A Watching World…: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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41 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    All I can say is…wow. And Amen! Appreciate you Duane for taking a historical look at this disturbing dynamic we have in place in our midst.

  2. Dan from Georgia says:


    Seems like believers today are more interested in trying to discern whether vaccines are microchipped, the mark of the beast, or that the pandemic is a conspiracy, as opposed to seeing it as an opportunity to care for others.

    Maybe the Lord is watching us to to see if we will care, but instead sees us puffing up our chest and egos and yelling at others about rights, etc.

  3. Duane Arnold says:


    “Maybe the Lord is watching us to to see if we will care, but instead sees us puffing up our chest and egos and yelling at others about rights, etc.”

    Indeed… if this was a test, I think we failed.

  4. Xenia says:

    Is this just happening in America? Are religious conservatives acting like this all over the world?

  5. Linn says:


    I spent almost a decade as a missionary in Colombia from the mid-80s to the first half of the 90s. I still have a number of Facebook friends there, and their COVID postings range from “quarantine, check on your neighbors, and if you’re young and able, join the food distribution brigade.” That is to be contrasted with “it’s a government plot, the vaccine will give you the mark of the beast and this is all being coordinated by the cabal of the Antichrist.” That’s evangelicals, not Catholics. So, yes, it seems to be a problem everywhere. The pastor of our Spanish congregation that I attend locally stopped preaching about the evils of the government trying to close down churches after we lost a few members of our congregation to COVID. We are all masked up again, no comments made to the contrary, and he is encouraging us to be vaccinated. People can change, but it seems to be drastic consequences that lead people to change regarding how they respond to COVID. And, there are people who have been interviewed in hospital, after coming off ventilators, saying they still aren’t sure about being vaccinated (you may have seen some of those videos).

    I am nervously seeing my first students of the year the day after tomorrow. We will be masked, we have a plan, our staff is 95% vaccinated, and I’m still concerned. But, we are at least following protocols and hoping our little people will have a vaccine soon.

  6. Xenia says:

    Linn, thanks for the info. I’m sad to say, I rather expected this.

  7. Em says:

    No rational Christian thinks this is ” the mark of the Beast. ”
    Rather we are asking ourselves IF this is precedent setting. The government asserting its right to control us in every aspect of living. If so, it’s later than we think….. I think…. 😕

  8. Xenia says:

    Em, pretty much everything in modern life could be considered setting.

  9. Duane Arnold says:


    To add to Linn’s observations… The first spreader event in Europe came out of a mega-church in France; there are a number of conservative RC’s in this country, in Europe and Africa taking the same line; additionally there are large numbers of evangelicals in Africa (Anglicans among them I am sorry to say) who have bought into false narratives…

  10. Duane Arnold says:


    “The government asserting its right to control us in every aspect of living.”

    China, Russia, Hungary, Belarus… we’re way down on the list, if we’re on the list at all…

  11. Jean says:

    There is so little government control in America that we are about the most chaotic and disordered first world country in the world.

  12. josh hamrick says:

    Just curious, why would a controlling government be a sign of the end times? Have there not been far more controlling governments at other times in history? Did those governments signal the impending apocalypse?

  13. Linn says:


    It may have something to do with where you’re at theologically (pre-Trib, mid, post, we’re in the Tribulation now). But, despite the fact that I don’t think our government is that controlling, I think a lot of it is people not reading their Bibles very well. Plus, many of the many evangelical preachers who for years have looked at their congregations and told them they have no rights, are now screaming about how are rights are violated by masks and vaccinations. I personally think a lot of people are very scared and confused, and it’s easier to blame the government for all that is wrong with the world.

  14. Duane Arnold says:


    “… why would a controlling government be a sign of the end times?” It’s not…

    “Have there not been far more controlling governments at other times in history?” Yes, beyond question…

    “Did those governments signal the impending apocalypse?” No, only in the minds of those constructing such narratives…

  15. bob1 says:

    Just a quick look at 20th century history shows cultures that were waaaaaaaay more oppressive than we ever have or will be …Nazi Germany, Soviet communism come to mind.

    Yet the End didn’t occur, did it.

    This is one (of many) reason(s) nationalism is so corrosive…if you can only see God’s work from one country’s standpoint, and I almost don’t care which country you’re talking about…you’re gonna run into major error and heresy.

  16. Duane Arnold says:


    …And that is exactly what has happened.

  17. filbertz says:

    A reasonable example to cite would be Father (Saint) Damien De Vuester who ministered to the lepers of Hawaii until he, too, caught the disease and succumbed to it. He exemplifies the true spirit of ministry and sacrifice.

    Indeed, “the whole world’s watching…”

  18. Kevin H says:


    C’mon man. Don’t you know that as a Christian nation we are God’s chosen beacon of light to the rest of the world? It doesn’t much matter what happens in China, Russia, North Korea, or happened under Hitler or Ghengis Khan. What really matters to God is if America turns his back on Him and starts doing things like mandating masks and vaccines. Then we know the Apocalypse is upon us.

  19. Duane Arnold says:


    One of my heroes…

  20. Duane Arnold says:

    Kevin H

    Do I detect a slight degree of cynicism?

  21. Nathan Priddis says:

    Maybe we can’t save Kabul…
    …but maybe we can save the urinals.

    Thank you Michael Brown! Junior High Forever!

  22. Em says:

    Josh @11:21
    not a nation, but a universal government…
    being an independent, i am of the segment of the population that doesn’t really trust ANY government… a segment that doesn’t like what it sees in D.C. and some states right now…..

  23. LInn says:

    I’m just curious-how do you deal with a passage like Romans 13?

  24. Em says:

    bob1 @11:47 i pray your assessment is correct – and it could be……

  25. Em says:

    Linn @1:29
    Romans 13 is very clear, very specific… as our Lord said render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s…. loosely quoted
    anything the government requires of its citizens that does not counter God’s specific commandments a good citizen will comply… Romans 13 does remind us of the things we are NOT to do also

  26. Michael says:

    I don’t detect a lot of desire to be better Christians anymore…more concerned about being on the right side of politics than the right side of God.

  27. Em says:

    Right side of politics?
    Is there such a thing?

  28. Duane Arnold says:

    I write hoping someone will care about the Church as the extension of the Incarnation… Apparently, people want “the glitter and the rouge” of politics. It will be the death of us… makeup on a corpse at a funeral that no one attends…

  29. Just Sayin' says:

    I don’t doubt that (some, even a majority) of Christians in the early church did practice visible charity during the plagues such that they won the renown of many converts. But the discord and divergent opinions of early Christian communities and leaders over how to live Christianity (noted in nearly every New Testament letter!) means we can’t assume some pastoral ancient time period of nearly 100% Christian charity, and that our world is just more fallen today.

    Simple logic and the history of humanity leads one to a more sober assessment: I’m sure some prominent Christians and their faith communities back then acted just as “uncharitably” as some do today. Or heck, forget the 2nd and 3rd centuries, let’s look at the early years of AIDS: Plenty of religious leaders saw that “plague,” too, as either God’s righteous judgment or an opportunity to proclaim moral judgments on the sick or the “sheeple” rather than offer a charitable, faith-inspired response.

  30. Duane Arnold says:

    Just Sayin’

    Let’s just say I’m unwilling to abandon 2000 years of Moral Theology which, in fact, grew the Church…

  31. Alan says:

    Clearly the “American Church” cannot mean evangelicals as you state, “we failed” unless you have realigned.

    You simply must get specific about who you are deriding while riding above it all with your literary devices.

    In my world the evangelicals were, as always, running to the aid of neighbors in flood and tornado wreckage and in need of comfort and meals in the pandemic losses.

  32. Alan says:

    *American Christians/Church

  33. DHromans 13 says:

    I hope the Christians living in Afgan submit to the new government.

  34. Duane Arnold says:


    The only time I mention “American Christians” is in this line: “In our current pandemic we have heard much about American Christians being persecuted… which, of course, is nonsense.”

    You might try reading, rather than reacting… but that might be hoping for too much.

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    On a personal note, I’m mourning the tragic deaths of Fr. Thomas McKenzie and his daughter. An acquaintance rather than a close friend, he was always available to provide counsel for those making their way into Anglicanism, including some here…
    Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon them.

  36. Linn says:

    I’m praying that God will comfort you on the loss of an important acquaintance in your life, as well as her daughter. I’ve had acquaintances that have helped me grow or gain spiritual insight in the space of a minutes-long conversation or a plane ride. It’s amazing how God can use one person to meet an important spiritual need.

  37. Em says:

    DH @11:20
    Submit to a Muslim government ? ? ?

  38. Duane Arnold says:


    Do we really need to go down this road?

  39. Em says:

    Well, Dr. Duane. . I guess not… 🙆

  40. Alan says:

    The pattern was set months ago before I went on hiatus. I counter something that Duane says and he insults me personally.

    He has the last word and the earth keeps rotating. It’s like the covenant with the day and the night. A beautiful thing.

  41. Duane Arnold says:


    Give it up… no insult, just a request to read.

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