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Justice…?

Psalm 14:1 says:

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. (Ps 14:1)

What do you suppose that kind of perspective looks like when it shows up in a court of law?

What is really being said by a witness when they’re asked to raise their hand and swear to, “…tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”

If there is no absolute apart from themselves, what they’re really saying is, “I’ll tell you what I want, how I feel, and I don’t care if it’s right because it’s all about me.”

You obviously can’t say that just before taking the stand without immediately be dismissed as a bogus witness, so you go through the motions and disregard any notion of hypocrisy because, after all what you’re saying is just words

A couple of years ago, Jim Carrey, while commenting on Will Smith slapping the face of comedian Chris Rock after he had publicly mocked Smith’s wife who was dealing with a particularly humiliating illness, said that Smith had no right to get upset with Chris Rock because he, “…said words.”

They’re just words, right? There is nothing offensive or cruel or hypocritical communicated in your verbiage. They’re just mechanical sounds that have no real meaning.

Of course, that’s ridiculous (Prov 26:18-19; Ecc 10:12Matt 12:36-37; Jas 3:1-12). But it is nevertheless a very reasonable perspective in the mind of someone who has no regard for any absolute apart from themselves because their stomach is their god…

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. (Phil 3:19)

There are no standards, only situations where what is right is determined by whatever it is that’s going to best promote the idea that there is no authority apart from who you see in the mirror every morning.

So, if words have no real meaning and Truth is defined according to what you want to hear, than Justice is nothing more than a preference and a verdict is nothing more than an opinion.

Granted, this might sound pretty harsh. But when you strip away all the good intentions and the emotional appeals of those who insist that they are right and anyone who disagrees with them is a villain, what remains is a corrupted mindset that sees and believes only what they want.

So, whether I’m a witness, a lawyer, or even a judge – whatever my role may be in defining a crime and proving someone guilty – if my philosophical starting point allows me to be my own bottom line, then I can manufacture the crime and I can find the defendant guilty based purely on what it is that I prefer.

In a recent interview, Piers Morgan hosted a panel of individuals including Kevin O’Leary, Mark Geragos, Michael Knowles, and Fransesca Fiorentini. At one point, the exchange went like this:


Piers: Fransesca, what crime did Trump commit?

Fransesca: It was financial crimes, it was white color crimes…that’s exactly what they charged him on – what he was convicted on.

Michael: Which one, though?

Piers: What was the crime?

Fransesca: It’s New York State Law!

Piers: No, I understand. What was the crime?

Fransesca: It is literally…he just got convicted on 34 counts of cooking the actual books…

Piers: What was the crime?

Fransesca: You are not allowed to use your own money to pay off somebody and then he logged it as something different. He logged it as just a regular payment. But he was actually paying off a porn star to keep quiet which, if he hadn’t been running for President, would not have mattered, but he was and so it impacted campaign finance laws in New York State. OK, that’s what Juan Merchan just oversaw this. Alvin Bragg brought these charges because Michael Cohen, (inaudible) was already sentenced to three years in prison to do it.

Piers: I want to go to Mark…Is anything Fransesca just said, is that actually the crime?

Mark: Look, let me just say, I like Fransesca a lot and we probably agree on 80% when it comes to our worldviews. However, Fransesca, the way you just described it, call me afterwards and I’ll educate you because that’s not what happened.

There was no theory given to the jurors. The jurors were told it could’ve been campaign finance, it could’ve been tax, it could’ve been false books. They were told they didn’t have to specify and specifically told they didn’t have to agree unanimously. That’s what irks me. Lifelong Democrat, no fan of Trump, never voted for Trump, never will. But I will tell you as someone who has spent his entire career taking on unpopular causes and holding the government accountable, I have to tell you, I do that for a reason and the reason is: This kind of shenanigans in the criminal courts has not place in a federal election. Campaign Finance Laws are Federal, not State and the State laws have nothing to do with this…


Manhattan prosecutors charged President Trump with felony-level business records falsification, which requires the fraud to be carried out to commit or conceal another crime, but the prosecution also did not have to prove that the secondary crime was actually committed.

Prosecutors alleged that the secondary crime is a New York election law that criminalizes conspiracy “to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means.” Judge Merchan (like “merchant”) ruled that the jury did not have to unanimously agree on what the “unlawful means” was.

And then the jury was instructed on the concept of accessorial (“ACCESS-orial) liability, which states that President Trump did not have to commit the crimes himself to be held criminally liable.

For a trial to be legitimate, at the very least you have to be able to prove that a crime was committed. That’s not the case here.

The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him. (Prov 11:1)

The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy. (Prov 12:22)

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. (Prov 6:16-19)

With this one case, you have what appear to be dishonest scales, lying lips, haughty eyes, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil and a false witness who pours out lies.

None of this makes sense to the person who refuses to hold himself accountable to anyone other than themselves. In fact, to distract from the fact that they are the very thing thing they claim to despise, they’ll accuse others of those things that they themselves are guilty of.

But words do have meaning, there is such a thing as truth and that is what you use to ensure that justice is served.

Anything else, at best, is theater…

…at worst, is something that God absolutely hates.

God hates sin. Whether it’s adultery or lying, it doesn’t matter. Sin is what put Christ on the cross (2 Cor 5:21) and sin is what puts you and I in hell (Rom 6:23).

The thing that makes this exasperating is that none of these questions are asked by the media, nor are the courts interested in pressing charges when the issue is the conduct of a Democrat.

Was Trump wrong in committing adultery? Yes.

Was Bill Clinton wrong in committing adultery? Yes.

Is adultery illegal? No.

Was Trump wrong in paying his mistress for her silence when he decided to run for President (hush money)? He would’ve been wrong only had he attempted to force her to be silent. Otherwise, it’s two immoral people making a moral agreement to be discreet.

Is hush money illegal? No.

Why was Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, sent to prison? Five counts of tax evasion, one count of false statements to a bank in order to conceal $4 million in personal revenue, a false report of a home loan for $500,000.00 dollars and causing an unlawful campaign contribution stemming from $130,000.00 payment to Stormie Daniels. He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 and released after serving for two and half years.

Why was Cohen a key witness for the prosecution? Because he said that he had told Trump that payments made to Stormie Daniels couldn’t be labeled as “legal services.” Cohen made the payment to Daniels himself, with the understanding that he would be reimbursed, if the story with Daniels ceased to be an issue.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-67211840.amp

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-68965501

https://www.advocate.com/media/barack-obama-gay-conspiracy-theory

https://www.theepochtimes.com/search?q=Michael+Cohen

https://www.theepochtimes.com/us/verdict-reached-in-trump-trial-5656110

https://www.theepochtimes.com/search?q=trump+felony

https://www.theepochtimes.com/us/legal-analysts-share-mixed-reactions-to-trumps-historic-conviction-5658911

https://www.theepochtimes.com/search?q=John+Malcolm

https://www.theepochtimes.com/search?q=legal+experts

You Can’t Talk to a Fool

Trump represents a political philosophy that isn’t welcome among those who enjoy seeing themselves as their own bottom line.

Capitalism, Christianity, and a Republican form of government flies in the face of those who prefer Socialism, Humanism, and a government that restricts individual freedoms as part of supposed effort to weed out those who are rich and are therefore, by default, corrupt.

Our national template is based on a Divine Absolute which implies a moral standard. That ultimately translates to personal responsibility and a paradigm where you are gauged according to your character and your choices. But to the individual who recoils at the thought of having to answer to something or Someone greater than themselves, all of the benefits associated with an approach to government based on the idea that our rights are guaranteed by God and not dispensed by a human collective, are dismissed in favor of a manufactured reality where there are no Standards, only situations.

Ultimately that mindset can’t be championed without sounding both selfish and nonsensical. So, in order to sound like they have a point, the fool positions himself as a victim of either an intolerant society or an uninformed population. They’re either wounded or different, but they’re never wrong.

And what makes it so exasperating is that you can’t talk to a fool. They’re just waiting for you to stop speaking so they can tell you why you should feel sorry for them. Should you accuse them of ignoring historical context or omitting crucial information, they either accuse you of doing the same thing or they attack your character.

You are not just questioning their logic, you are challenging their authority to dictate for themselves the difference between right and wrong. They are philosophically invested in a platform that says they are entitled, enlightened, and the exception to every rule.

You will not convince them that they are wrong because they’re not looking for the Truth as much as they’re looking for an excuse. Anyone who threatens to reveal them for who and what they are has to be labeled as either stupid or sinister in order to distract from the lack of substance that characterizes their philosophical disposition.

But while you may not be able to convince them of their own folly, you can nevertheless make your point by simply asking the right questions. Not that they’re going to suddenly cower in the face of your argument, but for the sake of those who are listening to the dialogue, you can state your case in the context of the way the fool tries to answer.

  • How much does it cost to transport oil by rail as opposed to by pipeline? (forbes.com | Congressional Research Service)
  • Which income bracket pays the most in income taxes? (taxfoundation.org)
  • Fill in the blank: 7.2 million entered the US under Biden’s open border policy which is an amount greater than the population of ____ states. (New York Post)

Listen to how the fool answers: “Tax breaks for the rich,” “Asylum seekers,” “You’re hurting the environment.”

You never get an answer to the question as much as you get a reason why you need to pity those who refuse to give you a straight answer.

As a result, some genuinely toxic ideas get added to the list of culturally accepted methodologies, not because of their practical or intellectual merits, but because of the way people who know better don’t want to be labeled cruel and intolerant.

It’s never about all of the facts, as much as it’s about just those facts that can be massaged in a way where they can be presented in the context of either someone who is hurting or someone who’s trying to help.

That’s how you can tell you’re listening to someone who doesn’t have something to say as much as they have something to hide. That’s how you can tell you’re talking to a fool.

If you don’t want to be categorized that way, stop talking about people and start talking about ideas. Stop thinking you’re making a point by elaborating on what you don’t believe and start talking about you do believe in. If you have a point, stop thinking that you’re identifying yourself as having a superior grasp of the situation by insulting the character or the intellect of the person you’re talking to.

You can’t shoot yourself in the foot and then turn around and blame all your pain on the person or principle that told you not to pull the trigger to begin with. At that point, you’re not a victim of anything other than you’re own poor decision making.

You can’t win an argument by elaborating on how ignorant your opponent is or how pitiful you are. At some point you have to validate your perspective according to how it works in practice in the context of all the facts that matter. Otherwise, you’re a closet full of clothes that don’t fit and a solution to a problem that doesn’t work.

Something to Hide

Although it’s not always the case, when you hear someone say, “That’s your opinion,” you’re hearing someone who can’t disagree with what’s being said without sounding selfish or foolish.

Knowing they can’t get people to agree with them, they focus instead on getting people to feel sorry for them by asserting the idea that to be questioned or criticized is a violation of their right to think for themselves and they are now a victim of a cruel and unjust environment.

It looks like this:

  • I can’t get people to agree with me…
  • So I’ll get people to feel sorry for me…
  • Now should someone criticize me…
  • Everyone will side with me.

This is how bad ideas and distorted perspectives get introduced into our society as noble concessions.

You can’t criticize someone who’s in pain without being labeled cruel and intolerant. So by posing as a victim, you don’t have to answer any questions or take responsibility for your actions.

This is the signature tactic of someone who doesn’t have something to say as much as they have something to hide.

But how can you argue with someone who maintains that their reasoning can’t be challenged without you being categorized as hateful and intolerant?

Ask them questions about other situations and let their own answers reveal the lack of logic that characterizes their beliefs.

For example…

Was Hitler justified in killing six million Jews because he was entitled to his opinion?

Of course not.

In the same way, just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean you’re always right.

If you believe yourself to be correct in the way you think, you have to prove that in the context of what happens when your perspective is put into practice. In other words, you have to run the play and show how it moves the ball down the field. If it doesn’t work, then you’re not trying to win the game as much as you’re trying to validate a self-serving mindset.

That’s your opinion.

Not everyone feels that way.

Separation of Church and State.

You can’t force your beliefs on me…

None of these phrases constitute an argument in and of themselves as much as they’re used as way to conceal one’s inability to defend their viewpoint without sounding selfish or absurd. And in some cases, not only do they not have a point as much as they have a hole in their shoe because they’ve shot themselves in the foot and now they want to blame all their pain on the person or the principle that told them not to pull the trigger to begin with.

They don’t have something to say as much as they have something to hide.

 

 

Who’s In Charge?

Who’s in charge?

The Oval Office?

It changes every 4-8 years.

How about the Supreme Court?

They can reverse their decision.1

When our Founding Fathers delivered their Declaration of Independence to King George, they began by answering that question by saying our rights were not dispensed by a monarch, rather they were guaranteed by God.2

Throughout the war, Congress would continue to answer that question by proclaiming a national day of prayer and fasting on sixteen different occasions.3

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”4 James Madison insisted that before anyone could be “…considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”5

Who is in charge?

This is the question you need to ask the person who wants your vote, your subscription or your support.

How you answer that question either puts your name alongside those who signed the Declaration of Independence and ratified the Constitution, or…

…it defines you as someone who wants to replace the One Who is in charge with someone who looks a lot like themselves.

 

 

1. “Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending right to abortion upheld for decades”, NPR, Nina Totenberg, Sarah McCammon, June 24, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/06/24/1102305878/supreme-court-abortion-roe-v-wade-decision-overturn#:~:text=In%20a%20historic%20and%20far,half%20century%2C%20no%20longer%20exists, accessed March 10, 2024

2. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”, “Declaration of Independence – A Transcription”, National Archives, https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript, accessed March 10, 2024

3. From July 20, 1775 to August 3, 1784, Congress called for a National Day of Prayer and Fasting. You can read the text as it’s preserved in the Library of Congress and see who it was that drafted each of the Proclamations by reading “The Finish Line,” which you can access by heading out to http://muscularchristianityonline.com/forum/the-finish-line/

4. “From John Adams to Massachusetts Militia, 11 October 1798”, “Founders Online”, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-3102, accessed March 10, 2024

5. “Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments, [ca. 20 June] 1785”, “Founders Online” https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/01-08-02-0163, accessed March 10, 2024

The Central Truth | Part II

It Can be Overwhelming

Being able to sort through all of the headlines and subject matter experts can be overwhelming when you’re trying to figure out who’s who and what’s what, especially when everyone insists that they’re right and everyone else is just trying to catch up.

But there’s a tool that you can use that brings a substantial amount of clarity to whatever it is you’re trying to process called, “The Central Truth.”

The idea is that every issue has at its core a Central Truth – the bottom line that needs to be prioritized in order for the right decision to be made.  In Part I of this series we looked at how by identifying what it is that’s most important, you’re able to prevent noble sounding tangents from distracting you from that one thing that’s more important than anything else.

The Central Truth.

But in order for this to work, you first have to identify what Truth actually is.

Welcome to Part II…!

Perfect Accuracy

Regardless of how obvious it may appear, not everybody defines Truth in the same way. Bear in mind, we’re not talking about the way in which philosophers have pondered and debated the meaning of Truth. Rather, we’re looking at Truth as being the conclusion you arrive at after a comprehensive evaluation of all the facts. For the sake of our conversation here, we’ll call it “Perfect Accuracy.”

You can answer a question correctly without being completely honest and you can be honest without telling the whole truth. This is part of the reason why people differ when it comes to the way in which Truth is defined because of the way the facts being considered can be limited to a collection of carefully selected soundbites – bits and pieces of credible sounding data that are presented in a way that’s designed to make a flawed perspective appear both complete and irrefutable.

In order to arrive at “perfect accuracy” you have to engage in a comprehensive evaluation of all the facts, as opposed to a manipulation of just some of the facts. And you can’t dismiss any one piece of data as irrelevant just because it doesn’t line up with your philosophical preferences.

Again, it has to be a complete assessment of all the information and it’s going to be in the context of the questions that are being asked that will reveal whether or not the person posing the questions is focused on the Central Truth or is resolved to promote a different reality and the subsequent lie that serves as its theme.

The Right Questions

If you go back to the example we looked at before in Genesis 3, the “Central Truth” was that God had said not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That’s what needed to remain front and center in order to ensure the right choices were being made. And in order to make the right choices, you have to ask the right questions because otherwise you get drawn into a line of thought that sounds reasonable, but nevertheless runs contrary to the bottom line.

When Satan approached Eve, he began by asking what it was that God had commanded pertaining to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He didn’t reference that tree specifically. Rather, he begins by implying that God had told her not to eat from any tree…

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Gen 3:1)

Right out of the chute you have an unspoken element of “unfairness” being introduced into the equation – the idea that God has prohibited both Adam and Eve from eating any of the fruit from any of the trees in the garden. Satan has set the table, now he serves the main course:

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)

He began by implying that God was unreasonable, now he builds on that by stating that God is fearful of Adam and Eve’s potential, which translates to God being insecure and even antagonistic.

It’s a bogus assertion, but do you see how it grew out of the initial question that was asked?

You have to ask the right questions in order to make the right decision. And the right decision is validated as such by the Central Truth that represents not only what it is that you’re needing to do, but also the reason why you need to get it done.

Moral Absolutes

Up to this point, the illustration of the Garden of Eden and the way in which Satan used an obviously calculated question in order to compromise the absolute nature of the Central Truth works well because of the way the Central Truth is so clearly defined and very few would dispute God’s instructions as being fair and even generous.

But when you get into Moral Issues, the Central Truth becomes a source of contention in some instances because of the way some want to position themselves as their own moral authority.

For example, in the minds of some the issue of Homosexuality has as its Central Truth the idea that, “I have the right to be happy.” Abortion is another case where, for many, the Central Truth is, “I have the right to be happy” or “I have the right to make decisions pertaining to my body.”

If one’s happiness and health is established as the Central Truth, both the decisions and the questions that support those choices are easily established and answered in a way that provides the individual the ethical endorsement they need to engage those behaviors and shrug off any criticism as being inappropriate and even cruel.

But if Truth is going to be defined as “perfect accuracy” that’s determined by a comprehensive evaluation of all the facts and not just those that cater to one’s personal preferences, even if you don’t believe or agree with the Substance of Scripture, you have to at least acknowledge the way in which the Bible utterly condemns both practices.

This is where the “Central Truth” often becomes a volatile topic of discussion because you’re not just questioning a person’s logic as much as you’re challenging their authority to define for themselves the difference between right and wrong.

And while this tension surfaces primarily in the context of moral issues, it’s often at the root of the disagreements that happen in Politics, Medicine and even in the Economy.

Like what’s already been mentioned, you have to ask the right questions in order to make the right decisions. But even before you ask, “What’s the problem?” You first have to ask, “Who’s in charge?”

We’ll look at that in Part III…

 

The Central Truth | Part I

I’m Done…

Have you ever found yourself feeling a little exhausted, as far as trying to understand a particular issue that has no apparent bottom line?

Every viewpoint is championed by a passionate collection of advocates all of whom insist that their subject matter experts possess the real knowledge and the true reality. As you try to sort through the headlines and the soundbites, there’s also the occasional distraction of the popular personality that uses their cultural capital to make one specific perspective appear to be the only real, rational approach.

It’s chaotic.

Even with their flawless delivery coupled with the somber ultimatums articulated by the academics, the other side seems to have a credible platform and it becomes this incessant tension that has no satisfactory resolution.

And it becomes even more difficult when you encounter that person who labels any dissenting opinion as immoral and cruel. At that point, there’s not even a conversation and it becomes more about an individual’s supposed lack of character than the substance of their argument.

However convoluted the situation may appear to be, there is, however, a tool that you can use that brings a refreshing breeze of clarity to an arid desert of confusion.

It’s called, “The Central Truth.”

The Garden of Eden

Every issue has at its core a Central Truth which has to be prioritized in order for the right decisions to be made.

Anytime someone comes along and says, “I have a question,” or “There’s some other things that need to be considered,” – whatever questions or information they’re getting ready to throw into the mix will fall under one of two headings.

  • They’re either reinforcing the Central Truth or…
  • They’re intentionally engineered to distract from the Central Truth and make it look less significant and even irrelevant.

You can see this played out in the Garden of Eden.

The Central Truth in this instance is that Adam and Eve were not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Gen 2:15-17)

Here comes Satan and the first question he asks Eve was whether or not they were prohibited to eat from any tree in the garden.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Gen 3:1)

Satan knows what the Central Truth is. The correct question would’ve been “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’?” But he’s looking for a way to set things up where he can compel Adam and Eve to see God as Someone Who’s wanting to restrict them unnecessarily. So he poses a question that’s designed to cast doubt on, not only what was said, but also the Character of the One Who said it.

When Eve responds by clarifying what God actually commanded, Satan then makes an assertion saying that God’s motives should be more carefully evaluated because of the way He’s obviously denying her an opportunity to become more like Him.

Now God is no longer a Loving Authority as much as He’s an insecure tyrant that’s not only intimidated by what Adam and Eve could potentially become, but also antagonistic towards them because why else would He deny them the chance to be more than who they are?

Fear and Hate.

Sound familiar? We’ll get back to that later…

Principle and Not Just Passion

And so, having been convinced that Satan had a point, they ignored the Central Truth and made a decision based on a collection of information and assumptions that were all intended to divert the attention away from what was most important and instead focus on what amounted to be a toxic premise.

The Central Truth was to obey God.

Had that been maintained as the primary theme in the conversation, Eve would’ve been able to tell Satan that, regardless of his perspective on God’s motives, disobeying God was non-negotiable and being able to successfully navigate the exchange would’ve been much easier.

Regardless of what the issue is or how complicated the dilemma may appear to be, by identifying the Central Truth, you’re able to deploy a wise disregard for those things that constitute an attempt to minimize the importance and the priority of that which is absolutely crucial.

People will differ on what the Central Truth is. Some will even dispute whether or not there is such a thing as an Absolute.

But by steering the debate in the direction of what it is that needs to be accomplished, you’ve severely crippled the utility of whatever tactics might be used by those who have something to hide more than they have something to say. Even the way in which you can compromise yourself by allowing destructive distractions to cloud your thinking can be halted by recalling what it is that’s most important.

Now you’re conversing and concentrating in a way that’s characterized by principle and not just passion. The result is a streamlined yet substantial approach to being able to do the right thing in the right way at the right time for all the right reasons.

For this to work, however, you have to be able to define what “Truth” is.

We’re going to cover that in Part II…

 

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.”

Recap…

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”, https://theindependentwhig.com/haidt-passages/sowell-constrained-and-unconstrained-visions/sowell-the-unconstrained-vision/, accessed February 22, 2022
  2. Ibid
  3. Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible, Matthew Henry, “Commentary on Exodus 4”, https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/exodus/4.html, accessed February 20, 2022
  4. “China’s Lost Women in the Far West”, Historynet, https://www.historynet.com/chinas-lost-women-in-the-far-west/, accessed February 27, 2022
  5. Wikipedia, “Horace F. Page”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horace_F._Page, accessed February 23, 2022
  6. Congressional Record Containing The Proceedings and Debates of the 47th Congress, First Session, p1932, https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=MLQOp17jauUC&pg=GBS.PA1932&hl=en, 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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_California_State_Militia_civil_war_units#Placer_County 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, https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=MLQOp17jauUC&pg=GBS.PA1932&hl=en, 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, https://www.latinamericanstudies.org/columbus/Columbus-Journal.pdf, 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, https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/history/spain_1.shtml#:~:text=In%20711%20Muslim%20forces%20invaded,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., syracuse.com, https://www.syracuse.com/opinion/2020/07/scholar-disputes-source-of-criticism-of-columbus-commentary.html, 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.

Balance.

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”, https://www.webster-dictionary.org/definition/Wisdom, accessed February 9, 2022

Reconciliation

wokeRacism is an important topic to discuss in that to be a Racist qualifies you as one of the more detestable human beings on the planet. Wherever it shows up, regardless of to what extent, it needs to be identified and addressed as the godless and evil disposition that it is.

A Manufactured Majority and the Promotion of Socialism 

These days, however, Racism isn’t always a “topic” as much as it is a “tactic” and you can tell which approach is being taken simply by observing the extent to which the person speaking uses labels, mobs and crowds to make their point.

By using a faceless collective or the actions of a solitary figure to represent an entire people group (White Privilege, White Fragility, White Evangelicals, Black Crime Rate, Police Brutality), you can avoid having to elaborate on the personal history or individual character of those persons that make up your manufactured majority.

With this approach in place, you can characterize an entire race as cruel, a particular profession as sinister or make a criminal appear heroic.

But you can’t assume the conduct of one individual defines the morality of an entire group any more than you can use the behavior of a group to define the morality of an entire race. To do so makes you a Racist and it’s here where those who use Racism as a tactic become the very thing they claim to despise.

In that instance, it’s not Racism being contested as much as it’s Socialism being promoted.

Socialism doesn’t acknowledge the existence of fools. In the mind of the Socialist, there are only two categories of individuals:

  • The System which consists of the rich and the corrupt
  • The People who are poor and abused

Psychological Extortion

This is why everything you hear from the Democrat camp is framed around the “victim.” In addition to it being consistent with the paradigm they’re wanting to establish, you can’t criticize someone who’s in pain or the person who’s trying to help without appearing insensitive and cruel.

This is how you…

  • shut down anyone who challenges your platform
  • prevent anyone from seeing your true purpose
  • justify demonizing anything or anyone associated with your opponent

Still, you can’t claim to be a casualty of a flawed system if the majority of your wounds are self inflicted. Your cry for equality is nothing more than a demand for immunity if your personal record is littered with bad decisions and your appeal for “justice” is revealed as a veiled attempt to vaccinate yourself from the consequences of your actions.

When any kind of psychological extortion is being deployed – when certain assumptions are being forced into the conversation by claiming to be hurt and ignored – you’re not championing a platform as much as you’re concealing a poison. As least, that’s how you’ll be perceived by anyone who values the Truth over a soundbite.

From a Biblical Perspective

From a Biblical perspective, Racism doesn’t exist in the mind of God or anyone who understands the substance of Grace.

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3:26-29)

You are responsible for your actions. Not your parents…

30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! (Ez 18:30-32 [see also Jer 31:29-30])

43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Lk 6:43-45 [click here to read about the “generational curse”])

…nor your environment:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. (Jas 1:13-14)

No Posing

Posing as a victim in order to avoid taking responsibility for your actions is futile, selfish and wicked…

No matter how you want to make your situation appear in the eyes of others, God sees your heart and nothing gets past Him:

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7)

If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? (Prov 24:12)

“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” (Jer 17:10)

and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Rom 8:27)

Blaming others is cowardly and demonstrates an unhealthy preoccupation with one’s self. As has already been referenced in the context of Ezekiel 18:30-32 and James 1:13-14, God evaluates your morality according to your heart and your actions and not the behavior of others.

In addition, you can see throughout Scripture examples of individuals attempting to pose as a victim of someone else’s influence in order to avoid being held accountable for their actions. In each scenario, not only did it prove to be a pointless effort, it revealed the true nature of the heart behind the sin.

Here’s a few examples:

When God confronted Adam and Eve about eating the forbidden fruit, Adam started off by blaming Eve: “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). Eve responded by blaming the serpent: “Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen 3:13)In both instances, you’ve got an individual who’s trying to pose as a victim of outside forces rather than admitting the fact that they’re nothing more than a victim of their own poor decision making. As a result, not only did their attempts to avoid discipline fail, they showed just how weak their resolve was to obey God in the first place. In 1 Samuel 15, King Saul was instructed to destroy the Amalekites and their livestock. Instead, he spared the king and the best of the sheep and the cattle. When he was confronted by Samuel, he started by lying and saying that he had done as he was told and when pressed, he said, “The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”Whatever doubts may have been lingering about Saul’s true character, they were laid to rest when Saul attempted to conceal his own wrongdoing by implying that he was being blamed for the actions of other people. You could say that he was insisting he was a victim of a an unjust system…Samuel responded by informing that Saul would no longer be king… In Luke 19, Jesus tells a story of three men who were entrusted with different amounts of money that they were expected to invest and multiply. Two of them came back having done just that, but the third man had done absolutely nothing and attempted to blame his boss by saying that, “I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.“The fact of the matter was the servant was both lazy and wicked. He was lazy in that he failed to do what would’ve been a simple and easy thing by simply depositing the money and letting it gain interest. He was wicked in that rather than admitting his guilt, he not only attempted to make excuses, but he went as far as blaming his master – the one who gave him the money to begin with – for the shame that he now had to contend with.

In the Absence of Truth

In John 7:24, Jesus says to stop judging according to mere appearances, but instead judge correctly. In other words, be certain that you’re basing your convictions on what’s true – an evaluation of all of the facts – and now just on what’s accurate, which oftentimes is nothing more than a manipulation of just some of the facts.

In the absence of Truth, Love is Neglect, Compassion is a Subsidy and Justice is Favoritism.

Moreover, Reconciliation, in this instance, assumes that someone has been wronged and the oppressed is now magnanimously reaching out to the oppressor and offering forgiveness.

But if there is no “oppression” – only a campaign to either blame someone else for the mistakes you have made or a resolve to evaluate an entire demographic based on the character of a select few – than Reconciliation is nothing more than the Psychological Extortion that was referenced earlier, but on an even grander scale.

Now, you’re not just blaming another individual or even a select group of people. You’re blaming another race and labeling every Caucasian as being a problem, not because of who they are as an individual, but because of the pigmentation of their skin.

There’s a word that describes that mentality…

Racism.

Bottom Line

You and I are perpetually poised on the threshold of great things because the One Who made us has equipped us for a life characterized by purpose and fulfillment (Josh 1:8; Jer 29:11; Eph 2:10).

It’s True! It’s not “positive thinking.” It’s “profound thinking” and it’s right out of the Bible.

But we can’t blame something or someone else for wherever we failed to do something right (Gen 3:12-13). Nor can we expect our best performance to always be embraced and applauded if we would reach that place where we’re able to experience the life that God offers to those who trust and obey (Jn 16:33).

Those that we admire not only owned their mistakes and learned from them, they also persevered when they encountered disappointment and didn’t rush to demonize those who enforced a certain standard without first ensuring they were able to meet that standard themselves before voicing any concerns or criticisms (Matt 7:1; Lk 19:20-26).

The bottom line is that these days, in order to label something as “racist” you have to be a Racist yourself. The question isn’t, “Is he a black man?” or “Is he a white man?” The question should be, “Is he a good man?” That’s the mindset advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King and, more importantly, that’s the only criteria used by God when He evaluates the conduct and the character of an individual that He has made (1 Cor 3:12-15).

As long as your platform consists entirely of labels, mobs and crowds as a opposed to a name, a person and a choice, you’re employing the very same sinister mindset you would condemn in others and you are the very thing you claim to despise.

This is why Reconciliation, Woke, BLM, Reparations etc. fails to secure the collective endorsement of the public in general because of the way each of these campaigns reek of the very thing they supposedly detest.

Whatever racial tension or injustice exists, you’re not going to defeat it using the same mindset it is founded upon. In other words, you don’t destroy racial prejudice with more Racism and until those that are truly concerned about the welfare of those they represent focus on the individual character of the people being considered and not their skin color, they’re not helping anyone, they’re just making a bad situation worse.

You Have to Talk to Thomas

thomasApart from first hand knowledge, everything we know about the world is based on what we’ve been told.

Provided your resources are credible, you’re on solid ground in the way you formulate your convictions.

But when there’s more than one perspective being circulated and it all seems to be based on something authoritative, what might otherwise be a consensus is now a disparate group of passionate voices all convinced that they’re right and everyone else is just trying to catch up.

In such a situation, it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction and what’s true becomes defined more by one’s philosophical preferences than actual events and whole conversations.

In the end, the truth is going to be defined by evaluating all the facts. That, as opposed to scenarios where the commentator is manipulating just some of the facts.

Take, for example, the Resurrection of Christ.

You could talk to Pilate and get one perspective. You could talk with John and get something entirely different. If those two individuals are your only sources of information, in the absence of something undeniable, you will be drawn to the personality championing the platform more so than the platform itself.

But at some point, you have to talk to Thomas.

Pilate sentenced Jesus to death, John saw Him die but it was Thomas who refused to believe anything as nonsensical as Jesus having come back to life unless…

…unless he was able to physically touch where the spikes had gone through His wrists and put his hand into the wound created by the spear that had punctured His side.

The NIV Text Note for this particular verses says, “Hardheaded skepticism can scarcely go further than this.”1

Unless you talk to Thomas, or at least objectively consider his experience, your take on Jesus having conquered death is going to be based more on what you want to believe than what’s actually the case.

You have to talk to Thomas.

And the same thing applies to similar situations where you have a variety of viewpoints.

You have to consider all of the players involved and give extra consideration to the one that represents, not just an eyewitness, but someone whose testimony makes no sense apart from it being absolutely true.

And when you encounter a differing viewpoint who would accuse you of being biased in an effort to make their perspective appear more credible, figure out who the “Thomas” is, make sure you’re familiar with what “Thomas” said, and then say to your opponent…

You have to talk to Thomas.

 

1. NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985, p1637