2020: Why Be Thankful?

Photo by Hal Nixon on Pexels.com

By Heather Walton

This has been the worst year ever! COVID. Civil Unrest. Economic Collapse. Isolation. Shortages. Uncertainty. How can I be thankful?

Let’s remember that that the Apostle Paul admonished us to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Paul had been through many tough things, including persecution, imprisonment, beatings, loss of friendship, anguish over the trials of the church, shipwreck, hunger, nakedness, and more.

It’s interesting that this admonition came in the midst of Paul’s teaching about the Day of the Lord. Prior to this verse about thanksgiving, Paul shared with the Thessalonian church that they were not to worry about those who had died missing the Lord’s return, and not to worry that those on the earth would miss it either. He also told them not to worry about when this would happen; instead, he focused them on how to live in the meantime.

He urged them to have self-control, to show brotherly love, to mind their own business, to encourage one another, to work, and to abstain from evil. He encouraged them to be at peace, to pray, to rejoice and give thanks. He told them not to quench the Spirit or to despise prophecies. His message was one of hope, peace, and unity.

And all of it came from the heart of a man who, by our standards of peace and safety, had a rough life. Not just a rough year. Decades of difficulty.

This man admonished us to live out our faith by being thankful in all circumstances. No exceptions.

This year has been challenging for everyone. Nobody has been exempt from the effects of the worldwide crises taking place in 2020, and it’s highly probable that 2021 will bring surprises and hardships of its own. Yet I am thankful.

I’m thankful for all the “good” things, of course — things like God, family, friends, shelter, food, and meaningful work. But it goes deeper than that this year.

I’m thankful for a lot of things I previously took for granted — things like toilet paper and gatherings with friends. But it goes deeper than that this year.

I’m thankful for the ability to creatively do things I used to do differently — things like teaching and tutoring online, grocery delivery, and curbside pickup. But it goes deeper than that this year.

I’m thankful for the hard things, the bad things, the irritating things:

  1. I’m thankful for the lockdown that brought my family home full-time and gave us time together that we never would have had otherwise, that taught us that we really don’t need nearly as much outside our four walls as we had thought.
  2. I’m thankful for our tyrannical governor, who has shown me how precious our freedoms are and given us a chance to realize that liberty is worth fighting for, that it is precious and should not be taken lightly.
  3. I’m thankful that Joe Biden appears to have won the election, because perhaps now evangelicals will take their eyes off a perceived political “savior” and turn their eyes on the one-and-only true Messiah.
  4. I’m thankful for the refining of the church, in which the true believers will come through stronger, and those who were just playing church are faced with making their faith real or simply walking away. This crisis has clarified allegiances and values.
  5. I’m thankful for the remnant community I’ve been united with in brotherly love, and I’m looking forward to what the Lord is going to do through this group of believers.
  6. I’m thankful that I’ve been drawn to search the Scriptures much more fervently, looking to see when the Lord may return, and how to live in the meantime.
  7. I’m thankful for a greater awareness of the socialistic, humanistic assault on God-given liberty and the understanding of the demonic forces behind it.
  8. I’m thankful that the uncertainty and unrest has made me much less attached to this world and increasingly aware of my heavenly citizenship.

Today we remember a group of Pilgrims and a group of Native Americans who came together, though they had many differences, and gave thanks to God for the simple provision of food, which allowed them to live just a little longer. May we be thankful for the simple things as well. May we be thankful for the good things, the things previously taken for granted, the ability to creatively do things differently, and yes, even the hard, bad, and irritating things.

Happy Thanksgiving 2020 to all!

Who Among Us Will Stand?

By Heather Walton

NEVER FORGET WHAT YOU SAW HERE

The Holocaust Museum stands as a testament that never again should we allow tyranny to intimidate us into submission to a government that seeks to destroy our fellow man, that seeks to take away our fundamental rights, that sinks headlong into atrocities and unfathomable crimes against humanity.

Imagine if you will that you had seen it coming. What would you have done? History stands as a witness that the German people — the German Christians — should have done more. Yet most did nothing as they witnessed an entire class of people become depersonified, demonized, dominated, and doomed to death.

This didn’t happen overnight, and it shouldn’t have happened at all.

And it mustn’t happen here.

Not on our watch.

Oh, but it’s not, you might say. We aren’t like the Germans before WWII. We would never allow what they did. Not us! We are enlightened. We believe in liberty, justice, and equality!

Do we? How easily will we give it all up for a little peace and safety? For a little prosperity? For a little health?

It would be intellectually dishonest to refuse to consider the implications of our collective consent to the tyrannical measures imposed to mitigate this virus. Indeed, it would be utter denial.

If you read the mainstream media, especially exclusively, you are being deceived. It is nothing but a steady stream of editorials designed to sway you to believe their thesis — that man is both the problem and the solution to the world’s problems, that we can fix what ails us, that there is no God but Caesar, and that we need the government to save us.

My fellow Americans, we have subsisted on a steady diet of propaganda for decades, and we have lost the ability to reason. If we don’t watch out, we will submit to, consent to, and perhaps even commit, terrible atrocities. (In fact, we do already.)

So what should we do? I’m glad you asked!

  1. Read. Research. Reflect.
  2. Consider that the media has a bias and an objective, and ask yourself if it aligns with yours.
  3. Seek out scholarly, peer-reviewed research about things like masks, vaccines, isolation, pandemics, and more.
  4. Consider why the government cares so much about this virus as opposed to others, especially things that cause more harm.
  5. Consider why certain people and activities are targeted and others aren’t. Are there commonalities?
  6. Start conversations. See if others are thinking as you are.
  7. Do the math on the virus. Compare the math to other illnesses and activities.
  8. Read about those who have stood against injustice.
  9. Read the Bible.

Then, if you think something just doesn’t add up, consider engaging in activities that could turn the tide against tyranny.

It doesn’t take much time and effort to call or email your representatives and governing officials. If you want to go deeper, consider how you can educate others and how you might stand up against injustice.

Even though my governor has taken many liberties with our freedom, that doesn’t mean I should submit. Indeed, I have chosen the path of resistance in multiple small ways over the past few months.

What about Romans 13, you ask? I believe many Christians are being shamed into submission by the use of a few carefully chosen verses of Scripture. Yes, we do need to submit to the governing authorities; however, people preach this, assuming that civil government is the highest law. If that is the case, to which civil government, and to which part of civil government do we give the highest degree of submission? The mayor? The governor? The court? The legislators? The president? The U.N.?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Preamble to the Declaration of Independence (Emphasis Added)

According to our founding fathers, a higher Governor gives us our rights.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego agreed:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Daniel 3:16-18 ESV (Empahsis Added)

Not only did these courageous men refuse to comply with Nebuchadnezzar’s edict, but they chose to do so regardless of the consequences. Likewise, Peter and John, when admonished not to preach about Christ, appealed to the ultimate Lawgiver:

And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

Acts 5:27-29 (ESV)

Brothers and sisters, do we have such courage? Do we not see that our liberties are sacred, and no matter the rightness or wrongness of the suggested measures to combat this virus, the mandated countermeasures by principle are immoral. For the civil government to interfere with our personal freedoms, and especially our religious freedoms, is unconscionable and the potential consequences are horrifying.

I’m not debating the morality of mask-wearing, though I have made, and continue to make, a case against their efficacy and necessity. However, I am openly challenging the idea that the government is requiring us to cover our faces with cloth. More than that, I’m proclaiming that the government should not interfere with the church, with free speech, and with individual families’ decisions of whom or how many people to have in their homes. The government also should not dictate when people get tested for infectious diseases or demand to know with whom they’ve associated (unless a crime has been committed). And the civil authorities definitely should not be able to forcibly or coercively vaccinate anyone, child or adult, period.

For the civil government to interfere with our personal freedoms, and especially our religious freedoms, is unconscionable and the potential consequences are horrifying.

So I’ll ask again: Do we have the courage of our forefathers and the great men and women of faith throughout the ages? Will we stand against oppression and tyranny? Will we do this for our fellow man? Will we do it for our posterity?

Consider these words from the Declaration of Independence:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness … But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Declaration of Independence (Emphasis added)

Our founders duty-bound us not to accept what is going on in our government today. They call out to us across history, and tell us that, when government challenges our fundamental rights, we should not allow it. They take it a step further, and say that such government must be overthrown! Are we there yet?

We have given in to the lie that Jesus was weak, that the Gospel is emasculated, impotent niceness that doesn’t mess with our daily lives. We forget the Jesus who challenged the money changers and the Pharisees, the Jesus who told Pilate he would have no power unless God allowed it, the Jesus who told us to give what is Caesar’s to Caesar and to God what is God’s.

We have given in to the lie that Jesus was weak, that the Gospel is emasculated, impotent niceness that doesn’t mess with our daily lives.

Our highest allegiance is to God, not to Caesar, and when the two conflict, we can cower and acquiesce to governors and kings, or we can stand with that great cloud of witnesses and defend our rights as God’s image-bearers, not because we are entitled, but because we are morally obligated to stand up against evil for the sake of our fellow citizens and the coming generations.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said this:

Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness and pride of power and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear rather than too much. Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power. Christians should give more offense, shock the world far more, than they are doing now. Christians should take a stronger stand in favor of the weak rather than considering first the possible right of the strong.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Sermon on II Corinthians 12:9

Consider also that great cloud of witnesses listed in Hebrews 11, men and women who “were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:16 ESV).

May we be worthy of that city by being the best caretakers of our God-given liberty as long as He gives us the strength to do so!

The Rise of Socialism and the Case for Civil Disobedience

from https://factfile.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Quotes.jpg

By Heather Walton

I have heard Christians say that we should stay completely out of “politics.” As I’ve prayerfully considered this stance, I’ve found it lacking. Instead, my dual citizenship compels me that, in order to truly be heavenly minded, I must also be of earthly good. Just because Jesus is coming, and hopefully coming soon, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be about His business until the very day the trumpet sounds or He takes me home.

My dual citizenship compels me that, in order to truly be heavenly minded, I must also be of earthly good.

Some have said that America is done, past the point of no return, and that we just need to let events play out. While I would agree that it appears that the sun is setting on our beloved republic, and that it is only a matter of time before we willingly submit to socialism, and subsequently join hands with the coming “new world order,” that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up.

Consider the parable of the talents: The master left three servants in charge of various amounts of his wealth. Two servants invested his money wisely and brought a return, and were therefore rewarded. The third, who feared his master, buried the talent apportioned to him, rather than making it work for his master until his return. As a result, he was disinherited and his talent given to another. Only recently did I realize that Jesus shared this parable in the context of end times prophecy. Church, we are not to bury our talents as we await our master’s return! We are to be about our Master’s business until the very last second.

If, instead, we as the church, forfeit the culture war, the war for the very soul of our nation, and the very soul of the church itself, with the excuse that “our citizenship is in heaven,” we should be charged with spiritual treason. He has called us to “rescue those being led to the slaughter,” to hold back evil, to warn the sinner, to admonish the saint, to subdue the earth, to, like our Creator, in whose image we were formed, use our gifts and talents, not to bury them as we await His return. This does not mean our hope is in this world; rather, unless our faith is evidenced by these actions, how are we to draw all men to Him, and ultimately to that eternal reward He desires for them. If the ministers, missionaries, and apostles of old, would have had the attitude that the culture is lost and we simply need to submit to ungodly authority as we await our heavenly Savior’s return, where would the Kingdom of God be today? Would this country even exist?

If, instead, we as the church, forfeit the culture war, the war for the very soul of our nation, and the very soul of the church of itself, with the excuse that “our citizenship is in heaven,” we should be charged with spiritual treason.

Think of men like William Wilberforce, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Patrick Henry, and George Washington. Think of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men were heroes because they refused to submit to tyranny, and because they instead stood against tyrants on behalf of those who could not stand up or who would not stand up for themselves. They were not necessarily considered heroes by their peers during that time, yet they risked their reputations, their livelihoods, and their very lives for the righteous causes to which they had been called.

“Well, these men were exemplary in their time,” you might say. “They were specially gifted and called by God for those tasks.” Yes and no. We are all plainly called to “love mercy, practice justice, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8), “to rescue the orphan and widow in their distress and to live lives unstained by the world” (James 1:27), and to “rescue those being led away to the slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11). These admonitions are for all believers, not a select few. We consider these men to be extraordinary, but only because we have settled for mediocrity in the Kingdom of God. We now view ordinary Christianity as extraordinary, or perhaps even as sin.

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

Isaiah 1:17 ESV

The American church has so watered down the Gospel that countless souls are deluded into the illusion of justification before a holy God; unless we sound the alarm boldly and unwaveringly, their blood will be on our hands.

Perhaps it is because of this watering down that we have bought into such heresies as the social justice gospel, which tells us that man can cure the world’s ills without requiring repentance, easy believism, which gives us Jesus as Savior while neglecting His Lordship, and “open and affirming” faith communities, which deny essential scriptural truths.

We now view ordinary Christianity as extraordinary, or perhaps even as sin.

Perhaps it is because of this watering down that we have believed the lie that we need to keep our faith private and not speak into the culture. That there are two realms — the sacred and the secular. Not at all! Either Jesus is our life and governs every aspect, or we are not alive in Christ at all!

If the Gospel hasn’t changed our lives, we haven’t accepted it, and are not beneficiaries of His grace. This is sobering, as it should be. We are called to examine ourselves in light of the Gospel, and judge ourselves, not by our peers’ actions and reactions, but by the Word of God. If we are not in line with it, if we are offended by it, if we are unwilling to live by it, we would be presumptuous to trust our eternal security.

Do we live our lives worthy of this very Gospel? Does our faith cost us anything? Should it perhaps cost us everything? In attempting to keep our lives, we lose them, but in losing our lives for Jesus’ sake and for His Gospel, we gain an eternal glory to which nothing in this world compares.

We have allowed a stunning degree of apostasy into the church. We have played the harlot with the gods of this world. We have trampled the grace of God with the foulest of sins, and we have failed to reprove — and worse, even given hearty approval to — those who prostitute themselves to an Americanized “grace.” In doing so, we have baptized converts into the very gates of hell. For this, we must give an account. From this, we must repent.

Christians, our country is falling fast into an evil that steals, kills, and destroys. That evil is socialism, an ideology devoid of God, an ideology that dictators have used to rise to power at the expense of the vulnerable. Do the names Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler bring up any hint of virtue? No, these men are considered an anathema in the rolls of history. These men were all socialists, communists, Marxists.

Socialism, a pretty name for Marxism, is purely evil. Today it may look like the government is doing some good things that fall in the realm of socialism, but don’t be deceived. Consider public education: isn’t it a good thing? How would our children learn to read and write and do math otherwise? How would they become responsible citizens otherwise? What about the poor who can’t afford private schools?

Don’t fall for it!

Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.

Vladmir Lenin

“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”

Adolf Hitler

John Dewey, father of modern public schools, believed that the best way to change the society for the better was through education. As a religious humanist, Dewey believed it was the duty of the schools and other social institutions to transform society, from what he saw as the antiquated traditional model embraced by theists, to a modern secular society ruled by pragmatism and a devotion to community ideals.

Public schools are a socialist construct. Before the state ran public schools, the church offered free education to those who were able to partake. Others were home educated in academics, practical skills, vocations, or a combination. The humanistic, socialistic takeover of schools was by design, and as a result, we have ridden the slippery slope into a pit of immorality and decadence, and our children can not understand the Bible or the Constitution, and they scoff at both. Government has no place in educating our children; it is our responsibility as the church and as the family.

The result of the slide into socialism is that we now are canceled as old-fashioned, homophobes, closed-minded, delusional bigots who are out of touch with reality. In many cases, our neighbors, family members, friends, and even our own children have developed animosity and bitterness toward us, but more importantly toward the God that created them. Yet, some still spout scripture to justify their attitudes and action, and they even use it against us.

For example, in my home state, our governor regularly cites his faith as reason to implement tyrannical measures to “fight the coronavirus,” yet this same man defies the God he cites allegiance to by celebrating homosexuality and abortion. This man who alleges to personally feel the pain of every loss to this virus has no problem severing the livelihoods of healthy people and shaming those who don’t agree. He tramples liberty and belittles those who disagree.

Submitting to unjust laws is not Biblical. Should the German Christians have submitted to Hitler? Of course not! But it was a gradual descent, one that they probably didn’t see because it started out subtle and continued subtly until they got to a point of no return. It likely would have been hard to recognize as it was happening, unless they were really paying attention. In saying that, I’m not likening any of our government officials to Hitler, but I’m simply saying that, if the German Christians would have seen the whole picture from the beginning, perhaps they would not have submitted to the gradual steps that got them to the horrific place they ended up.

I don’t believe this nation has much longer. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to hold back the darkness as long as we can. I don’t necessarily mean to take up arms. But I do mean that I will not submit to unjust mandates if it is in my power to resist, and I’m not doing it to “demand my rights,” but instead to demand your God-given, Constitutionally-affirmed, rights as His image-bearers. If that makes me unpopular, or if it brings me difficult consequences, so be it. Regardless of how one feels about liberty, it is an absolute, and I won’t give up our collective liberties without resistance.

Perspectives on the current crisis and coming cure

By Heather Walton

“I can’t believe this is America!” I’m not sure how many times I’ve said that in the past few weeks. This country is becoming decreasingly recognizable as the America I grew up in, as the America I committed to defend, as the America I once took great pride in.

Lockdowns, mandates, rioting, talk of a coming mandatory vaccine. Chaos around every corner.

Nothing is more shocking than the covert rise of socialism that has suddenly emerged into plain sight and that looms close on the horizon. How did this happen? Why do young people (and old) think this is okay?

We could analyze this from a historical perspective and trace the roots back to Darwin, Nietzsche, Marx, Dewey, and countless American Socialists/Humanists throughout the generations. The tentacles of this beast are pervasive and destructive.

We could analyze this from a political perspective and defend the free market economy from philosophical, economic, and biblical viewpoints, and we would see that socialism doesn’t work.

Instead, I would like to analyze this from a worldview perspective. How is it that our society has bought into the lie that we can create a Utopia where there is no poverty, no inequality, no difficulty? Where the government owes us peace, prosperity, and health? Where we allow a few to dictate to the majority of us that we are politically incorrect, homophobic, bigoted, privileged, and flat-out wrong if we have biblical values? Where trees and insects are more valuable than people? Where feelings dictate our perceived reality, and facts no longer matter? Where we fear the whims of children and ignore the wisdom of the elderly?

This is by design. The enemy masquerades as an angel of light and has deceived the whole world into thinking that humans can solve their own problems, that God is dead, that we evolved from primordial goo, that this life is all there is, and that we must therefore do everything we can to make it everything we can while we’re here. “You only live once! Follow your heart! Live your dreams! Live and let live! Love who you want!”

This year has been shocking to many, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. The world has been working toward this chaos for many years, and this chaos is part of the process of our evolution toward the grand finale, in which a cosmic battle will conclude.

There is a Satanic plot to steal, kill, and destroy, and that plot has been unfolding since the Garden of Eden. Today we see it manifested in so many ways, including blatant deception through the media and education, election fraud, division on every imaginable and created issue, and worldwide civil unrest. The devil and those he has deceived into working for his agenda are creating mass chaos so that they can be false saviors who bring order from chaos.

The Bible tells us that one day Jesus will return for his bride, the church. When He returns, we need to be ready. Church, be ready! He is coming soon. How soon? That’s a mystery. The Bible tells us we won’t know the day or the hour, that He will come like a thief in the night, that it will be sudden. However, we should recognize the season, but we have to be paying attention, and we have to guard our relationship with God as the day grows closer.

We are told to endure to the end, and we are warned a great falling away of believers in the last days. No matter what lies ahead — persecution, tribulation, martyrdom — we must be steadfast. There is nothing more precious or prized than our eternity, and nothing is worth missing the riches of an eternal home with our Savior.

There is one cure for what ails our nation — Jesus. That is all. Sound simplistic? Perhaps. It is a simple answer, yet not an easy one.

Many people believe that turning to Jesus is as simple as inviting Him into your life as your Savior. While this is part of it, this would be what Dietrich Bonhoeffer referred to as “cheap grace.”

According to Bonhoeffer, who was martyred for his stand against Hitler, grace is costly. It was costly to Christ, of course, but it also is costly to those of us who partake.

“The grace he (Martin Luther) had received was a costly grace. It was grace, for it was like water on parched ground, comfort in tribulation, freedom from bondage of a self-chosen way, and forgiveness of all his sins. And it was costly, for, so far from dispensing him from good works, it meant that he must take the call to discipleship more seriously than ever before. It was grace because it cost so much, and it cost so much because it was grace.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (italics mine)

The American church has cheapened the concept of grace by, whether purposefully or inadvertently, deluding people into believing that they can simply say a quick prayer, asking Jesus to be their Savior, and then continue business as usual. Brothers and sisters, may we never be guilty of this heresy!

We are told in Romans 10:9-10 (ESV), “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (emphasis mine). Lord means master, one who is in charge. Servants submit to their lord’s will and order their lives according to his wishes; they do not tell him what they will do or not do; they do not tell him what his orders mean or what he demands; they do not shape him according to their image and likeness. Their works don’t make them his servants; on the contrary, they do his work because he is their lord.

We are called to be disciples, which means students. We are to study our master and to emulate Him, and we are to teach the next generation to do the same. The Bible is clear about many matters of morality. If we choose to dismiss this divine instruction, we should not delude ourselves into thinking that Jesus is our Lord. And if He is not our Lord, then we serve the god of this age, the devil.

Make no mistake: Things in this world will get worse, and it will be increasingly difficult to live out the Christian life. The church must be steadfast. It may require everything we have, including our lives. Whether or not we are martyred in Christ’s name, we are to willingly die to ourselves daily, every day we have breath in our lungs.

The future of this nation and this world are bleak, yet we await a kingdom not of this world. In the meantime, we are called to shine forth as gold, to share the true Gospel, and to serve our fellow man. We are to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. And we are to “love mercy, practice justice, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8).

The current and coming crisis are the result of man’s sinfulness, for which there is one and only cure: the costly grace of the risen Christ! If you don’t know Him, I urge you to repent and surrender to Him today. If you do know Him, yet aren’t following Him as fully as you ought, I urge you to repent and surrender to Him today. This is the cure to all crises, both temporal and eternal.

Masquerade: Facing Constitutional Facts

By Heather Walton

I recently had the opportunity to testify during a public hearing regarding Kentucky’s mask mandate (902 KAR 2:210E). There were many amazing people on the zoom call, testifying about various reasons the mask mandate is unconstitutional and sharing compelling personal stories and scholarly research to support their positions. (This is not a statement that people shouldn’t wear masks, as that should be an individual choice, but rather that the government should not regulate this decision.) This is the first time I’ve attended such a hearing, and I found it to be a worthwhile way to participate in our democratic process. Here are my comments, taken from the transcript:

“Thank you so much for this opportunity to speak, and I just want to say I appreciate everyone’s comments. I’ve been very impressed with the depth of research and experiences that you all are willing to share.

So, I’m going to start off by saying when I was seventeen years old, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic. I don’t feel released from that oath, and I think that our Constitution is being trampled in all sorts of ways today. While my allegiance was specific to the U.S. Constitution and I do believe that Constitution is being trampled, I am going to argue from the Kentucky Constitution, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which is subordinate to our national Constitution. So, to clarify, the Constitution is the highest law of our Commonwealth and it gives all the branches of government, including the Executive Branch, its power.

And the Preamble of that Constitution says:

“We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy, and invoking the continuance of these blessings, do ordain and establish this Constitution.”

Preamble to the constitution of the commonwealth of Kentucky

So, first, we are entitled to both political and religious liberty and our Constitution was founded on these liberties. The mask issue is highly political, and, for some, it may violate their religious liberty. When we’re looking at a document, an original source, we should define it in terms of the way that it would have been defined at that time. And, so, I want to go to a couple of Websters 1828 Dictionary definitions, the first one being the word political, and political means,

“pertaining to a nation or state, or to nations or states, as distinguished from civil or municipal; as in the phrase, political and civil rights, the former comprehending rights that belong to a nation, or perhaps to a citizen as an individual of a nation; and the latter comprehending the local rights of a corporation or any member of it.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

And the definition of liberty civil liberty is,

“the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty not necessary or expedient for the public is tyranny or oppression. Civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another.” Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty.”

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

So, moving on to Section 1 of the Bill of Rights of the Kentucky Constitution which addresses the “rights of life, liberty, worship, pursuit of safety and happiness, free speech and acquiring and protecting property, peaceful assembly, redress of grievances and bearing arms, all men are by nature free and equal and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned.

First: The right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties. Second: The right of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences. Third: The right of seeking and pursuing their safety and happiness. And fourth: The right of freely communicating their thoughts and opinions.”

Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Bill of Rights, Section 1

So, we should have the freedom to choose, and with no other infectious disease have we gone to these measures. Will we from this time forward have to mask? According to the World Economic Forum, we probably will. Infectious diseases are a part of life and people will die from them at times. The majority of those who have died, though, from Coronavirus-19 have outlived the average life expectancy and, thus, likely may have died of something else within a relatively close time line or effectively could have died of something else with COVID listed as the reason of death but it was merely a complication of the original illness. Now, I’m not minimizing the loss of anyone, but we would be presumptuous to think that we can live forever and that the measures we take will allow us to cheat the inevitable.

For many, we feel neither safe nor happy while wearing masks. Breathing our own carbon dioxide is unnatural and many people feel panicky when wearing them, and free speech is at stake because people are literally muzzled.

There are times when masks are a safety hazard and even discriminatory and I want to give you some examples of that. One example would be the hearing-impaired. So, you have an exemption if you are hearing-impaired, and I understand you have an exemption if you’re talking to someone who is hearing-impaired, but how many of us know who is hearing-impaired just by looking at them? We don’t necessarily know. And, so, that can cause a safety hazard for those who are.

What about people who have English as a second language? I have a coworker who meets that description, and it’s hard enough to understand each other without a mask on. So, if you’re in a position where there is something that really needs to be communicated thoroughly and quickly and you’ve got English-language learners, that could be a problem, a safety hazard but it’s also a social hazard for them.

And, then, children, I want to address children. I am a certified teacher in the State of Kentucky with certifications in elementary and special education. I do teach and I also currently am a daycare director which recently reopened. Now, I think this mandate is a threat to the safety, for the emotional and physical health of children, and it is creating a generation and a society of germaphobes and hypochondriacs. For example, and I am not someone who goes around wearing masks or talking much about the safety of it around my three-year old, but she recently caught a cold and she said to me, it was because she didn’t wear a mask that she has the coronavirus. Now, she does not have coronavirus. She did not have coronavirus but there is a brain-washing that’s permeating our society about this and creating just fear.

So, a year ago, we went about our business with mild symptoms if we had some place to go or something we needed to do, but now we have to over-analyze every symptom, and this is creating in some ways a lack of a work ethic, I think, because we have to forego our work or whatever if we have a sniffle.

But when it comes to religious freedom, it also can be a hindrance to worshiping God freely. And if this is simply an attempt to gain control over people, then, it is religious discrimination as well.

Section 2 of the Bill of Rights says that absolute and arbitrary power is denied. Absolute and arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of free men exists nowhere in a Republic and not even in the largest majority. This mandate is absolute and arbitrary because it is a unilateral dictate of the Governor and is not enforced over certain groups of people, namely protesters. The Governor himself was photographed with his mask down shaking both hands of an elderly lady at a rally.

Now, Section 5 goes on to the right of religious freedom and it talks about

“the civil rights and privileges or capacities, that no person shall be taken away, or in any wise diminished or enlarged, on account of his belief or disbelief of any religious tenet, dogma or teaching. No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.”

Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Bill of Rights, Section 5

So, if I’m told to mask during singing at church, to social distance during church, these things are contrary to biblical teaching. We are told to lay hands on the sick, to greet each other and touch each other with affection and to sing. And if it goes against my religious conscience and beliefs to wear a mask and I have to wear one to receive the goods and services, this is a violation of conscience and my religious freedoms.

Section 26 of the Bill of Rights says,

“the general powers are to subordinate to the Bill of Rights and the laws contrary thereto are void. So, to guard against the transgression of the high powers which we have delegated, we declare that everything in this Bill of Rights is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and all laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this Constitution, shall be void.”

Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Bill of Rights, Section 2

So, if that is true, if all of the above is true and all of the things that we’ve said today, and I believe they are, these things can’t be changed according to our Bill of Rights and it is not to be altered without abolishing the government.

I would submit to you that the true pandemic we are facing is a pandemic of fear and control.

And while COVID-19 is causing sickness and even death, the death rate is low and the fear rate is astronomical. This is not about true health. It is about control, and we need not to submit to this and we need our Governor, our lawmakers and our Judges to adhere to the Constitution. Thank you. 

Trump Card: Are politicians and policies able to save America?

And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

Joshua 5:13b-15 ESV

When playing cards, it would be ideal to know the opposition’s hand. Skilled players attempt to discern this through examining behavior and keeping track of what’s been played. At times, they may miscalculate out of error or because the opponent outwits them. To win against a master card player, you’ve got to be alert.

Jesus wasn’t a card player, but He knew how to perfectly judge the heart, and to respond with wisdom and grace. He bucked the religious leaders and hung out with sinners, and boldly proclaimed to both that they needed to repent. Calling people to repentance is rarely received with accolades, yet Jesus boldly called out the Pharisees and spoke plainly to Pilate. The Master impartially showed grace as He commanded obedience, and He unapologetically shared truth, no matter the personal consequences. As Christians, we should be ready to do the same.

I know my prayerfully considered thoughts will not be popular, and I’m not Jesus, so I understand they likely aren’t perfect, yet I respectfully submit them for your consideration:

When I was 17 years old, and still a senior in high school, I took the Oath of Enlistment, which reads,

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” 

(Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

And I meant it. I found myself recently reaffirming this Oath when I joined a 3% militia group, this time with domestic, rather than foreign, enemies in mind. I reasoned that, as a Christian, it was my duty to do what I could to hold back the forces of evil in America, that this is a righteous nation, that I could contribute to the cause of Christ by doing my patriotic duty to help hold back lawlessness. It was important to me that I not unite with a racist organization, so I found a group that seemed to espouse my values.

I also joined a local group that was growing exponentially, a group of fellow patriots who wanted to restore order in our city.

It didn’t take me too long to decide that neither of these groups was the fit I sought. I ended up drifting out of both.

I’ve watched multiple patriot rallies, and they haven’t set well with me. It’s nagged at me that typically there tends to be a black speaker or two, but the audience generally is lily white. There are flags — American flags, Trump flags — and there are patriotic speeches and sometimes Pledges of Allegiance and anthem singing. These things literally make me want to weep, not because they stir up high feelings of patriotism, but because patriotism isn’t the solution. “Back to normal” isn’t the solution. Voting for the “right” candidates isn’t the solution. Upholding the Constitution isn’t the solution. I’m not saying the political process isn’t valuable, or that we shouldn’t participate; I’m simply positing that putting one’s hope in our great democracy is misguided to say the least.

America isn’t the world’s salvation or its only hope. Trump is not, as some seem to communicate, the second messiah. Militias can’t restore what America has lost. Extreme conspiracy groups, such as QAnon, can’t fix things like exposing the Deep State. None of these things are the answer, because none of them can change hearts.

Going to the other extreme, we have groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM), Antifa, and the NFAC. These groups have Satanic roots, and I won’t apologize for saying so. BLM is Marxist and their leaders are engaging in new age rituals, such as chanting the names of deceased people (#SayHisName “George Floyd” and #SayHerName “Breonna Taylor”), to receive power from them. Antifa is purely bent on destruction and disorder, which the Bible condemns. And NFAC leader Jay Johnson is a new ager, looking to books such as the Book of Enoch for power. None of these things espouses virtue.

Advocates of civil intervention don’t have the answers either. The government can’t save the world by prolonging life with masks and social distancing, and providing prosperity through endless stimulus and unemployment checks. Lawmakers can’t make rioters and looters conform and they can’t reform the police through funding or defunding.

As a Christ-follower, I have examined each of these alternatives and more, trying to make sense of how to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that effectively addresses the problems we face. Each of them has come up woefully short.

I think we need to start with a humble acknowledgement that, as the Church, we have not done what we should, that our ancestors have not done what they should, and that we need to repent right now, where we are. The church has abdicated its rightful place in the community as a restrainer of evil. This isn’t new — it’s been going on for centuries. In America’s history, there were anti-Biblical principles ingrained in the founders, and thus the society. For example, our founding fathers knew slavery and prejudice were wrong, yet they allowed it to be integral to the fabric of our nation. Pastors throughout the history of our free republic have allowed and at times encouraged slavery and segregation. They have caved in to a perceived need to foster economic security, rather than standing against the evils of such practices.

While I do not agree with Critical Theory, including Critical Race Theory, I do believe racism is a problem in our culture. If I compared my experience of America with that of a black person who grew up in the West End of Louisville, which is the primarily black area of town, I doubt we would agree on our assessment of this country. Likewise, I doubt that either of us would agree on this same assessment with someone who immigrated from Africa. Perspective is key. Racism is a problem, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the ONLY solution. According to the Bible, we are not to be divided by “race,” as that is a man-made construct.

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”

1 John 4:21-20

According to this passage, one simply cannot be both racist and a Christian. One may have false conceptions and cultural biases, and that is often not good, but racism is hate-filled, and therefore not an option compatible with salvation.

Arrogance and grandiosity also are not compatible with Christian testimony. Recently John Piper was blasted by many evangelical leaders for his recent article in which he condemned President Trump’s character and posited that Christians should consider not voting for him. It has baffled me continually that Christians have so vehemently defended and supported the president, even holding him up as our only hope.

Jesus is our only hope and the Gospel is the only method. I’m not saying Christians shouldn’t be involved in the political process or in efforts to reform our nation; I believe we should. However, God often works in ways incompatible with our experience or expectation. Today I see many evangelicals looking for pragmatic solutions, such as voting policy over character, or even justifying clear anti-biblical behavior such as reviling and boasting, in their quest to solve the deep-rooted problems of our day. And while pragmatism is a good strategy in poker, the “game of life” has eternal consequences, and thus requires a different approach.

“And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”

2 Corinthians 11:12-15 ESV

I believe that the political “right” and the “left” are ultimately two wings of the same bird. We must remember that our enemy, the devil, masquerades as an angel of light. He is the great deceiver (Revelation 12:9) and he holds the power of the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:9; Luke 4:6; John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 5:19). This power is his to give, and though the enemy has no power except that which God grants (Job 1, Job 2, Luke 22:31-32) and no ruler as authority unless the Lord allows it (John 19:11), Satan has a strong hand in world affairs. That he uses that hand like a card deck should come as no surprise.

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”

Matthew 24:24 ESV

In the last days, Christians will be swayed by false messiahs. Whether we are there yet remains to be seen, but it seems evident that the last days are, at minimum, fast approaching. There is much deception. The art of deception is that it’s convincing. This last-days deception will be so confusing that even the elect may be led astray. What a sobering thought! Therefore we need to be alert, on guard, wise, discerning, and steadfast.

We need to know the Word of God so well that we will not be enamored by anyone, that we will not share with anyone the allegiance that belongs to God alone, that we will not fall away from the faith because we have found someone who offers a humanistic solution.

Some say this election will determine whether or not the soul of America remains or dies. I have news for you: America does not have a soul, but Americans do. Most Americans have not given proper care to their souls, even and especially within the Church. Most Americans are more concerned about the economy and their own comfort and convenience than they are about the state of their souls. Metaphorically speaking, America’s soul is already lost; if that wasn’t the case, we would have better candidates for political office. We would have statesmen. We would have candidates who cared about the unborn and the immigrant. We would have candidates who could be compassionate and controlled, yet unyielding regarding matters of deep conviction. We would have candidates who acknowledge the need to combat racism without giving in to domestic terrorists or dishonoring police. We would have candidates who practice and lead us to repentance rather than making arrogant claims and slanderous accusations on social media. Our candidates don’t shape the culture; they reflect it — this is why I believe America’s “soul” is already lost, and that it would take a miracle to reclaim it.

Like Piper, I will not be voting for either mainstream candidate. While many would say that I should not “throw away” my vote and that I should vote policy, I disagree. I am not asking you to vote as I do, but I am asking you to prayerfully consider your perspective. God is not a pragmatist; neither should His followers be. While I will vote my conscience, I also will leave the results in His hands, and I will not put too much hope in the political process. Why not? Because there’s only ONE who truly holds the trump card, and He has the final say. My trust is in Him and Him alone, my allegiance is primarily to a heavenly kingdom, and my eternity is secure. Ultimately, we can make plans, but the Lord’s will prevails.

Weighed in the balance …

Louisville, Kentucky awaits an announcement that could bring “the shot heard round the world.”

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

    the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;

    God will help her at break of day.

Psalm 46:4-5 NIV

My home is in a city that most people probably don’t think much about, except maybe on the first Saturday in May. We have around a million people in the metropolitan area. Generally if you hear about Louisville on the news, it’s for basketball, and occasionally you may relate us with UPS, KFC, or Louisville Slugger. This is an average city in America … usually.

Not in 2020, though. And definitely not today.

Oddly, unless you live here, you probably haven’t heard much about what’s going on here, but in the coming days, I suspect you will.

Breonna Taylor. Have you heard her name?

We have. We will never forget it, either. We have heard her name for 118 days of protests. We have seen it on 26 billboards around the city, purchased by Oprah. We have seen her name in our social media feeds and heard it on the news. You can’t be a Louisvillian and not know who Breonna Taylor was.

Yet, if you don’t live here, you probably don’t know of this young lady, whose case has become a platform for police reform, Black Lives Matter, and social justice.

Taylor was killed by police during a raid of her home on March 13, the same day things shut down for COVID. Police had a “no-knock” warrant, and there is confusion as to whether this warrant was executed without knocking. However, they did attempt to knock down the door, and Taylor’s boyfriend shot them. Fire was returned and Taylor was shot repeatedly, and subsequently died from her injuries.

Breonna Taylor has served as an EMT.

There are all kinds of reports regarding the events of that fateful night, and this case has been tried in the jury of public opinion by various factions, yet the truth is that only a few people have any actual knowledge of what happened.

Folks from BLM, Until Freedom, the NFAC, and other activist groups, as well as a whole lot of angry individuals, want to see the arrest of “the cops that murdered Breonna Taylor.” Others are “backing the Blue.” Due to the high level of sensitivity, and need for further investigation of this officer-involved shooting, the FBI and Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron have gotten involved, and the results of their investigation, and the decision of the Grand Jury, of whether or not to charge anyone in Taylor’s death, are likely to be announced this week, perhaps today. Last week, Taylor’s family was awarded an enormous civil settlement.

Protests have taken place for 118 days so far.

NO JUSTICE .. NO PEACE! has been the rally cry of the revolution … and make no mistake, this is a revolution. It’s a revolution of ideals, and today could be a turning point.

Many Christians claim Psalm 46 and other Scriptures that promise God’s protection. I believe God will protect us through anything, but that doesn’t mean we will come out without a scratch. Many of the faithful New Testament saints and church heroes were tortured, persecuted, and even martyred for their faith. And we are not exempt from the consequences of other people’s actions.

Grandmaster Jay, of the NFAC, has mentioned more than once that if justice doesn’t happen in Louisville, this will be the stage for “the shot heard ’round the world,” a reference to the American Revolution. There are those who want a second American Civil War, and it isn’t too far removed from reality to envision Louisville as ground zero.

Opposing militias and protest groups encircled Churchill Downs on Derby Day, Sept. 6.

I cannot weigh in on the facts of March 13, with regard to Ms. Taylor. I believe there are many possibilities. I acknowledge that injustice occurs, and that it likely happens statistically more often to black people than to white. I also acknowledge that slavery and segregation are stains on our nation’s history, and that we may be reaping what our predecessors sewed. Yet I also know a decent amount about police, and, to an extent, understand their pressures and protocols.

Regardless of speculations and “sides,” I ask my brothers and sisters in Christ to consider this from a Biblical perspective. Here are some takeaways for me:

  1. We should not judge a situation about which we do not have the facts.
  2. We should not allow the enemy to divide us on any and every difference we may have. Instead, we need to look for agreement, and have honest conversation about differences.
  3. God may intervene on behalf of the believers in our city, our nation, and our world, or He may allow us to go through some intense difficulties; either way He gets the glory.
  4. “Solutions” that involve proving whatever “side” we are on are not solutions. People are rarely, if ever, convinced, by repeatedly being told we are right and they are wrong. We do need to call out wrongdoing and push for justice, but there are ways to do this that are more likely to change hearts and minds.
  5. No justice, no peace is not an attainable ideal. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and the Just Judge, is the only answer to what ails our society. Without Him, there is neither justice, nor peace.
  6. No matter what, God is on His throne. “Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him” (Job 13:15).

Lord Jesus,

Today your people are hurting. We have been awaiting an outcome of this case for several months. We anticipate it very soon and we are holding our breath as we wait for the announcement and the outcome of that announcement.

I don’t ask that we be delivered from whatever may ensue; I only ask that You be glorified, that we be brought to repentance, and that many come to know You as a result.

I pray for Breonna Taylor’s family and friends, that they may know peace. I pray for the police officers and other officials involved, that they also may know peace.

I pray for every LMPD officer, for Mayor Fischer, for AG Daniel Cameron, for the FBI agents and the Grand Jury, as well as every other person directly involved in this determination, that they would know the truth and carry out justice, whatever that may be, and however that should look.

I pray that the Christ-followers in this city would so shine forth with love and truth that others would have to take notice. And should persecution ensue, that we would present ourselves worthy of Your Great Name.

I love this city, but my citizenship is in heaven, and I look forward to the day when I meet You face-to-face and enter into your rest, in a place where there is no more death, no more injustice, no more rioting, no more uncertainty, a place of incredible and unshakeable peace. But in the meantime, enable me to be the best citizen of this city, and this country, that I possibly can, and make me a beacon of justice and peace.

In Jesus Precious and Holy Name. Amen.

Today, things are unstable in Louisville, and in many places. We are not guaranteed justice or peace in this world; in fact, we are assured that we will have trials. We need to put our hope in Christ, and in His kingdom, because He is the one who gives lasting, real justice and peace.

If you are not yet a Christ-follower, please consider making that decision today. Simply acknowledge that you are a sinner, meaning you agree with God that you’ve done bad things, and that you have offended Him with those actions. Because of this, you don’t deserve to spend eternity in His presence. However, God sent His Son, Jesus, to live as a man, to identify with our weaknesses, to live a perfect life, and to die an atoning death, not for His own sins, because He was sinless, but for our sins. Accept that payment for your sins and transfer your allegiance from this world and your flesh to Him. Commit to allowing Him to be in charge of your life from here on out. Confess Him as your Lord, knowing that He died for your sins and rose from the dead, confirming that He is God and that He has authority to forgive sins and power to give you eternal life. When you do, He will save you and begin the process of sanctifying you, which means making you a more Christlike person. Your eternity will be secure, and you will be reconciled to Him. This will give you peace, joy, and comfort, no matter what circumstances come your way. Out of response for what He has done, get plugged into a local congregation, get baptized, read the Bible, pray, and serve others, all in order to know Him better and to glorify God to others, all because you’re grateful for His free gift. We can’t earn any of this; we simply accept it and it’s ours.

Cure for The Fear Pandemic

By Heather Walton

About 20 years ago, shortly after I became a Christian, I was participating in some job training. One day we took a lunch break at a local outdoor food court. As we ate, a bee took an interest in my food and wouldn’t leave me alone. I was terrified of insects, especially the stinging type, so I began panicking like a 3-year-old. One of my fellow trainees, a middle-aged Jewish woman, looked at me pointedly and said, “You know, I’m really surprised that someone with your great faith would be so scared of a little bee.”

At that moment, I was stung with such conviction that I determined that I would no longer fear insects, and to this day, I have succeeded. My fear had ruined my ability to enjoy lunch, but more than that, it had marred my testimony to an unbelieving friend.

A pastor told a story of a family taking a car trip in which a bee decided to ride along. One of the children was shrieking in terror, when his father decided to intervene. The father caught the bee in his hand, took the sting, and then let the bee continue to fly around the car. He assured his child that there was nothing more to fear, since he had already taken the stinger. The pastor likened this father to our Lord, who took the sting of death for those who trust in Him, that we might not fear the sting of death.

How many of us are doing just that, though? We are living in fear of so many things today:

  • a microscopic virus that could make us sick and has less than 1% chance of killing us
  • violent crime
  • losing our livelihood
  • losing our savings
  • being shamed for wearing/not wearing a mask
  • losing our civil liberties
  • who will win the election
  • being forced to take a vaccine
  • what the next big development of 2020 will be

Add to the list any personal fears we each carry, and it can be really overwhelming.

I’ve been considering a few questions lately:

What’s more important — surviving or living?

First, what’s more important — surviving or living? If I have to live in a bubble in order to stay alive, is that really living? If I have to fear every little thing when I walk out of my house and every little thing that comes into my house, is that really living? If I am missing out on relationships, is that really living? Would I rather live long or would I rather live well?

I’ve also pondered why this particular illness is the ONE that has us all paralyzed and isolated. We’ve never done anything like this before, as far as shutting down so systematically and for so long. Other illnesses and activities have killed far more people, but went virtually unnoticed. What’s the difference?

Part of the problem today, I think, is that we are so entitled as Americans. We believe that we simply should live to be very old and that we should have our needs provided for us. We expect life to be safe and sterile, and current events don’t fit our expectations.

I look at America today and, technological advances aside, I doubt our ancestors would recognize us. Think about it: People boarded ships, risking illness, starvation, and death, to come to America. Pioneers trekked across the country on foot and in wagons, risking life and limb, to make a better life for themselves and their posterity. America has been known for its independent spirit. Americans have historically been leaders who took risks to advance and rise above circumstances. Yet, here we are, allowing our country to be brought to a screeching halt by a microscopic organism that is not nearly as likely to affect us as the dangers our patriot predecessors faced.

At the turn of the 20th century, the average life expectancy was mid-forties, meaning I personally probably would have gone onto glory by my age if I had lived during that time. Today, we expect — even demand — to live twice that long. The average coronavirus death happens to those over the average life expectancy, and though every death is sad, it seems presumptuous for us to expect to cheat death. With the exception of two people in history (Enoch and Elijah), every single person has died or will die, barring the rapture. God has determined every one of our days before even one of them came to be, so for us to think we can come up with a humanistic solution to the problem of death is utterly prideful and foolish.

We are creating a generation of germaphobes and hypochondriacs. We need to remember that we shouldn’t fear death so much as we should fear and revere the One who determines how we spend eternity.

Another area of fear relates to our liberty. There are people threatening America’s freedoms, people who violate the Constitution in the name of peace and safety and people who push a Marxist agenda. Many of us know we need to stand against this, yet we are afraid to do so. We fear legal penalties, social stigma, family safety, and more. We would do well to look at the example of our nation’s founders. They put it all on the line for their families and their descendants. They risked all of this for us, people who were not yet born, but would benefit from their willingness to sacrifice. How would they feel, knowing we have taken this freedom so for granted that we don’t mind giving it up?

Let’s take it a step further: How must God feel toward us, knowing that He created our bodies to be resilient and our brains to be wise, yet we are so fearful? How must He feel, knowing that He sent His precious Son to die for us, that we may have the abundant, eternal life, yet we are so caught up in the physical existence? How must he feel, knowing that He died to set us free, never again to be enslaved, yet we willingly submit ourselves to multiple yokes of slavery? How must He feel, seeing us shaking our fists, kicking our legs, writhing in anger and fear, and demanding long life, prosperity, and security, when He has all of those things laid up for us, just not in the form we demand?

There are at least 100 verses that tell us not to fear. Why?

  1. God is on His throne.
  2. He is never taken by surprise.
  3. He has promised never to leave or forsake us.
  4. He has our best interest in mind.
  5. He takes care of the lilies and the birds, and will certainly take care of us.
  6. He loves us.
  7. He is our father and we are His children.
  8. He determined our times and places, and knew all of our days before even one came to be.
  9. He gave us a spirit of power and a sound mind.
  10. He has promised us the abundant life.
  11. Our eternal life is secure if we trust in Him.
  12. He delights to take care of us.
  13. He will provide for us in the midst of our enemies.
  14. He will not allow evil to triumph.
  15. Nothing can separate us from His love.
  16. He is the One with the power over life and death.
  17. Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world.
  18. He will uphold us with His righteous right hand.
  19. He has already told us how it ends. Spoiler: He wins and we get the spoils.
  20. He has prepared a place for us.
  21. We are already seated with Him in heaven.
  22. He has freed us from slavery.
  23. He has taken away the sting of death.
  24. He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear.
  25. He is in control!

I could go on forever …

If you’re a Christ follower and you’re fearful or anxious, this is understandable, especially given the uncertainty we currently face, yet the Lord has given us the remedy:

… do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

This is the believer’s prescription for peace. It’s not necessarily easy, but it is attainable.

If you don’t yet know the Lord, then no wonder you are anxious or concerned; not only is this life precarious, but your eternity is unsettled. I have good news: That can change today!

Simply acknowledge that you are a sinner, meaning you agree with God that you’ve done bad things, and that you have offended Him with those actions. Because of this, you don’t deserve to spend eternity in His presence. However, God sent His Son, Jesus, to live as a man, to identify with our weaknesses, to live a perfect life, and to die an atoning death, not for His own sins, because He was sinless, but for our sins. Accept that payment for your sins and transfer your allegiance from this world and your flesh to Him. Commit to allowing Him to be in charge of your life from here on out. Confess Him as your Lord, knowing that He died for your sins and rose from the dead, confirming that He is God and that He has authority to forgive sins and power to give you eternal life. When you do, He will save you and begin the process of sanctifying you, which means making you a more Christlike person. Your eternity will be secure, and you will be reconciled to Him. This will give you peace, joy, and comfort, no matter what circumstances come your way. Out of response for what He has done, get plugged into a local congregation, get baptized, read the Bible, pray, and serve others, all in order to know Him better and to glorify God to others, all because you’re grateful for His free gift. We can’t earn any of this; we simply accept it and it’s ours.

A right relationship with God, one in which we believe His promises are true and that He has our best interest in mind, is the cure for the fear pandemic.

The Great Awakening: Is Donald Trump our only hope?

By Heather Walton

Donald Trump. Few presidents have polarized the people to the extent that our current president does. People seem to either despise or worship him. I have seen people from diverse views sing the president’s praises and laud him as the best president ever. I’ve seen churchgoers, nonbelievers, good ‘ol boys and professionals alike, unite under the MAGA banner. Though many claim he is racist and sexist, I’ve seen men and women of every shade, and I’ve even seen LGBTQ Trump supporters. Despite his nationalistic line, Trump seems to even have a global following.

#WWG1WGA: Where We Go 1, We Go All: You may have seen this hashtag or heard prominent political figures recite it, along with an oath to protect the U.S. against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This sounds compelling, but it’s important to examine where those who take the oath think they are going. The oath is the motto of a group called QAnon, a loose organization of supposed patriots who gather and disseminate intel to aid Trump in the righteous cause of “draining the swamp.” This secret group creates coded Q Drops online, alerting devotees of upcoming significant events and exposures of evil. At first, this group seems innocuous, even noble, as they strive to expose the “deep state,” and prohibit the New World Order. But as I began following the Q crowd on Twitter, I sensed that something unsettling. Scratching a bit below the surface, I realized that these are more than patriots gleaning information from some elite government intelligence operation. QAnon actually is a new age movement, whose followers analyze vibrations and light waves to foretell a coming “Great Awakening,” in which the “Deep State” is exposed, the New World Order thwarted, and the human race will evolve into a higher collective consciousness. Along the way, many “sheep,” who aren’t fit for Q’s rebranded New World Order, will perish, vanishing from the earth, absorbed by the universe’s groaning evolutionary process, or perhaps abducted by aliens (This is a fantastic cover for the coming rapture of the church). If you haven’t researched Q for yourself, you probably think this sounds crazy, but I’m not making this up!

Trump, who at times has retweeted Q Drops, is theoretically leading this charge, so how do Q followers see him? When you read their tweets, you see that they see him as a messiah. This is clearly dangerous.

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. 

Matthew 24:23-25 ESV

The Q Crowd sees Trump as a savior. But they’re not the only ones. Ever since Trump got elected, it has baffled me that evangelicals seem to be drawn to him like the proverbial moth to the flame. Many say he is a great Christian. Yet, Trump personally said that he never asked God for forgiveness. He said he tries not to do things that he needs to be forgiven for. He speaks generically about his Protestant/Presbyterian faith, but not about a personal relationship with Jesus. While the president has initiated and enacted policies that Christians support, that does not make him a Christian. He has used his relationship with his former pastor, Norman Vincent Peale, as evidence of his faith, but this is hollow support, given Peale’s new age views and his leadership in the Freemasons. Take a look at this quote:

“Personally, I believe that prayer is a sending out of vibrations from one person to another and to God. All of the universe is in vibration. There are vibrations in the molecules of a table. The air is filled with vibrations. The reaction between human beings is also in vibration. When you send out a prayer for another person, you employ the force inherent in a spiritual universe. You transport from yourself to the other person a sense of love, helpfulness, support—a sympathetic, powerful understanding—and in this process you awaken vibrations in the universe through which God brings to pass the good objectives prayed for.”

Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking

This sounds like the philosophy of many in the QAnon movement. Trump, Q, and others are doing some things that look good, but it’s likely a bait and switch, because this Great Awakening is actually a false gospel, involving human achievement and new age philosophy. There is a lot of talk of “darkness to light,” but let’s look at what the Apostle Paul had to say:

And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

2 Corinthians 11:12-15 ESV

I urge my brothers and sisters in Christ to follow Jesus, not Q, not Trump, not any leader, unless that leader can say, like Paul, “Follow me, as I follow Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). It’s dangerous to exalt someone who clearly exalts himself, and who does not speak or act like a believer. Christ alone is worthy of our complete trust, and Christ alone can save us from the ills of this world and transfer us to an everlasting kingdom.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9 ESV

Jesus is the real light of the world, and He calls us to accept Him as Lord and to shine forth His light into the darkness. The greatest awakening occurs when we understand that we are sinners in need of a savior, that Jesus is God, and that He, being perfect, paid our sin debt on the cross, and rose again, proving that He is God and has power over the grave, and in response, we accept Christ’s Lordship over our lives. Then we receive the Holy Spirit and have the power to live a godly life, a power we would not have outside of His provision. This gives us assurance of eternal life, spent in heaven with God, for eternity. If you have not made this decision yet, I would urge you to do so today.

Jesus is the only one who can take us from darkness to light, the only one who can awaken us. Jesus Christ is our only hope. Time is short. Choose wisely whom to follow.

Militias, Marxism, and Mayhem: What’s really going on in Louisville?

Louisville, Kentucky, USA skyline on the river.

As a Louisvillian, I’d like to share my perspective on the fact that the NFAC is coming tomorrow. I’ve been doing a ton of research on what’s going on in the world ever since March 14, when everything got locked down. There is much going on behind the scenes. As a Christian, I believe we are in the last days. I realize you may not agree, and that’s your right, of course. Regardless, it is clear to me that there is a behind-the-scenes agenda in play. 

Last night I saw a picture of Master Jay using the “triple six” illuminati symbol. When you look at his logo, it’s clearly linked to illuminati/occult. His theology is mystical, along the lines of evolving to a higher plane. Grandmaster is an illuminati term, but it’s also a chess term. He has said that the government has engineered the COVID crisis and civil unrest to distract us from the fact that there are asteroids on an orbital path to crash into the earth.

Regarding chess, he also has said that there are forces trying to incite a race war, which is something I’ve heard elsewhere, and seems legit, as it’s the perfect way to implode America for the purpose of installing Marxism and a New World Order. The NFAC leader said he knows that they are trying to create a race war but that he will beat them at their own game, and likened it to playing chess. 

Here are some things that don’t add up:

1. The governor has issued a travel advisory, saying anyone coming in from out of state needs to self quarantine for 14 days, and he told us, “Change your plans,” regarding vacation travels. However, when asked about this group coming in, he said that he believes they’ll be peaceful and that his biggest concern is whether they wear masks and socially distance. He says COVID is our biggest threat. When asked if he planned to send the National Guard, he said he hadn’t been asked.

2. The mayor and the police are acting like this is going to be fine. The police spokesman said they’re more concerned about the counter-protest groups. (I am concerned too, because it would be easy to plant someone on the other side to start something. However, I’m not “more” concerned.)

3. The LMPD has allegedly asked Grandmaster Jay to advise them on what community policing might look like. 

4. The president is sending federal troops to four other cities this weekend, but as far as I can tell, nobody on the national scene is talking about the NFAC or Louisville. GM Jay previously said that if he came to Louisville, it would be the “shot heard round the world,” and that it would make Stone Mountain look like nothing. Now he says it’s all going to be good, and he is talking more like a kitten.

But seriously, there are opposing militias coming to Louisville, a city that is within 6 hours of 2/3 of the U.S. population, a city that has had two months straight of protesting, a city where reportedly there is going to be some earth shattering announcement in the Breonna Taylor case, and nobody thinks this is cause for concern (except maybe if some of the “far-right” militias do something “stupid”). WHAT???

Something is up. I believe:

1. This could be a trap. 

2. GM Jay doesn’t care about moving to Africa, but likely wants to fire “the shot heard round the world,” that ushers in the fall of America and gives rise to a Marxist “Utopia.”

3. Either those in power have something planned that they aren’t revealing, or perhaps GM Jay and the government somehow have a similar agenda. I’m not saying they’re consciously working together, but something is just off here. 

4. The federal government either doesn’t see this, doesn’t care about sacrificing a smaller major city, or is complicit. 

Again, these are just ideas, and time will tell whether there is any truth to them. Whether government officials acknowledge it or not, what happens in Louisville isn’t likely to stay here. We will know soon. 

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