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Posts Tagged ‘2020 Presidential Campaign’

Detail from The Sack of Rome by the Visigoths by JN Sylvestre, 1890.

“At the hour of midnight, the Salerian gate was silently opened, and the inhabitants were awakened by the tremendous sound of the Gothic trumpet.  Eleven hundred and sixty-three years after the foundation of Rome, the Imperial city, which had subdued and civilized so considerable a part of mankind, was delivered to the licentious fury of the tribes of Germany and Scythia” (Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Ch. 31).

With these words the English historian Edward Gibbon captured the sacking of Rome by Alaric king of the Visigoths on August 24, A.D. 410.   Although the Western empire did not officially come to an end until A.D. 476, the sacking of Rome by Alaric was certainly an indication of the Empire’s fast approaching end. 

As something of a history buff myself, I’ve often wondered what it was like for people who witnessed the end of their civilization.  It must have been terrible and terrifying.  One wonders at the horror that must have filled the hearts of the inhabitants of Jerusalem when the Babylonian army broke through the city walls in 586 B.C. and proceeded to destroy the city and burn the temple, which at that time had stood for over 300 years.

Reflecting on the excerpt above from Gibbon, what was it like for the Romans, and even non-Romans, in A.D. 410 to hear that Rome had been taken by a barbarian Germanic king? 

At the time of the sacking of Rome, the Bishop of Hippo in North Africa found himself confronted by many angry and puzzled questioners, many of whom were refugees from Alaric’s invasion of Italy, asking how, if Christianity were true, God could allow Christian civilization – recall that Constantine had become the first, at least nominally, Christian emperor about a century earlier – to be destroyed by a pagan barbarian king and his army?        

That bishop, as you may already be aware, was none other than Aurelius Augustine, the greatest theologian of the early church.

According to one scholar,

More than any other single episode the sacking of Rome gave Augustine a reason to write the City of God. After 410 he found exiles, those escaping the disturbing events in Italy, arriving in North Africa where he was now Bishop of Hippo and asking how he could explain this collapse of a Christian Empire.  It was their angry challenge that led him to begin work on a book which was to appear in episodes stretching over many years of composition (G. R. Evans, Introduction, City of God. Penguin Books, London, 2003, ix).

It seems to me that, although our present circumstances are in certain important respects different from those faced by Augustine in his day, nevertheless there are some important similarities.  While Rome in the fifth century was sacked and burned by outside forces, America today is being sacked and burned – in some ways literally, in others figuratively – by forces from within.  In both cases – Rome in A.D. 410; America in A.D. 2021 – the civilizations were in advanced states of decay well in advance of their sacking.  One may fairly view the two events not as the beginning of their respective civilization’s collapse, but as another, more overt, step along the way to their demise. 

The comparison of Rome’s sacking in 410 to the events in America over the past year – namely, the massive civil unrest carried out by BLM and Antifa and supported by the political, business, entertainment and academic establishments; the brutal Covid lockdowns in defiance of the Constitution, medical precedent, and the teachings of Scripture; and an overtly stolen presidential election –  can be instructive to Christians today, because many of the same problems that plague America and the West today are the same problems that plagued Rome in Augustine’s day, and the answers he gave to his critics are just as applicable now as they were then. 

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Rioters wearing Trump paraphernalia breached the Capitol Wednesday as lawmakers met to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win
PHOTO: MANUEL BALCE CENETA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” 

  • President Donald J. Trump, Washington D.C., January 6, 2021

As was the case with most kids who grew up in the late ‘70’s and early 80’s, I was a huge Star Wars fan.  The original film, released in 1977, was such a huge hit that everyone knew it would be followed by a sequel. 

The eagerly anticipated follow up, The Empire Strikes Back, debuted in 1980.  Unlike so many movie sequels, this one was worthy of the original.  In fact, many critics consider The Empire Strikes Back to be the best of the original Star Wars trilogy.

A lot of the things that forty years later we think of a quintessentially Star Wars were not in the first film.  The Imperial Walkers, the Darth Vader theme music, Boba Fett, and Yoda all mode their debut in The Empire Strikes Back, not in the first 1977 movie. 

Now you may be wondering why I’m talking about The Empire Strikes Back, a movie that came out over forty years ago, in the context of a piece about last week’s Capitol Hill riot.  

My reason is this, just as The Empire Strikes Back was a movie, as the title tells us, of the Empire going on the offensive to once and for all crush the resistance of the Rebel Alliance that had blown up the Death Star, the Empire’s super weapon, so too the events of the past year, including the events of January 6, 2021, seem to be aimed at brining to a quick end the populist uprising that began in Great Britain and in America back in 2016.

After years of discussion, in June of 2016 Great Britain held a vote on Brexit, which was the popular name given to the movement to take the UK out of the European Union.  The vote turned out, to the shock and horror of globalists everywhere, in favor of Brexit. 

Across the pond, we here in America were faced with a similar choice in that year’s presidential election.  We could support Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, who, we were told by all the experts, was and unstoppable electoral juggernaut, more than capable of crushing all resistance in her path, or we could support a very bad orange man named Donald John Trump. 

Hillary supporters were the blessed, the righteous, the very elect of the Lord.  The Donald’s backers?  Well, we all know they were just a bunch of racist, sexist, homophobic basket of toothless, uneducated, irredeemably deplorable rednecks, who, just like their leader Donald Trump, were very bad people who deserved very bad things to happen to them.      

But, as was the case with Brexit, much to the shock and horror of the Masters of the Universe crowd, Queen Hillary lost and the Donald and his merry band of deplorables won. 

It was at this point that the Empire – by “Empire” I mean the whole rotten basket of Deep Staters, establishment types, Clintonistas, RINO’s, Obamites, Bushies, crony capitalist billionaires, banksters, Vaticanites, Wall Streeters, globalists, etc. – began to plot how they were going to strike back, oust Donald Trump, and permanently return themselves to power.

In a nutshell, I believe this explains the last four years of nonstop shrieking from, and relentless attacks by, the establishment on Donald Trump, his supporters and about every single thing they have said and done. 

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RLL.Ep.42: Happy New Year 2021!
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Is feudalism in our future? Medieval illustration, circa 1310.

I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

  • John 15.5

My heart is greatly troubled.  I hate, hate, hate what is happening to my nation and yet am powerless to do anything to stop it.

Mocking arrogant and hateful sinners are exalted.  And truth?  It’s cast to the ground. 

Just this past week, Pete Buttigieg was named as Joe Biden’s nominee for Transportation Secretary.  During his press conference, Buttigieg explained his love of transportation, describing how he proposed to his husband (sic) in an airport terminal.  Said Buttigieg, “Don’t let anybody tell you that O’Hare isn’t romantic.” 

I doubt that even 5 years ago it would have been possible for someone to give a speech like this and remain politically viable.  But that’s just a measure of how fast the deluge of evil has been in so short a time. 

Mayor Pete – Buttigieg went by this title during presidential campaign season when he was running to be the Democratic presidential nominee – is a child of Satan.  Not only does he practice what is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, but he boasts about it.  Further, he encourages other to follow him in his sin.  And it this weren’t bad enough, while he’s doing all this he has the audacity to claim to be a Christian.     

In many ways, he’s the very embodiment of the antichristian line of thinking that is set to dominate the incoming Biden administration.  Buttigieg is smart, eloquent and highly educated, with the prestige of a Harvard degree to his credit.  He holds all the fashionable ideas beloved by the elite of our day.  The press loves him.  He has, as it were, gained the world.

But he is losing his soul.

Unless he repents, he will face a Christless an eternity in hell for his many, egregious sins.

And yet for all that, in the here and now he is winning.  And not just him, but many others of his ilk as well, chief among them Joe Biden himself.     

Joe Biden is an obvious crook and the head of the Biden crime family.  In addition to his own private crimes and those of son Hunter, he’s the beneficiary of an election stolen by the Democratic party machine.  For all his evil, he is set to be rewarded by being inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States a month from today.

And while Joe Biden goes from strength to strength, Donald Trump and his supports go from failure to failure. 

Bill Barr, Trump’s Attorney General, said there was no evidence of election fraud sufficient to have made a difference in the outcome of the election. 

All the court cases have been a bust.  The Supreme Court, the strong tower in which conservatives put their trust, dismissed the suit brought by the Texas Attorney General with a backhanded slap. 

Last week, Republican Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader in the Senate, congratulated Joe Biden on his victory in the Electoral College vote.

In short, all the governmental machinery of the establishment has declared that Biden will be the next president, and there seems to be nothing to stop it at this point. 

I have prayed that it would not come to this, but, at least as of this writing, a Biden presidency seems inevitable. 

This does not mean that Christians ought not continue to pray.  Perhaps by some means a Biden or Harris inauguration can be prevented.  January 6th is the final step in the Constitutional electoral process, where Congress finalizes the vote of the Electoral College.  What happens if Trump supporters show up in force in Washington D.C. that day?  I don’t know. 

But given the failures of the Trump legal team so far and the momentum behind Biden, a Biden presidency appears inevitable as well as all the evils that will come with it.

How did it come to this? 

Why do the bad guys win?

Some Christian commentators I heard seem to be of the opinion that evil can’t triumph.  They rightly see Joe Biden as evil and, at least if I’m hearing them correctly, seem to think for that reason he can’t carry the day. 

But in this fallen world, sometimes evil does win temporary victories.  This isn’t speculation.  You can see this right in the pages of Scripture. 

God used the Philistines and other heathen nations to subject Israel from time to time as punishment for their sins.  Things eventually got so bad that the Lord used the wicked nations of Assyria and Babylon to take the Jews into captivity for their rebellion against him. 

In the New Testament, Satan won what he thought was a victory with the death of Christ on the cross.  His victory proved short lived.

If evil can triumph in the Scriptures, it should come as no surprise that evil can score victories in our own day.  Even a brief review of recent history should show anyone just how far from the paths of righteousness governments can stray.  The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Communist China are but of few of the evil regimes in recent times. 

All this leads to the question, so why do the bad guys win?

We know that all of history is in the hands of God, and that nothing happens apart from his willing it to happen.  God did not merely allow Joseph Stalin to carry out his reign of terror, he caused it to happen as part of his eternal decree. 

But while appealing to the decrees of God is appropriate, usually when people wonder why it is that evil sometimes wins the day, they’re looking for something more specific.

In the Old Testament, God often used prophets to explain the reason such and such a disaster had befallen his people. 

Today, we don’t have prophets, but we do have the Word of God which gives us example after example of how God deals with nations and their rulers and how he uses them for his own purposes. 

While I don’t pretend to have the exact answer why Joe Biden stands at the precipice of the presidency, but we can look at the Scriptures for some clues why this may be the case.

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A counterprotester burns a Trump 2020 flag after supporters of President Donald Trump held pro-Trump marches Nov. 14,  in Washington. (Associated Press)

Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.

  • Leviticus 25:10

As is the case with many Americans, I’ve watched with horror the violence and rioting that has gripped this nation for nearly six months now.  Substantial parts of many of our largest and most famous cities lie in ruins from the predatory acts of mobs affiliated with organizations such as Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa. 

These overtly violent and leftist organizations have, with the apparent consent of local government officials, loosed a reign of terror in America’s cities the likes of which most Americans never imagined possible. 

The Covid lockdowns are another assault on liberty.  As recently as the beginning of this year, who would ever have imagined we’d have government officials attempting to dictate how we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families, or attempting to interfere with our liberty to worship the Lord in our churches?  Yet the so-called pandemic has been used as an excuse for government to suspend personal liberties we nearly all took for granted, close down our businesses, put us out of work and make us dependent on the government dole.

To add insult to injury, they have slapped masks on us, which do little and perhaps nothing at all to slow the spread of the virus but are most effective when it comes to humiliating and dehumanizing people and showing them who’s boss. 

Then to top it off, the Democrats committed election fraud on a shock and awe scale resulting in a Joe Biden “victory” to which we’re all supposed to accede, no questions asked. 

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The link to John Robbins’ Trinity Review “The Religious Wars of the 21st Century” http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=226

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Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.”

  • 1 Kings 1:5

Strange times these are we live in. 

It wasn’t very long ago that this author never imaged he would live to see a real-life coup attempt in his own country.  But that’s where we stand five days after the 2020 presidential election. 

There’s a great deal of noise and confusion in the media.  One says this, another says that.  For Christians, it is important to get one thing straight:  the Democrats are attempting a coup d’état

Just so we’re clear on our terms, Webster’s Seventh Collegiate Dictionary give this as the definition of coup d’état: a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; esp: the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group.   Some may take issue with my calling what the Democrats are doing a coup, because it is not obviously violent.  I would respond by asking, what do you call the last six months or rioting, burning down cities, threatening the innocent, beating up and even killing them?  Is that not violent revolution? 

According to a September story in the Federalist, a report was released that estimated the damage caused by riots over the past several months amounts to $2 billion.  If true, this would make the riots of 2020 the most expensive in U.S. history. 

But going back before that, what about the threats, and actual acts of, violence unleashed on Trump supporters and conservatives during the 2016 presidential election and throughout the last 4 years?

This doesn’t even being to address the obvious Deep State resistance to Trump during his 2016 campaign, the period prior to his taking office, and since day 1 of his administration.  Don’t believe it?  Here’s a headline from the Washington Post dated 1/20/2017, Trump’s inauguration day.  It reads “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.”  Or how about this story where Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow recounts the many statements by House Democrats, who began calling for his impeachment even before he took office.

In his Trinity Review “Why Heretics Win Battles,” John Robbins gave four reasons why dishonest, unbelieving men oftentimes win doctrinal battles in the church.  While Robbins comments are focused on matters of Christian doctrine, he comments have application beyond these issues.

I’d like to briefly focus on the last one: Christians are slow to recognize error and slower to take the necessary action to defend the truth.  Writes Robbins,

Fourth, and most important, those who believe the truth tend to be slow to recognize error and even slower to take the actions necessary to defend the truth. They lack both discernment and courage. This is the crucial matter. Christians cannot help the fact that the sons of this world are more shrewd than they are, or that false brethren do things subtly, surreptitiously, and coercively. But Christians can help how they understand and respond to such doctrinal and ecclesiastical subversion. Their lack of discernment stems from a lack of knowledge of Scripture, and their lack of courage comes from a lack of belief in the promises of Scripture.

It seems to me that may Republicans, Trump supporters and conservatives fall into the category of those who are slow to recognize the Democrats’ coup for what it is and are slower to call for the actions needed to put a stop to it.

There is a whole school of thought among conservatives that seems to say, “well, Trump lost the election, but at least the Dems didn’t get the ‘blue wave’ they all thought was coming their way; let us take solace in that.” 

Nonsense!

Tuesday’s election results were the most blatantly fraudulent thing this author has witnessed in his entire life.  And writers who write things of this sort are useless when it comes to defending freedom.  They fail to recognize the enormous election fraud and treason taking place right before their eyes.  And one wonders, were to see it, would they even be willing to admit it to themselves and others?

Ben Shapiro is one example of this.  His column “No Matter the Outcome, the Woke Lost” is a hopeless bit of feel-good for Republicans, who, if the Democrats’ coup succeeds, may never again hold the White House.  A Biden victory would be a devastating blow to the nation, even if he won honestly.  How much more when there is abundant evidence of widespread election fraud of the sort that is a specialty of the party of rum, Romanism and rebellion.        

In thinking about how Christians should react to the fraudulent election results, it seems to this author that there is at least one good example in Scripture of a coup that was thwarted before it got very far.  The attempt by David’s sone Adonijah to claim his father’s throne for himself.

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Former vice president Joe Biden (left) and President Donald Trump (right).NEW YORK TIMES (CUSTOM CREDIT)/ASSOCIATED PRESS (LEFT)

So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

  • Acts 14:23

They’re almost here.  The most fraught elections in living memory.  Maybe in the history of our nation.

With so much at stake, it seemed good to me to set in order my thoughts on Tuesday’s elections.

Should Christians Vote?   

“If voting made any difference, it would be illegal.”  One hears this quote from time to time.  In my case, it pops up occasionally in Libertarian authors whose works I’ve read.  But this is not a Christian idea.  It seems to contain the idea that no matter whom you vote for, you’re going to get the exact same result.  Admittedly, there is at least some truth to this.  But to dismiss all voting as a useless exercise is, in my opinion, a major mistake.  Voting is the Christian way of choosing men to fill government offices.  This is true in both church government and civil government.

In Acts 14:23 we read, “So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”  The Greek word translated “appointed” is kīrotonēsantes, which means to vote or to approve by show of hands.  Commentator Simon Kistemaker notes,

In Greek, the term to appoint actually means to approve by a show of hands in a congregation meeting. With the approval of an assembly, individuals were appointed to serve in a particular office.  In other words, the showing of hands was equivalent to choosing officials, in this case to serve in the government of the local church (New Testament Commentary, Acts, 525).

John Gill, commenting on this passage wrote that the election of elders and deacons was done by the members of the local congregation, “who by joint suffrages declared their choice of them by the stretching out, or lifting up of their hands, as the word [kīrotonēsantes] here used signifies, and not the imposition of them.”

Now both church government and civil government are creatures of God – as Paul notes in Romans 13, civil magistrates are “appointed by God” and are said to be his ministers – and as God has seen fit to establish republican government in both church and state, it seems a good and necessary inference to conclude that, not only does the Bible permit Christians to vote in the election of civil magistrates, but perhaps even that it is their civic duty to do so.  For if God has established a means of selecting officers, whether in the church or in the state, he has done so for the good of his people.  If we ignore God’s provision, we ignore it at our own peril. 

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