Theme thought for the week:

"Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help,
but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."
John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1961
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We all so often recall those words from Dickens' great story, but we don't very
often recall his other descriptions of the times of which he wrote. They provide
an amazingly accurate description of the times in which we are living today: "It
was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch
of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything
before us, we had nothing before us..."

England? 1859? He could have been describing America, 2011.

We'll have more to share with you in our regular "What Others Are Saying"
feature, but first there are these remarkably similar evaluations from widely
different sources; first, from Scott Rasmussen, national pollster, "There's a
feeling that the ship is heading in the wrong direction, and there's nobody
in charge." And from New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who is
considered by many to be the Liberals' answer to Ann Coulter, "Fears have
garroted hope, as America reels from the latest humiliating blows on
the economy and in Afghanistan. The president has been spectacularly
unable to fill the leadership void in Washington."

But Dickens' descriptions do not relate only to government. They can
also relate to the present state of moral values in America -- those important
aspects of life that our Founding Fathers spoke of as "virtues." As Christians,
we must also feel serious concern for the Christian church in America.

Dr. Jon Zens, admittedly a "New Covenant" theologian, recently gave his
frank -- and critical -- assessment of the church in America, using these
terms: "... the modern institution is a spectator church" . . . and
"... popular conceptions of 'church' are dangerously limited to coming
to a building, singing, putting some money in a plate, hearing a sermon,
and going home." This is not the Church that Jesus said He was building
(Matt. 16:18), where He spoke of an active, aggressive movement whose
power the gates of hell could not withstand.

Our Founding Fathers constantly stressed the importance of the nation's
leaders demonstrating what they called "virtues" -- which we have come to
call "moral values." Today, as immigrants have come to America, with many
bringing their native religions with them, the Christian portion of our population
has shrunk to 80% -- and yet Mr. Obama, in his first few months in office,
went before a Muslim audience, and assured them that America was no longer
a Christian nation.

He has continued to pander to the Islamists, every year sponsoring a gala
White House celebration of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan -- something
he has never done for America's majority faith. Last week, at his 3rd annual
Itfar dinner, he offered a strange combination of remarks, including the
assertion, "Islam has always been part of our American family, and
Muslim Americans have long contributed to the strength and character
of our country, in all walks of life . . ." For some strange reason (perhaps
a teleprompter mix-up), he then spoke of the 9/11 attack on this country by
Muslims, "In one month, we will mark the 10th anniversary of those awful
attacks that brought so much pain to our hearts." And in that same context
he said, "Make no mistake, Muslim Americans help to keep us safe."

A few further words about the Christian church in America: From overseas,
Sarah Posner, writing in the British "What happened to
American Christianity? It is constantly reimagined, manipulated and
exploited." And in Prophecy News Watch: "Today's new brand of Christianity
has a different gospel and is targeting thousands of the younger generation
with a so-called hip, cool, experiential spirituality." And our long time friend,
and solid, Scripture-focused mega-church minister, Dr. Michael Youssef, warns of
the danger that “Christian” ministers, Jewish Rabbis, and Muslim Imams would
co-lead a service in “Christian” churches around America using a multi-faith liturgy.
And he points out that 70 churches across America have agreed to conduct such a
service, designed to promote “religious tolerance.” And Dr. Youssef adds, "Has
anyone noticed that none of these events are ever held in a Mosque? It is an
anathema to have a Christian minister speak in a Mosque, but they are happy
to occupy the pulpits of hapless Christians in American Christian churches.
Indeed, it is considered a triumph of Islam over the infidels when they occupy
Christian pulpits without opening their Mosques to Christian preachers."
(Note: read Dr. Youssef's blog at:

As usual, to offset the liberal media, here is "What Others Are Saying"

Eugene Delgaudio (Pres. Public Advocate of the United States): "The
Homosexual Lobby has always had as its primary target the most basic
building block of our society: The Family. They cannot tolerate traditional
and time-tested Family Values because they know it leaves no room for
their sexual perversion. The Family has always been America’s greatest
asset, our greatest strength. Any attack on it is an assault on the very
foundation of our nation."

Dr. Michael Evans (Jerusalem Prayer Team): "President Obama has
repeatedly called for Israel to return to the '1967 borders,' but that is a
falsehood -- there are no 1967 borders. What the President's plan would do
in reality is return Israel to the 1949 Armistice lines...The so-called 1967
borders are simply where the armies halted at the end of the previous
attempt by Arabs to commit genocide against Israel ... The City of David
belongs to Israel by every possible right -- historic, military, and most
importantly -- prophetic. Yet now after forty-four years of a united city,
President Obama is pushing as hard as he can to once again divide
Jerusalem and hand it over to Israel's most bitter enemies."

Tony Rubolotto (writing in New Media Journal): "To secure the blessings
of liberty to ourselves and our posterity wasn't a little buzz phrase tacked
into the Constitution for good looks. It's about us and our children."

Jack Marshall (in Ethics Alarms): "Facts are stubborn things, as John
Adams said, and the fact is that the electorate, for good and understandable
reasons, elected an untested young man with great campaigning skills who
had shown no talent for leadership, and, as it turned out, possesses none."

Colbert King (Washington Post columnist): “Is there anyone in the White
House with nerve enough to tell Barack Obama that Martha’s Vineyard is
the last place on earth that the president of the United States should find
himself next week? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t begrudge the chief executive
a little time off from the Oval Office. But to be leaving town to spend 10 days
luxuriating in an affluent, New England summer town when millions of
Americans can’t find work? To fly off to the Vineyard when the public is
losing faith in Washington’s ability to fix the nation’s economic problems,
and with people anxious about their futures? What is he thinking?”

And, of course, there are a few random "Afterthoughts" . . .

First, don't forget there are 447 days until Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012; 447
days to pray for our country and for God's direction as we vote to reclaim it!

Sometimes you almost feel sorry for President Obama. He goes out on a
cross-country re-election campaign bus tour with a Gallup poll showing his national
performance approval rating at its lowest ever -- below 40% at 39% -- and the
daily Rasmussen tracking rating at -23 -- which is the lowest rating he has ever
scored -- a drop from +30, the day after his inauguration. Plus, a new Washington
Post poll finds that 70% of Americans either believe that Obama has "tried but
failed" to solve the country's major problems, or has actually made them worse.
A Rasmussen poll finds 54% of the public want Obamacare to be repealed, with
46% believing it will be. The decision of the 11th Circuit appeals court that the
mandated personal coverage requirement is unconstitutional didn't offer any
endorsement for the Obama premiere legislative accomplishment. And by way of
summary, Rasmussen Reports offered this thumb-nail sketch: "We lack confidence
in the economy, government, elections, the president, Congress, both political
parties, even our military missions abroad, with little hope in sight."

Addressing the riots raging across England, Prime Minister David Cameron
pledged to deliver a raft of new policies by October aimed at reversing the "slow-
motion moral collapse" which he blames for fostering the disorder. In announcing
his new program, the Prime Minister used these terms in describing the nation's
moral breakdown: "Children without fathers. Schools without discipline.
Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without
responsibilities. Communities without control." (Sounds like he has been
closely observing America.)

An interesting "religious" view of President Obama's performance. A newly
released survey conducted by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, revealed that 80% of
Muslim Americans approve of the way Barack Obama is performing as president.
The other religious opinions follow: 65% of Jewish Americans approve; 60% of
atheists and agnostics; 50% of Catholics; 37% of Protestants and 25% of Mormons
also approve.

We are always willing to correct errors if and when we make them. In last
week's issue we used the word "baffling" to describe the Obama foreign policy.
That word was, at best, too mild a term. A far more appropriate term would be
"disastrous." After Mr. Obama's capitulating relationship with Russia's leaders,
their recent harsh words about us have not resonated well in Washington. Prime
Minister Putin called the United States a "parasite on the body of the global
economy," and Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's missile defense representative at NATO,
claimed that U.S. Senators had told him our missile defense is aimed at Russia. But
this situation has gone past mere words; Russia is now threatening to cease any
cooperation with us over Afghanistan, Iran, Libya and North Korea.

So often our Founding Fathers' quotes are applicable to the present time.
Tony Rubolotto (whom we quoted earlier) commented on the wisdom of our
Founding Fathers: "No nation, save ancient Israel, has been so gifted by the
scholarship, experience, morality and wisdom of our Founders."

"History by apprising citizens of the past will enable them to judge of the
future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations;
it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable
them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it,
to defeat its views." --Thomas Jefferson, 1781

" It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public
good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object
to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other
value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object."
--James Madison, 1788

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