Klaatu’s Speech

A Black Lives Matter activist/revolutionary has died.

Her other comrade in the BLM/Antifa Revolution to destroy America is still in critical condition: she is not expected to live.

They were both standing in the middle of a freeway in Seattle, which was I-5, which is a major expressway, when they were ran over.  They were both trying and hoping to bring down the constitutional republic in which we all live.  She was, and her Black Lives Matter Comrades still are; Enemies of America.  The enemies of everything that is right, wholesome and good.

Seattle’s New Che Guevara

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Of course the driver has been arrested, and they are not showing his face so we can all assume he belongs to the tribe of Diversity.

But some haunting questions still nag me…

Where are the police?

Why were dozens of people and vehicles allowed to blockade a major interstate highway in Seattle?  What about public safety?  Who, in the end, is really responsible for this young woman’s death?  The driver? (Who they have not identified.)  Or the law enforcement authorities who we pay to keep us safe?  Why have the police abandoned the streets and allowed death and destruction to flourish unimpeded?

Thousands of years ago we came together and formed governments because we grew tired of sleeping with our swords under our pillows, with one eye still open and policing ourselves.  We knew then, and have largely forgotten now, that even the most imperfect, corrupt, unjust, “racist,” police force is better than the alternative which is this;

Bellum omnium contra omnes

A war of all, against all.

Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called War; and such a war as is of every man against every man

In such condition there is no place for Industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continual Fear, and danger of violent death; And the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.  Thomas Hobbes, 1651

Time to revisit Klaatu’s Speech

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It strikes as supreme irony that a fictional character, in a fictional science fiction film from 1951 can speak such truth to us today. 

As you watch Black Lives Matter and Antifa lay waste to this once great nation, as the local, state, and federal police stand by like impotent stone statues as they watch it all burn down, think about what Klaatu said in the film, The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Klaatu’s Speech

I am leaving soon and you’ll forgive me if I speak bluntly. The universe grows smaller every day and the threat of aggression by any group anywhere can no longer be tolerated. There must be security for all or no one is secure. Now this does not mean giving up any freedom, except the freedom to act irresponsibly. Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves and hired policemen to enforce them. We, of the other planets, have long accepted this principle. We have an organization for the mutual protection of all planets and for the complete elimination of aggression. The test of any such higher authority is, of course, the police force that supports it. For our policemen we created a race of robots. Their function is to patrol the planets in spaceships like this one and preserve the peace. In matters of aggression we have given them absolute power over us. This power cannot be revoked. A t the first signs of violence they act automatically against the aggressor. The penalty for provoking their action is too terrible to risk. The result is we live in peace without arms or armies, secure in the knowledge that we are free from aggression and war, free to pursue more profitable enterprises. Now, we do not pretend to have achieved perfection, but we do have a system, and it works. I came here to give you these facts. It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder. Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.

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“There MUST be security for all, or no one is secure.”

“Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves and hired policemen to enforce them”

Please note two things:

First, Klaatu’s policeman enforcement robot “Gort” is described exactly as Thomas Hobbes described his ideal government ruler in his book Leviathan written in 1651.  Hobbes wanted a strong, central government, not a “liberal democracy” to keep citizens safe and secure from harm; much as the fictional Gort is described in the film, The Day The Earth Stood Still.

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Two, notice the faces of the crowd that Klaatu is addressing in his final speech before leaving Earth.  Every race, every nation, every faith, and every culture is represented in his film scene.  Everyone needed to hear this speech: not just Americans.

This is THE speech that Donald Trump needs to give to all Americans as he invokes the Insurrection Act and deploys federal troops and police to restore order put BLM and Antifa leaders in prison.  (I doubt that will happen; but it is what he NEEDS to do.)

Here is the video of Klaatu’s Speech.

 

The Cost of Courage

How much does courage cost these days?  Quite a bit actually.  For speaking the unvarnished truth, especially Biblical truth, you can lose your job, your home, your education, and even sadly your very life.

Just ask Father Rothrock.

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Last week in the small town of Carmel, Indiana, a priest named Father Theodore Rothrock of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, drew the attention and rage of the ungodly mob destroying this nation, when he spoke the TRUTH about Black Lives Matter from the pulpit.

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Original story, June 30: The priest of a Catholic church in Carmel is under fire for comparing the Black Lives Matter movement and its organizers to “maggots and parasites” in his weekly message.

The newly-formed Carmel Against Racial Injustice group wants the Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana to remove Rev. Theodore Rothrock of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church from leadership.

The only lives that matter are their own and the only power they seek is their own,Rothrock wrote in his weekly message on Sunday, June 28. “They are wolves in wolves clothing, masked thieves and bandits, seeking only to devour the life of the poor and profit from the fear of others. They are maggots and parasites at best, feeding off the isolation of addiction and broken families, and offering to replace any current frustration and anxiety with more misery and greater resentment.”

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Where is the lie?

I can find NOTHING but TRUTH in what Father Rothrock just said in a sermon to the faithful on Sunday morning.  Where is the lie?  Where is the offence?  What is the ungodly mob and the wicked masses upset about?  That he pulled off the sheep costumes they have all be wearing, exposing them as the hungry wolves?  Lambs and sheep do not burn, destroy, rape and pillage: only wolves and other predators do that.

The smear campaign continues….

He went on to say the church must oppose Black Lives Matter and Antifa and carry the “message of peace.”

(Note: Father Rothrock was only drawing a contrast between BLM and ANTIFA violence and the message of hope, peace, and love to be found in the Gospels and Jesus’s message of redemption.  The two very different views and behaviors are incompatible.  Christians, real Christians, who follow Jesus cannot be a part of BLM and the violence and hate that they spread.  That is what Father Rothrock was teaching.)

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He also criticized the destruction of monuments and questioned whether Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. would have been marching with the Black Lives Matter organizers because of the “alleged systematic racism.”

“Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the other nefarious acolytes of their persuasion are not the friends or allies we have been led to believe,” Rothrock wrote. “They are serpents in the garden, seeking only to uproot and replant a new species of human made in the likeness of man and not in the image of God.”

Again, where is the lie?

Anyone with an IQ above 70 and can read a sentence, knows full well that Black Lives Matter is an neo-Marxist, anti-Christian, anti-white, anti-church, anti-family organization: They explicitly boast about it.

Father Rothrock says that, “They are serpents in the garden, seeking only to uproot and replant a new species of human made in the likeness of man and not in the image of God.”

That is exactly correct.  BLM makes no denial of this truth.

“Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the other nefarious acolytes of their persuasion are not the friends or allies we have been led to believe,”

Father Rothrock is correct: BLM are not the “friends” and “allies” we have been led to believe.  They have no interest in peace and brotherly love.  BLM has no interest in Godly, wholesome pursuits: violence and destruction is at the the core of their organization.

Look at BLM: Do they sound like “friends” and “allies?”

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From the Black Lives Matter Website:

We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.  We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.  We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).

Does BLM sound good and Godly?

‘Expect Father Rothrock to issue a clarification’

Rothrock was ordained in 1983, according to a Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana newsletter.

Now comes the best smear of all: the DUI

Why bring up an 11 year old DUI from 2009?

What does this have to do with BLM and Antifa?

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In a statement posted online titled ” Pastoral response to racism,” Bishop Timothy Doherty from the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana said he hadn’t approved or previewed the article.

“Pastors do not submit bulletin articles or homilies to my offices before they are delivered,” he said. “I expect Father Rothrock to issue a clarification about his intended message. I have not known him to depart from Church teaching in matters of doctrine and social justice.”

And now, to the scaffold….

Father Theodore Rothrock from St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel has been suspended from public ministry by Bishop Timothy Doherty Wednesday after calling Black Lives Matter organizers “maggots” and “parasites.”  (Which they are!)

“The Bishop expresses pastoral concern for the affected communities,” the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana said in a statement Wednesday. “The suspension offers the Bishop an opportunity for pastoral discernment for the good of the diocese and for the good of Father Rothrock.”

Father Rothrock, who previously was poised to become pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, will no longer transition to that role. Deacon Bill Reid will serve as administrator of St. Elizabeth Seton.

(Yes, they punished him by taking that away from him too.)

According to the diocese’s statement “various possibilities for his public continuation in priestly ministry are being considered.”

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They forced him to apologize, but…

…. the “apology” wasn’t exactly what they expected.

The “apology.”

“It was not my intention to offend anyone,” he wrote, “and I am sorry that my words have caused any hurt to anyone.”

He continued on to say that all people are welcome in God’s kingdom and the church must condemn bigotry, which is “a part of the fabric of our society.”

“We must also be fully aware that there are those who would distort the Gospel for their own misguided purposes,” Rothrock wrote. “People are afraid, as I pointed out, rather poorly I would admit, that there are those who feed on that fear to promote more fear and division.”

Apology at the point of a sword.

Even when they forced him to apologize and threatened him with everything you can imagine, Father Rothrock stood his ground and spoke the TRUTH:

“We must also be fully aware that there are those who would distort the Gospel for their own misguided purposes… that there are those who feed on that fear to promote more fear and division.”

What is the cost of courage?

It cost Father Rothrock everything.

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What Do I Know?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my life-long obsession with empiricism.  This song (one of my favorites) by Sara Groves starts to get at the heart of the limits of verifiable knowledge and why “sola fide” (faith alone) is the only way out of the dilemma.

What Do I know

By Sara Groves

I have a friend who just turned eighty-eight
and she just shared with me that she’s afraid of dying.
I sit here years from her experience
and try to bring her comfort.
I try to bring her comfort
But what do I know?
What do I know?
She grew up singing about the glory land,
and she would testify how Jesus changed her life.
It was easy to have faith when she was thirty-four,
but now her friends are dying, and death is at her door.
Oh, and what do I know?
Really, what do I know?
I don’t know that there are harps in heaven,
Or the process for earning your wings.
I don’t know of bright lights at the ends of tunnels,
Or any of those things.
She lost her husband after sixty years,
and as he slipped away she still had things to say.
Death can be so inconvenient.
You try to live and love.
It comes and interrupts.
And what do I know? What do I know?
I don’t know that there are harps in heaven,
Or the process for earning your wings.
I don’t know of bright lights at the ends of tunnels,
Or any of those things.
But I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord,
and from what I know of him, that must be pretty good.
Oh, I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord,
and from what I know of him, that must be very good.

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Roy Clark Jr. 1952 – 2017

I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately.

Maybe it’s the Covid-19 pandemic and 48,000 new cases in just one day.  Maybe it’s my age; I am 61 so it is getting harder to put that unpleasant thought out of my mind.

But today I was thinking about Roy Clark Jr. 

Yes, he was the son of that Roy Clark senior who was a country music star and host of the 1970s TV series “He-Haw.”

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(Here is Roy Clark Jr. in the middle of this photo playing fiddle in 2016 just a year before he died in 2017 at the age of 65.)

I met Roy in September of 1984 at a small Bible college in West Virginia.  Roy and I were both going to be ministers in the Church of Christ, but with his impressive knowledge of the Bible, Roy could have been an instructor instead of a student.

I vividly remember sitting at my kitchen table having a Bible study with Roy as my wife made us dinner and we talked well into the night about many things.  In fact, many a night Roy didn’t leave our home until 2 or 3 AM because our discussions were so intense.  Roy was like an Old Testament Prophet but with a mischievous sense of humor.

Roy was always smiling and laughing, as if everything was a joke, except the Gospel, in which his eyes would narrow and he would point to a passage and say, “Have you read what God said about that?”

Roy humbled me in ways I can’t begin to list or explain.

He always got to the point of a serious topic, then he would tell a joke or a story to lighten the mood.  I can still hear his thunderous laugh all through our home some 36 years ago.

Yes, it was 36 years ago when I last saw him.  Like me, Roy dropped out of Bible college and was fighting “inner demons” and struggling with his faith.  That year I had lost my brother to a car accident and shortly after that Roy moved away, stopped going to church, and we lost contact.  In fact, we all lost contact with Roy that year: he cut ties with everyone in the church.

I miss Roy Clark Jr.  I can still hear him laugh in our kitchen.

Roy Clark Jr. 1952 – 2017

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New Faiths of The Self

I just stumbled across this awesome book review in First Things by Justin Lee.  The book is called, Strange Rites: New Religions for A Godless World by Tara Isabella Burton.  I downloaded the book and can’t wait to read it.  Here is Justin Lee’s review of it.

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New Faiths of The Self

By Justin Lee

C. S. Lewis wrote that to be modern is to be consumed by the magical impulse “to subdue reality to the wishes of men.” This entails giving up one’s soul in exchange for power. “Once our souls, that is, ourselves, have been given up, the power thus conferred will not belong to us. We shall in fact be the slaves and puppets of that to which we have given our souls.” We will also have forsaken the ancient wisdom which holds that the soul is only truly free when in harmony with what is real.

Strange Rites, Tara Isabella Burton’s survey of America’s post-secular religious landscape, examines prominent twenty-first-century attempts to “subdue reality” by force of will. Contrary to the popular perception that America has become increasingly secular, Burton shows that religion is flourishing, albeit in non-traditional guises. Insofar as “religion,” in Burton’s functionalist usage, names those beliefs and practices that serve “both individually and societally to give us a sense of our world, our place in it, and our relationships to the people around us,” it has always and everywhere suffused human life. Today that suffusion is apparent even in avowedly “secular” institutions like the Supreme Court, which recently enshrined the sacral metaphysics of gender theory in law. The George Floyd protests also demonstrate the power of the progressive social justice religion to effect a nationwide Durkheimian “collective effervescence.”

Burton describes the new religions practiced by more than fifty percent of Americans today as “Remixed.” The religiously Remixed, “shaped by the twin forces of a creative-communicative internet and consumer capitalism,” prefer “intuitional spirituality” to institutional churches. They mix and match different practices to form their own rituals and belief systems. While most Remixed are “nones” or “spiritual but not religious,” many self-identified Christians also practice Remixing.

Remixed religion, Burton suggests, would be impossible apart from our long conditioning by consumer capitalism. At its heart, Remixed religion is selfish, choice-obsessed, therapeutic, and adaptable to expediency—making it a natural bedfellow of progressive politics. These new religions of the self may partially satisfy the human need for narrative and wonder, but they threaten to dissolve our civic institutions in a sea of “personal authenticity and experiential fulfillment.”

Burton traces the roots of the Remixed to the intuitionalist faiths of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially Transcendentalism, Spiritualism, and Quimby’s New Thought. While the postwar economic boom accelerated individualist trends in American religion, America has always been fertile ground for self-worship and charlatanry.

Today’s charlatans are the “spiritual entrepreneurs” who reinvent snake oil in the myriad guises of a “wellness” industry worth $4.2 trillion, exemplified by Gwyneth Paltrow’s pseudoscience bazaar Goop. The theology of wellness is gnostic, pitting the intuitional self against society. According to the gospel of wellness, we each have a “moral responsibility to take care of ourselves first before directing any attention to others.” But because the work of “self-care” is never complete, care for the other is never quite justified.

Among the darker forms of self-worship, Burton examines the recent explosion of occultism among American progressives. This movement drew scrutiny last year when the proprietors of Catland, an occult supply store in Brooklyn, ritually cursed Brett Kavanaugh and President Trump. Modern witchcraft combines “progressive feminist politics with a fervent opposition to institutional Christianity—which is dismissed and derided as a bastion of toxic patriarchy, repression, and white supremacy.” Dakota Bracciale, co-owner of Catland, is an apologist for “black magic,” which is countercultural, dangerous, and a tool for resisting oppression. Bracciale, a white male, argues that non-whites and queer people should “decolonize” witchcraft and restore its African roots by embracing the language of white European Luciferianism. Such farce is typical of the incoherence of the Remixed.

Even apart from witchcraft, Remixed religions consistently exhibit Lewis’s magical impulse. For the Remixed, nature—especially our sexual nature—exists to bear the imprint of human will. “If wellness culture centers the perfectibility of the body as the locus of personal spiritual growth,” writes Burton, “then sexual utopianism takes that corporeality to its logical conclusion . . . why shouldn’t sexuality be the place for us to access not just pleasure but meaning and purpose?” Remixed sexuality casts a vision of a transformed social order. And that vision is increasingly popular. One-fifth of Americans admit to experimenting with “ethical non-monogamy”; even more have experimented with BDSM and other kinks. Authenticity, after all, requires acting on our desires. Refusing to indulge one’s kinks is thus to forsake one’s own perfection.

While the Remixed faith of the sexual utopian may seem like New Thought by way of Thelema, it is perhaps best understood as—to coin a phrase—neoliberalism of the body. Remixed religion is so appealing, in part, because it “is inseparable from a consumer-capitalist model of sexuality.”

But not everyone has the same purchasing power in the sexual marketplace, and thus not everyone can access the meaning-making power of Remixed sexuality. In her penultimate chapter, wryly titled “Twilight of the Chads,” Burton examines the ressentiment of “incels,” men who for want of good looks, money, or social skills are “involuntarily celibate.” Incels want to burn the world down (along with all the sexually successful Chads and Staceys), and Burton’s characteristic empathy is muted as she walks us through their misogynistic world. Incels are a small but noisy subset of what Burton calls “nihilistic atavism,” a Remixed religion focused on reclaiming ground lost to feminism and progressivism. At its most reasonable, the new atavism may resemble Jordan Peterson’s program of renewed male responsibility. But it is best characterized by outsized denizens of the “manosphere” such as Bronze Age Pervert (BAP), who advocates a muscle-bound, homoerotic Nietzscheanism that longs for the emergence of Übermenschen worth submitting to. It is hardly accidental that BAP’s obsession with submission resembles the sexual utopian’s affinity for kink.

Burton believes three rival strands of Remixed—social justice culture, nihilistic atavism, and Silicon Valley’s techno-utopianism—are battling to become America’s new civil religion. Each belligerent resembles the others. Whereas intersectional feminists want to destroy society for its misogyny and racism, new atavists want to destroy it for having yielded to the enervating forces of progressivism. Both the cult of social justice and the cult of techno-utopianism prize disruption, valorize the self, and see nature as an obstacle to the body’s perfection.

By emphasizing narrative, Burton renders complex phenomena accessible to general readers without sacrificing precision, and her analysis flows directly from the testimony of the Remixed themselves. But readers will be left with questions. To what extent is the egocentrism of American religion intrinsic to the American project itself? In the context of liquid modernity, are genuinely new faiths possible? Or are all new faiths doomed to serve only as therapies for the “spiritually fluid”?

Remixed religion is mutable and prone to imitation because, at its heart, it preaches only the self and its will to power. No civilization whose civic religion is so crassly nihilistic can long survive. And no self whose faith is Remixed can long endure as a self. Remixed religion is in the business of producing what Malachi Martin called “aspiring vacuums”: denatured souls dispossessed of the ability to will that which is proper to their natures; that is, individuals ripe for possession by the will of another. Most despairing of all, the Remixed are trained to welcome such demonic subjugation. One woman interviewed by Burton explains that during BDSM sessions she pictures herself as a “hollow cane of bamboo,” an empty vessel for external will (“energy”), rejoicing in the annihilation of self.

This is the false re-enchantment of the magician’s bargain. The unmaking of one’s soul is disguised by therapeutic appeasement. And yet re-enchantment remains perhaps the most important task for a civilization incapable of experiencing the meaning inherent in our world. That meaning cannot be “chosen” by humans. It can only be discovered—by participation in what Lewis called “Deep Magic,” the unbegotten power that sang the world into existence. Burton says in her introduction that she has rediscovered such enchantment in a return to faith. I’m not alone in hoping she will share that journey in her next book.

Justin Lee teaches undergraduate writing at the University of California, Irvine.

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It’s Morning again in America?

Some of us suspected this back in 1981.

Some of us were deceived.

But all of us should have read this passage over and over again until it sunk in and we embraced this Truth of God:

Do Not Love the World

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1st John 2:15-17

It was “Morning again in America” in 1981.

I remember it well.  I was a young man back then.

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Christians all over the US were rejoicing, but we should have suspected the worst of those “Christian leaders” and politicians who tickled our ears and made promises of turning back the clock and “conserving” Christian values and Christian traditions.

I vividly remember Jerry Falwell saying this on national TV;

“With a Ronald Reagan administration, we will restore America to it’s Christian origins.  I have been assured by Ronald Reagan that we will get at least two, maybe three Conservative, Bible-Believing Supreme Court Justices to overturn Roe V Wade and make abortion illegal in every state.  With a Conservative president like President Reagan, we will force homosexuals back into the closet and restore morality back to America.  Every Bible-Believing Christian needs to vote for Ronald Reagan and support the Republican party.”

President Ronald Reagan and Rev. Jerry Falwell

Yes, I remember it well.

40 Years later, we have this….

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And this….

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And this…

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And this….

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And this….

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And this…

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And now of course, today, we have this…

John Roberts sides with liberals on Supreme Court to block controversial Louisiana abortion law

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It’s Morning Again in America?

The last 40 years have been more like a nightmare.

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Of course we could have saved ourselves a lot of time, heartache and trouble if we had only taken seriously what God said about the World.

Did we really expect a shallow, worldly Hollywood actor, who had numerous homosexual friends and as California Governor signed the most pro-abortion law in California history, to serve the interests of godly Christians who wanted to restore the old America?

We eagerly deceived ourselves for 40 years.

We have only ourselves to blame.

Do Not Love the World

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1st John 2:15-17

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Why Now?

As a follow up to a blog I wrote yesterday on the “LGBTQ affirming” church in Austin, Texas called, Austin New Church, I ask a very fundamental question: Why now?

First some history.  Not long ago history, but within my lifetime.

In 1978, I became a Christian.  I was 19 years-old.  I was baptized in the Biblical manor in a Church of Christ in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Acts 2:38, 1st Peter 3:21)

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At that time, I had fellowship with a lot with other Christians in other congregations and I knew many in other denominations and I was always keeping up with the latest news of church happenings in Arizona and the US.

NOT ONE CHURCH or Christian I knew in 1978 was “LGBTQ affirming” and accepting of homosexuality.  No “Gay Pastors” or “Lesbian Ministers.”  No rainbow flags flying above church steeples.  No churches, pastors, or evangelists were saying “Gay is OK.”  There was no such thing as “Queer Christians.”

This was only 42 years ago.  (I am 61)

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So what happened?

Why now?

Why in 2020 is this sweeping churches like a plague?

These questions become more chilling the further you go back into history.  Why now?  I don’t have all of the answers, and I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories or far-fetched interpretations of the Book of Revelation.  But the history of the church and our faith provides some clues to the answer of; “why now?”

For almost 2,000 years now, some of the greatest minds in and out of the church have studied every word, every phrase, every parable, every aspect of the Holy Scriptures.  They have examined canonical and non-canonical books: most are in the Bible, others are not.  They have looked at every context, every Greek and Hebrew word.  Some names are known:

Augustine of Hippo, Justin Martyr, Clement of Rome,

Tertullian, Thomas Aquinas, Billy Graham, C. S. Lewis, etc., etc……

I could go on and on.  Many of them you have never heard of.

And what do they all have in common?

What do all of these Christians from all over the planet going back to the 2nd Century all agree upon?

That Homosexuality is a grave sin. 

That there is no dispute in scripture on Homosexuality.

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So why now?  Why in 2020 are there thousands upon thousands of “Bible-Believing” Christians, one church after another, embracing Homosexuality and dismissing what the Bible says about it?

What has changed from 180 AD to 2020 AD? 

What new Biblical “truth” about homosexuality has emerged in the last 20 years that was hidden from Biblical scholars for 2,000 years?

What new evidence has emerged that God wants homosexuals to be preachers and teachers and accepted in the church?

The answer?  NONE.  No new evidence.  No hidden Biblical truth revealed in just the last 20 years.  No new scripture that contradicts 2,000 years of Biblical theology and scholarship.  No new Dead Sea Scrolls have been found that say, “Gay is OK.”

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Why now?

I have no definitive answers, only suspicions.

Suspicions that the World, with all of it’s evil, now controls many large denominations and churches.

Which is more likely, applying an “Occam’s Razor” to the question?  (William of Ockham was a Christian by the way.)

What is more likely?

(A) Over 4,000 years of Jewish and Christian theology and Biblical scholarship is wrong, and only now, in the last 20 years had God “revealed” his true feelings about Homosexuality.  Namely, that Homosexual conduct is right and proper and part of God’s plan for humanity.

Or,

(B) That rather then the church “salting” the culture, the culture at large, steeped in sin, wickedness and rottenness, had rotted Christianity and the church from within, destroying it’s “saltiness” and rendering it malleable and soft for a takeover.  4,000 years of Biblical teaching has been rendered null and void in the last 20 years under the guise of “progressiveness” “God’s love” and “church reform.”

I believe that Homosexual activists and infiltrators have undermined churches from within, and renamed sin and degeneracy as “God approved loving relationships.”

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”  Matthew 5:13

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Austin New Church

The words were shocking.  I had to read them over and over again on their Facebook page to really absorb the shock and disgust.

I am in disbelief that “Bible-Believing Christians” in the heart of the Bible-Belt in Texas wrote and believe such utter nonsense, today, just under an hour ago on the church’s Facebook page.

From Austin New Church, in Austin, Texas.

At ANC, we whole-heartedly affirm, celebrate and value LGBTQ+ individuals. They were welcome to their Creator’s table of love and freedom long before we or anyone else declared it so. But we lament that the Church has historically made itself a gatekeeper; inflicting lasting damage. Our LGBTQ+ siblings are created in God’s image and our church is undoubtedly richer through their participation, leadership and fellowship. What grace, that any of those who have suffered through our legacy of exclusion, would give church participation & community a second, third, twelfth chance. We do not take this responsibility lightly. On this historic day, we celebrate queer Christians who demonstrate faithfulness, freedom & truth that can draw all of us nearer to the heart of Jesus and His ministry for ALL.

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Here are some of the comments from “Christians” on their FB page.

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I had never even heard of this church in Austin, Texas until I saw this story on a well-known Christian author named Jen Hatmaker “celebrating” her daughter as a lesbian.  She and her husband are pastors/teachers at Austin New Church.

“A moment of pride”: Jen Hatmaker reveals her daughter is gay

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According to the Hatmakers, the family has known that Sydney is gay for a number of years now, and Sydney explained that it “just destroyed her” to learn Jen’s previous position that she “loved but did not affirm” the LGBT lifestyle.

In 2016 Jen Hatmaker controversially came out in full support of LGBT inclusion in the church.

The Christian Post, November 3, 2016

On Tuesday, Brandon Hatmaker took to Facebook to defend his wife from critics and opened up about how the couple has come to the opinion that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality, as long as it is in the form of monogamous marriages.

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Hatmaker explained that he and his wife have, over the past several years, been trying “to lead the Church to a better posture towards the LGBTQ community.” But as the couple continued to receive criticism and were pressured to state their beliefs on homosexuality, Hatmaker wrote that he and his wife came to the decision to “take a new and hard look inward to be able to explain our position with love.”

In doing so, Hatmaker explained that he and his wife committed themselves to “a season of study” on what the Bible has to say about homosexuality.

After conducting their study, Hatmaker said they came to the conclusion that the Bible’s position on homosexuality is “not as simple as traditionally taught.”

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“Every verse in the Bible that is used to condemn a ‘homosexual’ act is written in the context of rape, prostitution, idolatry, pederasty, military dominance, an affair, or adultery. It was always a destructive act. It was always a sin committed against a person,” Hatmaker argues. “And each type of sexual interaction listed was an abuse of God’s gift of sex and completely against His dream for marriage to be a lifelong commitment of two individuals increasingly and completely giving themselves to one another as Christ did for the Church.”

“But not one of these scriptures was written in the context of marriage or civil union (which simply did not exist at this time),” he continued. “Each act mentioned in the Bible was sin, no doubt. In context, we believe the same today. Just like heterosexual sex outside of marriage is sin for obvious reasons, whether consensual or not, we still believe homosexual sex outside of marriage is a sin.”

 

Hatmaker explains that he and his wife “don’t believe a committed life-long monogamous same-sex marriage violates anything seen in Scripture about God’s hopes for the marriage relationship.”

 

Additionally, Hatmaker states that Christians who do affirm same-sex marriage “have not ‘abandoned’ the Bible in order to shift their thinking, as many accuse.”

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Why have so many Christians abandoned God’s teaching, tradition, and 4,000 years of Jewish and Christian history and rejection of any type of homosexuality?

More on that subject in a another blog post.

But the church known as Austin New Church are not teaching and living the way Jesus wanted.  It’s actually good that they call themselves “Austin’s church” because they definitely belong to that wicked city; and not to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Christians Must Oppose BLM

This oped piece ran on June 12th on Disrn.

Here is the link: Opinion: In loving black people, the Church of Jesus Christ must oppose Black Lives Matter  

It is an amazing piece of writing by Peter Heck.

In loving black people, the Church of Jesus Christ must oppose Black Lives Matter

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The church of Jesus Christ must promote biblical justice and a spirit of peace.  These ideas are not conflicting, and it is not difficult for a Christian to pinpoint who has been fomenting confusion amongst the brethren on that point in recent days.

There is a creepy, tyrannical pressure being placed by pop culture when it comes to its adopted socio-political preferences these days: “Agree with us, tweet what we tweet, post what we post, join our hashtag, say what we say, or we will destroy and cancel you.”

As much as I wish my fellow believers would play no part in kneeling before such ungodly demands of men, would seek first the applause of heaven rather than the earthly approval of peers, would follow biblical instruction to be shrewd as serpents when dealing with a world hypnotized by the ancient serpent himself, it hasn’t been happening in recent days.

To be sure, black lives do matter. Every one of them. Their lives matter because they bear the image of the Creator. That demands my respect, my esteem, and my honor.

It demands I listen to them when they speak. It demands I sympathize with them when they hurt. It demands I sacrifice for them when presented with the opportunity. It demands I defend them when they are insulted.

It demands my prayer be that God produce in me a consistency between the words I preach – “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – and my actions.

And it also demands that I recognize my greatest act of love to the world is preserving the sound doctrine of Jesus over the counterfeits and forgeries that man desperately peddles in his eternally futile effort to subvert God’s authority.

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That is why it is imperative that the church of Jesus Christ today make abundantly clear the critical distinction between speaking the absolute truth that black lives matter and the act of endorsing an ungodly political movement usurping the slogan to attract an unearned credibility to its dangerous ideology.

In other words, Christians will embrace the God-ordained truth that “black lives matter” while rejecting the neo-Marxist organization “Black Lives Matter.”

This isn’t an exercise in hurling pejoratives or slanderous assumptions. Black Lives Matter Global Network is a veritable political operation, organized and funded under ActBlue Charities – a Democrat Party technology company that, “enables Democrats, progressive groups, and nonprofits to raise money on the Internet by providing them with online fundraising software.” It is a political movement boasting a political agenda.

On its website, under the banner “What We Believe,” Black Lives Matter articulates that their agenda includes a mission to, “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure,” “foster a queer‐affirming network,” and war against “heteronormative” and “cisgender” privilege while promoting transgenderism.

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Believers won’t fail to identify each of those as rebellion to God. The nuclear family structure isn’t “Western-prescribed,” other than the fact that Western Civilization once promoted what was “Scripture-prescribed.” Seeking to “disrupt” the right of every child to have a mom and a dad demonstrates not only an ignorance of all sociological data on well-being collected over the last century, but more concerningly, a flagrant disregard for the model God says works best.

Moreover, it is hardly surprising that Black Lives Matter advocates a “queer-affirming network” given the “queer-theology” so intricately woven throughout the black liberation theology model of James Cone that animates this so-called social justice machine. By teaching that the gospel of Jesus was to be interpreted through the lens of black oppression, Cone not only truncated the glory of the full gospel of Christ, he paved the road for other victimized groups to do the same. Liberation Theology, Feminist Theology, Womanist Theology, Post-Colonial Theology, and Queer Theology all owe their existence to Cone’s false teaching.

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Yet that is the movement that so many desperately uninformed Christians are choosing to walk in a well-intentioned effort to “love like Jesus.” They have already succumbed to the cultural pressures to embrace the spirit of the age and join hands, either figuratively or literally, with a movement that has explicitly participated in street violence depriving an untold number of “black lives” of their lives and livelihoods all in the name of “justice,” has called for the outfitting of a “military” arm for “war on police,” and has partnered with those who profit handsomely off the genocide of millions of black babies. Biblical illiteracy is as staggeringly prevalent, particularly among young Christians, as the ubiquitous desire to be considered woke.

These souls have been seduced by what Paul called “the fine sounding arguments of men,” into exchanging “the truth about God for a lie.”

The landmines are everywhere, and the “black lives matter” vs. Black Lives Matter distinction is but one example. Prudent Christians will test everything against the Word before taking their next step, no matter how many woke voices beckon.

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To Tighten The Circle

The book reviewer wrote,

“Too many authors when dealing with Scripture use it to tighten the circle, leave people out. Not this one. Emmy Kegler has the kind of warm and vulnerable voice that reads like an invitation. She uses the story of her own struggle to make sense of her calling to a church and profession that frequently seeks to exclude those who cry out from the margins – the very people toward whom Jesus gravitated.”

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(Note: Emmy Kegler is an openly Lesbian Lutheran Pastor who is “married” to another woman in an open celebration of homosexuality in direct rebellion to God and His Word.)

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This wasn’t the first time I had heard the “tight circle” argument.

In 1981, right after my wife and I were married, we rented a small apartment on the Ohio River in Williamstown, West Virginia.

Our landlord was Eddie Powers who was the son of David Powers, who was the minster/Evangelist of Williamstown Church of Christ.

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One day Eddie came over to make some repairs and we had a very deep conversation about the future of the church.  Eddie was about to take a job in Indianapolis as lead minister for the Indianapolis Church of Christ which was part of the “Crossroads Movement” that was sweeping some of the churches at that time.

The Indianapolis Church of Christ was a “Crossroads Church” which rejected the ridged, split-hair approach to teaching and preaching the scriptures found in most traditional Churches of Christ. (Those without musical instruments in their worship service.)

Eddie Powers was blunt: “The traditional Church of Christ is dying.”

“The only people we baptize anymore are the children of members.  We disfellowship other Christians in our church on the slightest pretext and split our congregations over trivial, minute, esoteric details.  We draw the circle ever tighter and tighter until there are only a handful of us that are within the tight, exclusionary sound doctrine circle we have drawn.  We call ourselves Christians, but we are legalistic and we split hairs on Bible doctrine like the Pharisees and Sadducees did in Jesus’s time.”

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His words shocked me.

I was a young Christian of 22 years of age back then, and I had only been a Christian for 3 years.  And yet, even though I didn’t want to believe what he was saying, I knew deep down inside that he was right on a certain level.  (He was right about some things, but wrong about others.  The Crossroads Movement eventually died out.)

Just in that 3 short years as a Christian in the Church of Christ, I had seen dissension and church splits over using the (KJV) Bible, or the (NIV) Bible.  I knew of congregations that didn’t fellowship with one another because one congregation used “one cup” for the Lord’s Supper, and the other ones (like mine) used individual tiny glasses.  I knew brethren and preachers who believed that one comma missing from the Biblical text endangered your soul and put you close to the fires of Hell.

Yes, I fully understand the danger in being too ridged and inflexible on trivial, non-scriptural matters.  (Although in fairness, many “one cup” congregations would argue that it is a scriptural matter to them.)

iStock_000022697598_Medium With all of that being said, in all honesty I must ask that if we as Evangelical, fundamentalist Christians, who actively (and correctly I believe) “exclude” women preachers and practicing homosexuals from our worship services; are we, “drawing the circle too tight?”  (Or not tight enough?)

(I have wrestled with this question of the “tight circle” for years, on other issues but NEVER on the issues of women in the ministry or homosexuality.  Every reading and translation of the Bible says that it is wicked and sinful.)

Can any honest Christian; “honest to Jesus” and the scriptures, argue that women and homosexuals should be ministers and teachers in the church in light of what the Bible plainly teaches?  (Plainly teaches.)

Do any Christians read the Bible?

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Putting aside for a moment all of the numerous Bible passages that prohibit women teachers and leaders, and prohibit homosexual conduct and lifestyle (I could quote you dozens), just ask yourself some very logical and very relevant questions.

If Bible verses prohibiting women teachers and acceptance of homosexuality are just “reflections” of “1st-Century cultural norms” and bigotry (as some believe), then why did Jesus or the apostles not challenge them?  Why accept those cultural norms and bigotry?

Jesus and Paul were not shy about calling out and denouncing Jewish tradition that was contrary to God’s will: Why remain silent on women leaders and homosexuals?  Why didn’t Jesus challenge “bigotry?”

Jesus challenged many traditional Jewish teachings or “settled doctrine” on things like divorce and working on the Sabbath.  If homosexuality is “normal” and is really part of “God’s plan” why did Jesus not speak of it?

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Why, were all of Jesus’s disciples MEN; and not women?

Why were none of them homosexuals?

Why is “gay marriage” not celebrated and mentioned in the Bible?

In fact, until our time, no society, culture, or faith has ever in 5,000 years of history, normalized and legalized homosexual “marriage.”   Even the wicked and licentious Roman Empire that ruled the Holy Land in Jesus’s time, NEVER legalized or normalized homosexual unions.

Think about that.  Ancient Rome; in all of it’s debauchery, depravity, wickedness and sin, NEVER, ever, considered legalizing and normalizing homosexual “marriage.”  But now, 2,000 years later, God is supposedly going to “bless” something that not even idolatrous Rome sanctioned?

If modern-day Lesbian Pastors and Ministers are “good, right, and wholesome” in God’s sight; Why then do we not read about Lesbian leaders and priests among the Jews in the Old Testament?

Why no lesbian High Priests in Jewish temples in ancient Israel?

Why are there NO Lesbian Disciples, Elders, Pastors, Deacons and followers of Christ in the New Testament?

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Yes, there is always the danger of legalism and “drawing the circle too tight.”  But if you take the totality of the scriptural teachings on these issues, and combine them with the historical record, you must (if you are honest) come to the conclusion that they are to be EXCLUDED.

Are we hateful bigots?

Are our churches repositories of hate and intolerance because we will not allow women preachers and open homosexuals?

If you step back and look at the “big picture” and take the totality of the Bible, there is no other conclusion than that of God being exclusionary and drawing a very tight circle as to who is HIS and who is not.

Who are His people, and who are not?

God and His Word are Exclusionary

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

This EXCLUDES Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc.

1st Corinthians 6: 9-10

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]homosexuals, nor [b]sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 

This EXCLUDES practicing Homosexuals and Lesbians.

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1 Timothy 2: 11-14

11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

God, His Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostle Paul could not be more clear: How could this scripture be explained away, rationalized, or ignored?  The Word of God is clear on this topic.

Women are EXCLUDED from teaching, ministry, or holding any position of authority or leadership over men.  Why?

“For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”

So are we, “drawing the circle too tight?”

Or are we not drawing it tight enough?

Are we “excluding” too much?

Or are we not excluding enough?

The answer to these questions are staring you in the face.

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