Thanksgiving Proclamations

American Minute with Bill Federer

Thanksgiving Proclamations: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Roosevelt, & more –

During the days of America’s founding, colonies would declare:
  • days of prayer when times were bad;
  • days of fasting when times were real bad; and
  • days of thanksgiving when things turned around.

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Devotional Thought for Today – 11/25/2020

10+ Dietrich Bonhoeffer ideas | bonhoeffer, dietrich bonhoeffer, dietrich

What led Dietrich Bonhoeffer to prison and writing about “stupid people?” The story begins back in 1933 with the rise of the Nazi party beginning back in 1930 and culminating with Hitler becoming supreme ruler in 1934.  By 1937 all pretense of civility in government had vanished (government officials decided they could better “handle the affairs of the people, sound familiar) and clergy like Bonhoeffer were told to get on board with the Nazi party platform or else.  Bonhoeffer chose the or else and in 1945 was executed.


PSALM 58

A Psalm of Judgment or of Vengeance? 


CONTEXT: 

In response to the Nazi party arresting key church leaders in 1937 Bonhoeffer preached a sermon on Psalm 58 immediately following their arrests. One fact I found interesting was Bonhoeffer a Lutheran pastor did not have Psalm 58 in his Lutheran book of liturgy as it was considered a Psalm of Vengeance and therefore something not to be recited and considered.  

Bonhoeffer was never one to be deterred and ever mindful of the event and evil around him chose Psalm 58 to call upon God not for hateful Vengeance but Righteous Judgement. He made clear that the Psalm calls us to leave vengeance in the hands of God. This he did at Calvary, and Righteous Judgement which is all we can ask for those that oppress us  is God’s work, not ours. Bonhoeffer made this clear for his own church under Nazi oppression:

 

It would mean much if we would learn that we must earnestly pray to God in such distress and that whoever entrusts revenge to God dismisses any thought of ever taking revenge himself. Whoever does take revenge himself still does not know whom he is up against and still wants to take charge of the cause by himself. But whoever leaves revenge in God’s hands alone has become willing to suffer and bear it patiently-without vengeance, without a thought of one’s own revenge, without hate and without protest; such a person is meek, peaceable, and loves his enemies. God’s cause has become more important to him than his own sufferings. He knows God will win the victory in the end. “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord, I will retaliate” (Deut. 32:35)-and he will retaliate. But we are free from vengeance and retribution. Only the person who is totally free of his own desire for revenge and free of hate and who is sure not to use his prayers to satisfy his own lust for revenge-only such a person can pray with a pure heart: ‘Shatter the fangs of the young lions, O Lord, break the teeth in their mouth’.

What a prayer what a blessing to be able to stand before God some day and have Him declare  My cause was more important to you than your own sufferings.  How are you handling adversity today? 


Bonhoeffer’s Sermon on Psalm 58¹

In his sermon on Psalm 58, Bonhoeffer comments that this particular “psalm of vengeance is the prayer of the innocent.”33  Who are the innocent?  Following his strict view of prayer, Bonhoeffer answers this question: “we sinners do not pray this psalm of vengeance, innocence alone prays with this psalm.”34  What, or whom, is this “innocence alone”?  Bonhoeffer reasons that the “innocence of Christ steps before the world and accuses it.  And when Christ accuses the world of sin, are we not ourselves also among the accused?”35  We find answers to these questions in Bonhoeffer’s verse-by-verse commentary of Psalm 58.

          Psalm 58:1 – “Are you then dumb, that you will not speak what is right, and judge the children of men with equity?”  Bonhoeffer focuses upon the word, “children,” and equates the meaning of children in this verse with “the poor and afflicted.”  He does not perform a logic of substitution; he thinks that the verse means children, but it also involves “the poor and afflicted.”  He understands the lack of “equity” as forms of injustice, and all forms of injustice lead to (what he calls) “an evil time.”  In this “evil time,” the unjust remain silent in the face of their own inequities/injustices.  Because the children – the poor and afflicted – are children of God, then God becomes vengeful toward the unjust.36

          Psalm 58:2 – “No; you devise evil in your hearts, and your hands deal out violence in the land.”  Bonhoeffer argues that political authorities tend toward silence concerning injustice while simultaneously continuing acts of violence.  While the rest of us blame political authorities for this problem, all of us are at fault because we continue in our sinful human nature.  The innocence of Christ means that all of us stand under God’s judgment.37

          Psalm 58:3 – “The wicked are perverse from the womb; liars go astray from their birth.”  Bonhoeffer contrasts “the wicked” from the category of innocence, and he explains how innocence responds to “the wicked.”  He claims that only innocence grasps the dark mysteries of the world; only innocence understands how Satan takes hold of human beings in the womb, even before our births; and in “this abyss of understanding,” innocence alone “achieves perfect peace.”  Bonhoeffer’s interpretive strategy for this verse involves making his own contrast between the innocent and the wicked and then commenting upon what innocence achieves and accomplishes in relation to the results of the wicked.  There are two ways to take Bonhoeffer’s interpretive strategy.  First, we might make the judgment that Bonhoeffer misinterprets the verse – that he is not careful exegetically – because he comments upon his forced or invented distinction rather than the content and words of the verse.  Alternatively, we might recognize that Bonhoeffer interprets this difficult verse in light of the virtue of hope.  The verse, on its own, welcomes despair.  Bonhoeffer does not counter the content of the verse; rather, for purposes of a Christian sermon, he displays hopefulness in his act of interpretation.38

          Psalm 58:4 & 5 – “They are venomous as a serpent, they are like the deaf adder which stops its ears, which does not heed the voice of the charmer, no matter how skillful his charming.”  Bonhoeffer’s explanation of these two verses is quite simple: he argues that these verses prove that no human craft or skill can defeat the serpent.  The only practice that humans have that works is the act of prayer.  Through prayer, we call upon God “to take vengeance against the enemies.”39

          Psalm 58:6 – “O God, break their teeth in their mouths; pull the fangs of the young lions, O Lord.”  According to Bonhoeffer, once we call upon the vengeance of God, we necessarily renounce our own quest for vengeance.  How do we know that we seek God’s vengeance and not our own vengeance?  Bonhoeffer writes, “the [person] who consigns vengeance to God alone is prepared to suffer and to endure, without a thought of [their] own revenge, without hatred or recrimination.”  This person becomes “gentle in spirit, peaceable, loving the enemy.”40   

          Psalm 58:7-9 – “Let them vanish like water that runs off; let the arrows they aim break into two.  Let them be like the snail that melts away, like stillborn child that sees the sun.  Before they bear fruit, let them be cut down like a brier; like the thorns and thistles let them be swept away.”  How do we know that the vengeance is God’s and not ours?  Our human strategies and weapons will not work in the ways that we craft and plan.  If we do not fight our enemies in the ways that we arrange and desire, then “God’s anger will not allow the plans of his enemies to come to fruition.”  The “wicked will be swept away with force.” The force might be implemented through us, but it will be “God’s punishment.”41  Lastly, it will come about “more quickly than we anticipate” with our own military strategies and weapons.42

          Psalm 58:10 – “The righteous will be glad when they see the vengeance; they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.”  Interpreting this verse invites immoderate celebration in victory (what we call jus post bellum, standards of justice after war), as well as different forms of self-deception concerning justice and righteousness.  Bonhoeffer’s interpretation attempts to hold off both of these temptations.  He writes, “This [verse] concerns God and his righteousness only.  The wicked must die so that God’s righteousness may triumph.  This does not have to do with human friendship and human compassion.  It has to do only with God maintaining the victory.”  At this point in his interpretation, Bonhoeffer turns to a robust Christological reading of Psalm 58: “God’s righteous vengeance on the wicked has already been achieved.  The blood of the wicked has already flowed.  God’s judgment on death upon godless humanity has been spoken.  God’s righteousness is fulfilled on the cross of Christ.”  He continues, “Jesus Christ died the death of the godless; he was stricken by God’s wrath and vengeance.  His blood is the blood which God’s righteousness required for the transgression of his commandments.  God’s vengeance has been carried out in the midst of the earth in a manner more fearful than even this psalm knows about.  Christ, the innocent, died the death of the wicked, so that we need not die.”  Bonhoeffer concludes his interpretation of this verse with the claim: “Christ bore the whole vengeance of God for all.” For Bonhoeffer, a Christological interpretation of this psalm prevents the self-deception of thinking that we are “the righteous” who “will be glad when they see the vengeance.”  All of humanity remain in the category of “the wicked,” and Jesus Christ – “the innocent” – dies for “the wicked.”  While humanity ought to be glad, through gratitude toward the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, our gladness does not come from our own righteousness.  Instead, it comes from the recognition that even in our wickedness, Jesus Christ died for us.43              

          Psalm 58:11 – “And they will say, ‘Surely, there is a reward for the righteous; surely, there is a God who rules in the earth’.”  Bonhoeffer maintains his Christological interpretation of this verse and says that when we find ourselves doubting “God’s righteousness upon [the] earth,” we should “look upon the cross of Christ: [where] there is judgment, there is pardon.”  Bonhoeffer returns to the question of how this psalm becomes a prayer that Christians must declare and recite.  He writes, “Christ prays this psalm as our representative.  He accuses the wicked, he calls down upon them God’s vengeance and his righteousness, and he gives himself for all the wicked in his innocent suffering on the cross.”  He continues, “And now we too pray this psalm with him, in humble thanks that we have been granted deliverance from wrath through the cross of Christ; in the fervent plea that God will bring all of our enemies under the cross of Christ and grant them grace; in the burning desire that the day may soon come in which Christ visibly triumphs over his enemies and establishes his kingdom.  Thus have we learned to pray this psalm.”44  If Christians believe in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross, then they should pray this psalm, and the psalms of vengeance in general.  Our own insecurities and self-deception prevent us from praying these psalms in our liturgies and our prayer books, because these Psalms bluntly and honestly remind us of “who we are,” who Christ is, and what Christ accomplishes for us.45

¹ = THE JOURNAL OF SCRIPTURAL REASONING

The War on Thanksgiving (and other resources)

The War on Thanksgiving

The War on Thanksgiving

Will Americans still be celebrating Thanksgiving 100 years from now?

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival in America. The moment, which deserved wider recognition, was celebrated in an excellent speech by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

“A great American anniversary is upon us,” Cotton said on Nov. 18. “Regrettably, we haven’t heard much about this anniversary of the Mayflower; I suppose the Pilgrims have fallen out of favor in fashionable circles these days. I’d therefore like to take a few minutes to reflect on the Pilgrim story and its living legacy for our nation.”

Cotton delivered a fitting tribute to the Pilgrims and their story of faith and perseverance, which is so intertwined with the Thanksgiving holiday and the values we cherish most.

Perhaps predictably, the speech was attacked by media outlets and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who hurled an ad hominem attack at Cotton on Twitter...

READ MORE 


OTHER RESOURCES AND NEWS:

How to Biblically Defend the Sanctity of Life

How to Biblically Defend the Sanctity of Life

God placed a higher premium on protecting the life of the unborn child and the pregnant mother than protecting the life of anybody else in Israelite society…

READ MORE 

News to Ponder (Various Sources)

 

U.S. Loses $19 Billion in Afghanistan Reconstruction Funds to Fraud, Waste, Abuse

Co-produced by the Unreported Story Society and Tom Fitton’s Judicial Watch, the ObamaGate Movie exposes the Deep State plot to undermine the Trump candidacy and presidency and it reveals the lies behind the fake Russia Collusion narrative.

The ObamaGate movie is a verbatim play that was filmed “Hamilton style” in Los Angeles on the Comedy Central stage at the Hudson Theater. It stars Dean Cain (Superman), Kristy Swanson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), and John James (Dynasty).

The film’s script is unusual in that it is completely verbatim and consists of the text messages, declassified files, congressional and court transcripts, tweets, and statements of top government and FBI officials. And it also features the embarrassing and conspiratorial text messages of “FBI Lovebirds” Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Obamagate also features appearances by James Comey and the Obama CIA Chief James Brennan and their cringeworthy tweets read aloud.

SEE THE MOVIE HERE ON YOUTUBE


7 Big Items on Biden’s White House Agenda

America Can’t Let This Lesson From the 2020 Election Go to Waste

It’s Time to Elect Civility

Election Wins and Losses for Pro-Life Movement

Brands Are Virtue-Signaling Progressive Values to Kids

We Must Have Election Results We Can Trust

Heritage Experts Give a Rundown of Legal Battles Across the Country

What Lies Ahead for America?


The Coming Purge if Trump Loses

The True Deplorables

‘Cheaters Never Win’?

How Trump’s 1776 Commission Can End America’s Zombie Education Apocalypse

It’s possible that 2020’s election fraud is way bigger than we thought

A liberal journal exposes Fauci


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lashes out at Democratic Party, hints at quitting politics

Georgia sec of state dispatches investigators after ‘issue’ discovered with Fulton County ballots

Brutal new ad uses Chuck Schumer’s own words against him as control of Senate hinges on Georgia runoffs

BLM and anarchist groups call to ‘burn it down,’ berate Biden supporters: ‘You are a bunch of fools!’


Conservative Freedom Network

Michelle Obama Demonizes 70 Million Americans Who Voted Trump

Dismantling Democratic Socialism

Dem Rep. Cleaver: If We Want To Prevent A Split In The Country

A Vengeful Jennifer Rubin

Living the Authentic Christian Life

Living the Authentic Christian Life

On October 12, 2020,  Stand in the Gap Today hosts Isaac Crockett and Sam Rohrer interviewed Shane Pruitt, Director of National Next Generation Evangelism for the North American Mission Board. Shane shared a number of Christian clichés that hinder the gospel witness for Generation Z

      • What level of understanding does Generation Z have concerning Jesus?
      • What are the Dangers of False Christian Theology?
      • What are the differences between Generation Z and Millennials?
      • What is Generation Z searching for?

LISTEN to the entire program HERE!

READ the transcript HERE!

5 Questions about Homosexuality

5 Questions about Homosexuality

Kevin DeYoung

Q. If the Bible says so little about homosexuality, why do Christians insist on talking about it so much?

A. – The reason the Bible says comparatively little about homosexuality is because it was a comparatively uncontroversial sin among ancient Jews and Christians…

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This Week’s Colson Center Breakpoint Recap

Breakpoint Logo

A Quote From Break Point This Week:

“An Originalist doesn’t at all mean that the current situation on the ground doesn’t matter. The idea that someone could tell you, ‘Here’s how I’m going to rule on any case having to do with the ACA…is to miss what’s there. There’s a sort of judicial care from Judge Barrett ” ~John Stonestreet~ 

What We Learned From the Amy Coney Barrett Hearings
Teacher Anxious on Preferred Pronoun Mandate Asks Shane and John for Advice
So-Called “Virginia Values Act” Undermines Religious Freedom

 

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/17/2020

I lay down this maxime of Divinity; Tyranny being a work of Satan, is not from God, because sin either habitul or actual, is not from God; the power that is, must be from God; the Magistrate as Magistrate, is good, in nature of office, and the intrinsically end of his office, Rom. 13:4. for he is the Minister of God for thy good; and therefore a power ethical, politic, or moral, to oppress, is not from God, and is not a power, but a licentious deviation of a power, and is no more from God, but from sinful nature, and the old serpent, then a license to sinne. Samuel Rutherford, Lex, Rex, or the Law and the Prince (1644), emphases added. Lex, Rex, or the Law and the Prince is available on the Puritan Hard Drive.

Governments have long oppressed religious freedoms.  The USA was supposed to be a safe haven for all religions (with the caveat that they did not break the laws of the land, human sacrifice and the like) but many have been oppressed.  So how can a “Christian” support the government? 

Jesus had an answer: 

Does not Christ confirm the lawful authority of the beast of Rome when He says, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Mt. 22:21)? 

Answer: This question was proposed by the enemies of Christ (the Pharisees and the Herodians) in order to “entangle him” (Mt. 22:15). If Christ were to answer, “Render the tribute to Caesar”, the Pharisees (who strongly opposed Roman complicity) would have slandered Christ as a Roman sympathizer. However, if Christ were to answer, “Render not the tribute to Caesar”, the Herodians (who strongly supported Roman alliances) would have slandered him as being an avowed enemy to Caesar. But the Lord Jesus “perceived their wickedness” and essentially gave them a non-answer to their question. Since it was not an honest question, Christ did not play into their trap by answering their question. In fact, “they could not take hold of his words before the people” (Lk. 20:26). Even they could not clearly understand what He had said about the issue of paying tribute to Caesar. Thus, if the enemies of Christ couldn’t pin Him to an answer one way or the other (though they would have loved to), neither can any one living today conclude whether Christ condemned paying tribute to Caesar or commended it from His answer. Such evasion to entrapment was used by Christ on other occasions as well (cf. Mk. 11:27-33; Jn. 8:1-11). Even if Christ did endorse the paying of tribute to Caesar, that is not an oath of allegiance paid to Caesar, nor a declaration concerning the lawfulness of Caesar’s authority. For tribute exacted by an unlawful government is simply extortion required by a thief who threatens to take all your property if you don’t pay him part of your property. Furthermore, even foreigners and aliens pay taxes to nations in which they work without declaring any allegiance to the civil government of that nation. Thus, the payment of taxes is not an oath of allegiance.

– Greg Price, Biblical Civil Government Versus the Beast and the Basis for Christian Resistance (emphases added).


 Jesus makes it clear that our duty is to God, but we also have a responsibility to the government God has appointed over us. Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God [granted by His permission and sanction], and those which exist have been put in place by God. Romans 13:1

I encourage you to read our Sunday’s Sermon Series – Civil Government by using the search box. 


Other Resources:

The things that are God’s

What did Jesus mean when He said, “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s”?

Devotional Thought for Today – 10/16/2020

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 2 Peter 2:9 (KJV) 

Good Vs Evil Painting - St. Michael Killing the Dragon  by Josse Lieferinxe
St. Michael killing the Dragon is a famous oil painting, originally by Belgian artist Josse Lieferinxe in 1505, with the style of early netherlandish.

There is so much controversy surrounding the 2020 US Elections. Both sides calling each others liars and for the most part social media sharing FALSE RUMORS and innuendo making themself look stupid.  

Here in Chapter 2 the Apostle Peter has dedicated an entire section of his second epistle to this subject, False Prophets and Teachers.  I am not going to venture down the end times road that many demand Peter is directly implying here. What I believe is MOST significant is the CLEAR WARNING against fellowship with those who preach, teach or otherwise share a false Gospel.  If the bible does not clearly spell it out as in favor seek wise counsel and deep prayer. If the bible is against it so must you be. If you are listening to MAN you are wrong. 

Finally in the end when you encounter these fancy talking folks, that seem to be saying all the right things I also believe is implied is the duty of all “Christians” not to listen and share the what these false teachers say. We are not to be swayed, v.2, by their eloquent tongues. Instead as in Acts 17:11 be a Berean and be a fact checker. For in the end God will deal justly with them.

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.”–Heb. xi. 6. In order to prevent the possibility of being led into paths of error, faith is directed, not to a Christ of the imagination, but to “the Christ in the garments of the Sacred Scripture,” as Calvin expresses it. And therefore we must discriminate between (1) faith as a faculty implanted in the soul without our knowledge; (2) faith as a power whereby this implanted faculty begins to act; and (3) faith as a result,–since with this faith (1)…  Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit