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19 – January 19 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Baptists the Authors of Liberty

 

1776 – The Virginia Statue of Religious Liberty was passed. The struggle was so intense that it took ten years of lobbying and petitioning the legislature (the Baptists had three representing them at one time). Thomas Jefferson stated that it was the most fiercely contested piece of legislation of his entire political career. There was also great contention relating to taxation for the support of state church clergy. At one point, Baptist preachers, Jeremiah Moore, Jeremiah Walker, and John Young, delivered a petition with 10,000 signatures to the Virginia legislature in Richmond opposing the general assessment plan for the support of religious teachers. It was the defeat of this legislation that finally paved the way for Jefferson’s statute. William Warren Sweet, in his Story of Religion in America, is justified in saying, “Religious freedom had triumphed in Virginia and was soon to spread throughout the nation and a few years later, in the form of the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution, was to become a part of the fundamental law of the land. Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom was so proud of those accomplishments that he asked that it be recorded on his gravestone. But justice compels the admission that Jefferson’s part in the First Amendment was not as great as James Madison, because of the fact that he was in France during that period. Neither were the contributions of either or both as important as was that of the humble people called Baptists.  The Baptists preached, petitioned, and suffered persecution. God used these humble people to have religious liberty as a fundamental principle of our society in the two great documents mentioned above.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 25-26.

 

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290 – Oct. 17 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Baptists did not seek revenge

 

1770 – In their meeting, the Baptists of the Philadelphia Association read letters from churches in New England, such as those from Ashfield, Mass., who wrote explaining their problems which involved unfair taxation. Even though the Baptists had  established the township and most of the families were Baptist and had founded a Baptist house of worship, the Presbyterians families decided to build a meetinghouse, hire a pastor and tax the Baptist families for the costs. The Baptists petitioned the general court for relief, but in April 1770 the court ruled in favor of the Presbyterians. One Baptist had his house and garden sold, others saw their young orchards, meadows, and cornfields sold, one purchaser being the Presbyterian minister. In all, the Baptists lost 395 acres of land valued at ₤363 8s. The total auction price was ₤35 10s. Inasmuch as the Presbyterians still needed ₤200 more for their building, two additional auctions were held to dispose of Baptist property. The Baptists finally sought redress before the assembly at Cambridge and were told, “The general assembly has a right to do what they did, and if you don’t like it you may quit the place!” The Warren Association called for a period of fasting and prayer. The seizures continued. On May 9, 1773, Gershom Proctor (82) and his son Henry, along with Nathan Crosby, for ministerial rates, were carried to Concord jail. It should be noted that when the Baptists finally got the upper hand, they did not seek revenge against their persecutors. [William G. McLoughlin, ed., The Diary of Isaac Baacus (Providence, R.I.: Brown University Press, 1979), 2:780. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 568-70.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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Is America Becoming a Pagan Kingdom? 3


By Kelly OConnell  Monday, December 17, 2012

H. World Religion Polytheism Versus Monotheism
One of the great battles between ancient paganism and Christianity was the debate over whether a single, versus multiple deities existed. For example, one of the main reasons Christianity was sanctioned so harshly by the Romans was their insistence that God was of one nature. This disagreed with the state religious system which was pluralistic and committed to bringing in any non-novel foreign deities, already established elsewhere. Interestingly, the most important public policy in ancient Rome was Pax Deorum, or the Peace of the Gods—which directed the leaders to do anything humanly possible to avoid upsetting the gods so as to avoid human tragedy.
This battle was decisively settled when Constantine declared Christianity the state religion. After this such leaders as Emperor Theodosius declared pagan worship a capital offense, with offenders possibly executed. Yet, today in America the Christian church is reeling as multiple cases come down against Believers and church expressions of faith. Any statements seen as exclusive of any other religious traditions, including atheism are harshly put down as non-inclusive. So paganism has returned to America.
I. World Government & Tower of Babel
A fixation on a one-world government which would create a single law applied around the globe by a world court system, also delivering taxation and management of resouces and assets is not a new idea but ancient. The Tower of Babel in Genesis was an example of such an attempt to create a one-world society. This was rejected by Yahweh who caused languages to be multiplied to foment confusion to end the project. Therefore, a commitment to world government cannot be claimed biblical or modern, but merely pagan.
J. Education Goals
While the classical Triumvirate was developed by pagan thinkers, the average Roman did not have access to such first-class education. The vast majority of Romans were plebeians, the poorer class. Only upper class males were trained, with some notable middle class children such as Cicero who were able to advance beyond their class via hard work and genius.
The original American education czar, John Dewey, was certainly a progressive, and many feel a Marxist. His goal was to train children through experience, not via rote memory or immersion in classical texts as was the original American pedagogy. It is because of Dewey’s ideas that American education became a study in advanced mediocrity, turning out generations of students simply not equipped to debate, analyze arguments, or study texts with any precision. In other words, perfect pawns for the state, representing the ancient Roman description of a few elites directing the masses. Writes one educator,
A detailed examination of Dewey’s relationship to Marxism can explain a great deal about the form and content of modern schools. Dewey found Marxism useful, if not indispensable, in the formulation of his educational theories…
K. Belief in Universal Law
It is part of leftist modern political theory that there must be a body of world legislators and courts to standardize a global law, which presumes a viable world body of law fully applicable in any scenario or setting. This idea was in fact first declared by the ancient Roman Stoics who declared a law which applied universally, such as demanded now with the United Nations.
Yet the greatest theory of law in modern history, Anglo-American common law, is decidedly not a claim of universal jurisprudence but a regional canon based upon Natural Law & Rights. It proved so powerful its Constitution and Bill of Rights became the model for all universal rights theorists. Yet the problem with universal law regimes is that should they become corrupt, the entire world would become infected and tyrannical, without any potential respite except for armed insurrection.
L. Afterlife
The idea of a heaven and hell were not originally in the minds of the earliest Romans. Instead, a life inside the grave was imagined, explaining inclusion of various everyday implements, according to Numa Denis Fustel De Coulanges in The Ancient City. Instead, it was thought corpses still had some level of awareness in the grave. Only later was it conceived that underground spirits joined in a giant cavern where they resided together. But there was no belief that good people went to a heaven, whereas as the evil went to hell.
In modern America, belief in a Christian heaven and hell is increasingly unpopular with many believing just in heaven, whereas many others believe the “soul” is annihilated after death. This is no coincidence, but in an increasingly perverse and irreligious populace where many cling only to the barest outlines of Christianity, it is certain that those who abandon traditional morality also abandon orthodox theology on the afterlife.
M. Property Rights
One of the current fascinations in American society is the idea of wealth redistribution. This well-suits the welfare of ancient Rome and its grain dole. Further, despite the idea of private property, there was no well-established right of such. This is because the city, the most common authority in antiquity, was seen as representing the group, and no individual rights theory existed at this time. Therefore, the city could confiscate private property if it saw need to.
The medieval debate over private property between the Franciscans and the Pope was used by William of Ockham to argue that individuals had a non-negotiable right to property ownership. This became a foundational Natural Law and Rights argument. John Locke famously argued for a complete defense of private property, which along with the rule of law, made America’s prosperity possible. Yet, now we are on the verge of giving up even this fundamental right which will almost certainly lead to America collapsing economically.

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