Actor Bill Cosby was released from prison yesterday after his sex assault conviction was overturned by Pennsylvania’s highest court. The actor had been convicted of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee, and has served more than two years of a three- to ten-year sentence at a state prison near Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court stated that it found an agreement with a previous prosecutor preventing Cosby from being charged in the case. It also stated that testimony from other accusers tainted the trial. Prosecutors did not say if they would appeal or seek to try Cosby again.
Actress Phylicia Rashad, who played Cosby’s wife on The Cosby Show, tweeted: “FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted—a miscarriage of justice is corrected!” By contrast, attorney Gloria Allred, who represented many of the women who accused Cosby of misconduct, called the decision “devastating” for the accusers and claimed that the ruling “should not be interpreted as a statement or a finding that he did not engage in the acts of which he has been accused.”
In other legal news, a grand jury in Manhattan has indicted Donald Trump’s family business, the Trump Organization, and its chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg, charging them in a tax investigation. The indictment is expected to be unsealed this afternoon after Mr. Weisselberg and attorneys for the company appear in court.
A former senior adviser to Mr. Trump said the charges would be “politically terrible for the Democrats.” By contrast, a CNN op-ed stated, “Given the known facts and the law, we believe Trump is at substantial risk.”
NFL releases video titled “Football is gay”
Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under two presidents, died yesterday at the age of eighty-eight. In Rumsfeld’s Rules, he restates his famous observation regarding the three categories of knowledge: the “known knowns” (things you know you know), the “known unknowns” (things you know you don’t know), and the “unknown unknowns” (things you don’t know you don’t know).
In a day when information is more readily available than ever before, we all too easily mistake the first and second categories for the third.
For example, I know only what I have read about the allegations against Bill Cosby and the Trump Organization. Unless you’re personally involved with either story, you’re like me—we don’t know what we don’t know.
The National Football League has released a video titled “Football is Gay.” The clip states, “Football is lesbian. Football is beautiful. Football is queer. Football is life.” However, the league has no way to know what impact its LGBTQ advocacy will have on impressionable children and youth.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced this week that parents in his state will have the option of choosing “gender-neutral” terms for themselves rather than “mother” and “father” on their baby’s birth certificate. Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law enabling New Yorkers to designate their sex as “female,” “male,” or “X” on driver’s licenses and birth certificates. However, neither governor can know what impact his embrace of LGBTQ ideology will have on the children and adults affected.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has released a trailer revealing that its character “Loki” is bisexual. It has no way to know the effect its first openly gay character will have on its financial bottom line or its audiences.
The urgency of complete dependence
In a day filled with “unknown unknowns,” it is vital that we trust and follow the One who “knows everything” (1 John 3:20). He declares “the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done” (Isaiah 46:10).
However, like everyone else living in the Information Age, our ready access to more information than ever before in human history can blind Christians to our need for divine wisdom.
Yesterday we noted that if we are to impact our culture as the first Christians impacted theirs (cf. Acts 17:6), we must recover their sense of urgency for our message for the lost, our mission for the culture, and our moment for our souls. Today let’s add the urgency of depending intentionally and unconditionally on the One whose message and mission we serve in this moment.
Because they trusted Jesus enough to leave their nets to follow him, Peter and his associates became apostles in the greatest spiritual movement in human history (cf. Matthew 4:18–22). Because Paul followed his Macedonian vision, the gospel came to Europe and the Western world (Acts 16:6–10). Because John sought the spiritual presence of Jesus in worship while exiled on Patmos, he experienced the visionary presence of Jesus and received the book of Revelation (Revelation 1:9–20).
The One who directed them stands ready to direct us. But he can lead only those who will follow.
Socrates on finding wisdom
You and I are called to impact a culture that is more opposed to biblical morality than ever before in American history. We are called to love those who reject and demean us for our biblical beliefs. We are called to help parents raise their children in a culture immersed in LGBTQ advocacy and sexual immorality. We are called to be Jesus’ witnesses while working in “woke” corporations and attending schools influenced by “woke” ideology.
I don’t know how you are to do what you are called to do today, but Jesus does.
Let’s admit that we don’t know what we don’t know, then let’s claim God’s promise: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). Let’s pray for such wisdom at the start of this day and all through this day.
There’s a story about a time Socrates was sitting beside a river when a young man asked him how to find wisdom. Socrates grabbed the man by the neck and thrust his head under the water. He held him there until it was nearly too late, then pulled him back to shore.
As the young man sputtered and gasped for air, Socrates told him, “When you want wisdom as much as you wanted air, you shall have it.”
How much do you want God’s wisdom today?