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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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Cain and Able Were Brothers

No man believed so firmly in the philosophy of development and progress than H G Wells, the novelist. Wells was a scientific humanist who believed that the advance of knowledge, culture, and science would create an earthly paradise. When the Second World War broke out, he wrote his last book with this very significant title, Mind at the End of Its Tether. He simply did not understand what he considered to be the failure of human progress. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains:

This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:27-29 ESV)

I need not tell you that we are meeting together tonight in a time of great confusion, a time of grave and terrible crisis. Everybody is aware of this; you cannot read a paper, you cannot listen to a news bulletin without hearing of some added crisis, some new problem, and some fresh tragedy. The world is in an alarming state and condition. We are truly in an age of exceptional crisis. But I want to put to you that we are not only in a time and age of crisis, we are living in a time when all of us are being tested, and all of us have been sifted and examined and proved. What I mean by that is this, that the state of the world tonight is testing the outlook, the point of view, of every one of us who is in this congregation. Indeed of everybody that is in the world. Everybody has got some view of life, even the most thoughtless people, people who scarcely ever think at all, they have got a kind of philosophy and their philosophy is not to think. What is the use of thinking?’ they say. So they have got their point of view, their point of view is ‘Let us eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’. So I am saying that everybody’s point of view, everybody’s attitude towards life, is on trial at the moment. . . .

So I put that as my first question: Are you surprised at the fact that the world is as it is at this very moment? Or, let me phrase that in a slightly different way: Are you disappointed that the world is as it is? Not only surprised but disappointed, because again there are many people in the world who are grievously disappointed at the present state of affairs. And they are disappointed for this reason, that having adopted the kind of idealistic philosophy, or view of life, which was very popular in the last century – you know that idea that believed in evolution, or progress and development, the view which said that as the result of popular education which came in 1870 and all the marvelous scientific advances and discoveries, more travel, ability to mix with other nations – they were very confident that the twentieth century was going to be the golden century, the crowning century of all the centuries! Did not Tennyson write about the coming of the parliament of men and the federation of the world, of the days when men would beat their swords into ploughshares and war would be no more? War, we were told – and they taught this, not only the poets but the philosophers and the politicians – war, they said, was due to the fact that people did not know one another. . . . They had forgotten, you see, that Cain and Abel were brothers. . . . (“A Kingdom Which Cannot Be Shaken”)

Samuel At Gilgal Nominated

The Issue Of Sovereignty

Signing of the Declaration of Independence

Quoting Steven Groves:

The United States is a sovereign nation. Sovereignty is a simple idea: the United States is an independent nation, governed by the American people, that controls its own affairs. The American people adopted the Constitution and created the government. They elect their representatives and make their own laws. The Founding Fathers understood that if America does not have sovereignty, it does not have independence. If a foreign power can tell America “what we shall do, and what we shall not do,” George Washington once wrote to Alexander Hamilton, “we have Independence yet to seek, and have contended hitherto for very little.” The Founders believed in sovereignty. In 1776, they fought for it. (Excerpt from: Understanding America – Why Does Sovereignty Matter to America?)

The Good News Of The Resurrection

In the verses below, we find that the best of men owe their praise to the great mercy of God. All of the evil in this world is from man’s sin and all the good from God’s mercy. He has given us a new birth which is worthy of our eternal thanksgiving!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [4] to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, [5] who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. [6] In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, as was necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, [7] so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. [8] Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, [9] obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9, ESV)

Are people basically good? Answers from most people lean towards good. Secular counseling practices begin with the foundational belief that people are basically good. Such claims fall very short when compared to the reality of human nature. The Bible is very clear that the opposite is true.

In the Scripture above, the Apostle Peter wants us to see that we have a great need and only Jesus Christ can meet that need. We need to be spiritually alive, but we are spiritually dead and most of us don’t know it and there is nothing we can do about it for our selves anyway. We are spiritually dead; not sick and in need of medicine, but dead and in need of a resurrection.

The power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead can also raise us from the dead and secure our salvation. Are you a Christian? If you are, you have experienced this new birth or this resurrection. You know the reality of being brought from death to life. If you have never trusted Christ as Lord and Savior, read again carefully the verses from 1 Peter above. His resurrection brings about our resurrection.

God looks down on His people and, in His great mercy; He causes us to be born again spiritually. Our Lord Jesus was the first to put on immortality. His resurrection results in our resurrection.

By faith we understand that someday Jesus will return. When He is revealed to us then our joy will be complete. The resurrection is all about the grace of God. It’s grace because it secures salvation for the people of God. There isn’t a person who deserves it. But because of His death for the elect and His resurrection to secure us, we can rejoice. The gospel is the good news that Jesus completed for His people what they could never do for themselves.

Christians In The Military

Do Christian troops have a right to separate shower facilities from homosexuals? Do Christian military members have the right to separate sleeping quarters? Do they have the right to not be sexually harassed on the job by somebody who’s hitting on them? Is it OK to be openly homosexual in the military, but not openly Christian? Chad Groening writes:

A former Navy chaplain has launched a petition drive aimed at defending military chaplains and Christian troops from persecution by proponents of homosexuality.

In December, Lt. Col. Stacy L. Maxey (USAF), who is stationed in Afghanistan, wrote a letter to the editor of Stars and Stripes arguing that the Department of Defense has now become the “Department of Double Standards,” in telling service members who have a problem with the homosexual lifestyle to “learn to deal with it,” while at the same time allowing homosexuals to “parade their lifestyle choices in front of all.”

Maxey went on to write that he has a higher commitment to God than to the Department of Defense — and that if officials there are upset with his comments, they can “learn to deal with it.”

Continue reading. . . .

Persecution Of Christians Increases In China And The Middle East

All conservatives and Christians should take time to visit the Patriot Post. Below is an example:

Quoting The Patriot Post:

China has reportedly launched another crackdown on local congregations known as house churches that don’t belong to the official state-sanctioned “church.” The China Aid Association, a U.S. group that supports Chinese Christians, says that Chinese authorities have labeled the house church movement a “cult.” The Communist government used the term “cult” in 1999 when it outlawed the Falun Gong meditation movement. Soon after, a major crackdown was launched against the Falun Gong, and a similar move against house church Christians may be in the works.

In Iraq, the purging of Christians from the country is an unfortunate and unintended consequence of the war to remove Saddam Hussein from power. More than half of Iraq’s Christians have fled the country since 2003 due to Muslim persecution, and this exodus recently picked up steam. The Sunni terrorists who killed 51 worshipers and two priests when they bombed a Baghdad Catholic church earlier this year have vowed to kill Christians “wherever they can reach them.” Other bombings and murders are sending a clear signal that Christians are not welcome in Iraq. . . .

The human tragedy of these Islamist attacks is compounded by the historic one. Christians of the Middle East preserve the ways of the Apostolic era as no other Christians can. The followers of Jesus were first called Christians in Antioch, Syria, and it was there that the Gospels were first written down. For a millennium, the churches of Iraq and Syria were great centers of Christian thought and culture. Today, however, the Christian population in every Muslim country in the region is declining. . . .

Read more here. . . .

Targeting Christians In Muslim Lands

As the world continues to grow smaller, the Muslim world’s indigenous Christians are being identified with free Christians in the West. Muslim perceptions of the West affect the treatment of Christians in Muslim lands. Race or geography is not important; shared religion makes them all liable for one another. This practice of actually attacking one set of Christians or non-Muslims in general, in response to another — has roots in Islamic law. The Pact of Omar, a foundational text for Islam’s treatment of Dhimmis (i.e., non-Muslims who refused to convert after their lands were seized by Islam) makes this clear. The consequences of breaking any conditions that Christians were made to accept in order to be granted a degree of security by the Muslim state were severe. A rule broken by a single individual Dhimmis could result in jihad being enacted against the whole community. Raymond Ibrahim, the associate director of the Middle East Forum and the author of The Al Qaeda Reader, puts this ancient practice into a modern perspective:

In 2006, when Pope Benedict quoted history deemed unflattering to Islam, Christians around the Muslim world paid the price: anti-Christian riots ensued, churches were burned, and a nun was murdered in Somalia. That was then. Days ago, when a Christian in Egypt was accused of dating a Muslim woman, twenty-two Christian homes were set ablaze, to cries of “Allah Akbar.” Countless other examples of one group of Christians in the Muslim world being “punished” in response to other Christians exist.

In fact, the recent carnage in Baghdad, wherein Islamists stormed a church during mass, killing over fifty Christian worshippers, was a “response” to Egypt’s Coptic Christian church, which Islamists accuse of kidnapping and torturing Muslim women to convert to Christianity. (Ironically, the well documented reality in Egypt is that Muslims regularly kidnap and force Christian women to convert to Islam: these accusations are part of a new trend whereby Islamists project their own crimes onto the Copts.) And the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists who perpetrated the Baghdad church massacre have further threatened Christians around the world. . . .

Continue reading. . . .

Political Correctness In American Policy

Karl Marx (1818 – 1883)

Karl Marx

The ideas supporting political correctness were first articulated by a group of Marxist professors who, in order to escape Hitler’s wrath, escaped Nazi Germany before WWII. Historically then, we can see that political correctness is the result of cultural Marxism. It is economic Marxism translated into cultural terms. These German Marxists understood that Karl Marx was wrong about the inevitability of the socialist takeover of capitalism. They believed that Marxism must be turned into a stealth project in order to take over free capitalistic democracies. Many of these German Marxists resettled in America, where they and their followers have continued to advocate these ideas. Author and attorney Kelly O’Connell writes about the effect of political correctness on the US:

Political Correctness is first a movement of speech purification which is meant to remove any objectionable content that unfairly differentiates between the speaker and different subgroups. It is also supposed to change behavior by promoting these subgroups. It typically buries traditional morality along the way. The real problem with PC is that it is a theoretical standard which has real world consequences that can be quite appalling.

There is no lack of examples of bad, unintended consequences to the PC movement. Many claim America’s universities have been absolutely degraded by the absurd standards of PC. Another points out the harm it has done to medical services. But the worst influences may be upon US security and warfare. . . .

For example, did the Fort Hood Shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, get preferential treatment because he was Muslim then end up shooting 41 American soldiers while screaming, “Allah Akbar”, ie God is Great—as an Islamic declaration of Jihad? America is so PC friendly, US service people cannot even carry their own weapons on base. . . .

Imagine in how many different ways the PC movement has hampered the ability of America to wage war effectively. These PC-styled Rules of Engagement have so hampered US forces in Afghanistan that the enemy often can claim strategic advantage in planning attacks despite all their weaknesses. . . .

Here are two examples of Rules of Engagement:

If having been fired upon by a shooter who then drops his weapon to his side as soon as he comes under notice from coalition forces, he should no longer be considered an immediate threat and is not to be fired upon, even if he decamps to another location where it is likely he will take up another position to resume firing.

If troops come under fire from a dwelling place which could be considered to have women and children present they are to avoid returning fire and deploy to another safer area.

Read more on this subject. . . .

Mosque At Ground Zero An Insult

Picture of Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani

Quoting Rudy Giuliani:

(Building a mosque at Ground Zero) sends a particularly bad message, particularly (because) of the background of the Imam who is supporting this. This is an Imam who has supported radical causes, who has not been forthright in condemning Islamic (terrorism) and the worst instincts that that brings about. So it not only is exactly the wrong place, right at Ground Zero, but it’s a mosque supported by an Imam who has a record of support for causes that were sympathetic with terrorism. Come on! We’re gonna allow that at Ground Zero? This is a desecration. Nobody would allow something like that at Pearl Harbor. Let’s have some respect for who died there and why they died there. Let’s not put this off on some kind of politically correct theory. I mean, they died there because of Islamic extremist terrorism. They are our enemy, we can say that, the world will not end when we say that. And the reality is it will not and should not insult any decent Muslim because decent Muslims should be as opposed to Islamic extremism as you and I are.

A Few Facts About The DREAM Act

Harry Reid is ready to stick it to the American taxpayer with another version of Illegal Alien Amnesty. He calls it the DREAM Act, S. 3827. Reid has about four weeks to try to jam this nightmare down the throats of American citizens. Why should you call your Senator to oppose the DREAM Act? Here are a few facts:

Nearly all of the publicity attendant to this Act has stressed that it is for “the children” of illegal aliens; but as Senator Sessions stresses, the DREAM Act is not limited to children and it will be funded from government taxpayer monies.

It will provide a Safe Harbor for any illegal alien, including criminals to keep from being deported just by submitting an application.

It will make certain criminal aliens eligible for Amnesty including alien gang members and aliens with misdemeanor convictions, even DUIs; also aliens who have engaged in voter fraud or unlawfully voted, aliens who have falsely claimed U.S. citizenship, and other abuses.

It will give Illegal Aliens In-State Tuition Benefits.

It does not require an Illegal Alien to finish any type of degree program as a condition for Amnesty, meaning they could just start and then quit and still be eligible for Amnesty.

Though there already is a process for Illegal Aliens to obtain citizenship through military service, the DREAM Act does not require that an illegal Alien serve in the military as a condition for amnesty.

Once a Illegal Alien submits an application for the DREAM Act he will be given all the rights that legal immigrants receive, including The Right To Sponsor Their Parents and Extended Family Members for Immigration as well. (Here’s where the numbers will swell to absolute unmanageable numbers of persons and expenses.)

It will get Illegal Aliens Federal Student Loans, Federal Work Study Programs, and other forms of Federal Financial Aid. If an Illegal Alien’s DREAM Act application is denied the Department of Homeland Security is prohibited from using the denial information to initiate their Removal Proceedings or Investigate or Prosecute Fraud in the Application Process.

Read more about this subject. . . .

The Will To Win

Quoting Ronald Reagan:

“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.”

The Slaughter Of Christians Ignored

Pamela Geller

Quoting columnist Pamela Geller:

“While we are constantly being schooled in how insensitive we are to Muslims and how we should be bowing to the idea of a Ground Zero mega-mosque, or are being admonished for not embracing the Sharia, the state of wartime siege continues unabated. The Muslim world is under no such mandate to reach out or reciprocate. They only have to demand, and the West apologizes. … We live in a constant state of low-grade war. And with each new Muslim attack, we lose a right. We lose a freedom. We have to adhere to some new restriction or loss of privacy. … The general silence from the mainstream media and our governing officials on last weekend’s wholesale slaughter of Christians praying in a Church is indicative of how decayed, empty, and morally inverted our leaders and media have become. The slaughter of the churchgoers in Baghdad was a crime against humanity. And there are thousands of stories of Islamic slaughter, but the lambs remain silent. Have we become so inured to Islamic jihad that human life is cheap to us as well?”

Continue reading. . . .

Washington’s PR Efforts Towards Muslims Are A Dismal Failure

A new international Pew poll has revealed the folly of appeasement when the US attempts to win the hearts and minds of Muslims. Even though America has spent trillions of dollars and lost thousands of its sons and daughters to liberate and save Muslim lives in Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, Muslims still hate us. The results of this study are supported by a recent Gallup poll of U.S. Muslims that found in spite of “politically correct” outreach efforts and tolerance toward Muslims in America, “Muslims are the most likely group to report feeling anger compared with the overall population.” According to an article in Investors Business Daily:

Above all, foreign Muslims hate American foreign policy, which in a disturbingly large share of their minds justifies terrorism. Fully 57% of Jordanians think it’s OK to attack civilians in jihad. A simple majority of Egyptians agree. . . .

Muslims also blame us for their lack of prosperity. Nearly half of Turks, among the better educated of Mideast Muslims, say Western policies rob them of wealth. . . .

Though they are beneficiaries of $10 billion in direct U.S. aid since 9/11, Pakistanis still hold us in contempt. Pew found that most think we are “selfish, immoral and greedy. . . .”

Laughably, majorities of Muslims in Pakistan and the Mideast think we are less “respectful” of women than they are. But perhaps the biggest divide comes over who’s responsible for 9/11.

Americans overwhelmingly blame Arab Muslims, while Muslims abroad, including 56% of British Muslims, insist someone else carried out the attacks. Denial, as they say, is not just a river in Egypt.

Continue reading here. . . .

Don’t Forget To Vote Out The Trash Today!

A Revolutionary Season In American Politics

 

Image of Lew Rockwell

Lew Rockwell

 

American politics has an educational value all its own if there is anything positive to be said about it at all. Elections encourage people to focus their minds and therefore, become more knowledgeable of what the politicians are actually doing in Washington. Perhaps, this time, Americans have learned that they cannot just wait till every election year rolls around to become involved in how we are being governed.  Lew Rockwell, who is president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of LewRockwell.com, and the author of Speaking of Liberty, writes that:

It’s another revolutionary season in American politics, with voters preparing to do everything they can within the structure of the law to throw out the bad guys and the bad system they represent. The focus is on this amorphous thing called the Tea Party, which embodies a huge range of political impulses from libertarian to authoritarian, united under the common belief that everything is going wrong in Washington, with a common goal of upending the status quo. . . .

The health-care bill is also a source of American public anger. People are not deceived into believing that whatever reforms we are getting are going to fix the problems of the current system; they will make them worse. As it is, the freedom remaining in the system is the only reason that the system serves us at all. Take that away, and you take away a lifeline.

The revolt, then, is in high gear. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last. The governed have long been very unhappy about the government, and they periodically wake up and seek to change it. It’s been some 16 years since the last go-round of such revolutionary sentiment. It is arguably stronger today than it was back in 1994.

The good aspects of this have nothing to do with political outcomes, despite what people believe. The political environment focuses the mind on important issues like freedom, economics, culture, power and its uses, and the role of the state. As they debate with their neighbors, follow election coverage, listen to the candidates, and watch the process, people learn and study and, most importantly, think and rethink.

If you begin with a skeptical attitude toward the government, watching and thinking can lead to a radicalization and ultimate embrace of a consistent opposition to government involvement. This is why election season always ends up creating a huge flood of new libertarians who buy books, feel the inspiration to get active (perhaps for the first time), and dedicate themselves to reducing the power of the state in whatever way they can.

Continue reading. . . .

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