One of the forgotten facts of our nation’s history is the essential role that Christianity had in the birth of America’s freedom. It is not a stretch to say that without the Christian Church the foundation necessary to win America’s independence would not have existed.
The history of American freedom traces back to England, where the British crown ruled over the church system of the day. Under that system, all preaching and religious publishing had to be done with a license that acknowledged the king as the “lord sovereign head” of the Church. This requirement squelched religious liberty and gave rise to independent, nonconformist ministers who remained true to the Bible rather than the edicts of the king.
While pursuing faithful preaching and teaching of the Bible wherever they went, these ministers were hounded and persecuted. Eventually, many of them and their followers made their way to these shores in search of freedom.
The hopes of those who came can be seen in the Mayflower Compact, one of America’s charter documents. Here the writers show that their endeavor was undertaken “for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian Faith.” Their desire, in other words, in crossing the Atlantic was to establish a Christian republic where their faith could be practiced according to conscience.
But this desire was not immediately realized. Even across the ocean the British crown attempted to control religion through various religious acts. This was intolerable to America’s dissenting clergy, and their nonconformist churches soon coined the phrase, “No king but King Jesus!”
Most people think the cause is jealousy. The jealous person says: “You’ve got something I want. I’m going to take it away from you.” Envy says, “You’ve got something I want. I can never possess it. So, I’m going to destroy what you have. I don’t want anyone to have it until everyone can have it.”
Unfortunately, it’s this thinking that drives our social behavior and politics today — and it’s destroying us.
For more, read Envy and Poverty by Gary North
For many in our day, worship appears to be a totally irrelevant activity. Sleeping in or catching up on household chores may seem to be a more worthwhile way to spend a Sunday morning in our stressful times.
But forsaking regular worship in this way is a mistake.
Worship is the most relevant activity you can be engaged in. And it’s the regular, faithful worship of God that is critical to reversing the current slide of our culture.
How can this be? How can an activity that appears so optional actually be necessary to our well-being?
First, worship is critical because of the way God made us. Due to the prevailing evolutionary worldview of our time, man is thought of as homo sapiens – man the thinker. Indeed, the ability to think at the level humans do sets them apart, but even more basic to man’s nature is that he is a worshiper – he is homo adorans.
As worshipers, people will always live with something at the center of their lives. And, whatever is at the center will shape them and push them in certain directions. God made us to have Him at the center of our lives, and to live with anything else there is idolatry. The regular worship of God is critical in that it helps to keep us from idolatry and forms us into what God wants us to be.
I just posted another podcast with Pastor Ralph Smith. We’re talking about the Trinity, and how the Trinity is more than just a doctrine that serves to define Christian orthodoxy, but it is the foundation for all of life.
Pastor Smith serves at Mitaka Evangelical Church in Tokyo, Japan. He also is the director of the Covenant Worldview Institute. Ralph has written several books and numerous essays, including Trinity & Reality: An Introduction to the Christian Faith.
This is an interesting and worthwhile podcast.
A new video just produced about worship at Christ Church of Lakeland.
Some needed perspective on Gog and Magog from Gary Demar over at American Vision. . .
“I knew it would happen. The latest incident in Israel has brought out the prophetic speculators again. “A council of rabbis in Israel says their nation’s conflict with Turkey over a flotilla of ‘aid’ ships headed for the blockaded Gaza Strip controlled by the terrorist Hamas organization just may be the beginning of the ‘Gog and Magog process where the world is against us, but which ends with the third and final redemption’” (see here). Picking up on the story, Christian prophecy speculator Joel Rosenberg takes a similar position but with some caution:
There is growing interest in the Ezekiel prophecies and whether they could play out in our lifetime. I believe it is still too early to say anything definitively. But I agree that current events are strikingly consistent with the prophecies and I believe it is possible that we could see these events unfold soon. The mention of “Gomer” in Ezekiel, for example, refers to the modern-day State of Turkey which will be an enemy of Israel and part of a Russian-Iranian alliance against the Jewish state. I’m not saying the prophecy will necessarily come to pass soon, but I can’t rule out that possibility. We’ve never seen a convergence of geopolitical and spiritual events so consistent with Ezekiel 38–39 in history like we are seeing today (see here).
One of the arguments used to futurize Ezekiel’s prophecy 2600 years from the time it was written is the claim that the Hebrew word rosh in Ezekiel 38:2–3 and 39:1 sounds like Russia. So then why doesn’t “Gomer” sound like some modern-day nation? Why Turkey? If God wanted to identify Turkey 2600 years ago, then why didn’t He use some sound-alike word that would identify modern Turkey? The same is true of the other nations listed in Ezekiel.”
Read the rest at America Vision.
Good words on being a husband from CREDENDA agenda:
“A husband must be hard in order to take on masculine responsibility. A husband must be soft in order to avoid crushing those for whom he is responsible. Maintaining these twin imperatives in balance requires great wisdom, far more than men may have apart from the grace of God.
Some men are all velvet—the kind Christ contemptuously dismissed as fit only for a life in politics. “But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses” (Matt. 11:8).
Other men are all brick, mostly between the ears. “Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb” (1 Sam. 25:3).
Other men prefer to alternate between the two. Brick when angry, abdicating velvet when covenantally lazy. These men do not even know what a covenant is. They manage to procure all the negative consequences of both kinds of sin. This is the kind of husband whose wife thinks he is a tyrant, although he has never made one clear decision in all their years together.
The Bible says that a husband must not be harsh or bitter with his wife (Col. 3:19). At the same time, the husband must provide godly strength and leadership. “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Eph. 5:24). The problem is how to be hard enough to lead and soft enough . . . to lead.”
Read the rest here.
Centuries ago the priests of the Old Testament were doing some repair work in the temple. In the midst of the project, they found an important book. They hurried with their discovery to the young king of the day, Josiah. One of the scribes read from the book, and the king responded with sorrow, and tore his clothes (2 Kings 22:8ff.).
Why did Josiah respond in such a way? Because the discovery made that day was the book of the law, God’s written guidelines for how His covenant people were to live. Upon hearing from the book, Josiah realized how far the nation had strayed from God, and he knew he was responsible to do something about it.
The good news is that this discovery prompted Josiah to institute reforms that restored the people to covenant faithfulness.
Recovering the covenant and living in it faithfully is exactly what we need in our own day.
Our society is in huge decline, and everyone knows it. What few realize, though, is how to reverse the slide toward the abyss. Every four years we elect a new president with the hope that maybe something will change, but it never does. Conditions only get worse.
Why? Because we’ve forgotten the covenant.
God calls us to live in covenant with Him. This covenant is a solemn, personal bond whereby He promises to be our God, and we are obliged to live as His people. When we are faithful to Him, we are blessed. When we forsake the covenant and His ways, we suffer.
The Roman poet Juvenal (circa 100 A.D.) wrote regarding the way latter-day Roman emperors retained power and control over the masses that were seemingly more than happy to obsess themselves with trivialities and self-indulgences while their once-great-and-powerful empire collapsed before their very eyes. He wrote:
“Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions–everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.”
I submit that a good many in America are, like Rome of old, carelessly frittering away their God-given liberties, foolishly clamoring for nothing more than government handouts and never-ending entertainment. Millions and millions of Americans (especially males) are literally intoxicated with sports. Sports are no longer a great American pastime; they are now a great American obsession.
Continue at Chuck Baldwin Live