Lorie Smith, What Would Jesus Do?

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Does anyone remember the WWJD wristbands from the 1990s? Jesus opposed all that the pharisees stood for, yet he welcomed them into his gatherings. If they were not among the attendees, how were they have been there to pose questions to him? They tried to compel his speech about paying taxes to Caesar (Mt 22:17, Mk 12:14, Lk 20:22). But what did Jesus do? He got creative and avoided the very words that the Pharisees expected put in his mouth. Whether it is baking a cake or designing a wedding website, can we not love these neighbors as ourselves? Should a Christian refuse to love her neighbors by withholding alms from homeless lesbians? Should the Christian who pulls off the road to assist stranded motorists drive away when he adduces them to be homosexually-wedded men? Not every Christian is sufficiently spiritually mature to implement what I propose here, but why can’t Christians design a wedding website or cake while engaging in genuine loving prayer for the customer-celebrants? And shouldn’t a Christian do that for every such customer, even the heterosexual ones? Indeed, can the designer not imprint a resonant verse like “God Is Love”? (1 John 4:8,16) Does that not avoid the issue, love our neighbor, and plant a highly memorable seed that the Holy Spirit can cultivate over time? Tragically, high profile battles like Creative, LLC, and Masterpiece Cake Shop only injure Christianity’s message. I’m relieved that SCOTUS preserved free speech protections, but I wish this case had never been brought.

ALMOST….

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Vox has nearly returned to civilization, with more than a few hand-written posts to push out, but there are also thousands and thousands of email to be parsed first.

Science, the New Polytheism

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Throughout the coronavirus hysteria of 2020, policymakers and their designees spoke incessantly of “following the science.” The word science comes from Latin, scire, meaning knowledge. When academics speak of science they usually intend it to mean “scientific method” which is the use of empirical (i.e. “observable”) evidence to confirm or refute a hypothesis. However, being that COVID-19 was the first-ever global epidemic, there was nothing upon which or by which to assess the efficacy of countermeasures. As invoked, “follow the science” meant “trust the experts” which, in turn, conveyed an expectation to have faith in the speculative opinions of credentialed humans.Continue Reading

“Receive the Holy Spirit”

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On the evening after his resurrection, Jesus “breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'” (Jn 20:22). How, then, is it possible to become “filled with the Holy Spirit” seven weeks later on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) if the disciples had already received the Holy Spirit?Continue Reading

Climate Reparation Fallout

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Small, second-world nations will band together in coalition(s?) for climate-change reparations and will exert tremendous demand-side economic pain until they get it. As wealth flows downward, first- and upper second-world nations will coalesce to sanction the former for their actions and cut them off from specific products. the former will then attack the later.

In Jesus’s Name (Part 1)

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Perhaps because Scripture says that “in my name” they will perform signs and miracles (Mk 16:17-18), Christians of all flavors, and almost without exception, conclude prayers for miraculous interventions with “In Jesus’s name…”. Pentecostals are quick to invoke “in Jesus’s name” to command matters to transpire. The thing is, that’s not what “name” meant in the Jewish cultural context of Jesus’s day. As Timothy Keller frequently explains, “name” connoted “personhood,” like when a son handles his father’s business affairs while the father is away, or when an ambassador exercises abroad the authority of her nation, or when mayors express the sentiments of their cities, they act in a name.Continue Reading

Second Amendment Restrictions

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Americans might be more willing to accept gun/ammo restrictions if such were applied equally to the militarization-thirsty (and qualifiedly-immune) police. The second amendment is substantively a repudiation and protection from the one law for me, another law for thee conduct of state actors. Let them lead by example by demilitarizing themselves before they ask citizens to demilitarize. Then there would truly be no need for such gear.

Judas and Caiaphas

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Speaking to Pilate, Jesus said in John 19:11, “he who delivered me over to you the greater sin.” Most readers assume that Jesus implicated Judas, but it is more probable that Jesus had Caiaphas in mind for “it was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people” (John 18:14). “They therefore led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Prætorium” (John 18:28) complaining to Pilate that “it is not lawful for us to put anyone to death” (John 18:31). Therefore, it would appear that Jesus indicated that it was Caiaphas who “had the greater sin” for delivering Jesus to Pilate for the purpose of dying. For his part, it appears that Judas had no foreknowledge of Caiaphas’s intentions because when Judas “saw that Jesus was condemned, he felt remorse […] saying, ‘I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood'” (Matthew 27:3-4).