Friday, January 29, 2021

The Tragic Murder of Missionary John Birch (Pt. 2)

The wreckage of Col. Jimmy Doolittle's Plane
The average American today knows little of the dangers of communism. My wife recently told me of a survey that stated "49% of recent American college graduates believe that communism is a better form of government than America's current form of government."


Sadly, even some Christians think that there are similarities between communism and early Christianity as described in Acts 2. But there is a FUNDAMENTAL difference between Christianity and communism. The latter is a form of government that requires dictators to force the masses to do things against their will "for the common good" of the country. Of course, the "common good" is always defined by the dictator or governmental leaders, and disobedience leads first to loss of personal liberties, and if eventual uniform conformity is not achieved, then individual deaths. Communist dictators have killed over 150,000,000 people worldwide for non-conformity. 

The Christians in Acts 2 shared all things in common voluntarily (Acts 2:44-48). Demands of uniformity and conformity by government coercion,  regardless of the intended or stated societal good, always means the loss of individual liberty and safety. 

Death follows communism like thunder follows lightning.

In Part 1 of this series I introduced you to John Morrison Birch (1918-1945), the American Christian missionary to China (1940-1945) who was murdered by Chinese communist government soldiers (CPC) on August 25, 1945, 10 days after the end of World War II.  John Birch's death has been called “the first casualty in the Third World War between Communists and the ever-shrinking Free World.”

I would like my followers of Jesus' friends to see that Kingdom people like John Birch will sometimes choose to defend liberty for the sake of a nation's health and safety, believing that this defense is a call from God Himself to protect others from physical suffering and death. 

Missionary to China John Morrison Birch
John Birch was born in 1919 to Christian missionaries living in India (George and Ethel Birch). When John was two years old, the Birch family moved back to the United States due to George's ill health. First settling in New Jersey with Ethel's family, the Birchs would eventually migrate to Georgia, where George Birch had inherited a 500-acre family farm. Teenage John Birch and his older brother worked on the farm all summer to prepare it for the Birch family to live. 

An aunt who recognized John's intellectual acumen offered to pay for his high school education at a school in Gore, Georgia, so that John could afford a better education than the one-room church school in the woods near Birchwood Farm. John graduated with honors from high school and then enrolled at Mercer University in the fall of 1935. After graduation from Mercer with honors and a year of training in Fort Worth, Texas, John Birch went to China. 

John Birch in the rice paddy fields of China
John Birch arrived in Shanghai, China, in July 1940. The coastland of China and all of northern China had been invaded and occupied by the Japanese in 1936. John began an intensive study of Mandarin Chinese in the Japanese-occupied territory of China. After a few months, John went to Hangzhou, China, to begin his ministry of witnessing to the Chinese farmers and their families about the Good News of Jesus Christ. He was an outstanding Christian missionary. He spoke Mandarin fluently, dressed in the rural Chinese everyday clothes, and grew his hair long, dyed it black, and pulled it back just like the rice paddy farmers did. 

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the President of the United States ordered a surprise attack on Tokyo. In April 1942, the famous and successful Doolittle Raid struck terror in the hearts of the Japanese, who thought their island impenetrable to attack, and it lifted the morale of the American people. Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle and his crew bailed out in China after the Tokyo raid because they did not have enough gas in their tanks to return to the aircraft carrier.  They had flown from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8), bombed Tokyo, and bailed out of their planes before crashing on the Chinese mainland. The American air crews rendezvoused and then tried to figure out a way to get out of Japanese-controlled China. A local farmer put them in the bottom level of his fishing boat.

John Birch was eating a cheap rice bowl in a restaurant that overlooked the Ch'ien Tang River. James M Scott, in his superb book Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor explains what happened next:
A Chinese officer came inside and spotted the missionary, striking up a conversation in the hope of practicing his English. The officer commented that there were several Americans on the general’s boat tied up below. Birch protested that he must be mistaken, prompting the officer to point out the policeman in a black uniform standing guard on deck. Birch decided he had to check it out for himself. 

“Have you any Americans on this boat?” the missionary demanded of the guard. 

“No,” the policeman answered in Chinese. 

“Are there any Americans in there?” Birch repeated, this time shouting. 

Doolittle and his men crouched inside the cabin, listening to the exchange. “Well, Jesus Christ,” Paul Leonard blurted out.

 “That’s an awfully good name,” Birch answered. “But I am not he.” 

The door sprang open, and Birch spotted several bearded faces inside. “Come in here!” came the chorus. Birch climbed inside the cabin and came face-to-face with Doolittle and his men. The aviators were thrilled to meet Birch, whose language skills and knowledge of the area would be assets. Doolittle briefed the young missionary on the operation and asked whether he would travel with them and help interpret. “Of course, I was glad to,” Birch later said. “The first time I’d associated with celebrities.” 

Birch traveled with Doolittle to Lanchi, relating stories of the Japanese atrocities. The missionary confessed to Doolittle that he wanted to help American forces. Doolittle bade farewell to Birch, assuring him that he would recommend him up the ladder and asking him to remain ready to help other raiders.

Scott, James M.. Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor (pp. 276-277). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition. 
Order of Merit
When Doolittle arrived in Chongqing, he told Colonel Claire Chennault, leader of the Flying Tigers, about Birch's help. Chennault said he could use a Chinese-speaking American who knew the country well, and he commissioned Birch as a first lieutenant on July 4, 1942, to work as a field intelligence officer, though Birch had expected to work as a chaplain.

Lieutenant John Birch would eventually be promoted to Captain John Birch and he would be a highly decorated field intelligence officer, including being awarded the Legion of Merit for his distinguished service in China. General Claire Chennault would later say of John Birch, "I loved like my own son." 

It was on August 25, 1945, 10 days after the official end of World War II, that Chinese communist soldiers shot and killed Captain John Birch in cold blood.

John Birch died defending China against insurgent communists. He died wearing an American soldier's uniform. The United States government covered up John Birch's murder for five years. In one of the blackest stains on American foreign policy, the American government pulled its military and financial support from Chiang Kai-Shek and the Republic of China and allowed the country of China to fall into the hands of the communists led by Mao Zedong

A fight against communism is a fight for lives. 

How the communists killed John Birch and why it's important to understand the goals of communism will come in Part 3 of this series. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Tragic Murder of Missionary John Birch (Pt. 1)

Missionary John Birch in China (c. 1940)
This is the first of a three-part series on the extraordinary life and tragic murder of an American Baptist missionary to China named John Birch.

His cold-blooded murder by  Chinese communists on Saturday, August 25, 1945, should serve as a warning to all Americans who believe in liberty, individual responsibility, and government accountability.

Many have heard of the John Birch Society

However, few people know about the man John Birch (1918-1945), after whom the organization was named. 

John Birch, the son of missionary parents to India, would spend his school years in Georgia. God called him to be a missionary at the age of eleven. A superb student, Birch graduated from Mercer University with top academic honors at age twenty. At twenty-two, John Birch took a ship to Shanghai, where he studied Chinese at a prestigious language academy. John picked up the problematic language rather quickly and became fluent in speaking and writing Mandarin Chinese, able to imitate the local tonal dialects with precision.

A young John Birch telling the Christmas Story
John Birch served as a model Christian missionary to the Chinese people. He dressed like the Chinese people and ate rice and the local Chinese cuisine. He quickly made friendships with Chinese families as he shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with the Chinese people of northwest China. John refused to marry a British missionary woman with whom he fell in love because he felt having a wife would deter him from his mission in China. 

When World War II began, John didn't abandon his missionary post. Japan had already invaded China
in 1937
, so when World War II broke out for the United States in 1941, the Republic of China was our ally, but the Empire of Japan was our enemy. John Birch continued his missionary efforts among the Chinese, moving away from the coastal areas to avoid the Japanese occupying troops. 

By God's providence, missionary John Birch guided Jimmy Doolittle and the Doolittle Raiders out of China (a story I will tell in Part II). Upon Jimmy Doolittle's recommendation, General Clairee Chennault made missionary John Birch a lieutenant in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of America's Central Intelligence Agency.

John Birch, decorated by Gen. Claire Chennault
John Birch's fluent Mandarin, his knowledge of the land and people, and his ability to get close to the Japanese without being identified as an American made John Birch the perfect spy for Allied forces. From 1942 to 1945, John Birch saved countless lives through his dangerous intelligence work for the American government, all the while continuing his missionary work. John Birch would be posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Meritt. 

After World War II ended on August 14, 1945, John Birch recognized the dangers facing the Republic of China. Communist revolutionaries, desiring to overthrow the Republic of China to turn China into a Marxist country like the Soviet Union, attacked their Chinese brothers and the Republic of China.

John Birch knew the fate of the Chinese people was at stake.  The 

The Communist Emblem
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), led by Mao Zedong, sought to destroy the Republic of China (ROC), led by Chiang Kai-Shek, through riots, destruction, murder, and mayhem. 

On Saturday, August 25, 1945, just ten days after the conclusion of World War II, the Chinese communists murdered John Birch in cold blood - a story I will tell in detail in Part II.

Even worse, the United States government covered up John Birch's murder for five years. In one of the blackest stains on American foreign policy, the American government covered up John Birch's murder by the communists, pulled its military and financial support from Chiang Kai-Shek and the Republic of China, allowing the country of China to fall to the communists.

Chiang Kai Shek and the Nationalist Party for the Republic of China withdrew from the mainland after

Taiwan - The Republic of China (ROC)
their defeat to a Chinese island. There, Chiang Ka Shek and the Republicans established The Republic of China (1949), what Americans call Taiwan. For over seven decades now, the government of Communist China (CPC) has threatened to invade Taiwan, even if it brings about a World War. 

The common purpose of socialism/communism/Marxism is a unified, one-world government where control of the masses for the "collective" good is orchestrated through social conformity and a Big Brother mentality (e.g. "you can only do what the government allows you to do.") 

John Birch's death has been called “the first casualty in the Third World War between Communists and the ever-shrinking Free World.”

Burial Site of John Birch in Soochow, China

Every American should know about the missionary John Birch. Every lover of liberty should respect the John Birch Society's objective. The three-fold goal of the JBS is: 

  1. Less government. 
  2. More individual responsibility.
  3. By God's grace - a better world.

Robert Welch (1899-1985) founded the John Birch Society on the cold Monday evening of December 9, 1958, in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Welch,  who was fifty-nine years old at the time, had three decades earlier become wealthy from his candy empire that began with his invention of a caramel-bar-on-a-stick that he called Sugar Daddy.

Welch invited eleven other well-known American businessmen from around the United States to join him in Indianapolis. These twelve men became the founding members of the John Birch Society. Among them were Harry Lynde Bradley, co-founder of the Allen Bradley Company and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; Fred C. Koch, founder of Koch Industries; and Robert Waring Stoddard, President of Wyman-Gordon, a major industrial enterprise. 

Five years earlier (1954), Welch had written a book entitled The Life of John Birch: In the Story of One American Boy, the Ordeal of His Age. The candy maker was no dummy. Welch began reading at age two, tackled algebra at age six, read all nine volumes of John Clark Ridpath’s formidable History of the World at age seven, and entered the University of North Carolina at age 12, graduating at 16. He was a true “Renaissance Man,” a world traveler, conversant in several languages, and an avid lifelong student of history, language, philosophy, economics, mathematics, science, geography, chess, poetry, classical literature, politics, and other subjects.

However, it was the American Baptist missionary to China, John Birch, who captured Robert Welch's mind and heart. 

At an age when most people are enjoying their retirement, Robert Welch decided to forego a life of leisure and create an organization (The John Birch Society) to promote what Welch believed to be ideals of Americanism. He wanted to battle the overwhelming wave of communism he saw taking over numerous countries, and he had already seen communism’s prominent influence in America throughout his lifetime.

Fast-forward to 2021. On Presidential Inauguration Day, it was my privilege to have lunch with Marty
(L to R) Marty, Wade, John, Clark
Ohlson, the President of the John Birch Society, Clark Curry, the Chairman of the Board for the national Board of Directors for the John Birch Society, and John Dwyer, the historian par excellence for Oklahoma

All three are friends of mine. They're sharp, prosperous businessmen who cherish the principles of less government, more individual responsibility, and, by God's grace, a better world. 

Fred Trump, the father of former President Donald Trump, was a member of the John Birch Society, and Fred ingrained into his son the principles of liberty, responsibility, and government accountability. 

It's no wonder Donald Trump had so much opposition.

National socialism, Marxism, and/or communism  have the following three-fold objective:
  1. A powerful, expansive, and all-controlling government.
  2. Minimal individual responsibility and collective (social) responsibility.
  3. A utopian world by the government's control of the masses with no need for God.
Missionary John Birch saw the dangers of communism in China and worldwide. He is an example of a person who is primarily interested in the Kingdom of Christ but was willing to lay his life on the line to ensure a country remained free.

John Birch died tragically murdered by the communists, but the message he conveys lives on.

More to come.  

Friday, January 22, 2021

Just What Exactly about 1776 Does Biden Not Like?

Larry P. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, served as the Chairman of the Presidential 1776 Commission, a commission appointed by the 45th President of the United States. The Commission issued its 1776 Report this past Monday, January 18, 2021. 

The report calls for a return to the unifying principles of the Declaration of Independence. It quotes the greatest Americans, black and white, men and women, in devotion to these principles. The report also calls for a civics education that fosters a reverence for our nation's unifying principles, beginning with accurate and honest teaching of American history. It is no partisan document.

Yet, on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden abolished the 1776 Commission with one of his first executive orders after taking the oath of office.

Mike Gonzales, a senior fellow in Heritage's Allison Center for Foreign Policy and the Angeles T. Arredondo E Pluribus Unum fellow and one of the 1776 Commissioners, commented on President Biden's abolishment of the commission

All Americans should wish President Joe Biden well. To do otherwise would be churlish and self-defeating. It beggars belief, though, that one of his first intended acts was for his White House to take down the report issued Monday by the 1776 Commission, and on his first day as president, to disband the commission.

Is that really the priority? As one of the commissioners, I guess I’m flattered. But is the baying from the woke left so furious that dissolving a commission named after our nation’s founding, and deleting a report calling for teaching objective history, makes the top of the list?

The symbolism alone should give pause. But maybe the symbolism is the thing, and our new president wants to demonstrate his bona fides to the creators of the 1619 Project and their hard-left allies.

For the record, we commissioners intend to continue meeting and fulfilling the charges of our two-year remit. The Heritage Foundation will also continue to host the report, which you can henceforth find here.
You must read the 1776 report. I am grateful for the 1776 Commission and its superb work!

After you read the 1776 Report, I think you'll hard-pressed to understand why our new President felt the need to abolish it.

On the other hand, it might also explain the serious trouble we are in as a nation.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The USA from Commencement to Collapse: From Pain, to Productivity, to Prosperity, to Promiscuity

United States President John Adams once wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. The Constitution is wholly inadequate to the government of any other" (Source: John Adams to Massachusetts Militia, 11 October 1798, The National Archives). 

Regent University, in establishing their Robertson Center for Constitutional Law, publicly stated: "The biggest threat to our constitutional order… is the failure to pass to subsequent generations the character, virtue, and knowledge required to protect the constitutional safeguards."

Many Americans feel as if they have lost their country. To those with a sense of this loss, it seems that the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution are gone. But any lament over the loss of Constitutional liberties must take into account the past 50 years of United States history.

Sexual immorality has brought us to the fall of the Republic. If you won't take my word for the reason for our national collapse, at least ponder the conclusions of Oxford University anthropologist J.D. Unwin.

In Dr. Unwin's 1934 book Sex and Culture, he quotes the Greek philosopher Plato for the explanation of how and why a country or civilization goes "from democracy to dissolution." Plato said the dissolution occurs when the government takes from the rich to give to the poor. Plato wrote:
"Their leaders deprive the rich of their estates and distribute them among the people; at the same time, taking care to reserve the larger part for themselves (e.g. the government officials). The persons who have their property taken from them are then compelled to defend themselves as they best can...Democracy comes to dissolution by the insatiable desire of citizens to have what others possess." (Source: Timaesus, Critias, and Republic, by Plato).
Dr. Unwin studied 86 different cultures and civilizations over the past 5,000 years, including the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and Romans, the Teutons, and the Anglo-Saxons. He analyzed these cultures and observed that sexual promiscuity always preceded the leaders' of that country's attempt to transfer wealth from the rich to the poor. 

Dr. Unwin believed there was a strong correlation between a civilization's standard of monogamous heterosexual marriage and cultural advancement. He also believed (as do I) that legal equality between women and men is "a necessary prerequisite to absolute monogamy" within a culture (Sex and Culture, p. 431).  This Oxford anthropologist charted the 86 civilizations that he studied from commencement to collapse using four words: Pain, Productivity, Prosperity, and Promiscuity. 

At first, Dr. Unwin writes, people go through a painful struggle such as famine, disease, or war. that commences a cultural or national identity. Then, the people who have overcome the struggle through their self-discipline and innovation will become productive as a nation or society. For example, the United States went through our painful struggle of the Revolutionary War (AD 1775-1783). Shortly after winning the war, Americans became a productive young nation due to our Protestant work ethic and personal self-discipline, both of which were forged in the crucible of war.

Dr. Unwin observed that in productive civilizations, the prosperity of all people will soon follow. Over time, however, prosperous people become lax, casting off their self-discipline, their innovative courage, and their self-restraint. Prosperity as an experience leads them to pursue more and more pleasures. Thus, prosperous people invariably turn into promiscuous people. They set aside their morals, discipline, and religious convictions - the very character qualities that enabled them to overcome their initial seminal struggle - in an attempt to find even greater personal pleasures. 

You may not understand this Oxford professor's explanation for the rise and fall of civilizations, so let me give another explanation for the rise and fall of the United States using simpler, middle-American English.

Joe Wright, Pastor of Central Christian Church in Wichita, Kansas, opened the 2019  legislative session of the Kansas State Legislature with the following prayer. Joe Wright says the same thing that Dr. Unwin says: 
Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good," but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We confess:

We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism.

We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.

We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.

Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of your will. I ask it in the Name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ.


 The United States may be broken, but we serve a King whose Kingdom is unshakeable.

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Self-Government Means Free Access to Information

If we the people of the United States are to remain self-governed, we must have access to all information, arguments, and opinions relevant to public affairs so that we may assess and choose the leaders that we desire to represent us in government.

Our free access to information and opinions must never be restricted. There are no essential substitutes for the freedom of speech and the press. Free access to a discussion about political matters is necessary for any society to remain free and self-governed.

Throughout history, repressive regimes, dominant dictators, and communist countries have recognized the power of freedom of speech. Repressive government bodies make certain they are the arbiters of what is “really” going on at home and abroad, and they regularly inform their subjects of "the truth" Any contrary opinions are silenced. Repressive governments may not allow free people to discuss public affairs and give opinions that differ from the party line. 

LEFTISM (available for free download) was written by Dr. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909-1999). Erik was a scholar and leading historian of the German “Nazionalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” (National Socialist German Workers’ Party). He gives a gripping summary of what happens when repressive governments censor their people “for the good” of the nation. Dr. Kuehnelt-Leddihn writes:
"When a government demands identically dressed men or women carry out identical movements (e.g., “by everyone thinking, saying, and doing the same thing”), that nation gives the overpowering impression of homogeneity, synchronization, symmetry, and uniformity. A leftist identity movement tends toward the effacement of self (e.g. "the individual") and towards nostrism (e.g. "USness"). In nostrism, the individual becomes submerged in the whole as in ‘We're all in this together.’”

Nostrism was the term created by the Austrian Nazi Walter Pembaur (1886-1948). The Nazis (The National Socialist German Workers' Party) used nostrism in a clever way. 'Whoever praises and extolls the collective unit in which he participates (the German nation, the Aryian race, the working class, the Nazi party) only praises himself."

The nonconforming person or group who sins against the sacred principle of sameness will always be treated as a traitor, and if he is not a traitor the envious majority will push him in that direction through social shaming. All leftist identity movements take a stand for sameness and oppose otherness. All modern liberal trends point to the specter of a terrifying, bigger and more pitiless conformity.

To the simple-minded, identical laws, identical measurements, an identical language, an identical currency, an identical education, an identical political power ("one-man-one-vote"), identical pay rates, an identical intellectual level, and identical clothes (or coverings) seem highly desirable. It simplifies matters. It is cheaper. It saves thinking. To certain minds it even seems 'more just.'"

Political leftism destroys personal liberty. I would thoroughly subscribe to the words of Alexis de Tocqueville when he wrote, "Despotism appears to me particularly to be dreaded in democratic ages. I think that I would have loved liberty at all times, but in the present age I am ready to worship it."

The far-right extremist groups that breached the United States Capitol in an attempt to undermine the rule of law have been and should be condemned by all Americans. President-elect Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States, and Christians are called by Scripture to pray "for kings and all those in authority" (I Timothy 2:2). We will pray for Mr. Biden. 

But we will continue to speak out on the oppression of freedom and the repression of free people. Shutting down Americans' free access to information and opinions on political matters - even if you don't like the discussion being had - is never the solution for free people living in a free country. 

 As Benjamin Franklin once said: 

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Your Bed Is Too Short and Your Blanket Too Small

Today, half of the people in the United States will wake up mad and the other half will wake-up glad. 

Political elections have a way of splitting a country right down the middle. 

I may offend every American with this post. Whether your candidate lost and you are mad or whether your candidate won and you are glad, you have a greater problem than politics.

Your bed is too short and your blanket too small. 

That's a biblical way of saying your trust is in things other than the LORD. 

Let me explain.

Isaiah (761 - 686 BC) warned the people of Judah that their trust was in everything but the LORD. He chastised them for taking refuge in political leaders and in believing the deceptive lies that economic collapse and death would evade them. The Jews had seen those horrific problems plague their northern neighbors (Ephraim), but they felt confident those same problems would not face them. 

The Jews believed they were God's chosen people, and nothing like what happened to Ephraim could happen to Judah!

But Isaiah's message to Judah rang out with force and clarity (Isaiah 28). You may profess trust in the LORD, Isaiah said, but you don't possess trust in the LORD. 

You are trusting anything and everything but Him! The reason the prophet knew the hearts of his people was because he felt the emotions of his people. He knew them to be smugly confident when things went their way, and saw them openly fearful when things didn't go as planned.

If your trust is in the LORD, you are confident of the future no matter the present. 

Prophets speak for the good of the people, whether the people listen or not. The prophet's message is what the people need to hear. A true prophet is not silent when the people don't like his message. A prophet from God speaks because the principles conveyed are ultimately rewarding to the hearers, and he regards not whether the hearers are immediately receiving the principles conveyed.

To vividly describe the consequences of trusting in anything and everything other than the LORD, Isaiah summarizes succinctly and visually by saying:

 "The bed is too short on which to stretch out, And the blanket is too small to wrap oneself in." (Isaiah 28:20 NASB)

When the OKC Thunder moved from Seattle, the Colcord Hotel changed out their beds. To entice visiting National Basketball Association teams to stay at the downtown Colcord, management replaced traditional beds with ones that were fifteen inches longer.

NBA players are tall. The Colcord knew that nobody likes sleeping on a bed too short.

You are restless on a bed too short. You are uncomfortable on a bed too short. You are often sleepless on a bed too short. You are tired the next day when you sleep on a bed too short. In short (pardon the pun), life is miserable when you sleep on a bed too short. You might not notice it immediately, but you'll darn sure feel it ultimately.

So too, when you have a blanket too small, you are cold. You feel insecure and unprotected from the elements. A blanket is a true refuge on a cold winter night. But when your blanket is too small, your problems are very large. 

Isaiah tells the people of Judah that their lack of trust in the LORD is ruining their lives. The ancient prophet's message to Judah applies in 2021 to the people of America. 

Trust in the LORD and nothing else today. 

Friday, January 01, 2021

A Heartfelt Apology to My Fellow Believers in Jesus

It is New Year's Day. 

New Year's Resolutions don't move me as much as they did Jonathan Edwards

But I am making one very important New Year's Resolution for 2021. 

I will never again publicly post a critical word about a fellow believer in Jesus Christ. Period

That is my 2021 New Year's Resolution. You may not understand it. You may not agree with it. But it is not necessary that you agree. This is my New Year's resolution, not yours. 

For the past fifteen years, I have been at doing all I can to ensure Christian women are recognized for their gifts, and never diminished because of their gender. I have been sometimes labeled (wrongly) a heretic because I believe in the biblical equality of women. I have not - and will not - change my opinion about the Scriptures, for I see them to teach that leadership in the church, home, and society is based on gifting, not gender; character, not control; humility, not honors.

For the past fifteen years I also have been at the forefront of stopping sexual abuse in the institutional church. I will continue that righteous fight. But my tactics are changing.

I repent. I do not repent of my biblical principles. I repent of my brazen practices

I will never again speak a negative word about any person who claims Christ as LORD. I don't care if they hammer me verbally, condemn me publicly, and label me falsely. 

A Jesus follower is my family member.

Christians are my family. Family members sometimes disagree, but we're part of the same  family.

I have spent the last 48 hours deleting vulgar, profane death threats directed at me from people who do not name Christ as LORD because of a post where I declared transgenderism is "a lie" that harms society.

Though my Christian friends have been furious with me over my views on the equality of women over the past fifteen years,  they've never stooped to death threats, to vulgar and profane comments, and to the kind of vitriol I've received the last few days on social media.

Christian friends are my family.

Though we as Christians may not agree on every "jot and tittle' of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, I covenant to never again say a negative word about Christians who disagree with me - no matter what they may say of me - because they are my family members. 

Welcome, 2021.

I love those who love the LORD Jesus Christ.