VIDEO It’s the Morality – Are We in the End Times?

August 4, 2019

 

Everyone is scratching their heads trying to figure out what has gone wrong when disturbing stories break of more attacks by young men killing strangers at random. We are reeling as a nation in the wake of these mass shootings and wondering what has gone wrong.

Our cultural elites have led us down a path of unbelief, and now we are reaping the consequences.

I’m reminded of the story about Voltaire, the famous French skeptic, who helped grease the skids for the bloody French Revolution. When one of his skeptical guests was talking loudly at his home, Voltaire asked him to lower his voice. He didn’t want the servants to hear their godless philosophy, lest they steal the silverware.

It’s the morality, stupid. Of course, this phrase piggybacks on the unofficial campaign slogan of Bill Clinton  in 1992: “It’s the economy, stupid!” This simple phrase kept them focused, eventually on to victory.

In today’s crisis, which is not something brand new, it’s been brewing for decades in America: It’s the morality, stupid And what’s the cause of this morality? We have driven God out of the public arena.

Unbelief assumes there is no divine accountability. When there is no fear of God in the land, then people do whatever they feel like doing—even if it inflicts mayhem on others. As an atheist character in Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov put it: “…since there is no infinite God, there’s no such thing as virtue either and there’s no need for it at all.”

America is ultimately an experiment in self-government. After the founding fathers hammered out the Constitution in the convention in 1787 in Philadelphia, a Mrs. Powell of that city asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government they gave us. His answer was classic: “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”

The founders knew that the only way we could sustain this self-government was by the people being virtuous, acting in a moral way. And how would that morality be sustained? Answer: through voluntary religion.

The man who spoke more than any other at the Constitutional Convention was Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania. He is credited with writing some of the Constitution, including the preamble (“We the people”). He noted that religion is necessary for morality: “Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God.”

George Washington said in his Farewell Address that it is religion that sustains morality. If you undermine religion, you’ll undermine morality.

That is precisely what has happened to America. Beginning with a whole series of misguided Supreme Court decisions, religious influence—frankly Christian influence—in society was restricted more and more. By the 1960s, God was effectively kicked out of the public schools.

When he was 14 years old, William J. Murray was the plaintiff in one of the key anti-school prayer cases on behalf of his atheist mother, Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Today, Murray is a born- again Christian, ruing the terrible decision and its consequences.

He once told me, “I would like people to take a look at the Baltimore public schools today versus what they were when I went to those schools in 1963 and my mother took prayer out of the schools. We didn’t have armed guards in the hallways then when we had God in the classroom. But I’ll guarantee you there are armed guards [now]. In fact, the city school system of Baltimore now has its own armed police force.”

We lack a fear of God in our land. Young people have no idea that after they die, they will have to give an account to Jesus, whom the founders called in the Declaration of Independence, “the Supreme Judge of the World.”

In the mid-19th century, one of the Speakers of the House of Representatives was Robert Charles   Winthrop, a descendant of John (“a City on a Hill”) Winthrop, the Puritan founder of Boston.

Robert Winthrop gave an address in 1849 at the Massachusetts Bible Society, in which he noted, in effect, our choice is clear: Christianity or violence?

Here’s what Winthrop said: “All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they have of stringent State Government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint.

“Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them, or a power without them; either by the word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”

Would that we choose the Bible today, as the settlers and the founders of our nation chose to do.

http://www.jerrynewcombe.com/its-the-morality-stupid/


Are We in the End Times? | Jonathan Cahn | Special Guest

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The only way mass shootings will end

Shak Hill talks to Jennifer Bennett about her surviving Navy Yard massacre

Sept 15, 2019

By Shak Hill

There is another September anniversary we need to examine, and it is not 9/11. The lessons from this anniversary, if implemented, will end mass shootings.

Six years ago, on Sept. 16, 2013, the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard was under attack. On that Monday, over 3,000 Navy Yard employees would report as normal to work with a desire to make the Navy stronger, and in turn make America safer. Yet on that day, there would be a shooter in the building that threatened the lives of each of them.

 

Jennifer Bennett was one of them.

Jennifer Bennett

As she was evacuating the building down a stairwell, Jennifer walked into the shooter – who killed 12 that day – and was shot point blank with a sawed-off shotgun. That event caused time to slow down into super slow motion that she calls her “matrix” moment. When the shooter lowered his weapon, Jennifer says that she saw every move of the shooter – frame by frame, millisecond by millisecond.

She saw the “shot” leave the end of the barrel and head straight for her. As it flew threw the air, she watched it come closer, then strike her left shoulder. She next heard the familiar sound of a shotgun blast, as if to congratulate the shot for hitting its target.

The shooter left his post thinking he had another kill and went down the stairs. Jennifer was able to escape by going up and then out to the roof. After an hour and 10 minutes, Jennifer was dramatically rescued by helicopter and flown to safety. Within minutes she would be in surgery to repair the hole in her left shoulder. (Yes, a hole; think Elmer Fud and Bugs Bunny.)

Her incredible recovery would last months, including subsequent surgeries and painful physical therapy.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Bennett. She believes her insights just might lead to the end of all mass shootings.

Q: Jennifer, how are you doing?

It is well with my soul. I have pain every day, but the days are getting better. I am thankful for all who kept me alive. From those on the roof with me, to the helicopter team that rescued me, to the surgeons that put my shoulder back together. They are real heroes to me.

Q: There’s a lot of discussion about ending mass shootings. Please comment.

The discussions today identifies the “what” that causes them. Many are talking about the gun, the size of the magazine and background checks. Although mass shootings by definition require a gun, it is not the gun that commits them; it’s today’s culture that creates them. It’s not the gun’s fault – it never has been and never will be. It’s the culture America has created that allow mass shootings.

Q: What do you mean by today’s culture?

Americans have always had access to firearms. In fact, without them, we never could have won our independence from England. However, when I was going to school in the 1960s, we still had guns, but we didn’t have the culture of mass shootings that we have today.

Q: You have mentioned “culture” a couple of times. What about our culture are you talking about?

If we want to end mass shootings, we must change the culture that facilitates mass shootings.

Q: Can you be more specific?

American culture was founded on Christian principles that are literally enshrined in our founding documents. Today, our culture has eliminated any reference of Christianity. And in some cases, personal religious beliefs actually land the faithful afoul of the law. The last few decades have witnessed an increased hostility toward Christians. When government can punish an individual for not baking a cake, or selling flowers, or paying for abortion, then the culture has shifted away from religious freedom to something else.

Q: What else?

American culture no longer values life. With abortion on-demand up until the moment of birth, our culture has shifted away from a culture of life to a culture of death. Politicians now openly discuss and pass legislation that remove life’s value, starting from the beginning of life (conception) to after the child is born (infanticide), to the end (assisted suicide).

Every person today knows that his or her mother had a “choice” to kill them or to let them live. Let’s be honest. If a mom can kill her own baby, then it’s not too far-fetched to think that years later, that same baby could choose to go into a school, a movie theater or dance club and kill someone. A culture that allows the killing of innocent children facilitates the killing of innocent students, moviegoers or dancers.

Q: I can tell you have something else on your mind.

Yes, our culture no longer allows our children to fail, or to face the consequences of their actions. The way we grow up has an unshakable influence and impact on the way we live as adults. Today, if a child doesn’t pass a class, then it’s the teacher’s fault. Everyone who tries out for the cheerleading squad makes it, and at the end of the season, everyone gets a trophy. But this isn’t how the world works.

So, when that child grows into adulthood having never failed at anything, it’s no wonder life’s ordinary challenges can turn into huge events that these adults are simply not prepared to handle. And when there is no God to answer to and no value for innocent life, it is not too implausible to think this adult just might go out and buy a gun to punish the person(s) who made him fail.

Q: As we approach the sixth anniversary of you being shot, what final thoughts do you have?

In short, there needs to be a shift from the discussion of the “mechanics” of gun violence to “why” we have a culture of mass shootings. When our culture values life once again, mass shootings will end. When our children grow up in a culture that rewards hard work, achievement and excellence, then mass shootings will end. And when our culture again embraces a higher authority, then mass shootings will end.


Jennifer Bennett is the only Navy Yard employee to be shot and survive. Her book, “Standing Still in A Culture of Mass Shootings,” explores in greater detail her beliefs about mass shootings and how to shift the culture back to one without them. Learn more about her at NavyYardSurvivor.com.

Shak Hill is the owner of Guiding Light Books, LLC. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and former combat pilot. He is keenly interested in politics and ran for the Republican nomination for Congress in Virginia.

Original here


 

VIDEO Socialism, Capitalism, and the Bible

July 1985 • Volume 14, Number 7 • Ronald Nash

Editor’s Preview: Was Jesus, blessing the poor in spirit, a political revolutionary as some in Latin America argue? Was Noah, the just man, an early welfare liberal as the Christian Left in this country would have it?

On the contrary, says Ronald Nash in this presentation to a Center for Constructive Alternatives seminar, an accurate reading of the Bible bolsters the case for free markets, individual rights, and limited government.


Within the Christian church today, one can find a small but growing army of Protestants and Roman Catholics who have entered into an uncritical alliance with the political Left. The so-called liberation theologians not only promote a synthesis of Marxism and Christianity, but attempt to ground their recommended restrictions of economic and political freedom on their interpretation of the biblical ethic. A growing number of my own religious fellowship (those theologically conservative Protestants known as evangelicals) appear to stop just short of the more radical pronouncements of the liberation thinkers. These evangelicals of the Left are convinced that the biblical ethic obliges them to condemn capitalism and endorse the politics of statism and the economics of socialism.

Many writings from the Christian Left illustrate what can be called the prooftext method. What these writers normally do is isolate some vague passage (usually one from the Old Testament) that pertains to an extinct culture situation or practice. They then proceed to deduce some complex economic or political program from that text.

My approach to the subject rejects the prooftext method and proceeds via three main steps. First, a Christian should acquire a clear and complete picture of the Christian worldview. What basic views about God, humankind, morality, and society are taught or implied by Scripture? Second, he should put his best effort into discovering the truth about economic and political systems. He should try to clarify what capitalism and socialism really are (not what the propagandists say they are); he should try to discover how each system works or, as in the case of socialism, whether it can work. He should identify the strengths and weaknesses of each system. Third, he should compare his economic options to the standard of biblical morality, and ask which system is more consistent with the entire Christian worldview.

Creator and Freedom; Morality and Sin

We can begin, then, by noting several relevant aspects of the biblical worldview:

(1) Certainly the biblical worldview implies that since God is the creator of all that exists, He ultimately is the rightful owner of all that exists. Whatever possessions a human being may acquire, he holds them temporarily as a steward of God and is ultimately accountable to God for how he uses them. However omnipresent greed and avarice may be in the human race, they are clearly incompatible with the moral demands of the biblical worldview.

(2) The biblical worldview also contains important claims about human rights and liberties. All human beings have certain natural rights inherent in their created nature and have certain moral obligations to respect the rights of others. The possibility of human freedom is not a gift of government but a gift from God.

The Old Testament tended to focus on the economic and social dimensions of freedom. But gradually, as one moves into the New Testament, a more spiritual dimension of freedom assumes dominance. Freedom in the New Testament is deliverance from bondage to sin and is available only to those who come to know God’s truth through Christ and enter into a saving relationship with Christ.

Some interesting parallels between the biblical account of spiritual freedom and political-economic freedom should be noted. For one thing, freedom always has God as its ultimate ground. For another, freedom must always exist in relationship to law. The moral law of God identifies definite limits beyond which human freedom under God should not pass. Liberty should never be turned into license.

(3) The moral system of the Bible is another key element of the Christian worldview. While the Ten Commandments do not constitute the entire biblical ethic, they are a good place to begin. But it is important to notice other dimensions of the biblical ethic that have relevance for our subject. For example, Christians on the Left insist that the biblical ethic condemns individual actions and social structures that oppress people, harm people and favor some at the expense of others. I agree. Where I disagree, however, is with the next step taken by the Leftists. They claim that capitalism inevitably and necessarily encourages individual actions and produces social structures that oppress and harm people. On this point, they are dead wrong. Fortunately, the question as to which system actually harms or helps different classes of people is an empirical and not a normative matter. The Leftists simply have their facts wrong.

(4) One final aspect of the Christian worldview must be mentioned: the inescapable fact of human sin and depravity. No economic or political system that assumes the essential goodness of human nature or holds out the dream of a perfect earthly society can possibly be consistent with the biblical worldview.

Peaceful or Violent Exchange?

Now we must examine the three major economic systems that compete for attention: capitalism, socialism and somewhere between, the hybrid known as interventionism or the mixed economy.

One dominant feature of capitalism is economic freedom, the right of people to exchange things voluntarily, free from force, fraud, and theft. Socialism, on the other hand, seeks to replace the freedom of the market with a group of central planners who exercise control over essential market functions. There are degrees of socialism as there are degrees of capitalism in the real world. But basic to any form of socialism is distrust of or contempt for the market process and the desire to replace the freedom of the market with some form of centralized control. Generally speaking, as one moves along the continuum of socialism to capitalism, one finds the following: the more freedom a socialist allows, the closer his position is to interventionism; the more freedom an interventionist allows, the closer his position is to capitalism. The crux is the extent to which human beings will be permitted to exercise their own choices in the economic sphere of life.

I will say nothing more about that deplorable economic system known as interventionism, a hopeless attempt to stop on a slippery slope where no stop is possible. The only way the half-hearted controls of the interventionist can work is if they become the total controls of the socialist. Anything less will result in the kind of troubled and self-damaging economy we have had for the past several decades in the United States.

I shall attempt to get a clearer fix on the real essence both of capitalism and socialism and then see which is more compatible with the biblical worldview. The best starting point for this comparison is a distinction made most recently by the American economist, Walter Williams. According to Williams, there are two and only two ways in which something may be exchanged. He called them the peaceful means of exchange and the violent means of exchange.

The peaceful means of exchange may be summed up in the phrase, “If you do something good for me, then I’ll do something good for you.” When capitalism is understood correctly, it epitomizes the peaceful means of exchange. The reason people exchange in a real market is because they believe the exchange is good for them. They take advantage of an opportunity to obtain something they want more in exchange for something they desire less. Capitalism then should be understood as a voluntary system of relationships that utilizes the peaceful means of exchange.

But exchange can also take place by means of force and violence. In this violent means of exchange, the basic rule of thumb is: “Unless you do something good for me, I’ll do something bad to you.” This turns out to be the controlling principle of socialism. Socialism means far more than centralized control of the economic process. It entails the introduction of coercion into economic exchange in order to facilitate the attainment of the goals of the elite who function as the central planners. One of the great ironies of Christian socialism is that its proponents in effect demand that the State get out its weapons and force people to fulfill the demands of Christian love. Even if we fail to notice any other contrast between capitalism and socialism, we already have a major difference to relate to the biblical ethic. One system stresses voluntary and peaceful exchange while the other depends on coercion and violence.

Some Christian socialists object to the way I have set this up. They profess contempt for the more coercive forms of state-socialism on exhibit in communist countries. They would like us to believe that a more humane, non-coercive kind of socialism is possible. They would like us to believe that there is a form of socialism, not yet tried anywhere on earth, where the central ideas are cooperation and community and where coercion and dictatorship are precluded. But they provide very little information about the workings of this more utopian kind of socialism, and they ignore the fact that however humane and voluntary their socialism is supposed to become after it has been put into effect, it will take massive amounts of coercion and theft to get things started.

Socialist Falsehoods, Capitalist Facts

To that paradox, add one more: the fact that socialists need capitalism in order to survive. Unless socialists make allowance for some free markets which provide the pricing information that alone makes rational economic activity possible, socialist economies would have even more problems than those for which they are already notorious. Consequently, socialism is a gigantic fraud which attacks the market at the same time it is forced to utilize the market process.

But critics of the market try to shift attention away from their own embarrassing problems to claims that capitalism must be abolished or restricted because it is unjust or because it restricts important human freedoms. Capitalism is supposed to be unchristian because it allegedly gives a predominant place to greed and other unchristian values. It is alleged to increase poverty and the misery of the poor while, at the same time, it makes a few rich at the expense of the many. Socialism, on the other hand, is portrayed as the economic system of people who really care for the less fortunate members of society. Socialism is represented as the economics of compassion. Socialism is also recommended on the ground that it encourages other basic Christian values such as community.

If these claims were true, they would constitute a serious problem for anyone anxious to show that capitalism is compatible with the biblical ethic. But, of course, the claims are not true. People who make such charges have their facts wrong or are aiming at the wrong target. The “capitalism” they accuse of being inhumane is a caricature. The system that in fact produces the consequences they deplore turns out to be not capitalism, but interventionism.

Capitalism is not economic anarchy. It recognizes several necessary conditions for the kinds of voluntary relationships it recommends. One of these presuppositions is the existence of inherent human rights, such as the right to make decisions, the right to be free, the right to hold property, and the right to exchange what one owns for something else. Capitalism also presupposes a system of morality. Capitalism should be thought of as a system of voluntary relationships within a framework of laws which protect people’s rights against force, fraud, theft, and violations of contracts. “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not lie” are part of the underlying moral constraints of the system. Economic exchanges can hardly be voluntary if one participant is coerced, deceived, defrauded, or robbed.

Allowing for Human Weakness

Once we grant that consistency with the biblical doctrine of sin is a legitimate test of political and economic systems, it is relatively easy to see how well democratic capitalism scores in this regard. The limited government willed to Americans by the Founding Fathers was influenced in large measure by biblical considerations about human sin. If one of the more effective ways of mitigating the effects of human sin in society is dispersing and decentralizing power, the conservative view of government is on the right track. So too is the conservative vision of economics.

The free market is consistent with the biblical view of human nature in another way. It recognizes the weaknesses of human nature and the limitations of human knowledge. No one can possibly know enough to manage a complex economy. No one should ever be trusted with this power. However, in order for socialism to work, socialism requires a class of omniscient planners to forecast the future, to set prices and to control production. In the free market system, decisions are not made by an omniscient bureaucratic elite but made across the entire economic system by countless economic agents.

At this point, of course, collectivists will raise another set of objections. Capitalism, they will counter, may make it difficult for economic power to be consolidated in the hands of the state; but it only makes it easier for vast concentrations of wealth and power to be vested in the hands of private individuals and companies. But the truth turns out to be something quite different from this widely accepted myth. It is not the free market that produces monopolies; rather it is governmental intervention with the market that creates the conditions that encourage monopoly.

As for another old charge, that capitalism encourages greed, the truth is just the reverse. The mechanism of the market neutralizes greed as selfish individuals are forced to find ways of servicing the needs of those with whom they wish to exchange. As we know, various people often approach economic exchanges with motives and objectives that fall short of the biblical ideal. But no matter how base or selfish a person’s motives may be, so long as the rights of the other parties are protected, the greed of the first individual cannot harm them. As long as greedy individuals are prohibited from introducing force, fraud, and theft into the exchange process, their greed must be channeled into the discovery of products or services for which people are willing to exchange their holdings. Every person in a market economy has to be other-directed.

New Religion of the Left

Finally, some examples of the way in which attempts to ground American liberalism and interventionism or Latin American liberationism on the Bible involve serious distortions of the biblical message.

For instance, consider how radical American evangelicals on the Left abuse the biblical notion of justice. The basic idea in the Old Testament notion of justice is righteousness and fairness. But it is essential to the Leftist’s cause that he read into biblical pronouncements about justice, contemporary notions of distributive justice. When the Bible says that Noah was a just man, it does not mean that he would have voted the straight Democratic ticket. It means simply that he was a righteous man.

Likewise, many Christians on the Left seek to reinterpret Jesus’ earthly mission in exclusively economic and political terms. In their view, Jesus came primarily to deliver those who were poor and oppressed in a material sense. But every member of the human race is poor in the sense of being spiritually bankrupt. Jesus came to end our spiritual poverty by making available the righteousness that God demands and that only God can provide.

It is heresy to state that God’s love for people varies in proportion to their wealth and social class. It is nonsense to suggest that all the poor are good and all the rich are evil. Once we eliminate the semantic game-playing by which some refer to a non-coercive voluntary utopian type of socialism, it becomes clear that socialism is incompatible with a truly free society. Edmund Opitz has seen this clearly:

As History’s vice-regent, the Planner is forced to view men as mass; which is to deny their full stature as persons with rights endowed by the Creator, gifted with free will, possessing the capacity to order their own lives in terms of their convictions. The man who has the authority and the power to put the masses through their paces, and to punish nonconformists, must be ruthless enough to sacrifice a person to a principle…a commissar who believes that each person is a child of God will eventually yield to a commissar whose ideology is consonant with the demands of his job.

And so, Opitz concludes, “Socialism needs a secular religion to sanction its authoritarian politics, and it replaces the traditional moral order by a code which subordinates the individual to the collective.” All of this is justified in the cause of improving economic well-being and in the name of compassion.

The Choice I Make

I think I have said enough to allow me, at least, to make a reasoned choice between capitalism and socialism on the basis of each system’s compatibility to the biblical worldview. The alternative to free exchange is violence. Capitalism is a mechanism that allows natural human desires to be satisfied in a nonviolent way. Little can be done to prevent human beings from wanting to be rich. But what capitalism does is channel that desire into peaceful means that benefit many besides those who wish to improve their own situation.

Which choice then should I, as a Christian, make in the selection between capitalism and socialism? Capitalism is quite simply the most moral system, the most effective system, and the most equitable system of economic exchange. When capitalism, the system of free economic exchange, is described fairly, there can be no question that it, rather than socialism or interventionism, comes closer to matching the demands of the biblical ethic.

Ronald H. Nash has been a professor of philosophy and religion at Western Kentucky University since 1966, and is the author of 12 books including Social Justice and the Christian Church. Here he explains why social justice and biblical ethics are best served by capitalism, while the inherently coercive nature of socialism ultimately begets a new secular religion denying man’s link to God.

Original here


May 25, 2019 | Dr. Jack Graham | What the Bible Teaches about Socialism and Capitalism


Declaration of Dependence

by Greg Laurie on Jul 2, 2019

This July 4th let’s remember our founders also signed a Declaration of Dependence

Having had the opportunity to travel around the world, let me say I think America is the greatest country on earth.

We are far from perfect. We have our many flaws. But we have so much to be thankful for as a nation.

Imagine what kind of world we would live in today if there had been no America: No one to turn back the rise of the Nazis in World War II. No one to stand up against the tyranny of communism and socialism. No one to stand up for our ally Israel and other nations that need our help.

Why has America been able to do all those things? Because we have a foundation that has taught us what right and wrong are, that every individual life has inherent value and dignity and that there is a God who can and wants to bless us if we follow him.

We learn these things from the most influential book in our country’s history: the Bible.

Thomas Jefferson once said about the Bible, “I have always said, and always will say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens.” Of Holy Scripture, Andrew Jackson said it is “the Rock on which our republic rests.” Abraham Lincoln stated, “All the good Savior gave to the World was communicated through this Book. But for this Book we could not know right from wrong. All the things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found in it.”

The Fourth of July is this week. As you know, our Founding Fathers framed a document that we call the Declaration of Independence:

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

We often forget that in declaring independence from an earthly power, our forefathers made a direct declaration of dependence upon God Almighty. The closing words of this document declare, “With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

But 243 years later, it seems we no longer rely on God the way our founders did.

We have thrown God out of the classroom. We have thrown him out of the courtroom, a judicial system built on biblical truth. And we have done our best to throw him out of modern culture.

And when people forget God, they forget the One who blesses them in times of abundance and guides them in times of hardship. Abraham Lincoln recognized this many years ago when our nation was embroiled in a bloody civil war:

We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

Today, though our Union is at peace, we face a situation not unlike the one Lincoln was facing then.

In spite of being the most prosperous and powerful nation on earth, we have “trouble in paradise.” Americans are more depressed and unhappy now than ever before. One in five Americans — over 60 million — will battle major depression in their lifetime.

Roughly every 11 minutes, someone in America commits suicide. According to statistics— and these are conservative estimates — 1.4 million people attempt suicide every year. In fact, there are more suicides than homicides.

I mention depression and suicide because they reflect the internal state of our nation, and they tell us the answer for America’s problems is not a political one. It is spiritual. We need to turn back to God.

This August, I will be hosting an evangelistic crusade in Southern California — for the 30thyear in a row. Our Harvest crusades in Southern California are the longest-running evangelistic outreach in U.S. history.

While some people may think of a crusade as a relic of a bygone era, let me tell you, tens of thousands of people still show up every year to our events. I believe they do because they are searching for hope and meaning in this chaotic world we live in, and the gospel offers answers to their deepest questions. The gospel has always been, and will always be, the greatest hope for humanity.

As America celebrates July 4th, I pray we remember our need for God. We need to turn back to the True and only God — the same God our founding fathers invoked when they established this nation.


Originally published by The Daily Caller as LAURIE: This Independence Day, Let’s Remember The God Who Inspired America’s Founding.

Declaration of Dependence

VIDEO Greatest Revolution In World History – Hidden History

Bill Federer recounts cruel fates, desperate sacrifices of those who signed Declaration

Signing of Declaration of Independence

Signing of Declaration of Independence

Thirty-eight-year-old King George III ruled the largest empire that planet earth had ever seen.

The Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776, listed 27 reasons why Americans declared their independence from the king:

  • He has made judges dependent on his will alone. …
  • He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies. …
  • To subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution. …
  • For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us. …
  • For imposing taxes on us without our consent. …
  • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of trial by jury. …
  • For … establishing … an arbitrary government. …
  • For … altering fundamentally the forms of our governments. …
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  • He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny. …
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

Thirty-three-year-old Thomas Jefferson’s original rough draft of the Declaration contained a line condemning slavery: “He has waged cruel war against human nature itself … in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither … suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce determining to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold.”

A few delegates from southern states objected, and since the Declaration needed to pass unanimously and time was running short with the British invading New York, the line condemning slavery was unfortunately omitted.

John Hancock, the 39-year-old president of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration first, reportedly saying “The price on my head has just doubled.”

Next to sign was Secretary, Charles Thomson, age 47.

Seventy-year-old Benjamin Franklin said: “We must hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately.”

The Declaration referred to God:

  • “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. …”
  • “All Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. …”
  • “Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions. …”
  • “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

This was revolutionary, as kings claimed “The divine right of kings,” namely, that the Creator gives rights to the king, who dispenses them, at his discretion, to his subjects. The Declaration of Independence bypassed the king, declaring that the Creator gives rights directly to “all men.”

Many of the 56 signers sacrificed their prosperity for their posterity. Of the signers:

  • 11 had their homes destroyed
  • 5 were hunted and captured
  • 17 served in the military
  • 9 died during the war

George Walton, age 27, signed, and at the Battle of Savannah was wounded and captured.

Signers Edward Rutledge, age 27, Thomas Heyward Jr., age 30, and Arthur Middleton, age 34, were made prisoners at the Siege of Charleston.

Signer Thomas Nelson, age 38, had his home used as British headquarters during the siege of Yorktown. Nelson reportedly offered five guineas to the first man to hit his house.

Signer Carter Braxton, age 40, lost his fortune during the war.

Signer Thomas McKean, age 42, wrote that he was “hunted like a fox by the enemy, compelled to remove my family five times in three month.”

Richard Stockton, age 46, signed and was dragged from his bed at night and jailed.

Signer Lewis Morris, age 50, had his home taken and used as a barracks.

Signer Abraham Clark, age 50, had two sons tortured and imprisoned on the British starving ship Jersey.

More Americans died on British starving ships than died in battle during the Revolution.

Signer Rev. John Witherspoon, age 53, had his son, James, killed in the Battle of Germantown.

Signer Philip Livingston, age 60, lost several properties to British occupation and died before the war ended.

Signer Francis Lewis, age 63, found out that the British plundered his home and carried away his wife, Elizabeth, putting her in prison. The British wanted to make an example of her, so they denied her a change of clothes, a bed, and gave her nothing but the most meager food. She was treated so harshly that she died shortly after being released.

Signer John Hart, age 65, had his home looted and had to remain in hiding, dying before the war ended.

John Adams, age 41, wrote to his wife of the Declaration: “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

Gustave de Beaumont, a contemporary of Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote in “Marie ou L’Esclavage aux E’tas-Unis,” 1835: “I have seen a meeting of the Senate in Washington open with a prayer, and the anniversary festival of the Declaration of Independence consists, in the United States, of an entirely religious ceremony.”

John Adams continued in his letter to his wife: “You will think me transported with enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

When 54-year-old Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said: “We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”

James Wilson, age 34, signed the Declaration. He later signed the Constitution and was appointed to Supreme Court by George Washington. James Wilson stated in 1787: “After a period of 6,000 years since creation, the United States exhibit to the world the first instance of a nation … assembling voluntarily … and deciding … that system of government under which they and their posterity should live.”

Senator Daniel Webster stated in 1802: “Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”

John Jay was president of the Continental Congress, 1778-1779, and later nominated by George Washington to be the first chief justice of Supreme Court. John Jay wrote in 1777: “The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity of … choosing the forms of government under which they should live. All other constitutions have derived their existence from violence or accidental circumstances. … Your lives, your liberties, your property, will be at the disposal only of your Creator and yourselves.”

Yale President Ezra Stiles, 1788: “All the forms of civil polity have been tried by mankind, except one: and that seems to have been reserved in Providence to be realized in America.”

At the time of the Revolutionary War, nearly every other country on Earth was ruled by a king. Dr. Pat Robertson wrote in “America’s Dates with Destiny,” 1986: “On September 17, 1787, the day our Constitution was signed, the absolute monarch Ch’ien Lung, emperor of the Manchu (or Ch’ing) Dynasty, reigned supreme over the people of China. … Revolts were put down by ruthless military force. In Japan the shogun (warriors) of the corrupt Tokugawa chamberlain Tanuma Okitsugu exercised corrupt and totalitarian authority over the Japanese. In India, Warren Hastings, the British Governor of Bengal, had successfully defeated the influence of the fragmented Mogul dynasties that ruled India since 1600. Catherine II was the enlightened despot of all the Russias. Joseph II was the emperor of Austria, Bohemia and Hungary. For almost half a century, Frederick the Great had ruled Prussia. Louis XVI sat uneasily on his throne in France just years away from revolution, a bloody experiment in democracy, and the new tyranny of Napoleon Bonaparte. A kind of a constitutional government had been created in the Netherlands in 1579 by the Protestant Union of Utrecht, but that constitution was really a loose federation of the northern provinces for a defense against Catholic Spain. … What was happening in America had no real precedent, even as far back as the city-states of Greece. The only real precedent was established thousands of years before by the tribes of Israel in the covenant with God and with each other.”

President Theodore Roosevelt stated in 1903: “In no other place and at no other time has the experiment of government of the people, by the people, for the people, been tried on so vast a scale as here in our own country.”

President Calvin Coolidge stated in 1924: “The history of government on this earth has been almost entirely … rule of force held in the hands of a few. Under our Constitution, America committed itself to power in the hands of the people.”

A king has “subjects” who are subjected to his will. The word “citizen” is Greek, and it means a co-ruler, a co-regent, a co-king. A republic is where the people are king, ruling through representatives.

America is a republic where the people get to rule themselves. When someone protests the flag, what they are saying, is that they no longer want to be king. They protest this system where they participate in ruling themselves. They want someone else to rule their life.

Ronald Reagan opened the Ashbrook Center, Ashland, Ohio, May 9, 1983: “From their own harsh experience with intrusive, overbearing government, the Founding Fathers made a great breakthrough in political understanding: They understood that it is the excesses of government, the will to power of one man over another, that has been a principle source of injustice and human suffering through the ages. …”

Reagan continued: “The Founding Fathers understood that only by making government the servant, not the master, only by positing sovereignty in the people and not the state can we hope to protect freedom and see the political commonwealth prosper. In 1776 the source of government excess was the crown’s abuse of power and its attempt to suffocate the colonists with its overbearing demands. In our own day, the danger of too much state power has taken a subtler but no less dangerous form.”

John Adams wrote in his notes on “A Dissertation on Canon & Feudal Law,” 1765: “I always consider the settlement of America … as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for … the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”

John Jay noted in 1777: “This glorious revolution … distinguished by so many marks of the Divine favor and interposition … and I may say miraculous, that when future ages shall read its history they will be tempted to consider a great part of it as fabulous. … The many remarkable … events by which our wants have been supplied and our enemies repelled … are such strong and striking proofs of the interposition of Heaven, that our having been hitherto delivered from the threatened bondage of Britain ought, like the emancipation of the Jews from Egyptian servitude.”

Franklin Roosevelt stated in 1939: “Rulers … increase their power over the common men. The seamen they sent to find gold found instead the way of escape for the common man from those rulers. … What they found over the Western horizon was not the silk and jewels of Cathay … but mankind’s second chance – a chance to create a new world after he had almost spoiled an old one. … The Almighty seems purposefully to have withheld that second chance until the time when men would most need and appreciate liberty.”

Ronald Reagan stated 1961: “In this country of ours took place the greatest revolution that has ever taken place in the world’s history – every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another. … Here for the first time in all the thousands of years of man’s relation to man. … The founding fathers established the idea that you and I had within ourselves the God-given right and ability to determine our own destiny.”

British Edwardian writer G.K. Chesterton stated in “What is America”: “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on creed. That creed is set forth … in the Declaration of Independence … that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice. … It certainly does condemn … atheism, since it clearly names the Creator as the ultimate authority from whom these equal rights are derived.”

Calvin Coolidge stated July 5, 1926: “The principles … which went into the Declaration of Independence … are found in … the sermons … of the early colonial clergy. … They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the Divine image.”

Henry Cabot Lodge, who filled the role of the first Senate Majority Leader, warned the U.S. Senate in 1919: “The United States is the world’s best hope. … Beware how you trifle with your marvelous inheritance … for if we stumble and fall, freedom and civilization everywhere will go down in ruin.”

Brought to you by AmericanMinute.com.

https://www.wnd.com/2019/07/the-greatest-revolution-in-world-history/

 


America’s Hidden History | Independence Day


A Road Test of a Different Kind

 

 

John P. King

I have great respect for those people that run a driving school and teach others how to drive (I also give those cars with the “student driver” sign on them A LOT of room). I taught both my son and daughter how to drive, and let me tell you, it was a real adventure for me in patience, understanding, and anger management. New drivers tend to brake hard and start fast, nearly park sideways in the parking space, drift into other lanes, and “wobble” by over-steering, then over-correcting, then over-correcting the over-correction, and that’s in an empty church or school parking lot. They still need real time on the road and, hold your breath, the INTERSTATE!

The moments came when I had to reach out and take the wheel or give a “firm” word to preserve life, limb, and the paint job on the car (all in loving grace and mercy, of course). But as we drove around, I began to understand that for me, the great lesson was in knowing when to say or do nothing. The only way they would truly learn to drive is if they did it themselves without my constant intervention. Mistakes would have to be made and the handling of the car would certainly be less than comfortable on my and any other passenger’s part, but learning would take place, and that was the goal. Understanding that helped me see something about how the Lord moves in our lives, or doesn’t, as the case may be.

Without a doubt, just as I always sat next to my kids as they learned to drive, the Lord is always with us. Jesus, in giving the great commission in Matthew 28:20, concluded by saying,

“… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (NASB)

Hebrews 13:5b-6 echoes that truth when it says,

“… for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” (NASB)

Our Father will always be with us and can come to our aid when we need Him to. However, I also believe that there are those times when He will simply do nothing and say nothing. How else will we learn? How else will we grow? That’s why James 1:2-4 says,

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  (NASB)

We have no money to pay the bills. We hate our jobs, or worse, can’t find one. Our relationships at home more resemble a battle zone than a family. Persecution breaks out all over the place, and the devil hits our weak spots so hard we can hardly think straight let alone live straight. It feels like our lives are “wobbling” out of control. If we didn’t know better we might say that the Father has abandoned us, but we know He promised he would never do that. He’s simply doing nothing and saying nothing so that we can learn and grow. Our faith is being “road tested.” If things get too out of hand, He can, and will, take the wheel. But in the meantime, we need to find that joy that James wrote about because, in the end, we will be those people “lacking in nothing.”

Copyright © 2013 John P. King. Used by permission.

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The Truth About the Separation of Church and State

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Overview

The words “separation of Church and State” are not found anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence. Yet, every day, you hear that you can or cannot do something in a public place because of the “separation of Church and State.”

Issue Analysis

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

So where did the phrase “separation of Church and State” come from?

This phrase came from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to a group of Christians from the Baptist denomination. These Christians were concerned that accepting the Constitution could ultimately allow the federal government to restrict religious freedom. Jefferson reassured them in this letter that the Constitution “build[s] a wall of separation between Church and State,” which would protect them from the government interfering with their religious beliefs. (You can read the whole letter for yourself on the Library of Congress’s website: www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html.)

Thus the phrase was designed to explain that the government could not cross over to interfere in the Church’s affairs. But, in 1947, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Everson v. Board of Education took that phrase and turned it backwards to mean that religion must not be allowed to influence the State’s affairs.

Talking Points

  • The phrase of “separation of Church and State” is not in the Constitution. When Thomas Jefferson first wrote that phrase in a letter to a Baptist church, he was explaining that the government could not cross over to interfere in the Church’s affairs.
  • The Constitution doesn’t only guarantee our “freedom to worship” but also our freedom to practice and promote our faith. Americans don’t have to leave their faith and convictions at their church door; we have the right to carry them with us in all aspects of our lives.

Conclusion

Since 1947, anti-religious groups have used the term “separation of Church and State” to silence people of faith from speaking about their religious beliefs in the public square. But, in many cases, this is just an intimidation tactic and is not legally accurate.

This is particularly true for students in public schools and colleges. You have the right to speak about your faith, pray, lead a Bible study, and more!

Contact Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) at legal@azpolicy.org for more information regarding your rights to freely exercise your religious beliefs in the public square.

© January 2014 Center for Arizona Policy, Inc. All rights reserved.
This publication includes summaries of many complex areas of law and is not specific legal advice to any person. Consult an attorney if you have questions about your specific situation or believe your legal rights have been infringed. This publication is educational in nature and should not be construed as an effort to aid or hinder any legislation.

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