Christmas

                                                     MY CHRISTMAS MESSAGE   

     Many centuries ago the Roman Emperor Constantine was converted, was  baptized and became a Christian.  I don’t know the depth or sincerity of his  faith, but I do know that what happened soon thereafter was a bad thing for  genuine Christianity.  He proclaimed that Christianity was the official  religion of the empire.  Now suddenly, everyone was a Christian!  You can  imagine what this did to the convicting power of the gospel.  The message  that men were evil sinners and in need of a saviour was severely blunted.

     I imagine that the workers of ancient Rome were disappointed to lose  their holiday when pagan worship was abolished.  They were not unlike  workers everywhere.  Soon the leaders came up with a plan, we will take the  day that we worship the pagan goddess Saturnalia on December 21,  move it to December 25 and call it “Christ’s Mass”.  This holiday now called  Christmas is celebrated everywhere.  Whereas Christian worship services  should be filled with joyous praise and worship to God, they are now filled  at this time of the year with plays, high-minded cantatas, carols, multi-  media presentations and of course children reciting senseless ditties which  are forgotten as soon as the parental applause dies down.  (wouldn’t it be  better to fill the young skulls with scripture memory?) 

      However, I do not believe that the church has anything to fear from  families observing an ancient lengend about the jolly fat man who delivers  gifts to children.  So I have a proposal for a new bumper sticker this  year, “Keep Christ out of Christmas” or at least keep Christmas out of the  church.                                                    

                              Spiritual Bah Humbug,    

                                  Carl Edwards

The First Thanksgiving

                         An American Thanksgiving
     Even before that first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621, and before the harsh winter of 1620 from which less than half of the Pilgrims survived, the Pilgrim fathers began the first efforts toward self-government. 
     There in the hold of the tiny ship Mayflower, bobbing on the cold dark waters of the north Atlantic, and facing the rocky shores of a vast wilderness, our Pilgrim forebears drafted and signed a covenant to “…bind ourselves together in a civil body politic.”  Realizing that the Atlantic storms had driven them far north of the jurisdiction of the Virginia charter, they understood that to begin a community without government meant lawlessness, with each person becoming a law unto themselves. They ceded a portion of the sovereignty over their God-given rights to leaders of their own choosing. Thus for the first time in the history of the world, free men compacted to govern themselves, under God. 
     Over 150 years later, in 1776, a Virginia gentleman named Jefferson, after enumerating some of the God-given rights of which men were the recipients, penned these words, “….to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  A few years later, in 1787, in a very different venue from the Pilgrims, the sweltering hot streets of center city Philadelphia, another compact was signed by 55 men. In 1791, 10 amendments were added to this recent covenant.  In the last of these, the framers declared that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” For the first time, a limited government created by the consent of the governed was established for an entire nation.
    Let us pray that many Americans will join us in gratefulness to God, grantor of our rights & liberties.

Legitimate Civil Law

Legitimate Civil Law
Legitimate Law is derived from 3 Sources

(1) God’s Law

      Revealed Law: Laws & Commandments given in scripture (Always legitimate)

      Natural Law: Standards derived from observing God’s order revealed in nature  (Legitimate when compliant with revealed law)

(2)   Common Law

      Unwritten laws & rules of equity derived from antiquity (Legitimate through long use and must not be contrary to God’s law)

(3) Civil law_(Positive law)

Written law of men. Can only reach actions, not conscience. (Legitimate by consent of governed – IE: Constitutions,   compacts, elections, commonwealth agreements and must not be contrary to God’s law)

God’s word says the following about civil authority and law;

Hebrews 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Romans 13:1  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.               2  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.                3  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:                4  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 1 Peter 2:13-17: 13  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14  Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

Titus 3:1: 1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

Acts 4:19  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20   For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. Is this authority absolute, or must there be standards of legitimacy before civil law is binding upon believers?
4  Views
Humanists will say that to be legitimate law must comply with mans standards of liberty, equality, and fairness. If it does not, we must choose wiser leaders and give them power to enforce conformity. Some religious leaders will say, like Martin Luther King Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi, that to be legitimate it must comply with the entirety of their perception of God’s justice. If it does not, we must not obey but practice civil disobedience. Most believers will say it is not absolute, but that we must obey God always, regardless of civil authority. To be legitimate, law must comply with God’s word. If it does not, we must not obey, but must accept our punishments. Our founders and early patriots will say, based upon Locke and others, that to be legitimate law must depend on the consent of the governed, and be based on God’s law. If it does not, it is not law and not to be obeyed.

Liberty vs. License

LIBERTY or LICENSE ?

Many people today, specially those who claim to be political liberals or human rights advocates would tell us that liberty means the right to do whatever you want to. That is of course providing that you harm no one else, nor infringe on their absolute right do what they want. This is not liberty, but rather license.
Genuine liberty however, is freedom from the compulsions of our passions, ego, and self will. This liberty comes about only through the working of the grace of God. Before His grace has become effective in our heart we are in bondage. “…whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34
“His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” Prov. 5:22
So then, how should civil government act in protecting liberty, but not enabling license? It is to provide for a just and orderly society by proscribing those outward acts that disobey and dishonor God‘s law. It cannot, however, reach matters of conscience. Our Pilgrim forebears may or may not have overreached by compelling citizens to attend church services, but they certainly did so when they banished Anne Hutchinson and drove Roger Williams to Rhode Island because they disagreed with prevailing church dogma.
Government may keep order by requiring external submission to the law of God, but it can never compel the heart change needed to liberate man. Only the grace of the Redeemer can accomplish that!

No one has the right to take away freedom of thought or choice unless that freedom turns to licentiousness by hurting another OR BY DENYING THE INVIOLABLE LAWS of nature and nature’s God. – Dr. Michael Milton

Carl C. Edwards – Hi-Tech Redneck