Ben’s Blog

220-05-23 Day Dream

ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com
www.ACHStudyGroups.com
May 23, 2020

This is a letter to our friends –

Day Dream

We read from 2nd Chronicles this morning. As we read, my mind wandered – – –

President Trump was in the oval office, on his knees in the center of the room. National television cameras were on. He appeared to finish his prayer and stood facing the camera.

“Since the beginning, God has been doing everything He can to teach us how to love Him and get along lovingly with one another. We are slow learners!

“God doesn’t change His message. It is the same message He gave those He led out of Egypt centuries ago. Obey my instructions and live in peace, or rebel and suffer.

“The nation just saw their President in humble prayer on his knees before God. Now they see their leader boldly standing before the people seeking God’s will for America and confessing our sins before the world.

“Lord, we have sinned. We turn, as a nation from the sin of abortion, homosexuality, pride, greed, and the rest of the things our nation has accepted against Your will.

“Now we turn to You, seeking mercy rather than justice. Lord, heal our land as you promised.”

At that moment, the oval office filled with bright white smoke. A few moments later TV screens showed a wide-shot of the White House, bathed in light with a column of fire hovering over it.

A wave of righteousness swept across the nation. People on city sidewalks across the nation
fell to their knees in prayer confessing and repenting. That wave swept the globe for a time.

Fruit trees grew in Washington where the swamp used to be!

These columns are archived since 12/10/09
See www.ACHStudyGroups.com
“Ben’s Blog”

2020-05-19 ‘Liberty’

ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com
www.ACHStudyGroups.com
May 19, 2020

This is a letter to our friends –

“Liberty”

The word “liberty” has been on my mind as I watch news programs today. We hear and read a lot about “freedom” but rarely hear about “liberty”. Americans seem focused upon rules and regulations, what and what not to submit our wills to. We seem to have lost contact that, as creators of our civil government, its purpose is to preserve and protect our liberty.

Please pause and take time to thoughtfully read the following quote from John Locke.

p 58 CHAP. II
Of the State of Nature
4. 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.[1]

Granted: Each of us must surrender a part of that ſtate of perfect freedom in order to share it with our fellow Americans. The fact remains – we (you and I) are at liberty under God – not government. The concept that “for the greater good”, someone believes he has a right to tell me, rather than ask me, to do such and such violates my sense of right and wrong!

These columns are archived since 12/10/09
See www.ACHStudyGroups.com
“Ben’s Blog”

_____

[1] Hall, V. M. (2006).
The Christian history of the Constitution of the United States of America. Christian self-government (Founders Edition, Vol. 1, p. 58). San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education.

2020-05-17 It works for me

ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com
www.ACHStudyGroups.com
May 17, 2020

This is a letter to our friends –

It works for me

God took six days to create, then He rested a day. God is still making choices. He is alive.

I believe the Holy Bible is inerrant. The translations are not, but the message gets through anyway! God’s goal – “Teach us how to love Him and how to love one another.” All of us are in His classroom.

I have always been bothered by the translator’s understanding of God’s omniscience. We agree, “God knows everything.” I believe God knows everything knowable. Choices I have yet to create are not currently knowable as facts. I know my kids well enough to be pretty sure how they will act in a given situation, but that is not an absolute. If God says something is going to happen next Tuesday, He is quite able to bring it about next Tuesday – but – it isn’t a fact until He ratifies it with a choice on Tuesday.

If God knows my every choice before I am conceived – or before creating the world – then He can never make new decisions – or change His mind, as He does numerous times in Scripture.

Rather – I believe He is sitting on the edge of His throne watching over me and saying, “Come on Ben, I’m rooting for you. Get it right this time.”

When one believes the future is absolute before it is created, one has to make up rationalizations about time. “God exists independent of time.” “The past, present and future are all the same to God.” Imagine witnessing to a jungle native with, “You should love and trust a God who knew you before your parents were born and knows everything you are going to do before you even think about it.”

Contrast that with, “There is an active God of creation that wants the very best for you. He is also a just and forgiving God who knows about the times you have violated your conscience. You need to make things right with Him.”

These columns are archived since 12/10/09
See www.ACHStudyGroups.com
“Ben’s Blog”

2020-05-14 A word to the church

ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com
www.ACHStudyGroups.com
May 17, 2020

This is a letter to our friends –

It works for me

God took six days to create, then He rested a day. God is still making choices. He is alive.

I believe the Holy Bible is inerrant. The translations are not, but the message gets through anyway! God’s goal – “Teach us how to love Him and how to love one another.” All of us are in His classroom.

I have always been bothered by the translator’s understanding of God’s omniscience. We agree, “God knows everything.” I believe God knows everything knowable. Choices I have yet to create are not currently knowable as facts. I know my kids well enough to be pretty sure how they will act in a given situation, but that is not an absolute. If God says something is going to happen next Tuesday, He is quite able to bring it about next Tuesday – but – it isn’t a fact until He ratifies it with a choice on Tuesday.

If God knows my every choice before I am conceived – or before creating the world – then He can never make new decisions – or change His mind, as He does numerous times in Scripture.

Rather – I believe He is sitting on the edge of His throne watching over me and saying, “Come on Ben, I’m rooting for you. Get it right this time.”

When one believes the future is absolute before it is created, one has to make up rationalizations about time. “God exists independent of time.” “The past, present and future are all the same to God.” Imagine witnessing to a jungle native with, “You should love and trust a God who knew you before your parents were born and knows everything you are going to do before you even think about it.”

Contrast that with, “There is an active God of creation that wants the very best for you. He is also a just and forgiving God who knows about the times you have violated your conscience. You need to make things right with Him.”

These columns are archived since 12/10/09
See www.ACHStudyGroups.com
“Ben’s Blog”

2020-04-08 Property

ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com
www.ACHStudyGroups.com
April 9, 2020

This is a letter to our friends –

Property

“Property … The exclusive right of possessing, enjoying and disposing of a thing; ownership. In the beginning of the world, the Creator gave to man dominion over the earth, over the fish of the sea and the fowls of the air, and over every living thing. This is the foundation of man’s property in the earth and in all its productions. Prior occupancy of land and of wild animal gives to the possessor the property of them. The labor of inventing, making or producing any thing constitutes one of the highest and most indefeasible titles to property. Property is also acquired by inheritance, by gift or by purchase. Property is sometimes held in common, yet each man’s right to his share in common land or stock is exclusively his own. One man may have the property of the soil, and another the right of use, by prescription or by purchase.” Noah Webster 1828]

In the beginning God gave life to men. Because they had life, they must be free to move around and gather the things needed to sustain life. But – –

Since all those things were held in common, it would see that I must get universal permission before I can nourish my body with so much as an apple. Not possible! So when does the apple become exclusively my property?

The labor of my hands is exclusively my property. When I pick the apple (i.e. remove it from the state nature left it in common) I have mixed my property with the apple. I am free to eat it. But – –

If I do not make use of the apple and it rots in my possession, I have cheated someone else of that apple. What shall I do?

I will take the apple while it is fresh and exchange it in the market for walnuts with a longer shelf life. But – 0

The walnuts will dry up and I will have still cheated commons. I will exchange the walnuts, while they are good, for yellow nuggets of gold with an indefinite shelf life!

Thank you John Locke. It males sense to me.
These columns are archived since 12/10/09
See www.ACHStudyGroups.com
“Ben’s Blog”

2020-04-03 Liberty

ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com
www.ACHStudyGroups.com
April 7, 2020

This is a letter to our friends –

Liberty

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” [2nd Corinthians 3:17] “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.” [John Locke 1632 – 1704]
“Natural liberty, consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life. This liberty is abridged by the establishment of government.” [Webster 1828]
Locke’s straight forward philosophy is woven deep into our American governmental form and our culture. The first time I read that paragraph it fueled a whole day’s meditation! May I share my thoughts.
“To understand political power right” – Political power refers to person to person relationships. “Horizontal” as opposed to “vertical” relationship with God.
“And derive it from its original” — Like peeling an onion back to the seed. – Digging back to the very beginning.
We get so involved in day to day activities that we tend to lose contact with the fundamentals. Locke reminds us of the natural state of man, state of perfect freedom.
Then he defines that state for us, “… to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, … without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”
Noah Webster’s American dictionary became the standard of excellence in the English-speaking world. The similarity in texts illustrates Locke’s influence in American colonial life.

Some people think, “I am free to do anything I wish until I reach a boundary. The ‘Golden Rule’ is a boundary.”

Others think, “I must get permission before I take any action.” They have lost track of their liberty.

To derive liberty from its source, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Without the presence of that Spirit there is bondage to sin, that is, “rebellion”.

These columns are archived since 12/10/09
See www.ACHStudyGroups.com
“Ben’s Blog”

2020-03-27 Get ready to love teaching

ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com
www.ACHStudyGroups.com
March 27, 2020

This is a letter to our friends –

Get ready to love teaching

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The Course relies on: Biblical reasoning; the practice of the methods that form Christian character; mastery of the Biblical classical approach that measurably forms the Biblical worldview for all of life; preparation to be a living textbook to your students; use of Christian scholarship to cultivate effective communication skills; the emergence of the teaching gift that elevates the individual, imparts vision for the Kingdom, and rebuilds the culture for Christ.

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These columns are archived since 12/10/09
See www.ACHStudyGroups.com
“Ben’s Blog”

2020-03-20 Authority & Self-Government

ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com
www.ACHStudyGroups.com
March 20, 2020

This is a letter to our friends –

Authority & Self-Government

There is a subtle undercurrent that I fear is “stimulating” a dangerous attitude in both citizen and “official”. Let us not forget that in issuing “orders” – the “servant” (official) is the one issuing orders to the master (citizen). Many “officials” will “get off” on the authority and many citizens will bow like sheep. To work properly it is a delicate balance.

Quality self-government is a cooperative effort. Christ can not do it alone – and neither can you! Americans can draw a similar balance dealing with OUR civil-government.

We are obliged to obey those we (by election) (& GOD) have placed over us. They have the authority we (& God) have given them – BUT – no more authority than that. Free men retain the rest.

Example – God gave David a King’s authority. When David propositioned Bathsheba he had stepped outside the authority God had given him and Bathsheba was free to decline.

Be careful with the phrase – “… for the greater good.”

Ben

These columns are archived since 12/10/09
See www.ACHStudyGroups.com
“Ben’s Blog”

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