earnestly contending for the faith

COVID-19 and the First Amendment

First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

While I do not criticize churches from closing physical meetings because of concerns about COVID-19, I am deeply concerned about churches closing their meetings in response to a Government mandate. Some Believers are passionate about their faith and God’s ability to protect them. Other ones may be skittish about contracting COVID-19. The skittish one and everyone with symptoms can remain at home. But when it comes to faith, the Government does not have to right to determine what measure of faith we have or how we should demonstrate that faith by mandating we cannot assemble.

Some lawyers opine, such as Richard Hammer of the Assemblies of God, that the churches must ignore their trust in God’s protection and close or face litigation and possibly forced closings by law enforcement. Other ones declare that it is a violation of the First Amendment. I agree with the latter group.

To even mandate that business should close there must be a provable compelling reason. There is a compelling reason to believe that the COVID-19 crisis is media-hyped and fear-driven. On paper, the stats and other essential information concerning COVID-19, do not add up to a crisis. Compared to a normal flu season, COPID-19 is not likely to affect a large number of people as the flu virus. In the majority of affected individuals, it has not proven any more deadly than the flu. Continue reading

Yet Another COVID-19 Virus Article

Each time I open FB I find it chockfull of posts about the CoronaVirus, I initially decided not to join the hullabaloo. What more could I add that hasn’t already been said or written. But after going out grocery shopping, and listening to the many complaints about shortages, I feel compelled to make some points that other people may or may have not made.

First, the COVID-19 is a real danger. It is lethal for people whose immune systems are compromised by age or preexistent health issues. The great majority of people are not in great danger. It will appear more like a bad cold and go away in a few days. Many distinguished doctors and disease control experts have testified to that fact.

Second, we have had flu viruses in the recent past that were much more deadly and as contagious than COVID-19. Many more people died in our nation from the flu last year than will die from this current pandemic. MERS was fatal in 35.2% of the people that contracted it. COVID-19 is fatal in 2% of infected people.

Third, Federal and local governments are not paying attention to those facts because they are fearful. They are not fearful of COVID-19 or the damage it might cause, they are fearful of appearing unconcerned for the safety of the people during an election season. Some of them are in tight races and must preempt accusations of being unresponsive to the concerns and welfare of the people—a deadly charge if there is an appearance of being true.

That said, we should understand that the liberal news media and Democrats, that demonstrably hate Donald Trump, have weaponized this story with no concern for the massive economic damage their actions may cause. The two candidates they’ve managed to scrape up to run against Trump appear as a geriatric version of Mutt and Jeff, an old cartoon strip that ran in the 1930s. No doubt the handwriting is on the wall. It will take a miracle for either of them to win—or a manufactured crisis that considerably reduces the number of old people likely to vote for Trump. Continue reading

The 200 Percent

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15)

(Twofold- Greek; diploûs: meaning, two-fold, double.)

Christ said about the Pharisees that they went to great extremes to make people 200% “children of hell.” It is uncertain how committed as children of hell the Pharisees were. However, all lost souls are 100% aimed toward hell. Did the Pharisees make them twice as likely to arrive in hell? One wonders how 200% more destined for hell is even possible.

It is just my opinion, but I believe the Lord meant that after being influenced by the Pharisees, people would be twice as difficult to reach with the true Gospel. If that is the case, then we understand how great a mistake it was to allow the heretics and hirelings to slither into Christianity. I am old enough to have witnessed the tragedy. Not only was the leadership guilty of that invasion, but the rank and file professing Christians were hungry for such deception. How alluring it was to be informed that God wants them to be rich, comfortable, and disease-free! Why wait for heaven in a miserable, sin-plagued, environment? How much easier it is to “win” souls when you tell them that everything they are searching for in the World System can be had by coming to God in salivating expectation—even demanding and ordering Him to keep His promises? They eagerly invited the deceivers.

When the Word of Faith doctrine emerged, Pentecostals, and also Charismatics exiting the liturgical denominations, were the primary adherents. Unscrupulous pastors recognized the opportunity to build their churches numerically. They abandoned soul-winning to become proselyters. It was all downhill from that point. Once the gate was opened to Hagan, Copeland and their ilk, other ones with increasingly bizarre heresies came strolling in. Religious television became popular and heretics of all stripes rose to prominence. Religious networks such as PTL and TBN provided a steady stream of good and bad doctrine. Eventually, the programming was reduced to totally spiritual unclean programming.

However, apostasy already existed in the denominations that adhered to false soteriology. They had the nation saturated with apathy and complacency. When the millions of liturgical and other dead denominational escapees joined the Charismatic heresy, they did not leave their belief systems behind. They merely added the Charismatic heresies and became more the children of hell. In that period no one challenged the false soteriology of individuals exiting dead religions, i.e., the Methodist, Baptist or Roman Catholic churches. Pastors counted heads, rejoiced over the increase in attendance, and erecting massive, ornate, buildings to honor their accomplishments. Continue reading

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