"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Will I Listen to an Expert on the State of My Soul?

I recently spoke to the Enid City Council during what many deem a public health emergency.

While I was speaking, several individuals took to social media to express their opinions about a pastor speaking on a pandemic. I am accustomed to criticism, and I love and respect everyone who disagrees with me. I have no desire to make people believe like I believe, but I have a strong desire to prevent people from forcing me to believe like they believe.

Here's a sample of some of the comments from people who listened to me speak:
"This man will be the death of Enid."
"Why do we have to listen to a preacher on public health?"
"This guy, though a fantastic speaker, is no medical expert!"
I chuckled when I read these comments. I get their sentiment. The people who posted their opinions of wanting to hear "medical experts" are sincere, but they don't know the full implications of all that they're asking.

An attorney sat behind me during the city council meeting and suggested that we have a drinking game (acknowledging that drinking was not my forte). He suggested that we take a shot every time a certain councilman used the word "expert" and encouraged Enid citizens to listen to the medical experts and ignore everyone else.

I would have become drunk had I taken the attorney up on his bet.

I understand that some people don't like what this preacher says about mandatory masks. They don't deem me to be an expert on public health.

For the sake of this post, I will concede their point. I am no expert on public health.

But I am an expert on the Bible and the human soul. I've learned the original Hebrew and Greek of the Scriptures (Old and New Testaments respectively). I know the chronology of ancient nations and the history of all the narratives of the people and nations found in the Bible. I can quote for you the order of the books of the Bible forwards and backward, give you biographies and timelines of the authors, and speak to you authoritatively on what the Bible says about your soul and eternal state of your life.

I am an expert on the subject of God's judgment on human lives.

Are you ready to listen?
1. God says unless you repent of your sins, you will be judged and punished by Him after you die.  (Hebrews 9:27).
2. If you continue in your homosexual behaviors, adulterous sexual behaviors, pedophilia (sexual activity with children), bestiality, and other sexual deviancies, you will be punished by your Creator and die a second death (I Corinthians 6:9).
3. To actually save your life eternally, you must lose your life temporally. To escape the judgment of God, you must die to yourself and to your selfish desires, and follow Jesus Christ and His desires for your life (Matthew 16:24-26). 
4.  Unless you give up your dunken behaviours, and unless you resist your impulse to destroy another person's property and steal from them, you will experience God's judgment (I Corinthians 6:9-10). 
5. It is imperative that your hatred of people who believe differently than you evaporate, because unless you change your practice of cursing people who see life differently than you, you will experience God's judgment on your life after your death (Matthew 5:22). 
6. It is necessary for you to receive Jesus Christ as your Master (your Boss), and trust His work on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, or you will die an eternal death after the judgment (John 8:24; John 3:18)
7.  Your love for people, even those who disagree with your positions, is the evidence that you have the gift of life eternal. If you say you know God but don't love people who disagree with you, you are a liar, and the Truth is not in you (I John 4:20). 
How many of you disagree with me, want to argue with me, or resist everything I've written above?

I'm fine with your disagreement, always have been, always will be. I protect your liberty to disagree and love you regardless.

You deserve as an American the freedom to disagree with me. We live in a free country. For me to force you to accept my biblical expertise would be wrong. My job is to be winsome and convincing, then trust you and the decision you make about following my expert advice regarding your soul and how to avoid God's judgment.

Yet, you're demanding that I accept  "medical expertise' and a proposed mandatory law for physically healthy people to wear masks? You demand my acquiescence to so-called medical expertise that healthy people cover their faces with a mask because Americans are in danger of physically dying.

Ironic, is it not, that you want the "advice of medical experts on public health," but you shut your ears to the "advice of biblical experts on spiritual health."  One's physical death is trivial compared to God's judgment and the experience of the second death (Revelation 2:11).  

I am a logical man.  I accept the denigration of my speech about public health by those who believe I am no expert on public health. But if your logic is valid, then you must be consistent and accept my expertise on your spiritual health.

Eternal life is far more important than your physical life.

I have fought for the civil rights of all Americans, including the rights of homosexuals to live without government interference in their private lives.  God clearly states in His Word that self-identified homosexuals who do not repent of their deviant sexual behaviors will experience judgment,  but I don't want my beliefs forced on you? And, by George, I'll not have you force your beliefs on me.

Yet out of fear of death, you wish to make laws that healthy people should mask-up, churches should close-up, and singers should shut-up.

Sorry.

You can't have it both ways.

Either accept the opinion of experts on public health and the opinion of experts on spiritual health, and press for mandatory laws to help people avoid physical death and God's impending judgment at the second death, or choose the path of freedom (which I do) and let both sides disagree and only establish those laws that protect the rights of individual liberty for every American.

36 comments:

Carl said...

Wade,
I've never personally met you but you've helped me immensely through your books, teaching, and social media. You've done nothing except encourage and help me in all areas of life.

I also read Jim Denison's Daily Article. I believe you are carrying out Denison's FIVEfold strategy he wrote today, July 17, 2020. You GO! KEEP IT UP!!

https://www.denisonforum.org/columns/daily-article/why-bari-weiss-resignation-from-the-new-york-times-matters-to-evangelicals-and-to-american-culture/
Carl

Wade Burleson said...

Carl,

You made my day.

I get 100 emails of criticism for every 1 email of encouragement. Your comment is very encouraging. Thank you.

Paul D said...

Wade

that was a great speech. I respect you as a person for taking the stand. I respect the ideals you are defending. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to keep to a 2 minute length. You stated your position clearly and obviously won the vote.

thanks
Paul

Gerald Polmateer said...

Those who don't stand for what is right, have already been silenced for something else.

Christiane said...

"My soul is at peace, for long ago I ceased to belong to myself"

(Therese of Lisieux)

Anonymous said...

"It is more profitable to leave everyone to his way of thinking than to give way to contentious discourses."

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Well old friend, GOOD POST, now comes the knife in the back. :)

I have a problem with preachers that reference Scripture but put their ‘spin’ on it without quoting the Scripture.

Example:

“And just as it is designed that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27 NLT)

But you said: “God says unless you repent of your sins, you will be judged and punished by Him after you die.” (Hebrews 9:27)

You mentioned many Scriptures of ‘doom and gloom’, and get close to James’s teaching that we’re just about saved by our works.

You mentioned John 3:18 but skipped what I believe is the most important verse in the Bible had to be saved: (John 3:16)

Did it not fit Scriptures you used to ‘pop the whip’?

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

I'm open for your suggestions on a better text. I pulled those off the top of my head, but concede there could be better texts to illustrate my point.

Thanks.

RB Kuter said...

I LOVE your "7 points" on God's judgment.

The arrogance and pride of those who reject the Godly wisdom and insight into civil matters provided by a person whose focus is on spiritual matters is a display of fools. I use the definition of a "fool" based upon the Word of God as being the opposite of a "wise" person. ("The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" Prov. 9:10).

I am so grateful, Wade, that you have always stood up for what you believe is "right" and are outspoken in defense of those victimized by powerful bullies even when it costs you in terms of public opposition and ridicule. This is the credentials of a genuine prophet as Jesus explained, "Blessed are you when men ridicule you, curse you, spit on you, say all kinds of evil against you on account of me, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

We need more genuine prophets who do not shrink in fear and inhibition due to the persecution and opposition of the political and socially correct forces of the world but boldly exhibit a passion for what is Godly, wise, and right.

This society in which we live has come unraveled. So many behave in a manner that portrays an absence of any rational, logical, thinking process. The baseless premises of their behavior results in their having no defined objective, no purpose, no discern-able target of achievement. They are, as my Bemba language helper described to me in Zambia, "Alyenda fye"; "Wandering Aimlessly".

They function with a "herd" mentality and the only parameters they have to direct them are whatever path is taken by the rest of the "herd". They are collectively frightened and panicked by whatever noise or surprise visual occurrence they encounter and are attracted to whatever scent or promise of gratification that they see ahead, like a moth attracted to a flame.

All the more reason we need strong voices of sound substance whose foundation is built upon the rock. Some, perhaps a few, of those who are wandering along blindly carried by the flow of the herd, may actually hear the voice of reason and be led toward it where they will find the freedom of individuality, self-identity, sanity and eventually, true "wisdom".

Christiane said...

The elderly are much at risk for this strange virus. Some ways to help them, and yes, why not 'wear a mask' for THEIR SAKE, when you work with them closely? Do it FOR them. For their protection, yes.

For those in a Church congregation who are defined as ‘most at risk’ – elderly, living on their own or in assisted living facilities;
consider making weekly check-in phone calls to them all;
or providing them with assistance with groceries or prescriptions, transportation to doctor’s appointments and other needs.


"To accept the “other” who suffers, means that I take up his suffering in such a way that it becomes mine also. Because it has now become a shared suffering, though, in which another person is present, this suffering is penetrated by the light of love. The Latin word con-solatio, “consolation,” expresses this beautifully. It suggests being with the other in his solitude, so that it ceases to be solitude"
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4034621/

Christiane said...

rest in peace, Rep. John Lewis, 'The Conscience of the United States Congress'

may his memory be a blessing

Rex Ray said...

I know this link should be made on Wade’s post: “A world gone mad”, but it’s what happing NOW!

https://abc7ny.com/protesters-clash-with-nypd-defund-the-police-encampment-officer-injured/6318496/

Christiane said...

'and who is my neighbor'? a troublesome question for our times, yes


it is said 'if I am not FOR MYSELF, who will be for me'?

but it is ALSO said 'if I am not for others, what am I' ?

“As God is merciful, so you also be merciful. As He loves and cares for all His creatures and His children and are related to Him, because He is their Father, so you also love all His creatures as your brethren. Let their joys be your joys, and their sorrows yours. Love them and with every power which God gives you, work for their welfare and benefit, because they are the children of your God, because they are your brothers and sisters.”

(Pirkei Avot)

Christiane said...

Hello REX RAY,

your recent stories have been a joy and thank you for sharing them

I hope you are doing okay. The news is terrible about Texas, so I worry for you and Judy when I hear it. Stay protected and safe.

Anonymous said...

The science is against this idea of masks being useless or individual choice.

We have health mandates and have had them for years: employees in food service have to wash their hands after bathroom trips. This prevents the spread of e coli, of some hepatitis, and of noro and roto viruses. Gloves are mandated for those workers if they have an open cut or wound. It protects the diner from staph infection.

We demand people cover their butts when they go out in public because many diseases are transmitted by the oral fecal route, and butt covers (aka clothing) slows that transmission. We mandate hair covers for food workers because when a hair falls in food it may transmit pathogens. No biggie.

Cleanliness coupled with barriers is good public health practice and has been mandated for years.

So Wade, why are you so against protecting the elderly, the ill, the obese, and the front line workers? Wearing masks is simply a barrier method to slow transmission of a disease, same as wearing gloves is a barrier method for food service workers.

I for one do not hate you for your dangerous views, but I do hate your views because you are spreading misinformation that could, if followed, lead to many deaths.

What are you afraid of here? It cannot be simply your libertarian views because you have not been wildly crusading, going to city council meetings, etc, to try and get those mandates repealed. What really scares you so much about telling the public that for a time period they will have to cover nose and mouth to go out in public?

We know--yes, actually know--that herd rates of transmission are lower if we practice good hygiene, stay distant, and wear masks. Why would we not do that?

I have no qualms about facing my Savior and do not expect Him to be at all ticked off at me for speaking truth to power about this issue.

But my Bible tells me unless you repent of the sin of rebellion, which is as the sin of witchcraft, you will have some tall 'splainin to do Lucy.

Seriously, I assume you go to the bathroom and actually use the toilet, not the floor. And use toilet paper assuming it can be had during the pandemic. And then wear trousers and wash your hands. I know where I live if you skipped the trousers you would be arrested.

During a pandemic, for a time and as a temporary measure, we all have to practice the same hygiene at the other end. Use a kleenex, wash your hands, cover your nose and mouth, and stay home if ill.

While you tilt at windmills I am going to keep spreading the word to cover both ends when in public. And pray for my kid, the paramedic who is once again in 14 day lockdown having taken a major full face exposure for a lengthy time because someone else wanted to exercise their constitutional right to not mask up, and turned out to be covid positive.

Linda

Christiane said...

I may disagree with Wade, but I do not see him as a person of ill-will, no. I think he is getting his information from sources that are unreliable and are presenting mis-information, yes.

This is a troublesome time, and people disagree, but we cannot assume, nor should we assume that those who see things differently are people of ill will towards others.

Wade is not someone who wishes ill on anyone.

CM said...

2 giants in their respective fields passed away yesterday:

1) J.I. Packer

2) Congressman John Lewis

Wade Burleson said...

Linda,

We may never agree because you don't see what I see. The issue for me is the control of the government mandating that the healthy mask-up, churches close-up, and singers shut-up. If you don't see the danger to your liberty, I'll still be saying the same thing when you are woke.

Christiane, Thank You.

Stew Roberson said...

So, if you can be silenced because you aren't an "expert", then why do we have to listen to the insufferable Gretta Thornberg on climate change?

Wade Burleson said...

Stew,

Drop...the...mic.

Victorious said...

In the early 1960's, we were informed that a oral Polio vaccine had been proven successful in the fight against polio. It was designated as Type I, Type II, and Type III and were reminded that we were not fully protected until we had received all three. I was working at Xerox at the time and complained about the fear that this vaccine program instilled (although I did get all three.) One of the managers heard me complain and came over to my desk. He was limping and walking was only possible with the use of a cane. He gently said that he thought the same as me and didn't get the polio vaccine and would pay for it for the rest of his life.

Also in the mid 60's - early 70's, we were informed by the school district that our children would not be permitted to start school unless parents provided proof of measles, rubella, and mumps immunizations. As both of my boys were about ready to start school, I complied and have a record of those immunizations and the dates they were received.

As I worked as a victim advocate at a local women's shelter for 10 years, we came in contact with many victims and their children. We were encouraged to get a flu shot as protection and I have since had a flu shot for the past 30+ years and not had the flu.

So...these immunizations were mandated by health organizations. Did I have a choice? Yes, but the choice to not comply had very negative consequences and those certainly influenced my decisions.

So is the adage "you can't fight city hall" right? Or is a measure of trust in science and medical experts more beneficial?

Christiane said...

go to the graveyards of very old Churches and see the many headstones of infants and small children,
and ask 'do we have now the pediatric knowledge that might have saved many of these little ones?'

what IS the 'religious' link to some people not providing their children with medical help these days?

I don't understand this, no.

Robert said...

The issue should not be what we do, but under whose authority we do it.

If I understand Wade's point it is, 'We should be allowed to sing and not wear face coverings because we are at liberty to do so'

Instead, in a pandemic, 'We should not sing if it poses any threat of transmission and we should wear face coverings because, as followers of Christ, we care about others'

At this time we should be allowed behaviors by the civil authority, but not by our conscience before God. Preachers have a way of not listening to either, but only to themselves to whom they truly are experts.

Wade Burleson said...

"At this time we should be allowed behaviors by the civil authority, but not by our conscience before God."

Yes indeed.

Unfortunately, acquiescing to the civil government on matters of individual and private conscience means the loss of both liberty and safety.

Christiane said...

some thoughts about commutative justice:

" The eternal law establishes the order of God’s divine providence. And, since all temporal or human law must be consistent with God’s eternal law, Augustine can draw the striking conclusion that, strictly speaking,

“AN UNJUST LAW IS NO LAW AT ALL,"
an oxymoron (Choice, pp. 20, 11, 8; cf. Religion, p. 89, for an analysis of justice that relates it to love).
Thus a civil law of the state that violates God’s eternal law is not morally binding and can be legitimately disobeyed in good conscience. This was to have a profound and ongoing influence on Christian ethics.

In his masterpiece, The City of God, Augustine draws the dramatic conclusion from this position that the Roman Empire was never a truly just political society. He expresses his disgust over its long history of “revolting injustice.” Rome was always a pagan, earthly city, and “true justice” can allegedly only be found in a Christian “city of God.” The just, rather than the powerful, should rule for the common good, rather than serving their own self-interest. . . . .

. . . . A genuinely just society must be based on Christian love, its peaceful order established by the following of two basic rules—
THAT PEOPLE HARM NOBODY
AND
THAT THEY SHOULD TRY TO HELP EVERYONE TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY CAN DO SO (City, pp. 75, 67, 75, 138-139, 873)."

https://www.iep.utm.edu/justwest/#SH2a


my own thought is that we must ask OURSELVES what is the moral imperative to help bear the burden of my neighbor in respect for how it is that we are both alive in the universe of our Creator;
sometimes this is called 'commutative justice' and publicly sometimes 'the civil contract' but in the end
what is the BASIS of all we do and refrain from doing,
but 'love' consistent with the kind of love shown to us by Our Lord, The Lamb Who Was Slain, Who freely gave of Himself in order that we should live

RB Kuter said...

The problem comes in interpreting what IS and "unjust law". Certainly Augustine is not qualified to define what is unjust. How is that determined?

Many "Christians" would say that killing millions of yet-to-be-delivered infants is a "just" law, while other of us say that it is a terrifically "UNJUST" law and should ge aggressively rejected whether it is law or not.

Some would say that rejecting those seeking to gain entrance into this country without having gone through the "lawful" procedures set out for legal entry is "UNJUST" thereby not worthy of obeying. While many of us say that immigration laws ARE "JUST" and necessary to maintain the order of the land and protect its citizens.

Augustine might have said that Rome's rule was unjust and thereby unworthy to be acknowledged as being a credible state. It had its vicious consequences for disobeying but it did maintain an order and benefits for society in some regards. Like Scripture says, the rule of order of civil law and those who represent it does deserve some acknowledgement as authority and the system itself is ordained by God.

So it's one of those challenging issues in which we each must determine our response.

Christiane said...

Yes, Mr. Kuter, we each must determine our own response. But not to 'Augustine', rather to our own moral consciences in light of the Cross of Christ. It is there that we come to understand what is 'the better Way'.

In the end, one can speak of 'the law', or Roman history, or St. Augustine's teachings or even our present day divisions,
but in the final conclusion we must bring the matter to focus on Christ, because it IS a moral matter and there is no portion of our Christian lives that is not to be lived other than as a response to the example of Our Lord, The Lamb Who Was Slain.

There is a kind of 'justice' that belongs to a higher court. We must find the wisdom to comprehend what is the right by living in imitation of Christ, in as far as we are given the grace to do it. That is a difficult and sacred commitment, but that is our faith.

For me, the image of the crucifix is where I end up pondering the answer to 'and who is my neighbor' and how I am to live as a follower of the Lord of Life.

We must each of us determine what we do by giving ourselves an opportunity to consider the ramifications of the Royal Law of Christ in how we go forward,
and we each of us must then do what is meaningful to us in light of the Cross. Then we can be at peace. No need to blame, or to argue, or to criticize. Not if we focus on Christ.

RB Kuter said...

Christiane, now how could I argue with that? 100% Gospel Truth.

Christiane said...

“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”

(Thomas à Kempis, 'The Imitation of Christ', circa 1418)

Alaskan in Texas said...

Oh dear, Brother Wade. I do not think it possible to disagree with you more than I do on this matter of mask-wearing mandates. As someone who has studied, applied, and thought deeply about civil rights laws for nearly 30 years, it is beyond me how you came to think wearing a mask by mandate is a violation of your "individual and private conscience" leading you down a path of permanent loss of civil liberties. And the fact that as a well-respected opinion leader in your community (and around the world) you would come to that conclusion and speak out against temporary but mandatory mask-wearing is doubly sorrowful ... bordering on unbelievable ... nearing recklessness. Your description of you and your temporary attorney-friend whispering like a couple of adolescents to make light of one of your own elected officials who is probably doing his best to get best information upon which to ground his momentous decision-making only tells me you don't take seriously your own local lawmakers, the COVID-19 pandemic, scriptural guidance about having respect for those in leadership, or your own community's attempt to blunt the spread of a contagious disease. Your convoluted personal-liberties opinion and your "You've gotta admit I'm an expert, too" approach to this matter of mask-wearing is shameful and uncharacteristically pharisaical. And, of course, all that is just my opinion ...

Christiane said...

good to have the 'freedom' to choose to help the vulnerable;
but for Christian people, it is the vulnerable we are called to prioritize above self,
if we are able to do so

in doing so, we honor Christ Himself Who gave us His example to follow

Christiane said...

I remember something I once wrote about our 'freedom' in this country in ANOTHER context: the freedom to to bear arms...

but I do believe that some of what I wrote ALSO applies to the discussion of 'freedom' that is presented here on this post, so I will share what I had written here also:


"At what point will we understand that our great American ‘freedom’ includes an unwritten honor code to protect the vulnerable and the helpless? I don’t know. But when we think it all can’t get any worse, it does.

What’s wrong with us?

That what is supposed to matter no longer impacts us in a way to foster response-ability?

This ‘freedom’ we require seems to demand the sacrifice of human lives in ways that are SUPPOSED to matter, if we are to be called civilized and humane.

Seems to me that ‘freedom’ has always had a price tag, but usually it has been our warriors that fought the good fight; not our five and six year olds, our high-schoolers, our congregations, and our elderly. Not them. Not them."


There is something I am trying to say that goes deeper than the words I have at my command.
But in all conscience, how on Earth can anyone in responsibility in our country expect for us to SEND OUR SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN into harm's way? We need to prepare for classroom education to resume in practical ways that will prevent all harm to these children, and not 'assume' that they will not suffer. It is one thing for a locality to send infected workers into nursing homes to 'care' for the aged, and I think that is a great sin indeed;
but to harm children KNOWINGLY

for reasons that ARE POLITICAL

seems unconscionable in my opinion. Do we want to lose our souls in the process of 'getting things back to 'normal' in time for the election'????? I don't think our children need to be put through this ordeal. No.

I hope mothers on the right will CONSIDER the consequences of actions before committing their children to the demands of the far-right politicians. I know all Christian mothers will see that it is wrong to sacrifice the innocent for political gain by placing our nation's school children in harm's way.

Sorry for rant.

Heartbroken.

Bob Cleveland said...

As I understand it, laws are passed for the protection of all the people. Laws against murder take away my right to kill you, but they are designed to protect others, not me. Same with speed limits and the like.

Mask laws or ordinances are to protect others (per medical professionals), not you.

Rex Ray said...

Bob,

Good thinking!

Christiane said...

"He who saves the life of one man saves the entire world."
(The Talmud)


the old wisdom might have some present meaning for some people, if wondering what to do and what to refrain from doing these days :)

we will work this out somehow, yes

some things I think about: the value of a SINGLE human life, the care to preserve 'the weakest link', how 'rights' and 'responsibilities' connect in our Christian ethics

RB Kuter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.