PRESIDENTIAL PROS AND CONS: THE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT

PRESIDENTIAL PROS AND CONS: THE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT

Citizen Tom

Caption: The committee chosen to draft a declaration of independence for the 13 North American British colonies is shown at work in this 19th century engraving. The five members are, from left, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. On July 1, 1776, the committee submitted their draft to the Continental Congress, which voted on July 2 for final separation, and approved and formally adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4. (© AP Images) Caption: The committee chosen to draft a declaration of independence for the 13 North American British colonies is shown at work in this 19th century engraving. The five members are, from left, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. On July 1, 1776, the committee submitted their draft to the Continental Congress, which voted on July 2 for final separation, and approved and formally adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4. (© AP Images)

We actually have as part of our heritage a document that clearly states the purpose of government, the Declaration of Independence.  Here are the key words.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among…

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Do You Think Joy and Happiness Are the Same? Wrong!

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For unbelievers, there may be a certain interchangeableness of joy and happiness. Indeed, there are even some passages in the Bible that use the words for joy and happiness somewhat interchangeably. The overarching point here is that the pure joy that continuously comes from the Lord is vastly different than the occasional happiness that comes from man.

For believers, joy in the Lord is the persistent, upbeat, sense of peace and delight that arises, because the Lord first loves us and we in turn love Him as best we can. Joy arises from the continuous operation of God’s love, grace, forgiveness, mercy, and longsuffering in our lives. The joy of the Lord is permanent, dependable, reliable, and therefore an anchor of the believer’s life.

Some—especially prosperity TV preachers—claim that God wants everyone to be happy all the time. Really? Then why does God say that suffering is the most powerful tool for building strong godly character? Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” [James 1:2 ESV]

Clearly, God wants us to experience the inner joy that comes only from Him. That joy persists despite suffering and attracts others to a saving faith in Jesus. Suffering itself is not fun; it is often painful physically, emotionally, spiritually or all three. Suffering and happiness cannot coexist; for believers, suffering and the joy of the Lord MUST exist simultaneously. It is the most powerful route to building strong character and becoming an effective witness for God.

Happiness is a temporary response to the words and actions of others who will always let us down. In short, all-embracing joy comes from God, but fleeting happiness depends upon others. Consider the comparison of joy and happiness in the table.

joy-v-happiness

Happiness cycles frequently according to the ebb and flow, of outward circumstances. Happiness depends on others who are fickle and will always let us down.

The joy of the Lord should be rock solid. “…the joy of the LORD is your strength.” [Nehemiah 8:10 NIV] Nevertheless, since all people are flawed and sinful, there may be an occasional lapse of joy, but in a believer, it should be very rare.

Most believers are familiar with at least one stage 4 cancer victim who seemed to radiate the love of the Lord in the days just before death. Stage 4 cancer is no fun and can at times be very painful. Happiness becomes very scarce. When pain arrives, happiness often leaves. But true inner joy—the kind that only comes from God—can shine through despite the pain. It is the joy that shines through the pain that often draws people to Jesus.

The pervasive, immediate and eternal benefits of seeking God’s incomparable joy so far surpass man’s fickle, short-term happiness, that the choice of which to pursue is inescapably clear. Yet, we seem to devote most of our waking hours chasing man’s flawed and undependable happiness, often missing God’s sustained, perfect joy simply due to lack of time.

The joy of the Lord should and must be a permanent characteristic of every believer. It is simply a matter of getting pride out of the way and allowing God’s light and love to shine through. God’s light and love will attract others to Jesus, even, or perhaps especially, when outward happiness is at a record low.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Thanksgiving Miracle of Five Kernels of Corn

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Most of us learned about Thanksgiving in school. You know the drill. In 1620, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean blue and experienced a devastatingly harsh winter along the Massachusetts coast. About half of them perished. Spring finally arrived and a friendly Indian named Squanto helped the Pilgrims learn how to obtain food by stomping eels out of the mud and fertilizing corn with dead fish. The following fall, they celebrated an abundant harvest with a feast that became known as the first Thanksgiving. But there is more, much more. The string of miracles is nearly endless:

  • Many years before, the Separatists, later known as the Pilgrims, reached the breaking point of frustration and disappointment after enduring severe persecution by the Church of England. They “removed” to Leyden, Holland. After nearly a dozen years of severe adversity and personal toughening, it was time to leave. They came to believe the America was their “promised land.” They found their way back to England on the ship, Speedwell, prepared to join the Mayflower for the long difficult voyage to America. At Southhampton, their sponsors forcibly required them to accommodate 80 “strangers” who would later strain the best of interpersonal relationships. The Pilgrims numbers were reduced due to limited capacity on the ships. In July, 1620, they sailed west. In barely three days they had to return to England, because of structural problems with the masts on the Speedwell. Again, their numbers were reduced to stay within the carrying capacity of the Mayflower. God had sifted their numbers repeatedly. Only the hardiest of the hardy remained on the Mayflower for the epic journey.
  • Crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Pilgrims endured “seven weeks of the hell of an ill-lighted, rolling, pitching, stinking inferno” as well as tormenting by the crew. All manner of sins were brought to the surface, confessed, and forgiven. By the time they reached land, they were a spiritually cleansed and extremely close-knit group. Adversity does that.
  • Mid-way across the Atlantic, they experienced a life-threatening emergency. The immense cross-beam supporting the main mast was failing. They would likely be lost at sea. After intense prayer, William Brewster had a eureka moment. He recommended using the giant iron printing press screw to support the breaking beam. It worked! Even the skeptical sailors praised God along with the Pilgrims.
  • Just before landing at Plymouth in Massachusetts, they realized they were under no legal jurisdiction. To maintain order, they wrote and everyone signed the Mayflower Compact. The miracle and genius of the document is that it included many of the same principles later embodied in our founding documents.
  • Their landing site was protected by Cape Cod. The site was flat, cleared, and had four freshwater streams and even a cache of corn. How could that happen? The area was previously cleared and inhabited by the Patuxet Indians, one of the few tribes known to be extremely hostile. Years before the Pilgrims’ arrival, the tribe was wiped out by a plague. Other tribes avoided the area, fearing presence of evil spirits. It was a miracle site for the Pilgrims.
  • They finally set foot on land in mid-November, 1620.The first winter was extremely harsh and food was scarce. In January, the thatched roof of the Common House caught fire, a life-threatening emergency, due to their utter dependence on that building. Adversity inspired even more prayer and bound them together even tighter. By Spring, they had lost about half their number. Still the mortality rate was not nearly as high as in Jamestown, Virginia. The miracle was that half did survive.
  • In their most desperate hour into their camp walked a Christian, English-speaking Indian, a Patuxet no less. Yes, you read it right. He was the Squanto of our school days lessons. He was the only survivor of the plague that killed the rest of his tribe, because he was not there. In 1605, Squanto was one of four Indians taken captive and shipped to England, where they were taught English so they could be questioned. Squanto spent nine years in England. In 1614, he was returned to America by Captain John Smith (Yes, it is the same one you remember from the Pocohontas story hundreds of miles to the South.). But Squanto was quickly captured again, taken to Spain and sold as a slave. He was bought and feed by local friars who taught him the Christian faith. Upon his second return to America, Squanto was devastated to find that his entire tribe had succumbed to a plague. Alone and wandering through the woods, Squanto was discovered by Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags. The wise chief recognized that the Pilgrims had a desperate need and the Squanto desperately needed to be needed. Massasoit sent Squanto, the Christian, English-speaking Indian to the Pilgrims. William Brewster would later call Squanto, “a special instrument sent of God for their good, beyond their expectation.” Squanto effectively became an earthly savior. He taught the Pilgrims how to survive in a harsh, rugged, untamed wilderness.
  • Following a bountiful harvest, they and about ninety Indians celebrated the feast that became known as the First Thanksgiving. The three-day celebration and the new arrivals from England consumed much of the provisions for the second winter.
  • By Spring, the food ration for each individual was down to an unimaginable five kernels of corn per day. Nevertheless, they survived again and enjoyed a bountiful harvest after the second summer.
  • When everyone approached the table for the Second Thanksgiving feast, they found a plate with just five kernels of corn as a reminder of God’s limitless grace even under the harshest of conditions.

Here is a challenge for you. Set this year’s Thanksgiving table with just five kernels of corn on each plate. Before enjoying the rest of the feast, share this story with your family and guests. God’s grace is truly wonderful! Tell everyone, about it, beginning with your family.

Much of this story was abstracted from The Light and the Glory, by Peter Marshall and David Manuel (1977), Fleming H. Revell Company; Old Tappan, New Jersey.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

President Calvin Coolidge on Paid Protestors

But there is another … recent development … the greatly disproportionate influence of organized minorities. Artificial propaganda, paid agitators, selfish interests, all impinge upon members of legislative bodies to force them to represent special elements rather than the great body of their constituency. When they are successful, minority rule is established. … The result is an extravagance on the part of the government which is ruinous to the people and a multiplicity of regulations and restrictions for the conduct of all kinds of necessary business, which becomes little less than oppressive…”                                                          President Calvin Coolidge, 1926

What Does Trump’s Victory Mean for Believers?

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God has given believers a reprieve! We have four years to stand up, stand out, and speak out as fearless ambassadors of Christ.

Donald Trump has won the Presidency of the United States with a landslide electoral majority (Trump 290 v Clinton 232, Michigan count incomplete, but leaning Trump—16 electoral votes). It is a victory of:

  • nationalism over globalism,
  • democracy over socialism, and
  • faith in God over Humanism.

We have escaped the shackles of political correctness and the captivity of the liberal/progressive/socialist/Humanist/Marxist/globalist movement.

Collectively, the American people have said, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Network [movie, 1976] When Trump makes decisions or takes actions aligned with Scripture, we will stand up and cheer. When he makes decisions or takes actions inconsistent with God’s Word, we may stand up and boo—in love of course.

At times, the Israelites of old, “did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.” At other times, they did that which was right in their own eyes. Later on, the Israelite kings did the same. When those in Judah persistently, “did what was right in their own eyes,” they were carried into captivity in Babylon. When those in Israel did the same, they were carried into captivity in Assyria.

For nearly, 200 years, Americans tried hard to “do what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” For the last 40 years, the Baby Boomers have wandered in a spiritual wilderness, “doing what was right in their own eyes.” The consequences have been tragic and catastrophic. We have increasingly, been carried into the runaway government captivity aggressively created by the elites of the liberal/progressive/socialist/Humanist/Marxist/globalist movement.

God has given believers a reprieve! We have four years to stand up, stand out, and speak out as fearless ambassadors of Christ.

What America looks like in four years will depend far more on the collective actions of believers than on the actions of President-elect Trump. It may be our last chance to restore America, our families, and stabilize the American culture for our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond.
Trump’s victory has given the body of Judeo-Christian believers a four-year reprieve and an opportunity to once again, “do what is right in the eyes of the Lord,” to restore America. The alternative is unthinkable.

The Unthinkable

A Hillary Clinton victory would have carried us further into the ever tightening captivity of a malignant government that would continue to destroy the Constitution, the family, the free enterprise system, and catalyze a rapidly growing cultural exposure to  incursions of Sharia law.

A Clinton victory would have confirmed that a majority of Americans no longer understand the difference between right and wrong and no longer sense a conviction about the difference between good and evil. Why? Because one of the main tenets of the Humanist movement Hillary leads is that there is no such thing as objective truth and therefore no universal set of values, applicable at all times.

The Humanist movement, all of its aligned political groups, and Hillary are relentlessly, and vigorously running away from God as fast as possible. Since Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life…,” [John 14:6 NIV] they can only run from God by running from truth.

The ramifications of running from truth are incalculably immense. If there is no objective truth, there cannot be a lie because, by definition a lie is a deviation from truth. If there is no truth, there can be no values such as honesty and integrity, because those values must be built on a virtuous foundation of truth.

Without truth, there is no contrast between good and evil, because everything is seen as good (ultimate tolerance) and evil does not exist. The existence of evil is simply denied.

Humanism and its progeny lead to destruction of the family and destruction of the American culture. The Humanist movement encourages the resulting chaos, because chaos becomes the excuse for government to demand ever more socialistic power, growing continuously until the government self-destructs under its own weight. The pattern has been repeated endlessly throughout history.

The Unprecedented Opportunity

Instead, the election of Donald Trump to President of the United States stops or at least temporarily interrupts the downward spiral pursued by the liberal/progressive/socialist/Humanist/Marxist/globalist movement. The resulting opportunity for believers is a gift. It is unprecedented in our lifetime.

God has given believers a reprieve! We have four years to stand up, stand out, and speak out as fearless ambassadors of Christ.

NOW is the time for Judeo-Christian believers to wake-up, coalesce, and take action. Jesus declared, “You are the salt of the earth…” [Matthew 5:13 NIV] Think about it! No one else anywhere in the world can be the salt of the earth. Only believers are qualified and empowered for that role. If we fail, there is no one else. If we fail, we will have failed our families, our countrymen and the Lord.

Jesus immediately raised the stakes in the next verse, declaring, “You are the light of the world…” [Matthew 5:14 NIV] Once again, no one else anywhere on earth can be the light of the world. Only believers are qualified and empowered for that role. If we fail, there is no one else. If we fail, we will have failed our families, our countrymen and the Lord. We absolutely must not allow our light to dim and must not hide it under a basket, i.e. in our homes and places of worship.

If believers reading this are not yet feeling the heat, the Apostle Paul forcefully trumpets, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” [2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV] Does any of us have the brass to be a barrier to God’s appeal through us?

As believers, we ARE ambassadors for Christ 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We cannot choose not to be an ambassador. The only choice available to us is whether to be a positive ambassador, drawing others toward us and toward Jesus, or a negative ambassador, driving others away from us and away from Jesus.

As soon as people discover that you and I are believers, we live in a spiritually glass house. There is no shortage of people ready to proclaim us to be hypocrites or narrow minded, judgmental dupes or worse. We must not give them the excuse to do so.

Each of us is an ambassador, with every breath we take and every moment we live. Whenever we utter an unkind word, exhibit a facial expression that is less than loving, or do something that is even questionable, we are being a negative ambassador, driving people away from us and away from the Lord. Sharing our faith becomes virtually impossible.

Instead, if we set aside our pride, allow God’s love to shine through us and allow His unhindered appeal to reach all those around us, they will be drawn toward us and toward the Lord. As the visible vehicle of God’s love, our conversation will be uplifting, our facial expression will be warmly inviting, and our behavior will be beyond reproach. We will be viewed as a positive ambassador as the Lord and Paul intended. Sharing our faith becomes natural and comfortable.
We can pray, “Come quickly Lord Jesus.” [Rev. 22:20]. But in the meantime, we must accept the responsibilities He has imposed on us. For a moment, consider the testimony of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“Now, Dr. Lowry said something about my having certain convictions as to a God in Heaven and an Almighty power. Well, I don’t think anyone needs a great deal of credit for believing in what seems to me to be obvious…This relationship between a spiritual faith…and our form of government is…so obvious that we should really not need to identify a man as unusual because he recognizes it. Our whole theory of government finally expressed in our Declaration…said…Man is endowed by his Creator…When you come back to it, there is just one thing…man is worthwhile because he was born in the image of his God…Democracy is nothing in the world but a spiritual conviction…that each of us is enormously valuable, because of a certain standing before our own God. Any group that…awakens all of     us to these simple things…is, in my mind, a dedicated, patriotic group that can well take the Bible in one hand and the flag in the other, and march ahead.” [Emphasis added.]

President Dwight D. Eisenhower,

November 9, 1954

We must be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and strong positive ambassadors for Christ. We have no other choice. This may be our last chance before America drops into an abyss of her own making.

God has given believers a reprieve! Let’s not blow it. America and future generations of our families are depending on YOU and me.

Congratulations President-elect Trump! For you and the nation, we will:

Pray! Pray! Pray!

and

Act! Act! Act!

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?