Posted in Uncategorized

Breaking News…Welcome to My New Podcast

I wanted to take a few moments of your time this morning to introduce you to my new podcast: https://anchor.fm/kristafal-miller. For those interested I am now converting many of my blogs into podcasts, so that the busy person who does not have time to read my lengthy posts, but still wants to be in the up-and-up on my musings in light of a biblical worldview, will be able to do so. In the future, it is my hope that I will find the time to develop this into use for a broader application. Until then, I will do my best to have all current blogs converted into podcasts, and in the future will knock the proverbial dust off of some others to introduce others to writings of my own that I believe will be of use to you.

May the Lord Jesus Christ richly bless you and yours during this season of Thanksgiving.

Sincerely yours In Christ,

Dr. Kristafal Miller

Posted in Pro-Life

Kyle Rittenhouse: Provocateur or Defender?

The devising of foolishness is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to humanity. If you show yourself lacking courage on the day of distress, your strength is meager. Rescue those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to the slaughter, oh hold them back!” (Prov 24.9-11; NASB).1
Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; save them from the hand of the wicked” (Psa 82.3-4).
Because I saved the poor who cried for help, and the orphan who had no helper…I broke the jaws of the wicked and rescued the prey from his teeth” (Job 29.12, 17).

INTRODUCTION:

Last Friday (11/19/2021) a verdict was reached in the Kyle Rittenhouse case. The eighteen year old had five felony charges2 against him for his deadly use of force during one of last years spree of Black Lives Matter—Antifa riots in Kenosha, WI. On the night of August 25, 2020 Rittenhouse fatally shot two men (Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber), and seriously injured another man (Gaige Grosskreutz), in what he claimed was self-defense. The jury found the defendant Rittenhouse “Not-Guilty” on all five charges. He was acquitted of all wrong doing.

It didn’t take long for the narratives to start flying in two distinct directions:

  • Progressives argue that “self-defense” was not the issue, rather it was a hateful, mean-spirited young man who got away with murder. Racial injustice won again. Whiteness was triumphant.
  • Conservatives on the other hand have claimed that this case is an exemplary model of the 2nd Amendment. They tout Rittenhouse as a hero. A “poster-boy” for self-defense.3

Originally, I had written an entirely different piece that I had wanted to post last Saturday morning (11/20/2020). Like many intentions, however, that one fell through. And so, I have sought to narrow down my original thoughts to get at some of the underlying assumptions surrounding this case.

Contextual considerations first…

If we are going to analyze a situation, along with the questions that arise from it, the first thing that we ought to do is consider the background material that surrounds it. That’s the responsible thing to do. Brashness may make headlines. It may bring you notoriety. But, rushing in to assess a situation before all the information is carefully weighed…in the end just highlights foolishness.

The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him” (Prov 18.17).

Much better is the individual who seeks knowledge through discernment (Prov 18.15) than the person who is quick to state their own opinion, turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to all others (Prov 18.2).

What was happening during the summer of 2020? Besides all the COVID hoopla. Race riots. Or, so-called race riots. What various progressive news organizations called “mostly peaceful protests.” As this picture from CNN illustrates:4

The protests that were occurring in Kenosha, WI before the Rittenhouse incident were in reaction to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a young black man on August 23, 2020. Blake was shot by police officer Rusten Sheskey in the back four times leaving him paralyzed. This was in response to a call about an individual attempting to steal a car. Blake, who is seen moments earlier resisting arrest, hurriedly walks around the vehicle armed with a knife, which he claims he was attempting to put in the car.5

Everything over the past year and a half has said to be in relation to racism. After the death of George Floyd many cities witnessed violent rioting, theft, malicious attacks on citizens and officers alike, with the burning of personal property. This is the contextual background for that fatal night of August 25, 2020 when Rittenhouse, along with others of the same mindset, sought to protect their community from the criminal activities raining down on Kenosha.

I’ve heard the arguments offered. I’ve listened to the voices of those that say, “He shouldn’t have been there;” “He shouldn’t have had a gun;” “He should have let the authorities handle it.” On the surface such claims sound intelligent. Why carry a gun in public? Why head to an area where you know trouble is likely to happen; likely to suck you in? Why do something that will, by all intents and purposes, make you seem like a vigilante?

Problematic narrative…

Herein lies the problem with the current narrative surrounding the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. Both groups are arguing against a behavior that has been put on display in the civil sphere. The progressives are arguing for justice, for fairness, for the propagation of what is right over and against what is wrong. They see little problem with the demonstrations that we have on record in various cities and towns where truly peaceful protests have been forgotten. The right of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States affords all parties infringed upon to assemble and to address their grievances to the powers that be. Those elected officials have been granted ruling authority, by the people, to do what is right, what is honorable, what is good, while at the same time bearing the sword of vengeance against those who refuse to abide by those things.

In a similar vein, the same argument could be laid at the feet of those whose profession is conservatism. Armed vigilante justice is not justice, but a taking of the law into one’s own hands. A pretense being perpetrated that individual perception, individual authority, individual might and power rule the day. This too is wrong on its face.

The problem with the riots is that politicians do little but talk to their base about the rightness or wrongness of them. They do not actually involve themselves in the “thick and thin” of the matter, so to speak. They give talking points when it benefits their bottom line, but offer little substantive aid to those being wronged.

This was also the problem facing Kenosha, WI on the night that Kyle Rittenhouse was present, the night when his life was threatened and two men’s lives were taken in the wake, with a third being severely injured. Rittenhouse and others acted as militia in order to protect the lives/property of those in Kenosha that they knew. This wouldn’t have been necessary if the police had been willing to do their job, if the local officials would have had their backs, and if state and federal officials had been more than mere parrots repeating platitudes to their constituents.

But, they failed. They allowed one group to exercise a form of vigilante justice (as they perceived it) against what those they assumed were guilty—I’m speaking of the Black Lives Matter/Antifa movement. Feeling slighted. Convinced that they are defending those who have been treated unfairly, they demonstrated on the streets. What started out as “mostly peaceful” during the day, had by night time, become anything but.

Comparing to educate…

Why did it get this way? There were (are) several factors, but one glaring reason was due to cowardice.6 The cowardice on the part of those who were in positions of leadership, those who are called to serve their communities, led to Rittenhouse and his group trying to fill in the gap against the one’s attacking the quote-on-quote “system.”

Passages like Ecclesiastes 8:11 warns of the outcome. At least in terms of criminal activity. (Now if I have to convince you that robbery, arson, and assault are in fact crimes, then I am afraid that there is little we shall agree upon).

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of mankind among them are fully given to do evil.”

Some may want to disagree, but I find it interesting that when we take a compare and contrast approach there is a markedly different atmosphere, discernibly so, between what took place last year during the summer of BLM and the winter of January 6 in Washington, D.C.

Two representative perspectives…

The progressives represented by BLM and a contingent of people who felt disturbed with what they had been witnessing (Jacob Blake in Kenosha, but George Floyd as the catalyst) sought to demonstrate their position, to make their grievances known, in the community in which they lived. Even if it may be established that initially these assemblies were peaceful, things radically changed by nights end. A pattern which continued for days.

The conservatives7 represented by Rittenhouse and his band of merry individuals also felt disturbed with what they had been witnessing in Kenosha (after Blake) and no doubt in other parts of the country (after Floyd). And so, they sought to demonstrate their position, to make their grievances known, in the community in which they lived.

Like minded individuals like Rittenhouse did not attack individuals of another color, they did not attack police officers, and they showed respect for their neighbors property/livelihood by standing as a bastion of protection. There is a marked difference in approaches between the two groups, if you are willing to see it. One movement was characterized by aggression, the other took a more defensive posture. Like it or not one group was a provocateur the other was not.

Like it or not, this was what the jury in the Rittenhouse case discerned as well. The evidence in the case, when interpreted correctly, showed that the young man carried himself commendably when the situation called for it. He did not go to Kenosha on the night of August 25, 2020 to incite violence, but to offer protection to those in need if violence came knocking.

Closing Remarks…

As a father with sons about Kyle Rittenhouse’s age this case hit too close to home. In a perfect world fathers would not send their sons out to such battles. I cannot say that if my son were in that same situation I would not have tried to temper him from going where harm was present. It is a sad state of affairs when children are braver than the men who are called to lead. Had the cops and those over them been more concerned about loving their neighbors, by protecting them from harm, instead of being perceived as racists that night in Kenosha, young men like Kyle would not have felt the need to stand in the gap.

That night was NOT about race. I know that’s not what politicians want you to think. I know that’s not what the media wants you to think. And, I know that it’s not what groups like BLM/Antifa want you to think. But the facts are the facts. Kyle did not go to Kenosha armed with a gun and a medic pack to harm blacks. He went there to protect people and businesses (that have nothing to do with injustices committed in our legal system) from harm. He acted the part of the defender when others would not. Period.

There are many layers to this onion that need unraveling, but this should suffice for now.

ENDNOTES:

**Image provided by MSNBC with the caption “If Kyle Rittenhouse was Muslim.” https://media-cldnry.s-nbcnews.com/image/upload/t_fit-760w,f_auto,q_auto:best/newscms/2020_48/3430453/201123-ms-kyle-rittenhouse-main-2×1-an.jpg.

1All Scripture unless otherwise noted shall be of the New American Standard Bible, 2020 update (NASB).

2CNN, “These are the 5 charges the jury in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial considered,” November 19, 2021, 7 Boston News, https://whdh.com/news/these-are-the-5-charges-the-jury-in-kyle-rittenhouses-trial-considered/.

3Charles Creitz, “Trump praises Rittenhouse acquittal, calls the case ‘Prosecutorial Misconduct,’” The Ingraham Angle—Fox News, November 20, 2021, accessed 11/20/2021, https://www.foxnews.com/media/trump-rittenhouse-acquittal-prosecutorial-misconduct.

4Paul Joseph Watson, “CNN Describes ‘Mostly Peaceful’ Riots as Kenosha Burns,” InfoWars, August 27, 2020, Published by Auto on 28 August 2020, https://unshackledminds.com/cnn-describes-mostly-peaceful-riots-as-kenosha-burns/.

5Brittany De Lea, “Jacob Blake admits he had a knife when he was shot by police,” Fox News, January 14, 2021, https://www.foxnews.com/us/jacob-blake-knife-shot-police.

6There are other reasons driving the current “chaos” in our society. Civil unrest benefits those who want to tear our society apart, to rip it from the last remnants of its former foundation (the Christian faith) and rebuild from the ashes and dust that remain into a perceived utopia that is Marxism of which a large number of secular humanists enjoy.

7I use the term “conservative” rather loosely here. To be honest I do not know what Rittenhouse’s political affiliations are, if any. Before this year (2021) he wasn’t even old enough to vote. The picture of him carrying a gun squashes the notion that he isn’t a representative of the conservative position for others. Personally, I prefer to use a different designation for the “conservative movement” does not accurately represent my Christian values on all points. Though in normal conversation I would admit to being conservative in light of the Christian character of our original institutions in this nation.

Posted in Biblical Questions

Would Jesus be Woke Today? – The American Vision

Matthew Dowd who was the chief strategist for the re-election campaign of former President George W. Bush who’s now running as a Democrat in the Texas lieutenant governor’s race implied in a tweet that conservatives and Republicans would criticize Jesus as being “woke” if He were alive today. Given the definition of being woke, Jesus would denounce it since it’s being used to promote racial division in the name of “social justice.
— Read on americanvision.org/posts/would-jesus-be-woke-today/

By Gary DeMar at American Vision.

This article reveals what occurs when foolish people attempt to interpret the Bible in order to justify a social(istic) issue like Wokeism. In short, their argument, proposition or premise falls flat on its face because it’s false–Dr. Kristafal Miller

Posted in religion

Religious Recommendation: For those who believe they have an exemption

Now while Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he observed that the city was full of idols…So Paul stood in the midst of the Aeropagus and said, ‘Men of Athens, I see that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this transcription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you’” (Acts 17.16, 21-23; NASB).1

Their idols [unbelieving peoples] are silver and gold, the work of human hands…Those who make them are like them” (Psa 115.4, 8).

For they exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…” (Rom 1.25a).

_________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION:

What is religion? What is a religious person? Are you one? Do you know such an individual? I ask because I’m convinced that many people do not know the true answer.

Over the past few months I have spent a significant amount of time attempting to provide individuals from a variety of businesses with information on religious exemptions pertaining to the medical treatment being rammed down American throats (actually jabbed in the arm) without their informed consent. I say “without informed consent” because of the strong arm tactics being used in order to force compliance. Very little information is given about this medical treatment. There is no 3-5 year safety data provided. Any data provided that is counter to the current narrative is silenced, mocked or ignored. A medical crisis is claimed but evidently not one so serious that we cannot fire a large portion of our health professionals.

The hysteria regarding this illness is disturbing. Arguments of irrationality are provided by those that pretend to be completely rational. For example, if face diapers work then why bother those who refrain from wearing them? If they cannot prevent smoke particles from getting into your lungs, then why say that they can stop viruses which are measurably smaller? If the medical treatment is safe and effective, then why not provide an ingredient list? Why suppress adverse reactions including death? If it is out of love for neighbor, then where is your love the neighbor that has legitimate concerns for not getting it? If the information provided by the “experts” is accurate and truthful, then why refuse to have an open debate in the public sphere where other “experts” in the same fields of study disagree in their interpretation of the data? Why censor rather than critically analyze? If you’ve received the medical treatment and you believe it works as intended, then why are your fearful of those who have not? If protection is truly offered, then how can you be harmed? Why are the numbers still rising in cases and deaths when more people have taken the prescribed treatment? How can the numbers be higher when the majority of the population has participated in this medical experiment?

To use a simple analogy for those uncomfortable with answering probing questions:

Automobiles travel at high speeds and people, due to human error, tend to have accidents. In the past people did not wear seat belts and as a result the death count was too high. So actions were taken to educate and enforce the use of seat belts in all automobiles. The seat belts were deemed safe and effective and the best tool available to curb the high fatality rate. Nearly 70% of the driving population was convinced that wearing seat belts was the best preventive measure they could take. The took the experts advice and did what they recommended (i.e., they followed the guidelines). But when the data came in and the numbers were crunched the fatality rate had not really dropped. The cases of seat belt fatalities was as high if not higher than the previous year. What was the problem? Why were the number still too high? Ah the reason is simple. The 30% (or less) who refused to wear seat belts were the source of the higher case load of deaths. Driving would not truly be safe for anyone, not even those who wore seat belts and were protected, until the radical 30% learned their place and submitted to the tool provided by the experts. Until they were brought in line with the rest of the safety conscious public driving would too dangerous of an activity to pursue. (Hypothetical scenario for illustrative purposes only).

Back to Religion…

Now I started off this post with questions pertaining to religion. And I made the bold statement that many people in our day don’t know the answer as to what a religion is and who is actually a religious person. I also shared that I have made myself available as a pastor to aid individuals seeking a religious exemption from their employer regarding a particular mandate coming down the pike. And I am glad to say that some of my efforts have been successful. However, I have noticed a bit of confusion on the part of many both inside and outside the Christian fellowship.

There have been those that have assumed that to be a religious person you must be associated with a particular sect or denomination or faith. Others have argued that science, medicine or politics are not religious in nature, thus, you cannot make an argument against what the “experts” are saying on the grounds of religious faith. Sadly, some notable pastors have offered this idea from one degree to another.

  • Popular pastor and author John Piper argues that in light of the evidence presented in the media by the approved experts, Christians have little reason to avoid taking the prescribed medical treatment. An act of godly love should drive their decision not peer pressure from apparently joining the ranks of those they normally oppose. After discussing the freedom we experience in Jesus Christ, Piper argues we dare not use that freedom to violate others: “But woe to us Christians if this radical freedom makes us cocky.”2
  • Robert Jeffress a pastor in Dallas, TX is dismissive of those that try to appeal to religion as a way to avoid getting the government’s medicine. He confidently asserts that you might as well avoid other medications if you’re going to be consistent, and then explains that neither he nor his staff will be providing recommendations for anyone seeking a religious exemption.3

Both men are entitled to their opinion. All people are. But the freedom to express one’s opinion is not the same thing as being right. I’m sure that both men have strong feelings about their position and would argue adamantly in defense of it. The freedom to have feelings, even very strong ones, is another right that people have, but neither do feelings, even strong ones, make the position held a correct one.

They are not alone. A large number of Christian ministers promote a similar line of thought as seen in an Associated Press article by David Crary on the Christianity Today website.4 And so, we are back to the questions of religion, who’s religious, and is this a religious issue.

Defining Religion…

According to the American Heritage Dictionary the term means, “A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.”5 The Encyclopedia Britannica (2008) offers a similar meaning, “Relation of human beings to God or the gods or to whatever they consider sacred or, in some cases, merely supernatural.”6 We could peruse other resources but the answer will be the same. Religion may be something more classically understood as a worship of some deity with various ritualistic expressions of devotion; or religion may be understood in its most basic sense as a certain set of beliefs about reality as a whole that are strenuously held to (i.e., deep-seated convictions).

Paul in Athens…

This is precisely what Paul bears witness to while waiting for his ministry team in the ancient Grecian city of Athens (cf. Acts 17.16). As he observes the edifices of their cultural commitments; seen in their architecture and argumentation (i.e., idols, buildings, and thoughts) his spirit is continually being provoked within him. And since Athenians loved nothing more than to discuss this issue or that, to pontificate on this issue or that, we find the apostle entering into the marketplace (of ideas) reasoning with all who would give him audience (Acts 17.21, v. 17 respectively). His behavior earns him further investigation into his own beliefs as he is ushered into the court of ideas, the Aeropagus, where all important matters were weighed and judged (Acts 17.18-20). Paul a highly educated man in both Hebrew and Roman worldviews understood the nature of the case better than his contemporaries. He starts his defense of the Christian faith with a pointed observation of their own:

Men of Athens, I see that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this transcription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you’” (Acts 17.22b-23).

Paul understood his audience better than they understood themselves. They were very religious people. People so cautious that they made an altar to an unknown god lest they offend that which they did not know. Paul’s point was that they worshiped the imaginations of their own mind, even though they knew at least to some extent that in God all people “live and move and exist” (Acts 17.28).

Who is religious?

All people. That’s what Paul said. It’s what the Psalmist explains in Psalm 115. People who deny the God of creation mock His children (cf. Psa 115.2) for believing that He exists because He is immaterial; a spiritual Being that has no beginning and no end, and who is in fact the Author of all beginnings and ends. But it is the unbelieving world that worships the imaginations of their own hearts (Psa 115.4-8). Having denied the God above them they turn inward and worship “the creature rather than the Creator” (Rom 1.25a).

Greg L. Bahnsen makes two pivotal points in his book By This Standard. The first is repeated several times throughout, “All of life is ethical.”7 The second speaks on the ethical mindset of mankind as a whole, “Men will either choose to be governed by God or to be ruled by tyrants.”8

Meaning what? The statement regarding ethics pertains to right and wrong behavior. A system of truth, a standard that determines what people should and should not do. Ethics pertains to the law, and the question that springs from it is, “Whose law?” This leads to Bahnsen’s second point. Either people will submit (individually and corporately) to God’s Law or they will submit to the law of some other. To be governed means to be led. Either people will be led to live their life in accordance with God’s law, or they will follow the lead of one who upholds their own law.

That this is in fact a religious issue may be seen in the words of Jesus the Christ:

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt 6.24; KJV).

Jesus loved the Father and abided in His love (John 15.10). How did He do this? By keeping His commandments. This is the same requirement of any who would call Jesus their master, for if they loved Him they would keep His commandments (John 14.15). Anyone who claims that Jesus is His Master (i.e., Lord) but refuses to keep His commandments (i.e., word) is a liar (cf. Luke 6.46).

Since all of life is ethical, all of life is religious. Either we live to serve the God who created us and gives us life in Jesus, or we live under the law of the creature; ultimately, our own autonomous hearts (cf. Rom 8.7-8).

An issue of religion?

Is the prescribed medical treatment pushed by the civil government and their experts a religious issue? How does the argument go for receiving it? Is it an “ought to do” or an “if you want to?” It seems to me that a wide variety of individuals are arguing that it is something that we “ought to do.” Meaning that various religious leaders, medical professional, scientific experts, and elected politicians are saying that we should and we are wrong if we refuse. So serious are they on the matter that they are willing to use coercion and bullying techniques to get their way. Come January anyone who refuses an attempt will be made to rob them of their way of life. People are trying to couch the issue in terms of public health policy, but in so doing they are attempting to bind your hands and feet in the process.

Something that Piper said in his article that was spot on was that in Jesus Christ the sons/daughters of the kingdom have been set free. Free not only from sin, but free from the traditions of men. Which means at times free from the laws of men. Ultimately we live under the governance of God and not of men. Those who have received authority from on high have done so in a limited (delegated) fashion. They are charged with enforcing good and punishing evil. They are not charged with invoking their own version of good and punishing what they detest as evil.

Killing babies in the womb that is a version of the current civil government’s good. So too is mutilating young boys and girls, and allowing grown adults to play dress up and “let’s pretend.” Let us not forget about promoting envy and covetousness and calling it paying your fair share in order to rob people of their wealth and their children of their inheritance. Are those scientific issues? Are they medical issues? Are they merely political issues? Or are they at base religious issues?

No one has unlimited authority except God alone. Those in authority have limitations where they are permitted to exercise that authority, called jurisdictions. That others in power are attempting to force those underneath them to submit to their every whim is an expression of overreach (i.e., tyranny). They have gone beyond the boundaries prescribed to them by God (cf. Rom 13.1-10). Thus, attempting to force someone to make a medical decision that they are not comfortable with, or have strong convictions against, is in fact the very definition of a religious issue contrary to men like pastor Jeffress. The method or form of which is no different than what the apostles of Jesus Christ rejected in Acts 4:19, 5:29,

Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, make your own judgment… We must obey God rather than men”

Closing Remarks…

I understand full well that the nature of the case regarding this illness is driven by the religious zeal of others. All people are religious, but not all religions are equal. All people follow the law, but not all laws are worthy of consideration. Freedom comes from God who gave life, not from those who wish to call themselves gods and goddesses. The State is a servant not our Master. And if they fail to offer godly (i.e., goodly) service, then they are not worth listening to. Will their be consequences? Oh sure, you can bet on it. But their will be consequences either way you look at it. It’s really just a matter of what sort of consequences are you willing to live with?

Anyone who desires a religious exemption recommendation against what’s coming send me your sincerely held religious beliefs. Tell me in writing your circumstance, regardless of your religious affiliation and I will do my best to give you the best recommendation letter that I can.

I have been asked, “What if I’m not religious?” Which often times means, “What if I do not prescribe to any particular religion?” All people are religious there is no way of getting around that. All people have a worldview that is upheld by a certain set of presuppositions that guide their understanding of the world. Some of the founders of our nation were not Christians but were governed by and large by the biblical worldview. In our nations key documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and our own State Constitutions) certain rights and privileges are recognized as coming from the Creator. The government does not give us those rights, they are established to protect them. Though Thomas Jefferson was no Christian I would have had no problem, based on the criteria I just mentioned, writing him a recommendation for a religious exemption. That is not the same thing as me baptizing him or offering him communion and in turn ushering him into membership in my church. Those things I would not do without a profession of faith, after having time to sit down with him in a ministerial fashion.

We need to keep our categories of thought separate. The government does not have the authority to inject anything they want into your body. They do not have a right to rob you of your livelihood. You can be a conscientious objector, fall under the protections of our rights as citizens, and not share my faith. I’m not vouching for you as a Christian, but as a citizen in the United States that has your religious freedoms being stomped on! If God allows unbelievers to dwell in the land (as He did in ancient Israel), then who am I to say “Nope. Sorry. You don’t believe like I do, I can’t help you.” We are called to love our neighbors, even our enemies (cf. Deut 22.1-4; Prov 24.17-18), and if I am able to help aid you in such a fashion that does not violate my Lord’s commandments… then I will. I’ve already done it for some, I’m more than willing to offer what aid I can.

ENDNOTES:

1All Scripture unless otherwise noted shall be of the New American Standard Bible, 2020 Update (NASB).

2John Piper, “A Reason to Be Vaccinated: Freedom,” Desiring God blog, October 19, 2021, accessed October 29, 2021, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/a-reason-to-be-vaccinated-freedom.

I appreciate the stated concern of Piper in this article, but I disagree with his premise. I believe that he has failed to consider the religious lens that guides the interpretation of data in any field of study; including, science and medicine. Worldviews guide interpretations of all data. A persons network of presuppositions are intricate and offer a bias as to how they will reach conclusions on a variety of subjects. Suppose we took Piper’s argument and applied it to the popular environmentalism of our day. There are “experts” that the civil government and popular media use to push forward their agenda of going green. Are we to take their interpretations at face-value? Are we to assume that they have the “fact of the matter” set, and then conclude that no other interpretations are available regarding the same data? Are we to believe that their own convictions about how one should care for the world in which we live is the only possible one? We know that we have freedom in Christ, but we shouldn’t allow that freedom in Christ to make us cocky. We’ve been commanded to be faithful stewards of the earth. Evidence by the “experts” shows that we are destroying our planet, that fossil fuels are dangerous, and the CO2 levels present a dangerous hazard to life on earth; therefore, we should stop cows from farting, only drive electric cars, and each have an Asherah pole in our backyards. Okay, so that last one was a little tongue-in-cheek, but the hysteria that drives that movement (environmentalism) is similar in form to the current one regarding the illness that has been front page news for over 20 months now. You could apply Piper’s argument in the same way because stating the “facts” alone does not in fact prove anything; other than espouse the worldview of those driving the narrative. Piper fails to consider or does not care to discern the religious motivations of those guiding the current agenda regarding the espoused medical treatment he says partaking in would be an act of love.

3Joshua Zitser, “Texas megachurch preacher and Trump devotee says there is no ‘credible religious argument’ against COVID-19 vaccines,” Insider, September 19, 2021, accessed October 29, 2021, https://www.businessinsider.com/no-credible-religious-argument-against-covid-19-vaccines-megachurch-pastor-2021-9?op=1. Obviously, Jeffress does not see the current medical dilemma as a religious issue, but is he right?

4https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/april/white-evangelicals-pastors-covid-vaccine-skepticism.html.

5American Heritage Dictionary, 5th edition, s.v., “religion.” https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=religion.

6“Religion,” Britannica Desktop Encyclopedia (Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008).

7Greg L. Bahnsen, By This Standard: The Authority of God’s Law Today (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1985), 13, 19, 21, 27. PDF e-book.

8Ibid, 265.