‘A Sobering Thought’ (2018)

Image result for images of angry protesters

Look at the passion poured out–for abortion. Who wants to get into a debate with these wackos?

We are given different spiritual gifts. Life would get kind of boring if we were all the same.

I have not been given the gift of verbally fencing with atheists and enjoying it. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, excelled at it–and he did it without making anybody angry. Now that’s a gift. My friend and mentor at Chalcedon, Martin Selbrede, has it. But I don’t.

A Sobering Thought

So I once confessed that I had no desire to debate, and what that did was provoke a blizzard of angry comments from atheists, most of which had to be deleted.

They would have you believe they’re a mighty multitude: that they are the mainstream and Christians this weird little minority whose only function is to annoy them. Being in tight with teachers’ unions and Hollywood gives them a lot of high cards to play with. I was going to say “trump cards,” but that would only get them mad.

‘Healing the Damage Caused by Bad Theology’ (Martin Selbrede)

Martin Selbrede | heroinamerica

“We’re only passing through… The world is not my home… Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world…”

We’ve all heard the excuses: the bad theology that justifies Christian inaction, impotence, and irrelevance. We know all the cliches. Polishing the brass on the sinking ship, etc. City of God vs. City of Man. The result is a “retreatist theology” and a Christian, most likely a Protestant, “constantly ready to flee.”

Martin Selbrede finds a corrective in the work of Cornelius van der Waal, who died in 1980. In The World, Our Home, van der Waal analyzed all the bad theology–“surrender theology”–that has seeped into Christian churches since the Reformation.


We are not called to hand the whole shooting match over to the devil and his servants! We are called to fulfill the Great Commission, to win ground for Christ’s Kingdom–we are called not to mourn, not to cower in the pews, but to work.

Over and over against we are called upon to straighten out the bad theology and put our churches back on course. Our home is the world: that’s why God put us there. The earth is the LORD’s. And we are His servants and His stewards.

Why that should be so hard to remember… well, I don’t know.

The Two Roads to Destruction

Martin Selbrede | heroinamerica

This new essay by Martin Selbrede is about a conflict that can only be resolved by following God’s word–the tension between “the one and the many.”


Simply put, if “the one” prevails, you wind up with tyranny–and a loss of meaning in  all but the mushiest and most useless sense. But if “the many” prevail against the one, you wind up with anarchy (leading eventually, as it always does, to a dictatorship) and the cult of Me. It is the continual tension between social order and individual liberty.

Both must be limited: but only the Bible teaches that.

There is no hope for us in following only humanistic, statist prescriptions for order and justice. These always strand us in our state of Original Sin.

This is a challenging essay, but stay with it. That little light bulb over your head might come on.

Why Is Government So Awful?

Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore – CBS Boston

Dr. Punyamurtala Kishore

Providence! I was musing on this question–how does government get to be so awful, that it actively abuses its citizens and favors their enemies?–when it occurred to me that I’d forgotten to post Martin Selbrede’s article, He Fought the Good Fight, from the Chalcedon website.


Dr. Punyamurtala Kishore was persecuted and imprisoned because his sobriety-based approach to treating opioid addiction was much more successful than the conventional more-drugs-to-treat-drugs approach. For his success, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sought to destroy him.

Dr. Kishore died earlier this summer.

Although they took away his freedom, they couldn’t stop other states from embracing Dr. Kishore’s model and successfully applying it.

But to come to Martin’s point:

Isaiah 57:1-2, The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.

By contrast, the closing verses of Isaiah 56 describe the sloth, the ignorance, the carelessness, and the folly of leaders, false shepherds, who wouldn’t know a righteous man if they tripped over him.

Government gets awful as it grows to be more and more dominated by self-absorbed, foolish, ignorant, careless, shallow, venal, greedy, crooked leaders. Political science courses never explained it, but Scripture surely does. It gets to be that the leaders will persecute any righteous men or women in their midst–if they’re aware of them at all.

Dr. Punyamurtala Kishore, servant of God, benefactor of the public–well done, thou good and faithful servant! Well done.

Our First ‘Dr. Kishore’ Article

2 with Cape ties face Medicaid fraud charges - z* Breaking News Updates -  capecodtimes.com - Hyannis, MA

Dr. Punyamurtala Kishore, persecuted hero

This is the first of Martin Selbrede’s 18 articles on the pioneering addiction treatment work of Dr. Punyamurtala Kishore and his persecution at the hands of Massachusetts medical and law enforcement authorities.


Once they’d successfully “demonized [him] as a monster,” the authorities set about discrediting Dr. Kishore’s character, ruining him financially, and finally packing him off to prison.

His crime: finding a better way to treat opioid addiction instead of just replacing one addictive drug with another.

These are long articles, but they’re important. With opioid addiction claiming thousands of victims all over the country, Dr. Kishore’s sobriety-based approach produced far better results than what the medical establishment had to offer–and for this he was severely punished.

All 18 articles are available at http://www.chalcedon.edu/ .

We Have Lost Another Saint

Dr. Kishore (L) with Martin Selbrede

Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore, whose pioneering work in the treatment of opioid addiction set new records for effectiveness–yet landed him in prison–has died.

Our Chalcedon print magazine, Faith for All of Life, ran 18 articles about him by Martin Selbrede, starting in 2014. All 18 are available at http://www.chalcedon.edu/ .

Dr. Kishore, frustrated by the ineffectiveness of the medical establishment’s approach–replacing one addictive drug with another–came up with a sobriety-based treatment program instead. It worked. At least, it worked much better than the old way. And they couldn’t forgive him for that.

Dr. Kishore sacrificed his good name, his livelihood, and his freedom for his patients. He fell ill in April of this year and died on June 20. A movie about his life and work is in post-production.

We don’t know how many lives Dr. Kishore saved. We wish he could have lived to see his methods adopted in all 50 states (several have already done so) and his work publicly vindicated.

For the details of Dr. Kishore’s work and sacrifice, see Martin Selbrede’s articles on the Chalcedon website.

The Ones You’re Not Allowed to Argue With

Images From a Worldwide Protest Movement - The Atlantic

I don’t know how I missed this essay by Martin Selbrede when it came out in 2006, but I’m glad I found it and read it today, on the Chalcedon website.


In reviewing Ann Coulter’s book (Godless: The Church of Liberalism) and analyzing the subversion of the English language by those who seek to subvert the entire culture, and enslave it, Martin provides a dazzling insight relevant today. Very relevant indeed!

Leftids “win” arguments by choosing as their spokesmen persons who, by virtue of their sufferings, enjoy a moral authority which no one can question without appearing to be a heartless villain. We see it today: do you want your Marxist, racist, mischief-making cabal to prosper, and to skate right past any criticism? Do you want to make it above criticism?

Just call it “Black Lives Matter”! So anyone who dares to question it can be–and certainly will be–accused of saying “Black lives don’t matter.” All dissent, all criticism, is instantly morphed into Hate.

This is just one of the tactics leftids use to black out whole issues and remove them from discussion. In fact, they can stifle any discussion at all: unless you loudly agree with them, 100%, you are Guilty Of Hate. And if you don’t try to argue with them–well, that’s not good enough! ‘Cause “Silence Is Violence.” Everything but total submission is forbidden.

But only God is entitled to total submission. These people are playing with dynamite.

Martin’s essay is a little long, but it’s packed with meat and well worth reading. Not a word of it has gone out of date!

God’s Faithfulness Will Not Fail

Martin Selbrede: Chalcedon's Scholar

Usually I wait for Arise & Build articles to be published on Chalcedon’s website (www.chalcedon.edu/) before I comment on them, so I can provide you with a link to them. But “The Victory of Truth,” by Martin Selbrede, is too inspiring to wait for. Once it’s on the website, I’ll link to it and you can read it. But for the time being, let this suffice.

Martin’s text is Romans 3:4, “Let God be true but every man a liar.” He quotes John Murray: “[T]he unbelief of men does not bring to nought the faithfulness of God.”

What does that mean? It means that even if no one believes God’s word anymore, He will still carry out His plan. He is, after all, God.

And if we seek to enter into God’s labors as His servants, and He is pleased to accept us, that’s only an expression of love and respect on both sides of the bargain. God’s will shall yet prevail even if all of us fail Him. God is not a human general who can lose a battle because one of his subordinate commanders fails to carry out his orders.

Is this good news, or what? God has promised to put all Creation under the sovereign kingship of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ–and He will do it. All who oppose Him are merely headed for the fire.

We are not given a timetable for this. We are called upon to exercise our faith. As St. Paul put it, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Rom. 8:24-25).

Work, pray, hope–and believe!

‘Regeneration, Not Revolution’

Martin Selbrede | heroinamerica

If the problem is the human heart, all the tweaking of the “system” won’t solve any of its problems. They can only be solved if people change. Not the “system.” The people.


You’d think that would be simple enough to understand; but it’s overlaid by many centuries’ worth of serious-sounding blah-blah–unpacked by Martin Selbrede in his essay for The Chalcedon Report. There’s a lot he has to unpack, but stay with it: there is wisdom here.

The whole conception is wrong, Martin explains, because it arises from the notion that “Evil is external to us, but intrinsic to the world.” This lets man off the hook and allows him to say he’s a victim, not a perpetrator.

A bad diagnosis can only lead to a bad cure. In this fallen world, the cure most often served up to us is revolution. Burn it all down! And what we build on the rubble will be paradise!

A quote to take away: “Revolutions merely shuffle the deck using the same cards.”

That’s why they always lead to mass graves and barbed wire.

Martin’s Baby Grandson Still Fighting for Life

Newborn Holden with all the tubes and such. By God’s grace he’s hanging in there.

Please keep those prayers coming, folks, for Martin Selbrede’s baby grandson, Holden, who was born seven weeks prematurely and with a defective heart that needs surgical repairs. Here’s Martin’s update.


Holden needs three open-heart surgeries and has already had two of them–before he was even two months old. I’ve seen a picture of him without all the tubes and sensor plastered all over him–a sweet little baby with a sweet smile.

Martin, a director of the Chalcedon Foundation, has been a friend and mentor to me. I pray every day–and please join me–that the Lord will bring Holden safely through the danger and that he’ll grow up to be a good and godly man: amen.