Tag Archives: truth

7 Words that Distinguish Our Founding Fathers from Modern Americans

“We hold these truths to be self-evident…”

If there were ever any words that are so antithetical to today’s culture, these words from the Declaraton of Independence stand out above them all.

Believe it or not, the founding fathers of the United States of America firmly held to the belief that there are absolute, transcendent truths by which we are able to govern and judge society.

They not only believed there are “truths,” but they believed that these truths are “self-evident.” In other words, they believed that these transcendent truths, rooted in the nature of God, were not hard to find, but plain for all to see, should they only open their eyes. Hence the term self-evident.

Today’s culture has totally rebelled against the concepts of truth and anything that is self-evident. For example, the truth is that God created male and female (Gen. 1:27; Mark 10:6), and what is self-evident are their differences. Yet, modern Americans cannot bring themselves to admit what is obvious, no matter how self-evident.

Just today I read of a transgender activist, Zinnia Jones, who maintains that men who are not attracted to transgender women have “issues”…issues “they should work through.” In other words, Jones believes that biological males who are attracted only to biological females, not trans women, should be relegated to the fringes of society.

In the book of Matthew, chapter seven, we read of two men: a wise man, and a foolish man. Jesus said that a man who listens and does what He says is like a wise man who builds his house on a solid, rock foundation. The foolish man is the one who doesn’t listen to the sayings of Jesus and therefore builds his house on sand. When the storms come, the house built on rock stands firm, but the one built on sand comes crashing down.

A bedrock foundation is un-moving, un-changing, consistent, able to bear weight, and unaffected by the changing weather. However, sandy foundations, although conforming and accommodating, are inconsistent, unable to bear weight, and always changing with the winds of time.

The foundation on which America was built can be found in the “truth” of the Scripture. Without these truths a free, self-governing society cannot not exist for long, if at all.

“[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.”

“[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending
with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution
was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the
government of any other.”

– John Adams, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, 2nd President

Unfortunately, modern Americans are rebuilding America on top of a foundation that is comfortable, conforming, and accommodating, always able to shift with the changing winds of culture. And just like the foolish man that Jesus describe in Mathew 7, our “house” will eventually come crashing down, “and great [will be] the fall of it.”

People wonder how long America will survive. My contention is that it can’t survive much longer. How can it when the very foundational truths on which our liberties are grounded has been reduced to shifting sand?

“We hold no truth, and nothing is self-evident; all is relative to self-identification.” – Modern Americans

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Filed under America, Culture Wars

The Eye Doctor Visit

A while back I had to go to a new eye doctor.  Because of so many years of wondering whether or not I have glaucoma, my optician decided to send me to the place in town with the most high-tech equipment and eye doctors who specialize in glaucoma.  He sent me to Southeast Eye Specialists.  Wow!  Talk about a set up!  They had some cool gadgets, I must say.

While waiting in the exam room for the smartly dressed, highly intelligent Dr. McDaniel to greet me, I did what any bored, adult male would do…I started playing with the equipment.

In the process of flipping levers and turning dials on very expensive stuff, I began to have a thought (which must imply that I was not thinking when I was playing with things that I couldn’t afford).  With all the different prescriptions for glasses, and all the different lenses one could look through, how could anyone say for sure that what we see when we look at things is exactly the way it really is?  Just look at all of those dials!

Some people would say this is the reason for believing that everything is relative.  You know, they get all philosophical-like and say, “There’s no such thing as right and wrong,” or, “Perception is reality.”  The only problem is that what we think we see may not be what is actually there, but what is actually there IS there, whether we see it for what it is, or not.  Just like the chart on the wall with the jumbled letters that start big on top, then get smaller as they go down, we can call the letter “e” an “a” or a “c,” but it is still an “e“.

We may think what we see is correct, but that doesn’t change reality.

The only way we can know for sure if we are seeing things correctly is to go to a doctor of optometry and let him evaluate our sight. He is qualified to turn the knobs and do the tests.  He knows what the letters on the wall really are.  He can be objective.  Only a fool would go into his exam room and argue with him over the “rightness” or “wrongness” of his letter chart.  Maybe it was those type of people that God had in mind when he wrote the following verse:

  • Acts 28:27 For the heart of this people is stubborn, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Some people insist that they can be the judge of what is right and wrong.  Some people are so convinced of their own understanding of things that they will attempt to belittle other’s opinions and claim that what they see has to be incorrect, especially if it is any different. How sad!

You see, all of us are born with faulty eyes that want to see things in the most favorable way, like with “rose colored” lenses.  The only problem is that only God knows exactly what is on the wall.  And what is cool is that each one of us is different, so we may need one kind of lens, while someone else may need another.

God, our heavenly doctor, wants us to see the Truth for what He is; not through faulty eyes, but ones He has healed.

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Filed under General Observations, Theology

Which Would Surprise You More?

It may come as no surprise to you that I have some pretty unique students who ride my school bus. I’m sure the same could be said for any school bus.

However, today, following a conversation in which a middle school girl was laughing about some creepy things she’d done, like stabbing her stuffed frog, I posed a question to the students surrounding her.

“Of the following,” I asked, “which of these two things would surprise you more if you found out they were true about (the girl)? First, that she had a bedroom full of unicorns and rainbows, and that she wrote poetry about flowers… Or, secondly, that in her bedroom she had a black pot, under which sat a burner…and that she used the pot to boil water, into which she would put the severed extremities of creatures she gathered from outside after midnight while her parents slept?” 

“Unicorns and rainbows,” replied the other students. A creepy cackle of approval came from the seat behind me. Then she added, “But the poetry could have been about dark, magical flowers that kill.”

Uh, yeah. 

Anyway, this got me to thinking. What would surprise you more, if you heard it about me? 

  1. That I could bench press 500 pounds, or…
  2. That my biceps look like chicken thighs.

How about this?

  1. That I have a fondness for burning things, or…
  2. That I have a fear of getting burned. 

Now, try these on for size. Which would surprise you more?

  1. That I was a spy for the U.S. government, or…
  2. I was a draft dodger. 

You see, how we answer these questions reveal our perceptions of people. So, here’s one more. Which would surprise you more if you learned it to be true about me? 

  1. That I’ve never offended a single soul with my preaching, or…
  2. That someone got so offended by something I preached that he left the church and personally threatens me…and he wouldn’t be the last. 

I hope you picked #1 on that one (read John 15:18-20). Otherwise, I need to reevaluate what I’m doing. 

Why not give it some thought and ask others some questions about yourself? You might be surprised with their answers. 

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Filed under Christian Living, Christianity, General Observations, Life Lessons, Uncategorized

7 Words that Distinguish Our Founding Fathers from Modern Americans

“We hold these truths to be self-evident…” – Founding Fathers (Declaration of Independence)

If there were ever any words that are so antithetical to today’s culture, these stand out above them all.

Believe it or not, the founding fathers of the United States of America firmly held to the belief that there are absolutes, that there are transcendent truths, truths by which we are to judge between right and wrong.

They not only believed that there are “truths,” but they believed that these truths are “self-evident.” In other words, they believed that these transcendent truths, rooted in the nature of God, were not hard to find, but were plain for all to see should they only open their eyes. Hence the term self-evident.

Today’s culture has totally rebelled against the concepts of truth and anything that is self-evident. The truth is that God created male and female (Gen. 1:27; Mark 10:6), and what is self-evident are their differences. Yet, modern Americans cannot bring themselves to admit what is obvious, no matter how self-evident.

Not long ago a man named Joseph Backholm went to the University of Washington and claimed to be a 6′ 5″ Chinese female. Not one single college student dared challenge his claims, even though the self-evident truth was that he was a caucasian male.

People wonder how long America will survive. My contention is that it can’t survive much longer. How can it when the very foundational truth on which our liberties are grounded has been reduced to shifting sand?

“We hold no truth, and nothing is self-evident; all is relative to self-identification.” – Modern Americans

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One Picture, Two Truths

Courthouse Queue

I don’t use United Kingdom words that often, but I will shine my torch on one this day: queue (I would spell it differently).

Yes, today I was standing in line, or, rather, I was in queue to register my daughter’s car at our county courthouse. While standing there, looking down and noticed something fairly profound and had to take a picture.

…and I sucked in my gut so you could see my feet.

IMG_4079

Literally, there at my feet were two completely profound statements! One would have been enough, but two? Yes, two statements in one picture. Two thoughts worth pondering. Two very real truths.

First Truth

“Wait here until called for service.”

Now, I know that we should always be about the Lord’s work, serving as we go. But when I look at this all I can think of are those who rush ahead into something God never called them to do – or be.

Believe it or not, rushing ahead of the line (or cue), not waiting for God to give the go-ahead, can be devastating. How many have sold all to go to the mission field, only to find out later they were not meant to be there? How many have rushed to stand behind a pulpit without a firm confirmation of their calling?

People have done many things without waiting on God, from ministry to marriage, and have lived to regret their hastiness. Oh that we would be more like David when he said, “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope” (Psalm 130:5).

Maybe you have already been called, but asked to step back in line for a moment. Be patient! Wait upon the Lord as He renews your strength; lifts you up on eagles’ wings; so that you may once again run and not get weary; walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

Second Truth

You are next.

Did you hear the one about the man who’s mother-in-law drove his brand-new truck off the side of a bluff? He had mixed emotions.

Knowing you are “next” is great if what you’re next in line for is a good thing. But what if you’re next in line for something bad to happen? Knowing you are next is not good news, is it?

Well, believe it or not, there are people reading this that are next. Next for what? I don’t know, but they should be ready. You might be next in line for a heart attack or cancer. You may be the very next one in your family to get married, or have a child. Or, you might be the next one to get a terrible phone call in the night.

“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” – Proverbs 27:1

Either way, you are next for something, and only God knows what that is. Are you right with Him? Are you willing to follow where He leads? Don’t be afraid, just put your faith in Jesus Christ and let Him guide you through what’s ahead.

“Next!”

 Update: Not six hours after publishing this, I had to take my wife to the Emergency Room. As of this moment (Saturday evening) she is still in unexplained chest pain. She is now in the hospital and I’ve been awake close to 40 hours. 

What’s next? Nobody knows. But God is still good! 

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Filed under Faith, Future, Life/Death, the future

Kids Spitting and Truth Telling

The following is what I am planning to make the last entry of my new book. Tell me what you think.

“Unexpected Truth”

Every once in a while a bus driver, or anyone for that matter, may find himself saying, “I didn’t see that one coming!” In other words, every once in a while something happens; somebody says something that you would have never imagined. Let me tell you about one of those “once in a while’s.”

Spitting Accusations

Kids are always doing stuff to each other to be aggravating. You have probably witnessed children throwing spit wads, taking items out of another’s book bag, or hiding a child’s shoe right before her stop. No? Well what about spitting on each other?

Oh, yes, children are well-accustomed to spitting on each other, especially boys. Now, they never admit to doing it; they usually blame it on the one kid with no salivary glands. But there was this one time when a boy on my bus accused a girl of spitting on him when she actually didn’t. How do I know that she didn’t? She showed me proof!

So, “Jack” hollered from the back of the bus, “Mr. Baker! ‘Jill’ spit on me!” Before I could rationally respond, another voice came from the back, the voice of the accused, crying, “No I didn’t – he’s lying!” Since I was in the process of driving and there was no place to pull over and deal with the situation, all I could do at the moment was respond with a simple request: “STOP SPITTING!”

A moment passed, then Jill came up to the seat behind me (which is dangerous and against the rules, by the way). “Mr. Baker,” she said in a tone laced with disgust, “I did not spit on Jack; he spit on himself after he spit on the seat.”

What?” I asked. “He’s spitting on the seat?! That’s gross!”  Incidentally, this is one of those times when I find it appropriate to ask: why do people of any age find enjoyment in recreational spitting? Why waist perfectly good saliva when there’s nothing necessarily nasty to expel from one’s mouth?

Anyway, a moment or two later, Jack came up to share his side of the story. “Mr. Baker, Jill did spit on me! See my shirt? See, this is her spit…she spit on me! See?”

I couldn’t argue with what I saw. There, as plain as the marks on a Dalmatian, were wet spots where something liquidy had collided with his shirt. Somebody had spit on him.

“Jill!” I yelled, “Why did you spit on Jack?” From the back of the bus came an insistent reply, “But I didn’t! He spit on himself just to get me in trouble!”

The Truth Comes Out

Where’s Solomon when you need him? Why can’t school buses be equipped with portable DNA equipment? How was I supposed to determine who spit on whom? How could I prove who needed to be punished with a stern warning and a verbal reprimand? The answer came in a way I never would have dreamed, but I will never forget.

“Mr. Baker…” Jill had made her way back up to the seat behind me, again while I was driving. “Jill, you need to sit down!” I told her.

“But Mr. Baker…” Let me just pause here to try to describe Jill’s way of saying my name. Jill spoke with a slightly non-emotional, matter-of-fact, drawn-out southern drawl. It sounded more like “Miiis-turr Buh-ayyy-kurr…”

“Mr. Baker, I didn’t spit on Jack; he spit on the seats and then on himself to make it look like I did it,” she said. “But I didn’t, and I can prove it.”

“Really,” I asked.

“Yessir,” Jill replied. “You see, Jack was eating green candy, and the spit on his shirt was green – mine is not…SEE!

At that point, just around my right shoulder, came the arm of a little girl. Attached to that arm was a palm, and in that palm was half an ounce of spit – yes, spit! It looked like a blob of clear silicone!

“It wasn’t me that spit, ‘cause my spit is clear, seeeee Mr. Baker?”

I couldn’t argue with her. She proved her point. There was the proof puddled in the palm of her hand, clear as day. I nearly threw up.

Life Lesson

We may not like it, but sometimes the truth is hard to stomach – and nothing like what we expected.

The simple fact is that truth isn’t always pleasant; more often it is nasty. No woman wants to hear the truth when she asks, “Does this dress make me look fat?”  No man wants to hear the truth when he asks, “How did I do with the laundry?” But sometimes the truth has to be told to make a difference. Unfortunately, to play off the words of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, many can’t handle the truth.

For example, there is a saying that goes, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Do you know where that saying came from? It comes from Jesus. He said, “If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:31-32). The part that is hard for many to stomach is the part where He says, “If you continue in my word…” In other words, in order to know the truth that will set one free, one must be a follower of Jesus Christ.

Some say that truth is relative, that it changes with the circumstances of life. Others have said that there is no truth, only perception (Gustave Flaubert). However, without truth there can be no lie, no wrong, and no remedy for the spit on some kid’s shirt, not to mention the darkness in our hearts. But when we follow Jesus, we can rest assured there is Truth to know, for He said in John 14:6, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE…”

Route Suggestions

  • When faced with a tough situation, one that demands you make a wise decision, ask God for help. James 1:5 says, “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God…”
  • Don’t ask someone to tell you the truth about how you look, how well you’re doing your job, etc., unless you’re willing to hear the truth.
  • Don’t “kill the messenger.” If someone does try to tell the truth, don’t get angry when they say the dress makes you look fat. Just get angry because they weren’t sensitive enough to change the subject.
  • Read the book of John in the Bible. Make a list of the claims that Jesus made. Was He telling the truth? For the atheist or agnostic, that may be a truth too hard to handle, but it can set you free.

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Filed under book review, Faith, General Observations, Humor, Life Lessons, salvation

Based on a True Story

Here’s the Story

On this past Saturday I went to hear Rick Santorum speak. What I did not expect was to meet Bill Maher and Michael Moore in the lobby. Awkward.

“Hey, Anthony, what’s up, my brother,” asked Bill as he grabbed my hand to shake it. “Can I give you a hug, my friend? Good to finally meet you in person,” said Mr. Moore.

“What are you two doing here,” I asked, “and where do you know me from?”

Bill said, “HBO asked me to do some research on Christian bloggers, and when I found your site, well, you won me over!” He went on to say, “I was so blinded by my hatred of Christianity that I would never give it an honest chance; but then I read your blog. You changed my mind. Since then I have become a believer.”

Michael Moore’s story was similar. He said, “I was working on a new anti-Republican, anti-Evangelical documentary when I read your brilliant blog. The power of your intellect, combined with the non-conspiratorial power of the Holy Spirit, convinced me I was headed down a liberal road to destruction. I confessed my sins and became a believer. Did you read my comment on The Recovering Legalist?”

“Wow! Unbelievable! This is awesome news,” I said. “Are you here because you’re leaving the Democrat party?” “No,” they said. The reason they came to hear Rick Santorum was to seek wisdom which they could use to transform the liberal Democrat political machine.

Here’s the True Part

Last Saturday I went to hear Rick Santorum speak. That’s the truth. The above was based on a true story.

While visiting the hospital today (one of those pastoral things) I heard one nurse comment to another, “It’ll be a great movie, and it’s based on a true story.” Really? Makes one wonder what part is true.

John 8:31-32 … So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

“As a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth.” ~ Thomas Aquinas

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Filed under America, Humor, politics, Uncategorized, voting