Thursday, January 10, 2019

50 Years

I posted this on Facebook on December 20, 2018 as a tribute to my first marriage to my late wife Sue, and also to my marriage to Janet.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Today would have been my 50th anniversary with my late wife Sue. On December 20, 1968, neither the thought of 50 years going by, nor the thought of her dying at a relative young age was in my mind. When she went to be with the Lord in 2001, I was utterly distraught. The thought of ever getting married again seemed like an impossibility and maybe even a betrayal. Then Janet came into my life in 2003, and I soon experienced in a very real and practical way that the Lord in His love and grace both gives and takes away.

Being married to Janet does not negate the reality of my love for Sue. Likewise, Sue in my past does not negate the reality of my love for Janet. One does not replace the other. The Lord has blessed me twice far beyond what I could possibly deserve. There is no way to explain to anyone who has never been through it what it is like to lose a spouse in death and then have the Lord provide a whole new situation. Neither Janet nor I would have wanted our first spouses to die, but we continue to praise the Lord for His great love and faithfulness to us.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good..."

It is totally fitting that we should have a special day set aside to give thanks to God for all our blessings, although we know it is important to give thanks to Him on a regular basis. Giving of thanks is mentioned repeatedly throughout the Scriptures, and only a small handful will be referenced in this brief article.

Every blessing we have is from the hand of God, the all-powerful ruler of the universe. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1:17, NASB). 

We cannot take credit for God’s blessings. For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7, NASB). This Scripture always reminds me of an athlete who hits a homerun, scores a touchdown, or makes the game-winning basket as time expires, and then beats his own chest as if to say, “Look at me, look at me,” implying that he created the God-given ability to perform well and receive great wealth in doing so. Such individuals fail to give God the glory, and they ultimately bring His judgment on themselves.

The blessings of God extend not just to those who believe in Him and follow Him but also to those who call themselves atheists and regularly blaspheme His name, and everyone in between these two extremes. …He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45, NASB). God’s grace is poured out on believers and unbelievers alike. Some live in corrupt countries where His blessings are stifled because of Socialism, Communism, and all levels of corruption.

Giving thanks to God is a major theme that is seen throughout Scripture. God expects our praise and thanksgiving, and He commands us to be thankful. 

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NASB).

Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
(Psalm 105:1, NASB).

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting (Psalm 107:1, NASB).

When Jesus healed the ten lepers, only one bothered to show his thanks. The others just took for granted what He had done for them and went on their way, never making an effort to show thankfulness.

Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:15-19, NASB).

Deep down, every individual knows that God exists, regardless of their denials, and it is ludicrous not to give Him praise and glory for His great blessings. He has provided us with an earth on which we live that is perfectly suited to support life. It gives us water, food, and raw materials to produce the things we need to live and thrive. We who live in the United States of America need to be especially thankful, because He has provided us with so many things, including the privilege of living in a free country where we can actually vote and where we have the freedom to exercise our God-given rights and privileges. 

It is quite sad to see crowds of people rioting and demanding rights they already have, and even more so to see people demanding things that are wrong in the eyes of God. No blessings can result from this, and it is a certainty that His judgment will ultimately fall on those who want Him out of their lives. Lack of thankfulness is one of the great sins mentioned in Scripture. Rather than complaining and taking His blessings for granted, such people ought to give glory to God for all He has given them.

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools… (Romans 1:21-22).

It is imperative to mention the greatest blessing of all. None of the physical blessings He gives means anything when compared to the great gift of salvation He has given us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He has given believers that gift so that they may serve Him and bring glory to His name.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10, NASB).

Let’s be thankful for His great blessings today and every day.

Other articles on giving of thanks are found here and here.

Monday, October 1, 2018


This past Sunday at Grace Bible Church, our pastor preached a powerful sermon about the stoning of Stephen. It culminated in a great example of forgiveness. As Stephen was dying, his prayer was for the forgiveness of his executioners.

Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ Having said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:60, NASB).

Stephen followed the great example of our Savior as He was dying on the cross. “But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing…’” (Luke 23:34, NASB). He not only asked His Father to forgive those who crucified Him, but we as believers, whose sins put Him on that cross, know He has also forgiven us.

We, as humans, cannot forgive sin in the same way God can, but we can forgive in our hearts. How often do we hold grudges and harbor ill-will?

“See to it that … no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled?” (Hebrews 12:15).

We have great examples of forgiveness in Stephen and ultimately in our Lord Jesus Christ.

You can hear this sermon here. You will be blessed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Total Blindness of Unbelief (Believing is Seeing, Not the Reverse)

By Ed Cardwell

Jesus said to Martha, “Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40, NASB).

*     *     *     *     *

In the Gospel of John, chapter 11, we find that while Jesus was ministering on the eastern side of the Jordan, word was sent to Him from Bethany near Jerusalem that his friends Mary and Martha needed His assistance because their brother Lazarus was sick.

Rather than return promptly to come to their aid Jesus purposefully delayed his stay two days longer, as He knew what He was intending to do.

Lazarus died in the meantime and when Jesus and His disciples finally arrived near the village of Bethany, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.

Martha, naturally grieving over the loss of her brother, when she heard that Jesus was approaching the village, went out to meet Him:

“Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You” (verses 21-22). 

When Jesus told her that her brother would rise again, she said,

“I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day” (verse 24).

Jesus responded:

“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (verses 25-26).

Martha replied:

“Yes, Lord. I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world” (verse 27).

Mary coming out later to greet Jesus also expressed her faith and in a similar tone:

Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (verse 25).

Both Mary and Martha, because of their belief in Him, were about to witness the greatest miracle that Jesus performed prior to His crucifixion, and they were given to understand even more through their eyes of faith His divine nature, His eternal power, and His infinite love. 

*     *     *     *     *

It was a highly emotional scene:  bitter weeping and mourning over the death of this beloved brother and friend. We are told that even Jesus Himself, being moved and troubled in spirit, wept. But as the great healer Who could calm even the mighty elements and could open the eyes of a man born blind would not be shedding the same kind of tears as these other mourners. Might He have viewed His friend’s body as a hideous testimony of sin’s consequence upon His perfect creation? Could He have in view His final victory and yet with all the agony in between?

Finally Jesus was led to the tomb where they had laid Lazarus.

Against Martha’s protest that the body was already decaying after four days and there would be a stench, Jesus commanded that the stone lying against the tomb be removed.

And Jesus turned to Martha and said, "Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?" (verse 40).

“And so they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, ‘Father, I thank Thee that Thou heardest Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that Thou didst send Me.’ And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ [literally, ‘Lazarus, here!  Outside!’] He who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go’” (verses 41-44).

*     *     *     *     *

It is crucial for our benefit to focus attention on the results of this miracle as to its effect on the witnesses. We notice that the multitude in attendance at this scene was quickly divided into two very different camps.

The first is described in verse 45:

“Many therefore of the Jews, who had come to Mary and beheld what He had done, believed in Him.” 

They “beheld” what Jesus had done. The Greek word is qea,omai (theaomai); it means to “gaze upon,” “view attentively,” “contemplate.” They could not but believe what their eyes told them and they interpreted the miracle correctly. They were compelled to conclude that this man was indeed THE MESSIAH.

They must have reasoned in their hearts the obvious: “If He has the power to raise Lazarus, He can raise the dead; then He can raise me! Hallelujah, praise God! Here is our Redeemer, come to us in the flesh!” We can almost hear them shouting out praises to God at this unrivaled and majestic display of supernatural power.

And the results were as Heaven had intended:  “THEY BELIEVED IN HIM” – And that He was sent to them from God (cf: verse 42).

We can only rejoice at the eternal significance of this great sign which Jesus performed and be humbled by His demonstration of great power and glory. Yes, He raised Lazarus; He can raise me!

*     *     *     *     *

Alas, there was an entirely different group present at this event. They saw the same thing that the first group saw. And their eyes had not deceived them. They saw a dead man come out of the tomb at Jesus’ command. They saw him bound from head to toe, and they saw him walking. They believed what their eyes told them. But they had a different interpretation and reaction to what they saw.

They did not see the glory of God displayed. They did not understand nor could they interpret the sign of the miracle. As amazing as it was, they were totally blind to the glorious significance of this event. To them it was an obvious threat, a monumental challenge to the universal status quo of governmental and religious authority. Why, this would definitely change the balance of power forever. And what if He raised everyone from the tombs?  Might it be that some of them had been responsible for the deaths of countless souls targeted by the council of selfish religionists? Oh, the manifold wickedness of unbelief!

So, their response was quite different from that of the first group. Verse 46 tells us what action they took:

“But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done.” 

They ran back to those who held their trust to report the event and its potential dangers.

The chief priests and Pharisees did not delay in convening a high level cabinet meeting to deliberate on how to respond. They did not deny that what they were told was true. They believed what their minions had related and did not waver as to their certainty of all that was told. This Jesus, the bane of their “righteous” rulership, had indeed raised the dead!  And they could not cope nor endure it.

The council came to order with Caiaphas addressing the Sanhedrin :  

“What are we doing?  For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." (verses 47-48).

The arrogance, the avarice and self-preservation that had always dominated this assembly quickly emerged to set the tone.

Jealousy and fear gripped the members. The high priest stood to calm his colleagues and to offer a “final” solution to this dangerous archenemy. His plan was not to be misunderstood:

“You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish" (verses 49-50).

There is no record of dissension among the council. The die was cast. 

“So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.” (verse 53).

*     *     *     *     *

What was the difference between the two groups who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus? What is the difference between any two such groups who look at the stars, the mountains, or a sunset? Both groups see the same thing; they believe what their eyes tell them. So there is a certain commonality to their fundamental belief. But beyond that, there is an infinite dissimilarity between the two as to what the mind and heart perceives.

The one group had an active faith in the one true God of Israel, and they believed in the prophets He sent who testified in the Old Testament concerning the promise of the coming One, He who was to restore all things. The other group had no such preparatory faith. Their “religion” was a dead orthodoxy.

To this second group their unbelief resulted in suspicion, hatred, fear, even conspiracy to commit murder. They were stone-blind to the fact that the sign was for their benefit as well. The hardness of unbelief had so clouded their eyes that they could not see, and this truth was totally lost on them.

But to the first group the showers of manifold blessings descended as they were the privileged to have been eyewitnesses as the Son of God performed this miraculous feat in their very presence. It was their faith in God that had given them eyes to see, to behold this demonstration of His divine power and glory.

One must now ask the question, “To which group do YOU belong?”

Knowing the Creator and trusting in Him allows one to see His handprint in places and circumstances that the faithless cannot see. Faith equips one to view beyond the veil, as it were, and to see the guiding hand of the Almighty in things that to the unbeliever are invisible. And the stronger the faith, the clearer is God’s hand seen. It can be compared to a dark room with lights controlled by a rheostat. The higher we turn the control of faith, the brighter the light and the clearer we will be able to see His loving touch.

Regardless of the hardships, heartaches, and disappointments experienced in this life, and even in the face of the sadness of death, the believer is able to rejoice with total confidence that the Redeemer is able, just as He was able to call Lazarus out of the tomb, to bring every afflicted one through the veil of tears and into a quiet rest safely and eternally in the Savior’s loving arms. 

One does not have to have witnessed this miracle in person to receive all its benefits. Jesus told Thomas, one of His closest disciples,

"Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”  (John 20:29, NASB).

*     *     *     *     *

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®,
Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995
by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Eternal Salvation – The Irreducible Minimum

By Ed Cardwell

Every great teacher uses appropriate illustrations to point to the truth of the lesson. Jesus was the perfect teacher. He used the most singular example to explain His work of salvation which He was to accomplish for the entire world. He spoke to a religious ruler of the Jews and said in John 3:14-15:

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  That whosoever (everyone who) believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (KJV).

To teach His lesson Jesus pointed to an event in the Torah familiar to every Jew on earth and every good Bible student since:  Numbers 21.

From verses 4 through 9 in that chapter we find the Israelites struggling with impatience and discouragement after months and months of journeying from slavery in Egypt through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. Their grumbling and complaining followed miracle after miracle designed to accommodate their needs and to insure their safety and welfare; but alas depraved humanity has a short memory of God’s blessings. So we read:

“Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey. And the people spoke against God and Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.’ And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. So the people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us.’ And Moses interceded for the people. Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he shall live.’ And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived” (Numbers 21:4-9, NASB). 

The wise will connect the underlined to His message and arrive at the truth being taught:  Jesus will be lifted up (crucified), and those who believe in Him will have eternal life. That’s a fact!  Quite simple.

But no. Religious systems through the centuries have devised all manner of rites, rituals and ceremonies adding to the simplest of prerequisites to eternal life. Lists of do’s and don’ts, what to believe, what not to believe, where to go to school, what school not to attend, what degrees to have, what clothes to wear, the right form of baptism, and requirements ad infinitum and ad nauseam.

How many sermons have you heard delivered on the naked simplicity of Jesus’ words? Not many? Not any? Could this be because it is the nature of religious systems devised by fallen man to want to add something that man must do to accomplish what God alone has already done?

The thief on the cross who was crucified alongside of Jesus turned to Him in his distress and said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!”  Jesus reply was, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:42-43, NASB).

How simple and beautiful is that? No time to make restitution of manifold wrongs to society; no time to join the ‘right’ church; no time for a baptismal ceremony; no time to give all your possessions to the poor. He is being executed. This was the very end. And he makes the right choice – finally! Jesus answers his need of forgiveness and he is welcomed without reproach.

But there is inherently another side to this coin of “looking to the bronzed serpent.” The wise student will not miss it. Let us return to an earlier section of the same passage in Numbers 21:

“Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey. And the people spoke against God and Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.’ And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. So the people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us.’ And Moses interceded for the people” (Numbers 21:4-7, NASB).

What do we have here? We have a consciousness of sin on the part of the people. They are aware of their great need now because of their past sinful action and its severe consequences. We call this ‘repentance,’ a very common Biblical word. Repentance means a change of mind/heart which results in a change of action.

So, was there repentance on the part of the thief on the cross? Was there a consciousness of a great need because of sin in his life?  Let’s go back to that story in Luke 23. Let’s begin in verse 39  with the comment from the other thief who was also being crucified along with Jesus:

“And one of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, ‘Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!’ But the other answered, and rebuking him said, ‘Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.’ And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.” And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:39-43, NASB).

It is obvious that this man had a real change of mind/heart experience. He was aware that he was in a position of incredible difficulty because of his evil past and that his sentence was just. That is real repentance. The solution?  Look to the merciful Savior. When you have nothing left, Jesus is enough.

One other example may help to reinforce the lesson:  the conversion of the Philippian jailer in Acts 16.

“The crowd rose up together against them (Paul and Silas), and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them, and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's chains were unfastened. And when the jailer had been roused out of sleep and had seen the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here!" And he called for lights and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved…” (Acts 16:22-31, NASB).

Not “join the right church, and you will be saved.”  Not “get baptized the right way and you will be saved.”  Not even “study the 10 commandments and follow them and you will be saved.”  But simply “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.”

Now we return to look at the jailer’s situation. Paul and Silas had been no doubt bloodied by the beating they had endured. The jailer gave their wounds no attention, nor had he seen to their hunger and thirst. He threw them into the prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. No change of heart here. But they were praying and singing praises to God for hours and no one could avoid listening. Then suddenly a great earthquake, which brings great fear commensurate with its force, and the prison was shaken, all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were unfastened. He realizes that his position is a fatal one. Death is the only escape. But the words of the prayers and the hymns have served their purpose. He recognizes that Paul and Silas know the answer to his need. Repentance has flooded his soul. Falling down before them and trembling with fear he pleads, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

*     *     *     *     *

Just to be sure:  This message is not about sanctification; it is not about growth in the body of Christ; nor is about the maturing process of a Christian. This is about the beginning, the new birth, the starting point of eternal life. This is the door that opens into that new life. And Jesus Himself said, “I am the door.”

Yes, there is much knowledge to be gained; there is an ongoing process of maturation and sanctification, which the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer accomplishes day by day. The Apostle Paul’s letters in the New Testament are written for our learning and our edification. Fellowship with the saints is an essential element in the spiritual growth of the believer.

But with simple faith looking to Jesus, the sinless Son of the living God, dying for our sins upon that tree is the irreducible minimum to entrance into the heavenly abode.

The jailer saw his plight for what it was. His life was pointless and hopeless. There was only loneliness and punishment awaiting him. He had heard that there was a better life, an eternal life through the finished work of God’s Messiah who died to free him from his sins.

When the Israelites looked at the bronzed serpent on the standard, they did not look as simply idle curiosity seekers. They knew that their sins against Moses and against their holy God had brought on this calamity and that God had provided the cure. They had repented. 

When we look at the cross we do not look as simply spectators of an execution. We see the Son of God cruelly punished for the sins of the world – for our sins. Recognition of a need for forgiveness leads to redemption through the precious blood of the lamb.

Many other such examples one can find in the Holy Scriptures and much more could be said regarding this wonderful Savior, but let this word be enough for now. The truth is that the same simple message is still available today to everyone who believes.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Politics and Other Things

This is a Christian blog. In the early days, almost all of the articles were in some way related to Christian school education, since I was involved in Christian schools variously as a principal, teacher, and basketball coach for thirty-four years. Since retiring in 2012, I have broadened my scope somewhat.

For a long time, I have tried to minimize addressing politics. Christians are so often told that we should avoid political issues based on the alleged “separation of church and state” that some believe is found in the U.S. Constitution, which it is not. Sometimes it is even said that Christians have no business bringing their convictions into the voting booth. I have never bought into such foolishness. The reality is that some of the things that are called political issues are more than Republican vs. Democrat or right vs. left. They are, in fact, matters of common sense vs. foolishness, right vs. wrong, Christian vs. non-Christian, Biblical vs. non-biblical, and good vs. evil. Christians do have a role in politics. Some issues are not merely political. Issues that involve normalizing sin are not political issues. Rather, they are moral and Biblical issues, and ignoring them by saying that Christians and the church should stay out of politics is at best cowardly and at worst a denial of our convictions and a great detriment to our nation. For my article on this topic, click here. 

Following are a number of thoughts on such issues. Some of these things are absolute facts. Others are merely my opinions, based on my experience and knowledge. There are many other things I could mention, but these are a random collection of ideas.

  • The legitimate function of government is outlined in the Scriptures.  “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2), NASB). This makes it clear that God’s requirement for government, which He established, is to defend its citizens so that they are free to live godly lives. This would include law enforcement, national defense, border security, and anything else necessary to provide for national security. That’s it. Anything else government chooses to do must not interfere with this primary function. Sadly, government so often spends so much time and resources doing things it has no business being involved with that it has nothing left for its primary purpose. Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:1-7, NASB).
  • The Tenth Amendment must be honored and obeyed literally. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. The government spends far too much time, effort, and money on things it is not authorized to do, and often it uses resources from those things it is supposed to do (such as national defense) in order to pay for activities that are reserved for the States and/or the people. The federal government has usurped authority it is not authorized to have. A good place to start would be to note that the government has no business overseeing education, medical care, and energy. All of these things can be done far more efficiently by private organizations that do not have the luxury of operating at a deficit. There are many other things that could and should be added to this short list, but these would be a good place to start.
  • Defense of our country is a primary responsibility of the government. While funds for this purpose must be spent in a wise and prudent manner, funds must not be diverted from national defense and defense of our national interests abroad in order to pay for social welfare programs.
  • Requiring voter ID is not racist. It is the best way to insure the integrity of the election process. Voting is a fundamental right of all age-eligible U.S. citizens, and eligibility to vote must be determined by a valid birth certificate and resulting picture I.D. in order to determine eligibility. Opposition to voter ID laws is a very thinly-veiled effort to allow people to vote who are not eligible to do so and therefore to cheat in elections. In reality, those who are against voter ID are acting in a racist manner by implying those they pretend to speak for are too stupid or otherwise incapable of getting an ID. People should be insulted by such an attitude. If people come to this country and want to vote, they should go through the legal process to become citizens. For my article on voter ID, click here
  • Voting against a minority candidate is not racist. Those who voted for Mitt Romney instead of President Obama in 2012 were not racist unless their votes were based strictly on skin color. Voting either for or against a candidate based on skin color is racist, but no vote is racist if it is based on the positions of the candidate. Voting against a woman is not sexist. Those who voted for President Trump instead of Hillary Clinton were not sexist unless their votes were based on sexism. Voting either for or against a candidate based on gender is sexist, but no vote is sexist if it is based on the positions of the candidate.
  • The Electoral College is our method of electing a president. The popular vote is irrelevant. I addressed the electoral college in a previous article. For that article, click here
  • Socialism has never, does not now, will never, and cannot possibly work. Those who call themselves “progressives” and then want to go back to the failed policies and procedures of socialism should actually be called “regressives.” Such people are either ignorant of or willingly ignore reality.
  • The government is not Santa Claus. It cannot provide everything for everyone. Those calling for Medicare for all, free college tuition, free medical care, etc., etc., have lost touch with reality and can never answer the question of who is going to pay for all this with any other response than “the rich” or “the government.”  It is important to remember that the government has nothing to give away other than that which it has taken from someone. Government produces no wealth, and money is not created by a printing press. Under a situation of “everything for everyone,” there would not be any rich people to pay the taxes, because there would be no motivation to work and produce anything.
  • A few years ago a congressman said that business does not exist to make a profit but to provide revenue for the government. This is an illustration of the fact that there is much foolish thinking among our alleged “leaders.” This demonstrates very clearly the need for term limits on Congress.
  • Higher taxes cause an economy to stagnate and result in more poverty and less revenue for the government. Lower taxes stimulate an economy, create wealth for more people, benefit everyone, and result in more revenue for the government. This has been illustrated many times. A previous U.S. President said he understood this truth, but he operated against it in order to be “fair to everyone” and “level the playing field.”
  • When someone says, “The rich don’t pay their fair share,” the speaker is generally someone who pays little or nothing. So who isn’t paying their fair share?
  • The largest tax cuts will inevitably go to those who pay the most. Anyone who understands third grade math should understand this. “Tax breaks for the wealthy” are so often talked about as a terrible thing, but the truth is that “the wealthy” are those who put more money back into the economy if they don’t have to give it to the government. More money in the economy creates jobs and produces more goods and services for everyone.
  • We often hear about “immoral profits.” It is really unclear why the word “immoral” needs to be put before the word “profits.” Profits are earned, and that money, in one way or another, goes back into the economy. As an example of “immoral profits,” consider the oil industry. “Big oil” (a term used as a pejorative by many) companies do research and development, exploration, drilling, etc. These companies take all the risk, and often their efforts lead to dry wells. On the other hand, the government puts taxes on everything corporations do, including on each gallon of gasoline. It takes no risks but just stands there with its hand out. The government actually makes more off of each gallon of gasoline or diesel than the oil company does. If anyone is making immoral profits, it is the government.
  • Calling people “racist” because of differing political views is neither accurate nor appropriate. When people have no legitimate argument for their positions on issues, they tend to fall back on name-calling, usually calling their opponents “racists” or one of several other “…ists” or “…phobes.” Mocking, ridicule, and name-calling are usually a sign of unwillingness to debate because of having a very weak position on the issues in question.
  • If there is a speaker who holds an opposing point of view, the proper response is to either listen respectfully or to simply not attend the event. Burning buildings, breaking windows, vandalizing cars, and doing all sorts of other mischief in order to prevent that speaker from speaking will accomplish nothing but illustrate a fear of someone else’s position. Much of this seems to be done in the name of “free speech.” This is utter hypocrisy.
  • People who preach tolerance should practice tolerance instead of being the most intolerant of people.
  • It is not racist for a country to control its borders.
  • Some say, “Not my president.” There is no such elected office as “My President.” There is the “President of the United States.” I did not vote for Barack Obama, but he was my president. Currently, Donald Trump is my president, and he is “our president,” including all of the “not my president” types.
  • All rights ultimately come from God, not the government. This is made clear in our Declaration of Independence. 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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” 
  • None of the legal rights given by God and spelled out in the Bill of Rights can be legitimately taken away, but it must not be interpreted to guarantee imaginary rights, such as the "right" to an abortion, which it never mentions and which was never intended.
  • Abortion is the murder of a human being. No amount of convoluted reasoning and foolish arguments can change this reality. This is our modern-day holocaust and will ultimately bring God’s judgment.  God knows us before he forms us in the womb. God said to the Prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5, NASB). King David amplifies this truth:  For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them” (Psalm 139:13-15, NASB). ",,,abortion is not a matter of a woman’s right to choose. It is a matter of the life or death of a human being made in God’s image." (Reference here.) 
  • The First Amendment has two parts relative to religion:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This means not only that the government is not to establish a religion, but it also means that the government is not to interfere in religion. It does not mean that the government can compel the removal of religious symbols, such as crosses, that have meaning to the people in a historical sense. Our country was established based on religious freedom and Christian beliefs. It also does not mean that the government must recognize violent political movements disguised as religions. This amendment limits what Congress can do. It says nothing about what the church can or cannot do.
  • “Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it” (Edmond Burke). We do a great disservice to our younger generation by refusing to teach the history of the United States, including the reality of the Civil War. Tearing down statues of Robert E. Lee (who actually opposed slavery, although many today do not even realize it) and other Confederate figures is nothing more than pretending our history does not exist. Such is foolishness and does nothing to improve anyone’s life. Acknowledging the reality of the Civil War is not racism.
  • The Second Amendment means exactly what it says, and it is as much a part of the Bill of Rights as freedom of speech, religion, etc. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Those who want it to mean something other than what it says must recognize that if they destroy the Second Amendment, the whole Bill of Rights becomes meaningless. This amendment guarantees every citizen the right to own and carry firearms for the purpose of defense, and it states that this right must not be “infringed.” To “infringe” is to “encroach or trespass.” This falls far short of the desire of many who would not just “infringe” on this right but would totally take it away. Quite literally, this amendment makes almost all, of not all, gun control laws unconstitutional. To “bear arms” means to carry a loaded firearm. An unloaded gun is a club. So many who seem to love freedom of speech, at least for those with whom they agree, also seem to hate the right to keep and bear arms. This is inconsistent and hypocritical. A “gun-free zone” is actually a shooting gallery for those who have no respect for the law.
  • All laws passed by Congress must apply to the all government employees, including the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches.
  • It seems as if most foreign aid is a waste, especially when it goes to countries that hate us. Following are two examples of legitimate foreign aid:  (1) In cases of natural disaster, humanitarian aid should be carried out as long as there are safeguards to insure the aid ends up in the hands of those for whom it is intended and not in the hands of dictators, and (2) Economic and military aid must continue to the nation of Israel, since friendship with Israel is our greatest guarantee of national security. God said to Abraham, …I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you,
    And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed”
    (Genesis 12:2-3). This promise has never been rescinded, and it will not be, because God is truth and cannot lie.
  • Judges, elected officials, and other government employees who ignore and violate the constitution and other laws must be held accountable and removed from office. Members of the Executive Branch must not hide behind "executive privilege" in order to defy the courts and the law. On the other hand, federal judges should not be allowed to overrule the executive branch based on a political philosophy rather than on the law.
  • It does not matter if a judge or Supreme Court Justice is a Democrat or a Republican, nor does it matter how that judge would vote on a hypothetical future case. What matters is that the judge or justice believes the Constitution means what it says and says what it means. Legal decisions must be made based on the rule of law instead of the political philosophy of the court.
This list of things could go on and on. Instead of doing so, I present a sampling of Scripture that addresses politics and government from a Biblical perspective, as well as a brief quote from Patrick Henry.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34, NASB).

“When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger”  (Proverbs 2:2&8, NASB).

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12, NASB).

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here” (The Trumpet Voice of Freedom, Patrick Henry of Virginia, p. 3).