Category Archives: Answering the Bias

Thoughts on Malachi 3 16 18

Written by Brad Caldwell on Jan. 29, 2017.

“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:” – Mal. 3:16a

Comradery – a spirit of kinship or friendship – is seen here to be a natural outcome of faith. The idea that we have each other’s backs – that we are a group whose unity is only fortified by our adversaries – is more or less taken for granted in passages like these.

“And the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him” – Mal. 3:16b

Perhaps the best instance of this that comes to mind is the friendship between David and Jonathan: “the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Sam. 18:1). It wasn’t just any friendship – it was friendship centered around a common understanding of who God is and what He is like.

A modern example is a college friendship between Tait and McKeehan – again centered around a shared love of God – which no doubt was how their band, dc Talk, ended up becoming the most influential Christian band of the 90s.

Michael Tait Now of the Newsboys
Michael Tait Now of the Newsboys

“For them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” – Mal. 3:16c

It’s not unity alone, but unity around a Gospel of grace; unity around spiritual reality.

“And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” – Mal. 3:17

God sees individuals who desire and aspire for such an ideal as “jewels” – they are beautiful in His sight: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)!

“Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” – Mal. 3:18

While Christianity is certainly a religion of the heart, it is not a religion of ignorance. There is no premium on refusing to “love the LORD your God with all your…mind” (Luke 10:27). Of course, literally, this passage just means to love God with all your ability, but just to be a little bit wooden, part of your ability is the mind God blessed you with.

Fruit of faith in Christ, and of the exhibition of kindness towards one another, is discernment.

Now, by discernment is not meant that we should nit-pick our fellow believers, or anyone else. Neither is it meant that we should be implacable (unwilling to forgive) if someone has “stumbled seriously.”

The vitriol expressed by many conservatives towards the moral failings of liberals (and vice versa), and the unwilliness to forgive if someone should repent, could not be farther from the discernment spoken of here.

No, Biblical discernment is the kind that Jesus exercised. It led Him to forgive the adulterous woman, and to rail against the pious religionists of His day, who not only were inconsistent, but had horrible attitudes.

When the Bible speaks of discernment, it simply means being in accord with God’s reality.

God first says that right is right, and wrong is wrong (Isa. 5:20). He also says that He is not willing that any should perish (2 Pet. 3:9).

2 Peter 3:9b
2 Peter 3:9b

When it comes to hot issues of the day like refugees, it can be easy to jump to a conclusion. While we want to be loving, we sometimes need to take a little time to study all the details of a case.

Did the failures of liberalism create the crisis in the first place by trying to topple Assad via arming so-called moderate “freedom fighters” who were actually fighting against the people of Syria, and even engaged in beheading Christians and children(*, **)? Might some radicalized individuals want to game the opportunity of being a “refugee” to get into America (“the Great Satan,” as we are called) and commit terror?

If Trump has said he is giving priority to the refugees who are Christian or who have actually been targeted the most for persecution in their former countries, isn’t that a good thing? Why did Obama discriminate against the Christians, and show no heart towards them? Why didn’t everybody gather at JFK airport to protest Obama’s rejection of Christian refugees? Why didn’t people protest much more loudly about Obama doing what he did in Syria?

It’s easy to get manipulated. And it’s disheartening when professed “holiness” people become ensnared by Satan in siding with extreme, liberal notions. Good water and bad water can’t flow from the same source (James 3:11).

It may very well be that some sincere people get hurt by the policies of Trump. And no human leader is perfect. But it pays to look at the big picture, or at least hold back on railing against people who have spent hours upon hours looking into getting accurate details, and who have reached a conclusion that appears “uncaring.” What if God sees the ones being called “uncaring” as actually the ones trying the most to help?

Additional support for “Thoughts on Malachi 3:16-18”:

*CNN’s Jake Tapper interviews Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii about her first-hand trip to Syria.

**Cheri Berens lives in Egypt and has a lot of information on the subject.

Free Kim Davis

I found this Yahoo! News article smearing Kim Davis, and wanted to “answer the bias”! I’ll present their exact text, and break down why I think it’s so out of harmony with reality and common sense. Here’s the address, unless it gets taken down: http://news.yahoo.com/no-kim-davis-cant-beg-041235821.html. My text comments will be in red. 🙂

No, Kim Davis, You Can’t Beg for Money on GoFundMe

While Kentucky clerk Kim Davis sits in jail for being in contempt of court after refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, her lawyers are hard at work trying to clean up her mess ✫ Stop right there. Why is it “her mess”? More like, “the Supreme Court’s mess,” because SCOTUS isn’t supposed to be writing laws FOR THIS VERY REASON – it leads to sticky situations where people get thrown in jail instead of knowing how to resolve difficulties. ✫ and the judge is in a bind when it comes to hitting her where it hurts.

DailyKos reported that “Plaintiffs in the case had asked [District Court Judge David] Bunning to fine Davis, but they specifically requested that he not jail her. Bunning, though, said fines would not work because others might raise money to pay the penalty on her behalf.” Well, thanks to a pair of homophobic bakers, they won’t be able to do it on GoFundMe. ✫ Okay, “homophobic” has nothing to do with making a logical point, but is merely a SMEAR to make people feel emotional hate towards the person. In fact, I got a chance to meet Aaron Klein, and to see Melissa Klein in person, at the Iowa Religious Liberty Rally on August 21 of this year, and Melissa is a sweet person who has worked very hard at her business and was plainly hurt emotionally by the ruling against her. She spoke of how many things she would do for gays because she loved them, but she could not violate her conscience. Yes, Yahoo, there is such a thing called a “conscience,” and #ConscienceMatters to a lot of folks. That’s what the 1st Amendment is all about, is making sure government doesn’t step in and force people of any faith to do things that they don’t feel comfortable about. ✫

According to Salon.com, the crowdsourcing service nixed a fundraising campaign for Sweet Cakes by Melissa owners Aaron and Melissa Klein earlier this year. They were fined $135,000 for refusing to go through with a wedding cake request ✫ Isn’t it INSANE that Aaron and Melissa were asked to pay such an astronomical amount for “emotional harm” done to the gay couple? What if I asked for $2 million in emotional damages from the actions of Obama and extreme Democrats in charge in America? Let’s get real, and stop the outlandish fines. If a gay couple is so unstable as to need $100K+ just because someone didn’t want to participate in celebrating their actions, then perhaps they should consider becoming straight. At the very least, it sure ins’t convincing that they were “born that way” when they are so easily discombobulated. ✫ for a gay couple. In a statement, GoFundMe explained:

“After careful review by our team, we have found the ‘Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions. The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal. The subjects of the ‘Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”

Steve Deace Aaron and Melissa Klein Barronelle Stutsman Blaine Adamson Phillip Monk and Kelvin Cochran
Steve Deace, Aaron and Melissa Klein, Barronelle Stutsman, Blaine Adamson, Phillip Monk, and Kelvin Cochran

Later on, its policy was changed to explicitly say that “GoFundMe will not allow campaigns that benefit individuals or groups facing formal charges or claims of serious violations of the law.” In order words, Kim Davis is out of luck. ✫ And here we go again. “Out of luck” is a rather poor choice of words. Was it lucky for SCOTUS to rule against the will of the people of America and try to establish law, when they’re only supposed to be rendering OPINION? Was is lucky for her to be put in a position where she might lose her job? Was it “lucky” for her to be thrown into prison? “Out of luck” is a poor choice of words, Yahoo. You can do better. ✫

However, she does have supporters in other anti-gay crusaders like Mike Huckabee, ✫ Not so fast, Yahoo. Once again, you’re using a loaded term by saying “anti-gay.” We could just as well call the pro-choice crowd “anti-life” if we wanted to, but we generally use the term “pro-choice” to show a bit of civility. When you use a term like “anti-gay,” it makes it sound like Mike has animosity against gays, which is not the point at all. The point is, Mike believes every American should retain his or her 1st Amendment rights, and should not be threatened with jail for violating their conscience – quite a different matter than being “anti-gay.” ✫ who is planning an “#ImWithKim Liberty Rally” on Tuesday. ✫ God bless him for doing it! That’s awesome that he’s holding a rally to defend Kim from being stupidly thrown into prison! Why don’t you like him holding the rally? Are you a #Hater, Yahoo? Apparently so. ✫ The National Organization for Marriage also stepped in, calling for “a massive mobilization of the grassroots and a ferocious public relations and advertising campaign.” They invite you to help raise $100,000 for the struggling clerk (who makes $80,000 per year) by Labor Day. ✫ Ah, but Yahoo, you were glad the gay couple got $100K+ in emotional damages awarded to them for simply being refused a cake at one store. Wow, it might have cost them an extra hour or two at the worst, and if they REALLY BELIEVE gay marriage is morally right, they SHOULDN’T HAVE any emotional damages when a person like Melissa Klein respectfully and lovingly declines to do their request. Now, Kim Davis DOES have a right to some SERIOUS emotional damage compensation. She’s been thrown in jail, her name tarnished, her job possibly ended, and people have expressed violence towards her. To be consistent, if the gay couple got $135K awarded for them, Kim Davis ought to be awarded something like $1 Billion dollars, because she’s probably been through about 1,000 times as much trouble as the gay couple in Oregon was put through for having one store not bake them a cake. ✫

Yeah, good luck with that. ✫ Snarky, Yahoo. Hope you can get over your hate, and bury the hatchet. At the very least, if you had any respect, you’d support the effort to free Kim Davis. #FreeKimDavis! ✫