A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Constitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Constitution. Show all posts

June 28, 2022

"The Baby Leaped In The Womb"


We've had a few days to digest the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe V. Wade. This is a momentous decision for the future of our country. I was in college when Roe became law in 1973, and through the years I have become more devastated at the agreement among my fellow women that it is okay to end the life of a child in the womb. I will sadly admit that in my 20s I was cavalier about abortion... I got caught up in the feminist rhetoric, and not knowing Jesus at the time, I gave little consideration to the effect this horrendous law would have on over 60 million babies in our country alone. 

Many of my college acquaintances had abortions; free contraceptives at the University Health Clinic did not stem the tide of the unwanted consequences of casual sex. The freedom to terminate a pregnancy was embraced and even celebrated. It became an accepted method for millions of women as they pursued careers without the hindrance or restraint of raising a child. But I also know that there were millions of other women who had abortions and did not approach it in that dispassionate manner. For them, it was a gut-wrenching decision and one that left an enduring wound on their souls and spirits. That was a time in our nation that Revelation 12:9 describes quite well ... Satan managed to deceive and seduce the entire world on the issue of abortion. He was an accuser and an author of confusion. But I thank the Lord that women who fell for the devil's lies can repent and receive forgiveness from the LORD of Lords. And I pray that they will forgive themselves.

But now we have the Supreme Court decision that overturns Roe v. Wade. And the devil is mad! He has stirred up hatred and vitriol because his lie is being exposed. The Supreme Court Justices took a courageous stand for the Constitution and the rights of the unborn. You see, it is a lie that "fetal tissue" is not a human baby. From ancient times, it has been acknowledged that it is a baby in the womb of an expectant mother. And if you are a Christian and have doubts or question the veracity of that statement, let me give you an answer from God. 

We are all familiar with the story in Luke 1:41 when Mary, the mother of Jesus, comes to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Scripture says, And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. The use of that word "baby" is not accidental. It is the Greek word, Brephos, meaning "unborn baby". The term does not distinguish between a pre-birth or post-birth baby; it was a baby that leaped in Elizabeth's womb. And Jeremiah 1:5 says Jesus knew the prophet from the foundations of the world before He formed Jeremiah in the womb, establishing that what was in the womb was a human being. Same thing goes for Galatians 1:15 which says that God separated Paul from his mother's womb, again confirming that what was in the womb was Paul, a human being. Psalm 139:13-15 also validates that the Lord formed David's parts (intricately and skillfully) in his mother's womb. What is in that womb is clearly identified as David! All this is Biblical evidence that God considers what is in the womb is a living baby.

What those who believe in abortion [including those who call themselves Christians] don't understand is that Satan longs to kill God's creation. Although you may doubt its veracity, let me introduce you to the First Book of Enoch which is a pseudepigraphal text [not included in any canon of Scripture, but referred to by many ancient sources as being the writings of Enoch, the son of Jared, great grandfather of Noah, and father of Methusaleh]. In chapter 69, names of fallen angels and their assignments are revealed. The fifth angel's name is Kasdeja. He is credited with "showing the humans every wicked strike of spirits and of demons, the strike at the embryo in the womb, to miscarry it ...". It describes how demonic spirits can strike at the unborn "like a serpent". As hard as it may be for you to accept, abortion is a demonic act. And I want to refer you to some information I discovered back in 2015, as a current demonstration of that fact.

In 2015, I wrote an article titled, Is There A Connection Between Abortion and Satanism. It is a truly disturbing testimony of abortion as a ritual for Satan by a man who once partook in this satanic/demonic act, and has since repented and become a warrior for Christ. I warn you, his story is chilling and alarming. And if that's too hard to believe, just a couple of days ago, during protests against the Roe v. Wade decision, an angry man is recording telling an investigative reporter that he "f----ing loves killing babies" -- in the voice of a hateful demon! You can watch the video here. I don't share these unsettling pieces of information to shock you, but to show you the underbelly of what this country has endorsed for 50 years! And let me share a personal story that a dear expectant mother shared with me ... she went for an ultrasound and it revealed her baby was asleep. So the technician pushed on her stomach to arouse the baby and the ultrasound showed him crying because he was woke up! How can pro-abortion advocates still declare that this precious child is the property of the woman to be disposed of at her will? 

But I believe God is hearing the prayers of His faithful people and is turning us back to His heart. Just in the last week, we have protected the 2nd Amendment, reversed Roe v. Wade, and safeguarded our religious freedoms [when the Supreme Court voted that it is constitutional for Coach Joe Kennedy to pray publicly on the football field]. That, my friends, can only be the hand of God intervening in our judicial system. Thank you, Father!

And now there is room for hope that we just might have a chance to see our country redeemed and become one nation under God again! But know this: the Enemy will not give up without a fight! So you prayer warriors must continue to pray and storm the heavens for righteousness. We cannot give up! The Enemy knows his time is short -- we all know it, too. So, pray and fast and keep your spiritual armor on. We have won some very important battles, and there are more to be won before our Lord returns! Amen!

Job 33:4      The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

May 4, 2022

God, The Constitution, The Supreme Court, and Roe v. Wade

 I'm going to begin this post by stating [very clearly] that I am not a Constitutional scholar.  I am a lover of American history and I try to look at all sides of our history from my Biblical worldview. That means that I've carefully considered the question, "Does the Bible have authority over the Constitution of the United States"? 

We know that Article 6 of the Constitution states that "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States ... shall be the supreme Law of the Land". So, what is our understanding of the origination of "Law"? From the foundations of the world, it is clear that a system of rules [called Law] was instituted to govern the actions of men. But who created Law? In the Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers gave credit to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" that endowed men with certain unalienable Rights -- Rights given to them by their Creator -- and among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. 

The Bible states that "the Lord is our lawgiver" (Isaiah 33:22); "the law is holy" (Romans 7:12); "the law of the Lord is perfect" (Psalm 19:7); and "the perfect law" is "the law of liberty" (James 1:25). At this point we can understand that Law is important to both God and to our system of government in this nation. In fact, just as God sits on His throne in the Heavenly Court as Supreme Judge over all Creation, we have a Supreme Court that plays a very important role in our Constitutional form of government. As the highest Court in this earthly realm, it is the last resort for those seeking justice. But what happens when our Supreme Court has been compromised by agreement with sin?

In light of the current volatile case before the Supreme Court, here's what I think the citizens of the United States need to consider: I don't think abortion advocates, the courts and judges of this land, and the Supreme Court of our nation have considered that abortion is the sacrifice of a baby for the benefit of the mother. The Creator God of the Universe has a legal entitlement to demand that we respect what He has created. And He has made His opinion well-known.  In Leviticus 20:2-5, He states,  “Say to the Israelites: 'Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech is to be put to death.' "  Got it?  It is an act that the God who created me, you, and the baby has declared is abominable and worthy of death. Child sacrifice, in all its forms, is unacceptable to God. Period. 

And so, I refer you to 1 John 3:4, which says, Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness [ignoring God’s law by action or neglect or by tolerating wrongdoing—being unrestrained by His commands and His will]. Isn't that exactly what we did in 1973 with Roe v. Wade, when the Court thought they could over-rule God? And isn't it what the Supreme Court did in 1992, when hearing Planned Parenthood v. Casey, they asserted that the right to an abortion was a liberty protected by the 14th Amendment? At the time, the Court stated, "[at] the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." To me, it sure seems like the baby isn't allowed a voice to define it's existence.

 One of the core concepts of the 14th Amendment is the tenet that says, "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Again, where is the protection of the baby's life or liberty, or right to choose? Where is the baby's equal protection under the law?  

This most recent resurrection of Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court of the United States (and the subsequent leak of Justice Alito's draft opinion) have sparked a firestorm across this nation. Sadly, this does nothing more than cause further division between pro-life champions and abortion supporters. The question now becomes will the Supreme Court Justices be swayed by political persuasions? And even more consequential, it is plain to see that both God and the Bible have become more irrelevant in our society -- indeed, despised. 

We can see that both the Bible and the Constitution have lost their place in the governance of our nation. In fact, there is a third player in the game, and it is Government, with a capital "G". Since our society seems to want to eradicate the influence of both the Bible and the Constitution, does either have any remaining moral value?  Clearly, the Bible is being mocked, derided, and re-conceptualized to serve the needs of the ungodly. And, in its tattered state, is there enough of the Constitution left to warrant any real authority?  

Perhaps the more appropriate question is this: Is there enough of the Bible's influence in the Constitution to withstand its destruction by the Government?  Ultimately, as a faithful Christian, I have to go back to the one Truth that overrides all ... YHWH is Sovereign, Supreme, and the absolute Head of this State.  His Word is authority over everything man-made ... whether it is a governing document like the Constitution, or a governing body of men like the Supreme Court. That might not be the politically expedient answer to give in this time of division and rancor, but we are at the stage in this nation (and the world) where it is time to quit playing the political game, and recognize Who has the real Power in this world. We must pray that the highest Court in our land has enough courage and fear of God to uphold His righteous laws of Liberty and Justice. 

Even if Justice Alito's opinion represents the majority of the Court, it won't solve the abortion question in its entirety. Each state would have the ultimate decision whether to allow abortions to be performed as part of their governing laws. But I know that it says in God's Word that He appoints rulers over nations by His authority, and we are to be loyal to that government... as long as they are loyal to His laws. I truly believe that God was involved in the creation of our Constitution through the men that He put in authority. At that time, these men foresaw a nation of individuals who were generally governed by Biblical precepts -- checks and balances and a limited government were at the center of the Constitution, and would serve such a Biblically-minded society well. Then, as now, I believe that the Bible has authority over each of us as individuals, and the Constitution has authority over the government. That combination has worked for us for 246 years, and contributed to a generally balanced co-existence among individuals and government, as long as this nation continued to embrace Biblical morals and principles.

So, I pray for the nine Justices who are caught in this quagmire of deceit and subterfuge. I pray that they will be led by moral consciences and not persuaded to abandon their sacred duty to the people of this great land. We stand on the precipice of rule by lawlessness, and we know what the Bible says that leads to!

2 Chronicles 19:6    He told them, "Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict."

December 14, 2020

The American Mind (Revisited)

Back in 2012, I decided to take part in a 10-week online course on our Constitution, offered by the respected and distinguished Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College. Since this founding document -- and foundation -- of our country is under unparalleled assault, I thought it might be a good idea to revisit what I learned and what I wrote to see where we stand today. The title of the course was Constitution 101:The Meaning and History of the Constitution. 

I began that 2012 post by saying, "Dr. Arnn started his lecture with the simple question, 'Why study the meaning and history of the Constitution?'  His answer, at the time, was simple and erudite:  there are two reasons:  1) How did these men come to the conclusion that all men are created equal, and that checks and balances were a good thing?  and  2) It is URGENT that we know the meaning and history, because we are about to discard these principles and institutions and adopt others. There is a vast difference between our founding principles and the new ones we are considering, and they are highly incompatible.  We'd better know how they are different!" 

Sadly, we have come a long ways down that road in 2020, and we haven't shown any evidence that we plan on protecting the Constitution. If anything, we have let the founding principles slip even further away.  Dr. Arnn commented that knowledge of our country (and the meaning behind its founding) was rare in 2012. Eight years have seen further deterioration of that knowledge; in fact, there is outright disdain for who we are as America and Americans. All you have to do is compare a speech given by Thomas Jefferson with a modern-day politician, and you can see how far we have wandered.  In his overview of the lesson, Dr. Arnn stated, "America's Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson said, was the product of  'the American mind.'  Our Constitution was made with the same purpose as the Declaration -- to establish a regime where the people are sovereign, and the government protects the rights granted to them by their Creator."

But what do you do when half the country's idea of what that government should look like is the polar opposite of the other half?  And what do you do when half the country wants to destroy the Constitution, doesn't think the people are sovereign, and has no desire to protect the rights granted by God? They don't even understand that the word "constitution" means "to ordain and establish something."  It also means "to set a firm thing strongly in place." It is also linked to two other words that give it meaning: statute and statue.  "Statute" means a law; ordained and established by a government upon a people as a practice that is mandatory. "Statue" connotes a work of art; something a human being makes, that is firmly established, intentional, and deliberate.

The Constitution of the United States is a work of art; something lasting and beautiful.  It gives America its form.  And it matters what a work of art is made of!  Dr. Arnn used the statue of Michelangelo's David as an example.  This exquisite statue is made of marble, and it would change both the structure and the nature of the statue if it was made of bronze or wood or plastic.  He emphatically states that marble is one of the "causes" of the statue of David.

So what is one of the "causes" of the United States?  IT IS THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE! And it is uniquely crafted; it is like no other nation on earth! This land was founded by people who were willing to leave one of the most advanced civilizations of the world, with all its sophisticated law, art, music and literature, to come to a wild, untamed place.  It is important to note that this experiment called America revolved around this vast, wild, and untamed land being discovered by a people who came from a highly developed and civilized place --- it had never happened before, and it is hard to imagine that it could ever happen again.  That's what makes America so unique!  

One can never understand the making of America without understanding the land and the people; and you'll never understand the people without grasping what they thought and what they believed. And it is a miracle, in my mind, that all those people who came from distant lands were able to recognize the concept that America was indeed founded with a unique and distinctive identity, and they all agreed on its exceptionalism. But now we stand at a crossroads. The Land and the People are losing that remarkable identity. No ...it's even more than that! There are vast majorities that want to deliberately cast it off! And we are not in agreement on what America should look like, or her purpose.

But back to Dr. Arnn's imagery of the statue of David ... Our Republic, like the statue of David, was deliberately made; it is a work of art.  What gives America its form?  Anytime America acts as a nation, it acts through the Constitution.  We seem to have forgotten that the President holds his office through the Constitution; the Congress is established through the Constitution; and the Courts are answerable to the Constitution.  The way the United States proceeds as a nation was very deliberately designed to be influenced by the Constitution. 

But, here we are in 2020, and it seems as if most of our government is treating the Constitution as if it's irrelevant; that there is no place for the Constitution in our national dialogue, or in our governmental processes. We seem to have forgotten that our Founding Fathers were educated men; schooled in the wisdom of history and able to discern the dangers and possibilities of losing their God-given freedoms.  It was these ideas that were part of the founding of America; these ideas that made up the American people and constituted our American ideals. Does that still hold to be true?

In concluding his lecture in 2012, Dr. Arnn pointed out that we were close to a time when we would live under a different Constitution than the one we were bequeathed.  He stated we were going to have to make a choice, and the choice we made would have a profound effect on everyone in this country and the world.  He said the choice needed to be made well, and we needed to understand the consequences of choosing the alternative!

Well, I think we can all recognize that there are those citizens [and members of our government] that would like to choose a radically different alternative to our way of life, and would like to abolish the Constitution altogether. They are, in fact, ignoring its precedence and its primacy, as they seek to change the very fabric of this nation. But the words from 1776 that should be burned into the hearts and minds and souls of every American still ring true today: When in the Course of human events it become 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.

Lord, my heart is grieved to see the separation that has come upon our land! We need to understand that it is our Constitution that holds us together. It is a beautiful document; it's what makes us America. It gives us our structure, our form, and our nature. When it is destroyed or ignored, we are vulnerable to becoming something we were not created to be. We cannot let our differences mold us into something we are not. I comprehend that there are those who think an alternative plan or system will benefit Americans more, but I pray that they are awakened to those false promises before our nation perishes.

Father God, this land is Your land. You have set the boundaries and established Your laws within our founding documents. We pray for protection from those who would alter Your plan for this nation. We stand on our authority as Your representatives, and we declare that this is still one nation, under God, indivisible, and defending liberty and justice for all. We do not believe You are through with America yet, Father! Gird us and guide us for the spiritual battles ahead as we persevere to maintain our Republic. Let all Americans hear Your voice, and let all the people return to You, in repentance and in submission to Your will for this nation. We remain in covenant with You and we will never abandon Your principles or moral laws. Let true freedom in Christ ring out across this land and cleanse us from the physical and spiritual plagues that have descended upon us. Draw us to You, Father. Heal us, restore us, and set us upon paths of righteousness for Your Name's sake. Let the world proclaim, "America belongs to the Lord"!

Deuteronomy 4:6   "Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' " 


November 23, 2020

The Bible and The Constitution: Still Relevant, Or Inconsequential?


I've been doing a lot of thinking about the state of our nation. I can only imagine that many of my fellow citizens are doing the same. It isn't too difficult to come to the conclusion that our historically unique plan of government [that the Founders of this nation constructed] is in very real danger of being dismantled, or at least drastically altered. This isn't the beginning of such a de-construct plan -- in fact, we have been seeing the development of such a plan for some years now. 

This realization has caused me to go back in the archives of this blog to revisit my thinking on this matter. In 2015, I wrote about a question that was presented to Dr. Ben Carson during his run for Presidential office. During a Meet The Press interview, Dr. Carson was presented with this question: "Does the Bible have authority over the Constitution?" Interesting question! The question is still relevant today, especially since I would venture that the intervening years attest to the growing truth that both the Bible and the Constitution have seen a decrease in their influence and authority among the citizens of this land. Just read the previous blog post or turn on the nightly news.

But I would suggest that it is incumbent upon those of us who call ourselves Christians and Patriots to consider our answer to that question, along with these subsequent queries: When it comes to the laws of this nation, how do you view the authority of both the Bible and the Constitution?  Is one superior to the other?  Is it possible for them to work together to govern this land? When the Constitution was written, did the Founding Fathers give any consideration to the Bible? 

I want to answer those questions in light of the influence that Marcus Tullius Cicero had on the thinking of the Founding Fathers.  Cicero was a Roman statesman who was born nearly 1900 years before the founding documents of this nation were written. Yet it was his commitment to establishing a democratic Republic as the form of Roman government that most influenced our Founders. It is in the eminently profound book The 5000 Year Leap, written by W. Cleon Skousen, a faith-based political theorist, that we find Cicero's own theory that good laws, sound government, and the formula for happy human relations rests in the existence of "Natural Law". We find the spirit of that term in the language of the Declaration of Independence ... 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.

In his book, Skousen elucidates this idea of Cicero's influence when he writes, "To Cicero, the building of a society on principles of Natural Law was nothing more nor less than recognizing and identifying the rules of "right conduct" with the laws of the Supreme Creator of the universe." In his own words, Cicero wrote this: "There will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for He is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge." 

And these concepts were understood and endorsed by the Founding Fathers as they approached the structure of a new government that would be the law of the land in the newly formed United States of America. These concepts are interwoven into the declaration for our Freedom and into our Constitution, As espoused by author Skousen, "The Law of Nature or Nature's God is eternal in its basic goodness; it is universal in its application. It is a code of "right reason" from the Creator Himself. It cannot be altered. It cannot be repealed. It cannot be abandoned by legislators or the people themselves, even though they may pretend to do so. In Natural Law we are dealing with factors of absolute reality. It is basic in its principles, comprehensible to the human mind, and totally correct and morally right in its general operation."

These ideas and precepts are as sound today as when they were espoused by Cicero nearly two millennia ago; and they are emphasized in our founding documents nearly two-and-a-half centuries ago. But here is where we find ourselves today... our society is not in agreement that our Creator exists, nor that absolute moral authority exists in Him. In fact, Moral Rightness or Truth have become relative... they can mean something different to different people. And when God is not your authority of what is right or true, then it is far too easy to declare that any law or laws based on those concepts of law and government [or the Holy Book that proclaims them] can be ignored or changed. It will become far too easy to alter, repeal, overhaul, or abandon them by an immoral and unjust citizenry, or body of legislators. 

You see, our Founders believed that the common man should have control over his own destiny. And they believed that through Divine guidance men could live a good, virtuous, and moral life. But they were no fools -- they recognized that laws were necessary to curb the actions of immoral men. And they sought to establish a system of laws that operated similar to the laws God laid out for the ancient Israelites, with Leviticus 25:10 as the heart and soul of government: "Proclaim Liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants". [Note: This verse is inscribed on the Liberty Bell]. And then there is what is at the center of this astounding and unprecedented new form of governing ... our Founders deliberately structured a form of government with all the power in the people! 

And to be historically accurate, they didn't initially get it right. After much debate the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, which offered no executive or judiciary oversight; nor was there any taxing power to financially support the government, and no power to enforce laws. It came pretty close to operating under a system of anarchy. It wasn't until 1787 that our Constitution was approved and the ratification process began. The result was a document that was designed to maintain political equilibrium between the people in the states and the federal government. The emphasis was on strong local self-government, keeping the power base close to the people. There was a healthy fear of political extremists that could swing the needle of Liberty from monarchy to anarchy. And only the Constitution could protect the people from being subjected to the whims of such extremism.

I truly believe that God was involved in the creation of our Constitution through the men that He put in authority.  At that time, these men foresaw a nation of individuals who were generally governed by Biblical precepts -- checks and balances and a limited government were at the center of the Constitution, and would serve such a Biblically-minded society well.  Then, as now, I believe that the Bible has authority over each of us as individuals, and the Constitution has authority over the government.  That combination has worked for us, and contributed to a generally balanced co-existence between the two powers -- as long as we continued to embrace Biblical morals and principles. And that's where we find ourselves today.

But as God and the Bible have become more irrelevant in our society -- again, refer to the previous post and results of a national survey -- we have seen that both the Bible and the Constitution have lost their place in the governing of our nation.  In fact, there is a third player in the game, and it is Government, with a capital "G".  Since our society seems to want to eradicate the influence of both the Bible and the Constitution, is it even relevant to the masses to ask which has more authority?  Clearly, the Bible is being mocked, derided, and re-conceptualized to serve the needs of the ungodly.  And, in its tattered state, is there enough of the Constitution left to warrant any real authority?

Perhaps the more appropriate question is this: Is there enough of the Bible's influence in the Constitution to withstand its destruction by the Government?  Ultimately, as a faithful Christian, I have to go back to the one Truth that overrides all ... YHWH is Sovereign, Supreme, and the absolute Head of this State. His Word is authority over everything man-made ... whether it is a governing document like the Constitution, or a governing body of men.  That might not be the politically acceptable answer in this debate, but we are at the stage in this nation (and the world) where the individual freedom of men and women is at stake. It is time to quit playing the political game, and recognize Who has the real Power in this world. 

It is clear to me that God is the Ultimate Authority in this world that He created.  But I also know that His Word says that He appoints rulers over nations by His authority, and we are to be loyal to that government... as long as they are loyal to God's laws.  It is also clear that we have a spiritual Enemy that seeks to usurp God's authority in this nation. And now we find ourselves in a unique situation -- the leader of our government is still unresolved. So I pray that the goals of the Founding Fathers will be realized as they expressed their hope for the new nation .... I thank God that I have lived to see my country independent and free. She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will. It depends on her virtue (Samuel Adams) .... Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other (John Adams) ... The sum of all is [this], if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves (Samuel Adams). 

 So, what shall be our destiny? The Bible proclaims the path to a righteous and prosperous nation. And the Constitution was designed for a moral and religious [faithful] people. Will we reap what we have sown, or will the cries of the truly repentant restore our nation to one that God will recognize and bless? I exhort the Ekklesia in the land to join with me on our knees, praying together as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God for a return to righteous government. And then rise, and staying focused on Jesus, our Authority in Heaven, we will declare a revival of morality and virtue in this nation, and it will pierce the hearts of all those in rulership positions -- that hearts will be turned away from self-aggrandizement and humbled in servitude to meet the needs of all people. Pray that if God determines that judgment is due our land, that it be swift and completely cleanses us of our sins. And finally, we find our strength and our truth in the Word of God. It is still relevant and it is still Light and Life to our souls and spirits. God bless each of you as you seek solace in the Word today!

Jeremiah 18:7-10      If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.

December 2, 2016

Ruling The Tribes of Israel: Democracy or Representative Republic?

     In this season of political malcontents, we are seeing a deliberate attempt to disqualify our Presidential election results.  We hear complaints that the voice of the multitudes should be the deciding factor, since Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.  "We are a Democracy, and democratic rules should apply", they scream. Others are shouting, "No, we are a representative republic!"  Which is it?
     Here's what everyone needs to understand:  Terminology is very important. A common definition of “republic” is, to quote the American Heritage Dictionary, “A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them” — we are that. A common definition of “democracy” is, “Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives” — we are that, too.
     The United States is not a direct democracy, in the sense of a country in which laws (and other government decisions) are made predominantly by majority vote. But we are a representative democracy, which is a form of democracy. But we are also a constitutional democracy, in which courts restrain, in some measure, the democratic will. And the United States is therefore also a constitutional republic. Indeed, the United States might be labeled a constitutional federal representative democracy.
     Our problem in understanding our form of government is inherently a problem in education.  I'm afraid our schools do not teach the truth about the founding of our form of government, and they certainly do not teach the Biblical foundation upon which our government was structured.  That's right! We can look to the Bible to see how God structured governing rules for the Tribes of Israel. And then we can decide if that was the model our Founding Fathers had in mind.
    The republican form of government, as we know it, is representative (not democratic) so that a selected group of leaders make national decisions. Those leaders may be selected by popular consent, but decisions about specific laws are not voted on by everyone. Thus, in a republic, it is not a single king or ruler who decides policy, nor is it a vote of every man, rather it is the vote of representatives of the people who make decisions for the nation.
     And we can see that model in God's revealed plan for human government through the Hebrew republic founded under Moses and Joshua in the Old Testament. For instance, when Joshua presided over the division of Israel (described in Joshua 18:4-5), where seven tribes had yet to receive their tribal lands, the people were to select three men from each tribe. But Joshua was to “send them”, words which seem to indicate a consecration, a sending, as the men went forth to represent their respective tribes. The governmental work of dividing up the land was not done by Joshua alone, and it was not done by democratic vote. It was accomplished through representatives under the authority of an executive (Joshua) and the election of the people. This is an example of their republic in action.
      There are many other references to the chiefs of the people, or of the princes, and how they interacted on behalf of the people. All of these were a model for American thought during our founding period, helping to keep us from the despotism of a too strong central authority, or from the mob-rule of a democracy.
     Ancient Israel also provided the original example of ‘We the People’ through their covenantal oaths at the outset of their national experiment. Though they were twelve tribes, God treated them as a single nation traveling together in a single cause in a united land.  We the People, is a term used to describe that uniting of individual free states under a Godly, covenantal structure.
     We the People who established the nation or exercised its highest powers. Those pagan nations were never able to maintain an advantageous combination of representative government with an executive head. The citizens forever found themselves caught between the oppressions of violent, lawless monarchs or the tyranny of anarchy.
     I'm pretty sure that when our Founding Fathers were writing the Constitution, they did not have the Roman or Greek Empires in mind.  In those governments it was not
     No, it was the Hebrew republic that defined and gave an example for a righteous civil government. Just read the opening lines of our Constitution:  We the People, of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Can you see the example that the Hebrew covenant with their God and their fellow tribesmen provided?
     During the founding era of our nation the broadly accepted law commentary was Blackstone’s.  These were Commentaries on the Laws of England, an influential 18th-century treatise on the common law of England by Sir William Blackstone, originally published by the Clarendon Press at Oxford, 1765–1769.  Sir Blackstone assumed everywhere in his commentary that the law of Moses was entirely valid and still the only right basis for any nation. God’s law was assumed as the foundation for common law rulings. It was the law of the people and the law of our land in the early years. As we became more atheistic and godless we traded God’s law, the law of the Hebrew republic, for man-made statute law. Now we are oppressed by an unending myriad of statutes that bind us hand and foot while they wind their way through Washington.
     So, it's time to stop the rants and tirades, demanding that we need to abide by our "democratic" principles of government.  That is not the basis for our form of government. We must recognize that God's precepts for government, civil authority, justice, and liberty are the foundation of this nation.  And as I view the ridiculous demands for endless recounts and demolishing the Electoral College, I would remind all that the Hebrew republic was united under a single system of unchanging law. We would do well to look to God's model for government, trusting it, and remaining in it. Nations come and go, but God's form of government never changes.  Let us not veer from His path.

Thank you to Don Schanzenbach for his article, "Biblical Plan for Representative Government".

Deuteronomy 16:18-20  "You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you."

May 16, 2016

One Is Not Like The Other

     I have been wanting to comment on this topic for the last few days, but honestly, did not feel that I could speak on behalf of Black Americans because I felt it would be presumptuous of me to say that I could identify with their objections.  So, I was happy to hear that the president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) say that it is "a gross insult" to suggest that "gender-confused" individuals are being discriminated against in much the same way that Black Americans have been discriminated against in the United States.  In fact,  The Reverend Bill Owens suggested that the homosexual and transgender community is attempting to co-opt the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and all those who "faced fire hoses and hatred"  in their very real struggle for equal and civil rights.
     Now, that Rev. Owens has spoken out, I can take a position of whole-heartedly agreeing with him. To compare a difference in skin color (and the suffering and injustice that was perpetuated against Black Americans) to a difference in sexual behavior and anatomy (that has resulted in which bathroom transgenders can use) is obviously dissimilar and ill-matched.
     It is simply untrue that a person who is confused about their sexual identity has suffered the same injustices or lack of rights that Black Americans have.  As far as I know, transgender Americans have never been horribly enslaved, endured forced separation of families, or been denied the ability to drink out of a water fountain, eat at a lunch counter, or attend the school of their choice.  Sadly, it took this nation until the 1950s and 60s to begin to right these wrongs.  To give a quick summary, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned segregation in schools, at work, and in public places. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 guaranteed citizens of all races and ethnic backgrounds the right to vote.
     And now, the LGBT community wishes to equate their struggle with the Black community and suggests the idea that "Transgender is the new Black."  The current Administration is backing that idea by supporting HR 3185, which is legislation that would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  In fact, Attorney General Loretta Lynch argues that “gender identity is innate,” in the same way that skin color is innate.
     How is it, then, that the American Psychological Association (which generally supports transgenderism) says, "Sex is assigned at birth, [and] refers to one’s biological status as either male or female, and is associated primarily with physical attributes such as chromosomes, hormone prevalence, and external and internal anatomy. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women. These influence the ways that people act, interact, and feel about themselves. While aspects of biological sex are similar across different cultures, aspects of gender may differ."
     In other words, "sex" and "race" appear to be equivalent, since both are assigned at birth; while "sex" and "gender" are not the same, since aspects of gender can be different, depending on roles that are "constructed" or developed.  Therefore, for the government to tell us that the amendment to the Civil Rights Act insinuates that gender identity is equal to a person's sex (or the color of their skin) is flawed logic.
     Now let's carry the erroneous legal argument one step further.  The Civil Rights Act was intended to stop separation of the races on a moral and rational level.  Likewise, separate bathrooms for men and women is a moral and rational idea, but separate bathrooms for blacks and whites is not. … A black man’s nature and physiology is not different from that of a white man, an Asian man, or an Hispanic man. The same is not true of sex differences.  Males and females are inherently different from one another. Their physiology is different and their body parts function differently.  For thousands of years, those differences have been respected in performing the most private of bodily tasks.
     Now, to try to equate bathroom privileges to blatant discrimination against the Black race is not only demeaning and dishonoring the struggle of Black Americans, but an obvious attempt to hijack Black history in order to give a false interpretation of the transgender issue.  As Reverend Owens stated, “Transgendered persons are not asking for equal rights—they are asking for special rights that violate the privacy of women and simple common sense.”  I agree!  Let's not exaggerate and make their agenda something it's not.   And you need to know that this amendment to the Civil Rights Act is not the only legislation being expropriated.  Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is also being upheld as legislation that applies to the transgender issue.  It is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.
     As the National Review reported on Friday, "This morning the Department of Justice and Department of Education released a joint statement of extraordinary breadth and scope. Under the guise of offering “guidance,” the Obama administration put every single public and private educational institution receiving federal funds on notice that it intends to interpret and enforce Title IX — a statute, written in 1972, that by its explicit terms only prohibits sex discrimination — as also prohibiting discrimination on the basis of “gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status.” If a boy claims he is a girl, then, according to the Obama administration, he is a girl and must be treated as such by the educational institution."  In other words, if an individual wishes to embrace a different sexual identity, then the federal government is going to try to coerce everyone else to embrace their choice, too, and our daughter''s school locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms will no longer be "for women only".
     You can see where all this is leading. Any attempt to maintain traditional distinctions between the sexes is being declared illegitimate, bigoted, and illegal by our culture, our society, and now our government.  And this radical opinion is being sold by hijacking the injustices done to Black citizens.  Bigotry was a huge aspect of the Civil Rights movement and it was right to declare it illegal, based on race.  But to equate the transgender bathroom debate on par with the struggle for racial equality is contrived, unconvincing, and insulting to every Black American.
     I have sympathy for those who are confused about their sexual identity, I really do.  I can't imagine what it must be like to not know how God sees you, or how He made you, and to be led by false messages meant to confuse you, confound you, and lead you astray.  But to equate the fraudulent transgender argument with the immoral practice of slavery and discrimination is both disgraceful and offensive.  It's just another sign of how far the Enemy will go to spread his lies and deception.

Luke 16:15    And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God."


April 11, 2016

Why Is The Constitution Becoming Irrelevant?

     We have heard this refrain for several decades now ... The Constitution has outlived its usefulness; it is a "living document" and therefore, its original intent is no longer significant.  It probably goes without saying that the political forces that are behind the "government machine" would like nothing better than to remove the one document that restricts their power.  They are not particularly fond of the opening words, "We the People", which clearly establishes that the government exists to serve the people, not the other way around.
     One cannot argue with the historical context of the Constitution -- that it was written to protect the rights of citizens from a government that was either too weak or too powerful.  We must remember that even the idea of a Constitution "for the People" was a radical and new concept on the world stage.  Prior to the rebels who dared to stand up to King George III, no other nation of peoples had ever attempted self-rule.  The American Revolution was not simply a rebellion against the king of England, it was a rebellion against being ruled by kings in general. And once that war was won, it became very important to determine exactly what system would ensure that individual rights would be secured by the rule of law.
     Our schools used to teach the U.S. Constitution as a matter of public education.  I can remember studying the seven different Articles, and how they affected the separation of powers and the checks and balances of Government.  We were tested on the Bill of Rights and the significance of the various Amendments; and how they were written to strengthen our individual rights and restrict any unlawful intrusion upon those rights by a tyrannical government.  That was then.
     Today, we teach our kids that the Constitution is just a historical document; no longer relevant to a modern society.  I must admit that our leaders certainly act as if this is so.  Presidential Executive Orders specifically violate the Constitution; the Supreme Court redefines what constitutes a "tax" (clearly a violation of their Constitutional duties); and the Legislative Body regularly changes the method of voting on Bills, depending on which Party is in power.  It is conspicuously clear that their oath "to defend the Constitution" is insincere at best; and worthless as evidenced by their conduct.
     While we can chalk up the diminishing relevancy of our Founding Document to the ravages of time and new concepts of society and government, there is one theory that we haven't considered, and I think it is perhaps the most insightful.
     We have forgotten the passion that ideas like "Liberty" and "Personal Rights" and "Sacred Honor" could burn in the hearts of people who clung to a "firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence", which by the way, in the lexicon of the times, meant "Jehovah God".  Those brave colonists who dared to stand up to the mightiest monarch and army in all the world -- who believed so strongly in their right to personal freedoms that came from their Creator -- knew that it was going to take a strong concept of government to guarantee those rights.  And they chose Leaders who understood the gravity and the foundation of those rights.
     President John Adams warned: "Because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion ... our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
     "Made only for a moral and religious people".  Can we still say we fit that description?  Can our leaders be described as "moral and religious"?  If there is even a moment of hesitancy in our answers, then we can see why the Constitution is no longer held in high regard by either the citizenry or elected officials.
     Have we lost the truth that morality and faith in the Judeo-Christian God formed the bedrock of conventional thinking, society, and education at the founding of this country?  Modern secularists will deny that last statement, and proponents such as Susan Jacoby of the Center for Inquiry, have argued that America was established on reason and meant to be a secular republic, as seen with the First Amendment outlining a separation of church and state.
     To be honest, I get tired of this distorted argument.  The First Amendment clearly states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...".  They were simply making it clear, within the context of the time they lived, that there would be no State Religion by which everyone was expected to worship.  They were responding to the history of the early colonists, many of whom had fled persecution and imprisonment and loss of property as a result of pursuing their desire to worship as they pleased.  This Amendment was designed to allow citizens to choose their own faith, and there is absolutely no evidence that the Constitution promotes a secular republic!
     The importance of Biblical morality in colonial America is no more apparent than in the fact that Thomas Paine, who was certainly not a Christian, used the Bible extensively in arguing for the Revolution in his persuasive pamphlet, Common Sense.  The Bible, its moral principles and values; and most certainly, its underlying theme of freedom played an important role in determining the justification for the founding of America and its governing documents ... even by non-religious men.  Sadly, I do not see the same adherence today.
     Whether we have totally lost that foundation remains to be seen.  The Constitution, which embodies the spirit of those moral cornerstones, is increasingly ignored and flouted.  Do we still have it in us to "rely on the protection of Divine Providence?"  And whether or not we agree that God played a direct part in the hearts and minds of those who established this country and our form of government, there can be no denial that He has brought about much good from the freedom that was won as a result.  The question before us is this:  Can we continue to succeed and prosper as a nation if that astounding Document of Individual Freedom and Liberty is shredded beyond recognition?   Do we realize that without it, the very structure of our government becomes null and void, and tyranny and dictatorship will fill that vacuum?   It may be an old, antique document, but it is neither archaic nor obsolete.  It stands between me and you, and a potentially cruel and oppressive government.  We better hang on to every scrap of it!

James 2:12    "So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty."


February 22, 2016

A Nation's Quandary: The Future of the Supreme Court & the Constitution

     This past weekend the nation's political attention was on the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and how his replacement could re-focus the direction of this country and the authority of the Constitution.  If you step back for a moment, it is almost bizarre to think that the future of this nation rests on the shoulders of one man.
     Yet, that is what Justice Scalia's son, the Reverend Paul Scalia spoke at his father's funeral mass:  “We are gathered here because of one man, a man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to many more; a man loved by many, scorned by others; a man known for great controversy and for great compassion.”   The one man that the Rev. Scalia was speaking about?  Not his father ... “That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth.”
     Bravo, Reverend Scalia!  I'm sure that your father would have been proud!  Because the understanding of true Justice, after all, comes from knowing that God authorizes those who will become ministers of His justice over us.  And in writing the Constitution, and establishing the Supreme Court, I believe that the Founding Fathers understood that as well.  Consider this statement: "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" (John Adams).
     Now follow that statement with this thought:  An important aspect of our system of government is that it is based on the Rule of Law. This concept is a direct descendant of Hebrew law and the Ten Commandments. Together with the concept of unalienable rights from God, these concepts helped ensure a way of life that respected the dignity of every individual. The combination of these biblical concepts is a foundation of our government that helps subjugate political power of potential tyrants. One only has to notice how every tyrant has a practice of changing the country's constitution to suit himself (or to butter the bread of those who put him in power (Courtesy of FaithFacts.org).
     So how far off track has the highest Court in the land come from these founding ideals?  Let's see ... they have removed the Bible from the public square and our schools, thereby removing the moral absolutes that the Word of God established, and allowing anyone to set his own standards.  They have consented to the murder of 57 million innocent lives since 1973 (Roe v. Wade).  They have endorsed same-sex marriage while legislating against American businesses who oppose it on a Biblical basis.  And our liberties in regards to free speech, the right to bear arms, States' rights, and our rights to be secure in our persons and privacy are coming under increasing attack.
     If we, as Americans, truly understood the enumerated powers given to the Supreme Court under the direction of the Constitution, we would be screaming Judicial Tyranny!  It would be blatantly apparent that the Court has overstepped its bounds and is acting above the Law of the land.  Case in point .... Did you know that “Judicial Power” refers to a court’s power to hear and decide cases. Art. III §2, U.S. Constitution, lists the cases which federal courts are permitted to hear. They may hear only cases:  
a) Arising under the Constitution, or the Laws of the United States, or Treaties made under the Authority of the United States [“federal question” jurisdiction];
b) Affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers & Consuls; cases of admiralty & maritime Jurisdiction; or cases in which the U.S. is a Party [“status of the parties” jurisdiction];
c) Between two or more States; between a State & Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States; or between a State (or Citizens thereof) & foreign States, Citizens or Subjects; [“diversity” jurisdiction].
    Anything else, is outside the powers given to them by the Constitution!  As Alexander Hamilton, one of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, who helped draft the document wrote: …the judicial authority of the federal judicatures is declared by the Constitution to comprehend certain cases particularly specified. The expression of those cases marks the precise limits beyond which the federal courts cannot extend their jurisdiction...
     What I'm trying to tell you is that the Supreme Court has no legal jurisdiction to hear the cases on abortion, same-sex marriage, Obamacare, gun rights ... let alone declare them law!  Let me say that again ... Constitutionally, their rulings are not law.  Judges are appointed to discover and apply the Law, not to re-write or to re-interpret it.  Yet, we the people of this nation, have been lax in holding the branches of government accountable to the Constitution.  We have been conditioned to relax our vigilance and to accept their overreach of power.
     President Andrew Jackson said it best:  “If the Supreme Court is to be the final arbiter (to decide differences) of what the Constitution says, then (the American people) we have ceased to be our own rulers (under God), and the Supreme Court is our ruler.”   It may seem trite to refer to them as "activist judges", yet that is what they are --- legislating from the Supreme Court bench to suit their own prejudices and those who put them in power.
     So, you can see how important the next appointment to the Supreme Court really is, and why the other two branches of government are going to fight for the authority to name him or her.  Have we gone too far in allowing the Court to overstep their authority?  Have we gone so far that the Constitution has lost its power to restrict the limits by which they influence the law?  And finally, I wonder if it will be impossible to find a Judge who not only understands that it is his responsibility to respect and abide by the Constitution, but that the Law of God is at the foundation of the establishment of this nation's laws.
     As was stated by the Supreme Court Decision in Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 1892: “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian…This is a Christian nation.”  We have strayed from this principle and the condition of our nation and the gutting of the Constitution is ample proof of our failure to uphold this doctrine.   The selection for the next Supreme Court Justice may very well determine the future of our country and the Constitution.  Pray for mercy and wisdom!

Thank you to Barbwire.com and FaithFacts.org for valuable information for this post.

2 Chronicles 19:6    He told them, "Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict."

February 2, 2016

Where Is Common Sense When It Comes To Expressing Our Faith?

     Just a random glance at headlines across the country will reveal the battle we are in to protect our faith.  Presidential candidate Ben Carson was approached by a proclaimed atheist voter prior to the Iowa caucuses.  Carson was asked if he agreed with other candidates whose positions state that Biblical law trumps Constitutional law.
     First of all, that is a loaded question; especially because it is easy for misinterpretation.  To me, the term "Biblical law", rather than "God's law", leaves one open for charges of intolerance and injustice, if not properly explained... God's laws are the commandments that He makes perfectly clear are His alone.  Biblical law could refer to all the addendum's that the nation of Israel has declared since its inception; a disproportionate number of which were instituted because they were under an awesome obligation to maintain their covenant relationship, and they wrongly attempted to merit His favor and blessing by adding their own restrictions to His laws.  But I'm getting off-track...
      I would assume that the questioner had in mind such laws like the one the Supreme Court recently mandated in which same-sex marriage is now constitutionally protected, in opposition to God's law that marriage is between a man and a woman.  I believe that Ben Carson's answer was right on the money: "Our Constitution, which is the supreme law of our land, was designed by men of faith, and it has a Judeo-Christian foundation... If we create laws that are contrary to the Judeo-Christian values that we have, then I think we should fight against those kinds of laws."  Carson went on to make his position perfectly clear: "I personally believe that we still have an obligation to obey the laws whether we agree with them or not. Otherwise, we would be a lawless nation.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight against anything we see as unjust."  (I would have added, "or unrighteous").
     In a slightly abbreviated version, I think he's saying that our elected officials must abide by the laws of the land.  But when confronted with a man-made law that goes against God's commandments, then we all have a duty to fight to change those laws to align with God.  Clearly, those who do not believe in God or His sovereignty over human affairs will seek to change laws to appease the flesh.  At least we still have men in the public arena who seek to obey and please God.
     And there is still some God-given common sense in the Texas State Supreme Court as well.  The Court ruled in favor of a group of middle and high school cheerleaders who displayed banners with religious messages on them at football games, citing the following as their reasons for deciding in favor of the cheerleaders:  "messages created solely by student cheerleaders do not become government speech simply because aspects of cheerleaders’ activities are regulated by the school,” the brief stated. “Because the messages on the banners are the cheerleaders’ messages, the content of which is not dictated by the school, the speech is not the school’s, and it does not qualify as ‘government speech.’ The speech belongs to the cheerleaders, and it is entitled to First Amendment Protection.”
     What astounded me was that the School District, itself, -- which means at least one person -- objected to the use of Biblical Scripture or inferences on signs and banners held up by the cheerleaders to encourage team spirit.  In Texas, School Districts are run by School Boards, which if I'm not mistaken, should have the best interests of the students at heart.  But here's what is most upsetting to me ... a district court judge initially ruled that the cheerleaders had the right to display the banners at sporting events as they were “constitutionally permissible.” However, the school district appealed the ruling with the backing of the ACLU!  Additionally, the school district had decided to allow the banners but had the ability to censor them at will.
     So, I ask you again, where is the common sense that says it's OK for a School Board to censor a student who wishes to encourage another student with a message from God?  Since when is a cheerleader, with a banner, a form of government-and-state-sponsored religion?  Has all common sense just gone out the window?
     Well, I would suggest that it has in Phoenix, Arizona.  I say that because the City Council of Phoenix has given members of the local Satanic Temple permission to offer the opening prayer at an upcoming Council meeting.  While the satanists have voiced their intention to "do nothing offensive", stating that, "We’re citizens of this government, and we would like our voices to be heard.  If they don’t want to accept, constitutionally what must happen is that all voices must be taken down from the public forum. It’s basically all voices must be heard or none at all."
     Now, those of us with common sense will immediately surmise that this is simply an argument that the Enemy of God is using to try to put satan on equal footing with the Most High God.  It not only makes a mockery of prayer in general, but is a blatant taunt in the face of those who have faith.  But here's the real paradox... the satanists explained their position as follows:  "Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s direction, the city cannot dictate religious viewpoints or the content of a prayer.  In addition, government may not exclude a denomination or a religion from praying under these circumstances."
     While they may say that they "don't believe in a literal Satan", but instead view the biblical Satan as "a metaphor for rebellion against tyranny", they have made it perfectly clear that they wish to participate by offering a prayer, which by definition, is "a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship."  They can deny they worship Satan all they want, but their actions and their words belie not only their mockery of us, but their deceit in order to achieve the devil's goal.
     So, my post title asks where has the common sense gone as it applies to the expression of our faith.  Obviously, it is disappearing from within the unbelieving public; from within our court systems and educational boards; and from those who are appointed to govern our cities and communities.  Human values and selfish concerns have replaced sound judgment and the ability to consider matters from a discerning spirit.  It is quite apparent that forthcoming elections will have profound ramifications on our society, our culture, and our nation.  Whether it is for the office of President of the United States,  a District Judge, or School Board Members, you better know (before you vote) where they stand in regards to faith in the Sovereign God of the Universe... or we are going to see a vast change in how we are allowed to worship and obey Him.

Psalm 1:1-2   "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night."

January 1, 2016

It's A New Year ... Expect New Changes

      I'm wondering if 2016 is going to fly by as fast as 2015 did; and if we are going to continue to see the rapid changes in our lives that we experienced last year.  If the docket of the Supreme Court is any indication, we could see further transformation and upheaval in our social fabric.  Here are the issues that will come before the Court:
     Abortion.  The state of Texas will find out if it can enforce two new regulations that could effect the availability of abortion among its population.  Texas would like to require that clinics use only doctors with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, as well as require abortion facilities to match the standards of an outpatient surgical center.
     The Supreme Court must decide if these measures will protect the health of women — as state lawmakers assert — or hinder reproductive care “by drastically reducing access to safe and legal abortion” in large parts of Texas, as abortion-rights advocates contend.   It seems to me that these measures are simply trying to call into question the accountability (and the quality of services) of those doctors and clinics that wish to perform abortions.
     But, of course, we can expect to hear arguments that the measures violate the Constitutional "right" of a woman to end the life of her baby, and that "right" supersedes safety measures -- never mind the "rights" of the unborn child.
     Affirmative Action.  Once again, the State of Texas is in the spotlight regarding a controversial decision.  In December, the Court heard Fisher vs. University of Texas for a second time to decide whether the school’s admission policy is constitutional.  At the center of this court case is the question, Does the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment permit the consideration of race in undergraduate admissions decisions?  Abigail N. Fisher, a Caucasian female, applied for undergraduate admission to the University of Texas in 2008. Fisher was not in the top ten percent of her class (which guarantees admission by the University's application process), so she competed for admission with other non-top ten percent in-state applicants. The University of Texas denied Fisher's application.  Fisher then filed suit against the university, citing the aforementioned Equal Protection Clause.
     Fisher has appealed the District Court decision, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; both of which found in favor of the university.  The Supreme Court found in favor of Ms. Fisher, holding that the lower courts did not conduct a sufficient strict scrutiny examination in this case.  So, now it appears as if the Supreme Court could finally decide if the Constitution and civil rights laws forbid schools and colleges from admitting students based on their race.
     Union Fees.  The High Court will hear a free-speech challenge to pro-union laws in more than 20 states that require all public employees pay a “fair share fee” to their union, even if they are opposed to the union and refuse to join.  This case will clearly show us if the Constitution still has any teeth in it.
     Voting Districts.  This case has clear and strong implications for the future reliability of our election process.  Currently, voters elect representatives to Congress, state legislatures and city councils in districts that are drawn to represent equal numbers of people.  Texas is challenging the fact that these "equal numbers" are not comprised of eligible voters.  At the present time, the system counts all people, including children, immigrants and prisoners.  Texas's appeal relies on the “one person, one vote” rule established in the 1960s. If the justices agree in the case of Evenwel vs. Abbott, the ruling could have a major effect in states such as California, Florida, New York and Illinois because they have large populations of immigrants.  I think it is evident how easily this system could be abused and corrupted.
     Contraceptives.  This year, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear its fourth case on The Affordable Care Act, and the second involving a religious-freedom challenge to a regulation that requires employers to include no-cost coverage for contraceptives in their health insurance policies.  At this time, churches are exempt from this requirement. Under a separate accommodation, religious nonprofits, such as Catholic charities or the University of Notre Dame, need not provide nor pay for the coverage, but they must notify the government of their religious objection.  But in a series of lawsuits, Catholic bishops and Protestant colleges contend that opening themselves up to government scrutiny of their religious objections could open the door to challenges that would force them to provide the contraceptives and make them complicit in what they consider sin.  In essence, they feel they should be afforded the same exemption as churches, or the accommodation needs to be strengthened in their favor.
     Immigration.  In The United States vs Texas, the Supreme Court has perhaps its most contentious case in this Presidential election year.  The outgoing Administration is pulling out all the stops in its effort to shield immigrants from deportation.  Under the President's latest immigration action,  as many as 5 million immigrants who have lived in the country illegally for at least five years, and have a child who is a citizen or legal resident, could come forward, qualify, and be offered work permits.  But a judge in Texas and the 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans, blocked that action as un-Constitutional because it was done without seeking approval from Congress.
     UPDATE:  Under the President's unilateral directive, the Department of Homeland Security published (on New Year's Eve) a 181-page rule which focused primarily on giving work-permits to foreign college-grads.  This not only puts foreigners in direct competition with American college graduates, who are already struggling to find jobs and pay off college tuition debt, but it calls into question new security concerns as it covers categories of immigration utilized by migrants from the Middle East and nearby regions.
     Undoubtedly, it will be extremely important that the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case of The United States vs Texas.  Until then, it looks as if the President is more than willing to test his power to change immigration policy without seeking approval from Congress.  If the justices turn down the appeal, Obama’s action(s) will likely remain on hold until he leaves office.  I'm sure that is exactly what he has planned.
     So as you can see, the very foundation of who and what this country will become is at stake in this coming year.  There is a lot on the line ... the freedoms for our unborn children, our rights to equal education and job opportunities, the entitlement to fair and honest elections, the right to be allowed to practice our faith as we see fit, and whether the checks and balances of our government will be upheld -- not to mention the very security of our homeland.
     And I do not know how we survive any of it without faith in the protection from our Lord.  Man, himself, is on a collision course with his own pride and self-centeredness.  It is up to those of us who know we have been called to a higher purpose to seek ways to impart the Kingdom of God into each of these circumstances, as well as the unexpected situations we will encounter.  The world is not greater than the power and authority we have in Jesus Christ.  The forecast for the future may look dismal... but we know we can change that, don't we?  Nothing is impossible with our God.  Let's live our lives as if we truly believe that!

Psalm 37:37    "Mark the blameless and behold the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace."


October 9, 2015

A House Divided

     I recently ran across an archived article from Hillsdale College, written by its President, Larry P. Arnn.  Hillsdale is a Liberal Arts College, founded on two principles: academic excellence and institutional independence. The College does not accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies for any of its operations.
     Hillsdale is an exceptional institution of learning as one can attest by reading its mission statement:  Founded in 1844 by men and women “grateful to God for the inestimable blessings” resulting from civil and religious liberty and “believing that the diffusion of learning is essential to the perpetuity of these blessings", it pursues the stated object of the founders: “to furnish all persons who wish, irrespective of nation, color, or sex, a literary and scientific education” [that is] outstanding among American colleges “and to combine with this such moral and social instruction as will best develop the minds and improve the hearts of its pupils.”
     The College considers itself a trustee of modern man’s intellectual and spiritual inheritance from the Judeo-Christian faith and Greco-Roman culture, a heritage finding its clearest expression in the American experiment of self-government under law.  Hillsdale College prepares students to become leaders worthy of that legacy, and by publicly defending that legacy, it enlists the aid of other friends of free civilization and thus secures the conditions of its own survival and independence.
     As you can see, this College seeks to teach this nation's founding principles of freedom, self-government, and the pursuit of virtuous leadership -- without relying on partisan funding.  Needless to say, its goals are not shared by too many other college across the land.
     But it was the December 2012 interview with Hillsdale's President Arnn that sparked some interesting historical comparisons of our nation's history.  The title of the article was Time To Give Up, Or Time To Fight On?  It was written right as the nation was coming to terms with the results of the 2012 Presidential election.  At the time, it was quite clear that the nation was becoming divided; especially in terms of political ideologies.  The gap between Conservative and Liberal, Right and Left, Socialist and Capitalist, Big-Government entitlement programs and Small-Government policies  never seemed greater.  The ensuing years have done nothing to alleviate that chasm.  (And now the latest news is that there seems to be a real fight within the Republican party to determine if the House of Representatives is going to really represent the people of America, or continue with "business as usual".)  Is it possible that we might actually be seeing the dawn of a new era, and a return to our true national roots as a republic?
     Yet the warning that President Arnn issued back in 2012 against those who might be looking to retreat from the political arena still holds true today.  He cautioned against those who might think we have passed the point of no return.  He pointed out then -- and it is ever more vital today -- "that the cost of [retreating] is overwhelming. If you don’t live under good laws, life becomes shortened and less happy, injustice becomes customary, civilization is compromised. And one cannot acquiesce to that. One has to be involved. And since politics is natural to us—man is essentially political, as Aristotle says—and since we do live in the greatest modern country—founded that way at least—we owe it a lot. And many of the people who have seen the republic through to where we are today have gone through things that are worse than this."
     Of course, we in modern Babylon -- we spoiled, soft, and selfish Americans in the 21st Century -- are likely to think that no one has had it as tough as us.  But if we could quit thinking about ourselves for just a moment and focus on the future of our nation, we might realize that we need to stay in the fight.
     Because it was what he said just a few short paragraphs later that has got me to thinking:  "The country is still a house divided against itself, and that’s dangerous. But it doesn’t mean that there’s been a resolution. It means, in fact, the opposite: there is not a resolution. That resolution still has to be made, and the making of it lies ahead of us, and not behind us."  He said that in 2012!  How much more relevant is it today, just three short years later?  We have seen new divisions that were merely hinted at when the last election was decided... division between the races; a division between the faithful and the secular; between Christians and Muslims; between the rich and poor; and a widening gap between the middle class and the elites.  But does it spell the end of the republic?  Are we past the point of no return?
     Surely, at the founding of this nation, the division between the independence-minded colonists and the ruling class in Britain spelled sure defeat for the growing American spirit.  And as Dr. Arnn points out, the crisis that President Lincoln faced definitely threatened to divide the nation and destroy it.  The nation had to decide between two polar opposite philosophies ... either slavery was the right direction to take the nation, or complete freedom for all men was the right path.  Lincoln clearly understood the Bible's warning that a house divided against itself, will be unable to stand.  So, which of these conflicting ideologies was violating America's principles?  A devastating war was fought to resolve that issue.  As Dr. Arnn writes, "There’s almost an exact parallel today, because the people who founded our country believed and wrote—and established a Constitution to provide—that there must never be unlimited rule by any man or group of men over other men. And our government is getting to a place where it threatens to become limitless."  Remember, that was written three years ago.
     So, I guess the question becomes this: will this generation of Americans [who face this century's threat against our inherent belief in individual rights and limited government], be up to the challenge or not?  Will we retreat and submit to what looks like an insurmountable opponent, or will we remember that this nation has survived other attempts by enemies, both physical and spiritual, to conquer and divide us?  And, perhaps an equally relevant question is, will our leadership rise to the occasion and the growing demand for change and accountability?  Will they even give us a reason to vote?
     I think we would do well to consider what Dr. Arnn proffers as a valuable historic lesson from Winston Churchill.  When Great Britain appeared to stand alone against the onslaught of Hitler's evil Nazi regime, Prime Minister Churchill still believed he could win.  In fact, he believed free men were morally obliged to believe they could defeat evil, and to go down fighting, if necessary.  Do we still "hold that truth to be self-evident" within our American DNA?  They did at Bunker Hill and Concord; and on the battlefields at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Shiloh, and Antietam.  Those Americans felt this republic was worth fighting for.  Now, we find ourselves on the world stage in our hour of crisis.  What will it be?  Retreat and let this nation further divide -- or fight to maintain our original purpose, and rely on the Providence of Almighty God to bring forth a worthy leader to keep this land a little longer for His Glory?  It's time to make your decision.

Psalm 77:11   "But then I recall all you have done, O LORD;  I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago."