Candace Owens has been one of the most vocal conservative critics of Israel since Hamas’ terrorist attack against Israel last month. On her podcast and social media, she’s shared many of the myths about the state of Israel and its role in the conflict with Palestine. For instance, she’s claimed Israel is segregating Palestinians the same way America segregated black people. She mentioned the disparities between Palestinians and Jews in Jerusalem and said, “It just made me feel as a black American and knowing my own history that this isn’t freedom to me.” That reasoning and rhetoric is straight from the woke playbook.
Not every conservative hates critical race theory for the right reasons. That’s why some so-called conservatives have become woke on Israel.
It shouldn’t be surprising. Two people can hate the same thing for different reasons. For instance, Ibram X. Kendi and I hate white supremacy for different reasons. I hate white supremacy because I hate all kinds of racial discrimination. However, Ibram X. Kendi hates white supremacy because he hates some kinds of racial discrimination.
This is why in his book, How To Be An Antiracist, he says:
“If racial discrimination is defined as treating, considering, or making a distinction in favour or against an individual based on that person’s race, then racial discrimination is not inherently racist. The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity. If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist. If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist.”
In other words, he believes racial discrimination against black people is unjust, but racial discrimination against white people is justifiable.
So Kendi hates white supremacy for the wrong reasons. He doesn’t hate white supremacy in principle.
In the same way, a vocal minority of conservatives like Candace Owens hate critical race theory for the wrong reasons. They don’t hate it in principle. That’s why they’re repeating woke talking points against Jews and Israel.
A few years ago I wrote an article about the relationship between antisemitism and social justice ideology. I explained that Hitler justified the holocaust by claiming Jews were parasites who had infiltrated Germany and in their greed, they oppressed “Aryan” Germans and forced them into poverty while Jews lived in privilege.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s precisely what pro-Hamas and pro-Palestine groups are saying about Jews. This is why pro-Palestine rallies are filled with Nazi sympathisers.
Since woke ideology is filled with antisemitic tropes that label Jews as oppressors, it’s consistent that woke activists have adopted an anti-Israel stance. It’s inconsistent, however, for anti-CRT conservatives like Candace Owens to mimic woke talking points against Jews and Israel.
Candace Owens has been one of the most vocal conservative critics of Israel since Hamas’ terrorist attack against Israel last month. On her podcast and social media, she’s shared many of the myths about the state of Israel and its role in the conflict with Palestine.
For instance, she’s claimed Israel is segregating Palestinians the same way America segregated black people. She mentioned the disparities between Palestinians and Jews in Jerusalem and said, “It just made me feel as a black American and knowing my own history that this isn’t freedom to me.”
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By Jim McCarthy — 8 months ago
Paul came proclaiming “the testimony of God.” He did not come preaching personal preferences, pop culture, political ideology, scientific theories, or sociological studies. He did not come proclaiming the testimony of man but the testimony of God. I love how Paul refers to the Word of God, that is the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, as God’s “testimony.”
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
In his book, The Soul Winner, Charles Spurgeon tells the story of a young pastor who, after preaching one Sunday, asked an older minster in his congregation for some feedback. The old minister was hesitant at first, but the young pastor pressed him until he said, “If I must tell you, I did not like it at all; there was no Christ in your sermon.” “No,” replied the young man, “because I did not see that Christ was in the text.” “But do you not know,” asked the old preacher, “that from every little town and village and tiny hamlet in England there is a road leading to London? Whenever I get hold of a text, I say to myself, ‘There is a road from here to Jesus Christ, and I mean to keep on His track till I get to Him.’” To which the young man said, “but suppose you are preaching from a text that says nothing about Christ?” The old man said, “Then I will go over hedge and ditch [to] get at Him.”
The Apostle Paul held and was held by the same Christ-exalting conviction. When summarizing his 18-month ministry to the Corinthians he said simply, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). It was a reminder the Corinthians desperately needed because after Paul left them, they forgot the gospel and fell into gross sins and divisions. So, Paul wrote this letter hoping to reignite their affections for Christ and reinforce their confidence in simple gospel preaching as the primary means by which God saves and sanctifies sinners.
What is good preaching? What is a faithful ministry? Upon what and upon whom must we build our faith? We can find answers to these questions and more in the opening lines of 1 Corinthians 2 and we see that a faithful minister must preach Christ crucified in reliance upon the Holy Spirit.
I have dedicated an entire shelf of my library to books on homiletics, the art of preaching. But none of those books, nor all of them combined, can rival the simplicity and glory of Paul’s compact, how-to preaching manual before us, the first chapter of which could be entitled, What to Preach? Paul writes, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:1).
Paul came proclaiming “the testimony of God.” He did not come preaching personal preferences, pop culture, political ideology, scientific theories, or sociological studies. He did not come proclaiming the testimony of man but the testimony of God. I love how Paul refers to the Word of God, that is the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, as God’s “testimony.” This is the only time he employs this phrase.
In a courtroom, witnesses sit on the stand and give their testimony. They answer questions and tell of what they’ve seen and what they know as the jury searches for truth. How infinitely valuable then, is the book in which is written the testimony of him who knows and sees all? How trustworthy is the account of him who is not like a man that he should lie or the son of man that he should change his mind? How timeless is the word of him who dwells outside of time in eternity, without beginning or end? So, like Paul faithful preachers must proclaim the testimony of God gripped by a holy fear of straying from its ancient paths. Our sermons must be riveted to the Bible and uncompromisingly exegetical.
When we used microscopes in high school biology we were told to start on the lowest magnification and then click over to higher magnifications to zoom in on the plant cells or fish scales we were examining. Paul does the same thing here. Having identified “the testimony of God” as the body of truth he preached, he zooms in on the very heart of the Scriptures, who is the Lord Jesus Christ: “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Paul’s saying that to properly proclaim the testimony of God is to know “nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Why? Because the testimony of God swirls like a heavenly hurricane around Jesus. That’s why Phillip told Nathaniel, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (John 1:45). That’s why on the Mt. of Transfiguration the disciples saw Jesus standing with Moses and Elijah, the representatives of the law and the prophets. That’s why as the resurrected Christ walked along the road to Emmaus with his disciples, Luke writes, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). That’s why Paul said all of the promises of God find their “yes” and “amen” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).
But what, precisely about Jesus did Paul preach? Not just Jesus the divine teacher, or Jesus the wonder worker, or Jesus the moral example but, Jesus “Christ.” That is, Jesus the anointed one, long awaited Messiah, the Prophet like Moses whom God would raise up from among his brothers and who would speak the very words of God, the Priest after the order of Melchizedek that would intercede on behalf of his people and atone for their sins, and the King, great David’s greater Son, who would rule and defend his blood-bought people and whose kingdom would be everlasting, universal, and indomitable.
But there’s something more. Paul decided to know nothing but “Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Paul preached every sermon in the shadow of the empty cross. Why? Because it was on the cross that Jesus, the Seed of the Woman, the virgin born Son of God and Son of Man, the Offspring of Abraham, the Lion of Judah, Son of David, the Holy one of Israel, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, became the Lamb of God who bore the sins of his people. And on that Friday long ago, atop a hill called Golgotha, which means the skull, suspended between a cruel mob and blackened sun, Jesus hung naked and nailed to a tree where he endured in his body and soul the of God’s burning hatred for the sins of his people until the magazines of Heaven’s holy wrath were empty and the fires of hell which burned for his people, were extinguished in his blood.
Paul decided to know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified because that gospel of canceled sin by a loving God is the greatest news and only hope this world has ever heard; because while the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing it is the power of God to those who are being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18); because Jesus Christ is all together lovely, the fairest of ten thousand, the bright and morning star, the lily of the valley, the rose of Sharon, the balm of Gilead, the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, in whom the fullness of deity was pleased to dwell, bread of life, light of the world, the only door to God, the Good Shepherd, the resurrections and the life, the way, the truth and the life; because Paul’s highest hope and most ardent prayer was for his people to kiss the Son in love and embrace him in faith.
Well, if the first chapter of Paul’s preaching manual could be entitled, “What to Preach”, the second and final chapter could be called, “How to Preach.” When I served as a youth ministry intern at another PCA church, we took an annual mission trip to Mexico. And we gave our students a detailed packing list that included sunscreen, bug spray, bottled water, Bible, double the pairs of underwear you think you’ll need. But if I remember correctly, the first item on the list was not something to bring, but something to leave behind. “Don’t pack your negative attitude.” Paul begins the same way; listing what he did not bring with him to Corinth: “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:1).
Paul left his lofty speech and wisdom at home. He didn’t preach to impress. His style and his content were clear and plain that all might understand and believe the gospel he preached. He didn’t tickle the ears of his hearers with polished eloquence and Shakespearean sermons. There was a decided austerity to his style. He wrapped his sermons in sackcloth. He wanted his people to see Christ in his preaching so he refused to blind them by the glare of lacquered words. The old Puritan, Matthew Henry, said, Paul “preached the truths of Christ in their native dress, with plainness of speech.” Nor did he vaunt his learning to blow his hearers away. He didn’t come to make fans of Paul but disciples of Jesus Christ.
We who preach must decide the same. The temptation to make a name for ourselves is great. Sermon Audio download reports, book publishing, conference circuits, growing church attendance and budgets, even the well-intentioned praises of parishioners can become trip wires in which a proud man may become ensnared. So, we preachers must not overestimate our own sanctification and underestimate the power of indwelling pride. The 19th century Scottish theologian, James Denney, once said, “You cannot at the same time give the impression that you are a great preacher and that Jesus Christ is a great Savior.”
So, if Paul didn’t come with lofty speech or wisdom, what did he bring? Paul explained, “And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling…” (1 Corinthians 2:3). These three things are connected. One flows into the other like pools of cascading water. Paul came in spiritual weakness in humble recognition that the task to which he’d been called was bigger than him. Paul must have felt like Ezekiel looking out over that valley carpeted with dry bones, of which the Lord asked, “Son of man can these bones live?” Paul knew that no matter how well he preached to the Corinthians, no matter how robust his reasoning, no matter how sacrificially he served them or how genuinely he loved them he could not change a single person. He knew that only the Spirit of God, who is the Lord and Giver of life, can open eyes blinded by sin. Only the Spirit can enlighten minds darkened by depravity. Only the Spirit can thaw hearts frozen in hate for God and fill them with love for Christ. Only the Spirit can burst the bonds of Satan and liberate captive wills to choose Jesus. Only the Spirit can fill the craters of doubt and unbelief with saving faith by which we receive and rest in Christ alone for our salvation.
Some people fear snakes, or spiders, or darkness. In view of his own weakness, Paul was afraid of something too: not creepy crawlies or cruel people or even death itself; Paul was filled with a holy fear and zealous longing for the souls of his people. Paul knew that the wages of sin is death in hell forever and man’s only hope was to trust the Christ of whom Paul preached. But Paul knew that the forces of darkness committed to keeping the Corinthians from coming to Christ even if it meant convincing them to hang their faith on Paul instead of the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, Paul’s decision to preach unadorned sermons was born of his awareness of his own weaknesses and the inability of eloquence and human sophistication to save a soul. So, he said in 1 Corinthians 2:4-6: “and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
The preacher who believes that he is truly powerless and that the greatest sermon he could ever preach is insufficient to move the needle of one heart one degree towards God unless the Holy Spirit owns it will be a praying preacher. The church that yearns for the kind of preaching that saves sinners, the kind of preaching that transforms society, the kind of preaching that sparks revival in our land and rattle the gates of hell, will beg God for it in prayer.
Many years ago, I visited the historic Independent Presbyterian Church in downtown Savannah. I was blown away by the beauty of the architecture: the copper crowned steeple, Savannah shutters, hardwood box pews, vaulted ceiling, marble baptismal font, and especially the massive pulpit. As I gazed up at the pulpit, my friend who was also an intern at the church at that time, turned to me and asked, “Do you want to get in it?” “Do I!” I replied. So, he opened a secret door at the base of the pulpit which led to a secret staircase. And as I ascended those stairs something caught my eye at the top: a small brass plaque. I noticed that the finish of the wood surrounding the plaque had been rubbed away by the ministers who would touch the plaque as they went to preach each Lords Day. And as I got closer I was able to read the plaque. It said, “Sir, we would see Jesus.”
May we privileged preachers decide with Paul to live and preach with our hands on that plaque. May every sermon, every text, every Sunday beam with Christ and him crucified, Christ and him buried, Christ and him resurrected, Christ and his ascended, Christ and him seated ruling and reigning, and Christ returning in glory to judge the living and the dead. And may the church demand it of us, like those unnamed Greeks who said to Phillip long ago, “Sir, we would see Jesus” (John 12:21). And in seeing him, may we be made more like him and bear much fruit to the glory of God.
Jim McCarthy is a Minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is Pastor of Trinity PCA in Statesboro, Ga.
By Grover Gunn — 1 year ago
A generation ago, the world called Christians fools because they believed in Jesus as He is revealed in the Bible. Today the world calls Christians bigots because they believe what Jesus teaches in the Bible about right and wrong. We are in a time when being faithful to Jesus is becoming more costly. The cost may continue to increase, but we must resolve to overcome and to remain faithful.
I believe that the book of Revelation is especially relevant today but maybe not for the reason that many might expect. The church always finds special comfort in the book of Revelation when the church is experiencing persecution. We are today experiencing what may prove to be the early stages of a time of persecution. Some Christians have experienced various forms of persecution because they could not in good conscience provide certain services upon request for a same sex “wedding.” Some Christians in the medical profession may have been excluded from certain positions because they could not in good conscience take the life of a criminally innocent person either in the womb or in old age. Some Christian teachers may not be welcome in certain schools because they will not teach young children racial prejudices or sexual perversions. These are just a few examples, but I think that they are sufficient to give a sense of the times in which we are living. We don’t know if this persecution is going to intensify and expand, and we don’t know to what degree it will affect our own lives. We pray for a coming spiritual awakening that will radically change the direction in which our culture has been heading. Yet as long as persecution is on our horizon, the book of Revelation will have a special relevance for us. What was comforting to those seven churches in the closing years of the apostolic age can also provide comfort for persecuted Christians from then onwards down to the end of the age.
We find some insights on enduring persecution in Jesus’ letter to the church at Smyrna, found in Revelation 2:8-11. We learn here that Jesus is well aware of the church’s difficulties in a hostile world. In verse nine, Jesus said to the church at Smyrna, “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich) …” When we first read this, we might assume that this church existed in an impoverished area where jobs were scarce and resources were limited. But no, Smyrna was a large and prosperous city. The Christians there were poor because of prejudice against Christians. One could not there openly confess Christ and also get ahead socially and financially.
Like every pagan Greek city, Smyrna had its own patron deity. In addition, each trade guild would also have a patron deity. There were occasions when and situations where everyone was expected to give a certain token worship to a particular pagan deity, whether the patron deity of the city or the patron deity of a trade guild. Many would not take kindly to Christians who in principle refused to participate. Many would quickly blame such Christians for offending the gods whenever anything bad happened in the city.
Yet what was perhaps an even greater challenge in Smyrna was the rising cult of Caesar worship. The city of Smyrna had been loyal to Rome long before Rome became the dominant power in Asia Minor. About 195 B.C., Smyrna became the first city in the world to build a temple dedicated to the worship of the goddess Rome. In A.D. 26, all the major cities of Asia Minor petitioned Rome to be the site of a new temple dedicated to the worship of the Roman Emperor Tiberius while he was still alive and ruling. Smyrna was chosen for this honor and became a temple warden for the imperial cult. Cicero, the Roman orator, called the city of Smyrna Rome’s most faithful and ancient ally. We can only imagine what it would have been like to have been a Christian in the city of Smyrna during Roman times and to have refused to offer a pinch of incense to the goddess Rome or to the Roman Emperor Tiberius.
By Lawrence M. Krauss — 2 years ago
Written by Lawrence M. Krauss |
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Only by speaking out…can we try and dismantle the current strangle-hold that DEI [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] bureaucracies have on researchers and students alike and restore academic freedom and excellence as the hallmarks of science and education.
A couple of weeks ago I published an article in the Wall Street Journal describing the tyranny that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) bureaucracies are imposing on universities and scientific institutions. This includes excluding talented scientists who are not effective enough in displaying their DEI allegiance, enforcing ideological adherence among faculty and students, and suppressing debate on the topics of merit, quotas, free speech, and a range of gender and race issues.
In that article, I gave a piece of partial evidence of the gulag-like environment currently existing in higher education. Numerous faculty responded to an earlier Wall Street Journal piece by me about ideological corruption in science, through emails in which they indicated they were writing under pseudonym accounts out of fear that colleagues or university officials might find out that they supported my concerns.
Happily, in response to my most recent piece, no respondents suggested they were shielding their identities, although a number indicated they were writing from their “non-university” email addresses—just in case—or felt comforted by now being retired and free to write. What they present, in summary, is a chilling perspective of the pervasive and divisive atmosphere that is continuing to develop in educational and scientific institutions. I felt it worth sharing a number of these perspectives, after having consulted the individuals involved. Unless otherwise directed, I have worked to ensure the anonymity of my correspondents.
Numerous correspondents wrote to me concerned about their specific areas of scholarship. Particularly worrying were emails from those in the medical and legal professions.
Here’s one from a professor at a very prominent US medical school:
Dear Dr Krauss,Your op-ed in WSJ barely touched the problem of DEI in American biomedical science and clinical practice. The societies (e.g., Amer Society of Cell Biology) and the journals (esp Elsevier) are rife with DEImania. This is affecting clinical medicine. It is the death spiral of American medicine, with unintended consequences for the very groups it is supposed to help.What can one do?
While this is concerned in more general terms with possible impacts on the field, a very poignant email from another professor in a biomedical field illustrates the personal impact that this environment of fear and suppression is taking on the psyche of scientific researchers:
I feel like the turtle in the picture with the neck out and about to get chopped … It is strange to me that this is happening because I am a Hispanic woman with Spanish, North African, Chinese, and Native American ancestry that speaks four languages and has lived everywhere in the world, so I should be the pinnacle of what DEI is aspiring for. Nevertheless, I am experiencing the tyranny of DEI because it is not about diversity of race or sex but more about a loyalty test. This will not last forever, but the question is how much damage this will do … This year has been an authoritarian year full of tyrannical mandates and intolerance. I have never experienced having moral (mandatory DEI trainings that forces me to affirm things that go against my conscience), medical, or religious tests in order to work before this year. Innovation and intellectual greatness come as a result of freedom. Suppression of speech and ideas will result in a reduction of greatness and innovation. Freedom of speech can only be real freedom if speech that we do not agree with is allowed. Let’s include diversity of thought and ideology in what you want to protect.
Beyond academia, I wrote about the growing inhibitory impact of DEI mandates in scientific institutions, including private ones like the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In this regard, I received the following email from an HHMI employee that sent shivers down my spine:
Dr. Krauss, I am a HHMI employee and I am grateful to you for your WSJ piece. The lowest point for me was February 8th this year, when all employees were expected to read Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo. Ms. Oluo led a virtual talk that day for all HHMI employees. I trust that you know that the core motivation for HHMI’s DEI effort is to preempt any liability or negative press for two major discrimination lawsuits against HHMI by female Asian scientists. The journal Science covered these two lawsuits on 12/18/2019. Thank you again.
When it came to law schools and DEI, I received several emails from law school professors saying that the piece resonated with their own experience. I received two other legal-related responses that are of particular interest.
The first was from a student at a California law school. Several cases of law professors who have been caught up in unwarranted DEI adjudications of racism are well known and have been written about, including by me. However, the impact on their students is not so well known. Here is the email I received:
After reading your WSJ piece on “Diversity” as tyranny, I wanted to thank you for writing it. I know that took courage, especially in this political environment. Your discussion of “monomania” hit close to home. I’m a law student at [law school name omitted], and this week a brilliant torts professor has come under fire for baseless claims of racism. I wrote a letter to our DEI office defending him, though I doubt it will help.