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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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The Mount Vernon Statement

More than 80 respected conservative leaders took part in the release on Wednesday, February 17th of “The Mount Vernon Statement,” which outlines core conservative beliefs. Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, who chaired the committee that drafted the document, said, “It is the culmination of a thoughtful deliberation about our nation’s principles.” Indeed, the Statement articulates in a nutshell what conservatives should be advocating: Constitutional Rule of Law.

Some of those present to sign the Statement included former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell III, American Spectator Publisher Alfred Regnery, and American Conservative Union President David Keene. The purpose of the Mount Vernon Statement is to stop our country’s descent into secular progressive socialism and moral relativism by uniting conservatives around common concerns.

The Mount Vernon Statement

Conservative Beliefs, Values and Principles

We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.

These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.

Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The self-evident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.

Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new. But where would this lead — forward or backward, up or down? Isn’t this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?

The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles. At this important time, we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature’s God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man’s self-interest but also his capacity for virtue.

The conservatism of the Constitution limits government’s powers but ensures that government performs its proper job effectively. It refines popular will through the filter of representation. It provides checks and balances through the several branches of government and a federal republic.

A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.

A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.

• It applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal.

• It honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life.

• It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and economic reforms grounded in market solutions.

• It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end.

• It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith.

If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose. We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America’s founding principles.

February, 2010

The Men In This Age Need A Revival

Charles H. Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon writes:

We too often flog the church, when the whip should be laid on our own shoulders. We drag the church, like a colossal culprit, to the altar; we bind her, and try to execute her at once; we bind her hands fast, and tear off thongfull after thongfull of her quivering flesh—finding fault with her where there is none, and magnifying her little errors; while we too often forget ourselves. Let us, therefore, commence with ourselves, remembering that we are part of the church, and that our own want of revival is in some measure the cause of that want in the church at large.

Now, I directly charge the great majority of professing Christians—and I take the charge to myself also—with a need of a revival of piety in these days. I shall lay the charge before you very peremptorily, because I think I have abundant grounds to prove it. I believe that the mass of Christian men in this age need a revival, and my reasons are these:

In the first place, look at the conduct and conversation of too many who profess to be the children of God. It ill becomes any man who occupies the sacred place of a pulpit to flatter his hearers, and I shall not attempt to do so. The evidence lies with too many of you who unite yourselves with Christian churches, and in practically protesting against your profession.

It has become very common now-a-days to join a church; go where you may you find professing Christians who sit down at some Lord’s table or another; but are there fewer cheats than there used to be? Are there less frauds committed? Do we find morality more extensive? Do we find vice entirely at an end? No, we do not. . . . My brethren, it is well known and who dares deny it that is not too partial, and who will not speak willful falsehood ?—it is well known that it is not these days a sufficient guaranty even of a man’s honesty, that he is a member of a church. It is a hard thing for Christian ministers to say, but we must say it, and if friends say it not, enemies will; and better that the truth should be spoken in our midst, that men may see that we are ashamed of it, than that they should hear us impudently deny what we must confess to be true!

O sirs, the lives of too many members of’ Christian churches give us grave cause to suspect that there is none of the life of godliness in them at all. . . . God in heaven knows that what I speak is true, and too many here know it themselves. If they be Christians, at least they want revival; if there be life in them, it is but a spark that is covered up with heaps of ashes; it needs to be fanned, ay, and it needs to be stirred also, that, haply, some of the ashes may be removed and the spark may have place to live. The church wants revival in the persons of its members. The members of Christian churches are not what once they were. It is fashionable to be religious now; persecution is taken away; and ah! I had almost said, the gates of the church were taken away with it. The church has, with few exceptions, no gates now; her sons come in, and go out of it, just as they would march through St. Paul’s cathedral, and make it a very place of traffic, instead of regarding it as a select and sacred spot, to be apportioned to the holy of the Lord, and to the excellent of the earth, in whom is God’s delight. If this be not true, you know how to treat it; you need not confess to sin you have not committed; but if it be true, and true in your case, O humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God; ask him to search and try you, that if you be not his child you may be helped to renounce your profession, lest it should be to you but the gaudy pageantry of death, and mere tinsel and gew-gaw in which to go to hell. If you be his, ask that he may give you more grace, that you may renounce these faults and follies, and turn unto him with full purpose of heart, as the effect of a revived godliness in your soul. (“The True Essence of Revival”)

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