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Jan
26

Did You Know?

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DID YOU KNOW? By David Barton / Commentary By Daniel Tostenson
Though from the beginning of its inception America and its leaders have been tolerant of other faiths and religions than that of Christianity, it does not negate or alter the fact that America was founded by Christians, on Christian principles…
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Did You Know? Commentary By Daniel Tostenson
 


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Jan
26

What Changed?

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WHAT CHANGED? By Daniel Tostenson
How did we get here, to this prestigious position among the nations of our world? The answers to our present position lie most definitely in the uniqueness of our past. And what a truly unique heritage we have, a heritage that is forever a part of our recorded history… 
 
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What Changed? By Daniel Tostenson
 
 

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We enjoy tremendous freedoms in this great country of ours that are guaranteed for us as certain “unalienable rights” (That our founding fathers seemed to believe were given to us by our Creator, I might add).  We are free to think, believe and speak out what we believe with very few restrictions.  For example, one can believe in God or some form of spirituality or not believe in God or have any religious moorings at all.  However, in recent years there has been alot of activity from aggressive atheist groups attacking public religious expressions, specifically that of Christianity.  They have had success in restricting the free public expression of the Christian faith in a country that was founded on a Judeo/Christian philosophy.  This ought not to be in a nation whose history is replete with evidence in support of this fact.  Yet, ‘tis the season for increased attack, I suppose, as we approach Christmas with its nativity scenes, religious yule-tide carols and greetings of “Merry Christmas,” all of which have caused great “offense” and “emotional pain” for those who are forced to endure such affronts to their intellectual bastions of reason and humanistic sensibilities!

Since they seem to think that their mission is to rid the world of the “myth” of religion and to set everyone free from the shackles of myths and fables and everything that resides outside of their understood realm of intellectual reason. I have felt it necessary to briefly explore  the evidential basis for their “belief system” to determine whether the foundation upon which they stand is as sound and superior as they espouse.

At this point I interject a quote from the Bible speaking of those who do not believe in God.   Psalm 53:1 states, “The FOOL has said in his heart, ‘There is NO God’…”

So, the debate, then, centers on the main question of which camp has the stronger authoritative/evidential basis supporting its philosophical worldview , or more specifically as the Bible puts it, who really is the fool?

Stay tuned for Part II….

 

 

 

 

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Dec
11

A MANHATTAN DECLARATION BLOG

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MUST READ: MY GAY ROOMMATE

When it comes to policy, God’s purpose for each human life is not an argument that yields great results in the public square. www.patheos.com

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Dec
02

Video Archives

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First of all we have to ask, is Christianity a part of our nation’s historical development and identity? If yes, then we must follow up with the question…to what extent?

In 1892 the United States Supreme Court, in the case of the Church of Holy Trinity v. United States, made this statement in their ruling: “No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people…this is a Christian nation.”

In 1854, the U.S. Congress declared: “Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle”.

The 1811 Supreme Court of New York case, The People v.Ruggles, it was declared,”We are a Christian people and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity and NOT UPON THE DOCTRINES of those imposters [other religions]…We are people whose manners…and whose morals have been elevated and inspired by means of the Christian religion.”

As David Barton puts it, “America granted broad religious toleration to other religions not in spite of, but because of Christian beliefs.” No where else in the world is there such tremendous freedom of religion… so established and protected upon the bedrock of Christian truth.

It seems obvious that America is founded upon the “bedrock of Christian truth,” and that all Americans, be they Christian, Muslim, Budhist, Atheist or another, should join in a chorus of “God bless America” for the tremendous freedoms we enjoy because we are founded on such a bedrock of individual liberty and freedom.

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[The following excerpt is taken from an article covering a speech made by PM David Cameron of Great Britain in 2011. In the speech Cameron stated that Great Britain is in essence a Christian nation. See the entire speech at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16224394]
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In a speech in Oxford on the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, the prime minister called for a revival of traditional Christian values to counter Britain’s “moral collapse”…The PM said it was wrong to suggest that standing up for Christianity was “somehow doing down other faiths”…
Mr Cameron also said it was “easier for people to believe and practice other faiths when Britain has confidence in its Christian identity”.
“Many people tell me it is much easier to be Jewish or Muslim here in Britain than it is in a secular country like France,” he said.
“Why? Because the tolerance that Christianity demands of our society provides greater space for other religious faiths too.”

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This is EXACTLY why we need to make the same distinction again regarding Christianity in this nation. Our moral goodness and greatness is at stake. And for the sake of freedom and liberty for all creeds and faiths, we MUST hold to our historical Christian roots as the prevailing philosophy upon which has been established our spiritual and moral foundation.

Daniel Tostenson
The Clapham Society

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(A Thanksgiving Message from the Clapham Society)

What does the Thanksgiving Holiday say about America? First, let’s take a look at some Thanksgiving references from our history.

*One of the earliest traditional references is that of the Thanksgiving observance that occurred in the autumn of 1621 by a gathering of Pilgrims and their Indian friends. They came together after enduring many hardships in the new world to give thanks to Almighty God for His help in bringing them through and granting a bountiful harvest.

*In 1789, with the full consent of Congress, George Washington became the first President to proclaim a national day of Thanksgiving, marking November 26th “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.” It is of interest to note that America’s first national Thanksgiving occurred with the commencement of the federal government. It was the first act after the Framers completed the framing of the Bill of Rights (From Wallbuilders).

*In 1863, in a speech written by Secretary of State William Seward, President Abraham Lincoln declared that the fourth Thursday of every November thereafter would be considered an official U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving:

[Excerpt from speech] “No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.”

*In 1941, following the tradition set forth by President Abraham Lincoln, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

So, what do these references say About America? That America, from its beginning, has time and time again established and confirmed its acknowledgement of Almighty God as the Author of life and blessing, particularly so in His establishing of, and ongoing work within, the borders of this great land and with the daily lives and activities of the several generations of its people. That, regardless of the individual creeds of its varied citizenship, America has consistently made public declarations of its fealty to Almighty God and His Truth. The Thanksgiving Holiday by God’s Sovereign Hand has been officially put in place as an annual reminder of who we are, or at least have been, as a Nation. A solemn note: One source I looked up regarding Thanksgiving made this statement: “Historically, Thanksgiving had roots in religious and cultural tradition. Today, Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated as a secular holiday.” This is an indictment against our society. For logic has to incredulously ask, how can “Thanksgiving” be secular? And whether it is so recognized or not, every American who celebrates Thanksgiving is agreeing with this proclamation of truth and bearing of its responsibility.

I close with a story of God’s response to a humble and praying people from the earlier years of the Pilgrims:

“In 1623 the Pilgrims were experiencing an extended and prolonged drought. Governor William Bradford called the Pilgrims to a time of prayer and fasting to seek God’s direct intervention. Significantly, shortly after that time of prayer-and to the great amazement of the Indians who witnessed the scene-clouds appeared in the sky and a gentle and steady rain began to fall (from Wallbuilders).”

During this Thanksgiving season, may we again remember from whence our help and blessings come and turn to the One who will hear the cries of those who seek Him and will answer them.

From Clapham, Happy Thanksgiving everyone…and may God bless America and its people as we again turn to Him in humility and gratefulness!

Daniel Tostenson
The Clapham Society

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Nov
17

Religious or Secular America?

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Is America’s philosophical socio/political structure founded on religious principles or secularism?  As Timothy Cardinal Dolan referenced in an interview with Bill O’Reilly not too long ago, if the spiritual/moral environment is no longer built upon a religious or, more specifically, a Judeo/Christian philosophy, a void is created that others are more than willing to fill.  The question is if just such a dramatic change occurs will it be an America that is still a land of opportunity and freedom for all?

If such a void occurs, can secularism really provide a support for freedom, liberty and greatness?  How about an Islamic philosophy under-girding our socio/political foundations?  Can either of these, or any other, provide a seedbed for liberty and freedom for all?

Another way to state it may be thus:  If America is found to be historically unique, in that evidence does show it to have a Judeo/Christian spiritual and moral foundation dating back to its earliest formation, and we can connect America’s unique position in history (along with all of its desirable character traits which have drawn so many to its shores and boundaries) to such a foundation, ought we not to do all we can to hold to that which seems to be the common denominator for its greatness among nations?

Remember the quote of French writer Alexis de Tocqueville, after visiting America from France:

“I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields and boundless forests…and it was not there.

I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning–and it was not there.  I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution…and it was not there.

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.  America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!”

Another question then could be if America is great because of this, should not secularists and Muslims and “non-believers” of all persuasions be extremely thankful to “Someone” for all the tremendous freedoms they enjoy like nowhere else on earth?

Maybe Christianity is the true seedbed and foundation by which is provided the potential for actualizing true equality, liberty and freedom for all…American history certainly seems to prove it so!

 

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In spite of the facts found throughout our nation’s history, including declarations by both the Supreme Court and Congress stating that America’s identity spiritually and morally is centered ideologically and philosophically as a Christian nation, acknowledging the Bible as the authoritative Word of God and recognizing the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His sovereign rule over the affairs of men, there are those who would vehemently argue that this is not the case. They would cite many of America’s “unchristian” acts such as injustices done to Native Americans in the course of establishing its territory or the perpetuation of the slave trade.

To be sure there are many instances one could point out that would seem to negate any claim to being a “Christian” nation. However, if the basis for disqualifying America is its failures, then there can be no Christian at all! Certainly, also, the nation of Israel, as revealed in the Bible, could not be a nation chosen by God as His people, nor could King David, known in the Bible as a “man after God’s own heart” and a prophetic writer of many of the Psalms, qualify as God’s man. Both failed miserably, King David being both a murderer and an adulterer! And for that matter, I say that I am a Christian. Yet, there are many points in my life where I know I have acted very unchristian like and there would be those who witnessed those times who would say, “how can he call himself a Christian?”

The problem here is that you cannot define Christianity solely by the actions of Christians. Christianity is defined by the truth found in the Bible and on the basis of what Christ did to save mankind from sin. Christianity is for failures who realize their accountability to the law of God and recognize that the only way to right standing with God is to receive God’s grace by faith, which includes the opportunity to repent when mistakes are made and to receive forgiveness and a new start.

America has failed many times, as have I. But it has always had, as its spiritual and moral compass, the Bible as God’s absolute authoritative truth to steer her back on course and to “get things right”. If we lose that compass, we will most certainly lose our way and our identity. And when that happens we will lose our future.

May we once again, as a nation and individuals, humbly turn back to the One Who has been so gracious to us, has blessed us and allowed us to be a blessing to so many others. For He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the God of America!

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