You Thought I was one Like Yourself

Holy.  Set apart.  God is holy, holy, holy.  God is not like us.  He is independent of us. 

Because we are told we were created in God’s image, I think we often imagine God to be like us.  In doing so, we severely underestimate who God is.  God is not a reflection of who we are. Anything good in us is a reflection of who He is…a glimpse of how awesome and wonderful He is.  Consider the following passage from Psalm 50:16-23:

16But to the wicked God says:
    “What right have you to recite my statutes
    or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline,
    and you cast my words behind you.
18 If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
    and you keep company with adulterers.

19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
    and your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother;
    you slander your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I have been silent;
    you thought that I was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.

22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
    lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
23 The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
    to one who orders his way rightly
    I will show the salvation of God!”

From this passage, we come to understand that it is the wicked that think God is like people.  How incredibly faulty that thinking is.  God does not see things the way we see them.  He sees perfectly.  Our vision is impaired.  We do not understand things the way God does.  He understand perfectly.  Our knowledge is extremely limited. 

We will never understand God by looking at ourselves.  We will only even begin to understand God by examining who God says He is in His Word, and even that is just a glimpse of all He is. 

What would happen if we truly understood what it means for God to be holy?  What would it mean if we completely understood that He is not like us? 

God is not one like us.  God is holy.  I don’t know about you, but this brings me great comfort.  If God was like me, we most certainly all would be lost and without hope in this world.  But He’s not like me.  He’s not like you.  He is God, and He is holy.  In that there is great hope!  In that truth is the foundation for such a great salvation! 

A Prayer for America in Her Hour of Greatest Need

Dear Lord, We humbly ask for your intercession for our country.  Evil has arisen and is attacking the freedoms we hold dear in this country.  This evil seems insurmountable. Only you can save us! I pray that you “uncover the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light” (Job 12:22).  Lord, please act because your laws have been broken (Psalm 119:126).  The wicked have perverted justice in our country.  They have accepted bribes.  They have suppressed the truth by their wickedness (Romans 1:18). You hate robbery and wrong but love justice, O Lord (Isaiah 61:8).  Repay the wicked according to their deeds (Isaiah 59:18).  “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).  Let what is hidden be revealed in time to make a difference to preserve America and restore this nation to its Christian roots.  Open the eyes of those who have been blinded, so they will see the truth and act upon it.  Please do not forsake your children who call humbly upon you to let truth be revealed and justice be done.  We are crying to You for help.  Please hear and deliver us out of all our troubles.  Thank you for being near to the brokenhearted and saving the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:17-18).   “To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 16:27).

God is in Control

God is in control. We are not. We like to think we are. We think the institutions and powers of this world are in charge. We are mistaken; they are not. God is.

God has a plan, a redemptive plan, for this world.  There is not one single part of His plan that will not take place. There is not one single thing that will be thwarted. God does not sit around wringing His hands worrying about how He is going to handle those leftists today or how He is going to manage a communist takeover of yet another country.  He does not worry if China has warships in the ocean, or if Russia has interfered with another United States election.  He has it perfectly under control. 

Just because we can’t see His plan, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Just because we don’t like what we think His plan might be, doesn’t mean it isn’t good.  God sees everything from beginning to end. Our vision is myopic. We only see what is right in front of our eyes and not beyond.  We are nearsighted.  We have limits.  God does not. 

Examine history. You can see God’s plan unfold throughout time. We do not know where we are in the process of God’s plan, but we can rest assured in the fact that He has it under control. We tend to only think of things as they occur in our time and place.  However, God promises to work all things out for the good of His children. That good may not always be experienced here on this earth but later in eternity with Him. God has the power to do all things, and He will do all that He has planned.

Christmas reminds us of God’s plan in a special way.  It reminds us not to worry because God has everything under control.  Matthew 1:21 says, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  God sent a Savior to save His people in the form of a baby who was born into humble circumstances.  This baby was 100% God and 100% human.  As He grew, He lived a perfect life and then sacrificed that life as a human sacrifice for our sin.  My pastor said it so eloquently, “God has a people.  They have a sin problem.  His intention is to save His people from their sin problem, and only He will do it.”  Scripture says that “all this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet” (Matthew 1:22).  If God can and will save His people through the person and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, something that it impossible for any other human being to do, there is not a single other thing that God cannot do. 

God is in control.  We are not.  That’s a good thing because we are fallible, limited, myopic people.  In the famous words of a hymn penned by Helen Lemmel in 1922:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of this world will grow strangely dim

In the light of his glory and grace.

Determine to be free!

Freedom.  Liberty.  These are words you are familiar with.  You may use them in conversation.  You may even say you believe in the ideas represented by these words.  But do you really know what they mean?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines freedom as “the quality or state of being free: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another.”  Liberty is also defined as “the quality or state of being free: the power to do as one pleases; freedom from physical restraint; freedom from arbitrary or despotic control; the power of choice.  Thomas Paine (1792, Plan of a Declaration of Rights) famously stated, “Liberty is the power to do everything that does not interfere with the rights of others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of every individual has no limits save those that assure to other members of society the enjoyment of the same rights.”

You see: liberty and freedom go hand in hand.  They are synonyms. 

In the United States of America, we have enjoyed a level of freedom.  Our Founding Fathers established a government rooted in Biblical principles, designed to enable its citizens to chose or act without restraint by the government within reason.  I say “within reason” because boundaries were also established by nature of laws designed to uphold the basic principles of the Ten Commandments.  You see, you cannot have true freedom without having justice.  And you cannot understand justice without God’s moral law.  The Founders understood this, and they established a government designed to elicit the most possible opportunities for freedom that might exist based on an understanding of God’s law and God’s purpose for government.  John Adams said our right to freedom was derived from “our Maker”. 

Scripture says that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17 English Standard Version).  The people of the United States used to understand this principle.  Freedom comes from God.  Freedom is a gift of God (cf. Romans 8:15; 2 Timothy 1:7).  Freedom is the grace of God (cf. Romans 8; Galatians 5:1-26). 

The Founders had an understanding of freedom from a Biblical perspective.  This perspective is evident in our founding documents.  Unfortunately, today we have forgotten the timeless principles about the origin and nature of our freedom, and in so doing, we have become slaves to corruption.  Most do not even know it.     

I once heard a story about a pastor who began pastoring a new church.  He did not like where the piano was located, so one day, he moved the piano to the other side of the room.  The church members threw a fit, so he moved it back.  Thereafter, little by little, he began inching the piano back over to where he wanted it.  He moved the piano so slowly, that the church members did not even notice it was happening until one day, the piano was where he originally intended for it to be.  No one said anything.  They had gradually become used to the idea. 

Right now, we are living in a time where our freedom is being significantly restricted in our great country.  These restrictions have been coming upon us slowly over time in increasing number as our country has strayed further and further from the Biblical principles upon which we were founded.  Thomas Jefferson (1788, Letter to Colonel Edward Carrington) stated that, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”  We see the government gaining ground all around us.  The “piano” has been moved, and in the past week, we see that it has been moved completely and drastically in the last final steps to the intended takeover of America.   

In The Federalists Papers of 1788, James Madison stated, “Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power.”  Liberty is in danger.  Freedom is in danger.  The United States of America is in danger.

What can be done?  Is it too late?  Can the piano be moved back? 

John Adams (1765, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law) stated, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right…and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers.” 

We need to wake up!  We need to learn and understand what it means to be free.  We need to understand what liberty means and where our liberty comes from.  Notice that the “piano” is being moved and resist the movement of the “piano”.  Do not allow another inch.  Move the “piano” back to where it started. 

If you value freedom, you will resist tyranny because tyranny is diametrically opposed to freedom.  Tyranny is the absence of grace.  It is the imposition of law after law, mandate after mandate, based on the whim of a despot.  “It behoves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case others” (Thomas Jefferson, 1803, Letter to Benjamin Rush).  You cannot be timid.  You must not be quiet.  You must take a stand now, or freedom will be lost.

“It is impossible to conquer a nation determined to be free” (Thomas Paine, 1792, Letter to the People of France).

Determine to be free!

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.