Thursday, January 14, 2021

Pay Attention to Psalms 7 . . . and 9 and . . .

Well, my commendation of Psalm 37 in October sure proved timely, did it not?  I suspect it still is timely due to much righteous anger that could too easily morph into foolishness.  Anger is not always wrong, but it is almost always difficult to handle and direct aright.

Allow me also to direct you to Psalm 7, particularly verses 14-16:

Behold, the wicked man conceives evil

              and is pregnant with mischief

              and gives birth to lies.

He makes a pit, digging it out,

              and falls into the hole that he has made.

His mischief returns upon his own head,

              and on his own skull his violence descends.

Note two traits of the wicked we need to be aware of especially now.  First, he creates traps, often described as pits or nets in Scripture, in order to trap good people.  We need to be aware of them and watch out.  

One such trap the Left and allies like to pull is to exaggerate, distort, and often outright invent violence from political opponents.  I’ve seen this time and again.  Mark Levin and I think the likelihood of such traps around those who may protest the Inauguration of Biden is so high, that we advise staying away from it and from state capitols next week.

Second, the wicked have a propensity to fall into the traps that they themselves have made.  I think we may be seeing that before our eyes.  I have hope that Democrat attacks on free speech and their second sham impeachment will backfire greatly on them politically.

So let them fall into their traps.  You be alert and wise and avoid them.

I think the Lord really wants us to get this.  For the theme of the wicked setting traps and falling into them occurs often in Scripture.  The whole book of Esther is one example.  And we see this repeatedly in the Psalms: 7, 9, 35, 57, 141, and I may have missed one or two.  It’s important to get this, now and always.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

I will not pray for a “President” Biden.

After two months of prayer and deliberation, I have decided I will not pray for a “President” Biden, especially in the context of public worship.  Yes, I can pray for those in authority.  I can pray for enemies as in the Litany.  But I will not be praying for “the President of the United States” as such after January 20th for four years.

Among the consequences of stealing an election through fraud and other illegality should be that the thief should be regarded as illegitimate by significant numbers and in significant contexts.  That goes double if the thief was aware of the election fraud.  And what appears to be the biggest Freudian Slip in history indicates that Biden knew.  Biden knew, in his own words, about "most extensive & inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics."

So I cannot conscientiously in private or public worship lend legitimacy to a “President” Biden by praying for him as President.  I can certainly pray for those in authority, e. g. for “all Christian Rulers and Magistrates.”  I, of course, can pray for our country.  But I will not join the pretence that Biden will be a legitimate President of the United States by praying for him as such.

Yes, a case can be made for praying for him as POTUS anyway, and I have no problem with those who do (although I will not join them).  An obvious argument is that St. Paul urged praying for the Emperor even when he was a rather nasty man.  The difference here is that the highest secular authority in the United States is not a man, as in the Roman Empire of Paul’s time, but the Constitution.   And the Constitution was run over roughshod to steal the election.  Bypassing state legislatures to tear up election laws to steal the election is a prominent example of that.

The Founding Fathers wisely set up this country to be under the Rule of Law, not the rule of emperors or kings or tyrants.  And as long as the Constitution remains, even if only theoretically, there is no obligation under God to treat an illegitimate President as legitimate.  (Whether it is wise to do as a practical matter is another question.)

So although I respect those who respectfully disagree, I have made my decision.  

Now for those wondering about the rubrics, if I read them accurately, there is no requirement in my jurisdiction to use any prayer that specifically mentions the President of the United States.  There is one exception that I am aware of: the Litany includes a prayer for God “so to rule the heart of thy servant, the President of the United States, that he may above all things seek thine honour and glory.”

So if I make a “mistake” while praying the Litany, let the reader understand.

And after the events of yesterday, I will add that refusing to recognize the legitimacy of a “President” Biden should be non-violent.  The violence perpetrated by some of the protesters yesterday was not only wrong, it was stupid.  With Trump’s speech and with numerous objectors to the Electoral College in Congress, yesterday was well on the way to spotlighting the election fraudsters as the bad guys.  But because of the violent foolishness, the day ended up making Trump and his supporters look like the bad guys and completely distracted from the villainy of the stolen election.  Thus it was not only wrong and harmful, it was stupid and self-defeating as political violence generally is.

And numerous and manifold non-violent ways to oppose the coming fraudulent Biden regime remain.  My refusal to recognize him as President in public and private worship is only one modest example.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2020, 2021, and This Blog

As a new year is upon us, it is a time to look back and forward.

Looking back, it seems every year I make a remarkably prescient prediction if I may say so myself.  This year’s came back in September when I wrote, “I think it likely we will have a contested election fueled by massive fraud.”  And I went on to warn of the problem of mail-in ballots.

I did get something slightly wrong when I noted one “scenario is that [Trump] loses his lead in a crucial state due to questionable mail-in ballots, and you get President Harris, er, Biden.”  In hindsight, I should have written “states.”  And I confess the fraud was more massive and widespread than even I anticipated.

You may have noticed something more mundane about this blog – I have been posting less frequently in recent months.  There may have been some lack of energy and creativity involved, but I have a good reason as well.  And that gets me into looking forward.

The publication of my writing increased notably in 2020, and I expect the new venues for my writing will continue in 2021.  Also, I finally decided on my next book.  Yes, good progress for which I am thankful.

The problem is, to do these justice, really to get these done, I have to change my time management, and that will likely include posting less often here.  Already, I have caught myself procrastinating on my book, and this blog has been one of the excuses for that.  In fact, I put off working on my book to write this post!

So do know that if post less frequently, it will probably be for good reason.  But I will continue to opine on twitter and Parler, which can be more fun anyway.

For now, may you have a more tolerable 2021 and a happy remainder of the Christmas season.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Two Timely Christmas Sermons from Pusey House

I noted on a past Feast of Holy Innocents that Christmas has its dark side.  We often try to push that aside in strenuous efforts to be merry, but on this Holy Innocents Day of 2020, one would have to engage in significant denial to ignore it.

So I am glad to have come across Christmas sermons this year that tackle the current difficulties and the present darkness head on.  Two of those come from the Principal of Pusey House, George Westhaver during their Christmas Eve Midnight Mass.

Although I could only watch the opening of his sermon live due to my preparations for a Christmas Eve service, I was able to watch it the remainder of the evening and was edified.  I hoped it would be posted for all to see and read and have not been disappointed.  The transcript is here.

Dr. Westhaver expounded on John 1:5 – “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

I said two sermons from Pusey House because Westhaver refers to a sermon from Dr. Pusey.  That sermon, too, well addresses the relevance of Christmas to great difficulties and may be found here.

Although I hope the difficulties of my readers have not been too great, I also hope these sermons encourage you in the midst of a trying time as they have me.

Do have a blessed Holy Innocents Day and a happy Christmas season. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

King’s Nine Lesson and Carols Will Be Pre-recorded.

2020 continues to take its toll.  Now that toll includes the Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, at least a live version.  From King’s:

…For safety reasons it had previously been decided that no congregation could be present this year. In the face of Covid-19, King’s also decided to make a recording of the service a few weeks before Christmas as an additional precaution. In the light of current conditions, it is this recording of 2020’s A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols that will be broadcast at the usual time on 24 December.

Given all the lockdowns now around London, the decision is understandable, perhaps inevitable.  And King’s College is to be praised for their foresight in pre-recording a service just in case.

Still Christmas Eve this year will not quite be the same.

For those wondering, the broadcast schedule should remain the same:

The scheduling information for A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will remain the same, with the service broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service on 24 December at 3pm (10:00 EST or 07:00 PST). The service is also broadcast at 1pm on Radio 3 on Christmas Day, and at various times on the BBC World Service. In the United States the service is distributed by American Public Media and is broadcast by around 450 radio stations, including Minnesota Public Radio and WQXR in New York.

Additional information, including the Order of Service may be found here.

One has to have sympathy for Director of Music Daniel Hyde.  Now into his second year, he has yet to have a live Nine Lessons and Carols without difficulty.  Last year was at the end of his first Michaelmas Term and in the shadow of Stephen Cleobury.  It takes time for a new director and choir to work seamlessly together.  Last year’s service seemed to show that at times although it was excellent overall.  Then in a dark Lent Term came the COVID.  And now the live service is cancelled.  Like much of the UK, the man cannot seem to get a break.

Friday, December 18, 2020

About That Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction

The last two nights have provided a spectacular sight.  Jupiter and Saturn were close in the clear western sky near a bright crescent moon.  Yet, as most of you know, weather permitting, it is going to get even better.  On this coming Monday evening December 21st, Jupiter and Saturn will be so close together in our line of sight, they may appear to be one very bright star.  You have to go back to 1226 and 1623 for a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction this close.

It so happens that December 21st is St. Thomas Day.  I was thinking of calling the conjunction after him.  But he would defer to Christ.  So the Christmas Star of 2020 may be more appropriate.

Imagine if we were in medieval times.  A remarkable conjunction on St. Thomas Day, right before Christmas.  And December 21st is also the Winter Solstice this year.  People would consider this a portent of something, maybe something wonderful . . . or awful.  If it were near the year 1000 or 1215 or 1349 (at the height of the Black Death), people might think it would mean the End.

But such medieval thinking was superstitious, of course.  Surely, God is not using the skies to get our attention at the end of this awful 2020, right?

Right?

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

ACNA Receives a Godly Example from … Baptists!?

Yes, I am having a bit of fun with the headline.  But in all seriousness, as the Anglican Church in North America and its Working Group on Race, Racism, and Racial Reconciliation struggles with Critical Race Theory and its cousins and progeny, we have just been given good guidance from the seminary presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention, another denomination wrestling with CRT.

The six SBC seminary presidents have issued a statement that concludes as follows:

In light of current conversations in the Southern Baptist Convention, we stand together on historic Southern Baptist condemnations of racism in any form and we also declare that affirmation of Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and any version of Critical Theory is incompatible with the Baptist Faith & Message.

Now I could quibble with this.  At least two of the presidents have enabled CRT at their seminaries.  The cynical could think that this is a ploy to deflect rising opposition to CRT while continuing business as usual.  Also, it is important to oppose not only the affirmation of Critical Theory and related ideologies but also to oppose their toxic influence.  Few in relatively orthodox churches say, “I affirm Critical Theory.”  Many in relatively orthodox churches are influenced by Critical Theory and spread the influence.

But, having quibbled, this statement is a pleasant surprise.  It calls out Critical Theory by name and “any version” of CT and declares that affirming these is out.

That is important because, as we already see, when a Leftist ideology gets too much opposition, its proponents play dumb and then change the labeling and declare concern about it to be witch hunting or something.  In other words, they in effect say, “CRT?  What’s CRT?  There’s no CRT to see here!”  Then they push the same ideology under different wrapping.  Pro-abortion becomes “pro-choice”; global warming becomes “climate change”, etc.  Already we see Critical Theory in many guises.  Attacking just one arm of this slithery octopus will not do.  Whenever we oppose Critical Theory, we must oppose related and derivative ideologies as well.  The seminary presidents’ statement does just that.

ACNA’s Working Group on Race, Racism, and Racial Reconciliation as well as the College of Bishops would do well to issue a statement this clear and strong.  Further, it is necessary that the Working Group and College of Bishops issue a statement at least this clear and strong.