Tomb of John the Apostle at the Basilica of St. John in Ephesus. (from here (en.wikipedia.org))

Most of us have found the year 2020 a very disappointing one. Some of us blame events. Others like myself see a serious erosion of values, a failure to love our neighbor. Tragically, because we had a presidential election this year, we made everything political, and we fought each other.

WHEN DO THE PEOPLE STEAL THEIR OWN FREEDOM? is something I wrote in the aftermath of the 2008 election. President Barack Obama was supposed to be a healing figure, but he was not. So, I did a post about John 8:31-38 NIV. Then I observed that to be free we must be freed from sin. To be freed from sin we must accept Jesus, but most of our nation is slowly turning away from Jesus Christ. Why? What does it mean to accept Jesus?

Let’s consider the first two verses of John 8:31-38 more carefully. Here is the NIV version.

John 8:31-32

New International Version

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Jesus does not walk among us as a man anymore. So, that raises a question. How do we access his teachings? I suppose that is why some translations are a bit different.

John 8:31-32

New American Standard Bible

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The teachings of Jesus are in the Bible. In John 1:1-3 the Apostle John describes Jesus as “The Word”.


(Heb. dabar [r’b’D]; Gk. logos [lovgo”] and rhema [rJh’ma]). The theological meaning of “word” within Scripture spans a wide theological spectrum. From the divine point of view, it consists of God revealing something about himself through his spoken word, which is ultimately and perfectly personified in his Son, Jesus Christ. In a broader sense, it designates Scripture itself. In contrast, the human word mirrors the human condition: it is limited, fallen, and dependent on divine intervention for restoration and sustenance.

The Word of God. The Old Testament. The concept of the word of God is a major Old Testament theme. It points out the absolute uniqueness of Israel’s religion on the basis of personal contact with Yahweh — the transcendent, sovereign, creator God. (continued)

Word Definition and Meaning – Bible Dictionary (biblestudytools.com)

If we want to know the Truth and live by the Truth, then we must study and live by the Bible. Jesus was unambiguous about this.

John 14:6

New American Standard Bible

6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.

Unfortunately, much of our nation does not take the Bible as seriously as Americans once did. Therefore, we seek other sources for the Truth. What other sources? Sex, stuff, science, state, and self. Instead of looking for a reason why we exist at all, we strive to find meaning in this life. Therefore, we listen to the prophets of:

  • Sex: people who tell us how to get the “best” sex, that sex is love, that love is sex, that the purpose of life is pleasure.
  • Stuff: people who tell us how to get the most money, that money actually does buy happiness.
  • Science: people who tell us how science can solve all our problems, that science is Truth.
  • State: people who tell us they will use the government get us whatever we want, that government provides the way, the truth, and the life.
  • Self: people who tell me it is okay to care about me first because “I” deserve it, that the world exists for me.

Who are these “people”? They are pervasive in the mass media and our schools and colleges. They talking heads and politicians and sometimes your neighbors and even your pastor. They are people who tell you that for the sake of sex, stuff, science, state, or self that you can sin, that the Bible does not mean what it says. They are people who are willing to tell you whatever you want to hear so that you will buy whatever they want you to buy.

What do we want to hear? Do we want to hear about an infinite God who created everything, including each of us? Do we want to be confronted with a simple truth that we must be blind to not see? Creation is infinite. “I” am finite. Everything is ultimately beyond “my” control. No. Of course not. We want to be told there is a system, a wise man, a government policy, anything — anything that gives us control over our destiny. We want to be told that death doesn’t matter.

So it is that when Democrats told us a bunch of lies this year we listened as usual. We were told that it is good and proper to:

  • Support abortion, including forcing people who think it murder to pay for it. We were asked to believe that if mother does not want her baby, what is wrong with killing that baby after it has been born. That baby won’t grow up to be happy, will it?
  • Support same-sex marriage, including forcing people who think it fornication to condone same-sex marriage. Supposedly, if we want to believe same-sex marriage is good, all we have to do is get some experts — scientists — to say sex is a choice.
  • Support defining some crimes as hate crimes. After all, can’t state approved “experts” can figure out what bigots are thinking? Isn’t that what it means to be an expert?
  • Support defining speech we don’t approve as hate speech. Don’t we know the Founding Fathers never intended to use the First Amendment to defend the right of mean people to say hateful things? Surely, those judges in black robes know better.
  • Support Socialism. Well, not exactly complete support, but we all know Uncle Joe Biden is not a serious Socialist. So, let’s trust Uncle Joe to figure out when is government big enough.
  • Support identity politics. Isn’t bigotry awful? Shouldn’t government label bigots so everyone knows who they are?. Shouldn’t we work for a society where everyone thinks “correctly” like me.
  • Support the secularization of our society in the name of “science”. Don’t we know the Bible is mythology? Surely we have the “right” to secularize the education of other people’s children using other people’s money, especially if Socialism is okay.
  • And so forth. That government is the arbiter of moral truth.

Were Republicans better than Democrats in 2020? Not by much. Sadly, most Republicans don’t have much fight in them. The so-called mainstream news media has most of them cowed. Still, few Republicans advocate the crazy nonsense Democrats advocate.

So, what is the problem? Why do things seem to have gotten worse instead of better? Well, whether things have gotten worse or better is hard to say. However, most Christians would agree we need a revival.

What would a revival look like? Consider what Jesus said to the Christians in Ephesus.

Revelation 2:1-7

New American Standard Bible

Message to Ephesus

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks [a]among the seven golden lampstands, says this:

‘I know your deeds and your labor and [b]perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil people, and you have put those who call themselves apostles to the test, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have [c]perseverance and have endured on account of My name, and have not become weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the [d]deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and I will remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But you have this, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who overcomes, I will grant to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.’

Oddly, we usually don’t think of it that way, but Jesus actually called for a revival among the Christians in Ephesus. He told them remember how much they first loved Him. He told them to turn back to Him, remembering their first love and to do the works that have done when they first loved Him.

Consider the basic meaning of the word revival (merriam-webster.com). We cannot revive what was never there, and most Americans have never been born again; most have never known Jesus as their personal savior. Therefore, to revive Christianity in America, Christians must first seek a revival within themselves.

Who were the Nicolaitans (biblestudytools.com)? They are now long forgotten. Except for the fact that it is good to hate what Jesus hates, it does not matter much. What is important is to love Jesus. If we love Him, we will read His word, obey His teachings, and do deeds which demonstrate our love.



  1. Thanks for the mention, Tom. I really liked a couple of points you made.

    “Were Republicans better than Democrats in 2020? Not by much.”

    This is an important point, Tom. As I said in my post today, it’s not about Trump or Biden, Republican or Democrat…it’s about freedom or tyranny. So, both parties must face the truth about how they’ve contributed to our current crisis.

    And to your point about revival, yes, it must begin with us!

    1. @tsalmon

      Should I listen the way you listen to Conservatives, find a Conservative posing as a Liberal. Kind of difficult since we don’t do that.

      1. Ah . . . you’re talking about your own conservative cancel culture. I think all you’ve proven is that you don’t listen to the truth. Do you have a rebuttal evidence to Trump’s own chosen expert maintaining election integrity? No? That’s right, you’re still waiting for Sidney and Rudy to release their Krakens. 🙃

        1. @tsalmon

          Waiting for Powell and Rudy to release the Krakens? Obviously, you haven’t been paying attention, or you’ve been duped by MSM and big tech suppression of the news. This was just the first installment from Nov.27:

          “Sidney Powell Suit Makes 30 Allegations in Bid to Invalidate Georgia Election Results”

          Powell also filed similar allegations in Michigan. Many more have been filed in various states since, by Rudy, Powell, Lin Wood, and others. When you say Tom is not listening to the truth, you are obviously projecting.

          1. Hmmm…I see no mention of Edison County in the lawsuit. They mostly mention Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Kent counties. They all very much exist. And I really don’t care how this gets tried in the Twitter court of public opinion. We’ll see how it goes in the actual courts. By the way, here’s the actual lawsuit.

            Click to access Michigan-Complaint.pdf

          2. We’ll see how it goes at the U.S. Supreme Court. Btw, Bush lost every decision in 2000 in Florida, until it went to the Supreme Court.

          3. @tsalmon

            Haven’t you figured it out yet? The news media is not interested in the evidence. You don’t talk about it. You just ignore it and label people. Then you hypocritically complain about being labeled.

          4. Haha! Yes, the former newspaper, New York Times, and Democratic party network, NBC, did a report on The Epoch Times. LOL! That’s rich! Not to mention, hypocritical. At least the Epoch Times reports the news, they don’t suppress it like the MSM. And we know where they stand. They don’t pretend to be unbiased while actually being leftist activists spinning their anti-Trump narrative like the NYT. Maybe George Soros should write an expose next. Nope, if it doesn’t agree with the MSM narrative, it’s a far right tin-foil hat conspiracy! Don’t pay any attention to the systemic election fraud being exposed right now. We’ve already decided that Biden won. Haha.

          5. One wonders why all the best Republican election lawyers are MIA in these, uhh, legal actions. One wonders why the Republican leadership in Congress has not more enthusiastically supported Trump and his, uhh, legal claims. One wonders why Trump is now complaining that William Bar and the FBI won’t get involved (eluding to more conspiracies that they too are part of the Deep State). One wonders why Trump is attacking the previously very Trumpy Republican governors in Georgia and Arizona for certifying their elections as the law requires. One wonders why, while being peppered by questions from GA Republicans who are being led by the President to believe the Dems have already stolen the Senate runoff elections there, the RNC Chairman has to contradict Trump and beg them to go vote anyway. One wonders why Republican controlled state legislatures in state after state have rebelled at Trump’s flagrant attempts to overturn the will of their own voters and his asking them to send their own electors to the electoral college. One wonders why even traditionally more credible right wing media sources are quietly abandoning or openly disapproving of Trump’s conspiracy theory driven quixotic efforts to overturn an election where he so soundly and obviously lost. One wonders why Trump Dead Enders increasingly find it necessary to turn to the most incredible conspiracy driven news sources to confirm an alternate unreal world where Trump actually won. One wonders how long Trump can hold the imagination of rank and file Republicans and continue to suspend the reality that Trump really, legally lost fair and square before the clash between them and pragmatic Republicans who know it is a lost cause tears the Republican Party to pieces.

            As all this comes to a head and systemic political and institutional reality starts crashing the conspiracy theories one by one, I sincerely hope this does not make bitter and cynical those of you who are swept up in this, how to say it – cult is the only word that works. You are still, as Reinhold Niebuhr referring to scripture said,“children of the light”. Only becoming cynical over this will make you into the “children for the darkness”.

          6. “Best Republicans?” Haha. You mean, the RINO DC swamp Republicans that are just as much the problem as the DC swamp Democrats?

            You seem to be under the impression that this whole thing is about Trump. You’ve totally missed what’s going on then. It isn’t about Trump, and it won’t end if he leaves office. This reform is just getting started. He was just the catalyst that exposed the corrupt swamp for what it was. That’s why MSM, the big tech oligarchs and globalist elites hate him so much. They’re doing everything to suppress the truth and demonize him. But it’s not about Trump, or even Democrat or Republican. I don’t even really like the traditional Republicans that much myself. I think the good old boy Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats, and so do millions of others who voted for Trump.

            And as far as cynicism goes, you seem to believe there’s nothing here to look at, because you want to believe the MSM narrative. You refuse to look any further. Keep your head in that sand if you want, but the truth won’t go away. Scripture also says….

            “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Eph.5:11)

            Anyway, believe whatever you want. You will anyway. But just don’t patronize me with the MSM Groupthink. I’m done here.

          7. Mel,

            Do you even have a clue how paranoid that sounds? The Illuminati in some malevolent system in this country who are deeply embedded at every level in our democratic institutions is conspiring against you and your tribe?

            You are obviously a very well meaning person, and my experience up until recently has been that you are a model Christian preacher, a happy warrior who unafraid to buck the institutional system in your quest to spread a Christian theology of love. Because I so vehemently support this theology, I have avoided debating you publicly on this, and I am loath to start now.

            I would prefer to let the evidence slowly speak for itself. It either will convince you eventually or it won’t.

            I only break that silence to plead with you (and many others here) not to let your idealism become the enemy of your greater hope and faith. You, unlike I think any of us here, have a much higher calling than this. Don’t let your disappointment in the cracks and imperfections in our institutional systems that have always, as Churchill said, made up the worst of all systems, except all the rest. Don’t let your wonderful idealism that may blind you to basic pragmatism be your undoing.

            You will either come around to this eventually, or you won’t and if you don’t, you will likely get more bitter and paranoid as you dig deeper toward increasingly narrowing confirmation biases when the ever widening inconsistencies to your reality confront you. That latter possibility would be an awful shame, in my humble opinion, for someone with such greater promise as a shepherd for us all.

            That is all that I will say to you directly and public on this my Christian friend. You are always free to contact me privately, and I will always be there for you. 😌

          8. @tsalmon.

            Do you even have a clue how patronizing you sound? Do you realized how indoctrinated by the MSM narrative you sound? So, look in the mirror when you talk about confirmation bias! And I’m bitter? I’m not bitter in the least. I do get annoyed by people’s willful ignorance on these things. I’m not saying I know all there is to know about this, but I’ve seen quite enough with MSM’s one-sided narrative (which has been proven). So, it’s more that my eyes, along with millions of others like me, have been opened and we cannot unsee what we’ve seen. As both a follower of Christ and an American citizen, I’m compelled to speak out against such information suppression and corruption.

            And why are you seem so content to move on and dismiss the evidence being shown, which is clearly being suppressed by the MSM? (For instance, are they showing the hearings that are going on this week in several states?) Also, why won’t you go beyond your own echo chamber to investigate the suppression and manipulation by big tech that has been exposed yourself? Why wouldn’t you want to have this fully investigated instead of dismissing it all as some paranoid delusion? That should be troubling to you.

            And, no, I do not want to talk to you privately for the same reasons I already gave you by email when I tried this before. You have already proven to me, over and over again, that you have no interest whatsoever in listening to anything contrary to your own opinions. And, again, all I get is your patronizing. You have proven to me that I’m wasting my time talking to you, which I’m apparently doing now. So, yes, we will ALL see what happens in the courts and the state legislators, but not by the court of public opinion. I am content with that, but I won’t be silent about what I see plainly before me. I do wish you the best.

          9. @tsalmon
            @Mel Wild

            Democrats know there was cheating, but they don’t want us to force them to confront it. They want to believe the so called mainstream news media. Otherwise, they will have to admit they have been lied to for decades and believed the lies. For some, that is a frightening thought. It is an attack upon the foundations of their beliefs. It means they may have to admit they have sinned, and they wonder if God can forgive them.

            What is it to tsalmon? That is up to him to decide. Evidence? Yes, that wicked evidence. That is where it starts, but to start is only to begin.

          10. @Tom.

            I’ve watched most of the Pennsylvania, Arizona, and now Michigan hearings, and it’s just sickens the stomach to hear what’s going on. It’s become like a third-world banana republic in some these counties and precincts. We really need to get to the bottom of this for the sake of our country.

          11. @tsalmon

            Evidence. Look at it.

            The Holocaust happened.

            The gulags in the USSR were real.

            The Chinese Cultural Revolution did result in massive deaths.

            The killing fields in Cambodia….

            People seek and abuse power. Nothing new or very remarkable about it.

            When Spartacus led a rebellion, 6,000 crosses lined and decorated a road.

            When Nero decided Rome needed an urban renewal, he burned the city and blamed Christians. Some of those he covered in tar, set afire, and used as lamps.

            Thievery, slavery, genocide and so forth is nothing rare.

            A Single Death Is a Tragedy; A Million Deaths Is a Statistic –https://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/05/21/death-statistic/

            Mankind has filled the world with statistics.

          12. So far…And why do you think that is? Because, up until about two days ago, the DOJ was nowhere to be found. Many witnesses in the hearings have stated that no one from FBI, etc., has either never bothered to talk to them, or when they called the FBI, there was no follow up. So, how would they find any evidence?

            Regardless, the DOJ will probably have no impact on the court proceedings or state decisions on this election. They move way too slowly, and any investigations they do will takes months.

            On the other hand, the various state legislators actually hearing the evidence have had quite a different response. Also, a judge in Pennsylvania recently said in her response that Republicans will likely win the Pennsylvania lawsuit based on Constitutional grounds. So, yes, the noose on the corruption keeps tightening.

            It’s interesting that these liberal rags like The Hill don’t actually do any real investigative journalism; they just look for sound bites and Twitter feeds that confirm their bias.

          13. Response to Barr’s comments about not seeing any fraud:

            “With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation. We have gathered ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined. We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth.”

          14. The DOJ response to hack leftist reporting on what Barr actually said. Kudos to Catherine Herridge (CBS) for correcting the disinformation:
            “Some media outlets have incorrectly reported that the DOJ has concluded its investigation of election fraud and announced an affirmative finding of no fraud in the election. That is not what the Associated Press reported nor what the Attorney General stated,” a DOJ spokesperson said, according to CBS News reporter Catherine Herridge.
            The Department will continue to receive and vigorously pursue all specific and credible allegations of fraud as expeditiously as possible.”

          15. @Mel Wild

            The so called mainstream news media takes sides. They report that which serves their narrative. Whenever we hear something out of them, even if they tell the truth it is a cinch they left something out.

            Fact is the so called mainstream news media condemned the Trump teams charges of voter fraud from the start. They only thing the news media has done is looked for reasons to refute the allegations of fraud.

          16. @ Tom.

            Not only does the MSM clearly take sides (which Project Veritas has proven), they ridicule and outright lie about anything that doesn’t fit their Newspeak narrative. Project Veritas just released some revealing disclosures about that from inside CNN, for example. Here are the tape recordings from morning leadership conference calls (put links in brackets so the video wouldn’t embed itself here:
            1. Spin Fox News and Tucker Carlson as racist and uninformed…

            2. Propaganda in chief, Zucker, instructing hivement how to spin Trump not conceding…

            3. CNN’s Jamie Gangel Details How Network Should Cover Up Trump’s Contested Election Claims
            There’s a lot more where these came from!

            Not only that, but the Mainstream media has been dead wrong on just about everything. Just a few examples: they were wrong about Trump in 2016, they were wrong about the Flynn fiasco, the ridiculous impeachment, they suppressed the Hunter Biden’s laptop story (still unfolding), they were wrong about the big blue wave, they were wrong about Barr’s remarks the other day, and they’re wrong and purposely covering up what’s probably the greatest election fraud perpetrated in U.S. history. Soon, they will be wrong about prematurely coronating Biden as President-elect. Because they hate Trump so much, they’ve become activist-hacks and victims of their own lies.

            “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth….If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” (Joseph Goebbels)

          17. @Mel Wild

            Thanks for the added firepower.

            It is difficult for most Americans to appreciate how what Joseph Goebbels said could be true, but we are now seeing how what he said works.

            I don’t think what we are seeing is simply the result of hate. I think it a manifestation of Crony Capitalism, the Swamp protecting itself. Lots of people have grown rich and powerful feeding off our government.

          18. @Tom

            Exactly. That’s what Trump exposed, which is why it’s not even ultimately about him. And, in their deranged hatred for Trump, the they believed their own lies and have exposed themselves.

          19. “One wonders why you bother. We are too deplorable to appreciate being told over and over again how smart you are.”


            Nah, I don’t think anyone here is particularly deplorable, at least not any worse than I am. But what a strange thing for you to accuse me of when you spend most of your electronic ink here judging others and lecturing on how we are supposed to behave. 😃

          20. “@tsalmon
            When someone says a fellow robbed a bank, he does not judge the bankrobber.”

            My feelings exactly. Did you see a gay person rob your bank? How deplorable? 😊

          21. @tsalmon

            A bankrobber just wants property that does not belong to him. The so called homosexual rights activists insists upon making us participate in a lie. We have a difficult enough time making a marriage between a man and a woman work. We don’t even have a logical reason to make a sexual relationship between two people of the same sex work. Yet you insist, Mr Democrat, upon using the force of law, that everyone believe a lie, that a same-sex relationship can be a marriage. You would determine for others that something is true because you don’t see homosexuality as harmful.

            Homosexuality is self destructive and destructive to the people involved with a homosexual. Ever heard of AIDS? Fornication spreads diseases. Our children learn from the people who serve as their role models. Some people don’t make good role models for children.

          22. “Mankind has filled the world with statistics.”

            Such melodrama! Sure, Trump’s losing the election is exactly the same as a holocaust? 🙄

          23. @tsalmon

            As a member of the party that Democrats constantly call white nationalists, I guess I am qualified to make an observation. Hitler was elected to office. Hindenburg made him the Chancellor. Even at that point the Nazi party was thorough corrupt. That included trying to shut up their opposition, which is what Big Tech and the so called mainstream news media do.

    2. CNN?Chris Krebs? LOL! Yes, I agree. We SHOULD look at the MSM misinformation, suppression of the truth and big tech manipulation when they try to supplant the truth. If you cared about the truth you should also read these articles all the way to the end…

      “7 Big Stories Corporate Media Is Ignoring Because The Truth Might Help Trump“

      “17% of Biden Voters Would Not Have Voted for Him Had They Known Scandals Liberal Media Censored“

      “Google Shifted a ‘Minimum’ of 6 Million Votes in 2020 Election: Dr. Robert Epstein“

      “Digital Forensic Analysis Shows Dominion’s Server Connected to Iran and China: Affidavit“

      “Zuckerberg-Funded Group Comes Into Spotlight in Election-Related Court Cases.”
      Btw, I wonder if that $400 million Zuckerberg gave could’ve been better used to help the people who lost their jobs because of the shutdowns instead of using it to protect his monopoly?)

      And let’s talk about Chris Krebs….
      “Conflict of Interest: Chris Krebs Fired Over Statement that Hid Alleged Relationship Between Feds and Dominion Voting System.”

      Btw, Krebs was implicated in connection with Dominion software during the hearing in Arizona just today.

      Nope, nothing to see here. Everything was perfect. Trump should just move on. Haha.

        1. @marmoewp

          Love this heading: Search Engines Have Always Been Biased.

          Win the argument by saying everyone does it. Kind of like a high school kid. “But everyone is doing it!”

          Psychology is the classic soft science. Because Google is aware it is being watched, there is no way to replicate the study, and any peer review of Dr. Epstein’s work will also be biased. So I suppose I should have headed my comment this way: Human Beings Have Always Been Biased.

          Whenever I do a search, if I have the time or I am seriously concerned about the possibility of bias, I use several different search engines. Technically, Google is the best, but Google should not be trusted.

          1. You are aware, that Epsteins tests did NOT involve google search results, but artificial pages of his own design? And that he extrapolates from just 95 participants, only 21 of which declared to be undecided?

            Lab report: We found that 33.33% of the test subjects showed positive response to the new drug, while another 33.33% died. The third rat escaped from the lab.

  2. Great post, Tom! It’s an honor to be a part of the conversation and I love the way the theme moves across bloggerville. I loved them all, from Night Wind’s piece, to Mel’s, and to Salvageable’s quite timely series on socialism.

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