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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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Are State’s Rights Movements Becoming More Active?

us_flagQuoting Georgetown University professor of constitutional law Randy Barnett:

“In response to an unprecedented expansion of federal power, citizens have held hundreds of ‘tea party’ rallies around the country, and various states are considering ‘sovereignty resolutions’ invoking the Constitution’s Ninth and Tenth Amendments. For example, Michigan’s proposal urges ‘the federal government to halt its practice of imposing mandates upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States.’ While well-intentioned, such symbolic resolutions are not likely to have the slightest impact on the federal courts, which long ago adopted a virtually unlimited construction of Congressional power. But state legislatures have a real power under the Constitution by which to resist the growth of federal power: They can petition Congress for a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution. An amendments convention is feared because its scope cannot be limited in advance. The convention convened by Congress to propose amendments to the Articles of Confederation produced instead the entirely different Constitution under which we now live. Yet it is precisely the fear of a runaway convention that states can exploit to bring Congress to heel. …[A] Federalism Amendment would provide tea-party enthusiasts and other concerned Americans with a concrete and practical proposal by which we can restore our lost Constitution.”

Preaching Is Essential To Worship

bible123From: The Pen of Robert Spinney

Most American Christians today do not understand how listening to an hour of preaching can be an act of worship. This is because we tend to regard worship as something inherently emotional. Worship, we believe, is something that we feel. We like to be “lifted up to the Lord” in worship, which seems to require heavy emphasis on songs. “Good worship” is worship that moves us, touches our heart, and causes us to sway a little. Because we equate praise and worship with emotions, we tend to think of our standard Lord’s Day morning worship services as containing two distinct parts: the “praise and worship” part ( which consists of singing primarily of singing and perhaps public testimonies ), and the teaching or lesson part ( which consists of the pastor’s morning sermon ). We see the sermon as a wholly intellectual and didactic event ( read: it doesn’t move us emotionally ), so we think that the worship stops when the preaching begins. I get blank looks from otherwise energetic Christians when I speak of “worshiping while one listens to the Word being proclaimed” or “preaching as an act of worship for preacher and listener” or “meeting God in the preached Word.”

What is the problem? In addition to placing too much importance upon emotions, we American Christians suffer from a sub-biblical view of preaching. But this may be because — in spite of all our affirmations and orthodox statements of faith — we have a sub-biblical view of the Word of God itself.

We can ( and should ) say many good things about the Word of God: it is infallible, it is inerrant, it is God-breathed, it is useful, it is relevant, it is the final authority in matters of faith and practice. But we should add one other thing, something our Protestant forefathers emphasized but we have forgotten: the Word of God mediates the presence of God to us. In other words, God does not normally speak to his people today through dreams or Isaiah-like prophets. He speaks through his Word. That means if I wish to hear God’s voice and enjoy his presence, I need to sit before his Word. To put it another way, we meet God through his Word. The Holy Scriptures not only teach us, exhort us, and correct us ( although they do all these things ), God’s Word is also the normal medium through which we encounter God himself and receive from him. . . .

Few American Christians today believe that the Word of God mediates the presence of God. Ask the average American Christian when ( or where ) she is most likely to commune with God intimately, and she will respond, “When I’m singing.” This is why we use the phrase “praise and worship services” to describe a meeting where we do nothing but sing. In other words, we use songs to mediate the presence of God. Although we would never admit it, we secretly believe that hymns, contemporary Christian songs, and praise choruses are more powerful than the Holy Scriptures. . . .

I understand that the appeal for Word-based worship, or worship that is centered upon the hearing of the Word of God, may sound strange, just as we are beginning to abandon it in favor of more “exciting” methods. But Word-based worship was commonplace among our Protestant forefathers. Protestants of all stripes understood that the guidelines for a biblical and profitable worship service could be reduced to one phrase: Word and Sacrament. For centuries, Christians have met with their God in the written Word ( as set forth in the sermon ) and in the living Word ( as set forth in the Lord’s Supper service ). We may be the first generation of Christians to think that we can have a praise and worship service without the presence of either the preached Word or the communion table.

Dire Predictions About The Future Of The US

liberal-fascismFrom: The Pen of Sher Zieve

  • Massive energy tax increases of at least an additional $1,800/year/family
  • Higher prices for all goods and services
  • Total government control of the media (See Rosa Brooks “news” bail out proposal)
  • Total government control of the entire financial industry (money will go to Obama and leftist supporters and be withheld from those who oppose them)
  • The end of free speech (US state police have already been apprised by the Obama administration’s DHS Chief Napolitano that all who hold conservative or third party viewpoints are to be considered ‘enemies of the state’)
  • Abortions on demand
  • Infanticide for failed abortions (Note: Obama voted four times in opposition to a law that would have protected babies who are left to die after a failed abortion)
  • Total government control of ALL industries Obama et al deem “essential” (which is subject to change at a moment’s notice)
  • The end to small business unless it supports the Left
  • The end of the middle class—as Obama and Co and the globalists will have gutted the country’s treasury and placed US taxpayer money in their own pockets
  • The criminalization of all political thought that is deemed non-supportive of the Left
  • The rescinding of Amendment 22 to end presidential term limits
  • The prosecution of President George W. Bush for protecting the country against terrorists (in order to distract the masses from what Supreme Leader Obama and Co are really doing)
  • The elevation of terrorists to a protected class (Islamists soon to be the global power elite’s Secret Police force?)
  • Forced taxpayer funding for illegal immigrants
  • The dismantling of the US’ southern border
  • Major drug dealers covertly partnering with government

You may read the entire article titled “The Reason The Left Must Destroy The USA” here. . . .

Hate Crimes Laws Create Second Class Citizens

In The Words of Matt Barber:

The U.S. Senate is preparing to vote any day on S. 909, a “hate crimes” bill that would grant special preferred government status to a select few citizens based on the behaviorally driven, fluid and undefined concepts of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” while expressly excluding other citizens. . . .

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle – in Washington and around the country – should not only reject S. 909, but should also begin working toward repeal of all state and federal hate-crimes laws.

All violent crimes are “hate crimes.” Ever known anyone cracked upside the head in love? There may have been a time when hate-crimes laws were temporarily necessary, but that time has come and gone. When the 1968 federal hate-crimes bill passed, there were multiple and verifiable cases of local prosecutors refusing to indict whites for violent crimes committed against blacks. This was the justification for the law at the time. . . .

S. 909 and existing hate-crimes laws create a two-tiered justice system with first-class victims and second-class victims. Second-class victims – such as the elderly, veterans, the homeless or children – are explicitly denied the same resources, attention and justice given to those who are arbitrarily deemed to be first-class victims. This is as un-American as it is unfair.

Rather than continuing down the wrong path and creating new hate-crimes laws that unfairly favor whichever boutique special-interest group screams the loudest, we should move toward inclusion and equality for all Americans. We should look to the future instead of the past. We should both reject S. 909 and repeal all outdated and discriminatory hate-crimes laws.

Read more here. . . .

Socialism: The God Of Modern Thought By Charles Spurgeon

charles-haddon-spurgeon123The god of modern thought exceedingly resembles the deities described in this Psalm [115:8]. Pantheism is wondrously akin to Polytheism, and yet differs very little from Atheism. The god manufactured by our great thinkers is a mere abstraction: he has no eternal purposes, he does not interpose on the behalf of his people, he cares but very little as to how much man sins, for he has given to the initiated “a larger hope” by which the most incorrigible are to be restored. He is what the last set of critics chooses to make him, he has said what they choose to say, and lie will do what they please to prescribe. Let this creed and its devotees alone, and they will work out their own refutation, for as now their god is fashioned like themselves, they will by degrees fashion themselves like their god; and when the principles of justice, law, and order shall have all been effectually sapped we may possibly witness in some form of socialism, similar to that which is so sadly spreading in Germany, a repetition of the evils which have in former ages befallen nations which have refused the living God, and set up gods of their own.

EPA Powers Will Destabilize Our Economy And Freedoms

environmental fascismFrom: The Pen of Jonah Goldberg

One of the most important events of our lifetimes may have just transpired. A federal agency has decided that it has the power to regulate everything, including the air you breathe.

Nominally, the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement . . . only applies to new-car emissions. But pretty much everyone agrees that the ruling opens the door to regulating, well, everything.

According to the EPA, greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide — the gas you exhale — as well as methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. It is literally impossible to imagine a significant economic or human activity that does not involve the production of one of these gases. Don’t think just of the gas and electricity bills. Cow flatulence is a serious concern of the EPA’s already. What next? Perhaps an EPA mandarin will pick up a copy of “The Greenpeace Guide to Environmentally Friendly Sex” and go after the root causes of global warming.

Whether or not global warming is a crisis that warrants immediate, drastic action (I don’t think it does), and whether or not such wholesale measures would be an economic calamity (they would be), the EPA’s decision should be disturbing to people who believe in democratic, constitutional government.

Continue reading. . . .

If You Believe What You Like

Quoting Saint Augustine:

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.

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