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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

George Washington on the US and the Bible

George WashingtonPresident George Washington:

“Of the many influences that have shaped the United States into a distinctive nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible.”

Churches Should Examine Marriage Bylaws

Traditional MarriageWith the U.S. Supreme Court set to take up gay marriage and potentially legalize it this summer, churches that host wedding ceremonies or other events for traditional couples should examine their bylaws and shield themselves from the impact of possible litigation, says an attorney who specializes in religious liberty issues.

Read the entire article here. . . .

Grote Industries granted an Injunction against the Federal Government’s Health Insurance

Grote IndustriesOn Jan. 30, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction against the federal government’s health insurance contraceptive mandate to Grote Industries, a Catholic-owned business, reversing a lower court’s ruling that earlier dismissed the business’ lawsuit.

Grote, which creates vehicle components, is a family-owned company based in Indiana. The company self-insures its 1,148 full-time employees, and the Grote family objects to the mandate’s required coverage for contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization.

Continue reading here. . . .

Religious Liberty

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson:

I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in any religious discipline has been delegated to the General Government. It must then rest with the States. (Letter to Samuel Miller — 1808)

 

Using the IRS to Challenge Religious Freedom

Freedom From Religion Foundation

From OneNewsNow.com:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sued the Internal Revenue Service in an effort to force the agency to crack down on churches. . . .

“Well, I think this is just further evidence that groups like Freedom From Religion Foundation or Americans United for Separation of Church and State are trying to use the Johnson Amendment in the tax code as a tool of intimidation to silence and censor churches,” contends Erik Stanley, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation argues that churches and religious organizations have become more involved in political campaigns, “blatantly and deliberately flaunting the electioneering restrictions.”

The lawsuit, filed in Wisconsin, cites several examples, including full-page ads that ran this fall in The New York Times and other newspapers by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that featured a photo of renowned evangelist Billy Graham urging Americans to vote along biblical principles.

Click here to read more. . . .

Government and Religion

Supreme Court Justice Joseph StoryJoseph Story:

It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs, whether any free government can be permanent, where the public worship of God, and the support of religion, constitutes no part of the policy or duty of the state in any assignable shape. The future experience of Christendom, and chiefly of the American states, must settle this problem, as yet new in the history of the world, abundant, as it has been, in experiments in the theory of government. (Commentaries on the Constitution — 1833)

We Must Assert Our Rights

George Washington at Valley ForgeGeorge Washington (1774):

“[T]he crisis is arrived when we must assert our rights, or submit to every imposition, that can be heaped upon us, till custom and use shall make us as tame and abject slaves.”

Morality and Religion

Good advice from George Washington (Farewell Address, 1796):

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Expressing Faith

Quoting President Ronald Reagan:

“Now, no one is suggesting that others should be forced into any religious activity, but to prevent those who believe in God from expressing their faith is an outrage. And the relentless drive to eliminate God from our schools can and should be stopped.”

God Governs in the Affairs of Men

According to Benjamin Franklin:

All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?” (Words spoken to Colleagues at the Constitutional Convention)

God’s Gifts

Quoting Ronald Reagan:

“God [gave] mankind virtually unlimited gifts to invent, produce and create. And for that reason alone, it would be wrong for governments to devise a tax structure or economic system that suppresses and denies those gifts.”

Freedom of Religion

Quoting Patrick Henry (Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution)

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” (The Trumpet Voice of Freedom: Patrick Henry of Virginia, p. iii)

Overcoming Our Present Difficulty

Quoting :

“Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.”

OK to Bully Christians?

The White House anti-bullying spokesman is Dan Savage. Savage is the founder of a pro-LGTB anti-bullying campaign. On April 13th, he turned an anti-bullying speech at the National High School Journalism Conference into an all-out attack on Christians and Christianity. Almost 100 students walked out during Savage’s diatribe. Savage mocked the Bible and anyone who believes it. He also urged the students to ignore the “bull —-” taught by the Bible. He proceeded to then call the students who walked out during his speech “pansy-a—d.” Obviously, bullying Christians is acceptable to the White House.

Read more about this subject. . . .

Now, consider and contrast the above incident with the following quotation from Justice Joseph Story who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1845.

[I]t is impossible for those, who believe in the truth of Christianity, as a divine revelation, to doubt, that it is the especial duty of government to foster, and encourage it among all the citizens and subjects. This is a point wholly distinct from that of the right of private judgment in matters of religion, and of the freedom of public worship according to the dictates of one’s conscience. (From Justice Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, January 6, 1833)

[A] malicious intention . . . to vilify the Christian religion and the Scriptures. . . . would prove a nursery of vice, a school of preparation to qualify young men for the gallows and young women for the brothel. . . . Religion and morality . . . are the foundations of all governments. Without these restraints no free government could long exist. (Updegraph v. Commonwealth, 1824)

I find it amazing to see how far from our noble beginnings our government and people of this United States have fallen. Then again; it is always the disposition of the natural man to suppress the truth when it suits his own desires.

Patriotism

Quoting George Washington’s Farewell Address:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity. Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness—these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens. (October 19, 1796)

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