Tag Archives: ancient

THE REMAINS OF ANTIQUITY TESTIFY (Philippi)


THE REMAINS OF ANTIQUITY TESTIFY (Philippi)

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

The ship left the port of Athens at night. Calm seas allowed land lovers to have a peaceful sleep. Next morning, a cold front brought rain showers and rougher seas, allowing some to experience sea sickness, but calmness soon re-appeared, and following a delicious breakfast, the ship docked in Kavala, a thriving city biblically noted as Neopolis. With sack lunches in hand, a tour bus began the fairly short inland trip to the ancient city of Philippi. Along the mountain road one could view below the ancient Roman highway made of cobblestone, and wide enough for one automobile. Here Roman soldiers of old marched four abreast, and chariots were driven to this ancient Roman colony outpost.

 

The ruins of Philippi are situated at the base of mountain into the side of which was constructed an amphitheater, attesting to the many civic gatherings and entertainment events its citizens enjoyed. The city ruins constitute approximately two blocks in width and three or four blocks long. Surely, one would find some evidence of the apostle Paul’s visit to this place. They were there.

 

There was a large open area around which were the remnants of shops and municipal buildings. This would be the place where the demon-possessed woman harassed the apostle until he drove it from her. Also, there was on the western outskirts of the town a small, swift stream still flowing freely. It was deep in places, and in some areas narrow enough that an athletic person could jump across it. This is the stream where some of the ancients gathered to pray, and Paul preached here and won and baptized Lydia, a seller of purple from Thyatira. 

 

Ruins of the prison at Philippi still stand. The cubical cells of thick rock construction gives vision of Paul and Silas singing and praising God in the dead of night with wounds on their back still smarting severely from the lashes of the whip laid on them. They had deprived men of the city their fundraising opportunities by exorcising the demon possessed woman who no longer could serve them as before. It was here that God sent an earthquake, loosed the prisoner’s bands, and brought the jailor to his knees, and Christ Jesus into his heart.

 

At one end of the colony excavations there remains ruins of a church house dating back to the third century A wall, marble flooring, and a deep water baptistery constructed in the form of a cross all testified of the influence of Paul, Silas, the jailor and his house, and so many others that led to its construction and use. The marvelous book of Philippians testifies of the worship that ensued for decades.
I thanked God for Paul, Silas, and so many unnamed others whose lives counted for Christ Jesus: His person, words, and works. Antiquity still testifies: this is the place; this is where it happened, and we are blessed as a result.

Leave a comment

Filed under Commentary, Uncategorized

Is America Becoming a Pagan Kingdom? 1


 By Kelly OConnell  Monday, December 17, 2012

It must be some kind of joke to suggest the United States of America is turning resolutely towards paganism, the antithesis of Christianity—correct? Sadly, this is exactly what appears to be quickly happening to this most Christian of all nations in terms of origin and practice. We see this in our views of government, family, economics, freedom, law and especially religion. We are now presented with a kind modern homo paganus, a modernized version of ancient man. Paganism is defined as:
1. An adherent of a polytheistic religion in antiquity, especially when viewed in contrast to an adherent of a monotheistic religion.
2. A Neopagan.
3. Offensive—a. One who has no religion; b. An adherent of a religion other than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.
4. A hedonist.
Paganism is a set of beliefs and practices essentially tied to the societies of the ancient world outside Judaism and Christianity. In particular, classical paganism was the worldview of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The revival of these ancient cultures during the Renaissance by way of the ancient writers is the foundation for Humanism. Despite the many high points of ancient classical paganism, these cultures’ values were rejected by the Christian West as utterly at odds with the great standards created by the rise of Christian Europe. This article details how these standards, misunderstood and rejected, are being slowly lost and replaced by unenlightened instincts and more primitive beliefs.

I. The Drift of Modern American Public Policy & Societal Mores
When gay marriage bills pass for the first time in state ballots, it is obvious that a new day has dawned in America. As opposed to the mere evolution of ideas and habits which occurs in every culture, the transition in the US represents a sea-change in beliefs and practice. This change represents a fall back into paganism, which could be argued the default thoughts and ideals of unregenerate mankind. Further, one could directly state that there are two essential worldviews of mankind—the biblical versus pagan.
Paganism therefore rejects biblical revelation of the One God, and an objective definition of truth—replacing it with a regime of superstition, earth worship, polytheism, and radical humanism. The latter is the replacement of any traditional Western idea of religion with rank secularism, however that might attain. An example of the latter would be Marxism with its savage embargo of God, which replaced tradition with a comically inept reign of humanistic pseudo-science, totally rejecting constitutionalism, natural law, and human rights.
It is a fundamental conviction of modern mankind that human society is destined to evolve and that all evolution occurs to positive results. This notion is tied into the prevalent belief that humans evolved and therefore evolution is a fixed and positive reality of human life. Instead, this pernicious notion would be harmful, even if humans were products of Darwinian evolution—because it fatalistically blesses every change without bothering to analyze it. Certainly this is one of the causes of the continuing fall in human happiness in our increasingly confused and contradictory society. These reborn pagan practices all help guide our fall.
II. Ancient Roots of Modern Paganism
Foundation of the West’s Argument Against Paganism
The chief and most devastating arguments against paganism were levied by Christian Roman emperors, and by the ancient Church Fathers. These can be boiled down to a few central principles. First, according to the emperors, paganism rejected God’s rule over mankind. Likewise, according to the Patristic Fathers, essential truth can only be known via revelation—by divine gift to mankind, as opposed to the flawed results of humanistic philosophizing.
Second, since only God knows the truth, only He can deliver this through His Word. So to oppose this, whether by pagan or heretic means is one of the most grievous sins imaginable. The emperors, such as Constantine made proposing such pagan falsehoods against the law. Other emperors may have battled back against this mandate, such as Julian the Apostate, but the tide was clear and eventually the Roman Empire became officially Christianized.
The triumph of Christianity against paganism amongst the common people should be seen as the understandable acceptance of a theory of God which was not arbitrary, offering a description of life based upon hope over fear. Also, the Bible gained cachet by presenting a vision of life where all men and women, regardless of status, citizenship, free or slave, all stood on equal footing before God. This powerful idea was the opposite of Roman society. Sadly, rejecting this can only be seen as a lapse from faith back into the abyss of ignorance and certain failure.

Leave a comment

Filed under End Time Events