November 23, 2011 of our 9th consecutive year of publication, and on this
Thanksgiving Day eve, to all our American readers: May you have a blessed,
thanks filled Thanksgiving Day, as we express our gratitude to God for His
continued goodness toward us.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A thought for today, for this week, and for the weeks to come:
"All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
19th century American philosopher, essayist and poet
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA ARE NOW BEING FACED WITH A
NEW TREND: "CHRISTLESS CHRISTIANITY." SOON WE
CAN EXPECT TO FACE A "CHRISTLESS CHRISTMAS"
We receive quite a few comments from our readers in which they ask why we so
often provide quotes from our nation's Founding Fathers expressing their views
as they developed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and
created this new nation: the United States of America.
The answer is brief and simple: we do not want anyone to think that this nation
began with Barack Obama, or with his promise which he made on October 30,
2008 on the eve of the election when he said "We are five days away from
fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
That promise, of course, followed by a few months, his speech in June, 1988,
in Minnesota when he accepted the nomination as a presidential candidate:
"This was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and
good jobs for the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans
began to slow and the planet began to heal." That was perhaps the first
evidence of his messianic complex, which led to him being considered by some
of his followers as "the anointed one."
Most of his promised changes have been in the areas of economics, politics, and
military actions. It is difficult to conceive of even one of those changes which has
been for the better. But a few changes have been in the area of religious matters,
and this is where the most dramatic change from what the Founding Fathers
intended can be seen.
Our Founding Fathers in so many statements emphasized that the leaders of our
government should be men of high morals and of virtue. Those were their words,
used again and again. In 1770, John Adams, our second president, spoke of the
new nation in these words, "this perfect plan of divine and moral government."
This was always the view of the men who created this nation -- a government
based on Judeo-Christian principles, led by men of virtue and high morals.
About halfway, time-wise, from those founding days, to the present, in 1898 Dr.
Charles B. Galloway delivered a series of lectures at what is now Emory University
in Atlanta, titled Christianity and the American Commonwealth. This was his
premise: "Christian teachings were the seed-thoughts of our political
constitution, and Christian evangelism was the inspiration of American
colonization. If we eliminate from our national history the direct and all-
powerful influence of the Christian religion, we have nothing left but a set
of disjointed facts without significance."
But that was prior to Mr. Obama's declarations in 2006 and 2007 that America
was no longer a Christian nation. In 2009, during his visit to Muslim countries as
the American president, he had refined his pronouncement to these words: "We
do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim
nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals
and a set of values."
That is, by any standard, a strangely constructed statement. America has a
population which is approximately 80% Christian, 1.8% Jewish, and only 0.6%
Muslim. (ARIS Survey, 2008) Anywhere else in the world, given population
percentages of those dimensions, it would merit the designation that this is
a "Christian nation," and one would have to wonder why ethnic groups of such
small percentages should be included in defining what America is.
But beyond that obvious inaccuracy, it must be noted that this denial of America's
Christian nature is the first such denial expressed by any president in more than
200 years. And his definition is at odds with the "under God" statement in the
Pledge of Allegiance, by reducing our dependence on God to our being united by
"ideals and a set of values."
And that brings us to the new opposition of "Christless Christianity."
This is not the time or place for a lengthy discussion of Christian church history in
America. In the mid-20th century Christian theology in America was treated by
4 different schools of thought: Fundamentalist, Conservative, Liberal and
Modernist. Then in that period the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE)
was formed, and the term "Evangelical" came into being, and was applied to the
great central area of the Left to Right (Modernist to Fundamentalist) span of
Then the concept of the "Progressive" approach which has been so damaging to
the interpretation of our Constitution began to be applied to theological thinking --
and has been equally damaging. Rather than stick to the Conservative Evangelical
approach, with adherence to the Scriptures, a new class of Christian spokesmen
emerged, labeling themselves, "liberal Evangelicals" -- a classic "oxymoron," if ever
there was one. That distinction has been morphed into the slightly more accurate
term, "religious Left." And through all these "progressive" attacks on traditional
Christian beliefs, the "Conservatives" and "Evangelicals" have persevered as one.
In recent days, Dr. Michael Horton, professor of theology and apologetics at
Westminster Seminary in California, in his book, Christless Christianity, has
alerted the American Christian church to an alarming attack on the traditional
Christian faith. The current trend within many of our churches is to push aside
Christ and the Christ centered gospel for a message which Horton describes as
"trivial, sentimental, and irrelevant." This alternative "gospel" is a message of
moralism, personal comfort, self-help, self-improvement, and individualistic religion.
Dr. Horton names some prominent Christian leaders as proponents of this new
religion -- for example, Joel Osteen and his type who preach that all you have to
do to live the good life is to follow God and be a good person. Or Emergent church
spokespersons like Jim Wallis and Rick Warren who preach that churches should
take up where Jesus left off. He refers to this as "deed without creed." And as for
the "What would Jesus do?" crowd, he advocates knowing "What Jesus has done."
Dr.Horton's warning is timely, and should alert believers to a major problem within
the American church where the focus has become more on moralistic concerns,
and personal transformation than on the theology of the cross -- a confrontation
which the great Reformers, Calvin and Luther, faced hundreds of years ago.
And as we approach the Christmas season, or Advent, in liturgical terms,
we already know what to expect. Some retail stores will not make any mention
of "Christmas," but will use the term "holiday" . . . the ACLU will see to it that
Nativity scenes are not displayed in any public buildings, or on public property . . .
some schools will forbid any such things as Christmas trees or Christmas carols.
But we have already become accustomed to this trend toward a "Christless
Christmas." Last week a very relevant incident took place.
The Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston, SC, created a firestorm of yuletide
controversy when they forbid a volunteer from dressing as Santa Claus . After just
two days they relented, and allowed Santa, but insisted they wanted to tone down
any religious aspects of Christmas -- and being very specific, said "No Nativity
scenes." It's hard to understand not allowing any religious aspects of Christmas.
What is Christmas, anyway? Isn't it the observance of the birth of Jesus Christ?
Or at least it used to be. Get ready for a soon coming "Christless Christmas."
Reflecting on Obama's "a nation bound by ideals and a set of values,"
Monte Kuligowski, an attorney who writes on topics of faith, culture and law,
made this assessment: "You will notice that Obama, throughout the economic
catastrophe, as he calls it, has not led the country in a single prayer to God,
asking for His kind assistance. In former times, even a Deist was not
ashamed to petition God for help in time of need. Indeed, a certain Deist
suggested to the Christian men gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 that
prayers be offered at the Constitutional Convention -- and, surprise, he
even quoted the Bible to support his request. Obama doesn't need to appeal
to some Christian God, after all, 'We are a nation of citizens who are bound
by ideals and a set of values.' We wouldn't expect those of the Religious Left
to literally believe that Almighty God is actually there, now would we?"
Reading Kuligowski's comment, we were reminded that the Continental Congress,
on Mar. 16, 1776, in a time of great need, issued a proclamation setting aside May
17, 1776, as the Second National Day of Prayer, "that we may, with united
hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by a
sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure,
and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and
forgiveness." But that was way back when our Founding Fathers were creating a
And speaking of prayer, remember our prayer count-down to Nov. 6, 2012.
Begun on Mar. 30 of this year, there are now 349 days remaining until Election
Day, Nov. 6, 2012 . . . 349 days to pray for our nation, for wisdom for our
leaders, and for God's guidance as we go to the polls and vote to restore America
to being the nation it was always intended to be. And never forget our fellow
Christian believers all over the world who continue to face persecution and loss of
life because of their faith.
We often refer to the biased, and therefore unreliable coverage of current
events by the media -- thus we provide: "What Others Are Saying."
Here is a very sobering thought . . .
Heritage Foundation: "China has increased its defense budget by double
digits every year for the last 20 years. Just as China seems to be gearing up
for some undefined enterprise, the U.S. is winding down its defense budget
at a similarly rapid pace."
And across the world from Asia to the Middle-East . . .
Dr. Mike Evans (the Jerusalem Prayer Team): "The drums of war
continue to beat loudly across the Middle East. Not just Israel but the
Sunni Arab Gulf States like Saudi Arabia are at risk from Iran’s nuclear
weapons program. One analyst looking at the situation noted that 'all the
elements for destruction' are in place. The mistrust and hatred between
nations in the region could result in an outbreak of widespread violence
greater than anything seen since the end of World War II. But despite the
threat of regional war, there is no doubt that Israel remains firmly in the
cross hairs as ground zero for future attacks."
With reference to the "Super Committee's" debacle . . .
Jack Marshall (writing in Ethics Alarms): "For those of you who have
wondered how Greece and Italy could reach their current miserable status
when the fiscal disaster now facing them was obvious years ago, the
answer is plain. They tolerated a fatal combination of selfish interest
groups, pampered and lazy voters, and elected leaders who distorted,
dithered and ducked their duties, until it was too late. And that is exactly
what is happening here."
Jack Kinsella: (in Jan Markell's Understanding the Times): "The Religious
Left has teamed up with the National Council of Churches AND the National
Association of Evangelicals to help push the Sojourner's socialist gospel ...
What is the 'religious Left?' In a nutshell, the religious Left is what is left
behind after the Holy Spirit has left the building. Case in point would be the
'Reverend' Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners. The masthead at the Sojourners
Web site reveals why I never paid much attention to the group: 'Celebrating
40 years of Faith in Action for Social Justice.'"
Human Events: "The mainstream media and numerous books strike a
common theme: 'True' Islam — as opposed to the terrorist's 'extremist'
version — promotes peace, justice, freedom, and tolerance. The problem
with this argument is that it is false and, therefore, dangerous, since it
blinds us to the true nature of the enemy we face."
Just a few "One Liners" to brighten the day . . .
"America needs 'leadership' and a 'Commander-in-Chief' and not a
'Campaigner-in-Chief.'" -- Congressman Allen West (R, FL)
"The difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter
of time." -- Ayn Rand
"The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones
of taxation and inflation." -- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
And, as usual, we include a few "Afterthoughts," selected at random:
The success [?] of the Obama/Clinton supported "democracy" in Egypt.
Just months ago America supported and endorsed the cries of protesters calling
for democratic reform, and the ouster of our long time friend -- and friend of
Israel -- Hosni Mubarak. What our president and State department didn't
understand was that they were supporting mob rule. Since then the Christians in
Egypt have come under attack . . . for the past several days those same mobs
have been rioting in the same spot as previously, Tahrir Square. Dozens have
been killed. Perhaps as many as 2,000 injured . . . the replacement government
stepping down . . . the Muslim Brotherhood standing ready to take over . . . and
the first of the proposed elections supposedly to begin next week. And this
footnote: The United States, which gives Egypt's military $1.3 billion a year in aid,
called for an end to the "deplorable" violence in Egypt. That should solve it all!
We have been impressed by the promotion of a new DVD, A Nation Adrift.
We have not seen, nor do we endorse this DVD, but the advertising material is very
well expressed. "This is the true story of how God's sovereign hand guided the
founders of America. It takes you on a journey: from Christopher Columbus
to Jamestown; Valley Forge to the Constitutional Convention; the Civil War
to the Stock Market Crash; FDR to the present. The result of the journey will
give us a better understanding of where America is today, how she arrived
here, and where she must turn at this critical hour. As Thomas Jefferson once
asked, "Can the liberties of a nation be secure, when we have removed the
conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?"
President Obama has done it again! After specifically banning any public
appearance wearing a traditional Hawaiian shirt during his recent visit to his official
place of birth, he got back into the "silly presidential fashion" mode while visiting
the Muslim nation where he grew up, and appeared with President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono in the resort island of Bali, wearing a traditional Indonesian shirt.
Some wise words of counsel from our Founding Fathers on current issues:
"Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom
which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent
posterity have a right to receive from us." --Thomas Jefferson, 1775
"The Constitution ought to be the standard of construction for the laws,
and wherever there is an evident opposition, the laws ought to give place
to the Constitution." -- Alexander Hamilton, 1788
"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in
human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." -- James Madison, 1829
And this final personal note from the Senior Editor:
Now that you have read this week's issue, you might like to share in the costs of
this publication -- not a large donation, but something as small as $1 per month
. . . not as a subscription, but as an expression of appreciation, and a willingness
to help. Just click HERE for the "Support" information. Your gift will mean a lot!