Archive for June, 2016
Before the 1960s, the overwhelming majority of Americans from ages 4 or 5 to 18, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion, shared three things five days a week in school: 1) Prayer, 2) The Bible, and 3) The Pledge of Allegiance. Then suddenly, millions of children who daily lifted their voices to God were bound into silence.
In 1962 in the Engel vs. Vitale case, Stephen Engel, along with three others of his Jewish brethren, and a self-proclaimed ‘spiritual’ person, objected to this particular prayer sent up to God in New York public schools:
“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.”
23 states sided with New York, urging that prayer in schools be continued. But The American Jewish Committee, The Synagogue Council of America and the American Ethical sided with Engel’s group, which won the case before the Supreme Court. From that day forward, prayer was disavowed in America’s public schools.
One year later a woman named Madelyn Murray O’Hair, a confessed atheist and practicing witch and servant of Satan, brought a case in the Supreme Court to stop Bible reading in the public schools of the U.S. Again, unbelievers won, and the Bible was washed away from daily devotions among American youth.
Soon thereafter, instructions from liberalized theological schools in most major denominations, urged churches across the nation to substitute Wednesday evening prayer meetings with Bible studies. American Christians had been holding group prayer meetings since the great Holy Spirit revivals in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries which filled churches with millions of new converts.
Through the prayers of white and black Americans, the bondage of slavery was broken. And through those same prayers, segregation in the country ended.
The power of those prayers, from school children and churches—as well as from military chaplains and their commanding generals who insisted that prayer was offered up continually for the fighting troops–gave the U.S. victory through two World Wars, as well as the Cold War. But, as prayer ended, this nation has not won another war since.
Before those prayers ended, the United States was known as a Christian nation. Now, how do our leaders define this country? Unless massive prayer in The Name of Jesus, based on God’s Word, is restored this nation has no hope of survival.
As Ephesians 6:18 instructs in wholesale Christian Bibles: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” And 1 Thessalonians 5: 17 adds: “Pray without ceasing.”
Christians must get to work asking God’s forgiveness for neglecting prayer and His Word, and begging Him to have mercy upon our nation, our children, our leaders and our military. Stumbling in darkness only leads to danger, accidents and ultimately flirts with death!
It can go on no longer: people going to or ‘belonging’ to ‘Christian’ churches regularly, even faithfully, who claim to be followers of Christ, but who seem to have great difficulty in loving others, even loving some of those in their own families.
Churches in some cities are formed based on families connected with other families. These connections often pass down several generations. And so, for some church members, going to their house of worship has become almost solely a family affair.
However, such closeness often become hotbeds for gossip, so much so that often one family’s rejected member can become a rejected party through all church and family connections. In fact, these inter-actions to family and church often outweigh a person’s assumed relationship with The LORD Jesus Christ.
When some of these members may sit under rather mild gospel messages for years, they seldom confront the urgently central Christian message stated repeatedly in wholesale Christian Bibles that “God Is Love”:
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath for us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him (1 John 4: 16).”
Such members probably hear even less about the first tenant of a life of love—forgiveness. Nor are they reminded that love and forgiveness are primary commandments of God The Father and The LORD Jesus Christ, His Son:
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him (1 John 2: 3 – 5).”
Thus, while dwelling in such churches for years, some may confess Christianity outwardly, but suffer from extreme hard-heartedness, a very unchristian trait.
In the 19th century, during the last genuine Christian Holy Ghost revival in the United States, evangelists in some denominations invited those long-time church members to come down to the altar and do their “first works” over, calling on those who had once accepted Christ as Savior to come pray in repentance, confessing their sins, and ask The LORD Jesus to come again into their hearts.
The wording of these evangelists may not have been “theologically correct,” but it resulted in thousands of believers getting right with God and it energized The Body of Christ to go forward for decades in the true fellowship of God’s love and forgiveness.
The point was repentance and renewal. And if there is one thing that too many Christian church goers in the 21st century need is repentance about its lack of love—love and forgiveness among family members, across racial, historical and political lines, all proving more love for God The Father and for His Dear Son Jesus!
So much of Christianity in this 21st century is corrupted with worldliness, lack of Bible knowledge, and dead “churchy” religion (which is actually pre-paganism), indicating that many Christians may well need to do their ‘first works over.’
Only when true Christians walk daily in the kind of love The LORD Jesus speaks of in The Gospel of John, chapters 13, 15 and 17, will His Body be ready for His return, which is coming very, very soon!