Why Leadings?

Not to lead, but to be led            -- by the Holy Spirit.

See Leader, Servant, or Slave? in the section below, "Walking the Walk".

Jack in Denali National Park, 2012.

God's Wrath

Why was Sodom destroyed? Ezekiel tells us in chapter 16, verse 49: "This was the sin of your sister, Sodom: Pride, full-ness of bread, and abundance of idleness. Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

That's also why Jerusalem was destroyed.

And now, with greed as our national virtue, what hope is there for the United States of America? We are afflicted by imperialistic pride, obesity, and entertainment addiction, and we are all called to do our part to "strengthen the hand of the poor and needy".

"Strengthen the hand" is the King James wording. Modern translations say "help the poor and needy." And there's a world of difference between the two. Helping the poor = as little as throwing some cash in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas time. That's charity. It's doing for, not doing with.

My Grandmother was right about charity. On a below-zero day, she went out on the back porch with a skillet to throw hot grease on the back-yard snow. She shivered as she re-entered the kitchen and said, "Wooooh, colder than charity."

Strengthening the hand is much different. We get personally involved with another person who needs help, and we work with her or him to get the needed help. That's risky. You're vulnerable. It takes prayer, time and patience. You need knowledge and wisdom from the LORD. There are great rewards, however. You get a brother or sister.

Strengthening the hand is great work for our churches -- which we ignore far more often than we perform. Why? Because we're afflicted with the Ameri-can curse of individualism. Christians are to be a tribe -- a tribe that takes care of each other. In Galatians 6:16, Paul calls us "the Israel of God" -- the new 13th tribe.

Jesus said, "The poor you shall always have with you." He didn't mean that as a curse -- the notion that the poor are an inevi-table nuisance and expense, to be hidden in the slums. Rather, He was saying, "You shall always be among the poor."

When you strengthen hands, you fulfill Deuteronomy 15:4-5: "However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God . . ." It's a glorious responsibility and promise.

And how do prosperous Americans fulfill that promise? Generally, by making sure they have no contact with people who are poor -- and we have been that way from our beginnings in the 17th century. Early villages in Massachusetts solved the problem by out-lawing poor people. Today, we deal with the same problem by confining the poor in urban reservations, our slums.

As the Supreme Court Bailiff says at the beginning of each session, "God save the United States of America..." 

Sunday
Feb032013

BLOODY BATTLE IN BALTIMORE

Do you think that US politics is hostile, broken, and uncompromising today?

Then check out how we behaved two-hundred years ago in 1812.  The events are quoted from American Journalism by Frank Luther Mott, Macmillan, 1962, page 174.

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Federalist opposition to the Second War with England was remarkably outspoken, especially in New England.  Benjamin Russell wrote in the Columbian Centinel again and again of the "waste of blood and property" in a "useless and un-necessary war."  Other Federalist papers followed his lead.  Their news columns might exult in Yankee victories, but their editorials still spoke of the "bloody hands" of Democratic leaders.

In the states where the war was more popular, however, such boldness was not always permitted to the opposition.  In Baltimore, Maryland, where the Federal Republican had protested strongly against the declaration of war, a mob stormed the printshop, wrecked the presses, and tore down the building.

The editor, Alexander Contee Hanson, retreated to Georgetown, where, with the encouragement of a group of friends, he printed another edition and brought the papers down to Baltimore to distribute them from his home.  Meantime the mob had been running wild, destroying property, assaulting bold Federalists, and overawing the city government. 

The friends of the Federal Republican, knowing that the editor's house would be visited by the mob, fortified it for a siege.  Two veteran generals of the Revolution – Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III and James M. Lingan – were among the defenders.

The mob came promptly.  After its first efforts to take the house were driven off, it brought up a cannon and prepared to blow the place up.  City authorities then intervened and obtained the promise of the mob leaders to disperse if the garrison would surrender and go to jail.  As soon as the men were marched off to the jail, however, the mob destroyed the house and then stormed the jail and killed all the prisoners they could lay hands upon.

This bloody assault upon the liberty of the press roused a fury of partisan denunciation of Baltimore officials, and "Madison's War," which died down only as other events of the war crowded the incident out of men's minds.

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Comments:

General Lingan was killed by the mob.  Light Horse Harry, father of Robert E. Lee, was crippled and suffered internal injuries, including damage to his vocal cords.  Lee had been governor of Virginia from 1791 to 1794.

In spite of such incidents – including the horrendous, uncompromising slaughter of the Civil War – our Nation has survived.

Freeedom of the press survived.

And today we confine our political battles mostly to bad-mouthing the opposition.

It is progress of a sort, I suppose, as we mature as a Nation.

And why have we progressed?  Because we live in a relatively safe, reasonably well-governed country, with most of our liberties intact.  (As a white, Anglo-Saxon male, I can say that.  People from other heritages can and should disagree.)  But for those of us who thoroughly enjoy the benefits of being United States citizens, we have the luxury of apathy.  Many don't bother to vote.  We seldom indulge in public protests anymore because we don't care.  We don't have to care now, but as we lose more liberties, we will again start to care.  I hope the caring doesn't come too late.

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Purpose of this blog is to compile several books for my grandchildren to read in 25 years.

Copyright  ©  2013 by Jack Towe

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