On the Insurrection

Yes….an insurrection. A Republican insurrection. Republicans Gone Wild. Republicans breaking and entering, forcibly taking over a government building, and injuring 50 police officers.

When it was Black Lives Matters marching and violence erupted, the Right wanted to label BLM a domestic terrorist group. Now the Left wants to label these Trumper Republicans domestic terrorists.

Much has been written about terrorism in the last twenty years, but I think there is a general consensus among those who study the subject that what usually gives rise to terrorism, whether of the foreign or domestic sort, is the feeling of powerlessness, that there is nothing else that can be done to be heard or bring about change. It is the last resort of the disenfranchised. I offer that by way of explanation not excuse. I have written here before about why resort to violence is neither wise nor justified.

The BLM movement arose because of 400 years of systematic and cultural disenfranchisement of black Americans, culminating this year in some very public killings of black Americans by law enforcement officers. Black Americans were justifiably angry over a history of racism and systemic discrimination and some decided during marches that marching was not enough.

On Wednesday, Trump Republicans gathered in Washington D.C. feeling they had been disenfranchised by an election they believe was fraudulent. Incited by President Trump to march on the Capital, once there many decided that peacefully protesting was not enough and broke in, occupied, and trashed the Capital.

Continue reading “On the Insurrection”

On the Election

Well, apart from the fallout from an insurrection and a possible upcoming impeachment all the drama from the election may be over. Joe Biden will be President and Donald Trump will not.

To my friends on the Right, I express my condolences. It is true our taxes will likely be higher, the stock market will probably not do as well, and there will be more business regulations. But will any of that prohibit you from loving your neighbor, being a godly parent, spouse, or employee, or from telling others about Jesus?

To my friends on the Left, I express my congratulations. The pandemic will probably be taken more seriously, as will care for the environment, the poor, and racial relations. But will any of that make it easier for you to love your neighbor, be a godly parent, spouse, or employee, or tell others about Jesus?

In other words, how much does the election really have to do with the kingdom of God? GS

On Covid Conspiracies

I’ve had the disheartening task of trying to reason with two of my closest family members over the last few weeks. If it was something trivial I would have just let it go. Unfortunately, it is very important, perhaps even a life-or-death issue. You see, they are Covid-deniers.

What they believe is still not entirely clear to me, but it involved the coronavirus being created in a lab, Bill Gates patenting it, drug companies hiding a cure so they can make more money later on it, and 130,000 people not really dying of COVID-19 because hospitals make more money by wrongly coding the deaths. It seems like everyone is in on the conspiracy, including the CDC, the FDA, and the NIH.

I don’t think they think I’m in on the conspiracy because I was genuinely shocked. I kept asking, “You don’t really believe this, you are just joking with me, right?” No, they really believe it, and they sent me a ten minute YouTube video from a family physician in Texas to prove it. None of his COVID patients have died, you see, so he knows it is all exaggerated.

Continue reading “On Covid Conspiracies”

Church Services During The Pandemic?

Should churches be holding worship services in the midst of the pandemic?

I don’t think it’s a hard question.

But it has apparently become difficult to answer.

My goal here is to hopefully bring some clarity to the issue and clear away some of what obfuscates providing an answer.

Let me start by saying if you believe the pandemic is not real but the result of a conspiracy between Anthony Fauci and Trump-hating Democrats, or that the 98,000 American deaths from COVID-19 are grossly exaggerated because of a secret agreement to miscode them, or that COVID-19 is no more deadly or contagious than the flu, you need not read any further.  Continue reading “Church Services During The Pandemic?”

Jesus’ Work-Related Excellence

In John 8, the scribes and Pharisees bring Jesus a woman caught in adultery.

The scribes and pharisees did this to attempt to trap Jesus. (v. 6)

It’s a trap because the penalty for adultery under the Old Testament law was death, but if Jesus agreed to impose the death penalty, He would get crossways with the Romans, who alone reserved the right to impose the death penalty.

If Jesus showed mercy and didn’t apply the Old Testament law, then the scribes and Pharisees would have grounds for accusing Jesus before the Jews of not following Old Testament law.

Jesus’s response to this conundrum demonstrates He knew the law much better than those who attempted to trap Him: ““He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (v. 7). It is easy to read this too quickly as Jesus abrogating or superseding the law with mercy, but I do not believe that is what is happening here. Continue reading “Jesus’ Work-Related Excellence”