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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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Why Wars?

Quoting David Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

“Why are there wars in the world? Why is there this constant international tension? What is the matter with the world? Why war and all the unhappiness and turmoil and discord amongst men? According to this Beatitude, there is only one answer to these questions – sin. Nothing else; just sin.” (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount)

A Proclamation Of Thanksgiving By Congress In 1779

1779

By the United States in Congress assembled.

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas it becomes us humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God, with gratitude and praise for the wonders which his goodness has wrought in conducting our forefathers to this western world; for his protection to them and to their posterity amid difficulties and dangers; for raising us, their children, from deep distress to be numbered among the nations of the earth; and for arming the hands of just and mighty princes in our deliverance; and especially for that he hath been pleased to grant us the enjoyment of health, and so to order the revolving seasons, that the earth hath produced her increase in abundance, blessing the labors of the husbandmen, and spreading plenty through the land; that he hath prospered our arms and those of our ally; been a shield to our troops in the hour of danger, pointed their swords to victory and led them in triumph over the bulwarks of the foe; that he hath gone with those who went out into the wilderness against the savage tribes; that he hath stayed the hand of the spoiler, and turned back his meditated destruction; that he hath prospered our commerce, and given success to those who sought the enemy on the face of the deep; and above all, that he hath diffused the glorious light of the gospel, whereby, through the merits of our gracious Redeemer, we may become the heirs of his eternal glory: therefore,

Resolved, That it be recommended to the several states, to appoint Thursday, the 9th of December next, to be a day of public and solemn thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercies, and of prayer for the continuance of his favor and protection to these United States; to beseech him that he would be graciously pleased to influence our public councils, and bless them with wisdom from on high, with unanimity, firmness, and success; that he would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; that he would grant to his church the plentiful effusions of divine grace, and pour out his holy spirit on all ministers of the gospel; that he would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; that he would smile upon the labors of his people and cause the earth to bring forth her fruits in abundance; that we may with gratitude and gladness enjoy them; that he would take into his holy protection our illustrious ally, give him victory over his enemies, and render him signally great, as the father of his people and the protector of the rights of mankind; that he would graciously be pleased to turn the hearts of our enemies, and to dispense the blessings of peace to contending nations; that he would in mercy look down upon us, pardon our sins and receive us into his favor, and finally, that he would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue, and support and protect them in the enjoyment of peace, liberty and safety. as long as the sun and moon shall endure, until time shall be no more. Done in Congress, ∥ the 20th day of October, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-nine, and in the 4th year of the independence of the United States of America.

Samuel Huntington, President.

Attest,

Charles Thomson, Secretary.

The Issue Of Sovereignty

Signing of the Declaration of Independence

Quoting Steven Groves:

The United States is a sovereign nation. Sovereignty is a simple idea: the United States is an independent nation, governed by the American people, that controls its own affairs. The American people adopted the Constitution and created the government. They elect their representatives and make their own laws. The Founding Fathers understood that if America does not have sovereignty, it does not have independence. If a foreign power can tell America “what we shall do, and what we shall not do,” George Washington once wrote to Alexander Hamilton, “we have Independence yet to seek, and have contended hitherto for very little.” The Founders believed in sovereignty. In 1776, they fought for it. (Excerpt from: Understanding America – Why Does Sovereignty Matter to America?)

Christianity And The American Revolution

From the desk of David B. Kopel, Research Director of the Independence Institute:

King George III reportedly denounced the American Revolution as “a Presbyterian rebellion.” Horace Walpole, a distinguished man of letters, told his fellow members of Parliament, “There is no use crying about it. Cousin American has run off with a Presbyterian parson, and that is the end of it.” Many other British sympathizers in American blamed the Presbyterians for the war.

In 1775, the great statesman Edmund Burke tried to warn the British Parliament that the Americans could not be subjugated: “the people are Protestants, and of that kind which is the most adverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion”. . . .

Historian John Patrick Diggins writes that American historians have concentrated on political ideas while underplaying “the religious convictions that often undergird them, especially the Calvinist convictions that Locke himself held: resistance to tyranny….”

[I]t was American religion, especially New England religion, which provided Americans with an intellectual frame for understanding their disputes with England. It was religion which told the colonists that the English government was not merely adopting unwise policy; rather, the King and Parliament were trampling the God-given rights of the Americans, and were in effect warring against God. It was religion which convinced the American that they had a sacred duty to start a revolution. The black-robed American clergymen were described as the “black regiment” for their crucial role in building popular support for war against England.

Do you want to learn more about Christianity and the American Revolution? If so, you may find the following book to be of interest:

Patrick Henry: The Voice Of A Patriot!

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

Patrick Henry

March 23, 1775

There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free–if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I

Patrick Henry

repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace–but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! (Excerpt from original speech)

George Washington On American Citizenship

The earliest authenticated portrait of George ...

George Washington

Quoting George Washington:

Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. (George Washington: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. – 1796 – Farewell Address)

Samuel Adams On The Men Needed To Fill The Seats Of Government

Samuel Adams

Quoting Samuel Adams:

“If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honor of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation.”

Christians In The Military

Do Christian troops have a right to separate shower facilities from homosexuals? Do Christian military members have the right to separate sleeping quarters? Do they have the right to not be sexually harassed on the job by somebody who’s hitting on them? Is it OK to be openly homosexual in the military, but not openly Christian? Chad Groening writes:

A former Navy chaplain has launched a petition drive aimed at defending military chaplains and Christian troops from persecution by proponents of homosexuality.

In December, Lt. Col. Stacy L. Maxey (USAF), who is stationed in Afghanistan, wrote a letter to the editor of Stars and Stripes arguing that the Department of Defense has now become the “Department of Double Standards,” in telling service members who have a problem with the homosexual lifestyle to “learn to deal with it,” while at the same time allowing homosexuals to “parade their lifestyle choices in front of all.”

Maxey went on to write that he has a higher commitment to God than to the Department of Defense — and that if officials there are upset with his comments, they can “learn to deal with it.”

Continue reading. . . .

Chinese To Build An Aircraft Carrier

Quoting The Hindu:

The Chinese government has for the first time officially revealed that it has launched a program to build an aircraft carrier, an already widely-known project that has recently stirred debate over China’s naval intentions and capabilities. . . .

The announcement comes against the backdrop of rising naval tensions between China and several of its neighbors in recent months. Territorial tensions over claims in the South China Sea have resurfaced, as have maritime disputes between China and Japan over the disputed Diaoyu or Senkaku islands.

“Profiling” Can Be A Good Thing!

PROFILING!

Quoting Dan Miller:

Sensible people profile daily, and not only for law enforcement purposes. A guy walking into a convenience store with a bag over his head and carrying something which appears to be a pistol may intend to rob the store; he may just be en route to a Halloween party, but inherent situational awareness certainly makes us legitimately concerned. “Profiling” is commonly used by the police: if a young Latina (female) is seen robbing a gasoline station, the police presumably concentrate their investigations on young Latinas rather than on elderly males appearing to be Swedish — not because all young Latinas are considered more likely to rob gasoline stations but because the robber of that gasoline station was a young Latina.

Medical professionals often use profiling in diagnosing medical conditions. Members of various racial and ethnic groups show marked statistical susceptibility to various diseases. These factors should be and are considered. So, obviously, do males and females. Males are not generally screened for ovarian cancer nor are women normally screened for testicular or prostate cancer.

The government requires some profiling based on race, ethnicity, and sex. One aspect of this is called affirmative action, which mandates benefits for people in racial, ethnic, and gender groups deemed historically disadvantaged, without regard to whether the beneficiaries, as individuals, have ever been disadvantaged personally because of their race, ethnicity, or sex. Conversely, affirmative action mandates disadvantages for people not in those groups, regardless of their personal situations; it’s pretty much a zero sum game.

Affirmative action and medical screening based on group classifications are, it is assumed, intended to be benign, but profiling to detect people likely to be more dangerous than others is not thought specifically to increase their happiness or well being; it can easily subject them to enhanced inconvenience and worse. However, it can also enhance the safety of all, even those subjected to it.

Continue reading. . . .

The Gadsden Flag Should Be The New Symbol Of US Foreign Policy

The bold letters of the Gadsden Flag have become the slogan of America’s 21st century Tea Party movement and a symbol of the unique American spirit. Most resurgent patriots intuitively grasp the essence of American exceptionalism, but not all understand what it means for U.S. foreign policy.

The distinct yellow flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden who led the Sons of Liberty in South Carolina prior to the American Revolution. . . .

The sentiment of the Gadsden Flag can be traced to the founding of the United States, as can its implications for American statecraft. Among these are a strong military, a foreign policy that is unencumbered by international institutions which undermine its political independence, and a diplomacy that reflects America’s political principles.

Continue reading. . . .

Political Correctness In American Policy

Karl Marx (1818 – 1883)

Karl Marx

The ideas supporting political correctness were first articulated by a group of Marxist professors who, in order to escape Hitler’s wrath, escaped Nazi Germany before WWII. Historically then, we can see that political correctness is the result of cultural Marxism. It is economic Marxism translated into cultural terms. These German Marxists understood that Karl Marx was wrong about the inevitability of the socialist takeover of capitalism. They believed that Marxism must be turned into a stealth project in order to take over free capitalistic democracies. Many of these German Marxists resettled in America, where they and their followers have continued to advocate these ideas. Author and attorney Kelly O’Connell writes about the effect of political correctness on the US:

Political Correctness is first a movement of speech purification which is meant to remove any objectionable content that unfairly differentiates between the speaker and different subgroups. It is also supposed to change behavior by promoting these subgroups. It typically buries traditional morality along the way. The real problem with PC is that it is a theoretical standard which has real world consequences that can be quite appalling.

There is no lack of examples of bad, unintended consequences to the PC movement. Many claim America’s universities have been absolutely degraded by the absurd standards of PC. Another points out the harm it has done to medical services. But the worst influences may be upon US security and warfare. . . .

For example, did the Fort Hood Shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, get preferential treatment because he was Muslim then end up shooting 41 American soldiers while screaming, “Allah Akbar”, ie God is Great—as an Islamic declaration of Jihad? America is so PC friendly, US service people cannot even carry their own weapons on base. . . .

Imagine in how many different ways the PC movement has hampered the ability of America to wage war effectively. These PC-styled Rules of Engagement have so hampered US forces in Afghanistan that the enemy often can claim strategic advantage in planning attacks despite all their weaknesses. . . .

Here are two examples of Rules of Engagement:

If having been fired upon by a shooter who then drops his weapon to his side as soon as he comes under notice from coalition forces, he should no longer be considered an immediate threat and is not to be fired upon, even if he decamps to another location where it is likely he will take up another position to resume firing.

If troops come under fire from a dwelling place which could be considered to have women and children present they are to avoid returning fire and deploy to another safer area.

Read more on this subject. . . .

Mosque At Ground Zero An Insult

Picture of Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani

Quoting Rudy Giuliani:

(Building a mosque at Ground Zero) sends a particularly bad message, particularly (because) of the background of the Imam who is supporting this. This is an Imam who has supported radical causes, who has not been forthright in condemning Islamic (terrorism) and the worst instincts that that brings about. So it not only is exactly the wrong place, right at Ground Zero, but it’s a mosque supported by an Imam who has a record of support for causes that were sympathetic with terrorism. Come on! We’re gonna allow that at Ground Zero? This is a desecration. Nobody would allow something like that at Pearl Harbor. Let’s have some respect for who died there and why they died there. Let’s not put this off on some kind of politically correct theory. I mean, they died there because of Islamic extremist terrorism. They are our enemy, we can say that, the world will not end when we say that. And the reality is it will not and should not insult any decent Muslim because decent Muslims should be as opposed to Islamic extremism as you and I are.

A Few Facts About The DREAM Act

Harry Reid is ready to stick it to the American taxpayer with another version of Illegal Alien Amnesty. He calls it the DREAM Act, S. 3827. Reid has about four weeks to try to jam this nightmare down the throats of American citizens. Why should you call your Senator to oppose the DREAM Act? Here are a few facts:

Nearly all of the publicity attendant to this Act has stressed that it is for “the children” of illegal aliens; but as Senator Sessions stresses, the DREAM Act is not limited to children and it will be funded from government taxpayer monies.

It will provide a Safe Harbor for any illegal alien, including criminals to keep from being deported just by submitting an application.

It will make certain criminal aliens eligible for Amnesty including alien gang members and aliens with misdemeanor convictions, even DUIs; also aliens who have engaged in voter fraud or unlawfully voted, aliens who have falsely claimed U.S. citizenship, and other abuses.

It will give Illegal Aliens In-State Tuition Benefits.

It does not require an Illegal Alien to finish any type of degree program as a condition for Amnesty, meaning they could just start and then quit and still be eligible for Amnesty.

Though there already is a process for Illegal Aliens to obtain citizenship through military service, the DREAM Act does not require that an illegal Alien serve in the military as a condition for amnesty.

Once a Illegal Alien submits an application for the DREAM Act he will be given all the rights that legal immigrants receive, including The Right To Sponsor Their Parents and Extended Family Members for Immigration as well. (Here’s where the numbers will swell to absolute unmanageable numbers of persons and expenses.)

It will get Illegal Aliens Federal Student Loans, Federal Work Study Programs, and other forms of Federal Financial Aid. If an Illegal Alien’s DREAM Act application is denied the Department of Homeland Security is prohibited from using the denial information to initiate their Removal Proceedings or Investigate or Prosecute Fraud in the Application Process.

Read more about this subject. . . .

The Will To Win

Quoting Ronald Reagan:

“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.”

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