Category Archives: Faith

BIG GOVERNMENT: Good or Bad?

I’ve written many articles on Big Government. But here, I want to try to put the most pertinent facts about big government in one place, so that there can be no misunderstandings.

Many people are distrustful of government, of both major political parties. And yet, there are definite distinctions between these parties as to their beliefs and actions.

To me, it is unfair to brand both major parties alike. Since the days of the New Deal and the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democratic party has developed great movements toward Socialism, and strong tendencies to change or destroy Constitutional rules that would benefit all people. Folks, this is a fact, based upon real historical events of record in our society. For a moment, please, try to view these government tendencies by the facts, rather than by merely believing smooth talking rhetoric or emotion.

The Republican party has definitely tended toward government according to the Founding Fathers and our Constitution, even though far from perfectly at all times (and we see of late that there are also Republicans who will fight to sustain big government and keep the status quo).

Now, the factual difference is simply this: bigger government, Socialism, and veering away from our country’s founding principles is wrong and has never worked. A wise person can surely see that policies which fail should no longer be followed. So that really should, for the time being, send us, as citizens, way beyond just Republican and Democrat.

It will be impossible for me or anyone to cover all the circumstances in one piece of dialogue – but allow me to proceed.

The middle class of the U.S.A. has been profoundly affected (negatively) by the advent of Socialistic and big government tendencies; and, we see today, that lack of good jobs (and good-paying jobs) is one of the sad results. However, all that the public heard from our Socialistic government (under Obama) is that ‘progress is being made’. The Feds even took credit for job creation that their own rules had discouraged; this job creation only came about because of the proactive legislation of a few states.

Let’s define the middle class. Most might say that earnings should define them; however, there are other factors that should be considered. Tops in earnings for a middle class person could be $250,000. That, in my view, would be much higher than a norm or medium income. In addition to income, I would add that most of the middle class has similar characteristics such as the willingness to work hard, risk-taking, and responsibility, and knowing when to take advantage of opportunities, if so presented.

The U.S. Constitution provides (Section 8) that the Congress shall have power to collect taxes, duties, imports and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the U.S. citizens.

Furthermore, the Declaration of Independence, long considered to have equal authority with the Constitution of the United States, says this:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident – that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destruction of these ends, it is the RIGHT of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its power in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

Now, let recollect what has happened under Democratic party government whenever the House and Senate had the majority. The Constitutional clause – The General Welfare – has been fundamentally enlarged to the breaking point – by enlarging the central government, and so promoting the monstrosity of big bloated government at the cost of the loss of individual freedom.

big government,2018 midterm electionsLet’s break this down. The bigger your government becomes, the more money is spent, the more government intrudes into your individual life, the more social programs the government creates, and the fewer freedoms each person really has. Why? Because the more government giveaways, the less freedom you have. You are caught up in a vote-buying system which promotes the government giveaways at the expense of individual choice, a direct premise of our Constitution. And be assured – these are not truly “giveaways” – every penny will be sucked from our wallets through increased taxes! All of us ought to cherish individual choice, and the pride and dignity that goes with it.

Now let me just list for you the most, but not all, of the problems of bigger government so that we can clearly see them:

(1) Big government has a definite tendency to become bigger. Those in power have, and certainly enjoy, more and more control over your lives.

(2) Big government must, of necessity, become even larger (and more intrusive into our lives) because it must perpetuate itself, promising more benefits and thus controlling more of your life.

(3) The bigger the government, the more rulers must be in place to manage the affairs of government over your personal life. Obama calls them Czars (a Russian concept), ruling over your affairs – UNELECTED BUREAUCRATS who will do the bidding of big government. Now these UNelected bureaucrats are unknown, unelected, nameless, faceless, unavailable to the public, and unaccountable to the people at large. You cannot know them – you will not know them – because they are part of the bigger government, not the people.

(4) Big government always results in fewer freedoms for the common man, and fewer choices within the few freedoms that remain. Why? Because you, the voter, the common man, are NOT running things any longer.

(5) Big government has to intrude into people’s personal lives – they have no other place to go in order to expand. People may realize some day what has happened and what should be done about it, but such realization often comes too late.

(6) Deficit spending promotes bigger and bigger government, since government giveaways and choosing winners is their strategy- in order to become bigger in influence.

(7) Bigger government denies individual dignity and working towards new accomplishments and a better life. Instead, we have had a middle class that is restricted, downgraded, and literally dared to attempt to rise above – in money, in influence, and in any other way. And furthermore, many of the previously labeled “middle class” are now in the poor class in terms of money and income.

(8) Big government always ends up in involving itself in areas of life where it has no business. The size alone of big government makes such government inefficient in handling such matters.

(9) Big governmenet involves itself in matters which the Constitution proves belong to the states. The people have a much louder voice in matters decided on the state level. States will listen. Big government hasn’t and won’t.

(10) Big government teaches people to be dependent who need not be so. “Oh, dear, good ol’ Uncle Sam will bail us out.” I hear that a lot. Very dependent citizens cannot then individually rise to to the occasion when bad things happen: economic woes, terrorism, overly zealous schemes that go wrong, etc. They sadly put their own well-being in the greedy paws of the government.

(11) Bigger and bigger government will, the long run, collapse under its own weight. Borrowing from China and other nations, puts the person loaning the money (or the country) in a position to demand more in repayment, or to take over parts of our economy.

Now, let us briefly discuss what things central government should be involved in and why, and some of the things that central (Federal Government) should NOT be involved in and why.

Tall order, you say? Not really.

In my considered opinion, government must be responsible for things that people and states should not be involved in. 

Of necessity, Declaration of War or martial law, or any kind of political action involving other countries, and the carrying out of war, if necessary, are jobs belonging to the Federal Government through proper channels provided in our Founding documents.

Protection of our borders – all of our borders – from all enemies and illegal people seeking to enter.

The government must be responsible for laws and regulations that promote the general welfare in this precise fashion: providing for a level playing field for people and businesses, and equal chance to succeed. There can be no exceptions, special favors, or cronyism here.

Government must provide for the most opportunity for individual freedom, an individual pursuit of happiness and gain, and in so doing, employ, employ the fewest regulations possible to ensure safety and fairness.

Keep Out, Big Government!

An example of things the government should stay out of would be education, health services, etc. There are no doubt other areas as well.

The only thing government should do concerning education should be to advocate that the states require the teaching of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence – in all schools.

This latter would insure that our Constitution is upheld, and our country would become and would maintain itself as the finest form of government known to man.

And now, to wind up our message – any type of government that teaches and preaches government dependency beyond that of necessity to help to the sick and disabled is opening the gates of disaster for the individual and the trashing of his God-given rights.

If we elect or allow law-makers, holders of positions of trust, including Senators, Congressmen and Presidents, to practice liberal policies (big government policies), we will have allowed our beloved country to disintegrate and to eventually disappear.

America, the U.S.A., as it was originally, was Constituted to be the best form of government on earth. It can be restored to that again, but time is running out. Will you be part of this great, important, revival – at whatever the cost?

I hope so!! I don’t like saying: “Too late!!”

– Written by Bill Figley,
Professional Musician, Student of Government and of Politics
Navy Veteran W.W. II

Comparisons in History – Hints to Resolving Current Problems?

As I look back on my very early life, I can now see that I was able to make comparisons between events of the past and of the present – even at a tender age. My ability to do this is much more advanced now than in my earlier life.

There are a few cautions, however, for those who attempt to make historical comparisons.

If anyone dares to make comparisons about people and movements throughout history, he should be aware that any comparison, if carried too far, will usually break down. This does not mean that comparison should not be made – it means only that comparison should be thought of as general and sweeping, even if not exact in every detail.

As we look today at our country and its problems, and look for solutions to these problems, there are hundreds of ideas, and fusions of ideas, that must warrant a closer look. First of all, we need to focus our attention on the founding of our country and on the foresight and brilliance of our Founding Fathers. For this is our country and this is our time, the present.

Ours is the arguably the greatest country in the world – our country is unique in all of world history. When you look at other nations, some with brutal leaders, high-and-mighty dictators, kings and potentates… we cringe at the thought of such a homeland. But  where, oh where are the values we hold dear as a country today? Ours is a country where there are laws to protect the innocent, laws of decency, individual liberty and common sense. Yes, and there are even laws and precepts designed to encourage a better life, a peaceful life, and a life that is safe from harm and danger.

I wonder if I could encourage you, my reader, to explore what is happening in our country today? I wonder if I might take you back to Bible days, to days of the Old Testament and the New Testament? In my opinion, Bible events should be viewed as well-established fact. The evidence for the accuracy of Bible history and events cannot be disputed, because history corroborates them.

Here is the question regarding Biblical events – can they be compared to the events in our country today? Are these current events planned by God, or just playing out in mankind’s history – a history which is often repeated?  In either situation, if any good or any understanding can come by comparing old Bible days with the present time in our country, it would be good to review and acknowledge these comparisons.

I will, therefore, dear readers, come to the heart of this whole matter…

There is, in my mind, a very definite comparison between our country and the assault on its founding principles and the words and actions of the old Jewish leaders of Bible times against the teachings and the truths which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, taught when he became an adult on this earth.

Today, after 8 miserable years of President Barack Obama and the Democratic political party… there is a movement afoot to discredit the newly elected president, one Donald J. Trump.

I am equating the old Jewish establishment to the Democratic minority, whipped in the 2016 election, but using every possible means to derail, delegitimize the President, and keep the duly elected leader and his administration from restoring to our country its truth, its pledges, and its greatness.

I am not attempting to equate Donald Trump with Jesus Christ, and I will take on anyone in the debate who proposes this. I am saying that it is his message – finally giving to the working people and to the poor and disadvantaged that which their country’s Constitution promises to  them.

What exactly does our Constitution say is the complete and sole purpose of our central government? Simply this – and I quote from the Constitution: the duties of the Federal Government:

  1. Provide for the common defense.
  2. Promote the general welfare.
  3. And secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

So, as in the old Bible days, the Jewish leaders (the establishment of the Jewish religion) tried every way they could imagine to discredit and condemn Jesus Christ and his message.

Today we have the Democratic party and its members, losers in the election of 2016, using their same failed, Socialistic methods to discredit and destroy the message of Donald Trump – whose message, if followed, would restore the blessings of peace and safety to a badly treated middle class as well as all other citizens.

In no way am I comparing Donald Trump to Jesus Christ or his person. But there can be no question about Mr.Trump’s message; restore that which the Democratic Socialist Party has taken from the American people.

Let me emphasize some of the content of Mr. Trump’s message to the forgotten voters: restore lost opportunities and compassion, yes and increased safety, and security.  This elected President is making every effort to gain back these lost ideals.

During the eight years of Barack Obama, our former president acted toward the American people as if we were deserving of no better than terrorism and violence demonstrating a true lack of compassion and and concern for the safety of America’s citizens. According to Barack Obama, misplaced compassion toward people of unknown origin and, even more importantly, unknown intentions was more important than the safety of American citizens, especially the elderly and the disabled. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said that closing our southern border was not “who we are as a nation”.  What an utter lie!! Who we are as a nation is certainly the protection of our citizens from harm and danger from the southern border, and from those who would enter our country illegally.

Jesus Christ focused on the obedience of people to God, while the Jewish leaders elevated their own traditions and interpretations and reacted angrily to anyone who would threaten the status quo.

Mr. Trump’s message… To restore the country to one of freedom, opportunity and compassion. This high regard for our own citizens has been met with a fierce opposition from Socialistic anti-Americans, who have tried and are trying to do everything on earth to destroy the American way of life, as outlined by the message of Donald Trump. I hope you readers can see the connection in the comparison – I do!

To further establish the comparison which I have made: the Jewish leaders were angered by anyone who would try who would dare to challenge or to question their authority. And the Socialists of today would do anything (legal or illegal) to stop any person or any message they hate.

The message of Jesus Christ went against the establishment – the Jewish leaders .

The message of Donald Trump goes against the Socialists – the big-government advocates, who have to lie to make their case.

Now the question today is – do we, the people of the USA want those in charge who have an idiotic philosophy, who deal in fantasy, who have dreams of grandeur and who are childish and irresponsible?  Do we want these people to interpret our laws – those who outright lie to us and seize power from the people? Do we want this kind of people to rule over us? Or do we want the principles that this country was founded upon, which are just and fair, to be our guide?

The Socialists (the left) are guilty of treason against our country. They have the right to disagree, of course, but they deny the very principles that have made this country great and would thus subject our citizens to a lower (and by far a less-safe) form of life.

But wait – there is more!

Have not the Jewish leaders throughout history resisted the calls of God, resisted His prophets, resisted His will? In any time period, there have been righteous people who have believed the truth – even though their leaders didn’t believe and didn’t obey God’s call, or heed God’s plan. Were there not many prophets of God through the years whose messages from God were ignored and downgraded? Were there not also some, if not many, political leaders of our nation who were elected, but failed to promote the principles that made our country great?

So, maybe it should not be surprising if there should be a Donald J. Trump, wth a message for the common people, with principles promoted which have slipped away from our grasp in recent decades.

Perhaps Donald Trump was raised up by God, and perhaps not. But how can anyone truly argue with the message he brought and the conclusion (changing American lives for the better) that could be realized if these principles were followed?

Students of government, people of common sense and high ideals – listen up!!

You will not find in the Trump message anything that lessens America from what it was intended to be. We can’t allow Socialist anti-Americans, big government advocates and vile freedom haters to prevail – let us go on with freedom within the law, citizen safety, common sense, opportunity and an unbelievable chance to make America great again.

We dare not allow this chance to slip through our fingers. Down with anti-American views and activities – down with lawlessness, down with governmental lies… and up with protection of citizens, promotion of opportunity, and restoration of common sense. Then let’s wait for the blessings to break through.

Right actions will bring right results!!

 

Who Will Be Saved and Who Will Be Lost?

Perhaps this isn’t the best title for this writing. But here is the argument concerning the correct interpretation of Scripture:One group of believers declares that God decides before each person is ever born, whether that person will be saved or lost, regardless of any merit on the part of that person. And that this decision of God cannot be changed. This is oftentimes called the hyper-Calvinistic position.
The other group, associated to some degree with Armenianism, declares that the above belief is not correct and cannot be confirmed by Scripture.

Let us look at Bible evidence, as well as other evidence, that indicates that hyper-Calvinism is not correct.
(1) The Free Will of Man
I firmly believe that the Bible strongly bears out that man has Free Will, freedom of choice. I don’t think we need even belabor the Scriptures to establish that. As we look around us, see people, read the paper, or watch TV, it is obvious that people act out Free Will constantly.

Throughout the Bible there is a glaring record of God’s presenting choices to believers and unbelievers alike, and Jews and Gentiles alike, as to their direction and behavior. How can anyone turn his back upon God and His choices without declaring that he, man, is his own guide and savior?

As we look back upon the lives of the Jewish people (the children of Israel), as we ponder the choices of Cain and Abel, from Earth’s first family; as we consider the choice of Adam and Eve in the beautiful garden of Eden, to eat of the forbidden fruit; and as we remember the choices of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Peter, the Apostle Paul, King Saul, King David, and on and on, we know ABSOLUTELY that man, all men, had choices to make – and obedience to God or disobedience to God, was high on the list.

Let us look at Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God had told them they could not eat of that one tree in the garden, and they did. Now as we look at Cain and Abel, sons of Adam and Eve, both had been instructed to bring an offering to God. You know the story. Abel brought a lamb from the flock and Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground. Cain’s offering was not accepted, and God told him to bring the correct offering, and it would be accepted. Did Cain not know the type of offering that would be accepted? How did Abel know then of the acceptable offering?

What about Abram (later called Abraham)? He had a choice to make: to leave his father and his homeland and follow God, or not?
And many, many more choices for man, different men concerning the life designed by God or another type of life–the Bible is full of them.

There is much fallout if one does not believe in the Free Will of man.
Here is a little bit of the fallout if one does not believe in the Free Will of man.

It seems to me that the entire system of animal sacrifices would be unnecessary because they all pointed to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. If each person were already programmed by God to be saved or lost, arbitrarily, and he had no choice in the matter, why have sacrifices? And oh, dear friends, there is more–why should Christ have come to Earth and shed His blood for our sins if no one was to have a choice about Him? Why should He have suffered pain, rejection, and human suffering? That makes no sense.

I have heard it suggested that since no one really had a choice about choosing salvation, that those who agreed with God would go through the motions of receiving Christ anyway. They would automatically do that anyway.
And I could add to this–why should God The Father have sent Christ on a mission that was already settled because there was no free Will for man?
Now it seems obvious to me, that if man has no Free Will, how does God get any glory from a person’s life and choices? He obviously can’t. Neither could a human leader, if everyone were programmed in advance.

(2) God’s Foreknowledge
I would trust that most of us know what foreknowledge is, but in case not, let me explain.
One would expect God to have foreknowledge. After all, He is God, The Creator, who knows all things. Foreknowledge simply means that God knows ahead of time and from the very beginning what will happen and what choices people and countries and entities will make.

It should be a given that our God has foreknowledge. Now how can it be used for His glory? But if man has no Free Will by the hand of God, how can foreknowledge be used for much of anything?

Now, as far as foreknowledge is concerned, God would automatically know who would choose Jesus Christ, (if there were free choice), and by the same token, those who would reject Christ. Therefore, foreknowledge would be of little use to God if He had automatically chosen these for salvation, and those to be lost. If there would be any way to involve foreknowledge in the matter of choosing Christ, pre-selection by God would eliminate any role of foreknowledge.

But since I and many, many more believe in the Free Will of man, and especially in the matter of receiving Christ as Savior and forgiver of sins, foreknowledge would tell God who, in his own Free Will, would choose Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers.

Now, I want to caution all readers. There is nothing in Scripture that specifically states what foreknowledge may be used for, but I will submit to you that it seems apparent to me that God’s foreknowledge would lead Him to select those who would be saved. Yes, those, who, of their own Free Will, will choose Christ as Savior.
This act, if true, would mesh the Free Will of man with God’s foreknowledge perfectly.
And let me further clarify–if man has no Free Will concerning Christ and His free gift of salvation, he really has no Free Will at all!!

(3) God’s Authority
Now let’s be absolutely clear–both sides of this issue of Free Will would have to admit to the authority of God The Father. He is The Absolute Creator and sustainer of all human life.
There are things that can be easily proven and shown from Scripture that deal with God’s authority. And all of these things have to do with the fact that Jesus Christ The son is also God. Because all three persons of God have equal authority, does not mean that they have the same office/work to do.

John 1:1-3 – “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
(Jesus Christ is the Word and the worlds were made by and with the authority of Christ.)

John 1:14 – “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (God’s purpose for man.)

John 3:18 and John 3:36 both tell us who will be saved (not condemned) and who will be subject to God’s wrath.

John 5:22 – “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.”

John 5:26-27 – “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the son of man.”

John 10:30 – (Jesus is speaking) “I and My Father are one.”

Romans 10:9-10 – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

(4) God’s Attributes
God The Father has many attributes (things that are true about Him, His powers). We will need to discuss judgment, love, mercy and grace.
God committed to Jesus Christ the judgment of this world and its people (John 5:32).

There could be questions, then, concerning the use of God’s attributes and their interactions, if any. We have seen judgment committed by God The Father to the authority of the Son, Jesus Christ.

We see God’s love found or expressed in John 3:16 and in Romans 5:8, which states, “But God commended (showed, demonstrated) His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
We understand God’s mercy, which means that God withholds from us the punishment we deserve because of our sin.
We also understand God’s grace, which gives to us what we do not deserve, and have not earned, and cannot earn.
Now the question arises, how, why, and if any of these attributes of God interact or modify judgment, which is the carrying out of God’s justice.
If justice were done, all sinners would die. But God, because of His love, has modified His justice, or tempered His justice with mercy and grace–the result of His love for us.

It seems to be man, or some men, who say that justice is above love and trumps love. But in God’s offer of forgiveness and salvation through Christ, justice is tempered by mercy and grace, to those who believe.
Now love brings to pass God’s mercy and grace – but that love must be obtained through Christ’s offer of forgiveness.
Now another point of order seems to be that salvation must be all about God and nothing about man.
Allow me to explain this by a discussion of God’s gifts to man:

(5) Gifts
We should all realize the many gifts God has given man, whether that man is a believer in Jesus Christ or not. I will deal here only with the free gift of forgiveness and salvation.
Our good believer friends have complicated the situation, those who have difficulty with God’s gift, they say, salvation must be all of God, nothing of man. So far, so good. But they seem to have forgotten what a gift is.

A gift is something given to one person by another, no strings attached. Well and good…but with a gift, there must be a giver and a receiver of that gift. This is where our good hyper-Calvinistic friends run into trouble, as well as in other areas of reasoning. Christ offered and still offers Himself as THE FREE GIFT. Salvation is about Christ, in Christ, and through Christ. But that is where God must stop. Free Will, which cannot be disproven, must be exercised to receive that gift. Technically, a gift is not a gift without a receiver. But God will never force anyone to take what he doesn’t want. So, as viewed by God, here is THE GIFT, even though it may not be received.

So I believe that God has done all He can to offer THE GIFT. Of course, many of this persuasion do not believe that man has a Free Will. But I ask you, or anyone, it seems that God says you have Free Will, or such a marvelous gift would not be offered. There can be no “whosoever” according to those who deny Free Will. But the Scripture offers THE GIFT to “whosoever believeth in Christ Jesus.” (John 3:16)

(6) God’s Glory
God’s glory is a very important subject, which must be considered. According to my dictionary, “glory” is defined as “praise, honor, or distinction, accorded by common consent; renown.”

How is God’s glory promoted or served by a belief system that turns people into robots, programmed to do one thing over and against another? God can receive glory from man only by man’s obedience to God. And since man cannot be fully obedient to God in the flesh (“…for all have sinned….”), he can be obedient to God by choosing Christ, THE GIFT that is offered to all men and women.

There is no proof in Scripture that what God does has no purpose. The purpose of the animal sacrifices was a lesson to Israel (the Jewish people), pointing to Christ at a later time. The purpose of Christ’s coming to Earth was to offer a pathway to God The Father. Jesus Christ said, “…I and My Father are one.” “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”

Robots–People who are pre-programmed do not choose anything or anyone. The Bible is filled to the brim with choices for man–obedience or disobedience– throughout all of the Scriptures.

The thousands of times in the Bible that choices are in front of people and choices must be made are too numerous to mention. God receives no glory from disobedience or rejection, but from willful obedience to the Word and to His commands.

If God wanted glory to Himself, He did what was required to get it–not from creating the heavens and the Earth alone, but by creating man and woman. Please don’t cloud God’s glory with people who have no choices, people who are unable to choose. The offer to receive Christ as Savior and sin-bearer is a Free Will choice. It has never been otherwise.

-Composed by Bill Figley
Professional Musician, Student of Government
and of Politics, Navy Veteran W.W.II

HOW DO I GET TO HEAVEN?

In history, heaven is often taken to mean the air. The God of heaven is associated not only with the Hebrews, but also with the heathen and strange people. Actually, the Hebrew people acknowledged three heavens.

!. The Aerial Heavens where the birds fly and the winds blow.

2. The Heaven or Firmament where the stars are located.

3. Heaven of Heavens, the place of God’s residence, the dwelling of angels and the blessed.

Each heaven named goes higher into the sky. In the true palace of God is a place immune from impurities and imperfections. The word, idea, and some description of heaven is to be found in many places in the Scripture.

I’m afraid that for many folk, the idea of heaven is a concept that is not clear, and in many cases, there is no clear belief that there IS a heaven.

Why would anyone want to do to heaven? It is a concept that is associated with our life after death, if it is considered at all. I believe the thought of an afterlife began long before the Jewish people existed as a race. The ancient people of Egypt certainly had this belief of life after death and somewhere along the way, the afterlife was believed to be better and more secure than our earthly life.

The further away man’s distance from the Bible and its teachings, the more uncertain the concept and details become. The further away that man deviates from the Bible, the Scriptures—the more theories there are about any afterlife, and the more bizarre such theories are.

I am certainly not expert in expounding all the theories about heaven, its reality or absence, but many people have come up with many ideas about an afterlife. We will have to concern ourselves with only the most prevailing beliefs.

  1. Some believe there is no afterlife. When you die, you, or your soul, ceases to exist anywhere. Perhaps this belief is not as popular as it once was. Many folks believe that no afterlife is a very crass and stupid belief, conceived in ignorance. The big problem with this belief is just this—what is the purpose of life, then? What reason have we then for our existence?
  2. Then there are people who believe that everyone will go to heaven when they die on earth. This view is a blow to the average intelligence. Why should anyone who is bad, or whom society labels as bad, go to a place of peace and rest, and maybe rewards?
  3. Then there is the idea of purgatory—a holding place for those who die, and may not qualify for heaven because of a life that hasn’t been so good. Again, who is to make that judgment? Now, according to the prevailing theory, it is possible to get out of purgatory and enter heaven. Good deeds and/or money must be paid or done in the name of that person. It could even be possible for that person (in purgatory) to prove his worthiness. But the idea of purgatory is nowhere to be found in Scripture or anywhere else. It is a piece of man-made fiction.
  4. And I believe most all of us, when we were young children, heard and may have believed this notion. After you die, St. Peter, up in heaven will get out his balancing scales and weigh your good earthly deeds against your bad deeds. You know, balances. Now, according to this story—IF, and I say, IF—your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you will be admitted to heaven. If the scale is tipped the right way, you are safe. I cannot imagine a more humanistic notion than this. If there could be anything to this man-made nonsense, what about the severity of each good deed and bad deed? How would that affect the balance? One cold not win an election or a war with such a fantasy—how could one get to heaven with such a belief??
  5. Now, brace yourself, folks—you haven’t heard it all yet. Why, man is the MOST IMPORTANT BEING in the universe!—He is his OWN guide, and his OWN god. There is no mythical God, somewhere up in heaven, telling you what to do and who to believe.

Now, everyone has a free will. Everyone ought to know that. These people may be well-meaning, and all that, but there is no REAL God up there, who tells you what to do and stands watch continually over what you do.

Why, the way some people have pictured God is utterly unreasonable. This is the day of MAN—we are past those “old” days of an unreasonable, so-called God; we have gone past those days of fables, those old ways are unreasonable. Why, this is the age of Intelligence, the era of promise, the era of accomplishments—why the Bible itself is old and out-dated, and so is our country’s Constitution. Why the era of man should be glorified, the accomplishments of man need to be glorified. Getting ahead and getting glory for oneself is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing!

And another thing—don’t criticize a belief that is different from yours—as long as that belief is sincere, let it alone. Homosexuality and lesbianism are o.k. They may not suit your style, but they should be honored as alternative lifestyles. And if someone has his own god, one who doesn’t conform to your ideas, let it alone! His so-called guide will be a comfort to him, perhaps. In the end, it is man on the throne of life that is to be honored and embraced. And cling to this truth, ALWAYS—As long as what YOU believe is “true for YOU”, in YOUR mind, it is “Truth.”

Dear Friends, item number 5 here is secular humanism at its best! You see, if absolute truth can be manipulated and changed, and challenged to suit the need, any principle of life can be broadened to suit any need and any belief system. Thus, REAL truth, then has no basis, no usefulness, and man has just become his OWN god, with the great seal of approval from anyone agreeing with this horrible idea.

It becomes obvious then, that a man-centered system of belief, does not need, nor welcome any other system of belief.

Now, my question to you is this, Dear Friend—many folk just can’t buy into the systems of belief I have outlined here in my little talk—people with real compassion and sensitivity can’t see these beliefs as rational.

Suppose it IS true, after all, that there IS a God in heaven, who created man and woman, and who will have the final say about your life, once it is over for you on earth. Suppose that the Bible is TRUE—that God must judge sin—that man REALLY does have a responsibility to God. In what condition will you find yourself, Friend, at the end of your earthly life? What will your present belief system do for you at the end of your life? You had best realize what a young man realized as I counseled him—“I guess I’m driving down the road without any insurance.” [GOING THE WRONG WAY]

This young man came to Jesus Christ, as God The Father has throughout the ages urged men to do. Here’s how it unfolded.

He prayed a prayer to God that went something like this:

Dear Lord Jesus, I realize that I am a sinner, that I have not obeyed You, and have never sought Your forgiveness. I need You to forgive my sins and come into my life and direct my life. I thank You for dying on the cross in my place. Receive me and forgive me now. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Those who pray this type of prayer in sincerity are born again and become TRUE children of God. Ask any true born-again Christian to explain how he or she became a child of God. It is your passport to heaven!!

Friend, have you been born again??

 

 

LESSONS FROM THE APOSTLE PAUL

We can learn many lessons from the life of the apostle Paul who lived in Bible times. Too little has been made of the fact that Paul (formerly known as Saul) before his conversion to Christianity, was in deep sin. Yes, he did not know about God’s plan, and he did not recognize it for what it was.

In our society today, we have many bleeding hearts, people who try to excuse bad behavior because of motives, that appeal to so many who are out of touch with reality. In the minds of all too many, the guilty party should be excused because of his ignorance. “Oh, his heart was in the right place,” they will tell us.

Paul can scarcely be ruled as innocent for his persecution of true Christians, who were following Jesus Christ and believing that faith and trust in Him would bring salvation. This is why Jesus Christ came to earth, as “God with us,” bearing the authority given to Him by God the Father.

Of course, Paul, very graciously and correctly portrayed himself as against God the Father before his conversion to true Christianity. But I submit to you, again, that very little is made of his former manner of life. He thought he was doing God’s service. And I am speaking very specifically of the volumes of talks and sermons, which scarcely dwell at the edges of Paul’s former life.

Obviously, what Paul the Apostle became, as a true champion of God the Father’s way of salvation, of God’s authority then (as now), is of utmost importance to us all. But herein – in this recounting of Paul’s former life, are many lessons that we could and should learn from. And, in dealing with these things, we come upon a kind of forgiveness from God that is almost beyond belief.

Now it is very important and quite laudable to portray what a person can do, and what he has accomplished after he has been converted – that is, changed from one who was not truly following God to one who was.

The Jews had a very tough time believing that Jesus was the Messiah, The One who was looked for. This was especially true of the Jewish leaders, the temple chiefs, the scribes, Pharisees and all those of the so-called ruling class of Israel.

Jesus was described vividly many times in the Old Testament. This would apply definitely and in particular to the Jewish leaders, who failed to see that God the Father’s great promise to Abraham (first called Abram) came about 400 years before the Law. Oh, yes. The same Law given to the Jewish people through Moses. And, of course, these same Jewish leaders failed to comprehend the very purpose of the Law itself.

The purpose of the Law was definitely not the way of salvation, for man could not keep the Law (The Ten Commandments). It was a guide, yes; and an example, yes. But it could not be kept by anyone, Jewish leader or not. So the purpose of the Law was really to expose our sin.

But we can see that the Law was everything to the Jewish leaders, the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the temple leaders – those who would be looked to as the scholars and the wise men of Israel.

Why, they knew what was right!! But did they – really??

One might ask WHO gave them the authority to micro-manage many of the Ten Commandments and put down as gospel their own interpretations of these laws?

The Ten Commandments were full of extended meanings and interpretations that were man-made, not made by God, nor sanctioned by Him.

But back to our previous premise – what lessons can and should be learned from the life of the Apostle Paul before his conversion?

First of all, each human being who is born lives according to the flesh before he receives Jesus Christ as Savior. Of course, we can observe that the morality of some people is better than that of others. But unless this morality corresponds exactly to the thinking and the philosophy of God the Father, it still falls miserably short of what it should be.

Then there is the realization on the part of the sinner (the un-regenerated person) that he is somehow short before God, guilty of sin, not conforming to what God wants, and certainly not following Him. Paul came to this conclusion.

True, he was struck blind by God the Father, and the realization of His sin and wrong became real to him. But does it REALLY matter what word or what event brings one to realize that he or she is a sinner in God’s eyes?

The very act of realizing one’s sinful state before God can be shown by the response of a young man that I was counseling following a Billy Graham Crusade many years ago. After I had explained to him his true condition towards God, he said, “I guess I’m driving down the road without any insurance.” Amen to that!! He then received Christ as Savior.

Then, let us go still further down this pathway as we recall the life of Paul before his conversion. The Scripture tells us what Paul said about his former life and manner (look up the Scripture Acts 7:54 and read through the rest of the chapter).

We see that after the sincere and pleading address of Stephen to the Jewish leaders, that Paul (then named Saul) consented to the death of Stephen by stoning. Paul (then called Saul) completely agreed to this outrageous treatment of Stephen, a true believer. Then in Acts 8:1-4, we see how Paul contributed greatly to the persecution of believers in the area, entering into their homes, and dragging many of them off to prison. According to history, some of those captured by Paul were killed – and most were imprisoned (for how long, we do not know).

So we can now remember the part that Paul (then Saul) played in punishing those who truly had accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. Why, he was as guilty as any Jewish leader, and urged on by all of them.

But, you say, he did not realize that he was going contrary to God. Dear friends, behavior and not motive has to determine the punishment for wrongdoing. Even in the liberal society we have today, if motive can excuse bad behavior, our society is in terrible trouble.

I am afraid I can’t go along with hateful and wrongful public demonstrations against our laws, and the burning and looting of buildings and businesses of innocent people – all because of hatred for the punishment of wrongdoers. There seems to be a wave against right, ignoring the crimes of those who are wrong because of how justice is carried out.

Society cannot survive if such violations of our laws continue.
America, BEWARE!

We are sending the wrong message by ignoring the first wrong that was committed. Police forces are not perfect. And certainly the law-breakers are not perfect, and their deeds must be considered before any mention of their motives is made.

Now, let me digress momentarily. There is a distinct difference between forgiveness and trust. The forgiveness of a person for his or her wrongs, on the part of God, or by a human person, is an act of the free will – forgiveness is not earned, and quite often it is not deserved. Trust is earned, because of the nature of one who does right, because of the things he does that are correct and beneficial, and a credit to his (or her) behavior.

We may forgive because we feel that God would have us forgive. This usually means we do all in our power to forget, to set aside the wrong as over and done with. But humanly, it is extremely difficult to forget some wrongs. We can choose to act like these wrongs never occurred, but the human mind rarely can completely forget a terrible wrong. It is a fact of human nature.

It is, in my judgment, much easier to forget a cruel act than to forgive the person who performed that act. We can and should forgive, even if we are never asked to forgive. God tells us to forgive so that we are not emotionally or spiritually bound to the person who has done us wrong.

Now, let’s return to discuss the horrible sins of Saul (later becoming Paul).

He was a murderer – regardless of his reasons, his diligence and his driving desire to promote God (through the Law). It is hardly an excuse for his behavior, because it is the result of the behavior and the acts of any person and not his motives that have to determine his punishment. If Paul had committed his deeds directly against Roman citizens, I don’t have to tell you his punishment and fate. He very quickly would have been a dead person.

Many times a person’s sins are much greater if he believes he is doing right.

We cannot, in our society, use motive to avoid consequences and punishment for our actions. This will eventually break down our society, and already in the U.S.A. we are seeing wrongs committed because we are putting motive ahead of actions in importance. A person who is killed because of wrong motive is still d.e.a.d. We should all seek to avoid situations where we might try to put motive before our actions.

Since the sins and the sinful acts of Saul (Paul) were so terrible, we ought to consider the scope of God’s forgiveness of Paul. I, personally, do not consider that because God knew what Paul could and would become, that God acted towards Paul as He did. No, I believe that God has forgiven many who were just as bad towards society, and who never possessed the potential of Paul for good.

So, dear Christian friend, are you like I am? I am thankful for God’s forgiveness beyond measure for my many sins. Can you imagine the scope of such forgiveness?

Christ died, was buried and rose from the dead specifically to pay for all of our sins, so that we might become children of God. We simply accept His gift and allow Him to enter our hearts by faith.

Can you ever hope to repay God for His forgiveness of you? NO, NO, NO!! But, friend, you can try to live like this forgiveness of you by God is THE most important act in the world – like you can never do enough for God!!

Order your life, step by step, to repay God the best way you can, and to enlarge His kingdom! Yes, one person at a time, as long as you can. This should be your task and mine. If you haven’t thought about it this way – START TODAY!!

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LIES AND UNTRUTHS

I will admit that some opinions of others – both in questions and speeches have prompted this writing. The opinions given here are mine, however, and they represent many facts and trends – which I now share with you.

Is there a difference between a lie and an untruth? Of course! My definitions follow:

A LIE is always a conscious way of explaining or reporting something that the person doing the reporting knows full well is not true. Much damage has been caused by lies. The possible reasons for lies will be addressed later in our discussion.

An UNTRUTH differs from a lie in this respect: the person telling something and declaring it to be fact is not correct. The person involved is substituting feelings for facts and sincerely believes that what they are reporting is true. It is also usually true, of an untruth, that it is opinion–and not fact–or it is based upon so-called facts that have not been properly investigated, or it may be based on opinion of others that we think are truthful.

Both situations can cause havoc in government and in individual lives. Unfortunately, very seldom do deliberate liars ever change into bearers of truth. Untruthful persons (and they abound by the thousands) can sometimes be persuaded to embrace the truth. But much damage can be done to all in both situations. A person telling an untruth, I believe, is a little less at fault – but the results of untruths are nearly or equally as bad as are lies.

Both lies and untruths lead to wrong conclusions and wrong actions. Their results (evil deeds and policies) almost always go way beyond what we obviously see as wrong, and cause a tearing down of our society.

People seem to rant and rave about policies they feel have to be adopted (or killed). If the policies considered are so great or so terrible – what do the facts reveal if these same things have been tried in the past? What past history among us do these things have? Where is the almighty evidence for what some are howling about?

We, the common folk, even though poor, uneducated and bedraggled, should be entitled to the history concerning policies that have a track record.

We will perhaps never see, in all the history of the U.S.A., the extent of the damage done to our country by the policies of Barack Obama and his socialistic/ communistic crowd. It will become apparent with the passing of much time, but the bitter end of his policies are so frightening…so very frightening…that it might be good if we could never completely plumb the depths of his anti-American deceit. The lies and the cover-ups are much worse than we can possibly know.

Perhaps, it could be argued, that if the right people are elected soon, and the correct policies begun, we might be able to dodge the bullet of ruination of our country (yes, the best country on earth). Do not even suggest to me that the kind of country we used to have was the result of men alone–men of the highest order of patriotism and perfection working their magic beyond the belief of anyone.

The help of God was there, ladies and gentlemen, guiding and energizing those who founded the U.S.A. The result of their vision and patriotism and love for people did not come from an attitude of “me, myself, I, yours truly”!! Anyone who cannot see that is beyond help, in my humble opinion, and should never hold high public office.

To demonstrate to us all, what freedoms we have had taken away by big government and its architects, I point you to an old love song from the 1940’s:
“Would you take the wings from birds – so that they can’t fly?…Would you take the ocean’s roar, and leave just a sigh?”

This is what honest Americans are experiencing by the doings in Washington, D.C. as we speak. We need to closely examine all the ideas of our elected officials, to see what effect these ideas have on law and order, on practicality, and on the hopes and dreams of all well-meaning people. Then and only then will we uncover truth and uncover the correct courses of action for the benefit of all.

Here are just a few items of truth – nuggets of wisdom that can be traced back through time – that have been proven in all cases to be true.

Big government (and bigger government) has always limited individual freedom, and always will. Nobody can ever prove otherwise. Big government is the enemy of all citizens and especially of the middle class.

Now, please listen carefully: whether or not each citizen rises higher in life than they can imagine, each citizen should have the opportunity to do so, and socialism and big government will always be their enemy. The two, opportunity and big government, cannot coexist side by side. Big government is self-limiting for each individual.

Big government and socialism are one and the same thing, and can never promote individual liberty and individual accomplishment.

Look at history–and decide. Look at where our middle class in America is now—and decide—based on facts, not rhetoric, not lies, not half-truths. The results are already in our history books.

Now, once again – what further about lies and untruths? There is a difference up front; but, quite sadly, the results of each may be the same.

A lie is a deliberate distortion of the truth, and those who speak lies, know that they are lies.

Why lie about people and about government? I believe it is for the possibility of power over peoples’ lives…for the promotion of arrogance on the part of power-hungry people—and sadly, there are those whose very purpose is to tear down America, because they hate America, and because they were taught as children to hate America with its opportunities for all. I will not mention an example of the latter reason, but this example involves a very high office in America, the U.S.A.

Now what about untruths? We should describe these would-be facts as appearing to be true, according to our knowledge at the time. No outright lies are intended…we believe what we are saying…but do these so-called truths measure up when investigated? And they should be investigated with the clear idea of discovering the absolute truth.

Too many people spout off ideas and sayings that they have never investigated. And why is this? Is it because these people do not mean well? Is it because they do not have time to sort out the facts about what they are contending? Or maybe, it is because they do not wish to investigate, since the ideas they are claiming to be true seem to agree with their present position?

You see, untruths can hurt as well as deliberate lies. Folks, we had better be sure we are telling the truth about problems in our country by investigating first; and, it would be wise also to consider the following:
Are these opinions we are claiming for truth the product of people who have the correct idea or the wrong idea about government? If these so-called truths we are putting forward are the quotations and/or products of big government advocates, we are guilty of promoting untruths.

According to many previous periods of time in U.S. history, we have seen big government guilty of tearing down law and order, common sense and individual liberty. How then can we state as facts the untruths (yes, the myths) of big government advocates and claim these ideas and happenings to be true?

Perhaps untruths are easier to discover than absolute lies. Maybe so, maybe not. It may go clear back to this premise: where do our individual rights come from, if we have any. If these rights don’t come from God, as our “Bill of Rights” says, then they come totally from man! What man? What men?

Can we be so foolish as not to realize that if our rights come from some man, or men, we are in deep trouble? Oh, but it depends on what man or men, without any Godly guidance. Please show me what kind of man you are willing to be subject to? I can already tell you—such a man will have a philosophy that is without God, based upon popularity, money, influence and his personal ambition.

For too many years, power-grabbing men, who love big government, have spread lies about common citizens, political opponents and anyone else who stands in the way of their rule over you. They have, through the years, blurred truth so badly and so completely that people have bought into their lies, they have accepted government help and now think it is their privilege and their “right” at the expense of others. Remember, folks, no benefit is free. Some people need help and should have it—but at the same time they should not be taught to believe it will always be their “right.”

The U.S.A. was not built on a system of perpetual welfare–and not built on the lies of men for the benefit of a few. If following the spirit of the Constitution works, who cares how old it is? The age of a custom or a law cannot ever automatically decide its worth–it is the result of the custom or the law, and how it affects individual freedom.

– Composed by Bill Figley (March, 2015)
Professional Musician, Student of Government
and Politics, Navy Veteran W.W. II

What Is Wrong With the National News Media?

Now what do I mean by the national news media? I simply mean the TV newscasters, the writings and editorials of the nationally known newspapers and other publications, and any and all news that is covered by them, by whatever means.

Not all national news media entities are guilty of what most are. Most are guilty of treason – because of their Socialistic/Communistic views and news conclusions. Oh, but you say…”Free Speech!!”  Yes, Free Speech!! But there comes a time when the limits of Free speech have been exceeded and damage has been done to a free country and a free people. And by free, I mean FREE, but subject to the laws of decency and common sense, AND – NOW GET THIS – subject to the laws governing a free people, and the greatest country on earth.

Is it wrong for a news entity to lift up principles contrary to those which made this country great? Yes, indeed, it is. And, Free Speech cannot be used to justify such an approach.

Now, you may say, “In what way does this national news media tear down the principles that made this country great?” Simply by making fun of every principle of conservatism, and bashing all conservative people and movements, and automatically consigning all conservatives to the bottom of the trash can!! And they are also intolerant of Christians in a big way! Is not the Christian way of life part of religious freedom? You would not know this by looking at some of the slanderous and negative cartoons bashing Christians and Christian behavior. I have had personal experience with this – with local newspapers even. It is shameful. But it shows you, or should show you, that the national news media in great part hates what you believe and tries to limit your voice and reason.

Now one could say – who or what is behind the record of the Socialistic national news media? I have heard that only billionaires can afford to own and operate national news media, be it spoken or written, I cannot say that is so, because I don’t know.

This much I do know – policies of business, news or otherwise, filters down from the very top to the very bottom, as to those involved as overseers, employees, etc. The more powerful and the more determined those at the top are, the more likely is the social message to go along and agree with those at the top. It is inevitable that the stronger the message from the owners and managers, the more likely that employees in the middle or near the bottom of the list had better agree or get out.

So, I have every right to assume that the prevailing social and political attitude at the top is what comes out of the horn at the bottom.

Now, it is probably true that many newspapers or TV stations are motivated by sensational headlines, bizarre happenings, etc. But when their news is stuffed full of talk that downgrades America, I believe we must draw the line. Except for Fox News and maybe a few others, there is no conservative message for the citizen of the U.S.A. All of us are daily bombarded with facts that are often twisted, truth that is omitted, and a heavy drumming against conservatives that defies common sense.

Character assassination is rampant, opinion is given as fact, and dishonesty abounds, and Socialism at the top it touted as the answer, never mind the facts – that most of Socialism (if not all of it) does not work, has not worked and will not work if a land is to remain free.

Oh, yes, Socialists – be sure to give a free pass to all the liberal leaders – why it’s the fault of George W. Bush, Herbert Hoover, or Abe Lincoln!! The present government under Barack Obama has more buddies that you can count who won’t be subject to the same laws as you and I are, if we are the least bit conservative. This has already happened. No Socialist or Communist ever intends to live under the same laws he piles on you and me!!

Now, let’s roll along. What about our allies? What do they think of us? Look at the chances we have had to further our country’s safety – chances blown by those at the top.

Ronald Reagan referred to America, the U.S.A., as the shining city on a hill. We used to be.

But under the Obama government, at least to many of our allies, this shining city on a hill has become “a shanty in old shanty-town”, powered by a 15watt light bulb.

Appeasement of our enemies, lies, hiding the truth, announcing to our enemies when we are pulling our troops out of a country, and trying to make international agreements by giving away the farm in the process – these things are being done.

And, dear friends, our Socialistic news media is praising our leaders at every turn, excusing their behavior, encouraging more Socialism, more dependency of our middle class, trashing those who would speak the truth, villifying the good and excusing the bad.

It is time, true Americans, to show our pride in honesty, respect, truth and openness in government.

You will not mind if I share a story of my wife’s grandfather, on her Dad’s side. He was nearing 90 and a cancer was discovered on one ear. The doctors decided they must cut out this cancer, and they did, leaving a piece out of the affected ear. Grand-Dad Harry Atha, a kind, if crusty gentleman, went to see his doctor for a check-up a few weeks following the surgery. The nurse met with him before the doctor came in, and she, thinking she might have a little fun with Harry, said to him, “Well, Mr. Atha, how do you feel, now that a piece of your ear is gone?” And Harry said, a little gruffly, “Well, if I didn’t have a little bit of pride, I’d be sittin’ along the railroad track, heating up some coffee in a tomato can!”

You know, dear friends, it is time to show some pride in our country, and to endeavor to return our country to the level of pride that honest folks remember. Sadly enough, it will be necessary for each of us who love our country and the principles that made her great, to work tooth and nail to restore her to the sanity of conservative government once again.

Conservatism could be defined in the old way – it could be defined as a system of very few changes, very few improvements. If it ever meant that, it was wrong. It should be defined as adherence to timeless principles of goodness and compassion, which could take a different form, but yet remain honorable, compassionate, common-sense, practical in its solutions, and above all, solutions that preserve and enhance personal liberty and with it, personal responsibility – pride, vision, hard work, visible and practical results that build up mankind, an individual and corporate life. Now show me that Obama’s government shows that!!!

Now, what needs to happen with the national news media – to change or lower their voice, their anti-Christian, anti-common sense, anti-freedom attitude and actions? Simply this: raise up more news media of a positive and anti-Socialistic view, and strengthen Fox News and any other newspaper or medium – support and promote them to the hilt. You may find a lot of small town or medium town newspapers that would be happy for this type of encouragement.

You might think that such an accomplishment would be impossible, but I’ll give you an example. General George Washington’s rag-tag army defeated the British and we became THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!! How seemingly impossible was that??

Now it is possible that severe competition could seriously erode the Socialistic national news media, even to the point of collapse. Also, town meetings, and mid-town soap-boxes could arise all over our country, demanding a quick return to national sanity, and declaring the truth about big government, its excesses and its bad results. I’m ready to be a soap-box orator for individual freedom and responsibility – are you? Those who deal in truth have results to bolster their position. Talk is cheap. Results of the correct programs of government should convince all who can be convinced.

And one other thing – and I speak to myself as well as to all who will listen. Conversion of a Socialistic government to one of common sense, Constitutional law, and maximum individual freedom will take some time. If everyone, or even most of those in favor of that will understand that each person may not achieve quite all of their personal dreams, all motions towards these results should be embraced. There is always room for fine-tuning laws and regulations at a later time.

What could happen to our country, to our individual liberty within law, to our hopes, dreams, financial hopes, etc., if the national news media could be changed to rule of law and common sense in all of their writings and orations? Let me create a scene for you.

Suppose that the national news media was now led by several groups – TV, newspapers, etc., who would invite discussions about government policies – policies that work – to provide jobs, good jobs, hope for the downtrodden, truth and transparency in government.

You might expect truth in reporting, clear and concise facts and almost, above all, reporting that separates facts from opinions. You could expect illuminating speeches and written articles that lift up America, point out the dangers and flaws of big government and Socialism.

Articles would appear in the national news media – articles of praise for Congressmen and other elected officials, who have begun movements towards removing regulations that hamper business growth and startup. There would be encouragement for congressional leaders and members who are striving to re-write our tax laws, laws that punish businesses in the U.S. and cause some to expand oversees, instead.

Oh, this list goes on. What about praise for these lawmakers who have just voted in the 2nd oil pipeline, and are assured that our President will not veto it. You will not achieve this if your president is a Socialist, or worse.
You will love national news articles that point out the dangers of bigger and bigger government, and applaud legislation that reduces the size of our government – and also would remove the snooping and disdain of the government we now have, to one of compassion and dedication to reasonable privacy.

And I would be extremely happy for the news media to report our (now) desire and our progress in once and for all, firmly securing our borders against danger, drugs, criminals, and terrorists. Now to do this, our government had best consult with the governors, mayors, and law enforcers in the regions affected by illegal border crossings. In my type of anti-Socialist government, this would be a given.

Now of course, there would arise the problem of the illegals we already have, what to do with them, how to treat them, as well as not to cheat legal immigrants already doing the right thing. I’m personally struggling with this, and an anti-Socialistic national news media could lead the way for a national discussion and conclusion – giving opinion even if properly offered as opinion, and not being judgmental, because there will be many opinions on this matter.

Moving on, I could see a renewed commitment on the part of a national news media with opinions given about things such as these: our national debt and how best to deal with it. Our present government (Socialist or worse) could not survive if it were a household, big or small.

Next, energy independence, by and by – it can’t happen overnight!   What a role could be played by national news, TV and others if good stories and great ideas would be put forth by the media, stating these ideas and who fostered these ideas. Energy independence could easily become fuel for reporting all good ideas and the why of them, and praise to all who have helped in any way to further each step toward energy independence. As we would proceed toward this goal there should be noted a satisfaction that less and less of our money would be going to countries who hate us.

But let me sound a warning – the U.S.A. does not have a lot of time to right the ship of state. Let me paint you a picture, friends. You can represent the conservative, common sense movement. You are in jail, and the jail door is still unlocked – but Obama and his rat-tailed Socialists are moving toward your cell, and they have the key. They plan to imprison you forever, or shoot you tomorrow. Isn’t it time to take action??

-Composed by Bill Figley (March,2015)
Professional Musician, Student of Government
and of Politics, Navy Veteran W.W.II

U.S. LAW and FOREIGN COUNTRY LAW

One would think it would be utterly ridiculous to even think that the laws of foreign countries should ever be a part of the legal system of the United States of America. I would add to this that “ridiculous” should also apply to any country, province or protectorate of the United States.

Now if a U.S. citizen commits a crime in another country, obviously, he will be and should be subject to the laws of that country. Any attorney helping our citizen will be at a disadvantage in defending any U.S. citizen in such a situation. It cannot be otherwise.

I am greatly concerned when there are rulings by some high-court judges that muddy the legal system here in the U.S.A. There is often a hint (or more) of foreign country law in their pronouncements. The defendant could be a U.S. citizen, or a foreign citizen, or not a citizen of any country. I ask you: WHAT BUSINESS DOES A FOREIGN LAW HAVE IN CASES INVOLVING A CRIME IN THE U.S.A?

 No foreign law should merit or have any authority in the U.S.A. and should not even be allowed as a frame of reference.

Note: How do you think we have remained a free country up until now? It is precisely our laws, rules, and intents of the Constitution, Declaration, and Bill of Rights that have set us apart from other countries and kept us free. Why did we leave England? Why do people from EVERY other country want to come here?

Now, let’s get to the real reason for any of this kind of travesty. Only liberal judges and lawyers would even attempt to bring foreign law into play for a crime committed in our country. In order for either a lawyer or a judge to have this opinion, they would need to violate or ignore the Constitution of the United States.

Dear reader – can you see that violation of our U.S. Constitution would have to take place in order for such a liberal interpretation of the law to be made? The ignoring of our constitution and our Bill of Rights IS and SHOULD BE a federal crime.

If our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, if either is ignored by our legal system, then NO U.S. CITIZEN HAS ANY RIGHTS AT ALL, and our protective laws may be interpreted any way a judge sees fit.

Our Constitution and Bill of Rights are very clear as to their intent, and very little argument can be made even involving states’ rights. The ignoring or manipulating of states’ rights (and thus peoples’ rights) has resulted in Obamacare and in the promoting of rules regarding education that are shameful and unconstitutional. We ought to see, as a free people, what a social and legal disgrace has been created by the liberals, when the federal government intrudes into matters where it lacks the legal right.

Now, returning again to matters of U.S.A. Criminal law, it is now high time for the leaders of the Muslim faith to get very specific and very vocal with their people – to stand up, in public, and proclaim that true Muslims hate and despise the terrorist acts made by ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and any and all hate groups throughout the world, that the actions of such groups are despised and rejected as a way of life, and that Muslims in the U.S.A. have no part or sympathy with such people or movements.

And I will go further. I would challenge Muslims and non-Muslims alike to search out the language and the meaning in the Koran. Does the Koran mean that only those who believe and practice its premises should be allowed to live? If so, then the Koran should be banned in the U.S.A., and it principles ignored and disavowed by all – Muslims and non-Muslims. Anything contrary to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights should be banned because it works against the freedoms to which U.S. citizens are entitled.

Now, I may be criticized for this – but I don’t really care because the truth of any matter always works against those who despise truth.

Many people have certain foreign customs, customs that they love, customs they brought from their country of origin. The question I pose is simply this: if foreign customs and practices are permitted in public, or permitted at all – are these practices allowable under our Constitution, protecting or at least not threatening the rights of others of different religious persuasions?

This is very important. ALL of us came from some other land or country – even the American Indians, who, according to most research, were pretty largely Europeans. (A few tribes were Chinese, Mexican and South American.)

We need to consider what message or messages that public displays of foreign customs send to those of us who do not have or display such customs. This usually involves matters of dress, head-coverings, etc. The Bible has this correct. The Bible says we should avoid doing things that cause others to stray or get the wrong idea about life. It even suggests, as the great Apostle Paul said, that we should sacrifice and take a loss if our actions can be misinterpreted or misunderstood.

Perhaps it may seem harmless to us. But it could cause a weaker person (in the sense of beliefs) to go astray. So, if such be the case, we need to refrain from taking such actions.

This, dear friends, is public awareness, and demands careful thought. All people in the U.S.A., whether legal citizens or not, should be well aware that freedoms for ALL can only be preserved when we do not violate the freedoms of anyone.

I would challenge the leaders of any block of people: BE REAL LEADERS. Study your own customs, and be very careful that public displays of your customs (especially religious customs) do not send the wrong message to others. If there is any question as to implying superiority of your customs’ displays, these displays should be voluntarily discontinued in public.

Since my writing here in this venue is angled towards what I see in some courtrooms today involving Sharia law (maybe tomorrow involving something else), I would urge Muslim leaders and people of Muslim faith to publicly disavow the terrorists who claim that their authority for killing comes from the Koran (or from Mohammed, or anything or anyone else), and the beliefs of these groups which they claim for their actions–their violence and utter disregard for human decency.

These terrorists must be denied and must be condemned by Muslim leaders and those of the Muslim faith. Muslims’ actions must reflect their desire to embrace and to be a part of a free society, here. Freedom for some is NOT the same as freedom for ALL.

WHY IS IT THIS WAY?

Did you ever wonder why God does things the way He does? I think all of us have, at one time or another.

I think it would be helpful if I could explain why God thinks and acts the way HE does. I hear someone say, “You can’t know that!” “Yes, you can know that!”

Why does God’s forgiveness of man’s sins and acceptance into HIS family have to be all about Jesus Christ? Why can’t we have a more reasonable way? And why does there have to be ONE WAY and no other way?

We will start with the nature of God. If you can’t or won’t believe in God – there is no other way. In the Bible, book of Hebrews, Chapter I, we see the explanation of the apostle Paul about God’s speaking to us humans. In time past, God spoke to man through the prophets. Now HE (GOD) speaks through HIS SON JESUS CHRIST.

If we do not respect God’s authority, we can never be part of HIS plan of salvation. Read the first 7 verses of Hebrews I, where God places HIS SON Jesus Christ above the position of the angels. God the Father speaks to The Son: “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.” God the Father calls God The son: “GOD” And HE IS!!

God came to earth in the form of Jesus Christ to grow up as a man, witness, teach, heal and do every possible kind of miracle. Jesus had that authority and still has.

It is up to us, as sinners, falling short of God’s perfection, to be forgiven, God’s way – not some other way – not our own way. Not some way in which MAN is lifted high, but in a way where JESUS CHRIST is lifted high.
We read in Romans, Chapter 4, verses 1 through 3, that Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. This is the righteousness of salvation, friends. This passage of Scripture deals with the life of Abraham, hundreds of years before the 10 Commandments were ever written.

Forgiveness and salvation must be all about GOD, with no merit to man. God has no credit or glory if man can be his own savior. Those who say there are many ways to heaven and forgiveness than through Jesus Christ, are glorifying man and his ingenuity rather than God.

Then again, we have another wonderful but startling truth – every sin committed against anyone, is a sin also against GOD, because GOD is the Creator of the universe. So the forgiveness for man must be forgiveness FROM the very One who has been sinned against. You would not expect a neighbor to forgive you for a sin against someone else, and not the neighbor, would you?

So, you see, there is really NO EXCUSE for anyone not to be saved – not to confess their sins before Christ and be forgiven, pardoned and healed – NO EXCUSE!

Now I am quite sure there may be some who will say I’m making it too simple. I’m not – because the idea and the very means to salvation is very simple for us to act upon, but also very profound and deep in its meaning and accomplishment.

How wrong people can be, and yet how close to the truth can they be? We see in Luke 5:21 the following: After Jesus had healed a man with the palsy (a shaking disease), Jesus said, “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.” Then the scribes and Pharisees said, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” These misguided leaders could not deny that healing had been accomplished, but they could downgrade what Jesus said.

They were correct in saying that only God could forgive sins. They were wrong because they did not acknowledge Jesus as God, since Jesus did the forgiving. So people can perhaps be right in a half-sense, but wrong in failing to acknowledge God in the process.

And since GOD, in the person of Jesus Christ died on the cross in Our Place, we the sinners, do not have to die for our own sins. It is simple, yet so profound!! Ezekiel 18:4 says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” From many other Scriptures we learn that spiritual death is meant here, not physical death. We all will undergo physical death eventually. (Spiritual death is eternal separation from God.)

So salvation establishes our forgiveness for our sins, and we are drawn into God’s family – to enjoy a home in heaven – FOREVER!!

I’M OFFENDED

”I’m offended by that!” I hear this kind of remark all the time! I hear remarks like this reported over the news and at other times. “I’m offended by a baseball or a football coach’s praying while his players are gathered around him before the game”. “I’m offended by the cross – as a symbol of life and belief.”  “I’m offended by the crucifix I see some people wear.” And the list goes on [ad nauseam].

You know what? I’m offended by a lot of things, too…it’s just that I don’t make such a fuss about many things. I don’t whine and complain about them like some do, and call attention to their endless chatter about their “so-called” rights.
Although, my complaints about the actions and the lifestyles of many others don’t often, if ever, make the front page of the paper or the leading TV headline.

I am offended by the lifestyle of those who would bully or injure or kill someone and cause the person’s family to suffer pain without end. I am offended by people who take the freedoms that U.S. citizenship provides (or is supposed to provide) and then use those freedoms to trash and to downgrade the God-given freedoms of others.

I’m offended at t-shirts, which promote hatred, violence, sexual violence, and any kind of bad manners, and the downgrading of women or the exploitation of women. And I am certainly offended by court rulings that take away, or cast doubt on one’s personal freedom within the law and within common sense and social decency.

Do you know what I think? I think that in the U.S.A., I have, or I’m supposed to have religious freedom, the freedom to believe and to worship according to my heart’s dictates – so long as I do not trash the different belief of another.

There are, in my humble opinion, entirely too many people who think that their rights, and only their rights are important – their rights in society, in the home, in the marketplace, and in their business. They have either forgotten or never knew, that the greatest country in the WORLD respects the rights of EVERYONE. But the respecting of the rights of everyone absolutely means that the governing rules of their country cannot be ignored or changed, but MUST be preserved. Otherwise, everyone’s rights will be gone within a very short time.

Now, let me be perfectly clear. One would think that what I have said would already be understood. I’m sorry, but in my experience, it hasn’t.

Each person’s freedom should be subject to or modified by the freedoms of others. And this is only within the freedoms of the laws of our country. No one should have the right to challenge or infringe upon my personal rights if the laws of my country are obeyed. Going against the laws of your country almost always goes against common sense. Also, when, if ever, does the infringing or denial of your country’s rights constitute freedom in the sense of freedom for all? Freedom for some and not freedom for all is NOT true freedom for anyone.

Such activity as I have described is called Dictatorship, which destroys the rights of a free people. This freedom-less way of life is for a citizen who has a king and an absolute monarch for the head of the nation.

Most of us may be able to remember that great movie of a past time which told about the Civil War and its happenings. It showed, in a correct, graphic, and historical manner, the collapse of the South and the ways of slavery. The name of this film was Gone With the Wind.

This so-called genteel lifestyle of the U.S. southern plantations and the way of life there disappeared. The South lost the Civil War, the North won, and slavery was abolished. A way of life founded on a wrong principle came to an end – it was “gone with the wind.”

So, in the same way, when our Constitution and our Bill of Rights are trashed by the wrong people we may vote into office, our way of life, our freedom of religion and conscience with protective laws for all, will vanish – it will all be “gone with the wind.” And it may be much later, or never, when our former way of life with freedom for all within laws that protect everyone’s rights will ever again be established.