Holy Judgment

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 3, 2020 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Whenever the term “holy judgment” comes to mind, I actually often think of a powerful magic attack in a video game using a “holy element.” When video games are not the context, very often it is the wrath of God coming down to wipe out anything and everything it its path. However, this is only a partial image. The real reason so many people dread Judgment Day is because we are all sinners facing a perfect standard and every one of us will be found guilty before it. Yet, Judgment Day is the most blessed day for the righteous.

One of the things that always baffles skeptics is how God deals with man. God is not like any of us. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He is altogether “other-than” anything we can imagine. And He always seems to throw us for a loop. When we think judgment is due, He gives mercy. When we expect mercy, He executes judgment. Other times, He gives exactly what we ask for. And sometimes it is good; sometimes it is not.

God sent Jonah to preach to Nineveh and to warn them they had 40 days to live until judgment. Jonah ran away. Why? Because he knew God was a God of mercy and might spare Nineveh had they listened. God chose to spare them because even without the offer for repentance, they did anyway. He nearly spared Sodom and Gomorrah due to the pleading of Abraham, if only He found some righteous people.

God is extremely patient with people. It’s amazing how long He will let sin “slide” for a season. The primary reason why is found in 2 Peter 3:9. God longs that people repent rather than perish. Jesus said He came to save people, not to destroy them. He gave the people of Noah’s day 120 years’ notice before bringing on the Flood. No one except eight people listened until the day of. He gave Amalak 500 years to repent of waylaying Israel in the wilderness before sending Saul to finish them off.

But in other cases, God brought down judgment immediately. He immediately struck down Nadab and Abihu, the two oldest sons of Aaron, for burning profane fire. He squashed the rebellion started by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. He had Achan executed and killed Uzzah on the spot for touching the Ark of the Covenant. Why? I believe one reason was because God was establishing His law and order and if He let those slide, it would have had devastating results. Sometimes God spares the many because of the one. Other times, God has to think of the many and deal with the one.

Sometimes, God deals with people in terms of generations rather than individuals. Solomon, Ahab, and Hezekiah were all kings whom God had to discipline (among others). Yet each had their judgment extended beyond their lifetime to be experienced by their children. Solomon turned to idolatry yet due to His covenant with David, the splitting of the kingdom would take place with his son, Rehoboam. Ahab was given numerous chances to repent, yet after murdering Naboth and stealing his garden, Ahab actually wept authentically over his sin, and God sent Elijah to tell him that his doom would not come in his lifetime. Hezekiah committed the sin of boasting by showing off his wealth to Babylon. Every last penny he had was shown, so God said that Babylon would get it all, but not in his lifetime, due to his faithfulness overall.

But God doesn’t just dole out punishments; He rewards the faithful. God’s holy judgment is holy. Judgment is not just to penalize the wicked; it is also to reward the righteous. When I referee at fencing tournaments, I have three primary duties: control the bout (including fencers and spectators), enforce the rules, and award points (determine if a fencer’s actions earned them the point for scoring). If I show mercy to one fencer by not penalizing him, am I being just for the other fencer? At the same time, if one fencer keeps doing the same thing over and over again, scoring each time, and the other fencer keep getting hit, I have to be a just referee and award that good fencer for each point he is scoring.

Albeit nowhere near a perfect analogy, God is the same way. When we are obedient, He will give us justice too. When someone wrongs us, God will vindicate us. We don’t need revenge. God will take care of it. When we do right, God sees it. He especially takes notice of doing the right things when no one else is watching. When a politician goes to serve a Thanksgiving meal, comes in with all his cameras, serves one meal, then leaves, and the media says he served for Thanksgiving, that is all the reward he will get (yes, that has happened). But what you do in secret, God will reward. We don’t know what that reward will be. For some it will be in this life but in the next life. If you get your reward here and now, it will not be for your pleasure and enjoyment, but for you to share with the rest of the body of Christ.

God’s judgment is holy. It is unique and “other-than” anything we can imagine. It is perfect and accomplishes precisely what God needs done. When a punishment’s lesson is learned, the punishment ends. When a righteous deed is done, a prize awaits. And in all cases, God gets the glory.

Next week, I’ll look into how we are to be holy as God is holy.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

READ MORE

Here I Stand

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, April 2, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

On March 13-15, we held our Here I Stand Apologetics Conference in Findlay, Ohio. We were pleased with how things went and are looking forward to hosting another conference on Saturday, October 17, 2020. In these interesting times we live in as the world keeps changing and changing, it is very important to have a Biblical foundation not only for your own life and family but when engaging with others in this new world we find ourselves in.

Some things that have been said about our ministry and conferences from those who use our free online resources, read our books, and attend our conferences are as follows:

  • The conference just helped me re-affirm the truth of God’s Word. The facts of God are all around us.
  • It was good to be reminded that we can trust and rely the truth of God’s Word. We can be confident that what we confess is greater than the world and offers true hope to unbelievers.
  • The resources you offer have given me a better understanding of a Biblical foundation and the importance of the Bible so I can know how to answer tough questions of unbelievers.
  • I was encouraged and reminded that people must want to learn for me to speak and have dialogue about spiritual things.
  • It was interesting to learn about how so many cultures around the world have stories about a worldwide flood.
  • I loved learning about the importance of the Abrahamic Covenant. Very interesting.
  • I appreciate that I was able to ask questions after each talk.
  • I now have historic proof under my belt to be more confident in sharing God’s Word.
  • I loved the facility and the group was a perfect size. It gave me a “learning mindset.”

As you can see, our conference was a huge success. We plan to keep our free resources being available to the public. With all that said, I encourage you, even in this bizarre time in our nation, to get registered for our next conference coming up in October. You can register for this free conference at this link. We all hope to see you join us at this next conference in October!

1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

READ MORE

I'm Lighting a Candle

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, April 1, 2020 0 comments


by Steve Risner

Note: All numbers reflected here are as of March 30, 2020. They will certainly be different tomorrow and next week, but the point is the same. Thank you for reading.

Here’s the deal: there are 2600 dead in the US from COVID-19. That seems like a lot, but when we understand how the numbers work in the US, it’s actually not. That’s 0.0008% of the population of the country. In Ohio, the number of dead works out to 0.0002% of the population. There have been 162,000 who have died in 2020 from heart disease. There have been nearly 35,000 deaths from stroke this year so far. The flu season, being labelled “normal to low,” has claimed 22,000 Americans. The H1N1 (swine flu) of 2009 claimed 1000 Americans before the president made any declarations, and those were to stay calm, don’t panic, and stay open if you’re a business or school. That pandemic rattled the world, killing nearly half a million worldwide and 12,000 to 18,000 (depending on who you talk to) in the States. Almost 300,000 deaths have been recorded (about 3200 per day) due to motor vehicle accidents this year so far in the US. In Ohio, this works out to be about 250 deaths from crashes so far this year (based on averages and stats). Something around 325,000 have died worldwide from TB this year. It's estimated that there have been 10,000,000 deaths worldwide and just short of 200,000 in the US since January 1 due to abortion. Again, if statistical averages hold true, we have had nearly 40,000 die in 2020 from communicable diseases. Almost 7% of those are from COVID-19. Nearly 60% of those are from influenza. That is 20x the deaths from the flu vs coronavirus. Now, there have been 14 million deaths this year worldwide. This means that, if there are currently 27,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus so far, that is less than 0.2% of all deaths.

Another thing to consider is the capacity of our health care system. We're told it's out of control and hospitals are being filled. I even heard a talking head on the news use the phrase, "People are dying in the streets." Is any of this true at the moment? Not at all. In the US, there are about 190,000 cases of coronavirus. Worldwide, about 5% require a hospital. This means about 9400 will require a hospital in this country over the last 3 months. This is fewer than 2 per facility. In Ohio, there are 2000 cases and just shy of 200 hospitals. At the 5% rate, that is 100 hospitalizations or 1 per every 2 hospitals. California is considered to be fairly bad; they have 8600 cases. About 430 should require a hospital over the 3 months thus far. There are over 300 hospitals there, putting fewer than 2 per facility in need. New York is considered the worst in the country as of right now; they are dealing with 75,000 cases or roughly 40% of the nation's cases. They may have trouble. That's 3700 critical cases or abut 17 per hospital in the state. But reports at those hospitals suggest many have 0 cases or only a couple. I realize more highly populated places will have a heavier case load, but the numbers aren't adding up to what we're being threatened with. And when the media puts up footage of hospitals in Italy but refer to the hospitals in New York City, I'm not sure why we should accept anything they're telling us.

Obviously, the number of cases in the US is going to go up very quickly. We knew this weeks ago because of testing. The previous president depleted our stores for dealing with this sort of thing 10 years ago and never put anything back into the pot. This has led to issues now, while the current administration is being blamed. But that’s not the real problem.

It’s certainly true that this novel coronavirus is a threat to some. When I say “some,” I mean a very small portion of the population. The mortality rate of REPORTED cases is 4.5% worldwide. Here in the States, it’s 1.4% of REPORTED cases. The mortality rate of the flu is believed to be around 0.1%. That seems like the flu is much milder than COVID-19, but that’s not comparing apples to apples. Influenza often kills up to 10% of known cases. The 0.1% comes from presumed cases. That’s a big difference. It’s very likely, when working this into COVID-19, we probably have 1/10th or even 1/100th of the total number of cases on record. It’s commonly known that this virus has been in the States since December (some reports say November). So, we have a few months of cases with no testing whatsoever, and most of these cases are mild to no symptoms. How many times of you heard of the flu having no symptoms or very mild symptoms? It doesn’t happen. The flu is terrible nearly every single time a person gets it. Not so with COVID-19. That’s because, for the vast majority of cases, it’s hardly even an inconvenience.

Yes, this is serious for some. No, it’s not serious for most. Yes, we should do what we can to make sure everyone is safe. No, we don’t need to destroy the economy and shut down the world, shaming those who still need and want to work.

People keep saying that this will inundate our hospitals. I’ve seen numerous articles on it, warning of predicted full beds and no equipment to help. But while this might be true in New York City, it’s hardly come to a realization in the vast majority of places in the US. Yes, hospitals are busier than normal (since there have been 22,000 deaths from the flu) but when the media saturates the airwaves with terrifying news coverage, insinuating that all of the inhabitants of earth will die from this plague (when we can quite easily see that’s nowhere near the case) anytime someone has a sniffle, they’ll run to the ER because they’ve “got the corona!”

In Ohio, fewer than 5% of tests come back positive. There have been issues with tests reading false positives and negatives, and they’re supposedly getting better at this. But still… less than 5%. We also know that the projections from the top people in the fields involved have revised their numbers down dramatically over the last few weeks (before “stay at home” laws were implemented). You don’t see this in the media coverage because it doesn’t fit the apocalypse narrative at all.

It’s fear mongering. The numbers are inflated. This is obvious and to deny it is to ask no one to take you seriously. If there’s a good story or some positive news concerning this, you won’t see it covered by the media. It doesn’t fit the narrative. And there are lots of good things: experts predicting the worst is over, experts saying the mortality rate is much lower than we thought, experts telling us how many have recovered, and reports of how mild the symptoms are for the vast majority. Only 12% of those claimed to have died from this virus in Italy actually died from the virus. The largest portion died WITH it, not from it. As an aside, it would be very interesting to know what actually causes it to be worse in some and symptom free in another. It’s not age or health level, it seems, as some young people have been bad and some older have been mild.

It’s way too easy in these situations to ignore the facts and run with emotion. That’s what the media thrives on. You see pictures or hear stories of people dying and how awful it is, and your emotions are pricked. But reality needs to be in view here. Emotional arguments and positions are fine if they’re based on reality or at least peppered with it. Saying this virus is so terrible doesn’t work. Compared to things that happen all the time—flu, heart disease, stroke, car accidents, whatever—it’s a drop in a very large bucket. Yes, we need to do what we can to stop it, but shutting down the world makes no sense.

Experts are suggesting the data doesn’t support shutting everything down. It seems like this is impacted in a bigger way with good hygiene and not spreading your respiratory droplets on people or surfaces. Isolation may, in fact, make the situation worse by prolonging the epidemic and reducing herd immunity, so we have a spike in the near future which will return again and again. This doesn’t sound good to me. Keeping the number of hospitalized below the capacity of the hospitals is good. It seems like that is easily the case in nearly but not quite all hospitals. Keeping it much lower is bad because, again, it reduces herd immunity and prolongs the problem. We’ll deal with it for several months or even years rather than getting it finished in a few.

I hope this at least helps you explore what some of us believe about the situation. You can poo-poo my opinion all you want, but you can’t deny the facts if you want to be taken seriously.

My hope in all of this is that the Church, and especially myself and my family, can be a light in a dark place. My hope is that we rise up to the occasion to bless others and care for their needs. We’ve been looking for those who need a hand—whatever that may mean—and filling the void when we can. The Church needs to be out there in the trenches, meeting physical needs to so we can earn the right to tell people about their spiritual needs. Rather than fill people with dread and fear, my hope is to be joyous and encouraging. I want to spread hope rather than worry. I guess I want to be the opposite of the liberal media. I’ll be a light in a dark place. B.J. Palmer once said, “Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” I’m lighting a candle.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

READ MORE

Ecclesiastes 5:8-12

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 30, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

Power and money often go hand-in-hand, and that’s true for the book of Ecclesiastes as well. At the beginning of chapter 4, we saw the Teacher’s thoughts on power and its abuse, and how meaningless power can be in this life. In today’s passage of Ecclesiastes 5:8-12, we see the Teacher discussing money.

The Teacher begins in verses 8-9 by discussing the oppression of the poor: “If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.” There is a hierarchy in which anyone who is in authority over another has a tendency to lord it over them and oppress them in some way. This struggle for everyone to gain more power often brings oppression and poverty to those beneath them.

Verse 10 contains wise words for all of us: “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” How true is that! It is rare to meet anyone who says they are completely satisfied with the amount of money they have. Even those who are considered rich are always looking for ways to make more money. We as humans are never satisfied with our income. We’re always wanting more; that is part of our selfish human nature.

But the teacher says that this, too, is meaningless! You may think that can’t be true as our society runs on money and the desire of all to gain more wealth. It is good to desire to have enough money to live. But when we are always desiring more and more money, we will have a strong desire to do whatever it takes to get it. That type of greed often involves a lack of care for our fellow human beings and oppressing others in order to get what we want for ourselves. This greed is not beneficial in any way.

When we have this insatiable desire for more money and material things, this can bring us frustration when we’re not able to get what we want. This frustration is not a healthy emotion, as it is driven by our greed, but we will also likely take it out on others and do things to harm them for our own selfish gain. We see this echoed in 1 Timothy 6:9-10: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Verse 11 continues on: “As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them?” It seems like the Teacher is speaking directly to our society today, doesn’t it? So many things that we yearn for and strive for just end up being things to look at that really don’t serve us any good purpose. We may spend many hours working to save up enough money for a big, fancy item, only to find it’s not what we expected. Now we have it, and all we can do is really look at it. The purpose of having material things should not be just so we can admire our collection of how many things we have amassed, but to obtain useful things that help us to live our lives and love others.

Finally, verse 12 concludes this section: “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.” If you labor enough to have a living wage, you’re able to sleep well and be at peace because you’re earning an honest living. But if you keep striving for great wealth and oppressing others to get it, then you’ll likely have so much anxiety over that that you won’t be able to sleep. A person who is content with what they have is able to live a life of peace rather than a life of greed.

The Teacher’s insights in this passage definitely ring true for our society today. Remember a few weeks ago when people began hoarding things like toilet paper, soap, and hand sanitizer because of the COVID-19 virus? Buying more than we really needed is a great example of greed. What benefit are these things to you when you don’t really need them? But if you only bought what you actually needed, making sure to leave some for others who would also need these items, then you would be content and at peace with the situation. If we love money (or even things like toilet paper), then we will never be satisfied, and we’ll keep chasing after these meaningless things.

While money is a necessary thing in our society, we must remember that everything comes from God. He is the only one who can truly provide for us, whether that provision is material things or the money to buy them. God can give us much, or God can take it all away; that’s His decision, and we need to trust God’s wisdom. Anything else is just meaningless.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

READ MORE

Don’t Touch the Sacred Thing

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 27, 2020 3 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

One of the major problems in American Christianity today is an over superfluous and rather flippant view of God. Because as Christians we are under grace instead of the law, many have completely misconstrued this teaching into a form of antinomian thinking (that is, we are ultimately free to do whatever we want in some anarchy fashion and God will forgive us anyway). And it is not just in moral issues that we as a collective have done, but in the things of God. This is a lesson I’m only starting to realize how guilty I am, so please keep in mind I am keeping a finger pointed at myself in this post.

One of the repeated themes throughout the Old Testament is to not touch the sacred thing. There are certain places and certain objects that God calls “holy,” separated out for Him and His purposes. Whenever anyone did touch that which God said not to touch, bad things happened. When people listened to this, it was always with great reverence. American Christianity as a whole has lost any real reverence for God, though there are a few voices out there who still have it.

Moses was in the desert and saw a bush burning without being consumed. When he came to check it out, God showed up and told him to remove his sandals because it was holy ground. This spot was special and unique. It was the first time in 400 years that God has spoken to anyone in or from Israel who had been held as slaves in Egypt. There was nothing special about the ground itself except the fact that God was present. When Joshua faced Jericho, he met the Angel of the Lord and he too had to take off his sandals because he was on holy ground. Why? Because God was there. In both cases, both men bowed in awe, reverence, and worship, knowing they deserved death just by being in the presence of God.

But there are two men who heard the commands of not touching the sacred things and did not listen, and it cost them their lives. The first is Achan. God told Israel to sack Jericho but to not touch any of the spoils, because they belonged to God. Achan saw some silver, some gold, and a garment, and he took them, hiding them in his tent. That decision cost Israel its next battle at Ai and 36 men. God brought the problem to Joshua’s attention and exposed Achan. Achan and his family were executed.

The other was a man called Uzzah. David was so excited about finally bringing the Ark of the Covenant to his new capital city of Jerusalem that he built a new cart for it, instead of following the commands that it was to be carried on the shoulders of Levites. On its way, the oxen pulling the cart stumbled and the cart with the Ark on it began to tip over. Uzzah, in his zeal to protect the Ark from falling, reached out and touched the Ark with his hands. God killed him on the spot. Why? Because having the Ark tainted with earth was one thing; touching the Holy thing of God with sin-tainted hands is something entirely different.

You cannot treat the sacred things of God lightly. He means business and we need to as well. There is a reason God required Israel to worship ONLY at the Tabernacle/Temple but not at any of the high places: because He is holy, unique, separated. Israel often worshiped God at the same high places as they worshiped the other idols. God was not going to share His glory with a fake replacement. Yet, this notion of being able to worship God in whatever manner you want is rampant today, and it’s directly contradictory to what Scripture teaches. I have another set of posts I am “cooking” about these high places that I will get to later on.

As I have read biographies and listened to sound sermons about prayer, one thing I have picked up was that the secret closet of prayer is sacred ground. Paul Washer brought to my attention that of all the things the disciples asked Jesus how to do, it was to pray. It wasn’t on how to do a miracle or preach or even how to love others, but how to pray. And often, they waited until He was done praying to find out what was going on. What does that mean? It means when they listened to and watched Jesus pray, it was a sacred thing that you didn’t dare touch. When a person is truly in that state of prayer, when they are in that deep communion with God, there is an air about them that you simply will not dare disturb. I’ve only had glimpses of this. I’ve been in prayer meetings that are really just fluffy spiritual sounding chitter-chatter. Much of my own prayers have been little else than that. But on occasion, I’ve had glimpses and snapshots of the real thing and it’s something that when you are in it, you don’t want it to stop. And if you are on the outside of it, you leave it alone. You watch in awe or you leave it be, but you don’t mess around with it. Prayer is a sacred thing, a holy thing, and it is not something to take flippantly. We are not to touch it. We cannot violate that sacred thing with sin-tainted hands and expect to get God’s blessings.

That which God has called holy and sacred is not to be touched by that which has sin. If we are to approach God, we must be holy as God is holy. That is why we MUST appropriate the cross. Only by the blood of Jesus can we be washed clean and can touch the sacred things. Only by the blood of Jesus can we approach the throne of God and receive His grace. This is no excuse to let us sin at will because God will cover it. Instead of thinking as Achan or Uzzah who thought they could touch the sacred thing and being given mercy in the end, let us think as Moses and Joshua who treaded the sacred ground with reverence and awe and worship, knowing that at any moment, God could kill them and would be right in doing so. God is holy, and that which He sanctified is holy. Do not take it lightly.

Next week, I’ll examine how God’s dealings with man are holy.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

READ MORE

The Importance of Foundational Beliefs on the Bible

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, March 25, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

As I continue my “The Founding Matters” series, I’d like to take a look at some foundational beliefs in our Christian faith that are throughout our society even to this date. I am not implying that everyone believes these to be true, but many knowingly or unknowingly realize that these are important in order to have a stable society, even though some of these beliefs are now being questioned.

Some foundational beliefs we find in Genesis are:
* Humans are made in God’s Image and are not animals - Genesis 1:27
* The importance of marriage between one man and one woman - Genesis 2:21-25
* It’s okay for humans to eat meat - Genesis 9:3
* The reason for rainbows - Genesis 9:14-17
* The reason we have so many languages - Genesis 11:9

As you see these are all based in Genesis. There are many, many more. I hope you are at least beginning to see the connection of why returning to our Biblical beliefs and having these as our society’s foundational beliefs are so important. You may also be seeing how far from a Biblical foundation some in our society really have gone.

When Worldview Warriors started as a ministry, social media was still a very new thing, and the majority of society was still figuring out how social media all worked. People’s thoughts were now becoming public, not only to their friends but for all the world to see, including strangers that may have had a very different foundation for their beliefs in life. At the time, most of us were unaware of this though. In fact, I think it is very safe to say that many are still unaware of this fact, even though they may experience this on a daily basis.

It seems that many people want change for change’s sake these days. But it seems to me that a lot of people who think like that don’t seem to realize that if you get rid of something, something else is going to take its place, even if you don’t like it.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 warns us of this: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

I believe it is time to admit that this “fundamental transformation of the United States” is really about getting rid of the Biblically-based foundation and principles set forth by the founding fathers of our country.

Here are a few quotes from the founding fathers of the United States to consider:

"Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of a Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." - First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay

“He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all... Our Forefathers opened the Bible to all.“ - Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams

"The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible. 'In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct they paths.'" - George Washington Carver

We also see this in official documents (in the following, the bold is mine):

Alabama, preamble of their state constitution:
We, the people of the State of Alabama, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and form of government for the State of Alabama

Georgia, preamble of their state constitution:
To perpetuate the principles of free government, insure justice to all, preserve peace, promote the interest and happiness of the citizen and of the family, and transmit to posterity the enjoyment of liberty, we the people of Georgia, relying upon the protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

Idaho, preamble of their state constitution:
We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare do establish this Constitution.

Ohio, preamble of their state constitution:
We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare, do establish this Constitution.

Find more about these state constitutions at this link.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

READ MORE

Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 23, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

So far, the book of Ecclesiastes has consisted of the Teacher trying to find meaning and purpose in this life, and finding that every aspect of life is meaningless from a worldly sense. Here, in today’s passage of Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, he takes that one step further and encourages us to experience God’s presence in order to find that true meaning and satisfaction.

Verse 1 instructs us to, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.” In chapter 4, the discussion was about power, motivation, and authority; here the tone changes to quietly experiencing God’s presence. This verse invites us to examine our motivation for being in God’s presence. Are we there to be seen as when offering sacrifices, or are we going to experience God listen to Him?

In our world today, it’s so easy to get caught up in doing religious actions rather than simply being in God’s presence to listen to Him. We want to feel like we’re accomplishing something, to check off those items on our to-do lists, rather than simply experiencing God’s presence, sitting in silence to listen to Him. While doing things like reading the Bible and studying the Word are very worthwhile, our focus shouldn’t be on doing that for the sake of doing it, but for the sake of experiencing God and being in His presence in His Word. We should have a mindset of prayer that encompasses both talking and listening to God.

Verse 2 expands on this idea of prayer a bit: “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” How many of us are guilty of prayer being all us talking and allowing no time for God to talk? That wouldn’t work very well in a conversation with a friend, so why do we think it’s okay to do that with God? The Teacher encourages us to do less talking and more listening in our prayer lives. Check out Matthew 6:7-8 for what Jesus had to say about this, and these blog posts for what some of our writers have shared on prayer.

In verse 3, the Teacher compares our prayers to dreams. Dreams generally don’t have any real substance to them, and that’s how our prayers are when they are simply a lot of words. When we pray, we’re often so focused on ourselves that we lose focus of what truly matters - giving God glory and praising His name. When we talk too much, we’re foolish because the only thing that matters is God.

The Teacher discusses vows in verses 4-6. The focus is that if we tell God we’re going to do something, we really need to follow through with it. It is foolish to do otherwise. Whatever the promise is, it’s better to not make the commitment rather than to commit to something and not do it. This is echoed in James 5:12: “Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ Otherwise you will be condemned.”

For an application of this concept, check out the story of Jephthah in Judges 11. Jephthah makes a vow to God that if God helps him win a battle, he will sacrifice the first thing that comes out of his house when he returns home. It looks like Jephthah wasn’t thinking clearly when he made that vow, but once he made it, he was obligated to keep it. Unfortunately for him, the first thing to come out of his house was his daughter! He told his daughter what he had done, they both made their peace with it, and Jephthah fulfilled his foolish vow.

This story is just one example of why we should not flippantly make vows or promises to God. As the Teacher says, “Do not let your mouth lead you into sin” (verse 6). If you make a vow that you end up not being able to keep, for whatever reason, you will be sinning when you break it.

The Teacher wraps up this section with these words in verse 7: “Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.” The way in which we approach God must be realistic. We should not commit to what we can’t follow through on. We need to remember that God puts the highest value on our heart’s condition and motivation. Spend time quietly being in God’s presence rather than praying with empty words. Listen to what God is saying to you, don’t just talk at Him in your prayers. Don’t make vows or promises that you may not be able to keep, but instead strive to spend time with God and discover what He has for your life.

As the Teacher says, everything outside of our fearing God is meaningless. Fearing God, acknowledging and praising His awesome greatness and power in reverence is what we are created to do.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

READ MORE