Conscience

2013-07-27 Come – Let us reason together

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

July 27, 2013

This is a letter to our friends –

“Come – Let us reason together”

The Prophet Isaiah [eighth century B.C.] was speaking what he believed were God’s words. (See Isaiah 1:18).

All creation SHOUTS of the being and personality of a Creator-God. If you do not choose to listen – choosing to deny His existence – His inspired word says you are a fool! [Psalm 14:1]

Everything that exists has a set of laws to govern it: humans, animals, plants, even dirt and atoms. Rules also exist for intangible things: thoughts, desires, lusts, words, even your conscience. James Madison [1792] said, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”

Why are such governing limits needed? Reason tells us there is peace and harmony within those “laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, while outside those limits is chaos!

Truth is always fighting to come to the surface. If you deny God exists, you are holding under the truth. A struggle you will ultimately lose!

There are many reasons our human nature is prone to hold under the truth. (Read the first chapter of Romans carefully.) Let us reason together about a few of them.

We have a comfort zone. Applying reason to that with which we are comfortable may take us out of that zone.

We enjoy sinning! (i.e. Doing something that is legal in an illegal or excessive way.) Observation and reason tells us it is addictive. We will never be satisfied outside the limits.

We draw our identity from a relationship. — “I am Baptist.”, “I am Jewish”, “I am Catholic.” Thus, we fear losing our identity by applying reason to the relationship.

Reason tells us it is unwise to release something without replacing it with something better.

The Old Testament focuses upon the Messiah. We should never tell a Jew we want him to be a “Christian.” Most Jews believe that anyone not Jewish is either Moslem or Christian. Rather, encourage him to be the Jew God wants him to be! If he truly seeks his Messiah, he will discover He has come. Accepting the Lordship of Christ makes him no less Jewish!

Some Catholics identify with the Roman Catholic Church. They accept church doctrine as true, without confirming it with reason. Tradition and family relationships might be challenged. They fear losing their identity. Applying observation, reason and Revealed Law to church doctrine will make them no less a Catholic.

In the 17th century, the Puritans were the “Bible thumpers.” They compared the structure of the Church of England with what they discovered in the newly available Bible in the common language, and began seeking to improve the church structure.

In the same era, the Pilgrims were also discovering Biblical truths. They chose to form home-churches with the motto, “Reform now without tarrying for any.” They exchanged their various identities for an identity with Christ. Ultimately their Christ-centered lifestyle permeated New England and became the cornerstone of our nation.

All that to say this — God is real! He created you to have a wonderful, loving relationship with Him by staying within “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Your human nature does not want to stay within the lines! He is doing all He can do to help you understand His “Law of Liberty” and forsake your stubborn pride and seek truth where ever it leads!

It is an INDIVIDUAL quest, each of us must make. None of us has all truth. I encourage each reader to submit his will and appetite to his reason, and his reason to God.

Govt 101 – Democracy

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Definitions –

GOVERNMENT – direction …, regulation …, control …, restraint ….

[Webster 1828 (my paraphrase)]

DEMOC̵RACY, n. […] Government by the people; a form of government, in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of the people collectively, or in which the people exercise the powers of legislation. Such was the government of Athens.

[Webster 1828]

When democracy works –

X-ville is a 50 family village in colonial Massachusetts. The good folks of this small community meet monthly in their meeting house (the church is the community’s largest room) to do the community business. We’ll call it a “town meeting”. Majority rules.

The well is dry. They must tax themselves to dig a new well. They vote for a $50/family tax. Everyone will be drinking from the well.

The widow Jones and her 16 kids (You’d think she would have died before the husband!) is already having a hard time clothing and feeding her family. These were pre “government-welfare” days. The new $50 assessment will hit her hard.

X-ville folks have good character. Without anyone saying anything, her share gets taken care of. BUT – Suppose the folks lack that good character and the widow Jones has to go without food and shoes for her kids so they can drink. — Every time the townsfolk walk past her house they and their consciences see the results of their majority vote. They don’t enjoy that, and the problem gets corrected.

My point – In a small community, the majority has to live with the results of their majority vote. Conscience makes it a self-policing system.

When democracy does not work –

Suppose the folks in the county (X-ville, Y-ville, Z-ville) decide to have just one “town meeting” in place of the three held in each town. All 150 families gather monthly in the Y-ville church – majority rules. Will the majority (100 families from Y-ville & Z-ville) know anything about widow Jones? Not likely. Will their consciences serve to self-police their majority rule?

My point – In a large group, the minority is often overlooked. The majority becomes a tyranny.

A system ruled by a majority is called a “democracy”. The ultimate “democracy” is a lynch mob. Only one person in the group objects!

America’s founders recognized the significance of small electorates (those who may vote in an election). The president is elected by the states. Congressmen are elected by CD (“congressional districts” with more or less equal number of voters).

Before the 17th Ammendment [April 8, 1913] U.S. Senators (2 per state), were elected by their state legislators. Thus – Since CA has 80 Assemblymen and 40 state Senators [120 legislators], Senators Boxer & Feinstein would be elected to the U.S. senate by a majority of 120 votes.

After the 17th Ammendment was (passed by the people!), Boxer and Feinstein are elected by a majority of ALL the voters in CA (18 million voters!!!!).

Think about it.

Would you rather take great care in your choice of a state legislator and trust him and at least 60 others to send a CA Senator to Washington – or – Leave it to the good judgment of at least 9 million plus 1 (a majority of voters). Which system better limits the behavior of a U.S. Senator? What size “tea party” group will it require to threaten re-election of a State Senator answerable to 9,000,001 voters?

So why did the people vote away their sovereignty over the U.S. Senate? They were duped. They did not understand the difference between “democracy” (majority rule) and “republic” (representation). They needed a course in “Principles of American Government!

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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
[Contact Ben]

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