Futuregate Is Here

COVID-19, tyranny, SocialismThe following account is fictional but unfortunately is not as far-fetched as it might seem. There are already proposals for similar actions by the Democratic Governor of the state of Washington, Jay Inslee. This could migrate to national status should something akin to the ridiculous “Heroes Act,” aka H.R. 6666 [yes, that is the number] be passed into law.

Sometime in the not-so-distant future:

“Today’s the day, isn’t it?” Margaret Claybourne asked across the kitchen table to her husband, Henry.

Henry nodded and replied, “Yes, it is. Don’t worry Maggie, it’s all going to be ok.”

Those words meant to reassure his wife were as much to bolster Henry’s courage as well. He pretty-much knew that things were definitely not going to be “ok” in the foreseeable future, but he couldn’t think about that right now.

“I hope you’re right, Henry, but I’m still not convinced. They’re probably on their way here right now!”

Yes, Henry thought, They are on their way. ‘They’ won’t be placated by talking, we already know that. He was reminded of his co-worker and buddy Pete who initially tried to resist the authorities with his protestations. He remembered that Monday morning Pete wasn’t at work. He never returned to work and no real explanation was given. His supervisors told Henry that Pete had quit, but that wasn’t the friend he had known for the last 15 years. Pete had a wife and two kids and he walks away from his largest means of support?!  

“Yes babe, they are probably on their way, but we have a little time. So, we’re going to pray, and then we’re going to run.”

Maggie trusted her husband implicitly. She knew he had been planning something like this for a while but Henry hadn’t given her many details. Whenever she asked he would always say, “It’s better if you don’t know in case something happens and one of us gets caught.” But now that it was real, she wanted to know. Maggie looked Henry straight in the eyes and then bowed her head as he began praying aloud.

Coronavirus, lockdowns, tyranny“Lord, we come humbly to You, knowing that all things are in Your hands and nothing can take You by surprise. We rest our hope in You and believe You will lead us through this trial. Give us guidance, wisdom, and courage for what lies before us now. We love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Henry stood up from their kitchen table and started toward their bedroom. Before he could get three steps, Maggie said, “Ok Henry, it’s time I knew a little more about this. I know we’re running, and I know why we’re running. But where are we going? C’mon baby, fess up.”

Henry turned and gazed at his wife of 25 years. To him, she seemed hardly changed from their wedding day, though she often complained of carrying a few more pounds and the few wisps of gray that intermingled her raven hair.

He walked around the table and gently clasped her small hands as she stood. Her dark brown eyes stared up at him and Henry gave her a wry grin.

“Have I told you lately how beautiful you are?” He asked.

“Don’t try and charm me with compliments Henry Claybourne,” she shot back with a slight grin of her own. She wanted to sound firmer but in spite of herself inside she felt a flutter as his rugged face looked down on her. How can he still do this to me after all these years? 

“For now,” Henry replied, “We’re going to Dave and June’s place. I don’t know how long we can stay, but so far, that’s the next step. So go get our case and make sure to take your ‘dead’ phone and put it in the safe sleeve. I’ll take care of my phone here. Then meet me in the basement”

Maggie knew this part pretty much by heart. They had gone over the routine for “bugging out” many times. They had known months ago that they might have to escape both pursuit and detection. The only things she hadn’t known was when, where, and how it was going to happen.

9163272008_ed8c049ee6_wThey found out the “when” two days ago. Messages from the state authorities appeared on their computer and both cell phones. Since all phones and computers were now legally compliant, the state had access to them at any time.

Monday they were directed to, “appear at State Testing Center No. 64 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 7th at 2:00 pm. Failure to appear will result in a warrant for your arrest and law enforcement will take you into custody and bring you to the Testing Center.”

Last month new laws went into effect that established a ‘Mandatory Test Protocol’ or MTP for the entire nation. Everyone was subject to random testing at any time so as to ensure ‘fairness.’ Tests were to be administered to the entire populace and would be repeated for all every month thereafter.

At the first testing, each person would also be “tagged” for tracking. Their movements were to be followed, recorded, and reported to the authorities on a regular basis.

Before the passage of the nationwide law, various states across the country had been using similar systems, including New York and the close neighbor of Nevada, California. The small group of ranchers and others, mostly from their church, that the Claybournes associated with was prescient enough to begin preparing to disobey the new laws many months ago.

Henry remembered just when he committed to that same course of action. Pastor Jim preached on the text of Galatians 5:1

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery  Galatians 5:1 [NASB]

Pastor Jim spoke of how this spirit of freedom moved the early Americans to shake off British tyranny. How because of the biblical truth that all people are equal in the eyes of God the new nation endured a horrific Civil War to free our brothers and sisters from bondage and that we must not let our freedom be ravaged now.

Henry and Maggie owned a small ranch that was about 200 miles north of Vegas. It used to be that the closest law enforcement would have come from Tonapah, but it went under two years ago and was basically a ghost town. Henry thought.

Henry figured that any law enforcement officers would have to come from Vegas or Reno. Since the Testing Center was in Vegas, that’s where the LE would be sent from to find him and Maggie.

If his truck hadn’t left home by 9 am, Henry knew that LE wouldn’t wait till 2 pm to dispatch some officers. Almost all vehicles were tracked by the state, as well as phones, so they would be heading toward his place by 9:15 am at the latest.

Henry checked the time. It was 9 am, so they should get a 4 to 5-hour headstart on any LE.

tyranny, lockdowns, COVID-19Just then Maggie came down the stairs holding their ‘bug-out’ case. The case was slightly larger than a typical ‘carry-on’ bag for an airline, with a dull grey finish of burnished aluminum on the outer skin.

The case contained a change of clothes and some toiletries for each of them, a first-aid kit, some emergency rations, and various short-term survival basics. Maggie walked up to Henry and handed him the case.

“Last chance to back out babe. If you decide it’s too great a risk, I’ll stay here with you and we’ll face the music together.”

Maggie gently placed her hands on either side of her husband’s face. “We’ve already had this conversation. You know I couldn’t stay with any measure of good conscience. We’ve prayed about this more than once, and we know this is risky, but it is the right thing to do.”

Henry kissed her lightly on the lips. “Ok then. Now let me show you how we’re getting out of here.”

He strode toward the north wall of the basement. Maggie looked at the old plaster wall bordered by two concrete support beams and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. She saw Henry produce a small device similar to a laser pointer and aim it at the beam on the left.

A small vertical line began to form in the center of the wall. To her amazement, Maggie then saw the wall separate in the middle and slide open like an elevator door revealing an opening shrouded in darkness.

Henry pushed a second button on his ‘pointer’ and a row of overhead lights came to life. The lights receded back along the now visible tunnel until they faded from view.

Maggie’s jaw went slack as she looked at Henry with astonishment. “I know this didn’t come with the house, so…how?”

“This is what Dave, Pastor Jim, and I have been working on for three months. Well, mostly Dave and Pastor Jim, though I helped out a little with these doors and the connection of the tunnel to the mine shaft.”

“What…the mine shaft?!,” Maggie exclaimed.

“Dave discovered an old mine shaft vent a few months ago just inside his property line. He explored it and saw that it ran under our ranch and we managed to connect the shaft to the basement by boring an escape tunnel and here we are.”

“This is amazing!” shot Maggie as she stared wide-eyed into the lit underground space headed north.

“How far do we go inside this?”

“About half a mile straight north and descending 100 feet along the way and then into the abandoned mine for 5 miles and we come up and out just inside Dave and June’s fence. It’s lit like this all the way.”

They looked at each other and Henry took Maggie’s hand and stepped toward the entrance. He froze after a step and looked upward at the basement door.

“What’s wrong?”

Henry replied with his finger to his lips. “I heard something outside,” he whispered. He crept up the stairs and put his ear to the door.

Henry heard the sound of a firm and calm voice amplified with a bullhorn. “Mr. and Mrs. Claybourne, this is CDC Enforcement. We are here to take you into custody and escort you to the Testing Center for mandatory testing procedures. Please come with us peacefully or we will be forced to enter and obtain compliance with or without your cooperation.”

What?! How did they get here already? 

“Let’s go, babe, now!” Henry said as he grabbed her hand and they raced inside the doors. He pushed another button on his ‘pointer’ and the doors closed behind them as they began to run.

*  *  *

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The New American Standard Bible: Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, AMG International, 1990

The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, Fleming H. Revell Publishing, 1977

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Etan Liam’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of playability_de’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Quotes Everlasting’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Giant Sloth’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

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The Darkness of Death and The Light of Life at Easter [Video]

Easter, CCP Coronavirus, Ressurection of JesusSunday, April 12, 2020, is the annual celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead within most of Christendom. It is safe to say that this Easter season is unlike any other in almost everyone’s lifetime around the world because of the global Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, Coronavirus pandemic.

However, this pandemic is also another example of the reality of death in our world. And Easter, or Resurrection Day,  shouts out the power of God to overcome death with life.

Though a virus rages across the planet and the specter of death seems to lurk around every corner in many places, the Resurrection still remains as the ultimate demonstration of God’s power and providence for us. The darkness may threaten to overwhelm us for a time, but the Life and Light of the Risen Christ will overcome the darkness of death in the end.

The Darkness of Death Surrounds Us

Crucifixion, Resurrection, JesusThe CCP Coronavirus pandemic has drawn renewed attention to the reality of physical death all around the globe. All over the world, there are people worried about exposure to the virus and the possible deaths of themselves and their loved ones.

However, worse than the presence of death among us is the fear of death that is taking hold of so many people and motivating some in authority to act as if human rights do not exist. The Leftmedia has decided to join in the fearful chorus and dampen any glimmer of hope such as the successes of certain treatments, i.e. hydroxychloroquine, the recent reduction in the predictions of deaths from the CCP Coronavirus, and the reduction in hospitalization rates in New York state and elsewhere.

Fear seems to be driving some government officials to act out delusions of power and attempt to squash constitutionally guaranteed individual rights, some of which were mentioned in the previous article. Perhaps the most egregious statement to date was made by the Hamilton County, Ohio prosecutor Joe Deiters a few days ago.

Michael Knowles in his video broadcast of April 8, 2020, quotes several outrageous statements made by this demagogue including the following,

 If I was the Governor, I would tell these churches [that wish to hold services within the CDC guidelines] the first attendees at your church is going to be the National Guard because we are stopping this right away…

It is evident that the enemies of Christ are pressing forward with an all-out assault against faithful believers who wish to gather and corporately worship, honor, and call upon God for hope and courage amidst the viral fear. However, those enemies, whether human or demonic, will find their efforts will fail as they did 2,000 years ago outside of Jerusalem at the empty tomb of Christ.

The Light of Life Overcomes the Darkness of Death

Crucifixion, Resurrection of ChristThe current pandemic has engulfed the world with its ominous shadow and the serious menace of death it carries. Yet it pales in comparison to the literal darkness that visited the planet upon the death of Jesus on the cross.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness all over the land, until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:45-46 [ESV]

That darkness signified the gathering of all the sin of the human race throughout all of our existence and having all that malice imprinted upon the pure soul of Jesus. Those three hours were the worst part of the tortures our Lord underwent at His crucifixion culminating in the greatest pain of all, the moment the Father turned away from His Son.

Abandonment by His Father was the final price Jesus paid for our sin on our behalf! Jesus’ cries to His Father were followed by a final call to God,

Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46 [ESV]

The death of the Incarnate Son of God was the aftermath of darkness that covered all the world physically and spiritually and was the most powerful blow the demonic forces could strike. Yet it was not nearly enough to prevail against the power of God who raised Jesus from the dead and broke the stranglehold of sin, death and, despair.

Resurrection, Easter, JesusThat same Divine power is much more than a match for the death stalking the land today. There is no better time to come to the LORD seeking His love and grace than now at this very moment and lift the burden of sin from our hearts.

Therefore, let us take heart in the knowledge that Jesus has risen and alive forever and His light and life can and will extinguish the darkness of sin and evil no matter its manifestation or seeming advance in the world even today!

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Wayne S. Grazio’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of matthias lueger’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of PhotoNacho. Carpe Diem’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Martin LaBar’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Socialism Has Been and Will Always Be an Evil Failure [Video]

Socialism Has Been and Will Always Be an Evil Failure [Video]There is an incorrect assumption fervently adhered to by the Socialist Left idealists of the world. Simply stated, they believe that the principles of Socialism would work, regardless of the historical record, if only the right people of principle would implement it.

However disillusioning this may be to such idealists, that is false. Socialism has never succeeded and will never succeed as a form of governance because the system itself is evil and fatally flawed.

Socialism is Fatally Flawed by False Promises

Socialism, CapitalismThere are two fundamental promises of Socialism that are demonstrably false. They form the premises of a pro-socialist argument.

A lesson from rational thought that when the premise of an argument is false, the argument itself is invalid and false.

To clarify any misunderstanding, I use the word “argument” meaning the reasonable appeal someone would make for accepting their claims as true. It doesn’t refer to an argument as in a hostile and angry exchange.

The first false promise is that through Socialism the government will make all things in life free and make all people economically equally well off. Fulfilling that promise is not within the realm of possibility.

There is an old wise epithet that rebukes this promise of Socialism, ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch.’ Socialism promises the government will provide whatever is needed or desired for the lives of everyone at no cost.

It has always failed to do that because the promise itself is not humanly possible to fulfill. The effort required to achieve the ‘ideal’ Socialist society is beyond our powers.

To understand why, we need to examine the meaning of Socialism apart from the emotional appeals made to a false “fairness and equality,” idealism. It must be examined as it is defined in as plain and rational a manner as possible.

The multiple definitions of Socialism in various dictionaries do not equally apply to Socialism on a governmental scale. According to Merriam-Webster online, Socialism means,

1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

This is an excellent and comprehensive definition of Socialism as separate systems, each of which are represented in modern society. The shortest definition listed is the one favored by advocates of Socialism within the ‘Christian’ community.

The Leftward Church and their Justification for Socialism

There are those within the ‘Christian’ churches who latch onto Socialism because they latch onto definition number “2a,” which bears a resemblance to the early Church described at the conclusion of Acts chapter 2.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47 [ESV]

Socialism, Bernie SandersThis journal has delved into the influence of the Left upon the modern mainstream churches in greater detail in previous articles. Leftism today, inside or outside of those churches, has lost any veneer they once had to disguise their blatant Socialism.

As with Socialism in any human incarnation, the Leftward Church picks and chooses the truth to suit their evil end goal. This is what happens when the Word of God is used to justify their phony claims, as is done with this passage in Acts.

However, that interpretive game doesn’t work in this case either, because the Leftist apologists conveniently ignore the context of the passage. The first and most obvious context is that this was a case of God’s intervention directly through the witness of the Holy Spirit.

Outside of an explicitly Spirit immersed Christian fellowship, this is impossible to accomplish in human society, even with a relatively small group of people. Which brings to mind the second contextual parameter, the method necessary to distribute the proceeds of all the donations was a central body of individuals, in this case, the Apostles.

This factor limits the growth of any Socialist group to a small number of people, and this was demonstrated later in Acts when the group grew past 5,000 men and their families. Following the martyrdom of Stephen in chapter 7, the persecution against the first Church increased beginning in chapter 8.

And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.  Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Acts 8:1-3 [ESV]

Saul later became the great evangelist Apostle Paul, who helped bring Christianity to the ends of the Roman Empire, and wrote more than half of the New Testament. The church in Jerusalem had grown to the point that a Socialist system, even with the administration of the Apostles, would inevitably invite greed and sloth and a sense of self-sufficiency that would work against the spread of the gospel to the world.

Incidentally, this factor also mitigates against the mega-church sizes of today, but that is a different article. Suffice it to say that even a heavenly-influenced fellowship needs to realize that utopian visions of society are reserved by God for the fellowship in heaven and the New Earth to come, and were never meant to exist upon this earth.

However, the Socialist Left today is not interested in religion except as it might serve their malevolent interests in the system. They are far more concerned with the aspect of implementing central government control of individual lives.

Unfortunately for their argument, this method exacts a larger cost than any other at the scale of a national government. It cannot take care of anyone without exerting fascistic control over their individual lives, and the provision even in those conditions is pitiful.

Socialism Is Not Free in Any Way

Socialism, Bernie SandersThe second false premise of Socialism is that the government can provide for all and do so with no real “cost.” That is not true economically, experientially or spiritually.

The economic costs of a Socialist society obliterate whatever perceived benefits provided in such a society. The lone economic benefit of Socialism is thought to be that the costs of providing equally for the needs of a society are also shared by everyone in society.

However, that so-called benefit is subject to the control of the central government in Socialism for every individual’s income is determined by the state for distribution by the state. In a truly Socialist society, everyone works for the central government, and each person must adapt to a certain level of income and position as doled out by the government.

Economically, this system is unsatisfying to the workers, and never provides enough revenue to cover the normal expenses incurred within the nation’s society. It is also detrimental to life experientially for everyone except the ruling authorities.

Total control of economic production also makes the control of individual lives necessary. Rationing of goods and services will eventually be practiced anytime a fully Socialist model is in place.

For example, universal ‘free’ health care suffers from this inevitable circumstance because the government pays the care providers a basic stipend to cover salary and supplies. This means care is rationed out according to government priorities including the physician’s time and the treatments available.

The results of rationing mean waiting times for serious treatments become longer and longer, as has been seen with the American health care system under the Veterans Administration. The new changes from President Trump have helped alleviate this by allowing physicians outside of the VA to be chosen by veterans if needed.

The final way that Socialism fails is in the provision of the human soul and spirit. Socialism fails here, and in reality in every way, for one very large reason that most critics of the system fail to recognize; the fact that Socialism claims territory reserved for God in human affairs.

To illustrate this, take the example of present-day China and how that Communist nation handles the religious needs of its people. A “Christian” religion of sorts is permitted in China, but with very serious restrictions added so that the attendees are continually reminded that ultimate loyalty goes to the state and not to God.

This is true in any system which tries to shoehorn God into His place within the rule of the government. God is sovereign over all, and attempts to displace Him to a subordinate role under the false pretenses of biblical ‘interpretation,’ are evil and will always fail.

President Trump has noted this particular aspect of human nature that has been incorporated into America’s national heart from the very beginning. He has said on several occasions that,

…in America we don’t worship government, we worship God.

This is the primary cause of the rise of various “underground church” movements within places like China growing in tremendous numbers despite all efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to stamp them out. Socialism can never provide for anything other than a poor and bleak existence for the “masses” in society.

Socialism Cannot Escape the Verdict of History

Former President Obama meets with former Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez in 2009

The third very significant false promise of Socialism is the promise that this time, it will be immune from its history. It is hoped that if the right people are implementing it, Socialism will work regardless of its 100% rate of historic failures wherever it has been ‘tried.’

Incidentally, the use of the words Socialism and Communism as basically interchangeable terms is not accidental or inaccurate. I agree with the late Vladimir Lenin when he said,

The goal of socialism is communism.

Therefore, any system which names Socialism as a part of the system is doomed to eventually become Communist in operation if not in name. The most recent example of a nation falling apart under Socialism is the case of Venezuela.

Venezuela was once the envy of South America and the wealthiest nation on that continent. The wealth was amassed because of the gargantuan oil reserves within Venezuela and made the nation a powerful and prosperous country in the later years of the 20th century.

This level of prosperity was erased in just over two decades and Venezuela was plunged into a hell on earth for its citizens while making the late dictator Hugo Chavez and his family incredibly rich at the same time. In fact, as the following video notes, the daughter of the dictator left the country with a personal worth of 4 billion dollars, while the people succumbed to the fatal infection of Socialism!

Chavez has passed on but his hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, is every bit the tyrannical Socialist dictator Chavez had been. Moreover, that is the historical pattern of all nations that have gone all-in for Socialism as their method of governance.

The historical record of truly Socialist countries is one of death, deprivation, and tyranny.

Together with Germany’s National Socialism, the Communist Socialists such as the old USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and Communist China have racked up a body count of over 150 million people!

But …What About Sweden?

One of the modern objections to this is to cite the record of pseudo-socialist countries in Scandinavia, such as Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. This is one of the favorite talking points of the Left, and especially from the self-declared “Democratic Socialist” presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders [I-VT].

Since these nations seem to be doing well while providing things such as a Socialist model for health care, something along the lines of Sanders’ proposed “Medicare for all” plan should do fine in America. However, a closer examination of the facts puts that lie to rest.

How do these nations pay for the government services they provide, and how good are those services? First, the tax rates and structure are far different than those in America.

The various Scandinavian countries tax individuals at very high rates which are also flat rates. Thus in Sweden, the marginal income tax and payroll tax rates are 56.9% for everyone earning 1.5 times the national average of income.

Contrast that with America where we have a ‘progressive’ income tax which increases as income levels rise. The top marginal income tax rate is now 37% but doesn’t kick in until someone is making 8.5 times the national income average.

Socialism, Bernie Sanders, Capitalism, President TrumpMoreover, Scandinavian systems also charge a tax that is non-existent in America, a VAT, or Value Added Tax, on its businesses that is passed down to the consumer. A VAT is a system that taxes businesses at various stages of production which they must add in as a part of the product cost to the consumer.

This is a very efficient way to raise revenue quickly for the government, however, it has a serious drawback.

many …see VATs as a regressive tax because they fall more on those that spend a larger share of their income, mainly the poor.

These are various Socialist tactics that increase the economic burden of individuals. Conversely, at least until recently, the corporate tax rates and structure have been lower in Scandinavian countries than in the United States, thus favoring a Capitalist model.

In 2015, the highest corporate tax rate among Scandinavian nations was found in Norway, who taxed businesses at 27% of income. At that time the United States had a 39.1% corporate tax rate, which made Norway a far more attractive place to do business and made its policies more Capitalist than Socialist.

The only way for a Socialist model to survive is with very high individual taxes and a stream of income brought in from outside of the system. That is what is happening in Scandinavia, along with the fact that these nations use little or none of their budgets for defense spending.

Thanks to the tax cuts under President Trump, America has lowered its corporate tax rates below the levels of any Scandinavian country. In fact, we have gone from the third-highest corporate tax rate in the world to the 83rd-highest rate, and among the very lowest of large industrialized nations worldwide.

The results of those very Capitalist policies in America have proven wildly successful as the business arena has seen outstanding growth reflected by record levels of unemployment in every area. As has been seen in this brief review, Socialism can only boast of failure and will never be anything but evil and a failed government system with ruinous results for the citizens under its sway.

The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of James Mitchell’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Ivy Dawned’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of katerkate’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Joe Wolf’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of vaXzine’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of Charles Fettinger’s  Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

God and Guns

Written by Anne Bicks, Editor and Marketing of Bicks Books LLC

Last Monday, I watched an event unfold in my (almost) home state of Virginia. The people I admire and love were under attack for their 2nd Amendment rights and guns. Flashbacks whizzed through my memory as if it were yesterday. I recall my dad and brothers spending many hours cleaning their guns in the living room. My oldest brother, an NRA board member, has won many medals in target shooting over the years. However, my father was a real stickler about gun safety. His words resounded in my mind – “never point it at someone” and “don’t go near the gun case without someone being with you.”

When I moved to Virginia as an adult, most of my friends belonged to hunting clubs. Some may classify them as “rednecks,” but they were the kindest human beings I ever knew, regardless of the stigma assigned to them by outsiders. Murdering others, and disrespectful, threatening behavior was not in their dialogue. So, why are these law-abiding citizens now considered the anti-Christ?

I studied the Bible for information about guns and Christians owning weapons. Many scriptures condone the use of weaponry, such as in Luke 22:37-39, where Jesus affirmed it is sometimes necessary to be armed for self-defense. In biblical times, militaries were commanded to carry something for self-defense. Nowhere does the Bible tell a soldier to give up his weapon for a life of peace.

However, there is a glitch to ponder about God and guns. Though God encourages a believer to own weapons for hunting and protection, weapons are still to be governed by civil authorities and the will of God.

What does this mean to gun owners?

Before we purchase a gun, we should consider our motivation for owning one. Is it to harm someone else, or is it to protect our life and family? After all, Jesus’ greatest commandment is to love God and love others. Exodus 22:2-3 shows that self-defense must be proportional. We can fulfill the strength of God, often, just by our faith, not self-defense.

We inherently understand there is plenty of evil in the world. Jesus understood this because he allowed one of his disciples to carry self-protection. Murders and mass murders existed long before rifles were invented, and it still exists today in countries where firearms are illegal. Explosives and box cutters committed the worst school massacre in 1927 in America, not guns.

History has proven we will never live in a violence-free society through the laws of man. Our government is mistaken to think they can control those who walk the earth intending to harm innocent people. Mankind can never control the mentally ill or those possessed with an evil spirit. We must understand that only God can protect our life, for He had a plan for us before we were born.

Whether a Christian should take steps to protect his life and family, or trust in God for protection, will always remain a debate. I’m sure a believer’s opinion on guns will be based on cultural issues more than biblical mandates. It is unfortunate one side or the other will be hurt by a government who is falsely misleading its citizens. Maybe we should pray for the officials’ peace of understanding.

Strengthen us in the power of Your might, O God. Dress us in Your armor so that we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil. We know that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:10-12


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What Happened to the Dream of MLK Jr.? [Video]

Martin Luther King Jr.January 20, 2020, was the official recognition holiday of the life of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is intended to be a time of remembrance and celebration of a life courageously given to make a simple but monumentally profound dream into a reality.

However, MLK Day should not stop with a moment or two of reflection, though the reflection is appropriate. As noted in this journal previously, King was a childhood idol of mine, and I was crushed when he was assassinated in 1968, less than five years after he gave voice to his righteous dream in the nation’s capital.

Rev. King’s most famous speech is known as the “I have a dream” address on August 28, 1963, in front of 250,000 people in Washington D.C. at the official end of the “March on Washington.” His most famous quote is from that speech,

I have a dream that one day my four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character I have a dream today.

His dream was a powerful and iconic ideal set before a people who were languishing in the evil of racial oppression and sensed the winds of history were poised to sweep away the injustice of racism. A dream of such potency that it could not be ignored, especially when spoken with the force and elegance only Dr. King could invoke as the man God chose for that time.

Identifying the Dream of Liberty

There remains no better person to articulate and identify the noble dream of Dr. King than King himself. Here is a video capturing the entire address on the mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial to the quarter-million listeners in D.C. and the millions watching on television, who hung on every word.

If you have never heard this astonishing address in its entirety I would urge you to view and listen to it carefully. It has the additional grace that most great speeches throughout history in that King’s words are inspired but brief at just over 17 minutes in length.

In my time as a pastor, I preached over a thousand sermons both inside and outside of a church sanctuary. There were two comments I would invariably hear spoken to me after almost every one of those messages, and I wager that many of the readers could easily guess the content of those comments.

I would hear, sometimes from the same person, the words, “Good sermon,” and “You really stepped on my toes today.” Sometimes, in my efforts to be cordial, I would thank the person and I always tried to make sure I verbally gave all the glory to God, where it rightly belonged.

However, many times I would be dismayed by those comments and would often reply, “If I stepped on your toes I missed my target because I was aiming for your heart.” Dr. King presented a sermon before his audience that hot August day in 1963 and did what I often longed to do, hit the target at which God was aiming, the human heart.

The ideal, the dream set forth before the world by Dr. King carried the power of profundity with the force of the Divinity straight to the hearts of his listeners. Moreover, even today, over 46 years after the profession of his dream and through the filter of technology, the power of King’s dream can still grip our souls anew, if we will but listen anew.

As Dr. King set forth God’s message, he built an eloquent case for the righteousness of the dream that people would be regarded as equally human by each other just as they were so regarded by the LORD. Though he targeted the condition of America specifically, his speech was a worthy ideal for all the world to emulate.

Pursuing the Dream

Martin Luther King Jr.It is one thing to identify and masterfully present an idealistic goal to any audience. It is another matter entirely to actively pursue that goal with sincerity and integrity.

The biggest reason Dr. King drew such crowds in 1963 was that he went far beyond just talking about it. He pursued it with deeds that risked his alienation and much worse from his opponents.

He had built support starting with his first noteworthy act of civil disobedience, the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott of 1955-56. He helped organize the boycott through his organization the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which virtually shut down the city busing industry there.

The boycott took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large-scale U.S. demonstration against segregation. Four days before the boycott began, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, was arrested and fined for refusing to yield her bus seat to a white man. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system, and one of the leaders of the boycott, a young pastor named Martin Luther King, Jr., emerged as a prominent leader of the American civil rights movement.

Dr. King suffered for his actions as did many of those who were his supporters. On one such occasion, he was arrested and thrown into a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama for organizing demonstrations against the racial injustice of that city in 1963.

Dr. King had read of a public statement “of concern and caution” about the demonstrations released by eight white religious leaders in the South shortly before his arrest and he wrote a lengthy response, Letter from a Birmingham Jail. The letter was a brilliant defense of non-violent action aimed at the religious leaders’ objections as well as educating all who read it about the specific goals and methods of their actions.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices are alive, negotiation, self-purification, and direct action. We have gone through all of these steps in Birmingham. There can be no
gainsaying of the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community.

Dr. King then continues to specifically list the problems and steps that had already been taken to address the racial injustice.

Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of police brutality is known in every section of this country. Its unjust treatment of Negroes in the courts is a notorious reality. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in this nation. These are the hard, brutal, and unbelievable facts. On the basis of them, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the political leaders consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation.

When negotiations with the city failed, King and his followers went to step three, the step he called “self-purification.” King described what that process entailed as a prerequisite to demonstrations.

We started having workshops on nonviolence and repeatedly asked ourselves the questions, “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” and “Are you able to endure the ordeals of jail?”

The careful preparations of both body and spirit were necessary for what those who followed Dr. King to fully participate in non-violent civil protest without reservation. As King realized, his was not the only movement against the oppression of blacks which garnered significant support.

Opposing and Reviving the Dream

Louis Farrakhan, the current leader of the Nation of Islam

Dr. King was virulently opposed by racists from groups like the KKK, and worse by black groups who advocated violence such as the original Black Panthers and the Black Muslims, aka the ‘Nation of Islam’ under Elijah Muhammed. Contrary to the urgings of King and others, black leaders on the other side demanded that civil rights be fought for “by any means necessary,” in the words of Malcolm X.

The great civil rights leader rightly feared the probable outcome of violent demonstrations against forced segregation and ‘Jim Crow’ laws that kept black people disadvantaged. Dr. King wrote that the groups advocating violence were,

…made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incurable devil. … There is a more excellent way, of love and nonviolent protest. I’m grateful to God that, through the Negro church, the dimension of nonviolence entered our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, I am convinced that by now many streets of the South would be flowing with floods of blood.

Today most of us rightly give respect to the accomplishments of Dr. King who gained more for the rights of black Americans than all the calls to “Black Power” and violence have ever done. Yet the minions of those who call for violence today, such as the group “Black Lives Matter,” and the so-called ‘woke’ groups of “Antifa” insist that non-violence is impotent in present-day America.

Tragically, both the violent means and the societal goal are directly in opposition to the principles embraced by Dr. King a half-century ago. In an excellent piece by Dr. Eric Wallace of the “Freedom’s Journal Institute,” he compares the stance of BLM versus that of Dr. King’s strident non-violence, specifically the dream of being judged not by color but character.

But with what measure are we to be judged today? How are the demands of today’s “Woke” culture or the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement representative of a people who continue to thrive in the face of injustice? Needless to say, neither of these movements proclaim a biblical foundation or Christian roots.[1] In fact, one could argue that these contemporary movements demand the opposite of what Dr. King stood for and fought to accomplish. Many in these groups are quick to judge White people by the color of their skin while insisting they have “white privilege,” which automatically makes them guilty of racial injustice simply because they are White. This reasoning turns Dr. King’s words on their heads. Thinking that one is guilty simply because he or she is White or another is oppressed simply because he or she is not is the opposite of what King preached.

The lifelong quest of Dr. King for racial justice and equality through non-violence has been largely spurned by those who claim to speak on behalf of the black population in America today. It is past time for that righteous dream to be revived if we are going to continue moving toward a more just society instead of careening down a steep slope toward racial anarchy and destruction.

Fortunately, King’s dream is still alive and growing though it has taken President Trump’s administration to move it off of life support. Ironically, it is a person the Left constantly berates and accuses of being the biggest racist in world history who has brought more opportunity and prosperity to minorities than any administration in our history.

Those among the minority population, other than the mind-controlled minions of the MSM, have seen these results from the Trump administration and are leaving the Leftist Democratic [but I repeat myself] plantation in droves. The support for President Trump has risen to unprecedented levels among blacks in America as evidenced by a number of recent polls and is consistently above 30% today.

While 30% is far from a majority, consider that President Trump won in 2016 with just 8% of the black vote. As noted in a recent piece at Real Clear Politics,

Even 20 percent African-American support for Trump would all but dismantle Democratic Party presidential hopes for 2020.

This is truly good news for the promise of the profound dream of Dr. King. I hope and pray that the re-election of President Trump will take place and move America closer to the point of true racial justice and harmony.

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Mike’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Mike Licht’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Public.Resource.Org’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

The Evil Insanity of Gender Identity, Part One: Transgenderism and Child Sacrifice [Video]

Transgenderism, children

The recent case of one James Younger has once again brought critical attention to the so-called ‘transgender rights’ movement madness which has gripped society with astonishing speed. Perhaps some of you haven’t heard about James, a 7-year-old boy embroiled existentially against his will in a divorce settlement with some very unusual details.

This case takes place in Dallas, Texas with James’ biological father, Jeffrey Younger who is trying to keep his soon-to-be ex-wife from forcing young James to “transition” to becoming a “girl.” In a Dallas family court, it was ruled by a jury on October 21, 2019, that sole custody of James should go to the wife, Dr. Anne Georgulas, which would make her the sole authority over medical decisions for her son.

The following video gives the father’s reaction to that jury verdict.

Fortunately, the judge in the case, Kim Cooks ruled on October 24, that both parents would have joint custody including both having a say in medical decisions. However, there were some other ‘requirements’ of the jury decision placed upon Mr. Younger and it is unclear whether any or all of these have been removed.

Court Mandated Madness

The reason some other legal restrictions may or may not remain in place against Mr. Younger is that Judge Cooks also placed a gag order on all the parties involved so that no information is disclosed to the press until after the proceedings have concluded. However, there are some details of the original jury decision from October 21 which are known.

Buck Sexton, who read the original court order, said during his podcast of October 22, 2019,

The court has enjoined this father, Jeffery Younger, that he is not allowed to dress his son in boys’ clothing… that he’s not allowed to try and convince his son that he is, in fact, a boy and will be a normal boy… not allowed to have the son around anybody…friend or family member who might [do the same]. [He also] has to use female or gender-neutral pronouns in public [and] is not allowed to call him James, he has to call him ‘Luna.’

Transgenderism, insanity“Luna” is the name James’ mother branded him as when she decided that James was indeed a ‘transgender’ person years ago. Dr. Georgulas made this life-changing decision based on a then 3-year-old infatuation with a female Disney character.

The process of ‘transitioning’ would begin with James receiving puberty-blocking drugs as early as 10 years old. These would be followed by administering cross-sex hormones, testosterone for women and estrogen for men.

Little is known about the effects of such a regimen on children. What is known is not good news for the child.

This is far from benign, since taking puberty blockers at age 12 or younger, followed by cross- sex hormones, sterilizes a child.

What studies there are have necessarily focused on the side effects of cross-sex hormones on adults who have ‘transitioned.’ Children’s bodies are less stable than adults, and these and other harmful effects are likely to be magnified greatly with the application of such ‘treatments.’

From studies of adults we know that the risks of cross-sex hormones include, but are not limited to, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, strokes, diabetes, and cancers.

Once the hormone therapies have been applied the next step is surgery. Girls who persist in insisting they are really boys would undergo a double-mastectomy as early as 16 years of age, followed later by altering their female “bottom parts” to appear as male parts.

Boys would wait a year or two longer, by current practices, before having their genitals sliced off and beginning the process of altering the appearance of that area to resemble female genitalia.

These new physical accouterments will not function as they would if that person was naturally male or female. In other words, men ‘transitioning to women’ do not menstruate, even after surgery, regardless of the political correctness of a particular sanitary napkin retailer, or social media outlets’ insistence otherwise.

Transgenderism, child abuseThis is what the child of seven, James Younger, still may have to look forward to in the near future. His hormone ‘treatments’ aren’t supposed to start until he’s about 10, and who knows what may happen in the courts before then.

The Younger case is but one of a multitude of attacks against biological reality by advocates of a fantasy world where delusional nightmares are promoted as normal expressions of family life. Moreover, James Younger is not the only or even the youngest victim of disturbed adults who seemingly look forward to poisoning and mutilating their toddlers and teens.

Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians. …“…first began hearing from distraught parents in this situation in 2016 and in 2017, I heard from seven families in as many different states in this situation. In all but one case the child was a 15 year-old girl who never had any sexual identity confusion prior to her parent’s divorce,” Cretella said. “The other case involved 4-year-old triplet boys whose mother desperately wanted a girl. The mother was a psychologist herself and had cross-dressed one of the boys for two years, insisting that it was his idea. In each of the seven cases the guardian ad litems and judges removed the right to medical consent and/or custody from the parent who objected to transition with puberty blockers and hormones.”

Child Sacrifice to Satisfy Insanity 

There is a very disturbing factor lurking within this increasing trend to subject very young children to a tortuous ‘transitioning’ process. It is the strong tendency, if not 100% fact, that whenever these incidents of pushing the youngsters into transgenderism and likely physical harm, we also see that one or both of the parents are either ‘trans’ themselves or ‘trans-rights’ activists.

These ‘parents’ have the right to their own notions of how they act out their bogus assertions of gender for themselves. They are adults living in a mostly free society, and in America, everyone has the right to their own opinion.

TransgenderismHowever, that right also comes with a bucketload of responsibilities crucial for any free society to exist. Prime among them is the obligation any person has to consider whether or not their exercise of a particular right can damage another person’s individual rights.

It is obvious that the parents have little regard for the physical and psychological damage they are doing to the child when they advocate ‘transitioning’ to the opposite gender. The immediate question is “Why?”

There are three basic answers to that question. One: They don’t know or understand the dangers of ‘transitioning treatment,’ to the child.

That answer would be a bit disingenuous since the methods of such treatment are well-known in the ‘trans rights’ community. Two: The parents are deluded into denial of these hazards and believe they are helping the child.

This response indicates that the parent(s) are mentally disturbed themselves, and unfit to make such serious decisions for their child. Three: They are aware of the dangers yet insist on putting their child at risk believing the ‘benefits’ for the child are worth it.

That possibility is perhaps the most disturbing of all because, in reality, the mental health benefits are basically zero, and the physical damage is truly incalculable. It indicates a personality so desperate for self-affirmation that it demands the child be not simply in agreement with their ‘gender identity’ parent(s), but the child must be biologically transformed to the same physical state as the disturbed adults around him or her.

The child’s health is every area is thus sacrificed for the uses of the ones who should be their protectors. Thus the little boy or girl has their childhood and future destroyed on the altar of transgenderism.

The fruits of this evil insanity are also manifested beyond the individual sacrifice of children. In part two of this series the impact on wider society with the rapid growth of the ‘trans rights’ movement in recent years.

As Jesus Himself notes,

But from the beginning of creation ‘God made them male and female’  Mark 10:6 ESV

That is the only ordering of creation that is right and proper and blessed by God. America, yea even the world, attempts to change that fact at our own peril.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of T-K-D’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of torbakhopper’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Jonathan Oakley’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Justin Norman’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text 

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

New Manifestations of Idolatry and Impurity in the Modern Mainstream Church

LGBT, Christianity

Some very recent revelations of actions within two mainstream Protestant church denominations are manifesting levels of idolatry and impurity which are unprecedented and extremely disturbing but are also unfortunately not unexpected. They are but the latest logical extensions of the philosophy the Leftchurch has been operating under for many decades.

One of these actions involves a Seminary famous for its Leftist leanings, while the other involves a local church body belonging to a denomination of which this author was once a member. One act was a blatant display of pagan idolatry, while the other was an act of insanity and impurity.

The Idolatry: Confessing Sins and Giving Worship to Plants

…because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. Romans 1:25 [ESV]

Union Theological Seminary in New York is a very influential “progressive Christian” institution that teaches church leaders from many different Protestant denominations. On September 17, 2019, a professor of worship urged his students in afternoon chapel,

to “confess to the plants” their sins against them.

The purpose of this ‘exercise’ was to give a confession as,

an “expression of worship” and as a “liturgical response to our climate crisis.”

Union Theological Seminary in New York

This is giving worship to what has been created instead of the Creator. It is blatant idolatry in an institution that claims the mantle of “Christian.”

However, I cannot say this is an unexpected development at this institution in particular. The phantom “climate crisis” is but their latest excuse to champion Leftism over God.

On Union Theological Seminary’s website, their “Statement of Mission” begins with an acknowledgment of their Leftism.

Progressive theology has long taken shape at Union, where faith and scholarship walk together to be a moral force in the world.

Continuing on the same page, Union’s “Vision Statement” begins,

Education at Union Theological Seminary is deeply rooted in a critical understanding of the breadth of Christian traditions yet significantly instructed by the insights of other faiths.

The vision statement drones on for another hundred words and this is the only place where the word “Christian” is mentioned. There is one other mention of the word “Christian” in the “Mission Statement.”

However, there is no mention of the words, God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Lord, Great Commission, or Bible in either official statement of the Seminary. In fact, Christianity is officially regarded as a hodge-podge of “traditions”  to be “significantly instructed by the insights of other faiths.”

Moreover, Union has a very revealing “Statement of Diversity” that includes this;

We recognize that our mission is best fulfilled when we notice and embrace diversity across all social identities (race, class, gender, sex, ability, faith/belief, sexual orientation, age and all of the dimensions of identity that live within us),

Inset.2.9.21.2019The key to comprehending the all-inclusiveness declared here is the phrase “embrace diversity across all social identities” with a parenthesis clarifying that they really mean ‘all’ such identities. This is full-throated advocacy of identity politics and all the dangerous refuse that accompanies it.

The most recent and vociferous identity group to come to prominence has been the ‘transgender rights’ crowd. This movement promotes fantasy over reality and has produced an astounding amount of support for the prospects of child abuse even with toddlers, as this journal has documented several times.

The movement toward transgenderism has now permeated all corners of modern society in the western world. This occupation seems almost complete with the successful foray into formerly “Christian” denominations who are now welcoming and affirming the rights of “transgendered” individuals to lead their congregations.

The Impurity: Calling a Transgender Pastor

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, Romans 1:21-24 [ESV]

A local church in Ohio did something on July 1, 2019, that I believe is unprecedented among any of the plethora of Baptist church denominations. This congregation enthusiastically called a “transgender woman” by the name of Erica Saunders to be their new pastor.

Peace Community Church in Oberlin, Ohio, welcomed Erica Saunders as their new leader, an LGBT-affirming pastor who started identifying as a female in her first year of seminary at Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

14349176502_719a4da182_mTwo items from this quote stand out right from the start. One item is that the author of the article has perhaps unintentionally accepted that ‘Erica’ is now a ‘her’ despite the biological reality that ‘Erica’ is actually a ‘he.’

Secondly, as was the case with Union Theological Seminary, the aberrant ideas took hold in the academic institution of training for church leaders. I have some experience combatting this kind of mindset in the same denomination which includes this Ohio church.

Peace Community Church is affiliated with the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, the Alliance of Baptists, and the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region.

I served as pastor of an American Baptist Church for nine years until I left both the congregation and the denomination. I spent a considerable amount of that time battling with many others against the incursion of groups such as the “Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists” aka AWAB and the “Baptist Peace Fellowship” into the American Baptist Churches.

The furious struggle of that time in the late 1990s through the mid-2000s was whether or not American Baptist Church congregations should be allowed to “welcome and affirm” practicing homosexuals into leadership positions in the local church while still affiliated with the denomination.

For my part, with God’s urging, I presented the biblical view that this should not be allowed through petition, and in a personal one-on-one meeting with the highest-ranking congregational authority in the ABC. The meeting resulted in a polite but firm refusal to attempt changing this policy of accepting LGBT leaders into the denomination.

The Spirit also moved me to present the biblical case in the form of a proposal at the Biennial Regional meeting of the ABC. All but 3 churches represented there voted to adopt that proposal, however, the vote was disallowed on a procedural technicality. Moreover, even though hundreds of churches and an entire region of the country left the ABC over this, the denomination remained resolute in its insistence upon this radical ‘inclusiveness.’

The church I served tried to carve out a middle way through this morass. On my recommendation, the congregation amended its Constitution to prohibit calling leaders who espoused the LGBT “welcoming and affirming” position. Against my recommendation, they also decided to remain affiliated with the larger American Baptist Churches denomination.

Inset.4.9.21.2019Nor is the ABC the only denomination providing such examples of sinful insanity and impurity within its ranks.  Those who also support the LGBT position include the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and even some in Reform and Conservative Judaism.

The three largest Christian organizations, Catholics, Southern Baptists, and Pentecostal or Assemblies of God churches do not support such positions. The generally Leftist United Methodist Church has yet to endorse ordaining LGBT supporters, however, it is under some pressure towards that end.

The Indictment: The Mainstream Church has Crossed the Rubicon

“Crossing the Rubicon” is a phrase taken from a historical event in 49 BC. It refers to  Julius Caesar crossing into Italy leading his army specifically against Roman law.

At the time, Caesar was a powerful general of the Roman army and the Governor of the region of Gaul, located in modern-day France. He wanted to enter Italy at the head of his army, which was expressly forbidden by the then Republic of Rome.

When he crossed the Rubicon river, he violated that law and set in motion a war which he would win and become the first ‘unofficial’ Emperor of Rome. It was written that just before Julius Caesar crossed over into Italy, he declared “Let the die be cast!”, and led his troops across the water.

For Caesar, that meant there was no turning back from their course now. It was a course that would rend a republic that lasted almost 500 years, and create a tyrannical dictatorship which would decay into decadence, division, and destruction.

The mainstream church has now crossed her own “Rubicon.” There is no turning back for those who practice idolatry and sanction impurity, except to confess their own sin in sorrow to the LORD Jesus Christ, repent, and “sin no more.”

Inset.5.9.21.2019That is incomprehensible to the Leftist mainstream church leadership today who proudly display their destructive, unrighteous behavior for all to witness. They have become the same as those Paul excoriated who are “claiming to be wise,” and yet they “became fools.”

However, there is a very bright ‘silver lining’ around these stormclouds. That silver lining is the transparency of the modern technological age provided through the advent of smartphones.

This means that the rise of cult-like Christian doctrine is not veiled in secrecy as it once was, because almost anyone anywhere can find these “new” teachings through an internet search. Thus, no person should be able to claim ignorance if they choose to be or remain a part of any organization espousing such evil.

Conversely, this also provides a critical tool for the faithful to warn others away from heretical teachers with the truth of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. It has literally never been easier to access Scripture online and all the tool needed to understand the Bible.

Anyone can access not only multiple versions of the Bible but the tools needed to find and decipher the original Hebrew and Greek of the Bible and do so for free. For example, my primary source for this is e-sword and can be downloaded for free.

Arm yourselves with the truth, and prayer and the support of brothers and sisters so that, like Jesus, you can tell others that in Christ,

you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of David’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of David Merrett’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of michael_swan’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Equality Michigan’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Sam T’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of Kigali Wire’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

“Pro-Choice” Depravity Reaches New Depths of Evil

5065857873_5fd57bd361_b

This author has been ardently pro-life for about 40 years. Along the way, I have participated in some protests by marching with thousands and in others by praying alone in front of Planned Parenthood clinics, as well as helping establish Crisis Pregnancy Care centers in two communities.

During this time, I have also followed the antics and arguments of the “pro-choice” crowd closely and written much about the evil nature of the “pro-choice” philosophy. Earlier this year this vile doctrine of the Left plumbed the depths of evil to the very bottom when politicians in New York and Virginia promoted killing the baby up to, and even beyond, leaving the womb.

Or so I thought. I should have known better. I actually underestimated how grotesque  “pro-choice” actions can, and have become.

One might wonder what could possibly be worse than executing infants even after they are born. The answer is found when the motives of the murderers are seen.

Two recent reports concerning murderous motives used to destroy innocent human life revealed a new depth of depravity in the name of the ‘right’ to be “pro-choice.”

Baby Body Parts Peddled for Politics and Profit 

AbortionThis story is not new, but it is also not well-publicized and non-existent on the Leftmedia. It involves the work of two undercover journalists from back in 2016.

David Daleidien and Sandra Merritt were undercover citizen journalists who videotaped conversations with Planned Parenthood officials who detailed the illegal selling of aborted baby body parts to the company StemExpress.

The videos were released and of course, Planned Parenthood denied that they were authentic. However, with the aid of a current Democratic candidate for president, they also managed to convince California to charge Daleidien and Merritt with 15 counts of the illegal taping of confidential conversations.

Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris [D. CA] was then-Attorney General in California and ordered the seizure of the video evidence from Daleidan’s home in 2016. That search and seizure were specifically against California law.

An excellent piece chronicling this case which has now come to court in preliminary hearings in San Francisco was penned by Madeline Osburn on Sept. 11, 2019, at thefederalist.com. Turns out the videos were both legal and authentic.

…former California attorney general Kamala Harris sought to prosecute Daleiden at the behest of her political donors at Planned Parenthood. Even though Daledien’s unreleased footage should have been protected by the California Shield Law, Harris ordered a search warrant against Daleiden in 2016 and a raid of his apartment, seizing his computer, camera equipment, and footage.  Email records show correspondence between Harris’ office and Planned Parenthood officials, orchestrating public responses, filing police reports, and even drafting legislation targeting Daleiden. Harris has received tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from Planned Parenthood-affiliated entities, so the nature of her behavior is no mystery.

Inset.2.9.14.2019The involvement of Kamala Harris would explain why more hasn’t been forthcoming in the Leftmedia concerning this. That and, of course, one other serious political consideration, the malevolent doctrine of “pro-choice” being a primary icon of the Left.

Otherwise, the Left might see this as a very important free speech case, as Ms. Osburn highlights. However, the video which is now being viewed in court has revealed the most disturbing details yet of Planned Parenthood’s baby body-parts trafficking.

Four days into the hearings, significant and graphic details about StemExpress’ business steadily emerge, such as their supplying of beating fetal hearts and intact fetal heads to medical researchers.

This means Planned Parenthood was selling the beating hearts and complete heads to StemExpress who would then sell hearts that were beating and fully intact heads to the, um, ‘researchers!’ All of this is illegal, by the way, and undercover evidence of illegal activity is legal to obtain not only in California but under most whistleblower laws nationwide.

The fact that the “pro-choice” enthusiasts believe so fervently in their cause that they would support such butchery for profit and political gains even though it is illegal is pure malevolence befitting the label of demonic. Yet as disturbing as this revelation is, the next story matches, if not exceeds it in reaching new depths of malignant depravity.

Abortions for Sexual “Pleasure”

abortion, pro-choice, pro-lifeIf you are staring at the subtitle in disbelief, I shared similar astonishment when I first heard of this in another article from Sept. 11, 2019, at lifenews.com. Author Micaiah Bilger chronicles the beginnings of a disturbing new trend in a particular part of social media.

 As unimaginably evil as it seems, apparently some couples find a sexual high in purposefully getting pregnant and aborting their unborn babies. Summit News recently uncovered couples discussing the disturbing sexual fetish on Reddit. The comments came from a post where one user explained that their female friend “has a really powerful fetish for breeding.”… “My girlfriend enjoys her pregnancies and she enjoys the abortion,” the person responded. “Her preferred date to abort is between 20 and 24 weeks of gestation. I enjoy making her pregnant. And I enjoy the time of her pregnancy. She has no menstrual period and she is sexually very active. …“In the last ten years in our relationship we have done seven abortions and my girlfriend is pregnant again with a little girl,” he continued. …A third person praised the abhorrent behavior, writing: “It is good (and rare) to hear of a couple (both man and woman) where both members are into abortion and pregnancy. This is a wonderful and potent example of personal power, where sex meets violence and creation combines with destruction,” the report continues.

The most surprising aspect of this behavior is not that it actually happened. Something akin to this was always the logical extension of the legal and societal approval of abortion on demand.

One thing that is more surprising and disturbing is this scenario makes abortion a “good” thing because couples can exercise their “personal power, where sex meets violence and creation combines with destruction.” It’s kinda like being a pair of sex-crazed serial killers without ever having to see your victims or worry about getting caught.

To put it another way, the couple gets a high playing God by sacrificing other lives over and over. Moreover, it’s all for the physical comfort and ‘pleasure’ of the self-made demigods which they can enjoy again each time a child is snuffed out!

What I also found astonishing was the nonchalance the Reddit commentators showed discussing killing the unborn child when they obviously know he or she is really a human child. The one whose girlfriend was now pregnant for the eighth time casually noted that the child now in her womb was a girl.

He makes this comment knowing that in a few weeks, they were going to pay someone to have this little girl killed once she served her purpose for their pleasure. Not only was he okay with that, but he seemed happy that they could just start the cycle all over again!

pro-life, pro-choiceThis is a different level of depravity on display than any I know. It manifests a deeper evil than even the abuse and murder of slaves or the Nazi medical experiments on living human beings.

This practice is a deeper evil for two simple and virtually unprecedented reasons. First of all, there is no force or coercion of any kind toward the mother.

In the vast majority of abortions, coercion plays a large part in the decision to abort. The mother is often pressured by the father, her own parents, other authority figures and peers to “fix” her “mistake,” so she can move on with her life.

However, in this scenario, the father and the mother agree to a long series of abortions, one after the other, for as long as they are together and physically able, for the sake of their own ‘pleasure’!

Secondly, the child in the womb is viewed here as a “sex toy” to be used and later discarded in favor of another human child to use as another “sex toy.”

Not only is the life of the child viewed on a lower level than the life of the parents, but the child herself is regarded as an inhuman non-living thing! Even when deceptive “pro-choice” advocates say that the fetus is a “lump of cells” they at least acknowledge that those are living human cells.

Recently an official from Planned Parenthood said this,

…we will continue to defend the truth: EVERY reason to have an abortion is a valid reason,” said Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region.

This means that Ms. McNicholas would have no problem with serial abortions as a sexual fetish. Taking what she has said in another light, she could add that according to this view, there is also no good reason to actually give birth to a child and every good reason to destroy that child!

Welcome to the depths of depraved “pro-choice” ideology where what was called light is now darkness and what was good is now called evil. Should this ideology continue unabated, it is a frightening omen for the future of society.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of David Jackmanson’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of American Life League’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Victoria Pickering’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of billy verdin’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Walt Stoneburner’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published at TIL Journal

Epstein, the Left and Sexual Abuse of Children [Video]

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There is one advantage to the Leftist displays of lunacy in recent years. It is revealing to more people than ever how insane the Left actually is.

However, there is also a decided disadvantage in acquiring this knowledge. It is when one discovers just how depraved Leftist insanity has now become.

Such knowledge stirs emotions ranging from disgust to anger, especially when it concerns those who are helpless among us. We learned this anew when the newest charges against wealthy Leftist Jeffery Epstein were revealed recently.

This convicted pedophile is now facing further charges and perhaps some real hard time, not the 13 months of light-duty he received before. In fact, most commentators expect that Epstein could take several high-profile Democratic stars down with him, most of all former President Bill Clinton.

The author of “Trafficking,” Conchita Sarnoff appeared on Fox News where she destroyed Bill Clinton for his denial statement being involved with Jeffrey Epstein. Sarnoff dropped a huge bomb by establishing not only did Bill Clinton ride Epstein’s plane 27 times and many without secret service, but the pilot logs establish many underage girls were riding those flights as well.

Panic on the Left

Bill Clinton, Jeffery EpsteinThe Left is practically in panic mode because of these revelations. They realize that the fallout from the Epstein affair could seriously damage their hopes of regaining the White House.

Consequently, the Leftmedia has taken care to make sure that President Trump is mentioned in association with Epstein at every opportunity. The one huge problem is that not only is there no evidence of any association as the only dealings between the two was when Trump had Epstein thrown out and banned from his Mar-a-Lago hotel.

Patterson had another revelation about whether or not Trump had knowledge of Epstein’s disgusting activities.

At another point in the interview, Patterson said he “knows Trump didn’t know” about Epstein’s alleged criminal activity.

However, Trump’s Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta has been under the gun because he was the prosecutor involved in Epstein getting a sweetheart plea bargain in 2008. Acosta has tendered his resignation as Labor Secretary in light of that revelation.

President Trump announced he did not have any involvement of Acosta resigning and he came to that decision on his own. Trump told ABC, “He’s doing this not for himself, he’s doing this for the administration.”

Chuck Schumer, Jeffery EpsteinThe Left is also furiously trying to use this episode with Acosta to keep the focus on Trump and away from the Leftist power brokers they adore. One example features the lovable (?) Senator Chuck Schumer [D-NY] calling for Acosta’s resignation to deflect from the rather substantial amount of money Epstein donated to Schumer’s political aspirations.

The New York senator and entities that are linked to him received a grand total of around $22,000 from the accused sex trafficker, The New York Post reported.

It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks just how many names of influential Leftists will be discovered as close associates and companions of this billionaire sex trafficker. Moreover, it should not be surprising that Leftists use and abuse children since they have routinely been doing so in their own political and cultural arenas for quite awhile.

Leftists Child Sex-Abuse Reaches Beyond Epstein

Some may point out that Epstein is not representative of the Left as he is only one person. Of course, this ignores the grave implications of the Clintons and various other celebrities of Leftist bent having close associations with Epstein.

However, there is far more evidence implicating the Left in pedophilia and other types of child abuse.  For instance, there is an entire Leftist organization dedicated to normalizing pedophilia called the North American Man-Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA.

North American Man-boy Love Association

So there is no confusion, the “love” part of the name refers specifically to the sexual attraction male pedophiles have toward underage boys. They openly advocate for the normalization of “consensual” sexual relationships between adult males and underage boys and campaign for the reduction or elimination of age-of-consent laws.

Here is one of the arguments they use to justify their existence:

Most man/boy relationships are based on mutual respect and affection, and strongly desired by both partners. Such relationships do not harm anyone, and often entail many benefits for both man and boy. Boy-lovers and boys alike respond to the needs of those they love — needs for affection, understanding, and freedom.

However, a fascinating video from a 2009 “Hannity” episode gave a bit of an inside look at NAMBLA from someone who infiltrated the group. The video quality is poor but the message is very clear and disturbing.

Jennings was appointed by then-President Obama in 2009 and served as “Safe Schools Czar” for 18 months before he stepped down in 2011, presumably so as not to make Obama’s re-election campaign more difficult.

Kevin Jennings, a homosexual activist who has served in the U.S. Department of Education as the “Safe Schools Czar” for the last 18 months has stepped down, with some saying Jenning was pushed out for fear that his unsavory past would become an issue in the 2012 elections.

A more recent example of pedo-promotion occurred just last month in a tweet which is no longer available on Twitter as the account has been suspended. The account belonged to Amos Yee, a refugee who came to America seeking political asylum in 2016, which he received in 2017.

Mr. Amos Yee, for the record, is a pedophile himself who on Dec. 6, 2018 posted a photo of a pre-pubescent girl on Twitter with the comment “How does one not become a pedophile?” He wrote a tweet on June 11, 2019, which reads,

Children enjoy sex, whether that’s between themselves or someone their age or even better yet someone who’s mature and can guide them through sex. Sex between an adult and a child doesn’t always = rape. Pedos need to be accepted. #LGBTQP #Pride 2019

Pedos need to be accepted?! Seriously? This is an obvious attempt to normalize pedophilia, and Yee is one of many on the Left who want such normalization to happen.

PedophiliaIn fact, prominent Leftist publications such as Salon magazine have promoted the idea that there exist “virtuous pedophiles,” in several articles from 2015. Moreover, a New York Times op-ed writer advocated on October 5, 2014, that pedophilia should be protected as a disability under the law!

The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination against otherwise qualified individuals with mental disabilities, in areas such as employment, education and medical care. Congress, however, explicitly excluded pedophilia from protection under these two crucial laws. It’s time to revisit these categorical exclusions. …

These episodes are a few revelations of how those guilty of heinous crimes against children prey on the young with the support of the Left. Moreover, there is another movement that has gained massive support from the Left which exploits and physically harms very young children, the movement for “transgender rights.”

Leftist Political Action for The Torture of ‘Transitioning’ Children

This journal, along with many others, has repeatedly warned of the dangers of ‘transgenderism’ to society as a whole and to children in particular. Here is a movement of child sex abuse that has received active promotion by past President Obama.

This happened in 2016 with the…

granting of federal government approval of the ‘transgender rights’ cause. This was accomplished by former President Barack Obama in 2016.
“The Obama administration is sending out an edict today [5/13/2016] to every school district in the country, insisting they open bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers to all children, regardless of sex, or risk federal discrimination lawsuits and yanked federal funds. Schools must treat children as transgender and thus entitled to open facilities access as soon as parents say they are, not after a medical diagnosis or birth certificate change.”

Some might ask why transgenderism should be included as sexual child abuse. I would ask another question in response.

Transgenderism

“How is a societal and political movement which encourages children as young as 3 or 4 to ‘identify’ as the wrong sex, eventually take dangerous drugs as ‘puberty blockers’, followed by injecting dangerous ‘cross-sex hormone’ chemicals and finished by surgical destruction of sex organs be anything other than the sexual abuse of children?”

This is simply a process of slow torture for the child, dooming that child to a lifetime of confusion, depression and eventual suicide for almost half its victims. It also involves the powerful adult imposing their fantasy onto the child as early as possible to give the child little room to escape.

An excellent piece in Thinkr’s online magazine goes through the entire process in cold detail and makes the following observation.

The age at which each of the phases commences is getting continually lower. This decreases the likelihood that children will be able to consider a different course. They will be hemmed into a particular course of action far before they are emotionally, psychologically, and socially developed enough to realize the ramifications of their feelings.

The Left owns this issue, as even a casual observer can see. However, it must also be admitted that the Christian community has experienced more than its share of cases of child sex abuse.

The Question of Child Abuse by Christians

I’m going to address one objection which will undoubtedly be raised against the crux of this article. “What about Christians, like Catholic priests, or Protestant ministers who have been guilty of sexual abuse of children? They’re not a bunch of Leftists, are they?”

There are two incorrect assumptions within those kinds of questions. First, there is the assumption that Catholics and Protestants are not Leftward leaning at all.

Pedophilia, ChurchThat is not the case, as this journal has noted in several articles. Perhaps a majority of these organizations are conservative, however, a substantial minority of them are what I have called the Leftward Church.

Second, and more importantly, is the false assumption that the sexually abusing children is approved and accepted by the conservative Christian community. Incidents of such abuse have been hidden by church authorities, which is precisely the point.

While sexual abuse of the young may happen within Christian and conservative circles, it is roundly condemned and punished there when it becomes known. It is because of such condemnation and punishment that these acts are hidden by the abusers.

The Left is not trying to hide this agenda at all. As has been noted above, many are not only open about it, both pedophilia and transgenderism are being celebrated by the Left and pushed toward normalization in society and through the law.

It is vital that these efforts by the Left at normalization of child sex abuse are resisted with all the fervor which we can muster. Moreover, such resistance should begin by calling upon the LORD’s grace and mercy for not resisting the Left, and pleas that He help us stand for righteousness against the fury of the Left.

Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. I have paid attention and listened, but they have not spoken rightly; no man relents of his evil, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle. Jeremiah 8:5-6 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Verison, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Trending Topics 2019 Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Eric Austin’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of AFGE’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Wikimedia Commons by nettoyé par Silsor – Public Domain
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Inset Image 5 courtesy of Viv D.’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 6 courtesy of Mike McBey’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

Sacrifice

Sacrifice is the mother of everything.

Without sacrifice, you can’t get what you want in your life.

Your success always demands great sacrifice from you.

Are you ready for that?

Ask yourself.

Then you’ll know how to sacrifice in your life.

Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

To Buy this Book- POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION!

Thank you for reading. Let us make a beautiful world together. God bless!

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