LinkedIn Senior News Editor Andrew Seaman wrote me yesterday morning asking my thoughts on what is being called the 'Great Resignation' - 30-40% of the workforce signaling in polls and surveys that they want to change jobs post-COVID lockdowns.
What is my advice for people looking to make a move, either now or in the near future? Listen in to find out.
"The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." So said Sir William F. Butler, according to the meme sent to me yesterday by my neighbor JP Chavez.
This quote is also attributed more anciently to Thucydides, the ancient Greek philosopher (460BC-395BC).
And we know that this sentiment is true and universal, regardless who said it first or best.
In Pt. 2 of this series, I make the following claim:
"In a healthy marriage, in a functional marriage...you're serving your spouse, your spouse is serving you, and together you're serving God in the way that you serve one another. And we need to be mindful of that."
And on this point you may be asking yourself, ‘Where is this idea of husbands serving their wives and wives serving their husbands found in the Scriptures?’
Well, I’m glad you asked, and I shall endeavor to tell you. For starters, consider Ephesians 5:22-33.
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish."
This isn’t to say that every Christian man loves his wife as perfectly or blamelessly as Christ loved the church anymore than it is to say that the excellent wife described in Proverbs 31:10-31 is every Christian woman.
But what the aforementioned is talking about is the ideal. This is the target we’re aiming for. Women need love, and men need respect. And since we have these commands, I’m assuming that with God’s help men are capable of loving their wives and women are capable of respecting their husbands.
And who wouldn’t want that?
In reading The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, I have especially enjoyed the parts where Grant talks about his relationship with President Lincoln. And within their interactions Grant recounts, I found particularly amusing the fact that Grant pledged to the President – amidst a statement of his general intentions for prosecuting the war against the Confederate armies – that he would endeavor to not annoy the president.
A little later, however, Grant moves on to trying to execute his plans for defeating the South in battle, and one thing he says he was trying to do with regards to the generals and armies of his enemy is annoying them.
So also with marriage, our goal ought to be to not unnecessarily annoy our spouse in the prosecution of our battles and wars, but to annoy our Enemy.
God said it is not good for the man to be alone; so God made a helper suitable for Adam.
Ideally, marriage is an opportunity for men and women to learn to submit themselves to someone else’s needs and desires on a daily basis, as well as being an opportunity to be loved and served by someone else on a daily basis. And when we do that, we annoy the Devil, that Enemy of both God and our souls.
Before we get any further into that, though, let’s talk about singleness. In particular, let’s address the elephant in the room in what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:1-16.
If we are going to have a Biblical attitude and mindset when it comes to marriage, we need also to examine singleness and divorce. And here in what Paul writes to the church at Corinth we have an opportunity to talk about all the above. So let's.
Someone recently asked me why anyone should bother with marriage. Isn't it more trouble than it's worth, particularly for men in our society?
The courts are biased against them and in favor of women. The churches also in the way they typically emphasize passages pertaining to the responsibility of men in relationship while also de-emphasizing the responsibilities of women.
What feminism has wrought is a generation of men in America who are doing the cost-benefit analysis on taking a wife, settling down and raising a family, and concluding that the potential rewards don't justify the risk.
But here I am as a homeschooling father of seven with an eighth on the way. Lauren and I are coming up on 15-years of marriage in November. And we have a tall order in front of us - to swim upstream against culture on this issue as well as we endeavor to embrace and believe what God says about us and marriage, parenting, and family.
And as my sons are now becoming teenagers and starting high school, the time has come to earnestly prepare their minds for manhood and, we hope, marriage to lovely young ladies, as well as fathering sons and daughters of their own.
But first, before we can prepare the hearts and minds of our sons, we have to organize and arrange our own thoughts on these matters. What is good? What is true? And how can we make the case clearly so they understand rightly and orient themselves accordingly?
Such questions and related others have me thinking now is as good a time as any to begin working on a series of podcast episodes. #AndThisIsWhyWeGotMarried #AndThisIsWhy
Yesterday morning my family stayed home from church. We also stayed home from church the Sunday before that.
Before you go wondering, let me assure you our reasons for staying home were not anger and bitterness.
The sky is blue, the grass is green, and Lauren is pregnant. And with pregnancy at this stage also comes nausea and fatigue. So we felt it best to stay home and help her (and the rest of us) rest from the previous week, and rest up for the week ahead.
But a friend of mine who listens regularly to this podcast reached out to me to express concern with the bitterness I harbor for previous bad experiences with church. And I want to take his concerns and feedback seriously.
So in the spirit of thinking through how I'm doing on this front, let's take a look at Ephesians 4:17-32.
If you too like me have been hurt and betrayed in bad experiences in church, listen in. And hopefully we can all come away with a recalibrated understanding and sentiment on this thing and others besides.
For this week's Family Movie Night, we watched another Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical - 'Oklahoma!'
Having built up all my expectations off The Sound of Music and The King and I, this experience was not those.
Or at a minimum, Oklahoma! is not The Sound of Music.
For some idea of what I mean, check out this page for the 1955 version at Common Sense Media.
With songs like "I Can't Say No," and a traveling peddler telling a certain eligible young bachelorette that she's his "Persian Kitty" because they both have "soft round tails," there is a lot of innuendo and double entendre here.
Perhaps the 1950's weren't so prim and proper after all.
Dovetailing off recent episodes of this podcast - Episode #116 'Why Men Hate Going to Church' and Episode #130 'Reverse Sexism in American Churches' - I want to talk about the Men's Rights Movement.
Micah Hershberger sent me two videos this week to mull over. Watch for our forthcoming episode of On The Rocks podcast in which we discuss those further.
But for this episode, I want to take some time to process and unpack Cassie Jaye's documentary The Red Pill, and also this YouTube summary of what is being called MGTOW - the acronym for "Men Going Their Own Way."
What should we make of these responses to feminism in our day? And do they perhaps in part explain why fewer young people today are getting married and settling down to raise a family than in previous generations?
Let us bravely embrace the risk of offending everyone except the Almighty by delving into these matters so we can discern what is good and true, and how men and women can and should live in peace and harmony with one another according to God's Word.
My son Daniel recently talked me into playing American Trucking Simulator with him on our computers, and I have to admit that this is a fun little game.
Yesterday morning before going to work, I had saved up enough money to buy my first big rig. And as of last night before bed I had nearly completed my first run in the new truck - taking a load of large buoys from Colorado Springs to Spokane, Washington.
Where the game goes from here, I think, is that I keep on trucking until I can expand my garage, purchase more trucks and trailers, and hire drivers to work for me.
But as the son of a long-time truck driver, I find the premise of the game somewhat amusing for how popular it's recently become. Who would have thought so many people would find the idea of truck driving so romantic?
But on the whole it is a good thing that we as a society would better appreciate how our raw materials, manufactured goods, and food magically gets to the store and our front door.
Perhaps too this game can serve as a driver safety course when we all appreciate better how much longer it takes for a big rig hauling a heavy load to come to a stop, or how much wider a tractor trailer has to swing in order to make turns which for small cars, pickups, and vans are much tighter.
If you are looking for something to pass the time and might enjoy a digital tour of the western half of the United States, this is a good little game to turn on some music or an audiobook and pedal down with.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis should have the R for Republican behind his name changed to a C for Courage.
The Daily Wire reported yesterday: 'DeSantis On NCAA Threat To Pull Events From States That Protect Girl Sports: ‘To Hell’ With Your ‘Events.’
DeSantis, then, has done what South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem lacked the nerve to.
Are you taking notes, Republican Party? This is what your constituents want. This is actually an effort at conserving.
But it does take courage to stand up to Woke, Inc. and tell the NCAA and others where the boundary lines are.
As David Horowitz puts it in his 2019 book, 'Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America' - "The issue is not the issue. The issue is the revolution."
But so also, we need to be more than just against the woke mob and its corporate sponsors. We have to know what it is we are conserving and why. If the issue is not really the issue for the Left, what is the revolution?
And if we are the counter-revolutionaries, then whose authority are we insisting on still respecting and obeying? If not ultimately the Lord God Almighty's, all this moving and counter-moving is for naught.
Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey made headlines over the weekend by vetoing 22 bills passed by his state's legislature. He claims he vetoed these bills because Arizona lawmakers need to pass a budget and have it on his desk ASAP. But is that the real reason?
Also, I am down to the last little bit of Russell Shorto's 'The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America.'
Let's take some time to unpack how the attitudes and organization of the Dutch imprinting themselves early-on in the colony of New Netherlands and the trading port of New Amsterdam helped to shape how the 13 colonies ultimately came together to form The United States of America as we know it today.
If one looks closely, one can almost see current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the comedians at Saturday Night Live in the 17th century historical sketch Shorto provides.
For this weekend's family movie night, we watched The King and I (1956).
Starring Yul Brynner as King Mongkut of Siam and Deborah Kerr as Anna Leonowens, this classic musical was another standby for me growing up.
Lauren and the kids never having seen it before, they now can say they have seen it.
And a whole host of interesting topics came up in the course of watching. For instance, "Who is Buddha?" Also, "Why would you give a person to another person as a gift?" Also, "How does that work that he has so many children by so many different women?"
Are my kids ready to talk about those sorts of things? I figure there's only one way to find out, and that's by diving in and seeing how it goes.
And so we did. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
60 Minutes uploaded a video to YouTube on May 16, 2021 titled 'Navy pilots describe encounters with UFOs.' As of May 30, roughly 7.5 million views have racked up, and there are over 42,000 comments.
It seems every time I refresh the home pages for The Blaze, The Epoch Times, and The Daily Wire, there is another story on new disclosures from the U.S. government regarding UFOs.
For instance, I read one this morning from Paul Sacca at The Blaze - 'Leaked video reportedly shows swarm of UFOs circling US Navy combat ship; Pentagon investigating.'
For another example, consider this piece from Emily Zanotti at The Daily Wire - 'Head Of Pentagon UFO Office: Government In Possesion of ‘Exotic’ Materials From ‘Mysterious Vehicles’'
The images and footage are eerie. So also are the statements from officials and military servicemembers.
If we define our terms, all a UFO means is that something is in our skies that we cannot identify. We don't know who it belongs to, where it came from, or what it's doing here. All we know is that we are reckoning with something which has capabilities which surpasses the capabilities of the most advanced technology we know we possess.
Perhaps our own government has developed something we just haven't been told about. Or maybe some other nation's government has.
But the third possibility is that some other form of life from elsewhere in the universe is visiting us. And it is that third possibility I want most to explore here.
As a Christian, I reserve my fear for the Most High God who created the heavens and earth and everything in them. And if some other form of life besides God and man exists, my Sovereign God knows it fully and made it. And I do not need to fear what that life is capable of because I know it is not capable of anything more than what God permits.
But beyond that general truth, we read vague and passing references in the Scriptures to a created order of beings in between God and man. And though I am content that the Lord has told us enough when we read that they exist and are subordinate to him, it is fair game to speculate about them even as we reserve our obedience, fear, and worship for the Most High.
According to Wikipedia, "reverse sexism" is defined as follows:
"Reverse sexism is sexism directed towards men and boys. This form of sexism includes any form of prejudice or discrimination against men and boys. This can include stereotyping that may negatively impact men."
Without knowing there was a term for it, the concept has been on my mind for a long time, particularly in the context of American churches.
Why does it seem like every Mother's Day sermon I have ever heard sounds so different from every Father's Day sermon I have ever heard?
Mothers and wives do it all. They are so important and we just don't value or thank them enough. Proverbs 31 is an idealized image of perfection, and we should not ask women to aspire to this unrealistic goal per se. Buy them flowers and candy and tell them how beautiful they are as daughters of the King.
That is how Mother's Day sermons and all the teaching I have ever heard about women goes.
Fathers and husbands, on the other hand, are also so important. But we are failing. Everything is our fault - on the micro and macro levels. Men need to step up and do better. We aren't loving our wives and children like Christ loved and loves the Church, laying his life down for her. Prisons are full of boys who grew up without a father in the home.
That is how all the Father's Day sermons I have heard in my life play out.
A YouTube video of Paul Washer speaking on Marriage, Family and Parenting at the 2021 Fellowship Conference was sent to me this week, and I watched it. And though there is plenty of truth to what Washer shared, and he doubtless is a God-fearing man who loves the Church and his family and means well, I think there is a lot here that confirms my concerns about reverse sexism in American churches.
The error - if indeed this is an error which has crept unnoticed into our theology, teaching, and discipleship - is not conscious, I don't think. We all are like so many fish in water who don't know we're wet.
But if there is a better understanding that can be had for the Biblical roles of men and women in the home, we ought not to content ourselves that no temptation has seized us except what is common to man. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Instead, we really need to grapple with the apparent double standard in the way these things are thought, felt, spoken, and taught about - particularly from the pulpit and in the home.
What if China did intentionally manipulate and then release COVID-19?
Reporting from Ryan Saavedra at The Daily Wire today - Biden Admin: ‘We Haven’t Ruled Out’ Possibility That Pandemic From China Was Deliberately Unleashed.
They will surely circle back on that one.
Of course the anti-nationalist, anti-national self-interest, political and governing establishment - which resents and utterly loathes the American Republic for its inequity and claims to objective truth and goodness - is thinking long and hard about how consistent it wants to be here.
If China hoisted COVID on the world to pursue its own national self-interest, then what?
If over half a million American men, women, and children lost their lives due to the pandemic, and if China deliberately caused said pandemic to take us down a notch while they rise to their aspired heights, then a state and condition of war exists.
And if President Biden is thinking long and hard about whether we would rightly call the spade a shovel here and get to digging trenches with it already, that is not a shocker. But it is tragic.
LinkedIn told me yesterday that as much as 25% of the workforce in America has stated it intends to change jobs now that the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
That in conjunction with a conversation I had with a friend who is interviewing for jobs and hates his current one has me thinking back over my working life.
I can relate to men who wonder whether they missed the boat. Hostile work environments, being passed over for promotions, dealing with established good old boy clubs, having achievements and accomplishments go unnoticed even as the mistakes of other people are either also ignored entirely or else blamed on you.
As a husband and father, I have to find a way to insulate my family from work stress. But so also, as a man myself - there has to be a way to buffer my heart and mind from being tossed like a ship on stormy seas.
"Beware when men speak well of you," we read in God's Word.
So also, we are not to repay evil for evil when we are treated unjustly. But we are called to keep ourselves blameless in every way, and to work "as unto the Lord."
Psalm 127 is also helpful here.
"Unless Yahweh builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless Yahweh watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from Yahweh,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
In other words, it's well and good to make plans and work toward a future purpose and outcome. But trust to God for the final results, and be content in his purposes for what those may be and how he will use them.
Our working life and careers are a means to an end, and should not be confused for the end unto themselves. And when we remember that, it can go a long way to curbing careerist ambitions or frustrations.
One of the things that was prophesied concerning John the Baptist was that in calling Israel to repentance and heralding the arrival of the promised Messiah, he would turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children.
In our day, entirely too much talk of suicidal children is relevant and necessary. But the reason we have so many children thinking of taking their own lives is because we have so many children being raised to not believe their life has intrinsic value and purpose.
Where do we come from? Why are we here? And what do we do about the problem of pain, suffering, and death?
An excessive attachment to positivity and happiness excludes meaningful discussion of the problem of evil, and it undermines the sense and conviction that God's Word gives us satisfying answers to this.
What are my wife and I to tell our son about how to help his friend who just tried to commit suicide? And how can we think rightly again as a people and as a church, and as mothers and fathers?
We have to remind ourselves and one another of what is good and what is true according to God. And we can only know what that is by looking to the Word.
Our family movie night this week featured the 1965 classic, The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Featuring Max von Sydow as Jesus and Charlton Heston as John the Baptist, this film was one of my favorites growing up.
Yes, the actor playing Jesus has funny hair. My son Eli was quick to point that out.
But I want to key in on Heston's portrayal of John the Baptist here.
John Lazarus Mullet, Lauren's and my youngest son, turned 3-years-old this week. And part of the tradition in our house for birthday dinners has been for my wife and I to take turns telling the story behind the naming of our children, and also to tell the story of our children being born.
And it just so happened that in my telling the story of how we came to name John as we did, I found myself recalling John the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Thus the inclination to watch the movie for the first time ever with my kids.
This brings up some interesting questions, though. How much do portrayals of Jesus and the gospels influence our impression of the Biblical text? And how much does an actor's performance color and shape the way we perceive our Savior and God's Word?
As Christians, we are supposed to be imitators of Christ especially, and God's faithful servants secondarily at least in some form or fashion. And I could insert here some cliché about the life and testimony of Christians being the only sermon some people will ever hear. But I won't.
All the same, we do well to be Bereans about how Jesus is portrayed in any and every medium. Whether we embrace or reject certain aspects of portrayals as entirely faithful, there is a value in the process of evaluating in light of the Scriptures.
Roman Catholic bishops weigh whether to withhold communion from pro-choice government officials and politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. But then they get pressure from higher up in the food chain to relent. Atop the pyramid sits a Progressive pope, so that stands to reason.
Gone are the days when Americans worried that electing John Fitzgerald Kennedy would mean the pope was actually running our country. But never you mind when Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey decide what former President Trump can and cannot say.
This all should give us pause, and we ought to ask some hard questions about the legacy of the Roman Catholic church and tradition. How should the church relate to political power? And how much of the old Roman empire is still with us thanks to the legacy of Constantine the Great?
The Protestant Reformation really was all about the question of authority. And still today, Christians of every stripe wrestle with how to relate to authorities - whether civil or ecclesiastical - in light of our need to recognize and submit to God's authority.
If you want to understand the American Civil War better, read Mark A. Noll's book - The Civil War as a Theological Crisis.
In it you will find that before the question of slavery was a political or military question to be answered on the battlefield, it was a theological question.
How we read and interpret the Bible is of the utmost importance, and we have a fine example of the consequences of playing fast and loose with the text in the way the issue of slavery has been handled - both by abolitionists and by the pro-slavery camp in the lead-up to 1861.
Was slavery categorically evil? Not according to God. Or at least he never roundly condemned and prohibited the institution.
But then neither was God silent on the issue. And the pro-slavery theological arguments often ignored the restrictions and boundaries God put in place for his people in the Old Testament.
So also, the claim that black Africans were to be enslaved as a race because Noah cursed the descendants of Ham in Genesis was a particularly weak argument.
Did the fact that Noah pronounced a curse on Ham and his descendants mean that we are forever beholden to abuse and mistreat a certain race of people just because they were his offspring?
One might more readily interpret Noah's curse in light of warnings and admonitions against strong drink for kings at the end of Proverbs. Yet it was entirely too convenient that those arguing for continuance of the African slave-trade and the disposal of black slaves in the South chose an interpretive framework which put stock in Noah as the authority.
At the same time, radical abolitionists sometimes concluded that if God had made allowances for slavery in the Old Testament, they would just throw out the Bible. If the Bible was not any more just and fair than that, the overriding principle of liberty more important to them would take precedence.
In our day still, despite a century and a half passing, we see echoes of this conflict in the way social justice and other such is argued for and against in the American church. And Noll's book can help us in understanding the problems of our day in light of their ideological and theological roots and historical context.
As I look back on recent weeks of podcasting, there is a question which becomes obviously important and needful to ask. When it comes to contending for the faith - whether potential threats to faithful Christian life and thought come from inside or outside the church - how does one go about contending for the faith without being contentious?
It is too easy to confront bad attitudes with other bad attitudes. But when we counter falsehoods with other falsehoods, or respond inappropriately to inappropriateness, we are not doing well. We are not helping those we may be trying to so much as adding complexity to the situation.
For instance, if I have concerns about prominent Christian leaders who have placed themselves increasingly on the Woke side of the fault line in the modern American church, it does not necessarily follow that any and all ways of expressing those concerns are valid and helpful.
And perhaps a challenge issued by an old acquaintance of mine is good to remember here. If these men were sitting across a table from me when I said these things, would I express my concerns with more respect and gentleness?
I am a fan of calling a spade by its name, however much I may sometimes be tempted to gild the lily when I do. But that does not mean I am setting a good example if I add in some colorful adjectives to describe how I feel about the spade.
Nevertheless, what do we do about the examples set by Jesus or John the Baptist when they rebuke the scribes and teachers of the Law? White-washed tombs and sons of Satan have never been terms of endearment except perhaps to avowed Satanists. And it was not for no reason that John was beheaded or that Jesus was arrested, tried, flogged, and crucified.
So, again, how do we contend for the faith without being contentious? However thorny that question may seem or actually be, we do well to grapple with it in earnest as part of our pursuit of the charges to both "be sober-minded; be watchful" and to "in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience..."
Having now finished 'Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church' by Philadelphia pastor Paul David Tripp, let us do some soul searching and be Bereans about some of what is in the mix here.
Much of what Tripp has to say I readily agree with - not because he said it, but because it is sound and Biblically clear-cut and incontrovertible.
Unfortunately, also in the mix is a brand of woke Christianity designed to subtly but surely strip us of what the theological and political Left calls patriarchy, toxic masculinity, sexism, racism, xenophobia, et cetera.
This brings me to a question my neighbor recently asked me.
"...Where is the line, or points where we say 'Yeah, we may agree with them on some biblical points, but they are too far in error on these other unbiblical points, to where we cannot recommend anything they have to say?'"
He asks a good and necessary question, and the answer to it may not be easy. But one thing we must know is that the Bereans in Acts are held up as an example for us.
We are also warned throughout the New Testament to teach only what accords with sound doctrine, and to keep watch over our doctrine.
Similarly, we are told to contend for the faith, and to confront those who are undermining the gospel of Jesus Christ which was delivered once for all, and to guard against deceptions and diversions which would fundamentally transform that gospel into something contrary to God's character, promises, and commands.
The Apostle Paul's confrontation of Peter over his catering to the Judaizers at Antioch is relevant here. Substitute Woke Christians for Judaizers, and you will understand my meaning.
Perhaps also the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas over what to do with John Mark should be instructive.
That said, I would only recommend reading the works and listening to the words of Christian leaders on the Woke side of the fault line to mature, discerning Christians. And even there, I would strongly advise viewer discretion.
Otherwise, impressionable brothers and sisters may be taken in by virtual signaling missives like this one from Paul Tripp published almost a year ago.
If someone handed you a pan of brownies and you knew there was a turd hidden somewhere amidst the chocolate morsels, you might study it. But you would not consume it uncritically if you valued your health.
In juxtaposition, consider with me two stories from last week.
First, from the Epoch Times, 'Space Force Officer Relieved After Denouncing Marxism, Critical Race Theory in Military' published May 16, 2021 by Jack Phillips.
Second, from the HSLDA, 'Harvard Panel: Homeschooling is Here to Stay' published May 12, 2021 by Dave Dentel.
The long and short of it is that Leftists in academia and the military do not tolerate backtalk from the teeming unwashed masses of people they claim to be empowering yet have no respect or regard for.
Repeat after them three times that you do believe in Critical Race Theory. You do, you do, you do. Otherwise - whatever your other accomplishments - your career will be cancelled and you will be sent packing.
Meanwhile, highly educated folk are meeting together at Harvard to discuss whether parents should be allowed to infringe on the government's monopoly on education that is the public school system.
They apparently can't have parents loving and training and teaching their children as if they have a right to. Parents might raise little Johnny's and Suzie's who grow up to write books and record podcasts critical of Marxist indoctrination in the United States military.
But this all sounds very bleak, so let me tell you what you can do about it besides despairing.
Toward the end of combatting Statism in the military and the education of our children, buy my book - 'And This Is Why We Homeschool.' Then tell your friends and family to buy my book. It's available on paperback and e-book from Amazon, and now is an excellent time of the year to read it as we go into the summer and make plans for the next school year.
After you read my book, please leave a rating and review at the listing on Amazon. This will help immeasurably in getting this encouraging and challenging book into the hands of the folks out there who need to read it.
Do it for the children.
Then also tell your friends and family to listen to this podcast wherever they prefer, and leave a rating and review in that same place so others still will be reached by this endeavor.
Together, we can encourage greater intentionality and thoughtfulness in living out the Christian life on purpose and productively. And only in that way, by God's grace, will be saved from the tyranny of Leftist ideology and all other sinful systems which seek to enslave and oppress us, and be free to live in peace and harmony with God and our fellow man.
On Saturdays in our house, my wife typically makes homemade pizza and the kids and I watch a movie. This gives me a chance to expose my children to culturally enriching experiences, and to spend time with them. And it also gives Lauren some peace and quiet to work on sewing or school planning or reading without interruption.
Last night we watched Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and I realized I had not seen that film so recently as I might have unconsciously assumed.
Jackson's Hobbit trilogy was released from 2012-2014. The Lord of the Rings trilogy came out from 2001-2003. We're talking 7-20 years ago since these films made their theatrical debut.
But it is just as well that it had been a long time since we had watched them, and I enjoyed sharing this first Hobbit movie with my youngest three children, since none of them were old enough or even necessarily born yet the first time around.
And even for my having seen the movies before, and read the book, I remembered how much and why I like Tolkien's story here. There are good, sound reasons why it has the staying power it does.
So let's talk about that, shall we? Let's delve into the resilience and durability, and eminent relatability of hobbits.
Among the people I trust and respect most, Paul David Tripp's book Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church comes highly recommended.
So I started listening to that one on Audible yesterday, and I am about halfway through it now.
But I will confess to being wary. Please take no offense if you can only find good things to say about this book or its author, but I intend to do a full review and unpack and analyze my discomfort.
Part of that discomfort can be unpacked now and already before I have finished the book. The rest will have to wait, and it is good to reserve judgment until the full argument has been laid out.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have been hurt as a leader in church and by leaders in the church. So my guard is up. Perhaps it should be, and perhaps it should not always be. Time will tell, and let God's Word be our guide in that regard no less than in others.
In recent days, the terrorist organization Hamas has fired hundreds of Iranian rockets at Israeli cities and Israeli men, women, and children. The IDF - Israeli Defense Force - has used its Iron Dome system to great effect intercepting more than 90% of the Hamas rockets, meaning that about one in ten rockets have gotten through.
As the nation of Israel actively asserts its right to defend its people and property from Muslim terrorists, fighting and striking back against rocket launch sites and hunting down and killing the leaders of Hamas responsible for these attacks, a significant portion of the world has chosen once again not to denounce Israel's enemies, but to condemn Israel for defending herself against her enemies.
I, for one, support Israel's right to self-defense. And more to the point, I affirm Israel's right to exist as a nation. Furthermore, I unabashedly approve of the material and moral support which the United States of America has provided over the years and decades to that end.
Anti-Semitism does not make sense to me. Anti-Israel sentiment does not make sense to me.
Calling Jews "Christ killers" is a lot of nonsense when you take a step back and realize that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and when you remember John 3:16. "God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life."
That means we are all Christ killers if the Jews are.
But then the notion that the Jews and Romans who descend from the men who put Jesus to death on a cross are particularly guilty of that innocent bloodshed may make sense to people who buy into Critical Race Theory, Critical Theory, System Racism here in America.
God promised he would bless those who bless the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that he would curse those who curse them. And maybe that is part of why the United States of America still enjoys some of the blessing and protection of God despite our collective defiance of God's Law in abortion and the promotion of sexual immorality.
David Murrow's 2005 book, Why Men Hate Going to Church, was brought up in conversation with my cousin Micah yesterday, and I want to encourage you to read it.
The updated and revised version of it from 2011 can be purchased from Amazon here.
A good YouTube video summary of it can be found from a speaking event Murrow held at a church in Australia, and you can find that video here.
The premise is simple. American churches have a major gender gap. At the time of he first published his book, less than 40% of the adults in churches were men. That means close to two-thirds of churches are made up of women - or at least were 15 years ago.
Why do so many more women than men attend most churches? Because American Christianity has made men feel unwelcome.
Too many churches cater to women and present a feminized gospel with a Christ who is portrayed as embodying feminine virtues to the exclusion of masculine characteristics.
But this, in my view, is evidence that feminism has infected our church culture. The original curse God gave to Eve said that she would have pain in childbirth and that her desire would be to rule over her husband, but he would exercise headship over her.
Proverbs tells us that it is better to dwell on the corner of a rooftop than to live with a quarrelsome woman. This being self-evident, many men unfamiliar with the proverb know it instinctively. And when they feel hen-pecked and unwelcome or excluded or marginalized for being masculine men, they opt out.
But God has a better design - for the family, the church, the city, state, and nation. And blessing will follow as we embrace that design rather than rebelling against it.
A major American pipeline has suffered the most significant cyberattack in our country's history, and its being taken out of commission leaves the East Coast without a reliable and efficient supply of gasoline for the foreseeable future. Experts say the pipeline should be back online by the end of the week, but in the meantime over 1,000 gas stations have already run out of fuel for Americans who rely on fossil fuels to transport themselves and their goods.
Early intel has traced the source of the hack to a group based on Russia. But we should know better than to blame a private entity for this assault on our critical infrastructure. No private group in Russia of all places is going to carry out an attack on America of this magnitude without at least nominal cover and tacit encouragement from Russia and her allies - especially China and Iran.
The timing of the attack is highly suspect. Just days prior came the release of a report outlining internal dialog within the Chinese government from five years ago which sounds eerily similar to the release of COVID on the world, and the disruption of American and European economies. And the whole affair seems to me like a spy versus spy covert conversation.
If I were to venture a translation, it would be that this is payback for Western institutions shedding light and hinting at accountability for Communist China's use of a bioweapon to upset the balance of power in the world, upending American hegemony at home and abroad. Don't you dare even think of calling China out for its use of a bioweapon, or else things like the cyberattack on the Colonial pipeline will happen to you.
We are all being let in on the open secret that China and Russia and Iran can mess with us anytime they like. And if we want to play tit for tat, real American men, women, and children will pay the price.
The Biden administration and the Democrats more broadly, meanwhile, are reluctant to call a spade a spade because the whole narrative about Republicans and former President Trump unravels in a hurry once China, Russia, and Iran turn out to be more overt threats than Biden wanted to admit. Check out Glenn Beck here for more on that subject.
Ideas, like elections, have consequences. And the foreign policy ideas of the ascendant Democrats are very bad. So also are their attitudes toward critical oil and gas infrastructure like the Colonial pipeline.
Buckle up for a wild ride, because this is no more the end of the story than it is the beginning.
C.S. Lewis wrote a series of three science fiction novels known as The Space Trilogy.
Out of the Silent Planet (1938), Perelandria: A Novel (1943), and That Hideous Strength: A Modern Fairy-Tale for Grown-ups (1945) are the three works in the series.
All three at least were free with Audible Plus when I picked them up late last year, and I just finished listening to the last of them yesterday afternoon while building a new desk for my office at work.
Fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and Clive Staple's non-fiction works on Christianity will find in these a more adult tone and tenor than the children's literature likely conditioned them to expect.
And among the features which highlights this fact most for me is the presence of casual nudity. It is apparently not fashionable to travel through space with clothes on.
But this reminds me of taking Intro to the Humanities at Cedarville University back in 2006. I will never forget Dr. Clevenger's handout on nudity in art, born of many years experience with students and their parents coming to him complaining of all the wholly and partially unclothed human forms in Classical and Renaissance art studied in the course.
This then brings the question to my mind about Lewis's Space Trilogy. If it were made into a TV series or series of movies, would conservative Christians watch?
Already I envision a campaign against public indecency which might arise if the on-screen portrayals match the books. And I am already imagining the stern calls for boycotting all of C.S. Lewis' other works besides if he was willing to put out supposed smut in his science fiction.
But of course there is a bit more to it than that, and I think we do well to try and be Bereans about the whole affair. How much of our arguments for and against such things is firmly grounded in what God does and does not say in the Bible? And how much of our arguments stem more from vague and fuzzy notions stemming from mere human tradition and popular attitudes in our respective circles?
Namibia - an 88% Christian nation in 2013 according to Wikipedia - has struck oil with the help of a Canadian company called ReconAfrica.
The play is being called the Kovango Basin. By some reports it may be the third largest in the world. It is as-yet completely untapped.
Namibia's government and people apparently want to develop their reserves, and that is both marvelous and commendable.
Woke Western outlets like CNN have wasted no time in weaving a narrative of impending disaster in pieces like this one published earlier this month.
Watch for campaigns in the West to apply diplomatic and economic pressure on Namibia to discourage her from pursuing her national self-interest.
Rather than trying to poo-poo the effort with apocalyptic Chicken Little talk of ruined ecosystems and poisoned drinking water, however, it should be noted that American and Canadian oil and gas development is the cleanest, safest, and most efficient in the world.
With help from North American oil and gas expertise, we should expect Namibia will develop her own oil and gas industry both safely and responsibly.
As of 2019, Namibia was ranked 130th on the Human Development Index. With a current score of 0.646 as a starting point, how high might that HDI rise with domestic energy development? I hope we find out.
But the only hope of finding out is in resisting hyperbolic zeal for Climate Change dogma which is anti-human, anti-science, and purposefully counterproductive.
I for one am excited at the possibility of Namibia developing her own reserves.
Paul Shiver wrote a piece for The Blaze yesterday reporting on Republican pollster and political strategist Frank Luntz and his remarks to a podcast at The New York Times.
You can read the article here and you can listen to that NYT podcast interview with Luntz here.
But the long and short of it is that Luntz thinks Trump has only himself to blame for social media giants having permanently banned him from their platforms - even while he was still in office.
The whole business reminds me of William Wallace being sold down the river by the Scottish nobility in his fight for Scottish independence against England's King Edward I.
Or, for a biblical example, I think of King David ordering that Uriah the Hittite be put on the frontlines where the fighting was fiercest, then having the rest of his compatriots pull back to let him get cut down.
Frank Luntz makes clear that the Republican establishment wants Caesar politically dead once and for all.
But Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honorable man.
On April 30th, Tyler Hummel at The College Fix published an expose of a diversity and inclusion training students and faculty at The University of Florida are being required to take in which white people in particular are singled out for their insensitive and condescending remarks to minorities.
All the usual fare is there in the screenshots. Straight white men are scorned. Cultural appropriation is frowned upon. Mansplaining and whitesplaining are shamed. Intersectionality enjoys an elevated position of sacrosanctity.
Critical theory makes every interaction, no matter how mundane and innocuous, exciting and dramatic. No longer are conversations about jewelry and festive parties allowed to be just that. Now they are part of the overarching oppressor versus oppressed narrative.
At the heart of it all is not a desire to lift hurting people into the light and deliver them from their chains. Rather, in diversity trainings like the one shown in this piece from Hummel, new chains are fashioned.
As bad or worse than telling hurting people that their legitimate grievances are of no account or merit is telling manipulative and oversensitive people that their illegitimate grievances are the stuff Marxist revolutions are made of.
Eat the rich is the big idea here. And if you refuse to jump on the bandwagon, you will be singled out for special attention.
Raise that black power fist high and repeat after the woke mob: "Black lives matter."
But of course evangelical Christian leaders should believe that black lives matter. But that wasn't actually the question. The question was whether we are prepared to forgo capitalism and the free market, or else redistribute wealth.
Yes, material wealth is in play here. But before we get to divvying out everyone else's fair share of your bank account, the social, political, and spiritual capital needs to be redistributed.
"Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad."
Laura Ingraham recently hosted a town hall event on Fox News in which she asked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis whether he would sign legislation recently passed in Florida to ban biological males from competing in girls' sports. Other Republican governors also signaled their enthusiasm for such legislation in their states, NCAA be damned.
Perhaps they learned a lesson from South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem's mistake in vetoing the same sort of legislation when her state wanted it. At least we should hope.
But consider the tagline on the featured image for the story about this over at The Daily Wire. Taken from a screenshot of Fox News at 10:53PM ET, underneath Ron DeSantis (R) | Florida Governor we read "How do we reinvigorate the belief in America?"
Might I be so impertinent as to suggest that America was only ever great because America believed in the goodness of God?
Only believing in the goodness of God can restore our confidence in a bright future for our country. And when I say we need to believe in the goodness of God, I do not mean we affirm just how nice he is for giving us so much nice stuff. No, I am talking about our regard for how holy and righteous he is.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist Party is revealed by The Epoch Times to be trying to take over the internet. If the CCP gets its way, you will not be able to speak a single solitary untoward thing which criticizes or runs counter their ambitions for world domination.
As Pinky might have asked the Brain on the cartoon series I watched growing up, after having dominated the domestic internet scene in China, "What are we going to do tomorrow night?" And just so, the Brain of the CCP might have replied - and still is replying - "Try to take over the world."
In America, conservative leaders are trying to figure out how to juggle their fiscal and political conservatives who are increasingly godless and secular while at the same time not alienating their theological conservatives who believe God created us male and female in the beginning.
In China, millions and tens of millions of mercenary trolls and strategically placed board members, executives, and investors are going to decide whether you can advertise, buy, sell, trade, or keep in touch with your family if you vote and believe in opposition to their Maoist principles.
And therein lies the rub.
A stomach bug has been making the rounds in our house this week, working its way through first the children and then Lauren and I from youngest to oldest. Only two of our sons were spared the first-hand experience.
Being sick always puts me in a different mindset. My wife tells me I have a tendency to be a tad melodramatic when I am laid up.
But all told, and even in light of that, I tried to have a better attitude this time around. Sickness can help us appreciate all the more the blessing of good health, for instance. When we are only ever healthy an surrounded by other healthy people, it is too easy to take for granted. After a bout with a stomach bug, on the other hand, we perhaps are more thankful to God for the blessing of life and being able to mill about as we please.
Thankfully also, our intrinsic value and worth is not dependent on good health, strength, and what we can produce - which it turns out for me at least is very little when I am sick. No, as Christians, our worth in God's eyes stems from the fact that he created us in his image - Imago Dei, if you want the fancy term; and also the fact that through Christ, we are justified and made right with our Creator to the point that when God looks at us, he sees the Son.
Wretched though we may sometimes be, God so loved us that he sent his only begotten into the world that whoever believes on him will not perish, but have everlasting life.
I only made it through the first 46:39 of President Joe Biden's first State of the Union address on MSN before I needed to leave out for work this morning, but here is what I have to say to as much as I heard.
As Doug Wilson over at Blog and Mablog has said recently, I agree - we are now living under both a bad and illegitimate government. The White House was taken by fraud. And this fraud, though perpetrated primarily by Democrats, was aided and abetted by far too many Republicans.
And as Andrew Klavan at The Daily Wire has quipped, a lot of sane people in this country cannot believe we are being lied to all the time - by politicians, corporations, and our mainstream media. Only an insane person believes they are being lied to all the time. And this fact means that all of the sane people now cannot bring themselves to believe the truth that we are in fact being lied to all the time.
Attendance of President Biden's SOTU address "was severely limited due to Covid restrictions," MSN tells us. But of course we all know the real reason attendance was limited, and it has nothing so much to do with Covid as it does with political theater.
They have to keep them Reichstag embers a-smoldering.
In Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the supercomputer Deep Thought operates for 7.5 million years to spit out the answer “42.” But by that time, nobody remembers what the question was. So then another supercomputer – this one none other than our very own planet Earth – is designed by a race of hyper-intelligent, ultra-capable galactic house mice to figure out what the original question was.
In Fools, Frauds, and Firebrands by Roger Scruton talks quite a lot about the thinkers of the New Left who obfuscate the nonsense of their philosophies by burying the lack of meaning in a lot of complicated speech that’s difficult to get through.
Yesterday also, I finished up Children of Ash and Elm by Neil Price – the first and only definitive and dedicated history of the Vikings as a people I have ever come across. And I find it remarkable how the author takes little detours throughout the work to toss in woke-sounding modern conceptions of the patriarchy, gender theory, and the like. He apparently is looking to the Vikings for some kind of primeval precedent for the present-day revelry, chaos, and confusion regarding gender and sexuality.
Yet the contradiction that makes so little sense to me is that for all the efforts Price makes at portraying Viking society as open, inclusive, and tolerant, we must remember that the Vikings are so well-known to us because of their savagery, brutality, and penchant for murderous raids. They callously took slaves and sacrificed men, women, and children to their pagan gods. They bludgeoned, threatened, and generally terrorized all within their grasp for hundreds of years – and yet we are to extoll their virtues as some kind of throw-back precursor of a modern secular fantasy of living in a society where gender and sexuality are merely a social construct.
In other words, the madness of this present age – and moreover, of all ages in which sinful men hold sway and revel in their own and one another’s wickedness – is in loving and embracing death romantically so long as we can find refuge in it from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Christ Jesus the only begotten Son of the Father.
One final thought – and this is in response to some feedback I got from my neighbor after he listened to Episode # 104, “Choosing the Seventh Audiobook.” I may be speaking as much from my own human frailty and ignorance to dismiss Study Bibles.
Let's talk about the classic film Ben-Hur - the 1959 version with Charlton Heston, of course.
This is one of my favorite movies, and has been since childhood.
If you've never seen it, do yourself and everyone around you a favor. Watch it.
If it's been a while since you watched it last, watch it again.
"Anyways" - you would not believe how difficult it has been for me to try to eliminate just that one little word from my vocabulary.
But this just serves to underscore the larger point of Biblical passages like James 3:1-12.
Listen to this episode of the podcast to hear about my personal endeavor to get better, by God's grace and with his help, at taming my tongue.
I try to maintain seven audiobooks in my queue at all times. With having recently finished Fault Lines by Voddie Baucham, however, there is now an open slot.
Let's talk through why I chose to listen to the books I currently am, as well as which books those are and what I think of them so far.
In the end, that will help me in figuring out what to replace Baucham's book with, and you will get to see under the hood what goes into these decisions for me.
Voddie T. Baucham's Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe is an excellent book. Voddie reminds me here why I have admired and appreciated him so much over the years. My wife Lauren and I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at Cedarville University's chapel twice in 2006 when we were attending there, and he still communicates with the same grace, truth, and love he did back then.
In short, this is a book about arguably the most pressing issue facing the church in our lifetimes. Will social justice and critical theory be allowed to fundamentally transform our understanding of God's Word, ourselves, salvation, grace, sin, and the gospel? Or will the church standing in humble confidence and faith on the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture continue to be salt and light as Christ our Savior calls us to?
Before I head off to Wyoming for Gas Chromatograph training this week, I have the New Testament book of Jude on my mind, since we've been going through it as a church the past couple of Sundays.
Call me crazy, but part of how I learn things - and how I know whether I have learned things - is by talking about them. So rather than having the book of Jude rattling around in my head like a pinball in a machine, I decided it would be good to record a podcast to sort some of the thoughts, observations, and questions out.
At one chapter long, it does not take long to read this letter from one of the half-brothers of Jesus. But there's a lot of ground covered, and a lot of interesting nuggets to unpack, so let's dive right in.
At time of publishing, Steam tells me I have logged 2,816.4 hours on Civilization VI.
Bear in mind that with this being a turn-based strategy game I have been playing regularly since it was released in late 2016, a lot of those hours have not been active playing.
Being turn-based, a lot of those hours were the game just being up while I was waiting for friends and family to take their turns, or talking with my wife and kids between turns, or getting up and folding laundry or paying bills or answering emails or doing research.
Yet all the same, Civilization VI is without a doubt my favorite game ever, and I'd like to tell you why. So here we go.
This is the 100th episode of The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show podcast. To mark this momentous occasion, it seems good to me to take a look back at how this all started and how far the process has come.
The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show is not an end unto itself, but is rather a means to the end of encouraging greater intentionality and faithfulness in every facet of life, since Christ is Lord and God is Sovereign over the universe and everything in it.
To put it another way, how can you and I be better stewards of what the Lord our God has entrusted to us in this moment?
This podcast is an experiment in not burying our talents in a field. Perhaps some have or will question the utility and wisdom of investing time, energy, and attention in this way. But I say we are better off to try and that we get closer in trying than we do when we leave well enough alone and hazard hiding our lamp under a bushel in the process.
Whether you've just started listening or have been listening since the beginning - either way, thank you for listening.
Here's to one hundred more episodes of trying to puzzle out how we can better love God and one another with the time, resources, opportunities, and gifts which are at our disposal, because he first loved us.
Let's talk about J. Gresham Machen's Christianity and Liberalism. I just finished listening to it on Audible yesterday, and I am struck by the clarity and directness of Machen's arguments.
In sum, Liberal Christianity is a different religion. It is a counterfeit Christianity. It is a false gospel.
And just like the Apostle Paul and the early church had to confront the Judaizers and the Gnostics for presenting a distorted and untrue message about God, Jesus, and our condition in relation to them and our sins, we in our day must oppose clearly and consistently the false gospel of Liberal Christianity - which is no Christianity at all.
I have endured some hostile work environments in my time. Let me tell you how I keep my head on straight, even nominally, after several bad experiences.
In short, despite people predictably being unfair, selfish, dishonest, and even sometimes abusive, we cannot give up. We cannot throw in the towel. We cannot repay evil for evil.
When we suffer unjustly, the New Testament letter of 1 Peter admonishes us to remain blameless and trust to God's goodness and faithfulness.
And in the words of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - "O King, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us. But even if he doesn't, we still won't bow down."
So don't fear man who can only kill the body (or career) and then has nothing more he can do to you. Fear God, since in that fear is safety and a strong tower.
They say that patience is a virtue, but why is that? And why is it so hard to be patient?
Patience for me is a challenge not least because I have a bias for action, and things do not always go according to plan.
Try and strive and plan and maneuver and position elements and my internal world as I may, the Lord is God. And I am not God.
Typically - in my case, at least - impatience on my part is remedied by remembering who God is and who I and other people are in relation.
What has God called us to, and what are we supposed to be about? We will have a far easier time remaining blameless in the midst of setbacks, disappointments, and surprises if we embrace rather than resisting calls to be patient.
Moving to Colorado has been great for my family in many respects, but there is at least one in which we have had ongoing struggles since shortly after we arrived in late 2019.
Ours is a quiet street, and our kids have enjoyed riding their bikes up and down it, and around the neighborhood. Yet we have found some not so great influences from some of the other kids in the neighborhood.
This past weekend, I had to talk with the parents of two boys in particular who were knocking over my kids' bikes, then cursing at and threating my sons when an objection was raised.
Let me tell you how we deal with neighborhood bullies and their parents.
Republican governors are going on record as saying they will oppose President Joe Biden's executive actions on gun control. Here's hoping they mean it and don't just get tired of fighting in a short span or if some professional or college sports organization threatens repercussions for non-compliance.
Zooming out on the timeline here, however, I find remarkable similarities to how Republicans and Democrats act today and how they acted a century-and-a-half ago during the Reconstruction Era.
In reading Ron Chernow's biography of Ulysses S. Grant, we can see just how little has changed in 150 years. Tyrannical Democrats are still willing to lie, steal, cheat, and murder their way into power and to use all the same to hold onto whatever power they get. And squishy moderate Republicans are as willing and ready as ever to abandon their principles as soon as it becomes clear the fighting is going to take longer than 15-minutes.
George M. Marsden's The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief (2014) is worth your time, and you should check it out.
After finishing it yesterday, I have some thoughts to share with you regarding the oft-repeated phrases of late "trust the experts" and "follow the science."
These sentiments didn't come from nowhere, or arrive on our cultural scene without context or precedent with the rise of COVID. No, they've been a long time coming, and we're just reaping now the seeds of thought and sentiment which were planted decades ago.
The past is prologue, and we do well to understand our current condition as Americans in light of what Marsden lays out here.
My wife posed a great question to our family at the dinner table on Saturday.
Is it better to be kind or to be right?
After collecting our kids' insightful answers, I weighed in on this poignant dilemma.
Ian Haworth writes for The Daily Wire, "Clarence Thomas Appears To Endorse Outlawing Social Media’s Censorship Of Conservatives: Everything You Need To Know."
Should Big Tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter be regulated as common carriers like Verizon and Comcast and your power company are?
It behooves us to consider the need for humility in how we relate to the liberties of those around us.
God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.
Today I finished the late Roger Scruton's How to Be a Conservative, but Audible apparently doesn't want me to talk about that.
I've also almost concluded The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyrannny by Ian Davidson.
Speaking of the French Revolution, former Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp was recently on Bill Maher's show where she falsely accused Gina Cerano of being a Nazi on nation TV.
Surprise, surprise. Cancel culture looks an awful lot like the French Revolution. And unless we're ready for the Robespierre's in our midst to start rolling out the guillotines, we'd best figure out how to stand up to it.
My brother Bryce came over yesterday afternoon and traded me two 140mm computer fans for an RTX 2070 that had some child's water inadvertently spilt on it. While he was here, he also set me up to mine Bitcoin on my RTX 3070 GPU.
So now I have run NiceHash all the past night, on both my computer and my wife's. And my graphics cards are making us several dollars a day worth of Bitcoin.
If we had gotten on this years ago, we'd likely be quite wealthy by now. So why do we wait for bandwagons and trailblazers on things like this?
My family and I rearranged furniture in several rooms yesterday afternoon, and now I have an office again after several years without. And sometimes that's what you have to do when you assess your priorities.
As with our literal furniture, so also with the abstract furniture in our hearts and minds.
On the heels of a shooting in Boulder, Colorado yesterday which left 10 people dead - including one law enforcement officer - Democrats across America are pushing yet again for gun control.
Let's talk about that, shall we?
Let's talk about The Miseducation of America's Elites by Bari Weiss, published March 9th at City-Journal.org.
And while we're at it, I will encourage you once again to order and read a copy of my book, 'And This Is Why We Homeschool.'
After a month of playing Valheim with my sons and friends and my friend's sons, we finally acquired scrap iron. My son Eli built a Viking longship, my son Solomon built a grinding wheel, and I built a stonecutter and our first stone building. We also got thoroughly demolished by man-sized mosquitos and some gremlin-like creatures when we visited the plains, and continued refining our teamwork.
In other news, my wife and I were discussing an article at The Imaginative Conservative titled In The Beginning Are the Words: Language & Liberty written by Joseph Pearce. So let's talk about how important building an ample vocabulary is or may be.
All that and more in this episode of The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show.
Recently working a lot on trying to build websites for this podcast and my books, concerns about self-promotion have been on my mind. There seems a kind of tight-rope to walk in promoting my work vigorously without becoming (or even seeming) conceited. How does one go about walking that fight line, though? Listen to this episode of the podcast as I think through that thorny problem.
Democrats have decided to lower the voting age in America to 16. What are their reasons, and what should we make of that?
Also, let's talk about the increasing prevalence of irritable and distracted people.
Finally, I want to briefly analyze the sentiment "We should all just mind our own business."
All of that and more in this episode.
Marriage can be hard. Nevertheless, we do well to remember where marriage comes from and what God has called those of us to who have the blessing and privilege of being married.
Even the hard times have a purpose, and we need to rely on the Lord's grace to make the most of them in a way that honors our spouse and the Lord.
Let's talk about Valheim - the Viking survival game I have been playing with my sons and an assortment of friends and family.
Important life lessons thus far: team work, strategic thinking skills, and how to fell trees without them dropping on your head.
What made Ulysses S. Grant so remarkable? I may be finding out as I listen to Ron Chernow's biography of the man.
And let me tell you a story about a recent instrumentation issue I had to troubleshoot at work, and how I think it relates to the fair-weather philosophy which so dominates our post-modern age.
Molly Ball at TIME magazine published an article last week titled 'The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election.'
In it, she outlined and outright bragged about the - as she puts it - "conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes" to save Democracy from people like you and me who voted for the candidate disfavored by the powers that be.
By way of reminder, when you or I describe this exact same process, we are dismissed as conspiracy theorists and sore losers. When the likes of TIME publishes glowing reports about how great and helpful the conspiracy was to accomplishing their stated goals, we are all expected to forget that not five minutes ago this kind of talk was dismissed as craziness and sedition.
Dennis Prager has it exactly right when he says that the truth is not a value to the Left.
Curious what all the fuss is about with GameStop, Reddit, and Robinhood? Here is my quasi-insider small trader perspective.
Spoiler alert: there are two sets of rules. One for the big players, and one for the little guys.
Yet as Proverbs 20:10 tells us, "Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to Yahweh."
I may not be an expert on how our stock market works, but I sure have learned a lot in the past few weeks and months.
The takeaway is that we need to be wise in how we invest, and we need to diligently guard our reputation for honesty and fair-dealing by being above reproach.
If you give unscrupulous persons an inch, they will go a mile with it.
A listener recently asked the following question: If I'm encouraging people to find other marketplaces besides Amazon.com, why am I publishing and selling my recent book on Amazon?
That is an entirely fair question. Here is my answer.
Someone I am close to recently deleted their Facebook; and despite having recently started an account on MeWe, it would appear they deleted that account also.
This is not an isolated incident, though.
Conservative Americans now feel entirely alien and unwelcome online. Years of being maligned, manipulated, and censored on the biggest platforms have suddenly kicked into overdrive. And a lot of us are left trying to recalculate the cost-benefit on what if any time, energy, and attention we invest online.
This may well be the death of our social media lives. And yet, if we turn from those places and begin investing socially IRL with renewed vigor, that may be all for the best in the short, medium, and long run.
"Even the wise cannot see all ends," but God knows. And for our part, we must figure out how best to spend what has been entrusted to us.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn into office today. I confess, it was a glum day for me personally as I considered the implications of that in the short and mid-term.
Yet even so, it is critically important that we not become discouraged or despairing.
The question we need to be asking ourselves, one another, and the Lord Almighty is this: how can we be good stewards now?
What good deeds are there to do? What good things are there to say? What does God have for us in the way of a purpose at this time, whatever our concerns about the direction of the country?
We cannot mourn as those who have no hope, but must press on and take the long view and remember in whom we trust.
These days, it feels like the United States of America is on its way to becoming the Divided States of America in the near-term.
Each half of the country possesses a collective distrust and even contempt for the other, and diplomatic negotiations seem to have broken down.
I want to lay out a couple of scenarios for what may happen in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.
Regardless what actually happens, however, we need to make up our minds about what if anything is worth fighting for.
The United States House of Representatives voted 232-197 yesterday to impeach President Trump.
The reason why has more to do with deflection and spite than the actions of the president.
For one thing, no American president has ever been impeached twice. And the ambition is now for that to be Trump's legacy.
For another thing, impeaching and potentially convicting President Trump conveniently changes the subject away from election fraud, as well as the corruption and contempt for half of America which has come to define Washington, DC.
What is freedom of speech, and is there a biblical principle supporting what we commonly refer to as our right to free speech?
Unless we are dumb in the literal sense, we have the ability. We also have the responsibility. Yet freedom is not without reasonable constraint or consequence. And all things being permissible does not mean all things are beneficial.
You cannot shout a knowingly false claim of “fire!” in a crowded theater free of consequences. There are also laws – both from God and man – against libel, slander, and false advertising.
The Scriptures give both commands and examples which indicate we should say things which are true, helpful, and necessary. They also instruct us that we are not supposed to speak in a way that is unwholesome, perverse, or blasphemous; but define unwholesome, perverse, and blasphemous.
Instead, for instance, we are supposed to give a reason for the hope that is within us “with gentleness and respect;” but define gentleness and respect.
And if we believe the Great Commission applies to us, we have to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that Christ commanded us. This requires exercising our ability to speak in a disciplined way. And, fortunately or unfortunately, the Scriptures are replete with examples of this being punished by mobs and authorities.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and suitable…” means that we have the right and responsibility to talk about all the things which God’s Word talks about to the end of taking every thought captive to Christ.
The fact of prohibitions on speech that dishonors God and does ungodly violence against our fellow man implies inverse rights to engage in speech that honors God and edifies our fellow man.
Therefore, in summary, we have a right to do what God has commanded and enabled us to do.
Buckle up, friends. It's about to get bumpy.
Twitter and Facebook last week permanently banned President Trump from their platforms on the claim he incited protesters to violently assault the Capitol building last week during a joint-session of Congress.
Google and Apple have both made moves to remove the free speech social media network Parler from their app stores for iPhone and Android smart phones on claims that protesters turned rioters used the platform to incite violence related to election fraud.
Now Amazon has threatened to remove Parler from their web hosting service.
Also, the CEO of Mozilla claims her web browser needs to do more to deprogram Trump supporters by tracking their online activity and targeting them with advertisements designed to change their political positions and convictions.
It's going to be a challenge, but it's time to go to ground online and start looking for alternative platforms where our inalienable rights are respected and protected.
President Trump today all but conceded the 2020 election, saying that the objective now is a peaceful transition to a new administration at the end of the month.
American conservatives spent the day denouncing and condemning the storming of the Capitol building in Washington DC by protesters.
Where do we go from here?
The simple answer is that we put our faith in God, and we pray for wisdom, strength, and grace to be found faithful, good stewards of what God has entrusted to us.
Looking back on 2020, I realize just how much stress there was. So it seemed good to me to add an audiobook to my queue: The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It, by Kelly McGonigal, PhD.
I also recently watched The Sound of Music with my kids, and I have a new appreciation for some of the main characters and themes of the story now compared with when I watched the movie growing up.
Chris Enloe at The Blaze reports 'House Democrat ends prayer with 'amen and a-woman,' gets destroyed when Ben Shapiro explains the meaning of 'amen'.
Spoiler alert: the root word of 'amen' is not 'men.'
Also, what is behind Hollywood releasing a spate of awfully feminist movies?
Wonder Woman 1984, The Croods: A New Age, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker? Filmmakers just can't seem to get enough of injecting raw, undiluted women's empowerment into stories, even at the expense of displacing necessary and indispensable elements.
As Isaiah 3:12 says,
"My people—infants are their oppressors,
and women rule over them.
O my people, your guides mislead you
and they have swallowed up the course of your paths."
We're there, folks.
The Epoch Times reported today 11 More GOP Senators to Object to Electoral College Votes.
I am reminded of Numbers 13-14 in the Old Testament, and that one time 12 spies were sent by Moses to scout out the Promised Land.
Israel would have been far better off listening to Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephuneh. But, alas, the whole lot had fear of man issues and fell for argumentum ad populum.
We would do well to learn from their mistake.
On the last day of arguably the hardest year for this country in my lifetime, I hit publish on my first book.
And This Is Why We Homeschool is up on Kindle, and will soon be available in paperback from Amazon.
Here is where things stand so far, and what my hopes are for the book now that it is launched.
The United States Congress finally passed another COVID stimulus package. Its stated goal is to help the American people negatively impacted by the effects of the novel coronavirus. Yet when a financial aid package totals nearly $1 trillion, we whose families and friends have been hurting financially this year because of the government-mandated throttling of our livelihoods can be forgiven for balking at each man, woman, and child getting only $600 while the lion's share of the monies go to special interests and foreign countries.
On a more personal note, I worked about 24-hours total in my first two days of Christmas vacation. It is well with my soul, and all that working gave me an opportunity to finish two books in my audiobook queue.
Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome, by Stephen Dando-Collins
The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, by Rod Dreher
I have written a book, and the manuscript is complete. Now begins the editing process.
By God's grace, I will finish editing the book and preparing it for publication in the last two weeks of the year.
Special thanks to the dozen and a half people who are reading the first draft and giving me feedback on how to polish the final product.
Here is my plan for successfully executing on this last stage of completing a life-long dream of mine to write and publish my first book.
Our social and political systems in the United States of America are faulting and need troubleshooting and repair.
From the standpoint of an operator and technician working in the oil and gas industry since 2012, this is how I see it.
Mitch McConnell congratulates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for having stolen the 2020 election, urging his fellow Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate to not fight for election integrity in the face of massive evidence of rampant, coordinated, and sufficient voter fraud.
What should that mean to us? And how do we make sense of this move by the Senate Majority Leader?
To answer that question, we ought to look at human nature honestly in light of God's Word.
Amidst all the talk of judges, legislators, government officials, and media personalities failing to do justice or investigate fraud and illegality when it comes from certain sectors, I am reminded of a famous quote from Edmund Burke.
"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
Was Edmund Burke correct, or is a friend of mine more right when he asks the rhetorical question of whether there are actually any good men?
Today, the electoral college meets across the United States of America. What will come of their voting? Time will tell.
In the meantime, we have an interesting headline to contemplate since yesterday, when the names and personal information of 1.95 million Chinese Communist Party members embedded around the world - including in the U.S., U.K., and Australia - was released to the public.
Could the release of this information in addition to other recent revelations regarding the activities of China help to sway the decision of American electors, judges, and legislators? Should it?
Perhaps it should, but it is anyone's guess whether it will. We have to remember the worldviews in play here as we consider the stakes and odds.
My family celebrated my son Enoch’s 5th birthday last night. To that end, we enjoyed having some guests over.
While our guests were over, we got into talking about genealogy, and that reminds me that I want to share with you some of the interesting things I have learned about my MacFarlane ancestors on my mother's mother's side of the family.
Also, last week, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the election lawsuit by Texas and many other states. Why did they do it, and should they have done that? My perspective on this issue is partly informed by the things I have learned about the founding of this country by researching my family history.
In other news, I have some exciting updates to share regarding the plan for On The Rocks Blog Podcast moving forward. And similarly, I am considering going to a more modular design for this podcast in 2021.
A listener - Ben from Ohio - writes in with the following question:
“So, we as Christians are supposed to be kind and helpful and uplifting. How do you go about doing that to a liberal, for example, while also not giving the impression you support their stance or point of views?”
To help us answer this question, let's read what Christ teaches in Matthew 5:38-48 for starters.
Verse 39 - "Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."
Verse 44 - "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven."
Let's also consider what Jesus says in Matthew 10:16-23.
Verse 16-17 - “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men…
Verse 22 - "...You will be hated by all for my name’s sake."
In the interest of defining our terms, we should also do a compare and contrast between what is meant by the term “Liberal” and what is meant by the term “Leftist.” What is the difference?
For starters, the term “Liberal” carries with it the connotation of someone being for freedom and liberty, but what are we being freed and liberated from, and what are we being liberated to?
“Freedom is slavery” is a famous Orwellian line from the dystopian novel 1984.
Lastly, consider 1 Peter 2:13-25.
Verse 16-17 - Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
1. Thought exercise
You decide you are not going to offend anyone about the masks issue, and then immediately walk into a room with 10 people – 5 wearing masks and 5 not wearing masks.
The 5 wearing masks will be offended if you do not wear a mask; and the 5 not wearing masks will be offended if you do wear a mask.
So what do you do?
2. The sermon at church this past Sunday dealt with Romans 14 in particular. And with regards to the wearing or not wearing of masks, taking or not taking the forthcoming vaccine for COVID, we were encouraged to consider this passage in light of the subject of eating or not eating meat that has been offered to idols.
There have to be limitations to how far and wide we apply the principle of keeping our personal opinion to ourselves and not causing our brother to stumble. So what and where are they?
3. As much as depends on you, strive to live peaceably with all men. But how much does it depend on you and me?
4. How does open, honest, and substantive public discourse work if seemingly everything is offensive?
5. Love is not rude, but love is also not easily offended.
Exhibit A: Cancel Culture
Should we tell people they are being unloving when they are rude and/or easily offended?
6. What do love, wisdom, and unity in the church look like in a post-truth culture?
Intro/Outro Music: 8bitDetective by Bass Assassin
In Jeremiah 29, we see a mandate to God's people in Babylonian captivity. They are to:
Build houses and plant gardens
Take wives and have children
Marry off their children to get grandchildren
Seek the welfare of the city to which God has brought them as exiles
In all these things, God is saying he will be honored.
Practically applied in our circumstance, we should not apologize for seeking our own welfare and that of our family and friends, even when the seeking the welfare of the city, state, and nation we belong to increasingly means we are operating in a space which does not know God or honor him.
In this vein, I have written my forthcoming book, and my hopes are that it helps to further both the welfare of the United States of America more broadly and also the welfare of my family and me.
Intro/Outro Music: Dreaming of Babylon by Animals & Men
Everyone is talking about the several COVID vaccines being developed, but I want to talk especially about the idea that this vaccination might become a mandatory condition of travel and employment.
As Christians, we are directed in the New Testament by the Apostle Paul to "study to show yourselves approved workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
What bearing does the principle inherent to that call have on how we are to relate to scientific matters and trusting experts? The answer has much to do with the very foundations of modern science.
Intro/Outro Music: 8bitDetective by Bass Assassin
The day before yesterday was my wife Lauren’s and my 14-year anniversary, and we chose strategically to get married the week of Thanksgiving because we want to remember to have an attitude of gratitude about our marriage.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving 2020, and we had our neighbors over to share a meal and thank God for all we have been provided with.
Some Christians struggle with whether we should be flouting laws prohibiting get-togethers for Thanksgiving. Personally, I think of it like Daniel being entrapped by the edict which said for 30 days, no one could pray to anyone but the king.
Shout out to JP Chavez who has been listening to my podcast and giving me feedback and ideas, both general and specific.
Taking one of JP’s ideas and running with it, we are going to look at five logical fallacies – what they are called, their definitions, and some examples of what they might look like if they crop up in a conversation or debate near you.
Intro/Outro Music: 8bitDetective by Bass Assassin
I deleted my Facebook account this morning.
They asked me “Are you sure?” “Are you really, really sure?” When I answered in the affirmative each time, finally I got the response: “It’s scheduled for deletion in 30-days.”
I have been a very active Facebook user since 2006 – in other words, for all my adult life to this point.
It really did become unhealthy, unbalanced, out of proportion in its influence on my life.
So why did I stick around for so long?
Intro/Outro Music: 8bitDetective by Bass Assassin
We may not – now or ever – know the truth of these allegation of widespread, coordinated, conspiracy to commit voter fraud in the 2020 Election. But we know the mainstream media is lying to us.
Lies, deceit, manipulation – these are not new things. People just have more advanced means of perpetrating them.
Moral equivalence is a kind of dishonesty and refusal to observe distinctions between wisdom and folly, virtue and vice, truth and falsehood, or righteousness and wickedness.
Do we give some types of bad behavior, or bad behavior from certain people and groups a pass for the purpose of either advancing or protecting our interests?
Intro and Outro Music: Exotica by Juanitos
On The Rocks podcast with Micah Hershberger is a thing now! I am really excited about this new collaborative work. With weekly episodes discussing current events in light of the Christian worldview and history, I believe listeners will really enjoy and benefit from our analysis and commentary.
The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show as a solo project will also doubtless benefit as well as I continue refining my process and improving both audience engagement and making this into a value-added proposition for listeners looking for something different from the mainstream offerings currently dominating the marketplace of ideas.
Also, I just finished three audiobooks this week - Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Thomas Sowell's Marxism, and Steve Ziehan's The Accidental Superpower. So let's talk about what I learned, as well as what I didn't learn.
Intro/Outro Music: Black Maria by Pistol Jazz
A listener writes asking how to respond when friends and family dismiss the links to stories he shares as "fake news."
Also, how can a factually accurate story be part of a misinformation campaign as Ben Roose at The New York Times recently alleged?
Perhaps it is time for conservatives, Christians, and especially conservative Christians to more intentionally develop and pursue new media outlets - specifically where social media is concerned.
Intro/Outro Music: Black Maria by Pistol Jazz
The mainstream media has decided to conspire together in telling us the election is over and that Biden has won the presidency, despite the following legitimate concerns and irregularities, just to name a few:
1. prematurely calling Arizona for Biden despite ample reason to believe sufficient Trump votes would come in from Maricopa county to give that state to the incumbent
2. freezing the vote counts in all the states Trump would have needed to win 270 electoral college votes on Tuesday night, then suddenly finding huge dumps of only Biden votes in Michigan and Wisconsin and adding those on Wednesday morning
3. barring GOP observers in Michigan and elsewhere from witnessing the counting of ballots
4. passing out sharpies to voters at polling places in Republican heavy counties
5. voting software used in 30 states mysteriously flipping 6,000 Trump votes to Biden votes in just one Michigan county, with similar complaints in 47 other Michigan counties
6. dead persons, fake addresses, and backdated mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania and elsewhere
Should we all just meekly accept a quite possibly stolen election before necessary litigation and recounts are complete, or should we fight?
If there is even a remote chance this election is being stolen by the Democrats, I say we should fight, and here's why.
Intro/Outro Music: Reveille Variation/Drum Call/Slow Scotch/Quick Scotch/Yankee Doodle/Montage by The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps
Why do I want to talk about everything? Some have advised me to pick a topic, subject, or issue and make my podcast more focused.
Myopic single-factor analysis gets us into trouble, though. And someone needs to talk about everything so we connect the dots rightly.
This is the information age, and information is great. But in order to make productive use of information, we have to get wisdom and understanding. And in order to get wisdom and understanding, we must grasp the big picture.
Intro/Outro Music: Black Maria by Pistol Jazz
You may have never heard of Edward Bernays, but he had your number. The father of public relations gave us the modern mass marketing campaign as well as making Sigmund Freud - his double uncle - a household name.
Maybe, just maybe, the trick to not falling for propaganda, fake news, and deceptive marketing practices that prey on our emotions has something to do with picking up Neil Postman's premise in Amusing Ourselves to Death.
Intro/Outro Music: Black Maria by Pistol Jazz
I listen to a lot of audiobooks, on-purpose and for a reason. At the time of this recording, I am up to 44 titles finished since the beginning of the year.
Tune in to find out what I am listening to and why.
Intro/Outro Music: Black Maria by Pistol Jazz
To frack or not to frack? That is the question.
Rather, that is one of the questions at stake in the 2020 election here in the United States of America.
But what are the implications of our options? On a personal level, as someone who has worked in the Oil & Gas industry in America since 2012, I see this question as directly impacting my ability to provide for my family.
There is more on the line for all of us, and not just those like myself who work in this industry. An end to Oil & Gas development in America would also mean an end to energy independence for our country, and would undermine our national security as well as our economic recovery.
Deeper than the question of whether to frack or not is a question of how we see man's role. Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? And what, therefore, is the nature of man's efforts to "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the Earth and subdue it?"
Tune in to find out.
Intro/Outro Music: Black Maria by Pistol Jazz
Even before all the craziness surrounding COVID-19, the past couple of years have proven a challenge for me and my family.
But why did I get into political commentary to begin with, and why will I not leave these things well enough alone, particularly in light of hardships?
This is my story.
Intro/Outro Music: Black Maria by Pistol Jazz
The final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is behind us. But do we really understand the nature of the larger debate, or are we too caught up in the individual personalities of the two men running?
Intro/Outro Music: Black Maria by Pistol Jazz
The year is 2020, and a pandemic rages on around the world. Only not all of us are quite sure it still is a pandemic, if ever it was.
Originally written and published at On The Rocks Blog (onthe.rocks).
Today is Election Day in the U.S., and there's a great deal of hype and anxiety over whether Donald Trump or the Democrats will destroy America. Today we go out and vote - and the future of our nation and people depends on that - but that future depends as much or more on us de-secularizing our approach to life, and integrating the Christian faith into every aspect of our being.
Russell Moore wrote an article about evangelical Christianity in America and how it relates to theological and political issues. I discuss that article along with news that the Trump administration is going to officially look into whether Google and Facebook have violated anti-trust laws.
I got up and looked to Facebook, but there was no solace there, only a lot of people posting the highlights of their personal lives. I checked my LinkedIn, but that was another disappointment; all I found there was people posting the highlights of their professional lives.
Then I remembered my wife asking me yesterday if I wanted to read through Hebrews for a Bible study she's doing. So I surfed my way over to www.bible.com and found the book of Hebrews, and I read the first two chapters. And there, in God's Word, showing mankind warts and all, I found solace.
In this episode, I discuss plans, things not going according to plan, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson's famous poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade."
"Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred."
How are Christians supposed to handle stress? And what responsibility do we have to manage the factors that contribute to being stressed? A healthy view of God, ourselves, and other people makes a world of difference in answering these and related questions.
You may not listen to Alex Jones of InfoWars, and you may not like him if you do. Regardless, it is deeply concerning to see him being "deplatformed" by several social media outlets all in the same week. Who's next?
Paul writes to the church at Ephesus: "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love."
What comes to mind when you hear the word "church"? And how do you define that word? If you're thinking of a building, think again. "Church" in the Bible always refers to the actual believers in Jesus.
Rule #6 in Jordan Peterson's book, '12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos' is "set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world." This sounds an awful lot like when Jesus talks about specks and planks. These two together beg the question: how should we balance attending to our own affairs with looking after the interests of others?
What does the future hold, and what should our attitude be concerning what may come? Never forget that the future will eventually be the present, and it behooves us to pay attention to the past and present accordingly.
What are demons, and where do they come from? It's vital that we understand the reality of spiritual warfare. As Christians, we overlook or misapprehend the supernatural reality of the Biblical narrative at our peril.