• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Social Security Ponzi Scheme

Dr. Gary North

Dr. Gary North

From: The Pen of Gary North

We all know about Bernard Madoff. He ran a Ponzi scheme for over two decades. It siphoned off about $50 billion. No one besides Madoff knows where the money went. For decades, no one with big money asked this question: “How can thus guy beat the markets every year?” Instead, they asked: “How can I get inside Madoff’s system? How can I become one of the chosen?” The winners were those got in early and got out, and those who never got in at all.

Madoff was a piker. Substitute “trillions” for “billions,” and you have Social Security and Medicare.

Everyone gets on the inside. Everyone is forced to. Nobody gets out of the system.

Very few people ask this question: “How will the government pay off the participants?” Those who do ask are dismissed as cranks.

Who will redeem all those nonmarketable IOUs from the U.S. government that sit in the computerized accounts of the Social Security Trust Fund and the Medicare Trust Fund? No one in authority dares to ask this question in public view.

Madoff ran his scam through secrecy. He escaped detection. Congress runs a far larger scam in full public view. Hardly anyone notices. Of those who do notice, almost none say: “This Ponzi scheme will surely go bankrupt.” This includes economists. Most of them are employed in universities, and they are counting on Social Security and Medicare for their retirement years. When it comes to faith, economists believe in statistical impossibilities. They see a Ponzi scheme in action, and they think: “I will get out in time. I will die.”

Who will redeem those IOUs?

Read more. . . .

The Church Was Always Founded In The Person Of Christ

John Calvin

John Calvin

Quoting John Calvin:

All I maintain is that the prosperous and happy state of the Church was always founded in the person of Christ. For although God embraced the whole posterity of Abraham in his covenant, yet Paul properly argues, (Gal. 3: 16,) that Christ was truly the seed in which all the nations of the earth were to be blessed, since we know that all who were born of Abraham, according to the flesh, were not accounted the seed. To omit Ishmael and others, how came it that of the two sons of Isaac, the twin brothers, Esau and Jacob, while yet in the womb, the one was chosen and the other rejected? Nay, how came it that the first-born was rejected, and the younger alone admitted? Moreover, how happens it that the majority are rejected? It is plain, therefore, that the seed of Abraham is considered chiefly in one head, and that the promised salvation is not attained without coming to Christ, whose office it is to gather together those which were scattered abroad. Thus the primary adoption of the chosen people depended on the grace of the Mediator. Although it is not expressed in very distinct terms in Moses, it, however, appears to have been commonly known to all the godly.

Elementary Thoughts: Rebellion – Part 8


principalWe are told in Proverbs 28:7 that, “a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.” “Peer pressure” is used as the excuse and source of many of the problems and sins of modern youth. The way it is often used in conversations by adults, you would imagine it’s impact to be similar to the dark side of “The Force” as portrayed in Star Wars.

While the impact of peer pressure is significant, it tends to be most negative in the influence it exerts over children and teens when a sense of identity and personal values is missing. In other words, submitting to peer pressure serves as a substitute for something that is lacking in the individual’s view of himself.

We have all probably seen or played with a toy gyroscope at some time. A spinning gyroscope has the wonderful ability to resist change in the direction of its axis no matter which way its base is turned. Larger and more sophisticated models are used to keep airplanes, rockets, and ships on course.

The values and beliefs we communicate to our children have the potential of serving as a moral gyroscope to keep our children from turning to the left or right of the appropriate course for their life. The problem arises, however, when the gyroscope has not been properly set in motion. This happens when parents fail to communicate the appropriate values or when the child receives mixed messages.

In another section, we will discuss the importance of parents communicating appropriate values. In these few paragraphs, I would like to share some concerns about peer groups as one source of mixed messages.

Whenever I have an opportunity to talk about this topic with parents, I always tell them to get involved in helping their children select the right playmates while they are still young. I do not think that I have to explain to anyone that the older your children become, the less direct influence you, as a parent, will have over the choices they make. By “direct influence” I mean the ability to limit choices by your personal or physical authority. In other words, the older your children become, the less influence you will have concerning who they choose as friends. This means that if you want your child to be wise in the selection of his teenage friends, you must teach him the correct way to choose friends early in life. You will have to take the time to find out how your child’s friends behave and point out to him what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Finally, you must be willing to restrict your child’s friendship with anyone whose behavior conflicts with the character traits you wish your child to develop. (Continued Monday)

When Power Is Accumulated By The Few

Quoting James Madison:

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

Public Health Care And The Private Market

obamacare9In the words of Edward Morrissey:

While Sebelius and the White House disdain and completely misunderstand the private market, the private market in fact subsidizes the already-existing public plans of Medicare and Medicaid. A correspondent from within a major insurer explained to me exactly how that works:

“At a recent leadership meeting, our CEO mentioned that the providers are very nervous about the government program expanding. Currently, the government dictates to a provider how much they will be reimbursed for a given procedure. That reimbursement does not cover the actual cost, which leaves the provider to spread the remaining portion of the cost to the rest of the people who have insurance.

“If the government program were to expand, the number of privately insured people to absorb that extra cost would shrink, driving up the cost of insurance for everybody else. Eventually, two things would happen…. First, nobody could afford the non-government program, and secondly (and this is what the providers are truly afraid of), providers would not be able to cover their costs. This would drive them to bankruptcy. We would then either be in a position where there are no health care providers, or the government would have to nationalize them as well. “

Many providers now refuse to take new Medicare/Medicaid patients because the plans don’t cover their costs to provide services. Those who do wind up charging their other patients more to cover their losses. The private insurers bear the brunt of that business practice now, which is bad enough. If the private insurers disappear, though, providers will not recoup the losses at all, and will go out of business altogether.

Instead of having a robust health-care system that rewards providers and insurers for their work, the public plan and its inevitable market-killing characteristics will create an artificial shortage of health-care providers. Everyone will have coverage, but it may take months or years to get treatments, if at all.

Read this entire article. . . .

Common Grace

jonathan-edwardsFrom: The Pen of Jonathan Edwards

That some sinners have a greater conviction of their guilt and misery than others, is because some have more light, or more of an apprehension of truth than others. And this light and conviction may be from the Spirit of God; the Spirit convinces men of sin: but yet nature is much more concerned in it than in the communication of that spiritual and divine light that is spoken of in the doctrine; it is from the Spirit of God only as assisting natural principles, and not as infusing any new principles. Common grace differs from special, in that it influences only by assisting of nature; and not by imparting grace, or bestowing any thing above nature. The light that is obtained is wholly natural, or of no superior kind to what mere nature attains to, though more of that kind be obtained than would be obtained if men were left wholly to themselves: or, in other words, common grace only assists the faculties of the soul to do that more fully which they do by nature, as natural conscience or reason will, by mere nature, make a man sensible of guilt, and will accuse and condemn him when he has done amiss. Conscience is a principle natural to men; and the work that it doth naturally, or of itself, is to give an apprehension of right and wrong, and to suggest to the mind the relation that there is between right and wrong, and a retribution. The Spirit of God, in those convictions which unregenerate men sometimes have, assists conscience to do this work in a further degree than it would do if they were left to themselves: he helps it against those things that tend to stupify it, and obstruct its exercise. But in the renewing and sanctifying work of the Holy Ghost, those things are wrought in the soul that are above nature, and of which there is nothing of the like kind in the soul by nature; and they are caused to exist in the soul habitually, and according to such a stated constitution or law that lays such a foundation for exercises in a continued course, as is called a principle of nature. Not only are remaining principles assisted to do their work more freely and fully, but those principles are restored that were utterly destroyed by the fall; and the mind thence forward habitually exerts those acts that the dominion of sin had made it as wholly destitute of, as a dead body is of vital acts.

The Spirit of God acts in a very different manner in the one case, from what he doth in the other. He may indeed act upon the mind of a natural man, but he acts in the mind of a saint as an indwelling vital principle. He acts upon the mind of an unregenerate person as an extrinsic, occasional agent; for in acting upon them, he doth not unite himself to them; for notwithstanding all his influences that they may be the subjects of, they are still sensual, having not the Spirit, Jude 19. But he unites himself with the mind of a saint, takes him for his temple, actuates and influences him as a new supernatural principle of life and action. There is this difference, that the Spirit of God, in acting in the soul of a godly man, exerts and communicates himself there in his own proper nature. Holiness is the proper nature of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit operates in the minds of the godly, by uniting himself to them, and living in them, and exerting his own nature in the exercise of their faculties. The Spirit of God may act upon a creature, and yet not in acting communicate himself. The Spirit of God may act upon inanimate creatures; as, the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters, in the beginning of the creation; so the Spirit of God may act upon the minds of men many ways, and communicate himself no more than when he acts upon an inanimate creature. For instance, he may excite thoughts in them, may assist their natural reason and understanding, or may assist other natural principles, and this without any union with the soul, but may act, as it were, as upon an external object.

Read more. . . .

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