We live in desperate times. We live in a time of great opportunities. Our world is out of control. We have never had more knowledge or better tools for bringing it under control. We have never had more laws, more regulations, more taxes, more spending, more intrusive government, ….

So on Thursday, August 28, 2014 @ 7 PM. we have been invited to hear a discussion of a very interesting proposal to scrap unneeded laws and regulations, cut taxes and spending, reduce the size of government, ….

Here is a note I received to today from Delegate Bob Marshall.


Mike Farris and I will debate whether or not we should hold a national convention (with delegates from every state), under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, to propose amendments that will make changes to our United States Constitution.

Both of us have researched this issue in depth and have reached opposite conclusions. I will argue that states should not petition Congress to call such a Convention for the purpose of amending (changing) the Constitution. Mike Farris will argue that we should.

Please join us if you can, and listen to both sides of the argument. There will be an opportunity for the audience to have their questions answered. The debate will take place on Thursday evening, August 28, from 7:00-9:00 PM at Colgan Hall on the campus of the Northern Virginia Community College located at 6901 Sudley Rd. Manassas, VA 20109. I look forward to seeing you there!


Delegate Bob Marshall

Although I have great respect for Delegate Marshall, I have been swinging over to the idea of a Convention of the states.  To see why, here are several posts I have written on the subject.

Nevertheless, I look forward to hearing the debate. Hard to imagine people better equipped for presenting each side of the argument.

Posted in Constitution, Delegate Bob Marshall, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments


bibleWe began this series this morning (part 1).  Based upon one of the comments (from  Rob Barkman at August 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm), before we consider the different alternatives ways we might try to obey Jesus’ command to love one another as he loved us, it seems a little discussion of the Greek language is needed.

Why this discussion of Greek? When we love someone, isn’t worth considering what kind of love we are talking about? The Greeks thought so. Perhaps that is why so much of the New Testament was written in Greek.

Let’s illustrate the point. In a sermon he gave decades ago, The Secret of Service, J. Vernon McGee described the events in John 21. These occur after Jesus’ resurrection, when Jesus restored Peter.  John 21 records how Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him three times.  Part of McGee’s explanation of the events required a bit of instruction in Greek.

Words for Love

      There are three words in the Greek language that are translated into the English by the one word love. Perhaps, my friend, you are not aware of the fact that the English language is a beggar for words. We have the one word love, and that is about all. Hollywood today would give a million dollars for another word. The best they have done is sex, and that is pretty low. But Greek is a language that is versatile; it is flexible. They have several words for this thing called love.

      The first word we will look at is the word eros. In the use of this word the Greeks degraded the meaning of love by personifying it. The fact of the matter is they made ‘Eros’ a god and put together in combination the names Aphrodite and Eros. Today we know these names better as Venus and Cupid. The latter are the Roman names, but they are the same, as the Greeks are the ones who started this idea with Aphrodite and Eros. Eros is a word of sensuality, and we do believe that the Hollywood word sex, which has really been put into high gear today, would best express what the Greeks had in mind. But this word eros is never used in the Word of God.

      There is another Greek word, phileo, and it means ‘friendship.’ It has to do with the affection and the emotion in a human relationship at its very best usage. We get our word philanthropic from it, and Philadelphia comes from it – Philadelphia, the ‘city of brotherly love.’ And that is a word that is used in Scripture.

      The third Greek word for love is agapao – it is a word of dignity, the highest and noblest word and, in connection with this verse, there is always the note of worth; that either the lover or the beloved is ‘worthy’ of love. I am sure this is a Bible word, for we see it used in John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.’ Again, Paul said, ‘Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.’ John said, ‘We love Him, because He first loved us.’ These are instances where this word appears, and it is the word Christ used twice with Simon Peter. (from here)

Because the difference between phileo and agape is directly relevant to John 21, McGee takes the time to define the difference in The Secret of Service.  Ashamed, repentant and not so boastful anymore, when Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him using the word “agape,” Peter replied using the word “phileo.”

Similarly, SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 5:25 at Settled In Heaven, highlights the importance of agape love by pointing out the alternative words that might have been used in this verse.

Ephesians 5:25 New King James Version (NKJV)

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

There are actually four words in the Greek language that are translated into the English by the one word love. However, this passage uses the word “agape.”

1. eros – the physical, intimate, sensual type of love, not used in the Bible
2. storge – the natural affection of family members, not used in the Bible
3. phileo – love of the brethren, it is affection to family, friends, acquaintances or even activities, used in the Bible
4. agape – the deepest, greatest form of love, it is sacrificial and unconditional, used in the Bible

(from here)

Still curious about those Greek words? What does the Bible say about Love? and Four Kinds of Love provide sources focused on the terms themselves.



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bibleWhile I drive to work or on road trips, I often study the Bible. Interspersed with appropriate readings of chapters from the King James Bible I listen to Dr. J. Vernon McGee’s five-year series, Thru The Bible. For most part I have found listening to McGee’s explanations edifying, but sometimes he leaves me confused, and this post is about one such instance. McGee did not think Christians are suppose to love everyone quite the same way. Perhaps by the time I get to his explanation of the Book of Revelation I will understand why McGee believed that, but now I don’t. I just know what McGee said set me to thinking.

In OF WHAT IS TOM AFRAID?, we considered what Christ Jesus primary command for us. He wants us to love each other as He loved us.

Can we love each other as Jesus loved us? Considering how we closed OF WHAT IS TOM AFRAID?, I wonder. We linked to a series of posts at Settled In Heaven that analyzes this passage in minute detail.

1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13 New King James Version (NKJV)

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.


13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Because 1 Corinthians 13 defines Christian love so well, agape, 1 Corinthians 13 is one of the most Bible’s beloved and studied chapters. So perhaps we should not be surprised how many posts Settled In Heaven devoted to it.  Here are the remainder.

Nevertheless, in spite of the length of His Word and all our careful analysis, Jesus still makes this standout promise.

Matthew 11:25-30 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus Gives True Rest

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.26 Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Jesus promises us rest, an easy yoke, a light burden. If His primary command is to love each other as He loved us, then it must be possible to obey His command, but easily?

So what are the alternatives?  Well, here are some of them.

  • Jesus wants us to love everyone.
  • Jesus wants us grow in love. As we grow as Christians, we should be able to love more people more deeply.
  • Jesus wants us to love as best we can in a fallen world. Only when His Kingdom comes will we be able to love as He loved.
  • Jesus only wants us to love our Christian brothers and sisters.
  • Jesus only wants us to love the elect (the chosen people).
  • Jesus only wants us to love those we can love.
  • Jesus want us to love everyone, but He only wants us to demonstrate our love to those who can and will accept our love.
  • Jesus only wants us to love the people He loves.
  • Jesus only wants us to love the people He tells us to love.
  • Jesus only wants us to love the people who cross our path.
  • Jesus only wants us to love good people.

Are there more alternatives? I suppose so, but these will do for the time being. What I expect to do in future posts is consider what the Bible says about each of these alternatives.

Obviously, the Settled In Heaven series considers some of these questions, but the focus here will be slightly different. Consider what Rob Barkman says in his summary.

Keep in mind, the outstanding characteristic of Godly love is a willingness to sacrifice oneself for the beloved. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this basic principle in Galatians 2:19-20…

For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

Through the testimony of the law, the lost individual sees their need of a Savior. As the lost one comes to Christ, he is made dead to the law (no longer under the penalty of the law) and given a new life of service to God.

As Barkman suggests, we have one more alternative.

  • Jesus wants us to love each other in a way that honors Him.

Since I am still somewhat puzzled about this matter, I welcome advice and suggestions.

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The greatest question ever asked

Citizen Tom:

Psalm 22. When I read the words I stopped in shock. This post explains.

Why was reading Psalm 22 a big event, a milestone? When I first read Psalm 22, I realized how poorly I understood the Bible.

Reading Psalm 22 helped to transform the Bible for me. Instead of just being an ancient book full of foolish, selfcontradictory folklore, I began to realize the Bible made no sense because I had not tried to understand it.

The more I read, the more I began to grasp why the Bible was so important. The more I read the more I appreciated Jesus’ sacrifice.

Please read “The greatest question ever asked.” Then study Psalm 22. Consider how these words written so long ago foreshadowed the death of our Savior. Consider the price He paid for our sins.

Originally posted on THE NAKED TRUTH 2:

Now that I have your interest, I trust I will have your undivided attention.

- continuumissues.
Questions are asked to gather information, some are asked to embarrass, they are asked to prove someone, they are asked to isolate an issue, they are asked by the curious, they are asked by the proud and the arrogant, they are asked by the profane, they are asked by the scholar, the painter, the writer, the janitor, the president, the 3 year old boy, the prophet, the priest, the king, in short, all mankind participates in the questioning of things and life.

A person without questions is a fool. Questions prove a healthy mind, albeit some have nefarious intentions with their questions.

When God asks a question however, my spiritual antennae is on high alert. The very first question recorded in the existence of man came from God Himself: ‘Adam, where are you?’ A…

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America’s Fading Glory (reblogged)

Voting American is one of the more energetic political blogs. Nonetheless, we all need encouragement. So when samiam60‘s spirits start flagging, he wrote The End of the Road for Voting American Blogs. Fortunately, various commenters rallied around . In the midst of several videos, for example, swissdefenceleague offered this bit of poetry.

Albannach – The Uprising
Don’t fear their cannons or their muskets!
Charge with me!
We fight for what we love!
We fight for our country!

(from here)

So it is that a rejuvenated  wrote America’s Fading Glory.


As many of you know I came very close to shutting down this Voting American Blog.  Had it not been for the encouragement of my Patriot Friends across the internet Voting American would have faded into the abyss of Apathy.

It is incredibly disheartening to watch as this once great country succumbs to the will of those who would ‘Fundamentally Transform’ her into a Socialist Government dependency State. A place where the ‘Land of the Free’ would become the land of the Government Slave. (continued here)

As we watch the decline of America, there is a tendency for Conservatives to grow disheartened. Don’t we often sound too disheartened and embittered? Don’t we sound like Jeremiahs (a person who habitually prophesies doom or denounces contemporary society), the author of that sad book in the Bible? What both we and our critics too often forget is that Jeremiah was right. Israel’s sinful ways did lead to its destruction. What we also forget is how strongly Jeremiah declared God’s love.

Jeremiah 31:3-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
You shall again be adorned with your tambourines,
And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.
You shall yet plant vines on the mountains of Samaria;
The planters shall plant and eat them as ordinary food.
For there shall be a day
When the watchmen will cry on Mount Ephraim,
‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
To the Lord our God.’”

For thus says the Lord:

“Sing with gladness for Jacob,
And shout among the chief of the nations;
Proclaim, give praise, and say,
‘O Lord, save Your people,
The remnant of Israel!’
Behold, I will bring them from the north country,
And gather them from the ends of the earth,
Among them the blind and the lame,
The woman with child
And the one who labors with child, together;
A great throng shall return there.
They shall come with weeping,
And with supplications I will lead them.
I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters,
In a straight way in which they shall not stumble;
For I am a Father to Israel,
And Ephraim is My firstborn.

10 “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
And declare it in the isles afar off, and say,
‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’
11 For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
And ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he.
12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion,
Streaming to the goodness of the Lord
For wheat and new wine and oil,
For the young of the flock and the herd;
Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden,
And they shall sorrow no more at all.

13 “Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance,
And the young men and the old, together;
For I will turn their mourning to joy,
Will comfort them,
And make them rejoice rather than sorrow.
14 I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance,
And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.”

If we win back our nation, we will do so because we know what the Jews that Jeremiah spoke to did not, just how much God loves us.

John 3:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

So don’t forget it is not about their cannons or muskets; we fight for what we love.

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