What was Jesus’ Original Name?

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Yehoshua

The work of Jesus on the Cross was pivotal for all human history. Before the Cross we looked for the Messiah (Christ), the deliverer of God. After the Cross we look back to Jesus and the forgiveness of sin he died to give us – our Savior. Jesus’ work is established for all time no matter what. While exploring what the original name of Jesus was, it is not as important as the work he did for us at the Cross. But to be faithful to the truth let’s explore how to pronounce the name of Jesus in the original language used by the Jews in Jesus’ day?

The English name of Jesus in the New Testament comes from the Greek word – Iesous. From the Strong’s Concordance we find more information on this name.

2424 IēsoúsJesus, the transliteration of the Hebrew term, 3091 /Lṓt (“Yehoshua”/Jehoshua, contracted to “Joshua”) which means “Yahweh saves” (or “Yahweh is salvation”).

We find that ‘Jesus’ means ‘salvation’ or ‘the Lord is salvation.’ Jesus’ name originally came from the name of Jehoshua (Joshua). Joshua was with Moses when he led the children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt. And later Joshua led the Israelis into the Promised Land (Eretz Yisrael).

The name of Joshua (English) was originally Yehoshua (Hebrew) pronounced ye-hoh-shoo-ah. The name of Yehoshua is found in the Hebrew Bible 218 times with the spelling of y’hoshua. The shortened version of Yehoshua (Yeshua) is only found 40 times in the Hebrew Bible and can refer to other people besides Joshua of old. I have been told that it is like calling James – Jimmy, a nickname of James. Yeshua as a shortened name may only be a nickname for Yehoshua.

As the original name of Yehoshua was translated into Greek as Iesous, it was later translated into Latin as Iesus. And when the Latin was Anglicized (translated into English) the ‘I’ became a ‘J’ and therefore Iesus became Jesus. As the original Greek Bible was translated into English, Joshua’s name was mistranslated as Jesus in Acts 7:45, which shows the linguistic link between the names of Joshua and Jesus.

Jesus’ original name was that given to Joshua, originally pronounced Yehoshua in Hebrew. Is it wrong to use the name of Yeshua to refer to Jesus? Of course not! But why not use the original name of Yehoshua that is the proper name given to our Lord and our Savior.

Pray this prayer for God’s salvation:

God of heaven, I believe in Jesus Christ and what he did for me on the Cross. I believe that he paid for the penalty of my sin, which I admit I have done. I ask for your forgiveness of my sin and thank you for your love. Please bring me closer to you so that I may know you. By your Holy Spirit, please make in me a clean heart, a renewed spirit, and a right mind that I may do those things that are pleasing to you. Thank you God, Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and now my Father in heaven. Amen!

Hidden Treasures of the Declaration of Independence – Part 4o4

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Patriot Flag

Individual Liberties vs Collective Bargaining

The founding vision of American liberty was for individual liberty. Everyone was responsible for their own actions and for the rewards that came with their decisions. Individual liberty meant freedom to worship God according to one’s own conscience, pursue any activity that provided for one’s own livelihood and that of one’s own family, and many more activities that one may enjoy in life.

Collective bargaining, on the other hand, means that individuals give up some of their personal liberties to support a larger group of people in what has become an entitlement state. Instead of the government protecting individual economic opportunities and the freedom to choose one’s own economic path, the government requires individuals to pay higher taxes to support government run entitlements, submit to collective bargaining contracts, such as with unions, without being free to join or not join one, buy insurance or submit to penalties, and much more.

Although government run charities that make up the entitlement state seem like the Christian thing to do, they are actually a violation of the separation of Church and State.

The idea of the separation of Church and State was first applied in revolutionary Virginia in the 1780s. James Madison circulated his Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments that eventually gave freedom to Virginians to choose the religion they would support instead of submitting to the state’s only religion that was funded by taxation (religious assessments).

Baptists supported the disestablishment of Virginia’s State Church and Madison’s Memorial as they were denied the license to preach and practice their faith by the state. Baptist believed that to force people to attend Church by conscription and pay tithes by taxation was a violation of the separation of Church and State and it limited the willingness of people to do both.

When taxes are levied upon private citizens to pay for government run charities, people are less willing to support charitable work than if they were free to support them by free will offerings. The idea of Church State separation applied in Virginia by Madison, before he drafted the U.S. First Amendment, is directly related to the notion of taxation for charitable contributions –  a religious assessment. Forcing people to pay tithes and offerings in support of state charities by taxation is a violation of the separation of Church and State. Although government run charities seem Godly, they are not found in the Bible or the Constitution and they violate individual liberties.

Unions are free associations for economic gain that individuals may participate with but when individuals are forced to join unions without the option to freely join or not to join a union, the freedoms that the founders fought to give them are lost. Unions rely upon collecting bargaining to gain leverage against abusive businesses that represent the only job in town. When there is a monopoly for job opportunities, the management may be unconcerned about their employees or their job conditions. A monopoly of workers using collective bargaining can offset these abuses (monopoly vs monopoly) and provide benefits to business overall.

However, the forced subjugation of workers to pay union fees is contrary to the idea of personal liberty. And the requirement to submit to unions by law without the liberty to vote (yea or nay) to join a union is reminiscent of tyranny and not liberty. People should have the right to free associations but not become subjugated to them by force, coercion, or misguided law. Unions need to survive without these brutal tactics and support individual freedoms if they are going to survive at all.

Recent events have shown the idea of special welfare (charity by the state) becoming general welfare with the introduction of government required health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as the federal health care law, has become a government mandate that requires people to buy health insurance or face financial penalties. This is a violation of individual liberties that our nation was founded on.

Although the idea of helping people with their health care needs is laudable, forcing people to buy insurance by law is not. Although the Court ruled it to be a tax, this tax is another violation of the separation of Church and State, not to mention a violation of the Constitution (Art. 1, Sec. 8). If we don’t stop these abusive practices by the government we will continue to lose our individual liberties.

Abraham Lincoln

The foundation of America has been a question of debate and many point to the Declaration of Independence as the beginning of the American nation. Although challenged by some, this perspective is supported by history. Proof of this can be found in the words of Abraham Lincoln, an American leader during her struggle for survival in the Civil War.

Although not obvious, Abraham Lincoln spoke of the Declaration of Independence in 1863, with his Gettysburg Address. He said:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Lincoln was making a clear statement about the foundation of America but the date he referred to is not easy to see. Key to this passage of Lincoln’s is a phrase of 19th century mathematics, “Four score and seven years…”

A ‘score’ is an old English word that means the number twenty (20). Four score means four times twenty, which is eighty (80). Add seven and you get eighty-seven (87). The date is revealed when one subtracts 87 from 1863 to get 1776 (1863 – 87 = 1776). Lincoln said that in 1776, the year the Declaration of Independence was written and signed, the United States of America was born.

Lincoln reminded us that we were “conceived in liberty” and “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” These are clear references to the Declaration of Independence.

Lincoln concluded his great speech saying:

…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

A new birth is what Christians call a “Born Again” experience. That this nation should be Born Again is what Lincoln said America needed then and it is what we still need today.

America, once born of liberty with the principles found in the Declaration of Independence, once again needs a rebirth of liberty under God. The ideas of religious freedom, the preservation of our God given rights, of the right and responsibility to choose what is right, of all men being equal before God and the law, of liberty under law, liberty and justice for all, economic freedoms, individual liberties, and so much more, are still freedoms worth fighting for in the great cultural/civil war we face today in America.

Conclusion

Nicholas Cage played a character, Ben Gates, in the movie ‘National Treasure’ who was looking for clues that led him to the Declaration of Independence. One of his clues was found on the back of the Declaration of Independence that eventually led him to lost treasure underground at Trinity Church NYC; this was of course fictitious. The popularity of the movie, however, led many to a renewed interest in the ideas of America’s founding. Yet many still have no clue as to what the principles are that made the United States of America such a great nation.

The principles that built America are under assault today and have been for several decades in a great cultural civil war. The slow erosion of our liberties will not end unless we reassert the principles that made this nation great and demand our elected representatives follow them when enacting public policy. As a nation undergoing the turmoil of moral rot and decay, we truly need a rebirth of freedom that calls for the ideas of liberty that come from God.

Americans originally believed in God, believed in the freedom to worship, the notion that there were no rights to do what is wrong, individual liberties and responsibilities, and economic freedoms. Every one of these ideas espoused in the Declaration have come under assault and if we do nothing about them we will surely lose them.

Let our generation pick up the mantle of the Founding Fathers and follow the challenge given to all Americans by Abraham Lincoln, who in his Gettysburg Address said:

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion…

…to preserve our nation in the midst of a great civil/cultural war. May God Bless America once again!

Hidden Treasures of the Declaration of Independence – Part 3o4

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Life, Liberty, Property

The Rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

…that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The principles outlined in the list of rights of mankind were borrowed from John Locke who wrote about the rights of life, liberty, and estate in his, Two Treatises of Government, published in 1689. The Virginia State Legislature first established these rights in their Declaration of Rights one month prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence (June 12, 1776). Let’s explore each of them in the context of the Framer’s world view.

John Locke’s Two Treatises had the following to say about the famous triad of freedoms:

That being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions; for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker…

But after that [son growing to adulthood] the father and son are equally free as much as tutor and pupil after nonage, equally subjects of the same law together, without any dominion left in the father over the life, liberty, or estate of his son whether they be only in the state and under the law of nature, or under the positive laws of an established government…

And will anyone say, that the Mother hath a legislative power over her children, that she can make standing rules, which shall be of perpetual obligation, by which they ought to regulate all the concerns of their property, and bound their liberty all the course of their lives?…

To take away all such mutual grievances, injuries and wrongs, ie. such as attend men in the state of nature. There was no way but only by growing into composition and agreement amongst themselves, by ordaining some kind of government public, and by yielding themselves subject thereunto, that unto whom they granted authority to rule and govern, by them the peace, tranquility, and happy estate of the rest might be procured…

…nobody can transfer to another [legislature] more power than he has in himself; and nobody has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life or property of another. A man, as has been proved, cannot subject himself to the arbitrary power of another; and having in the state of nature no arbitrary power over the life, liberty, or possession of another, but only so much as the law of nature gave him for the preservation of himself, and the rest of mankind…

The rights to life, liberty, and property were basic human rights in Locke’s and the Framer’s minds. Let’s review each of these basic rights one at a time.

The Right to Life

The first of these is the right to life, which in the context of the 18th century meant the freedom to exist free from harm. Today we understand it in terms of abortion. Life was given to us by our parents and the right we have to life is a freedom to choose the course our life will take. When we are children, we are not responsible for the decisions we make but when we become adults we should follow a moral course in our lives by the choices we make. Having learned right from wrong as children, we take responsibility for our lives and decisions as adults.

God is the ultimate author of life and we are taught to preserve the right to life of all persons. Government is an institution of God meant to preserve right behavior and officers of the law are supposed to protect our day to day lives. However, following one Supreme Court ruling in 1973, the right to life for babies was dismissed in favor of the right of a mother to have an abortion.

In the context of the American Revolution, the right to life was not in the sense of abortion but in the freedom one had in their life to pursue their choices on a day to day basis without the government putting undue burdens on them. The government should protect everyone, young and old, in the choices they make. But for those whose lives are cut short by abortion, they do not have the opportunity to make even the simplest choice for life itself. It is the responsibility to make right choices, be accountable for wrong ones, and preserve the life of unborn children. The right to choose also means making right choices and being responsible for them as adults.

Liberty under Law

Liberty is not easily understood. As children we understand liberty in doing whatever we please. As adults, we understand liberty in the context of responsibility. The difference between children and adults is that adults are responsible for their decisions – children are not. Children should be trained to make good choices but until they’re adults, the parents are ultimately responsible for their choices.

The right to choose, associated with abortion, is often touted as a key right found under the umbrella of the right of liberty. But on closer examination, the right of liberty does not provide a foundation for abortion; liberty is a right that requires the prevention of abortion and other irresponsible and immoral decisions.

The genius of America’s Declaration of Independence is the idea of ‘liberty under law.’ The idea of God’s law being above man’s law is the means by which liberty is preserved and government has limits. ‘Liberty under Law,’ ‘liberty and justice for all’ are mottos that provide meaning for American liberty. Without the law, there is no definition of liberty in America.

Revolutionary France pursued a form of liberty without law. The French Revolution quickly devolved into anarchy from which a new form of tyranny developed – Napoleon. The world around us is undergoing numerous revolutions for their own liberty. However, they will never know the liberty we enjoy in America unless their governments provide justice for their people according to the rule of law.

Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in 1804 not only wrote about the ‘wall of separation’ but concluded that same paragraph stating that he was “convinced that there was no private right contrary to one’s public duty.” The rights we have, including liberty, are not without public moral responsibility.

The idea of self-governance once again is an idea of behaving oneself. The notion that one can do whatever one wants to do no matter who it harms is contrary to the American idea of liberty and it is childish. While adult men and women have the right to make decisions for their lives, they also have the responsibility to choose what is right. The supposed ‘right to choose’ without taking the responsibility to ‘choose what is right’ is an idea of anarchy and not liberty.

Pursuit of Happiness

Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the phrases in the Declaration of Independence is the idea of the right to pursue one’s own happiness. Like the right to liberty, the right to pursue happiness is not without moral constraints. And as a principle, the pursuit of happiness was meant to convey the idea of pursuing one’s own economic happiness – a right of property.

Thomas Jefferson was a Virginian close to the Virginia state assembly where they debated about the principles that John Locke outlined. They would establish the rights of life, liberty, and property in the Virginia Bill of Rights on June 12, 1776, in the following terms:

That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

John Locke wrote about the pursuit of happiness in the following terms:

…that unto whom they granted authority to rule and govern, by them the peace, tranquility, and happy estate of the rest might be procured…

The right to pursue one’s own economic liberty to secure one’s own happiness was a basic right to Virginians and all Americans. Jefferson simply took the phrase “right of property” (from Locke’s list of rights of life, liberty, and property) and changed it to read, “pursuit of happiness.” In a modern context, we need to add one word so that we understand what the founders originally meant. The phrase should read, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of economic happiness.”

The phrase, “pursuit of happiness” has been used to suggest the right to do such things as practice abortions, homosexuality, and recreational drug use. Libertarian philosophy often misquotes this passage suggesting that they have a right to do whatever makes them happy, even if it is immoral. Libertarian philosophy advocates pseudo-anarchist viewpoints as it advocates an end to the law that prevents these immoral activities. Not only is the idea of ‘do what you want when you want’ contrary to the idea of ‘liberty under law,’ it has nothing to do with this passage in the Declaration.

In the context of the original document, Jefferson meant to convey the idea of the pursuit of ‘economic’ happiness. Lawlessness is a perverted idea of liberty that cannot be found anywhere in the Declaration of Independence. As the meaning of this passage has been lost in time, we can restore our understanding of what it really means and apply it as it was originally meant to be applied.

The Spirit of 1776 included the ideas of liberty. Self-government means behaving one’s self. We have lost the Spirit of 1776 and what it means to live a moral life free from government coercion. Today, we face persecution from the government in standing up for what is morally right. We need to reclaim the rights that God gave us and the Spirit that came from the Declaration of Independence, which included making right choices in our lives. Liberty under the law; liberty and justice for all were central to America’s freedom.

Snake on the Cross

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

snake

Personal Story

25 years ago I was walking in the woods around Austin Texas and enjoyed hiking in a place where there was nothing manmade. I was in the spirit fellowshipping with God (talking with God in the Spirit) as I enjoyed looking at the many wonderful things He had created. I saw birds, trees, creeks and took many pictures of the things that I saw. I enjoyed taking pictures of natural settings. As I was walking in this one creek bed that had dried up, for some strange reason I asked God if He would give me a picture of a snake. Much to my surprise God answered my prayer.

I thought to myself, how strange it was that I should ask for that. I just blurted out the prayer for a picture of a snake and thought maybe that prayer would make God mad. Well, it didn’t; at least I didn’t sense any anger from God in my spirit. So I asked God two more times for a picture of a snake as I continued to walk in the dried up creek bed.

I had on some new shoes and tried to negotiate the puddles of water that remained in the creek and then came to a spot where the water completely filled the creek. In the past I had walked through creeks of water as I enjoyed the natural surroundings but didn’t want to get my new shoes dirty or wet. I looked down the creek and saw that there were some trees that had fallen into the water. Earlier when walking through another creek, I climbed over dead trees in the water only to get stung by fire ants. So I decided that this was the end of the road for me that day.

I said to myself, “nah” as I made my decision not to wade through the water. But just as I said that simple word I heard a sound beneath me right in front of me. It was the sound of a snake leaving the shore on the creek going back into the water. It was a water-moccasin, perhaps one of the deadliest snakes in North America.

When I saw this snake go into the water I said, “oh boy, a snake.” I then whipped around my camera and took the picture of the snake. God had answered my prayer and I was jubilant. However, I had no idea of just what God had given to me.

After I got the picture back from the developer, I looked and saw that there was something on the snake. I saw that the sunlight had reflected off of a rock and made a line perpendicular (right angle) to the snake making the snake look like it was a part of a cross. God not only answered my prayer, he gave me a snake on a cross.

Biblical Story

Moses was struggling to lead the children of Israel through the wilderness as they murmured against him. They not only complained about Moses, they were in effect complaining about God’s leadership. From this God judged the people as it shown in the Old Testament story of the Bronze Serpent found in Numbers 21:4-9 (New King James Version (NKJV)).

4 Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way.

5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”

6 So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.

7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”

9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Moses made a snake out of bronze and put it on a pole making a cross for people to look to when they had been snake bitten by their own sin. Jesus made reference to this story when He explained what it meant to be Born Again. This is recorded in the New Testament book of John 3 (NKJV).

1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Jesus came down from heaven, would die on the Cross, and rise from the dead to go back to heaven. His purpose on the Cross was to pay for the penalty of mankind’s sin. As we are snake bit by our sin, God offers us the forgiveness of sin. And by believing in the work of Jesus on the Cross, we would be Born Again and have Eternal Life with Him.

Call to Prayer

God answered my simple prayer but possibly put it in my heart to pray so I would not be afraid when I encountered the snake in that creek bed. Perhaps His purpose was greater than mine when He led me to pray what I first thought was a silly prayer.

God has a purpose in mind for you as well. His purpose is not to condemn you but to save you. To save you from the snake bite of sin, to forgive your sin, and to give you a new life in Him becoming Born Again.

Today is the day to begin a new relationship with God. Pray this simple prayer:

God of heaven, I believe in Jesus Christ and what he did for me on the Cross. I believe that he paid for the penalty of my sin, which I admit I have done. I ask for your forgiveness of my sin and thank you for your love. Please bring me closer to you so that I may know you. By your Holy Spirit, please make in me a clean heart, a renewed spirit, and a right mind that I may do those things that are pleasing to you. Thank you God, Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and now my Father in heaven. Amen!

Hidden Treasures of the Declaration of Independence – Part 2o4

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

jefferson

Christian Rationalism vs Secular Rationalism

Unique as the idea of religious freedom is to America, so too is the competition for the meaning behind the phrase, “Wall of Separation between Church and State.” The idea of Church State separation was originally a Christian idea fostered by Separatist Christians (not Puritans). The ideas that Williams taught were gathered by Jefferson and later by James Madison who would write the First Amendment’s two religious clauses, which Jefferson later identified with William’s phrase on separation. Thomas Jefferson clearly identified America’s religious freedom with the ideas born of Christian rationalist teachings.

In 1947, the Supreme Court ruled on the meaning of the First Amendment’s two religious clauses and added words to Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists stating that the wall must be maintained, “high and impregnable.” These words were never used by Jefferson; this has been called the ‘myth of separation.’ From this decision came the modern idea of strict separation. However, the idea of No Preference that was applied to the First Amendment for 150 years before Everson was the original application of Church State separation. From the change made by the Court in 1947, secular rationalists have adopted and adapted the idea of the separation of Church and State to secularize American government and society.

No preference was argued in the Virginia state assembly during the 1780s by both sides over the issue of James Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments. It was used to advocate a bill for religious freedom in various ratifying conventions as a prerequisite for ratifying the new Constitution for the United States. No preference is found in the Constitution for the Republic of Texas (1836) in which the First Amendment was defined by the Texas bill for religious freedom calling No Establishment – No Preference and Free Exercise – the Freedom of Conscience. No preference as a rule for religious freedom is found in the current Constitution for the State of Texas (Art. 1, Sec. 6) and also found in a majority of all state constitution’s bills for religious freedom.

Secular rationalists have advocated the idea that religious freedom somehow means a separation from moral beliefs. As already noted, nothing could be further from the truth. Secular rationalists have also utilized the 1947 Everson decision (and those that followed) as a means to secularize society so that wherever the government goes, religious views have to leave. Secular rationalists attempt to establish atheistic viewpoints upon society through the government in violation of the No Establishment clause. As Williams, Jefferson, and Madison were Christian rationalists, they paved the way for religious freedom in America.

God of Creation and Law

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…

It is without debate that the Declaration of Independence declared our rights as a gift from God our Creator, not from the state. The same God who as our Creator gave us our rights is the same God who in the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God taught us the value of what is right. Contrary to the idea that we have the right to do whatever we please even if it is immoral, there is no right to do what is wrong. God gave us the right to do what is right but if we do what is wrong, it is the job of government to hold us accountable for our wrong/immoral decisions according to the rule of law.

The idea of self-governance was not one of rebellion just as the Declaration of Independence was not an act of rebellion. Self-government was meant to convey the idea of behaving oneself without the government first telling us to do so. If one behaved on a regular basis, the government should have nothing to do with that person. The belief that God is the source of human rights and of moral law was not lost in the minds of the founders of our nation. They believed that the only people that could govern themselves were a moral people.

Since the Declaration was written, secularists have objected to God’s role as Creator. Although ideas of evolution existed before the Declaration was written, it was not as popular a belief as when present 80 years later by Charles Darwin. As a religious political agenda by some atheists and secularists have twisted the idea of Church State Separation, the idea of the role of government has been one of evolving human rights while dismissing the value of what is morally right. As there is no right to do what is wrong, the evolutionist perspective of rights requires a devaluation of what is morally right.

A Creationist Foundation

For many people, the idea that God created the universe is common sense. Who could even contemplate the idea that God did not create us or that He does not exist? Atheism is a philosophical religion that attempts to explain away many things in rational terms in order to dismiss realities that are not easy for them to grasp. One philosophical idea that is not found in the Declaration of Independence is the notion of evolution.

We do not find evolution in the Declaration for good reason. Some of the founding fathers were familiar with the nascent ideas of evolution and rejected them long before Charles Darwin was born. George Louis de Buffon wrote about the idea of evolution as early as 1749, when Jefferson was only 6 years old. Jefferson would later write against them in 1782. Buffon’s ideas were available to the Founding Fathers but they did not find their way into the draft of this key document of America’s founding – the Declaration of Independence.

Many assume that Charles Darwin was the first to write about evolution but this isn’t true. Charles Darwin’s own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, published his own views on evolution as early as 1794. After Charles Darwin published his own book on evolution in 1859, he wrote an historical sketch noting the earlier writers on the subject of evolution that came before him, such as Buffon.

Buffon not only wrote about evolution but about his views on scientific racism. The ideas of racism and evolution were closely linked and can be seen in the title of Darwin’s own work, “On the origin of species by means of natural selection or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.” The ideas of racism were implicit in Darwin’s early work and explicit in his later work entitled, “Descent of Man.” Darwin believed that Blacks and women were inferior to White men.

Jefferson was very familiar with the ideas of scientific racism, which suggested that mankind was divided into greater and lesser forms. Indians and Blacks were supposed to be at the lower end of the scale of being, while Whites were supposed to be at the top. As we know this is an absurd idea today, many people in Jefferson’s day believed in it.

However, in 1776, Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence stating that all mankind was created and that we were created equal. While slavery persisted in large part due to the ideas of scientific racism, and later justified by the popular ideas of Darwinian evolution, the Declaration of Independence provided the foundation for the eradication of slavery by holding to simple perspectives of creationist ideals. Jefferson not only rejected the ideas of evolution found in his day calling God our Creator, he clearly rejected the notion of scientific racism that is still associated with evolution today.

Hidden Treasures of the Declaration of Independence – Part 1o4

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Declaration 1

Hidden truths can be found in the Declaration of Independence, priceless principles that are almost lost to a modern generation. It is a document with clues to our nation’s foundation that are not as obvious to us as they were to 18th century Americans. As a recent movie, National Treasure, popularized fictional mysteries that were secretly inscribed on the back of this unique document, more stunning discoveries await those who patiently look for hidden treasures available on the front of the Declaration of Independence, treasures that lay hidden in plain sight.

Legitimate Claims

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

The Declaration was a document meant to secure the independence of America not by rebellion but by legal principle. The idea of the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God is an appeal to transcendent principles of law, which identify God as the foundation of their national integrity.

Religious Freedom

Hidden beneath the claims of the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God is an old principle of religious freedom that was derived from the Christian religion. The separation of Church and State was an idea that came from Separatist Christians of England like the Pilgrims and their teachers such as Roger Williams. To gather the meaning of religious freedom, hidden in the Declaration, let’s review the history of this principle from the early days of the American colonies.

Roger Williams was a Separatist not a Puritan, just like the Pilgrims. He taught that the Church of New England should separate from the Church of England; Williams later went south to teach in the congregation of Separatists living at Plymouth. His phrase, “the wall separating the garden of the church from the wilderness of the world,” was a phrase that Thomas Jefferson, the original author of the Declaration, used in explaining religious freedom in 1802. When writing to the Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut, Jefferson was aware of the fact that Williams helped the Baptists establish their first Church in North America and they loved him. Quoting Williams when writing to the Baptists only made sense.

As a teacher of the Christian religion, Williams borrowed ideas from Calvinism to explain the separation of the 10 Commandments into 2 tablets to explain the separation of Church and State. Commandments 1 -4 were recognized as Man’s duties to God; Commandments 5 – 10 were understood to be Man’s duties to Man. Williams said that the first tablet was not the foundation of civil government so government should not coerce people’s religious convictions. However, the second tablet was the foundation for legitimate government, which is the moral code of the 10 Commandments. The separation of Church and State was never the separation of morals and state and according to a Christian rationalist idea of Church-State separation, laws must be based upon moral principles!

John Cotton, a religious man and governor of New England, said that without fulfilling the requirements of the first tablet, the second tablet could not be fulfilled. Williams reminded Cotton that God gave all people a conscience that would fulfill the things contained in the 10 Commandments. Williams found a resource for our conscience in Romans 2: 11 – 15, which says:

11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another)

[King James Version (KJV)]

God gave the Jewish people the 10 Commandments (the Law) and everyone a conscience. Everyone knows right from wrong even if they don’t have the revealed Law given to Moses by God; God has revealed the principles of morality in the heart of every person and has given us a conscience to know right from wrong. This is known as the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, based upon Romans 2: 11 – 15.

Thomas Jefferson wrote his Bill for Religious Freedom one year after drafting the Declaration; his Bill for Religious Freedom included many passages that paraphrased the teachings of Roger Williams. Jefferson put the phrase, “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” at the beginning of the Declaration of Independence as a foundation for American separation from Britain. He was certainly familiar with the ideas of religious freedom that Williams taught and about the separation of Church and State that are also drawn from the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

The nascent principle of religious freedom is one of the hidden truths found in the Declaration of Independence. These and other timeless truths are in America’s founding document just waiting for you to discover.

GOP Primary – Delegate Race

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

GOP Primary2

The 2016 election season is in full gear and front stage is the Presidential Primaries. Although the media treats the primaries as a winner-take-all election, the primaries are not the same as the general election where the race is a winner-take-all election.

The Republican Primary will send 2,472 delegates to the National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio July 18–21, 2016. The chart below is from The Green Papers and shows how the total delegation will be selected from each state.

GOP Primary

*Bonus delegates are awarded to states who elect Republican Senators, Republican President Electors, Republican Governors, Republican U.S. House Members, and Republican controlled state Legislatures.

With proportional delegate selection in each state holding a primary, the decision of who will represent the Republican Party for President during the general election will not be decided before July.

The current selection of delegates shows that only 97.4 delegates have been chosen out of 2,472 total delegates. The following table came from Real Clear Politics shows the current delegate selection just before the North Carolina election.

GOP Delegates

Trump

28.6

Cruz

23.9

Rubio

16.9

Carson

7.7

Bush

4.1

Paul

4.1

Huckabee

3.1

Kasich

2.9

Fiorina

2.6

Christie

2.4

Santorum

1.1

Graham

0

With less 4% of the delegates selected, it is odd to hear people say who the front runner is and who is running away with the primaries. Donald Trump is ahead of Cruz by less than 5 delegates. That’s hardly running away with an election despite the media elation.

So early in the primary season, it is silly to predict who will get the GOP nomination in July 2016. Even if Donald Trump wins the plurality of all state primaries, he still gets only a proportion of those delegates from each state. It’s hard to image someone with 1/3 of the delegates winning the nomination at convention, especially after insulting traditional conservative values that the other candidates represent.

New Economic Viewpoint – Enlightened Self Interest

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Enlightened Self Interest

Free markets should mean less government control rather than more. Sadly, many liberals think it is their duty to engineer society to solve problems that actually exist. However, using the government to solve economic problems becomes a problem in and of itself. Society has many roles to play, family, business, religion, and government. However, using the government to solve social problems neglects the role that others in society can play.

Unequal Pay for Equal Work

The idea of equal pay for equal work sounds fair. Records show that women before the 1960s were paid less for the same job than men earned. This social inequity was addressed in 1963 with the Equal Pay Act. However, far from solving a problem, this Act has led to new social problems.

The Act of 1963 established a bad precedent where the government defines the economic philosophy of our nation. This vision of economy rejected the idea of the family represented in the workforce by the head of the household and focused instead on individuals in the workforce. The problem with this naïve philosophy of egalitarianism is that it actually makes the economy of all members of society worse and not better.

Economy as a word comes from the Greek terms ‘eco’ and ‘nomos’, which means the ‘rule of the household.’ Traditional household economies are defined as one husband earning an income for his family whereas his wife works at home as a homemaker/housewife that complements the household economy. Traditional families share the economic needs of the home with a single income funding the needs of the entire household. Equal pay for equal work puts traditional families in a second class rank below non-traditional households and puts housewives into a second class economic citizenship where they receive less income than their non-traditional counterparts.

Non-traditional families may be described as the household where the husband and the wife both work in the workplace and provide 2 paychecks for their shared income. The problem for women in this scenario is that they often have to work without relief to provide the full needs of the household, along with their husband, instead of limiting the income needs to her husband’s income that allows her to work full time, part time, or take time off for other needs without loss of household income. Locked into a job to provide 100% of her income for the needs of the shared home economy, many women are trapped in a job instead of having liberty to work or not as they may choose.

But the hardest hit by the idea of equal pay for equal work are single working mothers. Many women have bought into the idea that their economy would be better suited by being single (divorce). Sadly, they find they have to work during the day to pay for childcare and then work at night to take care of their children by themselves when they get home. As they work twice as hard as their single counterparts in the workplace, they earn half as much after they pay for childcare.

In fact, 1/2 of all single parent families in America are living at or below the poverty level. Equal pay for equal work has led to more poverty, not less. Add to this the fact that 2/3rd of all children in America will be growing up in single parent homes and we find that 1/3 of all children in America are living in poverty as a result of equal pay for equal work. Can you begin to see why it is wrong for the government to prescribe economic philosophy for society?

A New Economic Vision

Instead of forcing an economic vision from the government upon society (which is unconstitutional), we should allow businesses to provide a new vision of economy that benefits the family as represented by employees in the work place. Work place statistics show that head of household workers work 30% to 40% harder than their non-head of household counterparts and have a higher retention rate. This fact is something that businesses can prosper from by rewarding their head of household workers.

A timeless truth taught (see George Gilder’s Wealth and Poverty) is that consumption tends to poverty while productivity tends to wealth. As head of household workers are more productive they should be paid more. This will relieve the burden of women in traditional and non-traditional homes as well as help single working mothers get themselves and their children out of poverty. This is a new vision of economy called Enlightened Self-Interest. One aspect of Enlightened Self-Interest is to add value to the family represented in the workplace over individuals who do not have dependents. It is time for society to define the economy of our nation without excessive government interference.

New Economic Viewpoint – Fiscal Progressive Conservatism

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

New Deal

Conservative economic philosophy was born, in part, from a reaction to FDR’s New Deal. The original pillar of the New Deal was the Work Ethic of Americans. However this later devolved into Socialism, and Welfare State Liberalism. FDR was willing to use anything he could to get the country out of an economic depression.

FDR began by facilitating the work ethic of Americans by giving workers various jobs programs. However, this led to the redistribution of wealth called socialism. And later, this developed into welfare programs where special welfare became general welfare. Conservatives have traditionally opposed the latter two elements of the New Deal but have not attacked the first. With a focus on the work ethic, Conservatives can help this country transition away from the New Deal policies of progressivism that is leading us into a new economic disaster with $19 trillion in debt.

Republicans have tried to work with Democrats in the past to facilitate aspects of the progressive movement to make some changes in progressive policies. In 2000, Marvin Olasky wrote a book called, Compassionate Conservatism, that President George W. Bush followed to work with Democrats in Washington D.C. During this time, I wrote Mr. Olasky and asked him if Mr. Bush was applying the work ethic to progressive policies as an example of Compassionate Conservatism. Mr. Olasky, a government professor at UT Austin where I was going to school, was kind to respond and said that it made sense to him. Much has been written about Compassionate Conservatism but it has been abandoned by modern conservatives due to the lack of fiscal discipline that has increased the national debt.

Too often conservatives are taken advantage of by liberals who know their political tricks better than their opponents. But conservatives are learning more and more about the games that liberals play. The idea behind fiscal conservatism is to provide constraints to the tax and spend liberalism represented by the socialist and welfare state policies of the left. Our nation now faces 19 trillion dollars of national debt due to the un-tempered spending of liberals who have no interest in being financially responsible. If we are to rescue our country from financial ruin, we have to apply fiscal constraints (lower spending and taxes) that will reduce our national debt.

Fiscal conservatism reacted strongly to the socialism and welfare state liberalism of the New Deal. The idea behind fiscal progressive conservatism is that we can eliminate the New Deal policies of socialism and welfare state entitlements using the work ethic that Americans traditionally respect. FDR began with a promise to help working Americans rescue their own family economy but the progressives that were to follow in his Party (Democrats) took the New Deal to unwarranted directions of redistribution of wealth and charity by the state. We may rescue our country and realize the fiscal conservative vision by using the work ethic of the New Deal to reduce the burdens of socialism and welfare state liberalism. Here are a few examples of how this may be done.

Workfare not Welfare

The easiest example of applying the work ethic to New Deal policies is the idea of Workfare instead of Welfare. In 1969, President Nixon advocated the idea of Workfare and later in 1972 Governor Ronald Reagan, applied it in California for 3 years. Later, Reagan pushed for Workfare as President in 1981 and again in 1988. This idea is not new but has new value for our country today.

People on Welfare, who receive money for being out of work, should continue to work for the public in some public jobs program. The idea that they have no job does not mean that they cannot work. No taxpayer dollars should ever be given to people who do nothing more than sit at home. There are plenty of public works projects that can be facilitated by workers who do not have a regular paying job. Not only will these people facilitate their income from tax dollars by working hard, the taxpayer will get the benefit from their good hard work. Those who refuse to do any work of any kind should never be given a single penny of taxpayer money. Hunger drives a person to work and we do not need to fund laziness.

Social Security as a Retirement Program

Social Security (SS) is considered an entitlement today but at one point it was advertised as a worker’s retirement program. Today, the money that comes into SS goes out the very next month to pay recipients of SS. There is no trust fund in a bank where the money is warehoused; Congress spent it all on tax and spend liberal programs. Eventually, the money that comes in will be less than that which goes out. At that point (in less than 10 years), we are going to have to augment SS payments from money in the general fund as SS will be bankrupt.

To forestall this situation and to add value to retirees’ income, we can 1) eliminate those who use SS for something other than retirement. There are many people who get SS money as a handout and this needs to end permanently. 2) We need to stop making promises to the younger generation of giving them SS payments when they retire as the system will be bankrupt soon. While we keep the promises we made as a nation to the older generation we do not need to make promises we cannot keep to a younger generation. 3) The elderly should be allowed to continue working (or not) as they choose. If the elderly want to work beyond their retirement years, let them; if they don’t want to work, let them. It’s their choice. But by giving them a senior citizen income tax break (up to $50,000 added income) they will continue to pay SS tax, add money to the SS tax fund, and increase their own financial independence. By their own good hard work ethic they may help rescue the system they built with their own good hard work ethic.

Healthcare Benefits for Workers

In the 1960s under President Johnson, the New Deal was expanded to include government funded healthcare called Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare was an amendment to the Social Security Act (1935) in 1965, fulfilling the vision of President Truman who in 1945 sought to create a national health insurance program for Americans. Medicare was for the elderly at the age of 65 and older. Medicaid was for the poor and funded at both the state and federal levels.

In 1946, following Truman’s initiative, the Hill Burton Act guaranteed loans to cities or municipalities to build new hospitals. The catch was that if a hospital was federally funded, they had to provide care for the poor. All the loans were eventually paid back but the result of this legislation was that the cost of medicine at these hospitals went up to cover the cost of caring for the poor. Even lab work today costs more at a hospital than at a private office for the same procedure.

Both the Hill Burton Act and the Medicare/Medicaid Acts have raised the cost of health care for everyone. This form of government run charity has practically eliminated the charity that once characterized private medicine. Prior to the new legislation of the 1960s, doctors gave away their medical talents for free one month out of the year. Charity was a major part of the medical profession before these programs began. Now, medicine is big business and the high costs associated with it originated with government run charity programs that prove to be anything but charitable.

Recently, Obamacare promised to advance the supposed charity of medical health insurance for all Americans. Whereas the Hill Burton Act provided for national healthcare on an emergency basis, Obamacare sought to provide national healthcare on preventative basis. In spite of the promises made, Obamacare has begun running many health insurance companies out of business who once provided health insurance for Americans seeking to maintain their own health. Liberals in Washington, D.C. would like nothing more than to put all Americans under one insurance company run by the federal government, which eliminates individual choice.

The high cost of health care is a direct result of liberal policies from the 1940s to today. We need to return healthcare to the charitable intuitions of medicine without making them a federal program. To end the socialism and welfare state liberalism of national healthcare, we need 1) provide competition between health insurance policies across state lines, 2a) eliminate the requirement of free medical care of hospitals that once received federal funding, 2b) reduce the tax burden of hospitals and doctors who volunteer their charity to the poor, 3) reduce the tax burden of citizens with high out-of-pocket expenses for medical care of themselves and/or their dependents.

The more we reduce the number of patients from the roles of Medicare and Medicaid the better it will be for patients, doctors, hospitals, and the taxpayer. By returning charity to the world of medicine, we eliminate the need for government run charity (which, by the way, is a violation of the separation of Church and State). And by providing relief for workers (who file income tax returns), we give them assistance for their costs above what insurance may pay.

Conclusions

There are many things that fiscal conservatives may realize by applying the work ethic to reduce the ill-effects of modern progressive policies. The New Deal began with a respect of American’s work ethic. And using the work ethic we need to return the New Deal to its original foundation.

Socialism and Welfare State Liberalism have gone way beyond the original foundation of the New Deal and have done untold harm to our nation and its people. While we cannot go back in time and change things, we can keep the promises that were made but not make promises we cannot keep. It may take 40 – 50 years to end all the damage new progressives have done but it is time we get started.

Let’s work to end the extremes of modern progressive policies by applying the work ethic to each of them. Returning the progressive policies to their foundation of hard work will help America realize the original goal of the New Deal that was to save this nation from financial ruin. 19 trillion dollars of tax and spend liberal debt is a betrayal of the original progressive vision of the New Deal. The New Deal was supposed to rescue the nation from an economic disaster not create a new one!

False Faith

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

One of the more deceitful heresies of the 20th century is the Word-Faith Movement. The following passages are often misquoted as authority for teaching the lies of this movement.

8 …“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

17 Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

[Romans 10:8, 9, 17]

First, let’s learn what the truth is before we learn what the error is. The Word of Faith that Paul was preaching was Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God that we are supposed to have faith in. Jesus’ work on the Cross paid for the sins of mankind and this is what we are supposed to believe in.

Second, the word ‘word’ comes from the Greek word ‘rhema’, which means a word flowing forth. Not only did Paul speak rhema but so too does God. The Word flowing forth from Paul and God is the message of divine salvation and redemption we have in Christ Jesus. And the word that leads to faith in Jesus is spoken to us in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Sadly, people have been taught to follow a lie that says we have power with our rhema word. All we need to do, we are told, is to ‘speak the word’ and it will happen. This is reminiscent of witchcraft and people who try to use their words to shape reality are guilty of this sin. This is also called wish-craft and one cannot change their reality by mere words. The power to shape the world by one’s word belongs only to God.

Further, people are taught that if they believe enough in what they wish for they can have what they say. This goes for healing and wealth and prosperity. Many of these movements teach that you can live a life without trouble, which is nowhere found in the Bible. Sadly, the true faith in Jesus is not taught and people wonder if they have enough faith when what they believed for did not come to pass. The Word-Faith Movement is actually a faithless movement.

Another mark of this movement is positive confession. This is a belief that if we confess something as real God will bring it to pass if it agrees with his Word. However this is not what confession means. Confessing something by ‘speaking the word’ is empty talk that profits no one. A real positive confession is asking Jesus to forgive us of our sins (Romans 10:9).

God is in the business of forgiving sins. God is not our servant to give to us what we want simply because we use the supposed power of our words in agreement with his word – the Bible. We must pray according to the will of God and he will answer our prayers. But it is the Holy Spirit who guides our prayers to God. Our fleshly desires do not guide God’s will in our lives.

So whenever you hear of people ‘speaking the word’, ‘naming it and claiming it’, or other acts of positive confession, turn aside and know that they do not follow the Word of God, the Lord Jesus, nor are they led of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God will lead you first to Jesus and the forgiveness of sins. This is the message of God’s Word and on this you can have true faith.