So Aren’t You Tired of the Election Yet?
I greatly appreciate your ministry and have been blessed for years by your incisive analysis. I write out of concern for your comments on election fraud, which are uncharacteristically not incisive.
One rather tiring part of this whole election affair is from my fellow conservatives who point to something they saw on Twitter and say “looks like fraud! I’m just saying there should be people looking closely into this!” Then, when “this” is actually looked into, said people do not themselves acknowledge the looking into. Case in point, the “suitcasegate” mentioned in a recent blog that was based off of a misleadingly edited 90 seconds of surveillance footage. The good news is that we have eight hours of the rest of the footage, and it wasn’t anything fraudulent! Same thing with your claim about PA absentee ballots that could be falsified with a five minute search on the PA sec of state page. And given the fact that two hand recounts show no “vote flipping” in Georgia, we can pretty safely say that the Dominion conspiracy has been falsified too (not to mention, Trump won 12/14 counties in PA that used Dominion systems). Sharpiegate, over-100% turnout in Michigan, etc. etc. All of these are demonstrable lies that still get regularly circulated.
I share your disdain for leftists, throwing their lefty fits. But conservatives like me are not rejecting the idea that things should be looked into. We are tired of people like you not even looking into them, and then asserting that nobody has.
Lin Wood, Powell, & co have all demonstrably lied before federal courts. Powell badly [baldly] cropped the signature off of a PDF to claim in a sworn exhibit that GA never signed its contract with Dominion. 4 trump-affiliated attorneys, including Rudy Giuliani, have disavowed claims of fraud in federal court in three different states. The Trump campaign has not appealed their Third Circuit blowout loss written by a Trump-appointed judge, even though we were assured eight days ago that it was all part of the plan to get to SCOTUS.
We are not the ones equivocating on the word “evidence,” as you recently accused us of doing. We have asked the Trump attorneys to be true to their word when they said they would demonstrate fraud in court. They have been unable to do so. And because you cannot do so, you fall back on an argument ad incredulum: “how could Biden have done that!? Look at how little he campaigned!” Keep in mind that (1) social media algorithms keep you from seeing his stuff as much as you see pro-Trump stuff;
(2) the mainstream media gave him free campaigning 24/7, which allowed him to hide in his basement and not reveal how poor of a candidate he was;
(3) Trump himself ran his campaign like it was 2016 all over again, which was less effective as a campaign strategy against someone who wasn’t Hilary Clinton.
@ag_hamilton does an excellent job on Twitter examining election fraud claims. He links to primary sources, not mainstream media articles. Brad Heath is good too, but I don’t think he’s conservative so maybe you don’t trust him at all no matter how many PACER documents he links to.
You wrote on the pages of this blog about a month and a half ago that you thought there was no way Biden would win without cheating.
Kelli, here is the difficulty. I can understand someone having your views. I do think that reasonable people can have them. But part of maintaining “reasonable people cred” means acknowledging when the other side has made a good point — which I have done repeatedly throughout this fiasco. Are you willing to acknowledge that there are some things about this election that are extremely troubling? Or does the 2020 presidential election smell clean and pure to you?
Re: the election mess. You raise all good points, although the Benford’s Law is not reliable for detecting election fraud according to a few independent experts in statistics, certified by Twitter and Facebook. But the batches of 99% Biden votes, appearing in the middle of the night on 11/4, after counting had supposedly been suspended, is more than a little suspicious. I think the real problem we have is that so many “good” people are telling us there is absolutely no evidence of fraud, which means stop believing what our eyes are telling us, and trust our tech and main stream media masters. The emperor Biden really is wearing clothes, they assure us. Of course, it is troubling that there appears to be no “hard” indisputable forensic evidence of fraud, but it doesn’t help that there appear to be many missing USB drives and election officials rushing to wipe the memories of election machines while claiming that all the envelopes and ballots apparently went missing or were “accidentally” shredded, so sorry, no paper trail either. But trust us, everything was on the up and up, I mean even MOST REPUBLICANS agree there wasn’t widespread fraud, so TRUST US . . . But at what point, even without a confiscate server from Germany, does all this piling up circumstantial evidence reach the point where even skeptical people have to agree that this election made Iranian and Venezuelan elections look legitimate by comparison?
Hey, Aragorn. Always wanted to meet you. Amen to all that, and I do want to note that I have seen some things that indicate that Benford’s Law might not as strong an indicator as I argued. But I think it is still valuable as a possible indicator.
Article: “A Grease Spot on the Garage Floor” Erickson said, “When you believe Dominion Voter Systems stole the election or more people voted than were registered to vote, both of which are lies, you harm your ability to share the truth of the gospel because one who so easily embraces lies will be treated skeptically.”
So in other words, if I want to maintain any credibility as a preacher of the gospel, then I must accept the narrative established by big tech and the main-stream media? How utterly blue-pilled! Not to mention manipulative of Christians who care about truth just as well as the salvation of the nations! Yet as a Calvinist, this bullet bounces off my chest in classic Superman fashion. Monergistic regeneration trumps skepticism of all kinds. Jonah had to be the worst evangelist in history:
“And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4).
No gospel, just condemnation. And yet…
“So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them” (Jonah 3:5).
We preach that God the Son became a man, did miracles, lived perfectly, died for our sins, was resurrected, ascended into heaven, sat down at the right hand of the Father, and is coming again to judge the living and the dead. What part of that message is not already a stumbling-block to the skeptic? We already preach a message that’s unbelievable to the spiritually dead and carnally minded. Yet the “weakness” of God is stronger, and the “foolishness” of God is wiser than men. Though he be a Stumbling-block and Rock of offense, Jesus will yet conquer the world.
As Christians, we must be both seekers of truth and proclaimers of the gospel, regardless of how the world responds. Being a Calvinist helps us to be “scorn proof.” Though I am responsible to be a witness in this world, I’m glad that my own proneness to err, supposed gullibility, or slandered reputation won’t stop Jesus from redeeming his elect.
My belief in the complete sovereignty of God also gives me unshakable comfort concerning the outcome of this farce of an election (or anything else for that matter). Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office over the next four years, I find it incredibly ironic that our President, who continues to defy the expectations of conservatives and dash the hopes of the left, is named “Trump.” God certainly has a sense of humor.
What are you talking about? 7 followers? Why does that matter? Either his content is worth responding to or it is not. Popularity doesn’t seem like a thing worthwhile to care about. How many unpopular prophets have there been? Don’t get why numbers matter. Nicki Minaj’s Youtube channel has 21.8 followers. Should I listen to her on politics? Theology? :)
Michael, I didn’t disparage that gentleman for having seven followers. I did it because he announced, from that platform, ex cathedra, that somebody else was an idiot.
As someone who has read your blog for the last ten years, and who deeply appreciates your unmatched sanity and wit, I have to say that both this year’s and last year’s NQN seemed, well, underwhelming. However, I would hasten to add that nothing you’ve said in those months has become any less controversial, only that the world has taken such a Dionysian turn of late that responding to current events in the manner they deserve seldom allows for nuance. So when — oh, I don’t know, say — poncy PCA seminarians start talking about bringing queer treasure into New Jerusalem, there’s not much room left for subtlety in having to reply, “Yeah, no, I don’t think so, gross.” Thus, for me, everything you have written between early 2018 and now has been one, big NQN almost by necessity.
Nuance is a feature of civilized discourse, which has vanished from our society like “dew off a melon in August,” to coin a phrase. Since Trump, it seems we are all barbarians now, and barbaric discourse is best met with unvarnished, unflinching response. (One wonders who coarsened our national conversation: Trump, or the people who opposed him? Methinks Trump only exposed the fact that respectability was a cloak our barbarian elites — both evangelical and secular — have worn over their stinking, earthy togs for some time.) Of course, Christian teaching, while salty, is not coarse salt. Unvarnished doesn’t mean unclean. We don’t match their now-ubiquitous use of the ‘f’ word in every conversation with similar blue language in ours. When they beckon, “Oh, there’s some lovely filth down here!”, we look genteel simply by not getting down on our knees to inspect the quality of the filth. But there’s not much room for a nuanced, “You might get whiter whites and longer-lasting colors if you switched to Tide” when they’ve made it manifestly evident that they’re content to live in the muck.
So keep lighting things on fire for the NQN promotional videos if you’d like. I just don’t know if it will have the desired effect when all the other optics in our culture are of a flaming dumpster rolling quickly downhill towards the Marathon station. Instead of fire, maybe you should try the Monty Python bit and simply walk through town in a clean shirt and pants. Some honest pagan will turn and say to his friend, “He must be a Christian. How do I know? Because he hasn’t got sh-t all over him.”
Nate, thanks. And for what it is worth, I think you make a really valid point. But we might be able to squeeze out a few more years if we move to high explosives.
No Quarter November For the second year now, a group of men have met in a garage with a pirate flag to discuss NQN articles every Friday in November. Qualifications were disallowed, as were statements or rebuttals that began with “I feel.” This ideological fight club is responsible for at least one upcoming birth (last year’s NQN discussed sterilization), and this year a half-dozen men prayed over an unbeliever with serious questions. We are sharpened, emboldened, and encouraged as a result. All this is to say, thank you.
Nicolas, thank you. Great idea, man. NQN small groups!
A Disappearing App?
Does Canon Press have any plan for if—when—the app gets cast out from the approved app stores into the outer darkness? It does not seem at all beyond the realm of possibility. Perhaps something self-hosted on the web?
It is a sort of lateral move to escape from Amazon’s clutches into the embrace of Apple and Google, I think.
Still, I’m really enjoying the content, and I’m glad that (for the time being) we have it.
Sean, it is not as though it has not occurred to us.
For the post “Some November 2020 Game Film” Hi there,
I’ve got a niggling thought in my mind about the torrent of content soon to come via the Canon App. The app is under the jurisdiction of . . . Apple. And Google. What’s the plan when one or both of them hit the big red Cancel button for the app?
Micah, as above, this point is not lost on us. But I do think we have more options and escape routes with the app.
Blue States Exodus
Your posts about the exodus out of blue states are resonating with my wife and me, and it made me want to ask a question. I pastor a church in Illinois, about a half hour from the Wisconsin border. Wisconsin is by no means red, but it’s better than our current situation in terms of taxes, cost of living, and COVID nonsense. I’m motivated by wanting my kids to grow up in a different environment than the one we’re in now, but our options in Illinois are very limited. We’ve been considering crossing the border while I continue pastoring the congregation, since it would still be within a 30-40 minute commute. What are your thoughts on how close to the church building a pastor ought to live? Are these the wrong motivations for moving? What should we be considering that we may be missing?
Mike, those are excellent reasons for moving, and I believe that it would be possible to be an effective pastor from 30 minutes away.
I’ve been very encouraged by your writing and the rest of your ministry. Top the point: I would love to hear your comments and potential pushback on this recent TGC article about whether masks are Christian conscience issue.
Would you engage with Erik Raymond’s contention that one should wear a mask because it is not a matter of conscience, but civil disobedience? Thanks.
Gordon and Ted, there are a number of possible responses here, but let me limit myself to three. First, this is not how conscience issues work. Even on the supposition that anti-maskers are being overly-scrupulous, you don’t deal with the overly-scrupulous by publishing an article at TGC, and continuing to mandate conformity. You accommodate those with scruples. Put the anti-maskers in the balcony. Masked elders should hold a separate service for the anti-maskers, etc. You don’t force the vegetarian to eat the brisket. And that is on the assumption that the anti-maskers are wrong. But are they? So second, who or what is the existing authority? In my state, the orders and restrictions have been illegal. The governor does not have the authority that he claims. Neither does the mayor. So if a political authority requires you to do something that the Constitution does not allow him to require of you, and you obey him, the two of you together are violating Romans 13. And then third, just to make this a little more festive, let us create a little scenario that will illustrate the inconsistency on this in the soft Reformed evangelical world. Let us say that the governor’s restrictions are modest, and allows for people to worship without masks. Let us say that the elders of the church are of a similar mind, and don’t require masks, but only encourage them. A woman in the congregation has conscience issues about wearing a mask, but her husband, kind of a bully, borderline abusive but nothing overt or illegal, demands that she wear a mask to church. Using the reasoning of this article, should she?
Re: Who Exactly Is Standing on the Oxygen Hose? That rather seems to be the point, doesn’t it? It’s all centered around masks, of course, but the real issue is control. And to drive the point home, the rules are designed to be obviously insane so that even the most obtuse amongst us can’t miss the point. Yet there do seem to be some amongst us who don’t get it.
I’m reminded of the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” What with The Great Reset, it may be a Chinese curse indeed.
Dave, yes. All about control.
While I agree that what you describe is a component of “what’s on the hose,” I believe the largest driving force right now is fear. It has now been drummed in to the population through most information outlets that the mild-mannered seemingly well young man or woman that you pass in the store, or the sidewalk, or the path, with nary a sign of a sniffle, is in a very real way Is potentially you and your families agent of death.
People can’t believe that we have far less control than they thought we had, particularly over things medical and infectious, translating to loss of control over their own lives and mortality, and they have been jolted with that realization and they are terrified. Furthermore, we have been told that we can regain that control if only we would all wear these viral-porous masks at all times, for, I don’t know . . . forever.
Another strong contributor to this fear is being innumerate. As one example, we have been informed by innumerate information outlets that the death rate is 2.5%, when that is the case fatality rate and not the infection fatality rate, which is more in the neighborhood of O.25% (the first being the swab positive cases as the denominator, and there is very likely and commonly accepted ~ 10 or so cases not swabbed for everyone that swabs positive, the infection rate). That is about 2.5x the mortality rate of seasonal influenza A and B. Serious, but not plague level. If you interpret these numbers wrongly, and then you think that everyone is at risk equally when in fact the statistical mortality rate from the COVID-19 flu is zero if you are under 40 (for those that just became angry, I said statistically, not actual), and you yourself are innumerate, then you are terrified. Those individuals that are illiterate are obviously and painfully aware of their illiteracy. The innumerate, not so much. You read and hear number garble and you believe whatever you are told, much like my 3-year-old who identifies letters and spaces between them and thinks he’s reading, cute. Being innumerate: dangerous. And terrifying.
Preston, thanks. I agree. In the previous letter just above this one, I agreed that it was all about control, which is what a handful of people at the top are doing. But the instrument of this control is fear. And a lot of officials are driven by this fear also.
Hello, this is not written in response to a specific post, but revolves around all the COVID questions. From my understanding, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have not used any form of fetal cells in design and development or production. However, they have both used the HEK293 cell line in the confirmation tests. How is a Christian to think about this? What counsel should the church give to people in jobs that will require the vaccine, such as the military?
Chris, the response of the whole medical establishment to this mess should be sufficient to make any thoughtful Christian dubious about any proffered vaccine. While I want to wait until it is out and we have a chance to look at it before deciding, my default assumption on this one is nothing doing.
I’ve recently been enjoying much of what the Canon Press app has to offer. As someone who is very much an auditory learner, I have been greatly blessed by the app’s content.
I was listening to some of the history sessions, particularly in regard to the War for American Independence and the War between the States, and I’ve been surprised by much of what I’m hearing. Being a good government school boy, I thought I knew all I needed to know about either war, but you’ve caused me to want to dive into that history on my own. After all, it is my hope that my wife and I will have children of our own that we must teach the truth to the best of our ability. Do you have any good resources for the study of these portions of our history?
Duane, I would suggest you start with Singer’s Theological Interpretation of America’s History.
I am an elder in a church that has been conservative in its 60 year history. We are part of the Converge denomination, but in recent years that affiliation has been dormant. We operate very independently. The preaching is expositional. Our membership classes clearly state our conservative views. However, our church is attracting people who are political liberals, in that they vote for candidates who believe abortion is to be decided upon by a woman without judgment, redistribution is appropriate, racial preferences are helpful, and much of the agenda put forth by the Democrat Party. These folks love our programs for their children, our excellent music, and the expository teaching. My heart is concerned that we in leadership are not bringing to their attention sufficiently that their faith should be informing and transforming all aspects of their lives, including who they vote for and what social policies they support. They may influence our congregation to become less conservative, and drift to a more liberal majority. Also, this is harmful to their spiritual health. Do you recommend resources that would help our preaching and teaching in order to bring people to a mature understanding of what Christ’s call on their life means? What should guide us in determining whether a loving rebuke is appropriate if after a sufficient time of teaching on this matter, people are still progressive in their support of policies?
Caleb, that is you are attracting such people is very good. But at the same time, you should be doing things, sponsoring things, that will require them to associate publicly with your conservatism. Have the church sponsor a conference, say, on Christian political engagement. If they come along, well and good. If they kick, then you have your conversation starter.
More on Singleness
I just read your article on singleness as suffering/affliction. As a newly engaged and soon-to-be married man and aspiring minister, this article would have saved me so much anxiety in my teen years. I grew up in the Independent Fundamental Baptist revivalist crowd; I can remember wanting to make a ‘decision’ to be single and ignore all women. Of course, I was still attracted to the lovely opposite sex, so I then felt guilty. This article helped to destroy that little vestige of IFB nonsense in me. Much thanks. P.S. You’ve almost made me want to sprinkle my future babies. Almost.
James, come on. Just sprinkle the first one.
From “Singleness as Affliction”: “But it would be better to have to flee persecution in your minivan than to stay single with periodic sexual lapses.” Why not say instead, “But it would be better to have to flee persecution in your minivan than to stay single with persistent, strong sexual temptation and unfulfilled sexual longings”?
Although sexual lapses (i.e. sexual sin) may be extremely common even among unmarried believers, such lapses/sins are not inevitable, and believers shouldn’t speak as though they are. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (I Cor 10:13).
Luke, you are of course right in that there is no excuse for sexual sin. At the same time, one of the things a pastor has to deal with is the reality of actual sin, and actual sin is often an indicator of what a person’s giftedness is not.
I heard your name a few years back but never really read any of you writings til I saw that guy in a Stetson riding in a burning pickup truck. Liked the cigar, too. I have read several of your Mablogs, just finished Thunderstruck. It has been a year unlike any of my 73 previous years. I appreciate your writings. You might say that they have put snow treads on my faith car during this long season of winter.
I am a new trustee at my local library in MA. I’ve noticed the childrens’ and young adults’ book selection has become more liberal (priming kids to swallow the LGBTQ message). Especially during Covid, a lot of books were changed out and replaced with books of this agenda. I understand that as a public institution, we have to cater to everyone–but we aren’t catering to the traditional family values part of our town. There are biographies on AOC, but none on Trump or Rand Paul or anyone conservative. There aren’t many books for people who have two parents, or don’t think sleeping with your boyfriend is a great idea. How would you suggest I approach this? I’m curious where libraries get their book choices and if there is an alternative I can offer to them when they are placing orders.
Kristen, find a popular set of children’s books, written by a Christian, with a mainline New York publisher. But enough about Nate’s Cupboards series. Propose that it be included, and I think you will see exactly what you are up against.
I just finished Ploductivity–lots of good stuff there. Some of the illustrations are just top notch, and I plan to refer to it again and again. But . . . the last chapter on social media?! I’m struggling to see why you would direct young men (whom I am assuming are the primary audience of the book) to get to work posting thoughts on Twitter. It seemed a more prudent moment to tell us to get off our behinds and care for people face to face–like their families for one. There are perhaps a handful of young men and women doing real, substantial work on the Twitters, but they are swallowed up by the countless swarm of men who will have wasted a decade of their life pursuing information they didn’t need to be faithful. Postman asks us, wisely I think, “What NEED is this fulfilling?” If Twitter died tomorrow, I can’t say I think the world would hurt one bit.
And why beat up on Postman? Reading through Technopoly, written in 1992 (published in 93), it’s like he predicted all the ailments of the 2000’s perfectly. He deserves another hearing.
Thank you for your labors, though. You have a unique voice and I’ve benefitted greatly from your work.
Devin, I have profited from Postman’s stuff, and have taught classes where he has been assigned reading. At the same time, I do think he overstates it a bit — although his criticisms are often on point. I agree that Twitter is a wasteland, which is why Christians ought to be there. And adults can’t know how to be there if young people don’t learn how to be there.