Excerpted from Stephen McDowell’s book “Crime and Punishment, A Biblical Perspective.”
Originally published on The Providence Foundation.
The Cause of Crime
Crime is rampant throughout the world. Different nations combat crime in different ways with varying degrees of success. To properly deal with crime in society, we must first understand what causes crime. The Bible teaches that crime is caused by evil in men’s hearts.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually . . . . Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. (Genesis 6:5, 11)
“God commands you to choose for rulers ‘Just men who will rule in the fear of God’. The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty, and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted …. Public revenues will be squandered …, and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded.” (Noah Webster)
Webster wrote those words in 1832. So, what would he say today about a president and members of his administration and of his party who support same-sex “marriage” and the willful murder of unborn babies?
Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, are usually considered the most irreligious of America's Founding Fathers. If Franklin was in Washington, D.C. today, however, he would stand out for his strong religious beliefs and conservative political views. He would be pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and would advocate for prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. So far has our nation moved from its Christian origins that this most liberal, irreligious Founder would today stand out for his conservatism.
Franklin was born in Boston in 1706 into a hard-working Protestant family that had Puritan influences on both sides of the family. In fact, Franklin’s critics have derided his Autobiography, written later in life, as “little else than a Puritan document—a religious tract—for the justification of thrift and other Puritan qualities.”
238 years ago, Americans rebelled against an out-of-control government, declaring their independence from England. Today, many Americans are also rebelling against an out-of-control government often perpetrating similar abuses upon them. But, fortunately, the situation is different this time.
As written in THE LIBERTY REBELLION:
Be encouraged. While the Founding Rebels—after patiently petitioning the British government for a long time—ultimately were forced into a brutal war to end their oppression, we’re not in that situation. We still have a voice today and can effectively use the government the Founders sacrificed so much to implement to prevent further governmental abuse. Our rebellion occurs in the halls of Congress and state legislatures, in school board meetings, and in the hearts and minds of reasonable people across America. Our rebellion is orderly, peaceful, and lawful. In fact, it is the [Big-Government Disciples] who are acting unlawfully, ignoring America’s ultimate authority—the Constitution—as well as many existing laws.
Socialism has been growing in the United States during the past century, often with leaps and at times with small steps. Intermittently, some people and leaders have pushed back this growing plague, seeing some success in re-establishing governmental and economic principles of liberty, but the overall trend has been toward statism. During the past five years we have witnessed a giant leap forward for socialism, with a corresponding decline of liberty.
Socialism is a great threat to liberty and prosperity. It is unbiblical and demonic.
Socialism is a form of statism. Statism is the belief that the civil government (or man via civil government) is the ultimate authority in the earth and as such is the source of law and morality. The state defines what is right and wrong, what is lawful and unlawful, what is moral and immoral. The state becomes the de facto god of the society, or in the words of Roscoe Pound, President of Harvard Law School in the 1920s, “the state takes the place of Jehovah.”
The most historic band of minutemen was led by Deacon Parker under the auspices of Rev. Jonas Clark. Clark was pastor of a church in Lexington, Massachusetts. Since the struggle over the Stamp Act in 1765, this clergyman had become this town’s principal leader in its town meetings and issues of liberty and government.
Almost every crucial state paper written to represent this town was authored by Jonas Clark. His home was a frequent meeting place for men like Samuel Adams and John Hancock when safe locations could not be assured inside Boston. Such was the case on the night of April 18th, 1775. Adams and Hancock were visiting for the night, unaware that the British had decided to send troops to Lexington to destroy the town’s military supplies and capture these two men.
Herring Impeachment - Action Needed!Thank you for joining The Virginia Christian Alliance's effort to "impeach Attorney General - Mark Herring". We have collected a lot of petitions and every day we get more via email and U.S. Postal mail. Last week we collected 94 in one day.
We don't have a "magic number" of petitions needed. VCA's goal is to bring public pressure on the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, Bill Howell, to move the House to call for impeachment. Speaker Howell is the only person that can say "yes" or "no" to impeachment. He needs to know that the citizens of the Commonwealth will stand behind him to move forward.
The U.S. Supreme Court resuscitated the ailing concept of freedom of religious expression with its decision last week in Town of Greece v. Galloway. In doing so, it exposed serious flaws in a 2011 Fourth Circuit ruling and Governor McAuliffe’s rationale for vetoing two religious liberty bills last month.
In the landmark ruling on the issue of public invocations, the Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that the Town of Greece, New York, had created an unconstitutional "establishment" of religion by allowing local clergy members to offer invocations at Town meetings on a voluntary, non-discriminatory basis.
The Second Circuit had ruled that despite the policy’s neutrality, it violated the Establishment Clause because, in fact, most of the clergy members who volunteered to pray represented the Christian faith. This was unacceptable, held the federal court, because non-Christians in attendance at the meetings may have felt left out.
Kimber Academy recently sponsored a meeting with special guest speaker, Michael P. Farris – a nationally known constitutional litigator. Dr. Farris asserts that Article V contains a provision giving power to the states to bypass congress in an effort to restore the constitution. This provision is a timely gift from our Founders and their great foresight. (See website: www.conventionofstates.com and www.selfgovern.org ) He also articulated the dangers inherent in “unenlightened citizens” which strikes at the heart of the message our students delivered at the meeting. Without question, our Founders anticipated the consequences of an uneducated electorate and cautioned us that a time such as today would come. Our students shared the following quotations:
“An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
“Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” ~ John Adams
“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” ~ James Madison
“Law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love unless they first become the objects of our knowledge.” ~ James Wilson
Did you hear about the dictator who was asked by one of his subordinates, “How do we get the people to believe our lies?” The dictator answered, “Just tell them what they want to hear.”
America seems to have forgotten the price God has paid on her behalf by shedding His grace upon us through His Son Jesus Christ to establish our given freedoms. Instead of America responding to Law, Judgment, Righteousness and Truth, it seems apparent that God’s voice is no longer a permissible objective in the course America is now taking.
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
Virginia’s trifecta of uniqueness contributes to America’s Religious Freedom which we celebrate on the National Day of Prayer.
After the Fifth Virginia Convention began on May 5, 1776 there was a resolution on May 15 calling for a declaration of rights for Virginia. The Convention declared independence from Britain and directed its Delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia to call for the Declaration of Independence.
The Virginia Declaration of Rights was first drafted by George Mason on May 20 of 1776 and was subsequently amended by Thomas Ludwell Lee and the Virginia Convention. It was James Madison who assisted on Section 16 which pertains to Religious Freedom.
Last week, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have protected students from religious discrimination and restored core First Amendment values that are being diminished by an increasingly thin-skinned, intolerant society.
Senate Bill 236, sponsored by Senator Charles Carrico and passed by both houses of the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year, provides that students in public schools are free to engage in voluntary prayer or religious expression to the same extent as students are permitted to engage in secular expression. In this regard, the bill simply clarifies First Amendment principles that courts have already applied in the context of the public schools.
The legislation is important because it would also eliminate a perennial cause of expensive litigation: the censorship of faith-based student speech at graduation ceremonies. While the Supreme Court has definitively ruled that students “do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” litigious, secularist organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have sued or threatened to sue school districts when student speakers mention their faith at school-sponsored events.
These organizations claim that when a student speaker takes the stage at a graduation ceremony, he becomes the government. Therefore, they say, if that student mentions the importance of faith in his life, he effectively “establishes” a religion in violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
America is becoming a lawless nation. While the number of individual law-breakers has been increasing, it is not just criminals who are lawless. It is also those we elect to uphold the law.
The words of President Obama while visiting my home town of Charlottesville last month sum up the thinking of many of our government leaders: “That’s a good thing about being President. I can do whatever I want.”
While the context was breaking protocol while visiting Monticello, he nonetheless has displayed this thinking in many ways: he has unilaterally changed the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) at least 24 times, his administration has threatened businesses that speak out against Obamacare, and he has made judicial appointments without Congress being in recess. In addition, he has allowed the IRS to target certain political groups without taking any action to rectify this abusive and unlawful act.