Tag Archives: principles

God Expects Christian Growth


 

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat,” Hebrews 5:12.

 

When our children were infants, we would take them to the doctor for regular check-ups and one of the first things the nurses did was measure the child’s weight and height.  The doctor would then make a general determination of the child’s health based upon age, weight and height and, hopefully, say things like, “Your child is healthy and growing normally.” If the child did not meet the growth requirements expected, it would be necessary to run tests to see if there was something wrong. Normal growth in a child is expected, but stunted growth is an indication that there might be a physiological abnormality.

 

The same is true in the spiritual life of every believer: God expects Christian growth. The Bible does not give us normative growth charts or spiritual growth deadlines, but in some places, including our Key Verse for today, God expressed disappointment in believers who had been walking with Him long enough that they should have been teaching others, but were not. The problem God had with these believers is that they never built upon their faith. They should have been mature enough to transmit truth to other people but because they had a problem of apathy, disobedience and doubt in their hearts, their growth was stunted. God weighs and measures us daily. Has He found us mature and teaching others or has He found us still in a stage of spiritual infancy? Unlike children, we are responsible for feeding ourselves and growing in our faith.

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you commit to growing in your faith today?

 

 

Mark Clements

 

 

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189 – July, 08 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Baptists planted the seeds for the First Amendment

 

The principles of “Religious Liberty” as embodied in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution began in the colony of Rhode Island. Roger Williams obtained the first charter in 1643 or 44’, and the first body of laws was drawn under it in 1647. Under this charter the following words were added: “And otherwise than this what is herein forbidden, all men may walk as their consciences persuade them, everyone in the name of his God. And let the lambs of the Most High walk in this colony without molestation in the name of Jehovah their God forever.” The second charter was gained by Dr. John Clarke on July 8, 1663. A few years earlier, in 1656, the Rhode Island founders’ conviction of religious freedom was severely tested by their neighbors in the Congregational Colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts and Connecticut. They pressed them hard to give up the principle of religious liberty and to join their confederacy to crush the Quakers and prevent any more of them from coming to New England. This Rhode Island refused to do and sent the following answer: “We shall strictly adhere to the foundation principle on which this colony was first settled, to wit, that every man who submits to the civil authority may peaceably worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience without molestation.” The answer made these neighbors hate them more and seek their ruin by violent actions and slanderous words that reached England. In fact Williams spent five years in England, “…to keep off the rage against us.” They also encouraged the Punham Indians to harass the R.I. people to the great loss of property, and the Indian leader Myantonomo was put to death for his attachment to Providence.  Baptists laid the foundation for religious liberty in America.

 

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 279-80.

 

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76 – March 17 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


76 – March 17    Baptists and the Land of the Free

What an important date March 17, 1644, is for American freedom.  It was on that date that Roger Williams obtained a free and absolute charter, entitled “The Incorporation of Providence Plantation, in the Narragansett Bay, in New-England.”  The influence of our godly Baptist forefathers created in Rhode Island the only one of the  thirteen original colonies that featured total religious freedom!  Nine of the thirteen colonies maintained a State church, and others such as Pennsylvania and Maryland offered partial religious freedom, but only Rhode Island granted complete religious liberty.  Though Baptists have been persecuted by many wherever they have existed, they have never persecuted others.  When laying the cornerstone of the great Metropolitan Tabernacle I London, Mr. Spurgeon stated: “Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor, I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man.  We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government, and we will never make the Church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men.”  Historically Baptists have always held to the principle of voluntarism, and as a result, they would rather provide total religious freedom than to dictate the religious persuasion of another.  Baptists have ever championed a free church in a free state.  Unfortunately today the Baptists reach out their hands to readily join with the state and are no longer the free people our forefathers fought and died for, “Soul Liberty.”

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III”  David L. Cummins. pp. 157 –  158

 

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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.

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348 – Dec. 14 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 They were beaten and imprisoned
December 14, 1662 – The State of Virginia, passed the following law: “Whereas many schismatical persons out of their averseness to the orthodox established religion, or out of new fangled conceits of their own heretical inventions, refused to have their children baptized. Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all persons that, in contempt of the divine sacrament of baptism, shall refuse when they carry their child to lawful the minister in that country to have them baptized shall be amesed two thousand pounds of tobacco, half to the publique.” Such statutes were directed at the Baptists, whose principles and convictions dictated that they baptize only believers on their confession of faith and who believed pedobaptism to be a Romish invention carried over into Protestantism by the Reformers. The Church of England increased her membership by pedobaptism, but the Baptists by evangelism and proselytizing. This difference of belief caused a head-on collision between the established religion, the Church of England, which tenaciously held to pedobaptism, and the lowly Baptists, who repudiated it and baptized all who believed and gave their testimony to their faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for their salvation. Hawkes, the historian of the Episcopal Church of Virginia, said, “No dissenters in Virginia experienced for a time, harsher treatment than did the Baptists. They were beaten and imprisoned; and cruelly taxed by the authorities who devised new modes of punishment and annoyance.” The Charter of 1606 provided that the Church of England should be the only legal and official state church of Virginia. The bloody military code of 1611 required all adults of the colony to give account of their faith to the parish minister.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 521-22.

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