April 2021


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

12. Individualistic

12. Nationalistic

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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