Virtue is cultivated over time. It's not a quick fix, and the sooner we stop looking for a quick fix, the closer we will be to being virtuous as a people. This blog will attempt to track the growth of the Virtue Solution Project and will also provide news about courageous moral action across the country.
For more news, please check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/virtuesolution.
|Posted by Josiah Magnuson on August 29, 2017 at 3:20 PM||comments (5)|
https://soundcloud.com/user-778782219/virtue-solution-the-prescription-for-apathy" target="_blank">Listen to the audio message from Josiah Magnuson here.
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.
"Because thou sayest, 'I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;' and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
Is American Christianity at a loss as to how to express the transformation of the heart and its practical results in the world? Is there a coolness that is slowly descending - where people simply don't care? Do many young adults today end in bitterness or spiritual laziness? Is the church shrinking instead of growing due to lack of effective outreach? Sadly, it seems the answer to these questions is often yes.
Modern prosperity has become a smokescreen that hides our true need. Ease has become preeminent. The result has been a failure to fellowship with God. People are being cut off from the Source! It should then be no surprise that fruit is increasingly scarce. We must correct course or risk spiritual suicide. We must conquer apathy by renewing our attachment to the true Vine and His life-giving sap.
The Great Physician gives three parts to a prescription for the disease of lukewarmness in Revelation 3. We can come back into fellowship with Christ by accepting His healing through these means He provides.
1. Gold Tried in the Fire: Leadership by Faith. Looking at I Peter 1:7, we see this command parallels the refining of faith. In a society where we do not have enough opportunity to experience severe hardship or physical persecution, where many think they “have need of nothing,” we must seek out godly examples who do understand hardship, whose faith has been refined because of it. Thankfully, Christ provides us heroes. God’s Word is the primary source of example (I Cor. 10:11) and through its record we gain faith. (Rom. 10:17) But the need for living examples also remains. (I Pet. 5:3) Seeing how God has worked through the lives of great Christians inspires us to also do great things. Much like a stamp or coin die, God imparts His image to us, producing true worth in and through us.
Christ Himself is the ultimate example and is the Author and Finisher of our faith! But in His body, elder men teaching younger men and elder women teaching younger women gives a plumbline for our values. We find in these relationships how to acquire the treasure that God offers, not the vain things of the world. (Matt. 6:20) Leadership from proven heroes points us to Christ, and it moves us to act for Him!
Gold tried in the fire is bought when we seek godly mentors who make themselves available, read the Bible to see Jesus, and expose ourselves to resources that show us historical Christian examples.
2. White Raiment: Love in Righteousness. Revelation 19:8 tells us of the bride of Christ, “To her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” Chapter 7 verse 14 explains that the way to make our garments white is through washing them in the blood of the Lamb. This statement could be taken to mean that the Laodiceans needed the imputed righteousness of Christ through His regeneration, but we should recall that this letter is written to an existing church, not to pagans. Thus, the “white raiment” likely deals with the practical power of Jesus’ blood in the Christian life; that is, the real application of His righteousness. Christ’s cleansing occurs when we confess our sins to Him (I John 1:9) which frees our conscience through forgiveness and thus empowers us to do right. The answer to utilizing this power is the love of God. We need not faith in the abstract but “faith which worketh by love.” (Gal. 5:6)
Righteousness deals with keeping God’s Law. To keep God’s Law, fallen humans need an inner transformation through faith that is made possible by God’s living Word. Romans 1:17 declares that the righteous will live by faith. Faith changes us to have God’s life rather than our own. This Biblical transformation results in love for others, which is the fulfilling of the Law (Gal. 5:14), and thus is the purest expression of the righteousness and “white raiment” Christ is seeking. II Peter 1:22-23 encapsulates these concepts: “See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” Showing the love that fulfills the Law, we take off the clothing of darkness and put on the clothing of light in Christ. (Rom. 13:10-14) This love is the true evidence of Jesus’ life. (I John 3:16-19)
In prosperity, many forget the real needs around us. We would do well to heed James 1:27 – “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Choosing to love places us in positions where we are confronted with the seriousness of the needs, and thus more love is sparked in our hearts.
White raiment is bought when we make the decision to love our neighbors because of faith in and love for God. We can find faith and therefore love by abiding in Christ through meditating on Scripture. Then, that Scripture allows us to act in freedom as we respond to God’s conviction with repentance.
3. Anointing with Eyesalve: Light through the Spirit. Jesus tells us, “The light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:22-23) Jesus is telling us that the light that comes into our eyes must be focused correctly. We see from the following verse (24), the place to focus the light is on God as our Master. We do so by remembering eternity! We must set our affections on things above. (Col. 3:1-4)
Today, the light is often blurred. Much exists to compete for our focus. Worldly entertainment, technology, and anxieties seek to distract us. To anoint our eyes, we need the oil of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We need to keep renewing our minds (Rom. 12:1-2) so that we walk in the Spirit rather than in the flesh. (Gal. 5:16) Then, we will be able to discern and submit to God’s will. What is your vision?
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:14) In order to have hope and a plan for the future, we must follow the Holy Spirit as He speaks through God’s Word.
Anointing eyesalve is bought by renewed worship of God so that we catch a vision for advancing His glory. To catch that vision, we should set aside technological distractions of our age and spend time in prayer, fasting, and singing (Eph. 5:18-19) in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Apathy is overcome where a desire for ease is replaced by a desire for God. The solution is fellowship with Christ – allowing Him to enter the door and sup with you and me. (Rev. 3:20) This fellowship takes many forms but it will always center on God’s Word. And it will always take time – so we will have to “be zealous and repent.” In that sense it’s really about obedience. The three needed medicines include: godly examples, action in love for others, and replacing worldly things with Spirit-filled worship. As we turn our gaze back to Jesus Christ we will find true inspiration and motivation.
|Posted by Josiah Magnuson on July 6, 2017 at 6:00 PM||comments (0)|
We had a wonderful seminar the afternoon and evening of Saturday, June 24. The room was filled, the presentations were on point, and the discussion was an inspiration.
Thank you so much to our committed volunteers who worked hard to help us get ready for the event: Justin Summerlin, Josiah Hill, and Stephanie Magnuson!
Also, special thanks to Jay Kilmartin of The Melting Pot Restaurant for sponsoring the printing of our newest project overview booklet!
You're invited to listen to the audio from the seminar here:
"What is Virtue?" (Rep. Josiah Magnuson) www.soundcloud.com/user-778782219/virtue-solution-what-is-virtue
"The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates" (Dr. Matthew Clark) www.soundcloud.com/user-778782219/virtue-solution-doctrine-of-the-lesser-magistrates
"Steps to Courageous Community" (Rep. Josiah Magnuson) www.soundcloud.com/user-778782219/virtue-solution-steps-to-courageous-community
"The Benefits of Virtue" (Rep. Jonathon Hill plus Q&A/discussion) www.soundcloud.com/user-778782219/virtue-solution-the-benefits-of-virtue-qa
If you'd like a bumper sticker, they are available for a donation of any amount. The three new types include: "Love Your Neighbor," "Freedom Takes Courage," and "Liberty Rests on God." Please visit here to contribute to the Virtue Solution Project!
Thank you again for your prayer and support. May God empower you to keep loving your neighbors as a light for His glory.
|Posted by Josiah Magnuson on March 19, 2017 at 3:35 PM||comments (3)|
Sometimes in life everything hits you at once. This was definitely one of those weeks!
On Tuesday, I was interviewed by the Charleston Post and Courier in regards to our project. The reporter was very kind and even enthusiastic at times about what I told him. However, on Thursday afternoon I received a text message from a high-ranking official in the SC Republican Party. I gathered from what he told me that the coverage the paper was about to put out on me and Jonathon was not going to be good.
I spent Thursday afternoon and evening more or less in dread of what was going to go out. Sure enough, I woke up Friday to find that I was a radical survivalist and doomsday prepper who peddles tinfoil hats! The Post and Courier - affectionately known as "The PC" in conservative circles - had done their utmost.
One likely reason for the timing of this article stems from the fact that Rep. Jonathon Hill and I both voted against significant portions of the state budget on Monday. Further, on Tuesday I spoke out against abortion in front of the Republican Caucus in the House, even calling into question whether dependence on Federal Medicaid money was in our best interests, and then later on the House floor. I know I made a lot of people mad.
But what men intended for evil God intended for good. A lot of people who read the article are actually seeing through the spin and contacting us to ask how they can get involved. I'm excited to see where God leads us from here.
Here are a few points to consider mentioning if you are asked about the article.
1. Jonathon and I are being consistent in our conservatism. We are trying to actually practice what we preach about less government and more personal responsibility.
2. The goal of the Virtue Solution is not to insulate ourselves against disaster. Rather, it is to get people active and out of their comfort zone into their communities, and thereby head off potential problems that may be visible down the road. It's about shining light. We are building missions, not monasteries.
3. There is no problem with a legislator saying the answer for our country is spiritual and moral rather than political. We wish more legislators understood this, because then government wouldn't be growing so quickly into the monstrosity it is.
4. Thinking big about how to preserve liberty is a good thing. We need more people who are willing to tackle the real issues America is facing.
5. The micro-hubs we are working on aren't "stockpiles." They are training centers where we hope to engage people and nourish them in body, mind, and spirit. To the degree we want to have resources on hand for an emergency the intent is to lay out an example of what families and churches should be doing with the larger goal of cultivating self-sufficiency. Think of it as a dispersion or incubation center for mentorship.
If you'd like to volunteer, please let me know. There will be a work day on Friday for the pioneer Virtue Center coffee shop location in Campobello on Friday, so I'll look forward to hearing from you if you can participate. If you can just come for the evening to fellowship around the campfire, that is OK too.
Also, Cameron Runyan will be speaking for us at the Scriptorium in Taylors this Saturday, March 25, at 7pm. Cameron is a former Columbia City Councilman who fought the radical LGBT agenda. He will present a deep look into what is driving the cultural decline in America, and give us a new vision about how the disease can be addressed.
My cell number is 864-420-7933. If you have further questions you'd like answered about the project, please don't hesitate to call.
Thank you for your support and prayers. Let's continue to love our neighbors!
In Christ's Liberty,
Rep. R. Josiah Magnuson
|Posted by Josiah Magnuson on October 20, 2016 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
We had a wonderful discussion at the Roundtable Luncheon and a challenging conference last week. If you were there, thank you for participating, and if you couldn't make it, we missed you! Special thanks to each of our speakers, especially Dr. Dallas who joined us from Georgia.
Work has been finished on the complete presentation syllabus. It contains the outlines from all the speakers we have hosted so far, and adds several more. Please contact [email protected] to request a syllabus if you would like to take the next steps in the Virtue Solution Project!
The syllabus looks at options for community structure, essentials of preparedness, advice on medicinal herbs, cookie recipes, spiritual equipping, and more! I've divided it into four sections: Problem, Paradigm, Plan, and Practice. The suggested donation to cover costs is $25. We have about 10 available right now so be sure to get one soon.
At the conference, we didn't get a chance to go over some of the results of our Roundtable. So here's an overview of the thoughts the men contributed. We are so thankful for each one. Feel free to contact us if you'd like to add your thoughts as well.
General Concept: There was definite agreement on the need for the Virtue Solution Project, the uniqueness of its mission, the balance of elements it attempts to communicate, and the fact that the cure for the disease in our country must be administered within local communities.
Window of Opportunity: We all concurred that this is the right time to pursue such a project. Our country is hungry for leadership. It is a time for decision. With a message of hope, emphasizing outreach and light, we can bring the right challenge to people who will be willing to plug into the effort.
Non-Profit Organization: There was agreement that a "hub" is needed for the project. The goal would not be to control local communities; we absolutely want to keep neighborhood growth organic so that people can meet the needs specific to those around them. But we also want to effectively promote our ideas and communicate best practices. We can do so, for example, by providing various kinds of training with an accompanying certification to those who complete that training. It will be important to have an educational foundation of some form that will be able to raise funds for this central purpose.
Community Centers/Warehouses: There was enthusiasm for the idea of integrating into our plan new "warehouses" and neutral meeting places for local communities. At these centers, preparedness supplies could be stored as a backup system, needed tools could be made available, and classes of all kinds could be hosted. We would need to be careful not to make a community center/warehouse the basis of all project action, however. These centers ideally would provide a prototype and then diffuse action into homes and churches.
"Building" vs. "Preserving": Up to now, our theme has been that we need to cultivate virtue so that liberty and independence are possible in the future. The point was raised at the Roundtable that this way of communicating may be inconsistent with the common view that our country is currently free, and that this liberty merely needs to be sustained or preserved.
The reason we use the terminology of "building new liberty" or "a fresh beginning" is because we see practical liberty as the fruit of virtue. Today's actions have effects in the future. That is indeed one reason why small farming and preparedness factor large in the project, in keeping with Jefferson's vision for an agrarian culture in touch with the laws of nature. But because many patriotic folks today perceive liberty as only a political (or even a military) quantity, and because of the length of time it takes to properly explain otherwise, more thought is needed as to how to appropriately state our mission.
Competition with the Church: There was a word of caution that we need to make sure we do not undermine the work of the local church. God has established churches in part to meet charitable needs - and certainly to meet spiritual ones. There was agreement that we need to work more closely with churches and pastors, as an equipping ministry.
Legal Issues and Accountability: There was also a word of caution in regards to maintaining compliance with all applicable legal guidelines. No doubt our effort will come under attack from enemies of both a political and a spiritual nature. The challenge was given that our project maintain a blameless standard, and the recommendation was given that we consult with legal counsel to ensure the integrity of our project from the get-go, which we are pursuing.
The way this project continues to come together in God's providence is truly exciting. As we've reviewed our mission and goals this summer, we have gained traction in many ways. We trust we can count on you to continue praying and being involved!
Let's keep doing right and rejecting evil, regardless of the consequences. "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21) God's love is the way we conquer the world in the power of our Saviour. Remember that He is the source of true virtue.
|Posted by Josiah Magnuson on September 7, 2016 at 10:40 PM||comments (0)|
Do you believe America is on the wrong track, and realize the popular solutions of the day aren't working? Are you willing to learn the hard truth about what it will take to make liberty possible again? Do you want to take action on the plan the Founders gave us? Don't miss this half-day conference on Saturday, October 8, 2016!
The location will be The Scriptorium in Taylors, SC. The address is 3501 Rutherford Rd. Extension, Taylors, SC 29687. The public is invited starting at 2pm. At 6pm a potluck-style dinner will be served prior to the evening session.
2pm - Dr. Cham Dallas - Threats to America’s Security
2:45 - Josiah Magnuson - Islands of Refuge to Protect Your Family
3:30 - Jim Davis - Your Options for Community Structure
4:05 - Stephanie Magnuson - Key Aspects of Medical Preparedness
4:20 - Josiah Magnuson - Steps for Individual Daily Action
4:55 - Dr. Cham Dallas - The Spiritual Foundations of Leadership
5:40 - Questions and Answers
6:00 - Dinner
7:15 - Rep. Jonathon Hill - Virtuous Moments in American History
7:50 - Rev. Roy Magnuson - How to Add Virtue to Your Faith
Please bring a dish to share for our potluck dinner if you are able. At the close of the evening everyone is invited to stay for fellowship around pie and ice cream.
|Posted by Josiah Magnuson on September 7, 2016 at 10:30 PM||comments (2)|
Does America have an incurable disease? We are in crisis, but there is hope. The key of the doorway to liberty is virtue. We must exercise the courage and character not to comply with evil. To do so, we must be dependent on God and each other rather than on that evil.
Today, We the People are, as a whole, dependent on big government and big corporations in the ways we most should not be. This dependency has made our society fragile. Our resiliency that allows us to weather natural, economic, and cultural storms has been depleted. Worse, our capacity to resist tyranny has been undermined, because officials at the local and state levels are neither held accountable nor feel they have the backing among their constituents they need to stand up for the Constitution. There is a cure – but it will be uncomfortable.
The dependency of America has created widespread apathy. At its root, this problem is a spiritual one. An awakening of the manly desire to act and aspire in the power of the Holy Spirit is required, in opposition to the beastly impulse to seek ease and safety. God’s people must be challenged to take initiative and add virtue to faith, as disciples of Jesus Christ. The starting point is to make God alone the recipient of our love – with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This perfect love overcomes fear. It gives us the motivation to take action. It gives us the strength to endure in hardship. It allows us to serve others.
But our failure to give true love to God has resulted in a failure to give true love to the needy around us. The command to love our neighbors has too often been set aside. In turn, the lack of care from the church has shifted the burden to government and thus exacerbated the dependency of America on sources that seek our downfall.
Today, people take Federal money for lack of help from neighbors or ability to build a solution on their own. This addiction to Federal money makes it even harder for people to stand for the right and allows the Federal government to become more evil and reach further beyond its lawful boundaries. Thus, we see there is a vicious cycle destroying the character of our country.
Dependency on, and participation in, evil has outsourced not only our physical well-being but also our civic liberty. Those who provide and protect command allegiance. Yet we think we can shake unlawful Federal control? If we are to live within a free structure of government in which the people give allegiance to the law and reject usurpers and their illegal actions, we must build that structure anew by providing new avenues of provision and protection. We must again learn the meaning of virtue.
There are no reinforcements coming to save us. Freedom depends on you and me.
|Posted by Josiah Magnuson on September 7, 2016 at 10:20 PM||comments (0)|
By God's grace, both Josiah Magnuson and Jonathon Hill, the co-organizers of the Virtue Solution Project, won victories in their respective SC State House races on June 14. Josiah defeated a 3-term incumbent in District 38 (northern Spartanburg County) with 58%. Jonathon retained his seat in District 8 (western Anderson County), avoiding a runoff with 51%. Please pray for these men as they seek to glorify God by advancing liberty and virtue in the South Carolina legislature.
|Posted by Josiah Magnuson on March 20, 2016 at 5:35 PM||comments (0)|
Did the Founders of our country put a plan in place for us to use if America came to the brink of tyranny? Did they give us the tools to protect our liberty? Yes!
It's time to learn what those tools are - many of them in the Bill of Rights - and take action to love our neighbors, build community self-sufficiency, publish the truth, and stand together to uphold the law! In short, it's time to demonstrate virtue: moral courage. Our country is hungry for courage and leadership, and who will provide it if not you and me?
This conference will explain the true nature of America's disease, what the cure looks like, and what practical steps you can take to help administer the cure.
We will include foundational material similar to that of the previous two conferences, plus more in-depth information in the areas of preparedness and the "doctrine of the lesser magistrates." This is an opportunity to get your friends involved.
With questions, please email Jim Davis at [email protected]
You can see a sampling of videos from the first conference on December 5 here. We've had a great time at the past two events and trust you will help us make this one an even bigger success!
https://www.facebook.com/events/838600699602874/" target="_blank">RSVP today when you click here.
|Posted by Josiah Magnuson on March 20, 2016 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
I recently received a question in regards to how to rebuild virtue if in fact this moral courage and character is not present, on the whole, in American culture today. It's a difficult subject to address. But here is my best attempt.
We find a Biblical command in regards to virtue in II Peter 1:5. I believe in order to see how to add virtue to our faith, we have to look at the context of this passage.
We first of all have to have faith to add virtue to. We know from Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. If faith is the foundation of the house, Scripture is the concrete truck. Looking back to the beginning of I Peter, the way to pour the concrete is "through" the righteousness of God. We must receive the righteous work of Christ - His life, death, and resurrection on our behalf - if we are to have any success with the rest of this project.
Second, we should realize we have already been given all the construction materials we need in Christ. Through God's power we are "called" to virtue. We should see virtue as a crucial element of God's blueprint - the resources for which He has already entrusted to us. The power is found in His great and precious promises, which are made real to us by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. The Holy Spirit allows us to "escape the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Third, we are told that how to add virtue (and the other qualities that follow) is by "giving all diligence." The word for "diligence" (G4710 in Strong's if you want to look it up) is translated numerous ways in the KJV but it has to do with quick devotion to, and care for, a goal or another person. Maybe a good word to sum it up would be "eagerness." So I believe we should cultivate in ourselves a spirit of eagerness to do things even that may seem hard or difficult.
Fourth, we should pay close attention to the "specs" - in this case, the personal pronouns in the passage. The promises are actually given to "us" which in looking back at verse 1 seems to refer to the apostles and/or mature believers. I believe this speaks to the point that virtue springs from virtue. When there are others demonstrating a spirit of courage, it inspires you and me to do the same thing. We should follow the example of mature individuals who have successfully applied God's promises, and where possible, be mentored by them.
Finally, we should realize that this passage provides a command. It simply says "add." There's a sense in which to get virtue we have to "just do it." There's no amount of planning or talking or enacting that will meet the need. We've got to take courageous (though prudent) action.
As far as specific steps to take to rebuild our country, I really believe that one of the most important things we must do is fight the entertainment culture. We the People are too often consumers rather than producers. Just simply creating useful things, especially toward self-sufficiency, goes a long ways toward restoring character. Through being accountable to those around us, and working with them toward these goals, we become a stronger people.
For a further look at this crucial topic, please attend our next conference. It will be held at Christian Assembly of God, 2416 Wade Hampton Blvd, Greenville, SC 29615 on Saturday, April 30, 2016 beginning at 9am.
|Posted by Josiah Magnuson on February 8, 2016 at 10:15 AM||comments (0)|
Good news. We have confirmed our location for the Virtue Solution Conference on February 27, 2016! Many thanks to Christian Assembly of God for agreeing to host our event. The address is 2416 Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville, SC 29615.
Please go to www.virtuesolution2.eventbrite.com to reserve your tickets. The event is free but we'd like to get a count on how many are attending. Also, we will purchase Chick-fil-A lunches for those who would like to help us offset our costs with a $15 donation.
The morning sessions will provide an overview of the project and demonstrate that virtue is the cure to America's disease of apathy and dependency. The afternoon sessions will delve deeper than did our previous conference, addressing practical steps to take toward building a virtuous, prepared community. We will be joined from the Lowcountry by special guest Pastor Gordon Cashwell, who has already set up eight communities with a like vision. You don't want to miss it.
Thanks for being involved! Look to see you on the 27th.