Bill Muehlenberg

Douglas MacArthur, Christianity and Japan

Supreme Commander: MacArthur’s Triumph in Japan by Seymour Morris, Jr. (Harper, 2014). What a huge task MacArthur had. This was a militaristic society that had engaged in some of the worst wartime atrocities ever (recall the Rape of Nanking, the Rape of Manilla, their pursuit of biological warfare, and so on), and here was an American general tasked with bringing about the peace and helping to transform a nation.

What do you do if you are given the task of turning a feudalistic and militaristic culture that has just been defeated in war into a democratic, stable and peaceful nation? And how do you do it with the support of the people? That was the responsibility given to General Douglas MacArthur following Japan’s surrender at the end of WWII.
Can an occupying force turn around a nation in a few short years and recast it into a welcome member of the international community? And can the changes be welcomed by most of the people? Very rarely in human history has an occupying army transformed a nation for the good and without resentment. Yet that is what MacArthur did in Japan.
Plenty of biographies exist on the general (think of the standard 800-page work American Caesar by William Manchester for example), and a number of books exist on post-war Japan under American occupation. But one volume stands out here. I refer to Supreme Commander: MacArthur’s Triumph in Japan by Seymour Morris, Jr. (Harper, 2014).
What a huge task MacArthur had. This was a militaristic society that had engaged in some of the worst wartime atrocities ever (recall the Rape of Nanking, the Rape of Manilla, their pursuit of biological warfare, and so on), and here was an American general tasked with bringing about the peace and helping to transform a nation.
The 350-page tome by Morris does a great job of informing us of the obstacles, problems and hurdles to be overcome, and how MacArthur achieved what few others had ever done: successfully turning a belligerently-run nation into a free and prosperous democracy.
But it is one aspect of this I want to focus on here. The state religion, Shintoism, was part of the problem: How would MacArthur tackle this? In Chapter 11 (pages 115-124) of the book we learn about what transpired. Morris reminds us that Shintoism “extolled Japan’s feudal past and proclaimed the emperor to be the sum of all verities.”. He continues:
Proceeding with care – any regulation of religion was a potential minefield, and this was the national religion – it took SCAP [Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers] two months to finalize its policies. In mid-December [1945] it issued the Shinto directive, pronouncing the establishment of religious freedom…
In their edicts on religion MacArthur and his team were very careful not to impugn the emperor’s position and dignity. Yet it was the emperor’s very position as an august being that had caused many Japanese militarists to accept the belief that war and any service to the state were fully justified. For the Japanese soldier, what higher calling than to fight for the emperor and to die in his service, even to the point of becoming a kamikaze?
The end result of all this was the emperor renounced his divinity. This was just one massive change among many. Says Morris:
A flurry of directives, already under way and with many more to come, would reach into every nook and cranny of Japanese life. The abolition of the military police, the purge of the militarists, the elimination of restrictions on labor, the creation of a new constitution, the enfranchisement of women and the reform of the education system, and the breakup of monopolistic family trusts would usher in a more modern and democratic state.
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Diabolical Delusions Deceiving Many

This is not just true of Joe Pagan. It is true of those claiming to be Christians yet absolutely deny God, his truth, and what his Word clearly teaches. No wonder the Bible repeatedly warns about how easy it is to be deceived, how active the devil is, and how we must all be on guard against the lies of the enemy. Consider the recent story of some guy who claims to be a Christian, who now claims to be a woman, and who dumped his wife and three kids in order to be “true to himself.” Worse yet, he is an Anglican vicar of all things.

Satan is real. Sin is real. The fall is real. And deception is real. But too many folks do not believe in any of these realities. As a result, they end up fully falling victim to them. They are bound by diabolical deception, and they do not even know it is happening.
And this is not just true of Joe Pagan. It is true of those claiming to be Christians yet absolutely deny God, his truth, and what his Word clearly teaches. No wonder the Bible repeatedly warns about how easy it is to be deceived, how active the devil is, and how we must all be on guard against the lies of the enemy.
Consider the recent story of some guy who claims to be a Christian, who now claims to be a woman, and who dumped his wife and three kids in order to be ‘true to himself.’ Worse yet, he is an Anglican vicar of all things. As one write-up puts it:
The Church of England’s ‘first’ non-binary vicar said it was ‘difficult’ when they came out to their wife and three children after having a ‘moment of revelation’ while reading the story of Adam and Eve. Bingo Allison, 36, who defines as gender-queer and uses the pronouns ‘they/them’, experienced an epiphany seven years ago while reading Genesis 1-3 in the Old Testament.
The vicar, who works in Liverpool, said they came to terms with their gender identity while reading the story and realised: ‘There’s space in God’s creation for change and transformation, just because you’re created one way doesn’t mean that you can’t live another’. Bingo also said their wife found things ‘difficult’ when they first came out because ‘obviously you marry what you think it a straight guy and obviously things are more complicated than that’. www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11591517/Britains-non-binary-CofE-priest-says-God-guided-truth.html
Oh dear. Which is worse: someone living in complete delusion or idiots in the media who go along with it? You will have to ignore these dingbats for using the word “they” when speaking about him. Lying to oneself is bad enough, but when others go along with this, we really are headed for civilisational collapse.
But ‘Bingo’ (which sorta tells us all we need to know about the guy) is a real piece of work here. The amount of absolute lunacy coming from his lips is quite something to behold. The article goes on to say this:
In a speech to a panel on making churches more inclusive, Bingo said Christianity had historically been guilty of prioritising the views of ‘rich, white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, neurotypical men’. Explaining that they are also autistic and dyspraxic, Bingo wrote: ‘I am passionate about fully including neurodivergent people in the life and faith of the Church, particularly in our telling and retelling of stories from the Bible.
Bingo, who previously trained to become a priest in Durham, said the Church of England was ‘open to me coming out’ but added that it was ‘difficult’ for some people they had worked with ‘because for them I was the first transgender person they had worked with closely’. They have since moved to the Liverpool Diocese ‘which does so much to support and empower LGBT people’ and they have found their new congregation ‘wonderful’….
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On Dealing with Evil

So often we want to look down on others and think they are so reprehensible and deplorable while we are not. But we ALL are deplorables. We all are dirty rotten scoundrels (to mention another film). We all deserve eternal punishment for our sin. It is only God’s mercy and grace that makes it possible for us to avoid that.

As is usually the case, articles I write are often triggered by something I have just recently read or watched. In this case, a few days ago I had viewed part of some American true crime program on TV. The gist of it was this: a woman with four young children conspired with her lover to kill her husband and get his insurance money. They succeeded.
However, she was soon caught, tried, convicted, and sent to prison for life. Good! What a monstrous woman this was! Hating her own children and husband and happy to murder him! That of course was my immediate thought. But as a Christian I really had to quickly readjust and/or supplement my initial reaction with a few other truths. Two main biblical responses that also came directly to mind were these:
One. Yes satanic evil is alive and well. There most certainly is such a thing as evil – and evil people. We must never dismiss nor play down the reality of diabolical wickedness. It should always offend us and disgust us. We should never grow used to it nor become calloused by it. Evil is real – and it is horrible.
Two. ‘There, but for the grace of God go I.’ Are we really any different? As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, if I hate someone, it really is the same as murdering someone (Matthew 5:21-22). Our outward actions flow from our inner attitudes and dispositions. Thus it immediately sprang to my mind that given the right circumstances I could just as easily have done something like this.
‘But,’ you might say, ‘you would not kill your spouse and be so cavalier about your own children, would you?’ Well, the fact that I am still so often so self-centred and selfish and sinful – even as a long-standing Christian – means that I have hated them at the very least. When I fully put myself first, I am putting others last. I am not loving them as I should but hating them. And that, Jesus said, is just like murdering them.
I shared some of this on the social media recently, and then said this: “In sum, we are to hate evil with a holy passion, but we are also to look into our own hearts. And we must pray for women like this.” All these points can be expanded on at length. So let me add a bit more to each one.
First, one Christian gal asked me a somewhat surprising question. She wanted to know how I would pray for this woman. I would have thought that was rather obvious. I replied: “That she repents and gets saved.” She does not deserve this, but that is what grace is all about.
Is she an evil monster who deserves to be locked up for life? Yes. But as I just said, so are all of us. We are all capable of great evil. And usually it is just social disapproval, fear of what others might think, and so on, that keeps us from committing really gross and horrid evils.
In that sense, I have often referred to the 1993 film Falling Down starring Michael Douglas to make my point about all this. If you don’t mind, I actually like what I wrote 13 years ago about this, so let me share part of that article here:
It tells the sad story of a man who slowly lost the plot. Everything was going against him, and it took its toll.
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Justice And The End Of All Things

In all of this we see that sometimes justice comes about quickly. Sometimes justice is delayed. And sometimes justice never seems to come at all – in this life at least. When it seems like great injustice is happening and is never being rectified, that can be a very grievous thing to go through. God’s people of course see this occurring all the time and often all they can do is cry out, “How Long O Lord? When will we see some justice?” The Bible speaks to this often. Indeed, the entirety of Scripture informs us that our God is a God of justice. We see him carrying out justice in the here and now, and we read about justice that is forthcoming.

Today justice is not always found, but full justice IS coming:
A million times a day there are acts of injustice taking place, be they greater or lesser acts. Most people have an innate dislike of injustice, and a strong desire for justice. Here I want to simply offer four examples of injustice: two recent and two ancient – some of which are followed by justice. I will then look at how the book of Revelation speaks to all this.
The first case involves a Christian in Ireland who was jailed. He was not involved in theft or sexual abuse of students. No, much worse, he refused to go along with the woke pronoun nonsense. And for that he had been jailed for several months and was set to miss out on Christmas. Talk about gross injustice and gross idiocy on the part of the authorities. One report says this:
“A teacher in Ireland has been suspended from work and then jailed for contempt of court after he refused to use the correct pronouns to address a transgender student. Enoch Burke was arrested on Monday for violating a court order barring him from teaching at Wilson’s Hospital School in Westmeath, or even being present there.” nypost.com/2022/09/06/teacher-enoch-burke-jailed-over-trans-pronouns-flap/
But a court has just allowed his release, so he was able to be with family to celebrate Christmas. Finally, a bit of justice: “A teacher who was jailed for ignoring a court order has been released from prison after a ruling by the High Court. Enoch Burke was jailed in September for breaching an order which prevents him from attending the school where he works.” www.bbc.com/news/articles/cn3z8x0vvk2o
Another recent case, also from Europe, involves a woman arrested for praying outside of an abortion mill: “The thing could seem implausible or grotesque, but one does not trifle with the law. Thus, a woman was arrested and charged with ‘mental prayer’ at an abortion clinic. Isabel Vaughan-Spruce is the director of March for Life in the UK and a volunteer supporting women in difficult pregnancy situations. She was arrested by police at an abortion clinic in Birmingham. She was later charged with four counts after telling police she was ‘maybe’ praying silently when asked why she was standing on a public road near an abortion center.” fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/uk-it-forbidden-silently-pray-certain-places-78890
Although released on bail, this sort of thing should never have happened. We really are at the end of civilisation as we know it when silent prayer is deemed to be a crime by the godless state, and those involved in it can be arrested and jailed. Where is the justice?
A third case also involves the powers that be committing great injustice to those who could not easily stand up for themselves. It took place thousands of years ago and is recorded in the Bible. I refer to a story found in 1 Kings 21 concerning the evil King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. You know the story.
Ahab lusted after Naboth’s vineyard, and was bummed out about not being able to have it. Jezebel chewed him out: ‘Hey, who is king around here? Leave it to me – I will get it for you.’ She gets some worthless fellows to bear false witness against Naboth. He is declared guilty and killed, and Ahab gets his coveted vineyard. Talk about deplorable injustice. But the prophet Elijah quickly condemns the king and tells him justice is coming. And that it does: we read about Ahab’s death in the next chapter.
My fourth case is also very familiar, and it involves a good King – David. We all know how lust got the better of him, and he committed adultery with Bathsheba. He then had her husband killed to cover up his crime. Those are some very ugly and unjust actions indeed. But the prophet Nathan quickly appears on the scene to call him out. He tells David a story which enrages David and his sense of justice. But then Nathan tells him: “You are the man!” See 2 Samuel 11-12 for the full story.
Obviously much bigger and badder examples of injustice can be mentioned, including the Holodomor in Ukraine in the 1930s and the Holocaust in the 1940s – both of which resulted in the deaths of millions of people. So whether on a massive scale or on a smaller scale, injustice is always happening.
In all of this we see that sometimes justice comes about quickly. Sometimes justice is delayed. And sometimes justice never seems to come at all – in this life at least. When it seems like great injustice is happening and is never being rectified, that can be a very grievous thing to go through.
God’s people of course see this occurring all the time and often all they can do is cry out, “How Long O Lord? When will we see some justice?” The Bible speaks to this often. Indeed, the entirety of Scripture informs us that our God is a God of justice. We see him carrying out justice in the here and now, and we read about justice that is forthcoming.
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The Death of Football—and Common Sense, Sanity, and Reality

What is wrong with these people? Their brainwashing and indoctrination is now fully complete. They cannot think straight and they no longer know the difference between reality and fantasyland. And they write and say all this crapolla with a perfectly straight face! This really is the end of Australia and the West.

In an article I just penned hours ago I spoke of the passing of an era. I discussed the funeral of Queen Elizabeth and noted how we may not see similar things again. The old order of faith, tradition, loyalty and responsibility is being replaced with a new order of unbelief, novelty, rebellion and selfishness.
And these are but symptoms of a bigger malaise: the slow but steady erosion of Christianity in the West and the rise of secular humanism in all its forms. As God and faith go, we see a rise in madness, immorality and lunacy. And we see this nowhere more clearly in the giant behemoth of transgenderism.
We seem to be watching in real time the rise of a zombie apocalypse where most of our elites and leaders have abandoned all reason, all logic, and all sanity as they cheerily embrace the moonbat ideology of the trans revolutionaries.
And these folks are now fully in control of the media, of entertainment, of politics, of culture, and of education. They are pushing this insanity on the rest of us hapless peons. Of interest, what shot Jordan Peterson into the social spotlight stratosphere was his stance on this issue.
He refused to bow down and worship at the altar of mass delusion and infantile temper tantrums. And so many of the rest of us feel the same way. Recently a friend was discussing all this and I said in reply, “While using a preferred name may not be too problematic, using a preferred pronoun is. That means I have to lie, and support someone in their delusion.”
People are never helped when we share in their lies, their confusion, and their mental meltdowns. As one meme making the rounds states, “I won’t use someone’s pronouns for the same reason I won’t talk to a schizophrenic’s imaginary friend.”
These people need help and counsel desperately. But they do NOT need affirmation, celebration, and promotion. Yet that is what we find everywhere, certainly in the brainless lamestream media. Consider the latest case of this idiocy. An important event for the Australian Football League is its annual awards night, the Brownlows.
Here top athletes are honoured while their partners get to showcase their frocks and hairdos. Since the team I like happens to be in the Grand Final this weekend, I turned it on, and almost spilled my dinner. A former footballer has over the past few years decided that he is now a she, and all the media meatheads are more than happy to play along with this nonsense.
It was utterly embarrassing to behold. I refer to Dean Laidley who has grown his hair and likes to wear dresses. No one questions this. No one challenges this. Instead, everyone just happily goes along with it, joining in with this mass delusion.
As I was watching all this transpire, I mentioned it on the social media, saying that I am sick of hearing supposedly intelligent adults calling a bloke a sheila. And I said that I am just waiting for some fool to ask him who did his hair and who designed his dress. And sure enough this actually happened! Good grief!
We know the mainstream media has long ago fully embraced the entire list of PC woke agenda items, including the trans madness, but this was utterly gross to behold. It appears it is now a requirement to get a lobotomy before landing a job in the media.
And within minutes you found headlines like this: “Danielle Laidley, partner Donna Leckie stun on Brownlow Medal red carpet,” along with this: “AFL legend Danielle Laidley has stepped out on the Brownlow Medal red carpet for the first time in years, stunning guests in a white gown.”
The article begins:
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Difficult Bible Passages: 2 Corinthians 4:4

Satan is the god of this world. But that does not mean he is in any way equal to the one true God. And the world is a mixed bag. Because we are all fallen and sinful, our world is fallen and sinful, and Satan exploits that to the max. But still, the world is God’s world. He made it and pronounced it good. Although tarnished and stained now, it will one day be recreated for us to enjoy forever.

Christians do not believe in metaphysical dualism. That is, we do not believe there are two equal and two eternal spiritual forces in the universe. There is just one living God – end of story. Satan happens to be a created being. He is not omnipotent and so on.
And we believe that while God allows him to do some dirty deeds on planet earth, all this is limited. Just as Satan was allowed to torment Job only as much as God allowed or permitted (see Job 1:12 and 2:6 eg.), so too in other areas. God has Satan on a leash in other words. And that is good news indeed.
God is on the throne – not Satan. God is working out his purposes – not Satan. God is sovereign – not Satan. But yes, Satan and the demonic hordes can do great damage indeed, which is why we must always have on our spiritual armour (as in Ephesians 6:10-20, eg.), and why we must keep praying and engaging in spiritual warfare. Let me offer a quote from the commentary by George Guthrie on this:
In calling Satan a “god,” the apostle does not ascribe divine status to the evil one but rather speaks of the functional status given him and the subordination of the fallen world to him. The phrase is comparable to John’s “ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Ever since the fall, this “god” has beclouded the Word of God (Gen. 3:1), blinding the minds (1 John 2:11) of those who do not believe. Thus peoples’ minds constitute one very significant battleground in the cosmic conflict between God’s gospel and the twisted machinations of the god of this world (2 Cor. 2:11; 3:14; 4:4; 10:5; 11:3).
And Judith Diehl stresses the limits of Satan’s ‘rule’:
The “god of this age” is a unique phrase, as it occurs only here in the NT. It refers to Satan and the dominion that he has over those who reject God and his agent, Jesus Christ (see 2:10–11). Here, Satan represents lawlessness, darkness, unbelief, moral depravity, and the worship of idols (see 6:16, especially apparent in polytheistic Corinth). Paul is fully aware of Satan as his personal adversary and Satan’s attempts to impede Paul’s mission and his unique calling to ministry. We can notice, too, that in Paul’s view, the power and influence of Satan are limited to “this age.”
See here for more on the reality of Satan.
And see here for more on the need for spiritual warfare and protection.
Consider also the matter of the world and our involvement in it. When we read about how Satan is the god of this world, we need to be clear on just what is being said. The Greek word for world – cosmos – is used in different ways in the New Testament. Often it can just mean the globe that we all happen to inhabit.
But at other times it refers to the current evil system that we must have nothing to do with. Thus, we all LIVE in this world, but believers are not to take part in the evil, worldly system that is all around us. That we can do both simultaneously is made clear by Paul when he said this in another context:
“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world” (1 Corinthians 5:9-10).
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We Are On Display

How we live, and the way we live, is not insignificant. We ARE being watched, be it by the world, or those who have gone before, or even spiritual beings. While Jesus gets all the praise and honour for what He does through His people, we are a part of it. We are trophies of His grace. We are being put on display, and our witness matters.

You and I are under constant scrutiny
We are being watched. No, I am not here talking about the growing surveillance state in the West, doing its best to keep up with Communist China in keeping tabs on our every movement. Instead, I want to speak of a spiritual and biblical truth, and I begin by recalling two things from last century.
Back in my hippy and radical left days in the late 60s — early 70s, there were a lot of protests, marches and the like. Sometimes these were met with over-the-top police and military responses. Clubbing, tear gas, and sometimes even death occurred. Because of this, we would often loudly chant, “The whole world is watching!” We wanted the media to capture what was happening. The world had to know.
The second thing has to do with a movie I often make use of when teaching at Bible colleges and the like. I refer to the 1998 Jim Carrey film, The Trueman Show. You likely know about it: Carrey plays a guy who from birth has been the topic of a massive reality TV show. His whole life is being watched by millions of viewers, unbeknown to him.
So what do hippies and Hollywood have to do with a biblical devotional piece? Well, that is how my mind tends to work. I read a passage of Scripture, and immediately I think of all sorts of applications or illustrations and sermon material.
The Church and the World
Reading this morning again in Ephesians, I found two texts that have to do with a global display — of us believers. The first is Eph. 2:7. It is in the context of verses 1-10:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
The second is Eph. 3:10, and the context is verses 7-13:
Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, Who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that He has realised in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
In both texts, the church is on display to the rest of the world. In Eph. 2 it speaks more of a future display, while Eph. 3 speaks more of a present display. And we can assume that it is the church as a whole, as well as individual believers, that is in view here. So there is a personal and a collective message being emphasised in these passages.
The main point of course is this: how we live, and the way we live, is not insignificant. We ARE being watched, be it by the world, or those who have gone before, or even spiritual beings. While Jesus gets all the praise and honour for what He does through His people, we are a part of it. We are trophies of His grace. We are being put on display, and our witness matters.
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Not A Very Flattering Picture

Unredeemed sinners are fully haters of God does not mean salvation instantly turns us into complete lovers of God. Saved sinners do not become perfect overnight. While justification is fully the work of God and takes place at the moment of conversion, sanctification (dying to self and growing in grace as we become more and more Christlike) is the stuff of a lifetime. But our inner orientation and disposition changes. We no longer hate God, and we grow to more and more love God. 

There are plenty of non-Christians – along with too many Christians, sadly – who have an altogether false and unbiblical understanding of the state of unredeemed sinners. The overall biblical witness is very bleak indeed. In general there is nothing favourable being said in Scripture about the lost and their condition without Christ.
I will list a few of the many descriptions the Bible presents on this in a moment. But let me first share one passage which I recently read again in my daily reading. The Apostle Paul is describing himself in his days before coming to Christ. It is a pretty nasty picture. As we read in Acts 26:9-11 when he was defending himself before King Agrippa:
I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
He hated Christians. And that meant he hated their God. That is why in Acts 9:4 we read these words: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” To hate and persecute God’s people is to hate God himself. So this was a very damning picture of Paul before he was saved.
But some folks might look at someone like Saul and think, ‘Well, I was never that bad.’ But we are simply kidding ourselves if we think this way. The truth is, all those who are unregenerate have the same opposition and animosity to God and to believers as Saul did.
Sure, not all – or even most – unbelievers may express their deep-down hostility to Christ the way Saul did, but it is there. They are haters of God and God’s people. Paul made this clear in many places, including in Romans 1. He closes this chapter by describing the unrighteous this way (verses 28-32):
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
That is not a very flattering picture of those who are still unsaved sinners. That is quite a list, and it includes “haters of God” in verse 30. Our default position as unbelievers is to hate God. Of course in our pride and arrogance we deny this. But Paul says much more along these same lines. Consider one more text, also from Romans.
Romans 8:7-8 says this: “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Or as the NKJV puts it: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Plenty have spoken to this text. Let me share some powerful words by Charles Spurgeon. On April 22, 1855 he preached on “The Carnal Mind Enmity Against God.” He said this in part:
There is no difficulty in understanding my text; it needs scarcely any explanation. We all know that the word “carnal” here signifies fleshly. The old translators rendered the passage thus; “The mind of the flesh is enmity against God”—that is to say, the natural mind, that soul which we inherit from our fathers, that which was born within us when our bodies were fashioned by God. The fleshly mind, the phronema sarkos, the lusts, the passions of the soul; it is this which has gone astray from God, and become enmity against him.
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A Review of “Against the Great Reset,” Edited by Michael Walsh

The revolutionaries always want to create a new world order, but always end up destroying man and civilisation in the process. Nothing new here. But the Davos elites have no interest in history. We should, however. If we will not learn from history, the prospect looks very bleak indeed. Hopefully a volume like this will wake up enough people to take a united and forceful stand against this great globalist evil.

This is not the first book to appear in recent times critiquing the Great Reset, Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum, and related matters. Some of these volumes I have already reviewed here. But this is the newest and perhaps the best. At nearly 500 pages, the collection of essays found here is first rate.
The editor has assembled a great lineup of leading intellectual heavyweights, including Douglas Murray, Victor Davis Hanson, Conrad Black, Roger Kimball, Angelo Codevilla, David Goldman and a number of others. All up the book has 16 important essays, plus introductory and concluding pieces by Walsh.
All the key issues are examined here: Covid tyranny, socialism, globalism, economics, politics, China and the social credit system, Big Tech, national sovereignty, the WHO, the WEF, Schwab, Bill Gates, critical theory, green energy, population matters, politicised science, cultural Marxism, climate alarmism, health fascism and so much more.
It is good that all the bases are so carefully being covered here. Given the rapid pace at which the nefarious agenda items of the Davos elitists are being realised, this book could not be more timely. The plans the activists have for their globalist utopia are not something that lie ahead – all this is already well underway.
Walsh explains early on why such a volume is so very much needed. It will be too late if we wait around for the history books to look back on the Great Reset. The issue NOW is whether “the formerly free world of the Western democracies will succumb to the paternalistic totalitarianism of the oligarchical Resetters.”
And he is right to speak of how the secular left West is so receptive to all this: “In an age of atheism and disbelief, note the religious fervor of neo- and cultural-Marxism and the messianic quality of Schwab’s anti-humanistic Great Reset.” Quite so. Once you ditch Christianity, plenty of false religions will rush in to take its place.
His closing paragraph nicely informs us of just where we are heading in the Schwabian dystopia: “The satraps of Davos don’t want to simply reset a post-Covid world. Or a post-fossil fuels world. Or even a post-racial world. They want to run it, forever, and while they no longer have need of a god, they’ll always need an enemy. They may not believe in a power higher than themselves, but they certainly believe in demons, and their most irksome devil is you.”
Others pick up on the quasi-religious nature of all this. As Hanson puts it in his essay, “When ‘great’ is applied to a proposed transnational comprehensive revolution, we should also equate it with near religious zealotry.” Marxism and radical greenism have both been pseudo-religions, and they come together in the Great Reset.
He and others of course note how Schwab and Co have capitalised on Covid, and want the whole world under their thumb in order to ‘keep us safe’ from further pandemics, including climate change disasters they assure us are just around the corner.
Many of the writers give us terrific descriptions of who these folks are and what they want. But I especially like how Conrad Black characterises our Davos Divines:
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Difficult Bible Passages: 1 Corinthians 3:19

None of us have all the truth. We can learn from others. For some silly Christian to come along and pretend he is more spiritual than all of us because he only listens to Scripture is not a sign of being really spiritual and holy – it is an indication of carnality and arrogance. Refusing to love God with your mind is not something to be proud about. Nor is refusing to learn from others. 

Sadly there are many Christians who believe that it is somehow virtuous and spiritual to NOT use their minds. They delight in anti-intellectualism, and they look down on those who are learned and well-read. They seem to think the more brainless you are, the more God approves of you.
And they will latch onto some verses to try to make their case. A number of such texts will be ripped out of context and misused from Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians – including the one under consideration here. The verse itself says this: “For the wisdom of this world is folly with God.” And the context (verses 18-23) must be considered as well:
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”  and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
In the opening chapters of this letter Paul deals with various problems in the Corinthian church, including divisions. Often he speaks of worldly wisdom and earthly knowledge. In 1 Cor. 1:18 for example he quotes from Isaiah 29:14: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
He goes on to speak about “the foolishness of the gospel” (verses 21-25). In chapter two he contrasts the wisdom of the Spirit with the wisdom of the world. And in 1 Cor. 8:1 he speaks about how knowledge puffs up. So one might think Paul is fully disparaging knowledge, learning, wisdom, the use of the mind, and so on.
But clearly this is not the case. Throughout Scripture – including in the writings of Paul – the use of the mind, the role of reason, and the place of intellect are all held up and encouraged. Simply consider the greatest commandment Jesus ever gave to us: the one about loving God with our mind and the rest of our being.
That alone should dispel this foolish notion of thinking we can please God by being brainless wonders. But I have written about this often, and offered plenty of biblical texts to back this up. The most recent piece on this is found here: billmuehlenberg.com/2022/10/31/not-to-think-is-a-sin/
But what about the passages listed above? Is Paul contradicting himself? Not at all. When Paul and others speak negatively of the ‘wisdom of the world’ they do NOT mean all knowledge and understanding of all people who happen to live on planet earth. The Greek word for world – kosmos – is used in various ways in the New Testament.
It often can just refer to the earth that we live on. But when used like it is here in a negative light, it refers to the evil, ungodly world system. It refers to the wisdom of those who shake their fists at God and are wise in their own eyes. So the context usually makes it clear how we are to understand the term.
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