Month: November 2012

Secession

–By Ben Gilmore

The subject will be much discussed in the months ahead. It is a time for cool heads, critical thinking, and reason-over-emotional arguments. Walter Williams has penned a logical discussion in favor of the legality and principle of secession. Issues many today have missed.

Others will have equally cogent arguments introducing the issue of slavery. Each American citizen is likely to face a gut-wrenching decision on the issue during 2013. I urge you to read, meditate, and pray for wisdom. Reason from the unseen, primary, cause toward the seen, secondary, effect.

Williams: Parting Company

By Walter E. Williams November 28, 2012 12:15 pm (Original Article: http://www.creators.com/opinion/walter-williams/parting-company-12-11-28.html)

For decades, it has been obvious that there are irreconcilable differences between Americans who want to control the lives of others and those who wish to be left alone. Which is the more peaceful solution: Americans using the brute force of government to beat liberty-minded people into submission or simply parting company? In a marriage, where vows are ignored and broken, divorce is the most peaceful solution. Similarly, our constitutional and human rights have been increasingly violated by a government instituted to protect them. Americans who support constitutional abrogation have no intention of mending their ways.

Since Barack Obama’s re-election, hundreds of thousands of petitions for secession have reached the White House. Some people have argued that secession is unconstitutional, but there’s absolutely nothing in the Constitution that prohibits it. What stops secession is the prospect of brute force by a mighty federal government, as witnessed by the costly War of 1861. Let’s look at the secession issue.

At the 1787 constitutional convention, a proposal was made to allow the federal government to suppress a seceding state. James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, rejected it, saying: "A Union of the States containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a State would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound."

On March 2, 1861, after seven states had seceded and two days before Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration, Sen. James R. Doolittle of Wisconsin proposed a constitutional amendment that said, "No State or any part thereof, heretofore admitted or hereafter admitted into the Union, shall have the power to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the United States."

Several months earlier, Reps. Daniel E. Sickles of New York, Thomas B. Florence of Pennsylvania and Otis S. Ferry of Connecticut proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit secession. Here’s my no-brainer question: Would there have been any point to offering these amendments if secession were already unconstitutional?

On the eve of the War of 1861, even unionist politicians saw secession as a right of states. Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel of Maryland said, "Any attempt to preserve the Union between the States of this Confederacy by force would be impractical, and destructive of republican liberty."

The Northern Democratic and Republican parties favored allowing the South to secede in peace. Just about every major Northern newspaper editorialized in favor of the South’s right to secede. New York Tribune (Feb. 5, 1860): "If tyranny and despotism justified the Revolution of 1776, then we do not see why it would not justify the secession of Five Millions of Southrons from the Federal Union in 1861." Detroit Free Press (Feb. 19, 1861): "An attempt to subjugate the seceded States, even if successful, could produce nothing but evil — evil unmitigated in character and appalling in content." The New York Times (March 21, 1861): "There is growing sentiment throughout the North in favor of letting the Gulf States go."

There’s more evidence seen at the time our Constitution was ratified. The ratification documents of Virginia, New York and Rhode Island explicitly said that they held the right to resume powers delegated, should the federal government become abusive of those powers. The Constitution would have never been ratified if states thought that they could not maintain their sovereignty.

The War of 1861 settled the issue of secession through brute force that cost 600,000 American lives. Americans celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, but H.L. Mencken correctly evaluated the speech, "It is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense." Lincoln said that the soldiers sacrificed their lives "to the cause of self-determination — that government of the people, by the people, for the people should not perish from the earth." Mencken says: "It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of people to govern themselves."

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at [Creators.com].<

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Can a Nation Repent?

–By Ben Gilmore

A homeschool mom, alumna of our 3-month online course, “Principles of American Government” (PAG), sent a report that the current President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, referred to as “M7”, has publically repented for himself and his nation.

African countries have had a steady stream of “Big Bad Dudes", M7 among them! Many will remember Idi Amin, from the 1970’s. Israel sent a team into Uganda in a daring hostage rescue. M7, his successor, has a controversial political history in Uganda.

M7 has stabilized the economy and done many good things. He holds an “unconstitutional” 3rd term among other politically questionable events.

Below is the report from “New Vision,” Uganda’s leading News Daily, Monday, November 26, 2012 —-

For the sins of Uganda, I repent — Museveni Publish Date: Oct 18, 2012

Christians dedicate Uganda to God during the National Jubilee prayers last week.

At the National Jubilee Prayers in Namboole, President Yoweri Museveni made history when he openly repented his sins and the sins of Uganda, a move that has excited many religious leaders. Moses Mulondo brings you the prayer verbatim

“Father God in heaven, today we stand here as Ugandans, to thank you for Uganda. We are proud that we are Ugandans and Africans. We thank you for all your goodness to us.

“I stand here today to close the evil past and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness.

“We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation.

“We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal.

“Forgive us of sins of pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility; sins of corruption and bribery that have eroded our national resources; sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery; sins of unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and revenge; sins of injustice, oppression and exploitation; sins of rebellion, insubordination, strife and conflict.

“These sins and many others have characterised our past leadership, especially the last 50 years of our history. Lord forgive us and give us a new beginning. Give us a heart to love you, to fear you and to seek you. Take away from us all the above sins.

”We pray for national unity. Unite us as Ugandans and eliminate all forms of conflict, sectarianism and tribalism. Help us to see that we are all your children, children of the same Father. Help us to love and respect one another and to appreciate unity in diversity.

“We pray for prosperity and transformation. Deliver us from ignorance, poverty and disease. As leaders, give us wisdom to help lead our people into political, social and economic transformation.

“We want to dedicate this nation to you so that you will be our God and guide. We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice to fulfil what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord. A people you have chosen as your own.

“I renounce all the evil foundations and covenants that were laid in idolatry and witchcraft. I renounce all the satanic influence on this nation. And I hereby covenant Uganda to you, to walk in your ways and experience all your blessings forever.

“I pray for all these in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Religious Leaders React

The Church of Uganda Archbishop elect, Stanley Ntagali said the prayer was a step in the right direction. That it was appropriate for the head of state to repent of his sins and the sins of Ugandans.

The leader of Pentecostal churches, Apostle Alex Mitala, said the prayer was the beginning of the healing of a nation. “All the nations we read about in the Bible were healed when their leaders repented and acknowledged God’s supremacy,” he said. Mitala urged Ugandans to turn away from their wicked ways.

Pastor Dr. Martin Kalibbala of New Testament Covenant Church warned that the fruits of repentance are what matter. “If you repent of stealing, God expects you to immediately stop stealing. If the President’s repentance is genuine, it will be measured on God’s yardstick of bearing the fruits of repentance,” he said.

Pastor Dr. Martin Ssempa of Makerere Community Church said it was a good thing for the President to repent on his behalf and on behalf of the nation. He commended those who encouraged and helped the President prepare the prayer, adding that God will answer it.

“We hope the President’s repentance will result into greater obedience to God by the executive, which he heads.

Ben Gilmore
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Thanksgiving Day

–By Ben Gilmore

“Thanksgiving”

The only American Christian holiday.

For the history buffs, I have attached the Thanksgiving day sermon of Rev. Baldwin, 2nd Baptist Church of Boston – 1795. I am thankful that our gracious Lord is interested in history – His – Story.

Many writers, today, are speaking of a cloud of gloom hanging over America.

I pledge myself to rebuke it and rebuke every negative thought on a day dedicated to giving thanks to the God of creation; the Lord of Heaven’s armies; my personal Lord and the one who redeemed me from an eternity of ungodly darkness!

Let us give thanks together!

Ben Gilmore
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Sermon – Thanksgiving – 1795 – Massachusetts – Baldwin

Willful Ignorance

–By Ben Gilmore

We don’t know that we don’t know, what we MUST know.

Willful ignorance.” – Rush Limbaugh reports 3 million fewer Republicans voted this year than voted for McCain / Palin. Franklin Graham (Billy Graham’s son) reports that a great portion of evangelical Christians failed to vote in either 2008 or 2012.

The result – Registered Republicans, or evangelical Christians (the two groups overlap some), either group, of those who chose NOT to vote, could have changed the Presidential outcome.

There is a culture war against “conservatism” (dealing in proven principle and letting results take care themselves) and “Christianity”. These are the only groups that stand in the way of a humanistic police state. They come from the same root, “The laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.

Is “willful ignorance” too strong a term? No it is not. Test for yourself at the next Republican meeting, or church next Sunday — Ask 5 people, “Would you like to learn about history and government?” Answers will, I predict, range from “I’d love to, but …”

1. “… I have taken a Constitution course.” (i.e. I already know all I need to know.)

2. “… I’m just too busy.” (i.e. I am free to do what I want – and I don’t want.)

3. “… Evangelicals should not get involved in politics.” (i.e. I don’t love my neighbor!)

4. “… I am focused upon Bible study and evangelism – not history and government.”

Regarding #4 – The Bible is a major history book! It is overflowing with principles of governing: self; family; church; and state.

Regarding #3 – The greatest law – “Love the Lord … and thy neighbor …” If you want the best for (i.e. love) your neighbor, you will help protect his “life, liberty, and property.”

Regarding #2 – I have discovered we are usually able to do what we really want to do. It is a case of priorities. Everything of value, has a price.

Regarding #1 – Our Constitution is the fruit of Biblical Principles of Government. If one is to defend the Constitution, one must learn and apply the principles upon which it rests.

No – We don’t know that we don’t know, what we MUST know – If we are to help restore what the hand of God has revealed about governing

All that to say this — Things are changing rapidly.   It may soon be illegal to teach true American history and Biblical principles of government.  We need to plant and preserve these precious “seeds” in the heart of every patriot.  — And most especially — in the heart of every willing teen.

Fran and I have been shouting from the housetops for over three decades.  Our “ACH Study Groups” events have earned enthusiastic responses from alums, like, “I have discovered a whole world of understanding, I did not know existed.”  Yet, in 3 decades, we can count only a thousand alums.

The alums, like ourselves, have seen eyes glaze over at the mention of history and government.

ACH currently offers three events: (see letterhead for our web site)

  • A 4-day 30-hour seminar, taught by three master teachers of History & Government.
  • A 3-month 30-hour online course (The 4-day seminar on steroids!).
  • A Friday-Saturday introduction to History & Government.

The 4-day seminar in June or July, 2013 needs a sponsoring organization that will do its best to produce at least 40 students.  That represents a major change in our 30 year-old tradition.  For three decades, we have asked these outstanding teachers to give up most of a week, travel from their homes, and face 4 X 12-hour days, while the tuition honoraria from small turnouts did not meet their expenses.

In recent years, ACH has enjoyed outstanding host facilities, for which we are most grateful.  The turnout however, has been from other than the host groups, and too small to cover expenses.  If there is no market, there is no need to offer the product.

The next 3-month online course begins on .  Students may choose 9AM or 6PM 75-minute classes (miss one, catch the other) on Monday and Wednesday.  Students commit to 5 X 1-hour personal study times per week.  Classes usually include both adults and teens.

The Introduction to History and Government event is scheduled upon request.

Ben Gilmore
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Body, Soul, Spirit

–By Ben Gilmore

’Come now, and let us reason together,’ saith the Lord: …” [Isaiah 1:18] John Locke pointed to “reason” as a gift of God to humans. God seems to enjoy dealing in three’s: solid, liquid, gas; Father, Son, Holy-Spirit; a stool needs 3 legs to stand; air, land, sea; father, mother, child; flesh, bone, blood; …

Let us reason together, about “body, soul, spirit.” Each of us, you and I, have them. What are they? Of what are they composed? How is each unique from the other two?

FIRST – A disclaimer. What follows is my personal “reasoning” – not a paraphrase of someone’s Bible exposition. God said, “Let us reason together.” OK – Use it or lose it!

Body – That is the easy one. Our body is an amazing machine. It is composed of only a few dollars’ worth of chemicals that form flesh, bone, and blood into a structure of solid, liquid and gas. The flesh is composed of many different tissues. Some, like brain tissue reproduce very slowly. Others, like stomach lining reproduce rapidly. Some tissues form muscles, others form tubing.

Our body has thousands of miles of tubing. These veins carry fuel and oxygen to all the cells of our body, several trillion of them! Each of these cells contains a little “stove” called a kreb cycle. This complex chemical function combines oxygen and nutrients to produce heat energy and leave carbon dioxide and waste. Then you lie down, tired and weary, then awake in the morning, refreshed – It is because all those little “kreb stoves” have been hard at work making energy.

But – are we our bodies? No – our body is only our “space suit” as we hurtle through space on our “space ship” – Earth. Eventually, it will wear out and turn back into a few dollars’ worth of chemicals.

Spirit – This also seems clear to me. “You take God out of anything, and it dies”. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” [Genesis 2:7] I speculate that “Spirit” is the essence of life. When it (God) is in something, it is alive. When it departs, what remains is dead. A dead body is just “stuff” – No life (Spirit). In like manner, I can see the difference between live and dead animals, trees, etc. Caution – I am not speaking of pan-theism. Humans have a unique place in God’s creation.

Soul – Took a while to gel in my reasoning. In the 70‘s I had an invitation to teach for a week in Scotland. To prepare, I collected every verse that held “spirit” or “soul”. Perhaps others have done this and reached a conclusion, but I failed to discover the difference in Scripture.

In Bible word study I have found that the first and last usage of a word are often most significant. The first, Genesis2:7 (quoted above), seems to include all three – body, soul, and spirit. The last, Revelation 18:14, “And the [worldly] fruits that thy soul lusted after …” show that the “soul” can make choices.

In between the first and last are hundreds of times “soul” is used. I count 131 “soul” words in Psalms alone. In Psalms, David seems to boss his soul around. It would be an interesting study to note the number of things that can be done to one’s soul: cast down [Ps 42:5], redeemed [49:15], thirst [57:1], wait upon God [62:5], we chasten with fasting [69:10], souls can bless the Lord [103:1], my soul is in my hand [119:109].

Summary – My body is just my “space suit.” It cannot make choices. It is only temporary. My body is NOT me. Without me, my body is an empty suit!

Combine body and Spirit and the body is alive – but – without “me” it is still an empty suit. The Spirit gives life, but according to Gen 2:7 the 3rd part, “soul” is missing, to make a man into a “living soul.”

So – Neither body, nor the spirit, are “me.” What makes this 3rd part different from the alive empty suit? My choices!

It appears to me that the sum total of every single choice I have ever made defines my soul. I am fully responsible, and answerable, for the choices I have made with the free will God has given me. Some choices (“Do you want fries with that?”) are less significant than others (“Humble yourself and pray.”) If you call that the definition of my “soul”, then it is an easy thing to understand God’s justice at the “Judgment Seat.” Praise God for offered grace!!!

The condition and future of our soul rests squarely upon our respective shoulders.

I suggest learning the Biblical conditions for God’s grace!

Ben Gilmore
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Follow Up on “We Have A Representative Government”

–By Ben Gilmore

First – I hope you will pause and enjoy this URL:

http://www.greatdanepro.com/Pray%20For%20America/index.htm

Then – I hope you will ask someone to stand and read “Pilgrim Fathers” during your Thanksgiving meal. –

Pilgrim Fathers

By Larry Wagner November 1984

The second harvest gathered since they crossed Atlantic waters,

A feast of thankfulness was set by grateful Pilgrim Fathers:

So great the providence of God, so blest with fruit their labors,

So sweet the bond among their band, such peace with Indian neighbors.

But most among the feasting crowd could count harsh years of toil.

Of wand’ring for their faith in God, of want on alien soil,

Of flagging hopes and faith, bad health, of chills that hell could send.

Of half their number that had died before first winter’s end.

Of hunger pangs that second year in their New Plymouth home,

Of weeks when all they ate a day was five small grains of corn.

A few remembered treasures lost, titles cast aside,

But all could measure conscience cost in tears and trampled pride.

Oh, at this feast could they foresee their blessed future years?

That nevermore would they now want, nor run from any fears!

Then after prayers of gratitude, before the feast was set,

Each plate was served five grains of corn, lest anyone forget!

A noble band in hardship born, rejected by their own,

A rock flung o’re the ocean, they were laid a corner stone.

By them God stamped His pattern for a nation on the land,

And seeds for freedom under God were planted by their hand.

Oh, pray their heirs would ever know how dear was freedom’s cost,

And know to hold their faith and freedom dear, or see them lost,

And praise the Providence that brought those Pilgrims to this shore,

And eat the grains of memory, or pay the price once more.

Ben Gilmore
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We Have A Representative Government

–By Ben Gilmore

Cicero truly was a man of the times—-His time and OUR time.

"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the ‘new, wonderful, good society’ which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean: more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious."

[Marcus Tullius Cicero]

This quote crossed my desk and seemed appropriate. I have not confirmed its authenticity.

We prayed for mercy over justice for America. It appears we will have a period of well deserved “justice.” Who can deny America has turned from honoring justice and righteousness.

God is rejected in a national convention on national television. Fools are acting as if there is no God. It appears we truly have a “representative government.” Limbaugh reports, “3 million fewer Republicans voted this year, than voted for McCain/Palin.”

2nd Chronicles 7:14 spells out four things – Humble ourselves; Pray; Seek God’s direction; and – Turn from our wicked ways. When done – the scripture indicates three responses – God hears our prayers; Forgives our sins; and heals our land.

· Humble ourselves – This requires we acknowledge God exists and offers a way out.

· Pray – Prayer is a conversation between two individuals that love each other. I knew a pastor who believed that was being too intimate with God. My experience proves to me he is mistaken. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage, …but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba (i.e. Daddy), Father.” [Romans 8:15]

· Seek God’s direction

Ben Gilmore
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Liberty

–By Ben Gilmore

My goal – To offer a deeper understanding of “liberty”.

To begin- God exists.  It is absurd to believe intelligence can be created by random chance.  Creation around us demands intelligent design.

Everything seen and unseen has laws (rules of action) that direct, regulate, control, restrain – that is – govern.  Step outside those natural laws – chaos!  Stay within them – peace!

Everything necessary for a human to live a peaceful, healthy life was here before people were placed upon earth.  Inanimate creation is governed by cause and effect.  Plant life is governed by photosynthesis.  Animals are governed by instinct.  Only man is governed by reason and conscienceBoth are God’s gift to humans.

Now, let us focus upon you.  Visualize yourself the only human on earth in the midst of the Garden of Eden.  A state of perfect natural freedom.  Go where you wish. Eat and sleep when you wish.  Use what is here to create as you wish.  You are limited ONLY by the “laws of nature” (gravity, fatigue, etc.).

Cherish that concept – The root of  your “unalienable Right … Liberty.

Now – Let us add another human.  This introduces another limit upon your natural liberty.  Reason and observation, the “law of Nature,” dictate that you should not violate the other person’s liberty if you want him/her not to violate yours. Violation equals chaos.

Perhaps you and the other person make a baby.  Now we have a family.  New obligations are introduced to your “liberty”.  The family unit is in a perfect state of nature, respecting other family units that have been introduced.  Reason and observation discover laws of nature to govern the family unit.

Several families join together to share tasks – hunting, gathering, shelter, etc.  A social unit is formed.  Joining such a unit must be voluntary, else liberty is violated.  Before joining, one must:  (1) Know the rules of the society and – .Once joined, have an equal voice in making and amending those rules;  (2) There must be a set means of judging violation of those rules; (3) The society must have authority to enforce penalties for violation of its rules.  All of this governance is for the purpose of preserving the natural liberty of the individual members.

Because human reason and observation so often misinterpreted the data (once they thought the earth was flat), God in His benevolence gave us the Bible (inspired word of God), which is much more difficult to misinterpret.  Thus we have, “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”.  “Natural law” and “Revealed law,” both from the same source.

The American colonists understood these concepts when they chose to create a society to protect their natural state of God-endowed liberty.

Selfishness is prone to violate other’s liberty.  Americans have permitted those violations to continue too long!  We must repair, rebuild, restore our society if we are once more to enjoy peace and liberty.  That can only be done in cooperation with the God of both Nature and the Bible.  He cannot do it alone.  We cannot do it alone.  It must be a cooperative effort.

How we choose to use our unalienableright to liberty” in governing ourselves will determine the quality of corporate self-government in our family and that of our local, county, state and national society.

America once more, has the blessed Liberty to turn from her steady drift away from “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” and once more to become a beacon of hope and righteousness for a dark and hurting world.  Let’s not waste the opportunity!

Ben Gilmore
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