Words From The Past
In order to examine ourselves thoroughly, let the case be proposed in the strongest manner. What, if I were to see a Papist, an Arian, a Socinian casting out devils? If I did, I could not forbid even him, without convicting myself of bigotry. Yea, if it could be supposed that I should see a Jew, a Deist, or a Turk, doing the same, were I to forbid him either directly or indirectly, I should be no better than a bigot still.
O stand clear of this! But be not content with not forbidding any that casts out devils. It is well to go thus far; but do not stop here. If you will avoid all bigotry, go on. In every instance of this kind, whatever the instrument be, acknowledge the finger of God. And not only acknowledge, but rejoice in his work, and praise his name with thanksgiving. Encourage whomsoever God is pleased to employ, to give himself wholly up thereto. Speak well of him wheresoever you are; defend his character and his mission.Enlarge, as far as you can, his sphere of action; show him all kindness in word and deed; and cease not to cry to God in his behalf, that he may save both himself and them that hear him.
I need add but one caution: Think not the bigotry of another is any excuse for your own. It is not impossible, that one who casts out devils himself, may yet forbid you so to do. You may observe, this is the very case mentioned in the text. The Apostles forbade another to do what they did themselves. But beware of retorting. It is not your part to return evil for evil. Another’s not observing the direction of our Lord, is no reason why you should neglect it. Nay, but let him have all the bigotry to himself. If he forbid you, do not you forbid him. Rather labour, and watch, and pray the more, to confirm your love toward him. If he speak all manner of evil of you, speak all manner of good (that is true) of him. (John Wesley from here)
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Article II., Section 3 of The United States Constitution says the following.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
Like much of the rest of our Constitution, the interpretation of that section of the Constitution has degenerated. Thus, the State of the Union has become a grand stage show. Our president makes a flowery speech before both houses of Congress. Like many of his predecessors, only worse, the current occupant of the White House uses the opportunity to further his agenda by promising us “other” people’s money and defining his enemies.
Perhaps, if we held the State of the Union on Independence day, more of us would insist that our president’s speech focus on how well our nation upholds the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence. As it is, even on Independence Day, we rarely consider the cause of the celebration. We wave flags at marching bands and pretty floats, not the heroes who left as their legacy, our liberty. We ooh and we aahh to booming of fireworks. We have forgotten the sacrifices, the long campaigns, the endless waiting, the arduous marches, the cold, the heat, the desperation, the men and women who gave their all in hard fought battles. Instead, we use gloriously colorful fireworks to symbolize the struggles that gave us our liberty, not the drab weariness characterizes a long war.
Yet if we are more thoughtful, if we love our family, friends, and neighbors, the events here of late must alarm us. If we understand the value living in a free country — if we are not blind to the threat to our nation’s institutions — then we must see that those institutions are failing. We must see the unraveling of bonds that once united the People of United States.
What is happening? What is the difference between an enslaved people and a free people? Slave peoples submit to the rule of men. Free peoples uphold the rule of law.
Why would any people submit to the rule of other men, mere mortals like themselves. Because we have put our trust in the wrong place, we would do so in terror.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
Instead of trusting in God, we look to our self. Because our pride is misplaced, we risk failing like that shrub in the desert. Instead of trying to see everything through our Lord’s eyes, we take the measure of all things relative to our own desires. Instead of serving God and our family, friends, and neighbors, we seek first and foremost our own wants. Yet what matters is that God, the Creator, loves us, not that a puny man loves himself. We are nothing. The universe is too big, too complex, for us. Thus, the man who cares only himself finds himself alone, helpless, and afraid.
Why would a people submit to the rule of law? It is in the hearts of men to do so. Hence, we have the Code of Hammurabi and the Athenian and Roman republics. At God’s inspiration, Moses explained it to the Hebrews this way.
Deuteronomy 10:12-22 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Essence of the Law
12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good? 14 Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it. 15 The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. 16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 21 He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the Lord your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.
Because our Constitution is the creation of men, not God, many confuse the meaning of a secular government. Too many think we can govern ourselves without God. We cannot. Unless we each choose to be guided by God, then we cannot behave honorably. We cannot make honorable laws. Nor can we honor the laws we create. We can only selfishly pursue our own ends. Then our leaders must divide us, terrorize us, and enslave us.
Here the author, Beejai, presents us with what appears to be nothing more than crudely violent and awful prayer.
Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks! (Psalm 137:9)
Relate: Before I begin to write any post, I will always spend some time in prayer and then reading that portion of the Bible that is part of the Bibile reading plan. It is a devotional for me long before I write it out as a devotion for the world. Sometimes immediately a verse jumps out to me and as soon as I’m done reading I will go right back to it. Other times there will be a theme running through both the Old Testament and New Testament readings and I will work off that theme. [2015 addition: On occasion, like today, I will simply go back to a post from a previous year dealing with that same scripture.] As I was reading today I was thinking, “I’ve got nothing.” I read through the OT and NT with no idea where I was going to go today. I read through the Psalm and then on the last verse… boom. Then, “Oh no, God. Please no.” I thought. But I am a firm believer that Paul was writing truth when he wrote that all scripture, even Psalm 137:9, is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. (continued here)
We often tend to be selective in the scriptures we read. That can be a mistake. If we don’t make an effort to study and understand the whole Bible, then we cannot understand any of it as well as we should. In addition, we cannot pray, discuss the Bible with others, and divine the true meaning.
2 Peter 1:19-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
If you want to appreciate what the Jews suffered during that war, read Lamentations.
It’s high time I come after those who call or consider themselves “christians”.
I’ve had it!
You’re all a bunch of wannbe’s.
I was raised in the church. taught scripture from the time I was three. The men and women who taught me were some of the most intelligent, kindhearted, loving people you would ever meet. They spent hours dedicated to teaching the love of God and the message of salvation through His son, Jesus. They served with compassion, grace and humility and they never expected anyone to lead who wasn’t meant to lead. Serve who wasn’t meant to serve. Give who wasn’t meant to give.
They lived their lives as true leaders who didn’t beg for people to stay active or dig deep in their pockets to keep the “church” functioning. They didn’t spend hours using the pulpit for their own selfish gain. And YES…preaching from the pulpit that you need to serve, serve, serve or give, give give is for selfish gain, the reason…because they aren’t relying on GOD to provide. (continued here)
irtfyblog the author of I REFUSE TO FOLLOW YOUR BLOG may have his tongue in his cheek, but he does not make it obvious. Therefore, when you read “Christians”, don’t be surprised if it rubs you the wrong way. Just keep this in mind, what we need to glean from this post. What a Christian believes is what makes a Christian a Christian. If we don’t believe, have faith that Jesus died on a cross for our sins and rose from the dead, then we are not a Christian. If we don’t believe that Jesus is God and that He loves us, then we are not a Christian. And why do I say that? I believe the Bible is the Word of God, and that is what the Bible says.
‘s blog includes this page, You’re All Cattle (what I really think). That page reminded me of the difference between contentment and complacency. Belief.
The cow, not truly aware it lives to be milked or eaten, provides the picture of complacency, not contentment. Consider how the Apostle Paul defined the meaning of contentment. Here is what he wrote from the confinement of a cold, drab cell in a Roman prison to thank the Philippians for their prayers and their generosity.
Philippians 4:10-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
What about us? How many of us believe in a Christ who strengthens us? How many of us “believe” that each of us has our own truth and that all truths are equally good? How many of us allow the public school system to preach the gospel of multiculturalism to our children — and do nothing?
When we consider our self, what can we say we believe? Are we are content in Christ? Or are we complacent, believing in nothing? Is there any Truth for which we would give our life?
Keith DeHavelle is one of the reasons I consider blogging great fun. He has a sharp mind and insights I would not gain on my own. Yet when Liberals shriek over the glories of diversity, they ignore people like . It is the differences in our appearances they glorify, not the differences in our thoughts and beliefs.
The following is ‘s take on Natural Law. Note the direction from which approaches this subject.
From time to time, I mention in these writings that I am non-religious. This has always been true of me; I am not a “converted” or “lapsed” or “apostate” anything. But many of my fellow conservatives are indeed deeply religious, and sometimes express disbelief or even disdain that a non-theist could support American conservative beliefs.
I have written elsewhere about the separation of church and state; to me, this should not be a large bone of contention. The point that seems to come up frequently involves the phrase “inalienable rights” in the Declaration of Independence and how it is to be understood.
A key element of the difference has to do with this famous line in the Declaration of Independence:
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.
To a non-theist, there is another passage nearby that helps clarify:
“… the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them …”
This line suggests that, at least to the writers (mostly Thomas Jefferson) and acceptably enough to the signers, “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” is blended together in a way that makes the resulting laws arguably a single body. This concept has been referred to by religious and non-religious alike as “Natural Law,” which addresses both moral and legal concepts. (continued here)
Why is not religious I am not certain. However, when we choose our political allies and our friends, I don’t think the label they put upon themselves matters as much as their conduct.
I would like to address something you said.
I make no secret of the fact that I am not religious at all. Citizen Tom often asserts that only by accepting God, or sometimes Jesus as personal savior, can conservatives hope to save the country. To this, I disagree, obviously, but I don’t attack him for this, I simply remind him that there are others fighting the same fight with him that, despite their different religious mindset, are potent allies. We equally revere the Constitution and Declaration of Independence and the nation thus founded, and we are equally concerned about the damage done to this nation.
Christians don’t win anyone to the faith by either judging them or attacking them personally. We may object to certain forms of conduct, but God, not man, sorts out eternity. And God does not use the label we put upon ourselves.
What often passes for conventional Christian wisdom says that if we have heard the Gospel and refuse to accept it, we are damned. That may be true in part, but I don’t think we understand exactly how Jesus will judge us. The Bible does say Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-46), and it seems He will keep those who love their fellow man.
What seems to matter to God is what is written in our heart.
Romans 2:12-16 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
When we choose our friends and allies, what people say they believe does matter. However, when someone who refuses to call himself a Christian still behaves like a Christian, something of Christ must be written in their hearts. And when someone who calls himself a Christian, but behaves like a greedy thug, what is written in their hearts must be foul and dark. Yet only God is fit to judge for only He can see what is written in our hearts.
So why do I say we need a Christian revival? No matter what we do, our nation will pass away. As far as I know, the Bible does not even mentioned the United States. However, the growing decadence of our nation provides ample evidence that too many do not know of Christ. These are souls in peril of damnation, souls who need to hear the Word.
We have Bibles everywhere, but our schools and the corporate mass media have told children for generations that the Bible does not matter. What I want those who believe what they were taught — what I want those who take the corporate mass media seriously to understand — is that the people who told us the Bible does not matter are dead wrong.
Anyway, it seems to me you represent yourself honorably. So I welcome you as a political ally. I wish you would openly accept Christ, but He left that choice to us. Yet if you have allowed the words of our savior to be written upon your heart (even if you have trouble believing in Jesus), I suspect that is what matters to Him, but it is God who knows the heart of man. We cannot understand God.
Luke 16:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
When the Apostle Paul wrote Romans, the New Testament was still being written. The Jews then had all of God’s Word. Yet unless they allowed God to write that law in their hearts they would not obey it, but who can see what is written on someone’s heart?
Do some obey God and still deny they know Him? That is a question God only can answer. All I know is some say they know God, and I see no evidence of it in their conduct or in their words. So I think it wiser when I choose my friends and allies to set labels aside consider a man’s character in word and deeds.