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Let He Who Has Not Sinned Cast the First Stone

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There seems to be seething anger in the world today that seeks someone to attack. It is a world where there is little room for redemption or forgiveness. It’s a one-and-done trial. You have a visible sin, and it’s over. Like the gladiators with swords to the neck of their defeated opponent, they look to the coliseum masses for a verdict. The thumbs-down condemnation seems unanimous. There is no mercy to be had.


Maybe two years of being cooped up in our homes for fear of COVID has left us easily enraged by those we deem evil and deserving of our wrath. The media, eager to draw our attention to the mistakes and sins of others to improve ratings, use any “sinner” they can find to capture viewers and feed our appetite to have someone to hate. Whether it is a politician we dislike, a law enforcement officer who goes too far, a fellow citizen who dares try to defend his community, or even an offended Oscar-winning actor who slaps a comedian in front of millions of viewers, we may not want blood, but we do want to destroy their reputations.


Our country seems to be majoring in condemnation. Whether it’s former President Trump or President Biden, with a polarized electorate, the faithful followers do what they can to bring their opponent down. When an officer in a scary moment of confrontation makes the wrong decision and it is captured on video, we want his job-we want him convicted and locked up. When a citizen brings a gun to town to help protect his city from rioters and chaos reigns, there is no room for mercy. And when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, millions piled on to the outrage.


Maybe we are not as unique as we think. Two thousand years ago, a man named Jesus was led through a throng of adoring fans on his way to Jerusalem. They laid cloaks and palm branches on the ground before him with shouts of “Messiah” echoing for all to hear. But in less than a week, another crowd gathered before Pontius Pilot as his fate laid in the balance and demanded in one voice-“Crucify him!” And they did. He was nailed to a cross until he died.


That same man, when a woman who was caught in adultery was brought to him and he was asked to condemn her to be stoned to death as the law prescribed, gave an unexpected but powerful response. As the crowd gripped their stones ready to deliver the verdict the woman’s sin deserved, Jesus knelt down and seemingly drew images in the sand. With all eyes upon him, he said to an angry crowd, “Let him who has not sinned cast the first stone.” Within moments, stones could be heard dropping to the ground. No stones were thrown.


As we enter Passion Week, we are reminded of the powerful message and life of Jesus Christ. He ate with sinners, those in need of forgiveness and healing. He challenged the religious of his day to not focus on the speck of sin in the eyes of others but to deal with the planks in their own eyes.


As the Apostle Paul would remind us in his letter to Christians in Rome, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Jesus came not to lead the perfect but to save the sinner. Our society likes to feed the illusion of perfection. Maybe that is why we get so upset when anyone dares break that illusion. We know privately that we fall short of even our own ideals. But publicly we dare not confess to such sin. Maybe that is why hiding in our homes exiting only with the cover of face masks to hide who we really seem somehow safe.


The COVID restrictions are coming down. The mask mandate is being made optional. We will soon be re-entering a new normal. Unfortunately, the anger and calls for condemnation are still there. Everyone has a cell phone ready to capture the “sins” of others. The private is now dangerously public. Videos of sin feed the social media and those captured moments never go away. Will Smith’s slap will be with us every Oscar season. He may not be in the Oscar audience for the next ten years, but the slap will be used to make sure we don’t forget.


Those willing to forgive may be ready to give Will Smith a second chance. After all, like me, we love many of his movies, and everyone deserves a second chance. But is a second chance enough? Like us, Will Smith will certainly sin again. He most certainly will not slap anyone else at an Oscars, but the media will be watching him for more proof of how far he has fallen.


To Will Smith and all of us, God sent His Son that rather than being limited to a second chance, God gave us grace. Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sin. On Easter, Jesus rose again that we might by faith share with Him in eternal life and a loving relationship with God. The price for that gift of grace is to put down the stones we throw at others, to repent of our own sins of the past and those of the future, and to believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose again through faith we might be forgiven and saved.


In His ministry, Jesus shared the story of the “Prodigal Son” who demanded his inheritance from his father and left only to squander his wealth and be left to a life of sin and want. When he decided to return to his father, repent of his sins, and offer to live as his servant, his father saw him coming and ran to him with open arms. I recently preached on the fact that, like the sinners we all are, we all have our own prodigal moments. This is the Easter God is inviting you to come back home to His loving arms. Is it time to come home?


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Dr. Terry Paulson is a PhD psychologist and author of The Optimism Advantage, They Shoot Managers Don't They, Speak Like a Pro, Meditations for the Trail, and The Dinner: The Political Conversation Your Mother Told You Never to Have. Since founding Paulson and Associates, Inc. in Agoura Hills, CA, Dr. Paulson has presented to such companies as IBM, 3M, Kaiser, Nationwide, SONY, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and hundreds of hospitals, government agencies, and associations. Dr. Paulson is a past president of both the Global Speakers Federation and the National Speakers Association. He’s been inducted into NSA’s CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame, an honor given to less than 230 speakers worldwide. Dr. Paulson is a long-time conservative Republican who has spoken to numerous Republican groups. He currently is a regular op-ed columnist for townhall.com and politicrossing.com. Terry brings knowledge, tasteful humor, and a passion for conservative principles to every presentation. Dr. Paulson graduated with honors from UCLA and received his PhD in psychology and an MA in theology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena, CA.



 
 
 

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Elections

America No More…

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After watching with over a hundred others the newly released movie, Civil War, I left the theater stunned, and I was not alone. Was it a good movie? Just a deeply unsettling one! Could it really happen? You don’t even want to imagine it! But with Biden’s assault on America continuing and Trump reemerging as the favored GOP candidate, the American division is growing. More and more citizens are getting angrier as their standard of living is in jeopardy and illegals are getting benefits citizens can only dream of.

Spoiling the movie’s plot is never appropriate, but when Western forces from Texas, Florida, and even California take on the elected President, the country is left in a civil war. We watch as desensitized media professionals cover the death of hundreds of American citizens. To the film’s media, the war is just a once-in-a-lifetime story that deserves to be captured one picture at a time. After all, it’s the media’s job. They are just feeding citizens what they want—blood, gore, winners, and victims. What would happen if America descends into such chaos? This movie provides one disturbing view, one that, God help us, must never happen.

One thing is clear, when a country loses trust in its leader’s ability to preserve their cherished freedoms and ensure equal treatment under the law, even insurrection seems somehow possible. That is a nightmare no American should have to entertain, but more and more Americans seem to be losing hope in the future of our country. They don’t trust elections. Many don’t even like the Presidential choices presented to them.

The Founding Fathers valued freedom enough to unleash a revolution against the greatest power at the time. Enough citizens joined them in securing what most at the time believed impossible, independence. Yes, insurrection hatched our beloved America. Belief in equal rights and freedom are powerful forces that have always driven patriotic Americans to action.


Even with our differences, most Americans believe in property rights, voting rights, law enforcement to keep us safe, freedom of speech, and personal responsibility. Unfortunately, more and more Americans feel these values are in question, and they are not sure America can be saved!

Many Americans no longer even believe that elections will produce a lawful winner. They don’t trust the voting machines. They want paper ballots that can be counted. They don’t believe multiple days are needed. Hasn’t one day of voting always been enough? They want required IDs and signed mail-in ballots. They fear ballot harvesting is just another name for ‘manufacturing” all the votes you need to ensure a fraudulent victory. Are American fair elections no more!

Many no longer believe that the enforcement of law is fair and sure. While former President Donald Trump has been charged with multiple “crimes,” President Joe Biden’s similar actions aren’t even charged. Hunter Biden’s influence peddling with money set aside for the “Big Guy” are not even covered in the mainstream media. The Dept. of Justice is quick to charge Trump, but with the Bidens, we hear nothing but crickets. People who commit crimes are being let go instead of being held accountable. Is American law and order no more!

Under President Trump, our border was finally more under control. Under Biden, his open border has been continually flooding our country with illegals from around the world. They come expecting benefits at the expense of taxpaying citizens. Illegals overwhelm services in our urban areas. Legal immigrants had to wait years to enter and are fuming at this invasion of illegals rushing to the front of the line and expecting to be accepted, supported, and allowed to become citizens. Is America’s secure border no more!

We thought in America, your home was your castle. If you work to buy the home of your dreams, you were sure that your property rights were secure in a community that you loved. But today, squatters are taking over vacant homes and fending off owners who want them to leave their property. Illegals are being told to come to America, find an empty home, and move in. In the name of equity, governments are rezoning the suburbs and requiring the building of low-income housing where it is not wanted. Are America’s property rights no more!

Do you believe America is lost? Do you believe nothing can reverse this march to chaos? Do you believe that it is time to buy your own guns to protect your family when the government won’t? Is a civil war coming? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are in danger of losing the optimistic attitude that has characterized Americans for two centuries. This is our country. This is not the time for surrender. It’s time to fight to preserve America the best way you can—vote for candidates who promise to preserve the rights you value most.

Your vote does matter. There are no perfect candidates, but the party positions make a difference in this critical election. If you want law and order, secure borders, fair elections, property rights, and a return to personal responsibility, there is only one party to support. Vote for every GOP candidate you are given the opportunity to support, or it may very well be America no more!

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Biden wants to tie Israel’s hands

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After Iran launched an extensive drone and missile attack against Israel, Iran’s president vowed to completely destroy Israel if it proceeds with a military response. In plain language, Israel is not allowed to react as any other country would after being attacked. That seems to be the opinion of many world leaders, including Joe Biden.

That’s like saying that the US had no right to retaliate after Japan’s attack on December 7th. This absurd policy applies only to Israel. If Iran launched missiles against the US, imagine what we would do in response. (Of course, with a wimp in the White House, there is a good chance that we would do nothing.)

On the evening of 13 April 2024, Iran launched hundreds of deadly missiles against various sites in Israel. Iran’s attack was presumably in retaliation for an Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Israel’s justification for its attack is that the Iranian consulate has been the center for Iran’s terrorist activities throughout the Middle East. The consulate “did not have diplomatic immunity,” according to attorney Alan Dershowitz, “because it was not being used for diplomatic purposes; it was being used to plan military attacks against Israel.”

With assistance from the US, the UK, neighboring Jordan and other nations, Israel successfully intercepted nearly all the missiles and drones. Despite the lack of damage, Iran’s intent clearly was to inflict serious harm. Iran underestimated Israel’s ability to defend itself. Now Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi has vowed to completely destroy Israel if it proceeds with even the “tiniest invasion” of Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would be the one to decide whether and how to respond to the Iranian attack, brushing off calls for restraint. “The state of Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself,” Netanyahu said. “Everything is on the table right now,” said a source in the Israeli government. Israel possesses an impressive range of high-tech weaponry, including nuclear weapons and F35 fighter planes that can overwhelm Iran’s outmoded air force.

“Iran declared war on Israel by sending more than 300 bombs in Israel’s direction, aimed at civilian as well as military targets in Jerusalem and other locations,” said Alan Dershowitz. “As a matter of law and morality, Israel is entitled to respond to this act of war by overwhelming, even disproportionate, force against Iranian military targets.”

Biden has not supported Dershowitz’s argument. Instead, he has “sent a clear message to the mullahs that there would be no consequences for their rogue actions,” said Lisa Daftari, a leading Iranian-American expert. “What we are seeing is a manifestation of weak policies and the ayatollah’s correct read on American foreign policy.” Biden’s policy, said Yaakov Katz, a leading Israeli security expert, “does not work and the world’s strategy of diplomacy and sanctions is not effective. The world needs to shift gears and change the way it has tried to confront Iran.”

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe agreed that the Biden administration’s tepid policy has emboldened Iran. “Joe Biden’s reaction to that hit in Damascus sent a message to Iran and to the rest of the world that the US was not with Israel, that the US was reluctant to support Israel on this. And I think that emboldened Iran. And as one of the former intelligence officials in Iran said to me, with friends like Joe Biden, Israel doesn’t need more enemies.”

Biden has warned Israel not to take action, said Alan Dershowitz. “Biden wants Israel simply to proclaim victory and not respond appropriately. This will only encourage Iran to take further military action against Israel either directly or through its numerous proxies,” Dershowitz warns. “If the [Iranian] regime felt endangered, it could attack Israel with its nuclear weapons, as it has threatened to do. That is an important reason why Iran’s potential nuclear arsenal should be destroyed before it can be deployed.”

“This is the time to act,” Dershowitz concludes. “Iran has provided Israel and the United States with a complete legal and moral justification for destroying its nuclear weapons program and for beginning the process toward regime change. If we do not act now, it may be too late.”

Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of two No. 1 Amazon Best Sellers, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden, and THE WAR ON WHITES: How Hating White People Became the New National Sport.

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