Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
"Yes,VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus."
Eventually, this mentality became the basis of denying the doctrines of the Bible--after all, Jesus, the God-Man, existed as certainly as love and generosity...
However, not everyone today denies the historical Jesus, many believe he existed. But more appear to deny the physical reality of the Devil. Among a large section of Born Again Americans the reality of Satan is denied according to the Barna studies.
If there is no Satan, then who tempted Adam? If there is no Devil, then who tempted Christ? Either those are made up sections of the Bible, or they were true in some vague, amorphous sense such as love and generosity. Then Adam probably didn't exist, or at least sin is not too real since the Tempter is only a figment of some sadist.
Worse, yet, if the Liar is only a myth, then the Pharisees were not children of the Devil (John 8:44). Sin in such a context of denial only exists in the physical realm. The eradication of the Devil as a real person, eradicates sin as a real activity. Further, it frees man for the Bible clearly describes the unregenerate as under his thumb (1 Jn. 3:8). So, if he is denied metaphysical existence, then the will of man is free metaphysically as well--no Satan, no Fall, no bondage of the will.
Beelzebub is portrayed as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). And that means he does not come with brimstone skin, pointy-tail and a pitch-fork. Rather, he comes in a benign form that bespeaks innocence or harmlessness or joy. He may even wear red at times, with white highlights and a jovial laugh.
It is too bad that editor didn't write the truth instead of sending Americans down a path of deception. It's too bad he didn't write:
"Yes, Virginia, There is a Satan."
Monday, December 22, 2008
Jostled by an innumerable host, we wormed our way through crying babies, nosy children and rude adults. And I thought: look at all these slaves; jumping at the latest deal and mortgaging their future to satisfy the present.
Since materialism is the god of many consumers, anything is worth the sacrifice: long lines, deep debt and dead employees. Trampling a Wal-mart worker to death screams out the obvious: too many people have gone too far. If only some pastor, parent or friend had told those murders that their earlier rude behavior, short tempers and excessive debt indicated a soul dissatisfied with God's providence, perhaps one more person would have been alive. Or maybe they never listened--or worse, never cared.
Christmas is no longer a time to reflect upon the greatest Gift in creation. Rather, even for many Christians, it is a time to think of one more gift for others. And for many it is a time of dread as they are shackled to more and more debt and false expectation of what love and family entails. In Christian circles this partly arises from the many false prophets who teach that God is their Santa Clause, ready to shower material blessings upon the faithful few who "sow a seed of faith" from what little savings they have. Meanwhile, others seek after God's blessings with money they don't even have. (Just watch the "testimonials'' of the 700 Club).
Now, back from that frantic environment of consumerism, I see clearly that one obvious problem in America is that too many people are slaves to Christmas--pagans and Christians alike.
And too many people are not slaves of Christ.
Everyone is a slave to someone or something.
Who is your master? God or Mammon?
Friday, December 12, 2008
"What are you talking about!?" you wonder aloud over your Christianity Today magazine.
Perhaps Joe's cousin, Ralph the Reformer, would ask the hard-ball questions. Something like this:
1. Why do Evangelicals call themselves "Protestant" when they do not believe what Luther and Calvin believed on many significant issues?
2. "Oh, what did they believe," you ask? Man has no 'free-will'; God is sovereign in whom he chooses for salvation--just to name a few.
3. Why do Evangelical leaders avoid hard passages such as Romans 9 about God's sovereign election? or Ps. 58:3 that little babies speak lies from the womb?
4. Why do Evangelicals laud the early American Christians when they had a view of salvation and the law that would embarrass many Evangelicals today?
5. "Oh, what did they believe," you ask? They followed Luther and Calvin. And baptized infants. And observed the Christian Sabbath (Sunday). And used catechisms.
If the stars of conservative Christianity traveled the country like the presidential candidates, I wonder if they would take questions from throngs of excited Christians?
I wonder if Ralph the Reformer asked them some pointed questions, would they answer?
Or would they pretend he didn't exist and go to the next softball question?
Monday, December 08, 2008
Some economic conservatives decry political and economic liberalism. Others bemoan the growth of homosexual influence, weak families and the continuing abortions. Which is more important? Who is right? Who is wrong?
They are both wrong.
Both concerns are misguided.
In and of themselves they seem important. Yet what if we gain the whole politico-cultural world and lose our soul?
History bears out this truth. Simply pick up a good history book and read how the ancient church transformed the wicked and pagan Roman Empire from the inside out. Continue to read and learn how the church, now in political and economical power, became progressively weak and ignorant leading to the Middle Ages (dark to be sure, but better than raw paganism).
By the late Middle Ages, rulers were taking kickbacks, unnecessary wars were being fought and economic poverty was real in many ways. But that was not all. Public drunkenness was rising, priestly concubinage was well-known and graft was too common. Sound familiar?
Church leaders (laymen and priest alike) did want reformation, with a small 'r': fix the politics (kickbacks) or fix the culture (families). Professor Chadwick summarized it thusly:
"When churchmen spoke of reformation, they were almost always thinking of administrative, legal, or moral reformation; hardly ever of doctrinal reformation. They did not suppose the Pope's doctrine to be erroneous." (The Reformation, 13)
Well, then, what woke the nominally Christian culture from its sleep?
The Reformation. The Holy Spirit raised up leaders within her midst that attacked doctrinal heresies. Like the prophets of old, Luther, Calvin and others confronted not only the errors in practice but the errors of doctrine. They followed their Lord and Savior who preached to the Church first, calling a spade a spade. Heretical doctrines of the Sadducees (no resurrection) and the Pharisees (legalism) were systematically confronted and eradicated by Christ and then by His disciples.
Upon a moment's reflection, dear reader, you will recall all that heavy doctrine in the Epistles, especially in Paul. Reflection in another direction will show how common-sense this is: correct principles leads to correct actions. Conversely, actions reflect what one believes. Sin warps the direct correlation (even Christians sin!) but the general truth is just the same.
The Newsmax article, Bailout Bunk: We've Been Had, is certainly timely as far as economics goes. But with virtually all Christians in America with a pagan worldview and 57% denying Christ alone for salvation, that article and its title should be rewritten: American Christians: We've Been Had: Doctrine DOES Make a Difference.
Monday, December 01, 2008
I was late. The lunch meal took too long. But it was enjoyable. Being tardy didn't especially matter as the lecture started about fifteen minutes late while people trickled in. Finding a seat in a sea of uncomfortable 70ish chairs, I sat in the middle left side with a good line-of-sight of the speaker-to-be. The speaker, Mr. Stenger (of the infamous book, God: the Failed Hypothesis), was introduced as a professor of philosophy and a practicing physicist of many, many years. As I adjusted my paper, pen and books, the aged professor plodded purposefully to the podium. He introduced his thesis with relative clarity and somewhat proper philosophical considerations--definitions, deductions and whatnots.
After a surprisingly short 35 minute presentation, he had given the highlights of his thesis that the God hypothesis is a failure, useless and patently absurd. It was time for Q&A. I quickly scanned my notes, knowing that only one question would be practically allowed, I thought, what is the best question to ask?
The atheist club coordinators took a practical approach to the Q&A time by handing the mic to those in the front row and continued to worm their way to the back. Only one question was clearly Christian, asking an important question of what constituted "independent verification." Other questions were more of a benign nature or reinforcing the professor's thesis. I listened intently. What should I ask?
One gentleman--a scientist--challenged the lecturer's premise that the God-question could even be answered by science. But the point was not pushed. Another more excitable speaker--in the row right before me, what am I going to ask?--reiterated the old atheist canard about God not existing because evil exists.
Ah, yes, my notes from his book. Here, the hole in the book as large as the universe. The mic was handed to me: "Yes, thank you. Sir, you wrote in your book, and I quote..."
"I can't hear you," the professor replied. The acoustics were bad. So I summarized:
"You wrote that there was no consensus among philosophers of science on what actually constitutes real science as over and against pseudo or non-science, correct?"
"You also wrote that the methodology that will be used to disprove the God-hypothesis is the approach by the philosopher, Popper. It is known as 'falsification'--using tests to try to disprove a given hypothesis."
"Yes, but..." and the disgruntled professor tried to run rough-shod over my question. Perhaps he thought I had asked my question. Or knew where I was going with it...
"Excuse me, sir, I have not properly asked my question yet."
"You wrote that the falsification method cannot 'sufficiently'--your words--account for the difference between science and non-science. If this is true and you believe this, then how can the falsification method be used to falsify the God-hypothesis when the method itself is not 'sufficient' to distinguish between hypotheses, between science (truth) and non-science (falsity)?"
"!!! Here now, science has done great things for us...!!"
He was none too happy.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This article is more selfish than the others.
I will not write about all the obvious persons, places and things that should be brought to the bar of God’s glory. I am certainly glad for God’s showers of blessings upon this sinful nation: political peace, cultural stability and economical prosperity. We do not live in tribal-torn Africa, socialism-to-the-hilt Europe or poverty stricken South America.
I will not focus upon the wonders of technology that have made our lives easier, smoother and efficient. We have farming equipment and methods that yield so many foodstuffs that the leftovers are repackaged as competing “cheap” food at the supermarkets and the grocery stores have doubled and tripled the number, type and brand of foods.
The list could go on. God’s gifts are almost endless. I leave it to your imagination and a future assignment for your children.
For me, one of the most amazing gifts of God is a child.
The doctors told my wife and me that we would probably never have children.
And now my wife is pregnant—15 weeks pregnant! We have been childless for thirteen years and the Lord has heard our prayers—hallelujah!
Now, my thanksgiving list will include all the obvious persons, places and things and one more blessing—a covenant child. And one day, Lord willing, I will give that child a thanksgiving assignment too.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Does that make me heartless?
It is sad that he sinned. It is a blemish on the Bride of Christ. He has repented--of sorts--without specifics, partially blaming a childhood incident, then lambasting the church--that is some cause for concern. But that is not what I tire of--Christ can repair that.
I tire of people missing the point. I tire of his false teachings.
He's a charismatic--they have direct revelation from God. The Bible then becomes second-fiddle in many decisions (I was a charismatic myself).
He is too liberal theologically--he allows that Benny Hinn (a flaming heretic) is an Evangelical: "from Benny Hinn to R.C.Sproul."
He has no theological discernment--he does not see that most Evangelicals need more Gospel teaching--even saying that he really can't find anything wrong with Evangelicals.
He also has a low view of sin or a high view of himself. An interview with Issues, Etc. in 2005:
Haggard: people don't necessarily repent every day... because people have not necessarily sinned ever day... Christians can obey the Ten Commandments...Certainly, you haven't murdered anybody today.
host: but in my heart, Jesus says if I harbor hatred or animosity in my heart, then I am a murderer--
Haggard: yeah, did you hate someone today?
Haggard: then you need to stop that.
host: absolutely I do.
Haggard: Now, I haven't.
host: You've not had any animosity, ill-will in your heart today for anyone whatsoever--
Haggard: No, and I even watched Joseph Biden grilling the new Supreme Court nominee...and incredibly it was a manifestation of God's grace in my life.
host: ...so...that Commandment, so far, pastor Haggard...so far you've kept that Commandment perfectly today.
Haggard: so far today, that particular one, yes.
Rich young ruler anyone? I could go fifty different ways with this interview!
Then one year later he is outed as a pastor. Perhaps he's learning about the depths of sin.
After hearing this interview again. I am worn out. No more. Anyone asks, have them read this posting.
Prayerfully, they'll get it and more people will turn him off.
(All quotes from Issues, Etc. interview, Sept. 13, 2005, .wma audio here).
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
You know it's bad when some in the media itself speak out against it. The poor man was even shouting at his computer.
Friday, November 14, 2008
1. Why homeschool?
2. What should be homeschooled (all topics?)
3. When (how far and often) should children be homeschooled (through college? :-)
4. How should we homeschool (ala unschooling? classical? hodgepodge?)
Just wondering what other people think.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Knowing that culture is religion externalized, the importance of the church is put into proper perspective. With that truth in mind, here is my version of 2012:
Church tyranny expands 100-fold: More churches are run by a single pastor, laymen vote less, and innuendo and unlawful trials multiple due to no appeal courts.
Christians grow spiritually ignorant--94% have an unbiblical worldview.
Christian divorce rates equal pagan rates.
Christians get bilked by the millions from false prophets and tv evangelists.
Christians become more liberal: 57% believe there are other ways to heaven than Christ.
Christian worship turns more pagan: women worship leaders, images of Christ, convulsions, foreign tongues, puppet shows, 15-minute pep talks.
!!! Waitaminute....that's today!
Now that's scary.
Hos. 4:6: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Too many conservative Christians decry the rise of a secular culture when the churches themselves need to clean up their act--beginning first with their biblical ignorance. God will not be mocked nor His Christ degraded.
1 Pet. 4.17
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
"What will become of America?" they ask.
"Is this the End of the World?" they bemoan.
Not in so many words but that is the sentiment.
Not quite. The Church of Christ has been through worse. Note, I did not write "America has been through worse" (a jingoistic theme found in both campaigns). It is the church that I worry more about.
America has turned her back on God generations ago. That was the end of the world for her. There were no sirens and bewailing, but it was the end nonetheless. The question is, has the Church in America turned her back on God?
The liberal mainline churches have certainly done that.
But what of the Evangelicals? Certainly they are still faithful?
Unfortunately, the Evangelical Church is forgetting basic truths. And that offends God. 57% believe Christ, the Son of God, is not the only way to heaven. 3-6% have a Christian worldview. Which means 97-94% have some sort of pagan view. Certainly God is not pleased with that.
The Evangelicals in the 80s stood up politically and said: "Enough is enough!" I am glad that they became more politically aware. It was too bad that they became correspondingly theologically unaware. They strained at a gnat while swallowing whole heresies and false worship practices. That was the End of the World for the weak Evangelical Church. And the nail in the coffin for America.
Unless lackadaisical Christians repent of this ignorance there is no human hope. Yet, dear reader, this election is not the End of the World. It is a time to reflect upon our political lives and realize that the spiritual is more important. If the church fails in America what hope does America have? But God has promised that His church will withstand the End of the World—the very Gates of Hell.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Now it's McCain's turn.
The tact will be different. I'll ask you the reader to evaluate the quotes below. They come from his acceptance speech. Use the Gospel filter and I can say with great confidence that the quotes speak for themselves...
"I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God."
"...and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach."
"Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history."
"We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children. All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington."
"we're going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot, make this government start working for you again, and get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace."
"These are tough times for many of you. You're worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and are struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home. All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And that's just what I intend to do: stand on your side and fight for your future."
"I fight for Americans. I fight for you. I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market. Bill got a temporary job after he was out of work for seven months. Sue works three jobs to help pay the bills."
"We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential..."
We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans. Government that doesn't make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself. "
"Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit. Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity...I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy and it often seems your government hasn't even noticed. Government assistance for unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. That's going to change on my watch. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We're going to help workers who've lost a job that won't come back find a new one that won't go away.
We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities. For workers in industries that have been hard hit, we'll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower-paid one while they receive retraining that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage."
"...and help bad teachers find another line of work. "
"We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet. It's an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. It's time for us to show the world again how Americans lead."
"Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life...I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independence...The good man in the cell next door, my friend Bob Craner, saved me [telling me to fight for America]...I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's."
No, McCain, I am my Savior's.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Remember? When the Sabbath laws were actually enforced. Blasphemy laws were upheld. And state-sponsored churches existed.
It was a time, you may recall in your Christian history books, when the vast majority of Americans baptized infants. The Congregationalists of New England, Presbyterians of the Middle & Southern areas, Anglicans of the South and all the Germans, Dutch and French in between all baptized infants according to their respective creeds.
Education and religion were intimately tied back then as well. Most children were catechized (question and answer), especially through the New England Primer school book, many of which included Mather's catechism and/or the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Ministers ran or taught in many of the schools. Weekly lectures (bible studies) were common as well as morning and evening worship on Sunday.
Perhaps you recollect that 60-80% of the churches by 1787 were Calvinistic. Remember what Calvinism is? Refresh your memory by looking up the 39 Articles of the Anglican church or the Westminster Shorter Catechism (that one in the New England Primer) or any of the creeds of the various groups: man is totally depraved such that he never even seeks after God, his will being totally bound by sin; God is the only author of salvation, saving his foreordained people.
Naturally, many Evangelicals were not taught that the Geneva Bible (with Calvinistic notes) was mostly used in the early days and not the KJV. Popular writers included Whitefield, Edwards and Mather--all Calvinists. Many political leaders (especially at the local levels) were Calvinists as well: Witherspoon, Patrick Henry, John Jay and Roger Sherman for instance.
Or, perhaps, when such facts make it back to the Evangelical think-tanks, churches and leaders, they might want to reconsider.
Friday, October 24, 2008
What do ghosts and goblins have in common with Luther and Calvin? Both are celebrated on October 31st. Yet only one group had historical significance. The Reformation of Luther and Calvin changed the West, leading to the creation of America. That is something to celebrate. But many today cannot celebrate it because so little is known—our children know more about the origins of blood-sucking vampires than the cultural life-force known as the Reformation. Yet many historians acknowledge the predominate influence of the Reformation on the formation of America (just google the quotes below). George Bancroft, founder of Annapolis Academy and one of the first American historians, asserted, “He that will not honor the memory, and respect the influence of Calvin, knows but little of the origin of American liberty.”
Historically, conscience-anguished Martin Luther found peace through faith in the person and work of Christ. Having nailed the 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg on October 31st, he blazed a path which John Calvin followed and expanded. Calvin’s theological system encompassed all of life, and his worldview was carried to the new world: the French Huguenots of the Southern colonies, the Dutch colonists of Manhattan and the English Puritans of New England. Three key foundation-stones of early American culture were laid by the ideas of Calvin and others: church liberty, universal education and the right to resistance. Let the historians speak for themselves.
Yale historian George Fisher wrote: “How is it, then, that Calvinism is acknowledged, even by foes, to have promoted powerfully the cause of civil liberty? The reason lies in the boundary line which it drew between church and State. Calvinism would not surrender the peculiar notions of the Church to the civil authority. Whether the church, or the Government, should regulate the administration of the Sacrament, and admit or reject the communicants, was the question which Calvin fought out with the authorities at Geneva…” This idea was institutionalized in the Puritans of the Presbyterian Church and Congregationalist settlers on the shores of America.
Dedication to education was the hallmark of the Reformers and the settlers in America. A mixture of local schooling initiatives and laisser-faire education formed the basis of American education. Historian Bancroft again asserts: “We boast of our common schools; Calvin was the father of popular education, the inventor of the system of free schools.”
The right to resist unlawful government was furthered by the Reformers. Dave Kopel (of the Independence Institute) wrote in Liberty magazine, October 2008, “The [Reformed] Congregationalist and Presbyterian ministers played an indispensible role in inciting the American Revolution.” The great statesman John Adamsth-century French-Calvinist’s work Vindicus Contra Tyrannus and the English Calvinist work of Ponet (A Shorte Treatise of Politike Power); both books defended the right of the people to rise against tyrants. Modern historians such as Daniel Elazar (of Temple University) have made similar claims: “In all of the places where Reformed Protestantism was strong, there emerged a Protestant republicanism that opposed tyrants even as it demanded local religious conformity.” bluntly acknowledged the wide-spread influences of both the 16
In fact, most of the early American culture was Reformed or tied strongly to it (just read the New England Primer). Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, a Roman Catholic intellectual and National Review contributor, asserts: “If we call the American statesmen of the late eighteenth century the Founding Fathers of the United States, then the Pilgrims and Puritans were the grandfathers and Calvin the great-grandfather…”
“So what?” you ask. Well if we are to avoid the errors of the past, are we not also to learn from the victories of history? The least we can do is understand what the Reformation was all about and what elements were so vital to the formation of America. And perhaps, just maybe, America can be renewed to her former glory.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Unlike today, when sermons are mostly entertaining and non-informative, back then preaching was accomplished by the most educated men in the state. The most informed men as well. This was the average man's talking newspaper. This was also the source of public discussion and commonly reprinted into pamphlets, especially election day sermons. Ministers were the leading thinkers and leaders in an age of religion that is foreign to many readers.
Here are some election day sermons preached before governors and representatives and before the Declaration of Independence:
"Unlimited submission is not due to government in a free state. There are certain boundaries beyond which submission can not be justly required, and should not be yielded." Rev. Tucker, 1771.
"If I am mistaken in supposing plans are formed and executing, subversive of our natural and chartered rights and privileges, and incompatible with every idea of liberty, all America is mistaken with me...Let the Governor [Hutchinson] in his chair of state hear it, we not only mourn, but with groanings that can not be uttered, and all because the wicked rule...King George may say the evils that produce this state of things are imaginary, but I tell you and I tell the tyrant to his face, it is because the wicked bear rule." Rev. Hitchcock, 1774.
"Let us praise God for the advantages already given us over the enemies of liberty — particularly that they have been so dispirited by repeated experience of the efficacy of our arms in the late action at Chelsea, when several hundred of our soldiery, the greater part open to the fire of so many cannon swivels and musketry from a battery advantageously
situated, from two armed cutters full of marines, and from ships of the line in the harbor, not one man on our side was killed, and but two or three wounded, when a great number were killed and wounded on the other side, and one of the cutters taken and burnt. If God be for us, who can be against us ?" Rev. Langdon, 1775.
"Let us look upon freedom from the power of tyrants as a blessing that can not be purchased too dear, and let us bless God that he has so far delivered us from the idolatrous reverence which men are so apt to pay to arbitrary tyrants, and let us pray that he would be pleased graciously to perfect the mercy he has begun to show us, by confounding the devices of our enemies, and bringing their counsels to naught, and by establishing our just rights and privileges upon such a firm and lasting basis that the powers of earth and hell shall not prevail against it." Rev. West, Spring, 1776
"When Congress appointed a day of fasting and prayer in May, 1776, Dr. Witherspoon preached a discourse, entitled "The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men," in which he went thoroughly into the great political questions of the day. The sermon being published, it was received with warm encomiums in America, but denounced in Scotland, where it was republished, with notes, and the author stigmatized as a rebel and traitor."
The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution, Headley
Monday, October 20, 2008
I could go on indefinitely, pointing out further illustrations both official and non-official, public and private; such as the annual Thanksgiving proclamations, with their following days of worship and feasting; announcements of days of fasting and prayer; the universal celebration of Christmas ; the gathering of millions of our children in Sunday Schools, and the countless volumes of Christian literature, both prose and poetry. But I have said enough to show that Christianity came to this country with the first colonists; has been powerfully identified with its rapid development, colonial and national, and to-day exists as a mighty factor in the life of the
republic. This is a Christian nation..."
The United States a Christian Nation, p.39
David Josiah Brewer, Supreme Court Justice of the United States of America,
Saturday, October 18, 2008
In a succinct, witty yet hard-hitting manner, Stossel exposed the political nakedness of today's emperors. There is a type of messiah-complex amongst the leaders and followers of the primary presidential runners that Stossel mocks. Campaign finance reform is a joke--creating a layer of forms and instructions 1.5 football-field-lengths long that the average citizen fails to complete. Private housing recovery with the help of Hollywood stars have quickly repaired the infamous 9th district of New Orleans while the government-promised billions have yet to make a significant impact. Rich farmers grow more money with government subsidies while the poor farmers work hard without help. And the coup de grace: it was the government pressuring Americans to take and banks to give out high-risk loans that precipitated the current financial mess.
Although Stossel appears strongly to be a libertarian, most of his economical and social programs on TV bring out an amazing amount of facts conveniently left out by the mainstream media. His interviews actually ask hard questions, stumping politicians (who tend to repeat themselves) and bureaucrats alike.
Compared to most interviewers and news-shows, Stossel is doing America a great service. And for that I salute him.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Running on the Republican ticket, the local news has been very quiet about him. He's running against the Democratic incumbent, DeGette.
Now, there's finally a significant news review on Lilly.
Friday, October 03, 2008
The event was to be televised.
She decided not to show up. The event was cancelled.
And the televised media group decided not to tell anyone about her cowardliness.
Par for the course as far as Denver politics and media are concerned.
Keep George in prayer. God can change things, even if we don't deserve it.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
They were talking about the ongoing market roller coaster.
And the question was raised, "Does the government have a fix on this problem? Do the numbers add up? Will enough money fix this problem?"
And that is the question: will enough money fix this problem?
But what is the problem?
Ex-president Bill Clinton told the Today Show last week that the problem would have been fixed if the Democrats were not in the way of his plan.
Rush Limbaugh and others have pointed out the history of government bullying: the insistence that unqualified borrowers be able to receive loans--that high-risk people get loans on houses they can't pay off.
But the problem is more fundamental. It is spiritual: greed.
Too many companies willing to give money (for more money of course) to those who are risky. And too many people willing to go into needless debt for the desire of the moment. Americans mostly don't tithe, they spend their childrens' money and save enough for their next cup of latte.
The politicians won't tell the people: they blame the businesses or the lack of government oversight. And the people are only too willing to believe them.
Now the government is telling us that a 700 billion dollars will make this problem go away. The American people believe that too. But someone has to begin to tell the people the truth. The truth that money can't fix this problem.
Only repentance from greed and fleeing to Christ can begin to fix this problem.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I didn't know! You probably didn't know either!
(Here is the amended Iraqi Constitution accepted by the people in October of 2005.)
Did you know: “Work is a right for all Iraqis so as to guarantee them a decent living.” (Article 22)
Did you know: "Oil and gas is the property of all the Iraqi people," Article 109.
Did you know that Article 34 states: "free education is a right for all Iraqis in all its stages."
Did you know that the Iraqi State is cradle to grave? Consider:
Article 30: “First: The state guarantee [sic] to the individual and the family--especially children and women--social and health security and the basic requirements for leading a free and dignified life. The state also ensures the above a suitable income and appropriate housing.”
Article 25: “The State guarantees the reform of the Iraqi economy in accordance with modern economic principles to insure the full investment of its resources, diversification of its sources and the encouragement and the development of the private sector.”
Article 16: “Equal opportunities are guaranteed for all Iraqis. The state guarantees the taking of the necessary measures to achieve such equal opportunities.”
“A. The family is the foundation of society; the State preserves its entity and its religious, moral and patriotic values.”
“B. The State guarantees the protection of motherhood, childhood and old age and shall care for children and youth and provides them with the appropriate conditions to further their talents and abilities.”
Article 33: “First: Every individual has the right to live in a safe environment.”
Did you know that, "Public property is sacrosanct, and its protection is the duty of every citizen." (Article 27).
And there is no right to bare arms: Article 9: (b) "Forming military militias outside the framework of the armed forces is banned. "
And did you know at all that Iraq is officially Muslim?
Article 2: 1st - Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation:
(a) No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.
(b) No law can be passed that contradicts the principles of democracy.
(c) No law can be passed that contradicts the rights and basic freedoms outlined in this constitution."
Did you know that we are fighting for a Socialistic/Fascist Islamic State?
OF COURSE WE DIDN'T KNOW!
WHY DIDN'T WE KNOW?
YOUR NEWS MEDIA REFUSES TO TELL THIS SIDE OF THE STORY!
Instead of reflecting our love for truth, we get
Talk radio jingoism,
Interviews with experts lauding democracy,
Talk show hosts happy that people get to vote--regardless of the constitution they live under &
"Democracy" being the solution for everything in our great nation. President Bush stated:
"In many Middle Eastern countries, poverty is deep and it is spreading, women lack rights and are denied schooling. Whole societies remain stagnant while the world moves ahead. These are not the failures of a culture or a religion. These are the failures of political and economic doctrines." (2003 speech).
May the Almighty Trinity open the eyes of our nation, and revive the hearts of our churches.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Most Americans receive the you-gotta-forward-this email. Some are good; many are just hype. This one is not hype. No really…
-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
From: T. Rue History <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Presbyter <elder.1@notReformed.com>, Baptizo
<email@example.com>, Methodists <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Subject: Fwd: TRUTH ABOUT HISTORY---YOU GOTTA READ THIS!!!!
Date: 4 July 1776, 22:42:16 +0000
Evangelicals : This ones for you
--- On Thrs. 7/4/76, Christina History wrote:
> From: Original Historical Documents [PolyMathis research]
> Subject: Fwd: TRUTH ABOUT HISTORY---YOU GOTTA READ THIS!!!!
> To: "Unaware" , "Know-Less" , "American Evangelicals"
> Date: Tuesday, October 31, 1517, German Timezone, 12AM
> C. History wrote:
Thoughtful point of view
Most Evangelicals love to revel in early American history—that time when the church and culture were one in principle and practice. When Evangelicals were the cultural, political and religious leaders of America. At least that is what books such as The Light and the Glory would have us think today.
Whether from homeschooling sources, Christian school teachers or modern Evangelical books, some of the history presented is correct: there were Christians as Jamestown, Pilgrims at Plymouth and Puritans all over New England. And America's formal creation was substantially created by the Christian culture of America.
But it is only part of the truth. It is not the whole truth. With the contemporary Christian dislike of anything smacking of theological differences, the doctrinal beliefs and practices of these groups of Christians are quietly ignored. What if a historian were to claim that these Christians of early America were Deists? You'd laugh. That old canard has been debunk decades ago! What if a historian told you that the greater part of America was Calvinistic? Those man's-will-is-bound-in-sin-and-God-is-sovereign-in-salvation people.
That is the response most people give. But it is true nonetheless. Many Evangelicals rightly point to glories of that time as proof that Christianity can transform a society, a culture, a country. But now Evangelicals have to rethink this proposition. For if the early American culture was predominately Calvinistic (and it was) then it was not a generic Christianity that formed America! READ ON:
"If we call the American statesmen of the late eighteenth century the Founding Fathers of the United States, then the Pilgrims and Puritans were the grandfathers and Calvin the great-grandfather…the prevailing spirit of Americans before and after the War of Independence was essentially Calvinistic in both its brighter and uglier aspects."
(Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, an Austrian Roman Catholic aristocrat intellectual and National Review contributor, "The Western Dilemma: Calvin or Rousseau?"Modern Age 15, no. 1 (1971):5.)
"We boast of our common schools; Calvin was the father of popular education, the inventor of the system of free schools. We are proud of the free States that fringe the Atlantic. The pilgrims of Plymouth were Calvinists; the best influence in South Carolina came from the Calvinists of France. William Penn was the disciple of the [Calvinistic] Huguenots; the ships from Holland that first brought colonists to Manhattan were filled with Calvinists. He that will not honor the memory, and respect the influence of Calvin, knows but little of the origin of American liberty.
(First great American historian, George Bancroft (a Unitarian!), Literary and Historical Miscellanies, (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1855), 405-406.)
"This [American] marriage of distrust in individuals but hope in properly structured institutions is no mere historical accident but has its roots in the Reformation theology of John Calvin…Others have made the more general case that Calvinist precepts permeated the culture at the time of the framing. Many of the Framers brought to the convention a background in Calvinist theology, with Presbyterians predominating among the Calvinists." (Constitutional Lawyer, Marci Hamilton, "The Calvinist Paradox of Distrust and Hope at the Constitutional Convention," Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought, 293.)
"Let not Geneva be forgotten or despised. Religious liberty owes it much respect, Servetus notwithstanding." John Adams, Founding Father, Essay XIX, in 6 The Works of John Adams 313–14 (Charles Francis Adams, ed. 1851).
The number of Calvinist churches (of one stripe or another) in America ranged from 60-80% (Religion and the American Experiment, Witte, 120)
READ MORE DOCUMENTED HISTORY: OCTOBER REVOLUTION
More references: Covenantal Democracy in America: Two Radicalisms, Covenant and the American Founding,
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
"ST. PAUL –- John McCain and Sarah Palin’s election “would be a return to God’s word” and return the U.S. “back to a spiritual revival,” Joe Gibbs, former head coach for the Washington Redskins and NASCAR race car owner, told the Republican National Convention Thursday." (Foxnews)
Where, oh where do I begin?
1. It is rather presumptuous to assert that this ticket is a "return to God's word"--where's the evidence?
2. It is even worse to assert that voting for these two would bring a spiritual revival!
3. What has America come to??
We wouldn't know a revival if it bit us in the butt! Frankly, we don't even know our way to heaven! Recall how 57% of Evangelicals think there are other ways to heaven than Christ. That only 3-6% of Evangelicals have a Christian worldview.
Hopefully, this poor fellow is just too exubrent to think straight.
Prayerfully, there are more discerning Republicans who caught this error.
Friday, August 29, 2008
This was that time for Obama.
At the center of the American stage, with millions of viewers hanging on his very words, he had the opportunity to define the issues and present the solution. And he did just that. The problem was presented more negatively, yet clearly. The Dream is slipping away from the grasps of hard-working Americans: job insecurity, unpaid bills, credit debt, lack of good education, etc. In contrast, Obama wants to see these things change:
We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage…We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president …The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great, a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight. (NY Times, acceptance speech transcript)
America needs each other; America needs responsibility. America needs to pull herself up by her own bootstraps.
Obama's "I wills"
Democracy is where Obama finds grace; the unseen potential of America to achieve whatever she seeks is where Obama places his faith. The Gospel according to Obama is an unfettered America united for the glory of man.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
However, as with most movements, there is good mixed with the bad. In this particular case, homeschooling history is being rewritten.
One website promoting homeschooling success stories presents an impressive array of homeschooled heroes. Under the first heading, "Activists," Peter Jennings is listed. Clicking on the link and reading the wikipedia article, one discovers that this famous man attended school until he flunked 10th grade. Certainly a strange candidate for homeschool hero status.
Moving onto another hero. Clicking on "Jason Taylor" (NFL player) yields more evidence that slopply history is being written: He was homeschooled for about three years.
At the end of the day, is this how homeschoolers and their defenders (including myself) wish to promote this noble cause? With such reasoning demonstrated above, public school advocates could use any homeschooler who attend school for three years (just invert Jason Taylor's profile). Or claim a famous person who was homeschooled until grade 10 as their own--if only because afterward he entered public school (just invert Peter Jennings' profile).
At best, this is equivocal reasoning.
Perhaps a more notable list should be examined. After all, not all who write lists on the web are qualified to do so. So, after googling, several lists were discovered (both online, in books and on the radio). The lists are long. The work was hard. At the end, five are presented below as examples of the typical educational backgrounds during that time-period:
- John Witherspoon (Educator/Statesman): One problem with using encyclopedias as sources of detailed information is that they are not sources of detailed information. They cover more of the adult achievements than the particular facts of any person's childhood. For such facts, biographies, eye-witnesses and the like must be examined. And that is a lot of work. In this case, reading the eulogy of Witherspoon (given by his personal friend, John Rodgers) paints a different educational picture: "He was sent, very young to the public school at Haddington: His father spared neither expense nor pains in his education." At age fourteen he attended the university of Edinburgh (p.24, The Works of Rev. John Witherspoon).
- Thomas Jefferson (President): Reading his own biography ought to have dispelled this historical myth years ago. He testifies that he was schooled at age five then sent to a Latin school at age nine. Digging into his history will show that the early schooling was done with a tutor at his home plantation along with other children. The Latin school he attended was fifty miles away at the Dover Church grammar school (where he boarded with a friend's family--a not uncommon activity in the southern gentry) (Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History, Brodie, p. 49, 51).
- Patrick Henry (Statesman): Of course Patrick Henry is dear to my heart (as is Witherspoon) because of his Calvinism (another topic that falls off the historical radar of modern conservative "scholarship"). His grandson, William Wirt Henry, compiled the facts of Patrick's life and concluded: "He was sent to a common English school until about the age of ten years, where he learned to read and write, and acquired some little knowledge of arithmetic.” Afterwards, his father tutored him and other local boys in Latin and some other topics (cp. Give Me Liberty: The Uncompromising Statesmanship of Patrick Henry, Vaughan, p.29).
- James Madison (President): The childhood of Madison demonstrates the modern historical problems of pinning down exactly how individual early Americans were educated. Many papers, receipts and diaries are missing. In the case of Madison, an incomplete paper trail exists, but what does exist demonstrates that at age three and nine his father was paying a tutor for his son's education. Presumably his mother and grandmother helped as well. More complete evidence demonstrates that at age eleven he was sent to Donald Robertson's school, 70 miles from home! Later, at around age sixteen he was home with another tutor who lived with them and taught the other younger siblings. Again, not uncommon in the south (James Madison: A Biography, Ketcham, p. 17; James Madison, A Biography in His Own Words, ed. Peterson, p.16).
- John Jay (Supreme Court Judge): Lastly, we have another favorite Calvinist of mine. John Jay learned some Latin before the age of 8 when he was sent off to a school in New Rochelle, 8 miles away (a Huguenot (Calvinist) town). He continued until age eleven and then went home and studied under a private tutor, George Murray. He attended college at age 14 (John Jay: Founding Father, Stahr, p. 9).
Close examination of the above samples reveals a mixed approach to education that is being matched today in homeschooling circles. Too often the modern rhetoric has highlighted the superiority of homeschooling in the abstract, as though homeschooling was just junior, mom and dad. In reality, more and more families are mixing some form of tutoring into their child's curriculum. Many families are discovering that no family is an island and that God has graced his kingdom with differing abilities, with some families stronger in one academic area than others. But this is yet another posting for the future.
The conclusion of the matter is that rewriting history rewrites our expectations: "If only we could create that homeschooling environment, we could turn back the clock!"--a cry I've heard and read over the years. We will not achieve another Patrick Henry simply by homeschooling. Another James Madison will not arise from the ashes of America simply by homeschooling. Homeschooling is but one means to an end. And it operated in a Christian culture that is lost today (think Sabbatarian, confessional, & Calvinistic). If we want to turn back the clock, we need such a milieu again.
Retelling internet educational fables only sets up the homeschoolers and their supporters for a humiliating fall. Instead the focus should be on supporting one another in love. Hyping history in favor of one educational method over another just turns into a in-house fight--a form a tribalism that will eat the church from within. Instead, the spirit of 1 Corinthians 13 should prevail and the truth of history should be supported. In fact, homeschoolers should support private schoolers; private schoolers should help homeschoolers; and churches should nurture their members on the pure Gospel of Christ and the Law of His kingdom.