The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense

“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Monday, November 7, 2016

New Beginning or Beginning Of The End?

Here's the Nonsense:  The results of this election will determine if America will return to being the nation our founders created and give many future generations the freedoms that have blessed us since our beginning. 

Here's the Horse Sense:  The results of this election could give us one last chance to save America for future generations, but it will only give us a chance and not guarantee it.

This is the last post planned for the Horse Sense Blog.  I appreciate all the support and encouragement I've gotten over the years from you, the readers.  Of all the posts I've written, this one is the most important.  The election results may allow us a new beginning.  But regardless of the outcome of the election, the results may very well be the beginning of the end of the free country we've known since our founding.

If you've been a regular reader of this blog, then you've followed my path of learning and growth about our nation's political situation.  Along with you, I've learned and grown over the years as my eyes have been opened more and more while doing my research for my writings.  Many of you have agreed with me, some have written and said you've learned, and some have said they disagree.  Through the entire process I've come to conclude that my core beliefs have been correct.  But, I've also concluded that most Americans either don't understand or refuse to face the core reasons why America is in the trouble it's in and what they must do to change it.

Way back in December of 2014, right after the midterm elections when it was already apparent that the Republican leadership was going to continue to ignore the mandate of the American people, I predicted that Donald Trump would run for the presidency and become the Republican nominee.  A couple weeks later I went further and said that if he runs, he'll win.  The caveat to that prediction I always held to has been that he would win if the Democrats and GOPe (the UniParty) don't succeed in undermining and stealing the election from him.  If such a massive number of Americans get out and vote for him so that he wins by a landslide that even the UniParty's election tampering can't overcome it, then he will be the next president. 

If Trump is successful and wins, you will begin to see change in America and things will get better. But however good it gets, it won't last for long. The changes being called for by most voters are human solutions to big problems. They cannot be successful long-term on their own because the American people have developed a mindset that demands they have their cake and eat it, too.  But our founders understood that that cannot work.  For liberty to thrive the people must be willing to make continual sacrifice and choose lives set apart in faith and goodness. 

Americans have come to the point where they are not willing to do that.  They misunderstand what the founders meant when they wrote that we have the God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Life and liberty are easy to understand and have similar meaning today to what they did at the time our nation was founded.  But "pursuit of happiness" is grossly misunderstood.

Most people today demand their "right" to their pursuit of happiness and think it means they can live their lives the way they choose and do whatever they want.  The rise of the libertarian movement focuses heavily on this, but "pursuit of happiness" for them is interpreted through the lens of the modern meaning of the phrase.

In colonial times people were much more aware of God and their dependence on Him for not just happiness, but for survival.  Life was not easy and people did not usually live as long as they do today.  For example, when America was founded the average lifespan was around 45 years.  So, when the founders said that a person had to be 35 years old to be president, they were looking at someone who was at a much later place in their lifespan than it is today.  The 35 year old requirement would be equivalent to around 50 years old today.  People in colonial times often saw their children die because they did not have the medical knowledge we do today that results in most of our children live to adulthood.  

Things like this caused the people to understand how important reliance on their Creator was.  People today scoff at God, even those who profess to believe.  They live lives that are an affront to God and that have abandoned reverence for and dependence on our Creator.

The understanding our founders had was expressed well by our second president, John Adams, who said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Adams and the other founders understood that if the day came that Americans were not religious and moral, the nation would fail.  You can't have one without the other either.  Those who think they can be moral without religion don't understand that man needs accountability and without accountability to God, people would stray away from morality and live lives of debauchery.  And as they do that they fool themselves into thinking they are moral by justifying their behavior.  

Look at the justification that goes on in our society today.  Our legal system is set up for people who can effectively justify wrongful behavior with the right excuse.  Often that excuse is blaming someone else for their own actions.  The bottom line is we must be accountable for our own actions and yet our society is now built on justification of wrong doing instead of accountability.  If we truly believe in God and are accountable to Him, then morality follows because we realize that we will be accountable to Him in the next life.  We understand that  He sees everything and we cannot make an excuse and get away with it.

I remember years ago a discussion with an attorney I know.  He justified getting guilty people released by using excuses for them.  I was having dinner with him one night and asked him how he'd justify it before God on judgment day.  He said, "I think the most important case I'll ever have to plead will be my own on judgment day before God."  I told him he wouldn't get that chance.  He was surprised and asked why and I told him that God won't allow us to make excuses, He'll demand truthful answers and accountability for our actions and there will be no arguing about it.  When we get to judgment day we will have already sealed our fate.  
But the fact is that Americans live lives focused on themselves. They think it is their right to pursue their carnal pleasures but the pursuit of happiness our founders wrote about meant something different in colonial times than it does to people today.  At that time happiness was equated as living a holy and moral life according to God's commandments.  To pursue happiness meant you had the right to follow God's commandments without the interference of government or anyone else.  And that pursuit of happiness meant the pursuit of a moral life according to God's commandments.

But today people think that they have the right to pursue whatever their desires are, moral or not. And that is the root cause of the downfall of our nation.  Even with a Trump win, without turning from that mindset to one of religious pursuit resulting in a moral lifestyle, America will, in short order, enter in to the 1000 years of darkness that Ronald Reagan warned about.  

This topic is polarizing. It has to be. We don't like to hear hard words, but sometimes they are necessary. This is one of those times we need to hear them if we truly want America and the freedoms we've known to survive.  The future of America depends wholly on the faith of its citizens.

In Jesus’ day the Pharisees and scribes were the most religious people in society. They were considered very moral people and were known for keeping the traditions and laws. But Jesus pointed out the fallacy of their moral deeds and hypocrisy. He called them “hypocrites” and “blind,” and He used his strongest criticisms for them. Speaking of meeting God’s standard in Matthew chapter 5, verse 20, Jesus said, “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

That is how tough Jesus said it was to meet the standard God requires. In verse 48 He said, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” That’s why God says in Isaiah chapter 64, verse 6 that all of our righteous deeds are like filthy rags. That’s why the Protestant Reformation happened, because Martin Luther and others realized as they studied the Bible that the church of their day had turned to believing that good works could get them favor with God. They realized that only God could change hearts and make them worthy of Him. They realized the church of their day had become guilty of the very things that Jesus had accused the Pharisees and scribes of being guilty of. Only God could change men’s hearts, which He did through the gift of faith. The result of that faith would be changed lives that would do good works because of the changes He made in those hearts.

Throughout the Bible, from the Old Testament through the New Testament, the message isn't about morality. The message is about righteousness before God. It is about the fact that no one can be righteous on his own. No person, whether man or woman, can meet the perfect standard of God. 

In the book of 2 Chronicles, chapter 7, verse 14, God says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” God doesn't say that if they turn from their wicked ways and become moral He’ll heal their land. God says they must humble themselves, pray, and seek His face in addition to turning from their wicked ways. In other words, morality without turning our lives to God is fruitless. His promise is only if we turn to Him. We cannot do it without God.

Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, once wrote an article about this. His words state important truths:

We want God to heal our land. But notice that God said, “If My people who are called by My name . . .” (emphasis added). When God looked at a nation that was having problems, he pointed his finger at his people. So often, we are quick to point out all of the problems in our culture. But God essentially says, “You know, I have kind of been looking at you—you who are called by my name.”
The question is, are we experiencing spiritual revival?. . . .That first-century church turned their world upside down. . . .These first Christians did not out-argue the pagans; they outlived them. . . .We don’t read that the Christians armed themselves and led a revolt against Rome. Rome had the most powerful military on the face of the earth at that time. No, the first-century believers decided to fight fire with fire. They recognized it was a spiritual battle, and so they used spiritual weaponry. . . .The problem is that we don’t use this weaponry. We use political means or other avenues as we try to solve problems, and it is like attempting to extinguish a forest fire with a squirt gun.”

We would be wrong to assume that morality is the answer to what is wrong in our culture. Efforts to restore morality in our culture by bringing the Ten Commandments back into public places, prayer back at public events, Christian symbols like a manger scene at Christmas, crosses at memorials, and any other religious symbolism that could be sought are not enough to get God to bless our nation. 
You can’t legislate moral reform. Sure, those symbols are not bad things and in many ways it is nice to have them. But they are not the basis of favor from God. Lack of morality is a symptom, not the cause of our problems. Therefore, the solution is not to come up with more laws. Believing that laws alone can change people’s hearts is tantamount to believing that people can become moral on their own efforts, when in reality, the only One who has the power to truly change hearts is God.

We cannot remove God as the prime component of the equation or the math doesn't work.  

It is good to seek morality and change our behavior.  But we need to remember the Bible says that only God can change people's hearts.  Once we reconcile our relationship to God, then we will see the moral changes we need in our own lives. And then we will be best able to choose those qualified to lead us in elected office. With those issues handled, then we will be able, with the help of those leaders, to address the economic crisis in our nation and turn it around for our children and future generations.