Ben’s Blog

2014-08-02 Answers & Gratitude

August 3rd, 2014 | Comments Off |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


August 2, 2014

This is a letter to our friends -

Answers & Gratitude

Are you still writing your blog posts? How is your health? What is going on?

Cards, e-mails, phone calls and prayers have poured in. I have been overwhelmed with love and tender care. This is the first day I have been able to compose an answer. My goal – Give answers and express truly humbling and heart-felt gratitude. God is good!

On July 8th, I had surgery to repair an aortic aneurism. The aorta is the big artery that carries fresh blood from the heart to the groin, where it forms a “Y” and delivers fresh blood to both legs. An aneurism is like a “mouse” that forms on the wall of the aorta. If it balloons and pops, it is usually fatal. There are no symptoms.

Five years ago, by accident, we discovered an aortic aneurism just “north” of the “Y”. Each year we monitored it for growth. This year it grew. The procedure is to place a “Y” shaped “stent” into the artery to relieve the pressure. Not an uncommon procedure, but major surgery.

Four nights in the hospital and a week at home was better each day. Then the recovery direction seemed to reverse. I was weaker each day. Back pain kept me awake. My appetite decreased with my stamina.

Blood tests confirmed I am anemic. Normally that is caused by internal bleeding – yet – CT scans and other tests failed to show the source. Yesterday I added iron capsules to help rebuild the blood (and thus – stamina). We will monitor tests next Monday and following.

That is the physical report. Yesterday, my dear friend, pastor Mark Dahlin (Living Hope Church), came by and used some olive oil from Jerusalem to anoint and pray for me. Fran and I sensed a spiritual breakthrough. Today I am much better than yesterday. I have not been able to compose text before today.

Enough about me – During these “valley times” I have had hours to listen and pray. I am looking forward to sharing what the Lord has given me to post in this blog as strength returns.

Our “Prime Timers 50+” Sunday school class roster has been added to my blog list for just this one time. I think of these dear friends as extended family. If any wish to be added to the blog list, please e-mail me and ask-on.

For now – Continued prayer is appreciated.

2014-07-07 Online Courses

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ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


July 7, 2014

This is a letter to our friends -

Ben, can you copy and paste or forward this to anyone you know who might be interested? Mary

I suggest forwarding this ad to interested parties. Ben

Latin in the Christian Trivium

Our classes are available for fall enrollment at this time. Besides Latin, we also offer an excellent course called Principles of American Government, taught by Mr. Ben Gilmore, of ACH Study Groups.

Mr. Gilmore, whose papers have had nationwide distribution, is rated as a “Master Principle Approach Teacher” by the Foundation of American Christian Education (FACE). His online course, “Principles of American Government” presents the history and principles that inspired America’s founders. These ideas will be vital to adults and teens in rebuilding and restoring America’s ship-of-state.

As you can see, this is a fun group of teachers, and their students all score very high grades

on standardized tests, most recently a perfect score on the SAT Latin Subject test. Contact whichever teacher you like and you will get all the details.

Miss Mary Joy Johnson

Latin III, IV, and AP

Mr. Jack Evert
Latin II and III
Mrs. Fran Gilmore
Latin I and II

2014-07-01 Patriot Pastors & Liberty Churches

July 1st, 2014 | Comments Off |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


July 1, 2014

This is a letter to our friends -

Patriot Pulpits & Liberty Churches

I came across the term, “Patriot Pulpits & Liberty Churches” in an article by Rev. Chuck Baldwin (Google it). He referenced a long string of colonial pastors whose sermons are easily available for reading. Chuck identified his messages with theirs and mused that in today’s church culture they would seem strange or even unbiblical.

Recently there has been yet another charge of apostasy against John Locke, whose biblical logic and reasoning had a great influence upon colonial pastors and thus upon their flocks. It has been my privilege to defend Locke in one of those dialogs. In doing so, it appears to me that some of the “typical American church” is less interested in defending the faith than it is in defending the church doctrine!

According to Isaiah, God said, “Come let us reason together.” Thus, God is reasonable. If a church doctrine appears unreasonable, either the doctrine is false, or the reasoning is wrong. The fact remains that the American church is not taking a lead in defending Christian liberty or even teaching about it.

Many times I come across church goers who quote Romans 13:1, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” And similar verses: Titus 3:1, 1st Peter 2:13-14, 1 Timothy 2:1-2.

I respond that nothing in creation is without a set of laws to govern it. Within those limits is peace and growth. Outside those limits is chaos and degradation.

Take King David in the Old Testament (2nd Samuel): God made David king. All the set of kingly laws and authority were granted to King David by God. It was within David’s authority to send for Bathsheba, his married neighbor. Bathsheba came to the king’s office as she rightly should. When King David propositioned Bathsheba, he had stepped outside the authority God had granted him. Bathsheba would have been within her rights to decline.

American officials have no authority outside the limits God places upon their authority. Their authority may be further limited by the limits we place upon their authority before hiring them. Where are the Patriot Pastors and Liberty Churches teaching this today?

Recently I posted a piece encouraging churches to invite candidates to attend a worship service then be introduced to the congregation. One very dear (and honest!) friend responded with a string of reasons for inaction. I suspect she speaks for over half of the churchgoers who read the post:

- “Most of those I know are Democrats.”

- “[The professional group] don’t discuss politics, religion, and barely anything else except themselves.”

- “Many of them are single, or have no children and are much more secretive about their personal lives.”

- “As far as the people at church … most things are involved w/ church activities and political issues aren’t discussed.”

- “[I] do know a few who are Republicans, but not that many, and don’t want to ‘rock the boat’ by bringing up stuff that will start an argument.”

When the godless government troops come to shut down and burn the Patriot Pastors in Liberty Churches, will you fear to ‘rock the boat’? Will you be ashamed that you and your church were not on the godless government’s list?

2014-06-28 A message to America’s churches

June 28th, 2014 | Comments Off |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


June 28, 2014

This is a letter to our friends -

A message to America’s churches

Pastors & Laymen

God ordained civil-governments and established rules for governing them. We are blessed with a Christian, constitutional republic founded upon Christian self-government. America is not “Christian” because it was formed by Christians. America is Christian because it has a Christian form.

For the most part, the primary elections indicate that the sleeping giant is stirring, yet half or more of America’s church goers fail to participate by voting. “Choose you this day, whom you will serve” applies to more than the Lord Jesus. God has placed you in a civil society and has providentially given you the responsibility of electing that society’s leaders.

A political fact of life – The summer months following the primaries represent political doldrums. Candidates for the November ballot are now chosen in most cases. Each of them is hungry to get his message out, but things will not heat up until Labor Day. Then it will be a mad scramble to do what should have been going on all summer!

I believe every American church should be sending a letter to every candidate wanting votes from their members. Invite them to give their card to an usher at the start of any worship service. At the end of the service, invite them forward to introduce themselves and answer a few questions.

Many candidates will self-select by shunning such an invitation out of fear. Others will boldly attempt a phony bluff. A discerning church member will recognize it. The congregation and their friends will be better informed.

There are 16 weekends until election. An enterprising candidate will benefit spiritually and politically by participating in 16 worship services. That should serve to make him a better public servant!

Such a project costs nothing but a trip to the county registrar of voters for a mailing list of candidates and the postage. The return on that investment could be very significant.

I suggest one of the questions that should be asked: “What role do you believe the Bible should play in the decisions you will have to make?

2014-06-20 Peeling the onion

June 20th, 2014 | Comments Off |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


June 20, 2014

This is a letter to our friends -

Peeling the onion

The online “Principles of American Government” (PAG) course is now in its 3rd week. I wish this course were compulsory for every political activist, parent, and high school student! We study the principles that inspired America’s founders. What is it that prompted them to stand and face down the (then) world’s mightiest military force and its civil government? What did they understand? What did they believe. What was the foundation they had that our generation doesn’t understand or has forgotten?

The next PAG course begins on Monday, September 8, 2014. Student comments and course syllabus may be found on the ACH web site (see letterhead). Please phone or e-mail me for further information.

PAG students learn to “peel the onion.” That is, pull back all the layers of a thing until reaching its fundamental parts.

For example: To “govern” is to direct, regulate, control, or restrain. Thus, we may govern ourselves, our families, our church, and our civil government. Family, church and state (civil government) make up the structure of every human society. The family is the building block of a society. Every society has a corporate understanding of a “higher power” they treat as god (little “g” as used here). The vertical relationship between families and god, or God (as the case may be), we call “church.” The horizontal relationship between families and families, we call “state.”

I have found the Bible to be the most proven and reliable source for the rules by which things are governed.

Family, church, and state are the only human organizations I find in the Bible, which God ordained, and through which He works. Christ summed up the whole Bible with the simple command – Love God and love others (“vertical” and “horizontal” relationship).

Reason tells us there are only three fundamental ways to govern a human organization: Rule of one; Rule of a few; Rule of many. There are no other ways. Every human organization is ruled by some combination of these three elements. It is a rare exception, for an organization to be ruled by only one form, exclusively.

The names we assign to these forms: Rule of one – “monarchy”; Rule of a few – “aristocracy”; Rule of many – “democracy”. I find all three forma in the Bible. Each form has its assets and its liabilities. For example, a monarch can get things done without having to get agreement from anyone else. On the other hand, such unlimited power easily corrupts. The other two forms may also become corrupted.

An unlawful monarchy is called a “tyranny.

An unlawful aristocracy is called an “oligarchy.

An unlawful democracy is called an “anarchy.”

America’s founders tried to highlight the strengths of each form and limit the faults of each form. Thus we have “checks and balances” between the Executive (one); Judicial (few), Legislative (many) departments of our government.

Another fundamental principle, illustrated through human history: The corporate vertical relationship between a society and its god (or God) will always determine is horizontal relationship – that is – its form of civil government. Never the other way around.

What follows is a timely quotation is from Verna Hall (1960) in the Preface of the book she compiled and that we use as a PAG text book.

“In proportion as Americans let go of faith in the absolute power of God, they have accepted the belief in an all powerful State. This is true of peoples or nations, for their idea of God determines the form of their civil, political, religious and social institutions. Communism and socialism are anti-God and anti-Christian; the battle against communism and socialism never was, and is not now, just economic and political; it is religious. Shall Christianity be taken captive?”

2014-06-13 Update – Dr Steve Long

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ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


June 13, 2014

This is a letter to our friends -

Update – Dr. Steve Long

International Students Christian Outreach – Stanford

A while back – This blog requested prater for Steve Long in Thailand. He and his wife, Vicky, are finally home. Thank you for your prayers.

Hi and thank you for your prayers and support.

June 10th We arrived at SFO at 4pm. Took 2 hours with wheelchair assistance to clear customs. SFO had a flood of people with many planes landing at a similar time. Peter, John and Becky waited patiently to pick us up. Our cell phones were not working so they did not know why it was taking so long. Finally we were reunited at 6pm. We had a celebration dinner at a restaurant, then back home. I was wonderful to be with our sons and to hear about Peter and John’s end of school year. It felt so good to be in our own beds again.

June 11th we were getting unpacked and reorganized. Also taking naps – we were so tired!!! Time for food shopping while Steve slept.

June 12th we went to the VA Hospital to meet with our primary care doctor. The medications were reviewed along with the hospital report. We got USA meds, a chest x-ray, and blood test. Next time will be with the cardiologist for further assessment.

So, thank you again for your prayers. Steve is a miracle. He was dead 9 times, and now he is alive. Nothing is impossible with God. We look forward to seeing you soon. Praying for God’s direction and guidance – Steve is a new man. God has also given him a new message and anointing.

Blessings and love,

Steve and Vicky

2014-06-08 Cicero was wrong

June 9th, 2014 | Comments Off |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


June 8, 2014

This is a letter to our friends -

Cicero was wrong!

Cicero’s words sound very reasonable today do they not! I know of no single area of American culture that has not degraded under Obama’s administration. Our President appears to have taken every opportunity to give aide and comfort to America’s enemies, foreign and domestic. I believe that is called “treason”.

On the other hand, in Cicero’s time Christ had not come to change everything.

“A knowledge of our American history is so important to Americans that without it we act like a nation which has lost its memory. A knowledge of America’s Christian History not only restores our national memory but it provides us with the purpose for which America was established.

“Historians who wrote close to the period of our founding were convinced that God reserved this continent and held it in readiness for that time when mankind was ready to accept to the fullest the opportunity and the responsibility for extending Christian liberty to every sphere of life.

“No other nation in the Christian era has had such a unique establishment as America. No other nation has consciously and purposely based its institutions upon Christian Biblical principles. There would be no America if there were no Christianity.[1]” [emphasis is mine]

Christ summed up the entire biblical message – love God and love others. Human history records God’s hand in teaching men to love Him then to love one another. We are slow learners!

Rosalie Slater’s article (above) focuses upon the great providential as well as human effort that has been invested in America to illustrate that men are indeed capable of self-government with God’s help. If that is not true, then Christ died in vain.

Individuals, families, churches, and civil-governments that try to govern themselves without the help of God are destined to fail.

Were God’s hand not at work, America’s civil government would long since have failed. I believe Christian prayers of intercession, asking for mercy rather than justice, are the reason justice has been delayed. If America collapses, as she deserves, the world will say, “Christian ideas of self-government do not work.” God’s efforts in America will seem to have failed. Cocero will appear to be right, we cannot survive treason.

Darkness and hopelessness will shroud the globe. On the other hand – If “We the people” somehow, with God’s help, manage to set our ship of state right again, the whole world will rejoice and God will be honored across the globe.

If Christ appears beside me today, I want Him to find me optimistic that America’s restoration is at hand. I want to be found working toward that goal. Lord, show us your loving mercy and your glory!

2014-05-30 First class mail

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ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


June 3, 2014

This is a letter to our friends -

Homosex and peace

How would you react to members of a wife-beaters, bank robbers, or child molesters group who seek to convince you that what they are doing is normal and acceptable?

On what grounds would you base your decision? “Well, that’s an easy one,” you say, “wife-beating, bank robbing, and child molesting is just wrong!” The other guy disagrees. Who is right?

Let’s say the child molesters persuade civil-authorities to pass laws that make molestation legal. Does that make it right? Who decides?

Nothing exists without a set of laws to govern it. Atoms and molecules, galaxies and planets, rocks and dirt are governed by laws of physics. Plants are governed by laws of photosynthesis. Animals are governed by laws of instinct. Humans have the unique attribute of choice. There are laws that govern choices.

In every case I know, when any of these laws are broken the result is chaos. Where did these laws come from and what gives them authority?

Fools pretend that they believe there is no intelligent designer (God) and it all happened by random chance, without intelligence. The rest of us acknowledge God and recognize that He set up the laws of nature.

Sir William Blackstone, “father of the legal profession” [1723 – 1780] discusses law in his book, “Commentaries”:

“This law of nature …directed by God Himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. … No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them (i.e. human laws) as are valid derive all their force, … from this original. But in order to apply this, … it is still necessary to have recourse to human reason … And if our reason were always … clear and perfect … the task would be pleasant and easy; we should need no other guide but this. But every man now finds … that his reason is corrupt, and his understanding full of ignorance and error.

“Revealed law. – This has given … occasion for the interposition (i.e. intervention) of divine providence; which, in compassion to the …blindness of human reason, hath been pleased to …discover (i.e. uncover) … its laws by … direct revelation. The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures.”

Thus: “The laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” [America’s Declaration of Independence]

It is becoming “politically correct” to accept homosexuality in our society. If that is acceptable, why not accept wife-beaters, bank robbers, and child molesters in the same way? Soon, nothing will be wrong and homosexuals, wife-beaters, bank robbers, and molesters (see Romans chapter #1 for an extended list) will dominate our society. There must be a standard.

Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, which cannot be repealed (!) will be broken. Our society will be in chaos.

If we desire the peace and liberty that goes with a “law abiding” society, we have no choice but to stand and say, “It is destructive to violate the ‘Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.’ Homosexual activities are wrong.” Else others are deceived.

If someone says, “I do not accept biblical authority.”

I respond, “We must be governed by some set of laws. It would be foolish not to seek out the best. I will agree in advance to accept a greater, more proven and reliable set of laws. What have you to offer?”

2014-05-23 Unity of the Spirit

May 23rd, 2014 | Comments Off |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


May 23, 2014

This is a letter to our friends -

Unity of the Spirit

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy if the vocation

wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one

another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

[Ephesians 4:1-3]

I received a response to my last blog post, “For your pastor”. The blog suggesting that churches invite candidates wishing the votes of their members to attend any Sunday worship service, then be invited forward to introduce themselves, answer a few questions, and ask for support.

It is my view that the church administration would be serving to educate its members as well as extend its positive influence into the local society. Here is the response I mentioned.

Sorry, but I don’t agree this should happen in the church. I don’t want to hear about elections, whose running, etc. in the pulpit. I think we need to be accountable citizens and look into this on our own. It is our reasonability as voters, and not have people try to sway us to their way of voting. I judge my voting by the Bible, and how the person responds to Godly teachings. When I’m in church on Sunday, and want to hear about my Lord, and his word.

This is a view I am sure is shared by many American church goers. Let us forebear one another and endeavor to find unity.

We agree: – We should be accountable citizens; — We should make our choices and judge character, according to Bible principles; — Sunday messages should focus upon the Lord and His word.

Before discussing differences, it is always best to meet on points of agreement. Then endeavor to expand that unity. Think of it as meeting in the middle of a love bridge.

The Bible has much to say about, “love thy neighbor” [Lev 19:18, Mat 19:19, Mat 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Rom 13:9, Gal 5:14, James 2:8] Christ summed up the whole Old and New Testament in the simple statement, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.” [Luke 10:27]

“Love God and love others.” Pretty simple instructions. To “love” is to be unselfish. (See John 3:16). Vertical (love God) and horizontal (love others).

In the Bible, God created and deals through only three human organizations: Family; Church; State (civil-government). “Family” is the building block of any society. “Church” is the vertical relationship between families and God. “State” is the horizontal relationship between families and families.

The Bible gives us rules for governing (i.e. directing, regulating, controlling, restraining) all three of these human organizations. As a matter of fact, I know of nothing God created that is not governed by a set of laws. The “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.

Dr. Jedidiah Morse* describes just such a time in our own history in the following excerpt from an Election Sermon delivered in Charlestown, April 25, 1799, from the Bible text, If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3). Our dangers are of two kinds, those which affect our religion, and those which affect our government. They are, however, so closely allied that they cannot, with propriety, be separated. The foundations which support the interests of Christianity, are also necessary to support a free and equal government like our own. In all those countries where there is little or no religion, or a very gross and corrupt one, as in Mahometan and Pagan countries, there you will find, with scarcely a single exception, arbitrary and tyrannical governments, gross ignorance and wickedness, and deplorable wretchedness among the people.

To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. I hold this to be a truth confirmed by experience. If so, it follows, that all efforts made to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them..[1]

2014-05-22 For your pastor

May 22nd, 2014 | Comments Off |  Email This Post Email This Post

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


May 22, 2014

This is a letter to our friends -

For your pastor

Please consider giving a copy of this paper to your pastor – But First – have an attitude check!

“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?” [Romans 14:4] God’s shepherds carry an awesome responsibility for the condition of their flock. One day, they must stand all alone at the Lord’s judgment seat and answer for their role as shepherd. Shepherds need our help and encouragement – NOT – criticism and judgment!

Colonial pastors routinely preached “Election Sermons.” Candidates and elected officials would be placed on the front pew and listen to the pastor bring a biblical message outlining the responsibilities and limitations of their office.

Such sermons were printed and published. Today, it is not hard to find copies of election sermons in colonial archives. However; American churches in today’s American culture have little influence, direct or even indirect, with civil-government. There should be no question, that needs correcting.

It appears to me that shepherds have two sorts of problems in “leading.”

· How can they “lead” if the flock does not choose to follow?

· When the flock is already moving, they must rush to the front to be the “leader”.

Many sheep have chosen to shun knowledge and understanding of civil matters. Thus – They choose not to register and vote. I suggest the following solution – -

The county Registrar of Voters can supply the names and addresses of every candidate on the ballot for the church’s address. Issue an open invitation to each one of them, on Church Letterhead: “Introduce yourself to an usher at any Sunday worship service. At the close of the service, you will be invited forward to introduce yourself and ask for support from our members.

Between the Primary and the November election, nominees are desperate for exposure to voters. Many will happily accept such an invitation. They will benefit from a good sermon (!) and the exposure – (Which will include a few questions regarding their and position on issues of interest to the people).

More significantly, seeds of understanding will be planted in the flock. Suppose a few – or even many – churches in an area, did the same thing! Even the smallest congregations will meet those wanting their votes. There is no formal endorsement of any candidate, but there is significant influence, especially over several election cycles, of the church in the community.

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