Thursday, October 27, 2011
One of the hardest things for a Christian to ever do is to keep on shining when being barked at by others. Many times even insignificant matters can disturb and discourage us. Paul’s approach was: "Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13-14; ASV).
No doubt the enemies of Christ often barked at Him and tried to get Him to react in a mean and sinful way. But, He was the light of the world and wouldn’t give up His glory. He just kept on shining, and in doing that He left us an example to follow (1 Pet. 2:21) when those who are teaching error bark at you for exposing their error. Do you bark at those who try to teach you the truth?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Saturday, August 06, 2011
Out of genuine love, He laid before mankind, a perfect plan of redemption (1 Tim. 1:11; Rom. 1:16-17); that if any man (Mark 8:34) would freely deny himself and putting his hand to the plough without looking back (Luke 9:68); make a good confession of their conviction towards Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God (Mat. 10:32); that they could now stand before God and their fellowman, having the power to become the sons of God (Jho. 1:12), enveloping themselves in Christ through water baptism (Gal. 3:27).
Monday, June 06, 2011
The last six decades have witnessed a rapid departure from the spiritual roots of this country. Slow at first, and more accelerated with each passing year, we are now witnessing a complete casting off of all restraints. The social consequences are evident to any and all who read the daily newspaper, or log on to the internet and observe news items at your favorite website. In the last 100 years we have seen the legalization of drinking, the sale of alcohol, para-mutual betting, abortion on demand, homosexual rights, the lottery, casino halls, houses of ill repute, etc. Now politicians clamor for legalization of drugs, homosexuals in the military, homosexual marriages, and the "Freedom of Choice Act" (making it completely legal to kill children still in the womb, even up and including the point of birth). Laws passed by Congress have no effect; in fact laws passed by humanists in an effort to address moral problems created by humanists will have no better impact upon the moral ills of this country than the Paper Work Reduction Act had in eliminating excessive paper work; in fact, the result will be much worse.
In less than two years this nation’s electorate will be entering voting booths all across this country. I wonder if we have learned our lesson yet! Will we be wise enough to discern the ungodly fruit the present leadership of this country has borne (from the local politicians all the way up to the White House and halls of Congress)? Will we cast our votes based on what we can get from government in the form of more and better entitlements? Will we concentrate on what our favorite politician can give us? Or will we seek divine wisdom that is from above, and seek out leaders who will respect God’s word in the leadership they offer our failing and faltering nation? We might laugh at the results of the Paper Work Reduction Act, but I can assure you that who we choose to fill positions of leadership in political circles year after next is no laughing matter!
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Memorial Day is a time to take stock of the present, reflect on the past, and renew our commitment to the future of America. Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free. We owe this freedom to our Creator and to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free. I don't have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world. (Notes from Ronald Regan)
This Memorial Day, we honor those brave Americans who died in the service of their country. "Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names live for evermore.'' Scripture, when speaking for the faithful, says, what could be written upon the epitaph of every dead soldier: "Of whom the world was not worthy" (Heb. 12:38). As a tribute to their sacrifice, let us renew our resolve to remain strong enough to deter aggression, wise enough to preserve and protect our freedom, and thoughtful enough to promote lasting peace throughout the world.
May I humbly offer these fundamental items that we as Americans need to remember today:
- We have a strong national identity: We are a Christian nation!
- We need to maintain a strong national security: God's providential care!
- We possess a strong national ethic: God's Holy Writ
- We must maintain strong national heroes: George Washington/Seal Team 6
- We must maintain strong national villains: Hitler/Osama Bin Laden
- We need to maintain strong national memorials: Today is about remembering!
So I want to thank you for this important remembrance. With gratitude and respect, we remember their sacrifice. As Jesus Himself said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
May God Bless You... And God Bless America!
These are my notes from the Purdy Cemetery Memorial Service for our fallen heroes (May 30. 2011).
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
"I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it
as in the days of old:" (Amos. 9:11)
America needs to be reminded of it’s strong national ethic. By definition, ethics is “the study and evaluation of human conduct in the light of moral principles.” The genius of the framers of the American Constitution, lies in how they answered an important moral dilemma regarding democracy’s natural decline: You see, in their minds; neither the governed, nor the government was the source of all law. The theory of the Constitution may be contained in the Federalist Papers, but the moral authority which backs up this theory is righteousness (Pro. 14:34).
"The chief glory of nations is not to be found in the shrewdness of their diplomacy, the wisdom of their international policy, the ruthlessness of their warfare, the splendor of their conquest, the extent of their empire, or in the inexhaustibility of their resources. These may cause nations to be known and feared, but it is righteousness that makes nations secure and causes them to be respected and honored. Apart from righteousness, there is no genuine exaltation for any individual or nation." (B.C. Goodpasture, 1965)
Out of the ruins of America, God can rebuild this great nation.
Monday, May 02, 2011
Our National Identity is expressed in our motto: “In God we Trust” (cf. Psa. 33:12; 16:1). “Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are of God?” (Jefferson).
Out of the ruins of America, God can rebuild this great nation.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
as in the days of old:” (Amos. 9:11)
Recently my wife and I were the victims of identity theft. Someone gained access to one of our accounts and began to spend our money as if it was their own money. Thankfully, my wife is a hawk when it comes to our accounts, checking them daily, so that our loss was minimal.
According to the Federal Trade Commission’s website they promise to help “consumers learn how to avoid identity theft – and learn what to do if their identity is stolen.” But what happens, if the government is guilty of identity theft? (Hos. 5:1-2; 7:3-5; Mic. 3:9; Jer. 13:18). Our current President began his reign by proclaiming, on a world tour, that “America is not a Christian Nation.” If he meant that America is not a Theocracy, he is correct. If he meant that we do not, at times, live up to the grand principles of Christianity, again he is correct. But, if he meant that this nation was not founded upon and has not been blessed by its reliance upon those principles, he is wrong.
Out of the ruins of American God can rebuild a great nation.
Monday, March 21, 2011
We are told, for example, that America is not a Christian Nation and to some degree this may be true. If what is suggested is that we are not a Christian Theocracy or that we are presently living according to the principles upon which this great nation was established, to this I agree. But, if by this it is suggested that our Founding Fathers did not establish this great nation upon biblical principles, I wholeheartedly disagree and could fill this newspaper with quotes to this end. In this sense, my fellow Americans, we are a Christian Nation. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psa. 33:12; cf. 144:15). May we always seek the Source of our blessings.
Out of the ruins of American God can rebuild a great nation.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
God knows a lot about nation building. He has built, maintained, utilized the resources of, as well as disciplined and rewarded nations for their behavior over time. He has experience dealing with tyrants, benevolent dictators and republics. He is well versed in entrepreneurship and has an insider familiarity with economics and education; science and theology; astrology and archaeology; sociology and military sciences and is definitely fair and balanced.
Any group of people seeking to build a great nation, would do well to listen to the council of the One who “hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7). When such a group of people honestly contemplate, evaluate and are stimulated by the majestic nature and vast essence of the universe surrounding them, they will ask, “What is man that thou art mindful of him?” (cf. Psa. 8:3-4). Humility is not just the beginning of a great nation; it is the only way to properly maintain it (Dan. 4:37; Pro 16:18).
Out of the ruins of American God can rebuild a great nation. This weeks question for discussion:
What are the basic building blocks of a great society?
Monday, March 07, 2011
I really don’t know where I fall in my perspective of our future. In the divine orchestration of earthly affairs, I am supremely confident. I know that the sovereign Creator of the universe will eventually bring his divine plan to fruition. The major lesson of the book of Revelation is this: The cause of Heaven will be triumphant ultimately. Victory will belong to the faithful because the Lamb of God has overcome by virtue of his death and resurrection (Revelation 5:6; 12:11). And all who stand in opposition to the King of Kings will be vanquished.
On the other hand, I am somewhat pessimistic about the future of this nation. And that concerns me for the welfare of my children and grandchildren—and yours. I am not unaware that a “Jonah” could arise, proclaiming a message of repentance that might turn the whole country towards a moral reformation (cf. Jonah 3:5ff). Thus far, though, I’ve not seen him.
Sometimes a country has to “hit bottom” before drastic changes are made. I know this: if righteousness exalts a nation (Proverbs 14:34), unrestrained sin will destroy it. I also know that Jehovah has a moral standard by which he judges nations, and when they reach a certain depth of depravity, he will bring them down (Genesis 15:16; 18:22ff). God gave Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, forty days to get their act together (Jonah 3:4). When they repented, Heaven relented. Assyria then continued for another century and a half. However, the Assyrians degenerated again, and the prophet Nahum was sent to proclaim their “full end” (Nahum 1:9). Nineveh fell—completely and finally—in 612 B.C.
What makes America labor under the illusion that she is an eternal empire? This country is on a collision course with oblivion. It likely will not come in our day, but the indications are painfully obvious that serious decay is underway. Assyria, Babylon, Greece, Rome—none of these superpowers lasted more than a few centuries. Decadence consumed them. And there are clear signals that the same weaknesses are eating away at America’s vitals. Let us reflect upon four areas of national concern—economic irresponsibility, a degenerating educational structure, a lax judicial system, and a declining moral climate.
America is on a spending binge unlike anything we have ever known, and this signals the fact that we are materialistic to the core. Our national debt is in excess of $5 trillion (14.1 trillion today). Since February of 1995, this staggering sum has increased at the average rate of $659 million each day. The average person’s share of this burden is around $20,000. It is difficult for us to even fathom the enormity of our indebtedness when the figures reach such astronomical proportions. If you had $1 trillion, and you spent $3,000 each day, it would take you a million years to spend it all. It is very doubtful that this materialistic trend will be turned around. We are a people out of control in terms of our spending. Economists suggest that within a few years many of our social programs will be bankrupt.
In addition to the national debt, many Americans are head-over-heels in personal debt. Some have multiple credit cards “maxed out.” Who is going to pay for all of your expenditures? Declaring bankruptcy has almost become a national pastime. Seventy percent of those who file for bankruptcy never pay back a dime of what they owe. What if you die unexpectedly? Will you leave your loved ones saddled with your unpaid bills? How does the Lord view this matter? “The wicked borrows and pays not again” (Psalm 37:21). The Bible views indebtedness as a form of servitude (Proverbs 22:7). Every Christian should diligently work to be free of such restraints so that he may serve the Lord with greater vigor and deeper levels of sacrifice. Only those treasures which are spiritual will last into eternity (Matthew 6:19-21).
The Educational System
Another segment of our society that is out of control is the educational system. Gone are the days when the American school room was a place of “readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmatic, taught to the tune of a hick’ry stick.” Nowadays, many youngsters cannot read—even when they leave high school. They cannot write decently, and they cannot balance a simple checkbook. As for the “hick’ry stick,” it has been banished to the Smithsonian museum, while the schoolyard has become a war zone.
There are three major problems with the modern school system: (1) it does not educate; (2) it is a propagandizing tool with a humanistic agenda; and (3) it has become an environment of extreme danger. Let us consider each of these areas.
On the first point, journalist Charles Sykes has produced a bombshell volume titled, Dumbing Down Our Kids. The Washington Times characterized the book as “a scathing indictment of the educational establishment and should be required reading for all parents still in denial about the true condition of K-12 education in America.” Sykes subtitled the book, “Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write, or Add.”
Here is but a sampling of some of the startling data Sykes presents. Twenty-five percent of high school seniors can barely read their diplomas. A standardized test, given to twenty-six thousand Americans (sixteen and older), concluded that eighty million Americans are deficient in the basic reading and mathematical skills needed to perform the rudimentary tasks of today’s society. When America’s finest students (the top one percent) are compared to the best foreign students, our youth come in dead last! What does all of this tell us about the task before us as we attempt to teach the future generation the great truths of the Bible. How can people study the Scriptures when they cannot even read competently? (cf. Ephesians 3:4).
Secondly, there is absolutely no doubt but that the national educational system has a subversive agenda, the design of which is to proselyte children to materialistic humanism. This motive is no longer even concealed. A recently published book, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, urges teachers to admit that evolution refutes religion. The author, Daniel Dennett, said: “We will attempt to teach this [doctrine of organic evolution] to your children at our earliest opportunity.” Our youth are brainwashed with evolutionary propaganda in a variety of classes—astronomy, anatomy, anthropology, biology, geology, psychology, sociology, history, etc.
Note this quotation from a 1994 biology textbook.
- Darwin knew that accepting his theory required believing in philosophical materialism, the conviction that matter is the stuff of all existence and that all mental and spiritual phenomenon [sic] are its by-products. . . . In Darwin’s world we are not helpless prisoners of a static world order, but, rather, masters of our own fate. . . . And from a strictly scientific point of view rejecting biological evolution is no different from rejecting other natural phenomenon [sic] such as electricity and gravity.
Third, aside from the foregoing factors, the American schoolroom has become one of the most dangerous environments in which your children can exist. And is it any wonder—when teachers are advocating the notion that there is no such thing as “eternal truth,” there are no absolutes relative to “right” and “wrong.”
Children and teachers alike are in danger on campus. Handguns and knives are common among students. Drugs are freely circulated, condoms are provided, and sexual promiscuity is rampant. Is this the sort of “socialization” that some parents are fearful their youngsters will miss if they are educated in private Christian schools, or in a home environment?
The Judicial System
Another symptom of a nation out of control is the manner in which our judicial system has decomposed over the past half-century. A very significant book arrested the public’s attention recently. It is titled, Guilty: The Collapse of Criminal Justice. The author was the late Harold J. Rothwax, a judge who presided over criminal cases in New York City for the past twenty-five years. Apparently Judge Rothwax was not conservatively-oriented. He stated that in his early life his hero was Clarence Darrow (the atheist who argued for evolution in the famous Scopes trial). Too, in his younger lawyering years, Rothwax was a card-carrying member of the ACLU. I mention these things to emphasize that this judge was not out of a strait-laced background.
The thesis of the judge’s book is this: the American justice system is in a state of moral collapse. He writes: “We have formalism and technicalities but little common sense. It’s about time America wakes up to the fact that we’re in the fight of our lives.” This prominent jurist further stresses: “The bottom line is that criminals are going free.” He notes: “There is no respect for the truth, and without truth, there can be no justice.” Rothwax charges that “our system is a carefully crafted maze, constructed of elaborate and impenetrable barriers to the truth.”
There are many cases which illustrate the growing abuse of justice. We summarize two of these.
(1) On Christmas Eve of 1968, ten-year-old Pamela Powers was attending an event with her parents at the YMCA in Des Moines, Iowa. She went to the restroom and was never seen alive again. A few days afterward, a car was discovered in Davenport (one hundred sixty miles away) containing some of her clothes. Two days later, Robert Williams, owner of the car, surrendered to Davenport police. Officials in Des Moines dispatched two policemen to transport Williams back to the site of the abduction. They were strictly charged not to question him en route. Along the way, one of the officers commented that it was Christmas time, and it would be wonderful if the Powers family could at least recover the body of Pamela and give it a “Christian burial.” Sometime later Williams spoke up: “Okay, let me take you to the body.”
He directed the officers to the place where he had buried little Pamela in a ditch. Subsequent tests revealed that she had been raped and smothered to death. Robert Williams was convicted of murder. However, the conviction was overturned in federal court. When the U.S. Supreme court finally ruled on the matter, the majority opinion, written by Justice Potter Stewart, stated that Williams’s “rights” had been violated by the police officer’s “Christian burial” speech.
(2) At 2 a.m. on November 20, 1990, Leonardo Turriago was pulled over by two state troopers for speeding. The officers asked if they could look into his van; Turriago said they could. Inside, the troopers saw a trunk and asked Turriago about it. He sprang open its lock, then ran away. Opening the trunk, the troopers found the body of a man shot five times. Turriago was caught quickly.
In his apartment, police found eleven pounds of cocaine and guns. The suspect told them where to find the murder weapon. Turriago was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to forty-five years to life. The defense appealed, arguing that the troopers had no right to search the van. On June 6, 1996, Turriago’s conviction was overturned. A New York appellate court ruled that the police search had been coercive.
There are hundreds of similar examples. It is difficult to fathom how anyone could be so dense as to be unable to see that we have bent so far over backwards, to insure that those accused of crimes are not abused, that we have thrown truth and justice to the wind. Is it any wonder that respect for the judicial system is at an all-time low? Is it any surprise that the crime rate has skyrocketed? The judicial system is out of control. We have evolved a legal “kangaroo” procedure where the morality of biblical revelation is despised and ridiculed, while the Amendments to the Constitution are viewed as sacrosanct.
American Family Life
President James A. Garfield once said: “The sanctity of marriage and the family relation make the corner-stone of our American society and civilization.” A number of current conditions clearly suggest that that “corner-stone” is crumbling.
Materialistic parents are placing economic prosperity ahead of their children. The phrase “latchkey child” is too well-known to need elaboration. Many mothers have abandoned the home (cf. Titus 2:5), leaving their children at daycare centers—not because (in many cases) they are forced to work in order to survive, but simply because they want more “things” of a material variety. Children spend countless hours watching TV or playing video games without parental supervision. There will be a high price to pay for such parental irresponsibility.
A large segment of our society has abandoned the concept that God designed the marriage ordinances, and that such are not subject to human revision. For instance, the Bible clearly teaches that sexual gratification is an integral part of marriage. But sexual union is not an end within itself. Sexual activity outside of a legitimate marriage is fornication (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:2). At one time it was the case that a mere “live-in” arrangement was a matter of shame. Even Hollywood stars kept such liaisons under the cloak of secrecy. Now, fornicating relationships are common. Celebrities comment upon their “live-with” associations with no blush at all (cf. Jeremiah 6:15). We are told by experts that more than five million Americans are “living together” without the benefit of legitimate marital commitment.
Add to this the fact that divorce has become a national disgrace. Older folks can easily remember when a divorced person was not a viable political candidate. Now, divorce does not raise an eyebrow. Not only is society out of control in terms of the divorce evil, the church is virtually to that point as well. In recent years weird theories, one after another, have surfaced, the design of which is to justify those who have unscripturally divorced their mates and then remarried. Prominent names have been associated with these views. It is this writer’s conviction that the biblical teaching on this topic—namely that a divorce and potential remarriage is allowed only to the innocent victim in a marriage breached by fornication (cf. Matthew 5:32; 19:9)—is now a minority view among believers.
In addition, the homosexual trend in this country is one of the most dramatic indicators that we are a nation out of moral control. An intimidating word has been coined to characterize those who oppose homosexual conduct: “homophobia.” We had better be homophobic—if we remember what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah! Several political movements have attempted to promote homosexual “marriages,” contending that discrimination against “legal” homosexual and lesbian unions is unconstitutional. It is certainly no secret that the present administration reflects the most pro-homosexual leadership in the history of this nation. More than one hundred “gays” have been appointed to administrative positions under the current president’s watch. Our leader has openly commended the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Teacher’s Network, a national homosexual teachers group, which, incidentally, is determined to teach the youth of the United States that homosexual relationships are normal and beautiful. Out of control!
Do nations turn around, once they have started a slide toward moral chaos? Tragically, they almost never do. Not even the great nation of Israel could be salvaged by the persuasion of the prophets. It took an Assyrian conquest and a Babylonian captivity (of seventy years) to bring the Hebrews to their knees. Even then a terminal judgment finally came in the form of the Roman destruction of Judaism in A.D. 70 (cf. Matthew 22:7).
I am certainly no prophet. I do not know what lies in America’s future. I can, however, follow the flow of human history as such is revealed in the Scriptures. And what I see in that does not make me comfortable about our nation’s prospects.
I know this: each Christian, consistent with his/her abilities, has a three-fold responsibility.
- We must commit to lives of personal goodness as a savoring influence among our peers.
- We must teach forcefully the positive truths of moral conduct.
- We must oppose the teachings of the immoral vermin who would destroy this nation.
Dennett, Daniel. 1995. Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
Rothwax, Harold J. 1996. Guilty: The Collapse of Criminal Justice. New York, NY: Random House.
Sykes, Charles. 1995. Dumbing Down Our Kids. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin.
About the Author
Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife and life-long partner, Betty.
If you would like to read more articles from Wayne Jackson please click here: http://www.christiancourier.com/