Category Archives: politics

On Burning Burberries and Babies

Waking to the News

I don’t advise it, but it’s something I do often … I wake up to the news.

Honestly, the first thing I should do before rolling out of bed in the morning is pray or read a verse of Scripture. Yet, because my phone is my alarm clock, and because there’s usually a message that pops up right after I turn off the alarm, I habitually (may addictively) take a quick look (just a peek) at what’s happened overnight or the big news story of the day.

This morning, besides the incessant drum of anti-Trump rhetoric and the usual “Russian collusion” vitriol, there was a story about a clothing retailer that burned $37 million of its own over-stocked inventory.

And the masses rose up in protest.

Burberry Burning

Image credit: Wikipedia

Now, if you do most of your shopping at “off-the-rack” stores like I do, especially when items are on clearance, you’ve probably never even heard of Burberry. Again, if you’re like me, it is highly unlikely you’ve paid 3,000 dollars for a coat, so Burberry’s products are probably not hanging in your closet.

So, if you are a commoner like me (or just refuse to spend a lot of money on designer clothing), what Burberry does with their overstocked inventory couldn’t matter less in my mind. However, when the news came out that the British fashion label incinerated $37 million dollars worth of their clothes rather than let it fall into the hands of discounters or the “grey market,” a true meltdown ensued.

Many cried, “Why couldn’t they just give the clothes to the poor?” Others, like Sheena Raza Faisal at the website “Jezebel” wrote: “Let me be clear—the label literally burned fashion and cosmetic products carrying the Burberry trademark, because capitalism is a nonsensical loop of wastefulness.” Oh, the horrors of making a profit. Most just saw the whole thing as a waste of good merchandise – $37 million dollars worth.

Determining Value

But what are we really talking about? Are we talking about the burning of clothing that could have been offered to employees of Burberry or given to the coatless poor, or are we just upset that we didn’t get a chance at snatching up something for free?

Think about it, there’s something more offensive when we hear of expensive things being destroyed as opposed to inexpensive things. If Ferrari or Porche disclosed that it was going to reduce its inventory by crushing fifty $200,000 cars a month, you and I would be sickened. But if Ford announced that it was going to do the same with fifty of its units, each of which worth no more than $30,000, we’d barely sniff out a complaint.

The reason Burberry can charge so much for its products (i.e., $1,350 per coat) is because of low volume, high demand, and brand exclusivity (the very thing anti-capitalists complain about but love to wear). The $37 million dollars worth of merchandise equates to around 20,000 coats.

Had the same 20,000 coats retailed for only $50 each (like what I’d buy), we’d only be talking around a million dollars worth of merchandise burned. Sad, but not newsworthy.

Incalculable Value

But what of the worth of a child? What of the worth of an unborn baby? What of the worth of a human being with full potential? Who can determine it?

Burberry’s clothing and makeup products are expensive because of limited quantity, high demand, and prestige. However, very little about these products differ from similar products produced by other companies – only the label.

On the other hand, every human life (inside or outside the womb) has intrinsic value. In other words, each of us – including the unborn – are valuable despite anything else. We are valuable because of Who designed us, Who created us, and Who already set the price for us on the cross of Calvary.

People are up in arms because around 20,000 coats (and makeup) were destroyed last year. Yet, last year in the U.S. alone, around 600,000 or more babies (estimated) were destroyed in the womb. At least that’s down from a million in 2011. Yay. Woohoo.

And what do the “Jezebel”-like folk think about all THAT waste?

They “Thank God for Abortion.” (Viewer discretion advised)

Too bad we can’t stop destroying babies and just burn more coats.

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Filed under Abortion, current events, politics

God SAVE America!

Happy 4th of July!

flagIt has been 242 years since the colonies declared their independence. It was not an easy decision to make, however, and many of the signers paid a heavy price. But John Adams, in a letter to Abigail Adams, said he was “well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it [would] cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States.”

So, happy birthday, America! Your birth was a hard and costly one, but well worth the pain.

God Bless America?

Now, each year about this time we sing of our love for America. Irving Berlin wrote a song with a title that is repeated every time one of our presidents closes a speech: God Bless America!

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

However, as I said in past sermon:

“Maybe we should stop asking God to bless America. Maybe we should, on the other hand, be saying, begging, ‘God spare America…God have mercy on America!’ We have already been blessed by God more than any nation deserves, yet what are we doing with those blessings? Where is our thanks to the God who blesses? We are rapidly going down as a nation, so before God completely abandons this nation to the trash heap of fallen empires, we had better be praying God REVIVE America…God SAVE America!…God have MERCY on America!”

Franklin’s Suggestion

Benjamin_Franklin_by_Jean-Baptiste_GreuzeIn 1787, not long after the war with England, representatives sent by the people met in Philadelphia to hammer out what was to be the Constitution of the United States of America. Tensions were high, arguing was accomplishing nothing, and the whole Continental Congress was in danger of falling apart. That was when the great Benjamin Franklin offered the following words…

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.” Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments be Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of the City be requested to officiate in that service. – Source

We are “groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us.”

We are “divided.”

We are “confounded.”

We are becoming a “reproach and a bye word to future ages.”

And what is worse, mankind is leaving the forming of new governments to “chance, war, and conquest.”

Oh that America would cease fighting each other and fall on humble knees before a Holy God and pray!

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. – 1 Timothy 2:1-2

We should be “imploring the assistance of Heaven” before Heaven becomes deaf to our prayers.

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Filed under America, Countries, Culture Wars, current events, God, politics, voting

Preach Civility At the Very Least!

To be honest, I’ve had people tell me that I preach too much politics from the pulpit. Some of them have been members of churches where I pastored, and some of them have left to find other places to worship (presumably). But if you think I’m going to apologize at this point, you’re mistaken.

I have nothing to apologize for (not even for ending this sentence with a preposition – which I despise, by the way). Despite what the complainers may say, I don’t stand behind a pulpit and tell people whom to vote for or what party to which they should belong. When the subject needs to be addressed, or especially when it falls in line with a topic within an expositional study of Scripture, what I do is address the issue from a biblical position so that believers know what the Bible has to say. After all, if the Word of God is to be our rule and guide for life, shouldn’t it guide the way we act as citizens?

During the last presidential election cycle I never once told anyone to vote against Hillary Clinton and for another candidate. However, I did not hide what I believed would happen, specifically to the churches of America, should Hillary Clinton be elected president, and I based that entirely on her statements and precedent set by the past administration. But at the same time (and I have the recording to prove it), when preaching through the book of Acts, I came to the passage where Paul dealt with an oracle that had a “pythian spirit” and warned against the dangers of electing a man who considered Paula White a spiritual counselor.

The fact of the matter is that, as a shepherd, a pastor has the responsibility to not only preach biblical truth but to apply that truth in the context of the lives of the congregation. After all, why teach of the “sufficiency of Scripture” if I don’t practice what I preach by offering Scripture as a guide for every-day decisions? Especially when those decisions can have a real and tangible bearing on the future of the whole congregation!

Yet, there will be those who disagree with me. They will condemn any preacher like me who dares address any subject that might overlap with an official party platform. Even the appearance of disagreeing with a politician’s actions or beliefs will be used as an opportunity to say that I’m too political.

Is it too political to preach against slavery?

Is it too political to preach the dignity of humanity as the result of being made in the image of God?

Is it too political to preach that women and men are of equal value, not only before God but in the Church?

Is it too political to preach that Jesus loves children and doesn’t want them – or widows – to starve?

Is it considered too political to preach against killing infants in the womb? Evidently.

Is it too political to preach against infidelity, lying, immorality, etc.? Depends. If it’s about Donald Trump, then it’s all good.

Is it too political to call for prayers of peace? To pray for our leaders? During the Trump administration, evidently yes. Now, if I were to be like another pastor who said, “God d**n America!”, that would be just fine.

But I digress.

What about civility? What about praying for our leaders? What about loving our enemies? What about giving our enemies food when they are hungry and something to drink when they thirst? Again, that’s all too political if you don’t support same-sex marriage, abortion, transgender scout leaders, sex education in kindergarten, and anything else that winds up falling under the liberal left’s rainbow umbrella.

But now we have elected officials and public media calling for harassment, abuse, and even harm against anyone remotely connected with the current administration. Does the Bible have anything to say about that? And, if the Bible does address these issues in clear and blunt language, isn’t it worth preaching?

Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  – Luke 6:28

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:17-21

I guess if Jesus and Paul said it, it must be too political.

But I don’t preach politics; I preach the Word.

I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. – 2 Timothy 4:1-4

That’s the real reason people get upset. I really hate it for them. I really do.

But I have a charge, and I must give an account to God, not man. So, I will preach.

Would to God we had more pastors who’d do the same.

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Filed under America, politics, Preaching, Uncategorized

The Magnificent Fifty: Foundation of Faith (Oregon)

Salem, Oregon (Artist: Susan Cassidy Wilhoit)

Oregon Bill of Rights, Article 1, Section 2 (1857)

All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences.


To read the introduction to and purpose of this series, CLICK HERE.

This is the final installment in the series (unfortunately, I posted them in the order I took the pictures, not in alphabetical order). I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you.

Let me know if you find putting them all under one tab at the top of the blog useful. I’d love for them to be shared, and that might make it easier.

God bless, and God bless these United States of America!

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The Magnificent Fifty: Foundation of Faith (Oklahoma)

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Artist: Susan Cassidy Wilhoit)

Constitution Preamble (1907)

Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty…we, the people of the State of Oklahoma, do ordain and establish this Constitution. 


To read the introduction to and purpose of this series, CLICK HERE.

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The Magnificent Fifty: Foundation of Faith (North Dakota)

Constitution Preamble (1889)

We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain and establish this constitution.


Have you been noticing how many of the state preambles have verbiage similar to this? So many have stated their gratefulness to “Almighty God” for their civil and religious liberties. How is it, then, that the Freedom From Religion Foundation can make the claim that faith and religion should not be referenced as part of the fabric of our founding?

To read the introduction to and purpose of this series, CLICK HERE.

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The Magnificent Fifty: Foundation of Faith (North Carolina)

Raleigh, North Carolina (Artist: Susan Cassidy Wilhoit)

Constitution Preamble (1868)

We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those blessings.


Man, that has to just get under the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s skin, like a rash that won’t go away.

To read the introduction to and purpose of this series, CLICK HERE.

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Filed under America, Faith, politics, The Magnificent Fifty