Duke University’s Arguments Against A Statutory Second Amendment

Herschel Smith · 22 May 2022 · 14 Comments

The Regulatory Review links a paper by Joseph Blocher of Duke University arguing against state preemption laws that prohibit more restrictive gun control statutes by cities and counties than instituted by the state itself.  The paper is entitled "Cities, Preemption, and the Statutory Second Amendment." He argues: As a practical matter, though, nothing has done more to shape contemporary gun regulation than state preemption laws, which fully or partially eliminate cities’ ability to…… [read more]

Unprepared Hikers

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 2 hours ago

Readers are well aware of the typical things I recommend when going hiking, even for a day hike with no plans to spend the night.  You make plans to spend the night anyway.

A large bore handgun, redundant fire starter, poncho, parka, paracord, knife, light, compass, energy food, and plenty of water (or a water filtration device), and minimalistic IFAK.  This simple kit, while fairly light, gives you water, food energy, means to find your way out if you can navigate, cover for the night by use of the poncho and paracord, warmth for the night with the parka, and means to have fire.

Unprepared hikers rarely thing about these things, and often have to be rescued.  Take for example these native Texans who went hiking in Colorado.

Hikers left the Texas heat to a camp on a cold, rainy Colorado trail, officials said. The duo hiked up Lake Como Road and into Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo range on Monday, June 27, the Alamosa Volunteer Search And Rescue team said. They never made it to Lake Como and set up camp about a quarter-mile from the lake.

Lake Como is an 8.3-mile out-and-back trail near Blanca, about 210 miles south of Denver. It’s considered a challenging route, according to AllTrails. After some time, they started experiencing hypothermia. They called for help and said they were cold. One of the hikers started throwing up and was severely dehydrated with a headache.

Rescuers brought the hikers hot water bottles and sugary drinks to help them warm up and rehydrate. They were brought down the road and checked by medical professionals. Nearly six hours after the call for help, the rescue was complete. Officials said it was a difficult operation because of the rain making the road rocky. “Lake Como Rd was exceptionally dangerous this trip due to heavy rain, high chance for rockfall and extremely slippery rock,” officials said in a news release. “On the descent down, there was a river running down the entire road.”

The hikers weren’t prepared for their trek. They didn’t pack extra clothing to stay dry, and their tent had no rain fly, officials said. The hikers also didn’t have extra food or water, and they didn’t have layers to survive the night temperatures. “These hikers said they did not understand why it was so cold and rainy in Colorado, because it has been ‘so hot in Texas’ where they hike all the time,” rescuers said. “They never checked any weather forecasts.”

I’ve hiked in Colorado in the middle of summer near snow covered peaks.  Their actions were very dumb, and could have cost them their lives.

Perhaps worse still was this hiker who tried to brave a swamp in the Adirondacks.

NORTH HUDSON — It’s known by forest rangers as the Dix Pond Swamp, and may be one of the more miserable and foreboding places to find oneself in the Adirondack High Peaks backcountry.

Created by a “blowdown” — a mass knockdown of trees — 50 years ago and characterized by knee-deep muck, jungle-thick new-growth trees and voracious black flies, a solo hiker from Singapore earlier this month was rescued after wandering desperately and aimlessly in the swamp for three days after leaving a marked trail and becoming disoriented.
“He told his wife that he was never going to hike that mountain range again,” Forest Ranger Jamison Martin said during an interview with fellow Ranger Andrew Lewis about the Wednesday, June 22, search-and-rescue effort.

For the lone hiker, whose name has been withheld to protect his privacy, the misadventure started on the evening of Sunday, June 19, after he was coming down from the Dix Range, a series of five peaks, including the towering South Dix and Grace Peaks.

That was the point at which his wife, who had been following her husband’s progress from Singapore via his uploads to the fitness tracker app Strava, lost his signal.

Used by runners and cyclists use to plot their routes, Strava worked well above timberline with clear shots to distant cell towers or satellite connections. But in the depths of Dix Pond Swamp, with heavy tree cover, there was no signal.

After not hearing from him on Monday and Tuesday, his wife called authorities who contacted the rangers.

In short order, they found his rental car, from New York City’s John F. Kennedy airport, parked at the Elk Lake parking lot, which is one of the entry points to the Dix Range.

“He signed in at the register but he didn’t sign out,” said Martin, referring to the rosters at many trailheads where hikers write down their names, phone numbers and planned destinations.

Rangers telephoned others who had signed in and out who told them that they remembered seeing a lone hiker on the trail who, as Martin described it, appeared “whupped” as he was ascending Macomb Mountain.

Knowing where he had been, where his car was and where his last Strava signal came from, the search party — which had grown to 11 people — concluded he was heading back toward Elk Lake and may have ended up in the swamp as darkness and exhaustion set in.

Rangers were keenly aware of how easily one can be turned around in the mucky thicket of trees. “Moving through that swamp is beyond slow,” Lewis said.

A State Police helicopter had been summoned, but thick clouds over the Dix Range prevented it from getting into the area.

By Wednesday afternoon, another ranger, Jason Scott, was at the swamp’s perimeter on an ATV and another ranger had entered the area on foot.

Scott made voice contact with the hiker and they made their way toward one another.

He was drenched from head to toe,” recalled Lewis.

The man’s rain pants and hiking pants had been shredded, and the soles were coming off his hiking boots.

The Adirondack’s infamous black flies had feasted on the only exposed parts of his skin: His hands looked like white prunes from the bug bites and moisture, and “it looked like he had gotten shot in the face with a shotgun” due to bites, Martin said.

He hadn’t eaten but managed to survive by drinking swamp water.

What may be notable is that the man, who is originally from Ireland but lives in Singapore, wasn’t the stereotypical out-of-shape person that one would think is most likely to find trouble in the woods.

He’s 58 but in decent shape from cycling, officials said. And he had items like rain gear as well as a GPS device — though one he wasn’t familiar with — as well a compass.

He ended up losing those, however, possibly as he was thrashing through the swamp. “His navigation capabilities were out the window,’’ Lewis said.

Some of the details were unclear since he was hypothermic (nighttime temperatures were in the 40s) and he said he had been hallucinating, seeing houses and nonexistent trail markers.

Martin and Lewis offered a couple of takeaways: For one, being in shape from cycling or some other aerobic training doesn’t translate directly into readiness for a long backcountry hike to a place like the Dix Range. “There’s no substitute for actually doing this, for actually pounding the ground and walking the muddy trails,’’ Martin said.

And one shouldn’t enter the woods without enough supplies and gear to spend the night if required by circumstance. It also helps to bring more than, say, water and beef jerky: Hiking requires fats and protein for energy such as that found in the traditional trail mix known as GORP (good old raisins and peanuts), energy bars and possibly some Gatorade or orange juice with water for electrolytes.

Rangers have rescued ultramarathon runners who have “bonked” due to a sudden energy depletion, said Lewis.

Finally: Don’t, as too many people do, rely on a cellphone app or GPS alone for navigation. There’s no substitute for a paper map and compass when out of cell range or when the batteries die.

“People routinely write off the map and compass in favor of something that has batteries,’’ Lewis said.

Great lessons learned.  Know your season.  Know your terrain.  Have maps.  Be able to navigate.  Have various foods.  Have clean drinking water or filtration.  If you can’t rest, you begin to hallucinate and make awful decisions.

And if you’re in a swamp, retrace your steps and get out.

Celebrate Independence Day Like a Founding Father…With Guns…Big Ones

1 day, 4 hours ago


A little history and a good point; go to the range!

Even the first celebrations of the Declaration of Independence involved firearms. Five days after the Declaration’s signing, it was read aloud in New York City in front of General Washington and his troops.

The reaction was as stunning as it was fitting. Soldiers and citizens went to Bowling Green, a park in Manhattan, and promptly tore down a statue of King George III on horseback. To add insult to injury, they melted the statute for musket balls, 42,088 of them to be exact.

Guns, and often big guns, were used to mark America’s independence. July 4, 1777 saw ships’ cannons fired 13 times in honor of the colonies, along with fireworks. George Washington celebrated in 1778 with a double ration of rum for the troops and an artillery salute. In 1810, the War Department established the “national salute,” of firing one gun for each of the states, which was 17 at the time.

Do what you can while you can.

Reaping the Whirlwind

1 day, 5 hours ago

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” – Galatians 6:7

Independence Day? America isn’t independent; it’s a primary component of the Global Order. The US has sown its seeds for a century, creating problems all around the world, and it’s going to come back home, all of it. America can’t fight Russia; the proposition is absurd. The US Military isn’t fit. I don’t mean physically fit, although that’s probably true, it’s not fit in any respect; knowledge, equipment, leadership, capabilities. It’s pathetically led, full of soft perverts and freaks at all levels. America is way over its head in UKR.

The continued promotion of the idea of East-West conflict is ruinous. The threat the northern peoples face is from the south, yet our leadership insists that Europe and America be overrun with heathens having no regard for European history or culture. The European peoples are in a deep crisis, and making total war on each other will have disastrous consequences. It’s all being done on purpose and probably can’t be stopped at this point. If not war with Russia, it’ll be something equally destructive and hollowing to civilization.

“37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. 42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” – John 12:37-43

In this section of Scripture, we see several prophecies by Isaiah referenced in speaking of the first century Jews being blinded to Christ. Verse 38 of John 12 refers to Isaiah 53:1 and verse 39 to Isaiah 6:9. Verse 42 refers to Isaiah seeing the glory of the Lord; that’s likely Isaiah 6:1.

God has at times blinded the eyes of those under judgment. This is an interesting topic today because so many claim to see, but they can’t, or won’t, discern causality as though they are blind to the sin of America and God’s judgment. Part of the problem is the “end times” prophecy business, and it is a business that has so coopted the topic of God’s judgment that Christians rarely consider that what’s coming upon America is simply a regular judgment of God for our disobedience to Him. The determinations of God for disobedience are horrible and involve pestilences, wars, famines, and the like, often over several generations. The problem in understanding the occasion of judgment is that there are similar features in Scripture when God brings it.

The devil-possessed people running the world aren’t the problem or the cause of the looming judgment of God. God uses human instrumentation to carry out His determinations. Throughout Scripture, God uses the enemies of good to bring wrath upon those He is correcting.

A component of the arriving takeover by those filled with evil is society’s inability to recognize that sin has bloomed both because they allowed it and deserve the consequent corruption. You are perhaps intensely aware of the growing wickedness, but God blinds the eyes of those under His judgment, lest they repent and be saved.

“The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” – Proverbs 16:4

Those used by God in judgment are later the worse recipient of His wrath for it. Though evil may have its day, there will be recompense. Nobody will tell you this stuff. God looses the forces of evil to judge His people, and when He has satisfied His wrath against them, He destroys those evil ones with even greater power.

God blinds the eyes of those upon which He will bring His manifest judgments. The problem in America is Americans! You are the problem. You want everybody else to stop sinning while you maintain yours! The New Religion in the American Church won’t tell you this lest they lose the mortgage money they pay to the Global Banking Cartel, the same people Jesus scourged. The New Religion would empty the “Churches” if they started telling the truth; nobody would believe it. This message, and it’s true, has never been popular. Nobody wants to acknowledge it. Blinded to the reality of the power of the Gospel, they stoned the prophets of old and hanged Jesus Christ on a cross for telling the truth.

God holds back the spirit of antichrist, and that’s the only way an upright civilization exists. God in His mercy sometimes waits for several generations. Still, eventually, God blinds even His own that have warranted the forces of darkness to come upon them that they may reap the whirlwind of their own creation.

So what can Christ’s men do? Plant seeds that later generations will nurture and grow. God’s word indicates that He will always have a people. We must prepare as many who will listen to lead the people back to God. If you know these facts, leave a pure remnant, trained, organized, and equipped to rebuild upon a blessed day that Holy God stays His hand, allowing the wrath and reign of evil no more.

Be the remnant planning, preparing, and training the young so that God may use your children’s children to re-institute just law under God. Perhaps they’ll hear of you, those crazy few who believed the promises of God and refused to let the teaching of Christ die on the vine. Be of those that made a covenant with God to never back down in the face of evil, purposing in your heart never to deny the Lord who bought you. Plant a seed, water, and nurture the next generation teaching them how to build a civil, just, and functioning nation under God. Be the solution, willing never to see the harvest reaped that you’re sowing in this life.

The devil would have no power except that which Christ allows, which means several things. The first is that Christ defeated the devil (John 12:31). Therefore, this must mean that the evil now growing manifest on a global scale is the will of God. And, thirdly if God has loosed evil upon us, it must mean that we deserve it. God is not a petty tyrant. He exacts that measure necessary to work His plan. Here’s the part that you will take the most exception to, since it appears that the judgment of God is upon us through human instrumentation, which is His most often chosen means, then we can correct the course that we’ve taken; to end the judgment. Christians ignore the solution because analyzing the problem is much easier than doing the hard work that Christ commands. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15

Christians don’t even know what our weapon is and God’s chosen manner to employ it, nor do they know the person who accomplishes the work. Christians in America deny the power of the Word of God and deny that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation; they deny the power of the Holy Spirit as anything other than that annoyance to keeps telling them to stop watching porn, and always they seek to escape the Holy Spirit quenching Him all the day long and living no differently from the lost sinners all around them. They must; we can only recon, be blinded to the Gospel. Saved and blinded, is that even possible? Something is desperately wrong with American Christians.

The Pharisees were blinded, so they rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ when He would have personally delivered them! And for denying Him, Christ destroyed their religion, country, and entire way of life and scattered them to the wind. And America is doing the same thing, rejecting the word of God, the Gospel as the power of salvation, and the ultimate ally, God Almighty. If only the American Churches would teach this lesson.

Judgment, it would seem, is arriving, and Christians blame the devil by his human agents, or democrats, or anybody else when it’s their fault for unbelief. America is awake to the problem and blind to the cause.

“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.” – Hosea 8:7

“he that winneth souls is wise”

3 days, 7 hours ago

“But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.” – Matthew 13:8

“IT seems to me that there is a higher joy in looking at a body of believers than that which arises from merely regarding them as saved. Not but what there is a great joy in salvation, a joy worthy to stir the angelic harps. Think of the Saviour’s agony in the ransom of every one of His redeemed, think of the work of the Holy Spirit in every renewed heart, think of the love of the Father as resting upon every one of the regenerate: I could not, if I took up my parable for a month, set forth all the mass of joy that is to be seen in a multitude of believers if we only look at what God has done for them, and promised to them, and will fulfil in them. But there is yet a wider field of thought, and my mind has been traversing it all this day,—the thought of the capacities of service contained in a numerous band of believers, the possibilities of blessing others which lie within the bosoms of regenerate persons. We must not think so much of what we already are as to forget what the Lord may accomplish by us for others. Here are the coals of fire, but who shall describe the conflagration which they may cause?

We ought to regard the Christian Church, not as a luxurious hostelry where Christian gentlemen may each one dwell at his ease in his own inn, but as a barracks in which soldiers are gathered together to be drilled and trained for war. We should regard the Christian Church, not as an association for mutual admiration and comfort, but as an army with banners, marching to the fray, to achieve victories for Christ, to storm the strongholds of the foe, and to add province after province to the Redeemer’s kingdom. We may view converted persons gathered into church-membership as so much wheat in the granary. God be thanked that it is there, and that so far the harvest has rewarded the sower; but far more soul-inspiring is the view when we regard those believers as each one likely to be made a living centre for the extension of the kingdom of Jesus, for then we see them sowing the fertile valleys of our land, and promising ere long to bring forth some thirty, some forty, some fifty, and some a hundredfold. The capacities of life are enormous, one becomes a thousand in a marvellously brief space. Within a short time, a few grains of wheat would suffice to seed the whole world, and a few true saints might suffice for the conversion of all nations. Only take that which comes of one ear, store it well, sow it all, again store it next year, and then sow it all again, and the multiplication almost exceeds the power of computation. Oh, that every Christian were thus year by year the Lord’s seed corn! If all the wheat in the world had perished except a single grain, it would not take many years to replenish all the earth, and sow her fields and plains; but in a far shorter time, in the power of the Holy Spirit, one Paul or one Peter would have evangelised all lands. View yourselves as grains of wheat predestinated to seed the world. That man lives grandly who is as earnest as if the very existence of Christianity depended upon himself, and is determined that to all men within his reach shall be made known the unsearchable riches of Christ.

If we whom Christ is pleased to use as His seed corn were only all scattered and sown as we ought to be, and were all to sprout and bring forth the green blade and the corn in the ear, what a harvest there would be! Again would it be fulfilled, “There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains;”—a very bad position for it,—”the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.” May God grant us to feel some degree of the Holy Spirit’s quickening power while we talk together, not so much about what God has done for us as about what God may do by us, and how far we may put ourselves into a right position to be used by Him.”


“Ye are not under the law, but under grace:” hence you do not obey the will of God because you hope to earn heaven thereby, or dream of escaping from divine wrath by your own doings, but because there is a life in you which seeks after that which is holy, pure, right, and true, and cannot endure that which is evil. You are careful to maintain good works, not from either legal hopes or legal fears, but because there is a holy thing within you, born of God, which seeks, according to its nature, to do that which is pleasing to God.”

-Charles Spurgeon, The Soul Winner, excerpts Chapter 11, https://thesoulwinner.org/

Yes, what he said!

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” – Proverbs 11:30

House Republicans demand answers from Biden admin over grants ‘to promote atheism worldwide’

3 days, 7 hours ago

The void left by atheism is easily filled by father government. The promoters of this must know that.

“The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) was officially titled ‘DRL FY20 IRF Promoting and Defending Religious Freedom Inclusive of Atheist, Humanist, Non-Practicing and Non-Affiliated Individuals,’” Banks and the Republicans wrote.

And this news: Supreme Court declines religious challenge to COVID-19 vaccine mandates in New York

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to take up a challenge to a vaccine mandate for health workers in New York that does not include a religious exemption, the latest decision in which the high court has allowed state health requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic to stand.

That’s not good at all. Having long-term authoritarian implications, you can be confident the government(s) will use it against you again.

The Washington Post Will Just Print Anything

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 12 hours ago

From Darrell Miller, a professor at Duke University (I don’t go behind paywalls).

Before Bruen, lower courts had held that national parks and the parking lots of rural post offices were sensitive, and had indicated that libraries, museums, hospitals and day-care centers may also ban guns.

I responded with this note.

National Parks haven’t been ruled “sensitive places” or any such thing.  You should check your facts before running your mouth (or cutting loose on your keyboard).
In 2010, Congress passed, and the president signed, a law legalizing guns in national parks (they were already legal in national forests, of course, as too with wilderness areas).

Degrees on top of degrees, all backed up by layers and layers of fact checkers.

To no avail.

Is Government the New God? – The Religion of Totalitarianism

4 days, 5 hours ago


We’ve long held that reliance on government is a religion. This piece with video explains it well.

Since the birth of totalitarianism in the 20th century much has been written about this form of rule and millions have read George Orwell’s depiction of it in the classic novel 1984. But what is often overlooked is that totalitarianism is more than just a political system, it is a fanatical religion, and this religion is spreading across the globe with a ferocity not seen since the mid-20th century. In this video we are going to investigate the religious nature of totalitarianism in the recognition that we must know our enemy if we are to defeat it. Shortly after fleeing Nazi Germany, the political scientist Waldemar Gurian wrote the following:

“The totalitarian movements that have arisen after the First World War are basically religious movements. Their aim is not only to change political and social institutions, but also to remodel the nature of man and society.”

Waldemar Gurian, The Totalitarian State

Note: The linked site has videos about religion. This post does not constitute agreement with their theology.

Why Did You Decide To Get Baptized?

4 days, 5 hours ago

Many thousands in America profess baptism as the evidence of salvation and even the means of salvation. It breaks the heart. This problem exists across the former Bible Belt and elsewhere. When asking the reason for men’s hope of eternity, we run across those professing baptism as their knowledge of salvation. In response, we can ask, why did you decide to get baptized?

We’ll look at three sections of Scripture often misapplied to salvation by baptism.

Acts 2:14-40 is a sermon preached by Peter at Pentecost. We’ll start in verse 36.

“36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

– Acts 2:36-38

Starting in verse 14, Peter has preached the Gospel under the power of the Holy Spirit. This sermon was among Jews who had taken the curse upon themselves and their children for the blood of Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:25).

Jesus gave himself to be a ransom for all. On the cross, Jesus gave up the Ghost having commended His spirit back to the Father. The Holy Spirit of God makes the lost sinner aware of their sin and the cross.

Arriving at verse 37 of Acts 2, it says they were “pricked in their heart.” They were convicted of their sin and came to believe that Jesus was the resurrected Christ of God. What does the Holy Spirit by Peter tell them to do? Repent. Surely they couldn’t go back and un-crucify our Lord. And anyway, He is alive! He was resurrected! Repentance is a change of mind by a change of heart upon conviction. What’s to repent about? Being convicted (pricked) in their heart by the Holy Spirit, they have to change their mind about who and what Jesus is. They were to repent of the greatest sin of all, rejecting Jesus Christ after having heard the Gospel.

Next, Mark 16:16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Please read it carefully. Belief is the first thing. If you believe in Jesus, you are commanded to get baptized. If you have been baptized (or any other ceremony, rite, or ritual) without belief, you are damned because of your unbelief. “…he that believeth not shall be damned.” The function of the ceremony doesn’t damn you, nor does it save, a man is damned by unbelief, condemned already (John 3:18), and nothing can save their soul but faith in Christ (John 6:47). If you believe in Jesus, you should be baptized as soon as is practicable.

In First Peter chapter 3, start reading in verse 12. Context is king. We’ll take a look at a few things beginning from verse 16.

“16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” – 1 Peter 3:16-22

In 1 Peter, there is bad news and good news. The bad news is, for those thinking a tub of water can save their soul, 1 Peter 3 is written to believers about first-century persecution of the church. And some may not like this, but 1 Peter is probably written to Jews (1 Peter 1:18), although we can and should make application from this section of Scripture where appropriate.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is woven into this book of Scripture by the Holy Spirit at the hand of Peter. In Chapter 1, verses 18-19, we learn that the audience of this letter is redeemed, believers.

In our text, we learn they have a “good conscience” (1 Peter 3:16); although they are spoken of as evil by persecutors, they are spreading the “good conversation” (the Gospel and manner of living) in Christ. They’re sharing the good conversation, proclaiming Christ in word and deed by the Holy Spirit, while being falsely accused of some evil thing. Americans are so far from this, but your day is arriving. If you haven’t already, you’ll soon face the choice: go underground or take the abuse. We pray you to do the latter keeping a good conversation in Christ.

As many sections of Scripture do, Peter looks back at the flood because it is constructive for teaching.

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” – Genesis 6:8. Two chapters before the flood Noah got saved the exact same way all men get saved, by the grace of Almighty God.

Although we believe the flood happened, the typology and symbolism of Noah and the flood are just that; not a mode of salvation but instruction in righteousness, lessons in His grace, and forgiveness toward those that love Him and keep His commandments. And well understood is the judgment against every living thing for all the world had turned to sin and violence (Genesis 6:11-13) rejecting Holy God. Noah, having been saved by the grace of God (Genesis 6:8), being a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5), the world was overflown by the flood as the judgment of God against the wicked. Those at the flood had told God to depart and that He couldn’t do anything for them; they had made themselves a god, condemning themselves to darkness and eternal death.

Here is 1 Peter 3:20-21 (no markings): “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” – 1 Peter 3:20-21

Even if you say, wrongly, that Noah is the like figure and not the overflowing of water, Noah had already been saved by the grace of God before the flood. They were saved as a practical matter, not spiritual salvation, by having a boat. The flood buried the sins of that whole world, so too, the sins of the believer are symbolically (a like figure) buried with Christ in baptism (Colossians 2:12). Having been forgiven of our sin and saved by Jesus Christ, baptism is (the answer of a good conscience toward God); baptism is a figure of our salvation representing the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the believer.

You are in trouble if you’re relying on a tub of water to get you into the final resurrected estate. We beg of you not to rely on water baptism for salvation. Rely upon the earnest of the promise of the resurrection, which is the Holy Spirit in the heart and soul of the believer. Baptism is in response to a “good conscience toward God.” We’re sure the lost sinner is condemned for eternity (Romans 8:1), as in the days before the flood; what conscience does a lost man have toward God?

“Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh”!!! Salvation is not by quitting sin. You are a sinner; you can’t stop your own corruption, although the saved believer should try to live upright before God, seeking forgiveness all the day long, praying to holy God to deliver us from our desire to sin! Salvation is of the soul; the resurrection by the Spirit now is also a type of the resurrection of a new glorified (sinless) body.

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like [the believers baptism is a figure, type, or symbol] as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6:4

“that like” as Christ was buried into death and raised from the dead, baptism is a ceremony representing our burial (the old sinful dead man) with Christ and resurrection into a new spiritual life as His disciple. Baptism is a serious thing and a great celebration. It’s a first work of obedience toward Christ that God will honor and use to grow the newly converted.

This post is about the doctrine of salvation by grace, the hope being that it will help you who are assuming baptism is sufficient for salvation. Call upon the Holy One and be saved. And it may help you, who, as a witness for Jesus Christ, must account for the need of grace through faith to those souls putting their eternal hope in a ritual or rite with water. As the Lord’s Table does not save, neither does baptism; these are ordinances of observance for believers in the New Covenant.

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Justices Send Assault Weapon, Magazine Bans Back to Lower Courts

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 8 hours ago

Via WoG, Bloomberg.

Several challenges to state gun laws were sent back to lower courts in light of the US Supreme Court’s landmark Second Amendment ruling limiting restrictions on firearm possession outside the home.

Known as a “GVR”—for grant, vacate, and remand—the justices often allow lower courts another shot at cases after a high court decision that could potentially change the analysis or outcome of a case.

The cases sent back Thursday include challenges to bans in New Jersey and California on high-capacity magazines that hold ten rounds or more, Maryland’s assault weapons ban, and Hawaii’s restrictions on open-carry.

In each case, the lower courts had upheld the restrictions.

The justices didn’t explain why they sent the cases back, but presumably it was to apply the new test laid out by Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion in New York State & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The ruling was the Supreme Court’s first major Second Amendment case in over a decade and limited the restrictions that states can place on where gun owners can take their firearms.

Courts should look only to the constitutional text and that nation’s history of gun restrictions in determining whether a state has run afoul of the Second Amendment, Thomas wrote, adding that they should not defer to legislative determinations about whether gun restrictions are necessary for public health and safety.

“While that judicial deference to legislative interest balancing is understandable—and, elsewhere, appropriate—it is not deference that the Constitution demands here,” Thomas said.

I talked with Dave Hardy a day or two ago and asked about the status of Young v. Hawaii.  He thought it would be vacated and remanded to be consistent with the findings in Bruen.

These are all the right decisions, and everybody knows it.

I hope Young is handled soon and Hawaii has to begin the process of issuing permits.  Actually, I wish they would legalize open carry, consistent with the what the founders did and how they lived their lives.

But leave it to the controllers in Hawaii.  They apparently want to require that permit holders go through the same qualification that LEOs do.

The upshot is that most LEOs aren’t as good with their weapons as most permit holders I know (including me).

The Focus Of American Attention: Every Place But Where It’s Needed

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 2 hours ago

News of Chinese influence.

In 2021, China’s policy banks ⁠— the China Development Bank (CDB) and Export-Import Bank (Exim) ⁠— made no loans to Latin America for the second consecutive year. Beijing is now essentially focused on financing Chinese companies to operate in the region.

This shift in strategy and the resulting proliferation of Chinese companies in Latin America will increase the circulation of people and money that are no longer under the direct control of local governments. Based on current trends, Chinese criminal organizations will likely thrive in this new economic environment. Extortion, money laundering through front firms, and smuggling are already increasing, posing a severe threat to the population’s safety in the region.

Drug production is one of China’s fastest-growing businesses in Latin America. After China’s booming export of fentanyl or its precursors to Mexican cartels, a new market has emerged for non-fentanyl synthetic opioids such as nitazenes, also known as benzimidazole opioids such as the synthetic opioid derivative ISO, which are 20 times more potent than fentanyl.

US authorities believe that these drugs are being manufactured in China and shipped to Mexico where they are then smuggled into the US. In March, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a warning against ISO, as law enforcement agencies advised that the drug might be responsible for the recent rise in overdose fatalities. “Isotonitazene is so strong that it can kill just by coming in contact with someone’s skin or being accidentally inhaled,” stated Moody.

Concerns are growing that ISO may be manufactured directly in Mexico or other countries in the region, where Chinese criminal groups have already established production facilities for “creepy,” the name given to a potent cannabis strain popular amongst criminal grow operations, particularly in South America.

Mexico is a failed state, just as are most or all of Central and South American countries (Brazil may be an exception).  Michael Yon has documented the flood of immigrants that will soon overwhelm the Southern border, and are already doing so.  They will crash the American medical system demanding free medical care, and the food and logistics situation won’t fare much better.

Meanwhile, here is the focus of the U.S. Marine Corps: The South Pacific.

Here is the focus of the U.S. Army: Europe.

The Navy is have trouble meeting recruitment and retention goals, as is all of the military.

The U.S. Border Patrol, perhaps the only real police force left in America, isn’t allowed to do their jobs.

If Congress was comprised of anything other than gargoyles, demons and pit vipers, they would hold a vote tomorrow and unanimously declare the Southern border to be a war zone, America to have been invaded, and the military deployed under arming orders to shoot trespassers.

But that won’t be done.  Per a Michael Yon dispatch, this was seen.

The authorities want chaos and unrest.  They thrive in it.  They need it.  It helps to maintain their authority.  It makes the know-nothings beg for more government intervention and control.  It’s all by design.

Never forget that.  This is all by design.

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