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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Coming Soon!!! The Miracle and Magnificence of America

For the past two-and-a-half years, most of my time writing has been put into a single project: The Miracle and Magnificence of America.

With over two-dozen chapters, hundreds of footnotes, and more than 85,000 words, The Miracle and Magnificence of America chronicles from the very beginning of this nation--from the time of Columbus--until the modern era, how the hand, the Word, the wisdom, and the blessings of God made the United States of America into the greatest nation the world has ever known.

The back cover reads:

On June 21, 1776, just days before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams, wrote to his cousin, Zabdiel Adams, a graduate of Harvard University and a renowned preacher of the Gospel. He said, “Statesmen…may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it 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, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, they may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.” 

Of course, the only source of “pure Virtue” is the Creator who has endowed us with our “certain unalienable Rights.” The Miracle and Magnificence of America reveals how the “Religion and Morality” of Jesus Christ laid the foundation for the greatest nation in the history of humanity and is the foundation for the lasting—but tragically fading—liberty enjoyed by hundreds of millions of Americans for over two centuries. 

The Miracle and Magnificence of America will soon (in a matter of weeks!) be available at Amazon, Books-a-Million, Barnes and Noble, as well as other online retailers. Stay tuned for more information!

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

North Georgia Abortion Zealots and Their Cookies

A few years ago I participated in a forum at Gainesville College (now the University of North Georgia) entitled "What Role Should Religion Play in Government?" It was hosted by the humanist club, or atheist club, or some such group who want Christians to no longer have a role in American government, and for that matter, the culture in general. Because central to the teaching of Christianity is that human beings must surrender the throne of our lives to the One who paid the debt that we all owe, and that none of us can pay.

Of course, surrendering control of our lives to one greater than ourselves seems madness to those who are determined to have their own way in this world. Few things today reveal this more than the willingness of many to kill the most helpless and defenseless among us: a child in the womb. In order to promote such wickedness, the atheists at the University of North Georgia have resorted to unusual means.

According to information published by Matt Walsh, said atheists fashioned cookies in the form of tiny babies, and celebrated their slaughter of the unborn by "eating the baby cookies or breaking the heads off and laughing." And take note of the messages these abortion apologists penned to further their sick and sad agenda:

The one on the right is a common refrain by those so devoted to themselves, but I have to admit, the one on the left is a new one on me. Liberal "crybullies" across the U.S. have expressed fear, alarm, and outrage at political messages scrawled in sidewalk chalk. They demand "safe spaces" so they don't have to listen to anyone who might challenge their ignorant and selfish worldview. Yet, somehow it's okay to mimic the death of children in order further the perverse liberal sexual agenda.

As I've noted often before (borrowing from John MacArthur), within the moral realm in our culture, the battle is almost exclusively about sex. I urge every Christian to get engaged. Challenge your church--your pastor, your Sunday school, your small group, and so on--to get engaged in this epic spiritual battle. Boldly spread the truth with your words and with your actions. Parents teach your children the truth on marriage and sexuality. And if your church refuses to stand for the truth in these grave matters, you need to find a new church.

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Sunday, April 17, 2016

In the Georgia District Conventions, Trump Got Exactly What the Electorate Wanted

Yesterday, representing Hall County, my lovely wife Michelle was a delegate for the 9th district GOP convention in Georgia. While there, she voted on multiple resolutions and voted to select the delegates and the alternates to the national convention. Three delegates were chosen, along with three alternates.

Tellingly, Michelle reported to me that while voting on the delegates, some of the voters would shout out "We need to know who they are for!" An officer leading the proceedings declared that the candidates were not required to reveal who they were "for." However--as I suppose is usually the case--there was enough information being spread around the convention to deduce which GOP candidate for U.S. President each delegate was supporting (some were literally wearing their support on their sleeve).

The 9th congressional district of Georgia is one of the most conservative districts in the country. Unsurprisingly, Ted Cruz had the most support at yesterday's meeting in Dillard, Georgia. Evidently, this was the case across all of the district conventions in Georgia. Yesterday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported that Donald Trump got "outmaneuvered by Ted Cruz forces in Georgia." Of course, this sent the Trump supporters into a tizzy.

Today, the AJC reports that Trump supporters "stormed out of a Georgia GOP convention." After being denied delegate positions, showing a grainy photo of a man snatching the U.S. flag, the article notes that Trump supporters "bolted the 7th district GOP convention." The Trump propaganda machine took such information and (again) began shouting that Trump had been "cheated."

The Trump apologists at Breitbart reported on an "Uproar In The Hall." Of course, Drudge--another rabid Trump apologist--prominently placed a link to the Breitbart piece at the top of his page. As Rush Limbaugh noted on the selection of Cruz delegates in Colorado, this is not Ted Cruz "cheating," this is Ted Cruz "winning."

As I posted on the AJC and Breitbart yesterday, Trump did not win a majority of the vote in GA (39%), he won a plurality. A significant majority voted for someone else (Cruz and Rubio totaled 48% together), thus Trump's struggle to get supportive delegates is no surprise. Trump will get his promised delegates on the first ballot at the convention, but if he doesn't get 1,237, the delegates can vote as they like.

There's nothing nefarious going on here. There's certainly no "fraud." Of the 20 counties represented in the Georgia 9th district (see a the vote by each Georgia county here), Trump won a majority of the vote in only two of those counties (Fannin: 53%, Gilmer: 52%). Thus, 90% of the counties in the Georgia 9th preferred another candidate to Mr. Trump. When given a choice of only Trump or Cruz (which they did not have in the primary), it is clear that most voters in these counties prefer Cruz. Thus, it is perfectly legitimate for these districts to send delegates to the national convention that represent such an outcome.

What's more, this is true across Georgia. Trump rarely won a majority of the vote in any Georgia county. This is how the process works when the field is narrowed to the three GOP candidates that we now have, and when no candidate looks likely to secure 1,237. All that the Georgia district conventions did yesterday was again reveal the disorganization and weakness of Trump's national GOP campaign.

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The “Bigger Problems” of Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal

The Governor of my home state of Georgia, Nathan Deal, has been soundly, and frequently, taken to task for his recent “Craven Capitulation” on religious liberty. I don’t wish to rehash the merits of the very weak bill Deal rejected (it only protected churches, religious schools, and “integrated auxiliaries”), nor do I wish to highlight again the rampant ignorance and hypocrisy of those who lobbied Deal to veto religious liberty in Georgia. What I would like to do here is give some explanation as to why I believe Deal caved on the defining moral issue of his governorship.

Chelsen Vicari at The Institute of Religion and Democracy hinted at the problem when she wrote of Governor Deal’s veto, “When corporate bullies dangling dollar bills is enough to cause a Baptist governor to veto a bill protecting freedom of conscience and speech, a bigger problem exits.”

Vicari goes on to conclude, “Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of Georgia’s religious freedom bill represents a wider movement among America’s Christians to compromise Scripture and morality for the sake of votes and popularity. Unfortunately, many Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants, and Catholics are bowing down at altars of sexual liberation and political correctness, erected by cultural Leftists.”

The “wider movement” Vacari references is especially prevalent in the Catholic Church and Mainline Protestantism. This eagerness to compromise Scripture and morality is due to the widespread embrace of what Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, calls “near Christianity.” It seems that Mr. Deal has been steeped in such wishy-washy theology for decades.

A day after Deal’s veto, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler described in a podcast Deal’s rationale for vetoing the religious liberty bill as a “moral and political evasion.” Dr. Mohler also pointed out that Deal is acting as an agent in the liberal “theological agenda” that is helping to progress the homosexual agenda.

Given the theology of Governor Deal’s church, this should come as little surprise. As Dr. Mohler also noted, Governor Deal is a member of The First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Georgia. Since the early 1990s, First Baptist of Gainesville has been affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), a more liberal association of Baptist churches than is the Southern Baptist Convention.

On homosexuality, CBF declares, “CBF does not issue ‘official’ positions on homosexuality or other social issues because it violates the Fellowship’s mission as a network of individuals and churches. CBF values and respects the autonomy of each individual and local church to evaluate and make their own decision regarding social issues like homosexuality.” In other words, CBF chooses to ignore Scripture and remain silent on one of the most pressing moral (not merely “social”) issues of our time.

After the infamous Obergefell ruling last year in which the U.S. Supreme Court abandoned the eternal truth on marriage, the pastor of First Baptist of Gainesville, Bill Coates wrote,

“People of deep faith and convictions exist on both sides of the LGBT and gay marriage question. Ultimately, it comes down to how an individual interprets Scripture and how churches interpret Scripture. If read with strict literalism, one can always point to passages that appear to condemn many kinds of behavior…Reading the Bible literally can lead us to the embracing of attitudes that in fact move us from Christlikeness.”

Of course, when the Bible speaks literally, as it does on homosexuality, we are to take it literally. Dr. Coates, who has pastored First Baptist for the last 18 years, went on to write,

“Each church will have to decide how to walk through this marriage equality debate. I think we should respect those who choose to allow their ministers not to perform same-sex weddings out of their own deep convictions, and I think we should respect churches that choose to allow their ministers that right, for they make their choice out of deep convictions, too…I say this: I do not always know what the truth is, but I can always tell what love is. I believe love is the greatest of all, and to do the loving thing will always be the right thing. Most congregations will eventually find their way there.”

Dr. Mohler concluded that Coates could only have meant “that most congregations will eventually get to an affirmation of same-sex marriage in one way or another.”

Jim Galloway, a long-time political reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), recently reported on the “Baptist-on-Baptist fight” that resulted from Georgia’s religious liberty debate. Galloway asked Dr. Coates “whether the governor’s veto reflected the values of the First Baptist Church of Gainesville.”

Coates replied, “My perception is that the great majority of our congregants are very supportive of Governor Deal’s veto of this bill — primarily for two reasons. First, we hold to the strong historical Baptist principle of separation of church and state.”

I suppose the only thing surprising here is that it took Dr. Coates this long to play the “separation of church and state” card. How tragically ironic that the pastor of a Baptist church in Georgia would resort to using eight words of Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1801 in order to justify denying his fellow pastors protection of their religious liberties.

Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists was a reply to a letter the Baptists wrote on October 7, 1801 congratulating him on his election as U.S. President. Along with their congratulations, the Danbury Baptists expressed grave concern over the First Amendment’s guarantee of the “free exercise of religion.” These Baptists felt that inclusion of such in the U.S. Constitution implied that the right of religious freedom was government-given and not God-given.

Hence, they wrote, “Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals, that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor. But sir, our constitution of government is not specific… [T]herefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights.” (Emphasis mine.)

Oh the irony of ironies! The Danbury Baptists, it turns out, wrote Jefferson in the name of “religious liberty!” Does it sound as if these Baptists would support the government forcing individual Christians, or Christian-owned businesses, or Christian-led institutions to accommodate the homosexual agenda?

And neither would Thomas Jefferson. Each of the original 13 colonies treated homosexuality as a serious criminal offense. Jefferson himself authored such a law for the state of Virginia, prescribing that the punishment for sodomy was to be castration. Why have modern courts ignored this?

Further demonstrating his lack of knowledge of the truth, three years ago, the Bill Coates-led First Baptist of Gainesville, along with three other liberal-leaning denominations in Gainesville, GA sponsored the appearance of the (late) infamous heretic Marcus Borg at a two-day lecture series on the campus of a Gainesville university. Borg was a fellow of the Jesus Seminar and a major figure in the heretical “historical Jesus” movement.

According to apologist Greg Koukl, the so-called “scholars” of the Jesus Seminar “have rejected as myth the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the virgin birth, all Gospel miracles, and a full 82% of the teachings normally attributed to Jesus—all dismissed as legendary accretions with no historical foundation. For example, only two words of the Lord’s Prayer survive as authentic: ‘Our Father.’” In other words, they are “Christians” who reject virtually every tenet of Christianity, and Nathan Deal’s pastor saw fit to promote such false teaching.

At the time, in the local paper, Dr. Coates flatteringly described Borg as someone who “speaks of an emerging paradigm to see faith and practice faith in an age of science and technology.” Coates added that, “So many people don’t believe today because they don’t believe the basic doctrines or have trouble understanding the stories of the Bible. For people like that, Borg has a new approach, a new lens through which they can see those stories.” Borg’s “new lens” gives new meaning to the Apostle Paul’s “dim mirror.”

Perhaps the most troubling news concerning Governor Deal’s church—where he has served as both a deacon and a Sunday school teacher—was revealed recently in a 2,800-word exposé by the AJC. The First Baptist Church of Gainesville, GA, along with a former pastor (who served just prior to Dr. Coates), are being sued for their supposed role in hiding the sexual abuse committed by a former deacon, Fleming Weaver. While a Scout Leader for a Boy Scout troop sponsored by First Baptist of Gainesville, Weaver sexually abused multiple young boys.

In 1981, when some of his victims brought information to First Baptist, Weaver admitted to church leadership that he had indeed sexually abused several young boys. Reportedly, the church chose not to reveal Weaver's abuse to the Boy Scouts or to law enforcement and allowed Weaver to remain in church leadership. The alleged victim bringing the lawsuit accuses Weaver of raping him in 1985, when the boy was 15. According to the AJC, Dr. Coates “acknowledged he had heard the rumors about Weaver, ‘but there was never any kind of proof.’” Weaver, now 82-years-old, remained a deacon at First Baptist until just a few weeks ago when this story hit the news.

It should come as little surprise that a church that would allow an abuser of children to avoid the law and remain in leadership, that would sponsor the speeches of a heretic, that shrugged its shoulders at the legal redefinition of the oldest institution in the history of humanity, and that cites Jefferson’s wall in order to justify not protecting the religious liberties of pastors, would also give us a Governor who would “compromise Scripture and morality for the sake of votes and popularity.”

Sadly, as is so often the case with those who are steeped in “near Christianity,” as another Baptist pastor in Gainesville, Dr. Tom Smiley, put it, with his veto of religious liberty, Governor Deal “missed his moment.” (In other words, he missed his “Esther moment.”) However, if the Georgia legislature has its way—like Peter, Jonah, Samson, King David, and other trophies of God’s grace and mercy—Governor Deal may get another shot at doing what is right.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Travel Bans, Bathroom Trans--More Liberal Madness

Only a modern liberal would predicate their moral outrage upon a cause that runs contrary to biology that a three year-old can understand, and that is championed by an unrepentant registered sex offender. Yesterday, the Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed, joined several other apologists for the perverse homosexual agenda and banned non-essential travel by city of Atlanta employees to the state of North Carolina.

Just a few weeks ago, I said that it's hard to imagine what's next for the liberal-led homosexual agenda. I have to admit that I never imagined that we would need special laws or ordinances to keep the gender-confused in the correct bathrooms. And I certainly never imagined that such laws would be in any way controversial. Atlanta joins New York City, and state, as well as San Francisco, Seattle, the District of Columbia and Boston in protesting North Carolina's common sense (and tragic that it was even necessary) law.

This is what liberalism does. This is what happens when liberals run things. There seems to be no end to their perversion. Whether sex, marriage, the family, the unborn, gender, education, the military, immigration, spending, and the like, on virtually every issue debated today, liberals are on the wrong side of the truth. Thus, today's liberals can be trusted with almost nothing.

And if you (again) need further evidence what it means to support the so-called "rights" of men who wish to dress and act as women, the video below presents shocking evidence of what such perversion has wrought, and implores real women to "Decide For Yourselves."

Update: As most who have followed this story already know, just like in the religious liberty fight, the hypocrisy among liberals extends well beyond those in government positions. After North Carolina banned men from women's restrooms, PayPal cancelled a planned expansion in the state.

PayPayl's president and chief executive, Dan Schulman, wrote in a statement on Tuesday: "The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal's mission and culture. As a result, PayPal will not move forward with our planned expansion into Charlotte."

As PJ Media's Rick Moran notes, "How pious. How noble. How hypocritical." Moran continues: "PayPal partnered with a Middle East payment company, Network International, to open an office in Dubai. The United Arab Emirates employs the penalty of death to those convicted of being gay or performing gay sex.  So PayPal punishes North Carolina for keeping men out of the ladies' room while sucking up to a government that executes people just because they're gay. Because, justice."

As Dr. Michael Brown also notes, "PayPal made its plans to open new offices in Charlotte many months before the Charlotte bathroom bill was passed in February (and subsequently overturned). In other words, six months ago or one year ago, when all the laws were exactly as they are today, PayPal was quite happy to do business in Charlotte."

And as the folks at RedState point out, "Paypal has no problem maintaining operations in areas like Singapore, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia – all known for their stringent anti-LGBT policies (and they don’t stop at just prohibiting mixed bathrooms)." 

The reason liberals so often find themselves caught in such hypocrisy is that (as I've noted before), for liberals the moral demands are few. Thus, governing, or running a business, becomes a matter of seeking and even manufacturing what is popular, not what is right. 

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World