PARSON TO PERSON
FREEDOM AND RIGHTEOUSNESS REQUIRES VIGILANCE
As the United States of America wades deep into its third century of being a free and independent nation, it does so without the mainstream of its citizenry possessing the values and resolve that initiated it and supported it through tough, sad, hard, and happy times. That loss is fundamental, so fundamental that the nation as it was framed may not much longer endure. What happened? Think with me! Solomon wrote: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” Proverbs 6:6-11. The greatest gift a nation could hope to possess in war with another, would be to find them all asleep in the day of battle. Vigilance has its virtue, and sleep its calamity! In the spiritual warfare, the forces of evil have succeeded in rocking this nation to sleep on toxic materialism. When a majority of the population finds it more palatable to abandon its talent, mental acumen, self determination and personal freedom in favor of whoever will put the biggest check in the mailbox, the devil himself has no trouble garnering the necessary votes to rule. Even when it is known, but not fully comprehended that his rule will be enslavement. Such induced lethargy and sleep provided from the labor of others wins in the battle of preferences in an unprincipled people. This weekend, much celebration will mark yet another year to celebrate the founding of the United States of America. What a God-sent it has been to His people who for centuries yearned to be free to worship Him according to the dictates of their conscience and understanding of Holy Writ! However, judicial actions of the past half century affords much to lament in witnessing its decline. The shinning. global example of freedom and blessedness of this nation is a story of bloodshed, principle, dedication, and hard work. Let all who love this country stand fast in these things and be a part of its grand story. Let us all give ear anew to the words of the wise man who so eloquently penned, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34
Tag Archives: slave
PARSON TO PERSON
PARSON TO PERSON
A MENTAL CHALLENGE FROM GOD
All who take the name of Christ Jesus in salvation and discipleship are issued a distinct mental challenge from God. To ignore it is folly, incurring great loss. To take it up is to benefit in both in time and in eternal reward. What is this mental challenge? It is to have the same mindset as Jesus did in His earthly ministry. Now wait! Don’t you dare to shut your mind down to this challenge under the puny excuse that you can’t do that because you still live in the sinful flesh. Don’t you think God knows that? Do you think He is playing mind games with His people? No? Then think with me!
There is always an excuse for failure. He addressed that in Phil. 2: 3-4, but the biblical admonition is to overcome the excuses by dedication to the practices set forth in the grace and word of God. The apostle Paul appealed to the church at Philippi, and by application to the Lord’s true churches throughout the age, to press forward in Christian maturity to fulfill both his joy, as well as the joy of the Master. He was specific in the challenge.
Said he, if there be any consolation, comfort of love, fellowship of the Spirit, any compassion and mercies, they would fulfill his joy by being of one mind in these Christian qualities. The bottom line is concisely stated in Phil. 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Consider then the exaltation/abasement of the God-man Jesus. He was in the form of God. He did not consider it robbery to be counted equal with God, but did not seek a reputation for Himself. He took upon Himself the form of a slave and humbled Himself in obedience even to the death of the cross.
Folks can twist the scriptures of Philippians 2:1-5, as many do, and surely will, but they remain in their purity the inspired Word of God, a challenge to every Christian to, as Peter puts it, “that ye should follow in his steps.” Still, many prefer to whine: “I can’t do that! It cramps my style, and I simply am not able.” What can one say? Poor ole God! In His infinite wisdom He asks us to do what we cannot do even with His divine help. Doubtless, all of His people would do well to remember more of the inspired Word, such as “Ye are bought with a price; therefore, Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Here then is the meaning and challenge of true Christianity. It is sad that in too many churches the main motivation is social instead of spiritual, and the whine may be oft heard: “There is nothing to do at our church!” If that indeed be so, may I introduce you to biblical Christianity? God has a mental, and spiritual, challenge especially for you!
A Slave who was free
1901 – On this day, the “Onesimus of Colonial America”, John Jasper, went to be with the Lord Jesus, whom he loved with all of his heart. John was a black man, born into slavery on July 4, 1812, and though never able to attend school, used his God given gift of oratory to see multitudes, both black and white, brought to eternal salvation. His father, a slave Baptist preacher, died before John was born, but his Mother, Tina, dedicated him to the Lord with this prayer, “Lord, if dis chile you’s sendin’ me is a boy, doan’ let him do nuthin’ else but sing de praises of Jesus!” His mother’s prayers brought him to conviction and his testimony was, “I was seekin’ God six weeks – jes’ cause I was sich a fool I couldn’t see de way.” On July 25, 1839, John was gloriously saved at the tobacco stemmery where he worked for “Mars’ Sam – Mr. Sam Hardgrove, the owner of the stemmery and a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Richmond, Virginia. He had belonged to the Widow Mary Belle Peachy, but upon her death, her son John sold him to Mr. Hardgrove. Jasper’s love for Mars’ Sam and Dr. William Hatcher, a local Baptist pastor was beyond question and Mr. Hardgrove allowed John time off to preach whenever he wished. Almost immediately after his conversion he began to preach the funeral of slaves, and God’s power was evident upon him. It wasn’t long until both whites and blacks were flocking to his orations. He became used in pulpits and open air meetings all over. After Praying to learn to read, another slave, William Johnson, labored for seven months with a tattered copy of the New York Speller and John became an avid Bible reader. John Jasper founded the 6th Mount Zion Baptist Church which had two-thousand members when he died.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 126.
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Blessed is the Peacemaker
1880 – BAPTISTS EVANGELIZED THE SLAVE POPULATION IN THE SOUTH AND STARTED THE FIRST AFRICAN BAPTIST CHURCH IN AMERICA – Dr. J. B. Jeter
died on February 18, 1880. Jeremiah Bell Jeter had accepted the call to the 1st BC of Richmond, VA in 1836 and realized that the segregated space for the 1,384 black members was not large enough. After studying the matter for two years he recommended that the congregation give the facility for the First created African Baptist Church, and build a new building for the white folks which they did. He then prevailed on Robert Ryland, President of Richmond College, to be the pastor of the African church. Jeter was born on July 18, 1802, and was saved in an old fashioned camp meeting, and baptized while a teenager, in Dec. 1821. After he was baptized, he gave a public testimony and within a few weeks preached his first sermon, and was ordained May 4, 1824. They say that he was not a great orator but he baptized over 1,000 people in 9 years. The records show that in the 14 years as pastor he baptized another 1,000. In 1842 one protracted meeting lasted for five months which saw 167 members added by baptism. Pastor Jeter was very mission minded and when Adoniram Judson came to Richmond he gave the welcoming address. He served as President of the Virginia Baptist Foreign Mission Society and was on the Board of Managers of the Triennial Convention of American Baptists. After the division took place he served as president of the Southern Foreign Mission Board also. At the close of the Civil War, Dr. Jeter became the editor of The Religious Herald and sought to be a reconciler between the Baptists of the North and South. He served in that capacity until his death.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 67.
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Who is the real slave?
1838 – The British Baptist Union wrote to the ministers of the Baptist churches in the U.S. urging them to use their influence to bring about full emancipation. The practice of slavery had been introduced into Virginia in 1619 and was, at first, resisted by the southern colonies. However in time, the tragedy of slavery became the most divisive issue ever to face our nation. Baptist leaders divided severely on the matter. J.H. Hinton, chairman, wrote: “We have not been ignorant that slavery existed in the States, entailed, we are humbled and ashamed to acknowledge, by British influence, authority and example. But we had, until of late, no conception of the extent to which multitudes of professing Christians in your land, by indifference, by connivance, by apology, or by actual participation are implicated in it.” Isaac Backus, who became famous as a Baptist pastor and historian, was raised in the Standing Order of New England (state church). Yet the family owned a slave and an Indian girl apprenticed as a servant. The famed diary of Backus reported the death of a slave of one of the members of the church in Middleborough, Massachusetts in the mid-eighteenth century. Two things were involved in shifting the slave population to the South. The cold winters made slavery unprofitable and the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 made the institution of slavery to be profitably utilized. But we must ever remember that Jesus told us who the real slave is: He said “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. He also said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 20-21.
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The Gospel is “the power of God unto Salvation”
The following account is found in the records of the Kiokee Church (Georgia), about the blessed conversion of “Brother Billy”, ‘about one hundred years old’, formerly a slave but at that time, ‘a free man of color.’ This took place on July 17, 1841, and Billy united with the church. The evidence exists that slave members of some Baptist churches were allowed to vote. As with the white males, black male members were “assessed” for church expenses and required to attend business meetings. The female, black and white, did not vote in the business matters of the churches. The slave membership of many Baptist churches greatly outnumbered the whites, and thus the churches often appointed spiritually faithful slaves to serve as a discipline committee among their own. The churches chastened heir slave membership primarily for problems of morals and honesty, and they chastised their slaveholder members for these infractions as well as for cruelty and barbarity to their slaves. It is apparent that slaves were better off being owned by Christians than by unbelievers! Black slave preachers were licensed and ordained by the Baptist churches, and the impact of those slave preachers was unique! Much of the evangelism among the slaves resulted from the preaching on the plantations by these faithful men who were slaves twofold: first to the Lord Jesus Christ and then to an earthly master. Segregation in the services was always maintained. In some of the old church buildings in the areas where slavery was practiced, we can still observe “slave balconies.” In other church buildings a portion of the facility was designated for the slave members. However, Baptists in the South often assisted the former slaves by helping them establish their own churches.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 292-93.
The General’s Right Hand Man
Prior to the Civil War there were few black Baptist preachers in the North or the South. But it is a thrill to read of the exploits of those few that existed. “Uncle” Harry Cowan was a slave to Thomas L. Cowan. On one occasion Mr. Cowan was present for a funeral where his servant was to preach, and he was shocked at Uncle Harry’s grasp of the Scripture. This resulted in the master granting “privilege papers” allowing Uncle Harry to preach, marry, and baptize any one who makes a profession of Faith.” In time Uncle Harry’s success caused his master to extend this privilege of preaching wherever his slave had “protection.” The blessing of God was attendant upon this choice servant of the Lord, and literally thousands of both races heard him gladly. His ministry extended from before the Civil War, during that awful conflict, and following it as well. In fact, during the Civil War, Uncle Harry served as Confederate General Joseph Johnston’s body servant. He preached every night during the war, with the exception of May 2, 1863, when General Stonewall Jackson fell in battle. He served General Johnston faithfully until the General’s surrender on April 26, 1865