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Archive for August, 2020

Another week, another American city torched by “mostly peaceful protesters.” Police in riot gear clear a park during clashes with protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse late Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. | David Goldman/AP Photo

“In the second century of the Christian Era, the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind.” With this sentence did Edward Gibbon open his famous Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.  Gibbon’s work, first published in 1776, is a sweeping work of history, following the fortunes of the Roman Empire from its height in the second century AD to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.  

It may come as a surprise to some people to find that the Roman Empire lasted into the 15th century.  When we think about the fall of Rome, we tend to focus on the collapse of the Western Empire in AD 476 and forget that Rome had a vibrant eastern portion that did not fall until its capital, Constantinople, fell to the Turks nearly seven hundred years later.  We call this eastern empire Byzantium, but the Byzantines did not call themselves Byzantines.  The term “Byzantine Empire” did not come into use until well after the fall of Constantinople.  No, the people we call Byzantines did not use this term.  They called themselves Romans.   

After the spilling of much ink, Gibbon concludes his work with a chapter in which he discusses what he believes to be the four main causes of the fall of Rome.  He lists them as: 1) The injuries of nature, 2) the hostile attacks of the Barbarians and Christians, 3) the use and the abuse of the materials, and 4) the domestic quarrels of the Romans.  Was Gibbon right in his assessment?  That is for another time to discuss.

Although Gibbon’s work is likely the first to come to mind when people think about decline and fall histories, his was not the first work to describe the chain of events leading from civilizational greatness to civilizational collapse.  As this author has mentioned before in this space, the Old Testament can be viewed, at least in part, as the history of the decline and fall of ancient Israel, or the Hebrew Republic as the 19th century American Presbyterian writer E.C. Wines called it. 

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Black Lives Matter protesters march through Portland, Oregon on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.

  • Isaiah 1:7

Is America under the judgment of God?  Many Christians think so, this author among them. 

Some of our largest, most prosperous and best-known cities are literally burned with fire and will take years to recover, if they ever do. Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, Chicago and New York have seen massive riots and property destruction on a level that few Americans could have imagined just six months ago.  On the internet one can view the daily, destructive handiwork of Antifa in Portland and Seattle.  The Portland riots have been going on for three months now and show no sigh of abating.  In fact, the riots may be spreading, as there are reports just today (8/23/2020) that the sort of disturbances that have been going in the Portland have spread to Denver.       

Our political system is a mess.  The Democrats have veered off in a radical socialist/social justice direction.  So overt is their radicalism that it has caused concern even among some of the older, mainstream liberals in the party.  The Republicans, relatively speaking a saner bunch, have nevertheless lost their moorings in many ways.  There was a time, not all that long ago, when Republicans at least pretended to be the party of fiscal restraint.  Yet under President Trump debts and deficits have exploded and almost no one says a word.  When Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) objected to the house passing the budget busting $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill without a vote, he was denounced by President Trump as a, “third rate Grandstander.”  Trump went on to say that Massie should be thrown out of the Republican party.  That was Massie’s reward for standing up for the Constitution.

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Pastor John MacArthur speaks at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, July 26, 2020. Video screengrab via Vimeo/Grace Community Church

We ought to obey God rather than men.

  • Acts 5:29

Back in April, this space featured a post titled “Church, Sate and Coronavirus: Does the Civil Magistrate Have the Authority to Ban Church Gatherings?” It was a complaint principally inspired by a threat made by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to punish Christians for gathering for worship on Easter Sunday.   According to an article published on the Gateway Pundit website, “The state of Kentucky is cracking down on Easter weekend worshippers by recording the license plates of people who attend services and forcing them to ‘self-quarantine’ for two weeks afterwards.”

Go to church on Sunday as the Good Book commands; Governor Beshear sics his hall monitors on you and rewards you with two weeks house arrest.  What a guy.

The intervening four months since the above article appeared have seen a continuation of the coronavirus Caligulas’ crackdown on American Christians’ liberty to worship.  As such, it seemed good to revisit this issue. 

Of course, the coronavirus Caligulas don’t limit themselves to cracking down on Christians.  There are plenty of examples of governors and mayors decreeing this or that thing verboten that no one until just a few months ever so much as thought would be banned for any reason.

All this in the name of fighting the dreaded “second wave.”

But for now, these other outrages I elect to pass over.  Not because I think them unworthy of discussion, but because time and space would fail me were I to go through them all. 

If you’re inclined to learn more about the ways in which big government, big pharma and various and sundry globalists are joining forces to use Covid to strip you of your God-given, Constitutionally guaranteed, liberties, there is no better source than the Ron Paul Liberty Report.  There you will find dozens of videos on the Covid crisis made over the past five months.

One recent video that is especially relevant to our discussion today aired Thursday, August 13 and is titled “Defiance! 6,000 Attend ‘Illegal’ California Church Service.”        

This video concerns the decision by Grace Community Church (John MacArthur’s church) to hold services in defiance of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s July 13 ban on indoor church services on the state’s COIVID-19 monitoring list.  This affects about 80 percent of California’s population.  The California Governor’s decision to ban indoor services altogether followed a ban earlier in the month on singing in church

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An employee holds a 1-kilogram gold bar in the precious metals vault at Pro Aurum KG in Munich, Germany, on July 22. Andreas Gebert / Bloomberg via Getty Images

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.

  • Proverbs 22:3

July 27, 2020 was a historic day for those who follow precious metals.  For it was on that day that gold surpassed its old all-time high in U.S. dollars – the old all-time high being $1,921 – to close at $1,965. 

That was just thirteen days ago. 

Since that time, gold has closed as high as $2,069 and now sits at $2,042, its closing price on Friday, August 7. 

To put that in some perspective, once year ago gold closed at $1,495.  That was on Friday, August 9, 2019. 

Put another way, gold is up over 36% in U.S. dollars in the space of a year.  That’s a raging bull market in anyone’s book.  Yet, oddly, the mainstream financial press has had relatively little to say about it.     

But what about silver?  Glad you asked!

After lagging gold for the past 14 months, silver has recently show signs of life.  Unlike gold, silver has not yet punched through its old all-time high of $50 set back in 1980, or even its more recent near all-time high of $47 set back in 2011.

Nevertheless, silver has been on a nice run recently and is up over $10 an ounce in the past two months.  As of Friday’s close, silver sits at $28.41. 

But the purpose of this post is not to throw a lot a boring numbers at you.  No.  The purpose of this post is to help you understand what these numbers really mean for you.

In short, this is a return to one of the major themes of this blog over the past two years.  It is a warning to take cover.  Tough times are coming. 

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