Thursday, January 31, 2013

John Marshall

Celebrating the Great Chief Justice

     So, 212 years ago this day, the 4th (and in my humble opinion greatest) Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court received his commission. This man was the longest serving Chief Justice, participating in over 1,000 decisions, and personally writing 519 opinions. He also presided over Landmark decisions such as, Marbury v. Madison, Gibbons v. Ogden, and McCullough v. Maryland. His name? John Marshall.

John Marshall patriot and devoted Christian,
reinforced the principle of judicial review.

     John Marshall, the eldest of 15, was born in 1755 to gentleman farmer, Thomas Marshall, and his wife, Mary Isham Keith. In 1776, both Thomas and John joined the American war effort. John's father was given the rank of colonel and commanded of one of the Virginia regiments, and John became a lieutenant of the Culpepper Minutemen, seeing action at Iron Hill and Brandywine Creek. John was even with the army during the dreaded winter at Valley Forge. Where he was promoted to the rank of captain, and was appointed as Deputy Judge Advocate after demonstrating his ability to analyze legal cases. When the War for Independence was over, Washington himself, who had grown found of Marshall because of Marshall's cheery and reflective nature, urged Marshall to go into politics. In fact, when Washington became president, he offered Marshall the position of United States Attorney for Virginia. Which Marshall declined.

     Marshall was a marvelous attorney, and at the age of twenty five was winning nearly all his cases. When it came to debate, Justice Joseph Story once said that he, "Made it a rule in argument never to admit any proposition asserted by Marshall, however plain and unquestionable it might seem to be, for if the premises were once admitted,the conclusion, however apparently remote, flowed on with an irresistible certainty." In 1782, Marshall won a seat in the House of Delegates, and again in 1789. In 1795, Washington again made a proposition to Marshall, this time offering the coveted position of United States Attorney General. Marshall again denied. However, in 1799, Marshall consented, and ran for congress, winning easily.

     A year later, President John Adams appointed him as Secretary of State. Which he served the nation until the election of 1800. When the growing majority of Democratic-Republicans voted Adams out of office, and replaced him with Marshall's distant cousin, Thomas Jefferson. However, Marshall's career in politics was only just beginning, when Adams realized that a completely Democratic-Republic government would destroy all that the Federalists had worked so hard to build. Adams pleaded with Marshall asking him to take the position of Chief Justice, Marshall, a staunch Federalist himself, accepted. On January 31, 1801, he received his commission.

     To go on about Marshall victories as Chief Justice would be a tedious effort, and would result in a much longer post then the one I've already written! One more thing you should know about Marshall, besides that he defended the Constitution as the highest law in the nation, established judicial review, and made sure that we were a nation governed by laws not men, was that he was a devote follower of Christ. Though we have no quotes from him concerning his faith. There is a story found in the Winchester Republican, that reveals this man's devotion for his Master.

    Apparently, upon arriving at the McGuire Hotel, Marshall, disheveled after the ride, went into the tavern where unbeknownst to him a group of young men had gathered and were discussing the merits of Christianity. Marshall, sitting close by, listened intently. When, finally one of the men turned to him and asked, "Well my old gentlemen, what think you of these matters?" ( So, disheveled was Marshall that no one would guess that he was the Chief Justice.) According to the Republican, "Marshall responded with a 'most eloquent and unanswerable appeal.' He talked for an hour, answering 'every argument urged against' the teachings of Jesus. 'In the whole lecture, there was so much simplicity and energy, pathos and sublimity, that not another word was uttered.' The listeners wondered who the old man could be. Some thought him a preacher, and great was their surprise when they learned afterwards that he was the Chief Justice of the United States."

     America needs men like John Marshall, men who will stand for liberty, men who are virtuous, and  are, "always prepared to make a defense for the hope that lies within them" (see 1 Peter 3:15). Let us raise the next generation to be like this.

Solus Christus,

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A God-less America = A Law-less America

     I saw this article in the Huffington Post yesterday. Very interesting. According to an exit poll done after the 2008 elections, 12% of Americans were religiously-unaffiliated. This article states it's gone up to 19%, and a Gallup poll done in 2012 says America is now 5% atheist, as in Richard Dawkins hard-core type Atheist. The shocking thing about these statistics is that those numbers are continuing to grow. So what? Why should we care whether people are becoming more atheistic or not? I mean, doesn't everyone have a right to believe whatever they want? 

     In America, we tend to have the belief that you can believe what you want, do what you want, and live however you want just as long as it does not keep someone else from living the way they want. As long as it doesn't hurt anyone else it is fine. So does atheism hurt anyone? Does it influence our society, for the worse? The answer is yes. Atheism can and does have a negative affect on society.

     Let me explain. Atheists believe that there is no God; and so because they deny the existence of a moral law-giver, they deny the existence of a universal moral law, and by denying the existence of a universal moral law, they deny the existence of good and evil. Richards Dawkins himself admitted this when he said,

"In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference." - The Blind Watchmaker, pg. 133 (emphasis added)

     So as the number of people who believe this increase, so the number of crimes will increase, and the more "God-less" America becomes, the more Law-less she becomes. So how do we stop this? Well first the church must change her tactics, cause obviously what we're doing now is not working. You can look at the same article to discover that all other religious growth, except Mormonism, is at a stand still. The flashy lights, the rock music, and self-help styled sermons, do not save souls. But Jesus Christ does. We must preach the pure unadulterated gospel. Only the message of Christ can save our nation, and our world.

Solus Christus,

P.S. For more info. Watch this video by Ravi Zacharias on the existence of God. This is just part 1. Click the YouTube button to view the rest.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Restoring America

"The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without it there can be no virtue, and without virtue, there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments"                               
                                                   - Benjamin Rush  ,Father of the American public school

     Faith, virtue, and liberty. Those are the triumvirate of all free societies, and it doesn't take a long look at the situation of America today to see that we are undermining every one of them. All over the country Christians are being told that they can't share their faith, lawsuits are taking place to remove scripture, and the ten commandments especially, from court houses and other public areas. The crime rate is rising, as is the number of divorces, and out of wedlock births. The Democratic National Convention of 2012 chose a political platform of immorality, vowing to protect the people's "right" to promiscuous living, murdering innocent lives, and legalizing the self-destructive practice of homosexuality. As for liberty, just this month the Democrats in Washington have launched an all out attack on the second amendment.

     The foundations of America are crumbling, but they haven't fallen... Yet. Time is running out for America, and the only thing that can save her is Jesus Christ. We must renew our minds with a Christ-centered Biblical worldview, we must follow Christ's commands to form strong moral character, and we must stand for the protection of our God given rights of life and liberty. If we do not protect liberty we will oppress religion, and if we oppress religion we will squelch virtue, and our nation will collapse. Now is the time to act, now is the time to restore America, before it is to late.

Solus Christus,