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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
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A Nun's Story: From Convent Bondage (Sexual Desire, Dating Priests, Rituals, No Bible) to Jesus Mary Allen spent 26 years as a Nun. She gives a personal and very descriptive account of her long life in the convent. Her coming to true Christian salvation many years after convent life is fascinating. Please share this video with family and friends. If
A Nun's Story: From Convent Bondage (Sexual Desire, Dating Priests, Rituals, No Bible) to Jesus Mary Allen spent 26 years as a Nun. She gives a personal and very descriptive account of her long life in the convent. Her coming to true Christian salvation many years after convent life is fascinating. Please share this video with family and friends. If
J. B. Buffington - God Hates Divorce (Pt. 1 of 4) "Look at the legalized adultery we call divorce. Men marry one wife after another and are still admitted into good society; and women do likewise. There are ...
J. B. Buffington - God Hates Divorce (Pt. 2 of 4) "Look at the legalized adultery we call divorce. Men marry one wife after another and are still admitted into good society; and women do likewise. There are ...
J. B. Buffington - God Hates Divorce (Pt. 3 of 4) "Look at the legalized adultery we call divorce. Men marry one wife after another and are still admitted into good society; and women do likewise. There are ...
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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1 “TCJA”), signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 22, 2017, provides numerous provisions that benefit working families.Child Tax CreditThe Child Tax Credit (CTC) has a positive impact on individual families and the economy as a whole and helps parents bear the costs of raising their children.The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increases the CTC for 2018 through the end of 2025 (unless Congress renews it) by:Increasing the CTC to $2,000 for children under 17;Making the CTC refundable up to $1,400 (indexed for inflation) for low-income working families based on15 percent of earned income in excess of $2,500; or(if greater) the amount of payroll taxes in excess of the earned income tax credit, for a taxpayer with three or more qualifying children;Removing the CTC marriage penalty for the income phase-out, and increasing the income threshold to $200,000 for single filers and $400,000 for married couples filing jointly;Providing a $500 non-refundable Family Care Credit credit for dependents who don’t receive the CTC; andRequiring a qualifying child to have a Social Security Number for a taxpayer to claim the CTCObamacare’s Individual Mandate PenaltyStarting in 2019, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminates Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty. This helps many working families obtain relief from being forced into an Obamacare health insurance plan. Repealing the individual mandate penalty also allows individuals to forgo purchasing coverage if doing so violates their conscience. This is especially relevant for individuals who live in the states where there are few or no pro-life health insurance plans that exclude coverage of abortion.Marriage PenaltiesMarriage penalties exist in the tax code and also in welfare programs. The penalty generally applies in the tax code when a tax deduction or credit applies to single and married persons based on income, but a married couple is eliminated from receipt of the benefit making less than 200 percent of an eligible single person’s income.Income Tax BracketsThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has no marriage penalties for five of seven tax income brackets for 2018 through the end of 2025 (unless Congress renews it).Marriage bonus in the 22 percent bracket. Married couples filing jointly have a 2 percent lower rate than single filers for the first $25,000 they make over $140,000 in taxable income. This is a maximum $500 bonus, decreasing income taxes by up to 1.41 percent.Small marriage penalty in the 32 percent bracket. Married couples filing jointly have an 8 percent higher income tax rate than single filers for the first $5,000 they make over $315,000 in taxable income. This is a maximum $400 penalty, increasing income taxes by up to 0.61 percent.Large marriage penalty in the 37 percent bracket. Married couples filing jointly have a 2 percent higher income tax rate than single filers for the first $400,000 they make over $600,000 in taxable income. This is a maximum $8,000 penalty, increasing income taxes by up to 2.59 percent.Alternative Minimum TaxThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces marriage penalties for the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for 2018 through the end of 2025 (unless Congress renews it) by removing the marriage penalty for the AMT income phase-out ($500,000 for single filers and $1 million for married couples filing jointly). TCJA retains the marriage penalty for the AMT exemption ($70,300 for single filers and $109,400 for married couples filing jointly).Due to the marriage penalty in the AMT exemption,Married couples filing jointly are taxed at 26 percent higher rate than single filers for the first $31,200 they make over $109,400 in taxable income. This is a maximum $8,112 penalty, increasing the AMT by up to 22.19 percent.Married couples filing jointly have a 2 percent higher AMT tax rate than single filers for the first $31,200 they make over $295,700 in taxable income. This is a maximium $624 penalty, increasing the AMT by up to 0.71 percent.Other Marriage Penalty ProvisionsRetains a marriage penalty for the $10,000 State and local income tax (SALT), property tax, and/or sales tax deduction, which is equal in amount for single filers and married couples filing jointly. This is a maximum $3,700 penalty.Removes the marriage penalty in the Child Tax Credit phase-out ($200,000 for single filers, $400,000 for married couples filing jointly).Fails to address the marriage penalty for the Earned Income Tax Credit.Alimony DeductionThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanently repeals the alimony deduction, which subsidizes divorce. A divorced couple can often achieve a better tax result by receiving a tax break for payments between them than a married couple can. Removing the alimony deduction restores equitable treatment for divorced and married couples’ expenses for child support.529 Education Savings AccountsThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanently allows 529 education savings accounts to be used for up to $10,000 per year per child for K-12 tuition expenses at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.529 plan contributions have tax-free earnings and are exempt from the annual federal gift tax if under $14,000 for that year ($28,000 for married couples filing jointly). Contributions to 529 plans receive significant tax breaks in many states. Previously, the 529 plans were only allowed to be used for higher education related expenses.Death TaxThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubles the tax exclusion from the estate tax, also known as the “death tax,” thereby shielding from taxation the first $11.2 million (indexed for inflation) of bequeathed assets. This provision applies for 2018 through the end of 2025 (unless Congress renews it).The death tax is double taxation that handicaps families, and particularly family-owned businesses, by imposing heavy and burdensome taxes on bequeathed assets. Families often work as a unit to build their small businesses, but when a parent dies with the intention of leaving his or her small business to the children who helped build it, that transfer of assets is often taxed at such high rates that the business cannot continue operating and pay the government, causing the grieving family to close the business’s doors.Adoption Tax CreditThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act retains the adoption tax credit in current law, which is currently a $13,570 non-refundable credit per eligible child (with a phase out for wealthier individuals). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, in 2015 over 111,000 children were waiting to be adopted. Maintaining the adoption tax credit in current law helps adoptive children find loving families.Standard Deduction and Charitable GivingThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repeals the deduction for personal exemptions, including the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, and any dependents. The legislation consolidates the personal exemption for the taxpayer and taxpayer’s spouse into a larger standard deduction. The standard deduction is substantially increased from $6,300 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples (and surviving spouses), giving working parents more take-home pay to provide for their families. The legislation consolidates the personal exemption for children and dependents into the expanded child tax credit and a new family tax credit to care for non-child dependents. However, increasing the standard deduction could harm charitable giving, including to nonprofits and churches, since fewer people will likely itemize.
On November 20, LGBT activists observed this year’s “Transgender Day of Remembrance.”For the most part, they call upon people to remember those who identified as transgender who have been murdered in anti-transgender hate crimes. Such crimes deserve clear condemnation—like that offered in May by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who declared “the importance of holding individuals accountable when they commit violent acts against transgender individuals.”More numerous than those murdered in hate crimes, however, are those who have identified as transgender but died by their own hand.So on this Day of Remembrance, I was remembering Mike Penner.Mike Penner was a well-respected sportswriter at the Los Angeles Times. On April 26, 2007, Penner became the story instead of the reporter, by announcing to readers in his column that after a vacation, he would return to his work as a woman. He adopted the name Christine Daniels.In some ways, Penner’s “gender transition” went as smoothly as he could possibly have hoped. The Times—both management and his colleagues—were supportive. He was anxious the day his column (headlined “Old Mike, new Christine”) appeared, but his editor had urged him to write it in order to control the release of the news. In advance of the article, Penner’s editor reportedly shared the news individually with 45 other members of the staff, and “not one person expressed discomfort.” According to an account in the Times the next day, “by day’s end, Daniels said she had received only two negative responses out of 538 e-mails.” Nearly a thousand readers commented online, and the responses “were overwhelmingly positive.” Penner/Daniels told a staff writer that “a day I dreaded all my life has ended up being one of the best days I’ve ever had.”It didn’t last. Penner’s last column under the name Christine Daniels was published on April 4, 2008, after which he went on disability leave. When he finally returned to work in October, it was as Mike Penner. Penner wanted every trace of his female alter ego erased from the Times’ website. He was told it couldn’t be done, that it violated their policy on archived material. But eventually, the material disappeared. Christine was gone.A little over a year later, so was Mike. On the day after Thanksgiving in 2009, Mike Penner took his own life.There have been at least three long feature articles on the tragic story of Mike Penner. Christopher Goffard wrote one for the Times, Nancy Hass for GQ, and Steve Friess for LA Weekly. This post is based primarily on information drawn from those three articles.Of course, every person’s story is unique, so there are limits to how much you can generalize about a group of people from what happened to one individual. Nevertheless, Penner’s sad story should serve as a cautionary tale to those—whether transgender or not—who assume that a “gender transition” is automatically the best solution for someone experiencing “gender dysphoria” (an unhappiness with their biological sex at birth).According to the Friess account (told mostly from the perspective of others who identify as transgender who knew Penner as “Christine”), Penner’s feelings of gender dysphoria began in childhood, when “[h]e would sneak into his mother's closet in their Anaheim home to try on shoes and dabble with her makeup, then scrub it off shamefully before vowing never to do it again.” According to the Hass account, “Christine” told friends about “playing princess dress-up with her male cousins as a child.”However, the transgender community in Los Angeles was unaware of Penner until 2004, when he first showed up at “Countessa’s Closet”—essentially a women’s clothing store that caters to men. In August of 2005 he made his first appearance in a public place as a woman, going out to a restaurant with Susan Horn, another male-to-female transgender friend whom Penner met at Countessa’s.Between that time and Penner’s public “coming out” as transgender in April 2007, he apparently did not reveal his real (male) name to others who identified as transgender. Horn deduced that “Christine” was actually the sportswriter Mike Penner in June of 2006—but when confronted, Penner became frightened and angry.By early 2007, however, it appears that Penner had begun dressing as Christine full-time, and had begun taking female hormones. He had also started attending the Metropolitan Community Church, which is actively affirming of LGBT lifestyles. In February, he spoke to his boss, the sports editor of the Times, Randy Harvey, about transitioning (Penner usually worked from home). It was Harvey—in a recommendation some later questioned—who urged Penner to explain the transition publicly in a column. It was bound to become a subject of comment, and Harvey said, “I think you need to write it. Don’t let anybody else write it first.”After the column appeared, “Christine Daniels” was widely celebrated. While remaining in the sports department, Penner also began a blog for the Times about his transition, titled “A Woman in Progress.” In a June interview with an LGBT website, Penner was asked, “Money can buy hormones and a closet full of fabulous shoes, but does it buy happiness?” He responded, “Hormones + legal name change + setting the stage for a new life = happiness, no doubt about that.”In July, Penner’s friend and noted sportswriter Rick Reilly wrote a supportive piece for Sports Illustrated. That same month, Penner made his own public debut as “Christine” when covering the Los Angeles debut of British soccer star David Beckham, who had been signed to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy. And on July 19, 2007, Penner’s name was legally changed from “Michael Daniel Penner” to “Christine Michelle Daniels.”Christine received many invitations to speak and to attend fundraisers. Perhaps a high point was speaking at the convention of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association in the late summer. In September, Christine met Dr. Marci Bowers, a gender reassignment surgeon who had transitioned from male to female himself, and began making plans to have surgery, which was scheduled for July 2008.Why did things go downhill? One related to something unique to Penner—his relative celebrity. Even before his coming-out column appeared, he told one friend, “I feel as if I am being used as a pawn by the trans community (and maybe the Times as well).” That feeling would increase as the months went on.Two other factors, however, were ones that may often, if not always, be relevant to others who change their public gender identity as well.One was the question of Christine’s appearance. The first to say publicly what many may have thought was Paul Oberjuerge, a writer for the San Bernardino County Sun. After the Beckham press conference, he commented on the paper’s website:She looks like a guy in a dress, pretty much. Except anyone paying any attention isn't going to be fooled — as some people are by veteran transvestites. Maybe this is cruel, but there were women in that room who were born women in body, as well as soul. And the difference between them and Christine was, in my mind, fairly stark. It seemed almost as [if] we’re all going along with someone’s dress-up role-playing.More troubling to Christine was an October 2007 photo shoot for a planned article in Vanity Fair (recall that Olympic star Bruce Jenner first came out as “Caitlyn” in a 2015 cover story for Vanity Fair). According to Friess, “Accounts of what occurred there vary so starkly that they are hard to reconcile.”But the photographer, Robert Maxwell, said later, “I was trying to say all the right things. How do you tell someone who looks like a man, ‘You’re a beautiful woman’? I don’t know.” Goffard’s piece for the Times noted:The profile writer, Evan Wright, said that to write an honest article, he would have to observe that the sportswriter did not pass as a woman. “I thought, ‘Bottom line, she has a fantasy conception. She doesn’t accept who she is.’”In an email to friends, Christine lamented:It was a total debacle, probably the worst experience of my transition. [The] photographer apparently wanted to portray me as a man in a dress, my worst fear, as I expressed numerous times.After Penner abandoned his female persona, but before he committed suicide, writer Steve Friess wrote about the phenomenon of “sex change regret” in an article in USA Today. He quoted Denise Leclair of the International Foundation for Gender Education, who acknowledged, “The average male-to-female transsexual is taller, has bigger hands and feet, has more facial hair than most women. There are a lot of physical attributes that are hard to hide . . .” One friend recalled of “Christine,” “She would say that she had spent forty-five minutes putting on her makeup and still she saw Mike staring back.”The other crucial factor in the “failure” of Penner’s transition was the end of his marriage. When he made the announcement that he was becoming a woman, he had been married for twenty years to a woman who also wrote for the Times (I am choosing not to identify her here, out of respect for her privacy). She has never spoken publicly about Penner—neither after his transition, nor after his death. The published reports are somewhat unclear, but it appears that the two separated at the beginning of 2007, after Penner began hormone treatments and started dressing consistently as a woman. According to Friess, Penner's wife filed for divorce on May 23, 2007—the same day that Penner first appeared in the Times’ offices as a woman.Penner—naively—seemed not to accept that his gender transition would mean the end of his marriage. But his wife reportedly was blunt: “I don't want to be associated with it. I don't ever want to see you that way.”And according to Friess, “Penner repeatedly told friends his return to a male lifestyle was a last-ditch effort to reunite with his wife in some way.” Hass says that after Penner returned to a male identity, his wife “was willing to see him again, to have lunch or a cup of coffee.” But even those contacts became less frequent—“She’s moved on,” he told one friend. “I had the perfect life with [my wife], and I threw it all away,” he lamented.Finally, Penner’s mental health was clearly fragile for most of the last two years of his life. It is clear that after the euphoria of his first six months living openly as a “woman,” Penner’s mental state went downhill, and resuming his male identity did nothing to stabilize it. It appears that stress was manifesting in abdominal distress with no clear organic cause. Goffard reports that when Penner went on disability leave in April 2008, “close friends knew [he] was manic depressive.” Manic depression is an older term for what is now known as “bipolar disorder,” and it is unclear whether Penner was ever treated for that specific condition. Friess reports that in the summer of 2008, Penner “was diagnosed as severely depressed. Doctors prescribed a regimen of powerful psychotropic drugs that included the antipsychotic Zyprexa and the antidepressant Elavil.” He was also hospitalized at least once in 2009 in a psychiatric hospital, and friends reported “wild mood swings and suicidal chatter” well before he finally took his life.Friess reported, “No studies have been conducted to determine whether withdrawal from the hormones can cause depression, but mental-health professionals who work with transgender people say patients who have stopped taking the drugs report feelings of distress.” Friess also reports that Bowers, the transgender surgeon, “believes Penner put one foot in the grave by abandoning the transition.” In a thoroughly self-serving statement, Bowers declared, “If we had done surgery, it probably would have saved her life. Now she died as an unhappy soul who never got a chance to align her body and soul.”The opposite would seem to be the case. As Hass reports, Penner “had been convinced that becoming a woman would solve everything.” Even a transgender-identified friend had tried to warn him “that the act of becoming a woman itself wouldn’t make you happy.” Yet this fiction seems to be at the very heart of the transgender movement and the growing mania for self-defined “gender identity.”I would suggest that the tragic story of Mike Penner holds three key lessons for those struggling with gender dysphoria and considering a “transition” away from identifying with their biological sex at birth:Completely erasing your inborn sex in the eyes of others may not be possible. Clothes, hormones, and even gender reassignment surgery do not make a woman. There are aspects of appearance—size, bone structure, muscle mass, etc.—that simply differ between the sexes and are not amenable to change.You may be forfeiting important relationships in your life. It is naïve to suppose that someone who has always known you as a son or brother will readily define you as a daughter or sister instead. And it is even more naïve to suppose that a beloved spouse who married someone of the opposite sex will suddenly be fine being in a “same-sex” marriage.Finally, mental health problems such as depression or bipolar disorder, which frequently accompany gender dysphoria, need to be treated in their own right before considering a “gender transition.” Even the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), in their “Standards of Care,” warns, “If significant medical or mental concerns are present, they must be reasonably well controlled.”In his “coming out” column in 2007, Mike Penner said the decision followed “hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy.” He had reportedly sought counseling at the Los Angeles Gender Center—yet it is possible that such overtly pro-transgender facilities place greater emphasis on facilitating a client’s desired gender transition than on “controlling” co-existing mental health problems.Anyone who thinks that undergoing a “gender transition” is the only and obvious response to the presence of gender dysphoria should look closely at the tragic story of Mike Penner.
In his new HBO show 'Crashing,' the former evangelical winks to Christian fans.If Pete Holmes’s HBO series Crashing is his love letter to comedy, the church at least gets a tender PS.Inspired by Holmes’s life and evangelical background, the show follows a nice Christian guy who’s trying to make it in standup after his divorce leaves him dumbstruck and homeless. Episode to episode, his character crashes with Sarah Silverman, Artie Lange, T. J. Miller, and other comics he meets while grappling with the brutal New York comedy scene and his quarter-life crisis.Fans will not be surprised that Holmes’s series, complete with tracks from Joel Osteen sermons and Jars of Clay CDs, puts faith at the forefront. Even though he’s no longer an evangelical, he can’t resist talking about God. Religion constantly comes up in his popular podcast, You Made It Weird. On Crashing—which he produces with Judd Apatow—the TV version of Holmes makes for a likeably, laughably naïve protagonist; he stands by his clean comedy, owns up to beings a “God guy,” and explains to his new buddies why he and his ex waited to have sex until marriage.These days, Holmes, 38, draws inspiration from contemplative Catholic Richard Rohr, spiritualist Ram Dass, and pastor Rob Bell, now one of his best friends. The two go on tour together, and Bell prompted Holmes’s newest project: a book about God.While his churchgoing days may be behind him, the Los Angeles comic considers himself “a Christ-leaning spiritual seeker” who finds new meaning in the Christian vocabulary and stories with which he was raised. CT online editor Kate Shellnutt talked to Holmes about his new show and the intersection between his faith and his comedy.Continue reading...
Destroyed-Jefferson-MemorialOver the past few days, I've been focusing my articles on the plight of America.  I believe with all of my heart that America is going to face the wrath of God if we do not turn back to him soon.  This is the third article out of four where I discuss this topic.  If you have not already read the first two articles, The Coming Destruction of America and Obama's Post Christian America, I would strongly encourage you to do so before reading this post.  I think that they will aid in expressing my heart on this matter as you read this article. Most people drastically underestimate the consequences of sin.  Many people wrongfully believe that their sins, however large or small, will have little or no consequences and that if it does have consequences it will be only on the person comitting the sin.  Yet the Bible clearly displays example after example demontrating a clear pattern that this is not the case. When Joshua was leading the armies of God into the promised land, one man chose to disregard the Lord's instructions.  A man named Achan stole a set of clothes and a few pieces of money.  Shortly after Achan's mild indescretion, Joshua led the people into battle again.  This time they were met with defeat.  The army of God who clearly outnumbered their enemies faced a tragic defeat due to the sins of one man.  After the battle Achan was killed along with his entire family.  The consequences of his sin resulted in the defeat of an army and the death of his family.David's advisors had encouraged him not to number the people.  After all, God had clearly forbidden the kings of Israel from taking the census.  Instead of relying on numbers, God simply wanted David to rely on Him.  Didn't David know that God could provide for his nation's defense?  But David persisted.  He numbered the people.  As a result, God took the lives of thousands of Israelites.  Again the consequences of sin went far beyond the sinner.When the prophet Jeremiah looked out over his nation, he saw a nation that like America, drastically underestimated the consequences of their sin.  They believed that they could continue living their lives however they liked without ever having to feel the pain of any consequences.  They turned their back on God and believed that their national safety, their economy, and their way of life would simply continue uninterupted.  "...Yet my people have forgotten me days without number."  ~ Jeremiah 2:32Unfortunately for this great prophet, he lived to see the destruction of these people who he had so fervently pleaded with to turn back to God.  Bablyon swept in and destroyed their cities, killed and enslaved their men, and took their women and children captive.    "How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people!  How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!" ~ Lamentations 1:1Jeremiah looked ahead and saw the destruction that he had been preaching about for years.  He saw first hand the consequences of their sins coming down upon them...and he wept.  Look again at that first verse in Lamentations, "How doth the city sit solitary...she that was great among the nations..."  Do we think that America is exempt from the wrath of God?  Do we think that our patriotism trumps God's disgust with sin?  America boasts her tolerance of sodomy, her allowance of on-demand murder of unborn children, her divorce kits purchasable at Wal-Mart, her growing pornography industry, and her rejection of God from our society.  Yet America, and most Christians, fail to realize that our days are numbered.  We will see the curse of Jeremiah soon.  Sin always has its consequences.  I would say that I hope that I don't see it in my day, but then I am just wishing  it on my children.  I'd like to see it stayed for good.  In Christ,Nicholas Z. CardotNicholas Z. Cardot is the founder and site administrator for the Baptist Muse, a site dedicated to challenging Christians to think on the things of God by promoting and defending the Biblical truths for which historical Baptists have lived and died.
Destroyed-Jefferson-MemorialOver the past few days, I've been focusing my articles on the plight of America.  I believe with all of my heart that America is going to face the wrath of God if we do not turn back to him soon.  This is the third article out of four where I discuss this topic.  If you have not already read the first two articles, The Coming Destruction of America and Obama's Post Christian America, I would strongly encourage you to do so before reading this post.  I think that they will aid in expressing my heart on this matter as you read this article. Most people drastically underestimate the consequences of sin.  Many people wrongfully believe that their sins, however large or small, will have little or no consequences and that if it does have consequences it will be only on the person comitting the sin.  Yet the Bible clearly displays example after example demontrating a clear pattern that this is not the case. When Joshua was leading the armies of God into the promised land, one man chose to disregard the Lord's instructions.  A man named Achan stole a set of clothes and a few pieces of money.  Shortly after Achan's mild indescretion, Joshua led the people into battle again.  This time they were met with defeat.  The army of God who clearly outnumbered their enemies faced a tragic defeat due to the sins of one man.  After the battle Achan was killed along with his entire family.  The consequences of his sin resulted in the defeat of an army and the death of his family.David's advisors had encouraged him not to number the people.  After all, God had clearly forbidden the kings of Israel from taking the census.  Instead of relying on numbers, God simply wanted David to rely on Him.  Didn't David know that God could provide for his nation's defense?  But David persisted.  He numbered the people.  As a result, God took the lives of thousands of Israelites.  Again the consequences of sin went far beyond the sinner.When the prophet Jeremiah looked out over his nation, he saw a nation that like America, drastically underestimated the consequences of their sin.  They believed that they could continue living their lives however they liked without ever having to feel the pain of any consequences.  They turned their back on God and believed that their national safety, their economy, and their way of life would simply continue uninterupted.  "...Yet my people have forgotten me days without number."  ~ Jeremiah 2:32Unfortunately for this great prophet, he lived to see the destruction of these people who he had so fervently pleaded with to turn back to God.  Bablyon swept in and destroyed their cities, killed and enslaved their men, and took their women and children captive.    "How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people!  How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!" ~ Lamentations 1:1Jeremiah looked ahead and saw the destruction that he had been preaching about for years.  He saw first hand the consequences of their sins coming down upon them...and he wept.  Look again at that first verse in Lamentations, "How doth the city sit solitary...she that was great among the nations..."  Do we think that America is exempt from the wrath of God?  Do we think that our patriotism trumps God's disgust with sin?  America boasts her tolerance of sodomy, her allowance of on-demand murder of unborn children, her divorce kits purchasable at Wal-Mart, her growing pornography industry, and her rejection of God from our society.  Yet America, and most Christians, fail to realize that our days are numbered.  We will see the curse of Jeremiah soon.  Sin always has its consequences.  I would say that I hope that I don't see it in my day, but then I am just wishing  it on my children.  I'd like to see it stayed for good.  In Christ,Nicholas Z. CardotNicholas Z. Cardot is the founder and site administrator for the Baptist Muse, a site dedicated to challenging Christians to think on the things of God by promoting and defending the Biblical truths for which historical Baptists have lived and died.
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