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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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  • February 2009
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Who Is The Founder Of America?

John Calvin

John Calvin

Quoting Loraine Boettner:

‘If the average American citizen were asked, who was the founder of America, the true author of our great Republic, he might be puzzled to answer. We can imagine his amazement at hearing the answer given to this question by the famous German historian, Ranke, one of the profoundest scholars of modern times. Says Ranke, ‘John Calvin was the virtual founder of America.”

D’Aubigne, whose history of the Reformation is a classic, writes: ‘Calvin was the founder of the greatest of republics. The Pilgrims who left their country in the reign of James I, and landing on the barren soil of New England, founded populous and mighty colonies, were his sons, his direct and legitimate sons; and that American nation which we have seen growing so rapidly boasts as its father the humble Reformer on the shore of Lake Leman.’

Dr. E. W. Smith says, ‘These revolutionary principles of republican liberty and self-government, taught and embodied in the system of Calvin, were brought to America, and in this new land where they have borne so mighty a harvest were planted, by whose hands? – the hands of the Calvinists. The vital relation of Calvin and Calvinism to the founding of the free institutions of America, however strange in some ears the statement of Ranke may have sounded, is recognized and affirmed by historians of all lands and creeds.’

All this has been thoroughly understood and candidly acknowledged by such penetrating and philosophic historians as Bancroft, who far though he was from being Calvinistic in his own personal convictions, simply calls Calvin ‘the father of America,’ and adds: ‘He who will not honor the memory and respect the influence of Calvin knows but little of the origin of American liberty.’

Happiness And Miseries

Richard Sibbes

Richard Sibbes

Quoting Richard Sibbes:

The tenets of [the Christian life] seem paradoxes to carnal men; as first, that a Christian is the only freeman, and other men are slaves; that he is the only rich man, though never so poor in the world; that he is the only beautiful man, though outwardly never so deformed; that he is the only happy man in the midst of all his miseries.

John Adams On The Holy Spirit

John Adams

John Adams

Quoting John Adams:

“The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation.” (Signer of The Declaration of Independence, Second President of US)

Mark Steyn Testifies On Behalf Of Free Speech In Canada

Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn, below, is testifying before the Canadian Standing Committee on Government Agencies specifically concerning a review of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. In this case, the title “Human Rights Tribunal” is simply “government-speak” for a “kangaroo court” that arbitrarily decides when “free speech” should be deemed “hate speech.”

This testimony took place on February 9, 2009. Americans should beware those politicians who are currently endeavoring to pass legislation which would set up their own style of “Human Rights Tribunals” in the US. Steyn’s defense of free speech will become a classic:

The Chair (Mrs. Julia Munro): I’d first like to ask Mr. Mark Steyn to come forward and join us. Please sit down and make yourself comfortable. Good afternoon, Mr. Steyn. I would just explain to you that we have 30 minutes set aside that you may use as you wish in making comments. Time that is left over then will be divided amongst the caucuses. So please begin if you’re ready.

Mr. Mark Steyn: I’d just like to make a brief statement, and then I’m happy to answer any questions.

The present Ontario human rights regime is incompatible with a free society. It is useless on real human rights issues that we face today, and in the course of such pseudo human rights as the human right to smoke marijuana on someone else’s property or the human right to a transsexual labioplasty, it tramples on real human rights, including property rights, free speech, the right to due process and the presumption of innocence.

Far from reducing racism or sexism, the Ontario human rights regime explicitly institutionalizes racism and sexism through its inability to view any dispute except through the narrow prism of identity politics. It’s at odds not just with eight centuries of this province’s legal inheritance, but with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Canada likes that one so much, it sticks it on the back of the $50 bill, even though Ontario’s human rights regime is in sustained systemic breach of article 6, article 7, articles 8 to 10, 11, 12, 18, 19, 21 and 27 of the UN declaration. The good news is that Ontario is not in violation of as many articles as Sudan or North Korea.

All are equal before the law and are entitled, without any discrimination, to equal protection of the law. That’s article 7. It’s not true in Ontario. Last year, the Ontario Human Rights Commission effectively gave Maclean’s and myself a drive-by verdict. They couldn’t be bothered taking us to trial, but they decided to pronounce us guilty anyway. That neglects the most basic principle of justice: Audi alteram partem; hear the other side. Chief commissar Barbara Hall didn’t bother hearing the other side; she simply declared us guilty. That is the very defining act of a police state: an apparatchik announcing that a citizen is guilty of dissent from state orthodoxy.

But here’s the point: Maclean’s and I have no fear of Barbara Hall, the commission or the tribunal. You’re welcome to try and do your worst to us. We have deep pockets. We pushed back and we filled the newspapers with stories about all these wacky cases that Barbara Hall and others are so obsessed about. Like all tinpot bullies, the commission couldn’t take the heat and backed down. But if you’re just a fellow who happens to own a restaurant in Burlington, the Ontario human rights regime will destroy your savings, your business and your life for no good reason. The verdict is irrelevant; the process is the punishment.
I would like to say one further thing: When Mohamed Elmasry announced his suits against Maclean’s, he was supported by Terry Downey of the Ontario Federation of Labour, and Ms. Downey, explaining her support for Dr. Elmasry, said, “There is proper conduct that everyone has to follow.” Sorry; I pass on that one. For one thing, there is no “proper conduct” in the wacky world of pseudo human rights in this province. The rules are made up as they go along, so even if you wanted to follow them, you can’t. In John Locke’s words, they “dispose of the Estates of the Subject arbitrarily.”

Secondly, it’s all too easy to imagine the Terry Downeys of the day primly telling a homosexual 50 years ago that there’s proper conduct that everyone has to follow, or a Jew 70 years ago that there’s proper conduct that everyone has to follow. That’s why free societies do not license ideologues to regulate proper conduct. When you subordinate legal principles to ideological fashion, you place genuine liberties in peril, and that’ s the state in Ontario today.

Thank you.

Read more here. . . .

Steven Crowder And Politically Incorrect Moments With The Qur’an

Heed The Warning

How do you know that you have been born again by the Spirit of God? Do you have assurance of your salvation? By this I mean do you have an internal sense, based on evidence in your life, that you have truly been born again and will persevere as a Christian until the end of your life? These are very important questions to ask yourself. Too often, people speak only of their salvation as a past tense experience while currently they are living in disobedience to God. They possess a false “easy assurance” of salvation because at one time in their lives they made “a profession of faith” and were baptized shortly afterwards. They accepted a watered-down understanding of eternal security and never, afterwards, seriously examined their lives for evidence of the fruit of the Spirit. The words of Jesus should call us to clear thinking on this subject:

“For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Easy assurance is a serious problem in our Christian culture. In Matthew, however, Jesus warns first century Christians not to take their salvation for granted. In the verses above, Jesus warns his followers that their righteousness must exceed the example of the scribes and Pharisees. The Pharisees were very concerned about keeping the Law. They possessed an outward righteousness that appeared as an exceedingly high standard. Nevertheless, it was a religious righteousness that focused on what others could see, not a heart righteousness that led to internal purity. The righteousness of the Pharisees was all for show and none of the Spirit. Jesus was saying that going through the motions of righteous works will not gain you admittance into the kingdom of heaven. There must also be an inward transformation that has taken place. Your righteous deeds may be a sign of inward transformation, but you should never take that for granted.

Matthew 7 even shows us that it is possible to do “mighty works” in the name of Jesus, and yet to be outside of His Will and not of His Spirit. Jesus calls these people “workers of lawlessness.” How is this possible?

They made a confession of faith, but it was false because their works were done for their own glory even though they used the name of Jesus. Evil desire was still the master on the throne of their hearts. They actually walked according to their own desires and only professed obedience to the Lord. They were deceived by believing that their confession of Christ as Lord was enough to merit entrance into the kingdom. However, they were unrepentant and their lives were ruled by carnality. They had no abiding internal desire to live a holy life to the glory of Jesus Christ by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

We must heed the warning of Jesus here. The secular psychology of this age has grown in influence over the modern church. We have developed an eagerness to assure the guilty of their salvation when there is no sign of true repentance – no true evidence of desire to live a holy life. Paul writes to the Corinthians, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5) How can we call Him Savior, when we have no desire to obey Him and love Him as our Lord? A mere verbal acknowledgement does not equal saving faith. Again, Paul writes, “. . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. . . .” (Philippians 2:12) This is a serious issue that should not be regarded lightly. Our salvation is all of God and all of God’s Grace. It is a grace that enables us to love Jesus Christ so much that we are willing to act in His behalf by the way we live and by sharing the Gospel Truth with a lost and dying world. We must take care to persevere and watch over our lives accordingly. The inward change as we grow more in love with Christ and the outward fruit of this transformation will be our assurance.

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