Quoting Walter E. Williams:
“If we don’t know the constitutional limits placed on Congress and the White House, politicians can do just about anything they wish to control our lives, from deciding what kind of light bulbs we can use to whether the government can take over our health care system or bailout failing businesses. We just think Congress can do anything upon which they can get a majority vote.”
“Soldiers! We have sinned against Almighty God. We have forgotten his signal mercies, and have cultivated a revengeful, haughty, and boastful spirit. We have not remembered that the defenders of a just cause should be pure in His eyes; that “our times are in His Hands,” and we have relied too much on our own arms for the achievement of our independence. God is our only refuge and our strength. Let us humble ourselves before Him. Let us confess our many sins, and beseech Him to give us a higher courage, a purer patriotism, and more determined will; that He will convert the hearts of our enemies; that He will hasten the time when war, with its sorrows and sufferings, shall cease, and that He will give us a name and a place among the nations of the earth.” (August 13, 1863)
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When science and politics mix, you have a right to be skeptical. The result is always a pseudo-science which reflects a philosophical view or social trend rather than legitimate science.
Quoting Walter E. Williams:
Americans have been rope-a-doped into believing that global warming is going to destroy our planet. Scientists who have been skeptical about manmade global warming have been called traitors. . . .
The global warming scare has provided a field day for politicians and others who wish to control our lives. After all, only the imagination limits the kind of laws and restrictions that can be written in the name of saving the planet. Recently, more and more scientists are summoning up the courage to speak out and present evidence against the global warming rope-a-dope. Atmospheric scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, “It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming. . . .”
Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an environmental physical chemist, said warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history … When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists. . . .”
“After this Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years.” (Job 42:16-17)
The book of Job ends on a note of contentment and peace. Job was probably about seventy when the book opens, so he is an old man. What a picture of peace, a contented man. God had greatly blessed him.
Before us stretches a new year, a new beginning. The old is past, put away forever. God invites us always to forget about all the distrust and fears, all the anxieties of the past, all the resentments we have been holding against others, all the grudges, all the criticisms–to put them away and begin again.
The question that hovers over us as we close this book (and I feel it deeply in my own heart) is, “On what basis am I going to live in this new year? Will it be on the old basis of it-all-depends-on-me, do-it-yourself goodness before God, trying my best to be pleasing to God and meaning it with all my heart but never realizing the depths of evil with which I have to deal?” Or will I accept the gift of God that is waiting for me every day, fresh from His hand, a gift of forgiveness, of righteousness already mine, of a relationship in which He is my dear Father and I am his cherished, beloved son, and in which I therefore have provided for me all I need, all day long, so that I may say no to evil and yes to truth and right?
Will it be on that basis? If it is, this will be a year in which my life will be characterized by peace, fragrance, and beauty. And so will yours. Or, if we insist on living it on the same old basis, we will find ourselves like these friends of Job, arousing the anger and the wrath of God. Though He is patient and merciful, our only escape will be to repent of our evil and rest upon the righteousness of our perfect substitute and return to God for the blessing that He is waiting to give. That is the choice before us, every one of us. How are we going to live in this new year?
Lord, thank You for this new year that lies before me. I choose You. I choose to depend on You, trust You, and accept from Your hand all that You would give me.
From: The Desk of Gary Bauer
The “tolerant” Left is continuing its attack on Pastor Rick Warren for having been invited to pray at Barack Obama’s inauguration. This is ironic in many respects. For one, many conservative evangelicals have been skeptical of Warren in recent years and do not see him as a “culture warrior.” Few would compare him to Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. And while his church has been at the vanguard of caring for the victims of AIDS, Warren is being denounced by the militant homosexual rights movement as a Nazi and a bigot. Warren’s compassion for those suffering with AIDS seems meaningless to them. He stood up to their demands to redefine marriage and defended the truth of the scriptures. And for that he is being vilified. This is an instructive lesson for those Christians who believe pro-family activists just need to change our tone. They are wrong. The only thing that will satisfy the anti-religious bigots on the Left is if men and women of faith surrender our values and embrace their worldview.
The Left is turning its outrage against Obama as well. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) called Warren’s invitation “a serious mistake” and mocked Obama’s talk of “post-partisan change,” saying, “…to be honest, when he talks about being post-partisan … I suffer from post-partisan depression.” Frank added, “I believe that he overestimates his ability to get people to put aside fundamental differences.” Mark your calendars, my friends. This may be the only time you see me agreeing with Barney Frank. On this point, he’s right.
No politician is going to “unite” Americans on the fundamental cultural and values issues that divide us. Either unborn children are fully human, with the inalienable right to life, or they are the equivalent of Styrofoam cups to be discarded at whim. Either marriage will remain what it always has been or it will be redefined in a radical way that says children do not need mothers and fathers. We will either teach our children that faith played an important part in the foundation of our nation or we will teach them that the Founding Fathers were liars or misguided fools when they said our rights come from our Creator. Either we will muster the courage to defend civilization against the evil of Islamofascism or we will deny we are at war, blame ourselves and try to reason with Holocaust deniers. These are some of the fundamental differences that divide us. Barney Frank has no intention of giving up. Neither do I, and I pray you don’t either.
“But the God of all grace who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)
The minister of Christ is intended to execute two offices for the people of his charge. He is to speak for God to them, and for them to God. The pastor hath not fulfilled the whole of his sacred commission when he hath declared the whole counsel of God. He hath then done but half. The other part is that which is to be performed in secret, when he carrieth upon his breast, like the priest of old, the wants, the sins, the trials of his people, and pleads with God for them. The daily duty of the Christian pastor is as much to pray for his people, as to exhort, instruct, and console. There are, however, special seasons when the minister of Christ finds himself constrained to pronounce an unusual benediction over his people. When one year of trial has gone and another year of mercy has commenced, we may be allowed to express our sincere congratulations that God has spared us, and our earnest invocations of a thousand blessings upon the heads of those whom God has committed to our pastoral charge.
I have this morning taken this text as a new year’s blessing. You are aware that a minister of the Church of England always supplies me with the motto for the new year. He prays much before he selects the text, and I know that it is his prayer for you all to-day. He constantly favors me with this motto, and I always think it my duty to preach from it, and then desire my people to remember it through the year as a staff of support in their time of trouble, as some sweet morsel, a wafer made with honey, a portion of angel’s food, which they may roll under their tongue, and carry in their memory till the year ends, and then begin with another sweet text. What larger benediction could my aged friend have chosen, standing as he is to-day in his pulpit, and lifting up holy hands to preach to the people in a quiet village church – what larger blessing could he implore for the thousands of Israel than that which in his name I pronounce upon you this day: – “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.” (Sermon, 0292)
Never, never neglect the Word of God. The Word will make your heart rich with truth, rich with understanding, and then your conversation, when it flows from your mouth, will be like your heart: rich, soothing, and sweet. Make your heart full of rich, generous love, and then the stream that flows from your hand will be just as rich and generous as your heart. Above all, get Jesus to live in your heart, and then out of your heart will flow rivers of living water, more rich, more satisfying than the water of the well of Sychar of which Jacob drank. Oh! Go, Christian, to the great mine of riches, and cry to the Holy Spirit to make your heart rich unto salvation. Then your life and conversations will be a benefit to your fellow man; and when they see you, your face will be like an angel of God. Wise men will stand up when they see you, and men will give you respect and honor.
The claim is often made that the world and the things in the world are off limits to Christians; that the best way to live the Christian life is not to get involved in “the world.” Holiness is defined as an escape from this world, if not physically through some cataclysmic eschatological event like a rapture, then certainly by being separated from the affairs of this world by an unwillingness to acknowledge that God has made us stewards of His good creation of which one day He will demand an accounting (Matt. 25:14-30). In the topsy-turvy world of modern theology, we become winners by losing, and we often do our best to inform the world that we are no threat to their worldview.
Instead of following the directive of Abraham Kuyper who said “there is not one inch of creation of which Christ doesn’t say ‘Mine,’” we often choose, “there is not one inch of creation of which Satan doesn’t say ‘Mine.’” Does the Incarnation really make a difference this side of the grave? Other than “personal salvation,” many Christians do not believe it does. Historically, the church did not divide the world into two opposing realms, consisting of sacred/secular, spiritual/ material. More importantly, the Bible does not divide the world this way. The Bible is concerned about the distinction between good and evil, right and wrong, moral and immoral wherever such distinctions can be made.
A series of developments, in which reason won the day, gave unique shape to Western culture and institutions. And the most important of those victories occurred within Christianity. While the other world religions emphasized mystery and intuition, Christianity alone embraced reason and logic as the primary guides to religious truth. Christian faith in reason was influenced by Greek philosophy. But the more important fact is that Greek philosophy had little impact on Greek religions. Those remained typical mystery cults, in which ambiguity and logical contradictions were taken as hallmarks of sacred origins. Similar assumptions concerning the fundamental inexplicability of the gods and the intellectual superiority of introspection dominated all of the other major world religions.
But, from early days, the church fathers taught that reason was the supreme gift from God and the means to progressively increase understanding of Scripture and revelation. Consequently Christianity was oriented to the future, while the other major religions asserted the superiority of the past. At least in principle, if not always in fact, Christian doctrines could always be modified in the name of progress, as demonstrated by reason. Encouraged by the scholastics and embodied in the great medieval universities founded by the church, faith in the power of reason infused Western culture, stimulating the pursuit of science and the evolution of democratic theory and practice. The rise of capitalism also was a victory for church-inspired reason, since capitalism is, in essence, the systematic and sustained application of reason to commerce-something that first took place within the great monastic estates.
“I am a Christian. I believe only in the Scriptures, and in Jesus Christ my Savior.” (Secretary of the Continental Congress; Designer of the Great Seal of the United States; Signed the initial Draft of the Declaration of Independence approved by Congress)
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“For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalm 107:9).
It is well to have longings, and the more intense they are the better. The LORD will satisfy soul-longings, however great and all-absorbing they may be. Let us greatly long, for God will greatly give. We are never in a right state of mind when we are contented with ourselves and are free from longings. Desires for more grace and groanings which cannot be uttered are growing pains, and we should wish to feel them more and more. Blessed Spirit, make us sigh and cry after better things and for more of the best things!
Hunger is by no means a pleasant sensation. Yet blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness. Such persons shall not only have their hunger relieved with a little food, but they shall be filled. They shall not be filled with any sort of rough stuff, but their diet shall be worthy of their good LORD, for they shall be filled with goodness by Jehovah Himself.
Come, let us not fret because we long and hunger, but let us hear the voice of the psalmist as he also longs and hungers to see God magnified. “Oh, that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.”
Quoting Ronald Reagan:
“There is no question that we have failed to live up to the dreams of the Founding Fathers many times and in many places. Sometimes we do better than others. But all in all, the one thing we must be on guard against is thinking that because of this, the system has failed. The system has not failed. Some human beings have failed the system.”
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.” (John 4:23)
In practicing our Christian faith, we too often begin to live religiously and neglect the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit which is given to the believer by God. Our practice of worship, in particular, is sorely hindered by the lack of the Holy Spirit’s influence. God seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. The Holy Spirit gives us ears to hear the truth in God-centered preaching.
Preaching is indispensable to Christian spiritual worship. Without preaching, truth does not go forth and is lost. The Word of God is life to the believer. The Christian leans heavily upon those called to preach God’s Word for the truth of living in Christ. The Holy Spirit uses the preached Word to conform the believer’s heart and mind to Christ.
The Christian, however, must prepare himself for worship and to listen to God’s Word. If the night before Sunday service we are doing all the things that the rest of the world does, how can we expect our spiritual life to be strong? It is no wonder that our worship seems so shallow and we cannot remember the main points of the sermon.
Christian preaching/worship proclaims Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Our Lord did not die on a cross in order for us to feel better about ourselves. He did not preach 12 steps to becoming financially wealthy and healthy all our lives. He died for us because we were already dead in sins. We had traded life for death. We had given away our peace with God in order to fulfill our passions and desires. If we have properly prepared ourselves for worship, the Holy Spirit will remind us of how great a salvation we have truly experienced through the grace of God. Such a perspective compels us to hang on the preacher’s every word that we might know Christ.
We must pray for the Holy Spirit to help us worship in such a manner. We must repent in prayer for the many the many times we have entered the House of God to worship and have not properly prepared our hearts and minds to benefit from the experience. We must pray for Jesus to be exalted and sin to be exposed in our hearts as we hear God’s Word. We must turn to God to wipe away all of our sins that we may worship Him in spirit and truth.