Things To Remember On Election Day

What should we keep in mind today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So as we go out and vote in America today, here are some points I want to keep in mind.

First, we should be wary about the possibility of marrying our theology to our politics. Everyone wants their side to win, but it does not mean that if our side loses, then that means the end has come. Now it could be that God is bringing judgment by corrupt political leaders and so God’s will is still being done. However, the great danger we can think is that if our side doesn’t win, then it’s game over.

Let’s keep something in mind. Even if America were to fall someday, and most great nations do, the gospel will go on just fine. America needs the gospel, but the gospel doesn’t need America. The gospel will go on just fine. It could be surprising to consider, but some great locations where the gospel could be central could be a Middle Eastern nation or even China. In countries where the church is persecuted, it tends to rise up more and more and get stronger.

Second, do go and vote. You can go and play your part and you have that freedom in this country. Just consider how much it would have meant to early Christians under wicked Roman rulers if they could somehow vote out of office a particularly brutal Caesar and replace him with someone who would be kinder to their cause. Our freedom to vote is a great gift in America.

Third, whatever the outcome of today, Jesus is still on the throne. Perhaps you get the leaders you wanted. Okay. Consider it a blessing and then go and do the work of the gospel. Suppose instead the other side wins. That just means the challenge level has been upped and the church can prosper under persecution.

Fourth, this also means that whatever happens, your marching orders have stayed the same. Are you still called to go and spread the gospel in some way? Yes. Are you to love your neighbor as yourself still? Yes. Are you called to be a servant of Christ still? Yes.

One thing i try to avoid in any case is fearmongering. To get into my politics a little bit, when the Coronavirus came about, I made it a point to not buy into hysteria over it. I still see that as a wise choice. I try now to actively avoid places that still require wearing a mask.

Fear is something that a lot of us are addicted to. We have a steady diet of fear that is given to us and when people are afraid, they’re much more easily to fall to whatever is told them. This can often lead to some kind of disaster being created and then the party talking about that disaster is insistent that their solution is the only solution to it and if you don’t agree with that, then you don’t care about the cause.

Go out, vote, pray for he best, but remember Jesus is on the throne still and your marching orders are still the same.

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

Are Untruths Lies?

If someone tells something false repeatedly, are they lying? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was watching a video today where the subject was the recent lawsuit against Alex Jones and how he had to pay out for what he said about Sandy Hook. Someone with me who heard me watching it was telling me that what was really bad about Alex Jones was not just what he said but he had lied about it knowing otherwise. I then played a clip where I heard Alex Jones saying Sandy Hook was 100% real. When I asked the person with me where Jones said he lied he said, “You just heard him.”

Unfortunately for the person talking to me, that’s wrong.

This is not to defend Alex Jones at all. He was entirely wrong in what he said about Sandy Hook. It was a horrible thing to say. However, that being said, he was not lying. Why?

Because when he said that Sandy Hook was not real, he said it because he honestly believed that it was not real. If he had thought it was real and yet he was saying it was not real, he would be lying. If he thought it was not real, and was saying it was real, he would be lying.

This also means that someone could even tell you something that is true and at the same time be lying. Suppose you hear about someone being a flat-Earther and you go up to them and ask “Is the Earth flat?” Suppose that this person though is scared by you and is a rather timid person and is scared of an argument and just wants to appease you and says, “Absolutely not. The Earth is round.” This person has just lied to you. It’s not because they told you something untrue. It’s because they were not honest with their words in what they were saying and told you something that was contrary to what they really believe.

Why bring this up? Often in the worlds of politics and religion, which often do coincide together, it’s easy to have the word lie thrown around carelessly. We are not only accusing someone of having their facts wrong when they say this, but we are also accusing them of an immoral action. If just saying something that was wrong was a lie, then any time that a kid puts down the wrong answer on a math test, then he is guilty of lying.

In order to show a lie, one must show that a person said X is the case, when they really thought non-X was the case, or vice-versa. Often, I prefer to think not so much about lies that are commonly told, but myths that are commonly told. For instance, it is a myth that Columbus sailed to prove that the world was round. Everyone believed that it was. Many of us were taught otherwise in school, but that doesn’t mean our teachers necessarily lied. They could have passed on something they thought was true as well. It just means people collectively bought into a myth.

Be careful with the term lie, regardless of what you think of the person. I have plenty of people who are my intellectual opponents, but I do not call them liars lightly. That is not just making a statement about what is said, but about the character of the person saying it and should not be done lightly.

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

 

Are Untruths Lies?

If someone tells something false repeatedly, are they lying? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was watching a video today where the subject was the recent lawsuit against Alex Jones and how he had to pay out for what he said about Sandy Hook. Someone with me who heard me watching it was telling me that what was really bad about Alex Jones was not just what he said but he had lied about it knowing otherwise. I then played a clip where I heard Alex Jones saying Sandy Hook was 100% real. When I asked the person with me where Jones said he lied he said, “You just heard him.”

Unfortunately for the person talking to me, that’s wrong.

This is not to defend Alex Jones at all. He was entirely wrong in what he said about Sandy Hook. It was a horrible thing to say. However, that being said, he was not lying. Why?

Because when he said that Sandy Hook was not real, he said it because he honestly believed that it was not real. If he had thought it was real and yet he was saying it was not real, he would be lying. If he thought it was not real, and was saying it was real, he would be lying.

This also means that someone could even tell you something that is true and at the same time be lying. Suppose you hear about someone being a flat-Earther and you go up to them and ask “Is the Earth flat?” Suppose that this person though is scared by you and is a rather timid person and is scared of an argument and just wants to appease you and says, “Absolutely not. The Earth is round.” This person has just lied to you. It’s not because they told you something untrue. It’s because they were not honest with their words in what they were saying and told you something that was contrary to what they really believe.

Why bring this up? Often in the worlds of politics and religion, which often do coincide together, it’s easy to have the word lie thrown around carelessly. We are not only accusing someone of having their facts wrong when they say this, but we are also accusing them of an immoral action. If just saying something that was wrong was a lie, then any time that a kid puts down the wrong answer on a math test, then he is guilty of lying.

In order to show a lie, one must show that a person said X is the case, when they really thought non-X was the case, or vice-versa. Often, I prefer to think not so much about lies that are commonly told, but myths that are commonly told. For instance, it is a myth that Columbus sailed to prove that the world was round. Everyone believed that it was. Many of us were taught otherwise in school, but that doesn’t mean our teachers necessarily lied. They could have passed on something they thought was true as well. It just means people collectively bought into a myth.

Be careful with the term lie, regardless of what you think of the person. I have plenty of people who are my intellectual opponents, but I do not call them liars lightly. That is not just making a statement about what is said, but about the character of the person saying it and should not be done lightly.

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

 

What is a bigot?

What does it mean if someone is called a bigot? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

According to dictionary.com, the following is what is meant by a bigot.

bigot is “a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.”

Nowadays, a bigot is seen more often as anyone who disagrees with a belief or doesn’t accept it. The irony is that so many people who are using this term are the ones who are the bigots themselves. Someone who is a bigot is so utterly intolerant that they are not open to changing their mind.

There are some beliefs in my life I would say I do not think I could possibly be wrong on and this even if I have no easy way of verification. I consider it absolutely certain that my parents are my biological parents. I have never done a test and I have never had to. I have accepted their word and lifestyle and the surrounding testimony of the community I grew up in. It’s possible everyone around me is involved in a massive conspiracy, but this is not likely and not something worth considering.

That being said, if you wanted to offer evidence to the contrary, I would be open to it. I would be skeptical, but I have no reason to not listen at all. Note that that is something important. I would be very unlikely to change my mind, but if the evidence was good enough, I would.

I get concerned when I meet people who say that they are Christian and that they will never change their mind. Now I certainly hope that they don’t, but I don’t want you to be in it in such a way that if there was ever given absolutely evidence to the contrary that you would still say, “Nope. Not changing my mind.” As a devout Christian, I have no real concerns I will ever find such evidence, but I also know that I don’t know everything.

If that seems problematic to you, keep in mind that if you do evangelism, you are asking people to do just that. You are asking them to change their mind and whole worldview entirely based on the evidence that you present to them. Why should they need to be open but you don’t? Because your belief is true?  They think the exact same thing about their belief.

In debates today, such as issues like homosexuality and abortion, many who are more conservative are often called bigots. The idea implicitly is that this is a done debate and there’s really no need to listen to the other side. If that is what you think, then that is actually being utterly intolerant of a creed different from yours which makes you the bigot in that case.

Yesterday, I wrote about charges like homophobia. What was rightly said in a comment on my Facebook is that this is a way of just shutting down debate. That’s entirely correct. The problem is that means that you really don’t care to know if you’re wrong on an issue if you go that route. Now I have no problem if you think it’s highly unlikely that you are wrong. All that’s recommended is to listen to the other side.

If someone opposes XYZ, it’s good to always ask why they oppose it. It’s easy to say something like “Republicans just want to see poor people die!” or “Democrats just only want to spread sinfulness!” Now both of those could be true, but you don’t know someone’s reason for opposing something until you ask them. I saw someone share something today about Republicans voting against a certain act. I wanted to look and see why they did so and find it in their own words. Too many articles I wrote were on the other side saying “Republicans hate XYZ!” I kept looking and found reasons that on the surface at least left me thinking, “That makes sense.” If I wanted to argue they were right, I would want to look more, but I at least decided I should see what was said first.

Ultimately, if you think it highly unlike you are wrong, that’s one thing, and that’s fine, but still listen to see what your opponent has to say and if it’s something new and you consider it important to your thinking, look into it. If you are convinced that you cannot possibly be wrong, then you are just a dogmatist and essentially you’re holding to a religious creed of sorts. If I meet someone who does not think they can be wrong in anything, I wonder why I should think they are right in anything. Ironically, as was said about, such a person is truly a bigot.

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

Book Plunge: Cynical Theories

What do I think of James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose’s book published by Pitchstone? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Woke is a word that has shown up regularly in the past few years. Now we regularly hear about social justice warriors and of course, constant cries of racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and fat phobia. Our world has become more divided than ever as everyone is assumed to be a closet racist and if you deny that, well, you’re a bigot and that just demonstrates what a racist you are.

I was eager to get this book to see what Lindsay and Pluckrose had to say about the topic. They do bring a lot of excellent academic work here, but the problem is they also seem to be fighting battles on two fronts. Their main emphasis is on the Woke and how that hurts scholarship and academia, but there’s a dose of mild scientism as well as any chance to take a jab at religious people.

That’s ultimately unhelpful for their work. After all, if they want to reach Americans and a large number of Americans are still religious, this will turn a lot of them off, which would be a shame. I kept seeing my position as a religious believer being misrepresented. I am able to see past that, but how many people out there will not?

The scientism is also a problem as too many times, the impression comes across that science is the only way to know truth. Science is a great way of knowing some truth, but not all truth. There are plenty of things we all believe that do not come through science. While I am an empiricist, I hold that while all scientific knowledge is empirical, not all empirical knowledge is scientific.

Another problem is the way that they talk about progress and liberalism. Much of what they call liberalism looks nothing like liberals I see today. I also definitely disagree with them on the approach to the LGBTQ+ community. I am not opposed to progress, but too often we get to a place and say “This is progress” when in many cases, I can see it as regression.

However, time should be spent on the positives. One of the biggest walkaways you should get from this book is that for the Woke, disagreement is not allowed. Yes. You are allowed to ask questions and you should ask to understand, but not to challenge. Theory, their name for anything like Critical Race Theory or any idea that goes with a political identity, cannot be questioned.

This is no way to do academia. Questions and challenges should always be welcome, even if a theory has stood the test of time for hundreds of years. Questioning allows us to grow and shows cracks where a belief needs to be examined. Perhaps in some cases, it could show the whole paradigm is flawed and we have to move to a new paradigm.

Also, there are health consequences in many cases. Consider the idea that being fat is not a risk to one’s health. Yes. This is being taught and some people can even find doctors that won’t treat obesity like a problem. As I write this, MonkeyPox is something big and yet many of us are noticing that while Covid was around, people were told they had to shut down gathering places, including churches, but no one is saying that about bathhouses. Everyone is just being told “Act responsibly.” Would that we had all been told that during Covid.

I can also remember that when 9/11 happened, one of the first matters of importance to get out there was that this did not represent true Islam. After all, we had to deal with Islamophobia. We have become a culture that wants to protect peoples’ feelings more than the people themselves.

So this is a book with a lot of important material, but keep in mind the caveats. Take the wheat and throw away the chaff. Get the good and embrace it and use it. We are in a real battle with Woke.

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

Holston Home And Freedom

What can you do with freedom? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In my last post, I wrote about the Holston Home and while I wrote on other aspects, I mainly wanted to answer one question. Are they being anti-semitic? I concluded that while that is a possibility, there is not enough evidence to demonstrate that and a multitude of other reasons why they would do this.

Consider this. Suppose a Christian mother knows she can’t care for a child and gives it to Holston. She just asks to please make sure that the child goes to a Christian home. Should the agency strive to fulfill this? Yes.

Could the State stop supporting Holston Home? They could, but if the home goes under without that support, what happens to the children? The State has to take care of them then and that could cost them even more. The State could enter into a tacit agreement that the Home does most of the work taking care of the children and then the State allows them to handle the children as they see fit as long as they’re not being abused.

However, here comes a Jewish couple and isn’t this anti-semitic? Why should a Christian agency cater to Christians only and place children in Christian homes? However, what if the shoe was on the other foot? Indeed, it can be.

Lo and behold, there actually are Jewish Adoption Agencies. What are the requirements? You have to be Jewish in order to adopt a Jewish child. Does this mean that these agencies hate Christians? No. They could hate Christians, but it doesn’t follow.

This is part of our problem in our world today. Whenever there seems to be some differences in a group or something that is perceived as mistreatment, the first idea we jump towards is racism or wrongful discrimination. There could be plenty of other explanations and in this case, there is.

Now from my perspective, I can fully defend the Jewish Adoption Agencies right to do what they want with the children. Now as a Christian, would I prefer to see children raised in Christian homes to know Jesus? Absolutely. However, that is where freedom of religion comes in. The Jewish community in America is free to live Jewish and raise their children Jewish. I don’t want Christianity to be forced in our country as I don’t think that is the way the gospel is meant to be spread.

My own Dad has sometimes shared stories on his Facebook about the Church of Satan wanting to do some public event. My response every time? Let them. That’s what freedom of religion means. Now if they’re wanting to do something specifically illegal, that would be another matter, but if they are not, then they have that freedom.

Not only that, but if I am sure that Christianity can win in the marketplace of ideas, why should I complain about others entering the arena? It’s not much of a win in a competition if you win by banning all your competitors from entering. I have to accept that if I want freedom, that will mean I get some things that I don’t want to happen.

I don’t think single people should adopt children as I think a child needs a mother and a father optimally, but suppose I decided I wanted to adopt a child and went to the Jewish Adoption Agency. Could they turn me down because I am not Jewish? Yes. I may not like that. Tough. That is their freedom.

Now as for the state, if they come in, they could wind up taking sides in a situation they have no right to speak on. Ultimately, my usual idea on most matters today is for the state to stay out of it and let the individual states decide for themselves. The Christian adoption agency has the freedom to run its organization in a Christian manner and the Jewish one a Jewish manner. if the Christian agency is anti-semitic, it is entirely consistent to say the Jewish organization is anti-Christian.

The sad reality is that too many people today look at how this hits them in the feels. Rhetoric wins over data most every time. Until we as a nation learn to decide matters with evidence instead of with our emotions, we will continue to go downhill.

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

 

Book Plunge: The Parasitic Mind

What do I think of Gad Saad’s book published by Regnery publishing? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

(Note that this was book was listened to through Audible so I cannot reference pages)

Gad Saad is a Lebanese Jew who is an evolutionary psychologist and probably more on the agnostic/atheistic side and is a Libertarian. I am a caucasian Christian apologist who has never left America and a solid Republican conservative. We are two very different people then and yet I think we would be able to converse on not only many areas we agree on, but many that we disagree on as well.

Saad is a professor and is seeing a contagion rise up in the university. This is a problem where we are more concerned about feelings than we are about truth. The university was meant to be a place where ideas were discussed and students were opened up to contrary thought and opinions. More and more universities are talking about safe spaces and microaggressions and trying to remove anyone who is a speaker that disagrees.

We all saw that when the 2016 election came to a close and soon numerous crowds were out in the public complaining constantly about the results and asking for safe spaces and therapy animals. We have people that are supposed to be either adults or preparing for adulthood and this is what happened. The same happened when Kavanaugh was being appointed to the Supreme Court.

This is also happening when people are allowed to put fear into everyone else because they feel offended. It happens when someone gets to a place of prominence and then something is found from ten years ago that they flippantly said on Twitter and then the Social Justice Warriors come out. This is a crowd that is hungry for blood and will raise their voices until their demands are met.

What is happening is more and more a world where feelings trump reality. If someone who is a boy says that they feel like a girl, well who are we to disagree? If someone then says they are a dog or a fire-breathing dragon or anything else, who are we to disagree? Feelings trump everything else.

This is also a world where anecdotal experience rules the day over real study. Consider the case of the idea that vaccines cause autism. Anecdotes are given of people who have a certain experience and that is supposed to overrule the studies that are done.

Many times, this is all done in the name of such ideas as diversity, inclusivity, and equality. Generally, these are thought to be good things, but not when they are weaponized. If you dare question someone, the first accusation that can be thrown out is racist or sexist or transphone or homophobe or any such claim.

Saad spends a lot of time talking about the whole idea of Islamophobia. He looks at the terrorists on the FBI most wanted list, the worst nations for women to live in, and other similar statistics and what do you know but there’s something that ties these all together. However, these people are said to not follow true Islam. Who does? Well your friend who claims to be a Muslim and eats pork and is gay. He is what Islam is all about.

Ultimately, Saad sees this as a war on reality and reason. I am inclined to agree. This does hit also in the area of science such as when a paper is given that says that women might not be as good as men at XYZ due to sex differences. This is not allowable because it’s sexist. It’s not asked “Is this true?” It’s instead asked “How does this make us feel?”

I did disagree with Saad some when he spoke so much about the scientific method, but this could be a difference in terminology and if we discussed we might find that we agree more than disagree. I would stress that not all things are scientifically verifiable and there are truths of math and logic and also truths of history that we uncover by studying historical documents.

Saad’s final message is that we stand up and let our voices be heard. Someone might unfriend you on Facebook? Big deal. Real friends don’t separate and pull apart just because they have political differences. There will be risks for all of us involved who want to stand up to what we see going on around us, but they will be worth it.

If you care about ideas and truth, get this book, learn it, and spread what you learn.

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

 

Book Plunge: Hate Crime Hoax

What do I think of Wilfred Reilly’s book published by Blackstone Publishing? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I read a number of political books and normally, I don’t review them, but this one is an exception. I listened to it on Audible and decided the material was too important to not share. The author, Reilly, is himself a person of color, as he says, and yet wants to share this to show how in his mind the left is selling a fake race war based on hate crime hoaxes.

Now if you consider yourself someone on the left, please don’t shut down at this point or just close this blog page. Hear me out. If anything, the information in the book should strike you as good news.

By the way, before going further, I also want to say that there hate crime hoaxes done by conservatives and done by white conservatives especially that Reilly talks about. While a majority are on the other side, my own conservative party is not without its hoaxers.

Many of us know about such hoaxes when we think about the Jussie Smollett case, which happened just a month before the book was published so you won’t see it in here. We saw the outrage when Jussie said he was attacked and then before too long, everything changed. It became clear pretty quickly that no such attack had ever happened.

Unfortunately, too many hoaxes do not have the same response. The usual pattern is some “hate crime hoax” happens and then there is outrage and everyone gets up and does some virtue signaling and then, something happens and it’s found to be a hoax and people say “Well there’s still an issue here that needs to be dealt with” and any retraction is put offhandedly in a tiny paragraph on page 26 of the New York Times.

However, the good news is that so many of these crimes are hoaxes. Sadly, many times, anti-black crimes are committed by someone who is black and anti-gay crimes committed by someone who is gay and on and on. Some sad cases even end in real deaths and real injuries. The burning down of a gay club was actually done by the owner. A black church has been burnt down by a black member who made it look like a hate crime. One black minister even staged a hate crime at his home where he was going to go to bed and die in a blaze he had started. If his oldest son hadn’t been woken up by the sound and reacted, everyone would have died.

The story is told of two black children who encountered white men with shoe polish who told them “You’ll be white today” putting it on them. Fortunately, this never happened. Unfortunately, there was at least one white man who was beat up by three black men in response to this crime.

While these may be done to draw attention supposedly to racism, if anything, they make racism more and more of a problem. Each of these hoaxes gets people to take sides more and more. This is one reason I do not take accusations of racism very seriously anymore. I need to see highly convincing evidence.

I also don’t think it helps to take people who disagree and tell them that they are phobic of whatever it is that they disagree with. Throwing out terms like sexist and racist and bigot do not help understand a position and if you assume the motive at the start is something like racism in your opponent, then you won’t listen a bit. This is not to say that there are no racists out there among us, but we need to be very careful with the term.

One story I remember hearing about when it first happened was the pastor of a gay church who asked to get a Love Wins cake from the Whole Foods store. He claimed that there was an anti-homosexual slur that was written on the cake. Whole Foods faced a backlash and the baker of the cake got fired. I do not know if they got their job back or not, but I do know that it was found to be a hoax thanks to security footage.

One step that needs to be done to stop these is to have much harsher penalties for hoaxers. If someone commits a hate crime hoax on a campus, don’t celebrate it by having an event to raise awareness or building a building. Instead, expel the offender immediately and cancel any events or plans that were going to be set in motion by the hoax. Giving attention and fame to one hoaxer just empowers the next one.

Why should this be good news if you are on the left? If most of these hate crimes are hoaxes, then that means society is not as bad in this area as you think it is. In an economic way of putting it, the supply does not match the demand. Any time we deal with fake racism, we are kept from dealing with real racism. It should be kept in mind that crimes the police and FBI investigate that are hoaxes are also drainers of time they could be spending on real crimes.

I urge everyone out there to go and read this. Really consider what is being said and be careful the next time you hear of a hate crime. Don’t go and get your pitchforks ready to deal with the other side and don’t immediately start concluding that society is completely hopeless on this issue. Wait and see. Odds are, it will likely be a hoax.

Not the best news of all if it is, but still far better than the alternative.

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

Don’t Panic

How do you handle something frightening? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have a general rule about major “crises” in the world today. That’s to do my best to not panic. Fearmongering doesn’t do any good. Generally, I am anxiety prone. Having gone through a divorce now, I even take medication to help me with anxiety and it does a great deal of good, but I still have to apply the wisdom I have and my knowledge of Scripture. I don’t condemn medication, but medication without sound practice is not wise at all.

When the Coronavirus was first announced, I heard the news about it being on a cruise ship and how the majority of the people there recovered just fine. I knew then the simple principle I had through all other number of diseases and viruses that came our way. It’s a simple tip. As Douglas Adams said, “Don’t Panic.”

So as I saw the rest of the world me panicking over the Coronavirus, I was handling it just fine. Now note this part. I am not denying the virus is real. I am not denying that many people suffered and died from it. I am not saying that we shouldn’t take precautions in this. What I am saying is we shouldn’t lose our minds in fear. My contention is a lot of the measures we take to stop the virus in the long run actually did a lot more harm than they did good.

I think many people who did that fear lean towards the left politically also, so let’s look at the right as well. Yesterday, my mother came upstairs to my room, seeing as I have been living with my parents since the divorce, though I hope to be accepted at NOBTS and move down to New Orleans soon. She told me that soon toothpaste would be at $10 a tube. I generally buy the cheapest store brand stuff that I can so I rarely pay more than $1 or so. We’re talking about a major price increase.

So I looked it up. I found that there was an article about inflation that said that Colgate was coming out with a new toothpaste that would be $10 a tube. My guess is someone saw that and panicked and ran with it. In our society, it’s like we have an addiction to fear. We practically want to be afraid of something. That way, we can feel safe when we know someone can take care of it.

Now to go back to what my mother said, note that I am not at all denying inflation. I work in retail. I see it every day that I work. I am not at all denying high gas prices. I am halfway between 41 and 42 and I have never seen gas prices this high. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have any concern.

However, let’s consider this. Isn’t it when times are hardest that often people rise up and do the most good? I just finished listening to a biography of John Adams while driving. It’s amazing to hear about what these ordinary people did in the start of our nation’s history. Were they scared? Sure they were. If they weren’t, they were crazy. They were taking on the most powerful people at the time in the world, if not the most powerful ever.

We also know there were preachers who preached a sermon every Sunday and yet they had a bounty on their heads. They kept going. They weren’t letting their fear control them.

We could point to many other times in history. As Christians, we hold that the disciples were scared after the crucifixion of Jesus. Where would our world be if they had not lost that fear? Where would they be if they had stayed locked in that room even after the Holy Spirit came? I happen to also like the prayer in Acts 4 that they speak the Word of God with boldness. They still had fear and needed to overcome it.

Panicking about something really does us no good. With medication, matters are much easier for me and if that’s what it takes for you, that’s fine too. I also recommend the book by Pierce Taylor Hobbs called Struck Down But Not Destroyed. The book is the best book on anxiety I have ever read and if you want to know about the Facebook group he has for this, well, you need to read the book and then join it as he tells the name of the group in it.

I don’t know how many times in the past I knew i needed to get up early to do something and I would worry if i would get to sleep in time to get all the sleep I need. Want to know what happened? No, you don’t. You already know. Odds are you’ve been there. You don’t sleep nearly as well that night.

Panic doesn’t do any good. Concern is one thing, but if it drives you to do nothing, then it is useless. If you have any fear or anything of that sort, let it drive you to do something about it. After my separation from my ex, for example, I knew I could lie down and be the victim and let life walk all over me. That was a choice. However, I chose instead to not be a victim anymore, but to get up and live my life and make the most of it. As a lifelong gamer, I chose to play to win. Some people after a divorce want revenge on their ex.

Sue Grafton, for instance, is the mystery writer who wrote those books that were the alphabet mysteries like A Is For Alibi. How did she get started with this? Her divorce and custody battles left her so hurt she thought about ways to murder her ex and knew she was a law-abiding citizen and would never do it, so why not turn them into murder mysteries? It’s certainly a better outlet than committing actual murder.

Also, as a Christian, I have recently told two people who have come to me scared about something to consider a Babylon Bee headline. Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Omnipotent and Omniscient is Totally Caught Off Guard by XYZ. Put whatever you want in that blank. It will work the same way. When you hear it that way, if you’re a Christian, you can say, “Yeah. That is ridiculous.

I also think of the Heidelberg Catechism. While this Catechism is Protestant and more specifically Calvinistic and used to teach Calvinist doctrines, the first part, every Christian Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox, should be able to affirm.

1. Q.
What is your only comfort
in life and death?
A.
That I am not my own,
but belong with body and soul,
both in life and in death,
to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.
This is in gaming terms the ultimate cheat code. Whatever happens to you, you win. Now you may not like it as it is happening or when it happens, but you will still win in the end.

So folks, when the next craze comes along, take it seriously if need be and take proper precautions, but don’t panic. It never does you any good and only makes you less effective to handle it. Stand up and face the problem. It’s hard to solve it if you’re running from it.

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

 

Book Plunge: Veils of Distortion

What do I think of John Zada’s book published by Terra Incognita? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

John Zada is a journalist writing about how media distorts the news for all of us. Right now, my conservative readers are thinking, “Yep. We know we can’t trust the media. You tell them.” My liberal friends are probably thinking, “This is just going to be a cry of celebration for Trump and Fox News.”

Both of them are wrong.

There are statements in here both sides will not be happy with, which means it’s great reading for both sides. Instead, it’s a general warning about how the media functions today. In many ways, the media does control the culture and what they say does stick. This book is also recently published which means you can find news about Trump and about the Coronavirus.

Let’s start with the latter as an example of how news is shaped. Consider that the virus is called a “deadly virus.” Left out is that normally 98% of people who get the virus survive just fine. So why report it this way? Because deadly is a way that can make news. Also, we regularly report only the exceptional negative news. For a counterexample, you won’t turn on the news and hear “Millions of Americans get flu vaccine and nothing bad happens.” If however, some people die from it, which happens every year, that will make the news.

Part of the problem also is like most things journalists report on, they are not experts on the subject. Someone could be a journalist who reports on issues of national security all his life. However, he still will not have a job where he works directly in national security and so that will always be a blind spot for him.

News outlets also try to get news out there as fast as possible which means that they don’t have the time to fact check. In the past, they had to compete against only other journalists and news stations. Now who do they have to compete against? Everyone with a smartphone. How many of our news stories now are based on captured smartphone video?

Thus, the media rushes right out the gate without all the information and can often make snap judgments. Fact-checkers don’t always have the time to do proper fact-checking and can be just as unreliable as anyone else is. The best way for us to handle topics is to try to do our own fact-checking.

Sometimes, as a sad commentary, the media practically hopes for a disaster to take place. Zada even reports of a time where there was a standoff somewhere and someone in the newsroom actually said, “I wish some fighting would break out between these two so that we could have something to report.” After all, the same news doesn’t sell. If you have a story where a plane crashes, that will make the news. You will never turn on the news and hear, “Hundreds of planes flew across America today without a single crash.”

We must remember the media is driven by one thing ultimately. Money. They want ratings and that can lead to sloppiness as they try to get the best stuff out there as quickly as they can. The news will stay in the air for a bit and then when it no longer brings in the ratings, the media will go on to another story.

Also, whatever you think of Trump, he knows how to play the media well, and that is part of the reason he won in 2016. He knew what to do to get the media reporting on him which meant free coverage. The media had a love/hate relationship with him. They hated him politically, but they loved that he was a ratings grab which means in an ironic sense, they helped him become president with all the coverage.

What can we do?

For one thing, we need to inform ourselves. Watch the news from both sides and watch agencies that watch the media as well. You could even try investing in slow journalism. I have heard that Dan Bongino, for example, tries to wait 72 hours before taking a side on an issue that breaks out. Since he has a national radio show now, I don’t know if that can be done as easily, but whether you like him or not, I think that’s an admirable stance.

In my own field, I know that often a discovery is made in archaeology and Christians and atheists both rush out to share it thinking it will either confirm or disprove the Bible. I always say the same thing to them. Wait. Let the scholars look at the issue. Many people like to rush their stories to the media in this area instead of going through the scholarly review part. Always be wary of those.

Try also to read a story or hear it from the other perspective. If the situation was reversed, what would that mean? What data is being left out? We can hear how many people die from Coronavirus. How many people don’t?

I urge liberals and conservatives both to read this book.

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

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