Critical Thinking: Biblical History, Moral Compass, Why the Bible Matters

Critical Thinking:

Biblical History, Moral Compass, Why the Bible Matters

Why the Bible Matters: Defining Right and Wrong

keyThere is a right and wrong to every question—Paying attention to your conscience is what helps you develop good character.

Do what is right; be faithful and fearless.

right-wrongsignOnward, press onward, the goal is in sight.

Eyes that are wet now, ere long will be tearless.

Blessings await you in doing what’s right!

Do what is right; let the consequence follow.

Battle for freedom in spirit and might;

and with stout hearts look ye forth till tomorrow.

God will protect you; then do what is right!

~Anonymous; The Psalms of Life, Boston, 1857

 

See More Defining Moments

 

 Birthright Covenant Series

Birthright Covenant Series-Young Adult Christian Books

Culture War GamesExcerpt from Book 2, coming in October

picnicwyouthIn this excerpt from the historical  Birthright Covenant series , book 2,  college history professor Jacob Nobles uses discovery teaching and ancient ruins at a historic site to lead his students in a discussion of truth, and discerning right from wrong.

      “Okay—” Preston spoke with caution. “I’ll give you that the Bible is actually a history. But why does it matter?

                “That is the million-dollar question …” Jacob smiled. “And you can find the answer here—for free!

                Jacob held up the Bible. “Now, Preston, you have asked why the Bible matters. Would you agree that the Bible is a history of God’s dealings with man?”

creationhands                “I guess you could say that. Apparently, somehow God’s version of the creation was given to Moses, and Moses wrote it down,” Preston commented carefully.

                “It makes sense to take God’s word for it,” Allison remarked with her usual bluntness. “After all, He was there when it happened—a distinction the rest of us cannot claim.”

                Preston shook his head. “Still, none of us were there for the creation process—not even Moses.”

                “That’s true.” Jacob chewed thoughtfully on his ham sandwich and inclined his head. “Hmm. So we have here two explanations for the Creation process—to keep it simple, we’ll call them two different stories. Since we were not present for the event, we’re forced to accept either one story or the other—on faith.”

                Puzzled, Preston tilted his head.

“What is faith, anyway?”

  “Well now, faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true,”[1] Josiah Bianco said.

 shepherdboy               Folding his arms across his chest, Preston surveyed the surrounding hills and glimpsed a boy leading a few sheep. “Are you saying that everybody just blindly follows …” He paused. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to offend.”

                “No offense taken.”

                “Don’t worry,” Ben said. “We all have done the same thing.”

                “Really?”

                “Of course. It’s called academic freedom.”

  “Sure. Bring it on!” Allison took a sip out of her can of grape juice. “Only frauds and liars are afraid to answer questions.”

                “Why is Dr. Marlow so afraid of other points of view?” Nola asked.

                “He doesn’t want to lose the debate!” Allison interjected.

“Yes. Debate is an important part of academic freedom, but anyone can win an argument without teaching truth. A friendly discussion with free exchange of ideas is more effective in discovering truth.” Jacob chuckled. “However, when you prefer to control what others say and think, truth can get in your way.

   “Now that we are away from the university, we can actually look at more than one point of view! We will look at two stories of the Creation—one, in the Bible, and the other, Dr. Marlow’s version.”

                “The Bible version seems too simple,” Preston said.

                “Well, what is Dr. Marlow’s version called?” Nola inquired.

                “Dr. Marlow believes in a theory called Natural Selection which, simply put, proposes that everything somehow creates itself by chance,” Jacob replied.

                “That doesn’t make sense.” Nola frowned in disagreement. “The human body—and mind—are complicated. Something can’t be produced by nothing.[2] My experience has shown me that nothing worthwhile happens by chance. Everything takes work, and effort, and planning.

                “Yes, Nola. That’s why some scientists say that the Bible history discloses an intelligent design, a purpose, or an orderly plan.”

                “Aren’t Bible stories for children?” Preston wondered.

                “Men struggle to explain their philosophy. The Bible explains the Creation so a child can understand—so that parents can teach their children through the ages. Who is more intelligent?” Jacob shrugged. “Anyway, the important thing is, who is telling the truth—Man, or God?”

                “Can you just assume there is a God?”

Preston asked.

Jacob laughed. “We can look at some evidence. Where is evidence of chance?”

            No one answered for a moment.

            Josiah Bianco chortled. “Shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not?” he quipped, quoting Isaiah.[1]

[1] Isaiah 29:16

“What about evidence of design?”

                “The ability to think, for one thing,” Allison said, “ …one of many.”

                “As I said, the human body,” Nola added, “and life itself. I know many very intelligent scientists and doctors, but no one can earimageduplicate an eye or an ear.”               

  Preston’s gaze rested momentarily upon Nola’s face—round blue eyes, delicate sculpted features like a work of art. “All right,” he said. “Let’s say God is the intelligent Creator. Couldn’t He have made man out of apes?”

“Of course, He could, but would He? He is a God of order. As Creator of earth and all living things, He set up the rules for justice and science. Why would He violate His own laws?”[3]

         “What do you mean?”

                “Okay, if the Bible is really a history, and if it is true that we humans are created in the image of God, how are we different from animals?”

                “We can reason, while animals use instinct,” Preston said. “You’ve already established that.”

teotihuacanserpent               “Humans can draw, read, and write,” Allison said. “I have yet to see an animal who could carve something like this creature.” She poked her finger into the big teeth of the dragon carving, but withdrew her hand quickly. “Yikes! I don’t think an animal would make something this weird, even if it could!”

Free Will

  Jacob grinned. “True. Also, you chose to come here today, others did not. Ruben left early; the rest of you stayed. What does that mean?”

                “People have the power to choose,” Ben said.

                “Yes, that’s called Free Will. We have no empirical evidence of such a thing, but let’s suppose we have here a creature who is half man and half ape—by whose laws would this creature live—by the laws of man or nature? You’re the law student here, Preston. What do you think?”

   “Uh …”

                “If the creature is half man, would it be fair to make him live like an animal? Or if he is half animal, and cannot reason fully as a man, would it be just to impose upon him the laws of men?”

                “This is really getting confusing!”

   “Yes, Preston, it is confusing. But when He had completed the creation, God blessed human beings and all living things to multiply, each after their own kind.[4] There is nothing confusing about that.”

                A flutter of wings announced the arrival of a dove which lit next to his mate upon a limb of the tall tree.

How Do You Know What Is True and Right?

“The human soul can never die. So you see, it is created, not evolved, because God is not the author of confusion.[5] Therefore, to avoid confusion, would you agree we need some kind of law to bring order and justice to our lives?”

                “Absolutely,” Preston said. “We must have justice.”

 KJV Bible              “Let’s think for a moment about the two kinds of laws—which law provides true justice? Dr. Marlow makes no distinction between humans and animals. His law is simple: those who are strong rule and prevail over everything and everyone else.” Jacob placed his right hand firmly upon the rock and continued. “The law of Nature requires animals to kill other animals for food. In the law of the Bible, on the other hand, God tells us not to kill or eat other people. Why not?”

“It’s wrong!” The students exclaimed indignantly, in vigorous unison.

                “How do you know it’s wrong?”

                Jacob waited.

                “Well,” Preston began slowly. “There simply is no justice in murder and cannibalism. I don’t know why … Somehow I just know that.”

compass liahona   “Men often create laws to try to change God’s commandments,” Jacob continued, “but God’s laws never change. When He created our eternal souls, He planted those unchangeable moral laws in our minds and hearts. It’s called—”

                “Our conscience.” Preston nodded. “Of course! I see that now.”

                “Yes. The Bible contains our true moral compass in writing. And that, Preston, is why the Bible matters.”

More About Birthright Covenant series

[1] Isaiah 29:16

[2] John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Great Books of the Western World, vol.35

[3] These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the Creator Himself in all His dispensations conforms. William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1:59-60

[4] Genesis 1:22,24

[5] 1 Corinthians 14:33

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Critical thinking: Decision Making, based on Emotions, or Absolutes of God?

Critical thinking:

Decision Making, based on Emotions, or  Absolutes of God?

Dr. Joe McKeever

The Lord is not asking for feelings or wishing for greater emotions.

I cannot find any place in Scripture that places a premium on emotional exuberance.  But it’s not a sign of anything permanent. But that doesn’t seem to be what the Lord is wanting. It’s the whole life, not the emotional outskirts. ~Dr. Joe McKeever American Family Association The Daily Stand

 

Skyler Gleue

American Family Association

The Daily Stand

Christ often presented hard, even difficult, teachings. Selective morality is not merely a contemporary conflict new to Christians, and due to that, Christ and His apostles frequently scolded secularized Christianity. Jesus did not have an identity crisis, and He does not expect us to have one either.

Absolutes of God

C.S. Lewis once said that “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.

Philosopher Blaise Pascal once stated, “People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.” Pascal’s comment suggests that we are more inclined to ‘reason’ based on emotions rather than logic, or at the most, let our deductions be clouded with our emotions.

There is tremendous truth behind this observation. However, whatever is most attractive is not always advantageous. Big businesses may benefit and capitalize on compulsive and emotion-based decision making, but when this mindset enters the church or a religious atmosphere it often conflicts with objective truth. Because of this mindset of arriving at beliefs based on what is attractive rather than absolute, many churches have become lukewarm in their teachings on difficult truths and adopted a secularized mindset.

Alongside this, many self-professing followers of Christ also tend to hold secular positions on important social issues of our day, such as abortion, separation of Church and State, and tolerance toward contradictory political views. Many Christians openly support these views on the basis of love, acceptance, and conformity. This causes an identity crisis for what Christianity absolutely stands for and against.

Christ often presented hard, even difficult, teachings. Selective morality is not merely a contemporary conflict new to Christians, and due to that, Christ and His apostles frequently scolded secularized Christianity.

Jesus did not have an identity crisis, and He does not expect us to have one either. To stress the importance of His message, Christ offers a caution. Immediately preceding the warning by Jesus where He said “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few,” He issue a secondary warning: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Jesus instructs us to recognize false teachers, those who are part of the Church and tolerant toward anti-Biblical social issues, by their character (Matthew 7). We are further instructed to “test all things” and “hold on to what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

C.S. Lewis once said that “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” When we treat the Scriptures as a buffet and selectively choose what we accept and deny, we inadvertently reject Christianity as a whole. God calls such people “lukewarm” and “false prophets,” and this taints the mission of the Church, to be the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). God rejects secularized Christianity, and so should we.

Action Plan—START HERE

 

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Capitalism vs. Socialism Definition: Capitalism Benefits are Freedom; Socialism Fails because of Its Selfishness

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Capitalism vs. Socialism Definition: Capitalism Benefits are Freedom; Socialism Fails  because of Its Selfishness Rush Limbaugh Capitalism Benefits are Freedom “Our booming economy can still overcome progressive misinformation, propaganda and myth.”~Andy Puzder Because Capitalists meet needs of others Andy Puzder, … Continue reading

Parenting tips: Teaching Children about Biblical Values, Character Education, and Repentance

Parenting Tips: Teaching Children about Biblical values, Character education, and Repentance

Defining Moment for Parents: What is Love?

Love vs. Indulgence

keyJesus loves us so much that He gave His life to rescue us from our sins. Because He does love us so much, He will not enable us in our sinful behavior. He said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” ~Rev. 3:19

Critical Thinking-Defining Moment

Definitions (from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)

Indulge—gratify; treat with excessive leniency, inordinate gratification, excessive compliance to another’s or one’s own desires

Synonyms: INDULGE, PAMPER, HUMOR, SPOIL

Enabler—one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior

Chasten—to correct by punishment or suffering; discipline, purify; to cause to be more humble or restrained.

Repent—to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life

Love—unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another; as the fatherly concern of God for humankind

Fruits of 21st Century Parenting

It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday’s children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

Indulgence: Parenting Expert Observes Trends

Quotes by Reb Bradley

narcissism“As parents have mistaken indulgence for love, children have grown up self-absorbed and entitled [and] with the idea that they should not have to live with the consequences of their actions.

“Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow says, ‘We can blame Mr. Rogers.’ I can’t say that I agree completely with his assertion, but I have to concur that Mister Rogers typified our modern approach to giving children good feelings about themselves whether earned or not. It wasn’t him alone, but he was our mascot. He taught us that special feelings about oneself no longer depended upon character, attitude, or accomplishment—we could feel special for just having a pulse.

“With indulgent parenting so prevalent, it is inevitable that children grow up with an exaggerated sense of self-importance. It is no surprise that our jails are full of people with the highest self-esteem.” ~Reb Bradley

narcissism2Have Parents Enabled this Narcissistic Behavior?

“Children born between 1980 and 1995, called “millennials,” now saturate the job market …They are typically demanding, impertinent, and narcissistic. They need constant affirmation and expect to be catered to.

“In the last 50 years, as parents have softened their approach, children have failed to develop the self-restraint necessary to maintain a civilized society. As parents have mistaken indulgence for love, children have grown up self-absorbed and entitled. As moms and dads have paid for their children’s broken windows and parking tickets the children have grown up with the idea that they should not have to live with the consequences of their actions.

“Corporations actually hire consultants to teach them how to handle the glut of employees who act like spoiled brats. They can’t fire them, because their replacements will have the same entitled outlook on life.” ~Reb Bradley [1]

Parenting as God the Father would Parent

C.A. Davidson

We are seeing consequences of child-rearing in which parents have been afraid to say “No.” Does God our Father say “No” to us because He hates us? Not at all. On the contrary, as Paul told the Hebrews:

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

biblereadmeWhy does He Chasten us?

Our Father corrects us because we are His sons and daughters. No one ever said that chastening and correction is fun. But if we endure it well, it builds good character, which is a prerequisite to greater happiness in the long run.

Paul continues, “Now, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.” ~Hebrews 12:6,7,11)

Our Father knows that wickedness will never bring happiness. Therefore He corrects us, so we will not remain in the misery of sin. The way in which we correct our wrongs is called “Repentance.”

dangerChildren need guidance; they actually seek limits. The commandments of God are limits for His children. The commandments of God are like guideposts along the road of life. They keep us out of the danger zones. Our Father knows that when we keep His commandments, we enjoy safety and peace.

We would never let our children run out into the path of an oncoming car. We would warn them sharply of the danger. Likewise, they need correction when they are on a course of moral destruction. But what if you never say anything, for fear of hurting their feelings, or because you fear you will be “judging” them? The truth is, if you do not judge them in righteousness and love now, courts of law will judge them—and justice can be harsh, not merciful, because mercy cannot rob justice.

Does this mean that we should not show kindness? Of course not. One wise Christian leader taught that at times we must “reprove with sharpness,” if we are prompted to do so by the Holy Spirit. Then after the reproof, “show forth an increase of love” toward him whom you have reproved. Christian discipline is not punishment, nor is it just being “mean.” It is guidance and instruction—to someday yield a “disciple.”

After the Lord chastens and humbles us, how does He show forth an increase of love? He blesses us, and offers us the gift of mercy.

Repentance is a Message of Love

We may be bucking a strong tide, but we must teach our children that sin is sin. ~Spencer W. Kimball

Unless we are careful, today’s entitlement society will corrupt the faith of our children. Some young families have visited churches with one question in mind: “What’s in it for me?” Do we think that our salvation will be handed to us without any effort on our part?

Jesus and ChildrenWhat Is Our Part?

The Bible teaches the reality of sin, and that the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ will save us from our sins, not in our sins. The merciful Christ will save those who repent. If we do not repent, we are on our own, to suffer as He suffered. The unvarnished truth, or “wintry doctrine”, is that we can’t make it on our own. We need help. That’s why we need the Savior Jesus Christ,who shed His innocent blood to pay the price of Justice. He did something we absolutely cannot do for ourselves. But to obtain mercy and forgiveness, there is something we must do. What we can do is repent. In exchange for His infinite sacrifice, He accepts our humble offering and bestows Divine mercy upon us. Repent. That’s all He asks of us.

We began this topic with the words of Christ to Saint John: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” In the second half of this couplet, the Savior concludes: “Be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Thus, teaching our children how to repent is the greatest act of love any parent can offer.

How does God our Heavenly Father love us? Does He enable us by saying, “Anything goes”? Immorality, dishonesty, or hurting others—the list is endless. Does He reward evil by telling us these things don’t matter? No, He cares too much to do that—He is not an enabler. Instead He sent His Beloved Son, providing a way for us to overcome our self-destructive behavior. That is Love.

 Related Post:

Education, Faith, and Teaching Character

Imparting Biblical Values to Young Adults—Made Easy! Click Here

[1] Reb Bradley, Born Liberal, Raised Right. Available at WND.com

Abuse of Power Report: Planned Parenthood Abortion, Margaret Sanger Facts, and What to Do About It

Abuse of Power:

Planned Parenthood Abortion, Margaret Sanger Facts, and What to Do About It

Decent people everywhere are sickened by this development in the New York abortion law, legalizing infanticide. The truth is, we are politically weak. Our sacred way of life will not be redeemed in the capitols of the world, but within the walls of our own homes.  The good news is that you can start now to find peace for your family in this challenging world. See Below for a doable ACTION PLAN.  ~C.A. Davidson

Action Plan—START HERE

Planned Parenthood and the African-American Community

By

Dr. Jerry Newcombe

Does Planned Parenthood target blacks? That is what Dr. Martin Luther King’s niece thinks.

Dr. Alveda King told me:

Trending: New Child Discipline Guidelines Reject Biblical Teaching

“The leading cause of death in the African-American community is not gang-violence, gun violence, heart attack, stroke, HIV, high blood pressure, diabetes. People will name all these. No, it’s abortion. And the reason we have come to that conclusion, statistically, you’ve got 60 million plus abortions legal in America since 1973. About a third of those occur in the African-American community. That means dead babies. And, with us being 13 percent or less of America’s population, that means we are having more abortions.”

In 1921, Margaret Sanger founded the Birth Control League, which later changed its name to Planned Parenthood. Dr. Paul Kengor, author of Takedown, writes about when Sanger spoke to the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey in May 1926:

“The Planned Parenthood founder’s KKK talk was a smash hit. Not only did it go very late, after a very long wait, but she received numerous invitations to speak to other groups like the Klan. Why would the KKK be so interested in Ms. Sanger? The reasons are obvious, a natural fit. It was because Sanger was a passionate racial eugenicist with grandiose dreams of ‘race improvement.’”

Alveda King told our listeners:

Abortion. Pelosi and Margaret Sanger

“Margaret Sanger, the founder of the Birth Control League [later, Planned Parenthood], said, that ‘colored people are like weeds,’ and they need to be eliminated. They need to be exterminated. We don’t want the word to get out, so let’s not package it that way. So that’s why they began to make a lot of propaganda and marketing materials, saying that abortion is a woman’s right. It will help her to finish college, get a job, do this or do that.”

Christian author and educator Dr. George Grant points out that it was not just the African-American community Sanger targeted for population control:

“Now for Margaret Sanger and her followers, those undesirable aspects of humanity were largely ethnic minorities: blacks, Jews, oftentimes Slavic peoples from Eastern Europe. These were considered undesirables, ‘imbeciles’ she called them, ‘human weeds’ she called them; and so Planned Parenthood was originally designed to limit the populations of those peoples and to increase the population of what she felt were the desirable races. So right at the heart of the philosophy of Planned Parenthood is this ideological and scientific commitment to a kind of racism.”

Sanger did not want it known that she believed blacks should be targeted for a significant reduction in their population. She wrote, “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” (Margaret Sanger, Letter to Dr. Clarence J. Gamble, December 10, 1939.)

New York’s Abortion Law Deserves a Millstone

Governor reveals the historic racism that’s been rampant in the Democrat party for years, but they have changed, they are now the party of Infanticide. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2019.

See more Legal Insurrection Branco cartoons, click here.

New York celebrates child sacrifice with passage of extreme abortion law

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/new-york-celebrates-child-sacrifice-with-passage-of-extreme-abortion-law

Are we now numb to outrages like the celebratory pink light shined on what is ironically called the “Freedom Tower, which by Gov. Cuomo’s order is now a monument devoted to celebration of death rather than a tribute to the innocent dead killed during the 9/11 attack?

The World Trade Center memorial was intended to be a powerful symbol of American resilience and unity following one of the most terrible acts of violence against innocent people.

The memorial below the new World Trade Center building even bears an inscription remembering 11 unborn children who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks.

By turning it pink to celebrate aborting a baby up until birth, Cuomo has turned it into a symbol of injustice and oppression of our country’s most vulnerable.

“But if it gives any comfort “Abortion clinics continue to close faster than they are opening.  Fewer abortions take place every year. Abortion as a business is in decline, and the New York law will not change that.” Cheryl Sullenger

Planned Parenthood and the African-American Community

 

Comprehensive List Of Companies That Use Aborted Fetal Cells As Flavor

By

Dave Daubenmire

I often hear the refrain from pro-cannibalists “How does my abortion affect you?  It is none of your business what I do with my body.”  Accept it does affect me when I swallow little Suzie’s DNA in a soft drink.

Comprehensive List Of Companies That Use Aborted Fetal Cells As Flavor

https://www.ashtarcommandcrew.net/forum/topics/comprehensive-list-of-companies-that-use-aborted-fetal-cells-as

Are We Eating Our Children?

 

What We Can Do About It

Decent people everywhere are sickened by this development in the New York abortion law, legalizing infanticide. The truth is, we are politically weak. Our sacred way of life will not be redeemed in the capitols of the world, but within the walls of our own homes.  The good news is that you can start now to find peace for your family in this challenging world. See Below for a doable ACTION PLAN.  ~C.A. Davidson

Judeo-Christian Ethics

“The law of Nature requires animals to kill other animals for food. In the law of the Bible, on the other hand, God tells us not to kill or eat other people. Why not?”

“It’s wrong!” The students exclaimed indignantly in vigorous unison.

“How do you know it’s wrong?”

Jacob waited.

“Well,” Preston began slowly. “There simply is no justice in murder and cannibalism. I don’t know why . . . Somehow I just know that.”

“Men often create laws to try to change God’s commandments,” Jacob continued, “but God’s laws never change. When He created our eternal souls, He planted those unchangeable moral laws in our minds and hearts. It’s called—”

“Our conscience.” Preston nodded. “Of course! I see that now.”

~ C.A. Davidson , Book 2, Birthright Covenant Trilogy, coming soon

 

Book 1 available Here

Rescuing the one

Rescuing the One Sheep; vintage oil by Wilhelmena Davidson

Action Plan—START HERE

 

 

 

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Critical Thinking: Moral Relativism, Censorship in America, and What To Do About It

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Critical Thinking: Moral Relativism, Censorship in America, and What To Do About It Confused? We don’t understand each other anymore. Here’s Why. C.A. Davidson We can see that the trouble started when people abandoned God and the moral code based … Continue reading

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Critical Thinking: Nationalism Definition—America First is One Nation Under God, NOT repeating Nazi History

Critical Thinking: Biblical Worldview Nationalism Definition—America First is One Nation Under God, NOT repeating Nazi History Three Cheers for American Nationalism Inoculate your Children against Socialism and Atheism HERE By Rabbi Aryeh Spero, Jewish Rabbi News flash to NeverTrumpers and neocons: … Continue reading

Critical Thinking: Nationalist Definition vs. Media Bias News

Critical Thinking:

Nationalist Definition vs. Media Bias News

Donald Trump Defies Media: ‘Call Me a Nationalist if You’d Like’

President Donald Trump defied the establishment media’s negative coverage of his acceptance of the term “nationalist” to describe his political beliefs.

The president made his remarks on Tuesday at the White House State Leadership Day for leaders of California, Alaska, and Hawaii after highlighting his new and renegotiated trade deals.

“Call me a nationalist if you’d like,” he said. “But I don’t want companies leaving. I don’t want them firing all their people, going to another country, making a product, sending it into our country, tax-free, no charge, no tariff.”

Trump commented on the issue after he declared himself a “nationalist” when it comes to fighting for the United States of America first, rather than focusing its resources on the rest of the world.

“It sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist,” he said during a political rally in Texas. “And I say, really, we’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist.”

 

Trump Defies Media: ‘Call Me a Nationalist if You’d Like’ 

 

Critical Thinking: Moral Compass, Morality Definition

Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking Skills

Moral Compass, Morality Definition

September 2018 – After decades of being fed tolerance and relativism, people are less interested in discerning what they should believe and more compelled by why they should care about their beliefs. This is the premise from which author and apologist Josh McDowell wrote his latest book, Set Free to Choose Right.

The what of morality
“In this generation there is such emphasis on asking, not what is true, but how does it feel?” McDowell said in an interview at AFA*. “People used to say, ‘Prove to me it is true.’ Now you hear something more like, ‘What right do you have to say that?’”

This is brought to light in Set Free, which deals with teaching kids to make proper moral judgments, using a storyline that centers on a son and father teaming up together to conquer the issue of pornography addiction. McDowell chose pornography as the subject of his case study for a reason.

“When rating moral issues, 56% of Christian young people say not recycling is a moral issue. But only 32% say pornography is a moral issue,” McDowell said. “Almost all Christian kids and adults I meet say they know what is wrong and what is right, but I almost never find anyone, including pastors, who can explain to me why it is wrong or right.”

Why the Bible Matters

The why of morality
Communicating the rationale of moral judgments, as with the issue of pornography hashed out in Set Free, begins with properly understanding the Bible.

“If your only answer [to moral questions] is ‘the Bible says,’ or ‘the Bible says thou shall not,’ you’re teaching legalism,” McDowell said.

“Absolutely nothing is morally right or wrong because of the Bible, but because of the God of the Bible. The Bible was given to us that we might know God. We learn morality to understand the character of God.”

 

For example, McDowell described, faithfulness is moral because God is moral. Justice is moral because God is just. Lying is immoral because God is truth. Killing is immoral because God is life. The Bible reveals these attributes of God and the morality of practicing them in Christian living.

The Who of morality
“It’s so important that one of the first things we do is get to know who God is by His attributes, and then start relating that to others,” McDowell said. “That is why I wrote the book Set Free – to help people understand why things are right or wrong and how to communicate that to their children. Because if you don’t get to the issue of why something is wrong, you’re raising your children legalistically, and there’s no faster way to rob kids of their joy in Christ.”

McDowell added: “I cannot remember ever saying to one of my four children, ‘Because the Bible says,’ but instead, ‘Why does the Bible say that?’ Then I would explain about the person, nature, and character of God, and what the Bible says about Him. That is the difference between raising your children legalistically and raising them in relationship with God.”

Culture Wars: Church and State Issues and Illegal Immigration

Culture Wars: Church and State Issues and Illegal Immigration

 

Critical Thinking

church-state2-reaganChurch and State: Where do we draw the Line?

C .A. Davidson

The overall responsibility of our nation is to protect her citizens from foreign invasion and crimes against other citizens, and to uphold Constitutional law. We already have laws governing immigration and citizenship.

No matter what your religion, you are still subject to the laws of the land which are in place to protect civilized society. Most religions are generally peace-loving, abiding by moral laws based on the Ten Commandments. Other than Islam (and in some countries, atheism, which is also a religion), I don’t know of other religions which condone rape, murder, deceit, and the suppression of free speech.      American citizens have freedom of religion, as long as they don’t infringe on the rights and freedoms of others. Churches can excommunicate a member for church-state1-madison-quoteimmoral conduct, but cannot put a person in prison. If someone commits a crime that endangers society, such as stealing or murder, it is no longer a Church issue—it becomes the jurisdiction of the State. That person is subject to the laws of the land, no matter what his religion. We have seen Christians put in prison for committing crimes. That is as it should be for Muslims as well, or for any other religion. The minute your religion violates another person’s life or property, it becomes political.

Furthermore, whereas citizens are required to abide by the law, illegal immigrants are already outside the law. The policy of Open Borders should not even be debatable, as it is inherently illegal.

In the following article, Ed Vitagliano does much to clarify the line between church and state, religion and politics.

Immigration: thinking biblically

Ed Vitagliano

bible-word-of-godAs we wrestle with such weighty matters, it is critical that Christians turn to Scripture for guidance as much as possible.

Some Christians believe the Bible is clear on these matters, citing Old Testament passages such as Leviticus 19:34: “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God” (NIV).

From the New Testament, some Christians argue that the command to love your neighbor requires America – a so-called Christian nation – to help those in need.

However, if we are concerned with “accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15*), here are some things to remember:

  1. Biblical passages that address individual Christians – or the church – don’t necessarily apply to governments.
    There is no doubt that Christ commanded Christians to be generous, to care for those in need, and to love our neighbor.

However, does this apply to government programs? May Christians who have the power to vote – as do those in the West – use that power to bring the government into the equation? Absolutely.

welfare-government-charity-madisonHowever, must Christians vote to do so? And if Christians do vote to do so, how much government activity should we demand? How much tax money should be allocated? What sort of programs must we call for? Food stamps only? Job training programs? Is there ever a time when someone should cease getting aid?

These questions are vexing, but here’s the problem: At this point the Bible ceases to be a guide.

Instead, at this point it becomes a matter of sound judgment, not biblical injunction. Christians, like everyone else, make their case in the public square and attempt to persuade others to join them.

Here is the principle: Biblically speaking, the government is not the same as the individual Christian, and it is not the same as the church. Therefore, believers must be careful not to apply to government Scriptures intended for the church.

For example, Jesus said, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14).

ImmigrationCriminalsSo, we must conclude that individual Christians are to forgive their enemies. But must we also conclude that governments should forgive their enemies? Must we demand that criminals convicted of crimes be released and not sent to prison?

The application of this principle is that individual Christians should help refugees who are in our nation. But the issue of who we allow in – and how many – is not a biblical matter. It is a political matter.

  1. Understanding the proper biblical function of government is critical to this debate.
    Many Christians fail to understand the purpose of government in a fallen world, and they act as if the matter is irrelevant to Christians focused on the eternal kingdom. But God has ordained government to serve His purposes on the earth as surely as He has ordained the church to carry out its assigned role.

Romans 13 makes plain the fact that governments derive their authority from God and are considered ministers or servants of Yahweh (vv. 1, 4). They help order human existence, represent the authority of God Himself, restrain evil, and reward good.

Therefore one must assume that a government has both the right and the responsibility before God to maintain order. Surely that would include providing for national borders – which might require restricting immigration and the flow of refugees across them.

More than Platitudes

trojan-horse-isisU.S. ever seem to wrestle with this matter. Invariably their responses are: “Yes, of course, the government should establish secure borders and enforce laws, but ….”

Such a proclamation is not helpful. In fact, it does not wrestle with the subtleties of the issue at all. A viable resolution requires more than platitudes.

We need these questions answered: Should a government allow every refugee who wants to enter the country to do so? No? Then exactly how should a government decide who and how many?

If a Christian insists that “love your neighbor” requires us (as a country) to accept, say, more Syrian refugees, then that Christian cannot restrict the refugee process at all. The moment a Christian says a government can be loving and restrict the refugee process, the Christian has then admitted that the political process must take place. In other words, the government must be allowed to do its job.

But if it does its job and restricts the refugee process, that Christian cannot argue that the country is no longer being loving. Why? Because the Bible does not quantify how many refugees a country must allow. Once again, that is a matter of sound judgment, rather than a biblical command.

  1. Old Testament passages dealing with immigration, refugees, or foreigners in Israel do not apply to our current political debates.
    It is clear that Old Testament passages (e.g., Leviticus 19:34) required God’s people to love and treat respectfully non-Jews who were living among them or passing through.

However, such verses merely assume that certain people would fall into those categories because transient peoples were common in the ancient world. Virtually all societies, and especially those in that part of the world – in the middle of major trade routes – were quite used to seeing trade caravans passing through and foreigners who stayed for a few months conducting business.

These biblical references instruct God’s people to treat lovingly those who were already passing through. The more likely parallel would be: How should Christians today treat legal immigrants who are in our midst?

  1. Passages that apply to Israel do not always apply to other nations like the U.S.
    It is probably safe to assume that Leviticus 19:34 requires Christians not only to help the foreigners already in their midst, but also to press their government to do likewise.

israel_flagSometimes the moral force behind a commandment given to Israel is universal in its application. But this is not always the case. Great care should be exercised when attempting to stretch a passage that might apply only to Israel and make it universally binding.

2 Chronicles 7:14 is a classic example of a promise made to Israel that evangelicals often stretch to apply to America – or some other nation.

There are certainly principles in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that should encourage American Christians to repent and pray and seek revival for their land. But it is not a covenant promise from God. He has not obligated Himself to save America as He obligated Himself to respond to the prayers of His people in the Old Testament.

I respectfully disagree with Mr. Vitagliano on this particular point. America is a choice land, with a Constitution created by men raised up by God for that purpose. References to Zion may even include America. Isaiah prophesied for all time, especially for our time. He said, “Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:3) God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He keeps His promises; He favors the righteous, but not any particular race. He has already blessed America greatly because of our Judeo-Christian culture. Why wouldn’t He honor, even empower, our efforts for a revival? ~C.D.

As the immigration debate demonstrates, there is nothing simple about trying to interpret the Bible in the often overheated atmosphere of the culture wars of 2015. If we are to sort out the implications of such issues, it will require that all of us in the body of Christ jump into the debate.

The worst thing we can do is to accuse our brothers and sisters of disobeying Christ or not loving their neighbors when we disagree. Unity in the body of Christ is imperative if we are to be the light He commands us to be.

*Unless otherwise noted, the New American Standard Version is used throughout this article.