We began this journey with the words of Jesus to his disciples as recorded in the gospel of Matthew and verse 20 in Matthew 28 says: “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” That means to know and understand what it is that we are to do as we live our lives today, the church was to teach all those things that Jesus had given them to teach so that those who would come later would know what it was what our God wanted from us in the way of Holy Living.
This of course includes those things that came in the Law that God gave to His people, part of that law was the holiness code and I thought it might be helpful to us if we knew what that was and how it affects all the world today. The Jewish people were originally tasked by God to spread the word of God to all people, it did not happen, but that is another story for another blog. For now we know that God’s plan was for Jesus the Christ to come and live a sinless life under the code that he established, and then to die and be raised from the dead to pay for our sins and to seal the covenant of eternal life in the presence of God. This also requires that those who wish to live eternally in the presence of God believe that Jesus was the once for all sacrifice that was required to meet the penalty of death for sin.
So let us begin with Leviticus 18:4 and 5 where God says: Lev 18:4-5 NKJV “You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God. (5) You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.”
Beginning with verse 6 we find law regarding sexual mores, basically it talks about having relations with near relatives, in other words incest, and that it is forbidden. This section ends with verse 18.
Lev 18:6-8 NKJV ‘None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the LORD. (7) The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness. (8) The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness.’
Lev 18:17 ‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They are near of kin to her. It is wickedness.
Lev 18:18 Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.’
The term “uncover” means to have sexual relations with the person. These are all sins of incest God had started by pointing out that these sins were what the people had learned in Egypt and would see in the land He was going to bring them to, what we refer to today as Israel. Note that verse 6 speaks of having sex with you father or you mother, in all the other verses it speaks of women who are your blood relatives, or in-laws. Also you might notice in the last two verses that if you are married to a woman, you may not have sex with her daughter, nor shall you have sex with her sister. God covered all the bases with this sexual perversion stuff as we will see in the next section.
In verse 19 God says, when a woman is in her time of bleeding, what we now call a period, which is a natural thing, you are not to have sex with her. Then there is the idea of adultery, in verse 20 God says you are not to lie carnally with your neighbors wife.
Our God set up a way of life for us, and it is expected that we will live according to what our God has set up as the laws of the universe, (natural law), and of course in this world in which we live it seems we fully care not for natural law, but rather we do what we want because it gives us pleasure.
Today we glorify abortion as a woman’s choice, unwanted babies are to be thrown away, aborted as if they were just an infection that was being removed to return the mother to health. Lev 18:21 “And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.” Molech was the god of the Ammonites, and parents were to come to the city of Hinnom there the idol/statue of Molech had an opening in the back and a fire would be kindled there. The parents would then place their first born baby on the arms of the statue, and they were not allowed to show any emotion as the baby died from the extreme heat. A drum was beat so that the cries of the child were not heard. Next is one of the things that many people are unwilling to obey, and yet it is honestly in the law that God has given to us that we may live lives free from sin.
Lev 18:22-24 NKJV You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (23) Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. (24) ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you.’
As much as those who find themselves with these tendencies and therefor hate those who point out that it is sinful to live out this sexual lifestyle, it is God’s word that speaks of it as being a sexual sin. It is no more of a sin that having an affair with a neighbor, or stealing money from someone or any of the other sins that we humans are so fond of pursuing, the bad thing that I see is that it is a sin and therefore is wrong in the sight of our God and leads to eternal life in the darkness of hell.
Admittedly we Church folks can get our indignation in an uproar over this sin, but it seems we don’t have a problem with adultery, or stealing from our company when we need some paper for a project we are involved in, or any of a dozen other sins that we commit daily. We talk about victimless acts, we think no one gets hurt but of course there are many victims of these sins, your wife or husband when you commit adultery, your wife or husband when you decide you are homosexual and leave your spouse to live with your partner, you think your spouse doesn’t get hurt? If you are a heterosexual person and have an affair, do you think you are not hurting anyone? What happens when it is found out? Your spouse and the spouse of the other person, or the families of both of you are hurt by your infidelity. There is no such thing as a victimless act, every action has ripples that affect those around it.
Try throwing a rock into a pond and watch the ripple effect, or like an earthquake under the sea, when it happens then there is a movement of water, sometimes catastrophic called a Tsunami. Sin is like that, whatever you do that is against God’s law has an affect on others and on yourself as well. If nothing else, you need to know that when you go against God, you are an enemy of God, that will cause ramifications into eternity. God does not consign you to hell, you do so by disobeying the natural law that God has proclaimed. I know, I was once an enemy of God myself, and until I came to understand that I was an enemy of God I thought everything was just fine. Hey, I thought I was having a good time, even when hung over the next morning, even when I couldn’t remember what had happened the night before.
When I finally realized what I was doing to myself and those around me, when I realized that my life was heading for disaster. When I heard the gospel and knew that I was a sinner and came to Christ for forgiveness and became a follower of Jesus, then I was saved and my life changed. I certainly will not claim to any sort of perfection, but I do try to live as Christ has for me to live and I know that when all is said and done, I will end up in eternity in heaven and not in hell.
I do hope you will read these chapters, as they give a map to a way to live as Christ would have you live. These are not difficult as they are natural law, law set in motion by God at the creation of the universe. We have decided that we know better than God, but I have to say, I have not heard of any scientist making something out of nothing. I know they have figured out how to clone an animal but all the work they have done on gene therapy and stem cells have created problems and with stem cells, the healing has come not from infant cells but from adult cells.
Chapter 19 speaks about rules for everyday living again starting off with I am the Lord.
Lev 19:1-3 NKJV And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, (2) “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. (3) ‘Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
Now I know that it is not always easy to revere our parents, many of us have grown up with parents who abused us mostly in verbal, or physical punishments that left scars on our bodies. Interesting though is the truth that it was also that way in the time of Moses and the time of Jesus and down through the ages to today. Though it is difficult, we must love our parents just as we must love our neighbor, in that way they may realize that they too need Jesus as savior and Lord. We must, as Christians, know that God has a plan and even though we don’t understand it, or even know what it might be, God does, and things will work to good for those who love the Lord.
Verse 19:4 says “Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God.” The second of the 10 commandments says the same thing. In this world of ours, we have many idols, political persons, movie stars, musical persons, baseball, football and of course, money, power, looks, pornography, and the many gods of this world. We are told that we are not to have anything in our lives that comes between us and God. In the history of the people of Israel we find that they too had many gods and that they abandoned the worship of I AM to worship the local gods. When they became a people who worshiped the local gods, they also left the path of God, and became apostate, God then allowed them to be taken off into captivity. This happened to Israel many times over centuries, finally the Romans sacked Jerusalem and sent them into the rest of the world, for almost 2000 years. Yet they are today a secular nation and soon again there will be war over the land, the hatred for the people called Israel is beginning to cause great strife in many places in today’s world. God is still working to save his people from their sins.
We too, have been mightily blessed in this land by God, and we are now an apostate nation, we claim to be Christian, but we do not live as Christian people. We too follow the gods of this world, beauty, fame, fortune, power as well as perversions and sorry to say, legal murder of innocent lives, almost 60 million since Roe v Wade. God said that his people were not to sacrifice the children to Molech, yet they did that, and today we do it to the idol of “choice”.
Verse 11 of Leviticus 19 says: “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.” The eighth commandment of the 10 commandments says that you shall not steal as well. The ninth commandment says: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” However, our government steals from us, by taxing our earnings, and our commerce. They take from working people supposedly to give to the poor, yet the poor continue in poverty and the ones who get the money are the government. The richest area in the nation today is the area around Washington D. C., please note it is not D. C. itself, for the people who are the rich, the politicians, the lobbyists and contractors don’t live in D. C. but rather in the counties in Virginia and Maryland. Congresspersons and Senators make exorbitant amounts of money that we the taxpayers are taxed to maintain their lifestyle. The money goes to these people not to the poor.
Our President lied to us, dealt falsely with us in order to pass his ordinances and laws to take even more money from us to give to the lobbyists, to corporations who support him and the rest of the political class. I remember when people did not need a pile of contracts to buy a car, I watched my father in the 1950’s buy a car, on a simple handshake with the dealer. When the car was ready for pickup he paid for it and again shook hands with the dealer and left with the car. Today it takes half a day to get approved for credit, then fill out the paperwork and sign all the copies that have to be signed, then wait while the dealer processes it all. The reason is lawyers have taught us we cannot be trusted to tell the truth. So many of us no longer do tell the truth. Yet we call ourselves Christian.
How often have you picked up a box of paper clips from your place of employment and taken them home, or maybe some staples, or paper for your printer at home. Your excuse being, my employer won’t even know its gone, they have plenty of it anyway. That too is stealing, and lying, and dealing falsely. Yet we call ourselves Christian.
You see, God wants us to live by his rules. We Christian people have decided to live by our own rules, and have become Christian in name only. Like politicians we say one thing and mean another, trust is no longer a way of life, rather we lie, cheat and steal, it has become a way of life in this country. We pervert the law, of man and of God, so that we can live as we please. We have decided that we really don’t need God, we can make our own decisions and live our lives as we choose. In the process we have cheapened life itself, we are content to let others work, while many of us just sit around and enjoy our food stamps and welfare checks. Thinking the government will take care of us, when in reality it is the working class the laborer and the business owner that is paying the government, and the government then says they are helping the poor. Lies all around, theft all around. We used to be proud to work, and to do a good job at whatever we did, no longer true.
We are an apostate nation, and God will not continue to bless us, like the Israelite of old, we too are cruising for a bruising. We have already experienced a black eye, when the enemies of God and man took down the World Trade Center. When will America wake up and return to God? I think it is not going to happen until we are defeated by our own pride and by an enemy that our government won’t even acknowledge.
This is a sermon that I had delivered and thought it appropriate to what is going in today in our nation and in the world. We do seem to be blind to the truth and in many cases we don’t really want to see or hear the truth. Mar 10:46-52 NKJV Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. (47) And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (48) Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (49) So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” (50) And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. (51) So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” (52) Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Here we find Jesus and a great crowd of people passing through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem. The crowds were there because they wanted to know what wisdom Jesus would impart today, and so they followed as He and His disciples walked through the city. There is a blind man sitting on the side of the road, he is named in this gospel account, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus. He is on the road because travelers go by and he is able to ask for charity or alms, and probably does fairly well at this place.
Bartimaeus asks those around him, who is this that is causing such a stir? They tell him Jesus of Nazareth. When he heard that it was Jesus, he knew that he had a chance to be healed of blindness, for this was the Christ, not just any prophet, but Jesus. He begins to shout but the words he says are not words normally used when Jesus is walking by.
As he was told that it was Jesus of Nazareth, because the crowds didn’t want to have any trouble so he was not Son of David, he was just Jesus of Nazareth. A simple Rabbi, maybe even a prophet, but that was all. Bartimaeus, however knew instinctively, his spirit spoke to him, and he begins to call out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The folks in the crowd are not happy with all this commotion, and they begin to tell this beggar to shut up, be quiet. It is remarkable that the religious leaders, could not admit that this man from Nazareth could possibly be the Messiah, yet here is a blind man, addressing Jesus as the Son of David, one of the titles of the Messiah.
Jesus, has healed many in the 3 years that he walked about, preaching of the Kingdom of God, bringing the good news to those who would hear it, and even to those who rejected it. One time he healed a blind man by spitting on his eyes and then wiping the spit away with his fingers, another time he made mud and placed it on the blind mans eyes. Of course he also healed people of leprosy, sometimes doing the unthinkable and actually touching the one with the disease, other times he said go and tell the priest and make the sacrifice that is required. 10 men left and were healed on the way, 1 came back to praise God and thank him.
So here we have Bartimaeus, yelling for mercy from the one man he knew could give him his sight. Why would this man call upon Jesus as the Son of David so he might receive mercy? Perhaps because he had heard Isa 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. He knew that this was his one and only chance to be able to see. He knew in his soul that this was truly the Christ that was to come, and was here.
Have you ever had one of those experiences, one where you knew you had come into the presence of God? In 1988, I went on a retreat, a 3 day retreat called the walk to Emmaus. It was patterned after Cursillo which had begun in Spain under auspices of the Roman Catholic Church. It was a wonderful experience you spent time learning about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You took communion at least once each day, and you experienced prayer as you had never experienced it before. It was a time of deep communion with God, a time of personal and communal prayer and learning. It was also a time of healing, not so much physical healing but rather of deep soul healing. In that time I knew I had come into the presence of God, and my life was never to be the same again.
Bartimaeus knew that this was his one chance to be able to receive that which he lacked, his physical sight, and so he cried out, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. Jesus stops and says, bring him to me. The crowd then tells him, Rise, he is calling you. Bartimaeus throws off his outer garment, and then with the help of those around him, comes to Jesus. The Apostle Paul speaks of putting off the old man and putting on the new. Eph 4:22-24 NKJV that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, (23) and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, (24) and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
So Bartimaeus rids himself of the old that was holding him back, so he might receive the new that will let him move into newness of life.
This is a good lesson for us to learn as well, for we humans like to hold on to the old things that we know, we are afraid of taking a new way, of leaving our comfort zone for the new ways of living that Christ calls us to. I continue to read stories about people who have made the decision to follow Christ, and have been arrested and held in jail. There is the story of an evangelist who was singing christian music at a train station, he was arrested for disturbing the peace.
Then there is the story about an evangelist who was preaching in a park, and a woman in the crowd began telling him she was offended by his speech, and she then exposed her breasts and the police arrested him for inciting to riot. The woman was allowed to go free. These incidents did not happen in some foreign country, they happened right here in the USA. These Christians were practicing their right to speak and yet were arrested and thrown in jail. One man was holding a Bible study in his home and the city arrested him because he was breaking a zoning ordinance that said he could not hold Bible Study in his home because it was a commercial enterprise, in a residential area. That city happens to be Phoenix AZ, and the law they refer to, is the International Code, which they have adopted as law in their city. Please note that Del Rio Texas, has also adopted this code. It is not U. S. Law, it is International Law and it is being used to usurp our Constitutional right to free speech and the right of assembly.
Of course I can also understand why that would make some people a bit concerned about accepting Jesus and the way of life that this entails. It means ridding ourselves of our old way of living and becoming more Christlike in all we do. It also says we need to present Christ to others.
That can get you in trouble. Yet many of our fellow Christians, in this country and across the globe are today experiencing persecution, and some actual hatred. Not because they have done something wrong, but because they have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, and have given over their lives to Him, that they might live eternally in the Kingdom of God. The time is coming when things will become much tougher in this country as well as others, Christians will not be able to speak out openly as we have in the past.
Bartimaeus, also made the choice to follow Christ, and was one more witness to the crucifixion. Some of the same people who were trying to get him to stop calling out to Jesus, would in just a few short weeks be calling for Jesus to be killed by crucifixion. I wonder how many in that crowd ran away, and how many stayed to watch the death of Jesus. That is what it means though, when one decides to follow Jesus, you must be willing to give yourself completely to Him, that you may become truly free and truly fully human.
Blind Bartimaeus, who saw with Spiritual Eyes, the truth of his own salvation both from blindness and from the lies of this world to the truth of the Kingdom. So he called out to Jesus for healing and received that healing of both soul and body. He saw clearly with his spirit, and now with his physical eyes. Reminds me of the spiritual song, “Open My Eyes Lord, I want to see Jesus.” If you have decided to follow Jesus, have you also given up the worldly things that hold you, the things of the world which keep you bound to sin and sadness? If so I invite you to turn your entire being over Jesus the Christ, that you might have your spiritual eyes opened to the beauty of the Kingdom of God. Walk with Christ today and every day.
Lost and Found
In the gospel of Luke the 15th Chapter we read stories about Lost and Found and how there is a rejoicing over that which was lost and is now found.
The first three verses in this chapter of Luke’s gospel we are told that Tax Collectors and the sinners drew close to Jesus so as to hear him speak. The religious leaders, Pharisees and Saducees were very displeased by Jesus allowing these people to come near to hear: Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” So Jesus tells them some stories to make things clear to those who did not understand the truth of God’s word.
Luk 15:4-6 NKJV “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? (5) And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (6) And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
It makes good sense if you are a shepherd and one of the sheep gets lost, you would go and find that sheep to bring it back to the fold. The next story also makes sense, since even today silver is a commodity which is worth holding onto.
Luk 15:8-9 NKJV “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? (9) And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’
I hear all kinds of advertisements for people to run out and buy silver right now, it will gain in value soon.
This next story is one of my favorite stories because it reminds me of myself in many ways. Perhaps you can see yourself in this story which we know as the story of the Prodigal Son.
Luk 15:11-24 NKJV Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. (12) And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. (13) And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. (14) But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. (15) Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. (16) And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. (17) “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! (18) I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, (19) and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ‘ (20) “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (21) And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ (22) “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. (23) And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; (24) for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
After each of these parables Jesus adds the fact of a celebration that what was lost is now found, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” So the religious leaders hear this lesson but, like the older son in the parable of the son who returns to the home of his father, they too cannot bring themselves to realize that they are in the presence of God, and need to repent of their own sin and join in the celebration.
Here is the rest of the story of the prodigal returns: Luk 15:25-32 NKJV “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. (26) So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. (27) And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ (28) “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. (29) So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. (30) But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ (31) “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. (32) It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ” I always wonder, how did the older brother know about the harlots? Christians seem to know about these things too, yet like the older son, seem to forget that all sins are able to be forgiven by the Lord God.
As Christians, we believe that God created all that is, including man. The story is that man and woman were placed in the garden of Eden to care for it and to live in it and enjoy the fruits and vegetables that the garden produced as they cared for it. There was only one thing that they were not allowed to eat, that was the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When they did eat of that fruit, they disobeyed God, in other words they sinned. Up until that time they were perfect creatures, once they sinned God could no longer allow them to stay in the garden for their sin would pollute the garden, just as sin has polluted our world. I hear so many people talking about the greatest problem in our world being global climate change, and that it is caused by man. This is not the greatest threat to our existence, the greatest threat is sin, immorality and its attendant ills. That is the greatest threat, because it means we are living in opposition to God.
Since we were made in God’s image, God has been calling us to return to Him, that we might be cleansed of our sin and become again part of the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that has been and will be forever. It was torn by Adam and Eve and Jesus was the only one who could return it to reality. He came to find and return to the fold, all the lost sheep who are living in sin.
One other truth, we see a lot of people who push one or another sin as being what is wrong with the world. The truth is, all that we do that is against the word of God, is sin. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Note please that he does not say, this or that sin but rather sin by itself. That means that anything that is against the word of God, from coveting (wanting what is your neighbors), we call it keeping up with the Jones’, to worshiping idols such as money, fame, people, (you shall have no other gods before me). That is why there are 10 Commandments, actually Jesus added one more, “love your neighbor as yourself.”
These three parables or stories above talk about bringing back those who are lost in sin, and that when one is returned to his or her status as a child of God, there is great rejoicing in heaven. A soul has been saved from eternity in the fire of hell. Note that it is not that anyone is forced to come to saving knowledge, but that a person voluntarily comes to that place where they realize that Jesus Christ is really God and they need that saving grace that only He can supply.
So, know that theft of a paper clip from your place of employment, causes the same punishment as adultery or murder. The choice is always yours, the prodigal son did not have to return, he could have learned and grown into a better worker getting better pay and taking care of his physical needs, but he still would have been divorced from his father. We too can pursue the things of this world, but we are still divorced from our Father in heaven and the riches that can be ours when we are part of the family of God once again.
How about you? Do you know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life, or are you still convinced that you are able to take care of yourself and will have everything you want in this life. Satan will be more than willing to let you believe that this is all there is and when it is over there is nothing else, but what if that is the lie, and an eternity awaits all of us. We can spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven, or in the outer darkness, the fire of hell divorced from God. Are you willing to take that chance?
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: children of God, Hate, holiness of life, Jesus Christ, Peacemakers, Persecution
Continuing with the Teaching on the Mount with Jesus instructing the Disciples, and of course by extension all who claim the name Christian today.
Mathew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. In the King James Version the word sons is translated as children and rightly so, for all who are of the faith and work for peace are children of God. Chrysostom, who was Bishop of Constantinople and lived from 349 to 407 AD had this to say about Mathew 5:9: “The Blessings of Peace. Chrysostom: Here he not only responds that they should not feud and become hateful to one another, but he is also looking for something else and something more, that we bring together others who are feuding. And again he promises a spiritual reward. What kind of reward is it? “That they themselves shall be called sons of God.” For in fact this was the crucial work of the Only Begotten: to bring together things divided and to reconcile the alienated.” I have to agree with this word of truth. God sent His Son Jesus into the world that the world might be reconciled to God. It was the death of the perfect man, who was also God, to bring the possibility of reconciliation of the creature (man) with the creator (God). Thus when this reconciliation is completed, through our repentance and acceptance of the Lordship of Christ that we also receive peace in our innermost being. As the Spirit works within our lives to bring us closer to God, we also find a peace in our lives that has no comparison with any man-made peace. It is indeed the peace of God that passes all understanding.
In the gospel of John verse 14:27 Jesus says this to His disciples: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” As He was preparing to leave this earth and return to His place in Heaven Jesus wanted the disciples to receive that which only He could give them. This gift is still available today to all who will accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I hear many politicians talking about peace, but we seem to have nothing but war on every side, even amongst those same politicians. The only peace, the only true peace comes when we realize that God is in charge, and although things may be going awry, God is still in charge and will be with us and help us to come through the tough times we face, His peace is that which is truly beyond understanding.
This next one is troubling to many today Mathew 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” We of course live in a nation where we are free to worship as we please, yet, there are those who are not allowed to worship as they wish, even in our nation today. There are those who want to change the Constitution, ridding it of the First Amendment, the one that says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” We have heard the cries of politicians and lawyers that the First Amendment should be done away with, it is antiquated and no longer fit for our generation. Others are saying that we, the Church, must change our way of reading and interpreting scripture to rid ourselves of the antiquated ideas we hold about morality. In many places in our world, people of faith are arrested and jailed for daring to read the words of the Apostle Paul who said in the epistle to the believers in Rome.
Romans 1:24 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; “ speaking about immorality in all manner of works and beliefs. Here is the rest of the quotation: “being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” This is through verse 32 in Romans chapter 1 (NKJV).
Note that this speaks of sin in all its various iterations. Understand that all that goes against God’s law, is sin and all is equally punishable by death, not as we understand death but a second death after we leave this life. There is an eternity and we choose by the way we live our lives how we will live in that eternity, heaven or hell. God does not consign you or me to heaven or to hell, the choice is our own. This should make those who speak of choice as they murder babies quite happy as you do have choice. Many times in scripture we see the choice offered, choose life or eternal damnation also life but divorced from God. Today we hear the word martyr bandied about as if blowing yourself up in order to kill others makes you a martyr. It does not make you a martyr, it makes you a murderer and a believer in a falsehood. True martyrdom comes to those who do not want to die, they want to live, but for God and for the sake of the gospel. The Apostles except John all died horrible deaths, from Peter who was crucified in Rome, to Thomas who was killed and reportedly drawn and quartered in India. They died for preaching the Love of God and brought many souls into a right relationship with Jesus Christ. They harmed none, they killed none, they loved all and tried to help them to find righteousness for themselves.
Next we come to the truth of working against the sinfulness of the world in which we live, Jesus says that we should rejoice when persecuted for the gospel: Mat 5:11-12 NKJV “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Again let us hear from Chrysostom: “But to keep you from supposing that being slandered of itself makes people blessed, he has added two qualifications: first, that it happens for Christ’s sake, and second, that what is said be false. Do not expect to be blessed if you are being reviled for something evil, and what is being said is true.” All through the history of Judaism and Christianity there have been times when people were persecuted because they were speaking truth against lies and hatreds. Today it happens in many places in the world, and lest you think it cannot happen in the USA please do not believe that lie. Those who stand for the truth today are ridiculed and brought into court fined and castigated. Violence is becoming a way of life for those who hate the light of the gospel message. They have won some battles and are working now to win more, soon the Church in America will have to make a choice to either stand for the truth, or perhaps even suffer greatly or die.
During the “Arab Spring” we saw crucifixions in Egypt. Now with ISIS on the march across the Middle East, we see people beheaded and we have even seen beheadings in this country and will see more as time moves on.
Do not think that you are safe from persecution, if you truly believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, and you follow His teaching and avoid the things of this world, you will find less and less willingness for you to be able to speak the truth. Look at what has happened with the advent of Obamacare. This law has tried to force the Church to provide types of coverage that goes against the teaching of the Gospel. Forcing nuns to have to provide insurance which covers abortion for their fellow Sisters, they are still fighting against this craziness.
Now of course there will soon be people branded as bigots and brought up on charges of hate crimes for refusing to perform homosexual weddings, simply because it is against the belief structure under which these men have lived as Pastors. This has happened in many places in history and will come upon us as we stand for the truth. Rejoice in that persecution for you are not alone, they persecuted Christ and put him to death, if you follow in his footsteps, you may have to suffer as he suffered.
The next rule if you will of living the Christian life is this: Mat 5:21-22 NKJV “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.”
Chromatius was Bishop of Aquileia from 388 to 407 AD and wrote on this passage: “This is what the Lord said: “I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.” In other words, to accentuate what was considered least; that is to say, to reform for the better the precepts of the law. For this reason the holy apostle says, “Do we, then, overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.” The law commands us not to murder. The gospel commands us not to get angry without reason, that we may remove every root of sin from our hearts, because anger can even lead to homicide.”
Jesus came to fulfill the law, and not to abolish it, we need to be aware of all of the law and of those parts that truly are abolished by God, such as the dietary laws. But the Holiness Code which is what is being spoken of here, is still in effect today, we as Christians are to live holy lives because our God is holy. It is something we strive for everyday, and sometimes it is extremely difficult, but we strive anyway. The apostle Paul speaks of running the race that he might win the prize. That is our task to run the race that we might receive the word of Jesus Christ, “well done thou good and faithful servant.” If you are truly a follower of Jesus Christ, then it means that you will study and learn and become more and more like Christ every day of your life. Too many have fallen by the wayside, and have given up the race. Keep going brethren, for the goal is eternal life in the presence of almighty God.
In the gospel of Matthew Jesus delivered a teaching on the Mount. It is referred to as the Sermon on the Mount, but the lessons were given to the disciples. Note what the first 2 verses say:
Mat 5:1-2 NKJV “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. (2) Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:”
This is clearly a teaching not a sermon, and the teaching was for his disciples, not for those who were not followers of Jesus. We shall look today at the teachings beginning in verse 3. Mat 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Jerome one of the Fathers of the Church died around 420 BCE (aka AD) said this about this verse: Jerome: This is what we read elsewhere: “He shall save the humble in spirit.” Poor in spirit is to be willing to give up all our earthly self to serve God. Poor in spirit is to have humility, as Christ was humble. Humility in this context is not to say, fearful of power, but rather confident in faith.
Webster of Dictionary fame gave this explanation of humility: “In ethics, freedom from pride and arrogance; humbleness of mind; a modest estimate of one’s own worth. In theology, humility consists in lowliness of mind; a deep sense of one’s own unworthiness in the sight of God, self-abasement, penitence for sin, and submission to the divine will.”
Humility is a virtue, and a willingness to give of oneself to further the Kingdom of God in the world. This is a difficult thing to understand, primarily because, we live in a world where it is ME first and “devil take the hindmost”. So God tells us in this first of the beatitudes, that those who are poor in spirit, humble, receive the Kingdom of Heaven. Let us understand that Narcissism leads to that wide highway to hell, while virtue leads one to the narrow path to heaven.
The second of the beatitudes is: Mat 5:4 NKJV “Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.”
We are not talking here about the loss of a loved one or other human reasons for mourning such as, not getting that raise, not getting that promotion. Here we are talking about hurting because God is hurting. We who follow Jesus Christ come to know that pain suffered by our God as the world goes away from God and into greater and greater sin. We mourn for those souls who are lost to evil, that includes those who murder, rape, torture because they think it is what their own inner voice tells them to do. We mourn too for those who are driven into poverty by actions of others, or by the government making law without knowing or even thinking about the consequences of their action. So we mourn unrepentant sinner, one who thinks that their sin is OK and no one will care. Personally I shudder every time I hear the refrain, “my actions did not hurt anyone so it is OK.” The very idea of a victimless crime is a sin that leads one straight to hell. How can something be a crime, if there is no victim? Adultery when learned of, harms those who loved the adulterer and thought they were loved in return. Drug or alcohol addiction harms the entire family of the one addicted. Sin always has victims, the sinner thinks it is OK, but someone gets hurt by the activity of the other. So we Christians mourn for the sin in the world that hurts God and people, and we pray for that sin to be finally repented of before it is too late.
The next of the beatitudes is: Mat 5:5 NKJV “Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.” Turning to Webster again: “Mild of temper; soft; gentle; not easily provoked or irritated; yielding; given to forbearance under injuries.” We are talking here about people who are aware of who they are, and whose they are, they humble, peaceful even in the face of adversity, and yet, lions when it comes to standing for what God says is right. Meek does not connote weakness, but rather an inner strength that comes from complete trust in God, total faith in the presence of God with us.
Knowing that when Jesus returns to bring us home, we shall inherit the earth as His people, of course an earth that has been reborn, cleansed and made new by the hand of God. That is the promise here, we shall inherit the earth.
The next of the beatitudes is: Mat 5:6 NKJV “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” What do we mean by righteousness when we talk about it in this context. The Bible tells us that there are none righteous, no not one, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 tells us this. This verse tells us that those who hunger and thirst for true righteousness, those who work at being true to the gospel, whose lives are lived in truth, honesty, grace, love, those who truly seek to live holy lives shall be filled.
All Christians the Bible teaches are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and all are seen by God as righteous because God sees Christ when he looks upon us, for His blood spilled at Calvary, has bathed our souls and cleansed us and made us into new people. Now that is not something that happens all at once, but when you come to Jesus Christ, confess your sin, and ask forgiveness, you receive that which is His. Cleansing by the Holy Spirit, and forgiveness of your sins. You have begun a journey toward complete spiritual wholeness. If you truly work to understand the truth, hunger and thirst for the righteousness of Christ in your life, you will then find that peace and joy in the Lord, and will one day receive that which you seek, or as the scripture says, “you will be filled.”
Our next beatitude is Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.” What does this mean? What is it to be merciful, do you save an enemy instead of killing him on the battlefield? Do you offer alms to the poor, and maybe help someone you see in need? Is this the mercy the Lord is talking about? It is I believe even more than that, it is compassion toward others, it is caring for others before yourself. A number of years ago, I was on my way to a very important meeting and was running a bit late. I saw a man and his family on the side of the road, they had broken down in their RV and needed help. I was going too fast to stop, but knew I had to, so I got off at the next exit, turned across the highway and went back to where they were. I took the man into town and to a dealer so he could get the part he needed and then brought him back to the RV. I just knew that I was going to be late for the meeting but I also knew I had done the right thing.
I think also of Francis of Assisi who gave up his inheritance, to serve God, as well as Mother Theresa who did the same and worked for many years in the poorest areas of Calcutta to help the poor. These are the merciful, and these are those who are doing what they know that Jesus would do. They too have obtained the compassion of God upon themselves, and have shared that compassion with others.
Augustine had this to say in regard to the verse above:
Augustine: Hear what follows: “Blessed are the compassionate, for God will have compassion on them.” Do this, and it will be done to you. Do it in regard to another that it might be done in regard to you. For you may overflow yet remain in need. You may overflow with temporal things but remain in need of eternal life. You hear the voice of a beggar, but before God you are yourself a beggar. Someone is begging from you, while you yourself are begging. As you treat your beggar, so will God treat his. You who are empty are being filled. Out of your fullness fill an empty person in need, so that your own emptiness may be again filled by the fullness of God. Sermon 53.5.
The Church needs these type of folks, to lead the way to true living of the gospel so that all of us may follow the example of these and of our Lord Jesus Christ. Have mercy and you will receive mercy.
Next is Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” What a blessed promise this is, to see God face to face, all you need is a pure heart. That is a difficult task, that of having a pure heart, that having lived in Christ for such a long time as Paul, or as David that you can sense evil and avoid it like the plague. I am reminded of King David as he wrote in Psalm 51:7-10 NKJV “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (8) Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. (9) Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. (10) Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
There is also Stephen who was stoned to death for being a solid citizen of the Kingdom of God. In the book of Acts the 7th Chapter we find in verse 59 “And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” and verse 60, Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.”
Are you ready to act as these have acted, yes King David was not a perfect man, yet he was called a man after God’s own heart. He sinned, as do all of us who are finite beings, simply because we are men and women, not God, but we can be people after God’s own heart. Searching for God’s own heart, seeking to be as much as any of us can ever be, like Jesus for that is the way to God’s own heart. Yet the scriptures also tell us that you cannot see God and live, so how do we see God while still in our finite bodies? We see God in the realm of the Spirit, we meet with Him in our prayers and in our actions. When we leave this finite life, and begin the rest of our eternity, we then shall indeed see God, not partially but face to face.
What do you think of these things? As a Christian do you live in the manner that Christ has pointed out in these beatitudes? If not are you striving for these ways of living?
Mat 28:18-20 ESV And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus has now given his Church its marching orders, of course it is just a beginning of the Church, but they are committed to delivering the good news to all who will hear. Jesus gave the disciples many instructions, or, commandments while he was with them on the earth. He taught them many things and gave them many instructions during his 3 years of preaching and teaching. The use of Commanded is the Greek word entellomai which is a verb and can mean, “commandments, enjoin or charge.” Important in our context is that this was the teaching of Jesus as he walked with these men and women during his time of work in the world.
Jesus is now going back to his rightful place as God and he has given his last instruction to his disciples, who will soon begin ministry themselves. They will begin in Jerusalem and gradually spread the word throughout the known world. Thomas got all the way to India, and the Church there traces its existence back to Thomas. There is even some evidence that Paul got to Spain before he was tried and sentenced to death in Rome. The question now before us is: What did Jesus command/teach?
One of his greatest teachings is, Love one another as I have loved you.
Joh 13:34-35 NKJV “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (35) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
What does that mean for you and I today? I believe that it means just what it says, Love one another sacrificially just as Jesus loves us. We must remember that He gave His life to pay for our sins, all of our sins, past, present and future. Just because you have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, does not mean you will not sin. You may not want to, you may think what you are doing is OK, but, sin is sin no matter what we think. Hold your life up to the mirror of Jesus Christ, can you say you live a sinless life since you were saved? Can you say that you love your fellow Christians the same way Christ has loved you? Life is hard, and we are finite beings, we are not perfect, and when God sees you and me, he sees the blood of Christ, and the imputed righteousness that comes from the death of Jesus.
You see, Jesus lived a perfect life, a sinless life, so that he could be the unblemished lamb sacrificed once for all sin. He died to give us a way to be reconciled to God, his life and death, for our crimes against God. So, do you love your fellow Christians? How about the guy down the street who belongs to another church, do you love him or her?
There is a corollary to this love one another commandment. You see, the law is no longer over those who belong to Christ, however, the law still exists and we are supposed to be living a life that makes us blameless. Christ also gave us another Love commandment and that is in 2 parts.
1. Love the Lord your God with every fiber of your being. Luke 10:27 as well as Matthew ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND,’ in Matthew 22 we find the entirety of the Love commandment.
2. Mat 22:37-40 NKJV Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like it: ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ (40) On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
So Jesus says we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. How would you like to be treated? That is how you should treat your neighbor, that is how God has treated each of us, God loved us so much that he died for us. That is what we are taught, that is sacrificial love. Give all of yourself to God and then give to your neighbor as if that neighbor was yourself.
This is the commandment that Jesus taught the people of his day, and his disciples, and by extension you and I today. Of course that presupposes that you are a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, if you are not, I hope this will help you understand that true followers of Jesus Christ are not out to destroy anyone, but rather we are looking for more folks to become followers of Jesus Christ. More folks who will learn of His love for them, and how to become followers of this God, who loves and wants us to forsake sin and become new persons.
Join me on this expedition if you will, let us learn together the truth about Jesus and the way God has for us to live our lives. Let us know what you think about this, and how your life has been affected by learning about Jesus Christ and His commandments to His followers.
Filed under: Culture, Politics | Tags: Abortion, adultery, founders, immorality, morals
Over the last 70 years I have watched our nation change from a country that offered everyone a chance to realize their dream, to a balkanized chaotic place where government becomes the parent. You no longer have to work hard, the Federal government welfare programs will take care of your needs. If you do want to get ahead the government will loan you the money to go to college, where you will not learn how to live and work, but rather how to become a socialist and live off the dwindling working class.
I was born in 1945, I grew up in a nation that was becoming truly integrated, it took a few years and a brilliant man named Martin Luther King Jr. to actually move us to the place where the Declaration of Independence statement that all men are created equal, became a reality. It happened and since then we have moved in positive directions most of the time, but lately, say the last 20 – 25 years, we have begun to move away from a moral society, to a society that looks more like George Orwell’s 1984.
I have to make note here that this has been happening since the so-called sexual revolution of the late 1960’s, that is when drugs and sex became more popular than law and morality. It also has led us to today, where “medical” marijuana, rap music and other forms of gratuitous forms of radicalism have become the norm. Note that this mention of marijuana as a form of radicalism is intentional. It has been shown in scientific experiments that marijuana is at least as harmful as cigarettes, and alcohol, and yet politically it has become advantageous to approve of its use, it does dumb down the population and they vote for more relaxing of moral standards.
The United States was formed as a Republic, not as a democracy. It was deliberately formed by the founders to keep the Federal (central) government contained. It was to be a country where all the power was held in the hands of the people, not governments. A careful reading of our founding documents, tells us that power not given to the Federal government, belongs to the States and / or to the people. The founders of the nation also realized that in order for this to work, it required a moral and educated people. It was quite successful over the first 200 years of existence, but it has, over the last quarter century fallen apart. Morality is no more, it is interesting that we now are even doing away with gender type labels on products, because we now allow people to choose their own gender.
Of course in the process we have had to remove certain items from our culture. Bibles can no longer be openly carried in schools, you may not write a book report on the Bible or on any work which can be considered Christian. The 10 Commandments have been removed from courtrooms, and public facilities, because they are offensive to some of our population. There is even a movement to remove crosses from federal cemeteries. Having children dress in Muslim clothing, and act as Muslims is considered correct, but to wear a T-shirt to school that talks of Jesus is grounds for expulsion. Freedom of speech, is now governed by fiat, certain forms of speech are no longer acceptable as they are offensive to some members of society, God of course is one of those words that are increasingly not allowed in public.
Of course, I still wonder when speech became destruction of property. It seems that if you want to burn, walk on, or otherwise destroy the American Flag, or bibles or other items it is also free speech.
Of course free speech now includes pornography, destructive speech disguised as music, where the N word is acceptable, where women are denigrated and referred to as whores, where cops are denigrated as pigs and other terms. This is probably the greatest immoral trash to be foisted on the American public of any of the now acceptable immorality that flows freely within our society.
The other side of this coin is the banning of certain terms of speech because they are offensive, and certain organizations because they are not following the PC rules. I note that many of our Higher learning establishments are beginning to ban people from speaking, because it hurts the sensibilities of the latest liberal/socialist/fascist crowd on campus. Most times it is conservatives who are banned. This kind of nonsense allows communists to speak at graduation ceremonies but not conservative Americans. I am ashamed at those who banned Condoleezza Rice from speaking because they held her to be offensive.
Since when is a College or University, concerned about offensive views? I thought these institutions were all about free exchange of ideas. Of course these days, the only ideas that are acceptable are those espoused by socialist professors, and by hate mongers such as the so-called “Reverend” Al Sharpton.
One of the reasons for removal of the 10 Commandments from public view, is so the abortion industry can continue murdering babies, and as we have lately seen, selling the body parts to so called research institutions. The 6th Commandment is “you shall not murder.” I know that many of you know it as “thou shalt not kill.” but the truth is the underlying hebrew is “ratsach” and its meaning is somewhat more graphic than kill, it means to “dash in pieces”. Isn’t that what the abortionists do?
How about the next one, “you shall not commit adultery” that one sure trips up a mess of folks, especially in places like Hollywood, that is one place where immorality runs rampant. They even like to flaunt their vulgarity, women who are accomplished actresses showing as much of their bodies as they can, parading down the red carpet offering themselves to whoever can pay the price. Singers, with truly beautiful voices wearing next to nothing so they can be more popular, exhibiting their bodies as objects, rather than their voice and their talent as gifts to the world.
Our nation is rapidly heading into the scrap heap of history, as one more example of destruction from within. It is a shame, but we have thrown out our country so we can become like all other nations, we have not learned from history what happens when you give up your morals, for popularity. Where your god becomes fame, money and yourself, and the true God the one who has blessed this nation for over 250 years is thrown out like trash. Those who we look to as the founders of this nation came here for reasons of freedom. Freedom to worship, freedom to work and increase in wealth by their own knowledge and ethics. Whatever you may like to think about this nation, our founders formed us as men who knew God, those who tell you different have an agenda to destroy the basis of our nation. We were formed under the learning of these men, learning that included the Bible, the law of God and both Hebrew and Christian mores. They knew this verse from the Psalms:
Psa 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. (NKJV) We forget these things to our own peril. Wake up America, before there is no more America.