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Thursday, November 21, 2013

America from Christ to antichrist

It could easily be argued that America began as a church. What is a church, it’s a community of believers in a geographical location. In the New Testament how did the apostles address the churches? By their geographical location.

Paul addressed the Church at Philippi but not all Philippians were Christians. There was a company of believers within Philippi. America was unique in that regard because all the inhabitants of the colony were Christians.

Who would argue that the Pilgrims' at Plymouth Rock were not a community of Christians?

Now other settlements sprang up from folks fleeing the old world but the lion’s share of those folk were Christians. So if Paul were to write a letter to the Christians in the new world he could have addressed it to the Church at America and that would have encompassed all the settlements because they were all Christian settlements.

The founding documents were written with the view that the new nation would be composed of Christian peoples guided by Christian principles. I would argue that it never entered into the founding father’s thoughts that America would be anything else but a Christian nation. To deny this by arguing that one or two of the founders was a Universalist or an atheist is frivolous to the extreme.

How did we get from there to here? The following was not a warning about the world but about the Church, the community of believers!

Acts Chapter 20

27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.


Jude Chapter 1

3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

 

The apostles must have been looking down the centuries at the Society of Jesus aka The Jesuits! It is they who have wrought havoc in the world and especially Protestant nations for the last 500 years.

The Town FEMA Turned Down

  • The tide goes out on religious liberty

Nov 25, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 11 • By JONATHAN V. LAST

Ocean Grove, N.J.
When Sandy swept across the Jersey shore in October 2012, the coastal town of Ocean Grove was spared the worst. Sure, half the town’s boardwalk was destroyed and its pier was swept out to sea. And yes, sand, trees, and concrete benches were carried two blocks inland, while entire buildings were picked up and moved across town. But Ocean Grove’s crown jewel, an ornate and beautiful 6,250-seat auditorium, built in 1894, survived. It only had a third of its roof torn off. The auditorium’s foundation was intact and, most important, its 11,561-pipe organ was unscathed by the wind and rain.

CORBIS/ AP Wayne Parry / NEWSCOM

CORBIS/ AP Wayne Parry / NEWSCOM

So despite everything, the residents of Ocean Grove counted themselves lucky. That is, until they had to deal with the federal government. Ocean Grove has been denied rebuilding funds from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In one sense, this denial is part of the Obama administration’s quiet campaign against religion in the public square. Yet the story of FEMA’s conflict with Ocean Grove is about more than just Barack Obama. It’s the story of modern America’s rebellion against its religious foundations, rendered in miniature.

In the late 1860s, a Methodist preacher named William Osborn assembled a small group of pastors from around Philadelphia to purchase a patch of land at the shore in central New Jersey. On July 31, 1869, they christened their one square mile of paradise “Ocean Grove.” 

At first, it was just a campsite—the preachers and their flocks pitched tents during the summer in order to get away from the bustle of the city. That December they organized a government for the nascent community, setting up the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In the Northeast of the 1860s, this was a commonplace: Camp meeting associations stemming from the Second Great Awakening were formed in Martha’s Vineyard, Willimantic, Conn., Merrick, N.Y., and elsewhere.

Ocean Grove’s camp meeting was particularly successful. In 1870 the New Jersey state legislature granted the Camp Meeting Association a charter, giving them the power to hold and maintain their property, establish infrastructure, and even create a police force—all in the name of setting their land aside for “the perpetual worship of Jesus Christ.” It was, as they say, a different time.

Moving beyond simple campsites, the association set about building a town. They mapped a network of streets and plots of land. They dug wells and eventually ran electric lines. In 1894, the Great Auditorium, a grand Victorian building at the center of town, was erected in just 92 days. Throughout this period, Ocean Grove thrived. Before he was elected president, James Garfield summered there. Later, Ulysses Grant would be a frequent visitor, often popping in to see his sister, who lived in town.

One of the peculiar laws the town established was a prohibition against the presence of horses (and later cars) anywhere on the streets, parked or moving, from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday. This ban was absolute. One Sunday in 1875, President Grant arrived by carriage and, upon reaching the gates at the town limits, tethered his horses and walked the remaining half mile to his sister’s house. (Grant was so fond of Ocean Grove that his final public appearance took place at the Great Auditorium, during a reunion of Civil War Army chaplains. As Wayne Bell recounts in his history of the town, Grant was introduced to speak by one Dr. A. J. Palmer, who concluded his remarks by declaring that “no combination of Wall Street sharpers shall tarnish the luster of my old commander’s fame for me.” Bell reports, “Grant was too overcome with emotion to acknowledge the thunderous ovation and retired without a word.”)

In 1879, the state created a new township, called Neptune, and placed Ocean Grove within its boundaries. But while Ocean Grove paid some taxes to Neptune, they continued to provide their own city services and retained independent authority over local laws.

Yet eventually, Ocean Grove was caught in the church-state tensions that were building between elected officials and the judiciary. In 1920, the state legislature incorporated Ocean Grove as a fully independent borough. But a year later, the state court of appeals held that this was unconstitutional because of Ocean Grove’s religiously based ordinances. The municipality was dissolved, and Ocean Grove reverted to being a semi-autonomous part of Neptune township, with the Camp Meeting Association still in charge of governance.

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