All posts by Joel

The Sacred Fire of Liberty

“…the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” – George Washington’s First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

Distinctive Signature of George Washington
Distinctive Signature of George Washington

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Vote Under God

As another election cycle comes around, Exodus 18:21 provides the measure Christians are to use in selecting our political leaders.

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought Moses’ wife and children to visit Moses in the wilderness. Jethro observed Moses serving as judge for the people all day. Jethro offered his wisdom to Moses saying that sitting alone as judge was not good. He then offered these incredible requirements to create the first form of government with moral tests.

“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”

We as Christians must require these things of those we vote into office:

ABLE

Does your candidate have the necessary qualifications? We are all called by God to a purpose (Ephesians 2:10), but we are not all called to run for office. Sometimes it takes testing an individual at a small, more local level office before we can know whether they can be entrusted with representation over larger responsibility. I was recently teaching my son about the parable of the shrewd manager, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” (Luke 16:10), explaining how as a young man that he must prove himself in the small things and over time with wisdom, experience and continued competency, he would be able to handle increasing responsibility. Know your candidates record, require an accounting of their past performance in office.

FEAR GOD

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭1‬:‭7‬ NKJV)  To call yourself God-fearing should raise the expectation from voters extremely high.  Fearing God means not caving into our own sinful nature. Paul talks about “perfecting Holiness in the fear of God.”(II Corinthians 7:1)  With true fear of The Lord, a candidate understands that above all else they will answer to their maker, before their lobbyists, before even their constituents.

TRUTHFUL

Is your candidate characterized as a seeker of Truth, are they truthful? Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. (‭Psalms‬ ‭86‬:‭11‬ NKJV) We should expect two things from our candidates when it comes to Truth. They should be a seeker of The Truth, walking in Truth, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”(John 14:6) We should expect truth be spoken…always.

HATES COVETOUSNESS

To covet is to have a strong desire to have that which belongs to another. Coveting after other peoples things can lead to sin. Covetousness also means to gain dishonestly. Make sure your candidate understands that they are caretakers of Liberty. Our Liberty comes from God, not government.  It is the governments responsibility to protect that Liberty with all their being.image

We the people are responsible for our own Liberty. We are created with a free will, understanding that we are responsible for the choices we make.  We, as voters, must utilize that free will to place candidates that are able, God-fearing, truthful and without covetousness, lest we face the consequences of voting the wrong candidate or worse not voting at all.

 

“You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” (‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭16‬:‭18-20‬ NASB)

In God is Our Trust

Francis Scott KeyToday is the 200th Anniversary of the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner written by Francis Scott Key during the war of 1812 while as a prisoner of the British Navy watching the British assault Fort McHenry and “by dawn’s early light,” September 14, 1814, Key notes that our flag still flew over the Fort.

The great poem not only became our National Anthem but also penned our National Motto.  Take note of the prayer in the little known fourth verse – “In God is our Trust”

The Star-Spangled Banner

by Francis Scott Key

The Star-Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

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A Moral and Religious People

John AdamsWe have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.  – John Adams, October 11, 1798, Letter to the  officers of the First Brigade,  Third Division  of the Massachusetts Militia

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The Spirit of Liberty

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest. – Billings Learned Hand, speech at “I Am an American Day” ceremony, Central Park, New York City, May 21, 1944

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Franklin Requests Prayers in the Constitutional Convention

Benjamin FranklinOn June 28, 1787, before the Constitutional Convention, the 81 year old Ben Franklin  provided his wisdom to the delegates as they found themselves deadlocked in debate. Many have referred to Franklin as a Deist, I present this speech as proof to Ben Franklin’s belief in a very real God with his strong profession in the need for God’s “concurrent aid” quoting Psalms 127:1 “…Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it…”

Mr. President,

The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other-our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.


 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?


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? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service-

Franklin Speech

Library of Congress

Natural Rights of the Colonists as Men

Samuel AdamsAmong the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature. – Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists, 1772

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