The Unadulterated Truth

There are some who absolutely declare that all religious roads lead to the same end. For these people the celebration of God comes in many ways and many forms. These conclusions are despite the fact that Christian foundations are quite different than the founding of other organizations and thoughts. However the difference in these sects is more than obvious especially when you consider the way that many of the organizations were started. For instance cultic organizations such as Buddhism and Islam were started by individuals said to have matured to the level of deity while in Christianity its founder is part of the Triune Godhead.

John 3:16 clearly shows that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not parish, but have everlasting life.” Academically and theologically terms such as “hypostatic union” can be used to show the relationship between God and His Son. The idea of “kenosis” can also be employed to show how Christ emptied somewhat of His attributes in order to walk with man. However the point of this essay is to call attention to the clear truth that there are stark differences between the God of love which is the Christian God and the purported god of peace which is the Islamic god. You see the God of love seeks only to reconcile man by way of acts of love such as the love Christ showed as he laid aside some of His attributes in order to live as man lives. Herein begins the juxtaposing of Christianity and Islam.

Love is the founding factor of Christianity. God loved and so He sent His Son. Christ so loved the world that He was in full agreement with the Father (I John 5:7) to the extent that He humbled himself unto death, even the death of the cross. This was not out of hatred or disdain for mankind rather love became the hallmark of the ministry of Christ not to condemn the world but rather that the world through Him might be saved. This is not the case with the founder of Islam. Islam (by many accounts) was born out of its founder’s disdain for Christianity. This disdain was a great reason for the Crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries wherein it could be argued that Islam sought to overtake the world by ridding it of Christianity. It is doubtful that the Crusades were born out of love.

The practice of Christianity is to love fellow man. It is not to harm him rather the practice of Christianity is to embrace individuals while hating the sin. With this in mind compassion coupled with love creates for the Christian a life of showing the love of the Father by expressing love even to those that reject Christ. On the other hand millions have had blood spilled because of Islam and those that purport that terrorism is the act of a “religion of peace.” Love did not crash into the World Trade Center more than a decade ago. Love had nothing to do with imprisoning a pastor only because he was a pastor. Love was not shown when three men were beheaded only because they were not Islamic. Additionally acts of love do not seek to force submission rather love allows choices such as Christians choose to serve the One and only God.

The truth of the matter is that many Muslims seek to force their view on “infidels” or they will suffer dire consequences. Christians seek to compel through the Love of Christ. Herein is the difference between Christendom and Islam; the former prefers love while the latter seeks conformity by force and even death. There are no true Christians that seek harm of anyone; not even Muslims. Yet there are some Muslims who cling to the idea that the only good Christian is a dead Christian. In this is the unadulterated truth concerning those that choose Christ and those that prefer Islam; the one works with the idea of love bringing forth reconciliation while the other prefers destruction in the hopes of gaining seventy-two virgins. So, the question must be asked; who will you serve? The One true and living God or the god of this world? I must say as the prophet of old once declared and say that as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

It’s in the Blood

I first taught this lesson several years ago in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The time passed since this particular lesson was originally taught has no bearing on the continuing significance of the all powerful blood of Jesus. It is my hope that these lesson notes provides the catalysis for proper application of the blood as well as an understanding of this most powerful medium of salvation.

It’s in the Blood

Prepared for:

Springs of Refreshing Fellowship Church
1932 Gwynn Oak Ave
Baltimore, MD 21207

30 January 2014

Pastour: Bishop Johnny C. Carrington, Sr.

Prepared by: Eld. William James Carter, The 1st

© Copy Write 2014

It’s in the Blood

When you consider the Scriptures there is much talk about blood. This is discussion about the spilling of blood as concerning the taking of life and there is talk of blood lines when considering the lineage of people. Most importantly, there is much talk about blood in respect to the covering of and washing away of sin.

So, to clearly understand what all this blood talk is about there must be an understanding of what the purpose of blood is. Blood, as we know, is the sustainer of life. Leviticus 17:11 is clear evidence of this fact. It reads in part (For the life of the flesh is in the blood…) without out this precious fluid life would cease to be. Blood is also unique in that it is one of the few fluids that once spilled leaves a stain that is not easily removed.

If anyone has ever watched any police investigative shows one of the first things that one would notice is the constant mention of blood. It is the constant search of blood that is paramount, particularly in the event of a homicide. This being the case, there are some instances wherein a suspect might attempt to clean the blood with such agents as bleach and ammonia. This attempt to clean is futile because the blood leaves a stain that can not be cleaned. And so, detectives are often able to solve crimes by reason of the blood-stained scene.

Blood, according to Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, is the red fluid circulating in the body that takes nourishment to the body parts and carries away waste. But to fully understand blood one must delve just a little deeper into the science of it to get a clear picture of the power of this life-sustaining matter.

Now, blood has a number of characteristics. Firstly, blood, in general is called whole blood. It is a living tissue that circulates through the heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries carrying nourishment, electrolytes, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat, and oxygen to the body’s tissues. So, when God breathed life into man in Genesis 2:7, not only was man’s spirit made to come to life but that it began the circulation of blood which sustained the life of the physical man. Thereby, God having breathed into man’s nostrils had two-fold meaning.

Under the microscope blood is shown to have several parts. One such part is the red blood cell. The red blood cell is the heaviest of the cells and is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. There are about one billion red blood cells for every two to three drops of blood.

It is noteworthy to mention that the human body holds about twelve pints of blood. I have no way of determining how many drops of blood are in one pint. But it is safe to say that one drop of the blood of Jesus is enough to bring life to about five hundred million to one billion people. And when this bloodline continues from generation to generation untold billions can receive life just from a drop of the blood of Jesus. This explains the numbers in Revelation 7:9-14 which reads:

After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice saying, SALVATION TO OUR GOD WHICH SITTETH UPON THE THRONE, AND UNTO THE LAMB. And all the angels stood round about the throne on their faces, and worshipped God. Saying, A-men’: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen’. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Keep in mind that these are not the only ones that will be standing with the Lamb. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 gives reason to celebrate by reason of the blood of Jesus.

But I would not to have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them which are sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Red blood cells are also continuously being produced in the bone marrow. The individual cells have a specific life span but once its job is done, the job is done. And because these red blood cells are renewed day by day the potential for life is infinite. This is why the Christian can look forward to everlasting life.

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood. While it has several functions, it is clear to see that the primary job of plasma is to regulate. Part of this regulation involves maintaining a satisfactory blood pressure and volume to supplying critical proteins for blood clotting and immunity. It also serves as the medium of exchange for vital minerals such as sodium and potassium, thus helping maintain a proper balance in the body, which is critical to cell function.

With this in mind, it is safe to say that the plasma holds it all together. It is instrumental in the necessary movement of minerals like as the blood of Christ is instrumental in the movement of sin from us as depicted in I John 1:7:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.

So then, if this plasma, this blood of Christ regulates and maintains a proper balance of the minerals such a potassium and sodium in our bodies it is hard to understand why some of us persist in sin when we have declared that we have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb. If there was a washing in the Blood of the Lamb, and if the plasma regulates the blood, then perhaps the person claiming to have been washed was never washed. You see, once a thing is bleached the change in it is more than obvious.

Platelets are another part of the blood that have an invaluable function. The platelet is vital to life, because it helps prevent massive blood loss resulting from trauma, as well as blood vessel leakage that would otherwise occur in the course of normal, day-to-day activity. This is the sustaining part of the blood. It is the part of the blood that keeps us alive in Christ. The platelets are the part of the blood that lend credence to the forgiveness of sin, should we error. It is the platelets that allow repentance so that in the event of faltering we do not loose the righteousness of God. It is the redemption power that we so desperately need. Romans 3:23-25 says it like this:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

The platelets also protect from harm that is not of the doing of the person. It protects from such trauma that is not self-inflicted but that occurs as a routine part of life. Such trauma could be a lie told, a scandalized name, the unexpected death of a loved one, an undeserved divorced, the lose of a job and a host of other things that are not sin but that has an effect on the life of the one washed in the blood. The platelets, then, can be said to have the keeping power.

White blood cells are responsible for protecting the body from invasion by foreign substances such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. While in the bloodstream there are far fewer white blood cells than red blood cells. In fact, the ration would be 1:600, in favour of the red cells. This makes the white cells far more powerful than the red ones. But then, the job of the white cells is extraordinary.

White blood cells protect the Christian from invasions such as hopelessness, pain, and un-forgiveness. White blood cells attack disparity and loneliness. The disease of sin cannot compare to the protecting power of the white blood cells. The white blood cells are the overcoming power as described in Revelation 12:11 which says in part:

and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb…

It is the white blood cells that fight off the infections of the corruption of this world. It is what gives strength to the Christian and, thus, is the reason we can cry redeemed, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

Ephesians 1:7 talks about the redeeming power of the blood by saying:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

The ninth chapter of Hebrews goes in some detail describing the work of the blood. Verses seven through eight A:

But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest…

Verse 11-15:

But Christ being come an high priest of things to com, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, He entered once in the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the New Testament that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 10:14 reads:

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that
are sanctified.

Jesus and His Purpose

I thought I would share the notes to a lesson I taught on the Person of Jesus. All too often Christians lack understanding in our Saviour so it is my hope that some will be stretched a bit by these notes.

 

 

Jesus and His Purpose

 

 

 

 

For

 

 

 

 

Springs of Refreshing Fellowship Church

1932 Gwynn Oak Ave

Woodlawn, MD 21207

 

 

 

 

Prepared by:

 

Elder William James Carter, The 1st

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 April 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© The Christian Perspective

 

Jesus and His Purpose

 

The Deity of Jesus

 

          Many of those that claim to be Christians today have very little knowledge of who Christ is and His purpose. It is for this reason this lesson will delve into the deity of Christ and His purpose. John 1:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

     The first thing that should be noted in this verse is the term “in the beginning.” It is similar term that was used in Genesis 1:1. The term does not refer to the starting point of time rather is refers to the beginning of recorded time. The idea here is that the text is pointing to the eternality of Jesus. It shows that Jesus existed before time was recorded by man. Even more importantly not only did Jesus exist before recorded time but He enjoys a status of pre-existence.

     The pre-existence of Christ lend considerable credibility to His Deity. Jesus removes a little of His veil in John 8:58 with the words:

          “Before Abraham was I am.”

This interesting choice of words shows that Jesus not only existed before Abraham but that He remains eternal. At no point does His existence or deity cease to be. The fact that the Jesus remains before Abraham is testament that He continues to exist in eternity past. Only deity can exist in such a fashion as to be in the past and present simultaneously.

     The next aspect to be examined is the term “Word.” One partial definition of “Word is: “the ultimate revelation of Jesus Christ in the incarnate Word of God”.[1] By this Jesus is personified as being the very image of God. This is what makes the term “Immanuel” significant. Immanuel means “God with us” and the Word being presents the very picture of an ever-present God becomes clear.

     Verse one continues by showing that the Word was with God. This is a clear indication of two distinct personalities. Jesus, the Word, existed and continues to exist with God the Father. The term with is not simply positional rather it is relational. It shows an unbreaking union in the Godhead. Additionally this union is not just a strong relationship but that the Godhead is in full agreement insofar as all is concerned. There is no disagreement between the members of the Godhead.

     The ending of verse one points not only to the Deity of Jesus but also to the very fact that Jesus is God. He is just as much as God as the Father is. This fact is NOT a form of polytheism rather is shows the multifaceted God mentioned in Genesis 1:1. While we may lack understanding how one God can be present in three Persons we must understand that clarity to the matter will be part of a victorious end to this life.

     The incarnation of Jesus is not a coincidental or happenstance matter. God planned this from the time of the fall of man in the Garden. As such many prophecies concerning the virgin birth of Jesus were made throughout the Old Testament. One prominent prophecy is found in Isaiah 7:14:

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

This prophecy came to pass as Mary gave birth to the Messiah (Luke 2:6-7). It is important to note that Jesus was conceived while Mary remained a virgin. This is significant because Jesus did not come from the seed and blood of man. Remember that it is the father’s blood that is in offspring. Because Jesus is the Son of God he could not be tainted with the blood of man. This is the reason He had to come through a pure vessel not tainted by man’s sinful blood.

     Because of His incarnation many see Jesus as being man only. However that is far from true. However Jesus could not come to earth in the fullness of His glory. He had to lay aside some of His attributes in order to accomplish His task. Philippians 2:7 points to this fact:

“But stripped Himself [of all privileges and [a]rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being” (Amplified Bible).

     The term for this action is called “kenosis” which means that Jesus “surrendered no attribute of His Deity, but that He did voluntarily restrict their independent use in keeping with His purpose of living among men and their limitations.”[2]  He did not stop being God but emptied Himself by:

  1. Veiling His divine glory – no man could look on God in the fullness of His glory and live
  2. Subjecting Himself to human limitations – Jesus was fully man in that He lived in the shell of a man having to be limited as man is.
  3. Giving up independent use of comparative attributes – Jesus willing laid aside His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipresence. These attributes were still available to Him but He chose to surrender the use of these attributes so that He could identify with man.

     Even with this pouring out Jesus remained Devine even though He lived as a man. With this Jesus was one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man. It is for this reason that Christ has been called the God- Man. It is the union of God and man which is called the hypostatic union. At no time was Jesus less God nor did He ever become less man. He was “Immanuel” or God with us. There are a number of reasons this union is significant but for the sake of this lesson only three will be discussed. Those reasons are that:

  1. The union is evidence of the eternal priesthood of Christ – Hebrews 9:11
  2. The prophetic office of Christ is evidenced in the union – Matthew 21:11
  3. The kingly office of Christ requires both the Divine and human – Revelation 15:3

     Because Jesus was and remains one hundred percent God, while incarnate, He had within Him no ability to sin. Multiple texts point to the sinless life of the God-man. Among them are:

  1. Hebrews 4:14 -15:  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
  2. I Peter 2:21-22:  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
  3.  I John 3:5: And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

 

 

His Purpose

     While Jesus performed many works prior to His crucifixion is task at large was really simple. That task was to perform the will of His Father. John 5:30:

“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

     This statement by Jesus is indicative of the obedience Jesus. It shows His complete and total submission to the Father. Jesus did not come to do anything apart from the Father. Remember that He and the Father are one and as such it is impossible for One to operate without the absolute consent of the Other. But what is the will of the Father? In order to fully understand the will of God there must be an understanding of the nature of man before sin corrupted him. The first man initially:

  1. Was sinless because he was created without sin.
  2. Communed regularly with God.’
  3. Had an intimate relationship with God.

The fall of man caused a divide that God was not desirous of. From that time He put into action a plan to restore man to his rightful relationship. Part of that plan is put in to play by redemption.

 

Redemption – To redeem mean to buy back. When man sinned the process of death began. The death was not merely physical death rather the death was separation from God. With this meant that man no longer belonged to God but that God had to pay a price in order to restore man back to his pre-sin state.

I Corinthians 7:23:

          “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.”

Before redemption man is a servant to not only other men but also to sin. Those who are not redeemed are basically owned by sin because of their service to sin.

Romans 6:6:

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Hebrews 9:12

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

I Peter 1:18-19:

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Reconcile – To reconcile a thing is to restore it to a former state. Formally God enjoyed an unhindered relationship with man. There was nothing that could cause a divide other than disobedience. From the time of the fall the Godhead sought to restore that relationship.

II Corinthians 5:18-19:

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”

Ephesians 2:15-16:

“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby”

Salvation- Salvation is deliverance from the power of sin. It was sin that caused the divide between man and God and the eradication of the power of sin presents the ability for a restored relationship.

John 3:16-18:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Acts 4:12:

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Titus 3:3-6:

“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour”

 

 


[1] Townes, Elmer Theology for Today

[2] Townes, 192

Just ‘Cause They Call it Christian

     All too often Christianity has been made to succumb to the world it sits in. This is largely because many that count themselves Christians compromise the Word of God to the extent that the Word is nearly nullified simply because of the acquiescing of the leaders of the Church. Much of this acquiescing has been in the form of calling things Christian that far fall from the standards of holiness. Christianity has been maligned to the extent that the word “Christian” has been wrongly placed on nearly everything that the world has to offer. Suffice it to say, however, that just ‘cause they call it Christian don’t make it so.

     This is one that is bound to get some fur to flying. Still the area of music must be examined. There are many forms of music available for Christians and non-Christians alike. Yet many choose to place Christianity on music simply by changing the Words of a popular tune. Because of this there are many forms of music purporting to be Christian when all it really is an attempt to change the Christian culture under the guiles of reaching the youth. This has resulted in “Christian” Rock, Punk Rock, Rap, Soul, R & B, Heavy Metal and the list goes on. God does not need the mimicking of stylistic ventures of the world in order to be worshipped. Instead He requires that the Church come out from the world and be separate (II Chronicles 6:17). And while the noted text is an Old Testament reference it holds much relevance today because it presents the idea of holiness which goes far beyond dispensational ideas.

     The idea of holiness appears absent even in the matter of the coming Halloween festivities. Many churches will have alternative activities which serve only to promote the diabolical influences of the infamous holiday. There are many that will have a Christian form of Halloween by having congregants dress as Mary, Jesus, Moses and other biblical characters while bobbing for apples and telling not so scary stories. This is far from the pulling away as referenced earlier rather this is kowtowing to influences that should have no say in the Christian realm. Christianity should have no likeness to the rest of the world. In matter of fact the converse is true; Christians should be peculiar be reason of their stand for holiness. This because the people of God are called to be “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (I Peter 2:9). And because Christians are holy then there is no room for calling things Christian that have no likeness of holiness.

     And there are hosts of other areas that can be examined insofar as separation is concerned.  This idea is encapsulated in just a few words; just ‘cause they call it Christian don’t make it Christian. As such it is prudent that those that seek to hold up the blood stained banner hold it up without wavering. Hold up the standard without concern for reprisal. The unsaved are looking for a difference and that difference cannot be found be calling things Christian that clearly are not.

Lost Causes

Some of you may have had the opportunity to see the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington starring James (Jimmy) Stewart. In the movie, Stewart’s character is a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed honest man full of honest ideals. His world is nearly crushed when he finds out that honesty was a rare trait. His desire to help young boys was seen as a lost cause but that the help of an initially reluctant quintessential aid propelled “Senator Smith” to take a stand on the Senate floor bringing attention to the worthless lost cause despite all those that sought to destroy this upright man of integrity. In the end, victory was had because in the mind of the young senator the only causes worth fight for were the lost causes.

Today we have like problems in Washington. There is so much evil that one can barely keep up with the scandals. Lies on top of lies are being told while the freedom of a people is slowly but surely being placed in jeopardy. Christianity is now the enemy of those that disdain freedom while The Constitution is treated as though the articles written therein are nothing more than suggestions rather than the law of the land. Freedom, as it seems, is a lost cause. The United States government is becoming larger and larger and the people are enjoying much less freedom. Yes, it seems that the freedom of a people is nothing more than a lost cause.

However, this is a lost cause that is not being ignored. It is a cause worth fighting for because freedom means that individuals can worship God as they see fit, speak their hearts, live where they choose and the list goes on. Yet the very idea of freedom is troublesome to some as indicated in the Affordable Care Act which is somewhat of a paradox because it is far from affordable and has little to do with health care. It has more to do with collecting data on the United States citizens and stripping freedoms from them. Even so, there are some that are standing and fighting this lost cause. Some seek to defund it while others seek to eradicate the law by other means. Either way, to many fighting the mammoth intrusion on the lives of a people is a lost cause. This is the reason it is worth fighting.

And there are other attacks on the freedom of this great nation. The government is collecting data in phone records. Emails are subject to scrutiny even if the authors are breaking no laws. Property rights are being impinged upon and attacks on free speech seem to be the order of the day. It is all a lost cause because the apathetic bow down to the powers to be simply because they will do what they want no matter what the people say. Well, there are some that will not give in to the freedom takers of this nation. One such person is Mark Levin. He constantly rails against the anti-constitutionalism and makes legal fights through his law firm against those that dare come against freedom. Moreover, Mr. Levin urges people to fight lost causes with him. One such way is through his most recent book The Liberty Amendments. [1] It would seem that Mr. Levin fights because freedom is a lost cause worth fighting for.

Just as there are attacks on the constitutional freedom of a people the attacks are just as great on those that name the Name of Christ. Christians are being attacked on every hand. To stand for the Word of God now means that Christians are insensitive bigots. However, before the dawn of Christianity, the Word looked down through the annals of time and saw countless lost causes. He saw people inundated by sin and that they stood no chance of enjoying communion with the Father. Even more, those that knew not the Father would be damned and forever separated from God. He saw lost causes that could not be ignored. With that, the Word became incarnate (John 1) and allowed Himself to live as a mere man. Christ knew that if He did not reach out to man then man would never know the freedom salvation brings. For these lost causes not only did Christ dwell in an earthen vessel but became the ultimate sacrifice for all so that reconciliation could be made with the Father.

There remain many lost causes on earth today. The disciples of Jesus were instructed to go into all the world and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15). That command is no less significant today. The lost causes are still worth fighting for. In fact, because they are lost causes they are the only ones worth fighting for. With that, it would be wise to use the tenacity of Senator Smith while honoring the Word of Christ to fight for the lost causes.

Created Equal: How Christianity Shaped The West

 DINESH D’SOUZA

In recent years there has arisen a new atheism that represents a direct attack on Western Christianity. Books such as Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great, and Sam Harris’ The End of Faith, all contend that Western society would be better off if we could eradicate from it the last vestiges of Christianity. But Christianity is largely responsible for many of the principles and institutions that even secular people cherish — chief among them equality and liberty.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” he called the proposition “self-evident.” But he did not mean that it is immediately evident. It requires a certain kind of learning. And indeed most cultures throughout history, and even today, reject the proposition. At first glance, there is admittedly something absurd about the claim of human equality, when all around us we see dramatic evidence of inequality. People are unequal in height, in weight, in strength, in stamina, in intelligence, in perseverance, in truthfulness, and in about every other quality. But of course Jefferson knew this. He was asserting human equality of a special kind. Human beings, he was saying, are moral equals, each of whom possesses certain equal rights. They differ in many respects, but each of their lives has a moral worth no greater and no less than that of any other. According to this doctrine, the rights of a Philadelphia street sweeper are the same as those of Jefferson himself.

This idea of the preciousness and equal worth of every human being is largely rooted in Christianity. Christians believe that God places infinite value on every human life. Christian salvation does not attach itself to a person’s family or tribe or city. It is an individual matter. And not only are Christians judged at the end of their lives as individuals, but throughout their lives they relate to God on that basis. This aspect of Christianity had momentous consequences.

Though the American founders were inspired by the examples of Greece and Rome, they also saw limitations in those examples. Alexander Hamilton wrote that it would be “as ridiculous to seek for [political] models in the simple ages of Greece and Rome as it would be to go in quest of them among the Hottentots and Laplanders.” In The Federalist Papers, we read at one point that the classical idea of liberty decreed “to the same citizens the hemlock on one day and statues on the next … .” And elsewhere: “Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.” While the ancients had direct democracy that was susceptible to the unjust passions of the mob and supported by large-scale slavery, we today have representative democracy, with full citizenship and the franchise extended in principle to all. Let us try to understand how this great change came about.

A New Morality

In ancient Greece and Rome, individual human life had no particular value in and of itself. The Spartans left weak children to die on the hillside. Infanticide was common, as it is common even today in many parts of the world. Fathers who wanted sons had few qualms about drowning their newborn daughters. Human beings were routinely bludgeoned to death or mauled by wild animals in the Roman gladiatorial arena. Many of the great classical thinkers saw nothing wrong with these practices. Christianity, on the other hand, contributed to their demise by fostering moral outrage at the mistreatment of innocent human life.

Likewise, women had a very low status in ancient Greece and Rome, as they do today in many cultures, notably in the Muslim world. Such views are common in patriarchal cultures. And they were prevalent as well in the Jewish society in which Jesus lived. But Jesus broke the traditional taboos of his time when he scandalously permitted women of low social status to travel with him and be part of his circle of friends and confidantes.

The Christian prohibition of adultery, a sin it viewed as equally serious for men and women, and rules concerning divorce that (unlike in Judaism and Islam) treated men and women equally, helped to improve the social status of women. Indeed so dignified was the position of the woman in Christian marriage that women predominated in the early Christian church, and the pagan Romans scorned Christianity as a religion for women.

Christianity did not immediately and directly contest patriarchy, but it helped to elevate the status of women in society.

Then there is slavery, a favorite topic for the new atheist writers. “Consult the Bible,” Sam Harris writes in Letter to a Christian Nation, “and you will discover that the creator of the universe clearly expects us to keep slaves.” Steven Weinberg notes that “Christianity … lived comfortably with slavery for many centuries.” Nor are they the first to fault Christianity for its alleged approval of slavery. But we must remember that slavery pre-dated Christianity by centuries and even millennia. It was widely practiced in the ancient world, from China and India to Greece and Rome. Most cultures regarded it as an indispensable institution, like the family. Sociologist Orlando Patterson has noted that for centuries, slavery needed no defenders because it had no critics.

But Christianity, from its very beginning, discouraged the enslavement of fellow Christians. We read in one of Paul’s letters that Paul himself interceded with a master named Philemon on behalf of his runaway slave, and encouraged Philemon to think of his slave as a brother instead. Confronted with the question of how a slave can also be a brother, Christians began to regard slavery as indefensible. As a result, slavery withered throughout medieval Christendom and was eventually replaced by serfdom. While slaves were “human tools,” serfs had rights of marriage, contract, and property ownership that were legally enforceable. And of course serfdom itself would eventually collapse under the weight of the argument for human dignity.

Moreover, politically active Christians were at the forefront of the modern anti-slavery movement. In England, William Wilberforce spearheaded a campaign that began with almost no support and was driven entirely by his Christian convictions — a story powerfully told in the recent film Amazing Grace. Eventually Wilberforce triumphed, and in 1833 slavery was outlawed in Britain. Pressed by religious groups at home, England then took the lead in repressing the slave trade abroad.

The debate over slavery in America, too, had a distinctively religious flavor. Free blacks who agitated for emancipation invoked the narrative of liberation in the Book of Exodus: “Go down Moses, way down to Egypt land and tell old Pharoah, let my people go.” But of course throughout history people have opposed slavery for themselves while being happy to enslave others. Indeed there were many black slave owners in the American South. What is remarkable in this historical period in the Western world is the rise of opposition to slavery in principle. Among the first to embrace abolitionism were the Quakers, and other Christians soon followed in applying politically the biblical notion that human beings are equal in the eyes of God. Understanding equality in this ingrained way, they adopted the view that no man has the right to rule another man without his consent. This latter idea (contained most famously in the Declaration of Independence) is the moral root both of abolitionism and of democracy.

For those who think of American history only or mostly in secular terms, it may come as news that some of its greatest events were preceded by massive Christian revivals. What historians call the First Great Awakening swept the country in the mid-eighteenth century, and helped lay the moral foundation of the American Revolution. Historian Paul Johnson describes the War for Independence as “inconceivable … without this religious background.” By this he means that the revival provided essential support for the ideas that fueled the Revolution. Jefferson, let us recall, proclaimed that human equality is a gift from God: we are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. Indeed there is no other possible source for them. And Jefferson later wrote that he was not expressing new ideas or principles when he wrote the Declaration, but was rather giving expression to something that had become settled in the American mind.

Likewise John Adams wrote: “What do we mean by the American Revolution? The war? That was no part of the Revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The Revolution was in the minds of the people … a change in their religious sentiments.” Those religious sentiments were forged in the fiery sermons of the First Great Awakening.

The Second Great Awakening, which began in the early nineteenth century, left in its wake the temperance movement, the movement for women’s suffrage, and most importantly the abolitionist movement. It was the religious fervor of men like Charles Finney, the Presbyterian lawyer who became president of Oberlin College, that animated the abolitionist cause and contributed so much to the chain of events that brought about America’s “new birth of freedom.”

And finally, fast forwarding to the twentieth century, the Reverend Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech referred famously to a promissory note and demanded that it be cashed. This was an appeal to the idea of equality in the Declaration of 1776. Remarkably, King was resting his case on a proclamation issued 200 years earlier by a Southern slave owner. Yet in doing so, he was appealing to a principle that he and Jefferson shared. Both men, the twentieth-century pastor and the eighteenth-century planter, reflected the influence of Christianity in American politics.

Freedom Redefined

Christianity has also lent force to the modern concept of individual freedom. There are hints of this concept both in the classical world and in the world of the ancient Hebrews. One finds, in such figures as Socrates and the Hebrew prophets, notable individuals who have the courage to stand up and question even the highest expressions of power. But while these cultures produced great individuals, as other cultures often do today, none of them cultivated an appreciation for individuality. And it is significant that Socrates and the Hebrew prophets came to bad ends. They were anomalies in their societies, and those societies — lacking respect for individual freedom — got rid of them.

As Benjamin Constant pointed out, freedom in the ancient world was the right to participate in the making of laws. Greek democracy was direct democracy in which every citizen could show up in the agora, debate issues of taxes and war, and vote on what action the polis should take. The Greeks exercised their freedom solely through active involvement in the political life of the city. There was no other kind of freedom and certainly no freedom of thought or of religion of the kind that we hold dear. The modern idea of freedom, by contrast, is rooted in a respect for the individual. It means the right to express our opinion, the right to choose a career, the right to buy and sell property, the right to travel where we want, the right to our own personal space, and the right to live our own life. In return, we are responsible only to respect the rights of others. This is the freedom we are ready to fight for, and we become indignant when it is challenged or taken away.

Christianity has played a vital role in the development of this new concept of freedom through its doctrine that all human beings are moral agents, created in God’s image, with the ability to be the architects of their own lives. The Enlightenment certainly contributed to this understanding of human freedom, though it drew from ideas about the worth of the individual that had been promulgated above all by the teachings of Christianity.

Let me conclude with a warning first issued by one of Western civilization’s greatest atheists, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The ideas that define Western civilization, Nietzsche said, are based on Christianity. Because some of these ideas seem to have taken on a life of their own, we might have the illusion that we can abandon Christianity while retaining them. This illusion, Nietzsche warns us, is just that. Remove Christianity and the ideas fall too.

In sum, the eradication of Christianity — and of organized religion in general — would also mean the gradual extinction of the principles of human dignity.

Consider the example of Europe, where secularization has been occurring for well over a century. For a while it seemed that secularization would have no effect on European morality or social institutions. Yet increasingly today there is evidence of the decline of the nuclear family. Overall birthrates have plummeted, while rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births are up.

Nietzsche also warned that, with the decline of Christianity, new and opposing ideas would arise. We see these today in demands for the radical redefinition of the family, the revival of eugenic theories, and even arguments for infanticide.

Consider human equality. Why do we hold to it? The Christian idea of equality in God’s eyes is undeniably largely responsible. The attempt to ground respect for equality on a purely secular basis ignores the vital contribution by Christianity to its spread. It is folly to believe that it could survive without the continuing aid of religious belief.

If we cherish what is distinctive about Western civilization, then — whatever our religious convictions — we should respect rather than denigrate its Christian roots.

Deuteronomy: Holiness Through the Promise

     The idea of holiness was to be a way of life for God’s people. God never intended His people to be like the others in serving false gods, living immoral lives and giving into the lusts of the flesh just because of simple cravings. God’s people were never at liberty to live as others did rather they were to live by a standard set down by God. That standard is reflected in the Law as God had given it to Moses. Part of that law is known as the Ten Commandments which begins with instructions for God’s people to have no gods other than the God of all. This primary instruction, if heeded, allows for no sin because the love toward God would be without barriers alleviating the need for sin.

     Unfortunately man had already proven that his love for God was often fickle at best.  Throughout biblical text God’s people loved Him one moment and seemed to despise Him the next. This is why God had to detail what is now considered the Mosaic Law. There were six hundred thirteen such laws which touched every avenue of life. Yet God knew that man could not adhere to the law without assistance. The real base of the Law was to love God. This is the reason it is the first commandment. Even so, man had a difficult time in following this first and simple mandate. It was extremely evident that man was fickle as the Hebrew children wandered in the wilderness for an extended period of time because of their hard hearts and stiff necks. It is for this reason that Moses looked through the annals of time and saw the coming Messiah.

     Promises of the Messiah were made as early as Genesis chapter three and continued until His manifestation in the Gospels. Moses’ words showed the Messiah as a Prophet in Deuteronomy 18:15. The words “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken” say much about what was to come in the form of a Saviour. It is more than obvious that this Prophet is a direct reference to Jesus the Christ for at least three reasons that are outlined in the verse. The first is that the Prophet would come from the midst of the people. That is to say that this Prophet would be born into the Hebrew lineage. The Prophet would also be elevated by God and that same Prophet would be heard by the people.

     The promise of the Prophet is reiterated in verse 18 with “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” This Prophet was to be sent because the people would not live a holy life on their own. Left to their whims the people would pull from holiness and celebrate not only false gods but their lives would be the very antithesis of what it meant to love God. The love for the true and living God would wax colder and colder whilst love for inordinate affections would be on the rise. With this the Prophet would turn the hearts of the people back to the God that loved them unconditionally. The whoremonging, backstabbing, loveless people would need to be taught how to be holy in the face of unholy surroundings. The Prophet needed to come before man’s false love would be his eternal downfall.   

     Mary was another that received information from on High that Jesus would be born as prophesied in the Second Law. Luke 1:31-33 reads, “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” And so was the birth of Jesus. He not only falls in the lineage of David but also reigns over the house of Jacob even to this day. His Words were not His own rather He spoke in accordance with the will of the Father (John 12:49-50). The will of the Father was and remains simple, to have a people that love Him and are willing to separate themselves from the things of the world in order to live life more fully.

     Holiness was never a suggestion from God rather it has always been a way of life for those that choose to live a life after His mandates. The law dictated how holy lives were to be lived but the law did little to change the hearts of man. As such there was a need for the Father to send His only begotten Son to die in order to restore a right relationship from man to the Father. That relationship has everything to do with holiness of actions as well as holiness of the heart. The promise in the Second Law pointed to the Holy One (Deuteronomy 33:8) while the Gospels show fulfillment of the promise. Recognizing the true intent of the Law and understanding the fulfillment of the promise is the basis to lead all God’s people to a life of love to Him which results in holiness. That holiness is predicated upon resting in the promise of the revealed Prophet Who came in the spirit of restoration.

 

The Reason Why

     I have been told that I protest too much against homosexuality. The reason is because I am supposed to be tolerant and understanding of those who choose to live a lifestyle other than that I have chosen. After all God loves the homosexual as well as the heterosexual. Making the matter more interesting is that one person proclaiming that I protest too much is counted as Christian. And while it is certain that God does indeed love the homosexual absolute certainty provides for the fact that God hates sin.

     But as I reflect on things that Christians have been apathetic about the matter of prayer and Bible reading in school comes to mind. It was because of one Godless person that the rights of Christians have been trampled upon. Because of her arguable hatred for the country and the God of it Madalyn Murray O’Hair found reason to make legal protestations against prayer and Bible reading in public schools. In 1963 “After the Baltimore courts ruled against her, she appealed her case all the way to the Supreme Court, who overwhelmingly ruled in her favor in 1963: school-sponsored Bible reading and prayer were banned in public schools.”[1] It would seem that O’Hair had no opposition from Christians but what if Christians would have taken a stand? And while the Supreme Court did not say there could be no prayer and Bible in school many are afraid to so out of fear of retribution.

     This is the reason why I stand for the Word of God. I have worked in public schools and with many students outside the school setting. At no time did I lay aside my constitutional and God given right to celebrate Jesus. In fact I have dared to teach biblical principles because it is not possible for me to separate myself from the God I serve. As such the reason why I am so bold in my stance is because the God of gods has proven Himself to me over and over and I refuse to relent to sound of political overtures or bend to the whistling winds of destruction.  But this is just one reason I stand. Roe vs. Wade is another Supreme Court decision wherein the Court decided that it was within a woman’s right to abort children under nearly all circumstances (410 U.S. 113 (1973)).

     There is little doubt that the State of Texas fought on behalf the unborn child. But what would have happened of the Christians had gathered together and fought in light of the Word of God in respect to the sanctity of life? Would we have Planned Parenthood in place now? Now, while it appears that Planned Parenthood seeks to protect the rights of the woman its true purpose was, and may continue to be, the eradication of Blacks in the United States. But Blacks were not the only problem. Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Higgins Sanger “primarily sought to control the reproduction of immigrants, the poor, certain religious groups, and anyone else she thought was from an “unacceptable” heritage.”[2] This is the reason I fight for the lives of those who cannot fight for themselves. If they are unborn they deserve to live out their lives as God prescribed. I am diametrically opposed to the unlawful and unrighteous taking of life just because the parents choose to live recklessly outside the perimeters set by God or because a true bigot takes issue with those for whom he disapproves.

     And now Christianity is being attacked again but more vigorously than ever before. There was a time when homosexuals were ashamed of their practices because they knew it was wrong. Now it is politically incorrect to suggest that the act of homosexuality is an abomination. Yet there is an issue that many do not consider that lies side by side with this immoral conduct and that is the matter of the effeminate. Basically the effeminate, as laid out in I Corinthians 6:9, are men that take on the likeness of and act like females. This goes to the matter of cross dressing and a range of other issues. God is not pleased when mankind perverts and changes inherent conditions of males and females yet we laugh when movie stars and others wade into this category. They have made light of God and made room for the abominable acts of homosexuality.   

     It seems that everyone is now stating that homosexual marriage is acceptable and should be a legal right. One of its greatest proponents is Barak Obama who unconstitutionally refuses to defend the Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by Bill Clinton. Going against his own convictions Clinton is now having reservations about marriage being between one man and one woman. And the matter grows worse. Even “Christians” are supporting this thing that God has condemned. One prominent group is the Episcopal Church. This corpus of adherents allows “priests in the 1.9 million-member church can officiate blessings to same-sex couples who are in long-term relationships.”[3] This very idea brings to light unchecked immorality that apparently runs throughout the Episcopal Church.   

     This is the reason why I stand for the standards set down by God. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for the very reason yet the United States Supreme Court is hearing arguments on who can constitutionally be married. The problem is that if the Court follows suit as in with abortion and prayer and Bible reading in school then this country might well find itself without the God who has been faithful to it. This is the reason why I stand because I know God’s Word to be true and I further realize that if Christians stand and hold fast to the Word of God then the immoral and ungodly agenda of reprobates and heathens will be halted. Yes, the reason why I stand is because Christ continues to stand for me. The reason I protest homosexuality is because it is abhorred by God!

 

Get Right With God

The past couple days of been somewhat somber for me. A family that I mentor and advise spiritually lost the lady of the house. The most immediate impact of her untimely demise is to her husband of thirteen years and four young children from the ages of seven to eleven. While I can delve into the hurt and pain associated with losing a loved one the thing that came immediately to my mind was the old song “Get Right With God.”

Yes, there is mourning taking place. Even I expect to see her sitting in her favourite spot when I enter the family home. It simply does not seem real because she was taken out by a sudden massive heart attack. But I am reminded of the fact that when Christ returns to collect His Church He will come quickly and without warning. He has provided us with warning after warning of His soon and sudden return. Preachers having been warning for years that the return of Christ will be as a thief in the night as the Church is suddenly taken from the present world. Just look at the present situation in the United States alone.

It is accepted by many to tell lies of the lie is harmless. Yet Scripture teaches that all liars will have their place in the lake that burns with fire. Yet even those holding positions in church choose to lie. But lying is part of the problem. Many continually entertain unclean thoughts. The vast array of unclean thoughts will not be addressed here but one can easily surmise that when thoughts are not taken captive according to the Word of God any number of things can happen.  Unclean thoughts are part of the reason that many are living with the idea that altering their minds with marijuana, alcohol and other illicit drugs are OK so long as no one else is being harmed.

And the evil thoughts continue in so many ways such as the increase of immorality on every front. Said differently, this nation has succumbed to the disease of sin. Sin is what pulls away from God and sin will be the cause of eternal damnation. You see in the Book of Numbers God provided His people specific instructions. If they adhered to God’s Word they would find themselves walking in God’s blessings. Yet if they disobeyed Numbers 32:23 clearly indicates that “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.”

I certainly mourn the untimely death of this forty-six year old lady even while I wonder how many people die without making things right with God. How many die knowing that God is there for them yet they figure that they have the rest of their lives while the numbering of their days is at hand? And then what about those on the fringes of the church walking around with a form of godliness but denying the very power thereof? And then you have those that work as though their very services are the means to get into the Kingdom.

It is high time that this nation return to its roots of trusting in God. We have left our first love and need to fall on our faces in repentance. No, just a verbal acknowledgement of shortcomings but rather actions turning away from those things that turn from the holiness of God. It means that those on the fringes will submit to the Cloud that covers and protects while allowing the Holy Spirit to not only indwell but also to guide and comfort. It is time that we, collectively and individually, get right with God and do it now!

In Case You Did Not Know

It’s true and I know I don’t mention it much but other than being an author and blogger I am also a public speaker. Yes, I have been know to get behind the mike espousing truths to all that will hear.

Now, while I often speak at church services in forums that include revivals, anniversaries and the like I answer to just good old-fashioned preaching and teaching. I also provide lectures, workshops and many other speaking venues. But my services are not for churches alone. If your company needs a speaker on such issues as diversity and ethics I will do my all to answer the call.

And if you want to know more about me I will be brief but you can learn more about me on my website. Even so I was saved at the age of seventeen, worked in the church in nearly every position to my present associate pastor. Further academia has found its way on my resume. I hold an A.A. in Business, a B.S. in Religion, M.A.R. in Biblical Studies and an M.Div in Pastoral Ministries. It is my hope one to to acquire that elusive doctorate.

Now, you know how to contact me and you know that all my work is premised upon the Word of God so I am on the standby to aid you in that I can.