Something I Learned From Romans 1:20

As some of you know, I got lambasted for recommending Glenn Beck’s books because he’s a mormon.  I said to stop judging him based on his beliefs:  he still is doing great things for people and this country.

In his new book, “The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life”, he talks about how he came to Mormonism.  He asked a question,”Where’s Gandhi?”  Gandhi never accepted Jesus.  The Mormon teacher responded by saying, “Would it be fair for one who had never had the chance or opportunity to accept Him to be banished to that lake of fire?” P.148

I had been contemplating this ever since I read it.  I knew the logic was flawed somehow and now I have an answer from the Bible.  Romans 1:20:  “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

There really is no excuse NOT to know Him, especially in today’s world.  We all can buy a Bible. Churches are on every street and we can worship freely.  But more than that:  God is everywhere we look.  How can a human being with a logical mind not stop and think I wonder where all of this came from? And then find the answer:  God.

I’m extrapolating here because I don’t know much about the Mormon faith but apparently Mormons take the fluffy view of, “Well, you won’t go to Hell.  You just won’t be in Heaven with the rest of us.”

But what does the Bible tell us?  John 14:6  “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Revelation 20:15  “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Mr. Beck denies the existence of this “lake of fire” in his book on P. 149 (the fluffy view of what happens to unbelievers).  I guess he missed Romans 1:20, Revelation 20:15, John 14:6, and Isaiah 40:21.

Somewhere More Holy

I order most of my books off of Amazon.  One, it’s the cheapest out there and two if you order over $25 worth of stuff, you get free shipping.  So, last week I went online to order Glenn Beck’s book, “The 7 Wonders That Will Change Your Life” but I needed another book to get me over $25.

Amazon has a wish list that you can save books you want so when I find one I think I’m interested in, I save it so I’ll have some books to choose from when I’m ready to order.

One book I saved was one mentioned in Sarah Palin’s new book, America by Heart, called Somewhere More Holy by Tony Woodlief.

God knows what I’m struggling with and at this point in my life he also knows exactly what to put in my hands.  It was these two books.

Somewhere More Holy is a book about Tony’s life.  He lost his first child when she was 3 to a brain tumor and he dealt with it by cheating on his wife.  It’s about how he was broken and through God’s grace his marriage was saved and him and his wife are now raising 4 boys.

I can’t imagine ever burying a child (it’s both me and my husband’s worst nightmare).  This book will make you cry and laugh.

At one point last night, Tony tells the story of not wanting to play with his daughter because he was watching a basketball game before he knew she was sick and the guilt and shame he feels over it.  “I was unable to see how the things we love can banish like breath.”  Then, the next page, “she (his daughter) forgave everything, and so does God, and that the only person still keeping accounts is me.” P.48-49

I looked up at my two youngest children who were playing happily on the floor with dolls and cars and started balling.

You see, I tend to think sometimes I’m a bad mother.  I think I don’t spend enough time with them.  I tend to think I could be better.  I tend to think I am scarring my kids for life with all my junk.  I even think I am unworthy of them.

This book will make you feel like you’re not alone, remind you how God does forgive and how much He does love, and make you see how important your family truly is because one day they may be taken from you.

It’s not an easy read but I got up this morning and couldn’t put it down until I finished it.

“I think it’s time to just accept it (the love of his wife), to accept the love of these children and this God I don’t understand.” P.201

I have been moved more in the last five days than I have been in a long time.  Moved to deal with my past. Moved to accept it.  Moved to follow my true north.  Moved to follow God’s.  Moved to be all God has called me to be, to be more like Jesus but to know I will stumble in the process.  And moved to love and to accept love.  And to know all things work together for my good.

I cannot recommend either of these books enough, especially if you think you have more to give to this world and something is hindering your progress.  I guarantee you will learn something.  You may even be moved like I am to see what’s important in this world and what is not and to pray for the will and fortitude to make life changes for the betterment of all.

The 5000 Year Leap

I picked up this book by W. Cleon Skousen based on Glenn Beck’s recommendation.  It was phenomenal! If you ever wanted to know in a snap-shot about the Founders beliefs, where they got their ideas, and how this was incorporated into the Constitution without doing years of research, then this book is for you.

Take this quote from the book that sums up my exact feelings:

I was completely, totally, functionally illiterate when it came to a working knowledge of the principles and practices of freedom.  I had no knowledge that I had no knowledge.

Lately, I’ve been feeling that a lot is missing in my education and from my general knowledge base.  In school, we always ran out of time before we ever got to study the 20th century.  We never, ever studied the Constitution in depth if at all beyond who wrote it and when.  This is one reason driving my need to homeschool my kids.  I don’t want them to be 33 and just learning this stuff.  I don’t want them to learn frivolous garbage from schools.  I want to learn the stuff I never got to learn, the stuff that is important like where our Constitution came from instead of the latest fashion or what have you.

Anyways, The 5000 Year Leap lays out 28 Principles the Founders believed that drove the founding of the Republic of the United States of America.

God is prevalent throughout this book and describes in length out the Founders believed God was driving the country and its founding.  The Founders were bound by the laws of God as the rules of their conduct. The Founders based the Constitution on Anglo-Saxon Common Law and the People’s Law of Ancient Israel (God’s Law). The Founders were remarkably well read and mostly from the same books: the Bible, Greek, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, European, English history and philosophers: Cicero, Montesquieu, John Locke, Polybius, Thomas Hooker, Blackstone, Coke, Adam Smith.

Natural Law is the laws that the Supreme Creator has already established.  Reasoning, God’s gift, leads to common-sense conclusions.  Love God first, Man as yourself second, and teach those who follow us the same principles so these truths never die.

This book emphasized the importance of virtue.  Some quotes:

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. Benjamin Franklin

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.  John Adams (Also quoted in Glenn Beck’s book, Broke)

The sum of it all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it.  Samuel Adams

The quality of virtue and morality in the character of a nation is the secret to its survival.

The best citizens should accept major roles in public life.  One must be prepared (study politics) and experienced and should not be in politics for the money.

The natural aristocracy is based on virtue and talent, not birth and wealth.

America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.  Alexis De Tocqueville.

I loved the Fifth Principle:  The Role of the Creator which basically lays out that God has to exist and why.  It’s based on John Locke’s arguments.  If  you know an atheist, this would be the logical argument to prove he or she is just not thinking when it comes to God’s existence. A persistent pursuit of the truth would bring them to the threshold of reality, where the Creator could be recognized and thereafter have a place in their lives.

Other nuggets:

Society provides equal opportunity but not equal results.

Inequality would exist as long as liberty existed…as an unavoidable result of that very liberty itself. Alexander Hamilton

Guarantee the equal protection of rights to ensure the freedom to prosper.

Whenever we attempt to mend the scheme of Providence, and to interfere with the government of the world, we had need be very circumspect, lest we do more harm than good.  Benjamin Franklin

Life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws to protect them in the first place. Frederic Bastiat

With rights comes duties imposed by God.  P.134-5

God’s law is the supreme law of the land.

The US is a republic, not a democracy.  See book for definitions.

The Constitution was designed to control something which has not changed and will not change–human nature. Human nature never changes and every person in power must be watched and questioned least egos and self-aggrandizement takes hold.

Private property is an extension of a person’s life, energy, and ingenuity so to take it is an attack on the essence of life itself. (Locke’s theory)

Property is the fruit of labor.  Otherwise, why work?

Four laws of economic freedom:  the freedom to try, buy, sell, and fail.

Adam Smith–specialized production–let each person do what they do best.

Separation of powers–began with Polybius, then Montesquieu, and then John Adams.

To solve problems by peaceful means was the primary purpose of the US Constitution.

What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed?  The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body….Thomas Jefferson

Without the protection of law there can be no liberty.

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood…James Madison

Education includes morality and politics and extensive Bible reading which provides moral standards.

Avoid alliances.  The book recounts how Washington wanted the US to be neutral and how the US should have been the peacemaker and not the policeman of the world.  Now, seeing how other countries hate us for our involvement in their affairs (no matter how noble our cause), I agree with this assessment.  We would do better being an example of prosperity and peace rather than aggression and coercion.

An orderly life is the surest path to happiness.  Alexis De Tocqueville

Neither is a man without a woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:11)

Marriage is the most natural state of man, and therefore the state in which you are most likely to find solid happiness.  It is man and woman united that make a complete human being.  Together they are more likely to succeed in the world. Benjamin Franklin

Debt is borrowing against the future.  Frugality a virtue.

Poverty often deprives a man of his spirit and virtue.  (Ben Franklin)

Americans believed they were to lay an everlasting foundation of God’s Kingdom upon Earth.

The Founders formed the design of a great Confederacy, which it is incumbent on their successors to improve and perpetuate. James Madison

I found this book enlightening.  It took the author 50 years of research to put all of this together and it was worth every bit of wait.  The power of the truths in this book, especially for believers, is amazing. You will realize how powerful God is when He designed the US and how terrible we have fallen as society has moved away from Him.

I got this book from the library but I plan to purchase it for Christmas and eventually have my kids read it.  You can get bogged down in the language (something the people used to value–eloquent speaking) so keep a dictionary handy but if you keep plugging away, you’ll be glad you did.

The 5000 Year Leap does an excellent job of not pushing an agenda and keeps an opinions to a very minimal.  The facts and quotes are laid out for you, the reader, to decide.

I have gotten a few comments on my blog about Glenn Beck being a Mormon and the author of this book was a Mormon as well.  To me, that does not matter; the message is the same: turn to God, religion, morality, and virtue and the US would be in a much healthier state.  Anyone in today’s society who promotes a higher power and the reliance of man on a higher power should be admired even if it’s not exactly what others believe.

Glenn Beck is using his forum to promote good, morals, and values.  Who can fault him for that?

Glenn Beck’s Broke

I like to read and mostly it’s kids books since I read out-loud to my kids constantly.  But occasionally, in-between writing tasks, I like to read my stuff.

So, I picked up Glenn Beck’s Broke at Sam’s Club the other day and have been devouring it ever since.  It’s a sobering look at where our country is heading financially due to our out of control spending and enormous debt.

If you read nothing else, I would recommend the chapter on religion.  It reads like a summation of Isaiah’s Bible Study so far.

First line of Chapter Fifteen:  When was the last time you trembled while thinking about God?

Here are some of my favorite highlights from the chapter:

God expects us to take care of the gifts we are given.

We are broke because we are broken.

Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate for a government of any other.  John Adams

A republic can only function if a specific percentage of the population is virtuous.  But virtue requires morality and morality requires religion.

“Faith is more than just a belief in a specific religious doctrine; it’s something that fills us from the inside. It makes us whole.  If  you strip that away, something has to fill the void.”  P. 252

The void is meant to be filled by God (my addition.).

This last one hit me hard.  Straight from the Notes on Isaiah Lesson 7: All sinful acts find their origin in the sin of refusing to acknowledge God as the Supreme Authority in one’s life.  God has created each human being with a void that must be filled by something or someone outside of himself or herself. Failure to look to God to fill that void will result in looking elsewhere.

I was a fan of Glenn Beck before but now I’m an ubber-fan.  I wonder if he does BSF?  Or maybe his wife?

Broke is a great book to get you inspired and remind you of our revolutionary roots.  It gives me hope that I can make a difference in our backwards world.  It is chalked full of history lessons I never learned and facts about the economy that no one else will tell you.  It’s sobering, scary, and heart-wrenching.  It’s eye-opening and informing.  It’s encouraging and just plain good.

It emphasized the primacy of religion in our founders’ lives and its indispensability in the governance of our country.  Remember the Pilgrims?  People risked their lives to come to America just to worship the God of their choice–Yahweh.  Everything comes back to God.

You are reminded of what made this country great and how it can be that once again.  And God plays a big role in our survival.