God is the Creator and Sustainer of life. To have an accurate view of Creation, to know where one fits into that picture, and to have complete confidence in the One Who made all things are the essence of a life of success. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: And have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:27-28). “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. . . . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:1a, 3-4).
- The Origin of the Human Race
Adam was created directly and supernaturally by God. Genesis 1:26-27 reveals that Adam was brought into existence by the creative and formative acts of God. This creation account compliments, rather than contradicts the account in Genesis 2. Genesis 1 explains the general account of the creation days. It is not a detailed account as in Genesis 2. Genesis 2 is a more detailed account of the creation of Adam. This chapter presupposes God’s work of creation in chapter 1. In 2:1-3 we see the narrative carried to its final conclusion. “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground” (Genesis 2:7). Note also Matthew 19:4: “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female.”
- The truth of the Genesis account
Some allege that the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2 contradict one another. One reason they make this claim is that they do not see that the use of different Divine names brings depth to man’s understanding of the attributes of God. Chapter 1 uses Elohim because this is the name primarily used of the Creator God, the transcendent God of the universe-the Source of all power and energy ultimately. Chapter 1 speaks of creation in its totality. Chapter 2 uses Yahweh because it is the name primarily used of the Covenant God and emphasizes His moral character with reference to man. Chapter 2 speaks specifically of man.A second excuse that some use to allege that the Genesis accounts do not add up is the apparent difference in the sequence of events. In chapter 2, the sequence is man, trees, beasts, and woman. This sequence is different from that listed in chapter 1. But the sequence of chapter 2 is logical, rather than chronological. The purpose of chapter 2 is to set the stage for chapter 3 by adding supplementary details to chapter 1. Chapter 2 does this by telling about the garden (where the Fall took place), the trees (the objects of God’s revelation), and woman (the accomplice of man and the prime target of the temptation). In addition, different vocabulary is used in chapter 2 than in chapter 1. The change in subject matter, not in authorship, best accounts for this difference.
- The fallacy of evolution
The fact is, God created man. Man did not evolve in any way. The chance that just one living cell could arrive by chance in its complexity, left alone, and undergo the millions of variations needed to give living mobility and intelligence is nil. The building blocks for life include hundreds of enzymes and DNA-RNA orders in exactness, making life by chance impossible. First, the Bible teaches that man did not evolve from lower forms of life but was created by God both in man’s material and immaterial aspects (Genesis 2:7). There is no scientific evidence to the contrary. Some try to make “dust of the ground” refer to lower forms of life. However, 3:19 completely refutes this idea.Second, if the early chapters of Genesis are considered to be historically reliable, Adam and Eve are the parents of the human race (Genesis 1:26-28). To verify the reliability of these chapters, see also Romans 5:12ff, I Timothy 2:14ff, and Matthew 19:1ff.
- False theories about creation
Any theory which permits or demands the presence of death in the world before Adam’s sin cannot be correct. Romans 5:12 clearly teaches that death came into the world as a result of Adam’s sin. In addition, any theory which separates the creation of man’s body from the creation of man’s souls/spirit cannot be correct. Thus the idea that God took an animal body and created a human soul for it cannot be true. Genesis 2:7 indicates that God took and formed man’s body and then breathed into him the breath of life, and that at that time man became a living being. The same Hebrew words are used of the animals and insects in Genesis 1:24).
- The importance of knowing the truth
“This Genesis story further is the foundation of the Scripture doctrine of all human responsibility, and accountability to God. A lowered anthropology means a lowered theology, for if man was [sic] not a direct creation of God, if he was [sic] a mere indirect development, through slow and painful process, of no one knows what, or how, or why, or when or where, the main spring of moral accountability is gone. The fatalistic conception of man’s personal and moral life is the deadly gift of naturalistic evolution to our age”-D.A. Curtis, quoted in Canon Dyson Hague, The Fundamentals, vol. 1, ed. by R. A. Torrey and A. C. Dixon (Baker Book House, 1988), 1:284.
Each individual has inherent worth and dignity, since human beings are made in the image of God. This foundational truth repels secular humanism, communism, and materialism.
Finally, since the whole human race originated from the same parents, two things become possible: (1) original sin (at this point defined as the effect of Adam’s sin upon the whole human race) becomes a very possible explanation of what is observable in every human being (i.e., selfishness), and (2) a true brotherhood of man, based upon the human race’s relationship to God as one of creature/Creator, is possible. The advantage of this idea over the liberal concept of “the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man” is that the good we do for one another in the realm of social needs is based, not on our Christianity, but on our common humanity, and therefore a “social gospel” does not replace the Gospel of God’s grace in Christ.—This review of anthology was provided by Pastor Gary D. Freel of Berean Baptist Church, Boone, IA.
- Divine leadership – God is the Supreme Authority (Ps. 149, 2 Tim. 3:16). God is the Legislator and Judge; we submit, obey, and administer authority as He directs.
- We are created to be under authority (Eph. 2:10, Rom. 13:2). Submission to authority is not being under domination; it is being under the protection of authority (Heb. 13:17).
- When there is not a “thus saith the Lord” about a particular issue, seek a Spirit-led consensus. “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).
- The context for leadership is a select group, a body, a living organism empowered by God’s grace (Acts 9:31; Col. 2:19; Eph. 4:1-6; I Cor. 11:3).
- God teaches leadership in stages that cannot successfully be altered or bypassed. Stage 1-Leadership of self (Joshua 1:8; 2 Tim. 2:22; Jer. 17:9; Eph. 6:1-3). Stage 2-Leadership in marriage and in the home (1 Tim. 5:8, 17, 18; Prov. 22:6; Deut. 6:6-7). State 3-Leadership of others.
- True leaders do not lead for the sake of being the leader; they lead because they care. They want to protect and help others. Except for the reward of serving God, they can proceed in their ministry unrewarded (1 Thess. 2:7-8).
- Leadership preparation includes the experience of disappointment and hardship for the development of endurance and patience. Failure is not failure; it is an opportunity to grow. Leaders learn to avoid getting too far ahead of their people and yet maintain a belief in their potential (Titus 2:2; Gal. 5:22; Rom. 2:7; Luke 8:15).
- As leaders develop, they go through an arduous and painful process of overcoming the fear of people, the fear of failure, and the fear of excessive self-consciousness. They eventually make the transition to multiple adoptive management styles essential for coping with different human problems.
- We earn the right to lead in the sense that we must lovingly and firmly establish our turf. We take the time to develop relationships (prior understanding and agreement) and maintain relationships. We take the time to continually teach to reduce the confusion about the role of leadership and leadership support. This is the essence of leadership and is universally essential in order to protect the group from itself and maintain a group dynamic. “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” (Titus 2:15). The right to lead is set on firm footing. Successful leaders are characterized by the following:
- They know how to get along with people.
- They are examples of integrity, exhibiting no double-mindedness, fraud, greed, insincere praise, undue use of authority, or idle talk (Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:3-5).
- They form no coalition or alliance with individuals who compromise their loyalty to God’s principles. They are impartial in their exercise of authority, following truth and the leading of God’s Spirit.
- They are firm and trustworthy in God’s principles but kind, loving, and considerate.
- They can plant ideas, but they are not manipulative. They help the group to see that new initiatives come from the people. They also stop to make sure the people are well established in what God wants them to do before proceeding.
- They humbly submit to truth that God gives through others, without relinquishing leadership turf.
- They are called and equipped by God.
- Successful leaders teach their people to respect and follow God’s corrective procedures (Matt. 18; Gal. 6:1; Phil. 2:3; Matt. 5:9, 16; Heb. 3:13, 14; I Cor. 13:1). Leaders welcome critical insights given respectfully in private, without feeling threatened. Such encounters are not personal affronts; they are vital for self-improvement.
- They exude confidence and optimism. They teach confidence in God’s Word and keep the home alive.
- See chapter 1, page 4 and chapter 11, Joseph the Overcomer, in the book Lasting Success.
The goal for decision making is to understand the nature of the forces at work in any given situation and be able to estimate the short and long-term consequences that can be expected from the choices available.
As pointed out in the chapter in Lasting Success entitled “The Citizens’ Report,” “For many years, psychologists and educators have recognized the processes by which thought and behavioral patterns acquired in youth become the basis for adult motivation. In modern times, thoughtful observers have become progressively aware that moral, social and political concepts implanted during the time of mental immaturity not only participate in the conduct of later in life, but, once acquired, such concepts become dominant and often unalterable in adults. Thus, captive audiences of immature minds provide powerful and much prized forums for [unquestioned anti-Judeo-Christian, anti-morality, anti-American indoctrination.” Grand Jury Presentment, 11th Judicial District of Iowa, December 23rd, 1968.
Liberals and conservatives alike have recognized that young minds are impressionable. Liberals, however, have failed to recognize the importance of a morally sound education. “‘To educate a person in mind and not in morals,’ Theodore Roosevelt once said, ‘is to educate a menace to society.’ And that, say an increasing number of educators, politicians, and citizens at large, is exactly what is happening in many public schools today” (Dr. Michael H. Romanowski, Professor of Education at Ohio Northern University).
Historically, America has supported, rather than repressed, education complete with moral instruction. In March of 1825, for example, the board of the University of Virginia passed a resolution outlining reliable education methodology. It is interesting that they also listed reliable sources for American principles which should be taught. The resolution that was adopted by the university board was proposed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, often called the “Father of the Constitution” because of his influence in forming the Federal Constitution in 1787.
The resolution stated that (1) all students shall be “inculcated” with the basic American principles of government. (2) “None should be inculcated [indoctrinated] which are incompatible with those on which the Constitution of this State, and of the United Staes were genuinely based, in the common opinion.” (3) The faculty had a standard of responsibility and were required to teach positively and affirmatively these unique American principles. Only after they had done so were they to teach the conflicting principles as such, judging them by the soundness of the American principles that served as a basis. (4) The resolution went on to specify six writings that, in the board’s opinion, reflected the unanimously supported distinct government principles unique to America, and with which youth should be indoctrinated. These documents were John Locke’s Essay Concerning the True Original Extent and End of Civil Government (1690), Algernon Sidney’s Discourses Concerning Government (1698), the Declaration of Independence, Washington’s Farewell Address, the Virginia Resolutions of 1799 (adopted by the Virginia legislature), and the Federalist Papers.
Emotions are a distinct set of feelings that enter human awareness and are highly motivational. Noah Webster described emotion as a “strong impression, or vivid sensation that immediately produces a reaction.” The nature of the reaction, according to Webster, is to either “appropriate and enjoy, or avoid and repel the exciting cause.”-Noah Webster, The American Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed. (1828; reprint, Foundation for American Christian Education, 1985).
Untamed emotions lead people to believe non-truth. Emotions are a major cause of spiritual woundedness. Several chapters are dedicated to understanding this problem. The deceptive disconnection between the stimulus of emotions and reality stems from man’s rebellion against God and the opening this gave Satan to the thought processes of man.
“A sound [well-informed and spiritually balanced] heart is the life of the flesh: but envy [and related selfish emotions] the rottenness of the bones” (Proverbs 14:30).
The family is the basic unit of civilization. A truly happy family is the product of a living faith in God’s Word. “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established” (Proverbs 24:3). God runs the home with the father’s help as undershepherd and the mother’s help as his assistant. As love and transparency deepen, an appreciation for the unique gifts and roles of each partner grows. The marriage excels! The family unit is of immeasurable value for one’s happiness and life fulfillment. Those who are wise and alert do not neglect what really counts. The family is our acre of diamonds!
“For I know him [Abraham], that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment” (Genesis 18:19).
“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her” (Proverbs 31:27-28).
To forgive is deciding not to be conflicted in one’s emotions by the supposed right to punish the offender. The matter is left in God’s hands. Christians who are continually causing conflict have received God’s forgiveness, but they are denying that grace to others. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19, 21).
The blessing that comes to one who forgives the offense of another was costly. Christ purchased it on the cross.
Government by and for the people is a tertiary force instituted by God. The power exercised by government comes from the people when they covenant together to share a small portion of their right as individuals to use force for the protection of their property and the liberty essential for the pursuit of happiness. Harry Atwood, in his book The Constitution Explained, says that when the Constitutional convention finished their work, they sent “that Constitution which has appeared to us the most advisable” to the Congress of the United States that was still operating under the weak Articles of Confederation. It was the duty of Congress to go to the several states and seek ratification of the new Constitution. In the letter conveying the document to Congress, President George Washington wrote that “individuals entering into society, must give up a share of their liberty to preserve the rest.”-Harry Atwood, The Constitution Explained (Destiny Publishers, 1992), 113.
Government functions properly when the citizens fulfill their responsibilities. It is imperative that new generations be taught and understand the real world of cause and effect in matters of political and social life. By keeping informed on current issues, they can help bring the body politic to a consensus for laws which honor God and promote responsible behavior that is so essential to liberty. There is a common need for sharing in the maintenance of highways, for instance, and for instituting laws which will keep thieves out of the corncrib and ensure that the food sold in grocery stores is safe to eat. It is very important, however, that government be limited. Religious and soft science education must be left to the private sector. Failure to protect this right guarantees that religio/social/political understandings will be victimized by authoritarian types within our government. Whenever government power is used on behalf of one sect or another, be it theistic or secular (atheistic), control over knowledge dissemination becomes the means for knowledge deprivation and tyranny.
Judgmental people grab on to trouble by meddling in matters that are not their business in the first place. Judgmentalism and an unforgiving spirit ride on the backs of two different dispositions. The first concerns things we observe in others, and the latter stands upon self-righteous imaginations.
Confusion always follows when we set standards for others that we ourselves cannot meet. Judging others is injurious to our own souls. “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” (Romans 2:3).
Laws, in their most important sense, are the rules for action which are prescribed by man’s Creator. He is the all-powerful righteous One, superior to and independent from all else. Because God knows the dangers of life, it is imperative for the inferior being (mankind) to understand and obey God’s will.
“These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the creator himself in all his dispensations conforms; and which He has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to every one its due; to which three general precepts justification has reduced the whole doctrine of law.”William Blackstone, The Commentaries on the Laws of England, vol. 1 (1st ed. 1765-1769; reprint, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1979), 1: 40-41.
Truth and moral uprightness are examples of discernible goals for good laws. It is the duty of federal, state, and local officials elected by the people to institute good laws, and to do so they must emulate God’s law as closely as they can. Respect for God and the success of individuals, communities, and nations go hand in hand.
Listening to God
This is the subject of Chapter Six in Lasting Success. The one basic reason why some Christians are unsteady in purpose and direction is that they fail to listen to God and proceed according to His instructions.
Underlying this failure are two key factors:
- We do not understand that ever since the fall of man recorded in Genesis, mankind has been inundated with delusions of truth. As a consequence of man’s rejection of God and Satan’s intrusion, our opinions about what is right are NOT reliable!
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6).
- When calamity hits us, we tend to think we are ruined. That is not true! “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called, according to his purpose . . . to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:28b, 29b).
Agape love is a blessing man receives from God and learns to emulate in his own life. Such love produces clarity for wise judgments and a forgiving and unselfish attitude toward others. Justice is the standard for treating others properly. Love is a display of God’s righteousness that exceeds that standard.
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (I John 4:7-8).
Man’s soul is composed of a mind, will, and emotion. The soul and its development reflect the real you. Lasting Success covers this concept in detail. The soul differs from the human spirit. Man’s spiritual nature distinguishes him from other living beings. Man’s spirit could be described as the antenna or agency within man whereby he received and discerns truth revealed by God.
Joseph is an example of an overcomer. Step by step he went through many of the same obstacles to success that confront us all. He knew disappointment and the pain of mental and spiritual woundedness. A look at Joseph’s day-to-day experience enables us to see the divine purpose in his afflictions. The reason and answers for Joseph’s difficulties were not provided immediately, but were hidden as they occurred. As in our lives, however, God’s purposes eventually became apparent.
See Chapter 11 of Lasting Success for more!
Teaching our children to obey reasonable standards is a very important part of genuine parental love. If parents neglect this role, their children can grow up to be defenseless casualties of “feel good” and deceptive promises of a godless world. “A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15b).
The following are three examples of emotional immaturity in parents that can cause them to fail:
- The attitude that “this is my child, and I have a right to pamper my child” displays a self-indulgence that has blinded parents to the destructive influence of permissiveness, which will eventually haunt the life of a self-willed child.
- Many parents do not recognize that the issue between them and the child is, in fact, emotions. Successful parenting is a direct confrontation between (1) the will of parents who should be emotionally mature and (2) the immature but determined will of the child. Wise parents know that God’s Word has the answers to life, and that they must exercise control at times over their child’s choices. When parents fail in this area, their child will not learn to make solid choices apart from his or her feelings.
- Parents may foster rebellion by pampering their child because they fear that the child will not love them. Instead of earning their child’s love, however, they usually face the opposite. Parents almost always lose their child’s respect when they do not exercise authority with clarity.
There is no substitute for the exercise of parental authority! Having a dating policy for teens, for example, is a must! See the chapter on parenting in Lasting Success for key elements of love that children understand.
‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
The Great Seal of the United States of America bears the Latin inscription novus ordo seclorum, meaning “A new order of the ages.” In the Bonus Book For the Family, over forty pages are dedicated to this important subject.
Mankind has a choice between two fundamentally different worldviews or opinions about truth or reality. The Judeo-Christian worldview arises out of a belief in the infinite God Who created man in His own image. The focus of the Bible, going back over 4,000 years, is history and God’s role on behalf of mankind. Every person is valuable to God and has the unique spiritual capacity to be guided by and work with Him. The other worldview places man at the helm. Having rejected God, those who embrace this worldview proceed in a way that reflects the incalculable and changeable decrees of worldly thinkers. The value of life becomes the arbitrary choice of the hierarchy that manages to be in control of knowledge centers and law at any given time. This secular worldview has no basis whatsoever for unalienable human rights which cause restrictions to be placed on the use of government power.
A definite, unique, and specific American philosophy of government does exist. Under the influence of that philosophy, our nation became the overwhelming choice of people all throughout the world. Chief among the foundations of the American philosophy is the belief that man is the beneficiary of human rights which are superior to secular claims, government, and things material. Therefore, governments serve as a tool under the direction of the people for the preservation of their unalienable God-given rights. Jefferson wrote, “Almighty God has created the mind free.” Under secularist-controlled governments and education, the freedom to hear both sides of issues and make wise choices falls apart. (Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, passed in the Assembly of Virginia, 1786. Jefferson was the governor of Virginia at the time.)
William Ellery Channing wrote, “Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man. Appetite knowing no restraint, and poverty and suffering having no solace or hope, man would trample in scorn the restraints of human laws. Virtue, duty, principle would be mocked and scorned as unmeaning sounds. A sordid self-interest would supplant every feeling, and man would become . . . a companion of brutes” (cited by James Hutson in a presentation to the John Courtney Murray Seminar at the American Enterprise Institute, June 6, 2000).
The American philosophy is an indivisible whole, and any compromise in upholding its principles destroys its functionality. The bricks and mortar of this unique American philosophy are detailed in the Declaration of Independence, unanimously approved by the Continental Congress in the late afternoon of July 4, 1776. Defending this Declaration, which came upon the world scene like an unrelenting tide, is our all-sufficient basis for renewal today.
God brings difficulties into our lives to build character and strengthen our faith. Learning the value of prayer is part of the character building process.
- The Importance of Prayer
The importance of prayer is more readily appreciated when we realize that God is in the business of making choices. He makes choices that reflect His power for good in the lives of the faithful. “For I know the thoughts [plans] that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).
- The Privilege of Prayer
- Peace with God and self comes by prayer and repentance, inviting Christ to be Savior and Lord. Christ said of Paul when Paul was saved, “Behold, he prayeth” (Acts 9:11).
- The benefit of prayer compares with the benefit of having oxygen to breathe. We breathe out the poisonous air and breathe in the fresh air. God cannot bless or empower us when we are living in sin. We breathe out the poison by confessing and rejecting any bitterness, anger, judgmentalism, envy, and pride that short circuit our fellowship with God. When these stimulants (emotions) of our old nature are rejected, we become vessels that God can enlighten and form into productive and useful lives.
- Prayer involves partaking of God’s desire to bless and demonstrate His power. What a privilege!
- It is the spirit of prayer, not eloquence, that God sees and understands.
- The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us. Romans 8:16-17 explains, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us. . . . And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
- The Responsibilities of Prayer
- Prayer should be according to God’s will, which involves a change of heart for the person praying, so that he asks for the right thing and is ready to receive God’s answer (1 John 5:14-15).
- Prayer is an expression of devotion and thanksgiving to God. Philippians 4:6 instructs us to “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let [our] requests be made known unto God.”
- Prayer is dependence upon God, not self.
- The Pattern for Prayer Taught by Christ
In Matthew 6:9, Jesus said, “After this manner therefore pray ye.” The three elements of prayer are taken from the model prayer in the following verses, which are a part of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.
- Godward Prayer-Communion.
Matthew 6:9-10 says, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
- Communion is getting close to God!
- Communion is an act of worship and adoration of thanksgiving and submission.
- Communion with God opens the way for petition and intercession.
- Inward Prayer-Petition.
Matthew 6:11 says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Petition is that part of prayer in which we can ask anything.
- Outward Prayer-Intercession.
Matthew 6:12 says, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Intercession involves concern for others. It is letting Christ work through us toward a desirable pattern of events for others (see John 15:7-11).
- The Benefit of a Prayer and Priority List
Have a prayer and priority list that you review daily. Keeping such a list will help you to do quality work and have peace of mind. Psalm 127:1 says, “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
- The Power of Prayer
God’s Word says that there is great power in prayer. James tells us that we must “ask in faith, nothing wavering” (James 1:6). Effective prayer is the product of faith. God allows us to accomplish great things with a small amount of faith (see Matthew 17:20) because He is Almighty, loving, and gracious. After all, it is He Who “works in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13) and Who works “all things . . . together for good, to them that love God . . . to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:28b, 29b).
- Godward Prayer-Communion.
The basis for religion is a deeply held conviction about life’s origin, meaning, and purpose. Some religions are morally good, and some are not.
Dr. Michael Ruse, a leading authority on the philosophy for the soft sciences, wrote: “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is an ideology, a secular religion-a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. . . . Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning and is true of evolution today” (National Post, May 13, 2000).
Religions, then, must be identified as such and then classified in reference to their morality. “The interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts . . . on which all [moral] religions agree, for all forbid us to murder, steal, plunder, or bear false witness and that we [government] should not intermeddle with the particular dogmas in which all religions differ, and which [doctrines] are totally unconnected with morality” (Jefferson’s letter to James Fishback, September 27, 1809).
Several aliases used by atheists to hide their identity are outlined in the Bonus Book For the Family. Secular humanist, progressivist, contemporary liberal, and Darwinist are but a few. After two or three generations of intellectual poverty in the behavioral sciences, students may not even realize that atheism is the source of their intolerance for the moral religions and “One Nation Under God.” When the word secular is said to mean “no religious connection,” its use to describe American government or godless humanism is clearly a misnomer. The belief that drives secular humanist ideology is a deeply held, faith-dependent belief in Darwin’s theory. A government that employs chaplains and has at the conclusion of its Constitution the words “in the year of our Lord,” can hardly be called secular. Those who argue that teaching a secular monopoly view of the world is non-religious and that taxpayer-funded promotions of “In God We Trust” are a violation of the Constitution are wrong on both points. That “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” is in fact a religious principle right out of the Bible. Peaceful relationships and free enterprise cannot prosper without personal responsibility and morality.
Some attitudes projected by secular humanists and contemporary liberals are as follows:
- Elimination of God. Man loses the capacity to make right moral decisions (Romans 1:21, 23, 28).
- Doing away with the truth. The moral value of truth is presented as evil and evil as good (Romans 1:18, 25).
- Deification and empowerment of elitists. Political correctness is advocated to the extreme (Romans 1:23, 28).
- Use of feel-good emotions to justify sin. When nothing can be pronounced as “sin,” the people self-destruct, wondering “Why?” In the end, they justify and even promote moral deviancy.
- Glorification of death. The following are often promoted: suicide, abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and homosexuality (which can produce terminal illness). The glorification of death keeps the masses blind to the fact that death is man’s enemy, and death without Christ ends all hope for salvation from the consequences of sin.
- Theological compromise. Truth does not bend in its governance of events, but compromise in the definition of truth denies the value of truth as man’s friend. Those standing for truth are in the center of a truth-hating storm.
Since Satan’s ascendancy following the rejection of God by Adam we have been confronted by the sin-driven emotions of lust, jealousy, envy, pride, anger, and many more. Sin is the result of man’s separation from God. Sinful behavior and self-destruction are partners.
Delusion reigns in the life of those who do not respect the Creator and Divine Lawgiver. To cut through the deception and conquer harmful emotions within, we must humbly turn our eyes back to God and His Word. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:12-14).
The mercy reflected in the gift that accompanies the new birth in Christ is for all, but some do not accept it. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life [having rejected Christ’s gift of forgiveness] was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).
“Understanding is a wellspring of life . . .” Proverbs 16:22a. As was said of Joseph, it pays to be diligent and honest in the development and use of one’s mind.
Sometimes truth is not immediately apparent, but the truth always prevails. Emotions such as anger, fear, and jealousy are damaging to a person’s physical, psychological, and spiritual life. Medical doctors S. I. McMillen and David Stern deal with this subject in chapter 18 of the book None of These Diseases. “They remind us that there is a vast network of nerves which reaches out from the brain and touches every organ of the body.” Mind upsets can lead to electrical and hormonal and chemistry imbalances. “A mind upset makes the body sick.” (S. I. McMillan and David Stern, None of These Diseases (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2000), 170.)
What an advantage it is to know that decisions based upon emotions cannot be trusted, and that, by the truth of God’s Word and His indwelling Spirit, the counterfeit ways of the world can be seen and rejected! God spoke to His people saying, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11). “For God so loved the world [you and me] that he gave his only begotten Son [to die on the cross in atonement for man’s sin], that whosoever believeth in him [accepts Christ] should not perish, but have everlasting life [be born again spiritually and have fellowship with the God of heaven” (John 3:16).
In the Success chapter of Lasting Success, the previous eleven chapters are brought together in a seven-page, sequential outline.
Truth is the most fundamental moral category in the universe. “The truth shall make you free” from the bondage of self deception and sin (John 8:32).
Truth is regenerational: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:18). Faithful believers are a testimony to God’s grace and power.
Truth transforms: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
To make reliable decisions we need the truth. Satan is continually working to keep the truth from our understanding. His influence can be seen in the godless presuppositions now prominent in public education, the media, and the arts. These presuppositions dramatize the deceptive “feel good” emotions, capturing and exploiting those who hold to them. This dangerous and destructive pattern is not a new one, but has existed since the fall of man recorded in Genesis. “Professing themselves to be wise, they . . . changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever . . . They did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Romans 1:22, 25, 28a).
Walking by Faith
Is faith unrealistic? Far from it. Faith in the living God brings us in touch with reality. Faith is an invisible support system that provides insight and strength to face and overcome visible problems. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
We cannot see God with our eyes, but we can obey His instruction and proceed by faith. Satan’s trick, of course, is to fill us with deceptive emotions generated by our old nature, to destroy our faith and convince us to rely upon the world.
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: That he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith” (Romans 3:25-27, emphasis added).
“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform” (Romans 4:20-21, emphasis added).
Worship is that frame of mind and spirit that flows from an ardent love of and devotion to God. Worship has a strong emotional component. People who are not careful may foolishly focus their feelings for deity in the wrong direction. Even the most talented among us make bad judgments and decisions at times. God is God, and He alone is the source of righteous power. Even if their intentions are right, people who fall into the trap of directing the worship that belongs to God to a talented person or some Bible personality blur their own decision making and create spiritual confusion in their lives. They have become deluded and rejected the most vital component of success: faithfulness to God’s instruction.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).
Spiritual and mental woundedness is a dysfunction that affects a person’s ability to think clearly. It may simply distort his or her ability to see objective reality, or it may be so overwhelming that he or she needs intensive care. Victimization by an injustice is often the cause of woundedness. The loss of a vital part of one’s life—be it love, an individual, or whatever—can be disabling. (Chapters 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, and 10 of Lasting Success detail the nature of woundedness.)
True peace of mind and a feeling of wholeness occur when relationships are spiritually harmonious. Without God’s help, wholeness in this sin-cursed world is impossible. “Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness” (Proverbs 14:13).
Because of the nature of this review, some repetition is required. When an earlier version of The Spirit of Freedom/Definitions and Reality Matter was being blogged, several readers responded and placed new importance on the Article V Convention of the States.
Although an Article V Convention of the States has not been used in the past, having that provision in the Constitution reflects the caliber and foresight of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention back in 1787. A group of states are beginning to unite in order to amend with unmistakable clarity parts of the Constitution and original Amendments that have been twisted by liberal lawyer majorities on the Supreme Court.
Religion and the Founding of the American Republic documents the move away from government tenured (established) academians, clergy and political captains to the biblical concept that the authority to determine policies for churches and governments, including education, resides in ordinary shareholders, the member citizens.
One writer’s description of Christ’s influence throughout history: “Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that have ever marched and all the navies that ever were built, and all of the parliaments that have ever sat, and all the kinds that have ever reigned put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life, Jesus of Nazareth.”
This library is a supplement to the Lasting Success (Quality Decisions, Relationships and Untamed Emotions) handbook.
CBS Market Watch
Business and individual directories for over 1,000 cities.
On this site you can purchase C-SPAN videotapes and products; 7,000 videotapes that have aired during the last months can be browsed or searched in the store.
DaySpring Free E-Cards
DaySpring has a nice selection of free e-cards which may be sent without registering into their system.
The website for the cable station has links to about everything-like many websites, it takes some navigation to fully utilize this resource.
You can find books and other merchandise here for half to a third of what the same thing may cost you elsewhere.
Hallmark Free E-cards
Free e-cards from Hallmark! Send free electronic greeting cards, e-cards and postcards with personalized messages. Cards for all holidays.
This site allows you to check prices on travel arrangements and accommodations.
Find what any community has to offer: businesses, schools, newspapers, etc.
This site offers free driving directions, maps, and satellite images.
Search over 10,000 online.
Orbitz is a joint effort of the major U.S. airlines.
Peace with God and Self
Priceline allows you to choose your own price, then lets you know if your offer has been accepted.
Find stations by location worldwide.
Interactive Marketing gives competitive prices for computers and other products.
The Library of Congress
Everything from books to newspapers, history, and the U.S. Copyright Office.
The New York Public Library
Online resources galore.
The Smithsonian Institution offers a ton of information online and other sites including a link to their History Wired tour of important materials not on display in the museum.
Travelocity checks multiple airlines to show you the best rate they can get you.
The Weather Channel
At this site you can check the weather in any region of the United States or the world.
Telephone directory U.S.A.
Check the price of stocks online at Yahoo!.
Business telephone directory U.S.A.
Capital One Money Markets
Markets & Stocks.
Focus on the Family
Nurturing and Defending Families Worldwide
Action Reference Links
Conservative books at discount prices.
This site includes an encyclopedia, dictionary, thesaurus, and a large collection of works by a variety of authors.
CIA World Factbook
The Central Intelligence Agency’s resource on more than 250 countries, including a huge selection of information about each country.
Low-cost contracts for immediate download
This site is a multi-media encyclopedia, featuring over 50,000 articles.
The official U.S. government gateway, offering helpful links to various agencies and services of the federal government.
Pictures (eg., George Washington, maps, etc.)
You will find links here to statistics from over 100 federal agencies.
The Mayo Clinic’s website offers a wealth of information on health issues.
This site offers extensive resources for Bible study and devotional nature.
Satellite imagery, local and worldwide.
Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
This site provides a solid introduction to apologetics, and is particularly useful for information about various cult groups.
Covenant Media Foundation
Apologetics information from a Christian perspective.
The Academy of Christian Apologetics
This site, representing a defunct educational institution, features a host of articles on Christian philosophy and apologetics.
The Center for Reformed Theology & Apologetics
A Calvinistic website offering apologetics resources from a strict Westminster perspective.
Christian Education Resources
Faith Baptist Theological Seminary
Through this website you can download excellent articles dealing with contemporary theological issues. Using their homepage search, go to seminary, then choose Faith Pulpit.
This college in Hillsdale, MI, offers liberal arts education from a politically conservative perspective.
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL, is a conservative school where many Christian academics pursue their studies. TEDS is one of the largest seminaries in the world, and their site has helpful features for Biblical studies.
Westminster Theological Seminary
Westminster Theological Seminary, Glenside, PA, is a conservative Reformed institution. WTS sponsors a complete Bible program on the web.
Christian Life & Thinking
Bible Believer’s Resource Page
The Fundamental Evangelistic Association (Los Osos, CA) offers extensive articles and links on many subjects from the Bible-based Christian perspective.
Bill of Rights–The Bible Perspective
Prominence, heritage, wealth, religion or education do not entitle one person or an elitist class to have control above others. This biblical concept for government, adopted by some Baptists, is a principal emphasis in the American Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights which greatly restrict the use of government power. Baptists of the Danbury (Connecticut) Association are credited by historians for advocating a strong Bill of Rights addition to the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson who corresponded with the Baptists did NOT advocate that the influence of biblical principals of right and wrong be separated from public policy. To the contrary, independent churches, unfettered by state-sactioned elites of any kind, tend to bolster the moral character of citizens. GOVERNMENT IS NOTHING MORE THAN A REFLECTION OF ITS CITIZENS–THE MORE DECENT THE CITIZENS, THE MORE DECENT THE GOVERNMENT.
Christian Answers Network
This site is a good resource for those who have questions about the Bible and Christianity. The large database from an evangelical Christian perspective dealing with contemporary issues.
Church/State Wall of Separation
A tragic lesson occurred in medieval Europe and later when the Roman Catholic hierarchy also became rulers of the government. Power corrupts–authority held by any group other than the people themselves who are free to choose in matters of worship and education and are free to elect or reject candidates for public office is tyranny by definition.
Crosswalk Bible Gateway
Crosswalk’s Bible portal features a variety of Bible translations, dictionaries, commentaries, and many other resources for Bible study and Christian living.
Desiring God Ministries
DGM is the resource branch of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and exists to proclaim that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. The site has an extensive collection of articles on many areas of Christian living.
Four Spiritual Laws
Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws which govern our relationship with God.
The McKenzie Study Center
The MSC is an institute of Gutenberg College; their site is chock full of articles that will spur you toward thinking and living in a uniquely Christian way. MSC’s goal is to help Christians learn to study the Bible, study and explain the biblical gospel, and explore and promote a Christian worldview.
For a personal success outline, see the “Plan To Be Spiritual” article under the “Download Items Free” tab on the home page menu bar, the fourth article down.
When you have read the last three chapters of the Bonus Book in the Lasting Success volume, you will realize why these sites are in this Links Library.
From the Touro Law Center
I have not examined this closely but it includes an 11th grade U.S. history and government syllabus.
Christian Law Association
Legal alerts and publications.
The product of the Constitution of the United States of America.
Helpful essays dealing with education law, tenure problems, academic freedom, university accreditation, etc.
Review of Landmark Supreme Court Cases
This is a good resource from Supreme Court Historical Society.
Supreme Court and Our Constitution
Here we have an in-depth overview from Constitutional perspective provided by the Constitution Society.
The Cato Institute
A libertarian think-tank devoted to critiquing public policy.
The Federalist Society
This site is run by conservatives and libertarians and confronts contemporary issues from a historic, literal construction of the U.S. Constitution.
David Barton’s site which an excellent resource for information about America’s Founding Fathers and the traditional American worldview.
Answers in Genesis
This site, the online ministry of Answers in Genesis Ministries, offers resources on creation science from a conservative Christian perspective.
Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center
An organization and website dedicated to promoting a better understanding of the creation-evolution issue among parents, students, educators, and church fellowships.
Intelligent Design Network
Information about the Intelligent Design movement, now growing in the United States.
Institute for Creation Research
This is the website established by Dr. Henry Morris and ICR team. They are doing an excellent job as scientists in documenting the superiority of literal creationism. Do not hesitate to contact them for helpful information.
Genealogical Research Free Sites
Contains over 150 categories and almost 175,000 links, making it the most comprehensive genealogical site for family histories on the internet.
Family Research LDS
Contains Social Security Death Index and the 1880 U.S. Census and 1881 Canadian Census. Also accesses a multitude of “Reference Documents” and “Research Outlines.”.
Review the family tree of a celebrity, or make your own with the resources available at this website.
This site claims to be the oldest and largest free genealogical web resource. It contains millions of names and genealogies along with a research tutorial.
Gateway to geneological sites for every state and all 3,125 counties in the U.S.
Start your family tree for free.
U.S. and world history from a British perspective, this site features diverse resources on a variety of historical subjects from ancient times to today.
Hall of Church History
A site with the title “Theology from a Bunch of Dead Guys.” This is the site of Phil Johnson, executive director of John MacArthur’s ministry. This site deals with the history of evangelical Christianity.
The History Channel
The History Channel’s site features multimedia resources for all kinds of historical studies, including a “This Day in History” feature.
The History Place
For students and educators who enjoy history.
Christian Classics Ethereal Library
This site is an effort currently supported by Calvin College; previously the project was supported the University of Pittsburgh. The CCEL is a vast library of public domain texts relevant to evangelical Christianity. Among many significant works, the early church fathers are available here for free.
Nearly 700 books and 998 short stories by over 200 authors. All documents are full text and public domain.
Electronic Text Center
This University of Virginia site features approximately 70,000 on- and off-line humanities texts in thirteen languages, with more than 350,000 related images.
This site is a vast collection of medieval texts.
Primary Texts: Philosophy & Theology
Georgetown University’s online database of primary texts. Authors include Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and Plato.
Primary Texts: The Reformation
Original texts of the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. Authors include Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and Melanchthon.
This site is a source of free materials. There are some 6,000 e-books.
The Internet Classics Archive
M.I.T.’s compendium of literary classics, especially from ancient texts.
BBC News World Edition
This is the British Broadcasting Company’s site; news often offered with a different flare than we hear in the United States. BBC is recognized as a source for world news.
Television and radio news plus historical links.
This site is often the first place to find important news. Drudge is linked to various news sources around the world. Drudge reports news the mainstream media people tend to ignore.
News and views from a balanced ideological perspective.
A new delivery from Google, this site is quite simply the only place where you can search and browse over 4,000 continuously updated news sources.
Mission Network News
MNN offers a quality presentation of current events in evangelical Christian missions.
This link covers thousands of newspapers world-over by region.
The official website of the voice people all over the United States have trusted for news since 1951.
The Jerusalem Post
If you believe that Israel has eschatological importance or are interested in a frontline source of news from the Middle East, this is a place to start.
The Wall Street Journal Online
Business and other news from around the world.
The Washington Times
News and commentary from a conservative perspective.
This page features links to all Yahoo! news headlines.
Zogby International is a premier polling and research institution and offers interesting news and articles online.
Business Week Online
Business news from a usually reliable source.
A well-written magazine focusing mainly on American business, but also touching on culture.
The Claremont Institute
Politics and culture from the perspective of America’s founding.
A Christian weekly current events magazine, World has been aptly referred to as the Christian Time magazine.
Conservative initiatives at their root.
Foundation for Economic Education
A website promoting laissez faire economics.
A think-tank at Stanford University founded by Herbert Hoover and dedicated to freedom in America.
Conservative views of our day.
U.S. House of Representatives
Name, address, party, and mailing labels.
Name, address, party, and mailing labels.
Name, address, party, and mailing labels.
The Heritage Foundation
A conservative public policy think-tank dedicated to limited government and individual freedom.
This is one search engine that searches multiple engines simultaneously. This feature can be helpful at times, but inefficient at other times.
Quite simply the best search engine around, this site offers searches for texts, images, and news.
This search engine links to many other seearch engines.