|Iglesia Luterana, Fuente de Vida, Ponce, Puerto Rico|
We recently heard from our LCMS mission in the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico that there are people watching and learning about the comfort of confessional Lutheran teaching through Youtube channels like the Mad Christian’s. Rev. James Neuendorf let us know that one Puerto Rican viewer was recently confirmed in one of the new Lutheran Church plants on the island! If you want to learn more about the LCMS mission in Puerto Rico or connect with the mission down there, you can check out their page at fuentedevidapr.org.
|Without over-egging the Orwellian pudding, here’s a few pieces of news that would raise eyebrows if it weren’t 2021…|
A federal judge has sided with an Indiana University, saying they can mandate that students are vaccinated. In France, the Eiffel Tower has re-opened after nearly nine months closed. Tourists will need to show proof of vaccination, a recent recovery from COVID, or have negative test result to be admitted. Also in France, protests have erupted over the Macron government’s plan to mandate vaccines for health workers and require “health passports” in public spaces. Update: protests were held across Italy and also in Australia but Israel is trying some emotional blackmail.
If I could change the world: The debate against vaccine passports gained an ally in Eric Clapton. The singer said he reserves the right to cancel performances at venues demanding proof of vaccination. Meanwhile, the Foo Fighters have canceled a “vaccinated-only” concert after a case of COVID was discovered among their crew.
White House staffers have tested positive for COVID. Texas Democrats, who fled their state to avoid voting on changes to election laws there, are the source of the infections with several of the renegades delivering the virus to DC.
In a satisfying moment of straight talk, journalist Mary Katherine Ham educated the news presenters at CNN about why the public doesn’t trust Dr Fauci.
Study: Johnson & Johnson vaccine is less effective against Delta variant.Johnson & Johnson, along with three pharmaceutical distribution companies have offered to pay out multiple lawsuits in a landmark settlement. The group of companies has offered $26BN to be paid to communities and individuals affected by opioid addiction. The companies are accused of “funneling a flood of opioid painkillers” to communities and downplaying the danger of the drugs. The settlement “does not include an admission of liability.”
Correction 07.26.21 While the linked article was correct, we had written that President Biden and Speaker Pelosi had contracted COVID. This was not the case, but only members of their staff.
|Joy Pullman has come out swinging, in a recent article for The Federalist, saying that the time for “aw shucks” conservatism is over. She doesn’t mince her words when she writes “If you say a man is a man and I say a man is a woman, we can’t get anywhere until that is sorted out. Likewise, the insistence that the United States is fundamentally good — not perfect, but good — is wholly incompatible with the new left’s insistence that it is fundamentally evil. You can’t live in a house with a person who wants to burn it down.” She calls on her readers to stand up. “Now is the time for champions to arise, to stop feeding the beasts, and start fighting them. Ask yourself, ‘What would it mean for me to do that where I am?’ And then start doing it.” Mad Christians are here for it. |
When you’ve read your Psalms, take some inspiration from Rev Fisk’s current musical cup of Joe. “It’s our resistance, they can’t resist us.”
|AP News has reported that Pfizer is planning to meet with US health officials to discuss a third booster jab of their vaccine to increase antibodies. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been slapped with a new warning label by the FDA, after some cases of a rare neurological condition were discovered in vaccinated patients. Moderna is starting to study its vaccine’s affect on pregnancy and miscarriage.|
Johnson and Johnson have had a pretty bad week, with several of their sunscreen lines being recalled due to the discovery of traces of carcinogenic compounds.
Protests have erupted in Greece over the banning of unvaccinated people from public spaces. Have they never heard of “bodily autonomy”?
ZeroHedge reported on a tweet thread, which show that cases of COVID are spiking in places with the highest rates of vaccinations. Dr. Robert Malone, a “pioneer in the field of mRNA vaccines” tweeted that “this is worrying me quite a bit.”
South Korean gyms are being instructed by the government to only play music “120bpm or slower” as a condition of keeping their facilities open. The order is supposed to reduce the spread of coronavirus by “prevent[ing] breathing too fast or splashing sweat to other people.” Apart from the fact that lots of customers use their own headphones during a workout, one Seoul gym owner asks the big question: Which has more impact on spreading the virus- “classical music or BTS songs.” Touché
|How much barrenness do you want? The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (AKA Harry and Meghan) have been awarded for their “enlightened decision” to only have two children. UK-based Malthusian/environmentalist organization, Population Matters said the royal couple are an “example” to other families. They might be disappointed to know that a Texas hospital has broken its record, with more than 100 babies delivered in the space of 91 hours! One OBGYN is quoted as saying he doesn’t think this is an isolated incident. “Seven or eight months from now, we’re going to see lots of … population growth.” Maybe there will be a pandemic baby boom, after all!|
cuddlefish shared a helpful article with Us the Chill, outlining the awful side-affects of the contraceptive pill for women.
The Biden administration has begun rolling out Child Tax Credits as part of the “American Rescue Plan” bill, which passed weeks ago. While the extra money may help families, just be aware that it’s not exactly “extra money.” It is a partial advance on the tax credit you would be paid after filing tax. If you are paid too much now, you will need to repay it then. CNet has advice for those wising to opt out of the payments.
The National Security Council issued a report this month, outlining the Biden administration’s strategy for tackling domestic terrorism. Former FBI agent Kevin R. Brock wrote about the report for The Hill, commending some aspects of the NSC’s plan but sounding a warning about much of it. Brock says the strategy focuses on “one flavor of domestic terror that doesn’t offend the President’s base.”
Brock says that the main targets for preventing terrorism are racism and bigotry, natch. Yet the definition of racism “is ever-expanding and [is] sweeping up new thoughts and actions.” Bigotry now includes “any effort to resist homosexual and transgender agendas by traditional, faith-based communities.” While that is troubling enough, the “fourth pillar” of the strategy involves preventing people from thinking for themselves, using what Brock calls “reeducation, eradication and media censorship.” (Thanks to CodyCoramDeo for this one.)
There are many takeaways for Mad Christians here. Though the tide may be turning against that which we love and value, we are not alone. We know the Holy Spirit comforts us and helps us in days of adversity.St Paul exhorted the Colossians to always speak with grace, “seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Even while he was in chains, the apostle asked them to pray that he would be given an opportunity “to speak the mystery of Christ.” So let’s pray for wisdom, because though the definitions of words change around us, God’s truth does not.
Mad Christians, who understand the central place of the Supper to our faith, as a balm for a troubled conscience and a slow putting on of the immortal, might be familiar with recent drama in the Roman Catholic church. Controversy recently erupted as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced plans to draft a statement about the Eucharist. Predictably, media outlets showed they really don’t get religion, with The Week saying the Bishops were making Catholicism a “single-issue religion.”
The renewed media attention on communion in the Roman church has come about as President Biden, who claims a devout Catholic faith, has also fallen over himself to support radically pro-abortion legislation. While the doctrine of the Church (as well as most Catholics) approve the exclusion of leaders who promote abortion from receiving the Supper, Democratic politicians claim that this is “weaponizing the Eucharist” against them. Some Representatives went further, suggesting the Church should be stripped of tax exempt status if the President is refused. Writing at The Federalist, Margot Cleveland said what really weaponizes the Sacrament is “theological ignorance.” Sad but very true.
Some of these politicians may also need to be educated on what abortion is. Not the Bee points out that all this posturing is a bit rich coming from politicians who can’t even say what a baby is…
Speaking about tax-exemptions… The IRS has denied tax exempt status to Christians Engaged, an organization that educates Christians on political processes and voting. The denial was on the ground that the organization is not apolitical enough. The evidence? “Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the [Republican] party and candidates.” You read that right.
News came last week that New Zealand has appointed a transgender athlete to its women’s weightlifting team. Laurel Hubbard, who has previously competed in men’s events, will compete in Tokyo as a woman. Hubbard was deemed eligible to compete against biological women (that we even have to speak like this..!) by having testosterone levels under a particular threshold. So this is where we are: if you are a person with T-levels less than 5 nmol/L, you can compete as a woman, if that’s what you want.
The main cultural battleground on this issue has been around “sports and restrooms” as Dr. Joshua Pauling points out in his article for The Public Discourse. But Dr. Pauling urges Christians to think about the bigger argument that must be made — what our bodies are for. Drawing on recent works by Nancy Pearcey and Carl Trueman, Pauling suggests that thinking we have a metaphysical true self which is unaffected by our physical existence is the driving force behind Progressive ideas about identity.
Mind-body dualism is not a new idea, with both Plato and later, Gnostics, hypothesizing about the relationship of the soul to the body. But 17th-century French mathematician Descartes is credited with cementing the idea in Modern thought. With his famous dictum “I think therefore I am,” he opened a Pandora’s box that has plagued mankind since.
Pauling points out that it is a strange thing that we would trust our thoughts and feelings to tell us who we are and see our bodies as irrelevant. What if our bodies are correct and our thoughts are not?
Mad Christians can take heart in this moment of confusion. As Rev Fisk has somewhere said, we are spirits who are bodies and bodies who are spirits. All at the same time. Our physical existence is not all we are but it is an inseparable part of our identity. We have hope to give to anyone who thinks his true self is disconnected from the body God gave him. The Son of God took on a true human nature in a real physical body and redeemed us from the futility of this fallen creation. The hope laid up for us is the world to come, where with resurrected bodies and perfectly renewed minds, we will feast at the Supper of the Lamb. Alleluia.You can hear Dr Pauling speak about his article on Issues Etc.
Golgatha shared an article with Us The Chill Discord, which highlights the rise of anti-natalist movements. While the doomsday book “The Population Bomb” has proven to be grossly mistaken in its prediction that great swathes of humanity would starve as the population exploded, Malthusian ideas have consequences. Today, though the reasons may be different, a strange confluence of modern ideas has produced a chorus of voices calling for less babies.
Feminism maintains that motherhood is overrated, with self-focus and career touted to be all the fulfilment a woman needs. Our therapeutic culture preaches that having children is not worth the disruption to your life. More recently, the climate a
larmists have made it easier to shame anyone who wants to have kids. Think of the planet!
A recent article from Vogue UK has the author, Nell Frizell, wondering whether having baby is “pure environmental vandalism” or an investment in the future. She goes on in her piece to admit that she decided have a baby after all, yet still feels the need to justify her decision by vowing to raise him to be environmentally responsible. The fact that the white noise in Modernland has us second guessing whether having children might be a moral evil is quite a feat.
So Mad Christian, this is one of the doctrines of demons that we are up against. While the pagans continue to be ambivalent about whether life or death is better, we know what it is to be resurrected by the life-giving God. It is his design for this age that there are families, filling his church and stewarding the earth. Let’s pray for strength to defend life and comfort those crushed and confused by the spirit of the age.
In some good news, a teenage Spanish influencer (yes that’s his job description) with 26 million followers, has taken a pro-life stance on his TikTok account, saying that abortion is “killing someone.” When asked what he would do if his girlfriend became pregnant unexpectedly, 19 year-old Naim Darrechi said “I would be a father without hesitation. You give me a child and I’ll fall in love with him.”
Nafthali Bennett has been confirmed as Israel’s Prime Minister, presiding over a coalition of “unprecedentedly diverse” parties. ending the twelve-year term of Benjamin Netanyahu. Historically, the Israeli government has not welcomed Arab political parties, nor have the minority Palestinian-Arab population wanted to join in. But after four elections in two years, with no clear winner, the new government has been sworn in. The appointment ends the twelve-year term of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Iran also has a new leader, with Ebrahim Raisi declared the winner of the presidential elections there. AlJazeera referred to Raisi as a “conservative judiciary head”, but human rights groups have called for him to be investigated for his role in death sentences issued for thousands of liberal political activists.In other news from the mid East, the co-founder of militant political party, Hezbollah has died from Covid.