Ronald Reagan on His Knees

We need more of our politicians to have his perspective!

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Freedom of Religion

Map of religious freedom and restrictions in t...

Map of religious freedom and restrictions in the world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does freedom of religion mean? Is freedom of religion a nebulous concept that must conform to the dictates of the government? Is it squishy? Can it be pushed to whatever size box the government allows for it? Obamacare includes a  mandate to provide abortifacient drugs. Many of us have problems with this from a moral point of view founded on our religion.  But we are private citizens. The HHS exemption only covers churches and some religious institutions. So has the president and his party decided that the freedom of religion of the private citizen is not important? What does our freedom of religion really mean?

 

 

It seems to me that if we can be forced to purchase medicine to initiate the murder of innocent unborn children, we have crossed a line of freedom of religion. If the intention of our founders was to consider sexual freedom on a par with religious freedom, wouldn’t we find it the first amendment? or somewhere in the Constitution? But we don’t find it because it isn’t there. The founders placed freedom of religion in a prominent location. But they didn’t raise the issue of sexual freedom. Do you suppose they didn’t have sex back then? Of course not. First of all, our founders knew that the area of sexual relations is governed by the Bible and trusted this area to the self-government of the people and the common law which is founded on the Bible. Second, sexual freedom leads to social chaos. Many of the social ills that we have in our country today can be directly linked to “sexual freedom”: 50 million Americans dead, epidemic STDs, single-parent families, poverty, crime, prison expansion, the growing welfare state.

 

 

What do you think? What should freedom of religion mean? On what do you base that meaning?

 

 

Supreme Court Ruling on ObamaCare

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

English: The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2010. Top row (left to right): Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Bottom row (left to right): Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether the Supreme Court rules favor of keeping Obamacare or strikes it down, we need to take action on a couple of important issues.

First, we must carefully examine and plan health care policies in light of scriptural principles. One of those bedrock principles must be the sanctity of human life. Recent examples of pro-choice advocates refusing to condemn sex selective abortion highlight the need to draw a clear line of demarcation for life. Religious liberty is another necessary anchor. Forcing people to violate their consciences because of a healthcare plan is unconscionable.
Second, no matter how the justices rule on ObamaCare we need to begin to push back the amount of power that has been given over to our Supreme Court and the federal judicial system. We should put forth an amendment to the Constitution limiting the term of Supreme Court justices to 12 years. The practice that Supreme Court justices be appointed (not elected!) and then serve for 30 or 40 years completely molding the face of America in their image has allowed some to push a radical leftist agenda. This is not what our founding fathers intended. If you look at the abuses listed in the Declaration of Independence you can see that the rulings of one person or one small untouchable group of people was not the plan for our country. Our court system has become an opportunity for tyranny or as some would call it an oligarchy. We need to take back our country and set our course again by the biblical principles under which we started.
What do you think? Has Supreme Court power overgrown its intended boundaries? Would you prefer term limits, or reaffirmation votes?

How Should We Then Live? Francis Schaeffer

link to Book on Amazon

How Should We Then Live?


Francis Schaeffer’s book How Should We Then Live? This is one of the modern classics of Christian thought. Schaeffer follows the development of Western thought and our various worldviews from the time of Roman civilization to modern times. He frames this development in the attempt of philosophers to explain our world starting with either absolutes or particulars. He gives dozens of examples of the various philosophic schools of thought playing out in art, music, and architecture.

The Reformation in Northern Europe found freedom for creation under the Bible and in its balance of universals and particulars found true freedom. The Renaissance in Southern Europe adopted the humanistic view with particulars only, and therefore had no basis for transcendent growth. As humanism began to infiltrate into the scientific thinking and philosophy of the 1700s and 1800s and on into today, people were faced with the problem of drawing absolute principles starting with particulars. This turned out to be impossible. Trying to come up with a unified, cohesive philosophy of life starting with human experience takes people nowhere.

As he closes the book, Schaeffer lists several pressures that are facing societies today which could push them to accept authoritarian rule instead of chaos. These pressures include: economic breakdown, war or serious threat of war, the chaos of violence including terrorism, the radical redistribution of the wealth of the world, a shortage of food or other natural resources in the world. As these pressures mount people will feel more compelled to give up freedom so that they can have some measure of peace and order. And as the Christian worldview base evaporates from societies in the West, people will have no basis to argue or think otherwise. A modern example played out in Germany when the people cried out for order from the economic collapse of the Weimar Republic and gave Hitler dictatorial power in their country. Not long after as the Germans rose in power under this dictatorship, Chamberlain signed over Czechoslovakia eventually losing most of Europe in World War II. They were hoping for “peace in our time.” What is the proper response? Do we succumb to the breakdown of society and imposed order, or do we as Christians affirm the Christian base that provided the freedoms upon which our nation was originally founded? This can only happen if individual people discover that Christian base in their own lives and then act to influence the consensus. “Such Christians do not need to be a majority in order for this influence on society to occur.” Christians were not in the majority when they changed the entire Western civilization.

The Jefferson Lies

Jefferson bible

Jefferson bible (Photo credit: naypinya)

Thomas Jefferson has been upheld as a leading founding father who was liberal and secular, advocated the strict separation of church and state, questioned the Bible, wrote his own version of the Bible, slept with his slave and fathered illegitimate children. David Barton’s new book The Jefferson Lies brings these reports about Jefferson to the table and examines them in light of Jefferson’s own writings and historical evidence. The results are eye-opening. I would like to share a brief description of these here in my blog if you would like a more detailed description I recommend purchasing the book The Jefferson Lies. You can also catch Barton’s discussion of his new book on WallBuilders Live! from the second week of May (2012).

I remember I was a teenager at church camp the first time I heard that Thomas Jefferson had created his own version of the Bible by cutting out certain parts of Scripture. This has been a little gnawing factoid in the back of my mind for three decades. Are these reports true? What did he cut out? How can Jefferson be a Christian or even have a respect for the Bible if he would cut out part of the Scripture? This kind of concern has put Jefferson in the place of the most secular founding father. But let’s look at the facts.

Jefferson created two works which are both referred to as “the Jefferson Bible”, one in 1804, the other in 1820. The first work in 1804 Jefferson created in response to a suggestion from a missionary that said in order to evangelize the Native American tribes a short work embodying the key teachings of the Gospel should be assembled. This work would be much more likely to be read by someone who is interested in the Christian faith but not ready to work their way through a 2 1/2 inch thick book. Jefferson took two copies of the Bible and went through the four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and cut and pasted together a chronological version of Jesus’ life. He took the accounts from all four Gospels and put them in timeline order and eliminated accounts that were told more than once by the different gospel narratives. Jefferson called this work An Abridgment of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ. He did not call it the Jefferson Bible. He created it solely as a tool for sharing Christian teachings with Native American tribes. While some Christians might object to abridging the Scriptures, we cannot say that this was an act of offense against scriptural teaching. Rather it affirms that Jefferson believed the life and teachings of Jesus Christ to be worthy of spreading in teaching to others. This can also be supported by the fact that Jefferson on a number of occasions contributed money toward Bible societies: groups whose purpose and mission was to distribute copies of the Bible, the full Bible.
The 1820 work of Thomas Jefferson often referred to as the Jefferson Bible is actually the more common of the two. This collection of passages from the Bible distills the moral teachings of Jesus Christ into one short work that Jefferson put together based on his belief that of all the moral teachings through the centuries, the morals of Jesus Christ where the highest, best, and most likely to bring about a peaceful and prosperous society when properly adhered to. If only we would learn this lesson today.
All told, this way of treating the Bible is quite a bit different than what I was led to believe about Jefferson. I’m still inclined to believe that he was one of the more secular founding fathers. However, he seems to have had a great deal more respect for scripture than many Christians do today.
I’ll try to follow up on some of the other points about Jefferson in later posts. In regard to the Jefferson “Bible”: When did you first hear about it/them and what effect did it have on your opinion of Thomas Jefferson?

Our Godless Constitution?

Constitution of the United States of America (...

Constitution of the United States of America (page 2) (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

Is the Constitution of the United States a godless document? This idea stems from modernism. Modernism is the belief that the way things are now is the way they have always been. Fortunately that is simply fallacious thinking. Here are a few reasons that show the Founders did not write a godless Constitution.

First of all, the Constitution is not our original founding document. It is based on the Declaration of Independence, which clearly acknowledges God. What is the evidence we can use to see that the Declaration of Independence is our original founding document? Besides its historical significance in breaking our ties with the British monarchy, there are 27 grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence as the reasons we were making that break. Each of those grievances are dealt with and resolved by various clauses in the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution explained that there was a problem/solution relationship between the two.

Here is an example:

Declaration:  “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”

Constitution:  “Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.”

The problem (listed fourth in the Declaration) of King George requiring the colonial legislatures to convene in far away locations is dealt with in Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution. This is just one such example; there are 26 others.

Another reason involves an acknowledgement of God in the text of the Constitution. The attestation clause (VII) reads,

“Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.”

While some might argue that it was simply the convention of the time, the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ (our Lord) in the date, is an example of the intentions of the signers. The numbering of twelve years sets the Declaration as the beginning of the United States; laying the foundation as it were. The Constitution is filling out the form; giving structure to the government of the new nation.

The twelve years mentioned above is another piece of evidence for the Declaration being our founding document. The Declaration of Independence is quite clearly a document that recognizes God’s sovereignty over human governments:

“When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s

God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
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…” (emphasis mine)

There is more evidence that demonstrates that the Constitution was a document acknowledging God. David Barton explains several more in his teaching: God and the Constitution. Please check it out. Read the Constitution and Declaration of Independence for yourself. There’s an app for that! Become informed on the intended structure of our government.

ObamaCare vs. Freedom of Religion

English: The Department of Health and Human Se...

Image via Wikipedia

Our religious freedoms are under attack. Our first amendment right to freedom of religion is being undermined by ObamaCare. The Health and Human Services department will now require large organizations to supply their employees health insurance that provides contraception and abortifacient (morning after) drugs. At first the Catholic church was told that it would have one year to figure out how to implement this policy. In other words our Catholic brothers have one year to get comfortable with the idea of violating their consciences. Catholic leadership spoke up and explained that this was not an adequate solution. Next religious organizations were told that they would not have to pay for that part of insurance. Instead the government would pay for that part. This is a complete breakdown of our First Amendment rights. The Obama administration is trying to micromanage religious groups and rob people, particularly large groups of people, of their religious convictions. For more details on this fight click here.

This is another opportunity for us to break the Spiral of Silence and let our voices be heard. There are two ways we can help with this process and stand on the side of the righteous in this situation. First, join with me to ManhattanDeclaration.org and sign the petition against the implementation of this policy. Second, sign the Manhattan Declaration yourself to send a message to those in the government who are working to take away our freedoms. Third, contact your legislator and urge them to stand against this assault on freedom of conscience and religion.

“We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.” — excerpt from the Manhattan Declaration.