Daily Archives: October 26, 2021

Biden Regime Rolls Out Vaccine Requirements for International Travelers to Enter US — But Illegal Aliens Can Come and Go at Will — The Gateway Pundit


The Biden regime rolled out a new international air travel policy for foreign travelers to enter the United States effectively on November 8. The new rules require international travelers entering the US to be fully vaccinated for the coronavirus with very limited exceptions.

For foreign travelers entering the United States, they will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane with only limited exceptions. They are also required to show documentation of a pre-departure negative viral test from a sample taken within 3 days of travel to the United States before boarding, which applies to all travelers.

The Epoch Times reported:

The Biden administration is rolling out new vaccine requirements for international travelers coming into the United States.

Starting Nov. 8, three new orders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be put into place, according to a senior administration official.

The first requires non-U.S. citizens traveling into the country, who are not immigrants, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding their flight.

Officials say both digital and paper proof of vaccination will be accepted by international airlines.

This order includes narrow medical exceptions, exemptions for children under 18, and people from countries with less than a 10 percent total vaccination rate due to lack of availability of vaccines.

But fake refugees entering the US across the US southern border do not need to be vaccinated and many are not tested for the coronavirus before they are shipped around the country.

That’s why Americans don’t trust their elitist overlords and the political operatives at the CDC. 

Biden Regime Rolls Out Vaccine Requirements for International Travelers to Enter US — But Illegal Aliens Can Come and Go at Will — The Gateway Pundit

Anti-Biden song ‘Let’s go Brandon’ knocks off Adele for top spot on music charts — Conservative Review

Sitting at number one is Bryson Gray’s “Let’s Go Brandon,” featuring Tyson James and Chandler Crump. Following it at number two is Loza Alexander’s “Lets Go Brandon.”

Anti-Biden song ‘Let’s go Brandon’ knocks off Adele for top spot on music charts — Conservative Review

Advice For Those Getting Vaccinated Under Duress — Daily Declaration

Unethical vaccine mandates are forcing the hands of many Australians, and troubling the consciences of many more. The following advice may help you make the best decision you can in your circumstances.

Hundreds of thousands of Australians have been cornered by vaccine mandates. Maybe you are one of those forced to chose between your medical autonomy and the freedoms you were born with — such as freedom of movement and assembly, or the right to work and feed your family.

You are not alone. What follows is some words of advice for those being vaccinated under duress. It is based on wise counsel I recently read from an Australian medical doctor whose is unable to speak freely on this issue but has a heart for those impacted by unjust vaccine mandates.

Reasons to Accept and Decline Vaccination

Ideally, any medical treatment we choose to undergo should be embraced on the basis of its health benefits, not in order to access human rights that are being withheld from us. But times have changed in Australia — at least temporarily.

If your conscience is torn up over these vaccine mandates, consider a list of valid reasons for you to choose to be vaccinated, and a list of valid reasons to decline vaccination. Though some of the reasons on these two lists may appear to contradict, the point is that a person’s conscience must be free to choose either.

Valid reasons to get vaccinated:

  • To reduce your chances of getting very unwell, if you consider yourself vulnerable.
  • To minimise the likelihood of transmitting to other people.
  • In order to exercise an important duty which the government is illegitimately obstructing you from performing unless you submit to their demands, for instance, earning a living, visiting your family across borders, visiting a loved one in hospital or care, attending a close friend’s wedding or funeral, or anything else that makes it worth it for you.

Valid reasons to decline vaccination:

  • Moral concerns about the development of vaccines using cells from aborted babies.
  • Not yet feeling confident about the vaccines.
  • Not feeling fearful of the virus.
  • Taking a moral stand against coercion, bullying, mob rule, government overreach, tyranny or segregation.
  • Wishing to identify with a disadvantaged, oppressed minority.
  • A significant sense of unease that you just cannot shake, no matter how hard you try, even if you can’t fully articulate it.
  • Any other reason that is important to you.

It’s Your Conscience and Your Decision

Some people will feel strongly that they cannot take the vaccine under any circumstance. Others will feel they have no choice but to take it. The decision is yours alone to make, in consultation with your family and a health professional whom you trust.

Do not feel obliged to justify your decision to anybody else. Don’t let anyone gaslight you with the assertion that this is a clear-cut, black-and-white decision. It is nobody’s place to judge you for what you decide.

Given the complexity of the issues, it is okay to feel an ongoing ambivalence, even after making a decision. Don’t let the ambivalence consume you. You’ve made a decision; you need to live with it and move on.

On the other hand, do not dismiss and bury the issue. The simple fact is that vaccine mandates are not going away anytime soon, and the next challenge will be just around the corner, for instance, a mandate for your children, or for boosters.

For Those Getting Vaccinated To Save Their Job

You may be feeling troubled about the decision to get vaccinated simply in order to save your job. Here are five points of advice if this is you:

1. Providing food, housing and clothing for your children is a godly and righteous thing. You are doing something honourable before God in safeguarding your ability to provide for the children He has given you, even if the action you need to take is tainted.

2. Bring a written and signed statement with you, to the effect, “I do not consent medically to this procedure. I am only proceeding with it under duress, in order to save my livelihood.” Make sure the statement is given to the clinic you attend and put on file. You can ask the individual who performs the procedure on you to read it aloud before they proceed. The agents of the State who are about to perpetrate this act upon you must be made to clearly understand the (un)ethics of their action; and your lack of proper consent can and should be documented.

3. Ensure you keep and save the letter from your employer which instructs you to have the procedure and threatens you with dismissal if you fail to comply. To be legally useful (e.g. in civil liabilities proceedings), this letter must pre-date the date of the procedure, and address you specifically by name.

4. Do not consider that you’ve “lost” and can no longer resist this tyranny. Use your vaccine passport only with your employer. You can choose not use it to enter any restaurant, cinema, gym, shopping centre, or church which requests it. You may continue to resist the segregation; in fact you have now become very powerful: think of a white person deliberately sitting in the “coloured” section of a bus during Jim Crow. You can now be that person.

5. God sees what is happening. He is merciful, and He keeps a perfect record of all injustices that occur in this world. Do not let your spirit be crushed. He will one day call to account those who are behind this.

Image by CDC at Unsplash.

Advice For Those Getting Vaccinated Under Duress — Daily Declaration

“Republicans Are Opposed to These Vaccine Mandates – This is Government Overreach at Its Worst” – Rep. Elise Stefanik BLASTS Democrats Over Unconstitutional and Wreckless Mandates (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit


House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) joined Harris Faulkner on The Faulkner Focus on Tuesday.

Stefanik stressed to Harris Faulkner that this republic was based on freedoms and “Republicans are going to stand up for those freedoms!”

Rep. Stefanik: “These vaccine mandates, whether on a federal level or some of our Democratic governors are putting into place, they’re unconstitutional and illegal. In my home state of New York, you talked about Harris on how we could see massive shortages. We’re already seeing shortages in New York with our unconstitutional mandate. I represent a hospital in my district in a rural region, Lewis County. They’re no longer able to deliver babies because of this vaccine mandate. Our workers, whether they are our doctors, our nurses, our first responders, our law enforcement officers. They put their lives on the line during the COVID pandemic. And now these mandates are forcing them out of a job. Whether they choose not to get the vaccine, that is their personal choice… Republicans are opposed to these top-down mandates. This is government overreach at its worst… And what was most frustrating and telling for me to hear from the president of the United States is he mocked Americans for standing up for their freedoms. This country is based upon freedoms and Republicans will defend freedom.”

“Republicans Are Opposed to These Vaccine Mandates – This is Government Overreach at Its Worst” – Rep. Elise Stefanik BLASTS Democrats Over Unconstitutional and Wreckless Mandates (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

FDA Panel Approves Pfizer Covid Vax For Kids Ages 5-11, Concedes it Doesn’t Know Long-Term Risks to Children (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

The FDA’s panel of independent vaccine advisors on Tuesday voted 17-0 to recommend Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

An advisory panel with the CDC is expected to approve the vaccine after a formal approval from the FDA.

Following the formal approval from the FDA and a stamp of approval from the CDC, the agency’s director, Rochelle Walensky will give a final approval.

Children could start getting their vaccines as early as next week.

Politico reported:

Data presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the panel’s meeting Tuesday showed that children ages 5-11 are “at least as likely” as adults to contract Covid-19, and surveillance testing suggests pediatric cases are widely underreported. Hospitalization rates also are three times higher for children of color than for white kids, highlighting racial disparities also seen among adult patients.

An FDA staff analysis released late Friday suggested the product’s benefits outweigh the risks of adverse side effects to kids. However, the document also noted that balance could change if Covid case rates again fell to those seen in June, depending on the extent to which instances of myocarditis — an inflammatory heart condition linked to messenger RNA vaccines — occur in that age group.

Children are at virtually zero risk from dying of Covid and the FDA admitted they don’t know the long term risks to children. 

“We’re never gonna learn about how safe the vaccine is until we start giving it,” one of the FDA’s voting members said on Tuesday. 

VIDEO:

FDA Panel Approves Pfizer Covid Vax For Kids Ages 5-11, Concedes it Doesn’t Know Long-Term Risks to Children (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Tyranny Flexes Its Muscles — VCY America

Date:  October 26, 2021 
Host: Jim Schneider 
​Guest: Pastor Artur Pawlowski 
MP3  ​​​| Order

https://embed.sermonaudio.com/player/a/1026212050261441/

Artur Pawlowski is the pastor of Street Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Pastor Pawlowski is not native to Canada.  He grew up in Poland behind the Iron Curtain under the “boot” of the Soviet Union.  As he described in his Crosstalk appearance back in June, he’s seen firsthand the atrocities of the communists.  It’s from this vantage point that he brought this follow-up warning to American Christians via Crosstalk.

For about a year, Pastor Pawlowski had been subjected to nearly non-stop intimidation and harassment which included tickets and threats of arrest.  It all came to a head in April of 2021 when he was visited by police officers and a health official.  They broke Canadian law by trespassing and entering his church as well as intimidating and harassing parishioners.  This was done under the guise of an inspection yet everything they were looking for could have been seen online.

At the same time, Canada was allowing other protests to go on while seeking closure of Pastor Pawlowski’s church.  Muslim Imam’s weren’t ticketed in spite of the fact that Pastor Pawlowski had recorded thousands of Muslims gathering where you could see numerous COVID-19 restrictions and mandates being violated.

Pastor Pawlowski kicked the officials out.  They came back with a warrant and a S.W.A.T. team.  He kicked them out again.  Then another judge had an order dropped off and after officiating a church service and on his way home, he and his brother David were stopped in the middle of the highway, arrested, and taken into custody.  They were stripped naked, chains were put on their legs, and they weren’t allowed to sleep for 3 days and 2 nights.

Eventually, he spent 4 months telling his story in the U.S.  During that time, he and his brother were facing trial (a “Zoom” trial as it was not in-person).  They were found guilty on 2 counts for breaking a court order that was never given to them and that has no names on it.  Sentencing happened on October 13th.  They had been arrested for inciting people to come to church, officiating a church service, and participating in an illegal gathering. 

There’s much more to this story, and you can hear the rest, when you review this important edition of Crosstalk.

More Information

streetchurch.ca

art@streetchurch.ca

Government officials in Canada you can contact on behalf of Pastor Pawlowski:

Jason Kenney-Premier of Alberta–(780-427-2711)

Jason Copping-Minister of Health–(780-427-3665)

Kaycee Madu-Minister of Justice–(780-427-2339)

Mayor of Calgary–(403-268-2489)

Tyranny Flexes Its Muscles — VCY America

In The Market with Janet Parshall – October 2021 — TheWeeFlea.com

Here is the latest In the Market with Janet Parshall. 

Join us as we travel down under to visit with our favorite Scottish apologist. Hear his thoughts on the aggressive lockdown policies and procedures in Australia. Discover why he thinks Christians shouldn’t be punished for failing to bow down to progressive ideas and find out why he thinks the issue of mental health should be addressed by the Church. Join us for a conversation designed to make you think critically and biblically.

In The Market with Janet Parshall – October 2021 — TheWeeFlea.com

Consensus REACHED: An Astounding 91 Clinical Research Studies ALL CONFIRMED That NATURAL IMMUNITY Provides Same, If Not Better Protection Against the Virus Than Covid-19 Vaccines – Infection Rate Remained at “Almost ZERO” Among Previously Infected Individuals — The Gateway Pundit

The verdict is in.

As has been the case for the past 100 years of modern medicine, natural immunity has – once again – been affirmed to provide more complete and longer-lasting immunity than lab-created vaccines.

This week, the Brownstone Institute for Social and Economic Research published a list of 91 different clinical research studies which each conclude that naturally acquired immunity is at the very least equal to, but in many cases vastly superior, to the experimental mRNA vaccines that are currently available. Every single one of the studies was conducted over the past year and a half and specifically analyzed natural immunity in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak that originated in China.

The results are shocking. In just one study that looked at “52,238 employees in an American healthcare system,” researchers found that the reinfection rate among individuals who had recovered from Covid-19, even if they had gone on to get the vaccine after recovering, was “almost zero.”

Most notably, of the almost 1,400 “previously infected subjects” who had never received a Covid-19 vaccine, not a single one was reinfected with the virus. The data was so clear that researchers concluded vaccination is “unlikely to benefit” individuals with natural immunity.

According to “Necessity of COVID-19 vaccination in previously infected individuals,” published on June 5th, 2021:

“Cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was examined among 52,238 employees in an American healthcare system. The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection remained almost zero among previously infected unvaccinated subjects,previously infected subjects who were vaccinated, and previously uninfected subjects who were vaccinated, compared with a steady increase in cumulative incidence among previously uninfected subjects who remained unvaccinated. 

Not one of the 1359 previously infected subjects who remained unvaccinated had a SARS-CoV-2 infection over the duration of the study. Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination…”

The results are backed up by all 91 of the other studies in some way or another. In addition to thoroughly demonstrating the efficacy of natural immunity, several of the studies also provided other shocking revelations. Some of the most notable findings include:

From SARS-CoV-2 re-infection risk in Austria, Pub, 2021:

“Protection against SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection is comparable with the highest available estimates on vaccine efficacies.

Additionally, hospitalization in only five out of 14,840 (0.03%) people and death in one out of 14,840 (0.01%) (tentative re-infection).”

In other words, this study found that individuals who had natural immunity have a 99.99% chance of not dying, and a 99.97% chance of having a mild case that does not require hospitalization – so much for the vaccine’s 90-95% efficacy rate for those two grim measurements.

From Persistence of neutralizing antibodies a year after SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans, Pub, 2021

“Assessed the persistence of serum antibodies following WT SARS-CoV-2 infection at 8 and 13 months after diagnosis in 367 individuals…found that NAb against the WT virus persisted in 89% and S-IgG in 97% of subjects for at least 13 months after infection.”

In case there was any doubt that natural immunity also provides long-lasting protection, this study demonstrates how 89-97% of subjects still had antibodies for ‘at least’ 13 months after their initial Covid diagnosis. Contrast that with the vaccine, which has been proven to provide less and less antibodies as time progresses – Why else would you need perpetual booster shots?

And finally, from “Protection of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection is similar to that of BNT162b2 vaccine protection: A three-month nationwide experience from Israel,” Pub, 2021

“The overall estimated level of protection from prior SARS-CoV-2 infection for documented infection is 94·8% (CI: [94·4, 95·1]); hospitalization 94·1% (CI: [91·9, 95·7]); and severe illness 96·4% (CI: [92·5, 98·3])…results question the need to vaccinate previously-infected individuals.”

This study that analyzed the ‘entire population’ of Israel – one of the most vaccinated countries in the world – also demonstrates the robust protection against severe cases of Covid that comes along with natural immunity. Researchers found that vaccines actually provided LESS protection, albeit slightly, against spreading the virus (92.8% for vaccine compared to 94.8 for natural) and severe illness (94.4% vaccine vs. 96.4% natural).

These findings were also backed up by a separate study out of Israel that showed how vaccinated individuals are 13x more likely to have a breakthrough infection and more likely to be hospitalized when compared to those who had already recovered from the virus.

New Israeli Study Finds Fully Vaccinated People are at “Greater Risk of Hospitalization” and 13 TIMES MORE LIKELY to Catch Covid-19 Than Those Who Have Recovered and Have Natural Immunity

There are 85+ more detailed examples with the data to back it up – but we will leave it there for now. The full list of studies can be found at the bottom.

For the past year and a half, public health officials and their bootlickers in the politicized media have been intentionally misleading the public, claiming that their rushed vaccines will provide better immunity than if someone has recovered from the virus. One of the most glaring examples of this deception was when the director of the CDC – Rachel Walensky – issued a statement that denied the existence of natural immunity to Covid-19 last October.

She also shamelessly attempted to fearmonger, saying that the unvaccinated would be a “risk” to “vulnerable” Americans even if they had gained natural immunity. 

From Walensky’s LANCET statement:

There is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection.

The consequence of waning immunity would present a risk to vulnerable populations for the indefinite future.

Despite several of the nearly 100 studies having been completed since her October 2020 statement, Walensky has dutifully held the line and ignored all of the data so the left can further their agenda. Recently, she has advocated for masking all children in schools and announced the Biden administration’s plans to “educate” unvaccinated workers. She also announced the CDC’s plans to change the agency’s definition of “fully vaccinated” once booster shots become widely available.

Thanks to the mass politicization of this virus, these authoritarian psychopaths continue to ram through their woke, radical agenda and dystopian public health policies, while ignoring or burying any information that contradicts their agenda along the way – and with absolutely NO credibility.

The benefits of natural immunity have been confirmed over and over again for the past century, so much so that the Brownstone Institute refers to the research as “Immunology and Virology 101.” Even the CDC acknowledges that the benefits of recovery outweigh vaccines for a whole host of other viral infections, such as measles, chickenpox, rubella, and mumps, but the agency has made no such assertations about Covid-19. 

Not only have the recent studies demonstrated natural immunity’s superiority to the vaccines, but several also showed that the vaccinated are actually carrying ‘viral loads’ that are similar to those who are unvaccinatedand have not recovered from the virus.

In other words, the research is showing that the vaccinated are just as infectious – spreading the virus at the same rate as if they had never received the jab. 

According to the Brownstone Institute, who included links to each corresponding study:

The vaccinated are showing viral loads (very high) similar to the unvaccinated (Acharya et al. and Riemersma et al.), and the vaccinated are as infectious. 

Riemersma et al. also report Wisconsin data that corroborate how the vaccinated individuals who get infected with the Delta variant can potentially (and are) transmit(ting) SARS-CoV-2 to others (potentially to the vaccinated and unvaccinated). 

This troubling situation of the vaccinated being infectious and transmitting the virus emerged in seminal nosocomial outbreak papers by Chau et al. (HCWs in Vietnam), the Finland hospital outbreak (spread among HCWs and patients), and the Israel hospital outbreak (spread among HCWs and patients). These studies also revealed that the PPE and masks were essentially ineffective in the healthcare setting. 

The painstakingly thorough research conducted across these 91 studies has clearly demonstrated that existing immunity through recovery from Covid-19 should be taken into account when an individual makes the decision to remain unvaccinated, but it’s not – instead, Americans are required to receive both jabs, and soon a booster, before they are considered ‘fully vaccinated’ and able to engage in everyday society.

As more and more evidence comes out that validates people choosing to not take the jab, those who refuse for any reason are still castigated as ‘conspiracy theorists,’ and the authoritarian vaccine mandate deadlines continue to creep closer.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans will soon be forced to choose between their freedom or being able to feed their families, even though they have the same, if not better protection against the virus to those who have taken the experimental jab.

Exactly what science are these people following?

Here is the full list of 91 studies that affirm natural immunity to Covid-19, Published by The Brownstone Institute and up to date as of 10/15/21:

Consensus REACHED: An Astounding 91 Clinical Research Studies ALL CONFIRMED That NATURAL IMMUNITY Provides Same, If Not Better Protection Against the Virus Than Covid-19 Vaccines – Infection Rate Remained at “Almost ZERO” Among Previously Infected Individuals — The Gateway Pundit

The CEO Of Blackstone Is Warning That “A Real Shortage Of Energy” Will Cause Social Unrest All Over The Planet — The Economic Collapse

We are facing an unprecedented global energy crunch.  Demand for energy is continually rising, and the production of energy is not keeping pace.  One of the biggest reasons for this is that large financial institutions have become extremely hesitant to fund any new energy projects that will add more carbon emissions to the environment.  Instead, they want to fund projects that will help us transition to the new “green economy”, but meanwhile we are getting to a point where we will soon see widespread shortages of traditional forms of energy.  So now we all get to suffer.  A lack of oil is pushing the price of gasoline to alarming heights, shortages of natural gas are already causing tremendous disruptions in Asia and Europe, we are being told that we are facing a propane “armageddon” this winter, and supplies of coal have dropped to dangerously low levels around the world.

In other words, we are potentially heading into the most painful global energy crisis in modern history.

When CNN asked Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman about this, he openly admitted that we are “going to end up with a real shortage of energy”

Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman warned Tuesday that high energy prices will likely set off social unrest around the world.

“We’re going to end up with a real shortage of energy. And when you have a shortage, it’s going to cost more. And it’s probably going to cost a lot more,” the private-equity billionaire told CNN International’s Richard Quest at a conference in Saudi Arabia.

When the power goes out, people are not going to be happy.

And people are really not going to be happy if it goes out for an extended period of time.

According to Schwarzman, we will soon see “very unhappy people” all over the globe…

“You’re going to get very unhappy people around the world in the emerging markets in particular but in the developed world,” Schwarzman said at the Future Investment Initiative. “What happens then, Richard, is you’ve got real unrest. This challenges the political system and it’s all utterly unnecessary.”

Sadly, he is right that this global energy crisis did not have to happen.

If the global elite had continued to fund traditional energy projects at the pace that was needed, we could have avoided this nightmare to a very large degree.

But traditional forms of energy are now being shunned, and billions of people will suffer as a result.

Meanwhile, prices throughout our economic system continue to rise at a very alarming pace.  Just check out what has been happening to the price of turkey

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, for example, released data recently showing the average wholesale price of Grade A frozen 8- to 16-pound turkey has spiked by 21.91% since last year. That means what cost $1.15 per pound a year ago will now ring at at $1.41. And just for context, the same would have cost 96 cents in 2019 and 84 cents in 2018.

If math isn’t your thing, that’s a 68% wholesale price increase in just two years.

Overall, we are being told that this upcoming Thanksgiving will be the most expensive Thanksgiving that any of us have ever experienced

Matthew McClure paid 20% more this month than he did last year for the 25 pasture-raised turkeys he plans to roast at the Hive, the Bentonville, Arkansas, restaurant where he is the executive chef. And Norman Brown, director of sweet-potato sales for Wada Farms in Raleigh, North Carolina, is paying truckers nearly twice as much as usual to haul the crop to other parts of the country.

“I never seen anything like it, and I’ve been running sweet potatoes for 38 or 39 years,” Brown said. “I don’t know what the answer is, but in the end it’s all going to get passed on to the consumer.”

Unfortunately, more price hikes are on the horizon.

In fact, Kimberly-Clark is opening warning that they are going to be boosting prices even higher

Prices of toilet paper, diapers, facial tissues and paper towels will likely rise in coming weeks as Irving-based consumer giant Kimberly-Clark warned Monday that inflation and supply chain concerns aren’t “likely to be resolved quickly.”

So I would stock up on paper products while you still can.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, inflation is eventually going to get far worse than what we witnessed during the 1970s.

At this point, even many top Democrats are warning that high inflation is with us to stay.  Here is one recent example

Former President Barack Obama’s chief of global development on Tuesday predicted inflation was here to stay, despite the Biden administration’s protestations to the contrary.

Prices “will go higher, and the Fed has misread the inflation dynamics in a big way,” former Global Development Council Chairman Mohamed El Erian said in an afternoon interview with Fox News’ Sandra Smith, adding that the Federal Reserve was “still hostage to this notion that it’s transitory.”

And the shortages that we are currently experiencing are ultimately going to get worse too.

Right now, we are already facing the worst shortage of alcoholic beverages since the 1930s.  When asked about his empty shelves by a reporter, one gas station owner said that he has “never seen anything like this”

Supply chain issues are impacting the alcohol supply in the U.S., and it’s making alcohol more expensive and difficult for bars and liquor stores to get.

“I have so many empty shelves. In the two years of doing this, I’ve never seen anything like this,” gas station chain owner Ali Ali said.

As I discussed yesterday, now Biden wants to take countless more truck drivers off the road, and that will make our supply chain headaches a whole lot worse.

And as energy prices escalate, that will push all prices throughout our economic system higher and higher and higher.

Yes, all of this is really happening.

This is not a drill.

We are in the early chapters of a full-blown economic meltdown of epic proportions, and nothing will ever be the same after this.

If you want to keep waiting for conditions to “return to normal”, you are going to be waiting for a really, really long time.

We have entered a truly horrible nightmare, and there will be no waking up from this.

The CEO Of Blackstone Is Warning That “A Real Shortage Of Energy” Will Cause Social Unrest All Over The Planet — The Economic Collapse

‘They Are Now Losing Their Own Freedom’: Sen. Kennedy Urges Secretary Of Defense To Protect Service Members’ Vaccine Freedom — Conservative Review

‘Infringes on the liberties our service members fight to protect’

‘They Are Now Losing Their Own Freedom’: Sen. Kennedy Urges Secretary Of Defense To Protect Service Members’ Vaccine Freedom — Conservative Review

How Colleges are Teaching the Next Generation of Americans to Hate Thinking — The Aquila Report

Even though concern for academic freedom may seem abstract and even trivial, it is utterly practical. It determines whether we live in a conformist society or a free one. While it’s tempting for conservatives to leave higher and lower education to progressive ideologues, this condemns so many young people to mediocrity and lifelong servility.

For the second straight year, DePauw University in Indiana ranked last in the Free Speech College Rankings. Among admittedly stiff competition, DePauw’s students distinguished themselves in their belief that “disagreeable speech” should be suppressed. They also had the largest portion of students feeling unable to express their views on a subject.

Along with this lack of free speech is the obvious lack of ideological diversity. Students and professors agree on most points, and thus see little point in an open forum. As one student puts it, “I have rarely felt [any fear of expressing my opinion]…because many of my professors and students surrounding me share my political views.”Although representing the extreme, DePauw is not an outlier. The University of Chicago, named last year as the country’s number one free-speech campus, is now thought-policing its students.

It has become common knowledge that most campuses exhibit the same antipathy towards intellectual freedom and uninhibited public discourse. Their faculties are ideologically uniform, their students vigorously protest any heterodox thinkers, and their partisan professors proudly teach their students what to think rather than how to think.

Young Progressives Conform, Act Out

There are two main takeaways from this situation. The first and more immediate one is the hypocrisy among young progressives who fancy themselves reactionaries and countercultural for combatting supposed “hate speech” and “social injustice.” In reality, they are simply parroting the elite’s narratives and acting out against the less powerful (usually conservatives and Christians). There is no truly courageous, independent thought among any of them. Colleges have gone to great lengths to help them feel safe and supported while doing the opposite with conservatives.

The larger and more lasting takeaway is that American culture is becoming a conformist culture. After all, these students will graduate and eventually assume positions of influence and authority. Naturally, many will use whatever power they have to recreate the norms and expectations they experienced at college.This means they will police speech, marginalize dissenting views, and elevate those with more credentials. Having been conditioned to view disagreement as counterproductive and dangerous, they will support any policy or person who can enforce conformity.

This is what largely happened in the past decade where all spaces, both physical and virtual, are subject to suppression of speech and thought. Where can one go to express an unapproved and unpopular argument? Not at work or school, or even online. This leaves church and home, but the spirit of ideological conformity has largely invaded these spaces as well.

Read More

How Colleges are Teaching the Next Generation of Americans to Hate Thinking — The Aquila Report

Can Science Disprove the Christian Notion of the Soul? — The Aquila Report

The body can be weighted, measured, nipped, tucked, prodded, poked, whatever. The soul on the other hand, since it is immaterial, cannot. Does this make the Christian position somehow weaker, or beyond any real scrutiny? No.

Do you have a soul? Can science say anything about it? Can science disprove it?

Brian Cox, the musician turned professor, says science makes it plain the soul does not exist. If there was some other material source present in the body, it should be detectable in some way. Since the soul is not detectable in some measurable way, it must not exist.

This reminds me of a conversation with a skeptic friend some years back. He told me if I could prove what organ in the body is the soul, he would gladly believe. But that demonstrates the problem, doesn’t it? He believes only those things that can in some way be reduced to a material explanation are real. Furthermore, I never claimed the soul is an organ in the body. It is easy to begin talking past each other on points like this.

The Christian belief is that the soul is an immaterial part of the human condition. To be a human is to have a material body and an immaterial soul. Humans are a unit of soul and body. The body can be weighted, measured, nipped, tucked, prodded, poked, whatever. The soul on the other hand, since it is immaterial, cannot. Does this make the Christian position somehow weaker, or beyond any real scrutiny? No.

Read More

Can Science Disprove the Christian Notion of the Soul? — The Aquila Report

The Failure of Evangelical Elites — The Aquila Report

Christianity tells the world what it does not wish to hear. We should not expect to be embraced by those whose thoughts and deeds contradict the truths of our faith. Nor should we seek to make our faith more palatable, lest the salt lose its savor.

There are times in history when Christianity feels its place in ­society coming under threat. As it finds itself pushed to the margins, two temptations emerge. The first is an angry sense of entitlement, an impulse to denounce the entire world and withdraw into cultural isolation. In the early twentieth century, American Fundamentalism offered a good example of this tendency, renouncing public engagement and defining itself against alcohol, evolution, the ­movies—characteristic productions of the society by which it felt attacked. Arguably, we see something of the same thing today in evangelical support for Donald Trump, though in this case populist Protestantism is contending for ­America’s future rather than retreating from its present. I dare say readers of The Christian Century wish that truculent evangelicals would take the Benedict ­Option.

The second tendency is more subtle and more seductive. While appearing to be valiant for truth, it conforms Christianity to the spirit of the age. If fundamentalist fist-shaking is the temptation of the ragamuffin masses, accommodation appeals to those who seek a seat at the table among ­society’s elite. And these elite aspirants often blame the masses when their invitation to high table fails to materialize.

Over the last few years, America has witnessed plenty of both tendencies. We’ve seen the anger of the evangelicals who think the country is being stolen from them, and we’ve detected the condescension of those who blame their less urbane coreligionists for the woes of the Church and the nation. Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun. As often as Christianity has had its cultured despisers, it has had adherents who respond by warring against the age or by making entreaties to the despisers—often reinterpreting the anti-Christian sentiments of the moment as fulfillments of the true faith.

Today, countless apologists insist that a rejection of Christian sexual morality is actually a fulfillment of the Christian imperative of love, which they gloss as the imperative to “include.” But one of the first of these apologists, and arguably the most sophisticated, was Friedrich Schleiermacher. He is credibly called the father of modern theology, which really means modern liberal Protestant theology. Liberal Protestants pioneered the tactic of labeling critics “anti-modern” rather than engaging their arguments. Only in the last few decades, as liberal Protestantism has declined as a cultural force, have historians recognized that theologies framed to reject modern individualism, subjectivism, and historicism are themselves uniquely modern.

When Schleiermacher was a young man, an older, confessional Protestantism still had ownership of institutional culture in his native Germany. But even then society was in transition, and ­Christianity was losing ground among elites. The first generation of historical critics was shaking old Reformation certainties. Theology, once queen of the sciences and the crown of university education, was subject to fundamental challenges from Enlightenment thinking. The empiricism of thinkers such as David Hume called into question the traditional proofs for God’s existence and the credibility of miracles. Influenced by Hume, Immanuel Kant ruled out-of-bounds any possibility of knowing transcendent realities. In effect, Kantian philosophy, which rapidly came to dominate German intellectual life, made it impossible to sustain classical Christian theism. In the world of Kant and his successors, God was perhaps useful as a presupposition by which to anchor moral duty—what Kant called a “postulate” of practical reason—but theological notions served no substantive purpose. At the same time, Romanticism was placing sentiment or feeling at the heart of what it means to be human. This, too, ran counter to inherited forms of Christianity, with their dogmas and systematic theologies full of close arguments and fine ­distinctions. Christianity was being cordoned off from the influential modes of inquiry that inspired excitement and enjoyed the prestige of the new.

It was in this context that Schleiermacher produced his brilliant work On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers. He did not dispute Kant’s strictures against metaphysics, which entailed that we cannot know God’s revelation and thereby denied that Christian doctrine has authority. Instead, he attacked Kant’s reliance on argument and analysis. God, Schleiermacher insisted, is not a postulate. He is rather the object of our most intense emotions. Religion is thus a matter of feelings, not of reason. The purpose of doctrine, therefore, is not to convey knowledge but to evoke intense ­feelings that move our souls. We do not “know” God; rather, we commune with God in an “­immediate feeling.”

One rightly marvels at Schleiermacher’s ability to concede all of Kant’s philosophical points while advancing a passionate case for the enduring relevance of pious emotions. At one point, ­Schleiermacher notes that Christianity is heatedly rejected by those influenced by Enlightenment thought—and the passion of unbelief indicates that religion has great power and significance. Yet it is not so much Schleiermacher’s argument as his strategy that is instructive. Rather than defend Christian orthodoxy, he concedes the ground claimed by religion’s cultured despisers. He redefines Christianity to make it accord with the assumptions of its critics. He argues that ­Christianity is not characterized by irrational credulity, because it is not concerned with beliefs at all, but rather with feelings. By Schleiermacher’s way of thinking, Christian beliefs are symbols, cherished because they evoke the “immediate feeling” that links us to the divine.

With this approach, Schleiermacher was free to partake of the rising criticism of theological systems. He need not defend the authority of doctrine or of those who believed that Christian doctrine made objective claims about reality. By turning the dogmatic faith of previous generations into a religion of feelings and intuitions, he construed Christian doctrines as expressions of religious sentiment rather than as statements of objective truth. For example, predestination was not for him a matter of divine action effecting the eternal decision or decree of God, which divided the human race into elect and reprobate. Rather, it was a conceptual-­poetic expression of the feeling of absolute dependence upon God, which Christianity evokes and Christians experience.

Schleiermacher is long dead, as is the Enlightenment audience he sought to address. But the problem of Christianity and its cultured despisers has not disappeared. It has become increasingly evident in recent decades. Powerful forces of secularism, metaphysical materialism, and scientism, among other factors, have driven religion from its former places of influence. One need only note that very nearly all private universities in the United States were founded by religious groups and were for a long time anchored in a religious tradition, only to become secular in the last two generations. In response to this pressure, Christianity has once again put forward those who seek to persuade its despisers that the faith is not inimical to polite society.

In the mid-1990s, a sustained effort was made to rehabilitate and defend the intellectual and academic integrity of orthodox Christians. The leaders of this movement, the historians Mark Noll and George Marsden, made valiant cases for the Christian mind. In The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Noll argued that American evangelicalism was hamstrung by its commitment to indefensible positions that lacked intellectual credibility. It consequently attracted the scorn of educated people outside the Church. Worse still, the lack of intellectual standards made life hard for thoughtful individuals within the Church. Noll focused on dispensationalism and literal six-day creation, arguing that these commitments were not defensible by the canons of reason, nor were they necessary for a rigorously orthodox Christian faith.

The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind was a bestseller and named Book of the Year by Christianity Today, the flagship evangelical magazine whose purpose was, in part, to articulate a Christianity that avoided the excesses of fundamentalism while defending orthodox Christianity. Shortly afterward, Marsden argued for what he dubbed “the outrageous idea of Christian scholarship” in a monograph of the same name. The historical portion of his case was based on research he had earlier published on the Christian origins of many of America’s most significant institutions of higher education. Marsden concluded that Christianity’s cultured despisers were simply wrong when they claimed that faith set a person at odds with the life of the mind. In the constructive portion of his case, Marsden argued that Christian scholars could cultivate careful respect for the canons of academic discourse and thoughtful, honest engagement with other academics within the guild without compromising their faith.

Unlike Schleiermacher, Noll and Marsden are careful to sustain full-blooded affirmations of orthodox Christian faith. And unlike ­Schleiermacher’s, I find their arguments convincing. There is nothing about belief in the saving death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ that undermines intellectual rigor or compromises academic standards—­unless, of course, those standards are deemed above criticism from the get-go. But there can be no doubt that the extraordinarily positive reception of Noll’s and Marsden’s ideas came about because university-­educated Evangelicals in the 1990s were anxious to be reassured. The universities they attended increasingly told them that their faith was disqualifying. Noll and ­Marsden argued otherwise, showing that a person of faith who ­engaged in self-criticism and discarded ­untenable beliefs could participate fully in modern ­intellectual life.

Read More

The Failure of Evangelical Elites — The Aquila Report

October 26 Evening Quotes of The Day

The Benefits of a Gracious Wife
Proverbs 18:22; 31:28; 1 Corinthians 7:13–14; 1 Peter 3:1–2

A gracious wife satisfies a good husband, and silences a bad one.

GEORGE SWINNOCK

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Too Few Preachers Burn with the Fire of God’s Love
Jeremiah 20:9; Acts 4:13–20, 31; 9:28; Ephesians 6:20; Philippians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 2:2

Even preachers go about arranging their sermons so as to displease no one. They have a good intention, and their work is good; yet still few amend their lives. But how is it that they are not many who, in consequence of these sermons, abstain from public sins? Well, I think it is because the preachers are highly sensible men. They are not burning with the great fire of the love of God, as the apostles were, casting worldly prudence aside; and so their fire throws out but little heat.

TERESA OF ÁVILA

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Galatians Is the Antidote to Legalism and Antinomianism — Southern Equip

I’ve found that many Christians, post-conversion, tend toward legalism or antinomianism in their pursuit of sanctification.

I’ve seen this trend both in churches I’ve pastored and in Christian friends. One woman grew up in a strict Reformed Baptist home. She always tended toward legalism and fought it biblically for years. Another friend was converted in his mid-thirties after spending many years searching for joy in bars and honky-tonks. He has battled an antinomian impulse for many years. Others pendulum-swung after conversion: from legalism to license, or vice versa.

Not all Christians struggle deeply in one of these areas, but the tendency is widespread. That’s why we so desperately need Galatians.

Give My Life Back to Jesus?

My discovery of the spiritual riches in Galatians came at the end of a long road. For more than a decade, I tried to follow Jesus by “rededicating” my life to him over and over and over again, maybe two hundred times. I was converted at age 10 and was fortunate to grow up in church. That church preached the gospel pretty well. My sin. His grace. Repentance. Faith. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. God’s anger at sin and sinners was always present.

But discipleship and sanctification? Not so much.

Although my childhood church helped me understand how to become a Christian, it took me a lot longer to learn about the pilgrimage that follows salvation — the need for daily repentance and killing sin, praying for the fruit of the Spirit, and other crucial elements of sanctification. I lived as if justification came by grace through faith but sanctification came by law.

My life was a frustrating merry-go-round of sin — rededication, law-keeping in my own strength, sin, rededication, law-keeping — you get the picture. I had to keep proving to God that I was serious about him. Practically, it was a strange brew of Baptist nominalism and Roman Catholic formalism.

Sanctified by Grace

Then, at a national conference for Christian men in 1995, I heard a plainly worded sermon on Galatians 2:20:

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Through the preaching of that passage, God worked in my heart. The gates of paradise swung open (to use a phrase from Luther), and I walked through. At age 28, I understood (perhaps for the first time) that both justification and sanctification are by grace — I was saved by grace and am now being sanctified by grace. Though I hadn’t yet begun to study the Reformation in any depth, I comprehended more clearly two vital solas: sola fide and sola gratia.

I understood how they applied to my daily walk with Jesus: I was saved (justified) by grace through faith alone, and I am being saved (sanctified) by grace through faith — the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God. For all the effort involved in the Christian life, we grow, at bottom, by faith in Jesus Christ, as we rest on the grace he gives us. The cycle of rededication, sin, and rededication stopped; my growth in the Lord accelerated, and I eventually entered the ministry with a heart to help others.

And I fell in love with Galatians. Nearly 25 years later, I have preached or taught through Galatians five times and have read meditatively through it dozens of times. Still, I haven’t grown past my need to walk on a path paved with the grace-saturated words of this letter. I suspect I’m not alone, so here are six reasons I’ll never be able to leave Galatians behind.

1. Good works, however good they may appear, do not justify us.

I know, this is Christianity 101, an obvious truth, particularly for those of us of a certain theological persuasion. But I’m a fourth-class legalist at heart, and my inner Pharisee is often the preacher I am most eager to hear. The system of rededication I operated under for so many years gave me security because I was constantly doing something, then checking the box. Done. But Paul corrects this impulse: “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:2–3).

While genuine saving faith will show itself in spiritual fruit (as James 2 makes clear), I am regularly tempted to make my works — rededicating myself to God, doing evangelism, feeding the hungry — the ground of my acceptance with God. But in Galatians, Paul reminds me that justification is through faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ alone. I never grow past my need to be reminded of the gospel.

2. Confusing law and gospel is a pathway to misery.

Sadly, many Christians walk this difficult road every single day. A pithy saying often (falsely, I think) attributed to John Bunyan captures this potential misery well:

Run, John, run, the law commands,
but gives us neither feet nor hands.
Far better news the gospel brings:
it bids us fly and gives us wings.

The law as power for Christian living is a terrible taskmaster. For years, I tried to earn for myself what Christ had already bought. For years, I was a joyless, tired Christian. I’ve met far too many Christians over the years who are in the same condition due to an unbiblical understanding of law and gospel. Instead of seeing the law as a guide to their sanctification, they saw the law — and not the gospel — as the means of achieving their sanctification. Grace is the tracks on which both justification and sanctification run.

3. Christ has set us free from sin, but not free to sin.

For all the years I spent struggling with legalism, I also spent a lot of time as a practical antinomian. I loved the part where Paul says we are set free from the law. I sinned. God forgave. That was his job. While I would have never agreed that this was true, I lived as if it were.

I’m probably not the only Christian in church history who has lived this way for a season until God’s truth corrected this deadly untruth. Grace not only pays the penalty for sin; it also disables the power of sin. God’s grace not only pardons but empowers. A Christian is a slave to Christ, free to no longer submit to the chains of sin (Gal. 5:1).

4. The Holy Spirit is not the junior-varsity player within the Godhead.

Here’s one often overlooked fact about Galatians: references to the Spirit outnumber the terms related to justification. Galatians taught me to walk in step with the Spirit and liberated me from any need to be constantly re-upping my commitment to Jesus. It helped me to see the vital role the Spirit plays in my sanctification and corrected my naïve theology that practically assumed the Spirit was only for Pentecostals. All Christians should write Galatians 5:16–25 over the door of their hearts.

5. The Christian life is the crucified life.

Paul reminds us that if we are in Christ, then we are crucified with him (Gal. 2:20). Our sin — not in part, but the whole — is nailed to the cross, and we bear it no more. Our old man is nailed to the cross, and we are free to take up our crosses daily and go hard after Jesus. We are set free from love of self, liberated to love and serve others. Central to orthodox Christianity is give, not get. For years, I lived as if the reverse were true.

6. God calls us to reassert the gospel in every generation.

Paul’s strong admonition in Galatians 1 helped spur Luther and other Reformers to recover the true gospel in the Reformation. The same gospel must be asserted and reasserted in every generation. Peter sought to stir up our minds by way of reminder because we are a forgetful people (2 Pet. 1:13). And the first thing to go, usually, is the gospel. But the gospel we reassert must be the gospel of God’s grace in Christ. As Paul points out in Galatians 1, all other so-called “gospels” are the broad road that leads to destruction (Gal. 1:6–9).

Find Freedom

Do the tendencies to legalism and license sound familiar? Then flee to Galatians and find glorious freedom from the bondage of continually proving your goodness to God or find joyful liberation from your desires for liberty to chase after the world.

For every Christian can say with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

Galatians Is the Antidote to Legalism and Antinomianism — Southern Equip

Baptism of the Holy Spirit — Gospel Relevance

Note: The following article is an academic piece that has been modified for blog format. Rather than examine every possible passage on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the article below argues against a traditional charismatic understanding of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit from Acts 19:1-7.

The literal expression “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” never once appears in the Bible, although the phrase “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” appears six times. This phrase is sometimes referred to as a “second blessing,” although that language is found nowhere in Paul’s writings. Curiously, many Christian leaders who identify as charismatic not only believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – or, as some prefer, a second blessing – but authoritatively teach on it and encourage others to follow suit.

baptism of the Holy Spirit

In the simplest of terms, the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be defined as a filling of the Holy Spirit after conversion, usually accompanied by the spiritual gift of tongues. The implication behind this definition is that one can be a Christian and not be filled with the Holy Spirit.

It is best to reject the traditional charismatic understanding of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, it is best to view the expression as metaphorical language to denote the continual purification of sin in one’s life.

Space here does not allow me to examine this topic in detail. Rather than examine this doctrine from all of Scripture, our main focus will be Acts 19:1-7. Admittedly, Acts 1:5 and the Pentecost passage (Acts 2) are greater threats to my conclusion, but we’ll have to examine those passages on another today. Again: our main focus will be Act 19:1-7.

As we examine these verses, I will argue that the word “disciples” in this context does not refer to followers of Jesus Christ in the modern understanding of the word and that one cannot responsibly advocate for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for Christians from this passage.

Let’s read the passage.

Acts 19:1-7

And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all.

Paul Enters Ephesus

Acts 19:1 tells us that Paul enters Ephesus. We read that “there he found some disciples.” He asks these disciples if they have received the Holy Spirit when they believed, to which they replied “no” (Acts 19:2). Even more, they claimed that they had “not even heard there was a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19:2b). After a few more questions from Paul, a clarification about Jesus, and a Christian baptism, he [Paul] eventually lays hands on these men, and that’s when “the Holy Spirit came on them” (Acts 19:6).

For those who use this passage to advocate for a second blessing for Christians, they primarily do so because of their understanding of the word “disciples” in this context. Their logic for this passage goes something like this: “Paul went to Ephesus. There he found some disciples of Jesus Christ. After talking to these disciples, Paul discovered that they had not received the Holy Spirit. After praying and laying hands on these men, they received the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we can conclude that one can be a Christian and not have the Holy Spirit. Christians should seek a second blessing.”

But I do not believe the point of Acts 19:1-7 is to teach a second blessing for Christians. With that said, however, we must respect our evangelical charismatic brothers and sisters in Christ and those who believe in a second blessing. Their love for the Holy Spirit is contagious. The Pentecostal denomination is rising in numbers rapidly, and I wonder if that is because of their earnest commitment to prayer and devotion to being led and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

To be sure, we can all agree that we need the Holy Spirit for empowerment in the Christian life, especially for Christian ministry (Acts 2:4). And yet, when we examine the popular charismatic understanding of Acts 19:1-7 in particular, we see in many ways how the exegetical conclusions associated with this passage falls short. As I. Howard Marshal writes, “This story has often been used as the basis for doctrines about the reception of gifts of the Spirit subsequent to conversion; but it has no real connection with these.” [1]

What Does “Disciple” Mean?

The word “disciple” has linguistic flexibility. In this context, it is not referring to persons who have saving faith in Jesus Christ. Marshall writes, “These men can hardly have been Christians since they had not received the gift of the Spirit; it is safe to say that the New Testament does not recognize the possibility of being a Christian apart from possession of the Spirit.”[2]

The Greek word specifically used here (for the word “disciple”) is μαθητής. What does this mean? It can mean a few different things, and BDAG provides several helpful definitions. Broadly, this word can mean “learner, pupil, disciple.”[3] This is how the word is often used. To be more particular, BDAG provides two more helpful definitions: 1. “One who engages in learning through instruction from another, pupil, apprentice (in contrast to the teacher,” and 2. “One who is rather constantly associated with someone who has a pedagogical reputation or a particular set of view, disciple, adherent.”[4]

It is wrong to assume, then, that when the word μαθητής is used in the Bible, it is always and exclusively in reference to followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible uses μαθητής to refer to disciples of John (Luke 5:33), disciples of Moses (John 9:28), and so on. Even more, as we have seen from BDAG, the word μαθητής can mean one who follows or learns or associates with another person who has a pedagogical reputation. One can be a μαθητής and not have saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Others have proposed that Luke was referring to disciples of John. Howard argues that this is “unlikely” since “John the Baptist did not need to be held responsible for any strange views from his followers.”[6] However, in 19:3 these men confess to having been baptized into John’s baptism, and one can see the correlation between being baptized into John and being John’s disciples. It is not far-fetched to say that these disciples were followers of John as we see direct correlations to this conclusion in the text.

It is not clear whether these “disciples” were disciples of John or not, but it clear that they were not yet Christians. Since they had a relationship with John the Baptist, it is hard to believe that they would know nothing about Christ since he was the one who John pointed to. However, one can know about Christ and not be saved by him. It’s not that they had no knowledge of Jesus whatsoever; it’s that their knowledge of Jesus was insufficient.

Thus, when Luke uses the word “disciples,” we can conclude two possibilities: 1. He was using the word in reference to disciples of John the Baptist who had some knowledge, but not saving knowledge of Jesus. 2. He was using the word in reference to how these men originally appeared to Paul.[9]

I think number two is correct.

One can appear to be a Christian – especially when you first meet them – but really not be a Christian. That may be what happened here. That is, Luke may be simply writing from Paul’s point of view. They appeared to be Christians but were not.

When You Believed?

Another aspect of this passage that we must address is the word for “when you believed,” which is Πιστεύσαντες. This is admittedly a more difficult issue to flesh out. Πιστεύσαντες, in this context, can be rendered as “having believed.” The ESV states it slightly differently when it says, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (Acts 19:2; emphasis added). The implication is that these men have already believed in something. But the text does not mention what they believed in.

The advocates for a second blessing will say that they believed in Jesus, thus showing that one can believe in Jesus and not have the Holy Spirit. Again, BDAG provides helpful definitions for the word Πιστεύω, two of which I will spell out here: 1. “To consider something to be true and therefore worthy of one’s trust, believe . . .” 2. “To entrust oneself to an entity in complete confidence, believe (in) trust.”[11] Two similar words — πιστεύουσιν and πιστεύεις – are used in James 2:19: “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19; emphasis added). It would be ridiculous to assume that demons could have saving faith in Jesus or the possibility to receive the Holy Spirit, yet James tells us that they also “believe.” So we can conclude that this word is not always used in association with saving faith in Jesus.

Ephesus

The city in which Paul found these men, Ephesus, was known for cults and idolatry.[12] As a result, there seems to have been many theological errors floating around in Ephesus which separated Christ’s resurrection and outpouring of the Spirit, and these men fell into those errors.[13] Their confusion about the Holy Spirit is obvious when they say, “we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19:2). It is best not to take this statement literally. Wallace argues that the rendering of this sentence can be: “we have not heard whether a Spirit can be holy.”[14] Bock mentions that this does not mean that they did not know the Holy Spirit exists. That’s because John the Baptist spoke about it (Luke 3:15-16). Rather this statement is best understood to mean that they didn’t know the Holy Spirit has come.[16] They were those who “knew about Jesus but not the work of the Spirit that is also a part of the promise”[17] They lacked both sufficient knowledge and saving faith.

Paul Points Them to Jesus

Remember, these men appeared to Paul to be disciples. Naturally, then, it is fitting that Paul would ask a question about belief and faith as an introductory question. When you have faith in something, and you meet someone who you think also has faith in that same thing, you naturally would want to talk to them about it. But soon into the conversation, Paul realizes that appearance is not always reality.

While in conversation with these men, Paul realizes that the disciples’ understanding of Christ is skewed, and Paul seeks to correct their misunderstanding. That’s why Paul says, “John Baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus” (Acts 19:4). The Apostle Paul is essential saying: “Your baptism was not done in the name of Jesus. The one you follow, John the Baptist, pointed to a greater reality, Jesus, and you must turn to him and be baptized in his name.” Paul is showing these men their need for Jesus Christ, that’s why he mentions “repentance” in verse four — to point these unbelievers to John the Baptist’s primary message: repent and believe in Jesus.

If we describe this text as “Paul evangelizing these disciples,” we might be using too strong of language. But it is not too strong to say that Paul provided clarification about Jesus to these men for the purpose of persuading them to repent and believe in Christ. Paul succeeds. Faith comes by hearing, and after hearing about repentance and Jesus, these men come to faith in Christ: “On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus” (Act 19:5).

They were not Christians when Paul met them. They became Christians through Paul. They were baptized and received the Holy Spirit. While there are certainly examples of the Spirit empowering certain Christians for Christian ministry after their conversion, the example of the Holy Spirit “coming upon” these men in Ephesus in Acts 19:6 should not be understood to be a second blessing, but merely the recipient of the Holy Spirit at the time of their conversion. That’s what happens to every person who repents and trusts in Christ: they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13).

Baptism of the Holy Spirit from John’s Gospel

One may object to this discussion of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and refer to John the Baptist’s saying on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the Gospels (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16). It seems appropriate to address this here because the disciples in Ephesus in Acts 19:1-7 may have been disciples of John, although I won’t address it in-depth.

Let’s look at this verse from John’s Gospel: “. . . ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit” (John 1:32-33).

When the authors of the Gospel accounts speak of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, what exactly are they trying to tell us? I believe Andreas J. Kostenberger eloquently contributes to our discussion when he writes: “In context, this also reveals a soteriological dimension of the Spirit’s work in that Spirit baptism is related to the removal of sin.”[19] When John speaks of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, he is using metaphorical language; he is not speaking literally. In particular, when the Gospel writers speak of the baptism of the Holy Spirit they are illustrating the purification, removal, and sanctification of sin through the empowering Holy Spirit whom every Christian receives at the time of their justification.

Does that mean we do not need the Holy Spirit? Perish the thought. Every Christian has the Holy Spirit and needs continuous empowerment of the Holy Spirit. So while we want to avoid the language of speaking of a “second blessing” or presuming upon a subjective, emotional experience that one has at a given point to authenticate the Holy Spirit’s working in one’s life, we must speak of experiencing the Holy Spirit and receiving empowerment from the Holy Spirit – particularly for Christian ministry. This is what happens at Pentecost. The believers are told to wait for the Spirit: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). This particular verse is unique in that it embarks in a new covenant age, something Old Testament believers would have not experienced in full. But still, the point remains that even believers who have been sealed by the Spirit should seek to be continually and regularly empowered by the Spirit.

Acts and the Holy Spirit

We must understand that we are not Apostles and our time is not the same as the time of the book of Acts. The book of Acts is a unique time period in redemptive-historical history in which miracles, manifestations of the Spirit, and other supernatural occurrences simply do not happen in the same measure today as they did back then. It is also best to avoid proof-texting when it comes to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

We must, furthermore, admit that our text here in Acts – Acts 19:1-7 – is descriptive, and not prescriptive. That is, Luke is merely describing one unique story in Apostolic history and not trying to prescribe a new normal concerning the Holy Spirit in the life of the church. One would be unwise to build an entire theology of the Holy Spirit based on one passage – especially on just one passage (or verse) in the book of Acts. The Scriptures that are rare or ambiguous must be combined with the Scriptures that are clear. And it is clear from New Testament teachings that one cannot be a Christian and not have the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). Therefore, we should assume that our text in Acts is not an attempt to prescribe a second blessing for the life of the church. It’s merely describing one story in redemptive-history.

Acts 19:1-7 is an encouraging text, but the application of the passage can cause damage in the church if the exegesis of the text is not appropriately done. Can you argue for a baptism of the Holy Spirit from another passage? Maybe. But not from Acts 19:1-7. Indeed, we should think twice about a second blessing when we examine Acts 19:1-7 since all of the exegetical evidence seems to vote against it.


[1] I. Howard Marshall, Acts: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2008), 323.

[2] Ibid, 323.

[3] BDAG, 609.

[4] BDAG, 609.

[5] Bock Darrell, Acts Baker Exegetical Commentary on The New Testament (Ada: Baker Academic, 2007), 599.

[6] Ibid, 323.

[7] Bruce, F.F. The Book of the Acts New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand RapidsEerdmans, 1988), 363.

[8] Bock, 599.

[9] Marshall, 324.

[10] Barrett C.K., Acts: Volume 2: 15-28 International Critical Commentary (New York: T&T Clark, 2004), 893.

[11] BDAG, 816-817.

[12] Wallace B. Daniel, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand     Rapids: Zondervan, 1997), 312.

[13] Ibid, 325.

[14] Ibid, 312.

[15] Wallace, 312.

[16] Bock, 599.

[17] Bock, 599.

[18] Ibid, 325.

[19] Kostenberger Andreas, John Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Ada: Baker Academic, 2004), 71.

[20] Bock, 600.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit — Gospel Relevance

October 26 – Be patient until the Lord’s return — Reformed Perspective

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord – James 5:7

Scripture reading: James 5:7-8

God’s children at times suffer at the hands of people, even people who call themselves Christians, who flatter themselves while condemning and even murdering the righteous. This is why James tells us we need to be patient. Our reward will come, and our Lord will punish in His time. James asks us to think of the farmer who needs to wait for the fruit of the harvest. He works hard for the harvest but must also wait for the hand of the Lord to bring the rain so that the plants will germinate and then grow up so that he can harvest a crop.

We, like farmers, are to keep our minds on the harvest time, when Jesus comes back, living for His honor and kingdom, doing His will. This is hard at times because we watch others live for the pleasures of this world and they often seem to be having a wonderful time while we sacrifice. On top of this, those around us can ridicule us for not living for the things of this world.

We need to have patience, trusting that as we live for our King, we will one day see Him in His glory, welcoming us into heavenly wonder and the new earth where all the troubles of this world will be gone. At that time, we will see those who lived for the pleasures of this world run in terror from the Lord while we will run to Him as our loving Saviour and Lord.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask for patience to live for our Lord, remembering what He did for us and what He has in store for us as His beloved brothers and sisters.

Pastor Richard Bultje is a United Reformed missionary and pastor in the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

October 26 – Be patient until the Lord’s return — Reformed Perspective

Walk Without Stumbling — VCY America

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved. (Psalm 121:3)

If the Lord will not suffer it, neither men nor devils can do it. How greatly would they rejoice if they could give us a disgraceful fall, drive us from our position, and bury us out of memory! They could do this to their heart’s content were it not for one hindrance, and only one: the Lord will not suffer it; and if He does not suffer it, we shall not suffer it.

The way of life is like traveling among the Alps. Along the mountain path one is constantly exposed to the slipping of the foot. Where the way is high the head is apt to swim, and then the feet soon slide; there are spots which are smooth as glass and others that are rough with loose stones, and in either of these a fall is hard to avoid. He who throughout life is enabled to keep himself upright and to walk without stumbling has the best of reasons for gratitude. What with pitfalls and snares, weak knees, weary feet, and subtle enemies, no child of God would stand fast for an hour were it not for the faithful love which will not suffer his foot to be moved.

Amidst a thousand snares I stand

Upheld and guarded by thy hand;

That hand unseen shall hold me still,

And lead me to thy holy hill.

Walk Without Stumbling — VCY America

Your Harvest Is On the Way — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

I know things are not going the way you planned.  I know that you thought you would be farther along by now.


And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

I know things are not going the way you planned.

I know that you thought you would be farther along by now.

I know that you are anxious to see the finished work.

In spite of what it looks like, keep your head up! Regardless to what you may be facing today, God is not slack concerning His promises.  Instead of focusing on what you see, begin to change your focus to what God has said. His Word will not come back to Him void, but it will accomplish everything He sent it out to accomplish.

Hold on; change is on the way. That change may not be in your outward circumstances immediately, but it will take place on the inside of you if you keep fighting, keep praying, and keep pursuing His will for your life. Your time of harvest is on the way. Don’t you dare give up!

Lord, it gets harder by the minute to keep a positive outlook when it seems everything is going haywire. Help us I pray to keep our focus tuned in to You and Your Word rather than our circumstances. It is in Your Word that we find hope and renewed strength. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

By: Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission


Further Reading

•  Making a Difference

•  God Is…

•  Salvation Explained

Your Harvest Is On the Way — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God