Exemption Letter Time

The currency of fools

We were hoping that it wouldn’t have to come to this. We prayed for better. But free will is a tricky thing. Just ask Pharaoh. So, it’s Exemption Letter Time. Many of you have by now heard of someone or have been a victim of one of these scare tactics. From unelected bureaucrats, selected presidents, and power-hungry mayors and governors, religious freedom is under attack. Along with it, free will is under attack. Now, you don’t have to be religious to oppose a “vaccine”. Having your own opinion will do. Unfortunately for us, that’s a identifying characteristic of Public Enemy #1.

Exemption Letter Time

The Gold Standard returns

Our problem is not even the constant barrage of attacks and insults hurled at us. Instead, it is the feeling that we are alone in this fight. We put our hope in Amy Coney Barrett and she let us down. We put our trust in the in the Supreme Court and it just made it worse. Of course, as Christians we put our hope in God, the gold standard of Hope. But as we pray for God to work on hearts and minds, we must be active on our own. After all, we know that God is Able, but He is not in the business of forcing anyone: He’s no politician or bureaucrat. So, what are law-abiding Christian citizens to do?

The Exemption Letter

Regardless of what former NYS Governor Cuomo or the rest of the tyrants say, the United States is, above all, a nation of religious liberties. As such, people are free from religion in regards to its imposition. By the same token, people are free from government interference on its free exercise. Even if means that individuals take on more “risk” than politicians are comfortable with.

Although these rights have been etched in stone, we need to be prepared for pushback. You can always find someone that will challenge your rights. If those rights happen to be defending a Christian worldview then you’ve just become their top priority. In an effort to put forth the best offensive posture on the subject, we have drafted a sample Exemption letter. The letter below covers both the right to choose (agency) as well as religious convictions. I find it funny that the “right to choose” has such a narrow interpretation in culture these days.

Sample Exemption Letter

Above all, we are Christians. I have therefore left the introductory paragraph out. I strongly believe that each one of us will begin the letter as they best see fit. Taking into account both audience and tone is something that should be personal.

Opening statement

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, individuals have the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of religion. As part of their religious beliefs, many individuals object to vaccines. Employers are required to accommodate religious observances and practices unless doing so imposes an undue hardship on the business.

Enumerate your reasons

As a practicing Christian taking the vaccine goes against my religious beliefs for multiple reasons. The first is that the vaccine was developed from aborted fetal cell lines. It is well known that many born-again Christians are against abortion.

First reason

At this point, there is a series of Scriptures that avail themselves to our situation. I have included a handful. Obviously the list is not exhaustive. We could probably use the whole Word as reference and not be wrong.

The Bible states:

Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.

Psalm 139:13-16 “13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Proverbs 6:16-17 “16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood”

Job 31:15 “15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?”

I believe in the Bible. I believe the Bible is the Word of God and therefore carries the authority of God. His Word says that God forms babies in the womb. God has a plan and a purpose for their lives. Aborting a baby in the womb is murder. It is taking away another human’s life and is a sin. Taking the vaccine created from tests on aborted fetal cell lines goes against my religion. It is the product of abortion which is a sin. Since I will not give my assent to any abortion, I will not give my assent to whatsoever research may come of such sinful acts.

Second reason

In addition, my second reason has to do with free will. The Bible says that man has free will. We have the right to decide what medication and vaccinations that we can take.

The Bible says:

Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Genesis 3:22 “And the Lord God said, “Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and bad, what if he should stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever!”

Humans are made in the image of God. They endowed with the same mental capacities as our Creator. Therefore I can think for myself and make my own decisions. Genesis 3:22 explains how I have the ability to choose what is good and bad. I have the right to exercise my free will that was granted to me by God.

Therefore, I will use my free will to reject the vaccine. I have numerous concerns about the vaccine. One important concern is that there is no research on the long-term effects of the vaccine. Many people I know have gotten Covid after taking the vaccine. Others, unfortunately, died within days of getting a dose. Although this doesn’t prove causality, it makes me doubt its effectiveness. In addition, there is very little research done on how the vaccine affects fertility.

Always link it back

The Bible says:

Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea,”

I do not want to partake in any vaccine that could jeopardize my ability to reproduce and have babies which is something God has called me to do.

In Matthew 9:22 “Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.”

The clincher

This is the part of the letter where you apply these Scriptures to your individual case. You have to show that the reasons you have listed are an integral part of your life. The exemption letter is not a formality. If it were a formality the whole country would file an exemption. Having to explain yourself a bit, I feel, is a good thing. A religious exemption is exactly that: for religious people. We are not here trying to “work the system”. We truly believe what we are claiming and a few lines as to why we believe them is a great opportunity to share your faith with your supervisors.

1 Peter 3:15

I have faith in the body that God gave me to fight Covid. I have had covid and recovered within days. Since I recovered on my own from a disease that has a 99% survival rate taking the vaccine is useless for me. In addition, taking the vaccine would express lack of faith in my God-given immune system.

I want to do my part to keep everyone safe which is why I am willing to wear my mask and take Covid tests upon request. This way, my health status will not be the concern of anyone around me. If there this the option to work remotely I would also be willing to work from home. I know that some parents are requesting that school offer a remote option. I gladly volunteer if such an opportunity presents itself. This would be a win-win solution.

The past year I have been able to work remotely/with a mask and was very successful. I believe that this would be the best solution to protect my religious freedom and keep my fellow employees safe.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and considering my religious exemption request.

Sincerely,

Wrapping it up

The exemption letter above is not meant to be the exhaustive. I built it around what I do for a living. I teach. The letter is modular, interchangeable, and fluid. Please feel free to use as you see fit. Please cut and paste what you like and leave comments with your own versions. I would love to be able to share them with everyone.

Doctrines of demons

There are lies, dammed lies and doctrines of demons

Pearl of great Price – Part 2

Mark Twain once said, “there are lies, dammed lies, and then there are statistics”. Unfortunately for all us, Mr. Clemens was wrong. When it comes to manipulating truth there is something that is more dangerous than statistics. Doctrines of demons.

Last time, we talked about the pearl of great price. That is what Jesus compared finding the Kingdom of Heaven (Mat 13:46) to. The parable tells us that for the person that finds this pearl would willingly make any trade necessary to own the pearl. The pearl not only represent the Kingdom but also represents Truth. Like the pearl of great price the Truth today is nearly impossible to find. On the other hand, doctrines of demons are readily available anywhere you look.

Versions of the “truth”

One of the difficulties that we encounter today is that there seems to be multiple versions of the facts. Even as I write this there are people out there disagreeing on simple facts. This can range from the current debate on the origins of the Covid-19 virus to whether Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon to the more tragic holocaust deniers. If you ask around you’ll find people that don’t tie the Chinese government to the covid outbreak in any way, don’t believe we landed on the Moon and have never heard of or don’t believe the “official” holocaust story.

Start with distortions

Now, you might think, “people are people and they come in all shades and shapes and sizes and opinions”. If that were the only thing at stake it wouldn’t matter to anyone. However, the truth is much more sinister. The different versions of the “truth” are necessary to the distortion of the Truth; having a binary conversation between up or down, left or right, right or wrong is much more effective for the purposes of distortion when there are many “shades of truth”.

Distortions the easiest ways to get rid of the truth. Simply take the actual truth and run countless different strains of it. With each version having a very miniscule variation in it, everyone will believe that their version is true to the original. However, once these ideas meet in the open “market place”, confusion is the only logical result. With so many versions available, not only will people question the truthfulness of other people’s versions but eventually question their own.

Add gradualism

Nowhere is this more apparent in society than the subject of sexuality. Just 50 years ago, terms like “deviant” were commonplace in sociology literature when discussing homosexual tendencies. It was an insult on the part of the sociologists as much as it was a way to describe the behavior: a deviation from the norm. It’s hard to imagine that it only took less than a generation to get to where we are right now.

Terms like “non-binary”, “fluidity”, and “seeking” are commonplace and it has reached epidemic levels in our schools. Unlike “deviant”, the new terms are neither meant to explain, describe nor inform. Quite the opposite. They are chosen by the demons in charge to create the greatest of gray areas, where the largest possible number of souls can commit themselves to a lost eternity. Such terminology makes it possible for 8 billion people on the planet to have different points of view on something that has been established by our nature for millennia.

Exhibit A

There is no better example of this than television. When HBO first came on the scene, it was mostly a place where you could find movies that had recently been in the theaters that had not yet made their way to “rabbit ear antenna” tv. The same television service is now filled with movies that could quite easily pass off as pornography. The fact that modern homes have multiple televisions where adults and children are not usually watching in the same room makes for the distribution of this material even more prolific among children than ever.

Not subtle enough

As we mentioned before, society didn’t arrive here over night. It was a slow, constant, intentional march in this direction. If you’ve ever read the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, you’ll know what I mean. You may hear people talk about a “swinging pendulum” and how it was worse when they were young. I don’t argue that the wild public orgies of the sexual revolution seem like a thing of the past. However, the spirit of that “godless freedom” remained in society even after the public orgies went back into the closet (for the most part).

When truth can be made distorted so easily and gradually enough to avoid detection, the points of view and perspectives multiply. Soon, the sheer plurality makes the search for truth no longer a sensible goal. In such a situation it is easier to seek consensus and compromise, preferably with a total absence of truth of any kind. As far as doctrines go, relativism is among the preferred by demons.

Relativism

With objective Truth defanged by 8 billion distortions of lesser value and the meaning of Truth buried by the gradual crossbreeding of the Truth, dilution of the Truth the result. But the goal can only be relativism. Since the Truth is so strongly diluted, it must mean that there is no truth. Better yet. It is all true.

Suddenly, everyone with an opinion is a Master of the Universe in the making. Over-confident and under-educated he is civil society’s worst nightmare. You cannot argue with this modern man. He knows it all: “God is dead… and we have killed him”, he’ll chant, thinking it came from some modern rock song.

This homo-modernus has finally met a god he can live with: himself. He is all-knowing. He is also petty, cruel, proud, and a scoffer of things about his paygrade. He’s given to fits of murderous rage, drug-induced psychotic episodes, and a freedom of libido without precedent. This modern man looks more like the ancient Greek gods every day.

Why are you telling me this?

Great question. Because that description can fit just as easily in the church as it does outside. We have let distortions, ever-so-minute, crawl into the Church. We have let these distortions fester and multiply and become a confusing Gordian knot. Since such things are better left untangled, we have decided to look the other way. After all, confronting some of these issues may affect church attendance and the all-important one as well: giving.

Gradually, left unchecked, these ideas and doctrines of demons, take on a life of their own. Well-intentioned churches and pastors and congregations conclude its better to compromise than to deal with the consequences. Don’t believe me? Have a conversation about politics with your pastor. See how long that friendship survives that encounter.

I need more

Still not convinced? Here’s proof. The State of California is home to the most and largest and biggest and wealthiest congregations in the country. Yet, their elected officials seem to take their policy directives directly from doctrines of demons. With abortions and late-term abortions and late-late-term abortions you would have to think that these super-mega-churches have no political clout whatsoever nor do any congregants vote. They had Reagan as governor with no mega churches but Newsom as governor with the mega churches. You see the irony there?

Doctrines of demons?

Ok. So now you’re on board but still think that calling them doctrines of demons is a stretch. After all, we’re all still Christians. Good point. So let’s see what the Word has to say on the subject.

1Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, 2through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. 3They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.

Yup. Doctrines of demons!

At this point it might be worthwhile to make a list of the doctrines of demons that Paul identifies for Timothy. Some are more plain to see than others. The low-lying fruit is probably “legalism”. Don’t touch that, can’t drink this, don’t sit there, say it like that. It reminds me of the scene in Devil’s Advocate: “touch but don’t taste; taste but don’t chew; chew but don’t swallow”. Legalism is at opioid-epidemic crisis levels in our churches. The same people saved by Grace live under the Law. They tithe as foreigners rather than enter the throne-room as sons. With so little understanding of what actually took place on their behalf, they believe the New Testament but practice the Old. Perhaps it’s some kind of insurance policy that I don’t know about.

Forbidding Marriage

Where have I seen this before? Who forbids marriage? It’ll come to me. Not only do these peddlers of demonic doctrines adhere to legalistic practices that no longer apply to Christians, they even invent new ones. Furthermore, marriage is the first institution that God created. Its so important to Him, He set it up in the Garden. In the beginning. So what’s a demonic doctrine to do? Deny, deny, deny! Deny God and His institutions; deny God and the goodness of His Creation.

Fishy Fridays

Forbidding marriage and requiring abstinence from certain foods is only the most apparent of their fruits. If eunuch priests and not eating meat on Fridays were the Church’s greatest physical concerns, we would be in a much better place. No. Their deception goes much deeper than that. In his letter to Timothy, Paul described them as liars, hypocrites and having a seared conscience.

Jesus in fact has some very choice words for those who preach and practice such lies. Jesus calls the Devil the “father of lies”. He also calls those that practice deceit the children of the Devil (John 8:44). Lies are their native language, their nature. The Devil, his demons and those that practice his lifestyle can only teach deceptive doctrines. The Devil was a denier from the Beginning. These preachers of demonic doctrines have all the outside showings of godliness but deny its power.

And so many more

But beyond sex and food, what other doctrines are demonic? It comes down to this: anything that man does to add to the sufficiency of the work that Jesus Christ fully accomplished on the cross is a doctrine of demons. Whether it’s the need to speak in tongues to be saved, to only being allowed to worship on Saturdays, to praying for the salvation of the dead and so much more, demons are and have always been active in adding human work to the finished work of the Cross.

God: fickle,  petty, and weak

The “little foxes” are usually the ones that destroy the grape harvest (Songs of Sol. 2:15-17). When we think of doctrines of demons, we picture some openly unbiblical statement that “anyone” could plainly recognize. Unfortunately, demons have been working on this for a long time and their technique has been refined.  Things like “God will heal you in His own good time”. This distortion of the character of God points people back to legalism where they are looking to check off items from a list of “to-do’s”. Healing that is dependent on you might as well be dependent on your pet. This doctrine teaches that Jesus’ death covered sins only. Your bodily healing is contingent on how well you jump through some hoops.

How many times were you told that if you don’t tithe “you are robbing God” (Malachi 3:8)? Imagine a human that is able to rob God. And yet, we are constantly told that we don’t receive because we don’t give. Somehow, God is keeping track of our finances and He will only give to us when we’ve reached our minimum required. Just like an earthly father, I guess.

God deniers

Further still, there are doctrines that deny the deity of Jesus altogether. There are sects that describe Him as “a son of God”; you know which ones those are. Then there are entire religions based on the belief that Jesus was only a prophet. Islam, by definition, is a doctrine of demons. It denies the virgin birth, the death on the Cross and the resurrection. And this doesn’t just apply to Islam. In fact, any person, group or religion  who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh (2 John 1:7) is a liar. And since, as we said before, the Devil is the father of lies anyone who denies Jesus in the flesh is a child of the Devil.

Let my people think

I know it sounds harsh. We all have those friends out there. So, I would encourage you to take this as your notice. You have been served. Make sure you preach to your friends and family members that do not recognize or deny Jesus “come in the flesh”. No three-point sermon needed. A few words here and there and a life well-lived will do. But should the opportunity present itself, be ready to give the reason for your hope.

Pearl of great price – Part 1

Opinions are like belly buttons: everyone’s got one. Interestingly enough, many of them are hard to stomach. Luckily, doctrines are less common. Unfortunately, even demons have those. The proof of that multiplies around us daily. On the other hand, like a pearl of great price (Mat 13:36), Truth is hard to find and worth any trade you would have to make to obtain it.

Identifying hidden value

Think about your most prized possession. Consider how much it cost you to get it. Now add to it everything it has cost to keep it, maintain it, safeguard it, update it and whatever else you’ve had to do to ensure it is preserved. For some it might be a family heirloom, a Babe Ruth rookie baseball card, Rembrandt original or luxury car. As with any luxury item, the sticker price is never the end.

Recognizing Pearl divers

For example, Ferrari has rules that not only employees but also owners must abide by. These rules range from “no pink Ferraris” to “no owners under 40” as well as “cannot own any Lamborghinis” and many others. Apparently Mr. Ferrari considers his family legacy a pearl of great price! To him, owning a piece of that legacy requires maturity in the form of minimum age, sensibility in terms of color scheme as well as loyalty to the the Ferrari brand.

Pearls of great farce

Not everything that is held in high esteem is by definition of great value. Opinions are among such things. In the era of fake news opinions are just as good as facts. If repeated enough, it doesn’t take long for someone to come along and peddle them as Gospel Truth. Even beyond current events, recent history is full of them. Not loo long ago, the European Union destroyed the beef industry for its domestic farmers. The claim was that BSE (Mad Cow Disease) was rampant in the bovine population and would eventually decimate Europe. As recent as 2017, I tried giving blood in a local blood drive. My years of living in Europe made me ineligible to give blood. The concern, again, was the spread of the disease in America.

Pearly Pyrite

To be clear, the loss of life is never trivial. Nonetheless, when the opinions of “experts” overrule common sense, you can always expect the worse. Whether it’s Mad Cow Disease, the Swine Flu pandemic or any other reiteration, you can always count on an overrated opinion masquerading as a pearl of great price. Under such guise, the “pearl seller” will be able to get almost any amount out of the buyer (meaning the general public).

You may ask, “what did they get from us in exchange”? Great question! For starters, they get your consent to continue peddling. As this implicit consent builds on itself, it becomes assent. “Assent” is above consent. While consent is your permission for something, assent on the other hand is your agreeing to something. Once “people agree”, dissent can be rooted out. Dissent is a fancy term for disagreeing. Since “everyone agrees”, those who don’t find themselves on the outside. They are now either pressured or coerced to agree or they are further marginalized. The end result is still the same: a lofty opinion sits in the place of Truth (2 Cor 10:5).

So what?

Although many of us might not necessarily care what others “believe”, these things still have a profound effect on our lives. The reason is this. What is one thing that is coveted more than money? You guessed it. Power! In the same way that companies want to shape public opinion to guide customers’ dollars to their products, there are those who want to mold public opinion for other purposes. Although they may not be selling a “product”, they are selling you something nonetheless. I believe the original quote goes back to Zig Ziglar. Your consent is not coveted to make your life better. It is being sought out to better sell you.

If you can't tell what the product is, stand closer to the mirror Share on X

I need proof

At this point, proof is a very reasonable request. If I were buying a pearl of great price, I would want an assayer to evaluate it for me. Since proof is so readily available, we will give it in a timeline format. However, since it is impossible to Google Anthony Fauci’s lies I had to use a different search engine. Apparently that information is not available on Google.

January 21st.:”Coronavirus is not a threat to people in the United States”.

January 26th: “Risk of Coronavirus in the USA is a ‘miniscule‘; skip mask and wash hands”.

We could go on for days but why bother. These two are so different from the ” experts’ ” current advice to beg incredulity. In fact, right now you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t remember getting that advice”! Don’t worry. There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just because this story have more versions than an iPhone. How else can they have gone from “skip the mask” to needing a “3rd booster shot”. And who did this most recent advice come from? That’s right! Fauci. It is astounding the ease with which this man’s plainly stated and self-identified opinions are welcomed as pearls or great price. While lies being peddled so easily it is difficult to tell what is doing more damage to the Church: baseless opinions or doctrine of demons.

Pearl of great device

Notwithstanding the recent brain-dead fog that has overtaken large sections of the Church, doctrines have by far done the most damage to the Body over the centuries. In Part 2, we will discuss how some of the strongest poisons ever given to the Church were fed directly from our pulpits. Paul calls them “doctrines of demons“. The name alone makes you think that no one would listen to such sermons. Unfortunately, the truth is far more painful. Finally, Part 3 will show us how the Truth is the real McCoy; this pearl of great price. The real Truth need neither pushing or peddling in any way. John Steinbeck’s Kino knew what he had found the moment he laid eye on it. As a true Believer in Jesus Christ, so should you.