The LIGHTHOUSE Bed and Breakfast
Jan's Newsletter . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . .
August 30, 2001
There are seven subjects in this Newsletter:
1. The Book of Amos and Prayer for America
2. Why Should Americans Understand and Appreciate Our Nation's
3. Freedom Comes from Jesus Christ and His Gospel
4. What Government Needs from a Christian
5. Gay Groups Get Public, Private Funding; United Way Excludes
Boy Scouts, Includes Gays
6. Family Tax Relief Last Act of GOP Senate Majority
7. Could Texas Law Spark Moral Renaissance?
of Amos and Prayer for America
Notes from Sunday School class and thoughts while vacationing
in New Mexico and Colorado
Our Sunday School class has been studying the book of Amos.
Amos was a blue collar worker like many of us, but one weekend
God used him to bring judgment on His people and the surrounding
nations. The ungodly nations received judgment for killing the
Jews, even the mothers carrying children. God's people were
judged for idolatry, disobedience, immorality, isrespect for the
poor, and tempting others to sin. God said, "I will not turn
away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law
of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies
caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked"
(Amos 2:4). Our beloved country is receiving the same judgment.
God pleads, "Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish
judgment in the gate . . ." (Amos 5:15) At the end of the book
God promises restoration for those who repent and seek after
Him. That is my prayer for America.
We have been in Colorado enjoying a much needed rest. We are
combining our vacation with several projects including helping
our pastor with his retirement home and working on a new church
building for First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs. The
wonderful weather and beautiful scenery have rekindled our
admiration for God who provides all things for us to enjoy.
Why Should Americans Understand and Appreciate
Our Nation's Judeo-Christian Heritage?
The American Family Association Journal raised this
question in an article in its July issue and several notable
Americans responded with answers.
Liberty, Democracy, Religious Tolerance: The Republic Depends
on It--by Jeff Jacoby, columnist, Boston Globe.
Liberty with faith, a secular state nourished by a religious
society--that was the formula the founders devised. They sought
to combine the Enlightenment's emphasis on reason, learning, and
pluralism with the Judeo-Chritian ethic of responsibility,
justice, and morality.
What resulted was a nation that is, on the whole, more
diverse, more free, more tolerant, more prosperous, and more
religious than any before or since.
Skewing of Separation Definition Creates 'One
Nation Without God'--by Jeremiah Denton, retired RAdm.
U.S. Navy, former senator and founder of the National Forum
Foundation. Adolph Hitler once said he who controls the
writing of a nation's history controls the nation. . . .
Now atheists have rewritten American history, and deceitful
court decisions have amazingly and effectively replaced our
Founding concept--"One Nation under God"--with a new concept and
new principles effectively making this country by governmental
dictate into "One Nation Without God."
Many of the Freedoms We Enjoy Were Born From Christianity--by
Alvin Schmidt, author.
America has profoundly been shaped by Christian values.
Moreover, Americans have lived so long under the influence of
these values that they are largely unaware of how these values
have become a part of their country's social fabric. Here are
some brief examples.
When Christianity entered the Greco-Roman world 2,000 years
ago, human life was cheap and expendable. . . . Christianity,
honoring its Judaic background, proclaimed: "You shall not kill
[murder]." . . . In time, that Christian posture took hold in
the West. Thus the sanctity of human life, still largely
enshrined in American law, is part of America's Chrstian
Sexual life among the Greco-Romans was highly licentious and
without shame. . . . The early Christians opposed all immoral
sex, in conformity with what St. Paul advocated in 1 Corinthians
6:9, where adultery, fornication and homosexuality are
condemned. Many of our American laws, for instance, the crime of
child molestation, are the result of Christianity's high sexual
Women in the ancient Greco-Roman culture had virtually no
rights, freedom or dignity. . . . The freedom and dignity women
today have in our society are largely the result of
Christianity's impact. . . .
Regarding the Greco-Romans again, we find they were devoid of
charity and compassion. . . . Whereas, the early Christians
charitably and compassionately cared for all, including pagans.
. . .
Contrary to the Greek and Roman culture, Christianity gave
dignity to manual labor and economics. It also underscored
property rights, economic freedom and individual freedom, all
highly valued by most Americans. . . .
America's three branches of government stem from the
Christian thinking of Montesquieu and James Madison. Both
recognized the sinful nature of man, so prone to dishonesty,
required others to keep a watchful eye on those in another
branch of government.
America's Lifeblood Since Its Founding Has Been
Christianity--by Stephen McDowell, president of the
Providence Foundation. While some think the principles of
living contained in the Bible as summarized by the Ten
Commandments are a threat to the liberties of America, the exact
opposite is true. It has been these standards of right and wrong
that have formed the foundation of liberty and prosperity in our
Why then has such an assault developed in recent years
against these principles? The root of the conflict that we are
witnessing is a war of world views, between one that is
Christian and one that is humanistic.
Humanists argue that there are no absolutes. Right and wrong
are based upon what a majority says or what a minority in power
says, hence, law is evolving.
In great contrast is the Christian worldview in which God is
the source of what is right and wrong and reveals this in the
Bible. . . .
Many today in America are "beating their mother" when they
seek to remove Christianity from our public life. Christianity
is what has produced the liberty and prosperity that has allowed
people to pursue such unwise action.
Freedom Comes from Jesus Christ and His Gospel
Our missionary/evangelist friend and native of Latvia, Carlos
Gruber, in his July/August issue of Newsbreezes, quotes
the following paragraph from A Day at a Time, Devotions for
Men, written by Richard C. Halverson, former chaplain of the
United States Senate.
This is undebatable: America owes its birth to a living,
vital, dynamic faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The
documents of her founding are filled with this faith! This is
the taproot of true Americanism! Today men taslk about freedom
and work for it, while at the same time they utterly ignore
Jesus Christ and His claim on them. They wonder why freedom
eludes their finest efforts. It is not strange! For freedom, the
American brand, comes from Jesus Christ and His Gospel. It's a
matter of record, confirmed again and again in history, that the
American way of life with economic, financial, and political
structures are all dependent on Christian faith. Torn from this
taproot, rigor mortise sets in. Collapse and extinction are
What Government Needs from a Christian
First Baptist Church of New Orleans' July issue of its monthly
The Evangel, Pastor David Crosby, Ph.D., and a long-time
friend of our family, writes the following article.
Government needs your attention. Jesus had to give
his attention to government. From beginning to end, the life of
our Lord was inextricably bound up in the political and social
conditions of his day. . . .
The effects of government upon the lives of
individuals are too great for us to ignore. We are the light of
the world and the salt of the earth, Jesus said. Without your
light, the society will wander in darkness. Without your salt,
the society will rot from the center. The laws of this society
are founded upon a common law that is in many ways of Christian
origin. Government needs the sense of morality, justice and good
will that is a product of our faith in Christ.
We need Christian statesmen with an
unapologetic love for God and a passionate love for people. To
me, the quality of servanthood is the difference between a
politician and a statesman. . . .
The whole notion of the public good is in danger of
disappearing in our culture. Men and women have become so closed
to the needs of others that they cannot conceive of the
government, and often even the church, lifting up the downcast
and caring for the needy. . .
Government also needs your example. We need to "be
the church" in our generation. We must live like the church,
love like the church, and worship like the church. . . .
The Bible would support your involvement in groups
that are seeking to work for justice and righteousness at all
levels of government.
Government needs your support. . . .
Government needs your prayers. . . .
Finally, government needs your obedience. As
Christians, we ought to obey the laws of the land. This
obedience will generally be complete for the Christian, but it
is qualified in this regard. Government cannot demand from a
Christian what he can only give to Christ. . . .
Gay Groups Get Public, Private Funding
United Way Excludes Boy Scouts, Includes Gays
The Dallas chapter of the United Way
has finally come out of the closet.
In May, the charitable organization
announced that it will, for the first time, provide funding to a
predominantly gay and lesbian organization next year.
In selecting the Resource Center of
Dallas, an organization founded in 1983 by gay activists to
serve gays and lesbians through education and support services,
Dallas joins the ranks of several other United Way chapters,
from Atlanta to San Francisco, that fund organizations with a
homosexual focus. . . .
Many United Way chapters across the nation have established
"anti-discrimination" policies and have, in some cases, pulled
funding from the Boy Scouts of America because of a policy that
Family Tax Relief Last Act of GOP Senate Majority
Gary Schneeberger, Associate Editor of Focus on the Family
Citizen magazine, authors this article in the August 2001
Americans got their tax cut--even if it didn't go quite as
deep as President Bush initially proposed.
Still, much of the $1.35 trillion package approved by the
Senate in late May, a compromise between Bush's vision and that
of congressional Democrats, is good news for families. That it
got done at all, let alone that it contains many of the key
provisions of Bush's plan, is no small miracle considering the
vote came just days before Democrats took control of the Senate
courtesy of Vermont Sen. James Jeffords' defection from the
"Bush is delivering and the Congress is delivering to
families across the country lower tax bills," said Bill Beach,
director of The Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis.
"And that's one thing we can't lose sight of."
. . .
. . . According to Beach, a husband and
wife who make $40,000 and have two children under 17 will see
their tax bills cut in half by 2006--from $2,218 to $1,100.
As good as that is, though, it's not
nearly the break families would have received under Bush's
original plan. The same family would have seen its taxes lowered
from $2,218 to $468--a savings of 79 percent.
"That's why we've all been snipping a
little bit at the compromise package, because it has some
deficiencies," Beach said.
"But the fact remains that this is a
large tax cut."
True Tolerance Is a Virtue
by Mark Cowan, correspondent
Mark Cowan is a correspondent for
CITIZENLINK, a policy and culture
information service of Focus on the Family, a ministry sustained
by the contributions and prayers of supporters.
SUMMARY: Has anyone called you intolerant recently? A recent
New York Times ad sheds some light on the issue.
The ad was paid for by a national coality of Jews and
Christians called Toward Tradition, and was titled "Terrorized
by Tolerance," according to Toward Tradition director Yarden
Weidenfeld said tolerance used to mean respecting others,
especially if they were different.
"Tolerance doesn't mean that anymore,"
Weidenfeld said. "What is has been sort of transitioned into, in
a way, is a word that requires everyone to endorse views and
behaviors and practices and even theologies, to some extent,
that they might find reprehensible."
He noted that some words have been
abused to the point they're virtually meaningless.
"Words like 'intolerance' and 'bigoted'
and 'anti-Semitic' and 'racist' have really ceased to have any
real substance to them because they are used siply as labels."
Weidenfeld said using such labels to
brand and dismiss other people can lead to tyranny--an
assessment shared by syndicated columnist Cal Thomas.
"Totalitarian ideology from whatever
source cannot stand free and open debate," Thomas said. "The
only way they advance their agenda is to exclude all other
information and ideas from the marketplace."
Mona Charen, also a syndicated
columnist, worries about the impact on society if people stop
speaking openly about the things they believe are wrong.
"Private social censure is the most
powerful tool in creating a civilized society," Charen said.
"Worrying about what your neighbors would think of you if you
did certain things . . . we have let that lapse almost
Weidenfeld recommended that if someone
calls you "intolerant," ignore it and stand on principle.
Thomas, meanwhile, suggested pointing out the intolerance of
your critics to your views.
Could Texas Law Spark Moral Renaissance?
by Dave Clark,
Dave Clark is a
correspondent for CITIZENLINK, a
policy and culture information service of Focus on the Family, a
ministry sustained by the contributions and prayers of
SUMMARY: A new law in Texas is spurring
other states to do something about historical illiteracy.
If you don't know where you've come
from, how do you know where you're going? The adage, which
reflects America's illitracy about history, is as true in Texas
as it is in the ret of the country, said Texas state Rep. Rick
"Less than half of Texans could name
even one freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment," Green said.
That sober truth moved Green to draft
and win passage of a bill that will require Texas schools each
year to devote a week of concentrated study of America's
founding documents. . . .
"We don't realize that we hold in our
hands the power to change government," Green said. "We're very
cynical because we haven't been taught those bsic, fundamental
principles." . . .
"There are certain things that unify us
as a culture,: Buehrer said. "And certainly the ideals and
principles outlined by our founders are one of those things we
can rally around and we should emphasize to our kids. So I'd
love to see this movement grow."
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