Repeal the 17th Amendment!

Constitutional Minute, 3/19/2024, 17th Amendment, 1913

I. Assumptions on Nature of Mankind
Mankind is sinful, cannot be trusted to lead others.
Mankind is sinful, can be persuaded to vote for us in large mass numbers.
There are differences in the way we think about these ideas.

II. Founders Refuted Direct Democracy
The smaller states would not vote for the constitution proposed unless the Senators were selected by the states and received equal number of Senators. Larger states wanted the people to elect Senators and Representatives, because they had an advantage by doing that. It was a very great compromise for both to do it the way they did.

III. What’s the Real Question? (Control the Masses)
In 1913, Democrats pointed 1) to corruption in the selection of Senators. But now I ask, did they solve the problems of corruption? 2) They said choosing Senators in the state legislators resulted in deadlock. Oh they fixed that didn’t they? NO. It is typical of politicians to lie about what they are really trying to accomplish. This is because they believe it’s ok to treat adults as children.

Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, and Jody Hice (GA), have urged the repeal of the 17th Amendment.

My sense of the matter is that the Senate and House do have different purposes and therefore it follows that they should have different means of coming into being. 3 points: 1) The “bicameral” system reduces the impact of special interests. 2) The 17th has brought more corruption in fund raising. 3) Expansionist federal activity has increased.

If the two are the same and empowered in the same way, one of them is not necessary.

Sources: ;

A Sermon

Text:  John 8:12-20

Title: An Impasse Made Possible, Where is God?

By: Rodney John Tombleson

Some corrections require exceptional, beyond conventional approaches, not because the problem is dire, but because reality is bigger than the experience of our best thinkers.  Jesus could have been crazy, but if you can do it, it’s not bragging!  “God is my witness?”  Yeah sure.  But in this situation, it was true. 

Number of words: _1929__

Delivered: Ascent Christian Church

Prineville, OR

Date: 3/7/2021


—–Here we are again in the wilderness with the ancient Israelites.  Well, sort of.  As was mentioned last week this was one of the 3 main festivals of the Jews at the time of Jesus, the Feast of Tabernacles, Booths, Shelters or Ingathering.  I say one of 3 because these 3 involved pilgrimages to the Jerusalem temple.  Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. This feast was celebrating the successful survival of the people during their desert on the way from Exodus to the promised land.  The camped in tents or booths.  No Winnebagos!  Water was a luxury.  Light was also cherished.  Lights were a huge part of this festival!  When I’m camping, I’ve always wanted to put up one of those big, long strings of lights around my camps!  But every time I see one in a store I get sticker shock and don’t purchase!  God’s presence was in the pillar of fire at night, and candles were lit in the tent of the ark of the covenant.  Even God resided in a tent during this period and did so even for a long time until Solomon built the temple. 

—–The Jewish Festivals all in their own way point to Jesus.  That is a whole study in and of itself. 

Here in this passage, we find Jesus just at the end of or just after the feast.  The 7 candles of the large candelabra had all been lit day by day of the weeklong event but there is no 8th light to light.  It is at this point that Jesus makes this daring declaration, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness but shall have the light of life.”   So just as the people of God walked often late at night, they had the pillar of fire to lead them, so too will God’s people in the New Covenant have a light to lead them, Jesus himself.  The story starts with light so often, Genesis 1:3 and again, John’s Gospel starts in 1:5 with light. 

—–Note here, “the crowd” is not mentioned from chapter 8:1 until chapter 11:42.  At this point, Jesus confronts His adversaries, the Jewish leadership.  This he does in the temple, the public area of the treasury.  This was also where anyone could enter to bring offerings.  And it was right next to the Sanhedrin Hall, where judgements were deliberated and delivered.  It would have been convenient for the Pharisees to arrest and put Jesus on trial right there and then.  

12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not [a]true.” 

—–Jesus makes this daring and grandiose claim.  And what do the Pharisees do?  They start a lawyerly knit-picking party!  They do not focus on truth or falsehood.  They focus on legality (Deut. 17:6, Deut. 19:15), of the claim.  Are legal value and truth always the same?  My Dad used to say, “It may be so, but it isn’t right!”  Or, “It may be right, but it isn’t so!”    

Lexie is on jury duty.  I remember when I was on jury duty.  I only sat on one case which had numerous associated charges against the defendant.  We the jury knew he was guilty of all of them.  But because of legal technicalities, we could not offer a finding on 3 or 4 of the lesser charges.  It was so frustrating. 

14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I am testifying about Myself, My testimony is [b]true, because I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge [c]according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. 16 But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me. 17 Even in your Law it has been written that the testimony of two people is [d]true. 18 I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” 

—–Jesus and the Pharisees were talking past each other.  One of them, however, was telling the truth.  Jesus lowers the boom on them by overruling the objection that he needed 2 witnesses.  You’re right he said, even the law says so, I am one witness, my Father is the other!  Furthermore, He didn’t need to judge anyone in this, merely to identify His purpose in coming.  He was sent by the Father.  God has sent His Son, that is the operating model.  Jesus is not going to be bogged down in legal niceties. 

—–Verse 15: Jesus accuses them of judging according to the flesh.  What?  This means “weak and incomplete” (Morris, Leon, p. 440).  Human desires fall far short of eternal purposes.  It was impossible for the Pharisees to understand where He came from or where He was going.  And they were the best thinkers of their time…?

—–Jesus does not back away from judging, but it is clear he isn’t there for judging at that time.  There will be a time for that.  But that judgement is not the fleshly, “weak and incomplete” kind of the Pharisees. 

Now contrast verse 15 with 9:39. “And Jesus said, For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind.”  (John 9:39). The purpose for which Jesus came into the world will have deep, eternal, consequences.  Rejecting him will produce judgement. 

—–Verse 17 I notice he refers to Himself and God as 2 people or 2 men (“anthropos” generic sense).  Both are persons, and not esoteric concepts, far away notions, made up idols.  And they also qualify as credible witnesses. 

Again, the Pharisees, having been proven wrong, and being more politicians than faith leaders, try to shift the narrative. 

19 So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” 20 These words He spoke [e]in the treasury, as He taught in the temple area; and no one arrested Him, because His hour had not yet come.

Isn’t that a funny question?  It is something like asking where is air?  Who would even dare to ask where is air?  Air is everywhere!  I can feel it blow through my hair!  It’s almost more than I can bear!  There is so much air, we have plenty to spare.  But without air, how would we fair? 

—–Jesus stays on message.   It is only in the Son and in the Son alone that the Father is revealed.  That is John’s key message throughout the book.  Jesus was not to be sidetracked and neither was John as he wrote his Gospel.  He wrote,  “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”   (John 20:30-31)


—–Have you ever felt that God is just too far away?  Do you wonder, when I pray, can He really hear me? 

Think of it this way.  If the sun were any closer to earth, could we survive?  Would the light from it be too bright for our eyes?  Wouldn’t God’s light be overwhelming if we were as close to Him as we might want to be?

There is sufficient light to show us the way.  Do we put in the necessary time and effort to see the way?

—–Try an experiment on your own time.  Go 24 hours without any man-made light.  I mean lights at home, including TV, electronic devices, phones, candles, car lights, flashlights, oil lamps, even reflected light and all of that.  No lights.  Create a brief culture for yourself without any light. 

—–I see a culture we live in right now that is gradually trying to turn out the spiritual light that Jesus has provided us.  But it won’t work.  Light overcomes darkness, every time.

—–Light exposes both bad news and good news.  What we do with that, the choices we make is how we live. 

—–Light and law are very different.  We don’t lawyerly knit pick our way through life.  What an unhappy existence that would be! 

—–Having the light doesn’t mean we can solve every problem, but we see so much better!  I would not want to live without my understanding of Western civilization! And especially without the knowledge of Jesus!  What unique changes He has made!

—–What does light do?  It exposes things unseen in the darkness.  Contours.  Details.  Threat or foe.  Guilt or innocence! 

—–Look a little closer at this grand claim that Jesus makes, “I am the light of the world…” there is a catch.  “…he who follows me…”   I missed that the first time through, and the second time…Wait!  What!??  To see the light, I must follow Him???

Ah but there is good news.  Ask Jesus, tell Him you not only want to but will follow Him, and you’ll experience His promise, that you “shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Just like ancient Israel, we will never be alone, as we have the pillar of fire lighting the way. 

Look, there are always resources we have! 

Choices. Enlightened by His presence in our lives!

Other believers with whom to share and encourage us!

Holy Spirit, living in us, bearing witness!

Light from the Word of God!

Light of Jesus Himself! 


—–Jesus could have just been a crazy person with a bold claim.  “God is my witness!”  Yeah sure.  However, in Jesus’ situation, it turned out to be true.  If you can do it, it’s not bragging.  Jesus came to correct the condition of man.  Man is sinful.  The problem was and is dire!  A correction was brought and still is needed by those who haven’t heard. 

—–Some corrections require exceptional, beyond conventional approaches, not because the problem is dire, but because reality is bigger than the experience of our best thinkers. Was Jesus crazy? Could He do it?  Well then, it’s not bragging!  “God is my witness?”  Yeah sure.  But in this situation, it was true.  Jesus and the Jewish leaders were at an impasse.  But it turns out that this impasse was made possible because Jesus could deliver on his claims! 

—–Also, note the greater context of the claim Jesus makes.  Chapter 8 stands just before what?  Chapter 9!  LOL.  What is chapter 9?  The subject there is a blind man who sees only darkness, but Jesus brings him light.  Jesus says what he will do and does what He says.

1619 Project Has No Credibility

How can the 1619 project be taken seriously?

History is what happened. Sometimes, most of the time, people write what happened, or rather their version of events. Ignoring previous recorders and observers on the formation of the USA is simply creating a new version of events to the liking of one ignorant of real events.

The New York Times (NYT), has little credibility when it comes to fidelity to actual events. The paper hid the Holocaust. They hid the Katyn massacre. Now they promote what are clearly racist lies about the nature and character and even the beginnings of the USA. The NYT has a never ending record of distortion of modern events. They are clearly biased to some liberal view of nearly every matter under the sun. Yet we are supposed to believe their commentary and support for the 1619 Project.

The author of the project, NIcole Hannah-Jones, has little credibility either. She clear has made racist statements to the effect that white people are racists.

Yeah, ok. Some people being racist does not mean all people are racist. That applies to all people and people groups. While she offers the disclaimer that she herself is not racist, her comments in the article above give up her lie about that.

“the white race is the biggest murderer, rapist, pillager, and thief of the modern world,”

Wow. You can’t make this stuff up. With such a gross and broad generalization, it is clear that her mind is not that of a real thinker, and certainly unqualified to evaluate the events of North American history from 1492 to present. Not, at least, in my opinion.

The founders of the USA were caught in the ugly realities of their day, just as we are. Opportunity was found, however, against great odds I think. That opportunity led to the authoring of truly inspired documents. And those documents have led to the development of the most tolerant, creative, powerful, economically viable, exceptional nation, country and culture in the history of the world.

The real question is, how long can it last, especially when some people are trying so very hard to distort it and destroy it.

God Bless America!

The Individual Sovereign

“A well regulated militia being necessary to security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The power to bring death is the assurance of individual sovereignty. The ability to control that power is what makes civility. From hunting food, to defending self, family and community, the ability and skills necessary to kill provide an individual not only with the means to survive, but to thrive and make decisions about polity within the civil society.

Without the power of death, the individual is not really sovereign at all. With that, the individual is vested with a great deal of responsibility to be ethical, morally guided by strong principles to protect his family and community. How can I be assured that my choices are honored if I have not the power to threaten, to depose tyrants, if I have not the power they have assumed to themselves?

Yet, if I abuse that power, I do not deserve that power. In essence this is the definition of crime. Killing and murdering are two distinct things, though the act may look very similar. It is the individual abuse of powers vested in the individual by natural law. The right must be exercised only for defensive or survival purposes, or be lost. The community being threatened by such abuse, now has the responsibility to remove the sovereignty from such an individual. Indeed, one who demonstrates inability to control power over life and death, must not be allowed to have that power any longer.

This is also why those who have demonstrated no disposition to crime, be vested with the right, the authority to keep and to bear arms. This right must not be infringed lest it be lost. It is the responsible person who is the “well regulated.” The mature man, free and strong must protect these values from his position of strength, his position of having the power of lethality. For if the responsible person is infringed upon, then he is vulnerable to the unscrupulous, victim to the irresponsible, and eviscerated by any who abuses the power over life and death, be it scoundrel or force of government. But if he remains free, without infringement, then he can protect and preserve and encourage the civil society.

Choosing to participate in the civil society is an act of the individual sovereign. It is an act of one with the power over life and death. But if that participation is to remain in force, there is the need to freely, but responsibly exercise the use of deadly force. Herein lies the rub with modern society in the United States. It is as though the individual no longer has the choice of participation. This is the offense of “political correctness.” I may not agree with the apparent choices presented by pop culture or media or government. My choices are not honored in the social contract. My choices not being honored, how then am I to remain sovereign?

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, …” (Declaration of Independence).
I do not know whether this necessity has come upon us just yet. Yet! Yet, it seems to fast approach! The time has certainly come to declare the causes which impel us toward possible separation. I’ll keep that for later.

First, to address our options. The second amendment must stand unfettered. I mean all the current infringements operating against it must fall down. Spurious laws infringing it must be repealed. The arguments as to which those are will be too many to cover here, but to suffice it to say, the federal government has become too powerful when it blocks us from enjoying the freedoms of natural law.

The second option is to exercise the 5th article of the constitution. This means the states must regain their original powers of censure over the federal government. A convention of the states may bring amendments, or repeal amendments as seen fit to reduce the power of the federal government from this posture of threatening both individual sovereignty and state sovereignty.

Simply voting is not an option, unless preceded by a massive spiritual awakening, thereby voting in the properly moral people to offices across the land. The federal government is currently operating out of sync with the people. Expecting the federal government to reform itself is laughable at this point.

If the United States of America is to thrive on, individual sovereignty must be addressed at all levels. The rights of the individual have been abrogated at nearly all levels. Currently, across the nation, anti second amendment forces are gathering momentum to infringe upon this most sacred and powerful authority granted to individuals by natural law. The more they succeed, the closer we are driven to the inevitable, the collapse of the civil society, the fall of the social contract, that course of human events in which we must chart a new course. In that course, we will “…appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.” (Declaration of Independence). For it is with our individual sovereignty that we must forge ahead.