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This issue marks 10 years of The Bible Guys publication. Over that time we have watched this outlet of the ministry continually grow in scope and distribution. In July of 1998, The Bible Guys was a 1-page church bulletin with a distribution of about 25 in our local church in Western Massachusetts. That quickly grew, and was soon being sent all across the United States, and to several foreign countries. Today, The Bible Guys is more than a bulletin, and has a distribution of around 1500 and continues to grow. Praise the Lord.
Over the years, we have written scores of articles on many different subjects. The Bible is truly inexhaustible in its scope of the wisdom and knowledge of God. While one might not see eye to eye with us on every topic, most, if not all, readers have been blessed in the broad range of topics we have covered.
As we see the day of the Lord's return drawing ever nearer, we will continue to watch the signs of our times, and highlight them in this forum. Still, there are many things that are contained in the manifold wisdom of God, and all of it is beneficial to every believer and to all mankind. As God continues to bless us in this endeavor, we will be diligent to search His word, and declare it here, in the pages of this monthly publication.
Yes, I did say "MONTHLY." Since the end of last year, we have been in transition, moving our base of operations from Massachusetts to central Oklahoma. In the process, we have printed The Bible Guys bi-monthly (and sometimes late at that). Now, as things have settled down, we can now resume monthly publication!
Adding to the difficulties we found in the move alone, our Savin copier/printer (already showing signs of wear) started becoming less and less reliable: more paper jams, less quality. Also the printing process was tedious, first printing to the copier, then a second step on an inkjet to print the color, then printing mailing labels, and finally folding, assembling, and labeling. So, as we start our eleventh year, we do so with a new laser color copier. With the built-in folding unit, and the use of the mail merge feature, The new Bible Guys will come out of the printer practically ready-to-mail!
Not only will you see an improvement in the overall quality of The Bible Guys look and feel, but we can further enhance the readers' experience with more flexibility in graphics and pictures, something I have hoped to do more since the beginning. In upcoming issues, we will be looking for ways to "get more graphic."
You can be a part of another area I would like to improve: reader participation. I would like to see more of your input. Whether you have a letter to the editor, a general question, or something you would like to see published (a poem, a picture, or a topic that you have written on), please submit it. Anything that is appropriate for this publication is more than welcome.
Some other exciting changes are being made as well! The People of Truth website (www.tpot.org) is in the early stages of being updated. The new site will have a bulletin board, links to news headlines, Bible tools, and much more. When all of the changes are in place, you might even want to make it your home page!
A lot is happening, and there is much more to come. Be a part of it. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, let us know. May God continually use this publication to bless, inform and inspire you for a long time to come! A Christian Nation?
Every July, we celebrate the birth of the United States of America. There is a great debate as to whether the founders ever intended for America to be Christian in nature. Was their intention to maintain a strict "wall of separation" between the new country's religious and political spheres? And just what, if any, was the religion to which the founders so often referred? To be sure, America was never wholly Christian, for at no time were all of her citizens or elected officials born-again believers. As to the vision which the founders and early shapers of this country had for it, you decide: were they mere deists, if anything, as the historical revisionists propose, or was it the God of the Bible to whom they looked? What did they have to say for themselves?
"It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor." George Washington, First President of the United States and Signer of the Constitution
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams, Second President of the United States and Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States and Signer and principal author of the Declaration of Independence
"Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? – that it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? – That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?" John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States
"The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts." "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." John Jay, First Chief-Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and Co-author of the Federalist Papers
"One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law … There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations … I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society." Joseph Story, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (placed on the Court by James Madison)
"We are a Christian people … not because the law demands it, not to gain exclusive benefits or to avoid legal disabilities, but from choice and education; and in a land thus universally Christian, what is to be expected, what desired, but that we shall pay due regard to Christianity?" Senate Judiciary Committee Report, January 19, 1853
"At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged … In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity … That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants." House Judiciary Committee Report, March 27, 1854
"Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all second knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of Him (Proverbs 2,3). Every one shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein." Harvard, 1636 Student Guidelines
"All the scholars are required to live a religious and blameless life according to the rules of God's Word, diligently reading the Holy Scriptures, that fountain of Divine light and truth, and constantly attending all the duties of religion." Yale, 1787 Student Guidelines
"There is no dissonance in these [legal] declarations … These are not individual sayingS, declarations of private persons: they are organic [legal, governmental] utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people … These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation." Unanimous Supreme Court decision in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S., 1892
"Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a divine revelation in [schools] – its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained and its glorious principles of morality inculcated? … Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?" Unanimous Supreme Court decision in the case of Vidal v. Girard's Executors, 1844
Was America ever universally Christian? No. But was it intended to be a Christian nation? What did the political and educational founders say? The word of God declares that "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Psalm 9:17).
God bless America? God's own word shows how that can happen: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord" (Psalm 33:12a).
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chron. 7:14).