Trump impeachment trial–a symptom of our hate?

[Updated Saturday afternoon on 13 Feb 2021: Now that the impeachment trials has ended earlier than scheduled, it shows it was baseless before it even began. Senators and congress men and women who wanted this trial to make a show. Some even Democrats walked out early because they knew they had nothing to stand on to make their case. Their weak arguments were collapsed by the truth that was revealed by President Trump’s attorney. God bless him. ]

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Time to wake up from our spiritual slumber. We are in deep spiritual trouble.

These are symptoms that can reveal why our society is ill–not just of the covid-type but a spiritual sickness. A Danish philosopher (in 1849) once called this type of sickness a “sickness unto death.” It leads to a spiritual sickness caused by the human condition of sin.

The left like to bash Fox News. Conservative American people are turned off by the leftist mainstream media and left’s fakery, lies and hypocrisy. There is a lot of distrust on both sides. It’s all out in the open now that YouTube is hiding playback videos of inconvenient truth of the Democrat’s sham trial. YouTube is also deleting and demonetizing videos they do not like. Censorship by social media is happening. Reminds me of what authoritarian regimes like the CCP is doing in PRC China.

In a free and democratic republic like the United States, it boggles my mind that this could actually happen. Yes, hard to believe that news reporting has now come to such a low point where journalistic-editors in-charge are so blatantly hiding the truth. They do not want people to know the truth about President Trump–that he, in fact, did NOT incite violence on the Capitol.

In the past, words “Fight like hell” have been uttered by all the leading Democrat politicians including Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and yes, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters, Bernie Sanders and countless others. They have all spoken these words on their campaign trails, and even in Congress and the Senate floors! These are all available for the public to see on video and written congressional transcripts. It’s all in plain sight.

The media and editors are selectively editing clips to make Trump look like he incited violence. They cut off words he actually used like “peace protest”. It is clear he did not incite violence.

The leftist media has been covering up the left’s incitement and encouragement of Antifa’s violence across many cities for weeks–including Kamala Harris, Schumer, Pelosi. This is very sickening for conservatives. It is no wonder conservatives have and are turning to other news networks.

The left has a lot of hatred against Trump and it is so obvious. Their hatred is blinding their own judgment as to what is right and wrong. The left’s hatred is driving their desire to deceive and lie. The goal is to oust and demonize Trump.

Has the right demonized the left and wanted impeachment of a Democratic president? Yes it has happened in the past in the days when President Bill Clinton was impeached. I remember those days.

No one is immune to hatred. Hatred is a spiritual condition common to all human beings. It affects Republicans just the same as it does Democrats. It can affect young and old, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and agnostics. It can drive human beings to pick up weapons like guns, knives, pipe bombs and even nuclear warheads. The sin of hatred affects groups like Black Lives Matter, Antifa and yes, even patriots. Hate caused the civil war and yes even the American Revolution. Wars are symptom of the sin of hate. At the heart and root of this is sin and evil.

The word “hate” has become a hot-button term used to label people as racist or zenophobic. People hate false labelling, and yes, it is a term that is abused today. It is seems to be more commonly misused these days to mislabel people they disagree with politically or philosophically. It’s used almost like a slur.

Actually, hate is recognized by the Christian church (and by other religions) as a sin. It is unseen; can be invisible to the eye. Hatred can even be hidden and made to look righteous. Hatred is one of those things, if left unchecked, can grow and fester within a person. It can manifest itself and drive a person to tell compulsive lies. We are seeing this in the mainstream media today.

One thing I’ve realized in the last few years now is that the mainstream media in America has become very unhealthy. The media is (if I may use the word) spiritually sick. Their stories and news reporting are unbalanced but they cannot see this about their own reporting. This sickness is spreading and causing society to become more sick. The lies and hypocrisy are symptoms of a spiritual sickness happening in America. As a result, the left and right are at war with one another. The country is more divided than ever.

There was once a time when two sides disagreed, they could disagree peacefully. I think we all wish we could return to those good old days. We can dream of a society where truth, honesty and integrity is upheld and practiced. We dream of heaven where one day, we can all see the light of truth. Earth is comparatively like hell on earth, especially for those who are following politics closely.

Today, conservatives and liberals are both hurting spiritually. There is anger, hatred and deep distrust in the hearts of millions of good American people–and people around the world. If allowed to continue and fester, there will be more social unrests. Uprisings will eventually manifest because of the problematic spiritual condition of sin.

I don’t want to over-spiritualize it, but I have wondered if this could be demonically driven. When does it get to the point of it being “demonic”? When people start making up lies to intentionally deceive the people, it crosses over to the demonic. When power and control are lusted after… when truth is set aside…we as a society, are in big trouble. I believe this division is a spiritual problem at the heart of it all.

We try to solve these problems using human means to structure society. We think we can use bio-genetics and AI artificial intelligence to rid our problem of human wrongs. It won’t.

We need to pray for the country. Uprisings, lying, deceiving are not going to solve our problems. At the root is the spiritual problem of sin. Technology cannot solve the problem of sin. Our society has fallen deep into a spiritual pit that we cannot get out of it.

This is where the light and truth of Christ can shine through and make a difference in our lives and in our world. Perhaps it is time for Americans and good people around the world to get on our knees to pray…pray for our mainstream media reporting…pray for our politicians of all stripes…pray that the Holy Spirit would move in our hearts to convict us of our wrongs. God will forgive us when we humble ourselves and pray in earnest repentance.

Hypocrisy: A Sickness that leads to death

People have been hurt by hypocrisy. I didn’t realize how detrimental and serious hypocrisy was.  Later, when I was on the receiving end, I realized what hypocrisy can do to others and to ourselves.

hypocrisy mask

Hypocrisy is a deceptive and sinister type of sin.  It can be hidden and camouflaged… hidden behind religious talk, good deeds, spiritual acts of kindness.  Sometimes unaware, we Christians fall for it and even turn a blind eye to it.

Who might be victims and perpetrators of hypocrisy?  Ordinary people, including Christian leaders: priests/pastors, pastors spouses, deacons, elders, Sunday school teachers, council/board members.  Religious leaders in Jesus’ days fell for it too, including Barnabas (Gal. 2:13).

It includes people inside the Church and also outside the Church. It happens within greater society and also in sub-cultures.

It is practiced everywhere… by almost everyone at some point in their life.  By politicians…by Moms and Dads…aunts and uncles, by business people, by your friendly local cashier at the grocery checkout,  and yes, maybe even by your local cafe barista.

In others words: by anyone you can think of.

Sad. When we are bound by hypocrisy, it’s hard to recognize our own hypocrisy.  We are numbed by our own self-deception and our deception upon others.

It seems hopeless especially when hypocrites never get called on it.

There is a powerful technique that successful hypocrites use. Fear and intimidation.

Thus, hypocrisy gets further perpetuated. We hide behind a veil of moralism but still feel guilty.

I have seen it in others. I have wanted to expose it.  I have struggled with it myself.

It’s all an act.  We fear that someone might “spill the beans.”  There’s fear… fear that there will never be genuine forgiveness if we confess our faults, weakness and mistakes.

And apologize?  “Why should I apologize when I can just cover it up with a few falsehoods?  It’s safer, cleaner and simpler to just cover it up.  Nobody needs to know.”

We would rather continue hiding behind our lies.  One lie covers up another lie — one stacked upon another.  We are so blinded by our own hypocrisy of lies our consciences can become seared that we no longer feel guilt (1 Tim. 4:2).

Peter puts it in the same category as malice, deceit, envy and slander (1 Pet. 2:1).  So yes, it’s a serious matter.

Sad when we’ve been so cold for so long that it no longer matters. We rationalize it.  “If it doesn’t matter to me, why should it matter to the next person?  They might not even be aware of my hypocrisy anyway.  So who cares?”

Paul said, “Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good” (Rom. 12:9).  When we heap our hypocrisy upon others, it shows we don’t love them.

It’s like when you accidentally shake hands with someone but have mistakenly or innocently forgotten about your flu or cold?  You feel guilty about spreading your germs because you didn’t confess.  Later, they get sick.  Your guilt intensifies.  By then it’s too late.

I didn’t recognize my own hypocrisy.  I saw hypocrisy in everyone else except for the hypocrisy within myself.

God knows there are many more hypocrites in Christendom.  Probably a lot more than I had thought.  It’s one of the symptoms of our sickness… and it’s in the Church.  Yes, even in my own church, and it might very well be in your local congregation or parish too.

We buy into a false belief. “If I act like a saint, God will approve of me.  God might even close a blind eye to my false pretenses, self-deception and deception of others.”  Why? “Since God is love, and I love Jesus, everyone ought to love me too.”  We vainly take God’s love for granted and refuse to truly love the other.

It’s an utter perversion of the heart.  Master-minded by our false pretenses.  It strikes a chord at the level of evil matched only by Lucifer. I know… it sounds dark.

We subconsciously justify it when we put ourselves on a higher plane above others.  “I can do it because I’m better than the other person.  I’m smarter, more beautiful, more deserving, or more righteous than that person.”

See how sinister hypocrisy can be?  You don’t buy it?

hypocrisy meter

Another false belief here…

“My fellow church friends will see me as spiritually mature.  Just act and perform well.  Use my smarts.  Mix some “innocence of a dove” with a little “deception of a serpent.”  Sprinkle it with just enough sugar….

…Abide by generally accepted norms of morality and goodness. All the while, staying within what sounds biblical and Christ-like…

…Make others think I’m spiritually “with it.”  Perform a few Christ-like deeds…

…Mix it in with a little Christian-ese lingo.  Regurgitate a few of Christ’s words from Scripture.  And voila!”

I know this can sound harsh on the ego.  Jesus also had some not-so-pretty words for the religious leaders of his day (Matt. 23:27-28):

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity. In the same way, on the outside you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (HCSB)

Ouch!!  That must have hurt.

What’s worse? Those who are sick, and have the viral infection of hypocrisy don’t realize they’ve been infected. They’re stuck with this condition. It will lead to death — a slow spiritual death.

x2cq

This has haunted and demoralized many Christians young and old.  It has deadened many Christians.  Deadened many churches. Tied down pastors and deacons. Tied down church boards, councils, presbyteries and vestries.  It has tied us down.

We have lost the essence of real spiritual freedom.  We think we are free when in reality we are walking around in chains like zombies.  Zombies are like the walking-dead.  They don’t realize what’s really happened to themselves.  They unconsciously seek to inflict their infectious disease upon others who are virus-free.

There is sort of a parallel in Rev. 3:1-3,

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.  “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. (NIV)

zombie kill splatterIn zombie movies, zombies will eventually die (either by fire, gunfire, or via plasma splatter-matter style).   The only hope for zombies is to receive the cure.  As human beings without a spiritual cure, we also will die a spiritual death.

 

The innocent people on the receiving end of our hypocrisy saw it.  They ran.  Exited the doors of the houses of worship and never looked back.

If that’s you: good on you. You can’t be blamed for running away. You ran before the virus could infect you. I hope you got away safely.

homer running

Then, there are some who did not run. They stayed to remain faithful to Christ’s Church.   Sadly, they got the infection. They contracted the virus.  They morphed into another form.

They saw themselves as good… and as hypocrites by others.

They have continued to spread this disease to others. Some unknowingly became victims of the disease. They became sick.  Some died.

We are all victims of the evil one.

Our joy has been sapped out of our spiritual lives. Now we walk with a spiritual limp (like that green pale zombie).

To live a more abundant Christian life, we need a remedy. Those of us within the Church need healing.

And those outside the Church also need recovery.

We need an injection of this serum.  Yes there is a serum…a remedy…a solution. Good news is it’s free.

The courier is God the Holy Spirit.  The prescription has been written in the Holy Scriptures.

It’s the righteousness that comes through faith in Christ Jesus — not in our human abilities.

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A Danish philosopher/theologian, Soren Kierkegaard (1813-55), entitled his book, Sickness Unto Death. I like the title so I borrowed a bit from it.  Hence the title of this post.  Kierkegaard wrote on “despair” in the midst of a society that grew cold and slid down a path from true faith into mere Christendom. His nation had lost its spiritual moorings. The Church in North America might be in a similar state of spiritual decay today.

Our prayer: “Please God, send us this serum to rid us of this spiritual sickness. Bring us freedom in Jesus Christ. Teach us to walk by faith and not by sight.”

A saint in God’s dominion and a sinner in the earthly dominion

As Christians, are we fully-redeemed saints of God, or are we still sinners?  As believers in Christ, while we live in this earthly dominion, we are also a part of God’s heavenly dominion.  In other words, we have one foot on earth and one foot in heaven.  Our citizenship is simultaneously in both our heavenly and earthly nations.

Paul speaks of “dominion” in Romans 6:14-15,

“14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!”

In v. 14, Paul seems to be implying a sense of authority rather than a sense of mastery or domination  (The definition of dominion might include: jurisdiction; territory of a sovereign/government; sovereign control; supremacy; domination; authority; command; power; etc.).

If he was implying mastery, he would not have asked the rhetorical question in v. 15  Paul was warning Christians to refrain from taking advantage of God’s grace by intentionally committing sins we know are wrong.  It implies that we as Christians have the potential to commit sins we already know are wrong.  We may be redeemed but we are not free to sin whenever we want (6:12, 15).

Within the church, there is a debate whether we are still sinners. Some would say we are no longer sinners but redeemed saints of God, and have the potential of moral perfection.  Others would say we are still sinners and cannot stop sinning even if we tried.

The body of Christ and our Christian leaders are far from moral perfection. It is only Christ who is totally righteous and it’s only through his sanctification that we are made righteous (Rom. 6:11, 4:24).  I believe Luther was right about humanity’s sin and God’s grace. The doctor of theology, Martin Luther, said we are simultaneously both saint and sinner.  He accepted both realities about man’s sin and redemption.  Humanity’s sin is utterly depraved while we are still in a state of being redeemed.  If we are in God’s dominion of grace, we can be assured that we have eternal life, and have been, and will be fully, set free from sin and death because God has promised this.