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Christianity turned the World Upside Down- Part 1

Christianity Turned the World Upside Down – Part I

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by Ruth Smith

Acts 17:6 refers to These that have turned the world upside down . . .

As we contemplate the blessings of this Easter season which reminds us of the great price that was paid for our sin through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, we should be reminded of the effect that Christ and Christianity had upon the world.

“As people believed in Jesus as their Saviour, their hearts were changed. They loved a living God rather than idols. They began to love the things of God, rather than the things of the world.”1

As their lives changed, they began to love their neighbors. Others could not understand them.

Augustus Neander writes in his Memorials of a Christian Life of the astonishment of the world as they looked at these Christians. “But the Roman statesmen desired only a blind obedience; they knew not how to understand the enthusiasm with which the Christians would rather surrender their earthly life than do anything against their conscience. . . In this firmness of the Christians they saw nothing but blind fanaticism, criminal disobedience, men who met death and excruciating tortures with composure.”2

As Christians’ hearts were changed, they realized they could be controlled (governed) by God in their hearts. They could choose to follow the laws of God internally, rather than being controlled by man’s laws externally. This is self government.

Consider these thoughts by James Rose: “Reflect upon this: When Christ Jesus came, He gave individual, internal, spiritual liberty to every one who accepted Christ by grace through faith. The gift of individual salvation is the gift of spiritual liberty. (Eph. 2:8-9) When one is redeemed from bondage to internal sin and spiritual death, he is given spiritual liberty. The same principle of liberty is identified in the Scriptures ‘. . . the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ Romans 8:2 ‘And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’ John 8:32, 36. Also consider Romans 6:22, II Corinthians 3:17, Galatians 5:1, James 1:25

“Christ’s free man, throughout all ages, has desired, striven for, and often died for religious freedom. Christianity purposes to work positively to effect laws for the lawless and liberty for the righteous under the Law.

“. . . After the English Bible was printed and promulgated, did the individual enjoy more or less liberty? Surely, thoughtful men discern there was more, not less liberty for the individual. And, when the Bible was brought to America by the Pilgrims in 1620, and, then, the Puritans in 1630, did individuals enjoy more or less liberty? Indeed, liberty abounded even more than before! And, when the constitution of the United States of America was finally ratified in 1789, the local church enjoyed the greatest expression of individual liberty the world had ever witnessed!”3

1.Ruth J Smith, Liberty and Justice for All (South Bend: Bradford Press, Inc. 2003), page 36.

2. Dr. Augustus Neander, Memorials of a Christian Life in Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History (San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1966), page 250.

3. James B. Rose, Spiritual Liberty is Causative to Religious and Civil Liberty, A Tract on America’s Christian History and Government. (Granger: Pilgrim Institute and American Christian History Institute).

Spiritual Liberty is Causative to Religious and Civil Liberty by Mr. James Rose

Spiritual Liberty is Causative to
Religious and Civil Liberty


By James B. Rose, President

American Christian History Institute

The Christian history of America testifies that no enduring religious or civil liberty would exist if there were no Christ or Christianity!

This remarkable link between Christianity and religious and civil liberty is understood when one contrasts the history of liberty from man’s creation to the time when Christ Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected with the history of liberty from the time of Christ to the present. Remember, history, by definition, is the study of men and events in the order they happen with their causes and effects. America’s Christian history confirms that spiritual liberty is causative and gives rise to, or results in, greater and greater expressions of religious and civil liberty.

Consider this question: Was there more or less individual liberty before Christ Jesus came? History reveals that there was less liberty for the individual before Jesus came into the world and more individual liberty after He came. Before Jesus, the exercise of liberty was the privilege of a few individuals (if they were pharaohs, kings, caesars, princes, lords, etc.,) but, most men were in religious and civil bondage. Jesus brought the gift of salvation from bondage to sin and death, and this spiritual liberty was manifested by the eventual giving of more religious and civil liberty to the individual.

Reflect upon this: When Christ Jesus came, He gave individual, internal, spiritual liberty to every one who accepted Christ by grace through faith. The gift of individual salvation is the gift of spiritual liberty. (Eph. 2:8-9). When one is redeemed from bondage to internal sin and spiritual death, he is given spiritual liberty. The same principle of liberty is identified in the Scriptures:

“. . . the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2
And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:32, 36
Also consider Romans 6:22, II Corinthians 3:17, Galatians 5:1, James 1:25

Christ’s free man, throughout all ages, has desired, striven for, and often died for religious freedom. Christianity purposes to work positively to effect laws for the lawless and liberty for the righteous under the Law.

Consider what God did through John Wycliff, in 1382, and, then, William Tyndale, in 1525, to enable these men to make the Bible available to the individual in English. After the English Bible was printed and promulgated, did the individual enjoy more or less liberty? Surely, thoughtful men discern there was more, not less, liberty for the individual. And, when the Bible was brought to America by the Pilgrims in 1620, and, then, the Puritans in 1630, did individuals enjoy more or less liberty? Indeed, liberty abounded even more than before! And, when the constitution of the United States of America was finally ratified in 1789, the local church enjoyed the greatest expression of individual liberty the world had ever witnessed!

Since the time the Bible was published in English and made available to the individual, there have been greater and greater and greater expressions of liberty – first spiritual liberty and, then, its correlative, religious liberty – protected by laws limiting the power of men in civil government. “The liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” gave rise to liberty of conscience where men resolved “to obey God rather than men.” Conscientious Christians, led to worship together, also covenanted together religiously and civilly to enjoy religious liberty – the liberty to worship God as God gave them light. But, there could be no religious liberty without civil liberty – where laws not only condemned and punished lawlessness, but protected the free exercise of religion by limiting the power of kings and legislators.

America’s Christian history, therefore, confirms that “the perfect law of liberty” – the Word of God – has affected society and civil government by inspiring and guiding men to protect liberty by law.

“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. . . .” (Dr. Jedidiah Morse, “Election Sermon of 1799”, as quoted by Verna M. Hall, in her Preface to The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America: Christian Self-Government, p. v.)

Permission is granted for duplication and free distribution of this Tract with appropriate credit.

The Remarkable Gift of Liberty

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The Remarkable Gift of Liberty

by Jeanette Whittaker

As the prophet Isaiah foretold the birth of Christ, he was divinely inspired to pen the words, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6.

Centuries would pass before the world would witness the promised Messiah. In the centuries that followed, the gospel message transformed the lives of believers.

Where would we be as individuals and as a nation without the transforming power of Christianity?

The remarkable gift of liberty has been entrusted to our care. How can we find a way to perpetuate that gift to our posterity?

The Christmas season is a time for so many things: rejoicing, remembering, renewing our commitment to follow our Lord and Savior.

As you gather with family, associates, friends, and fellow believers, we pray that like Mary you will ponder the meaning of the events which we celebrate, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11.

Photo credit: mad world news

Standing on Principles

Standing on Principles

As I watched brief news coverage on the Supreme Court hearing involving the religious liberty of such groups as the Little Sisters of the Poor, it reminded me of the challenge faced by the colonists in 1773 concerning the tax on tea. When the colonists refused to pay the tax, since they had no representation, a plan was devised that the tax would be absorbed, so that the tax would be paid, but the colonists would not pay the tax.

Capitol Bldg

Thinking this would satisfy the colonists, Benjamin Franklin wrote: “They have no idea that any people can act from any other principle but that of interest; and they believe that three pence on a pound of tea, of which one does not perhaps drink ten pounds in a year, is sufficient to overcome all the patriotism of an American . . . “ “They did not rise up against the paltry duty because they were poor and could not pay, but because they were free and would not submit to wrong.” The same principles apply today. Organizations and individuals are being asked to sacrifice their principles, even though the cost is being hidden. We must stand on those principles even as did the founding fathers of our nation. May the Lord guide the hearts of the Supreme Court, even as He can turn the heart of the King.

Comtemplating the Constitution- Part III

Contemplating the Constitution – Part III

James B. Rose and Barbara Rose, American Christian History Institute

 Rose, James & Barbara - 2

  JAMES MADISON

FATHER OF THE CONSTITUTION and

BILL OF RIGHTS

             Madison began his education home schooled by his Grandmother and later tutored by a minister.  As a youth, he educated himself from the family library.   He learned to reason from Scripture and was influenced by Dr. John Witherspoon and John Locke.  

                Historian Garry Wills wrote:  “As a framer and defender of the Constitution he had no peer…. The finest part of Madison’s performance as President was his concern for the preserving of the Constitution…. No man could do everything for the country – not even Washington.  Madison did more than most, and did some things better than any. That was quite enough. (Garry Wills, James Madison. Times Books, 2002, p.164)

             “One scholar has written of Madison as the Founding Father ‘whose chief interest in life was to prove that Americans had been chosen by Providence for an experiment to test man’s capacity for self government.’” (Swanson,  p. 84)

              Madison joined Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to write the Federalist Papers. James Madison authored 29 of the 85 Papers. Constitution Day

             Federalist Paper, No. 39  “The first question that offers itself is, whether the general form and aspect of the government be strictly republican. It is evident that no other form would be reconcilable with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the Revolution; or with that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom, to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.  If the plan of the convention, therefore, be found to depart from the republican character, its advocates must abandon it as no longer defensible. (Madison)

              Federalist Paper # 10: Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.  (Madison)

             “What we know today about the (Constitutional) Convention we owe largely to (Madison’s) daily record of all that transpired.  Day after day for the entire 99 days, this man who was always in frail health never missed attendance.  He said later that the ordeal almost killed him, but, nevertheless, he was sustained in his Herculean task”  “His object was to preserve the history of a Constitution on which would be staked the happiness of a people great even in its infancy, and possibly the cause of liberty throughout the world.’”

 (Swanson, Mary Elaine,  The Education of James Madison A Model for Today, Montgomery, Alabama: The Hoffman Education Center for the Family, 1992, p. 191)
 (Aside, in the Providence of God, Jim Rose was born on Constitution Day.  He knew that Jim would spend 40 years teaching America’s Christian History and Government)

 ACHI EagleOriginally published in Eagle’s Aerie, American Christian History Institute, September 2007. Used by Permission.

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