Posted in Uncategorized

A Liberty Catechism

Below I have arranged 52 questions on the nature of liberty as biblically understood. If parents work through these questions with their children, …

A Liberty Catechism

Informative and well worth the read. By Pastor Doug Wilson, Christ’s Church.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Sides of the North Are Slippery

The Sides of the North Are Slippery

The Sides of the North Are Slippery


— Read on dougwils.com/books-and-culture/s7-engaging-the-culture/the-sides-of-the-north-are-slippery.html

I choose, and have chosen this option for quite a while now, option #2. What about you? Which option are you party to? Read and find out.

In Christ,

Kristafal

Ps. Merry Christmas! And don’t you forget it.

Posted in Worldview Analysis

Post Verdict: Cherry Picking Narratives

INTRODUCTION:

A few days ago I started sharing some of my personal observations regarding the Kyle Rittenhouse case. My point in that article was that without the necessary background acting as a buffer to inform you of the events surrounding the situation, then your conclusions will be inaccurate. Which, oddly enough, is the nature of today’s post. As I stated at the close of my last article, there were a few layers to this onion that need to be peeled back and weighed in on.

It has been argued…strenuously so…in various social/corporate media outlets that this incident was instigated because of race. In other words, it has been said that the Rittenhouse shootings were racially motivated. I disagree with that sentiment. Racism, as it has been traditionally understood, was not what led to the death of two men and the injuring of a third. However, if we are speaking in light of reactions post verdict, there seems to be an element of truth to this notion. Just not in the direction that popularizers want you to see it. Before I get into that though allow me to admit something from the “get and the go” as it were. A buffering agent, if you will.

Admitting a few things…

Empathy1 demands that I at least consider the plight of others before I begin treading through this historic event offering my own insight. I’m not black. I didn’t live during the civil unrest of Martin Luther King Jr.’s day. I didn’t experience Jim Crow laws or feel the harshness of segregation. I wasn’t a slave in the antebellum south, but I can see those things for what they are. Horrible abuses of fellow human beings. Mistreatment based on externals. A demonstrable illustration of the moral depravity of mankind and its hatred for one another.

Given the current status of our cancel-culture’s wokeist ideological demands I realize that such comments, regardless of their sincerity, will fall deaf on ears. There will be some that will hear them, but not many. We do live in some interesting times. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when a person or a community of persons disregards the expressed thoughts of another.

Why do I say that? Am I speaking about my own experiences? Well…I have had them. But, no, I’m not referencing my personal encounters here. I am, however, speaking about what I’ve heard after the Rittenhouse verdict.

The young man gave his testimony. He said, “This is the reason why I did what I did.”2 He felt like his life was threatened, and he acted in kind. The argument of whether you should bring a gun into the equation, and whether or not that disqualifies you from using “self-defense” as a legitimate reason for acting in the way he did on August 25, 2020 is something I want to address in another post. But let’s get something straight: he didn’t come to Kenosha to shoot someone. He didn’t come to Kenosha to incite violence. According to his own testimony, Rittenhouse came to Kenosha that night in order to protect his neighbors (members of his community) from harm.

What was heard…

What was heard in Rittenhouse’s testimony? What was seen in the eyes, in the minds of the watching populace? Racism. Not just in what Rittenhouse did, but in how his case was decided by a jury of his own peers. As a comment quoted by Mario Koran writing for The Guardian reveals:

“What happened today is not right,” [Brook Love] said. “Any reasonable person can see that. People call this a judicial system. I call it a non-system, because most systems work. This non-system is not working. It’s a miscarriage of justice. If a person of colour [sic] would have shot those people, they’d be under the jail. There’s a double standard. How dare anyone call this a judicial system?”3

Though I do not fault the 63-year old black woman who made this statement, I do blame the reporter for the Guardian. Had Koran did a little research before having his article published, he’d have seen that a similar situation occurred in 2017.

Counter Examples…

In that case, a black man named Stephen Spencer (31-years old) was acquitted of murder charges by a jury of his peers in October 2018. Spencer fatally shot an unarmed white man outside a bar in Pittston, PA. Spencer, like Rittenhouse, claimed self-defense. And, like Rittenhouse, he was found “not-guilty.” And to quote Spencer’s testimony after the verdict had been reached in his behalf, “Justice was served.”4

So was Koran being lazy, over zealous, or committed to a particular agenda when he wrote this recent article for The Guardian? I’m sure we’ll never know. But a man of integrity would have did a better job.

The Spencer case is not unique. There are others like it not reported in the media, nor spoken of that often in social media-verse. Like, for instance, Andrew Coffee.

Haven’t heard of him? Haven’t seen much on his trial and the circumstances surrounding it? No wonder, it doesn’t fit the popular narrative. Coffee was charged with six felony counts, but was found not guilty on five of them. The five dealing with the death of his girlfriend Alteria Woods. She was shot 10 times being “caught in the crossfire…during an early morning drug raid at [Coffee’s] home back in 2017.”5 As a part of his legal defense, “Coffee’s attorneys claimed that police did not announce themselves upon entering, and Coffee shot in self defense. Police fired back at him, and Woods was shot…later dying from her injuries.”6 Though Coffee was found not guilty in regards to the murder/attempted murder charges, he was found guilty of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.7

What was (is) reality…

Two cases that prove the opposite of what is being claimed. If it was injustice that Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of wrong doing, when he defended himself against three criminal assailants, then how was it justice that Stephen Spencer (a black man) defended himself against what he claimed was a mob of white men? If the system is so broken (and I do not deny that there are many things wrong with it), then why was a man like Coffee (also black), a convicted felon in possession of a gun, found not guilty of murder in the first degree?

More importantly, why has the media been relatively silent on these things? What is the agenda here? Is there an agenda? One might be tempted to think, “No, there’s no agenda here.” There’s not? Really?

Let us look at one more case before I wrap this up. A couple days after the Rittenhouse verdict another mass killing took place. This time it was in Waukesha, WI.

What happened? Depends on who you turn to for your news. According to CNN, an “SUV plow[ed] into [a] Christmas parade killing 5.”8 An SUV killed and injured adults and children during a town Christmas parade. A vehicle, not a person? An object not an individual is said to be responsible. At least initially, until the progressive news organization experienced backlash.

The argument of bias here is blatantly obvious. Rittenhouse killed two and injured another, and the first word out of the media’s mouth is “racism.” It was a “white versus black thing.” Another stain on the American legal system that is against people of color. But a couple days after the “not guilty” verdict in Kenosha, WI, a black man named Darryl Brooks (39 years old) kills and injures a much larger group and its crickets. Even when it can be demonstrated that the individual (Brooks) hated whites.9

And when its not crickets its objects, not a person driven by evil motives. Not a person who has a criminal record. Not a person who has been known to be violent in his past. Nope. Nada. No way! Racism is only the “white man’s problem,” its never an issue for a person of color. Herein lies the element of truth that I hinted at in the beginning of this article. Color is an issue, but it is an issue that one group plays the hypocrite referencing it.

What We Know…

So what do we know? There is a blindness that has plagued our nation. A blindness to true justice. A blindness to right and wrong.

It would be bad enough if it were just the stereotypical attitude you sometimes find prevalent in various little clicks. You know, the kind of thing that you had to deal with in high school (or even middle school for that matter) where one group of people thinks and acts like they are better than all the rest. Not only that, but they will lie through their teeth in order to perpetrate the reality that they want others to believe in.

That is our current social-corporate media verse. The big names in Media, groups like CNN, MSNBC, and yes, I would throw FOX NEWS into that bunch depending on the subject matter (say like, pertaining to COVID-19), are purposely setting out to mislead and stir up strife within the American populace. Propaganda is being put on display as real news. This we witness on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the like. The proof that this is in fact the case, and I’m not just blathering my own opinion, is seen in the great wash of censorship going on to any dissenting narratives. My only hope is that Americans are wise enough to catch on before its too late.

For my next post I want to look at the biblical argument for true justice, but until then have a great weekend.

ENDNOTES:

1Often confused with sympathy, to be empathetic means that you are not so emotionally detached that you cannot at least put yourself in another person’s shoes. If you want a more technical definition, here you go: “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experiences fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.” Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary & Thesaurus, def. 2, 2008 desktop version.

2 “Full video_Prosecutors Cross-Examine Kyle Rittenhouse.

https://www.rev.com/transcript-editor/shared/A7O97pOTyqr5Uhejo4HM7hpXs-vzdMLEc7w5J2_rk4uX-fpGgO6mwaRWXjymKd6V29htasJuffOuGIHHejB299YJJCM?loadFrom=SharedLink.


3Mario Koran, “As Kyle Rittenhouse walks free, Kenosha is left to pick up the pieces,” The Guardian, November 20, 2021, accessed 11/20/2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/20/as-kyle-rittenhouse-walks-free-kenosha-is-left-to-pick-up-the-pieces.

4“Black Man Acquitted after Killing White Man During Racially Charged Bar Dispute,” BlackNews.com, August 12, 2019, accessed 11.29/2021, https://www.blacknews.com/news/stephen-spencer-black-man-acquitted-killing-white-man-racially-charged-bar-dispute/.

5Kimberlee Kaye, “Another self defense case, Andrew Coffee found not guilty on 5 counts, including murder, attempted murder,” Legal Insurrection, November 20, 2021, accessed 11/29/2021, https://legalinsurrection.com/2021/11/another-self-defense-case-andrew-coffee-found-not-guilty-on-5-counts-including-murder-attempted-murder/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=another-self-defense-case-andrew-coffee-found-not-guilty-on-5-counts-including-murder-attempted-murder&fbclid=IwAR23f_cY2igVRoXArMbcPBmbp7LYBdpLIrz392nTuPxboEX6La1hx5FA0Go.

6Leah Anaya, “Who is Andrew Coffee and Why is the Media Mostly Silent on His Acquittal?” Red Voice Media, November 21, 2021, accessed 11/29/2021, https://www.redvoicemedia.com/2021/11/who-is-andrew-coffee-and-why-is-the-media-mostly-silent-on-his-acquittal/.

7The truly sad note in this case is that Woods, Coffee’s girlfriend that died as a result of that fatal morning, did not receive justice. The defense blamed the SWAT team, and the prosecution blamed the young man who had a gun illegally and opened fire after the officers had announced themselves. Had Coffee refrained from getting a gun, had he withheld from pulling the trigger at police, then the events as they unfolded would have went much differently. Someone was responsible for the death of Woods. Someone ought to be held accountable. And the color of their skin, nor the type of uniform being worn, should factor into the decision. If the officers came in unannounced or if Coffee fired at them knowingly, someone should have been held accountable for that girls death; even if it was only accidental manslaughter.

8Aditi Sangal, Meg Warner, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya, and Mike Hayes, “At least 5 killed after SUV plows parade into Wisconsin holiday parade,” CNN, updated (modified) November 23, 2021, accessed 12/2/2021, https://edition.cnn.com/us/live-news/wisconsin-waukesha-christmas-parade-car-plow-11-22-21/index.html.

9Lee Brown, “Darryl Brooks shared pro-Hitler memes, called for violence against white people,” New York Post, Updated November 24, 2021, accessed 12/3/2021, https://nypost.com/2021/11/24/darrell-brooks-called-for-violence-against-white-people/. Brown points out in his article that many of Brook’s “…disturbing memes and messages on social media…have been deleted since his arrest for Sunday’s [11.21.2021] deadly carnage” (par. 2).

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.