Ben Gilmore

Mr. Gilmore, whose papers have had nationwide distribution, is also involved in education. The Principles of America’s true history and government are incorporated into his newspaper column. He and his wife founded ACH Study Groups and Parent Educators’ Resource Center, supplementing the efforts of home educators, As a staff member of Youth With a Mission, he and his family have been around the world. He is also active in local government, having been nominated several times for legislative office.

Don’t Give Up!

Never Give Up!–By Ben Gilmore

I am truly optimistic about our society.  Everything around us is SHOUTING for us to focus on the corruption, graft, lies … (evil!) around us.  Though not living in denial of reality, I am choosing to focus upon those things that are true, honest, just, pure, and lovely.

American citizens are in a war for the soul of their nation and her founding principles.  In war, battles are often won by those who refuse to give up!  I believe God is not asking, “How many times were you knocked down?”   I believe He is asking, “Did you get up the last time?

Remember – Various media attempt to picture you in a society that is unlike much of the rest of the nation.  We should respond by highlighting America’s exceptionalism and her virtues.  Use the positive as a foundation for sudden and relentless reform!!!

I agree – It appears unlikely that our ship-of-state stays afloat, much less gets repaired and restored WITHOUT an outpouring of the Holy Spirit across America.

BUT

Let us not be caught with our eyes focused upon the situation exclusive of God’s hand in human events.

  • Are there indeed Americans humbly admitting to God that we deserve justice over mercy – Yes, I believe there are.
  • Are there American individuals and groups in prayer for our nation? — Yes, I believe there are.
  • Are there Americans honestly seeking the Lord’s specific direction for their actions? – Yes, I believe there are.
  • Are there Americans turning from their individual besetting sins in an effort to see God’s hand at work?  — Yes, I believe there are.

Does 2nd Chronicles 7:14 (above) apply today?  —

  • Yes, I believe our corporate prayers will be heard.
  • Yes, I believe our individual and corporate sins will be forgiven.
  • Yes, I believe the gracious Lord will indeed heal our land!!!

Why do I believe so unlikely (appearing) future?  I respond, “How big is your God?”

Moses, in the wilderness, interceded for his people, “Lord, If you wipe is out in the wilderness, It will make you look like an intolerant god, to the watching Egyptians (the world).”  And God repented.  Proving that He prefers mercy over justice when there is proper prayer.  The Bible book of Judges offers many similar examples.

America is the first civil government in all of human history to have been purposely founded upon sound Biblical principles.  If the failure of her citizens to honor those principles is, allowed to cause our national failure – The world will assume that Biblical principles of Christian Self-Government are not sufficient to sustain civil government.  All that the Hand of God has invested in America, as an illustration to the world, will be lost!!!

Forbid it Almighty God.  I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” [Patrick Henry – 1776]

Ben Gilmore
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In the Beginning – God!

–By Ben Gilmore

In the Beginning God...
In the Beginning God...

  “They who assert that a blind fatality (random chance) 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?  There is, then, a prime reason:…
[Charles Montesquieu (1689 – 1755) , “The Spirit of Laws”]

The writings of Montesquieu, like those of Sidney, Locke, Blackstone …were read and honored by those who formed America’s government.  A common thread in in their understanding was the existence of a “prime reason”, a First Cause (God).

Today, those who understand the existence of this First Cause are divided into innumerable camps (denominations and sects).  Were we united in some fundamental understanding, nothing would be impossible for us.  [Genesis 11:16]  God’s opponents want to keep us divided.

They, the ungodly, understand human nature.  We take our corporate “identity” by our differences, rather than our common understanding that there is indeed an eternal, all powerful, all present, all knowing First Cause (God).

I suspect, should this unique God release a wave of righteousness across America, it would be opposed by a large part of America’s churches, “because it did not originate with us.”

The ungodly adopt a false presupposition:  This first cause is a blind fatality (random chance).  In order to support their idea that everything developed without intelligent design their theory demands eons of random occurrences.  Even then, there is no response to Montesqueiu’s challenge regarding “intelligent beings.”

  “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’.”  [Psalm 14:1]

On the other hand, honest observation and reason demand the existence of God!  The Genesis (6-day) account of creation by an “Intelligent First Cause” is far more reasonable!

“But,” respond the ungodly, “How do you explain the “evidence” of million year old rocks and light from stars light-years distant?

I will begin by asking if the first man could reasonably have occurred by random chance as a fertile ovum?  Of course not!  Thus, when this first man, Adam, was only moments old, how old did he appear?

Further: Prior to Adam’s creation, the Genesis account states that everything for Adam’s continued subsistence (the garden of Eden) had been created.  Had Adam sawed down  a tree in that garden, would he have discovered tree rings?  It is unlikely a tree without tree rings would not have strength to stand and bare the weight of fruit.

Tree rings can be used to trace the history of the tree (wet and dry seasons).  But the trees were only days old!  Thus, we discover that this Creator God also created a virtual history for the tree.

Any Intelligent First Cause able to create the stars should have no problem creating the light rays from those stars at the same instant!

HOW BIG IS YOUR CONCEPT OF GOD?

  Next, I hope to show how reasonable men may discover the attributes of this First Cause (God).

Ben Gilmore
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Tough Love Towards Parents

–By Ben Gilmore

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” [Prov 22:6]

Tough Love Toward Parents

The subject on my heart is not “politically correct” in be-nice Christian circles. Today’s American Christian appears anxious to avoid subjects that stress fellow Christians. Well, I’m more concerned with what causes disappointment for our Lord – and future stress for the nation He has placed in our hands.

I believe it is indisputable – Every parent has a vested interest in training up their child(ren). It is those very children who are going to decide how their parents will be treated in their senior years! That is the “human” (man centered) viewpoint.

More important is the “spiritual” (God centered) viewpoint. This will determine the character of the child. In turn, the character of the child will determine the quality of the parents’ treatment in their senior years. Further the quality of one’s character determines what that child will contribute to the character of his society – ultimately, his nation.

The best operator’s manual for parenting is the Holy Bible. The book of Deuteronomy offers good council:

“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” [Deuteronomy 4:6-7]

Noah Webster, author of the “American Dictionary of The English Language” [circa 1828] offered this: ” EDUC?A´TION, n. [L. educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.”

Here is the problem – A guy and a girl get together and make a baby. They become parents. They now have a responsibility to care for (train up) the child they brought into our world. That responsibility is to themselves (as above stated), their society, and their nation. That is, the character of the child will have broad impact upon themselves and others.

“The fear (reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: …” [Psa 111:10] It follows that an irreverent teacher will be unable to produce a wise student. Today, our public school system has been made irreverent by law! Home schooled students, for the most part, are trained at the knees of reverent teachers. From whence will God find wise leaders in the next generation?

Parents have a 12-15 year “window” during which to train up their child. Those years fly past! Don’t waste them. I can not, in good conscience, recommend placing a child in today’s public school system in America.

We have heard all the excuses:

** “Neither of us are qualified to teach.” Tonight when the house is quiet, peek into each room. If there any kids in there – You are qualified to teach!

** “We can not afford private school.” We have found few private schools successfully training up the character of their students (even “Christian” schools). Are you sure you want to turn that responsibility over to a stranger? Rubber stamping “Jesus” and “prayer” on the outside of education does not make it Christian!

** “We simply can’t afford the time. Both of us work.” Consider your priorities! Look twenty years down the road and consider today’s priorities!

** “I’m a single mom. I have no choice.” Believe me ma’am, I understand your dilemma. I also know our loving Lord will not give you a responsibility you cannot fulfill. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” [1 Cor 10:13] Seek and find that way!

** “Our particular public school is the exception. We know our teachers well.” Sorry friend, your P.S. teacher is employed and under the laws of the School District, the County, State, and National education bureaucracies. Ungodly, character degrading, dependency producing curriculum mandates are laid upon the back of that wonderful teacher who must keep her job or resign.

Consider – If education is in the hand of the state, the student will be trained to serve the state! If education is in the hands of the church, the student will be trained to serve the doctrines of the church. If education is in the hands of the parent, the student will be trained to serve the best set of principles the parents have discovered.

A personal testimony – We were home schooling our youngest before home schooling was common. The first thing folks asked, “Is it legal?” My wife was told, “If you can stay just one day ahead of her, you can teach!”

Others liked what we were doing. We formed a “co-op school” (no tuition). Parents pooled their talents and their children. One taught geography, another grammar … We held weekly two-hour meetings. Everyone wanted to talk about the classes. We held them off, investing the first hour sharing what we had learned about parent-teaching. Then, the second hour was spent discussing the classes and events. BOTH parents were expected at these meetings.

Later this co-op expanded into a full on school for home school kids in a facility made available by a local business. We continued to insist upon parents’ close involvement and council.

All along the way, the Lord brought opportunities: A retired world-class scientist to teach classes in science; A parent who turned out to be the world’s greatest grammar teacher, taking her lessons straight out of the Bible; A literature teacher with publications all across America; … .

Is home schooling easy? ABSOLUTELY NOT! One home school parent told us, “The most fulfilling time I have as a parent is when I am teaching my child.”

For His-story & Government,

Ben Gilmore

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Liberty and Morality

–By Ben Gilmore
Written for Harvard alum magazine —

A friend was asked to host an American history event I was to lead. “American History is a Christian thing, isn’t it. I’m Jewish.” I responded, “The one I love most in all the world is Jewish!”

The principles used as foundation for the good things America has produced happen to be Christian principles. One need not accept the lordship of Christ, or even the Mosaic law, to recognize the exceptionalism if such principles.

“Individuality”, “Self-Government”, “Quality Character”, “Private Property”, “American (governmental) Form”, “Local Authority”, “Liberty” are each among “Christian” principles. Each is currently under severe attack.

The last few generations in America have permitted the undermining of that foundation and the dumbing down of our society, such that those who defend such principles are thought to be the “stupid” ones.

Therein, I believe, lies the root to most of the problems you mentioned. Liberty and morality based on religious conviction, cannot exist independent of one another.

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Co-Founders
ACH Study Groups

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More Words of “Wisdom”

–By Ben Gilmore

“The fear (reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom….” [ Psalm 111:10 ]

If that be so, does it not follow that — An irreverent teacher cannot produce a “wise” student? The public school system in America has been made “irreverent” by law!

I praise the Lord for the reverent teachers struggling under the yoke of an irreverent master (the dictates and restrictions of the Public School system). It remains true, the system has done an efficient job of separating America’s children from the principles of their parents, grand parents and great grandparents!

ONLY the removal of national, state, and county education bureaucracies AND a return to neighborhood schools, answerable only to neighborhood voters will save our public school system.

But God is faithful! We have a large body of home-school parents who choose not to place the responsibility of “raising up their child” in irreverent hands. These home-school teachers are predominantly reverent. From whence will the Lord find wise leaders in the next generation?

A word about Noah Webster (1758 – 1843)

His life work was the “American Dictionary if the English Language” published in 1828.

“In my view the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed. … No truth is more evident in my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people. …” [Noah Webster]

“Today when the biblical basis for education is under systematic attack we need to capitalize upon the availability of the first American dictionary — the only dictionary in the world to, ‘draw water from the wells of salvation‘ — to utilize God’s written word as a key to the meaning of words. Historically it documents the degree to which the Bible was America’s basic text book in all fields.” [Rosalie Slater 1967, cofounder Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE)]

Upon its publication, Webster’s 1828 became the standard of excellence in the English speaking world. People in the mother country were amazed that such scholarship could originate in the “rustic back woods” of colonial America!

[The following is copied and pasted from Webster’s 1828 [high lights are mine]]

WISDOM, n. s as z. [G. See Wise.]

1. The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them. This is wisdom in act, effect, or practice. If wisdom is to be considered as a faculty of the mind, it is the faculty of discerning or judging what is most just, proper and useful, and if it is to be considered as an acquirement, it is the knowledge and use of what is best, most just, most proper, most conducive to prosperity or happiness. Wisdom in the first sense, or practical wisdom, is nearly synonymous with discretion. I differs somewhat from prudence, in this respect; prudence is the exercise of sound judgment in avoiding evils; wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good. Prudence then is a species, of which wisdom is the genus.
Wisdom gained by experience, is of inestimable value.
It is hoped that our rulers will act with dignity and wisdom; that they will yield every thing to reason, and refuse every thing to force.

2. In Scripture, human learning; erudition; knowledge of arts and sciences.
Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Acts 7.

3. Quickness of intellect; readiness of apprehension; dexterity in execution; as the wisdom of Bezel and Aholiab. Exodus 31.

4. Natural instinct and sagacity. Job 39.

5. In Scripture theology, wisdom is true religion; godliness; piety; the knowledge and fear of God, and sincere and uniform obedience to his commands. This is the wisdom which is from above. Psalm 90. Job 28.

6. Profitable words or doctrine. Psalm 37.
The wisdom of this world, mere human erudition; or the carnal policy of men, their craft and artifices in promoting their temporal interests; called also fleshly wisdom. 1 Corinthians 2. 2 Corinthians 1.

The wisdom of words, artificial or affected eloquence; or learning displayed in teaching. 1 Corinthians 1 and 2.

Did you ever enjoy sitting up in bed of an evening and reading a dictionary! I have, with Noah Webster’s 1828! This important book has been republished by FACE. Their web site is easily searched out. www.FACE.net.

Here is an interesting project. Suppose you were assigned to study something, say “mathematics”. Begin with Webster’s 1828 definition. Underline the key words. List and look up their definitions. In each case, underline the key words. After a few cycles you will have the vocabulary of your subject! In this case, the vocabulary is in three categories: quantities, operations, measures. Next, use a Strong’s or other exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Look up the key words in your subject’s vocabulary. This will give you the biblical basis for your subject. (Often, I have found the first and last biblical references to be the most significant!)

Another significance of such an authoritative dictionary — When studying our founding documents, we have definitions contemporary with their meaning at the time they were written. Languages change over time.

Suppose “Jane” and “Sally” are college room mates. Jane receives a letter from “Mr. It”. She opens if with trembling fingers. “Sally” is impatient, “Well! What did he say?” “Jane” presses the letter to her heart, “He loves me!”

In truth, “Mr. It” wrote her about his football practice, but “Jane” read into it what she wanted it to say. She might as well have written the letter to herself. It has no value unless it is read for the meaning of the one that wrote it! Study our founding documents with an 1828 by your side! Our laws have no value unless interpreted by the meaning of those who wrote them!

For His-story & Government!!!

Ben Gilmore
ACH Study Groups

[Contact Ben]

Words of “Wisdom”

–By Ben Gilmore

This is the “Introduction” to the book I am writing, “Principles of American Government” (© Ben Gilmore) I think you will enjoy reading it. Ben

Words of “Wisdom” –

Get Wisdom!

Koiné Greek, the common language at the time of the New Testament, is reputed to be the most succinct1 language ever created. Alexander the Great, between the Old and New Testaments, is credited with development of this language.

Alexander was a general from Greece who conquered most of the (then) known world – the Near and Middle East, Egypt, … all the way to India. He wanted a military language that would be very clear, so that tactical instructions would not be misunderstood.

Isn’t it interesting that God would choose to use this “most succinct language” to write the New Testament!

Were you to research the NT era words translated “wisdom” in English. You would find three words: sophia, phronesis, sunesis2. Suppose little “Spiro” came home to mother. “Mom, I saw the wise man down at the mall.” She might reply, “That’s interesting. Was it the sophist, the phronesist, or the sunesist?”

Let’s bring these definitions down to our level –

  • Sophia = “big-picture wisdom.” An umbrella word that contains the meaning of the other two.
  • Phronesis = “practical wisdom.” Understanding how to do things.
  • Sunesis = “mechanical wisdom.” Understanding how things work.

I like to illustrate the difference with my watch. If I’m in front of a store window with all kinds of watches and I’m comparing my watch to all of them, that is “big picture wisdom” (sophia).

If I show you the watch face and explain how to interpret the display to tell the date and time, whether I am late for dinner, or oversleeping – That is “practical wisdom.” (phronesis)

If I turn the watch over and remove the back so that I can explain how it does what it does – That is “mechanical wisdom.” (sunesis)

A visiting preacher who is a sophist might speak on the “Authority of the Bible” and how 66 books, written by many authors, centuries apart – Authors who were shepherds, kings, poets, prophets and the like, writing on subjects that span the life experience, managed to produce a book without error, or contradiction! Big-picture stuff.

A pulpit guest in your church who is a phronesist might speak on “How to write a letter of restitution to your parents,” or “How to lead someone to a salvation prayer.” Practical things.

A visiting sunesist might point out that justice and mercy cannot coexist (i.e. The guilty wants mercy. The innocent wants justice.) Then he would show how the atonement of Christ reconciles justice with mercy. The mechanics of things.

I nominate the leading sophist of my generation to be Francis Schaeffer (“How Should We Then Live”). Bill Gothard (“Basic Youth Conflicts”) is the leading phronesist. I’ll chicken out in nominating the sunesist. (It depends upon which school of theology you attended!)

We are about to study “Biblical Principles of Government.” As illustrated in America. Sophia, phronesis and sunesist break down into Biblical, Historical, Governmental. Certainly “Biblical” is an authoritative, big-picture topic. God is interested in History. (“Remember this event with a marker”, “Celebrate this day each year.”) History takes something out of speculation and makes it fact. History is all about practics. Investigating how and why Biblical principles work and all others fail, focuses on the Governmental or logical structure.

                    ALL THAT TO SAY THIS:

In the “Biblical Principles of Government” field, the most gifted sophist, master-teacher I have found, is James Rose of American Christian History Institute.

Among master-teachers who are gifted phronesists, there is none better than the world’s most talented story teller, Beth Ballenger of Noah Webster Educational Foundation.

For the present, I’ll be your sunesist. All through this work, you will see me teaching from the mechanical viewpoint.

For a “stereo” teaching on these subjects, I recommend attending an “American History and Government Study Seminar”.

When I speak of “master-teachers” I am not referring to motivational speakers, or intellectual giants who feed giraffes rather than sheep. A “master-teacher” is one with the gift of planting seeds of comprehension that will take root and grow for a lifetime.

For His-story & Government!!!

Ben Gilmore
ACH Study Groups

[Contact Ben]

Footnotes:

       1. SUCCINCT’, a. [L. succinctus; sub and cingo, to surround.] … … Compressed into a narrow compass; short; brief; concise; as a succinct account of the proceedings of the council. Let all your precepts be succinct and clear. [Webster’s 1828 Dictionary]

       2. While Sophia is insight into the true nature of things, phronesis is the ability to discern modes of action with a view to their results; While Sophia is theoretical, phronesis is practical … . Sunesis, understanding, intelligence, is the critical faculty; this and phronesis are particular applications of sophia. [W.E. Vines, Dictionary of N.T. Words]

More Situation Ethics

–By Ben Gilmore

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislators thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.” [U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 3. June 21, 1788]

“Situation ethics” — Making choices in an effort to manipulate the results. The XVII Amendment [April 9, 1913] changed the original wording to, ” … elected by the people thereof …”

What is wrong with that change? It is a legal change according to the rules of amendment. “We the people” are the ultimate authority over the U.S. Government. So why do I say that change was situation ethics and not principle ethics?

The root problem appeared to the voters to be a loss of votive power which the founders had placed in the hands of each state legislature. The amendment placed power in the hands of the majority of voters at large in the state. Did that give the voters more votive power? No, they voted away their control of the U.S. Senate!

The change was focused upon the perceived disconnect of the Senate members from “We the people”. That was only the symptom. The cause was ignorance of the principle of federalism (sovereignty of both state and national government).

Look at the details. In California, we have 40 State Senators and 80 State Assemblymen. That is 120 legislators, each elected (by the people) from separate districts in California. Originally, our two U.S. Senators were answerable to those 120 lawmakers. In turn, those California lawmakers were answerable to their respective voters back home. Our state’s interests were equally represented among the other states in the U.S. Senate.

After the 17th Amendment (1913), each U.S. Senator was answerable to all the voters in California! Who has more influence over a U.S. Senator – 1 of 120 state legislators, or 1 of millions of voters? Before the amendment, Senators had to win the confidence of the legislators. After the amendment, they had to win confidence of millions. That takes money, lots and lots of it. Who will the winners represent – the State, or the source of the funds?

Our founders created the House of Representatives to represent “We the people”. The larger states (population) had more Representatives. They created the U.S. Senate to represent the interests of their respective sovereign states.

Why was that important? If we eliminated the U.S. Senate and had only the House of Representatives, the few largest state delegations, (say New York, California, Illinois) would dominate the legislature in Washington, D.C. and Rhode Island, Nevada, and Delaware citizens would have no effective vote. The national government would grow ever bigger and the state governments and their regional interests would grow ever weaker.

Had the people learned the sound principles debated and understood by our founders, our state and national governments would be far healthier than they are today. Such principles are seldom understood by citizens today. Why is that?

I believe those opposed to our founding principles have found ways to “dumb down” our education system. They have applied the principle that, “mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves …” [Declaration of Independence -1776]

The solution — What is done is done! Until we learn again those founding principles, we are ill equipped to repair and restore our ship of state. Having mastered sound principles of American government, there are many areas you may apply them.

On the other hand – Ignorant activism is more dangerous than apathy! Take an ACH course , or one like it!

For His-story & Government!!!

Ben Gilmore
ACH Study Groups

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Situation Ethics

–By Ben Gilmore

“When you choose an action, you choose a consequence.” So said my friend, Harry Conn. Consequences follow choices like a caboose follows a train. You cannot manipulate consequences. It is like pushing on a rope!

When you tell a lie, you are trying to manipulate consequences. It may even seem to work for a while – but – the consequences are always bad!

Some folks say, “There are no absolutes.” Of that, they are absolutely sure! They can’t live consistently with their beliefs.

A friend from the south east journeyed to California twenty years ago to attend an American History and Government Study Seminar,” hosted by ACH Study Groups. He returned home and became a state and local political researcher and leader.

He phoned the other day to discuss how to apply sound principle rather than situation ethics as he advises influential state leaders. Our discussion prompted this column.

If you make choices focusing upon the results, you are pushing on a rope!

What is your alternative? Evaluate choices upon sound principles and let the results take care of themselves! That is called “principle ethics.”

For example: Some years back voters got tired of lawmakers, governors, judges, and even presidents making careers out of politics. By granting favors, and using name recognition and campaign funds, not available to challengers, they kept getting reelected. The voters began imposing “term limits.”

The root problem: Folks were “selling” their vote for favors, ignorantly voting for a recognized name, or believing phony political ads. In short – “voting dumb!” After “term limits,” apparently folks are still voting dumb!

Sure, we dump bad politicians. Granted: We also dump the good ones. Voting dumb just exchanges one bad guy for another! Term limits is “situation ethics.” What we are really doing, is violating the individual liberty of a future voter, to make his own mistakes! When you take away the opportunity to fail, success has no value!

Then there are “unintended consequences.” Since there are no longer any experienced lawmakers (They were all termed out!), the hired hands around the seat of power, have all the experience. More often than not, the elected lawmaker becomes a “figurehead,” useful for speeches and fund raising, while the staff runs the show and makes the decisions.

If the root problem is dumb voters, the solution is to raise the voters’ understanding. A tough job, but a real solution. Let’s, each of us, get on with the task!

Bottom line: If you have not learned to apply a sound set of principles, you are stuck with situational choices. You may luck out, now and then, and make a good choice, but —

Rather: Stop. Learn a set of sound principles and how to apply them. Life will become a lot simpler when you don’t have to worry about negative results.

For His-story & Government!!!

Ben Gilmore
ACH Study Groups

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Limits on Authority

Publish freely-
with attribution

–By Ben Gilmore

Only the Creator God of the Bible is all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful. With those unlimited attributes, there can be no limits upon God’s authority. Thus all other sources of power and authority must have limits.

For example – Consider the Bible account of King David and his neighbor, Bathsheba. God placed King David on the throne on Judah. In those days kings had lots of authority! Folks are supposed to submit to the authority God places over them – right?

King David sends for Bathsheba. She comes, as she should. He propositions her. Now what does she do? If she agrees, she breaks her marriage vows! If she refuses, she rebels against authority!

She should refuse. When King David propositioned her, he had figuratively stepped out from behind his office desk. God made him king. Certain authority came with that office. David stepped outside that authority and she was free to decline without rebelling against the authority God had given David.

Here is another example from the Book of Esther. The King was named King Ahasuerus. His wife was named Vashti. The king was having a major party with all his V.I.P. types. Everybody was pretty drunk. The king decided he wanted Vashti to come show off her beauty for his drunken friends. (Not a good way to honor one’s wife I’d say.)

Well, Vashti refused and lost her position as Queen. Why? Because the other husbands crowded around the King and pointed out that Vashti’s apparent disrespect for her husband would cause their wives to show disrespect to them.

I think Vashti said, “No” to the wrong request. She should have come to the brawl as requested. She should walk in, wearing a loose fitting turtleneck gown that reached the floor. She should have smiled and said, “You sent for me?” When the King said, “Dance for my buddies, honey.” THEN she should have refused. The King would then have stepped outside his authority as a husband and dishonored his wife.

Some years back we lived in a town called Morgan Hill. The state of California had ruled that, in certain emergencies, towns and cities were free to impose a tax upon city utilities to raise needed emergency funds. The citizens of Morgan Hill petitioned and voted to narrow that rule. They ruled that such a utility tax could not be imposed without a vote of the people (of Morgan Hill).

Several years later, we elected three of my friends to the five-man City Council. The city manager and city treasurer said we had an emergency and needed to impose a utility tax. My friend, the new Mayor, said to the local newspaper, “We can’t put it to a vote, the people will reject it.” The city lawyer said to the councilmen, “You should go ahead and impose the tax. State law says you can.”

My three friends voted to impose the tax. When they did, they had stepped outside the authority we gave them when we voted them into office. Granted: The state said they could levy the tax. BUT the people of Morgan Hill had ruled that they could – only – after a local vote.

Citizens were left with this dilemma: Submit to tyranny, or recall the Councilmen. We voted to recall the Council members who voted for the tax. It sent political shock waves up and down the city administrations of California!

God’s “Law of liberty” imposes limits upon each of us. We discover those limits by observation and reason. Such “Natural Law” indicates, no one should harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions. When someone in authority steps outside those limits, they lose their authority.

In modern societies it is necessary to set further limits within those: Slow to 20 mph in a school zone, for example. Step outside those limits and penalty follows.

Our wonderful U.S. Constitution was written by “We the people” and sets limits, NOT upon the people, BUT upon the national government. We vote (i.e. we “hire”) men and women to exercise authority within the limits we have set. Should they step outside those limits they lose their authority and should be voted out of office.

[Contact Ben]

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