TWO DUMB EXCUSES

Celebrity preachers use two dumb excuses to remain silent when they should be rallying Christians to do their duty. These dumb ideas are costing us critical time and opportunities to save America.  

These ideas set the church back into Obama era apathy at the worst possible time.  Think of what is at stake.  The Supreme Court, the economy, national security, and everything we hold dear will be lost.  Everything Trump tried to do will vanish in an instant. The floodgates of immorality will open.

Here are the two bone-headed ideas.  1. All government is from God and we must submit and not mention politics.   2. A candidate must be sinless or we are choosing the lesser of two evils. 

And here are the verses abused to justify those two bone-headed ideas:

Romans 13: 1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.  “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”

1. It’s dumb to say stay out of politics and submit to government not matter what:  No sane Christian believes Hitler was God’s will for Germany.  God raised up divine retribution on him through the nations of the world.  God works through people to restrain evil.  The church must do her duty to restrain evil.

“The authorities that exist”: This phrase means authority from God, not rogue authority.  Satan is rogue authority.   God has always balanced the threat of tyranny with authorities He raises up: “God’s minister to execute wrath.”

Moreover, it says “No ruling authority from God is a terror to good works.”  They do not persecute God’s people or enact laws to ban the Gospel.  So what do you call authority that is a terror to good works?

German believers abused these same verses to justify their apathy.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer could not open the eyes of the German church about the horrors of Hitler.  His radio addresses warned Germany.  Ironically, he blamed the fad of cheap grace and their blind submission.  They rejected his warnings and the consequence was the bloodiest world war and 6 million Jews annihilated.

Again, the point is that God works through people to stop evil.  The church’s silence in the face of evil is not noble or virtuous, it is itself evil.

dietrich-bonhoffer Nations can and do pick evil leaders.  Even Israel picked an evil leader: 1 Samuel 8:6 “But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”   Obama was never God’s choice for America.   We have a mountainous stockpile of wreckage to prove it.  

charade

When evil reigns, God begins a complicated process to reestablish justice. Human history is messy.  God works in that mess.  We want story book endings but humanity is complicated.  Jehovah works like a surgeon skillfully cutting around vital organs to get at the cancer.  Jesus spoke of the wheat and tares having to grow together until the end—otherwise the wheat would also be lost.   We have a Biblical mandate to discern and get involved in the work God is doing to save our nation.

Jehovah

2. It’s dumb to waste your vote because you “refuse to pick the lesser of two evils.”  You must discern where God is working and support it.  God uses flawed people: Daniel was probably shocked to discover that God choose to use Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel

Instead of asking who is without sin, we should be asking where is God working?  

Look at what Paul did:  Acts 23:6 “But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. 7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. 9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.”

Jesus said that the Sadducees and Pharisees were both evil.  So was Paul choosing the lesser of two evils by siding with the Pharisees?  Or, was he discerning where God could work?   Right now it is Trump He can work with.  But Trump needs a Congress he can work with.  We had better work with God in this next election. 

 

Still don’t know what you must do?  From Nancy Pelosi to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrats have vowed to open borders, seize guns, redistribute wealth, skyrocket taxes, and force the church to “evolve.”  The American church still does not see the danger, and that itself is the danger.

Celebrity Pastor: Evil is not hard to spot.  It hates, Israel, Christianity, and Biblical morality, the family, and the unborn. The Democratic Party wears this badge of hate proudly. What else do you need to know?

These dumb ideas are not scriptural. They will play into the hands of those who would take away our rights and forever change America’s system of government.  It will be impossible to withstand the wave of falsehood and hatred in the next election if we do not repudiate these crippling dumb ideas.

But if we see them for what they are, rebuke them and submit to the Holy Spirit…even a small number can create a mighty transformation.

 

The reason oil could drop as low as $20 per barrel

The reason oil could drop as low as $20 per barrel

By Anatole Kaletsky
December 19, 2014
  • An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary

How low can it go — and how long will it last? The 50 percent slump in oil prices raises both those questions and while nobody can confidently answer the first question (I will try to in a moment), the second is pretty easy.

Low oil prices will last long enough for one of two events to happen. The first possibility, the one most traders and analysts seem to expect, is that Saudi Arabia will re-establish OPEC’s monopoly power once it achieves the true geopolitical or economic objectives that spurred it to trigger the slump. The second possibility, one I wrote about two weeks ago, is that the global oil market will move toward normal competitive conditions in which prices are set by the marginal production costs, rather than Saudi or OPEC monopoly power. This may seem like a far-fetched scenario, but it is more or less how the oil market worked for two decades from 1986 to 2004.

Whichever outcome finally puts a floor under prices, we can be confident that the process will take a long time to unfold. It is inconceivable that just a few months of falling prices will be enough time for the Saudis to either break the Iranian-Russian axis or reverse the growth of shale oil production in the United States. It is equally inconceivable that the oil market could quickly transition from OPEC domination to a normal competitive one. The many bullish oil investors who still expect prices to rebound quickly to their pre-slump trading range are likely to be disappointed. The best that oil bulls can hope for is that a new, and substantially lower, trading range may be established as the multi-year battles over Middle East dominance and oil-market share play out.

The key question is whether the present price of around $55 will prove closer to the floor or the ceiling of this new range. The history of inflation-adjusted oil prices, deflated by the U.S. Consumer Price Index, offers some intriguing hints. The 40 years since OPEC first flexed its muscles in 1974 can be divided into three distinct periods. From 1974 to 1985, West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, fluctuated between $48 and $120 in today’s money. From 1986 to 2004, the price ranged from $21 to $48 (apart from two brief aberrations during the 1998 Russian crisis and the 1991 war in Iraq). And from 2005 until this year, oil has again traded in its 1974 to 1985 range of roughly $50 to $120, apart from two very brief spikes in the 2008-09 financial crisis.

What makes these three periods significant is that the trading range of the past 10 years was very similar to the 1974-85 first decade of OPEC domination, but the 19 years from 1986 to 2004 represented a totally different regime. It seems plausible that the difference between these two regimes can be explained by the breakdown of OPEC power in 1985 and the shift from monopolistic to competitive pricing for the next 20 years, followed by the restoration of monopoly pricing in 2005 as OPEC took advantage of surging Chinese demand.

In view of this history, the demarcation line between the monopolistic and competitive regimes at a little below $50 a barrel seems a reasonable estimate of where one boundary of the new long-term trading range might end up. But will $50 be a floor or a ceiling for the oil price in the years ahead?

There are several reasons to expect a new trading range as low as $20 to $50, as in the period from 1986 to 2004. Technological and environmental pressures are reducing long-term oil demand and threatening to turn much of the high-cost oil outside the Middle East into a “stranded asset” similar to the earth’s vast unwanted coal reserves. Additional pressures for low oil prices in the long term include the possible lifting of sanctions on Iran and Russia and the ending of civil wars in Iraq and Libya, which between them would release additional oil reserves bigger than Saudi Arabia’s on to the world markets.

The U.S. shale revolution is perhaps the strongest argument for a return to competitive pricing instead of the OPEC-dominated monopoly regimes of 1974-85 and 2005-14. Although shale oil is relatively costly, production can be turned on and off much more easily – and cheaply – than from conventional oilfields. This means that shale prospectors should now be the “swing producers” in global oil markets instead of the Saudis. In a truly competitive market, the Saudis and other low-cost producers would always be pumping at maximum output, while shale shuts off when demand is weak and ramps up when demand is strong. This competitive logic suggests that marginal costs of U.S. shale oil, generally estimated at $40 to $50, should in the future be a ceiling for global oil prices, not a floor.

On the other hand, there are also good arguments for OPEC-monopoly pricing of $50 to $120 to be re-established once markets test the bottom of this range. OPEC members have a strong interest in preventing a return to competitive pricing and could learn to function again as an effective cartel. Although price-fixing becomes more difficult as U.S. producers increase market share, OPEC could try to impose pricing “discipline” if it can knock out many U.S. shale producers next year. The macro-economic impact of low oil prices on global growth could help this effort by boosting economic activity and energy demand.

So which of these arguments will prove right: The bearish case for a $20 to $50 trading-range based on competitive market pricing? Or the bullish one for $50 to $120 based on resumed OPEC dominance?

Ask me again once the price of oil has fallen to $50 – and stayed there for a year or so.