America’s Christian History According to Supreme Court Rulings – Hidden in Plain View

Have you read a recent Supreme Court ruling that sounded like either of these?

There is no dissonance in these [legal] declarations.  …These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic [legal, governmental] utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people.  …These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.
–  Trinity v. U. S., 1892 (Unanimous decision declaring America a Christian nation).  Significantly, the U. S. Supreme Court cited dozens of court rulings and legal documents as precedents to arrive at this ruling; but in 1962, when the Supreme Court struck down voluntary prayer in schools, it did so without using any such precedent.

Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a divine revelation in [schools] – its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained and its glorious principles of morality inculcated?  …Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?
–  Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, 1844 (Unanimous decision commending and encouraging the use of the Bible in government-run schools)

Source of the quotes: Hobby Lobby full-page newspaper advertisement July 4, 2016

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America’s Christian History According to Its Early Supreme Court Justices – Hidden in Plain View

What would happen if next nominee to the Supreme Court were to speak like these Supreme Court justices?

The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next.  Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.
–  John Jay, first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine.  …Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants.  Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.
–  James Wilson, original Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court

One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law.  …There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundation.  …I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society.
–  Joseph Story (1779-1845), U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Source: Hobby Lobby full-page newspaper advertisement July 4, 2016

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America’s Christian History According to Its Founding Fathers – Hidden in Plain View

Here’s the way America’s original leaders spoke.  Compare their comments with those of America’s current leaders.

“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness, which mankind now enjoys. …Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown , our present republican forms of government – and all blessings which flow from them – must fall with them.”
– Jedidiah Morse (1761-1826), the figurative “father of American geography” and literal father of Samuel Morse (inventor of Morse code)

An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! …Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. …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. …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!
– Patrick Henry

I’ve lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: That God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We’ve been assured in the sacred writings that unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.
– Benjamin Franklin

Source: Hobby Lobby full-page newspaper advertisement July 4, 2016

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America’s Christian History According to Its Early Presidents – Hidden in Plain View

Compare and contrast the rhetoric of modern candidates for the office of U.S. president with the sorts of things spoken by our earliest presidents.  The contrast speaks volumes about the spiritual and moral decay in present times.

Part of our current moral decay is that utterances like these from our nation’s first presidents are, practically speaking, expunged from all modern-day public policy discussions.

It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.
–  George Washington

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
–  John Adams

Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.
–  James Madison

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?  That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?  Indeed I tremble for my county when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
–  Thomas Jefferson

Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior?  That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation?  Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth?  That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?
–  John Quincy Adams

Source:  Hobby Lobby full-page newspaper advertisement July 4, 2016

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God Is Displeased with Us

When I say “God is displeased with us,” the “us” refers to Americans.

Because of its Christianity, God made America great.  And because of its rejection of Christianity – that is, its rejection of the truth – He is bringing America to its knees.

America has two political parties, and only one of them welcomes God-fearing citizens.  What’s noteworthy is that in the current presidential election cycle, the party that welcomes people of Christian faith has formed itself into a circular firing squad.  In other words, it is divided against itself.  The political citadel which formerly provided refuge for the people of Christ has, in the last year, collapsed into civil war.  With this turn of events, the enemies of the gospel are gaining even more power.

There is always a deliverance for those individuals and families who fear God and keep His commandments, but a deliverance for the nation itself is looking increasingly unlikely.  It appears that it will continue to be plagued with increasing corruption and mismanagement.

If God would allow the only major political party which stands against the moral insanity of abortion to tear itself asunder before our eyes, it is because we as a nation have given Him insufficient reason to intervene on its behalf.  While keeping its platform anti-abortion, the Republicans have given up on the sanctity of marriage and have tried to get us to give up on it, too.  God’s saving intervention for those who love Him will have to come in ways other than through a government that honors Him.  And we will have to look for His salvation in the midst of a declining and decadent nation – and God is surely able to bring His salvation to us by non-political means.  Only further destruction appears to be coming through the political arena.

Here are some scriptures to remember and ponder:

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people.
–  Proverbs 14:34

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  “And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and sinner?”  Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
–  1 Peter 4:17-19 (quoting Proverbs 11:31)

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His….
–  2 Chronicles 16:9

…A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent…
–  Psalm 91:1-16

See also Smaller God, Bigger Government.

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The Bittersweet Thought of a Museum of the Bible

The Museum of the Bible in Washington D. C. is scheduled to open its doors about a year from now.  Until then, construction continues on the 430,000 square-foot building that sits just three blocks south of the U.S. Capitol building.  It is going to be very impressive facility.

The project was initially funded by the Green family (Hobby Lobby), and since then donations have come from a variety of sources.  I’m grateful to them all.

If I were near Washington, I would definitely want to see the place.  It sounds like a first-class operation, with respected scholars involved in every phase of the exhibits being produced.  It sounds as if a visit there would be a thoroughly engaging and richly rewarding investment of time – at least that’s the hope I and many others have.

What is there to be down about?  That it’s a sign of the times in our country that the Bible is deemed to be something that belongs in a museum.  You know, a place where they keep old, dusty stuff.

According to American society today, the Bible does not belong in the classroom.  Neither does it belong on television or radio unless someone can collect enough money to purchase time for it.  Even then, you won’t see many television commercials for it on the Super Bowl because that would be deemed too controversial.  The Bible can be used to swear in our nation’s president, but the caterwauling would never stop if he or she were to open it up in the Oval Office and consult it for wisdom on policy decisions.  The same goes for Congress and the Supreme Court.  I cannot easily imagine a museum for the Bible being opened in 1776 – back then, people were using their Bibles much too frequently and ubiquitously for it to have been considered something appropriate for a museum exhibit.

The Washington Post “welcomed” news of the Museum of the Bible in 2015 with an opinion piece titled “Critics call it evangelical propaganda. Can the Museum of the Bible convert them?”  Alas, in Washington D.C. about the only kind of facility that its power brokers would consider allowing to house the holy book would be a museum – in their minds it’s a mausoleum for something dead.

However, since the Bible testifies of a God who raises the dead, who knows?

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I Hate Halloween

I hate Halloween, but Jesus is the only “safe space” I need.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
–  Psalm 91:1 KJV

O Lord my God, in You I have taken refuge…
–  Psalm 7:1

Therefore, I can even adapt the 23rd psalm to my current circumstance by substituting “Halloween” for “the valley of the shadow of death” in the following verse:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me…
–  Psalm 23:4

God’s promises are an ever-present help in time of need:

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
–  Psalm 91:5-10

The only “safe space” we need is the spiritual state of mind that God gives us through His word.  Let’s look at the world through Jesus’ eyes.  Psalms like the ones above provided Jesus His worldview when He walked the earth.  They will work for us in the same way.

No one has to give me a physical “safe space” to protect me through Halloween.  My safe space is with me wherever I go.

…the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
–  Joshua 1:9

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Caligula A or Caligula B?

Let’s say that you and I are Christians living in the ancient Roman Empire.  Let’s further imagine that voting was allowed for the position of emperor and there are only two candidates who have a chance of capturing enough votes to win the election:  Caligula A and Caligula B.  Both are of unsavory character and both would make a terrible emperor.  The only difference between them is that Caligula A (a longtime abortion supporter) promises to continue being pro-abortion while Caligula B (a longtime abortion supporter) promises to be anti-abortion.

Even though the outcome of the election would make no difference in your life or mine, would our Christian duty impel us to vote for Caligula B in the hope that fewer babies might be murdered?  And if it did, would we allow ourselves to be dissuaded from voting in this way because some Christians said that voting for Caligula B meant that you and I would therefore be complicit in whatever evil deeds he would commit while in office?

Is it more important to do right in the sight of God or to do right in the sight of people?

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A Baby’s Heart Starts Beating Within Three Weeks of Conception – UK Study

Key quote:

The first tick of a baby’s heart happens as early as 16 days after conception, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Oxford.

Sources:

If the US Supreme Court of the last fifty years has legalized, institutionalized, and made practically sacred a mother’s right to abortion-on-demand, what will the Supreme Court of the next fifty years do when its liberal wing is given clear and overwhelming majority status with the next few justices who will be appointed?

Do you think things cannot get worse?  Think again.

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I Wonder Who the Babies Would Vote For?

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th – just over a month away.  Here’s a comparison of where the two major candidates stand on the issues, produced by a Christian organization that studies the publicly-available information:

Faith and Freedom Coalition 2016 Voter Guide
[Editorial note, November 22, 2016: This voter guide is no longer being maintained, so I had to disable the link.]

Since babies in the womb are not eligible to vote, and since the Bible tells us to look out not merely for our own interests but for the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4), especially when they are weaker than we are (Romans 15:1), I can’t help my attention being drawn to the issue that is listed first on this voter guide:  abortion.

Personally, I wish we had two other people from whom to choose the next president…but we don’t.  Nevertheless, it is clear to me that one of these two people, especially when Supreme Court appointments are taken into consideration, will surely keep children in the womb vulnerable to legal abortion-on-demand for the next 30-40 years.  The other might not.  Therefore, it’s clear to me for whom I should vote – if I follow Jesus’ instructions to put first the interest of those weaker than myself.

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