The Ten Commandments in American Law

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2020 BY GARY DEMAR

The following is the second question I was asked by a journalism and political science major at a major university for a research paper (you can read my answer to the first question here):

How did American Vision feel about former Alabama Judge Roy Moore’s display of the Ten Commandments at the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery in 2003? Did this display align with American Vision’s goal to restore America to its Biblical Foundation? What is American Vision’s response to those who believe that this display is a political overreach?

When Judge Roy Moore ran for the office of chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, he made a pledge to restore America’s moral foundation. He began to deliver on his promise when he placed a 5,280-pound granite monument of the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the state Judicial Department. The monument also included the phrase from the Declaration of Independence, “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” the national Motto, “In God We Trust,” the Pledge of Allegiance, “One Nation Under God,” and the Judicial Oath “So Help Me God.” During the brief ceremony dedicating the monument, Judge Moore made these summary comments: “May this day mark the beginning of the restoration of the moral foundation of law to our people and return to the knowledge of God in our land.” ((Stan Bailey, “Moore puts Commandments monument in court building,” Birmingham News (August 8, 2001), 1A.))

Why was Alabama singled out when Pennsylvania has had a display of the Ten Commandments in its State Supreme Court building since 1927? The sixteen murals were conceived and painted by Violet Oakley. They are massive, most measuring 10′ by 8′, thus dwarfing Judge Roy Moore’s granite monument. The mural series is titled “Divine Law,” as in God and the Law. Plate V is “The Decalogue … the Hebrew Idea of Revealed Law.” It shows the Ten Commandments being chiseled in stone. Below the striking image, the commandments are written out for everyone to see and read.

“The Decalogue … the Hebrew Idea of Revealed Law.”

Plate VI shows Jesus delivering “The Beatitudes.” It’s described as the “Christian Idea of Revealed Law.” Like the Ten Commandments’ mural, the Beatitudes are written out and identified as coming from the Bible.

Plates VIII and X summarize the philosophy of the English Jurist William Blackstone. Plate X (below) includes the often-quoted summary of Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England:

William Blackstone on the Law

This Law of Nature dictated by God Himself is superior to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this, and such of them as are valid derive all their force and all their authority mediately or immediately from this original. Upon these two foundations the Law of Nature and the Law of Revelation depend all human Law…. Human laws are only declaratory of and act in subordination to Divine Law.

Plate XV is the panel of “Christ and Disarmament … International Law.”

Once again, the Bible is quoted, and Jesus Christ is shown walking on the stormy seas of international conflict while warships sink around Him. “It depicts Oakley’s vision of what would occur if all nations
accepted one code of law.” Oakley’s view was that the “one code of law” was Divine Law.

If the Alabama Ten Commandment monument was a violation of the Constitution, then the murals that adorn the walls of Pennsylvania’ s State Supreme Court building are also in violation.

President Harry S. Truman voiced the common and prevailing sentiment of his day:

The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we comprehend that enough these days.

If we don’t have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody. ((Harry S. Truman, Harry S. Truman: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President—January 1 to December 31, 1950 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1965), 197.))

As Chief Justice Warren Burger noted in his majority opinion of Lynch v. Donnelly (1984), the Supreme Court Chamber where judicial cases related to religion are “heard is decorated with a notable and permanent-not seasonal-symbol of religion: Moses with the Ten Commandments.” ((U.S. Supreme Court Lynch v. Donnelley, 465 U.S. 668 (decided March 5, 1984), II.C.))

In addition to the Supreme Court, state courtrooms and capitols across our land have housed similar displays for decades without any legal challenges or constitutional prohibitions: The Texas State Capitol, the chambers of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and scores of other legislatures, courthouses, and other public buildings. “In fact, the Ten Commandments are more easily found in America’s government buildings than in her religious buildings, thus demonstrating the understanding by generations of Americans from coast to coast that the Ten Commandments formed the basis of America’s civil laws.” ((David Barton, “The Ten Commandments: A Part of America’s Legal System for Almost 400 years!,” Prepared and presented in response to multiple ACLU lawsuits against public displays of the Ten Commandments, United States District Court, Eastern District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, London Division (March 2001).))

In addition to hundreds of displays, the Constitution itself recognizes one of the most religiously specific of the Ten Commandments. In Article I, section 7 of the Constitution, Sunday is set aside as a day of rest for the President, a direct reference to the fourth commandment:

If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless Congress by their Adjournment prevent its return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

In addition to the fourth commandment being recognized in the body of the Constitution, the statute books of the states include prohibitions against blasphemy (third), dishonoring parents (fifth), murder (sixth), adultery (seventh), theft (eighth), and perjury (ninth). The fact that the Constitution ends with “in the year of our Lord” reflects the truth of the First Commandment: “I am the LORD your God…. You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:2–3). The Ten Commandments, from top to bottom, summarize the nature and purpose of law in America by reminding us that neither we nor civil government is god.

Some claim that the first table of the commandments consists of religious edicts unnecessary for laws that are deemed to be self-evident moral laws. In a 1922 Iowa Supreme Court decision declared otherwise:

The observance of Sunday is one of our established customs. It has come down to us from the same Decalogue that prohibited murder, adultery, perjury, and theft. It is more ancient than our common law or our form of government. It is recognized by Constitutions and legislative enactments, both State and federal. On this day Legislatures adjourn, courts cease to function, business is suspended, and nation-wide our citizens cease from labor. The observance of the Sabbath is regarded as essential to the proper upbuilding of the mental and physical, as well as the moral, life of a great people. Laws and ordinances respecting its observance are clearly within the genius of our institutions and the spirit of our national life. The ordinance in question is not inconsistent with the laws of the state, nor is it an unreasonable regulation. It is, therefore, valid. ((City of Ames [Iowa] v. Gerbracht, 189 N.W. 729, 733 (1922).))

Without the declaration of the first two commandments, there can’t be any ultimate justification of the commandments that following, including those against murder (sixth), theft (eighth), and perjury (ninth). There are no moral absolutes given the operating assumptions of materialists who advocate a something from nothing origin of life and survival of the fittest worldview.

God died in the nineteenth century and Nietzsche danced on his grave. The foundation of the external moral law was destroyed and, in its place, was a vacuum, soon gleefully filled by the narcotics of Nazism and Communism. It may not be possible to say that the death of God led directly to the death ovens; but equally, nobody can ignore the fact that the cruelest era in history was also the first to deny the existence of an external moral force. ((Bryan Appleyard, review of Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century in The Sunday Times (December 1999). Quoted in Vaughan Roberts, God’s Big Design: Life as he Intends it to Be (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 27.))

If this is true, “can we stop the long nightmare of the twentieth century from spilling over into the twenty-first?” We cannot live within the fluid boundaries of legal relativism. There must be a definitive and final moral legal standard of appeal to justify moral decisions at the personal and governmental levels. If not, then one judge’s opinion is as good (or as bad) as another.

The Ten Commandments has been that fixed summary standard in America since its founding. As Nightline host Ted Koppel stated in a 1987 commencement address at Duke University, “What Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai were not the Ten Suggestions. They are commandments. Are, not were. The sheer brilliance of the Ten Commandments is that they codify in a handful of words acceptable human behavior, not just for then or now, but for all time. Language evolves. Power shifts from one nation to another. Messages are transmitted with the speed of light. Man erases one frontier after another. And yet we and our behavior and the commandments governing that behavior remain the same.” ((Ted Koppel, The Last Word, Commencement Address at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (May 10, 1987). Quoted in Robert H. Bork, The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law (New York: The Free Press, 1989), 164.Ted Koppel, The Last Word, Commencement Address at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (May 10, 1987). Quoted in Robert H. Bork, The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law (New York: The Free Press, 1989), 164.))

Coronavirus and the Country’s Future (16)

Lockdowns make poor people an awful lot poorer (David Nabarro, WHO).

The Bible has a lot to say about poor people, and their vulnerability. I’m not poor now, but I had some challenging times as a young man, and needed that week’s pay, just to pay bills. They were tough times, but God provided for me.

In the short term, poor people need money, but in the longer term, what they need most of all is consistent work. That’s the thing that will help them get out of poverty, start to save money, and get ahead.

For about 95% of poor people, that will mean they’ll need to get to work, by one means or another. But lockdowns preclude that. They’ll be staying right where they are! And they’ll be acutely aware that whatever meagre savings they have, are now disappearing fast, and they’ll be busted, again.

That’s awful. It’s doubly awful when its utterly unnecessary, and is merely a political means of abusing the innocent, by taking away their freedom to work, and thus their livelihood.

Psalms 9 and 10 have a lot to say about people in this situation, who are doing it tough, and they have some evil person pursuing them. Psalm 9 says,

Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion; declare among the peoples His deeds. For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted (Ps.9:11, 12).

Psalm 10 says,

O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror (Ps.10;17, 18).

We can say with confidence that the lockdowns put in place because of a supposed “pandemic,” were foolish to the point of being monstrosities, and achieved nothing, other than massive social inconvenience.

But that’s insufficient. They were wicked, evil instruments, used by Premiers, Governors and others who take peculiar pleasure in seeing their wishes complied with throughout the community. It’s

Compliance-or else!

The abuse of political power didn’t begin in 2020, but what’s taken place right across the West this year, has been a classic example of the abuse of political power, poorly disguised as “caring in the face of crisis.”

Show me the “care.” Show me the “crisis.” There never was one. This is what there was: an excuse for abuse, which political evildoers ran with, as fast and hard as they could. And it’s not over, yet.

And this requires a proper, community response. The Psalmist speaks of this:

Who will stand up for me against evildoers? Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness? (Ps.94:16).

Christians should always be amongst the first to stand up to evil, while we can. If we don’t, we can expect more of the same kind of political abuse, disguised as “health care,” or some other lie. If we don’t, we shall be judged as being just as compliant, weak and spineless, as anyone else. We’ll be made to look like the abused wife, who goes back to her husband, only to be beaten again.

This represents both a challenge and an opportunity to make a stand, to stand our ground. We’re saying “Out!” to the misuse of power, and we’ll be intolerant of it, always.

How do we do this? We make our opinions known to others. We utilize the means of communication available to us, and there are plenty of them. We warn others of the shocking consequences of these governmental interventions, which have had no positive outcomes, only negative ones.

We act as salt and light in the world, for salt acts as a preserving agent in meat. Christians want to preserve what is good in the community, while light shines in a dark place to light the way, and to illuminate secret and criminal activities that are destructive. These are godly, caring things to do, warning the community of trouble ahead, unless we change things that governments do, and that we permit to take place.

Conclusion:

Being Christian and caring go together, as the example that Jesus used of the Good Samaritan, showed. Our attitude, what we say, and how we act in the face of evil lockdowns, will light the way for others, who want to know what’s right, and to see some sensible leadership.

And this must begin in the grass-roots. That’s the best and only pace for it to begin, so what takes place where you and I live, is vitally important. That way, something good can come about.

And Gandhi explained the long-term sequence, so eloquently:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Is the Rapture Found in Matthew 24?

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2020 BY GARY DEMAR

Is the Rapture Found in Matthew 24?

Almost daily I get questions about prophetic topics. In most cases, I’ve already dealt with them in my books Last Days MadnessThe Early Church and the End of the WorldWhy the End of the World is Not in Your FutureWars and Rumors of Wars, 10 Popular Prophecy Myths Exposed and Answered, The Rapture and the Fig Tree GenerationProphecy Wars, Identifying the Real Last Days Scoffers, and Left Behind: Separating Fact from Fiction.

 When I point people to these books for my take on a particular passage, a number of them bristle at the suggestion. A few of them want a “yes” or “no” answer right then and there. It’s almost never that simple. What they’re really looking for is an excuse not to study the issue. “If Gary DeMar doesn’t believe like I do on _________________, son I don’t want to spend money on a whole book of his errors.”

Some of emailers think I push my books because I make money on them. I don’t receive a penny in royalties from anything I do at American Vision. My goal is to get Christians to study these issues for themselves. We need fewer “gutter sparrows” (Acts 17:18) and more “noble minded” Christians who “examine the Scriptures” (17:11).

Anyone who has read my books knows that I walk the reader through the process of how I came to a particular interpretation. Instead of just telling someone what I believe a particular text means, it’s important to know the process. Hopefully, the reader will follow a similar process with other texts and thereby become a better student of the Bible. One question that I get on a regular basis is the “left behind” passage in Matthew 24.

To help His listeners better understand the timing and circumstances of the events leading up to and including the destruction of the temple before their generation passed away, Jesus draws on a familiar Old Testament judgment event—the flood. Jesus, teaching by analogy, shows how the coming of the flood waters and His own coming in judgment against Jerusalem are similar.

In Noah’s time we read about “those days which were before the flood” and “the day that NOAH ENTERED THE ARK” (Matt. 24:38). Similarly, there were days before the coming of the Son of Man and the day of the coming of the Son of Man. The same people were involved in both the “days before” and “the day of” the Son of Man. Those who “were eating and drinking” and “marrying and giving in marriage” were the same people who were shut out on “the day that Noah entered the ark.”

Noah entered the ark on a single day similar to the way Jesus as the Son of Man came on the “clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (24:30), a day and hour known only to the Father (24:36). “Some shall be rescued from the destruction of Jerusalem, like Lot out of the burning of Sodom: while others, no ways perhaps different in outward circumstances, shall be left to perish in it.” ((Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Which Have Remarkably Been Fulfilled, and at This Time are Fulfilling in the World (London: J.F. Dove, 1754), 379.))

Jesus says that His coming “will be just like the days of Noah” (24:37). The people were doing normal things—“eating and drinking” and “marrying and giving in marriage.” Jesus told His audience that life will go on as usual when Jesus returns in judgment against the temple and city of Jerusalem. People had no thought of a coming judgment in Noah’s day since there were no signs. Noah was told to prepare for “things not yet seen” (Heb. 11:7). Jesus is not describing evil behavior like drunkenness and sexual sins like “‘exchanging mates’ or ‘wife swapping,’ contrary to what M. R. DeHaan and Jack Van Impe claim. ((Jack Van Impe, The Great Escape: Preparing for the Rapture, the Next Event on God’s Prophetic Clock (Nashville, TN: Word, 1998), 127.))

“Marrying and given in marriage” is a phrase to describe, well, “marrying and giving in marriage” (see Matt. 22:30). People do it every day. Men and women marry and parents give their daughters away in marriage. D. A. Carson’s comments are helpful:

[T]hat the coming of the Son of Man takes place at an unknown time can only be true if in fact life seems to be going on pretty much as usual—just as in the days before the flood (v. 37). People follow their ordinary pursuits (v. 38). Despite the distress, persecutions, and upheavals (vv. 4–28), life goes on: people eat, drink, and marry. There is no overt typological usage of the Flood as judgment here, nor any mention of the sin of that generation. ((D. A. Carson, “Matthew,” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, gen. ed., Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), 8:509. Also see N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1996), 365–366.))

Support for Carson’s interpretation can be found in Luke’s account of the time just before Sodom’s destruction: “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:28). Buying, selling, planting, and building describe life going on as usual without any regard to an impending judgment. Are dispensationalists willing to say that these activities “connote moral corruption”?

Darrell L. Bock attempts this interpretation even though he admits that the idea of “moral corruption . . . is not emphasized in Luke’s description.” ((Darrell L. Bock, Luke: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 2 vols. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996), 2:1432–1433.)) No one disputes that Noah and Lot lived in a time of moral corruption that brought judgment. Jesus’ point is that the people in Noah and Lot’s day went on with their lives as if the promise of imminent judgment was a lie (see 2 Peter 3:3–4). Notice the audience reference: “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things” (2 Pet. 3:14). Peter is not describing a distant event but one that was soon to occur. The same is true of those who were told that Jesus would return in judgment within a generation (Matt. 24:34).

Many futurists claim that the phrase “took them all away” (Matt. 24:39) refers to a rapture that is still in our future. On the contrary. “In the context of 24:37–39, ‘taken’ presumably means ‘taken to judgment’ (cf. Jer. 6:11 NASB, NRSV).” ((Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 115.)) The phrase ties the judgment of the world in Noah’s day with the judgment of the Jews’ world in Israel’s day that took place with the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the temple.

Who was taken away in the judgment of the flood? Not Noah and his family. They were “left behind” to carry on God’s work. John Gill writes in his commentary on this passage: “the whole world of the ungodly, every man, woman, and child, except eight persons only; Noah and his wife, and his three sons and their wives. . . .” were taken away in judgment. And what does Gill say about those in the field?: They shall be taken away “by the eagles, the Roman army, and either killed or carried captive by them.” The Bible gives its own commentary on the meaning of “took them all away” in Luke 17:2729: “Destroyed them all” is equivalent to “took them all away.”

A number of commentators (e.g., J. Marcellus Kik and Kenneth Gentry) argue that Matthew 24:35 is a “transition text.” It’s at this point, they argue, that Jesus is referring to a time period that is still in our future. Luke 17:22–37 describes five Olivet-Discourse prophetic events that are identical to those found in Matthew 24. The difference between Matthew 24 and Luke 17 is in the order of the events, a characteristic of the passages that few commentators can explain. Ray Summers writes:

This is a most difficult passage. The overall reference appears to be to the coming of the Son of Man—Christ—in judgment at the end of the age. Some small parts of it, however, are repeated in Luke 21 in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), and larger parts of it are in Matthew 24, also in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. The entire complex cautions one against dogmatism in interpreting. ((Ray Summers, Commentary on Luke: Jesus, the Universal Savior (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1972), 202.))

Taking Matthew 24 as the standard, Luke places the Noah’s ark analogy (Matt. 24:37–39) before the events of Matthew 24:17–18 (“let him who is on the housetop not go down”), verse 27 (“for just as the lightning comes from the east”), and verse 28 (“wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather”). If the five prophetic events of Matthew 24 that are found in Luke 17:22–37 are numbered 1–2–3–4–5, Luke’s numbering of the same events would be 2–4–1–5–3. While this is not positive proof of an A.D. 70 fulfillment for chapters 24 and 25, it certainly adds credibility to the position.))

Comparing Luke 17 with Matthew 24

Another line of evidence offered by those who believe that events following Matthew 24:34 refer to a yet future personal and physical return of Jesus is the meaning given to “after a long time” (24:48; 25:19) and the “delay” by the bridegroom (25:5). On the surface these examples seem to indicate that two different events are in view, one near (the destruction of Jerusalem) and one distant (the second coming of Christ). This is the view of Stephen F. Hayhow.

Both parables, the parables of the virgins (vv. 1–13), and the parable of the talents (vv. 14–30), speak of the absence of the bridegroom/master, who is said to be “a long time in coming” (v. 5) and “After a long time the master of the servants returned” (v. 19). This suggests, not the events of A.D. 70 which were to occur in the near future, in fact within the space of a generation, but a distant event, the return of Christ. ((Stephen F. Hayhow, “Matthew 24, Luke 17 and the Destruction of Jerusalem,” Christianity and Society 4:2 (April 1994), 4.))

Notice that the evil slave says, “My master is not coming for a long time” (Matt. 24:48). The evil slave then proceeds to “beat his fellow-slaves and eat and drink with drunkards” (24:49). But to the surprise of the “evil slave” the master returned when he least expected him (24:50). The master did not return to cut the evil slave’s distant relatives in pieces (24:51); he cut him in pieces. The evil slave was alive when the master left, and he was alive when the master returned. In this context, a “long time” must be measured against a person’s lifetime. In context, two years could be a long time if the master usually returned within six months.

The same idea is expressed in the parable of the “talents.” A man entrusts his slaves with his possessions (25:14). The master then goes on a journey (25:15). While the master is gone, the slaves make investment decisions (25:16–18). We are then told that “after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them” (25:19). In this context “a long time” is no longer than an average lifetime. The settlement is made with the same slaves who received the talents. In every other New Testament context, “a long time” means nothing more than an extended period of time (Luke 8:2723:8John 5:6Acts 8:1114:32826:52927:2128:6). Nowhere does it mean centuries or multiple generations.

The delay of the bridegroom is no different from the “long time” of the two previous parables. The bridegroom returns to the same two groups of virgins (25:1–13). The duration of the delay must be measured by the audience.

This brief analysis helps us understand the “mockers” who ask, “Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Peter 3:3–4). Peter was aware that Jesus’ coming was an event that would take place before the last apostle died (Matt. 16:27–28John 21:22–23). The doctrine of the soon return of Christ was common knowledge (Matt. 24:3426:64Phil. 4:5Heb. 10:251 John 2:18Rev. 1:13). It is not hard to imagine that the passage of several decades would lead some to doubt the reliability of the prophecy, especially as the promised generation was coming to a close. The horrendous events of A.D. 70 silenced the mockers.

For more information on the topic of Bible prophecy, check out the following books from American Vision:

The Beginner’s Guide to Interpreting Bible Prophecy
Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church
Is Jesus Coming Soon?
Left Behind: Separating Fact from Fiction
The Early Church and the End of the World
Identifying the Real Last Days Scoffers
The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance
Prophecy Wars
The End Times and the Islamic Antichrist
The Rapture and the Fig Tree Generation
Wars and Rumors of Wars
Matthew 24 Fulfilled
Paradise Restored
The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation
Jesus v. Jerusalem

Coronavirus and the Country’s Future (15)

Do not move the ancient boundary or go into the fields of the fatherless, for their Redeemer is strong; He will plead their case against you (Prov.23:10, 11).

People who abuse their authority are going to have to face God and give an account, because all authority is delegated by God. Whatever people may claim, they are not free agents in this world. God will hold them to account, at some point.

It doesn’t matter in what form they have their authority. It may be as a husband, a father or mother, a business owner, a school Principal, a Minister in a church, or a political leader.

The scriptural warning above, is found elsewhere. The next chapter of Proverbs says,

Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who are staggering to slaughter, oh hold them back. If you say, ‘See, we did not know this,’ does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work (Prov.24:11, 12).

Tyrants ignore such warnings, to their peril. They invite God’s judgment, and they’ll surely get it. And the Bible plainly speaks to political and judicial leaders, in many places. Such as,

Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (Ps.2:10-12).

With this background, we must consider the church’s response around the world to governmental interventions with the coronavirus. And we can say with confidence that blind, unquestioning obedience to human authorities is firstly, manifestly unbiblical (as we consider the First Commandment-“You shall have no other gods before Me”-Ex.20:3), secondly blasphemous, and thirdly, very dangerous.

As a rule, God’s people historically have not accepted this foolish notion. Nothing could be more riddled with insurmountable problems that this. Are we the servants of God, or servants of men?

There is no doubt in my mind that the church was deliberately panicked into its response, to be obedient. That’s what evil rulers do: come up with some sudden “crisis” or “emergency,” which purportedly requires an immediate response of obedience from the community, then they railroad social institutions into that obedience. Then they say, “Problem solved!”

But let’s face it: God’s people have been dealing with tyrants who’ve hated them, since the Exodus. Pharoah was a kidnapper and a murderer (Ex.1:15-22), until the day that God drowned him in the Red Sea (Ex.14). In those circumstances, they quickly learned how to be imaginative, creative and deceptive, to avoid coming to harm from this tyrant (see Ex.1-2).

Furthermore, God plainly helped them in their deceptions, as they sought to preserve the lives of innocent children.

In the case of the prophet Samuel, in his relationship with king Saul, who was degenerating quickly, God gave him a successful strategy of deception, so that Samuel could go and anoint David as the next king (I Sam.16:1-3), and not be murdered.

The Psalmist spoke of a scenario like this. He wrote,

The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not gone astray from Your precepts (Ps.119:110).

Every challenge we face should drive us to the scripture, but I regret to say, I doubt this has happened with the coronavirus. We’ve chosen compliance/pragmatism: never a good idea. Now, we have the opportunity to back-track, to reconsider. What are we to do, now?

Let’s be blunt about it. Godless political leaders are never neutral, because people are never neutral. They want to deal with or control their opposition, and they know that the church is generally going to be part of that opposition. And they want to neuter us; get rid of us, because we constitute a threat. This whole “social distancing” thing has merely been a ploy, gaining more power for bureaucrats and politicians. Don’t they love it?

So, the proper response in the midst of this is resistance on the part of believers, to the crude political attempts at control. Resistance could be passive, or active.

By passive, I mean that believers choose to meet together privately on Sundays. Instead of in a public venue, the church quickly divides, meeting “house to house” (Acts 2:46), for worship, prayer, the preaching of scripture and fellowship, with possibly a meal together.

Depending on the size of the church, it could be in three homes, or fifty. That way, we get off the public radar, but continue to be obedient to the Lord in regularly meeting, and doing what we want to do, amongst the people of God.

By active resistance, we just go to church as we would normally, and simply defy social distancing rules. We openly challenge the regulations, and publicly take on the system that’s been imposed.

Which one do we choose? That depends on how much fight there is in the church, and how much opposition/adversity/reprisal we’re prepared to deal with. This is a matter for the church’s leaders to assess and decide on, in consultation with their people.

But decide we must, because procrastination in the face of evil attempts to control us, is simply moral weakness. It doesn’t honor the Lord.

Conclusion:

All authority is delegated by God, and to be used in a God-honoring manner. Christian obedience to civil authorities must never be unconditional, because that makes authorities like God: a wholly blasphemous idea.

Despite what civil authorities may have claimed, their punitive and crude attempts at social control, purportedly for health reasons, have been attempts to control the community, furthering an unnecessary and dictatorial level of control. This requires a resistant response from God’s people: passive or active.

Believers are obligated to obediently follow Jesus Christ, not the foolish dictates of political leaders and bureaucrats, who are more interested in usurping authority and flexing their muscles, than working amongst a peaceful, freedom-loving community. And what we think and do in response, is an important example for others around us.

What will you do?

The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion (Prov.28:1).

Who Is Defending Classic Dispensationalism Today?

Oct 27, 2020 by Gary DeMar

Eschatology is the study of the “last things.” The more popular terminology is “Bible prophecy.” There are numerous schools of thought on the subject. The most popular version—dispensational premillennialism—teaches that particular prophetic events are on the horizon, that a “rapture” of the Church precedes a seven-year period that includes the rise of an antichrist, a rebuilt temple, and a Great Tribulation.

One of the distinct features of this view is the belief that there is an Israel-Church distinction, and because of this distinction God has two redemptive programs. Over the years I have received numerous questions and not a few criticisms of my views. I have tried to answer all who have taken the time to write. Some have been gracious in their replies, and some have not. Many have abandoned their dispensational belief system after reading my published works, some have not. After being engaged in this type of work for more than 40 years, I find that there are people who are unwilling to put their prophetic system to the test. For example:   

[Gary DeMar] is a self-labeled non-dispensationalist. While that isn’t a crime or even a theological faux pax, it IS specious, considering that verse which describes ‘don’t boast against the branches, for they [Israel] support YOU’ and not vice versa. Included in that camp is Hank Hanegraaff, who can only be accused of believing one thing years ago and now believes the exact opposite today. Understanding the debate over Replacement Theology [that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s economy] is THE topic today and divides the Body like abortion did 20 yrs ago. [1]

Claiming that a debate over “Replacement Theology” is comparable to abortion is absurd, especially when my critic’s own prophetic system envisions “the worst bloodbath in Jewish history.” [2]

Maybe the topic is like abortion since dispensationalists teach that after the “rapture,” “two-thirds of the Jewish people [living in Israel during the Great Tribulation] will be exterminated.” [3]

The idea of an Israel-Church distinction, which is a fundamental doctrine of dispensationalism, is built on an interpretive fiction. There is continuity between the covenants. There were Israelite believers prior to, during, and after Jesus’ earthly ministry. They were incorporated into the “great cloud of witnesses” from the Old Covenant age (Heb. 12:1). We are reminded of Zacharias (Luke 1:5–23), Elizabeth (1:24–25), John (1:57–63), Mary (1:39–56), Joseph (Matt. 1:18–25), Simeon (Luke 2:25–35), Anna (2:36–37), and others (Luke 19:8–9John 2:234:39507:318:3110:42). [4] Simeon quotes the Old Testament that links the believing remnant of Israel and the believing remnant from the nations (Gentiles):

For my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples. “A light of Revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel” (Luke 2:31–32; see Isa. 42:649:6).

The “church” is not a new idea. The Greek word ekklesia is found in the Greek translation of the Old Testament and is best translated as “assembly” or “congregation.” It’s how William Tyndale Translated ekklesia in his English translation of the Bible.

Jews made up the New Testament ekklesia (Acts 5:118:1–3). Again, this wasn’t anything new. The ekklesia (the KJV translates it as “church”) was “in the wilderness” (7:38; Heb. 2:12). Gentiles were grafted into an already existing Jewish ekklesia.

God always intended that the promises made to Israel would extend to include the nations (Acts 10; 13:47–48; 26:23). This is not to assume that every Israelite and non-Israelite would be saved. It’s about the remnant (Rom. 9:6–82711:5) not natural descent (John 1:12–13). I deal with this and related topics extensively in my book 10 Popular Prophecy Myths Exposed and Answered.


10 Popular Prophecy Myths Exposed and Answered

As a result of many failed predictions, many Christians are beginning to take a second look at a prophetic system that they were told is the only one that takes the literal interpretation of the Bible seriously. Gary DeMar has taken on the task of exposing some of the popular myths foisted upon the public by prophetic speculators: The Myth of the Israel-Church Distinction; The Myth that the Modern State of Israel is a Sign that the Rapture is Near; The Myth that Only Dispensationalists Have a Future for Israel; The Myth of the Postponed Abrahamic Covenant; The Myth of Replacement Theology; The Myth that Animal Sacrifices and Circumcision Are Everlasting Rites; The Myth that the Temple Needs to be Rebuilt; and more.Buy Now


Everyone prior to around 1830 was a non-dispensationalist when compared to the Darby-Scofield-Dallas Seminary definition, so I don’t see how being a “non-dispensationalist” today carries with it such negative connotations. And until the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible in 1909, there was no agreed upon dispensational system among even a minority of Christians. [5] It’s rather surprising that the notes by one man who had no real theological training would end up creating a new prophetic movement where the notes more often than not supplant the text of Scripture.

Since its inception, dispensationalism has been considered biblically aberrational by a number of theological traditions. [6] R. B. Kuiper (1886–1966), who served as a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary and President of Calvin Theological Seminary, wrote in 1936 that two grievous errors were “prevalent among American fundamentalists, Arminianism and the Dispensationalism of the Scofield Bible.” The General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church went so far as to describe Arminianism and Dispensationalism as “anti-reformed heresies,” [7] that is, heretical in terms of the theology that came out of the Reformation.

Professor John Murray, who taught Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary and wrote a commentary on Romans for the New International Commentary Series, wrote that the “‘Dispensationalism’ of which we speak as heterodox from the standpoint of the Reformed Faith is that form of interpretation, widely popular at the present time, which discovers in the several dispensations of God’s redemptive revelation distinct and even contrary principles of divine procedure and thus destroys the unity of God’s dealings with fallen mankind.” [8] Premillennialism of the covenantal or classical variety was not under attack by these men. [9] Kuiper again writes:

It is a matter of common knowledge that there is ever so much more to the dispensationalism of the Scofield Bible than the mere teaching of Premillennialism. Nor do the two stand and fall together. There are premillennarians who have never heard of Scofield’s dispensations. More important than that, there are serious students of God’s Word who hold to the Premillennial return of Christ and emphatically reject Scofield’s system of dispensations as fraught with grave error. [10]

This is not to say that advocates of dispensationalism are not heirs of the Reformation in most respects. Most hold orthodox positions on basic Christian doctrines, but dispensationalism as it was codified by Scofield and is taught and promoted today was unknown in the history of the church.

Dispensationalism has gone through numerous revisions since the publication of the New Scofield Reference Bible in 1967. Thomas Ice, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and former professor at Liberty University who serves as professor of Bible and theology and Calvary University, predicted, “By the year 2000 Dallas Theological Seminary will no longer be dispensational. [Professional] priorities are elsewhere than the defense of systematic dispensationalism from external criticism.” [11] DTS is still dispensational but students do not have to subscribe to the statement of faith of the professors.

Dispensationalism is being questioned by the more orthodox charismatics. Dr. Joseph Kickasola, who served as professor of international studies and Hebrew at Regent University observed that there has been a “‘diminishing of dispensationalism,’ especially among charismatics, who, he says, are coming to see that ‘charismatic dispensationalist’ is ‘a contradiction in terms.’” [12] The date-setting element of dispensationalism is losing its fascination with many of its adherents since the fortieth anniversary of Israel’s nationhood (1948–1988) passed without a rapture. Dave Hunt, a proponent of the national regathering of Israel as the time indicator for future prophetic events, writes: “Needless to say, January 1, 1982, saw the defection of large numbers from the pretrib position…. Many who were once excited about the prospects of being caught up to heaven at any moment have become confused and disillusioned by the apparent failure of a generally accepted biblical interpretation they once relied upon.” [13]

Hunt went on to assert: “[Gary] “North’s reference to specific dates is an attack upon the most persuasive factor supporting Lindsey’s rapture scenario: the rebirth of national Israel. This historic event, which is pivotal to dispensationalism’s timing of the rapture, as John F. Walvoord has pointed out, was long anticipated and when it at last occurred seemed to validate that prophetic interpretation.” [14]

Robert L. Saucy (1930–2015), who was professor of systematic theology at Talbot School of Theology, remarked, “Over the past several decades the system of theological interpretation commonly known as dispensationalism has undergone considerable development and refinement.” [15] Saucy gives a great deal away in his book The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism, so much so that he calls it “the new dispensationalism” or “progressive [dispensationalism] … to distinguish the newer interpretations from the older version of dispensationalism.” [16]

Nothing even remotely associated with modern-day dispensationalism can be found in the creedal formulations of the church going back to the Council of Nicaea in AD. 325. Not even non-dispensational (classical) premillennialism was written into the basic Christian creeds. [17] Most of the finest Christian scholars the church has ever produced were not then and are not now dispensationalists. Of course, this does not mean dispensationalism is a false system, but it does mean that it needs to be evaluated in terms of how it compares with Scripture. If the Bible is the standard, then dispensationalism does not have an exegetical leg to stand on.

As far as I know, there has not been a scholarly defense of dispensationalism by a major Christian publishing company for many years. Most new prophecy books are being published by Harvest House written by just a few authors who have not broken any new ground. Their books repeat the same themes with only different book titles.

For more information on the topic of Bible prophecy, check out the following books from American Vision:

The Beginner’s Guide to Interpreting Bible Prophecy

Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church

Is Jesus Coming Soon?

Left Behind: Separating Fact from Fiction

The Early Church and the End of the World

Identifying the Real Last Days Scoffers

The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance

Prophecy Wars

The End Times and the Islamic Antichrist

The Rapture and the Fig Tree Generation

Wars and Rumors of Wars

Matthew 24 Fulfilled

Paradise Restored

The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation

Jesus v. Jerusalem

  1. I’ve corrected the author’s spelling in various places.[]
  2. Charles C. Ryrie, The Best is Yet to Come (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1981), 86. Dispensationalist Arnold Fruchtenbaum writes something similar: “Israel will suffer tremendous persecution (Matthew 24:15–28Revelation 12:1–17). As a result of this persecution of the Jewish people, two-thirds are going to be killed.” (Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, “The Little Apocalypse of Zechariah,” The End Times Controversy: The Second Coming Under Attack, eds. Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice [Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2003], 262).[]
  3. Messianic Jewish spokesman Sid Roth in an interview with Pat Robertson on the September 18, 1991 edition of the “700 Club.”[]
  4. Howard A. Hanke, Christ and the Church in the Old Testament: A Survey of Redemptive Unity in the Testaments (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1957).[]
  5. Dispensationalists like to claim that the mere use of the word “dispensation” makes someone a dispensationalist. This is hardly the case. See Ronald M. Henzel, Darby, Dualism, and the Decline of Dispensationalism: Reassessing the Nineteenth-Century Roots of a Twentieth-Century Prophetic Movement for the Twenty-First Century (Tucson: Fenestra Books, 2003), 25–29.[]
  6. Oswald T. Allis, Prophecy and the Church (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1945); John Wick Bowman, “The Bible and Modern Religions: II. Dispensationalism,” Interpretation 10 (April 1956), 170–172; C. Norman Kraus, Dispensationalism in America (Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1958); Clarence B. Bass, Backgrounds to Dispensationalism (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1960); Curtis I. Crenshaw and Grover E. Gunn, III, Dispensationalism: Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow, rev. ed. (Memphis: Footstool Publications, [1985], 1989. There are too many critiques of dispensationalism to list.[]
  7. R. B. Kuiper, The Presbyterian Guardian (September 12, 1936), 225–227. Quoted in Edwin H. Rian, The Presbyterian Conflict (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1940), 101.[]
  8. The Presbyterian Guardian (February 3, 1936), 143. Quoted in Rian, The Presbyterian Conflict, 236–237.[]
  9. Craig L. Blomberg and Sung Wook Chung, A Case for Historic Premillennialism: An Alternative to “Left Behind” Eschatology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009).[]
  10. The Presbyterian Guardian (November 14, 1936), 54. Quoted in Rian, The Presbyterian Conflict, 31.[]
  11. Thomas Ice interview with Martin Selbrede, Counsel of Chalcedon (December 1989). Cited in Gary North, Rapture Fever: Why Dispensationalism is Paralyzed (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1993), 145. Traditionally, Pentecostalism has been dispensational.[]
  12. Randy Frame, “The Theonomic Urge,” Christianity Today, (April 21, 1989), 38.[]
  13. Dave Hunt, Whatever Happened to Heaven? (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1988), 68.[]
  14. Hunt, Whatever Happened to Heaven, 64.[]
  15. Robert L. Saucy, The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism: The Interface Between Dispensationalism and Non-Dispensational Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993), 8. Also see, Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock, Progressive Dispensationalism: An Up-to-Date Handbook of Contemporary Dispensational Thought (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1993).[]
  16. Saucy, The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism, 9.[]
  17. Gary DeMar and Francis X. Gumerlock, The Early Church and the End of the World (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2005), chap. 4.[]

Coronavirus and the Country’s Future (14)

Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people (Prov.28:15).

Wicked rulers exploit poor and defenceless people, for their own ends. They like to use some sort of supposed national “emergency” for those own ends. Hitler did this in Germany in 1933, by manipulating threats of a communist takeover, and the community then was by and large duped. He got increased powers. Very shrewd, and evil.

It was President Obama’s Chief of staff, Rahn Emanuel, who commented that smart political leaders will

never let a serious crisis go to waste.

This happens frequently in politics, and it’s generally for the worse. Godless politicians are opportunists, seizing on an opportunity to enact something that’s in their political interests, and that reduces the community’s liberties, before that community has really understood that this may all be part of an agenda.

In 1996 in Australia, we had a terrible massacre at Port Arthur, and over 30 people died. I’m not convinced that massacre was ever properly investigated.

Immediately, the Prime Minister, John Howard, proceeded with a plan to rid Australia of various weapons. So, truck-loads of weapons were confiscated from the community, and destroyed, at a cost of over a billion dollars. For the good of everyone, you see.

Has it made Australia any safer?

I don’t think so. Women are still being murdered by men. If evil men are bent on vengeance, against a woman, they will commonly defy a Domestic Violence order, break into the place where she is, abuse and sometimes kill her. If they go looking, they can find a gun on the black-market.

If she fears her life’s in danger and goes to a Gun-Shop to buy a gun for self-defence, she won’t be allowed to buy it, because that’s the law, and Mr Howard wanted to get all those weapons out of the community.

So, the defenceless person will remain just that. They may even choose to break the law to save their life, because

A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

That’s why I’m intensely sceptical about government lock-downs, as a result of the coronavirus, internationally. I honestly doubt that any good will come from these, but there have been huge social and material costs, as a result. One of these has been the severe restrictions on individual liberties, including travel.

Do governments suffer?

They’ve increased their powers, along with the number of bureaucrats employed. What could be wrong with that?

Nothing, unless you are a normal member of the community. You have to pay more taxes, and you have less freedom to go where you wish to, both within your nation, and internationally. What’s more, the business climate for you may have completely altered, and you may have lost your job, even your business.

Consider this US case:

When the coronavirus swept across America earlier this spring, Waffle House, which has locations in 25 states, was forced to shut down some 700 restaurants across the country. This put roughly 28,000 hourly Waffle House employees out of work, who became part of the 26.5 million Americans who filed for unemployment that month.

The story of these workers underscores an overlooked reality of the pandemic: lower-income Americans are being harmed the most by lockdowns.

Pew Research studies show that Hispanic women, immigrants, young people, and individuals with less education have been the most likely to lose jobs and the least likely to save income during the pandemic. They’ve also been by far the most likely to say they’ve struggled to pay rent or bills.[1]

This requires that people are not trusting their political leaders. That would be Biblical, for it says,

Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish (Ps.146:3, 4).

If Christians will take scripture seriously, they will be frightened by the notion of increased government powers. They’ll know from scripture and from history, that the innocent will always suffer through these new government powers; that there will be abuse. And the liberties that generations of our forefathers fought for, both in the Reformation period and since, are being threatened. More than that, some of them have gone.

Why should we be surprised at this? Why should we be so foolish as to think it wouldn’t happen to us?

I’m 65. In my lifetime, Australians have always been able to travel around their country, with no restrictions. You could always go anywhere you wanted, day or night, seven days a week. Now, because some clowns have claimed there is a pandemic, there have been people stuck in all sorts of places, unable to get home, or visit a dying relative interstate, or a thousand other things.

And there are still evil people in power, who have the audacity to claim that “It’s for the good of the people.”  The Bible says that

The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbour finds no favour in his eyes (Prov.21:10).

What if the “wicked” is a person with political power? Well, it’s too bad for his “neighbour.”

This is why I hope this coronavirus nonsense will be a warning to believers, anywhere in the world. The fact is, that as Burke said,

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.

Conclusion:

Fallen man’s exercise of power is demonic: it is power for the sake of power, and its goal is ‘a boot stamping on a human face-forever.’[2]

Christians world-wide, need to be both warned and encouraged by the government responses to coronavirus. These things require a response from believers, way beyond passivity. Believers must consider the appropriate forms of Christian resistance to evil governments, and how to sensibly implement these in a community. As Peter explained,

We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

The world waits for our lead.


[1] “Waffle House’s Stand against Lockdowns is Exactly what America Needs -Almost.” Foundation for Economic Education, 21/11/2020.

[2] Rousas Rushdoony (quoting from George Orwell,) “The Institutes of Biblical law,” 1973, pp 448, 449.

How Would You Prefer to Spend Your Last Holiday Season?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola, November 12th 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • COVID-19 has a survival rate of 99.99% for those under the age of 40. Even people over the age of 60 who aren’t residents of nursing homes have a survival rate of 98.29%, yet residents in many areas are now told, in great detail, how they can and cannot celebrate their holidays
  • Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, loneliness had reached epidemic levels. In 2018, 54% of American adults over the age of 18 reported feeling lonely. By January 2020, it was 61% and now, nine months into the pandemic, we’ve reached 66%
  • Loneliness isn’t relegated to the elderly. In the 18 to 34 age group, 75% report feeling socially isolated, compared to 61% of those over 50. Among those aged 18 to 34, 19% say they’ve gone as long as two to three months without interacting with another person
  • 10% of 35- to 49-year-olds, 9% of 18- to 34-year-olds and 7% of those over 50 say they’ve not interacted with anyone outside their household or workplace since the pandemic began
  • If safety requires us to indefinitely forfeit the most valuable parts of our lives, what exactly are we trying to save?

Depending on where you live, COVID-19 rules could be putting a damper on holiday festivities this year. California, for example, recently released a long list of killjoy rules for the holidays, which includes:1

At What Price Safety?

Should government be permitted to micromanage how and with whom you spend your holidays? As noted by A.J. Kay in a recent Medium article,2 “If safety requires us to indefinitely forfeit the most valuable parts of our lives, what exactly are we trying to save?”

That’s a question well worth asking. Just how great a price are you willing to pay for the illusion of safety? SARS-CoV-2 has a survival rate of 99.99% for those under the age of 40.3 Even people over the age of 60 who aren’t residents of nursing homes have a survival rate of 98.29%.4

Data5,6 also show the overall all-cause mortality has remained steady during 2020 and doesn’t veer from the norm — in other words, COVID-19 has not killed off more of the population than would have died in any given year anyway — yet residents in many areas are now told, in great detail, how they can and cannot celebrate their holidays. Is it worth it?

“This will be the final Thanksgiving for 2.8 million (the annual all-cause death toll) of our fellow Americans. It could be my last — or yours. That likelihood is significantly higher for our elderly loved ones, too many of whom will not have seen or hugged their family in nine months,” Kay writes.7

“The hard truth is that we do not know who will be around for Thanksgiving next November. What we do have is right now — this moment — today. We aren’t promised one second more …

We’ve already forgone countless once-in-a-lifetime events to mitigate a newly-minted definition of risk which takes only one variable into account. And have neglected to acknowledge that many of our seniors — the most vulnerable among us — don’t even want that kind of ‘safety’ because it costs precious moments with their families …

There’s only one ‘unsafe’ version of Thanksgiving for me and that’s failing to be present with my family, allowing weaponized shame and performative restrictions to keep us apart. God forbid one of us isn’t sitting at that table next year, I can’t imagine grappling with that regret. And if one (or all) of us get COVID, so be it.”

Isolation — A Fate Worse Than Death?

As reported by the Daily News,8 October 19, 2020, forced isolation due to COVID-19 concerns are hurting seniors who struggle with loneliness and depression at ever greater numbers.

The article features the story of Lezrette Hutchinson, a 64-year-old retiree in the West Bronx who in recent days is starting to find herself “heading to bed as early as 5 p.m., exhausted from a host of mounting frustrations,” such as “technological hurdles that came with virtual doctor visits” and “navigating the Social Security website.”

She’s also frustrated from “being alone in a one-bedroom apartment for the better part of seven months.” She’s grown sick and tired of talking to friends on the phone and feels demotivated to do much of anything, which is a hallmark sign of depression.

According to a report9,10 by the AARP and United Health Foundation, social distancing measures have led to an epidemic of loneliness, and this too has significant health and emotional risks. As noted in this report:11

“Defined as having few social relationships or infrequent social contact with others — social isolation is a public health crisis. Studies have found that social isolation can be worse for one’s health than obesity, and the health risks of prolonged isolation are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.12

For adults who have experienced social isolation during the current pandemic, half (50%) report this social isolation has caused them to lack motivation, slightly more than 4 in 10 (41%) say it has made them feel more anxious than usual and slightly more than a third (37%) report it has made them feel depressed.

Yet, only 11% of adults turned to a medical professional when feeling down or sad, and almost a third of adults 50+ reported that they did not look to anyone for support during the pandemic.

Among the 50+, almost a third of women (29%) report going as long as one to three months not interacting with others outside their home or workplace during the pandemic and are more likely to experience negative emotions than their male counterparts.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, women 50+ are more than twice as likely to report feeling overwhelmed (32% vs. 15% of men 50+), and more women than men 50+ report feeling anxious (46% vs. 36% of men 50+) and stressed (50% vs. 40% of men 50+).

Along with women 50+, the impact to low-income older adults (defined as those who have a household income less than $40K and are 50+) has also been greater compared to older adults with high incomes (defined as those who have a household income $75K+ and are 50+).

Four in 10 low-income adults 50+ report facing challenges accessing various resources during COVID-19, including a fifth who had challenges accessing food and a similar number who had challenges accessing healthcare services.”

No Life Without Human Connection

I wouldn’t be surprised if many people, regardless of their age, would choose companionship over safety from a virus. For argument’s sake, ponder this question.

Which would you choose: Live all alone on an island for the rest of your life, knowing there’s no one around to infect you with COVID-19, or live surrounded by friends and family, knowing you’re taking your chances every time you get near each other?

I know what I choose. As noted in the AARP’s report, “it’s connections, companionship, and a sense of belonging that we need as humans.” Social connection is even more impactful at earlier ages, with poor social connections being strongly associated with poor health and depression among youth.13

So, before you cancel holiday plans with aging parents and grandparents this season, make sure that’s what they really want. Remember, this may be their last Thanksgiving, or their last Christmas. How do you want to spend that time and what memories do you want to make?

Handing out edicts, demanding we eliminate all the things that make life worth living in order to prevent the spread of a survivable virus that most people don’t even know they have unless they get tested is unconscionable and inhuman. But so is following these kinds of unconstitutional government edicts.

I have to say I’m surprised at the sheer number of people willing to surrender their constitutional rights and liberties in return for absolutely nothing. None of the measures — 6-foot social distancing, mask wearingself-isolation and select business shut-downs — actually guarantee anyone’s safety. All we need is one infected person left in the world, and safety for all remains out of reach.

The Loneliness Epidemic Deepens

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, loneliness had reached epidemic levels. In 2018, 54% of American adults (age 18 and older) reported feeling lonely. By January 2020, it was 61%,14 and now, nine months into the pandemic, we’ve reached 66%.15

And loneliness isn’t relegated to the elderly. According to the AARP report, people between the ages of 18 and 34 actually report the highest rates of isolation.16 In the 18 to 34 age group, 75% report feeling socially isolated, compared to 61% of those over 50.

Among those aged 18 to 34, 19% say they’ve gone as long as two to three months without interacting with another person, compared to 16% among those over the age of 35. Ten percent of 35- to 49-year-olds, 9% of 18- to 34-year-olds and 7% of those over 50 say they’ve not interacted with anyone outside their household or workplace since the pandemic began!

The impact of loneliness and social isolation is significant, and will undoubtedly be found to be far greater than the death toll of COVID-19 by the time everything is tabulated.

According to a 2019 study17 by the American Cancer Society that looked at data from 580,182 Americans, social isolation increases mortality from every cause. In other words, social isolation is deadly. Commenting on her team’s findings, public health researcher Kassandra Alcaraz told the American Psychological Association:18

“Our research really shows that the magnitude of risk presented by social isolation is very similar in magnitude to that of obesity, smoking, lack of access to care and physical inactivity.”

Well-Known Effects of Solitary Confinement

While it’s been referred to as “self-isolation” and sold as “staying safe at home,” the lockdowns can rightfully be likened to house arrest, especially in areas where people have only been allowed outdoors for an hour or two a day.

That this kind of self-isolation can be harmful to mental health should come as no surprise, considering psychologists have long known the effects solitary confinement has on prisoners. Even among prisoners, solitary confinement is the worst and most extreme punishment there is. As reported by Endgadget:19

“Take Robert King for example, who spent 29 years in solitary confinement. King spoke at a 2018 neuroscience conference about his experience and how it impacted his cognitive function. He described that, upon his release from prison, he had severe difficulty recognizing faces and had to retrain himself to understand what faces even were and how they worked.

He also had difficulty navigating even simple routes through a city without assistance. Turns out that when your universe is a 6-foot by 9-foot room for nearly three decades, there’s not much need to keep your navigation skills sharp — or even much impetus to keep a firm grasp of reality.

‘For some prisoners … solitary confinement precipitates a descent into madness,’ Dr. Craig Haney, professor of psychology at University of California, Santa Cruz, told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights in 2012.

Prisoners may experience crushing bouts of anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and panic attacks. ‘The conditions of confinement are far too severe to serve any kind of penological purpose,’ he concluded.

The reason this happens is because prolonged social isolation physically changes the shape and function of your brain. The hippocampus, the region responsible for learning and memory not only shrinks in size in response to long-term isolation, it loses its plasticity and may eventually shut down altogether.

At the same time the amygdala, which regulates your fear and anxiety response, goes into overdrive. And the longer the confinement lasts, the more pronounced these changes become — even after the inmate’s eventual release.”

Don’t Let a Virus Steal Your Life

Risk is an inevitable part of life, and for all of human history, mankind has accepted this. Now all of a sudden, we’re told we have to give up life in order to prevent the spread of a virus that poses no risk to the vast majority of people. If safety requires us to indefinitely forfeit the most valuable parts of our lives, what exactly are we trying to save? ~ A.J. Kay

Is it worth it? Just how much are you willing to give up for this false sense of security? Are you willing to give up your family? Your friends? For how long? Are you willing to live in solitary confinement for the rest of your days? Because, believe me, the threat of infectious disease will never cease.

I believe the real threat right now is what we’re doing to sabotage the mental, emotional and physical health of people, especially our children, whose development is dependent on social interactions, physical contact and facial expressions. Between mask wearing and social distancing, I fear the impact on children in particular may be long-term, if not permanent.

But it’s clearly taking a cruel toll on the elderly as well, who are nearing the end of their lives anyway. If you knew your days were numbered, how would you want to spend them? Would your main concern be to prevent an infection that might speed up the inevitable, or would you want to spend whatever time you have left surrounded by those you love?

These are significant questions that will guide your choices and thus the course of your life, and they’re more pressing now than ever. So, choose wisely this holiday season, because whatever you choose, you’ll have to live with your choices.

Sources and References

The Best of Joseph Mercola

Copyright © Dr. Joseph Mercola

The New Control Word is ‘Health’

Sep 25, 2020 by Gary DeMar

There are different ways to control people. Rarely do you find a tyrant begin by lining up people in front of a ditch and executing them. Many small steps led to the final solution. At first, the Jews were denigrated by being forced to wear a badge that identified them as Jews. Then they were publicly maligned:

Nazi propagandists exploited pre-existing images and stereotypes to give a false portrayal of Jews. In this false view, Jews were an “alien race” that fed off the host nation, poisoned its culture, seized its economy, and enslaved its workers and farmers… Germans viewed as genetically inferior and harmful to “national health,” such as people with mental illness and intellectual or physical disabilities [were to be eliminated].

For the Nazis, it was all about “national health.” Jews were compared to rats that carry contagious diseases. What do you do with rats? Exterminate them!

Presently in the United States, physical health is being used as a control agent. Long before the news hit about a virus that originated in China, government officials were passing laws to control our health.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg implemented a plan to keep large sugary drinks out of restaurants and other eateries. Sounds harmless. Fortunately, a state appeals court ruled that Bloomberg “had overstepped his authority in trying to impose the ban.”

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Even so, government officials keep trying. (This is why the courts are so important and Trump’s re-election is crucial.)

The latest example of a government using the health argument to control people is coming from Berkeley, California, once the home of the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s. See if you can spot the sinister detail in the new law:

Berkeley is gearing up to become the first city in the nation to ban junk food from the checkout line in grocery stores. In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council passed the “healthy checkout” ordinance.

Come March 2021, when the measure is set to take effect, large grocery stores in the California city will be prohibited from selling food and beverages deemed unhealthy in a 3-foot radius from the checkout. “It’s not really a ban, it’s a nudge,” co-sponsor of the ordinance Councilmember Kate Harrison told FOX Business. “What we have discovered is that this law enforces good behavioral economics and facilitates better choices.”

That last line should send shivers up and down your spine. Do you think the food Nazis in Berkeley will stop with food if they can pass a law that “enforces good behavioral economics and facilitates better choices”? (Fox Business)

Who will ultimately determine what’s “good behavioral economics”? If this can be done with food, then what’s to stop politicians from implementing a system of governance over beliefs and ideologies? Actually, they are already doing this. What we are seeing on university campuses is a curriculum designed to more than “nudge” students to adopt unquestioned ideologies.

Anyone who questions, for example, the operating assumptions of the Marxist ideology of Black Lives Matter, homosexuality, transgenderism, and abortion will rarely if ever secure a teaching position in today’s universities. If an existing professor tweets a contrary opinion on these and other sacrosanct dogmas, he or she will be immediately vilified as something worse than vermin.

Forcing people to wear masks during outdoor gatherings in the name of health when there is no health emergency is a current example. The Mayor of Moscow, Idaho, and the City Council ordered a new mask mandate that continues into January 2021, and there’s no guarantee it will be lifted then. Remember when we were told that we needed two weeks to “flatten the curve”?

When a church group decided to defy the draconian and arbitrary order, those gathered received citations and three people were arrested and taken away in handcuffs.

And just to put an exclamation point on the preposterous frivolousness of all this, the very same deputies who arrested [Gabe] Rench [of Cross Politic] for not wearing a mask were seen by him after his two-hour stint in jail hanging out in the police station — with no concern for social distancing and not a mask worn in sight. (Steve Deace)

Then there’s the incident of a woman with family members not wearing a mask watching her middle school son play football in an outdoor stadium with a sparse crowd who was assaulted, tased, and handcuffed by a very large policeman and hauled off under the control of two police officers, one a woman who was not wearing a mask!

She had every right not to wear a mask since Ohio law states that a person does not have to wear a mask if you are sitting with family members and can maintain six-foot social distance from people who are not household members. The video shows she was complying.

So, what starts with “we’re only interested in your health” becomes comply or you will be arrested and taken to jail in handcuffs.

If I Caught COVID-19, I Would Do This

Gary North – November 07, 2020

I have a very smart friend who is maniacal about defending against COVID-19. He has done a lot of research. Here is what he said he is doing and would do.

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a) Prophylactic – [Math+ Protocol: covid.us.org summary; covid19.us.org; criticalcare.com; evms.edu]

Take daily to minimize Covid-19 infection BEFORE infected:

1) Zinc 30-50 mg/day [mg means ‘milligram’]
2) Vitamin D3 (w/K2) 5,000 i.u./day [i.u. means ‘international units’]
3) Vitamin C 1,000 mg/day [or 500 mg BID, i.e.2 times/day]
4) EGCG 350+ mg/day
5) Quercetin 500 mg/day
6) Melatonin (optional)
7) Pepcid AC (optional)
8) Aspirin (Enteric) 75-90 mg/day
9) Ivermectin (Stromectol) 1 time 12 mg/80KG (Rx) (adult – optional) [day 1 only]

b) Early infection onslaught (best undertaken 48 hours from symptoms/blood test confirmation):

1) Zinc 220 mg/day
2) Vitamin D3 (w/K2) 5,000 i.u./day (initially 10,000 i.u. day 1)
3) Vitamin C 1,000 mg/day (or 500 mg BID)
4) EGCG 350 mg (or more)/day
5) Quercetin 500 mg/day
6) Melatonin (optional)
7) Pepcid AC (optional)
8) Aspirin (Enteric) 75-90 mg/day
9) Ivermectin (Stromectol) 1 time 12 mg/80KG adult (Rx)

and

10) Hydroxychloriquine (HCQ) 200 mg/day (5 days) (Rx)
11) Azrithromycin 500 mg/day (5 days) (Rx)

See papers at:

1) https://c19study.com/ [summary of 200+ papers worldwide with analysis and graphs]

2) https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202007.0025/v1/download [original Zelenko Protocol]

Notes:

* Quercetin exhibits similar protein binding as HCQ/Ivermectin – and to different virus surface proteins.

* EGCG [green tea flavonoid extract] exhibits broad anti-covid virus properties and “anti-fibrotic effect and in the ability to simultaneously downregulate expression and signaling of many inflammatory mediators” (source: NIH)

* Vitamin D (5,000 i.u) is important
* Zinc (30-50 mg) is important
* Melatonin, Pepcid AC are optional
* Essentially, the HCQ and/or Ivermectin interact in several ways – they bind to multiple (different) proteins on the virus surface and:

1) weaken the virus shell to allow penetration as a Zincophore to allow Zinc to penetrate and destroy virus DNA binding
2) bind to the virus ‘spike’ to minimize the physical virus attachment/puncture of cell walls (the virus “spikes” get covered with ‘sticky stuff’)

* Azrithromycin is a broad-based antibiotic used to minimize opportunistic bacterial infections (such as pneumonia) with some Zincophore activity Goals: Collapse viral multiplication; suppress opportunistic bacterial infection of tract; stop potential Cytokine Storm; eliminate hospitalization requirement – in particular to avoid hospital intubation.

Coronavirus and the Country’s Future (13)

The Australian State of Queensland had an election on Saturday, 31st October, and the Labor government was returned. This was after eight months of utterly unnecessary social restrictions, including border restrictions, “social distancing,” and other constraints that have left many people out of work, and businesses bankrupted. And it continues.

What happened at the election?

The leader of the Liberal National Party, Debra Frecklington, was unwilling to distance herself from the Labor Party’s policies. She indicated she’d go along with the advice of her medical bureaucrats, continuing to restrict people at State borders, along with any other measures they considered to be in the best interests of Queenslanders’ health.

She avoided explaining how these policies were based on a sham argument, that Coronavirus is simply a variant of flu, and that these impositions have and will cost us tremendously, both economically and socially.

In my opinion, this was both unfortunate, and pathetic. This could have been an opportunity for an ostensibly conservative political leader to plainly offer conservative values and policies to the electorate, and to reverse the horrific policies of the Labor government, which have decimated Queensland small businesses, and put thousands out of work.

It also may well have led to a review of the shocking abortion laws that Queensland has, along with the opportunity to deal with Labor’s known policies of euthanasia, which have the potential for all manner of evil, down the track.

This provides a political lesson for anyone who wants to learn. If conservatives want to provide the electorate with a real political choice, apart from institutionalized humanism and all its awful implications, do a proper job of it, and don’t try to do it by halves. Don’t allow any association to be made in the mind of the electorate with awful, failed policies, that have simply been means of political abuse against the community.

Deb Freckington went missing in action. She was unwilling to really take it to the Labor Party ideologically, when there were plainly ideological issues at stake for this election. She could have claimed:

The Labor Party treats Queenslanders like slaves and convicts. Anyone would think we were back in the days of the First Fleet. We want to immediately restore the traditional liberties of the individuals, families, communities and churches, which many Australians historically, have died for!

All these social restrictions on people are utterly unnecessary, and must be removed, immediately. Let’s let Queenslanders get back to work, travel interstate, and do what they want to do, with no fear or intimidation from their government!

Then she could have emphasized the cost to the electorate of having hundreds of police deployed on the NSW border, the rapidly ballooning Qld debt, along with other details. This would have immediately won her points in the community, from the thousands of business people negatively affected by Labor’s abuse of power.

She would have attracted some flak for a bold and firm stand, but people won’t vote to change their government for a leader they perceive as spineless and lacking. Furthermore, the Labor Party was poorly led, and was in my opinion, vulnerable to a bold and confident assault that revealed Labor’s real values, which I think are destructive, abusive and authoritarian.

But you won’t put out a blazing fire with a wet lettuce, so now we may have to wait another three years to replace these scoundrels and evildoers. An opportunity lost.

As they say,No guts-no glory.