• 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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  • October 2008
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

President Dwight D. Eisenhower Prayed At His Inauguration

Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment my future associates in the Executive Branch of government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere.

Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race, or calling.

May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory.


John Adams On Liberty

John Adams wrote this quote in a letter to Abigail Adams in 1775 concerning American liberty:

But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.

An Election Prayer For Discernment

My Lord, You value so deeply the qualities of good judgment and discernment, but it is easy for us to lose sight of them. Give all those who will vote in this year’s elections a sense of discernment and sound judgment, and let that discernment in turn bring discerning leaders into office. –Proverbs 3:21 (My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight).

TH: FreeRepublic

Taxes And The Constitution

From: The Desk of Gary DeMar

The Constitution of 1787 set forth the taxing powers of the federal government in relation to its stated, delegated function. Taxes were collected for specified governmental purposes as they were actually listed in the Constitution. If the Constitution did not specify a particular function or purpose, the federal government (Congress) had no power to collect taxes for it. The created national government was governed by the Constitution. Elected officials take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and even append their claim with “So help me God.”

On the federal level, taxes were essentially “Duties, Imposts and Excises” whose purpose was “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States” (Art. 1, Sec. 8). General Welfare was defined in the body of the Constitution. A careful reader will note that “general welfare” did not mean aid to some at the expense of others, as James Madison was quick to point out: “But what color can the objection have [that the phrase ‘general welfare’ is not specified by particulars], when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? . . . Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars . . . .” The modem concept of general welfare is most often defined in terms of wealth redistribution where some members of society (“the rich”) are taxed heavily in order to benefit the “welfare” of others (“the poor”). General welfare, according to the Constitution, means welfare that benefits everybody. This can be clearly seen in providing “for the common Defense.” Taxes collected to defend the nation benefit everybody generally. Taxing some people so other people can have decent housing or an education is not general welfare; it’s particular welfare.

“We the people” often blame Congress for “earmarks” and deficit spending, but it’s “we the people” who call on Congress to legislate in terms of these blatant unconstitutional policies, whether it be increased education spending, universal healthcare, government-insured mortgages, education loans at artificially low interest rates, a windfall profits tax, or a bailout when the economy goes south.

A study of some decisions of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government in the area of “general Welfare” will support the view that taxes could not be used to aid states or individuals:

Continue reading. . . .

What Is Reformation Day?

Reformation Day is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31st or the last weekend in October in remembrance of the Reformation. Martin Luther posted a proposal at the doors of a church in Wittenberg, Germany to debate the doctrine and practice of indulgences. This proposal is popularly known as the 95 Theses, which he nailed to the Castle Church doors. This was not an act of defiance or provocation as is sometimes thought. Since the Castle Church faced Wittenberg’s main thoroughfare, the church door functioned as a public bulletin board and was therefore the logical place for posting important notices. Also, the theses were written in Latin, the language of the church, and not in the vernacular.

Nonetheless, the event created a controversy between Luther and those allied with the Pope over a variety of doctrines and practices. While it had profound and lasting impacts on the political, economic, social, literary, and artistic aspects of modern society, the Reformation was at its heart a religious movement. The Reformation was the great rediscovery of the good news of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

For centuries, the Roman Catholic Church had been plagued by false doctrines, superstition, ignorance, and corruption. Since most ordinary Christians were illiterate and had little knowledge of the Bible, they relied on their clergy for religious instruction and guidance. Tragically however, monks, priests, bishops, and even the popes in Rome taught unbiblical doctrines like purgatory and salvation through good works. Spiritually earnest people tried to justify themselves by charitable works, pilgrimages, and all kinds of religious performances and devotions, but they were left wondering if they had done enough to escape God’s anger and punishment.

The truth of the gospel — the good news that God is loving and merciful, that He offers forgiveness and salvation not because of what we do, but because of what Christ has already done for us — was largely forgotten by both clergy and laity. The Holy Spirit used an Augustinian monk and university professor named Martin Luther to restore the gospel to its rightful place as the cornerstone doctrine of Christianity. Martin Luther and his colleagues came to understand that if we sinners had to earn salvation by our own merits and good works, we would be lost and completely without hope. But through the working of the Holy Spirit, the reformers rediscovered the gospel — the wonderful news that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again to redeem and justify us.

As Luther wrote in his explanation of the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed:

“I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.”

This is most certainly true. On Reformation Day, we glorify God for what he accomplished in 16th century Germany through His servant, Dr. Martin Luther — the recovery of the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We also earnestly pray that God would keep all of us faithful to the true gospel and help us to joyfully declare it to the world.

George Washington’s Prayer for the United States of America

Almighty God,

We make our earnest prayer

– that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection,

– that thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government;

– and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large.

And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all

– to do justice,

– to love mercy and

– to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.

Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.


George Washington, April 30th, 1789

Money Pours Into California Over Gay Marriage Vote

At least 64,000 people from all 50 states and more than 20 other countries have given money to support or oppose a ban on same-sex marriage in California, reflecting broad interest in a race that some consider second in national importance only to the presidential election.

Ten days before the vote on Proposition 8, campaign finance records show that total contributions for and against the measure have surpassed $60 million, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

That would be a record nationally for a ballot initiative based on a social rather than economic issue, campaign finance experts say. It also eclipses the combined total of $33 million spent in the 24 states where similar measures have been put to voters since 2004.

If approved by California voters, Proposition 8 would overturn a state Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriages by changing the state constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman.

Continue reading. . . .

A Platform For Life

What the Republicans Support:

  • The Republicans support protecting the unborn, the elderly and infirm, those with disabilities, and all human life.
  • The Republicans support traditional family values.
  • The Republicans support Parental Notification laws to protect girls from exploitation and statutory rape.
  • The Republicans support the development of alternatives to abortion, especially adoption, and related support systems for these alternatives.
  • The Republicans support a Human Life amendment to the Constitution to further protect these values.

What the Republicans Oppose:

  • The Republicans oppose abortion.
  • The Republicans oppose euthanasia.
  • The Republicans oppose assisted suicide.
  • The Republicans oppose the use of public revenues to promote, advocate or perform abortions.
  • The Republicans believe that any infant born alive during an abortion receive all treatment and care that is provided to newborn infants. – – – – (Democrat candidate Barack Obama voted in favor of allowing these infants to die, when he was in the Illinois Senate).
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