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157 – June 06 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

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Their Preaching was a Matter of Right

A full day had passed since the apprehension of the four preachers and the exhorter in the meetinghouse yard. According to their bond they were now appearing in court June 6, 1768, and were being accused, as many other Baptists were subsequently accused, of being vagrants, strollers, and disturbers of the peace. The only real disturbers of the peace were the ruffians who would pelt them with apples and stones, drag them from their pulpits, beat them with fists, pound their heads on the ground, and on occasions duck them in water until they nearly drowned. Their only supposed crimes were quoting Scripture, preaching the gospel of the grace of God, and condemning the vices of the state-supported clergy.

 

John Waller, one of the accused, made his own and his brethren’s defense so ingeniously that the court was somewhat puzzled to know how to dispose of them. Waller was capable of this feat, being a brilliant, talented scholar and having received his education from private tutors.

 

Though bred a churchman, he was distinguished from other John Wallers by the title “Swearing Jack” because of his profane speech. He was converted and embraced the principles of the Baptists as a result of sitting on the grand jury before whom Lewis Craig gave testimony. The court offered to release Waller and the others if they would promise to preach no more in the county for a year and a day. They dared not obey this mandate because it was in conflict with the supreme command of their God, their sovereign, but they could cheerfully submit to the penalty which unjust human law inflicted, thus demonstrating its oppressive injustice and paving the way for its repeal.

 

Having a petition for their release refused on July 4, 1768, Lewis Craig and Benjamin Waller, upon presenting a petition to the General Court in Williamsburg, received a letter from the attorney general to the deputy governor, advising that “their petition was a matter of right” and also suggesting to the “king’s attorney” that he was not to “molest these conscientious people, so long as they behaved themselves in a manner becoming pious Christians, and in obedience to the laws.”

 

 

The post 157 – June 06 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST appeared first on The Trumpet Online.

 

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The shattering of Jars of Clay


A question for Dan Haseltine with Jars of Clay: Do you think that God’s order for marriage and family, established plainly in the Word and recognized by virtually all societies in history, can be thrown aside without consequences?

 

Tweet to @DrMichaelLBrown
Beginning on Tuesday, Dan Haseltine, front-man for the popular Christian band Jars of Clay, took to Twitter to announce his apparent support for same-sex “marriage.” And for the life of him, he can’t figure out a single good reason to oppose it.
It is for reasons like this that we have been sounding the alarm these last ten years.
In a series of tweets posted over a three-day period, and prompted by a movie he watched while in flight, he wrote: “The treatment of people as less than human based on the color of skin is crazy … Or gender, or sexual orientation for that matter.”
Of course, to compare skin color with “sexual orientation” is to compare apples with oranges, as has been demonstrated many times before.
But that was only the beginning. He added, “Not meaning to stir things up BUT … Is there a non-speculative or non ‘slippery slope’ reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one.”
This really boggles the mind.
When you’re sliding down a dangerous slippery slope, you don’t say, “Give me one good reason we’re in danger, other than the fact that we’re careening down this deadly slope.”
No. You grab hold of something to stop your fall and then figure out how to climb back to solid ground.
Does this gifted artist not realize that the only reason we’re talking about redefining marriage today is because we are well down that slope already?
This is the day of full-blown incestuous relationships on popular TV shows like Game of Thrones; of other shows glorifying polyamory (married and dating!), polygamy (from Big Love to Sister Wives to My Five Wives), and teen pregnancy; of news reports about the “wedding” of three lesbians. It is the day of almost half of all first-time American mothers having their babies out of wedlock, with cohabitation rates up more than 700 percent since 1960, and it is against this backdrop that talk of same-sex “marriage” has become prominent.
Do we really want to accelerate the destruction of marriage?
Dan also tweeted: “I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. Is the argument born of isolated application of scripture or is it combined with the knowledge born of friendship with someone who is gay? I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage.  No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?”
Assuming Dan’s sincerity, let me reply to his questions.
First, for years now, Christian leaders have been articulating many good reasons why it is not good for society to redefine marriage, quite apart from the (very valid) slippery slope argument, and some of them have not even used the Bible to prove their points. Important books on the subject include those of Frank Turek, Matthew D. Staver, Erwin Lutzer, and, most recently, Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis, and Ryan T. Andersen, among others.
My YouTube debate on the subject is readily available, and there are fine books outlining the biblical definition of marriage and sexuality, including studies by Andreas Kostenberger and Richard M. Davison. Second, while there is strong biblical support for gender distinction, there is no support for the oppression of women, which is why the spread of Christianity around the world has had a liberating effect on women over the centuries. In stark contrast, the Bible condemns all forms of homoeroticism (as is recognized by many gay scholars as well), while every single example of God-blessed marriage or romance takes place between a man and a woman.
I have an online lecture that addresses this issue, and I tackle the subject at length in my new book as well (Can You Be Gay and Christian?). There is simply no comparison between women’s rights and sanctioning homosexual practice.
Third, the argument against same-sex “marriage” is based on the consistent testimony of Scripture, affirmed by Moses, Jesus, and Paul, and it is never contradicted a single time from Genesis to Revelation. Again, I demonstrate this in my new book, and other scholars, most notably Robert A. Gagnon, have argued this persuasively in depth. (Despite many attacks on his work, his arguments stand strong.)
Fourth, many of us have gay friends or relatives, and our positions are motivated by love. But what does having a gay friend or relative have to do with understanding God and His Word? I have dear friends who are very religious Jews, and they are some of the finest people I know, yet I still believe they are lost without Jesus. (And they, of course, see me as gravely deceived.)
Do we rewrite the Bible to accommodate our sentiments towards others, just because they are nice people?
Fifth, as articulated in the books cited in the first point, above, there are many negative consequences to redefining marriage, including: the assault on the freedoms of conscience, speech, and religion of those who do not accept this redefinition; the establishing of households that guarantee that a child will have either no father or no mother; the transformation of children’s education to include the validation of all forms of “marriage”; the continued deconstruction of gender distinctions, leading to all kinds of societal confusion; and much, much more.
It is for good reason that gay activists have long declared that if they can redefine marriage, the rest of their goals will inevitably be realized.
In short, yes, redefining marriage declares a massive war on “traditional marriage” (better framed as “true marriage” or “natural marriage”) and yes, it leads to all kinds of societal breakdown.
Put another way (and this is a question for you, Dan): Do you think that God’s order for marriage and family, established plainly in the Word and recognized by virtually all societies in history, can be thrown aside without consequences?
Dan, you wrote: “Never liked the phrase: ‘Scripture clearly says…(blank) about… Because most people read and interpret scripture wrong.”
Perhaps this is the root of your problem? Is the Bible not clear about anything? Sin? Salvation? Forgiveness? Jesus being the only Savior and Lord? Adultery being bad? Fidelity being good? Shall I list 100 more items that are abundantly clear in Scripture?
But it appears you’re not really certain about many moral issues, based on your tweet that said, “I don’t think scripture ‘clearly’ states much of anything regarding morality,” and, “I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is ‘wrong.’ I care more about how it says we should treat people.”
Did you really mean to write this? Is it possible to spend five minutes reading God’s precious Word without recognizing that Scripture clearly states a tremendous amount regarding morality and that, without His moral standards, we will never treat others rightly?
You also asked: “Just curious what ‘condoning a persons [sic] homosexuality’ does. Does it change you? Does it hurt someone? What is behind the conviction?”
Do you not realize that couples involved in consensual adult incest (and other relationships) are asking this exact same question? What do you say to them?
Perhaps it is a Jesus-based, Spirit-led, scripturally-grounded morality that is behind our convictions? And if we condone something God opposes – which means that it is not good for the people involved – how are we showing them love? To the contrary, we are actually hurting them.
My brother, as an influential Christian leader, you have a tremendous responsibility before the Lord to those who follow you, especially to impressionable, young believers, and you have not acted wisely by opening up a volatile discussion like this on Twitter.
Were there no godly leaders you could counsel with privately? Was it good stewardship of your popularity and influence to announce your views on Twitter and then expect a substantive dialogue delimited by 140-character tweets? Are subjects like the meaning of marriage and the authority of God’s Word in the life of a Christian now decided by who can come up with the catchier sound bite?
You probably don’t know me from Adam, but I’ll be glad to spend time with you to help you address these issues from the position of grace and truth. My door is open to you, and as one who greatly appreciates the culture-impacting power of music and song, it would be my privilege to meet with you.
That being said, if these tweets expose the soft, scripturally weak underbelly of the contemporary Christian music scene, then let’s put on our seatbelts and expect the worst.
The good news is that this will separate the wheat from the chaff – and in the end, the light will outshine the darkness.

Dr. Michael Brown, a Jewish believer in Jesus, is a biblical scholar, apologist, worldwide speaker, and activist. He is the host of the nationally syndicated, talk radio program “Line of Fire,” and he serves as president of FIRE School of Ministry in Concord, NC, as well as adjunct professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 21 books, most recently “The Real Kosher Jesus.”

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157 — June 06 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Their Preaching Was a Matter of Right

 

A full day had passed since the apprehension of the four preachers and the exhorter in the meetinghouse yard. According to their bond they were now appearing in court June 6, 1768, and were being accused, as many other Baptists were subsequently accused, of being vagrants, strollers, and disturbers of the peace. The only real disturbers of the peace were the ruffians who would pelt them with apples and stones, drag them from their pulpits, beat them with fists, pound their heads on the ground, and on occasions duck them in water until they nearly drowned. Their only supposed crimes were quoting Scripture, preaching the gospel of the grace of God, and condemning the vices of the state-supported clergy.

 

John Waller, one of the accused, made his own and his brethren’s defense so ingeniously that the court was somewhat puzzled to know how to dispose of them. Waller was capable of this feat, being a brilliant, talented scholar and having received his education from private tutors.  Though bred a churchman, he was distinguished from other John Wallers by the title “Swearing Jack” because of his profane speech. He was converted and embraced the principles of the Baptists as a result of sitting on the grand jury before whom Lewis Craig gave testimony. The court offered to release Waller and the others if they would promise to preach no more in the county for a year and a day. They dared not obey this mandate because it was in conflict with the supreme command of their God, their sovereign, but they could cheerfully submit to the penalty which unjust human law inflicted, thus demonstrating its oppressive injustice and paving the way for its repeal.

 

Having a petition for their release refused on July 4, 1768, Lewis Craig and Benjamin Waller, upon presenting a petition to the General Court in Williamsburg, received a letter from the attorney general to the deputy governor, advising that “their petition was a matter of right” and also suggesting to the “king’s attorney” that he was not to “molest these conscientious people, so long as they behaved themselves in a manner becoming pious Christians, and in obedience to the laws.”

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 233 -234.

 

 

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The Trial – The plea of Innocence


Some of the defendants in the court room disagree with the declaration that they are guilty in God’s sight. The defense attorney, as their spokesman, steps forward to plead mankind’s innocence, claiming first that the pagan world is innocent of God’s existence, and, secondly, that they cannot know his will.

A Ignorance of God’s Existence – The heathen nations, until a servant of the living God comes to them, live without the light of God’s special revelation.
1. The Plea Presented – The counsel for the defense, with the eye of every person in the courtroom fixed upon him, addresses the Judge, saying, “Your Honor, my clients are not guilty as charged. They are accused of ungodliness, but they cannot be held responsible for their failure to honor a God concerning whom they have never heard. None of their own prolphets has ever received a vision or direct communication from the Almighty. Therefore, Your honor, my clients – the uninformed heathen-cannot be held responsible for their ungodliness. In their behalf I enter a plea of not guilty.
2. The Plea Refuted – The Apostle Paul rises to his feet and asks for permission to speak. He is now ready to substantiate his previous statement that men are indeed responsible for having refused God’s truth. Even the heathen have rejected the revelation given them in the created world. Therefore, with a glow of Heavenly ligh on his face, he says, “Your Honor, the invisible attributes of “God-that is, his eteral power and deity – can be seen and understood through the things which He has made. Every person even the heathen to whom no special revelation has ever been given, has seen enough and understood enough about God to be rendered completely without excuse.”
The wwords of Paul, recorded in Romans 1:20, make a telling impact upon all present in the courtroom. A hush falls upon every person as the apostle calls for his first witness to corroborate his declaration taht God has revealed Himself in nature. An aged Jew with white hair and long flowing beard, a man highly respected for the godliness of his life steps to the witness chair, solemnly takes his oath, and, carefully unrolling his scroll, reads from the sacred Hebrew Scriptures:

The heavens declare the glory of God, and
the firmament showeth his handiwork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night
unto night showeth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language, where
their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
his going forth is from the
end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends
of it; and there is nothing hidden from the heat thereof (Palm 19:1-4, 6).

Yes, the invisible attributes of God are revealed in the created world, and wvery person who possesses some ability to think or reason is responsible if he rejects that revelation.

B. Ignorance of God’s Will – The words of the prosecuting attorney and the aged witness have clearly demonstrated that men are guilty of rejecting the revelation of God readily observable in the created world. The defense attorney now seeds to prove that even though man may know something about God through nature, it is not enough to make him morally responsible for his conduct.
1. The Claim Submitted – Eager to show that a revelation of God in nature is too general to be of any value in regulating life, the defense counselor again addresses the Judge, “Your Honor, it may be true that the heathen world should de able to gather some facts about God through observing the created world. However, since this living and holy God has never spoken to them, it is impossible for them to know what He wants them to do. he has never told them how they should conduct themselves.”
2. The Claim Refuted – Once again the Apostle Paul stands up and says, ‘Your Honor, the defense attorney is overlooking something. Men every where have an inner consciousness of what is righ and what is wrong. Even though this quality has been dimmed because of deliberate wickedness, it still exists everywhere. your Honor, at one time all men knew God, but they refused to glorify him, and did not give Him thanks. They deliberately turned from the light, began to think wrongly and act fookishly, and plunged themselves more deeply into spiritual darkness.”
Because, when they knew God, they glorified
him not as God, neither were thankful, but
became vain in their imaginations, and their
foolish heart was darkened (Romans 1:21).
Thus Paul affirms that spiritual ignorance is not the cause of ungodliness, but its result. Men knew God, but they did not properly respond to this knowledge. The pleas “not guilty” advanced for the heathen people of the world cannot be justified. God has revealed Himself to them outwardly through the created world and inwardly through a universal consciousness of His moral law, but men have rejected that light.

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