Archive for the 'Religion' Category



British Gun Activist Loses Firearms Licences After Saying French Should Have Been Able To Defend Themselves With Handguns Following Bataclan Massacre

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 4 days ago

News from the UK.

According to The Times, in a message to his 17,000 YouTube subscribers, Mr Long-Collins said: ‘I was told that due to repeated comments from other people on the videos, [the police] felt that the channel was a forum of extremism and it was promoting views that were not in line with legal firearms ownership in the UK.’

He told the paper: ‘The main issue was a video that I made around the Paris attacks where I advocated the French to be able to use handguns for self-defence because of the frequency of attacks that were happening at the time.’

Mr Long-Collins lost an appeal against the decision to revoke his gun licences in 2016 at Portsmouth crown court.

He has been told by police recently that they are unlikely to reinstate the licences in the near future, The Times reports.

The crown won’t allow men to defend themselves.  They won’t even allow men to express opinions at variance with their own.  It’s sort of like a communist country, yes?

Now, contrast that with the words of Jesus.  We’ve discussed it before at length.

… for some evidence, see Digest 48.6.1: collecting weapons ‘beyond those customary for hunting or for a journey by land or sea’ is forbidden; 48.6.3.1 forbids a man ‘of full age’ appearing in public with a weapon (telum) (references and translation are from Mommsen 1985). See also Mommsen 1899: 564 n. 2; 657-58 n. 1; and Linderski 2007: 102-103 (though he cites only Mommsen). Other laws from the same context of the Digest sometimes cited in this regard are not as worthwhile for my purposes because they seem to be forbidding the possession of weapons with criminal intent. But for the outright forbidding of being armed while in public in Rome, see Cicero’s letter to his brother relating an incident in Rome in which a man, who is apparently falsely accused of plotting an assassination, is nonetheless arrested merely for having confessed to having been armed with a dagger while in the city: To Atticus, Letter 44 (II.24). See also Cicero, Philippics 5.6 (§17). Finally we may cite a letter that Synesius of Cyrene wrote to his brother, probably sometime around the year 400 ce. The brother had apparently questioned the legality of Synesius having his household produce weapons to defend themselves against marauding bands. Synesius points out that there are no Roman legions anywhere near for protection, but he seems reluctantly to admit that he is engaged in an illegal act (Letter 107; for English trans., see Fitzgerald 1926).

When Jesus told his disciples to go and purchase swords, debating over how many they got, or whether they used them and for what purpose, completely misses the point.  The point is that by telling them to do so, the Lord of the universe was ordering them to purchase and bear arms in violation of the law.  “This is a fact, and no amount of spiritualizing, Scripture twisting or hermeneutical machinations can get around it.”

I’ll stick with Jesus.  The UK has decided to follow satan.

What Guns Do To Our State Of Mind

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

Pacific Standard:

“Whoever touches that gun, he’ll die at some point … because it acts on you,” explained a 37-year-old man who lives in the poor neighborhood of Bel Air in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where I have worked as an anthropologist since 2008. Kal* was talking about a specific Smith & Wesson .38 special caliber revolver, long the standard issue gun of American police and United States-trained security forces in Haiti. After being purchased for $75 from a former army soldier, this gun passed through the hands of three men: a young father, Frantz; Papapa, a young man; and Henri, another new father.

[ … ]

When I asked Belairians why these deaths occurred, they often surmised that the gunmen fell victim to maji, or “magic.” In Haiti, magic refers to an unethical use of spiritual power, distinct from ceremonial forms of Vodou, which call on ancestors to heal and protect the family. (Vodou is the preferred spelling, rather than Voodoo, which some practitioners view as derogatory.) This form of magic entails engaging with secret powers that allow a person to advance at the expense of another. To many, the men died because the occult forces they had been using for unethical gain had ultimately turned against them—opening them up to conflict and failing to protect them.

Yet when neighbors relayed how the deaths happened, they offered explanations involving a different kind of occult transformation: the supernatural potency of the .38 to change people into unethical agents. With each subsequent death, lore intensified around the gun, with people surmising that “touching” this gun could portend death. “Ever since they touched the gun, those poor young boys were not the same,” said one community member. Residents spoke about the gun as if it were an amulet that could change otherwise good people and what they did in the world.

It would be shortsighted to dismiss these claims as the misguided logic of a “superstitious people.” That racially inflected trope, long used to marginalize and demonize Haitians, among others, blinds observers to the way in which guns do exhibit a power akin to magic: the power to create a change in someone’s state of mind.

Taking seriously the supernatural effects of guns has broad relevance for understanding and addressing gun violence globally. In the U.S., gun advocates tend to view the gun as a value-neutral tool. As they say: “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” On the other side are gun control advocates who argue that guns do indeed kill people: Without their lethal power easily at hand, as in other countries, far fewer deaths occur. But the anthropological lesson from Haiti is that the truth is more complex. It isn’t just the technological lethality of guns that makes them dangerous: They also exert a power on human agency. They change us. It is both the technology and the symbolism of a gun that can encourage someone to shoot.

The author, Chelsey Kivland, is as superstitious as the Haitians.  An inanimate object, note well, has power over human agency, the power to make a human engage in acts of evil, superseding whatever that person would or would not have done otherwise.  Forget that effects of bombs and the availability of fertilizer at Lowe’s and Tractor Supply, it’s the object itself that literally exercises power over human volition.

This is the new temperance movement.  My former professor, C. Gregg Singer, taught extensively on social Darwinism, the temperance movement, Hegelian philosophy in America, and the liberal progressive roots of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

At the time it was alcohol, and to them it was the “moral ruin which it works in the soul, that gives it the denomination of giant wickedness.”  It isn’t that mankind is wicked to begin with due to the federal headship in Adam, it was an external object, and thus smarter men and women can seek the perfection of mankind by eliminating those elements which encourage evil.

It is superstition in the Haitians that underlies this notion, it was superstition in the temperance movement that does the same, and it’s no less ignorant superstition in Ms. Kivland which causes her to see the world and man this way.

South Carolina Church Vandalized, Islamist Messages Painted On Walls

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

WSPA.com:

ANDERSON CO., SC (WSPA) – Deputies are looking for the person or persons responsible for vandalizing a church in Anderson County.

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office says someone broke windows and spray painted messages on the side of Midway Presbyterian Church on Midway Road.

According to deputies, the windows in the church were over 125 years old.

The words “SUBMIT TO GOD THRU ISLAM” and “MUHAMMED IS HIS PROPHET” were spray pained in black onto the siding of the church.

Elders of the church tell 7News they did not let the act of vandals disturb their services and lunch on Sunday.

“It was very disturbing because we feel like this was an individual act and we don’t hold any religious group responsible for it,” said Bob Harrell. “We think it most likely was some misguided young people. However, we do take it very seriously and we’ll do everything we can to assist law enforcement.”

As I’ve said, prepare now.

If you are a member of a church and attend worship regularly, do you have a security plan?  No, having an armed cop on duty isn’t a security plan.  Do you have a number of armed congregants in the building?  Have you trained together as a group?  Do you have overwatch?  Do you have security cameras?  Do you have patrols?  I’m talking about 24/365 security, or a recognition that if you don’t have that kind of security on your building, as the country trends towards Europe, you may lose the building.

Tomorrow will be too late.  This may be a prank, but it may not be.  You live in a different American than what your mother and father knew.

It didn’t take long after the church abdicated its responsibility to be salt and light before American went to hell.  I’ve often thought that premillennial dispensationalism (the belief that God has two different people, the Jews and the church, saved in different ways, with the church pulled out of the world in the “rapture” before the real fireworks begin), with its belief that “you don’t polish brass on a sinking ship,” was the best crafted lie in history to neuter and render the church powerless and lifeless.

I once asked a close friend, who is a dispensationalist, the following question.  “There isn’t a single time in history when God allowed His people (the church is His people) to abdicate responsibility to be salt and light, to turn over the arts and sciences to the godless, to give their children over the Baal, and follow the world rather than Christ, and get away with avoiding the consequences of their actions.  What makes you think God will do that for the church, since it has gotten in bed with Hollywood, allowed abortion on demand, voted for all manner of scum, failed to teach the world about God’s law, and turned its children over to the state for education?  What makes you think that God will snatch us out and allow us to avoid the consequences of our own behavior?”

His answer: “Just because it’s never happened doesn’t mean it won’t.”  That, people, is the voice of irrationality.

Prepare for judgment.  It is coming upon America, and you’re here at the beginning of it.

The Burning Of Notre Dame

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

I neither listen to the radio nor watch television.  But today while driving my radio had turned on because I had just stopped for petrol and restarted the truck.  Unfortunately, I was listening to Shep Smith with Fox News.

The man is a child, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.  Speaking with the utmost unction and dramatic pauses for effect, he stated something like that even if one is not religious, the Cathedral of Notre Dame was a testament and tribute to “the highest aspirations of man,” and showed what man can accomplish.

Hear me well.  The structure has nothing whatsoever to do with why the Cathedral was built.  The highest aspirations of man built the tower of Babel, an abject failure, not the Notre Dame.  He can speak with personal conviction all he wants about witnessing the Cathedral in person and being astonished at the architecture, art and design.  He entirely missed the point of it all, like an insect flying in the space shuttle or a bird caught inside the dome of a reactor building wondering why he can’t get out rather than how we’ve harnessed the power of the atom (I’ve witnessed such a bird before).  He didn’t even begin to grasp any significant element of the story.

I am not a Roman Catholic.  I am a Protestant, and more specifically, a Calvinist.  My theological hero and the prefect of Rome did historic battle.  Upon Christ’s death on the cross, the veil of the Holy of Holies was torn asunder (Matt 27:51).  I do not confess my sins to another man, and I do not seek forgiveness from them unless I have wronged them.  There is no mediator between God and man (including me) except Christ Jesus.  The entire two millennia history of Roman Catholicism has been an attempt to sew the veil back together again.

With all of that said, there is something unique about the architectural history of the church that is admirable.  Cathedrals aren’t built like stadiums where something man is accomplishing becomes the center of focus (witness the Roman coliseums where Christians perished, or Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill, the Areopagus).  The entire purpose of the design and construction of the Cathedral was to point man higher, to the Almighty, to the only one who is worthy of worship.  Shep Smith and simpletons like him have it exactly backwards.

On the other hand, the so-called body of Christ is His people, those who have received His salvation.  In the early church, they met in homes, and even then were arrested sometimes almost immediately after receiving baptism.  That was the sequence.  Receive Christ, confess His name, receive baptism, and perish.  They were serious about their business, it was no casual affair.

Notre Dame can burn, but the group of His people, the church, the few who are left in France, remains, as it ever will across the world.  It could also be observed that Notre Dame represented a vanquished, defeated, eviscerated church.  There was nothing left.  Today, France belongs to Camus, Sartre and Derrida.  They believe nothing, so it was only a building that burned.  It was even owned by the state and permanently leased to the Roman Catholic Church.

From Wirecutter, we learn that twelve French churches have been attacked and vandalized within one week alone.  That seems more than coincidence.  Also, via WRSA there is a long discussion thread about other incidents, including the fact that on Friday, “Islamic terrorist Inez Madani was jailed for eight years for her attempted car bombing outside of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.”

I don’t know the cause of the blaze.  I suspect that it was either [a] Islamic terrorists, or [b] unintentionally started.  In the first case, I’ll ask the same question I’ve asked before: If you are a member of a church and attend worship regularly, do you have a security plan?  No, having an armed cop on duty isn’t a security plan.  Do you have a number of armed congregants in the building?  Have you trained together as a group?  Do you have overwatch?  Do you have security cameras?  Do you have patrols?  I’m talking about 24/365 security, or a recognition that if you don’t have that kind of security on your building, as the country trends towards Europe, you may lose the building.

If this fire was started inadvertently, it’s malfeasance.  All accidents are preventable.  All accidents are preventable.  Someone didn’t fully think through and implement pre-job briefs, training, fire suppression, fire watch, use of welding blankets and other protective measures, communication of expectations to craft, construction of proper temporary ventilation, and proper safety engineering.  I suspect the Spire became a chimney pulling air into the bottom of the building, with a heat source, heat sink, and the heat sink (the atmosphere) at a higher elevation than the heat source.  All of the elements for natural circulation were there.  A good engineer would have known this and planned for it.

This also has vast implications for congregants in American churches today.  If you do something like this, you’ll go bankrupt paying settlements for damage, lose your building, possibly cause injury or death, and get shut down by OSHA.

I won’t worship where I’m not allowed to carry the weapon of my choice, not because I won’t carry non-permissively (I do at times), but because that shows a reflexive reversion to the “Jesus was a Bohemian peacenik, pacifist, hippie, flower child” cult.  And if I see something unsafe, I’ll say something or even do what it takes to stop work, regardless of what that entails.

Times are changing.  Times have already changed.  Change with the times.

Good Christians Need Not Own Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

New Haven Independent:

The activists come from different backgrounds: Claiborne is an evangelical author and anti-violence activist. Martin is a Mennonite pastor turned blacksmith. Both of them believe in the necessity of a “Christian response” to the American gun violence crisis. The tour was planned to coincide with the pre-Easter season of Lent, when many Christians reflect on the sanctity of life.

[ … ]

First Claiborne read aloud a prayer that he had written to commemorate the event.

“Dear God, we thank you for giving us a perfect world, and we ask forgiveness to the mess we’ve made of it,” he said.

This is an odd theology and he’s on the horns of a real epistemological dilemma.  On the one hand, the world if perfect, but on the other hand, we’ve made a mess of it.  But if we’ve made a mess of it, the world wasn’t really perfect after all because that evil had to come from somewhere.  He hasn’t fully theologically dealt with the effects of the fall in Adam and federal headship and original sin.

Nonetheless, I think he’s a liar.  I think he doesn’t really believe a word of that.  I think he locks his door at night, and I think he still wants police to be armed.

He is welcome to comment on these pages and prove me wrong.

The Frontier Preacher

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Most of this writeup is poorly written crap.  But there is one part with which I concur, and it wasn’t said by the author of the article.

“I am not so anxious to wear a martyr’s crown as to sacrifice my life when God requires me to use means to preserve it. It is no evidence of a preacher’s want of trust in God when he carries a gun to shield his life in the time of peril. It would be the most sinful presumption not to do so. Indeed, I do not carry a gun because I am afraid to die, but because it is a duty to use means to preserve life.” – Jack Potter

The Fool Has Said In His Heart There Is No God

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

This comment was made at WRSA.

Fool.

“For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not yet been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’ ” (Isaiah 46:9-10)

It is God who “works all things after the counsel of His will.”  (Eph 1:11)

“In Him all things hold together.” (Col 1:17)

“And He … upholds all things by the word of His power.” (Heb 1:3)

“For in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:29)

The number of breaths this fool takes on earth has been pre-ordained from before the foundation of the world.  His eternal state has been predestined.  The order of the words he wrote today were ordained from before he was born.  Whether he tied his right or left shoe first was determined for him by the Almighty.  The seconds of sleep he got last night, the thoughts he would think, and what he would eat today, were all decided for him from ancient times.  The number of hairs on his head have been pre-determined, each and every day of his existence.  Without the very thoughts of God upholding his constitution every second, his very body and soul would vanish like a vapor in the wind.

However, this man does serve one useful function.  He supplies the fool at which God may scoff (Ps 2:4).

Eleven Christians Killed Every Day For Their Faith

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

MEF:

Last year, Christians were persecuted more than ever before in the modern era — and this year is expected to be worse: “4,136 Christians were killed for faith-related reasons,” according to Open Doors USA in its recently published World Watch List 2019 (WWL) of the top 50 nations where Christians are persecuted. “On average, that’s 11 Christians killed every day for their faith.” Additionally, “2,625 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned” in 2018, and “1,266 churches or Christian buildings were attacked.”

Whereas 215 million Christians faced persecution in 2018, 245 million will suffer in 2019, according to Open Doors — a 14% increase, that represents 30 million more people abused for their faith. This means that “1 in 9 Christians experience high levels of persecution worldwide” (note: all quotations in this article are from the WWL 2019).

[ … ]

Last year’s WWL provided more specific numbers: “At least six women every day are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage to a Muslim man under the threat of death for their Christian faith…”

And you can count on it coming to our shores.  It may be at the hands of Muslims, or it may be at the hands of socialists who want us to worship the state.  While waiters or waitresses might wait respectfully in the wings while you pray over your food with family at restaurants today, praying might be a catalyst for Muslim gangs to target you after your meal in a new years.  My youngest son has been to Iraq.  Ask him how Muslims view Christians.

If you’re a Christian, do away with that silly, childish notion that Jesus was a long haired Bohemian, peacenik, pacifist, flower child hippie.

Buy guns.  Be prepared to use them.

To Permit Murder When One Could Have Prevented It Is Morally Wrong

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

On my various travels, I crossed paths with this quote.

“…to permit murder when one could have prevented it is morally wrong. To allow a rape when one could have hindered it is an evil. To watch an act of cruelty to children without trying to intervene is morally inexcusable. In brief, not resisting evil is an evil of omission, and an evil of omission can be just as evil as an evil of commission. Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally” (The Life and Death Debate: Moral Issues for Our Time, by Dr. Norman Geisler and JP Moreland, Greenwood Publishing, 1990).

This sounds like things that have been said here before at TCJ.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries.  Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them.  God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse.  He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.  God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right.  It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image.  It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.

If you believe that it is your Christian duty to allow your children to be harmed by evil-doers (and you actually allow it to happen) because you think Christ was a pacifist, you are no better than a child abuser or pedophile.

God demands violence as a response to threats on our person because of the fact that man is created in God’s image and life is to be preserved.  It is our solemn duty.

I am afraid there have been too many centuries of bad teaching endured by the church, but it makes sense to keep trying.  As I’ve explained before, the simplest and most compelling case for self defense lies in the decalogue.  Thou shall not murder means thou shall protect life.

If you’re willing to sacrifice the safety and health of your wife or children to the evils of abuse, kidnapping, sexual predation or death, God isn’t impressed with your fake morality.  Capable of stopping it and choosing not to, you’re no better than a child molester, and I wouldn’t allow you even to be around my grandchildren.

I’m in good company.  Or maybe Geisler and Moreland are.

Episcopal Church Takes A Stand On Gun Manufacturers

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

It just isn’t the right one.

Shareholder advocacy is nothing new for the Episcopal Church. With an investment portfolio worth about $400 million, the church has long used some of those investments to influence companies based on Christian principles and General Convention resolutions that set church policies and priorities.

What’s new is one of the investment tactics the church plans to implement in the new year to address gun violence.

General Convention passed a resolution in July that calls on Executive Council’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility to research investing in gun manufacturers to give the church a new voice in how those companies do business. The goal: “to minimize lethal and criminal uses of their products.”

“We’ve never purposely gone out and bought [shares in] what we’d consider a bad actor in order to press the company to change behavior,” said Brian Grieves, the outgoing chair of the committee, which oversees the church’s shareholder advocacy.

The resolution, B007, was proposed by Western Massachusetts Bishop Douglas Fisher, a member of Bishops United Against Gun Violence, who will take over for Grieves as committee chair in January. Fisher’s diocese is home to the headquarters of Smith & Wesson in Springfield, and in March he participated in a rally outside the gun manufacturer led by high school students in the wake of a deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Fisher acknowledged a “sense of frustration” among anti-gun violence advocates in response to Congress’ inaction. “The federal government is doing nothing about the public health crisis of gun violence,” he said. “So where can the church engage this big issue?”

Here’s how.  Believe first in Jesus, that He is the only begotten Son of the living God, in His birth, death, burial and resurrection, His vicarious atonement, in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and the infallibility of His Word, and then you’re more likely to get your politics right.

Focus first on leading people to Christ, and then preach good doctrine.  But since you don’t really believe in anything any more, you’re nothing but a vapid, vacuous and boring social club, and no one listens to you or comes to your “services” any more.  So no one will listen to you on this either.

I understand that you’re just following the lead of your masters, but you’re small potatoes, dude.


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