To Those Who Would Ridicule Prayer

By Pastor Larry Beane of Gretna, Louisiana. Original Facebook post here.

This was written in response to tragic mass murder last week at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I especially needed to read this upon hearing of the shocking news of the death of a longtime Christian friend earlier this week. 


The people who are mocking the victims of the Texas church shooting (and the notion of prayer) are exceedingly ignorant of Christianity – which even if you don’t believe in it you should know something about it, as it is one of the pillars of western civilization, American government, classical liberal economics, and the system of human rights that has become the world’s standard.

Christian prayer is not a magic spell.

It is a form of communion with God. It isn’t where we tell God what to do, or command the forces of nature to bend to our will. It is a humble submission to God and His will – even in the midst of the rubble of evil and chaos and death.

Our forbears in the faith prayed and sang hymns even as the Roman lions stalked them in the stadium before jeering crowds, and as the beasts ate their little children before their eyes. Prayer is our refuge even amidst evil and death. For we worship One greater than evil.

Rather than see prayer as a magic spell by which we assert our power over our enemies, in the words of our Small Catechism, “God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear Father.”

In this life, sometimes parents say, “No” even when the children cannot conceive of how this can be. And yet good parents do say “No” and sometimes must endure the pain and even anger of their children who do not understand why.

One thing we pray for is the grace to forgive our enemies, and for them to likewise partake of God’s grace and join us in eternity. We pray for forgiveness of our own trespasses, where we have sinned against our neighbors – and to be able to forgive those who trespass against us.

The heart of Christian prayer is found in the seven petitions that Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer.

We are not God, He is. His ways are not our ways. We do not see the big picture, which is eternal in scope. We live in the fallen world that we have broken. We are also sinners in need of forgiveness. And death awaits all of us. And yet, God chose to rescue us from eternal death by His willingness to lay down His life as a ransom for ours. That is the theology of the cross. It remains a ‘scandal’ and ‘folly’ that angers the world and results in our mockery, even as it was when St. Paul wrote as much to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:23).

But this theology is truly Good News, a word that in Greek and Latin comes to us in English as the Evangel, the Gospel.

Like children, we only see a small part of reality, and do not understand God’s will. And yet we put our trust in Him, not in princes, in science, in snarky skeptics, nor in any other entity to rescue us from our enemies. Like the three young men sent to the furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar, we refuse to give up our faith, trusting that He will deliver us, but even if He doesn’t…

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18).

In the end, we pray, “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10), trusting in His mercy and grace.

sutherland church austing statesman

Credit: Austin American-Statesman

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There Is No Right to Be Free from Gun Violence

By Doug Newman – email me here.
Here I am on Facebook.
If you would like to post this elsewhere – who knows why? – please just link to this URL. Thanks!


There is no such thing as a “right to be free from gun violence”. There can’t possibly be such a right. If, God forbid, gun confiscation ever happened, it would be implemented by people with guns – i.e. the cops and the military. The result would be a government gun monopoly.

“Political power comes from the barrel of a gun.” – Mao Zedong … who disarmed his subjects, left them defenseless, and sent his goons to kill perhaps 100 million of them.

And would so many right-wingers still idolize the cops and the military if they were on their doorsteps demanding they turn over their guns?

gun ban groppi

Credit: Teno Groppi

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Gun Control Isn’t Biblical

By Doug Newman – email me here.
Here I am on Facebook.
If you would like to post this elsewhere – who knows why? – please just link to this URL. Thanks!


I have an old friend who is a great person, but also someone with whom I disagree on more than a few political issues. The other evening she called me out saying a Christian shouldn’t be opposed to gun control. I don’t have a lot of time for these things right now, but I felt compelled to give a basic biblical response to her challenge.

A few observations:

  • How did Cain kill Abel in Genesis 4:8? Not with a gun, certainly. The Bible doesn’t say because it doesn’t matter. Cain was evil, not his weapon, which may very well have been his own hands.
  • There are numerous wars all throughout Scripture and lots of killing. However, there were no guns as they would not exist for many more centuries.
  • In Luke 11:21-22, Jesus Himself states: “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” He wants His followers to be armed for defensive purposes.
  • In Luke 22:36, Jesus states: “… But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” This was the last instruction He gave His followers before He was arrested. He wants us to arm ourselves not just spiritually but physically as well!
  • “But what about ‘if you live by the sword you die by the sword'”? In the pertinent passage – Matthew 26:52-54 – Jesus tells Peter to put the sword in its place, not to get rid of the sword. Nor does He appeal to Rome to implement “sword control.”
  • There is absolutely zero indication anywhere in Scripture to support the notion that denying people access to inanimate objects will prevent them from doing evil. Attention right-wingers: therefore, the Drug War is just as unbiblical as gun control.
  • Gun control is not only not biblical, it is Darwinist! It renders the state – and criminals in general – more “fit” than its subjects. There is a HUGE correlation between citizen disarmament and genocide!

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  • As my friend was a teacher for many years, it is relevant to point out that in the worst school massacre in American history in 1927 in Bath, Michigan, the perp did not use any guns. This was at a time when you could buy all sorts of guns in the Sears catalog! Indeed, you almost never heard of a school shooting until 1990 when schools became gun-free zones.

okc bombing meme

For a far more thorough treatment of this subject, please read this very fine essay by Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America.

Jeremiah 17:9 calls the human heart “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” All the laws in the world will not change the human heart. If the state will take away guns it will also, at some point, claim unlimited power over the lives of its subjects, fancying itself not merely as god, but as a very jealous god ruthlessly wielding an iron fist against any and all competitors.

gun problem heart problem

The state is composed of people. Becoming an employee of the state does not elevate one to any morally superior level. Daniel 4:17 tells us that God sets up the “basest of men” over earthly kingdoms. Do you want to trust the “basest” among us with a monopoly on tools of lethal violence?

My friend implored me to trust “God, not guns”. Very well, then. I therefore reject as unbiblical the notion that forbidding people to own certain inanimate objects will prevent bad things from happening. And, if anything, gun control means totally unwarranted reliance not on God, but on the most well-armed and deadly segment of any society: its government.

experts-agree-gun-control-works-1

 

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Is There a Right to Keep and Bear Nukes?

The best and most succinct answer I have ever seen from Tom Mullen.

Straw man question: So, I suppose you’re fine with private citizens owning nuclear weapons, right?

Answer: I wish nuclear weapons didn’t exist, but as they do, yes, I’d prefer they resided in the private sector, where there are consequences for killing people and destroying property.

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Mass Shootings Are a Bad Way to Understand Gun Violence

Don’t let yourself be manipulated into calling for more gun control.

Great statistical breakdown by Maggie Koerth-Baker.

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The Las Vegas Massacre: They Want You to Panic … So Don’t

By Doug Newman – email me here.
Here I am on Facebook.
If you would like to post this elsewhere – who knows why? – please just link to this URL. Thanks!
Published at The Libertarian Enterprise.


“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” – Rahm Emanuel

Before I go any further, I ask that everyone extend their thoughts, prayers and condolences to all affected by Sunday night’s massacre on the Las Vegas Strip.

Concerning which, a few observations:

  • I remember it more vividly than any email I have ever received. On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, an old friend from my Tucson days sent me an email with a subject line that read: “They want you to panic…”. The first sentence of the body of the email read, “… so don’t”. When something absolutely horrific happens, our natural tendency is to panic and demand that our government “do something” to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.
  • Before rigor mortis set in on the first corpse, the Left, predictably, went to work demanding greater restrictions on gun rights. And they did so in spite of the fact that there is simply no correlation between rates of gun ownership and rates of homicide. America ranks first in the world in gun ownership and something like ninety-sixth in homicide. Furthermore, violent crime has fallen almost in half since 1995, even though we have more guns than ever. Speaking of 1995, that was the year in which Tim McVeigh killed 168 people without a gun!
  • Which brings me to my next point: this drop in crime has taken place in a time when America has more immigrants and Muslims – i.e. the boogiemen of the Right – than ever. The Las Vegas suspect, Stephen Paddock was neither. If nothing else, we will be spared another round of baseless Islamophobia.
  • The Left is not alone in demanding that we give up our liberties. Who remembers how, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Right gleefully gave away liberty in the name of security? Look for a repeat of this in the coming days. Americans have given up massive amounts of liberty in the name of being “safe”. Expect the Right to demand that Trump, like W before him, “do something”!
  • The state is far more dangerous than anything it claims to “protect us” against. Stephen Paddock, according to the official narrative, killed 59 people and injured 527 more. He did a lot of damage with his two hands. However, as Eric Peters once stated “the government has millions of hands”. Hence, it can do infinitely more damage. Stalin and Mao were each responsible for the deaths of tens of millions people. And they sent the police and military – i.e. the idols of the Right – to do the actual killing.
  • Don’t think you know what “the victims’ families” think or want, because you don’t! Some 9/11 survivors fully support the official story as well as the official response, while others totally ridicule the official narrative and response. Yet others fall somewhere in between. In the aftermath of Columbine, Tom Mauser, who lost a son in that tragedy, called for more gun control while Darrell Scott, who lost a daughter on that horrible day, traveled all over the country proclaiming that more gun laws were not the answer.
  • Don’t believe everything the mainstream media – i.e. CNN, Faux, MSNBCCCP – tells you. And don’t believe every conspiracy theory you hear. Do your own research and do your own thinking. As for me, I have a lot of trouble believing the official story. If you want me to believe that some guy with no priors in his 64 years other than a traffic citation all of a sudden went nutzoid killing 59 and injuring 527 more, I don’t want your oceanfront property in Nebraska either. There is more to the story. Far more!
  • Don’t throw down with the Left and give up your gun rights. Don’t throw down with the Right and give up all your other rights.
  • Why should we be concerned about our rights in the aftermath of such a crisis? Because, in times like these, not only do very powerful people want to take our rights away but, also, people are most easily influenced into giving their rights away.
  • Two million Americans will die from something this year. That means that 1,999,941 will die from something other than the Las Vegas Massacre. Your chances of death or injury from such an event are nanoscopic. As Jefferson once put it:

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

I would rather live in a free society with the absolutely infinitesimal chance of being a victim of something like the Las Vegas massacre than in a society wherein I was constantly presumed a criminal and where the state could dispose of me at will.

That is your choice. Choose wisely.

obeying

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Was the Constitution a “Con”?

Strict adherence to the Constitution, such as advocated by Ron Paul would undoubtedly result in MUCH smaller government and MUCH more personal liberty. It would be a massive improvement not only on what we have now, but on anything we have had in our lifetimes.

That said, the more I think about it, the more I think that the Articles of Confederation, America’s governing document between 1781 and 1787, was superior to the Constitution.

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articles-constitution-differences

articles constitution chart

Graphics source: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10025094080

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