Should we obey governments that are bad? Robert Jeffress says Yes

 Jeffress: God gives Trump authority to take out Kim
Robert Jeffress

Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisers, released a statement Tuesday saying the president has the moral authority to “take out” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “When it comes to how we should deal with evildoers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil,” Jeffress said. “In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.” Jeffress said in a phone interview that he was prompted to make the statement after Trump said that if North Korea’s threats to the United States continue, Pyongyang will be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” The biblical passage Romans 13 gives the government authority to deal with evildoers, Jeffress said. “That gives the government the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong Un,” he said. Jeffress knows his comments on North Korea could be considered controversial, even among fellow evangelicals. “Some Christians, perhaps younger Christians, have to think this through,” he said. “It’s antithetical to some of the mushy rhetoric you hear from some circles today. Frankly, it’s because they are not well taught in the scriptures.”                                        From Dallas Morning News 8/9/17  by SARAH PULLIAM BAILEY, THE WASHINGTON POST

Is Jeffress right? Are we obligated to follow Hitler or Stalin or Putin?

Should we obey governments that are bad?
Matt Slick

Romans 13:1 says, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” If this is so, what about the bad governments like the Nazis or the Communist regimes where they killed millions?  If God is the one who sets up governments, are we supposed to obey those bad governments? The answer is no. We are to obey governments unless they violate Scripture.  Acts 5:29 says, “We must obey God rather than men.” Whenever a government violates biblical teaching, Christians are obligated to disobey that government.  For example, if a government were to declare that we should kill all Asians, or immigrants, or people with Down’s syndrome, we should disobey.  Governments are run by people and often become corrupt.  Furthermore, the Bible never tells us to obey governments in contradiction to the revealed word of God. In the Old Testament, God sent the Israelites to destroy different nations.  Technically speaking, we could say that God set up those various governmental systems that he told the Israelites to destroy.  But when systems become ungodly and anti-Christian, they are no longer properly representing God and should not be obeyed. Are we seeing a conflict or a contradiction?  Not at all.   Let’s take, for example, Exodus 20, where we see two commandments: obey your parents and do not murder.  We can see that our parents are the authorities above us, even as governments are, and we should obey them.  But, what should we do it our parents tell us to murder someone? Should we obey?  Of course not.  Obedience to our parents is only proper when it’s consistent with the rest of the Scriptures.  Likewise, submission to the governmental systems is only proper when it is consistent with Scripture. Finally, let’s look at Rom. 13:6-7, “For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”Notice that Paul says that the rulers are servants of God.  This is the context of the submission that is mentioned at the beginning of the chapter.  If these rulers are no longer servants of God, and if they contradict Scripture, they are not to be obeyed.

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.


Westminster Confession of the Presbyterian Church Chapter 20





“Stuck in the sandbox, you must play with the toys you have.”


Jon Michael Hill plays Moses and Ryan Hallahan plays Mister in Antoinette Nwandu’s “Pass Over” at Steppenwolf Theatre. (Photo Michael Brosilow)

My friend Lance Sterling sent me this recent musing on the Sun-Times review of the play Pass Over. The Chicago Sun-Times critic has caught a lot of grief for it. Click the link below to read the review.

Pass Over review by Hedy Weiss

Lance’s response

Recently, Hedy Weiss,the famous theater critic for the Chicago – Sun – Times, wrote that we need to avoid white cop stereotyping and pay more attention to black on black violence. The reaction to her veiled racism was swift and brutal. I am one who reacted.

While it is true that there is far more black on black crime than white cop on black citizen crime, the second is more insidious than the first. Blacks kill one another for social reasons not racial ones. Stuffed in the ghettos that whites have created for them, blacks fight with one another over limited resources, like dispossessed people everywhere do. They indulge in life – and – death disputes over drugs, over turf, over illegal business deals, over supremacy (elsewhere called “market share”), over power. There aren’t many other options, but one black has never killed another black because he was a nigger.

White cops do that. And white juries generally acquit them, despite videos and eyewitness accounts. Not surprisingly, white juries convict blacks of all crimes in disproportionate numbers. Surely there is a commentary in the fact that almost half of this country’s 2.3 million prisoners are black. Something is amiss, and blacks know from an early age exactly what it is. Like our president pointed out, “The system is rigged,” just not in ways he supposed.

When blacks kill blacks for the reasons suggested above, they are behaving like any nation state, like America. Largely segregated among themselves into enclaves, blacks quarrel over the usual issues, all related to power. Like America, they want more power. As the Mafia says, “It’s business.” But it’s not discrimination. It’s trade and economic superiority and jobs, all the causes America fights for. When Trump says he is going “to make America great again,” whites applaud the very objective they dislike in blacks. If blacks had oil, they would be fighting over it. They have drugs and other cultural flotsam, so that is their casus belli. Stuck in the sandbox, you must play with the toys you have.

This problem will be cured when blacks are, if ever, fully integrated into white society. Blacks will compete like whites, equally ruthless but in a more socially approved manner, cutting throats figuratively, not literally. But make no mistake: Their cause is a racial matter. When the white community gets rid of its sense of racial superiority, social equality will follow. Enfranchised, blacks will no longer have a reason to quarrel among themselves. They will compete in the larger society and embrace the methods and tools of that society, as conniving as whites but in a way that whites recognize and approve of. And white cops won’t shoot blacks any more than others. I don’t want to paint too rosy a Pollyanna picture. Cops will always be cops. Like all people with power, they will always be bullies, always except (sic) graft and kickbacks, always shake people down and extort, always use excessive force, and always gorge on doughnuts. But when society stops discriminating against blacks, cops will too.

Statistics will reflect this equality like they now reflect inequality. Blacks constitute about 12% of the population so they should represent roughly 12% of most statistics. We will know progress is being made when our prison population is 12% black instead of 48%; when black drug convictions are 12% of the total drug convictions instead of 80%; when 12% of CEO’s are black; when 12% of those in the top economic 1% are black; when 12% of doctors, lawyers, university professors, and PhD’s are black; and when only 12% of ghetto dwellers are black. At present, none of these statistics applies, which is why black lives don’t matter. Statistics will tell us when they do matter to whites. And at that point, blacks and cops will stop killing blacks.

Lance Sterling



A message to Pete Sessions about Planned Parenthood

In front of Pete Sessions’ Washington office in April 2017


From Congressman Pete Sessions


Dear Dr. David Anderson Haymes,

Thank you for contacting me in support of women’s health services. I appreciate you taking the time to express your thoughts on this deeply personal issue.

Providing access to free and low-cost healthcare is an important part of our healthcare system, particularly in many areas of Texas. Through the Title X Family Planning Program, Congress provides federal funding to millions of low-income women for critically important healthcare services. This funding is a necessity for many of these providers and clinics to keep their doors open. I fully support the funding of more than 13,000 federally-qualified community health centers, which outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics 20 to 1 nationally. These clinics provide not only low-cost access to healthcare for women, but men and children as well.

As you know, policy related to federal funding of abortion is a fundamentally and historically controversial topic. Federal dollars have not been spent on abortions since the first passage of the Hyde Amendment in 1976. I believe that current law should remain intact to protect taxpayers from having their dollars spent on services that violate their moral values.

Again, thank you again for contacting me regarding access to women’s health services. Please continue to keep me updated on the issues that matter to you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

Pete Sessions
Member of Congress

From: David Haymes []
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 8:44 AM
To: ‘’

Subject: A reply to your letter: Planned Parenthood is not the enemy and provides services community health centers do not

Dear Congressman Sessions,

Paul Ryan got 2 Pinocchios for making the same claim you make. The community health centers are not required to see the indigent or offer family planning. The need for Planned Parenthood exists and as you say no Federal funds are used for  abortion services, that account for less than 3% of Planned Parenthood Services. This is a diverse country. Planned Parenthood is not a threat to you or your constituents. Let it rest and get on to bigger issues – taxes, infrastructure, Russian meddling, gerrymandering, healthcare, and our bloated military budget.

David Haymes M.D.

click below to see Ryan’s statements

Ryan disingenuous on Planned Parenthood

From Congressman Pete Sessions

Thank you for replying. Unfortunately, the mailbox ( you are responding to does not accept incoming mail.

Too bad. You should open ALL avenues for your constituents to contact you. You should attend the mail box you send from…so you can “LISTEN” to your constituents.

Evangelina’s braids

Two braids made Cervando a Presbyterian. Back in Mexico in La Cardona near Mier y Noriega long before the revolution, as a teenager Constantino was smitten with Evangelina. He and a friend were riding through a dry riverbed one morning when he met the local priest and his companion riding in the opposite direction. As they approached, the priest said “Constantino, didn’t you have a fancy for Evangelina?” And with that he pulled two braids with blue ribbons out of his pocket and dangled them in front of Constantino. With a knowing smirk the priest replaced them in his pocket and pushed past Constantino and his friend.

Many years later when Cervando’s father, Cervando senior, asked for Maria’s hand in marriage Constantino said, “You may marry but NOT in a Catholic church!” And so they were married in Dallas at the El Divino Salvador Presbyterian Church at 1803 Payne Street between Akard and Harry Hines near what is now the American Airlines Center.

And that is how Cervando became a Presbyterian.

I will leave it to you to decide if the priest took more than Evangelina’s braids.


The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

Constantino brought his family to the United States to escape violence and persecution. As we shall see, Cervando’s mother Maria had one year of education on the family’s journey to Dallas. She married Cervando’s father who worked as a waiter at El Fenix. From that union came two children – Cervando and his younger brother Rene. A psychiatrist and an educator and political activist for social justice. Great contributors to American society.

I have no idea if Constantino crossed the Rio Grande legally or if that was even an issue a hundred years ago.

Many immigrants coming to this country are escaping terrible violence and persecution. Are we blind to this? What happened to

Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, 
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

The story of immigrant contribution to America has been repeated so often that it is remarkable that we as a society forget how common it is, choosing instead to give into our fear of “the other.” We play up the immigrant in trouble with the law, the drug smuggler, the coyote, the gang member and we demonize a whole group as undesirable because of a few.

From today’s Dallas Morning News

If we are truly the land of the free and the home of the brave, is it brave to separate children from their mother? Is it brave to deport members of our military who have run afoul of the law? Shouldn’t they pay their debt to society like the rest of us – in the US justice system?

The argument that this will “enhance public safety” is simply bogus. Studies show immigrants do not commit crimes at a greater rate than  citizens.

And how about the mother who is a legal resident but voted, I choose to believe out of ignorance rather than malice. She is sent to jail and  threatened with deportation. She is given a  longer sentence than another woman convicted of a violent crime. What is brave about that?

Are we so frightened and blind that we cannot see that compassion is an American value.

We can do better. Be fair not frightened. Compassionate not cowardly.

Fear sells but it is a hollow product that will never satisfy.











Mier y Noriega Festival of St Anthony of Padua

My Med School friend Cervando Martinez has a two building three bedroom house in Mier y Noriega with a beautiful view looking at the hills to the east. He built it several years ago for about $15,000, including the land. He had not been there since March and so on our arrival we spent an hour or two shooing off the spiders and lizards, uncovering the furniture, plugging in the refrigerator, and opening the windows. It is sparse but comfortable with running water, an indoor toilet, but a COLD SHOWER.

The 4 day festival in Mier y Noriega concludes on June 13, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua-the patron St. of lost things and of Mier y Noriega. In addition to carnival rides, food, a rodeo, and folk dancing performances there is a daily parade to the church led on one day by women, on one day by men, and on the last day by families. The festival concludes with fireworks on the evening of June 13, which in typical Mexican fashion did not occur until 1:30 AM on June 14.

Mier y Noriega and the surrounding area is where Cervando’s family originates. He has so many cousins here that we lost count. Arturo Villasana (in cowboy hat in photo) is a second cousin, meaning that he and Cervando share the same great grandfather. Their grandfathers were brothers. Arturo is a local cattle rancher and one of 22 children by one father and two mothers. Learning that, we understood where all the cousins came from!

During the repeated violence of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) Cervando’s maternal grandfather, Constantino Villasana, brought his family (including Cervando’s mother born in 1906) from the La Cardono Hacienda into Mier y Noriega. In spite of this relative safety, Mexican soldiers continue to raid the town, stealing food and horses. Each time they came Cervando’s grandfather sent his two sons into the hills to avoid their conscription into the Mexican army. To keep the soldiers from getting his horse Cervando’s grandfather hid his horse behind a large stone oven in the kitchen. Amazingly the horse remained silent and perfectly still. Cervando said this occurred many times until his grandfather tired of it and in the 1920’s the family emigrated to San Antonio; Hunter, Texas; Waco; and ultimately Dallas.

In 1901 when the above photograph was taken, Constantino and Angelina Villasana were young parents of, from left to right Rodolfo, Refugio, and Constantino II, in Mier y Noriega, Mexico. Though trained as a tailor, Constantino was a foreman on the La Cardono Hacienda of Matias Baez, one of the largest landowners in northern Mexico. By the time the revolution came, the Villasana had three other children, and the entire family was threatened by the rampaging violence. The Villasanas emigrated to Central Texas and then Dallas in 1906.

A Trip to Mier y Noriega, Mexico with Cervando Martinez M.D.

We left Dallas on Cherry’s birthday, June 8, 2017. We drove five hours to Kerrville Texas and spent the night with our friend Jan Pickett, a widowed nurse of the artist Denny Pickett. Cypress trees on the riverWe agreed to buy another one of his paintings from a style that we do not have represented in our collection.

The next day we headed to San Antonio and put our belongings in Cervando’s car and headed for Laredo. We arrived after dark and it took us four hours to cut through the red tape and get our car permit for the interior of Mexico. Cervando had neglected to get his last permit canceled and that was the hold up. It was hot but I was able to watch game four of the NBA finals on my phone, the only game Cleveland won.
We spent the night at a motel in Laredo and the next morning started our four-hour drive around Monterey and Saltillo to Matahuala and then through the town named Dr. Arroyo then to Mier y Noriega, a town of about 5000 people at about 5200 feet.

José Servando Teresa de Mier Noriega y Guerra was a Dominican priest born in Monterrey in 1765. At age 16 he entered the Dominican order in Mexico City. By the age of 27 he had a doctorate and was a noted preacher. On December 12, 1794 he was asked to give the sermon in front of the Archbishop and the Viceroy. In this sermon he alleged that the Virgin of Guadalupe (i. e. the Virgin Mary) had first appeared not in 1531 to Juan Diego but 1750 years before on the cloak of St. Thomas the apostle who had preached in the Americas after Christ’s crucifixion long before the Spanish conquest. Noriega asserted that the Aztecs had been preached to by St. Thomas and had made him their god, Quetzalcóatl.
This so incensed the Archbishop that Noriega was excommunicated and exiled to a convent in Spain, stripped of his doctoral degree, and prohibited from ever teaching, preaching, or hearing confessions . He was imprisoned several more times in Europe after escaping and in 1816 was part of the Mina expedition attempting to obtain Mexico’s independence. The Mina expedition landed in 1817 180 miles south of Brownsville, TX where they were again captured. Noriega is credited with bringing the first printing press to the New World on that expedition. He was finally elected a member of Congress in 1823 and died peacefully in Mexico City in 1827. The only memorial he got for his troubles was an obscure town in northern Mexico bearing his name. A copper statue at the town’s entry memorializes his image, his priesthood, imprisonments, and the printing press.