Saturday, February 7, 2015

Saturday, January 14, 2012 "Christian Nation" Part XIII

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Christian Nation" Part XIII

First from Julie's Keyboard:

"Take Up His Cross"

In more than one account in Scripture, we find it recorded that Christ gave a very clear and concise definition of discipleship.  It's often easy to fall into line referring to ourselves as His disciples because we now bear His Great Name as being our Savior.  How easy it is to say "Yes, I'm certainly a 'follower of Jesus.'"  But today I wish to look at what Jesus said about being His disciple a little more closely.

Matthew 16:24-26 "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

Now, for those of us who like things in steps, He seems to have given us three of them here.  "Deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me."  These words convict me often, and I'm sure they should.  You see, one can go on their smiling,  joyful way attesting to their faith in Christ, yet simply not bear the lifestyle that He's required here in this Truth. 

Just how do we "deny ourselves?"  It would seem that we'd need to tell ourselves, "no," a bit more than we may be in the habit of doing.  How can we "take up our cross?"  The cross was the instrument of death for our Savior.  There He bore the sins of the whole world.  All evil was crucified on that cross for you and me.  There the suffering of the flesh was welded as the vehicle for our redemption, a life eternal in the spirit.

Since our Savior paid this awesome price (because we certainly could not), what is left for the believer to do regarding this taking up of the cross?  He gave all, holding nothing back.  A disciple follows in the very footsteps of his Master.  He requires all that we have to give.

As we mentioned last week, if we could take the approach to this life with "What Would Jesus Do?" then act on that personal conviction for each of us, wouldn't things be changing in a serious way about us?  Wouldn't the things we talk with our friends and loved ones about have more substance?  Would we likely boast less about the things in this world, or people in our lives and their great accomplishments?  Wouldn't we be giving Him all the glory for any talent, skill, ability that anyone has? 

These questions may seem meddlesome in nature, but they are truly convicting thoughts within me.  It only takes a matter of minutes in conversation with someone to learn what's important to them, and often what is not.  What if we began to speak with one another about what we felt the Lord purposing for us to do in our lives?  What if we truly found a place of prayer to meet together with our brothers and sisters and pray one for another until Christ be formed within us?

In trying to bring this to a close, my prayer is simply that we His people truly walk in this place of discipleship.  How else can we be instrumental as His body in this earth to help build the Kingdom?

May we "deny ourselves, take up our cross , and follow Him."

Have a blessed week,



"Christian Nation" Part XIII

We will I suppose finally get to the question of "Is America currently a Christian Nation", but we first I believe must continue to lay the foundation for what that term was understood to mean as defined by the United States Supreme Court in 1892.

We are told today for instance that any public reference to a particular religion, or public prayer offered by political or government funded entities is clearly a breach of the establishment clause of the United States Constitution and it's meaning being defined as Separation of Church and State.

For example, in Lauderdale County Ala. the school district is receiving threats of a lawsuit by a member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Humanists of the Shoals and American Atheist. 

Their complaint is that the school allowed prayer over the loud speaker at a recent football game.  Their statement being made, "It is illegal for any public school to organize, sponsor or lead prayer at public athletic events. The Supreme Court . . . has continually made rulings which strike down this practice as illegal."

Statements like to ones above are being made all over our country in our courts by all our Constitutional experts and judges as they interpret the intent of our Founders.  I would have no choice but to concede to their opinion, after all they are the experts, were it not for a more venerable group of Constitutional experts.  I'm speaking of course of the ones who wrote it!

Following the ratification of the Constitution, George Washington, who presided over the Constitutional Convention as president, accepted the position as President of the United States.  Commenting on the inaugural activities the Daily Avertiser reported, "the bells will ring at nine o'clock, when the people may go up to the house of God and in a solemn manner commit the new government, with its important train of consequences, to the holy protection and blessing of the Most high. . . . is designed wholly for prayer" ~ New York Daily Avertiser, April 30, 1789.  Interesting this distinguished group of experts did not view prayer within government functions as a Constitutional issue. As a matter of fact, they committed them to prayer!

In his Inaugural address on April 30, George Washington would declare: "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States."  In a recent case it was asked, "Does the state have the right to acknowledge God?" The Judge ruled "No, it cannot".  Yet this distinguished group which formed the document we know as the Constitution of the United States said we were, ". . . bound to acknowledge and adore . . ." this God. 

Seven months later, Congress requested the President to declare a national day of Thanksgiving.  On October 3, 1789, the President issued in this proclamation: "Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore (Pray for) His protection and favor. . . ."  What our experts tell us now is unconstitutional, the ones who framed it called our duty! 

President Washington continued by saying, "Now, therefore, I do recommend . . . that we my then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation . . ." What our experts tell us now is not permitted under the Constitution, the ones who framed it recommended!

President Washington would continue: "And also that we may unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions . . . to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue."  What our experts tell us now is not permissible under our law and constitutions, the ones who framed them called us to unite under and promote throughout our society!  One would think we have two Constitutions, ours and theirs!  Of course we have but one, we just have to decide who has the correct understanding of it's meaning, the ones who framed it, or the experts!

The understanding of the distinguished group who framed it would be conducive with the definition of a "Christian Nation" as defined by the United States Supreme Court in 1892, the later would not.

May God bless each of you,


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