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This is war and we’re all bloody

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No. Don’t let it go.

The news media wants to move on beyond James Hodgkinson. They want us to write him off as a nutter, who let his political beliefs inform his pre-existing violent tendencies, fed by a gun culture that allowed him to own an SKS rifle which he used to hunt Republican lawmakers.

But we should not move on.

Hodgkinson had an assassination list including names of Republican members of Congress such as Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Scott Desjarlais (R-Tenn.) and Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia). Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson noted that all six are members of the House Freedom Caucus.

Someone mailed threatening letters, complete with a white powder, to Karen Handel‘s neighborhood.

Self-identified conservative Lisa Loomer leaped onto the stage at a performance of “Julius Caesar” in New York–but with Donald Trump as a stand-in for the doomed emperor’s assassination. Yells of “The blood of Steve Scalise is on your hands!” accompanied her stupid pet trick.

No. Let’s not move on.

The blood of Steve Scalise is on our hands, collectively. And the blood of Gabby Giffords, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. And no, I’m not talking about guns, which are inanimate objects that don’t commit crimes.

But Reagan and Giffords were shot by genuine nutters who long before veered off into incoherent mental illness. The war on the mentally ill procuring lethal weapons is one we need to continue fighting, along with the war on gang bangers procuring Tek-9s and young violent black teens torturing white disabled boys live on Facebook.

Add to that the war on race-baiters of all skin colors, from the alt-right and the BLM left. And the war on drugs (I’m talking about meth, oxycodone, and heroin here, not Bill Clinton’s weed).

We are at war.

Jonah Goldberg hates metaphorical wars, while defining “war” as something physical and violent.

The war on cancer was metaphorical. The war between the sexes is metaphorical. The term “civil war” is a literal one. And in an actual war, killing is not only acceptable, it’s mandatory. Look, I get that language is flexible and I’ve no doubt used the term “war” in diversely interpretable ways. But if we call today’s hyper-polarized and tribal political and cultural conflict a “civil war,” then we have no words left for an actual civil war. More to the point, this week’s shooting demonstrates the difference.

Fair enough. But the word “war” isn’t limited to one where the options are kill or be killed.

In fact, we can be in a war where one side kills and the other refuses to kill except in the most extreme self-defense. Are we not familiar with Israel? Israel could defeat all of its enemies. It could certainly do away with the Palestinian threat if it engaged in the kind of occupation practiced by, say, China, or Russia (or the old Soviet Union). But it doesn’t.

I think we walk into the forests of political and philosophical thought so deep that we argue over trees way too often. We are at war, but the war is not between the Blue and Red tribes, or the Democrats and Republicans, or liberals and conservatives, or seculars and God-fearers.

Our war is between a civilized nation and a brutal one. It’s the rule of man’s discipline and compassion versus might makes right. In the crucible of World War II, before even the Battle of Britain, King George VI told “his peoples” what they were fighting for.

It is a principle which permits a state, in the selfish pursuit of power, to disregard its treaties and its solemn pledges, which sanctions the use of force or threat of force against the sovereignty and independence of other states.

Such a principle, stripped of all disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine that might is right, and if this principle were established through the world, the freedom of our own country and of the whole British Commonwealth of nations would be in danger.

America faces this same enemy, except from within.

We cannot fight in a physical civil war to defeat this enemy, because in doing so, we’d be falling into the trap of declaring “might is right.” But there are other kinds of war, and other kinds of battle that far predate Goldberg’s lamentation “then we have no words left for an actual civil war.” Actually, we do have words for that: tragedy, cataclysm, catastrophe are a few that come to mind.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:12, that “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it.” Yet Jesus did not call on His disciples to conduct violent war against them.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:

I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Civilization wins when we fight with stronger weapons than mere bullets and knives. We have a divine power, which has as its shield a philosophical, emotional, and logical argument that good triumphs over evil, that light defeats darkness, and that truth wins over lies.

The enemy isn’t “the other side.” The enemy is giving in to violence, lies, and personal attacks. We know who is serving the enemy by their words and actions.

Those who hunt Republican lawmakers are wrong, but those who leap onto stages to condemn them are also wrong. It’s simply a matter of degree. We condemn both. The president is wrong to lie and manipulate in the press and on Twitter. But those who hate him are also wrong to mock and lie about him.

God isn’t on the Republican side–or the Democrat side. Just as God wasn’t on the North’s or South’s side in the Civil War, God is on humanity’s side as He remains today. Civilization means treating others as you want to be treated. It doesn’t mean that the government has to be everything to everyone while we merrily scorn each other.

Liberals and conservatives, Christians and non-Christians, Republicans and Democrats can all agree that we shouldn’t pursue revenge, lies, and violence. We shouldn’t cancel Christmas parties because people who support President Trump might be there. We shouldn’t kick people off airliners because they support the president. We shouldn’t invent fake hate crimes to indict Trump supporters.

But we also shouldn’t defend the president when he engages in many of the same lies his detractors use. Wrong is wrong, and civilization cannot survive if we pursue such a course.

I’d say this is a good time for us to not move on. It’s a good time for the press to stop the news cycle and dwell on where we are a bit. We should look at James Hodgkinson and what produced him. Then we should humble ourselves and (yes!) pray.

This is war, and blood is on all our hands. It’s devilish to claim anyone here is clean.

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Culture and Religion

PragerU: Does race really matter?

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PragerU Does race really matter

Leftwing talk about race frightens Dennis Prager and it should frighten you as well. There is a dangerous precedent being set by the left that is creating division where it no longer exists. Unfortunately, it definitely did exist in the recent past, but modern America generally does not look at race as much of an indicator anymore EXCEPT when the left makes it an issue. This is ironic, of course, because in their quest to supposedly eliminate racism, the left tends to make race a bigger issue than it needs to be.

We hear about cultural appropriations, certain races whose lives apparently matter more than others, and the deconstruction of our nation’s history based upon cultural norms from the time that are no longer acceptable now. Yes, many of America’s first people were racist. Some even owned slaves. Even after slavery was abolished, we experienced racial divides that continued through the civil rights movement all the way into modern times. But today, those divides are no longer as prominent. A black President was elected with a strong number of non-black voters behind him. Congress is more racially and sexually diverse than ever in our country’s history. We have more CEOs of major corporations who aren’t just “old white guys” than ever.

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America is making strong strides to effectively eliminate racial inequality, but the push to keep the divide as wide as possible isn’t coming from the general conservative side of the political aisle. Yes, there are white supremacists who claim a portion of the right-leaning mantle, but they are infinitesimal compared to the standard masses of conservatives who have seen beyond race. The real cultural and racial divides are being perpetuated by the left, and in particular by our leaders from the Democratic Party who cannot have a future if they do not play the race card incessantly.

This video by PragerU shows the stark difference between Dennis Prager and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). As she vies for votes by playing the race card, Mr. Prager calls out the real racism in America that’s coming from the left.

 


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Culture and Religion

What are the spiritual beings in the Bible?

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What are the spiritual beings in the Bible

Most people, even those who haven’t read the Bible, are likely familiar with it enough to know there are two primary groups being discussed: humans and God in his three forms, also known as the Trinity. Those who have read the Bible realize there are other groups of being as well. These are the “spiritual beings” of the Bible – angels, demons, and everything in between.

While I don’t always agree with everything taught by the folks at The Bible Project, most of their perspectives are excellent. More importantly, they’re able to break down the complex elements of the Bible and retell the stories in ways anyone can understand.

They’ve begun a new series focused on spiritual beings that I’m very hopeful will be enlightening and exegetically accurate. This is an important teaching to understand. While I’d recommend reading one of Michael Heiser’s books on the subject, those who aren’t ready for lengthy research should at least take a look at this or other teachings. It’s an important topic, one that gets much less attention than it deserves.

As we continue to work on our Principalities and Powers Podcast, it behooves us that more people are aware of the forces that we don’t necessarily see that are at work around us. This is why we’re hopeful about this new series from The Bible Project.

 


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Culture and Religion

The Catholic-Mulsim fraternity deal is anti-Biblical

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The Catholic-Mulsim fraternity deal is anti-Biblical

Before I get into the meat of this subject, it’s important to be perfectly clear about one thing. This is not an anti-Catholic perspective. I not only love my Catholic brothers and sisters who follow the Bible and embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I’m actually related to a great deal of them. Yes, the majority of my large family on my mother’s side is Catholic. Spent the day with about a dozen of them yesterday.

With that stated, the leadership of the Catholic Church and the direction of the Vatican are so far off course, it’s odd that so few are actually calling them out for what is arguably the most anti-Biblical action they’ve ever officially taken. As bad as the action was, I’m more concerned that it’s not getting nearly the press it deserves.

I’m referring to the agreement signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of Sunni Islam’s most prestigious seat of learning. In this agreement, the truth of the God of the Bible is intermingled with the falsehood of the god of the Quran, Allah. Moreover, the call for the unification of religions in a fraternity of secular peace is disturbing, not because we’re against peace but because the call to make peace is done with an understanding that or beliefs are supposed to be secondary to the collective good in this world. Lastly and most disturbingly, there’s a line in the document that is drawing some ire, though not nearly as much as Bible-believing Christians might expect:

“The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in his wisdom, through which he created human beings.”

The wording here is very careful. They’re trying not to say God willed other religions as a path to find Him, but when read in context with the rest of the document, that’s exactly what they’re trying to imply. They’ve put Islam on equal footing with the Judeo-Christian religions by insinuating God and Allah are the same entity.

They are not.

Defenses of the document seem to focus on two notions. First, in regards to the controversial line above, they’re saying that religious diversity is similar to sex, race, and other things that are willed by God because many are inherently predisposed to follow the religions of the culture surrounding them. Their second argument is that God wants his children to find Him, and if that path must go through Islam or Hindu or any other religion, so be it.

This is heretical teaching. One must do some pretty aggressive hermeneutical gymnastics to say that since God created everything, and other religions fall into the category of being included in “everything,” then God created the other religions. As a loving God, surely He didn’t limit which people could find Him and live eternal life, right?

The Bible cannot be more clear on one important fact: there is only one way to everlasting life: belief and worship of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The document insinuates Islam is a path to salvation since, hey, they believe that Jesus was a very important prophet, so they’re not totally wrong. If it leads them to Christ through a non-traditional path, so be it.

This is a very dangerous road, one that harms the way the Catholic Church leads its people. It’s time for Bible-believing Catholics to speak out against the heretical teaching their leaders have embraced.

 


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