One of the most fascinating things about the Old Testament is the fact that God established a republican government in ancient Israel. Most people today think that Israel had a standard monarchical form of government, but that was not the case. Israel (and Judah) never had a true monarchy. Throughout their history, they were always a republican nation characterized by popular elections of their rulers. (For more on this topic see my free eBook The Bible and the Constitution.)
When God established Israel’s government, He also taught the Jews how to choose the right kind of leaders. Those instructions can be found in Exodus 18:21, Deuteronomy 1:13, and Deuteronomy 17:15-20. The qualifications listed in these and other passages are not difficult. There were thousands of men in Israel who met them. God intentionally set the standard low so that the various offices could be filled. He gave the Jews a list of the barest minimum standards that would allow their government to function with good men in positions of leadership.
I did not watch this year's State of the Union address. In fact, I have never watched a State of the Union address. I always wait to read the transcript afterwards instead. I have found that reading a transcript of a speech allows me to focus on the actual content of the speech without the distraction of the speaker's theatrics. And when I read this year's State of the Union address from Donald Trump, I found that this practice of separating content from theatrics gave me a fairly unique perspective of a speech that many of my friends were describing as the greatest State of the Union address they've ever heard.
I am glad that Trump attended the March for Life instead of the Planned Parenthood gala like Obama did, and I'm glad that he gave a speech proclaiming that "Every child is a precious and sacred gift from God." I just have one small question:
I wasn't planning to write this. When I heard about Trump's brave new guidance for prayer in schools, I tried to just ignore it and get on with my life. I figured that I had gotten enough of my friends mad at me for the time being and that I should just let this particular opportunity slide on by. However, I saw so many of my friends posting about how wonderful Trump was for issuing these new guidelines that I finally decided to actually read the guidelines for myself and see what all the fuss was about.
Dear Bro. Charles,
By now, you have almost certainly heard about the contention between Pastor Dan and the deacons of First Baptist Church. In fact, it would be nigh impossible for you to have missed it. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation being spread by both sides of the conflict, and I wanted to write you to ensure that you received an accurate account of the proceedings up to this time. Of course, I won’t be able to go into a lot of detail, but I hope that this overview will help you to sort out truth from fiction among all the conflicting reports that you have read.
Alabama Representative Terri Collins, along with 66 cosponsors, has introduced a bill in the Alabama state house which would make abortion a felony in the state of Alabama. As you are well aware, I have been trying to get abortion banned from Alabama ever since I moved back to the state 10 years ago. You would think, then, that I would be ecstatic to see our legislature finally promoting a bill that would accomplish that goal, but this bill is a very dangerous bill. Let me explain why.
I've interacted with hundreds of voters over the past few weeks, and I've noticed that there are very few people who actually want Luther Strange to be our Senator. Those are mostly the ones in the "good-ol'-boys" club of Alabama politics. They like Strange because he's one of their own.
Recently, a friend of mine asked me for my thoughts on Dr. Wayne Grudem's article answering objections to voting for Donald Trump. Dr. Grudem responded to 11 objections and then wrote a lengthy comparison of the proposed policies of Trump and Hillary followed by an appeal for Christians to "seek what is best for the nation." I read Dr. Grudem's article and jotted down the following thoughts in response to his answers:
The fourth chapter of Ezra tells us how the enemies of God forced God's people to stop building the Temple. According to verses 4 and 5, the enemy made life difficult for the Jews and pestered them with actions intended to frustrate the plan to build the Temple. This slowed down the work so that it was not completed during the reign of Cyrus or that of his successor, Ahasuerus, or even of his successor, Artaxerxes.
I have heard many Christians say that they are voting for Donald Trump because they like his immigration policy, and I've just dismissed these claims as examples of ignorance in the church. More recently, however, I've heard several Christian leaders claim that Trump's immigration plan is biblical, and this really caught my attention. This is not some generic assertion of favor toward vague goals. This is a specific claim that the written policy of Donald Trump can be measured against the written Word of God and proven to be good. With that in mind, let's take a few moments to compare what Donald Trump has written about immigration with what God has written about immigration.
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (Proverbs 9:9)