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  • 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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  • Recommended Reading

The Incontrovertible Truth

Winston ChurchillWinston Churchill:

The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on [in ignorance].

As a People’s Morality Goes …

Americas Christian HistoryColumnist Selwyn Duke:

“Just as with religion, people bring their ideology with them. And unless you think you could talk a Muslim jihadist out of Islam, why suppose you could talk a socialist out of socialism? … As a people’s morality goes, so go its fortunes. You simply cannot be one kind of people but have another kind of government … And what has happened to our sense of virtue in America? So lost it is that even the word has been replaced with ‘values,’ that fixture of the atheistic literary style. For decades we have instilled children with leftism, nihilism, hedonism, relativism, and atheism through academia, the media, and popular culture; we have seduced them into sin and made them, as Ben Franklin wrote, ‘more corrupt and vicious, [so] they have more need of masters.’ For sure, masters will be one’s lot if he has not mastered himself. … There is a strong atheism-statism correlation the world over, which is why it’s no coincidence that ‘conservatives’ in heavily secular Western Europe are simpatico with our liberals. … Without the Christian right, there is no right at all.”

Continue reading here. . . .

Voting and Marriage

Voting and MarriageAmericans have developed the bad habit of voting according to narrow issues without considering the wider repercussions. Voting on the nature of marriage seems somewhat silly in light of the role marriage has played in the history of mankind. Yet, we are reduced to voting on the biological and social nature of marriage (ignoring nature’s law) for the purpose of redefining it according to whatever seems politically correct at the moment. Ryan T. Anderson and Andrew Walker wrote the following article, “How Did Marriage Fare in the 2012 Election?”, explaining the results of the voting which took place on this issue:

Until Tuesday [November 6, 2012], no state had redefined marriage by popular vote. Indeed, 32 out of 32 states that put the issue to a vote defined marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

But in this week’s election, citizens in Maine, Maryland, and Washington State all passed ballot initiatives redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships. Meanwhile, citizens in Minnesota failed to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a man and woman (It remains so defined, however, by statutory law.). . . .

The exit polls also revealed that young Americans are more likely to support gay marriage. This should motivate conservatives to redouble their efforts to explain the nature and public purpose of marriage—what marriage is and why it is such a significant factor in maintaining civil society and limiting government.

Our marriage law should reflect the truth about what marriage is: a pre-political institution springing from human nature itself. Government should not redefine or recreate marriage, nor should it obscure the truth about what marriage is. Recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages would weaken marriage as a social institution. It would redefine marriage as essentially an emotional bond, thus rendering marital norms arbitrary and less intelligible. It would further delink childbearing from marriage and deny, as a matter of law, the importance of a mother or a father in a child’s life. The outcomes associated with such absence are far from promising.

Continue reading this post here. . . .

God’s Gifts

Quoting Ronald Reagan:

“God [gave] mankind virtually unlimited gifts to invent, produce and create. And for that reason alone, it would be wrong for governments to devise a tax structure or economic system that suppresses and denies those gifts.”

Patriotism

Quoting George Washington’s Farewell Address:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity. Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness—these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens. (October 19, 1796)

Samuel At Gilgal Nominated

Part V: George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior

George Washington

George Washington wrote a set of rules about how a man should behave in public. This is the fifth part of my posting of these rules. Some of his ideas may seem quaint to our modern minds but they are an excellent reminder of the importance of being a gentleman!

51 Wear not your clothes foul, or ripped, or dusty, but see they be brushed once every day at least and take heed that you approach not to any uncleanness.

52 In your apparel be modest and endeavor to accommodate nature, rather than to procure admiration; keep to the fashion of your equals, such as are civil and orderly with respect to time and places.

53 Run not in the streets, neither go too slowly, nor with mouth open; go not shaking of arms, nor upon the toes, nor in a dancing [damaged manuscript].

54 Play not the peacock, looking every where about you, to see if you be well decked, if your shoes fit well, if your stockings sit neatly and clothes handsomely.

55 Eat not in the streets, nor in your house, out of season.

56 Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.

57 In walking up and down in a house, only with one in company if he be greater than yourself, at the first give him the right hand and stop not till he does and be not the first that turns, and when you do turn let it be with your face towards him; if he be a man of great quality walk not with him cheek by jowl but somewhat behind him but yet in such a manner that he may easily speak to you.

58 Let your conversation be without malice or envy, for ’tis a sign of a tractable and commendable nature and in all causes of passion permit reason to govern.

59 Never express anything unbecoming, nor act against the rules before your inferiors.

60 Be not immodest in urging your friends to discover a secret.

Only A Step From Tyranny. . . .

John Paul Jones

An article in Canada Free Press by Kelly O’Connell recently caught my attention. O’Connell’s article is titled “What is Liberty, That We May Defend It?” Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. Born on the West Coast and raised in Las Vegas, he matriculated from the University of Oregon. He labored for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland until he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia. While there, he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government.

According to O’Connell, our government is not only misleading us; it is “making foolhardy economic decisions, then treating citizens alarmed at record deficits like madmen.” Our rights are being violated and the Constitution is ignored or treated like a joke. America’s political class is only interested in being re-elected to the “gravy train” by betraying the people who elected them. Is our liberty in danger? O’Connell writes:

America’s greatness is being worn away like a mighty boulder turned to sand by a thousand dripping streams. America was made great by its ideas, fleshed out in the Declaration and Constitution, which created a powerful Republic based on Natural Law and Natural Rights. Yet, we currently stand at the precipice of a socialist devolution, a mere democracy of the misinformed, fearful and conquered.

Areas of American life coming under threat of tyranny are too numerous to detail, but include free speech, religion, separation of powers, government spending, foreign policy, private property, etc. . . .

According to Ellis Sandoz, in A Government of Laws, Political Theory, Religion, and the American Founding, the Founders believed Liberty is premised upon a few irreplaceable things. One is Rule of Law. Another is limited government, established through the Founder’s Constitution, based on Natural Law and Natural Rights. Of course, the strength of America expressed in capitalist Liberty made possible individual prosperity, which fostered our aiding the world, and building ourselves into an impregnable, free land—as the Founders hoped it would. Finally, the Founders believed free people needed to remain virtuous to avoid a proliferation of laws, degrading into tyranny. This virtue was premised upon the Bible’s standards and Christian religion as a foundation for morality.

John Stuart Mill wrote On Liberty, stating the principal: “over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.” Mill also expressed the Harm Principle—that everyone has a right to do anything they like as long as it harms no one else. Mill encapsulates a standard that even the simple, young or agnostic can understand—that Liberty must be defended, and expanded, while government is shrunk, if we are to remain a free and prosperous people.

Please consider reading the entire article by Kelly O’Connell here. . . .

Truth Redefined

Kelly O’Connell is an author, attorney, and radio show host. In his article “Who Defines ‘Truth’ When Politicians Re-Write the Dictionary?” he points out three areas of American life – Education, Church, and Political Correctness – where the false has been declared true:

The very notion of truth itself has been tied, stretched out and crucified for political advantage in America. This is why we are in a dreary swamp, a national malaise. Our current struggles are all the more remarkable considering most result from wrong ideas. A simple attitude adjustment, ie a “reality check”—would eliminate most of our seemingly permanent issues fairly quickly. Our troubles occur because disreputable political doctrines are raised over common sense. For example, huge deficits undermine America’s ability to continue its military and humanitarian roles, home and abroad. And yet, the notion of serious spending cuts is regarded by liberals as more horrible than an offer to barbecue holy cows in downtown Bombay.

The problem in America today is our “official” national narrative is based upon a torrent of false, leftist ideas, directed by political theory towards relentless failure on every front. In other words, the elites uphold the tenets of Marxism. A key example is Political Correctness. This devilish doctrine claims no action is bad, in itself—as long as fostered by an ideologically acceptable group. . . .

Continue reading this article. . . .

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