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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says - Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
The history of the United States is preserved in archives, books, and the collective memory of the American people. It is also preserved in monuments, memorials, and statues made from marble, granite, bronze,Â orÂ plaster.Our nationâ€™s capital is home to some of the worldâ€™s most recognizable and frequently visited monuments. This blog series will explore the events and people they commemorate, devoting particular attention to the spiritual themes depicted. By shedding light on our nationâ€™s deep religious heritage, this series aims to inspire the next generation to emulate virtues and merits from Americaâ€™s past that areÂ worthÂ memorializing.FRCâ€™s blog series on monuments is written byÂ FRCÂ summer interns and edited by David Closson,Â FRCâ€™s Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview. Be sure to read our previous posts on theÂ Lincoln Memorial, theÂ World WarÂ IIÂ Memorial, theÂ Joan of Arc Memorial, theÂ Korean War Memorial, theÂ 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial, theÂ Japanese American Memorial, theÂ Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Titanic Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.The Washington Monument serves as a memorial to the life of George Washington, particularly his leadership as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and as the first president of the United States. It also stands as a reminder of Americaâ€™s rich religious heritage.Washington was so pivotal to Americaâ€™s founding that he has been called the â€śfather of his country.â€ť He was a member of the First Continental Congress in 1774 and then was appointed commander-in-chief of the army in 1775. As a general, he is especially remembered for his stalwart leadership during the winter encampment at Valley Forge in 1777-78. After leading America to victory and independence on the battlefield, Washington presided over the convention that produced the U.S. Constitution. In 1789, he was unanimously elected the nationâ€™s first president.President Washington and his administration laid a strong foundation for the United States of America. Some notable events during Washingtonâ€™s presidency include the celebration of the first federally-recognized Thanksgiving, the putting down of the Whiskey Rebellion, the induction of new states (North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee), and the approval of the Bill of Rights. Washington also oversaw the signing of the Jay Treaty (normalizing trade relations with Great Britain), Pinckneyâ€™s Treaty (friendship with Spain), and the Treaty of Tripoli (access to Mediterranean shipping routes). Washington also set the presidential precedent of selecting a cabinet of advisors and stepping down after two terms.Even before Washington became president, members of Congress wanted to create a statue of him to honor his wartime accomplishments. However, because the young country was lacking in funds, the project was scrapped.Pierre Lâ€™Enfant, the designer of the federal capital (which was officially named after the first president in 1791), envisioned a monument honoring President Washington and even designated a special spot for an equestrian statue of Washington in his initial layout of the city.The Washington National Monument Society, a private organization started by President James Madison and Chief Justice John Marshall, raised funds for the monumentâ€™s construction. First Lady Dolley Madison and Elizabeth Hamilton, widow of Alexander Hamilton, were also instrumental in raising funds. In 1833, the Society facilitated a contest to design the monument. The contestâ€™s winner, Robert Mills, also designed the U.S. Treasury Building and the U.S. Patent Office. The latter building now holds the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.On July 4, 1848, a cornerstone-laying ceremony was held. President James K. Polk and future presidents James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew Johnson were in attendance. Embedded in the cornerstone is a box of artifacts, including a portrait of Washington.By 1854, Mills had built 156 feet of the monument. His design was incredibly daunting, and he encountered many obstacles during its construction. For example, when Pope Pius IX donated a stone from the Roman Temple of Concord, the gift sparked an outcry from the â€śKnow Nothingâ€ť Party that opposed Catholicism and Catholic immigrants.Unfortunately, Mills died in 1855 before the monument could be completed. The unfinished monument stood untouched for two decades.In 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant approved funding to finish the monument, and work resumed in 1879. When Thomas Casey and the U.S. Army of Engineers could not find the original rock quarry, they were forced to use different stone. As a result, three different shades of stone from three different quarries were used in the monumentâ€™s construction.In 1885, 36 years after the cornerstone had been laid, the monument was finished. On February 21, 1885, the day before Washingtonâ€™s birthday, the monument was dedicated. At the time, the 555-foot-tall Egyptian-style obelisk was the tallest building in the world.The Washington Monument has been the location of a few notable events. In 1982, veteran and anti-nuclear weapons activist Norman Mayer drove to the bottom of the monument and threatened that he would blow it up with 1,000 pounds of dynamite. Thousands of people were evacuated, but some were held hostage with Mayer. After ten hours, he let the hostages leave and was shot and killed by U.S. Park Police. Authorities later carefully inspected Mayerâ€™s van and did not find the explosives he had claimed to have.On August 23, 2011, the monument endured a severe earthquake. Although people were inside the monument at the time, no one was injured. It cost $15 million to repair the damage incurred by the earthquake.It is worth noting that the Washington Monument represents more than the nationâ€™s first president. The monument itself honors and reflects the Judeo-Christian values America was founded upon.Many people and institutions contributed stones for the Washington Monument. Many of these stones are inscribed with names and short messages. One such stone donated by Sabbath School Children of the Methodist E. Church in Philadelphia is engraved with John 5:39 (â€śSearch the Scripturesâ€ť), Luke 18:16 (â€śSuffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not for of such is the Kingdom of God.â€ť) and Proverbs 22:6 (â€śTrain up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.â€ť) An image of the stone can be found here.Other stones are engraved with phrases including â€śThe memory of the just is blessedâ€ť (Proverbs 10:7), â€śHoliness to the Lord,â€ť â€śIn God We Trust,â€ť â€śQui Transtulit Sustinetâ€ť (â€śHe who transplanted sustainsâ€ť), and â€śMay Heaven to this Union continue its beneficence.â€ť At the top of the monument is an aluminum cap engraved with the Latin phrase â€śLaus Deoâ€ť (â€śPraise be to Godâ€ť). A list of memorial stones and their inscriptions can be found here. A gallery of photos of some of the stones can be found here.In 2007, a controversy arose involving the monumentâ€™s cap. While the monument was being renovated, a replica cap in the monumentâ€™s museum was removed and later put back in such a way that the â€śLaus Deoâ€ť inscription was not visible. Also, the accompanying plaque omitted the meaning of â€śLaus Deo.â€ť After public outcry, the National Park Service later apologized and included the meaning of â€śLaus Deoâ€ť on the new plaque.The Washington Monument isnâ€™t just a soaring memorial to â€śthe father of his country.â€ť The verses and religious phrases inscribed on its stones serve as reminders of the Judeo-Christian values and religious freedom that played an important role in Americaâ€™s founding.
The history of the United States is preserved in archives, books, and the collective memory of the American people. It is also preserved in monuments, memorials, and statues made from marble, granite, bronze,Â orÂ plaster.Our nationâ€™s capital is home to some of the worldâ€™s most recognizable and frequently visited monuments. This blog series will explore the events and people they commemorate, devoting particular attention to the spiritual themes depicted. By shedding light on our nationâ€™s deep religious heritage, this series aims to inspire the next generation to emulate virtues and merits from Americaâ€™s past that areÂ worthÂ memorializing.FRCâ€™s blog series on monuments is written byÂ FRCÂ summer interns and edited by David Closson,Â FRCâ€™s Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview. Be sure to read our previous posts on theÂ Lincoln Memorial, theÂ World WarÂ IIÂ Memorial, theÂ Joan of Arc Memorial, theÂ Korean War Memorial, theÂ 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial, theÂ Japanese American Memorial, theÂ Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the Titanic Memorial.The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. honors the life and work of Thomas Jeffersonâ€”the author of the Declaration of Independence, the first secretary of state, the second vice president, and the third president of the United States. An influential figure in Americaâ€™s early development, Jefferson was a lifelong advocate for limited government, religious freedom, and public education. Although Jefferson tragically failed to uphold the right of personal liberty of his fellow humansâ€”namely, slavesâ€”throughout his life, Jeffersonâ€™s advocacy for religious freedom continues to benefit people of all faiths, backgrounds, and ethnicities today.Congress created the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission in 1934, nine years before the bicentennial of Jeffersonâ€™s birth in 1743. The site of the memorial had been originally intended for Theodore Roosevelt; however, President Franklin D. Roosevelt deeply admired Jefferson and used his influence to secure the site for the Founding Father. In 1935, the commission selected John Russell Pope, one of the nationâ€™s most famous architects committed to the classical tradition, as the architect for the memorial.Popeâ€™s original design called for a huge building and the transformation of the Tidal Basin into a series of reflecting pools, rectangular terraces, and formal rows of trees. This design was controversial; many people expressed concern about the possible destruction of the Tidal Basinâ€™s famous cherry trees. These trees had been a gift from the government of Japan in 1912 and were beloved by Washington, D.C.â€™s residents.After Popeâ€™s death in 1937, his colleagues Otto R. Eggers and David P. Higgins took over the project. President Roosevelt approved their more modest design, and Congress approved the first part of the $3 million construction cost in 1938. Work began that year and continued throughout World War II. On April 13, 1943, the bicentennial of Jeffersonâ€™s birth, President Roosevelt dedicated the completed memorial. To the 5,000 spectators and a radio audience of millions, Roosevelt proclaimed, â€śToday in the midst of a great war for freedom, we dedicate a shrine to freedom.â€ťUpon entering the Jefferson Memorial, the visitor will notice at its center the Jefferson statue, standing 19 feet tall atop a black Minnesota granite pedestal inscribed with the dates of Jeffersonâ€™s birth and death (1743-1826). The statue is surrounded by columns, quotes from Jefferson, and a coffered ceiling above. Interestingly, when the memorial construction was completed in 1943, there was a shortage of bronze due to World War II. A plaster statue was temporarily erected, to be replaced by a bronze statue in 1947. The statue depicts Jefferson holding the Declaration of Independence in his left hand. The interior of the Jefferson Memorial is comprised of white Georgia marble, the floor of pink Tennessee marble, and the massive dome of Indiana limestone. The domeâ€™s interior is divided into two parts: the lower section has a coffered surface, and the upper section has a smooth, uninterrupted surface.The architects of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial chose the materials not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for what they each symbolized. The exterior stonework is from Vermont, while the interior walls are from Georgia; this symbolized the geographic extremes of the original 13 coloniesâ€”from New England to the Deep South. Inside, the flooring and inner dome material are from Tennessee and Indiana; this symbolizes the expanding Union. The bronze statue of Jefferson stands atop a massive block of Minnesota granite with a gray Missouri marble ring surrounding its base; this symbolizes the impact President Jefferson had with the Louisiana Purchase during his presidency in 1803.Thomas Jefferson has been closely associated with religious freedom for more than two centuries. The Jefferson Memorial was built to commemorate an esteemed advocate for personal spiritual freedom who believed that religion was a matter of conscience so long as it is not â€śinjurious to othersâ€ť and that the state should guarantee religious freedom for â€śthe Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindu, and infidel of every denomination.â€ť Jefferson firmly believed that broad religious freedom and toleration were essential in a nation that was comprised of people from diverse backgrounds.Today, Christians benefit from Jeffersonâ€™s convictions on personal religious freedom. Although Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian himself and is generally understood to have been a deist (i.e., accepting Godâ€™s existence but denying supernatural revelation and the deity and miracles of Jesus), Jeffersonâ€™s advocacy for religious freedom has helped ease the spread of the gospel. American Christians have an obligation to use the earthly freedom we have to preach spiritual freedom through the gospel. Galatians 5:13 states, â€śFor you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.â€ť Let us continue to practice the religious liberty that Thomas Jefferson fought to preserve.Sarah Rumpf is a Development intern at Family Research Council.
The history of the United States is preserved in archives, books, and the collective memory of the American people. It is also preserved in monuments, memorials, and statues made from marble, granite, bronze,Â orÂ plaster.Our nationâ€™s capital is home to some of the worldâ€™s most recognizable and frequently visited monuments. This blog series will explore the events and people they commemorate, devoting particular attention to the spiritual themes depicted. By shedding light on our nationâ€™s deep religious heritage, this series aims to inspire the next generation to emulate virtues and merits from Americaâ€™s past that areÂ worthÂ memorializing.FRCâ€™s blog series on monuments is written byÂ FRCÂ summer interns and edited by David Closson,Â FRCâ€™s Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview. Be sure to read our previous posts on theÂ Lincoln Memorial, theÂ World WarÂ IIÂ Memorial, theÂ Joan of Arc Memorial, theÂ Korean War Memorial, theÂ 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial,Â Japanese American Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.Â On April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sank in the Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg on her maiden voyage. The sinking of the so-called â€śunsinkable shipâ€ť and massive loss of life (over 1,500 of the 2,224 passengers) garnered international attention and led to major changes in maritime safety regulations.Following the sinking of the Titanic, a movement arose to commemorate those who perished in the tragedy, specifically the men who had abided by the shipâ€™s policy of admitting women and children into the lifeboats first. Approximately 75 percent of the men aboard the Titanic died in the icy waters of the Atlantic when the ship sank.Within a month of the shipâ€™s sinking, planning and fundraising to build a monument in memory of these men were already underway. Helen Herron Taft, wife of President William Howard Taft, gave the first recorded donation to the Womenâ€™s Titanic Memorial Association, which was chaired by Clara Hay, the widow of Secretary of State John Hay. Titanic survivors and family members were prominent contributors. Two such donors were the widow of the late Pennsylvania railroad magnate John Thayer and Mrs. Archibald Forbes, who donated the money she had won playing bridge against the late John Jacob Astor the night the ship sank. Both Mr. Thayer and Mr. Astor died onboard. In the end, over $40,000 was raised toward the memorial.The Womenâ€™s Titanic Memorial Association sponsored and organized a design competition for the memorial exclusively among female artists. The original design for the monument was an arch, but the committee preferred a statue designed by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and chose it instead. While Whitney was the designer, she did not sculpt the memorial. Rather, the monumentâ€™s base was sculpted and engraved by Henry Bacon, the same architect who designed and built the Lincoln Memorial. The statue on top of the base was carved from a single piece of red granite by John Horrigan in Quincy, Massachusetts.Located at the northern tip of Fort McNair in Washington D.C., the memorial is a 15-foot statue of a young man with his arms stretched wide in a posture of hospitality, sacrifice, and surrender toward heaven. His head is tilted upward, his eyes are closed, and a peaceful expression rests across his face. A crown of laurels rests on the young manâ€™s head, a symbol of honor, like the wreaths given to champions in ancient Rome. Finally, a drape covers most of the statueâ€™s left side, maintaining his innocence and demonstrating his humility.On the granite base of the memorial is the inscription:To the brave men who perished in the wreck of the TitanicApril 15, 1912They gave their lives that women and children might be savedErected by the women of AmericaÂ On the back of the base, it reads:To the young and the oldThe rich and the poorThe ignorant and the learnedAllWho gave their lives noblyTo save women and childrenÂ It took 17 years to build the memorial, due to a lack of funds, but on May 26, 1931, it was finally dedicated in a coveted spot along the Potomac. It was unveiled by Helen Herron Taft, the now-widow of William Howard Taft, who had been president at the time of the Titanicâ€™s sinking. Unfortunately, the memorial was taken down in 1966 and put into storage. Its former site is now home to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. However, the memorial reemerged from storage in 1968 and now resides at the northern tip of Fort McNair.We can learn three truths from the Titanic Memorial and the men it honors. First, the statue is in a posture of peace. As Christians, we must remember Jesusâ€™ invitation and promise to give rest to all who come to Him (Matthew 11:28). Despite the dark nights we may face, true rest from our fears can be found in Christ.Second, the statue is in a posture of surrender. Christians must remember to surrender to God daily and trust His will for our lives. Consider the refrain of Christâ€™s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane before he suffered for our sakes, â€śYet not my will, but thine be doneâ€ť (Luke 22:42). We must surrender our lives to God so that we might truly live for Him.Third, the statue represents sacrifice. Christians must remember Christâ€™s ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross. John 15:13 reminds us that â€śGreater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.â€ť Just as men onboard the Titanic sacrificed their lives so others might live, so Christ laid down His life for the world, so that all might live.
The history of the United States is preserved in archives, books, and the collective memory of the American people. It is also preserved through monuments and memorials that visually represent the extraordinary history of our nation.To tell these stories and remind ourselves of the importance of these memorials, Family Research Council has a new blog series highlighting the most recognizable and popular monuments in our nation's capital. This series devotes particular attention to the historical and spiritual themes depicted in each monument, sharing some not so well-known facts about their history, design, and symbolic meaning that shed light on our nation's deep religious heritage.This series aims to inspire the next generation to see the importance of these monuments and to remind us of the virtues and lessons that they memorialize.The Lincoln Memorial: A Monument to Unity in a Time of DiscordThe World War II Memorial: A Tribute to Our Nationâ€™s HeroesThe Joan of Arc Memorial: A Tribute to Courage and FaithThe Korean War Memorial: A Tribute to SacrificeThe 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial: Life, Liberty, and LegacyThe Japanese American Memorial: A Monument to ReconciliationThe Martin Luther King Memorial: A Monument to Justice and Peace
Like the Hagia Sophia, the fourth-century Chora monastery in Istanbul was operating as a museum.The Turkish government formally converted a former Byzantine church into a mosque Friday, a move that came a month after it drew praise from the faithful and international opposition for similarly turning Istanbulâ€™s landmark Hagia Sophia into a Muslim house of prayer.A decision by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published in the countryâ€™s Official Gazette, said Istanbulâ€™s Church of St. Saviour in Chora, known as Kariye in Turkish, was handed to Turkeyâ€™s religious authority, which would open up the structure for Muslim prayers.Like the Hagia Sophia, which was a church for centuries and then a mosque for centuries more, the historic Chora church had operated as a museum for decades before Erdogan ordered it restored as a mosque.The church, situated near the ancient city walls, is famed for its elaborate mosaics and frescoes. It dates to the fourth century, although the edifice took on its current form in the 11thâ€“12th centuries.The structure served as a mosque during the Ottoman rule before being transformed into a museum in 1945. A court decision last year canceled the buildingâ€™s status as a museum, paving the way for Fridayâ€™s decision.And as with the Hagia Sophia, the decision to transform the Chora church museum back into a mosque is seen as geared to consolidate the conservative and religious support base of Erdoganâ€™s ruling party at a time when his popularity is sagging amid an economic downturn.Greeceâ€™s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the move, saying that Turkish authorities â€śare once again brutally insulting the characterâ€ť of another UN-listed world heritage site.â€śThis is a provocation against all believers,â€ť the Greek ministry said in ...Continue reading...
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