For optimal viewing, choose to view in browser. View in browser
Issue 034
Pagan Moontide of Augustus 24, Anno Domini 2020
"The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly, I will show the salvation of God!" Psalm 50

Artwork: unknown Artist: Rob Joseph

What Kind of Bread?

To fight your enemy, you must be trained to fight.

To train to fight, you must learn to fight by fighting with your friends.

The highest forms of such fighting we call sport.

We live in an age awash with sport, and yet absent of it. Profiteering knows no bounds to the mammon that can be made. But the age old value of sport - not to watch, but to play - is absent from our daily lives.

We want to overcome. But we find drudgery. We want to rejoice. But we find friendly fire where we had hoped for peace.

Like good sportsmanship, God sends you the daily fights of your Christian walk for the sake of the sport itself. This means that all the obstacles you find are there not for your destruction but for your resurrection.

As long as I remember that I cannot die, then I can also remember that there is therefore nothing to fear.

Satan can only focus his assaults one person at a time. He is not in all places, nor does he know all things. His taint is inside of you, but he is not.

That means that the "friend" God sends you to fight against, in order to prepare you for the real Spiritual War when it seeks you out, is your self. The Christian walk is to wake each day, prepared to wage war against the fallen nature of your own flesh, the original sin inherited from Adam.

There will be no lasting peace in this age. Jesus has said this is certain. To ask God otherwise in any honest way must be a most delicate prayer.

It is right to pray for bread today. It is less right to pray for bread for tomorrow ahead of schedule.

Better to trust than to fear.

This is what it means to pray, in your distresses to call upon the Christ. He is not like the mute idols who stoically reign over the winds of fortunes. He is the Living God who orders light and matter, life and history, from beginning to its end, ever bringing goodness out of the abyss of chaos.

Do not muse in your head upon your bed or at your work and call this prayer. Open your mouth and speak to God.

Begin with Psalm 23.

Speak it every day and believe what it says about you. In it, recite your troubles, seek conviction, own your King and Master, and discover the otherworldly superpower that is the faith alone which only a wizened Christian may know.

Until next time,

Be strong, and let your heart know courage.
Rev. Fisk

Share with a Friend!

Lord willing, Talk Them Into It: The Truth about Making Christians will be released to all newsletter recipients next week! Of course, we want you to talk to your friends about Jesus, but why don't you share this newsletter as well? You first heard it from the Rev.- when we get to 1000 subscribers, we will release an alternative book cover. It's so easy; simply forward this email to a friend and they can subscribe using the link below.

Forward to a Friend
Sign up for a Free Book
Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

🔹 Morpheus might not be in The Matrix reboot
🔹 A mouse-loving artist in Sweden has been making miniature pop up stores
🔹Amazing footage from 1902: a “flying train” in Germany
🔹Someone wishes screens could do more
🔹Geeky pixel art from Taiwan
🔹 The world-record holding card stacker

Keeping it 100
Clickbait Paradise
Everything I know about politics I learned from RPGs

A British writer draws some connections between politicians who enjoy Dungeons and Dragons and how the skills needed to enjoy the game might be useful in the political sphere:

“ happily immerse yourself in a prolonged exercise in shared storytelling, you need language, a love of and respect for language and its power. You must understand how to construct a world solely through words, to use language to persuade other people to imagine and inhabit that world, accepting its rules, systems and ways. Politics usually comes down to words too. Elections are generally won by the people who can tell the best story about the world — or about a world, one that does not yet exist."

When I remember

he is risen,

I am paid for

I cannot die

he won't be long anyway...

Speaking my language

The Hustle reported how speaking a second language can change your mindset.

Words, words, words…Unherd writer, Freddie Sayers, has used some of his favorite Swedish words to illustrate what has made that country’s approach to the pandemic different. He argues that Swedes have many shared "habits and values that are commonly deemed morally good and too precious to give up.” He concludes that British and American culture is fractured which, he says, might explain why the "response in those countries has been so uncertain and the debate so poisonous."

Protests have broken out in Thailand where speaking against the monarchy is a crime. 

Speaking of speaking out: Chinese science fiction authors are using their stories to critique the Chinese Communist government and its goals. Through fictional dystopic worlds, these writers are exploring the results of ubiquitous surveillance, the growing divide between classes and the demographic implosion from China’s "one child” policy. This article suggests that Chinese sci-fi could serve as a warning to the West.

To a different power play...Often described as “Europe’s last dictator” President Lukashenko of Belarus is appealing to Vladimir Putin for help as his own citizens call for him to quit. But with another suspicious tea-poisoning death of a Putin detractor, he may need to keep friends close.

Big tent or big top?

Opinions on the recent Democratic Virtual Convention vary to say the least. But one thing has become clearer. An article at The Week argues that Democrats, in priding themselves on their “big tent,”really have nothing to unify them beside their determination to remove Trump at any cost. The writer suggests that the intra-party differences have been put aside but will resurface no matter what the result in November. 

Albert Mohler advised his listeners this week to pay close attention to what is being referred to when media describe candidates as “moderate.” Let’s just say, it’s not their stance on moral issues that is being referred to.

Keep the Content Comin'
The cold of the echo chamber

Musician Nick Cave recently wrote a blog post in response to a reader's question: What do you think of cancel culture? His answer was that its primary characteristic is that it is devoid of any mercy

"As far as I can see, cancel culture is mercy’s antithesis. Political correctness has grown to become the unhappiest religion in the world. Its once honourable attempt to reimagine our society in a more equitable way now embodies all the worst aspects that religion has to offer (and none of the beauty) — moral certainty and self-righteousness shorn even of the capacity for redemption. It has become quite literally, bad religion run amuck."

He worries “a force that finds its meaning in the cancellation” of ideas threatens all creativity, as "uncomfortable ideas” fuel a new way of seeing the world. Rev. Fisk’s musings about a coming dark age don’t seem so far-fetched sometimes...

James Lindsay, who is somewhat of an expert in the lunacies of woke culture, wrote a [very] long, but worthwhile blog post last week, outlining why Woke folk will not debate you. Here’s a TL:DR summary of his points: 

He argues that the truly Woke presume the "system itself hates people like them and has always been rigged to keep them and their views out.” 

Making it even harder, Lindsay has found that most disagreements he has had with Critical Theorists are dismissed as illegitimate. The rule seems to be that unless you agree with the Woke system, you cannot actually "disagree correctly.” Yes, it’s that crazy. 

Finally, if you are still following along, “The Woke ideology is so sensitive to the moral taint of being associated with moral undesirables” that you're probably a racist by association.

Lindsay concludes by saying, "The hard truth is this: if you don’t yet understand this, you don’t know the fight we’re in or have the slightest idea what to do about it.” Echoing some similar themes, an interview from The Federalist podcast this week, argues that in standing against the tide of “Woke" Critical Theory, we might have to stop playing nice. Spencer Klavan says:

"Conservative people get this wrong. We think if we can just point out one more logical inconsistency in Woke philosophy…the incoherence of materialism with Gnosticism” that those overtaken by social justice, critical race theory, BLM and identity politics will come to their senses. Klavan says it won’t work. "Nonsense is the point. [Saying] 2+2=5 is the tactic to put us on the back foot.” 

He quotes C.S. Lewis, “A man can’t be always defending the truth; there must be a time to feed on it,” and suggests that, while you won’t argue the Woke out of their wokeness, the way to shake them out of it, is to "offer people something truer and better.” Now that is something that Mad Christians can help with!

Only Illuminati Need Apply
Your Reaction Highlights

Gio | He Is Risen 🌿🍞🍷✝️✨💜💙⛪️ Gio | He Is Risen 🌿🍞🍷✝️✨💜💙⛪️
View on Twitter

An old one, but a great presentation by @revfisk! #IssuesEtcConference 1092. The Church’s Response to Postmodernism…

3 See Gionosai's other Tweets

Rev. Fisk - you may get to this in your past SMChill, which I'm still listening to, but I wanted to pass on a concern for you: the fact that vaccines increasingly are developed using cell lines from aborted fetuses, and that the 3 front runners in the US for COVID-19 vaccination all use that technology. Below is a document I have used for various purposes (for a letter to my congressperson, an email to my base chaplain etc). It's got reference links at the bottom, because without references one might think I was making things up. People are getting spun up about the wrong stuff, masks encroaching on civil liberties etc; where is the pro-life moral disgust directed at this completely unnecessary approach to vaccine development?

Little Bird

I recently learned that some vaccines are developed using fetal cell lines (see reference 1). These cell lines are from aborted fetuses from the 1960’s through the 1980’s, which are still in use (2, 10). If you had told me this 2 months ago, I might have dismissed the idea as ridiculous anti-science, anti-vaccine fear mongering. I wish it were so. A very simple internet search to reputable websites supports this claim as rock-solid (2, 3 – 5, 10). When I discovered this, I started doing more investigation online; I did my best to consult reputable and objective sources, and I believe all of the information is correct and current. As a pro-life Christian, I am personally morally disgusted by this fact.

Unlike other ingredients on vaccine labels, fetal cell lines are labeled with sterile and mysterious nomenclature like “MRC–5” and “WI–38” (2, 3). Once that information is known, a quick review of vaccines in common use reveals a trend: recent vaccines are very likely to use fetal cell lines in their development (5). The 2018 Varicella (chicken pox), the 2019 Zoster (shingles) and the 2020 versions of MMRV, MMR, and Varicella vaccines, all contain human fetal cell lines in their ingredient lists (5).

The race for an effective COVID-19 vaccine started months ago. Operation Warp Speed is the public-private partnership overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services (6). DOD is currently supporting vaccine development by AstraZeneca at the University of Oxford, by Moderna and by Janssen (9, 6). The AstraZeneca vaccine uses HEK-293, human embryonic kidney cells from female fetus aborted in the 1970’s (7, 8, 10). The Moderna vaccine also involved use of HEK-293, while Janssen developed their vaccine using the fetal cell line PER.C6, a fetal retinal cell line from a male fetus aborted in 1985 (10). While other COVID-19 vaccines being developed internationally use other technology not reliant on aborted fetuses (10), it appears that all of the vaccines supported by DOD do involve aborted fetuses in their development.

The military has a vested interest in a vaccinated force – a vaccinated force is one protected from a host of preventable diseases (11). A force protected from disease is a ready force, one which can engage in core military missions unimpeded by illness. The flu vaccine is required annually for active duty members; it’s part of the normal tempo of each year for a military member. It is not optional (12). The same DOD Instruction requiring the flu vaccine includes strong language about “pandemic” vaccinations as well (12). I know that there is a vaccination exemption process for active duty military, based either upon medical or administrative (e.g., religious) concerns (13). I have never used this process for myself, but as I read about it, it appears that approval of that exemption is service-specific and requires determination by the chain of command. Therefore it is still possible that I could be ordered to receive this vaccine.

There are many people who would share my concern. A 2018 Gallup poll showed 51% of women and 46% of men to identify as “pro-life” (12). Presumably there are comparable percentages present in the US Armed Forces. People sharing these beliefs would be faced with a similar dilemma, where receiving a vaccine becomes an ethical concern. Additionally, there is a segment of the US opposed to vaccines for a variety of reasons; a review of vaccine trends in the US reports 20 – 25% of Americans have concerns about the safety or effectiveness of vaccines (15). Already, only half of Americans plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is publically available (16). The CDC is fighting a battle with those who oppose vaccines; a stated goal of a recent CDC campaign is to increase vaccine confidence among Americans, apparently based upon concerning trends (17).

I am not anti-vaccine. I strongly believe that vaccines are safe and effective in preventing or minimizing the incidence of disease; and that as such, they are essential for both national health and national security. However, I am concerned that the combination of vaccine hesitancy in the US; the newness of the COVID-19 vaccine; and ethical concerns regarding the use of fetal cells in the production of the vaccine, will result in at the very least administrative delay in getting a significant percentage of US military members vaccinated. At worst, we will see religious liberties pitted against military requirements at a time when civil liberties of all kinds have already been curtailed and restricted. The end result will NOT be the rapid protection of the force, but instead administrative delays, bad press, and risk to military assets and mission sets.

Reference links
1) (accessed 21 June 2020)
2) (accessed 21 June 2020)
3) (accessed 21 June 2020)
4) (accessed 21 June 2020)
5) (accessed 21 June 2020)
6) (accessed 21 June 2020)
7) (accessed 21 June 2020)
8) (accessed 21 June 2020)
9) AF COVID-19 Clin Ops Slides 11 Aug Final, presented 11 Aug, emailed 13 Aug (slide 9)
10) (accessed 13 Aug)
11) (accessed 21 June 2020)
12) (accessed 21 June 2020)
13) (accessed 21 June 2020)
14) (accessed 21 June 2020)
15) (accessed 21 June 2020)
16) (accessed 21 June 2020)
17) (accessed 21 June 2020)

Promo of Friends

In the words of Rev. Fisk:
Koontz is on 🔥

Watch this awesome sermon that the good Rev. Dr. Prof. Kootz delivered in chapel at CTSFW or listen as a podcast. If you just can't get enough of Koontz (and you're already through Brief History of Power), you can also listen to him talk about his time church planting in Pennsylvania in this video interview.


🏫 Gotta laugh or you'll cry: back to school or not?

🥼 Invisibility just got a bit closer. Well, at least for the military.

💈 The NBA has appointed 6 official barbers to work in a COVID “bubble."

💾 Some 747’s still operate using floppy disks. But you needn’t be alarmed!

🇯🇵 Tokyo is experimenting with transparent public restrooms (they do go opaque once you lock the door).

Sweetness You May Have Missed
This Week Preached

The Mark of Cain

Podcast Release

Brief History of Power:
Viva Le Caesar! Viva Revolution!

youtube twitter facebook instagram amazon website

4881 Kilburn Ave.
Rockford, Illinois 61101 USA

facebook twitter

Let us pray:  Almighty God, whom to know is everlasting life, grant us to know Your Son, Jesus, to be the way, the truth, and the life that we may boldly confess Him to be the Christ and steadfastly walk in the way that leads to life eternal; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.