Daily Archives: July 4, 2018

July 4: Making Distinctions

1 Samuel 8:1–9:27; James 2:1–13; Psalm 119:49–64We’re often entranced by those who have what we don’t—riches, popularity, position, and power. We want to befriend cool moms, hipsters with ironic mustaches, and supervisors who can get us to the next step on the corporate ladder. We relate to them differently, even though we know we shouldn’t.Our problem is one of perception. In his letter, James reprimands members of the early church community who were displaying partiality by honoring the rich and overlooking the poor. James shows them that they need to reset their standards because making distinctions in this way doesn’t reflect God’s nature, and it doesn’t reflect the grace He extends to us: “Did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?” (Jas 2:5).We shouldn’t act with partiality because God didn’t deal with us in that way. We don’t deserve God’s love, yet He, in His perfect holiness, chose to give it to the unpopular, the uncool, the dirty, and the undeserving—which is all of us. James shows us that the proper response to this grace is to love our neighbor: “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well” (Jas 2:8).Brought into a new community of faith based on grace, Christ-followers aren’t meant to live by the judgment-based standards of their old way of being. The members of James’ community had to reset their standards, and that’s a message we still need to hear today.Do you make distinctions? How can you view others through the grace that God has shown to you?Rebecca Van Noord[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Life, Liberty, and Happiness (Jimmy Meek) — SBC Voices

As I observe, and reflect on all the 4th of July posts, it seems the “go to” quote is that our Creator guarantees Americans life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I suppose our constitutional framers may have been trying to guarantee this, but unless we get away from the commonly accepted definitions of these terms, don’t assign this guarantee to God.

Defining “life” as this earthly existence , we see that God does not guarantee that.  In fact in Scripture, and church history, we see many followers of Jesus going to an “Early” death because of their faith. The book of Revelation indicates God sees these “early” deaths from martyrs as a badge of honor.

Liberty, in the earthly sense, is certainly not guaranteed by God. Again Scripture, church history, and current situations in many countries for believers, would say  we may very well lose our liberty for advancing the glorious mission. Ask Chinese believers if God guarantees their earthly freedom.

The pursuit of happiness, in the earthly sense, is also not guaranteed by God.  He knows this sinful, fallen world will bring us heartache after heartache.  Jesus Himself said in this world you WILL have tribulation. Paul told Timothy that ALL those who desire to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. The way that plays out practically is many believers , way more mature than this writer, lose life, liberty , and earthly happiness to make disciples of King Jesus.

The realization that God doesn’t guarantee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on this earth should make us thankful that America has afforded some measure of these things to us, all under God’s providential care. However we must be careful that these comforts don’t find us relaxing with a cruise liner mentality, instead of a missional battleship mindset.  We should also keep focused on the person and work of Christ, who does guarantee His true followers eternal life, freedom and liberty in Christ,  and finally, The Holy Spirit gives us true joy as part of the fruit of the Spirit.  All of these eternal blessings go so far beyond the temporary life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness the framers were going for.

Lord Jesus, thank you for these permanent blessings for those who trust in Your finished work.

via Life, Liberty, and Happiness (Jimmy Meek) — SBC Voices

Beth Moore Heard God Speak — Dare We Question Her?

The Outspoken TULIP

Out of Charismania

Having to skip church this past Sunday was wise, given the oppressive humidity and the breathing issues that John and I both have. But we certainly hated being separated from our church family! Besides missing the Lord’s Supper and a sermon on a passage that I don’t understand as well as I’d like, it was one of those rare Sundays when we’d sing everything from the infamous Green Hymnal.  Those who know me well know that I look forward to Green Hymnal Sundays. All that to say that I really struggled understanding God’s sovereignty in having us stay home.

But staying home gave me extra time, allowing me to listen to an Equipping Eve podcast. I found an old episode entitled What Happens When We See Beth Moore Teach the Bible? Since I’ve been blogging about Beth Moore lately, the topic intrigued me. While I never recommend skipping church unless…

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July 4 Christ: The Precious Cornerstone

“… coming to [Christ] as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 2:4).✧✧✧God’s view of Christ is the only accurate standard by which to measure Christ’s worth.I once read about a conversation in the Louvre Museum in Paris. One of the curators of the museum, a man with great appreciation for art, overheard two men discussing a masterpiece. One man said to the other, “I don’t think much of that painting.” The curator, feeling obliged to reply to the man’s statement, said to him, “Dear sir, if I may interrupt, that painting is not on trial; you are. The quality of that painting has already been established. Your disapproval simply demonstrates the frailty of your measuring capability.”Similarly, Jesus is not on trial before men; men are on trial before Him. He has already been approved by the Father. Those who arrogantly dismiss Him as unworthy of their devotion simply demonstrate their inability to recognize the most precious treasure of all.Peter said, “This is contained in Scripture: ‘Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed.’ This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,’ and, ‘a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense’” (1 Peter 2:6–8). By God’s standards, Jesus is the perfect cornerstone. But the leaders of Israel had faulty standards of measurement. They inspected Him closely but rejected Him because He didn’t fit their concept of a Savior. Sadly, millions of men and women throughout history have followed their lead.As you tell others about Christ, many will evaluate Him by a wrong standard and will reject Him. Others will evaluate Him according to God’s standard and will find Him precious beyond measure. In either case, be a faithful witness, knowing that someday His full value will be proclaimed by all (Phil. 2:10–11).✧✧✧Suggestions for Prayer:  Make a list of Christ’s attributes that are especially meaningful to you. Use each attribute as a focal point of prayer and worship.For Further Study: Read Acts 4:1–13, noting how Peter applied the principles found in 1 Peter 2:4–8 to the Jewish leaders.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 198). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

The Gospel and Daily Humility (Bridges)

The Reformed Reader

 I enjoyed Jerry Bridges’ book, The Blessing of Humility.  It’s a readable discussion of humility based on the Beatitudes.  Chapter ten of this book is called, “The Humility and the Gospel.”  Below are four main points Bridges makes in this chapter.  I’ve summarized them for the sake of space.  The question is this: How does the good news of the gospel help keep us humble every day?

  1. For one thing, it frees us up to be honest with ourselves about our sin.  We can face our sin squarely when we know that it is forgiven.  Even when a particular sin is vile in our eyes – not to mention God’s eyes – we can call it what it is, and thank God for his forgiveness.

  2. The second way the gospel helps us live a life of humility is to show us another person’s sin in light of our own…

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Poll: These 10 things symbolize the worst about America. The political-pundit class won’t like it. | TheBlaze

A new Ipsos/USA Today poll asked Americans to rate a list of items on how they symbolized the best and worst of America. Politicians were ranked most representative of what’s the worst about about the U.S.The survey presented a list of approximately 30 people, concepts, and professions and asked respondents to rate the items on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being what’s worst about America and 7 being what’s best.The top vote-getters for what’s best about the U.S. were nurses (6.0), kindness to strangers (5.6), school teachers (5.5), speaking English (5.5), and Founding Fathers (5.5).The political and pundit class didn’t fare nearly as well. Nearly every name and profession connected to the political sphere came in near the bottom of the list.The 10 things that symbolize the worst about AmericaNo. 1: POLITICIANS (2.7)Niyazz/iStock/Getty Images PlusNo. 2: NANCY PELOSI (3.0)Alex Wong/Getty ImagesNo. 3: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS (3.3)JimVallee/iStock/Getty Images PlusNo. 4: PAUL RYAN (3.4)Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty ImagesNo. 5: DONALD TRUMP (3.4)Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty ImagesNo. 6: KNEELING DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM (3.4)Jonathan Ferrey/Getty ImagesNo. 7: JOE SCARBOROUGH (3.5)Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesNo. 8: RACHEL MADDOW (3.6)Brendan Hoffman/Getty ImagesNo. 9: BANKERS (3.7)noipornpan/iStock/Getty Images PlusNo. 10: TUCKER CARLSON (3.8)Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
— Read on www.theblaze.com/news/2018/07/04/poll-these-10-things-symbolize-the-worst-about-america-the-political-pundit-class-wont-like-it

Facts are stubborn things and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictums of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. —John Adams

Facts are stubborn things and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictums of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. —John Adams

JULY 4 ONLY GOD IS FREE

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.Galatians 5:1 To any human who bothers to think a bit, it should be evident that there is in our society no such thing as absolute freedom—for only God is free!It is inherent in creaturehood that its freedom must be limited by the will of the Creator and the nature of the thing created. Freedom is liberty within bounds, liberty to obey holy laws, liberty to keep the commandments of Christ, to serve mankind, to develop to the full all the latent possibilities within our redeemed natures. True Christian liberty never sets us free to indulge our lusts or to follow our fallen impulses.On earth, a healthy society requires that its members accept a limited freedom. Each must curtail his own liberty that all may be free, and this law runs throughout all of the created universe, including the kingdom of God.The glory of heaven itself lies in the character of the freedom enjoyed by those who dwell therein! Lord, today I pray for the members of the churches in my community. Empower them (and myself) to curb their “fallen impulses” and to be a bright beacon in the midst of a dark society.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The post July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence appeared first on RedState.

Source: July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence

America’s Unchristian Beginnings?

by Greg Koukl

Greg responds to an L.A. Times Op-Ed article by this title (sans question mark), subtitled “Founding Fathers: Despite preachings of our pious Right, most were deists who rejected the divinity of Jesus.”

There has been a lot of confusion on the issue of whether or not we’ re a Christian nation, and I’m not exactly sure why. But it is hotly debated in our culture right now. The reason I say I’m not sure why is because the historical record is quite clear. I think that Christians, though, often make inappropriate, unfounded, or inaccurate applications of some of the information, and I want to speak to that in just a moment.

As to the faith content of those who were our Founding Fathers, there can be absolutely no confusion about the fact that virtually every single one of them shared a Christian, biblical world view. There is some question as to whether every single one of them held to all the orthodox teachings of classical Christianity; but it seems to me that there is very little question as to what their religious persuasions and world views were.

There was a piece in the L.A. Times on the third of this August on the Op-Ed page entitled “America’s Unchristian Beginnings.” It is subtitled “Founding Fathers: Despite preachings of our pious Right, most were deists who rejected the divinity of Jesus.” There are a couple things that trouble me about this article, the biggest thing is the word “most” in the subtitle. “Most of our Founding Fathers” apparently were deists, according to this person’s assessment. This is a canard that’s been tossed around even by some Christians who ought to know better. This piece was written by Steven Morris who is a professor of physics at L.A. Harbor College and he is also a member of the L.A.-based Atheists United.

Some might say, what does a physicist know about history? Just because he is a physicist doesn’t mean that he can’t have an accurate opinion about this particular issue. I take issue with his research. It’ s simply bad.

He goes on to reply to the Christian Right, who he says is trying to rewrite the history of the United States in its campaign to force its view of religion on others. His approach is to quote seven different people: Thomas Paine, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Ethan Allen, James Madison, and Ben Franklin. His point is to quote these individuals who he thinks apparently are, first of all, Founding Fathers, and secondly, characteristic of the lot of them in rejection of Christianity and in acceptance of deism.

I am frustrated by this because it is characteristic of the way a lot of people want to treat this issue. They think that they can take names that we associate with that period and are well known, sift through their writings and find some things that they think are hostile to Christianity, and therefore conclude that not only these people are anti-Christian, but all of the rest of them are anti-Christian, as well.

It’s an example of Steven Morris turning the exception into the rule. Since he can find what he thinks are seven different people that are important personalities during this period of time, who at some time in their lives may have written something that can be understood to be non-Christian, then that characterizes the whole group of them as deists, ergo the subtitle “Most were deists who rejected the divinity of Jesus.”

Morris’ sightings are simply specious. Thomas Payne and Ethan Allen, for example, were in no- wise intellectual architects of the Constitution. Rather, they were firebrands of the Revolution. Was that important? Sure, they made an important contribution, but they weren’t Founding Fathers. Period.

Now, as for Washington, Sam Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. If one looks at the literature of the time–the personal correspondence, the public statements, the biographies–he will find that this literature is replete with quotations by these people contrary to those that Mr. Morris very carefully selected for us. Apparently, he also very carefully ignored other important thinkers: John Witherspoon, for example, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, John Adams, Patrick Henry. All individuals who were significant contributors to the architectural framework of this country and who had political philosophies that were deeply influenced by Christianity, especially Calvinism.

But there is another thing that he completely overlooks in this analysis. Something that makes a mockery out of his analysis, and also answers the question quite simply and directly and in the affirmative for us about the Christian beginnings of our Republic…

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Stand to Reason | America’s Unchristian Beginnings?

Source: America’s Unchristian Beginnings?

Bill Bonner Asks “Would The Founding Fathers Recognize Modern America?”

Authored by Bill Bonner via Bonner & Partners,

The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly is one of the most remarkable things in nature. The animal apparently digests itself, using enzymes triggered by hormones. Then, from the pupa, a whole new animal develops – one with wings.

Time and growth produce changes in institutions, too. Sometimes, they merely get bigger and older. Sometimes, they go through a metamorphosis and change into something very different.

We recently moved back to France for the summer. We lived here for nearly 20 years… and still have a house in the country, to which we retire every summer.

Here, we find our old friends and acquaintances… our old clothes and shoes… our tools and workshop… our tractor… and our favorite office.

And what a pleasure… there, on the table next to the bed, was a copy of Michel De Jaeghere’s great book, Les Derniers Jours: La Fin de l’Empire Romain d’Occident (The Last Days: The End of the Roman Empire in the West).

We picked it up and found where we left off a year ago… page 321.

Roman Example

Many of the founders of the American Republic were readers and scholars. “I can’t live without books,” said Jefferson.

He, Monroe, Madison, Adams, and others were much more aware of Roman history than our leaders today. Most had studied Latin and/or Greek.

They had read Plutarch, Seneca, Sallust, Suetonius, and Cicero.

Much was known about the Roman era… and much was discussed. People believed they could learn from it and do better.

In the same year that the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his masterpiece, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

The Founding Fathers were well aware of the transition – natural, and perhaps inevitable – from republic to empire. They had studied it in the Roman example. They had seen how it drew power into a few hands… and corrupted them.

They tried to prevent it from happening in the New World, putting in place limits… circuit breakers… and checks and balances… to keep the government from becoming too big, too ambitious, or too powerful.

Even then, they were doubtful that it would stick. “We give you a republic…” Franklin wrote to posterity, “if you can keep it.”

America did keep it… for nearly 100 years. Maybe a few more. Then, the metamorphosis occurred. And, like Rome, it was not very pretty.

Metamorphic Change

When a man has a wife, he has a more or less agreeable situation, depending on the circumstances. But if he has two wives, he doesn’t simply have twice as much wife. Or twice as much marriage. Or twice as much satisfaction. Or twice as much misery, such as the case may be. It is something altogether different.

Likewise, going to a small airport is very different from going to a large one. And a small, modest country has little in common with a big, aggressive, worldwide empire.

The point we have been making in our Diary is that time and scale have changed the nature, not just the age and the size, of the United States of America. It has become something the Founding Fathers had tried to avoid… and almost certainly wouldn’t like.

It was a metamorphic change, not just more of the same thing. But unlike Jesus, who turned water into wine… or nature, which turns an ugly caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly… the change from modest republic to aggressive empire was not necessarily for the better.

The Constitution was twisted into a new shape; like when an alcoholic chaperones a school party after he has had a few drinks, the kids can get away with anything.

The Bill of Rights, too, was run through the wringer. Citizens still have the right to life, liberty, and property – but only to the extent that the feds allow.

They can keep their firearms, for example, but under the Obama Doctrine, the feds can label them terrorists… and kill American citizens.

They still have the right to express themselves under the protection of the First Amendment, unless their opinions are considered “hate speech,” or the feds – or their agents at Facebook and Google – just don’t like what they say.

Your property is still safe, too; but under the doctrine of civil forfeiture, the police can take your money, your cars, and your house… with no due process of law.

Thus, were Americans mugged, mangled, and manacled. And then, the feds hit them in the face with a shovel.

Beginning in 2008, they distributed nearly $4 trillion to America’s wealthy stock- and bond-owners. Trillions more were taken from savers (most of us) by reducing interest rates… and given to big borrowers (corporations, Wall Street, and the feds themselves).

Is it any wonder that ordinary Americans are feeling a little testy?

Almost everything seems to be subject to the law of declining marginal utility. Power is no exception. And like desserts, wives, and shots of whiskey, it doesn’t take too long before the returns to additional power diminish so much that they are no longer positive.

They fall below the zero line. There, another drink is not merely useless, it could be fatal… and more power turns you into a Hell-bound bully.

Evolution of Power

That is the insight we’ve struggled to bring to light. As America evolved into an aging empire, it left behind it the laws, rules, customs, and instincts of its youth, much like Rome did after the death of Crassus in 53 BC.

The U.S. empire is now more than 100 years old. It began in the late 1890s, with the annexation of the Philippines. (Some people put the start date much earlier… when the North brought the South into imperial submission.)

Empires are very different from republics. They are no longer by, for, and of the people. They’re too big… too complex… with too many fingers in too many pies for the people or their elected representatives to keep up with.

So power migrates to the center. There, where the CIA, NSA, Pentagon, NIH, FBI, IRS, and dozens of other agencies… along with the corporate headquarters of hundreds of big industries… and thousands of pressure groups, lobbyists, factotums, hacks, think tanks, NGOs, powerful families, and apparatchiks reside, is where the real power flows.

There, too, in Rome as in Washington, the power congeals.

De Jaeghere… along with hundreds of other historians, ancient and modern… brings the process to light.

After reading them, reading the news today is almost like watching an old movie. We’ve seen it before, but we may still laugh… or shed a tear.

Source: Bill Bonner Asks “Would The Founding Fathers Recognize Modern America?”

The Founding Fathers on Jesus, Christianity and the Bible

(This list is by no means exhaustive; many other Founders could be included, and even with those who appear below, additional quotes could have been used.)

John Adams

SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; JUDGE; DIPLOMAT; ONE OF TWO SIGNERS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS; SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.1

Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company: I mean hell.2

The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.3

Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Eutopia – what a Paradise would this region be!4

I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.5

John Quincy Adams

SIXTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES; DIPLOMAT; SECRETARY OF STATE; U. S. SENATOR; U. S. REPRESENTATIVE; “OLD MAN ELOQUENT”; “HELL-HOUND OF ABOLITION”

My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ and I cannot cavil or quibble away [evade or object to]. . . . the whole tenor of His conduct by which He sometimes positively asserted and at others countenances [permits] His disciples in asserting that He was God.6

The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the Divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made “bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” [Isaiah 52:10].7

In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.8

Samuel Adams

SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; “FATHER OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION”; RATIFIER OF THE U. S. CONSTITUTION; GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS

I . . . [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.9

The name of the Lord (says the Scripture) is a strong tower; thither the righteous flee and are safe [Proverbs 18:10]. Let us secure His favor and He will lead us through the journey of this life and at length receive us to a better.10

I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world . . . that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace…

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WallBuilders – The Founding Fathers on Jesus, Christianity and the Bible

Source: The Founding Fathers on Jesus, Christianity and the Bible

Wake Up America Again This Fourth of July With The Gospel of Jesus Christ — The Ignorant Fishermen Blog

This Fourth of July, as we seek to “Make America Great Again” with precious little time left on the play clock, we need to “Wake Up America Again” to the ETERNAL saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; for that is the calling from on High to every blood brought believer in this hour (2 Cor. 5:17-21). We are to be believers in Jesus Christ first and Americans second and when this Divine order is kept rightly America will prosper as NEVER before! I personally believe that our nation was not spared in 2016 to “Make America Great Again” by national sovereignty, economic growth and prosperity; but for Almighty God’s people to diligently and prayerfully get out Almighty God’s saving message to all of Adam’s race (John 3:16-17, Rom. 5:11-21).

I personally believe that our nation was not spared in 2016 to “Make America Great Again” by national sovereignty, economic growth and prosperity; but for God’s people to diligently and prayerfully get out Almighty God’s saving message to all of Adam’s race!

We as believers need to redeem the time given to us from Heaven as never before as that Day approaches (Eph. 5:15-16)! It was the prayers of this nation’s saints to Almighty God that has spared this nation in November (Dan. 4:17) and it should be the desire of all these praying saints that a GREAT spiritual revival and turning to Almighty God in Spirit and TRUTH occur before the Day of the Lord arrives! We as American believers need to pray for Almighty God’s will in this hour for our nation and not for our nation’s desires for a  prosperity that seeks to exclude the RIGHTEOUSNESS of Almighty God! May we as believers in Jesus Christ be focused on our Heavenly calling first and for Almighty God’s will first in our lives and then the rest for America will fall into place.The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!via Wake Up America Again This Fourth of July With The Gospel of Jesus Christ — The Ignorant Fishermen Blog

July 4, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Nature of God

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (1:17)Finally, James declares that God is not responsible for our temptations to sin because, as he has already made clear (v. 13), His own nature is incompatible with the nature of sin. Because God is wholly righteous and just, by definition He can have no part in sin, in any way or to any degree.What comes from God is not sin, but only every good thing given and every perfect gift. The perfect, flawless, holy goodness of God results in His doing and giving only what reflects His perfect holiness and truth. His works reflect His character. Negatively, James is saying that, from temptation to execution, God has absolutely no responsibility for sin. Positively, he is saying that God has complete responsibility for every good thing, and that every perfect gift that exists has come down from above.The Father of lights was an ancient Jewish title for God, referring to Him as Creator, as the great Giver of light, in the form of the sun, moon, and stars (cf. Gen. 1:14–19). Unlike those sources of light, which, magnificent as they are, can nevertheless vary and will eventually fade, God’s character, power, wisdom, and love have no variation or shifting shadow. Through Malachi the Lord declares, “I, the Lord, do not change” (Mal. 3:6); through John, we are told that “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5); and through the writer of Hebrews we are assured that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Heb. 13:8). The celestial bodies God created have various phases of movement and rotation, changing from hour to hour and varying in intensity and shadow. God, however, is changeless.Our Lord promises:Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! (Matt. 7:7–11)Even more than those things—infinitely more than those things—He promises that our heavenly Father will give us His own Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13).The implication of this passage is this: When we, as God’s children, are so abundantly and continually showered with the most gracious, valuable, and satisfying blessings our heavenly Father can bestow, why should anything evil have the slightest attraction to us?[1]


17 The contrast between the insidious nature of evil desire and the picture James now paints of God’s nature could not be more stark. As in 1:5, James portrays God as a generous giver—a giver of “every good and perfect gift” (NIV). The author crafts the sentence in Greek poetically (pasa dosis agathē … pan dōrēma teleion), and the NASB maintains the balance of the wording better than the NIV with “every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift.” Commentators point out that James may have adapted a common proverb, something along the lines of “every gift is good and every present perfect,” roughly equivalent in meaning to “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” (Davids, 86). Whether the wording is his own or not, James’s confession is clear: God’s gifts are good, not evil. Whereas temptation—an evil force that leads to sin and death—has its source in human lust, good gifts have God as their source.These good and perfect gifts “come down from the Father of lights.” James has in mind here the heavenly bodies—sun, moon, and stars—and they are seen as part of God’s good creation (Ge 1:14–18). Further, he tells us that, unlike these heavenly bodies he has created, God’s character does not involve “variation or shifting shadow” (NASB). These words are used only here in the NT, but in the literature of the period they could be used in astrological discussions. The first word means “change,” or, as the NASB presents it, “variation.” The second was used as a technical term in astronomy for the movement, or change of position, of the heavenly bodies and can be translated “turning.” So the “shadow” is caused by the movement, or turning, of the heavenly lights. In both Greek and Jewish literature the heavenly bodies represent the always changing nature of existence. Yet God’s nature is different. He does not shift and move with reference to issues of good or evil; rather, he is immovable in that sense (Dibelius, 102; Johnson 196–97).[2]


God is the only source of goodness (v. 17)Look at what James has to say: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights …’ He seems to be calling his readers to conduct something of an inventory. It is as if he were saying, ‘Look around you. What do you call “good”? Make no mistake about it. If you call anything “good”, it comes from God.’The same truth applies to us. What do we call ‘good’? Good health? Family? Firm and unfailing friendship? Freedom? The smile of a child? The singing of the birds? The thunderous crash of the waves? The majesty of the mountains? The warmth of a fire in the winter and the cool of the breeze in the summer? These all come from God—and thousands of other things, too!If it is good, it comes from God! That is James’s assertion! And if it comes from God, there is no good that comes from any source other than God!It was this realization that led Asaph to say to the Lord, ‘Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You’ (Ps. 73:25).God is the unchanging source of goodness (v. 17)James adds a glorious dimension to our understanding of God’s goodness by saying that there is ‘no variation or shadow of turning’ with ‘the Father of lights’.James is stressing for us the constancy, or faithfulness, of God. In calling God ‘the Father of lights’, he is taking to the realm of astronomy. This is a realm of constant variation. Stars vary in brilliance. The moon waxes and wanes. The sun rises and sets. It creates all kinds of shadows and sometimes is eclipsed.But that which is so commonplace in the realm of astronomy is never true of God. With him there is never any waxing or waning or any kind of eclipse. He is always the same. And that means he is always good.God does not have days when he has more goodness than on other days. His goodness is always undiminished and unchanged. Kent Hughes says, ‘God does not change like shifting shadows. God’s goodness is always at high noon.’ The devil will tell you otherwise. He will tell you that God has less favour towards you today than he had for you yesterday. And it is your fault!But listen to James: God is good. He always has been and he always will be. He cannot be anything other than good. And this means that God is being good to us even when our circumstances seem to be shrieking that he is not good.[3]


1:17 / In contrast to a view of God as sending a test stands the view that God gives good things: Every good and perfect gift is from above. The phrase itself is poetic and may be a quotation from some well-known proverb altered by James to stress from above. To say God gives such good things, of course, is to deny that he gives evil things, for the two are incompatible.Yet James may intend a deeper truth than “God is good.” He has already stated that God is a gracious giver with respect to all who ask (1:5). The chief good being asked in that context is wisdom, which in 3:15 will again be referred to, this time using the same term that occurs here (from above). Thus the best gift of all, referred to repeatedly in James, is wisdom, which helps one in the test. Therefore the deeper message is: God does not send the test; he gives the good gift of wisdom that enables us to stand in the test. He gives the antidote, not the poison.Furthermore, the character of God is not subject to change. He is the Father of the heavenly lights. The reference is to creation, and it (and the one to the new creation in the next verse) indicates the extent of God’s goodness. The lights of Genesis 1:18, that is, the sun and moon, were placed there for humanity’s good. But this fact in turn suggests a contrast. The sun and moon were notorious for change like shifting shadows (not the best translation, for while James’ language it obscure it is an astronomical phrase referring to the lack of constancy in the heavenly “lights”), but God, by way of contrast, has no eclipse, no rising and setting, no phases, no obscurity due to clouds. His character is absolutely constant, trustworthy, and dependable.[4]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (pp. 54–55). Chicago: Moody Press.[2] Guthrie, G. H. (2006). James. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, pp. 223–224). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.[3] Ellsworth, R. (2009). Opening up James (pp. 48–50). Leominster: Day One Publications.[4] Davids, P. H. (2011). James (pp. 37–38). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

07/04/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0704

•Witness Wednesday
•Lucky the kilt-wearing wiccan
•Brittany the Seventh-Day Adventist wants to be a radio personality
•Ali the gay Shiite Muslim gets very angry over Ray’s intolerance
•Ali’s family isn’t so tolerant of Trish
•Zack the agnostic Mormon

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via 07/04/2018 — Wretched

Which Comes First: Repentance or Faith? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

In this brief clip from his teaching series The Whole Christ, Sinclair Ferguson addresses the relationship between repentance and faith.

Transcript

Now, how do you put together all these statements? Is there a contradiction here? No, there is no contradiction here. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the figure of speech known as hendiadys. Not sure that they teach it in schools any longer or perhaps ever taught it in English speaking schools. It’s Greek for “one through two.” That is, when you — when you say one thing, but you use two expressions to convey the whole. And the language of repentance and faith in the New Testament is essentially an hendiadys. That, the same reality of coming to Christ is being viewed from two different perspectives. One, in relationship to the sinful life, the other in relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. So that sometimes, one of the terms will stand for both terms. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll be saved,” means as you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ you will turn away from sin. You cannot go to Jesus Christ without leaving where you have been, or repent in response to the gospel. What does it mean to repent in response to the gospel? Well, he’s talking about that coming to Jesus Christ in faith, but from the perspective of, “Therefore leaving behind the old lifestyle in which you once lived,” or “Repent and believe the gospel.” Exactly the same thing.

In other words, repentance and faith are not joined together like two links in a chain so that we’re left asking the question, “Well, is the first link repentance and then faith, or is the first link faith and then repentance?” No, repentance and faith are not abstract phenomena that exist out there. They are simply ways of describing what happens when we are united to Jesus Christ and trust Him.

via Which Comes First: Repentance or Faith? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

July 4 Discerning False Prophets: The Test of Creed

A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.—Matt. 7:18Careful examination of a false prophet’s teachings will always reveal unscriptural ideas and an absence of a solid, coherent theology. Often he will teach a combination of truth and error. But sooner rather than later his teachings will prove the sort of teacher he really is. As Jesus said to the Pharisees, “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil” (Matt. 12:34–35).The creed of the false prophet cannot withstand any careful scrutiny by the pure light of the Word. The prophet Isaiah confirms this: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn” (Isa. 8:20).False shepherds talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical view of the saving gospel.

ASK YOURSELF

What makes us susceptible to the appealing messages of the false teachers? What are people looking for when they begin embracing error? How can we guard against this ourselves?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 194). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

Britains Most Censored (Non-Military) Stories Exposed | Zero Hedge

“…the UK has the most legally protected and least accountable intelligence agencies in the western world so even in just that field competition is fierce, let alone all the other cover-ups.”

Via TruePublica.org,In this article, we have attempted to identify the most censored stories of modern times in Britain. We have asked the opinions of one of the most famous and celebrated journalists and documentary film-makers of our time, a high-profile former Mi5 intelligence officer, an investigative journalist with one of the most well-known climate-change organisations, a veteran journalist of the Iraq war, an ex-army officer, along with the head of one of the worlds largest charities working against injustice.One comment from our eclectic group of experts said; “the UK has the most legally protected and least accountable intelligence agencies in the western world so even in just that field competition is fierce, let alone all the other cover-ups.”So true have we found this statement to be that we’ve had to split this article into two categories – military and non-military, with a view that we may well categorise surveillance and privacy on its own another time.Without further ado – here are the most non-military censored stories in Britain since the 1980s, in no particular order. Do bear in mind that for those with inquisitive minds, some of these stories you will have read something about somewhere – but to the majority of citizens, these stories will read like conspiracy theories.
— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-04/britains-most-censored-non-military-stories-exposed