Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Emperor Has No Clothes

 

The Emperor Has No Clothes

 

The wife and I went in early this morning to exercise our right to vote in the Minnesota Primary Election.  As expected, it was an interesting experience, given our Emperor’s …oh wait, I mean Governor’s executive order that all subjects (whoops, there I go again – I mean citizens) wear masks in public.  Neither I nor my better half choose to participate in what I have branded “COVID-19 Theater.”  Since at this point in time it has become self evident that, like the recovery rate, the virus is well over 99% political with the health concern coming in at a fraction of a percent. Jane considers wearing a mask to be participating in a deception – in other words, immoral.  For me, it is simple: when a Governor violates the Constitution, it is he who is the lawbreaker and not the one who disobeys the unlawful order.

The former one room schoolhouse that now serves as the Township Hall (as is common here in rural America) was the busiest that I recall in the seven years that God has greatly blessed us in allowing us to live “out in the country.”  We were the only people there not wearing masks. As expected, we were met at the door with an offer of a mask, which we politely declined.  Upon reaching the first Election officials, I was VERY STERNLY informed by one lady that, “YOU HAVE TO WEAR A MASK!”  … to which I replied, “I won’t.”  To be perfectly truthful (which I strive to be), I may have added “we are not communists”, but perhaps I did not express that thought aloud.  In any case, the other Election official at the table jumped in at that point, confirming my name and address so that they could issue a ballot, and she did it in a friendly, non-confrontational manner.

By this time Jane was ahead of me, given that it became a near farcical effort involved with me being able to understand the instructions that the lady was trying to communicate to me through her mask AND a 6 foot tall plexiglass shield (and yes, I was wearing my hearing aids, but to little avail).  As Jane approached a voting booth, another Election Official jumped in front of her to “sanitize” it, but she brushed it off, saying she was not afraid of a few germs.  Another example of pure COVID-19 Theater. Having spent a goodly amount of time researching disinfectants in order to help formulate a “reopening plan” for our Church earlier this year, I m perfectly aware that according to the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) website all of the disinfectants available require keeping a surface wet with the disinfectant for a minimum of 5 minutes (and many 10) in order to be effective.  Similarly, masks are just another theatrical device, but at least mask and disinfectant manufacturers are making profits, unlike the countless small businesses that are now bankrupt.

So, is anyone else out there willing to go out in public without a mask and in effect proclaim “The Emperor has no clothes”?

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A Few Thoughts I'd Like to Share


What this nation REALLY needs right now

… In fact, it may be even more to the point to phrase it this way: what the WORLD really needs right now.  But let’s just limit it to the USA for the moment. 
 
We, as a nation, seem to be between a rock and a hard place.  Make too little of COVID-19 and vulnerable people will die.  Make too much of it, and the national economy will die.  It’s almost as though the United States is under the judgement of God.  Scoffers will dismiss that idea as the superstition of backward mindless zealots. The Governor of New York said as much recently. Some others, who are willing to admit that there is a creator God, will be offended by the mere thought that such a supreme being might bring discomfort to those who he loves so much; you know, those for whom he has a wonderful plan for their life …

The Old Testament scriptures are filled with the record of God’s people falling away and undergoing his judgment to bring them to a place of repentance.  Though those judgements which were meted out by God upon heathens may come to mind first, they are relatively few in number compared to those his chosen people of Israel brought upon themselves.  The seven plagues that were unleashed upon Egypt in the days of Moses make the Corona virus look like a mild headache in comparison.  The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah via fire and brimstone was decisive and fatal, and unlike what we see in our present situation, left no doubt that it was God’s judgement.  The worldwide flood that destroyed all of mankind except for one family will only be outdone by a fiery one that is yet to come. 
 
But the nature of God’s judgement is not always so dramatic.  When asked about a tower that had fallen on eighteen people, Jesus did not call it an unfortunate accident or even speak specifically to the sinfulness of those who perished.  Instead he said “think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:4-5)

Repentance!  That’s a word we don’t see much anymore other than the occasional cartoon figure of a robed, long bearded man holding a sign with the message, “Repent, the End is Near!” Now, whether the end be near is not within the scope of the message I have for you today. But repentance is.

That COVID-19 is a judgment from God upon our nation (or make that ‘upon the world” if you want to go with the big picture) is not my point.  My point is that COVID-19 AND the impending economic collapse together ARE a judgement of God, though at the point in time in which I write this, we might more accurately refer to it as “a call to repentance” rather than an actual judgement.  Yes, I do believe that our present crisis is far too mild, both in terms of deaths and the amount of economic hardship, to properly call it judgement.  When Almighty God does bring judgement upon a land, it is likely to be described with phrases such as “not one stone left standing upon another” when speaking of buildings and “in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness and in want of all things” to describe the inhabitants.

No, we are not to the point of God’s full wrath yet.  But we should ask ourselves, why not?  We allow the murder of babies while still in the womb, recently going the extreme of sanctioning that murder on the day of their birth.  It has become fashionable to celebrate every vile thing that God calls an abomination. Sex outside of marriage, and marriage outside of nature. Men burning in their lust toward men and women doing likewise.  They might say that “love is love” and “abortion is healthcare”, but the word of God which does not pass away still warns, “woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil”. (Isaiah 5:20)

How long will our nation continue to laugh at the idea that there is a God while secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) cursing him under our breath?  How long will the majestic, infinite, eternal, Holy Creator of all things allow us to continue in such vain rebellion?  I suspect it will be until repentance or destruction comes about.  He IS a patient and merciful God, but do not test his patience in order to satisfy the lusts of your flesh, forgetting that you are really only storing up for yourself more wrath for the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:5)

Now, if Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior and friend (for if you are not his servant, his disciple and his friend, he is not your Savior either), then neither plague or famine should terrify you. If King Jesus sits on the throne of your heart, don’t let COVID-19 make you anxious. Say along with the apostle Paul: “to live is Christ and to die is gain!” (Philippians 1:21)

Christian friend, do not hold on to earthly possessions so tightly that you are driven to despair at the thought of losing them. Rather, again with the apostle respond: “In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13)

But, on the other hand, if you cannot honestly claim the name of Christian (and may God grant that you be not deceived in that matter) then those words of comfort are not for you.  Whether you reject this present “shamdemic”, because you are young and healthy or because you believe the “cure” to be worse than the disease, then I urge you to shelter in place.  Don’t take any risk of contracting what may be a deadly disease! And that goes for not only COVID-19, but every other kind of flu, infection, or accident. Without Jesus, the lake of fire is waiting for you! Stay at home, hide under a table and seek the Lord, for without him you are facing an eternity where the fire is not quenched. (Mark 9:48)

If you are an atheist or agnostic, Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist who is already staying at home as much as is humanly possible, in a state of mild panic that you may be stricken by this deadly disease, then stay there! Take cover (under a table in an inner room might be best since its almost tornado season) and remain there cowering from a very dangerous world that can kill you in uncounted ways.  Stay there until you have repented of your sins and finally have peace with God.

What does this nation really need right now?  The same thing the whole world needs right now: to come to the place of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

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If you agree that this a message that America needs to hear right now, please feel free to share it with others either by copy and paste or sending a link.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Jehovah is One (in three persons)


or: Finding the Trinity in the Old Testament

This is the sermon I delivered at ValleyView Baptist last month when I filled in for our pastor who was traveling. Yes, it is audio only, but if anything, that should be an incentive to click on it (though my voice is nothing to write home about either).

You may find the info useful if you are given the opportunity to witness to people of the Jewish faith, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Muslims, or others who reject the Trinity as an invention of Christianity.


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Blinders



Often, if we were to take time to reflect, we might come to realize that we are much like work horses of days gone by, going through life with “blinders” obscuring our peripheral vision. And even if what we can see clearly, right in our line of vision is true, what is hidden by those blinders is also a part of reality.

That might be an apt description of how I have been viewing the issue of abortion with respect to Christianity.  That this barbaric practice is the deliberate taking of the life of a child is so self-evident that, among those who claim Christianity, I have subconsciously viewed support for abortion as a red flag indicating a false profession. But now, due to the blinders momentarily slipping out of position, it has come to my attention that there are some genuine Christians who are on the other side of this issue.  

That does not mean that the truth which is right out there is broad daylight (i.e. that abortion is murder), is any less true.  It means that someone is mistaken. Deceived.  Misled. But I trust that any Christian who mistakenly views abortion rights as anything other than the “right” of a woman to have her baby murdered, will surely bow to what God’s word says on the matter once they read it.
Exhibit A. Exodus 21:22-23  “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine.  But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life

And no, if you find yourself suddenly grasping at straws, this “life for life” is not speaking of the mother’s life.  That was already covered earlier, with the same penalty: “Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:12) 

Just to be clear, God’s law tells us that “You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13).  God gives the penalty for murder as death.  He gives the same death penalty for causing the death of an unborn child. Given that, can you really justify, from the Bible, the taking of the life of an unborn child?  If so, let’s hear it chapter and verse.  If not, then I call on you to repent.  But on the other hand, if you cannot justify abortion Biblically, and you still will not repent, then maybe those blinders I had on were not really obscuring anything after all.