Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tomorrow morning my family and I will wake, eat breakfast, dress and then go to worship at Bethel Presbyterian Church (PCA). We will join other believers at Bethel to worship the true and living God. While we are worshipping at Bethel our Christian brethren will be worshipping at other Christian congregations throughout the city, state, country, world and before the the face of God in Paradise.

Here on earth some Christians will worship God in Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Reformed and many other types of Christian assemblies. I am in more agreement in doctrinal issues with some Christians and I'm in less agreement on doctrines with others, but if they hold to the basic doctrines taught in the Nicene or Apostles Creeds they are Christian and worship the Triune God of the Bible.

I know many Protestants who deny that A Roman Catholic can be saved, and I've known Catholics who denied that any Protestant or Orthodox could be saved. Pope Boniface VIII is one who comes to mind, of course he was before the Protestant Reformation, but if you read his Unam Sanctam its clear that he would believe them damned.

I've had arguments about religion, but it has been some time since I've argued religion. I discuss religion a good bit, but I don't argue or fight over religion. It is not good to become angry and fight with a fellow Christian about the Christian faith. It is also a horrible witness to the world which desperately needs to know the God of the Scriptures and His Christ.

There are points of doctrine on which Baptists and I disagree. The same is true when it comes to the teachings of the Catholics, Lutherans, Assemblies of God, and even Presbyterians. I enjoy discussions about these differences, but I always try to remember that I am discussing these differences with my Christian brethren. I am commanded in the Scriptures to be loving and patient with my brethren with whom I disagree.

I did not always try to "discuss" in a godly manner. I used to enjoy a little heat when discussing the differences with other Christians, but I have seen much damage done to Christians and to the testimony of the faith by all out wars within denominations and between them.

We Christians need to be just as serious about the Bible's teaching regarding loving the brethren and being patient and loving toward one another.

Coram Deo,

Monday, August 04, 2008

I first read Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago while I was serving in the USN. I knew I was reading an important, great work. Some years later I read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, another important book.

Solzhenitsyn was a Christian man how was a sound critic of both Soviet communism and Western materialism.

He will be missed.

Coram Deo,

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Thomas Jefferson, in 1816, wrote about his view of the Union to then Secretary of War (soon to be Sec. of the Treasury) William Crawford, “If any State in the Union will declare that it prefers separation with the first alternative, to a continuance in union without it, I have no hesitation in saying “let us separate." I would rather the States should withdraw which are for unlimited commerce and war, and confederate with those alone which are for peace and agriculture.”

These views were not new to Jefferson. We see this same understanding in 1798, while he was serving as Vice-president as the United States. In that year Jefferson wrote what has come to be known as the Kentucky Resolutions, which were written in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts.

In 1804 he wrote the following in a letter to Dr. Joseph Priestley, “Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe not very important to the happiness of either part. Those of the Western confederacy will be as much our children and descendants as those of the Eastern, and I feel myself as much identified what that country, in future time. As with this: and did I now foresee a separation at some future day, yet I should feel the duty and the desire to promote the Western interests as zealously as the Eastern, doing all the good for both portions of our future family which should fall within my power.” This was written because of secession talk due to the Louisiana Purchase.

Again in 1820 Jefferson wrote on this topic again because of sectional friction because of debate over Missouri. He wrote, “The experiment of separation would soon prove to both that they had mutually miscalculated their best interests. And even were the parties in Congress to secede in a passion, the soberer people would call a convention and cement again the severance attempted by the insanity of their functionaries.” This was written former U.S. Attorney General Richard Rush. Notice, Jefferson did not think that secession at this time to be wise nor that it would last long, but he certainly believed it a viable/legal option.

On matters of religion, I differ with Jefferson at many points, because I hold to orthodox Christianity and Jefferson had rejected the Christian faith. On political issues I stand much closer to Jefferson. I am for true constitutional federalism (which was lost in 1865), and also limited government (which was lost in 1865, mostly regained after that for a time and now almost completely disappeared again and forgotten).

Deo Vindice,