Friday, February 23, 2024



We are burdened with many weights—guilt, shame, worries, sins, regrets, and psychological needs to prove ourselves worthy and good. However, the Lord promises us freedom from a highly unlikely source—through believing the truth:

·       John 8:31–32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

However, the truth sometimes comes in unlikely and undesirable forms. Instead of trying to believe that we are worthy of God so that we can feel good about ourselves, Jesus instructed us to regard ourselves as unworthy and undeserving of anything good from Him:

·        Luke 17:10 “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”

The Bible is filled with such admonitions:

·       Galatians 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

James calls us a mere “mist” which disappears as the sun appears. As painful as it might be to regard ourselves as “something” insignificant, unworthiness is the path to something far more valuable. Paul had explained how he had to die to self-trust in his worthiness and superiority. If anyone had reasons to boast and exalt themselves, Paul had more. However, he learned to not trust in his performance but in Christ alone:

·       Philippians 3:7–9 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.

Although I had far less to trust in than Paul had, as a 15 year-old I would look in the mirror, flex my muscles, and give myself many positive affirmations: “I am wonderful and all the girls secretly love me.” However, my experience never supported my self-deceptions. Instead, it seemed that the girls preferred the athletes, the class-clowns, and even the bad boys.

My positive affirmations became an addiction, and I required an increasingly greater and grandiose fix. However, these delusions not only further alienated me from other others but also from myself. Who was I? I no longer could say, but self-righteousness, self-aggrandizement, and narcissism run our world. Jesus told a parable illustrating this:

·       Luke 18:9–14 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The effects of self-righteousness (narcissism) are costly. This practice is not simply a matter of self-exaltation but also of denigrating others. It’s always a matter of needing to prove that we are better than others and requires massive doses of self-delusion resulting in alienation. In the process, the Pharisee also became alienated from God, having chosen the darkness of self-deception over the truths of God.

However, the hated and unworthy tax collector confessed the truth about himself—his only hope was in the mercy of God, and his confession brought God’s blessings. In the following account we see how gratefulness and courage result from the knowledge of our unworthiness.

Knowing that she had been forgiven, a sinful woman boldly entered a fancy Pharisees’ home where she didn’t belong. She fell down at Jesus’ feet, shedding tears of gratefulness over them, and anointed them with costly oil. The Pharisee, who had invited Jesus to his exquisite luncheon, was thinking, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”

The Pharisee considered himself worthy and the woman unworthy. However, Jesus explained how she had showed Him great love while the Pharisee failed to show Him any:

·       Luke 7:46–47 (NLT) “You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, [in this way] she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

The point isn’t that we should become great sinners so that we would be forgiven and become more loving. Instead, each of us has to realize that we are unworthy of God and desperately need His mercy.

Training In Unworthiness

The addiction to the deception of self-righteousness is perhaps the most destructive addiction. It is invisible. Therefore, no one says, I need to become less narcissistic. Nor does any psychologist advertise to cure self-righteousness. Instead, they too tend to feed it with positive affirmations. This is because no one wants to see what a wretch they have become. Instead, we’d prefer to think that we are always on the right/good side while others must change (Proverbs 16:2) . Therefore, our Lord must intervene to humble us. This can be so painful that many prefer suicide to humiliation. Here’s how it works:

 1.     Suffering

2.     Anger at God

3.  God Provides

4.    Humbled to See Our Unworthiness

5.    Reject Self-Trust in Favor of Trusting God According to His Word

Moses explained to the Israelites God’s strategy to humble them:

 ·       Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

He taught Israel to depend upon Him. He would feed their hunger with manna, which they must collect and eat exactly according to His directions. If they collected more than they needed, magots would come and create a stinking mess. Consequently, they learned that they would have to follow God’s every instruction rather than their own understanding or fears. He lovingly disciplined His children so that they would learn to trust in Him instead of their own reasoning and desires:

King David admitted that he needed the Lord’s chastening:

·       Psalm 119:67, 71–72 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word…It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

I too need to be afflicted to learn to trust in God rather than in myself. Years ago, I had been asked to preach at a church. Halfway through, I utterly forgot what I was going to say next and tried to cover it up by rambling on. The humiliation was so intense that I will never forget it. However, this lesson taught me to remember to pray before I act.

Our Savior purposely created us in a way to show us that we are unworthy and dependent upon Him:

·       2 Corinthians 4:7-11 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.  

Our hardships are designed to expose our unworthiness as melting gold ore brings its impurities to the surface. The gold is then refined as the impurities are removed. Nor can we look down on others, as the Jews, even Jesus’ disciples, had been prone to do regarding the Gentiles:

·       Matthew 15:21–28 [With His disciples] Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David [Messiah]; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

Jesus was teaching His Apostles a valuable object-lesson using the Gentile woman. First, He wouldn’t answer her to embolden His Apostles to demand that Jesus send the Gentile away. Jesus then referred to the Gentiles as “dogs.” The Apostles must have rejoiced to hear this Word, as it was what they had always believed! However, the woman responded with such wisdom of humility that Jesus proclaimed “great is your faith”—something that He had never said to His own Apostles. Humiliation to the max! (Also see Matthew 8:8-10)

Knowing it’s all about Jesus

Once we are willing to embrace our unworthiness, Jesus become our worthiness:

·       1 Corinthians 1:30–31 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

We then begin to understand that Jesus is all we need and delight that He is our freedom and life:

·       Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

Many will scorn such words. However, for me, these truths have become my absolute delight.

Thursday, February 15, 2024


In “The Assassin’s Veto,” Mary Turner (The Free Press) has written:

•    When public figures are threatened by Islamists, it changes their life. Just ask the novelist Salman Rushdie, who was forced into hiding after Iranian theocrats put a bounty on his head for publishing The Satanic Verses in 1988. Thirty-four years later, when many thought the threat to Rushdie had passed, he was nearly killed in an onstage attack at a literary festival in upstate New York.

•    Or ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born Dutch politician and writer, whose criticism of Islam—the religion she was born into—led to death threats. Meanwhile, her colleague, the filmmaker Theo van Gogh, was murdered for collaborating on a movie about Islam with her.

•    Just this past Sunday, The Free Press’s very own Douglas Murray faced the specter of Islamism in London, when a theater refused to host a pro-Israel event he was participating in, because of violent threats against their staff.

•    One of the depressing things about these crimes is that they usually have the desired effect. The assassin’s veto has silenced free speech, not just for its targets but for society at large. For evidence of its effectiveness, consider our main story today.

•    Mike Freer has been a member of Britain’s parliament for 14 years, representing a part of London where a large number of Jewish people live. But last week he announced he will step down at the next election because violent threats—including many from Islamist extremists—have made him fear for his life and the lives of his husband and loved ones.

It is important to recognize that these jihadists have the Quran on their side along with its call for violence and world domination. Therefore, Ibn Khaldun, the 15th century Tunisian historian, had condensed the teachings of the Quran as such:

•    In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force... The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense... Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.

This corresponds to the teachings of the Quran:

•    Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing...but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun(the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)" (Translation is from the Noble Quran)

•    Quran (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."

•    Quran (3:151) - "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions [like Jesus] with Allah, for which He had sent no authority".

•    Quran (4:89) - "They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks."

•    Quran (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them."

•    Quran (9:5) - "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them."

•    IMMIGRATION JIHAD: (4:100) He who forsakes his home in the cause of Allah [Jihad], finds in the earth Many a refuge, wide and spacious: Should he die as a refugee from home for Allah and His Messenger, His reward becomes due and sure with Allah. And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (101). When ye travel through the earth, there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers, for fear the Unbelievers May attack you: For the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies.

However, many will protest, “I know Muslims, and they are very lovely and hospitable people.” However the Quran forbids them friendship with non-Muslims accept for the purpose of using “friendship” as a deceptive tool to promote Islam:

•    Quran 3:27 “Let not the believers take the disbelievers for friends rather than believers. And whoever does this has no connection with Allah unless it is done [deceptively] to guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully.

•    Quran 5:54 O ye who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other.

When confronted with these verses, Islamic defenders will claim that we fail to understand these verses correctly and in context. However, the following comes from a fatwa (ruling) which quotes the Quran in support  (; fatwa 59879; but is no longer available):

•    “Undoubtedly the Muslim is obliged to hate the enemies of Allaah and to disavow them, because this is the way of the Messengers and their followers. Allaah says:

[Quran 60:4] “Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibraaheem (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: ‘Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allaah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever until you believe in Allaah Alone’”

•    “Based on this, it is not permissible for a Muslim to feel any love in his heart towards the enemies of Allaah who are in fact his enemies too. Allaah says”:

[Quran 60:1] “O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth”

•    “But if a Muslim treats them with kindness and gentleness in the hope that they will become Muslim and will believe, there is nothing wrong with that, because it comes under the heading of opening their hearts to Islam. But if he despairs of them becoming Muslim, then he should treat them accordingly.”

Standing Against This Very Evident Islamic Threat

Few Westerners are even willing to acknowledge this threat. One lovely Jewish woman candidly confessed, “I cannot live without the hope that peace can be achieved through a two-state solution.” I retorted that we cannot live together with those who want to destroy us any more than the Jews could with the Nazis.

Even among those who understand this simple principle, few have the stomach to oppose and expose Islam. Just ask Mike Freer who is leaving Parliament after 14 years because of their death threats. This begs the question of who is has the courage to stand against such threats?

After the Nazi take-over of France, Pastors Trocmé and Theis addressed their parishioners in Le Chambon, south-central France, by preaching about their responsibilities as Christians:

•    We face powerful heathen pressures on ourselves and our families, pressures to force us to cave in to this totalitarian ideology. If this ideology cannot immediately subjugate our souls, it will try, at the very least, to make us cave in with our

bodies. The duty of Christians is to resist the violence directed at our consciences with the weapons of the spirit…

•    We will resist when our enemies demand that we act in ways that go against the teachings of the Gospel. We will resist without fear, without pride and without hatred.

Trocmé’s sermon was embraced by pastors in a dozen neighboring villages. As a result, thousands of Jews fleeing the Nazis (National Socialists) found sanctuary. However, pastors are shepherds of their people, but what he had been preaching would put their lives in danger. However, Trocme rightly understood that honoring God was more important than preserving their lives and even the lives of their children:

•    Luke 9:23–25 And [Jesus] said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”

For the Christian, this life isn’t the end but the beginning of eternal joy and peace. As a result, these towns were able to stand against the Nazi threats and rescue thousands of fleeing Jews.

Le Chambon stood for Jesus and His Gospel, assured that they possessed a hope greater than their own lives. It is with this confidence that we too can and must stand.

Monday, February 12, 2024

notes on CRT


CRT AND WOKE (Reclaiming the Narrative)

John 17:21–23 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

•    Tim Keller: under secular critical theory, “reality is at bottom nothing but power.”

•    its proponents reject objective truth, reason, and empirical evidence. Instead, critical theorists assert that only identity and oppression matter.

•    Critical theory [arbitrarily] divides society according to whether one is a member of an oppressor or oppressed group or groups. (No concern for individual distinctions or justice)

Romans 3:23–24 for  all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

•    WHITES DON’T CARE? Derrick Bell argued in his article about Brown v. Board of Education [1954, Segregation unanimously rejected] critical race theory asserts that the majority will only secure civil rights for minorities when it serves the majority’s self-interest. In other words, any concept of altruism or truth is thrown out the window.

•    As a theory with intellectual roots in Marxism, it’s not surprising that CRT and other critical theories view all Western values—including religious freedom, the importance of the nuclear family, and Judeo-Christian conceptions of morality—as inherently oppressive. For example, CRT proponents reject American ideals such as hard work or equal treatment under the law because they view them as rooted in [white] oppression.

Exodus 23:2–3 You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice,
nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit. [Oppressed vs. Oppressor]

CRT will resort to violence and coercion. Even the cultural Marxist of the Frankfort School, Max Horkheimer, had written “It is not economics that creates oppression but rather the nuclear family, traditional institutions,     and concepts of race, gender and sexual identity. These are the chains of tyranny which must be broken by revolution.”

FORGIVENESS or PAYBACK? Jeremiah 29:4–7 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

REVOLUTION? 1 Peter 2:13–15 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

Documentary, “Better Left Unsaid,”  Curt Jaimungal—tenants of Woke Ideology (CRT):
1.     “Evidence of oppression is the inequality between groups” If the designated “oppressed” group does on average worse in some regard than the designated “oppressor” group, that is taken as virtually unassailable proof of “oppression.” (Maybe its proof of how entitlement programs have destroyed the families who have “benefitted”? Justice must be based upon wrongdoing!) (NBA, NFL?)
2.     “Oppressed” have a uniquely valuable perspective on reality unavailable to the “oppressors.” Consequently, the white “oppressor” must learn in silence. (Punishment?)

Matthew 18:16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
Luke 17:10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’ ”

3.     “Peaceful dialog and understanding between the groups is impossible since the dominant group’s strategy is to retain its power.” Any challenge to the ideology is labeled as self-serving or even as an assault on the “oppressed.”
“Oppressed” and “Oppressors?” Romans 3:10–12 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Romans 10:12–13 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

4.     “Violence is justified to eradicate the inequities.”
Romans 12:19–21 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Ibram X. Kendi, the author of the best-seller, How to Be an Anti-Racist, has written that:
•    “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

However, Discrimination is Prohibited in the Bible:
•    Leviticus 19:15 “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”

•    James 2:1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Reverse Racism)

Denial of Justice. A Critical Race Theory (CRT) founder, Derrick Bell, wrote, "The whole liberal worldview of private rights and public sovereignty mediated by the rule of law needed to be exploded."

CRT placards cry out “No Justice, No Peace,” “White Silence is White Violence” = Justice according to the mob!

Romans 13:1–2 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
NO TRUTH: In “The Key Writings that Formed the Movement”—Kimberlé Crenshaw has written: “Scholarship about race in America can never be written from a distance of detachment or with an attitude of objectivity. . . . Scholarship—the formal production, identification, and organization of what will be called ‘knowledge’—is inevitably political.”

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
According to CRT, everything is merely a struggle for power. In Fault Lines, Voddie Baucham, gives an accurate portrait of CRT’s strategy to vilify the “oppressors”:

•    “Systemic racism is the cause of disparities. If you doubt that, it is because you are a racist who wants to protect your power and keep those disparities in place. This has to be true because, if you were not racist, you would know that the cause of disparities is… racism.” (NBA? Entertainment)

Pastor Emeritus Erwin Lutzer—CRT unrelenting criticism (deconstructionism) w/o reconciliation:
•    “What people must understand is that we're living at a time when the conflict and the racial accusations that are being made are intentional, with no hope or desire of any reconciliation or mutual understanding.” (Why?)
Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

According to the Marxist, it is all about the struggle for power, and they are determined to seize the power, even at the destruction of their host nation.
•    For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14)

•    Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13–18)

INEQUALITY? Shelby Steele is a Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. In “White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era,” Steele argues that the black community now suffers more through paternalistic programs and the victimization narrative than from their Jim Crow legacy:
•    What I've encountered in my life, most often in the white world, is good will, is people have who have wanted to help me. When I was younger and starting a career, people who mentored me, who really felt it was important to give me the best opportunity to pursue my dreams. And my sense is that that's really been an experience for most blacks who have tried to venture out and develop themselves…

•    One of the most remarkable things in all of human history is the degree of moral evolution, that white Americans have made from the mid-60s to this day. No group of people in history have morally evolved away from a social evil that quickly and to that degree in this sort of short span of time. And very often, in our calculations in thinking about race, we don't give whites credit for that.