“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
How can we interact with people who have already decided Christianity is false? What approaches would be most effective with people who are biased against Christianity? Pastor Tom Goodman from HillCrest Churchinterviews J. Warner about the applicability of cold-case methodologies to the case for Christianity.
18:7 If even an “unrighteous” judge (v. 6) will do what is right, how much more God?
delay long. God will not keep putting them off like the judge in this parable; any delay will have a reason.
18:7will not God surely see to it If the repeated petitions of a helpless widow are granted by a dishonest judge, Jesus’ followers can expect that their righteous God in heaven will respond to their cries for justice.
18:7 If an unjust judge finally grants the widow’s “prayer,” how much more will God hear the prayers of his elect? Cf. 12:22–31; see also how God cared for his people Israel, the “apple of his eye,” Deut. 32:10; Ps. 17:8. day and night. I.e., “always” (Luke 18:1; cf. 2:37; Acts 9:24; 20:31; 26:7). Justice to his elect refers primarily to God rescuing his people from suffering and injustice in the world (cf. Luke 1:68–74). Will he delay long over them probably means, “Will God be patient much longer as he sees his elect suffer?” The implied answer is no.
18:7. The parable ends with a question designed to show that God—loving, just, and merciful—will surely vindicate “His own elect who cry out day and night to Him.” God has chosen His people (Israel) and they belong to Him (in contrast to the widow of the parable who enjoyed no relationship with the unjust judge).
18:7 “ ‘not’ ” This is a DOUBLE NEGATIVE, which was a strong way of expressing “no, never under any circumstances.” (1) Our heavenly Father is exactly the opposite of the unrighteous, inattentive, self-seeking judge, or (2) His delay has a beneficial purpose (i.e. full number of the elect, cf. Rom. 11:25; John 10:16).
“ ‘who cry to Him day and night’ ” This phrase characterizes the persistent prayers of the elect (cf. 11:9–13; Matt. 7:7–12). Persistence does not overcome God’s reluctance, but it demonstrates trust and conviction.
“ ‘His elect’ ” This is an OT way of referring to God’s people, especially as servants (cf. Isa. 42–43; 44:28–45:7).
SPECIAL TOPIC: ELECTION Election is a wonderful doctrine. However, it is not a call to favoritism, but a call to be a channel, a tool, or means of others’ redemption! In the Old Testament the term was used primarily for service; in the New Testament it is used primarily for salvation which issues in service. The Bible never reconciles the seeming contradiction between God’s sovereignty and mankind’s free will, but affirms them both! A good example of the biblical tension would be Romans 9 on God’s sovereign choice and Romans 10 on mankind’s necessary response (cf. 10:11, 13). The key to this theological tension may be found in Eph. 1:4. Jesus is God’s elect man and all are potentially elect in Him (Karl Barth). Jesus is God’s “yes” to fallen mankind’s need (Karl Barth). Ephesians 1:4 also helps clarify the issue by asserting that the goal of predestination is not heaven, but holiness (Christlikeness). We are often attracted to the benefits of the gospel and ignore the responsibilities! God’s call (election) is for time as well as eternity! Doctrines come in relation to other truths, not as single, unrelated truths. A good analogy would be a constellation versus a single star. God presents truth in eastern, not western, genres. We must not remove the tension caused by dialectical (paradoxical) pairs of doctrinal truths (God as transcendent versus God as immanent; Security vs. perseverance; Jesus as equal with the Father vs. Jesus as subservient to the Father; Christian freedom vs. Christian responsibility to a covenant partner; etc.). The theological concept of “covenant” unites the sovereignty of God (who always takes the initiative and sets the agenda) with a mandatory initial and continuing repentant, faith response from man. Be careful of proof-texting one side of the paradox and depreciating the other! Be careful of asserting only your favorite doctrine or system of theology!
“ ‘who cry to Him day and night’ ” This is a way of expressing continual action (i.e. always). The order of “day and night” reflects a Gentile idiom, while 2:37, “night and day,” reflects a Hebrew idiom. Luke was a researcher. He used his sources’ idioms; yet he was also an editor and compiler and at times his own idioms become part of his Gospel (cf. Acts 9:24; 20:31; 26:7).
“ ‘will He delay long over them’ ” This is the second of two rhetorical questions in v. 7 which contrast God and the attitude of this wicked judge. The first question expects a “yes” answer and this, the second question, a “no” answer. The Greek “delay” (makrothumeō, put wrath far away) is ambiguous and may mean one of two things: (1) help for the persistent elect to grow in faith or (2) more time for the wicked to repent (cf. Rom. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9). The NASB (1970) has a marginal alternate translation, “and yet He is longsuffering over them,” which denotes the patience of God with sinners.
7. And shall not God avenge his elect? That judge, whom Christ has described to us as altogether desperate, as not only hardened against the contemplation of God, but so entirely devoid of shame, that he had no anxiety about his reputation, at length opened his eyes to the distresses of the widow. We have no reason to doubt that believers will derive, at least, equal advantage from their prayers, provided they do not cease to plead earnestly with God. Yet it must be observed that, while Christ applies the parable to his subject, he does not make God to resemble a wicked and cruel judge, but points out a very different reason why those who believe in him are kept long in suspense, and why he does not actually and at once stretch out his hand to them: it is because he forbears. If at any time God winks at the injuries done to us longer than we would wish, let us know that this is done with a fatherly intention—to train us to patience. A temporary overlooking of crimes is very different from allowing them to remain for ever unpunished. The promise which he makes, that God will speedily avenge them, must be referred to his providence; for our hasty tempers and carnal apprehension lead us to conclude that he does not come quickly enough to grant relief. But if we could penetrate into his design, we would learn that his assistance is always ready and seasonable, as the case demands, and is not delayed for a single moment, but comes at the exact time.
But it is asked, How does Christ instruct his disciples to seek vengeance, while he exhorts them on another occasion, pray for those who injure and persecute you? (Matth. 5:44.) I reply: what Christ says here about vengeance does not at all interfere with his former doctrine. God declares that he will avenge believers, not for the purpose of giving a loose rein to their carnal affections, but in order to convince them that their salvation is dear and precious in his sight, and in this manner to induce them to rely on his protection. If, laying aside hatred, pure and free from every wicked desire of revenge, and influenced by proper and well-regulated dispositions, they implore divine assistance, it will be a lawful and holy wish, and God himself will listen to it. But as nothing is more difficult than to divest ourselves of sinful affections, if we would offer pure and sincere prayers, we must ask the Lord to guide and direct our hearts by his Spirit. Then shall we lawfully call on God to be our avenger, and he will answer our prayers.
Ver. 7.—And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him? The Master tells us that God permits suffering among his servants, long after they have begun to pray for deliverance. But we are counselled here to cry day and night unto him, and, though there be no sign of reply, our prayers shall be treasured up before him, and in his own good time they will be answered. Though he bear long with them. With whom does God bear long? With the wrong-doers, whose works and words oppress and make life heavy and grievous to the servants of God; with these who have no claim to consideration will God bear long. And this announcement gives us some clue to the meaning of the delay we often experience before we get an answer to many of our prayers. The prayer is heard, but God, in the exercise of mercy and forbearance, has dealings with the oppressors. It were easy for the Almighty to grant an immediate answer, but only at the cost often of visiting some of the oppressors with immediate punishment, and this is not his way of working. God bears long before his judgments swift and terrible are sent forth. This has ever been his way of working with individuals as with nations. Was it not thus, for instance, that he acted towards Egypt and her Pharaohs during the long period of the bitter Hebrew bondage? We who would be God’s servants must be content to wait God’s time, and, while waiting, patiently go on pleading, sure that in the end “God will avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him.”
18:7justice for his chosen ones. The Old Testament idea of Israel as a “chosen nation” gives rise in the New Testament to the description of God’s people as his “chosen ones” (only here in Luke, but see Mark 13:20, 22, 27; Rom. 8:33; Col. 3:12). The term suggests a strong contrast between them and the ungodly world out of which they are “chosen,” so that the “justice” spoken of here may be understood as the vindication of a persecuted minority. In the end God will make sure that his people do not lose out.
Will he keep putting them off? Various translations have been suggested for this obscure clause. The more usual sense of the verb would give “and he is patient with them,” hence, for example, the REB translation “his chosen, to whom he listens patiently while they cry out to him day and night.” But by different routes these contrasting translations reach the same essential sense: God takes notice of persistent prayers and can be trusted to answer them, even if not immediately.
7 “Chosen ones” (eklektōn, GK 1723) is a term used throughout Scripture that is especially significant in describing those who, at the end of history, are marked out as on the victorious side (Mt 24:31; Mk 13:27; Rev 17:14). To call the disciples of Jesus the “chosen ones” is also significant when the election language of the OT is now applied to those who are included in God’s kingdom. “Will he keep putting them off?” (kai makrothymei [GK 3428] ep’ autois) is one of several possible translations of these words (see Notes). The point of the verse is that God patiently listens to his elect as they pray in their continuing distress and waits for the proper time to act on their behalf. This theme is clearly present in early Christian eschatological discussions (see, e.g., Ugo Vanni, “The Apocalypse and the Gospel of Luke,” in Luke and Acts [ed. O’Collins and Marconi], 14–15).
 Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St Luke (Vol. 2, p. 108). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.
 France, R. T. (2013). Luke. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (p. 286). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
 Liefeld, W. L., & Pao, D. W. (2007). Luke. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, pp. 275–276). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?” Mark 12:24
Mistakes are always costly.
In business, errors are eventually revealed, and though unintentional, usually result in money coming out of someone’s pocket.
When it comes to eternal matters, the consequences for being wrong are severe. We all share the same problem.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:2).
The Sadducee’s felt secure in their belief that the dead do not rise. In his kindness, Jesus took the time to set them straight. He said,
“He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living, therefore, you are greatly mistaken” (Mark 12:27).
Paul, the apostle, wrote to those doubters,
“If the dead aren’t raised, then Christ hasn’t risen either. Your faith is useless and you’re still in your sins and lost. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:13-20).
Friend, you who must see to believe, don’t doubt. Learn from the Sadducee’s’ mistake. Don’t be deceived by the dictates of your own heart. Instead, listen to Jesus, “you are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”
There’s a day coming. Jesus will sit on a great white throne. The dead, both great and small, will stand before him. Books will be opened, and each one will be judged by what is recorded in the books.
**Will your name be found in the Book of Life? **
Jesus thank you for delivering me from the deception of my own heart. Because you live, I know I will live and see you one day soon.
Ask God to lead you to people who have not yet passed from death to life by putting their faith in Jesus. Pray for them and ask God to grant you opportunities to invite them to experience eternal life with Jesus.
You Can Rest If Your Heart Doesn’t Reproach You Matthew 27:3–5; 1 John 3:19–20
Sweet shall be your rest if your heart does not reproach you.
THOMAS À KEMPIS
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Glorying in Poverty Psalm 145:18; Matthew 5:3; Luke 6:20; 2 Corinthians 8:9; James 2:5
The same Lord is bountiful unto all that call upon Him. With good reason are we admonished to glory rather in the company of our poor companions than in the dignity of distinguished rank, because He who was rich in His glory made Himself poor for our sakes. He was pleased to associate not with the rich but with the poor, so that we may be drawn to render ourselves poor for His sake, since the Kingdom of Heaven is promised to the poor. It is part of the vanity of the world to take pride in wealth: to glory in poverty belongs to the state of those blessed in God’s sight.
HUGH OF ST. VICTOR
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Nebuchadnezzar was tired of the chattering of his enchanters, sorcerers and magicians. He was no longer interested in their vague methods of dream interpretation. He concludes that there’s only one more step to take. In his wrath, he commanded that all the wise men of Babylon and even the youths in the University of Babylon be destroyed. It’s a curious strategy that, under normal circumstances, would get him no closer to a solution to his dream problem.
We know Daniel is in harm’s way. He tells the guard that he wishes to see the king who is spewing out wrathful commands and liable to kill anyone who upsets him. This is the moment that Daniel is chosen by God to go see the king. We wouldn’t plan it this way, would we? But then, we’re not God. We can stand in awe of God’s plan for His people – especially when we see how contrary it is to the things we would come up with on our own.
In the verses ahead, Daniel will be given the words to speak so that he would be spared death. The marvel of the Gospel is that the Son of Man willingly laid down his life to endure God’s righteous wrath against our sin. Because of this, God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10).
Suggestions for prayer
Pray for the wisdom of this world to be revealed as foolishness. Pray for God’s love to drive away your fears. Praise Him for sending His Son to die in your place as a sacrifice and substitute for you.
Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church and he is the husband of Rosanna and father of Elliott. Prior to being ordained in the Associated Presbyterian Church, he was the pastor of Adoration United Reformed Church in Ontario. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.
NASA’s SOHO captures the video of the Sun eating up a huge comet On May 10, a huge comet named Kreutz sungrazer was on its way when the Sun swallowed it. NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) satellite spotted this unusual phenomenon. A video captured by SOHO shows a bright object plunging into the Sun before it disappears forever. These are comets that were part of a larger body that broke up at least 1,000 years ago and, as the name suggests, hover near the surface of the Sun. (video)
Trump blames Biden for “new attacks on our allies” Statement by Donald J. Trump on situation in Israel: When I was in office we were known as the Peace Presidency, because Israel’s adversaries knew that the United States stood strongly with Israel and there would be swift retribution if Israel was attacked. Under Biden, the world is getting more violent and more unstable because Biden’s weakness and lack of support for Israel is leading to new attacks on our allies.
Two killed in Lod in overnight rocket barrage, IDF retaliating in Gaza While the IDF struck in Gaza, targeting a key Hamas infrastructure, Israelis were killed from a heavy barrage of rockets launched towards central Israel overnight. Two people, a man in his 40s and a little girl, died from a rocket that hit their a house in Lod early Wednesday morning, after terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired a barrage of rockets in the direction of Tel Aviv … .
Israel kills Islamic Jihad rocket and Hamas anti-tank commanders The IDF killed two top Islamic Jihad terrorists on Tuesday, striking a blow to the terror group’s rocket infrastructure. The IDF also eliminated the head of the Hamas anti-tank missile unit Tuesday evening in an airstrike. One of the terrorists was identified as Samah Abed al-Mamlouk.
Israel not ready for a ceasefire – official Israel will not negotiate a ceasefire before Hamas pays a price for its attacks, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday. Ashkenazi “emphasized that Israel has the right to defend its sovereignty and will not allow attempts to hurt its citizens.” He said Israel will continue to use a heavy hand against Hamas terrorists.
IDF enters Lod as city goes into emergency lockdown Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “If this isn’t an emergency situation, I don’t know what is. We’re talking about life and death here.” This means that the city is now an enclosed area monitored by the IDF. Overall, 17 residents of Ramle and Lod were arrested on Tuesday, KAN reported.
G1 Class Solar storm could glance Earth tomorrow or on May 13 A G1 class geomagnetic storm voyaging at more than 1.3 million kilometeres per hour may strike Earth tomorrow, and scientists warn it could disturb our satellite. An “erupting filament of magnetism” was thrown into the solar system by the Sun at 328 kilometres per second, and it may collide with Earth. The incoming CME could hit Earth tomorrow, or on May 13.
Massive fire on Temple Mount means Messiah is “imminent,” prominent Rabbi says It looks like Moshiach is imminent. Three hours ago, seven Hamas rockets fired from Gaza landed in the Jerusalem vicinity. Over 40 rockets have been fired at the south. Here in Ashdod and all points south, schools and all public gatherings are curtailed until further notice. The world, including the US, are lined up against us with Turkey and Iran pledging their support to Hamas. The Arab rabble-rousers on the Temple Mount have just now ignited a fire … and that’s enough to have the Moslem world yelling for Jihad. Jet aircraft are flying overhead nonstop and no one here knows what will develop in the coming hours. One thing is sure – like I said yesterday, the labor pains of Moshiach have begun.
Ex-spy Jonathan Pollard: Biden admin are Amalekites Pollard identified the Biden administration as the nation of Amalek, the perennial evil enemy of Israel. “What we’re talking about is Amalek, pure and simple,” he said. “Whether you murder a Jew directly… or whether you pin his arms behind his back like the identity Democrats of the same Biden administration — the death of the Jew is the same.” the most egregious anti-Semites were actually Westen politicians, noting that not all of Israel’s enemies “wear a keffiyeh and carry a Kalashnikov… some of them wear very nice suits… and they hate us with a passion that you can’t even imagine.” Included in his list of such enemies was the current US State Department.
IDF goes to battle against Hamas with inspiration from Book of Isaiah The IDF responded to the attacks with the appropriately named “Operation Guardian of the Walls”, striking 130 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist targets in Gaza including two terrorist tunnels, two rocket launchers, two military posts, a Hamas military intel facility, the home of a top Hamas military official, and weapons manufacturing and storage sites.
Fire on Temple Mount: Zecharia’s prophecy signaling 3rd Temple construction Arab violence continued through Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) and culminated on Monday night in what can only be described as a pitched battle on the Temple Mount. At one point, fireworks thrown by Arabs ignited a large tree standing adjacent to the Aqsa Mosque, presenting the answer to Jewish prayers based on a prophecy by Zechariah that the Temple which was destroyed by fire will be rebuilt in fire.
French army warns Macron: “Civil war is coming” 2,000 servicemen have signed a letter to President Macron and the government warning that France is on the verge of collapse and civil war because the state has “surrendered” to radical Muslims.
1 Israeli killed, 2 others injured by anti-tank missile fired from Gaza Hamas fired a Kornet anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) toward vehicles near the southern Israeli community of Netiv Ha’Asara on Wednesday morning, after a night of intensive rocket barrages… Shortly before the attacks, the IDF warned residents of the Gaza envelope to remain at home out of concern that Hamas might fire short-range mortars, ATGM’s or carry out sniper attacks against civilians in the area.
Clashes break out on the Temple Mount, throughout West Bank Clashes broke out on the Temple Mount on Wednesday morning, after a night of violent clashes between Palestinians and Arab-Israelis and Israeli security forces throughout the West Bank and Israel, as well as barrages of rockets from Gaza. Israel Police announced that as thousands of worshippers arrived at the Temple Mount…hundreds of people who had masked their faces began causing unrest…
Iran state TV says Ahmadinejad will run in presidential race Iran’s state television reported Wednesday that the country’s former firebrand president will run again for office in upcoming elections in June. Broadcast footage showed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marching accompanied by supporters to a registration center at the Interior Ministry where he filled out registration forms.
M5.9 earthquake hits near the coast of Guatemala and El Salvador A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M5.9 hit near the coast of Guatemala and El Salvador at 08:45 UTC on May 12, 2021. The agency is reporting a depth of 46 km (28 miles). EMSC is reporting M5.9 at a depth of 60 km (37 miles). The epicenter was located 50 km (31 miles) SW of Acajutla, 68 km (42 miles) SW of Sonsonate, and 70 km (43 miles) SW of Sonzacate, El Salvador.
Hyperinflation begins in America as gas stations and refineries SHUT DOWN We are now living through the initial stages of hyperinflation and the collapse of the debt-based dollar, as prices on nearly everything continue to skyrocket by the day. The massive printing of trillions of dollars by the Federal Reserve — and catapulting of that money into the economy via “stimulus” handouts — is overheating demand for commodities like wood, copper, aluminum and iron. At the same time, the national economic infrastructure that delivers goods is crumbling, due to the free covid stimulus money reward workers for staying home and avoiding productive jobs.
Florida lawmakers pass bill banning vaccine passports in the state Legislators in Florida passed a bill instituting a total ban on vaccine passports in the Sunshine State. On April 29, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 2006 – which prevents both government agencies and private businesses from requiring people to show proof of vaccination before availing of a product or service. The bill bolsters an executive order signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis early that month prohibiting the use of vaccine passports.
Beyond insane: U.S. Navy touts “all-gay” helo crew as LGBTQ wokeness takes precedent over military readiness “Back in 2016, when Barack Obama first injected gender confusion into the ranks, the result was absolute chaos,” wrote Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins after Biden signed an executive order early on reversing President Trump’s ban on transgender service members. “Instead of making our troops more effective, efficient, and deadly, commanders were retrofitting bathrooms, ordering sensitivity trainings, rewriting health care policies, and worrying how to combat the low morale,” he added.
VACCIDENT ALERT: Vehicle accidents caused by vaccine side effects happening all over US roads and highways If you’ve noticed the mayhem on US roads lately, you’re not the only one. People are driving like maniacs, cutting people out of their lane, swerving, speeding, running red lights, texting while driving and causing horrible wrecks. Besides being brainwashed by the media, more than 50 percent of all drivers are mass medicated with toxic prescriptions and… wait for it… dirty vaccines. That’s right, vaccines are causing vaccidents all over the roadways, as the protein prions being created in the blood from the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine series are causing blood clots, brain freeze, seizures and strokes.
THE FOUNDATION “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” —James Madison (1788)
America has had a long and contentious history with the word ‘socialism.’ For conservatives most often it is a dirty word – even unpatriotic. For many liberals it is about social justice and compassion. However, for better or worse it remains a red line within the electorate.
On Newswatch AM May 12th: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promises Hamas and other terror groups will pay a heavy price for their attacks on Israel; CBN Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell discusses the role of Iran in the …
A review of Nicholas Wade’s bombshell article making the case that Covid-19 might have come out of an America-funded Wuhan Lab project to create more lethal viruses, in which case we are dealing with a massive scientific and political cover-up. — Dinesh D’Souza is an author and filmmaker.
The most concerning aspect of the border crisis is the increasing number of illegal aliens who are getting away, says National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd.
“We don’t know who they are, where they’re from, or what their intentions are,” Judd told The Epoch Times.
“When you look at border security, when you look at the border, we have to be able to identify who’s coming into the United States. And if we can’t do that, it’s impossible to protect the American public.”
In February, Border Patrol estimated that around 30,000 illegal aliens crossed the U.S.–Mexico border and evaded capture; in March, it was around 37,000; and the preliminary numbers for April show around 42,600 escaped. That’s about 1,400 per day.
On May 5, the Webb County Sheriff’s Office discovered 76 illegal immigrants locked inside a residence in Laredo, Texas.
On top of that, Judd said, “it’s very fair to say that there’s a large number of people that are able to get away that we don’t even detect.”
Some of those illegal aliens who manage to bypass Border Patrol then end up getting picked up during a high-speed vehicle chase, or locked in a tractor-trailer unit, or packed by the dozens in a stash house. Others die on ranchland trying to get around a Border Patrol checkpoint, or they’re abandoned by a smuggler because they get sick.
“Everything that we’re seeing—this boat that capsized—everything is related,” Judd said, referring to a human smuggling operation gone bad off the coast of San Diego on May 2. A total of 33 people were pulled from the water after a 40-foot trawling-style boat smashed into rocks and broke apart. Three people died.
“As long as we continue to, in essence, encourage people to cross our borders illegally, we’re going to continue to see the stash houses, we’re going to continue to see the boats, we’re going to continue to see the semis filled with people,” Judd said.
“It’s the most inhumane thing I’ve ever seen in my life as it pertains to the border, but it’s being encouraged. Because we have basically an open borders policy right now.”
76 illegal immigrants are discovered in a stash house in Laredo, Texas, on May 5, 2021. (Webb County Sheriff’s Office)
In early May, Houston police discovered 97 illegal immigrants in a suburban house in an alleged human smuggling case, according to the Justice Department. The illegal aliens were from Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras, and were aged between 21 and 31. Five people have been charged with human smuggling.
Border Patrol agents in the Laredo sector have been involved in dismantling about 140 stash houses since Oct. 1, 2020—a 230 percent increase over the total found during the entire previous fiscal year.
“The rescued were found in very poor conditions,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post.
“We have seen other cases where, due to the heat and cramped areas, situations like this one have led to death,” said Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar.
Sheriffs and landowners from all over Texas are saying they’re stretched for resources to deal with the new influx of illegal activity flowing up from the border.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told The Epoch Times that on May 6, a vehicle traveling through town at 140 miles per hour crashed through two buildings while trying to evade law enforcement.
Sheriff Pinky Gonzales of Refugio County, Texas, said he’s calculated more than 3,000 deputy man-hours since January to deal with cross-border crime.
“We have just been overwhelmed, overwhelmed with these cases. I have 13 deputies working around the clock, and sometimes I have to call those that are off to come help us,” Gonzales said.
Further north, in Lavaca County, Sheriff Micah Harmon said his deputies have dealt with numerous vehicle pursuits and bailouts.
In one recent pursuit, a pickup truck carrying 18 to 20 illegal aliens crashed into a tree and caught fire.
On the state level, Gov. Greg Abbott launched Operation Lone Star on March 6 in response to the burgeoning number of illegal border crossings, as well as human and drug smuggling throughout the state.
During the first four weeks of the operation, Texas Department of Public Safety officers referred more than 16,000 illegal immigrants to Customs and Border Protection and arrested 598 criminals, Abbott said on April 1. In addition, state troopers seized 14 pounds of cocaine, 23 firearms, and almost $1 million in currency and arrested nine gang members involved in smuggling contraband, he said.
Judd said he doesn’t see anything on the horizon from the Biden administration that will reduce the trajectory of illegal activity at the border.
“When we do not remove people who crossed the border illegally, that is, in fact, an open border,” he said.
“And I think that as the American public starts to recognize and realize this, I think that there’s going to be a huge outcry. I think there’s going to be a huge pushback. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done.”
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have said they are concentrating on sending more aid to address the “root causes” of illegal immigration in Central American countries and Mexico.
Warning that the US is in “deep peril” from a “full-blown assault on our constitutional rights,” over 120 former top military brass have signed a letter outlining threats to its “survival,” including Biden administration policies.
The open letter, published on Monday by a group called ‘Flag Officers 4 America’, questions the result of the 2020 election, President Biden’s “mental and physical condition,” and sounds off on a number of hot-button topics, including China, the Iran nuclear deal, critical race theory, and the border wall.
According to the group’s website, the flag officers – comprising some 124 generals and admirals, many of whom have been out of uniform for decades – caution that this was a conflict “like no other time since our founding in 1776” between supporters of “socialism and Marxism” and supporters of “constitutional freedom and liberty.”
Also on rt.com
The US has “taken a hard left turn toward socialism and a Marxist form of tyrannical government,” the letter claims, calling on Americans to “get involved” and elect political representatives who will “defend our constitutional republic” and obey the “will of the people.”
Among the notable signatories are retired Army Brig. General Donald Bolduc, currently running for a Senate seat in New Hampshire; former Army Lt. General William Boykin, one-time deputy undersecretary of defense under President George W. Bush; and retired Vice Admiral John Poindexter, who was President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser during the Iran-Contra scandal.
Acknowledging to Politico that “retired generals and admirals normally do not engage in political actions,” the letter’s organizer, retired Major General Joe Arbuckle, said that to “remain silent would be a dereliction of duty” since the “situation facing our nation today is dire.”
“It is critical that the threats to our national security be brought to the attention of the American people and that is the main purpose of the letter,” Arbuckle told the outlet.
Among the litany of domestic threats listed in the letter are “election integrity,” using executive orders to “bypass Congress,”“open border” policies, Big Tech “censorship of free speech and expression,” loss of “jobs and energy independence” via the abandoned Keystone Pipeline and “anarchy” in certain cities.
The letter also rails against using the military as “political pawns” against “non-existent threats” – a reference to the deployment of troops around the US Capitol after the January 6 riot. It also slams the “corrosive infusion” of “political correctness” into the military through policies like the “divisive critical race theory.”
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But the signatories reserved some of the harshest criticism for Biden’s capacity to lead. At 77 years, he is the oldest serving US president in history – a fact that has prompted questions about his mental and physical condition that they say “cannot be ignored.”
“He must be able to quickly make accurate national security decisions involving life and limb anywhere, day or night,” the letter notes.
While the Pentagon has refused to comment on the letter, several prominent retired military personnel have weighed in on its political tone and timing.
Among them was retired Admiral Mike Mullen, one-time chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said the letter was full of “right-wing Republican talking points” and that it “hurts the military and by extension it hurts the country.”
“It’s out of cycle. Normally those kinds of things occur in an election,” said Mullen, who also told Politico that the missive featured only a handful of three-star generals and no four-star ones. “It’s not very senior… In our world it’s not very significant in terms of people.”
There is a silver lining after a year that included a historic pandemic, along with massive political and social unrest – more people opening up their Bibles. A new research study has shown a 7.1 percent increase in the percentage of Americans who opened the Bible at least once.
“Beth Moore likes to build straw men so she can tear them down while she laughs and mocks faithful leaders and Christians in the Church and now, other women who choose obedience over rebellion.”
(Jeff Maples – Reformation Charlotte) Beth Moore has been on the attack against Scripture for a long time. Last year, Moore launched her tirade against the Word of God by attempting to pit Paul against Jesus implying that the two contradicted each other in the Bible. Now, she openly denies the objective interpretation of Scripture based on authorial intent which has been practiced by the Church as long as the Scriptures have been around.
But now, Beth Moore aims her tirade at godly women who choose to be faithful to the Scriptures and obedient to its commands. Beth Moore demeans these godly women by mocking them as women who are “just packing the brothers’ lunchkits,” as though being a helper for man is a less than godly function to desire. View article →
Note from Randy: I’ve written before, in books and articles, about my research into the racism and eugenic beliefs of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. So I read with interest a recent opinion piece by Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s current president and chief executive, which says, “We must reckon with Margaret Sanger’s association with white supremacist groups and eugenics.”
In some ways I admire their admission, hard as it is to admire anything related to Planned Parenthood! I think the backlash has been great enough that they finally, perhaps out of a combination of desperation and sincerity, decided to boldly proclaim Sanger’s guilt—though they needed an editor to delete a few lines such as, “Whether our founder was a racist is not a simple yes or no question.” Actually, yes, it is a very simple question. The clear answer is yes, which is what Ms. McGill Johnson appears to admit but sometimes still backtracks on.
In this article, Joe Carter explains four more reasons why PP should apologize. May we never become complacent in advocating for unborn children and their mothers, and exposing the darkness of Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics across the country. (Thanks, Joe, for letting us use this as a guest blog!)
4 More Reasons Planned Parenthood Should Apologize
By Joe Carter
Eight years ago, when Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPA) held its annual gala, the motto for the event was “Our past is our prologue.” Part of the past the organization chose to celebrate at the time was its founder, the notorious racist and eugenicist Margaret Sanger.
Sanger wanted to control the reproduction of immigrants, the poor, certain religious groups, and anyone else she thought was from an unacceptable heritage. Sanger referred to such people as reckless breeders who were “unceasingly spawning a class of human beings who never should have been born at all.”
In 1939 Sanger started the “Negro Project” and attempted to persuade Christian ministers to help her effort. As she wrote in a letter to a fellow eugenicist, “we do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” (In fairness, as her defenders often point out, Sanger wasn’t against all black people. She mainly just didn’t want poor black people to be born.)
But a lot has changed in the past decade, and Sanger has moved from celebrated icon to an indefensible relic of an even more unenlightened age. In an op-ed published April 17 in The New York Times, PPA president and chief executive Alexis McGill Johnson admitted the organization “must reckon with Margaret Sanger’s association with white supremacist groups and eugenics.”
“Sanger remains an influential part of our history and will not be erased,” Johnson says, “but as we tell the history of Planned Parenthood’s founding, we must fully take responsibility for the harm that Sanger caused to generations of people with disabilities and Black, Latino, Asian-American, and Indigenous people.”
“Reassessing Sanger’s history doesn’t negate her feminist fight, but it does tarnish it,” Johnson adds. “In the name of political expedience, she chose to engage white supremacists to further her cause. In doing that, she devalued and dehumanized people of color.”
It would be easy to dismiss PPA’s change of heart as its latest placation to political expedience. After all, PPA has a history of going along with whatever progressive platitude happens to be trending. (A prime example is its tweet in 2018 that “Some men have a uterus.” Presumably, PP wasn’t referring to male pseudohermaphrodites but to biological men who merely identify as women.) This latest apology, however, appears to be somewhat sincere. Rather than completely spurn the gesture as inauthentic, we should instead encourage PPA to apologize for its other, even more heinous, offenses.
While there are dozens of issues and crimes that PPA should apologize for, here are four of the most significant.
1. PPA endorses infanticide.
In 2013, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Florida testified against that state’s Born Alive Infants Protection Act and told lawmakers that if a baby survives an abortion, the decision about whether the child should live should be “between the [mother] and the health care provider.”
2. PPA fails to report criminal sexual abuse of minors and women.
Adult men having sex with minors is often referred to as statutory rape, a form of criminal sexual abuse since minors are, by legal definition, unable to consent. Yet PPA has always made it clear that it does not support such laws. For example, in a paper on “Reducing Teenage Pregnancy” it says:
Some states are enacting or more rigorously enforcing statutory rape laws to curb teenage pregnancy among women with older partners by deterring adult men from becoming sexually involved with minors. However, experts assert that statutory rape laws do not reduce rates of teenage pregnancy, but do discourage teens from obtaining reproductive health care out of fear that disclosing information about their partner will lead to a criminal charge.
All 50 states have some form of law requiring that such abuse be reported, and the federal government requires that facilities receiving Title X assistance (like PP clinics) comply with such laws. But PPA seems to believe it is exempt from such moral and legal obligations.
For example, in 2008 Live Action conducted an undercover investigation in which Lila Rose and Jackie Stollar posed as girls as young as 13, with “boyfriends” as old as 31. They found eight PP facilities in six states were willing to cover up sexual abuse and disregard mandatory reporting laws of suspected statutory rape.
Similar investigations before and after Live Action’s sting operation have also shown PP clinics demonstrating a willingness to work with pimps and sex traffickers to exploit young women instead of safeguarding their health and safety.
3. PPA sells body parts—from humans it has killed.
In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a video that showed a national-level executive of PP admitting it sells intact fetal body parts. That video, and others released by CMP, garnered a surprising level of media attention, sparked congressional hearings, and launched dozens of investigations into the abortion behemoth. Some pro-life Americans even believed it was a fatal blow to the abortion industry. But it was not.
After nearly a dozen state investigations in the course of two years, no solid and substantial proof was shown that PP violated the law in regard to the collection of fetal tissue donations. The main reason the corporation was not punished was that PP had not done anything illegal. And the reason selling fetal body parts was not illegal is that PP helped write the laws that allowed the bodies of aborted children to be sold.
4. PPA kills our children.
Since 1973, there have been an estimated 60 million legal abortions in the United States. Planned Parenthood is responsible for more than 1 in 3 (37 percent) of the nearly 900,000 abortions that occur each year in the United States. Assuming the organization has achieved the same market share since Roe v. Wade, we can estimate that PP has been responsible for the deaths of around 22.2 million human beings.
For any corporation to be responsible for more deaths than the entire population of Florida is rather astounding. But PP manages to still receive taxpayer funding for its gruesome enterprise. In 2020, PP brought in more than $618 million from government sources, accounting for almost 40 percent of its total revenues.
The reason PP can get away with supporting infanticide and the selling of fetal tissue, while killing our children and protecting sexual predators—all while receiving taxpayer money—is a combination of political support and public apathy. In its platform, the Democratic Party explicitly lists providing “federal funding for Planned Parenthood” as one of its main priorities.
The Republican Party platform officially opposes government funding of PP, but once elected, Republican politicians do not do much to defund the abortion provider. (In 2018, after two years of controlling the House, Senate, and White House and still doing nothing to defund PP, the party gave up the pretense that it was a priority.)
But why should politicians care? The number of Christians who refuse to vote for either party because of this issue is vanishingly small. Perhaps instead of asking Planned Parenthood to apologize for these four issues, we Christians in America should apologize for giving an apathetic shrug about these crimes.
Download the PDF of Randy’s book Pro-Choice or Pro-Life: Examining 15 Pro-Choice Claims—What Do Facts & Common Sense Tell Us?
In this thoroughly researched and easy-to-read book, author Randy Alcorn examines fifteen major claims of the pro-choice position and shares fact-based, rational responses. If you have mixed feelings about abortion, as many people do, this book can be part of your quest for truth. If you’re pro-choice or pro-life, it can help you think through your position.
If we have any hope of understanding and engaging with each other, let’s move our dialogue beyond bumper stickers, memes, and tweets. Randy encourages readers to listen carefully to arguments on both sides of the abortion debate, and to look at the evidence and weigh it on its own merit.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced this week that it will prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Their statement requires healthcare providers and other organizations that receive funding from HHS to provide medical services to transgender individuals. Such services include sex-change procedures for any and all patients who request them—even children.
The HHS announcement does note that its Office for Civil Rights “will comply with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” However, if the so-called Equality Act now before the Senate becomes law, such appeals to religious liberty will be expressly forbidden. In that case, faith-based hospitals would be required to perform sex-change surgeries on children and adults.
This is just the latest step in a spiritual conflict that involves every evangelical Christian in America.
“The most important cultural book of the year”
The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self by historian Carl Trueman is being called “the most important cultural book of the year (maybe even decade).” I just finished other reading and began the book yesterday; so far, I would have to agree.
For example, Trueman utilizes the work of sociologist Philip Rieff to offer a concise explanation of our cultural progression from the ancient world to today. Rieff notes that we have sought meaning and purpose in four stages:
Political man: the Greco-Roman ideal of people engaged in community life.
Religious man: the medieval ideal of people engaged in church services and religious pilgrimages.
Economic man: the modern ideal of people finding their sense of self through financial activity and material success.
Psychological man: the postmodern ideal of people finding their identity through the inward quest for personal, psychological happiness.
Trueman is quick to note that this formulation is far too simplistic on its own. For example, the Apostle Paul was clearly aware of his inner self and its challenges (cf. Romans 7), as were St. Augustine in his Confessions and Martin Luther in his struggles with personal failings. However, Rieff’s stages do describe the larger narrative leading to the present moment.
According to Trueman, the psychological stage created the cultural context for the sexual revolution. Friedrich Nietzsche taught us to cast off social norms and restraints that inhibit us; Karl Marx taught us to resist the oppression of ruling classes; Sigmund Freud taught us that we are at core sexual beings and that our sexual desires are decisive for who we are.
As a result, we are urged to seek personal authenticity with regard to our sexual orientation and gender identity and to reject any individuals or institutions who inhibit us. This worldview has come to dominate secular society and seeks to replace the biblical worldview it rejects.
How Satan wages war today
Now, let’s recast this narrative in the context of spiritual warfare.
The Bible warns us that “your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). As a result, we must “resist him, standing firm in your faith” (v. 9). Like lions in the wild, Satan adopts strategies that are suited to the victims he seeks to “devour.”
During the “political” phase of Western history, he used persecution by the Roman Empire to attack the Christian movement. The Holy Spirit responded by leading Roman leaders such as Constantine to faith in Christ and the legalization of Christianity, which led to the medieval “religious phase.”
Satan responded by seeking to institutionalize the faith, turning Christianity into rules and activities rather than a personal relationship with a personal Savior. The Spirit responded with Luther’s call of sola fidei (“only faith”) and the success of the Protestant Reformation.
Satan responded by seeking to commercialize the faith, turning the Christian movement into a transactional quest for economic and material gain. The Spirit responded with the evangelical movement’s emphasis on salvation and transformational spirituality.
Now Satan is responding by seeking to psychologize the culture with the lie that personal “authenticity” is the pathway to personal and social flourishing. This strategy takes us back to the first stage as evangelicals face antagonism and opposition from those who caricature us as dangerous to society and seek to replace our worldview with theirs.
There are clearly exceptions to my narrative, such as medieval and Reformation-era Catholics whose faith was deeply personal and evangelicals whose spirituality is coldly transactional. But my arc illustrates the spiritual battle in which we find ourselves today.
“Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies”
How do we respond to a culture that condemns us as opponents of the authenticity it demands? One answer is to be just as authentic as believers as our opponents seek to be as secularists.
The key to being authentically Christian, of course, is being authentically with Christ.
Paul said of Christians, “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). The Spirit of Christ lives in us as his temple (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16). But we must cooperate with the Spirit in thinking like Jesus: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
How? Begin your day by meeting God in his word. Ask him to speak to you through Scripture, agreeing with J. I. Packer that the Bible is “God preaching.” Memorize God’s word regularly, then ask the Spirit to bring biblical truth to mind as you face the challenges and opportunities of your day. Pray for the strength to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
If you will say with the psalmist, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97), you will be able to testify, “Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me” (v. 98).
Ralph Waldo Emerson noted that “a man is what he thinks about all day long.”
What—or who—will you think about today?
NOTE: The only way our culture will ever change is if God’s people know how to carry on biblically based conversations with those of other faiths so that the door can be opened to a gospel invitation. This is why I don’t want you to miss out on requesting your copy of Biblical Insight to Tough Questions, Volume 8, for your gift of any amount. May 31 is the last day you can request it, so I encourage you to do so today.