Month: April 2015

2014-05-28 A rare opportunity

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


April 28, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

A rare opportunity

Something positive every family can do.

A rare opportunity tomorrow night.

2015-04-26 Providential Speculation

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


April 26, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

Providential Speculation

What might the “3rd Great Awakening” look like.

It is fun to think outside the box now and then. We have some general parameters:

· God wants no man to be lost, but each man must choose to obey God’s will.

· All men have sinned. The atonement of Christ frees those who accept it, to love God.

· Christ condensed the whole Bible into “Love God and love others”.

· That requires a cooperative effort: Men obeying God, and God guiding men.

When that happens, we call it “revival.” It appears to me that the history of major revival movements have moved from east to west. The only one I have seen personally was the “Jesus Movement” in the late 1960’s. It originated in the Los Angeles area and had impact around the world. (See Google > “Jesus Movement”>Wikipedia)

The Old Testament documents Israel’s up and down history. Things were good. Men turned from God. Things turned very bad. Men turned to God in repentance. God worked with men to “revive” society. Sound familiar? America’s Christian history follows that pattern.

We should never forget this truth – God’s hand is always at work on our behalf, even when He punishes us. Today things appear to be very bad. Perhaps that is because we are not seeing what God’s hands are doing. For instance – I saw a report that has enlisted better than 17,000 pastors who have pledged to inform their flocks of Biblical principles in every area of life, including civil government! All across our nation groups are praying 2nd Chronicles 7:14. Mini-revivals are popping up like popcorn.

Just suppose, enough American Christians prayed for mercy in place of justice, and God was satisfied that He, not human pride, would get the credit. Suppose the Holy Spirit was released to energize and guide across America. (Read some accounts of the impact of such revivals in the past. One was on the day of Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection.)

I have written about what it might look like in America. (See ACH website > Ben’s Blog tab > “2014-12-27 What might it look like”)

What might such an event in America look like to the rest of the world? What would they see? – –

They would see that the first in history experiment in Christian principles of civil self-government has not failed! Biblical principles do indeed work! There is hope for mankind to achieve liberty with God’s help.

A wave of righteousness sweeps from America’s west coast across the Pacific Islands and Indo China. Masses of people in south-east Asia exchange eastern religions for Christianity. Poverty and tyranny are replaced by prosperity and liberty.

Such a tidal wave of righteousness sweeps across the Indian sub-continent, then across the Moslem world. Hate and discord are replaced by peace. The tidal wave gains momentum and breadth as it reaches the Mediterranean Sea. It sweeps westward across Europe and Africa.

North and South America experience another wave of righteousness, as the tidal wave engulfs the globe in one last great awakening, the likes of which the world has never seen.

The “in thing” world-wide will be, to be “Christian”. Will it all be real? No, like today, there will be the real thing and there will be phonies.

NEXT – For every tidal wave, there is an ebb tide.

That appears to me to be an ideal place for the end-time scenarios to take place.

Something positive to think about.

2015-04-21 Corrected correction

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


April 21, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

Corrected correction


I could use some help!

Fran’s corrected correct e-dress for Latin is – Get it right Ben! –

2015-04-21 Correction

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


April 21, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –


My special computer!

Always does exactly what I tell it to do.

At the close of my last blog post I typo’ed Fran’s e-mail. It should be –

2015-04-21 Why Study Latin

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


April 21, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

Why study Latin?

An unapologetic commercial!

It was 1945, George Washington high school, northern Manhattan, New York City. I was a sophomore student in Mrs. O’Rourke’s Latin class. To this day, things I learned about grammar in that class, come to mind!

Fran and I attended a homeschool lecture, way before homeschooling was popular. Fran met Mary Harrington and shared what she was learning. At the time, (early 1980’s) Fran had organized a one room school, “Parent Educators Resource Center” (PERC). She invited Mary to teach Latin in her school.

That was the beginning of a close friendship. In the process Mary and her friend, Gail Busby, published a Latin curriculum for homeschoolers, “Latin in the Christian Trivium”. Over the years, it has grown. Mary invited Fran to join her course as an online teacher.

Using Skype as a virtual classroom for interactive classes twice a week, Fran teaches Latin to homeschoolers all across the nation. The course follows a story line of a Roman centurion and his family, as they travel the middle-east. Students learn history and bible as they learn Latin. Often they befriend other students and visit on vacation trips.

I just viewed Hillsdale College’s online course, “Why study Latin”. Good viewing for homeschool moms!

If you are interested in Latin and Christian teachers, contact Mary Harrington,, or Fran Gilmore,

2015-04-18 Back to basics – a rule of action

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


April 18, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

Back to basics “A rule of action”

“OF THE NATURE OF LAWS IN GENERAL. Meaning of law. – Law, in the most general and comprehensive sense, signifies a rule of action; and is applied indiscriminately to all kinds of action, whether animate or inanimate, rational or irrational. Thus we say, the laws of nature and of nations. And it is that rule of action, which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey.”

So wrote Sir William Blackstone (1723 – 1780), in “The Commentaries”. Blackstone is known as, “The father of the legal profession.”

Can you think of anything that exists without a set of laws to govern it? Now, suppose that which is so governed steps outside those “rules of action” – chaos! Americans don’t care for the part – “And it is that rule of action, which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey.” We don’t think in terms like “superior” and “inferior”.

How about, “In our car-pool you don’t smoke.” or, “If you live in our house, you obey our house rules.”

Later on, Sir William continues –

“A being independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, as the rule of his conduct; not indeed in every particular, but in all those points wherein his dependence consists.”

“You are welcome to smoke, but not while riding in our car-pool”. “You can move out, but while you live here you obey house rules.”

Then the “Father of the legal profession” nails it down! –

“This principle, therefore, has more or less extent and effect, in proportion as the superiority of the one and the dependence of the other is greater or less, absolute or limited. And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all parts conform to his Maker’s will.”

How independent are you? How independent does God want you to be? Either you will be governed by God’s will – or – You will be governed by rules of action prescribed by a man, yourself or someone else. You will be governed by God’s law of liberty, or you will be governed by a tyrant (slavery). Note – In anarchy, no rules but your own, you become your own tyrant!

John Locke (1631 – 1704), “The philosopher of American liberty” described man under God’s law of liberty.

“To understand political Power, right, and derive it from its Original, we must consider, what State all Men are naturally in, and that is, a State of perfect Freedom to order their Actions, and dispose of their Possessions, and Persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the Law of Nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the Will of any other Man.” [“Of Civil Government” – Chapter X – Of the State of Nature]

Man in a “State of perfect Freedom” is still governed by God’s Law of Nature. He cannot fly, he must eat, etc. If you were the only person on earth, everything necessary to sustain you is provided. You are at peace – until – you defy the law of gravity and try to fly off a cliff.

Natural laws are discovered by observation and reason. Locke said reason is a gift from God. Suppose now, there are two of you alone on earth. Reason tells you that your State of perfect Freedom must not violate the other’s State of perfect Freedom. The “Golden Rule.”

Locke puts it this way:

“The State of Nature has a Law of Nature to govern it, which obliges everyone: And Reason, which is that Law, teaches all Mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions.

The problem is that man’s observation and man’s reason is imperfect. Once man reasoned that the earth was flat! Blackstone writes that God in His benevolence, gave us His laws by direct (inspired) revelation.

“The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found upon comparison to really be a part of the original law of nature, as they tend in all their consequences to man’s felicity.” [felicity is man’s happiness, prosperity, blessing]

Blackstone continues to point out that revealed law is infinitely more authoritative than natural law. Because, he says, revealed law (Bible) is given by direct revelation from God, while natural law, though from the same source, is discovered by man’s imperfect observation and reason.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.This is the first and great commandment.And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.[Matthew 22:37–40]

2015-04-14 Back to Basics – Morals and Stuff

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


April 14, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

Morals & Stuff

While in college, I worked in the illustrations department of an aircraft plant. There was a room filled with drafting boards, each with an artist/draftsman. On the restroom stall walls were numerous “anonymous” drawings and comments. Anyone familiar with the department staff’s work could easily identify the author after the first few marks. “The product reveals the attributes of the producer.” In the same way, one can know the difference between a Rembrandt and a Picasso.

These blog posts have discussed the things we can learn about God, by studying the products created and made by God – His attributes.

When teaching this subject – “Morals & Stuff” – I have the class make a list of all the words they can think of that describe God. I rule out “titles” like Lord, Savior, King. Once they get the idea the list grows quickly. – loving, just, all-knowing, eternal, …, . YWAM groups seem to make the longest lists. The several seminary groups I have addressed were disappointing.

The late engineer/philosopher, Gordon C. Olson, I am told, had a five minute radio show that ran for several years. Each day, Brother Olson featured a new one of God’s attributes! He never repeated an attribute.

Why not pause now and see what sort of list you can make. Then we will play with it a little.

n Pause — pause – pause –

Consider this —

Some attributes come in pairs: good / bad; just / unjust; … .

Some attributes have no counter-concept: eternal; all-present; … .

Now – consider this – If an attribute is part of a pair, who is going to deny God the ability to choose which will be His?

Let us make two columns and divide our list into “non-choice” (i.e. no pair) and “choice” (i.e. part of a pair).

On the “non-choice” list –


(ß & à)





We call these, “Natural Attributes of God”. He can’t help it! He did not choose these attributes. This list describes “The Being of God”. The “stuff” of God.

On the “choice” list –










We call these the “Moral Attributes of God”. Note – the words “moral” & “choice” are interchangeable. This list describes “The Personality of God”.

Think about it. The “moral” list has a counter list – unloving, unjust, unforgiving, … . Had God chosen the counter personality, because of His natural attributes, He would still be God! (And we would all have been turned into frogs!)

There is more to be learned from these lists.

First consider “communication”. A mentor, Edward Hunter, taught me, “Use any word you please. If I understand your definition, we are communicating.” That requires mutual experience and mutual agreement. I illustrate this by having the class close their eyes and count to three then open them. All of us see a red rectangle at the same time (common experience). All of us agree to name that color “red” (common agreement). Then I leave the room and say, “I see something red.” The class members understand.

Will we ever, even in Heaven, understand “omniscience”? No, there is no common experience. However: We can precisely understand “loving, just, forgiving, …, .” There is common experience and common agreement. I find no difference in defining my forgiveness for my neighbor and God’s forgiveness of me. Granted: A vast difference in significance, but the words and concepts are identical.

That, I think is why God uses things like lambs, rainbows, and planting to teach us about Him.

Further – Men also have “natural” & “moral” attributes. I invite Jack and Jill to come before the class. Jack is to describe Jill’s natural attributes. “Well, she has two eyes, she is a girl, she is blond …”. Someone says, “That could be a choice!” Then, Jill describes Jack’s moral attributes, “He dresses neatly, he is an athlete, he is polite…”.

Note that there is a great gulf between man’s natural attributes (finite) and God’s natural attributes (infinite). There is no common experience.

Note further – When Christ says to be like Him, we have the ability to copy His moral attributes exactly.

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” [1st Peter 1:15-16]

2015-04-14 PAG Post-Graduate reminder

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


April 14, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

PAG Post-Graduate Reminder

All those who have completed the “Principles of American Government” online course are welcome to attend these monthly discussions. To participate you must call me to be added to the call list.

We will meet next Sunday at 1330H. I will initiate the video call on Skype.

The discussion will begin with the comments on the following article:

Religious Liberty and the Compelling State Interest Test

by Neil Markva

(This is an email that was sent by Neil December 20, 1999 to U.D. Roberts and others)

There are two types of lawyers today—Constitutional lawyers and Supreme Court

opinion lawyers. The former hold that the Court has no authority to make law, so that a

Supreme Court opinion is merely an opinion of men that binds only the parties to the

particular cause of action.

The majority rule in the so-called Christian legal community (of which I consider myself

a member) has rejected this premise, however, and has decided to play on the enemy’s

playing field, use their equipment, and operate according to their rules. When they seem

to be making some headway, the enemy simply changes the rules and we believers

remain on the outside looking in. And God is further isolated from the fray. Some of us

do not agree and refuse to buy into this point of view.

Members of the bar who think and reason in accord with the 18th century principles of

law and government as embodied in our nation’s state and federal constitutions are

marginalized, repudiated, shunned, and in short, simply treated as outcasts. Believe me.

I’m not complaining or whining. I’m simply stating facts. At the same time, I’m most

encouraged because people like you DO understand English and are willing to do what

has to be done to promote the TRUTH.

At the heart of the matter is the compelling State interest test, which presupposes that no

fixed laws of right and wrong exist. Consequently, all courts now “balance the interests”

allegedly involved in the particular controversy before a court. The rejection of an

objective, fixed law is a rejection of God, the Creator, and His laws of nature and of

nature’s God as the common law that governs all things (whether we believe it or not). In

place of the Creator and the fixed laws of the Created Order, public policy in America

simply substitutes custom, tradition, and court decisions as the common law.

Our Christian “leaders” acknowledged and accepted this new common law after God’s

law was completely rejected once and for all in 1962 by Justice William Brennan who

invented the “compelling State interest” test out of whole cloth. When Justice Scalia

rejected the compelling State interest test in the 1989 Smith (peyote) case in favor of the

jurisdictional test that recognizes God’s exclusive jurisdiction over our religion, the

Christian lawyers joined the ACLU, People for the American Way, and a collection of

other Marxist organizations. Clearly, Marxists aka Socialists do not want any State

recognition of Scalia’s attempt to restore the exclusive jurisdiction of God over our free

exercise of religion.

In their quest to override the Smith case and its jurisdictional argument underpinnings,

our “leaders” opted to reject it and promote the “balancing test” unconstitutionally

devised by the Supreme Court. And of what does the “balancing test” consist? With no

absolute, fixed law, they start with the consideration of the “interests” of the parties

involved in the case or controversy. The State’s interest is always brought into the mix

for, after all, the court is now a primary maker of public policy having successfully

eliminated the common law of God and having assumed complete power over any

legislative act by judicial fiat. Any decision is generally recognized and accepted as law

by everyone unless, of course, it undermines the socialist agenda.

The State’s interest invariably supports the interests of one of the parties. If you think of

a first party’s interest as the thesis and the second party’s interest as the antithesis, then it

is the State that will determine the synthesis that will become the starting point in the next

court case on the subject. This, of course, is simply the direct application of the Hegelian

dialectic applied to the law thus making every court case an example of dialectical

materialism in the best Marxian sense.

Few understand what is going on. But I do not think this analysis is an extreme position.

I challenge anyone to show me where my understanding is wrong.

I personally know the people involved. In one instance, after sitting through a seminar

presentation of one friend who rejected the jurisdictional test of the Smith case, I told him

that I thought we were turning our back on God by supporting the “compelling State

interest test.” For the jurisdictional argument recognizes our religious freedom as an

unalienable right so that the State has no authority whatsoever to restrain our exercise of

the duty which we owe to our Creator. He simply turned his back on me and refused to

discuss the matter.

It is particularly unnerving when you realize that our Lord commanded us to “teach the

nations to obey all that He commanded us” (Matthew 28:18-20). Instead, with respect to

the civil magistrates of America, we simply ignore this command and accept the State as

the new found sovereign in our lives. We have no king but Caesar!

Our opposition is directed toward the wholesale rejection of the concept of unalienable

rights with respect to numerous subjects including, but not limited to, our religious

liberty, the education of our children, and the use of our private property. Some of us are

convinced that there is a remnant that agrees with us. And we believe that things can be

done to get our Lord more involved in the battle that is raging.

He is involved. But, in my opinion, His hands are significantly tied by the confusion that

reigns in the Body of Christ with respect to these matters. He will do nothing to butt into

the work of His people unless they want Him to do so. And only in those situations

where there is agreement. Our friends in the legal community who favor the compelling

State interest test make it clear where they stand. It will take the concerted efforts of

others of us to see His TRUTH ultimately prevail in this particular matter.

To make sure that we are within His will, we must operate within the authority structure

of our Lord if we are to see healing and restoration in our land. We are working toward

that end. We cannot make personal attacks on anyone. But it is essential that we come

down hard on any idea that is a rejection of God and His laws.

When considering whether or not to support any legislation concerning any matter, we

recommend that you look for any “exception” clause and reference to a compelling State

or governmental interest test. If the latter is involved, don’t support it. For this reason,

none of the particular pieces of legislation that you have on the website should be


We have much work ahead. But it is good to see that others are moving along parallel


Hopefully, the foregoing is helpful.

In His service,

Neil Markva

2015-04-11 Natural Theology

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


April 11, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

Natural Theology

“What can man know of God, Given:

Only his environment and himself?”

Kudos to friend, Winkey Pratney, for asking me that question four decades ago.

To illustrate, I made up a fiction story about a 16 year old boy named Kim. Kim lives in the deepest darkest jungles in Africa. He was orphaned at birth, nursed by a she-wolf, (Its my story. I can put wolves in my jungle!) and miraculously survived. Kim has never seen another human being. What can he know of God?

Pause and think about “Kim”. Is Kim able to think and reason? Is he healthy? He has survived to his 16th year! Is he groomed? (Mom’s don’t judge by boys you know!) He observes animals grooming themselves. Is he lonely? Does he wonder about things?

Observation and reason lead to discovery of natural laws. “A product requires a producer.

One balmy night, Kim is on his back in a pleasant meadow. He thinks of the sky as a “product”. What can he discover about the producer by observing the sky?

He is very big or very fast!

He is interested in order. (movement of the stars)

He uses color. (each star seems to have a different color)

He has great power. (a meteor streaks across the sky)

Next day Kim looks at sunlight through a leaf. The leaf is a product.

Producer designs utility. (veins distribute nourishment & add strength to leaf)

Producer designs tiny things. (leaf has tiny cells)

Producer has purpose. (leaf is food for animals)

Kim sees his reflection in a pool of water. He thinks of himself as a product.

Kim has two eyes. (depth perception)

He is “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

Kim is too warm. (he swims in the pool)

Kim is hungry. (he eats fruit)

Kim discovers there is a wholesome means of fulfillment for every need he has.

The producer is concerned for him.

Kim discovers he has desires, can make plans, has emotions, has a personality.

If the product (Kim) has these non-physical attributes, the producer must have them also.

One morning Kim wakes to watch Hal, the industrious monkey, gather bananas for breakfast. Larry, the sneaky monkey, swipes some of Hal’s bananas, crosses the clearing and begins to eat. Hal comes unglued!

Kim follows Larry’s example – but – now Kim has a problem – conscience. He tries to give back the banana, but Hal won’t accept it. Kim has a discord in his gut. If he remembers that everything in his environment teaches him there is a wholesome means of fulfilment, he will seek for and find the solution. (The producer has many ways to guide him.)

Rather, Kim carves a face on a stick and worships it. No help! So he switches to a face on a rock. Then a bigger rock. Deep inside is a voice, “Help! Its not working.” Kim thinks, “No, its going to work. I’ll Build a fire in front of the rock. Maybe toss in a monkey or two.”

That is dumb! Each face Kim carved was uglier than before. He was carving a face in his own image. — The bottom line – ALL MEN ARE “KIM”. Every man has his environment macro and micro. Every man has his own person physically and extra-physically. Every man has a conscience until it is violated so much that it is lost.

Think about this. –

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man …” [Romans 1:18–23a]

2015-04-09 Back to Basice – Gid Is

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621


April 9, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

God Is

Thought and prayer have led me to believe I am to write a series of blog posts about basic facts and principles around which people can unite.

When Moses received his commission at the “burning bush” he was asking how to unite his oppressed people in Egypt. The “Bush” replied, “I Am”. That translates to, “God Is”.

Until that fact is established, there can be little useful unity. Those who choose to deny that the God of the Bible exists must “hold under” the truth. The evidence is overwhelming.

There are numerous speculations. But the fact that “God is” is truth, fighting to the surface as would a drowning man.

Charles Montesquieu (1689 – 1755), a French philosopher oft quoted by our founders, wrote in, “The Spirit of Laws” –

“They who assert that a blind fatality produced the various effects we behold in this world talk very absurdly; for can any thing be more unreasonable than to pretend that a blind fatality could be productive of intelligent beings?”

The existence of “intelligent design” is exhibited in all of creation – (macro, micro, ourselves physically, ourselves extra-physically). – This SHOUTS, even DEMANDS, that there be an intelligent Creator.

Having accepted the existence of this creative “Higher Power”. Speculation builds about His / Its attributes. These are laws of nature: “A product demands a producer.”; “A product reveals attributes of its producer.” Again, the evidence is overwhelming. We will discuss the evidence of God’s attributes in a future blog.

People will choose to “believe” what they want to believe. What we believe has no effect upon what is true.

Lastly, it has been said, “Man’s greatest error is to make a mistake, then fall in love with it!” Human nature being what it is, we tend to let our pride push reason aside. Let us each agree that wisdom from above be easily entreated. I agree in advance to accept truth when I discover it. How about you?

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