Monthly Archives: November 2012

On Choosing Leaders by Dan Smithwick

Below is a letter written by Dan Smithwick and forwarded to me by one of the recipients. Seldom have I seen anything written with which I so completely agree. I would support Smithwick at more than 100 percent were it possible, and that goes for the entire letter including the brilliant Ps at the bottom. If you think you lack the time to read it all, at least scroll down and read the Ps. – Dennis Rowan

On Choosing Leaders
Dan Smithwick
President, Nehemiah Institute

November 7, 2012

A good friend died this week; he was simply known as “Republic.”

Exodus 18:21 (KJV)
Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

Romans 13:4 (KJV)
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; — for he is the minister of God, –.

These verses of scripture have long been used by the Christian Church to foster an attitude of how people of any faith should select civil leaders for providing an orderly, God-fearing society based on objective truth for the way life is to be done. For decades in America, we have ignored the commands of these verses- to be a Bible-based community of people. This week, in my opinion, we struck bottom. We chose an administration that will not base public policy around the axiom of ‘hating covetousness,’ but rather will likely promote it at every turn of society. There can hardly be anything more threatening to a nation’s liberty than such an action.

Yet, we must remember, God is sovereign. He was neither surprised nor disappointed with the results of this democratic selection of leaders. I say this because of another ‘proverb’ that Christian philosophers have stated for eons: God always gives His people the type of government they deserve.

We simply do not deserve liberty and prosperity. What would you point to over the past 40 years to convince God that liberty and prosperity should be the ‘fruits of our labors?’ Or that because of our faithfulness to His Word we are deserving of good things? I would like to see your list.

What convinces me that we ‘got what we deserve’ this week, are the results of biblical worldview understanding that I have been observing from a front-row seat for over two decades. Most of the recipients of this short essay know of our worldview assessment program called, The PEERS Test. It measures a person’s basic worldview beliefs in five areas: Politics, Economics, Education, Religion and Social Issues (PEERS). The results are then categorized into one of four worldview classifications: Biblical Theism, Moderate Christian, Humanism, or Socialism. Please note: Socialism is based entirely on the attribute of covetousness.

For a quarter of a century of PEERS testing, with approximately 100,000 tests of youth from Christian homes, we have been observing results move away from a mature Biblical Theistic worldview, toward a Socialist worldview. Let me share a very recent example:

Last week we conducted PEERS testing for a pricy Christian school in one of our nation’s largest cities. This is a large school with the following claim in its mission statement:

[name] is an independent, Christ-centered college preparatory school that integrates learning with biblical faith — for the Glory of Jesus Christ.

Note: I am not criticizing the statement per se, all Christian schools have similar such statements about why they exist. What I am criticizing is that the mission statement does not fit with their results.

The rating of worldview understanding of the PEERS test is based on the following numerical scale (+100 to -100):

70—100 Biblical Theism

30 – 69 Moderate Christian

0 – 29 Secularism/Humanism

-100 – 0 Socialism

About 5% of Christian schools score in top category, over half score in the bottom two categories, with the trend dropping about 2-3 points per year for 25 years.

The school I referred to above had a composite PEERS score of 13.88, well on the way to Socialism as a desired worldview.

The outcomes at this school are extremely relevant to what happened in America this week, politically speaking. Here is why:

There is a sixth index on the PEERS Test called, Limited Government. This index includes all test items (out of 70 total) that have any view with the question, “What is the role of civil government regarding the topic being addressed?” This school (with testing from two high school grades) scored -1.30 in the Limited Government category, ranking them in the Socialism category of the PEERS test. Yet, 75.4% of the students marked themselves as “Republicans.” I am convinced that they selected Republican because their parents have been telling them for years, “We are REPUBLICANS!” But what these kids want is a Republican president who offers a Socialist view of life.

Here is one example from the PEERS Test that cause them to think in this direction:

“In a democratic society, citizens have a civil right to an education and this right must be protected and enforced by civil governments.”

Both constitutionally and biblically speaking, this statement is wrong. Education is not a “right,” (entitlement) and civil government does not have responsibility for education, certainly not at the high school level. Note: I am happy to provide a detailed Position Paper on this test question if you care to read further.

But for this Christian school, 94.7% of the student body missed this test question, siding with the Humanist/Socialist view- “education is my right.”

If our young people (Church attending families) believe that they are “owed” an education which others are obligated to provide, guaranteed by our civil government, it is a very short step to also view things such as a job, housing, health care (the good life!) as a “right to be guaranteed.” May I say Greece?

This is Socialism; this is covetousness.

But this is not the worst of why we (the Christian community) deserved the political results that we received. In spite of all the rhetoric from the Christian community about the need for godly values and principles, 85% of church families still send their children to the government’s school system, an officially Socialist institution where entitlement thinking is the norm. Yes, we are just getting what we deserve. The political results of this week in America were simply the result of decades of educating youth that government is there to “ensure quality life.” The winning party presented this argument better than the losing party.

So, what now?

I don’t pretend to have a clear answer on where we go from here- how to once again become a nation based on Exodus 18:21 and Romans 13:4, and all that that means. But this much I do know; we don’t need a 4-year plan to right the ship; we (the Christian community) need something like a 24-year plan. We need to think long-term, very hard and very carefully. Before thinking about ‘who we will nominate next time,’ we MUST rethink our views about leadership. And we MUST educate our youth with this view of life.

I have been working at Nehemiah Institute for 25 years; a ministry we founded in 1986. Our mission is all about doing just what Nehemiah of the Old Testament did: rebuild a fallen city. We are a fallen city today.

If you share the views I have expressed here, and want to help, and I do mean HELP, then I would like to hear from you. I want to take Nehemiah Institute to a new level, very likely into new hands that can truly result in a rebuilding of America. It will be hard, long and expensive.

Like Nehemiah of old, I want to start building a team of people who are willing to rebuild “in front of their own house,” (Nehemiah, chapter 3). If this is your heart today, send me a note, please:

dan@nehemiahinstitute.com

If you would like to discuss this matter in person, give me a brief summary of your views and a phone number.

Dan

Ps- If it is your ambition to simply find a way to help get more Republicans elected to civil office, let’s not waste my time or yours.

Also, please circulate this article to others as you like.

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Filed under Church Tracks, Culture/Worldview Tracks, Home Tracks, Sheepherder Blog

Christians Need a 70-Year Plan

The article below was first published in February 2009. November 2012 is a good time to revisit the topic.

“This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” .” Jer. 29:4-7 (NIV)

Christians in America are being held captive in Babylon. That’s right, captive in Babylon. Freedom in America is rapidly declining because our U.S. Government is choking the life out of “we the people”. Whether the issue is confiscatory taxes, the wickedness of those elites who control public schools, the murder of unborn babies, or other ungodly decisions of the courts that defy the wishes of the people it should be clear to all that we have little choice in such matters.

During the time of Jeremiah the prophet, Israel was so rebellious that God had many of the Israelis “carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.” God allowed them to be captured by King Nebuchadnezzar. It was obviously God’s will at that time for the rebellious people of Jerusalem to be captured and taken away. The people had plenty of warning from prophets that they would have to pay for their disobedience if they did not change. So, in essence God sent them to the corner for a 70-year time-out.

The way we reject God in America causes many to wonder when God’s judgment will come. I’m not so sure we are not in the midst of that judgment right now. Is it not likely that the multitude of problems we have in our society is due to the fact that God has already lifted his hand of protection from America? Most of the social ills in this country can be directly correlated with our efforts to kick God out of our lives, our schools, our communities, and even our churches. Some who masquerade as pastors are surely being lead by demons from hell.

The exiles in Babylon were not slaves because they did have some freedoms. I find it interesting that God told the people of Israel to build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce, marry, have children, and even find spouses for their sons and daughters. He told them to multiply the numbers in their families. He also told them to seek peace and prosperity in their place of captivity. He didn’t tell them to cause trouble in Babylon. There were no voting guides, citizen surveys, petitions to the ruling authority, no picketing, and no letters or phone calls to the king to influence his decision making. In fact God told them to pray for the prosperity of Babylon so that the Israelis would also prosper. The time-out God chose for Israel was to focus on family and prosperity.

God furthermore told the people through the prophet Jeremiah, “This is what the LORD says: ‘”When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”‘ (Jer. 29:10-13, NIV)

So the Israelis were disobedient, were sent to Babylon for a 70-year time-out, and were to concentrate on family, peace, and prosperity. Afterwards God said, “you will call upon me, and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

I can honestly say that for during the past two years I felt the Lord has been showing me that America needs about three generations of Christians to concentrate on family, especially the Christ-centered training of our children and grandchildren, with a minimal amount of our energy used trying to change our culture through letter writing to politicians, filling out petitions to influence this group or that group who aren’t Christians. It’s a change of people’s hearts that is needed. A threatening letter won’t do it, a vote for John Doe won’t do it, and money piled a mile high won’t do it. I have had a vision of 50-80 years to get the desired result. I’d say three generations and 70 years fits about right. America didn’t get in trouble during one election cycle, or even during one generation of people. We would be wise to note that more than one despot has affected change over a long period of time by first controlling what children are taught. Consider the following quotes:

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”, and
“A lie told often enough becomes the truth. ”

Adolph Hitler
“When an opponent declares, “I will not come over to your side,” I calmly say, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”

Joseph Stalin
Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.

I see homeschooling as the top priority with private Christian schools as a possible substitute. Children need to be trained by parents, and the training should never end. As foreign as the idea sounds to Americans, we need to do our level best to help our sons and daughters find their lifelong wife or husband. I’m convinced we are too caught up in what WE (or I) can accomplish rather than planning two to three generations ahead. This type goal won’t be too popular for people raised with microwaves in the kitchen, cell phones in the car and communication for business, shopping and letter writing just a mouse click away.

It will take a paradigm shift, for sure. We must think differently because what we have been doing for the past 40-50 years is not working. Getting more Christians out to vote (especially when we vote for the lesser of two evils) will not change this country any more than increasing the amount of money spent on public schools has improved the education children are currently receiving in such an environment. We Christians need to get our act together over the long haul, not just get super excited as a presidential election nears. Maybe if we spend about 70 years with a disciplined plan to focus on God, family, and country we will turn our country back toward the days when godly men using godly principles guided our nation. Just as God has said, “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34, NIV) I am not advocating that Christians should not vote, but I think we can conclude that voting does not exalt a nation?

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Vote The Bums Back In?

The following was first published as a letter the the editor, Monroe Watchman in October 2012.

As each election cycle rolls around we often hear, “Throw the bums out!” This is primarily for those elected officials in Washington, DC who have had trouble getting an approval rating above 10 percent for the last few years. There are two type bums in DC, Republicans and Democrats. When I was a kid, senators and representatives were referred to as “Honorable” Jones, Smith, or whoever. What a joke that would be today… perhaps it was then.

Partisan politics and the fighting between the two parties is a bigger joke than calling them honorable. I recall that the two parties fought over some budgetary manner for several months last year, and then after the compromise agreement, John Boehner, Speaker of the House boasted about how he stood his ground for the Republicans. Well, fact of the matter was that what was cut out of the spending plan amounted to what the feds spend of your tax dollars in the span of only four or five days…big whup!

I remember Republicans complaining that the Democrats had controlled Washington politics for 40 years thus preventing them, the Republicans, from cutting the size of government. When the Republicans finally gained control, what did they do? They increased the size of government!! I won’t labor the point with all the details, but suffice to say that the two political parties have different talking points but the same two ultimate goals, tax you and control you. The song and dance of Washington politicians is all about show. We pay them enough that they can spend most of their waking hours planning ways to deceive us. And remember, we pay them but they decide the size of their paychecks and allowance for expenses. In fact, a couple years ago they voted to increase their expense allowance by more than $90,000 per congressman per year. Furthermore most leave office with much more wealth than when they began. How do they attain that wealth?

Have you noticed how politicians, especially those in West Virginia, complain about the dastardly deeds of the Environmental Protection Agency like shutting down coal mines and coal-fired power plants? Since Congress was the group that established the EPA, why don’t our elected congressmen shut down the EPA, or at least rein them in a bit? They have the power, but lack the backbone and integrity to do the right thing.

I wish to know why the Department of Homeland Security has purchased 1.4 billion rounds of ammunition in the past 10 months with plans to purchase another 200 million rounds, some of which are hollow points for sniper use. According to my understanding of the rules of war established at the Geneva Convention, hollow points are not to be used during any war. They can’t be used in wars, but perhaps DHS employees are going elk hunting, or perhaps they wish to be prepared to shoot American citizens during civil unrest (?). Is that what this means?

Why did American taxpayers bail out General Motors, especially in view of the fact that GM makes almost 70 percent of its vehicles outside the US, has more than 2,700 dealerships in China, operates 11 assembly plants in China, and has its international headquarters in China? Huh, why did we?

Why does our federal government, contrary to the desires of US citizens and regardless of who controls Congress and the White House, fail to control the border with Mexico? And why did our government send tens of thousands of guns to drug runners in Mexico? … to blame the Second Amendment?

The average American knows our country is in deep trouble, and 16 trillion dollars of debt is just part of our problem. Lets face it, our elected officials long ago abandoned any pretense of adhering to “consent of the governed” as stated in the US Constitution. I don’t know who the men behind the curtain are who control our congressmen, but you can bet they have more control than “we the people” do. Our ignorance will help keep us in the mode of loosing our liberties on a daily basis. For any who wish to learn why all this is happening, I suggest digging to find the truth, but that truth will NOT come from elected officials in DC, and it will not come from the established big media outlets. We find truth in some books and at some web sites on the Internet that give historical accounts of tyrants, manipulating money barons and pliable politicians. In the meantime, why not just vote the bums in one more time?

Dennis Rowan

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