10 facts about George Washington academia and media won’t tell you

What do you know about George Washington? Do you know the real Washington or just the one that liberal academia and media want you to believe?

With Feb. 21 being President’s Day and Feb. 22 being the anniversary of the actual day George Washington was born, I thought there was no better time to honor again what I consider one of the greatest leaders ever born anywhere. I want to give the 10 facts about Washington liberal media and academia won’t tell you. These are also actually 10 reasons I believe everyone should admire Washington, no matter what their political persuasion.

Let me begin by highlighting a few bullets of background for some who might not be as familiar with this pillar of American life beyond the basics, as documented by the University of Virginia and the History Channel.

According to Encyclopedia Virginia and history.com, on Feb. 22, 1732, George Washington was born to a family of middling wealth in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the second son from the second marriage of a colonial plantation owner.

In 1752, at 23 years young, Washington joined the British army and served as a lieutenant in the French and Indian War.

In 1759, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, a wealthy widow, and adopted her two children. (She had two other children, but they had passed.)

In 1775, at 43 years old, Washington became the commander in chief of the Continental Army and, in 1783, led America to victory over the British after eight years of war.

As far as his political career, Washington served as a member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia from 1759–1774. He was also a member of the first and second Continental Congresses in 1774 and 1775. But while others were signing the Declaration of Independence, Washington was already on the battlefield fighting for independence. As the president of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, however, Washington was the first signer of the U.S. Constitution.

In 1789, Washington became the first president of the United States of America. He was unanimously elected by the 69 presidential electors to serve his first term from 1789 to 1793. He was then again unanimously elected for his second term from 1793 to 1797. He declined a third term.

Here are my Top 10 reasons why I think everyone should admire George Washington, and why I believe his life is still worthy to reflect today. (These are also the reasons I often cited the Father of America’s words and works among our other founders in my New York Times bestseller, “Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America.”)

10. When it came to decency, civility and morality, Washington stood for conservative values. He believed in traditional faith, freedom and family, as you’ll read in the following paragraphs. Even as a youth, Washington was a role model for many. At just 14 years of age, young George wrote out in freehand on his own volition, “110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” At age 17, George’s first official job was as surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia.

9. Washington believed in the power of grit, guns and God. While others were frightened by signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington was on the front lines battling for its tenets. He faced his fears, endured grave hardships and even stared death in the eyes while helping others to do the same. Who can forget the severe conditions of Valley Forge? And what about the repeated threat of personal injury?

Washington even dodged bullets on several occasions. The University of Virginia documents a few of them: “at Braddock’s Defeat where two horses were shot under him and he had four bullets in his clothes; at the final skirmish of the Forbes expedition, on November 12, 1758, where he rushed between two parties of British who were firing at each other; at Kip’s Bay skirmish on September 15, 1776, where he rashly exposed himself in an attempt to rally the militia; at the battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777; and when making a reconnaissance of the British after the landing at the Head of Elk on August 26, 1777.”

8. Washington wasn’t afraid of public opinion or challenging the status quo. He wasn’t politically correct. As history.com explained, “He struggled with advisers over what sort of image a president should project. He preferred one of dignity and humility and stumbled when encouraged to act out of character or monarchical. … A member of the Virginia planter class, he grew increasingly uncomfortable with the hypocrisy of owning slaves, yet publicly he promoted a gradual abolition of slavery. In his will he requested that his slaves be freed upon Martha’s death.” As far back as 1786, Washington said, “There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it.”

7. Washington was cool but could be hot-headed – a man of integrity and character yet just as human as the rest of us. He could be stubborn to a fault, and had a dry sense of humor. Again, history.com explained, “Washington possessed that intangible quality of a born leader and had earned a reputation for coolness under fire and as a strict disciplinarian during the French and Indian campaign. … An extraordinary figure in American history and unusually tall at 6′ 3”, Washington was also an ordinary man. He loved cricket and fox-hunting, moved gracefully around a ballroom, was a Freemason and possibly a Deist, and was an astute observer of the darker side of human nature. His favorite foods were pineapples, Brazil nuts (hence the missing teeth from cracking the shells) and Saturday dinners of salt cod. He possessed a wry sense of humor and, like his wife Martha, tried to resist the vanities of public life. Washington could also explode into a rage when vexed in war or political battles. Loyal almost to a fault, he could also be unforgiving and cold when crossed. When Republican Thomas Jefferson admitted to slandering the president in an anonymous newspaper article for his support of Federalist Alexander Hamilton‘s policies, Washington cut Jefferson out of his life. On at least one occasion, Washington’s stubbornness inspired John Adams to refer to him as Old Muttonhead.”

6. Washington didn’t need power and wasn’t greedy. He was a first-class servant leader, who walked what he talked. He believed so firmly in our newly founded but poor republic that he took no pay for his service during the Revolutionary War (besides official expenses). And after eight long years of leading the war and retiring to his peaceful estate at Mt. Vernon, he reenlisted rather than stay retired. It is amazingly commendable – if not astonishing – that Washington came out of military retirement to serve two terms as president. He even had to borrow money to pay off debts and travel to his own inauguration.

5. Washington was passionately patriotic and believed in American Exceptionalism. And he didn’t allow personal obstacles or physical ailments to hinder his service to God, country and family. He wasn’t looking for a free ride or easy road.

Beginning at age17, Washington suffered multiple malaria attacks throughout his life. He even had a case of smallpox and dysentery, and he struggled with depression and hearing loss.

In 1779, during the middle of the Revolutionary War, Washington “feared for his survival,” not from bullets but an abscess of the tonsils. After all he had been through, at 57 years old with his war-torn body and reportedly a single real tooth in his mouth, Washington left behind the comfort of his estate on the edge of the Potomac River and traveled eight days to New York, where he was sworn in as president.

4. Washington was a devoted and traditional family man. In 1759, at 27 years of age, Washington married widow Martha Dandridge Custis. Though Martha and George had no children, he adopted her daughter and son from her former marriage. They also provided personal and financial support to nephews, nieces and other extended family members.

If it’s true that behind every great man is a great woman (and it is, as proof even with my wife, Gena, who does more for me and others than the world will ever know), then Washington’s wife, Martha, is definitely to be credited for part of the power behind the myth of the Father of our Nation. For example, for each of the eight years of the Revolutionary War, Martha came to Washington’s winter encampments (including Valley Forge) to boost his morale as well as that of the other officers.

No doubt Martha struggled to support Washington’s departure as general and president. Imagine how she must have repeatedly worried about him and his welfare over the years on the battlefield. Imagine her relief as he finally came home from eight years of leading the Revolutionary War only to “give him up again” for his country’s service as president. Though Martha refused to attend his inauguration, she stood by her man, living with him at the temporary U.S. capitals of New York and Philadelphia.

Although Martha and George had a strong relationship, there’s no doubt he had a lifelong love interest in the beautiful and intellectually astute Sally Fairfax, the wife of his friend George William Fairfax, whom he had met when he was just 16 years of age. Sally’s father would never allow her to marry someone other than from a wealthy, upper class like her family, and Washington didn’t fit the bill.

Mt. Vernon historians noted how Sally “remained ever faithful to her marriage” and yet “a good friend of Washington and his wife.” In 1773, Sally moved with her husband to England, where he died in 1787. In 1798, just a year before Washington’s death, he wrote Sally, urging her to return to Virginia. He added that nothing could “eradicate from my mind the recollection of those happy moments, the happiest in my life, which I have enjoyed in your company.” Sally never returned and died alone in England in 1811.

George was married to Martha for roughly 40 years. Just prior to her own death in 1802, Martha understandably destroyed nearly all of Washington’s letters to her, though three did survive.

Regarding Sally Fairfax, no man is perfect, and that included George Washington. He himself confessed: “We must take human nature as we find it. Perfection falls not to the share of mortals.” Remembering that was likely the key to his humility, service and mercy to others.

3. Washington highly revered God and religion, often elevating their irreplaceable and invaluable roles in our republic. For example, in 1789, during the same time when the First Amendment was written, then-President Washington signed into law the Northwest Ordinance, which states, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

On Oct. 3, 1789, George Washington issued the First Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation to God: “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God.”

Regarding Washington’s often-quoted practice of leaving church services before receiving the Eucharist (Communion), maybe his own struggle was born from his wrestling with his own humanity and immoral thoughts of Sally Fairfax or possibly even the human toll that incurred when leading the war. His refusal to receive the Eucharist doesn’t prove his unbelief in Christ but rather supports it and his reverence for what the Communion elements represented. (That makes more sense to me than Paul F. Boller, respected presidential historian, who wrote in 1963, “It cannot be said that Washington ever experienced any feeling of personal intimacy or communion with his God.”)

For a true reflection of Washington’s genuine Christian faith and intimacy with God, one must-see at Washington’s own Mount Vernon estate the museum’s exhibition display and video (set up within a mini-chapel setting) of how he esteemed and served God and churches – not exactly what you read in today’s public school textbooks or hear in classrooms. What you’ll watch and read there is that he was as passionate a believer in Jesus Christ as most Christians today. If only we taught about his religion what is displayed at the museum, rather than trite comments that he was liberal, a deist and not intimate with his Savior.

2. Washington opposed big government and big-government spending. He led our nation with frugality and self-sacrifice, again, refusing to accept pay as commander in chief of the Continental Army. He was reluctant even to be paid as president, but was convinced by others it would not be a good precedent for future presidents. So, Congress gave Washington $25,000 a year, the largest salary in the U.S. for personal service at the time (2% of the national budget).

It should be noted that being president then didn’t have the thousands of perks that come with the position today, including a free mansion in which to live. For example, after staying for 16 months in New York, George and Martha rented (initial lease was two years) a mansion in Philadelphia (the nation’s capital before D.C.), where they lived from 1790-1797. Washington had to use his salary for both official duties and to maintain his personal affairs.

Much is made today of Washington’s financial fortune (USA Today once labeled him “the big daddy of presidential wealth”), but most overlook that his wealth was largely amassed in the Mount Vernon estate – which he inherited from his elder half-brother in 1761, Martha’s land and slaves inherited from her former husband, and in Washington’s presidential salary that only started after he was 57 years old.

Sure, he had lots of assets, but his liquidity didn’t flow like the wealthy today. Remember, back then, there was no established national banking system. Bartering and oscillating state currencies and commodities were the names of the game (until the 1792 Coinage Act), with the value of land fluctuating sharply based upon weather and crop production. As the Atlantic put it, “Because there was no central banking system and no regulatory framework for commodities, markets were subject to panics in ways unknown today.” Again, consider that at 57 years old, Washington even had to borrow money to pay off debts and to travel to his own inauguration.

1. Washington died like he lived, gracefully and full of grit.

In 1797, after winning the Revolutionary War and serving two presidential terms in office, Washington finally retired to Mount Vernon at 65 years of age, but he would only enjoy his rest for two years.

On Dec. 14, 1799, George Washington died of a severe respiratory sickness. His beloved Martha died only three years later, on May 22, 1802.

In his will, he humbly and simply referred to himself as “George Washington of Mount Vernon, a citizen of the United States, and late President of the same.”

At first, the Washingtons were laid to rest in an inconspicuous unmarked brick tomb at Mounty Vernon. But their final resting place was in a crypt there that bears the title of him whom refused to be king. The engraved words over the tomb make known the title by which people knew Washington best back then – not as president but general.

The inscription reads: “Within this enclosure rest the remains of Gen. George Washington.” And over the door of the inner tomb is inscribed these large words from Jesus Himself in the Gospel of John (11:25): “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”

Washington’s good friend Henry Lee probably summarized his life, leadership and legacy best in the eulogy for our first president: “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

And so he remains, or should remain, always. His type of character, integrity and leadership are rare and desperately needed today maybe even more so than they were in our republic’s formation.

During this week we honor President’s Day and Washington’s own birthday, please consider sharing this article’s information on your social media and with those you love so that they can also know the real George Washington.

God, please give the U.S. more men and women like George and Martha Washington.

(For more on the monumental figure of George Washington, I recommend the amazing books, “Sacred Fire,” by Peter Lillback and Jerry Newcombe, and “The Bulletproof George Washington,” by David Barton)


 

 

Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication 

 

Chuck Norris honors our 1st president, who ‘believed in the power of grit, guns and God’

Source: 10 facts about Geo. Washington academia and media won’t tell you

In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – How to Deal With Sin

We can’t eliminate sin from our life, but we can confess it to the Lord and draw closer to Him.

1 John 1:5-101 John 2:1-6

Christ’s sacrifice on the cross paid for all our sins, but believers are still susceptible to temptation and disobedience. Therefore, we must understand what to do when we yield to our sinful desires. Knowing our struggle, God has graciously given us a way to receive cleansing so we can continue to grow in holiness. We’re to … 

• See sin as God sees it. Our Father is absolutely pure, and to Him, every sin is an offense that violates His law, grieves the Holy Spirit, and belittles Christ’s sacrifice. 

• Take responsibility for it. Trying to soften sin’s heinous nature by calling it a mistake, weakness, or shortcoming is unacceptable. We must acknowledge our guilt and disobedience rather than make excuses or blame others. 

• Confess it. Agreeing with God about our wrongdoing is a blessed privilege because He then washes us clean of the guilt. And what’s more, He empowers us to turn away from that sin in repentance so we can begin walking afresh in holiness.

Although John explained how we are to deal with sin, his main purpose was to encourage us to turn from it and walk in obedience to God. The longer we are Christians, the less sin should characterize our life. 

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 1-2 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Never Say “Can’t”

Bible in a Year:

Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.

Exodus 4:12

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Exodus 3:7–10; 4:10–15

Jen was born without legs and abandoned at the hospital. Yet she says being put up for adoption was a blessing. “I am here because of the people who poured into me.” Her adoptive family helped her to see she was “born like this for a reason.” They raised her to “never say ‘can’t’ ” and encouraged her in all her pursuits—including becoming an accomplished acrobat and aerialist! She meets challenges with an attitude of “How can I tackle this?” and motivates others to do the same.

The Bible tells the stories of many people God used who seemed incapable or unsuited for their calling—but God used them anyway. Moses is a classic example. When God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he balked (Exodus 3:114:1) and protested, “I am slow of speech and tongue.” God replied, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? . . . Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (4:10–12). When Moses still protested, God provided Aaron to speak for him and assured him He would help them (vv. 13–15).

Like Jen and like Moses, all of us are here for a reason—and God graciously helps us along the way. He supplies people to help us and provides what we need to live for Him.

By:  Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

When have you felt incapable or ill-equipped for a task or role you felt God calling you to fill? How did God help you?

God, I’m so glad you didn’t leave me here on this earth to do it all on my own. Thank You for Your love and guidance and the people You’ve placed in my life.

http://www.odb.org

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Maintaining Spiritual Integrity

“In order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:10).

Seek to have a life that bears scrutiny.

In our society, those whose lives are marked by moral soundness, uprightness, honesty, and sincerity are usually thought of as people of integrity. However, society’s standards often fall far short of God’s. Spiritual integrity calls for the highest possible standard of behavior and requires supernatural resources available only to those who trust in Him.

Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:9-10 outlines the path to spiritual integrity. It begins with love that abounds with knowledge and discernment (v. 9) and progresses to the pursuit of excellence (v. 10). The result is sincerity and blamelessness—two characteristics of godly integrity.

The Greek word translated “sincere” in verse 10 speaks of genuineness and authenticity. It literally means “without wax” and is an allusion to the practice of inspecting pottery by holding it up to the sunlight. In ancient times pottery often cracked during the firing process. Rather than discarding cracked pieces, dishonest dealers often filled the cracks with wax and sold them to unsuspecting customers. Holding a pot up to the sunlight revealed any flaws and protected the customer from a bad purchase.

Following that analogy, biblical integrity requires that you be without wax, having no hypocrisy or secret sins that show up when you’re under pressure or facing temptation.

“Blameless” speaks of consistency in living a life that doesn’t lead others into error or sin. Your standard is the same away from church as it is at church.

Being blameless isn’t easy in a world that unashamedly flaunts its sinful practices. You must guard against losing your sensitivity to the heinousness of sin and unwittingly beginning to tolerate or even accept the sin that once shocked you. That’s when you lose integrity and begin to cause others to stumble.

Diligently pursue integrity with a view toward glorifying Christ in all things until He returns!

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God that He is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in His presence blameless with great joy (Jude 24).
  • Prayerfully guard your heart and mind from the subtle evil influences that can erode your integrity and make you ineffective for the Lord.

For Further Study

Read Genesis 39.

  • How was Joseph’s integrity challenged?
  • How did God honor Joseph’s commitment to integrity?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur 

http://www.gty.org/

Joyce Meyer – Humble Yourself

Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility].

— Philippians 2:5 (AMPC)

Humility comes from brokenness; brokenness hurts so bad, but it “hurts good.” Brokenness comes when we learn that we are not hotshots after all. Brokenness comes when we judge others, and then realize that we do the same things they do. Brokenness comes when we think we are going to step out and do something great, and then fall flat on our face because we forgot to stay plugged in to God.

Brokenness comes when we give our opinion, knowing that we are absolutely right to the point of arguing about it, and then find that we are wrong. Brokenness is good for us. Brokenness leads to humility, and humility precedes honor (see Proverbs 15:33).

Prayer Starter: God, as hard as it may be, as much as it hurts, thank You for brokenness, amen.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –The Leverage of Prayer

Do you understand what you are reading?

Acts 8:30

We would be more able teachers, and not so easily carried away by every wind of doctrine, if we sought to have a more intelligent understanding of the Word of God. As the Holy Spirit, the Author of the Scriptures, is the only one who can enlighten us rightly to understand them, we should constantly ask His help to lead us into truth. When the prophet Daniel was called upon to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, what did he do? He set himself to earnest prayer that God would open up the vision.

The apostle John, in his vision at Patmos, saw a book sealed with seven seals that none was found worthy to open or so much as to look upon. The book was afterward opened by the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who had prevailed to open it; but it is written first, “I wept much.” The tears of John, which were his liquid prayers, were, so far as he was concerned, the sacred keys by which the folded book was opened.

Therefore, if, for your own and others’ profiting, you desire to be “filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,”1 remember that prayer is your best means of study.

Like Daniel, you shall understand the dream and its interpretation when you have sought it from God; and like John you shall see the seven seals of precious truth unloosed after you have wept much.

Stones are not broken except by a constant, diligent use of the hammer; and the stone-breaker must go down on his knees. Use the hammer of diligence, and let the knee of prayer be exercised, and there is not a stony doctrine in revelation that is useful for you to understand that will not fly into shivers under the exercise of prayer and faith. You may force your way through anything with the leverage of prayer. Thoughts and reasoning are like the steel wedges that give a hold upon truth; but prayer is the lever that pries open the iron chest of sacred mystery, that we may get the treasure hidden inside.

1) Colossians 1:9

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Delights To Answer Prayer

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11).

Regular readers, please see a special note for you at the foot of this devotional.*

When Michele was eleven, her best friend left their school to go to a different school. Michele’s class was small, and she didn’t feel close to any of the other three girls in the class. She wanted so much to have a best friend that she could talk to.

That summer before sixth grade, Michele’s mom said, “Why don’t you pray that God will send a new girl to your class next year to be your close friend?” She took her mom’s advice and started praying. But she didn’t have much faith. Where would a new girl come from? And even if a new girl did come, would she really want to be her friend? Michele dreaded the beginning of the new school year, because she didn’t believe God would answer her prayer.

Then in August, a new girl named Kelly and her family started coming to Michele’s church. God had moved her all the way to Kansas from the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean! That fall, Kelly was in Michele’s sixth grade class. She was so cheerful and friendly that it was easy for Michele to get to know her. They quickly became best friends and went through the rest of high school together. They even attended the same college for four years, and still keep in touch today.

Michele would tell you now that God delights to answer the prayers of His children. It brings Him glory when we ask and truly depend on Him for things we need. If we ask for things that are good for us, He is pleased to give them to us at just the right time. But sometimes He goes beyond giving us what we ask for. Often, His gifts are better than anything we could have asked for or even imagined. And His gifts are always the best thing for us.

God delights to answer the prayers of His children.

My Response:
» What am I praying for?
» Am I praying with faith that God will answer in the best way?

Denison Forum – Queen Elizabeth tests positive for coronavirus: Why “bad ideas have victims”

Buckingham Palace announced yesterday that Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive for coronavirus. The ninety-five-year-old monarch is reportedly experiencing mild cold-like symptoms but expects to continue light duties at Windsor over the coming week.

One fact the pandemic has made emphatically clear is that we are each mortal. We enter this world with nothing and we leave it with nothing. One day, the queen will stand alone before the King, as will we all: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

If we could all remember that fact, our world would be dramatically transformed. My friend John Stonestreet is right: “Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have victims.”

“The biggest war in Europe since 1945”

CBS News reported yesterday that Russian commanders have received orders to proceed with an invasion of Ukraine and commanders on the ground are now making specific battlefield plans. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said all signs suggest that we are on the brink of an invasion. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC that Russia is planning “the biggest war in Europe since 1945.”

Meanwhile, the Winter Olympics came to a close in China yesterday, ending what the New York Times is calling “a games marked by triumph, heartbreak, and scandal.” China’s horrific treatment of the Uyghur people has been in the headlines since 2014, with more than a million Turkic Muslims in this northwestern region of China incarcerated. This is being called “the largest-scale detention of ethnic and religious minorities since World War II” with forced abortions, forced sterilization, forced birth control, forced labor, torture, and brainwashing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in such complete control of his government and military that the Moscow Times called him “a modern-day Tsar.” China is ruled by the seven members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo but led in actuality by Xi Jinping, who is general secretary, president, and head of the military.

Both men reflect the cultural narratives of their cultures. Russia has historically been governed by a single strong leader, whether a tsar, a General Secretary of the Communist Party, or a president. China has functioned in a similar fashion across its history, whether its leaders were emperors or Communist officials.

When we usurp God’s throne

By contrast, America’s founding ideal is captured in our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” This ethic is itself founded on the Judeo-Christian worldview and its claims that every human is equally created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) but also equally fallen and sinful (Romans 3:23).

Here we find the two catalytic reasons for our republic: we are each equally deserving of life, liberty, and happiness, but we are each so finite and fallen that none of us can be trusted with unaccountable power and authority. For both reasons, there should be no kings, tsars, despots, or otherwise unelected leaders among us.

In Abraham Lincoln’s immortal words, our founders created a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

My purpose is not to extol my country in contrast with others. Admittedly, our nation, as it is led by fallen people, has not fully lived up to our constitutional values. The man who wrote the Declaration was a slave owner who fathered children by one of his slaves. It took a civil war and another century of civil rights advances to eradicate governmentally sanctioned racism and Jim Crow laws. We still have far to go to realize fully our ideals.

But my point is this: the equality of all people is our ideal. Like Queen Elizabeth II, we are all mortal: “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). When we usurp God’s throne and seek to be our own gods (Genesis 3:15), tragedy soon ensues, whether in the garden of Eden, Ukraine, China, or our own backyards.

“Christianity is a power religion”

Imagine a world in which every person valued every other person equally as made in God’s image. Imagine a world in which our leaders saw themselves as servants of those they led (cf. John 13:14–15). These ideas would have monumental and transformative consequences for our entire world. By contrast, rejecting them leads to victims of every kind, including adultery in marriage, child abuse in families, crime in our cities, and wars against nations.

So, it turns out, John Stonestreet is right about the power of ideas. John F. Kennedy noted, “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” This fact shows us a powerful way Christians can respond to the crisis in Ukraine, with the Uyghurs, or anywhere people are oppressing people: we can and should pray for God to change the minds and hearts of the oppressors.

Christians as disparate as David French and Franklin Graham are praying that God “turns Vladimir Putin’s heart from war,” as French states. We should join them, and we should do the same for Xi Jinping. If you doubt God’s ability to change the heart of someone who seems so far from his word and will, remember what the risen Christ did with Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1–22).

As we pray for the Holy Spirit to convict people who are sinning against people, let’s remember to pray the same for ourselves. Peter Marshall was right: “Christianity is a power religion. Christ has the power to recreate men from the inside out.”

R. C. Sproul asserted: “The Spirit brings order out of chaos and beauty out of ugliness. He can transform a sin-blistered man into a paragon of virtue. The Spirit changes people. The Author of life is also the Transformer of life.”

Is he transforming you today?

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