Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.
I will fight the good fight. I will keep the faith and I will finish the race.
Paul, 2 Timothy 4:7 (paraphrased)
A friend of mine recently observed that life is divided into thirds. It certainly seems so to me. The first third of my life I spent rising: getting an education, getting married and starting a medical practice and family. I spent the next third cruising: practicing medicine, raising children and figuring out my purpose and roles as a husband, father and Christian disciple. I’m now in the home stretch, but not as far along as was Paul when he wrote the above lines while under house arrest in Rome c. 60AD, awaiting trial. I took the liberty of changing Paul’s verb tense from the past to the future to reflect my own journey.
Oftentimes you begin a journey with excitement and enthusiasm. And when you see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, excitement grows. (One hopes the light is not an oncoming train!) In reality, the toughest part of a journey is often in the middle or the “tween time.” This is where perseverance is necessary to carry on despite the difficulties which Paul spoke of in Romans 5:3-5.
Because we are in difficult “tween times,” I pray for strength and courage to persevere. Often I find myself just hanging on to my faith and to my wife, hanging on until the next election and praying that justice and truth will return. I believe that things will eventually work out, but it may not be in my lifetime or for the United States. Rush Limbaugh once said that there will always be an America, but it may not be what we recognize.
What do you do when much of what you read and see is propaganda? Most of my readers will recall Pravda, the newspaper of record of the former Soviet Union. In Russian Pravda is translated as truth. We now have Pravda in America which exists as the “news” media. These apparatchiks (Russian for “blindly devoted followers of a political party”) present themselves as purveyors of “pravada.” However, in large measure, they are the purveyors of “the big lie,” a term which comes from “Mein Kampf.” So what should you do? As a way to discern the truth, I would offer my axiom that you must “Read widely, think carefully and use common sense in everything.”
Even though I find myself in the last third of my life, I am not done. My role as a doctor is over. My children are raised, but I now have grandchildren to nurture and educate. My family, friends and readers are the focus of my witness for truth and the Way. In the last phase of my life, my purpose is advocacy as a writer. I am thankful that I have a voice to resist the leftist tyranny overtaking our country. And as an advance warning, if my column, my emails, texts, etc. go “dark,” you will know why; they have come for me.
In ancient Rome, the title of praetor was sometimes granted to an elected magistrate or the commander of an army. Later, the Praetorian Guard became a “unit of the Imperial Roman army that served as personal bodyguards and intelligence agents for the Roman Emperors.” We now have the equivalent in the deep state FBI which functions as Biden’s Praetorian Guard to crush his critics and preserve the Washington Swamp.
Humans and animals are designed with a system that operates in a crisis. You may remember learning about the nervous and endocrine systems’ response during “fight or flight” situations. Vessels constrict to limit bleeding and support blood pressure, and adrenaline and cortisone are released to augment survival in conflict.
In this troubled time, all of us are challenged to fight the evil around us. Years ago I saw the looming conflict and searched the world for a place to escape if the radicals take over. I discovered Abraham Lincoln’s truth that the United States is “the last best hope of earth.” There is no place to flee. Unfortunately, too many are unwilling to resist and meekly submit to wokeness, the delusions of gender identity, BLM racism, injustice or Antifa, the Democrat Party’s brown-shirt shock troops.
Jesus was a revolutionary who changed the world. However, he never wrote a book, an essay or a newspaper article. He led no army, had no bureaucracy and said he did not come to abolish the Law (Matthew 5:17). Jesus preached a gospel of transformation and salvation rather than the modern pseudo-gospel of affirmation, where acceptance of even delusional thinking is demanded under threat of persecution. Think of Justice Kavanaugh’s witch trial by Democrats and the odious Blasey Ford. Think of Social Media’s de-platforming of those who disagree with the Democrats. And if you think you are safe from the Orwellian thought police of the White House or its Department of Justice, consider the words of Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran minister in Nazi Germany:
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”
In my opinion, Jesus offered a fourth option to fight, flight or submit. He practiced agape (sacrificial) love. (See last week’s column, “A Death in the Family”). His life, teaching, sacrifice and resurrection changed the world. He said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
I see my destiny as persevering, keeping the faith, proclaiming the truth and resisting the devilish forces opposed to His Way. Join me in this noble crusade.