NO PROBLEM TOO BIG

We don’t have to look too far to know that our nation is in trouble today.  We are facing more troubles today than I’ve seen in my lifetime.  We face issues that are causing the very foundation of our country to crumble.  Our moral and spiritual roots are further decaying and drying up; the economy is devastated, family life is disintegrating, and political forces are at savage odds and almost totally distrusted by the people.

In these anxious times, it can be tempting to believe that America has reached a point of no return.  And while this can cause despair, we are reminded in God’s Holy Word that with Him, nothing is impossible and that there is an antidote for this anxious age.  It connects us to the greatest source of peace, hope, and security that we could ever imagine.  The cure is the remarkable gift from our loving and merciful God.  It’s called prayer.  Through our faithfulness in prayer, there is no problem too big, no hardship too great, and no nation too powerful for Him to handle.  And because we serve a God of great mercy and compassion, we know that He stands ready to respond to our cries out of the abundance of His divine wisdom.

President Lincoln once proclaimed that our nation should set apart a day for national prayer to confess our sins and transgression in sorrow,

yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon … announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

His concern for the nation’s spiritual well-being led him to say,

We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.  But we have forgotten God; and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our own hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us!  It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Mankind’s future has always been uncertain.  Since the days of Noah and his family, Moses and the nation of Israel, the persecuted early Church, the Pilgrims, and America’s founding fathers, the answer for people facing adversity has always been the same:  Almighty God.

Our founding fathers were not perfect men, but many of them did have one thing in common, they acknowledged God and His role in the affairs of men.  Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 said,

I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men.  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His [God’s] notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?

If an empire cannot rise without God’s aid, can it continue without it?  Simply put, there is no security apart from Him.  Ben Franklin went on to say,

I, therefore, … move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business ….

Are you ready to renew or increase your commitment to prayer?  Do you want contentment in your heart and peace in your world?  God’s call to the prophet Jeremiah, is our call today:

Call to me and I will answer you.  (Jer. 33:3)

Prayer will change your life, the lives around you, and even the course of history.
Remember, the National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 6, 2010.  Join believer’s all over this great nation in praying that we, as a nation, would return to God.  Let us do so in genuine faith, believing that He hears our prayers.  God can heal this great land, for which our forefathers fought and died.  We need a spiritual renewal, we need a spiritual revival in America, and we need each and everyone to pray.

’til next time,

Danny

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Is State Redistribution of Wealth Social Economic Justice?

President-elect Obama believes that the Constitution is flawed.  According to him, it is so because it fails to address wealth redistribution.  He says the Supreme Court should have intervened years ago to accomplish that.  He assigns a great deal of this failure to The Warren Court because it failed to “break free from the essential constraints” in the U.S. Constitution and launch a major redistribution of wealth.

In 2001, Obama said

“… the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution … [emphasis mine] 

one of the … tragedies of the civil rights movement was [that] … the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.”

Is Mr. Obama correct in his assertion that our Constitution, which has served our Republic well for over 2 ¼ centuries, is flawed?  Is this document, which birthed, sustained and allowed the American people to thrive, prosper and become the envy of the world, so fundamentally flawed, that it took him, in 2009, to finally bring it to light?  Or is it more probable that it is Mr. Obama’s reasoning and political views which are flawed? 

It’s very obvious that Mr. Obama, who is a supposed constitutional scholar, does not understand [or does he?] that it is not the Supreme Court’s job to write domestic policy or rule that it is “just” for wealth to be “redistributed”. 

JUSTICE FOR ALL 

Before considering the issue – Is redistribution of wealth just? – let me say that many, erroneously, I believe, carelessly throw words like “injustice” around as labels for whatever they happen to find personally or morally unsatisfactory.  These claims often involve a careless confusion between what people deserve morally and what they deserve economically. 

Let’s consider this analytically and from the standpoint of justice.  Justice, if it means anything at all, means at least, that whatever is done must be done fairly, honestly and righteously.  Living in a nation where a major tenet is “liberty and justice for all,” we must grant that whatever justice is, it must be for all.  One of the characteristics of justice, we are told, is that it is blind.  It is so because it cannot discriminate based on appearance or lack thereof. 

Liberal policies which are consumed with egalitarian (equality) issues are bent on defining justice, among other erroneous ways, as equality of result based on need.  To them, equal result, not equal opportunity, is “just.”  Although often they are not, sometimes inequalities based on need are just.  A just distribution of grades for a college course should have nothing to do with whether a student “needs” a particular grade.  In this case, the just grade should be assigned on the basis of what the student has earned, not what he needs.  The notion of “need” is extremely ambiguous.  People “need” things for many different reasons.  A student may feel he needs a particular grade in order to qualify for the football team, in order to graduate, in order to continue on the dean’s list so as to qualify for a scholarship, or to increase the student’s self-esteem.  However much sympathy such needs may generate, they should not be relevant in cases like this.  Many believe, perhaps rightly, that a good society will not allow certain fundamental and essential human needs to go unmet while a surplus exists.  Unfortunately need is too elastic a concept to serve as the precise standard required for distributive justice.  Needs have a way of expanding as people become accustomed to former luxuries.  It also seems to me that such efforts by a society to meet essential needs should not be described as justice, but rather as charity. 

How important is it for us to properly understand the issue of social justice?  It is of such importance to the continuance of a free society that Friedrich Hayek spoke of social justice as “the Trojan Horse through which totalitarianism has entered many societies in the world.” ¹ 

I would like to now examine, by analogy, Mr. Obama’s, and other liberals’ assertion that wealth redistribution is economic justice.  I believe you will see in this argument that redistribution of wealth is not only unjust, but also incompatible with freedom.  Let’s imagine, for reasons of our discussion, a society where the following conditions exist:

          1) “Justice” has been achieve by state redistribution (equal distribution, distribution according to need, or any other theory of                distributive “justice”).

          2) All citizens are free to exchange or transfer their holdings in any way they choose.

          3) Any transfer of a person’s holdings by theft, fraud, force or other criminal activity will be recognized as unjust and forbidden by law. 

Therefore, with everyone in our imaginary society now in possession of a just portion of holdings, all subsequent transfers will be just no matter how much they depart from the original state (original redistribution).  It follows logically then that in any free society, where our conditions are met, any noncriminal voluntary transfer or exchange of holdings like property or money will be a just transfer.  It doesn’t take a great mind to see that it would not take long for new holdings to again vary greatly from the original pattern created by state redistribution. This “situation” would confront Mr. Obama and all defenders of wealth redistribution (and other kinds of wealth transfers) with three options: 

          1) They might be sensible and realize that even though great discrepancies in holdings now exist, the disparity resulted from voluntary, legal, and just exchanges.  And so even though the later situation no longer resembles the preferred pattern of distribution (equality), the situation must be judged just and no further meddling with the new result is justified. 

          2) Given the mind-set of liberal ideologues, what is more likely is that after a certain period of time, Mr. Obama would announce that the distribution is once again unacceptable (“unjust”), which fact would require the state to step in to rectify the situation.  The use of words like “rectify,” “do the right thing,” “spread the wealth around,” or “do justice” in this context would certainly be odd since nothing immoral, criminal or unjust occurred.  How then can there be anything to rectify?  But suppose that redistribution, under the name of “justice,” was again implemented by state power and again after free transfers between individuals the same deviations from the preferred equality were again evident?  And suppose this was done several times over with the same legal and free transfers between individuals yielding the same result – “inequality.”  What then?  Would continued state redistribution schemes be just?  Absolutely not!  Note that at the time of each redistribution, people who had acquired holdings honestly and fairly would be deprived of them without recourse; and this would be done in the name of justice!  This, of course, is not justice, but tyranny. 

          3) Should the state eventually grow tired of constantly forcing periodic redistributions, it could pursue the third possible course of action.  It could simply deprive the citizens of the freedom to transfer and exchange their holdings at will.  The state would intrude into the everyday affairs of each citizen and control each and every action. To maintain the status of a “just” society, the state must either continually interfere to stop people from transferring resources as they wish to, or continually (or periodically) interfere to take from some persons resources that others for some reason chose to freely transfer to them.  

This example makes it clear that Mr. Obama’s liberal, leftist, socialist political views of redistribution as economic justice has little to do with justice or morality.  It has to do more with the increase of state control and ultimately totalitarianism, tyranny and loss of liberty. 

“Social justice,” as viewed by Mr. Obama and other leftist socialists, is possible only in a society that is controlled from the top down.  There must be a central agency with the power to force people to accept the state preferred pattern of distribution.  Again, this is the reason Friedrich Hayek could speak of social justice as a Trojan Horse through which totalitarianism has historically taken over many societies. 

Freedom loving Americans must resist this ideological shift to the Left even though they might, in the short run, be “beneficiaries” of Mr. Obama’s misguided political policies of “redistribution of wealth.”  The alternative may just be to wake up one day in a totalitarian America where liberty has been lost because we embraced the deception that it is “just” (fair, right) to take what belongs to someone else because the government deemed it so.  

Theft, even when politically allowed and engaged in by state policies, is theft nonetheless.  And theft always brings a curse.  

May we, as Americans whose heritage is freedom of opportunity for all, not be taken in by the liberal ideologues and elites whose goal is not to be public servants of the people, but rather imperial lords with power over the people. 

‘til next time, 

Danny 

* For more research see Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty and Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom or view his educational Free to Choose videos online at:  http://www.ideachannel.tv/

———————-

¹(Friedrich Hayek, Law, Legislation and Liberty, Vol. II, page 136)


A Political Novice Ascends to the Presidency

The greatest question thrown around by many totally baffled by the recent ascension to the presidency of this great republic is:

How did a political novice, with no real experience (other than political “organizing”) land behind the greatest desk of power in the world?

I think Alan Keyes (a black man) has very insightfully captured the essence of that question and answered it very convincingly.

Caution:  His answer is not for those who lack the courage to defy the racial manipulators, but rather for those who seek truth.

If you’re interested in his analysis, you can read this article here:

http://loyaltoliberty.blogspot.com/2009/02/keyes-obama-owes-succes-to-cowardice.html

For all who love pondering truth, I point you to think through the last sentence in his well-written blog article:

“Obama’s rejection of the simple premise that all human beings are created equal (including our nascent offspring [i.e., unborn in the womb]) means that his election … asserts … the ruthless disregard for humanity that made race and racism such potent instruments of evil.” [emphasis mine]

 

’til next time,

Danny

SHOCKED?

 

 

“We scoff at virtue and are shocked to find traitors in our midst”


With those words, C.S. Lewis, perfectly describes America in the present time.

If all political parties regarded truth, honesty and integrity as values to be highly esteemed, we would have a very different political landscape. America would once again begin to really believe in her political leaders.

As we have found recently in Republican and Democratic politicians alike, far too many of them seem to prefer to have a highly regarded reputation in the eyes of men than character in their own eyes and, unfortunately, in the eyes of their families whom they hurt when their rottenness comes to the fore. Reputation is what people think you are; character is who you know you really are.

We need a standard of equality in accountability for all political leaders regardless of political affiliation, rank or reputation. When all men are equally held accountable for their moral lapses, deceit and self-serving lives, leaders would once again find that the people could begin again to trust them and maybe even begin to view them in the caliber of our nation’s founding Fathers: “statesmen” and not “ninnies” worthy only of distrust, scoff and derision.

But all of this wishing will be in vain if the source problem continues: “WE, the people.” Today, we have the kind of government and politicians that we deserve. Yes, we might squirm and balk at that truth, but it is the truth. We have the kind of politicians that we have today, because we have been self-serving. We have sought our own benefit. We have reveal openly for all to see, our despicable character as a people who relinquish personal responsibility to care for our own and have sleazily handed it to the government (“Get as much cheese as you can, get all the food stamps you can, get all the grants and loans from the federal government you can and don’t have to pay back, get in line to get your government bailout, ad infinitum, ad nauseum). More and more we show our depravity as a lustful people who feed at the federal trough without regard for the future of our children and grandchildren. Shame on us. We have turned into prime specimens worthy, not of liberty, but of slavery. Such is the destiny of a people who cannot, or will not, control themselves.

We have become impotent because we have seen the deceitful, self-serving attitudes of our politicians in our own lives and have done nothing. We have done nothing to correct ourselves and return to what is right and honest. We have refused to face the truth in ourselves and preferred to cast blame on everyone and everything but our own pathetic apathy. We are a nation of people ready for judgment – romantic hopefuls, well-wishers, and positive thinkers notwithstanding. The Good Book says that “the God of peace” will be with those who think, not on things that are positive, but on things that are “true”. It takes an encounter with the truth and an acceptance of truth to reverse the course. Our politicians and people need a good dose of truth. And that Truth is only found in Him who said, “I am the way, and the truth….”

This is the time to stand up and be counted. But better still, it’s the time to live the Truth.

May God be justified in continuing to bless America.

A New Birth of Freedom?

Our nation has just elected our 44th president. People have much expectations of change on their minds.

As I watched some of the inaugural proceedings on television, I was struck by the words – “A new birth of freedom” – extrapolated from President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address set forth, presumably, as the theme of the incoming president’s administration.

“Freedom” is a word that, for the most part, has lost it meaning, especially in our politically-correct and relativistic culture.

What do the words – “A new birth of freedom” mean? What is “freedom?” Whatever they mean, if words mean anything, there is no doubt that they at least refer to something that is replacing something else that has either died or is dead. This is what rebirth means.

There are those who speak of freedom as the liberty to do as one pleases. But true liberty is living as one ought, and not as one pleases. Those of us who believe in a Sovereign God who rules over all the affairs of men, also understand that He has set a standard to Whom we are accountable. That standard is embodied in a Person, who Himself is the Truth. He is the One who declared,

I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.  (John 14:6)

So what is freedom?  Jesus declared that if we would listen to and obey His words, we would

“know the truth, and the truth [would] make [us] free.” (John 8:32)

If truth, according to Jesus, makes us free, what will enslave us? It is logical that if truth liberates, lies enslave.

Jesus links freedom and truth together.  True freedom, therefore, has to do with truth: God’s truth. The “new birth of freedom” we spoke of earlier, therefore, must be based on God’s truth and His perception of reality in order for it to truly liberate as Jesus says. If “freedom” is based on lies it will only enslave even further. The Holy Scriptures declares that there are those who

“promise … freedom, but they themselves are not free.” (2 Peter 2:19 NCV)

They cannot bring true freedom because they themselves are enslaved and living lies.

My prayer is that this new administration’s use of Lincoln’s words (who, by the way, believed the Bible to be God’s word) will be prophetic even though men may misapply and may not even understand the import of Lincoln’s words. I think my hope for this has a biblical precedence played out in the life of another leader referred to in Scripture: Caiaphas, the high priest. He declared, unknowingly and prophetically:

“You don’t realized that it is better for one man to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”
(John 11:50 NCV)

The Word of God says that being

“high priest that year, he was really prophesying that Jesus would die for their nation.”
(John 11:51 NCV)

I ask God that this “new birth of freedom” would not be what most people, and President Obama believe it is – a remaking of America. America does not need to be “remade”, it needs a return and a new birth: a return in repentance to God, to His truth and to true freedom by a new birth through faith in Jesus Christ. Without God, a new birth of freedom will issue the same old slaveries of the past. To understand the real meaning of President Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg, we must quote his whole thought,

“… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom….”
(last sentence in the Gettysburg address)

Lord God, let it be so I ask, in Jesus’ name.
’til next time,

Danny

A Time of Reformation

Now Is The Time

We want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship [what you] have set up.”  Daniel 3:18 (NLT)

This time in Daniel’s life and in the life of the people of God was a time a great turmoil.  But unbeknownst to them, it was also the time of great opportunity for God’s people because God was moving forth His plan of the ages.

We are at a crossroads in America. 

Great ideological, political, social and spiritual changes are here.  The God of our Fathers, the God of the Bible, for the most part has been replaced in the hearts and minds of the American people.  We have, as a people, rejected the principle and godly values that made this country great.  However, there is still a remnant here who have not bow the knee to the false gods of modernism: spiritual and principled men and women of God who have not, and will not, bow before the rotting gods of the popular culture and the secular progressives.

The Church of Jesus Christ – all born again believers – have an appointment with divine destiny.  The scriptures declare that

those who stay courageously loyal to their God will take a strong stand.  (Daniel 11:32b  MSG Bible). 

All others will surely get swept away in the apostasy of the end time as recorded by Paul, the apostle in 1 Timothy 4:1 (NLT)

Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.

Today some so-called “leaders” in the emergent church are so enamored with having recognition by the world that they are compromising biblical truth for a more “socially-correct” position of “understanding” concerning moral issues.  I call on discerning leaders in the emergent church movement to withdraw from and denounce these leaders as Paul did and heed his command (apostolic authority) to

… rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.

The Episcopal church for years has allowed “debate” concerning homosexuals in the ministry and has recently been torn apart as a denomination because of this “debate” to gain “understanding”.  No good can come from compromising God’s word and opening a debate to further understand.  The truth is, if God approves it, it’s approved; if God’s condemns it, it’s condemned.  Period.  End of discussion.  That stand is “bigoted” in the popular culture, but it’s acceptable in God’s sight.

The church must begin again to speak out and be the conscience of the nation and the critics of all that is evil.  We must call evil what it is and resist the flattery that will come to

those who betray the holy covenant [of God].  (Daniel 11:32a  MSG Bible)

We are will either crave to be accepted by those around us, or with a passionate love, turn them to righteousness.

The choice is ours.  The opportunity is now before us. 

What will you do?

’til next time

Danny

Socialism: The Government Dream

There is only a need for BIG Government when the people of a nation have lost all semblance of “self-government.”  When that happens, BIG government becomes oppressive of the people because that is what they “deserve.”  Anyone, nations included, who cannot govern themselves by standards of good morals and righteous principles, will always fall into slavery to another who will oppressively govern them.

Today people live as if they had a right to everything under the sun; and they expect government to give it to them.  Gone, for the most part, it seems, are the days when people had a sane pride in personal achievement and responsibility for the fulfillment of their own dream.  It was not a “government dream” – or should I say, “government nightmare.”

 

YES, I’D LIKE . . .

The true story is told about a certain young man who on a college campus had an encounter with a certain young lady who believed socialism was the answer to our problems.  Approaching this young man, who by the way, sported a large button on his shirt that proclaimed: “Cut Down Big Government”, she questioned, “Even you right wingers don’t want to starve?”  He knew that if he admitted to this, she’d only follow up with why not such a guarantee for shelter, medicine and all the rest.

The young man’s reply, which at first seemed like a victory to this socialist young lady, was, “Sure, I’d like to lay my hands on everything I can get.”  “Ah,” she said, “But the state is the closest you can come to such a guarantee.”  “Sure,” replied the young man, “I grant that.  There is something more.  I’d like a guarantee of shelter and medical treatment and even some recreation.”  At that reply, the young socialists woman thought she had a convert and mystified said: “But that’s what we support.  Why are you wearing that button?”  She meant of course his “Cut Down Big Government” button.

The young man continued, “I would also like a yacht.”  A little perturbed she answered – “… if you’re not going to be serious about it.”  “Oh, but I am,” reply the young man earnestly.  “I would really and truly like a yacht.  Also a seaside villa.”  “Look,” said the young woman rather sternly, “you know what I’m talking about – sharing!  I’m not interested in your greedy daydreams.  I’m asking what everyone should have.”  “All right,” replied the young man, “I understand.  Let everyone have a yacht!”

“But how?” queried the woman with the first sign of a rational thought.  “Oh, don’t bother me with that!” he said.  “There will be a way, I’m sure.  Just so everyone has a yacht.  However, there is one more thing I would like.”  “What?” she asked.  “Two yachts.”  The young man stepped back slightly as he noticed the incensed look on the woman’s distorted face as she blurted out, “It’s people like you who keep socialism from working!”

The young man agreed, “Yes, you are quite right.  Perhaps if people like me were put away somewhere socialism would have a chance.”  By now the young, socialist woman was glaring as she desperately tried to think of an answer.  The young man continued, “But there’s still one problem. How many are there like me?”  “Not as many as you think,” the woman replied and walked away.

In an age apathy, relativism and covetousness, people are more and more gravitating toward the socialist road without understanding of its implications for liberty and the crushing of the human spirit.  Socialism ignores the spirit side of man.  They can provide you a house, fill your pot with chicken, give you “free” medical healthcare when you’re sick, all the things that are guaranteed to a prisoner or a slave.  They don’t understand, however, that God gave us a spirit (a heart) to dream — yes, even of some time acquiring and owning our own yacht.

Danny