Sunday, July 24, 2005
Perhaps the Creator-Redeemer distinction could be made clearer. The church and the state are separate entities or institutions. Because they were joined in European countries, inhibiting religious freedom, the first amendment was declared. This is how Dr. Kennedy in Lord of All explains the problem. I had not seen it quite so well put. The question is what did Madison mean when he penned the first item in our Bill of Rights. It is obviously an attempt to keep the government from meddling in church affairs, which government trampled in 1954 by inhibiting free speech from the pulpits by threatening the loss of tax-exempt status. In other words, a pastor’s freedom was made conditional.
The only wall in keeping the church out of government is the notion of pastors, priests, or bishops storming the legislature and actually taking over the government by force, or a declaration of church rule. If the people want to elect them, (yoo-hoo)…if the people, I said, want to elect them, Amen. The exchange of ideas being stifled in this free country is ludicrous, anti-American confinement!
What does Kennedy say? There is no separation between God and State. Yeah, I knew that. But there you have it in a clear, concise declaration…God is to have free rein, and free Reign, in these here United States! Psalm 9:17 reminds us “The wicked return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.”
Yes, this is what I’ve been trying to say. Theocracy—ruled by God, as in let the leaders and people and the pastors scream the Gospel loud and clear. No one will be jailed for not believing it, for not going to church (or I would be), or for going to a non-Christian church! Offended? I’m sure of it. We are a country of the offended…we speak our minds and we had better get used to it or pay the price of tyranny! Were we offended on 9-11? Did we shut down the mosques? Well, not yet. But remind me again…when was that last Christian jihad? Oh. Suicide bomber? Right. Violent demonstration? Don’t push it!
Here is my beef with our dear and brilliant founder, James Madison. He writes in his famous (uh, right) Memorial and Remonstrance:
“Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, inHis logic is that it is easier to change an established religion than to establish one in the first place. I can see his argument. To establish anything would be to set a precedent. On the other hand, he didn’t, nor could he see what was coming: The silencing of the Lamb and then, the rush from all corners of the earth. He goes on, in the same document, to proclaim his confidence in Christianity’s self-sustaining power. Any thoughts?
exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any
particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?”…
The unanimous Supreme Court Trinity decision of 1892, after ten years of reviewing the evidence: “These [evidences] and many others which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declaration to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.”
Cool it…Not the Christian Church in power! The Judeo-Christian God, and none other beside Him!
Does this bar Islam or Atheist leaders—it should!
Amendment V: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compenation.”
Friday, July 22, 2005
History for Mommies
This republic (not democracy!) was begun on the premise of “inalienable rights endowed by our Creator.” It is because those rights are given by an unchanging God that this country has been stable, like a rock! Every time those fundamental rights are altered by mind-altered judges, the rock quakes and crumbles. Why? Because, being changed by men, our rights become alienable. I don’t believe this is being taught in our best law schools…at least lawyers, judges, and legislators are not acting like it. Ask Alan E. Sears of Alliance Defense Fund about the astounding condition of our law schools.
What are these rights and where do they come from? Life—“Thou shalt not kill.” Liberty—“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” ~Leviticus 25:10 Our first calling is to serve Him who created us…if we must serve the State or Men, our allegiance is not to God. Pursuit of Happiness—“Take joy in doing God’s will.” Psalm 40:8 Property—“Thou shalt not steal.”
The authority of God’s Law and freedom are utterly inseparable. Does this make Iraq's new freedom seem unstable? The law of their god is not the same. This raises questions about Iraqi government, since Allah and freedom of religion are in direct conflict. What will their freedom look like? We will know all too soon…or not soon enough.
“Liberty can no more exist without virtue and independence than the body can live and move without a soul.” ~John Adams
“The diminution of public virtue is usually attended with that of public happiness, and the public liberty will not long survive the total extinction of morals.” ~Samuel Adams
“If vice and corruption prevail, liberty cannot subsist; but if virtue have the advantage, arbitrary power cannot be established.” ~Algernon Sidney
“Without virtue, there can be no liberty.” ~Benjamin Rush
These are not archaic, passé, or un-evolved. As a matter of fact, they are the perfect proof that evolution is an absurd notion!
Amendment IV: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Sometimes our immediate needs are real and urgent. Who can blame Christians who are this very day “complaining” about the political situations where abortion, euthanasia, eminent domain, gay marriage, Christian oppression, gun control, illegal immigration, socialism…are hovering over Western Civilization like the blade of a guillotine. Are some becoming embittered toward God? If Christians are tracking the record…they will soon realize they have only themselves, or their Christian ancestors, to blame. The needs are imminent so how will we now respond? Did God send the manna because of the remnant? The faith of Moses? Or was He tired of the complaints? Perhaps it was all of the above. Let’s take inventory…is our President a man of faith? Is there a trusting remnant who believes and has seen God’s power? That leaves complainers…we got lots of them! (me too) Will there need to be a critical mass, as Dr. Richard Land called it, before God will provide for his faithful? Is it persistence we are called to? Are the complainers focusing on God’s ability to provide or do they find comfort in their own voice? One true differentiating point: are the voices complaining for their own survival or are they actually crying out for the Judeo-Christian cause? You know, the greater good? The second at least seems nobler.
I would like to understand God’s provision for Israel…it was for the establishment of His Law and Purpose that He kept His Chosen alive…but responding to whining gimme’s is so welfare state. Well, let’s just call it reparations and move on. But notice how God offers compensation and is done with it…Nowhere in history have the Jews come out crying for more, decades, a century later.
God provides, the Church provides. Robin Hood is dead. So be it for wealth redistribution. There was no redistribution of the manna but everyone was asked to only take enough for one day. Makes sense that if someone got greedy, others would go hungry. Communism do I hear? NO, Judeo-Christian ethics…employers provide fair pay and workers, be satisfied or go elsewhere. AFL-CIO, labor unions, take a hike! You have taken too much manna and now it’s rotten!
Motives are easily disguised, even to ourselves. As we become more involved, keep in mind the Israelites and watch the attitude. Let us humble ourselves before we pray, or complain, or act. God knows our every need. Whether He will provide depends on us, according to the promise, 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
The Websters' New World Dictionary, of 1986 origin, defines theocracy as 1. lit., the rule of a state by God or a god. 2. government by priests claiming to rule by divine authority. 3. a country governed in this way.
Dr. Schaeffer defiantly opposes a theocracy in this speech.
Other than the danger of men "claiming divine authority", which seems a contradiction to the first definition, I have yet to understand the aversion to it! As a Christian nation, is this not exactly what we are asking? Return the rule and authority back to God, in His Word! The third definition, "...governed in this way." Which way is that? I choose door number one, please.
Monday, July 18, 2005
The Puritans viewed their New England government as a theocracy, where God was their king. Because no person can play the role of God, how would they govern? The Bible. Because the Bible truly is a living document—unlike the U.S. Constitution—they believed in God’s ability to govern through His Holy Word. It is true, they didn’t quite get the Creator-Redeemer distinction down—and early attempts like the communal living arrangements in Massachusetts, under William Bradford, were dismal. Quick learners, early settlers were constantly revising their thinking. Property rights were found to be an important part of freedom. Thomas Hooker, author of The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, 1639, and William Penn’s The Great Law of 1682 were gradually improving upon Puritan heavy-handed leadership. Many of our Founding Fathers and those of influential power, understood the interconnection between a free government and a self-governing citizenry, ruled by God’s authoritative Book of Law.
“[V]irtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.” ~George Washington
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” ~Benjamin Franklin
“It is in the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigour…degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats into the heart of its laws and constitution.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
“To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.” ~James Madison
“Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.” ~Patrick Henry
(Quotes Hat tip: Liberty 1)
…to be continued.
Amendment III: No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without consent of the owner; nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Moses has led the people to a point of no returning at the Red Sea…with evil hot one their trail. Sounds kinda familiar?! This confrontation across the world we have found ourselves in, people griping for what Moses, oh, I mean Bush, has gotten them into! If he had just let them be and not stirred up trouble… They had more comforting thoughts about being in bondage than the unknown, possible death in the wilderness. My friend just got an email from her son in Iraq. He is confronting the reality of his situation. He wonders if God could tell him if he’ll make it out alive. How natural for us to want to know how it’s gonna be…especially in life and death moments. Here is what Moses answered his followers: “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which HE will shew to you today: for the Egyptians ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more.”
Then, the miracle. Here is one of those places in history that if your faith has been made smaller by evolution theories, the dry path down the middle of a great body of water might be harder to swallow. If your God created out of nothing, by His Will, all of creation, in moments, days, then the time factor here won’t be an issue. Pharaoh’s army is thundering toward them…there is no time for evolution or a natural event of the everyday sort. Cataclysmic come to mind! Do you suppose God is messing with their minds? You try walking down a corridor of water walls—high ones—big enough to collapse in on an entire army and wipe it away—huge, okay? Now, what are you imagining, even knowing in every muscle…how mighty, how powerful, how triumphant is your God? “Stand still” as the enemy draws near and see God’s power.
Mrs. Schaeffer feed us with Psalm 20:5-9:
We will rejoice in Thy salvation,
And in the Name of our God we will set up our banners:
The Lord fulfill all thy petitions.
Now know that I the Lord saveth His anointed:
He will hear him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His Right Hand.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:
But we will remember the Name of the Lord our God.
They are brought down and fallen:
But we are risen, and stand upright.
Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call.
This event, passed on for generations upon generations is part of the continuous golden thread, woven “so that it will be possible for our praise of God to be real and not a hollow irrational hope, but a hope based on Truth.” (p. 63; Christianity is Jewish)
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Rev. Jonathan Mayhew
The Resistance Theory gives a great deal of umph to Judge Roy Moore's refusal to obey the higher court. It could have given a nurse (and did give some civilians) in Pinellas Park the courage to slip a drink of water to her patient. It should have given the police the fortitude to back off. If only we were educated in the true history of this Godly, one of a kind dynamite nation, America, so that we actually knew what makes her so Great!
This sermon quote starts on the idea that a king's authority is legitimate when the king obeys Higher Law, but when the king..."turns tyrant and makes his subjects his prey to devour and to destroy instead of his charge to defend and cherish, we are bound to throw off our allegiance to him and to resist." ~Rev. Jonathan Mayhew
"We may safely assert...that no civil rulers are to be obeyed when they enjoin things that are inconsistent with the commands of God...All commands running counter to the declared Will of the Supreme Legislator of heaven and earth, are null and void; and therefore disobedience to them is a duty, not a crime (my emphasis)." ~Mayhew (Adler, Mortimer J.; The Revolutionary Years)
When Tommy is released from his limbo existence, "the people follow him..." When he turns to them and says, "No, don't follow me...I wanted to be like you!", the crowd rejects his words, with the exception of his mother. Tommy breaks into song, "See Me..."
Jesus' message was "follow me" ...and we are obliged to try...and try...and try. What is it in us that when Jesus turns around and says, "No, it's You I want to Be"...Jesus the Servant, we tremble and we run away as they did from Tommy. Have we rejected the very idea of Christians representing God on earth? Does this teaching take a backseat to "follow Me" in the twentieth/twenty-first century Church?
The final chorus gathers the cast to sing,
Listening to you, I get the music.
Gazing at you, I get the heat.
Following you, I climb the mountain.
I get excitement at your feet!
Right behind you, I see the millions.
On you, I see the glory.
From you, I get opinions.
From you, I get the Story.
Yes, we follow our Lord and we get excitement at His feet...and the feeling is mutual! Our Lord and Servant, dwelling in us, ..."gets opinions, gets the Story...sees the Glory! When His Church lets Him Live in the Body, He sees the millions behind us...it's the Salvation Story! Praise His Holy Name. Amen.
Friday, July 15, 2005
God Spelled It Out
Every year, at the Passover feast, Seder, the story has been retold, kept alive. We were supposed to remember! “Yes, the picture of the doorposts splashed with blood”, the safety of the ones who slept in a real sense “covered by the blood”, protected from death, the eating of the roasted lamb, the readiness to go out into the wilderness, the miracle of crossing the Red Sea, the continual leading of the Lord by a pillar of fire at night, and a cloud in the daytime…” p. 61; Christianity is Jewish
For the Hebrew people, the faith was in the pointing forward to the Lamb. But for us? Why would the story be so important? This is a confirmation for us, looking back. It is a help to our witness to others. “Look! There can be no doubt!” God wants us to remember! God kept history alive by Word of mouth and finally, by the written Word. The understanding is for us too…looking back at Jesus, our Lamb, our Protector from sin and Death, our Mediator so we are truly able to come into God’s presence…how God actually dwells among believers so that we move when He moves, and we wait if God doesn’t move. We know we are His people, by experience, by the New Testament promises, Jesus’ Words and Life…but we can know even more deeply that God is good on His Promises, that the Promised Land is as real as the sacrificial Lamb…We will see the restoration of Heaven and Earth, and our bodies; we will see each other in a “beautiful beyond belief” New Earth.
“God has been fair with us to leave more than the works of His Hands through which to find out about Him.” “….All this He has verbalized for us, because we are verbalizing Creatures…because we have been given minds with which to reason and understand.” (Schaeffer; p. 61)
Thursday, July 14, 2005
History for Mommies
Calvin’s Resistance Theory
“If [political authorities] command anything against [God}, let it go unesteemed. And here let us not be concerned about all the dignity which the magistrates possess.” Institutes; IV:XX:32
Consent of the governed – “In social contract theory this is where the governments’ power is grounded.”
Social Contract Theory – “A political theory in which the people form a government by common consent and thereafter cooperate for social benefit (common good). On this view the function of government is not to be served but rather to serve the interests of the governed. As soon as government no longer fulfills this function, it ceases to be legitimate.” (Amos, Gary and Gardiner, Richard; Never Before in History)
A distinct line can be traced from the American Revolution and America’s Founders back to resistance theories. John Knox, the writing Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos of 1579, the Westminster Confession (1646), Samuel Rutherford, and John Locke…carried on the theory to influence heavily James Otis, John Hancock, Samuel Adams (the Sons of Liberty), and John Adams. John Witherspoon argued that if Americans yield their civil liberties on taxes, then they will next be forced to yield their religious liberties. (Collins, Varnum; President Witherspoon; 1925)
John Adams noted that the religious aspect of the conflict between America and England greatly contributed to the colonists’ revolutionary spirit. (Adams, Charles Francis, ed. 1969; The Works of John Adams)
The American Revolution was not about stamps and tea, nor quite so much about taxes without representation, as we were all so carefully taught in public school. I daresay, it was an all out effort to break from the Church of England, thus the King, once and for all. As my eldest son has observed, taxes would not have been an acceptable reason to resist political authority. A religious people, America’s settlers knew the definitions above and believed resistance could not be condoned without an injustice against their Lord, Almighty.
Monday, July 11, 2005
The Battle Continues
Mrs. Schaeffer wrote, “It was not enough that the lamb had died …[the first Passover]. For the death of the lamb to be effective in protecting the household [from death’s utter presence], the blood needed to be applied to the two door posts at the side of the door and to the upper post above the doorway.” P 57; Christianity is Jewish
The reason for this lies behind the true battle here. Is it between Moses and Pharaoh? Freedom and slavery? The release of the nation, Israel? Of course…but when is the last time anyone taught the other history in Sunday school? Have you heard a sermon on Spiritual warfare lately? The unseen battle between God and Satan, Jehovah God and Egypt’s pagan religions/gods is at a climax here. God is about to pass His Almighty Judgment on Egypt and their false gods. Mrs. Schaeffer again, “Here is a group of people believing false teachings and worshipping false gods. The living God did not say, ‘These are different ways of worshipping me’.” Which deity was going to be proven real? What teachings were true? Not both. They were exclusive of each other. The battle rages on today!
So, why did the people need to paint blood on their home? How is Jesus’ blood applied? Jesus’ sacrifice of blood on the cross didn’t save the world in a relativistic sense. It was an event for all people, for all time but the blood must be painted on the doorposts of the our hearts. We must believe and trust our Savior God. As the Israelites, in pure faith, followed the instructions given by Moses, trusting him at His Word, so we are to be ready, as pilgrims in a wilderness, to trust and obey the One and Only True God down to the last instruction before we enter the Promised Land of Heaven.
The prayer of Jesus, "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent." ~John 17:3
Sunday, July 10, 2005
History for Mommies
THE CREATOR Part of the U.S. Constitution
This side of our government begins and ends with the cultural mandate given in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” It was God giving man dominion in relationship with Him. After the fall, God proceeded to give His Chosen the Law as a way of keeping peace and protecting the society from turning self-centered and decadent. Civility is what we call it. Civics – the study of government. Civilization – the opposite of barbarism. In a western civil society, people are civilized, generally following the cultural mandate to rule in accordance with the Sovereign God. Judeo-Christian views are here parted from most political worldviews. Libertarians are our allies until you come to the part about legislating morality. The constitution was written for the whole of the people. Whether you believe in the Creator or not, God gave us a few basic outlines for protecting each other and ourselves from barbarism.
Fellow thinkers are already forming a blast of comments on where we draw the line! Hold it! I will not pretend here to know where we need to keep order. One thing is certain; the Libertarian downfall is in trusting man’s innate goodness. Live and let live because people are intrinsically well behaved? Hmmm The creator-redeemer distinction does not stop Christians from carrying out the cultural mandate to redeem the earth (not just subdue it) i.e. “Destroy the works of the devil.” (1John 3:8); “Set at liberty those who are oppressed.” (Luke 4:18); to offer eternal life to every person. But these are matters of choice, not law. Iraq can only be led to the water; it is not for us to force them into liberty…as a matter of fact, we can’t. We would no longer be freedom fighters. As they must choose, so we must, every day, choose freedom.
“In the total expanse of human life, there is not a single square inch of which the Christ [the Creator; Colossians 1:15-17], Who alone is sovereign, does not declare, ‘That is mine!’” (emphasis his) ~Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920)
“The ultimate source of all authority is not the state, it is not even the people – it is God. ~Dr. D. James Kennedy; Lord of All; p 118. (If we recognized God's law, Terri Schaivo would still be alive and debates about who gets the final word, Congress or the Court, would be moot. Men relying on God is where this country derived its stability.)
“Natural Law comprehends man’s duties to God, to himself, to other men, and as a member of political society.”…”The obligatory force of the Law of Nature upon man is derived from its presumed coincidence with the will of his Creator…The whole duty of men therefore consists in two things; first, in making constant efforts to ascertain what is the Will of God; and secondly, in obedience to that Will when ascertained.” ~ U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1811-1845), Joseph Story
(These words of Joseph Story are referring to the One, True God of Jews and Christians, the God of the Bible.)
Amendment II: “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.”
Saturday, July 09, 2005
History for Mommies
The Redeemer’s Part in the U.S. Constitution
What people possibly don’t realize as they push Judeo-Christian or Natural Law further into the abyss, is that Christianity is the source of freedom. What did Jesus teach? “Love thine enemies.” “Turn the other cheek.” “Love the Lord, thy God.” “Love thy neighbor as yourself.” “My peace I leave with you.” “I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.”
Jesus revealed the God of love. Don’t be mistaken about His future return when He promised Justice. Don’t believe that He cleared the Book of Law. Don’t read His words and be fooled into hearing a peacenik. What are the very words after “God so loved the world…” “…But whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of God’s One and only Son.” ~John 3:18
God did not put His namesake, the Church, in charge of final judgment. It will be Jesus according to John 12:47. The peace Jesus spoke of was because God’s judgment would be withheld and the Body of Christ was to be an instrument for God’s love and salvation; redemption of the earth.
Christians speak in love and pray for God’s mercy and grace for the world. Thus a Christian rooted government, according to reformers of the faith, leaves redemption (and final judgment) to God in a free society. Does this sound anything like Muhammad’s teaching? Where are the most conflicts in this world? What are Islamic governments like? (Iraq and Afghanistan are still a wait and see; here's hoping for the best.)
It is no accident how the two religions rule in opposite ways. “Death to the infidel” is a final judgment, a responsibility Muhammad passed on to his followers. Both religions hold to the truth of god as judge. That is where the similarity ends. Allah would seem ready to strike the soul down who would dare reject him and will not wait, but sets his followers on a path of destruction, as directed by their prophet’s words, the Koran. Here are the Words of our Father God who loves life and second chances, “The Lord is slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” ~2 Peter 3:9
Muslims themselves judge (and kill, on a few occasions). Christians, with few exceptions where the church leaders became heady, use words, in love, according to Biblical instruction. They leave their God to be Judge of the world.
Has no one seen this blatant difference? Islam: the people judge. Judeo-Christian: God is our Judge and King. Islam: government dictates. Judeo-Christian: God is the dictator.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” ~2Cor. 3:17
“You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.” ~George Washington to the Delaware chiefs.
Amendment I (cont.)- “Congress shall make no law…abridging the right of the people to peaceable to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Friday, July 08, 2005
This killing of their lamb and painting of their doorposts was only a part of the first Passover…The 14th of Abib or Nisan would be looked back on and remembered by way of a ceremony, the Seder. Just as Jesus was crucified with blood spilt to cover the Chosen, the bloody first Passover was once, for all.
“Passover is the oldest, continuously observed feast in existence today.” P 51, Howard; Rosenthal; The Feasts of the Lord God even allowed an alternate time, on the 14th of the second month (Num. 9:1-14) because this most important feast was not to be missed for any reason.
The seven feasts of Israel are part of the outline for this blog. This is a foretaste, since Moses and Passover cannot be split! Many years later, once again, the disciples were catching glimpses of Messianic fulfillment (or maybe they got it way better than we can imagine!) Peter’s conclusion was, “You know you were not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver and gold…but with the precious blood of Christ as a lamb, without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:18
John the Baptist, in perhaps one of the most stand-out, bold statements in our Bible, pointed to Jesus and proclaimed so that everyone there could hear, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 This from the same man who sent a message from prison, “Are you the one who was to come or should we expect someone else?” The Holy Spirit had spoken through the turmoil and confusion.
Paul, too, took a snapshot of history when he stated, “Christ our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” 1 Cor. 5:7
Who writes this stuff? You couldn’t come up with this kind of story if you were a genius! Gaps in time…different men…various perspectives…One Author!
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
History for Mommies
Twenty-five days to One Nation Under God...Countdown to the release of Coral Ridge Ministries’ new DVD, I will be trying to post mini history lessons which I have learned in our home school, from Dr. Kennedy, or because of my husband’s natural love of history.
Creator-Redeemer distinction: “A theological distinction differentiating the role of God as (1) the Lord and governor of all the universe (creator), and (2) the Lord and Savior of individual souls (redeemer). According to classic Christian teaching, the government must ensure that the people honor God as creator [civility] but must not legislate how the people respond to God as redeemer.” ~Gary Amos and Richard Gardiner; Never Before in History
Some may recognize this as freedom of conscience.
The Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther and John Calvin were in agreement on this separation between the Kingdom of Christ dealing with people’s minds and hearts (beliefs), and civil government, covering people’s physical well being (safety) and their outward conduct toward others. Oliver Cromwell came pretty close to enforcing this type of religious liberty in England. The United States wrote the first constitution to entirely embrace the Creator-Redeemer Distinction. The thirteen colonies became the United States of America, the first government in history to declare freedom OF religion. State-wise, nine of the thirteen had a state religion.
“The American Revolution might thus be said to have started, in a sense, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg…The leaders of the Revolution in every colony were imbued with the precepts of the Reformed faith.” ~Page Smith; Religious Origins of the American Revolution
Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…
Monday, July 04, 2005
Israel's Independence Day!
Passover, the fourteenth day of the first Hebrew month, the beginning of a Hebrew calendar, was the freeing of a nation. It was, for the Israelites, the second clear demonstration of salvation, and for us. Not simply a show of power but a picture in history, once again, of how to come to God. The people needed to have their memories refreshed, to remember the teaching from Abraham’s experiences. Israel’s Independence Day was about a renewed faith and dependence on God. So was ours. Some of us need to have our memories refreshed.
Wayne, over at Questions and Answers, has a great post and similar reminder.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Babies, precious new, innocent life. Two times, two places in history; they are wiped away by the whim of a dreaded tyrant. Moms and dads, give this a moment for pause. Unless you have been given a helpless child to protect and care for, the depth of pain might not reach you. But even the childless can appreciate the horror. The midwives of Egypt were ordered to simply throw the newborn Hebrew babies in the river! (Exodus 1:22) Yea, just do that. Moses escaped, by remaining hidden for three months. (Ex. 2:2)
After Herod caught wind of a newborn King, “somewhere” in his kingdom, he sent out the order…simple and straight to the point, “Kill all the babies under two years old.” (Matthew 2:16) Jeremiah 31:15 “Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because her children are no more.” According to Matthew, this prophecy was fulfilled in the time of Christ. (2:18)
This is the first indication of the pointing to Christ in the life of Moses. It is also the story of freedom. Moses is eighty years old when God speaks to him through the burning bush. No, not a bush with fiery red leaves! This bush exuded fire but did not burn—a supernatural event. Get ready, because this entire story is built on the supernatural! Moses is told that God’s people must be allowed to go free and the time is now.
The Lord is going to work a series of miracles with one goal in mind: Freedom for His people. Why? Because they have believed His Word. The Lord spoke plainly, “I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land flowing with milk and honey…” (Exodus 3:17) Aaron relays the message given to Moses and he performs the miraculous signs before the people that God had commanded him to perform. (Ex. 4:28 and 30) Not only do the people believe, they bow their heads and worship. (v. 31)
Faith abounded, much like the settlers to America. They devoted their lives, this land, and their journey, to God. They compared it, in writing, to the Promised Land. They believed His Word! They worshipped the Lord and the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob gave them the land flowing with milk and honey…which we still enjoy to this very day, even if on the edge of the precipice.
God has always stood for freedom…Kings were not His idea. God wants to be King of our lives and with the establishment of the early covenants of this nation, we were the closest to that idea than we had ever been or have been since. It was a peak moment when the pilgrims established God as their ruler, with man as mere instruments in enforcing God’s Law, as the Old Testament judges had done ever so long ago.