Many years ago, a giant in the field of literature by the name of Clive Staples Lewis – commonly known as C.S. Lewis – wrote a marvelous essay (I believed published posthumously) entitled,  “On The Reading Of Old Books” [Lewis, C.S., GOD in the Dock, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1970.].

In this beautifully written article, C.S. Lewis puts forth the argument that modern men and women too often forsake the wisdom and sage counsel of the “classic writings” of the past.

Why is this so?

Mr. Lewis offers some fascinating insights.

First, and foremost, Lewis observed that many of the students that he taught were often intimidated by the great works of the past.  His students felt that these works would be difficult to read and understand.

Secondly, many of Lewis’ students prefered to read books and articles that dealt with contemporary issues, policy matters, and new jargons /discussions.

Mr. Lewis ‘counsel to his students and to those who would be intimidated by the classics of the past was simply this:  “Dive in!”

Lewis told his students that in all reality that there is nothing for them to be intimidated by for if they would take the time to pick up one of the translations of Plato’s work, they would be surprised by how much of what Plato wrote would be easily accessible.

C.S. Lewis felt that many of the  modern commentaries that attempted to explain Plato’s thought were actually much harder to read than the original works authored by Plato.

Mr. Lewis put forth the thesis that one of the main reasons that the classics MUST BE READ is that they act as a positive antidote against contemporary error and hubris (Greek for overweening pride).

Let us attempt to decipher Lewis’ exhortation.

Lewis put forth the warning that every generation and the people who live in their peculiar time period are subject to the “blind spots” and to “the erroneous thinking of their time.”

Unfortunately, they are (or, we are) so caught up in “the moment that they /we live in” that they /we do not take the time to engage in exercises that would stretch our “self-awareness” by forcing us to take “personal and /or corporate inventory.”

Perhaps an illustration or series of illustrations would help.

In the year 1860, many Americans were indifferent to two things:

(1.) The denial of Women of the right to vote, and (2.) the plight of more than 4 Million descendants of Africa who were enslaved in the “land of freedom and liberty.

Looking back more than 157 years later, we as a people recoil in horror on how the ancestors of Washington, Adams (John and Abigail and Quincy), Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson could have been so indifferent to the terrible plight of both Women and Negroes (Blacks or African-Americans in today’s parlance).

Yet, if one were to transport oneself back into the 18th and 19th centuries, one would observe that the common disposition of the time period is that submission by women to their husbands – and to men – virtually extended into all areas of economic, political, and social endeavor.

It would not have occurred to most of the men in power (men who were White, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant – WASP) that they were in some way living in a way that was inherently immoral, unethical, or cruel.

Lewis suggested that if Men and Women,  Adolescents and Children would take more time to read the GREAT CLASSICS OF THE PAST – BOOKS SUCH AS:  The Holy Bible, Saint Augustine’s Confessions and The City of GOD, Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy, The Credo of the Council of Nicaea (which produced the The Nicaean Creed” which is often affirmed, prayed and recited during Christian Worship services), Saint Francis of Assisi’s The Prayer of Saint Francis, Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, Mother Julian’s Revelations of Divine Love et cetera then they /we would possess the tools and means of detecting many of the errors, falsehoods, and deceptions of our own time period.

We would do better at discerning the errors and falsehoods of our own time that continually war against our souls.

Lewis believed that if we had access to future books that they too would work as a positive antidote to our modern afflictions.

But,  because the future has yet to occur then we cannot rely upon future books that have yet to be written to help us “discover the faulty and erroneous thinking of the spirit of our age.

Why should we engage in the reading of old books?

Let me give a couple of essential reasons:

A Matter of Pursuing the Highest Ideals

Christians and Jews are men and women of “Faith.”

Jews look to the Law (The Torah or Old Testament) as their authoritative guide for life and living.

Christians agree with their Jewish friends on the authenticity of the Old Testament, but Christians hold that the 27 books of the New Testament are equally binding (our Jewish friends respectfully disagree).

Nevertheless, both Christians and Jews believe that GOD took the initiative to reveal Himself by The Law – and in the case of the Christian community by providing us with the ultimate Self-disclosure of Himself in the Incarnation of JESUS CHRIST.

What we know about GOD is primarily learned by His Self-Disclosure; we receive His lifeflow by Prayer, The Holy Sacraments and by the Study of His Holy Word.

We must use our minds; we must read, study, and interpret the propositional statements that GOD has given us in order to properly appropriate the Wisdom of the Past in order to live successfully today and in the Future.

A Matter of Growth and Maturity

Years ago, I was taught a quote by the great British writer Matthew Arnold that stated that, No man who knows nothing else knows even his Bible.”

On the surface, this sounds like a scandalously blasphemous statement.

However, upon closer inspection, it seems that Arnold recognized that one could not faithfully embrace the first and great commandment of faith found in The Old Testament Shema (Deuteronomy 6.4-5) unless one was given to a life of serious mental contemplation and study.

The Shema in Deuteronomy 6.4-5 instructs us that:

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

How Are We To Apply This?

We start where we are.

There is an old Chinese adage that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

We need to put aside a little bit of time each week to turn off T.V., Smart phones, I-Phones, and electronic devices so that we can take time to reflect, meditate, study, and pray.

GOD walked with Adam and Even “in the cool of the day” (this was a quiet time of intimacy and contemplation).

Our cool of the day would be a time of refreshing, renewal, and reflection.

Secondly, Lewis suggests in his essay that for every current book that we read that we should read at least two old books – dare we say classics – for every new book that we indulge.

If we cannot read 2:1 (two old books for every new book) then we should read at least one old book for every new book that we imbibe.

Finally

Life is too short to only rely upon the current wisdom and moral capital of our age; this leaves us in a great deficiency.

Let us live our lives Coram DEO (in the Presence of GOD) and make a concerted effort to seek His Face in His Holy Word and in the Spiritual Classics.

There will be plenty of time to indulge in the worldly wisdom of FOX and MSNBC after we apply ourselves to the true “goldmine” of Eternal Wisdom and Light.

Through the years, I have developed a great love for the narrative portions of the Old Testament which are historical in nature.

Many Biblical scholars write that the book of Joshua (a name that means “The LORD is Salvation”) through the book of Queen Esther, marks the beginnings of the works that are known as the books of “Hebrew History.”

Moses compiled the first five books of the Old Testament known as the Pentateuch (“Penta” means 5 for the 5 scrolls or books of The LAW or The Torah) around 1440 B.C (before the birth of Christ).

Joshua was Moses’ successor and he led the twelve (12) tribes of Israel into what was called “The Promised Land.”

Modern Israel occupies a small sliver of the land originally promised to her; a land size about the length and width of the state of New Jersey.

ALMIGHTY GOD promised to His Servant Abraham (circa. 1700 B.C.?) a land of eternal inheritance (a land which is under fierce contention to this day by both Israelis and Arabs).

For a more detailed description of the boundaries of the Promised Land, I would ask that you please read the fifteenth 15th chapter of the book of Genesis.

The twelve (12) tribes of Israel had a long and illustrious history of ups and downs once they entered into the Promised Land.

The Old Testament scholar Dr. Irving Jensen described Old Testament time periods with a unique abbreviation of the letter C multiplied by a factor of 4:

  1.  CAMP (666 years) – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and to a lesser degree Joseph are known as the Patriarchs of the Hebrew (Jewish) faith. This period includes the 400 plus years in which the Hebrew children were slaves in Egypt;
  2. COMMONWEALTH (360 years) – This is often known as the period of the Judges (Judges were Military-Governors who ruled over parts of the 12 tribes of Israel for an extended period of time…
  3. CROWN (460 years) – This time frame marks the beginning of the United Monarchy with the anointing of Saul as Israel’s first king and then David as Israel’s second king – also widely acclaimed by scholars and students of the Bible as Israel’s greatest King;
  4. CAPTIVITY (160 years) – The nation of Israel had so disobeyed The VOICE of The LORD through His Prophets and Priests that He – The LORD – allowed the United Kingdom to be fragmented into 2 separate Kingdoms:

The Northern Kingdom known as Israel consisted of the ten (10) most Northern tribes, and,

The Southern Kingdom known as Judah was composed of two (2) tribes: JUDAH and BENJAMIN.

During the time period when the Northern and Southern tribes were split, there was a colorful “military commander” who ascended to the throne of the northern kingdom known as “JEHU.”

The name “JEHU” means, “JEHOVAH IS HE…

Unlike so many names given to children in our culture, the Jewish people – as well as many Christians in the Catholic Tradition – place a premium on prayerfully considering the names of their offspring.

[As an aside:  I live in Atlanta, GA area and many of our children have colorful and unique names… to say the least.]

Let us look at a small segment of Holy Scripture to get a description of this man named “Jehu.”

JEHU: JEHU RECEIVES HIS ANOINTING AND COMMISSION

Old Testament Book 2 Kings 9 – New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

1 Then the prophet Elisha called a member of the company of prophets and said to him, “Gird up your loins; take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead.

2 When you arrive, look there for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi; go in and get him to leave his companions, and take him into an inner chamber.

3 Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee; do not linger.”

4 So the young man, the young prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead.

5 He arrived while the commanders of the army were in council, and he announced, “I have a message for you, commander.” “For which one of us?” asked Jehu. “For you, commander.”

6 So Jehu got up and went inside; the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, “Thus says the Lord the God of Israel: I anoint you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel.

7 You shall strike down the house of your master Ahab, so that I may avenge on Jezebel the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord.

8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; I will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel.

9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah.

10 The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and no one shall bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled.

My Goodness!!!  

What a Commission and what a Divine Mandate!!!

JEHU’S BACKGROUND

  • JEHU was a Military Commander who inspired fear…
  • JEHU possessed crude manners (a gross understatement!)
  • JEHU practiced scorched earth principles – – he was sent on a Divine mission to execute “the Wrath of The LORD” against the evil house of King Ahab…
  • JEHU employed an Authoritarian leadership style; it was interesting negotiating with JEHU!
  • JEHU could easily compared to some of the great Generals of history and/or the 20th century (Generals George Patton, Wilbert Montgomery, Dwight D. Eisenhower, et cetera comes to mind).

JEHU SUCCEEDS

Please continue to read on through the book of 2 Kings beginning with the ninth (9th) chapter and you will see that JEHU successfully completed his Divine Mandate.

Now, most Biblical Scholars if forced to grade JEHU will state that they admire his “zeal for The LORD of Hosts,” but a total evaluation of his kingship would yield him a mediocre grade.

Back in March of 2016  I wrote an essay lamenting the fact that we are about to witness the nomination and coronation of two individuals of questionable character:

o Madame Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton…

o Billionaire Esquire Donald Trump…

Our nation elected Mr. Donald Trump as our President; he was sworn into office on January 20, 2017.

In many ways, our new President is in the “spirit of JEHU!”

What will arise of his Presidency?

In the Old Testament narratives, we see that Almighty GOD used great men such as King David and great women such as Deborah [she was a Military-Governor who ruled during the time of the Judges] to bring peace, goodness, prosperity, and safety to His people.

On the other hand, The LORD uses many “unsavory figures” to carry out and execute His will.

Question:  My Friends, are you praying daily for President Donald Trump, our Congress, and for our Supreme Court and for State and Local Level Magistrates regardless of party affiliation?

The Holy Bible instructs and commands believers to Pray for ALL those in positions of authority.

1 Timothy 2:1-6 – (NRSVCE)

Instructions concerning Prayer

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,

2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.

3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human,

6 who gave himself a ransom for all —this was attested at the right time.

One of the ways that Almighty GOD can deliver a degree of peace, justice, and stability to a nation is through the administration of government by men and women of honesty and integrity.

May GOD Richly Bless All of YOU!

In a beautifully written article entitled, “On The Reading Of Old Books” [Lewis, C.S., GOD in the Dock, Wm. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1970.] C.S. Lewis puts forth the argument that modern men and women too often forsake the classics of the past.

Why is this so?

Mr. Lewis offers some compelling insights.

First, and foremost, Lewis observed that many of the students that he taught were often intimidated by the classics of the past.

Secondly, many of Lewis’ students would much read books and articles that dealt with contemporary issues, policy matters, and discussions.

Mr. Lewis ‘counsel to his students and to the initiated in the classics of the past is simply this: “Dive in!”

Lewis told his students that in all reality that there is nothing for them to be intimidated by for if they would take the time to pick up one of the translations of Plato’s work, they would be surprised by how much of what Plato wrote would be easily understood.

C.S. Lewis felt that many of the so called modern works of explaining Plato were actually much harder to read than the original works.

Lewis put forth the thesis that one of the main reasons that the classics MUST BE READ is that they act as a positive antidote against contemporary error and hubris (Greek for overweening pride).

Let us attempt to decipher Lewis’ exhortation.

Mr. Lewis put forth the warning that every generation and the people who live in their particular time period are subject to “blindness to the erroneous thinking and ideas of their time.” 

Perhaps an illustration would help.

In the year 1860, many Americans were indifferent to two things: (1.) The denial of Women with the right to vote, and (2.) the plight of more than 4 Million descendants of Africa who were enslaved in the “land of freedom and liberty.”

Now looking back more than 156 years later, we recoil in horror on how the ancestors of Washington, Adams (John and Abigail and Quincy), Jefferson, and Jackson could have been so indifferent to the plight of both Women and Negroes.

Yet, if one were to transport oneself back into the late 18th century or into the first half of the 19th century, one would observe that the common disposition of that time period was that the submission by women to their husbands – and to men – virtually extended into all areas of economic, political, and social endeavor.

It would not have occurred to most of the men in power (who were mostly White, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant – WASP) that they were in some way living in a way that was inherently immoral or cruel.

Lewis would suggest that if more Men and Women of Faith would take more time reading the Spiritual Classics such as:  The Holy Bible; the works of Saint Augustine (Confessions and The City of GOD); Boethius (The Consolation of Philosophy); the Council of Nicaea (which produced the “The Nicene Creed” which is often affirmed, prayed and recited during Christian Worship services); Saint Francis of Assisi (The Prayer of Saint Francis); Saint Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica); Mother Julian (Revelations of Divine Love) – that they would be given the proper tools and means of detecting many of the errors, falsehoods, and deceptions of their time.

C.S. Lewis was not suggesting that men and women of earlier time periods never made mistakes; they made mistakes, but they did not make our mistakes!

Lewis believed that future books if they were available would work as a positive antidote, but because the future books were yet to have been written we must in the meantime utilize old books that we have available in order to “discern the errors of the spirit of our age.”

Why should we engage in the enterprise of reading old books?

Let me give an essential reason…

A Matter of Worship

Years ago, I was taught a quote by the great writer Matthew Arnold that stated that, “No man who knows nothing else knows even his Bible.”

On the surface, this sounds like a scandalously and blasphemous statement.

However, upon closer inspection, it seems that Arnold recognized that one could not faithfully embrace the first and great commandment of faith found in The Shema (Deuteronomy 6.4-5) unless one was given to a life of contemplation and study.

The Shema instructs us that we are to give heed and to listen to GOD’S Words:

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

How Are We To Apply This?

We start where we are.

There is an old Chinese adage that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. We need to put aside a little bit of time each week to turn off T.V., Smart phones, I-Phones, and electronic devices so that we can take time to reflect, meditate, study, and pray.

GOD walked with Adam and Even “in the cool of the day.”

The cool of the day would be a time of refreshing, renewal, and reflection.

Secondly, Lewis suggests in his essay that for every current book that we read that we should read at least two old books – dare we say classics – for every new book that we indulge. If we cannot read 2:1 then we should read at least one old book for every new book that we read.

Finally

Life is too short to only rely upon the wisdom and moral capital of our age.

  • Let us live our lives Coram DEO (in the Presence of GOD)
  • Let us make a concerted effort to seek His Face in His Holy Word
  • …and in the Spiritual Classics.

There will be plenty of time to indulge in the worldly wisdom of CNN and FOX after we apply ourselves to true Eternal Wisdom and Light.

GOD Bless You!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Pastor-Kelly

The Democratic and Republican Primaries

The Primary season is coming to a close and some would say at not a moment too soon.

It appears at this juncture that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Billionaire mogul Donald Trump are going to be the respective nominees of their political parties.

Mrs. Clinton has been an active political actor since she served in a legal advisory council to Congress in the mid-1970s when the Watergate scandal was engulfing the Nixon Administration; she continued her rise to prominence in the late 1970s and throughout the decade of the 1980s as she worked alongside her husband (William Jefferson Clinton) as the First Lady of the state of Arkansas.

Mr. Trump inherited his father’s construction business and turned a multi-million dollar enterprise into a company with equity measured in the billions.  The Donald – as he is often called – briefly ran for President in the Reform Party back in 1999-2000.  Mr. Trump is considered to be a political novice, but often forgotten with that description is the fact that Donald Trump has been a celebrity and well-known public figure for more than 30 years.

While Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump have differing political philosophies, they share one crucial similarity:  Both of these political players ignite strong passions of dislike in those who view them unfavorably.

The Gallop polling organization reminds the populace that our nation has never seen two nominees who were running for the highest office in the land with such high negative favorable vis-à-vis unfavorable ratings.

Most of the time the Democratic Party enjoys falling in love with their respective nominee while the Republican Party generally falls in line and waits for the next person or heir apparent to accept the party’s nomination.

Nevertheless, most Democrats love Senator Bernie Sanders and it is Mrs. Clinton who finished second in the Democratic race for Presidency behind then Senator Barack Obama who has now “fallen in line.”

On the other side of the political spectrum, a significant minority of Republican Party enthusiasts have given the keys to the car to a novice:  Mr. Donald J. Trump.

A question that one might ask themselves is this:  How is it in a nation of roughly 300 million people that we end up nominating two people of this caliber?

Surely there must be other men and women of sterling character, competence, charisma, and capability who would make a much better fit for the daily demands that entails occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Human Sexuality

Within the past week, the Obama Admiration has passed some new guidelines which were meant to provide guidance and clarity to School Districts dealing with making accommodations to Transgender students.

Now, anytime that you discuss “human sexuality” in any context you invite a potential for controversy and passionate argumentation.

As a Pastor and seminary trained theologian, I start with the Orthodox position that in the beginning GOD made Man male and female and in the Image of GOD (Imago Dei to quote Saint Augustine).

Nevertheless, Saint Augustine in his seminal work “The City of GOD” reminds Christian believers that they (we) inhabit two worlds or two kingdoms:  By our Spiritual Rebirth and Acceptance of JESUS CHRIST as our LORD and Savior, we are born into The Kingdom of GOD; our ultimate citizenship and loyalty is in Heaven and to The LORD that we serve.

However, while we live, play, and labor on earth we have a dual citizenship with the respective nation or nations that we are born into.  When the values, principles, and beliefs of one “City” collide with the values, principles, and beliefs of the other city there is bound to be serious conflicts.

Christians and Orthodox and/or Conservative Jews should not be surprised when they find themselves at odds or at variance with the prevailing sexual mores of their culture.

In the case with how we deal with our “transgender brethren and friends,” I would caution all of us whether we are Christian, non-Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or of no faith at all to Stop, Pause, take a time out and attempt to discuss compassionately and reverently how we handle this perplexing and perhaps volatile issue on the local and state levels.

We may vehemently disagree with each other, but we Do Not have a right to demonize one another as each and every human being is “created in the Image of GOD.”

The American Constitutional Order

As a person with a “Conservative political philosophy,” I find it troubling that a large portion of our nation has forgotten the two time-honored Constitutional principles of both (1.) Federalism and (2.) the Separation of Powers doctrine.

In High School Civics (oh, I forgot that Civics is no longer taught in many of our nation’s school districts…) teaches us that we live in a system of Federalism in which we have a National or Federal Government and we have our State Governments.

The Founders of our Country gave us these safeguards so that the American populace would not be in danger of either the President or Congress (or the least dangerous branch “the Supreme Court”) abusing their political office or powers while they are in office.

Separation of Powers means that (1.) the Legislative branch, (2.) the Executive branch, and (3.) the Judiciary all have their unique roles and separate powers and responsibilities.

Where we get into problems is when the “Legislative branch” (made up of both Democratic and Republican Congressmen and Congresswomen who all too long often abdicate their responsibilities) simply stands back and acquiesces to the will of both the Executive and the Judicial branches.

A Final Word of Exhortation

My Brothers and Sisters Do Not Despair!

Despair is a Sin, but to place your Hope and Trust In GOD is always a wise position!

Do Not Fear!

Do Not Give Up Hope!

I leave you with this encouraging Scripture penned thousands of years ago by the Prophet Zephaniah in the Old Testament [Zephaniah 3.17 (NRSVCE)]:

“The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Pastor-Kelly

It has been my privilege to have been a citizen of the great state of Georgia for nearly 35 years now.

The old adage that time files is more than a truism.

One of the things that attracted my family to the “New South” was the tremendous opportunities for growth and advancement in the Metro-Atlanta, GA area.

When my family moved down to Atlanta, GA we observed that the “spiritual climate” of this area was radically different from what we had experienced in our beloved Northeastern United States (New England and the Mid-Atlantic respectively).

People who live in the Northeast are more reserved when it comes to expressing their faith or lack thereof.

Conversely, men and women who live in the Southeast inhabit a region of the country known as the “Bible belt.”

The Bible belt is distinguished by the tremendous number of Christian Churches (Evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox).  There is also a noticeable present albeit much smaller of prominent Jewish synagogues.

Religious people of all persuasions – Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or even Atheist are much quicker to share their belief system with you in the “Bible belt” than in the Northeastern United States.

Atlanta, Georgia was known as a “Southern Sleepy City” up through the early 1960s until men of Vision such as the late Coca-Cola CEO Robert Woodruff along with the great Atlanta, Mayor William B. Hartsfield worked with the Metro-Atlanta, GA Chamber of Commerce to develop a mission statement that stated that

“Atlanta A City Too Busy To Hate!”

This slogan provided a “sense of mission” – a mission statement? – that helped the city to navigate the turbulent years of the modern Civil Rights Era (1946 through 1971) and it also helped the Metro-Atlanta region transform the deep South from an economic stagnant backwards region into both and educational and industrial / information sector powerhouse.

When the Supreme Court mandated educational integration in the famous Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954, Southern states like Alabama (see Governor George Wallace) and Mississippi (Governor Ross Barnett) played to the fears of intransigent Whites who cried, “Segregation today, Segregation tomorrow, and Segregation Forever!”

The leaders of The City of Atlanta took a different approach; the city’s business leaders stressed that while they publicly endorsed legal segregation that they would not allow their political views to keep the city from moving forward economically.

Former Atlanta, GA mayor Ivan Allen (1961-69) was the only politician from the “Deep South” to endorse the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Bill which did away with legalized segregation.

(Allen previously was a strong proponent of “Jim Crow” etiquette, but his awakening took place in the early 1960s as the preaching of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. awakened him to the immorality of treating people of color as second 2nd class citizens.)

The City of Atlanta had a somewhat clandestine “power elite” that was made up of  the Clergy, Wealthy & Well-connected Whites along with their Clergy and best Educated and Business counterparts in the Negro community.

Together and behind the scenes the White and Negro “power elite” provided invaluable leadership to propel Atlanta, Georgia into its role as the Business, Political, and Spiritual capital of the “New South.”

Shortly after Pastor Martin Luther King, Jr. won the “Nobel Prize” for Peace in 1964, the Atlanta “power elite” made sure that they set up an integrated (bi-racial) gathering to honor Dr. King at the Dinkler Plaza Hotel in 1965.

This event was one of the first truly integrated events in the city’s history bringing together an unbelievably large group of 1,500 people!

The men chiefly responsible for this historic event were (this is not an exhaustive listing) “Atlanta leaders Ralph McGill, editor and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution, Rabbi Jacob Rothschild of The Temple, Morehouse President Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, and Archbishop Paul Hallinan, came together as a committee to organize this event” [Source:  Atlanta Daybrook Internet News https://atlanta.daybooknetwork.com/story/2015-01-25/50228-ahc–mlk-jr-peace/].

Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen was an enthusiastic supporter and the Coca-Cola Patriarch Robert Woodruff lent his name and considerable support.  The then Coca-Cola President Paul Austin was proud to be a part of the Dinkler Plaza Hotel night honoring the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

The City of Atlanta has truly been “A City Too Busy to Hate.”

Over the next couple of weeks, I would like to show some more positive aspects of this city motto along with some of the attendant problems that have accompanied the city’s endeavors to be faithful to this mission of being “A City Too Busy to Hate.”

Thank-You!

Pastor-Kelly

In our everyday lexicon, we use the phrase T.G.I.F. at the end of week.

For the few uninitiated people out there, the term T.G.I.F. is an acronym which states, “Thank GOD It’s Friday!”

Scores of American Workers, Students, Stay-At-Home Moms and Dads – and many others look forward to rejuvenate their Souls and their Bodies with a weekend of Rest and Relaxation.

Most of the time, I would concur with these feelings.

The Holy Bible informs us that even GOD rested on the Seventh (7th) Day and that He sanctified that day (“set apart” or “consecrated it as Special” and called it a Holy Day.

Genesis 2.1-3 reads –

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude.

And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.

3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

The seventh day of the week is Saturday.  In the New Testament economy, we have a special reverence for Sunday which is the First (1st) Day of the week because Our LORD JESUS rose from the dead after experiencing a horrible death.

It is because JESUS paid the ultimate price to reconcile mankind back to GOD that today above every other Friday is known as “GOOD FRIDAY.”

In the Christian world this current week is called “Holy Week.”  Holy Week is the culmination of what Christians call the Lenten season (old English for to lengthen…a 40 day period in which believers in Christ join their LORD in His ultimate journey to Golgotha and The Crucifixion or The Cross).

It was during the Passover Season (this is the Jewish Feast or Celebration of their Exodus or their departure of leaving Egypt after more than 400 years of cruel slave bondage) nearly 2,000 years ago that our LORD celebrated a special meal with His 12 Disciples a last meal in which He instituted what Christians today call the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Our LORD was preparing Himself to become a Sin-Offering for humanity.  The words of the prophet Isaiah help us to grasp the significance of what Good Friday really means (Isaiah 53.1-12):

1 Who would believe what we have heard?

To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up like a sapling before him,

like a shoot from the parched earth;

He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye,

no beauty to draw us to him.

3 He was spurned and avoided by men,

a man of suffering, knowing pain,

Like one from whom you turn your face,

spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

4 Yet it was our pain that he bore,

our sufferings he endured.

We thought of him as stricken,

struck down by God* and afflicted,

5 But he was pierced for our sins,

crushed for our iniquity.

He bore the punishment that makes us whole,

by his wounds we were healed.

6 We had all gone astray like sheep,

all following our own way;

But the LORD laid upon him

the guilt of us all.

7 Though harshly treated, he submitted

and did not open his mouth;

Like a lamb led to slaughter

or a sheep silent before shearers,

he did not open his mouth.

8 Seized and condemned, he was taken away.

Who would have thought any more of his destiny?

For he was cut off from the land of the living,

struck for the sins of his people.

9 He was given a grave among the wicked,

a burial place with evildoers,

Though he had done no wrong,

nor was deceit found in his mouth.

10 But it was the LORD’s will to crush him with pain.

By making his life as a reparation offering,

he shall see his offspring, shall lengthen his days,

and the LORD’s will shall be accomplished through him.

11 Because of his anguish he shall see the light;

because of his knowledge he shall be content;

My servant, the just one, shall justify the many,

their iniquity he shall bear.

12 Therefore I will give him his portion among the many,

and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,

Because he surrendered himself to death,

was counted among the transgressors,

Bore the sins of many,

and interceded for the transgressors.

Wow, what an unbelievably graphic description of what Our LORD suffered in order that He would make us whole!

When Adam and Eve sinned (please see Genesis chapters 1-3) they caused a seismic spiritual earthquake to occur that ripped and tore themselves and the earthly realm in which we live in apart.

We call this historic event “The Fall.

BeforeThe FallAdam and Eve walked in warm fellowship and communion with Almighty GOD.

AfterThe FallAdam and Eve and their human posterity walked in rebellion and alienation from GOD.

Mankind without the presence of CHRIST in their hearts by the power of The Holy Spirit has no natural inclination to pursue a relationship with The Holy Creator (Romans 1-3).

GOOD FRIDAY is a wonderful reminder to Christendom as well as an annual reminder to a “Watching World” of the reality of the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.

So today above and beyond ALL other FRIDAYS is a moment in which we truly can shout and proclaim:  “THANK GOD IT’S GOOD FRIDAY!

Pastor-Kelly

 

Through the years, I have developed a great love for the narrative portions of the Old Testament which are historical in nature.

Many Biblical scholars write that the book of Joshua (a name that means “The LORD is Salvation”) through the book of Queen Esther, marks the beginnings of the works that are known as the books of “Hebrew History.

Moses compiled the first five books of the Old Testament known as the Pentateuch (“Penta” means 5 for the 5 scrolls or books of The LAW or the Torah) around 1440 B.C (before the birth of Christ).

Joshua was Moses’ successor and he led the twelve (12) tribes of Israel into what was called “The Promised Land.”

Modern Israel occupies a small sliver of the land originally promised to her; a land size about the length and width of the state of New Jersey.

ALMIGHTY GOD promised to His Servant Abraham (circa. 1700 B.C.?) a land of eternal inheritance.

For a more detailed description of the boundaries of the Promised Land, I would ask that you please read the fifteenth 15th chapter of the book of Genesis.

The twelve (12) tribes of Israel had a long and illustrious history of ups and downs once they entered into the Promised Land.

The Old Testament scholar Dr. Irving Jensen described Old Testament time periods with a unique abbreviation of the letter C multiplied by a factor of 4:

  1. CAMP (666 years) – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and to a lesser degree Joseph are known as the Patriarchs of the Hebrew (Jewish) faith. This period includes the 400 plus years in which the Hebrew children were slaves in Egypt;
  2. COMMONWEALTH (360 years) – This is often known as the period of the Judges (Judges were Military-Governors who ruled over parts of the 12 tribes of Israel for an extended period of time…
  3. CROWN (460 years) – This time frame marks the beginning of the United Monarchy with the anointing of Saul as Israel’s first king and then David as Israel’s second king – also widely acclaimed by scholars and students of the Bible as Israel’s greatest King;
  4. CAPTIVITY (160 years) – The nation of Israel had so disobeyed The VOICE of The LORD through His Prophets and Priests that He – The LORD – allowed the United Kingdom to be fragmented into 2 separate Kingdoms:
  • The Northern Kingdom known as Israel consisted of the ten (10) most Northern tribes, and
  • The Southern Kingdom known as Judah which was composed of two (2) tribes: JUDAH and JOSEPH

During the time period when the Northern and Southern tribes were split, there was a colorful “military commander” who ascended to the throne of the northern kingdom known as JEHU.

The name “JEHU” means, “JEHOVAH IS HE…”

Unlike so many names given to children in our culture, the Jewish people – as well as many Christian in the Catholic Tradition – place a premium on prayerfully considering the names of their offspring.  I live in the Atlanta, GA area and many of our children have colorful and unique names… to say the least.

Let us look at a small segment of Holy Scripture to get a feel of JEHU:

JEHU RECEIVES HIS COMMISSION AS KING

2 Kings 9 – New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Anointing of Jehu

Then the prophet Elisha called a member of the company of prophets and said to him, “Gird up your loins; take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead.

When you arrive, look there for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi; go in and get him to leave his companions, and take him into an inner chamber.

Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee; do not linger.”

So the young man, the young prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead.

He arrived while the commanders of the army were in council, and he announced, “I have a message for you, commander.” “For which one of us?” asked Jehu. “For you, commander.”

So Jehu got up and went inside; the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him,

“Thus says the Lord the God of Israel: I anoint you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. You shall strike down the house of your master Ahab, so that I may avenge on Jezebel the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; I will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and no one shall bury her.”

Then he opened the door and fled.

My Goodness!!!

What a Commission and what a Divine Mission!!!

JEHU’S BACKGROUND

  • JEHU was a Military Commander who inspired fear
  • JEHU possessed crude manners (a gross understatement!)
  • JEHU practiced scorched earth principles – – he was sent on a Divine mission to execute “the Wrath of The LORD” against the evil house of King Ahab
  • JEHU employed a Dictatorial leadership style; there was NO Negotiation with JEHU!

JEHU could easily compared to some of the great Generals of  history and/or the 20th century (Generals George Patton, Wilbert Montgomery, Dwight D. Eisenhower, et cetera  comes to mind).

JEHU SUCCEEDS

Please continue to read on through the book of 2 Kings beginning with the ninth (9th) chapter and you will see that JEHU successfully completed his Divine Mandate.

Now, most Biblical Scholars if forced to grade JEHU will state that they admire his “zeal for The LORD of Hosts,” but a total evaluation of his kingship would yield him a poor grade.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote another piece lamenting the fact that we are about to witness the nomination / coronation of two individuals of questionable character:

o  Madame Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton…

o  Billionaire Esquire Donald Trump…

One of the readers of my blog asked me a couple of weeks ago to perhaps “keep an open mind” with regards to the fact that “the Donald” could very well be used as an instrument of GOD’s Grace.

I agreed with this reader to keep an open mind.

Old Testament History reveals that GOD exalts whom He will (Psalm 75.8, Daniel 2.21…) and He has used great men such as King David to bring peace, goodness, prosperity, and safety to His people.

On the other hand, The LORD uses many “unsavory figures” to carry out and execute His will.

It appears that we are about to witness a man in the spirit of JEHU capture the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency of the United States.

The Holy Bible instructs believers to Pray for ALL those in positions of authority (this would include Madame Secretary or the Donald  or whoever should get elected):

1 Timothy 2 – New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Instructions concerning Prayer

2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 

for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 

This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 

who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

For there is one God;
    there is also one mediator between God and humankind,
Christ Jesus, himself human,

    who gave himself a ransom for all

—this was attested at the right time. 

For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument;

As a Christian and as a Pastor, I would strongly urge everyone who believes in the efficacy of fervent prayer to implore The GOD of Heaven and ask that He Showers our country with His Divine Mercy.

The United States deserves Divine Justice for our many, many sins against His Holy Name.

If you think this judgment too harsh, then peruse through the list of the Ten Commandments and ask yourself the following questions:

LORD, how many of these commands does our nation (do we) routinely break?

LORD, how many of these commands in “Spirit” as well as in the “letter of the Law” do we regularly break?

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

# 1 I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me.

# 2 You shall not make for yourself an idol

# 3 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

# 4 Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.

# 5 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

# 6 You shall not murder.

# 7 You shall not commit adultery.

# 8 You shall not steal.

# 9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

# 10 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

My Friends, we need to pray for his Mercy; mercy is receiving GOD’s loving-kindness, goodness, and compassion which we truly DO NOT DESERVE.

America, a nation that I dearly love, looks more like Ancient Babylon than a bright shining City On A Hill” (please confer with JESUS, Matthew 5.14, John Winthrop circa 1630, and most recently former President Ronald Reagan’s farewell address).

The greatest act of Divine Mercy was manifested when GOD sent His Only Begotten SON to die in our place so that Divine Fellowship between GOD and sinning mankind could be restored and ETERNALLY enjoyed (please see John 3.16-36).

May GOD Richly Bless All of YOU!

Several weeks ago, I put forth the proposition that the Grand Old Party (GOP) may be headed for a steep decline or at the very least for a time in the “political wilderness.

Well, the events that transpired this past week give strong evidence that the premise that I put forth might have some merit.

The (GOP) is in the midst of a full-blown Civil War!

Since the Republican Presidential victories in 1968 (Richard Nixon vs Hubert Humphrey) and 1980 (Ronald Reagan vs. James E. “Jimmy” Carter) the GOP has put together a unique coalition of

  • Cultural Traditionalists – Judeo-Christian & Social Conservatives
  • Economic Conservatives – Please read this “Libertarians” & Supply Side advocates; and
  • Foreign Policy Defense Hawks – “Peace through Strength”

The illustration that has often been used is one of the three (3) legged stool.  In order to win the Presidency a prospective Republican candidate must unify the three diverse branches of the (GOP) and pick up a significant portion of Independent Voters.

The recent ascendancy and primary victories by Donald Trump reveal that for the first time in recent memory a GOP front-runner could win the nomination by appealing to a different segment of the voting population.

How are traditional Republicans handling this?

Well, that depends.

The Republican Party regulars do not know what to make of Mr. Trump’s continued popularity.

On one hand, there are party elders such as former Secretary of Education Mr. William “Bill” Bennett who feels that people need to take a deep breath and relax because he said that Mr. Trump is doing two positive things:

  • Bringing disaffected voters into the GOP fold, and
  • Secondly, bringing many angry White voters (perhaps Democrats?) who normally would not vote for a GOP candidate.

Secretary Bennett states that Mr. Trump is winning his primary victories fair and square so there should be no effort to change the nomination rules.

No one would dare question Mr. Bennett’s “Conservative credentials” as they are nearly impeccable.

Nevertheless, the last two men who won the nomination for President from the Republican Party vehemently disagree with Bill Bennett

Former Governor Mitt Romney took a nearly unprecedented step and asked for time on National T.V. (FOX) and (CNN) to give an impassioned speech denouncing Mr. Trump’s lack of fitness to be President of the United States.

Governor Romney – the Republican Party nominee for President in 2012 – articulated many of the concerns and fears that this writer – and many others have stated concerning Mr. Trump’s lack of commitment to Conservatism and Constitutionalism.

Mr. Romney echoed Senator Marco Rubio’s charge that Mr. Trump is a fraud (read that “con-artist”).

Senator John McCain – the Republican Party nominee for President in 2008 (and a decorated Vietnam Prisoner of War and War Hero) – tells would be listeners that Donald Trump’s lack of “foreign policy” experience and unintelligible answers to defense questions means that our country would be at great risk placing a “novice” into the Oval Office.

Wait, it gets better!

Conservative pundits, writers, and television hosts as diverse as Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham – and even the great legal scholar Mark Levin have sung the praises of “the Donald.”

There is a Biblical Principle known as “The Law of Unity.

There are many examples of The Law of Unity that could be cited, but some examples should suffice:

  • Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart (Proverbs 11.29);
  • Do two walk together unless they have agreed to meet?” (Amos 3.3);
  • Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters) dwell in “unity” (Psalms 133.1);
  • For when two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Jesus Christ Matthew 18.20).

The current state of affairs in the Republican Party resemble anything but unity:  more like “Street Fighting” and “Scorched-Earth” Warfare.

The Democratic Party’s historic Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) coalition of Working Class Ethnic Whites, Labor Unions, Jews, Blacks, and the South carried the Democratic Party to dominance from 1932 to 1968.

The Civil Rights Movement while essential fractured the (FDR) coalition for a whole voting generation from 1968 to 1992.  It was not until the election win of Governor Bill Clinton in 1992 that the Democratic Party became a contender in Presidential elections again.

The phenomenon of Donald Trump poses problems for the Party of Lincoln that may last for quite some time until a new and successful coalition emerges that augments and strengthens the winning combination that the GOP put together during the Nixon through Reagan Eras.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to diverge from “political commentary” and spend the next month or two writing on how men and women of faith engage the prevailing culture with Judeo-Christian values and convictions.

May GOD Bless You!

Pastor-Kelly

The 2016 Presidential primary season continues to unfold with much drama, intrigue – dare we say subterfuge – and ongoing suspense.

At this present juncture, the Democratic Primary looks as if it may finally be coming to a resolution.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton handily won the South Carolina primary on Saturday, February 27, 2016.

The final results were not even close.

Mrs. Clinton overwhelmed Vermont Independent (Democratic-Socialist) Senator Bernie Sanders by producing a spectacular turnout of African-American Voters.  One clearly recalls in 2008 that a young Senator by the name of Barrack Obama took control of the nominating process by beating then Senator Hillary Clinton in South Carolina and then going on to amass an impressive vote tally of delegates during Super-Tuesday.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won an even more impressive total of African-American voters than was produced by Senator Barrack Obama in 2008.

If Mrs. Clinton receives anywhere close to this level of African-American support throughout the rest of the South, then Mr. Sanders’ incipient campaign will limp along for a few more months, but in reality he will be all but finished.

The long-awaited coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton will at long last commence.

Or, will it?

The “Sword of Damocles” still appears to be hanging over the head of the Clinton campaign in the form on the ongoing F.B.I. investigation into her unsecure e-mails while she was Secretary of State.

Where will this all lead?

Who knows?

It would be the ultimate irony is Mrs. Clinton received her party’s nomination, went on to wage war against her Republican Party opponent, only to be indicted months before the November election.

This is the ultimate nightmare scenario if you are a Democrat.

The great Agatha Christie could not have written a better crime drama then what is taking place with the Clinton Presidential campaign.

Stay tuned!

Things are no less interesting on the Republican side of the political house.

The Republican Establishment – whatever this truly means – has gone from amusement over the campaign of Mr. Donald Trump, to believing that he would eventually fizzle out to a near panic mode as “the Donald” continues to win primary after primary with ever-increasing strength.

Meanwhile, a list of Republicans that have quit and suspended their campaigns is breathtaking:

  • Governor Scott Walker – he left early as he was most likely burned out after having to run for Governor three (3) times in a four year period (including one unsuccessful recall)
  • Governor Rick Perry – His second run for the White House was not the charm…
  • Governors Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee never really got traction with the Conservative Catholic-Evangelical vote… One might argue that the two Governors along with former Senator Rick Santorum were viewed by republican party voters as yesterday’s news
  • Finally, Governor Jeb Bush… If there was an establishment favorite, this was the man.  Bush had amassed a war-chest of over 100 million dollars and he had the powerful Bush Dynasty backing his efforts.  Unfortunately, although Governor Jeb Bush is a man of extraordinary gifts and talents, he had two major hurdles that he simply could not overcome.
  • The mood of the American voter in both the Democratic and Republican primaries is one of tremendous A-N-G-E-R!!!!  Jeb Bush is a soft-spoken technocrat
  • Secondly, Governor Jeb Bush both benefited and was handicapped by his last name B-U-S-H.

Americans have an innate distrust of dynasties.

We violently broke away from Great Britain and have maintained the world’s longest running Democracy or (Republican form of Governance) for nearly 240 years.

We should ALL BOW and Thank The Great Almighty GOD who rules over the affairs of men for His Gracious provisions to our marvelous and imperfect country.

Now, I have written the above synopsis in order to get to the heart of what I wish to say and that is barring some incredible political maneuvering that Mr. Donald Trump will most likely be the Republican Party’s nominee for President this year.

I grieve for the nation that I greatly L-O-V-E!

In my lifetime, I shudder to think that our nation has come down to this scandalous path where we are about to nominate two people who have lived most of their adult lives shrouded with much drama, intrigue – dare we say subterfuge – and ongoing suspense.

We have Mrs. Clinton who the late and great journalist William “Bill” Safire once described as a “congenital liar.

Please feel free to look up the essay that Mr. Safire’s wrote on January 8, 1996 in The New York Times.  The title of his piece is called “Essay; Blizzard of Lieshttp://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/08/opinion/essay-blizzard-of-lies.html.

On the other side of the political aisle we are left with Mr. Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump comes across as a bully.

Mr. Trump has NEVER HELD ELECTIVE OFFICE (his supports see this as a badge of honor!!)

The Donald has yet to issue any consistent position paper on anything!!!

Mr. Donald Trump appears to be a political chameleon…

Which Trump do we believe?

Do we adhere to his recent conversion to “Conservative Thought” or do we look at his past track record when he ran for office in 2000 as the titular head of “The Reform Party” when he was pro-choice and anti-traditional Judeo-Christian family?

Will the real Donald Trump please stand up?

I leave you with a series of questions with regards to appraising the candidacies of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump:

  • Does Character no longer matter?
  • Does the ends justify the means?
  • Do we really wish to teach our children that we are to WIN at any Cost?
  • Do we rationalize our voting by backing the ultimate nominee of our favorite political party – Democrat or Republican – because we are more committed to political ideology as opposed to ultimate truth?

A vote for either Mrs. Clinton or for Mr. Donald Trump means that we as an American people have chosen that we will employ “ANY MEANS NECESSARY TO WIN” and that our so-called commitment to our much vaunted JUDEO-CHRISTIAN heritage is simply a facade.

Is this really the way that we wish to live?

Please do not tell me that you must vote for one of the two party’s nominees.

In the discipline of LOGIC, this is known as a “False Dilemma.”  A false dilemma states that a person must make an either or choice when in reality there may be other [painful] alternatives available.

Please feel free to write me with other constructive alternatives…

I am Praying for the Spiritual Revival and Renewal of Our Country!

Pastor-Kelly

The Iowa Caucus is only moments away and our nation will begin the formal process of choosing a successor to President Barack Obama.

The existential question for political conservatives is this:  What do they make of the Donald Trump wild card factor that has changed the dynamics of the Republican Party primary season?

Perhaps the insights of a historian and a journalist of the past may shine some light on the dilemma that Republicans face.

The late historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. was both a brilliant and erudite historian who wrote on a great many subjects during his lifetime.

Mr. Schlesinger worked in the Kennedy Administration as a “Special Assistant to The President”; he was a classical New Deal liberal who believed that the federal government should promote a “liberal” or in today’s parlance a “very progressive agenda.”

Arthur M. Schlesinger’s specialty was writing on the American Presidency.

He wrote four volumes on the life and political times of Franklin Roosevelt and he wrote the classic “The Imperial Presidency” which was published in 1973.

One of Mr. Schlesinger’s beliefs was that every 30 to 40 years that America experiences a seismic shift in the political landscape. Schlesinger suggested that the American electorate vacillated between “conservative” and “liberal orbits” every 3 to 4 decades.

On the other side of the political spectrum, the Evangelical and Conservative journalist Dr. Marvin Olasky’s conducted research that concurs with Mr. Schlesinger’s premise that our nation’s two political parties (since 1888) vied with each other for dominance in Presidential elections every 40 years.

For example, the time period from the late 1880s to the late 1920s was a time of Republican Party (conservative) ascendency in which the Republican Party dominated Presidential elections.

The dominant Political figure during this time was Republican President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.

Teddy Roosevelt was known for his “trust-busting” and for his “big stick diplomacy.”

Fast forward to the 1930s and the political fortunes of the two parties radically reversed.

From 1932 to 1968, Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman both redefined and remade the Democratic Party and changed what was a regionally based party of disparate elements into a cohesive national unit. By 1964, the Democratic Party was at the height of its influence and it appeared that its dominance would never end.

The 36 year reign of the Democrats that was initiated by President Franklin Roosevelt ended at the hands of Richard Nixon’s narrow victory in 1968.

President Nixon – and later President Reagan (1981-1989) – won votes from many disaffected Democrats who felt that the Democratic Party moved too far to the left of the political spectrum and was no longer the Party of Roosevelt and Truman.

Presidents Nixon and Reagan – along with the Republican Party Congressional majorities of the 1995 through 2000 time period initiated a major realignment of both the nature and scope of Federal Government activity. The Nixon-Reagan revolution was so effective that former Democratic President Bill Clinton averred in the 1994 to 1995 time period that “the era of Big Government is over.”

In 2008, Democratic Senator Barrack Obama ascended to the Oval Office with a convincing electoral win in which he captured 53% of the popular vote and 365 votes in the Electoral College.

President-Elect Obama’s win was impressive in all political facets.

He thoroughly beat his challenger Senator John McCain by capturing a decisive plurality with nearly every ethnic, political and religious group in his victory.

If history repeats itself (and history never repeats itself in an exactly duplicate sense, but there may be discernible patterns), then it would seem that the next 40 years on the Presidential level will be dominated by the Democratic Party.

From 1888 to 1924, the Republican Party won the office of the Presidency 7 times out of 10 Presidential elections (McKinley-Theodore Roosevelt-Howard Taft).

Starting with the Presidential election of 1928, the Democratic Party won the Presidency 7 out of the next 10 Presidential elections (Roosevelt-Truman axis).

And from 1968 to 2004, the Republican Party dominated the Oval Office by capturing the Presidency in 7 out of 10 Presidential elections (Nixon-Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II years).

The existential question is this: Will this pattern of Presidential Party dominance that has existed since 1888 continue or will there be a change in the electoral continuum?

The Republican Party may be in the wilderness for the foreseeable future.

In time, as historians and journalists such as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Dr. Marvin Olasky have pointed out, the political fortunes of the party in the wilderness change and they return to power.

However, in the short-term, it is imperative that Judeo-Christian adherents, Traditional (Paleo) Conservatives, and Free-market advocates learn lessons from our nation’s electoral history so that they may best marshal their political, monetary, and social resources on the Local, State, and Regional levels while they are exiled in the “Presidential Wilderness.”

[Journalist’s note:  This article was redacted and updated from a similar essay published two years earlier in February of 2014.]

Pastor-Kelly