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Promoting Hate or Love?

Promoting Hatred or Love? By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., Executive Director of the Providence Forum. 4/14/2021. ### While America has unquestionably had deep racial problems and an agonizing history of oppressing Black people through slavery, Jim Crow, and other outrages, it seems that there are some among us who do not ever want to see the problems […]
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Promoting Hatred or Love? By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., Executive Director of the Providence Forum. 4/14/2021. ### While America has unquestionably had deep racial problems and an agonizing history of oppressing Black people through slavery, Jim Crow, and other outrages, it seems that there are some among us who do not ever want to see the problems solved—or to admit progress in any form. There are those who make enormous profits, both monetarily and socially, by perpetuating the friction caused by America’s racist past, in contrast to Martin Luther King Jr.’s hope of a color-blind society.

Now comes word of a new “devotional” by a professor at a once-Baptist college. This “devotional,” a book geared toward helping its readers walk with God, is sold at a major retailer. Source: “Not the Bee,” 4/7/21.

It includes a “Prayer of a Weary Black Woman,” supplicating, “Dear God, please help me to hate White people. Or at least to want to hate them….I want to stop caring about their misguided, racist souls, to stop believing that they can be better, that they can stop being racist.” She also prays that she won’t just hate the Trump-supporters and Fox News-viewers.

[Photo: “Devotional” with a prayer for God for the reader to learn hatred of some people.]

This is wokeness on steroids---promoting hatred instead of love---in the name of God, no less, as long as it’s hatred promoting the right kind of racism. Is there a right kind of racism? Of course not.

Jesus said that we should love those who hate us and pray for those who persecute us. To whom is this “theologian” praying? It is certainly not the God of the Bible.

The sad thing about this example of horrible theology is that it exacerbates America’s racist problems, but worse, it pollutes the solution. The very solution to racism can be found in the Bible---but this book perverts it, as the KKK has perverted it.

I remember once interviewing a former killer for the Ku Klux Klan, Tommy Tarrants, Jr. The FBI agent trailing him called him a “mad dog killer.” When he was captured, he was sentenced to 30 years.

While in prison, he came across a Bible. He told me that formerly, he used to skim through the Bible---but just in a cherry-picking way, to find things that supposedly supported his racist views. But later when he actually read the Scriptures, he was convicted of his sin, including his sin of racism. Through the power of Jesus Christ, Tommy was thoroughly transformed. Tarrants even went on to pastor a biracial church and to co-write a book with a black evangelical minister, John Perkins. The book was entitled, He’s My Brother.

Evangelist Alveda King, MLK’s niece, once told me that we have stop thinking in racist terms: “You go to Acts 17:26, ‘Of one blood God created all people to live together on the earth.’ Now, if we are separate races, we cannot possibly be brothers and sisters. So, we have to see ourselves as one race, one human race, created by God, and we’re supposed to live together in this world as brothers and sisters. So, that’s a fundamental truth that America has not yet embraced. I believe in America in the twenty-first century, we still see ourselves as separate races. But we are one human race, and we are one blood.”

Indeed, we are all creatures of God, created in His image. And those who know the Lord through Jesus Christ are all children of God.

Many of America’s founders recognized how important private, voluntary religion was---how it shaped character. For example, Virginia’s first governor, Patrick Henry, observed: “The general diffusion of Christian knowledge hath a natural tendency to correct the morals of men, restrain their vices, and preserve the peace of society.”

Though primarily a Deist, Ben Franklin once noted (in a letter to the president of Yale): “the most acceptable service we render to Him is in doing good to His other Children.”

Dr. Peter Lillback, the founder and president emeritus of the Providence Forum, wrote this when asked about blacks and American history: “Ideally the story of African-Americans should emphasize both sides of their hyphenated identity as they have played a key role both as blacks and as citizens. Thus more should be said, but it ought not to be presented in a one-sided prejudicial manner as tends to be the approach of many such as white supremacists, critical race theorists and polarizing groups such as Black Muslims and Black Lives Matter activists.  My ideal in this context is the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s magisterial work, Letter From Birmingham Jail.  He captured this balance in a way that has sadly been lost by many today. I quote a couple passages from his letter below.”

Here is a sample quote from MLK’s classic letter from that Alabama prison: “Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.” To which, Dr. Lillback added: “May God give us more extremists for love in both the black and white communities!”

We tend to forget that this slice of time is between Christ’s first coming and His second coming.

What will things be like under Christ’s reign? In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John got a taste of life in heaven: “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”

In heaven, there is no distinction between the races, so why should be there such distinctions here on earth among those created in the image of God? And why should anyone pray to God to put in their hearts a hatred for people with different skin color? May God grant us the grace to replace hate with love.

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The Significance of the Empty Tomb By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., Executive Director of the Providence Forum ### Job in the Bible once asked, “If a man dies, will he live again?” The Biblical answer is, Yes, through faith in Christ.

One of the greatest miracles of Jesus was when He raised Lazarus from the dead---after the latter had been buried for four days. At that time, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” These words were of great importance to George Washington, the father of our country.

For example, in 1755, during the French and Indian War, the young George Washington was the only American or British officer to survive a particular massacre near modern Pittsburgh.

Having no chaplain on hand, Washington honored the memory of slain General Edward Braddock in an impromptu service, using the Anglican Book of Common Prayer (1662 version). Washington was a regular reader of the Book of Common Prayer, as well as the Bible.

The service Washington read that night by torchlight includes Jesus’s quote, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

But can historians prove that Jesus of Nazareth literally, bodily rose from the dead 2000 years ago? The Scottish Enlightenment skeptic David Hume opined that Jesus could not have risen from the dead because dead men don’t rise from the dead. Well, generally, they don’t. That’s why the Easter story is so significant.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead was so momentous it ended up changing the world. The very year you were born is indirectly tied to that event. Time is measured by the birth of Jesus because His coming was so significant.

The resurrection is so significant because if it is true, it means all the other claims of Christ are true---that He was the Son of God, that He died for sinners, that He will one day judge us all. Every beat of the human heart is dependent on Jesus. Even the most hard core skeptic draws every breath he draws courtesy of Christ. We all have a vested interest to know what happened on that first Easter morning.

Dr. Paul L. Maier is a best-selling author and a retired professor of ancient history from Western Michigan University. He’s a first rate, Harvard-trained historian. I’ve had the privilege to interview him for TV and radio several times through the years.

He once told me in an interview for Christian television: “The tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, into which Jesus was buried on Friday, was in fact empty on the morning of the resurrection. Now I’ll be the first to say that an empty tomb does not prove a resurrection, but reverse it: You can’t have a resurrection without the tomb being empty as its first symptom. And the empty tomb can be proven.”

Maier notes that it can be proven by sources hostile to Christianity.

He states, “Where on earth did Christianity first begin? The answer would be Jerusalem. The first proclamation that Jesus was the Messiah who rose from the dead took place in Jerusalem.

But there it would have been least likely that the resurrection would have been announced, if the moldering body of Jesus of Nazareth were still available.”

“Imagine the scenario,” opines Maier: “[The Chief Priest] Caiaphas---confronted by the apostles claiming the resurrection---would say, ‘Oh you poor, benighted fisherman, follow me; let’s go over to the tomb.’ Then he would have had the stone removed and say, ‘Behold, the moldering body of Jesus. What is this claim about a resurrection?’ If that had been the case, if that tomb had the body of Jesus, there wouldn’t have been a Christian church on earth at all. It would have died out as some peculiar Jewish sect.”

The temple authorities claimed the disciples stole the body during the night. This claim, notes Maier, is positive evidence for the empty tomb from a hostile source. Why would they see the need to explain away the empty tomb? Only because it was actually empty—thus establishing this historically-inarguable fact.

Another convincing proof that Jesus rose from the dead is the sudden transformation of the apostles, the original skeptics of the resurrection. They were dejected and ready to move on to other things (or even back to fishing or their previous occupations). They hid for their lives out of fear after the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus. 

And then something happened that changed them---they claimed they had seen Him risen from the dead---in a multitude of appearances, over many weeks, in a variety of settings, day and night. And seeing the risen Jesus transformed them into bold, unstoppable witnesses. They became fearless, even in the face of martyrdom, which many of them experienced.

Through the ages, Christians from all walks of life have found great comfort in the resurrection of Christ. Take, for example, George Washington, the father of our country.

Behind George Washington and Martha’s sarcophagi in Mount Vernon, chiseled in stone, are these words from Jesus in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” You can see these words for yourself in what is reported to be the most visited home in America.

During these days of great upheaval and uncertainty, what a privilege it is to trust in Jesus Christ, the only one who ever conquered the grave.

He is risen. He is risen indeed.

[Photo by Jerry Newcombe is Mount Vernon, where George and Martha Washington is buried, with the words of Jesus chiseled in stone behind them.]

 

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"Why Do So Many Americans Hate America?" by Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., executive director of the Providence Forum. ### So many Americans hate America. Why? There’s so much to love. Besides, people sometimes die in the process of trying to get here, so they might have a chance to enjoy the freedom we take for granted every single day.

The hatred against America is often fostered by our schools and our media. It’s cool to bash America. And this America-bashing is taking a toll on society. We have a beleaguered presidency, like we’ve never seen before. Many young people hold up protest signs, “He’s not my president.” Some of them didn’t even vote.

Look at these recent headlines from the Drudge Report in mid-September:

  • NFL HELL: LA Teams Massive Attendance Drop...
  • Ratings UGLY...
  • 8-year old football players take knee during national anthem
  • Fury fuels modern political climate in USA...
  • Anger about EVERYTHING...
  • Anti-Trump Witch Compares Casting Hexes To Singing National Anthem, Saluting Flag...

What’s going on? Classes in college target white supremacy and routinely denounce America for its racist past. One would think that pre-modern America was on the level of Nazi Germany---which truly was a racist country, as they sought to create a Master Race and kill those they deemed unworthy of life.

On my mp3 player, I have some of the words of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech set to music. I hear it sometimes at the gym. And I look around me, and I see white people and black people working out, talking together, having fellowship---without even thinking about it. I think that aspect of MLK’s vision has greatly come to pass.

Meanwhile, I think there are others who seemed to have a vested interest in harping on America’s racist past and never letting it go. They would be out of a job if we were truly at the point that we judged people by the content of their character and not the color of their skins.

Lately, agitators are targeting statues of historical figures for destruction. I can understand those who are railing against anyone who in any way defended slavery. But our history is sometimes being grossly distorted by the American Taliban that is all set on tearing down historical statues from our past.

Recently, the American Taliban have even targeted Ben Franklin in Dallas. Ben Franklin? This founding father started one of the earliest anti-slavery societies in America.

America is more of an idea than a nationality. We are a proverbial melting pot of all sorts of nationalities.

Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, once told me in a television interview, that America is more of an idea than a nationality per se. He said, “We’re the only nation in the world that is a creedal nation. Every other nation in the world is tied to ethnicity. We’re not; we’re tied to ideas, to beliefs and those beliefs are embodied in the Declaration of Independence… that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”

Land continues, “So anybody can become an American in a way that you can’t become a Frenchman or become a German….That makes us unique in the world; and that creed is formed and shaped by the Puritans, by those who came here seeking religious freedom. As Martin Marty once said, we are a nation with the soul of a church.”

And Land added, “If you want to understand America, you have to go back to Massachusetts Bay, and you have to go back to Governor Winthrop; and we came here to be a shining city on a hill, the New Jerusalem, to light the way for the old world.”

America is far from perfect. That’s why the prayer in the hymn America the Beautiful is so appropriate: “America, America, God, mend thine every flaw.” Praying for that and working together for the common good far-exceeds America-loathing and working to destroy the nation from within.

[Originally posted 10/3/17]

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A Lenten Meditation on Cancel Culture By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., executive director of the Providence Forum. 3/24/21 ### Every day seems to bring new examples in the news of our cancel culture. Cancel culture is a cancer to our culture.

The examples border on the ridiculous:

  • Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller “Psycho” is sexist.
  • The Muppets require a disclaimer from Disney.
  • Dr. Seuss, the famous children’s author, becomes radioactive for reportedly having engaged in racist drawings.
  • Mr. Potato Head is sexist.
  • Disney classics Dumbo and Peter Pan allegedly perpetuate racist stereotypes.
  • Cartoon skunk Pepe Le Pew is a rapist, and Speedy Gonzalez embodies an anti-Mexican message.

And on it goes. And these are but mild examples.

I’m all for being sensitive and trying not to needlessly offend anybody. But the problem now is that feigning offense bestows cultural power, so no amount of sensitivity is enough. Inasmuch as any of this deals with race, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the perfect remedy---judge others by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

But today cancel culture has almost become a joke---only it is not funny. As Tucker Carlson noted recently, one of the great victims of cancel culture is humor.

Above all, cancel culture lacks grace--God’s amazing grace. Lent is the 40 days (Sundays not counted) between Ash Wednesday, when we remember that we were made of dust and to dust we shall one day return and Easter Sunday, when Jesus rose from the dead.

Lent is 40 days because when Jesus began His ministry, He fasted for 40 days in the wilderness, where He was tempted by the devil. But He did not give in.

Christ lived a perfect life and was the only human being to ever do so. He (who was fully God and fully man) then voluntary offered Himself as a sacrifice for sins on the cross and offers forgiveness for those who believe.

Recognizing the need to be forgiven is essential to salvation. But there seems to be no forgiveness in cancel culture. Pity the poor soul who offends liberal sensibilities and then seeks atonement. As some learn the hard way, no matter how much abject groveling they do, there is no forgiveness in cancel culture.

Somehow the woke folk see themselves as perfect. They remind me of a 250-year-old dialogue between General Oglethorpe (founder of the American colony of Georgia) and the preacher John Wesley (founder of the Methodist Church).

Said Ogelthorpe: "I never forgive, and I never forget."

Responded Wesley: "Then, Sir, I hope you never sin."

Thankfully, even some on the left recognize that cancel culture is no good for the culture. As even Bill Maher noted recently, the left should stop with the cancel culture, lest it come back to cancel the left one day.

Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law professor emeritus, said, “I hope all Americans wake up to this…I hope it’s not just the ‘shoe is on the other foot’ test. Now, the conservatives are the victims of cancel culture so they’re big supporters of the Constitution and constitutional rights. During McCarthyism, it was the left that were the victims, and the right were the oppressors.

The Epoch Times noted (3/5/21): “’Americans are showing increased and substantial concern about the growth of cancel culture,’ said Mark Penn, the director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey.”

Well we should. Dr. Peter Lillback founded the Providence Forum and serves as its president emeritus. I once interviewed him about the Christian origins of our freedom as Americans. He said we should learn from William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. In the late 1600s, Penn created a large colony where people could be free to practice their religion as they saw fit. It was a “holy experiment.” Conscience rights of the individual were to be respected.

Lillback told me in reference to Penn, “When he defended the freedom of conscience, he wrote a great book on it. He put on its cover Matthew, chapter seven and verse twelve. Not everyone knows that reference, but it’s the Golden Rule, ‘do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.’” (The words of Jesus from Matthew’s Gospel.)

Lillback notes, “Basically, what he was saying is: I didn’t like it when I was put in the Tower of London for my conscience. Now that I’m building my own civilization, I’m not going to put you in prison because you disagree with my Quaker faith.’ He said, ‘The freedom we want for ourselves we must give to others.’” Amen.

Cancel culture eats away at all these things, throwing forgiveness out the window in the process. Cancel culture is reminiscent of those ancient statues of snakes in the process of eating themselves in a circle. It would be best for all of us for this cancer in our culture to be uprooted and replaced by Christian liberty, grace, and true tolerance.

 

 

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Distorting the First Amendment---A Case Study from California by Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., executive director of the Providence Forum. ### Distortion of the First Amendment is nothing new. But here’s a glaring example of misreading “the separation of church and state.” This glaring example is out of the Golden State. In California schools, it would seem that Jesus is out, but worshiping human-sacrifice-requiring Aztec deities may soon be in.

In a 1996 book I wrote with D. James Kennedy, The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail, which dealt with today’s anti-Christian bias, we noted the following: “San Jose, California. City officials built a statue of the Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl, costing taxpayers half a million dollars. The mayor says the Aztec religion possessed ‘those elements that seek to elevate the human consciousness to a higher plane.’”

After observing the story, we offered this commentary, “The irony is that the Aztec religion routinely engaged in human sacrifice. Here is a statue built to honor the god of human sacrifice---the worship of whom cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of human beings. Yet the same city ruled that there is no room for a manger with baby Jesus in it. Jesus, whose teachings and followers have banished human sacrifice from every corner of this world, is out. A god demanding human sacrifice is in.”

Here we are a quarter of a century later, and now comes a story out of California about a proposed plan to promote such teaching, accompanied by ritual Aztec chanting, in the public schools there. Once the teachers’ union says the schools can open, of course.

Writing for the city-journal.com (3/10/21) Christopher F. Rufo notes: “Next week, the California Department of Education will vote on a new statewide ethnic studies curriculum that advocates for the ‘decolonization’ of American society and elevates Aztec religious symbolism—all in the service of a left-wing political ideology.”

If this passes, it could impact “10,000 public schools serving a total of 6 million students.” Rufo notes that this curriculum was developed by a Marxist and is part of the “pedagogy of the oppressed.”

The chanting, of course, means that the children would be involved in not just learning about the deities, but in actually worshiping them.

Rufo opines, “The chants have a clear implication: the displacement of the Christian god [sic], which is said to be an extension of white supremacist oppression, and the restoration of the indigenous gods to their rightful place in the social justice cosmology. It is, in a philosophical sense, a revenge of the gods.”

In the name of “the separation of church and state”---words not found in our Constitution---any remnant of our nation’s Judeo-Christian tradition seems to find no place in our public schools. But chanting to pagan deities is fine with the left.

The first Congress under the Constitution wrote the First Amendment in 1791. And the first liberty they guaranteed---before freedom of speech, of the press, or of assembly---was the freedom of religion. They wanted to make sure that there would be no national church at the federal level, forcing people of other denominations to conform. They also wanted to make sure the government would not restrict the free exercise of religion.

The First Amendment later was twisted to mean we should have a strict “separation of church and state”---not allowing any reference to God in the public arena.

That same Congress that gave us the First Amendment passed a law called The Northwest Ordinance, spelling out an expectation for territories that became future states, saying, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

It is historically undeniable that when they said, “religion,” they meant Christianity (in one form or another). And when they said, “morality,” it was Biblical morality.

Note the priority of the Congress as to schools. Teach them about God, morality, knowledge.

How different is the anti-Christian curriculum proposed in California.

Those Aztec deities demanded violence. Robert Ripley of “Believe It or Not” fame writes about a carved circular stone found in the National Museum in Mexico City, where the human victims were slaughtered in Aztec worship: “The prisoners, who for several years had been held in reserve for this festival, were ranged in files forming a procession nearly two miles long. This long line slowly walked to their death marking time to the shrieks of the dying as they were bent naked on this stone and their hearts torn from their bodies. It required four days to finish the slaughter.” (Wonder Book of Facts, 1957).

In contrast, Jesus---who said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”---offered Himself as the sacrificial “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” But today, California educators apparently prefer pagan deities that demand human sacrifice for worship. Since recognition of God has been expelled in our public schools, too many of our learning centers have become secular wastelands. In California, it could get even worse.

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[Winston Churchill is cited in this piece] During one of the darkest periods of World War II, Winston Churchill asked aloud, “Will Britain surrender too?” Never.

At the time, in the summer and fall of 1940, the great leader of the U.K. declared, “I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization.”

Churchill, the great lion of the 20th century, understood that if the Nazis won, they would usher in a period of unparalleled darkness. But thank God, “Christian civilization” won.

Fast forward to the summer of 2020, when the radical leftists desecrated a statue of Churchill. They spray painted anti-law enforcement graffiti on his statue. They likely would have torn it down, if they hadn’t been stopped.

There is a war on Western Civilization. And every week seems to bring new examples of this war.

It is not enough that the failed theory of Marxism has ushered in the deaths of tens of millions of human beings (in the 20th century alone), as documented in Harvard University’s The Black Book of Communism (1997).

But it has now reinvented itself as cultural Marxism and has propagated itself in many of our schools. The violent, destructive protesters who are making mayhem in our streets demanding “justice” are the cultural Marxists, trying to make the rest of the country to be “woke.”

The New York Times last week, as part of the “woke” culture, now has classical music in its crosshairs.

In “Woke mob comes for Mozart,” Citizens Free Press (7/18/20) writes that the NYT “launched a full-out assault on classical music, hoisting ‘race theory’ onto composers who have been dead for centuries. In several opinion pieces published this week, the [NYT] said operas should be reexamined for racism, asked black artists how they would ‘change classical music,’ and suggested orchestras stop the practice of blind auditions so judges can see the person’s skin color they are grading.”

Classical music? Come on. There are plenty of different styles of music for all of us to enjoy. By way of full disclosure: This piece is being written with Schubert’s Symphony #9 playing in the background (for the umpteenth time). Some classical music is also sacred, written for the glory of God.

The concerted attacks seem to be aimed at unraveling the very fabric of civilization. There are different strands that make up Western civilization, certainly ancient Greece played a major part. But the single most important element is the Judeo-Christian tradition. Perhaps this explains why right now, during this time as darkness descends upon us, there are various attacks against churches and statues of Jesus and His mother.

Just on Saturday, in Chantilly, Virginia, a young man barged into a church and stabbed the pastor who was leading a Bible study. Thankfully, a policeman attending the study prevented the stabbing from being fatal. But this didn’t seem to make the news, as do other anti-Christian stories.

Breitbart.com reports (7/16/20) on a plethora of recent attacks against churches:

  • In Chattanooga, a statue of Mary was beheaded. Mary statues were also damaged in Queens and Boston.
  • In Ocala, Florida, a young man tried to burn down a church, before he was caught.
  • Three statues of the missionary who virtually founded California, Father Junipero Serra, have been toppled. And on it goes.

And over the weekend, at a church in the Miami area, a statue of Jesus was beheaded.

It sounds like the minions of Shaun King are doing his bidding. He said that in the interests of “social justice,” statues of Jesus and of Mary should be torn down---if they look too white.

The war against Western Civilization can be seen in the war against Christopher Columbus. Although the Italian explorer never set foot on what is now the United States of America, he bridged the gap from Europe to the New World, thus opening it up to the rest of the world.

In the recent spate of statue-toppling, sculptures of Christopher Columbus are the number one target. DailySignal.com (7/17/20) documents at least 10 statues of Columbus being destroyed or desecrated.*

John Eidsmoe, a great scholar on American history, law professor, and author, once made this remark about the attack on Western civilization (particularly as seen in the attack on Columbus, for example): “Let us credit them for its [Western culture’s] achievements and contributions: art, music, architecture, ethics, liberty, law, government, a Constitution that has served as a model across the world, an economic system that has produced the greatest good for the greatest number and the highest level of prosperity the world has ever known, and a spirit of ingenuity and achievement that led to unparalleled medical and technological advances.”

Sometimes I feel like saying, “Hey, wake me up when the Era of Woke is over.” 

[Originally published at D. James Kennedy Ministries, 7/22/20]

*The number of Columbus statues toppled or removed is at least in the 30s as of March 2021.

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[Pictured: Thomas Jefferson] Here is a video blog (vlog)---a video commentary---by Dr. Jerry Newcombe on how George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln used to be heroes in our culture. (They still are to millions of Americans). But with today's woke crowd, they are somehow villains.

 

https://www.djameskennedy.org/?play=2110fgac-yesterdays-heroes-todays-villains

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Washington’s Character

Today's cancel culture is working overtime to destroy George Washington's good name. Dr. Jerry Newcombe, executive director of the Providence Forum, shares the truth about our first president's sterling character.

 

https://www.djameskennedy.org/?play=2109fgac-washingtons-character

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[Pictured: Christ Church, Arlington, Virginia] "George Washington Worshiped Here" by Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., Executive Director of Providence Forum.

It used to be a joke to see signs in historic places boasting “George Washington slept here.” But I think in a very real sense, a handful of churches could legitimately have a sign proclaiming, “George Washington worshiped here.” His active Christianity reflects a key aspect of our nation’s founding---the importance of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

George Washington was a committed churchgoer all his life, even when it was difficult to attend. His main church as a young man was Pohick in Lorton, Virginia, and as an older man, it was Christ Church in Alexandria. And there were others in between in other states.

At these churches, you can see the reredos---a wall or altar decoration with the words of the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles Creed, and the Ten Commandments, so the worshipers could recite them aloud.

I personally have visited many of these churches. Some people today claim that George Washington was not a Christian but a Deist. But the facts don’t support that view.

With Dr. Peter Lillback, I co-wrote a 1200 page book on our founding father’s faith, George Washington’s Sacred Fire. The book documents beyond reasonable doubt that our first president was indeed an active Christian all his life. His adoptive daughter said that if you question his Christianity, you might as well question his patriotism.

But sadly people do question his faith. One man sent me an email disputing my comments about the Christian faith of some of our founders including Washington.

He wrote me: “George Washington stopped going to church when he was admonished by the vicar for not taking communion.  That is very different than your story that he got out of the habit, but continued to attend church.  He stopped attending church, period.”

But he’s wrong.

You can visit Mount Vernon today and see the red “chariot” (buggy) in which he rode to and from church. You can also visit the church itself, which he attended regularly the last years of his life. The building is still standing and in use. It’s Christ Church in Alexandria, an Episcopal church. That’s where his funeral was held. You can see and even sit in his box-pew, which he paid for, by subscription.

As noted, Pohick Church in Lorton, Virginia was Washington’s main church home as a young man. He served the church as a vestryman---like an elder and a deacon rolled into one person. To become a vestryman you had to swear allegiance to the doctrines of the Anglican Church.

Washington even chose the exact location for that church building as a surveyor. His recommendation beat out that of fellow church member and founding father, George Mason.

Other churches you can visit where Washington worshiped and see his own box-pew and the reredos include:

*Bruton Parish in Colonial Williamsburg, where he worshiped along with Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson when they served in the Virginia House of Burgesses;

*Trinity Episcopal Church in Newport, Rhode Island;

*Christ Church in Philadelphia, where he worshiped during the summer he presided over the Constitutional Convention; and

*St. Paul's Chapel in New York City, near Wall Street.

After his inauguration in 1789, Washington led everyone over to St. Paul’s Chapel, where they participated in a two-hour Christian service---dedicating the new nation to the Lord. This service included Holy Communion. Eyewitnesses, such as Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, said Washington communed. 

That leads me to the question of why did he not always attend communion? The answer is simple. He did at first. But during the war, as Dr. Lillback points out, Washington was leading the troops in a rebellion against the human head of the Church of England, i.e., King George III, and so he could not celebrate common faith with the king in good conscience.

During the war, he worshiped at the Presbyterian church in Morristown New Jersey. To this day, they have a stained glass window showing him participating in the Lord’s Supper there.

Washington indeed got out of the habit and did not attend the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis during the few times a year they had it back then---but he did so on occasion. Washington confessed his faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement throughout his life not only as a worshiper and communicant but also at various public times when he served as a vestryman, church warden, and sponsor in several baptisms.

Why does this matter? I think there is a battle over history. I think it’s important to recognize what made this nation great in the first place, and I believe if you dig a little deeper, you see the positive impact of the Christian faith in what is best in the creation of America and its freedoms.

To paraphrase President Woodrow Wilson: If we don’t know what we were in the past, we don’t know what we are in the present, and where we are going in the future.

[Originally published 8/12/2015]

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Frittering Away Our Grandchildren’s Future? By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., Executive Director, Providence Forum. Posted: 2/25/2021....Ronald Reagan once observed, “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”

I thought of that quote when I read some of the details of the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that is touted as “COVID relief.” Critics have called this a “liberal wish list.”

The bill proposes a $1400 stimulus check for those who make under $75,000. But the Heritage Foundation observes that there’s a big price tag for that $1400: “It adds over $14,000 per household to the national debt.”

Furthermore, the New York Post observes that less than 1 percent of the total proposed spending deals directly with COVID per se, such as the distribution of vaccines. Instead it proposes to spend billions of dollars for abortions, for illegal immigrants, for schools that remain closed, and for failed cities that have shut down small businesses, leaving many citizens broke.

It would seem that the left’s principle of “never let a crisis go to waste” is in full force here.

Where will all this money come from? Likely our grandchildren. No wonder the left likes abortion so much---it causes them to have less grandchildren.

Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, gave some strong warnings about our economy: “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.’”

Notice in particular what he had to say about governmental debt: “I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements.” [Emphasis added]

In his Farewell Address, George Washington warned against runaway spending and needless debt: “As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.” [Emphasis added]

In other words, during peacetime, the priority should be to pay off war debts. Meanwhile, we should avoid racking up debt.

Indeed, what kind of a country runs up a big bill, spends the money now, and then leaves it up to our children and grandchildren to have to pay it all back? There is nothing ethical about this.

Proverbs 13:22 says “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.” In America we’re now doing the opposite—contrary to what both the Bible and the founders had to say. 

Again, Ronald Reagan put it well: “We could say the government spend like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors, because the sailors are spending their own money.”

 

 

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Promoting Hatred or Love? By Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., Executive Director of the Providence Forum. 4/14/2021. ### While America has unquestionably had deep racial problems and an agonizing history of oppressing Black people through slavery, Jim Crow, and other outrages, it seems that there are some among us who do not ever want to see the problems solved—or to admit progress in any form. There are those who make enormous profits, both monetarily and socially, by perpetuating the friction caused by America’s racist past, in contrast to Martin Luther King Jr.’s hope of a color-blind society.

Now comes word of a new “devotional” by a professor at a once-Baptist college. This “devotional,” a book geared toward helping its readers walk with God, is sold at a major retailer. Source: “Not the Bee,” 4/7/21.

It includes a “Prayer of a Weary Black Woman,” supplicating, “Dear God, please help me to hate White people. Or at least to want to hate them….I want to stop caring about their misguided, racist souls, to stop believing that they can be better, that they can stop being racist.” She also prays that she won’t just hate the Trump-supporters and Fox News-viewers.

[Photo: “Devotional” with a prayer for God for the reader to learn hatred of some people.]

This is wokeness on steroids---promoting hatred instead of love---in the name of God, no less, as long as it’s hatred promoting the right kind of racism. Is there a right kind of racism? Of course not.

Jesus said that we should love those who hate us and pray for those who persecute us. To whom is this “theologian” praying? It is certainly not the God of the Bible.

The sad thing about this example of horrible theology is that it exacerbates America’s racist problems, but worse, it pollutes the solution. The very solution to racism can be found in the Bible---but this book perverts it, as the KKK has perverted it.

I remember once interviewing a former killer for the Ku Klux Klan, Tommy Tarrants, Jr. The FBI agent trailing him called him a “mad dog killer.” When he was captured, he was sentenced to 30 years.

While in prison, he came across a Bible. He told me that formerly, he used to skim through the Bible---but just in a cherry-picking way, to find things that supposedly supported his racist views. But later when he actually read the Scriptures, he was convicted of his sin, including his sin of racism. Through the power of Jesus Christ, Tommy was thoroughly transformed. Tarrants even went on to pastor a biracial church and to co-write a book with a black evangelical minister, John Perkins. The book was entitled, He’s My Brother.

Evangelist Alveda King, MLK’s niece, once told me that we have stop thinking in racist terms: “You go to Acts 17:26, ‘Of one blood God created all people to live together on the earth.’ Now, if we are separate races, we cannot possibly be brothers and sisters. So, we have to see ourselves as one race, one human race, created by God, and we’re supposed to live together in this world as brothers and sisters. So, that’s a fundamental truth that America has not yet embraced. I believe in America in the twenty-first century, we still see ourselves as separate races. But we are one human race, and we are one blood.”

Indeed, we are all creatures of God, created in His image. And those who know the Lord through Jesus Christ are all children of God.

Many of America’s founders recognized how important private, voluntary religion was---how it shaped character. For example, Virginia’s first governor, Patrick Henry, observed: “The general diffusion of Christian knowledge hath a natural tendency to correct the morals of men, restrain their vices, and preserve the peace of society.”

Though primarily a Deist, Ben Franklin once noted (in a letter to the president of Yale): “the most acceptable service we render to Him is in doing good to His other Children.”

Dr. Peter Lillback, the founder and president emeritus of the Providence Forum, wrote this when asked about blacks and American history: “Ideally the story of African-Americans should emphasize both sides of their hyphenated identity as they have played a key role both as blacks and as citizens. Thus more should be said, but it ought not to be presented in a one-sided prejudicial manner as tends to be the approach of many such as white supremacists, critical race theorists and polarizing groups such as Black Muslims and Black Lives Matter activists.  My ideal in this context is the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s magisterial work, Letter From Birmingham Jail.  He captured this balance in a way that has sadly been lost by many today. I quote a couple passages from his letter below.”

Here is a sample quote from MLK’s classic letter from that Alabama prison: “Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.” To which, Dr. Lillback added: “May God give us more extremists for love in both the black and white communities!”

We tend to forget that this slice of time is between Christ’s first coming and His second coming.

What will things be like under Christ’s reign? In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John got a taste of life in heaven: “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”

In heaven, there is no distinction between the races, so why should be there such distinctions here on earth among those created in the image of God? And why should anyone pray to God to put in their hearts a hatred for people with different skin color? May God grant us the grace to replace hate with love.

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