observation

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.

A Challenge

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What follows is a sincere plea from my heart to yours.

Once we were a people who prided themselves upon being unique. Has it ever occurred to you that, nothing God creates is a duplicate? Further – nothing exists without a set of rules that limit and govern it.

Reason is a gift from God to humans. It is among the items in each life-adventure “tool chest.” Use it or lose it!

Let’s begin

God is the uncreated creator.

Have you ever paused to reason why that is a true statement? Once “We the people” understood and focused on that. If we are not to live in confusion, frustration, anger, and ultimate hopelessness – We MUST first apply our individual reason to the above statement. It is not enough to accept the word of a trusted parent, religious leader, or friend.

If you are to experience your life-adventure as you were placed here to do, you MUST think this through for yourself! God has no step-children! Such reasoning has been removed nibble by nibble, until we are no longer challenged to reason for ourselves. Others are happy to do it for us!

· Wisdom may be found in the Bible (biblically).

· Wisdom may be found in history (historically).

· Wisdom may be found through observation and reason (governmentally).

Why do you trust wisdom from the Bible? It is NOT enough to say, “I trust the one who told me the Bible is God’s word.” Have you observed the evidence and applied your own reason to draw a wise conclusion? Would your conclusion hold up under cross examination?

Are you prepared to illustrate wisdom in His-story? Discussing evidence of providential history has become rare these days. If we are to see our current situation as it truly is – We must see it in the context of God’s hand in human history.

Are you prepared to demonstrate wisdom through observation and reason? There is a cause and effect to everything. I label it, “Thinking governmentally.” Others might call it, “critical thinking.”

All three of these sources of wisdom are valid and useful – if – we will study them and use them. Things of value come with a price! That is one way of judging value!

It appears to me – American society in general, is ill-informed and almost illiterate in all three of these forms of wisdom. We have been lulled into our individual “comfort zones” and we will fight to defend them! In doing so – I guarantee – You will be missing the exciting adventures available to you! You may also be failing to fulfill your part in His-story.

A Challenge

On June 3rd, We will begin our next online course in PRINCIPLES OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT (PAG). This is NOT a course on the Constitution. This is a course in building wisdom –and understanding – upon a solid first cause.

I guarantee – This course is outside your “comfort zone.” That is the “challenge.”

Read the syllabus and student comments on our web site. Phone or e-mail to chat about it.

You are encouraged to forward this “challenge” to other adults and teens.

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Liberty – More Than a Word

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Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.” [2 Corinthians 3:13b]

“Liberty”, “freedom”, and “rights” are words that are tossed around freely these days. But – words mean things! When we begin looking for definitions we are drawn deeper and deeper until we reach an original statement, or a first cause.

Often that is a Bible quote like St. Paul in Corinthians (above). St Paul was a “newcomer”!! Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, David, and Moses all used the word, “liberty”! Wait – We can go back further – to Adam, a creation of God!

It is absurd to believe creation around us did not require intelligent design. Thus – This First Cause is what we call God. We can discover things about God by studying what is created.

For instance – Everything needed for a human to live a long, happy, healthy life was on earth before man was placed upon earth. Thus – God is concerned with man’s long, happy, healthy life.

God gave humans the gift of observation and reason. For example – Were you the only human on earth, you would be in a “natural state of liberty”. Because you had life, you had the liberty to gather the things needed to sustain life. Further you had the freedom to enjoy the fruit of your efforts, your property. “Life, liberty, and property”, sound familiar? That was the original text in our Declaration of Independence – “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – rights given by God to “all men”.

Now, suppose another human is placed on earth. Two of you enjoying the “natural state of liberty”. Both of you are constrained by the law of nature – (gravity, severe weather, need for food and water, …).

Observation and reason produce another law of nature – Each of you are constrained not to violate the other’s liberty. (i.e. My space ends at the tip of your nose J).

Next – A guy and a gal make a baby. Now we have a family. Several families join to make a tribe. They are free to join the tribe, or remain in their “natural state of liberty”.

The advantage of joining the tribe –

· Mutual protection from other tribes and animals.

· Shared burdens, farming, hunting, marketing, …

· Arbitration of disputes.

· Have a voice in the formation and execution of tribal rules.

The disadvantages of joining the tribe –

· Submit to a set of tribal rules (known in advance and documented).

· Submit to the system of just arbitration of disputes.

· Submit to specified penalties for violation of tribal rules.

We call this “voluntary union”. “Government by the consent of the governed”. In all of human history, every effort to form such a government had failed – until – September of 1787.

[T]he laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” were understood by the colonial Americans to mean “the will of God” discovered by observation and reason [“natural law”] as well as by Bible truth [“revealed law”], since both come from the same source.

Americans valued their understanding of individual God-given rights to “life, liberty, and property”, they were willing to risk their lives to throw off tyrannical government. No man may touch a farthing of my property without the consent of myself, or my representative.

Upon winning independence from England, American’s had no government. They chose to unite and create one for themselves with limited authority to protect their lives, liberty, and property.

Americans have never experienced harsh tyranny as have most others in the world. Rather, we have volunteered our precious God-given liberty a bit at a time, until we are so far removed from true liberty that we have forgotten its value.

Unless we renew our understanding of the source and reason of our “natural state of liberty” we may have to purchase it anew with our own blood and tears.

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