Christian living Politics Scripture Theology

The Lamb of God

This morning in prayer, I read John 1:29 where John the Baptist sees Jesus and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” I thought about how so many people are alarmed about recent changes in the world that I think can be characterized as an increasing manifestation of sin in the world. I don’t think that people suddenly got a lot more sinful, but that there is in an increased boldness as if certain forces are confident that now is a good time for them to come out of hiding and make their move. That is why I say there is an increasing manifestation of evil rather than an increasing evil. Regardless of how we describe it, many people of good will are alarmed at what they are seeing.

I hear a lot of talk about what should be done to combat this evil, and that is a good thing to do, but we must keep at the forefront of our thinking that it is Jesus, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. While he may call each of us to do a particular thing as partners in his work, the solution to sin in the world is his, and it was accomplished on the cross two millennia ago. Indeed, I see the current “unmasking” of evil as a prelude to a significant response by God. It may be cataclysmic, but I think it will end a growing rebellion that has been 500 years in the making. Whether this response is the final judgment or the initiation of a kind of second Christendom, I don’t know, but I think it is becoming clear that the rebellion is not sustainable.

Of course, I may be completely wrong about the timing, and a minor pendulum swing away from the present craziness might allow things to be drawn out much longer. Nonetheless, we must still look to the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world, and ask him for wisdom and strength to do our part along with him.

Philosophy Theology

The First Cause

Science finds explanations for how things work in the world. In other words, it finds causes. Each cause that is found leads to more questions because of the nature of the discovered cause is not self-explanatory. Let me illustrate with some examples.

The first example has to do with levels of explanation, which are represented by various scientific disciplines. If I want to understand how my body works, that is explained in terms of modern medicine and biology. If I want to understand why biology works the way it does, that is explained in terms of chemistry. If I want to understand the reason for the laws of chemistry, that is explained in terms of the laws of physics. So physics explains or causes the laws of chemistry, which causes the functions of biology, which explains the workings of the human body.

What is the cause of the laws of physics? While we may find more laws of physics that are more fundamental than what we currently understand, those laws will provoke more questions about why they are the way they are.

Another set of causes has to do with events. Why do I exist? The reason is because my parents conceived me. Why did they exist? The reason is their parents. We can theoretically trace a chain of causes back to the origin of life. Why and how did life begin? We don’t know right now, but we might figure that out someday, but any causes that science discovers for the origin of life would be some set of events that themselves require a cause. We can keep tracing these causes all the way back to the Big Bang. Why was there a Big Bang? Science might be able to someday determine a cause for the Big Bang, but where did that thing come from?

What do we do now? Do we say that there is an infinite regression of causes? Is it turtles all the way down? An infinite regression of causes is impossible because without a starting point, none of the causes can happen. To understand this, think about a hanging chandelier. What is holding up the chandelier? A link of chain. What is holding up the link of chain? It is a second link of chain. We can keep adding links of chain, but the chandelier will fall unless the chain is attached to something besides another chain link. We can add an infinite number of chain links, but eventually the chain must be attached to a different kind of thing that is capable of supporting the chandelier.

The causes that we can discover in our universe are like those links of chain. They are what philosophers call “contingent causes,” which mean that they are causes that come to be because of other causes. The existence of the cause is contingent on something causing its existence. To anchor this chain of causes, we need a first cause that is completely different in nature than all of the contingent causes. We need a being that is not contingent, and the term that philosophers use for this being is that it is a “necessary being.” By necessary, we mean that the nature of this being is such that it must exist. Since it must exist by nature, it does not require a cause, so that means it can be the first cause.

Such a necessary being is strange to think about because nothing in the universe is like it. It is radically different from everything else we know about, but we can reason some things about it.

First of all, this necessary being must be eternal. Since it is required to exist by its nature, it must have always existed and must continue to exist forever. There is no possibility for it not to exist. If it ever did not exist, then we would have to find a cause for how it came to exist, so it is no longer the first cause.

The second thing about this necessary being is that it cannot be made up of parts. If it was, then some other thing would be required to put it together, and now we are back to looking for more causes. Therefore, the necessary being must be simple, not composite.

The third thing about this necessary being is that it must be unchanging. It cannot develop over time because such development would require a cause, so it must be eternally perfect.

Another thing about this being is that it must be infinite in power and in scope since it is the cause of everything else.

Finally, the universe that we study is amazingly intricate and beautiful, with ordered behavior that can be described through sophisticated mathematics that can only be understood by the greatest minds of our race. It is reasonable to conclude that the cause of this universe is an even greater mind.

This reasoning is not new. The Greek philosopher Aristotle came up with similar reasoning to an unchanging first cause of everything. The medieval philosopher and theologian, Thomas Aquinas, applied Aristotle’s reasoning in a Christian context. Aquinas said that God was pure existence, and the source of all existence, but Aquinas was not the first in the Christian tradition to think of God that way. In a story that is at least 2500 year old of Moses encountering God in the burning bush, God gives Moses a mission to free the Israelite peole from slavery in Egypt. Moses is reluctant and keeps coming up with excuses why he can’t do it.

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the sons of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.'”

Exodus 3:13-14

The name that God gives for himself to Moses does not describe God as some kind of thing but as existence itself. The fundamental thing revealed about God in this passage is that he exists. This name of God gets repeated in an abbreviated form throughout the rest of the Hebrew scriptures, and the Jewish people so revered this name that they refused to pronounce it. In traditional English Bibles, this name is replaced with the Lord, but some modern translations try to render the name into English as Jehovah or Yahweh, leading some people to treat it as any kind of name like Zeus or Thor. I submit that such an understanding of God’s name misses the point of the passage.

I like to refer to this passage in Exodus because it shows that the idea of God as the foundation of existence is not some new idea invented to argue against modern atheism, but goes back to the foundations of Judaism and Christianity.

I do not claim that this post is a proof that the Christian God exists and is the creator of the universe, but I do claim that it is reasonable to conclude that there must be something that is completely different from all of the contingent things in the universe that is the first cause of everything else.

Christian living


The Headmaster at my school chooses a theme for each school year. The theme last year was “Love never fails,” which was a great thing to keep in mind while dealing with all of the trials of trying to teach children in the classroom and remote at the same time. The point was not the achievement of technical and academic perfection, but to endeavor to receive and share the love of Christ when working with the students and with each other.

The theme this year is “Cast your cares/burdens/anxieties on the Lord, and He will support you.” I think this is especially appropriate this year. In many ways, the beginning of this year is not the seemingly impossible task we faced last year, but there are still many uncertainties that can lead to anxiety. The short-term task is not as daunting, but when looking long-term there are big questions. We must remember that the Lord knows what is going to happen, and he knows what we need. We cannot figure it all out, but he will lead us step by step. I am so blessed to be working for someone who understands these fundamental truths that are so misunderstood in most of the world today.

Christian living

Discerning Evil

The conflicting messages we hear in the world today can be very confusing, but I found the latest (#15) episode of The C. S. Lewis Podcast, “Mere Christianity on the problem of evil,” to be helpful. Here are some notes that I made from it.

The last segment of the episode (starting 21:40) is on discerning evil, and it begins with an example from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. When the children enter Narnia, they encounter two different stories. One is that the White Witch is the rightful ruler of Narnia, and the other is that the lion Aslan is the true ruler. The story that each one believes affects how they interpret the situation and who they trust. Our culture tells us multiple stories (22:24), and very often we trust the story told by the most reliable person. C. S. Lewis tells us that Jesus Christ is that most reliable person to whom we must listen.

At 22:55 in the podcast, Professor McGrath is asked how to discern which is the most reliable story in our post-Christian culture, and he gives us these questions to answer:

  1. What is the basis for this story in history and in fact?
  2. What affect does this story have on those who believe it? Does it make the better or worse?

At 23:57 in the podcast, Professor McGrath talks about another book by Lewis, That Hideous Strength, which centers on a global research organization called N.I.C.E. – the National Institute for Coordinated Experiments. The N.I.C.E seems at first to be good, but as the story progresses it is seen to be disturbingly evil.

Professor McGrath’s mentioning of That Hideous Strength makes me think about how the evil of the N.I.C.E. is manifested. By the time we get to the last part of the book, the evil of N.I.C.E. should be very clear, but there are clues in the earlier parts that might be signs we should look for in evaluating situations in our own lives.

  1. The director of the N.I.C.E. is not who is really in charge, but is only for public-relations purposes.
  2. The real purposes and activities of the organization are hidden through deception and ambiguity.
  3. The N.I.C.E. controls the media and uses it to manipulate the public.
  4. Those who raise concerns are ridiculed and silenced.
  5. The people working for the N.I.C.E. exhibit cruelty, blind ambition, dishonesty, greed, and an elitist disdain for the common man.

When I think about these characteristics in light of Professor McGrath’s questions for evaluating the discernment of stories, I see that characteristics 1-4 obscure the basis of the story of N.I.C.E that it is working for the betterment of the human race. The N.I.C.E. justifies its deception with the idea that the public is incapable of understanding the importance of what the N.I.C.E. is doing. Characteristic #5 relates to the second question for discernment. If all of the people involved with N.I.C.E. are bad people, there is something evil at the core.

When evaluating the stories we hear today, we must ask about the basis. Is the story based on a Christian view of the world centered on the loving providence of God, or is the story based on a godless worldview ruled by arbitrary forces of nature? Is the story even open to evaluation? Can the basis be examined and discussed, or are those who question the story shamed and silenced? What does the story do to people? Are the promoters of the story honest and virtuous, or are they corrupt and deceptive? Does following the story make people better and more loving, or does it make people fearful and angry? Finally, we should each of us ask ourselves what the story we believe is doing to ourselves.

Philosophy Science

The Limits of Science

A popular saying today is “follow the science,” which implies that it is science that will show us the correct path in life, and a person is wise who follows its guidance. I believe that science is a very powerful tool that helps us understand many of the mechanisms of our universe, but I also maintain that there are many mysteries of life that science alone will never penetrate, and science alone is insufficient to provide the wisdom we need to live a good life.

The scope of science

Science is limited in its scope. It restricts itself to studying things that can be observed and measured. I am teaching some 6th grade boys how to program a computer and make a video game. I told them they could calculate the distance between two coordinates using the Pythagorean Theorem, and one of them said something about the power of math. I told them that math is very powerful and can tell you a lot of things, but there are some things it can’t tell you, such as if you like a particular girl. (You can imagine the reaction that got.)

Sure, science can do a study to measure various bodily reactions in subjects as they look at different pictures of women, but that is not the same thing as a particular young man deciding he likes a particular young woman. An amazing thing about the human person is that he can choose to not follow the physical impulses that can be measured in a lab, but to follow some higher motivation that is beyond the ability of science to detect.

Because science has made so many gains in the narrow scope in which it does work, many people have come to believe that it is only that scope that matters. The questions that science cannot answer are now judged as unimportant or even nonsensical. This is scientism, an ideology that science is the only means of knowledge, and anything science can’t tell us is not worth knowing. Scientism is not scientific, but is a philosophical assumption based on an ideological preference. Since philosophy is not science, scientism judges itself to be unimportant or nonsensical.

Love, beauty, truth, goodness, and justice are all very important ideas, and they are central to who we are as humans. Disciplines such as philosophy, art, literature, history, and theology are all important for a deep understanding of these ideas. Science alone cannot cut it, so those who only want to follow the science end up being shallow and foolish when it comes to what makes us human.

Science is done by humans

The scientific method is a rational process, but it is performed by humans who are not always rational. As unbiased as we try to be, we are affected by our assumptions and and beliefs. This is especially true when it comes to topics that are heavily political, such as climate change and the coronavirus. Even when the process is followed perfectly, humans decide what questions to study, how to set up the studies and experiments, which data is valid and which data is erroneous, and how to interpret the data. These decisions all involve human judgment that is not always impartial.

Today, the situation is worsened by the fact that more and more topics are being judged to be off-limits. Certain questions are considered to be too dangerous to even ask, and if someone gets the “wrong” answer, it could mean the end of his career. How can we trust that the professionals are “following the science” in such an intellectual atmosphere?

Science is generally inaccessible

It is possible for many people to replicate the experiments of the early days of science so that we can see for ourselves that these early scientific ideas are true. These experiments are done in science classrooms throughout the world. However, most of the cutting edge science that goes on today is conducted by highly-trained specialists using expensive equipment. There may be only one or two places in the world where the experiments can be conducted with only a handful of people with the expertise to really understand what they mean. The rest of the world must trust what these people do and say.

If someone tells me that I need to “follow the science”, it is very unlikely that he means that he himself has done the science, nor does he expect me to replicate the experiment. What he means is that I must believe what a particular scientific authority is saying. Often times there are other authorities that disagree with them. If I am to follow the science, which science must I choose? Usually it is more a matter of institutional power that is behind a particular idea rather than the science being indisputable. Such an appeal to authority has always been considered a weak argument because it is really not much of an argument at all. It just points to someone else and tells us to believe.

Even though scientific verification is not available to most of us, we all have access to logic and common sense. Although it is true that such common sense is not infallible, we don’t have to completely throw it out just because someone cites a study that says the contrary.


I am not advocating that we be “anti-science”, but I am advocating a healthy skepticism when someone quotes a scientific authority to make people believe something that they don’t think is right. This is especially true for Christians because we do have another, very important source of knowledge and wisdom, which is the Word of God that has been revealed to us. I believe that revelation from God, rightly understood, will never contradict good science because God created the universe that science studies. He knows how it works better than any of us ever will. The conflicts only come about from either bad theology, such as a simplistic view of creation, or from people abusing science to make it say something outside the discipline, such as the claim that belief in God is irrational. Learn from science, but learn more from God.

Christian living

Graduation Speeches

The speeches were exceptional at the Cistercian Class of 2021 graduation last night. You can see a recording of the ceremony on YouTube. The three co-valedictorian speeches, starting at 15:02 were quite good, focusing on themes of humility, self-knowledge, duty, and eternal life rather than worldly success. The guest speaker, acclaimed playwright and Cistercian alumnus, Will Arbury, had a very thoughtful and beautiful speech starting at 49:02 centered around this poem.

There is this cave
In the air behind my body
That nobody is going to touch:
A cloister, a silence
Closing around a blossom of fire.
When I stand upright in the wind,
My bones turn to dark emeralds.

“The Jewel” by James Wright

Will spoke about how this poem served him like a prayer after he left Cistercian and ventured out into a world that would be mostly hostile to his faith and values. He asks the question, do I give in to the world or do I resist, holding on to what I know, and close myself off from the opposition? These are the alternatives most everyone is choosing between, but Will offered a third choice – to embrace the unanswerable and be vulnerable to the mystery. The only way to endure to the end of our journey is not control, but surrender. He connects back to the first co-valedictorian speech about humility and self-knowledge by saying that if you learn to listen to yourself, you can listen to others without being threatened.

I like what Will says about listening, and I would put it in the language of not judging others because we don’t know what is going on in their hearts. Only God knows all, so only he can judge. This does not mean that we shrink back from living and speaking the truth as we know it. We can be bold, humble, loving, and forgiving at the same time. This is how Jesus was in his earthly ministry.

Christian living Theology

Happy Ascension!

In the 21st century, the Ascension of Christ has been one of my favorite holidays. This is because on my way to the Catholic Church, not that I knew that’s where I was heading at the time, I learned the importance of the Ascension. I used to think that it was just the time where Jesus left us to fend for ourselves. Yes, he promised the Holy Spirit, who came to dwell in all of his believers on Pentecost, but still I wondered why he couldn’t have stayed with us on this Earth too.

Then I learned that the Ascension was an essential part of the process of salvation that God is accomplishing through Jesus, which started in the Incarnation, when Son of God joined himself to our human race by becoming a little baby in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary. This union between God and man in the person of Jesus continued through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus in a process to reconcile the breach between God and man that happened when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.

The Ascension is not the departure of Jesus from this Earth, but the elevation of humanity to God. In Jesus, a man is sitting on the throne in heaven at the right hand of God the Father, ruling the universe. Our destiny is to reign with him forever. That is an awesome thought to contemplate, and it gives a totally different meaning to our lives here on Earth. Jesus is reigning in heaven, preparing the universe to be our home forever. We can’t usually see what he is doing, but by faith we can trust him and do our part in his work. This work is not primarily about building earthly institutions, but by allowing God to transform us to be ready for this future he is creating. This article by Constance Hull is a beautiful expression of what the Ascension means for us.

Christian living Politics Scripture

Flee Like a Bird?

It is natural when we see a growing threat of evil to think that we should flee to somewhere safe. David in the Psalms is confronted with the same advice.

In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me, “Flee like a bird to the mountains; for behold, the wicked bend the bow, they have fitted their arrow to the string, to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

Psalm 11[10]:1-3 RSV2CE

David is responding against someone who is pointing out that the righteous are being targeted by evil forces who have destroyed the foundations of the culture. Therefore, we need to find a safe place to escape and protect ourselves and our families because there is nothing else that can be done in the present situation. Doesn’t that sound like what many are saying today?

David begins by saying that it is the Lord that is his refuge and not some safe place in the mountains, so why should he flee like a frightened bird? David elaborates on this in the following verses:

The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids test, the children of men. The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and his soul hates him that loves violence.

vv. 4-5

God is on his throne and he is aware of all that is going on. He knows the hearts that love him, and he knows all of the secret schemes of those who want to prey on his people. What is God going to do about it?

On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and brimstone; a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous, he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

vv. 6-7

Wow! People look at the political situation and think that nothing can be done, but they don’t take into account the power of God. Salvation history is not a story of the good guys being stronger than the bad guys. It is the story of God stepping in and saving the people who put their trust in him when there is no hope on earth for them to avoid destruction.

Now some people today may see God’s response in this psalm as overly severe. This is because we live in an age that wants acceptance of every point of view except for intolerance. While tolerance has a place in a society of sinners trying to live together, this state is not meant to last forever. At some point, judgment will come, and it is decisive. That is because until then, we are in a time of grace where all will be saved who respond to God’s call for salvation. It will become clear at the judgment that those who refuse God’s loving grace will deserve the punishment that they receive.

Okay then, why doesn’t God do something about this now? He is patient and delays judgment for many reasons. One reason is that God wants to give people time to repent. Many people who may be enemies of God today may convert and turn to God. Some may even become great witnesses for him like St. Paul the Apostle did.

Another reason for delay is to let the present evil come to “full flower,” so to speak. When this happens, the evil of rejecting God may be clearly seen.

What about the danger to me right now? If God is delaying judgment, shouldn’t I flee to protect myself? It is certainly possible that some people should flee persecution so that they can continue to accomplish good in the world in a place of safety. However, we shouldn’t be motivated by fear. Nothing can separate God’s people from his loving protection. Even if God lets us suffer or even die at the hands of evil doers, we can have confidence that such hardship will never reach us unless God in his loving care allows it. The truth is that hardship can be good for us, causing us to draw nearer to God as we seek his protection. Finally, Christians know that death is not the end for us, but instead is the beginning of our joyful reward in glory that will make the greatest trials of this present life seem like nothing in comparison.

Christian living Scripture

It is enough

Today I read a passage in Luke’s Gospel that was interesting in light of present circumstances. People are worried about the political future of the world, we have had a year of corona virus fears, and today I am snowed in due to winter storm Uri. Because of all of this, there is a growing number of Preppers, who are trying to be prepared for future disasters.

In Luke 21:35-38, Jesus is attempting to prep his disciples for His upcoming arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Let’s go through this passage a piece at a time.

And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.”

Luke 21:35

Jesus begins by reminding them about when He sent His disciples out to preach, and He instructed them to not take with them any of the things one would need when traveling. They were to be completely dependent on God to meet all of their needs. This shows us that God is certainly able to meet all of our needs, but they could only count on such miraculous provision because Jesus specifically commanded them to not provide for themselves.

He said to them, “But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was reckoned with transgressors’; for what is written about me has its fulfillment.”

Luke 21:36-37

Jesus is going to be treated as a criminal, and so will his followers. Jesus is telling them that they need to be prepared with provisions and means to defend themselves. While it is true that God has the power to supernaturally defend them, it is not usually His plan to do so overtly. God usually wants us to do our part, and He supports us in more of an invisible way. This behavior of God is referred to as Divine Providence. I have never seen a spectacular miracle in my life, but I have seen Divine Providence at work throughout my life, working in such a way that unbelievers might describe as “lucky.” It is certainly not because of my brilliant planning, even though I try.

These verses support the idea that Christians should make some kind of preparation for difficult times in the future. We should not presume that God will provide for our needs if we refuse to do anything ourselves.

And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

Luke 21:38

When I read these words this morning, I was struck by the impossibility of the disciples knowing what was going to happen in the hours, days, and years to come, including Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and the beginnings of the Church. We don’t know what to expect in our future either, and we cannot adequately prepare for it. It is easy to get obsessed or overwhelmed when contemplating these things, so we must always seek God’s direction and His help. I believe He will call each of us to be prepared in our own way, and He will use our meager preparations in his plans, often in ways we never expected.

There are preparations that we know will always be beneficial no matter what happens. Jesus says to seek first the kingdom of God, and all of the things we needed will be added (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, we should all seek God, repent of our sins, develop our prayer life, and build up the local church community.

I will close with a line from the 1970s Christian rocker Keith Green, who was a big influence on me in my early days as a Christian believer. “Just keep doing your best, and pray that it’s blessed, and Jesus takes care of the rest.”

Politics Theology

People are Complicated

One reason I made my last post about our spiritual adversaries is to deal with the fact that so many people today are demonizing their political opponents. The spiritual beings made their decision for or against God a long time ago, and their decisions are fixed. That is why we can categorize them as angels and demons. This, however, is not the case with humans in this present life. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has a great quote about this.

The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either–but right through every human heart–and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained.

The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Humans develop and grow in this life, not only physically and mentally, but also morally and spiritually. We develop a sense of right and wrong, which is called our conscience. Every day we make many decisions that have a moral consequence. Sometimes we follow our conscience and do what we think is the right thing, and sometimes we violate our conscience and do what we think is wrong, usually justifying it with some rationalization. These choices affect who we become, and as we move through life, we are a work in progress. It is not until the end of our life that our ultimate choice is made to either embrace God and goodness forever, or to reject Him forever. Until that happens, we are all a mixture of good and evil of varying proportions. Therefore, if we try to divide humanity into the good guys and the bad guys, we will get into trouble. This is what Jesus means when he says, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).

This doesn’t mean that we don’t judge the words and deeds of people as either good or bad. Crimes and lies are bad regardless of who the perpetrator is. The judging that Jesus prohibits is summing up a person as ultimately good or evil because we humans do not know the totality of the person or what he will ultimately become.

It is common now in the United States to divide people according to left and right, and to label one group as good and the other as evil. This can be a problem when dealing with individuals because good and evil exist in both groups, and some people are difficult to put into one of the two groups. Even in the realm of ideas, one cannot always say that a particular idea is necessarily left or right. I primarily identify with the right, and I am very concerned with many of the ideas I hear coming out of the left, but the way I prefer to look at it is that I am a follower of Christ, and I am opposed to ideologies that will drag people away from his salvation. That’s why I wrote in my earlier post that the real enemy is spiritual. We must remember that our enemy is loyal to neither the left or the right. He hates all of us. He will happily provoke the bad elements on one side to do something that plays into the plans on the other side as long as evil advances on all sides. Therefore, we must be careful to not defend bad actions or condemn good actions no matter who does them.