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Jul
4

Life, Liberty and…Happiness? Really?

Life, Liberty and…Happiness? Really? In his Two Treatises on Government in 1698, John Locke properly recognized and explained that the main goal of government was to protect the “life, liberty and property” of the citizens. Locke said: “The great and chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property.” This was the commonly held view of early Americans. It was, in fact, for this very reason of the violation of property that they revolted against England. Therefore, it is disappointing and spurious to consider a shift in thinking that was introduced by Thomas Jefferson (some suggest it was Benjamin Franklin’s idea) into the wording of the Declaration of Independence. (The change was accepted by the editorial review committee for the Declaration: Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.) “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Words matter, and this “liberty” taken within the wording of the Declaration (a document that is a kind of fixed moral reference point for many Americans) has helped to bend the American experiment away from the creation of Capital, to the pursuit of Hedonism. Now granted, the early American citizens took the phrase to primarily refer to the creation and preservation of wealth, but many in our society today see the phrase more as a protection of the sexual indulgences. This is much of what is wrong with contemporary Libertarianism. That subtle shift in thinking plays a major role in leading your nation being a leader in Free Market Economics, to the slippery slope of economic Socialism. The prohibition against stealing is addressed in the 8th Commandment (whether by the citizens or the government itself), and it is for the punishment of this and other crimes against Life, Liberty and Property, that God created government (1 Peter 2:14). Allowing citizens to create wealth through the Providence of God (Deut. 8:18), may, of course, produce a by-product of satisfaction or happiness, but making happiness (in and of itself) a chief end or pursuit is neither a Biblical concept nor a sound basis for government. Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for...
Mar
7

Was Jesus a Socialist?

Was Jesus a Socialist? I was asked to speak at a Christian conference in Ontario, Canada on the topic of “Biblical Economics.” The lecture was going along just fine until I mentioned that from a Biblical standpoint, the civil government was NOT to be involved in health care in any way. That’s when things got a bit hostile. People began yelling out objections in the middle of my presentation. We went back in forth for about five minutes in a kind of impromptu “open-forum” until I finally suggested we continue with the presentation and I’d stay after to answer questions. About 45 people crowded the stage afterward and in rapid succession endeavored to find any kind of defense whatsoever for my claim (that I had also made) that any form of Socialism (forced redistribution of wealth by the government), was immoral and contrary to Scripture. One lady exclaimed, “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t support universal government-funded healthcare. Everyone in my church supports it. Our pastors all support it! Heck, Jesus was a Socialist!” I often hear this claim that Jesus and the Apostles (and the rest of the early church) were all Socialists who supported living in a kind of Egalitarian Utopia where no one had private property, everything was held in common and all things were totally shared and equal. Thankfully, one of the great Economic experts in our day and age, Lawrence Reed, the President of the Foundation for Economic Education, has debunked this myth in a new FREE e-book / audiobook entitled, Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist?. I am very pleased to be able to share this resource with you, and I strongly encourage you to read it and share it with others. This would make a great family discussion with your children. Our goal at ChristianWorldview.net is to encourage you to think and live Biblically, and we are grateful for this excellent new tool to help us to “take every thought captive” as it relates to Economics and so-called, “Christian Socialism.” For more resources, please check out our Economics page.   Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for...
May
4

Why Government Needs to Get Out of Healthcare

Healthcare is not the domain of the civil government. Medical expenses, above and beyond the ability of an individual or a family to pay, falls into the category of a charitable need. In this essay, I will seek to outline how God has directed these needs to be handled in the Scripture. In the Bible, God has created various spheres of government: The Individual, the Family, the Church and the Civil Magistrate. Each of these spheres has been given authority over separate and distinct spheres and should never cross the jurisdiction of the other. This concept is called the doctrine of Sphere Sovereignty. When Paul was talking to Timothy about the care of widows in the church, he puts the responsibility squarely on the individual (in particular on the man) to care for widows who are in financial need (this falls under a charitable need). “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8, ESV) If an individual and/or family cannot or will not care for their own relatives, then Paul directs the church to  provide for widows who meet the necessary requirements for church care: “If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.” (1 Timothy 5:16, ESV) What should be done for people who have no family and cannot find help within their local church? Well, they should find another church. Never is the Civil Magistrate given the role of being involved in charity. “For (the Civil Magistrate) is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:4) “(The Civil Magistrate is) sent by God for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” (1 Peter 2:14) The civil magistrate’s role is one of force, and the Bible forbids the concept of force ever being used for charity. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, ESV) You can learn more of why government funding of charity (legal plunder), including tax-payer funded healthcare, is immoral HERE....
Jun
3

Should Christian Ministries Seek 501-C-3 Status with IRS?

Athanatos Christian Ministries, an apologetics ministry based out of Wisconsin, is one of the few Christian ministries that not only does not have tax exempt status, but deliberately refused to pursue it. In light of revelations that the IRS has been targeting conservative organizations based on their beliefs, ACM’s decision, made in 2008, now seems prescient. On the ‘donation’ section of ACM’s website, there is this simple statement: “In order to operate unmuzzled, ACM is NOT tax exempt.” ACM’s Executive Director, Anthony Horvath, explains, “While it does not appear that tax-exempt status was originally meant to stifle free speech, it is evident that it has become a way to silence the opposition while hiding behind and inside a bureaucracy.” However, Horvath believes the real harm has come from the self-censoring that organizations have engaged in long before the Obama administration decided to turn the bureaucratic machinery against his “enemies list.” Horvath says, “Churches and other tax-exempt organizations have refrained from aggressively stating their beliefs on important issues in order to retain their tax status. Has it been worth it?” According to Horvath, ACM chose not to pursue tax-exempt status to ensure that it would never have to make such a “devil’s bargain.” Horvath believes that 501c3 status would have forced him to be silent on issues he believes are extremely important, or tip-toe around a topic instead of being direct. “I did not want my tax status held as a club over my head, just waiting for the day when some atheist or pro-choice organization decides I had gone over the line. ACM pays its taxes, therefore ACM speaks its mind,” Horvath says. Horvath urges Christians to think carefully about the practical implications of tax policies. In 2010, Worldnetdaily.com published one of his columns urging Christians to develop a theology of taxation, warning that “Christians should carefully test their attitudes about taxation” or risk participating in tyranny. ACM is presently engaged in its annual funding drive, reminding potential donors that operating ‘unmuzzled’ allows Horvath to advocate for pro-life issues and “connect the dots” between one’s worldview and the implications of that worldview. Horvath is available for interviews and may be reached atdirector@athanatosministries.org or 202-697-4623. ACM’s website is www.athanatosministries.org.   Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Site Editor for...
Jul
9

Creed of Gold – Movie Review

The Independent Christian Film genre has grown exponentially over the past 8 years or so. The vast majority of these new independent films have been produced by young, homeschooled graduates (and their families). Creed of Gold is a fine example of the expanding nature of these films.   This is an action, adventure film that takes on a James Bond style storyline, while still pointing the viewer towards a Christian worldview. What I like about the film is its ambition in tackling a rather controversial topic (the Federal Reserve), its ability to keep the story moving and the well-executed humor that punctuates the action and drama. This film points the viewer back to the necessity for moral absolutes, and reveals the danger inherent in losing those fixed reference points. With all independent films, you need to judge them within their genre, not up against epic movies with budgets in the 9 digits. In that respect, Creed of Gold is a quality film that exhibits some ground-breaking elements, pushing the limits of what is commonly attempted by most independent Christian filmmakers. If there is a down-side to the film it would be the elaborate back-story. I’ve seen the film three times now, which is rare as I usually never watch a movie twice. This is a compliment in that the film is compressed enough that there is something new to be gained from additional viewings, but I still don’t understand the entire back-story. It is largely told (in conversations), not shown (a no-no in film-making), and it was too in-depth for me to catch it all. I think Creed of Gold needs to be released as a novel for those who really want to enjoy the intricate historical plot that underlies this story. So with that said, even if you couldn’t explain to someone about the back story, the movie really doesn’t hinge on it in many ways. You can fairly easily follow the modern-day plot and all you really need to know is that the modern-day bad guys are somehow inextricably linked to the bad-guys of yesteryear. Problem solved, now you just need to enjoy the film! Here is a description of the film from the producers (to help you with my dilemma!): A secret group that financed the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 did not break any laws but was what they did ethically right? The film follows three college students as they investigate this shadowy secret group of individuals who influence...

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