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Glad Tidings

Freedom in Christ Jesus

7 Aug , 2017  

GT—Volume 14 Issue 7

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

Glad Tidings 2017The battle cry of the French Revolution in 1779 when the people sought deliverance from the oppression of uncaring kings. The royalty continued spending money, while the income of the nation fell.  This required extensive borrowing. The peasants were starving while the royalty feasted using borrowed money. France was bankrupt. The people could see that the feudal system was a failure. The concept of human reason promoted by 17th Century philosophers led intellectuals to believe that society governed by common people was the “natural order” and “Reason”, based on humanistic ideals, was the governing principle.

The Revolution was based on Enlightenment ideals, but not on a godly foundation. It sought to bring about popular sovereignty and inalienable rights. Those rights were based on those revealed in historic Christianity, but their French humanism sought to uphold rights while discarding God. Tragically, the Revolution degenerated. Eventually, with no godly morality, no one was safe from the Guillotine.

MaximillianMaximilien Marie Isidore de Robespierre was born in Arras, France, on May 6, 1758. Thirty years later he was instrumental in bringing about the Revolution. It was his outcry in Estates General of the French legislature that brought about the guillotining of King Louis XVI.

Robespierre became a leader of the Committee of Public Safety. He instituted the Reign of Terror in which some 17,000 were guillotined. He was a calculating man who used his position to eliminate his opponents in that chaotic government. Ironically, Robespierre fell into disfavor and he too was guillotined in 1794.

The Fight for FreedomThe first French revolution was only the beginning of the turmoil.  There were a number of coups in the ensuing years.  Napoleon Bonaparte, a general in the Army in 1799, along with others overthrew the French Directory and replaced it with three-member Consulate, of which Napoleon was the First Director.  The Directorate revised the French Constitution, making Napoleon Director for life in 1802.  He crowned himself as Emperor in 1804. Ten years later, after several disastrous military defeats, he was forced to abdicate.

Essentially Napoleon destroyed the French Revolution, creating a confused back and forth government of “popular” governments and monarchies that alternated. The French Revolution, based on human reason, failed.  dove-vector-clipart

Certain Unalienable Rights

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another.

One Hundred years later, when the English government became oppressive, the American colonies, sought many avenues of reaching a reasonable accommodation. The King and the Parliament were in accord to keep the Colonists under the English heel.

Declaration_of_Independence_(1819),_by_John_TrumbullThe Colonies realized that there was no hope of bargaining with the English. They believed their only avenue was to declare their independence. Their basis for seeking separation from the monarchy was rights guaranteed by God. They looked to Him as their foundation. Enshrined in the Declaration of Independence was their rationale,

…separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.”  They continued, “… all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.  Declaration of Independence

This was no riot and there were no kangaroo courts to railroad the King or members of Parliament to be executed. The Declaration was an honorable statement of the disagreements between England and the American Colonies. It was a last-ditch attempt to diplomatically seek redress from the King.

This was in contrast to the riots and the murder of thousands of royals among the French. The difference was that the American Revolution was under the authority of God; whereas the French Revolution, begun just three years later, was under the authority of reason. Unhappily, “reason” depended upon who was doing the reasoning. Since the “reasoner” changed with the changing tides of politics in the French Revolution. The “reason’ for executions changed.

There were few executions in America. A lot of blood was spilled in the many battles with the British, but that was because England declared war on the Americans. The latter was not looking for a fight. To avoid a fight, they exercised great initial restraint.

In The Light and the Glory, by Peter Marshall, Jr. and David Emmanuel, they point out that the inferior Colonials against the greatest army in that day should not have won. Through the War, there were a series of “saves” of George Washington’s army. Had any one of them failed, the war would have been lost for the Colonists. These were miraculous incidents orchestrated by God.

Boston_MassacreTwo incidents, both perpetrated by the British were sparks that ignited the war. First was the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770. British soldiers responded to cat calls and snowballs, by firing into the mob, killing 5 Colonials. The second was five years later, “the shot heard around the world”, April 19, 1775, when the British marched to Concord to seize stores of Minutemen arms and ammunition. They encountered a small force on the Lexington Green. An exchange of shots resulted in eight Colonials killed and ten wounded.

God’s hand has been on America in bringing believers seeking to worship Him to this continent. He preserved the seed of a nation through the Revolutionary War. He prompted the Declaration of Independence. God’s Spirit guided the Framers of our Constitution with wisdom. They were believers who had a realistic view of the sinfulness of man and man’s thirst for power. They carefully divided the government into three Branches to provide checks and balances against any one growing a dominating role in the government.

Years before, George Washington was a Commander of Colonial troops supporting the British Army during the French and Indian War. He distinguished himself in the Battle of Monongahela when the British General Edward Braddock was wounded. Washington, astride a horse, took command. He extracted the British and led them to safety. Colonel Washington had two horses shot out from under him. His coat had four bullet holes, but Washington was unscathed. The Indians thought Washington was a miracle man, powered by their “Great Spirit”. God kept him safe.

God’s hand has been on America in bringing believers seeking to worship Him to this continent. He preserved the seed of a nation through the Revolutionary War. He prompted the Declaration of Independence. God’s Spirit guided the Framers of our Constitution with wisdom. They were believers who had a realistic view of the sinfulness of man and man’s thirst for power. They carefully divided the government into three Branches to provide checks and balances against any one growing a dominating role in the government.  dove-vector-clipart

Stewardship of the Legacy

Tragically the foundation in Christ has been discarded. It appears we have adopted the failed French foundation, “Reason”. It did not work for them and it is not working for us. Each political party has “Reason” to pass pet projects when in the majority.  The next party in power has “Reason” to pass theirs, discarding the former’s.

The check on this foundation of Reason is a theologically educated populace. Those who are steeped in Scripture, look to the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit to guide their lives, decisions, and votes. They have learned that Human reason, while valuable, can “run off the rails”, if not guided by the hand of God. We are in danger of losing our legacy. We have lost the impetus of Christianity.

engelv_supremecrtcases.weebly.1We are short of the critical mass to correct the course of our Nation because the populace is uneducated in Christianity and there are far too few believers in Jesus as the Lord God, Creator, and Governor of the universe and of nations. This began to be critical when the Supreme Court decided to exclude prayer from our schools in 1963. They sought to make a “neutral” decision. In fact, the banning of prayer has created two distinct problems.

First, they have banned all faiths, which means that they have banned all foundations of morality. This has created an absence of authoritative behavioral standards, except, “Because I told you to!”. This ebbs and flows with the current psychological trends. Thus, teachers have too few and too weak tools to discipline unruly students.

The second is that the local schools unconstitutionally infringe on the rights of students to freely exercise their religion. Christian students have been denied the freedom to pray in school. They are denied the right to express their faith.

By squelching the expression of the Christian faith our society has moved away from a morality-based culture. Such a culture has limits on behavior, which provides the classroom order students need for effective learning.

John_F._Kennedy,_White_House_photo_portrait,_looking_upWith three generations quarantined from exposure to Christianity, there are numerous adults who have little conception of the faith and the morality that is the basis of society. This is evident in the lack of courtesy we see among too many people. The failure to inculcate the respect for others that Christianity teaches has made our society far more self-centered. This is reflected in the attitudes toward our government. President Kennedy proclaimed in his inaugural address January 1961,

…ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Tragically, far too many are expecting our government to provide them a basic living.

This self-centered approach means that they vote for the politicians that offer them the biggest handout. There are a growing number of theologically ignorant and also politically ignorant voters. This is a combination that is dangerous for the stability of the nation.

America began as a Christian nation. That idea has become today out of favor, seeking instead to be multicultural. This emphasis upon diversity has fragmented our nation into political interest groups that are pitted against one another to gain the most for their pressure group.   dove-vector-clipart

Established in Christ

George Whitfield in the Great AwakeningGod established an ideal human government, first by separation from a despotic overlord. Next, by guiding the American Colonies to found a new government on Christ. He then guided forty-one men to write and approve a masterful Constitution that formed a great government.

Earlier, as our Lord saw the Colonials straying from His path of righteousness, the Lord God Holy Spirit used John Wesley and George Whitfield of Britain and Jonathan Edwards of Massachusetts to ignite the Great Awakening of 1740. The power of the Holy Spirit drew thousands to Jesus and revived multitudes of others to full trust in Jesus as sovereign Lord.

The New England preachers following that powerful revival called for liberty in Christ. They fomented the Revolution, seeking a new nation under God.

The Colonials were predominantly Christian believers in Christ as God. Their habit was to use “Deity” and “Providence” as euphemisms for God and Christ, nevertheless, they were devout believers in Jesus Christ.   dove-vector-clipart

Founding Fathers’ quotes

George Washington Quote

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.

“The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained”, George Washington, 1st President of the United States

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” Patrick Henry, Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution.“And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United: And the general Principles of English and American Liberty.” John Adams, 2nd President

“The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. John Quincy Adams, 6th President

“The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer, in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; that this Redeemer has made atonement ‘for the sins of the whole world,’ and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve.”, John Jay, 1st Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The American Revolution was founded on the firm understanding that

If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  (John 8:36)

The Framers of our separation from the English determined to preserve the independence of the people from any rule but that of Almighty God.  They recognized that God had ordained human rulers.

Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God.  Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to themselves judgment.  For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. And wouldest thou have no fear of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise from the same… (Romans 13:1-3)

The rulers were in turn subject to the rule of God. The Colonists did not foment the violent overthrow of Britain. They, in the Declaration of Independence, stated their reasons for declaring the American colonies independent,

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect <sic> their Safety and Happiness.   –Declaration of Independence

In the Declaration, they listed 28 cases of abuse that the English government put upon the Colonies.

The Framers declared it was the duty of such a people to throw off that despotic government. Finally, they appealed to God to confirm the rectitude of their actions. They consigned their cause, the seeking of Liberty, to the judgment of Almighty God. He approved their stance in Christ and their establishing a government that rested on trust in God.    dove-vector-clipart

Restoration in Christ

Jesus the Lion and the Lamb

The true and only source of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity is the risen, victorious Son of God, Jesus the Savior.

God now calls us to reaffirm our allegiance, not to our Nation, but to our God. It is important to us to preserve America. It is not important to God to preserve our nation or our government. What is important to Him is the state of our hearts.

First, He wants our hearts, not in part, but the whole, including all our errors and our sins. He wants our complete devotion.

Next, Christ wants us to love our families, our neighbors, strangers and our enemies.

Empowered by God‘s love working through us, He wants us to proclaim His righteousness and be demonstration projects of His righteous in us. Like the prophets of old, Jesus wants us to decry the evils in our culture. He wants His Chosen minority to declare His righteousness among the people, and to call them back to worship of the One true God.    dove-vector-clipart

Questions Demanding Answers

This is a recurring feature. I pose a question in one issue. You have the opportunity to send me answers. I publish the best ones in the next issue. Please cite Biblical authority, and keep your answer within 250 words.

QUESTION: Are there Guardian Angels?

ANSWER: Yes. God’s angels are his messengers. They serve His purposes with instant obedience. One of the ministries of our loving Father’s angels is to keep watch over His children, those who have been adopted into His family, i.e. those who have surrendered to Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Scripture has many references to God’s angels ministering to and protecting God’s children.

For he will give his angels charge over thee, To keep thee in all thy ways.  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.   (Psalm 91:11, 12)

They are all around His faithful to shield them.

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and he delivers them.   (Psalm 34:7)

Angels are God’s warriors against the demons and against human evil.

My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me; forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” (Daniel 6:22)

Second, legions of angels await God’s call to battle with human and demonic forces arrayed against God’s Son and His children.

“Then saith Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.  Or thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:52-53)

In the Garden of Gethsemane, there are two examples of ways Angels minister to us personally. In our anguish, they strengthen us.

… saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.  And there appeared unto him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.  (Luke 22:42-44)

We are surrounded by guarding angels. However, they are at God’s bidding, not ours. God knows us intimately and loves us extravagantly. He has our lives in His hands. He allows some things either bad or good to come into our lives. Probably, times without number, and at His bidding angels prevent things natural and demonic from affecting our lives.

Our role is to focus on God. We may be aware of the angels that surround us, but we must not become distracted by our curiosity about angels. Let the One Who is of Prime Importance be the dominating influence in our lives. Keep our thoughts centered on Jesus, and allow Him to direct the angels in our lives.

QUESTION: What can believers do to bring America back to Christ?

The Holy of Holies

Join me in bowing before our God in gratitude that we can speak directly and personally to Him. He is our loving Father, so we can embrace Him boldly, but respectfully.

Almighty Father, I bow in submission before your sovereignty. You are my savior and my God. I worship You. 

When I consider the marvelous gift You have given Americans I am amazed that You are so overwhelmingly gracious to us. You have given us a free land. You have made us the most prosperous nation in the history of humankind.

Further You prompted our Founding Fathers to draft and approve a government that was comprehensive and limited. You gave us the freedom to change our government peaceably. You warned the Framers of our Constitution of the sinfulness of humanity, so, My LORD, You gave them the wisdom to build into our government checks and balances, so none of the three branches of government could dominate and form a dictatorship.

Father, we are far from the idealism of the Founders. We have lost sight of You and have turned our backs on Jesus. We have excluded Him from our national decision-making. We have banished Jesus from our schools. We are told that witnessing for You makes for a hostile workplace.

Have mercy on us, O Righteous Judge. Deliver us from our foolishness. Renew our minds to again embrace the truth that without You, we are poor, and blind and naked. We are without hope in this world and the next without Your love. Save us from our self-contrived suicidal plunge over the cliff of materialism and relativism.

Lord Jesus, Our Savior, release the power of the Holy Spirit upon us to convict us of our sin and chastise us for straying from our Foundation, which is You, Christ, our Lord. Bring us back into Your sheepfold, where we are safe from our own folly.

You are our gracious King, whether people acknowledge You or not. You are the One who runs the universe. Your ways are the only correct ways. Your government is the only righteous rule; therefore, we desperately need Your Hand controlling our lives, our government, and our leaders. Rescue us from the enemy’s attacks. Hold back the forces of darkness and give us Your marvelous light of godly wisdom to recapture the godly vision of our Founders.

America has the potential if guided by godly men and women who trust completely in Your guidance as did our forefathers. If You will have mercy on us and send us leaders that will declare Your truths as their and our nation’s guiding principles, we will rebuild what we have destroyed. But nothing can be done without You.

Thank You for Your love for us. Thank You, Jesus, for Your love for me.

Unto God Almighty be all Honor, Glory, Dominion, and Power!

Amen

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