Human Rights? Only If God Exists…

Just came across a discussion of human rights and belief in god. Nietzsche and others have said that if God is dead, any and all morality of love and human rights is baseless. Other philosophers have said that, if a moral argument is to be valid, it must be based on something outside the utility of the argument itself.

Who’s to say the weak should not be gobbled up by the strong? That’s the way it is in nature; that’s the reality of life…except in the minds of human beings. In fact, not all cultures even hold to the same beliefs concerning human rights.

What grounds do you have to argue that each individual has inherent rights? It can only come from a belief in a God of peace, justice, and love and that the world is fallen, broken, and needs to be redeemed.

SufferingAnimals

Vote Party, Not Person

In a two party republic like ours, every #election is a vote for policy not for a person. In the last election, many Christians refused to vote for a Mormon so we got Obamacare, a liberal Supreme Court, turmoil in the Middle East, a faltering economy, terrorism on our doorsteps….If our last election was critical, this one is even more so; it will set the direction of our country for decades to come. And yet we have #Romney saying he cannot vote for #Trump. Other people in the #Republican leadership say the same thing!

HoldNoseButVOTE

Some folks don’t like Cruz. Others hate Trump. Still others don’t want to vote for an establishment candidate like Kasich. There’s all kinds of reasons NOT to vote. BUT to hold your nose and turn away from the voting booth is to give the other party’s policies a foothold. No matter how bad you think a candidate is, a citizen in a Republic like ours should vote; hold your nose if you must, but vote!

Power to the People! Vote Republican!

 

1850’s – Exciting times!

Ann’s and Bekah’s adventures took place in an interesting time in history. A complex and flourishing canal system had spread throughout the east simplifying travel and transportation of goods. But, when our heroines start east, the rail system was just beginning to expand.

Routes1850_FuryMissive

Can you imagine! Passenger trains traveled at a phenomenal 15-20 mph. Oh, and our ancestors were tough! If someone drank too much water, he was in bad luck; restrooms (privies or outhouses) were at stations. Often times, at a train stop, passengers raced to see who could make it to the facility first. Over the next few months, I will talk about some of changes taking place during their travel east.

More images and documentation on Rebecca Ann Johnson and on Bekah’s adventure are available at FirstFury.com and RuinedFury.com.

Refusing to Vote: A Daniel or a Pharisee?

In my last post, I described a revelation I received in the middle of the night…that some Christians may choose not to vote for any presidential candidate because, for them, it has become a spiritual test. And, if they do, that is fine and no “brother” or “sister” should look down on them for it. I also shared how I believe, living in a two party Republic like ours, Christians should feel free to vote without it being a spiritual test. BUT what about the Christian who seeks political office in a party yet refuses to vote because they feel it is a spiritual test for them. I contend there is a difference between the citizen’s choice and the decision of an office holder.

The Christian who makes voting a spiritual choice may look at themselves as a Daniel–someone who takes a stand for right against the crowd. But Daniel’s actions affected him alone while voting or not voting affects the nation. Ezekiel 14:12-14 “Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, 13 ‘Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, 14 even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,’ declares the Lord God.” So, in this sense, choosing not to vote does not make someone a Daniel.

But what about where it says “if a country sins against me”? Again, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Voting is Caesar’s. What a nation will be judged on is not votes, but action…the killing of the unborn, the worship of idols, calling evil good and good evil. These come about by not voting for the party that opposes these things.

A Pharisee was a religious leader of the Jewish people. Nicodemus (a Pharisee) and Joseph of Arimathea (a prominent member of the council) were followers of Jesus. So, not all Pharisees or rulers of the people were lumped into our Lord’s spoken condemnations. Matthew 23:13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

The condemnation of the Pharisees was not based on the position of Pharisee, but on the fulfillment of their office. They were to lead the people into the kingdom of heaven yet “you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” As a leader at some level in a political party, that person is the face of the party. They are to fulfill that role, whether easy or not, and lead others to do the same. Fulfilling that role means supporting its nominees. Yet some leaders today say, “I can not vote for so and so, because of such and such.” They do not fulfill their role and lead others to do the same.

I submit such a person is more a Pharisee than a Daniel.

To Vote or Not To Vote

I sometimes get angry at people, but usually I can control myself and not let it show. However, last week I displayed it for all to see. We had our caucuses in Colorado. When the head of our party in our precinct said he would not vote for a candidate he didn’t like, I lost it. In a two party system, EVERYONE should vote, and it should be a party vote not a person vote! AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT.

On the way home, my wife reminded me that God is sovereign and in control. Nothing happens outside of His will. Then, at 2 a.m., that bit of wisdom woke me up. What does scripture say about voting? This missive will focus on two scriptures that struck me in the middle of the night.

In his dedication to Parliament at the front of “Ill Newes From New England,” John Clarke states the Lord Jesus has been given all power in Earth and has chosen to wield that power by a “two fold administration of power suitable to the two fold state or being of man.” Baptists at that time used Matthew 22:21 (Render unto Caesar…) to support this position. We live in a world that has both a “Caesar” side and a “spiritual” side. In a Republic like ours, voting is in the former. So, a Christian should be able to vote using good sense. In fact, God puts in place governments and our participation is a responsibility. Ah-ha! Support for my contention.

BUT, not so fast. Romans 14 came to mind. So, turned a few pages further on and read verses 2-14: One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him….One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God….13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. 14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

I submit that eating or observance of days can be extrapolated to voting.

  1. In a party-based system, every vote counts. A Republican or Democrat that refuses to vote because they don’t like the candidate has cast a vote FOR the opposing party.
  2. Someone who has made his/her vote a test of their faith should stand firm if they choose not to vote.
  3. However, such a person should not participate in the leadership of the political process and refuse to vote. (In my next post I will address the question, “Is he/she a Daniel or a Pharisee”?

As always, feedback is welcomed.

Save a Whale

When Ann was tracking down the man who “ruined” her, whales were being hunted and killed. (She pictured sticking him to the deck with one of those killing lances.) Now we go to great lengths to save them. Whales and fishing nets don’t go together. Here is a video of a rescue of a Humpback whale in the Sea of Cortez. Someone sent this to me in one of those chain emails that I seldom open. The title of this one caught my attention.

Write Your Novel

The kids’ Write Your Novel class at the library had 12 students show up…and only one had fluttering eyes by the time it ended. The adult class had 22. In both presentations, everyone had a great time. Attendees learned about structure and plot and how to use structure as like directions to build their story.

WYN_Titile

The kids’ Write Your Novel class at the library had 12 students show up…and only one had fluttering eyes by the time it ended. The adult class had 22. In both presentations, everyone had a great time. You can see a video of the class on YouTube. The Publish for Free class will be on April 19.

Trials of Lottie Moon

This month, as we focus on our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, we often overlook the trials Lottie faced in her life. From loss of wealth to giving up the man she loved, her life was full of heartache. Yet she changed our view of missions and impacted northern China in a way that is still felt today. I remember reading somewhere: Life is not about avoiding the storms but learning to dance in the rain.

lottine.jpg  (NT Photo-oconee-1299)

In our Sunday morning Bible Study yesterday, we were discussing Peter’s venture of walking on water outside the boat in the midst of a storm. Usually, we think of this in terms of our Lord’s chiding him for his lack of faith. However, as one lady observed, everyone goes through storms in his/her life. The question is, will we have the faith to get out of the boat at our savior’s call; or will we stay put and avoid what might be learned?

Lottie Moon said, “[No] trouble comes upon us unless it is needed…we ought to be just as thankful for sorrows as for joys.” We should listen to her words and not be afraid to get out of the boat.

See more at “The Courage of Your Faith.” The Courage of Your Faith consists of 12 short stories from our history and 12 Bible Studies on issues as relevant today as they were in the past. Each study includes supplemental information and a Power Point slide presentation.

Fury Series: 1849-52, The Eventful Years!

As Ann’s story progresses, I find that the years 1848-52 were filled with all kinds of interesting events. Whaling was still going strong; the California Gold Rush was at its peak; ships were being abandoned in San Francisco by crews with visions of striking it rich; Indians and the US government were to hold a meeting at Fort Laramie (plains Indians flocked there by the thousands)  to help alleviate tribal feuding and to provide safe passage for immigrants heading to California; cities along the Des Moines River in Iowa were devastated by some of the area’s worst flooding in history.

More about these to come; look for Till Her Heart Dances this Spring.

More images and documentation on Rebecca Ann Johnson and on Bekah’s adventure are available at FirstFury.com and RuinedFury.com.