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Thursday, September 30, 2010

A German's View of Islam

This is by far the best explanation of the Muslim terrorist situation I have ever read. His references to past history are accurate and clear. Not long, easy to understand, and well worth the read. The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist.

A German's View on Islam:

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.'

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts--the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world-wide, read this and think about it, and send it on - before it's too late.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Evolutionists are notorious for speaking authoritatively, decisively, and vehemently on the alleged “proof” of evolution. Yet, time and time again, through the years, evidence has forced evolutionists to recant their assertions, correct their premature conclusions, and alter the very claims that they formerly insisted proved their case and disproved God and the Bible account of creation. The arguments for evolution advanced during the infamous Scopes trial have been repudiated by evolutionists themselves. Indeed, from Darwin forward, evolutionary theory has manifested a precarious, century-plus-long history of modification, alteration, abandonment, correction, and endless speculation. From so-called “vestigial organs,” peppered moths, and Haeckel’s alleged embryonic recapitulation to Neanderthal, Java, Nebraska, and Piltdown man—all debunked decades ago. About the time their half-baked conjuring filters down to the school textbooks where their ideas are implanted into young minds as fact, the evolutionists already have changed their minds and are advocating alternate conclusions with the same certainty and fervor with which they advanced their now discredited views. And this process has been repeating itself for over a century!

There’s an old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” An honest person with reasonable intelligence cannot be fooled forever. Sooner or later he will shake his head and conclude that what is touted as “science” is, in fact, superstition. What is asserted as “certain” is, in reality, merely speculation. And what is promoted as “fact” is actually simple bias and personal opinion. If, after 150 years of ongoing efforts by the scientific intelligentsia to validate the theory of evolution, the proof continues to go wanting, hasn’t the time come to abandon the notion as hopelessly, inherently, and irrevocably flawed? Hasn’t the time come to return to the only sane, plausible, scientifically harmonious explanation for the existence of the Universe and everything within it? “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 53:1). The fact remains that “[t]he heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1, NASB). “For He commanded and they were created” (Psalm 148:5). “Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100:3). “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).





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What name does your church go by?

What Should We Call the Church?
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

A visitor to this Web site recently wrote our offices inquiring about the name that the universal Church should wear. In a day when millions of church-goers are naming themselves after everything from angels to men to religious offices and activities (with many churches apparently feeling like the more bizarre they are, the better), this gentleman’s e-mail was refreshing to read. It was evident that he and those of the church where he worshipped had a desire to be called, not the latest trendy name or whatever denominational name their great-great-great...grandparents wore, but whatever God wants them to be called. What does God want the Church to be known as? If a congregation of the Church is going to put a sign outside of their meeting place, or put their contact information in phone books and on the Internet, or have an official name on the books at the court house, what name should the Church wear?

There is only one place to turn to find out what followers of Jesus Christ should be called: God’s Word (see Butt, 2007). God created man, saved man, and has every right to tell man what to do and how to do it. The teachings of Jesus Christ and His apostles and prophets in God’s revealed Word is man’s ultimate authority and the book by which the world will be judged (Matthew 28:18; John 12:48; Colossians 3:17). If the saved want to please God in every area of their lives, including the religious name they wear, God’s Word must be consulted.

It is helpful, first of all, to understand something about the word “church.” The Greek word ekklesia, translated “church” in most English Bibles, was generally understood in the first-century Roman-ruled world simply to mean “assembly”—a gathering of people, whether for a secular or a religious purpose (Danker, et al., 2000, pp. 303-304; Thayer, 1962, pp. 195-196). Three times in Acts 19, Luke used the term ekklesia to describe a disorderly, secular assembly at Ephesus (vss. 32,39,41). The Septuagint translators used the term ekklesia more than 200 years before Christ in their Greek translation of the Old Testament to describe a group of 400,000 Israelite soldiers (Judges 20:2). In short, the word ekklesia was used before and after the time of Christ in reference to any kind of assembly. In the New Testament, however, it most often refers to obedient followers of Jesus Christ—those who have been called “out (Greek ek) of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9, emp. added).

Several times in the New Testament, the term “church” is linked together with the Greek term theos (God), and thus one easily can ascertain the fact that the Church to which obedient believers belong is the Church begun and owned by God. Paul wrote “to the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1, emp. added), and later commanded the Corinthians to “[g]ive no offense...to the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32-33, emp. added). He confessed to the churches of Galatia that he had “persecuted the church of God” before becoming a Christian (Galatians 1:13, emp. added). Paul also wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica, reminding them how they “became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea” (1 Thessalonians 2:14, emp. added), and even boasted of them “among the churches of God” for their endurance through persecution (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4, emp. added). One must not miss the point that the Church of the New Testament is God’s Church. It is of divine origin and established according to Deity’s “eternal purpose” (Ephesians 3:11). Certainly then, the name “church of God” is a biblical name to wear. “Children of God” (John 1:12; Romans 8:16; 1 John 3:1-2) are members of the “church of God.”

The Bible writers also referred to the “church of God” as the body or Church of Christ. Why would God’s Church be called Christ’s Church? Consider the following:

Jesus is Deity (John 1:1,3,23; 10:30,33; 20:28; cf. Isaiah 9:6).
Jesus said the Church was “His” (Matthew 16:18).
Jesus paid for the Church with His own blood (Acts 20:28).
Jesus saved the Church from eternal destruction (John 3:16; Acts 4:12; Ephesians 5:23)
Jesus is “the head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:18,24; Ephesians 5:22-23).
Jesus is the bridegroom and the Church is His bride (Ephesians 5:22-32; Revelation 21:9; cf. Matthew 25:1-13).
Jesus is returning to take His faithful Church to a new home (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:1-13; 1 Corinthians 15:24; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Sincere, open-minded, obedient followers of Jesus Christ (i.e., Christians—Acts 11:26) who read the New Testament wondering what they should call the Church of which they are members, will come to the following conclusion: Though God did not assign one particular title for the Church, there are biblical designations that Christians can wear “by faith” (Romans 10:17), namely “Church of God” and “Church of Christ.” [NOTE: This is not to say that everyone who wears one of these names is a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. Sadly, many who wear both of these names dishonor God with unscriptural acts of worship, a variety of false teachings, lukewarm lives, etc.) A faithful follower of Jesus Christ must be committed to assembling with Christians who not only wear a scriptural, non-divisive name, but also who practice authorized, unadulterated, New Testament Christianity (see Miller, 2007).]

Nowhere in the New Testament was the Church called Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Catholic, Guardian Angels’, etc. In fact, the Christians in Corinth were specifically warned about wearing divisive names that bring honor to men and imply that the Church is divided (1 Corinthians 1:10-17; cf. John 17:20-21). Sadly, millions of “Christians” around the world continue to call themselves by names other than those God has authorized in Scripture.

In addition to Scripture’s numerous examples of the Church being called God’s or Christ’s, common sense demands such biblical designations. Consider two examples.

If Christ owns the Church, should the Church not wear His name? If a man (we’ll call him Ricky) worked 20 years, saved his money, and bought a house, whose house is it? It is Ricky’s house. If anyone ever put a sign in front of Ricky’s house that said the house was any person’s other than Ricky’s, he would be doing that which is unauthorized and displeasing to Ricky. Only he who owns the house has the right to name it. The Church is “the house of God” (1 Timothy 3:15, emp. added), no one else’s. Christians should call His “house” by no other name.

If my wife informed me today that she wanted to wear another man’s name, I would be terribly hurt and “jealous with godly jealousy” (2 Corinthians 11:2-4). Perhaps it wasn’t another man’s name, but simply a name that correlates with something she likes. Say, for example, instead of Jana Lyons, she wanted to be called Jana Homeschooler. Would that bother me? It most certainly would. I love homeschooling, but I am seriously opposed to my wife calling herself by any other name than Lyons. Similarly, if the Church is the bride of Christ, why would any church claiming to be in love with Jesus and married to Him spiritually ever call themselves by another name? God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5) and nothing in Scripture authorizes His Church to call herself anything other than after Him.
When the Jewish Sanhedrin brought Peter and John before them not many days after the Church had been established (Acts 4) and inquired “by what name” they had been teaching, Peter exclaimed:

[B]y the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:8,10-12, emp. added).
The Bible may not give one official title for the Church, but both reason and revelation demand that Christians put off party names and simply call themselves after the One Who saved them. When Jesus comes back to receive His bride and take her home, she better be wearing His name and no one else’s.


REFERENCES
Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Danker, Frederick William, William Arndt, and F.W. Gingrich, (2000), Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).

Miller, Dave (2007), What the Bible Says About the Church of Christ, http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/wtbsatcoc.pdf.

Thayer, J.H. (1962), Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).





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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Don't Ask--Don't Tell! Have you ever ask why?

Homosexuals Twisting Scripture
by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 1:24-29). It is a choice that people make (Miller, 2004). In fact, the only sexual relationship that is sanctioned by God is between one man and one woman who are married to each other (Hebrews 13:4; Matthew 19:1-9). That means that any person who chooses to live in sexual sin, whether it is homosexuality, adultery, fornication, or bestiality, will be lost forever in hell. God does not want homosexuals, pedophiles, or adulterers to go to hell. In fact, the Bible explains that God does not want any person to go to hell, but He wants all people to repent (2 Peter 3:9). God gives to all an equal chance at repentance, without any type of discrimination. But it does not mean that He will save people who refuse to repent of their sins. In fact, Revelation 21:8 explains that sexually immoral people, along with liars and murderers, who refuse to repent, will be lost.

In recent news, the homosexual community has attempted to twist the Scriptures to say that God does not condemn the homosexual lifestyle. Billboards in the Dallas, Texas area have been advertising the Web site www.whywouldwe.net. This site claims that Jesus and the Old and New Testaments affirm the homosexual lifestyle as legitimate. The site asks: “‘Would Jesus discriminate?’ If your answer is no, then ask yourself ‘why would we?’” Supposedly, Jesus would never judge or discriminate based on a person’s sinful lifestyle, and neither should we. The error with this line of reasoning is that, while it is true that Jesus never discriminated against people’s inherent value, He always condemned sin in their lives and refused to accept them if they did not change their sinful lifestyle.

The site gives several verses that the writers believe support their point. They quote verses mostly about justice. For instance, the site quotes Amos 5:24: “But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Supposedly, according to this site, it is unjust to tell a person he or she is lost based on his or her sinful lifestyle of homosexuality.

Such reasoning is flawed, to say the least. Here is why. Justice means treating all people fairly and giving people what they deserve. If lying is against God’s nature and morality, then the only way His followers could be just, or fair to all, is to explain that all people who choose to lie, without repenting, will be lost. Again, if murder is wrong in God’s sight, then justice demands that God’s followers explain that murder is wrong and attempt to convince all murderers to stop murdering so that they can be saved. In like manner, if homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle according to God’s Word, then the only true justice His followers could show would be to lovingly and kindly explain to the world, and especially to the homosexual community, that all homosexuals must repent of their sins or be lost eternally.

God loves homosexuals just as much as he loves murderers (and all people, for that matter). He wants, pleads, and demands that they repent of their sins in order to be saved. He does not discriminate against any sinners, since He is not willing that any of them should perish. But His justice demands that all impenitent sinners, including impenitent liars, murderers, thieves, and homosexuals, will be eternally lost. Ironically, it is God’s justice, which is being misused and misunderstood by those at www.whywouldwe.net, that will condemn homosexuals if they refuse to walk humbly before their God and change their sinful lifestyle.


REFERENCES
Miller, Dave (2004), “An Investigation of the Biblical Evidence Against Homosexuality,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2577.





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Copyright © 2010 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
We are happy to grant permission for items in the "Scripturally Speaking" section to be reproduced in their entirety, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) the author’s name must remain attached to the materials; (4) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (5) alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, quotations, etc. must be reproduced exactly as they appear in the original); (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

May I Share this with You!

Stephen Hawking Is Wrong, God Created the Universe
by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Stephen Hawking is a brilliant scientist. He has battled a crippling disease since he was 20, made a name for himself on a global scale through his scientific prowess, and been an inspiration to many. But in his latest book, The Grand Design, he is just plain wrong. Michael Holden wrote an article he titled: “‘God Did Not Create the Universe,’ Says Hawking,” in which he stated that Hawking’s new book, co-authored with Leonard Mlodinow, proposes the idea that the laws which hold the Universe together do not need an intelligent Designer.

In fact, Holden quoted Hawking as saying: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist” (as quoted in Holden, 2010, emp. added). While the book is not yet on the shelves, there are already glaring flaws with Hawking’s reasoning.

First, Hawking cannot explain why the law of gravity exists in the first place. He says “because there is a law of gravity,” but he can give no reason why such a law is present, and is constant. Without an adequate explanation for the origin of laws, such as gravity, any explanation of the origin of a Universe dependent on those laws is incomplete. Furthermore, regardless of what theoretical, mathematical calculations Hawking has concocted, the simple fact of the matter is, if there ever was a time when nothing existed, there would be nothing now. The mere fact that Hawking suggests that anything can “spontaneously create itself out of nothing,” is, with all due respect, ridiculously absurd and completely unscientific! It is impossible to get something from nothing—any way you slice it. Using Hawking’s way of thinking, we could suggest that this article you are reading “spontaneously created itself out of nothing.” Yet such a conclusion defies all known scientific laws.

In Acts 26:24, the Roman governor Festus said to the apostle Paul: “You are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” While that accusation did not accurately apply to Paul, it does, unfortunately, apply to Hawking’s concept of “spontaneous creation out of nothing.” The Psalmist wrote: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Sadly, Hawking’s brilliant mind has been turned to false, unscientific foolishness. Would to God that Hawking and all his fellow scientists would turn to the God of the Bible who speaks “the words of truth and reason” (Acts 26:25).


REFERENCE
Holden, Michael (2010), “‘God Did Not Create the Universe’, Says Hawking,” http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100902/lf_nm_life/us_britain_hawking.





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Friday, September 10, 2010

Founding Fathers of the Republic! Listen to their words!

What the Founders Said [Part II]
by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


[EDITOR’S NOTE: Part I of this two-part series appeared in the August issue. Part II follows below, and continues, without introductory comments, where the first article ended.]
ABOUT THE UNIVERSAL SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY
The Continental Congress was composed of scores of men who bear the appellation “Founders” of America. During the past half century, we have been assured that they advocated “inclusion,” “diversity,” and the notion that all religions and ideologies ought to be “celebrated” as equally authentic. We have been told that they certainly did not advocate the public promotion of Christianity. Is this viewpoint correct? Were the Founders “deists” who advocated religious neutrality? (see Miller, 2005; Miller, 2008). What, specifically, did they say on the matter? The following excerpts are from their proclamations, taken directly from the Journals of the Continental Congress at the Library of Congress. The first was issued on November 1, 1777:


FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such further Blessings as they stand in Need of.... It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE...that it may please him...to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth “in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost” (Journals of..., 9:854-851, emp. added).
The “kingdom” to which they referred is the kingdom of Christ, as indicated by their allusion to Romans 14:17. Another proclamation came on March 20, 1779:

RESOLVED, THAT it be recommended to the several States to appoint the First Thursday in May next to be a Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer to Almighty God...that he will diffuse useful knowledge, extend the influence of true religion, and give us that peace of mind, which the world cannot give (Journals of..., 13:343-344, emp. added).
“True religion” is a reference to Christianity—to the exclusion of all other religions. They called upon the entire nation to petition God to extend the influence of Christianity! The “peace of mind which the world cannot give” is a direct allusion to the words of Jesus (John 14:27) and Paul (Philippians 4:7).

On October 20, 1779, Congress issued still another supplication proclamation:

Whereas it becomes us humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God, with gratitude and praise for the wonders which his goodness has wrought...above all, that he hath diffused the glorious light of the gospel, whereby, through the merits of our gracious Redeemer, we may become the heirs of his eternal glory: therefore, Resolved, That it be recommended to the several states, to appoint Thursday, the 9th of December next, to be a day of public and solemn thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercies, and of prayer for the continuance of his favor and protection to these United States (Journals of..., 15:1191-1193, emp. added).
“The glorious light of the gospel” is an allusion to 2 Corinthians 4:4, and “heirs of his eternal glory” is a reference to 2 Timothy 2:10. Diffusing the Gospel of Christ was of paramount importance to the Founders. They thanked God that the Gospel had been thoroughly diffused throughout America.

One year later, in yet another proclamation to the nation, the Founders again reiterated their desire that Christianity be promoted:

It is therefore recommended to the several states to set apart Thursday, the seventh day of December next, to be observed as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer...that it may please him to...build up his churches in their most holy faith and to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth (Journals of..., 18:950-951, emp. added).
“Most holy faith” is an allusion to Christianity, taken from Jude 20.

In March of 1781, they again advocated the spread of the Christian religion throughout the world:

The United States in Congress assembled, therefore do earnestly recommend, that Thursday the third day of May next, may be observed as a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer...that it may please him to bless all schools and seminaries of learning, and to grant that truth, justice and benevolence, and pure and undefiled religion, may universally prevail (Journals of..., 19:284-286, emp. added).
“Pure and undefiled religion” is yet another allusion to Christianity, drawn from James 1:27. The Founders insisted that it must be spread “universally.” Another comparable declaration came on March 19, 1782:

The United States in Congress assembled...think it their indispensable duty to call upon the several states, to set apart the last Thursday in April next, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer...that He would incline the hearts of all men to peace, and fill them with universal charity and benevolence, and that the religion of our Divine Redeemer, with all its benign influences, may cover the earth as the waters cover the seas (Journals of..., 22:137-138, emp. added).
The “Divine Redeemer” is Jesus Christ. Calling for Christ’s religion to “cover the earth as the waters cover the seas” is taken from Isaiah 11:9 and Habakkuk 2:14. The Founders never asked that Hinduism cover the Earth, nor Islam, Buddhism, or Atheism. Rather, they begged God to cover the Earth with the religion of Christ as thoroughly and completely as the waters cover the oceans of the world.

Later that year, on October 11, the Congress issued another proclamation to the nation:

[T]herefore, the United States in Congress assembled...do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these states in general, to observe, and request the several states to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of Thursday, the twenty-eighth day of November next, as a day of solemn thanksgiving to God for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify their gratitude to God for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience to his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion (Journals of..., 23:647, emp. added).
Finally, with the Revolutionary War ended, on October 18, 1783 the Continental Congress issued a final supplication proclamation to the country:

[T]he United States in Congress assembled do recommend it to the several States, to set apart the second Thursday in December next, as a day of public thanksgiving, that all the people may then assemble to celebrate with grateful hearts and united voices, the praises of their Supreme and all bountiful Benefactor, for his numberless favors and mercies...and above all, that he hath been pleased to continue to us the light of the blessed gospel...that he may be pleased...to cause pure religion and virtue to flourish, to give peace to all nations, and to fill the world with his glory (Journals of..., 25:699-701, emp. added).
As if they wanted to make absolutely certain that there would be no question in the eyes of the world and in us their posterity, the Founders stated once again their insistence that among the multitude of blessings, favors, and mercies bestowed upon them by God, above them all, was their gratitude that God had perpetuated Christianity—“the light of the blessed gospel”—among them. They earnestly desired that God’s glory would fill the world (an allusion to Psalm 72:19). Oh, that our political leaders and all Americans would share that desire!

Can there be any question? No. The Continental Congress, quintessential Founders of the Republic, issued numerous organic utterances that undeniably demonstrate their inherent, intimate attachment to God, Jesus Christ, and Christianity. Did the Founders advocate the universal spread of Christianity? Absolutely. They repeatedly called upon the entire nation to request that God might see fit to spread Christianity throughout the world. They were familiar with—and firmly believed—the words of Habakkuk 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”


THE GREAT FOUNDATION OF PUBLIC PROSPERITY
Much is being said these days about the state of the economy. From the near collapse of the mortgage industry to the bankruptcy of a major American auto manufacturer, widespread discussion has occupied the attention of the federal government, the media, economists, and the average American. And what are the solutions being offered to rectify America’s economic woes and secure public prosperity? You name it. Everything from government bail outs and borrowing from China to increasing taxes on citizens. Since we long ago banned God, Christianity, and the Bible from the public square (á la ACLU “separation of church and state”), few seem willing even to contemplate the fact that spirituality and religion have anything to do with the economic condition of the nation. The fact is, they have everything to do with it.

It should, therefore, be somewhat of a shock to learn what the architects of American civilization had to say about the economy, specifically, what constitutes the foundation of public prosperity and national happiness. With the Revolutionary War reaching its conclusion, the Continental Congress issued a proclamation to the entire nation on October 11, 1782, calling for a day of thanksgiving directed to the God of the Bible:


It being the indispensable duty of all nations, not only to offer up their supplications to Almighty God, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of public distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of his Providence in their behalf; therefore, the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of divine goodness to these states, in the course of the important conflict in which they have been so long engaged; the present happy and promising state of public affairs; and the events of the war in the course of the year now drawing to a close, particularly the harmony of the public councils, which is so necessary to the success of the public cause,...do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these states in general, to observe, and request the several states to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of Thursday, in the 28 day of November next, as a day of solemn thanksgiving to God for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify their gratitude to God for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience to his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.
Done in Congress at Philadelphia, the eleventh day of October, in the year of our LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, and of our Sovereignty and Independence, the Seventh.

John Hanson, President.

Charles Thomson, Secretary (Journals of..., 1904-1937, 23:647, emp. added).
Can you believe it? The “great foundation of public prosperity” is “the practice of true and undefiled religion”? What religion is that? “Pure and undefiled religion,” alluded to in the New Testament passage James 1:27, is nothing other than the religion of Christ. Who today believes, from the President on down to the average American, that promoting God’s laws throughout America via the Christian religion—in government, schools, and public life—is the key to achieving prosperous, happy citizens? Nevertheless, it is true. Even as prominent Founder Noah Webster, in eerily prophetic fashion, declared:

If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands and elect bad men to make and administer the laws (1832, pp. 337, emp. added).
God’s warnings to the nation of Israel are strikingly parallel to America:

When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and...your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God...then you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.” Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God (Deuteronomy 8:10-20).
What better description could be found of America’s current predicament? Compare another one that likewise sounds as if it were written to predict America’s shift from the greatest, most blessed and independent nation on Earth to a nation in decline, dependant on other nations, and heading toward its ultimate demise:

Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand.... Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you. And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods.... The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you (Deuteronomy 28:1-15, emp. added).
In these perilous times, the psalmist’s plea to God for national security is one that ought to be on the hearts and lips of every American:

God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us.

That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You.

Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Let the peoples praise You, O God;

Let all the peoples praise You. Then the earth shall yield her increase;

God, our own God, shall bless us.

God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him (Psalm 67:1-7).

The Bible repeatedly articulates the same point: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12).


ABOUT THE SINS OF AMERICANS
The religious, spiritual condition of Americans is at an all-time low. Commitment to the Christian religion and the precepts of Jesus Christ has waned significantly in the past half century. Religion has been relegated to strictly private, personal tastes. And Christianity is perceived by many to be simply one religion among many, receiving no position of priority in the country. Hence, whatever any person believes with regard to moral behavior is considered acceptable and essentially irrelevant to the overall condition of the nation.

In vivid contrast, the Founders of the country believed and voiced vigorously their belief that the religious, spiritual, and moral condition of the citizenry of America was integral and critical to the establishment and ongoing success of the Republic. More specifically, they believed in the God of the Bible and the religion of Christ, and they were convinced that the nation would be blessed by God only insofar as the citizens obeyed the teaching of the Bible, and received forgiveness for their sins. Hard to believe? Consider a few of the official pronouncements of the Continental Congress, again, a body composed of scores of men who served during the Revolutionary War and the birth of the nation, and who bear the appellation “Founders” of America.

On March 16, 1776, four months before declaring independence, Congress issued a fasting and prayer proclamation to the entire nation that particularly spotlights their attitude regarding sin:


In times of impending calamity and distress; when the liberties of America are imminently endangered by the secret machinations and open assaults of an insidious and vindictive administration, it becomes the indispensable duty of these hitherto free and happy colonies, with true penitence of heart, and the most reverent devotion, publickly to acknowledge the over ruling providence of God; to confess and deplore our offences against him; and to supplicate his interposition for averting the threatened danger, and prospering our strenuous efforts in the cause of freedom, virtue, and posterity.
The Congress, therefore...do earnestly recommend, that Friday, the Seventeenth day of May next, be observed by the said colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness (Journals of the..., 4:208-209, emp. added).
The Congress felt it their duty to urge Americans to “confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions.” What in the world does that have to do with attending to the pressing matters of founding a new nation and prosecuting a war? They felt it was a critical factor in the success of their endeavor. Indeed, if you do not have God’s approval and assistance, you are on your own—dependent on your own precarious capabilities.

Just a year and a half into the War with Great Britain, Congress issued another proclamation on November 1, 1777, that included the following excerpt:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance (Journals of..., 9:854-851, emp. added).
How did the Founders believe the favor of God would be forfeited? By sin. How might the sins of Americans be neutralized in order to preserve the favor of God? They said Americans must humble themselves, repent and confess their sins to God, and beg His forgiveness based on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

A year later, on November 17, 1778, the Continental Congress reiterated the same principle:

Resolved, That it be, and hereby is recommended to the legislative or executive authority of each of the said states, to appoint Wednesday, the 30th day of December next, to be observed as a day of public thanksgiving and praise, that all the people may, with united hearts, on that day, express a just sense of his unmerited favors.... And it is further recommended, that, together with devout thanksgiving, may be joined a penitent confession of our sins, and humble supplication for pardon, through the merits of our Savior; so that, under the smiles of Heaven, our public councils may be directed, our arms by land and sea prospered, our liberty and independence secured, our schools and seminaries of learning flourish, our trade be revived, our husbandry and manufactures increased, and the hearts of all impressed with undissembled piety, with benevolence and zeal for the public good (Journals of..., 12:1138-1139, emp. added).
Observe that the favor and support of God (“the smiles of Heaven”) are what ensure national success. And what ensures national success is “devout thanksgiving” to God, “confession of our sins,” and “humble supplication for pardon” through Christ. Are America’s citizens, together with our politicians, judges, and educators, willing to perform such acts of contrition? If not, only one possible outcome awaits us.

A year and a half later, on March 20, 1779, the Congress issued another nationwide proclamation:

WHEREAS, in just Punishment of our manifold Transgressions, it hath pleased the Supreme Disposer of all Events to visit these United States with a calamitous War, through which his Divine Providence hath hitherto in a wonderful Manner conducted us.... AND WHEREAS, there is but too much Reason to fear that notwithstanding the Chastisements received and Benefits bestowed, too few have been sufficiently awakened to a Sense of their Guilt, or warmed with Gratitude, or taught to amend their Lives and turn from their Sins, that so he might turn from his Wrath: AND WHEREAS, from a Consciousness of what we have merited at his Hands, and an Apprehension that the Malevolence of our disappointed Enemies, like the Incredulity of Pharaoh, may be used as the Scourge of Omnipotence to vindicate his slighted Majesty, there is Reason to fear that he may permit much of our Land to become the Prey of the Spoiler, our Borders to be ravaged, and our Habitations destroyed:
RESOLVED, THAT it be recommended to the several States to appoint the First Thursday in May next to be a Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer to Almighty God, that he will be pleased to avert those impending Calamities which we have but too well deserved: That he will grant us his Grace to repent of our Sins, and amend our Lives, according to his Holy Word (Journals of..., 13:343-344, emp. added).
Were you taught in school that the Founders believed that one of the reasons Americans had to endure a war with Great Britain was because of the sins of Americans? The Founders stated explicitly that the antidote to offending God due to sin was for Americans to repent of their sins and amend their lives, i.e., stop living out of harmony with God’s Word. According to the Founders, failure to do so will result in “impending calamities which we have but too well deserved.”

Six months later, on October 20, 1779, another congressional proclamation likewise sought forgiveness for sin:

Resolved, That it be recommended to the several states, to appoint Thursday, the 9th of December next, to be a day of public and solemn thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercies, and of prayer for the continuance of his favor and protection to these United States...that he would in mercy look down upon us, pardon our sins and receive us into his favor (Journals of..., 15:1191-1193, emp. added).
Two years later, on March 19, 1782, a similar proclamation went forth across the nation:

The United States in Congress assembled, therefore, taking into consideration our present situation, our multiplied transgressions of the holy laws of our God, and his past acts of kindness and goodness towards us, which we ought to record with the liveliest gratitude, think it their indispensable duty to call upon the several states, to set apart the last Thursday in April next, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, that our joint supplications may then ascend to the throne of the Ruler of the Universe, beseeching Him to diffuse a spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens (Journals of..., 22:137-138, emp. added).
The Founders of these United States claimed that the establishment of the Republic was achieved by the blessing of God. They also insisted that maintaining His favor was absolutely necessary in order for the Republic to be perpetuated. They further believed that retaining God’s favor depended on Americans conforming themselves to the teachings of the Bible and receiving forgiveness for their violations of it. If they were correct (and they most certainly were), then the nation is in the midst of deadly national peril. Generally speaking, neither our political leaders nor the rank and file of Americans are striving to retain God’s favor by living according to His will and seeking forgiveness for their sins. We would do well to listen soberly to the words of God to another nation long ago:

For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments...? Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess (Deuteronomy 4:7-8; 5:32-33, emp. added).
Take as one example among many the sin of gambling which has become so prominant in recent years via casinos, lotteries, and race tracks. American civilization has declined to such an extent that most citizens today would be surprised to learn that, from the very beginning of our nation until about 50 years ago, the majority of Americans viewed gambling as immoral. In fact, the Founding Fathers forthrightly addressed the issue of gambling. The Continental Congress passed a resolution on October 12, 1778, declaring their condemnation of gambling:

Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness: Resolved, That it be, and it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several states, to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof, and for the suppressing theatrical entertainments, horse racing, gaming, and such other diversions as are productive of idleness, dissipation, and a general depravity of principles and manners (Journals of..., 12:1001, emp. added).
The laws of Connecticut included a prohibition against gambling:

Gaming is an amusement, the propensity of which is deeply implanted in human nature. Mankind in the most unpolished state of barbarism and in the most refined periods of luxury and dissipation, are attached to this practice with an unaccountable ardor and fondness. To describe the pernicious consequences of it, the ruin and desolation of private families, and the promotion of idleness and dissipation, belong to a treatise on ethics (as quoted in Swift, 1796, 2:351).
In a letter to Martha Jefferson in 1787, Thomas Jefferson commented on the degrading influence of gambling:

In a world which furnishes so many employments which are useful, so many which are amusing, it is our own fault if we ever know what ennui [boredom—DM] is, or if we are ever driven to the miserable resources of gaming, which corrupts our dispositions, and teaches us a habit of hostility against all mankind (as quoted in Forman, 1900, p. 266).
In his proposal for a revision of the laws in his home state of Virginia, Jefferson offered the following “Bill to Prevent Gaming,” which restricted the holding of public office to non-gamblers:

Any person who shall bet or play for money, or other goods, or who shall bet on the hands or sides of those who play at any game in a tavern, racefield, or other place of public resort, shall be deemed an infamous gambler, and shall not be eligible to any office of trust or honor within this state (1950, 2:306).
Ironically, as Commander-in-Chief of all U.S. military forces, George Washington frequently addressed the deleterious effect of gambling on the soldiers of the Continental Army he commanded. In General Orders issued on February 26, 1776, Washington admonished:

All officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers are positively forbid [sic] playing at cards, and other games of chance. At this time of public distress, men may find enough to do in the service of their God, and their Country, without abandoning themselves to vice and immorality (1931, 4:347, emp. added).
The majority view of America and its Founders from day one has been that gambling in its various forms is a vice that is destructive of the moral fabric of society—a view they gleaned from the Bible (see Miller and Butt, 2003). Yet, casinos and bingo parlors are springing up all over the country as the wicked forces of organized gambling are waging a relentless war to spread their evil influence throughout America.

With uncanny anticipation, George Washington declared to his troops on May 8, 1777: “As few vices are attended with more pernicious consequences, in civil life; so there are none more fatal in a military one, than that of Gaming; which often brings disgrace and ruin upon officers, and injury and punishment upon the Soldiery” (8:28, emp. added). Tragically, if the Continental Congress was correct in its claim that “true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness,” then America is moving swiftly down a road that will result in “a general depravity of principles and manners” and the dissolution of “public liberty and happiness.”

CONCLUSION
The Founders were extremely astute men who understood the nuts and bolts of establishing a successful government. Despite their differences, they nevertheless agreed that the government should refrain from hindering a free society’s pursuit of Christian principles. To them, governmental interference in or discouragement of Christianity was unthinkable. Quite the contrary, they saw Christianity as the key to national progress and survival.

Sadly, even tragically, American civilization is suffering from a variety of moral and religious maladies that threaten the very existence of the Republic. In a letter written to Secretary of War James McHenry on November 4, 1800, Declaration signer Charles Carroll foretold the outcome of an America removed from Christian morality:


[W]ithout morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, who denounces against the wicked eternal misery, & insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments (as quoted in Steiner, 1907, p. 475, emp. added).
The solutions are readily available for all who care to seek them. We must return to the God of the Bible, the religion of Christ, and the moral principles derived therefrom. God help us to achieve a great spiritual awakening in hopes of avoiding the inevitable demise of a nation that turns its back on Him (cf. Deuteronomy 28). “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Consider your ways!’” (Haggai 1:5,7). Indeed,

Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.... The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (Psalm 33:8-12, emp. added).
REFERENCES
Forman, S.E. (1900), The Life and Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Indianapolis, IN: Bowen-Merrill).

Jefferson, Thomas (1950), The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 (1904-1937), ed. Worthington C. Ford, et al. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office), Library of Congress, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwjc.html.

Miller, Dave and Kyle Butt (2003), “Christians, Gambling, and the Lottery,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2301.

Miller, Dave (2005), “Deism, Atheism, and the Founders,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/650.

Miller, Dave (2008), “The Founders: Atheists & Deists or Theists & Christians?,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3847.

Steiner, Bernard (1907), The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland, OH: Burrows Brothers).

Swift, Zephaniah (1796), A System of Laws of the State of Connecticut (Windham, CT: John Byrne).

Washington, George (1931), The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office).

Webster, Noah (1832), History of the United States (New Haven, CT: Durrie & Peck).





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