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By In Politics

The American Presidents BEFORE George Washington

Presidents Before The Constitution

The American Revolution was a counter-revolution against the encroachment of the British Parliament. The independence movement released the thirteen colonies from foreign control. It is important to remember the American Revolution was a battle between Britain and the thirteen individually sovereign states, each with their own state governments. During the War, the state legislatures granted enumerated portions of their own limited sovereignty to an entity called the Continental Congress.

A congressman was elected by the other delegates to serve as this body’s President-his role was largely as an impartial moderator. Later in the war, the States transferred more responsibilities to the central government in the Articles of Confederation (1781). This stood as the nation’s first established constitution until the Constitutional Convention ratified the current U.S. Constitution in 1788.

Fourteen Presidents Before George Washington

George Washington was the first President to be elected under the 1788 Constitution Model. While many know of George Washington, the Presidents under the Continental Congress are largely unknown to modern Americans. They were men of great moral vigor, who stood strong for liberty, and held at the center of their ambition the glory of God.

Below is a list of the pre-constitution Presidents, along with inspiring quotes from these men who did not shy away from leadership when times were trying.

First Continental Congress

Peyton Randolph, Virginia (Sept 1774 – Oct 1774)

Often called the “father of our country,” the courageous Peyton Randolph led the charge against the Stamp Act as one of the most revolutionary Patriots. He also intitated the practice of prayer before conducting of government business.

In a letter to British General Thomas Cage, Randolph protests his occupation of Boston,

“Your Excellency cannot be a stranger to the sentiments of America with respect to the Acts of Parliament, under the execution of which those unhappy people are oppressed, the approbation universally expressed of their conduct, and the determined resolution of the Colonies, for the preservation of their common rights to unite in their opposition to those Acts. In consequence of these sentiments, they have appointed us the guardians of their rights and liberties…” [1]

Henry Middleton, South Carolina (October 1774)

Only serving four days, Middleton resigned in opposition to independence to Great Britian. He was succeeded in Congress by his son, Arthur Middleton (1742–1787), who was more radical than his father and became a signer of the Declaration of Independence.[2] Middleton’s first official act, was to execute a letter as President supporting the efforts of oppressed colonists. In the letter Middleton wrote,

“So rapidly violent and unjust has been the late conduct of the British Administration against the colonies, that either a base and slavish submission, under the loss of their ancient, just, and constitutional liberty, must quickly take place, or an adequate opposition be formed.” [3]

Second Continental Congress

John Hancock, Massachusetts (May 1775 – October 1777)

Hancock was President of the Congress when the Declaration of Independence was prepared. He was the first to sign what most men understood to be a note of their own death. The Declaration was received as treasonous by the British, making the signers traitors to the crown.

“In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent Measure should be taken to ward off the impending Judgements….All confidence must be withheld from the Means we use; and reposed only on that GOD who rules in the Armies of Heaven, and without whose Blessing the best human Counsels are but Foolishness–and all created Power Vanity…” [4]

Henry Laurens, South Carolina (November  1777 – December 1778) (more…)

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By In Culture, Theology

Valentine’s Day: Christian Marriage, Cheap Love, and Sex

St. Valentine Day Valentine was a third century pastor who was imprisoned for his faith. He wrote small pastoral notes to members of his congregation on leaves he was able to pluck from a maple tree just outside his cell.  These little “Valentine’s cards” expressed his love for the flock, and his desire that they demonstrate like love toward one another. Gradually the tradition grew up for Christians to exchange notes of love and encouragement to one another every year on his birthday, February 14.

Dr. George Grant, http://grantian.blogspot.com/2013/02/st-valentines-day.html

We’ve seen baseball stadium proposals where a guy’s urgent question is slapped on the Jumbotron for all in attendance to see. Some men even think it’s romantic to shout their devotion in front of thousands of strangers. Several years back, Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson even tried to convince us that women would actually want this type of proposal. In case you might be contemplating this type of proposal, let me tell you that it is about as tasteful as the rest of Sandler’s work.

In many ways, American romance is Jumbotron romance. Valentine’s Day is a good example. We couch our love in the impersonal and to the cheap. When did the standard fall so low that somehow chocolate and flowers become the epitome of devotion. We should understand these are good things. Any man who forgets them will enjoy the spurn of his wife. But this type of impersonal devotion once a year is akin to attending Easter and Christmas services, yet claiming to love Christ.

A culture of cheap grace produces cheap love. 

“Cheap grace is preaching forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession. … Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Cheap love is giving chocolate without cordial affection, flowers without real delight and pleasure, “I Love Yous” without contentment and satisfaction … Cheap love is love without submission, love without crucifying-self, love without Jesus Christ, living and Incarnate. Cheap love teaches, “Sex is such a hassle, talking is even worse.” Christian love teaches, “rejoice in the wife of your youth.”

Our romance should be modeled after Christ’s self-giving devotion to his bride, which is why St. Valentine is such a beautiful saint. This is not to say that the mark of Valentine’s Day is simply reading verses over flowers-rather that marriage is an image of loving tension. The tenderest love on one side, and loving obedience on the other. This means that romance is an adventure, not a commute. We don’t travel through life enduring the “trial of marriage,” but through the exploration of Godly marriage we are transformed by the circumstances of our love story.

Valentine’s Day is a day for us to look at our adventure, where we’ve been, and where we are going.

Valentine’s Day is a time for Christian men who once belonged to the old Adam to become priests of the New Adam. Where the old Adam betrayed the love of his bride, we -as Priests of the new Adam- guard, nurture, and protect our redeemed garden-helper.  And as such have been called to wash our wives in Christ’s love.

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate together as we see God transforming our brides into a holy bride without wrinkle, spot, or blemish.

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a link is given.

In the past few months I’ve posted two articles on sexuality and marriage, you can read those here:

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By In Politics

Obama’s State of the Union, Green Ribbon, Sandy Hook, and the Wizard of Oz.

State of the Union Obama Money Wizard Green Ribbon

President Obama outlined plans Tuesday night at his State of the Union address. His speech was mostly the same old thing, continuing to play heavily on support for the middle class while proposing regressive taxes that directly attack middle class incomes. Unique to tonight’s speech was the presence of green ribbons worn on the lapels of guests and members of Congress. This green ribbon was meant to memorialize the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting. NPR commentators noted that the green ribbons were particularly important because of the President’s push for gun control legislation.  It was also noted that while Vice President Joe Biden was wearing a ribbon, Speaker of the House John Boehner was not.State of the Union Green Ribbons Obama Biden Boehner

What happened at Sandy Hook was a tragedy, and nothing should take away from our sympathy for the families who lost their loved ones. But at the same time, this sort of political manipulation because of a real tragedy is simply disgraceful. The ribbons and children they represent are being used as tools to bolster the President’s anti-2nd Amendment agenda.

The State of the Union address is a particularly troubling event. Thomas Jefferson stopped the practice of giving presidential speeches to Congress because he felt that it made the president out to be an imperial figure. He instead would send a written note about the current affairs of the country to those who needed it. The presentation this year makes it clear that it is only about political posturing. Members seek out aisle seats hours before the event, hopeful that they may get a picture hugging the president or shaking his hand, hoping to pander to the constituents who might be watching.

Many came adorned with green ribbons to hear lofty promises about how our President is going to put our nation back on track. It was very appropriate that all this posturing was represented with green. You may remember L. Frank Baum’s famous Emerald City of Green deception: Oz. Obama’s America is a new Oz.

“Even with eyes protected by the green spectacles, Dorothy and her friends were at first dazzled by the brilliancy of the wonderful City … There were many people – men, women, and children – walking about, and these were all dressed in green clothes and had greenish skins. They looked at Dorothy and her strangely assorted company with wondering eyes, and the children all ran away and hid behind their mothers when they saw the Lion; but no one spoke to them. Many shops stood in the street, and Dorothy saw that everything in them was green. Green candy and green pop corn were offered for sale, as well as green shoes, green hats, and green clothes of all sorts. At one place a man was selling green lemonade, and when the children bought it Dorothy could see that they paid for it with green pennies.”

And the new Oz has a new wizard, President Obama. A fool’s magician, yet  just as all  the good citizens of the Emerald City were forbidden to remove their green-tinted glasses, each American watches the state of the union through the comfort of a pair of their own colored glasses.

When will America discover that her President is no better than the false Wizard of Oz? Baum’s imperial ventriloquist is too much like our own head of state. What we need now is not more speeches from this talking head, but we need the brainless, the cowardly, the heartless, and those who are lost to break down the wizard’s chambers to discover the man behind the curtain and demand that he stop misleading the citizens. Back in Oz it went like this:

“You must keep your promises to us!” exclaimed Dorothy.
The Lion thought it might be as well to frighten the Wizard, so he gave a large, loud roar, which was so fierce and dreadful that Toto jumped away from him in alarm and tipped over the screen that stood in a corner. As it fell with a crash they looked that way, and the next moment all of them were filled with wonder. For they saw, standing in just the spot the screen had hidden, a little old man, with a bald head and a wrinkled face, who seemed to be as much surprised as they were. The Tin Woodman, raising his axe, rushed toward the little man and cried out, “Who are you?”
“I am Oz, the Great and Terrible,” said the little man, in a trembling voice. “But don’t strike me – please don’t – and I’ll do anything you want me to.”
Our friends looked at him in surprise and dismay.
“I thought Oz was a great Head,” said Dorothy.
“And I thought Oz was a lovely Lady,” said the Scarecrow.
“And I thought Oz was a terrible Beast,” said the Tin Woodman.
“And I thought Oz was a Ball of Fire,” exclaimed the Lion.
“No, you are all wrong,” said the little man meekly. “I have been making believe.”
“Making believe!” cried Dorothy. “Are you not a Great Wizard?”
“Hush, my dear,” he said. “Don’t speak so loud, or you will be overheard – and I should be ruined. I’m supposed to be a Great Wizard.”
“And aren’t you?” she asked.
“Not a bit of it, my dear; I’m just a common man.”
“You’re more than that,” said the Scarecrow, in a grieved tone; “you’re a humbug.”
“Exactly so!” declared the little man, rubbing his hands together as if it pleased him. “I am a humbug.”

One day we will realize that Obama, our Wizard, and the Government, our Oz, offer no solution to our needs. The true solutions are but “make believe.” The government exists at the expense of the Munchkins. Our presidential Wizard squanders the national wealth and starts unjust wars against foreign peoples who are not doing us any harm. It wrecks our families, tramples on our rights, invades our communities, and steals from our bank accounts. It skews the culture toward decadence and trash. It tells lie after lie. The president is not a powerful wizard, but a conniving liar who has tricked us into submission.

It is the obligation of every patriot to denounce the Obama humbug. The federal government has overstepped its boundaries, making promises it cannot keep. When will Americans awaken and realize that the president is not the magician he claims to be? He has no solutions for the economy, for crimes, for gun violence, for peace, for any of those things he campaigns for. The president, like the Wizard, is after one thing: expanding the power of his office and maintaining his great and powerful image. Once the wizard is exposed, the power is gone.

Let’s look behind the curtain, exposing the man behind the smoke and mirrors, sending him off in his own balloon full of the hot air he so much enjoys billowing.

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a link is given.

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By In Culture, Theology

First Black Pope? Sign of End Times?

On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation effective Feb. 28, citing poor health, speculation is already mounting about his potential replacement.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,  Archbishop emeritus of Cape Coast (Ghana), was born on 11 October 1948 in Wassaw Nsuta, Ghana.

And Cardinal Peter Turkson, is qualified enough to be a potential option. He is President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Archbishop emeritus of Cape Coast (Ghana), was born on 11 October 1948 in Wassaw Nsuta, Ghana. He was ordained for the Diocese of Cape Coast on 20 July 1975 and holds a doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome.

At a 2009 news conference, Turkson was asked whether he thought the time was right for a black Pope. “Why not?” Turkson replied. He argued that every man who agrees to be ordained a priest has to be willing to be a Pope, and is given training along the way as bishop and cardinal.

He could be the first Black Pope!

This is more significant than just being the first Black Pope. Many prophecy wonks believe that a Pope named ‘Peter the Roman’ will be the last Pope. “The Prophecy of the Popes,” attributed to Saint Malachy, is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. The prophecy claims that this pontificate will end in the destruction of the city of Rome.

He could be the last Pope!

This prophecy is interesting, we have to hope in a sense that it is true. The end of the papal seat would be the first great step toward a truly catholic church. This is an opportunity for Reformed Christians to call the Roman communion back to the Scriptures (having called ourselves back first, of course). We pray that Roman Catholics would return to the tradition of Gregory – who refused the title “Universal Pope.”

Our prayer for the Roman Catholic Church should be that of St. Clement:

“For it is to the humble that Christ belongs, not to those who exalt themselves over his flock. The scepter of the majesty of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, did not come with the pomp of pride or arrogance, though he could have, but in humility”

Is this the End Times?

Evangelicals and Catholics will now begin to speculate on how today’s news will be a sign of the “end times,”  but we know that the end is NOT yet. We need to read the future in the context of what our Lord has said in His word, not human events. The newspaper is not God’s means of relaying prophesy. Everything we need to know has already been printed and we can find comfort and boldness in His word. The sky is not falling. St. John’s Apocalypse teaches instead that Christians will overcome all opposition through the work of Jesus Christ. Most of the confusion over the meaning of the prophecy has resulted from a failure to read this book in the context of the entirety of scripture.

St. John writes that the book concerns “the things which must shortly take place” (1:1), and warns that “the time is near” (1:3). In case we might miss it, he says again, at the close of the book, that “the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place” (22:6). Given the fact that one important proof of a true prophet lay in the fact that his predictions came true (Deut. 18:21-22), St. John’s first-century readers had every reason to expect his book to have immediate significance. The words “shortly” and “near” simply cannot be made to mean anything but what they say. Some will object to this on the basis of 2 Peter 3:8, that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” But the context there is entirely different: Peter is exhorting his first-century readers to have patience with respect to God’s promises…

David Chilton,  Days of Vengeance

Days of Vengeance David Chilton <a href= Steve Macias” src=”http://kuyperiancommentary.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/days-fof-vengence.jpg?w=202″ width=”121″ height=”180″ />David Chilton wrote the most comprehensive verse by verse treatment of the Book of Revelation. His book The Days of Vengeance  still remains one of the most helpful tools at truly understanding what is meant by the “end times.”

Revelation remains, though, a challenging and relevant book for us, not because it gives an outline of world history with special reference to our era, but because it shows us that Christ is in control of world history, and how we should live and pray and worship. In vivid powerful imagery it teaches us what it means to believe in God’s sovereignty and justice.

Gordon Wenham
The College of St. Paul and St. Mary Cheltenham, England 

Buy today: The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation

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By In Culture, Theology

What NOT To Give Up For Lent

Everyone will soon be sharing what they will “give up” for this Lenten season. And whether you’re Roman Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, or Lutheran, it is easy to predict that most people will choose silly things to “give up”.

Christianity Today posts a list from Twitter of the top 100 Lenten sacrifices, I’ll post the top ten here to show what I mean.

1. Twitter
2. Chocolate
3. Swearing
4. Alcohol
5. Soda
6. Facebook
7. Fast food
8. Sex
9. Sweets
10. Meat

These are great examples of what NOT to give up for Lent. Lent is not a 40 day long New Years resolution, yet this is what “fasts” like these above make it out to be.

Like all the Church Calendar, Lent is modeled after the ministry of Christ. Forty days, in commemoration of the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, enduring temptation by Satan before the beginning of his public ministry.

Rev. Steven Wilkins describes the abuses of Lent as such,

I know that traditionally, Christians have “given up” something for Lent and usually that “something” has been something they particularly enjoy. This may be seen as a form of “fasting” I guess, but if it is, it’s a very pale shadow of what “fast” (doing without food of any kind) really means. I understand the rationale for the practice, but given it’s very limited focus, it seems to me to miss the point of fasting in general and is easily metamorphosed into something like a “Pharisaical” act (i.e. “God surely must be pleased with me since He sees me foregoing my usual afternoon grande chocolate-caramel-cinnamon mocha latte with extra foam, which I’m absolutely dying to have right now!”).

Read his Post Why Lent? here

The heart of Christian reality is a society – a trinity- of persons living with and for one another. Our Lenten sacrifices should remind us of how we have sinned against the Triune God, and our neighbor-not serve as some superficial monastic flagellation.

As we develop our Lenten sacrifices we should move away from petty moralism and understand that as a Reformed Protestant, Lent is going to look much different for us than for the Roman Catholics. The early protestants were accused by the Roman Catholics of having a faith that was, “too glad to be true,” as C.S. Lewis once said. The Bible tells us that Jesus, “for the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2). If the gruesome cross was a joy, what does that say about his fast in the wilderness?

All of Christian living is joyous, not morbid. Fasting and somberness in themselves do not contribute to holiness, and the council of Nicaea even forbade fasting on the Lord’s day.

In closing:

And if you fast, let your fasting and prayer be toward particular ends, particular needs, particular hurts, not vague feelings. Fasting does not benefit us. Fasting is a bodily posture. Just as you might kneel or lift your hands in prayer, so too fasting is a posture of humility and urgency… abstaining ought to always be pointed toward some sort of giving. If we celebrate Lent as a community it ought to be an obvious blessing to everyone around us. – Pastor Toby Sumpter

Remembering that we are to:

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart.
Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 (NKJV)

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a link is given.

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By In Politics

End of the Boy Scouts of America?

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Executive Board will vote next week on whether to remove the ban on openly homosexual youth and adult leaders from its national membership policy. It will leave the issue for each individual Scouting unit to decide for itself. A vote on the matter by BSA is planned during an executive meeting in Irving, Texas, the first week of February.

I recently approached a California Boy Scout leader to ask his opinion.

Steve Macias: Some have asked if this is a repeat of what happened in the Girl Scouts where, “there are no membership policies on sexual preference.”

BSA Leader: I honestly do not know.  I’m concerned that the fix may already be in.  This ‘reconsideration’ was kept secret from the membership and chartering partners and only became public when someone in the national office leaked the news to the press.  It was just seven months ago that the BSA National Executive Board confirmed the prohibition on openly homosexual youth and adult leaders. So the proposed change in policy has taken everyone by surprise.

Steve Macias:  Is an alternative viable?

BSA Leader: It has already been done.  When the Girl Scouts of America succumbed to the dark side several years [ago], a group split off to form American Heritage Girls (AHG) and they have been growing slowly throughout the country.  AHG is based on biblical principles and has a partnership with the Boy Scouts.  They were one of the first sources to confirm that the Boy Scouts were being seduced by the dark side.

Steve MaciasDo you think other Boy Scout leaders would follow?

BSA Leader: Although it would be a challenge, it is possible to build an alternative organization.  The Boy Scouts have already established the model, which is half the battle.  The hard part is to get the churches behind it.  Many churches see Scouts as competition and not a complement to their own youth programs.  If the churches support such a movement, it can succeed.  But if they turn their backs as they so often do, then a new organization will have difficulty gaining traction.

Steve MaciasShould we as Christians consider leaving this organization?

BSA Leader: Regardless of what happens next week, I am not leaving the Boy Scouts.  I will stay and stand firm on my principles which happen to be the principles the Scouting movement was founded upon.  I will not run away or abandon ship.  I will stay and fight as long as I am able.  I am tired of surrendering ground. Unfortunately, this move is being driven by financial concerns.  I pray the BSA does not sell out its values for money and political and social acceptance.

There are two ways that you can express your opinion.  You can call (972) 580-2330 or you can send an email to nationsupportcenter@scouting.org.  Please take the time to voice your opinion on this issue at your earliest opportunity.

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By In Politics

Rev. David Chilton on Ludwig von Mises

Steve Macias Ludwig Von Mises” alt=” Steve Macias Ludwig Von Mises” src=”http://www.stevemacias.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/mises.jpg” height=”304″ width=”266″ /> Ludwig von Mises

Pastor David Chilton on Ludwig von Mises:

“To the horror of my Econ 101 professor, I did my first book report on this classic work by Mises. It was all done in innocence: I had simply gone to the library and picked it off the shelf, not realizing who the author was or the enormous threat he posed to the eminent instructor. I soon learned. Less than halfway through the course, I told the professor, “What you’re teaching isn’t just wrong. It’s dumb. ” Needless to say, I made about as many points with the teacher as he did with me. But the course wasn’t a total loss. I learned a lot about economics on my spare time, and in class i studied the inside track of logical fallacy.”

Isn’t Mises hard to read?

“Incidentally, this is probably the right place to deal with one of the greatest superstitions of economics today – the false rumor that Mises is hard to read. If you have trouble with this book, follow a simple rule, and all will be well. Pay attention! After all, if you can read a newspaper–Oh! Sorry, I didn’t know. Well, anyway, this new edition [Theory of Money and Credit] is so beautiful that it’ll look nice on your coffee table, and your friends will be impressed; and it will put you one-up on most economics professors, who don’t even own a copy.”

What is the best Mises book to read?

Apart from Mises’ Human Action, The Theory of Money and Credit is the treatise on economics. Most of the errors of modern economists are merely logical conclusions from a false notion of the nature and function of money; and it is in the interests of lawless governments to keep us deceived on that point, so that we will blame inflation on everyone but the true culprits. The Theory of Money and Credit will open your eyes.

Steve Macias” alt=”David Chilton Steve Macias” src=”http://www.stevemacias.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Chilton.jpg” height=”148″ width=”100″ />
Rev. Chilton (1951–1997) was a gifted Reformed pastor and author of several books on economics, eschatology and Christian Worldview from Placerville, California. In his book, Productive Christians In An Age Of Guilt Manipulators, Chilton demonstrates that “Christian Socialism” is simply a baptized humanism, the goal of which is not charity but raw police state power.

 

 

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