Monday, 18 October 2010 14:43 by Admin
Bill Armstrong, President of Colorado Christian University, has officially proclaimed Tuesday, Oct. 19, as "A Day of Confession, Repentance,Thanksgiving and Supplication" for the university community and its friends. As classes are suspended for the beginning of an all-campus symposium on evangelism on the 19th and 20th, individual and group activities will mark observance of this solemn day. CCU undertook a similar observance in 2008. Here is President Armstrong's proclamation:
In just a few days, our nation’s voters will elect one-third of the members of the U.S. Senate, all members of the U.S. House of Representatives and countless governors, state legislators and other state and local officials. As voters, we will be making momentous decisions that will affect the future of our country and state for generations to come.
America remains the greatest nation on earth – blessed by God with a large degree of personal freedom, prosperity, progress in health care, education, science, technology and more. But much of what God has given us is threatened by terrorism, financial crisis, stock market losses, energy and environmental issues, budget deficits, taxes, big government and other strategic threats.
Even more ominous are the nation’s growing number of broken families, lives lost to abortion, sexual permissiveness and perversion, illicit drugs, and corruption in public and private life. Surely God is calling us to pray for our culture and to pray most earnestly for our fellow citizens who have not yet responded to the call of Jesus.
Two years ago, I was reminded that President George Washington announced a day of prayer and supplication. Similarly, President Abraham Lincoln called for a national day of humiliation, fasting and prayer. Throughout our history, our greatest leaders have summoned our nation to honor the One who is the “author of liberty… great God our King.”
Following the example of these leaders, as President of Colorado Christian University, I promulgated a day for the university community to join together to ask God’s blessing in accordance with His promise.
“… If my people will humble themselves and pray, and search for me, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.” - 2 Chronicles 7:14
Considering the hurts and cares of our beloved country, nothing could be more timely. Therefore, I designate and proclaim Tuesday, October 19, 2010, A Day of Confession, Repentance, Thanksgiving and Supplication for this university and all who wish to join us in asking Him to “heal our land.”
Confession, repentance, thanksgiving and supplication should be part of our prayer life every day. But exactly two weeks before Election Day – with America’s future at stake –on Tuesday, October 19th , let us pause throughout the day, individually and in groups, to accord Him honor and to pray and be reminded of our dependence on the One whom Presidents Washington and Lincoln called “Almighty God.”
Let us realize, as did President Lincoln, that “We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power … and we have vainly imagined … that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
Let us thank God over and over for the way He has blessed our country. Ask God to inspire His people to vote in record numbers. Pray that He will give voters perspicacity, integrity and wisdom. Humbly request that those who are elected will be a blessing to our country. Ask God to mend broken relationships, turn our nation away from abortion, pornography, drugs, sexual sin, hedonism and corruption. Pray that God will draw the people of our nation closer to each other and to Him. Ask God to hear our prayers, forgive our sins and heal our land. Ask God to bless Colorado Christian University and our beloved country.
William L. Armstrong, President
(CCU Student) Outside of the encapsulated paradise, Adam and Eve fled once man chose the path of sin. Regardless of interpretation, personal exegetical views, or interpretation, reasonably prudent readers of the Bible (Christian or non) can agree that when sin was first experienced—reality immensely shifted. Further extensioning, the presence of sin insured economic systems would ALL be fallible in some regard.
Two modern paradigms I would like to bring up are North and South Korea. Interestingly, one being the least free economic system in the world, the other being amongst the top three least government controlled economies.
Radically opposite but not quite, people in the North live in an ubiquitous society where deification, animalistic-dehumanizing, incarceration, and public execution are nationwide tools used to instill obedience, fear, and extend loyalty. People in the South are economically free to act as Adam Smith, Ayn Rand, and self-deterministic thinkers would advocate.
Although the two radically oppose each other on many levels—they still have two things in common: (1) sin and (2) levels of economic fallibility. What does this mean and why should we care? It means hoity-toity critics proposing liberation theology need to take a step back and examine the root cause of tyranny by undertaking the opposite root (or route): selecting donation to charities, aiding the poor, funding operations for those who cannot afford them, but by no means should we trust a state to dictate whether I do so and to what extent. It means Christians need to acknowledge that free-systems of government propagate extenuating social freedom to evangelize; while further understanding that there WILL be places to point fingers towards 'unholy' scenarios.
An example would be the exploitation and biblically unethical forms of business practice that can be exerted in a non-command-economy; however, while that system may allow such actions of free will, it never puts one's life in grave danger; unlike the 97% controlled economy in North Korea, the blanketed poverty of Equatorial Guinea, the subjugation of women in the Middle East and North Africa, the pompous corruption in Venezuela, and the list goes on.
Face it, there are trillions of ways countries can operate, but only a handful of directions the economy can shift: more control-----------less control. Economically, the examples of econometric statistics from centuries of data prove people live better when this paradigm shifts right (directionally). Fallibility? Indeed, but what an easier environment to share the gospel and teach your children wholesome values. How do you feel about somebody telling you how to raise your children, pay for operations, or whom to send papers to? Think about what less restriction could do to advance the Christian faith!
Do not be ashamed of what you believe. For if the chips are thrown on the table, your personal convictions need not be tested, shifted, or torn. Remember results of free debate between non-believers and Christians. Such a debate would never be had without risk of fatality on the other end of the spectrum. Furthermore, let us acknowledge the fallibility of economic systems, and use our contextualization skills to fight for what works best on a macro level, so we can begin sharing the gospel on a micro level. These are merely thoughts, provocations, and questions—but keep remembrance of what the wise, C.S. Lewis said, "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
(CCU Faculty) Yesterday while picking up my son and his buddies from a local shopping center, I ran into a student of mine who is preparing to be a missionary to the Muslim world. We briefly spoke about his experiences on a recent trip to the Middle East and his plans for the future. While driving the teenage boys back to their respective homes, one of them asked why someone would want to convert Muslims into Christians. My son’s buddies were not raised in Christian homes, but attend public high school, as does my son. We try to use opportunities like this to share Christ with our kids’ non-Christian friends.
My response was that if Christianity was the true religion and one which promoted peace rather than violence, wouldn’t it be a good thing to convince others to believe in it. My son’s friend told me that all religions were really the same, and that it wasn’t important which religion one believed in. I then asked, if he had ever heard of a Methodist terrorist or a Presbyterian suicide bomber. He answered that there must be some of them out there, which reminded me what they are teaching our children in their “politically correct” public schools.
Are all religions really the same? Are the teachings of Mohammad morally equivalent to that of Jesus? Jesus said to turn the other cheek, while Mohammad taught retribution. Jesus went peacefully to the cross, while Mohammad led jihads and conquered most of the Arabian Peninsula. Christianity was spread peacefully by preaching, while Muslim armies conquered the Middle East, North Africa, Spain, central and south Asia. Christian martyrs were thrown to the lions or burnt at the stake for their faith, while Muslim martyrs died in jihads against the infidel or blew themselves up in cafes and at weddings.
Hollywood can make movies like "The Last Temptation of Christ" and "The Life of Brian," Broadway can produce a play depicting a gay Jesus, an “Artist” can put a crucifix in urine, yet Christians respond with peaceful protests. However Salman Rushdie wrote a few words in a book and got fatwas issued by Muslims world-wide, death threats forced him to live the rest of his life in hiding. Why don’t these movie producers and “artists” treat Mohammad the same as they have Jesus?
In the wake of Rushdie’s words about Mohammad numerous bookstores were firebombed, as was a newspaper which supported Rushie’s freedom of expression. The result was that few bookstores even carried the Rushdie book. Even several British nationals in the Middle East were kidnapped, until the British government handed over the blasphemer. A press release from the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran declared “Even if Salman Rushdie repents and become the most pious man of all time, it is incumbent on every Muslim to employ everything he has got, his life and wealth, to send him to Hell.” Throughout the late 80s and early 90s hundreds died in Muslim violence against Rushie’s book. The current Ayatollah and Supreme Leader of Iran recently reaffirmed to the world that the fatwa against Rushdie was still in force.
When Danish cartoonists drew images of Mohammad in 2005, Muslims throughout the Middle East rioted and burnt down Danish embassies and western cultural centers, resulting in the deaths of over 100 people. Many of the cartoonists now live in hiding. Last month a Muslim assassin was captured by Danish police in the home of one of the cartoonists, attempting to break into the “panic room”, installed by the cartoonist for his own safety. Theo van Gogh produced a documentary on the treatment of women in the Muslim world. In response the imam of the largest mosque in The Hague declared him a ‘criminal bastard’ and called for divine retribution. Shortly thereafter, while bicycling through the streets of Amsterdam, he was shot dead and beheaded by a Muslim man.
Why is it that most Muslim countries have blasphemy laws, some even calling for the death penalty for defaming Islam, the Koran, or Mohammad? Why is it that Muslims now demand blasphemy laws in Western countries? Why have many of these formerly tolerant Western nations complied and now limit freedom of speech to their citizens, prosecuting them for “defaming Islam”? Why is it that I will come under great criticism (not only by Muslims but also by Christians) for even writing this? I have been told over the years by several of my foreign students, that my life would be in danger if I continued to teach about Islam the way I do.
Even Muslims recognize the difference. Several times I have heard Muslims say, “I am not a Christian who would turn the other cheek.” One of my former students went into Military Intelligence and was assigned to interrogate Muslims incarcerated in the “War on Terror”. He told me that several of his Muslim prisoners told him, that if he were a true Christian, he wouldn’t be in the army. Several times I have been told by Muslims, that Christians are taught peace and submission while Muslims are taught war and conquest. This was because Allah intended Muslims to rule over Christians.
Scholars often point to the different roles of the founders of these two religions. Jesus led a small band of Jews, who were subdued by the mighty Roman Empire and put their hope in a spiritual kingdom. Mohammad was the sheik of Medina, who raided caravans for their booty and became the ruler of a vast earthly domain, imposing his religion on its populace. Those who continue to insist that there is no difference between these two religions are either deluded or attempting to delude others.
('76 Editor) Particularly a college such as CCU, devoted to the same biblical truths and principles as most of our Founders? Centennial Institute asked for advice on teaching our country's history to college students, from a dozen of the most thoughtful Christian conservatives in America today. Their recommendations on the most important ideas to be taught, and the best books to help do that, add up to a rich intellectual feast. Our Centennial Institute report, "How Should an American College Teach American History?", contains a summary in the survey respondents' own words. Respondents included David Barton of Wallbuilders, Morton Blackwell of the Leadership Institute, J. Budziszewski and Rob Koons of the University of Texas, Kenneth Cribb of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Alan Crippen of the John Jay Institute, Michael Farris of Patrick Henry College, Douglas Groothuis of Denver Seminary, author Peter Marshall, Marvin Olasky of The King’s College and World magazine, Paul Prentice of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; and Lawrence Reed of the Foundation for Economic Education.
Here is a link to the report: centennial - teaching history.doc (76.50 kb)
We look forward to your comments on the report. While it's true, as I often remind patriotic friends, that America isn't specially anointed in the Bible, Lincoln was right when he suggested our moral and spiritual heritage confers upon us special opportunities and obligations as an "almost-chosen people." Colorado Christian University, along with any Christian college and for that matter any intellectually honest college, must strive to convey these objective realities to all its students. CCU's newly revised curriculum is a response to the challenge. It took effect last fall, as explained here: ccu curriculum revision nov08.doc (159.00 kb)
('76 Contributor) If you're someone who cherishes humanity and thus opposes human exploitation, as I do, you will welcome the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, a new joint effort by conservative Christians standing against global warming alarmism. Please read the group's formal declaration and then consider signing the declaration.
There are varying opinions on global warming and the responses being put forth by our governments (state and national). But the possible negative consequences of putting the control of energy resources in the hands of a few are beyond imagination. As I have followed this issue for years, I have noted a huge disconnect between the rhetoric and the lifestyle of some of the top promoters of human-caused global warming. This alone has generated a skepticism and recent revelations of tainted data confirm my skepticism. What is the real motivation for a few to control the energy supply? What will such control and the accompanying restrictions mean to lower income and impoverished people in American and around the globe? Will it increase human hunger and deaths? Is the global warming agenda connected to world population control? If have not yet take some time to delve into this issue to ascertain what is really driving it, I encourage you to click the links below. If you find the case compelling enough to sign on, please consider passing this along to others you believe would be interested. Following is the notice I received from Calvin Beisner, Cornwall Alliance spokesman: Dear Friend: I'm sure you're absolutely swamped with other concerns, so please forgive this demand on your time, but if you could spare just a few minutes to read An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming and, if you're in agreement, complete the endorsement form online, it would be a great help to us. Thus far we're nearing 500 endorsers, but we'd like to add more leaders to the list before making a public announcement. (By the way, we make provision for non-evangelicals to endorse without implying that they're evangelicals.) The Declaration is based on the findings of A Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor, co-authored by, among others, Dr. Roy W. Spencer of the University of Alabama, Dr. Cornelis van Kooten of the University of Victoria, BC, and Dr. Craig Mitchell of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In case you're interested, here are names of a few of the prominent people who have endorsed so far: Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Dr. Barrett Duke of the same, Dr. Daniel Heimbach of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, Dr. Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph, Dr. Charles Van Eaton of Bryan College, Janet Parshall of Janet Parshall's America, Dr. Joseph Pipa, president of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Dr. Peter Jones of Westminster Theological Seminary in Escondido, CA, Dr. Douglas Groothuis of Denver Seminary [and a Centennial Institute Fellow], Mark Coppenger of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, and Dr. Robert L. Reymond, emeritus professor of Systematic Theology at Knox Theological Seminary and Covenant Theological Seminary. The collapse of climate treaty negotiations in Copenhagen last week was welcome, and it was my delight to be there and watch it happen on the heals of "climategate" and the general collapse of the scientific case for dangerous manmade global warming over the last several years. Now we need to work together to prevent the United States from adopting similar policy on its own. Your endorsement of the Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming will help achieve that. Note: John Andrews, Director of the Centennial Institute and '76 Blog editor, signed the declaration immediately upon receiving notice from former Vermont State Sen. Mark Shepard and Colorado State Sen. Kevin Lundberg. Others with the Centennial Institute and Colorado Christian University are being encouraged to sign as well.
'76 Contributor) "The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience," released last month, impressed me as a profound statement by a large number of Christian leaders taking a stand for the foundations of civilization, the family, and the sanctity of human life. People of faith have to work together to preserve and protect the fundamental principles of morality from those who seek to destroy them. This declaration brings together numerous Catholic bishops, Orthodox clergy, and Evangelical leaders -- and as an evangelical Christian I will gladly partner with other types of Christians on the common concepts that form the backbone of Christianity. Here are the opening lines from ManhattanDeclaration.org:
Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family. We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:
1. the sanctity of human life
2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.
Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and theLife. Even now the whispers of “hate speech,” “ignorance,” “bigotry,” “intolerance,” and “insensitivity” await those who now champion the sanctity of life or who fail to cheerlead homosexuality and sexual deviancy. Some have even gone so far as to label the Manhattan Declaration “hateful” or a call for civil disobedience. They are wrong. The manifesto is not about judging or excusing. If anything, it is in fact a rather benign, formal declaration of what a great many believe. It is also a clear warning shot across the bow of the U.S.S. liberal agenda that Christians will not compromise their fundamental religious beliefs no matter what the state may attempt to dictate.
Those seeking to mock, disparage, and even persecute any of us who fail to march lockstep with the agenda of secular humanism need to understand that a line has been drawn in the sand and a wide spectrum of the Christian community is joining together in a common cause to proclaim God’s truth, as they understand it, as outlined in the Bible. These are clear cut and unambiguous issues for Bible-believing people of faith and compromise is not an option when it comes to these basic principles.
The suspension of judgment and the concept that there is no true right or wrong is a devious lie and one that often fools even otherwise educated and intelligent people. If you are willing to suspend judgment and the concept of right and wrong, then you will eventually accept anything. The “if-it-feels-good-do-it” mindset produces only heartache and disaster in the end. It is the wise man who rejects such childlike idiocy and expects adults to think and act like adults. With maturity should come responsibility, self-restraint, discernment, and wisdom. It stands in stark contrast to an ideology of dependency, irresponsibility, the inability to practice self-restraint and accept the consequences of one’s actions, and the continued childlike dependency on others to fix one’s own mistakes.
Popular culture may sneer at such ideas as morals and values, sexual restraint, and personal responsibility, at patriotism and good citizenship, and at honesty, decency, and respect. Those are the failings of secularists and liberals. They should not be of Christians and conservatives. Part and parcel of both Christianity and conservatism is the simple concept that actions have consequences. The concept of the prohibition of sin was not to somehow squash your “fun” but to warn one about the repercussions of certain actions. It was to protect us, not to be “mean” to us.
There may come a time when a declaration like this is labeled “hate speech” or contrary to the public good and banned from dissemination. One may think that is far-fetched but we currently stand at the edge of the abyss when it comes to thought-control, censorship, and even the persecution of those that don’t march lock step with the powers-that-be and the dictates of a corrupt, popular culture.
As our society and culture embraces decadence and earnestly seeks to fulfill the Prophet Isaiah’s warning that “good shall be called evil, and evil good” it is increasingly important for people of faith to stand up and be counted. It is time to draw a stark distinction between those who have sold out to situational morality and don’t believe in right or wrong, only “different.” Eleven of the twelve disciples achieved martyrdom by refusing to heed those who sought to silence them. It is incumbent upon Christians to stand up for what is right, no matter the cost. It is an essential element of the faith, and at the core of the teachings of Christ. To not call sin “sin” is to be dishonest and contrary to the teachings of the gospels.
The last paragraph of the Declaration reads: ”Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”
There is something noble and honorable about standing for truth, as uncomfortable or inconvenient that may be for some on occasion. You can join the over 300,000 people of faith who have followed the example and lead of the initial 170 leaders of the Christian community who presented the world with the Manhattan Declaration. Dare to take a stand. Join what has gone far beyond a mere statement in defense of faith and principle, and is now becoming a movement of people of conscience taking a stand for the whole world to see.
Start the New Year by recommitting yourself to what is right and true. The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience can be read in its entirity at www.ManhattanDeclaration.org. I signed this powerful declaration and so should you. I like the spectrum and caliber of the signers and am proud to join my smallest of voices with theirs.The goal is for one million Christians to sign the declaration. Will you join me in doing so?
For more information on the thinking behind the Manhattan Declaration I would suggest the article by Dr. Timothy George, Dean of the Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, senior editor of Christianity Today, and one of the original architects of The Manhattan Declaration: The Manhattan Declaration: A Growing, Grassroots Movement of the Spirit (http://www.colsoncenter.org/the-center/columns/call-response)
David Huntwork is a conservative activist and freelance columnist in Northern Colorado where he lives with his wife and three young daughters. He is the author of the book No Apologies: In Defense of Common Sense and the Conservative Ideology which can be purchased at http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=3576295.Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions at DaveHuntwork@juno.com. You may also view his bio and past columns at: http://DavidHuntwork.tripod.com.
(Denver Post, Dec. 27) Remember those times when we thought the world had changed, but it hadn’t? Eight years ago after jihadists attacked the US homeland, and again last year after America elected its first black president, the talk of “forever different” was soon quieted by life’s old patterns. The world does not change, because human nature does not.
But an event that did change the world occurred 2000 years ago in the stable at Bethlehem. Religious differences aside, the earthquake of Jesus’ coming is historical fact. The idea of all persons created equal, all endowed with dignity and liberty, arrived with him and has gained steadily ever since. This makes our seasonal celebrations, both sacred and secular, most fitting.
Among them is the parlor game of tallying up who made a difference in the old year, amid the gusts of forgettable news and fleeting celebrity. In 2009 the very word “change” devolved from a mantra into a punchline. Yet certain individuals had an impact that deserves recognition as the calendar turns. Editors at Time and Sports Illustrated have crowned their national honorees. On behalf of Rocky Mountain conservatives, here’s my award for Coloradan of the Year.
Who would you choose? And by what yardstick would you decide? I took as jurors Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Grant, spiritual fathers under whose wise and brave influence our state was born. We looked for distinguished contributions by fellow citizens in keeping Colorado true to its heritage. The field was broad and bipartisan.
This was the year that Mike Coffman, Iraq veteran twice over, took his war-fighting savvy to Congress. Ken Salazar, son of the San Luis Valley, became steward of all the nation’s public lands. Douglas Bruce left public office but remained a potent force for limited government through his TABOR legacy. Peter Groff, descendant of slaves, took charge of faith-based programs for schoolkids across the country.
None of them, however, made our top-10 finalists. Nor did Jim Tracy, the managerial wizard who electrified Rockies fans, or Michael Bennet, the education wizard who vaulted into the Senate. Nor did leftist campaign financier Tim Gill or Islamist plotter Najibullah Zazi – though jurors sent them backhanded thanks for puncturing the complacency of many.
As finalists for 2009, the jury salutes Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute, laughing lancer of liberty; Joe Blake of Colorado State, common-sense businessman turned university president; and Mayor Hickenlooper along with Congressman Salazar, two solid Johns who remind us not all Democrats are loony liberals.
Plus Philip Anschutz, philanthropist, media mogul, and rising GOP rainmaker; Vincent Carroll, senior pundit of the right at the old Rocky and now here at the Post; Dick Wadhams, quarterback of the state’s impending Republican revival; James Dobson, radio hall-of-famer and hero of the American family; and Jane Norton, new voice of women conservatives in the West.
But last and loudest, as Coloradan of the Year, we applaud Archbishop Charles Chaput. He did the state proud as a leading signer of the Manhattan Declaration on sanctity of life, dignity of marriage, and defense of religious liberty. His book “Render unto Caesar” is a timely guide to principled citizenship in a nation under God. Four centuries of Americans who pushed westward from the Old World’s exhaustion to the New World’s promise would recognize in Chaput a friend to their souls.
I’m not a Catholic, and some of my ghostly jurors were but hesitant Christians; yet no matter. The good archbishop models self-government and self-giving for Coloradans of all faiths. Tempted to believe we live by bread and circuses rather than by truth and love, our state is continually reminded otherwise by this fearless prelate. Soldier of civilization, man of backbone, Charles Chaput will live in grateful memory many Christmases from now.
('76 Contributor) There is only one way out of the mess we are in: to face the truth of how we got into it and apply the proper medicine. How did the United States, the leader of the free world, get on to the road to a totalitarian system financed by American tax payers?
Most Americans do not have a clue what a totalitarian system is. Let me tell you from experience: it is a godless society where there is no justice. The totalitarian leaders are always right while the opposition is always wrong. Rules are based on lies forced upon people by godless and corrupt functionaries. Totalitarian systems grow out of immorality. Immoral people can be manipulated; moral people cannot. Protest, and you will be sanctioned. We will experience the end of freedom and the rule of the lie. Founding Fathers will be presented as greedy capitalists. There will be multi-religious “faiths” which includes watered down Christianity. We had that in Germany. The “German Christians” promoted National Socialism in religious language.
You will be told by our president Barack Obama and the godless bunch of politicians what to believe. In the global ideological battle for the role of God in human society they stand contrary to our Founders. They are neither Christians nor patriots but enemies of God and the Constitution. They aim at replacing God’s commandments by making people believe that they know how to solve every crisis. We are not in a battle between socialism and capitalism. That is only superficial. The real battle is between God and almighty man, between truth and lies.
A free and strong America stands in the way of the global rule of the lie. The trillion dollar projects are not meant to resurrect the American economy, I believe, but to destroy it. Marc Faber, better known as Dr. Doom, compares US financial policy with Zimbabwe’s. There you paid 100 billion Zimbabwe dollars for three eggs in March of 2009. In the twenties, my mother went to my father’s office every day with a big suitcase to pick up the salary which filled the suitcase. Even today I do not understand how people with a fixed salary lived. After WWII, on weekends, hundreds of thousands of city people poured into the agricultural parts of Germany to exchange their valuables for food.
Nazi Germany failed because of godlessness. When I began to figure out how the Nazi atrocities could happen I noticed that many people, including church-going Christians, lived as I had done: for myself and not bothering about what went on in government. I realized that as I am so is my nation. I was a liar who lied for small personal advantages, and if all German people were like me, it was no wonder Hitler could get away with his atrocities. He lied for big political stakes. With my lies I, who detested the Nazis, was closer to Hitler than to Jesus Christ. Going to church did not make me a Christian.
Godlessness is denial of God’s commandments. There is the personal denial, for instance somebody who lies or commits adultery. And then there is the national denial, the organized abandonment of God’s commandments in the form of laws or other legal means, like abortion or holocaust, making murder legal. What is evil becomes legitimate. These procedures begin with a lie to oneself. One convinces oneself that this lie is necessary for the good of the nation. But in reality it is for the advantage of the liar. After lying repeatedly the liar doesn’t realize what he does and he cannot distinguish any more between right and wrong. And that is the moral position of most politicians today. If not addressed, not trillions of dollars will make a difference.
Human nature is the same around the world. Every person has in his heart the voice of evil and the voice of truth. Evil does not present itself as such but as beautiful and tempting. Without a moral guideline men or women will follow the easy path of appeasing what is evil and will become part of it. Every society, including democracies, will end in a totalitarian system. No wonder that those Democrats who want to sell us into totalitarian slavery are also the vanguard of immorality. They should be sent home.
In these days we celebrate in Christian America the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God, our savior. Europeans who followed Jesus made God’s commandments the basis of our Constitution. It led to a rich society and the most powerful nation in the world. However, a considerable part of citizens have forgotten its roots. Our policies are the damnable manipulation of other people for their own advantage. May God have mercy on this nation. May America find a national rebirth in Jesus Christ, the only way out of the mess.
('76 Editor) Good news. Death is on defense this week. That’s a big reason for the excitement about Christmas and Hanukkah. It should make these holidays welcome even among people who don’t share the biblical beliefs they represent. And it should humble the believers themselves. Civil harmony would benefit. “Merry Christmas” and “Peace on Earth” are still annually proclaimed in lights on the City and County Building, after Denver’s mayor decided against substituting something generic a few years ago. Following a similar bout of hesitation, small-town EnGolden still has its menorah display. We all ought to cheer if we love life.
The Christian faith, along with the Jewish tradition from which it grew, has enlivened our civilization through the centuries with a message of unshakable hope for the human future. The Old and New Testaments argue for an eternal reality in which the grave is not the last word. America as we know it is more humane, dynamic, and purposeful as a result. That’s well worth a celebration every December.
Long before Jesus or Moses, of course, rituals of rebirth were observed at this time of year as the life-giving sun starts its comeback and the days lengthen. So if you prefer a winter solstice festival, fine. Solar cycles will always be with us. But they don’t put death on defense as Christmas and Hanukkah do.
“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” says the fatalism that believes bodily existence is all there is. Scripture contradicts it. Economic guru John Maynard Keynes gave the modernist version when he shrugged, “In the long run, we’re all dead.” Don’t be so sure, say the faithful.
Hope of immortality through their descendants was already a given for the Jews among whom Jesus was born. Many also believed in a bodily resurrection. Christ’s followers were sure of it. Correct or not, that meant conducting themselves in this world so as to be worthy of the next. Moral seriousness grew. All of society felt the gentling effect.
If death cancels life, period, why shouldn’t might make right? Why shouldn’t ethics begin and end with “if it feels good, do it”? It’s different if eternal punishment awaits brutality and tyranny. New incentives come with expecting we’ll have to live forever with the consequences of how we treat each other. This was the awesome force of good that arrived with the baby in the manger.
The Romans who ruled Bethlehem, like the Magi who brought gifts, idealized justice but never knew its author. Knowledge of “the Supreme Judge of the World,” as the Declaration of Independence calls him, is uniquely the Judeo-Christian contribution to history. The result was a vast increase in motivation for achieving peace on earth through goodwill to men.
Peace and justice are far from realized, as each day’s headlines attest. But infanticide, genocide, slavery, and the subjugation of women, once accepted, are now condemned. Freedom and democracy, once rare, are spreading. Heartless death-dealing and all kinds of living death are lessening in our world because of the Hebrew girl’s son who was “born that man no more may die.”
Think about it. Every news story about economic relief or homeless shelters or animal rescue bespeaks a life-affirming ethos that is the very opposite of Lord Keynes’s “dead in the long run” callousness. We’re that way partly because of a faith tradition that sees past death.
As for the so-called Christmas wars, isn’t government or commercial sanction of Jesus’ birthday a false issue? He asked for nothing of the kind. He did ask us who follow him to be more childlike, less demanding. Faithful and unfaithful alike need to lighten up. After all, many believe the light of the world is here – and they don’t just mean the solstice.
As Christmas comes, reactions abound. Since the fourth century AD, when Roman Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity, church service attendance in Western Civilization is greatest at Christmas and Easter.
Prior to Constantine, Christianity was illegal and thus did not attract people who were not deeply committed. Ironically during this period of intense persecution the number of Christians grew at a phenomenal rate, with an organic underground-style network of small home-based churches (much like China has been experiencing since the rule of Mao Zedong). That amazing growth, before Constantine, laid the foundation for Christianity’s widespread acceptance leading to a more organized Christianity.
Yet in many ways organizing Christianity stifled the life-transforming power that grew the earlier organic Church. And in more recent decades the spike in attendance at services for Christmas and Easter has decreased, while critical reactions toward or around these two special Christian days has increased in both number and intensity.
The name CHRISTmas forces most people to consider at some level: Who was Christ and why should his living two-thousand years ago make any difference to us today in our hectic modern life where we are bombarded with ideas trying to answer life’s most basic questions?
Many find this season warm and joyous. Yet others respond from indifference to an outright repulsive reaction to Jesus Christ’s claim to be God, the creator, sustainer and restorer of humanity and the world.
Some reject Biblical moral boundaries, while other rejections are connected to horrific acts done in the name of Christianity, or at least by self-identified Christians. While it is important to acknowledge such acts as horrific, it is just as important to ascertain if such acts are condoned or condemned by Biblical teaching, lest we throw baby Jesus out with the filthy and corrupt bath water.
As Americans, does the Christmas story have anything to do with: our freedom to think and express ideas; our freedom of religion; the equality of people; or even ideas like the size and reach of government?
Clearly the individual rights and freedoms that have long-defined America are not because of where America sits on the globe, but rather they fall directly from a worldview that sees humanity as unique and special and worthy of protection. And Christianity, which teaches that people are created in the image of God and that God came in human form and gave his life to provide a means for every person to have a restored and harmonious relationship with their Creator, puts a value on human life that is arguably much higher than that of any other set of ideas.
Cultures, which have embraced the Biblical value of humanity, have delivered the greatest level of individual liberty. While not all American founders embraced orthodox Christianity, they did embrace the Biblically-based view of human nature and that every person is created equal “with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The American experience, just like our own life experience, has had its struggles putting these profound ideas into practice. Yet had these ideas not sprung from a real foundation the American experiment in liberty would have been a futile effort, like every other culture that does not value humanity.
In recent decades some in America have been pushing America away from its foundation, with the result being increased chaos. Chaos has been answered by increasing the size and reach of government, leading to a decrease in personal liberty and making our personal and national future much less secure. We would be wise to look at the results of godless national experiments before we take the leap.
If atheism or any other set of ideas is true then by all means let us live life accordingly, but let us not take that jump without first investigating the idea which arguably has most radically and positively changed the lives of people and civilizations: Biblical Christianity.
Granted Biblical Christianity, unlike most other sets of ideas, does not align well with human logic, where might makes right, or utopia is achieved through personal effort. Does that not suggest that Biblical Christianity is not a human creation, but more likely revelation from our Creator? Even apart from the continual historical and archeological validations of Biblical history, Biblical teaching on human nature, the human condition, and the path to restoration, ring incredibly true with human experience.
Humanity is creative and desires to express that creativity. True faith cannot be forced upon someone. Vast power (control of resources) invites corruption, whether in business, politics, government, or religion. Left unbounded by inner moral guides or external militant guides, people and cultures self-destruct. Incredible transformation and healing does result when people bond with their Creator. Indeed these human experiences align with the Biblical presentation of humanity.
Ideas do have consequences. Ideas that ring true with life experience yield better results for us individually and for cultures. This Christmas, consider investigating genuine Biblical Christianity directly from its source document and resting your future in ideas that ring true and truly transform.
Mark Shepard writes from Vermont, where he formerly served as a state senator.