Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Ouch. "We Will Not Mention Cologne"

Polish President Questioned on Press Freedom 

Points out German Media Censorship  

Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart London

[Tu quoque, or "you too" is weak and fallacious when it comes to informal logic.  But when it comes to popping balloons that ooze self-righteousness it does have its uses--at least in the short term.  Maybe the German media ought to have confessed their nation's own sins before launching self-righteously into Poland's.  Ed.]

Polish President Andrzej Duda slammed German press after being asked about Polish freedom, apparently citing the lack of immediate reporting of the Cologne New Year’s Eve sex attacks of 2015.
The Polish president, who sat next to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during a press Q&A earlier this week, was asked about freedom of the press in Poland by a journalist questioning why Polish state radio had not reported the European Union decision to halt Polish judicial reform.

Claiming he had not heard the radio broadcast in question, President Duda went on to add: “I do not influence what media reports on in Poland.”

“In Poland, it works in such a way that if a woman or group of women are raped that you can be sure the media would immediately report about it with all the details we have at that moment. So we definitely have a free press in Poland,” he added to some applause from members of the audience.

The comment likely refers to German reporting of the Cologne migrant sex attacks that occurred over New Year’s Eve in 2015 which took German media several days to report.

Daily Meditation

Embracing the World

Martin Luther declared that a new Christian must withdraw from the world for a season, but upon reaching spiritual maturity he must embrace the world as the theater of redemptive activity. His message was, “Away with the cowards who flee from the real world and cloak their cowardice with piety.”
Perhaps the greatest need for our day is the need to market Jesus Christ. The church must become expert in marketing, not in the slick Madison Avenue style but in an aggressive, yet dignified way. The marketplace is where we belong. It is where needy people are found. It is not enough for the church to hang a welcome sign on her door. We dare not wait for the world to come to us.
God never intended the Christian community to be a ghetto. The church is not a reservation. Yet the pervasive style of modern evangelicalism is that of a reservation or a ghetto. We can argue that it is the secularist agenda to put us there and keep us there. But such arguments won’t do. We are there because it is safe and comfortable to be there.
The secularist hates the light and is quite willing to offer us a bushel for it. Shame on us when we buy custom-made bushels and willingly place them over our candles. To hide the light or to restrict it to a reservation is to do violence to the gospel and to grieve the Holy Ghost. 

Coram Deo

Are you hiding your light under a custom-made bushel? Reflect on the closing statement in today’s reading: “To hide the light or to restrict it to a reservation is to do violence to the gospel and to grieve the Holy Ghost.”

Passages for Further Study

"The Devil Lives In our Phones"

The Trojan Horse of Our Day

. . . Beware the Greeks Inside

A piece appeared recently in the New York Times which is essential reading for all responsible parents.  We always ought to be cautious about pieces of general scaremongering, since it is easy to fall under the influence of wacko conspiracy theories.  We, as Christians, are commanded to reckon ourselves to be soldiers, pressed into service of the King of kings.  It is not becoming to be racked with fear and intimidation.

However, for a long time we have been deeply sceptical about the usefulness of IT.  In fact, there are signs of  it being not a boon, but a curse--unless it is managed carefully. 

The NY Times piece, written by Nellie Bowles, calls our attention to the phenomenon of parents working in the tech world being deeply sceptical, if not fearful, of the impact of electronic devices upon their children.  Consequently, they actively reduce, police, and control their children's access to electronic devices--even while "officially" the companies they work for actively promote these devices and their applications to young children.

A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley

“I am convinced the devil lives in our phones.”

Nellie Bowles
New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — The people who are closest to a thing are often the most wary of it. Technologists know how phones really work, and many have decided they don’t want their own children anywhere near them.

A wariness that has been slowly brewing is turning into a regionwide consensus: The benefits of screens as a learning tool are overblown, and the risks for addiction and stunting development seem high. The debate in Silicon Valley now is about how much exposure to phones is O.K.  “Doing no screen time is almost easier than doing a little,” said Kristin Stecher, a former social computing researcher married to a Facebook engineer. “If my kids do get it at all, they just want it more.”

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Disproportionate Racism Against Black Men on College Campuses

Black Men Understand the Stakes

By David French
National Review Online

Earlier today, freshly minted Atlantic writer Jemele Hill published a piece that broke new ground in the Brett Kavanaugh debate. She revealed that, in her experience, black men were more sympathetic to Kavanaugh than she anticipated: 
On Tuesday night, I was in an auditorium with 100 black men in the city of Baltimore, when the subject pivoted to Brett Kavanaugh. I expected to hear frustration that the sexual-assault allegations against him had failed to derail his Supreme Court appointment. Instead, I encountered sympathy. One man stood up and asked, passionately, “What happened to due process?” He was met with a smattering of applause, and an array of head nods.
Hill says this support makes a “twisted kind of sense,” because, “Countless times, black men have had to witness the careers and reputations of other black men ruthlessly destroyed because of unproved rape and sexual-assault accusations.” But there’s nothing “twisted” about it. Their experience highlights the vital importance of due process and the presumption of innocence.

In fact, according to a report she cites, while black men account for 22 percent of sexual-assault convictions, they account for a whopping 59 percent of exonerations.  And that’s just criminal convictions and exonerations. Hill doesn’t even delve into the ongoing scandal of campus Title IX adjudications, where the stakes, like those of a judicial confirmation hearing, aren’t criminal but nevertheless remain high: An accused student’s enrollment in school is often on the line.

Last September Emily Yoffe wrote a troubling essay (also in The Atlantic) detailing how preliminary evidence indicates that campus courts are disproportionately punishing black men.

Daily Meditation

Seeking the Lost

Martin Luther, as a herald of the Reformation, exclaimed that the church must be profane. It must move out of the temple and into the world. Luther looked to the Latin roots of the word profane,which comes from pro-fanus (“outside the temple”). If Christ is not relevant outside the church, He is insignificant inside the church. If our faith is bound to the inner chambers of the Christian community, it is at best a disobedient faith and at worst, no faith at all.
It was the Pharisees who developed the doctrine of salvation by separation. They were practicing segregationists, believing that holiness was achieved by avoiding contact with unclean sinners. No wonder they were scandalized by the behavior of Jesus, who dealt with Samaritans, ate dinner with tax collectors, placed His hand upon lepers, and ministered to harlots. Our Lord was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton, not because He was overweight or given to intemperance, but because He frequented places where these things were commonplace.
If guilt by association were a legitimate offense, Jesus would have lost His sinlessness early in His ministry. But He came to seek and to save the lost. He found them gathered in His Father’s world.

Coram Deo

Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He commanded us to do likewise. What are you doing in response to that command?

Passages for Further Study

Press Release: Family First

NZ Law Commission Wants Removal Of Time Limits For Abortion

Family First NZ says that the Law Commission has ignored the weight of submissions which supported retaining abortion in the Crimes Act and giving legal rights to the unborn child, and is also recommending the removal of time limits for abortion.

“The Law Commission received almost 3,500 submissions regarding the abortion law review, and of those submissions, just 18% - less than one in five - supported removing abortion from the Crimes Act. A large majority (69%) opposed, with 49% specifically supporting retaining the Crimes Act status for abortion, and a further 20% argued for the legal protection of the unborn child,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Despite that strong voice, the Law Commission is treading on dangerous ground for the unborn child by recommending the repeal of abortion from the Crimes Act, and thereby also removing the time limits.”

“They also recommend that the ‘woman’s physical and mental health and wellbeing’ is only deemed significant for pregnancies of more than 22 weeks gestation. What is the difference between a 21-week pregnant woman and a 22-week pregnant woman? How does the status of the unborn child change between those couple of days?”

It is also disturbing that they are recommending the weakening of many of the safeguards around abortion including:

Monday, 29 October 2018

Signs and Sounds of Desperation

Doubling Down on Global-Warming Alarmism

By Jonathan S. Tobin
National Review Online

The U.N.’s latest doomsaying comes off as hyperbole, not science.

Those working to raise awareness about climate change have a problem. While most Americans believe global warming is occurring and think human activities are causing it, fewer than half think it will pose a serious threat to the planet in their lifetimes.

So what do those seeking drastic change do? They publish predictions of imminent catastrophe based on computer models, threatening doom and gloom unless dramatic measures are taken immediately. When that fails, they change the deadline and try again. And the shifting dates for climate Armageddon are just one reason the latest report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may do harm to its cause than good.

The IPCC claims that if the world doesn’t undertake a massive effort to reduce carbon emissions by 2030, the result will be catastrophic — including mass wildfires, droughts, floods, food shortages, and dying coral reefs. The prescription offered to save the world by the 91 scientists who signed off on the report is a massive tax increase on carbon-dioxide emissions, as much as $27,000 per ton by the end of the century. That could cripple economies across the globe.

The trouble is, it’s hard to keep track of all the predictions we’ve heard in the last 20 years about impending catastrophes.

Daily Meditation

Moving Out of the Temple

On the mountain of transfiguration, the disciples were stunned by the breakthrough of the dazzling glory of Christ. What previously was veiled by His humanity, hidden from the sight of mortals, suddenly burst through the veil in translucent radiance. With but one glimpse, the disciples were paralyzed. They had but one consuming desire—to abide in that place, basking forever in the light of His countenance. Jesus would have none of it. As Lord of the church, He commanded His disciples to forget about pitching tents and sent them down the mountain and into the world.
The day Christ died, those same disciples went into hiding. They retreated to the shelter of the upper room, where they huddled together in fear. When Jesus broke the bonds of death, He went to the upper room. In a sense, He broke down the door—not so much to get in, but to get His disciples out. His mandate to them was to await the Spirit and then to go—to move out of the temple and into the world.
The New Testament word for “marketplace” is agora. The agora was not only the shopping district, but was also the center of civic life. The agora was surrounded by public buildings, shops, and colonnades. Here the children played, the idle loafed, lawsuits were heard, and public events were produced. It was public, not private; open, not secret; dangerous, not safe.
The cradle of the church was the marketplace. From the preaching and public ministry of Jesus to the daily acts of the apostles, the central scene was the marketplace.

Coram Deo

Are you actively moving outside the walls of the church and taking your faith to the world?

Passages for Further Study

The Civilization That Built Its House Upon the Sand

Myths and Just-So Stories

Modern science is a mixture of fact based truth, on the one hand, and speculative story telling, on the other.  Rarely, however, is the distinction made.  If it were, the factual basis of most "science" would crumble to the ground, along with a heap of salaries, academies, and newspapers.

Paul Gosselin writes:
. . . science deals with observable and reproducible processes.  The rest is outside the domain of science (or should be).  But science has gained such prestige that it exerts a quasi-irresistible attraction, seducing many ardent admirers among those who hope to exploit this prestige for their own mythical/ideological purposes. 

When one looks back to the beginning of all things, we find ourselves reaching the limits of our means of observation, either at the macro level (the universe) or at the micro level level (the subatomic world).  Empirical data becomes harder and harder to come by.  But more importantly, finding the means to repeat the processes that we are attempting to explain also become increasingly difficult. The closer we find ourselves to the limits of science, the greater importance we find our theories taking on (as well as the subjectivity involved in choosing their presuppositions) while (proportionally) the real influence of the available empirical data decreases.   [Paul Gosselin, Flight From the Absolute: Cynical Observations on the Postmodern West.  Volume I.  (Quebec: Samizdat, 2012), p. 52.] 
Quantum mechanics has been confronted with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.  The sub-atomic academic world has reached the limits of observation of the behaviour of electrons and sub-atomic particles.  When empirical testing and proving up no longer is possible, the realms of speculation await.  The study of the origins of the universe and life within it has rapidly devolved into speculation and "just so" stories.  Anyone care for a "multiverse"?

Saturday, 27 October 2018

The War Against Trans-genderism

The End of  Beginning?

When the Allies defeated Rommel's forces in North Africa, it prompted Churchill to observe:
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."  A similar observation could be made with respect to transgenderism.  No doubt the ideological and spiritual war will continue to rage, but it is possible that we have won the initial skirmishes.  We may have come to the end of the beginning.

The US Federal government via the Justice Department is apparently going to insist upon biology when deciding upon the gender of a human being.  Now we know that this is absolutely radical stuff.  Who would have thought that the Justice Department would be that extreme.  Former President Obama's trans-genderist ideology appears about to face the equivalent of a Tobruk breakout.  And if so, may that be the "end of the beginning".

Feds Draft Plan to Discard Obama’s Transgender Ideology

Neil Munro
Breitbart News21 Oct 2018

President Donald Trump’s Justice Department will soon decide if agencies must follow biology when they document the legal sex of American women and girls, men and boys, according to a document leaked to the New York Times

The policy would protect Americans’ civil rights from the transgender ideology which insists that everyone has an FBI-enforced federal right to switch their legal sex — regardless of their biology — when entering sports competitions, K-12 bathrooms, hospitals, gym showers, the military, or single-sex civic society groups.  This transgender ideology was promoted in 2016 by former President Barack Obama and is being imposed by many federal and state judges, despite visceral public opposition and scientists’ criticism.
This FBI-enforced-federal-right was and remains a wave of the wand by former President Obama.  It was a human rights matter, he loftily declared.  The coruscating, brilliant President Obama determined from on high that human will and wish must be recognized as the highest, most absolute authorities when it came to questions of human rights.  Whatever one wanted was an automatic, de jure human right. 

If this sounds mad, you would be right. Nevertheless, it is pure Obamianism, and as Shakespeare would have put it, "President Obama has said that human volitional choices are de facto human rights, and the President is an honourable man."  But we digress.

New Zealand's Vast Echo Chamber

The Prejudice and Cant of New Zealand's Universities 

Our Universities are Not Giving Us Unbiased Knowledge

Alex Davis
NZ Herald  

As any number of graduation speeches formulaically tell you, the purpose of a university education is to "open minds", "search for truth" and inspire students to think broadly and freely. We turn to academia for what we assume is scientifically rigorous, evidentially based, objective and unbiased knowledge about the world and how to solve its many and varied problems.

Except of course that's not actually the case. Six decades of research from the United States clearly demonstrate universities and academics are frequently heavily biased and skew overwhelmingly to the political left.

In 1955 (ironically out of concern that right wing McCarthyism was negatively impacting academic freedom) Paul Lazarsfeld led the first systematic attempt to poll academic political leanings. Lazarsfeld surveyed 2451 social science professors. He found they leaned left (liberal) to right (conservative) by a factor of 2 to 1.

In 1969 the hugely influential American sociologist Seymour Lipset surveyed over 60,000 academics in multiple fields about their political views and found almost half identified as liberal while only a quarter identified as conservative.

Follow up studies in the 70's, 80's and 90's showed an intensifying swing to the left. This trend took a sharp turn further left in the 2000's. Research from this period found that barely 12 per cent of American university professors identified as Republican.

Regrettably there is virtually no research on this issue in New Zealand. This is not surprising - in a small country there is little incentive for a biased and unobjective academia to turn a spotlight on itself.  Further, there is nowhere to run for any professor foolish enough to do so – not a single one of New Zealand's seven major universities has any reputation for embracing right leaning thinking.

Daily Meditation

Becoming a Witness

The more the laity is involved in ministry, the more they want to deepen their understanding of the Word of God. The more they deepen their understanding of the Word of God, the more they want to put that understanding to work in ministry.
One thing that disturbs me about contemporary Christian jargon is the inexact use of the word witness. Too often people use the terms evangelism and witnessing interchangeably, as if they were synonyms. They are not.
All evangelism is witness, but not all witness is evangelism. Evangelism is a specific type of witnessing. Not everyone is called to be a pastor or teacher. Not everyone is called to administration or specialized ministries of mercy. Not everyone is called to be an evangelist (though we are all called to verbalize our faith). We are all called to be witnesses to Christ, to make His invisible kingdom visible. We witness by doing the ministry of Christ. We witness by being the church, the people of God.
Some of us can plant. Some of us can water. When we plant and water, God will bring an increase.

Coram Deo

How are you actively fulfilling your divine mandate to be a witness for Christ?

Passages for Further Study

Friday, 26 October 2018

Tested and Refined by His Heavenly Father

Freed Pastor Describes His Captivity in Turkey

 'I declared every day God loves me'

Megan Keller
The Hill

Andrew Brunson, the American pastor freed last week after nearly two years of captivity in Turkey, described during an interview Wednesday how his faith helped him get through the experience.

"One of the most important things that someone told me was, just breathe. You don't have expectations that, 'I have to preach to everyone.' Just hang on to God," Brunson said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends."

"It's one of the things I did consistently. I kept talking to God, talking to God, whether he talked to me or not."  Brunson said that habit helped him through the first year in particular when he "was really broken down."

He also spoke about the role his wife, Norine, played in keeping his spirits up. She would visit her husband once a week for up to an hour while he was in prison in Turkey.  "It was my wife who really got me through that time," Brunson said. "God did, but she's the one who brought truth into me in our meetings and would just focus, hang on."

Brunson, who was being held under charges of terrorism, also said he wrote a song in the second year of his captivity.  "One of the lines was, 'Jesus, the faithful one who loves me, always good and true.' Because these are things I doubted," Brunson explained. "But I declared every day: 'God loves me. He's true. He's faithful. He has not abandoned me.'"

Brunson arrived back in the U.S. last Saturday, following his release last Friday.

Daily Meditation

Taking Your Faith to the Marketplace

I have seen extraordinary examples of laypeople who have taken their faith to the marketplace in the form of ministry.
Charles Colson went from the White House to prison. When he was released from prison, he was not released from ministry. Indeed, from his experience grew a vision to minister to prison inmates in the name of Christ, a ministry that now reaches tens of thousands of people in virtually every country.
Wayne Alderson, a layman, put his faith to work in the violent arena of labor-management relations. He has taken that ministry around this nation ministering to people in corporate boardrooms, coal mines, and labor union halls.
The list could easily include a multitude of ministries that involve the laity. Without the laity, the church would not have conquered the ancient world. The Reformers understood that for real reformation to happen, the laity had to be educated, trained, and mobilized. Martin Luther took a leave of absence from the university in order to translate the Bible into German—so that every believer could personally read the Scriptures.
John Calvin’s Institutes was originally penned as an instruction manual for the laity. Many of the works of Jonathan Edwards were originally composed for the benefit of his congregation, many of whom were known to be studying their Greek New Testaments while they were plowing their fields.

Coram Deo

Reflect on some ways you can take Christ into the marketplace of your occupation or profession.

Passages for Further Study

Sport Was the Winner on the Day

"Bel Bows Down;  Nebo is Stooping" [Isaiah 46:1]

For more decades than we can count sport has been a religion throughout the West.  Secularists are devoted.  It is not just entertaining.  Sport has become the meaning of life itself to millions upon millions of people.

Secularists are also devoted to celebrating beliefs and actions which break up the Christian family.  No fault divorce has destroyed the significance of marriage as being the very centre of  human society.  Now, in a perverse marriage made in the pit, secularism has embarked on a campaign to destroy both sport and human relationships.  As the theologians point out, evil always integrates into the void.  It destroys itself.

A biological male who identifies as a transgender woman won a women’s world championship cycling event on Sunday.  Rachel McKinnon, a professor at the College of Charleston, won the women’s sprint 35-39 age bracket at the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles.

McKinnon, representing Canada, bested Carolien Van Herrikhuyzen of the Netherlands and American cyclist Jennifer Wagner to take home the gold.  McKinnon celebrated the victory on Twitter, writing: “First transgender woman world champion…ever.”

Allowing biological males who identify as transgender women to compete in women’s athletic events has been a controversial subject, as critics have argued that it puts the female competitors at an inherent disadvantage.

McKinnon in January was quoted in USA Today arguing against requiring biological males to suppress testosterone as a requirement for competing against women.   “We cannot have a woman legally recognized as a trans woman in society, and not be recognized that way in sports,” McKinnon told USA Today.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Perverted Ideology, Not Science

Paediatrician Warns That Medical Pathway For Transgender Children Based On Ideology, Not Science.

Bob McCoskrie
Media Release 19 October 2018
Family First

A new report by an Australian paediatrician is sending a strong warning to New Zealand that allowing children to choose their gender has no scientific evidence in medical literature to support the massive interventions of the medical pathway, and that the most vulnerable of children will be at particular risk.

The report “Children Transitioning: Childhood gender dysphoria - A paediatrician’s warning to New Zealand” is written by Professor John Whitehall who is Foundation Chair and Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Sydney. He visited and spoke in New Zealand last year.

The report is based on published literature and considers the epidemiology, the nature of confused children, the stages of the medical pathway, the established effects, and some of the relevant laws. It challenges proponents of the pathway to confront the scientific literature, and acknowledges and seeks to reduce the great suffering of confused children, but is based on the fundamental Hippocratic principle: ‘First, do no harm’.

Daily Meditation

Being Christ to Your Neighbor

The book of Acts records a curious phenomenon: “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria… . Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (8:1, 4, NIV).
It is clear that all of the believers, save the apostolic leaders, were scattered. Those who were scattered (the whole church) went about preaching the Word.
Christians must participate in the ministry of the church, and every Christian must endeavor “to be Christ to his neighbor.” To be Christ to your neighbor is not to be your neighbor’s lord and savior. Rather, it is to be Christ’s representative to your neighbor. We are to represent the mercy and ministry of Jesus to all who are around us.
We do not need volunteers driven by guilty manipulation or looking for merits to be redeemed. Christ has taken our guilt and supplied all the merit we need. We need volunteers because in the least of His brothers, Jesus is hungry, Jesus is thirsty, Jesus is homeless, Jesus is sick, and Jesus is imprisoned. We need volunteers who love Jesus in the afflictions of His least brethren.

Coram Deo

In what ways can you be Jesus to your neighbor? What are you doing for the hungry, thirsty, homeless, or imprisoned?

Passages for Further Study

Spare A Thought For the Mob

Mafia Requests To  Be Called 'The Mob' No Longer

Negative Association With Political Activists

October 17th, 2018
Babylon Bee

UNDISCLOSED—At a private event, representatives of various organized crime groups came forward to request that the press stop referring to them as "the Mob" because of the negative connotation of the word thanks to recent political events.

"When people hear about 'the Mob’,” said Joey "the Ice Pick" Polino, "they now think of people mindlessly screeching about some red versus blue political nonsense. No one even understands what those people want, while we in the Mafia are very clear about what we want: money."

Al "Big Mouth" Venturo agreed. "What's the first word in organized crime? Organized. We're not just idiots screaming at people in restaurants like the mobs you see nowadays. I mean, occasionally we kill people in restaurants, but it's all well planned out and actually accomplishes something."

The mafia members detailed how when people heard they were part of the Mob, they used to be scared of them. Now people are more disgusted, mistaking them for people replying in all caps on Twitter instead of people involved in violence and racketeering.

"We demand respect," said Louie "the Duck" Catanzano, "so if you care about your input in politics, you’d better stop calling us the Mob, because otherwise you're going to get whacked. And then you'll be dead and won't have any choice in politics; you'll definitely be voting Democrat."

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

The Neutering of Rabid Intolerance

A Christian Man Receives Justice

The Forces Of Religious Intolerance in the US Are Taking a Hit

By David French
National Review Online

Former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran

In a groundbreaking win for religious liberty, former fire chief Kelvin Cochran has reached a $1.2 million settlement with the city of Atlanta.

A good man’s legal ordeal is at an end. Yesterday, my friends and former colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom announced that former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran had reached a $1.2 million settlement, ending a case he brought after the city fired him for writing — and distributing to a select few city employees — a self-published book that articulated an entirely orthodox Christian view of sex and marriage.

The facts of the case were egregious from the beginning. Cochran was a pioneer — born in Confederate Memorial Hospital in Shreveport, La., he grew up to become one of the first black firefighters hired by his hometown fire department. He ultimately became the first black fire chief of Shreveport.

He continued to ascend the ranks of firefighters, becoming Atlanta’s fire chief, and then, in 2009, Barack Obama appointed him to run the Fire Administration, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

After Cochran left Atlanta, the fire department struggled. So Atlanta’s mayor recruited him back, and Cochran turned the department around so thoroughly that it for the first time received the nation’s highest fire-protection rating. The cornerstone of his effort to transform the department’s morale was a “participatory management structure” that solicited input from “every rank, race, shift, and gender.”

He consciously included LGBT employees, granting — in his words — “every group a voice.”  As I wrote when his case went to court, to this point Cochran’s story was one that would make even a university diversity officer rejoice. He overcame poverty and discrimination to ascend to the pinnacle of his profession, where he implemented an inclusive management style that improved employee morale.

But Cochran is also a Christian, and — soon enough — that presented a problem that was fatal to his career.

Daily Meditation

Quenching Satan’s Darts

Satan is powerful. He is more powerful than we are. That is why we desperately need the armor of God. But as powerful as he is, he is far less powerful than God. That is why the Bible declares that greater is He who is in you (the Holy Spirit) than he who is in the world (Satan) (1 John 4:4). Satan’s darts are quenchable; God’s are not. You can flee the presence of Satan; you cannot flee the presence of God.
We must be wary of Satan’s right and left fists. He is a kick-boxer as well. Just when we shield ourselves from his hands, he cheats and uses his feet. Here his guile is most effective.
One characteristic of Satan is his metamorphic power. He has the cunning and uncanny ability to appear under the auspices of good. He can transform himself into the appearance of an angel of light. You don’t find him so much in the Saddam Husseins of this world. He is not so crass. He appears as a saint, a paragon of virtue, waiting to seduce you.
He is, above all, a fraud. His work is anti-Christ not merely in the sense of working against Christ but in the sense of seeking to act as a substitute for Christ.
The good news about Satan is this: his doom is sure, and one little word will fell him.

Coram Deo

Think about ways Satan has deceived you in times past as an “angel of light.” Ask God to make you more perceptive to his deception in the future.

Passages for Further Study