Tanstaffel

I read a story in a professional pharmacy magazine many years ago which has great pertinence for today. I thought that it was not only interesting, but timely and fitting as well. In fact, it compares strikingly with present day governmental situations in our country.

The word is pronounced “Tawn-stoff-el”.

The little story goes something like this:

Long ago in a far country was a little village that was peaceful and peace-loving – the people there were caring and good-hearted – most everything that a family could need in these simple times was made in this little village and was sold at very reasonable prices.

The founding fathers there (we will call them the village fathers) came together and said, “We have wonderful people here, and they are peaceful folks. We need to do something good for these good people to show that we care for them.” So they decided to provide free circuses for their great people. The people were delighted and many attended the free circuses, which offered showings all during the days and into the evenings.

The village fathers were delighted, but they thought that they should do more. So, they provided free hammocks for each and every circus-goer, so that each one would be rested and comfortable watching the free circus.

This went on for some time, and the village fathers decided to go still further. They decided to provide free bread for the good citizens to eat while lying in their free hammocks, watching the free circuses.

But shortly after, something strange began to happen to the good people in the little village.

Suddenly, or so it seemed, there appeared to be no shoes available in this little village; no pants, no dresses or other necessary items required for their simple lives.

What, oh what were the village fathers to do about this? They pondered, they studied, they talked with one another. Finally they came, as a group, to a decision.

They would all go for advice to the wise old man of the mountain, who lived on a mountaintop, two or three miles out of town. They began their important trek, through the little village, and to the base of the mountain where the wise old man made his abode. Up the steep mountain they trudged, with canes and walking sticks to help them navigate, until at last they finally arrived at his place.

The old man of the mountain greeted them, and had them sit down and tell their story. The wise old man was very patient, and he listened to every word that was said.

When the group had finished their story, the wise old man of the mountain lifted up his head, and uttered a single work – “Tanstaffel”, which being interpreted is: “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!”

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.

WHO IS FIT TO SERVE IN GOVERNMENT?

I have long pondered this great question in detail. Is there, by any chance at all, a quick and easy marker or guideline to determine, up front, who is fit to serve in government and who is not? Yes, indeed there is.

Now, dear reader, you need to understand a few things very clearly. Your very life, not to mention a decent life, hangs upon this very marked principle.

I am now 89 years old, a Navy veteran of W.W.II and I am a person who greatly desires to leave some legacy from his life which will benefit mankind, and especially U.S. citizens, regardless of age or social standing.

I have practiced two professions – maybe you could say three. Being a registered pharmacist for 30 plus years would be one. Being a rental landlord and business building owner, would be two. And I now am a practicing professional musician. This would be the third profession.

My dad was a career public school teacher and administrator, and he was a bit of a philosopher, as was his own father.

Perhaps I am a bit more of a political thinker than either of them, but considering that the times were different, maybe not.

Our federal government is, frankly, a disaster today – proceeding to marry the citizens of the U.S.A. to a system of Socialism – or worse. We have a president who has exceeded his constitutional authority well exceeding 28 to 30 times, in matters of extreme importance. He has not, and will not, follow the Constitution of our great country, which gives powers to the President, the Congress (both Houses), the states, and the people.

I expect to be challenged here, as to my statements and my conclusions, and I would be glad to be challenged as a younger man, but now – especially as an elderly person – for what I believe and WHY.

Let me review, for each of you readers, a great statement from the Declaration of Independence, a document having equal authority with the Constitution of the United States of America:

“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 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.”

You may see this portion of the Declaration discussed in my writing entitled “Big Government.” In this present article, I am talking about a different aspect of the same thing.

Now please read carefully and understand – any person who does not totally believe that our rights come from God should never be allowed to hold high public office, either federal or state level and maybe not even municipal level. WHY? I know that I will hear that said, maybe shouted!!

And here is my answer to the “WHY.”

Anyone who does not believe that God gives us these rights must believe that someone or some group gave these rights to us. That leaves the obvious conclusion: our rights then, as outlined in the Declaration, are given to us by some person or government official, or group of people. Now, what do we have?

Why, we have the rule of man over our lives. And, what kind of man or what kinds of men do we then have? Men of power, men of influence, men of prestige, men of money and wealth and whatever else men might need to keep themselves in a position of power.

Now God is not about to take away the rights He has given to a people whom He has designed to be free – oh, yes, “we the people” may neglect these rights, or question them (if we are that ignorant), or try to change the meaning of these rights, so as to make them of no effect.

Now I need to remind my readers of something that they may wish to avoid or question. If a person or group of people does not acknowledge God as the giver of these rights, then they believe that our rights come from man – not “any” man or group, but the man or group who now has the rights of all of us in his human hand. It should be an obvious deduction, but I am afraid it has been missed.

Anyone who believes in anything, any premise, any philosophy, will, in his or her position of power, do all in their power to accomplish what THEY believe in.

What one believes, one will try to mold, make, and establish. In the entire history of man, it has never been different. The kindly, the benevolent person tries to establish kindness, in attitude and in deed. The power-grabber, the dictator, the unscrupulous leader will quickly try to act out the things he believes in. And ever so slowly (and sometimes quickly), the leader or leaders in power seek to accomplish what THEY believe in – at the cost of ANYONE standing in their way.

So, in essence, what a person believes, he will try to accomplish and establish. And so, another possibility arises – might such a person use lies, cruelty, abuse, or loss of life against anyone who disagrees with him and his so-called “beliefs?” ABSOLUTELY!!!

You have heard the quotation: “Power corrupts – Absolute Power corrupts absolutely”!!

If we, as a free people (or having once been a free people), expect to regain the God-given freedoms we once had, and retain them, we, therefore, cannot allow people who believe our rights do not come from God to hold any public position of trust – for they who believe our rights come from man will do all in their power to take away our God-given rights and give us the miserable so-called rights of whatever man in power deems necessary to keep us from rebelling.

Now I am not saying that a man who believes our rights come from man and groups of men has no rights and privileges. We would allow him or her to be a decent law-abiding person, good marriage mate, and allowed to bounce grandchildren and great-grandchildren on their knee as often as they wish. But should we allow them to hold high public office?

To do so, we would forfeit our rights to provide fair treatment for everyone and dignity for all deserving of such. We would neglect to follow God’s recipe for successful lives for all and equal opportunity for all.

Now one more thing – being “created equal” does not mean we all have equal mentality or equal abilities. It merely means that our lives are of equal value and of equal importance to God, regardless of our financial or social status. We all should be equal under the law.

We could very likely, in my system, need new political parties, with different names. It would be a very small price to pay. We would have individual freedom within laws that protect everyone.

Shouldn’t this be what the U.S.A. is all about?

OUR COUNTRY – BACK TO THE BASICS AND BACK TO COMMON SENSE

Now let’s get to the real heart of the matter and to the heart of the life of citizens of the U.S.A.

NO ONE IN THIS LIFE ON EARTH, NO ONE OR NO GROUP OR ORGANIZATION can get by and accomplish anything good on earth without some rules. Liberals delight in having as few rules as possible, and their rules have to establish and continue their way of life. The rules they hate are any rules that subtract from their authority and/or restrict their control over the lives of others.

It is an awesome responsibility to govern a country. You cannot be fair and have a double standard, that is—one set of rules for those who govern, and a much more harsh set of rules for everyone else.

Now let’s go further. What should our governing rules be? Why, The Constitution of the United States of America – the rules that made this nation the greatest on earth – “the shining city on a hill” – yes, the greatest land of opportunity by far than any other nation on earth.

Why don’t we have this now? What has slowly happened to create joblessness, fewer jobs, fewer decent jobs, huge increase in the size of our government, huge government deficits, with interest payments on borrowed money at a scandalously high level? What has happened to the trust we, as a people, used to have, most of the time, in our elected officials?

Why have we allowed the opinions of some to nullify the religious rights of other people, and claim unfairness and tragedy if Christian beliefs, symbols and customs are allowed to express not only Christian beliefs, but traditional American values – values that have been part of the American heritage for years and years?

The answer is very simple, folks. We have two political parties in the U.S.A. who have completely opposite views of politics and religion.

The Republican Party, in general, believes in the sanctity of human life, freedom of religion, the sanctity of traditional marriage (one man and one woman), limited government, responsible government, balanced budgets, reductions in federal spending and handouts, the elimination of unelected officials, as is being carried out today (unelected officials: people with no names and no faces, running our lives).

The Republican Party, in general, believes in a government and in government officials who are honest, who don’t lie, and don’t cover up the truth about what happens under their direction.

Now let’s look at the present Democratic Party. In general, democrats believe in abortion on demand, homosexuality and lesbianism, and other perversions of human relations. They definitely believe in larger and more intrusive government – at the top. They believe in unlimited federal spending for Socialistic causes, a weaker military force, and as little government accountability as it is possible to have, and dishonesty in high places. (as evidenced by the continued having-to-resign-because-I-got-caught-doing-something-illegal appointees!!!!)

Now I’m sure, not all democrats, perhaps, want this, but the few who don’t are swimming upstream against the current of the vast majority of their party in these current times.

Also we are seeing, in too many instances, the view that it is o.k. to bash Christianity and its beliefs, but o.k. for every other system of religion to have its say without compromise. Every other view of spirituality and religion will be upheld by the liberals, but the Christian viewpoint is not being protected.

–NOW, PLEASE GET THIS POINT–

Look at the situation our country is in today, and explain to me, what the liberal, left-wing position of government has done to what used to be the greatest nation on earth.

We are in the job situation we are in because we have a bunch in power who want NO RULES OF CONDUCT, NO ACCOUNTABILITY of GOVERNMENT,and the right to deny God and His influence in our lives, and absolute authority at the top.

I’m not saying that one party is to blame for all of this, but I’m saying, that even if you, the voter, the citizen, don’t care much for any rules of life or government, why is it that we find such a governmental mess, as now? When you have no rules, this is what you get!!

Further than this, the policies of our present government, since 2008, has been to turn our country from a Republic (technically, a Democracy in a Republic) into a Socialistic, semi-Communistic state, appearing very much like those governments our Founding Fathers fled from years ago, when our great country was established.

Does this make any sense to you? If it doesn’t, Dear Friend, YOU are part of the problem, and certainly not part of the solution.

You cannot have true freedom with the degree of joblessness we have today—you cannot have true freedom if you have a government with less and less accountability—less and less caring—less and less common sense—and less and less like the government of our forefathers, where the Constitution provided some rules. It is our departure from the rules that is the cause of our deep problems.

Now, let’s deal with what has been said earlier. A compromise in the House and Senate amounts to a surrender to a Socialistic and irresponsible type of government, that heretofore we have not known. This is why one party doesn’t want to compromise with the liberals and left-wingers – it isn’t a question of a little better way of doing things – it is a question of denying the rules (The Constitution), the great structure that has contributed to every success we have had as a nation.

NO ONE I know of has ever found true success (without hurting others), if they have ignored or denied the basic rules that have made us what we are.

We are aware of the hurt of joblessness, of lack of protection for some of our citizens, of lies and cover-ups. It does not matter which party is in power, which party has violated the basic core beliefs of a true republic – this must end or we will have no country to enjoy, for safety, for accomplishment, for pride, for justice, for fairness.

It is inherently wrong to take from one person and give to another, regardless of “The Greater Good” speeches I have heard. Socialism has been a disaster everywhere it has been practiced. There are no exceptions. When you destroy incentive, you attempt to make everyone alike. This kills a person and a nation.

Everyone who compromises with what is wrong is guilty of being wrong. If we still value a decent country, we cannot compromise with wrong, lest we become part of the wrong.

Each citizen, whether of voting age or not, needs to be part of the solution to our problems, not part of the problems.

Those who preach compromise at any cost are guilty of destroying part of the basics of the best country on earth. There can be NO COMPROMISE with evil, with wrong, with our country’s precious beliefs.

Just look at what is happening in our country – just for a quiet moment, realize that whoever is in charge of our government must mind rules that work, that create jobs, and opportunity, and fairness and dignity.

Our spendthrift leaders have all but bankrupted our country, even now. When is our government going to live under the same financial rules as a household has to? Think about it – don’t let political parties cloud your vision. The only real question for a candidate for office is: WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?

It would be a big help to many voters if the two great political parties became (ALL) CONSERVATIVE and (ALL) LIBERAL. We would ALL, then, at least know what we have.

Conservatism is and always will be the course of common sense.

Liberalism will always be, in general, anti-religious, power-hungry, less than honest, and by their beliefs, destructive to decent government, to individual liberty and opportunity, and to common sense.

Citizen – Take your choice!! What kind of country and what kind of life will you have??

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.

HYPER-CALVINISM

This Christian belief followed the theological principles of John Calvin, born 1509, died 1564. His nationality was French. He was a noted theologian in his time.(1) Basically, Calvin believed, as concerning the Gospel, that God decided at the beginning of time, those who would be saved and those who would be eternally lost, as far as relationship to God was concerned. There was no freedom of choice for either group of people.

Some of Calvin’s followers carried his belief even beyond what he believed.
The hyper-Calvinist position maintains that the matter of salvation is and must be all about God – that the whole nature of God is destroyed if man is not already programmed to receive Christ as Savior from the very beginning of his life. Otherwise, it cannot be true, that if man has anything to do with receiving Christ, then God’s plan is not all about God and nothing about man.

I find the conclusions of this group to be very suspect and flawed. I, too, am a student of the Bible.

(2) In the first place, the plan of salvation is all about God – God sent Christ to die for the sins of mankind. The hyper-Calvinists would probably agree up to this point. God Himself initiated the plan of salvation. Man had no role in making this plan. So those that God programmed from the very beginning to be saved must believe and accept the plan of God, according to the Calvinists. This assumes that man is a robot, a programmed person.

(3) However, man has a free will, given to him by God Himself. No one can show from Scripture or from observation of man in real life, that he does not have a free will. One person robs a bank or murders someone–another person does neither.

(4) Then I would ask the hyper-Calvinist this: prove to me that man has no free will. Perhaps they are saying that man could have a free will in his life, but does not have the free will to receive or to refuse salvation, offered by God.

Man cannot have a divided free will. He either has free will in his life or he doesn’t. So denying man’s free will negates their entire argument.

(5) Now we very much need to consider one of God’s attributes: foreknowledge, which means that God knows everything and all things in advance, before events occur. I can scarcely imagine that anyone with any knowledge of God whatsoever would dispute this attribute of God’s.

It is not wrong, nor inconceivable to try to apply each attribute of God to how He uses that attribute.

Since foreknowledge means that God knows everything about everyone from the very beginning, we must understand something that many have been confused about and have used to form the wrong conclusion. God’s foreknowledge and where this leads Him may be different from His desires concerning a man or a nation. Foreknowledge does not necessarily mean God’s approval.

Does anyone believe that God was pleased with the decision of Adam and Eve to disobey and eat of the fruit of that tree that God had warned them not to eat of? Did God program them to sin? God forbid!

Now to continue and to approach the matter of free will, we see the steps God took concerning all of mankind. First, God had foreknowledge of everything and everyone. Next, God made an election (or a calling), electing those who would come to Him and be saved, the manner of His salvation offer by and through Jesus Christ. And God elected to absolutely fulfill the destiny that God had for them. Look at Romans 8:28-30. (verse 28)

“And we know that all things work together for God to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (verse 29) “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (verse 30) “Moreover, whom He did predestinate them He also called: and whom He called He also justified, and who He justified, then he also glorified.”

There is nothing in Scripture that definitely states that those God foreknew that would accept Christ would have a future based upon their acceptance of God’s salvation. But one would also be led to believe that those choosing Christ of their own free will would also be those selected and called to full salvation, and predestinated to go to heaven, in accordance with their free will choice.

Predestination means that God will, without fail, carry those He has elected (or called) to heaven as their final home.

So we have God’s foreknowledge, His called (elected) ones, also justified and guaranteed to reach the promised destination or end. This agrees with the free will of man, which God gave to him. Free will cannot be denied. Free will does not fit with man’s being a robot, or a programmed person. If you don’t believe this, explain Romans 10:9-13 (the choice about Jesus that all must make – belief or unbelief).

(6) I believe that our hyper-Calvinistic friends might agree with the Scripture verse which says: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).
I believe they would, but here is the hang-up. They believe that man cannot, of his own free will, receive Christ as Savior (because they say that man has no free will at all). I am saying there is no such thing as divided free will. It can never be shown or proven by Scripture or in earthly life.

(7) Now we come to choices. The Bible shows that throughout man’s experiences on earth, he is continually faced with choices. The first and foremost of these choices is whether to obey or disobey God–in anything. I am talking about salvation and any other choice in life. Did not Adam and Eve have a choice to obey or to disobey? How about Cain? How about Moses? How about the Apostle Paul? Peter? Barnabus? Timothy? Onesimus, etc?

Look at Romans 4:1-4, especially verse 3,

“For what sayeth the Scripture? Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

Now this incident came before the Ten Commandments (The Law) were given, and also before Christ came to earth to teach, suffer and die for man’s sins. Did Abraham have a choice to believe God and act upon that belief, or not? Don’t dare try to tell me that the Bible is not full of choices for man–it is simply not so.

(8) Now explain this to me, also. What was the purpose of the extensive animal sacrifices throughout the period of time before Christ came to earth? Speaking of man…do you mean that man had no choices to make about salvation, since God had already determined which group of people would receive Christ? If all of this had been previously determined by God, what purpose did the extensive sacrifices serve?

(9) Now let’s go further than this. Why send Christ to earth to teach, to suffer, to die the death of a criminal, the death of a cursed person, if God had already decided who would be saved and who would be lost, not based upon man’s free will, but upon God’s decision of justice. I will admit that God would have the right to do this–to put His justice ahead of every other attribute He (God) had. but it seems to this humble writer that God would not have needed to send Christ to earth at all. If Christ’s coming to earth had nothing to do with man’s freedom of choice, then what was God’s purpose in sending Christ at all?

(10) Now, onward we go. What other attributes besides justice does God have and how are they used in the Bible? Let’s look at love, mercy and grace.
It is obvious that God has love, or nobody would be alive on the earth. A person who is saved (no matter in what manner he was saved)–is not a perfect person. God’s saved and grateful people will tell you that. We who are saved are not perfect…just forgiven.

You can certainly agree or disagree with me about God’s love–but as we look at John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world…” and as we look at Romans 5:8: “But God commended (showed) His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…”
we see that these verses certainly show and announce love, regardless of God’s motives in sending Christ to earth.

Now love, God’s love, would have to be His reason for mercy and grace. Disagree if you wish, but mercy and grace absolutely have to do with Christ’s great sacrifice.

Mercy is defined as God’s decision to withhold from us the justice we deserve as sinners, as those falling short of God’s perfection. (His failing to give us what we deserve.)
Grace is defined as God’s decision not to punish us for our sinfulness (giving us what we don’t deserve).

Mercy and grace tell of the same thing in a different way. (The two verses I have stated in point #10.)

God withholds from us the punishment we deserve and fails to punish us for what we obviously deserve.

(11) Now, again, going onward. Our dear friends, over-burdened by hyper-Calvinism, are confused about gifts. We should all know what a gift is. Now there is a completed gift and a potential gift.

I believe I am correct in this: a gift is a gift is a gift. A thing offered as a gift is still a gift, even if it is not received. It remains a potential gift, offered with the same love from the giver, whether received or not. Now, if the gift is received, it can fulfill its intention. We cannot really cheapen the gift if it is offered and not received (accepted).

Now, the gift of salvation is from God the Father, by and through Jesus Christ, the Son, who is also God (John1:1-3) and the gift is Christ Himself.

(12) Now, to finish my presentation…God’s glory. He created the heavens and the earth, and also man. I will admit, that God, viewing His handiwork could realize some satisfaction and glory from His creation of the heavens and the earth.

But the real glory must come from His creation of man. How can God receive any glory from a disobedient man or woman? NO. He gets glory from man’s obedience and this obedience begins and ends with: “Christ in you, the hope of glory”!!

And obedience comes with the exercise of free will.

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