----- Original Message -----
Regarding your request for
specifics about evidence that the
leadership, government, Republicans... really want democracy in
do I believe that we want democracy? I get that from a general feel
of the news, talk shows, reading your links to the liberal media sites,
Book TV, talking with people, and my past history. I choose not to
engage in the effort to quote sources to validate
Yes, I have a dream, a
dream where every child can grow up knowing the Truth about God, where
children will be disciplined rightly to follow the ways of Truth. I
have a dream that someday we will live in a country where the True God is
unabashedly proclaimed from the State house, Court house, and town
house. I have a dream that people will be judged by the merit of
their character based on the perfect Law and Character of God. Yes,
I have dream.
(from Jonathan) We are
talking about PUBLIC POLICY in a representative democracy, which requires
transparency and objectivity, first and foremost.
----- Original Message -----
To: "Thomas Lee Abshier, ND" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Capitol Hill Blue: Bush's Depression: Been There, Reported That
(From Steven) "If I understand correctly, your
position seems to be that we need to get back to (return to) the
(From Thomas) You've captured my stand
perfectly! But, I make no pretense that returning back to (or
finding for the first time) the
The ďTrue Way designed by
GodĒ is not something I can tell you with certainty, nor do I believe it
can be done by anyone with an absolute authority equivalent to Godís
mandate. Every situation has
within it a unique blend of circumstances that requires a proper action
which can only be determined by a right judgment of the hierarchy of
principles involved. In other
words, the application of the Law, the Word of God, the Truth of His Way,
is not expressed explicitly in the Bible for many (or most) life
situations. But, I believe
that we can find the seeds of Truth hidden in the parables, instruction,
history, and prophesy in the Bible.
Jesus described the
As we travel through life and encounter various moral dilemmas, we must make a choice and decide the proper action based on an accurate standard of Right and Wrong. I believe that Perfect and Proper Standard can be found in the Spirit behind the Words of the Bible; but finding that Truth requires great effort, great study, intent, and desire. We need not pretend that this process of divining truth can be reduced to a formula, slogan, or simple reliance on a person or book. Rather, the process of making an evaluation of truth in each circumstance is individual, and any two equally dedicated Christians may come to different conclusions or valuations regarding the same moral dilemma. But, this does not affect the validity of Christianity as a moral system, reflect upon its underlying Truth, or impugn its value as a standard by which to govern a nation. Manís judgment does not determine Truth. Godís judgment and Truth remains unmoved by manís errors, rebellion, or disagreement. God stands alone as the sole arbiter and standard of Truth, while man struggles in this world to understand and learn from consequences of His natural law.
The difficulty of seeing the fullness of Godís will and way in any circumstance, and the lack of absolute certainty about the path or its endpoint is the very factor that allows us to operate as free moral agents in this world of force and mechanistic causation. Uncertainty is a necessary ingredient of free will, which in turn makes it possible to grow, learn, and become mature in our evaluation of life and its multivariate complexity.
I believe Godís design criteria for the universe included a requirement that man would find life interesting. Thus manís life experience should include uncertainty, painful and pleasurable consequences, the potential for reward and failure, rules which were written on the heart of man, and the possibility for increased success with study, work, and wisdom.
I believe that opening the Bible and reading about commandments or restrictions on behavior would probably produce poor results when applied without a broader and deeper level of insight into the more expansive will and Way of God.
Such a perspective is meant to give pause to the zealot who would go into the statehouse and begin to dictate law based on the Bible. Some Biblical principles are easily recognized as appropriate to nearly universal applicability. But most real world issues require a consideration of many competing principles. Thus those men who take on the task of imposing legislative restrictions and requirements on society, should be mature and broadly experienced with people and concepts.
There are many philosophies
of life and morality represented within the
The point of highest contention is whether the public, a community or state, should have the right to choose to indoctrinate their children in the religion of their choice, and to do so with public funds? And the answer is yes. To do so does not violate the First Amendment prohibition against establishing a Religion.
This is of course a dangerous option to give to people, since a community could decide to include indoctrination into witchcraft, New Age, Islam, or Buddhism into the children of a region. But, that is the risk that the Founders took when they allowed the States to make their decisions about matters not included in the Constitution.
The concept of a limited Federal Government, with all other rights being retained by the States, has within it the possibility of allowing a local people to choose to indoctrinate their children based on the local standards and culture. Such is the choice of a government of the people.
We see the same issue being
played out now in
In the case of our own history, the Founding documents and the Founding Fathers did not explicitly prohibit the inclusion of Christian worship, prayer, and Bible reading in their writing of the Constitution. And, in fact their actions supported the performance of Christian rituals and readings in the Congressional chambers. They passed laws which funded Christian action for missionary outreach. The philosophy of the Separation of Church and State, where Christianity was prevented from being involved in anything governmental, may have been an opposition perspective by some of the Founders or a concept considered in debate. But, it was certainly not the not the dominant concept of the final document, it was not desired by the People, nor was it implemented in law until 1947 in the unconstitutional ruling of Everson vs. Board of Education.
The opponents to this concept of original intent argue that the Founders were deists. But, such a position is unlikely since the majority of the Founders were evangelical pastors or elders. And, even those who were arguably deists (Jefferson, Franklin, Paine...) have testimonies that sound remarkably similar to a Christian confession of faith. Each of the Founders probably went through a time in his life when he questioned the Christian faith, the place God had in relationship to man, or made comments that cause one to question his commitment to Christianity. But, those comments in nearly every case could be countered with an even stronger affirmation of a personal belief, and recognition of the place God has in governing and inspiring the affairs of men.
Even assuming there was a small fraction of the Founders who were Deists; this fact does not require that we follow a minority opinion in our current interpretation of the Constitution. Rather, the Constitution was crafted as a document that was meant to guide and pattern the minds, hearts, and actions of men to perpetuate that social structure until it was properly amended by the will and consent of the governed. It is against the usurpation of the peopleís right and sole authority to amend the original intent that the conservative cry was raised against activist judges who are legislating based on a Living Constitution.
Regarding the determination of Truth, we cannot simply look at the Bible divorced from an examination of the full spectrum of life. To do so would be akin to reading an instruction manual without any knowledge of the machine to be assembled. The instructions are only fully comprehended when they are compared with the actual objects and issues of the human experience. As such, we must include scientific, philosophical, sociological, and historical fact and opinion as examples of metaphor to give texture and object to the consideration of public policy.
As people living in Godís world, our behavior should not contradict the Word of God regardless of the cultural or natural possibilities. But, each man stands before God alone, and everyone is responsible to God for his own judgment and valuation of Godís principles. We can choose to listen to any teaching, writing, or legend. We can model our lives according the metaphors of nature or history. And each man who uses the Bible as his standard will use his own concepts to judge the relative importance of the various Biblical principles.
When using science and nature to guide human behavior we can be thrown far afield by examples of animal behavior. In particular, the prohibited sexual behaviors of the Bible are still inappropriate for human morality regardless of the practices of another culture or animal species. For example, penguins will mount penguins of the same sex when the opposite sex is in short supply. Female black widow spiders will eat their male partner after mating. And various species will eat their babies. The variety of behaviors seen in nature covers virtually the entire spectrum of possibilities. To assume that mankind may practice and institutionalize animal behaviors, just because such natural examples exist, is to attribute humanity with no distinction from our animal brethren. And, it appears that the evolutionists wish to make this argument. Then, having made that case, we can with a logical and sequential validation, adopt the desired spectrum of animal behaviors as sanctioned in the human repertoire.
The evolutionist and his spiritual counterpart, the Secular Humanist, believe that we need no God to dictate or declare Truth; rather, they replace the Holy Spirit with the guidance of an innate sense of right/wrong. They hold that each man has an inner standard to which he is responsible, and it is against this standard alone that we should govern ourselves. Similar variations of this philosophy are seen in the occult practices of the Mason, mystic, Wiccan, earth worshiping, pagan religions which follow the creed, ďHarm none, and do what thou wilt.Ē or ďDo what thou wilt is all of the lawĒ. Others believe that Buddha had the best insights about walking through lifeís struggles and pain with an attitude of harmlessness.
While this list of the various spiritual paths is not exhaustive, we can see in each elements of error, and elements of truth. And this is as we should expect it to be. The Holy Spirit speaks within each of our hearts, and God is calling each of us to perfection. A man who is behaving well, behaves well regardless of his spiritual affiliation. Jesus endorsed the work of unbelievers that supported His goals and purposes. Each of these systems has truth an error embedded within it, just as Christians and Christianity can embrace wrong goals. Every spiritual path has much support within its own community. And each of them could be used as the basis for a societal organization. But if there is truly a Truth, then they are not necessarily the closest expression of Godís intent for manís path of relationship to self, other, and God Himself.
I believe Truth will express itself ultimately in reality as a flourishing, growing, prosperous, happy, and healthy people. I believe that the Truth can be found in the Bible, but applying it properly to the full spectrum of life circumstances requires great study, insight, and maturity. Throughout our lifetime we struggle to integrate and apply the Truth of Scripture to the experiences and situations of life. Wisdom comes from the experience of making mistakes, listening to instruction, engaging in study, and submitting to the guidance of mediation. It is our job as people to govern ourselves, judge ourselves, and relate with each other in the best possible way. That is the responsibility and authority God has given to us. I believe it is in this exercise of relationship that we develop our souls, and that our character so developed lives on beyond this life.
The real issue we are discussing is the problem of establishing a standard of life. Without a standard we have no way of judging ourselves or governing our behavior. A foundation of the Secular Humanist religion is fairness/equality, the maximization of pleasure, and minimization of pain. And while such a standard has value, it lacks the specificity that may be required to truly hit the mark in following Godís way.
The legislative and justice systems must have within them a standard upon which to measure the appropriateness of law and enforcement. The Bible, as a source putatively from God, presents the possibility of complying with a higher standard than human perception and tastes. But, to choose the Bible as our source of authority and judgment requires that we have adequate proof to make that claim.
A study of Christian apologetics explores the evidence and arguments that the Bible was divine in origin, and that the Biblical faith is consistent within itself and produces the highest of human experiences. But still, there will be doubters, and we can note that other religions have their own apologetic, each believing its path is the best. It is for this reason that many have chosen the easy route of accepting all paths as adequate or equal. But, such a perspective leaves us with no standard other than our own feelings when choosing between conflicting standards.
(From Steven) "How does your vision differ from the regressive Fundamentalism that seems to be sweeping the globe in resistant reaction to today's rapid pace of change?"
(From Thomas) I would not impose a proof-texted fundamentalist version of the Bible on the world. I do not believe that we should require that laws conform to a particular creed or interpretation of the Bible. Rather, I believe that the entire society should use the Bible as a source of reference when debating how to judge the specifics of life situations. I do not expect conformity or agreement in this debate. I expect simply that the societal debate will be sobered by the consideration of the Word of God (and the leading of the Spirit of God) when this perspective is included in the debate.
This is a very different paradigm than simply following what the Pope said was true, or judging things based on a Baptist or Amish creed. Such an imposition of a religious standard on a people is a theocracy. The problem with a theocracy is that mortal men are given the power to enforce their judgments in the name of God. Men can execute the greatest tyranny when they feel responsible to no higher authority than themselves, after having judged themselves absolutely pure and acting as agents of God.
In other words, I do not advocate a Theocracy, nor do I advocate a State religion. Rather I advocate the implementation of a free market for religion. I believe the people have a right to band together, to create a generally accepted religious perspective. Purging all expression of religious symbols from the state houses and public proclamations will not produce a religion-free nation; it will merely promote a de facto state religion of Secular Humanism.
I believe your choice of the word "Regressive" in your question refers to the Islamic Fundamentalism. You wonder how an implementation of a Christian nation would be different than Wahabe, Taliban, Militant Islam?
The Fundamentalism of Islam has taken the 7th century teachings of a pedophile warlord and implemented them with a fanatical obedience to the literalness of his words and their traditions. If these words are true, then they should be followed.
Again, I am not advocating a theocracy, a religious test of heresy or orthodoxy to be applied to anything. I am advocating that Christianity be allowed to be taught, practiced, considered and honored in public institutions.
A major problem with every religion is the temptation by its practitioners to take the words of the teacher, guru, avatar, or savior out of its holistic context. A proverb, example, or instruction can be isolated from any larger work and implemented as though it was an accurate representation of the entire system of belief. Thus, to moderate this tendency for individuals to exaggerate the universality of a particular teaching, the entire culture should be involved in the debate. The meeting and consideration of many minds tends to moderate the extreme views of the isolated proponent of a religion.
I note that some people feel that Christianity has the tendency to be ďregressiveĒ in areas of human sexuality. I recently heard a senator refer to the "progress" that has been made in this area in modern times. The progress of course refers to the fact that we have thrown off many of the restrictions regarding sexuality. It appears that those who oppose the concept of a Christian nation most fear that such a consideration would take us back to a time of more modest sexual expression.
There have been errors made by Christians in the past, as have been made by people who have followed Secular principles. People are the arbiters, the mediums for the interpretation of the Word of God. People make errors. It is for this reason that it is with fear and trepidation we should make absolute statements that declare that God has ordained our judgment.
But as humans, we are in charge of governing ourselves. Godís rule is true, and the consequences of violating His Law will be administered; still He is not present overtly directing our decisions, so we must take the responsibility to make a judgment about the absolute Truth or Error of our choices.
Some principles in the Bible regarding the standards of behavior are stated so clearly throughout the whole body of scripture that a Biblical worldview cannot ignore that concept. Such restrictions or requirements of behavior will rise to the top of the principles that are implemented in a Christian Nation. The other more fine points, ones that have more qualifiers, will be the source of more divergent opinion, compromise, and debate.
In other words, if the Bible truly is the Word of God, and as a society, if we followed the general and clear patterns of Biblical prescription and prohibition, we would execute the major patterns properly. The central thesis of the advocacy for a Christian Nation is that if we really seek to know and hear the spirit of God's voice speaking to us in our daily lives, and implement Godly legislation to regulate group behavior, then life on Earth could manifest its full potential.
I support many of the goals
of the conservative movement and Christian Coalition. As a
support to these concepts, Rabbi Lapin wrote the book,
I see a Christian Nation forming with a loose implementation of Christianity throughout the society. I see this Christian Nation as a continuation of the Founders vision. I see a nation where we openly consider Biblical principles in every area of life. I see a society which includes a consideration of God in every area of human endeavor: science, politics, history, and psychology, etc. I believe we will eventually see a day when the social and physical sciences will be seen as part of a larger unity inside of Godís larger plan.
The Fundamentalist movement, as I understand it, believes that the Bible is the inspired Word of God; a concept which I endorse. But, typically the word ďFundamentalismĒ now carries the tone of anathema, a people and philosophy that takes words of a scripture out of context, or imputes Godís will with certainty to situations, and then applies those words with force to people and situations. Such blunt interpretations proceed from the mouths and hearts of spiritual babes.
Such simplicity is tempting, but horrors evolve out of such immaturity. I would hope that an entire nation debating and considering foreign and domestic policy, social contracts, expenditures, and regulation of personal and group behavior would be able to bring a mature perspective of the very rich tapestry of possibilities that the Bible presents regarding many areas of life. We note that the message of Jesus was grace, but grace was dependent upon accepting His Lordship. Forgiveness is always possible, but true repentance is the doorway to clemency. A people who continue to violate Godís Law will find that they are continually under the curse of a cause an effect sequence embedded in the structure of life.
I believe that the Bible is the seed from which the speaking of the Holy Spirit can be given voice in our hearts. I believe by making its study open and common, and the basis for philosophy and debate, that we are opening ourselves up for the Holy Spirit to give us Biblical/Godly solutions to our problems of government, relationship, and resources.
I believe the Word of God needs to be understood in the context of reality, specific situations, and experimental fact. Psychology has prided itself in being an experimental science, and as such experimental conclusions can be taken as fact and truth. Given that Godís law is the only Truth, we must resist the temptation to accept a societal norm to commit a sin as the equivalent of God ordained Law. A society's attitude toward sin does not make it right or wrong. The fundamental judgment of Truth and sin (by God) is untouched by cultural standards. We cannot "advance" in our morality and outgrow the actual standards of God. In other words, the consequences of destruction still come with the commission of sin, regardless of whether it is intentional, out of ignorance, or socially sanctioned. There may be slight modifications in outcome, or sequence, or severity of the consequences depending on the context... but nevertheless, the general pattern of a downward drift (or lack of attainment of the heights) will be produced by the practice of error (as defined by God).
To be specific, the change of the culture's attitude toward adultery, homosexuality, and abortion does not change the reality of the Biblical prohibition. Human sexuality is the issue that is most often the point of contention when we talk about Biblical standards. In general, most of us agree about theft, murder, and lying, etc. The passion to express our sexual tastes, without repercussion or guilt, I believe is the major resistance many people feel with regard to the embrace of Christianity.
People get caught by their desire for their particular form of (unGodly) sexual expression, and they do not want to be restricted by a belief system that appears to be simply a cultural convention. The Bible therefore becomes the enemy of the Secular Humanist because it stands in the way of instituting a new world where man chooses the standards that seem best. People rebel strongly against any effort to inhibit their sexuality. Thus, the first and most important barrier to free societal sexual expression is to remove the general consideration of Biblical instruction. Removing prayer, Bible reading, posting of the 10 Commandments, etc, all move this agenda forward.
The Word of God contains the power to prick and awaken menís consciences. It convicts menís hearts of their error, and those who wish to act with impunity in front of their own conscience must reduce its stature in their own lives. And, to remove the possibility of social stigma or sanction, it must be removed as a major influence in establishing the standards governing the law of the land.
I believe the desire to express this particular human passion has produced the largest portion of the rebellion against Christianity/Godís Word as a social standard.
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