Saturday, February 7, 2015

"The Bible or the Bayonet?" 10/13/2012

First From Julie's keyboard:

As I turn to the "Book of all Books" today, my meditations are from a passage in the book of Proverbs.  While it's often wise to take Scripture in the context that It's given to get the interpretation  adequately, there are areas where individual verses can simply stand alone in their content.  In my humble opinion, much of God's Word can stand alone verse by verse if we truly believe that His Word is a Living Word.  If each Word is inspired by Him, It has the power to accomplish whatever It is sent to perform.

Today let's look at the 3rd chapter of Proverbs verses 5 thru 8:

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD,  and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones."

What powerful promises we find in these verses!  Yet, these get truths come on the obedience to the instructions He has given.  These passages are some of the more repeated ones that I personally use in prayer.  It's just too easy to begin to think that we can do things for ourselves, or reach some level of achievement in our daily lives that runs contrary to what He has told us here.

Trust Him with all my heart.  Lean not on my own ability to understand things.  Acknowledge Him in ALL my ways.  Then, do I reap the promise that "He shall direct my paths."  Also, the ever growing popularity of how much education we can get, or encourage our loved ones to get , must be kept in check with what God says in His Word right here.

"Be not wise in thine own eyes...."  we must humbly fear the Lord and realize it is He that is the Giver of knowledge and wisdom.  This also comes with great reward.   Health is a much desired portion of our lives.  It's easy to run in many directions while we seek to be healthy, when He has given us the answer right here in this passage.

" shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones."

May we truly make these Words a part of our lives.  This will help us stay focused on the One Who has redeemed us from this fallen world.

May you be blessed in this week,


"The Bible or the Bayonet?"

"Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the Strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet." ~ Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House. Address and speeches on Various Occasions (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1852), p. 172, from  an address delivered May 28, 1849, to the Massachusetts Bible society.

In this statement, Mr. Winthrop is making reference to the government of man, so before we continue this thought, let's get a good view of what government was in their mind.  To do so, let's look at Mr. Webster's 1826 dictionary for our definition.

Webster 1826 - The system of policy in a state; that form of fundamental rules and principles by which a nation or state is governed, or by which individual members of a body politic are to regulate their social actions; a constitution, either written or unwritten, by which the rights and duties of citizens and public officers are prescribed and defined; as a monarchial government, or a republican government.

Now that we know what government is, where do we find those fundamental rules and principles by which a nation or state is governed?  According to Mr. Winthrop, we have two sources available to us, either the Bible or the Strong Arm of man. 

Now since I brought Mr. Webster on the seen here, no doubt there are some will present me with the statement he also made saying; "Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without the pretense of miracle or mystery, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind." ~ Noah Webster.

Here they will point out to me that the original 13 state governments were founded on "the natural authority of the people alone," with no reference to religion or the Bible.  I assume for some to accept the religious aspect that is woven throughout our society and government, the founders would have had to reverence it in every single sentence of speech they uttered! 

But when you view the whole of Mr. Webster's writing, you understand he viewed the Christian aspect of religion a necessity for the support of our government.  He in the above quote, he is simply stating the rights of the people alone to authorize and change our constitution of government.

Now to the point, man must be governed in society, but how is this to be done?  Our Founders understood the nature of man, thus by their hand we have a government with checks and balances, mostly to contain the tendencies of man to usurp authority in selfish desires for power and control. 

A government with provision made for and protections in place for the diffusion (A spreading; extension; propagation; as the diffusion of knowledge, or of good principles. ~ Webster 1826) of the Gospel.  They understood that without the principles of Christianity the government would have to extend it's powers to the arm of men to control it's society. 

The atheist or the religious of some other faith usually rise up against me here accusing me of trying to change our government to force Christianity upon them, they then sight the 1st Amendment as their freedom.  First, I'm not changing anything, just quoting the Founders and framers of the Constitution.  Second, they are not discerning the difference between the principles of Christianity and the Faith of Christianity. 

The principles of Christianity and their observance does not make you a Christian, only a good citizen in the United States, and one who can be easily governed, for they will be self controlled and patient, forbearing, good natured, etc., if educated in such from youth up.  Thus their great importance as noted by our Founders.

Thirdly, the 1st Amendment of which they reference is a Christian principle in itself of which they are the beneficiary. 

We today sit in amazement and wonder as we try to contemplate the problems in our society and the difficulty were are experiencing in our ability to govern.  Our government is, it seems, ever finding it necessary to expand it's control over our lives.  Because of our loss of ability to self-control, we are turned over to government control. We see we are unable to provide for ourselves, so government must provide it for us! 

Our founders warned us of all these things, if we would only look to their warnings and heed their advise.       

Picture "Had I a voice that could be heard from New Hampshire to Georgia, it should be exerted in urging the necessity of disseminating virtue and knowledge among our citizens.

On this subject, the policy of the eastern States is well worthy of imitation.  The wise township without that extremity of the union never form a new township without making arrangements that secure to its inhabitants the instruction of youth and the public preaching of the gospel. 
Hence their children are early taught to know their rights and to respect themselves.  They grow up good members of society and staunch defenders of their country's cause." ~ David Ramsay, Revolutionary Surgeon; member of the Continental Congress. An oration delivered in St. Michael's Church before the inhabitants of Charleston, south Carolina, on the Fourth of July 1794 (Charleston: W. P. Young, 1794), p. 19.

May God bless each of you,

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