Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. He holds a BS from the University of Maryland in Political Science/History and a MA in Apologetics & Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary. Frederick holds a Doctor of Practical Theology through the Master's Graduate School Of Divinity in Evansville, Indiana. Dr. Meekins is pursuing a Ph.D. in Apologetics through Newburgh Theological Seminary.

Saturday, February 27

Headline Potpourri #84

Pastor Jason Cooley in a SermonAudio homily counseled Christians celebrating Christmas that the holiday is not a hill to die on. Those insistent upon continuing to do so only look foolish. As opposed to what? That particular pastor's own brand of legalism elevating his own idiosyncrasies to the level of a clearly delineated dogma?

In a SermonAudio oration on the myth of nonessential doctrine, Pastor Jason Cooley insisted that the Emergent Church movement is the child of Fundamentalism because of the Fundamentalist movement's propensity towards compromise. However, it is also the result a wing of Fundamentalism to clamp down on things where there is no clear mandate provided by Scripture other than individual conscience.

Often in their repeated emphasis about children being born inherently sinful and wicked, it would be helpful if these particularly rigorous Reformed theologians would clarify that such a soteriological observation is not being invoked to justify the mistreatment of such unsuspecting youngsters. For from the manner and in the contexts in which this reminder is proffered one almost takes away the impression that the ones making such verbalizations would enjoy nothing more than beating a small child senseless for the smallest infraction in the eyes of some aging prune neurotically obsessed with finding as many faults as possible.

An episode of Generations Radio addressed the topic of “Why Science Fiction Authors Tend To Be Atheists”. For one thing, Christian youth that might have skill in that genre are not often encouraged by their private school educators to pursue opportunities in such areas. About the only vocational guidance they are given regards the foreign mission field. That is fine and dandy that there is concern for the Pygmies and Hottentots. But what about outreach to Americans through their own cultural idiom for a change?

Shouldn't there be greater outrage at President Obama speaking at a mosque with ties to Islamic terrorism/extremism than presidential candidates that spoke at Bob Jones University in the days when the school forbade interracial dating?

What did Ben Carson think that other candidates and media pundits were going to speculate as he rushed back to Florida to do his laundry as the caucus process was reaching its crescendo? Makes you wonder how many times he pulled something similar in the operating room. More importantly, it also gives one pause to consider if he can handle the pressures of the Oval Office is a campaign where no lives are directly on the line causes near exhaustion or an emotional breakdown.

Regarding the schools that are requiring students to telework during snow days. Are the schools going to pick up the tab for Internet access or tech support?

Contrary to what was insinuated from a pulpit, there are dangers in the contemporary church other than a critical spirit. Isn't it an example of the critical spirit to be critical of the critical spirit? And perhaps most importantly, at times isn't what is viewed as a critical spirit actually discernment?

In a sermon illustration, a pastor poked fun at a hypothetical parishioner that spotted the alleged shortcomings of others at the worship service such as immodest dress and signs of inebriation. But isn't that Christian merely applying that they have been indoctrinated regarding for years by the kind of pastor now spoofing such exercise of judgment. There is rarely any winning at this sort of thing if you are a mere pewfiller.

On SermonAudio, a pastor remarked that a person ought to abide where God has placed us. In other words, one ought to simply obey and not question those invoking a higher status over and above you.

In a sermon, Gideon was mocked for hiding in a wine press. What is so wrong with hiding from an adversary tactically superior in number to you prior to your receiving direct revelation from God regarding what to do about the situation. There is no winning with these kinds of ministers. If Gideon had decided he had had enough and was going to slay any Mideonites coming in his direction, we would have been subjected to an endless number of homiletical expositions about vengeance being the Lord's and why Gideon was in error for failing to instead appeal for the intervention of the civil magistrate.

It was said in a SermonAudio podcast that most people like themselves too much in terms of self esteem. As proof of this out of control ego, the theologian presented the example that most people clothe and feed themselves. Are we supposed to sit passively and wait for the church consistory or deacon board to determine the privilege of what provisions with which we are to be bestowed?

In a discussion of the impact of talk radio upon the political process, home school activist Kevin Swanson suggested that the believer should be leery of the hosts such as Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and Rush Limbaugh that are divorced. It was a wonder such a fanatic did lump in Laura Ingram or Monica Crowely for simply being female. There was no divine mandate from Heaven barring access to the airwaves or the First Amendment those than have been divorced. Mass communications is not an explicitly church office. And what about forgiveness? If these figures are to be banned from non-ecclesiastical occupations on the basis of divorce, should the radical Christian Reconstructionists or Dominionists ever seize power, what is to prevent them from implementing a religious caste system similar to that found in Hindu India that would ban all but the most doctrinally rigorous from certain professions?

In condemnation of talk radio that he categorized as secular, Kevin Swanson warned that hosts must be careful to obey the admonition of not mocking rulers or dignitaries. But America, the authority is actually the Constitution; not the occupant of a particular office or even the office itself. So just how debauched can the offices be that we are obligated to respect? Must Hugh Heffner and Larry Flint be respected as the dignitaries of their respective firms (that being their respective businesses and not the assorted carnality they peddle)? Does this deferential respect also apply to the Anti-Christ and False Prophet which are just as much offices as they are personalities?

In condemnation of radio talk shows that might be considered more secular in that the programs do not constantly beat you over the head with direct Scriptural quotations in regards to every issue addressed, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson criticized the medium for the failure to emphasize that it might be God's sovereignty to turn the reigns of government over to the tyrannically reprobate. So does that mean when the jackboots come to ravish and debase the daughters of homeschoolers that the truly godly such as Pastor Swanson would encourage surrender to and applaud such defilement?

Towards the end of the Dec. 23, 2015 issue of Christian Century, readers are urged to click through to Amazon.com from the publication's website. By surfing that particular route, the Christian Century will earn a percentage of anything purchased. But isn't that part of the capitalism that the religious left any other time denigrates as systematic oppression and undermining face to face COMMUNITY exchange?

In condemnation of Donald Trump, Cal Thomas during a Chicago radio morning show interview castigated the assembled at the candidate's rallies as mostly old and mostly White. But can you really get much older or Whiter than Cal Thomas? By the standard appealed to by Thomas, was the widespread destruction of property in Baltimore and Ferguson mitigated by the predominance of minority faces in the mob? Does Thomas now flagellate himself for the White privilege that has played a role in enabling him to become, as he bills himself, the nation's mostly widely syndicated columnist if such racial pandering has now become part of his stock and trade.

Instructive, Donald Trump confessed that he is capable of transforming into anything that he needs to.

In a campaign commercial, Hillary Clinton assures the child of illegal aliens during a loving embrace not to worry about the disposition of her parents and to leave that to Hillary. Will similar gestures of comfort be extended to the distressed offspring of members of the Bundy Militia or those whose parents have been financially ruined for failing to comply for reasons of conscience with gay marriage mandates? For is not violating immigration law as much a violation of the duly promulgated laws of the land as these politically incorrect causes?

In an examination of President Obama's 2015 National Prayer Breakfast remarks comparing recent Islamic violence with that committed by Christian's centuries ago, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson observed that both Islam and Roman Catholicism have both made the error of being faiths inordinately concerned with power and its accumulation. And Swanson's own theological persuasion of Calvinism has been immune from this particular temptation? Servetus might insist otherwise. Swanson, ministering with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, would no doubt likely align himself with Christian Reconstructionism or a Postmillennialism that insist that a feckless Christ is not able to return until optimal sociopolitical conditions are achieved. So apart from power (the ability to make people do that which they would not otherwise often under threat of violence or actual violence), how does Swanson intend to implement his sect's particular peculiarities?

In his tremendous consumption of fossil fuels and the expansion of his carbon footprint, Pope Francis appeared on the border between Mexico and the United States as part of a staged pity party on behalf of the swarms of illegals violating the sovereignty of American territory. He went as far as to insinuate that Donald Trump was not even a Christian. Does this mean that the Pope will celebrate the conspicuous disrespect of Vatican property and decorum? Let's see if the Pontiff remains similarly broadminded if he is awakened in the middle of the night by raucous music and the uninvited wantonly urinating on the floor of St. Peter's Basilica.

“Pete's Dragon” is being remade. But from the trailer, it looks like this interpretation won't be a family musical. Instead, the narrative looks to be constructed as a serious fantasy. Just wait until “Mary Poppins” gets a similar treatment. No longer will the chimney sweeps be depicted as happy-go-lucky as they dance across the rooftops of London. Most likely these laborers will be depicted as oppressed proletarians suffering a variety of chronic health problems. And forget about the tunes “A Spoonful Of Sugar” or “Feed The Birds”. Child nutrition and animal welfare activists will probably put an end to these beloved classics.

Greta Van Sustern is celebrating her 3500th episode on Fox News. I remember back when her primary focus was serial killer of the week.

In a recitation of his sins at the National Prayer Breakfast, NASCAR personality Darrell Waltrip enumerated among these transgressions being aloof. Aloof is defined as being emotionally distant, reserved, or unwilling to take part in things. This might be an era where one of the primary modalities of Christian fellowship consists of regurgitating the contents of one's inner being for group condemnation on a level just below that of what would take place in a Marxist prisoner of war camp. However, so long as you politely nod to those greeting you as you saunter through the church narthex Sunday morning, I've yet to find a Scripture condemning those that primarily stay to themselves.

In reference to Donald Trump, Marco Rubio hypothesized that, if a candidate despised by nearly fifty percent of the party wins the nomination, the Republicans will implode as they turn on one another. So why are Trump supporters obligated to betray their convictions and fall in line dutifully behind Rubio? Why shouldn't the Marcoists be the ones to stifle their dissent and relent to Trumpian preferences?

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, February 25

Pope Exposes His Biblical Ignorance In Hurry To Promote Globalist Agenda

As part of the centuries-long effort on the part of Vatican elites to collapse the United States on behalf of the New World Order, Pope Francis said regarding Donald Trump, “...a person that thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not about building bridges, is not Christian.”

However, it would seem that most of the things said about walls in divine revelation are overwhelmingly positive.

For example, Proverbs 25:28 counsels, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

Some might dismiss that as rhetorical metaphor rather than as a literal example where actual people and lives are involved.

In terms of history, an entire book of the Bible is dedicated to an individual moved by God to take on as his life's work the rebuilding of the wall around the Jerusalem that he loved.

That was none other than Nehemiah.

And to those that dismiss that entire account as Old Testament, the New Testament speaks perhaps even more favorably of walls.

For example, in Revelation 21:14, Heaven or the New Jerusalem is described as having a wall made of jasper having twelve foundations (each named for one of Christ's twelve Apostles).

With this wall measuring 12,000 stadia in length, width and height, assorted Bible scholars estimate this wall to be 1400 miles long, 1400 miles wide, and 1400 miles tall.

Given that Heaven is where the concentrated presence of God dwells, it is safe to conjecture that God must really like walls.

As the institutionally professed Vicar of Christ, does the Pope now take it upon himself to claim that he apparently knows more about what God wants than God?

Lastly, what about the walls built by the Roman Catholic Church in terms of doctrine and dogma to control access to God?

For example, it is doubtful that one will be granted access to what those administering this form of Christianity believe to be the gateway by which to enter the Kingdom of God (namely Communion, the Lord's Supper, or the Eucharist) unless one consents to this denomination's particular peculiarities.

As such, why shouldn't the United States be allowed to determine for itself by what criteria outsiders will be granted permission to enter here as well?

By Frederick Meekins

Sunday, February 21

Religious Socialist Hopes To Capitalize On White Guilt

Hoping to capitalize on the racial hysteria sweeping through the ranks of America despisers, religious socialist Jim Wallis published an excerpt of his book “America's Original Sin” in the February 2016 issue of his propaganda screed Sojourners Magazine.

Apparently even an economic egalitarian such as himself can't resist the temptation to invoke the privileges of rank, ownership and hierarchy.

The article is subtitled on the cover “What If White Christians Acted More Christian Than White?”

Does this raconteur in the coming months intend to run similarly titled essays referring to other ethnicities and demographics?

For example, “What If Black Christians Acted More Christian Than Black?”

For nowhere in the canon of Scripture and the corpus of systematic theology or Christian ethics can one find justification for looting beauty salons for hair care products or boxstore retailers for the latest electronics over a police action or jury verdict with which one happens to disagree.

Nor can one find justification in the divine revelation for an illegitimacy rate pushing nearly 75%.

And perhaps even more importantly, where in Christian tradition is it acceptable for these deadbeats to send their women out to work (if they even work at all) while these so-called men stand around all day drinking in allies or smoking pot in their basements?

Longterm unemployment the result of economic downturns might be one thing.

However, these urban vagrants don't even make an effort to forage for abandoned scrap metal or to use their ubiquitous smartphones to peddle second hand goods or small handcrafts through an assortment of social commerce venues.

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, February 18

Sword Of The Lord Columnist Insinuates Sci-Fi Fans Not Fit To Teach School

For decades, the Sword Of The Lord has served as a voice of independent Christian Fundamentalism. This publication has fulfilled that mission by regularly standing its ground against the encroaching liberalism and modernism plaguing broad swaths of the Christian church.

One of the most interesting regular features of the paper is “The News and Views” column by Dr. Hugh Pyle that usually applies Christian plain-spokenness to a number of items of public interest. However, in the October 21, 2005 issue of the Sword Of The Lord, Dr. Pyle goes beyond his normal commonsense to draw conclusions not supported by the evidence or deducible from it.

In his Oct 21, 2005 column, Dr. Pyle laments the poor example set by many contemporary public school educators and how in times past these guides along the path of learning imbued their students with a sense of spiritual as well as academic knowledge. As proof of his thesis, he cites a feature in his local paper where an interviewed teacher responded to a survey that his favorite movie was Star Trek.

Dr. Pyle responds, “You had better give your children all the education you can at home and in a good, fundamental church and Sunday school.” From his reaction, you’d think the teacher had admitted to having a stash of girlie videos. Would Dr. Pyle have said this had the teacher admitted to liking sports

With all the nonsense going on in the public schools, you’d think that a teacher that enjoys Star Trek and related science fiction would be the least of any concerned citizen’s worries and might even be considered an asset on an academic faculty. For despite the moral shortcomings that pop up from time to time in the plots, over the course of its various incarnations, Star Trek has consistently remained one of the few expressions of popular culture to present itself as if ethical reflection actually mattered and was often essential to the story.

Dr. Pyle further laments, “Usually my teachers were well read in good and great literature, which included the Bible, and it showed up in class.” And what exactly did this great literature consist of? Shakespeare? It may come as a surprise, but the plays of Shakespeare were the Star Trek of their time because --- while we consider them highbrow literature today --- these dramas were performed primarily as popular entertainment. Paying homage to this tradition, Star Trek has often employed Shakespearean allusions and motifs throughout its history.

Though I cannot speak fully as to Dr. Pyle’s personal convictions about the matter, for a number of those operating in a closely related socioecclesiastical circle even literature produced by fellow Christians is not even good enough. For while most Christians were pleased about the attention given to C.S. Lewis as a result of the cinematic adaptation of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe even if they had reservations about every last point in his systematic theology, more hardline pastors, scholars, and evangelists want Lewis roundly condemned on all counts rather than to sift the wheat from the chaff in what he has written and some come close to heaping damnation on anyone that dares crack open one of this professor’s books. One pastor in an audio sermon, in an attempt to scare Christians away from seeing the film, claims demons literally hovering in the theater might latch on to unsuspecting viewers (as if this won’t happen in most churches these days, many of the Fundamentalist ones included).

Others a bit more reasonable in their criticisms such as David Brown of the First Baptist Church of Oak Creek, Wisconsin claim C.S. Lewis is inappropriate for Christians to read since Narnia is inhabited by creatures of a questionable spiritual pedigree such as centaurs, fauns, and witches. However, such insights fail to properly analyze classic Western fantasy literature.

Just because there is a witch in The Chronicles Of Narnia does not set off the Harry Potter alarm. Unlike Rowling, Lewis conforms to traditional literary aesthetics by casting the witch in the role of the antagonist or villain.

The most thoroughgoing separationists ---- the term in this sense meaning those that choose not to ecclesiastically affiliate with those of differing religious viewpoints rather than those misinterpreting the First Amendment --- contend that Lewis must still be avoided since to have a witch in a story in any capacity is a violation of II Corinthians warning the Christian to touch not the unclean thing.

If that’s the case, then what are Patch The Pirate Clubs doing in numerous Fundamentalist churches? In much the same manner as Rowling has glamorized witchcraft, numerous churches have romanticized the life of high-seas piracy.

Potter critics rightly point out there is no such thing as a good witch. Likewise, there is no such thing as a good pirate.

Why not just organize Jack The Carjacker Clubs for kids since that’s what pirates essentially were in the Age of Sail. Better yet, why not update things for the current millennium and start Tommy The Terrorist Clubs?

At least Lewis had the decency to cast the witch as the villain. What’s the excuse for this strand of Fundamentalism that demands every last detail be in apple pie order or they’ll bring the legitimacy of your Christian faith into question? Pirates have probably ruined as many innocent lives and possibly even more than the average witch ever has.

If every character in every story abided by every last behavioral norm and stricture insisted upon by many Fundamentalists, frankly there’d hardly be any literature worth reading. This does not mean though that a book must be filled with promiscuity or profanity to be interesting.

To these critics, even the most wholesome classics uncomfortably push the limits of acceptability. According to Kevin Swanson of Generations Radio, Little House On The Prairie suborns lesbianism since Laura Ingalls Wilder dared to exhibit a bit of an independent streak; I guess Half-pint was too tomboyish or spoke her mind one too many times for old Pa Swanson’s tastes.

As evidence, Swanson cites Laura’s refusal to say "obey" in her wedding vows. However, it must be remembered that these are simply a cultural manifestation of a Biblical imperative and despite popular conceptions to the contrary aren’t spelled out verbatim in the pages of holy writ.

No Chronicles Of Narnia. No Little House On The Prairie. Doesn’t exactly leave much to read and from the literary theories expounded by these pious ascetics, it’s a wonder they still let the good Christian read the Bible. For while David might have been a man after God’s own heart, there’s a goodly portion of his life you’d hardly want your children emulating.

Perhaps some Christians are too quick to embrace C.S. Lewis in his entirety without casting a discerning eye on those areas where he did come up short. But if that is the case, these overly-exacting members of the clergy have themselves to blame in large part.

For if these divines find contemporary speculative fiction to be inappropriate if it does not adhere to their particular systematic theologies on every point, are they themselves doing anything to produce acceptable alternative narratives, sagas, and epics? Furthermore, are they actively encouraging the bright young minds in their congregations to pursue artistic or literary callings. Because from what I have studied of and experienced from those of this particular Evangelical perspective, most have adopted a proto-Romanist mindset that those possessing a religionist vocation are somehow more important than the rest of us and the work of such sanctified journeymen more essential to the fulfillment of God’s good purposes. That’s why in many churches, Christian schools, and youth groups one hears an awful lot about becoming a missionary to the heathen savages in some far off jungle but precious little about targeting the barbarians that are taking over this culture and trying to undue the consequences of godless thinking upon our own institutions of thought and learning.

Interestingly though, the Sword of the Lord does not hold a consistent position against all forms entertainment. For while fans of science fiction aren’t fit to teach and a Christian had better not dare go to a movie since even the money from more wholesome motion pictures is likely to flow into the coffers of reprobates, the staff at the Sword of the Lord gets as googoo-eyed around celebrities as the remainder of the population and turn a blind eye when it suits their fancy to the exacting standards of deportment usual insisted upon by the publication.

Featured in the top-left corner of the December 20, 2005 edition is a profile of outdoor sports host Chad Schearer. In his testimony, Chad tells of being invited to a NASCAR race by one of the stockcar owners. If the Sword of the Lord is to be consistent, shouldn’t this individual be chastised and disfellowshipped for going somewhere where alcohol, scantily clad women, and profanity are bound to be present?

As outcast in Christian circles these days as I am among the heathen, I don’t have much of any moral qualms about motorsports. However, I am not the one whose publication is insinuating one is some kind of deviant if one likes laser guns and spaceships and calling into question the legitimacy of one’s Christianity for occasionally associating with conservative Southern Baptists or level-headed Charismatics.

However, I guess if you are part of the “in crowd”, you don’t necessarily have to abide by the rules and standards derived from a particular interpretation of God’s Word the common believer in the pew is expected to adhere to. For you see, Chad’s pappy is pals with the editor.

Furthermore, if Christians are suppose to stay away from works of imaginative speculation such as Star Trek and The Chronicles Of Narnia, how is it that these pastors and evangelists know so much about them? Unlike some things one knows to be inherently wrong by their mere existence, to nitpick these narratives on a nuanced doctrinal level one is going to have to sit there and study them for awhile.

Therefore, if preachers are going to address the issue from pulpit and pen, doesn’t the admonishment to be a Berean compel us to do our own first hand research since in the Protestant tradition one is not to blithely accept the ruminations of the clergy without some kind of collaboration through the application of one’s own critical thinking skills to what has been postulated by those holding ecclesiastical office. If anything, by speaking out against imaginative literature, pastors should rather be pleased then when members of their congregations go to research these works for themselves.

By Frederick Meekins

Friday, February 12

Deepak Chopra Peddles Metaphysical Swill

In the 6/25/07 edition of U.S. News & World Report, New Age luminary Deepak Chopra was interviewed about his novel about Buddha interestingly titled "Buddha". Though many will no doubt fawn all over this narrative in search of some new spiritual insight or revelation in much the same way as they did with "The Da Vinci Code" these past few years, however, it seems some of the answers provided by this guru renowned by millions had as much thought put to them as the titling of this novel.

When asked what he thought the meaning of enlightenment was, Chopra responded, "The meaning here is that your real self is not a person, that there is no such thing as a separate self, that a person doesn't really exist...So enlightenment here means transcendence to that level of existence where the personal self becomes the universal self.”

If the separate self and the person does not exist, I wonder what Dr. Chopra would think if some tragedy befell his friends or family members? Is he simply going to brush it off by saying they did not exist anyway? If that is the case, I bet Mrs. Chopra and the children feel loved knowing that, in the eyes of dear old dad, out of sight will be out of mind.

With Christianity on the other hand, while the believer is admonished by I Thessalonians 4:13 not to mourn as the heathen as if there was no hope, the Christian legitimately pines for the departed loved one as one would for any friend or family member that has moved far away that you know you are probably not going to see for quite awhile but whom has nevertheless retained the same degree of distinct individuality as the day you met them.

Though Chopra has manipulated his followers into accepting his teachings and in the process made himself a very wealthy man (so much for desire causing suffering as basic Buddhism postulates), one can't help notice that Chopra doesn't exactly comport himself by the Eastern dictum that the self does not exist. For if the self does not exist, why has Chopra placed his name on the novel? And his photograph in the U.S. News & World Report profile is not of some disheveled lunatic consistently living out the implications of his worldview that appearance is just an allusion but rather of one who poses deliberately with his arm over his knee and his head cocked just so in a statement to the world that he is just a bit better than you.

More importantly, if a person doesn’t really exist since the individual is merely a “transient behavior of the total universe”, is Chopra going to forego the proceeds of what will probably be a bestseller and instead distribute the revenues to every person on the planet equally if “the universal self” and we are all the same person anyway? If Deepak Chopra doesn’t really exist, then why is the name slapped across his Center For Wellness?

But then again, such common sense and logic aren’t an integral part of Chopra’s worldview. When asked in the U.S. News & World Report interview if there is a fundamental tension between spirituality and religion, Chopra responded, “It [spirituality] has very little to do with religious dogma, ideology, or even self-righteous morality.”

Isn’t that itself a dogma? Are those that do not share in such metaphysical open-mindedness in the wrong? Doesn’t saying so imply a morality?

If ultimately morality does not really exist, on what grounds does Chopra have to complain should his publisher abscond with the proceeds of his novel? More importantly, if some horrible crime befell Mrs. Chopra and the kids, would such be wrong beyond the breaking of society’s arbitrarily derived laws?

That must really make his family feel special. Some might point out I already made that point. However, if you have no problems with the Eastern worldview espoused by this cultic guru, repetition and second go-arounds float your boat anyway.

by Frederick Meekins

Saturday, February 6

A Close Encounter Of An Intravenous Kind

“Quick. Look Outside!”

“What?” I replied to my brother.

My brother responded, “LOOK OUTSIDE.”

I rushed to the door and opened it. “I don't see anything.”

My brother's voice grew increasingly agitated. “Up in the sky and down the street.”

I stepped out a bit onto the front porch, lifting my gaze upward. Still accustomed to the indoor illumination, my vision had not yet adjusted to the unbridled sunlight.

“I don't see anything but clouds.”

“Keep looking. You will see it,” my brother snapped.

Despite growing frustration at my brother's tone, I continued as he insisted. After a few more moments, my eyes finally noticed what it was my sibling had been so insistent about.

Its outline nearly matched the clouds in the background in terms of color. However, if one stared with sufficient intent, one could make out the faint hint of a metallic curvature.

My heart palpitated. It couldn't be. But it apparently was. “Oh myyyy....Is that a UFO?”

“No way,” my brother replied, almost dismissively.

“That's a UFO.” My limbs growing unsteady as I contemplated the import of my words.

My brother retorted, “You just want it to be a UFO because you believe they exist.”

“And why do you need to be so skeptical? If you don't believe that's a UFO, why did you bother me with this?”, I replied.

To that, he had no answer. It was difficult to transcend the overwhelming sense of dumbfoundedness that washed over the psyche as one contemplated the significance of the image seemingly floating there in the sky.

“It's just dangling there, “ my bother observed, “even though you can see right through it.”

I hypothesized, “It probably doesn't even have any physical substance.”

“You mean like an illusion?”

“Not exactly. I mean it's probably spiritual, slipping through from another dimension.”

My brother still did not want to concede to the validity of my speculations. But with no other explanations for what he was seeing with his very own eyes, he enunciated no further protests.

Curious onlookers began to gather, wondering what it was suspended in the sky. Arms and hands gestured upward.

The bottom of the translucent metallic outline slowly opened. A beam of light extended downward to the blacktopped street below.

My eyes widened. I walked down a few steps, wanting a closer look but trepidatious regarding the mysterious phenomena unfolding before me.

Apparently I wasn't quite as excited as the assembling throng. Though they were probably halfway down the street, one could still hear their enthusiastic yammering.

I descended to at least the bottom of the steps. From there, I would at least have a better view but be close enough to hurry back into the house if something dangerous was to transpire or something over which one would need a degree of plausible deniability if men adorned in certain downplayed hues came knocking to ascertain just how much individuals had witnessed.

A form slowly yet steadily descended through the bottom of what most would categorize as a spaceship or flying saucer. The gasps of the onlookers grew even louder.

The protrusion was a pasty gray, almost like clay in coloration. The end of this tubular extension flicked back and forth in an obviously serpentine manner.

But as the creature emerged from the craft, it became apparent that it was not entirely cylindrical. Two spindly arms branched off the upper sides of the torso. These appendages were held outstretched.

Given my religious background, it almost seemed as if the entity was posing in a crucified posture. To others, it could have just as easily suggested, “Come unto me all that are weary so that you may find rest.”

As the creature lowered itself in the tractor beam to the street below, that was exactly what the gathered began to do. A stretcher with a patient upon it was slowly pushed through the crowd.

The assembled could now see some kind of tube dangling from the entity's outstretched limb. A dark, viscous fluid dripped from it into what appeared to be a plastic collection bag.

Intrigued, I squinted to get a better glimpse of the spectacle unfolding before me. I informed my sibling, “That must be that abomination's blood. He's making it appear as if he is shedding his blood for them.” My brother simply deferred to my observation and analysis.

The entity look down at the convalescent reclining upon the gurney. What might pass as an expression of sympathy or pity formed on its nearly colorless face.

Medical personnel quickly took the tube dangling beneath the lifeform's extended appendage and attached it to the convalescent's arm. The dark, viscous fluid oozed into the patient's body.

The gathered observed in reverent anticipation. They barely said a word, but the attentive could still hear the audible gasps and sighs.

The invalid began to stir. Vitality returned to the previously near-lifeless body at a steady pace.

Eventually, the joyous person sat up in amazement under his own strength. He hopped to his feet with the enthusiasm of someone that had not been able to accomplish such a simple gesture in what seemed to him no doubt ages.

Cheers of adulation erupted. The hovering serpentine entity looked down and offered what it could of a smile. It looked upward as it ascended the tractor beam back through the bottom of the ethereal saucer.

Still watching from a distance, I turned to my brother and observed, “I bet the cost of that doesn't come cheap. And it will probably end up being a price we will all be forced to pay whether we want to or not.”

by Frederick Meekins

Monday, February 1

Southern Baptist Condemns Trump For Failing To Pander To Women & Minorities

James 1:8 warns that a double minded man is unstable in all that he does. Few religious leaders on the scene today typifies what this Scripture is getting at as Southern Baptist ethics and public policy functionary Russell Moore.

In an op-ed published in the New York Times, this theologian wrote, “Donald J. Trump stands astride the polls in the Republican presidential race... Most illogical is his support from evangelicals and other social conservatives. To back Mr. Trump, these voters must repudiate everything they believe.”

As not only a graduate of the Southern Baptist Convention's most prestigious seminary but also as a professor at the school as well, shouldn't Dr. Moore know that words mean things? Some possess very precise definitions.

In academic writing courses such as the infamous English 101, one of the first things students learn is to be cautious when applying words such as “all”. For if your opponent can find as few as a single counterexample, they have pretty much derailed your argument.

However, in his fanaticism, Rev. Moore insists that to vote for Donald Trump is to repudiate everything which the Christian professes to believe. But casting a ballot for a limited number of reasons barely touches on any essential Christian doctrine.

Granted, there was one off his rocker Charismatic or holy roller that attempted to make the eschatological case that Trump was the trump to be blown in the Book of Revelation. However, at no time has a Christian holding to an orthodox understanding or interpretation who also supports the Trump candidacy renounced the so-called fundamentals of the Gospel message. These would of course be that Christ as the only begotten Son of God and second member of the divine trinity took on human form being born of a virgin so that He might live the sinless life that we could not in order to die upon the cross and rise from the dead as payment for our sins so that those that might believe in Him could enjoy eternal resurrected life with Him in Heaven.

In his analysis, Rev. Moore raises of number of valid concerns regarding Donald Trump's moral shortcomings and failures. Of Trump's behavior towards women, Moore writes, “His attitude towards women is that of a Bronze Age warlord. He tell us in one of his books that he revels in the fact that he gets to sleep with some of the top women in the world. He has divorced two wives (so far) for other women.”

Such should give the Christian striving to live up to the rigors of Biblical morality cause for concern. However, to categorize Trump's attitude as that of a “Bronze Age warlord” is a bit over the top.

It is probably safe to assume at no time did Donald Trump impose his physical affections upon women that were not receptive to his amorous advances. As a multibillionaire, he'd probably have too much to loose in a post-Anita Hill era where rumors and allegations are too easily believed.

Unless these are rape victims, aren't these wenches as every bit the depraved whoremonger as Donald Trump? Just as Donald Trump prides himself on his carnal conquests, the women he has bestowed the honor of pleasuring him carnally have probably have had their own egos stroked (along with a few other things) by the fact that a man of his wealth and power would extend to them this kind of attention.

As an archetypal capitalist, Trump is probably quite good to these women from a material standpoint. These aren't the aging church biddies with so much hairspray that their beehives or bouffants would likely catch afire should they wander to close to an open flame. Those operating in Trump's circles know what they are getting into when they catch his eye and likely even seek out that kind of attention from the likes of him.

If Dr. Moore is going to condemn Bronze Age mentalities towards women, does he intend to criticize some of the teachings propagated by the likes of the Duggar's? For example, of that family's twenty some children, does Dr. Moore find it strange that not a single one has really attempted a college education? And what about the teaching emanating from the Duggar compound that even a pregnant wife is obligated to physically service her husband anytime he awakens in the middle of the night with an urge or an itch?

Russell Moore further writes, “In the 1990's, some of these social conservatives argued that 'If Bill Clinton's wife can't trust him, neither can we.' If character matters, character matters. Today's evangelicals should ask, 'Whatever happened to our commitment to traditional family values?'.”

In part, that once strong conviction was been undermined by self-styled sophisticates such as Russell Moore positioned higher along the ladder of ecclesastical position that go out of their way to enunciate their contempt upon those seen as mere pewfillers with little purpose other than depositing coins in the collection plate when so ordered. In other columns, Rev. Moore has gone out of his way to express a giddy delight at the demise of so-called “cultural Christianity”, described as an interpretation of the faith more concerned with the preservation of the social norms derived from the faith perhaps at times even more so than the relationship between the individual and the Savior.

However, what Moore has criticized in such cases is apparently not so much activist Christianity. For he certainly has little problem with advancing policies that perpetuate his own perceptions of White guilt bordering on that exhibited among the ranks of the Emergent Church Movement.

Dr. Moore writes, “Mr. Trump incites division, with slurs against Hispanic immigrants and with protectionist jargon that preys on turning economic insecurity into ugly 'us” versus 'them' identity politics. When evangelicals should be leading the way on racial reconciliation, as the Bible tells us to, are we really ready to trade unity with our black and brown brothers...for this angry politician?”

Regarding “protectionist jargon”, would Russell Moore be as giddy at the prospect of foreign labor depressing what are no doubt his own extravagant wages and posh expense accounts? Like many a hillbilly pastor, Russell Moore can no doubt prattle on for hours about how hard he probably toiled in the cotton fields, bayous, or coal mines.

But only in his mid 40's, it is doubtful much dirt has accumulated under his manicured fingernails or callouses formed on his hands. The most profound physical strain Dr. Moore has encountered in his occupational position as of late has probably been an occasional paper cut.

Perhaps we mere pewfillers ought to embrace Dr. Moore's call for stagnate or declining wages. It would mean, after all, fewer dollars that we would be required to be slipped into the collection plate.

From his own actions, Russell Moore's call for racial reconciliation amounts to little more than aligning himself with Evangelical front groups that deep down advocate their own distinct hue of racial separatism at best or ethnosupremacism at worst in that (to put it in a plainspoken manner) despise the White race (or however else you want to describe Caucasoids in this era where whatever flies out of the mouth of someone of that demographic extraction attempting to stand for their particular people or heritage will be coopted in order to indict the enucinator with allegations of hate speech or thought crimes).

For example, Russell Moore sits on the board of the National Hispanic Leadership Conference. Of that, the discerning believer ought to ask a number of questions that in today's climate could result in either losing their position as a Sunday school teacher or deacon and might even lead to their church membership being revoked.

Firstly, would a group of that name open its positions of leadership to individuals advocating a Buchananite foreign or immigration policy? If not, how are these sectarians any better than the ministries that focus upon family values such as abortion or the preservation of heterosexual marriage now condemned as divisive by the religious progressives that applaud ethnic and racialist agitation?

Secondly and perhaps even more importantly, would Russell Moore sit on the board of an organization titled something like the Coalition For Nordic or Teutonic Evangelicals? If not, why should such an organization be any less commendable than one advocating that someone is deserving of special praise, adulation, or accommodation just because they happen to be Hispanic?

Interesting, isn't it, that the Scripture that there is neither Greek nor Jew is only presented for exegetical contemplation when it can be invoked to criticize the tendency of Whites to gravitate towards others of their own particular phenotype? The admonition is conveniently overlooked when certain grievance industry minorities have no problem with judging someone by the color of skin rather than by the content of character.

There are indeed a number of reasons to be concerned regarding a potential Trump Presidency. Without a doubt, this tycoon excels at expressing many of the concerns and frustrations weighing on the hearts and minds of average Americans. However, many of his proposals and solutions seem lacking in the specifics that would be needed to get the country from the state of crisis in which we presently find ourselves to the more solid footing Donald Trump promises in a manner that would adhere to the liberties and procedures of a constitutional republic while minimizing the social disruption that would likely result from a dramatic alteration in governmental policy and approach.

Apparently Russell Moore intends to posture and preen in an attempt to acquire accolades for himself from progressives by heaping condemnation upon those giving what Donald Trump has to say a serious hearing. In his reflection, perhaps Russell Moore ought to as seriously reflect upon the role he himself has played in propagating a milieu where many Americans no longer feel as if they have a place any longer in either this country or even the church.

By Frederick Meekins