What will 2021 be like?

What will 2021 be like?

it will not be anything like 2020

Last week I was having a casual conversation with a friend and they remarked, “I can’t wait for 2020 to be over, 2021 can’t come fast enough.”

I hear that sentiment repeatedly. 2020 has been a watershed year across the world. It appears as if a shift has occurred across society and throughout culture. Let’s assess the good and bad of 2020 before diving headlong into 2021. In last week’s post, I pointed out that 2020 was “the year of fear.” Stick with me as I wade through the muck and mire of the bad news – the good news will be worth it, I promise.

The Bad News

In America, we have experienced a virus emerge from a Chinese town that engulfed the world in a pandemic. We have seen major social upheaval along ethnic, academic, corporate and political lines. We have witnessed a heated presidential election that is still being contested. We see businesses, churches and other ‘non-essential’ entities shutdown while perfectly healthy humans (including small children) are forced to wear face-masks through unconstitutional mandates – enforced by fellow volunteer citizens who revel in public ‘face-shaming’ as their civic duty. Keep in mind, the human face is the primary means through which a human being reflects the image of God. If you want to degrade, humiliate and objectify another fellow image-bearer, force them and their children to cover their faces.

We have been taught that “loving your neighbor” actually means isolating yourself from your neighbors (and family). Furthermore, you must ridicule your neighbor for not wearing a mask, not towing the party line or not bowing to the woke mob. Apparently, “loving” has been redefined to mean coercing and shaming because in the new era of ‘social justice’ virtue signaling is far more important than actual virtue.

The new scientific orthodoxy has ‘proven’ that rioting and looting are ‘COV ID-safe’ but worshiping God and singing in public are deadly – that masks and social distancing work, until they don’t – that biological sex is fluid and Jeffery Epstein really killed himself (well, the science isn’t settled on Epstein yet)… But, working a ‘non-essential’ job to put food on the table is downright criminal.

Meanwhile, statistics have shown the two of the most life-threatening places in America are nursing homes in New York and pregnant mothers’ wombs – in a nation where people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are ensconced in law and protected (unless you happen to be located in a womb in NYC, then not so much). Job numbers are down while depression, loneliness and suicides are up. Fact checkers can ‘fact check’ those facts – but facts are funning things in a world of relativism, ‘inconvenient truths’ and ‘settled science.’ And, if you don’t agree with the media narrative, you are given a heavy dose of a new drug called ‘Censorship.’ I think its imported from the CCP.

Finally, we are being reminded that God is on His throne, but you better get your COV ID vaccine just in case He isn’t. Many Christian leaders are living and preaching like nihilistic deterministic pagans with one life to live. Media propaganda echoes from many pulpits across the land as a new prophetic voice (divorced from the Bible and trafficking in falsehoods) runs off with the sexy little zeitgeist. Note bene: I said ‘many’ not ‘all’ because there remains a remnant of leaders and churches attempting to take a stand for truth and righteousness.

The Good News

(See ‘The Bad News’ section above but with a reclaimed, redeemed and restored Christian vision infused with grace).

This morning I was reading FW Boreham’s essay, “Catherine Booth’s Text” (1922). I reflected on the past year. What has carried us to the point that you are reading what I’m writing? The answer is, “GRACE!”

Catherine Booth was a spiritual titan of her time. She built her life around a single text, “My grace is sufficient for thee…” (2 Corinthians 12:9a). In his essay, Boreham beautifully describes how the realization of those six words transformed the lives and ministries of John Bunyan, John Wesley, Martin Luther, Catherine Booth, the Apostle Paul and countless others. He argues that we accept the first four words with ease – “My grace is sufficient…” but the last two are only realized in a deep moment of extreme need – “for thee.”

Boreham sharpens his point by saying, “It is always easier to believe that there is a Savior for the world than to believe that there is a Savior for me.” He continues, “Martin Luther believed and preached confidently that Christ died for all mankind, long before he could persuade himself that Christ died for Martin Luther. John Wesley crossed the Atlantic to proclaim the forgiveness of sins to the Indians; but it was not until he was verging on middle-life that he realized the possibility of the forgiveness of his own.”

Closing the chapter 2020 and opening 2021

Charles Spurgeon once said to his students, “There are many passages of Scripture which you will never understand until some trying or singular experience shall interpret them for you.”

If God’s grace was sufficient in 2020, do you believe His grace will be sufficient in 2021 and beyond? In 2020 perhaps you know and believe the first four words, “My grace is sufficient…?” Behold, the dawn of a new year is breaking before us! Just maybe in 2021, the last two words, “for thee” will with great power suddenly break upon you as they did for Bunyan and others.

What will 2021 be like?

I can say with confidence, it will not be anything like 2020. Why? Because God’s grace is sufficient for the world and you and me. Fear and despair cannot exist in the presence and fullness of God’s grace as darkness and cold cannot exist near the light and warmth of a fire.

If you go outside right now and take a several deep breaths would you fear that you would exhaust all of the oxygen in the entire atmosphere? Of course not! Then why would you believe the God who created the atmosphere and your lungs would not provide in Christ sufficient grace for you? There is to be taken a giant step from believing in the head to believing in the heart. Won’t you take it?

My Grace is Sufficient for thee… That means you and me!
I will close with some final words from dear Pastor Boreham, “For it is the glory of the grace that it takes what sadnesses there are and transmutes them into songs sublime.”

Take a few moments to ask God for His sufficient grace to walk into next year. Pray for a clear Kingdom vision, boldness and living faith that sheds the light of true hope in the world. God’s grace is sufficient for thee … for such a time as this.

By grace through faith in Christ alone.

(Comment below)

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*This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of my employer or my church. The opinions of expressed by guest authors and commenters do not necessarily represent my opinions.

The Great Reset Requires Great Resistance

The Great Reset Requires Great Resistance

The following section is a flow of ideas – holding little back – including editing.

Did you know the richest most powerful people in the world have a plan for your life?

Who knew that these ivory tower elite angels have your best interest at heart? I know you’re a breathing a giant sigh of relief – with your mask on, of course. Get ready because, here comes ‘The Great Reset!” (que applause).

Lockdowns and health safety measures have negatively affected churches, small business – including restaurants and schools. Meanwhile, big box stores and national chains are crowded and companies like Amazon are making profits hand-over-fist. You can go to Walmart with hundreds of other unmasked bandits but you dare not go to worship God at your church. People are watching their life’s work evaporate in front of their eyes through edicts issued by government officials who swore to protect them. The US Constitution was NOT established to protect the government from the people. It was established to protect the people from government intrusion on individual, God-given rights. That is reality on the ground but not in the ivory towers.

We’re observing the arbitrary application of law and medical science (if you want to call it that). Once government officials took all decision-making power from individuals, obscured medicine, and handed information operations over to Big Tech – personal freedoms and individual rights evaporated overnight. Everything is politicized now. That’s why the rules, solutions, masks, no-masks, lockdowns, etc. are all arbitrary. Tyranny is always arbitrary authoritarianism. 

Ever wonder why many politicians in charge don’t heed their own warnings or follow their own orders?

Do your part … or else!
If you haven’t already, you will be asked (or forced) to sacrifice your personal freedoms and God-given rights on the altars of ‘greater good’ and ‘public safety’. If you don’t comply, you will be shamed, cancelled, black-listed, no-fly-listed, fined, harassed or arrested. All this for a virus that has a 99% plus survival rate. It’s not the bubonic plague, people.

Don’t you know? There is a massive global problem – a crisis!
We’re in this together, remember? Therefore, you must make necessary sacrifices to solve the problem. However, you can only choose solutions offered by the people who want to control you – Big Tech, Big Media, Big Pharma, Big Government, the UN and groups like the World Economic Forum. They are a cult of experts who know how to run your life better than you – and you better let them run your life or they will censor you or call you a name or lock you up.

The ‘Great Reset’ is one of those all-encompassing solutions created and promoted by global elites at the World Economic Forum and embraced by government leaders and globalists – for your good and protection. “We’ll get through this crisis together!” reads the banner. It is a revolution looking to upend human civilization, dismantle it and build it back better.

The vision of the World Economic Forum is to fundamentally transform the entire world economy and interdependent societies made up of 7 billion people into a uniform, single system. They call it ‘The Great Reset.’

It is “a proposal has been circulated among global elites and it goes by the name, ‘The Great Reset’. The values undergirding it are the standard cant—‘inclusion’, ‘fairness’, ‘equality’. It also includes promises of debt forgiveness and universal basic income. Alarmingly, the people behind it are some of the wealthiest and influential in the world. And wouldn’t you know it, their plan just so happens to include the abolition of property and the investiture of power in a global authority of some kind.” (Theology Pugcast)

You’ve heard, “never let a good crisis go to waste”. Well, COVID presents a global crisis on a silver platter to those who would love nothing more than to gain more power.

It’s never been about the VIRUS. The ‘issue’ is never The Issue – The Issue is always the Revolution! “In other words, the cause is never the real cause, but only an occasion to advance the real cause, which is the accumulation of power to make the revolution.” (David Horowitz)

“The COVID-19 crisis is affecting every facet of people’s lives in every corner of the world. But tragedy need not be its only legacy. On the contrary, the pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future.”

“Left unaddressed, these crises, together with COVID-19, will deepen and leave the world even less sustainable, less equal, and more fragile. Incremental measures and ad hoc fixes will not suffice to prevent this scenario. We must build entirely new foundations for our economic and social systems.”

Klaus Schwab

Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

A New Gospel and a Different Salvation – “We must build entirely new foundations for our economic and social systems.

The secular materialistic worldview sees everything through the lens of economics, politics and power dynamics. It is offering a much different gospel than the Gospel of the Kingdom offered by Jesus Christ. They offer a different salvation than from sin and eternal separation from God (spiritual death). The good news of “The Great Reset” is that man (global elites) has the power to re-imagine and re-make the entire world into his image (think Tower of Babel). We the people must be saved, not from sin but from the virus, climate change, economic disparity, capitalism, private property and all maladies of social injustice and inequalities. The savior they offer is the state (government). The government, like a loving father, promises to care for all people equally.

We only need to place our trust and lives in the hands of groups like the World Economic Forum and United Nations. Then there will be a new era of health, peace and environmental harmony! We just need to follow certain rules and give up a few individual freedoms and rights (like private property) for the benefit of collective humanity. Sound like heaven on earth? Wrong, its a living hell because when the government provides for all of your needs and is the arbitrary lawgiver – you are a slave.

Humans are easily deceived and manipulated – particularly in times of crisis. So, here we have a bunch of secular godless lackwits with degrees from prestigious universities offering a new gospel and different salvation. I would remind them all that intellect is not synonymous with wisdom.

The Great Resistance

The “Great Reset” is not only weapon’s grade stupidity, it’s dangerous. Ideas have consequences and bad ideas have victims. Collectivism and materialism have been transformed into secular worldviews of total reality that include their own religious practice. At it’s core, its global communistic socialism where the state takes the place of God and the collective takes the place of the individual. More people have been murdered under socialist/communist atheistic regimes in the 20th century than all previous centuries combined… Again, bad ideas have victims.

The Christian must understand that ‘The Great Reset’ is just another false gospel preached by false prophets and followed by a bunch lost people looking for self-centered salvation. Sure, the language sounds enticing. It’s like Geo-political utopian mental porn with catchy phrases, prognostications and promises casting a spell on the hearts of man – beckoning to his deepest desires. It’s a trap to put man in bondage on a global level. Not all the glitters is gold my friend. And if you take the bait, you’ll get the hook.

“I always thought the most powerful weapon in the world was the bomb. I have changed my mind. The most powerful weapon in the world is not the bomb. It is the truth.”

Andrei Sakharov

Father of the Soviet Atomic Bomb

The Christian worldview is the foundation of response and resistance. Our primary weapons are prayer, the truth, and the Gospel of the Kingdom. “The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.…” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

In order to engage a false gospel and false prophets, the Christian must first have wisdom and discernment. The only way to grow in wisdom and discernment is to read, study and meditate on the Bible. Second, the Christian must have courage and fortitude to engage. Finally, I believe the Christian is historically and culturally obligated to counter, demolish and tear down this worldview. We owe it to God and our children and grandchildren, out of love for them. God is the only one who has the power to redeem and restore all things. Until that time, the Christian and his church will contend for truth, express robust biblical faith and GRIT [Guts, Resilience, Integrity and Tenacity] for the world to see.

If it gets a little messy, so be it – it wouldn’t be the first time.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” – Mark 8:36

Further Reading and Investigation

Now is the time for a 'great reset' - Klaus Schwab
“To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a “Great Reset” of capitalism.” Click to read article…
Here's how life could change in my city by the year 2030

(Ida Auken – Member of Parliament, Parliament of Denmark)
“Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city – or should I say, “our city”. I don’t own anything. I don’t own a car. I don’t own a house. I don’t own any appliances or any clothes.

It might seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense for us in this city. Everything you considered a product, has now become a service. We have access to transportation, accommodation, food and all the things we need in our daily lives. One by one all these things became free, so it ended up not making sense for us to own much.

First communication became digitized and free to everyone. Then, when clean energy became free, things started to move quickly.” Click to read article…

Building Back Better: Why we must think of the next generation

“Building back from COVID-19 will be an inter-generational effort. Decisions being taken now about what sectors of our economy to prioritize and what opportunities to seize in the recovery effort may impact the lives of children and youth disproportionately. Securing a healthy, safe future that is more resilient to global threats is fundamental, as this emerging generation of voters and consumers are increasingly aware.” Click here to read article…

Against the Great Reset, or Why Property Is Freedom

by Dr. Tom Price, Dr. Glenn Sunshine & C.R. Wiley | Podcast - Theology

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COVID and the Church

COVID and the CHURCH

What if the Church treated sin as seriously as we do this virus?*

 

Billions of people will contract COVID-19 over the next couple years, more than 99% will survive.

Sin has a 100% death rate. Billions will die in their sins apart from Salvation in Christ.

We do all we can to keep people ‘safe’ from illness but we do try little to help people ‘get saved’ from hell – eternal separation from God.

Tell me why we are treating a virus more seriously than sin?

Let me take a stab at answering my own question. We take this virus more seriously than sin because dealing with sin is hard, messy and confronts our pride. It’s easier to point outside ourselves and say the problem is “out there somewhere” instead of pointing at ourselves and admitting the problem is “inside my own heart.”

There is nothing ‘safe’ about sin. Until the Church reorientates itself properly regarding sin, we will continue to worship a false idol called ‘safety.’

What is God doing?

God is stripping away our idols. He is revealing the bankruptcy of the people, institutions and systems we trust. He is taking away the comforts and hollow walls of affluence and safety.

In essence, God is reminding us; “You shall have not other gods before me.” – Exodus 20:3

What is the Christian response?

Repent. We admit as individuals and as a collective body of believers (the church) that we’ve enthroned ‘safety’ in the place of God. And we have swept sin under the rug.

Reorientate. We must properly order ourselves and our public theology in light of God’s revealed truth about total reality, His holiness, goodness and the reality of sin.

Live. We move forward as individual Christ followers and as the Church body by grace through faith.

(*) The Church properly defined are the redeemed in Christ – the body of believers. It is also referred to a local body of Christ-followers.

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Nihilism, Fear, False Teaching, My Father’s World, Immanentizing the Eschaton, Voting and Real Justice

Nihilism, Fear, False Teaching, My Father’s World, Immanentizing the Eschaton, Voting and Real Justice

We live in interesting times.

Late last night I learned that President Trump and his wife tested positive for COVID-19. Apparently the Pentagon scrambled E-6 “Doomsday” planes last night as well, in the event the US is attacked. 2020 is an era within itself. Let’s continue to think deeply this week, explore and consider the world around us through the lens of a Christian worldview. Let’s not give up on praying.

Today I commend to you an idea, articles, podcasts an essay and a beautiful song…

Don’t miss the song!

Let us discern this hour like the men of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times.

[Idea]: “An SDS (Students for a Democratic Society – New Left) radical once wrote, “The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.” In other words, the cause-whether inner city blacks or women–is never the real cause, but only an occasion to advance the real cause, which is the accumulation of power to make the revolution.” – David Horowitz.

We can disagree on our views of Mr. Horowitz but he is very perceptive here. The Marxist revolutionaries use marginalized people groups as ‘cannon fodder’ as a means to an end (the revolution). This revolution is the complete dismantling of western culture. Ultimately, they intend to undermine and destroy Christianity and the church. That’s not going to happen. All one must do is read the Book of Revelation. But, in the meantime, we must challenge this godless worldview.

[Essay] Fear as cover for False Teaching by Lance Cashion
“Fear is the cover of darkness that the enemy uses to infiltrate the church with false teaching and deception. Once inside the walls, false teachers spread a false gospel among the flock – beginning with the “least of these” children and the spiritually immature.” Read more…

[Audio] Why (and How) Christians Should Vote (Breakpoint podcast)
“If our faith should make a difference in every aspect of our lives (and it should), it should shape how we think about and live out citizenship, too. To put it bluntly, Christians have both a civic and a Christian responsibility to vote. As my friend Tim Goeglin, vice-president of external and governmental relations for Focus on the Family, put it recently, to vote is the beginning of our civic duty of Christians.” Continue on…

[Audio] Movies and Shows in a Nihilist Key: How Nihilistic Trends Have Impacted the Movie and Television Industry (Theology Pugcast)
“Tom introduces the topic by engaging Thomas Hibb’s book: Shows about Nothing. Chris and Glenn join in with many insights and rich analysis.” Listen here…

[Article] Immanentizing the Eschaton by P. Andrew Sandlin
“The loss of Christian culture after the Reformation led to a re-divinization of the world, though not of the old pagan pagan variety. Rather, the re-divinization revived the ancient Gnostic heresy — the presence of evil (defined now in secular terms) must be purged from the created world by a cultural or political revolution that molds a utopia on a secular pattern analogous to what orthodox Christian understand as the eternal state…” Read on…

[Article] Real Justice PAC (Influence Watch)
“Real Justice PAC was founded by Shaun King, Becky Bond, Zack Malitz, and Michael Kieschnick in 2017 to push left-of-center policing and criminal justice policies. Real Justice PAC supports county prosecutors or district attorneys who support limiting or eliminating cash bail, restricting policing practices that left-of-center activist groups deem abusive, and decriminalizing drug, property, assault, and resisting-arrest offenses.” Read more…

[Podcast] The Church of BLM
“In this “freestyle” episode, Darrell and Virgil (“Omaha”) discuss some of the fundamental doctrines that guide the organization Black Lives Matter and how those beliefs are more resemblant of a “church” with its own religion than a political entity seeking social justice.” List here…

[Music] “This Is My Father’s World” by Josh Bales
I’ve been listening to Josh’s music for about two years. I got to meet and chat with Josh in Denver at a Colson Fellows residency last year. He was our worship leader for the weekend. When times are dark and trials come, I believe leaders like Josh point us to our Heavenly Father who created all things good. Take a walk outside. Break away for a few hours and enjoy the world around you. Listen here…

Let’s continue to pray, feast on God’s Word and engage the world with a Christian vision that requires action.

Assignment for September 26 – October 2

6 Week Journey assignment one: A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

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Are your donations causing supply chain disruptions in neighborhood stores?

Are your donations causing supply chain disruptions in neighborhood stores?

Donations can cause supply chain disruptions in neighborhood stores

This is a situation where good intentions can unintentionally cause problems in a local community. What are the unintended consequences of an act of goodwill?

As a local community pastor, I probably receive 2-3 emails or calls per day from nonprofits and agencies asking for supply donations from folks in the community. These requests encompass everything from food, water, PPE, hand sanitizer, diapers, formula, TOILET PAPER, etc. I know many of you receive the same type of requests.

We all want to help! We all NEED to help in some way. However, we need to think through how to help the RIGHT way.

Under normal conditions (non-COVID-19), local stores and supermarkets are very well stocked with essential items. When you or I go to the store, we can buy as much as we need in the full knowledge that what we take off the shelf will be replaced within hours.

You’ve probably noticed the phrase ‘Supply Chain’ mentioned more and more by the media and government officials. The supply chain starts where a product is sourced like a farm or manufacturer. Those goods make their way to distribution centers and then onto the shelves of neighborhood stores where you and I can purchase them.

The COVID-19 Crisis changed everything.

COVID-19 created a panic, which caused people to purchase more essential items and thus putting stress on the supply chain.

What does all this have to do with nonprofits and agencies asking me and you to donate essential items?

Well, unless you and I have a surplus of essential items in our homes to donate, we typically go to our local store to purchase those items. Then we donate them to the organization that is requesting them. While the intention is good and noble, there are unintended consequences.

This can cause supply disruptions in neighborhood stores.

When I go to my local neighborhood store to buy additional items to donate to an agency in need, I am taking those essential items off the shelf at a time when supply chains are stretched thin. Restocking those items may take days rather than hours depending on the item and location of the store.

There are those in our neighborhoods who depend on the availability of essential items in local stores. The elderly couple on fixed income may be able to go to the store once per week to purchase essential items. If I purchase items before they do with the intent of donating them to another area of need in my community, I’ve unintentionally created a problem – a disruption for that elderly couple. They must go without or ask for help.

Again, we’re all trying to help. But we need to be thoughtful of how we help and source supplies in this current COVID-19 crisis because supply chains are crucial on a micro-level.

How can we help the right way? I have a couple ideas.

1. If you want to donate essential items, give from your stockpile first instead of going to your local store. Even a few cans of food, a box of formula, etc can go a long way to helping a family in need.

2. If you do purchase from a local store, limit your purchase to a couple items to donate. Make sure to leave something on the shelves for others in your community.

3. Call your local store manager and ask them when they restock and time your visit. Again, limit your purchases.

4. Instead of donating essential items, ask the nonprofit or agency if you can donate money. Encourage them to source their needs at the distributor level instead of the neighborhood level. Big box stores and grocers will often help nonprofits source much needed items.

5. Help your community nonprofits connect with larger nonprofits and community resources that have access to distributors higher up the supply chain. Organizations like the United Way, Salvation Army and local food banks have greater supply chain access. Collaboration is everything.  Help organizations work together to solve problems and ensure supplies get to the front lines the right way while preserving supplies in neighborhoods.

I hope this is helpful in helping you think through how we can avoid causing disruptions in local supply chains. Your elderly and immune-compromised neighbors with benefit from thoughtful giving.


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