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2014-01-03 Human Nature

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

January 4, 2014

Apologies to the 210 friends who are receiving a 2nd posting. I failed to remove attachments from a previous mailing to PAG students and froze my Outlook app.

This is a mail-merge letter to our friends –

Human Nature

“The whole life of the Christian, from the beginning to the end,

is a conflict with the world and the powers of darkness,

a conflict within and without … .”

[Memorials of a Christian Life by August Neander]

Yesterday, a dear friend phoned. She was distressed over the future of our country. No doubt those reading these words share her concerns.

Human nature seems to focus upon the problem. News commentators are prospering by seeking, enhancing, and reporting ever more sensational examples of the problem(s). When we seek to stay informed, we are overwhelmed with negative events. Then, in conversation with friends, we do the same thing!

What does that produce? Awe at the size of the problem, a sense of helplessness & hopelessness, perhaps anger and frustration, often irrational actions that are counterproductive!

I would ask, “Excuse me, how big is your God?” Were God to drop by for an attitude check, I would not want to be found overwhelmed by the problem(s)! I want to be found excited about the things the Hand of God is doing in the midst of the “darkness”. I want to be found winning the “conflict within and without!”

How does one do that? By focusing upon the One who can overwhelm the problem as David and God overwhelmed Goliath. The glass is never empty. Focus upon what is left in the glass!

Will American civil-government degenerate into lawless chaos, marshal law, and tyranny? It is truly a reasonable possibility. One we would do well to consider and prepare for. Who can deny that it would illustrate the justice of God? Some Christians appear to welcome it as giving us what we deserve.

I am in another camp. Human history demonstrates that God prefers mercy over justice, when He can justify it. Would a wise judge release an unrepentant murderer? In a society, there must be corporate quality character to govern human nature. Not everyone, not even a majority, is necessary to qualify for God’s mercy over justice.

I want the world to see God’s mercy demonstrated to the world. Human nature understands justice. Justice produces bondage and death. Mercy produces liberty and faith.

Throughout this year, you are invited to join me in humbly praying, seeking God’s will over human nature, and turning from our selfish (i.e. sinful) ways. Then – Let us be informed, not only about the problems, but the Godly principles we may apply to overcome them.

Nothing confuses the enemy so much as a group of Christians rejoicing over the victory before the battle begins! Let us shun those who would join us in the battle while vigorously waving a white flag!

2013-12-22 Jesus Christ Changed the World

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

December 22, 2013

This is a mail-merge letter to our friends –

JESUS CHRIST CHANGED THE WORLD

Transforming Time

Jesus Christ changed the world forever. When He was born, He transformed the very way we measure time. He turned aside the river of the ages and lifted the centuries off their hinges. His birthday, His Incarnation, touched and transformed time. Now the whole world counts time as Before Christ (BC) and AD (Anno Domoni – in the year of our Lord). Jesus Christ is the central figure of history. More books have been written about Jesus Christ than any other person in history.

Saving Lives

The world before Christ was a world without hospitals, a world without charity, a world without respect for the sanctity of life. Hospitals were an innovation of Christianity. Hence the healing symbol of a cross represents hospitals. The nursing profession was founded by Christians such as Florence Nightingale out of devotion for Christ. One of history’s greatest humanitarian movements, the International Red Cross, was founded by Christians in response to the Scriptural injunctions to care for the sick and the suffering. Christians such as Dr. Louis Pasteur have fuelled some of the greatest practical advances in medicine. Pasteur has probably saved more lives than any other individual in history through his inventions.

Caring for the Poor

The whole concept of charity was a Christian innovation. Benevolence to strangers was unknown before Christ. The teachings and example of Jesus Christ have inspired the greatest acts of generosity, hospitality, self-sacrifice and service for the poor, sick and needy over two thousand years.

Setting the Captives Free

Before the advent of Christianity every culture-practised slavery and human sacrifice – even the highly esteemed Greek and Roman civilisations. Child sacrifice was common among the pagan religions. The Aztec Empire in Mexico and Inca Empire in Peru engaged in slavery, ritual rapes and mass human sacrifice. Suttee, the burning of widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands, was common practice in Hindu India before the missionary William Carey arrived. Slavery was eradicated as a result of tireless efforts of Christians such as William Wilberforce and David Livingstone. Respect for life and liberty is a fruit of Christianity. Those promoting abortion, euthanasia and pornography are not offering us progress, but only a return to pre-Christian paganism.

Blessing the Nations

The positive impact of Jesus Christ on the world cannot be overstated. Everything from education to human rights, from public health to economic liberty – the things we cherish most and many of the blessings we take for granted – all can be traced to the spiritual and the cultural revolution begun by Jesus Christ.

The Scientific Revolution

The irrefutable fact is that Christianity gave birth to modern science. The scientific revolution began with the Protestant Reformation and the Bible played a vital part in the development of scientific discovery. Every major branch of science was developed by a Bible believing Christian. The Bible essentially created science. When we get into a car, start the engine, turn on the lights, drive to a hospital, receive an anaesthetic before an operation, and have an effective operation done in a germ-free environment, we need to remember that we owe it all to Jesus Christ.

Education for All

"Every school you see – public or private, religious or secular – is a visible reminder of the religion of Jesus Christ. So is every college and university." Dr. James Kennedy.

There is no doubt that Jesus Christ was the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. When He spoke, "They were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority…" Mark 1:22. The life, teachings and example of Jesus Christ have profoundly influenced the whole development of education worldwide. The Great Commission of our Lord Jesus was to "make disciples of all nations…teaching them…" Matthew 28:19-20

From the very beginning Christians were establishing schools. Amongst the many innovations in Christian Education was that these Christian schools taught everybody, including girls and women. Formally educating both sexes was a Christian innovation. The Greeks and Romans before the birth of Christ did not formally educate girls. Only boys from the privileged classes obtained an education. Christianity revolutionised education by making it available to all classes and both genders. Saint Augustine observed that Christian women were better educated than the pagan male philosophers.

The phenomenon of education for the masses has its roots in Christianity. The pursuit of the knowledge of God in a systematic, philosophical and in-depth way gave rise to the phenomenon of universities all around the world. It was the Christian faith that gave rise to the idea of higher learning. The greatest invention in the field of learning, the printing press, by Johannes Gutenberg, was also a fruit of the Christian faith. The first book to be printed was the Bible.

Most of the languages of the world were first set to writing by Christian missionaries. The first book in most languages of the world has been the Bible. Christianity has been the greatest force for promoting literacy worldwide throughout history.

The Christian missionary movement in the 19th Century pioneered tens of thousands of schools throughout Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands – providing education for countless millions, even in the remotest jungles, giving the gift of literacy to tribes which had never before had a written language.

Every branch and level of education was pioneered by Bible believing Christians. The concept of graded levels of education was first introduced by a German Lutheran, Johan Sturm in the 16th Century. Another Lutheran, Frederick Froebel introduced kindergartens. Education for the deaf was also pioneered by Christians.

Sunday schools were begun by Robert Raikes in 1780, to provide boys and girls from the poorest homes with the gift of literacy and the riches of the Scriptures.

One Truth

The very name "university" testifies to its Christian origins. University means "One Truth". The first universities grew out of the monastic missionary centres, which had discipled Europe. The first university lecturers were the missionary monks who had collected books, accumulated libraries, copied manuscripts and were uniquely equipped for advanced academic study. Most universities began as Christian schools. Isn’t it time that teachers, lecturers and professors took an in depth look at the greatest Teacher the world has ever known, the greatest Book ever produced and the Faith with inspired and pioneered every major branch of education and science?.

Compassion for the Blind

Before Jesus Christ, human life in the Greek and Roman world was extremely cheap. Infants born with physical defects such as blindness, were commonly abandoned to. However, Jesus Christ showed particular compassion for the blind, healing many blind individuals during His ministry on earth. When the Roman persecution of the Church ended, in the 4th Century, Christians established asylums for the blind. In the 19th Century, Louis Braille, a dedicated Christian who lost his eyesight at age three, developed the worlds first alphabet that enabled blind people to read with their fingers.

The Rule of Law

The Bible, particularly the Ten Commandments, laid the framework and legal foundations of Western civilisation. The very first statute, the first written restriction on the powers of government was the Magna Carta of 1215. It was written by a pastor and thoroughly saturated with Scriptural principles.

Inspirational

The life and teachings of Jesus Christ have inspired the greatest literature, the greatest art, the greatest examples of architecture, the age of exploration, world missions, the rule of law, the separation of powers, checks and balances, representative government, the sanctity of life, compassion for the poor, blind and needy and so much more that we take for granted.

Christianity has been the most powerful agent in transforming society for the better across 2000 years. No other religion, philosophy, teaching, nation, or movement has changed the world for the better as Christianity has done.

The Bible is the greatest Book ever written. Jesus Christ is the greatest Man who has ever lived.

Wise men still seek Him.

He became like us – that we might become like Him.

He was rejected – that we might be accepted.

He was condemned – that we might be forgiven.

He was punished – that we might be pardoned.

He suffered – that we might be strengthened.

He was whipped – that we might be healed.

He was hated – that we might be loved.

He was crucified – that we might be justified.

He was tortured – that we might be comforted.

He died – that we might live.

He went to hell – that we might go to Heaven.

He endured what we deserve – that we might enjoy what only He deserves.

Dr. Peter Hammond

Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
Fax: 021-685-5884
Email: mission@frontline.org.za

Website: www.frontline.org.za

2013-09-26 Persistance – Corrected

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

September 26, 2013

This is a letter to our friends –

Persistance

This is a time to ignore the Philistine newspapers. Persist in doing what is right. Ignore the odds of success and fight until the cloture vote is taken. Keep an eye on the “whip list” at the bottom of www.DontFundObamacare.com

Further – If the phone offers “voice mail” leave the message, “Please oppose cloture.

Call the ones in red as well. They haven’t voted yet!

HE IS RISEN

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"The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it." [–James Madison, letter to Frederick Beasley, 1825]

Around the world the traditional Easter greeting is, “He is risen!” and the response is, “Indeed He has!

It occurs to me that our society will continue to degrade UNTIL we return to beginning with, GOD EXISTS – ALL POWERFUL, WISE AND GOOD.

Fail to agree on that, and your house is built upon a false presupposition, (a house of cards).

Given that, there is within each of us a point of agreement upon which to build a relationship:

· First – With that God

· Second – With one another.

I suggest that fundamental starting point as the beginning of every question and dispute.

Our “human tool box” includes will, appetite, pride, reason.

Let us agree to subordinate individual will and appetite to individual reason. Then let us submit our individual reason to the will of God. God is wise and good and it is safe to trust His will. Each of us is wholly dependent upon Him and thus – Obligated to Him.

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It is Not Debatable

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Same sex marriage is derived from homosexuality, which is a derivative of rebellion, which is a derivative of universal depravity, which is a choice.

As I listened to the talking heads on TV news, it occurred to me that depravity is destined to win todays debate. In our “Principles of American Government” online course, we make a point of recognizing and not accepting false presuppositions. If you permit a false idea to be introduced at the beginning of a discussion – The whole structure of the discussion is built upon sand, NOT solid rock.

What is the false presupposition in the “same sex marriage” discussion?

God does not exist. Therefore the “laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” are invalid. Therefore the opinions, and not the sound reasoning, of humans is supreme (i.e. humanism).

Our unique American culture, based upon Christian self-government, has become so eroded that we are debating the un-debatable!

Liberty is not license. Nothing and no one is without a set of rules (laws) that govern it. Step outside those rules – chaos. Stay within those rules – peace. America’s founders understood that. Their reference to “natural law” and “revealed law” presupposed that God exists. (“We are endowed by our Creator … “.

Natural law may be discovered by observation and reason. We see the “edge” of the earth and conclude “the earth is flat”. Human reason is not always correct. Navigation based upon that false presupposition will not work! The truth – the earth is round – was not changed by faulty human reasoning.

Revealed law is found ONLY in the Holy Scriptures. Since there is a mountain of evidence that they resulted from the direct inspiration of God, “revealed law” is infinitely more authoritative than “natural law” which is based upon human observation and reason.

It is important to note that – natural law and revealed law will never be in conflict – since they come from the same source.

BUT – You say, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof: … “. [1st Amendment to our Constitution] Therefore, you can not involve God and either natural law, or revealed law (the Bible), in discussing “same sex marriage.”

I believe “religion” here, refers to systems of doctrines and beliefs, created by man.

Separation of church and state makes sense. Our founders feared a state-sponsored church. Separation of God and state is insanity! Both the Declaration and the Constitution presuppose a supreme lawgiver. We are wrong to equate God and His will, with man-created systems. Fellowship with believers (i.e.”church” ), is a good thing. – BUT – It is not a substitute for a personal relationship with God.

Both human reason and the inspired word of God will validate the wisdom of staying within the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. Any law outside those limits should be no law at all.

This is the discussion we should be having — Do God and His rules exist? We will agree in advance to accept a better, more proven, set of rules. What have you to offer?

Let us agree – It would be unwise not to live and govern by the best set of rules available.

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Passion

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“PAS’SION, n […, to suffer] …

3. Suffering, emphatically, the last suffering of the Savior.

To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion, by many infallible proofs. Acts 1” [Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of The English Language]

It is my honor to be associated with a family in Alabama, the Flesher’s.

Listening to the attached clips from a Passion Play will make the ideal Easter blog post.

“Ben,

For the last three nights, we have watched the Mobile Passion Play. Tessa played with the orchestra. I wish you could have been there. The majority of the performers were students from University of Mobile, the Christian college Tessa plans to attend. The entire performance was breathtaking in terms of musicality, but it was the light of Christ shining through the students that moved every person in the audience. Playing with them inspired Tessa. They and the Lord working through them to bring the lost to Christ are reality.

Bonita

P.S. The links are to three of the songs use in the play – Mary’s song when she learns she is carrying the Savior, the song of the man healed from demons (short ad at the beginning, sorry), and the song of the thief on the cross.

[youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=QsXOP7aQeqQ][youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=QsXOP7aQeqQ]

[youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=VzGAYNKDyIU]

[youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=HMRi6XDeeRo]

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