“The Lord Our God Will Destroy Them.”

Oh Bob! I can hear the moans even before I write these words. “Aren’t you being judgmental?” “God does not destroy people, people destroy people, God is good!” Well I say, turn with me to Psalm 94 and whence learn.

This Psalm is both a prayer and a complaint. Unjust rulers, cruel oppressors, troublesome people are having their way with God’s children.

I know vengeance belongs to God. I also presuppose that comfort is our reward when the wicked are destroyed. And yes, you weak minded honey bun eaters, I often pray that the wicked get their just reward! In modern terms we have many examples of evil magistrates. Our govenors are currently inflicting their constituents with bitterness, our foreign enemies are inflicting us with troubles, our media is inflicting us with persecution and lies.

While it is sometimes our duty to fight back with guns, God either way will not fail us. He always avenges, “He is the Lord God to whom vengeance belongeth.” But I also know that the Lord suffers for the troubles of his people. Like, our troubles are not unknown though it may seem that God hides himself. Some think He is not capable of executing His judgement upon the wicked and our oppressors. Is this is true? When have you and I gathered, crying unto God for justice? I think we complain more on Facebook than in prayer. Maybe we can learn how to address evil and evil people in this Psalm?

Remember the wicked are the proud, they not just people who have different opinions, opinions different than ours. They boast of their atheism and worldliness. They crush the poor and mock the faithful. They lie for gain. They deceive and promote their worldview. They boast in themselves, not God.

So why does God not send down fire from heaven and destroy these infidels when we pray? They are jerks, idiots, morons, haters, prideful, and perverts. He must know most of the reporters at CNN are some of these? He must know that Pelosi is a hypocrite at the very least, a wicked witch for sure (everybody knows this)! The Psalmist complains just like me! “How long Oh Lord are we to suffer their insolent boasting, their triumphant killing of babies, and the hateful division their feet bring upon the righteous?” How long can You endure it?”

When I ask these questions in prayer the answer comes easily. The injured, the believers, come to a point where we are forced to complain. Maybe it’s just age, after all these years we have had enough? Anyway, we come to a point where whatever we do is not enough. Our voices are not heard, our letters to the editor not read, our posts not “liked.” So what do we do? We must turn to God! We know the persecutions and sins of evil politicians will ultimately end in judgement, but at this point we realize our prayers are now meant to provoke God to punish our oppressors, our votes have little value.

So listen up, why do we not pray like the psalmist? These evil people will “break in pieces thy people.” They will “affect thine heritage.” You know what they are saying right? They are saying, “your god will not rescue you, he will not respond to your prayers.” When these wicked people get power in their hand they become cruel enemies. The best of them have only have civility and humanity as their gods. But their senses have been cauterized, their consciences seared. This makes them exceedingly fearless, secure in their political ideology. Relativism become justification. They certainly do not feel the judgement of God when they do evil.

We must not underestimate evil powers. We need to be wise, instructed by Gods word. The wisdom of these people is like vain folly. However they are seen by their peers, or however they see themselves they are little more than brutish beasts. Their honor is in themselves and their kind, not in God. “They are a mere breath.” Can you see to where I have progressed? I’ve just finished verse 11.

I must not leave out, though it is only implied in this Psalm, that the wicked, the atheists, the evil politicians have one hope, it is God’s long suffering at the expense of the righteous. The wicked may have time to repent, and we should hope they do. We can admonish them, and lead them to Christ for the gaining of their souls. Or, through our prayers and God’s mercy for his children bring justice in their condemnation. “Ye fools, when will he be wise?” Remenber, the Lord rules, not politicians. When they sin they sin against the law written upon their hearts, no matter which university taught them otherwise.”

Now the good part! It begins in verse 12. “Blessed is the man whom thou chastened, oh Lord, and teachest him out of thy law…” This is a temporal consolation. There are no guarantees that a Christian will be given a huge yacht, a great job, or even that Trump will get a second term. But God does prepare the faithful for everlasting rest in the midst of adversity. We sometimes are “chastened” in other words disciplined by the godly rod. This punishment as some would call it is not a token of God’s displeasure, but rather it is used to strengthen us. Just as in the end we understand the wicked will be punished, the believer can take solace in the fact that they will will be eternally delivered. He is our Sheppard, “His rod and His staff comforts us.” We will not perish with the wicked. We will not have to spend eternity with Pelosi should God not show her His extreme and gracious mercy. (Just like He did for you). Condemned believes have suffered the gallows or beheading to rise gloriously unto God. But so too have evil people filled their cup with sins and have an opportunity to repent, “until a pit is dug for the wicked.”

There are many consolations for the righteous, God’s people. The world may cast us off, but God will never see us as unworthy. His son died for us. Yes, we often times suffer as Christ did for us. We are persecuted, oppressed, yet “He will not forsake us.”

Sometimes, and I believe this is true today, earthly judges have become so corrupt that they refuse to do justice and judgement for God’s people. This is their duty. And I think God, the Judge of the World has suspended, for a time, the manifestation of His judgement against the wicked and against our oppressors; and this for His own good and holy reasons. Maybe He is waiting for us to pray this Psalm?

God used David, maybe God is using President Trump to punish some? Maybe He used Trump to give Kim Jun Un his final opportunity to repent? He at least gave him opportunity to change his ways. Trump has certainly “risen up for me against the evil-doers…the workers of iniquity. ” God is rising up others too; we must be careful not to put the orange haired man on too high a pedestal. I still respect him, he has been good for us. But remember we pray to God, He is our comforter.

Now here is an interesting verse, verse 17. “If the Lord had not been my help, My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.” In other words, seeking the help of men alone is no help at all. Being a “conservative” will not solve all your problems, it may even enhance them. If God had not helped David he certainly would have perished before any man could rescue him. In other words our confidence should not be in man. Man may assist God’s work if called to do so. And if we “slip up” it is God’s mercy that helps us, not fortune. We all need to therefore be courageous, rugged, trusting, etc. But in times of trial it is God who offers true courage. When we distrust our own strength, and we should, we must acknowledge God’s power and mercy. His comfort delights our soul, it is a lie to “trust in ourselves.” The world tell us this is the way to greatness! “The lord is our defense… we take refuge in Him,” not in ourselves, elites, or magistrates.

Do you want to insure the destruction of the wicked, and assure the protection of God? Nothing but saving faith can uphold a man in a time of persecution; these times are meant for us to draw close. And no matter how much it may seem that the wicked have power over the righteous, God will overthrow them. We may serve God by suffering for righteousness, but pray this, “Lord show them mercy by your saving grace” or else “the Lord will bring back their wickedness upon them, and will destroy them in their evil; the Lord our God will destroy them!””

It Could Be a Sci-Fi Movie or….

What if it were possible that China, or for that matter any nation with evil people in charge, could immunize their own population or at least its leaders in advance of spreading a deadly virus worldwide? World domination made possible by a military made from viral bugs? Is this what China was working towards? Maybe their leaders are already immune to Covid 19 and the experiment is now in data collection stage? Don’t laugh at me! There are all sorts of scenarios that could make this believable. Why should a communist authoritarian regime try to compete against conventional weapons systems of the western world when in a bat laboratory is the power to kill off the world? With a more powerful and deadly virus than this one, and at least a year to develop treatments or a vaccine, the Chinese could be sitting on your couch, enjoying your beer and using the TP you stashed before you died. It could happen you know! It could also be that China accidentally let the bat out of the bag and this is phase one of their experiment gone ary?

But you say, then ask, “This is silly! People are not this evil are they?” Yes is the answer. Few nations have shown more agressive expansionist desires than China. They have categorically stated to their people that they want to dominate the world economically by 2025. And they have focused vast resources on building advanced military capabilities. We all know they will someday make Taiwan their own; as soon as we let down our guard or become the second rate military Obama wish for. The Chinese have an evil regime!

Look at how they abuse and dominate their own subjects. They oppress freedoms and spy on or kill their own whistleblowers; all who don’t line up with the party get wacked or go missing. All dissenters are “re-educated,” that sounds fun right? They don’t care about the environment or human suffering. They must hate God, it say’s so in their supreme law. And does anyone think North Korea is an rogue nation? They could not exist without China. China could change Rocketman’s aggressive and strange behavior in one phone call. But, for now, the Chinese use him to keep tensions focused elsewhere – you know, not on China itself. Have you noticed they have been firing missiles lately?

Why do I bring all this up? Have I joined all the conspiracy theorists and gone wacky myself? Not really. I just think it’s important to keep one step ahead of evil. If things are possible, they are likely to come true someday, and someday somebody will make a movie about it. We should call out what we see and defend ourselves. Kinda like Trump does when Jim Acosta asks a hateful or leading question in a White House press briefing. We need to be honest with ourselves and others. There are indeed evil people and evil regimes. Why don’t some of you believe this? There are harder things to believe, like thinking human nature is generally good! I believe evil lurks about because people are all not so good. Who would not want to rule the world?

If humans didn’t want to rule the world, why do you suppose the devil used one of his three temptations on this question: “The devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Is this not the picture the Chinese government is painting for it’s people? Bow down, bow down, believe in us they say! No, I don’t see my theory so far fetched. And just maybe, and indeed I am skeptical, but we may be in the movie right now, not just watching it?

Refreshing Tribulations

It’s Easter evening, and even for me the joy I had found in the dawn is fading. The media have returned to their lectern and the assault on President Trump has begun afresh. It was an easy detour for them but a difficult one for me. I know they hate Christianity even more than this president, but I think they find it easier to hate the messenger than the message. They always take the easy path. You may ask, what do I mean by saying the president is the messenger? Certainly he is no preacher, and no specimen of saintly behavior. But yes, I do believe he is “a” messenger from God. First he is our president, and only God puts people in power over the nations. But Trump is doing more than just ruling. Today for example Trump declared he was going to watch Pastor Jefferess of the First Baptist Church of Dallas online. I suspect a few million people tuned in to hear the pastor’s personalized message to President Trump, and if they watched the whole service they got a full throated presentation of the gospel. To my knowledge this has never happened before. And just think about how many media haters tuned in to write about it! If none came to faith and only the believers were blessed, at least those will have no excuse when they stand before God! So yes, President Trump was a messenger today in an odd sort of way!

But the main point of my writing tonight is not about the president, it is about tribulations. To start, we could say this pandemic, like all pandemics, will never cease to happen. Oh joy, right! But I suspect they, like so many personal trials, are a necessary element in our redemption. In fact, if we are not fools, we must anticipate that such tribulations will not cease “until God sees the world to be redeemed or no further redeemable.” (C.S. Lewis).

But here is the catch, and I did not think this up myself, but I believe it strongly. A Christian cannot trust in anything or anyone who promises changes in our economic, political, or scientific system, and believe heaven on earth will follow! What’s funny is that although we know this by nature it still does not discourage us from voicing all sorts of opinions on how and who we need to fix all the bad things in this world. You know what I mean. They say, “Obama would be better than Trump at this, but certainly Trump is smarter than Biden. And that Fauci character is not who we need right now!” The truth is all the vigorous attempts to remove this present tribulation are absurd. When the world is fixed and when somebody or some party takes credit other miseries will take its place. (I am not saying that fixing this problem is not desirable.)

Think about it this way, we seek healing in times like these knowing that when it is over we will return to the ordinary ups and downs of life. And every now and then the extraordinary thing happens to get our attention. I say this to remind you that the vaccine is not to be mistaken for the magical potion called faith!

Living in the natural world with or without faith is never easy. We can look for happiness and security, and we should, but we must realize it will never be like heaven. In the light of day, if your eyes are even barely open, we wander about seeing pain and tribulation all around us

No matter what you call it, Chicago or Montana, there is little truly “good” about living in paradise. And if we are so lucky, we may from time to time stumble upon joy, but who is ever safe and secure? Look, I like everyone, maybe even more, enjoy a beautiful mountain range, a cello concerto, seeing old friends on a road trip, or meeting new friends over a cold glass of beer. Even a good football game can make my heart pump harder. But I do not let these joys become obstacles, yes obstacles they can be. They can, if we are not careful, obstruct our view of God’s blessings. My true home is in God’s hands, not in how or where he blesses me. And a blessed destiny is His wish for me if I let Him lead.

So I must remember God refreshes after the tribulations and we must never make the problem worse by vague talk about unimaginable human miseries. In other words, stop listening to the “scientists, politicians, and media.” Remember scientists can only get tomorrows weather forecast right less than half the time. Politicians lie most of the time and the media are biased. Our surrender and obedience to Christ are not scientific, political, or media issues. Only here, living in the will of God will heaven on earth be almost found; in the loving arms of Christ we abide till he comes or we are called into His presence. Tribulations are not so bad if they take us here!

Happy Easter!

This Is Not a Martian Invasion

I was not alive in 1938 when Orson Welles made his radio bulletin describing a “huge, flaming object” crashing onto a farmers field outside Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Many listeners believed the Martian invasion was true. It was enough to scare the devil out of many folks, and a lot of good folks were taken in. Hysteria ensued and people got all bent out of shape, some even barricaded themselves in their homes.

It is said that Welles did not intend to throw a genuine scare into his listeners. He even had a disclaimer at the top of the show which explained that what followed would be a dramatization, and not a true story at all.

So what similarity is there between the fictional “The War of the Worlds” broadcast and the real and present danger of Corona virus? I have already said the story told by Welles was not true. They were not being invaded. But if they had been, what should have been the response? I say hysteria would be appropriate, right! I mean if I were told of alien, oily skinned, lipless creatures dripping with saliva suddenly incinerating Americans with a heat ray, I’d freak out. I’d probably run get my gun and head to the grocery store. And after this Covid experience, I’d grab some toilet paper first, then get my groceries and go hunker down. But in fact the Covid 19 epidemic is not a Martian invasion, it is a long way from it. However more and more I am becoming convinced the two events have their similarities. The response in both cases was overdone, but here I suggest the proportional response was more justified in the case of the radio show than our governments response to the real epidemic of Covid 19.

The danger we are told is that hundreds of thousands of our citizens will die if we don’t do what we are doing. That “we must slow the curve and protect our system from being overwhelmed and that our response is critical to the slowing of the curve. They say, “Exponential deaths will occur if we don’t do this together.” I understand the math. But I have many questions, like, have we actually seen all the numbers? Have our officials seen them? This is a complicated endeavor and there are many avenues of thought.

I see that they are building hospitals, putting up tents and triage units to deal with the demand that will eventually overwhelm the system. I know they have bean counters that deal with numbers, and I’m not so good at math. But so far the shelters are empty, the hospital ships in the ports are hardly used. Nobody seems to want to question the policy except to make Trump look bad, and when a wise question is asked I have heard both reasons and excuses.

I believe, and I know I will be criticized for this. Even the medical professionals in my own family will likely misconstrue my intentions; but I do not think we are being given enough information to make sound judgments. Of course a lock down is the safest course for us to stay alive. Here at home I cannot be overrun by a drunk or shot by a gang banger, or catch the flu, or the virus. But I took the time to look at the State of New York’s statistics on the conventional flue. As soon as they went into lock_down the cases of common flu declined dramatically. Ironically, the cases of Covid 19 increased. Do you see a relationship here?

Do we know how many people historically die of the common flu each day in New York? How many die each day of anything? Are they telling us this information? NO! Is it conspiratorial for me to wonder what number of those who died are confirmed Covid 19 deaths? Are they lumping in deaths of people with heart conditions, patients with cancer or diabetes, ones who would normally die if they had contracted the common flue? The question is did they die “of it” or “with it?” This is an important distinction and we are not being told which it is. I suspect we are moving people from one column to another, or maybe not.

My fundamental objection and heart felt concern is that we have received little validation from governments and scientists around the world that shutting down economies like they have will help avoid deaths. I’m not terribly concerned about a few horrible nights with a high fever. I personally do not see the correlation or the causation for a complete shut down. What have they said that proves the theory that shutting down everything is helpful? If we look at other countries we do not see one policy working better than another. In fact our policy seems to be, “Something must be done, and we are going to do it!” At first I agreed that “something must be done,” and trying everything seemed to be the answer. But what is happening now is that they seem to be throwing everything at it but also wrecking everything in its path.

“Forgive me Mr. President, I believe you are doing your best.” Yet, you are not telling us to repent and turn back to God. I think you are giving us your heart, and that’s a good thing, but listen up!

This is a tragedy, I know this. But I also know our response needs to be one of proportion. The President has said this very thing, but I’m not sure he is following his own advise. As for me, I say, “I will do everything I can to protect you as you should do everything to protect me.” This is biblical. But we must also justify the scale of the response. It is not unreasonable to take care of our personal hygiene and consider others in our actions. In fact before this crisis I washed my hands and when possible I opened public doors with my sleeve or a napkin, it was sensible. Handles are nasty! Are all Americans civilized? I suspect not! This is why some policies are authoritarian, I get it. Maybe we can maintain a portion of societal compliance, but our future is bleak if viruses like this become the norm. Do you think the average Bronx dropout or the radical teenage socialist will change their ways when this is all over? Remember a large portion of adolescents eat their own boogers! It’s a fallen world!

So what is happening? Almost every area of our lives is been rocked and affected by these mass lock-downs. The loss to our economy and our freedoms are massive. The government is preventing average people from earning a living (can you believe this?) In fact they are destroying our hopes and dreams, crushing our businesses, even keeping people from paying taxes because half the businesses have closed up shop. I have a friend in the party rental business, guess how many parties and weddings will happen this summer? He would normally do seven figures of income and employ many. The taxes that make government run are being withheld, our institutions are even starving themselves, but I’ll bet none in government will miss a paycheck! Deficits are increasing to unsustainable levels, and we are not being told how all this is going to be paid for. These are gigantic economic problems are being stored up for the future. If this nonsense of scale continues the middle and lower classes will not have the slightest chance of regaining our freedoms or our standard of living. Of course nothing will change for the ultra rich. Jeff Bezos will not miss a hundred billion dollars if all falls apart, he’s still have a few measly billion dollars left, but he is likely hedged anyway.

In the title of this post I suggest that we are not being invaded by Martians nor is this 1918 when the last huge pandemic took place amd multiple millions of people died. If it was like that, then these measures might be appropriate. A famous British journalist tells the story of a doctor who sees his patient with chicken pox and he says to him, “the only possible way to to deal with this is to cut off your left leg. This is a new treatment,” he goes on, “the treatment was developed in China and is being used around the world. And we believe it is your only hope.” So they cut off his leg and he recovers from the chicken pox; just as he would have had they done nothing or something different. In this case and ours, in the end all he has to deal with is one missing leg. This is the principal in which all countries are working today. I believe it is quite likely that this virus will eventually just go away or die down with much effort. Despite all our authoritarian efforts a natural immunity or vaccine will likely end it. Yes, a vaccine could eradicate it but that is a long time away; what is our other option?

So tell me please, I can take it, I may even need to know. Tell me with certainty that the information we have says shutting down everything and keeping people in lock-down is helping more that it is hurting, I mean is it really keeping people from dying? I’m not asking about our medical efforts, I know these help. Is all the economic pain saving lives? Is there one policy working consistently around the world that is saving lives? I ask because the stay at home policies in some nations differ widely from ours, and they are experiencing similar medical results. Hong Kong for example kept their businesses open they peaked and headed down slope, but it did not last. So now they are tightening again because the trend reversed, but still most business still remain open, what does this say about our policies? I’d much rather be in St Louis than Hong Kong, maybe being partly open would make sense? I ask why have we followed the tactics of China and not Hong Kong, or Sweden, or Japan, or Brazil? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should do nothing or that we are doing everything wrong. What I’m asking, if you remember, is, “shouldn’t our response be proportional?” I recognize it will take remarkable persistence to control the Coronavirus, maybe even a herculean effort. But we can do it! We can elbow bump, wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and wash our hands after every contact, we have to do this after every trip to the grocery store, liqueur store, or dispensary (Don’t get me started on what’s essential). Older people, those at risk, and those who worry a lot can stay in their homes with our blessing. Even idiots could be fined or thrown in jail if they pose a threat. (This is already the rule in many cities) And business owners could keep their businesses open, people could work in scrubbed and safe environments. If a business is sloppy sue them or let the Twitter trolls #bash them, isn’t that the American way? Remember, I’m debating our response and our good intentions. I offer this mostly as a secular opinion, and offer that our policies look more like we are guessing than thinking, hoping things will stick or making sure the other side does not come up with the next great idea first. If we continue beating the dead horse I believe our response could be catastrophic. Now look at the State of Montana, this is at the heart of my argument, NY has its own issues. We have 250 cases and 5 deaths, does this justify the full extent of our shelter at home policy? For goodness sake we now have contact with way more people at Costco than we ever did before the virus. Am I willing to take the risk to listen to cello music in an outdoor setting with others separated by a reasonable distance. Heck yes! A few risks make sense to me.

Finally, I know I would be exposing myself to danger if things loosen up, and they must. I understand I will not have the satisfaction of saying I was right; I play along well. Writing this has been more like a developmental exercise of my prefrontal cortex, than a hope that anybody will agree with me. It is predictable that political spin and socially acceptable conventions will shortly declare I am wrong in my thinking, I’m prepared. Besides the savage rascal in me makes my voice small, nobody will listen who counts, and half of you think I’m nuts already. So after all this, say’s the rogue spoiler, me, “We all still know the ending.” Some of our loved ones or friends will lose their lives, our economy will be crushed, government will implement more restrictions on our freedoms, the rich will get richer, and our politicians will take credit or blame the other side for everything. I kinda wish we were being invaded by Martians, at least then we would fear a real enemy.

P.S. The above is not the religious solution. I wrote this wrapped in provocative heathen rhetoric. I’m absolutely sure if our nation would come to faith in Jesus, humble itself and pray, asking God for relief He would grant it. Problem solved!