Judeo-Christian Culture: Free Will and Religious Freedom

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Free Will and Religious Freedom

Is religious liberty for everyone?

The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.

Ed Vitagliano

November 2018 – It has been observed that, in the Bill of Rights, religious liberty is literally the “first freedom.” Of the five rights listed in the First Amendment, religious liberty is listed first. The wording is simple, yet sublime: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. …”

With growing controversies over immigrants and refugees entering the U.S., both legally and illegally, Christians have struggled to answer this question: Does this first constitutional freedom apply to religions other than Christianity? There are good reasons to answer yes.

A right to disobey?


Most Christians are probably happy to include religious freedom among the collection of “natural” rights in the Declaration of Independence, rights that are according to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” In one of the most well known sentences in the English language, author Thomas Jefferson famously stated:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Ironically, this creates something of a paradox for the Christian who is loyal to God. On the one hand, the believer sees religious liberty as something that allows the mission of the church to proceed unhindered by government opposition.

On the other hand, it would appear that the Christian is also saying the God of the Bible has granted to every person the “natural right” to worship a false god, a million gods, or even the devil himself.

Religious liberty for all?


However, the answer to the paradox explains why the founders instituted religious liberty in the first place. They understood religious liberty as something congruent to the biblical teaching of “free will.”*

That is to say:

(1) because God has granted people free will, they can decide for themselves what God, god, or gods they will serve;

(2) because they are free before God to worship whomever they choose, our Bill of Rights guarantees freedom safe from government coercion;

(3) because true Christian conversion requires a commitment of faith in Jesus Christ, allowing Christians to proselytize and allowing unbelievers to reject the gospel is actually the most biblical approach to take.

James Madison, one of the most influential Founding Fathers, said in his tract Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (1785):

The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.

The trigger for Madison’s tract was a bill he opposed in the General Assembly of Virginia that would have created from the state treasury a subsidy for Christian preachers. At the time, many were warning that piety and religious observance in Virginia were waning. The solution: government should promote the gospel so the detrimental trends could be arrested.

Not only should government not prefer one religion over another, Madison argued. Religious freedom must be available to everyone. He said:

Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?

It is reasonable to argue that a freedom which one Christian treasures for himself might also be a freedom that another Christian – or even a pagan – might equally treasure.

Coerced to become Christian?
It seems axiomatic for evangelicals today to assert that one can be forced to become a Christian. True, a person can be coerced to confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord – or to demonstrate any number of outward signs of “conversion.” But Paul makes clear in Romans 10:10 that authentic outward expression must accompany faith in the heart for there to be true salvation.

Madison asserts that this is precisely why religious liberty must be granted to all:

James Madison

Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man. …

Thus, the rebel who rejects the gospel is answerable to God; he is not and should not be answerable to the state for that rejection.

Moreover, the state cannot do what only the church, through Christ, can do – produce true converts. If the state attempts to empower government “magistrates” to coerce Christian conversion, Madison said, it becomes “an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation.”

Against the darkness
It’s important to recognize that Madison is not arguing against Christians “voting their values.” Instead, he is declaring that government must not officially – and thus with coercive power – promote one religious view over another.

The Judeo-Christian worldview is part of the foundation of America. We should seek to convince our fellow citizens that the only way for our society to thrive is for Christian principles to be the bedrock of civic and cultural life.

In fact, it is quite biblical for Christians to warn non-believing Americans that God blesses nations for doing right in His sight and judges nations for committing evil (Jeremiah 18:7-10).

Followers of Christ are called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), and it is no exaggeration to state that, without that cultural influence, decay and darkness will ultimately triumph.

Nevertheless, while it is important for Christians to protect and promote religious liberty, both for themselves and for those with whom they disagree, it is equally important to remember that followers of Christ should not help false religions with their work. For example, they should not aid in the construction of Muslim mosques or otherwise contribute to the spread of Islam.

We believe that God has spoken through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2), and those who deny this are of “the spirit of error” and “the spirit of the antichrist” (1 John 4:1-6). New Testament writers were severe when warning against cooperating with false religions. In 2 John 10-11, the apostle emphasizes that false teachers should be neither welcomed nor aided:

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this [gospel] teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

Whether all earthly freedoms are granted to us or are denied, the Christian’s first allegiance is to Christ the King and His kingdom.

*For those who point to Scriptures such as John 3:1-8 and conclude that sinners are free to choose Christ only as the Holy Spirit changes their heart, this substitute might be preferable: For those who are granted the grace to become born again, religious liberty is a blessing that allows men and women to follow that conversion impulse with minimal hindrance from the government.

____________________
For more studies on freedom of religion in the U.S., consider The Bible: America’s Source of Law and Liberty, America’s Providential History, and other books and video resources by Stephen McDowell. Founder of Providence Foundation, McDowell is a highly esteemed historian who chronicles the nation’s Christian roots. Visit providencefoundation.com or call 434-978-4535 for more information.

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Birthright Citizenship definition: Birthright Citizenship vs. 14th Amendment, US Constitution

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Truth in Science: Biological transgender definition and transgender suicidality statistics

Heritage Foundation report

Truth in Science:

Biological transgender definition and transgender suicidality statistics

I lived the trans life for eight years.

 

Trump’s Proposed Rollback of Transgender Policy Is Good News for Many Who Are Suffering

Commentary By

Walt Heyer

Thank you, Mr. President, for moving to make male and female great again.

In the last few years, biological girls have seen their rights violated in school bathrooms and in sports. National confusion has ensued ever since the previous administration decided to reinterpret Title IX’s sex anti-discrimination clause to include self-proclaimed “gender identity.”

That may soon come to an end under the Trump administration.

The memo spells out the proposed definition of “sex” as applied to federal statutes as “a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.” The proposed definition won’t include a “select a gender” option, as was offered under the Obama administration.

>>> A Former Transgender Person’s Take on Obama’s Bathroom Directive

This is simply a return to reality. Sex is an immutable biological reality, while gender identity is a social construct that can change over time. The two terms are not interchangeable. The authors of Title IX meant biological sex, not gender identity.

When individuals try to live out life in an ideology that has no basis in biological fact, the consequences are stark.

I know, because I lived the trans life for eight years.

 

https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/10/23/trumps-proposed-rollback-of-transgender-policy-is-good-news-for-many-who-are-suffering/

The Alarming Findings of a New Study on Transgender Teens and Suicide

Kelsey Harkness

Daily Signal

One in every two transgender adolescents who are born female but identify as male has attempted suicide in the past year, according to a new study.

The study, “Transgender Adolescent Suicide Behavior,” was published in Pediatrics, the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

By comparison, they found that 14 percent of all teenagers had attempted suicide at least once.

 

https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/09/14/the-alarming-findings-of-a-new-study-on-transgender-teens-and-suicide/

Transgender fury over reported plan to define gender…

Related Post:

Supporting transgender surgery is child abuse

The Left just experienced its 9/11

N.Y. Times ‘apoplectic’ over bold Trump initiative

https://www.wnd.com/2018/10/transgender-is-a-political-test-not-science/

 

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Judeo-Christian Culture: Search for Truth, Plan of Salvation, Cautionary Advice

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National Security vs. Migrant Invasion via Migrant Caravan

National Security vs. Migrant Invasion via Migrant Caravan

Migrant caravan of 14,000 coming from Central America traveling up through Mexico toward the U.S. Border could be considered an invasion. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.

More A.F. Branco cartoons at Constitution.com here.

Immigration Expert Jessica Vaughan: Four Ways Trump Can Solve Migrant Caravan Crisis

Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, offered four recommendations to President Donald Trump and his administration on how to solve the border crisis caused by the stream of migrant caravans seeking entry into the U.S. via Mexico.

1 – Close the Border

2 – Refuse Bogus Asylum Claims

3 – Refuse Entry to Migrants and Send Them Home

4 – Mandate Asylum Claims be Made in Consulates or Embassies in Home Countries, Not U.S. Ports of Entry

 

Pompeo to Migrants: ‘You Will Not Be Successful in Getting into the United States’

Exclusive–Cuccinelli: Stop Caravan ‘Invasion’ with Constitutional ‘War Powers’

Immigration Expert Jessica Vaughan: Four Ways Trump Can Solve Migrant Caravan Crisis…

 

‘Evidence’ Americans funding migrant caravan

Judicial Watch team in Guatemala calls on Trump to investigate

“Citizens of countries outside Central America, including countries in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and elsewhere are currently traveling through Mexico toward the U.S.,” he said.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Tuesday his team with the caravan found citizens from Asia and the Middle East, mostly young men, and indications the caravan was organized from the outside.

https://www.wnd.com/2018/10/evidence-americans-funding-migrant-caravan/

Mike Pence: Honduran President Told Me Venezuela Funding Migrant Caravan

Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday revealed Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández told him that the migrant caravan marching toward the U.S.-Mexico border is “financed by Venezuela.”

Rush: “Venezuela” includes China and Iran

Election Day 2018: Issues Facing America—Democratic Party Platform vs. GOP Party Platform

Election Day 2018: Issues Facing America—

Democratic Party Platform vs. GOP Party Platform

 

10 key issues Facing America

November 2018 – HUMAN LIFE
Democratic Party
Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion – regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured. We believe that reproductive health is core to women’s, men’s, and young people’s health and wellbeing. …We will continue to oppose – and seek to overturn – federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.

Republican Party
The Constitution’s guarantee that no one can “be deprived of life, liberty or property” deliberately echoes the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that “all” are “endowed by their Creator” with the inalienable right to life. Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD
Democratic Party
We will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers, which provide critical health services to millions of people.

Republican Party
We oppose the use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than provide health care.

JUDGES
Democratic Party

We will appoint judges who defend the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion, curb billionaires’ influence over elections because they understand that Citizens United has fundamentally damaged our democracy, and see the Constitution as a blueprint for progress.

Republican Party
We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We condemn attempts by activist judges at any level of government to seize the power of the purse from the people’s elected representatives by ordering higher taxes.

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
Democratic Party
Democrats know that our nation, our communities, and our lives are made vastly stronger and richer by faith in many forms and the countless acts of justice, mercy, and tolerance it inspires. We believe in lifting up and valuing the good work of people of faith and religious organizations and finding ways to support that work where possible.

Republican Party
We value the right of America’s religious leaders to preach, and Americans to speak freely, according to their faith. Republicans believe the federal government, specifically the IRS, is constitutionally prohibited from policing or censoring speech based on religious convictions or beliefs, and therefore we urge the repeal of the Johnson Amendment.

EDUCATION/SCHOOL CHOICE
Democratic Party
Democrats are also committed to providing parents with high-quality public school options and expanding these options for low-income youth. We support democratically governed, great neighborhood public schools and high-quality public charter schools, and we will help them disseminate best practices to other school leaders and educators. Democrats oppose for-profit charter schools focused on making a profit off of public resources.

Republican Party
We support options for learning, including home-schooling, career and technical education, private or parochial schools, magnet schools, charter schools, online learning, and early-college high schools. We especially support the innovative financing mechanisms that make options available to all children: education savings accounts (ESAs), vouchers, and tuition tax credits.

SEX EDUCATION
Democratic Party
We recognize that quality, affordable comprehensive health care, evidence-based sex education, and a full range of family planning services help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.

Republican Party
We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with sexual risk avoidance education that sets abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior.

OBAMACARE
Democratic Party
Thanks to the hard work of President Obama and Democrats in Congress, we took a critically important step towards the goal of universal health care by passing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has offered coverage to 20 million more Americans and ensured millions more will never be denied coverage on account of a pre-existing condition.

Republican Party
Any honest agenda for improving health care must start with repeal of the dishonestly named Affordable Care Act of 2010: Obamacare. …To simplify the system for both patients and providers, we will reduce mandates and enable insurers and providers of care to increase health care options and contain costs.

MARRIAGE
Democratic Party
Democrats applaud [the 2015] decision by the Supreme Court that recognized LGBT people – like every other American – have the right to marry the person they love. But there is still much work to be done. … Democrats will fight for the continued development of sex discrimination law to cover LGBT people. We will also fight for comprehensive federal non-discrimination protections for all LGBT Americans … .

Republican Party
We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law. We also condemn the Supreme Court’s lawless ruling in Obergefell v Hodges. … In Obergefell, five unelected lawyers robbed 320 million Americans of their legitimate constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH
Democratic Party
Democrats believe we must accelerate the pace of medical progress, ensuring that we invest more in our scientists and give them the resources they need to invigorate our fundamental studies in the life sciences in a growing, stable, and predictable way. …We recognize the critical importance of a fully funded National Institutes of Health to accelerate the pace of medical progress.

Republican Party
We call for expanded support for the stem cell research that now offers the greatest hope for many afflictions – through adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and cells reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells – without the destruction of embryonic human life. We urge a ban on human cloning for research or reproduction, and a ban on the creation of, or experimentation on, human embryos for research.

IRAN
Democratic Party
We support the nuclear agreement with Iran because, if vigorously enforced and implemented, it verifiably cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb without resorting to war.

Republican Party
We consider the Administration’s deal with Iran, to lift international sanctions and make hundreds of billions of dollars available to the Mullahs, a personal agreement between the President and his negotiating partners. … Because of it, the defiant and emboldened regime in Tehran continues to sponsor terrorism across the region, develop a nuclear weapon, test-fire ballistic missiles inscribed with “Death to Israel,” and abuse the basic human rights of its citizens. A Republican president will not be bound by it.

*Full text of party platforms available at:
democrats.org/party-platform
gop.com/platform

History Heroes: Irena Sendler saves Children in Nazi Germany

History Heroes, Lest we Forget—

Lady Plumber rescues Jewish children in Nazi Germany

Remember this lady?

   Irena  Sendler

 Irena-sendler-jew-rescuer

Died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98)
Warsaw,  Poland

During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist.
She had an ulterior motive.
Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom  of
The tool box she  carried.
   She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger  kids.
Irena-sendler-2Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the  ghetto.

The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking  covered the kids/infants  noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to
Smuggle  out and save 2500 kids/infants.

Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi’s broke both of her legs  and arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a  record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out,   in a glass jar that she buried under a tree  in her back yard..  After the war,  she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried  to reunite the family.Most had been gassed.    Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.
She was not selected.

Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.

Later another politician,
Barack Obama, won for his work as a community  organizer for ACORN.

 

In MEMORIAM – 65 YEARS LATER
I’m doing my small part by sharing this  message.
  I hope you’ll consider  doing the same.  It is now more than 65 years since the  Second World War in Europe ended.

Irena-sendler-jew-rescuer-memorial

This message is being  sent as a memorial chain,  In memory of the six million  Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900  Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned,  starved and humiliated! 

Now, more than ever, with Iran , and others, claiming the HOLOCAUST to be ‘a myth’,  it’s imperative to make sure the world never  forgets,   because  there are others who would like to do it  again.

This message is intended to reach 40 million people
Worldwide! Please share it.

Political Cartoon: Elizabeth Warren DNA, Science is Settled

Political Cartoon:

Elizabeth Warren DNA, Science is Settled on ‘Fauxcahontas’

A.F. Branco Cartoon – The Science is Settled

In her attempt to prove Trump wrong about being Native American and clear the issue off the table, Elizabeth Warren conducted a DNA test that proves she’s 1/1024th American Indian. In other words, She’s 99.9 percent white. Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.

More A.F. Branco cartoons at Constitution.com here.

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Bible Story: Building on the Rock

Bible Story:

Building on the Rock

 

Trust in God is a solid foundation upon which to build our lives. In the Word of God, we have a rock-solid foundation upon which to build our lives, given us straight from the Lord Himself.

keyoldBe still, and know that I am God. ~Psalms 46:10

Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help the; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. ~ Isaiah 41:10

 

buildingrocksandRemember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that the devil …shall have no power over you …because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. ~Helaman 5:12

Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. ~Ephesians 2:20

Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mind and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand—and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fall, and great was the fall of it. ~Matthew 7:26

How Firm a Foundation

 

Robert Keene, ca. 1787

buildingonrockHow firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,

Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!

What more can he say than to you he hath said,

Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

 

In every condition—in sickness, in health,

In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,

At home or abroad, on the land or the sea—

As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

 

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,

For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.

I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

 

quote-maynes-gospel-christ-centerWhen through the deep waters I call thee to go,

The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow.

For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,

And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

 

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,

My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.

The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design

Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

 

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose

I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;

That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,

I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

Real Foundation

We do not need more material development, we need more spiritual development. We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more law, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen. It is on that side of life that it is desirable to put the emphasis at the present time. If that side is strengthened, the other side will take care of itself. It is that side which is the foundation of all else. If the foundation be firm, the super-structure will stand. ~Calvin Coolidge