Archive for the 'Religion' Category



The Dangers of Hero Worship in the Second Amendment Community and in Life

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

Here is a bracing video on the goings on with Mike Glover.

Now, I won’t judge him, especially until everything is done and finished with this ugly affair.

However, there are some noteworthy things about this affair that I should bring up. First, have your family life in order.

Second, have your family life in order.

Third, have your family life in order.

Fourth, have your family life in order.

Eleven months ago, Mike posted a video of a tent review with this family. As it turns out, that wasn’t really his family. He divorced his wife, with whom he had children, and apparently chased after a girl twenty years his younger. She also apparently had mental problems, and he put his children in her care.

As for the ugly happenings which are the subject of the event in question, as I said, I won’t judge until I hear all of the facts. But he talked to the police.

He … talked … to … the … police.  Without his lawyer being present. Presumably he did this because he is “buddies” with cops and trains them. That’s another problem we could address, but not here. Anyway, I repeat. He talked to the police without his lawyer being present. Then after that, he violated a restraining order.

I feel pretty certain that all of his firearms have now been confiscated by the police. His business is likely all but finished, and probably his “family” too, as much as you can call it a family.

Folks, I don’t care how good you have done at your career, or how many enemy fighters you have killed, or how many decorations you can adorn your uniform with. If you fail at family life, you have failed.

Have your family life in order.

And don’t put other men up on pedestals. It harms the second amendment community when you do that.

Now, let’s discuss Tim Kennedy for a moment before embedding two videos.

I’ve heard all about Tim’s anti-2A views. I’m not so sure about that – it just seems to me like he has a big mouth and doesn’t know when to stop talking. It also seems to me like he immature and prone to hyperbole and extreme exaggeration. But the most troubling thing about this interview with Tim begins at about 38 minutes.

His views at that point are the most bizarre, strange, and unchristian I have ever heard. And despite what he says about not celebrating eugenics, he does do that very explicitly and directly when discussing his views on evolution, self-correcting problems, and natural selection in the context of the Spartans.

Another thing. David didn’t kill Goliath because he was physically fit. That would have destroyed the entire point of the biblical report. The point was that despite his small stature, he killed the enemies of God because of faith. It wasn’t faith AND fitness, it was faith alone that did it.

As to his assertion that the “smartest dudes I know are [like] insanely fit,” the two don’t go together at all, and Tim must not know anyone who is smart. If he thinks he does, let him discuss the various methods of solving differential equations and then I’ll listen.

Finally, Tim has far too much confidence in his own abilities and what he will be like at 85 years old. No matter how much money a man has or how fit he is, age humbles a man. Tim will be humbled at some point, and disease will take him, perhaps not before someone has to change his diaper.

And no, we can’t do sit ups or push ups to the point that we no longer need doctors. That denies both the second law of thermodynamics and Genesis Chapter 3.

The Tim Kennedy silliness begins at about 38 minutes.

Folks, don’t make heroes out of former Spec Ops guys. It’s always and forever a mistake of huge proportions. Just don’t do it. There is no good reason to do it.

He is Risen!

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Just listen to them. This is before the days of the horrible autotune and pitch correction software. There are studio versions of this, but I wanted to embed a live version to make my point.

There is nothing fake about them. Like Jesus. All other “saviors” are fake. Jesus is real. His resurrection is real. It occurred in time and space. It’s not a nice story, or allegory, or metaphor. It’s the basis the justification of His people.

He is risen!

Rights Come From God

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

Source.

A reporter for Politico is firing back at critics she says are taking her out of context based on comments she made bashing “Christian nationalists.”

Appearing on MSNBC Thursday, Politico national investigative correspondent Heidi Przybyla was asked about the “infusion of Christian nationalism” in Congress following the appointment of Louisiana representative and devout Christian Mike Johnson as House Speaker.

“The base of the Republican Party has shifted, right?” Przybyla began. “Remember when Trump ran in 2016, a lot of the mainline evangelicals wanted nothing to do with the divorced, you know, real estate mogul who had cheated on his wife with a porn star and all of that. So what happened was he was surrounded by this more extremist element. They’re gonna hear words like ‘Christian nationalism,’ like the ‘New Apostolic reformation.’ These are groups that you should get very, very schooled on because they have a lot of power in Trump’s circle.”

“The thing that unites them as Christian nationalists – not Christians, by the way, because Christian nationalist is very different – is that they believe that our rights as Americans, as all human beings, don’t come from any earthly authority. They don’t come from Congress, they don’t come from the Supreme Court. They come from God. The problem with that is that they are determining- man, men, it is men are determining what God is telling them,” Przybyla said.

[ … ]

“That is NOT what I said & you know it. Why don’t you play the full clip?” Przybyla reacted to Miller’s viral post of her comments. “I said men are making their own policy interpretation of natural law. MLK did so w social justice. You’re welcome to as well but you don’t speak for all Christians & certainly not for God.”

She later added, “While there are different wings of Christian Nationalism, they are bound by their belief that our rights come from God. If you are Hindu, Jewish etc, this might help you understand the next part of my point, which is they are using this for a man-made policy agenda… which distinguishes this from other Christians who leave these God-given rights at our inherent right to ‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ — vs banning abortion, contraception etc.”

She’s a ditz. She sounds like a second-grader. She wouldn’t be able to think her way out of a wet paper bag to save her life. Unfortunately, the study of epistemology has gone by the wayside.  Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with knowledge – where it comes from, how you define its basis or foundation, in short, how one would assign positive or negative truth-value to propositions. Additionally, in order to study philosophy properly, one has to learn syllogistic reasoning, the role of presuppositions, pre-theoretical commitments, or axiomatic irredicibles.

She knows none of those things. Notice how quickly and naively she completely reverses the order of things. God speaking authoritatively and clearly through His Holy Writ is man making things up as they go. But the notion of rights coming from the congress or courts somehow avoid that trap. It’s astonishing, really, how stupid she is and in fact how stupid most young Americans are.

But she did land on something – even as a blind squirrel finds a nut I guess. That is the concept of natural law and how it can be twisted. This writer is smarter than she is and so he should have done a better job with this.

Now at last let’s answer the question this column’s title posed. If someone actually asks you whether you are a “Christian Nationalist,” there are several things you could say — depending on whether you thought the person sincerely confused or deluded, or instead was trying to trap you as the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus. Here are a few sample responses, for use in different contexts, to the question, “Are you a … Christian Nationalist?

  • “Are you a pagan globalist? Just wondering.”
  • “That’s a hate-mongering dog-whistle, like Josef Goebbels’ made-up slur ‘Judeo-Bolshevik.’ Would you ask a Jewish person if he were one of those?”
  • “I believe that Natural Law, revealed to everyone Christian or not, ought to undergird all our laws. I learned that from reading Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail.’ Do you think he was wrong? The Nazis did. They persecuted people for promoting Natural Law.”
  • “I’m a patriotic Christian, like George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt, Billy Graham, and Pope John Paul II. What do you think I should be instead?”

No, don’t quote Martin Luther King. That’s an appeal to emotion or might be the genetic fallacy – and appeal to authority, or at least, one whom many men won’t criticize. Martin Luther King knew no more about epistemology that the ditz above did. And no, don’t appeal to so-called “natural law.”

Natural law, which is in fact one of the pillars of Roman Catholicism, comes from the Thomistic synthesis, or the combination of the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle. I won’t bother you with the details, but you can do your own reading on the Thomistic synthesis. Every student of philosophy has done some or will do some reading on that most important part of history.

It relies on what the reformers would call general revelation, which as they point out is enough to hold all men accountable for the fact that there is a God and He is our creator, but not enough to save a man. That requires special revelation, i.e., the revelation found in the Holy Scriptures.

Besides, Paul points out in Romans Chapter 1 that men suppress the truth in unrighteousness, just as congress and the supreme court do. Natural law, or general revelation, gets twisted by wicked men, contrary to the ditz above who believes that God’s words are the only twisted thing. She has it exactly backwards.

No, God has spoken, he was clear (it’s called the perspicuity of Scripture), it’s authoritative, and it’s final. God has declared that all men everywhere are accountable to Him, and in addition, that life is sacred and not only deserves but demands defense. We have discussed that at length and in detail before.

You don’t need to turn to silly, childish arguments or appeal to emotion or other logical fallacies. For the difference between right and wrong, turn to the Scriptures. Yes, yes, I know, the animal kingdom teaches us that all animals defend their lives, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I don’t care. Men aren’t animals and I don’t need to study the African safari to understand that God demands that I defend my own life and those of my family. I need only to turn to the Scriptures.

I am not a libertarian, and moreover I don’t believe in natural law. I am a Christian libertarian, and I believe in God’s law.

The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked for utility-scale solar development on BLM land.

“Our public lands are playing a critical role in the clean energy transition – and the progress the Bureau of Land Management is announcing today on several clean energy projects across the West represents our continued momentum in achieving those goals,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning in a press release issued on Jan. 17.

All told, the plan would “provide approximately 22 million acres of land open for solar application, giving maximum flexibility to reach the nation’s clean energy goals,” the BLM press release states.

Ponder that for a moment.  22 million acres.  That’s 34,375 square miles, the square root of which is 185.4.  Imagine a square parcel of land 185 miles by 185 miles.  This is an unbelievably large swath of land simply being turned over the commercial power generators to install solar panels.

Hunting and fishing conservation groups have given the proposal a lukewarm reception. “We recognize that public lands in the west provide important options to help meet the nation’s renewable energy needs,” said Jon Holst, Wildlife & Energy Senior Advisor for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) in a press release. “Our public lands also contain critical unfragmented habitats for fish and wildlife populations that offer world class hunting and angling opportunities. We will be looking at the details of this draft plan to make sure that the interests of hunters and anglers are incorporated.”

In March 2023, a group of conservation organizations including the TRCP, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, The National Deer Association, and others had submitted a set of recommendations regarding the proposal. The organizations primarily asked the BLM to prioritize development in previously disturbed areas while avoiding areas with high recreational and resource values, among other suggestions.

Notice that they’re not giving this a resounding ‘no’ as I would, just a ‘please don’t do it wrong’.  But they will do it wrong simply by doing it at all.

If this all sounds patently absurd (and it is), you have to dig a bit deeper into the issues of anthropogenic global warming, carbon neutral infrastructure, and the so-called “rewilding movement,” and how they are connected or otherwise at odds with each other.

Rewilding has its genesis in the UN.

Governments must deliver on a commitment to restore at least 1bn hectares (2.47bn acres) of land by 2030 and make a similar pledge for the oceans, according to the report by the UN Environment Programme (Unep) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to launch the decade.

Humans are using about 1.6 times the resources that nature can sustainably renew every year and the UN said short-term economic gains are being prioritised over the health of the planet. The rallying cry calls on all parts of society to take action, including governments, businesses and citizens, to restore and rewild urban areas, grasslands, savannahs and marine areas.

For those of us who understand, this is simply absurd.  The heartland of America could supply the entire world with food in the absence of government control.  Nature can easily sustain humans, but if you detect a fealty of population control (or euphemistically called “population planning” by the UN), that isn’t by mistake.  The UN has for decades had a commitment to population control.  It’s all intentional and by design.

More specifically, an additional SDG to dampen population growth would promote funding for voluntary, rights-based family planning. This approach has a proven track record of success, not only in reducing births rapidly, but also in advancing the empowerment of women and spurring economic progress. No coercive “population control” measures are needed. Rather, wider awareness of the linkage between family size and ecological sustainability can help parents recognize the benefits of having fewer children.

So it is both a hatred for humans and desire for humans to retreat from the wilderness that is driving these philosophies.  But how is it all working out?  While painful and sometimes boring, I’ve been studying these movements for quite some time, and have cataloged dozens upon dozens of instances where there is paradox, disagreement, conflict, and direct contradiction between sides in this new world order they so desperately want to foist on humans.  So that you can understand how this plays out, I’ll list only three such conflicts between players and outcomes.

The first is related to California’s actions to try to save the Salmon.

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation began lowering water levels in Iron Gate Reservoir in northern California on Thursday. This “drawdown” is the first step in tearing down the 173-foot-tall Iron Gate Dam, one of four hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River that are now being removed to benefit endangered salmon and other native fish species. It marks an important new phase in the Klamath River dam removal project, the largest of its kind in U.S. history.

“Witnessing the beginning of drawdown at Iron Gate was both a celebration of an important moment in the story of Klamath dam removal, and a source of pride for the exceptional work done by so many people to arrive at this day,” KRRC CEO Mark Branson said in a press release last week.

On the other hand, California has released beavers into the wild.

A family of seven beavers is thriving this December after spending their first two months exploring the wilderness of Plumas County. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s October beaver release marked the first time in seven decades that the department released beavers into the wild.

“The new family group of beavers join a single resident beaver in the valley with the ultimate objective of re-establishing a breeding population that will maintain the mountain meadow ecosystem, its processes, and the habitat it provides for numerous other species, state wildlife officials wrote.

These things multiply if you’ve never been around beavers, and one pond turns into three or four or five, and dams go up everywhere in sight.  Might that inhibit migration of fish, or river trout who need the flowing waters?

Humans have spent millions of dollars trying to replicate the benefits beavers create, wildlife officials said. Thanks to Governor Gavin Newsom’s leadership and the State Legislature backing up the re-population effort with funding, beaver restoration will help mitigate the impacts of wildfires, climate change, and drought, according to CDFW.

There’s that important issue of wildfires, but we’ll get to that momentarily.  But it isn’t all candy canes and pinks zebras flying over the moon.  Beavers have an ecological impact that runs contrary to the stated goals of the climate alarmists.

The preponderance of beavers, which can weigh as much as 45kg, follows a collapse in trapping and the warming of a landscape that once proved too bleak for occupation. Global heating has driven the shrubification of the Arctic tundra; the harsh winter is shorter, and there is more free-running water in the coldest months. Instead of felling trees for their dams, the beavers construct them from surrounding shrubs, creating deep ponds in which to build their lodges.

The new arrivals cause plenty of disruption. For some communities, the rivers and streams are the roads of the landscape, and the dams make effective roadblocks. As the structures multiply, more land is flooded and there can be less fresh water for drinking downstream. But there are other, less visible effects too. The animals are participants in a feedback loop: climate change opens the landscape to beavers, whose ponds drive further warming, which attracts even more paddle-tailed comrades.

Physics suggested this would happen. Beaver ponds are new bodies of water that cover bare permafrost. Because the water is warm – relatively speaking – it thaws the hard ground, which duly releases methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

But there is more.

But beaver ponds, because they lack oxygen, are a hot spot for bacteria that can generate mercury-containing neurotoxins.

“A stream that flows smoothly with nothing stopping it would have very different biological chemical and geological processes than a stream that has cascading beaver dams and ponds,” said Adamchak. “Beaver activities also impact the surrounding landscape, because the animals forage for woody vegetation on land.”

It probably makes no sense to ask California if they considered mercury-containing neurotoxins when they introduced beavers into the bush again.

The second example is from wildfires.  There is no end to the claim that beavers can mitigate wildfires due to moistening the earth.  A Google search produces dozens of such articles.  But as I’ve observed on these pages before, I recently visited Groton Plantation for a deer hunting trip.  It’s some of the most beautiful land I’ve ever seen – healthy, with abundant wildlife everywhere, and simply breathtaking in its splendor.

One way they keep it like that is by burning one quarter of the land every year.  With a 20,000 acre plantation, that’s five thousand acres they burn each year.  It manages to burn out the dead fall and trash shrubs, and causes a reintroduction of new tree and foliage growth for the animals.  Within days of a burn, there are green sprouts everywhere.

This isn’t uncommon knowledge among us Southerners.

Using new tools to revive an old communal tradition, they set fire to wiregrasses and forest debris with a drip torch, corralling embers with leaf blowers.

Wimberley, 65, gathers groups across eight North Carolina counties to starve future wildfires by lighting leaf litter ablaze. The burns clear space for longleaf pine, a tree species whose seeds won’t sprout on undergrowth blocking bare soil. Since 2016, the fourth-generation burner has fueled a burgeoning movement to formalize these volunteer ranks.

Prescribed burn associations are proving key to conservationists’ efforts to restore a longleaf pine range forming the backbone of forest ecology in the American Southeast. Volunteer teams, many working private land where participants reside or make a living, are filling service and knowledge gaps one blaze at a time.

Prescribed fire, the intentional burning replicating natural fires crucial for forest health, requires more hands than experts can supply. In North Carolina, the practice sometimes ends with a barbecue.

“Southerners like coming together and doing things and helping each other and having some food,” Wimberley said. “Fire is not something you do by yourself.”

More than 100 associations exist throughout 18 states …

But then, Southerners aren’t Californians, and we know better than to do most of the things they do, at least until we ger overrun by them with their soiled nest ideas brought with them.

This – controlled burns, or managed burns, or prescribed burns – is good science, and doesn’t kill the old growth forest.  It helps it by destroying the dead fall and trash.  The mountain bikers want Pisgah to be rocky, wild, unkept, and untouched by man, except for them, of course.  That approach has led to so much dead fall, brush, and forest trash that you can’t even walk in Pisgah without stepping in nearly a foot of forest trash.  I hunted there recently too.  There are no deer left in Pisgah.  Pisgah is rotting, decaying and will soon be dead.

We fight fires all over America, but that stops the natural process of lightning strikes burning the forest for us.  So while the claim is that beavers help mankind stop forest fires, mankind is interfering with the natural process of fires.  When this occurs for long enough, the dead fall and forest trash is so deep that the fire burns intensely enough to kill the old growth.  The exactly opposite happens from what was intended by fighting these fires.  California does it all of the time.

The third example is the installation of solar power.  Returning to the example cited earlier in this article, this is a massive investment into solar energy, and will consume a large swath of land.  These massive solar projects have caused desert death where they have been tried before.

Massive solar development projects in Southern California have strained local water availability, threatening desert ecosystems and angering residents who have been impacted by the strain on the water supply, according to an Inside Climate News report.

The small communities around Desert Center, California, depend on naturally-occurring underground water reserves, known as groundwater aquifers, but the water-intensive development process for large solar projects has caused groundwater levels to fall, according to Inside Climate News. Crucial local water wells have dried up and land beneath homes has sagged as a result of development activity, while desert ecosystems have been damaged as well, according to Inside Climate News.

Locals complain that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the corporations driving the developments in California’s Colorado Desert have not allowed them to provide sufficient input in the decision-making process for the developments, according to Inside Climate News. Despite the BLM’s assurances that “renewable energy development on BLM-managed public lands will continue to help communities across the country be part of the climate solution, while creating jobs and boosting local economies,” residents say that they have not reaped much benefit from the solar projects while the strain on their groundwater supply has intensified, according to Inside Climate News.

The BLM is deaf to the complaints because they are part of the religious following of a world without a carbon footprint.  But it’s not just the herd migration routes in jeopardy.  It’s the actual space where the solar farms are built that suffer as a result of this religious commitment.

More common solar panels are failing all across America, don’t really help the environment, have been an epic failure, and pollute the environment in ways that are just recently being understood.

Solar panels often contain lead, cadmium, and other toxic chemicals that cannot be removed without breaking apart the entire panel. “Approximately 90% of most PV modules are made up of glass,” notes San Jose State environmental studies professor Dustin Mulvaney. “However, this glass often cannot be recycled as float glass due to impurities. Common problematic impurities in glass include plastics, lead, cadmium and antimony.”

Researchers with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) undertook a study for U.S. solar-owning utilities to plan for end-of-life and concluded that solar panel “disposal in “regular landfills [is] not recommended in case modules break and toxic materials leach into the soil” and so “disposal is potentially a major issue.”

But that’s exactly what California is doing.

California has been a pioneer in pushing for rooftop solar power, building up the largest solar market in the U.S. More than 20 years and 1.3 million rooftops later, the bill is coming due.

Many are already winding up in landfills, where in some cases, they could potentially contaminate groundwater with toxic heavy metals such as lead, selenium and cadmium.

Sam Vanderhoof, a solar industry expert and chief executive of Recycle PV Solar, says that only 1 in 10 panels are actually recycled, according to estimates drawn from International Renewable Energy Agency data on decommissioned panels and from industry leaders.

The looming challenge over how to handle truckloads of waste, some of it contaminated, illustrates how cutting-edge environmental policy can create unforeseen problems down the road.

“The industry is supposed to be green,” Vanderhoof said. “But in reality, it’s all about the money.”

It’s always the money, and wealth transfer drives all of this.

Where rewilding has been attempted before it had disastrous consequences.

It is known as the Dutch Serengeti, a bold project to rewild a vast tract of land east of Amsterdam. But a unique nature reserve where red deer, horses and cattle roam free on low-lying marsh reclaimed from the sea has been savaged by an official report after thousands of animals starved.

In a blow to the rewilding vision of renowned ecologists, a special committee has criticised the authorities for allowing populations of large herbivores to rise unchecked at Oostvaardersplassen, causing trees to die and wild bird populations to decline.

It follows growing anger in the Netherlands over the slaughter of more than half Oostvaardersplassen’s red deer, Konik horses and Heck cattle because they were starving. After a run of mild winters, the three species numbered 5,230 on the fenced 5,000-hectare reserve. Following a harsher winter, the population is now just 1,850. Around 90% of the dead animals were shot by the Dutch state forestry organisation, which manages the reserve, before they could die of starvation.

For two months, protesters have tossed bales of hay over fences to feed surviving animals as the Dutch Olympic gold medal-winning equestrian Anky van Grunsven joined celebrity illusionist Hans Klok in condemning the “animal abuse” on the reserve. Ecologists and rangers received death threats from the rising clamour on social media. Protesters compared “OVP” to Auschwitz.

Oostvaardersplassen was only created in 1968 when an inland sea was drained for two new cities. An industrial zone turned into a marshy haven as it lay undeveloped during the 1970s. Dutch ecologist Frans Vera devised the innovative use of wild-living cattle and horses to mimic the grazing of extinct herbivores such as aurochs, and Oostvaardersplassen became an internationally renowned rewilding reserve, celebrated in a 2013 Dutch film called The New Wilderness.

But in a drastic “reset”, a special committee convened by the provincial government this week called for a halt to the rewilding principle of allowing “natural processes” to determine herbivore populations. Instead, large herbivore numbers should be capped at 1,500 to stop winter fatalities, the committee said, with new forest and marsh areas created for additional “shelter” for the animals.

We do exactly the same thing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was a particular hard winter several years ago, and folks began throwing hay over into the herds of Elk who had come down from Yellowstone for the winter.  Now, the Elk don’t go back up into Yellowstone because they can get food in Jackson Hole from the idiots who began to do it in the first place.

It’s almost as if the state DNR’s trust in the wildlife biologists is warranted, yes?  After all, they study herd populations and health their entire careers, and control issuance of tags to hunters to cull the herd to keep it at healthy levels or slightly increase it.  And state by state, they do a magnificent job of it.

If all of this sounds massively inconsistent and chaotic, it’s because it is, and the root of the problem is discussed by philosopher Eric Katz.

There are many different varieties of rewilding, but the basic model often involves the reintroduction of a keystone species, like beavers or wolves, into an ecosystem to create a self-sustaining, autonomous natural system. Autonomy is the crucial idea here. After the re-introduction of whatever plants or animals are necessary for the functioning of the ecosystem, humans permit the system to develop on its own without management and intervention.  Rewilding is an environmental policy that seeks to expand the autonomy of nonhumans in the natural system. It wants to create a robust wild ecosystem—hence the label “rewilding.”  For its advocates, this means a natural environment that exists largely independently of humans and human activity within the ecosystem.

Where is the double paradox?  First, rewilding projects endeavour to create spaces in which nature can develop freely without human interference, but inevitably pursue this ideal through human interference in nature. Second, the very idea of rewilding, creating a “wilderness”, is ultimately a human construct, only intelligible through human concepts. Thus, far from creating a space for the autonomous development of nature, rewilding involves humans physically and epistemologically engaged with the management of nature. Try as we might, we are human beings, with human bodies and minds.  We inevitably impose ourselves on nature, moulding its physical processes and determining its meaning. As the great American philosopher William James wrote in his second lecture on Pragmatism, “the trail of the human serpent is thus over everything”.

Besides, while I am a Christian and my world and life view are consistent with this understanding, most of the rewilding advocates are not and thus the human is just another animal.  In that construct, it’s not clear why we’re not just another animal exercising our dominion over other herds as a male lion would when he kills the offspring of the female lions to send them into estrus again.  Beavers don’t care when they cause mercury toxins, lions don’t care when they cull their own herd, and reintroduced wolves don’t care when they kill the mountain lions which now cannot be hunted (Colorado), or where hunting has been curtailed (Idaho), because “rewilding” includes mountain lions too.  Never mind that pets will perish, with it being unsafe to even leave your home for wolves and lions.

You see, even if you disagree with my world and life view, at least I’m consistent and don’t rock with the tide.  The problem with mother Gaia (one of whose worshipers advises the Pope) is that she’s a silent nag, a cruel and uncommunicative bitch.  She hasn’t authoritatively spoken like my creator.  So while she may expect you to worship her, she won’t tell you how or why.

So the advocates of carbon-free footprint, depopulation, and rewilding, just make it up as they go, spending massive sums of money on things that end up doing more harm than good.

They Hate Hunters: “Biodiversity” is the New Catchphrase of the Climate Religionists

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

Source.

Man has killed off much of the Earth’s existing wildlife, and some scientists argue that human activity has set off the world’s sixth mass extinction event. New research now shows global animal populations are declining more rapidly than earlier believed.

[ … ]

Animal populations disappear all the time to make way for new species, but the new study highlights the extent of “real” biodiversity loss as the species with declining populations far outnumber those with increasing numbers, says research co-author Daniel Pincheira-Donoso. “The issue with this mass extinction in particular is that it is happening too quickly,” he tells TIME. “Species do not have enough time to evolve to take [over] those [other] species. So we lose and lose and lose, and we don’t see our turnover.”

Whew!  Sounds terrible. But maybe somebody didn’t get the memo.

A nationwide bird hunt soon could be underway. Knewz.com has learned a federal agency wants to eliminate one kind of owl to save two other ones.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is holding public meetings online on a plan to kill more than 500,000 barred owls over the next 30 years.

We need to let nature take its course and get out of the way.  But maybe not.  Maybe we really are god and worthy of managing everything.

There’s a movement to give nature the same rights as humans.  But maybe we need to help it along instead of just standing back.  We need to “rewild” the planet.  After all, the climate is erupting into a cataclysmic catastrophe and we must do something.  Bill Gates says so.

That means things like starting new wolf populations.  But in Massachusetts deer are ruining the environment.  If there are less humans like Bill Gates wants, that shouldn’t be a problem for the farmers because there will be fewer people to have to feed. But what of that whole issue of carbon footprint?  Deer harvests are down in WV and all over the country, and bear harvests are down in Pennsylvania.

We want to rewild the planet – but wait, there’s too many deer!  We need to introduce more wolves – but wait, they have a carbon footprint too and after all so do bears and we haven’t killed enough of them!

Oh, oh, oh, it’s so confusing to worship Gaia.  She is a confused god, hasn’t spoken infallibly, doesn’t know what she’s talking about, and her worshipers are equally confused.

Or … you could just worship the Lord of all creation who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and gave man dominion over all of them.

The Bible Against American Gun Culture

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks ago

Mark Hiskes writing for Reformed Journal.

… when I was 21, two ski-masked men with guns reinforced her teaching. Around midnight they snuck into our college home of 5 friends, rapped a loaded gun at the back of each of our heads, made us lay face down on the floor, tied our hands behind our back and our ankles together, and then for about 5 hours ransacked every inch of our house for anything of value. When the police arrived the next morning and dusted the place for fingerprints, they made one thing clear, as we shivered close by in this house that no longer felt like home: “If you’d tried to resist in any way, you’d be dead.”

To this day I have absolutely no doubt that owning a gun would have gotten us killed that night.

So, when I read about God and Guns, The Bible Against Gun Culture, edited by Christopher B. Hays and C.L. Crouch, I knew I had to read it–because as a Christian I also believe, as Hays puts it early in the book, that “any Christianity that supports guns as a solution to social problems is not Christianity at all” (10).  Written and edited by seven Biblical scholars with an excellent foreword by Stanley Hauerwas, each chapter is steeped in Biblical scholarship but written for a wide audience. The authors recognize that there are good people on both sides of this issue; however, as Hauerwas says, they still “must challenge what has been and continues to be taken for granted by good people” (x).

[ … ]

Yolanda Norton’s essay uses the Old Testament story of Rizpah to show how a mother’s public lament over a slain son can be “a prophetic witness” to both state and community, citing contemporary instances of such lament by mothers of slain black sons. Her essay is a powerful indictment of American gun culture, which, she argues, “has again and again, demonstrated its own willingness to sacrifice Black bodies to its own purposes” (53).

[ … ]

Of course, the Bible has nothing to say directly about guns per se, but T.M. Lemos makes a fascinating comparison between Israelite bows and American guns, showing how hypermasculinity is common to both. He argues that “This idea of personhood, grounded in domination, is something that other parts of the Bible take great pains to reject. This has important implications for the place of the gun in the life of contemporary Christians” (78). Given the multifaceted, violent media environment we inhabit in 2023 and the pride with which mostly men pose, biceps bulging, their AR15 front and center, it’s hard to argue with Lemos’s point.

David Lincicum’s concluding essay, “Can a Christian Own a Gun?” cuts to the Biblical chase: “The gun is a temptation to arrogate life-destroying power to the wielder and should be resisted by those who follow in allegiance to a crucified Messiah” (116).

Looking at the ‘about’ page and also the names of the commenters, it didn’t take me long to figure out that this is mostly a CRC publication (Christian Reformed Church).  The CRC has had many problems of late, mostly having to do with accepting modernity into their church and the full rejection of core doctrinal beliefs.  Calling them “reformed” is a throw-back to what they may have been 100 years ago, but it’s certainly not accurate today.  They are no more followers of Calvin than I am a globalist.

He sets up various straw men to make it easy to knock them down.  No one I know, Christian or otherwise, believes that guns are a solution to the ills of society.  Only turning to Christ will do that.  Furthermore, the ease with which he is persuaded to believe falsehoods is lamentable.  He doesn’t know any more about the existence of all “possible worlds” than the cops did when they told him they would all be dead if they had resisted.  I recall covering two elderly people who didn’t resist a home invasion, and they were both doused with gasoline and set on fire before the home invaders left for the night. They both perished.

In the comments I see that some people see it as a duty to acknowledge that hunting is legitimate.  I “accept it,” say some commenters.  Honestly, God gave mankind dominion over the animals, and it doesn’t matter to me whether they “accept it” or not.

Finally, let’s assume that this man is married or has other family.  He might defend their lives with his hands, and then end up getting killed by a firearm in a home invasion, but in either case (live or die), he wouldn’t be available to defend him wife against rape, torture or kidnapping. I’ve often wondered how wives feel about husbands like that.

As I’ve said before, I consider such men no better than child molesters.  They wouldn’t lift a finger to defend the weak, helpless or downtrodden among us.  They’re worthless as defenders.  I’ve addressed this so many times before it makes no sense to keep rehearsing it. But rehearse it briefly I will.

… the best case for the necessity of self defense comes straight from the Decalogue.  John Calvin, commenting on commandment and prohibition, observes:

We do not need to prove that when a good thing is commanded, the evil thing that conflicts with it is forbidden.  There is no one who doesn’t concede this.  That the opposite duties are enjoined when evil things are forbidden will also be willingly admitted in common judgment.  Indeed, it is commonplace that when virtues are commended, their opposing vices are condemned.  But we demand something more than what these phrases commonly signify.  For by the virtue of contrary to the vice, men usually mean abstinence from that vice.  We say that the virtue goes beyond this to contrary duties and deeds.  Therefore in this commandment, “You shall not kill,” men’s common sense will see only that we must abstain from wronging anyone or desiring to do so.  Besides this, it contains, I say, the requirement that we give our neighbor’s life all the help we can … the purpose of the commandment always discloses to us whatever it there enjoins or forbids us to do” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 1, Book 2, Chapter viii, Part 9).

Matthew Henry observes the same concerning Proverbs 24:11-12 (“If we see the lives or livelihoods of any in danger of being taken away unjustly, we ought to bestir ourselves all we can do to save them …”).  Far from a weak or forced case for self defense, this is one of the strongest in the Scriptures.  Thou shalt not kill means that thou shalt not allow yourself or those around you to be killed, thus says the Lord.  It isn’t an option – it is His commandment.

There’s Calvin for you, Mr. “Reformed.” Jesus Himself was so adamant about self defense that He ordered His disciples to break the law in order to carry weapons.

Jesus, who wasn’t the Bohemian hippie flower child pacifist he’s made out to be in contemporary culture, demanded that His followers find weapons themselves.  It’s important to remember that this command involved disobedience to the state.  Jesus’ command involved civil (and if necessary, violent) disobedience, thus forcing his followers to become criminals if they followed His command.

… 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).

I’ll also point out that the very cause of the violence to which Ms. Norton speaks remains unaddressed in her essay, at least the part quoted.  Fatherless families, children out of wedlock, and government handouts. Go fix that problem Ms. Norton and you’ll see a different society.

Finally, the author says, “You are different with a gun in your hand,” or at least he seems to quote it with approval. Here we are again back at that superstitious belief that an object can change a man’s heart.  So tell me, Mr. Hiskes, how does that comport with 1 John 1:8, Eccl 7:20 and Eccl 9:3? Give us some theology here, Mr. “Reformed.” Make sure it agrees with the confession and larger and shorter catechisms.

Notes on John, Chapter Five, Part Five

BY PGF
7 months, 1 week ago

Part One – Introduction and Background
Part Two – Resurrection
Part Three – Life Everlasting
Part Four – Judgment

In John 5:21-40, Christ preached this section exactly as it should be. Though combined for effect by our Lord, writing for instruction here and admitting much overlap and repetition in Christ’s discussion as presented, we’ll examine, in turn, the four topics shown in verses 21 through 40: resurrection, life everlasting, judgment, and the witnesses of this first-century judgment. It’s presented in six parts, none long, for ease of reading. Read the entire chapter first.

Lesson 5, Witnesses

The Jews were having their conditional covenant terminated for violation (Isaiah 61:1-2, Daniel 9:24-27, Micah 7:13, Matthew 23:13-24:35, Matthew 24, Revelation 4-19. The Old Covenant and the temple system are being put to death, “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.” – Deuteronomy 17:6. This verse does not apply directly to the end of the Old Covenant but shows an aspect of God’s nature in judicial dealings with men under His rule. But we are not without hope; the promise (covenant) of a seed (Galatians 3:16) to Abram was fulfilled two thousand years ago and remains, the Church being added to daily.

In verse 30, we learn what Christ repeatedly states about His mission on earth. He does all things by the will of the Father, only seeking to please Him. His judgment is just because He does this in the will of His Father, who sent Him.

“30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. 31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.”

Jesus claims the Father again (For personal application, see John 6:44). In verse 31, Jesus begins to offer the empirical observable truths from several witnesses about who He is. But more importantly, under the covenant nature of our God and demands in the law for more than one witness to establish criminal conviction, Jesus indicates that His testimony, though He is God the Son, will not be the lone voice. Jesus fulfilled the law perfectly, never sinning against it in the will of the Father. Christ sets forth proof under the law of God that He, Jesus of Nazareth, is the Christ of God. Remember to whom He’s speaking (verses 16-19); if He bears witness of Himself as the lone testimony, under the law, it’s insufficient.

In verse 32, Christ starts to list the witnesses and their proofs. We’ll note the witnesses and make a select point or two.

-First witness, John Baptist. See John 1:26-27, 29-30.

“32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.”

John Baptist told the Jews that the Christ of God Almighty was among them (John 1:26-27), soon to be revealed. The whole witness (John 1:15) and record (John 1:19) that John Baptist gives is well worth examination: John 1:15-37. It’s preached too little and examined too lightly today.

“33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.”

In verse 33, Jesus addresses the Pharisees directly about sending the priests and Levites to ask John who he was (John 1:19, 22). In verse 35, He broadens the conversation to all those listening, for all men in Judea went out to John to hear him preach and get baptized in Jordan (Mark 1:5,7-8). And as stated, verse 34 is the sermon’s purpose: that ye might be saved! Also see Isaiah 40:3-5, Malachi 4:5, and John 1:23. This witness is valid.

-Second witness, the miracles done by Christ.

“36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.”

Verse 36 was already set up by verse 20 to indicate that He would examine this topic. Also, see John 14:11. Of course, there are too many miracles to list here, but remember that this whole exchange started over the miracle of healing the lame man by the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-9). In verse 36, by repetition, Christ is re-establishing context for the maintenance of His exposition; the word of God is never without scope of purpose.

Nicodemus, among others, admitted that Christ’s power had to be from God (John 3:2). Nicodemus also perceives Jesus to be a teacher, which, being interpreted, would be a prophet sent from God (John 3:2). In verse 11 of John 3, a verse often misunderstood, Christ explains that He is indeed a prophet by citing the testimony (another judicial term) of all the prophets before Him. But we know Jesus isn’t only a prophet but also the High Priest, Saviour, Lord, and King, being all things to every man in faith.

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” – John 21:25. Therefore, the witness of His works and all that He did are well established in the ear of God’s high court.

-Third witness, the Father.

“37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.”

Father God, speaking through the prophets, Moses, and David, showed the coming of Christ throughout the Old Testament. God predicts the virgin birth in Isaiah 7:14, but in John 8:41, the Jews accuse Jesus of being born of fornication. Though this verse is abused by many denominations, sects, and cults today, one thing is clear: the coming Christ is spoken of in Genesis chapter 3:15. See Micah 5:2, and in Psalm 22, there are many messianic verses about the crucifixion of Christ. Also, see Isaiah 53. Many other examples exist for our edification.

Verses 36 through 38 should be examined together. The works Jesus was given to fulfill were from the Father. The Father Himself is a witness in the Law and Prophets, by which we take Jesus to mean the entire Old Testament (Luke 16:16). Jesus, once again, broadens the conversation to include all the prophets and Moses. See Matthew 23:29-31, John 5:39, 46-47.

“Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:” – Matthew 23:34. As Jesus pronounces the judgment upon that generation, He tells the Jews that not only have they rejected God’s witness in our text, but will reject and persecute the Apostolic Era prophets, witnesses, and teachers/evangelists.

As any good ruler would (Exodus 17:14), the Father keeps a book of remembrance: Malachi 3:16, Revelation 20:12. Remembrance is an imperfect term and merely a word picture for us. God knows all things from the beginning to the end. More so, He orders all these things for they are His works (Isaiah 46:10). All is to the glory of God through Jesus Christ (Romans 11:36). God knows those that are His (2 Timothy 2:19), and He forgets not your deeds serving Christ in the truth (Hebrews 6:10), and He knows who is appointed to the second death (Revelation 20:15) except they repent. The witness of the Father cannot be denied except by the self-willed and self-righteous man, even today.

-Fourth witness, Scripture.

“39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Having alluded to the Law and Prophets in the immediately preceding verses, Christ specifically cites the Scriptures as a witness. As mentioned, the verses are very tightly wound together. Since the witness of the Father is predicated on Scripture, if one concludes that verse 38 flows into 39 and there are but three witnesses, that’s probably correct, and you’ll get no argument here. For purposes of examining this section, it’s listed separately.

The Father and His will are found in Scripture. Jesus is the Word made flesh; He does always do the will of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is with them; these three are One and never in disagreement. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” – 1 John 5:7.

Christ has established the law, and the witnesses are found faithful. Having chosen to live by the law and therefore die in the law (Romans 2:12), the Jews are guilty in the very least of violating the Ninth Commandment (Exodus 20:16) and are antichrist (1 John 2:22). Having further denied the witness of the Father, they are outside the First Commandment (Exodus 20:3) as well and in grave peril of their life. They are guilty as charged, denying that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ and Son of God; though offered salvation (verse 34), they will not be saved.

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” – 1 Corinthians 1:26.

God have mercy on us all.

Notes on John, Chapter Five, Part Four

BY PGF
7 months, 1 week ago

Part One – Introduction and Background
Part Two – Resurrection
Part Three – Life Everlasting

This is Part Four – Judgment

In John 5:21-40, Christ preached this section exactly as it should be. Though combined for effect by our Lord, writing for instruction here and admitting much overlap and repetition in Christ’s discussion as presented, we’ll examine, in turn, the four topics shown in verses 21 through 40: resurrection, life everlasting, judgment, and the witnesses of this first-century judgment. It’s presented in six parts, none long, for ease of reading. Read the entire chapter first.

Lesson 4, Judgment.

Part two is required before proceeding. All men everywhere are born damned to hell because they are sinners (Romans 5:12, 6:23). I don’t like this, and you don’t like this, but only a preeminently foolish man would seek to set God’s terms for Him, but that’s precisely what lost sinners do instead of submitting. We are condemned for this inherited sin condition (John 3:18), for which Jesus died in payment for you personally if you believe (Romans 5:8). That’s the necessary basics.

Nothing causes a more significant and sure consternation, railing, and vehement refusal to obey the word of God than Christ setting down His authority over the soul and duties of a man in sin. But Jesus is a good and just Judge, no spite or envy control His being, for He is God and only seeketh all men everywhere to come unto Him by faith (Acts 17:30, Romans 10:13, 1 Timothy 2:4). Christ is the Judge of your heart toward the peace offer from the Father to all men if only you would hear. It’s better to accept an accord from God, entering into a treaty by your surrender, than to remain belligerent, at enmity, and burn for eternity.

Read verses 26 through 30. The resurrection and judgment of all men are necessarily linked as an historical event to come. See verse 21 which was discussed in Part Two and compare verses 22 and 27, “22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:” & “27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” Also see 1 Samuel 2:6, Psalm 68:20, and Romans 4:17. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” – Revelation 1:18. Christ died and rose bodily, the power of life or death is His.

Jesus, being God, is the master instructor in all things, and this topic is no different. He makes mention of the resurrection in verse 21 and judgment in verse 22, including by whose authority. He provides the critical detail in verse 27 as to why the Father has committed all judgment to Him in the matter of men’s souls because He is the Son of man.

Further details were covered here about this authority of Christ and its founding upon His twofold nature, being both fully God and fully Man, He is solely and eminently qualified to judge us for sins, “17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” – Hebrews 2:17-18.

“28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice”

Verses 26 through 30 speak of the spiritual resurrection of the soul to eternal life, living for God now. This is a judgment to which all men are guilty of sin, yet the pardon of grace is offered by Christ. As absurd as that sounds to a lost man, there is also the resurrection of dead men’s bodies at the end of history to be judged by Christ. These verses speak of the resurrection of all men, some unto eternal damnation and some unto life everlasting with the Father. When Christ returns, all men will be called forth from the graves. These facts are only contended among some minority of evangelicals and orthodox believers.

There is some dispute about whether a single judgment will occur or two separate. I do think it’s one resurrection and judgment of all, yet those condemned will be judged as damned, and those forgiven will are judged as sons already in the household of God Almighty. Revelation Chapter 20:10-15 details the treatment of the kingdom of Death and Hell and all those who’ve rejected Christ and is not necessarily a different judgment event from those belonging to Christ. There are other perspectives, but all honest men advise being personally ready.

“29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

One can read verse 29 either way. Those already appointed unto life or those set unto damnation are judged together though reckoned under respective accounts of their works. Those unto life (Resurrection of the just, Luke 14:14), having their sins already abolished in the person of Jesus Christ, will be judged according to their service and failures in the Kingdom of God, but are blessed (Revelation 21:4). Those resurrected unto damnation will be reckoned to the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).

Dispensationalists take a two separate judgments view. Amillennialists take an ongoing, person-by-person upon-their-death view. Most others take a future single-judgment view. One thing is sure, you will see Christ if you are able to do anything other than tremble prostrate before His majesty; either way, you will be there.

Some also say the instances in Scripture where the resurrection sounds physical are only symbolic of a spiritual resurrection; they contend there is no physical resurrection, but I disagree. Christ physically rose. The restitution of all things is coming, and Father God will leave no ledger unattended. You’ll be eternally satisfied in Christ as to how He does all things well; don’t let doubt of a physical resurrection hold you back from the first thing, which is salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Above all else, as Christ teaches, you must see this spiritual new birth into the Kingdom of God by faith (John 3:3); don’t be found appointed unto everlasting destruction (1 Peter 2:8).

The flood in the time of Noah (or a flood) is often cited in Scripture as a warning that judgment is to all men, Psalm 90:5, Isaiah 59:19, Jeremiah 46:7, Amos 8:8, 9:5, 2 Peter 2:5. There is likely no adequate way to fully express to the mind of man what the day of judgment will look like; Christ gives several warnings in Scripture, some by parable. One example is found in Matthew 25:31-46.

You will not see any notion of uncertainty here at TCJ as though a man will be finding out his eternal station on that day. You can and must know now (1 John 5:13) your eternal soul’s condition before you die. There will be no bargaining or pleading on that day, nor bragging about the works you’ve done (Matthew 7:21-23). Most who tell people that they’ll find out on that day want something from you, often its money but also manipulative power over; beware. On that day, God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.

Christ is the Judge and will judge the quick and the dead; the only disputation about this is from men dead in their trespasses and sins.

“And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” – Acts 10:42

Notes on John, Chapter Five, Part Three

BY PGF
7 months, 1 week ago

Part One – Introduction and Background
Part Two – Resurrection

This is Part Three – Life Everlasting.

In John 5:21-40, Christ preached this section exactly as it should be. Though combined for effect by our Lord, writing for instruction here and admitting much overlap and repetition in Christ’s discussion as presented, we’ll examine, in turn, the four topics shown in verses 21 through 40: resurrection, life everlasting, judgment, and the witnesses of this first-century judgment. It’s presented in six parts, none long, for ease of reading. Read the entire chapter first.

Lesson 3, Life Everlasting

Though God provides sustenance for your body as He chooses, the life He offers is by the Spirit of God. The idea that you can get to God through your occasional human efforts is imperial heresy promoted by the evil one and blasphemer, that false king who desires your mutual death with him in hell. You are not God, and neither is he; It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Judgment is by Jesus Christ, “According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.” – Isaiah 59:18. (Revelation 20:13).

Men everywhere are stubborn, obstinate, and hard-headed. There is an explosion in depravity. As it was, so is it today, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” – Genesis 6:5. Sin and evil thereby abounds in every quarter, depending upon the same vile system that not only condones but sanctions this evil, men still, strangely, consider themselves above it.

You need the functioning sense of what is holy, what is above, where the hope of a life with worth and purpose resides; that is, from the Almighty. All men’s minds are continually evil, but Jesus Christ is the life sanctified unto well doing in His name.

Jesus Christ is the way and truth of life (John 14:6) in verses 24 and 25. He did not end the covenant of the temple and leave the world yet without hope for the future. The day of salvation is at hand for you in the New Covenant now extended to all men. There is a new and better way in Christ Jesus.

By these next two verses in a row, Jesus emphatically declares the necessity of faith founded solely upon Him. Repent ye sinners. The magnitude and import of what’s about to be said can send you to Christ for the salvation of your eternal soul or damn you to hell. Pay close heed, give all attention, remove distractions from your mind, behold, hear Christ, and live!

“24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”

Jesus speaks of spiritual life by a new birth and life after resurrection to judgment. There may be opinions on this, but verse 40 makes clear you must come only unto Christ to have both, and there is not an either–or about it. Both are small things to God, for He spoke the worlds into being and breathed the breath of life into the soul of man, making you a living spirit. God divided the light from the darkness and will place you in the light of Christ, the torment of sin gone. Holy Father God is not uncharitable to those who truly submit to His divine revelation of salvation through faith in Christ upon hearing the Gospel.

Men must honor Christ as they do the Father (Verse 23, 1 John 2:22) because Christ is all things to the man in faith. He is the sacrifice for sin, payment to God for the hell due for your sins, and He is the Judge who can forgive all sin, bringing the lost man into the love of the great and eternal God; the Son quickeneth whom He will and won’t cast you out.

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” – John 6:37.

“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:44.

Holy Almighty God draws as many as He will to the Son. If your soul hears Christ, calling and drawing, giving you interest in things eternal and hope beyond this world, believe on the God of that calling who sent Jesus; be no more subject to the bondage of death. It’s Jesus who died to pay your sin debt on the cross and rose again as the intercessor, the One who can reconcile you to God.

Life and judgment are given to the Son of God; throw yourself upon the compassion of Christ for the lenity of salvation. Believe in Jesus Christ, for the man who does is no longer condemned but has everlasting life. Being passed from death unto life, no longer having the weight of hell but a light yoke of serving the God of goodwill toward men; death’s stranglehold loosed, and the calling of Christ placed on you, being born again into a new and eternal life. Be dead no more, but live ye unto Christ!

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” – Jesus Christ.

Is The Hamas/Israeli War A Part Of Bible Prophecy?

BY PGF
7 months, 1 week ago

Folks can tell you truth, but no man can understand it for you.

 


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