Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pension Problems in the Beach Cities

Pensions have created more problems than they were originally slated to solve. If public sector work is so unappealing, then perhaps municipal governments should have offered higher pay instead of promising unsustainable payouts. It's bad enough that in some professions, workers are guaranteed a job for life after a set number of years. It seems like a poor investment of funding and wisdom then to award a salary for doing nothing long after these individuals leave the workforce.

Perhaps city governments could have negotiated a cap for retirement with the public workers' unions. It is both cynical and disappointing that local and state governments were banking on retirees not living long after they left the work force. Now that retirees are living longer than originally anticipated, perhaps more cities will "die out" due to bankruptcy before the public workers from natural causes.

One reason for the spike in pension costs is due to the added benefits passed on to public safety employees post 9-11. In the aftermath of public safety officers' brave -- and in some cases, fatal -- service to their cities and country, municipal governments wanted to offer a more lavish set of emoluments to these men and women who put themselves in harm's way. Still, the enthusiasm that prospered such past generosity has now come at a great cost to third-party interests: the taxpayers, those paying today, as well as those who will have to pay in the future.

Beyond any other political problem, the pension obligations menacing municipalities today point out the most compelling reason for curbing public sector union power at every level of government.

Save AcaDec? Save us All

Mr. Boyarsky is quite a cheer leader of the Los Angeles Unified Academic Decathlon program.

I admire that school districts as troubled as Los Angeles Unified can muster enough enthusiasm for a program that engages brilliant and motivated students.

Yet as school districts invest in a larger number of boutique programs, the greater number of students who struggle in poor schools, with underfunded faculty and limited resources, is by far the greater tragedy.

No matter how impressive the most elite of students may be, the success of few cannot cover over the endemic, daily failure in which the vast majority of LA Unified students are mired in.

Instead of donating a large sum to an intellectually well-endowed program, why not contribute a few extra hundred grand toward pushing for an en masse secession of the Valley and West Los Angeles Communities from the entire district? Los Angeles Unified has exposed their incapacity to secure children's persons and future from elementary to high school. Parents in wealthier enclaves of Los Angeles have every right to command more autonomy for their children and the schooling which they receive.

A thriving Academic Decathlon program is nice. A thriving, and smaller, school district that responds more quickly to the needs and the vision of community stake holders would be better.

"Chaos for Cash" A Laugh Riot

Paul Silva's imaginative piece suggests a wide ranging number of options for dealing with the pecuniary, punitive, and perverted problems that currently pester the Beach City communities.

Beyond the "modest proposals" which would have offended satirist Jonathan Swift's sarcastic sensibilities, the distinction between extravagances and expenses is a noteworthy one. On a more serious note, I do believe in the sanctity of Prop 13, at least in making it as difficult as possible for legislators in Sacramento to raise taxes on the law-abiding everyone else in the State of California.

However, I am completely in favor of closing loopholes that protect commercial and residential properties from reassessment. As long as individuals profit from living in the Golden State, they ought to contribute the requisite amount to defray the costs of public services.  I would also like to see an end to the boutique legislation passed by small-time politicians looking to make a name for themselves. Ted Lieu has declared war on private puppy sales, shark-fin soup, and tanning salons. What's next:" eating the rich to feed the rest?

And on another note, why not lower tax-brackets altogether and move for a part-time legislature? At least that way our money and liberty would be safer for a greater length of time throughout the year.

Students get "eye-opening" look at health care

“The Beach Reporter” recently reported that local teens from the Manhattan Beach Mayor’s Youth Council explored the idiosyncrasies and complexities of “what makes a good health care system?” As part of their investigation, students visited Harbor-General UCLA, under the mentorship of four emergency room doctors. These students, who have health insurance, witnessed health care provided for those who do not have their own coverage. One student remarked, “I’ve never really tried to learn about health care before this.”
Apparently, their visit did not improve their understanding. Following their visit to Harbor-General, the students presented arguments for the “perfect” health care system. The very notion that medical care can provide “perfect” care without cost is sheer folly, a statist mindset which has propelled progressives in California and Washington D.C. to institute price-controls and lawsuits against insurance companies and health care providers. The students learned that doctors love to treat patients. Did they also learn that a high incidence of accidental deaths, legal difficulties, and rising costs have forced hospitals to close? Did the students investigate the negative impact of universal health care policies like those enacted in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Scandinavian nations?
The students who visited Harbor-General UCLA ignored matters of price, efficiency, and red tape, which prevent competition and force patients and hospitals to weigh costs and invest resources ineffectively. Future voters and health professionals like these young people need to discuss resurrecting free market reforms in medical care, not design fruitless paradigms of “perfect” health care.

Conrad Statue Has to Go

Paul Conrad was a liberal mouth piece who played fast and loose with the facts while trumpeting his open disdain for conservative causes. No city should be the platform for the irreverent and unrepentant pundit. Nevertheless, Santa Monica provided a plot of land for Conrad's "Chain Reaction", a bunch of chains piled up to look like a mushroom cloud.

According to Santa Monica city leaders, the sculpture needs repair and refurbishment, at a time when municipalities are cutting core services while attempting to finance exorbitant public sector benefits.
I think it reflects poorly on the City of Santa Monica to showcase so political a figure, even if his creation was supposedly "not confrontational". The issue of nuclear non-proliferation is hardly a "timeless" issue, as alleged by next of kin David Conrad. Nor is Paul Conrad's extant artwork "the most iconic public art piece in the country." Has activist Jerry Rubin overlooked the Statue of Liberty, the Washington and Lincoln Memorials, or even the White House? These iconic structures hold higher esteem and carry far greater meaning and import than an anti-nuclear piece rapidly disintegrated into decay. The fulsome praise which pacifists have heaped upon Conrad's heap of rusty chains all the more highlights the growing irrelevance of the political cartoonist's attempt at posterity.
The City of Santa Monica would better serve the needs of the city by investing the money in proper infrastructure renovation, not trying to fix up a cartoonist's sop to his questionable legacy.

The Lord is With You -- The Lord is In You!

No matter how bad things may have turned out for Joseph, the Beloved eleventh Son of Jacob, and the first son of Jacob's favored wife Rachel, he succeeded:

"And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian." (Genesis 39: 2)

Later, Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be named "God with us":

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7: 14)

This was declared to all on the night that Jesus was born:

"Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." (Matthew 1: 22-23)

Yet Jesus promised that not only would be never leave us, but that He would be in us:

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (John 14: 16-17)

Jesus prayers for this complete baptismal oneness for His believers:

"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

"And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

"I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." (John 17: 21-23)

Paul affirms this glorious mystery for every believer. "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27) is possible because of the Holy Spirit who guides us, informs us, leads us, and reminds us of all that Jesus has taught us. Paul's epistles repeat the theme that we are now in Christ, too:

"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2: 6)
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2: 13)

"For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." (Philippians 3: 3)

"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Colossians 3: 3)

Those who trust in the Lord have something that the prophets and patriarchs of the Old Testament longed for: not just the Presence of God in their lives, but Himself dwelling in man:

"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

"For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66: 1-2)

Paul describes the fulfillment of this prophesy to the Corinthians:

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Corinthians 3: 16)


"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6: 19)

Peter affirms this precious truth, this fulfilled promised in his epistle:

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5)

I used to think that when I went to heaven, I would want to meet the men and women of faith that the writer of Hebrews celebrates. When I realized that they, like Joseph, experienced that the Lord was with them, but not IN them, I began to believe that they will welcome us, as we became partakers of the divine nature, whereas in Old Testament days, the Holy Spirit would only visit believers.

The Lord is not just with you, believer -- He is in you!:

"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2: 12-13

Errors of Alcoholics Anonymous: Capacity to be Honest

From the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous:

"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."

David suggests a much better way:

"He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Psalm 23: 3)

God does the restoring and the leading. Then God sent His own Son, we made the way perfect and unavoidable:

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14: 6)

Which later is realized for us through the Holy Spirit:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

and later

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
(Romans 14: 17)

"Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves."

Since when has man ever been able to be honest with himself:

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17: 9)

"I said in my haste, All men are liars." (Psalm 116: 11)

Honestly is neither a priority or a pertinence for fallen man.

There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. 

David did not dismiss the sin nature in man:

"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalm 51: 5)

In another Psalm, the writer points out with equivocation that man is bad from birth, by nature:L

"They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Psalm 14: 3)

Even our attempts to make ourselves righteous, to be honest with ourselves, so to speak, are marred with sin and failure:

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64: 6)
There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest. Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.

Instead of attempting to make us live up to His standards, which are impossible, Christ lives in us and works in us to effect His perfect will. To begin with, He is the Truth, better than any honesty that we force on our own:

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (Jon 14: 6)

Later, the writer of Hebrews informs his audience regarding the New Covenant extended to all believers through the shedding of Christ's blood and the indwelling Holy Spirit:

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)

We are forgiven of all our sin, but not only that, God writes His law in our hearts and minds, and He becomes a God, a loving and ever-present Father who assists us in all ways!

Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.
"The grave emotional and mental disorders" mentioned here emanate from a reprobate mind, separated from God:
"And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." (Colossians 1: 21)
Later, Paul indicts the empty wickedness of the mind of fallen man:
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind." (Ephesians 4: 17)
For believers, we are called to receive the renewing our minds through the Word of God:
"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;" (Ephesians 4: 23)
This verse can more accurately be translated:
"to be made new in the attitude of your minds" (New International Version )
and also

"Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes." (New Living Translation)

Regarding the renewal of our new mind in Christ (1 Corinthians 2: 16)

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2)

and also

"And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." (Colossians 3:10)

We do not need a capacity to be honest; we need Christ living within us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1: 27), and through His Word, we are transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3: 18)

Errors of Alcoholics Anonymous: Principal and Agent Relationship an Unprincipled Folly

From the "How it Works" Section of the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous:

"This is the how and the why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn't work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most Good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom." 

There is no greater blasphemy that to treat God as some imperious, distant figure who gives directions from afar.

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1: 17)

You can give something from a distance -- but Jesus Christ the Lord, He came in the flesh, bringing grace and truth.

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

"For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5: 6-8)

God came to us in the power, person, and presence of His Son, and His Son was sent to die for us, to make us righteous in Him, to reconcile us to His Father and our Father!

Granted, the writers of the "Big Book" also points out that God is our Father, we are His Children. But who is this possible? Blind faith is not acceptable, for even Jesus did not impose such an empty standard on his believers:

"Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake." (John 14: 11)

So, how were we "adopted" into the Holy Family:

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." (Romans 8: 15)

By the Power of the Holy Spirit, the promise released to the whole word and to every believer because of Christ's final atonement at the Cross, the Holy Spirit dwells in the believer, granting us eternal life, eternal sonship with the Father. Through the Holy Spirit, we are transformed from sinners to saints, from dead to living, from alienated to accepted in the Beloved:

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

"And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5: 17 - 19)

We cannot become sons of the Father just by believing. We enter into Sonship by the grace of God:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

"Not of works, lest any man should boast.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2: 8-10)

Beyond these wonderful revelations, Jesus Christ Himself before His Passion and Crucifixion wanted to be more that merely a Director, or even a Parent:

"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
"And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

"I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." (John 17: 21-23)

Jesus wants to be one, united with us. He wants us to know that God the Father loves us as much as He loves His own Son!

"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1: 5-6)

We receive the adoption as children, but we believers are also accepted IN the Beloved, Jesus Christ! God sees us with His Son, so much so that He sees His Son, not us. That's why Paul writes to the Corinthians:

"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 20-21)

Paul was not even telling the Corinthians to "get reconciled", but rather to accept that they already ARE reconciled, and made the righteousness of God in Christ.

Later Paul writes to the Colossians:

"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Colossians 3:3)

God sees His Son, as we are in Him. Our relationship with God through Christ Jesus by the Power of the Holy Spirit is far more than principal-agents, or even Father-Son, but we are one with Christ, in Christ. That's why John writes in his First Epistle:

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3: 2)

and later

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)

The false and foolish teachings in the "Big Book" do not compare with the standing that a believer has in Christ Jesus!

Waterfront Vision a Visionary Affront

So, San Pedro is finally getting a new waterfront. . .
What took so long?
What was Congresswoman, er . . .Councilwoman Janice Hahn up to during her ten-year tenure on the Los Angeles City Council? When she wasn't running for higher office, she approved raising higher parking fees in Downtown San Pedro, she missed opportunities time and again to entice businesses back to the Port region, while pushing environmental standards which may throttle business expansion. In effect, Councilwoman Hahn and her confederate Council ilk did pretty much little else beyond talking up job recovery to prod the Harbor Area back into economic recovery .
Now recently installed Councilman Joe Buscaino, with Mayor Villaraigosa, really really (they promise!) want to prosper the port region properly. If we have learned nothing over the past few decades, top-down intervention and investment does not work. Instead of grand and grabby visions -- read, delusions -- of grandeur, Buscaino and Company ought to lobby for greater autonomy for the Port of LA region, since the Harbor Area has been mismanaged for so long by Downtown bureaucrats focused on office-seeking and constituent-pleasing.

San Pedro does not need anymore visionary assistance, especially from government. Private enterprise and local organization must take the helm, so to speak, if the Waterfront wants new vitality.

Perhaps we will witness the realizations of the hopes and dreams of long-deceased yet still famous San Pedro Poet Laureate Charles Bukowksi:

""yeah," I say, "and have you read the

papers lately? they are going to construct

a marina here, one of the largest in the

world, millions and billions of dollars,

there is going to be a huge shopping

center, yachts and condominiums every-


(excerpt from Bukowski's "Be Angry at San Pedro")

Bukowski was waiting for waterfront development with uncharacteristic enthusiasm, or signature cynicism.

Will the "Waterfront Vision" of today's political class confirm this poet-prophet's highest hopes? Only if public enterprise stops trying to micromanage everything through central planning, and let's private enterprise in conjunction with local control take the initiative.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Plea to the Voters of Wisconsin

Despite previous calls for a brokered convention from conservative constants around the country, the GOP voters of Wisconsin would do a great service for themselves, their state, and the nation by casting their vote for former Governor Mitt Romney for President and current governor Scott Walker to remain in office
These two gentlemen both respect the needs of all voters; they have responded with efficacy, enthusiasm, and organization to the fiscal and political problems which are positioned to alter the course of the United States, for better or for worse.
Governor Romney may not command the greatest degree of respect as a conservative, but his record of job creation, fiscal restraint, and dedication to his campaign and the country suggest that he would serve as a more efficient and reliable executive than the current President, the only executive who deserves to be recalled, whose agenda of statist-elitist progressivism is already being repudiated, from the Supreme Court to the several states.
Both possessing clarity and consistency of message, former Governor Mitt Romney and current Wisconsin governor Scott Walker deserve to serve their country and state, respectively. Congressman Paul Ryan, an affable man of integrity and innovation, has already endorsed the former Massachusetts governor, as have previous presidents and Tea Party standard-bearer Jim Demint of South Carolina. Despite the lengthy primary pandering, pushing, and positioning that has conditioned the frontrunner, Governor Romney has remained in fighting form, ready to take on and take down President Obama and lead this country into economic recovery and political restraint.

Errors of Alcoholics Anonymous -- Taking One's Inventory Part III

In addition to the insurmountable task posed by Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount of reconciling with every person who may have ought with us, there is this question whether a human being can even perform the necessary fact-finding required by an inventory.

There are sins which we commit -- the standards for which the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous is conspicuously lacking -- in many cases are beyond even our conscious conception:

"Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults." (Psalm 19: 12)

Beloved King David did not even presume that who could identify, let only confess his faults.

The sins that a man commits go deeper than just his thinking:

"9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

What a despairing statement for the man who would attempt to clean his own heart -- who indeed can know the human heart, out of which comes all manner of evil! (Matthew 15: 19) What is to be done?

"I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." (Jeremiah 17: 10)

We cannot take our own inventory, and even if we did, it would not be enough to transform us. We need a heart change, which God has offered us through the death of His Son:

"And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:" (Ezekiel 11: 19)

and later

"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

"And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31: 33-34)

The Lord supplies the rules that we need by the power of the Holy Spirit, who indwells every believer, directing a believer in the ways to think, speak, and do:

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (John 14: 16-17)

and later

"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:" (John 15: 26)

In fact, by the power of the Holy Living and dwelling within us, we do not have to work the Tenth Step, always trying to look out and work out our future shortcomings!

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5: 16)

And if we do sin:

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (1 John 2:1)

Why is this so? John explains in the previous chapter of his First Epistle:

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1: 7)

Note in this verse that the blood of Jesus "cleanses" us, ongoing, constant, now and forever. Before God, every believer need never worry again about some unconfessed or undiscovered sin, and therefore never again will a believer have to worry about broken fellowship with God.

God has not called us to a life of chronic inventory-taking, which reeks of self-centered condemnation:

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8: 1, NASB)

Instead of going over our sins, Christ has given us a different set of commands:

"Rejoice evermore.

"Pray without ceasing.

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18)

Why can we do this? Are we not responsible for doing other things? Paul responds to this concern thus:

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2: 20-21)

Later, Paul writes:

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;"

Which Paul later explains thus:

"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

We have died, crucified with Christ, and we are now alive, because Christ is the believer, our confident expectation of good and glory (cf Colossians 1: 27), lives and directs us. We rest in Him, He works in us, and we release Him with fear and trembling [great joyful humility]!

Errors of Alcoholics Anonymous -- Taking One's Inventory Part II

Looking beyond the inefficacy of the Old Covenant Sacrifices, let us look closer at what Jesus told His listeners to do after leaving the gift at the altar:

"Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." (Matthew 5: 24)

"Reconcile" renders the Greek word " διαλλάσσομαι, diallassómai" which means change, exchange, as in "change enmity for friendship." Yet the prefix "diá," indicates "thoroughly," which intensifies the meaning to render a "complete change."

The same term is used in Pauls second Epistle to the Corinthians:

"18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5: 18-19)

Here, the word "reconcile" renders the Greek word "katallassó: to change, exchange, reconcile

καταλλάσσω goes further than διαλλάσσω, for where "δια" speaks of "thoroughly", "κατα" indicates a far greater reconciliation, one which is "down to an exact point,"

Where Jesus demands a "thorough reconciliation" in the Sermon on the Mount, by His death He provides for us a complete, thorough, permanent, permeated, and impermeable reconciliation, with His Father and the world!

We are expected to perform a "thorough reconcilation" with every person who has ought with us, an impossible order -- yet through His death and resurrection, Christ Jesus has accomplished this for us. Instead of drawing up an inexhaustive list of aggrieved parties, we can trust in the blood of our Savior to make our standing right with all who may have ought with us -- and there is no other way than through Him!

"ObamaCare" is Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Mark Steyn’s extended metaphor of “ObamaCare” as “cruel and unusual punishment” works on many levels:
1. Its 2,700 pages were shoved down the throats of unwitting and unwilling legislators who refused to read the bill before casting their “yea” votes.

2. The deliberations that shoved this bill through Congress were laden with so much pork and legalized bribery, that the manufacture of sausage links elegant and appealing.

3. The same voters, who elected these irresponsible politicians, did read the bill, demanded its failure and now its repeal – yet legislators in townhall meetings across the country dismissed their right and reasonable concerns.

4. The legislative feat that crafted and drafted this fiat of legislative perversion has put lawyers, judges, states, and citizens into a dither of interpretation and near immolation over inscrutable statutes and unfunded mandates.

5. This monstrosity of a law has put the fate of federalism, states’ rights, and individual liberties into the hands of one Supreme Court Justice.

6. The entire mandate is unconstitutional, vitiating the essential tenet of limited government federalism, and federal checks and balances, the central elements of the Constitution as first envisioned by its Founding Father James Madison.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Errors of Alcoholics Anonymous -- Taking One's Inventory

In the "How it Works" section of Alcoholics Anonymous, recent converts to the program are instructed to engage in a "fearless moral inventory" of their lives, going every wrong thought, word, and deed which they have committed in the past, which may induce guilt or shame or other resentment and cause a person to drink again.

Even Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren's "Celebrate Recovery" program champions this "necessary" step in order for believers to overcome their "hurts, habits, and hangups." To justify this approach, Warren's program references a verse from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount:

"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

"Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. "(Matthew 5: 23-24)

The rest of the passage in Jesus' celebrated will shed light on what Jesus was really communicating to His listeners:

"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

"But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

"Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

"Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." (Matthew 5: 21-26)

First, we must point out that Jesus gave this sermon while still under law:

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

"To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." (Galatians 4: 4)

Jesus made a point of bringing the law back to its pristine, divine, and unmanageable height:

"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5: 20)

The Pharisees had a nasty history of watering down the law:

"He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

"Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Mark 4: 6-7)

On the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus brought the law back to its original intent: to hold man accountable for his inward state, and to bring him to the end of himself:

"But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." (Matthew 5: 22)


"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5: 28)


"But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." (Matthew 5: 32)

To three points Jesus made here, it is certain that no one had kept any of these laws perfectly.

Now, let us return to Matthew 5: 21 - 26.

Verse 23 states:

"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee."

In this passage, "ought" renders the Greek word "τις, τι", and indefinite pronoun which means "any one, some one, a certain one or thing." The verse could just as well read "anything." So, someone is angry with you about not waving "Hello" to him in the morning. Or perhaps someone is burned up because you did not join his book club or come to his son or daughter's recital, any of these perceived slights would count as "ought."

Next, the writer of Hebrews declares that that at the altar, an offerer cannot avoid remembering sins:

"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

"For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins." (Hebrews 10: 2)

At the altar of sacrifice, there is no end to the recriminating remembrance of wrongdoing.

Moreover, the fact that an altar is mentioned already points out that Jesus is speaking about Old Covenant practices, none of which pertains the believer under the New Covenant:

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)

Under the New Covenant, in which Christ Jesus has become the finally, fulfilling, and eternal sacrifice, there is no further remembrance of sins!

Errors in Alcoholics Anonymous -- Blocked from the Sunlight of the Spirit

Contrary to the assertions of many believers, those in recovery from some addiction of bad habit and those who have suffered with friends or relatives in the depths of addiction, the tenets and principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Gospel (and the Word of God as a whole) are not compatible.

For example, the Anonymous writers declare on pg 66:

"It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.'

"For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. . ."

One could equate "sunlight of the Spirit" with God's love:

"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1: 5)

Later in his First Epistle, thet Apostle John writes:

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." (1 John 4: 16)

So one can argue concretely that since God is love = light, therefore love = light.

From this line of holy common sense, we can then dispute the notion that our resentment cuts us off from
"the sunlight of the Spirit":

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

"Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8: 38-39)

Nothing can separate us from the love of God -- not one thing -- not ourselves, and certainly not our sin:

"Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." (Romans 5: 20)

To confirm this, John later writes:

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1: 7)

If we walk in the Light -- and God is light, then His blood keeps cleansing us from sin, including resentment! How does a believer know that He is in the light? Consider the glorious inheritance of believers:

"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." (Ephesians 5: 8)

Later, Paul writes to another body of believers:

"For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to darkness." (1 Thessalonians 5:5)

We cannot be separate from the sunlight of the Spirit:

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13: 5)

Nothing can separate us from God, who is Light, and as we walk in His light, we are also cleansed from all unrighteousness, whose grace teaches us to live righteously (cf Titus 2: 11)

In the respect of resentment blocking us from God, nothing could be further from the Truth for a believer.

Another Way of Expressing "Daniels' Dismay"

Despite Governor Daniels’ still persistent insistence, I want to encourage Indiana voters, as well as the state and national Republican Party, to press their chief executive to be run for President.

His efficacy, integrity, and clarity as chief executive of Indiana all testify to his capacity to lead the entire country.

His privatization of Indiana roads saved money while saving drivers on the road. He signed into law the largest school voucher program in the country, while has provided relief for families looking for a good school, Private schools now enjoy more importunity to grow, and now public schools must compete and complement their standards and staff, or risk closure.

He is a true statesman, one who credits individual, not the state, with the power to create wealth. Signing "right to work" while advocating for a limitation on public sector collective bargaining rights, Daniels has maintained his focus to protect workers and promote new commercial invest in Indiana.

Governor Daniels can speak “free-market” Austrian economic, which sadly is still Greek to many people. Unlike the more conservative Republican Presidential candidates, Daniels has designed and produced real-world solutions for unpopular economic reforms while calling for a well-deserved “truce” on social issues. Unlike former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Governor Daniels does not have a record contrary to his core conservative principles.

His take on public funds is just fine with me: “It's tainted money. 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine."

Ain’t it a shame that Governor Daniels ain’t running!

Christ the Misunderstood

"Jesus Christ can afford to be misunderstood; we cannot. Our weakness lies in always wanting to vindicate ourselves. " Oswald Chambers

If we accept that we have victory in Christ, then there is no need to vindicate ourselves in the first place!

Romans 8: 37 needs to be written on the walls of every believer's mind:

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."

Why this victory -- or more accurately, hyper-victory?:

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

"Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8: 38-39)

Love never fails (cf 1 Corinthians 13: 7), so as we live in Love -- and God is love, then we have nothing to fear:

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4: 18)

We are more than conquerors in Christ from the moment that we trust Him as Savior:

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2: 4-6)

We reign in life (Romans 5: 17) by the power of the Holy Spirit, who causes Christ to live in us, our hope of glory (cf Colossians 1: 27). and through Him:

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15: 57)

If we are winners in Christ, then we have no need to vindicate ourselves before men!

The Pro-Immigrant Argument Against Illegal Immigration

The main reason why political parties and the federal government have failed to deal with illegal immigration head on is due to a calculated, though craven, concern of alienating Hispanic voters.

If politicians on the left and right would frame the narrative on illegal immigration in to persuade voters of all races of the inevitable danger and dysfunction of failing to enforce the country's immigration laws, and dissuade any concerns of race-baiting xenophobia, then the states and the federal government would be well on their way towards to enact comprehensive immigration reform.

First of all, free market economists have already argued that the naturalization process in this country is fraught with problems. For some legal residents seeking permanent status, the wait for full citizenship can take up to thirty years. The errors and inefficiency of the federal bureaucracy to file an evaluate applications, interview candidates for naturalization in a timely manner, and process applications for citizenship discourage immigrants from taking the legal avenue to seek legal status. Including the rising costs and the decline of available agencies for review all throttle legitimate immigrants from attaining welcome legal status in the United States.

Beyond indicating the failure of the federal government to process citizenship requests in a timely manner, politicians must frame the argument for discouraging illegal immigration along neutral economic lines and in the best interests of the immigrant, including the undocumented individuals who hide in the shadows.

First of all, politicians have to attack a sacred cow larger and more menacing than the population of undocumented individuals in the country. The welfare state, including the facile vulnerability of the welfare system, is the largest magnet for attracting illegal immigrants. The encroachment of entitlements, including the ill-conceived and ill-received Patient and Affordable Care Act -- ObamaCare -- has only expanded the debt and deficit spending menacing this country. By repealing and limiting the current federal handouts bankrupting this country and burdening the states, the United States can discourage illegal immigration while prospering a nation for legal applicants to enjoy.
Regarding the DREAM Act legislation that has taken hold in some students, undocumented students who seek the quality education offered by state and private universities only compromise the education which they hope to receive. If illegal residents are allowed to matriculate at resident fees, then they are taking advantage of a state subsidy which they have not paid for through taxes. This arrangement hurts everyone enrolling in higher education, including naturalized students and enrollees on student visas.

In connection with the draw on public services, illegal immigration has raised the number of individuals who take advantage of public services like schools and hospitals. As many undocumented individuals live in the shadows, they take advantage of services which they do not pay for through taxes. They end up stretching services beyond capacity, thus diminishing the utility of the service for themselves.

In addition to siphoning off depleted funds for public services, individuals who choose to enter and reside in this country illegally only frustrate the wealth and prosperity which they seek. Law and order are the highest priority for a number of migrants. Yet a nation with no border control only incites lawlessness. Would an individual who recently moved to this country want to submit himself to the hardships of gang activity, much of which is fueled by illegal immigration?

There are many dangers which illegal immigrants subject themselves to as a result of their compromised status in the country. Because illegal immigrants are not citizens, they cannot assert their natural rights in American courts. The 1996 Supreme Court ruling in United States vs. Verdugo-Urquidez asserted that the provisions in the Bill of Rights apply to individual United States citizens, and no one else. Leaving themselves prey to civil penalties and criminal behaviors, undocumented workers may show up to a site for one month, then the head of the company calls immigration and enforcement, sending every hardworking back to his or her home country without pay. This unscrupulous practice hurts the economy, the business, but most of all the immigrant.

When an illegal resident suffers from a crime, he cannot report the incident to the police without risking deportation. Such was the unseemly circumstance for many children allegedly victimized by Mark Berndt at Miramonte Elementary School, the details of which have horrified many parents, yet for many they possess few options for protecting their children through the system.

Then there is the unpleasant status of the child in families of divided status. If the parents are illegal, and later they have given birth to children born and naturalized in the United States, they have invited an unwholesome dynamic that frustrates child-rearing. Parents with the status of law-breakers command less respect at home because they do not speak English as effectively as their children, which compromises communication among parents, students, and school staff.

In addition to communication issues between families and public institutions, the wide difference between parenting styles in the parents' home country and the acceptable methods of discipline in the United States, parents from different countries find themselves commanding less respect from their children. In some cases, parents who endured corporal punishment as minor have no other disciplinary skills, yet if a parent raises his had against a child, then he or she can call the police. In more grave instances, children have threatened to inform local authorities of their parents' illegal status in the country. Because parents fear deportation, many of them acquiesce to their children, and therefore many of them demonstrate no respect at home or in school.

From the economic costs that frustrate wealth creation and status, to the criminal and legal problems which undermine the security and safety of undocumented immigrants, statesmen across the country must submit effective immigration reform that ceases to endanger immigrant and citizen, that ends the drain on public services, and streamlines naturalization, free of quotas and excessive fees, while dismantling an unsupportable welfare state. These reforms will ensure that more individuals may enjoy legal opportunity to enter this country while protecting the rights, markets, and public services available to every American, born and naturalized.

ObamaCare and the Environmental Protection Agency

The federal government cannot compel states to pass laws. This essential element protects the framework of federalism originally intended by the Framers of the Constitution. Nevertheless, the massive fourth branch of government, administrative agencies, continue to pressure states to enact legislation in line with gargantuan oversight laws from the federal government. The Environmental Protection Agency is one member of this officially unrecognized Fourth Branch of Government.

Enforcing a contract is not the same thing as compelling someone to enter a contract. Yet the latter offense is precisely what the ObamaCare mandate intends to do if allowed to remain enforced.

From unwanted agencies to unacceptable intrusions into the private lives of Americans, where does the Federal Government end and the several states and private citizens begin?

Like a similar argument linking Social Security and ObamaCare, the more liberal justices have also attempted to justify the massive health insurance mandate as akin to the already extant Environmental Protection Agency. Of course, such an argument only supports all the more repealing not just ObamaCare, but every other system under the elusive Fourth Branch of Administrative Fiat in Washington.

ObamaCare would entrust to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats life and death decisions which war against free enterprise, common sense; moreover, this move to centralize health insurance markets all but guarantees a decline in quality and care of service. Such has been the fallout of the EPA's boards, committees, and bureaucratic tussles that have stifled investment and pushed back against building permits and expansion throughout the country.

The federal government cannot make the quick and vital decisions that affect the environment, the health insurance industry, or the lives of individual citizens affected by either. We have witnessed the grand failure of government to fulfill even the enumerated powers of the Constitution. It is time that the Supreme Court and every state government in the union demanded that Big Government take a Big Step Back and leave us alone!

Argument over ObamaCare Crosses with Social Security

During the ObamaCare oral arguments this past week, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg attempted to create a parity between the federal government's power to force purchase of health insurance and the government's authority to take a portion of an individual's paycheck and supplement his income upon retirement.

Both of these takings are unconscionable and unconstitutional.

The United States government cannot manage its own budget, its own monies, yet the federal government insists on taking away our freedom to purchase health insurance while also insisting on preparing us for our retirement.

Social Security was not a popular program when first enacted. ObamaCare was not only unpopular, but roundly opposed by Americans of both political parties as well as independent voters. The overreaching legislation barely passed Congress, following Congressional shenanigans which have dishonored the legislative branch since then. From kickbacks for selected states to privileges handed out to specific interest groups, the whole ObamaCare legislation is one unwholesome mess begging for less action on the part of our leaders and more freedom for our citizens.

By tying the health insurance mandate to forced retirement payments, Justice Ginsburg has only strengthened the argument for repealing President Obama's signature legislation entirely.

Comment on "The Tidings" Contributor

I really liked Bill Peatman's piece from March 22 -- it resounds with God's grace springing in our hearts, leading us to walk in the Spirit of God.

It reminded me of a book called "Classic Christianity" by an evangelist and teacher named Bob George. Though he is not a household name, his book encapsulates the growing revelation that I have received about the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Some of his insights I have shared with you before.

Rather than trying to be obedient, the Holy Spirit indeed has placed the new commandments of law and faith in the heart and mind of every believer.

As we walk in the Spirit, we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5: 16). We can love in fullness by the power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5: 22), for love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 10:13)

We are called to live by faith:

"For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

"For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love." (Galatians 5: 5-6)
That's God's love, of course!
Bob George's greatest insight to me so far, though, was the clarity he imparted to me regarding "walking in the spirit".

I did not understand what that meant for the longest time. I used to think that I had to maintain a certain set of thoughts, or that I had to pray in the spirit at length. George taught me, based on a reading in Ephesians, that we walk in the spirit to the extent that we receive a growing awareness of God's unconditional love for us. When we know that all of our sins are paid for, past present future, we do not fear anymore if we may fail or fall. In fact, we find that we fulfill the law, we are galvanized with greater joy to love and serve beyond the delineated limitations of the law.

Here is the fullness of the Gospel: Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth, has impacted me in so many ways. I pray with greater confidence, I no longer live in shame about my past, or fear doing something wrong in the present or the future. I can be myself, because as He is, so am I -- and so are you! -- in this world (1 John 4: 19)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Worst Person in the World -- and It is Not You!

The Worst Person in the World seems to change every day, at least according to Keith Olbermann. Now that he no longer pontificates for MSNBC, lambasting conservatives as hatemongers merely because they espouse different views, we are still left trying to figure out who is the Worst Person in the World?

Mark Berndt may be a good candidate. A man who bound young children to engage in nefarious tasting games, exploiting them for his own perverse purposes. After repeated complaints against the man, he was finally removed from the classroom and formal charges were indicted against the man who had preyed on many children throughout his career.

Perhaps Phillip Garrido. This vile man kidnapped a young girl, repeatedly raped her and abused her, fathered two children with her, and held her captive from her distraught mother and the state for eighteen years. Maybe every child abuser who has ever harassed, tortured, or induce great suffering in a child.

Then some would point out malevolent serial killers like Charles Manson or the Boston Strangler. Perhaps the mass murderers Harris and Klebold of Columbine fame would also head the list for "Worst Person in the World."

Yet the nature and manner of these killings is nothing compared to the outrageous totalitarian evil of Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Ze-Dong, and the rest. The damage that these men wrought upon the earth is incalculable for all of its enormity, devastating entire classes, races, and nations. We linger with the effects of these wicked men's policies to this day.

Yet the Bible teaches that only one man takes the rank of "Worst Person in the World" or rather "Chief Sinner": Saul of Tarsus, who later became Paul:

"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ." (Ephesians 3: 8)

Yet Paul goes even further to state his deplorable state before believing on Christ Jesus:

"But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,

"To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:" (Galatians 1: 15-16)

Paul makes it very clear that it is the Grace of God that makes him what he is in Christ:

"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Corinthians 15: 10)

But the final touch exemplifying the unsearchable riches of God's grace in turning the worst of sinners into the finest example of what the Christian life develops in a believer, Paul writes to his young charge Timothy:

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

"Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." ( 1 Timothy 1: 15-16)

In his own words, inspired by the Holy Spirit, he writes that he is "the chief" of all sinners. Worse than pedophiles, mass-murderers, and other strange and unbearable criminals. This serves as great comfort to all who seek salvation because:

" for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."

Not just a pattern of what life would look like, but a pattern that no matter how bad our sins may be, none would ever be counted worse than Paul's. His depraved state comes from the fact that he was the most zealous concerning God's law, fully convicted within himself of his own righteousness, a stance which Jesus despised, for Christ demonstrated great anger only toward the hard-hearted and self-righteous Pharisees:

"And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other." (Mark 3: 5)

In this passage is the only record, of all the Gospels, which records that Jesus was angry. Not with tax collectors, not with prostitutes, not with Samaritans, not even toward Judas Iscariot the betrayer, but at the the cold, self-righteous Pharisees. And Paul was the best, and thus the worst, of the religious sect:

"But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question." (Acts 23: 6)

He would lay out his impeccable credentials at length to the Philippians:

"Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

"For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

"Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

"Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

"Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless." (Philippians 3: 2-6)

He was the best of the Pharisee class, and thus certainly one who grieved Jesus the most. The Savior said as much when He confronted him on the road to Damascus:

"And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

"And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

"And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." (Acts 9: 3-5)

Paul, the worst of sinners because the best of Pharisees, fully typified the superabundance of God's Grace!

If he could save a sinner like Paul, then you can rest easy knowing that nothing that you have done will ever disqualify you from being saved and received into the Body of Christ by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit!


Black-on-Black Slavery in the United States

I will be forever grateful to the teachings of Glenn Beck, who articulated the universal nature, not just the white element, of slavery.

One of the first slave owners in the American Colonies was a Gambian prince named Anthony Johnston. He came to the United States. After serving seven years as an indentured servant, he received his freedom, purchased land and slaves, and became a prosperous farmer. The well-being of the planter class at the expense of indentured servants' finding fewer opportunities to improve their lot following their freedom later incited Bacon's Rebellion. After the previous colonial governor was removed from power, the new status quo in Virginia would no longer permit blacks to own land. Later on, these laws would form the basis for the peculiar institution which permitted the enslavement of Africans in the South until the Civil War.

This change in social policy, however, did not put an end to black-slave owners. In addition to a significant minority of black slave owners in New York (before slavery was eventually abolished), the state of South Carolina, Louisiana, and Maryland still had a minority of black slave owners up to the Civil War.

One judge in New Orleans remarked that black slaveowners were more cruel to their slaves than white slaveowners. He witnessed these proceedings in his courtroom at times when matters of slave ownership came before his court. Whether his assertion is valid or not, however, does not diminish the more complex reality that slavery in the United States, although predominantly a white phenomenon, was ultimately a human problem, one which prospered in part from the slave trade in Africa, in which African tribes would sell members of their own people to traders.

For anyone who has further questions on this controversial topic, they can research these findings in Larry Koger's book "Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860". Other sources include:


"DIXIE'S CENSORED SUBJECT: BLACK SLAVEOWNERS By Robert M. GroomsThe nature of slavery as a human problem also extends to white relations. In Eastern Europe for centuries, whites enslaved other whites, predominantly Slavic groups, from which the word "slave" is originally derived.


Al Benson Jr. "Proof, I Don't Gotta Show You No Stinkin' Proof",

Edward J. Toner Jr. "USA: Free Blacks who owned Black Slaves",

"Black Reparations Poll", (see posting by "B4Ranch", "To: Otis Mukinfus"); cites: "Selling Poor Steven", American Heritage Magazine, Feb/Mar 1993 (Vol. 441) p. 90.

Philip Burnham. "Selling Poor Steven" (abstract of the article "Selling Poor Steven" from the February/March 1993 issue of American Heritage, p.90-),

See also: "Re: Black on Black: Black American Slaveholders",

Edward Toner. "An Untold Black History",

"Carter Godwin Woodson",

"Free Blacks Who Themselves Owned Slaves",

Ed Toner. "Blacks Owning Slaves",

Michael P. Tremoglie. "The Black Roots of Slavery",

In some sense, a fairly exhaustive list, in part because of the controversial nature of the subject has discouraged academics in the past.

Contrary to the multicultural narrative propounded by textbooks and liberal professors today, slavery is not exclusively a European invention that burdened Africans. This human problem roots out the greater issues that plague humanity, deeper than skin color.

On the Authority of the Preacher and the Scripture Part III

Still, I had the nagging doubt which bothered me -- how did I know that what Pastor Prince was preaching, as he supports his teachings with extensive references to the Word God, rightly dividing his teachings on the Old Testament through the Finished Work of Jesus Christ.

Then I remembered a secular example of a great statesman, one who wrote unshakable truths who did not live according to them: Thomas Jefferson. He penned the following noble statement, one which nations and peoples all over the world have learned and taken to heart ever since the Virginia planter first wrote them:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Now, Jefferson was a renowned Deist -- he did not accept the Divinity of Jesus Christ or of the Scriptures. In fact, he published a hateful and powerless version of the New Testament, devoid of Christ's miracles, and worst of all, completely leaving out the Finished Work of the Cross. Like many established statesmen who helped found the United States of America, Thomas Jefferson understood Christ Jesus only as example and not Savior and Supply.

His understanding of the Creator was faulty, and he did not honor the truth that all men are created equal. This man owned a plantation full of slaves, with one of which, Sally Hemmings, he fathered five children. After his death, he only released five slaves from bondage, which many historians have acknowledged were the five children he sired with Hemmings. This man did not live according to the ideals which he made famous in the Declaration of Independence, yet that does not diminish neither the truth nor the nobility of what he wrote.

Back to Pastor Prince, he has presented Christ as the primacy of all scripture. This is a true saying,  as Christ Himself taught of Himself when he appeared in resurrection life to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They did not recognize Him until He had first expounded all things concerning Himself in the Scriptures, from Moses and the Psalms and the Prophets.

Yet another example of Christ as not just the primacy of all Scripture but the surest assurance of Scripture as His place in our lives came forth to me when I read John 4. There, Jesus reveals himself to a Samaritan woman, a maligned woman who had had five husbands and was at that time living with a sixth man. She met the seventh, Jesus, who revealed to her all that she had done, yet did not shame her. In fact, Jesus directly revealed Himself  to her as the Messiah.

When we read scripture, we can know the truth of what we read because Jesus has spoken it, and the Scriptures testify of His Person, His Work, and His Supremacy. In one day, a shamed and fallen woman became a bold evangelist, free of self-conscious condemnation:

"And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.

"So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.

"And many more believed because of his own word;

"And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." (John 4: 39-42)

The other Samaritans came to believe by the testimony of the transformed woman at the well. Yet when they met Jesus Himself, they then testified "Now we believe, not because of thy testimony, for we have heard Him ourselves."

Joseph Prince has revealed more of Christ's Blessed Person, yet I believe on Him not because of the person who teaches me, but because I have read the Word myself. It is not Pastor Prince's faith or charisma that changes a person, that transforms a person from glory, but rather the Holy Spirit. Having read this wonderful account in John 4 with this perspective, I thank God who has informed me of His power and wisdom by the Power of the Holy Spirit.

I am also delighted to hear that even Pastor Joseph Prince began to doubt the ministry which he was unfolding. Yet he shares that another established theologian affirmed that the preaching of God's grace ought to be such, that individuals who hear it will at first be troubled that the Gospel will become a license to sin.

If that were not enough, a work entitled  "Classic Christianity" by Oregon Pastor Bob George affirmed everything that I have learned from Pastor Prince, right down to sample analogies to explain the grace of God, the inner workings of the Holy Spirit, and how God wants us to reign in life not by our self-efforts, but rather by resting in the Finished Work of Jesus Christ and allowing His Life to burst through us!

This doubt was therefore put away in my life once and for all. It is the primacy of Scripture, the supremacy of Christ that matters, nothing more. Any discrepancies with a preacher on TV or at the pulpit can be resolved by returning to the Word of God!


On the Authority of the Preacher and the Scripture Part II

Regarding rightly dividing the Word of God, some preachers give only one part of the Gospel.

In other instances, preachers behave in conduct which seems to go contrary to the grace message which they share at the pulpit.

When Joseph Prince gave his guest sermons at Pastor Joel Olsteen's church in late October 2011, I became troubled. Like Creflo Dollar and other American Preachers, Olsteen's messages lean on human psychology and self-improvement as opposed to the primacy and essence of Christ Jesus as our life, our identity, our strength, the much neglected second part of the gospel which many believers remain ignorant of long after confession Christ as Lord and Savior.

I did not agree with the warm compliments which Pastor Prince paid to Joel Olsteen, who just preaches "God is good." Even Pastor Prince has underscored at length in many of his sermons that it is not an "anti-God" spirit which threatens the world, but rather the "Anti-Christ" element, in which Jesus does not have central place in our pulpits, our churches, and our homes and lives. Olsteen tells us about Christ, yet our Savior's ministry, resurrection, and effectual power and presence in every believer is relegated to the secondary status of example, one whose life we seek to emulate rather than imbibe and work out by faith.

And no one can dismiss the sorrow and shame of a preacher who refused to answer Larry King's direct question whether Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Larry King asked, if a man does not believe in Jesus Christ, can he still be saved? Olsteen waffled, saying that "It's up to God."

It was a scandalous and erroneous answer, to say the least. Pastor Benny Hinn refused to let such a lukewarm denial off so easily, and neither should anyone who believes on Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Who else can make us righteous before God? We cannot obey the law, we can work up our own righteousness, no matter what system of rules we choose to live by. We all have a sin nature, we have fallen short of the glory of God, and only the glory of the Only Begotten Son can make us the righteousness of God in Christ. There is no other way!

Therefore, I became very shaken to see Pastor Prince  endorsing a preacher so out of synch with the gracious and grace-filled messages which he preached every Sunday broadcast for all to see. I began to think that I was also mistaken about the other things that he was teaching.

I tried to dissuade this troubling doubt with the skillful and blessed stress that Pastor Prince lays on God's Word, not just quoting one verse, not promoting human self-improvement, but teaching about Christ Himself -- the center and base of all Scripture -- the Author and Finisher of Our Faith. Of course, the source of Truth is the Word, not the preacher:

"Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." (Deuteronomy 8: 3)"

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isaiah 55: 11)


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

and of course

"But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." (1 Peter 1: 25)

On the Authority of the Preacher and the Scripture

I enjoy hearing people teach God's Word.

Many times, though, different preachers either offer different insight on a passage of scripture, and sometimes their teaching contradicts what another preacher says of does.

Creflo Dollar preaches about the importance of loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Pastor Joseph Prince has pointed out that this commandment, the first of the two great commandments, comes from the Old Covenant.

Bob George, another impassioned evangelic has also made the case, using Scripture, that we are able to love God to the extent that we grow in grace and knowledge of His love for us!

Scripture bears out that the believer's greatest commandment is to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord. Creflo Dollar, like many American preachers, still places greater emphasis on what we must do, whereas the Scripture and preachers aligned toward the grace accorded to us emphasize or identity in Christ.

In the case of Creflo Dollar, therefore, the revelation is simply incomplete. Even reading John's First Epistle confirms the immediacy and primacy of God's love in our lives as the priming force for us to love others:

"We love, because He first loved us." (1 John 4: 19, New American Standard Bible )

It is important for every student of God's Word to rightly divide the Word of God (2 Timothy 2: 15).

 Every word of the Bible is truly stated, but not always a statement of truth, or an element of the Old Covenant,which God found fault with and replaced with the New Covenant of God's Grace working in us by the Power of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 8: 8 - 12)

When listening to a preacher, every listener must pay heed to how well the teacher heeds the primacy of the New Covenant in place of the Old. If someone is teaching truth from the Old Covenant apart from the Finished Work of Jesus Christ, the interpretation and application which one may draw from the teaching may lead to all kinds of errors.

For example, the two great commandments listed in Deuteronomy:

""The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

"And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12: 29-31)

These commands are total, no room for error, and trying to love is not enough. This law, rather than inspiring individuals to be loving and obedient, must necessarily produce despair, as no one can love God with everything that they have.

The heart of man is wicked:

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17: 9)

Of himself, man cannot possible love God with all his heart. In the New Covenant, God promised to give man a new heart:

"And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:" (Ezekiel 11: 19)

Here "flesh" is better translated "soft" or "of good tidings": the Gospel!

Paul explains that the law is not intended for man to live by, but to bring man to the end of himself:

"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers," (1 Timothy 1:9)

Paul also writes regarding the purpose of the law, the chief of which being to love God with all that we have:

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3: 19-20)

To the Galatians, Paul explains explicitly the law' temporary role as guardian until the Gospel was preached through Jesus Christ:

"But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

"But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." (Galatians 3: 23-25)

To preach to believers that they have to "love God" is an unconscionable abuse of the Scripture, as no man can love God, in his own human efforts, to the ultimate standard demanded by the law.

Creflo Dollar must amend his teachings if he wishes to instill and remind his hearers of their true, redeemed identity in Christ.

In some cases, therefore, some preachers have failed to rightly divide the Word of God. Still preaching the Old Covenant, they neglect the glorious power of God working thorough us by the power of the Holy Spirit, who enables, ennobles, and supplies us to be obedient!

Opinion on Legislator Vote-Switching

Voters elect representatives to uphold the United States Constitution, protect our rights, and represent our views. By taking the oath of office, legislators pledge to demonstrate integrity.

If California legislators can change their votes on key bills in order to toe the party line in camera then hype their consistency on core issues, they reveal their disrespect for their communities. Claiming to vote on bills before reading them for the sake of expediency, the legislators’ failure to stay current on legislative matters exposes their sole commitment: getting reelected.

If Politicians get to change votes in one day, then voters should be allowed to change their minds about politicians with the same rapidity and vote them out when their integrity gets swept away in vote-switching.

Los Angeles Gives Red Light to Traffic Cameras

Los Angeles is repealing a portion of Big Brother. The Red Light Cameras are going down, and not a moment too soon.

The Great Recession, which has rocked states from coast to coast, is shaking all the unnecessary regulation from city, state, and federal law. Why attempt to enforce laws that do not collect fines? Why enforce fines that are easily disputed or ignored? The state has no right to pick up fines at length in order to fill the budget gaps threatening the solvency of state coffers. Useless red light cameras only contributed to the budget deficit that Los Angeles is still struggling to climb out of.
Red-light cameras were installed primarily to accrue revenue. Contrary to the assertions of Hawthorne and Inglewood officials, these monitors do not significantly decrease the likelihood of accidents nor do they offer any prevention.
If municipal governments want to protect the people who drive in their communities and provide the most efficient thoroughfares throughout their cities, they could start by steadily removing stop and yield signs which offer a false sense of security to motorists. Rather than installing signs, camera, and other roving eyes from the state, why not require drivers to rely on the two eyes in their own head? Defense driving without recourse to traffic signs has actually reduced the number of accidents. The Netherlands experimented with deregulating traffic, and as a result there were fewer accidents.
With the installation of red-light cameras, the city of Los Angeles bled out more money that it took in, yet failed to prevent the projected bloodshed that harmed passengers, endangered traffic, and throttled traffic.

Hermosa Beach Takes on Styrofoam

Despite facing rising pension payouts for retired public workers, a school district struggling to stay solvent, a wild party-city nightlife which disturbs law, order, and tranquility, not to mention the sudden settlement over a multi-million dollar lawsuit with a determined oil company, the Hermosa Beach City Council has taken on smoking in public places, and now has its sight fixed on banning Styrofoam.

Since when did a driven cabal of environmental have the right usurp authority to dictate to their civic leaders what may or may not happen in a city? Instead of focusing on the fallout of litter and unrecycable trash, why not toss out the councilmembers who are littering the city council's monthly hearings with such inane and inappropriate initiatives?

City government exists to protect the rights of the citizens, to ensure the minimal amount of regulation and oversight to preserve law, order, and commerce. Beyond that, private businesses and private citizens do a far better job of regulating the purchases and protection of their community than politicians who seek to aggrandize their status in the state at the expense of the peace and freedom of everyone else.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

64% Support Brown's Proposed Tax Hike

How many people in the state of California work for the government? That would be one explanation for the majority support for tax increases.

Even though the number of public workers is dwindling, certainly a majority of residents in the Golden State feed off the emaciated goose of government, which has less gold to give as taxpayers fall out of work, as businesses continue to flee the state, and as government officials refuse to deal with annual budget deficits.

Of course a majority of voters in the state of California support a tax hike on the wealthy along with an incremental increase on sales tax. Yet has anyone consider that as taxes go up, more moneyed individuals go out?

No matter which tax initiative hits the ballot in November, there will be less wealth to pilfer and push around. The state will still struggle with its spending problem, and the revenue will still not return. The fairy tale of higher taxes leading to higher revenue is sadly still turning heads in this state.

Justice for Trayvon? -- We are already Justified!

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5: 11-12)

The goal for a believer is not to seek human justice. Human beings who have not received the gift of the spirit will never cease to find justice in a fallen world, where the prince of the air seeks only to harass and limit the truth and life that await everyone who believes on Him.

In fact, we as believers have no reason to seek righteousness:

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3: 20)

In fact, the law merely declares that we are guilty before God:

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." (Romans 3: 19)

Next Paul writes:

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3: 23)

When believers were going to court over legal slights, Paul admonished them:

"Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

"Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

"Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

"If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

"I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

"But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

"Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

"Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren." (1 Corinthians 6: 1-8)

Every believer will judge the world, and  angels (v. 1, 5).  We have the requisite authority to judge in all matters, which in the scope of eternity are very small:

"But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." (1 John 2: 20)

What point do we have pursuing people in court matters that pale in comparison to the glory that we have received in Christ:

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8: 18)

Instead of carping and complaining about the lack of justice in the world, every believer needs to proceed from the basis that they are already justified:

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 1)

They must remember that they stand on "No Condemnation" ground:

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8: 1-- American Standard Version)

Because of our right standing in Christ, therefore we can boldly declare:

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

"Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (Romans 8: 31-35)

We have nothing to fear from the judgment and reproach of the world. If you are in Christ, you stand on the Rock, you stand on solid ground, and no injustice can shake the righteousness that you are in Christ!:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)