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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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  • Recommended Reading

President Of Czech Republic Versus Al Gore And Environmental Madness

Susan Easton has written an interesting article titled, “Klaus Against The Greens” for Human Events. Here is a brief summary:

Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, directs much of his energy to campaigning against global warming alarmists. Klaus has been President of the Czech Republic since 1993 and holds a doctorate in economics. He is concerned about the totalitarian agenda of environmentalists. He believes there is little difference between the ideology of communism and that of climate change.

Klaus agrees with author Michael Crichton. “The greatest challenge facing mankind is distinguishing between reality and fantasy, truth from propaganda” as regards man-made global warming. Al Gore refused to debate Klaus in public when the Czech President challenged him. Klaus calls Al Gore’s claim — that Earth is headed toward “a planetary emergency” — absurd. He labels it as “scaremongering.” Klaus believes that people in the future will look back with amusement and pity the victims of this wrong-headed ideology that took hold over the minds of primitive 21st century humanity.

According to Klaus, the goal of climate change alarmists is a continuation of the socialist model of the centralization of economic control. “They invoke the image of apocalyptic imminent danger in order to trigger the need in others to have a savior — a messiah,” Klaus contends. He asserts that environmentalism is a quasi-religion that shares much in common with Marxism. It is the new recruiting strategy for the anti-capitalist and progressive socialists who want to suppress human freedom.

“Environmentalism is a movement that intends to change the world radically regardless of the consequences (at the cost of human lives and severe restrictions on individual freedom). It intends to change humankind, human behavior, the structure of society, the system of values — simply everything,” Klaus warns.

The Masters Of The Economic Universe

Gary North’s Economic Edge is a twice-weekly electronic publication of The American Vision. It offers economic insights and advice from a biblical worldview. The following excerpts are from Volume 1, Issue 22:

The public has been trained to believe that the people making the decisions at the top of the American financial system are masters of the universe. These were the best and the brightest. They had invented all of these wonderful new contractual obligations that made billions of dollars of profits for their companies. It was going to go on forever.

Then, like toppling dominoes, the masters of the universe were exposed as bunglers of the universe. They took their severance pay of tens of millions of dollars each, and went off into the oblivion that is reserved for ex-masters of the universe.

These stories kept coming before the public, beginning with the forced sale of Bear Stearns in March. One by one, the organizations that supposedly are at the heart of American financial capitalism have been exposed as barely functional operations that have been run by men who did not have any understanding of the new finance.

All of these leveraged securities had been designed by mathematical geniuses. So had Long-Term Capital Management, which went bust in 1998. The problem is, the heads of these organizations are not mathematicians. . . .

The people in charge of sorting out the mess are tenured, salaried economists who work for the Federal Reserve System and the Department of the Treasury. These are the fellows who were not good enough at mathematics to become mathematicians. Yet these are the people who are expected to produce a cure for the developing catastrophe that is threatening the capital markets of the entire world. . . .

The masters of the universe, whether in the private markets that have been subsidized by the fiat money of the Federal Reserve System, or hired by the Federal Reserve System, are now perceived as what they always were: people who did not know what was happening.

Is Spiritual Discipline Really Necessary?

There really is not much discussion of Christian discipline in the church or among Christians these days. This is one reason why the modern church, at times, seems a mile wide but only an inch deep. It was not always this way. But, as in our modern culture, discipline in the church as given way to convenience.

Jay Adams writes:

“Discipline is the secret of godliness. You must learn to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.”

Spiritual discipline was an important practice in the early church and for the great men and women of God throughout history. Often we fear that the cost of such discipline is too great. If we could peer into heaven but for a moment, all such fear would evaporate in the delight of seeing God’s presence.

Most of mankind seeks a religion that causes them no pain. Those who enter fellowship with Jesus Christ, however, do not have happiness dropped in their laps, but are prepared in the crucible of this earth for the glory of heaven. The writer of Hebrews explains, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (12:11) If the disciplines of the Spirit are not present in our lives, we shall never be overcoming and victorious Christians.

Thoughts Old And New On America’s Economic Bailout

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” -Thomas Jefferson

“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.” -Herbert Spencer

“Financial institutions are not being bailed out as a favor to them or their stockholders. In fact, stockholders have come out worse off after some bailouts. The real point is to avoid a major contraction of credit that could cause major downturns in output and employment, ruining millions of people, far beyond the financial institutions involved. If it was just a question of the financial institutions themselves, they could be left to sink or swim. But it is not.” -Thomas Sowell

“The credit crunch and foreclosure problems are failures of government policy. In fact, what we see now is a market correction to foolhardy government policy. Congress’ move to bail out lenders and borrowers who made poor decisions will simply create incentives for people to make unwise decisions in the future.” -Walter Williams

“[A]s lawmakers debate buying up hundreds of billions in assets, they should realize that the government’s aggressive meddling in financial decision-making is what got our economy into this mess in the first place. The long-term answer isn’t more federal control; it’s a return to free-market principles.” -Ed Feulner

“Crisis is the friend of the State. The politicians are desperate to be seen as ‘showing leadership,’ so we’re surely in for a new round of government interventions.” -John Stossel

“When the Forbidden Fruit was handed to Adam and Eve, they were allowed the moral choice to accept or decline. I know people who have refused to feast on the money tree. They live simply, within their means, and seem far more content than those who are trying to horde their wealth while clinging to the ladder of ‘success,’ terrified to let go. That isn’t real living. The Puritans rightly saw that as covetousness.” -Cal Thomas

“[B]ailing out people who made ill-advised mortgages makes no more sense that bailing out people who lost their life savings in Las Vegas casinos.” -Thomas Sowell

“Barclays Bank in England purchased bankrupt Lehman Brothers Tuesday along with its Manhattan tower, saving nine thousand jobs. It’s humiliating. The United States of America is 232 years old and we’re having to go to mom for money.” -Argus Hamilton

“Let me repeat – this plan is not a bailout for Wall Street. It is a rescue plan for Main Street. My friends, I am a capitalist. I hate Big Government. There is plenty of blame to go around, and government deserves a lot of it. But every nation, like every family, occasionally has emergencies, and this is an emergency. We need solutions now. It is right for Congress to try to improve the president’s rescue package. It is right to demand transparency in the administration of this tremendous effort. But if partisanship ends up preventing this rescue from passing, the consequences will cost all of us far more than the current price tag.” – Gary Bauer

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