How Smart Are We?

 

If I asked you ‘Do you believe you are more intelligent than Benjamin Franklin?’ what would your reply be?  Seriously, not smart-alecky, but honest truth!  How about Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, John Hancock, or any of the other signers of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, do you believe you are more intelligent than they were?

Even if you were able to prove that you are, does that mean that you, without taking the time to study and think about what government is supposed to be and do, and without taking the time to thoroughly understand what their ultimate goal was in creating this nation for their children and yours, are you qualified to judge the moral and ethical virtue of what they accomplished?

The true test of your humility as an AMERICAN is your desire to know why those men came to the conclusions they did and were willing to make the sacrifices they did.  Until we have walked in their shoes, at least conceptually, and looked at the world systems through the lens of historical truth, there is no way we can judge whether their work is worth preserving.  There is no way we can pass it on to our children as something of transcendent value if we fail to treat it as such.

Scripture says seek wisdom as gold and precious gems.  The opposition to that idea makes up nearly half of our government today. If we are not governed by men and women who seek wisdom and believe that ALL men (women included) are created equal; if we are not governed by those who know that equality is not measured by material possessions or governmentally guaranteed sameness; If we are not governed by those who FEAR the Lord; we will be governed by despots who think they ARE the Lord!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the truth that our Founders knew first hand.

The book of Genesis Chapter 6 verse 5: And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Has The God of Creation, the Father of Jesus Christ, changed His mind about the state of mankind’s heart since before the flood?

Jeremiah 17:9 says: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

The Words of Jesus in Mark 7:21-23:

20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

The Israelites demanded a king, just like all the other nations had. The Founders knew that power corrupts and did all they could to delay that happening to their children.  Are we smarter than they?  Aren’t we crying for our president to be king and ‘just fix it’!  Be very careful what you wish for, you just might get it!

 

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What IS the Answer?

What is the answer? Our Constitution guarantees the right to freely practice your religion. Until the turn of the millennium, there were few issues with that. Then Islam began to use that right to claim they could live under Sharia in the USA. That continued and escalating demand  MUST FORCE us to look at the truth of what our Constitution IS actually protecting via the First Amendment.
The first question is this: Was the intent of the First Amendment to authorize ANY RELIGIOUS practice that overrules the right to Life, Liberty, and Property that the duly elected authorities are in place to protect?
The obvious answer that anyone with two brain cells to rub together is a resounding NO!
Therefore, Sharia, which encourages the absolute authority of the man over the woman, honor killing of disobedient children, the stoning or caning of the wife who displeases the husband, female genital mutilation, the chopping off of hands or other appendages for theft and other crimes, etc., etc, etc, simply CANNOT be considered to be protected under the First Amendment.
Some punishment for breaking any religious law that does NOT also break CIVIL law simply MUST not be allowed to deprive ANYONE of Life, Liberty, or Property. If a particular religion has laws that call for the death of the lawbreaker for blasphemy (for instance), shunning (being considered dead to the other adherents of that religion) is permissible but killing them IS NOT!
The First Amendment Rights do NOT trump the INALIENABLE rights of the individual! How hard is that to understand? And why must it be such a crisis of conscience for Americans to stand up an say so?

Of Crime and Punishment!

James Crawford, pastor of Westside Church, Redding, California, has been charged with 22 felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, a series of sex crime-related enhancements, and nine misdemeanors.
His bail was set at $1 million and his attorney couldn’t believe it.
Now I’m not a lawmaker nor a judge, thank God. But these crimes took place over the course of 7 years! IF this man is found guilty, will his punishment fit his crime? IF this man is guilty, he has stolen something from these children that CANNOT be replaced and the punishment for that should make ANYONE even contemplating giving in to the sick temptation to molest a child pause to consider and FEAR what will happen WHEN they are caught!
It should be a CERTAINTY that they will NOT continue to live in relative comfort and ease.  If we, as a God the FEARING society we used to claim to be,  continue to reward lawlessness of every stripe and depravity by simply warehousing the felon in prisons that provide for their every want and need available behind bars, there is no more fear of God before our eyes.
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. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
The ‘just power of the government’ includes the power to punish evildoers.  There is little more evil than poisoning the mind of a child through violating a position of unquestioned trust.  A man ‘of the cloth’ is presumed to be above reproach and to violate that trust is worse than highway robbery.  At least the robber is not deceiving anyone about his intentions nor his actions.  No, to violate a trust that presumes one to be above reproach is worse than murder.  It steals the innocence of youth and purity in the most vile of selfish action.  One who would do this should KNOW that he will neither live long nor prosper in the enjoyment of such depravity.  If the promised reward of goodness is not enough to curb one’s appetites, the utter fear of the punishment should.  Justice WILL be served.  God has promised that.  But that does not mean we can leave it all up to Him and allow this kind of immoral disgrace to run rampant among us.  Governments are instituted among men to protect the rights of ALL including those who are the most helpless.  We are failing miserably at that because we have decided to extend grace to those who will use it against us the next time they get the chance. Just punishment should remove either the desire or the chance!

Consider John 1:1-5

How does this relate to Matthew 13:10-13 and 13:34?

Here are the passages:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Matthew

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

And Jesus Spoke to the crowd.

34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:

35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

Is there a connection?

The Son Of God is the Word Made Flesh!  The  Holy Bible is the Word of God written.  The Word Made Flesh communicated to us directly in power and great glory, glory as the Only Begotten of the Father!  The Son spoke the Word to man in parables for a very specific reason.

The parables Jesus Spoke used physical truths to describe spiritual truths. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  If He chose to communicate with Israel through parable when He walked among us, is it not probable to a certainty that the Word written uses the same method for the same reason?

Matthew

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Example: Jacob and Esau

Could they be an example (parable)  of the way Man was Created?  Esau (the flesh, the elder) the first born, Jacob (the spirit, the younger) the one God chose to bear His image (God is Spirit), supplanter.  Supplanter means ‘one who takes the place of’.

The firstborn was entitled to the majority share of the inheritance as well as the position of Patriarch of the clan.  God chose Jacob.  If you read the story carefully, you can see that Jacob tried his whole life to be that and was not the conniving trickster he has been portrayed for centuries.  Or you can believe something else.

God Bless.

The Importunate Widow? About Discipleship?

The Importunate Widow? About Discipleship?

Just how personal is the discipleship relationship?  Who is the true teacher?  Is the church the arbiter of the interpretation of the Word of God or is it between a man and his enlightenment by the Holy Spirit?  Who is the final arbiter of Truth?

The Book of James speaks to discipleship in this way:

1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

The Parable of the Importunate Widow(Luke 18) speaks of it this way:

18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Paul speaks to Timothy(2nd Tim 2) these thoughts:

2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.

Correct understanding of the Word of God is only found when the whole context of Holy Scripture is taken into account on any given topic. Peter and John(Acts 4) had this to say when the religious authority would have chastened them:

4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

There is no greater teacher than the Holy Spirit.  That is His job!  But He will allow you to err in your belief whenever you decide you know enough or have it completely figured out or are willing to believe what men say over what He is leading you toward.

So how much do you really want to know God?  How much do you really want to face your sin nature?  Picking up your cross is looking at yourself and seeing your iniquity in the light of God’s revelation to you then doing what is right in His eyes.

Paul encouraged people to follow his lead but only  in so far as he followed Christ(1st Cor):

10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

10:32 Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

Will you pick up your cross and follow Him, or will you walk away sad?  Or will you deceive yourself and quench the Spirit at the same time?

 

 

 

Consider This!

Does God ever command that we act against conscience?  That is, of course, conscience rightly formed and in line with His revelation of righteousness.  No, He does not command us to act against conscience (in case you weren’t sure)!

We look at this election the way the Apostles looked at filling the position left by Judas.  They selected two names and left it up to how the lot fell to decide; as if God needed their advise!  God was not bound by their efforts.  He knocked Saul off his horse on the way to Damascus and called him to be the 12th. The rest is New Testament history.

I say all that to remind us that we are not called to vote for evil, or the lesser of two evils, but to NOT vote against our conscience.  Tomorrow is the day.  Make your vote count as a statement of conscience and see how God’s Hand works in repairing our nation!

As citizens we must vote. God has blessed us with that option! But as Christians, we must consider God’s will in doing so! The lesser of two evils is still evil. Consider all the choices, mark your ballot and let your conscience be clear when you exit the polls.

If Thoughts Were Water…

If Thoughts were water, how many of us could drown in our contemplation of freedom…

Or wring out one tear over the death of 50 million innocents…

Or get just one sip of the Water of Life…

Or catch even a glimpse of the Ocean of Wonder that is the Mercy of God…

Or fill one small glass with the drops from considering our blessings each morning…

Or get a toe damp on the first step in the quest for absolute truth…

In the search for wisdom would I die of thirst, if thoughts were water?

Or would I drown in Soaps, MTV, and video games…If thoughts were water!