Judgment and the Wrath of God
by Don Costello 5/10/2008 / Bible Studies
Concerning the weather catastrophes and terrorist attacks of recent occurrence there are varying opinions within the Body of Christ if it is the judgment of God or if it's the wrath of God or whether it is just because of the fall of man.
On September 3rd of 2005, Billy Graham wrote,
"I can recall walking through the aftermath of hurricanes in Florida, and South Carolina, and a typhoon in India that killed tens of thousands, and earthquakes in California and Guatemala, and every time I have asked "Why?". Mr. Graham goes on to write, "God's ways are often beyond our understanding, and yet He is sovereign and He can still be trusted. The Bible says evil is a mystery. Someday we will understand, but not now."1.
"The president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, R. Albert Mohler Jr., warned fellow Bible conservatives that "we have no right to claim that we know what this storm means," noting that Job's friends mistakenly thought he was being punished for misdeeds." 2.
Curtis Bond, a Christian pastor on the website, www.dunamai.com in an article entitled, Is God Punishing Us?, writes,
"Some believe God is punishing the U.S. for tolerating abortion, rampant immorality, homosexuality, and so forth." He compares such thinking to religious or superstitious belief: "In other words, just like people in ancient China, Greece, and Egypt, people are claiming that god is angry at America and some element of our government or people is to blame."3.
Evangelist Billye Brim, on her website wrote concerning the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and the evacuation of New Orleans and the Gulf coast.
"Is there a connection between the two heartbreaking events? I believe so. And I must say it. Is this judgment? I believe so. And I must say it. Outright! Many won't like to hear it. Many won't agree. But I believe America is in danger and something has to be done. America's mistakes are spiritual. Spiritual problems cannot be solved with natural means."
Sister Brim does not believe that Katrina is the wrath of God; she goes on to write,
"Earth's violent weather was not a part of God's wonderful creation in the beginning. Everything He created was created perfectly. God turned the authority on earth to Adam. And Adam turned it over to the prince of the power of the air, Satan. Today's brutal weather is a result of the Fall of man and the curse it brought upon the earth."
She explains that the United States has operated under a Jewish wedding choopa or hedge of protection from its earliest days by recognizing and blessing Israel but lately America has been shooting holes in the hedge of protection, by promoting the road map to peace in unison with the United Nations, Russia and the European Union. 4.
John McArthur says this about America in his sermon, Can God Bless America?, says this,
"America, we not only have that physical revelation, that theologians call natural revelation, we have special revelation, verbal revelation, the Scripture, our country has always had the Word of God. Our problem is, when we knew God, we glorified Him not as God. We have taken God out, forced Him out in the name of political correctness, in the name of conventional wisdom, in the name of tolerance, in the name of not offending somebody we have blasphemed God, the creator. We don't honor Him, verse 21. We don't give Him thanks. And we are empty in our ideas, our foolish hearts are darkened, we think we're smart, we're actually moraino, the word from which we get morons, worshiping dolphins, or spotted owls, or the new religion, eco-feminism, or whatever other bizarre kind of idolatry we can concoct in the place of the true God, or just worshiping money, power, prestige, worshiping our own physical bodies, whatever it is Am I saying it was an act of God's wrath to allow terrorists to kill people? I don't know why God does what He does. We've already said that. I do know that for some they were catapulted into eternal wrath. But I also know for some who were believers, they were taken into glory. God may have many purposes in what He does. I'm not talking about an incident. What I am telling you though is on a national level, I believe America is experiencing the wrath of God."
Others believe that to think that God has anything to do with the geological or meteorological catastrophes or 911 is ridiculous because God is a good God and he doesn't do things like that. We are in the days of grace, these things are occurring they say because we are in the last days and Jesus said they would happen, but its not God doing it, it is the devil operating in a fallen world. Bible verses cited in all of these views seem to be conclusive, but are they?
Finally, from outside of Christianity comes a message from the Islamic preacher Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi, who says 'The terrorist Katrina' is a 'soldier of Allah'. 5.
You can be sure that because I am writing this piece that yours truly has his two cents and a small amount "of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God" to bolster those two pennies. I'll be honest with you, my theory about this most resembles Billye Brims and John McArthur's; it also has elements of the others, but is closest to the one above that says America's sins are causing the hedge of protection around it to be weakened which has allowed the devil to steal, kill and destroy, through hurricanes, floods, and terrorists attacks. I don't think God is sending hurricanes to America to judge us, but I do believe it is happening to us as a nation, Christian and non-Christian alike, because since our beginning as a nation we have allowed sweeping changes in national policy, political and cultural, and religious. A major component is the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. For instance, do you think when the founders framed the first amendment that they envisioned that it should be used to strip the Ten Commandments from our schools and court houses? Do you think they would be in agreement that it protects playboy magazine? Do you think that the writers of the declaration of independence would not include the unborn in their "right to life"? Do you not think we have corrupted our moral and spiritual health by such policy?
Within the opinion that says God doesn't have anything to do with it because God is a good God, the point is also made that if we say this is all God's doing then we are in agreement with the Muslim preacher from Kuwait who preached that Katrina is a soldier of Allah causing destruction on America because of her sins in the Middle East and elsewhere. Well this isn't the first time this has happened either. One only has to look at the lives and ends of Samson and Saul to see that very same thing. Samson's capture by the Phillistines was interpreted by them as an answer to prayer by their god Dagon, Judges 16:23, 24. In 1 Chronicles 10:8-10, 13; and 1 Samuel 31:8-10, Saul's body and amour were nailed to the walls of the Phillistine temples as trophies and then they carried these tidings unto their idols. Yet both of these men were being judged for their sin and rebellion. Though it's not in the Biblical text about the incident with Saul, let us imagine someone from Israel suggesting that Saul was being judged by God for his sin. Would the same kind of voices be raised?
I am saying that every one of the Scriptural objections that are being raised by those who condemn the idea of any kind of godly judgment in these incidents can be countered with scriptures which say the opposite. The subject matter though is too serious to be considered as just a personal tit-for-tat Scriptural exchange, my personal feelings are that we are not only ripe for judgment, but also harvest and I feel very strongly that the Christians who dismiss any kind of talk of judgment are ignorant of the whole counsel of God.
Numerous individuals have raised the argument of Abraham interceding for Sodom in Genesis 18:23-33 as an example of God not judging America because there are "millions" of "righteous" people in America. The argument says that if God would spare Sodom for ten righteous, surely he would spare America for the "millions" of righteous. Those who say such things are ignorant of the factor of the light revealed to Sodom. Jesus said in Matthew 11:23, 24,
"And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, would have been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."
Jesus also said in Luke 12:47, 48,
"And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."
Israel was given more light than Sodom. Therefore, when God brought judgment against Jerusalem he explained to Ezekiel that the righteousness of the individual would save only that individual, not anyone else, not even their family, Ezekiel 14:12-21. The Lord goes on to say in verse 20,
"Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness."
It was not as it was in Sodom, where ten would save the whole city. Because of the greater amount of revelation light that was given to Israel than Sodom, each righteous individual would only deliver his own self. This was all because of the different amounts of spiritual light revealed to the different communities.
The Wrath of God
On the subject of the wrath of God, most Christians put it off until the events i.e., the seals and trumpets and vials, immediately preceding the Second Coming of Christ. While those three series of judgments are the wrath of God, they are only one facet of God's wrath. There is another side that most Christians are ignorant of, i.e., the wrath of God that is active today. The defining passage that brings to light this Biblical truth is Romans 1:18-32.
Romans 1:18-28 (18)
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness."
a. hold (2722 * katecho) hold down, quash, suppress.
Because that which may be know of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkned.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient."
The passage in Romans 1:1:18-32 is viewed by many Bible scholars as the process of world apostasy that occurred immediately after the flood of Noah, and climaxed at the Tower of Babel and the dispersal of mankind over the earth. What we see in these verses is a step by step process of apostasy, of mans willful disobedience and God's wrathful response of turning them over to their sin. Rejection of the truth is always followed by becoming vain in thinking and becoming heathen in behavior. What is so important to this study is the principles revealed in these and other Scriptures are universal spiritual law, so to what degree individuals or groups and even nations reject revealed truth, will be the degree they will become vain in their thinking and the amount of spiritual foolishness or heathenism and paganism they will demonstrate. This process has been operating in the United States for well over 100 years.
In verse 18 the Scriptures tell us the wrath of God is revealed against men who resist and suppress the truth. In verses 19-22 the process is described which always follows rejecting the truth: becoming vain in thinking and heathen in behavior. Another witness to this spiritual process is found in 2 Kings 17:15:
"And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his
Testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them."
The same process occurred after Israel rejected the truth of God's word as did after the flood, vanity in their thinking that resulted in heathen religions and behavior. Needless to say, the same process is occurring in the United States. America has been rejecting Biblical truth and has become vain in their thinking and has been adopting heathen customs. This will be shown later in the section, In Contempt of Court.
In verse Romans 1:24 & 26 we see the revelation of the "wrath of God" in response to when man "changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image" (verse 23), and "changed the truth of God into a lie" (verse 25). In verse 24 God "gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves." Then in verse 26, "God gave them up unto vile affections:" The Greek word translated "gave them up" is paradidomai and it means "to deliver over or up to the power of someone". In these scriptures it is revealed that when someone is walking in rejecting or suppressing the truth, that God in his wrath delivers the individual or group over to the power of their sin to suffer the consequences of it. This principle is echoed in John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
In Contempt of Court
As I said previously, America has for over 5 decades been rejecting Biblical truth and adopting heathen customs. We are as a culture becoming barbarians. This is being accomplished through our media, namely through television , music and movies. But it is also being accomplished through Supreme Court decisions. All these decisions embody the spirit of numerous scriptures that will be shown in the various cases. The two primary passages though are Psalm 2:1-3 and Romans 1:18.
"Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us."
One of the primary ways the Supreme Court determines whether a law or action violates the Establishment clause of the First Amendment is use of the "Lemon Test", a test taken from Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971). This ungodly test is probably cited and used in most if not all the instances where godly Christian traditions or practices have been removed from our social landscape.
The Lemon Test (Constitutional Law 961)
In order for a state statute to be permissible under the establishment clause of the First Amendment, (1) the statute must have a secular legislative purpose, (2) the statutes principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion, and (3) the statute must not foster and excessive government entanglement with religion.
The Lemon Test in all its prongs is ungodly. The first prong, a secular purpose: a synonym for secular is profane. 2 Timothy 2:16 "Shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness." Although the word profane means unhallowed, it also means void of religion and lacks all relationship or affinity with God. This prong will increase more ungodliness. It was use of this prong that did away with the Ten Commandments in public schools and in county courthouses. See Stone v. Graham (1980), and McCreary County Kentucky v. ACLU (2005). It was also used to strike down Louisiana's Balanced Treatment Act, that states law which required creation be taught along side evolution in their public schools. See Edwards v. Aguillard (1987). The second prong, it must neither advance nor inhibit religion. There is no neutrality with God. Jesus said you are either with me or your against me, Mt.12:30.
The third prong, the statute must not foster an excessive entanglement with religion. This prong has an erie similarity to the purpose of the kings, rulers, and judges of the earth in Psalm two, against the Lord and against his Christ. "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast their cords from us."
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness."
The Greek word for "hold" is katecho-retain, hold down, suppress.
How is the "wrath of God" revealed? The willful disobedience that produces a slow descent of a culture deeper into corruption is described in Romans as "God gave them up", in verse 24, 26, and 28. It is also described as the result of rejecting God's wisdom in Proverbs 1:24-31. As we "set at nought" all of God's counsel in verse 25, and "despised all" God's reproof in verse 30, hence, those who do so will "be filled with their own devices, verse 31. Or as Romans 1:29-31 lists, "filled with all unrighteous, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boaster, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful." This is exactly what happened to Israel. Psalm 81:11, 12 says "But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts lust: and they walked in their own counsels."
All of the decisions of the Supreme Court against God have the effect of suppressing the truth. They know full well of what they are doing.
1). Roth v. U.S., 1956
Justice Brennan wrote this decision. This is a landmark case because it redefined obscenity. One of the Constitutional standards for obscenity as a result of this case was the material has to be taken as a whole.
"The early leading standard of obscenity allowed material to be judged merely by the effect of an isolated excerpt upon particularly susceptible persons. Regina v. Hicklin, . Some American courts adopted this standard but later decisions have rejected it and substituted this test: whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest. The Hicklin test, judging obscenity by the effect of an isolated passages upon the most susceptible persons, might well encompass material legitimately treating with sex, and so it must be rejected as unconstitutionally restrictive of the freedoms of speech and press."
This is why magazines like Playboy are constitutionally protected. They put in articles about sports, cooking; biographies and they are "protected".
At the beginning of the opinion Justice Brennan wrote,
"The guaranties of freedom of expression in effect in 10 of the 14 States which by 1792 had ratified the Constitution, gave no absolute protection for every utterance. Thirteen of the 14 States provided for the prosecution of libel, and all of those States made either blasphemy or profanity, or both, statutory crimes. As early as 1712, Massachusetts made it criminal to publish "any filthy, obscene, or profane song, pamphlet, libel or mock sermon" in imitation or mimicking of religious servicesThus, profanity and obscenity were related offences."
Some of the examples listed in footnote 12 are:
"Act Against Drunkenness, Blasphemy, Connecticut, 1737; Act for the Punishment of Profane Cursing and Swearing, New Hampshire, 1791; Act to Prevent the Grievous Sins of Cursing and Swearing, North Carolina, 1700; Act for the More Effectual Suppressing of Blasphemy and Prophaneness, Rhode Island, 1703."
It is obvious that the standard of early America was much stricter than what we have today. All those actions that were illegal in 17th, 18th and early 19th century America have been and are now "protected" in 20th and 21st century America. They were incrementally included into the freedoms of the press and speech of the First Amendment. For the advancement of science and freedom some would say, but in another obscenity case, this one from 1972, Miller v. California, Chief Justice Burger wrote,
"There is no evidence, empirical or historical, that the stern 19th century American censorship of public distribution and display of material relating to sex, in any way limited or affected expression of serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific ideas. On the contrary, it is beyond question that the era following Thomas Jefferson to Theodore Roosevelt was an "extraordinary vigorous period," not just in economics and politics, but in bellesletters and in "the outlying fields of social and political philosophies."
The real reason for the change is earlier in our nation's history, the local, state and federal government was still guided by Biblical principles, and we still acknowledged our dependence on God. But over time "secular/profane" "rulers" and "judges" have arisen and purposed to "break their [the LORD and his anointed] bands asunder, and cast away their cords". Because of this our nation is eating the fruit of its own ways.
2). Engel v. Vitale, 1962
This case came down in 1962. It forbids children in our nations public schools to pray while at school. Job 21:15 asks, "What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?" But as Job 21:16 says, this is nothing but "the counsel of the wicked", and full of hypocrisy. Justice Stewart's dissent in this case lists 10 different president's requests for prayer, he lists how each day the opening Session of the Supreme Court is opened in prayer, he shows how both houses of Congress open their days with prayer. He then asks the rhetorical question, "Or is the Court suggesting that the Constitution permits judges and Congressmen and Presidents to join in prayer but prohibits school children from doing so?" But the most shocking part of this decision is from the pen of Justice Black.
"It is true that New York's establishment of its Regents' prayer as an officially approved religious doctrine of that State does not amount to a total establishment of one particular religious sect to the exclusion of all othersthat, indeed, the governmental endorsement of that prayer seems relatively insignificant when compared to the governmental encroachments upon religion which were commonplace 200 years ago."
Perhaps he was referring to laws such as the Sunday laws. In McGowan v. Maryland, 1961 a case that challenged Sunday closing laws Chief Justice Warren writes. "The American colonial Sunday restrictions arose soon after settlement." One of the examples that he lists is a 1695 New York Sunday law that reads,
"Whereas, the true and sincere worship of God according to his holy will and commandments, is often profaned and neglected by many of the inhabitants and sojourners in this province, who do not keep holy the Lord's day, but in a disorderly manner accustom themselves to travel, laboring, working, shooting, fishing, sporting, playing, horse-racing, frequenting of tipping houses and using many other unlawful exercises and pastimes, upon the Lord's day, to the great scandal of the holy Christian faith, be it enacted, etc."
Or perhaps Justice Black in Engel v. Vitale, was referring to the many laws against cursing and blasphemy, such as North Carolina's Act to Prevent the Grievous Sins of Cursing and Swearing, from 1790. Or maybe he was referring to Rhode Island's Act for the More Effectual Suppressing of Blasphemy and Prophaneness from 1703. Encroachments upon religion? These were state governments acknowledging their dependence on God. His reasoning is reprobate, it is backwards. What the courts are doing now to squash all Christian tradition from our nations heritage is encroachment upon religion. The point is these judges know the Christian influences of our nations founding, and they are doing their unholy best to stamp it out.
3). Abington v. Schempp, 1963
This is the Bible reading decision that came down in 1963. In describing the counsel of the wicked Job said in Job 21:14 "Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways." And yet this is the counsel of the highest court of land.
Justice Stewart writes in his dissent.
"As a matter of history, the First Amendment was adopted soley as a limitation upon the newly created National Government, The events leading to its adoption strongly suggest that the Establishment Clause was primarily an attempt to insure that Congress not only would be powerless to establish a national church, but would also be unable to interfere with existing state establishmentsEach State was left free to go its own way and pursue its own policy with respect to religion. Thus Virginia from the beginning pursued a policy of disestablishmentarianism. Massachusetts, by contrast, had an established church until well into the nineteenth centuryAnd a refusal to permit religious exercises thus is seen, not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism, or at the least, as government support of the beliefs of those who think that religious exercises should be conducted only in private."
As I read this I am reminded of the relationship of "secular" and "profane", they are synonymous. The warning in 2 Timothy 2:16 is so applicable. "But shun profane/secular babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness." Nothing could be more true for the high court. As the years have passed since those early ungodly decisions much more ungodliness has come down to us through the court. As they seek to establish a state of neutrality, they are establishing a state of secularism, a state of profanity.
4). Roe v.Wade, 1973
No doubt the most offensive and ungodly decision to come down from the court. In 2005 the count was over forty million lives have been snuffed out from this decision. Child sacrifice legalized. When God sent Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Judah and Jerusalem, it was because of their shedding of innocent blood in child sacrifice, 2 Kings 24:3, 4.
5). Stone v. Graham, 1980
This is the first Supreme Court case that dealt with the Ten Commandments and the second time it dealt with the word of God in public schools. The posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools were declared unconstitutional because, the majority said, it failed the first prong of the Lemon test-a secular purpose. Again I am reminded of the relationship of secular and profane. Paul warned Timothy that profane babbling will increase unto more ungodliness. This ruling was indeed a profane babbling and it increased unto more ungodliness. In Adams County, Ohio, this ruling was used as authority to force the county to remove the monument of the Commandments away from the school. It was used in Cobb County Georgia to force them to move its Ten Commandment plaque out of the courthouse. And lastly it was appealed to when McCreary County Kentucky and all U.S. County Courthouses were forced to remove the Ten Commandments from inside the courthouse.
The majority wrote.
"If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause."
I have no information on school shootings before 1980 or even up to the mid nineteen nineties. On the website, www.infoplease.com in its Crime Data section it listed 40 people murdered and 108 wounded in school shootings from 1996 to 2005. In light of this quote from Stone v. Graham, and the fact that Stone V. Graham was sighted as a precedent in 2005 in McCreary County Kentucky v. ACLU, it appears the Court is willing to sacrifice the lives of school children to protect it's perverted interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. I am reminded of Hosea 4:6 that says, "because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." I am also reminded of Proverbs 1:30, 31 that declares that those who will have nothing to do with God's counsel or reproof shall eat the fruit of their own way and be filled with their own devices.
It was Martin Luther who wrote: "I am much afraid that schools will prove to be great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the word of God must become corrupt."
I am not naïve enough to think that simply posting the Ten Commandments would prevent these murders; I know there are many more factors to consider. But at the same time, the word of God, because it is the word of God and because it is spiritual and supernatural, is able to deter individuals by causing a conflict in the conscience of an individual meditating a crime and convince them not to commit the crime. See Romans 2:15.
There is one more example of the foolishness of their reasoning that I want to reveal. It is grievous enough to watch the times when the Ten Commandments are stripped from public schools or from county courthouses. It is even more grievous to know the Supreme Court is more lenient toward pornography thatit is toward the Commandments. In Miller v. California, a 1972 obscenity case, the Justices defined obscenity in three parts. The first, "whether the average parson, pplying contemporary community standards, would find the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest" The second part deals with state laws and doesn't concern us here. The third part is, "whether the work taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value" The phrase used twice in this definition, "the work taken as a whole" is the leniency shown toward pornography. In any pornographic publication, all that the publishers have to do is throw in a few articles on sports, biographies, or short stories and Presto! It's protected free speech because the whole work is considered.
But when it comes to the Ten Commandments, no such leniency is shown. In Stone v. Graham, the majority wrote, "The pre-eminent purpose for posting the Ten Commandments on schoolroom walls is plainly religious in nature. The Ten Commandments are undeniably a sacred text in the Jewish and Christian faiths, and no legislative recitation of a supposed secular purpose can blind us to that fact. The Commandments do not confine themselves to arguably secular matters, such as honoring one's parents, killing or murder, adultery, stealing, false witness, and covetousness. See Exodus 20:12-17; Deuteronomy 5:16-21. Rather, the first part of the Commandments concerns the religious duties of believers; worshipping the Lord God alone, avoiding idolatry, not using the Lord's name in vain, and observing the Sabbath Day. See Exodus 20:1-11; Deuteronomy 5:6-15.
Pornographic magazines are protected because, the publication must, "be taken as a whole." But the Ten Commandments are not allowed because, "they do not confine themselves to arguably secular matters", but also, "concerns the religious duties of believers." This is such a twisted interpretation; its only source of inspiration could be wicked spirits whispering into the ears of judges.
6). Edwards v. Aguillard, 1987
This decision was about a Louisiana statute that required the state's public schools to give "balanced treatment" to "creation science" and "evolution science."
This decision forbids public schools from teaching that God created all life including mankind and allows them to teach exclusively that all life evolved from slime. Not only is it a God hating opinion, it is also hypocritical. Its demonic effort to protect Louisiana and the nation from a violation of the Establishment Clause is in itself a violation of the said clause. In Torcaso v. Watkins the Supreme Court established Secular Humanism as a religion, and evolution is a basic tenant of that religion.
7). Stenberg v. Carhart, 2000
Partial birth abortion became known to America through the Pro-life ministry Right To Life. Their March of 1993 newsletter focused on this procedure.
"As described by Dr. Carhart, the D procedure [dilation and evacuation] requires the abortionists to use instruments to grasp a portion (such as a foot or hand) of a developed and living fetus and drag the grasped portion out of the uterus into the vagina. Dr. Carhart uses the traction created by the opening between the uterus and vagina to dismember the fetus, tearing the grasped portion away from the remainder of the body. The traction between the uterus and vagina is essential to the procedure because attempting to abort a fetus without using that traction is described by Dr. Carhart as "pulling the cat's tail" or "drag[ging] a string across the floor, you'll just keep dragging it. It's not until something grabs the other end that you are going to develop traction." The fetus, in many cases dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb to limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off. Dr. Carhart agreed that "[w]hen you pull out a piece of the fetus, let's say, an arm or a leg and remove that, at the time prior to removal of the portion of the fetus,the fetus [is]alive". Dr. Carhart has observed fetal heartbeat via ultrasound with "extensive parts of the fetus removedand testified that mere dismemberment of a limb does not always cause death because he knows of a physican who removed the arm of a fetus only to have the fetus go on to be born "as a living child with one arm." At the conclusion of a D [dilation and evacuation] abortion no intact fetus remains. In Dr. Carhart's words, the abortionist is left with "a tray full of pieces."
The other procedure implicated today is called "partial-birth abortion" or the D. The D can be used as a general matter, after 19 weeks gestation because the fetus has become so developed that it may survive intact partial delivery from the uterus into the vagina. In the D, the abortionist initiates the woman's natural delivery process by causing the cervix of the woman to be dilated, sometimes over a sequence of days. The fetus' arms and legs are delivered outside the uterus while the fetus is alive; witnesses to the procedure report seeing the body of the fetus moving outside the woman's body. At this point, the abortion procedure has the appearance of a live birth. As stated by one group of physicians, "[a]s the physician manually performs breech extraction of the body of a live fetus, excepting the head, she continues in the apparent role of an obstetrician delivering a child". With only the head of the fetus remaining in utero, the abortionist tears open the skull. According to Dr. Martin Haskell, a leading proponent of the procedure, the appropriate instrument to be used at this stage of the abortion is a pair of scissors. Witnesses report observing the portion of the fetus outside the woman react to the skull penetration. The abortionist then inserts a suction tube and vacuums out the developing brain and other matter found within the skull. The process of making the size of the fetus' head smaller is given the clinically neutral term "reduction procedure." Brain death does not occur until after the skull invasion, and according to Dr. Carhart, the heart of the fetus may continue to beat for minutes after the contents of the skull are vacuumed out. The abortionist next completes the delivery of a dead fetus, intact except for the damage to the head and the missing contents of the skull."
7). Gonzales, Attorney General v. Carhart, 2007
This decision reversed the 2000 partial-birth abortion decision, Stenberg v. Carhart. There is no doubt that this was an answer to prayer. It occurred after President George W. Bush appointed two pro-life justices to the High Court.
8). Lawrence v. Texas, 2003
In this section I want to apply the wisdom of 1 Timothy 1:8-11 & 2 Timothy 4:3 & 4 to the laws of our nation. In 1 Timothy 1:8-11 writes,
"But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust."
One of the messages the Apostle Paul is saying in these verses is that laws that forbid among other things, lying, murder, kidnapping, and homosexuality are not only "good" and "sound doctrine" they are also according "to the glorious gospel of the blessed God". One reason that makes these verses vitally important to our time is the definitions of a couple words. The Greek word "whoremonger", is pornos. It means a male prostitute, (Zodiates, 4205). The other phrase, "them that defile themselves with mankind", is one Greek compound word. It is arsenokoites , and it means, "a man that lies in bed with another man", (Zodiates, 733); these definitions are important to our present time in light of the warning the Apostle Paul writes in his second epistle to Timothy. In 2 Timothy 4:2-4 he writes:
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
The Apostle Paul warns that the time was coming when people would no longer believe sound doctrine, i.e. laws that forbid homosexuality, but they would gather around and listen to teachers who would accommodate their lusts. There are denominations out there that proclaim homosexuality to be simply one of the varied orientations that make up human sexuality. There are people who flock to these teachers to have their ears tickled. They turn away from the truth of the word of God concerning homosexuality and turn to listen to myths rather than God's Word.
As of June 26, 2003 all laws within our nation forbidding homosexual conduct have been struck down by the Supreme Court. The justices have now found in the Constitution the right to engage in homosexual behavior. This decision is so rebellious and so void of wisdom but at the same time it fulfills the prophetic word. It also establishes that present day America is not the America the founders envisioned.
In the beginning of our republic, the framers of the Constitution never intended for that document to protect the right to engage in homosexual acts. We know this by using simple common sense: If committing an act is against the law, it is not possible to give someone a right to commit that act. In Bowers v. Hardwick, the 1986 Supreme Court decision that upheld state laws that prohibited homosexual sodomy, Bryon White, writing for the majority said,
"Sodomy was a criminal offense at common law and was forbidden by the laws of the original 13 states when they ratified the Bill of RightsIn fact, until 1961, all 50 states outlawed sodomy"
This is such a prophetic development. When our nation started, homosexual behavior was forbidden in every state and up until 1961 in all 50 states, homosexual behavior was against the law. Now remember, the Apostle Paul writing under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, wrote that such laws were "according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God". They were "sound doctrine." Then here we are in 2004, 43 years later, not only is homosexual behavior a protected right, but we are fighting to preserve the God given institution of marriage between a man and a woman. Jesus is coming soon.
In 1961 Illinois became the first state to drop its sodomy laws. Between then and 2003 there was a relentless effort by individuals and groups to repeal all sodomy laws until by the time Lawrence came about in 2003 there was only a small number of states that still had laws on the books to prosecute homosexual behavior. For example, Montana dropped their state ban on homosexual conduct in 1997. The Associated Press reporting on the lifting of the ban said,
"Although no one has been prosecuted under the law, a 1993 lawsuit by six homosexuals claimed that gays and lesbians live in fear of being charged with a crime and that takes an emotional and psychological toll."
Romans 13:3 & 4 says,
"For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."
These six people in the Montana case were afraid of the civil authorities because their works were evil. This one of the God ordained purposes for law and civil government. This is what it's supposed to do. What the state government of Montana did is basically tell God, "Though we are your ministers, we don't believe homosexuality is evil and we will not execute wrath upon them."
During the period 1961-2003 as states were decriminalizing homosexual conduct, municipalities began enacting ordinances that added "sexual orientation" to anti-discrimination laws. This began in the late 70's. The Miami-Dade ordinance of 1977 and the fight that resulted was probably the most famous. To counter the homosexual juggernaut and their allies, communities began enacting ordinances that prohibited adding "sexual orientation" to their anti-discrimination laws. Cincinnati's Issue 3 is an example of a city wide authority while Colorado's Amendment 2 is an example of statewide authority. Issue 3 was enacted by popular vote on November 2, 1993, and though it survived challenges lasting years, and became an amendment to Cincinnati's Charter, Article XII to be exact, it was overturned by the voters of Cincinnati on November 2, 2004, eleven years later.
Colorado's Amendment 2 was a response by voters in Colorado to ordinances that were adopted by various Colorado cities that added "sexual orientation" to their anti-discrimination laws. The amendment was adopted after a majority of voters approved it in 1992. It was overturned on May 20, 1996 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision titled, Romer v. Evans was written by Justice Kennedy. In the decision Justice Kennedy wrote, "the amendment seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class that it affects;" In other words, in his mind the only thing fueling this amendment was animosity toward homosexuals. Justice Kennedy's contempt for moral disapproval of homosexuality is very revealing. Proverbs 8:13 says, "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil:" Now that's moral disapproval from God's perspective.
Justice Kennedy also wrote the decision Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court case from 2003 that struck down all laws prohibiting homosexual conduct. In doing that it overturned a previous Court decision, Bowers v. Hardwick from 1986 upholding laws that prohibited homosexual conduct. The same contempt he had in Romer v Evans is also evident in Lawrence v. Texas. In Lawrence v. Texas Justice Kennedy wrote:
"When homosexual conduct is made criminal by the law of the State, that declaration in and of itself is an invitation to subject homosexual persons to discrimination both in the public and private spheresThe stigma this criminal statute imposes, moreover, is not trivialit remains a criminal offense with all that imports for the dignity of the persons charged. The petitioners will bear on their record the history of their criminal convictionWe are advised that if Texas convicted an adult for private, consensual homosexual conduct under the statute here in question the convicted person would come under the registration laws of at least four StatesThis underscores the consequential nature of the punishment and the state-sponsored condemnation attendant to the criminal prohibition."
In this writing, Justice Kennedy is condemning the God ordained role and effect of law in civil government. There are consequences to crime and God has ordained civil government to be his ministers in meting out those consequences. Romans 13:3 & 4 in speaking of the condemnation from civil government says the following: "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." One of the last statements Justice Kennedy writes in this decision is unacceptable in that he applies it to godly law. "times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress." What the Bible calls "the fear of the Lord" and "sound doctrine", Justice Kennedy declares to be discrimination and oppression.
In a little more than 4 decades we have gone from homosexual conduct being constitutionally illegal in all 50 states to being a constitutionally legal conduct in all 50 states. That in itself is, in light of Scripture, a prophetic fulfillment. Add to that the fact that 'the fear of the Lord" i.e. the moral disapproval of homosexuality that used to be considered normal, is now characterized as mental illness (homophobia-the irrational fear of homosexuals), or evil shows that in regard to homosexuality, we have been turned upside down.
What Isaiah wrote concerning Israel 2700 years ago now certainly applies to contemporary America.
Isaiah 5:20,21,23,24: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darknessWoe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight.Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Thereforetheir root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel."
In conclusion let me say that I believe America is experiencing the wrath of God, in that we have been abandoned by God to our own sins, and will soon experience the judgment of God if we do not repent. This nation has been given more spiritual light, more revelation on the knowledge and will of God than any nation since the time of Christ and because of that we have been blessed I believe more than any other nation. Yet the flip side to that is more light and more blessing requires more responsibility and when not fulfilled, severer judgment.
My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.