Precious Is the Death of His Saints

On Saturday, September 22, 2018, at the age of 92, my mother, Arlene Peck, went home to heaven to be with her Lord and Savior and all the saints, including numerous family members, who have gone on before.

About a month before Mom went home to heaven, when she had lost her appetite and mostly quit eating (except for ice cream that is), the phrase “precious is the death of His saints” kept coming to me (I realize that’s not an exact quote of the scripture, but it’s what was in my head). Knowing that I was facing the final chapter in this story and that my mind was not fully grasping how to deal with the sense of impending loss, or the appearance of death winning, I went aside to pray and seek God. As I prayed, I found myself asking the Lord for His perspective on the matter, that is, how He sees it and/or wants me to see it.

However, before I discuss the answer that God gave me, I need to share my mother’s story. Yes, my mother was kind, good, and respected by all who knew her, but I want everyone to know what went into making the person they knew and loved. Continue reading “Precious Is the Death of His Saints”

Is the Lord Building This House or Is It Just Us Laboring in Vain?

When the Constitutional Convention of 1787 found itself in gridlock, Benjamin Franklin urged his fellow delegates that daily prayers should be made “imploring the assistance of Heaven.” Franklin observed that:

We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.[Psalm 127:1] I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel . . .

The popularity of such religious sentiment may have waned in recent years, but the truth of God’s word, and the veracity of Mr. Franklin’s statement, remain unchanged. Labor expended on any house that is not of the Lord’s building is wasted effort that will not produce the desired results. Continue reading “Is the Lord Building This House or Is It Just Us Laboring in Vain?”

What Has the Supreme Court Done for Conservatives?

A review of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case and the performance of the Republican majority court.

I’m not a negative nitpicker determined to find fault, but I am committed to putting things in proper perspective, comparing them to fixed, objective standards and timeless truths. That includes giving an honest assessment of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case recently decided by the U. S. Supreme Court, and of the performance of the court in general.

Though the court found in favor of the side that the Christian right had hoped for, it did so in a manner that was not actually a victory for religious liberty and freedom of conscience. In fact, the decision actually serves to cement the idea that homosexuals have a “right” to be served by individuals and businesses, even when providing those services violates the personal convictions of the service provider. Continue reading “What Has the Supreme Court Done for Conservatives?”

Perspective on Syria: The War, the Weapons, the Players, the Principles, the Christian Response

Though the bombs have already fallen and the U.S. response to the April 7 alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government seems to be behind us, the Syrian civil war is far from over, and so is America’s involvement in that far away and little-understood corner of the world.

Unfortunately, most Americans know very little about the real nature of the Syrian civil war, its history, its scope, or the players involved. Worse yet, almost no one is discussing the proper application of the rule of law or the moral principles that should be considered before interjecting ourselves into another country’s internal affairs. Most of us only know what can be learned from the sound bites served up by the six o’clock news or the party line being proffered by our favorite pundits.

Given that the Syrian civil war is ongoing, that the U.S. has troops on the ground, and the deep state political establishment seems to have long-term plans for that country and region, we would do well to get ourselves apprised of the facts, the history, and the players involved, then consider the sound principles that can guide us to a wise, lawful, and moral course of action. Continue reading “Perspective on Syria: The War, the Weapons, the Players, the Principles, the Christian Response”

If Trump Is King Cyrus, Then What Does it Say About the American Church

During the 2016 Presidential election, a number of Christian personalities began making a comparison between the ancient Persian King, Cyrus, a heathen king who God used to release the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, and Donald Trump as a potential modern-day deliverer of American Christians. It seems that idea is still in vogue, at least in some circles.

I recently read an article about Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, likening President Trump to King Cyrus. That article referenced another article and both referenced various Christian personalities who are all keeping the Cyrus appellation alive. I’m not claiming special prophetic revelation on the matter like some have intimated, but I do find myself compelled to comment on the applicability and significance of drawing a parallel between President Trump and King Cyrus. Continue reading “If Trump Is King Cyrus, Then What Does it Say About the American Church”

Putting Mass School Shootings Into Perspective

When a shocking tragedy like the recent Parkland, Florida mass school shooting takes place, the media keeps it in the headlines for days. Television inundates our senses with sights and sounds that reinforce the human emotion of the calamity while the drama is relived in front of our eyes day and night. The media milks an event like this for all the ratings it’s worth, keeping it in the news-cycle for up to a week, or at least until the next natural disaster or political scandal comes along.

Our senses can easily become overwhelmed by the relentless rehearsing of the story and its horrific details, all presented in a manner calculated to elicit an emotional response rather than rational thought. If we’re not alert, and diligent to exercise critical thinking, we can quickly lose perspective and join Chicken Little in believing that the sky really is falling, that mass shootings are sweeping the land, and that if the government doesn’t do something quick, “we’ll all die!”

Mass public shootings (properly called “mass murder,” unless you’re trying to sensationalize a particular aspect of the incident) are indeed a terrible thing that we should be working to prevent. But how much of the American landscape does the phenomenon of mass shootings really take up as opposed to the amount of news headlines it’s given? Continue reading “Putting Mass School Shootings Into Perspective”

Does the Constitution Party Want to Establish a Theocracy?

This is not just a Constitution Party issue
but a question everyone needs to answer

A question, and sometimes accusation, that we in the Constitution Party are often confronted with is whether the party wants to establish a theocracy. The answer to the question depends on whose definition of “theocracy” you’re using.

The word theocracy originates from the Greek θεοκρατία meaning, “the rule of God.” So, if you’re asking whether the Constitution Party wants our nation to be subject to the rule of God, then the answer is “yes.” As in the pledge of allegiance, we want to be one nation “under God,” not a nation out from under God, or a nation in rebellion against God, but a nation in submission under the Creator and His revealed will for the governing of the civil societies of His creation, which will includes the restraining of evil, preservation of the moral order, justice, and the protection of individual, God-given rights.

However, when people accuse the Constitution Party of wanting to establish a theocracy, most of the time they are talking about the idea of the organized church directly running the institutions of civil government, or government passing laws that require specific religious practice or observance. If this is your definition of a theocracy, then the Constitution Party strongly opposes it. Continue reading “Does the Constitution Party Want to Establish a Theocracy?”

Why Did the Dow Hit 25,000?

A few days ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 25,000, setting a new all-time record high for the U.S. stock market. As they are wont to do, the experts are speculating and opining as to what it all means. Some think this is good news, some think it’s bad, some believe it can continue, some believe it’s the boom before the bust.

Does the Dow’s breaking the 25,000 barrier really mean the economy is better than it’s ever been? Does it mean we’re all richer now? Was the market stagnated until Trump came along and breathed life into it, causing us to ascend to new heights of economic ecstasy? Or, could it be that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and that the Dow reaching 15,000, then 20,000, and now 25,000 was inevitable?

Most conservatives will no doubt revel in the current upward trend, taking it as token evidence that Trump and the Republicans are the saviors of the American way of life, single-handedly rescuing the economy from the financial doldrums imposed by eight years of Democrat rule. However, I have a different perspective. Continue reading “Why Did the Dow Hit 25,000?”

Scandal and Allegation: Is It News or Just Gossip?

Sex scandals and harassment allegations seem to be all the rage these days. From the accusations made against Roy Moore to the misadventures of news anchor Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein before them, and now Senator Al Franken and a host of others, America seems to be awash with salacious allegations against public figures of every kind.

The idea of the media trying people in the so-called court of public opinion is nothing new. The media has long enjoyed playing the roles of prosecutor, judge, jury, and sometimes the executioner that ends political careers. But is every scandal and allegation really news, or is it just gossip at best, slander at worst, and generally a distraction from the weightier matters that we should be paying attention to?

Perhaps we should first ask the question, “what is news?” I have long contended that real news should be defined as “actionable intelligence,” that is to say, factual information about the affairs of our society, and the greater world around us, presented in a manner that enables us to correctly understand, and intelligently interact with, both our society and the world at large. Continue reading “Scandal and Allegation: Is It News or Just Gossip?”

Are We Hearing Each Other?

I’ve recently taken increased notice of fellow believers publicly condemning so-called “prosperity preachers” and those in the “faith movement.” I agree with the basis for much of the criticism, that is to say, I agree that materialism and the love of money is indeed wrong; that the pulpit should not be used for financial profit; that the gospel should not be treated as a get rich quick scheme; that God should not be disrespectfully used as a giant vending machine in the sky; and I agree that some Christians have become more focused on the riches and comforts of this world than on the things of God and His kingdom, though that phenomenon is not limited to adherents of the prosperity message.

I have also taken notice that some of the very ministers that I have heard called out and condemned as being “prosperity preachers,” are themselves preaching against materialistic lusts, misplaced spiritual priorities, and abuses of the prosperity message. A perfect example of this is the quote at the beginning of this article which stands in direct contrast to what is generally attributed to prosperity preachers. Yet, that quote was actually taken from an article by a quintessential prosperity preacher – someone at the very center of the word of faith movement. Continue reading “Are We Hearing Each Other?”