September 29, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 29) THE PROBLEM WITH PRIDE (chapters 16, 21, 28, 29) Proverbs 29:23 “Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.”

Proverbs 29New Living Translation

29 Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism
    will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.

When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice.
    But when the wicked are in power, they groan.

The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
    but if he hangs around with prostitutes, his wealth is wasted.

A just king gives stability to his nation,
    but one who demands bribes destroys it.

To flatter friends
    is to lay a trap for their feet.

Evil people are trapped by sin,
    but the righteous escape, shouting for joy.

The godly care about the rights of the poor;
    the wicked don’t care at all.

Mockers can get a whole town agitated,
    but the wise will calm anger.

If a wise person takes a fool to court,
    there will be ranting and ridicule but no satisfaction.

10 The bloodthirsty hate blameless people,
    but the upright seek to help them.[a]

11 Fools vent their anger,
    but the wise quietly hold it back.

12 If a ruler pays attention to liars,
    all his advisers will be wicked.

13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common—
    the Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.

14 If a king judges the poor fairly,
    his throne will last forever.

15 To discipline a child produces wisdom,
    but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.

16 When the wicked are in authority, sin flourishes,
    but the godly will live to see their downfall.

17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind
    and will make your heart glad.

18 When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
    But whoever obeys the law is joyful.

19 Words alone will not discipline a servant;
    the words may be understood, but they are not heeded.

20 There is more hope for a fool
    than for someone who speaks without thinking.

21 A servant pampered from childhood
    will become a rebel.

22 An angry person starts fights;
    a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.

23 Pride ends in humiliation,
    while humility brings honor.

24 If you assist a thief, you only hurt yourself.
    You are sworn to tell the truth, but you dare not testify.

25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap,
    but trusting the Lord means safety.

26 Many seek the ruler’s favor,
    but justice comes from the Lord.

27 The righteous despise the unjust;
    the wicked despise the godly.

The Problem With Pride

February 11, 2016 Save Article

Proverbs 16:18 (Program: 2223, Air date: 11.9.2014)

  1. WHAT PRIDE IS NOT:
    1. Pride is not a good self-image.
      1. Humility is not thinking lowly of ourselves; it is not thinking of ourselves.
        1. Luke 18:9-14
        2. John 13:3-5
    2. Pride is not gratefulness for a job well done.
  2. WHAT IS PRIDE?
    1. An attitude of independence from God
    2. A spirit of ungratefulness to God
    3. Esteeming ourselves better than others
  3. INDICATORS OF A PROUD PERSON
    1. A proud person becomes irritated when corrected for mistakes.
    2. A proud person accepts praise for things over which he or she has no control (i.e. beauty, talents, abilities).
    3. A proud person has an ungrateful spirit for all that God has done.
    4. A proud person often finds himself in competition with others.
  4. PRIDE DEFIES GOD. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
    1. Proverbs 16:5
      1. Why does God hate pride?
        1. It was pride that made the devil the devil.
          1. Isaiah 14:13-16
          2. 1 Timothy 3:6
        2. Pride ruined the human race.
          1. Genesis 3:5
          2. 1 Peter 5:5
  5. PRIDE DEFILES MAN. (Proverbs 16:5)
    1. Proverbs 21:4
    2. Mark 7:21-22
      1. Pride comes from within our human nature.
  6. PRIDE DIVIDES SOCIETY. (Proverbs 13:10)
    1. There’s never been a war, argument, divorce or church split in which pride was not a major factor.
    2. Proverbs 28:25
      1. Pride puts us out of fellowship with God and others.
  7. PRIDE DISHONORS LIFE. (Proverbs 11:2)
    1. A proud person wants honor and esteem, but pride only brings dishonor.
      1. Proverbs 15:33
      2. Proverbs 18:12
      3. Proverbs 29:23
    2. Pride turned the devil into the devil.
      1. Isaiah 14:13-16
        1. Satan is going to be brought down, and Jesus will be exalted.
          1. Philippians 2:5-9
  8. PRIDE DESTROYS SOULS. (Proverbs 15:25)
    1. Pride is the road to ruin and destruction.
      1. Proverbs 16:18-19
      2. Proverbs 18:12
        1. National ruin
          1. 2 Chronicles 7:14
        2. Domestic ruin
        3. Financial ruin
        4. Emotional ruin
        5. Spiritual ruin
    2. There is no one too bad that they can’t be saved. 
    3. There is no one too good that they don’t need to be saved.

—-

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 443 Responding to Dan Barker’s book LIFE DRIVEN PURPOSE ( “I believe when I die I will rot,” HOWEVER, DAN TAKE A LOOK AT THIS CURIOUS VIEW BY SAM HARRIS THAT YOU MAY BE WRONG ON THIS!!!! ) FEATURED ARTIST IS Braque

Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning

I have read articles for years from Dan Barker, but recently I just finished the book Barker wrote entitled LIFE DRIVEN PURPOSE which was prompted by Rick Warren’s book PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE which I also read several years ago.

Dan Barker is the  Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, And co-host of Freethought Radio and co-founder of The Clergy Project.

On March 19, 2022, I got an email back from Dan Barker that said:

Thanks for the insights.

Have you read my book Life Driven Purpose? To say there is no purpose OF life is not to say there is no purpose IN life. Life is immensely meaningful when you stop looking for external purpose.

Ukraine … we’ll, we can no longer blame Russian aggression on “godless communism.” The Russian church, as far as I know, has not denounced the war.

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In the next few weeks I will be discussing the book LIFE DRIVEN PURPOSE which I did enjoy reading. Here is an assertion that Barker makes that I want to discuss:

I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.

NOT EVERY ATHEIST CAN ACCEPT THAT THERE IS NOTHING AFTER LIFE!!! Take this curious case of Sam Harris below!!!

—-

Ricky Gervais To Launch Podcast 'Absolutely Mental' With Sam Harris –  Deadline

Deadline

Ricky Gervais has announced that he will host a new paid-for podcast called Absolutely Mental.

The 11-part podcast will be available on AbsolutelyMental.com from May 10, and will feature the comedian in conversation with his friend, neuroscientist Sam Harris.

___

Ricky Gervais plays Tony Johnson in AFTER LIFE.

After Life on Netflix

In the podcast series ABSOLUTELY MENTAL Sam Harris answers questions from Ricky Gervais and many of these same questions are covered by the issues brought up in After Life. How are we different than machines? Why do humans think there is any afterlife? Is there any point to life? Many of these issues were also covered 3,000 years ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes by Solomon. 

In the past I have done over 100 blog posts on the Netflix series AFTER LIFE written by Ricky Gervais and staring Ricky as Tony Johnson. I respect both Ricky and his character Tony for being people who demand evidence and they refuse to accept anything with a blind faith. That is part of the reason I started writing letters to Ricky several years ago with historical evidence from archaeology and ancient cultures on the Bible’s claims. I personally think his latest series AFTER LIFE is his best by far and it does a great job of examining Ricky’s humanist worldview and the natural conclusions that come from this time plus chance view of the world.

Just like Solomon in The Book of Ecclesiastes, Ricky in AFTER LIFE is examining life under the sun, which is life between birth and death without God in the picture. The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter. In fact, the phrase under the sun appears 29 times in Ecclesiastes. 

Francis Schaeffer indicated Ecclesiastes is truly the book of modern man because modern humanist man’s philosophy has brought him to the nihilistic conclusion that all is vanity and meaninglessness. This appears to be the place that the atheist Tony Johnson has landed and many of the characters around Tony have come to pessimistic conclusions about life too, though they have searched for satisfaction and meaning in life by pursuing ladiesluxurieslearninglaborliquor, and laughter.

In Podcast Series ABSOLUTELY MENTAL episode 8 WHY DO WE FEAR DEATH? is this following exchange: 

Sam Harris “I get it from the other side because I am kinda agnostic about what happens after death. I am sure the religious pictures are wrong. There is no way there is a heaven and a hell of the sort that is imagined by monatheoistic religion, but given that we don’t actually know what reality is. We don’t actually know the distinction between mind and matter, it is still spooky right? We just don’t know how mind relates to the base layer of reality, but I have no expectations of my personally in terms of maintaining the memories of my life will persist. But I just don’t know what CONSCIOUSNESS is in the end.” Ricky Gervais responds “But we are all agnostic by definition because it deals with knowledge.” Sam notes, “ I am pretty sure that I know that rivers of milk and honey don’t exist.” Ricky states, Are you saying you think there might be other than nothingness in terms of experience? I can’t believe you think that. Based on what?” Sam responds, “Based on strange experiences both on psychedelics and in mediation where the mind seems to be…” Ricky observes, “Yeah but you are off your head. You are f$&@ng thinking nonsense!”

—-

This reminds me of Henry Miller who could not live with his secular view and had to embrace some sort of vague pantheism to give himself a leap into the dark irrational and come out of it with a nonsense belief that there is really a future somehow after death while clinging to his secular view.

Francis Schaeffer noted in THE GOD WHO IS THERE: 

Mysticism in Literature — Henry Miller 

In the writing of his earlier books, Miller (1891-1980) had not just set forth something which is dirty in a trivial sense, but he had succeeded in murdering everything which is meaningful, including sexual things. In these books he expressed his antilaw position, in every sense. However, Miller is another man who could not stand by his own position. Many others have been destroyed in their inner lives by his books, but he was not able to be so tough-fibered. So he joins the growing list of modern men who have accepted the new mysticism. In his later life Miller held to a pantheistic view of the world. 

(PAGE 80)

His later views are very cogently and consistently expressed in the Preface which he wrote to the French edition of Elie Favre’s History of Art. He calls his preface, “A Sense of Wonder.”4 This is an important title, for it implies that he is going to contrast the “sense of wonder” with the intellect. And this in fact is what he does. For example, he says, “Above all, he [Elie Favre] was a devout worshipper of the creative spirit in man. His approach, like our own Walt Whitman’s, was nothing less than cosmic.” This already has a pantheistic ring about it. Later on he continues, “What impact his work may have today, particularly on the young who are almost immune to wonder and mystery because of all the knowledge which has been crammed into their heads, I do not know.” This is a significant sentence because he has set the intellect and knowledge against the sense of wonder. One’s intellect would lead one only to the lower story of rationality and logic where there is no meaning in life, only machines. But in contrast to this one has a sense of wonder which bypasses the rational, and this sense is very much related to the use of the word awe that is so much in vogue today. The intellect is divorced and rejected. 

It must be plain that the later Henry Miller cannot in any sense be called a Christian. He is doing the same as Salvador Dali and the new theologians are doing—namely, using Christian symbols to give an illusion of meaning to an impersonal world which has no real place for man. 

This is Henry Miller, the writer of The Tropics, who in this preface takes up basically the same position as the new theologians. We have ample warning not to accept the “god words” of many modern theologians without being certain that they, like Henry Miller, are not using these words to give an illusion of meaning.

Night Of 1,000 Stars

In the 5th episode of the 2nd season we have the NIGHT OF THE 1000 STARS presentation by the TAMBURY PLAYERS and James becomes a central figure in this episode. We learn that his father left his mother because of James’ hyperactivity and later in the town show James ruins a poem that Rebecca was giving because of a fart that makes the stage STINK! This does make the episode come full circle as the first scene has Tony visiting an elderly gentleman who never washes up because it is not worth it since he has no one to love. Take a look at this review of the episode.

The Man Who Was Putting His Mail In A Trash Bin

After Life Season 2, Episode 5 recap: The Revue by Wade Wainio

Episode 205 of Netflix’s After Life is awkward entertainment.

In After Life 205, Tony (Ricky Gervais) must still face the eccentricities of his job. This time, he and Lenny (Tony Way) interview a man (Steve Speirs) who’s been erroneously putting his mail in a dog waste bun, due to his bad eyesight.

It gets sadder and weirder when he admits he thought the stench came from himself. He also mentions he never had any relationships due to low self-esteem, knowing that any woman would leave him.

In preparation for his Revue performance, James (Ethan Lawrence) “limbers up” his leg on a desk, annoying Valerie the receptionist (Michelle Greenidge).

We also learn that, due to his hyperactivity, James’ father gave June (Jo Hartley) an ultimatum: Either James goes or he will.

On the bright side, the character of James seems to like being at The Gazette. In fact, Tony and Sandy (Mandeep Dhillon) consistently seem more down in the dumps.

0_After-Life.jpg

Revue host Ken (Colin Hoult) does a rousing rendition of Dion’s “The Wanderer,” then June and James perform Elton John’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” James also wards off Rebecca (Tracy Ann Oberman) with a fart, essentially thwarting her poem.

The other big event

After Life has obviously hinged on Tony’s reaction to the death of his wife (Kerry Godliman). This episode offers another sad event: Tony’s dad dies. It gives us a chance to hear another side of the character. Tony tells Emma his father never hit him as a child, choosing instead to say he’s disappointed. On the surface, Tomy takes the news with aplomb, but we’ve seen how he can struggle to cope with loss before.

What’s the theme of the episode?

This episode can easily be considered clumsy, blending themes of a talent show with a tragic death.  However, one possible message is that life is sort of RANDOM like that.  It does NOT necessarily have a coherent message.  Life can be a bunch of semi-random events, then you die.

Joker- Send in the Clowns by Frank Sinatra

Tony’s character seems to reflect the idea that life itself is almost nihilistic.  It throws endless pitches at us, with many of them being curveballs.  In that sense (if I may stick to the baseball analogy), this episode perhaps knocks it out of the park.  Even if it’s nobody’s favorite, it is definitely a hodgepodge of events highlighting the random nature of human experience.

The last song of the show James dances to the song SEND IN THE CLOWNS. This song seems to support the idea that Tony is surrounded by fools. I agree with the reviewer that Ricky Gervais believes:

Life can be a bunch of semi-random events, then you die.Tony’s character seems to reflect the idea that life itself is almost nihilistic.

Wikipedia notes: 

Send In the Clowns” is a song written by Stephen Sondheim for the 1973 musical A Little Night Music, an adaptation of Ingmar Bergman‘s 1955 film Smiles of a Summer Night

The “clowns” in the title do not refer to circus clowns. Instead, they symbolize fools, as Sondheim explained in a 1990 interview:

I get a lot of letters over the years asking what the title means and what the song’s about; I never thought it would be in any way esoteric. I wanted to use theatrical imagery in the song, because she’s an actress,but it’s not supposed to be a circus […] [I]t’s a theater reference meaning “if the show isn’t going well, let’s send in the clowns”; in other words, “let’s do the jokes.” I always want to know, when I’m writing a song, what the end is going to be, so “Send in the Clowns” didn’t settle in until I got the notion, “Don’t bother, they’re here”, which means that “We are the fools.”[2]

In a 2008 interview, Sondheim further clarified:

As I think of it now, the song could have been called “Send in the Fools”. I knew I was writing a song in which Desirée is saying, “aren’t we foolish” or “aren’t we fools?” Well, a synonym for fools is clowns, but “Send in the Fools” doesn’t have the same ring to it.[3]

_

Ricky Gervais is member of the British Humanist Association and an atheist. Therefore, it is logical that he thinks life is a result of TIME and CHANCE!

In episode 2 of the second season of AFTER LIFE is the following discussion: 
Tony: I drink in times of trouble. I can’t help it the world is filled with trouble. It is a horrible place. Everyone is screwed up in someway. Everyone has worries like money or health or famine, war. We are chimps with brains the size of planets. No wonder we get drunk and try to kill each other. It is mental.

Matt: Always good to talk.

Tony: I was just explaining my new plan is to drink myself to death till I eventually implode in on my own evolution. 

In his interview with Russell Brand Ricky Gervais asserted, “We are machines. We are machines trying to understand ourselves and that is hard. Will there one day be a computer suffering from anxiety? I reckon so. We are chimps with brains the size of the planet….I don’t understand CONSCIOUSNESS…”

Francis Schaeffer noted:

Modern man resides in a two-story universe. In the lower story is the finite world without God; here life is absurd, as we have seen. In the upper story are meaning, value, and purpose. Now modern man lives in the lower story because he believes there is no God.But he cannot live happily in such an absurd world; therefore, he continually makes leaps of faith into the upper story to affirm meaning, value, and purpose, even though he has no right to, since he does not believe in God. Modern man is totally inconsistent when he makes this leap, because these values cannot exist without God, and man in his lower story does not have God.

This ties in well with what Schaeffer said in describing Andy Warhol’s art:

THE OBSERVER June 12, 1966 does a big spread on Warhol. Andy is a mass communicator. Someone has described pop art as Dada plus Madison Avenue or commercialism and I think that is a good definition. Dada was started in Zurich and came along in modern art. Dada means nothing. The word “Dada” means rocking horse, but it was chosen by chance. The whole concept Dada is everything means nothing. Pop Art has been said to be the Dada concept put forth in modern commercialization. Everything in his work is being leveled down to an universal monotony which he can always sell for $8000.00.

ANDY WARHOL says, “It stops you thinking about things. I wish I were a machine. I don’t want to be heard. I don’t want human emotions. I have never been touched by a painting. I don’t want to think. The world would be easier to live  in if we all were machines. It is nothing in the end anyway.”

Ricky’s atheistic humanism makes his selection of the song SILENCE by Dave Thomas Jr. perfect for AFTER LIFE because there has been no revelation from above which brings me to this discussion below. 

Francis Schaeffer when he was discussing the artwork of Francis Bacon then he skips over to  Paul Klee, Jackson Pollock, and John Cage and compares them to Bacon in their view that possibly that a message break forth  from the impersonal chance universe:

I have an essay on Francis Bacon by John Russell. Methuan published it in London in 1964.

Bacon goes on, “In my case all painting–and the older I get, the more it becomes so–is an accident.” Now this is very important and to think of Jackson Pollock putting on his paint as a pure accident and you may remember my lecture on Paul Klee.

Paul Klee (1879-1940) speaks of some of his paintings as though they were a kind of Ouija board. Klee thinks that the universe can speak through his paintings. Not because he believes there are spirits there to speak, but because he hopes that the universe will push through and cause a kind of automatic writing, this time in painting. It is an automatic writing with no one there, as far as anyone knows, but the hope that the “universe” will speak.We think of John Cage with the universe speaking though chance.

Now Bacon continues and he says something very similar to what Pollock, Cage and Klee believed, “I foresee it and yet I hardly ever carry it out as I foresee it. It transforms itself by the actual paint. I don’t in fact know very often what the paint will do, and it does many things that are very much better than I could make it do. Perhaps one could say it’s not an accident, because it becomes a selective process what part of the accident one chooses to preserve.”

Now here from Francis Bacon’s own viewpoint. An absurd universe in a total sense and in some element of the paint taking on its own personality and a message may come through from impersonal source.

Ecclesiastes 9:11

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Chance rules. If a man starts out only from himself and works outward it must eventually if he is consistent seem so that only chance rules and naturally in such a setting you can not expect him to have anything else but finally a hate of life.

I like Francis Schaeffer‘s term “Mannishness” of man. He defines it as those aspects of man, such as significance, love, rationality and the fear of non being, which mark him off from animals and machines and give evidence of his being created in the image of a personal God.

(Francis Schaeffer pictured)

The scientist Blaise Pascal is quoted by Sagan and then Sagan notes, “Most of the philosophers adjudged great in the history of western thought held that humans are fundamentally different from other animals…”

As you know Pascal was the inventor of the barometer and he lived from 1623 to 1662. Pascal also observed, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man,and only God can fill it.”

What is the solution? “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The scriptural directive is not for us to work harder to achieve God’s favor (Romans 3:20), but to accept God’s mercy through our repentance and receiving Christ as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-10).

In his interview with Russell Brand Ricky Gervais asserted, “I don’t understand CONSCIOUSNESS…”

Both Ricky and Sam admit that they can’t begin to understand consciousness yet Ricky is upset with Sam for admitting this is the basis for his being agnostic about what happens after death!

Francis Schaeffer

Image result for francis schaeffer roman bridge

How Should We Then Live | Season 1 | Episode 7 | The Age of Non-Reason


How Should We Then Live | Season 1 | Episode 8 | The Age of Fragmentation

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 1 | Abortion of the Human…

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 4 | The Basis for Human D…

1984 SOUNDWORD LABRI CONFERENCE VIDEO – Q&A With Francis & Edith Schaefer

Georges Braque - 1908 - 1882-1963

GEORGES BRAQUE (1882-1963)

Along with Picasso and Juan Gris, the main figure of Cubism, the most important of the avant-gardes of the 20th century Art

Georges Braque: A collection of 249 works (HD)


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In this post we are going to see that through the years  humanist thought has encouraged artists like Michelangelo to think that the future was extremely bright versus the place today where many artist who hold the humanist and secular worldview are very pessimistic.   In contrast to Michelangelo’s DAVID when humanist man thought he […]

By Everette Hatcher III|Posted in Francis Schaeffer|Tagged David LeedsJ.I.PACKERJoe CarterMassimiliano GioniMichelangeloMichelangelo’s DAVIDMichelangelo’s Florence PietàPaul McCarthyRenaissanceRick PearceyRush LimbaughTony Bartolucci|Edit|Comments (0)

Was Antony Flew the most prominent atheist of the 20th century?

April 25, 2014 – 1:59 am

_________ Antony Flew on God and Atheism Published on Feb 11, 2013 Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his death […]

By Everette Hatcher III|Posted in Current

School Choice Opponents Concede Defeat Just Days After Declaring Victory

School Choice Opponents Concede Defeat Just Days After Declaring Victory

Arizona school choice

School choice opponents in Arizona just tried to block the state’s newly passed school choice expansion to all Arizona children. Fortunately, parents have defeated them. (Photo: SDI Productions/Getty Images)

On Friday, opponents of education choice in Arizona declared a “historic victory.”

But by Monday, they were conceding defeat.

They had sought to gather enough signatures to block Arizona’s newly passed massive expansionof education choice and put it on the ballot for voters to decide. But apparently, the voters weren’t interested in what opponents were selling.

“I think we will end up short, yes,” said Beth Lewis, the executive director of the anti-school choice group Save Our Schools Arizona. Their defeat is a testament to the power of parents who mobilized to defend the education choice policy.

Earlier this summer, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, signed a bill sponsored by Arizona House Republican Majority Leader Ben Toma to expand eligibility for the state’s Empowerment Scholarship Account policy to all 1.1 million of the state’s K-12 students.

Arizona’s ESA policy is now the gold standard of education choice. Arizona ranks first in the nationfor education choice in The Heritage Foundation’s inaugural Education Freedom Report Card and second for education freedom overall (including in rankings of education choice, academic transparency, regulatory freedom, and return on investment for education spending), behind only Florida.

With an ESA, families receive about $7,000 per student—slightly more than the median elementary school tuition in Arizona—to use for educational expenses such as private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, homeschool curricula, online courses, special-needs therapy, and more. Students with special needs can receive additional funding.

On Friday, Save Our Schools Arizona claimed it had gathered 141,714 signatures, significantly more than the 118,823 valid signatures it needed to put the ESA expansion on the 2024 ballot.

Even then, its victory rang hollow. As I noted on Friday:

‘Valid’ is the key word. Signatures may be invalid for a variety of reasons—for example, if the signer isn’t registered to vote in Arizona, the signature or address doesn’t match what’s on file, and so on.

According to Ballotpedia, the average signature validity rate of ballot initiative petitions such as this one is 75.3%. Even with an 80% validity rate, Save Our Schools would need about 150,000 signatures to meet the threshold.

With about 142,000 signatures, Save Our Schools Arizona would need an 84% validity rate.

But it’s becoming increasingly clear that it turned in far fewer than the number it initially claimed. Although Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has not yet released the official number of signatures submitted, the Arizona Mirrorexplained why the information released thus far shows it is practically impossible that Save Our Schools cleared the signature threshold:

According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, the group filed 8,175 petition sheets. That means the group would have needed about 17.3 signatures per petition sheet to hit the number of signatures claimed — an impossibility, as there are only 15 lines per sheet.

And in order to meet the 118,823 valid signatures required to successfully block the law from going into effect to put it on the 2024 ballot, Save Our Schools Arizona needs more than 14.5 signatures on every sheet. That essentially means every sheet needs to be full for the measure to succeed.

A cursory review of the petition sheets that the Secretary of State’s Office digitized as part of its initial evaluation process shows very few sheets have all 15 lines full.

In short: It’s all over.

After a review of the digitized petition sheets, the Goldwater Institute and Center for Arizona Policy tallied that Save Our Schools Arizona submitted only 88,866 signatures. That’s not only far fewer signatures than they needed this year, it’s also far fewer than the roughly 111,000 signatures gathered for a similar referendum in 2018.

“We just sometimes get things wrong,” concededLewis.

“Arizona families have rejected special interests’ attempts to take away their ability to choose the education that best meets their child’s unique needs,” said Victor Riches, president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute. “Families deserve the right to choose the best education option for their children, regardless of ZIP code, and now, they’ll once again be able to exercise that right by applying for ESAs.”

What does all this mean? And what happens next? Here are three key takeaways:

1) All Arizona students will soon have access to Empowerment Scholarship Accounts.

Since the Arizona Department of Education began accepting ESA applications under the recently expanded eligibility on Aug. 16, it received more than 10,000 applications from families whose children qualified under the new guidelines. That means the number of ESA students will nearly double since the last academic year, when 11,775 Arizona students received an ESA.

But those families are in limbo as the ESA expansion is still on hold pending the official results of the referendum attempt.

The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office has 20 days to review the Save Our Schools Arizona petitions. If it failed to clear the signature threshold, then the ESA expansion will go into effect immediately.

But as Arizona Senate President Karen Fann noted today, the signature verification process should not take nearly that long, especially since the Secretary of State’s Office “relies on signature-review software to automate petition signature counting.”

The secretary of state should release the results with all deliberate speed so that Arizona families can start getting access to the ESAs that they need to provide their children with the education that best fits their individual learning needs.

At a rally this afternoon in front of Hobbs’ office, Ducey called on her to expedite the signature verification process, eliciting cheers from the scores of protesters in attendance.

2) Parents want education choice.

By all accounts, Save Our Schools Arizona should have garnered more signatures this year than it did four years ago. This time around, it had more experience, a larger network, and a bigger target (universal eligibility) than before. Yet is seems it significantly underperformed relative to 2018. Why?

In a word: parents.

In the wake of prolonged school shutdowns, “Zoom school,” and concerns over politicized classrooms, public support for education choicehas reached all-time highs, especially among parents.

A Morning Consult poll released last month found that 66% of Arizonans and 75% of parents of school-age children support Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. If given the choice, 58% of Arizona parents said they would like their child to attend a school of choice, including a private school (31%), a charter school (17%), or homeschool (10%).

The assault on education choice by Save Our Schools Arizona awakened a sleeping giant. Under the banner “Decline to Sign,” Arizona parents mobilized to inform voters about education choice and thwart the attempt to block the ESA expansion.

“If [Save Our Schools] showed up to gather signatures, there was a Decline to Sign parent volunteer also there,” said Grant Botma, a father of three from Gilbert, Arizona. “The energy and effort that these pro-ESA parents put forth helped properly educate our community to limit SOS petition signatures.”

When presented with both sides, voters were much less likely to sign a petition than they were four years ago. Not only that, but the protesters often piqued the voters’ interest in exercising education choice themselves.

Christine Emmanuel, a mother of four ESA students from Wittmann, Arizona, said she spoke to countless voters about the referendum and “about what the ESA can do for their children.” When she was done speaking with them, she said, “The only signing they wanted to do was to sign up for an Empowerment Scholarship Account.”

3) Save Our Schools Arizona has a credibility crisis.

If the secretary of state confirms the Goldwater/Center for Arizona Policy petition count and it is confirmed that Save Our Schools turned in about 50,000 signatures fewer than it claimed, its credibility will take a major hit.

“We did not intentionally fluff any of the numbers,” Lewis told the Arizona Mirror. “There’s a lot of room for human error.”

But it’s hard to square that claim with the facts.

Save Our Schools initially asserted that it had turned in 141,714 signatures—a very precise figure, down to the ones’ unit. But on Monday, it reversed course, claiming that “our counts were necessarily estimates.”

But as noted by Christine Sawhill Accurso, a leader of the Decline to Sign effort, a 50,000-signature shortfall is not just a “rounding error.”

It’s understandable if estimates are off by 5% or even 10%, but the Save Our Schools “estimates” were off by about 56%, suggesting gross error at best, malfeasance at worst.

And that’s not all. According to the secretary of state, Save Our Schools Arizona initially claimedthat it had turned in 10,200 petition sheets, but the office later confirmed that only 8,175 sheets had actually been turned in.

How were its reported submissions off by more than 2,000 sheets? Was it that inept or did ity lie to the secretary of state and the general public? And if the latter, didn’t it realize that the truth would very quickly come out?

No doubt Save Our School Arizona’s many volunteers, supporters, and donors are asking those very questions right now. Although Lewis has pledged to try another ballot initiative to curb education choice next year, it’s unlikely that there will be much appetite among donors and grassroots activists to support her group again.

Meanwhile, families seeking to provide their children with an education that best fits their learning needs are breathing a sigh of relief.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com, and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

Apparent Victory Rings Hollow for Group Opposing School Choice

One of the greatest hurdles for Arizona’s opponents of school choice is voter support, which has reached all-time highs in the wake of prolonged school shutdowns and concerns over politicized classrooms. (Photo illustration: Image Source/Getty Images)

The effort to block a massive expansion of education choice in Arizona appears to be running out of steam.

Beth Lewis, executive director of the anti-school choice group Save Our Schools Arizona, or SOS, put on her best game face Friday afternoon as she announced that her group has gathered enough signatures to put the recent expansion of Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accountprogram on the ballot for voters to decide.

But it wasn’t hard to detect Lewis’ disappointment.

Earlier this summer, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, signed a bill sponsored by Arizona House Majority Leader Ben Toma, R-Peoria, to expand eligibility for the state’s ESA policy to all 1.1 million of the state’s K-12 students.

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That would mean all families could receive about $7,000 to use for educational expenses such as private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, homeschool curricula, online courses, special-needs therapy, and more.

The program is widely hailed as the gold standard of education choice, cementing Arizona’s first-place ranking for education choice in The Heritage Foundation’s new Education Freedom Report Card. Arizona placed second nationwide for education freedom overall (including rankings of education choice, academic transparency, regulatory freedom, and return), behind only Florida.

Lewis’ group acted quickly to contest the ESA expansion. Under Arizona state law, voters may refer recently enacted legislation to the ballot for voter approval if they gather the signatures of registered Arizona voters equal to at least 5% of all votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.

In 2018, Save Our Schools Arizona ran a similar referendum campaign, in which it gathered about 111,000 signatures—comfortably exceeding the threshold of about 75,000 valid voter signatures. This year, sending the issue to referendum required about 119,000 valid signatures.

“Valid” is the key word. Signatures may be invalid for a variety of reasons—for example, if the signer isn’t registered to vote in Arizona, the signature or address doesn’t match what’s on file, and so on.

According to Ballotpedia, the average signature validity rate of ballot initiative petitions such as this one is 75.3%. Even with an 80% validity rate, Save Our Schools would need about 150,000 signatures to meet the threshold.

But SOS turned in only about 142,000 signatures Friday afternoon. Unless the group achieved an unusually high validity rate—84%—it is likely that it has failed to obtain enough valid signatures.

It appears that Save Our Schools Arizona already sees the writing on the wall. Earlier this week, Lewis offered a litany of excuses to the left-wing media outlet Salon, complaining about the higher signature threshold relative to 2018, the 80-day window to collect signatures, and likely scrutiny from the legal system.

But Lewis reserved her greatest ire for the efforts of school choice groups such as the Goldwater Institute and the American Federation for Children, to protect the expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Salon reported:

‘They’re already signaling massive legal battles,’ said SOS Arizona director Beth Lewis, who said that petitions are frequently challenged over not just issues like duplicate signatures but also incomplete addresses for signees and smudged notary markings.

Lewis appeared especially aggravated by the pro-ESA grassroots activists who urged voters to decline to sign her group’s petitions. According to Salon, she accused these activists (without evidence) of being backed by the Goldwater Institute and American Federation for Children:

In the meantime, the final weeks of petition gathering have turned hostile, as groups backed by the Goldwater Institute and AFC have launched a massive ‘Decline to Sign’ campaign, holding protests at petition gathering spots, urging supporters to call businesses near petition sites to complain that ‘this is hurting our children’s education’ and videotaping both petition circulators and voters who sign, posting clips of those interactions online. In this atmosphere, petition volunteers say they’ve been surrounded, harassed and followed for blocks on end, while pro-ESA protesters say they’ve been insulted or sworn at by referendum supporters.

While Lewis said there wasn’t ‘any organized opposition’ to the [2018] petition process … this year, ‘It’s like a war zone at some of these events.’

The “Decline to Sign” protesters, who want to protect the ESA program, see it differently.

“Hundreds of volunteer parents from all different backgrounds have come together to peacefully hold signs and talk to voters about the ESA program,” said Taylor Hoffman, a mother of two from Gilbert, Arizona, including one child with special needs.

Taylor described how she and fellow protesters have had great success in persuading voters not to sign the Save Our Schools petitions. In one case, they approached a father who was considering signing.

“We brought up the fact that Save Our Schools has a history of fighting against multiple school choice laws in Arizona, including the original ESA program that helps special needs students,” Taylor said. “The dad decided not to sign and walked away.”

One of the greatest hurdles for Save Our Schools Arizona is voter support for education choice, which has reached all-time highs in the wake of prolonged school shutdowns, Zoom school, and concerns over politicized classrooms.

A Morning Consult poll released in August found that 66% of Arizonans and 75% of parents of school-age children said they support Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Meanwhile, only a third of voters said they believe that their local district schools are on the “right track.”

Save Our Schools’ assault on education choice at a time when parents need it most may have awakened a sleeping giant and filled it with a terrible resolve.

“The grassroots movement of Decline to Sign not only slowed down SOS signature gatherers, but it created a community of like-minded folks that genuinely care about what is best for kids,” said Grant Botma, a father of three from Gilbert, Arizona. “No politics. No hidden agenda. Just parents fighting for what is best for their kids and kids in the community.”

The coming weeks certainly will see signature challenges and likely will see litigation. One thing is for certain: Arizona parents will be watching.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

Milton Friedman’s film series “Free to Choose” Episode on Education part 3. It was Friedman’s voucher plan that was put into practice in Sweden in 1993.

I am sitting in the St. Louis airport waiting to get on my plane to Orlando on a business trip. Can you imagine, I booked a trip with Southwest Airlines because they have always done such a great job and they sent me from Little Rock to Florida by way of St. Louis.

Liberals  are so critical of the  Little Rock public school system, but they don’t want to offer other choices with vouchers which would cause competition. However, both the public schools and other schools would become more efficient if there were vouchers. That is exactly what has happened in Sweden.

Max Brantley is always critical of charter schools, but I personally prefer to look at the option of a school system that is funded by vouchers.

I read an excellent article called “School Choice in Sweden: An Interview with Thomas Idergard of Timbro,” (March 8, 2010) by Dan Lips and I wanted to share some of his answers with you below:

DL: What has Sweden’s experience been with the universal vouchers program?
TI: People really choose! Before the reform, less than 1 percent of all pupils in compulsory education (and around the same amount for students in upper secondary schools) were enrolled in private schools. Today, 10 percent of the pupils in compulsory education and 20 percent of students in upper secondary education choose independent schools. In certain regions of the country, almost half of all pupils and students are enrolled in independent schools.
The independent schools have gone from being an odd phenomenon in certain cities to an obvious and natural part of the Swedish education system. From a business point of view, the independent schools are developing into what can be considered as a real industry, and they are promoting real innovation.
The small independent schools have often challenged the public schools and forced them to improve. But the large chain companies, which have an estimated one-fourth to one-fifth of all independent school students, have proven to be an important force for innovative progress, regarding both educational methods and, important enough, ways to measure, compare, maintain, and improve results.
This also explains why independent schools, on an average, prove to have a smaller per pupil cost than public schools. Since 2004, the inflation-adjusted cost increase per pupil has been smaller for independent schools than that for the whole Swedish education system. And independent schools are not allowed to choose their students. Detailed analysis of cost items shows that independent schools spend a higher share of their revenues on education and teaching materials and are more efficient in managing other costs.

September 28, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 28) Adrian Rogers: God’s Plan for Prosperity proverbs 28:13 “People who conceal their sins will not prosper,    but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy”

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Proverbs 28:13

God is interested in your prosperity. It is not necessarily a matter of wealth or worldly success. Prosperity means that you live a life of general welfare, where God meets your needs, and you are being fulfilled. It means you are free to enjoy the blessings of God.

If God desires prosperity for us, yet we don’t feel it in our lives, what stands in the way? It’s simple: there’s unconfessed sin in our hearts and in our lives. When we sin, we often times try to cover it up instead of confessing it. But there is a great cost to covering up sin.

We look at the example of King David in the Old Testament. He was a man after God’s own heart. Yet, David sinned against God. He committed adultery. In order to cover up what he had done, he had the woman’s husband killed in the line of battle.

Even while his sin was covered, the guilt consumed David. It dominated his mind, and depressed his heart. It defiled his spirit. It shut up his ability to sing praises to God.

We see through David that God does not let His children get away with covered-up sin. He does not let His children forget what they have done. He deals with His children.

But even still, when we sin and try to run away from the Father, He holds on even tighter. 

Pastor and teacher Adrian Rogers says it this way, “Guilt is a dirty wound, and it will never heal until it is confessed and put away. It must be cleansed by the antiseptic of Calvary before it can be healed.”

It starts with confessing your sin to God. And because of what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary, the Holy Spirit will come into your life and uncover your sin so that He may cover it in grace and forgiveness instead.

Apply it to your life

Do you have unconfessed sin in your life that is coming between you and God? You have to know it and name it for what it is. Ask God to reveal it to you, and He will. Through the Holy Spirit, He will convict you specifically, so that you may confess it specifically and ask for forgiveness. And then repent of it.

Proverbs 28 New Living Translation

Proverbs 28New Living Translation

28 The wicked run away when no one is chasing them,
    but the godly are as bold as lions.

When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily.
    But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.

A poor person who oppresses the poor
    is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops.

To reject the law is to praise the wicked;
    to obey the law is to fight them.

Evil people don’t understand justice,
    but those who follow the Lordunderstand completely.

Better to be poor and honest
    than to be dishonest and rich.

Young people who obey the law are wise;
    those with wild friends bring shame to their parents.[a]

Income from charging high interest rates
    will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor.

God detests the prayers
    of a person who ignores the law.

10 Those who lead good people along an evil path
    will fall into their own trap,
    but the honest will inherit good things.

11 Rich people may think they are wise,
    but a poor person with discernment can see right through them.

12 When the godly succeed, everyone is glad.
    When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.

13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper,
    but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

14 Blessed are those who fear to do wrong,[b]
    but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.

15 A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor
    as a roaring lion or an attacking bear.

16 A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people,
    but one who hates corruption will have a long life.

17 A murderer’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave.
    Don’t protect him!

18 The blameless will be rescued from harm,
    but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed.

19 A hard worker has plenty of food,
    but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.

20 The trustworthy person will get a rich reward,
    but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.

21 Showing partiality is never good,
    yet some will do wrong for a mere piece of bread.

22 Greedy people try to get rich quick
    but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.

23 In the end, people appreciate honest criticism
    far more than flattery.

24 Anyone who steals from his father and mother
    and says, “What’s wrong with that?”
    is no better than a murderer.

25 Greed causes fighting;
    trusting the Lord leads to prosperity.

26 Those who trust their own insight are foolish,
    but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.

27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing,
    but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.

28 When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.
    When the wicked meet disaster, the godly flourish.

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Seeing Jesus in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job

July 16, 2013 – 1:28 am

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John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 10) Summing up Proverbs study

May 30, 2013 – 1:06 am

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John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 9) “Love your neighbor”

May 28, 2013 – 1:23 am

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John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 8) “Manage your money”

May 23, 2013 – 1:35 am

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John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 7) “Pursue your work”

May 21, 2013 – 1:05 am

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John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 6) “Enjoy your wife and watch your words”

May 16, 2013 – 1:23 am

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May 14, 2013 – 1:44 am

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John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 4) “Bad company corrupts…”

May 9, 2013 – 1:10 am

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John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 3) “Guard your mind and obey your parents!!”

May 7, 2013 – 1:43 am

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John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 2) What does it mean to fear the Lord?

May 2, 2013 – 1:13 am

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The Wisdom of Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes

July 8, 2013 – 12:01 am

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Why is Solomon so depressed in Ecclesiastes? by Brent Cunningham

July 3, 2013 – 7:00 am

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Robert Leroe on Ecclesiastes (Mentions Thomas Aquinas, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, King Solomon, King Rehoboam, Eugene Peterson, Chuck Swindoll, and John Newton.)

June 19, 2013 – 1:30 am

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Solomon was the author of Ecclesiastes

June 11, 2013 – 1:55 am

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Ecclesiastes: Solomon with Life in the Fast Lane

June 3, 2013 – 1:19 am

Ecclesiastes 6-8 | Solomon Turns Over a New Leaf Published on Oct 2, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 30, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Ecclesiastes a scathing and self-deprecating attack on hedonism and secular humanism by Solomon

May 31, 2013 – 1:17 am

Ecclesiastes 4-6 | Solomon’s Dissatisfaction Published on Sep 24, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 23, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider ___________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Solomon was right in his cynicism–unless……unless there is a God who created us and cares about us

May 22, 2013 – 1:34 am

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

The Humanist takes on Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes

May 20, 2013 – 1:13 pm

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Tom Brady , Coldplay, Kansas, Solomon and the search for satisfaction (part 3)

December 23, 2011 – 11:12 am

Tom Brady “More than this…” Uploaded by EdenWorshipCenter on Jan 22, 2008 EWC sermon illustration showing a clip from the 2005 Tom Brady 60 minutes interview. _______________________ Tom Brady ESPN Interview Tom Brady has famous wife earned over 76 million dollars last year. However, has Brady found lasting satifaction in his life? It does not […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Adrian Rogers on gambling

July 18, 2013 – 12:44 am

Adrian Rogers: How to Be a Child of a Happy Mother Published on Nov 13, 2012 Series: Fortifying Your Family (To read along turn on the annotations.) Adrian Rogers looks at the 5th commandment and the relationship of motherhood in the commandment to honor your father and mother, because the faith that doesn’t begin at home, […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Book of Ecclesiastes

July 17, 2013 – 1:40 am

Ecclesiastes 1 Published on Sep 4, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Adrian Rogers: Are fathers necessary?

July 16, 2013 – 12:43 am

Adrian Rogers – How to Cultivate a Marriage Another great article from Adrian Rogers. Are fathers necessary? “Artificial insemination is the ideal method of producing a pregnancy, and a lesbian partner should have the same parenting rights accorded historically to biological fathers.” Quoted from the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, summer of 1995. […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Tom Brady, Coldplay, Kansas, Solomon and the search for satisfaction (part 2)

December 22, 2011 – 11:56 am

Tom Brady “More than this…” Uploaded by EdenWorshipCenter on Jan 22, 2008 EWC sermon illustration showing a clip from the 2005 Tom Brady 60 minutes interview. To Download this video copy the URL to http://www.vixy.net ________________ Obviously from the video clip above, Tom Brady has realized that even though he has won many Super Bowls […]

Dan Mitchell: Based on Sunday’s election in Italy, the nation’s next Prime Minister almost certainly will be Giorgia Meloni, which has some worried that Italy is returning to the “far right” fascism of Benito Mussolini. From an economic perspective, though, it would be more accurate to say that Mussolini is “far left.”

Fascism, Socialism, and Mussolini

Based on Sunday’s election in Italy, the nation’s next Prime Minister almost certainly will be Giorgia Meloni, which has some worried that Italy is returning to the “far right” fascism of Benito Mussolini.

From an economic perspective, though, it would be more accurate to say that Mussolini is “far left.”

Or to say that he is a collectivist, which puts him in the same camp as socialists and communists.

In an article for the Independent Institute, Angelo Codevilla discussed how Mussolini began his career as a socialist activist, but ultimately was forced out of the party because of his nationalist views..

He was active in socialist circles, both Italian and international, giving speeches to workers and helping to organize strikes… He got to know Vladimir Lenin… Benito became a full-time socialist activist…as editor of its socialist newspaper. …he supported himself writing essays and editing a journal called Lotta di classe—class struggle…In 1911 the party entrusted the 28-year-old with editorship of its flagship publication, Avanti!. …He had become Italian socialism’s brightest star. …In…1914…he committed socialist heresy by writing that class struggle is a bad idea because the nation is more important than social class. He called his few scattered followers fasci, bundles, of individuals. …Hence he labeled the movement “Fasci Rivoluzionari d’Azione Internazionalista” and its members “Fascisti.” …the party expelled him.

In other words, Mussolini was part of the conflict between “national socialism” and “international socialism.”

Both versions of socialism favored big government, but they differed in how they viewed the nation state.

And this conflict, driven in part by the events of World War I, led Mussolini to develop fascism as a distinct strain of statism.

…continuing to call himself a socialist and propagandizing his evolving blend of nationalism and socialism…Mussolini shifted to building fascism into a party. …Hegel, following Napoleon, had made patriotic worship of the scientifically administered, progressive state the political essence of modernity. Mussolini’s vision of Italy followed from that. “The bureaucracy is the state,” he said. …Mussolini explained, …The state personifies the country, and disciplines its several elements to its service. “Soon, we will be the state.”

And he was right, at least in the sense that he and his fascists soon took over the government.

In the 1921 elections, Mussolini’s Fascists had gained only .04% of the vote. But chaos reigned in the streets because of socialist, Communist, and anarchist mobs, as well as because of the perhaps 40,000 fascist squadristi (the Blackshirts) who fought them. …Mussolini organized the descent of some 30,000 squadristi on Rome to demand he be named prime minister. …the king appointed Mussolini to head a government with almost no fascists. But…Mussolini gradually dispossessed the rest. …Fascist Italy was the first country in which the elected legislature gave up its essential powers to the executive…thus establishing the modern administrative state. …Socioeconomic organization was fascism’s defining feature. Only employers’ and employees’ organizations approved by the government were allowed. …No longer would corporations be responsible to owners.

Mussolini’s fascism was different than traditional socialism in that the goal was to have the government control the economy, but not to have government take over “the means of production.”

Both approaches were very hostile to free markets, of course.

I’ll close with some excerpts about Italian fascism and FDR’s failed New Deal.

After Franklin Roosevelt’s inauguration in 1933, Mussolini’s enthusiasm for likening the New Deal to fascism’s political-economic order… he made clear that “the spirit of [FDR’s program] resembles fascism’s since, having recognized that the state is responsible for the people’s economic well-being, it no longer allows economic forces to run according to their own nature.” …Fascists rejoiced that FDR had forsaken liberal for corporativist principles… It could hardly have been otherwise since the essence of the National Industrial Recovery Act—the involuntary inclusion of all participants in categories of economic activity and their subjection to government-dictated prices, wages, and working conditions—was at least as detailed as those in fascism’s corporate law.

Since I’ve written about how the New Deal (and much of modern leftism) is based on fascist economics, I obviously agree.

But I’ve also explained that it’s better to refer to such policies as corporatist or interventionist since fascism nowadays also implies support for some of Hitler’s lunatic ideas about race and conquest.

P.S. The main message of today’s column is that it’s silly to label Mussolini (and his political heirs) as being on the far right. But it’s also true that Mussolini’s nationalist approach to statism is different than the ideas advocated by Marx (and his political heirs).

Dissecting and explaining these differences is why I think the left-right ideological spectrum should be replaced by this triangle.

By the way, the top of the triangle could say “Classical Liberalism,” but I used “Libertarian” so American readers would easily understand.

P.P.S. There’s a “Political Compass Test” that does a good job of determining one’s philosophical orientation, but it completely botches where Mussolini belongs.

New Museum Bears Witness to Communism’s Horrors, Honors Its Victims

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September 27, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 27) Adrian Rogers: The Perils of Postponement proverbs 27:1 “Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day may bring”


May 27, 2022

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Proverbs 27:1

There are a few reasons people reject the Gospel upon hearing it. Some are rebellious, others are too self-righteous to recognize their need for a Savior. But perhaps the most common reason is procrastination.

People will put it off, thinking that they will have plenty of time to receive Christ later on.

But Proverbs 27:1 warns us of the perils of postponement: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” 

There are four reasons why no one should put off being saved.

First, if we put it off until tomorrow, we will lose today.

Adrian Rogers says, “A day lived without the Lord Jesus is a day that is lost for all eternity.”

Second, our hearts will grow harder.

In Acts 24, Paul is a prisoner of Caesarea. The Roman judge, Felix, calls for him to answer questions he has about Jesus Christ. Paul preaches a Christ-centered message, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit is so strong, Felix trembles. Felix was at the threshold of salvation, but then he did something that so many people do: he told Paul, “When I have a convenient season, I will call for you” (Acts 24:25). As a result, Felix lost his conviction; he strayed further and further away from God. 

Likewise, our hearts will get harder over time; it will be more difficult for us to receive Jesus tomorrow than it will be today. Adrian Rogers says, “Tomorrow you will have more sin to repent of. And tomorrow you will have a harder heart to repent with.”

Third, there is always the danger of sudden death. 

Death is a reality many of us choose to ignore. But every day is a gift from God; it is arrogant to assume we will live to see another day, and ignorant to assume what each day will look like.

Finally, Jesus is coming again, and those who aren’t saved will be left behind.

We are closer to the Second Coming than ever before; if He comes while you are unsaved, it will be too late for you. This is why we ought to be vigilant, taking advantage of the day we’ve been given to receive salvation and follow Jesus.

Apply it to your life

Are you certain that you are saved? As Proverbs 27 warns us, every day is a gift from God; don’t waste today unsaved.

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Proverbs 27 New Living Translation

—-

Proverbs 27New Living Translation

27 Don’t brag about tomorrow,
    since you don’t know what the day will bring.

Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth—
    a stranger, not your own lips.

A stone is heavy and sand is weighty,
    but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.

Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood,
    but jealousy is even more dangerous.

An open rebuke
    is better than hidden love!

Wounds from a sincere friend
    are better than many kisses from an enemy.

A person who is full refuses honey,
    but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.

A person who strays from home
    is like a bird that strays from its nest.

The heartfelt counsel of a friend
    is as sweet as perfume and incense.

10 Never abandon a friend—
    either yours or your father’s.
When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance.
    It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.

11 Be wise, my child,[a] and make my heart glad.
    Then I will be able to answer my critics.

12 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
    The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

13 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt.
    Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.[b]

14 A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning
    will be taken as a curse!

15 A quarrelsome wife is as annoying
    as constant dripping on a rainy day.
16 Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind
    or trying to hold something with greased hands.

17 As iron sharpens iron,
    so a friend sharpens a friend.

18 As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit,
    so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.

19 As a face is reflected in water,
    so the heart reflects the real person.

20 Just as Death and Destruction[c] are never satisfied,
    so human desire is never satisfied.

21 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
    but a person is tested by being praised.[d]

22 You cannot separate fools from their foolishness,
    even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.

23 Know the state of your flocks,
    and put your heart into caring for your herds,
24 for riches don’t last forever,
    and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
25 After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears
    and the mountain grasses are gathered in,
26 your sheep will provide wool for clothing,
    and your goats will provide the price of a field.
27 And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself,
    your family, and your servant girls.


Related posts:

Seeing Jesus in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job

July 16, 2013 – 1:28 am

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 10) Summing up Proverbs study

May 30, 2013 – 1:06 am

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 9) “Love your neighbor”

May 28, 2013 – 1:23 am

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 8) “Manage your money”

May 23, 2013 – 1:35 am

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 7) “Pursue your work”

May 21, 2013 – 1:05 am

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 6) “Enjoy your wife and watch your words”

May 16, 2013 – 1:23 am

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Tagged Gene BartowJohn Wooden | Edit | Comments (0)

John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 5) “Control your body”

May 14, 2013 – 1:44 am

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 4) “Bad company corrupts…”

May 9, 2013 – 1:10 am

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 3) “Guard your mind and obey your parents!!”

May 7, 2013 – 1:43 am

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. It is tough to guard your […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 2) What does it mean to fear the Lord?

May 2, 2013 – 1:13 am

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. What does it mean to fear […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current EventsUncategorized | Edit | Comments (0)

The Wisdom of Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes

July 8, 2013 – 12:01 am

Ecclesiastes 6-8 | Solomon Turns Over a New Leaf Published on Oct 2, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 30, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Why is Solomon so depressed in Ecclesiastes? by Brent Cunningham

July 3, 2013 – 7:00 am

Ecclesiastes 1 Published on Sep 4, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Robert Leroe on Ecclesiastes (Mentions Thomas Aquinas, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, King Solomon, King Rehoboam, Eugene Peterson, Chuck Swindoll, and John Newton.)

June 19, 2013 – 1:30 am

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Solomon was the author of Ecclesiastes

June 11, 2013 – 1:55 am

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Ecclesiastes: Solomon with Life in the Fast Lane

June 3, 2013 – 1:19 am

Ecclesiastes 6-8 | Solomon Turns Over a New Leaf Published on Oct 2, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 30, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Ecclesiastes a scathing and self-deprecating attack on hedonism and secular humanism by Solomon

May 31, 2013 – 1:17 am

Ecclesiastes 4-6 | Solomon’s Dissatisfaction Published on Sep 24, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 23, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider ___________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Solomon was right in his cynicism–unless……unless there is a God who created us and cares about us

May 22, 2013 – 1:34 am

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

The Humanist takes on Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes

May 20, 2013 – 1:13 pm

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Tom Brady , Coldplay, Kansas, Solomon and the search for satisfaction (part 3)

December 23, 2011 – 11:12 am

Tom Brady “More than this…” Uploaded by EdenWorshipCenter on Jan 22, 2008 EWC sermon illustration showing a clip from the 2005 Tom Brady 60 minutes interview. _______________________ Tom Brady ESPN Interview Tom Brady has famous wife earned over 76 million dollars last year. However, has Brady found lasting satifaction in his life? It does not […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Adrian Rogers on gambling

July 18, 2013 – 12:44 am

Adrian Rogers: How to Be a Child of a Happy Mother Published on Nov 13, 2012 Series: Fortifying Your Family (To read along turn on the annotations.) Adrian Rogers looks at the 5th commandment and the relationship of motherhood in the commandment to honor your father and mother, because the faith that doesn’t begin at home, […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Book of Ecclesiastes

July 17, 2013 – 1:40 am

Ecclesiastes 1 Published on Sep 4, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Adrian Rogers: Are fathers necessary?

July 16, 2013 – 12:43 am

Adrian Rogers – How to Cultivate a Marriage Another great article from Adrian Rogers. Are fathers necessary? “Artificial insemination is the ideal method of producing a pregnancy, and a lesbian partner should have the same parenting rights accorded historically to biological fathers.” Quoted from the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, summer of 1995. […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Tom Brady, Coldplay, Kansas, Solomon and the search for satisfaction (part 2)

December 22, 2011 – 11:56 am

Tom Brady “More than this…” Uploaded by EdenWorshipCenter on Jan 22, 2008 EWC sermon illustration showing a clip from the 2005 Tom Brady 60 minutes interview. To Download this video copy the URL to http://www.vixy.net ________________ Obviously from the video clip above, Tom Brady has realized that even though he has won many Super Bowls […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! (Pausing to look at the life of Steven Weinberg who was one of my favorite authors!) Part 170 E EMAILED 3/30/19 TO DR. WEINBERG ON 35th ANNIVERSARY OF FRANCIS SCHAEFFER PASSING

The Incredible Steven Weinberg (1933-2021) – Sixty Symbols

EMAILED 3/30/19 TO DR. WEINBERG ON 35th ANNIVERSARY OF FRANCIS SCHAEFFER PASSING:

From Everette Hatcher of Little Rock, AR, Do you know ever meet any of these guys pictured?

On May 15, 1984 Francis Schaeffer passed away (35 years ago ) and on May 15, 1994, the tenth anniversary, I wrotealmost every living Nobel Prize winner (in Science categories) asking them if they could refute the nihilistic message of the song  DUST IN THE WIND and I included a cassette tape. (Here is a copy of the letter I sent out to Dr. Stephen Jay Gould which was divided in 4 parts [Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4] ). That tape started off with the 3 minute song DUST IN THE WIND by the rock group KANSAS and it was followed by the message by Adrian Rogers on  Evolution. The song asserts, “All we do crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the wind, All we are is Dust in the wind.” In the light of evolution in a closed system, is Kerry Livgren the author of the song right about humans ultimate future?

In the 1970’s  I was a member of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis where Adrian Rogers was pastor and I was a student at Evangelical Christian School (ECS)  where I was introduced to the books and films of Francis Schaeffer. During this time I was amazed at how many prominent figures in the world found their way into the works of both Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaefferand I wondered what it would be like to interact with these individuals. Therefore, over 25 years ago I began sending the messages of Adrian Rogers and portions of the works of Francis Schaeffer to many of the secular academics that they mentioned in their works. I was honored that several of these scholars such as Edward O. WilsonFrancisco J. Ayala,  Gerald HoltonAlbert EllisPaul KurtzPeter SingerJames D. WatsonThomas H. JukesNoam ChomskyErnst Mayr,  Carl SaganAntony FlewDaniel BellMotoo KimuraKevin PadianGlenn T. Seaborg, and  George Wald took  time to write me back.

Thank you for your time. I know how busy you are and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher,

P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, United States, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com,

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer pictured above

ADRIAN ROGERS PICTURED AT WHITE HOUSE AFTER BEING ELECTED PRESIDENT OF SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

Image result for edward o. wilson harvard university

Edward O. Wilson in 1971

Image result for Francisco J. Ayala, 

Francisco J. Ayala

Image result for gerald holton harvard
Dr. Glauber, left, with Harvard physics colleague Gerald Holton in 2005. 
Image result for albert ellis
Albert Ellis pictured above
Image result for paul kurtz
Paul Kurtz
Image result for peter singer richard dawkins
Peter Singer with Richard Dawkins
Image result for francis crick james d. watson
James Watson and Francis Crick in 1959
Image result for Thomas H. Jukes
Thomas H. Jukes pictured above

On the Shoulders of Giants: Steven Weinberg and the Quest to Explain the…

Steven Weinberg Discussion (1/8) – Richard Dawkins

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Whatever Happened To The Human Race? (2010) | Full Movie | Michael Hordern

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The Bill Moyers Interview – Steven Weinberg

How Should We Then Live (1977) | Full Movie | Francis Schaeffer | Edith …

Steven Weinberg Discussion (2/8) – Richard Dawkins

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!!

Steven Weinberg – Dreams of a Final Theory

Steven Weinberg Discussion (3/8) – Richard Dawkins

Steven Weinberg, Author

How Should We Then Live | Season 1 | Episode 6 | The Scientific Age

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Steven Weinberg Discussion (4/8) – Richard Dawkins

I am grieved to hear of the death of Dr. Steven Weinberg who I have been familiar with since reading about him in 1979 in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Dr. C. Everett Koop and Francis Schaeffer. I have really enjoyed reading his books and DREAMS OF A FINAL REALITY and TO EXPLAIN THE WORLD were two of my favorite!

C. Everett Koop
C. Everett Koop, 1980s.jpg

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Steven Weinberg Discussion (5/8) – Richard Dawkins

Francis Schaeffer : Reclaiming the World part 1, 2

The Atheism Tapes – Steven Weinberg [2/6]

The Story of Francis and Edith Schaeffer

Steven Weinberg – What Makes the Universe Fascinating?

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

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Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

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I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Patricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart EhrmanIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldAlan Guth, Jonathan HaidtHermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesShelly KaganStuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, Elizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaDouglas Osheroff,   Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Robert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

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In  the 1st video below in the 50th clip in this series are his words. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Steven Weinberg: To Explain the World

I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.

Steven Weinberg

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Related posts:

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The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […]

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______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]

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  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 49 THE BEATLES (Part A, The Meaning of Stg. Pepper’s Cover) (Feature on artist Mika Tajima)

_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 48 “BLOW UP” by Michelangelo Antonioni makes Philosophic Statement (Feature on artist Nancy Holt)

_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 ___________________________________ Today I will answer the simple question: IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? This question has been around for a long time and you can go back to the 19th century and read this same […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 45 Woody Allen “Reason is Dead” (Feature on artists Allora & Calzadilla )

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TUCKER CARLSON: We live in a fake democracy – and there will be a revolution like Italy

TUCKER CARLSON: We live in a fake democracy – and there will be a revolution like Italy

Tucker Carlson breaks down the implications of the election of Giorgia Meloni

Tucker Carlson

  By Tucker Carlson | Fox News

Not a lot of Americans pay attention to European politics unless they’re very bored or work at some think tank. And that’s understandable, but it’s a shame, really, because if you look closely what’s happening in Europe, you can learn a lot about what’s happening here. Despite the castles and the funny accents and the smelly cheese, Europe is not actually that different from the United States, at least in this way. European leaders run their countries pretty much the same way our leaders run our country. They yammer on endlessly about democracy, but then at the same time, they do their best to avoid democracy’s most basic requirements like free speech and representative government. 

A few years ago, the prime minister of Italy at the time, Paolo Gentiloni, bragged to the World Economic Forum about his plans to “bring more social justice to the country” by which he meant importing many more thousands of poorly-educated economic migrants from the Third World into Italy. “We are very open on migration,” he said. “We are saving lives at sea.” Oh, saving lives, huh? Congratulations. You’re such a good person. But the question is, and it’s a relevant question in a democracy, what of the people who live in Italy, that would be your constituents, think of that idea?  

Well, as the prime minister explained, he didn’t care. “A demand for more democracy not only is wrong, it’s even dangerous.” You following this? You run a country in the name of the people. You’re not a king. You’re a democratically-elected leader. You run it in the name of the people who live there, but at the same time, it’s “dangerous” to let the opinions of those people influence your decisions. Does that sound familiar? Oh, it does, because it’s exactly the kind of democracy that we live in, which is to say a fake one. In fact, there is no majority in any country on planet Earth that thinks open borders are a good idea or that considers global warming the single biggest problem, or that thinks it’s wise to quarantine the entire population because of a flu virus.  

No large group of people anywhere wants these things. But in the West everybody gets them anyway because politicians don’t care what you think. Your opinion is dangerous. “Shut up, racist.” So, it goes without saying this can’t last. A system like this cannot endure forever because it’s inherently unstable. You can’t tell people they’re in charge of their own government (It’s a democracy, we promise) and then ignore over decades their most strongly held opinions on things that matter. 

DOJ, WHITE HOUSE SILENT ON STATUS OF LAWSUIT AGAINST GEORGIA’S ‘JIM CROW’ VOTING LAW AS MIDTERMS LOOM 

The Leader of Fratelli d'Italia, Giorgia Meloni in Rome, Italy, on 22 September 2022 for the closing of the election campaign for the general election in Italy on 25 September 2022. 

The Leader of Fratelli d’Italia, Giorgia Meloni in Rome, Italy, on 22 September 2022 for the closing of the election campaign for the general election in Italy on 25 September 2022.  (Getty Images)

That doesn’t work long term. They will rebel, guaranteed and the best you can hope for is that they will do it peacefully. In Italy, they seem to be doing just that. This summer, a conservative populist called Giorgia Meloni started showing up with strong support in the polls. Meloni was no radical. Her views would have seemed perfectly ordinary just a decade ago, but because she resolutely refused to bow to the twin gods of climate and mass migration, people panicked. The president of the European Commission, in fact on camera, commanded Italians not to vote for her. Watch.  

VON DER LEYEN: We’ll see if things go in a difficult direction. I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland. We have tools. If things go in the right direction and people, as a body, that is always, where always governments have to be accountable to play an important role.  

Oh, if “things go in the wrong direction.” In other words, if voters disobey “we have tools.” Oh, you do, do you? Well, that sounds like a threat, because of course it is a threat, but it turns out Italians are so desperate, they no longer care. They’re not afraid and they’re not afraid because neo liberalism, which that lady is just espousing, has destroyed their country. Energy prices in some places in Italy are now up more than 400% over last year.  

REP. TIM RYAN QUESTIONED FOR DECISION TO CAMPAIGN WITH RANDI WEINGARTEN AFTER SCHOOL CLOSINGS 

Why? Well, a pointless war on Ukraine and self-destructive climate policies. It’s not an accident and everyone knows it. Meanwhile, parts of Italy are becoming flat out dangerous. That hasn’t happened before outside of Sicily, but it’s happening now. Why? Everyone knows why, and government statistics show why. It’s migrants who are driving much of the crime, a huge amount of the crime.  

These aren’t mysteries, but you’re not allowed to acknowledge them in public, period. In some places, it’s illegal. But Meloni is one of the very few politicians who doesn’t care and is willing to say the obvious, the truth, out loud and as a result of that, because she’s been willing to say what everybody actually knows, last night, her party. called Brothers of Italy. won an overwhelming victory in Italy. They took both majorities in the houses of parliament. 

By Italian standards, in fact by American standards, this is a revolution, but unlike most revolutions, the person at the front of it can actually explain what she’s about. She can articulate it in a way people understand. She’s smart. This is part of the speech she gave earlier this year that led to last night’s results. Watch. 

CBS MORNINGS TIES NEW ‘FAR-RIGHT’ ITALIAN PM TO FASCISM: SHE ‘REJECTS THE LABEL BUT NOT THE SLOGANS’ 

GIORGIA MELONI: Everything we stand for is under attack. Our individual freedom is under attack. Our rights are under attack. The sovereignty of our nation is under attack. The prosperity and well-being of our families are under attack. The education of our children is under attack. In front of this, people understand that in this age, the only way of being rebels is to preserve what we are. The only way of being rebels is to be conservative. They will try to take everything away from us, but they cannot take away who we are. And you know what? Cherishing who we are, knowing what we stand for, is all we need to face this challenge. 

She’s not kidding. She’s as serious as the moment we are currently living through. “Our rights are under attack,” she said, “The sovereignty of our nation is under attack” and critically “the prosperity and well-being of our families is under attack” and that’s true. That’s why it’s resonant, because it’s real and not just in Italy. It’s true here. American families are facing the very same onslaught from the very same poisonous ideologies. The difference is that in this country, it’s rarely acknowledged except on the fringes. Meloni‘s not on the fringes. She’s the new prime minister of Italy. She will be and she’s saying it out loud. 

Contrast that to what’s happening in the United States. House Republicans just spelled out what they’re running on. It’s a document called “The Commitment to America.” It’s fine. Probably not much in it, you disagree with it. Have you heard of it? No, you probably haven’t. You probably haven’t read it. Nobody really cares. Why? Because there’s nothing real in it. There’s not a single word in that document about the attacks on the American family that you see every day. That’s at the center of most people’s concerns. How are my kids? Will they have a life that resembles mine? 

That was called the American Dream. Does it still exist? Will they be able to afford to live the way they grew up? Will they have the opportunities that we had? No. People are upset about that. Why wouldn’t they be? But nobody says it and that’s odd because we know and now it’s been proven that when politicians are brave enough to tell the truth about what’s actually happening, they tend to be rewarded for it. 

Once again, here’s the incoming prime minister of Italy and as you watch this, ask yourself if you would vote for a candidate like this if you had the chance in our country.  

MELONI: Why is the family an enemy? Why is the family so frightening? There is a single answer to all these questions. Because it defines us. Because it is our identity. Because everything that defines us is now an enemy for those who like us to no longer have an identity, and to simply be perfect consumer slaves. Chesterton wrote, more than a century ago…let’s see if I can find it… “Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in the summer. That time has arrived. We are ready. Thank you 

So that’s the person is being described all over American television, including on channels they should know better as “far right.” That’s far right, really? Because she acknowledges that American families are under attack. Of course, they are. You think it’s accidental? No, and she explains why and it’s simple. If you want to establish totalitarian control over a country, of course you have to destroy the family first, because nobody with deep family loyalty, the one thing every person should have, no one who has that will ever pledge absolute obedience to a politician. Why would you? 

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM REJECTS MANDATORY KINDERGARTEN LAW 

So, if you want absolute obedience, you have to sever family ties and that’s why state schools brainwash your children with values that you despise and then instruct your children to turn you in as a thought criminal if you object. That’s happening. It’s not your imagination and it’s happening for a reason. Wokeness is not just a political ideology. It’s not just something annoying that emerged on college campuses that we can ignore. It’s a state religion that supplants actual religion, which is also being destroyed. There’s a reason the strip bars and the liquor stores and the weed dispensary stayed open under COVID, but the churches didn’t. 

If you can’t draw the connection between those dots, you’re missing it, but Meloni didn’t miss it. She understands it perfectly. Watch.  

MELONI: Only a few months ago, European Union bureaucrats brought a document hundreds of pages long, telling us that in order to be inclusive, we had to exclude all references to Christmas. Jesus, Mary and all Christian names were to be removed from all official communication. Will we surrender in front of this? No, we will not. We will fight it. We will find it standing tall.  

So, they hate your family, they hate your religion, and you don’t actually have to put up with it because it’s a democracy, and you’re supposed to be in charge, you being the population. That’s a radical message? God, family, country. That’s not radical. It’s hard to imagine a more wholesome message, a more pro-human platform. Fascists don’t believe in God because God is a rival to their power.  

PIERS MORGAN ON ITALY ELECTIONS: PEOPLE ACROSS THE WORLD ARE FED UP WITH THE ‘ULTRA-WOKE, LEFT AGENDA’ 

FILE PHOTO: Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy party, takes a selfie during a rally in Duomo square ahead of the Sept. 25 snap election, in Milan, Italy, September 11, 2022. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo/File Photo 

FILE PHOTO: Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy party, takes a selfie during a rally in Duomo square ahead of the Sept. 25 snap election, in Milan, Italy, September 11, 2022. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo/File Photo  (REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo)

Of course, this is a person publicly professing faith in God. That’s so scary, but it is so scary. It’s so scary to the people running and benefiting from our current system and why is that? She’s not the first person to say this. People have said it before, but she’s just been rewarded for saying it. That’s the point. The population likes it. This is what they actually want. They’re not that worried about global warming. They don’t want open borders. They think the woke stuff is absurd. They want to see what they think. And now it’s obvious because she just won and so even in this country, the people running and benefiting from a deeply corrupt and doomed system are hysterical. Watch the reaction to that.  

MEDHI HASAN, MSNBC: I want to start today by talking about a politician on the right we should all be worried about, a politician who has brushed off accusations of fascism.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC: What separates us from, let’s say, Italy, who elected a fascist.  

EDWARD LUCE, FINANCIAL TIMES: She is from fascist roots. 

ABC ANCHOR: A very far right political party whose roots go back to post World War II neo fascist.   

DAVID IGNATIUS, MSNBC: A party that has its roots in Italian fascism. 

U.S. MEDIA ERUPTS OVER ITALY’S FIRST FEMALE PRIME MINISTER WITH MUSSOLINI COMPARISONS: ‘RETURN OF FASCISM’ 

Its roots in Italian fascism. Define that for us, if you would, Joe Scarborough. Oh, sorry. You’re an idiot. You can’t, but the point is, fascist means unacceptable. Whatever this chick is saying, you’re not allowed to agree with. They’re very worried that that many Italians do agree with it. So, she has to be completely unacceptable. Don’t read further. She’s a fascist and in case you missed the theme, a recent New York Times piece on Meloni mentioned fascism or fascist 29 times, not a subtle newspaper. Apparently, she’s on the verge of invading Poland. We should be worried. Watch this.  

CHRIS LIVESAY, CBS REPORTER: They said it could never happen again. 100 years ago, Mussolini marched into Rome, plunging the country into two decades of dictatorship in an alliance with Hitler and a second World War.  Today, the fascist party is gone but many say these are their political heirs – The Brothers of Italy.  Once on the fringes, they’ve ballooned into the biggest party in the country.  Now their leader, Georgia Melino is poised to have the most hard-right government since Il Duce. (Edit) The 45 year old firebrand insists she’s no fascist – just a proud conservative and nationalist, comfortable nonetheless with some of the hallmarks of Italian fascism like this motto:  God, fatherland and family

God, family, country. Well, that’s pretty scary. Not a word about climate or equity, but again, it’s their hysteria and their total unwillingness to ask obvious questions that lets you in on the secret, which is they’re panicked because they know the current system is doomed and in fact, what happened last night in Italy is the best case scenario for them, because it was a peaceful transfer of power. That’s a good thing.  

When Government Rewards Evil and Punishes Good


INTRODUCTION AND DISCUSSION OF ROMANS 13

I have obviously tried to address, through the last year and a half almost, the issues that confront us in the country that we live in, in the world that we live in, in the times that we live in. But I thought there is one final message that I would like to lay upon you, and that’s what’s come together this morning. It has many components and many parts, and it may test your attention span a little bit.

When we first decided to meet as a church—it’s been a year now—and to do that without regard to what the government was telling us to do, there was a lot of criticism. That criticism came from evangelical leaders, pastors, bloggers, writers, friends, foes—just about everywhere. But we were not dissuaded in any sense from doing what we did. And the Lord has demonstrated to us that we were lied to. And I think whatever the issues are in the world, the church is the only hope of the world.

Now I want to see if I can’t, from the Word of God, pull together some things that will help you to understand why this is our position. And I want this because I think in the future, for those who are younger than I am—maybe I’ll live to see some of it—this resolve to be the church when the government wants to shut you down is going to be tested again, and it’s going to be tested at a much more aggressive level. There were many churches that failed this test, and there will be many who will fail the next one. But the true church follows Christ, not the government. Our President’s said in the last month that the greatest threat to America—he said on one occasion—is systemic racism, which doesn’t exist; he said white supremacy, which doesn’t exist with any power; and then he said global warming, which doesn’t exist either, and if it does, God’s in charge of it.

In reality the greatest threat to this nation is the government, the government. And I want to show you how we are to understand that. Turn to Romans 13, Romans 13. Listen carefully to what the apostle Paul said: “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it doesn’t bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.” The role of the government is to restrain evil; and when it functions to restrain evil, it is fulfilling its God-ordained purpose.

Please notice in verses 1 and 2 that government is from God, by God, of God. It is designed as a necessary restraint in a world of sinners. Verses 3 and 4 tell us it is not a threat to those whose behavior is good, but evil. It is those who do evil who should be afraid, not those who do good. In fact it offers praise to those who do good, and brings wrath on those who do evil. And rulers actually, according to verse 6, are servants of God, devoted to that service.

This is God’s design for government. The problem is, when government ceases to function by God’s design, it yields up its authority. The same would be true in a family. God’s design is that the father lead the family. When the father leads in a destructive and evil way, he yields up the right to exercise that God-given authority.

And by the way just as a footnote, the man who wrote that, the apostle Paul, was in violation of the government more often than any other person in the entire New Testament. And when he went to preach the gospel, he was very often thrown in jail; and ultimately he was executed by the government that he refused to obey when it no longer functioned to protect good behavior and punish evil behavior.

GOVERNMENT CAN FORFEIT ITS AUTHORITY

A second passage, 1 Peter chapter 2, and verses 13 and 14 will suffice, I think: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him”—by the Lord—“for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.” There again we are to submit for the Lord’s sake. “What do you mean ‘the Lord’s sake’?” When the government is doing what the Lord designed it to do.

When government turns the divine design on its head and protects those who do evil and makes those who do good afraid, it forfeits its divine purpose. In our world today rulers are designing a culture that protects the immoral. It even has reached the point where it desires to protect criminals, and makes those who do good afraid. When the criminals are unrestrained because they don’t fear the consequences, but the police are restrained because they fear the consequences of stopping criminals, you know everything is turned on its head. Our government is the source of lies and the protector of liars, and the enemy of those who speak the truth. It praises the evil and persecutes the good.

So God’s design for government has been entirely corrupted. As these divinely designed spheres of control in human society descend into chaos, the government will cease to function the way God designed it, and in fact it will become the enemy of the divine design. It will turn everything upside down. It will become the punisher of those who do good, like putting James Coates in prison for preaching but letting rioters go free.

THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF THE GOSPEL

Now I want you to understand that there’s some supernatural reasons why this is happening. They’re not political. They’re not even social in the fullest measure. If you go back to 1 John and reconnect with the passage from last week, 1 John 2:15–17, we read, “Do not love the world nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Then verse 16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”

The world is the enemy of God, the enemy of the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The world is the enemy of Scripture. The world is the enemy of the gospel. The world is the enemy of the church. What do we mean by the world? Well remember last week I talked about the world as the complex of evil. The word is kosmos; it means a system. The complex of evil works against what is good.

So you have government, which is a part of the world, turned to restrain the world of which it is a part. Very hard for it to hold together because it’s all part of the same system. The complex of evil works everywhere, and the government is no exception because the very evil people given the responsibility to restrain evil are themselves incapable of being without evil. And that makes enough problems. We have a human system made up of evil, sinful people trying to control a culture of evil, sinful people. The potential for breakdown is inevitable, and it has been demonstrated historically. That’s why the Bible says the world gets worse and worse; evil men get worse and worse as time goes on.

But there’s something more than just that. There’s something more than just the human complex of sinners trying to restrain sin, which in the end is a losing effort. There’s something more that we have to face, and that’s in 1 John 5:19, and I want you to look at it. First John 5:19, “We know that we are of God.” We, believers, are of God. And then this very, very important statement, “And that the whole world lies in”—literally—“in the evil one.” The whole world is in the control of the evil one. It isn’t just that everybody’s sinful; it is that there is an evil supernatural power: the evil one.

Who is this archenemy of God, this evil one? Listen to John 12:31, where Jesus speaks of the devil and says he is “the ruler of this world.” And then again in John 14 and verse 30, He calls the devil the ruler of this world. And then again in chapter 16 and verse 11, for the third time, “the ruler of this world.” And in Ephesians 2:2, he is “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit working in the sons of disobedience.”

So you have Satan, who is the world ruler, who operates in the system and—listen carefully—in the people. The whole world is in his kingdom—John 8:44, “You’re of your father the devil.” And Satan is in them in the sense that he can attach his devious, evil deception to the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life—and that way exercise influence over them. He is “the god of this world,” 2 Corinthians 4:4, who blinds minds. And Paul says in Ephesians 6:12, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood”—humanity—“but against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies.”

It’s not just a human complex of evil, it is behind that that the entire force of hell operates. The enemy is not just sinful people, it is the system of evil behind that visible evil, that invisible system basically under the control of the prince of demons, Satan himself, and all his demon cohorts. Evil operates in the heart of every human being, so there is a kosmos of evil that operates in the human heart. But there’s another powerful kosmos of evil in the invisible spiritual world run by Satan.

What is Satan’s objective? Listen to Peter’s words, 1 Peter 5:8, “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, seeking someone to devour.” He’s a killer. John 8 tells us “he’s a liar, the father of lies,” and he’s “a murderer.” He tempts, he lies, he seduces, he slanders; and Scripture gives us all of these illustrations. He distracts, he divides, he destroys, he sifts, he silences, he strategizes, he steals, he oppresses, he possesses, he blinds, and he kills.

And how does he gain the power to do this? How is he so adept at drawing people into his methods? The answer comes in Revelation 12:9, which says this: “Satan deceives the whole world.” “Satan deceives the whole world.” Paul told the Corinthians he is disguised as an angel of light, and therein lies the deception.

So what we’re dealing with in the world is not just a complex of human evil, as vast and complete and comprehensive as it is, we’re dealing with another level altogether—not just that visible human world, but that invisible demonic world. And Satan’s ultimate goal is to prevent people from coming to Christ. His ultimate goal is to take over everything, to rule in the place of God. He is the usurper. And he has a goal, he has an objective: He’s heading human history toward his kingdom. He has a goal, he has an objective: Satan is systematically working to get to his kingdom.

That kingdom is described for us in the book of Revelation. Turn to chapter 13 of Revelation, one of the most amazing images in this incredible revelation. As he moves through human history, Satan wants to strip all elements of divine law and all elements of divine truth from society. He’s moving the world into his final design. Chapter 13, verse 1, John has a vision of a dragon “on the sand of the seashore,” and he sees a monster, “a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.” This is a monster—this is a monster who consolidates power and consolidates national leadership; the ten and the seven speak of that consolidation. All the crowns are on his head, and all of them have the name of blasphemy because this is the kingdom that Satan is pulling together as the final attempt to dethrone God. It describes this kingdom as having powers like a leopard, a bear, and a lion; and what we find here is this monster is none other than the final Antichrist.

“Even now,” John says, there are “many antichrists.” This is the final one. He rises up out of the sea, out of the nations. He consolidates all world power—this is globalism symbolized by ten horns, a number of completion, as is seven heads. He has the consolidated power and the consolidated authority. He is a blasphemer, but a powerful one. And the dragon is Satan, and the dragon gave the Antichrist in John’s vision his power, his throne, and his great authority. At some point in the future the world will be, verse 3 says, amazed at this monster. And as a result of his influence they will worship the devil, the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast. They worship the beast, the monster, the Antichrist, “saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?’”

ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY IS PROGRESSING TOWARD A GLOBAL KINGDOM UNDER THE POWER OF SATAN

Understand—all of human history is progressing toward a global kingdom under the power of Satan, in which Satan has one global monster ruling the whole world. He is a blasphemer—we’ve already seen it, but notice “blasphemies,” in verse 5, “blasphemies” in verse 6, “blaspheme” in verse 6 again. And verse 7, what does he do? He “makes war with the saints to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.” This final, global ruler will make war against the saints.

Verse 8, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who had been slain.” The whole world is going to go after him. We’re headed toward a one-world, global government with one massive, monstrous leader.

He has a cohort in verses 11 and following. This is another monster who has two horns like a lamb. This is a more benign individual. This is the false prophet. This is the religious leader who, going along with the political leader, assists him. He exercises all the authority of the first monster. He “makes the earth and those who dwell in it worship the first monster, whose fatal wound was healed.” Apparently there’s some kind of false resurrection, which is how he gains power. And then “he performs great signs,” verse 13, “making fire come down out of heaven in the presence of men.”

Verse 14, “He deceives those who dwell on the earth”—again, this is Satan—“which is given to him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.” So once he has this false resurrection, he then establishes himself as the world ruler; and the false prophet points the world to him.

Go down to verse 16. We don’t have time to cover all the details. “He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, free men and slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the monster or the number of his name,” which “is 666.”

So we’re headed toward a time when there’s a global satanic kingdom. It consolidates all kingdoms of the world. It is under the final monster Antichrist, designed by the devil himself, and the entire world follows him, the entire world. Along with this political leader there is a spiritual leader; this is the false prophet. He is the one who lures, seduces the world religiously to worship the Antichrist. So he becomes god; he is Satan’s puppet.

ONE FALSE WORLD RELIGION IS FINAL PLAY BY SATAN

One world religion—that final world religion is the target of judgment in John’s vision of Revelation 17; go to Revelation 17. Here this one-world religion, consolidated with the Antichrist and the false prophet, is called “the great harlot” because it’s the prostitution of true religion. “Sits on many waters”—which means it just literally covers the globe—“with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality”—this is to say that the kings, the rulers, the nations of the world consolidate all their power; metaphorically speaking, it’s like committing adultery with a prostitute. “And those who dwell on the earth are drunk with the wine of her immorality.” So what’s going to happen in the end is this massive, global unification of the entire world under the Antichrist, and there will be a religious component to it, led by the false prophet.

And again, verse 3, you see this “scarlet monster, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns”—that again is a reference to Antichrist. Then you see the harlot, the false religion, “clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations of the unclean things of her immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, ‘BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.’” And this false religion is depicted as the prostitute of the final, global, one-world kingdom—the prostitute religion, the apostate religion. She is “drunk,” verse 6 says, “with the blood of the saints,” because they persecute the saints. Antichrist’s kingdom will persecute the saints, kill the saints, shed the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. How does it all end? If you come down to verse 14, “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them.”

So this is where Satan’s going. He is pulling the world together, unifying the world in a way that never could have been done in the past because he didn’t have the technology to do it. But they “wage war against the Lamb,” and that is a losing proposition because “the Lamb will overcome them,” verse 14 says, “because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are called and chosen and faithful.” This is where history is going. Don’t be surprised at globalistic efforts. Don’t be surprised at government’s turning on divine truth. This is Satan’s plan.

In chapter 18, you have a look at the final world culture. The religion is what is revealed in chapter 17; in chapter 18 you see, rather, just the culture of the world. “The kings of the earth,” verse 9, “who have committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously . . . will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning.” What does that mean? Well back in verse 8, “In one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.” In the end God is going to bring down that global religion, and that global kingdom as well.

“‘Woe’”—verse 10—“‘woe, the great city of Babylon, the strong city! In one hour your judgment has come.’ And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes anymore—cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones, pearls, fine linen,” et cetera. “Merchants”—in verse 15—“are standing at a distance because of the fear of” what they’re seeing in “torment, weeping and mourning.”

Verse 16, “‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’ And every shipmaster, every passenger and sailor, as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, crying as they saw the smoke of the burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ They threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning.” Realize John is seeing this in a vision. This is a vision that depicts what is coming.


REAL PERSECUTION CAN ONLY BE DONE BY GOVERNMENT

“Woe”—verse 19—“the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she had been laid waste!” Verse 20, “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.” This is where Satan is taking the world. Again, Satan has many strategies; but he has one goal, and that is to collect the world around one final Antichrist, empower him to defeat God. In the process, he persecutes the saints; he seeks to kill them.

Now let me remind you of something. We talk about persecution and we sometimes experience it in the sense that somebody doesn’t like us because of our Christian testimony. You might have trouble with a professor in a university class because of your testimony; you might get a bad grade. You might lose your job because of your convictions and your testimony. And that’s a measure of persecution. But mark this: Real persecution, which means imprisonment or execution, can only be done by government, right? Only government does that. There can’t be a group of atheists who go out and imprison Christians; only government can do that. God has given government the sword, the power; and when they prostitute that power and they begin to punish those who do good and protect those who do evil, they wield that power against the people of God.

Satan knows that in order to kill the saints he has to have the one legitimate earthly power, and that’s the power of the government. So government is, and always has been, and always will be the ultimate persecutor of the church. It is government—authority, power constituted in rulers and leaders—that has essentially done all the damage to the church through its history. And so I say what I said at the beginning: The greatest threat to truth and virtue in this country is the government because they have totally prostituted their God-ordained design. All through history, government is the ultimate persecutor of people. Satan has to get ahold of government; and that’s where he operates—always work through government.

Go back to Isaiah 14. Isaiah 14, the prophecy of Isaiah spoken to the king of Babylon, the king of Babylon. It’s a judgment against the king of Babylon—chapter 14, verse 4, a “taunt against the king of Babylon,” judgment against the king of Babylon. But notice how interesting it is. This judgment, down in verse 12—something more than just the king of Babylon appears to happen here: “How are you fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!”

Has the king of Babylon fallen from heaven? No, but who is fallen from heaven? Lucifer. So who is behind the king of Babylon? Lucifer. He goes from talking about judgment on the king of Babylon to going behind the king of Babylon to the “star of the morning, the son of the dawn”: “You’ve been cut down to the earth, you have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart”—this is what Satan said when he was in heaven—“‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God’”—the angels of God—“‘I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’” “‘I will, I will, I will, I will.’” This is Satan’s rebellion. And so Isaiah shows us that it is Satan himself, the fallen one, who is energizing the king of Babylon, controlling the king of Babylon.

There is a similar section of Scripture, Ezekiel 28; I want you to turn to it. Ezekiel 28, verse 11, “And the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Son of man’”—that was God’s name for Ezekiel—“‘take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre.’” Now we’re talking about the king of Tyre; Tyre was another pagan kingdom, persecuted the people of God. But notice how this seems to be something more than just the king of Tyre: “Thus says the Lord God, ‘You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God’”—wait a minute, the king of Tyre? He wasn’t in Eden. Who was in Eden? Who was prowling in Eden? Satan.

“You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz, the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, the jasper; lapis lazuli”—which is a beautiful blue stone—“the turquoise, the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed”—what?—“cherub who covers.” Now you can see, Satan in Isaiah is working behind the king of Babylon; here in Ezekiel he’s working behind the king of Tyre. This is because Satan does his great work against the people of God using political leaders—kings and rulers.

“You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God and walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God, and destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you, the multitude of your iniquities.” He goes back to talking about the king of Tyre with almost not missing a beat. The judgment on the king of Tyre is also a declaration of the judgment on the one who is behind the king of Tyre.

Satan always works through evil rulers to persecute the people of God. In the book of Exodus it was Pharaoh. When the children of God left Egypt, it was the Canaanites, it was the powers of the Philistines. It was the rulers of Assyria then, and then it was the rulers of Babylon. And you come into the New Testament, and the persecutors of the people of God were the official leaders of Israel, the Sanhedrin. And then it was the Roman Empire. Destroying the people of God is always a government enterprise.

PERSECUTION IN BOOK OF DANIEL

I want to show you another illustration of this in Daniel, in Daniel chapter 2. Daniel, though he is a Jew in exile in Babylon along with all the Jews that were taken there, God has elevated him because he interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. At the end of chapter 2, verse 46, “King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, did homage to Daniel, gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense. The king answered Daniel and said, ‘Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of [lords] and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.’ Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. And Daniel made request of the king, and appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the king’s court.” You know for a while Nebuchadnezzar liked Daniel a lot because all his own fools, disguised as wise men, couldn’t answer any of his dilemmas. But he sounds like—almost like a believer here. Verse 47, “Your God is a God of gods and a Lord of [lords].”

Some time passed, probably some years. Chapter 3 gives us a different picture. Nebuchadnezzar had forgotten, apparently, about the declaration that the God of Daniel was the God of gods, and he “made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits”—that would be ninety feet—the “width six cubits”—that would be nine feet—“and he set it on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the satraps, the prefects, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.” And by the way it was an image of him.

Then they all came. In verse 4, “The herald loudly proclaimed: ‘To you the command is given, O people, nation and men of every language, that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, the flute, the lyre, the trigon’”—another musical instrument, stringed instrument—“‘psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, . . . fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. Whoever doesn’t fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.’” So now Nebuchadnezzar has set himself up as god, and anybody who defies that is going to die.

So some of the “Chaldeans,” in verse 8, “came . . . and brought charges against the Jews.” They came, in verse 9, and they said to Nebuchadnezzar, “‘O king, live forever! You, O king, made a decree that every man’” should bow when they hear the music, “‘fall down and worship the golden image. And whoever doesn’t fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.’

“Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king. . . . ‘Is it true,’” he says, “‘that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I set up?’” Verse 16, they replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” This is civil disobedience: “We’re not worshiping your god; we’re not worshiping you. If it is to be the fire, let it be the fire.” Nebuchadnezzar was so infuriated by this that “his facial expression was altered,” and he gave “orders to heat the furnace seven times more.”

Well you know the rest of the story, right? Threw them in the furnace. In verse 25, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” And again in verse 28, Nebuchadnezzar says, “‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielding up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.’ Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.” This is getting to be a little bit repetitious—but he bounces back again. When it serves them well, government may tolerate the people of God; but when they are angry, they have the power of death in their hands.

Chapter 4 is incredible. It’s one of the great conversion stories in the Bible. It’s the conversion of Nebuchadnezzar, and it’s a first-person story. “Nebuchadnezzar the king to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language that live in all the earth: ‘May your peace abound! It has seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders which the Most High God has done for me. How great are His signs and how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and His dominion is from generation to generation.” He was hard to convince, but there’s a change in his attitude.

Then he gives his testimony; I won’t go through all of it. It’s an amazing testimony. He has a dream, he can’t figure out the meaning of the dream, Daniel tells him the meaning of the dream in verses 19 through 27. The dream is about him being cut down. It’s a dream of a tree; it’s him—he’s going to be cut down, chopped down, nothing left but a small stump. Why? Well because he needs to learn, verse 25, “that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.”

So Daniel interprets the dream, and then in verse 27 says, “Let me give you some advice, O king”: “Break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.” Here’s another opportunity for this guy to say what he says and actually believe it. All this happened to the king. This is the interpretation of the dream.

Verse 29, “twelve months later,” he’s forgotten it again. And he thinks he’s God, and he’s reflecting on it: “Is not this Babylon”—verse 30—“the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” It’s a soliloquy on his majesty. “While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you. You’ll be driven away from mankind, your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You’ll be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven [years, literally] will pass over until you recognize the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’ Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; he was driven away from mankind, began eating grass like cattle, his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and nails like birds’ claws.” For seven years. That is humbling.

“At the end of the period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing; He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He’s able to humble those who walk in pride’”—yeah, he learned that. I think you’re going to see him in heaven. It’s a real conversion story.

THE LAW IS KING AND NOT THE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA

The point that I want to make out of this is it’s always in the power of monarchs to do damage to the people of God, always. That is why Proverbs 16:12 says, “It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness,” because it turns everything upside-down. Only in righteousness is a throne established.

Look, in Acts chapter 4, the Jewish leaders said to the apostles, “Stop preaching!” In Daniel 3, Nebuchadnezzar said, “Stop worshiping!” Again, in Daniel 6—we didn’t read it—the rulers said, “Stop praying, or we’re going to throw you into”—what?—“the lions’ den.” The governor of California says, “Stop singing! Stop hugging!” But God’s people don’t stop because no—listen to me—no human authority is absolute. No human authority is absolute. I’ll say it again: No human authority is absolute. All human authorities are only authorities as long as they function in the way God designed them; and when they don’t function that way anymore, but they turn it on its head and do it in the reverse form, they yield up that God-given authority. Obviously the fallout is horrendous.

I love this little paragraph by Doug Wilson talking about Peter. He said, “The man who [told us to submit to the government] was soon to be executed by the magistrate as someone who was a grave threat to the civil order. This [is] the same man who was broken out of jail by an angel, . . . who disappeared from the book of Acts as a wanted man. The guards who lost him were executed because of his disappearance. This was the man who was in jail in the first place because he was a leader of Christians, and who earlier had told the Sanhedrin that he [would not] quit preaching, no matter what they said. And he was the man who was writing this letter to prepare law-abiding Christians for the time of persecution that was coming, in which time they would be accused of being [rebellious]. So whatever his words in chapter 2 mean, they [had] to be consistent with the life of the [man] who wrote them.” You submit when the government functions in the way God designed it.

So we are beginning to see persecution from government. This is the most formidable persecution: COVID, LGBTQ, transgender, social justice—all these new ideologies are now going to become the only acceptable moral standards. And if you don’t accept them, you’re going to be the enemy of the government. Truth, the Bible, Scripture is going to be canceled. The government’s taking control; they want to take control of absolutely everything. The church has become the main enemy of the government—nothing new.

Some helpful insights from Tim Cantrell over in South Africa, one of our missionaries: “In July 1933, during Hitler’s first summer in power, a young German pastor named Joachim Hossenfelder preached a sermon in . . . Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin’s most important church. He used the words of Romans 13 to remind worshippers of the importance of obedience to those in authority.” This is 1933. “The church was [all decked out] with Nazi banners . . . its pews packed with the Nazi . . . faithful [and soldiers in uniform].” Earlier that same year, Friedrich Dibelius, “a German bishop and one of the highest Protestant officials in the country” also preached on Romans 13 “to justify all the Nazi seizure[s] of power and [brutal] policies,” and misquoted Martin Luther himself about the powers of the state. “Three days” after this sermon by Dibelius, “the German parliament dissolved,” and Hitler took over. Within a few years, six million Jews had been slaughtered, and the world devastated by World War II. 

Throughout history, even in the Western world, people lived under what was called the divine right of kings. Kings were believed to have had a divine right. This was absolute monarchy. What broke that was basically the Reformers. The Reformers—a little phrase was “the law is king,” not the man. Because of the myth of the divine right of kings, it became the justification for the slaughter and the massacre of countless children of God.

GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME PURVEYOR OF WICKEDNESS

One New Testament writer says that Romans 13 has “caused more unhappiness and misery . . . than any other . . . verses in the New Testament by the license they have given to tyrants . . . used to justify a host of horrendous abuses of individual human rights.” Hitler’s Holocaust, racism in the apartheid of South Africa, Cantrell says, “Both the Jews in Germany and blacks in South Africa were viewed as a threat to public health and national security. . . . “‘Trust us,’ said government . . . ‘we truly have your best interests at heart. All we want to do is help . . . keep you safe.’”

Government has already become the purveyor of wickedness. Government is a murderer, slaughtering millions of infants in abortion; elevating the LGBTQ agenda, the bizarre transgender deception. The culture has become anti-truth, we all know that. The truth is the biggest threat to lies. William Pitt, well-known name in English history, said this: “Necessity (i.e., public health, common good) is the plea [of] every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants. “Get people afraid, and they’ll do whatever you want. A fearful society will always comply; panicking people will believe anything” [(Cantrell)].

“During the gruesome and bloody days of the French Revolution, when 40,000 innocent [people] lost their heads,” you would be interested to know who was operating the guillotine: the Committee for Public Safety [(Cantrell)]. One writer says, “Governments now get voted into power by promising to oversee housing, education, medicine, the economy, [the] currency, a minimum income, food, water, land, and the list goes on. The government become a parent, and the citizens are dependents. The government in this role becomes a monstrous juggernaut of bureaucracy, devouring taxes and trying to regulate every detail of life.” And they definitely want to regulate the church and silence its proclamation.

In his book The Glorious Body of Christ, Kuiper wrote, “Our age is one of ecclesiastical passivism. . . . When a church ceases to be militant it also ceases to be a church of Jesus Christ. . . . A truly militant church stands opposed to the world both without its walls and within. . . . Time and again in its history the church has found it necessary to assert its sovereignty over against usurpations by the state.” And Kuiper gave some biblical examples, like when King Saul or King Uzziah usurped the priesthood, stating, “In both cases a representative of the state was severely punished for encroaching [on] the sovereignty of the church.”

“Lord Macaulay of England summed up the Puritan reputation this way” [(Cantrell)]. He said of the Puritans, “He bowed himself in the dust before his Maker; [as] he set his foot on the neck of his king.” Kuiper says, “Ours is an age of state totalitarianism. All over the world statism is [rising] . . . . In consequence, in many lands the church finds itself utterly at the mercy of the state whose mercy often proves cruelty, while in others the notion is rapidly gaining ground that the church exists and operates by the state’s permission.” We do not operate by the state’s permission; we operate by the Lord’s command.

THERE IS A PLACE FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

Francis Schaeffer, who died in 1984, says, “If [there’s] no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, and as such, it has been put in the place of the living God.” And that point is exactly when the early Christians performed their acts of civil disobedience, even when it cost them their lives. “Acts of State which contradict God’s [Laws] are illegitimate and acts of tyranny. Tyranny is ruling without the sanction of God. To resist tyranny is to honour God. . . . The bottom line is that at a certain point there is not only the right, but the duty to disobey the State.”

[Cantrell:] “G. K. Chesterton once made this . . . observation: ‘It is only by believing in God that we can ever criticize the government. Once abolish God, and the government becomes . . . God . . . . Wherever the people do not believe in something beyond the [government], they will worship [it]. . . . They will worship the strongest thing in the world.’”

John Calvin said, “[We’re] subject to the men who rule over us, but subject only in the Lord. If they command anything against Him let us not pay the least regard to it, nor be moved by all the dignity which they possess as magistrates.”

Now Scottish Covenanters, amazing people. Andrew Melville was jailed in the Tower of London for the gospel. He was actually jailed because he confronted King James of the King James Bible. This is what Melville said: “There are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland: There is King James, the head of the Commonwealth, and there is King Jesus, the Head of the [Church], whose subject King James is, and of whose kingdom he is not the head, nor a lord, but only a member.” For that he was jailed.

[Cantrell:] “In 1660 the Covenanters signed their National Covenant” with their blood. “Historian S.M. Houghton tells . . . they were determined”—quoting—“to: resist to the death the claims of the king . . . to override the Crown Rights of the Redeemer in His [Church] (King Jesus). Their National Covenant [gave] high honour to the eternal God and His most holy Word; demands the faithful preaching of that Word, the due and right ministration of the sacraments . . . . The subscribers further say that they fear neither ‘the foul aspersions of rebellion, combination, or what else our adversaries from their craft and malice would put upon us, seeing what we do is so well warranted, and [arises] from an unfeigned desire to maintain the true worship of God, the majesty of our King, and the peace of [His] kingdom, for the common happiness of ourselves and our posterity.’ They [pledged] themselves as in the sight of God to ‘be good examples to others of all godliness, soberness, and righteousness, and . . . every duty we owe to God and man.’”

DOES GOVERNMENT WIN?

Does government win? Does Satan win? No, because in chapter 19 of the book of Revelation, Jesus comes back, right? And destroys all kings set against Him. Battle of Armageddon, He wipes them out. Listen to Psalm 2: “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed”—this is what the rulers of the world do. And they say, “‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!’ He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.’” The King is coming, isn’t He?

“I will . . . tell you the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You’re My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I’ll surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You will break’” those nations “‘with a rod of iron, You will shatter them like’” clay pots. “‘Therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” A warning to the leaders of this nation and every nation: The King is coming. He will crush all opposition.

Satan persecutes the church through governments. But the Son of God has come to destroy the devil, to render him powerless, to overthrow Satan’s final kingdom of darkness. In conclusion, Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, who is against us?” Let’s pray.

Father, we are so grateful for the confidence that we have, borne to our souls from Your precious truth: Your Word. Thank You for these dear people. Thank You for their faithfulness, for their love for You, for the love wrought in their hearts, by You and thus for You. Thank You for the joy of fellowship. Give us such joy, as we understand that what’s coming is all going to be for Your glory.

Everything in history is unfolding in the plan that You have designed. Your purposes cannot be thwarted. You will triumph. Christ will come. He will destroy His enemies. He will destroy all kings and all rulers, and reign alone in His glorious kingdom, of which we who love Him will be a part. We long for that day. Until then may we celebrate with joy and thanksgiving that we even now are citizens of that kingdom; and we who know Him and love Him will reign with Him. We thank You for that promise.

May we never become discouraged by what’s happening in the world. May we understand that it’s exactly what Scripture says we would expect. Help us not to get caught up in the politics of these things, but rather to see them through the lens of Holy Scripture.

We know that the devil has a plan, but so do You; and You will triumph. You are triumphing even now at Grace Church, and we are basking in a preview of Your final triumph. We thank You for that sweet gift of grace. Bring to Yourself any with us today who don’t know Christ. Draw that soul into Your kingdom. For Your glory we pray. Amen.

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Does The Atlantic Think LeBron James Should Be Allowed to Play in WNBA?

Does The Atlantic Think LeBron James Should Be Allowed to Play in WNBA?

It’s neither sexist nor misogynistic, just a recognition of basic biological reality, to acknowledge that men as a whole are stronger and faster athletically than women. Pictured: Alyssa Thomas, left, of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun is fouled by Kiah Stokes of the Las Vegas Aces in the fourth quarter of the third game of the 2022 WNBA Finals at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sept. 15 in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Copyright 2022 NBAE Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

A writer for The Atlantic magazine recently used a story about a teenage girl who wanted to play high school football to argue against segregatingsports by sex.

Maggie Mertens acknowledges sex differences between men and women in sports in her essay. But she claims that “researchers today still don’t know how much of this to attribute to biological difference versus the lack of support provided to women athletes to reach their highest potential.”

Mertens thinks a case of one female athlete and several allusions to “science” that questions biological sex differences are enough to destroy the entire concept of the sex binary.

The dominant narrative around transgenderism has moved from gender dysphoria and clinical discussions of mental health disorders to cultural conversations about gender identity, personal pronouns, and affirmation. The final step in colonizing public policy and social norms is eradicating the reality of biological differences between men and women.

Mertens took to Twitter to justify her views by linking to an article that claims the existence of intersex conditions proves the idea of two sexes is “overly simplistic.”

The truth is that rare genetic conditions reaffirm the sex binary, rather than challenge it. There is no third sex or third gamete. And the “secondary” sex differences are well-established.

Mertens denies this reality when she claims scientists have challenged the belief that boys are on average bigger, stronger, and faster than girls. But as the saying goes, “That’s why they play the game.”

Florence Griffith-Joyner is generally acknowledged as the fastest woman in history. Her time of 10.49 seconds in the 100-meter dashis still a world record for female sprinters, but is not even among the top 6,000 times for men.

Professional basketball is no different. The WNBA shared a video in 2017 of every dunk in the 20-year history of the league to that point.

The video was 71 seconds long.

The USA women’s soccer team—winners of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup—dominates the pitch when squaring off against female players from across the globe. That didn’t matter to the teenage boys who defeated professional women almost twice their age in a 2017 match.

Mertens would probably repeat this line from her essay to explain those outcomes:

[T]hough sex differences in sports show advantages for men, researchers today still don’t know how much of this to attribute to biological differences, versus the lack of support provided to women athletes to reach their highest potential.

In the world of radical gender ideology, testosterone is apparently a social construct.

The inner workings of the human mind are complex. That’s why the gender debate is largely focused on how people “identify” based on whether they “feel” like a man or woman.

The outward functioning of the human body is much simpler and easier to detect. Either a man can bench press 250 pounds or he can’t. Either a woman has a 40-inch vertical jump or she doesn’t.

Rare as these performance measures are, all the people who possess such otherworldly athletic ability are men. Acknowledging this fact is not sexist. It respects female athletes for their immense talent on their own merits, not in comparison to their male peers.

The Atlantic, like many other institutions dominated by the Left, thinks it can create the world of its choosing ex nihilo. This impulse reflects a god complex that is common with people who cannot accept a world in which differences in outcomes exist across groups.

It’s much easier for them to reshape cultural norms in their own image than appreciate the reality that men and women—designed by their Creator—are equal in worth and dignity, but different in form and function.

Ultimately, the girl in the story did not join the team. Although her school approved her request to play, she quit because she was upset by the tests she had to undergo before being declared eligible to compete.

I hope she continues to enjoy the game of football, but it’s hard to miss the irony of an article arguing that teenage girls are strong enough to play tackle football with boys ending with the protagonist quitting because her feelings were hurt by adults.

Human nature remains undefeated.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

Daily Wire and Matt Walsh’s ‘What is a Woman’ Documentary Sheds Light on Disturbing Transgender Agenda

Matt Walsh and the Daily Wire’s “What Is a Woman?” documentary discusses the gender identity crisis in America with a variety of experts and activists (Photo: The Daily Wire)

“I’ve heard people say that there are no differences between male and female. Those people are idiots.”

Thus begins the Daily Wire host Matt Walsh’s new “What Is a Woman?” documentary, which highlights the left’s ever-growing reluctance and inability to define gender. Think that defining the qualities of men and women is easy for most people today? Think again.

While some may struggle to “figure out” women, Walsh identifies that Western culture’s obsession with gender identity has paralyzed people from defining what a woman is. As the documentary progresses, we see further evidence that the transgender narrative has not only rejected the definitions of “man” and “woman” as insensitive and transphobic, but has dismantled the very concept of universal truth and reality.

Fittingly released on the first day of “Pride Month,” Walsh’s documentary is a thought-provoking, humorous, yet often emotional and disturbing film that illuminates the contradictory and dangerous narrative of the transgenderagenda.

In the documentary, Walsh interviews “the experts,” such as “gender-affirming” therapists, sex change surgeons, and gender ideology professors (most of whom are transgender themselves or members of the LGBTQ+ community), asking them, “What is a woman?” The majority of responders say they have no idea how to define womanhood or refuse to answer the question, calling it bigoted and pointless. Not only are they unable to provide a simple definition of a woman, but they find the entire concept offensive and transphobic.

The documentary begins on a humorous note, as Walsh asks a family therapist, “How do I know if I’m a woman? I mean I like scented candles and I watch ‘Sex and the City.’”

“What a great question!” the therapist (who has every indication of being a woman) says, nodding and smiling encouragingly.

“So, what is a woman?” Walsh asks. A disconcerted look enters the counselor’s eye: “Great question! But I’m not a woman, so I can’t really answer that.”

“I thought therapy would make me less confused,” Walsh said. Us too, Matt.

So, he takes to the streets to ask the common American if they can solve this conundrum. Surprisingly, most of the interviewees responded to the “what is a woman?” question with a blank stare and nervous laughter. Most said it couldn’t be defined and said they would accept Walsh as a woman if that’s what he believed he was.

Especially entertaining is Walsh’s trip to the Women’s March—surely they’ll know what a woman is if they’re marching for them, right? But no, the marching women either ignored Walsh or yelled, “Why are you here?”—insinuating that he was a man (without even asking his gender identity, the audacity!) and that a man had no right to attend a women’s march. “How can you have a women’s march if you don’t know what a woman is?” he asked. Touché.

What is the female gender, according to the transgender community? Walsh spoke with a transgender surgeon who differentiated between sex and gender, saying that sex-change surgery is “altering the physical characteristics of an individual to fit better with a gender identity that is female.” In that case, what is a woman, according to this surgeon? “A woman is a combination of your physical attributes, what you’re showing to the world and the gender clues you give, and hopefully those match your gender identity.”

As if the issue couldn’t get any more confusing, Walsh speaks with a pediatrician and professor who has worked in Planned Parenthood and advocates for “gender and reproductive justice.” She provides “gender affirmation care,” saying that a good doctor is there to listen to the patient and act on what they’re expressing. Walsh asked whether it was ethical for minors to be making life-altering decisions such as taking puberty blockers or opposite sex hormones, since children often have a fantastical, unrealistic interpretation of reality, such as believing in Santa Claus.

“Well, he’s real to them,” the pediatrician said. “But the fact that Santa exists isn’t true,” Walsh countered. “Whose truth are you talking about? It’s very real to the child,” the pediatrician responded.

The documentary makes it clear that Americans can no longer ignore the transgender movement. It is permeating every aspect of society, politics, and education and now targets children as young as preschoolers.

The push for children to define their own realities and irreversibly change their bodies is perhaps what is most disturbing about the transgender agenda. In what other sphere of medicine do patients, especially young children, prescribe both their malady and remedy to the affirmation and acceptance of a counselor or physician? As clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson said to Walsh, “It’s not my job to affirm as a therapist, you come to see me because there’s something wrong.

The fact that the transgender agenda is increasingly targeting young children is what psychiatrist Miriam Grossman finds most disturbing. Grossman explains to Walsh the history of the transgender and sex-ed movement and highlights the unethical, traumatic techniques and flawed studies that have shaped it over the years. “It’s unspeakable what these people have done to our children,” she says.

Not only is the transgender movement harming women’s sports, exposing children to inappropriate material, and encouraging them to reject science and universal truth, it is also irreparably damaging children’s bodies and destroying their futures.

The most moving and persuasive interview occurred with Scott Newgent, a biological female who transitioned to a male as an adult but passionately argues against the rise in gender surgery among children and the subjectivity of gender. “I’m a biological woman that medically transitioned to appear like a man through synthetic hormones and surgery,” Newgent said. “I will never be a man. Is it transphobic for me to tell the truth?”

Newgent describes the details and horrific side effects of gender reassignment surgery that are so conveniently hidden from public discourse. Having undergone multiple surgeries, illnesses, and painful, permanent side effects, Newgent told Walsh, “Nobody would help me, including the doctor who did this to me, because I lost my insurance. I probably won’t live very long.”

Newgent said that the possible risks and side effects were never discussed when considering gender reassignment surgery, and warns parents and anyone considering sex-change surgery that “the truth is that medical transition is experimental.”

Revealing an arm mutilated from skin grafts, Newgent broke down in tears on camera, exclaiming in horror that minor children are regularly operated on without any discussion of the risks and permanence of the surgery, or any discussion as to whether children should ethically be allowed or able to consent to such procedures.

“We’re butchering a generation of children because no one’s willing to talk about anything,” Newgent said. “This is wrong on so many levels. Kids aren’t able to consent.”

The transgender movement is ultimately an attack on scientific fact, the concept of reality, and the meaning of language. No longer are words allowed to mean one thing. No longer is the word “truth” socially acceptable, because who are we to deny “your reality” or “your truth?”

A professor of women (whatever those are, anyway) gender, and sexuality responded to Walsh’s statement that he was seeking the truth with “I’m really uncomfortable with that language of ‘getting to the truth’ because it sounds deeply transphobic to me. The word truth is condescending and rude.”

Sensing that this concept is a purely Western phenomenon, Walsh heads to Nairobi to immerse himself in the customs of a local tribe. In this culture, gender norms and roles are crucial to the survival of the tribe. The men protect and provide, and the women maintain the home and nurture the children. It’s an honor to be a man or a woman in this tribe, and every member knows their distinct duties and privileges.

A group of men laugh in disbelief when Walsh asks what they would do if a man wanted to look and act like a woman—the entire concept is ridiculous and unheard of. “The Maasai people don’t think much about gender,” Walsh observes on the way back home to America, “but they have a firm sense of their identity.”

Instead of solving gender dysphoria and body image discomfort, Americans’ infatuation with identity has only created greater societal instability and refused to answer the most foundational of questions. “What Is a Woman?” succeeds in highlighting the inconsistencies and dangerous agenda of the transgender movement.

Walsh’s angle is particularly effective, as he gives the majority of the screentime to pro-trans activists and medical professionals. The lack of data or persuasive argument for the trans community isn’t the producers’ fault, the “experts” simply couldn’t provide any. Walsh’s sarcastic, borderline-dark sense of humor in the delightfully ridiculous street interviews breaks up the more serious, unsettling information and gives a sense of hope and common sense to the insanity that’s been normalized.

Bold, humorous, thought-provoking, and undeniably chilling, “What is a Woman?” equips its audience to better face the ever-growing reality of the transgender agenda and its far-reaching effects through civil discourse, empathy, and a firm grasp of truth, science, and reality.

At the end of the film, it’s Walsh’s wife who’s the true MVP. “Hey honey, what’s a woman?” Walsh asks. “An adult human female,” she responds.

Of course, who knew it could be that simple?

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

After Life 2 – Man identifies as an 8 year old girl

—-

After Life on Netflix

——

Before I get into the fine article by Brendan O’Neill which I present in its entirety, I wanted to quote Francis Schaeffer who spent his life examining the humanism that now Ricky Gervais embraces!

All humans have moral motions and that is why Ricky Gervais knows it is wrong to let biological men use ladies’ bathrooms!!!!!!

Francis Schaffer in his book THE GOD WHO IS THERE addresses these same issues:

“[in Christianity] there is a sufficient basis for morals. Nobody has ever discovered a way of having real “morals” without a moral absolute. If there is no moral absolute, we are left with hedonism (doing what I like) or some form of the social contract theory (what is best for society as a a hole is right). However, neither of these alternative corresponds to the moral motions that men have. Talk to people long enough and deeply enough, and you will find that they consider some things are really right and something are really wrong. Without absolutes, morals as morals cease to exist, and humanistic mean starting from himself is unable to find the absolute he needs. But because the God of the Bible is there, real morals exist. Within this framework I can say one action is right and another wrong, without talking nonsense.” 117

Francis Schaeffer in the film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

Brendan O’Neill

Ricky Gervais is guilty of blasphemy

He has mocked identity politics – the god of our times

I have long thought that if Life of Brian came out today, it wouldn’t be Christians kicking up a fuss about it — it would be trans activists.

When Monty Python’s classic tale of a man mistaken for a Messiah came to cinemas in 1979, people of faith weren’t happy. They saw it as taking the mick out of Christ and they aired their displeasure noisily. Nuns in New York picketed cinemas. In Ireland the film was banned for eight years.

In 2022 I reckon it would be a very different story. It wouldn’t be Monty Python’s ribbing of the gospels that would outrage the chattering classes — it would be their mockery of trans people.

Life of Brian was way ahead of time. It was Terf before Terf was even a thing. There is a brilliantly observed scene in which Stan of the People’s Front of Judea — or is it the Judean People’s Front? — says he wants to become Loretta.

‘I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me Loretta’, says Stan, played by Eric Idle. When the others push back and say he can’t just become a woman, he says: ‘It’s my right as a man.’ Which was remarkably perspicacious.

‘I want to have babies’, says Stan / Loretta. ‘You can’t have babies! You haven’t got a womb!’, barks John Cleese’s Reg. Transphobic or what? To calm things down, Francis (Michael Palin) says they should accept Stan’s desire to be Loretta as being ‘symbolic of our struggle against oppression’. ‘Symbolic of his struggle against reality…’ Reg mutters.

——

Imagine if a film or TV show did something like that today. Showed an aspiring ‘trans woman’ being mocked for not having the right body parts to be a woman. Showed a man who wants to be a woman being told — for laughs, remember — that the only thing he’s struggling against is reality.

The cancel-culture mob would kick into action. There’d be a Change.org petition, maybe even a physical protest outside the offices of the production company or streaming service that was foolish enough to broadcast such trans-poking humour. ‘Jokes kill!’, we would be told, day and night.

Hell, JK Rowling can’t even very politely say ‘men aren’t women’ without being subjected to weeks of hatred and violent threats — so heaven help the film company that tried to air a Stan / Loretta skit in these febrile times.

This week, my theory about Life of Brianin 2022 was kind of proven right. For we had the pretty extraordinary sight of Ricky Gervais getting a very free ride for his God-mocking while being dragged into the Twitter stocks for his gags about trans issues.

In his new Netflix special SuperNature, Gervais vents his atheistic spleen. The Christian God is cruel and perverted, he says. Those Christian fundamentalists who believe Aids is the Almighty’s way of punishing gay sex clearly believe in a God who’s up in heaven thinking, ‘I’m sick of all this bumming’. And so just as God once said ‘Let there be light’, according to Gervais in the 1980s He said, ‘Let there be Aids’. What a rotter.

This isn’t the first time Gervais has made fun of God and those who believe in him. He’s famously an atheist. He talks about it all the time. (Rather too much, in my view.) But God-bashing is fine these days. Cool, even. Christians tend to take it in their stride. Believers have mostly kept their counsel following Gervais’s latest mockery of their wicked, ridiculous God.

The same cannot be said of trans activists and their allies. Not even remotely. They have responded with fury to Gervais’s blasphemy against the new god of genderfluidity.

He’s been called all the usual names. Transphobe, Terf, bigot. His crime? Choosing not to adhere to the ideology of transgenderism, daring to dissent from that pseudo-religious mantra we are all now pressured into saying: ‘Trans women are women.’

What’s funny about this spittle-flecked response to Gervais’s trans jokes is that he was really only saying what trans activists themselves have said. He had a bit on ‘old-fashioned women’ — ‘you know, the ones with wombs’ — complaining about born males using their bathrooms. ‘What if he rapes me?’, these women say. To which Gervais, playing the trans activist, responds: ‘What if she rapes you, you… Terf whore.’

Cutting, yes. But also incredibly accurate. Some police forces and courts do indeed refer to rapists as ‘she’ and ‘her’, if that’s how they identify. And, as feminists have pointed out, this results in rape victims being pressured to refer to their rapist with female pronouns. As for the language, anyone who has spent more than five minutes online in recent years will know that that kind of thing is said to gender-critical women all the time.

Like all great blasphemous comics, Gervais is merely shining a light on things that really are said, and things which really do happen, and inviting us, his audience, to laugh and say: ‘Yeah, that is kind of ridiculous.’ Much as Monty Python did with the Bible, in fact.

But, say Gervais’s humourless critics, while the likes of Monty Python were punching up — against God, no less — Gervais is punching down, against vulnerable, marginalised trans people. I don’t buy this at all. Gervais has made it clear that he fully supports rights for trans people. His issue is with the excesses of trans activism and the authoritarianism of identity politics more broadly.

‘I talk about Aids, famine, cancer, the Holocaust, rape, paedophilia’, he says in SuperNature. ‘But no, the one thing you mustn’t joke about is identity politics.’

Absolutely. And that’s because identitarianism is the god of our times. It’s the new religion of the elites, their means of controlling and reprimanding the masses. Ridiculing identity politics is to the 21st century what questioning the authority of God was to the 15th. The woke rage against Gervais really does echo earlier outbursts of intolerant religious fury against anyone who dared to dissent from the Word of God.

A.F. Branco for Jan 12, 2022

—-

Dennett wearing a button-up shirt and a jacket

I was referred this subject by a tweet by Daniel Dennett which referenced a fine article by Robyn E. Blumner in defense of her boss at the RICHARD DAWKINS FOUNDATION and you can read my response at this link.
Richard Dawkins Cooper Union Shankbone.jpg

Ricky Gervais is a secular humanist just like his good friend Richard Dawkins and it is the humanists who have bought into this trans-identity politics and as a result the AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION has stripped Dawkins of his 1996 HUMANIST OF THE YEAR award.

As an evangelical I have had the opportunity to correspond with more more secular humanists that have signed the Humanist Manifestos than any other evangelical alive (at least that has been one of my goals since reading Francis Schaeffer’s books and watching his films since 1979).

Not everyone I have corresponded with is a secular humanist but  many are the top scientists and atheist thinkers of today and hold this same secular views. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), (Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), and Michael Martin (1932-), Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton(1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes(1906-1999) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-). 

Let me make a few points about Ricky personally and then a few about this comedy routine by the secular humanist Ricky Gervais.

Notice below in AFTER LIFE how he suspects Anne of being a Christian when she tells him “We are not just here for us. We are here for others,“

After Life Ricky GervaisRicky Gervais and Penelope Wilton in ‘After Life’ (CREDIT: Netflix)

(Above) Tony (played by Ricky) and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

In the fourth episode of season 1 of AFTER LIFE is the following discussion between Anne and Tony:

Tony: My brother-in-law wants me to try dating again.
Anne: Oh excellent! You need some tips.
Tony: why would I need some tips?

Anne: I imagine you are awful with women…Well all men are awful with women but grumpy selfish ones are the worst.

Tony: Let me take notes. This is dynamite.

Tony: I would just be honest. Tell them my situation and tell them what I am going through. Be honest up front.
Anne: So it is all about you then?

Tony: I can’t win can I? I don’t want to date again. I don’t want to live without Lisa.

Anne: But is not just about you is it? That is what I am saying. What if a nice date made her feel good? That might feel nice right? We are just here for us. We are here for others.

Tony: I don’t do the whole God thing I am afraid.

Anne: Neither do I. It is a load of rubbish. All we got is each other. We have to help each other struggle until we die then we are done. No point in felling sorry for ourselves and making everyone else unhappy too. Might as [kill] yourself if you feel that bad.
Tony: Are you sure you want to work for the Samaritans?

Christ came to this world and his followers have changed this world for the better more than any other group that ever existed. When Anne makes the assertions, “But is not just about you is it? That is what I am saying. What if a nice date made her feel good? That might feel nice right? We are not just here for us. We are here for others,” Tony assumes she is a Christian.

If you found yourself in a dark alley late at night, with a group of rough-looking, burly young men walking swiftly toward you, would you feel better knowing they were coming from a Bible study?

If we are only cosmic accidents, how can there be any meaning in our lives? If this is true, which it is in an atheistic world view, our lives are for nothing. It would not matter in the slightest bit if I ever existed. This is why the atheist, if honest and consistent, must face death with despair. Their life is for nothing. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

I highly recommend Ricky Gervais series AFTER LIFE which is running on NETFLIX because it reminds me of King Solomon trying to find meaning in life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture!!!

God put Solomon’s story in Ecclesiastes in the Bible with the sole purpose of telling people like Ricky that without God in the picture you  will find out the emptiness one feels when possessions are trying to fill the void that God can only fill.

Then in the last chapter of Ecclesiastes Solomon returns to looking above the sun and he says that obeying the Lord is the proper way to live your life. The  answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. If you need more evidence then go to You Tube and watch the short video:

NOW TO RICKY’S COMEDY:

Brendan O’Neill noted above:

‘I want to have babies’, says Stan / Loretta. ‘You can’t have babies! You haven’t got a womb!’, barks John Cleese’s Reg. Transphobic or what? To calm things down, Francis (Michael Palin) says they should accept Stan’s desire to be Loretta as being ‘symbolic of our struggle against oppression’. ‘Symbolic of his struggle against reality…’ Reg mutters….

He’s been called all the usual names. Transphobe, Terf, bigot. His crime? Choosing not to adhere to the ideology of transgenderism, daring to dissent from that pseudo-religious mantra we are all now pressured into saying: ‘Trans women are women.’

What’s funny about this spittle-flecked response to Gervais’s trans jokes is that he was really only saying what trans activists themselves have said. He had a bit on ‘old-fashioned women’ — ‘you know, the ones with wombs’ — complaining about born males using their bathrooms. ‘What if he rapes me?’, these women say. To which Gervais, playing the trans activist, responds: ‘What if she rapes you, you… Terf whore.’

Ricky  is trying to use common sense (through sarcasm) on people that “GOD GAVE…OVER to depraved [minds]. Romans 1 states:

26 For this reason (M)GOD GAVE THEM OVER  to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural…

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, GOD GAVE THEM OVER to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are…inventors of evil,

—-

Francis Schaeffer.jpg

Francis Schaeffer later in this blog post discusses what the unbelievers in Romans 1 were rejecting, but first John MacArthur discusses what the unbelievers in the Democratic Party today are affirming and how these same activities were condemned 2000 years ago in Romans 1.

Christians Cannot And MUST Not Vote Democrat – John MacArthur

A Democrat witness testifying before the HouseJudiciary Committee on abortion rights Thursday declared that men can get pregnant and have abortions. This reminds of Romans chapter 1 and also John MacArthur’s commentary on the 2022 Agenda of the Democratic Party:

25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…26 For this reason (M)GOD GAVE THEM OVER  to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, GOD GAVE THEM OVER to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are…inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Here is what John MacArthur had to say:

Now, all of a sudden, not only is this characteristic of our nation, but we now promote it. One of the parties, the Democratic Party, has now made Romans 1, the sins of Romans 1, their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm.

I know from last week’s message that there was some response from people who said, “Why are you getting political?”

Romans 1 is not politics. This has to do with speaking the Word of God through the culture in which we live….it’s about iniquity and judgment. And why do we say this? Because this must be recognized for what it is–sin, serious sin, damning sin, destructive sin.

Dem witness tells House committee men can get pregnant, have abortions

‘I believe that everyone can identify for themselves,’ Aimee Arrambide tells House Judiciary Committee

Aimee Arrambide, the executive director of the abortion rights nonprofit Avow Texas, was asked by Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., to define what “a woman is,” to which she responded, “I believe that everyone can identify for themselves.”
“Do you believe that men can become pregnant and have abortions?” Bishop asked.

“Yes,” Arrambide replied.

The remarks from Arrambide followed a tense exchange between Bishop and Dr. Yashica Robinson, another Democrat witness, after he similarly asked her to define “woman.”

Aimee Arrambide testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on May 11, 2020.  (YouTube screenshot)

Aimee Arrambide testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on May 11, 2020.  (YouTube screenshot) (Screenshot/ House Committee on the Judiciary)

“Dr. Robinson, I noticed in your written testimony you said that you use she/her pronouns. You’re a medical doctor – what is a woman?” Bishop asked Robinson, an OBGYN and board member with Physicians for Reproductive Health.

“I think it’s important that we educate people like you about why we’re doing the things that we do,” Robinson responded. “And so the reason that I use she and her pronouns is because I understand that there are people who become pregnant that may not identify that way. And I think it is discriminatory to speak to people or to call them in such a way as they desire not to be called.”

“Are you going to answer my question? Can you answer the question, what’s a woman?” Bishop asked.

Donna Howard and Aimee Arrambide speaks at Making Virtual Storytelling and Activism Personal during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas.

Donna Howard and Aimee Arrambide speaks at Making Virtual Storytelling and Activism Personal during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Hubert Vestil/Getty Images for SXSW)

“I’m a woman, and I will ask you which pronouns do you use?” Robinson replied. “If you tell me that you use she and her pronouns … I’m going to respect you for how you want me to address you.”

“So you gave me an example of a woman, you say that you are a woman, can you tell me otherwise what a woman is?” Bishop asked.

“Yes, I’m telling you, I’m a woman,” Robinson responded.

“Is that as comprehensive a definition as you can give me?” Bishop asked.

“That’s as comprehensive a definition as I will give you today,” Robinson said. “Because I think that it’s important that we focus on what we’re here for, and it’s to talk about access to abortion.”

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“So you’re not interested in answering the question that I asked unless it’s part of a message you want to deliver…” Bishop fired back.

Wednesday’s hearing, titled, “Revoking your Rights,” addressed the threat to abortion rights after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion signaled the high court is poised to soon strike down Roe v. Wade.
John MacArthur explains God’s Wrath on unrighteousness from Romans Chapt…

First is what Romans says:

Romans 1:18-32

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Unbelief and Its Consequences

18 For (A)the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who (B)suppress the truth [a]in unrighteousness, 19 because (C)that which is known about God is evident [b]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For (D)since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (E)being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not [c]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became (F)futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 (G)Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and (H)exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [d]crawling creatures.

24 Therefore (I)God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be (J)dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [e]a (K)lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, (L)who is blessed [f]forever. Amen.

26 For this reason (M)God gave them over to (N)degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [g]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, (O)men with men committing [h]indecent acts and receiving in [i]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit [j]to acknowledge God any longer, (P)God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are (Q)gossips, 30 slanderers, [k](R)haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, (S)disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, (T)unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of (U)death, they not only do the same, but also (V)give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Here is what John MacArthur had to say:

Now, all of a sudden, not only is this characteristic of our nation, but we now promote it. One of the parties, the Democratic Party, has now made Romans 1, the sins of Romans 1, their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm. What God punishes, they exalt. Shocking, really. The Democratic Party has become the anti-God party, the sin-promoting party. By the way, there are seventy-two million registered Democrats in this country who have identified themselves with that party and maybe they need to rethink that identification.

I know from last week’s message that there was some response from people who said, “Why are you getting political?”

Romans 1 is not politics. The Bible is not politics. This has nothing to do with politics. This has to do with speaking the Word of God through the culture in which we live. It has nothing to do with politics. It’s not about personalities; it’s about iniquity and judgment. And why do we say this? Because this must be recognized for what it is–sin, serious sin, damning sin, destructive sin.

WHAT HAS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY REJECTED? THE ANSWER IS THE GOD WHO HAS REVEALED HIM SELF THROUGH THE BOOK OF NATURE AND THE BOOK OF SCRIPTURE!

God Is There And He Is Not Silent
Psalm 19
Intro. 1) Francis Schaeffer lived from 1912-1984. He was one of the Christian
intellectual giants of the 20th century. He taught us that you could be a Christian and not abandon the mind. One of the books he wrote was entitled He Is There And He Is Not Silent. In that work he makes a crucial and thought provoking statement, “The infinite- personal God is there, but also he is not silent; that changes the whole world…He is there and is not a silent, nor far-off God.” (Works of F.S., Vol 1, 276).
2) God is there and He is not silent. In fact He has revealed Himself to us in 2 books: the book of nature and the book of Scripture. Francis Bacon, a 15th century scientist who is credited by many with developing the scientific method said it this way: “There are 2 books laid before us to study, to prevent us from falling into error: first the volume to the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the creation, which expresses His power.”
3) Psalm 19 addresses both of God’s books, the book of nature in vs 1-6 and the book of Scripture in vs. 7-14. Described as a wisdom Psalm, its beauty, poetry and splendor led C.S. Lewis to say, “I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world” (Reflections on the Psalms, 63).
Trans. God is there and He is not silent. How should we hear and listen to the God who talks?
I. Listen To God Speak Through Nature 19:1-6
God has revealed himself to ever rational human on the earth in two ways: 1) nature and 2) conscience. We call this natural or general revelation. In vs. 1-6 David addresses the wonder of nature and creation.

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 5 | Truth and History

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Biden USAID’s Radical Gender Policy Is Exporting Cultural Colonialism

Biden USAID’s Radical Gender Policy Is Exporting Cultural Colonialism

Gender ideology offends many of our needy foreign aid recipients, but that’s not stopping President Joe Biden’s U.S. Agency for International Development from imposing it. Pictured: USAID Administrator Samantha Power speaks at a press conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Sept. 11. (Photo: Ishara Kodikara/AFP/ Getty Images)

The leftist ideologues at the Biden administration’s foreign aid agency have just drafted a new policy on gender.

The U.S. Agency for International Development is supposed to use U.S. foreign assistance funds to “advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world.” Its stated goals—saving lives, reducing poverty, and helping people progress beyond the need for assistance—are noble and uncontroversial. Packaging our foreign aid in the language and ideology of radical gender theory, however, is not.

This new gender policy at USAID is the latest manifestation of President Joe Biden’s plan to make gender ideology a central theme of government policy—and there’s a lot of money to set aside to do it. USAID’s budget request for fiscal year  2023 is $60.4 billion. That’s up 6% over last year, and includes an extra $2.6 billion to push the National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.

Gender ideology offends many of our needy foreign aid recipients. Putting such ideological shackles on our aid undermines the goodwill that our assistance would otherwise garner. It perpetuates the notion that Americans see other cultures as morally inferior, and that we use our aid to “improve” their cultures.

This is naked ideological colonialism.

Equity vs. Equality

A “gender equality and women’s empowerment” policy should seek to empower women and girls, to help them have more chances to exercise their rights on par with men and boys. But the new USAID gender policy instead emphasizes the idea of “gender equity.”

USAID defines gender equity as “the process of ensuring women and men, boys and girls, and gender diverse individuals receive consistent, systematic, fair, and just treatment and distribution of benefits and resources.”

It even goes on to call for measures “to compensate for historic and systemic disadvantages.” That’s a far cry from equality. And it’s neither a proper nor achievable goal for the U.S. government. No amount of foreign assistance will yield equal outcomes for any groups or individuals in other countries.

Instead, USAID ought to return to the definition of “gender equality” that it employed in its previous policy: “The state in which women, girls, men, and boys have equal access to opportunities, resources, benefits, and legal protections, and which recognizes their equal, inherent human dignity, worth and unalienable rights.”

More Absurd Definitions

In the new draft policy, USAID departs from a perennial, science-based understanding of sex and from the common usage of “gender” as synonymous with biological sex. Instead, the terms in its glossary are controversial and nebulous.

It acknowledges as much by stating that “language is dynamic and evolving.” The document is replete with terms such as “gender binary,” “gender diverse,” and “gender identity,” which refer to nothing more than subjective feelings or artificial labels.

Not only is this language insensitive to other cultures, barely disguising an ideological agenda, but it’s also nonsensical. There’s no neutral, empirical way to discern a “gender identity.” As a concept, “gender identity” is an artifact of gender theory, not history or science. It should not be governing our foreign policy or aid programming.

Erasing Women

USAID’s consistent use of the phrase “women and girls in all their diversity” stretches the definition of “women and girls” to the point of including anyone, even men and boys.

By defining that term to include “the full range of gender identity and/or gender expression, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, and other intersectional characteristics,” it detracts from focusing on needs or conditions unique to women. For example, a man who claims to “identify” as a woman does not have the same needs or challenges as a woman—a biological female—in the context, for example, of menstrual health and hygiene.

A USAID grant or program ought to recognize and address that reality.

Not only does the new policy add radical and counterproductive elements, but it took important content out. Motherhood is a glaring omission in a document that purports to be concerned with women and girls. Millions of women who benefit from USAID programs are mothers, and happily so.

Motherhood is a defining part of these women’s lives. U.S. policy should acknowledge and support the critical role that mothers make to a productive and peaceful society.

Radicalizing Next Generation

USAID’s emphasis on “gender-transformative education” is another example of overt ideological imperialism. According to the document, the aim of gender-transformative education is to “transform stereotypes, attitudes, norms, and practices.” It does so “by challenging power relations, rethinking gender norms and binaries, and raising critical consciousness about the root causes of inequality and systems of oppression.”

USAID holds this type of education up as worthy of support. But changing cultural attitudes and raising awareness of oppression is not what parents want for their children. They want better reading, math, and science.

Under Biden, the U.S. is exporting a tendentious ideological fixation of a disproportionately powerful special interest into the developing world.

This is especially tone-deaf in U.S. government dealings with countries that do not share the Biden administration’s left-wing worldview. Remember this the next time the liberal news media complain about the U.S. “standing” in the world.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

The Woke Zone Trilogy

John Stossel takes up for Babylon Bee and notes “Even a few left-leaning comedians like Ricky Gervais and Dave Chappelle are mocking the intolerant left!”

Late night hosts like Stephen Colbert, seen speaking during the Montclair Film Festival on Oct. 23, passionately defend leftists to the point of lecturing, rather than providing comedic relief. (Photo: Manny Carabel/Getty Images)

A woman tells the cop who stopped her in a carpool lane she’s allowed to drive there because her pronouns are “they” and “them.”

That’s from a video by a conservative Christian satire site called the Babylon Bee. Their humor gets millions of views.

“Christian conservatives used to … be very dour and self-serious,” says Bee editor-in-chief Kyle Mann in my new video.

Today, he says, it’s the left who are self-serious. “They’re the ones that have trouble laughing at themselves.”

For example, late night hosts like Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert passionately defend COVID-19 vaccines.

“It is a lecture,” complains Mann.

“The left used to be anti-establishment,” adds Bee actress Chandler Juliet. Now, she says, ‘They’ve become the blob. … We’re super happy to be leading the comedic conversation on the right.”

One Babylon Bee video, “The Woke Zone,” makes fun of the way the media ignored violence and arson during the George Floyd protests.

“Do you ever feel gratitude to the left that they give you so much material?” I ask.

“We have to write things that are funnier than things they’re actually doing,” Mann responds. “That makes our job very difficult.”

One Bee sketch portrays its writers struggling to find new material.

“John Kerry warns that the war in Ukraine might distract from climate change!” suggests one.

Can’t do it, explains another. “It actually happened.” Yes, Kerry really did say that.

“Cosmo magazine features a morbidly obese woman on the cover as the picture of health” and, “Math professor says ‘two plus two equals four’ is racist!” are among other ideas that can’t be used as jokes.

“A math professor really said two plus two equals four is racist?” I ask.

It’s “a colonialist, white supremacist idea,” explains Mann.

Today the Bee reaches more people than The Onion. The establishment doesn’t like that, so some people actually sic so-called fact checkers on the Bee.

One article fact-checked by Snopes was titled, “Bernie Sanders Vows To Round Up Remaining ISIS Members, Allow Them To Vote.”

“Does Snopes not understand that you’re making jokes?” I ask.

“I think that they know what our intention is,” answers Juliet. “They just don’t like us.”

Recently, Twitter banned the Bee. Their offense was tweeting an article that named Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine “Babylon Bee’s Man of the Year.”

Levine is a transgender woman. Calling her the man of the year is a joke I wouldn’t make. But it doesn’t need to be censored.

Twitter says they’ll allow the Bee back on the platform only if they delete the tweet. Mann says he won’t.

“Twitter has the capability to just delete the tweet themselves. They want us to bend the knee and be the ones to click, ‘Yes, we acknowledge hateful conduct.’ We’re not going to do that.”

Today, a lot of comedians attract sizable audiences by mocking the left. Some I found funny are JP Sears, Ryan Long and FreedomToons.

The culture is changing.

The highest rating late-night comic these days is often not Colbert, Kimmel or Fallon, but Greg Gutfeld of Fox.

Even a few left-leaning comedians like Ricky Gervais and Dave Chappelle are mocking the intolerant left.

“I talk about AIDS, famine, cancer, the Holocaust, rape, pedophilia … the one thing you mustn’t joke about is identity politics,” says Gervais in his recent Netflix special.

Professional media critics trashed him for that. But the special was hugely popular with the public.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings are revealing. Critics gave Gervais’ special a 29% rating, calling it “terribly unfunny” and “a detestable combination of smug and obtuse.”

Viewers gave it a 92% rating.

The same is true of Chapelle’s latest special, “The Closer.” Critics give it just 40%. The audience gives it 95%.

Clearly, many people are tired of smug, condescending humor.

I’m glad the Babylon Bee, and others, give us an alternative.

COPYRIGHT 2022 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

After Life 2 – Man identifies as an 8 year old girl

—-

After Life on Netflix

——

Before I get into the fine article by Brendan O’Neill which I present in its entirety, I wanted to quote Francis Schaeffer who spent his life examining the humanism that now Ricky Gervais embraces!

All humans have moral motions and that is why Ricky Gervais knows it is wrong to let biological men use ladies’ bathrooms!!!!!!

Francis Schaffer in his book THE GOD WHO IS THERE addresses these same issues:

“[in Christianity] there is a sufficient basis for morals. Nobody has ever discovered a way of having real “morals” without a moral absolute. If there is no moral absolute, we are left with hedonism (doing what I like) or some form of the social contract theory (what is best for society as a a hole is right). However, neither of these alternative corresponds to the moral motions that men have. Talk to people long enough and deeply enough, and you will find that they consider some things are really right and something are really wrong. Without absolutes, morals as morals cease to exist, and humanistic mean starting from himself is unable to find the absolute he needs. But because the God of the Bible is there, real morals exist. Within this framework I can say one action is right and another wrong, without talking nonsense.” 117

Francis Schaeffer in the film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

Brendan O’Neill

Ricky Gervais is guilty of blasphemy

He has mocked identity politics – the god of our times

I have long thought that if Life of Brian came out today, it wouldn’t be Christians kicking up a fuss about it — it would be trans activists.

When Monty Python’s classic tale of a man mistaken for a Messiah came to cinemas in 1979, people of faith weren’t happy. They saw it as taking the mick out of Christ and they aired their displeasure noisily. Nuns in New York picketed cinemas. In Ireland the film was banned for eight years.

In 2022 I reckon it would be a very different story. It wouldn’t be Monty Python’s ribbing of the gospels that would outrage the chattering classes — it would be their mockery of trans people.

Life of Brian was way ahead of time. It was Terf before Terf was even a thing. There is a brilliantly observed scene in which Stan of the People’s Front of Judea — or is it the Judean People’s Front? — says he wants to become Loretta.

‘I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me Loretta’, says Stan, played by Eric Idle. When the others push back and say he can’t just become a woman, he says: ‘It’s my right as a man.’ Which was remarkably perspicacious.

‘I want to have babies’, says Stan / Loretta. ‘You can’t have babies! You haven’t got a womb!’, barks John Cleese’s Reg. Transphobic or what? To calm things down, Francis (Michael Palin) says they should accept Stan’s desire to be Loretta as being ‘symbolic of our struggle against oppression’. ‘Symbolic of his struggle against reality…’ Reg mutters.

——

Imagine if a film or TV show did something like that today. Showed an aspiring ‘trans woman’ being mocked for not having the right body parts to be a woman. Showed a man who wants to be a woman being told — for laughs, remember — that the only thing he’s struggling against is reality.

The cancel-culture mob would kick into action. There’d be a Change.org petition, maybe even a physical protest outside the offices of the production company or streaming service that was foolish enough to broadcast such trans-poking humour. ‘Jokes kill!’, we would be told, day and night.

Hell, JK Rowling can’t even very politely say ‘men aren’t women’ without being subjected to weeks of hatred and violent threats — so heaven help the film company that tried to air a Stan / Loretta skit in these febrile times.

This week, my theory about Life of Brianin 2022 was kind of proven right. For we had the pretty extraordinary sight of Ricky Gervais getting a very free ride for his God-mocking while being dragged into the Twitter stocks for his gags about trans issues.

In his new Netflix special SuperNature, Gervais vents his atheistic spleen. The Christian God is cruel and perverted, he says. Those Christian fundamentalists who believe Aids is the Almighty’s way of punishing gay sex clearly believe in a God who’s up in heaven thinking, ‘I’m sick of all this bumming’. And so just as God once said ‘Let there be light’, according to Gervais in the 1980s He said, ‘Let there be Aids’. What a rotter.

This isn’t the first time Gervais has made fun of God and those who believe in him. He’s famously an atheist. He talks about it all the time. (Rather too much, in my view.) But God-bashing is fine these days. Cool, even. Christians tend to take it in their stride. Believers have mostly kept their counsel following Gervais’s latest mockery of their wicked, ridiculous God.

The same cannot be said of trans activists and their allies. Not even remotely. They have responded with fury to Gervais’s blasphemy against the new god of genderfluidity.

He’s been called all the usual names. Transphobe, Terf, bigot. His crime? Choosing not to adhere to the ideology of transgenderism, daring to dissent from that pseudo-religious mantra we are all now pressured into saying: ‘Trans women are women.’

What’s funny about this spittle-flecked response to Gervais’s trans jokes is that he was really only saying what trans activists themselves have said. He had a bit on ‘old-fashioned women’ — ‘you know, the ones with wombs’ — complaining about born males using their bathrooms. ‘What if he rapes me?’, these women say. To which Gervais, playing the trans activist, responds: ‘What if she rapes you, you… Terf whore.’

Cutting, yes. But also incredibly accurate. Some police forces and courts do indeed refer to rapists as ‘she’ and ‘her’, if that’s how they identify. And, as feminists have pointed out, this results in rape victims being pressured to refer to their rapist with female pronouns. As for the language, anyone who has spent more than five minutes online in recent years will know that that kind of thing is said to gender-critical women all the time.

Like all great blasphemous comics, Gervais is merely shining a light on things that really are said, and things which really do happen, and inviting us, his audience, to laugh and say: ‘Yeah, that is kind of ridiculous.’ Much as Monty Python did with the Bible, in fact.

But, say Gervais’s humourless critics, while the likes of Monty Python were punching up — against God, no less — Gervais is punching down, against vulnerable, marginalised trans people. I don’t buy this at all. Gervais has made it clear that he fully supports rights for trans people. His issue is with the excesses of trans activism and the authoritarianism of identity politics more broadly.

‘I talk about Aids, famine, cancer, the Holocaust, rape, paedophilia’, he says in SuperNature. ‘But no, the one thing you mustn’t joke about is identity politics.’

Absolutely. And that’s because identitarianism is the god of our times. It’s the new religion of the elites, their means of controlling and reprimanding the masses. Ridiculing identity politics is to the 21st century what questioning the authority of God was to the 15th. The woke rage against Gervais really does echo earlier outbursts of intolerant religious fury against anyone who dared to dissent from the Word of God.

A.F. Branco for Jan 12, 2022

—-

Dennett wearing a button-up shirt and a jacket

I was referred this subject by a tweet by Daniel Dennett which referenced a fine article by Robyn E. Blumner in defense of her boss at the RICHARD DAWKINS FOUNDATION and you can read my response at this link.
Richard Dawkins Cooper Union Shankbone.jpg

Ricky Gervais is a secular humanist just like his good friend Richard Dawkins and it is the humanists who have bought into this trans-identity politics and as a result the AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION has stripped Dawkins of his 1996 HUMANIST OF THE YEAR award.

As an evangelical I have had the opportunity to correspond with more more secular humanists that have signed the Humanist Manifestos than any other evangelical alive (at least that has been one of my goals since reading Francis Schaeffer’s books and watching his films since 1979).

Not everyone I have corresponded with is a secular humanist but  many are the top scientists and atheist thinkers of today and hold this same secular views. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), (Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), and Michael Martin (1932-), Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton(1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes(1906-1999) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-). 

Let me make a few points about Ricky personally and then a few about this comedy routine by the secular humanist Ricky Gervais.

Notice below in AFTER LIFE how he suspects Anne of being a Christian when she tells him “We are not just here for us. We are here for others,“

After Life Ricky GervaisRicky Gervais and Penelope Wilton in ‘After Life’ (CREDIT: Netflix)

(Above) Tony (played by Ricky) and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

In the fourth episode of season 1 of AFTER LIFE is the following discussion between Anne and Tony:

Tony: My brother-in-law wants me to try dating again.
Anne: Oh excellent! You need some tips.
Tony: why would I need some tips?

Anne: I imagine you are awful with women…Well all men are awful with women but grumpy selfish ones are the worst.

Tony: Let me take notes. This is dynamite.

Tony: I would just be honest. Tell them my situation and tell them what I am going through. Be honest up front.
Anne: So it is all about you then?

Tony: I can’t win can I? I don’t want to date again. I don’t want to live without Lisa.

Anne: But is not just about you is it? That is what I am saying. What if a nice date made her feel good? That might feel nice right? We are just here for us. We are here for others.

Tony: I don’t do the whole God thing I am afraid.

Anne: Neither do I. It is a load of rubbish. All we got is each other. We have to help each other struggle until we die then we are done. No point in felling sorry for ourselves and making everyone else unhappy too. Might as [kill] yourself if you feel that bad.
Tony: Are you sure you want to work for the Samaritans?

Christ came to this world and his followers have changed this world for the better more than any other group that ever existed. When Anne makes the assertions, “But is not just about you is it? That is what I am saying. What if a nice date made her feel good? That might feel nice right? We are not just here for us. We are here for others,” Tony assumes she is a Christian.

If you found yourself in a dark alley late at night, with a group of rough-looking, burly young men walking swiftly toward you, would you feel better knowing they were coming from a Bible study?

If we are only cosmic accidents, how can there be any meaning in our lives? If this is true, which it is in an atheistic world view, our lives are for nothing. It would not matter in the slightest bit if I ever existed. This is why the atheist, if honest and consistent, must face death with despair. Their life is for nothing. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

I highly recommend Ricky Gervais series AFTER LIFE which is running on NETFLIX because it reminds me of King Solomon trying to find meaning in life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture!!!

God put Solomon’s story in Ecclesiastes in the Bible with the sole purpose of telling people like Ricky that without God in the picture you  will find out the emptiness one feels when possessions are trying to fill the void that God can only fill.

Then in the last chapter of Ecclesiastes Solomon returns to looking above the sun and he says that obeying the Lord is the proper way to live your life. The  answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. If you need more evidence then go to You Tube and watch the short video:

NOW TO RICKY’S COMEDY:

Brendan O’Neill noted above:

‘I want to have babies’, says Stan / Loretta. ‘You can’t have babies! You haven’t got a womb!’, barks John Cleese’s Reg. Transphobic or what? To calm things down, Francis (Michael Palin) says they should accept Stan’s desire to be Loretta as being ‘symbolic of our struggle against oppression’. ‘Symbolic of his struggle against reality…’ Reg mutters….

He’s been called all the usual names. Transphobe, Terf, bigot. His crime? Choosing not to adhere to the ideology of transgenderism, daring to dissent from that pseudo-religious mantra we are all now pressured into saying: ‘Trans women are women.’

What’s funny about this spittle-flecked response to Gervais’s trans jokes is that he was really only saying what trans activists themselves have said. He had a bit on ‘old-fashioned women’ — ‘you know, the ones with wombs’ — complaining about born males using their bathrooms. ‘What if he rapes me?’, these women say. To which Gervais, playing the trans activist, responds: ‘What if she rapes you, you… Terf whore.’

Ricky  is trying to use common sense (through sarcasm) on people that “GOD GAVE…OVER to depraved [minds]. Romans 1 states:

26 For this reason (M)GOD GAVE THEM OVER  to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural…

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, GOD GAVE THEM OVER to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are…inventors of evil,

—-

Francis Schaeffer.jpg

Francis Schaeffer later in this blog post discusses what the unbelievers in Romans 1 were rejecting, but first John MacArthur discusses what the unbelievers in the Democratic Party today are affirming and how these same activities were condemned 2000 years ago in Romans 1.

Christians Cannot And MUST Not Vote Democrat – John MacArthur

A Democrat witness testifying before the HouseJudiciary Committee on abortion rights Thursday declared that men can get pregnant and have abortions. This reminds of Romans chapter 1 and also John MacArthur’s commentary on the 2022 Agenda of the Democratic Party:

25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…26 For this reason (M)GOD GAVE THEM OVER  to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, GOD GAVE THEM OVER to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are…inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Here is what John MacArthur had to say:

Now, all of a sudden, not only is this characteristic of our nation, but we now promote it. One of the parties, the Democratic Party, has now made Romans 1, the sins of Romans 1, their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm.

I know from last week’s message that there was some response from people who said, “Why are you getting political?”

Romans 1 is not politics. This has to do with speaking the Word of God through the culture in which we live….it’s about iniquity and judgment. And why do we say this? Because this must be recognized for what it is–sin, serious sin, damning sin, destructive sin.

Dem witness tells House committee men can get pregnant, have abortions

‘I believe that everyone can identify for themselves,’ Aimee Arrambide tells House Judiciary Committee

Aimee Arrambide, the executive director of the abortion rights nonprofit Avow Texas, was asked by Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., to define what “a woman is,” to which she responded, “I believe that everyone can identify for themselves.”
“Do you believe that men can become pregnant and have abortions?” Bishop asked.

“Yes,” Arrambide replied.

The remarks from Arrambide followed a tense exchange between Bishop and Dr. Yashica Robinson, another Democrat witness, after he similarly asked her to define “woman.”

Aimee Arrambide testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on May 11, 2020.  (YouTube screenshot)

Aimee Arrambide testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on May 11, 2020.  (YouTube screenshot) (Screenshot/ House Committee on the Judiciary)

“Dr. Robinson, I noticed in your written testimony you said that you use she/her pronouns. You’re a medical doctor – what is a woman?” Bishop asked Robinson, an OBGYN and board member with Physicians for Reproductive Health.

“I think it’s important that we educate people like you about why we’re doing the things that we do,” Robinson responded. “And so the reason that I use she and her pronouns is because I understand that there are people who become pregnant that may not identify that way. And I think it is discriminatory to speak to people or to call them in such a way as they desire not to be called.”

“Are you going to answer my question? Can you answer the question, what’s a woman?” Bishop asked.

Donna Howard and Aimee Arrambide speaks at Making Virtual Storytelling and Activism Personal during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas.

Donna Howard and Aimee Arrambide speaks at Making Virtual Storytelling and Activism Personal during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Hubert Vestil/Getty Images for SXSW)

“I’m a woman, and I will ask you which pronouns do you use?” Robinson replied. “If you tell me that you use she and her pronouns … I’m going to respect you for how you want me to address you.”

“So you gave me an example of a woman, you say that you are a woman, can you tell me otherwise what a woman is?” Bishop asked.

“Yes, I’m telling you, I’m a woman,” Robinson responded.

“Is that as comprehensive a definition as you can give me?” Bishop asked.

“That’s as comprehensive a definition as I will give you today,” Robinson said. “Because I think that it’s important that we focus on what we’re here for, and it’s to talk about access to abortion.”

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“So you’re not interested in answering the question that I asked unless it’s part of a message you want to deliver…” Bishop fired back.

Wednesday’s hearing, titled, “Revoking your Rights,” addressed the threat to abortion rights after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion signaled the high court is poised to soon strike down Roe v. Wade.
John MacArthur explains God’s Wrath on unrighteousness from Romans Chapt…

First is what Romans says:

Romans 1:18-32

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Unbelief and Its Consequences

18 For (A)the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who (B)suppress the truth [a]in unrighteousness, 19 because (C)that which is known about God is evident [b]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For (D)since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (E)being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not [c]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became (F)futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 (G)Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and (H)exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [d]crawling creatures.

24 Therefore (I)God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be (J)dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [e]a (K)lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, (L)who is blessed [f]forever. Amen.

26 For this reason (M)God gave them over to (N)degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [g]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, (O)men with men committing [h]indecent acts and receiving in [i]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit [j]to acknowledge God any longer, (P)God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are (Q)gossips, 30 slanderers, [k](R)haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, (S)disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, (T)unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of (U)death, they not only do the same, but also (V)give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Here is what John MacArthur had to say:

Now, all of a sudden, not only is this characteristic of our nation, but we now promote it. One of the parties, the Democratic Party, has now made Romans 1, the sins of Romans 1, their agenda. What God condemns, they affirm. What God punishes, they exalt. Shocking, really. The Democratic Party has become the anti-God party, the sin-promoting party. By the way, there are seventy-two million registered Democrats in this country who have identified themselves with that party and maybe they need to rethink that identification.

I know from last week’s message that there was some response from people who said, “Why are you getting political?”

Romans 1 is not politics. The Bible is not politics. This has nothing to do with politics. This has to do with speaking the Word of God through the culture in which we live. It has nothing to do with politics. It’s not about personalities; it’s about iniquity and judgment. And why do we say this? Because this must be recognized for what it is–sin, serious sin, damning sin, destructive sin.

WHAT HAS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY REJECTED? THE ANSWER IS THE GOD WHO HAS REVEALED HIM SELF THROUGH THE BOOK OF NATURE AND THE BOOK OF SCRIPTURE!

God Is There And He Is Not Silent
Psalm 19
Intro. 1) Francis Schaeffer lived from 1912-1984. He was one of the Christian
intellectual giants of the 20th century. He taught us that you could be a Christian and not abandon the mind. One of the books he wrote was entitled He Is There And He Is Not Silent. In that work he makes a crucial and thought provoking statement, “The infinite- personal God is there, but also he is not silent; that changes the whole world…He is there and is not a silent, nor far-off God.” (Works of F.S., Vol 1, 276).
2) God is there and He is not silent. In fact He has revealed Himself to us in 2 books: the book of nature and the book of Scripture. Francis Bacon, a 15th century scientist who is credited by many with developing the scientific method said it this way: “There are 2 books laid before us to study, to prevent us from falling into error: first the volume to the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the creation, which expresses His power.”
3) Psalm 19 addresses both of God’s books, the book of nature in vs 1-6 and the book of Scripture in vs. 7-14. Described as a wisdom Psalm, its beauty, poetry and splendor led C.S. Lewis to say, “I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world” (Reflections on the Psalms, 63).
Trans. God is there and He is not silent. How should we hear and listen to the God who talks?
I. Listen To God Speak Through Nature 19:1-6
God has revealed himself to ever rational human on the earth in two ways: 1) nature and 2) conscience. We call this natural or general revelation. In vs. 1-6 David addresses the wonder of nature and creation.

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