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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

News: "One Nation Under God" Ruled Unconstitutional

Well, if there is a reason why we need strict constructionist and originalists who will not legislate from the bench, we have it now. If ever we should demand that our leaders hold these rogue judges accountable and/or replace them with competent judges, it is now. Judicial activism is the only power liberals have, having lost both in the executive and legislative branches for the past eight years. To get their agenda across, it will presumable come from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the looney courts in California. Hopefully, this ruling will be reversed and bring legitimacy to the rule of law. What's next I wonder? Will preaching the truths of Scripture indict a preacher to prison? It's happening in Holland and parts of Europe. If history follows this trend, what happens there will inevitably happen here. It's only a matter of time. But then, I happen to think about the early church and how it thrived under marginalization of culture and persecution by government. When Constatine declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, Christianity was weakened by nominalism and forced adherents. Maybe the courts and our culture will force Christianity in America to be true to form, and those who leave us will prove to have never really been a part of us as John puts it. Anyway. Here's some of the press coverage: * The Judges Ruling * Newdow vs. U.S. AP Article CNN Article Yahoo Article Fox News Article USA Today Article Crosswalk.com Article

6 Comments:

Blogger Nathan White said...

Timmy,

There’s no denying that this ruling is bothersome, and that it could potentially lead to the removal of freedom of religion. However, do you think it is completely intellectually honest for a Christian to recite the pledge of allegiance? After all, it’s not like America is actually ‘under God’.

In a certain way I am glad that scores of children across our nation aren’t mockingly saying something that is absolutely not true. To me, this constitutes taking the Lord’s name in vain, as the use of God is thrown around flippantly, in an unholy manner.

Just a thought…
SDG

9/15/2005 09:09:00 AM

 
Blogger Brad said...

Well, I was watching the news when they were telling the press, and all I could think is, one more step to a godless society. A society where God is not suppose to be mentioned. Its a dreadful thing.

9/15/2005 03:02:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Nathan,
Been thinking this afternoon about your comment. I totally agree that the vain usage of "under God" is abhorrent to those of us who cherish the name of Christ. However, I think the central issue is the public acknowledgement of God upon which every governmental entity, albeit courts, magistrates, law officials, constitution, and currency clearly has supported. The secularization of our country is a frontal attack by atheism, and Christians (with our worldview) are responsible to both worlds - earth and heaven.
Let me say this: I do not believe that the United States is a Christian nation, nor do I desire it to be. However, I do believe that Christians do have a voice in the public square, a voice which for at least a century has been tried to muffled out. I believe that all Christians should be engaged in cultural matters and not simply leave it to the "intellectuals" or Christian "pundits" and allow them to sit back and watch. When the deal is done, it is only then where you will find Christians raising their voices with picket signs, bumper stickers, and billboards - all of which are pathetic attempts to correct a matter they have longed overlooked.

I think your reasoning also goes along with the 10 Commandments in the courtroom or in public places. I have no reason to think that unbelievers should be forced to believe in the 10 Commandments, for they were given to a people in covenant with God, not the entire people in the world. The 10 Commandments provide a good code of ethics but should not be enforced by Christians in the public square nor should we make this our big fight. That is just my opinion, and I know there are many who think otherwise.
I can share your gladness in the sense that God is not being shoved down the kid's throats. Yet in the same vane, they cannot be really taking the Lord's name in vain, since their reference is simply to "God" not YHWH or Jesus (although contextually you can say the Christian God since that is who the Framers were speaking of.
I simply mean to take it as the public acknoledgement of God more than a direct reference to the Lord's name being taken in vain.
Make sense?

9/15/2005 03:43:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I do not believe that the United States is a Christian nation, nor do I desire it to be." Why do say this? Why would you not desire for your country to be a Christian nation?

9/15/2005 04:02:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Dear Anonymous,

We need to be very clear about a couple of things. First, to make Christianity and Americanism synonymous is very dangerous and dishonest. The American flag and the Christian flag is o.k. I suppose (being a citizen of both worlds), but Christianity is far more than American, and Jesus was not an American. And I suspect that in a matter of just a few decades, you will see the heart of Christianity in Asia and not America. America is following Europe, which once was the home of the Reformation and the likes of Luther, Calvin, among others.
Second, the Christianizing of America will only foster nominalism and water down Christianity. History tells us this (as mentioned earlier). The United States may be Christian because it was founded upon the Judeo-Christian ethic and that there are Christians in it, but in the sense that the United States to be theocratic or Christianized, I do not find helpful to the cause of Christ.
This reminds me of Kierkegaard's attack against Christendom of his day. He was not against Christianity per se, but rather what Christianity had become when it became institutionalized and nationalized. This is what i hope doesn't happen.
Anonymous, could you explain what you take is, and tag your name (if you don't mind) with your comment?

9/15/2005 05:59:00 PM

 
Blogger Nathan White said...

Yeah it makes sense Timmy, and I’ve even thought of that. The pledge doesn’t specifically say “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”, or “Jesus Christ”. But it is obvious which God the pledge is referring too. Among other things that is clear because of the fact that it is being attacked. Anyway, I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a public acknowledgment of God, that would be great, but that’s not what the pledge says. It is a personal pledge of allegiance to a nation that is ‘under God’, or in other words ‘under God’s law’. And that is a mockery to say that if isn’t true, or if you don’t really mean it. And unfortunately, God will judge “every idle word”. But in a sense you are right, as we cannot affirm the heart of man when one says that pledge. For all we know they could be referring to Allah. But from a Christian perspective, I dont think saying 'under God' in that pledge is something I could do with a clear conscience.

I don’t really know, I’m just throwing thoughts out there. I do want a public acknowledgement of God in some formal way from our nation, but that’s certainly not going to solve anything. It’s not going to get anybody saved, it’s not going to lead anybody to repentance, and if there is no repentance God won’t care one bit how much we want to acknowledge Him. The fact remains that God has turned His back on this nation long ago, and we don’t need to pretend that it is in the least bit ‘under God’.

I’m not trying to broaden the discussion here towards political activism, we could talk all day about that and probably still not completely agree. But you mentioned that Christians should have a voice in the public square, and I agree with that in the sense that it should be a voice of true repentance. It’s not our commission to try and force people into some moral code, no matter if it’s outlawing homosexual marriage or if it’s keeping the Sabbath. God doesnt care one bit about homosexual marriage if one doesnt repent and place faith in Christ. He will not honor a nation committed to a strict moral code yet devoid of saving faith, see the pharisees on that one.

Remember, Jesus in His day faced one of the most corrupt governments of all time (Romans), yet He and His disciples didn't march down the street carrying a sign. He didn't lead any campaigns on Rome.
And that the Jewish society, being of outwardly moral excellence, was the most inwardly wicked collection of leaders the world has every seen.

Jesus made it clear in Matthew 12:43 - 45 that the WORSE state a man can be in is outwardly moral and yet not know God.

I guess I’ve showed my colors a little bit, sorry to dive into all of that. I’m still feeling my way around what the scriptures command of us to do in our society outside of the great commission.

SDG

9/15/2005 11:20:00 PM

 

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