Articles that discuss the empirical proof for the authenticity of the Christian faith

How to Win…

When you’re talking with somone who has something to hide more than they have something to say, one of the more common tactics they use to avoid that line of questioning that has the potential to reveal their argument as fundamentally flawed is to pose as a victim.

But it’s more than a mere agenda. It’s part of a philosophical paradigm that has to be engaged strategically in order to avoid a bogus perspective being given precedence over an objective evaluation of what’s true.

There is no “Right” or “Wrong”

A Liberal doesn’t believe in there being any sort of Absolute Standard by which their behavior is measured. Consequently, there is no “right” or “wrong” only preferences and perspectives. This is why when they’re having to contend with the consequences of their actions – because in their mind they have done nothing “wrong” – they can feel justifed in claiming the status of a victim. They’re either being limited by an oppressive society or they’re struggling beneath the weight of unfortunate circumstances, they’re never simply reaping what they have sown.

Even when you can successfully navigate the conversation to that place where they’re willing to concede they made a poor choice, they will defend that choice by saying they had no other option. By clinging to the notion that they had no alternative, they’re able to preserve the idea that they’ve done nothing inappropriate and whatever code or creed would otherwise result in an indictment is effectively circumvented and they remain a world unto themselves.

The Wrong Side of the Road

Imagine someone driving on the wrong side of the road.

If they position themselves as someone who’s under duress, it becomes very hard to be critical of their behavior without appearing indifferent and perhaps even cruel.

For example, if they’re trying to get their wife to hospital before she gives birth, that changes the way in which you evaluate their choice to risk a head on collision, even if it’s not a good idea.

But if on the other hand they’re just being reckless and irresponsible, then their behavior is rightly identified as such regardless of how they might try to justify it.


The challenge is to be able to figure out whether or not the person you’re speaking with is, in fact, someone having to deal with mitigating circumstances, or if they’re just trying to appear that way in order to avoid having to take responsibility for their actions.

You can do that by keeping the conversation focused on the problems created by your opponent’s behavior as opposed to their feelings.

For example…

You: “You’re driving on the wrong side of the road.”

Them: “You accusing me of driving on the wrong side of the road is a manifestion of an oppressive socieity and you’re making me feel uncomfortable.”

You: “I’m sorry that’s the way you feel, but we’re not talking about your emotions, we’re talking about the way you’re choosing to drive.”

Them: “I choose to drive that way because I’m naturally drawn to driving on the wrong side of the road. I have the right to be happy and you questioning my perspective constitutues an assault on my personal freedoms.”

You: “Your freedom to choose does not mean that every option you have available to you translates to the same outcome. In this instance, your choice translates to you being a threat to yourself and others. Neither your freedoms nor your feelings exempt you from having to take responsibility for your actions.”

The Way You Think + the Way You Act…
This isn’t about perspective, this is about math…
You want to shoot yourself in the foot and then insist it’s because someone told you not to do it that you’re in pain. The way you think plus the way you act equals the price you pay. You either make wise decisions that cost you very little or you make foolish choices that can be very expensive. Either way, it’s you that pays the bill and you don’t demand someone else pay the tab simply because you don’t like the amount.

Them: “I’m not hurting anyone.”

You: “You’re forcing everyone to adjust the way they drive in order to accommodate what amounts to a self serving resolve to ignore the law and a healthy flow of traffic. From that standpoint, you’re hurting everyone.”

Them: “I belive the law to be corrupt and can therefore be interpreted according to person’s individual preferences. Furthermore, whatever your opinion may be, while you are entitled to it, you cannot force your beliefs on me.”

You: “You cannot conceal or deny the problems your decisions produce by criticizing the very rules that were designed to prevent those problems to begin with. We’re not talking about what I believe. Rather, we’re talking about the natural consequences of your behavior.”

Them: “Fine. That’s the way you feel, but that’s not the way I see it.”

You: “This isn’t about perspective, this is about math. You want to shoot yourself in the foot and then insist it’s because someone told you not to do it that you’re in pain. The way you think plus the way you act equals the price you pay. You either make wise decisions that cost you very little or you make foolish choices that can be very expensive. Either way, it’s you that pays the bill and you don’t demand someone else pay the tab simply because you don’t like the amount.”

Them: “That’s your opinion.”

You: “No, that’s your responsibility. The validity of your perspective is ultimately gauged according to what happens when that perspective is put into practice. You can’t say your approach to a particular issue is credible simply because it’s yours. You have to demonstrate that it works and if it doesn’t, then you have to be willing to admit that you might be wrong. But if all you do is blame somone or something else, you’re not looking for the truth as much as you’re looking for an excuse.”

Them: “You can’t make me think like you.”

You: “No, I can’t. But that doesn’t change the fact that there’s a car coming and you’re in the wrong lane. Regardless of how you feel or what I believe, there are consequences to your actions and you are responsible for the decisions you make.”

“You might want to get over.”

Choices and Results

That’s how you win.

Your opponent may not yield to your line of reasoning, but…

…by keeping the conversation focused on choices and results, you can avoid the concessions that are often made when the dialogue focuses more on opinions and complaints.

How Do You Know God is Real?

Prove God is real.


When you look at the complexity of the universe, you can see your Creator. When you look at the historical references to Christ, you can see your Savior.

Let’s break it down…!

Go Outside

Go outside. What do you see? You see nature, you see animals and human beings. What you’re looking at constitutes some of the most complex and intricate examples of mechanical engineering that you can’t even begin to imagine.

And it goes beyond what you can see. In order to fully appreciate what you’re looking at, you need to pop the hood on what’s going on in the context of Biochemistry.

Consider for a moment the atom. The atom is the basic building block of matter.  It’s a nucleus surrounded by a cloud of electrons. In the case of a Hydrogen atom, each electron is moving at a speed that would allow it to orbit the earth in a little more than 18 seconds.

A molecule is a group of two or more atoms. For example, H20. That’s the chemical expression of water which consists of two Hydogen atoms and one Oxygen atom.

Water, by the way, is one amazing molecule. We take it for granted because it’s a very normal part of our lives. But water is the only substance in the universe that floats in its solid form. From the standpoint of creation, that’s a convenient attribute given the fact that otherwise all marine life would be crushed once the temperatures got below freezing!

Mathematically Impossible
Astro-physicists estimate that there are no more than 1080 infinitesimal “particles” in the universe, and that the age of the universe in its present form is no greater than 1018 seconds (30 billion years).
Assuming each particle can participate in a thousand billion (1012) different events every second (this is impossibly high, of course), then the greatest number of events that could ever happen (or trials that could ever be made) in all the universe throughout its entire history is only 1080 x 1018 x 1012, or 10110 (most authorities would make this figure much lower, about 1050). Any event with a probability of less than one chance in 10110, therefore, cannot occur. Its probability becomes zero, at least in our known universe. (Institute for Creation Research)4

125 Zeroes

A Protein is a molecule that’s considered to be the basic building block of life. It’s a chain of amino acids, which are molecules in and of themselves, that has to be constructed very intentionally in order for the result to be a fully functioning protein molecule. The odds of that happening are one chance in a hundred thousand trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion. That’s a ten with 125 zeroes after it.1

A typical cell takes ten million, million atoms to build.2 What makes a cell especially significant is that it’s alive and it’s typical of all living things. And when you take an inventory of how a cell functions and how it’s organized, you realize very quickly that’s it’s an incredibly intricate mechanism consisting of artifical languages, decoding systems, memory banks, elegant control systems, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication with a capacity not equaled in any of our most advanced machines.

We have always underestimated the cell…The entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines…Why do we call them machines? Precisely because, like machines invented by humans to deal efficiently with the macroscopic world, these protein assemblies contain highly coordinated moving parts. (Bruce Alberts, President, National Academy of Sciences) 3

The bottom line is that the level of precision that characterizes the known universe is such where the chances of that intricacy coming together purely by chance is considered mathematically impossible (see sidebar).

And Biochemistry is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Cosmoslogical Constant

When you consider the world of Physics, it becomes even more difficult to speculate our world came together purely by chance.

For example, the Cosmoslogical Constant is the rate of speed with which the universe is expanding. If the power of gravity within the universe was not being offset by some kind of opposing force, it would collapse on itself. On the other hand, if it were not strong enough, the universe would unravel.

Although this anomaly has yet to be specifically qualified, it is nevertheless an incredibly precise value. It is but one more example of a “fine tuning” that can neither be dismissed nor explained by those who want to ignore the Reality of a Creator. It has been conservatively estimated to be at least one part in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion. That’s a 10 with 53 zeroes.5

When You Look at a Cupcake…

When you look at a cupcake, you see a baker. When you look at a work of art, you see an artist. Given that as a logical approach to anything that resonates with any degree of complexity, to look at the universe –  something that requires that much more of an intentional effort and sophisticated design than a cupcake or a painting – you see an accident?


That’s not science, that’s not even a theory. In order to rationalize the notion that all that we can observe when it comes to life and the human experience is a result of purely random forces…

…the skeptic needs to invent a whole new set of physical laws and a whole new set of mechanisms that are not a natural extrapolation from anything we know or have experienced. (Robin Collins)6

When you’re looking for “proof” that God is real, go outside. Consider what it is you’re looking at. When you ponder the complexity of the universe, you can see your Creator.

Historical References to Christ

To be able to confidently identify Christ as the Son of God, you can:

  • look at the historical references to Jesus as having existed
  • the account of Josephus who refers to Christ’s Resurrection and…
  • …the fact that thoughout history you have people who refused to submit to the idea that the tomb of Christ was either occupied or the body had been stolen – even to the point where it cost them their lives

While Tacticus and Josephus are the only historians cited in this article, there’s an entire field of study dedicated to the validation of the Christian faith called, “Apologetics.” For more examples of Christ’s Presence in History, the authenticity of the Bible and the Fact of the Resurrection, the following books represent an excellent collection of resources and a great place to begin:


Cornelius Tacticus was a Roman historian who lived approximately between AD 56 and 120.

When Nero blamed the Christians for the devastating fire that destroyed much of Rome in AD 64, the result was what would become an aggressive persecution of anyone who believed that Christ had risen from the dead.

Tacticus documented what happened and in his writings, he references Christ and how He was put to death by Pilate.

But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.7

This doesn’t prove the Christ rose from the grave, but it does validate the accounts given in the New Testament that Christ did live and was sentenced to death by Pilate.


You can see an extra-biblical reference to the Resurrection by Josephus, who was a Jewish historan that lived between AD 37 and died around 101. In his “Antiquties of the Jews,” he had this to say about Christianty:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man [if indeed one ought to call him a man.] For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. [He was the Christ.] When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him.  [On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him.] And the tribe of the Christians, so-called after him, has still to this day not disappeared. (Antiquities of the Jews)8

 Some scholars dispute the authenticity of the those portions of the above quote that reference the Resurrection. But while there is some speculation, there is enough reason to believe that the comments pertaining to Christ’s Resurrection are, in fact, authentic.

The Resurrection as a Marketing Campaign

The Resurrection doesn’t work as a marketing campaign. It is an absurd attempt to establish credibility and makes absolutely no sense in light of the way so many religions are able to win converts simply by promising eternal rewards and temporary fulfillment.

From the very beginning, believing that Christ was Divine put you at odds with the established hierarchy in ways that often proved lethal. Again, why build a creed on something so unnecessary and at the same time so toxic in the minds of those in positions of authority?

It’s ludicrous…


It’s true.

We don’t have raw footage of His crucifixion, we don’t have a photograph of Him coming out of the empty tomb. But we have documentation in addition to the New Testament written by people who were alive when Christ’s life, death and Resurrection were fairly recent events. They reference Christ as a historical reality and not just a rumor.

You can neither prove the Reality of God nor the Fact of His Resurrection with the same certaintly you might have in the way you successfuly solve a math problem. When it comes to validating ancient texts and events that happened 2,000 years ago, you have to base your convictions on what is most likely true given the evidence that is available.

If Christianity was nothing more than a pretty little fiction based on a personality that failed to distinguish Himself as anything other than a noble individual, you don’t have a creed, you have a celebrity. And while a celebrity can be influential, by himself he doesn’t command the kind of commitment that people are willing to die for.

This is the other piece of the gospel that qualifies as a substantial piece of evidence.

You Don’t Die for a Lie Knowing That it’s Not True

Josh McDowell, author “Evidence That Demands a Verdict,” makes a logical observation about the disciples.

Yes, many people have died for a lie, but they did so believing it was the truth. If the Resurrection had not happened, obviously the disciples would have known it. Therefore, they would not only have died for a lie—here’s the catch—but they would have known it was a lie. It would be hard to find a group of men anywhere in history who would die for a lie if they knew it was a lie. (More Than a Carpenter)9

You can look at the complexity of creation and deduce a Creator. You can look at the historical references to the existence of Christ, the work of Josephus as well as the those who opted for a martyr’s death than deny the Resurrection and deduce a Savior.

An Intelligent Faith

There’s no good reason to doubt the historical accuracy of the New Testament. From a bibliographical perspective, it absolutely dominates when compared to other works of antiquity. It has been repeatedly verified with Archaeology, but…

…to the individual who risks having to reconfigure their approach to themselves and the world around them, it’s a tall order to concede the Reality of Christ.

But should you ignore the substance of what exists, as far as that which validates the Scriptures, you do so, not because of a lack of evidence, but in spite of it.

There is a rational thought process that leads to an intelligent faith. But to get there, you have to be objective. You cannot dismiss the substance of the evidence that exists and simultaneously cling to the Theory of Evolution. The aforementioned probability values exceed the statistical boundaries of that which is possible. If you’re going to deny the miraculous, you cannot do so and not at the same time admit that you subscribe to a paradigm that bends the very laws of nature you’re trying to explain.

You want proof that there’s a God and that Christ is as real as the air you’re breathing?

You have it.

It’s not a question of “proof” as much as it is “pride.” Believing yourself to be your own absolute may look alluring, but it doesn’t stand up beneath the weight of a logical analysis of the facts. Grace is a gift. It requires nothing more than a willingness to accept it. You don’t sacrifice your intellect to do so…

…rather you embrace it.


1. “The Case for a Creator”, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 2004, p229
2. Ibid, p194
3. Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. 1979. Probability and Order Versus Evolution. Acts & Facts. 8 (7)
4. “The Case for a Creator”, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 2004, p193
5. “The Case for Faith”, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 2000, p133
6. “The Case for a Creator”, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 2004, p145
7. Wikipedia contributors, “Tacitus on Jesus,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed January 17, 2023)
8. Wikipedia contributors, “Antiquities of the Jews,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed January 17, 2023)
9. “More Than a Carpenter”, Josh McDowell, Living Books, Wheaton, IL, 1977, 2004, chapter 7

A Biblical Approach to Politics | Part IV

I) Intro –  A Conflict of Visions

“A Conflict of Visions” is a book by Dr Thomas Sowell. In it, he distills the various political philosophies and worldviews into one of two “visions…”

The Constrained Vision…
“…sees the evils of the world as deriving from the limited and unhappy choices available, given the inherent moral and intellectual limitations of human beings.”
“For the amelioration (improvement) of these evils and the promotion of progress, they rely on the systemic characteristics of certain social processes such as moral traditions, the marketplace, or families.”1


The Unconstrained Vision…
When Rousseau said that ‘man is born free’ but ‘is everywhere in chains,’ he expressed the essence of the unconstrained vision, in which the fundamental problem is not nature or man but institutions.”2

Sowell is an Economist. He is not a theologian nor does he attempt to position one “vision” over the other in his book. Rather, it’s a dispassionate overview of the two visions and how they capture much of the angst and tension that exists in today’s cultural and political arenas because of the way The Constrained Vision sees life as something that is hard by nature and requires individual resolve and moral courage to succeed…

…and not government.

The Unconstrained Vision, however, sees life as a place where good things happen automatically and the only barrier to individual and corporate utopia are institutions.

By implementing different laws or instituting different systemic paradigms, suddenly life becomes better.

This is what we’re looking at as a society: Two approaches that are defined exclusively by what it is that makes the difference in terms of prosperity and fulfillment both from an individual and a national perspective.

The Constrained Version says that you look to morality, industry and healthy family structures.

The Unconstrained Version says that you depend on institutions and legislative systems for your happiness and satisfaction.

While the practical advantages of the Constrained Version can be validated using objective economic realities, there’s more to this discussion than what can be calculated on an Excel spreadsheet.

While Sowell makes no mention of the spiritual realities inherent in both Versions, because The Constrained Version incorporates morality into its perspective, the definition of what is moral has to be addressed and that will be determined by one’s view on Moral Absolutes.

And it’s because the Unconstrained Version doesn’t acknowledge one’s morality as a contributing factor to your economic success, either Moral Absolutes don’t matter or they don’t exist. Either way, there’s a perspective that goes beyond dollar signs and spills over into personal convictions pertaining to Who it is that makes the rules.

It’s here that one’s definition of God becomes the defining issue and this is why we need to be talking about, not just Economics, but the Politics and the Theology those Politics are based on that allow those economies to exist in the first place.

In this series, we’ve looked at how God is intimately engaged in Politics and He expects us to be aware and involved (Dan 2:21; 1 Chron 12:32; 1 Tim 2:2). We also discussed how the best candidate for office is the one who’s platform is most consistent with the foundation laid by our Founding Fathers who conceived a form of government based on Biblical Absolutes.

In Part II, we looked at the importance of being wise in the way you process what you hear and what you see in the media. In Part III we looked at two of the five tactics that are often used by people who have something to hide more than they have something to say.

Today we conclude our series by looking at the last three of the five tactics referenced in Part III and looking at the importance of evaluating a tree according to its fruit more so than its appearance.

Here we go!

II) The Progressive Pentagon (Part II)

They spend more time pretending to be hurt than they do proving that they’re right.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt…10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses… (Ex 3:11; 4:10-14 [see also Matt 7:21-22])

When you’re on the bench, you can’t be expected to be putting points on the board because you’re not on the field. It’s a reasonable sounding excuse for the person who’s looking to avoid having to function and perform.

However you may be inclined to say: “I’m not, I don’t, I can’t and I won’t” remember, you are, you do, you can and you will…because He does, He can, He will and He is.

An unwilling mind will take up with a sorry excuse rather than none. (Matthew Henry Commentary on Exodus 4)3

They spend more time trying to sound honest rather than actually telling the truth.

4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:4-5)

All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Prov 16:2-3)

The judgment of God concerning us, we are sure, is according to truth: He weighs the spirits in a just and unerring balance, knows what is in us, and passes a judgment upon us accordingly, writing Tekel (TEE-cale [to weigh]) upon that which passed our scale with approbation—weighed in the balance and found wanting; and by his judgment we must stand or fall. He not only sees men’s ways but tries their spirits, and we are as our spirits are… (Matthew Henry Commentary on Proverbs 16:2-3)

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matt 7:21-22) You can’t drown out the crash of a bad decision with the sound of a good intention.
I’m not that bad…


The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Gen 3:12) “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Benjamin Franklin
It’s not my fault…


Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve. (Prov 24:12 [NLT])

Proverbs 28:13 “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”


An easy way to remember the five tactics that we’ve looked at is by using the acrostic, “Mickey Hood.”

Mickey Hood
M Mobs They spend more time talking about Labels, Mobs and Crowds than they do a Name, a Person and a Choice.
C Characters They spend more time assaulting their opponent’s character than they do discussing their opponent’s content.
H Hurt They spend more time pretending to be hurt than they do proving that they’re right.
H Honest They spend more time trying to sound honest rather than actually telling the truth.
D Decisions They spend more time defending bad decisions than they do applauding good choices.

All of this can be boiled down to one central Truth and that’s the fact that you can know a tree by its fruit…

Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. (Matt 12:33)

However a person looks on paper or in person, however they speak – while all of that is something to be considered, Christ makes it clear that in the end, it’s a person’s actions that reveal their true colors (see Matt 15:18-19).

III) Real World Examples

Attempting to distract from a person’s actions by using one of the aforementioned tactics so as to better justify what amounts to a bogus mindset is a practice frequently used and is hard to miss once you know what to look for.

A) Illegal Immigration

Prager University recently published a video that details our nation’s immigration policies and describes them as generous and fair (see QR code to the right).

There are those, however, who insist that America is a racist enterprise and any kind of legislation that seeks to limit the ability of a particular people group into the country is unjust and a manifestation of its resolve to promote white supremacy.

One argument that’s presented as a way to prove the theory that America is a racist nation and has a history of preventing specific ethnicities from entering the country is the Page Act of 1875.

1) Page Act of 1875

Beginning in 1845, Chinese looking to escape the sufferings of the Taiping Rebellion were easily convinced to sign contracts offered by recruiters featuring the promise of a better life in the US in exchange for an extended period of time as an indentured servant. For all intents and purposes, these “contracts” weren’t designed for the sake of providing opportunities to Chinese foreigners as much as it was an attempt to circumvent the abolition of slavery and secure cheap labor provided by a nationality that was easy to exploit.

This was the “Coolie Trade.”

Many of the Chinese that signed these contracts had no idea what they were actually signing up for. Some were actually forced to sign and the conditions that they had to contend with included being congregated at Hong Cong in Barracoons before they were loaded into ships and then transported to any one of a number of foreign destinations that included America, Britain, France Spain and Portugal. While some died of disease or suicide in the Barracoons, the average mortality rate was 12% during the journey overseas which was the same mortality rate as the African Slave Trade.

And while Chinese men were obviously preferred for the sake of physical labor, Chinese women were also being enslaved…

…as prostitutes.

In 1860, upwards of 85% of Chinese women in San Francisco were prostitutes. An 1870 census reported that 61% of the 3536 Chinese women in California were employed as sexual appliances. Some of these girls had been kidnapped, many of them had been sold into slavery by their families.

It was a terrible life in many ways…

Conditions in the California brothels, concentrated primarily in San Francisco and Los Angeles, were terrible. Often mistreated by customers, the indentured girls received little care and no medical attention. Homesick and left untreated for venereal disease or other illnesses, most women were broken within a few years and rarely lasted more than five or six years in bondage. Some who started when they were 14 years old were dead before they reached 20, according to Chinese academics Yung and Lucie Cheng and the reportage of Gary Kamiya based on stories in the “San Francisco Chronicle” archives.4

In 1862, the Republican party submitted a piece of legislation designed to put an end to the way in which the Chinese people were being abused and exploited. It proved almost impossible to enforce, however, because there was no way to systemically identify a “coolie” from a legitimate Chinese immigrant – an unfortunate circumstance that was enthusiastically embraced by those who profited from the, “Coolie Trade.”

The point of the legislation was not to restrict Chinese people, but to protect them from being exploited.

It was called the “Page Act” because of it’s sponsor, Horace Page. When you look him up on Wikipedia, you find this:

Horace Francis Page (October 20, 1833 – August 23, 1890) was an American lawyer and politician who represented California in the United States House of Representatives for five terms between 1873 and 1883. He is perhaps best known for the Page Act of 1875 which began the racial prohibitions against Asian, primarily Chinese, immigration. Page was among a faction of congressmen who openly used racist ideas to defend their positions. Page introduced the Chinese Exclusion Act to the House. When arguing for a ban on the immigration of Chinese laborers, he sought to win support from those who believed in white racial superiority, telling his fellow members that “there is not a member upon this floor… who believes that the coming of the African race… was a blessing to us or to the African himself.5

The comment “…there is not a member upon this floor…who believes that the coming of the African race…was a blessing to us or to the African himself” makes it apparent that this man is a racist.

But note the ellipsis (…). Anytime you see those three dots, you may want to roll up your sleeves and do some digging because there’s at least a chance that some crucial context is being omitted.

Here’s the actual comment he made as recorded in the Congressional Record dated March 15, 1882:

I believe, Mr Speaker, that there is not a member upon this floor, of either party, who believes that the coming of the African race to this country originally was a blessing to us or to the African himself. Their condition has long been a subject of careful and earnest consideration among thoughtful people.

The time was, Mr Speaker, when the United States Government undertook to suppress African slavery, or when it entered into an agreement in a treaty with other governments that they would suppress African slavery. It also provided by law that when any vessel having slaves on board was captured upon the high seas by any of our cruisers those Africans found on board and held as slaves, if brought to the United States, should only remain her six months and then be returned back to their native country.6

The point Page was making is that Africans were not brought here voluntarily. As slaves they were subjected to all kinds of inhumane treatment and the result was a horrific existence for the slave and ultimately a war that would wipe out over a quarter of a million people.

While he doesn’t reference the Civil War in his comments, Page was a Major in the California Militia– a unit that was active during the conflict.7

In addition, later on in his comments, he speaks specifically to the Chinese people in general. He says:

The other sections of the bill provide that any native of China who comes here for the purpose of trade or travel or of engaging in legitimate commerce may do so unrestricted and shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges accorded to citizens of the most favored nation.8

When you take the context of his comments into consideration as well as his military record, you find yourself viewing Page not so much as a Racist, but as someone who was concerned about a specific situation more so than a general people group.

If Page was alive today, I can’t help but think he wouldn’t be extremely offended to be labeled, not only a Racist in the context of African Americans, but also in the way he was maligned for supposedly targeting Chinese people in general as opposed to those who were here either against their will or brought here under false pretenses. It’s not that he was looking to limit their opportunities as much as he was trying to destroy the trade of their oppressors.

But did you see how Mickey Hood was used to make Page and his legislation appear malicious?

B) Christopher Columbus

For centuries, Christopher Columbus has been respected as a brave and virtuous explorer credited for having discovered the New World.

Recently, however, historians such as Howard Zinn have depicted Columbus as a greedy racist intent on enslaving the natives he encountered and ushered in a wave of disease and abuse that qualifies him as a true villain.

He quotes from Columbus’ journals with things like this:

(describing the natives) They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane…The would make fine servants…With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.9

Again, you see the ellipsis and the “mystery” suggested by those three dots does not disappoint, as far as the way it hides the context that Zinn obviously wants to conceal.

Columbus’ actual log entry was this (the highlighted section is what Zinn omits):

Thursday, October 11: They neither carry nor know anything of arms, for I showed them swords, and they took them by the blade and cut themselves through ignorance. They have no iron, their darts being wands without iron, some of them having a fish’s tooth at the end, and others being pointed in various ways. They are all of fair stature and size, with good faces, and well made. I saw some with marks of wounds on their bodies, and I made signs to ask what it was, and they gave me to understand that people for other adjacent islands came with the intention of seizing them, and that they defended themselves. I believed, and still believe, that they come here from the mainland to take them prisoners. They should be good servants and intelligent, for I observed that they quickly too in what was said to them, and I believe that they would easily be made Christians, as it appeared to me that they had no religion.10

Columbus wasn’t saying they would make good servants because he had in mind to expand the slave trade to include the natives he had just discovered. Rather, he was observing why this particular people would be potentially victimized by neighboring tribes because they were so submissive.

In his translation of Columbus’s log, Robert Fuson discusses the context that Zinn deliberately left out: “The cultural unity of the Taino [the name for this particular tribe, which Zinn labels “Arawaks”] greatly impressed Columbus…Those who see Columbus as the founder of slavery in the New World are grossly in error. This thought occurred to [Samuel Eliot] Morison (and many others) who misinterpreted a statement made by Columbus on the first day in America, when he said, ‘They (the Indians) ought to be good servants.’ In fact, Columbus offered this observation in explanation of an earlier comment he had made, theorizing that people from the mainland came to the islands to capture these Indians as slaves because there were so docile and obliging.”11

Notice Columbus’ statement: “They should be good servants” and how that one phrase is quoted by Zinn, but then nothing after that is cited until the next section of Columbus’ log which is…

three days later!

It’s here where he mentions how the natives could easily be subjugated.

Sunday, October 14: I went to view all this this morning, in order to give an account to your Majesties and to decide where a fort could be built. I saw a piece of land which is much like an island, though it is not one, on which there were six huts. It could be made into an island in two days, though I see no necessity to do so since these people are very unskilled in arms, as your Majesties will discover from seven whom I caused to be taken and brought aboard so that they may learn our language and return. However, should your Highnesses command it all the inhabitants could be taken away to Castile or held as slaves on the island, for with fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we wish.12

It’s hard not to suspect Columbus of something sinister when you hear him assure his sovereigns that they could enslave all of the natives on the island with no problem because, after all, they don’t know anything about modern weaponry and, “…with fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we wish.”

If Columbus’ actions had mirrored his comments, there would be good reason to believe that he was scheming to enslave and exploit the Arawaks. But Columbus’ first priority was to be an effective witness:

…welcomed as a “deliverer”
According to Professor Felipe Fernadndez-Armesto – a specialist in Latin American History and the author of Columbus, Columbus was actually, “welcomed as a deliverer” by the Arawaks because they were “already doomed by the fierce imperialism of the neighboring Caribs.16

“I,” he says, ” that we might form great friendship, for I knew that they were a people who could be more easily freed and converted to our holy faith by love than by force, gave to some of them red caps, and glass beads to put round their necks, and many other things of little value, which gave them great pleasure, and made them so much our friends that it was a marvel to see.13

Columbus wanted to convert them to the Christian faith. To do that, in his mind, required genuine friendship and compassion and you can see this if you read his journal entries in their appropriate context.

Beyond that, however, you have the reality of a world that is not acknowledged at all by Zinn.

First off, while the natives that Columbus interacted with directly were docile enough, there were other tribes that he could confidently categorize as possible threats given the way in which they had demonstrated their willingness to attack the locals he had met.

The natives make war on each other, although these are very simple-minded and handsomely-formed people14

The Actions of Christopher Columbus…

In their book, “The Worlds of Christopher Columbus…”

…William and Carla Phillips point out, “One prime motive for European expansion, reiterated by nearly all of the early explorers, was a desire to spread Christianity. To the current cynical age, religious motivation is difficult to understand; it is much easier to assume that missionary zeal merely served to justify a lust for gold and glory. Christian faith in early modern Europe touched “virtually every aspect of human life.”18

 On his first return trip, Dr. Carol Delaney, author of “Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem,” writes…

“…Columbus did bring six natives back with him to Spain where they were “baptized with the king (Ferdinand), queen (Isabella), and Columbus standing as godparents. . . . One became Columbus’s godson who accompanied him on many of his later explorations. . . .”19

In addition to the civil unrest among the neighboring islands, it should also be noted that Columbus left some of his sailors behind when he made his way back to Europe only to return and find his men had been murdered to a man.15

So, there was ample reason to be precautious and tactical in the way one planned ahead for any kind of enduring outpost.

To evangelize would require, not only a place to inhabit, but also the means by which to protect oneself from the obvious presence of local violence. And while that perspective may require some conjecture, one aspect of Columbus’ journey which is not open to debate is the condition of Spain in 1492.

The Crusades had resulted in Spain being conquered in 711 A.D. From then until January 1492 when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle reclaimed Grenada from the Muslims, Spanish Christendom had endured almost eight centuries of jihad ravages including massacres, pillages and mass enslavements. Columbus was looking for an alternative route to East Asia in order to secure alliances and resources that could be used to reclaim the Holy Land from militant Muslims as well as eliminate the oppressive presence of Islam in the Iberian Peninsula.17

There was more to this trip than a mere curiosity in global sea routes or even the possible discovery of mythical stores of gold.

Columbus’ homeland was occupied, the Holy Land was still under Muslim control and there was a New World filled with souls that needed to hear the gospel. Taken together, Columbus’ journey had the potential to right several wrongs, not by supplementing the slave trade with more human resources, but by strengthening the Presence of Christ both at home and abroad.

There were matters far more pressing in Columbus’ mind than his bank statement. While his words can be taken out of context and used to characterize him as a fiend, his actions say otherwise as do the historians and eyewitnesses that are willing to take an objective view of history rather than one poisoned by a political agenda and determined to make use of the Progressive Pentagon.

Which of the tactics represented by the Mickey Hood acrostic are used by Zinn and his likeminded activists?

Seriously. Take a minute and see if you can’t name a few…

IV) A Ready Response

In May of 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands. Initially, Corrie Ten Boom and her family perceived any effort to protect a Jewish person as a political action and therefore something that didn’t necessarily coincide with a believer’s mandate to focus on matters of the soul as opposed to affairs of state.

But one night, a Jewish infant was brought to the Ten Boom home. A local pastor, unwilling to take any personal risk, had brought the child to the Ten Boom’s. Appalled, Casper Ten Boom, Corrie’s father, took the child in and thus began an underground campaign that would successfully hide several Jewish persons, but would cost the lives of several in the Ten Boom family (see “Corrie Ten Boom: A Faith Undefeated”).

What the Ten Boom’s discovered is that Politics is ultimately the collection of laws that define the way a person is to be treated and perceived.

Politics is about people and to that end a believer cannot ignore the impact a godly foundation  – or the lack thereof – can have on a government and ultimately the citizens who live beneath its legislative umbrella (Prov 29:2).

The purpose of this series is to reveal the spiritual aspect of Politics and to recognize the role that we must play as believers in order to preserve and promote the Truth that defines us as a nation and benefits us as a people.

This is why you need to know our nation’s true history and our spiritual heritage. This is why you need to be aware of what’s going on and familiar with the tactics that we’ve discussed so that when it’s time to pray, you know what and who to pray for.

13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chron 7:13-14)

At the beginning of our discussion we looked at Dr Thomas Sowell’s brilliant approach to summarizing the various political and sociological schools of thought into two main “visions.”

But his approach can be boiled down into an even more rudimentary collection of categories.

Either God is God or man is god.

When you hear someone say, “You can’t make me believe the same things that you do!” they’re not wrong.

You can’t “make” them drive on the right side of the road let alone believe in the God of the Bible.

But that’s not the point.

The question is whether you’re going to formulate your convictions according to what God says or someone else’s opinion.

The challenge, however, is that regardless of how bulletproof your logic may be, the proper processing of God as the Absolute against which all things moral and political are measured is not possible apart from having a relationship with Christ (1 Cor 2:12).

This is how a conversation about Christ can occur – by being able to trace the foundation upon which you build your political convictions on the Word of God.

And the thing is, you need to be able to do that because more and more our world is becoming a place where there is no bottom line, only different broadcasts.

You go to the “Today Show,” and hear one perspective on the President’s State of the Union speech and you can go out and listen to Ben Shapiro offer a completely different viewpoint.

Without a definitive Standard to compare things to, the only thing that qualifies something as being  “right” is however you as an individual want to process it.

If you perceive credibility as represented by academic degrees or by popular vote, than there is no “right” or “wrong,” there’s just consensus.

We are who we are as a nation because we had more than a group dynamic to base our convictions upon and we are that same nation today, but only to the extent that godly men are willing to take their place at God’s Throne on their knees, pray, seek His Face, turn from the wicked ways and ask Him to heal out land (2 Chron 7:14).

God cares about Politics because God cares about people and it’s prayer that resulted in the Declaration of Independence, it’s prayer that produced the Constitution, it’s prayer that has seen us through multiple wars and crises and it’s prayer that will make the difference now.

To read “A Biblical Approach to Politics | Part I,” click here

  1. “The Independent Whig”, “sowell: the unconstrained vision”,, accessed February 22, 2022
  2. Ibid
  3. Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible, Matthew Henry, “Commentary on Exodus 4”,, accessed February 20, 2022
  4. “China’s Lost Women in the Far West”, Historynet,, accessed February 27, 2022
  5. Wikipedia, “Horace F. Page”,, accessed February 23, 2022
  6. Congressional Record Containing The Proceedings and Debates of the 47th Congress, First Session, p1932,, accessed February 23, 2022
  7. Page was attached to the unit based out of Placerville, which was the county seat of El Dorado County. You can visit to see which units were active during the Civil War
  8. Congressional Record Containing The Proceedings and Debates of the 47th Congress, First Session, p1932,, accessed February 23, 2022
  9. “A People’s History of the United States”, Howard Zinn, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY, originally published in 1980, p1
  10. “Journal of Christopher Columbus (During his First Voyage, 1492-93): And Documents Relating the Voyages of John Cabot and Gaspar Corte Real (Cambridge Library Collection – Hakluyt First Series)”, John Cabot and Gaspar Corte Real, p38
  11. “Debunking Howard Zinn”, Mary Grabar, Regnery History, Washington, D.C., 2019, p12
  12. “Christopher Columbus: The Four Voyages”, Being his own log book, letters and dispatches with connecting narrative drawn from the Life of the Admiral by his son Hernando Colon and other contemporary historians, edited by J.M. Cohen, Penguin Books, New York, NY, 1969, p58
  13. “Journal of Christopher Columbus (During his First Voyage, 1492-93): And Documents Relating the Voyages of John Cabot and Gaspar Corte Real (Cambridge Library Collection – Hakluyt First Series)”, p101,, accessed February 23, 2022
  14. Ibid, p42
  15. In “Debunking Howard Zinn,” author Mary Grabar explains how Columbus lost one of his ships and had to leave some sailors behind in that there wasn’t room for everyone on the return voyage. When he returned, every one of his men had been killed. “Debunking Howard Zinn”, Mary Grabar, Regency History, Washington D.C, 2019, p16
  16. “Debunking Howard Zinn”, Mary Grabar, Regnery History, Washington, D.C., 2019, p10
  17. “Muslim Spain”, BBC,,1492%20when%20Granada%20was%20conquered, accessed February 27, 2022
  18. “Debunking Howard Zinn”, Mary Grabar, Regnery History, Washington, D.C., 2019, p14
  19. “Scholar disputes source of criticism of Columbus (Commentary)”, Mary Grabar, Ph.D.,,, accessed March 1, 2022

A Biblical Approach to Politics | Part II

I) Intro

In “A Biblical Approach to Politics | Part I,” we looked how God cares about Politics and He expects us to be engaged. To not be informed makes knowing what to pray for virtually impossible and to ignore the character of those who govern is to invite the kind of corruption that makes the “people groan. (Prov 29:2, 4)”

In Part II we’re looking at the challenge we face when attempting to discern the character of those who aspire to leadership positions as well as the seemingly illusive bottom lines when it comes to current events. Bottom line: The Bible says to “test the spirits” and we need to apply that to what it is we allow into our inbox by popping the hood, keeping your balance and kicking the tires.

II) Pop the Hood

A) Wisdom vs Intelligence

Proverbs 9:13-18 says:

Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, 15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, 16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead. (Prov 9:13-18)

Compare that to Proverbs 1:20-23, 3:13-18:

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; 21 on top of the wall[a] she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: 22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23 Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings… Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. (Proverbs 1:20-23, 3:13-18)

What’s the difference between being wise and being smart?

What Do You Mean, “I Prosper…?”
The dollar amount on your paycheck is but one indicator of “prosperity.” Few people believe that they’re making “enough” money (Ecc 5:10), so from that standpoint, that’s a glass that is never completely full.
But when you’re being obedient and you’re walking in lock step with your King, your sense of purpose and fulfillment is now based on a scale that isn’t defined by dollar signs alone (Job 23:12; Prov 27:11; Matt 4:4; Jn 4:32:6:27; Phil 4:13) and the lasting peace and enduring happiness that can’t be achieved through any financial transaction or significant achievement is now yours in ever increasing measure (Matt 6:19-20; 2 Cor 3:18)

The dictionary defines wisdom as “…knowledge, and the capacity to make due use of it.”1 The Bible takes it a step further by saying that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Prov 9:10)

How does that work? How does an appropriate reverence for God translate to wisdom?

B) Give Thought to Your Ways

Apart from the way a fool will ultimately deny the Reality of God (Ps 14:1) and the need for God’s grace (Rev 20:15), you also have the practical side of wisdom to consider in that you’re like the tree referenced by David in Psalm 1 as far as how everything they do prospers (see sidebar).

And part of why they prosper is because they’re prudent and they give careful thought to their ways.

Proverbs 14:15 says:

The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps. (Prov 14:15 [see also Prov 6:6-11; Matt 25:16])

Fact is, in light of our struggle always being defined in the context of a spiritual contest (Eph 6:12), “testing the spirits” like what Paul says in First Thessalonians is going to apply not only to points of doctrine, but to everything that we encounter as human beings (2 Cor 9:8):

20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil. (1 Thess 5:21-22)

Finally, in 1 John 4:1 we hear John saying the same thing we just heard Paul mention:

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 Jn 4:1)

C) Every Bit of It

While listening to a cable news broadcast may seem like it falls under a different category than what John is referring to as far as “false prophets,” remember that however innocent or nondescript something may appear to be, consider what it says in Proverbs 24:

I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; 31 thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. 32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—34 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man. (Prov 24:30-34)

You wouldn’t think Solomon, as wise and as powerful as he was, would’ve ever even considered betraying the One Who was the Source of his grandeur, but incremental compromises ultimately culminated in what you read in 1 Kings 11:5, as far as how his wives convinced him to worship Ashtoreth (ASH-toh-rith)  and Molech (MOH-lek) – Molech being the god who demanded that you burn your children alive in order to appease him.

It’s not something obsess over, but it is a healthy reminder to be diligent – not just in personal matters but even in the way you process the things that are going on around you.

Little compromises, incomplete information, a biased perspective – you want to pop the hood on every bit of it in order to ensure your convictions are sound and your steps are appropriately “ordered.” (Ps 37:23)

So, how does one “test the spirits?”

III) Keep Your Balance

John says that you tell who’s who and what’s what by looking to see which “spirits” are willing to acknowledge Jesus as Lord:

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from Godbut every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.    (1 Jn 4:2-3)

When attempting to discern the bottom line where a particular headline is concerned, while some commentators will make public their religious convictions, not everyone does. So, how do you navigate Politics? How do you establish some bottom lines where COVID-19 is concerned or “Black Lives Matter?”

Ecclesiastes 7:16-18 says this:

Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise—why destroy yourself? 17 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool—why die before your time? 18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes. (Ecc 7:16-18)

This is where we get into the dynamic of what you allow into your inbox.

Consider the following:

Experts Doubt the Resurrection of Christ

 All of Israel is caught up in the rumors pertaining to the supposed resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, a religious and political criminal that was recently put to death. While some are insistent that he is, in fact, alive, there are many others who dismiss it as yet another attempt being made on the part of his followers to validate his claims that he was the Son of God. We sat down with several high ranking officials, both from the Jewish and the Roman institutions that championed what was a very difficult, yet just, decision to get their thoughts.

From the very beginning, the Nazarene who referred to himself as the Son of God, was a problem in the way he incited many Jews to question the Law and their own heritage. His exploits weren’t curious as much as they were damaging, though many of those who heard him speak were unaware of just how toxic his perspective was. Thankfully there were steady and committed hands ready to prevent his corrosive effect from spreading by publicly questioning him and revealing his true colors.

“We challenged him,” said Simon, one of our more prominent Pharisees. “We demanded that he validate his testimony concerning himself and he wasn’t able to do it. (John 6)”

“His illegitimacy is no secret,” says Reuben, an associate of Simon and with him while they were questioning Jesus. “His mother was a disgrace and to see him now trying to assert himself as being equal to Jehovah is not only ludicrous, it’s almost sad to see someone so desperate to cover up the scandalous and unlawful aspects of his birth. (Mk 6:3)”

Clavius, a familiar tribune who serves Rome and has been an advocate for our Jewish traditions on many occasions, has no trouble being critical of Jesus.

“I remember a servant who lived in the household of one of my centurions who was deathly ill,” said Clavius. “He asked the Christ to come and heal his servant and this Jesus, who is supposedly compassionate, never even came to his home. I remember hearing that and from that moment forward, I was convinced that he was a problem and a fraud. (Matt 8:5-13)”

Atticus is yet another distinguished Roman, having served in the Roman army for two decades and a veteran of many conflicts. He was one of the guards who were stationed at the site of the Christ’s tomb (Matt 27:62-65).

“It’s insane!” he said. “I’ve been around death more than once.  Jesus died. He’s dead. It might make you sad, but that doesn’t change the fact He’s gone. And I know what it is to grieve, but to see this rabble refuse to accept the death of their cause and their champion by inventing this ridiculous story that he ‘rose from the grave’ is nothing more than a crazy effort to not accept the fact that your Christ is no more, and you need to move on.”

When asked about the way in which the Pharisees were accusing the disciples of having stolen Christ’s body in order to give the appearance of Jesus having risen, Atticus said, “Your readers need to know that the disciples are lying! There is no resurrection. They broke the seal, they violated the sovereignty of Rome, they’re a stench among their own people…they’re insane! (Matt 28:11-15)”

Among those who insist that he rose is a former small business owner named Peter. As a fisherman, your fortunes are limited by default. Perhaps that’s why the prospect of becoming one of the Christ’s followers appealed to him to the point where he abandoned his craft and his family (Matt 8:14-18; 1 Cor 9:5). Maybe in the context of aligning yourself with someone who challenges the governing authorities could lead to a more prominent and financially sound position. Whatever his motivation was, his resolve to promote the fantasy of a risen “Messiah” is still very much intact.

“I’ve seen him!” said Peter. “I’m ashamed to admit that during his arraignment and trial, I denied even knowing him – I was that determined to put as much distance between myself and my former teacher as possible (Matt 26:73-75).”

“But that all changed when I saw him,” Peter said. “He’s alive and I’ll stake my life on it (Acts 4:18-19).”

Peter’s passion is admirable, but does that passion negate the testimony of hundreds of eye witnesses let alone the sworn statements coming from established and reputable Roman officials and Jewish authorities?

“There is something both healthy and beneficial in retreating from emotionally charged declarations and instead cling to the certainty of one’s spiritual heritage,” said Simon. “We obey the political authorities that God has instituted, and we revere the Law He gave to Moses. This is my stance and I hope it is one that our people will adopt as well.”

You can be honest without telling the truth. You can be ethical and still be sinister.

By emphasizing certain aspects of the story and casting a shadow of doubt on specific personalities, you can manipulate your readers’ perspective so they’re not only embracing the conclusion you would have them arrive at, but they’re also perceiving anyone who thinks differently as being either hateful or frightened.

In many cases, the dissemination of information is more about tactics than it is topics.

In the movie, “The Social Network,” there’s a scene where an attorney shows Mark Zuckerberg just how easy it can be to sway a jury without having to produce any evidence or even have a reason to doubt the answer to a particular question. But just by asking the question, you can distract from what’s relevant and initiate a thought process that’s willing to believe something despite the necessary evidence needed to validate it as being true being completely absent.

(Marilyn Deply [attorney]) I’ve been licensed to practice law for all of twenty months and I can get a jury to believe that you planted the story about Eduardo and the chicken. Watch what else: Why weren’t you at Sean’s sorority party that night?

(Mark Zuckerberg) You think I called the police?

(Marilyn Deply [attorney]) Doesn’t matter. I asked the question, now everybody’s thinking about it. You’ve lost your jury in the first 10 minutes.

What this scene demonstrates is the way in which your mind can be influenced to ignore what amounts to a comprehensive collection of the facts and instead focus on what is made to stand out as being the only logical bottom line.

And it’s not hard to do…

Oftentimes the only thing needed is to make your audience question your opponent’s character. If you’re successful, there’s nothing that can come from their mouth or their pen that won’t be immediately processed as something bogus.

They did it with Paul:

For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” (2 Cor 10:10)

… they did it with Christ:

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” (Matt 11:19)

…and they do it today.

IV) Conclusion

There’s any one of a number of topics that are being constantly presented using this approach where more time is spent assaulting a person’s character than they do engaging their content.

This is but one tactic and we’ll look at some more next week, but however misleading things can potentially be, the question remains: How do you overcome it?

You keep your balance.

In the passage we looked at a moment ago, the last piece says, “It is good to grasp the one and not let got of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.“

When you’re confronted with a question or an issue, the resources you allow into your inbox that you default to in order to understand what’s going on may represent a comprehensive analysis, they may not. The key is to ensure that you’re looking at all the facts according to their academic merit and not the way in which they’re made to be associated with certain personalities that have been characterized as either fools or fiends.


Grasp the one and do not let go of the other.

Give thought to your steps and be diligent in ensuring that you’re processing yourself and the world around you according to a wise assessment as opposed to a quick impression.

For example, did you know we won the Vietnam War?

I’m not kidding.

I didn’t.

I served for nine years in the USMC with several who were combat vets. I remember as a kid the bumper stickers and the bracelets that were circulated during the seventies to remind people that we had POWs still over there…

It was always viewed as a bit of a tragic debacle.

If you try to find any information on what it is I’m getting ready to elaborate on, you’re going to run into some difficulties.

Try doing a search for “vietnam war victory day” and you’ll get articles about the fall of Saigon and “Reunification Day.”

But if you do a search for January 23, 1973, you’ll get the information you need in order to better understand why Vietnam was a war that we did indeed win.

You can watch a video about it by clicking here. The gist of it was that Nixon launched an aggressive bombing campaign against industrial and military targets in Hanoi with the condition that the bombing would stop if the North Vietnamese would agree to talk peace at the Paris Peace Accords.

North Vietnam finally agreed to Nixon’s offer and on January 23, 1973, an announcement was made that an agreement had been initialed by the North Vietnamese, the Viet Cong, South Vietnam and the United States.

It was proclaimed as “Victory in Vietnam Day!”

We had won!

The nature of the peace agreement was that the hostilities would end and that South Vietnam would be recognized as a sovereign nation by the North Vietnamese. Should the North Vietnamese initiate any kind of military action, the United States promised to match South Vietnam’s response bullet for bullet, man for man.

But then Watergate happened.

Nixon resigned in disgrace and the Democrats smelled blood. They ran on a platform that denounced the war as a waste of resources. Gerald Ford appeared before Congress and pleaded with them to remain faithful to the promise made to South Vietnam, but the opportunity to win the Oval Office was too great, and Congress refused. Not long after, Saigon fell and the victory that was both true and legitimate was erased from the history books and Jimmy Carter was elected as our new President.

However shameful it may be to see the honor and the sacrifice of the American military so casually removed from the public conscience just so a particular party can regain a superior political position, what’s even more despicable is the way in which those in charge of crafting the headlines and creating our school’s curriculum made a point of ignoring the practical reality of VV Day (Victory in Vietnam Day).

This is part of what makes informed conversation so challenging. You have in place a media staffed by some who are determined to minimize certain facts that make a difference in the way, not only America appears, but also how Truth is defined. Over a period of time, the abundance of “chanted information” (questionable conclusions repeated over and over again by the media until they become a collection of accepted facts) makes locating a more holistic perspective not only more challenging, but also more controversial.

This is why we need to be on top of our spiritual game. Our country needs the same kind of godly men who recognized that it’s the combination and not the separation of church and state that translates to, not only a prosperous nation, but a happy (1 Thess 5:16-18), healthy (Prov 10:27) and holy (Ps 33:12) population.

To read “A Biblical Approach to Politics | Part III,” click here. To read Part I, click here.

1. Webster’s 1913 Dictionary, “Wisdom”,, accessed February 9, 2022

A Poem About Jesus by an Islamic Cleric

I was recently participating in a Facebook thread that was questioning the deity of Christ.

At one point, a Muslim chimed in and cited this poem written by an Islamic cleric (Ibn Qayyim) who asserts a number of observations about Jesus, one being the idea that the crucifixion of Christ is an absurdity, given the fact that He was supposed to be God.

You can’t expect to accurately process the Truth of God’s Word if you’re determined to see yourself as your own bottom line and Jesus as nothing more than a motivational speaker.

Either the Resurrection happened, or it didn’t. If it never occurred, than it doesn’t matter.

But if it did happen, than nothing else matters.

While we don’t have footage or recorded interviews of the players that were involved, we still have documented, eye witness accounts. While it’s possible to doubt the substance of their testimony due to the amount of time that’s lapsed between the actual events and the current year, the fact that they all were willing to die rather than say He never rose is more than compelling.

Here’s the thing:

I do not subscribe to a pretty fiction. Christians are not philosophical weaklings that cling to a fairy tale because they’re unwilling to accept the human condition as it is.

I don’t believe the intricacy of the universe is a lucky accident. I don’t think the disciples would’ve been willing to die for a lie. I believe every religion except Christianity to be a veiled attempt to position man as his own absolute and the gospel to be the only doctrine that sufficiently satisfies man’s need for meaning, morality and redemption.

He wasn’t defeated, He was determined and because He didn’t waiver, I can know for certain that my sin is forgiven, my story has meaning and my Savior is Real!

Here’s the poem and my response…

To all my Christian Facebook friends: Here’s a poem of a great Muslim Scholar by the name of Ibn Al-Qayyim who wrote a poem to the world of Christians about The Greatness of God and the real position of Jesus Christ.
أعباد المسيح لنا سؤال … نريد جوابه ممن وعاه
Oh Worshippers of Christ! We’d like your most wise to answer our question.
إذا مات الإله بصنع قوم … أماتوه فما هذا الإله
If our God was murdered by some people’s actions, then what sort of God is this?
وهل أرضاه ما نالوه منه … فبشراهم إذاً نالوا رضاه
And we wonder. Was he pleased by what they did to him? If so then blessed are they, for they must have achieved his pleasure.
وإن سخط الذي فعلوه فيه … فقوّتهم إذاً أوهت قِواه
But if he wasn’t pleased with them, then this must mean they overpowered him.
وهل بقي الوجود بلا إله … سميع يستجيب لمن دعاه
So was the present entity left without a God, an All-Hearing being who can hear prayers?
وهل خلتِ الطباق السبع لما … ثوى تحت التراب وقد علاه
And were the Heavens vacated, when he was placed under the earth and the dirt was above him?
وهل خلت العوالم من إلهٍ … يدبرها وقد سُمرَت يداه
And was the Universe left without a God to manage it while his hands were being nailed down?
وكيف تخلت الأملاك عنه … بنصرهم وقد سمعوا بكاه
And why didn’t the Angels help him when they heard him cry out (in pain)?
وكيف أطاقت الخشبات حمل الإله … الحق شد على قفاه
And how could any wooden beam holdup a True God, while He is being fastened to it?
وكيف دنا الحديد إليه حتى … يخالطه ويلحقه أذاه
And could any iron ever be brought to Him so that it would be driven inside Him and cause Him pain?
وكيف تمكنت أيدي عداه … وطالت حيث قد صفعوا قفاه
And how could ever His enemies’ hands ever reach Him, so that they could whip him from behind?
وهل عاد المسيح إلى حياة … أم المحيي له ربّ سواه
And did this Christ revive himself or was there another god that brought him to life?
ويا عجباً لقبر ضم رباً … وأعْجَبَ منه بطن قد حواه
And how strange is it. That a grave could be enclosed on a god. And even stranger is the womb that enclosed him (before.)
أقام هناك تسعا من شهور … لدى الظلمات من حيضٍ غِذَاه
Which he remained inside for nine whole months, in utter darkness being fed by blood.
وشق الفرج مولودا صغيرا … ضعيفا فاتحا للثدى فاه
Then he emerged from the womb as a small child, completely helpless reaching out to be fed.
ويأكل ثم يشرب ثم يأتي … بلازم ذاك هل هذا إله
Thus, he ate, drank, and after he answered the call which comes naturally. So is this really a god?
تعالى الله عن إفك النصارى … سيسأل كلهم عما افتراه
High Exalted is Allah above the lies of the Christians. Each of whom will be asked about their fabrications.
أعباد الصليب لأي معنى … يعظّم أو يقبّح من رماه
Oh Cross worshippers, for what reason is someone exalted (for accepting this) and blameworthy for rejecting it?
وهل تقضى العقول بغير كسر … وإحراق له ولمن بغاه
And is it not logical that we should break and burn (what humiliated Christ) and the one that made it?
إذا ركَبَ الإله عليه كرها … وقد شدت لتسمير يداه
Since (you claim) that God was forcefully crucified upon it, with his hands nailed to it.
فذاك المركب الملعون حقا … فدسه لا تبسه إذا تراه
For truly what a cursed cross to carry? Which one should discard instead of kissing when glanced upon.
يهان عليه رب الخلق طرّا … وتعبده فإنك من عداه
For (you claim) the Creator was abused upon it. Yet you appear to worship it, so are you one of His enemies?
فإن عظّمته من أجل أن قد … حوى رب العباد وقد علاه
If you exalt it (i.e. the Cross) because it carried the Lord of all that exists,
وقد فقد الصليب فإن رأينا … له شكلا تذكرنا سنا
then why don’t you also prostrate and exalt the graves?
فهلا للقبور سجدت طُرّا … لضم القبر ربَّك في حشاه
For it was the grave that held your (so-called) god in it.
فيا عبد المسيح أفق فهذا … بدايته وهذا منتهاه
Oh worshippers of Christ, Wake up. For this is what the matter is all about.

Here’s my response.

First of all, go to John 10:18. Jesus wasn’t overwhelmed and executed by the Pharisees, He willingly laid down His life and did it in a way where it fulfilled Old Testament prophecy to the letter.

You can see that illustrated in your other question about Mark 15:34 when Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He’s quoting Psalm 22 which aptly describes the status of one who is the picture of suffering and agony and yet…completely vindicated by the end of the Psalm. It’s not that Jesus was feeling abandoned as much as He was putting a prophetic exclamation point on what was happening in that moment.

As far as Lk 22:42, just because Calvary was voluntary, doesn’t mean it was pleasant. Jesus was God, but that didn’t mean He was going to be immune to the pain of Hematohidrosis, being beaten, Roman flogging and having spikes drilled into His wrists and ankles.

That’s part of what makes what He did so amazing is that He knew exactly what was getting ready to happen, and while He knew it was all going to land in a good place, He still had to endure every lash, every cut and every bruise.

And He did it for you!

Mohammad came on the scene centuries after the fact. His claim to have been informed by Gabriel that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah and that He didn’t die and come back to life doesn’t really impress me because it’s one thing to die for something that you believe to be true, it’s quite another to die for something knowing that it’s false.

Every one of the disciples died a martyr’s death except for John who died in exile on the island of Patmos.

I’m going to go with those who would’ve rather sacrificed their lives than say that Jesus did not die. They were there. And however nonsensical it may have seemed, they saw Him alive and no one was going to tell them the gospel wasn’t legitimate.

One final thought:

Does it not strike you as odd? Jesus could’ve said, “I’m going to rise spiritually,” and the culture would’ve bought it. He could’ve navigated His career in a thousand different ways that would’ve prevented Him from having to suffer like He did. And then when it was all said and done, His doctrine says to love your enemies while the Quran says: “And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.” (sura 2:191)

You don’t want to just dismiss Christ as the Son of God or believe that it was Ishmael on the altar instead of Isaac…

…you want to deny the substance of the Old Testament, you want to twist the sacrifices made by the disciples into a nonsensical defense of a lie and you want to believe that man can facilitate his own redemption.

Mohammad had to be critical of Christ’s resurrection because of the way it validated Jesus as the Son of God. Mohammad had no such credentials nor could he point to anything other than his charisma to substantiate his message. So, both the Quran and the poem you cite don’t weaken the Deity of Christ as much as they reveal the insecurities of a man whose doctrine couldn’t compete with the Truth.

According to Some, Jesus Never…

Some want to edit the Bible, some want to dethrone God, some want to strip Christ of His resurrected status…

Some want to do all of the above.

According to some, Jesus never…

…fill in the blank.

Here’s some “indictments” that all start off with, “Jesus did not…”

Following each false accusation is a rebuttal.


– Believe in the God of religion

If by “religion,” you mean the doctrine that proclaims the death and resurrection of Christ, Jesus Himself walked through the whole program that God engineered that included Golgotha and the empty tomb beginning with the prophets all the way to the first Easter morning. He prefaced His explanation by saying, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” (Lk 24:25-27)

So, again, if by “religion,” you’re referring to the gospel and Christ’s death and resurrection, Jesus did “believe” in the “God of religion” in that He Himself was the basis for that doctrine.

– Start Christianity

Again, if you’re basing your assertions on the idea that Christ never rose, you’re ignoring His explanation of the New Covenant as well as the way in which He validated His Identity (Matt 12:40; Lk 22:20)

– Ask people to worship him

When Thomas took a knee and said, “My Lord and my God,” Jesus didn’t correct Him (Jn 20:28).

At one point He said, “I and the Father are one” which means that He’s worthy of worship because of His being Divine. (Jn 10:30)

These are just two examples (see also Matt 8:29). An objective reading of the gospels makes it clear, both in the context of the things He said about Himself as well as the way in which He was addressed by others, He was more than a motivational speaker, He was God Incarnate and therefore worthy of worship.

– Subscribe to the doctrine of original sin

Original Sin is the tendency to sin that’s innate in all human beings which was inherited as a result of Adam and Eve’s failure in the Garden of Eden. That’s what started the decay and corruption that we all contend with, both in the context of a fallen world as well as our own sinful nature.

In Mark 9:30-32, Jesus said that He was getting ready to be killed and that three days later He would rise. He qualifies the reason for why all this was happening at the Last Supper when He puts it all in the context of the New Covenant which is explained in the book of Jeremiah (Jer 31:33-34; Lk 22:20).

The reason the New Covenant was necessary is because of man’s inability to honor the terms of the original covenant. Because Jesus steps in as the Ultimate Passover Lamb, the debt that was up to then being temporarily satisfied in the context of ceremonial sacrifices is now completely satisfied.

So, yes, He did subscribe to the doctrine of original sin. That’s the reason He had to suffer and die and He specifies that. To say that He didn’t is to ignore the words of Christ Himself.

– Die in order to rescue people from God

Hell is a real place. Those who contend that Jesus never taught about hell are not only refusing to read the words of Christ, but the Bible in general.

Consider the story of Lazarus in Luke 16. The rich man is in hell and Lazarus is in heaven. Jesus isn’t using symbolism, He’s describing a real place for the sake of making the point

Then in the book of Mark, He reinforces the sense of urgency when it comes to avoiding anything you might do to distort the Truth to the point where people have a flawed perspective on their Heavenly Father.  He goes on to say that you’re better off facing life in a compromised state, then you are having all of your resources but with a rebellious disposition towards God.

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. (Mk 9:43)

In Luke, He emphasizes the need to be authentic in your relationship with Him, as opposed to just going through the motions. He describes in vivid detail the situation that awaits those who refuse to ignore His Grace.

22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

 He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.” (Lk 13:22-28)

The bottom line is that we have a problem in that our default operating system is fundamentally flawed. If that was the end of the story, it would be both tragic and hopeless. But it’s because of God’s grace manifested in the death and resurrection of Christ that we have an option that equates the kind of life that’s worth living!

And listen, getting hung up on your default sinful status is like throwing a fit because you’re out of gas all the while sitting at a gas pump with the Son of God offering to fill your tank.

The question isn’t, “How can a loving God send someone to hell?” The question is, “How can a rational person say, ‘No’ to a loving God?”

To believe that you’re not in need of rescuing translates to believing that you don’t see sin as a reality let alone a problem. It’s not about how many points you can put on the board, it’s your disposition towards the Authority of God and if you’re waking up every morning, walking up to God as He’s sitting on His Throne and telling Him to get out of your chair, the number of elderly ladies you’ve helped across the street doesn’t change the fundamental rebelliousness that characterizes your approach to Him (Is 64:6).

And as a quick aside, before you rush to take credit for whatever “good” you do in this world, remember God used King Cyrus to initiate the building project that restored both the wall and the Temple and Cyrus could’ve cared less about God (Is 45:4).

God can use a dirty mitt just like He can use a brand new glove to catch a fly ball. Bottom line: If He chooses to use you to make a difference, before you take all the credit, remember you’re always operating in the context of God’s Sovereignty, you’re never flying solo (Phil 2:13).

– Establish a spiritual hierarchy of “clergy” and “laity”

If Jesus is God, then you have Him establishing Aaron and his sons as priests in Exodus 30:30. Ephesians 4:11 says, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…”

– Hold the concept of biblical inerrancy

Jesus references the reliability of the Old Testament Law in Matthew 5:18:  “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” As far as His own words, in Matthew 24:35, He says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

Psalm 18:30 says, “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” 1 Timothy 3:16-17 says that all Scripture is God-breathed. If you want to believe that the Bible could conceivably be flawed because of the human element that’s involved, bear mind that God Himself has to be willing to allow the text to be distorted. In other words, those who would criticize the Bible as being corrupted aren’t merely accusing various individuals throughout history of being either careless or sinister as much as they’re accusing God of being inept and irresponsible.

– Create a theological orthodoxy

If by “orthodoxy,” you mean something specific, then yes, He did create a theological orthodoxy and you can see that in John 14:6:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (Jn 14:6)

– Teach that women are subservient to men

No, He doesn’t. And those that use the Bible to justify what amounts to a misogynistic perspective are taking Paul’s words out of context as well as the Bible in general. (click here to read more about “Women Leaders in the Bible”)

– Believe that humankind was separated from God

This was addressed earlier as far as the way in which Jesus qualified His death and resurrection as being the manifestation of the New Covenant. It was the New Covenant that bridged the gap that existed between man and God as a result of man’s sin.

– Claim that heaven is streets of gold in the afterlife

It’s Jesus speaking to John in the book of Revelation. At one point, in chapter 21, John’s describes the New Jerusalem that Christ allows him to see and it’s made of pure gold (v18).

– Warn people that they could not trust what lies within them

Jesus said that one’s sinful thoughts and actions proceed from the heart in Matthew 15:19. Couple that with the prophet Jeremiah through whom God said,

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jer 19:11)

That would equate to a contaminated status.

In addition, Jesus quoted from the book of Isaiah often (Is 13:10; 29:13; 34:4; 35:5-6; 53:12; 56:7; 61:1-2; 62:11). With that one prophet, He framed His ministry and His methodology, including His death.

In Isaiah 64:6, it says:

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Is 64:6)

Again, given, not only Christ’s words, but the whole of Scripture, you have a sinful condition that constitutes a default status that can only be remedied by God’s grace.

– Teach that God condemns people to eternal hell

In addition to what’s already been stated (Die in order to rescue people from God), in the book of Revelation, you have the Final Judgment described in chapter 20 where it says:

Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:15)

Accept God’s grace and you are gold! Refuse it and face His Judgment in the context of your sin and rebellion and you are condemned.

– Claim that his connection with God was exclusive and unattainable

In John 10:30, Jesus says:

I and the Father are one. (Jn 10:30)

So, from that standpoint, He is unique in that He is God.

Beyond that, unless you’re able to die for your own sins and come back to life, His is an unattainable status.



Advent comes from the Latin word, “adventus,” which means, “coming” or “arrival.”

Of course, we’re talking about the arrival of Jesus. This is the promised Messiah, the One Who would take a way the sins of the world (Jn 1:29).

Matthew, as a the writer or the book that bears his name, is getting ready to put pen to paper and kick off his gospel.

Given the various literary tools he has at his disposal, you would think he would begin with something epic that would draw his readers into the more detailed content he would document later.

Instead, Matthew chooses to start with a Family Tree.

At first glance, you can’t help but question Matthew’s logic. Why would you want to raise the curtain on the story of the Messiah and accompany it with something so utterly exhausting.

But Matthew is writing to the Jews in the city of Antioch (Antioch on the Orentes [there were 16 different cities named, “Antioch” in the ancient world]). Jews identified an individual according to their genealogy. It was their “genesis” (Greek word for “genealogy”) that validated their heritage and calling. By tracing Christ’s heritage in manner that demonstrated He was a son of David and a son of Abraham, Matthew establishes in the mind of his Jewish audience Who Jesus was and why His birth, life, death and resurrection could be processed as the fulfillment of Scripture.

While there are several kings listed in Christ’s lineage, only one is referred to as “king” and you see that in verse 6: “…and Jesse the father or King David.” This is significant because while all the other monarchs are worthy of recognition, it’s David’s monarchy that is the priority because of the prophecy associated with his kingdom.

Fact is, Matthew choice of starting with Christ’s genealogy is completely on point, especially when you take the time to appreciate all of the nuances that communicate what a first century Jew would need to hear in order to truly believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Let’s take a look…

A Son of David

In Matthew 1:1, Matthew starts by saying:

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: (Matt 1:1)

By specifying Christ as a son of David, Matthew was referring back to the promise that God made to David in 2 Samuel:

The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. (2 Sam 7:11-13)

God is talking to David and in addition some specifics about the Temple, God also tells David that from among his offspring there would be a king that would reign forever.

You see it again in Isaiah 9:7:

Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Is 9:7 [see also Dan 2:44])

This was the “Davidic Covenant” – a promise that the Jewish nation knew to mean that a ruler would come from the house of David and establish a kingdom that would never end.

A Son of Abraham

Gematria  is the practice of assigning numerical value to letters to derive meaning from words, names and phrases.

In Hebrew, there are no vowels. So, the name “David” is actually spelled “DVD.” When you look at the numerical value of each letter in Hebrew, you have 4-6-4 which is 14. In Matthew’s genealogy, David is the only one referenced as “King David.” The three sets of 14 correspond to the three different sections of Christ’s genealogy: The Origin of the Davidic Kingdom (Abraham to David), The Decay and Downfall of the Davidic Kingdom (David to Exile), The Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom (Exile to Messiah). Jesus was the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant to the Jews.

Matthew also underscores the fact that Jesus was a son of Abraham. This is important because God said that it would be through Abraham that all the nations of the Lord would be blessed:

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen 12:2-3)

Matthew reinforces this by doing something that wasn’t typical of the way in which genealogies were typically documented in that Matthew included women.

And what’s even more unique is that, if you were to include women in one’s genealogy, you would highlight the matriarchs, but you don’t see them anywhere.  Matthew doesn’t include Sarah, the wife of Abraham or Rebekah, the wife of Isaac. But instead he references Tamar, who was the mother of Judah who was a Canaanite. Rahab was the prostitute that sheltered Joshua’s detachment who were tasked with spying out the Promised Land. Ruth was from Moab and Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, may very well have been a Hittite. Not only are all these women Gentiles, in some cases they were guilty of sexual impropriety.

The message that’s being communicated here is that Christ is a Messiah for all people, regardless of race or whatever skeletons you may have in your closet.

While Shepherds Kept Their Flocks Nearby

In Luke 2:8, you see a verse that’s very recognizable given the way it’s often repeated in Christmas programs every year:

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. (Lk 2:8)

Jewish Law prohibited sheep from being pastured anywhere near Israel, except for those sheet that were unblemished and thus suitable for Temple services.

The NIV Text note says,

living out in the fields. Possibly in the spring, when the baby animals were born. The flocks reserved for temple sacrifice were kept in the fields near Bethlehem throughout the year.1

The shepherds were watching over sheep that were unblemished and could therefore qualify as Passover Lambs.

Isn’t it ironic that among the first to see the baby Jesus were shepherds who were responsible for the Passover Lambs – and they were now able to see the perfect Passover Lamb that God was now offering as a permanent sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin for all of mankind (1 Cor 5:7)?

It’s the fact that Christ came to save us through His sacrifice that makes Christmas the happy holiday that it is. He’s here to “…ransom captive Israel.” We were, “…in sin and error pining, ‘Till He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.

Maybe it isn’t ironic that the first to see the Christ child were those who could appreciate the necessity of an unblemished lamb in light of its ceremonial role for the atonement of sin.

We don’t welcome a Noble Teacher or a Divine Guidance Counselor on Christmas Day, we herald the Son of David and the Son of Abraham, the Messiah Who is the Savior of the World.

That is Advent, that is the Gospel and He is Immanuel.


1. The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1985, 1995, 2002, 2008, 2011, 2020, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, p1763

Either God is God or Man is God

Here’s the Problem…

Truth is offensive.

It just is.

No one likes to be told they’re wrong. It’s a lot easier to believe that you are your own bottom line or pretend that there is no bottom line and believe we can all be our own absolute and just live and let live.

But it all comes down to this: Either God is God or man is god.

Every religion save Christianity provides a way in which you merit the favor of your preferred deity. With Islam you’ve got Jihad, as a Buddhist you’ve got Nirvana. Jehovah’s Witnesses strive to be among the 144,000 referenced in Revelation 7:4 , Hindus pursue Moksha in order to be liberated from the cycle of death and rebirth. Mormons believe that they themselves can attain the status of gods in the afterlife through their works here on earth (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345–354) . In each scenario, while you have a supernatural element, you have the ability as a human being to tip the scales in your favor through some kind of action or mindset.

Christianity, on the other hand, says that you are a spiritual corpse (Eph 2:1). You are dead in your sin and you have no option available to you that can offset your default status as a sinner that is permanently and irretrievably separated from God (Ps 14:3; Is 64:6). That’s what makes Christianity distinct from every other religious school of thought – you are utterly destitute apart from some kind of miracle that can somehow transform you in the eyes of God from being sinful to sinless. You are not in a position where you can facilitate your own salvation.

You are not your own god…

Let’s Pause for a Moment

Everything that is being asserted at this point, as far as the fundamentals of the gospel, are coming from the Bible.

Some will attempt to dismiss the Scriptures as being corrupted and it sounds reasonable given the capacity of man to make mistakes or intentionally edit the text in order to promote a self serving agenda. But in order for the Scriptures to be less than the Word of God, God Himself has to be willing to allow the text to be distorted. In other words, those who would criticize the Bible as being corrupted aren’t merely accusing various individuals throughout history of being either careless or sinister as much as they’re accusing God of being inept and irresponsible.

You can validate the substance of Scripture in the context of textual criticism and archaeology. You can look at the evidence that supports the historical reality of the empty tomb. You’re not limited to that scenario where the only witness that can testify to the accuracy of the Bible is the Bible itself. You can kick the tires from both an academic and practical perspective and conclude that the text of the Bible is more than reliable.

Pause for a moment…

This is important.

If you’re going to go as far as embracing the notion that there is a God and He does use the Scriptures to communicate Who He is, than you can’t pick and choose what you want to believe based solely on your philosophical preferences and justify your edits by suggesting that anything you don’t like is the result of the text being corrupted.

There are those who will accept the Bible as being a sacred text, but they’ll assert the caveat that there are probably some flaws in the manuscripts so while it’s worthy of being revered, it doesn’t necessarily rate as the “Word of God” due to the mistakes that likely occurred over the centuries.

Do you understand why that’s a nonsensical approach?

You’re saying “Yes” to certain parts of the Canon, but then when you encounter a verse that that makes you feel uncomfortable, suddenly the Canon is a bogus standard and it’s nothing more than a flawed institution that can be subordinated to whatever it is you want to believe.

There’s too many examples of God identifying false prophets and condemning false doctrine for that approach to be valid let alone logical (Is 44:24-26; Ez 13:9; 1 Jn 4:1). God doesn’t allow His Word to be falsified and whatever human mechanisms He uses to document and preserve His Word, it is still a Divine enterprise.

Either you believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God authored and preserved by God Himself, or…

…you subscribe to a religious sounding creed that can’t be embraced with any real certainty because if your text is questionable in certain aspects, there’s no reason to not doubt the text as a whole.

The Bottom Line

It’s no coincidence that a lot of the skepticism pertaining to Scripture is directed towards the miracles of Christ.

Thomas Jefferson is a great example:

He was not an orthodox Christian because he rejected, among other things, the doctrines that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the incarnate Son of God. Jefferson’s religion is fairly typical of the American form of deism in his day. 1

Jefferson created his own New Testament which consisted of the original text sans anything referencing the miracles of Christ:

Using his clippings, the aging third president created a New Testament of his own—one that most Christians would hardly recognize. This Bible was focused only on Jesus, but none of his mystical works. It didn’t include major scenes like the resurrection or ascension to heaven, or miracles like turning water into wine or walking on water. Instead, Jefferson’s Bible focused on Jesus as a man of morals, a teacher whose truths were expressed without the help of miracles or the supernatural powers of God.2

This is often the targeted intellectual destination of those who doubt the authenticity of Scripture. They’re looking for a way to eliminate any semblance of a deity from the human experience in order to reduce the universe down to something that can be wholly contained within the shallow and fragile box of human reason.

A moral guide? Sure.

A Resurrected Savior? No.

And here’s the thing:  When we’re talking about the cross and the resurrection, we’re not talking about a minor point of doctrine. We’re talking about about the one credential that Jesus identified as that which validated His Identity (Matt 12:40). Furthermore, it’s what Jesus taught as being the singular event that could serve as the mechanism by which an individual’s sin could be completely forgiven to the point where they were seen as morally perfect in the sight of God (Matt 5:20; 26:28 [see also Is 1:18; 1 Cor 15:3; Titus 3:5; 1 Jn 2:2]).

In addition, Jesus accepted the Law and the Prophets as being absolutely true (Matt 5:17). The prophet Isaiah at one point said,

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Is 64:6).

It’s our sinful status that makes the New Covenant referenced in Jeremiah 31:31-34) as both necessary and something to celebrate and it’s the New Covenant that Jesus referenced at the Last Supper when He identified His blood as that which was being poured out for the forgiveness of sins (Matt 26:28).

Moreover, it’s referenced in the Old Testament beginning in the book of Exodus (the Passover Lamb [Ex 12:21; 1 Cor 5:7]). Jesus is referred to in the book of Isaiah as the suffering servant in Isaiah 53. Matthew 1:1 identifies Him as both a son of David, who is the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant in 2 Sam 7:11-13 as well as a son of Abraham which means that the gospel applies to all nations and not just Israel (Gen 12:2-3).

And the common thread throughout all of the Bible is the fact that sin constitutes a toxic barrier between humanity and God that constitutes a debt that has to be paid – it’s not something that can be glossed over. Hence the Old Testament system of sacrifices that was instituted to accomplish a temporary fix (Heb 9:11-14), but it’s the New Covenant that solved the problem of sin in a permanent fashion and, according to Christ, it’s the gospel that serves as the underlying theme for the whole of God’s Word (Lk 24:7).

Do you smell what we’re cooking here?

If you want to strip the Bible of any an all miracles, you inevitably deny that Jesus is the Son of God based on the virgin birth, a sinless life and His Resurrection. And when you deny the Truth of Jesus having risen from the grave, you’re not merely dismissing the corresponding passages in the gospel, you’re gutting the entire Bible of God’s Principal Message. You’re not saying, “No” to what you perceive to be a “troubling” collection of verses, you’re denying the deity of Christ (1 Jn 4:3) and you’re saying, “No” to God Himself.

Either God is God or Man is God

Either you believe yourself to be loved enough by your King to justify an excruciating sacrifice that redeemed you to the point where you can now face every nuance of the human experience from a position of strength, or…

…you believe yourself to be your own deity. Your shortcomings are incidental, you’re goodness is sufficient, Christ is a noble personality but certainly not a Redeemer because, since sin is not acknowledged in your personal sanctuary, hell is a cruel invention and the cross is a dark piece of propaganda.

If you want to believe that, don’t make the mistake of failing to appreciate exactly what it is you’re subscribing to. However you may have been wounded by a toxic individual who insisted his words and actions were validated by the Bible, denying the Resurrection of Christ and insisting that you’re good enough to the point where you have no need of a Redeemer is not a departure from “organized religion” nor is it a more enlightened perspective on the teachings of Jesus.

Either God is God or man is god.

You choose to strip Christ of His Resurrected status then you’ve made yourself into your own religion.


1. “Religious Views of Thomas Jefferson”, Wikipedia,,early%20part%20of%20my%20life%22, accessed January 30, 2022
2. “Why Thomas Jefferson Rewrote the Bible Without Jesus’ Miracles and Resurrection”,,, accessed January 30, 2022

July 4th, 2021

American-flag_1460851700601_1192238_ver1.0It’s not just brilliant statesmanship or profound philosophy that makes us who we are. It is the way we appealed to the Bible for the moral substance for our cause and the template for our approach to government. While there have been several personalities since then that have used either the Bible or the flag to advance an agenda that was genuinely evil, it was their lack of morality and not a flaw in our foundation that bears the blame for their atrocities.

It is the Ideal that is America that we celebrate today.

  • Those that would insist that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are fundamentally flawed forget that we evaluate those documents, not according to the character flaws of those that wrote them, but according to the substance of the documents themselves.
  • The individuals who see fit to burn the flag or take a knee during the National Anthem forget that they are disparaging the symbols of the government that gives them the right to protest and demonstrate – the very right that they’re exercising in that moment.
  • The persons that believe they’re entitled to destroy and steal because that they’ve been violated by a racially prejudiced system forget that it was the same system that inspired over a quarter million Caucasians to give their lives in order to ensure the death of slavery.
  • And them that want to establish a new morality based on their right to be happy neglect to acknowledge the Author of that right as cited in the Declaration of Independence.

In every instance where there’s a group of people parading their indignation around, insisting that it is not so much the individual responsible for the decisions being made that affect their lives, but it’s the “system” within which these characters operate that needs to be overhauled – there’s a contradiction and a hypocrisy embedded in their cries for equality that doesn’t condemn the system they supposedly oppose as much as it validates it.

It’s because of the way the Constitution can be amended that the injustices which were part of the social fabric of the world in the eighteenth century could later be addressed and resolved. It’s because of the rights guaranteed by the system they’re so eager to destroy that their voices are heard and their freedoms are protected and it’s because of the way an individual is created in the image of God that their happiness can be realized and not because it depends on a favorable ruling from a human court.

This is why we can celebrate and know that our confidence in who and what we are is well placed. It’s not only because of the noble sounding aspects of our philosophical paradigm, but it’s because the Ultimate Source of those Truths come from God Himself. Not only is He the Author, He is also the Standard that we can appeal to in order to properly discern the difference between what’s True and what is accurate.  And He’s also the Provision we require in order to defend the Truths that ensure a healthy government and a strong society.

Any other foundation is going to be championed by someone who sneers at any authority save themselves. However they want to justify their sovereignty over all that dictates the difference between right and wrong by claiming that their priority is the common good is revealed as a hollow statement the moment their community pursues a moral direction that runs contrary to their preferences.

And those who either sneer at Scripture or advocate the “separation of church and state,” forget that from a purely philosophical point of view, “religion” is nothing more than the way you answer those questions pertaining to your origin, life after death, moral absolutes and the purpose of your existence. Whether you answer those questions according to a humanistic mindset or a faith based perspective, both are “religious” from that standpoint. Given that reality, the efforts being directed towards the removal of any Christian icon from the marketplace is not so much about eliminating religion from the public square as much as it’s establishing the “faith” of the atheist as the only religion that will be tolerated.

Politics has never been a spiritually neutral arena. And that’s a good thing! If He’s Lord at all, He’s Lord of all and that includes the way in which men govern themselves. It’s the premise upon which our Founding Fathers based their letter to King George. It’s the common thread that can be seen in our National Archives and throughout our capital’s architecture. It’s the Logic that can be perceived when evaluating any one piece of legislation that that gives moral credence to behaviors and practices that are addressed specifically in Scripture as being toxic.

And this is why we can celebrate the Fourth!

We’re not merely the product of clever thinking or corrupted schemes. We are founded on Divine Absolutes. He is the Source of Freedom, He’s the Strength that has sustained us and He’s the Wisdom that will ensure our endurance.

However different factions seem to rule the day or varying perspectives seem to dominate the public domain, He is the bottom line. When we pledge allegiance to the flag, we are forming the words on our lips, “…one nation, under God.” That is more than just a token acknowledgement of a profound idea. It’s a mental rehearsal of Who is it that gave us the freedoms we enjoy along with the Strength and the Wisdom we need to maintain them.

Happy Fourth!

Muscular Christianity Billboard

What Would Your Billboard Say (Part III)

Muscular Christianity BillboardIt’s one of those questions that can take you by surprise in that conventional church culture puts a lot of emphasis on who we are apart from Christ.

Many of the sermons and a lot of the Praise and Worship we sing focus more on the insufficiency of the believer rather than the all sufficiency of God. As a result, the inclination is to process one’s relationship with Jesus as something that comes to bear primarily in the context of a crisis rather than a Resource that’s poised to positively impact every play you deploy on the field rather than something that only applies when you’re on the sidelines.

You are more than your wounds and better than your sin. Not because of who you are but because of Who Christ is in you. To restrict Christ’s Influence to crisis situations only is to overlook both the Attitude and the Ability He’s given you to excel and not just endure.

Bear in mind, when God says, “excel,” He’s talking about all things at all times (2 Cor 9:8). That includes your performance at work, the way you love the people you care about, the way you work out, even the way you mow your lawn.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:17)

Do you smell that that? That’s the aroma of excellence!