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Posts tagged ‘Abolitionism’

Jindal Warns of ‘Silent War’ on Religion in Reagan Library Speech.


Image: Jindal Warns of 'Silent War' on Religion in Reagan Library Speech

Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 08:29 PM

By Greg Richter

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal blasted the “silent war” that he said is undermining the nation’s basic principles in a major speech Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Contrary to what liberals say, the Constitution was set up specifically for believers, Jindal, a Catholic who converted from Hinduism, said.

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“The American people, whether they know it or not, are mired in a silent war,” said Jindal, who is widely expected to run for president in 2016.

“It’s a war against the propositions in the Declaration of Independence: It is a war against the spirit that motivated abolitionism: It is a war against the faith that motivated the Civil Rights struggle: It is a war against the soul of countless acts of charity: It is a war against the conscience that drives social change: It is a war against the heart that binds our neighborhoods together: It is a war against America’s best self, at America’s best moment.

“It is a war — a silent war — against religious liberty.”

“This war is waged in our courts and in the halls of political power. It is pursued with grim and relentless determination by a group of like-minded elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith into a land where faith is silenced, privatized and circumscribed.”

Jindal, 42, is expected to be among a group of Republicans seeking the presidential nomination in 2016, and many see his speech at the library in Simi Valley, Calif., as part of the groundwork for such a run.

He follows other likely GOP contenders Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Jindal released the text of his speech before delivery. He said there was no better place than the Reagan Library to make his point because Reagan had said “Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few, but the universal right of all God’s children.”

“When he said this, he was not expressing a strictly personal belief in the nature of man as a created being, as a child of God” said Jindal. “He was reaffirming the most basic contention of the American founding, set forth in the Declaration of Independence, that we are a nation constituted in accordance with the ‘Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,’ and that we are a people ‘endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.'”

Jindal reminded his audience that as far back as 1798, President John Adams had written to Massachusetts militiamen telling them, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

But he claimed that the “secular elites” understood that to take over America they must make war on its philosophy.

“This silent war is the real undercurrent driving politically fractious debates in a number of areas of policy,” he said. “But why is this war happening? What does it mean for the country and people of faith? Why does it represent such a fundamental challenge to our American identity and the exceptional history that makes our nation great?”

In answering his own questions, Jindal pointed to the court battle over craft store Hobby Lobby’s contention it should not have to provide the morning-after pill. The Green family that owns the stores believes the pill causes an abortion, and they object to its use on religious grounds.

He said Hobby Lobby’s statement of purpose begins with a Bible verse, and that all of the stores close on Sundays. The company pays well above minimum wage and has increased salaries four years in a row. The family that runs it is committed to giving the majority of its wealth to philanthropy.

“None of this matters to the Obama administration,” he blasted. “The argument they have advanced, successfully thus far, is that a faithful business owner cannot operate under the assumption that they can use their moral principles to guide the way their place of business spends money.

“According to the administration’s legal arguments, the family that owns Hobby Lobby is not protected by the First Amendment’s ‘free exercise’ of religion clause.”

He pointed out the absurdity that Hobby Lobby — which has an offshoot company that sells Bibles — is considered a secular company, but Tyndal House, which prints Bibles, is not.

“Perhaps we should all start printing Bibles, so we can claim protection,” he said.

And he said he defended “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson and his family over Robertson’s controversial statements on homosexuality, not because Jindal is the governor of the state where the Robertsons live, but because “they have every right to speak their minds, however indelicately they may choose to do so.”

Jindal also raised the Hosanna-Tabor case in which the Obama administration argued that a Lutheran academy did not have the right to fire someone over a difference in beliefs. The Supreme Court unanimously threw out the government’s argument.

“So for the time being at least, the government doesn’t get to decide who can preach the gospel. But the important thing to note is that the government wanted to make that decision — that is truly offensive and frightening.”

He also brought up cases where bakers, photographers and others in the wedding industry have been told they must cater to same-sex unions.

“This assault will only spread in the immediate future,” Jindal said, foreseeing a time when believers who refuse to be cowed will be penalized for their views, denied membership in professional groups or even rejected from licenses.

“This is the next stage of the assault,” he said. “And it is only beginning.

Jindal was speaking the day after a legal challenge was filed to get Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage overturned.

“Today, an overwhelming majority of those who belong to a religious denomination in America — that’s more than half the country — are members of organizations that affirm the traditional definition of marriage,” he said. “All of those denominations will be targeted in large and small degrees in the coming years,” he predicted.

Jindal ended his speech by referring to President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, in which he said that history shows “that nations that uphold the rights of their people — including the freedom of religion — are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful.”

“Well said, Mr. President. I couldn’t agree more,” said Jindal. “The president is very concerned about religious liberty.

“And also… if you like your religion, you can keep your religion.”

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William Wilberforce: Why Joining a Network Is Vital.


William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce was a British politician and philanthropist who lived in the late 1700s and was a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade.

William Wilberforce was a British politician, philanthropist and leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780 and became the independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire (1784–1812) and a close friend of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger. In 1785 he underwent a conversion experience and became an evangelical Christian, resulting in changes to his lifestyle and his interest in reform. He was 28 years old at the time and wondered whether he could stay in politics and remain a follower of Jesus Christ. His good friend John Newton, who was a converted slave trader and the author of the famous hymn “Amazing Grace,” convinced him to stay in politics to model his faith in the public sector. Wilberforce’s life was dramatized in a 2007 movie production from Walden Media entitled Amazing Grace.

In 1787, Wilberforce came into contact with Thomas Clarkson and a group of anti-slave-trade activists, including Granville Sharp, Hannah More and Lord Middleton. They persuaded Wilberforce to take on the cause of abolition, and he soon became one of the leading English abolitionists, heading the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade until the eventual passage of the Slave Trade Act in 1807.

The Clapham Group
Wilberforce was part of a small band of influential leaders in England called the Clapham Group. Its members were chiefly prominent and wealthy evangelical Anglicans who shared common political views concerning the liberation of slaves, the abolition of the slave trade and the reform of the penal system.

The group’s name originates from Clapham, then a village south of London (today part of southwest London) where both Wilberforce and Thornton, the sect’s two most influential leaders, resided and where many of the group’s meetings were held. They were supported by Beilby Porteus, the bishop of London, who sympathized with many of their aims.

After many decades of work both in British society and in Parliament, the group saw their efforts rewarded with the final passage of the Slave Trade Act in 1807, banning the trade throughout the British Empire and, after many further years of campaigning, the total emancipation of British slaves with the passing of the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833. The group also campaigned vigorously for Britain to use its influence to eradicate slavery throughout the world.

This was not a large group. It consisted of less than 20 leaders. However, these leaders were passionate about their faith, their causes and their commitment to them.

Lampooned in their day as “the saints,” the group published a journal, the Christian Observer, edited by Zachary Macaulay, and was also credited with the foundation of several missionary and tract societies, including the British and Foreign Bible Society and the Church Missionary Society.

Richard Gathro, author of an article on Wilberforce and the Clapham Group, states that this circle of friends can best be remembered by these characteristics:

  • They shared a common commitment to Jesus Christ and had a clear sense of calling.
  • They were committed to lifelong friendship, and mutual submission was the norm.
  • Their advocacy was marked by careful research, planning and strategy.
  • They worshiped both privately and publicly, gathering twice weekly at the Clapham Church.
  • Their friendships were inclusive and focused on the essentials. For example, Wilberforce was a Wesleyan, and his closest friend, Henry Thornton, was a Calvinist.
  • They made family life a clear priority and delighted in each other’s marriages and children.
  • They kept the “long view” on completing projects. Abolition of the slave trade took 20 years!
  • They made no dichotomy between evangelism and social action. Their magazine, The Christian Observer, exemplifies this.
  • Their faith was integral to all of life—family, career, friendship and more. It was a faith that the younger generation calls “24/7.” They talked together of a faith that impacted every part of their lives. There were no “compartments.”
  • They enabled one another versus trying to “have it all.” They recognized each other’s passions and supported one another in addressing them.

The historian Sir Reginald Coupland wrote on the communal strength of the Clapham sect: “It was a remarkable fraternity—remarkable above all else, perhaps, in its closeness, its affinity. It not only lived for the most part in one little village; it had one character, one mind, one way of life. They were mostly rich, living in large roomy houses; but they all were generous givers to the poor. Thornton indeed gave away as much as six-sevenths of his income till he married, and after that at least a third of it. They could mostly have been of leisure; but they all devoted their lives to public service. They were what Wilberforce meant by ‘true Christians.’”

The love of God was the very center of the Clapham Group’s reason for being together and what became their legacy. From this love sprang a group that changed history. May there be many such associations that come to pass in these days, as we are in desperate need of change agents in our culture.

Why Every Marketplace Leader Should Be Part of a Network
An old saying goes, “There is strength in numbers.” Scripture tells us five will chase 100, but 100 will chase 10,000 (Lev. 26:8). There is a dynamic multiplication factor in the unity of numbers. We are a hundred times more effective when we are a unified group. We believe a group of committed believers in the marketplace can make a difference in not only the marketplace, but even the nations.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

OS HILLMAN

Os Hillman is president of Marketplace Leaders and author of Change Agent and TGIF Today God Is First daily devotional.

Why Having More Christians Won’t Necessarily Change Our Culture.


William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce was a British politician and philanthropist who lived in the late 1700s and was a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade.

For centuries, Christians thought culture would change if we just had a majority of Christians in the culture. That has proven to be a false assumption. Culture is defined by a relatively small number of change agents who operate at the top of cultural spheres or societal mountains. It takes less than 3-5 percent of those operating at the top of a cultural mountain to actually shift the values represented on that mountain.

For example, this is exactly what advocates in the gay rights movement has done through the “mountains” of media and arts and entertainment. They have strategically used these avenues to promote their cause and reframe the argument. They are gradually legitimizing their cause through these two cultural mountains through a small percentage of people in society operating at the top of the media and arts and entertainment mountain.

Mountains are controlled by a small percentage of leaders and networks. James Hunter, in a book entitled How to Change the World, highlights what sociologist Randall Collins says about civilizations in his book The Sociology of Philosophies. According to Collins, civilizations have been defined by a very small percentage of cultural philosophers who influence seven gates and supporting networks since our birth as a civilization.

Hunter summarizes, “Even if we add the minor figures in all of the networks, in all of the civilizations, the total is only 2,700. In sum, between 150 and 3,000 people (a tiny fraction of the roughly 23 billion people living between 600 B.C. and A.D. 1900) framed the major contours of all world civilizations. Clearly, the transformations here were top-down.”

What an amazing piece of information. Imagine that. Culture has been defined since the beginning of time by no more than 3,000 change agents, a tiny fraction of the population.

That is why we must realize that making more converts will not necessarily change culture. It is important to have conversions, but it is more important to have those who are converted operate at the tops of the cultural mountains from a biblical worldview.

Those at the tops of these mountains are expressing their liberal worldview through these cultural spheres. The more godly the change agent at the top, the more righteous the culture will be. The more ungodly, the more liberal we will become. It doesn’t matter if the majority of the culture is made up of Christians. It only matters who has the greatest influence over that cultural mountain.

Our Current Status in Culture

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Prov. 29:2).

For the last several decades, culture has become increasingly secular and liberal in the United States. But God has always raised up His change agents to represent His interests and agenda on Planet Earth. God is raising up His change agents for such a time as this.

We know that Jesus will return for a bride, that “He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27). So, despite the trends we may see, I believe we need to operate from a victorious eschatological viewpoint. God’s current activity in the marketplace is part of this.

He is calling us in His church to “love the Lord [our] God with all [our] heart, with all [our] soul, and with all [our] mind” (Matt. 22:37). This means applying God’s mind to the natural order expressed through the cultural mountains of society.

Changing culture rarely happens without the cooperation of other like-minded change agents pooling their resources and influence capital to make change.

William Wilberforce Solves the Slave-Trade Problem
William Wilberforce was a British politician and philanthropist who lived in the late 1700s and was a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780 and became the independent member of Parliament for Yorkshire (1784-1812). He was a close friend of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger.

In 1785, he underwent a conversion experience and became an evangelical Christian, resulting in changes to his lifestyle and his interest in reform. He was 28 years old at the time and wondered whether he could stay in politics and remain a follower of Jesus Christ. His good friend John Newton, who was a converted slave trader and author of the famous hymn “Amazing Grace,” convinced him to stay in politics to model his faith in the public sector. His life was dramatized in a 2007 movie production from Walden Media entitled Amazing Grace.

In 1787, Wilberforce came in contact with Thomas Clarkson and a group of anti-slave-trade activists, including Granville Sharp, Hannah More and Lord Middleton. They persuaded Wilberforce to take on the cause of abolition, and he soon became one of the leading English abolitionists, heading the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade until the eventual passage of the Slave Trade Act in 1807.

The Clapham Group
Wilberforce was part of a small band of influential leaders in England called the Clapham Group. They were a small group of leaders operating in the governmental “mountain” of influence. Its members were chiefly prominent and wealthy evangelical Anglicans who shared common political views concerning the liberation of slaves, the abolition of the slave trade and the reform of the penal system.

The group’s name originated from Clapham, then a village south of London (today part of southwest London), where both Wilberforce and Thornton, the sect’s two most influential leaders, resided and where many of the group’s meetings were held. They were supported by Beilby Porteus, bishop of London, who sympathized with many of their aims.

After many decades of work both in British society and in Parliament, the group saw their efforts rewarded with the final passage of the Slave Trade Act in 1807, banning the trade throughout the British Empire and, after many further years of campaigning, the total emancipation of British slaves with the passing of the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833. They also campaigned vigorously for Britain to use its influence to eradicate slavery throughout the world.

It was not a large group. It consisted of less than 20 leaders. However, these leaders were passionate about their faith, their causes and their commitment to those causes.

If we are going to have a positive influence in culture, we must rethink our strategy from “getting more people saved” to “getting more kingdom marketplace leaders operating in the places of influence.” Both strategies are important, but cultural change will only happen when a small group of kingdom marketplace leaders operate at the top of these cultural mountains by solving societal problems and bringing a Christian worldview into their leadership.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

OS HILLMAN

Os Hillman is president of Marketplace Leaders and author of Change Agent and TGIF Today God Is First daily devotional.

Dying Wilberforce Learned Slaves Were Freed.


July 26, 1833

No man fought harder to abolish slavery than William Wilberforce.

A member of Parliament, he introduced antislavery measures year after year for 40 years until he retired in 1825.

On this day July 26, 1833, as he lay dying, word was brought him that the bill to outlaw slavery everywhere in the British empire had passed in Parliament.

The dream for which he had struggled for decades was now within sight of fulfillment!

Wilberforce had not always been a serious opponent of slavery.

As a youth he was a witty, somewhat dissipated man about town who had misspent his time at Cambridge.

He was invited to every party.

A friend of William Pitt (who became Prime Minister) and a member of Parliament, Wilberforce seemed assured of a bright political future.

And then in 1784, after winning his election in Yorkshire, he accompanied his sister to the Riviera for her health.

Isaac Milner, a tutor at Queen’s College Cambridge and acquaintance from college days was asked along. Isaac agreed.

Milner had become a deep and evangelical Christian.

He began to persuade Wilberforce to commit his life to Christ.

Wilberforce had always thought himself a Christian.

Now he saw that total commitment to Christ was needed.

He struggled in anguish for several months.

During that time he read Philip Doddridge‘s The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul.

Here was a faith far deeper than anything he had known.

Gradually he yielded.

At once he began to wonder if it was proper for him to hold a seat in government.

He confided in Pitt. Pitt, wanting Wilberforce as an ally, urged him to remain.

Unsettled in his conscience, Wilberforce spoke to the rector John Newton.

Newton, best remembered as the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” had been converted while a blasphemous sailor and slaver.

He counseled Wilberforce to remain in politics and champion good causes.

Friends suggested that the young man take up the slavery issue.

Pitt also requested it.

After many doubts, Wilberforce decided it was what God wanted.

He also felt he must tackle causes which would raise the standard of life and morals in England.

The friends who gathered around him became known as the Clapham sect because most lived in the village of Clapham.

Rarely in history have so many owed so much to so few.

These dozen or so Clapham men and women not only fought against slavery but also against every sort of vice.

Many were wealthy.

They employed their worldly goods in behalf of godly causes.

Education of the masses, support of Bible societies, private charity, protection of chimney sweeps, creation of Sunday Schools and orphanages–these and dozens of other causes received their attention.

But it is the abolition of slavery which remains their greatest achievement.

Bibliography:

  1. Meakin, Annette M. B. Hannah More, a Biographical Study. London: Smith and Elder, 1911.
  2. Turner, Charles, editor. Chosen Vessels; portraits of ten outstanding Christian men. (Ann Arbor, Mich. : Vine Books, c1985).
  3. “Wilberforce, William.” Dictionary of National Biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. London: Oxford University Press, 1921-1996.
  4. William Wilberforce and the Abolition of Slavery. Christian History, Vol XVI No. 1

Last updated April, 2007.

By Dan Graves, MSL.

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