If you had to guess, how many white people would you say have been killed by the police since the beginning of 2020? Based on media coverage alone, you might think it is fewer than five, or perhaps even zero. Now, how many black people would you guess have been killed by police during the same time period? Thousands? Hundreds?

Perceptions vs. Statistics

While most people can name several black people that have been killed by police since 2020, very few could name even a single white person who was killed. Why is that? It’s not for lack of white blood. Per the Washington Post’s Fatal Force database, cops have killed 580 white people since last year, compared to 314 black people. How many of those were unarmed? Thirty white people and 22 black people.[1]

If you’re not wondering why all of these unarmed white men killed by the police didn’t make national news, you should be. The media is pushing a particular narrative, namely that the police are racist and targeting black people. To that end, they choose only to feature the stories that fit (or are forced to fit) that narrative, and ignore those that don’t. Unfortunately, this media bias is causing Americans to think cops are nilly-willy gunning down black people simply because they are black. The narrative is that policing is systemically racist. (more…)

When it comes to Biblical interpretation, some tend to think that they don’t need to study or engage in deep thinking on the Scripture. God will simply tell them what the Bible means. On the other end of the spectrum are those who tend to think that they don’t need any spiritual illumination of the text. They can discover the meaning through study and deep thinking alone.

Paul rejected both of these approaches to Scripture. He told Timothy, “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2 Tim 2:7). Paul didn’t see it as an either-or, but a both-and. We must do our best thinking on the words of Scripture, and Jesus will help us understand Scripture in the process.

There’s no question that systemic racism existed in this country in the form of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and the like. However, all forms of systemic racism have been made illegal since the 1960s. Systemic racism does not exist in America today. That’s not to say there are no racists left in America. Surely there are, but they are few in number. To say systemic racism no longer exists in America is to say that racism is no longer embedded in society’s systems. There are no institutions or laws that are explicitly or implicitly based on racist ideology, nor policies that treat people differently based on their race.

Many disagree with this assessment. They will agree that there are no institutions, laws, or policies that explicitly treat people differently based on their race (racism proper), but they argue that racism is still implicit in our institutions, law, and policies as evidenced by racial disparities in outcome. Black people are arrested at higher rates, have a higher incarceration rate than whites, earn less income than whites, etc.

While such racial disparities could be the result of implicit systemic racism, they could also be due to other factors as well. Racism must be proved, not assumed. If the racial disparities can be explained by differences in personal choices or behaviors, then there is no reason to think racism plays any major factor.

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Based on my research, if you have been infected with COVID-19, there is no good reason for you to get vaccinated. Getting Covid provides you with a natural immunity to future reinfections that is thousands of times more effective than the immunity conferred by the vaccines. Also, the vaccines fare no better than natural immunity at preventing the transmission of Covid. Let me explain.

Personal protection

Studies have shown that those who become infected with Covid develop a natural immunity that lasts for at least 7-8 months, and most likely, years to come. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded a study that was published January 6, 2021 in Science.[1] Speaking of this study, the NIH writes: “But, promisingly, their levels [of antibodies] remained fairly stable over time, declining only modestly at 6 to 8 months after infection. …. 95% of the people had at least 3 out of 5 immune-system components that could recognize SARS-CoV-2 up to 8 months after infection.”[2] A decline in antibodies does not mean that immunity is diminishing rapidly over time. Immunologist Scott Hensley, of the University of Pennsylvania, notes that “[i]t doesn’t mean that those people no longer have antibodies. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have protection.”[3]

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A little over a month ago, I informed you about some new and persuasive evidence for widespread election fraud involving voting machines. While that evidence seemed to be a smoking gun for widespread election fraud, the data was too limited to determine whether or not the fraud was widespread enough to have actually changed the outcome of the election.

In that same post, I mentioned that Mike Lindell was going to release more documentaries in the near future presenting additional evidence of election fraud. He released another documentary not long after my post, titled Absolute Interference. The documentary did not present much in the way of new evidence. What it did do, however, is provide additional details regarding the key piece of evidence presented in his original documentary, Absolute Proof.

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Texas is on a roll! First, Texas reported zero Covid deaths for May 15, despite having lifted all Covid restrictions on March 10. When Texas announced they were lifting their restrictions in March, our president called it “Neanderthal” and the media went into a frenzy about how this would lead to untold deaths. They were all wrong. Texas (and freedom) got the last laugh, and demonstrated (once again) that lockdowns are not effective.

And now, Texas has banned all abortions after a heartbeat can be detected. Surely it will be challenged, so we’ll see if it goes anywhere.

The telltale sign of fascism is the silencing of dissent. If you don’t agree with the fascists’ point of view, you will be de-platformed, cancelled, fired, imprisoned, or killed. Which side of the ideological aisle is engaging in fascism these days? Here’s a clue: It’s not the Right. While we haven’t seen the Left imprisoning or killing anyone in this country yet, given enough time, and given enough power, it will happen. It’s already happening in other countries, and we can see the same trajectory in our own.

Perhaps you have heard of the former Interior Minister of Finland, Päivi Räsänen, who is being charged for a hate crime because she publicly expressed her disapproval of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. She is facing up to two years in prison. Stories of people being arrested for expressing moral disapproval of homosex have been mounting over the years in Europe, Canada, and Australia. We are headed in the same direction if we keep electing the Left to positions of power because the Left is fascist at heart.

I am temporarily reviving an old series I did on hermeneutics called “straight outta context.” For this installment, I want to look at 1 Corinthians 3:10-17.

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (1 Cor 3:10-17)

I had always heard verses 10-15 used to exhort people to good works. As Christians, we need to make sure that we are doing works that will endure for eternity (gold, silver, precious stones) and for which we will receive a reward, rather than doing things that have no eternal value (wood, hay, stubble). However, in context, this is Paul’s warning to teachers to make sure that they are discipling God’s people correctly.

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Is abortion moral? It’s rather telling when one side of the moral debate wants to ignore the most important question – what is being killed? – and focus on the will of the mother instead. It’s equally telling when that same side invents a host of euphemisms to obfuscate the issue including “women’s health, reproductive rights, choice, and termination of pregnancy.” When people avoid the main issue and use euphemisms to hide the truth of their actions from the public, you can pretty much bet that those people are on the wrong side of that issue.

It’s obvious to anyone who reads the comment section of my posts that I do not interact with the comments very often. It’s not for lack of desire. In the past, I used to respond to virtually every comment. However, over the last 5 years, I have been working 70 hour weeks. For a while, I hardly posted anything. Lately, I’ve been able to write a bit more, but unfortunately, I can’t both write and interact with the comments. It’s one or the other, and since you can’t have comments without new posts, I focus my attention on generating new content.

That said, I had to fly recently, and I was able to read through many of the comments on the last 10 posts or so. I couldn’t respond to everything, but I did respond to some. If you’ve been waiting for my feedback, take a look at the comments section again. Feel free to respond to my responses, but just know that I probably won’t be able to reply back in return.

Those who won’t bend their knee to God typically won’t nod their head to truth either. By this, I mean that someone who is unwilling to acknowledge God’s authority over their life is not likely to acknowledge God’s truth either when that truth conflicts with their desire for self-autonomy.

So when we offer reasons and evidence for the truth of Christianity (an apologetic), and those reasons and that evidence are rejected by the unbeliever, it’s not necessarily because our reasons are bad or the evidence isn’t good (although, that’s not to say I haven’t heard bad arguments offered by Christians). It is simply the fact that the same will that is bent against God’s authority is also bent against God’s truth. If the unbeliever acknowledged God’s truth, they would also have to acknowledge that their continued rejection of God is based purely on their obstinate will. So instead, they reject that truth and continue to pretend that their rejection of God is based on intellectual merits. This is not a failure of apologetics, but a failure of the human will.

In John 20:21-22, during Jesus’ first resurrection appearance to the apostles, He said, “’Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'” Did the apostles receive the Spirit at that moment, or did the fulfillment of Jesus’ words await the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4)?

Many interpreters have concluded that Jesus was speaking prophetically in John 20 of the future Pentecost experience. They do so, however, because they assume that both John and Acts refer to the same event. In the paper linked below, I argue that this assumption is mistaken. The authors of John and Acts are referring to two different works of the Spirit for two different purposes that occurred on two different occasions. In John 20, the apostles experienced the regeneration of the Spirit, whereas in Acts 2 the apostles experienced the empowerment of the Spirit that equipped them to be a witness for Jesus and His resurrection.

Did the Disciples Receive the Spirit in John 20:22?

Over the last year, the Left has popularized the phrase “systemic racism.” What exactly does this mean? It doesn’t mean racism is widespread throughout America, or even that there are some racist individuals within the power structures of various social systems. Rather, it means that the very systems of our society and government are rooted in racist ideology, and thus necessarily result in discrimination against non-whites. That’s why some of those who claim there is systemic racism are also calling for us to tear down these power structures and start anew. They don’t want to eliminate the racist people from the systems, but eliminate the systems themselves. The systems are deemed irredeemable.

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What are the main ideological differences between the “Left” and the “Right”?* Here is a handy chart detailing the primary differences. Please note that I am focusing on ideological differences as opposed to how those ideological differences translate into specific policy differences such as taxes or abortion.

Left Right
1. Progress beyond traditions 1. Conserve traditions
2. Views social outcomes in terms of power dynamics 2. Views social outcomes in terms of personal decisions
3. Sees people as groups 3. Sees people as individuals
4. Society is the source of evil 4. Individuals are the source of evil
5. Values equality of outcome 5. Values equality of opportunity
6. Values equality over liberty 6. Values liberty over equality
7. Believes life’s problems are best solved by bigger government 7. Believes life’s problems are best solved by the ingenuity of private citizens
8. Government’s role is to achieve and protect equality 8. Government’s role is to protect liberty
9. Idealist – Policy decisions based on what feels morally right 9. Pragmatic – Policy decisions based on what will result in the most good
10. Prefers a regulated market 10. Prefers a free market

11. The meaning of the law is malleable, and should be interpreted in light of the evolving needs of society

11. The meaning of the law is fixed, as determined by the words and the intent of those who wrote the law

If you can think of any additional ideological differences, please share in the comments.

 

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* I realize that these categories are not exhaustive, and that people do not always fall neatly into one side or the other. As such, take this as a generalized, if not idealized categorization.

The more secular a society becomes, the more coercive it becomes. If there is no transcendent law-giver to guide the beliefs and behavior of the people, then the State will fill the void. If a society does not recognize a higher authority (a Law above the law), then the political will of the State becomes the ultimate good. Those who resist and dissent will be made to “unite” through power and coercion.

For secularists, “unity” means everyone agrees with them. All dissent must be crushed. It’s no coincidence that the political Left is advocating against free speech and trying to shut down conservative news sources and organizations. As Ben Shapiro has noted, the Left’s idea of “diversity” is not a diversity of ideas, but a diversity of genders and colors all saying the same thing.

Charges of voter fraud in the last election began the day after the election. Many examples have been cited. Thousands of affidavits have been given. A number of cases were filed with the courts. Some of the claims have been debunked. Others remain to be proven or disproven. Most Americans don’t have the time to follow all of the evidence, and many don’t know exactly what to make of it. All they know is that Joe Biden was inaugurated as the President of the United States, so the election is settled for all intents and purposes.

I was one of those Americans that followed the claims of fraud quite closely early on, but time is precious, and eventually life has to go on. I don’t get paid to follow the news. I resolved that there seemed to be clear evidences of localized fraud, but the number of votes affected by those clear examples did not appear to be enough to change the outcome of the election. I have always been open to the possibility that the fraud was sufficient to have changed the outcome of the election, but was not willing to say the election was stolen unless and until it could be demonstrated by the evidence. I have no tolerance for conspiracy theories or speculation. Evidence must win the day.

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The latest scare being proffered by the media is that it isn’t safe to be an Asian in America. Headlines everywhere read “Asian hate crime is up 150%.”

Is this true? Technically, yes, at least according to the calculations of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino. However, when you look at the actual number of incidents, it becomes clear that violence against Asians is not an epidemic in this country.

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A new Gallup poll reveals that church membership has decreased 23% over the last 20 years. Roughly 70% of Americans were members of a church from 1940 through 2000, but since 2000 church membership has quickly declined. It fell 9% from 2000 to 2010, and 14% from 2010 to 2020.

Gallup attributes more than half of the drop in church attendance to the increase in those who no longer identify with any particular religion. However, even among the religiously affiliated, church membership is down across all age demographics (but rates are higher the younger the demo).

More than 80 fragments of Nahum and Zechariah (not all have text written on them) were recently discovered in the Judean desert. These are the first Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 60 years. Apparently, these fragments belong to a scroll of the Minor Prophets that was discovered in this same cave more than 60 years ago. That scroll, and these new fragments, are written in Greek rather than Hebrew. One of the interesting features of this scroll is that the name of God is written in paleo Hebrew, which is the ancient Hebrew script. Hopefully more scrolls will soon be discovered.

See:

Biblical Archaeology Society

The Jerusalem Post

I would like to know your thoughts on a potential name change for this blog.

From day one, “theosophical ruminations” has caused a small bit of confusion. “Theosophical” is a combination of “theology” and “philosophical,” but it sounds similar to “theosophy,” which is not a movement I want to be confused with.

I’m considering renaming the site to “Theogetical Ruminations?” Theogetical is a combination of “theology” and “apologetical.” Not only would this distance me from any association with theosophy, but it would describe the blog a bit better. I focus much more on theology and apologetics (theogetical) than I do on theology and philosophy (theosophical).

What say ye? Keep theosophical, or change it to theogetical?