On December 9 in Chendu, China, Pastor Wang Yi and over 100 members of his church were arrested by government forces.  More have since been arrested.  The Pastor left a letter to be published in case of his incarceration, titled “My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience.”  The full declaration is available here.  An excerpt (translated) is published below:

As a pastor, my firm belief in the gospel, my teaching, and my rebuking of all evil proceeds from Christ’s command in the gospel and from the unfathomable love of that glorious King. Every man’s life is extremely short, and God fervently commands the church to lead and call any man to repentance who is willing to repent. Christ is eager and willing to forgive all who turn from their sins. This is the goal of all the efforts of the church in China—to testify to the world about our Christ, to testify to the Middle Kingdom about the Kingdom of Heaven, to testify to earthly, momentary lives about heavenly, eternal life. This is also the pastoral calling that I have received.

For this reason, I accept and respect the fact that this Communist regime has been allowed by God to rule temporarily. As the Lord’s servant John Calvin said, wicked rulers are the judgment of God on a wicked people, the goal being to urge God’s people to repent and turn again toward Him. For this reason, I am joyfully willing to submit myself to their enforcement of the law as though submitting to the discipline and training of the Lord.

At the same time, I believe that this Communist regime’s persecution against the church is a greatly wicked, unlawful action. As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely. The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey the Bible and God. My Savior Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws.

But this does not mean that my personal disobedience and the disobedience of the church is in any sense “fighting for rights” or political activism in the form of civil disobedience, because I do not have the intention of changing any institutions or laws of China. As a pastor, the only thing I care about is the disruption of man’s sinful nature by this faithful disobedience and the testimony it bears for the cross of Christ.  – Pastor Wang Yi, October 4, 2018

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Andrew Sullivan, of New York Magazine, has a compelling description of the new cultural faith.  I strongly recommend it.

Seduced by scientism, distracted by materialism, insulated, like no humans before us, from the vicissitudes of sickness and the ubiquity of early death, the post-Christian West believes instead in something we have called progress — a gradual ascent of mankind toward reason, peace, and prosperity — as a substitute in many ways for our previous monotheism. We have constructed a capitalist system that turns individual selfishness into a collective asset and showers us with earthly goods; we have leveraged science for our own health and comfort. Our ability to extend this material bonanza to more and more people is how we define progress; and progress is what we call meaning.  – America’s New Religions

Of course, these new religions are really just updated versions of the old secular humanism and self-worship in a world supposedly without God.  What is different is society’s willingness to openly embrace the selfish and destructive as an acceptable choice in a relativist, and nihilistic, universe.

 

 

Historian Victor Hanson Davis provides his usual insight and understanding to the Mueller Affair.  Here is a long-ish excerpt with a link to the full analysis at the end.

Russian Collusion

The 13 Russian nationals whom Mueller symbolically indicted will not come to the U.S. to face trial, and they will certainly not be extradited, a fact known by Mueller.

Yet Christopher Steele, a British subject and de facto unregistered foreign agent, is imminently indictable and extraditable. He was paid through two firewalls (Fusion GPS and Perkins Coie) by Hillary Clinton to tap Russian sources to compile a smear dossier on her opponent, with the intent of warping the U.S. election — a classic example of foreign-agent interference in an American campaign. If we were to take away that one purchased document, then the FISA court warrants, the informants, and all the CIA, FBI, and DOJ machinations would likely have disappeared or never arisen.

Obama-administration officials Bruce Ohr (whose wife worked on the dossier) at Justice, James Comey at the FBI, and John Brennan at the CIA all in some manner colluded with Steele, either directly or indirectly, to monitor the Trump campaign and then to seed the dossier among government agencies and courts, both to ensure its leakage and to brand it with a stamp of official seriousness, warranting investigations and media sensationalism.

Speaking of FBI informants, quite a different one has testified that Putin’s Russia had sent millions of dollars to a U.S. lobbying firm, in hopes of persuading Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to use her influence with federal officials to close the so-called Rosatom Uranium One deal. At roughly the same time, Bill Clinton was given a lucrative half-million-dollar fee for speaking in Moscow, while millions of dollars from Uranium One investors had poured into the Clinton Foundation — which after Clinton’s 2016 defeat has seen its contributions precipitously decline.

In another related matter of Russian collusion, Barack Obama in a hot-mic exchange with then–Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, in March 2012, eight months before Obama’s reelection, asked Medvedev to give Putin the assurance that if Putin would give Obama “space” during his reelection campaign, then Obama in turn would have “more flexibility” on issues such as missile defense “after my election.” That quid pro quo was clarified six months later when an unusually quiet Putin darkly announced to the world that any deployment of U.S.-led NATO missile-defense systems would be targeted against Russia in a Romney administration — as compared with the actions in supposedly less bellicose Obama presidency. And after expressing no interest in interfering in an American election, Putin clearly made it evident that he preferred an Obama victory.

Most observers now laugh off this entire sordid incident. But in the present climate, if Donald Trump had been caught in a similar hot-mic exchange with a top Russian official, and had Putin later expressed the idea that he preferred a Trump presidency to a Democratic one, and had U.S.-led missile-defense efforts abruptly stalled in Eastern Europe, then Robert Mueller would be hot on Trump’s trail — given that such an overt quid pro quo, benefiting a candidate’s reelection campaign, is far more explicit than anything Mueller’s 18-month investigation has yet turned up. – One-Eyed-Jack Law, Victor Hanson Davis (via NRO)