Category Archives: Spirituality

The Handwriting’s on the Wall — Daniel 5

Beneficial Insanity: Daniel 4


Four Faithful Lads: Daniel 1

Join us for a live study in Daniel



Larry Taylor is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Bible Study with Larry & Kathy Taylor

Time: Nov 8, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Pastor Larry

THESE STUDIES study videos are all posted on my YouTube channel:   
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Political Issues

A number of issues confront voters in the United States today.

Personal one-liner comments on some of them:

  • Poverty: God cares deeply for the poor, the marginalized, the disenfranchised, and the displaced, and calls us to do all we can do to alleviate poverty.
  • Systemic Racism: The Gospel is fundamentally opposed to any form of racism. Racism is embedded in virtually all our institutions. Christians need to work to eradicate racism at all levels. 
  • Original national sins – genocide of Native people & enslavement of Africans:As a nation, we need to officially repent and right the wrongs via restorative justice. 
  • Mental health, including addictions and suicide in vets and teens: Mental health issues, including addictions, are killing American veterans, American teenagers, and those in poverty, both in the inner cities and in the rural countryside. Again, as followers of Jesus, we should be supporting programs to prevent suicide, heal mental illness, and bring recovery to addicts.
  • Access to medical care for everyone: God is all about life. I am strongly pro-life, which includes promoting free national high quality accessible healthcare for all. Tying healthcare to employment is absurd. 
  • Food deserts: Many people do not have access to healthful foods. Everyone should.
  • Creation care is a huge issue – it is the first task God gave to humanity. Christians should be greener than green, leading the way in caring for our environment, moving us beyond fossil fuels and artificial substances. Deep concern for human-caused global climate change should characterize us.
  • Abortion: As I said, I am pro-life, but the way to lower and maybe eliminate abortions is not through coercion, laws, or threats. 25% of American women have had abortions. Are we really ready to declare them all murderers? It is hearts we need to win. Our focus should be on adoption, healthcare, and poverty. Our number one job is to love. 
  • Immigration Policy: God calls us clearly to welcome and care for the alien and the stranger, not wall them out, separate families, or ship people back to probable death. 
  • Cabinet appointments: Not really a biblical issue other than all those in government should be honest, of good character, experts in their fields, and seeking the good of all. 
  • Judicial appointments: see above
  • Character of candidates: see above
  • Economy: An economy needs to benefit everyone, not just an elite few. Unregulated capitalism is based on greed. It worships Mammon. 
  • Fair and equal treatment of all: Amen
  • Freedom of religion: This phrase has become code for denying equal rights to others, as in, if I own a business and don’t want to serve African–Americans, or Native people, or the LGBTQ community, I don’t have to. True freedom of religion separates church and state. 
  • Freedom of speech: I’m all for it as long as it is peaceful.
  • Gun ownership: Jesus said to love your enemies and not resist evil people. Jesus’ love is cruciform love. I’m in favor of turning all weapons into garden tools. It seems absurd to me that a person has to have license to drive a car but not to stockpile military grade weapons.
  • Law and order: Nixon-era code for oppressing black people, mass incarceration, and ensuring white dominance. 
  • Black Lives Matter: No one suggests other lives do not matter – the phrase means black lives should matter also. Responding to BLM with “all lives matter,” or, “blue lives matter,” is like having a house on fire in your neighborhood and protesting to the firefighters “all houses matter.” Of course they do, but only one is on fire. BLM is nonviolent and is calling us to stop police brutality, profiling, and discrimination.
  • Defund the Police: An unfortunate phrase. No politician would come close to getting rid of police forces. What is being called for is a shift in priorities – less money militarizing police and more to alleviate poverty, for example. 
  • Military strength and policy: The US spends almost a trillion dollars a year on national security, more than the next ten nations combined (including Russia and China). We have the ability to kill every child, woman, and man on the face of the earth 15 times and eradicate all biological life. None of that sounds like the Sermon on the Mount.
  • Peace among nations will only come when we care about other nations and use our wealth to help lift others out of poverty and chaos.
  • Sanctuary cities are a great idea, although I think we need a sanctuary country, as in the Statue of Liberty
  • Social Security is all that keeps massive numbers of older Americans from being homeless. 
  • Covid-19 pandemic response has been dismal, in fact, the worst in the entire world, which is why the US leads in cases and deaths. Our leaders lied to us and minimized a lethal threat. They have blood on their heads. 

On Tuesday, I am voting for the poor, the hungry, the mentally ill, the broken, the refugee, the homeless, the sick, and the incarcerated – those Jesus called “the least of these my sisters and brothers” in Matthew 25. 

America Deserves Donald Trump



(Proverbs 16:18)

Years ago, I listened to conservative talk radio for 2 hours every day while I was working out.

One day I realized how arrogant the speaker was.

One day I realized how unchristlike I was becoming.

The greatest of all virtues is altruistic love.

The greatest of all sins is pride, vainglory, superciliousness, narcissism.

An archaic Electoral College enabled a significant minority of voters to elect Donald Trump President of the United States of America in 2016.

His only qualification was that of a reality TV star. 

He came with a history of:

  • Pompous haughtiness
  • Distain for the weak
  • Racism
  • Shady manipulative business dealings
  • Multiple marriages
  • Multiple bankruptcies
  • Cheating workers
  • Championing abortion
  • Serial adultery

He has:

  • Bragged about his multiple affairs
  • Been credibly accused of rape
  • Corrupted democracy
  • Abandoned allies
  • Aligned with dictators
  • Broken international treaties
  • Ruined America’s global reputation
  • Failed to protect Americans from a deadly virus that has caused a quarter million deaths (thus far) as well as economic chaos 
  • Proved to be a textbook example of pathological malignant narcissism
  • Displayed profound moral impairment

Since taking office, he repeatedly and consistently:

  • Denies scientific findings
  • Implements policies to ravage and despoil the environment
  • Shows repeated contempt for American ideals
  • Divides Americans
  • Selectively encourages voter suppression
  • Spreads tens of thousands of documented lies 
  • Mocks his religious supporters
  • Engages in illegal business dealings
  • Refuses to reveal his taxes
  • Engages in race-baiting
  • Displays cruelty
  • Is unswervingly rude
  • Is regularly vindictive
  • Provides comfort to propagators of racism and hate
  • Encourages terrorism
  • Encourages mob violence
  • Undermines governmental agencies
  • Enriches his own family through graft
  • Opposes free speech
  • Openly propagates conspiracy theories
  • Separates children from their families
  • Deports refugees fleeing violence and poverty
  • Advocates on behalf of Russia, a hostile foreign power
  • Exhibits overwhelming evidenced that he is mentally unstable

Massive coalitions of physicians, scientists, mental health professionals, historians, political scientists, environmentalists, community advocates, and ordinary citizens have called for his removal.

He is the worst, most corrupt, and most dangerous president in the history of the United States. The white evangelicals who have supported him made a Faustian bargain that destroyed their Christian witness and has driven millions away from Christianity.

Perhaps we deserve him.

America was founded on duel, intersecting original sins. We have never as a nation acknowledged or repented of those sins. When the root system is corrupt, the entire tree will bear rotten fruit. The demons of our past cry out to be exorcised.

One foundational evil: arrogant pride

Two foundational sins: stolen land and stolen people

Filled with the arrogance of racial superiority, Europeans invaded a land that had been occupied by viable native civilizations for 10,000 years.

Through genocide, shattered promises, and broken treaties, the native population was decimated and subdued, their land stolen.

Captured and kidnapped Africans were bought and sold, owned and abused – enslaved and forced to work the stolen land.

Stolen people working stolen land built a powerhouse global economy.

Judgment is simply the invariable result of sin.

Until America repents of its cruelty and oppression of Native and African Americans, judgment will fall.

But we do not repent of building a nation on stolen land with stolen people. We do not repent because we continue in the essential foundational evil, as evidenced by the fact that we put the most arrogant, self-centered person we can find in office, then wave flags on his behalf. 

I wish I had been more of a hippie

I wish I had been more of a hippie. 

It’s true I was committed to the anti-war movement. I registered for the draft as a religious conscientious objector, opposing all war on the grounds that following Jesus meant loving, not killing, your enemies.  From the sidelines of Baltimore lower middle working-class row-home whiteness, I cheered on the civil rights movement. I read Rootsand the Autobiography of Malcolm X. I nodded in agreement when the latter said, “It is impossible for a white person to believe in capitalism and not believe in racism.” 

In high school, I tutored inner city kids whose outer ears had been chewed off by rats and who had permeant brain damage from eating lead-based paint chips off widow sills. I saw first hand poverty and racism. Like many teens in the late 1960s, I longed for universal peace and justice. 

Politics seemed hopeless. Nixon. War on drugs – really a war on black youth – a scheme to imprison a generation and ensure generational family dysfunction and poverty. 

Baltimore became a warzone after Martin Luther King was murdered. 4:00 PM curfew. Armored personnel carriers rolling down our street. Makeshift jails. Sandbag trenches. National guard. Active duty troops. Shoot on sight. This time, the fire. 

Black Panthers. Weather Underground. Bombs. Guns. It seemed counterproductive at best – understandable, but deeply contrary to my commitment to the nonviolent way of Jesus.

Then came Timothy Leary. If everyone would just drop acid, the collective human consciousness would expand, universal peace would emerge. On top of that, soon the moon would be in the Seventh House and Jupiter would align with Mars. Love would steer the stars.

I never did any drugs – too afraid of what they’d do to me. My friends who did were not doing them to get high. They were taking LSD to save the world. Yes, we really did believe that.

Before long, however, it became more about trafficking drugs and making money. And the poverty was still there. As was the racism. Rich men kept making wars. Disillusionment. Timothy Leary faded. The Beatles broke up. 

Ah, but then came Jesus! Hippies turned Jesus Freaks. The drugs were tossed away – replaced by genuine love, service, and harmony. All I longed for – universal peace, an end to war, an end to racism, genuine community, altruistic love, acceptance, meaning, purpose – it was all either there or promised in Jesus. 

Gradually, I lost my way. I never stopped believing. Never stopped trying to follow Jesus. Certainly never stopped loving God.

But our whole movement was coöpted. Like many, I embraced a flattened woodenly literalistic Bible. War and capital punishment became causes to cheer rather than eschew. Poverty was the fault of the poor. America was the greatest nation ever. Native Americans were pagans. The founding fathers were devout Christians. Science was willfully ignorant – the universe popped into existence fully formed during a period of 144 hours 6,000 years ago.  AIDS was judgment for sin. Two sins were so hideous, so much more sinful than any others that they were bringing down the world’s last and greatest hope – abortion and homosexuality. (Conveniently, they were two things I was never likely to do.)

Like many who were coöpted, I had no idea that the religious right was born in opposition not to abortion, but to segregated Christian schools losing their tax-exempt status. I had no idea that Republican strategists were purposely wooing white evangelicals, not for their cause, but for their votes.  

I drank the Kool-Aid. 

Little by little, I awakened, as if from a long coma.

Many of the most spiritual people I’d ever seen were African-American. They voted for Democrats. Were they all deceived? 

Why did my so many of my Republican acquaintances care so little about poverty and injustice?

As Christians, how could we justify destroying the environment?

Did God create the world in 6 days but make it look like billions of years to deceive people?  

Some of the godliest people I knew were gays and lesbians. They loved Jesus. It seemed like they loved Jesus more than I did.

Why were we supporting a right-wing Israeli government that half the Israelis didn’t support? 

Why were we opposing Palestinian Arabs, many of whom are Christian?

Would Jesus cheer for bombings? 

Did Jesus have split personality – kind and loving the first time around; a warlord the next?

Did God really order genocide, or is God really like Jesus?

Why was I pretending that there are no contradictions in the Bible?

How had I become so judgmental, angry and hateful?

Why was I listening to arrogant talking heads?

Brilliant Christian biologists fully embrace evolution. Are they deceived? 

What happened to the compassion I felt for the poor, the broken, the displaced, the sick, addicted and mentally ill? 

I’ve come full circle, back to the Jesus Freaks, back to the lovers of nature, back to the ranks of those opposed to war and longing for justice. I’ve come back to compassion. I’ve come back to Jesus. My first love. 

The Greatest Thing of All: 1 Corinthians 13

Hope for all of Creation: Ezekiel 40-48

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