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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Drilling Compromise Is Sellout To Environmentalists

What a joke! The political pressure from the normal folks at home has finally forced Congress to debate a plan to encourage oil production in the US. The compromise bill, however, will do absolutely nothing to encourage offshore oil production. Members of Congress are pretending to act on our economic crisis while they are still catering to environmental lobbying groups. Here’s the “nuts and bolts” of the bill:

Drilling within 50 miles of shore would be off-limits. The states would not receive any financial incentives. The federal government would decide whether to drill more than 100 miles offshore. Only four states – Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina – are currently interested in allowing drilling off their coasts.

This bill is a liberal politician’s chance to say he voted for drilling while actually supporting a bill that restricts drilling in places where oil and gas might be found in abundance. In other words, they still oppose drilling but don’t want to get blamed for higher gas prices when you vote in November. These politicians just want to be able to say that they voted for a pro-drilling bill. In fact no drilling will ever take place because the bill removes every incentive to drill. This is the way our Congressmen represent us when one of the very best ways to stimulate our hurting economy would be to remove the regulations in order to allow a massive development of domestic oil and gas, as well as build new nuclear power plants. This would increase employment and lower energy prices. Thus the cost of living would decrease while our dependence on foreign oil would virtually disappear.

The Human Religion Of Self-Interest

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) was a Scottish clergyman and hymn writer. He wrote religious tracts and edited religious periodicals and collections of hymns, including Hymns of Faith and Hope (3 series, 1857-66). He is best remembered, however, for his fine hymn texts, such as I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say. In the following comments, he compares man’s religion to God’s religion:

Man’s religion makes man its center. It is constructed so as to revolve around himself. He is its Alpha and Omega – its first and its last. It makes him live for himself, think of himself, magnify himself. It teaches him to lessen the distance between himself and God, for the purpose of enabling him to remove that distance by his own endeavors; so that God is not the infinitely glorious Being, nor man the helpless and unworthy thing which Revelation declares him to be. Man’s religion is like the old astronomy, with the vast earth in the center, and the puny sun revolving round it!

Man’s religion trifles with sin. Having lessened the greatness of Jehovah’s character, and obscured His glory, it is not wonderful that he treats sin lightly. If God be not the infinitely holy and exalted One, then, opposition to Him, and contempt of His law are not very serious evils. They may be acknowledged as not wholly right; but they will not be felt as unutterably wrong. God is not seen to be so deeply, so awfully wronged; nay, it is difficult to make men believe that they can really wrong God at all. The evil of sin, as a wrong done to man’s self or to his fellows will be allowed; but its evil, as a wrong done to God, is never thought of. As that which may offend man, or break in upon his rights, sin will be dealt with as a real grievance; but as that which offends God or assails His rights, it is treated as a thing of nought. And as man trifles with sin, so he conceives that God will trifle with it, and overlook it. That which is such a small thing in his own eyes, he reasons, cannot be a great thing in God’s. Hence the common idea of Divine mercy is simply that of indifference to sin. …

While man’s religion trifles with sin, God’s religion bases itself on the utterly odious and intolerable nature of sin. THE SOUL THAT SINNETH IT SHALL DIE, lies at the very foundation of God’s religion, and of all His dealings with the creature, specially of His transactions with the sinner. …

Man’s religion has in it no struggles, no dangers, and but few difficulties. The path it prescribes is easy, not hard for flesh and blood. It leaves out the pangs of the new birth – the struggle with unbelief, with the flesh, with Satan. These have no place in it at all. It acknowledges no enemies, no hardships, no conflicts. It broadens the narrow way, smoothing its ruggedness, and plucking up the thorns and briers that beset it. God’s religion assumes all these things as not only certain, but necessary. (Man: His Religion and His World)

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