Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Return of Judge Roy Moore (The Ten Commandments Judge)

Judge Roy Moore Returns!

      Roy Moore was ousted from his position of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court nine years ago for acknowledging God.  The people of Alabama voted again to make Judge Roy Moore the Chief Justice of their state in the last election.  
       Roy Moore was not unaccustomed to controversy.  A few years before the showdown with the granite Ten Commandments monument, he was a County Circuit Judge.  He was directed to take down a hand carved plaque with the commandments by an Alabama Circuit judge. He refused to do it and became a hero.  The governor of Alabama at that time, Fob James, made it clear that he stood solidly with Roy Moore and said with no uncertain terms, “Try to take the Ten Commandments out of this courtroom . . . and you’ll be staring down the barrel of a few dozen M-16s.”  The case was later dismissed on technical grounds.
  I still remember listening to the radio back nine years ago when all the controversy raged again over the Ten Commandments and Judge Roy Moore's refusal to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments at the Alabama Judicial Building.  My thoughts of the case were very different then.  I remember thinking,"What's the big deal with keeping that big rock there when this good guy could keep his job if he'd just listen to the higher court?"    It was obvious, barring a miracle, that Judge Moore's job was in jeopardy.  My reasoning was that it would be better to have the man keep his job and continue to serve justly in a hundred more ways than just keeping a big rock at the court.  My views on this have changed a lot since I've had a better opportunity to hear Roy Moore's reasoning.  I didn't have the privilege to know the whole issue from bits of information I heard from the media.
    What caused me confusion was that I knew a higher authority than Judge Moore had directed him to remove the commandments.  What Judge Moore knew was that there was a higher authority than the federal judge.  He knew that the Alabama constitution gave acknowledgement that our freedoms come from God.  He knew the first amendment was given to protect the church from the state, not to deny God rightful acknowledgement. He also knew that God is the final lawgiver and all laws that would seek to deny God his rightful acknowledgement are not true laws.  To disobey unlawful laws would not be a crime, but a duty.  There is a difference between the rule of law and judicial tyranny. This is what our founding fathers recognized, this is what the apostles knew, and there are still a few good men that are able to see this.

    
America the Beautiful? by Judge Roy Moore

America the Beautiful or so you used to be.
Land of the Pilgrims' pride; I'm glad they'll never see

Babies piled in dumpsters, Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty; your house is on the sand.

Our children wander aimlessly. Poisoned by cocaine,
Choosing to indulge their lusts, when God has said abstain.

From sea to shining sea, our Nation turns away.
From the teaching of God's love and a need to always pray.

We've kept God in our temples, how callous we have grown.
When earth is but His footstool, and Heaven is His throne.

We've voted in a government that's rotting at the core,
Appointing Godless Judges who throw reason out the door,

Too soft to place a killer in a well deserved tomb,
But brave enough to kill a baby before he leaves the womb.

You think that God's not angry, that our land's a moral slum?
How much longer will He wait before His judgment comes?

How are we to face our God, from Whom we cannot hide?
What then is left for us to do, but stem this evil tide?

If we who are His children, will humbly turn and pray;
Seek His holy face and mend our evil way:

Then God will hear from Heaven and forgive us of our sins,
He'll heal our sickly land and those who live within.

But, America the Beautiful, if you don't - then you will see,
A sad but Holy God withdraw His hand from Thee.


~Judge Roy Moore      

                                 This video is a short biography of Roy Moore
 
References:
This article from the Vision Forum gives a great review of Judge Moore's legal battle for the Ten Commandments:  

http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/news_and_reports/god_must_be_acknowledged_2.aspx

Peter and the apostles said without apology, "We ought to obey God rather than man." Acts 5:29:
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Act&c=5&t=KJV#29
 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Educational Freedom



 
 
"I don't want my children fed or clothed by the state, but if I had to choose, I would prefer that to their being educated by the state."  These thoughtful comments were made by a grain dealer in Iowa named Max Victor Belz.  What Max realized is that the mind of his children was something to guard zealously. 



     The ability to learn where you want and what you desire to learn is a freedom that has blessed our nation with many great discoveries and inventions.  The more this freedom is restricted the more we will find less of these benefits to society.  Education can be a result of our freedoms that helps preserve them, or it can be the medium that forms our chains. Education, like other forms of communication, works to indoctrinate. It is impossible for it to be otherwise. This is a very powerful thing, and must be entrusted to the right people.  It is a fundamental right for parents to assume this role of guarding the minds of their children.  
 
      Education will come from somewhere, but not all forms of it will be desirable.  Perhaps this why God gave parents the role of educating their children. Who else could determine better the gifts children possess than the parents?  No one would have better intentions to help children than their parents. Of course, there are exceptions to almost everything, but exceptions should not make the rule.   Not everyone would agree with giving parents this fundamental right.  When I was a child, a school official told my parents, "We know your child's needs better than you do."  This was one of many circumstances that led my parents to send me and my sister to a private school.  Even in a private school, parents will encounter teaching that they don't agree with, but an advantage to having private schools is that parents have more choices.  Just imagine how many choices we might have if all schools were private schools.  Think of the variety of schools we would have. 
 
     If you send children to a Catholic school, you can expect them to be taught Catholic teaching. If you send them to a Muslim school, you can expect them to learn Islam.  If you send them to a Christian school, they will hear about Christ.  If you send them to humanists, you can bet your money on it, they will teach the religion of humanism.  The teaching material in publicly funded schools is only allowed to present the religion of secular humanism.  This won't bother a humanist, but it should bother anyone who believes in something bigger than themselves.  The influence of this can not be overstated in a time of such serious stakes.  This is why Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union said, "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed that I have sown will never be uprooted."  Lenin serves as a reminder of not just the bad effects of humanism, but also the the problem of giving bureaucrats control of children's minds.
 
      The one size fits all structure doesn't work.  It may be convenient, but it costs way too much.  There needs to be freedom in education for a better tomorrow.  
 


  
 
A protest to the monopoly that the religion of humanism currently has in publicly funded schools.   

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Turning the Hearts of the Fathers

It's kind of hard to see this picture, but it's a picture of Dad and me retrieving a bee swarm from a tree.
This is a day of the individual.  This is the opposite of the Biblical model.  The model that confronts us today is based on an atheistic belief  structure. This is a man-centered philosophy that  says it is the individual and the government that are the most important aspects of society.  It comes under the term "self-realization" and is antithetical to God's call to deny self and pursue things that are eternal.   In the Bible we can see a high value of the family and church.  These are the bedrock components of society.  This is why in the last book of the Old Testament, in the last chapter, and the last verse says, "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."  This promise was the way the Bible was ended for four hundred years. For four hundred years God remained silent like He did before Moses delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt.  A new deliverer was about to enter the scene, but a man came before him that proclaimed this message.

     John the baptist, a single man that lived in the wilderness and subsisted on what he could find (which included honey), had a message to deliver to fathers.  It was not a message of being positive to make yourself happy.  It was a message of duty to God and fulfilling his word.  It was not a message of how to survive when raising toddlers or getting through the teenage years, but a command for the fathers to take up their duty to love their children.  He was telling the fathers to come home and not put the focus on themselves. The Hebrews were in a position where they were picking up the practices of the people around them.  The Romans had been picking up the practices of the Greeks that they conquered and the Hebrews were in this Greco-Roman influence.  Children were not as close to their parents as they had been in earlier generations.  Like our industrial age, they had an age that focused on getting ahead and fulfilling their own dreams in power and industry where people became just human resources, and children were getting in the way.  Some of the outworking of this included limiting family size, infanticide and sending the children to tutors other than the parents.  One factor that poised a real threat to the Roman Republic was the people were so self-consumed that they didn't have enough children to support the floundering empire. The Greco-Roman society they were in had lost its value for real relationships.

     Contrast this to the ancient Hebrews. The Hebrews were largely shepherds that lived off the land.  They gained this occupation from their fathers.  They needed large families to be successful in their farm life and recognized the value of working together as families.  Children were seen as being very valuable.  God had shown them the importance of family by working with them as one great family and reminding them of how He helped their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

      John first gave the command to the fathers as they hold great great responsibility, but then turned to the sons and reminded them of their responsibility to have a good relationship with their fathers.  He then let them know that without their hearts turning to each other that there would be a curse to be reckoned with.

      John the Baptist had a job to call the fathers and the sons to repentance that they would be prepared to hear  Jesus Christ.  Some of John's disciples became Christ's disciples and had become familiar with the message of reconciliation. 
    
      John  came in the spirit of Elijah and showed a selfish generation how to be reconciled to each other and then to God.  He let his disciples know that Jesus must increase, but he must decrease.  His message remains for every generation.

References:
Safely Home by Tom Eldredge

A short biography of John the Baptist:
http://www.thedecidedlife.com/Decided_Life_Bios/Biography.php?Biography_id=2

     

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hobby Lobby and Standing on Principle

 
My sister, Jenna, took this picture of the Hobby Lobby in Stillwater, OK


      Hobby Lobby started as small business from a garage in Oklahoma city with a $600.00 loan.  Today it is one of the largest arts and crafts stores in America.  Its founder, David Green, was raised in a poor family. His formal education consists of a high school diploma.  His family feared God and his siblings all get their sustenance from what most people see as ministry.  David believes his work is also ministry, and this has been recognized from both his friends and his critics.  This has especially been noticed in the way the store closes early.  David believes that family time is extremely important for families to remain strong and hasn't extended the hours.  He also has practiced his faith by keeping all Hobbie Lobby stores closed on Sundays which is a practice that is believed to cost him many millions of potential dollars.  David believes that by honoring God that God has honored him.  He believes that is why Hobby Lobby has done extremely well in this bad economy.  Yet he recognizes that God's values aren't measured by money.  This can be seen in some comments he shared with ChristiaNet: "Our organization wants to be remembered as one that knows the difference between the temporal and eternal."  He continued, "Our business is only a means to an end and our end is to try to affect lives for eternity.  If we haven't done that, then we are just merely a good person."

     Today there is a challenge as to whether a person can practice his beliefs in the workplace.  Because the Green family believes life begins at conception, they also believe that it would violate their conscience to encourage abortion by paying for abortion-inducing drugs through their insurance coverage.  The current Heath Care Mandate does not protect business owners or individuals with a conscience clause.  This encroachment on the right of conscience needs to be a concern for every American as a loss of freedom.  Because the Green family cannot follow this unjust and unconstitutional law in good conscience, they are facing fines of over a million dollars a day.

      In every generation there are those that God has appointed to carry on a message that is important for that age.  The freedom of conscience is not new.  Martin Luther faced this when it was demanded that he recant his beliefs.  He knew his life was in danger, but said that he could not and would not recant for it would go against conscience which is not safe.   In America, the law of the land respected freedom of conscience largely because of a man named Roger Williams.  Williams was banished from a colony for his beliefs, and created Rhode Island which became a refuge for people with various beliefs.  Roger believed everyone had the right to be wrong and that when there were differences that the only way to seek to change someones mind would be through civil debate.   A firm believer in God, he extended these rights to all men, even those he considered to be pagans and atheists.  This freedom is the direct opposite of socialism which manipulates people.
     Should Hobby Lobby have to close its doors it will be memorial to what socialism does to business and freedom.  Whether they close or not, the principles that made this counteraction to socialism will not be held  in vain because the liberty of conscience is bigger than money and bigger than the here and now.  Indeed, eternity is testified in the lives of those that hold on to it.


  Below David shares in his own words the plight his company is in because of the liberty of conscience:
My name is David Green, and I am the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. In case you are not familiar with our company, we are a national arts and crafts retailer with more than 500 stores in 41 states. We are headquartered in Oklahoma and employ more than 22,500 individuals nationwide.
I started Hobby Lobby as a miniature picture frame company, called Greco Products, in 1970. My family and I made miniature picture frames and sold them to various retailers. Because there was a high demand for this product at the time, we were able to take out a loan of $600 from the bank to open our first retail store, which consisted of 300 square feet of manufacturing space in the back, and 300 square feet of retail space in the front. That store became the first ever Hobby Lobby.
My family has been an integral part of this business since day one, and remains an important part of it today. My son, Steve Green, is president of Hobby Lobby. My son, Mart Green, is president of Mardel, which is a Christian bookstore that is an affiliated business with Hobby Lobby. My daughter Darsee Lett is a vice president of Hobby Lobby. Several of my grandchildren also work in our business.
        Another integral part of Hobby Lobby from day one has been our faith. My parents  were both pastors, and all of my siblings are involved in ministry. I felt like somewhat of an outsider going into retail, but I’ve found a way to minister through Hobby Lobby. We have always operated our company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles, including integrity and service to others. We believe wholeheartedly that it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has been successful. Therefore, we seek to honor him in all that we do.
As part of that faith, we care greatly for our employees and their families. That’s why, unlike most major retailers, we are only open 66 hours per week and are closed on Sundays to allow our employees to spend time with their families. For the past four years in a row, we have increased the minimum wage for our full-time employees, and it’s now 80 percent above the national minimum wage.
We also believe in sharing our faith, which is why we purchase full-page ads at Christmas and Easter in newspapers in all the major cities where we operate. We also contribute both time and funds to numerous Christian organizations across the nation and the world. Hobby Lobby has always been a tool for the Lord’s work. For me and my family, charity equals ministry, which equals the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We know that we have been blessed by God’s grace, and we believe it is because we have chosen to live our lives and to operate our business according to His word, and we are very grateful for that.
But now our faith is being challenged by the federal government. The Health and Human Services “preventative services” mandate forces businesses to provide the “morning-after” and the “week-after” pills in our health insurance plans. These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith, and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families. We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.
References:
This is David Green's statement from his legal representive:
An interview with David Green