First From Julie's Keyboard:
Upon Moses receiving the Law of the Lord in the days of old, we find among the many instructions a pair of very profound verses on which the chosen people faithfully based their prayer life.
Deut. 6:4,5 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
One God, or One Lord, seems to need no further clarity in this passage. He didn't leave us with the option of many lords, or many gods, with which we would hope to be on some correct path to this "one LORD." It's One. There's only One Way, and He is this Way.
These instructions are so critical to our lives as believers in that Christ has tied these very Words to the completing of the Law and the Prophets. In the Gospel of Matthew and Mark, Christ takes this message to a higher level of living in saying this:
Mark 12:29-31 "...The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."
He must have the focus. He must have the love that renders every other thing or person in this life to pale in comparison to this love for this "One LORD." He needs no round about methods employed for reaching Him. He needs no new programs to help us build our relationship of love with Him. He needs us to turn our attention to Him with all our "heart, soul, mind and strength." If we would truly do this, surely we would encompass the love due unto our neighbor as well.
Whom do we love today? Who is Lord? Is It the One LORD? How well do we love Him today?
Ok, lets go a little futher this weekend with the Second Amendment. First let me say the gun thing is not a big deal with me. I don't hunt, I don't take time to shoot, I don't collect guns, I don't own many guns, I just don't have time for the sport or what ever you would call what one does with guns.
But the Constitution and the Second Amendment is a big thing for me and should be for anyone who calls themselves an American.
For sake of review, lets look at the Amendment itself once more before we begin. (A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.) I like that phase "free state" don't you?
So, how are we going to interpret this Amendment? Lets remember what the Bill of Rights was all about, it was to further limit the Federal Government and their intrusion into our personal lives, so we must place that Admendment in that context as we begin.
I understand today there is another view to be taken, some would use the phase, "Living Constitution" to say it (the Constitution) has to evolve over time to accomodate the changes in our social structure. This is very appealing and sounds reasonable when presented professionally, but is that a correct assumption? Lets go to someone with authority concerning the Constitution, maybe some of our Founders! Do you think they might understand the proper use of it?
"On every question of construction, carry our selves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." ~ Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Conspondence, and Miscellanies, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, editor (Boston: Gray and Bowen, 1830), Vol. IV, p. 373, to Judge William Johnson On June 12, 1823.
That I believe is sound advice and we will attempt to do so before we are through. But lets not stop here but continue on and see what kind of case we can build.
"I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution.
And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful, exercise of its powers. . . .
What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all it's ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modernsense." ~ James Madison. Selections from the private Correspondence of james Madison from 1813-1836, J.C. McGuire, editor (Washington, 1853), p. 52, to Henry Lee on June 25, 1824.
Look where that puts this "Living Constitution" view, it would render the Constitution a none legitimate document according to Madison. I wonder why the nation today is so inconsistant with it's court rulings on various Constitutional issues? Could it be Madison and Jefferson are right?
Or Justice Joseph Story, "The First and
fundamental rule in the interpretation of all [documents] is to construe them according to the sense of the terms and the intention of the parties." ~ Joseph Story. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (Boston: Hilliard, Gray, and Company, 1933), Vol. I, P.383, 400.
I could go on, but I think for now this will suffice to support the fundamental understanding that to correctly interpret the Second Admendment or any question concerning the Constitution, we must go to the time, place, and people of which it was written. So, next week we will begin our visit and just see what we can discover.
May God bless each of you,