A bright light in History

Are you aware of the important place that the Bible played in the early history of our nation? What influence does the Bible have today in governing our personal lives and governmental practices?

The Continental Congress was closely related to the American Bible Society. Elias Boudinot was the president of the Continental Congress in 1782 and the first president of the American Bible Society.

Our sixth U.S. President, John Quincy Adams, also had a role in the American Bible Society. On April 27, 1837, Adams wrote, “The highest, the transcendent glory of the American Revolution was this—it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the precepts of Christianity.” The author of our National Anthem, Francis Scott Key, was the vice president of the American Bible Society from 1817 until his death in 1843. It has been reported that the Continental Congress purchased 2,000 copies of the Bible from the American Bible Society for the people of this nation.

On September 19, 1796, George Washington indicated the impossibility of trying to govern the world without God and the Bible. He said, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

One of the most influential educational tools was they Readere McGuffey Reader, written by William Holmes McGuffey. Public schools used it for over 100 years. It sold over one million copies each year. President Lincoln called him, “the Schoolmaster to the Nation.” McGuffey said, “From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible I make no apology.”

In 1782, the Congress authorized the first American printing of an English language Bible in the U.S. In response to a lawsuit in 1844 involving the teaching of the Bible in a school, the Supreme Court ruled, “Why should not the Bible and especially the New Testament…be read and taught as a divine revelation in the school? Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”   

Do you remember singing a little song as a child, “The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me! I stand alone on the word of God, the B-I-B-L-E!” Could there be more wisdom in that verse of that childhood song than the advanced degrees of education that we are issuing today?Discuss with your friends, family, coworkers, these questions: 

1.) Are we smarter than our forefathers? 

2.) Has the Bible changed or have we changed?

3.) What place do you think the Bible should play in our political and educational system today?

4.) What are some things our 116th Congress today could learn from the leaders of the Continental Congress?

How bright is the light for your path today? (Psalm 119:105)

Rejection

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him. 2 Peter 2:4

Contiue reading below

How well do you know your true self?

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Free speech costs plenty!

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What’s the difference between knowing and believing?

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Must we confess our sins to be forgiven?

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How to pick the right religion

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A tale of two Bibles

Which Bible looks more like your Bible? Continue reading →

The Struggle In Today’s Church

Editor’s Note: I ran across this post on Writinggomer’s  blog and wanted to share it with my readers. Greg has some of the same issues I have expressed on this blog before about the state of the church today.  Is the church more like a harlot or the Bride of Christ?

By Writinggomer
Published on his website: Believing God Today

How would you like your eggs today, over-easy, scrambled, fried, sunny-side up, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, poached, or shirred?? How about your steak; rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, or well done?? Choice of potatoes? This sounds like questions for a meal in a restaurant right?

Can you relate the above questions to today’s Church? Depending on the meal you choose when eating in a restaurant, you, the patron, sometimes have Continue reading →

What’s your GQ–your Growth Quotient?

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5 things you can do to become religious

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He brought his Bible to church and they thought he was strange

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Why didn’t God just write a “To-do” list for us to follow?

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Could you go an entire day without breaking at least 1 of the 10 commandments?

By James Corwin
James blogs over at DirtyHands.com

 Which commandment do we all break?

Typically for the sake of clarity we condense and number them. Different groups of Christians number them slightly differently. I won’t get the why and how of that now. It’s interesting but not important to the overall question. This is how I learned them.

  1. You shall have no other gods. (no idols)
  2. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  3. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
  4. Honor your father and mother.
  5. You shall not murder.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

So back to that first question. Which commandment do we all break most often?

I’ve heard many people say it’s numbers 9 and 10; coveting. Living in an affluent North American context this is obviously a problem. Our whole economic system would collapse in about ten seconds if we all gave this one up. After all our economy is built on consumerism; buying things. Companies spend literally billions of dollars to make you want what is not and in some cases should not be yours. But coveting isn’t the most frequently broken commandment.

Few people ever say it’s numbers 5 or 6. The reasoning goes like this, “Sure some people do murder or commit adultery. But those are the outliers. Most people don’t have serious issues with these two.” That reasoning works unless you happen to consider what Jesus says about numbers 5 and 6 in Matthew 5. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” And, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you everyone who looks at a woman (or man) with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” OK. So, seen in that light numbers 5 and 6 are broken more often than we would think at first. But they still are nowhere near the commandment we break most often.

The commandment we all break is the first. “You shall have no other gods.” Martin Luther once said the fundamental problem in law-breaking is always idolatryIn other words, we never break the other commandments without first breaking the commandment against idolatry. (A Treatise on Good Works parts X, XI) Let that sink in a moment. In his explanation of the first commandment he wrote, “You shall have no other gods. What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” And so anything that you fear, love, or trust more than God has become an idol for you.

When a person steals and breaks the seventh commandment, they have already broken the first. Their desire to have what they stole grew out of a violation of the first commandment. They did not fear, love or trust in God above all else. And so to fill their desire they took what was not theirs. And you can go down the list like that with all the other commandments. Each violation can be traced back to a breaking of the first commandment; “You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

Idols aren’t only or necessarily funny little statues made out of wood or metal that the unenlightened people of the past prayed to, but that we have outgrown. An idol can be anything. Anything you fear above all else. Anything you love above all else. Anything you trust above all else. The gods of today that vie for God’s place in your life are so ordinary and commonplace that many of us don’t even give them a second thought. The false gods of today don’t go by the name of Baal, or Molech, or Ashtoreth. They are our retirement funds and bank accounts, they are our homes and our families, and they are our countries and our smartphones. And we do our bowing and kneeling to them with our schedules, our credit cards, our imaginations and our work.

Yes, we all break the first commandment. And we break it often. The good news in all of this is that the Big Ten were never meant to be a checklist to get into heaven. God doesn’t attach a percentage to them and say, “If you keep them 90 percent of the time, or 60 percent, or 40 percent, then I’ll let you in. No. They do detail how God wants us to live. But in trying to keep them we learn not only the depth of our sin, but also our utter incapability to keep them.

Once Jesus was asked by a young man seeking to justify himself, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus expertly opened the young man’s eyes to the idol that was standing between him and God. The thing he feared, loved and trusted above all else was his wealth. He walked away sad, unable and unwilling to give it up. The disciples, watching from the sidelines, and realizing their own failings said, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus responded, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:16-30)

Yes we break the first commandment most often. We break it every day. How should we respond? By repenting and trusting in Jesus, the one who from the cross said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Letter to Millennials from the Frustrated Church

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The Bible Police

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Do you believe in angels?

After my “Our family’s close call” post Tuesday, I received this comment from a dear and sweet friend,

“just seconds made the difference and the angels were definitely watching over them!!!   praise The Lord!!”

Oh, YES! I agree!

Another fantastic follower commented,

“I think we are all going to stand before Him someday and see all the close calls and near misses and be simply amazed!”

Amen and Amen!

Over the years I’ve listened to a number of amazing accounts of ministering angels fromangels personal friends. Probably the most memorable came from our pastor. A woman approached him after a Sunday morning service and revealed her astonishing encounter.

The women as financially strapped and needed a certain amount of money to resolve a financial matter or face negative consequences. The woman told our pastor that during our prayer time, she was praying and asking God to answer her prayer and meet her need. In the middle of her prayer, she felt a tap on the shoulder. She turned around and a woman behind her handed her an envelop and said, “I believe this is for you.” The woman turned around and opened the envelop. She opened the envelop and counted out the exact amount she needed to resolve her financial crisis.  The woman turned to thank the woman behind her but she wasn’t there.

Not only was she not there, but the pew was full. There was no room on the pew for another person to have been sitting.

The Bible speaks more than 90 times about the existence and ministry work of angels. To me, then, it’s difficult for me to deny they exist. Especially when I’ve had personal experience of their ministry and heard first hand accounts of angels working in the lives of people.

I believe understanding angels and understanding God’s grace are both aspects of God’s character and His love for us that we will one day see first hand and understand completely.

Will public libraries ban the Bible?

I’ve read two emotionally-charged stories and received email this week suggesting that public libraries might ban the Bible.

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Why Do We Read The Bible?

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The Jesus Fan Club

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How About THESE Rules?

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A Major Holiday Casualty

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And You Read Your Bible When . . .?

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He Didn’t Invite Her To Church

Leftist, Feminist Lesbian Professor Now A Pastor’s Wife Continue reading →

I Love My “The Book” Bible Version

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