...He that ruleth over men, must rule in the fear of God. As if the royal prophet had said, “It is necessary, civil rulers should have upon their minds a becoming sense of God and religion: And it should govern their public conduct. Whatever they do, in their several stations, should be done under the guidance of an habitual awe of God, a serious regard to his governing will, and their accountableness to him. This is the principle that should have a predominating sway in all exertments of themselves in their public capacity.” This I take to be the true sense of the words.
To be sure, ’tis the truth of the thing. Civil rulers ought to be possessed of a principle of religion, and to act under the direction of it in their respective stations. This is a matter of necessity. I don’t mean that it is necessary in order to their having a right to rule over men. Dominion is not founded in grace: Nor is every pious good man fit to be entrusted with civil power. ’Tis easy to distinguish between government in it’s abstracted notion, and the faithful advantageous administration of it. And religion in rulers is necessary to the latter, tho’ not to the former.
Not but that they may be considerably useful in their places, if the religious fear of God does not reign in their hearts. From a natural benevolence of temper, accompanied with an active honest turn of mind, they may be instrumental in doing good service to the public: Nay, they may be prompted, even from a view to themselves, their own honour and interest, to behave well in the posts they sustain, at least, in many instances. But if destitute of religion, they are possessed of no principle that will stimulate a care in them to act up to their character steadily and universally, and so as fully to answer the ends of their institution.... (Charles Chauncy, sermon from 1747 (1705–1787). The most influential clergyman in the Boston of his time and—apart from Jonathan Edwards the elder—in all New England, Chauncy was graduated from Harvard and served as pastor of the First Church in Boston for sixty years.)
If the ministers within the good old US of A would crucify their fear of man, get solidly briefed regarding the chief political issues, not sweat necessary division, not get caught up in last days madness, maintain their hope for tomorrow, understand their liberties under God and our Constitution, not become so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good, focus on the majors and blow off bowing to cash instead of convictions, then maybe . . . just maybe . . . we will see their righteous influence cause our nation to take the needed sharp turn away from the secularist progressives’ speedily approaching putrid pit. (Big Hollywood, more below)
This imported article from the Washington Times comes with a hat-tip to Down On the Farm. It is another example of the PC culture that infects the Left and distorts their understanding of the Constitution and freedom of speech and thus, religion. Where are the religious people saying enough-is-enough?
Senate Democrats are proving once again that no judicial nominee is too extreme for them to stomach. A move seems to be afoot to open debate on the Senate floor this week on the nomination of David Hamilton of Indiana to the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. This judge is a radical's radical.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, sent a letter on Friday to his fellow senators outlining his objections to Mr. Hamilton, who is a federal district judge. The senator first objected to Judge Hamilton's stated belief that judges should effectively amend the Constitution - "writing footnotes to the Constitution," the judge called it - through evolving case law. Second, Judge Hamilton has publicly and specifically embraced the president's "empathy standard," which even Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has now openly rejected.
Third, Judge Hamilton in many cases has shown an extreme hostility against innocuous expressions of religion in the public square. Mr. Sessions noted, though, that Judge Hamilton's odd ruling in Hinrichs v. Bosma "prohibited prayers in the Indiana House of Representatives that expressly mentioned Jesus Christ ... yet he allowed prayers which mentioned Allah."
Fourth, Mr. Sessions pointed out that "lawyers in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary describe Judge Hamilton as one of the most lenient judges in his district on criminal matters," including the case of a police officer who videotaped his own sexual encounters with two teenagers. The senator also objects to the judge's extreme actions in blocking an "informed consent" law on abortion.
Finally, in light of the property rights movement stemming from the Supreme Court's infamous Kelo decision, property rights advocates may want to take a close look at his representation of the city of Indianapolis in 1992 in Reel Pipe and Valve Co. v. City of Indianapolis, in which property owners were forced to sell property against their will to benefit other private "economic development."
An Obama administration official has said the nomination is "a kind of signal" about the sorts of judges the president wants. In reviewing Judge Hamilton's record, that signal should be seen as a red light warning senators to stop this nomination.
There was a time when sermons bristled with political discourse and cultural topics of the day , which drove Big Hollywood lists the top 10 reasons why pastors and priests avoid political and intense cultural issues and thus aid and abet evil (listed below). All one has to do is read a sermon or two from the book Political Sermons of the American Founding Era, 1730-1805 to see that the clergy standing idly by while such religious disparages against the Christian "ethos" of our nation is shoved down our throats by the legislative and judicial arms of our nation to see that these topics are fair game in the pulpit.
- Fear of Man: If you purport to be a man of God then your regard for God and His opinion must trump the trepidation of the creature God created from spit and mud. Come on, man of God, don’t fear the crowd . . . we’re peons with cell phones who’ll shoot Botox into our foreheads. We’re weird and fickle weather vanes of what’s en vogue. You’ve got to lead us. Therefore, move into the Moses mode and command us to be and do what is holy, just and good. The grinning, mild, subtle Oprah approach doesn’t seem to be stemming the current flood of cultural filth.
- Ignorance: Most people are not bold in areas in which they are ignorant . . . always excepting Janeane Garofalo, of course. I know keeping up with all the pressing political issues is maddening, but that’s life, brother, and if you want to be a voice in society and not just an echo, you have got to be in the know. Staying briefed is par for the course for the hardy world changer.
- Division: Y’know, I hate the current non-essential divisions in the church as much as the next acerbic Christian columnist. Squabbling over the color of the carpet, who’ll play the organ next Sunday or who is the Beast of Revelation, is stupidity squared. That being said, there’s a time and place for a holy throw-down and an ecclesiastical split from political policies and parties. For a minister to seek unity with secularists when they are trashing and rewriting Scripture with impunity is to side with vice and to allow darkness to succeed.
- Last Days Madness: Many ministers do not get involved in political issues because they believe that “it simply doesn’t matter” since “the end has come.” These defeatists believe that any change in the jet stream, war, earthquakes, a warming globe, the success of a corrupt politician—or even a new Shakira video—are “proof” that God is getting really, really ticked off and that His only recourse is to have Christ physically return and kick some major butt. Attempting to right culture is, in the defeatists’ eyes, equivalent to polishing brass on a sinking ship; therefore, they are content to simply pass out gospel tracts, tramp from Christian rock concert to Christian rock concert, eat fatty foods and stare at Christian TV.
- Sloth: Classically defined, sloth is lethargy stemming from a sense of hopelessness. Viewing our nation and the world as an irreparable disaster, where our exhortations, prayers, votes and labors will not produce any temporal fruit, leaves one with all the fervor of a normal guy who’s forced to French kiss his sister. If you’re wondering why your flock is so apathetic, Pastor Eeyore, ask yourself if you have stolen the earthly hope that their valiant efforts can actually prevail in time and not just in eternity.
- They don’t want to lose their tax-exempt status: Many pastors, priests and parishioners have been cowed into inactivity by the threatened loss of their tax-exempt status if they say anything remotely political. This can make pastors who don’t, or won’t, get good legal advice about as politically active as Howard Hughes was during the flu season.
- They bathe in paltry pietism: Pastors avoid politics because such concerns are “unspiritual,” and their focus is on the “spirit world.” Yes, to such imbalanced ministers, political affairs are seen as “temporal and carnal,” and since they trade in the “eternal and spiritual,” such “worldly” issues get nada. This bunch is primarily into heavenly emotions and personal Bible study, and they stay safely tucked away from society and its complicated issues. How sweet. They forget that they are commanded to be seriously engaged with our culture or fall into the worthless manure category Christ warned them of (Mt. 5.13). Snap.
- They have bought into the Taliban comparison: Pastors have muffled their political/cultural voices because they fear being lumped in with Islam by the politically-correct thought police. The correlation made between Christians’ non-violent attempts at policy persuasion and the Taliban’s kill-you-in-your-sleep campaigns is nothing more than pure, uncut crapola.
- They can’t say “no” to minutiae: Some ministers can’t get involved in studying or speaking out regarding pressing issues simply because of the ten tons of junk they are forced to field within their congregations. Spending time wet nursing 30-year-olds without a life and being bogged down in committee meetings over which shade of pink paint should be used for the women’s ministerial wing of their church, ministers are lucky if they get to study the Bible nowadays—much less anything else.
- They like the money: The creepy thing about a lot of ministers is their unwillingness to give political or cultural offense when offense is needed, simply because taking a biblical stand on a political issue might cost them their mega-church, which means their seven homes, their Bentley and their private jet. Oh well, what do you expect? Christ had His Judas, and evangelicalism has its money loving hookers.
If the ministers within the good old US of A would crucify their fear of man, get solidly briefed regarding the chief political issues, not sweat necessary division, not get caught up in last days madness, maintain their hope for tomorrow, understand their liberties under God and our Constitution, not become so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good, focus on the majors and blow off bowing to cash instead of convictions, then maybe . . . just maybe . . . we will see their righteous influence cause our nation to take the needed sharp turn away from the secularist progressives’ speedily approaching putrid pit.
Here are some links to actual sermons:
- Political Sermons of the American Founding Era. Vol. 1 (1730-1788)
- Political Sermons of the American Founding Era. Vol. 2 (1789-1805)