San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced on Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is forbidden to receive Holy Communion because of her increasingly “extreme” pro-abortion views.
After numerous attempts to speak with her to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion “rights” and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance. I have accordingly sent her a Notification to this effect, which I have now made public.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly bans both obtaining an abortion and assisting with one, saying “since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion….”
In his letter, Cordileone said he wrote to Pelosi on April 7, telling her that she must publicly disavow her pro-abortion stance “or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Cordileone said since sending that letter that Pelosi has not abided by his request. He wrote:
Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be ‘concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care” (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.
He also said a Catholic legislator who supports abortion after knowing the teaching of the Church, “commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly bans both obtaining an abortion and assisting with one, saying “since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion….”
“This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law,” the catechism says.
Cordileone wrote in his announcement that he has received many letters over the years “expressing distress over the scandal” of Catholics in public life — like Pelosi and President Joe Biden — promoting “such grievously evil practices as abortion.” He said in part:
I have responded that conversion is always better than exclusion, and before any such action can be taken it must be preceded by sincere and diligent efforts at dialogue and persuasion. With regard to Speaker Pelosi, I have striven to follow this wise route, as delineated by then-Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) in a letter to U.S. bishops regarding Holy Communion and Catholic politicians who cooperate in the grave evils of abortion and euthanasia.
The announcement continues:
Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion has become only more extreme over the years, especially in the last few months. Just earlier this month she once again, as she has many times before, explicitly cited her Catholic faith while justifying abortion as a “choice,” this time setting herself in direct opposition to Pope Francis: “The very idea that they would be telling women the size, timing or whatever of their family, the personal nature of this is so appalling, and I say that as a devout Catholic”; “They say to me, ‘Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the Pope.’ Yes I do. Are you stupid?
Cordileone said he took “no pleasure whatsoever” in fulfilling his pastoral duty and said his action is “not political.”
The Spirit of Resentment, Arrogance and Deceit forms the basis of post modernism. This spirit seeks to destroy individuality and logic. By doing so, individual arguments are unimportant compared to group identity politics. This spirit seeks to dismantle society and religious belief to foster a new tyranny.
After much reflection and philosophical thought, self-directed dialectical discussion and associated analytical research, the following conclusion has been attained, and is self-evident in what has taken place.
First, that the Left (as the evidence continues to inform) gives the appearance of being selfless, equanimous and good while simultaneously sacrificing individual self-respect and responsibility.
As the evidence of behaviours informs the Left is a broad church (pun intended) that festers corruption and a multitude of evils. The most recent being the investigated and discovered sixty plus million dollar corruption of the BLM. And the presented evidence of Hillarygate, and the ongoing investigation and what is being found pertaining to Hunter Biden.
The Left continually proclaims a form of individualism whilst using violent and government based authoritarian methods to silence opposing views and cultures.
The Left demands, yes it demands, to be respected whilst refusing to give respect.
The Left both overtly and covertly lies and deceives without any thought of integrity or the truth.
The Left is responsible for over a hundred million deaths in over 100 years. It was the birthplace of communism and the national socialist party (Nazism). In comparison, the Spanish Inquisition resulted in 32 thousand deaths over two hundred years.
The results of Leftist ideology speak for itself – constant revolution and destruction.
Second, the Right, though not perfect, tolerates open discussion (there is no cancel culture within the Right).
The Right encourages traditional values and enforces a justice system that holds individuals as accountable.
Morality, respect for previous generations and history is encouraged, instead of constant revisionism and protestation and outright deceit.
The fact is that in terms of respect and integrity; respect and integrity is earned through merit, not because of an intersectional identity badge, which has now become one of the major badges the Left now wears on its bloated chest ine[titudes.
The Left continually now espouses and shouts out the words of white privilege. The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing. However, to discuss that point of view with a Marxist is totally and absolutely a waste of time. There would be more value in talking to a Scientologist.
Then there is history, which has been recorded by all cultures, both orally and in written form. However, the Left ignores history and is trying to rewrite history in its own deluded, dystopian and evil image.
To ignore history and the judgements of humanity over the past two, five, ten and even one hundred thousand years is to drown in a dark abyss of constant revolution. The fact of the matter as recent history informs the Left is far from the light and the truth that it tries to present. It is nothing but a vile and nihilistic evil the likes of which surpasses the evils of the past, because it is being done with the knowledge of what has taken place in the past. And the greatest evil the humanity has ever seen is where children are now being systematically abused in every vile manner conceivable with the worst being that Leftist are now targeting children, from the day they are born and the Left is telling the parents of the children, and the children themselves, as soon as they can talk that they are not the sex with which they were born. This vile, evil pursuit of children by the Left is sick beyond compression.
My hope in all of the evil that is taking place by and through the actions of the Left that society evolves from the blood-soaked, primordial depths of the Leftist ideology and enter into the light of western, Christian civilization, justice and cultural advancement; which was the society that I once knew.
Romans 1:18-21 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
This is a repost of a dream from 2017. It also features the visions of Romanian preacher, Dumitru Duduman, who envisioned a successful, pre- emeptive strike on the USA. We are now at the beginning of this reality.
Covert intelligence and other sources indicate that the current Russian and Ukraine war will escalate. Diplomacy has failed because NATO and the US did not listen to the nationalistic concerns of Russia; instead they pushed their own radical brand of humanistic globalism. The mainstream media has also failed to report all aspects of the issue and the result is a war between the evil power brokers on both sides.
Compare these brief analyses regarding this war (unfortunately, the first video has some poor language and the second shows the lack of detail being given to the mainstream):
Further information regarding escalation is as follows:
Soldiers stationed in Eastern Russia have recently been issued with the directive “to start training to enforce order on civilians, establish medical tents, supply rations and iodine to the local population, in the event that the Russian Federation engages in a nuclear conflict with NATO and the United States.” Iodine potassium is used to reduce the potential of radiation sickness as the body will absorb radioactive iodine if there is an iodine deficiency after a nuclear explosion.
On the fifth of March, Israeli Prime Minister Neftali Bennet traveled secretly to Moscow for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting lasted for three hours and Bennet issued a notice for all Israelis to leave Russia immediately. An hour later, the US State department reissued a notice for all US citizens to also leave Russia.
In the prepping community within the US and Canada, the Red Cross, FEMA and the military have been sourcing long life food, medical supplies and shelters. One supplier had an order for ten thousand hazard protection clothing and gas masks with filters.
Another source was informed by a globalist elitist that on the 16th or 17th March there would be a catastrophe that would climax in April. A further disaster would occur in August or September, 2022.
Unfortunately, this too is now being confirmed in the occult world. Vedic astrology confirms that March and April, 2022, will be a time of massive destruction. Spirits (demons?) have communicated prior to Covid-19 that World War Three will soon start. More recently they have said that a purge of the population will soon commence. As Christians, heed the warnings of the Bible and do not seek these messages as they may be lies or half-truths.
Deuteronomy 18:10–12 (NKJV): 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.
1 Timothy 4:1 (NKJV): Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…
China, emboldened by the weakness and conflict in the west, may use this as an opportunity to invade Taiwan. See below a recent video from a spokesman that directly threatens the US and Taiwan:
MODERN Christian prophets from different denominations have indicated that they have had visions regarding:
a) A Russian invasion that sweeps across European nations;
b) China and Russia employing nuclear weapons from submarines to cripple the USA;
c) Another battle front will open up in the Middle East whereby Israel will be attacked by Iran and its allies;
d) Earth has nine years before the end times – that is in 2030.
e) The possibility of major earthquakes and tsunamis during these times.
I have attached resources to help you prepare for the emerging war. Take heed and make the necessary physical and spiritual preparations. May God bless you and keep you and your family safe from the physical and spiritual evils of this world.
John 3:16 (NKJV): For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
As noted by Fyodor Dostoevsky, author of The Brothers Karamazov, MSNBC needs to take note of the following: “Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” And then there are the words and insights of Christian existential philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard: “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”
MSNBC, CNN and their ilk are worse than that Pravda, that is because Pravda was being written under the regime of Stalin. MSNBC and CNN are doing so under the mantle of a democracy, and they know that what they are doing is nothing less than the presentation of the evilest of propaganda.
The fact is, as noted by their words and actions the extremists, which is the leftist, are locked in mental paradigm that is and has been forged through the abuse of contradiction, which is known as the Leibnizian reduction.
Leibnizian reduction, in their mind, allows and give the evilests conscious permission to ignore and totally avoid the links between their delusional ideological statements that would be universally proven as false; as objective truth is always true, because objective facts, such as the laws of physics and biology is what it is and a behaviour can be seen for all to determine what is taking place. For example, the evilests of the left, as determined by their actions live and present the following and refuse to accept the contradictions that actually exist in what they are saying and doing:
a) Everyone is equal but some must be given more privileges while others need to pay reparations based on the colour of their skin.
b) We will hire the best person for the job without using a merit-based selection process.
c) We are democratic and free, yet you cannot have the freedom of speech to say what you think.
d) People need to feel safe as feelings are more important than protection from physical harm.
e) Personal truth does not need to be based on facts or reality.
f) All religions are free to practise in our society unless it is based on Judeo-Christian traditions.
g) The borders of Ukraine need to be protected at all costs, yet illegal immigrants must be assisted and encouraged to cross over the porous Mexican border.
h) We live in a democratic country yet only one party has the right to rule since any other party is considered to be a threat to democracy.
i) The current president is cognisant and alert, and medical examinations are futile.
h) Treason is not treason when actions that are taking place are being acted in the name of democracy.
The use of counterfactuals in these statements are impossible and absurd, yet it withstands the scrutiny of the evil leftists because they choose to accept them as they would a catechism of faith. By trusting in the absurd they deny that which is, in all actuality, the truth and discard the hard, precious lessons of the past 10,000 years.
The leftists are authoritarian fascists and simpletons who care only to deny facts, regulate thoughts, control words and restrict actions that do not meet with their dystopian cultist thinking.
There is no dialogue or empathy in the left; they only wish to impose a brand of socialism or communism that will never work, as can be seen by the over 100 million deaths through socialism in the 20th century. However, the actions of these leftists clearly and unequivocally demonstrate that the cultist leftist have no idea about history, they do not care about history, in fact they are blind to what even history means.
The facts of history speak for themselves. The socialist/communists, or communist/socialists (it makes no difference), have killed more than anyone else: The crusades killed 1 to 3 million people and the inquisition is believed to have killed between 30 000 to 300 000 people – 96 million people short of the communist death count.
The cultist socialists never mention the fact that currently 340 million Christians are being persecuted by other nations and ethnicities.
Clearly, and unambiguously the writer of this article is ignorant. Is the writer so blind that he/she/they/them (or whatever other nonsense they/he/she/them want to be known by now) is actually so stupid that the writer actually wants to have his/her/him/they (or whatever) rights removed, or does he/she/they/them want to join ethnic minorities in looting, taking and murdering people on the street?
Just like Biden, the writer of this simplistic article will be one of the useful idiots cancelled once the US embraces fully rigged elections by allowing anyone to vote, regardless of nationality or the number times they voted – either living or dead.
And speaking about voting, it has now been discovered that the oh so self-righteous Hillary Clinton has been found to have actually interfered in the previous elections, by engaging in what can only be referred to as treason in collusion with the tech giants. And guess what? Not one word from any of the leftist media.
This writer and the left are not only hypocrites, they are liars, and that word liar does not in any way describe how devious these leftists actually are. They are a disgrace to the entire human race.
Changing words from the article actually evokes a clearer truth:
Biden’s USA has been embraced globally by woke and radical figureheads (anyone perverted enough to work at CNN) because it’s a contemporary model for how that might work), and Democrats in the U.S. can use Biden’s denials — that his purges of white conservatives aren’t racist, that his victories in rigged elections are actually authentic and democratic and that his mode of hypocrisy is about freedom of the elite, even as he persecutes anyone who doesn’t practice a narrow reactionary and woke version of it.
No other nation in the world is destroying election integrity and endorsing systematic racism against whites like the US. The utter hypocrisy and blindness to the truth is astounding. The woke leftists have called evil good and traditional good evil. Astonishing national disaster and fatal collapse is bound to occur if they continue down this racist, narcissistic, truth hating path. There is no utopia for the left, just degradation, corruption and hopelessness.
This article also reminds me of a piece written by USSR Journalist Yuri Bezmeno. In my lead in to this insightful article by Bezmeno, I will note and begin with the following:
The mainstream media of the West, but especially in the US, has become a relativist censoring media, it now presents self-righteous censorship of objective news, and its reporting presents what can now be described as sycophantic silences to actual objective events that need objective reporting. Or it presents, like this article by Elizabeth Spiers, an orchestration of words that can only be described as having less substance than dried vomit.
The fact of the matter, as I have already noted, history has informed us for many millennia, civilisations have died as a result of their own self-deluded self-righteousness, superior minded hypocrisy and self-inflicted lies.
History also points out that when a civilisation is succumbing to its own death throes (which in this case self-evidently is America); what we see now is that the external enemies (and supporting internal enemies) of America have already planned and are gleefully anticipating, with much elated enthusiasm, as they secretly sneer, snigger, chuckle, chortle and laugh, as they excitedly wait for the order, from their leader, to march in and crush this now deluded woke cult called America.
As such, to understand the fate of the former United States of America, which is now also being referred to as the Dis-United Appalling-States of America, the writer of this article should take note – which of course the writer self-evidently won’t – of the profound sociopolitical insights of a former USSR Journalist Yuri Bezmenov, who presents what will happen to the writer and what was once the united states (note the use of lowercase letters) of america?
What will happen (and to some significant degree it is already happening with all of the lawlessness that is taking place) is that and writer of this absurd little self-righteous article, and all of the other mainstream delusional leftists will be the following, as noted by USSR Journalist Yuri Bezmenov:
[T]he useful idiots, the leftists who are idealistically believing in the beauty of the Soviet socialist or Communist or whatever system, when they get disillusioned, they become the worst enemies. That’s why my KGB instructors specifically made the point: never bother with leftists. Forget about these political prostitutes. Aim higher. They serve a purpose only at the stage of destabilization of a nation. For example, your leftists in the United States: all these professors and all these beautiful civil rights defenders. They are instrumental in the process of the subversion only to destabilize a nation. When their job is completed, they are not needed any more. They know too much. Some of them, when they get disillusioned, when they see that Marxist-Leninists come to power – obviously they get offended – they think that they will come to power. That will never happen, of course. They will be lined up against the wall and shot.
The Lord forbid that this should ever happen. And yet the radical left cannot see the consequences of their choices, and our choices shape our destiny.
By the end of January 2022, the Navy had received 3,740 religious exemption requests — none of which had been granted,” reports the Daily Mail. Not even military chaplains can get exemptions. “It’s a kick in the gut for sure,” a long-serving anonymous chaplain told Fox News. “If I lose retirement benefits that way, that would be a pretty significant burden to me and my family. At the same time, this is a fight worth fighting. I do not think this is a lawful order.”
The Biden administration claims that this violation of religious freedom is essential to “military readiness.” That takes some gall, given the myriad threats to military readiness Biden has already countenanced. He can accommodate transgendered troops but not unvaccinated ones. For the sake of advancing woke social policy, his politicized generals normally treat miliary readiness as a secondary concern. It is a little late for them to pretend that readiness exclusively determines military standards.
Their mission is to make the acceptance of secularism a condition for employment in the federal government and military.
Far from caring about America’s ability to fight and win wars, Biden is perfectly willing to drive good soldiers out of the military in his pursuit of wokeness and mandates. The Navy SEALs who sued his administration say that the military has sidelined and punished them in response to the suit. “The Navy continues to deny our clients training and deployment opportunities and is assigning these soldiers menial tasks instead of allowing them to defend our country,” according to Mike Berry, general counsel for First Liberty Institute who represents them.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Army and other branches of the military have begun discharging soldiers who refuse the vaccine.
As if the Biden administration’s record on religious freedom isn’t dreadful enough, it is moving to create an Orwellian-sounding database that tracks federal employees who seek religious exemptions from the vaccine mandate, according to the Daily Signal. “A little digging at the Federal Register revealed that there are at least 19 total federal agencies — including five cabinet level agencies — that have created or proposed to create these tracking lists for religious-exemption requests from their employees,” it reports.
Republican lawmakers are demanding answers about this emerging database, but they won’t get any. Imagine the corrupt uses to which Biden’s secularists could put it. Their mission is to make the acceptance of secularism and all of its decrees a condition for employment in the federal government and military. They see devout Christians in particular as bad citizens, unworthy of participation in public life. It is hardly a stretch to think those whose names appear in the database could suffer long-term damage to their careers. (READ MORE: HHS, the Tip on Biden’s Spear Against Christians)
The media has, of course, yawned at this story. Threats to religious freedom don’t interest most reporters. Biden is even more brazen than Obama, but the media coverage never reflects that. In the midst of all of his assaults on religious freedom, Biden turned up at the National Prayer Breakfast last week and received fawning coverage. He concluded his speech by saying, “Every time I’d walk out of my Grandpa Finnegan’s house up in Scranton — some of you heard me say this before — he’d yell, ‘Joey, keep the faith.’ My grandmother would yell, ‘No, Joey, spread it.’ Let’s go spread the faith.”
Never mind that he is crushing the faith. His Department of Health and Human Services continues to push a proposed mandate that would force religious health insurers to cover transgender surgeries. Mutilation, according to the Biden administration, is “essential” health care, which speaks to the utterly corrupt philosophy of medicine that underpins all of its mandates. It sees vast “risks” in the unvaccinated while seeing no risks in destroying bodies or aborting children. It is bad enough that the Biden administration expects non-religious insurers to cover these violations of the Hippocratic Oath, but now it can’t even resist imposing these affronts to God on religious insurers.
It can’t even resist imposing these affronts to God on religious insurers.
Biden’s secularists, wanting to monopolize all of public life, have a fundamental antipathy to “exemptions.” On their animal farm, no one is free to leave. Their progressive schemes hinge on universal participation, which in the end means universal coercion. To the extent that they will even consider exemptions, they do so only for those who promise to avoid or leave public life. Only the most narrowly sectarian groups received an exemption from Obama’s infamous contraceptive mandate. But the Little Sisters of the Poor, because they show charity to non-Catholics, got hit with it.
But even the exceedingly narrow exemptions of the Obama years won’t last given the totalitarian bent of modern secularism. Its architects can’t rest until everything is secularized. If somebody, somewhere is foiling their vision, they move into action, faking up some “public health” or “nondiscrimination” rationale for their intolerance and intrusiveness. If anything, the smallness of the threat — a handful of unvaccinated soldiers, a lone holdout chaplain, some religious hospitals, and so forth — seems to inflame the secularists. Like Soviet commissars obsessing over the rare dissident, the secularists must punish in particular the few exceptions to their rule.
Social media often provides an opportunity for Christians of different denominations to share their views and describe their own walk with Christ. This discussion was originally written in response to a YouTube video, “Musical Aramaic rendition of the Our Father that moved the pope in Georgia” https://youtu.be/locW-9S00VU . It starts with BM (Reformed) showing gratitude for being part of the Christian tradition. EP, of the Orthodox faith, questions BM over this participation.
BM (Reformed): I am a Presbyterian and am blessed to listen to and participate in the living, ancient faith of Christianity. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Through your precious blood I plead to you. Amen.
EP (Orthodox) Not as a presbyterian you aren’t. There is but one Body and although it is greviously wounded in schism, you are not part of that Body. I’m Orthodox, you worship a different god from us.
BM: The reformation only sought to make believers live faithfully like the first Christians, without unsubstantiated traditions. We believe in the triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We worship the same God, albeit in different ways. Let Jesus decide at the end of days whether you are correct.
EP: Since you accept and know the consequence of your choice, I leave you to it. I would implore you to reconsider your position in love, but it may do no good. I would encourage you to look into your understanding of the Trinity to find it in the early church. Particularly the idea of the Father punishing the Son at the cross.
BM: Thank you for your sentiments – I hold the orthodox faith in high regard. My neighbour is Greek orthodox and he bemoans that where we live the nearest orthodox church is more than 100 miles away. I would be more concerned with the direction of the Roman Catholic Church. Traditional Catholics I know comment that the smoke of Satan is now in the Roman church and that an anti-pope is on the seat of Peter. Not to be a hypocrite, Protestantism, in general, is plunging into an abyss with liberal theology and woke ideology. Your thoughts?
EP: All the church is mired in corruption. The Orthodox Church too. The church is a living organism, the body of Christ made up of men. Both God and man at the same time. It is therefore incorruptible and [undefeatable]. I’m not an Orthodox who has a problem with the Latins as they hold to a basic teaching that I can still say is sound. In that schism I am humble that we sin against the Body of Christ by remaining in schism. Although I may see error, I understand that I have a beam in my eye.
Do you believe the Father punished the Son at the cross for our transgressions?
Happy New Year!
BM: The Lamb of God was indeed sacrificed as an atonement for the sins of the faithful. Like an innocent man who asks the judge to take on the punishment of a convicted criminal in a court of law, Jesus paid the wages of sin on our behalf. As sinners we are unworthy and unable to save ourselves, but only through the redemption of Christ are we forgiven.
EP: That’s interesting, if different. Why do you think the Church which is the body of Christ can be corrupted by corrupt men?
BM: The church is not a building or a list of decrees. It is the community of believers. The corruption within the church demonstrates that the corrupt are not really within the church because if they truly believed they would not be corrupt. Though we are all sinners, the faithful believe and trust in the Lord for their salvation. The corrupt are nominal and neither believe nor trust in the Lord. Some say that they serve another master…. I suspect that the atheists and Luciferians have done much to ruin Christianity in general, yet the faithful will never turn from the Lord. The church will never fall in spite of the machinations of the evil and the corrupt.
EP: Matthew 13. The church is where the true doctrines are taught. There are good and bad men there in. The keys are given to apostles there is no gospel or doctrine other than the one they preached which is handed down in the Church. Romans 16:17-18
BM: Matthew 12:50 (LEB): For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Reformed churches have continued to use apostolic confessions for teaching and doctrine. Confessions are not intended to be innovations but faithful expositions of biblical and apostolic faith, consequently most Reformed churches are also creedal, subscribing to the Apostles creed and the Nicene Creed and, less commonly, the Athanasian. Apostolicity in the Reformed tradition is not invested in the office of bishop but in the confessions of the church.
EP: Yes indeed, but I’ve often heard people argue that one cannot do the will of the Father. Don’t you say you are saved by faith alone?
I don’t dispute you have good intentions. But ask your self this. Do you think that any apostles taught faith alone?
And that too is secondary to your perception of God who is a judge who demands justice punishing the innocent.
This is not our faith, certainly not doctrines of the apostles.
BM: Faith alone: Justified Solely by Faith in Christ. Basil of Caesarea: Let one who boasts boast in the Lord, that Christ has been made by God for us righteousness, wisdom, justification, redemption. This is perfect and pure boasting in God, when one is not proud on account of his own righteousness but knows that he is indeed unworthy of the true righteousness and is justified solely by faith in Christ. And Paul boasts that he despises his own righteousness, seeking that righteousness that is on account of Christ, which is the righteousness of God by faith. Sermon on Humility 22.
However, I also agree that you do not have faith if your works do not show your faith. Faith without works is dead. Even Luther, in his later years, acknowledged that he did not treat the epistles of James with the respect that they deserved.
James 2:18–20 (NKJV): 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
The case for original sin is apostolic, note the words of St Paul: Romans 5:12–15 (NKJV): 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
BM: *My thoughts – Though the idea that newly born and infants are without sin and innocent is disputed by the doctrine of original sin – it is a certainty that they are born into a fallen, sinful world and suffer the effects of sin. Is this just? Our knowledge concerning the will of God is incomplete and His ways are hidden to our understanding. What do the Church Fathers say to this?
EP: Honestly I’m not sure I’d understand Basil as affirming faith alone. What he’s saying is that his justification is in Christ alone as opposed to his own righteousness, when he says “when one is not proud on account of his own righteousness”.
But that justification is like the justification of the unforgiving servant. You are justified by Christ only when the justifying grace transforms you into Christ and you do the Father’s will.
So in a sense justification is a free gift but it must be treasured and maintained or it is lost to us.
If it is by faith alone, we can never lose that justification because it remains Christ’s righteousness, but the gift once given is credited to us truly and we can and do squander it, until it is renewed in the sacrament of the confession.
In short we obviously accept justification by faith working through love, but never faith alone.
BM: Agreed, if we are justified in Christ, any works will be an expression of our redemption and lead to further sanctification. To say that we have salvation, yet live like a demon, is to deny both the truth and the Holy Spirit. We cannot perform any works of grace without faith – faith and works complement each other. Thanks for a decent, clarifying conversation.
EP: Well the way we see it is like this and I suppose the Catholics understand it the same way.
Justification and sanctification are both works of God our response to God’s justifying and sanctifying work is faith and works. So we would say that without that response Gods work is not applied to us.
BM: The reformed tradition agrees with this [following] account of justification through the doctrine of irresistible grace:
Since grace is by definition undeserved by any person, Irresistible Grace teaches that when the Spirit of God is sent to change a person’s heart (John 3:3ff), that person cannot resist the change. This is when the Spirit of God applies the work of Christ to the soul. This does not mean that the person is unwilling to be changed because the Spirit of God is “fighting against them”, rather the Spirit changes the heart of stone to beat as a heart of flesh. The change opens the eyes of the spiritually blind to the work of Christ. It is that which the Spirit of God does on his own, previous to any act of man. The Spirit of God will accomplish what He is sent out to do and will not be frustrated in His work of changing the sinner’s heart.
Justification, through the works of Christ, lead and attest to the fruits of sanctification. However, I think Roman Catholics may tend to subordinate justification to sanctification. They may believe that we are justified to the degree that we are sanctified. This justifying grace enables us to cooperate with the Spirit in living a sanctified life—a process often called deification or divinization. The reformed church, however, believes that justification and sanctification are complementary, the work of the Holy Spirit and not subordinate to another.. . .
EP: There isn’t in this a difference between the Catholic and the Orthodox position.
There are a couple of differences of understanding that need clarification, you see justification in merely an instant as a judge declaring a criminal just.
We see justification as a parent declaring an orphan to be a child and then justifying or making righteous the child by turning him truly from child of man to child of God. We see no difference between justification and sanctification since those who are justified are sanctified.
Think of God as the sun, His light and gravity draws us the planets close to Him. As we draw nearer we are more sanctified (receive light) and feel gravity (become justified) and are drawn ever closer. Elect are those who will eventually become one with the light.
In the same way as we respond in faith and works to Gods justifying energy we receive ever more justification and sanctification. The light of the Sun never changes but our hearts change as the old man of flesh is burnt away in the light and the new man lives gloriously.
See your view ultimately of John 3:3 seems to deny the role of the theandric [of or relating to the divine and human or their union or joint operation one and the same Christ, working both the divine and the human actions by one theandric operation] organism of the church as the body of Christ. You must be born again into the Body to receive TRUE doctrines that Paul left us in Romans 16:17-18.
In a sense when you affirm a monergistic Trinity [monergism is the view within Christian theology which holds that God works through the Holy Spirit to bring about the salvation of an individual through spiritual regeneration, regardless of the individual’s cooperation] it is not the Trinity revealed in the bible according to the doctrines given to us by the apostles that works together with men to save us. Indeed we all participate in the process of each other’s salvation united in Him.
For you the journey ends in a sense at your “born again moment” you had an epiphany like Peter has in Matthew 16. Sure that’s important it is a revelation. But it’s not the end of Peter’s journey, nor is it the start. The journey is in the body, the Church where these Truths are revealed. And the issue is, your “distinctives” from my perspective take you out of the body, a Body that is made up of fallen men, in schism, deeply wounded but where the simple truth of unity in Christ is upheld for all men who submit to being in the body. We may Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox yell heretic at each other, but all of us know, there is but one body and we must work ceaselessly to heal the grievous wounds endangering the lives of so many because of our stiff necks.
And why do I say that? Well I have much common ground with the latins and the orientals and we ourselves are far from perfect.
As for divinization lol, yes we believe theosis is the gospel. [Theosis, or deification, is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God.]
God is the creator, the source of life, to have “eternal life” we must be united to this source. When we are conformed to His image, we are united to the most Holy Trinity.
Our baptism unites us to Christ (Romans 6). The liturgy unites us to Christ (Passover and John 6) confession and repentance unite us to Christ (John 3) united in the theandric organism of the Church. Even the schismed Church retains these truths, but not outside it. [Editor’s note: In orthodox churches, salvation depends on the use of rites and works of the individual. To ignore such works is to deny salvation].
I will only ask you this, does your understanding of the church, agree with Christs description of the kingdom in Matthew 13.
BM: Your description of justification and sanctification is glorious and I do believe that sanctification of the believer occurs as they grow closer to the Lord. However, the reformed view of justification is not one of degrees of being saved – it is all or it is nothing. The Christian remains saved through the imputed righteousness and grace of God – which is perfectly given to the believer. Once justified, the Christian cannot fall. John 10:27–30 (NKJV): 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”
The image of adoption also rings true in the reformed church – we are initially separate from Christ and slaves to sin until we are justified and adopted into His family: Galatians 4:4–7 (NKJV): 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Now in regard to Matthew 13 and Romans 16:17-18: Romans 16:17–18 (NKJV): 17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
Truly, I do believe in the truth of the parables of Matthew 13, and historically, the Catholic church, not the orthodox, has been accused of distorting doctrine and introducing foreign practices to that of the early church. With the practice of selling indulgences to “buy” salvation, the Catholic church displayed genuine greed and sought to “serve their belly by using smooth words”. As far as the reformers were concerned, the Catholic church were the crows preying on the seeds (hearers) that were sown.
As far as the reformed church is today, I am disappointed by the mega churches, Olsteen’s, Kenneth Copeland’s and even the recent scandal surrounding Ravi Zacharias!!! And the fragmentation of some churches into cults like the Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses are very concerning. There seems to be a fair share of lust, greed and corruption within Protestantism that is sickening. Ideally, a reunification of the church would be great! However, I hold grave concerns for Catholics as they seem to be deceived by some parts of their church. How far does the corruption extend? Only the Lord knows. Some in the Roman and Protestant churches are like Simon Magus, selling their lies in a holy office to decieve the simple.
EP: That’s an interesting perspective to have.
I tend to not focus on the behaviour of individuals in a particular congregation. I have issues with the Latins, but the issues are of a theological nature, and focus mostly on the nature of God. I don’t believe their soteriology [doctrine of salvation] is different from mine. I also tend to be careful about being critical of them because they are our brethren and one day in God’s good time they will join us again.
Selling indulgences is an abomination. The practice of indulgences is not by itself problematic for me, selling them is. Our Theology whilst expressed differently isn’t so at odds with their theology as perhaps yours is. We affirm the real presence, we affirm a post mortem cleansing process, we pray to the saints and hold the Most Blessed Theotokos [the designation of the Virgin Mary as mother of God] in the highest esteem within the Kingdom, as is her right. We venerate icons, so many many things they do, we do too, just differently. Even indulgences are not a problem for us. But I understand that for you these may be totally unacceptable. The issue is on those markers, we are much closer to them, than either of us is to you.
I suppose you believe the sheep will never lose their justification because it’s a legal declaration.
Yes, we see justification as both a declaration in the sense that we are adopted or given a new legal status under Christ, but we also see justification as God’s plan for us, as individuals, in the works that he has prepared for us in our lives to bring us into unity with the most Holy Trinity.
Everything we do, as believers is around the Church which is really a totally different concept for us, because in the Church we are truly united to Christ.
What if a person perseveres sin, not putting aside their man of flesh?
I suppose then the legal declaration cannot be undone in your mind.
Is there any sin that can unbind the legal declaration of justification in your mind?
For us, a person can even if they are adopted into the family, they can walk away from God. That is not to say we do not have a concept of the elect. The elect however are people who are within the gravitational field of the Sun, who having lost the man of flesh to the righteous fire of God, will persevere to the end.
That’s why 2 Peter 1:10 says make certain your election and calling, we are asked to do those works, the works burn up the old man, they are the works prepared by God that bring us into unity with Him, His plan for each of our lives, the purpose of our existence, and the burning up of the old man, allows the new man to shine forth gloriously.
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 Through these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world on account of lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in knowledge, self-control, and in self-control, perseverance, and in perseverance, godliness, 7 and in godliness, brotherly kindness, and in brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these are yours and are increasing, they do not make you useless nor unproductive in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For the one who lacks these is blind short-sighted, having forgotten purification from his former sins.10 Therefore, brothers , be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choice of you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
When the old man is put aside completely by the Grace of God, the new man desires nothing but unity with the most Holy Trinity. We are not burning up the old man, God is doing the burning, we are just following the path God laid out, and He says just walk the path and I will destroy the old man of flesh, you will not even desire sin.
And of course to be united to the giver of life, is to have eternal life.
I guess my question is how do you see unity with the most holy Trinity if a person perseveres in sin? You believe they are declared righteous but truly are not, yet to my mind they cannot be united to the most Holy Trinity in that manner. Do you see why I am confused?
BM: I will need to unpack your questions in a few parts: Christians who are saved are always saved or persevere to the end in God’s grace.
John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
The nominal Christians who fail and leave the church were never part of the church and never saved. They paid lip service to the faith and never loved Christ or His works.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
Augustine declared that perseverance, like sovereign election and regeneration, is a gift of God given specifically to the elect. He says, “Who could be ordained to eternal life save by the gift of perseverance?” He also comments, “From Him, therefore, is given also perseverance in good even to the end.” And he says elsewhere, “These gifts, therefore, of God … are given to the elect who are called according to God’s purpose, among which gifts is both the beginning of belief and perseverance in the faith to the termination of this life.” Augustine saw that perseverance in the faith comes from God, a gift bestowed on the elect.
The sin that will not be forgiven is the unforgivable sin: Matthew 12:31–32 (NKJV): 31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
In the very strictest meaning of the term, it means “unable to be forgiven.” But, technically speaking, God has the ability to forgive any sin if He so desires. So, when we call it the “unforgivable sin,” we mean by that that it is a sin that will in fact not be forgiven by God, not because God can’t do it but God won’t do it. That’s the warning that Jesus makes to those who are charging Him with doing His miracles by the power of Satan. He warns them that there is a sin that God will not forgive either in this world or in the world to come.
Regarding sanctification, note that there are two types of sanctification: definitive and progressive.
Definitive Sanctification (1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11): In Romans 6 we see that we are (a) freed from the power of sin (Rom 6:2, 7); (b) enabled to live in newness of life under the reign of grace (Rom 6:4, 14); (c) unified with Christ in his resurrection (Rom 6:5); (d) made new creatures (Rom 6:6-8). While this sanctification coincides with our regeneration it does not leave us sinless in this world, as we are still being conformed to the image of God’s Son (Rom. 8:29 ). There is a struggle between the flesh and the Spirit that is the reality for the Christian (see Rom. 7).
Progressive Sanctification (Psa. 19:12 ; Jas. 3:2): According to Paul, sin is dealt with over time by putting to death the deeds of the flesh (Rom. 8:13 ). Progressive sanctification is also seen in Colossians 3:1, 3 where there is affirmation that definitive sanctification has occurred (“you have been raised with Christ” and “now hidden with Christ in God”). But in Colossians 3:5, Paul advises that we must still consider sin to be dead to us (cf. Rom. 6:11 ; Col. 3:9-10; 2 Cor. 7:1). So we ARE sanctified and ARE BEING sanctified.
1 John 1:8–10 (NKJV): 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
We have all sinned and dishonored God (Rom. 3:23 ). Not Peter, not Paul, not John, not any one of the disciples was sinless. Paul says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Phil 3:12 ). When a saved person sins, he does not give up, but he repents and continues on in faith as he understands that it is God who working in him “to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13 ). The elect press on as the Spirit continues to press on in them (Phil. 1:6; 3:20 -21).
The Canons of Dort give further explanation.
First Head, Article 12: The Assurance of Election Assurance of this their eternal and unchangeable election to salvation is given to the chosen in due time, though by various stages and in differing measure. Such assurance comes not by inquisitive searching into the hidden and deep things of God, but by noticing within themselves, with spiritual joy and holy delight, the unmistakable fruits of election pointed out in God’s Word – such as a true faith in Christ, a childlike fear of God, a godly sorrow for their sins, a hunger and thirst for righteousness, and so on.
Fifth Head, Article 9: The Assurance of This Preservation
Concerning this preservation of those chosen to salvation and concerning the perseverance of true believers in faith, believers themselves can and do become assured in accordance with the measure of their faith, by which they firmly believe that they are and always will remain true and living members of the church, and that they have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 1:13 ESV
EP: Right I see. So you see justification as a legal declaration by God.
And then the elect persevere unto the end by Gods grace.
We would see the gift of perseverance as being specifically the gift of the man of flesh being burnt away. The man of flesh is opposed to God and the man of spirit tends to the Spirit. We persevere because the man of flesh no longer opposes Gods will. So inevitably the person will persevere.
How do you understand the gift? What has God changed in the believer?
What roll if any, does sanctification play in a man’s salvation?
Also is there a post mortem cleansing?
I suppose in a sense for you a post mortem cleansing isn’t necessary since you are justified by legal declaration.
Logically to me that would make sanctification an unnecessary process in your view since you have limited justification to a legal declaration.
Do you see salvation as merely a destination “going to heaven”? Rather than actual unity with the Divine in some respect?
BM: Good response! Personally, I do believe that the world has to thank the Catholic and Orthodox Saints and mystics for setting practical benchmarks and examples of holiness. To turn away from worldliness and strive to be holy – to be more like Christ – is to more certain of belonging within God’s family. There does need to be a greater focus on practical holiness and sanctification in the world and I applaud priests and preachers who lead by example. The only danger with the perseverance of the saints doctrine is that sinners may refuse to turn away from sin and smugly believe that they are saved regardless of what they do once they accept Christ. If one does not want to be like Christ, how can one ever be allowed into His family?
What has changed is the heart of the believer – while the old man dies, the newly born emerges. The heart of stone is replaced with a heart of flesh with the law of God written on their heart. With the change within heart, the eyes see with faith and old sinful habits start to die since they do not lead to the Heavenly Father. If one does not strive to sanctify oneself, then one must question one’s salvation. The sinful pig who does not want to change remains a pig of uncleanliness.
2 Peter 2:19–22 (NKJV): While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
As far as post mortem cleansing goes, true believers will be saved and allowed entry to Heaven, albeit the saints and holy people shall be rewarded and crowned with glory by the Heavenly Father. As for myself, I am making progress when I think back to my youth. Everyday though, I still cast myself into the hands of my Lord in surrender in the knowledge that I still fall short of His Will. I also appreciate the mystical union that holy people of faith have attained in this world and more than likely in Heaven. Perhaps the less holy will not be as close to the City of God.
Do you have a concept of spiritual growth of a Christian?
You acknowledge a battle between the man of flesh and the man of spirit.
Since you say that God causes a true believer to persevere and I assume you take that to mean the true believers man of flesh is weakening over time.
I can’t see how you can see sanctification any differently than justification in your paradigm. They are both acts of God completely.
Since a single grave sin is a sign God never saved you and that you were in self delusion.
The flip side is to be so comfortable in your sin because you truly believe you are saved by your faith that you take your faith as licence to continue in that sin.
To me there isn’t, as far as I can tell a path to salvation in the system.
The implication of this is even deeper because it provides no comfort of possible redemption to the believer since it is God who has abandoned them if they are overly judgemental of themselves (I believe this was Martin Luther’s problem) or they are complacent about their sin ( if they do not examine themselves).
And quite simply election is really God destroying the man of flesh because he who is elect perseveres unto the end. This is real ontological change in the person. I do not believe your conception of election involves God doing something in the believer, but rather a legal declaration.
I am if anything even more confused by how a person can believe in perseverance. And please forgive me when I say it reminds me of the story of the garden.
“You will surely not die”
3 Now the serpent(A) was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?(B)”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,(C) 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”(D)
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.(E) 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,(F) knowing good and evil.”
I hope you are not offended, I really believe your views have serious flaws. Please understand I say this in love.
Read Romans 2:13 13 (for (M)not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified
This is not to say that we are under the law, but rather we are under Christ and He will judge us as faithful disciples, judging the secrets of a mans heart as the apostle says.
We must take it all to Christ because He will judge the believer according to His laws (Matthew 25)
Also we should not believe that we should know that we have infallible knowledge of our salvation. Rather we hope and work out our salvation as God works in us.
I realize that what I am saying is synergistic. I understand that you cannot believe it because it is not the nature of God to work in that manner. That Is the reason why I do believe we do not worship the same God, or at least one of us is fundamentally flawed about what God has revealed about Himself, for me this is the crux of the issue, it isnt soteriology, but really triadology or who God is that is different between you and I, in the strictest sense only one of us is a christian.
Justification and sanctification are the same process and if you wish to stay in your church at least preach that they are the same thing because I do believe if you analyze your own belief you will realize even if you believe in God doing all the work, they don’t need to be separated and separating them is the original sin in the garden.
BM: I too share similar thoughts towards your statements regarding your beliefs, as I believe that doctrinal errors exist in other Christian churches, particularly those who still follow Pelagius, (semi-pelagian or otherwise) or Arminianism. Please note that both Arminius and Pelagius were condemned as heretics and yet the Orthodox and Catholic maintain similar views. Never forget this scripture:
Mark 9:38–41 (NKJV): Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
You or I may be mistaken in doctrine, but if we do His Will, we surely belong to Him and therefore are Christians in His Name.
What assurance of salvation do you have if you believe that your hope will be lost with any or every error, and that any hope that you have may be imagined? If you sin and believed that you are no longer saved, you deny the eternal decrees of God, which denies His Word.
When God promises us everlasting life, that means that our life is not left in doubt, but will last forever, by the power of God.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John 6:47 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”
John 17:2 “… as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.”
Hebrews 9:12, 15 “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
I John 5:11-13 “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
Hope is inseparably connected with true faith. It is God’s guarantee that what we have believed will be fulfilled by God. “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Rom. 8:24 -25).
EP: God bless! Thank you for your charitable conversation.
BM: God bless you also and may the glory be to God.
Jude 24–25 (NKJV): 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
This chapter will not end well for President Biden or Washington’s political class.
By Douglas MacGregor
It’s an indisputable fact: Washington leads the world in self-delusion.
Washington’s political class is poised to march into a hurricane of its own making in Ukraine, a perfect storm of foreign- and defense-policy blunders likely to plunge the American people into future crises and conflicts. Having refused to acknowledge Russia’s vital strategic interest in Ukraine, Washington now wants to subject Ukraine and the NATO alliance to a dangerous and unnecessary test by confronting Russian conventional military power. In turn, Washington and its allies now face a test—one that they could have avoided but are now likely to fail. First, the facts.
The Biden administration is spending $768.2 billion for national defense. Russia spends only $42.1 billion, less than the $48 billion spent by the Republic of Korea. Yet Russian ground forces are superior in capability and striking power to the U.S. Army and Marines, even if both countries’ ground forces were able to deploy to Ukraine.
Russia’s conventional-ground-force superiority stems, in part, from the strategic advantage of fighting close to Russia. Its potency is also a reflection of President Vladimir Putin’s insistence on fundamental defense reform and reorganization. The reform process involved years of struggle to expel old generals who resisted change and install new, resolute fighting forces, composed of young, single men with a profound sense of Russian patriotism and toughness. The policy has resulted in an operationally flexible grouping of smaller capability-based Russian fighting formations, designed to ruthlessly exploit the striking power of Russia’s rocket artillery, tactical ballistic missiles, and loitering munitions.
Far to the west and behind the Polish border sits an awkward collection of U.S. Army and NATO Ground Forces that, despite decades of cooperation, are still challenged to fight effectively as one force. In the last 20 years of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, most of America’s allies seldom had anything to contribute to our efforts, save a flag and inexperienced troops who were forced to operate under political restrictions. Thus, like the U.S. Army that leads them, the allied ground forces cling to the illusion that NATO can fight future conflicts on land the way Anglo-American allies did during World War II—with large, densely packed divisions, corps, and armies. These are lucrative targets for Russian strike formations.
Additionally, institutional policies to impose diversity and inclusion on the U.S. Armed Forces at the expense of demonstrated character, competence, and intelligence, demoralize our troops. As a result, the dedication, cohesion, and pride of achievement required to sustain America’s professional fighting force have been seriously damaged.
The implications are clear: A U.S.-Russian confrontation in Eastern Ukraine could easily resemble the 1940 Anglo-French experience, with the Wehrmacht provoking a serious backlash at home. Supply-chain bottlenecks, consumer-goods inflation, and soaring energy costs could all worsen if events in Ukraine spiral out of control. As more and more Americans wake up to falling standards of living, how will they react to yet another war for suspicious aims that have absolutely nothing to do with their own vital strategic interests, and make their daily lives even harder?
Reality is sitting on Ukraine’s eastern border, not in the South China Sea or in the strait of Taiwan, and there is ostensibly nothing Washington can do about it. The questions that should concern Washington’s political class are: Will NATO survive its ignominious retreat in the face of superior Russian military power? And, why is Washington conducting policy not from strength, but from weakness—a weakness thus far disguised by the outward show of military power against weak opponents without armies, air defenses, or air forces?
Nietzsche said, “War makes the victor stupid.” After 1991, America’s senior military and political leaders found many reasons to spend enormous sums on defense, but no reason to change the way U.S. forces fight, or to devise a national military strategy tied to tangible, concrete interests and the preservation of American national power.
As John Kenneth Galbraith warned, “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right.”
Washington’s corrupt and morally bankrupt leaders are walking into a minefield. If they embroil U.S. and allied forces in Ukraine, extraordinary discontent at home and abroad awaits them. However, like so many privileged classes before them, the Biden administration may prefer “complete destruction” rather than acknowledge that its most cherished beliefs are utter delusions. It’s safe to say that whatever happens in Ukraine, this chapter will not end well for President Biden or Washington’s political class.
Douglas Macgregor, Col. (ret.) is a senior fellow with The American Conservative, the former advisor to the Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration, a decorated combat veteran, and the author of five books.
December has arrived and it’s time to forecast 2022. I’ll start the ball rolling by framing the most gloomy scenario: 2022 could mark the end of the world, via global war and nuclear exchanges.
Most Americans will find that forecast surprising and offensive. We tend to be optimistic Bayesians: If the sun rose today, certainly it will rise the same way tomorrow. But unfortunately, there are “Black Swan” events — unexpected shocks to the system that totally change the future.
And today we confront two Black Swans — Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Both are brilliant, experienced leaders. Putin has written extensively on his vision for Russia — for example, his Millennium Papers and his “PhD” dissertation on energy economics. Xi is similar. Both have consolidated power within brutal systems. Both are committed nationalists who see themselves as major historical figures. Both are men of action, willing to take large, calculated risks. And both likely understand that 2022 is the year they must act.
Putin is dedicated to the defense and rise of Russia. He seeks strategic territorial expansion, the destruction of NATO, and eventual political hegemony over Europe. The coming year could be the key stepping stone for his dreams. A first step would be invading Ukraine, giving Russia an economic boost and consolidating Black Sea strategic access. Russian troops are already massing on the border.
Xi envisions political hegemony over East Asia (and beyond). The next step would be the invasion and conquest of Taiwan, where he is upping military pressure. At the same time, Iran and its leaders dream of destroying Israel and gaining Middle East hegemony.
All of them recently have engaged in joint war games and all may be coming to believe that 2022 is their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The reason: President Biden.
New U.S. presidential administrations are always tested by global adversaries in the first year. The Biden administration failed miserably with the Chinese in Anchorage, with the Russians in Geneva, with Hamas after bribing them to cease their rocket attacks on Israel, with the world in Glasgow, and with Xi Jinping on a recent video-call.
The U.S. military displayed an astounding lack of leadership and judgment in the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Everyone has seen Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and national security adviser Jake Sullivan in action.
Biden has destroyed American energy independence and endangered national security by making America dependent on foreign oil. He has failed miserably to deal with COVID and has been afraid to aggressively pursue the political dynamite of its origin, or whether it or its variants were released intentionally. The American media have ignored or excused these failures.
U.S. defense, intelligence and justice systems have been politicized. Congressional Intelligence and Armed Services committees have been corrupted, manufacturing now-exposed fictions such as the Trump-Russia hoax. Politics has been polarized by woke-ism, racial tension, climate change and Donald Trump.
America is at its weakest politically in decades. Our enemies have seen all they need to see. They will act before the American political equation changes next November. Winter is coming and that often is the time to attack.
Americans are always shocked when our enemies act. But Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi know that, to become true historical figures, they must act when the time is right. The problem for America is that our enemies may well act together.
Russia may launch an attack and invasion of Ukraine simultaneous with a coup attempt. To keep NATO off balance, Russia would reduce winter gas and oil shipments to Europe, which gets 30 percent of its oil and 40 percent of its gas from Russia. The U.S. cannot help Europe through emergency liquified natural gas or oil shipments, thanks to Biden.
China could simultaneously launch an invasion of Taiwan. Iran, through its Hezbollah and Hamas proxies, could launch an all-out assault on Israel and slow oil flowing through the Straits of Hormuz. Saudi Arabia could reduce or fully cut oil supplies to the U.S. and Europe — the Saudis made it clear during the start of the COVID pandemic, and more recently during America’s oil price spike, that they are not a true ally.
When the dust clears, Russia would control Ukraine, China would control Taiwan, Israel would be weakened, NATO would be staggered, and America’s military and world leadership status would be permanently diminished.
Except for the wild cards.
First among the wild cards is Biden. After globally advertising their advanced nuclear strategic delivery capability over the past year, our enemies may miscalculate that Biden would hesitate to respond. But, caught off guard and strategically weakened, Biden and his defense team might overreact to “prove” themselves. That would involve some direct action against China or Russia, or both. That is potentially a straight line to nuclear exchange.
From the Cold War to a hard freeze Sunday shows preview: Officials, experts respond to omicron; Biden… North Korea might decide, with America distracted, to launch a conventional, chemical or nuclear attack on South Korea. Israel, under an existential threat, might launch an all-out attack on Iran. Pakistan and India might decide that a distracted world is the time to settle their differences. An attack on Taiwan might bring in Japan. Boom.
The one thing that could stand in the way of these catastrophes is a brilliant, strong, capable and decisive White House — which, in 2022, will not be the case. Holiday greetings: DEFCON 2.
Grady Means is a writer (GradyMeans.com) and former corporate strategy consultant. He served in the White House as a policy assistant to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Follow him on Twitter @gradymeans1.