Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Liberal Media Won't Shame Me Out of Voting Again for Trump In the Line of Fire

Michael Brown once again shares an excellent article via Charisma News . . .

"I have no desire to defend the worst of President Trump's tweets. Or the ugliest of his words. Or the most inappropriate aspects of his behavior. And I have no idea whether he understands what it means to be a Christian or if he ever reads the Bible.

But in 2020, if it is Donald Trump vs. any of the Democratic candidates, I would vote again for Trump in a heartbeat. And the liberal media will not shame me out of my vote.

As I wrote before, I will not play the game of 'renounce Trump to prove my Christian witness.' "

Click here to read the entire article.

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Pardons, Ink, and Toner

The following article is my editorial this week in The Clinton Chronicle . . .

“Dare to risk public criticism,” said Mary Kay Ash. She should know. A successful businesswoman who broke many molds and took many risks, I’m sure she endured her share of critics.

I remember as a young pastor receiving an anonymous letter full of complaints about me and my wife. Most pastors have received a few of those cowardly gems.  The author rebuked me in one line by saying, “You make too many photocopies, which wastes our ink and toner!” Boy, he might as well have said I was lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut. My wife and I still laugh, some almost twenty years later, that we may stoop really low one day and waste too much ink and toner.

Dick Cheney’s autobiography In My Time reviews the lives of political figures who have shaped America the past several decades. Cheney rubbed shoulders with many of Washington’s elites.

One lesson was gleaned from observing the leadership of Gerald Ford: some actions are only justified by time.

Cheney shares the surprise he and many Americans experienced when, on September 8, 1974, President Ford issued a full, free, and absolute pardon to Richard Nixon following the Watergate scandal. Cheney writes, “He described his actions as a way to ‘shut and seal’ the matter of Watergate and to mitigate the suffering of Richard Nixon and his family.”

At the time, this action cost Ford – some speculate that it cost him the reelection. There was immediately “a firestorm of controversy and criticism.” Ford’s approval rating dropped from 71% to 49%. The press condemned Ford, and he endured much negative criticism as a result. 

However, more than 30 years later, Cheney writes, “[T]he wisdom and generosity of Gerald Ford’s instincts have been recognized for their courage and honored for their rightness. But at the time the pardon was controversial and unpopular.”

Wisdom beckons, at times the right choice is the unpopular choice. The right choice may be greatly misunderstood and even condemned. It takes courage to make the right choice. And in time, even those who criticize that person may see years later that it was the right choice.

Two decades ago, my parents left a church situation that had become toxic. Before they left, she warned some persons of the unwise and ungodly path that the senior pastor was taking. Mom and Dad – and anyone else who questioned the pastor - received an incredible amount of criticism and ostracism for their stance. The staff was even told to not have conversations with them. Several years later, however, after several hundred people and most of the staff left the church, an ex-staff member commented in retrospect, Mrs. Wilson was right.

I’ve tried to remember through the years one simple difference. Reputation and opinion are what people think and say about you based on their limited perspective. Character is what God sees about you from His unlimited perspective when no one else is looking. Sometimes they are the same, sometimes different.

A godly person does not play to the crowd. A wise person does not make judgments based solely on public opinion. Instead, he or she seeks to please the audience of One – the Lord. The book of Proverbs reveals that true wisdom is rooted in the fear of God.

King Saul in the Old Testament lived most of his reign working to make himself look good in front of others. The fruit of his character revealed a pitiful life, not so different than the lives of some Hollywood favorites or political figures that woo the crowds but lead miserable lives of shallow character.

Be willing to make the hard decisions when necessary. God will be pleased, and time will tell.

Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Adventurous Living

 Successful living involves risk-taking.

Over 300 people rejected Colonel Sanders’ special recipe for Southern fried chicken before he received a “yes.” Today, because of his persistence, KFC boasts 20,000 restaurants in 125 countries.

Surgeon Ben Carson writes in Take the Risk, “One of the worst things about playing it safe is how that displays not only a lack of honesty and gratitude on my part, but also a failure of trust. Playing it safe would send a message that I don’t truly trust God with my life; that I don’t believe he is able to direct and guide people, events, and circumstances according to his will.”

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Why We Celebrate the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is the most important political holiday in the world. In fact, it should be a universal holiday.

Independence Day commemorates not just an American revolution but a revolution in the relationship between people and their government.

Most of human history has been a story of the powerful controlling, dominating, and exploiting the weak.

Read the entire article here by Newt Gingrich.

Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

God Bless the USA!

I love the United States of America.  Every summer our family enjoys celebrating the 4th of July with decorations, fireworks, food, and PBS’ A Capital Fourth.  I enjoy patriotic music almost as much as Christmas music, recently adding two new CD’s to my patriotic collection: American Jubilee by the Cincinnati Pops and For God and Country by Dolly Parton. 

A few years ago, my family toured our beloved capital, Washington, D.C.  We proudly toured the monuments, museums, and hallowed landmarks.  We witnessed one reality chiseled on stone -  the majority of our Founding Fathers had deep respect for the God of the Bible.  Congressman Jeff Duncan took us into the private Congressional prayer room just off of the Rotunda of the U.S. Capital. A stain-glassed window of George Washington kneeling in prayer adorns the wall of the room.

Though revisionists work meticulously to rewrite our history, the American experiment was one rooted in a Christian worldview.

John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States, said that the Declaration of Independence “laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.”  In his speech delivered on July 4th, 1837, President Adams claimed that “the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior.”

Teddy Roosevelt said, “[T]he teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally….impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teaching were removed.”

Woodrow Wilson shared, “America was born a Christian nation – America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.” 

And President Harry Truman once definitively stated, “This is a Christian Nation.” 
Our Founding Fathers did not want a state-sponsored religion because they did not want the state to interfere with the religion of the people.  Instead, they expected and wanted the religion of the people to influence the state.  These Founders would not recognize the obsession in America today to “separate church and state.” 

Engraved on Stone

How different are these words from former Presidents from the outcry we hear today to keep Christianity, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments from the public square.   In the National Archives building in D.C., upon entering you gaze upon the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.  Look at the floor and notice the Ten Commandments depicted.  These Mount Sinai laws appear numerous places in the Supreme Court building, engraved on the huge oak doors entering the chambers.  Moses is the chief lawgiver engraved on top of the building above the steps out front. 

Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, believed that the only way to preserve the new nation was to train the next generation in Christian teaching:

“We profess to be republicans [not governed by a king], and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government, that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible. For this Divine Book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and those sober and frugal virtues, which constitute the soul of republicanism.”

George Washington, addressing the Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church in 1789 shared that national morality could not prevail without religious principle.  To try and remove the religious influence is to “shake the foundation of the fabric” of our country.

Chief Justice John Jay, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Vice-President of the American Bible Society, understood this reality.  He wrote, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

Many years later, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, shares in his book A Nation Like No Other, “The Founders’ distinctively Christian faith is well documented, as is their conviction that government must be infused with Christian principles.”

Today, we see America tearing apart at the seams.  We have ignored her recipe for success.  We unashamedly need God in America again.

John Adams had it right: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.

In God We Trust

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

D Is for Damaged, Dangerous and Delusional

"If you watched either or both of the two Democratic Party presidential candidate debates, and if you are a liberal, a conservative or a centrist, you had to have been depressed. The intellectual shallowness, the demagoguery and the alienation from reality were probably unprecedented in American political history. Only a leftist, a socialist or a communist could have gone to bed a happy person on either night.

If you think this is a baseless generalization, here are a few of myriad examples from the first night:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.: '(The economy is not doing great) for the African Americans and Latinx whose families are torn apart, whose lives are destroyed and whose communities are ruined.' "

Read the entire commentary here by lawyer Dennis Prager.

Monday, July 1, 2019

How Can Pastors and Churches Respond to Cohabitation?


As the sexual revolution continues challenging ethical norms and changing culture, the local church will be confronted with related issues in her ministry. In her article on the issue, Courtney Whiting writes, "It is the church's responsibility to maintain a biblical standard among its members and leaders. It is also the church's responsibility to display the love of Christ to everyone without exception. Therefore, the church needs carefully considered guidelines to address this issue."

In 2015, following the Supreme Court's attempt to redefine marriage, a coalition of evangelical leaders adopted the statement Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage. One portion of the document reads, "As evangelical Christians, we dissent from the court’s ruling that redefines marriage. The state did not create the family, and should not try to recreate the family in its own image. We will not capitulate on marriage because biblical authority requires that we cannot. The outcome of the Supreme Court’s ruling to redefine marriage represents what seems like the result of a half-century of witnessing marriage’s decline through divorce, cohabitation, and a worldview of almost limitless sexual freedom."

Here are two thoughtful responses to churches and pastors dealing with cohabitation:

What Intimate Cohabitation Means for Ministry by Courtney Whiting

God’s Plan for Marriage: How to Respond to Cohabitation in the Church by Evan Lenow

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says the greatest challenge of the church in our modern-day is two-fold: (1) Speak the truth, and (2) Speak it in love.

May God help us to be faithful to do so.

See Is It Okay for a Christian Couple to Live Together If They Aren’t Married? by John Piper.

Will You Marry a Couple Already Living Together? by Piper

See also these helpful articles by Pastor Jack Hayford called Fatal Attractions: Why Sex Sins Are Worse than Others and Why Does God Place So Many Restrictions on Sex?

Image supplied by J Carter via Pexels.

Instilling Patriotism in Our Children

Oh, wonderful July! Fireworks, barbecues, and community parties welcome this hot summer month. My heart beats with pride as I listen to patriotic music. How wonderful to be an American and live in the land of the free.

My wife and I try to instill in our children a taste of the incredible heritage we have as citizens of the United States of America. That heritage is one to be embraced and valued. A careful look at our Founding Fathers and their documents reveal an overwhelming bias toward biblical Christianity.

Fifty-five delegates attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which produced the Constitution of the United States. The religious sympathies of this core group of men shaped the foundations of our republic: 28 Episcopalians, eight Presbyterians, seven Congregationalists, two Lutherans, two Dutch Reformed, two Methodists, two Roman Catholics, one unknown, and only three deists. So, 93 percent of the attendees were self-proclaimed Christians.

The American Patriot’s Bible shares, “While much has been written in recent years to try to dismiss the fact that America was founded upon the biblical principles of Judeo-Christianity, all the revisionism in the world cannot change the facts. Anyone who examines the original writings, personal correspondence, biographies, and public statements of the individuals who were instrumental in the founding of America will find an abundance of quotations showing the profound extent to which their thinking and lives were influenced by a Christian worldview.”


U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall wrote, “With us, Christianity and religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people our institutions did not presuppose Christianity and did not often refer to it and exhibit relations with it.” 

And U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote, “One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations.”


The New England Primer, America’s first textbook, taught the ABCs to children by memorizing basic biblical truths and lessons about life: A. In Adam’s fall, we sinned all. B. Heaven to find, the Bible mind. C. Christ crucified for sinners died. The Founding Fathers stressed the relationship between a sound education based upon biblical absolutes and the future of the nation. 

Noah Webster wrote, “The moral principles and precepts found in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws.” In 1791, Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration and Constitution and leading educator, argued why the Bible should never be removed from public education: “In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them.”


The Founding Fathers’ documents shaped the genesis of this nation, springing from a common understanding, or what we today call “worldview,” of how the Creator designed life to work. This approach to life is known  as the Seven Principles of the Judeo- Christian Ethic, rooted in values from the Old and New Testaments.

1. The dignity of human life. God made every person in His image, and thus every human has certain “unalienable rights.”

2. The traditional monogamous marriage. The biblical family unit is the basic building block of our society.

3. A national work ethic. Working hard represents dignity, and our free enterprise system encourages it.

4. The right to a God-centered education. Our forefathers intended an education system that taught the Bible, Creationism, and moral obligation.

5. The Abrahamic Covenant. Covenantal theology understands that obedience to God yields blessing for a nation or individual.

6. Common decency. America is great when her people follow the Golden Rule, treating others as they want to be treated.

7. Divinely ordained establishments. God established the home, civil government, and the church.

The founders of America understood the constitutions, laws, and agreements of federal and state governments depended on the acceptance of these basic ethics.

As Christian parents, may we instill in our children a love and respect for our nation. And may we proudly proclaim, “In God we trust!”

Pictures used by permission from Pixabay.