Book Plunge: The Price of Panic

What do I think of Jay Richards, William Briggs, and Douglas Axe’s book published by Regenry Publishing? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’ve had a tendency to go against the grain and not go with the crowd. I remember when I first heard about the Coronavirus and what I heard did not frightened me. Then all around me, people were going into a panic. Businesses were being shut down and schools were being closed. Church services were cancelled.

On the positive side, so were professional sports. Then when churches opened, greeting time was cancelled as well and still is at churches. That’s one change I can live with.

Never had I seen anything like this. People I knew were in an absolute panic. It was like death was waiting right outside the door if you dared step out.

This book has been written to deal with what happened. The bad news is that we did indeed panic and that panic cost us greatly. Now the moment I mention this, someone will say “Well, I guess those people who had family members who died shouldn’t have panicked then!” The reality is, any disease that comes across will kill some people. Flu season comes every year and kills some. We don’t shut down for that. We realize this happens.

Anything being said here then is not to diminish the loss of those who did die and their family members who are left behind, but it is a call to look soberly at the issue. Are we letting our fear drive us and are the experts leading us really aware of what they’re talking about?

Now I am not one to downplay experts, but this problem is multi-faceted. Someone who is a doctor is not an expert in every area of medicine. Doctors are also not normally experts in economics and what effect a lockdown will have on society. There is also the question of what happens to people like farmers and others who supply our food for businesses.

What were factors that caused the Coronavirus scare to be greater than others? Many possibilities are mentioned. One is that it was the Trump administration and some people could have wanted this to be on his head. Another is that social media was extremely active and panic spreads on social media.

What constantly amazed the authors of the book is that not only were Americans told to give up their freedoms, they did so willingly and easily. Not only that, they were willing often to snitch on their neighbors. Many people who were doing regular activities could often be arrested.

The authors look at where the virus started. They do not hold to any theories that the virus was intentionally engineered to be used as a sort of weapon. (Having said that, I don’t see any reason why an enemy nation might not try the same thing on us.) However, what happened next was a number of experts spoke on what would happen based on their models.

Not only were these models extremely off, but they had a history of being extremely off. Hundreds of thousands could be predicted to die from diseases that kill, well, hundreds. Despite that, we still listened to these experts and took advice that devastated our economy.

That’s the economy so that’s no big deal. Right? You can’t replace human lives with money. Right? No one is saying that, but people faced extreme financial hardship that resulted in mental health crises and in some cases, suicide. Not only that, some people with diseases that were serious did not go to the hospital to get treatment because they feared getting the virus and so they died from treatable, though serious, problems.

Let’s look at those numbers as well. The writers say that the numbers were being played with in that if someone died from a condition that might have possibly been Covid, it was listed as a Covid death. The doctors would rarely do an autopsy as that is timely and expensive. Some of these people might not have even had Covid. This would also help with funding for the hospitals.

We can also question if the lockdowns themselves worked. We could compare to nations like Sweden, Taiwan, and Japan that did not have lockdowns and did not see the mass death that was expected. Again, sometimes, reporters played with the numbers to make it sound worse than it was, but it was never consistent.

What about masks? Odds are, the masks we often get don’t really work and could actually be helping to spread the virus. Why? People could go out who have it thinking that they are safe and some people could take riskier behavior wearing one.

Why do we need to know all of this? Because there will be another pandemic and we don’t need to panic over that one most likely either. The cost to this has been too great and we don’t need to see a new normal. We need to return to normal.

Anyone who is scared of the Coronavirus needs to read this book. It is extensively researched and well-argued. If more people could read this, perhaps we could return to sanity.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
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Not Everyone Is An Expert

Does social media really help the situation? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have posted about reading Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage recently. I am also going through a book now called The Price of Panic about how we made a lot more of the Coronavirus than it actually was and how that panic cost us. In both cases, one of the main culprits is social media.

On social media, everyone is an expert on everything. Of course, there are people who are experts in real fields on social media, but most everyone thinks they have something to say and it is worthy saying, usually because they are the one saying it. In the election of 2016, everyone was an expert on the electoral college. In Covid, everyone was an expert on medicine. Everyone can be an expert on constitutional law or rioting or any number of subjects that are in the news.

Many of us are willing to speak since that’s easy to do, but few of us are willing to go and read an informative book on the subject matter under question. When we don’t do activities like that, we speak out of our own ignorance. Worse than that, we can take a situation that could be somewhat bad and fan the flames and make it worse.

Consider what happens in the transgender movement. Everyone suddenly knows about what happens when you put cross-hormones in your body. Not only that, but people give attention and validation to someone they don’t really know and have never met. Those people become more important than the ones that are right there in person and know the person far better.

There’s a reason so many kids are going to the internet when they want to learn something about themselves and talking to complete strangers about it. Many of these kids can be very impressionable. On the other side of this, cyber bullying is now a greater hazard because of social media because in the past, the kids at least got a break when they got out of school and the bullies couldn’t reach them. Not today. Now they get home and they are bulled on the internet as well.

In the case of Covid, we liked to share bad news. If 100 planes take off today and they all land safely, you won’t hear about that on social media or on the news. You could hear about the plane that landed safely if your loved one is in it and they post they’re at the airport or a selfie of them there, but you won’t turn on the news and hear “100 planes took off and landed safely today without a hitch.” When one of them crashes, that’s what the news will be. (And on social media, everyone will be an expert on airplanes then as well.)

So what can we do?

First, with children, parents need to definitely monitor social media. I wouldn’t even give your children a smartphone until they’re at least 16, maybe even older. This is especially the case for daughters who will be prone to be tempted to use SnapChat as there are guys who will say on there, “Unless you send me a picture of you topless, I’m going to kill myself.” It’s happened before and some girls fall for it.

Since some kids know how to delete their browser history as well, you could consider being on the computer with them. That way you can be spending time with your children as well. Either way, monitor what they do on social media. Check their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

For the adults in the room, try to inform yourself and really learn how to reason. I got in a debate yesterday with someone about Covid. Rather than consider that maybe I could have a point, it was easier to just refer to me as a science denier.

This is something I see in apologetics debates regularly. Christians will point to atheists as living in denial and just being in love with their sin and ideas like that as to why they’re atheists. I don’t doubt some atheists are atheists because they have a sin that they love and they don’t want to give it up. Often, this could be for sexual reasons, but that doesn’t mean that some atheists aren’t thoughtful people who are really wrestling with the questions and willing to look and listen.

Meanwhile, Christians are often told they are experiencing cognitive dissonance and psychologized over and over about when they came to believe and about their upbringing without discussing the data. It doesn’t help that for many atheists, they automatically equate atheism with reason. You can be a reasonable person and be an atheist or a theist. You can be an unreasonable person and be an atheist or a theist.

Please also try to verify what you share before you share it. I take down conspiracies on both sides honestly. It’s always embarrassing to me when a Christian shares something that can easily be shown to be false in a few minutes. People will be less inclined to take you seriously on the resurrection then which can’t be checked on in just a few minutes.

If you are not an expert, then you can do something about that. You can learn. If you meet someone on Facebook who thinks they are, well, maybe they are. Try to go with the Socratic Method in that case. Ask them the questions about why they believe what they believe. If you read Plato on this with his dialogues of Socrates, it’s really fascinating. You think Socrates is wrong sometimes in his questioning, but you just can’t see it for some reason because the way he asks his questions is so amazing.

If you are not an expert, you could be contributing to false information and sometimes hysteria. We can make bad situations even worse with that kind of behavior. Be careful on social media and even more so if you have children. They can be very impressionable at a young age and not know how to see through fake people on the web. Watch them closely.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: God and the Pandemic

What do I think of N.T. Wright’s book published by Zondervan? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I really like reading N.T. Wright and I try to read anything by him that I can get my hands on. I was a bit hesitant about this one, however. After all, as much as I think Wright is wonderful on theology and history, I sometimes question his political approaches. Would I see more of that in here? Would I see approaches to blame the right or even the left or would I see a drastic push that we must have universal health care now?

Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised. There was a bit on universal health care at the end, but not much. If anything, Wright said something I have been saying for some time. Too often, the church has done work in an area, but we have been happy to let the government take it off of our hands. When plague spread through Rome before, it was the Christians who cared for the sick the most. Even the apostate emperor Julian said that Christians were better at caring for the poor and sick than the Roman Empire.

Wright also has a problem with people who try to see the hand in God in all of this. “Ah. A pandemic has come. Now people are ready to hear the message of Christianity.” Yes, some might be. Some might be more resistant actually and be willing to blame God for allowing it to happen or think that He directly caused it to happen.

In all of this, Wright has the right emphasis. He points us back to Jesus every time. If we are saying that now is the right time, then we are saying that the words of Jesus before were insufficient. Jesus told us what we must do. We are to go out there and do it.

In Acts 11, the church hears about a plague coming and immediately, the cry goes up that this is the perfect time to tell people about Jesus. Wait. You didn’t read that in the Bible? That’s right. They instead said “Who is going to be the most affected and what can we do to help them?” It might sound like just something practical, but that is what they did and that is the example left for us in Scripture.

Wright’s words are meant to give hope to those who are suffering wondering when it will end, but are also calling everyone else to go out there and be Jesus to the populace. With regard to churches opening up, there are both sides, although he does deal with a silly idea one parishioner has that the devil doesn’t know how to get in a church. He just tells her that as a bishop, he can assure her that the devil certainly does know how.

This is really classic Wright throughout the book, but the good thing is hopefully with it being about a pandemic, more people will read it and take it seriously. The church would be far better if more people were familiar with N.T. Wright. I may not agree with him on the political and practical questions surrounding Corona, but I certainly agree with him on the topic of Jesus.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Coronavirus and vaccines.

Should you be scared of a vaccine? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

There is a growing concern I see from some people on Facebook about the possibility of a vaccine for Coronavirus. Keep in mind nothing I say here is meant to be taken as medical advice. At this point, I am speaking only from the idea of Biblical interpretation and theology. If your concerns with the possibility of a vaccine are medical, I cannot speak to that.

Some people are posting concerns about a vaccine being related to the Mark of the Beast and government control. Now readers of this blog know that I think an eschatology that treats the Mark of the Beast as a real future event instead of being fulfilled in the time of Nero is highly incorrect. However, that is not the tact that I am taking here.

Some people think that if you get the vaccine then you are either taking the mark or at least preparing to take the mark. Even reading Revelation from a futuristic perspective, this is nonsense. People who take the mark do so willingly, yes, but they also do so knowing that they are doing it in service to the Beast. One does not accidentally get the mark.

The mark of the beast is also seen as something unforgivable. Does anyone really think that someone will take a vaccine and then God will never forgive them for that? Folks. It would be bad enough to have bad eschatology. That’s just bad theology. That’s saying God would rather condemn you than to forgive you even though you are repentant.

This is one of the big problems with bad eschatology. It eventually leads to bad theology. How you see God is influenced by your eschatology and if you see God as unforgiving to you because you took a mark that you didn’t really know was a mark and want to scare other people into thinking they could accidentally fall outside of the realm of God’s forgiveness, that is a huge problem.

Note that in all of this, I have not once said this is wrong because Preterism is true, although if Preterism is true, this is certainly wrong. I have strove to argue against this on the grounds of futurism. Some of you reading this I am sure are futurists and don’t go this route and I am thankful for that. Please keep an eye on your brethren who think otherwise.

If you have purely medical concerns, I cannot address those again. I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV. From a theological perspective though, don’t let fear of the Mark of the Beast keep you from getting yourself treated.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

COVID and end times

Is this a judgment from God? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

It’s bound to happen. I’m sure it was going on before this, but I just hadn’t seen it. I’m talking about the idea that we are in the end times and that this is a sign of judgment and that the rapture is about to take place.

Now readers of my blog know that I think the rapture idea has no biblical basis whatsoever, but even if I did, this is the wrong way to present it. So many people start thinking that as soon as any crisis hits, that must be it. Jesus must be coming. I mean, Europe went through the Plague and we had the Spanish Flu a century ago that killed far more people, but as soon as COVID hits, boom. That’s it. It’s judgment.

Not only that, but you get the conspiracy theories flying around. Here’s one I saw last night that’s going around Facebook now.

“The vaccine that is coming…
As many of you heard Moderna is in stage 3 of their vaccine testing. If all goes well it’ll become federal law to get the vaccine.
Here’s something many of you don’t know, guess who the first CEO of Moderna was? A Cornell graduate by the name of Anthony Fauci, who was a roommate with none other than Bill Gates. Are you paying attention? It was at Cornell that Bill Gates designed the RFID (Radio-frequency identification) and patened it under US2006257852. Are you awake yet?
Now let’s really go down the rabbit hole. Moderna was a pharmaceutical company that started in Germany under the name IG Farben. IG Farben is infamous for it’s mass production of Zyklon-B, the primary gas used to kill millions during the Holocaust. After Germany fell, IG Farben was dissolved and its assets sold off by a Nazi turned American by the name of, you guessed it, George Soros. Soros rebranded the company as Moderna.
And who was the primary stockholder of Moderna until his death? Jeffrey Epstein. His role in Moderna is where he made his fortune and established his connections. Let that sink in.
Wake up people! You are being conditioned and controlled.”
Please copy and paste this, I did!

Yes. You did copy and paste it and apparently without researching it. Many of you know I think we’re being more hysterical about this virus than we need to be, but that doesn’t matter. I still want even intellectual opponents to be treated fairly.

Let’s look at a few things. Fauci was never a CEO of Moderna and he and Bill Gates went to separate schools anyway. They weren’t roommates. Gates also never designed the RFID. His company could use it, but he is not responsible for it.

As for IG Farben, I am skeptical of that claim entirely especially considering the idea of George Soros. I am not saying I support him, but when World War II ended, he was 14 years old. Really? A 14 year-old was given all that power to decide what to do with a company like that?

As a conservative, I find it irritating to see people do this. As a Christian, I find it shameful. Someone just saw this and hit copy and paste without bothering to check. The Bible has a term for that. It’s called bearing false witness.

Sometimes my wife reads the Bible around me and reads it out loud. Recently, she was reading Exodus 23. What did she come across? Don’t spread false rumors. One good way to make sure you don’t do that is to check on the rumors. If you are not sure, you can ask someone who knows better than you, but don’t just blindly share.

Of course, there was end times stuff with this. Every recent generation has been convinced Jesus will return in their lifetime. They have all been wrong. Prophecy experts keep being wrong over and over but this time, this time they’re correct. I don’t know why people keep listening to these experts over and over. It leaves me thinking about the scientist Jeff Goldblum’s character talks to in Jurassic Park 3: The Lost World.

Keep in mind you can disagree with me on my assessment of COVID and it doesn’t change the point. You can also, thankfully, be a dispensationalist and not go down this route, and if you are one who doesn’t go down this route, please do something about your fellows who do this.

Try and be a bit more sane people. This fear is not of God. Spreading false rumors definitely isn’t.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Thoughts on Coronavirus

What are we to make of this virus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I first heard about this virus a few months ago listening to the radio and how it was mainly in China. Then we heard words about it being leaked out through places like cruise ships. I still had no major concerns about it. Then I heard about it being in Georgia with a confirmed case. Again, I wasn’t concerned.

Yet immediately it seemed all the world around me had gone mad.

I don’t even know for sure when it happened, but it was like one day I woke up and there was panic everywhere. Naturally, the Babylon Bee had some good articles with some Christians celebrating because greeting times at churches were canceled. (Hey. There’s some good at least!) Also, nerds woke up to a utopia where sports were canceled, social interaction limited, and everyone was being told to stay inside. Hey. We’ve been training our whole lives for this.

Now I’m not about to speak as a medical specialist here. For me, I’ve been doing much of the same things I always do. Do I tend to wash my hands? Yes. Do we always keep hand sanitizer around here? Yes. Do I prefer to not go out if I don’t have to? Yes. Other than that, I haven’t much changed my program.

There are apparently two major sides to this debate. One of them is that this virus is absolutely nothing and we need to treat it as such. The other side is the side that we’re all going to die and this is practically the apocalypse. If anything, it looks like the latter side is the one that has the most representation.

Now as you can imagine, I lean more towards the former. We’ve seen several virus scares in my time. We’ve seen Swine Flu, of which I actually knew someone personally who came down with that and was in a coma and yet I did not have hysteria over it. We’ve seen Ebola, Zika, MRSA, and others. We have survived all of them. Humanity is tough stuff and whether you are an evolutionary creationist or not, we all know that humans adapt and survive.

I have also seen numerous cases of people getting this and getting past it. We are even told some people might not even know they have it and it’s like a mild cold for them. Do some people die? Yes. I am not discounting that, but people also die of the regular flu every year and we don’t have this kind of panic over it.

Before you talk about the vaccine being different, I have got the vaccine every year and some years I still got the flu. My wife and I both had it one year and this one was so bad that I tell people I had two fears with it. The first was that I was so sick I was scared I was going to die. The second was that I was so sick I was scared I wasn’t going to die.

There is a proper fear to have that is the exercise of caution. It might not be wise to go down a dark alleyway at night by yourself if you’re unarmed and unprepared to defend yourself. You might not want to invest in that get-rich-quick plan your co-worker is talking about. Not all fear like this is wrong.

When fear becomes controlling and dominating though, we have a problem. My concern is not so much with the virus. It is more concern with how we are responding to this virus.

A few days ago we were running out of bread. I went to the store to get some. The first day, nothing. It was like being in Tennessee when a blizzard came or rather was reported to be coming. Many of us have been surprised to see toilet paper being gone from the stores as well.

This has unfortunately led to hoarding, and for the huge majority of us, this is very wrong. Some people are taking more than they will ever use and depriving those who are not as capable of getting basic staples. If you are a family of three or four, odds are you do not need six loaves of bread and 5 packages of toilet paper.

There was even a story of a man in Tennessee who was buying out hand sanitizer and selling it at exorbitant prices back. Thankfully, he was found and is donating those to charity. This is the kind of behavior that we are sadly seeing being done in our society.

Not only that, but I am concerned with the measures we will take particularly with government. Will we be sacrificing our personal freedom for the idea that the government can protect us from this virus? Right now, our national enemies can tell that if they want to send us into hysteria and shut down our economy, then just manufacture a virus and send it our way. The more we sacrifice freedom for the illusion of safety, the closer we get to losing our freedom altogether.

Odds are, you are not going to die from this virus. Unfortunately, the media has a great history of making things worse than they are. One such subject I have written about is the idea that violent video games lead to violence. For instance, when a new Grand Theft Auto game came out, which I don’t care for, the media told us there would be a surge in crime. Well, there was a change in crime when the game came out. It went down. Unfortunately, to this day, many people treat the idea that violent video games leads to violence as common knowledge.

We had the same thing with the Joker movie, yet I heard of no violence that took place in movie theaters because of the movie. I did hear about a violent event happening in connection with Frozen 2, but no one said anything about that one really. We know in our culture that in media, sex sells, but also fear sells. Fear keeps people glued to their TV screens watching the news wanting to know what they need to do next.

My personal thinking is that in a couple of months if not a few weeks, this whole thing will blow over. My concern is that people will say “It is because we took these precautions that we were all saved and we must do so next time.” In the meantime, much more damage is being done to our society. While big corporations are getting bailouts, what happens to the local Mom and Pop business in your area? The government doesn’t know about them and they’re not going to get the help.

In the meantime, please try not to panic. This is not the end of the world. If you are a Christian also, you should realize God is still watching over this world. It’s His world. We’re just living in it. Pray for the well-being of your neighbor and if you can, do something to help them out. If you have an elderly neighbor who can’t get out, go to the store and get them the staples they need. If you have been hoarding, go and give that to someone who really needs it.

For what I am sure is the overwhelming majority of you, you will be fine a year from now and if you die, most likely, it will not be from this virus. The world is not coming to an end because of this. (Despite what the prophecy experts will tell you.) We will make it. We will survive. Panic does us no favors whatsoever.

Take proper and healthy precautions all you want, but panicking about this will not help you. It will pass. We will survive.

In Christ,
Nick Peters