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A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.

  • Proverbs 27:12

Here we stand at the end of the Year of Our Lord 2020 and at the precipice of 2021.  My, how time flies.

When I was pondering what to write this week, it took some time, but it finally dawned on me that this would be my last Sunday post of 2020.  “Of course,” I thought to myself, “it’s time for my year-in-review post. Problem solved!”

Before launching into a review of 2020 and casting an eye toward the future in coming year, I would like to take this occasion to thank my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus for all the blessings he has brought into my life over the past year.  For the grace he has shown me in forgiving all my sins and patiently teaching me, for a job to pay my bills, for health to do that which I needed to and wanted to accomplish, for the love of family and friends.

It would be remiss of me not to mention how thankful I am for the Lord’s gracious provision in my life to write this blog.  I began blogging in March of 2009, so it won’t be long before I celebrate 12 years of posting online.  Most blogs make it only a few months.  That I have had the strength to sustain this work for so long is a testament, not to my skill or smarts or energy or anything in me, but to the calling and faithfulness of the Lord.  During my first five years of blogging, I posted occasionally.  Here a little, there a little.  It was in November 2014 that I prayed God would help me to reach the goal of posting at least once a week, and he heard me.  From that time until now, I have not gone a week without writing and posting at least one article.       

I thank God also for the opportunity to resume work on my podcast, Radio Lux Lucet.  I mentioned in last year’s end of year podcast that I wanted to start podcast again more regularly.  As it turned out, although I didn’t start out the year all that well, I have managed to string together about eight weeks in a row of podcasts, so that’s progress!

Finally, I would like to thank my readers for their support during 2020.  It is my prayer with each post that the name of God would be glorified and that my words would edify his people.  With every post, it is my goal to bring you perspective on the events of the day that you won’t be able to find just anywhere.  As John Robbins was wont to point out, the Bible has a systematic monopoly on truth.  This includes truth in the areas that I like to write about, namely, economics and politics.  The psalmist wrote, “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.”  Writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” While I don’t claim to have greater understanding than all my teachers, I can testify to the fact that there is nothing that can prepare the Christian to take on the received “wisdom” of this world more than a solid grounding in the Scriptures.  All the truths of philosophy, politics, and economics are hidden in Christ Jesus.  And there is no other source to which Christion must repair to fight the good fight of faith against the lies of this world – and how many lies there are and how great! – than to the 66 books of the Bible.  It is from the Word of God that Christians must rebuke senators, judges, governors, presidents, prime ministers and popes for their sinful and foolish words and actions.  And this, the Apostle tells us, is a good work for which the Scriptures thoroughly equip the Christian man.  It is this good work I aim to do with each post.

Thanks is also due to those who have graciously donated to support the work of this blog.  I greatly appreciate your kindness.

Special thanks is also owed to John Bradshaw, brother in Christ, friend and keen eyed and patient editor of my posts.  This blog is much better for your work.  Thank you.     

So, with all that said, what about 2020?

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Amy Coney Barrett and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

As if 2020 weren’t already tumultuous enough, the death of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has managed to stir things up even more. 

Talk, not only of Ginsburg’s death, but also of her replacement, has dominated the news since her death on Friday, September 18.  Perhaps the most notable feature of the discussion has been controversy about whether Donald Trump should name her replacement now or wait until after the November election.

This is a discussion that should not even come up.  The president has the right to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court and the Senate has a right to hold confirmation hearings.  About this there is no question.  The Democrats don’t like it, but their not liking something is not the same as it being illegal or unconstitutional. 

Noteworthy but unsurprising was the reaction of many Democrats to the possibility that Donald Trump would nominate a new justice to replace Ginsburg before the election.  Not only did they argue that a nomination of a new justice must wait until after the election, but actually threatened violence should the President and the Senate attempt to carry out their constitutionally mandated duties. 

And the threats of violence were not coming from some dark corner of the internet or from obscure people, but from several high-profile Democrats and progressives on Twitter and other high-profile platforms.  Reza Aslan, a writer who has written numerous books, produced a series on world religions for CNN and is currently a professor of creative writing at University of California, Riverside, took to Twitter and threatened that, “If they [the Republicans] even TRY to replace RBG [Ginsburg] we burn the entire…thing down.” 

Canadian professor of Political Science Emmett Macfarlane tweeted, “Burn Congress down before letting Trump try to appoint anyone to SCOTUS.” 

Scott Ross, a member of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission tweeted, “If you can’t shut it down [the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice], burn it down.”

Playwright Beau Willimon commented on Twitter, “We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election.”

In the pages of GQ, writer Laura Bassett threatened, “If McConnell jams someone through, which he will, there will be riots.”   

It’s tempting to say that such threats have become the modus operandi of Democrats and progressives in recent years.  But in truth, Democrats and progressives have a longstanding tradition of using violence and threats of violence to get their way.  It’s how they roll.  Not for nothing did Samuel D. Burchard refer to the Democrats as, “the party whose antecedents are rum, Romanism, and rebellion.”  Burchard made the comment in 1884.  It was true then, and it is true today.

Since the matter of selecting a new justice is a matter of supreme importance both to Democrats and Republicans, and since the upcoming Senate  confirmation hearing of Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg, promises to dominate the headlines in the coming weeks, perhaps overshadowing even the upcoming election, it seemed good to this author to take the opportunity to weigh in. 

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McCarrick

Pope Francis embraces then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick during a 2015 visit to the U.S. McCarrick resigned the cardinalate in 2018 before being defrocked.
Jonathan Newton/AP

“The Catholic Church is facing its most serious crisis in 500 years,” wrote Massimo Faggioli in his October 2018 article in Foreign Affairs titled “The Catholic Church’s Biggest Crisis Since the Reformation.”

These are striking words, especially when one considers the publication where the article appeared as well as the author. Foreign Affairs in the flagship publication of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which is without a doubt among the most prestigious and influential foreign policy organizations in the world. It’s membership role reads like a Who’s Who of the rich and famous.

To give you some idea of just how high-powered the CFR’s membership is, here are just a few of the well known names listed on the CFR’s membership page: Condoleezza Rice (former US Secretary of State,, Bill Clinton (form US President), Chelsea Clinton (daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton), Henry Kissinger (former US Secretary of State), Janet Yellen (former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Colin Powell (former US general and Secretary of State), Jerome Powell (current Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Peggy Noonan (former speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush and noted conservative columnist for the Wall Street Journal), George Soros (globalist trouble-maker), Warren Beatty (actor), Elliott Abrams (convicted felon and regime change specialist in the Trump Administration), Stephen G. Breyer (current US Supreme Court justice).

One could go on, but by now it should be clear to the ready that the CFR is no ordinary club. It is among the premier organizations of the globalist elite. Given the status of CFR’s membership, it’s worth paying attention to the articles published in Foreign Affairs, if for no other reason than it’s reflection of what high-level movers and shakers are thinking and talking about.

Among the highlights in Faggioli’s article:

  • “The new wave of sexual abuse revelations in 2018 was disturbing not only because it exposed the persistence of abuse but also because it implicated high level church officials in the abuse and its cover-up.” For example, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, among those implicated in 2018 for his sexual abuse of seminarians, was one of the leaders in the Church’s response to the 2002 sex abuse crisis.
  • Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó wrote an open letter in August 2018 stating that Pope Francis was well aware of McCarrick’s history of abuse but chose to ignore it.
  • Viganó’s letter was openly critical of the “pro-gay ideology” and “homosexual networks” among the Catholic clergy.
  • The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church has fueled the current sexual abuse crisis by resisting reform, in much the same way the church’s resistance to reform in the 16th century fueled the Reformation.
  • The uproar created by the sexual abuse scandals has brought to the surface a rift in the church between the conservative-traditionalists and the liberal-progressives
  • This rift could, but likely will not in the short-term, result in a Church schism, with the two camps splitting into separate churches.
  • Former White House Strategist Steve Bannon, conservative-traditionalist Catholic and critic of Pope Francis, is put forth as an example of the split. Bannon, Faggioli notes, has set up the Dignitatis Humanae Institute in Italy to further conservative thought in the church.

Faggioli’s article, though fairly neutral in tone, can reasonably be seen as an expression of concern by the globalist movers and shakers at the CFR. This should come as no surprise. For, in the opinion of this author, the Roman Church-State is the oldest, wealthiest, and important globalist institution of them all. To the degree that the Roman Church-State is discredited, to that same degree doubt is cast on the entire globalist program favored by the members of the CFR.

A hint of this can been seen in a paragraph from Faggioli’s article that reads,

The Protestant Reformation was the beginning of a process of political nationalization, where the faithful became subjects not only of the church, but also of nations. The rise of the nation state marked the decline of the Roman Catholic political doctrine that held the church’s (specifically the pope’s) legitimacy supreme over that of imperial rulers…

Like the Reformation, which led to the religious breakup of the Holy Roman Empire of Charles V, today’s crisis has geopolitical dimensions.

In this, Faggioli shows that he is keenly aware, in a way many contemporary Protestant’s are not, that the current conflict between Globalism and Nationalism is simply another expression of the conflict between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. The globalist New World Order is the geo-political expression of Romanism, whereas those who advocate for national independence (national sovereignty is the more common term) are arguing for the Christian, Biblical system of international relations known as the Westphalian World Order.

Just and Roman Catholicism and Christianity are incompatible, so too are the Romanist New World Order and the Christian Westphalian World Order.

By publishing this Faggioli’s article, the globalists at the CFT are, in the opinion of this author, expressing their concern that, if the Roman Curia can’t put out the fire sparked by the 2018 wave of sexual abuse scandals, the entire globalist program will be put in jeopardy.

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Pope in Rome_Pedo

Pope Francis in Ireland.

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

    – Revelation 18:4

In part one of this series the point was made that the voice from heaven in Revelation 18:4 – the voice being most probably that of God the Father or perhaps of Christ, since it refers to “my people” – issued one command and two purposes. The command was to “come out of her” meaning to come out of the Mother of Harlots city, which we identified as Rome papal.

To this command, the Apostle John tells us that the voice from heaven appended two purposes. The first purpose, “that ye be not partakers of her sins,” we looked at last week in part 2 of this series. One way in which Roman Catholics sin is by associating themselves with, and lending support to, the corrupt and heretical teachers of the Roman Church-State (RCS). When men support that organization with their time and their money and receive her priests and bishops and popes as if they were Christian teachers, Roman Catholic laymen become guilty of their enormous sins by association (2 John 10). Since the impetus for this series on Rome was yet another Roman Catholic pedophile scandal, this time in Michigan, it was also mentioned that a second way in which Roman Catholics partake in the sins of Rome is by deliberately delivering their children into the hands of a group of known predators, I’m referring here to Roman Catholic priests, who of all have shown themselves the least trustworthy when it comes to care of children. Indeed, so far from being trustworthy are they, that one could reasonably assert that, of all classes of men, Romanist priests pose the greatest threat to children.

Given the shocking scale of the enormities visited by Roman Catholic priests upon the Church’s children – and this, at least for the moment, is leaving aside the Church’s many other abuse scandals, for example, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual abuse of seminarians and the stories now surfacing about nuns who have committed sexual abuse of minors – one wonders how any conscientious parent could elect to leave his children alone with a priest even for a moment. Yet Roman Catholic parents routinely and willingly deliver their children into the arms of those who prey upon them. In doing this, they sin.

Turing now from a review of what we’ve already studied, let us look at the second purpose uttered by the voice from heaven in Revelation 18:4, “that ye receive not of her plagues.”

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Pope in Rome_Pedo

Demonstrator holds up sign in front of Pope Francis during his visit to Ireland, August 2018.  Will Oliver (EFE)

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

    – Revelation 18:4

US Catholic Church reports big rise in sex-abuse allegations,” ran the AP headline on Friday. In a way, this latest announcement by the U.S. Roman Catholic church seemed to underscore the point I began to make in last week’s post about the horrifying scale of the Antichrist Roman Church-State’s pedophilia problem. Then again, with announcement after announcement of new and horrific enormities committed by Roman Catholic priests seeming to hit the news wires every week, a jaded individual may be tempted to say, “well, it’s business as usual.”

According to the AP story,

During the period from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, 1,385 adults came forward with 1,455 allegations of abuse, according to the
annual report
of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection. That was up from 693 allegations in the previous year. The report attributed much of the increase to a victim compensation program implemented in five dioceses in New York state.

According to the report, Catholic dioceses and religious orders spent $301.6 million during the reporting period on payments to victims, legal fees and child-protection efforts. That was up 14% from the previous year and double the amount spent in the 2014 fiscal year.

As horrific as these numbers are, they apparently do not include the findings of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury concerning the sexual abuse of children in six dioceses – according to the Washington Post, “The lengthy [Grand Jury] report identified about 1,000 children who were victims but concluded there were probably thousands more. ‘Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades.’ ” – since the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report was not released until August, after the June 30, 2018 reporting period end.

The report says nothing about the activities of Theodore Edgar McCarrick, the disgraced former Cardinal, because the allegations against him were not with respect to the abuse of children, but of adult seminarians.

Likewise, the report includes nothing about the sexual abuse scandal in Illinois that made headlines in December 2018. According to the New York Times,

The Catholic Church in Illinois withheld the name of at least 500 priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, the state’s attorney general said Wednesday in a scathing report that accused the church of failing victims by neglecting to investigate their allegations.

The preliminary report by Attorney General Lisa Madigan concludes that the Catholic dioceses in Illinois are incapable of investigating themselves and “will not resolve the clergy sexual abuse crisis on their own.”

The report said that 690 priests were accused of abuse, and only 185 names were made public by the dioceses as having been found credibly accused of abuse.

“The number of allegations above what was already public is shocking,” said Ms. Madigan in an interview.

Finally, the report does not include the victims of Catholic priest abuse in Michigan, which is the story that prompted me to address this issue in the first place. That story indicates that five priests in the state were indicted for sexual abuse of minors and quoted Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel saying that the five cases were “the tip of the iceberg.” The story notes that investigators in the state were in the process of tracking down hundreds of tip about abuse by Catholic priests.

The story in the Detroit Free Press is very explicit, so I recommend caution when reading it. Just to give you a flavor of what went on, one priest is charged with abusing a 10-year-old boy, providing him with alcohol and cigarettes, and also threatening to kill him if he told anyone.

Michigan Deputy Solicitor General Ann Sherman expressed dismay at the attitudes of some of the hierarchy, noting that one priest attempted to put the blame for the abuse on the victims. Said Sherman, “This attitude is horrific. Sexual abuse is never the fault of the victim and it certainly can never be that sexual abuse of a child is a child’s fault.”

One struggles to come up with sufficient words of outrage when it comes to the attitudes and the actions of the Roman Catholic clergy in the instances listed above. And then to think that these represent but a tiny fraction of what has gone on in just one country – the mind reels.

I could go on much longer, but lest we lose sight of the passage at hand, let us now turn to consider how the child abuse horror can be related to Revelation 18:4.

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Pope in Rome_Pedo

Demonstrator holds up sign in front of Pope Francis during his visit to Ireland, August 2018.  Will Oliver (EFE)

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

    – Revelation 18:4

The headline in the Detroit Free Press was as familiar as it was appalling: “5 Catholic priests charged in Michigan sex abuse investigation.” “Does this never end?,” I thought to myself upon reading it. The answer, it would seem, is no.

Indeed, investigations revealing the horrifying scale of the sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church-State have become something of a commonplace in recent years. Time would fail me were I to even attempt to cover, if but briefly, the scandals that have occurred just here in America, let alone try to talk about those in other countries.

As I read through the article – please note, the piece in the Detroit Free Press is, in parts, quite graphic, as it contains language from the affidavits connected with the case; in reading them one is reminded of what the Apostle Paul said to the Ephesians when he wrote to them concerning deeds about which it was shameful even to speak – I kept thinking about the passage in Revelation, where the voice from heaven warns God’s people to come out of Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Harlots, that is to say, the Roman Church-State (RCS), “that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.”

But not only did I think about unspeakable wickedness of the RCS, but also about the thunderous silence that emanates from the pulpits of even Bible believing Protestant churches concerning the predations of Rome against the most vulnerable of her people. If you think I’m overstating the case, as yourself this, When was the last time you heard a sermon from the pulpit about Antichrist, about Mystery Babylon, and about the work these tools of Satan are doing right in front of our faces? When was the last time you hear a Protestant minister publicly point out the sins of the Roman Church-State or warn his flock about the dangers of this false church?

The answer, most likely, is never.

Jesus enjoined his disciples to go into all the world and to teach all the things he had taught them. Paul said he was innocent of the blood of all men, because he did not fail to teach the Ephesians the whole counsel of God. Since part of the whole counsel of God is the Bible’s teaching about Antichrist and about Mystery Babylon, when ministers to fail to teach about these topics, or to teach about them falsely, the necessary conclusion is that they – and I’m taking here not about liberal ministers who long ago abandoned any pretense of teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but those who would be considered conservative and Bible-believing – are blood guilty for their failure to properly instruct both their congregations and the unbelieving world.

Antichrist is alive and well, and the evil fruits of his evil doctrines are splashed across the headlines all over the internet, yet we Christians remain silent. Why is this? Ignorance is likely one reason. But perhaps more than ignorance, it is out of fear that we remain silent. Fear that we will be rejected. Fear that we will give offense. Fear that me will not hear us and will not like us. Fear of losing our jobs and fear of being censored on the internet. Fear that we will be called haters and intolerant. Fear of being banned from Facebook and Twitter and YouTube.

To all this, Jesus says “Fear not.” It is he who is our king, and it is to him that we owe our allegiance. It is he who warned his disciples not to fear those who could kill the body only, that is to say, other men, but to fear him who can destroy body and soul in hell, that is to say, God.

With this in mind, let us take a closer look at today’s Scripture passage, Revelation 8:4, and see how it relates to the horrible headlines of sex abuse in the Roman Church-State that we so often see.

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Pence_Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence.  Fred Reed rightly criticizes these neo-conservatives for their belligerent foreign policy and tendency to conflate U.S. interests with those of Israel, but misses the mark when recommending an alternative.

“Pence A Christian? POMPEO?: There Are Christians Who Love and Christian Who Hate,” a recent article by veteran journalist and commentator Fred Reed caught my eye this week. Reed, a gifted and independent-minded columnist, takes an approach to politics that can, I think, fairly be described as Libertarian.

As to his religions background, in his biography on his website he writes, “In general my family for many generations were among the most literate, the most productive, and the dullest people in the South. Presbyterians.” That said, in reading him over the years, my sense is that he has rejected the faith of his forebears and now seems rather hostile to the Presbyterianism of his family. Writing about the Catholic churches of Mexico, he commented in one column, “In any of these them (sic), before Protestantism cast its drab cloak of half of the faith, a traveler could enter and understand everything he saw.” In the same column, he has high praise for Russian Orthodox ceremony as well.

All that said, Reed has a wonderful talent for exposing the many nonsensical pieties which in our time are presented to the public as the very height of wisdom. In his article Reed – the author has a penchant for ribald language, which I have edited out as both unnecessary and inappropriate for this blog – makes many spot on observations about the anti-Christian foreign policy espoused by supposedly Christian government officials. On the other hand, some of his statements are wide of the mark. My comments are interspersed.

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