The obvious answer is no.
Chris Murphy is leading the charge to hamper our ability to support global allies.
America needs to recover from the dishonorable debacle that Biden’s betrayal of Afghanistan caused, not to mention work to deal with the effects of said debacle. The phrase “easier said than done” doesn’t even begin to approach the magnitude of the task ahead for grassroots Patriots.
When we discussed what had to be done after Biden’s betrayal of Afghanistan, we went over a lot of the lessons. That said, some people in elective office have learned the wrong lessons. One of the worst in this regard is Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT).
How far off is Murphy’s take on Afghanistan? He’s been on record saying: “We have twice as many Afghan partners we have to evacuate. Because we stayed in this war 10 years longer than we should have.”
The thing is, such a pullout 10 years ago would have been equally foolish and just as much of a debacle under Barack Obama, especially when one looks at the overly restrictive rules of engagement that were foisted on our troops.
Murphy’s track record on being wrong extends beyond Afghanistan. For instance, he victim-blamed Israel for Hamas rocket attacks. Not only does he act as if Israel is in the wrong to take measures in self-defense, but he forgets that the Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel — which would inevitably mean a second Holocaust.
Murphy also condemned Donald Trump’s decision to take out Qasem Soleimani — and had flip-flopped after claiming Trump wasn’t tough enough on Iran. Of course, despite Iran’s track record, Murphy hasn’t had much to say while Biden’s tried to give away the store to Iran. Then again, Murphy was trying to undercut the Saudi-led effort to keep Iranian stooges from controlling Yemen — stooges who, by the way, fired missiles at one of our ships in 2016. President Trump’s veto was all that stood against Murphy’s desired stab in the back of American allies.
That track record is bad enough, but Murphy is now teaming up with Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) in sponsoring legislation, the National Security Powers Act, that will make recovering America’s geopolitical and grand strategic position much more difficult. Not only does it further tie the hands of the president when it comes to using military force to protect the interests and allies of the United States, but it makes it harder to arm those same allies by requiring Congress to actively approve all but the smallest military aid packages.
Here’s a bit of common sense: If one wanted America to reduce its military deployments in the Middle East (for instance), the worst possible way to do it would be to have a politically motivated timetable. Iraq showed that in the last decade, and we’re seeing it again in Afghanistan. The right way to do it is to create the conditions that will obviate the need to maintain large forces in the region.
One of the best ways to do that is to arm and support allies. It was precisely the cutoff of this support that was a proximate cause of the collapse of the Afghan military in the face of the Taliban. Yet Murphy wants to make it more difficult to keep supporting allies around the world.
Biden’s folly is very apparent, but he’s not the only person whose miscalculations would make preserving the national security of the United States — not to mention American allies — a harder task. Chris Murphy, vying for the title of biggest fool in Congress, is right there with Biden. Grassroots Patriots need to note those who are taking the wrong lessons from Afghanistan and vote accordingly.
Team Biden is pushing a radical “transgender” agenda, but a group of doctors and healthcare professionals is pushing back.
If there’s strength in numbers, then the lawsuit filed by the American College of Pediatricians, the Catholic Medical Association, and an obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in care for adolescents will at least garner some attention. Hopefully, it’ll do much more.
The suit, which was filed on behalf of some 3,000 physicians and health professionals, opposes a Biden administration rule that the suit says encroaches on the rights of doctors opposed to gender-transitioning procedures. Specifically, the suit challenges a radical reinterpretation of “non-discrimination on the basis of sex” nested within ObamaCare. According to a press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom, that provision, if allowed to stand, will mandate that those doctors “perform gender transition procedures on any patient, including a child, [even] if the procedure violates a doctor’s medical judgment or religious beliefs.”
ADF is the world’s largest legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, marriage and family, parental rights, and the sanctity of life. As ADF Senior Counsels Ryan Bangert and Julie Marie Blake put it:
The law and the medical profession have long recognized and respected the biological differences between boys and girls and the unique needs they each present in health care. Forcing doctors to prescribe transition hormones for 13-year-olds or perform life-altering surgeries on adolescents is unlawful, unethical, and dangerous. President Biden’s Health and Human Services department is grossly overreaching its authority and, in so doing, putting children’s psychological and physical health in danger. Our clients are rightfully objecting on medical, ethical, religious, and conscientious grounds to this unlawful government mandate to provide gender-transition procedures.
Doctors should never be forced to perform a controversial and often medically dangerous procedure that goes against their best judgment, their conscience, or their religion, especially when it involves vulnerable children experiencing mental and emotional confusion. To force doctors to engage in experimental medicine that poses a risk to patients — or face huge financial penalties, withdrawal of federal funding, or removal of their ability to practice medicine — is an extreme violation of doctors’ constitutional rights and certainly not in the best interest of the patients they serve.
That’s it, really. This is an extreme violation of doctors’ constitutional rights.
One of the hallmarks of a free society is the protection of conscience — which is to say, the protection against being forced to do something one finds morally or religiously objectionable. The two most prominent areas of conscience exception during the past 50 years have concerned abortion and, more recently, same-sex marriage. We can hope that experimental “transgender” medical treatment will one day soon join them among the Constitution’s essential protections — both for the sake of doctors, and for the sake of their young, vulnerable, and impressionable patients.
Secretary of state confirms U.S. left hundreds of Americans behind (National Review)
“He talked more about his son than my son”: Fathers of Marines killed in Kabul blast rip Biden (Fox News)
“Begin impeachment proceedings immediately”: Lawmakers write to Nancy Pelosi calling for Biden’s removal (Daily Wire) | Dozens of ex-military officers call for Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley to resign over Afghanistan debacle (NY Post)
Government & Politics
In June, Biden waived congressional mandate for report on Afghanistan withdrawal risks (Free Beacon)
Education Department opens (ahem) civil rights investigations into five states for banning school mask mandates (Fox News)
Debt ceiling battle looms ahead of Congress’s return (Just the News)
John Kerry heads to coal-happy China with coal on the pointless agenda (Axios)
Convicted rapist reached the U.S. on Afghan evacuation flight (Washington Times)
Southern border deaths soar; 2021 could break all-time record (Washington Times)
Around the Nation
Hurricane Ida death toll reaches four; millions remain without power (USA Today)
Florida defies judge and punishes two school districts over masks (Politico)
Photo of last soldier to leave Afghanistan (The Hill)
Homeschooled children increased from 13,000 in 1973 to five million in 2020 (Just the News)
China limits online video games to three hours a week for minors (Morning Brew)
Policy: Digital currency and the next financial crisis (Law & Liberty)
Humor: Scandal as Gavin Newsom campaign produces old yearbook photo showing Larry Elder in blackface (Babylon Bee)
Editor’s Note: Each week we receive hundreds of comments and correspondences — and we read every one of them. Click here for a few thought-provoking comments about specific articles. The views expressed therein don’t necessarily reflect those of The Patriot Post.
Insight: “You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free.” —Clarence S. Darrow (1857-1938)
“A humble request: Can someone in the White House press pool please ask @JoeBiden who behind the scenes keeps telling him not to take any questions & on the rare occasion when he does, who tells him which reporter he’s allowed to call on. Sincerely, America.” —Sean Parnell
“[Joe Biden] needs to be held to account for what he did. His generals are to be held to account, his secretary of defense, his secretary of state, his national security adviser. We’ve never seen so many lightweights gathered in one place in the history of this country.” —Mark Levin
“Just because we decide to quit fighting doesn’t mean the terrorists go away. So they’re still out there, they’re invigorated, they’re emboldened, and excited about the success they see in bringing America to its knees in Afghanistan.” —Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell
“There is clearly no plan. There has been no plan. Their plan has basically been happy talk. People have died and people are going to die because President Biden decided to rely on happy talk instead of reality.” —Senator Ben Sasse
“This war ended in self-defeat. … We surrendered to a jihadist organization and assumed that there would be no consequences for that. And we’re seeing the consequences today.” —former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster
Friendly fire: “If you think America is irredeemable, turn on the news or get a passport and a ticket on one of those sketchy airlines that puts its web address on the plane. There’s a reason Afghan mothers are handing their babies to us. … We’re not the bad guys. Oppression is what we were trying to stop in Afghanistan. We failed, but any immigrant will tell you we’ve largely succeeded here. And yet, the overriding thrust of current ‘woke’ ideology is that America is rotten to the core, irredeemably racist from the moment it was founded and so oppressive, sexist, and homophobic, we can’t find a host for the Oscars or ‘Jeopardy!’ … America may not be the country of your faculty lounge and Twitter dreams, but no one here tries to escape by hanging on to an airplane. No, we wait till we’re inside the plane to fight — and then only because they cut off the beverage service.” —Bill Maher
Tone-deaf: “I urge all Americans to join me in grateful prayer.” —President Joe Biden
A trip down memory lane: “We are so much better than who Donald Trump thinks we are. This is the United States of America. We treat each other with dignity, we leave nobody behind, and we give hate no safe harbor.” —Joe Biden, March 6, 2020 (“Blinken Confirms U.S. Left Hundreds of Americans Behind in Afghanistan.” —National Review)
Non sequitur: “A new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun. It’s one in which we will lead with our diplomacy. The military mission is over. A new diplomatic mission has begun. … As of today, we have suspended our diplomatic presence in Kabul … [because of] the uncertain security environment and political situation in Afghanistan.” —Secretary of State Antony Blinken
Nah, go ahead and let it happen: “At this unprecedented moment in American history, when we’re trying to address the crisis of climate change, guarantee healthcare for all, and pass real immigration reform, the last thing we need is to have some right-wing Republican governor in California. The September 14th recall of Governor Newsom is a bold-faced Republican power grab. Don’t let it happen.” —Senator Bernie Sanders
And last… “President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris want to use California’s far-left governance as a model for the rest of the nation. But it should be obvious what sort of epic disaster that would be merely from all those Californians voting with their feet. The Golden State’s middle class has been escaping for a decade now, but if California’s disastrous policies are instituted nationally, no one will have anywhere to flee to. California voters can do better, and they can still save America by rejecting the failing California model. That starts with the recall of Newsom on Sept. 14.” —Washington Examiner
SILVER SPRING, MD—After some concern from the general public around the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine, the FDA released a statement today confirming that the vaccine is perfectly safe and will not harm humans or viruses.
“Yeah, this thing is perfectly benign—it wouldn’t hurt a fly,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn to the press. “You could inject this stuff all day and nothing would happen! Although, we do recommend injecting this stuff as often as humanly possible. Can’t hurt, right?”
Experts say that although the vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission or infection from the virus, especially the Delta version, it does do something, they just can’t remember what it was.
Other health experts reminded the public that the vaccine can indeed lessen symptoms and keep you out of the hospital, but it will only do so if you get regular booster shots and new variant shots for the rest of your life.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about it,” said Hahn. “Since the vaccine is literally the only thing that can protect you from COVID or keep you healthy, I recommend you just keep getting it forever. After all, it’s harmless!”
Last night, The White House announced the end of the 20-year long war in Afghanistan, and Taliban radicals celebrated by testing out their new guns and ammo, provided by Joe Biden. The idiots accidentally killed one another.
Los Angeles Times correspondent Nabih Bulos is on the ground, celebrating the victory with Taliban extremists. He tweeted these photos and videos last night, showing some of the stockpiles that were left behind.
We’re here right now with the Taliban as they enter into the, what was only minutes ago, an American controlled portion of military airport. Now they’ve taken over.
What a joke.
Disgusting. These cavemen are playing dress-up and experimenting with our very expensive, high-tech equipment. This is an embarrassment.
The Gateway Pundit reported that the Taliban now harbors $85 billion worth of U.S. military equipment and more Blackhawk Helicopters than 85% of the world.
The Biden Regime admitted that hundreds (if not thousands) of Americans were left stranded in Afghanistan.
House Democrats on Tuesday blocked a GOP bill that would ensure transparency on President Joe Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal and prohibit U.S. support to the Taliban.The post House Dems Block Afghanistan Withdrawal Transparency Bill appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
Several veterans and intelligence operatives are still currently in Afghanistan working to get US citizens and Afghan allies out of the country. This is taking place after Joe Biden stranded hundreds if not thousands of American citizens in Afghanistan when the military pulled out of the country on Monday.
Security contractor and intelligence analyst George McMillan joined John Bachman on Newsmax on Tuesday to discuss Joe Biden’s retreat from Afghanistan.
According to McMillan, the Taliban were not allowing Americans to enter the perimeter of the Kabul Airport. Hundreds of Americans and Afghan allies were turned away or beaten by the Taliban. McMillan then told Newsmax that the Taliban allowed their people inside the perimeter to catch airplanes out of the country.
The Biden regime on Monday bragged about the 120,000 Afghans they evacuated the past two weeks. Only 6,000 were Americans. Now we have tens of thousands of Afghans without papers, who never worked for the US in Afghanistan, coming to the US.
Judge Jeanine Pirro torched President Joe Biden on her Fox News show over the weekend as she questioned why he gave “legitimacy to a terror organization.”
National security officials and the president warning another attack is likely just days after a suicide bomber killed 13 American service members at the airport,” Pirro said. “The attack coming as the Biden administration continues to rely on the Taliban to bring our men and women home safely. And despite the deadly scene, the president is refusing to budge on his deadline, insisting we will be out by August 31, although the administration is admitting Americans will be left behind.”
“At no time in American history am I aware of an administration leaving Americans behind, let alone admitting they are willing to leave Americans behind because of a deal they cut with a terrorist organization,” she added. “Why was the Taliban allowed to review manifests of those coming to the airport? Why was the Taliban given biometrics of our Afghan partners, essentially a death sentence to those who assisted America? Why is the president of the United States giving legitimacy to a terror organization?”
This came a week after Pirro blamed Biden’s “ineptitude” and “incompetence” for the chaos in Afghanistan.
“Mark this day as the day the United States of America officially fell from grace as the world’s superpower, due to the ineptitude, the incompetence, and the dereliction of duty by a so-called commander in chief,” Pirro said on her Fox News show the previous Saturday. “A fumbling, lying, idiotic fool incapable of extricating innocent Americans and Afghan allies from behind enemy lines in the war zone we entered 20 years ago.”
“As American families of those trapped behind enemy lines, as Afghani Americans whose families helped us, and indeed Americans of all walks of life are glued to this crisis on television,” she added. “They’re met with government officials who are not only not candid, or are confused or are just outright lying.”
“Clearly, the Taliban has taken over. They have our weapons, and we can’t even get Americans to the airport,” she said. “How do you expect any American in danger overseas to even believe you? One day, you tell us to proceed to the airport, but you cannot provide safe passage to that airport. The next day, Americans are told to simply proceed to that airport anyway.”
“Today, we’re told not to go to the airport,” she concluded. “This, in spite of your promise that you’ll use every resource to carry out the mission. You can’t guarantee passage to an airport in a third-world country that we’ve controlled for 20 years.”
Streaming: Tues, 12 PM EST The world is becoming a “danger zone” under President Biden’s “weak leadership,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) declared on Monday. She spoke as the U.S. continues to evacuate Americans ahead of the Taliban-approved August 31 deadline, days after a terrorist attack at the Kabul airport killed over 100 individuals, including 13 U.S. servicemembers. “The world is fast becoming a danger zone under the weak leadership of Joe Biden,” Blackburn warned as the August 31 deadline swiftly approaches.
The following stories had the most page views at the MinistryWatch website during the month of August. We present them here in a “countdown” format, from 10 to 1. The first few sentences of each story are reproduced below. To read the entire story, click on the link. To read the Top 10 stories of 2020, click here.
Paul Schultheis was growing increasingly concerned by what he was seeing from Bible translation organizations. He had become a significant donor to some of them. One of the organizations he is part of, Strategic Resource Group, aggregated the gifts of other high-capacity donors. In total Schultheis and SRG had donated millions of dollars to Bible translation efforts. But questions nagged him. Why are translations so expensive? Why do they take so long? Why is it so difficult to get progress reports on specific projects? Was there a better way? Schultheis said, “It suddenly occurred to me that there were other translations going on in the world.” And some of these translation projects are every bit as complex and technically difficult as Bible translations. Schultheis discovered that the translation industry was a “large and sophisticated industry, serving everyone from governments to the movie industry.” Could he partner with some of these companies for Bible translation?
The governing board of an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore has removed the head pastor after he allegedly failed to complete an annual financial audit on time. The majority of the board of Empowerment Temple voted to remove Pastor GJ Barnes III immediately, the Baltimore Sun reported, after he failed to provide documents required by the church’s mortgage lender, putting Empowerment in danger of foreclosure. The audit was also completed late last year, causing the church to incur fines, per the Sun.
Prosecutors in Idaho say they will seek the death penalty against a couple in the killings of the wife’s two youngest children and the husband’s previous wife in a convoluted case involving doomsday religious beliefs and another suspicious death in Arizona. The prosecutors made the announcement in court filings, saying that all three murders were especially heinous and cruel, that they were done for financial gain and that the couple exhibited such a propensity for killing that they are likely to be a continuing threat to society if they are allowed to live.
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As the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated, many Americans are looking for ways to help—but they want to know which ministries are equipped to help those left on the ground and suffering in Afghanistan. Michael Martin, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), encourages donors who want to be good stewards to support organizations that have proven track records. “Organizations should demonstrate commitment to healthy financial accountability practices such as independent audits, appropriate transparency, truthfulness in fundraising, and honoring giver expectations and intent,” Martin said.
Since 2019, when Hannah-Kate Williams told her harrowing allegations of sexual abuse by her pastor father to a handful of Southern Baptist Convention officials at the denomination’s annual meeting, and followed up by posting her story on Twitter, she has been a key voice in pushing the faith group toward a long-awaited reckoning. For two years, amid a growing chorus of voices accusing the nation’s largest Protestant denomination of mishandling abuse allegations, Williams has advocated for sexual abuse survivors on her social media platforms and at prominent SBC events. Now, in her continuing bid to hold the denomination accountable, Williams is taking legal action.
The publisher of a bestselling Christian critique of critical race theory denies claims the book’s author misquoted sources and fabricated quotes. Salem Books publisher Tim Peterson called the claims unfounded. “Fault Lines” by Voddie Baucham Jr. was a top 10 bestseller among religion books in April, May and July, selling tens of thousands of copies and prompting praise and criticism in evangelical circles. The book warns of a “looming catastrophe” in evangelical churches in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. Floyd’s death and the protests that followed revealed that secular ideas like social justice and critical race theory have infiltrated Christian churches, argues Baucham, a conservative author and seminary dean. Those theories, he claims, run counter to Christian teachings.
The leaders of the Zacharias Institute said they plan to resign, a decision they reached after a season of “lamenting, listening and learning” after sexual misconduct accusations against late evangelist and institute founder Ravi Zacharias came to light. Vince and Joanna Vitale said in a Facebook post that they would step down and that they needed to “step into a substantial season of reordering” to “embrace the time and space needed to allow ourselves to be deeply formed by all that we have been humbled by and wrecked over in the last year.” The Vitales did not indicate whether they would continue in ministry, but thanked former and present colleagues, saying, “We hope to be able to serve with many of you again at some point in the future.”
The founder of the Sydney-based global Hillsong Church, Brian Houston, has been charged with concealing child sex offenses, police said. Detectives served Houston’s lawyers with a notice for him to appear in a Sydney court on Oct. 5 for allegedly concealing a serious indictable offense, police said. “Police will allege in court the man (Houston) knew information relating to the sexual abuse of a young male in the 1970s and failed to bring that information to the attention of police,” police said. Houston, 67, suggested the charges related to allegations that his preacher father, Frank Houston, had abused a boy over several years in the 1970s.
Rev. Thomas McKenzie, the rector of a prominent Anglican congregation in Nashville, and his daughter were killed in a car crash Aug. 23. He was 50. The two were headed to Texas, the first stop on a trip to New Mexico, when the car they were driving in collided with a tractor-trailer at about 9:50 a.m., according to a local news report. “It is with deep sadness that I write to inform you that this morning, Thomas and his 22-year-old daughter Ella died in an accident on Interstate 40 west of Nashville,” the Rev. Kenny Benge, associate pastor of Church of the Redeemer in Nashville, told parishioners in an email message.
Glenn Beck, the conservative media star and founder of Blaze Media, raised nearly $30 million from donors over three days so a charity he promotes, The Nazarene Fund, can fund a private airlift to rescue 7,000 Christians from Afghanistan. Three planes had reportedly left Kabul’s airport by Tuesday. The Nazarene Fund works closely with Mercury One, a 501(c)3 charity Beck founded in 2011. A statement on The Nazarene Funds FAQ [Frequently Asked Questions] page says, “TNF often works with Mercury One to rescue those in need. However, they are separate organizations but work closely together.” So what’s not to like? Christians considering a donation to The Nazarene Fund should have concerns about Mercury One and The Nazarene Fund leadership, finance, and overall philosophy.
After nearly 20 years the American-led war in Afghanistan is finally over (or is it…). The last US forces left last night, and on Tuesday, Taliban forces took control of the airport in Kabul, while Taliban fighters and supporters across Afghanistan rallied to celebrate the return of Islamic rule.
Senior Taliban leaders posed in front of a C-130 transport plane at the Kabul airport, the hub of the chaotic US-led evacuation operation in recent days. Fighters took selfies in the cockpits of Afghan military helicopters, which had been disabled before being abandoned by US troops.
The Taliban’s top spokesman issued a statement calling for the reconstruction of an Afghanistan now firmly under Taliban rule.
“We hope that Afghanistan will not be invaded again, that it will be rebuilt, remain independent, and that a holy Islamic system will rule,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said, as uniformed fighters in modern combat gear knelt on the tarmac and chanted “Allahu akbar”.
Speaking to members of the Taliban’s Badri 313 unit, Mujahid continued, via WSJ: “I praise all your sacrifices, congratulate you all on the great victory, and on achieving independence and freedom for Afghanistan.”
While the Taliban offered amnesty to former government officials and soldiers after taking Kabul and tried to project a more moderate image, they are increasingly returning to their old ways. The Taliban-appointed acting minister of higher education has said women and men could no longer attend the same university lectures, women presenters have been banned from radio and TV in the southern city of Kandahar, and dozens, if not hundreds, of former security officials have been executed.
Still, tens of thousands of Afghans who assisted the NATO war effort remain behind in Afghanistan, many still hoping to leave the country before they are imprisoned or executed by the Taliban. Additionally, the US left behind a small contingent of Americans (WSJ says between 100 and 200) and while Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged to do everything in the US’s power to support them, right now, it appears there’s little to be done, as all commercial flights have been suspended temporarily.
Turkey has offered to continue to support the airport’s operation even as NATO ceases its operations there, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Bloomberg Television on Tuesday, but the Taliban have yet to approve this, and right now, the airport remains closed. Stoltenberg also told reporters that NATO is working with EU members to stave off a potential refugee crisis, while also working to ensure Afghanistan doesn’t become a hotbed for terrorism (here’s a rundown of countries willing to take Afghan refugees).
A US-based group advocating for SIVs for qualified Afghans said about 113,000 people left behind by the US and NATO during the withdrawal still want to leave the country. Per Bloomberg, the estimate was produced by the Association of Wartime Allies and based on reports on Afghan employment analyzed by the group and researchers at American University.
In terms of diplomacy, the US and other Western nations and India have cut official ties by closing their embassies in Kabul. Pakistan, China, Russia, Iran and NATO member Turkey, however, have left their embassies open. Although they haven’t formally recognized the Taliban authorities, they are in regular contact with them.
There might be one potential back-channel for the US as rescue operations begin for the Americans still let stranded. The Indian ambassador in Qatar met with the deputy head of the Taliban’s political office on Tuesday to discuss regional security, according to a statement from India’s foreign ministry.
On Tuesday, the Taliban repeated their claim that they want “peace” and a functional diplomatic relationship with the US. Meanwhile, across the country, anti-American celebrations roared as local leaders praised the defeat of the foreign invaders.
One senior Taliban leader in Khost praised the suicide bombers whose attacks on the US during the course of the war helped the Taliban secure victory. “We will establish the Islamic system you yearned for,” he said, according to a recording of the rally. “Your dreams have been realized. We have achieved the dream for which you had blown up your flesh. We congratulate you in your graves.”
The Taliban now control all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces except for one: Panjshir, a narrow valley north of Kabul where anti-Taliban militias and some remnants of the defeated Afghan army continue to be holed up, hoping to establish a permanent base outside of Taliban control.
Though the Taliban and the Panjshiris are negotiating a possible deal, armed skirmishes have continued on the outskirts of the valley.
The question now is how will the Taliban go about running a country of 40MM with few resources at their disposal. Their international reserves have been frozen by the US, and while China and Russia will offer some support, it will be up to the Taliban to make sure sewer systems and electric grids are functioning, as well as the airports. Given the intense international scrutiny, how long might it take for the Taliban to start with the reprisals against any perceived enemies still in the country?
The Taliban, Ayatollah Khomeini, Sharia Sarsour, and every other genocidal savage are welcome on these platforms to spew their poison and incite to violence and murder but good, decent Americans, President Trump, myself, colleagues, are banned, censored, demonized. The Democrat complex has declared war on the America. We need to rise up and defeat the enemy within.
Twitter/Facebook Suspend Account of Mother of Marine Killed in Kabul
Because they didn’t like what she was saying, according to California state Senator Melissa Melendez (Twitter). The mother of slain Marine Rylee McCollum called in to Andrew Wilkow on Sirius XM and tore into Biden (The Federalist).
CAMBRIDGE, MA – A recently published Harvard study has found that natural immunity is, in fact, more effective against COVID-19 delta variant than a vaccine.
The study showed that people who are vaccinated are 27 times more likely to get a COVID infection that is symptomatic than someone who has developed natural immunity.
Harvard Medical School biostatistician and epidemiologist professor Martin Kulldorff said that this information points to vaccine passports being unscientific as well as discriminatory.
“Prior COVID disease (many working class),” Kulldorff said on Twitter, “provides better immunity than vaccines (many professionals), so vaccine mandates are not only scientific nonsense, they are also discriminatory and unethical.”
On Thursday, the Scientific American reported, “The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study that some scientists wish came with a ‘Don’t try this at home’ label.
“The newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.”
This study is one of 15 showing similar results.
This piece was written by Leah Anaya on August 30, 2021. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission.