Biblically Assessing the Declaration of Independence

A well-known pastor and theologian once said: “Over the past several centuries, people have mistakenly linked democracy and political freedom to Christianity. That’s why many contemporary evangelicals believe the American Revolution was completely justified, both politically and scripturally. They follow the arguments of the Declaration of Independence, which declares that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are Divinely endowed rights. Therefore those believers say such rights are part of a Christian worldview, worth attaining and defending at all cost including military insurrection at times. But such a position is contrary to the clear teachings and commands of Romans 13:1–7. So the United States was actually born out of a violation of New Testament principles, and any blessings God has bestowed on America have come in spite of that disobedience by the Founding Fathers.”

In contrast, many of our nation’s early leaders claimed that the American Revolution was entirely consistent with Biblical principles: “We have this day restored the Sovereignty to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come” (Samuel Adams said this as the Declaration of Independence was being signed). John Adams declared: “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence, were…the general principles of Christianity…. Now I will avow, that I then believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature and our terrestrial, mundane system.” John Quincy Adams stated: “The highest glory of the American Revolution was that it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” In fact, the motto of the American Revolution was “No king but King Jesus!”

Was the American Revolution Biblically justified? The answer can be found by assessing the philosophical and theological foundation of the American Revolution – The Declaration of Independence – in order to determine if it is, in fact, consistent with the teachings of Scripture.

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.

Both divine revelation and the natural universe inform mankind of God’s law and therefore leave every person without excuse (Romans 1:20). That is why these truths are “self-evident.” The phrase “all men are created equal” stems from traditional American
philosophy’s fundamental belief that man is created by God, and his spiritual nature is of supreme value and importance compared with the material world. This philosophy teaches that belief in God as our Creator is the fundamental link that unites individuals as equals into a society and means equal responsibility to God and His law, rather than equal
possessions or abilities. Therefore, in order to fulfill this responsibility to God, men have been “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

The assertion that rights come from a Creator God is vital because it establishes that civil government is not the source of all things necessary for men. It also secures the
longevity of these rights because as God is the Creator, He is also the Supreme Lawgiver; man (and therefore civil government) not only lacks the authority to abolish these rights but is in fact accountable to the Supreme Lawgiver to ensure that they are protected. Godless government, on the other hand, cannot be eternally limited (i.e., limited by an unchanging standard), for it recognizes no authority other than itself and the changing whims of the people and no rights other than those it bestows.

This understanding of the source of our rights is reflected in the writings of several of the Founding Fathers. John Dickinson (Constitution signer) defined an unalienable right as one “which God gave to you and which no inferior power has a right to take away.” John Adams said that unalienable rights are “rights…antecedent to all earthly government; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great
Legislator of the Universe.” Alexander Hamilton wrote: “The Sacred Rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the Hand of the Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.”

The Report of Conventions of Towns, Essex County, Massachusetts 1778 said, “Those rights which are unalienable, and of that importance, are called the rights of conscience. We have duties, for the discharge of which we are accountable to our Creator and benefactor, which no human power can cancel.” Thomas Jefferson, the man who penned the Declaration of Independence, said, “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.” The three unalienable rights listed in the Declaration are specifically mentioned in Scripture: life (Genesis 2:7; 9:6); liberty (Galatians 5:1, 13; 1 Peter 2:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Genesis 1:26–30); and the pursuit of happiness (Ecclesiastes 3:12–13). Note that the pursuit of happiness is not a condition; it is an ideal of self-development and growth. The pursuit of happiness involves the freedom of each and every individual to respond voluntarily in any associative or cooperative activity socially, economically, religiously, or politically. Each individual has the right, from their Creator, to live life and “pursue happiness” (i.e., have the freedom of opportunity to strive to realize to the full his own highest potential with regard to all aspects of life) from the beginning of life to its end.

Many who criticize the claim that our nation was founded on Biblical principles point to the existence and legal protection of the practice of slavery as being inconsistent with the Scriptures and the idea of being created equal (e.g., Exodus 21:16). However, if we look at the writings and lives of the Founders, we discover that many were actually quite opposed to the institution of slavery. For example, John Adams wrote, “I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.” George Washington said, “I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery].” Many colonies passed antislavery laws in the early 1770s, but King George III and his British governors vetoed them. Because of this, many anti-slavery Founders viewed independence as the best hope for fighting and abolishing slavery. Benjamin Franklin called slavery “an atrocious debasement of human nature” and “a source of serious evils.” He and Benjamin Rush founded the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery in 1774. John Jay, who was the president of a similar society in New York, believed that “the honour of the states, as well as justice and humanity, in my opinion, loudly call upon them to emancipate these unhappy people. To contend for our own liberty, and to deny that blessing to others, involves an inconsistency not to be excused.” John Adams called slavery a “foul contagion in the human character” and “an evil of colossal magnitude.” James Madison called it “the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man.”

Thomas Jefferson initially composed a paragraph for the Declaration of Independence in which he condemned the British crown for protecting the slave trade. Unfortunately, it was deleted due to objections from South Carolina and Georgia. It stated:

He [the king of Britain] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people [the slaves living in the South] to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

Regardless of the obvious inconsistency, the Declaration’s claim that all men are created equal remained a clear rebuke to slavery. The calls for independence were understood to have clear implications for slavery; though it failed to go far enough in clearly condemning and abolishing slavery, its intent and result were antislavery. James Otis wrote in 1761, “The colonists are by the law of nature free born, as indeed all men are, white and black, does it follow that it is the right to enslave a man because he is black?” Following independence, many states passed legislation restricting or banning the institution.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

One of the Biblical purposes of civil government is to protect the God-given rights of the people who have entrusted their leaders with that responsibility (see What is the Biblical Role of Civil Government? https://wordpress.com/post/samuellydia.wordpress.com/8). The idea of “just powers” implies that the Founders believed that God designed government to be limited in order to preserve liberty. This is affirmed in 1 Samuel 8:10–18, where the
nation of Israel is warned of the dangers to liberty posed by expanding the powers of
government. The reference to “just powers” are those that the people grant to their government that they deem necessary to secure their unalienable rights. The concept of “the consent of the governed” mentioned here refers to the fact that nations are responsible to God for the governing authorities that they support and therefore have the right to establish their own system of government and rulers. As Patrick Henry put it, “Rulers are the servants and agents of the people; the people are their masters.” This principle is consistent with Jesus’ words in Luke 22:25–26 in which he says that “he that is chief, as he that doth serve.”

That whenever any Form of Government
becomes destructive of these ends…

There are instances when civil government becomes corrupted by Satan’s lies to the point where it is actually operating in opposition to its divinely ordained purpose. In his interactions with the American colonies, King George III repeatedly violated the Charter of 1606, which guaranteed the colonists their rights as Englishmen and also declared them outside of his sphere of protection, effectively kicking them out of the British Empire. His blatant and repeated violation of his oath before God made him a tyrant in the colonists’ eyes rather than a king. While appealing to 1 Samuel 15:23 as his authority, the influential minister Jonathan Mayhew said of King George III’s Stamp Act: “The king is as much bound by his oath not to infringe the legal rights of the people, as the people are bound to yield subjection to him. From whence it follows that as soon as the prince sets himself above the law, he loses the king in the tyrant. He does, to all intents and purposes, un-king himself.” Samuel Adams concurred with Minister Mayhew in his statement “I scruple not to affirm it as my opinion that his [King George III’s] heart is more obdurate [stubborn], and his disposition towards the people of America is more unrelenting and malignant than was that of Pharaoh towards the Israelites in Egypt.

…it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new
Government… Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established
should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while
evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms
to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses
and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a
design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right,
it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide
new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient
sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which
constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of
repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the
establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States… In every
stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the
most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered
only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked
by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler
of a free people. Nor have We been wanting in attention to our
British brethren. We have warned them…We have reminded
them…We have appealed…we have conjured them…They too
have been deaf to the voice of justice and to consanguinity. We
must, therefore…hold them…Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

In light of the claims by some that the American Revolution was in violation of Romans 13:1–7, was the Declaration of Independence a document condoning a rebellion against God-ordained authority, or was it a rightful overthrow of tyrannical government? The answer depends on which of the two approaches to the meaning of “ordained of God” in Romans 13 is accepted. Timothy and Chuck Baldwin in their book Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission present a logical argument, explained in this way: (1) God’s ordination of government is limited and conditional, and therefore the citizen has an inherent duty to engage and correct government to ensure that it operates within its covenant limitations; or (2) God’s ordination of government is unlimited and unconditional, and therefore the citizen should willingly submit to whatever the government does. The key to determining which approach is correct lies in the answer to the question “Is someone superior to government?” Scripture makes it clear that God is (Psalm 22:28). Government is therefore limited, and obedience and submission to it is conditional—the government must be promoting righteousness and justice (Romans 13; Proverbs 16:12). If God says that He loathes unjust governments and will judge them, how can they be His ordained ministers? True, they were granted that position, but once they have proven to fail at it, they must be replaced or incur God’s judgment on the nation. To support the second approach is to (1) ignore the conditions and purposes God placed on government; (2) accept the fact that no person living on this earth has any absolute, secured rights, as given by God; (3) accept that no one has any right to resist, change, petition, or participate in governmental change or action; (4) accept that might makes right — whoever wins power obtains the ordination of God; and (5) voluntarily put oneself into slavery.

Christians are forbidden by Romans 13 to overthrow the institution of government and live in anarchy, but they are not required to blindly submit to every human claim to sovereignty. The institution of government is ordained by God, but this does not mean that God has approved every specific organization/person claiming to be a civil government/ruler. God is disgusted by and will judge oppressive rulers (Isaiah 10:1–4; 14:5–6). Likewise, God has also ordained church and family governments, but not everything that men call a “church” or “family” is approved by Him. Only if an institution meets His definition does it have His authority. Since good government is to safeguard the unalienable rights of the people, if it fails to do so the people have a right to modify the government and, if necessary, replace it. In so doing, they must never be without government and must work through their lower-level leaders. (John Calvin, Martin Luther, and John Knox promoted this idea, and this is the course that the American colonists took.)

Public officials who exceed the limits of the powers delegated to them by the law violate the people’s God-given, unalienable rights and make themselves defaulting trustees, usurpers, oppressors, and tyrants. They replace Rule-by-Law (God) with Rule-by-Man. By acting lawlessly, they free the people from any duty of submission to them because legally and morally, under Rule-by-Law, submission by the people is required only to law and not to law-defying public servants (Proverbs 16:12) who are a snare to the people (Job 34:24). The people are therefore obligated to oppose all violators of these rights, and to fail to do so is to defy duty to God as the giver of these rights and invites His judgment upon the nation (Micah 3:9–12; 2 Kings 24:3–4; 2 Chronicles 19:2; Jeremiah 25:12–32; Isaiah 3:1-3, 6, 7, 11; 13:11; 14:21–25). Since they operate in opposition to the God-ordained purpose for civil government, tyrannical governments are actually the violators of Romans 13, and those who resist them in a lawful manner are actually supporting God’s ordination. Reverend Jacob Duché (first chaplain of the Continental Congress) argued in favor of the American position, explaining: “Inasmuch as all rulers are in fact the servants of the public and appointed for no other purpose than to be “a terror to evil-doers and a praise to them that do well”(c.f., Rom. 13:3), whenever this Divine order is inverted whenever these rulers abuse their sacred trust by unrighteous attempts to injure, oppress, and enslave those very persons from whom alone, under God, their power is derived does not humanity, does not reason, does not Scripture, call upon the man, the citizen, the Christian of such a community to “stand fast in that liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free” (Galatians 5:1). The Apostle enjoins us to “submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake,” but surely a submission to the unrighteous ordinances of unrighteous men, cannot be “for the Lord’s sake,” for “He loveth righteousness and His countenance beholds the things that are just.””

The Scriptures provide several examples of leaders who rebelled against tyranny in obedience to God: Moses, Gideon, Ehud, Jepthah, David (against Absalom), Jehoiada the priest (against Athaliah, 2 Kings 11), Samson, and Deborah (praised in Hebrews 11). The familiarity of the Founding Fathers with this Scriptural precedent is evidenced by Benjamin Franklin’s proposal for the Seal of the United States of America: “Moses lifting up his wand and dividing the Red Sea, and Pharaoh in his chariot overwhelmed with the waters. This motto: ‘Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.'” Thomas Jefferson proposed: “The children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.” The seal as finally approved by the committee was: Pharaoh sitting in an open chariot, a crown on his head and a sword in his hand, passing through the divided waters of the Red Sea in pursuit of the Israelites; rays from a Pillar of Fire in the cloud, expressive of the Divine presence and command, beaming on Moses, who stands on the shore and extending his hand over the sea, causes it to overwhelm Pharaoh.

As referenced in the Declaration, the American colonists diligently pursued reconciliation from 1765 to 1776 in an attempt to restore their current governing authorities to fulfilling their God-ordained role (Appeal of 1775, May 1776 “Olive Branch Petition”—each submitted in a submissive, conciliatory tone). John Witherspoon (a theologian and signer of the Declaration of Independence) testified to this desire for restoration: “On the part of America, there was not the most distant thought of subverting the government or of hurting the interest of the people of Great Britain, but of defending their own privileges from unjust encroachment; there was not the least desire of withdrawing their allegiance from the common sovereign [King George III] till it became absolutely necessary—and indeed, it was his own choice.” William Pitt (in the House of Lords, 1775) admitted: “When your lordships look at the papers transmitted us from America, when you consider their decency, firmness, and wisdom, you cannot but respect their cause, and wish to make it your own…all attempts to impose servitude on such men, to establish despotism over such a mighty continental nation—must be vain—must be futile.”

Sadly, the British Crown responded to these appeals with military actions, and the Americans took up arms in self-defense. In the minds of the Colonies, Great Britain was seen as a foreign power invading America. David Barton suggests that the colonists defended their homeland, making their cause a conservative counterrevolution against the British Crown’s attempt to overthrow the legitimate colonial governments. In that sense, then, it is more accurate to name the conflict that gave birth to the United States of America the “American War for Independence” rather than the “American Revolution.”

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to…do all…Acts and Things which
Independent States may of right do…

Because the colonists were resisting tyranny under the authority of their governing representatives in an attempt to restore their government to God’s ordained design, they believed that their actions were justified before God. They also believed that though God would not bless an offensive war, He would bless the efforts of self-defense (2 Samuel 10:12; Nehemiah 4:13–14, 20-21; Zechariah 9:8): “Tis immortality to sacrifice ourselves for the salvation of our country. We fear not death” (John Hancock). The Founders rated their economic interests and security as secondary to liberty and independence. The sacrifices of the Continental troops at Valley Forge and throughout the war further evidenced this conviction. William Pitt observed of the colonists: “[They] prefer poverty with liberty, to golden chains and sordid affluence…. It is the alliance of God and nature — immutable, eternal, fixed as the firmament of Heaven!”

Indeed, God has blessed us with a heritage of godly and wise forefathers who risked everything and exercised great care in order to establish a government based on Biblical principles through Biblical means for their posterity to enjoy. Let us work in our day to spread this message and restore the nation that God gave us through the labors of our founding fathers. Happy Fourth of July!

In Christ – Samuel and Lydia Smith

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America and Election 2016: What Is It All About?

A few days ago, Dr. Ben Carson surprised many (including us) when he announced his endorsement of Donald Trump. Regardless of what you think of him or his decision to support Mr. Trump, the content of his endorsement speech contained several troubling elements that should make all of us who believe in God’s Word to take pause and ask ourselves: what is our role as Christians in this election and this country all about? What should we be pursuing and how do we define greatness?

Dr. Carson emphasized repeatedly throughout his speech that this election is solely “about America” and making it great again. He went on to explain that he believed that Trump was the one to lead us to greatness, stating that as we get to see more of “this individual [Trump] and those helping him we’re going to be comforted as a nation.” He explained that the focus should be “How can we make America a place that is successful for everybody?” and stated that we can find that success by remembering that “our strength is our unity…if we start having that American attitude, that American spirit that made us great, that took us to the pinnacle in no time at all, believe me everyone will benefit from that.” He concluded that “We have some incredibly smart people…when we begin to use those smart people effectively, to accomplish the goals of America, you’re going to see us once again begin to ascend to the pinnacle, to a much higher pinnacle than we have ever achieved before.” Perhaps what was most notable was not what he said, but what he didn’t say: no mention was made of God or His Word at all in his entire speech.

Such language sounded like it was coming directly from the people described in Genesis 11: They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name” … The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people … And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.

The connection becomes even clearer when reading the description of this event by the ancient historian Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews:

but they, imagining the prosperity they enjoyed was not derived from the favor of God, but supposing that their own power was the proper cause of the plentiful condition they were in, did not obey him … Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God as if it was through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power.

Brothers and sisters, this is where we are headed as a nation. It’s not just Trump and Carson either. Other candidates are using similar rhetoric and the other Republican candidates have all vowed to back Trump in the event he is the nominee. In fact Senator Cruz has even said “I’m a big fan of Donald Trump” and “I’m really glad he’s in this race.” These are candidates that the majority of Christians have been supporting for the highest office in the land. We need to ask ourselves some hard questions and then be honest and consider very carefully as we answer them and move forward with our response:

  • Was it the American spirit of unity that made us great or the Holy Spirit?
  • Who is the comforter and healer of our nation: great men or God?
  • Has America become an idol, a great tower, that we view it as our goal to make as high and as great as possible, or is the Lord our God, whom we fear, trust, and obey?
  • What is the prescription for greatness: incredibly smart people used effectively or God’s Word?
  • What is the way forward? Should we join with whichever “great” person seems to have the best plan for making us great or should we set ourselves apart from the plans of man and rebuke his wickedness by speaking the truth of God’s Word and then cry out to Him, appealing to His justice and mercy to either judge our land or heal us?
  • What is it all about? Is it about making America great or is it about humbling ourselves, abolishing the idol of national pride, and returning to a fear of and reliance on God and His Word?

Please share your thoughts with us!

In Christ – Samuel and Lydia

Monetary Policy Part III: The Cultural and Spiritual Impacts

1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil…”

In speaking to fellow Christians about the current election season, a common desire seems to be to elect a president that will defend our religious liberty with emphasis on the candidates’ positions on issues like marriage, abortion, government funding of Planned Parenthood, what kind of Supreme Court Justice they would nominate, etc. While these are certainly important issues, there is one which is perhaps far more important that many Christians understand, or at least don’t fully grasp the threat that it poses to their religious liberty: the Federal Reserve controlled monetary system.

An excerpt from Economist Jörg Guido Hülsmann’s  book – The Ethics of Money Production – titled “The Cultural and Spiritual Legacy of Fiat Inflation” shows how a monetary system which allows for the unrestrained production of fiat money can bring serious harm to a nation’s moral base. Though I strongly encourage you to read the full transcript to hear the full line of reasoning (https://mises.org/library/cultural-and-spiritual-legacy-fiat-inflation), here is a summary of the consequences he discusses (with direct threats to religious liberty in bold):

  1. Leads to the centralization of government (warned against in 1 Samuel 8)
  2. It increases the number of and extends the lengths of wars (war is the consequence of evil – James 4:1).
  3. Enriches the government and government-connected elite while impoverishing the rest of society (perversion of justice – repeatedly condemned in the Bible). For an example of how this is happening in our society today, watch this video: https://youtu.be/2KFjR4f6TZk
  4. Establishes moral hazard and irresponsible investing as an institution in our society (violating Romans 13:3-4). For an example of how this is happening in our society today, watch this video: https://youtu.be/GPOv72Awo68
  5. Hinders innovation by reducing and centralizing entrepreneurship (i.e., fewer small businesses and less innovation than would otherwise exist)
  6. Establishes a culture of debt in government, business, and individuals (violating Romans 13:8)
  7. Encourages a mentality of materialism and instant gratification (violating the principles of biblical stewardship)
  8. Forces those who want to save and invest wisely to spend excessive time thinking about their money instead of spending it on spiritual pursuits.
  9. Increases the emphasis on making money in one’s profession.
  10. Increases the likelihood of working far from home/extensive travel in order to make more money; weakening family bonds and potentially setting up Lot-in-Sodom-and-Gomorrah type scenarios.
  11. Deteriorates work quality and encourages a culture of deceit.
  12. Enables the vast expansion of the welfare state leading to: (1) the decline of the family and therefore the destruction of Christian morals and (2) the subsidy of bad morals

By continuing to elect leaders who support the Federal Reserve system, we are endorsing a source of many of our society’s ills. The following video, though a little unique in style, puts into perspective the hypocrisy and gravity of tolerating this moral evil in our nation: https://youtu.be/MGj4-0tKZQQ

 

Please share your thoughts with us!

In Christ – Samuel and Lydia

 

 

What Does “Pro-Life” Mean?

In the lead up to the South Carolina GOP primary, Ted Cruz has released a television ad attacking Donald Trump’s past history on abortion rights and Planned Parenthood by using his own words:

In this next video Senator Cruz goes on to offer a very eloquent defense of the “right to life” and in the process continue his attacks on Donald Trump for his past support for abortion rights and continued support for Planned Parenthood:

Marco Rubio has also championed the cause of the unborn; forcefully and effectively defending the “pro-life” position here:

Though it is certainly an extremely important issue since the lives of millions of unborn children are tragically and unjustly murdered every year, I have always wondered why the terms “right to life” and “pro life” are confined to the abortion issue, when lots of killing goes on outside the womb as well. For instance, take our foreign policy in the Middle East: since 9/11 our undeclared military involvements have resulted in approximately 1.3 million deaths according to a recent study (http://www.psr.org/assets/pdfs/body-count.pdf) and the death toll could actually be as high as 4 million (http://www.mintpressnews.com/do-the-math-global-war-on-terror-has-killed-4-million-muslims-or-more/208225/). Both Cruz and Rubio are advocating for escalation of U.S. force in the region with Cruz even vowing to “carpet bomb” ISIS. The vast majority of these deaths in the Middle East since 9/11 have come about as a result of wars that the U.S. initiated without a constitutional declaration of war (and are therefore unjustified) and neither Cruz or Rubio are requiring one for their proposals either. If a war is unjustified, that also makes the killing resulting from that war unjustified. Romans 13 makes clear that governments bear the sword, but it must always be used for just cause,  just as Christ wages war “in righteousness” (Revelation 19:11). One of the requirements for justly using the sword in our nation is found in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution: “the Congress shall have power…to declare war.” Though these two men are champions of defending life inside the womb, their stance should be more adequately described as “anti-abortion”, not pro-life, since they are for unjustified killing by abusing their position as President.

We as Christians need to remember the wise words of General Robert Lee (“it is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it”) and not allow ourselves to become desensitized to the death and destruction that result from these undeclared wars.

The following article tells of how a man’s anti-war foreign policy stance led him to change from pro-abortion rights to anti-abortion rights: http://rare.us/story/how-being-anti-war-made-me-pro-life/.

In his conclusion he reasons: “I became pro-life because I came to the conclusion that abortion ultimately meant distancing one’s self from the grim reality of the act performed. One has to pretend that it isn’t a life being taken to make the act less consequential. To reduce it to a mere “choice.” The human aspect is diminished. It’s the same way too many Americans view war, where the lives being taken in our name are so far away and so culturally different from us, that we get to a point where they’re not even considered fully human. They’re not even considered. They’re statistics. A blip on the news at best, if we ever even hear news about them at all. There’s nothing more precious than life. The greatest inhumanities are always caused when we are able to separate ourselves from our humanity.”

Brothers and sisters, we must continue to stand strong for life inside the womb by maintaining the humanity of the unborn. However, we must also be consistent and stop dehumanizing the Arabs that we are killing in these undeclared wars. Yes, war is at times a necessary evil, but let us follow Christ’s example and wage them justly. Demand Congress declare the wars and stop supporting politicians who claim to be pro-life, but really aren’t.

Please share your thoughts with us!

In Christ – Samuel and Lydia

Trump, Rubio, or Cruz?

With the Iowa Caucuses just a few days away, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz are dominating the headlines on the Republican side of the election and sweeping up the vast majority of support from Evangelical Christian voters.

While all three claim to be Christians and though no candidate will ever be perfect, it is sad that so many Christians are choosing to support these three men for the highest office in the land.

So much more could be said on why Trump should not receive the support of a Christian, but Matt Walsh has done us all a great service through this article:

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/dear-christians-if-you-vote-for-a-godless-man-you-are-asking-for-tyranny/

Marco Rubio has impressed in every debate and clearly has the talent and widespread appeal that could make him a strong candidate in a general election. He also has recently emphasized his Christian faith, even stating in the most recent debate that “there is only one Savior, His name is Jesus Christ!” His strong stance against abortion also appeals to many Christians. However, his current strong emphases on increasing government surveillance powers, vastly increasing our government spending to build up the military (while greatly adding to our debt), and increasing our military interventions around the world without Congressional declarations of war not only violate our Constitution in some cases, but also go directly against Biblical principles for government.

Increasing government surveillance without a warrant violates the 4th amendment and going to war without a Congressional declaration violates Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Violating the Constitution is violating the Oath of Office and is therefore violating two of the Ten Commandments (taking the name of the Lord in vain and bearing false witness). Furthermore, as the highest law of the land, to violate the Constitution is to pervert justice. Leviticus 19:15a says “you shall not do injustice” and Micah 3 and Proverbs 28 are two more passages that speak about the importance of rulers enforcing justice. Romans 13:2-4 and 1 Peter 2:14 also make it clear that government exists to punish evil and reward good.

Romans 13:8 says, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another.” God’s Word makes
it clear that debt is something that is to be avoided because it can lead to bondage (Proverbs 22:7) and excessive debt is a mark of wickedness (Psalm 37:21). National debt is also a sign of a nation that is suffering and experiencing God’s judgment (Deuteronomy 28:43–44).  Just as the Scriptures say, accruing large public debts can enslave a nation to foreigners and force us to do their bidding, as is already happening to our country. Additionally, making large interest payments can lead to higher taxes, which drag down the economy. Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another the power over your liberty” and Thomas Jefferson asserted, “I, however, place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.” John Adams summarized the fact that a national debt is arguably as great a threat as any when he stated that, “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”

Supporting Marco Rubio would lead to continued perverted justice, disregard for our Constitution, and eroding of the liberties that our founding fathers fought for. Furthermore, it would also lead to the increase of our dangerously high national debt and potentially the tragic loss of life in more undeclared wars around the world.

So what about Ted Cruz? He has received endorsements from thousands of pastors and scores of other evangelical leaders. He regularly uses Christians lingo and sprinkles his speeches to Christian groups with Bible verses. He is strongly pro-life and even made his presidential announcement speech at an evangelical university. Unfortunately, he too has some serious shortcomings that should prevent a Christian from supporting him.

First, Senator Cruz’s wife is currently a high-level employee at Goldman Sachs, and in fact was a Vice President there in 2008 when it received one of the most corrupt bail-outs in history. Glenn Beck (who I do not in any way endorse due to his repeated flip flops on various issues and who in fact has ironically endorsed Cruz this cycle) gives a good breakdown of the corrupt bailouts here:

This, coupled with the recent revelations that Ted Cruz took out loans from Goldman Sachs as well as Citibank (who also received a huge bailout as part of the corruption in 2008) to finance his senate campaign should give Christians pause when considering supporting him. In Exodus 18:21 Moses was advised to select rulers who “hate dishonest gain”; can we honestly say that having a wife who was a leader in a company and then receiving financial support for running for office from companies that engage in dishonest gain from the American people on a massive scale qualify Ted Cruz as a man who hates dishonest gain?

Second, Ted Cruz has violated the commandment to “not bear false witness” repeatedly, whether on breaking his promise to oppose increases in government surveillance (he voted for the USA Freedom Act which he bragged in a recent debate increased the government’s power to gather data from 30% of phone calls to 100% of phone calls) or breaking his promise to vote to audit the Federal Reserve (which incidentally is extremely closely tied to Goldman Sachs). He often accuses his opponents of hypocrisy and pledges his own sincerity and trustworthiness with statements like “Have you ever been burned by a politician? If when the battle is being fought and you don’t stand up and show up to fight, then your credibility when you’re a presidential candidate when you say, ‘Gosh, I really care about [an issue of importance],’ becomes a little suspect.”

Third, his foreign policy vows to carpet bomb Syria and Iraq to test if the “sand will glow” and use all means necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon with or without a Congressional declaration of war are violations of the Constitution. This goes along with his desire to increase defense spending similarly to Marco Rubio which will likely lead to the vast expansion of our debt.

Fourth, his support and praise for an ungodly would-be tyrant like Donald Trump for political gain (“I’m a big fan of Donald Trump”, “Donald Trump is a friend of mine, I like and respect Donald”, “I am proud to stand with Donald Trump. I like him and respect him”, “I’m grateful that he is in the race”) and his criticism of others who tried to stand against him early in the race (“many of the other republican candidates have used this opportunity to take a stick and smack Donald Trump. I ain’t gonna do it”) should call into serious question his judgment and his sincerity. It is ironic that some of Donald Trump’s biggest critics are also some of Ted Cruz’s most ardent supporters…

Matthew 7:15-23 says: “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Similarly, Ted Cruz has claimed to stand for an important issue and will even claim the sheep’s clothing of “consistent conservative” but his actions fail to match his words. He will sprinkle his talk with Bible verses and Christian lingo, but fails to match some very important policies and actions with biblical principles of government. 

As stated at the beginning of this post, no candidate will ever be perfect. However, each of these candidates have some serious deficiencies in their policy positions and/or character that indicate, if elected, they will continue to lead our nation towards destruction through the expansion of crushing debt, continued disregard for the Constitution, and a serious lack of integrity. In short, supporting them is supporting continued perversion of the biblical purpose of government.

2 Chronicles 18 tells of King Jehoshaphat’s support for King Ahab in his war against the King of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. The King of Aram was certainly not a believer in the true God and was likely exceedingly wicked, making King Ahab seem pretty moral by comparison. However, in the next chapter Jehoshaphat is rebuked by the seer Jehu: “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord?” Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us stop supporting the “lesser of evils” in our ballot choices and in so doing continue to bring God’s judgment upon our nation. Let us instead follow the admonition of Proverbs 24:24-25: “He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him; but to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.”

Let us respond as Jehoshaphat did after being rebuked: he “went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers. He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city. He said to the judges, “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord who is with you when you render judgment. Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.”

Amen.

Please share your thoughts with us!

 

 

 

Gun Rights: Where the Candidates Stand

A growing number of people today are lobbying the government to issue controls/bans on the right of individuals to possess firearms, arguing that this will reduce the number of violent crimes committed (e.g., school shootings). Just this past week President Obama issued his latest round of executive actions on gun control:

http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/summary-president-obama-gun-proposals.aspx

However, such legislation directly violates the United States Constitution’s Second Amendment. Though its explanation of the source of our rights should reference God, this short video provides an excellent explanation of the Second Amendment and why it must be defended:

 

Most importantly, attacks on gun rights also encroach on an individual’s Biblical right to defend themselves, their families, and their property. In His covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:6–7), God allowed for the use of forceful defense against violent aggression because it is necessary to protect our God-given rights. This right to defense clearly applies to defending one’s own family (Genesis 14:14; Nehemiah 4:14), property (Exodus 22:2; Nehemiah 4:14; Luke 11:21), and person (Luke 22:36–38). A common misunderstanding is that Jesus commanded His disciples to not defend themselves in Matthew 5:38–39 but to instead “turn the other cheek.” However, the Greek word used here for “smite” refers to a sharp slap given in insult, not a violent attack. Therefore, this passage is referring to accepting defaming persecution with grace and humility rather than returning evil for evil; it is not condemning the use of just force to check/deter violent acts of aggression.

It is therefore critical that Christians take a stand against gun control legislation because it (1) violates an unalienable right given in Scripture and puts the others at risk by reducing our ability to defend them; (2) violates the Constitution; (3) is based on a lie that guns kill people, when in reality it is people who kill other people; (4) creates over-dependence on government to protect and provide for us; and (5) paves the way for tyranny because it reduces the people’s ability to check oppressive governmental force.

 

So, where do the 2016 Presidential candidates stand on the gun rights? This article does an excellent job of summarizing their positions on this issue for us:

http://redalertpolitics.com/2015/06/22/good-bad-ugly-2016-candidates-stand-gun-rights/

 

Please share your thoughts and comments with us!

In Christ – Samuel and Lydia

Why We Need to Speak the Truth of Scripture to Politics

Psalm 1 begins: How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lordand in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers…

Psalm 2 continues with: Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” 

Proverbs 24:24-25 promises: He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him; but to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.

Finally, 1 Peter 2:13-15 instructs Christians to: Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

The political arena, particularly the media, is full of scoffers who speak ignorantly and blasphemously against God, misusing His Word to suit their own ungodly agenda and/or promote themselves as candidates. We as Christians are commanded to “put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” through our godly lives in support of godly leaders in the fear of the Lord and follow the example of Christ by directly confronting and opposing the irreverence for God in our day, as He did on numerous occasions (with the pharisees and even against the money-changers in the temple – Matthew 21 and John 2). In contrast to their blasphemy, we should have zeal and reverence for God and His Word (Psalm 1 and John 2:17).

View this video from 1:45-2:30 to see how Donald Trump very irreverently uses the Bible and waves it like a magic wand in an attempt to convince voters of his “Christianity.” Sadly, he isn’t the only candidate who does these sorts of antics to woo Christian voters…They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work.

Aside from the first several minutes where he points out how Ted Cruz (like the vast majority of politicians) will likely be servant to his largest campaign donors, this video segment degenerates into a very, very sad case of scoffing against God and His Word. Christians should be handling and preaching what God’s Word truly says about government and how our nation’s founders leaned so heavily on the Bible in writing our founding documents. If they did that on a large scale, the man in this video would be exposed for the ignorant scoffer that he is, and would in effect be silenced in his current line of attack.

Christians, the Bible is being used in politics today – but almost always in a blasphemous way. Let’s obey God’s Word and follow Christ’s example. For the glory of His name and His Word.

Please share your thoughts and comments with us!

In Christ – Samuel and Lydia

Monetary Policy: Where the Candidates Stand – Part II

Last week’s post got about twice as many views as the other posts…due to this topic’s apparent popularity and importance, particularly in light of the upcoming “Audit the Fed” vote, here is an interesting material on the subject:

http://www.businessinsider.com/rand-paul-heres-why-we-should-audit-the-fed-2015-12

Call your Senators!

http://www.chooseliberty.org/melt-the-lines.aspx?pid=01b&r=10

In Christ – Samuel and Lydia

Monetary Policy: Where the Candidates Stand

On January 12th, the United States Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that would expand Congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve by allowing the Government Accountability Office to review Fed decisions on monetary policy (http://www.wsj.com/articles/senate-to-vote-on-audit-the-fed-bill-in-january-1450483894). During a GOP Presidential Primary Debate back in November, the Federal Reserve was a hot topic, with several candidates weighing in on the topic. As with any issue, we as Christians should first look to what God’s Word says…

The Bible makes it clear that deceptively manipulating/ changing the value of an item of trade (including money) is abominable to God (Leviticus 19:35–36; Proverbs 20:10, 23). It also likens diluting the value of money (silver) to the diluting of a society’s morality (Isaiah 1:22). From these passages we can conclude that God’s design is that governments refrain from inflating their currencies as a short-term remedy for deficits since this practice defrauds the citizens by paying them for their goods and services with money that is actually worth less than advertised. It is a lie enforced as if it were truth.

In today’s economy, the most prevalent methods of enforcing this lie are through quantitative easing and fractional reserve banking. Quantitative easing is the practice central banks (such as the Federal Reserve) often use to lower interest rates and increase the money supply by providing financial institutions with large amounts of additional capital in an attempt to increase economic activity. Fractional reserve banking is a banking system in which a bank keeps only a fraction of its deposits backed by cash-on hand and loans out the rest. This system effectively creates new money because the money that is loaned out is not directly tied to a corresponding amount of deposited money. When these two practices are combined, the money supply rapidly increases, leading to inflation.

Though this practice is heralded by many economists today as fostering economic growth, especially during periods of recession, it actually makes our problems worse by rewarding poor banking practices. This leads to malinvestment and misallocation of capital, resulting in economic bubbles and the boom-bust cycle. More importantly, these practices are immoral because they result in a dishonest inflationary tax, are a form of counterfeiting, unjustly favor a few at the expense of the many, are done in secrecy and by force, violate our right to property (inflation reduces the value of our savings), promote the philosophy of instant gratification (easy credit and low interest rates encourage spending rather than saving), encourage corruption in politics (the ability of a government’s central bank to give money away to specific organizations encourages the practice of bribing politicians), hurt savers and those on fixed incomes (including retirees), and violate the Constitution (which gives no authority for the creation of a central bank, much less the creation of fiat currency).

The Founding Fathers realized that the issue of money is extremely important to the well-being of any society. George Washington advised, “We should avoid…the depreciation of our currency; but I conceive this end would be answered, as far as might be necessary, by stipulating that all money payments should be made in gold and silver, being the common medium of commerce among nations.” German banker Mayer Rothschild succinctly stated the incredible power of money over society when he announced, “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I care not who makes its laws.” Lenin, always looking for methods to advance communism, observed that the best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation,
governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler or surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.

President Obama is opposed to the current legislation to Audit the Federal Reserve…so where do the current Presidential Candidates stand on this extremely important issue?

Candidate Monetary Policy
Jeb Bush Quiet on the Fed; Top donors are affiliated with Goldman Sachs
Ben Carson Quiet on the Fed; Defensive of Janet Yellen
Chris Christie Minor campaign issue; Says he wants the Fed audited
Hillary Clinton Minor campaign issue; Pro Fed
Ted Cruz Minor campaign issue; Says he wants the Fed audited and supports Rand Paul’s Audit the Fed bill but is pro-bailout and sees a role for the Fed; Wife is a high ranking official with Goldman Sachs since 2005; Worked on Bush’s economic advisory staff which was pro-stimulus and bailout
Carly Fiorina Minor campaign issue; Opposed to recent Fed monetary policy
Jim Gilmore Minor campaign issue; Opposed to recent Fed monetary policy
Mike Huckabee Minor campaign issue; Critical of Janet Yellen but supported 2008 stimulus by the Fed
John Kasich Minor campaign issue; Believes in a role for the Fed
Martin O’Malley Minor campaign issue; More government oversight, but believes it has a role
Rand Paul Major campaign issue; Introduced legislation for the Fed to be audited; Anti-central bank; Wants the Fed abolished eventually
Marco Rubio Minor campaign issue; Says he wants the Fed audited and supports Rand Paul’s Audit the Fed bill
Bernie Sanders Major campaign issue; Opposed to Fed corruption; Wants major reforms and an audit of the Fed but believes it still has a role
Rick Santorum Minor campaign issue; Wants Fed audited but believes it has a role
Donald Trump Minor campaign issue; Opposed to recent Fed monetary policy

Please share your thoughts with us!

In Christ – Samuel and Lydia

 

Women in Combat?

While there are many issues more directly related to the 2016 campaign that I would love to write about, one recent move by the Department of Defense really caught my attention in light of the ongoing debate within both parties over how much we should spend on our military. After doing a little research, thinking, and praying about it I discussed it with my wife and then decided to share our thoughts with you.

On December 4th, the following letter was sent out to members of the U.S. Army :

Full Integration of Women in the Army

Yesterday the Secretary of Defense directed the full integration of women in the Armed Forces following a thirty-day review period required by Congress. The purpose of allowing all Soldiers, regardless of gender, to serve in any Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) for which they are qualified is to increase our military effectiveness. The Army will provide our final, detailed implementation plan to the Secretary of Defense no later than January 1, 2016. Subject to his approval, we will begin implementing our integration plan to open all MOSs, career fields, and branches for accession by women as soon as practicable following January 2, 2016, but not later than April 1, 2016. Our best qualified, regardless of gender, will now be afforded the opportunity to serve in any MOS. Our detailed and deliberate implementation plan will maintain the readiness of our force and ensure we remain a standards-based Army. This methodical plan will establish and enforce MOS-specific and gender neutral standards based on the rigors of ground combat. Done properly, the integration of women into all MOSs will improve combat readiness and make our Army better. Readiness is our top priority. Our Army exists to fight and win the Nation’s wars. An incremental and phased approach by leaders and Soldiers who understand and enforce gender-neutral standards will ensure successful integration of women across the breadth and depth of our formations. We are honored to serve with all of you who have taken an oath to support and defend our Constitution and demonstrate the values which make our Nation great. ARMY STRONG!

Signed: Daniel A. Dailey (Sergeant Major of the Army), Mark A. Miley (General, United States Army Chief of Staff), and Eric K. Fanning (Acting Secretary of the Army).

At a press conference discussing the decision, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter explained, “They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat … and everything else that was previously open only to men.” President Obama voiced his approval, stating that “our armed forces will draw on an even wider pool of talent” and will therefore be stronger. The Pentagon was not entirely unified behind this decision, however. General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Marine commandant, had voiced concerns and objections to women entering infantry and armor positions and was absent from the conference due to his differences with the administration over the issue.

Though several studies have been done on the issue, with differing conclusions depending on the specifics being assessed (here is a summary of several such studies by an advocate for women serving in combat arms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cibtp4-FxdU), the universal consensus is that men, as a group, are more physically capable to handle the physical rigors of serving in a “front-line” combat unit. One recent notable study with the Marines found that:

  • All-male units performed higher than mixed-gender units on 93 of 134 tasks, or 69 percent; gender-integrated units performed better than all-male units on two tasks, which were not identified.
  • All-male infantry squads were faster in each tactical movement, with differences more pronounced when crew-served weapons such as machine guns had to be carried in addition to the standard assault load.
  • All-male infantry rifleman squads were more accurate shots, with notable differences in all weapons except the M4 rifle.
  • Men in the provisional infantry platoon who had not attended the infantry course were more accurate marksmen than women who had, hitting 44 percent of targets with the M4 rifle versus 28 percent among women trained at the infantry schoolhouse.
  • All-male squads were notably better as a group when tackling obstacles and evacuating casualties; “When negotiating the wall obstacle, male Marines threw their packs to the top of the wall, whereas female Marines required regular assistance in getting their packs to the top.”
  • The men had an average of 20 percent body fat, compared to 24 percent among women.
  • Women had an average of 10 percent lower peak oxygen uptake than men.
  • The musculoskeletal injury rate for women was 40.5 percent, compared to 18.8 percent for men.
  • None of the 29 females who attempted infantry officer training through April passed, compared to 71 percent of men who graduated.
  • Female enlisted Marines in the entry-level infantry training course had six-times the injury rate of male counterparts.
  • Of 402 female volunteers for the Infantry Training Battalion course through June, 144 passed – a 36 percent graduation rate compared to 99 percent among men during the same period.
  • Of 14 female volunteers for the Artillery Cannon Crewman course, 12 passed – an 86 percent graduation rate, the same as the male rate.
  • Of seven female volunteers for the Tank Crewman course, five passed – a 71 percent graduation rate, compared to 99 percent of males.
  • Of seven female volunteers for the amphibious assault vehicle AAV Crewman course, five passed – a 71 percent graduation rate compared to 94 percent of males.

Source: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/sep/10/marines-women-in-combat-task-force-results/

These findings are nothing new: The Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Services stated in the November 15, 1992 Executive Summary Conclusion in the Report to the President: “The case for assigning women to combat fails for the very basic reason that it is grounded principally in the concept of equal opportunity. When national security is at stake, however, the need to maintain a strong military must take precedence over concerns about equal opportunity … mixed-gender units, particularly as [they] get closer to the combat area, have lower deployment rates, higher attrition, less physical strength, more sexual activity, higher costs, et cetera.” As then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney said: “It’s important for us to remember that what we are asked to do here in the Department of Defense is to defend the nation. The only reason we exist is to be prepared to fight and win wars … we aren’t there to run social experiments.”

It is important to note that in these experimental studies, the women evaluated had passed the physical fitness tests to be included in infantry units. One female combat veteran who worked extensively with Infantrymen in a combat environment, Marine Captain Katie Petronio, has argued that due to the physical demands of combat, women should be excluded from certain positions due to their different physical make-up: “Which once again leads me, as a ground combat-experienced female Marine Corps officer, to ask, what are we trying to accomplish by attempting to fully integrate women into the infantry? For those who dictate policy, changing the current restrictions associated with women in the infantry may not seem significant to the way the Marine Corps operates. I vehemently disagree; this potential change will rock the foundation of our Corps for the worse and will weaken what has been since 1775 the world’s most lethal fighting force … for the long-term health of our female Marines, the Marine Corps, and U.S. national security, steer clear of the Marine infantry community when calling for more opportunities for females. Let’s embrace our differences to further hone in on the Corps’ success instead of dismantling who we are to achieve a political agenda.”

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/07/12/12684555-women-in-the-infantry-forget-about-it-says-female-marine-officer?lite

https://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/blog/2012/07/05/get-over-it-we-are-not-all-created-equal

http://www.businessinsider.com/female-troops-against-women-in-combat-tammy-duckworth-katie-petronio-2013-2

While the evidence supporting the argument that including women in our military units makes us more combat effective is found wanting, others argue that opening up combat positions to women is a victory for women’s rights. While it is true that increased opportunities for deployments and combat experience can (but not always) help advance a military career, it is important to remember that with equal opportunity comes equal responsibility. Legal cases requesting that women be required to register for the selective service equally with men are already being heard, and women who join the military may end up being forced into a combat position even if they have no desire to do so. Does this policy change increase women’s rights or is it actually a major step towards forcing women to change who they are in the name of “equality” and thereby destroying their rights?

Of course, there is also the issue of sexual tension and activity (including sexual harassment and assault as well as rivalries and broken relationships) in mixed-gender units, particularly in close-quarters, that can lead to a breakdown in morale and trust within the unit. This is already a huge issue in the military even without the decreased oversight and added stresses and intimacy that come with a combat environment. As Congressional foreign affairs advisor Daniel McAdams commented, “It’s hard to have the strongest military in the world when the barracks are turned into frat houses.”

Inevitably, with sexual activity also comes unwanted pregnancy, which could further diminish combat unit capabilities. This has also already been an issue during deployments: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/pregnant-military-unplanned-women_n_2534873.html   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2560898/200-women-troops-sent-home-pregnant-MoD-wont-impose-war-zone-pregnancy-tests-privacy-fears.html

Other things to consider, especially from the Christian perspective, are that the sexual, family separation, and unwanted pregnancy issues that result from combat deployments in mixed units often result in broken families and abortions.

While all of these practical issues are important to consider and discuss, much more important for the Christian is considering how God’s Word speaks to the issue: opening up all combat Military Occupational Specialties to women rejects God’s design for women (Titus 2:4-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7; Deuteronomy 22:5) and weakens the military’s effectiveness (Nahum 3:13; Jeremiah 50:37). The Bible makes it clear that men (after the example of Christ for His church) are to give themselves up for their women and children as a demonstration of their love for them. Nehemiah 4:13-14 speaks of men who were exhorted to “remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” Furthermore, husbands are exhorted in Ephesians 5 to “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”; such love was defined by Christ as being willing to lay down one’s life for the object of that love (John 15:13).

As Christians, we need to look at the facts and the truths of Scripture and realize what is at stake here: women in combat isn’t just a matter of increasing opportunities for women – it is an issue of redefining manhood, womanhood, and even the marriage relationship (which is the sacred picture of Christ’s relationship to His church). We, especially the men, must decide where we stand and who we are called to be in Christ and ask ourselves some hard questions:

  • Are we a set-apart redeemed people (Titus 2:11-14) who cherish women as those who should be protected at all costs or are we willing to literally “throw them to the wolves” and expose them to the horrors of combat and all that comes with it?
  • Are we willing to speak out on God’s design for men, women, and marriage with “all authority” regardless of the criticism (Titus 2:15)?
  • With accelerating military challenges from the likes of China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, and ISIS, is now the time for social experimentation in our combat units?
  • Are we justified, at a time when we are faced with approximately $19 trillion in national debt (and counting), in continuing to argue that the solution to our military challenges abroad is continued increases in defense spending while knowingly diluting our combat readiness through the integration of women into combat units?
  • What does it say about the state of our government and our military leadership, when our President ignores the findings of the studies he requested and then our military leaders comply by knowingly misleading the public through their rhetoric?

While this issue is not yet one of the hot-topics of this campaign, it shines a light on the direction our society is headed and should be a wake-up call to us as Christians to increase our prayers for our nation (particularly the Christians in our military and government), our courage in taking a stand in whatever place God has put us, and our efforts in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. As David Horowitz, a former Communist radical, warned our nation: “I was dedicated to the subversion and overturning of every American institution … We were successful in subverting and overturning every American institution but one – it was the military institution … Why don’t you wake up? Women in combat … is to finish the job on the only institution that survived the ’60s and ’70s revolution intact.”

—– UPDATE —–

Just a few days ago, some of the top leaders in our military stated that women should be required to register for the draft equally with men:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/03/465404486/army-marine-corps-generals-say-women-should-have-to-register-for-the-draft

 

In Christ – Samuel and Lydia