Tag Archives: United States Constitution

Reclaiming the Rainbow

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth. (Genesis 9:16-17)

When you see the colors of the rainbow displayed on clothing, placards, flags, or emblazoned at night on lighted buildings, what comes to mind? Is the first image produced in the mind’s eye the tableau of Noah kneeling before a stone altar with a flaming holocaust? Can you picture the Ark in the background teetering on an escarpment with thousands of animals exiting in different directions? Do you envision a clouded sky with the arc of a perfectly formed rainbow in the brilliantly arrayed in the heavens? Sadly, that is probably not the first thought to enter your mind.

The LGBTQ group, composed of probably less than 2% of the population, has hijacked the colors of the rainbow[1] as a symbol of their perversion. They take great pride in their perversion and demand that not only all should accept their deviance, but that all should give unrestricted support and approval of their abomination (Romans 1:32). In an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in June 2015 that homosexual “unions” were legal “marriages” under the Constitution of the United States. Then, in a blatant show of approval, the foolish President of the United States, Barrack Hussain Obama, bathed the White House with lights in the colors of the rainbow.

“Enough is enough!” many Christians protest. God first displayed these colors to remind us of His judgment on such perversion as demonstrated by these deviants, to recall His mercy in saving some to replenish the earth, and to promise not to destroy the earth again by water. (The next time will be by fire – 2 Peter 3:12.)  In a defiant effort to reclaim the rainbow for God, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Ark Encounter followed Barrack Obama’s example and bathed the massive Christian attraction in the colors of the rainbow.[2] Take that, perverts!

While I applaud Ken Ham’s gumption and bravado in defending the Word of God, I am not so sure about his method. For sure, the rainbow does belong to God, and the message of the rainbow rightly belongs to God – no question. However, the colors of the rainbow have been so distorted by the LGBTQ bunch that the perversion overshadows God’s message of redemption. Granted, Christians, by all means, should immediately associate Noah’s Ark bathed in rainbow colors with the message of the Bible. However, given the heavy re-messaging and marketing by the LGBTQ movement, the Bible message is probably not the first one that enters the mind when structures are lighted up with the rainbow. For all the good intentions, Ken Ham’s message is a mixed and confusing one. The Christian might be confused at first and then upon further consideration correctly assess the message. However, the non-Christian will assume automatically and wrongly the approval of the LGBTQ lifestyle. If they have the initiative to investigate further, they will learn otherwise, but not at first sight.

Jesus admonished, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).  On more than one occasion, the LGBTQ people have proven themselves ravenous wolves seeking to devour “the sheep of His pasture” (Psalm 100:3). Therefore, Ken Ham’s blatant assault may be misconstrued as a provocation rather than a proclamation of truth. The wisdom of a serpent would be more subtle. Ken Ham could convey the same message more directly and more accurately by constructing a large illuminated arch behind and above the Ark and light that up in the colors of the rainbow.  The dove Noah sent out from the Ark returned to him with an olive leaf in its beak (Genesis 8:11) – the symbol of peace. Bathing the Ark in rainbow colors, as President Obama did the White House, is neither wise, nor harmless, and it is certainly not a symbol of peace.

The rainbow belongs to God. He will reclaim it in due time. Suffice that His children recognize its significance and declare its message in a manner “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

Notes:


[1]  “The Rainbow” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2015/07/05/the-rainbow/

[2]  “Ministry Takes Back ‘God’s Rainbow,’ Despite LGBT Threats” – http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/american-dispatch/66369-ministry-takes-back-god-s-rainbow-despite-lgbt-threats, accessed 07/21/2017.

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Liberty

And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. (Leviticus 25:10)

Liberty. Dictionary.com defines “liberty” as freedom from arbitrary or despotic government control, external or foreign rule, or from control, interference, obligation, restriction or hampering conditions. It is the power of right doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

The Webster’s Dictionary 1828 – Online Edition – published nearer the time of our nation’s founding – defines it more precisely, and its definition includes our leading verse. The 1828 Webster’s says that “liberty” is freedom from restraint and applicable to the body, or to the will, or mind. It is the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It goes on to say that this liberty is abridged by the establishment of government. This governmental abridgment is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. However, a restraint of natural liberty not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression. “Civil liberty” is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another. Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty. The liberty of one depends not so much on the removal of all restraint from him, as on the due restraint upon the liberty of others. “Religious liberty” is the free right of adopting and enjoying opinions on religious subjects, and of worshiping the Supreme Being according to the dictates of conscience, without external control. More follows, but for now this will suffice.

It is worth noting that the modern definition makes no mention of “natural law” or the “laws of nature.” Nor does it mention the “Supreme Being” and the “free right” to religious liberty. It is easy to see why using the modern definition to interpret our founding documents dampens the meaning to words like freedom, liberty and the laws of nature and nature’s God.

In the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, the Founders appealed to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” They affirmed that “these truths” are “self-evident that all Men are created equal … they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

From where did such a notion arise? Arguably, such ideas were adopted from enlightened philosophers of the time, who borrowed from the ancient Greek philosophers. However, it goes beyond that. These laws ultimately come from “Nature’s God.” The “Creator” created “all men” equal, and He “endowed” them with inherent rights that cannot be taken away – they are “unalienable.”[1]

God does as He pleases. “For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 12:25, emphasis mine). God is Creator. “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18, emphasis mine). God created man in His image (Genesis 1:27). God first gave man the “breath of life (Genesis 2:7), and “endowed” him with the attribute of autonomy that He Himself possesses. Hence, “liberty,” i.e., “freedom,” is a God-like attribute inherent to man that cannot be taken away. Therefore, those who would deprive another of “Life” (even unborn life) violate the “Law of Nature” and are called murderers, and likewise, those that would deprive another of “Liberty” (autonomy) violate the “Law of Nature’s God,” and are called tyrants.

The pursuit of happiness is a gift that comes from God. “For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee” (Psalm 128:2, emphasis mine). From the beginning, work has been both a curse and a blessing. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:19, emphasis mine). The Preacher says, “I know that there is no good in [the sons of men], but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13, emphasis mine). Because man bears the image of the Creator, he too creates, from his mind through his hands, that which brings him joy and happiness. “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17, emphasis mine). Indeed, God views in dishonor those who will not work; the Bible calls such “sluggards.” “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat” (Proverbs 13:4, emphasis mine). “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing” (Proverbs 20:4, emphasis mine). Paul reminded the Thessalonians, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10, emphasis mine).

Work is the means by which we “pursue happiness,” and by which we obtain private property. It is a gift of God. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, are the Laws of Nature that are derived from Nature’s God. They belong to all men[2] equally. The fact that ancient and modern philosophers tout these “laws” (as if conceived by their own intellect), is that they, whether they give assent to God or not, carry within themselves the image of God. We can thank God that these noble and lofty ideals found sanctuary in the founding documents of our nation. Liberty comes from God alone. “… happy is that people, whose God is the LORD (Psalm 144:15), and “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Notes:


[1]  This is why the Muslim religion that adheres to Sharia Law is incompatible with American Law, i.e., the Constitution of the United States of America.

[2]  By “men,” I mean mankind or humankind, male and female. I reject the political correctness that has invaded the English language whereby we must overly complicate the language by such as, he/she, his/hers, men/women, etc.

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Justice For All

12172967 - justice (greek:themis,latin:justitia) blindfolded with scales, sword and money on one scale. corruption and bribing concept

And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. (Isaiah 59:14)

The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of allegiance to the Flag and the Republic of the United States of America. Colonel George Balch originally composed it in 1887, and Francis Bellamy later revised it in 1892.  Congress formally adopted the Pledge in 1942, and the official name of “The Pledge of Allegiance” was adopted in 1945. The last change in language came on Flag Day, 1954 when the words “under God” were added.[1]

The closing phrase of “The Pledge of Allegiance” asserts that this republic, “under God,” offers “liberty and justice for all.” This week, following the celebration of the 240th anniversary of the birth of our nation, that assertion proved false when FBI Director, James Comey, succinctly detailed the numerous security violations incurred by former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, when she carelessly handed classified electronic documents. The recitation of infractions enumerated by the FBI director exposed the litany of lies voiced by the Democrat Presidential Candidate.

In her position as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, Clinton repeatedly and flagrantly violated the “Espionage Act” (18 U.S. Code § 793 (f)),[2] and then lied about having done so. She said her emails resided on a single server; there were four. She said she communicated on only one handheld device; there were several. She said she did not send or receive any communications “marked” classified. That was untrue, but even if not marked classified, in her position as Secretary of State, she should have recognized sensitive material when she saw it, so she has no excuse. She claims to have surrendered all emails to the FBI. That was false, and furthermore, Director Comey revealed that Clinton’s lawyers deleted large quantities of emails and then “scrubbed” their devices to render them insusceptible to forensic investigation.

With the mountains of evidence clearly stacked against her, FBI Director, James Comey declared that no “reasonable” prosecutor should find cause to bring charges against Hillary Clinton based on the premise that the evidence did not support “malicious intent.” The problem with Comey’s assessment is that the statute says nothing about “intent.” The fact is that Clinton dealt with highly sensitive material involving national security for which she was responsible, and she carelessly handled that material. The statute in question reads as follows:

Whoever [including the Secretary of State and even the President], being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. (Emphasis mine.)

Mrs. Clinton, in her position as Secretary of State, had “lawful possession or control” of many sensitive documents relating to the “national defense.” Through “gross negligence,” she permitted those documents “to be removed from [their] proper place of custody,” i.e. secured government servers, “in violation of [her] trust.” Then attempted to obscure and obfuscate the fact, first of all, by storing them on a personal servers rather than on secure government servers, and secondly, by deleting (destroying) them from those servers. One should note that nothing in the statute addresses “intent.” In short, if a person is a lawful custodian of sensitive information related to national defense, that person is responsible and accountable for the security of that information.

Many in government have been severely punished for lesser offenses. When questioned by the Congressional investigative committee, Comey was asked if one of his FBI agents were to be charged with such offenses, what would happen to that agent. Comely admitted that such a violator would have his/her security clearance revoked and suffer such punishment as required by law. Yet, no “reasonable prosecutor” should bring any charges against Hillary Clinton.

With that FBI “recommendation,” Attorney General, Loretta Lynch exonerated Mrs. Clinton clearing the path for her presidency. Heaven help us!

In the classic novel, Animal Farm by George Orwell, one of the closing lines says, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Iustitia, the Roman goddess of justice (Lady Justice), is portrayed with a balance scale in one hand, a sword in the other, and a blindfold over her eyes. The image speaks of equality under the law. With her eyes covered, Lady Justice sees no race. She sees no rich or poor. She sees no ruler or subject. Her judgment is weighed on the scale of the law, and the guilty succumb to her sword regardless of status or stature. That is as it should be. That is as it once was in America, but it now seems that the law applies only to the masses and excuses some of a new elite class of rulers. These animals are more equal than others. Anarchy now rules in our land.

Before his death, King David said, “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” ( 2 Samuel 23:1-3, emphasis mine).

Notes:


[1]  Wikipedia, “Pledge of Allegiance,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance/.

[2]  See https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793/

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O Beautiful!

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hosea 4:6)

O beautiful! For spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

Our land truly is beautiful. Arguably, no fairer land exists in all the earth. From the Smokey Mountains in the east, to the rolling plains of the Mid-west, to the Grand Tetons and the Rocky Mountains, to the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert, to the sunny West Coast and the Pacific, our landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful. Our land is rich and productive, feeding not only our people, but much of the world. God has blessed our land tremendously.

America! America!

[May] God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

God has shed His grace on our nation. Beginning with the first settlers of Jamestown to the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock, who set pen to paper and wrote: “Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith…”, to the founding fathers who declared, “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 the framers who gave us “a more perfect union,” God shed His grace on our nation.

O beautiful! For Pilgrim feet

Whose stern impassioned stress

A thoroughfare of freedom beat

Across the wilderness!

In less than a century, our borders stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, and the industriousness of the American people created the wealthiest nation on earth – but not without cost.

O beautiful! For heroes proved

In liberating strife.

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life.

About eighteen months before the end of the Civil War, November 19, 1863, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln addressed the crowd gathered for the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery with these words: “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” The test of the conflict would prove, “whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.”

On this, the 240th celebration of America’s birth, the question looms more crucial than at any time in the history of America the beautiful. A land dedicated to “the glory of God and the advancements of the Christian faith,” to the equality of man, and to liberty derived from “nature’s God” now rejects God, advances all but the Christian faith, creates class warfare, and dispenses “liberty” as determined by an elite class of “elected” rulers. “Nature” is now god, and the unnatural is elevated above the natural. We have exchanged “beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3), and liberty for tyranny. We call what is evil good and what is good evil. We protect those who commit evil acts in the name of Allah, and demonize those who speak truth in the name of Christ. How long can America the Beautiful endure having abandoned the principles on which it was founded?

tree-trunk-with-damage_medI used to have a huge ash tree in my backyard that looked beautiful on the outside. It extended heavy, foliage-laden boughs reaching for the sun from a massive, well-rooted trunk. The tree appeared as if it would stand forever. Then one day, a big windstorm blew in and broke off one of the heavy main branches. As the limb fell, it that split the tree all the way to the base, and it took half of the trunk with it. Upon a closer inspection, I discovered that the tree was rotten on the inside. It looked great on the outside, but on the inside, it was really sick. So, when the big storm blew it, it could not stand up to the tempest. That is how I picture America today.

America! America!

[May] God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

Thy liberty in law!

America! America!

May God thy gold refine

Till all success is nobleness

And every gain divine!

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. (Psalm 33:12)

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No Choice!

Bad Choices

Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: (Daniel 2:20-21)

The Republican National Convention looms ahead within a few short weeks, and it appears that Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP candidate for President of the United States. The prospect is disheartening to many Christians including me, but unlike me, many Christians are resolved to “suck it up” and vote for Trump as the “lesser of two evils.” I don’t know about you, but I am tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. I voted for the lesser of two evils in 2008 when I voted for John McCain. I voted for the lesser of two evils when I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. What did that get us? It got us eight years of Barrack Obama! To me, Donald Trump measures up so far below either McCain or Romney that it’s like drinking the dregs of cold, stale coffee.

I have stated openly that I will not vote for that man. Unless he assumes some real principles greater than his own ambitions, I cannot with clear conscience bring myself to cast my ballot for Trump. I will vote, but I will either vote for a reasonable third or fourth party candidate or write in my choice, which at the moment happens to be Ted Cruz – the only principled, constitutional conservative that ran in the primaries. Ted Cruz also holds solid Christian values, and lives by them.

Many of my friends criticize me for making that statement saying, “That will just guarantee Hillary will be the next President” (provided she doesn’t end up in prison). Is that true?

As Christians we should make our decisions based on biblical principles. Does the Bible give us any guidance? The verse above says that God removes and sets up kings, i.e. rulers. Arguably, presidents of the United States, are not “rulers” per se – at least not constitutionally – but now that is highly suspect considering how President Obama has performed in his administration. Whether kings, rulers, or presidents, the principle holds true: God sets up and takes down rulers.

At the installation of Solomon, King David blessed the Lord saying, “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12, emphasis mine). Clearly, David recognized God’s sovereignty over all earthly matters. The Apostle Paul applies this concept as to how we should relate to those in power over us. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1, emphasis mine). In Paul’s day, Rome resembled a republic somewhat like ours, except that citizens did not elect their leaders. The Senate was composed of the aristocracy, who obtained their position though inheritance, appointment or through bribe. The point is that citizens had no say in their government. Under these circumstances, Paul exhorts Christians to submit to their leaders because “the powers that be are ordained of God.” The Greek word translated “ordained” is tassō and it means “to arrange in an orderly manner.” When we consider some of the tyrants that ruled Rome and their persecution of the saints, we might wonder what kind of “orderly manner” God arranged, but Paul clearly affirms that God controls who sits in power. Nero, Diocletian, Muhamad, Napoleon, Hitler, Lennon, Stalin, Putin, Obama, Ayatollah Khomeini and many more could be listed – all had Divine appointments. No leader or ruler on earth exists or has ever existed that God did not put in place.

That said, if we truly believe God’s Word, can we honestly say we have any real influence on who will be our next President? Can we realistically assume the responsibility for who will lead us? The Bible says that God makes those decisions.

So, what is the use in Christians voting?

The United States of America is unique among all the nations of the world and among all the nations throughout history. In no other nation has God vested power in the governed, i.e. the people, rather than in governors. At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in 1788, it is said that a lady asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government they had given us to which he replied, “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.” We stand at the precipice of losing our republic. By many standards, one may say we have already lost it; but we can still vote for our leaders – for all the good that does. The problem is that most of the leaders we elect are unprincipled liars seeking their own gain, personal privilege, and power. They hear the people’s cries and promise to fulfill their wishes (like “repeal every word of Obama Care”), and once they are elected they become deaf to the voice of the people.

What are we to do? We must do what is right before God. That is what we do! “Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times” (Psalm 106:3).  “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7). At the conclusion of his exposé on the vanity of life seeking pleasure and possessions, Solomon sums up, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, emphasis mine).

What is the right thing to do? Chief Justice John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, said, “Providence [meaning “God”] has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers” (emphasis mine). For Christians, then, the right thing means preferring Christians as our rulers. Of course, someone will undoubtedly retort, “We are not electing a pastor, we’re electing a President.” Perhaps, at this point, it behooves us to elect a pastor in the truest sense of that word. A pastor, i.e. a “shepherd,” looks out for the welfare of his sheep even to the point of giving his life for them. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Wouldn’t that be a great attribute in a President! – or any of our elected representatives for that matter!

Voting for a pastor as President might not be such a bad thing; however, there is not one running for the office. Many of my Christian brothers and sisters fear a Hillary Clinton presidency so much that they are willing to vote for the reprobate Donald Trump as the “lesser of two evils.” By what standard they make that judgment I cannot discern. Joel Rosenberg offered 32 reasons a Trump presidency would be a catastrophe for America.[1] I also wrote about this and provided links to other articles giving reasons why Christians should not support Donald Trump.[2]

Donald Trump is no pastor. Judging from his “fruits,” he is not even a Christian. He may be a Presbyterian, but he is not a Christian, I don’t care how he labels himself. If Christians are to prefer Christians as their leaders, then, my friends, we have no choice. That is why, unless God raises up a principled, Christian man (or woman) that cares about this nation more than he/she cares about him/herself, the only right thing I see to do is write in someone I, in good conscience, believe is worthy of the office. To me, at least for now, that is Ted Cruz. My conscience is clear, and I trust in the sovereignty of God for the outcome, even if it is Hillary Clinton.

Friends, our nation rejected God a long time ago. God’s judgment is not coming upon our nation; it’s already on us, like it or not. What we see these days – the violence, perversion, disregard for law and order, etc. – is the judgment of God. Read Romans 1:18 ff. Even if Trump is elected, do not deceive yourself into thinking that he will be any better than what we have already. Remember that choosing the lesser of two evils is still evil. For that reason, I cannot vote for Donald Trump. I feel I have no choice.

Notes:


[1] Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog: https://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/32-reasons-a-trump-presidency-would-be-a-catastrophe-for-america/

[2] “The Trump Sounds,” https://erniecarrasco.com/2016/02/28/the-trump-sounds/

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Picking A President

Republican-Presidential-Candidates-2016

For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.  (Isaiah 9:16)

I don’t often focus on politics on this blog; politics is not my main objective, but sometimes I just need to get things off my chest. I have no national platform from which to speak. I’ve written no books, or starred on stage or film. I never held public office of any kind or even campaigned for anyone. I am not a well-known preacher of national renown, and the FOX News Channel has never asked me for my two cents worth. But I do have an opinion on the upcoming presidential race for anyone who cares to listen.

To begin, I will not waste time in addressing the godless, socialist Democrat party. Robbing the rich to give to the poor makes a good bedtime story, but it does not work in real life. As Margaret Thatcher famously said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” If one is observant, one will note how those pleading the cause of the poor tend to keep their own money to themselves, and their will for the masses does not apply to themselves. As the barnyard animals of Animal Farm said of the pigs in charge, “Some animals are more equal than others.” Democrats also fail to see that killing a baby in the womb is murder, not a woman’s right to choose. So, for this discussion, forget the Democrats!

Republicans fare slightly better in that their rhetoric sounds conservative, but their actions fall woefully short of their talk. For example, they claim to be “Pro-Life” but continue to fund Planned Parenthood.

It is 2016 and once again the time has come to elect a new President of the United States (POTUS). The Republican field of candidates includes a long list of POTUS wannabes, any one of which would be an enormous improvement over the man currently holding the office. But rather than discussing each candidate, I want to focus my attention on the front runners and particularly the front runner, Donald Trump. I also want to approach this from an “evangelical” perspective.

The first appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, once said, “Providence [i.e. God] has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers” (emphasis mine).[1] While the Constitution of the United States guarantees that “no religious test” shall be given for holding a public office, it does not and cannot require individual citizens from applying such a test. Therefore, in accordance with Justice John Jay’s opinion, it becomes incumbent on Christians, evangelicals, to prefer Christians for public office, especially for the office of POTUS. Critics of this perspective will note that we are not electing a pastor, but a president, yet many of the same qualifications should apply. Consider the qualifications for pastor (bishop) given in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 listed here in brief:

  • Blameless, i.e. “not arrested” or “inculpable”
  • Husband of one wife – if a man cannot be faithful to his marital vows, how can we expect him to be faithful to his oath of office?
  • vigilant – circumspect, that is, “watchful, discreet; cautious; prudent”
  • sober – of sound mind; self-controlled
  • Of good behavior – orderly; decorous (characterized by dignified propriety in conduct, manners, appearance, character, etc.)
  • Hospitable – fond of guests. Presidents must entertain foreign dignitaries and constituents
  • apt to teach – this has a broad range of applications
  • not given to wine – not a substance abuser
  • no “striker” – quarrelsome; belligerent; combative
  • not greedy of filthy lucre – the kind of person that can be bought
  • not covetous – seeking personal gain
  • not a novice – no experience
  • must have a good report – i.e. a good reputation

Surely the list above is fitting for anyone aspiring for any position of leadership. Considering the list above, apply that to the top three candidates, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and (arguably) Marco Rubio.

Several high-profile evangelical leaders have come out in support of Donald Trump, and it makes me wonder how closely they have evaluated this candidate. Superficially, he seems an unlikely contender for the post. First of all, besides being an immensely successful businessman, he is primarily an entertainer. As an entertainer, he knows how to put on “a show.” As a good entertainer, he knows his audience, he knows what his audience wants to see and hear, and he plays it out for them. As a businessman, he boasts in his ability to “make deals,” and how he is able to get what he wants. In other words, he is a great manipulator; we already have one of those in the Oval Office. Do we really want another with the only exception being that this one comes stamped with an “R” instead of a “D”? Personally, I don’t trust this man, but in all fairness, his record should be scrutinized.

From CNN Politics, “3 questions evangelicals should ask about Donald Trump:” (1) What is known about Trump’s personal life and morality? (2) Where does Trump stand on moral and social policy issues of concern to Christians and to which the Bible speaks to clearly? (3) Are the love of money and pride legitimate issues to weigh when considering support for a presidential candidate? Read the article for the details, but in essence, Trump is not the man evangelicals should aspire to put in the White House.

Consider the first question. Trump has been married three different times to three different women and his divorces were “unbiblical.” His speech betrays questionable moral standards (Matthew 12:34; 15:11, 18). Trump does not feel the need to ask God’s forgiveness (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:10; 2:4), which should immediately raise a red flag with evangelicals. Considering the second question, Trump claimed to be “pro-choice” at one time. He also favors “gay rights” and same-sex marriage. On the third question, his love of money is obvious as is his pride. One positive aspect of his money lies in his ability to fund his own campaign which presumably frees him from special interests. However, one special interest that supersedes all others is his own. Note how he boasts of the free airtime the media gives him and the personal offence he takes when not “treated nice.” Carefully examining Donald Trump’s history exposes a man who does what is expedient to achieve his goals. He is “A double minded man [that] is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).

Marco Rubio seems conservative enough, and in many ways makes for a fine conservative candidate that evangelicals should like. He seems to have very strong moral principles. He has expressed a personal relationship with Christ – an evangelical concept – even though he is a committed Roman Catholic. I have heard (but not confirmed) that he has been attending Southern Baptist services, so it is difficult to discern if his proclamation is genuine or simply meant to gain evangelical favor. (Please forgive my skepticism.) Rubio’s major “chink” is his association with the “Gang of Eight” and their legislation in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens. Rubio consistently affirms that he rejects amnesty of illegal aliens, and his defenders attribute his questionable association with inexperience and being “steamrolled” by the “old bulls” of the Republican Party. I can see that happening, but it also shows inconsistency.

So, unless proven wrong, I wholeheartedly support Ted Cruz[2] in his bid for the presidency. Cruz is the “real deal.”[3] Ted Cruz, although he may not make an issue of it, is a genuine, born-again, Christian.[4] He accepted Christ as his personal Savior at the age of eight and has lived his life in accordance with his commitment to Christ. Cruz has been a staunch defender of the Constitution throughout his career. Trump accuses Cruz of being “mean and nasty,” and that no one likes him. Trump’s exaggeration aside, the establishment Republicans dislike Senator Cruz because he does not make deals, and he fights against his own party to uphold conservative principles going so far as calling Mitch McConnell a liar from the Senate floor[5] for lying about a deal cut on TPA. Truth can sometimes be a nasty thing, and voicing truth to some can seem “mean” and offensive, but Ted Cruz stands for truth even when it costs him popularity. Ted Cruz is involved in politics, but he is not a politian; he is a true statesman. Is that not what we want in a POTUS?

Earlier in this post I listed the requirements for bishop from First Timothy. Review these again and see if Ted Cruz does not fill the bill. Only one perfect man ever walked this earth, and Ted Cruz will tell you that man was Jesus Christ. Ted Cruz is far from perfect, but if you will examine his life, his character and his record, I believe you will find that he is probably the best choice to be our next POTUS. I have provided some resource links in the endnotes below. Please take time to examine them before making your final judgment.

Even if Donald Trump becomes our next Republican Presidential Nominee (heaven forbid), I will vote for him before letting another Democrat take the White House. It is vitally important that evangelical Christians be fully engaged in the democratic process. As John Jay said, “it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Donald Trump says he is a Presbyterian. I don’t know what that means other than he identifies with one particular denomination. Ted Cruz does not say he is Southern Baptist, but his life and character reflect that he is a committed Christian. We need a true Christian POTUS. Whatever you decide, don’t decide to stay home because you don’t like the choices. We get the government we deserve.

Notes:


[1]  http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/americans-prefer-christians-for-their-rulers/

[2]  https://www.tedcruz.org/issues/

[3]  http://bwcentral.org/2016/01/the-real-ted-cruz/

[4]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hrms1ACMn0

[5]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE6HLbaAL0A

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Filed under Christianity, Current Events, Evangelism, Politics, Pro-life, Religion

What Do I Say?

USS Sperry (AS-12) 1941 - 1982

USS Sperry (AS-12) 1941 – 1982

For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. (Isaiah 60:12)

On the way to a coerced bargain safari with my wife, June, I pulled into the local Quick Trip to silence the nagging Low Fuel warning light on our Altima. At the pump, I popped the fuel port cover latch, got out from driver’s seat, and walked back to uncap the fuel fill port. Lost in the mindless routine of inserting the gas card, making the fuel selection, inserting the pump nozzle into the fill port and squeezing the handle to the start the flow of liquid gold, I hardly noticed the black compact sedan that pulled up at the pump behind me.

As I scanned the rows of gas pumps and observed how others practiced a similar routine, I caught him approaching me from my right side. Instantly my internal alarms sounded as the wiry frame came near. His shirt-sleeve shirt exposed tattooed arms without a hint of normal skin tone. Beneath the tattered ball cap flowed long stringy locks of jet-black hair that hung in clumps of greasy strands just past his shoulders. His face was leathery and wrinkled, probably more from years of too much smoking than from age, and the trimmed portion of his scraggly beard looked like it hadn’t met a razor in weeks. His tattered, dirty jeans, wrinkled, untucked, button-down plaid shirt, and muddy work boots gave him the appearance of a homeless man. A woman, that looked old enough to be his mother, got out of the passenger’s side and busied herself looking around the car for the place to put in the gas.

Without pausing one second to help his mother, he walked directly toward me right hand extended. I thought, “Here it comes. This guy is going to hit me up for some gas money, and he’ll have some sob story about his dad suddenly having a stroke, and he has to drive his mother up to Oklahoma City to see him.” As I formulated my response, his hand invaded my personal space, and I took it. He said, “Thank you for your service.”

What? I had forgotten that I was wearing my Navy-blue ball cap with the white and gold fowled anchor and the bold embroidered USN identifying me as a Navy veteran. “Thank you,” I stammered. I couldn’t think of anything else to say. He nodded and turned around and walked back to his car. I’m sure he was a little let down by my lack of enthusiasm. To be sure, the encounter was not what I had expected.

I’m proud of my service for my country. I often wear apparel that displays that pride like that cap. But after I put it on, I never give it a second thought. I am often approached and offered similar sentiments of appreciation for my service, and I am always at a loss for how to respond.

I enlisted in the Navy in 1970, at the height of the Vietnam War, and served on active duty until 1974. Later I served another eight years in the US Naval Reserves. When I first joined, there was a draft, and my number was up. The Army was in bad need of “grunts,” and anti-war sentiment dominated the prevailing national mood. Many young men my age were getting married or going to college to avoid the draft. Others burned their draft cards in protest or ran away to Canada to avoid service. I had no one I wanted to marry at that time, and I was too poor to go to college. The other options of burning my draft card or running away to Canada were unthinkable for me.

I honestly felt that I owed my duty to my country, but at the same time, I wasn’t eager to spill my blood in a war directed by politicians rather than generals – a war that those in charge did not intend to win. That made no sense to me, yet I still felt a strong obligation to serve my country. So, I joined the Navy and fulfilled my obligation. That is what I did. I did my duty. I did what I was supposed to do. I served, and I was proud to serve. I did nothing outstanding or extraordinary. I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I executed my responsibilities to my shipmates, to my ship, to the Navy, and to my country. I did my job; that’s all.

So when I am thanked for my service, I really do not know how to respond. I only did what I was supposed to do. Why is that so special? Is it that somewhere along the way we have lost our sense of responsibility, our sense of duty, our sense of honor? I served my country. It was my privilege. It was my duty. Next time I’m thanked for my service, perhaps I will just respond with, “You’re welcome. I just did my job.”

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Filed under Current Events, Random Musings