Friday, March 21, 2008

Bible passages for Easter weekend

Romans 5:6-11
6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

1 Peter 1:3-12
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Christianity, the Constitution, and Capitalism

As our nation stands at the political crossroads of the 2008 election and a looming economic crisis, it is a good time to examine the bedrock principles upon which our country was founded and gather from them guidance for the future.

The three pillars which have supported our country from the beginning are Christianity, capitalism, and the Constitution, with Christianity being the center pillar that strengthened the other two.

In order to govern men (we'll use "men" in the Biblical sense of "all mankind") the political structure must be based on an understanding of the true nature of man and govern accordingly. Only the Christian faith declares the true nature of man to be fallen in sin and in need of salvation.

The structure of society, primarily the family and government, was ordained by God to curb that fallen nature through the discipline, education, and the threat and imposition of punishment, ranging from the rebuke of a loving parent to the deadly force of lawful authority.

The founding fathers were devout men of different denominations who held in common the basic precepts of the Christian faith. In declaring our independence from Britain and in the writing of our Constitution, they incorporated the truths found in Christianity to form the more perfect union. They recognized that the natural rights of all men, regardless of race or creed, were granted by God and that it was the obligation and duty of government to protect those rights.

Understanding that the government is as weak and imperfect as the men who run it, they incorporated into the Constitution the means of restraining and dividing federal power, protected the citizenry by empowering them to choose and replace their elected officials, and ensured through the Bill of Rights that they would have the means to expose and overthrow the government if it became tyrannical and broke faith with the people it governed.

Our capitalistic free-market system of economics also owes it's success to the Christian world-view.

All men inherently try to get the most they can with the least expenditure of work possible. Capitalism takes advantage of these two weaknesses, greed and sloth, to create a competition based economy that rewards hard work and diligence and punishes laziness.

People who want more "stuff" and discipline themselves to work hard and provide more or better products and services are rewarded with capital, while persons who have less or no ambition and are not willing to expend themselves in hard labor are punished with lower wages and a lower standard of living. Since a free-market capitalistic economy is not a zero-sum game, there is ample economic opportunity for everyone who is willing to do the hard work necessary to succeed. This opportunity has encouraged millions of people to leave their homeland and emigrate to the United States, bringing with them their desire to work and flourish as individuals and families.

In short, capitalism is the perfect economic system for imperfect men.

As time has gone on, however, all three pillars of our nation have been attacked and eroded by liberalism and secularism.

The family, which has been the stabilizing force throughout human history, is being attacked by the nanny-state Federal government, abortionists, and gay rights activists. As "separation of church and state" and Marxism maliciously found it's way into our government structure, the government began infringing on our God-given rights and replaced individualism and industriousness with entitlement programs and restrictions on freedom of speech, religion, and the right to bear arms.

Government regulation, excessive taxation, and environmental socialism has burdened our free-market capitalism to the point that we now are a quasi-fascist state. Hard work, diligence and achievement are punished while over half our population (that either can't or won't provide for themselves), is now supported by the minority through government hand-outs.

A society that ignores and impugns truth cannot survive indefinitely. As communist Russia collapsed of it's own immorality, so too will America collapse as it continues to replace God with State and disregard the values that made this country the greatest enterprise in freedom and liberty known to man.