Top of the Week: Was It COVID or Not?

Gen. Colin Powell (Wikimedia Commons)
Following are snippets of the top stories featured this week on We invite you to visit the links to read the stories in full.

Gen. Powell, who died Monday morning at age 84 reportedly from complications related to COVID-19, was afflicted by other diseases including Parkinson's and the blood cancer multiple myeloma, Fox News reported Monday afternoon.

The former U.S. Secretary of State was fully vaccinated from COVID-19, the family announced in a Facebook post. But as reported, there were other underlying conditions that contributed to Powell's death. One of them was multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Healthy plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs.

In multiple myeloma, cancerous plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and crowd out healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications.

In response to Pastor John Piper encouraging vaccination, I want to share a very brief video that responded to Pastor Robert Jeffress saying that people have no biblical grounds to reject the vaccine. The video is relevant to both issues, but was removed from YouTube within an hour. You can view it here.

Although I appreciate Pastor John's heart, it's important to look at both sides, especially in light of the fact that numbers are often skewed and cannot be trusted. For instance, it's common knowledge that only about 1% of complications from vaccines are actually added to the national database that tracks adverse reactions.

Additionally, can we really trust the numbers coming in about the hospital and death rates of the unvaccinated? Maybe, but we shouldn't jump right in. We've been fooled many times before. Doesn't the Bible encourage us to use wisdom? Doesn't it encourage us to be patient and to use discernment?

While most sports fans had no problem with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' recent trash talk, there were some who didn't like it.

Rodgers, though, is unfazed by his detractors.

"Are we getting that soft as a society that we can't have a back-and-forth now?" the athlete asked. "Somebody can pay for a ticket and say whatever ... they want—which I think they should be able to— but the one time you say something back to them, that gets caught on a hot mic, now I've disrespected an entire city, an entire organization, my organization."

By its very nature, cancel culture is joyless and lifeless. It is built on negativity, criticism and fault-finding. In the long term, it cannot be sustained.

Cancel culture produces death rather than life and fear rather than faith, stifling creativity and suffocating free expression. As expressed by John Cleese of Monty Python fame, "I mean, if you're going to come out with something really interesting artistically it's going to come out of your unconscious, and if you're having to edit everything you say before you say it then nothing it going to happen creatively—and also things that are rather lovely and funny in ordinary conversation, they're not going to happen either, because everybody's thinking 'Ooh, somebody might [be offended]'."

The latest intended victim of cancel culture is Clint Eastwood, based on a joke he made back in 1973—yes, 1973—during the Academy Awards.

The city of San Francisco has temporarily shut down the Christian-owned fast-food chain In-N-Out Burger over the company's refusal to force customers to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19, several media outlets are reporting.

This past week, the San Francisco Department of Public Health closed the Fisherman's Wharf location when it discovered the popular burger restaurant was not checking the vaccination status of its customers, which reports said violated an August mandate from the city requiring indoor diners to show proof of vaccination.

In-N-Out Operates 358 locations throughout the western United States. It is owned by devout Christian Linsy Snyder, 37, whose grandparents founded the restaurant in 1948.

God Cancel Culture RFor more information on how you can fight back against cancel culture, make sure to get a copy of what Charisma founder and CEO Stephen Strang says is his most important book yet. God and Cancel Culture, released Sept. 7, is now available wherever fine books are sold. Order it at

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