The Constitution and U.S. government stand as long as the foundation remains solid. When the foundation crumbles, the house absolutely falls.
Every cultural (political) controversy has spiritual roots (foundation). A political band-aide will never stop a spiritual hemorrhage.
Government and religious organizations are kept separate because both are subject to man’s wisdom and authority overtaking God’s wisdom and authority. Government and religious organizations tied together have either a positive synergistic a negative antagonistic effect. As long as man has a sinful nature, the default will be towards the negative. Besides, the government must work by coercion (force); everything about Christianity is voluntary. Force and freedom are mutually exclusive, which is precisely why government must be limited to maximize perennially fragile personal and cultural freedom.
Church and state have an approach/avoidance conflict. The separation concept has been abused to the point of becoming a national obsession. However, European history has demonstrated that bringing them together is a prescription for disaster.
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Founder/President John Adams, letter 1798
“What is liberty without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils…madness without restraint. Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without.” British Statesman, Edmund Burke, speech to National Assembly, 1791
“Men, in a word, must be controlled either by a power within them, or a power without them; either by the word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or the bayonet.” U.S. Speaker of the House, Robert Winthrop, 1849
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. ” Benjamin Franklin
The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently…when the proceedings ended…A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.” Benjamin Franklin
Jesus came in the midst of the unspeakably cruel Roman Empire. Centuries later—for the first time in history—the American colonists, mostly Christians, had the privilege and opportunity to form their own government to protect and preserve their God-given gifts of civil AND spiritual freedom. Our ability to protect our freedom is rapidly declining; the pace of the decline is accelerating. Only the righteousness of the body of believers fueled by the power of the Holy Spirit or the return of Christ can stop the decline.
We MUST NOT continue to squander and throw away our gifts from God. The world (liberal/progressive movement) conspires to destroy us; we must conspire to love them and vote with prayerful precision anyway. Otherwise, we will each one day standalone before the Lord and He will ask, “What did YOU do with my awesome and precious gift of freedom?”
“Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my eye…(In Europe) I had seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom almost always moving in contrary directions. Here, I found them united intimately with one another; they reigned together on the same soil… The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other. They brought with them into the New World a Christianity that I cannot depict better than to call it democratic and republican: this singularly favors the establishment of a republic and democracy in affairs. From the beginning, politics and religion were in accord, and they have not ceased to be so since…Christianity has therefore retained a stronghold on the public mind in America…In the United States…Christianity itself is a fact so irresistibly established, that no on undertakes either to attack or to defend it.” Alexis de Tocqueville, French historian
“Religion in America…must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it…This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation…If a political character (candidate) attacks a (religious) sect, this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect from supporting him; but if he attacks all the (Christian) sects together, every one abandons him and he remains alone…Moreover, all the sects [Christian denominations] of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same…There is no country in the whole world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence than in America…and nothing better demonstrates how useful it is to man, since the country where it now has the widest sway is both the most enlightened and the freest.” Alexis de Tocqueville, French historian
“I therefore urge upon all the voters of our country, without reference to party, that they assemble…at their respective voting places in the exercise of the high office of American citizenship, that they approach the ballot box in the spirit that they would approach a sacrament, and there, disregarding all appeals to passion and prejudice, dedicate themselves truly and wholly to the welfare of their country. When an election is so held it…sustains the belief that the voice of the people is the voice of God.” President Calvin Coolidge, radio address, 1924
“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.” Benjamin Franklin
“The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.” President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, 1961
“The guiding principle of this Nation has been, is now, and ever shall be IN GOD WE TRUST.” President John F. Kennedy, 1961
True, history has demonstrated that the organized government and the organized church must legally separate. Nevertheless, in America, church and state have a complementary relationship and must continually cultivate a mutual interdependence for the stability and survival of both.
The American state is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” It can only survive on a foundation of virtuous people produced by an unshakable confidence in a life hereafter and ultimate accountability to the God of all creation. Virtuous people are willing and able to put others before self; the absence of virtue nourishes self-pride at the expense of others. The complementary church must continue to enjoy the God-given and government-protected freedom within which to produce such virtuous people.
The intimate harmony of Christianity and the American form of government has been blessed by God and sustained our country for hundreds of years. But today, the liberal/progressive movement works tirelessly to paint Christians as haters and rebels to the government. The United States government is the only government ever created by the body of Christ, relying on God for direction. God has blessed our government and people more than any other. We MUST NOT, by the sin of neglect, allow the government to continue to deteriorate and self-destruct.
Satan’s deception manifested through the liberal/progressive movement is destroying America.
Liberal/progressives are the true haters of all truth. Since they deny the existence of objective truth they can only achieve their objective by deception.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God…God is love.” [1 John 4:7-8 ESV] Without love, there can be no lasting social or cultural order.
“…where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom (liberty).” [2 Corinthians 3:17] Otherwise, there is spiritual and civil captivity in a variety of forms.
“Please God, awaken believers and their leaders before it’s too late.”
Is it really possible to vote for God? Absolutely! Here’s why. Here’s how.
The American people have enjoyed the greatest freedom for living and self-determination since the Garden of Eden. The only other culture coming close was the ancient Israelites, during the time of the judges (before the kings), a period of about 400 years.
Movie director Cecile B. DeMille personally introduced his epic, The Ten Commandments, the story of the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Hebrew slaves (later known as Israelites) from Egypt. DeMille billed the story as “the birth of freedom.” Thousands of years later, the Founders of the newly born United States of America tasked a small committee, including John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson with designing the Great Seal of the United States.
The Founders used the model of the ancient Israelites for many of the features of the new American government. The Great Seal committee was so inspired by the ancients that an early draft of the Great Seal proposed an embossed sketch of the Hebrews leaving Egypt. The draft was later set aside as excessively complex. However, its existence as part of the preplan underscores the affection the Founders had for the ancient culture and the inspiration they derived from it.
The Founders recognized that freedom and certain rights are gifts from God, not grants from government. Representative freedoms and rights were enshrined in the American Declaration of Independence and codified in the United States Constitution.
The role of future politicians was to protect those freedoms and rights from encroachment by the newly formed Federal government. The Constitution provided powerful protection by confining the Federal government within a very tight box. The Constitution itself could be amended only by a brilliantly well-chosen and deliberately burdensome amendment process.
The writers of the Constitution bound the federal government with very tight restrictions, because they understood that man’s sin nature produced a relentless concentration of power in virtually every culture throughout all time periods of recorded history. Secular philosophers call the same phenomenon “egoism.”
The Constitution was designed to be an anchor for the American government and the American culture. Nearly a century later, the emerging liberal/progressive Humanist movement proclaimed that the Constitution must be a “living” document that can change with the times. From that time on, the liberal big government view challenged the long-standing conservative small government view. The need to restrict the passions of men using a Constitutional lock box is the basis for today’s conservative view supporting small government.
Since the original Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were based, insofar as possible, on Biblical standards and a Biblical worldview, changes to the Constitution inexorably move the American culture away from the original Biblical worldview.
Voting for God is simply voting for candidates up and down the ballot who will do the most to protect those freedoms and rights that are gifts from God, not grants from government. For believers, sitting at home, on election day, is NOT an option; it is a failure to do what is necessary to protect God’s gifts. Voting for a third party candidate is NOT an option; it is a wasted vote and a failure to do what is necessary to protect God’s gifts.
After election day, November 3, 2020, the President of the United States will be either Donald Trump (nationalist) or Joe Biden (globalist). As voters, it is important to ignore the trash in the media to focus on the beliefs and actions the candidates are likely to pursue if elected.
As a nationalist, most of Donald Trump’s beliefs are aligned with the Biblical worldview. He is flawed like all candidates, but his actions as president will clearly do the most to protect God’s wonderful, incomparable gifts. Trump will do the most to protect the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage, and the cohesiveness of the family.
As a globalist, Joe Biden’s liberal/progressive views and actions as president would be diametrically opposed to Trump’s. Hillary is determined to achieve unlimited abortion at taxpayer expense, greatly expand Planned Parenthood funding, destroy marriage as an important cultural concept, and virtually eliminate American sovereignty by eliminating borders and giving away sovereignty by camouflaging the giveaways in so called free trade agreements.
Finally, the judges appointed by the next president will serve lifetime appointments long after the president leaves office. Trump is committed to appointing conservative Constitutionalist judges, some from a list he has already publicized. Hillary is committed to appointing judges who will arbitrarily exceed Constitutional authority by “legislating from the bench.”
Will America survive or die? It is up to YOU! Vote for God! But first, pray and consider several quotes from those who loved America from the depths of their souls.
“Religion in America…must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it… Alexis de Tocqueville
“You…are placed by Providence in the post of honor, because it is the post of danger…The eyes not only of North America and the whole British Empire, but of all Europe, are upon you. Let us be, therefore altogether solicitous that no disorderly behavior, nothing unbecoming our character as American, as citizens and Christians, be justly chargeable to us.
Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual…Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”
Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, 1774
Boston Patriot Josiah Quincy proclaimed, “Under God, we are determined that wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die free men.”
Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote at every opportunity including seemingly minor local offices. Vote thoughtfully after careful consideration of the record of each candidate and his/her specifically clarified views. Do not fail to vote; do not vote frivolously.
The principle driving force of America’s founding was freedom of religion. America’s institutions established a culture of civic freedom to assure all citizens the right to practice religious freedom in all walks of life. History has demonstrated repeatedly that heritage determines destiny. However, Christians and their heritage have, with rapidly increasing frequency, been vigorously and powerfully attacked in recent decades. The American culture first drifted from the Bible and later drifted from the United States Constitution. The Biblical battle between good and evil in heavenly places has become clearly visible in this life—in the United States of America, where people least expected it. Unless the decline of the American culture is stopped and its Judeo-Christian heritage is recovered, America’ future is grim.Believers in America have become anesthetized by excessive materialism, progressively isolated, numbed to all manner of sin, and distant from God. The only remedy available is the greatest spiritual awakening of all time, similar to the awakening that fueled the War for Independence, later known as the American Revolutionary War. Faith must become real and soul-deep. Holy Spirit enabled love for God through Jesus the Messiah must become so visible that others are envious. The overflow of God’s love through believers conquers all. The book, Target America—Target You! explains it all and provides your action plan. It’s available now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and many other places.
When many of us were in school, we were taught that the Roman Empire fell, because it was overrun by barbarians from the north. Partly right, but only partly. Consider the constellation of conditions that existed at the time. Compare them with America today. The resemblance is inescapable and alarming:
Rome was overrun by illegal immigrants, initially assimilating, but later failing to learn the Roman language (Latin). Sound familiar today?
Roman military was widely dispersed throughout the known world and greatly strained. America today?
Rome had a trade deficit rooted in outsourcing grain production to North Africa. Rome was unable to protect the area from capture. Contrary to today’s media reports, corporate outsourcing is more a result of government actions than so called corporate “greed.”
Attila the Hun committed terrorist attacks. Today’s Global Terrorism Database provides information on 150,000 terrorist attacks
Roman welfare gave free bread to citizens. Juvenal (circa A.D. 100) said the Roman politicians pacified the citizens and bought their vote with “bread and circuses.” A contemporary quote proclaimed, “Those who live at the expense of the public funds are more numerous than those who provide them.” Today, people working for the government outnumber those in manufacturing by nearly 2:1. Nearly 100,000,000 people are out of work. Only those still collecting unemployment compensation show up in the unemployment statistics.
Citizens feared Roman tax collectors who were, “more terrible than the enemy.” Sound like the IRS?
Huge government bureaucracies created monstrous debt. Self-evident today.
Court favoritism was common. Self-evident today.
Infidelity and sexual immorality became normal. Political correctness says every behavior should be “tolerated.”
Perverted bathhousesTransgender restrooms and locker rooms anyone?
Gratuitous violence, as in gladiator fights, became common. The Roman violence was real. Today, the violence in video games, television, and the movies is so lifelike, they trigger brain responses very similar to real violence, thus numbing the public to violence that should be repulsive.
Do we ever learn from history? Should we learn from history? What are the risks of not learning from history?
The conditions listed above contributed greatly to the breakdown of the family. No civilization has ever survived the breakdown of the family.
Living for self (Humanism, liberalism, progressivism, Marxism, etc.) always leads to the decline of civilizations and ultimate ruin. Living for others (Judeo-Christian tradition, religious and political conservatism) creates a stable culture that can be passed on to subsequent generations. What are YOU willing to do to save America?
What does it take to wake-up the body of believers?
“I therefore urge upon ALL THE VOTERS of our country, without reference to party, that they assemble…at their respective voting places IN THE EXERCISE OF THE HIGH OFFICE OF AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP, that they APPROACH THE BALLOT BOX IN THE SPIRIT THAT THEY WOULD APPROACH A SACRAMENT, and there, disregarding all appeals to passion and prejudice, dedicate themselves truly and wholly to the welfare of their country. When an election is so held, it…sustains the belief that the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
Senator Daniel Webster
“Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own.”
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
Matthias Burnett-Judge, U.S. District Ct., District of N.Y.,(1806-1819)
(appointed by President Thomas Jefferson)
“Consider well the important trust . . . which God . . . [has] put into your hands. . . . (right to vote) To God and posterity you are accountable for [your rights and your rulers]. . . . Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you. . . .”
The American culture and The Great American Experiment in self-government has never been in greater peril. You ABSOLUTELY MUST VOTE on Tuesday November 7, 2018.
The choice is simple in nearly every race. Vote for GOD-GIVEN FREEDOM or vote for power hungry man-created SOCIALISM, a vote guaranteed to take freedom away. Freedom is a gift from God, not a grant from government. God’s great gift of freedom was proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence:
“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 Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.”
God’s great gift of freedom has been repeatedly reaffirmed by nearly all U.S. presidents and many other prominent leaders from our country’s founding up until the present. President Ronald Reagan cautioned that we are never more than one generation away from losing our precious freedom.
We must disregard past conditions or future uncertainties. We must choose and vote for candidates on November 7, 2018 based on today’s conditions.
With abundant clarity, the vote cast on Tuesday, MOST LIKELY TO PRESERVE OUR GOD-GIVEN FREEDOMS, will be cast—in nearly every race—for the conservative (Republican) candidate.
Yesterday, President Trump read The Snake to a highly supportive CPAC crowd. He used the short poem to illustrate the dangers of unrestricted, uncontrolled immigration.
However, any believer reading the piece will immediately recognize the snake (serpent) as representing the devil. Beyond the first recognition, any sin committed is coddling or showing compassion for the snake. Any temptation is an invitation to embrace the lure of the snake. Sin appears alluring and very attractive; in the end, it bites with far more poison than any snake.
Note: The poem is apparently lyrics from a song written by Oscar Brown, Jr, in 1963 and recorded by Al Wilson in 1969. Because the song is based on one of Aesop’s fables, it has been available in various forms for about 2500 years.
On her way to work one morning
Down the path alongside the lake
A tender-hearted woman saw a poor half-hearted frozen snake.
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
“Poor thing,” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you.”
“Take me in, oh tender woman, take me in for heaven’ sake
Take me in, oh tender woman,” sighed the vicious snake.
She wrapped him all cozy in a comforter of silk
And laid him by her fireside with some honey and some milk.
She hurried home from work that night and soon as she arrived
She found that pretty snake she’s taken in had been revived.
“Take me in, oh tender woman, take me in for heaven’ sake
Take me in, oh tender woman,” sighed the vicious snake.
She clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful,” she cried
“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now surely you would have died.”
She stroked his pretty skin and kissed and held him tight
But instead of saying thank you, that snake gave her a vicious bite.
“Take me in, oh tender woman, take me in for heaven’ sake
Take in, oh tender woman,” sighed the vicious snake.
My every breath, thought, attitude, choice, and action is by the grace of God. Yet, He gives me the freedom to align myself with Him as an expression of continuing and eternal gratitude or to rebel and do things my own sinful way. By the power of the Holy Spirit choosing God’s way is easy, but Satan constantly fans the rebellious flames of pride. The tension can only be resolved by spending time with God, God’s people, and habitually, deliberately choosing God’s way. “I am the way…” [John 14:6]
Nearly all Americans (93%) celebrate Christmas. Only an extremely tiny minority would object to the greeting, “Merry Christmas,” a cherry greeting roughly equivalent to, “I love you,” Yet, political correctness, championed by the liberal/progressive movement, has effectively eliminated the Merry Christmas greeting from public life as well as nativity scenes and other symbols of Christmas. In contrast, consider what three nationally-known Jewish leaders have to say about Christmas celebrations:
Burt Prelutsky, a Jewish columnist for a number of national publications, declares:
I never thought I’d live to see the day that Christmas would become a dirty word. . . . How is it, one well might ask, that in a Christian nation this is happening? . . . Speaking as a member of a minority group – and one of the smaller ones at that – I say it behooves those of us who don’t accept Jesus Christ as our savior to show some gratitude to those who do, and to start respecting the values and traditions of the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens, just as we keep insisting that they respect ours. Merry Christmas, my friends!
Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Daniel Lapin agrees:
Secular fundamentalism has successfully injected into American culture the notion that the word “Christmas” is deeply offensive. . . . Anti-Christianism is unhealthy for all Americans; but I warn my brethren that it will prove particularly destructive for Jews. . . . Let us all go out of our way to wish our many wonderful Christian friends – a very merry Christmas. Just remember, America’s Bible belt is our safety belt.
Orthodox Jewish radio host and creator of PragerUniversity.com Dennis Prager writes:
As a Jew, and a religious one at that, I want to wish my fellow Americans a Merry Christmas. Not “Happy Holidays.” Merry Christmas…
It doesn’t matter with which religion or ethnic group you identify; Christmas in America is as American as the proverbial apple pie. That is why some of the most famous and beloved Christmas songs were written by guess who? Jews.
White Christmas—Irving Berlin
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer—Johnny Marks
Let It Snow! Let It snow! Let It Snow!—July Styne/Sammy Cahn
Silver Bells—Jay Livingston/Ray Evans
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an Open Fire—Mel Torme/Robert Wells
Sleigh ride-–Mitchell Parish
and many others.
The notion that non-Christians are excluded is absurd.
It never occurred to my Orthodox Jewish family not to enjoy this season. It was a tradition in our home to watch the Christmas Mass from the Vatican every Christmas Eve…Had you visited our home, you would have seen my mother—and my father, my brother and I all wearing our kippot (Jewish skull-caps)—watching Catholics celebrate Christmas…
So when and why did this pernicious nonsense of non-Christians being “excluded” by public celebration of Christmas develop?
It is nothing more than another destructive product of the 1960s and 1970s, when the left came to dominate much of the culture.
There you have it! Say “Merry Christmas” everywhere; say it again and again and again. Say Merry Christmas with love every time. Saying it mechanically, without love betrays the greeting and the Lord.
So—Spread the Deliberate Joy; spread the merriment. After all, love is contagious. And—don’t forget the reason for the season!
Blogging YOU the warmest and merriest Christmas ever!
The first two quotes were abstracted from http://www.wallbuilders.com. The third quote is from wnd.com magazine, Whistleblower, “Of Messiahs False and True,” December 2014.
“It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.”
C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock (1970)
At a time when a movement is determined to forcibly revise history, our spiritual heritage is especially vital. Secular history chronicles man’s successes and failures. Real history chronicles the waxing and waning of man’s relationship with God. Real history is, after all, His story.
The root of C.S. Lewis’s observation is that, no matter how revered current authors may be, they are all subject to the influences and biases of modern culture. Similarly, historical authors were subject to the biases of their cultures. Reading books across a broad time span allows cultural biases to be offset.
C.S. Lewis’ quote drove this writer to search older books, leading to a rocket launch devotional plan. Consider these original source materials (origination time in red).
Ancient–Bible—Choose a reliable translation. Others have masterfully written comparisons of scripture versions. Generally, avoid paraphrases except for occasionally clarifying difficult passages in a translation. Commonly, believers read a chapter each day.
Modern-Federer, William J. (2012). American Minute: Notable Events of American Significance Remembered on the Date They Occurred, Amerisearch, Inc. (St. Louis, MO). Each daily reading spotlights famous figures and events from the earliest American colonies to the present day. The massive collection of original quotations repeatedly reinforces the principle that the United States form of government is not sustainable in the absence of a virtuous people. The Great American Experiment intends for the people to be self-governing. If the Christian faith and the government are separated, the government will fail. Conversely, the government will succeed only to the extent that people of Judeo-Christian faith are or become engaged.
1600s-Pederson, Randall J. ed. (2012). The Puritans Daily Readings, Christian Heritage Imprint by Christian Focus Publications (Geanies House, Fearn, Tain, Ross-shire). The Puritan movement crossed denominational lines and was perhaps larger in Europe than in America. The daily readings feature a different author each month. Although some of the names may be unfamiliar to the modern reader, the readings are all spectacularly powerful. A few of the most familiar names include Richard Baxter, John Bunyan (author of Pilgrim’s Progress), Jonathan Edwards, Samuel Rutherford, and Thomas Watson. The vivid daily readings will excite any reader.
1700s-Pederson, Randall J. ed. (2010) George Whitefield, Christian Heritage Imprint by Christian Focus Publications (Geanies House, Fearn, Tain, Ross-shire). George Whitefield was one of the two best known preachers of The Great Awakening, which was the driving force for the War of Independence (later called the Revolutionary War). Without the Great Awakening, there likely would not have been an American revolution. Whitefield’s preaching, profiled in daily readings, is jaw-dropping.
1400s-â Kempis, Thomas. (2004). The Imitation of Christ, Hendrickson Christian Classics (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA). Originally written circa. 1421 A.D. Thomas â Kempis was one of the leaders of a reformation movement separate from and predating the Reformation launched when Martin Luther nailed his 99 theses to the Wittenburg church door. Luther’s Reformation exploded in part due to the contemporary invention of the printing press. Nevertheless, â Kempis’ Imitation of Christ remains one of the greatest Christian classics of all time. Each daily reading is dynamite.
1700s-Pederson, Randall J. ed. (2005) Day by Day with Jonathan Edwards, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., Peabody MA. Jonathan Edwards was the other of the two best known preachers of The Great Awakening. Although, his best known message, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” may conjure a mental image of hellfire and brimstone, his extremely extensive writings and these daily readings brim with God’s infinite beautiful love.
18-1900s–Spurgeon, Charles (1991) Morning & Evening: A devotional classic for daily encouragement, Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC, Peabody MA. The “Prince of Preachers” wrote these daily morning and evening devotionals himself. His imagery is colorful, inescapably captivating, and inspiring beyond any ability to express in a brief summary.
1600s-Bennett, Arthur, ed. (2013). The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, The Banner of Truth Trust, (Versa Press, Inc. East Peoria, IL) Although some believers may not be used to reading the prayers of others, this collection is so vibrant it will bring tears to the eyes of many readers. The prayers in this volume have been written by saints such as Thomas Watson, Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, David Brainerd, William Jay, and Charles Spurgeon.
Personally, as time passed, a pattern emerged to my devotional time:
At first these devotional materials were simply read.
A bit later, I found myself highlighting occasional thoughts; eventually highlighting virtually everything with color coded highlighters.
Notes were occasionally jotted in the margins of the daily readings.
Today, virtually every page is filled with handwritten notes; some seem to be special thoughts from the Lord; others are 1-3 sentence summaries of the reading.
Finally, good writers seldom write in the first person (I, me, my, etc.). However, since the devotions are personal, intended primarily for my own use, the message skyrockets off the page when it is personalized. Example: “Christ, is a Mediator of the new covenant, a mediator between God and me. Jesus is a friend to both. He is a reconciler and a servant to both. He suffered for both. Jesus suffered for God’s justice and He suffered for my rejections.” And another example: “I MUST NOT handle God’s magnificent Word or the moments of my life carelessly. Instead, I MUST take great care to honor God’s Word and the moments of my life as special gifts from Him.”
Two other observations burn brightly from this collection of historic readings:
All of these great spiritual leaders fully integrate the Old and New Testaments in their teaching/preaching. The Bible and the biblical worldview is a whole, from creation to the return of Jesus. Such a holistic view seems to be often diluted or piecemealed in present day materials and messages.
The same early spiritual leaders lift up all three members of the Trinity equally and treat the wholeness of the Trinity equally with the roles of each member. Today, many denominations seem to focus on one member of the Trinity more than the other two. Similarly, in a zeal for analyzing Scripture, the wholeness of God too often seems to be overlooked as people zoom in on one member of the Trinity or another.
It is my hope and prayer that YOU will benefit from these suggestions.
What does it take to wake up the body of believers?
“Whatever you cannot understand commit to the security of the all-powerful God. Who does not deceive you. The man, however, who trusts in himself is deceived. God:
Walks with sincere men,
Reveals Himself to humble men,
Enlightens the understanding of pure minds, and
Hides His grace from the curious and the proud.
Human reason is weak and can be deceived. True faith, however, cannot be deceived. All reason and natural science ought to come after faith, not go before it, nor oppose it…God, eternal, incomprehensible, and infinitely powerful, does great and inscrutable things in heaven and on earth, and there is no searching into His marvelous works. If all the works of God were such that human reason could easily grasp them, they would not be called wonderful or beyond the power of words to tell.” Thomas a Kempis
Charles G. Finney, the famous 19th Century evangelist and minister, during the Second Great Awakening had powerful and prophetic words for leaders in the ministry. During a sermon in 1873 Finney proclaimed:
“Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits.
If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree.
If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.
Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.“
Christ’s death on the Cross is the ultimate expression of God’s love. ALL real love (agape; unconditional; others before self) comes from God. He allows and enables us to express His unconditional love to others only to the extent that we cast aside pride. Even that ability to cast aside pride comes from God.
Two Powerful Founders’ Quotes Connect Patriotism and Biblical Faith
July 3, 1776 “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever.
“You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory I can see that the end is worth more than all the means; that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction, even though we [may regret] it, which I trust in God we shall not.” Founder John Adams
July 4, 1837 “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day. Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the Progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Saviour and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets 600 years before.”
“I speak as a man of the world to men of the world; and I say to you, Search the Scriptures! The Bible is the book of all others, to be read at all ages, and in all conditions of human life; not to be read in small portions of one or two chapters every day, and never to be intermitted, unless by some overruling necessity.”
“Posterity–you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” Sixth President John Quincy Adams
Recently, the piece published on the subject topic attracted some criticism (in Christian love, of course) from two ministers. My message began:
In a monumental departure from millennia of Biblical tradition, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)—largest Protestant denomination in the United States—recently published a politically correct, gender-neutral version of the Bible.
The conversation was welcome and their points well-taken. They challenged my source and offered arguments that blunted the effect of the original source a bit. I chose to respond in principle with the following:
Clearly, I’m not a scholar of ancient Greek or Hebrew and Bible translators are flawed sinners like all the rest of us. Since their work product is presented to the public as the perfect, inspired, inerrant, Word of God, they have an enormous responsibility on their shoulders.
C.S. Lewis said, “For every new book you read, you should read at least one old one.” His reasoning was that every writer—or in this case translator—is subject to the biases of the culture of his time. Reading books—or perhaps Bible translations—helps neutralize or offset differing biases. When the Bible is translated, even a discussion of gender or gender inclusivity carries the risk of introducing the biases of our modern culture, despite the very best efforts to avoid it.
A writer of material in my morning devotions in the last two days, wrote, “Satan hangs out false colors and comes up to the Christians in the disguise of a friend, so that the gates are opened to him, and his motions received with applause, before either be discovered…Satan also tempts Christians in his gradual approaches to the soul…Thus Satan leads poor creatures down into the depths of sin by winding stairs, that let them not see the bottom whither they are going.” William Gurnall, British Puritan preacher (1616-1679).
Denny Burk cites the Colorado Springs Guidelines so frequently, he practically elevates them to scriptural authority. The article I cited offers some interesting points; the two articles you referenced provide some powerful arguments. Rather than attempt a detailed compare and contrast, I believe we would agree that translating Gods Word, is risky and fraught with danger. It’s likely that Satan will attack Bible translators with greater persistence and subtlety than the rest of us.
It seems that translators should work with the objective of translating as close to the original language as possible, defining words as close to the original definitions as possible and as understood by the culture of that time. God inspired the original writers who were looking through the lens of their time. At the same time, a direct word-for-word translation can result in text that is unusually difficult or cumbersome for the modern reader; some smoothing of the language is necessary. The big caution is that any discussion among the members of a team of translators, driven by some aspect of our modern culture can lead to very subtle forms of error that become compounded over time.
The films that comprise THE JOHN 10:10 PROJECT were produced to help nurture a deeper understanding of God. Each 4-10 minute video explores a facet of the Lord’s character, promises and power. Think of them as small stepping stones on your pathway to a more abundant Christian life. Each film in this collection is structured for use in personal devotions, Bible studies, outreach and corporate worship. We hope you will find them helpful on your journey. Find them at: https://vimeo.com.
“Some…challenge science to prove the existence of god.. But must we light a candle to see the sun?…It is difficult for me to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe…Viewing the awesome reaches of space…should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator.” Wernher von Braun, Director of NASA and U.S. guided missile program (launched America’s first satellite)
Once upon a time, when our politicians did not tend to apologize for our country’s prior actions, here’s a refresher on how some of our former patriots handled negative comments about our great country. These are good:
JFK’S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60’s when DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO.
DeGaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible.
Rusk responded, “Does that include those who are buried here?”
DeGaulle did not respond.
You could have heard a pin drop.
When in England , at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of ’empire building’ by George Bush.
He answered by saying, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders.
The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”
You could have heard a pin drop.
There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, “Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?”
A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: “Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?”
You could have heard a pin drop.
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.
Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks, but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, “Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?”
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, “Maybe it’s because the Brit’s, Canadians, Aussie’s and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.”
You could have heard a pin drop.
AND THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE…
Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.
“You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. “Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”
The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”
“Impossible… Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !”
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then, he quietly explained, ”Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchman to show a passport to.”
In a monumental departure from millennia of Biblical tradition, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)—largest Protestant denomination in the United States—recently published a politically correct, gender-neutral version of the Bible.
A few years ago, the publishers of the beloved New International Version of the Bible, published their latest edition as a gender-neutral edition. They and others with similar goals were rightfully and soundly criticized by SBC. In an about face, the SBC has done the very thing they so harshly criticized in the past.
The potential effect is devastating. The perpetrators (read translators) claimed they were working to “clarify the meaning” of Scripture. Any preacher can clarify the meaning of Scripture in a well prepared worship service message. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord for good preachers.
However, the translators are producing a work product that is presented to the public as the inspired inerrant Word of God. Because of the intended use of their work product, the translators are putting themselves in the position of judging God and His Word, effectively placing themselves above God—a fearful place to be. Lucifer only wanted to be “like” (equal to) God and it clearly did not work out well for him.
Nowhere in the universe is pride manifestly exhibited with more inescapable clarity than among people who call themselves “scholars” Nowhere is more dangerous than among so called Biblical scholars.
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” [Matthew 5:18 KJV] SBC has arrogantly done far more than just mess with a “jot or one tittle.” They have adulterated Scripture and flagrantly distorted the Biblical worldview.
In the entire history of the world, Jesus Christ was the first and only great equalizer. He declared men and women to be equal, but “equal” does not mean the same, identical, or indistinguishable. Jesus also declared that men and women have different roles and responsibilities.
Those extraordinary and breathtakingly beautiful and complementary differences between men and women:
Are fundamental to the abundant life He promised [John 10:10] and
The only way the earthly marriage and family can be the visible manifestation of the heavenly marriage between the Bridegroom (Jesus) and the bride (the Church).
Those roles must not be fogged or camouflaged—especially in Scripture—by language merely intended to reflect “tolerance” and “inclusivity.” Political correctness is the incredibly powerful tool used by the liberal/progressive/Humanist/socialist/Marxist/globalist crowd to achieve the satanic objectives of destroying the,
1) God-created family,
2) United States Constitution,
3) American form of government,
4) free-enterprise system, and the
5) freedoms given by God (not granted by government).
The people who purport to make men and women equal by making them the “same, identical, or indistinguishable” seek to aggressively destroy the beauty of God’s greatest creation.
Are YOU listening?
In a recent Barna Group survey of conservative ministers, 95% of the participants agreed that the resolution of 95% of today’s cultural controversies can be found in the Bible. But only 5% of the ministers said they would be willing to preach on those controversies.
From a lay viewpoint, there are many of us begging for strong—even in your face—Biblical messages from the pulpit. It is mindboggling that while SBC is adulterating Scripture, they are at the same time commissioning a study on why there has been a huge loss of membership in recent decades. Part of the reason is Pablum from the pulpit!
Strongly preached messages will attract new members; the messages will not chase them away. If a few leave, they were the tares among the wheat anyway. The Bible says “Fear not” 365 times; that include YOU preacher!
Is there a preacher reading this who has the honesty, integrity, courage, and the spiritual gonads to preach it like it is? Preaching the entirety of Scripture—the good, the bad, and the ugly, especially as it applies to the most controversial issues of our modern culture.
As this is being written, a Republican Congressman—the House Majority Whip—and several others have been shot at an early morning Congressional baseball practice and an 8-year old “drag queen” is being praised by the LBTQ…. Community.
Believers are the only ones in possession of the solutions to all the most raging modern controversies. As believers, we need spiritual leaders in the pulpit who are willing to lead, rather than merely manage Christian clubs. How about YOU!