How Did the Apostles Work to Influence Their Society?

adin ballou

I had never heard of Adin Ballou until I read this the other day. Yes, he was a socialist and a utopian. However, he made this exceptionally profound statement about how the Apostles worked to influence their society.

“What was the practice of the Apostles, after the resurrection of Christ, when fully ensued with power and grace from on high? Did they ever slay any human being? Ever threaten to do so? Ever make use of any deadly weapon? Ever serve in the Army or Navy of any nation, state, or chieftan? Ever seek or accept any office, legislative, judicial, or executive, under existing governments of their day? Ever make complaint to the magistrates against any offender or criminal, in order to produce his punishment? Ever commence any prosecution at law to obtain redress of grievances? Ever apply to the civil or military authority to protect them by force of arms when in imminent danger? Or ever counsel others to do anyone of these acts? Did they ever express, by word or deed, their reliance on political, military, or penal power to secure personal protection, or to carry forward the Christianization of the world? I answer confidently,  NO.”

Wise words for any time, especially one like this when pandering politicians everywhere exhort us to “take America back for Christ”.

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. ~ Matthew 20:25-28

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“But Vinzant Was a Bad Guy”… That Doesn’t Justify a Cop Killing Him

By Doug Newman
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Naeschylus Vinzant was nobody’s angel. His rap sheet, which dated back to 1994, included arrests for attempted homicide, assault and felony menacing. In August 2014, he was arrested on a domestic violence case on suspicion of assault, theft and violating parole.

He was out on parole again on Friday March 6, and was wanted for violating the terms of that parole. This was when Vinzant, who was unarmed, was fatally shot by Aurora Police officer Paul Jerothe.

It has been two weeks now, and the Aurora Police Department has offered no explanation as to why it was necessary for Jerothe to kill Vinzant. Why? (Here is their Facebook post naming Jerothe as the killer. And here is their only other update on the episode.)

Had someone other than a member of the punitive priesthood been accused of taking Vinzant’s life, he would have been apprehended immediately and shamed relentlessly by the media. However, Jerothe’s status as a police officer evidently affords him special immunity.

According to the Denver Post:

“Investigators allowed officer Paul Jerothe six days to ‘decompress’ before talking to police about the killing of Naeschylus Vinzant. ‘He needed time to process what happened,’ said Jerothe’s attorney, Marc Colin.”

In the words of one of my favorite philosophers, Matt Foley, “Well LA-DEE FRIGGIN’ DAA!” Oh that a non-cop should have the luxuries of “decompressing” and “processing.”

And then the Post, which is almost always wrong, asks a most pungent question:

“Would investigators in any other deadly shooting allow a suspected shooter to wait so long before talking to police?”

The Aurora Sentinel is the only other local media outlet to have asked any serious questions of the Aurora PD in this matter.

Again, why was Vinzant shot and killed?

And, yes, I know that Vinzant had an extensive criminal record. But that isn’t good enough. None of his priors, many of which were very ugly, constituted a reason to kill him. What specific act did he commit on March 6 near the corner of 12th and Memphis in Aurora that would prompt Jerothe to fatally shoot him?

In 1993, Aurora police did not see the need to shoot and kill Nathan Dunlap on the spot when they arrested him in connection with the Chucky Cheese killings.

In 2011, Aurora police did not see the need to shoot and kill Eric Holloway and Tiffany Ward when they arrested them in connection with the fatal shooting of a teenage boy 400 feet from my front door.

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In 2012, Aurora police did not see the need to shoot and kill James Holmes on the spot when they arrested him in connection with the theater shooting.

In 2013, Aurora police did not see the need to shoot and kill Isabella Guzman on the spot when they arrested her in connection with – oh, this is Mansonesque – stabbing her mother 79 times thus killing her just a few blocks from my house.

(3 of these tragedies happened in my immediate neighborhood. And I lost a friend of many years in the theater shooting.)

Google “police brutality” sometime. You will find endless examples all over America. And go to YouTube and do a search for “police brutality”. You will likewise find endless examples. It is absolutely epidemic.

And there are millions of Americans who are either in total denial about this or are just so slavishly devoted to the police as to give them a free pass no matter what.

As one person commenting on this article put it: “I don’t understand why there is an issue here. The officer was doing his job.” I heard the sentiments of millions of people when I read this.

NO! The officer WAS NOT doing his job! The job of the police is to apprehend violent offenders, not to summarily execute them. If the death penalty should ever be imposed – that is another topic – it should only be after due process for the defendant has been meticulously applied.



And if a cop should ever wield deadly force against a suspect he had damn well better be able to demonstrate that such force was necessary in self-defense.

And if he can’t do this, he should not be able to hide behind his badge and blue uniform.

I don’t “hate cops”. When they apprehend violent offenders, we should applaud them. When they direct traffic at accident scenes and around sporting events, we should thank them. But when they violate people’s rights, they need to be punished personally just like you or I would be. Badges, blue uniforms and doughnut Joneses don’t confer special privileges.

And the American people need to start realizing this and insisting that police be held to the same standards as everyone else. If we don’t, we should not be surprised when so many other segments of the government act so recklessly. Indeed, reckless government is exactly what America deserves.

Update: Jeffco prosecutors deciding whether to charge Jerothe.

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Christian Theologian Demoted For Preaching Peace

Food for the Thinkers:

Turn off FAUX News, most political talk radio and most talk radio that calls itself Christian. Pick up your Bible and read the words of Jesus Christ. There is no scriptural basis whatsoever for believing that Jesus would be unconditionally on America’s side.

Originally posted on Believers vs Non-Believers:


On Tuesday, February 10th, Dr. Randy Beckum addressed students at MidAmerica Nazarene University’s regular chapel service. His message was in response to two films which have recently made headlines around the world; American Sniper and Selma. Dr. Beckum, who also serves as the University’s Chaplain and was the Vice-President of Community Formation, questioned the prevalent culture surrounding “Christians” in the United States which champions a killer above a preacher who taught non-violence.

You can read the manuscript of Dr. Randy Beckum’s full sermon here.

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Citizenfour – The Documentary

Citizenfour, the Oscar-winning documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, is now available on the web.

You can watch it here.

Bookmark it. Set aside 2 hours to watch it.

“I would rather be without a state than without a voice.” – Edward Snowden

“It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.” – Voltaire

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There’s a big reason you should be skeptical of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress today

Food for the Thinkers:

Netanyahu: Iranian nukes as Al Gore: Melting ice caps.
Iran is a year away from having a nuke, and it always will be.

Originally posted on Rare:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress this morning at 11 a.m. The Daily Signal is already calling the speech “Churchillian,” even though it hasn’t actually happened yet.

Netanyahu will make the case that Iran is close to developing a nuclear bomb, which poses a threat to Israel. But there’s a glaring reason we should be skeptical of that claim. Murtaza Hussain reports at the Intercept:

Testifying again in front of Congress again in 2002, Netanyahu claimed that Iraq’s nonexistent nuclear program was in fact so advanced that the country was now operating “centrifuges the size of washing machines.”

As it turned out, Iraq wasn’t operating centrifuges the size of washing machines, or centrifuges the size of humidifiers, or even centrifuges at all. Saddam’s WMD program, supposedly an existential threat to the Western world, was dormant and had been for years.

To be fair, spooks across the world got Saddam wrong. But as Hussain notes, Netanyahu…

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The Old Testament: What It Really Teaches

Food for the Thinkers:

As much as conservative churchians may think America is doing the world a favor via its endless warmongering, there is simply no biblical justification whatsoever for any of America’s current wars.
America is not ancient Israel; the American military is not the Army of God; and NO American president is God.
Turn off Faux News and most of what passes for Christian media nowadays and pick up your Bible. Start with Deuteronomy 28 and you will quickly learn that God would not unconditionally always and forever bless Ancient Israel if they ignored His teachings. Why, then, do so many Americans think that God will perpetually heap unconditional blessings on America?
Ultimately, God would let Ancient Israel fall under several evil foreign tyrants. Why, then, does anyone think America will last forever?

Originally posted on Let There Be Right:

Non-Christians have often accused the Old Testament of teaching violence, injustice, genocide, and racial prejudice. Even some who claim to be Christian distance themselves from the Old Testament and act as though God’s nature changed from the Old to the New, as if He were once a sour old crab, until His Son died on the cross and then God turned into a cosmic teddy bear who accepts everyone.

Does the Old Testament teach what its foes claim it teaches—racial prejudice, for example?

“As Ye Are, So Shall the Stranger Be Before the LORD”

Exodus 12:48-49:

“And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 49 One law…

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ISIS is not a Threat

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