Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Christian Nation?

I know I didn't pay as much attention in history class as I should have, especially because in my older years I have become fascinated with history.  The story of mankind and his progress or regress over the centuries is quite a read.  Winston Churchill is quoted as saying “history is written by the victor”.  A true statement of sort but in recent times I see that some folks are trying to set the record straight, as they should.  I would like to do the same.

As a student of Constitutional Law, and for a couple of years as a college instructor of the same, I have read and re-read the Constitution and many of the founding documents and have never found a proclamation of any sort, that the United States of America was established as a Christian Nation.  Certainly the Founders of this Country were not only keen but insistent on establishing laws that are definitely rooted in the Holy Scriptures of Judaism and Christianity, but at no time did they officially, intentionally or accidentally claim that the United States was a Christian Nation.
The U.S. Constitution is a wholly secular document. It contains no mention of Christianity or Jesus Christ. In fact, it uses religious terms only twice; in the First Amendment, which bars laws "respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," and in Article VI, which prohibits "religious tests" for public office. Both of these provisions are evidence that the Country was not founded as officially Christian or any other religion.

For years now, I see postings on the internet and hear talks on radio and TV, claiming that the United States of America was and is a Christian Nation; usually, these writers/orators pick some obscure letter or an out of context phrase, to offer as evidence for their position.  One of the greatest ‘rights’ we have in the United States is the Freedom of Speech and/or Expression, so they are free to forward their position without fear of speaking/writing against the law, even if they are incorrect.
Yes, the Declaration of Independence does refer to the ‘Creator’ and ‘Supreme Judge of the World’, but never Jesus or Christianity – yet many claim that it without a doubt established the United States as Christian Nation. that holds as much water as the lady who insisted to me that the Bible was written by Christian men not Jewish men.

Come now folks, I too was taught that the Crusades were a good Christian event and that Christopher Columbus was a great ambassador to the New World.  Well, we know that many things have been done in the name of Jesus that were not good things and that many explorers were pretty bad dudes.  Not all that we are told is true!
So let’s set the record straight; The United States of America was not established as a Christian Nation…..if it was, Article VI of the Constitution would not exist and every person running for office would need to prove their belief in Jesus before they could be elected.
So what were the Founding Father’s beliefs?  Some only believed in God; some believed in Jesus and still others believed in no supreme being or established religion.  What they did agree on was that they and anyone who inhabited this Country later, had the right to believe, worship and adhere to any religion they chose without fear of reprisal from government or its citizens.  They also believed that nobody was required to believe if they chose to have no preference or belief.
Indeed, even with all of the problems this Country has today and all the bickering and political name calling, The United States of America is the best Nation in the world.  It is the freedom to believe what we want that makes it so.  Even the ‘tin foil hat brigade’ can believe that their minds are being taken over by aliens. Who are we to say different? (can you say NSA)

If you are a Christian, may God Bless you…..but in America you do not have the right to insist that  someone else can’t express their religious beliefs or worship that may be different than yours.  Practice what Jesus taught you; Love one another.  He didn't teach destroy one another!

Remember, things are not always the way we want them to be.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Stop Trying to Outguess God!

For the last year there have been some writers/speakers who have been laying out a scenario of the “end times”, and in doing so have been given a modern day “Paul Revere” status.  The end times are coming…..the end times are coming!

I find it hard to believe that these Christian Leaders would make such statements, even though their Christian writings say that nobody knows when the end will come. 
I am fairly confident that apart from selling books, receiving speech honorariums and being quoted in the National News Media, the only prophecy that is being fulfilled by the astronomical phenomena known as the ‘Blood Moon’ is the one from the Christian Scriptures in 2 Timothy 4:3;

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

Over the centuries many people have tried to interpret the pattern and movement of the sun, moon, stars and planets (including Pluto) as if there was a relationship to our personal lives, with mostly disappointing results except in rare instances when a roll of the dice would have given the same statistical results. 
·      Around 630 BCE, many Romans feared the destruction of Rome in its 120th year, because of a myth that 12 eagles had revealed to Romulus a mystical number representing the lifetime of Rome, and some early Romans hypothesized that each eagle represented 10 years.
·      There were those who we certain that the revolt against Rome when the second Temple was eventually destroyed, was going to be the final great battle prophesied for the Jezerel Valley and on the order of some of the Sages, coins were minted proclaiming the ‘return of Zion’.
·      In 1033, some Christian leaders predicted that the world would end 1000 years after Jesus’ death.
·      In 1284 Pope Innocent III predicted that the world would end 666 years after the rise of Islam.
·      1524 Johaness Stoffler proclaimed a planetary alignment in Pisces was, in his opinion as an astrologer, a sign of the Millennium.  He revised his date as 1528, when his prediction didn’t come true. 
·      May 27, 1528, Hans Hut had predicted the world would end that day. (I’m glad it didn’t as I was born on May 27 a few years later; think of all those birthday gifts I would have missed out on).
·      In 1658 Columbus claimed that the world was created in 5343 BCE, and would last 7000 years. Assuming no year zero that means the end would come in 1658. (Old Chris got a couple of things wrong, didn’t he?)
·      The Catholic Apostolic Church (not the Roman Catholic Church) predicted that Jesus would return by the time the last of its 12 founding members died. The last member died in 1901.
·      Ronald Weinland, from the Church of God WCG, stated Jesus Christ would return and the world would end on May 27, 2012l (again with my birthday….knock it off already)
·      And finally the so-called Mayan apocalypse at the end of the 13th b'ak'tun. The Earth would be destroyed by anasteroid, Nibiru, or some other interplanetary object; an alien invasion; or a supernova.

OK, you probably get my drift by now; predictions of the end are as common as government officials who lie.  Now for the current prediction:  

Well first of all, the scriptures quoted to validate the prediction are:
Acts 2:20 - ‘The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.  Joel 2:31 - “The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.  Revelation 6:12 -  I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood

The two physical problems we have here are 1) all the Scriptures say the ‘sun’ will go black/dark – because there is no ‘solar eclipse’ with the ‘blood moon’ (which is actually a lunar eclipse) this is not a valid prediction, if there is such a thing. 2) Both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures dealing with end times were written originally by Jewish Sages, to Jewish people in a Jewish time and land.  Therefore, it makes sense that the Scriptural prophecy should be revealed by astronomical phenomena that could be seen in Israel.

 Now I realize that NASA is a government agency and who trusts the government anyhow, but they have a prediction too; the eclipse will be seen not in Israel but a long ways away in a country that isn’t even mentioned in Scripture – The United States of America…..and other places around the Pacific Rim.

Yes I did a little research and yes I’m blowing my own horn!  But I’m not selling books or making speeches about any object in the sky.  I’m saying, if you believe in the Hebrew and/or Christian Scriptures, then obey them…..don’t try to supplant them with your own ideas. 

My studies have taught me, for years, that if you are a Jew or a Christian, you should follow God’s teachings that you find in your books.  I don’t see anywhere that gives anyone permission or license to edit, do away with or pick and choose the rules of life that God has given.  Try as you may, but you won’t outguess God so stop trying to shake people up with your ‘end times’ predictions, and read what is written in the Scriptures: End times will come, but you don’t have a clue when that will be.
Stop trying to scare people into believing, and watch for the moon on the 8th of October and enjoy a wonderful lesson in physics and astronomy. 

Don’t worry; God will let you all know when the end of the world is to be……you won’t be able to miss it!