Bill O’Reilly stepped in it the other day when he called those in opposition to homosexual marriage and who use the Bible to make their case “Bible Thumpers.” This is hardly the case, but it passes for good TV. O’Reilly is as familiar with the Bible as the New York Times reporter who wrote, “Easter […]
It’s 2013, and to the surprise of many, we’re still here. We don’t know what the future will bring. With that in mind, many people are nostalgic for the past. Not so fast. The writer of the biblical book Ecclesiastes puts the past in perspective when he writes: “Do not say, ‘Why is it that […]
Under-handed backstabbing, hypocrisy, intrigue, and blackmail. These are not vices — they’re just standard politics. Ryan Gosling is put through the ringer trying to do everything to keep one scandal after another under wraps and away from the press in the Mike Morris campaign. But can he do this without crossing the line in the sand? How does the ‘The Ides of March’ challenge all of our credences with earnest drama? Is this just another liberal spin on truth, justice, and the American way? Find out now on Movieology!
American Vision stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, to restore America’s biblical foundation by educating and equipping Christians to apply a biblical worldview to every aspect of life. Some dismiss these values, and the faith of our founding fathers, as fleeting and archaic. But we know that we owe all […]
Enjoy my summary of Dr. Gary North’s presentation this morning: I’m blogging from the 2009 American Vision Worldview Super Conference. Dr. Gary North just finished giving a presentation on the history and theology behind a gold-standard. It was so enlightening that I figured I’d write a blog about it while everyone else eats lunch. In […]
The title for today’s article is taken from a response to one of American Vision’s daily articles. The respondent is an atheist who claims he can refute any argument raised in defense of the Christian faith. I have irritated him so much by answering his poorly researched responses he sends to me that his true […]
In an interview that was published in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine (July 5, 2009), Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she thought the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion was predicated on the Supreme Court majority’s desire to diminish “populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” Of course, there is nothing new in what Ginsburg said. The American Birth Control League (which eventually became Planned Parenthood), the brainchild of birth-control and abortion advocate Margaret Sanger, was founded on identical sentiments. In 1939 Sanger started “The Negro Project.” She called on black preachers to support sterilization
Recently Glenn Beck has rightly been lamenting the death of “common sense” in American government and law – a phenomenon which must be evident to many Americans over forty and manifest to every Bible-believing Christian. Philip K. Howard had complained against massive, hyper-detailed laws generated by regulatory bureaucracies to tell us what we must do in every situation – and leaving nothing to the common sense of the individual – in The Death of Common Sense; How Law Is Suffocating America (1995). Glenn’s guest Lori Borgman lamented the death of “Common Sense” in a great, now much-circulated satirical obituary in the March 15, 1998 Indianapolis Star.
I received the following portion of a longer email from someone who disagreed with me on the interpretation of the Constitution related to the relationship between the Federal government and the states. He opened his email with this statement (my response follows his comments):
Our early state constitutions were our first constitutions. They were the fundamental laws of their states, in most states replacing the colonial charters. (Connecticut retained its colonial charter as its constitution until 1818; Rhode Island, until 1842.) They grew out of more than 140 years of their separate histories which gave them distinctly different, deeply rooted cultural and governmental traditions. They were products of the collective worldviews and values, the histories and corporate identities of the people of each of our states which were striving to win their independence, or had won their independence, from Great Britain.
American Vision gets its fair share of feedback from readers like you. A concern that is often raised by letter and email writers goes something like this: “Why is your ministry so negative? Shouldn’t we be trying to unite Christians and work together instead of bickering over theological differences that don’t really matter? Let’s just preach the gospel and worry about the other stuff in heaven…” Although each one words it a bit differently, this is the essence of it. In other words, “Can’t we all just get along?”
The short answer is no, we can’t. Not yet anyway. The main problem with a question like this is that underneath the question is a statement. A statement that basically says that the Bible is only about saving people from hell. Christianity then, becomes nothing more than a one-way ticket through the narrow gate (Matt. 7:13-14). Few there be that find it, but it won’t be for a lack of witnessing and leaving tracts with the tip for the waiter. While we appreciate the zeal attached to such a view, it is completely short-sighted and bears no resemblance to the gospel of the New Testament.
The Articles of Confederation was our first constitution. Although it was abandoned in favor of the Constitution because of its defects, it contained principles which the vast majority of Americans wanted in the Constitution. When enough Americans and their statesmen saw that the defects of the Constitution would or could be used to usurp authority and powers from the state governments and create a centralized government which would violate these principles, Americans added what became the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution to protect these principles.
While Christians are weakening their particular witness in the area of politics by taking a two-kingdom approach, it’s interesting to take a look at a number of our nation’s more secular founders to see what they believed about how God is the fixed point governmental thought. On June 28, 1787, Benjamin Franklin delivered a stirring speech to those in attendance at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. His words then are no less true today. In fact, they struck a profound prophetic note that serve as a disturbing warning to all who would dismiss the idea that God should govern in the affairs of nations:
Recently I have received a number of emails from atheists. This isn’t unusual since American Vision publishes a number of books refuting common atheist arguments, and I’ve written a few articles on the subject as well. American Vision has published four books refuting three top-dog atheists: Letter from a Christian Citizen, Return of the Village Atheist, God Is, and The Deluded Atheist.
In the February issue of Christianity Today, Lisa Graham McMinn wrote a thought-provoking review of a recent book by Phil Zuckerman. Zuckerman’s book, Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment, is basically an indictment of what he believes is the hypocrisy of "Christian" America. Zuckerman’s point is that Americans, whom he describes as being very "religious," actually display less compassion and love toward other people than the mostly irreligious citizens of Scandinavia.
McMinn’s review doesn’t bring up this point, but I always find it quite convenient that skeptics and atheists want to define America as a "Christian" nation only when it suits their statistics. Even though this country has a rich Christian heritage and Bible verses are literally chiseled into our government and state buildings, skeptics will usually deny this empirical evidence in their attempt to erase Christianity from America’s long religious tradition. However, when they want to accuse the American religious community of being less than faithful to their stated beliefs, the story becomes something else entirely. For atheists and agnostics, America is only a Christian nation when it can be used as a club against Christianity itself.
One of McMinn’s most important observations comes about midway through her review. While Zuckerman’s comparisons of Scandinavia and the United States depend on an "apples to apples" relationship, McMinn points out that it is not this simple.
Neither the Framers nor the Ratifiers of our Constitution wanted to make the new national government a democracy. They were, overwhelmingly, republican, not “democratic,” political thinkers. And with plenty of good reasons, for they were not ignorant of the Bible, the nature of man, or the performance of various kinds of civil government in history. Strictly speaking, democracy is a form of civil government ruled directly by the votes of a majority. Democracy is based on the notion that all men are equal.
You may have read that “the latest American Religious Identification Survey shows that the number of those who believe in no religion at all has almost doubled in the last 18 years, rising from 8 percent to 15 percent since 1990.” Then there’s the article that appeared on the Christian Science Monitor site by Michael Spencer about a coming “evangelical collapse.” Spencer opens the article with these dire conclusions:
Although some compromises were necessary to complete the framing of our Constitution – and to ensure that we had a constitution at all – our Constitution was not a mere bundle of pragmatic compromises. Our Constitution was designed: it was the product of a carefully crafted deliberative process in which history’s lessons concerning the effects of different forms of civil government for liberty and justice were carefully weighed and the proposed means of giving us the best form of republican government that the people of the various states would accept were both considered and reconsidered.