A Prayer for the United States of America

Lord, Deliver us from the evil that has taken over our country (Matthew 6:13).  Expose the unfruitful works of darkness that are so prevalent in our government officials (Ephesians 5:11).  Protect those in office who fear you and stand up for what is right (I Timothy 2:1-4).  Show us the truth and guide us in wisdom (Proverbs 1:7, 2:6; Psalm 111:10; James 1:5).  We come to You humbly in the name of Jesus, praying and seeking Your face.  Your children desire that this country will turn from its wicked ways knowing You will hear us and heal this land if this is what You have willed (2 Chronicles 7:14).  In Jesus’ holy name.  Amen. 

The Greater Threat

Time and time again, in response to all the government overreach and mandates related to the coronavirus panic, I have heard people say, “Well, I like what my governor is doing.  He (or she) is keeping me safe.” 

To that I ask, “Keeping you safe from what?  A virus that 99% of the people under the age of 70 who contract it recover from?  A virus that 95% of the people over the age of 70 who contract it recover from?  Your definition of safe and my definition of safe are vastly different.”

Still others say, “Well, the mandates my governor has made are working because people aren’t dying.”

To that I ask, “How do you know you wouldn’t have the same result without the mandates?” 

As a matter of fact, prior to the mandates, guess what?  Coronavirus was a virus that 99% of the people under the age of 70 who contract it recovered from.  Coronavirus was a virus that 95% of the people over the age of 70 who contract it recovered from.  Look at the before and after data and think critically about that data.  What we know now is based on actual data, not models (i.e. guesses). 

I have been studying the actual data since the beginning of the panic. Again, I say, “Your definition of safe and my definition of safe are vastly different.”

Safety to me means that I have choices I can make to protect my God-given, unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Safety is not the government making decisions for me.  Unfortunately, history repeatedly proves that no government has been able to keep people completely safe.  True safety comes from resting in the hands of a sovereign God and knowing that what happens in my life, both good and bad, ultimately serves His purpose and brings Him glory.   Safety is not the absence of a threat but the ability to effectively deal with one. 

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

There is a greater threat looming on the horizon. Today, my friends, you are more in danger of losing your freedoms than you are of dying from the coronavirus. 

False Freedom

Grooming:  it is what a child molester or abuser does to prepare his or her victim to accept the abuse without question.  It is a form of mind control where one manipulates the victim to accept what is about to be perpetrated without question.

A lot of grooming has been taking place in our country as of late.  It is in the form of narratives from the media and politicians who say catchy little phrases and lay guilt trips on the people.  My husband has always told me that if you say something loud enough and long enough, people will eventually start to believe what you say whether it is true or not.  He is right.

Take for example in Ohio.  The governor for a couple weeks prior to his state-wise mandatory mask mandate would repeat that masks represent freedom.  “Masks represent freedom”,  “be kind to others”, “wear a mask”, and “we’re in this together”:  these are all phrases I am sure you have heard in your own states and on the media.

Do masks really represent freedom?  I guess that depends on what your definition of freedom is.  If your definition of freedom involves being allowed to go only where the state tells you can go, then I guess you are free.  Welcome to how socialists define freedom.  “Any society that will give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both” (Benjamin Franklin).

Here is the dictionary.com definition of freedom:

  • the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint
  • exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
  • the power to determine action without restraint
  • political or national independence
  • personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom
  • exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from): freedom from fear

For many places in our country right now, people are not at liberty if they do not to wear a mask.  They cannot go about their lives without some type of external control, interference, or regulation.  They have no power to determine what they will do or where they will go without restraint from the government.  Unless they agree with the narrative, they have no political independence.  There is no personal liberty unless one is under the bondage of a mask.  To interact with the world around them, they are being specifically told they must wear a mask.  There is no freedom from fear.  Indeed, the mask represents fear.  It is a constant reminder to be afraid.

So right now, you have a bunch of people running around the country wearing masks who thing they are free because they can go into stores and public places.  After reviewing the definition of freedom, do you think they are free?

It is a false freedom predicated upon people’s fear.  To have “freedom” from the fear the media incites each and every day with manipulated data and exaggerated stories, people are willingly subjugating the true freedom which we were given by God to the false freedom offered by the state.

Wake up people!  Don’t you see it?  You have been groomed to buy into false freedom.  You have lost your personal liberty and have become slaves to your abuser.

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive” (C. S. Lewis).

To Lie or Not to Lie: That is the Question

“Because the governor has mandated masks, we ask that if you conscientiously object to wearing masks, that you just don’t come to church.”

Many God-fearing followers of Christ are hearing these words, or words like them, coming from the lips of their pastors these days.  They are being told they are not welcome at their own church, in their own church families.  They are being excluded from fellowship and worship.  The justification?  Well of course, Romans 13 tells us to blindly obey the government no matter what.

What I hear these pastors saying is that it is okay for you to lie as long as you are obeying the government.  It is okay to give false pretense because you have been told to do it by a politician.  It is okay for you to bear false witness.  After all, it’s the kind thing to do for your neighbor.

You see, I’ve done a lot of research on this topic.  Medical experts (real experts, not politically motived experts) say, “Cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as personal protective equipment (PPE)” (Singleton, 2020).  Furthermore, “Surgical masks are better than cloth but not very efficient at preventing emissions from infected patients” (Singleton, 2020).  Additionally, medical experts suggest that face masks can actually pose significant health risks to people who are not sick (Blaylock, 2020).

For me to wear a face mask knowing what I know is lying.  I know they do not work, especially not the little makeshift cloth masks that everyone is wearing.  You know, the masks you see nearly everyone wearing which they believe is providing protection against the “monster” virus.  I know these face masks can make people sick.  There are countless research studies that point to these concerns (cf. the source of scholarly research studies at Blaylock, 2020).  If I wear a face mask knowing these things, I am bearing false witness to my neighbors.

I’m not the kind of person that just blindly does what I’m told by whatever person allegedly in a position of authority over me tells me to do to.  Scripture tells us to test everything (cf. I Thessalonians 5:21), so I do.  This is why God gave us his Word.  Everything must hold up against the Word of God in context.  Passages of Scripture do not exist in a vacuum apart from other portions of Scripture.  If this were true, I could interpret a passage of Scripture to fit into the narrative I need it to at any given moment in time.  This is not rightly dividing the Word of Truth (cf. 2 Timothy 2:15).

I say this because while Romans 13 tells us to be subject to the governing authorities, Scripture also tells us not to lie (cf. Exodus 20:16; Proverbs 6:16-19, 12:19, 12:22, 19:5, 19:9; Psalm 101:7; John 8:44; Ephesians 4:25; Colossians 3:9-10; I John 2:4…need I go on?).

The government is telling you to wear a mask to protect those around you…to be unselfish…to be kind…to stop the spread of a virus.  However, scientific research suggests mask wearing does just the opposite of what politicians are saying.  Therefore, if I wear a mask because the government tells me to, I am giving credence to the government’s narrative for wearing a mask which is a complete falsehood based on what is known by experts who actually practice medicine in the real world!   I am telling those around me to believe the lie.  I am telling my neighbor that I agree with the false narrative.  I am suggesting that I believe what I am doing is protecting others when it is in fact only giving them a false sense of security.  I am encouraging them to continue to live in fear.  God has not given us a spirit of fear (cf. 2 Timothy 1:7).

So no, pastor.  I am not going to lie to obey the government (not to even mention that these mandates are not laws, so they are not being established following the governing authority of the Constitution of the United States…but that is an entirely different story).  I am not going to bear false witness to others and call it the Christian thing to do.  And I can’t really believe the shepherds of the flock are letting the wolves dictate what goes on inside God’s holy church, although I am not surprised.  It has been done before.  “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah” (Jeremiah 23:14 King James Version).

 

 

 

 

References

Blaylock, R. (2020).  Neurosurgeon: Face masks pose serious risks to healthy individuals.  Principia Scientific International.  Retrieved from https://principia-scientific.com/neurosurgeon-face-masks-pose-serious-risks-to-healthy-individuals/

Singleton, M. M. (2020).  Mask facts.  Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.  Retrieved from https://aapsonline.org/mask-facts/?fbclid=IwAR1kdBo4vFBlzLVfwGi8US7Mv0JV2ROPkBLcIEQOSjzYWO1ZKCclviq4hJw

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare”

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare…” (Proverbs 29:25a NIV)

I’ve never understood this passage more than at this very moment in history.  I see people walking around afraid of other people, terrified and freaked out that the human being in their line of vision is going to give them a “deadly” virus.  People have become the enemy.  People have become inhuman and immaterial to others.  The fear of man has indeed become a snare to common decency, human connectedness, and just general kindness and love for another human being.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” (Proverbs 1:7a NIV).

When I think about those two verses in comparison with one another, it leads me to several questions. If my fear of man is greater than my fear of the Lord, what does that say about me?  If I am living in anxiety that I might get a virus, am I living in the fear of the Lord?  If I’m not living in the fear of the Lord, what does that likely mean?

What is ruling your mortal body at this moment in time?  How are you looking at other people?  Are you looking at them as the enemy?  Are you looking at them as someone who might have the “monster virus who is looking for bodies to jump into” as Ohio’s governor termed it in one of his fear-mongering speeches?  Are you living on the emotional roller coaster that is fear and panic?

If the answer to any of these questions is in the affirmative, you might just need to redirect your fear!  In doing so, there is safety.  In doing so, knowledge, wisdom, and instruction will be found.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25 NIV).

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV).

 

Emotions are unreliable beasts

Emotions are dangerous and unreliable beasts.  Relying on them can invoke the most negative of consequences.  Ask any woman (sorry to be hard upon my gender) who on any given day of the month can experience happiness, sadness, crabbiness, and joy all within a matter of minutes simply because of fluctuations in her hormonal state.

Growing up, my mom told me to never make decisions when I was emotional.  When you are tired, hungry, grumpy, or upset, you are more likely to make bad decisions.  That’s because when you make decisions based on emotion, you tend to ignore reality.  You tend to ignore the facts.

Never before have I seen this displayed more clearly than in our present state of world affairs.  In the beginning of the coronavirus panic, it was natural to feel a bit of fear.  Everything was uncertain.  We did not have any facts, and we were being told daily how many people were dying.  If you are constantly bombarded with the threat of death, you will begin to live in a state of fear and panic.

It’s not that way anymore.  We have a ton of facts.  We have research.  We now know how the virus works and what kinds of treatment it responds the best to.

Yet people have been conditioned to remain afraid.  They have been trained, quite effectively I might add, to live in and stay in a state of panic and fear.  The facts do not matter to people.  Fear has become their primary motivating force.

Here you have a virus where on average 99% of the people who get it survive, yet people are completely gripped with fear.  You can show people the actual data being reported from their very own community, yet they remained completely paralyzed with fear.  For example, in my community, only .02% of the entire population have died from the virus, and 99.88% of the population do not even have the virus currently!  Yet people are walking around town looking at others like they are carriers of some deadly plague.  It is completely unreal to me.

They are being ruled by fear and not facts…emotions and not reality

Take for another example: the masking requirements.  In my state, only .15% of the population is confirmed/presumed [emphasis intentionally presumed] to even actively have the virus.  Yet our governor is threatening masking mandates throughout the entire state.  He has spent millions of dollars on fear mongering propaganda to maintain a state of panic among the masses.  Manipulating masses to fear is pure evil, yet people fall for it because they are operating emotionally instead of rationally.

Even though there are numerous studies put out by real experts in the past 20 years who have done real scientific studies that demonstrate the ineffectiveness of masking on healthy people and the potential problems that could arise from healthy people wearing masks, we are constantly being told that we must do things because the “experts” say so.  Yet those experts are always unnamed.  Or we are told the CDC says something is so, and people blindly trust it regardless of the fact that in the beginning they were telling us something very different than they are telling us now.  Has it ever occurred to anyone that the government is using the government to support what it tells you to do?

Emotions are dangerous and unreliable.  By living in certain emotions, like fear for example, you will make decisions that are not grounded in truth and reality.  Living in fear is so dangerous, in fact, that it can leave you opened to being controlled by other people…people who may not have your best interests in mind.

Come out of your emotional stupor and into reality, even if just for a moment.  Examine the facts.  Study them.  Make decisions grounded in what is real.  Stop reacting to the world around you and start acting like a rational human being.  Conditioning can be reversed, but you will have to work at it by educating yourself intentionally with the truth.

You are being selfish…

“What would Jesus do?”

“You need to wear a mask to show kindness and love to others.”

“You are being selfish if you don’t wear a mask.”

“You might make a brother stumble if you don’t wear a mask.”

These are all things that I have heard come out of the mouths of others, even well-meaning Christians.  However, I would propose to you that they aren’t really thinking out what they are saying.  In fact, they are being quite hypocritical.

There are so many reasons why people refuse to wear a mask.  For example, my son is hearing impaired.  He literally cannot hear or understand anyone who speaks to him with a mask on.  He relies heavily on reading lips.  So when you wear a mask when you are communicating with him, well, there’s little to no communication occurring.  You have in effect shut him out of your world.  Are you being selfish for wearing a mask?  I mean, you’re cutting him off to communication with you as a person.  Perhaps you don’t care about that at all.  Is that showing love and kindness to him?

It freaks my dad out to even think of wearing a mask.  I’m sure he probably doesn’t want me to tell people that.  He tries to hide it.  You see, he was in Vietnam.  Masks represent bad things to him…horrible, awful memories.  Just the thought of being forced to put a mask on generates what I would go so far as to call PTSD symptoms.  I am sure other service members can relate to this.  Yet I know people who would say that someone like my dad is being selfish for not wearing one.  My dad fought for this country.  He served as a police officer for many years to the point of great personal sacrifice being forced to retire because he was injured in the line of duty.  He is the least selfish man I know.  Yet people are suggesting by their very words and guilt trips that should he chose to not wear a mask, he is a stumbling block, selfish, and lacks kindness and love for others.  Really?

Or take a rape victim.  According to RAINN, 1 out of every 6 women have either been raped or had raped attempted on them and 94% of women who have been raped experience PTSD.  Rapists often cover the mouths of their victims to silence them.  Guess what a face mask represents to them?  Torture, flash backs, panic, fear, danger.  Of all the people you know in your life, especially women, do you really know whether they have been sexually abused in some way?  Yet people would have the gall to accuse someone who is not wearing a mask and who just might happen to be a sexual assault victim that she is being selfish and unkind.  Really?

I do not question your freedom to wear a mask.  You may have really good reasons to wear a mask.  That’s your choice…emphasis on choice.  I hope you have made a well-educated and logical choice.

That being said, when other people, especially Christians, try to lay guilt trips on other people for not wearing a mask, they are only virtue signaling.  The definition of virtue signaling according to dictionary.com is as follows: “the sharing of one’s point of view on a social or political issue, often on social media, in order to garner praise or acknowledgment of one’s righteousness from others who share that point of view, or to passively rebuke those who do not.”   In other words, people who virtue signal about masking want others to think about how wonderful they are for not being selfish and wearing a mask to “protect” others.

The reality is though, they are not thinking of others.  Virtue signaling in this manner is really all about them.  If they were really thinking of others, they might be asking themselves if that person has a good reason for not wearing a mask.  But they don’t.  They make assumptions and judgments without ever finding out the reason why people do what they do.  They want their choice to be mandated upon others.  So they just go around laying on the guilt ultimately becoming the epitome of what they are accusing others to be: selfish, unkind, unloving, and stumbling blocks to others.

All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord” (Proverbs 16:2 NIV).

Where have all the critical thinkers gone?

I am convinced that most people have completely lost their ability to think critically. Looking around all I see are the walking dead who just do what they are told and don’t question why, even when given conflicting information and false data.  They ask nothing, they think nothing, they accept everything.  It scares me!

Their words are the hyperbole of those whom they have voted into office.  They are mindless, empty, obliging, compliant.  They are like sheep being led to slaughter merrily bleating all the way.

My mom taught me at a very young age the importance of asking, “Why?”  There has to be a reason, a good reason, for every single thing you do, every choice you make.  Mindless choices result in dangerous consequences.

In Scripture, we are instructed to “test everything” (I Thessalonians 5:21 English Standard Version).  Yet so many believers test nothing.  They do not ask why.  They accept blindly, openly, compulsively anything anyone in “authority” over them says.  This is so very dangerous.  We are warned in Scripture about the constant spiritual battle we are in (cf. Ephesians 6).  We are warned about the dangers of false teaching (cf. I John 4:1; 2 John 1:7-11; Matthew 7:21-23; 2 Peter 2:1, and the list could go on). We are warned throughout the entire book of Proverbs what will happen when we lack discernment and wisdom.  We are warned about the prowling lion, our adversary the devil, who disguises himself as an angel of light, seeking whom he can devour (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Peter 5:8).

We are warned, yet we forge ahead without thinking, without concern, without caution.  We accept godless chatter and false knowledge as fact simply become someone says it is so. We lack the inquisitiveness of the Bereans (cf. Acts 17).  Believers should be the most critical thinking people around!

Ephesians 5:6-16 (English Standard Version) says, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  Therefore do not become partners with them;  for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light  (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),  and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.  Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.  For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.  But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,  for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’  Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,  making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Think people.  Think…before it is too late!

Systemic Evil

We need to stand up against systemic evil which has resulted in lawlessness, tyranny, and human brutality in this world.  This is not something that can be fixed by government intervention but by spiritual warfare using the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  “ For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV).

Isaiah 53

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

A Matter of Conviction

Last night I had a conversation with my husband.  You see, our church is opening back up on Sunday with a long list of state-imposed rules.

We have never been mask wearers, nor do we believe we should be forced to wear masks by anyone.  We believe there are all sorts of reasons, psychological and health-wise, not to wear a mask.  However, our pastor has indicated that even if we are not afraid, he recommends we wear a mask for others, especially when we sing.  It is not mandatory, but it is recommended.

So back to the conversation I had with my husband last night.  I told him that I was really nervous about going to church.

“Nervous about what?” he said.

“Confrontation.” I replied.

“What are you going to be confronted about?” he queried.

“Not wanting to wear a mask and being told it is because I am not being kind” was my reply.

Our conversation moved to other things.  Fast forward to this morning.  My husband opens the day as follows:

“Do you know how I know that Satan is involved in all of this?”

“How?” I responded.

“You are nervous about going to church because everyone is so divided.  Why should you be nervous at all about going to church?”  he responded.  “The devil is involved.”

So this got me to thinking back to the days when I was actively counseling clients.  So many times, I would have clients that came into my office feeling extreme guilt over things that were not sinful.  This guilt would keep them from doing all good things including reaching out to God, being around people, and going to church.  I would have to explain to them the difference between true guilt and false guilt.

This circumstance is no different.

You see, true guilt is when you stand before a holy God sinful because you have broken one of His Commandments.  We are all truly guilty before God because of our sin.

False guilt is when people tell you that you should feel guilty about something because of what they believe or think.

True guilt brings you to repentance and a restored relationship with God.

False guilt keeps you from God because it comes from emotional manipulation and not truth.  It keeps you from people because there is a part of you that almost believes the manipulation.  This is by design.

Ephesians 6:10-20 (English Standard Version) states, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

It is not wrong for me to not want to wear a mask anymore than it is wrong for you to want to wear a mask.  It is a matter of conviction not a matter of sin.

I am going to church today, and Satan is not going to separate me from other believers with emotional manipulation.

The battle belongs to the Lord!