Friday, October 31, 2008

Life - - - Liberty - - - Pursuit of Happiness

In the Declaration of Independence, Congress sets forth the justification for the dissolution of the political bands which connected them to English government and rule. Most people forget that this is not merely the declaration of Thomas Jefferson, but the Declaration of Congress.

Most people also forget that these words are the beginning of the Declaration: “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.”

Congress reached a unanimous decision! This Declaration is a UNANIMOUS Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.


What united them so completely? Was it the wisdom and beliefs of Thomas Jefferson?


No. It was what they unanimously held to be true. They easily accepted with complete agreement “these truths to be self-evident.”

What truths?

. . . that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

The union was based upon belief in the single Creator embraced by all. The rights of men were believed to be endowed by this Creator of all in whom these legislators and their constituents all professed to believe. They unanimously professed in this Declaration their belief in this Creator, the same Creator that was professed by the various States. This Creator is the one proclaimed in the Bible. While they were not unanimous in the manner of worship nor in the faith given by this Creator, they were unanimous in the belief that the Creator declared in the Bible is the source of all the rights that they openly and unanimously declared in this Declaration.

In this unanimous Declaration they declare that three rights in particular exist by this endowment of the Creator: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Notice the order of what is declared. Life is first, then Liberty, then the pursuit of Happiness. Thus the first right of human beings is the Right to Life. Without this right there can be no Liberty. Without Life and without Liberty there can be no pursuit of Happiness.

This is why today the nation stands divided and is being conquered. First of all, the very source of human rights is denied in many ways. Some deny the Creator altogether. Some allow that He exists, but do not declare Him as the Creator that the Bible declares. Some are so bold as to deny that the founders even counted this Creator as the basis of the nation. With such division, how can the Rights acknowledged in the Declaration be defended? When the foremost of these Rights is denied to some, how can it be guaranteed for anyone? And when the foremost of the Rights is in jeopardy, how can the Rights that flow from it not also be jeopardized?

Some today insist that to base one’s political commitment upon the single issue of Life is foolishness. Yet if the first Congress had not done so, we would not even have the nation nor the Constitution by which this nation is supposed to be governed.

Is this not food for thought for those who criticize those Pro-Life voters whom they label as single issue voters?

In the end, is there really any other issue?

+ = + = +

Then we have the final sentence of this unanimous Declaration:

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Enough Already

Enough already! That is what I keep telling myself regarding the elections.

Is anyone really still considering what to do? It seems not to be so. It seems that people have made up their minds what they will do and now are only arguing with others and with themselves about it.

I really think the real arguing is really that, arguing with selves. Most people have made up their minds to vote for someone with whom they are not pleased. At least this is what I perceive from those who desire a constitutional republic that truly seeks to promote and defend the good of all. By “All” I mean truly that, from the very tiniest and most helpless and without voices that can be heard, to the wealthiest and strongest and most admired in society. Little babies who are in the earliest stages of development and old codgers in wheelchairs with oxygen tanks ALL are people who are protected by the Constitution. Those who believe this to be true, even though the weak and the helpless are often deemed to be inconvenient and burdensome, believe that they nevertheless are created, yes, CREATED equal under the rule of their Creator. Those who believe this are arguing with themselves, trying to convince themselves that someone who does not honor this higher authority quoted in the Declaration upon which the Constitution is founded can be voted for without violation of conscience, without violation of one’s integrity.

The matter is greatly complicated for those who are aware of the third party candidates, especially of those running for the highest civil office in the land. There is one presidential candidate who truly stands apart from the rest. Chuck Baldwin really makes this matter more complicated, especially for those who want to convince themselves that Washington and Jefferson and Adams and Hale and Hamilton and Hancock and Franklin and Jones and the many others who were unwilling to settle for any less than what they counted as true to their convictions really don’t have anything to say to us today. Those who want to convince themselves that such absolutism is no longer possible have to work hard to justify their choice to resist voting for someone like George Washington.

But then maybe people like me are the ones fooling themselves. Maybe such absolutism has never really existed.

What do we observe from such men as the founders of this nation? Did they all agree on everything? Certainly not. Yet they nominated men with whom they agreed. If no such person could be found, they themselves ran for office. Yes, they worked together with whomever was elected, but they voted for what they believed.

Is that different than what most people today are doing, especially among those who profess to have strong convictions?

It certainly seems to be different from what I am seeing and hearing.

Perhaps in my statements I do overstate things, at least with regard to what is possible in the civil realm. But then I believe in the God who says that with Him all things are possible. I believe in the God who created all men equal in terms of their value in the world and in connection with His love. I believe in the God who says that He recreates us to be perfect even as He is perfect.

Because of this, I cannot accept the notion of settling for the lesser of two evils or the lesser of two undesirables. I believe in looking to that which is the very highest and best, even in the political arena. I believe in demanding absolute commitment from a candidate, commitment to protecting and defending the Constitution and to protecting and defending All of “We the People.”

In the past, I was less informed than I am after many years of study and experience. I the past I was less able to discern between candidates. In the past I knew less of the Constitution and of the history that led to its formulation and of the history that shows the many ways in which it has been ignored and abused.

Now I know at least a little more, and I cannot ignore what I have observed and learned. So I will not settle for a lesser candidate even though for all appearances that candidate may have a better chance of prevailing or winning. After all, what good will his victory do me, if he does not truly represent what I believe is right and good?

In this ongoing battle the issue of integrity arises. Perhaps a reminder of the definition would be a fitting ending for this post.

From the American Heritage Dictionary:

1. Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.
2. The state of being unimpaired; soundness.
3. The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.

Well, perhaps it is enough already. Perhaps it was enough even before this post. Perhaps it is simply time to vote and accept what is coming.


Catching Wild Pigs

In the block below is the content of a recent E-mail. While I do not know whether or not this specific story is true, I have heard similar stories from people who fled Viet Nam, people who grew up and saw what happened there, people who proudly and happily count the USA as their home and the land of the free and the home of the brave. Yet they also sound the same warning as you will read below.

Catching Wild Pigs

There was a Chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke.

You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs that are used to the free corn start to come through the gate to eat, and then you slam the gate on them and catch the whole

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc, etc, etc. While we continue to lose our freedoms - just a little at a time.

One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free Lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

So, if you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America, you might want to send this on to your friends. If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life then you will probably delete this email, but God help you when the gate slams shut!

In this 'very important' election year, listen closely to what the candidates are promising you - just maybe, you will be able to tell who is about to slam the gate on America.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Third Party Presidential Debate

In the following video, also available at Baldwin/Castle 2008 and at YouTube Third Party Presidential Debate, Chuck Baldwin and Ralph Nader express their positions and give a bit of counter on the areas where they are not aligned. Amazingly, however, at least from my observation, the two are in agreement on more things than they are in disagreement.

Also to my amazement, is the number of issues in which Nader makes good sense. He is clearly a well-intentioned person, devoted to what he believes, and willing to stand apart from others in order to remain faithful to the principles that he holds.

The debate, in my opinion, was more of an moderated discussion of ideals, and well-worth viewing. Here it is.

My evaluation of the views expressed by the two candidates is that if Mr. Nader held to the clearly stated basis of the Declaration of Independence, that he and Baldwin would agree on almost everything. As I perceive the difference between the two men and their expressed stands, the difference can be summed up in the matter of where human rights have their origin. Chuck Baldwin believes that human rights have their origin in the clearly stated words of the Bible, as God’s revelation of His Word and will. Ralph Nader believes that human rights have their origin in whatever can be derived from nature and from the will of the people. Interestingly, the two candidates deal with the matters of the Constitution and the founding of the nation differently according to their presumed bases for human rights. By and large, Nader is more prone to make allusions to the founding documents and the founding fathers, while Baldwin is far more prone to quotation of what the founding documents and founding fathers actually say.

This seems to me to be significant.

In contrast to the Obama/McCain campaigns and debates, they don’t even do a decent job of alluding to the founding documents and the founding fathers. This seems to me to be even more significant.

Enjoy the video and make your own evaluations, please.

Guys who got it Right on the Economy.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Guys who got it Right on the economy.
Why are they ignored?

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ! ! ! ! ! ! !

From the standpoint of seeking to get ahead on the efforts of others, I suppose I am just a big boob. I have never had any desire to do anything more than to earn a living while providing a service to others. I’ve never had any desire to “make it big” or to use other people and their money and efforts to make a pile of money for myself.

So why should people listen to me about the economy and investment plans?

But there are folk who have made piles of money through investments and such. They are well known throughout the world. They have spoken out regarding the decisions that have actually worked, AND have spoken out against the decisions that have NEVER worked.

Here are a couple of videos you may want to consider. I’ll provide them as embedded videos and also provide the URLs so that you can view other related videos. (Some parts may be a bit loud, so you may want to adjust your volume accordingly)

Guys who got it Right on the economy. Why are they ignored?

Governments want a One World Monetary System

Things can be set back to what worked. We still have a window of opportunity, if only we will elect leaders who will do what needs to be done.

This election matters.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Let My People Go

Perhaps some may wonder why a preacher of the Gospel would spend so much effort in calling attention to the need for political reform. Why should a pastor, whose life is devoted to preaching the Gospel for the forgiveness of sins and regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit for the life that God gives be so concerned about what is happening in the political sphere?

In Exodus 5:1 Moses records what he as a prophet and Aaron as the chief priest were commanded to do in the name of the Lord.

And afterwards went Moses and Aaron and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says Yahweh, God of Israel, “Let go the People of Me that they may gather for a feast to Me in the wilderness.””

The word for “gather for a feast” is a word for circling around something. As slaves in Egypt, under the oppression of the Pharaoh, the people of Israel were not able to gather together in the name of the Lord. They were not free to go out from their captors to eat the sacrifices of the Lord. The blessings of the divine service were kept from them by their enslavement by the Egyptians. The control over the people was so complete that even the sons were demanded to be given. Infanticide was being forced upon the people for political reasons.

For those who are awake enough to see what is happening in America, the same kind of enslavement is being forced upon the people of this nation. The land of the free, to which people fled in order to be able to gather unto the Lord according to what they understood to be the way to which He called them, over the last hundred years or so has been turned little by little into a land where the only form of faith-life and worship that is hindered is the gathering unto the Lord. Moreover, the economic freedom that allowed for free exercise of faith and speech has been stripped away. The point of having to gather straw for bricks has not quite come upon us, but it is not far away.

The US Constitution was written to protect the people from those who would enslave them and dictate to them how they may earn their living and how they may use their incomes and how they may exercise their devotion to the Lord.

The American people need to elect leaders who truly recognize this so that their freedom to gather to eat the feast of the Lord is not taken from them.

On this, a deeper theological note is worthy of observance. After this first approach to the Pharaoh, where the worship-life of Yahweh’s people was declared, afterwards the demand was that they be let go to serve the Lord. Sadly, most who gather for worship have entirely ignored what Moses and Aaron clearly gave as the true definition of serving God.

The divine service is the gathering to feast in the presence of the Lord in the purity of the administration of the Word and the Sacraments. The service to which God calls us to be gathered is His service, where He is served to the people for their feasting. His blessings are to be feasted upon, served to us as He has ordained. The ultimate blessing that He serves us is the Holy Communion, through which we feast upon His very body and blood and receive the forgiveness and life of His blood and are renewed in the unity of His body.

When people begin to grasp the fullness of this, they begin to realize the extent of God’s grace in Christ, given and shed for God’s people in order that they may be truly free to live as His people.

For a time we have enjoyed the political freedom to acknowledge this openly. Those who acted to insure this freedom acted together, even though they were not truly united in their understanding of the faith. Nevertheless, they knew that in order for religious freedom to exist in this nation that they had to act together to insure that freedom not only for themselves, but for all. If we act together, perhaps this freedom may be extended for a while longer. However, whether the political freedom is extended or not, those who know the true freedom of God’s service will continue to gather to feast in His presence, even if it costs everything that this world has to offer.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Saturday I encountered a truly frightening individual!

She came with a happy and friendly countenance. She brought information about a candidate whom she supports. She was willing to converse politely. She was willing to hear the views of another. She openly expressed her views.

So what was so frightening?

During the conversation she expressed her support for her choice in presidential candidates. As part of the discussion I asked whether she liked paying taxes.

Her answer was, "Yes!"

I asked what she thought of the idea of returning to the Constitutional form of taxation that would allow people to decide for themselves how to spend their incomes, using a form of taxation that allowed people to keep their incomes and use their incomes as they believed best. Her answer was that she did not believe that the people should be allowed to make that decision because the people do not know how to use their incomes rightly.

This is an educated woman, an attorney. She is articulate and says that she has read the Constitution and makes use of it in her vocation.

She is convinced that "We the People" should not be understood in the sense that it is used in the Preamble of our Constitution. She is convinced that "We the People" don't know how we need to be governed and that we need to turn over even the decisions regarding the right use of the fruits of our labors to those who know better, namely, bureaucrats.

I was truly shocked by her words. It made me truly afraid for our nation.

As mentioned above, the problem is not a lack of education. In fact, the education that has been forced upon us, often even against our will, other times through cleverly disguised deception, is the cause of this dilemma. We have been educated to accept the economic system that is enslaving our people and stealing away from us our freedoms. We have been educated to believe that government is our savior and deliverer and that more and more power should be granted to it. We have been educated to accept that there are times when the safeguards against government that are clearly established in our Constitution must sometimes be set aside and thus, things like the Patriot Act are now in place and even counted as necessary by many.

So the government continues to move us farther and farther from the safety provided by our Constitution. Our lives are being forced into more and more dependence upon the government, which is carrying us toward global dominionism, from which there will be no place to flee.

Until the Patriot Act is used in abuse of a person, for most people, the individual response, which becomes the collective response, is: "Well, it has not happened to me!"

The same is true of taxation. Until an individual actually experiences personally the devastation that is being wrought by the many forms of taxation, most importantly income taxation and inflation, the common individual, collectively with all other individuals looking only to self, does not allow himself to care.

But then, what do I know and why should I care? I'm only an individual who has established a small business in service to others. I'm only an individual who has tried to provide employment for others, but was forced to stop hiring because of the crushing burdens of the many forms of taxation and governmental regulations and accounting requirements. I'm merely a silly individual who seeks to provide a service to others at the highest level of quality that I know how to provide while also seeking to be as conservative and efficient as possible so as to be able to keep the costs to those whom I serve as low as I am able.

It seems that in our day this is counted as unAmerican. In fact, by some it is even called uncaring and unloving and negative.

As for me, while the government has made it impossible for me to hire people anymore, I will simply help people in whatever small ways that I am able. I will continue to give the best that I have to give for the best price that I can afford to charge. I will defend the Constitution in word and deed. I will continue to count this as the American way, AND I will only vote for those who say and do likewise.

Of course, above all, even when these things are taken from me by those who are "better and more caring" than I, I will continue to preach the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ and will continue to administer the pure Sacraments to those who desire to receive them. This I will do until I am rendered physically unable to continue.

The Final Week

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." -- John Quincy Adams

One more week to throw a stone or an angry word at the candidate who is worse than your own! Time is running out!

What a different way from what led to the founding of this nation! What a different way from what led to the very careful and arduous writing of our Declaration of Independence and the follow-up document known as our Constitution!

Yet it seems that the general populace was not that much different than today's populace. Otherwise, why would John Quincy Adams have written what is quoted above?

Apparently, the notion that a vote for a principle that is deemed by many as unobtainable and beyond hope for winning the day is a wasted vote may not be a new notion at all. Apparently those who fought for liberty and justice for all faced the same pessimism in their day as we face today. Apparently what they accomplished was accomplished through faith in what was declared to be impossible and hopeless. Apparently their ideals were counted by many as too high to be realistic and their candidates were counted as too far on the fringe to be electable.

So how on earth did they accomplish these things and win the day?

Apparently it was not by being compromising in their actions! Apparently it was not by settling for the lesser of two evils! Apparently they were unwilling to vote for a candidate on the basis of the rationale: "At least he's not the other guy!" or "He's for hope and change!"

It seems that those who accomplished the great things of the past had rock solid principles that they were willing to fight for, even beyond sacrificing their own lives, but also their fortunes and families.

But these heroes did not choose these principles for themselves. They had a basis for these principles. They declared this basis in their Declaration of Independence and debated from this basis in the Constitutional Convention.

Could that be what is missing today? Could it be that the willingness to tolerate compromise, even the eagerness to embrace compromise, found in the churches in our age, could be the cause of the willingness to settle for so little in the sphere of politics?

But then, the way of compromise is easier. Right? Who wants to stand alone with nothing but one's principles as his footing?

There are still a few. Yes, we do still exist.

Are you one those few, too?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chuck Baldwin on Bailout Bureaucracy

The Baldwin Campaign has a YouTube site with videos available. If you are interested in understanding the issues of the economy and the bailout and would like to hear from someone who actually wants to do something about it, check out Chuck Baldwin on Bailout Bureaucracy.

A more in depth explanation can be viewed at Money as Debt.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chuck Baldwin on NPR

On the October 18, 2008 National Public Radio broadcast Weekend Edition Saturday, host Scott Simon, interviewed Chuck Baldwin.

The interview is available here.

The transcript of the interview is provided as well as a link for listening to the interview.

However, there is a commentary that precedes the transcript, and in this commentary a very important misstatement is made. The commentary says:

As president, Baldwin says, he would work toward overturning the 16th Amendment, which establishes Congress' authority to levy taxes. In addition, he would like to see the IRS and the Federal Reserve disbanded.

The misstatement is in the report that the 16th Amendment establishes Congress’ authority to levy taxes. This is a false statement. The authority of Congress to levy taxes is established in section 7 of the First Article of the Constitution. The 16th Amendment establishes a tax on income. This was something never intended by the founding fathers and was added to the powers of Congress in 1913. The misstatement implies that without the 16th Amendment that Congress will be unable to levy the taxes necessary. This is a false implication and the reader should beware.

What Baldwin, like Ron Paul, wants to do, is to set the American people free from the slavery created by the taxes upon their incomes, and to set them free from the slavery of having to report every aspect of their lives to the government. Imagine how much more productive people’s lives would be if they were set free from the endless tax forms and regulations. Imagine how much more disposable income people would have if they did not have such large portions of their paychecks withheld from them against their wills. Imagine how such an increase in disposable income would benefit the economy, as people were set free to utilize their incomes as they choose, rather than having the government tell them how much they can keep for themselves, for their families, and for their posterity

If you would like to read the Constitution for yourself, it is available at the following links:

U.S. Constitution Online

The Constitution of the United States of America

House of Representatives Educational Resources

A Chronology of US Historical Documents

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Voter Information

Are you ready to vote?

Do you even know who the candidates are? Seriously. Do you?

Check out the list. You will likely be surprised.

Sedgwick County Election Office Current Candidate Listings

At the Sedgwick County Election Office Web Page you can learn more information as well.

Included is a link for the Kansas VoterView, where you can enter your personal information and learn where your polling place is and all of the information regarding districts, etc.

Check it out, especially the candidates. You will be surprised to learn how many candidates are not even mentioned by the media. Who knows. You may even find out that there is someone running who is actually someone you will WANT to support with your vote rather than just choosing a lesser of two evils, or perhaps not even knowing who you are choosing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Much Better

In a previous post, Remember, Be Careful! I shared the injury that my finger received at that time.

A number of people have asked me how my finger is doing. It has healed very nicely thus far and it is much better.

Such injuries disrupt many nerves, which continue to react for a long time. However, the bone only hurts a little, as most of the bruising to the bone has repaired. Where the skin mended there is a slight ridge and some internal adhesions. These are still tender, but the healing process has proceeded very nicely.

I do continue to marvel at the design by which God has structured our bodies! What can one really say in response but “Thank You, Lord!” I guess “Amen!” is the one additional thing to say.

Media Bias?

In today’s Wichita Eagle on the front page article entitled “Economy is main topic of final debate”, this drawing of the two candidates was illustrated:

It was formed by putting together the following two graphics drawn and illustrated months ago:

Contrasting this to a photograph of McCain by the same news & graphics source,

Does the drawing seem to be a fair and unbiased representation of McCain?

What is more, why is there NO information ever given about the other candidates, especially the ones making advances in recognition and popularity on account of their clearly articulated and demonstrated commitment to the Constitution?

Then again, perhaps this really is what the people want. Perhaps the people do not really want to become educated regarding what is happening and what the candidates really represent. Perhaps they prefer to line up and hurl insults at the other party or to vote based upon what their favorite celebrities say.


Yeah! Let’s all get out and vote!

Who’s running?

What are the issues?

Who knows?

Who cares?

Just vote.

That’s what America stands for?


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Exuberance of Catechesis

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. (Psalm 89:15)

The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. (Proverbs 20:7)

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

The little ones look to their parents and especially to their fathers for their identity, for their sense of wholeness and well-being. Careful catechesis is the sure sign of parental love, and the children rejoice to receive it from their parents and especially their daddies.

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (1 Corinthians 11:28)

Loving fathers, as the head of their house, make certain that all who are of his house are baptized into Christ’s Holy Communion as members of His body so that together they dwell in the house of the Lord and taste and see that the Lord is truly good as they feast upon Him in the meal of forgiveness and life.

(For those who don’t know, catechesis is instruction. The term has long been used in the Church for the lifelong teaching of the love of God in Christ, and especially in the early stages where the chief parts of the Apostolic Doctrine are taught.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Grace Walk Ministries

On the radio in my truck, I tune in to AFR and listen for as long as my stomach will allow me. The theology is so bad that it literally makes my stomach hurt and I have to change the dial to something else. But I listen almost every day.

One of the frequent blurbs is Steve McVey’s 2 minute devotional. Today I heard him address the matter of a man’s concern over whether or not he had truly accepted Christ into his heart and whether or not his prayer of acceptance was genuine. The answer that Steve gave to this hurting fellow was that the only thing that he needs to do or must do is to believe in Jesus.

This message is repeated in all of Steve’s devotionals and in all of the Grace Walk Ministries materials. Over and over again people are told that the only thing that they must do is to believe in Jesus.

I am bewildered by this. People cry out under the burden of their inability to believe and they are told to take comfort in knowing that the one thing that they are completely unable to do for themselves is the only thing that they must do!

In another devotional the scenario is presented where a hurting man approaches his pastor asking for a receipt that would prove to him that he was really a believer. The pastor flippantly scribbles a receipt on a piece of scrap paper and says “Here you go.” Then he tells the man that all that he must do to be certain that he is really a believer is to trust in Jesus.

How I wish that Grace Walk was the only group with such inherent deafness! But it pervades Christendom.

As I listened to the scenario with the man asking for a receipt, I desperately wanted to shout to him over the radio that God has provided a receipt. Yes! It is declared in Acts 2:38-39, 1 Peter 3:21, Romans 6:3-4, Galatians 3:26-27, Titus 3:4-7, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13-14, Ephesians 4:30, Colossians 2:6-15, 2 Timothy 2:11-19, and Acts 19:4-6.

In case you somehow overlooked God’s receipt, or seal, it is the Holy Spirit poured out in Baptism. Yes, God has given Baptism for the remission of sins and the seal of faith, that is, the gift of the Holy Spirit. By this means God gives us His mark and seal for our assurance that faith is His work and not ours and therefore it can be trusted as completely genuine and effective. Since as St. Paul assures us in Ephesians 2, faith is the work of God and not of ourselves, we know that the faith that we receive in connection with Baptism is not only valid but absolutely trustworthy. The pure faith that we cannot produce for ourselves is given freely by God, poured over us in connection with the pronouncement of His holy name connected to the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

This is the source of our faith. This is the receipt to which the Scriptures direct our hearts and minds and spirits. God HAS provided us with a receipt. He has commanded Baptism so that we would know beyond any doubt that our salvation is not dependent upon our work of believing, but rather, that our existence as believers is dependent upon the regeneration that the Holy Spirit works through Baptism.

Since the Scriptures are replete with references that plainly declare the efficacious nature of the gift of Baptism, how is it that so many completely ignore and in many cases even openly argue against it? How is it that when God has given us this clear sign of His grace that preachers and people turn it into yet another work of men and into a ritual of one’s own devotion and commitment?

It seems that people simply cannot believe that grace is really grace. There always arises the idolatrous question of, “Well, I must believe, mustn’t I?”

Even when a person reads that faith is not of ourselves but it is the gift of God, still people come back with the same tired old response: “Well, I must believe, mustn’t I?”

If a person Must Do anything, then salvation is by works of the Law and not by Grace.

That is why the Scriptures repeatedly declare that faith is the gift of God. The Holy Spirit made certain that it is recorded for us so that we can see it in black and white.

God does not want us to be in doubt of our salvation on account of thinking that we must do something to be a Christian. He has taken care of it all. Yes, even faith is God’s work.

So the next time that your heart begins to doubt whether or not you can be certain that you are a believer, turn to God’s receipt. Return to your Baptism and rejoice in what God has done, knowing that His work is without flaw and without deficiency. Your baptism is God’s seal of a good conscience in connection with the resurrection. The Holy Supper is the ongoing renewal of God’s Holy Communion into which He has sealed you through Baptism.

These are God’s means of grace through which He has sealed you as His beloved child and through which He continues to sustain you in His grace. Because of these, even in your weakest moments you can be sure of your place in His kingdom.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Money as Debt

The following video is posted at GCNLive, a worthy source of news in this current age.

Paul Grignon's Money As Debt
One Of The Most Important Videos You Will Ever See
(on what is happening in the nation and the world today)

After viewing this and observing the “Why” behind the secularly observed slavery of this age, then compare the current candidates being offered in the mainstream.

Then consider that we actually have candidates who are seeking to Reform the nation and to counter those things that currently rule over the populace.

Are not these men and women worthy of full consideration?

What would happen if every person who believed that it is foolish to vote for the lesser of two evils actually voted for someone who stood for something? What if we all actually voted FOR a candidate rather than voting against a candidate? What would happen if we all voted for candidates who actually tell us what they believe and do so consistently rather than checking the polls to find out what we want them to tell us that they believe?

Believe it or not, such candidates of integrity DO exist and are actually on the ballots.

(In the paragraph above, the secularly observed slavery is meant. Sin is the true cause of the slavery of mankind, and of course, the current matters are manifestations of that total slavery which can only be undone through the grace of God through faith.)

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Great Big Lie

On Wednesday the Wichita Eagle featured this headline & article on the front page: PUBLIC PRESSURES CONGRESS TO ACT.

This headline was based upon the following paragraph:

There was a widespread sense on Capitol Hill that Monday's vote had snapped the public to attention about the potential repercussions of Congress's failure to act. Last week, House and Senate offices were bombarded with calls from opponents who viewed the bill as a Wall Street boondoggle. That call pattern shifted sharply after Monday's vote, aides to lawmakers in both parties said. "It's completely in the other direction now," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

I called to express my great concern and to reiterate the direct violations upon the Constitution that this bill imposes. In talking with the staff person from one of the senators I asked about this report of a reversal of the expressed desire of the public. I asked how many phone calls had been received that supported and called for this action from Congress. The staff person was silent.

I asked again, “Have you received any phone calls calling for this action from Congress?”

The answer was, “No. They all have been negative.”

Is it really possible that Kansas stands alone from the rest of the citizens of this country? Or is there a great big lie being propagated?

Certainly, beyond any doubt, the Wichita Eagle deliberately ignored what is clearly being expressed in Kansas. Why?

Isn’t it time that we ask this question openly, and not only of the Wichita Eagle, but of all of the media and especially of our President and Congress?


Whom are they really representing?