Tag Archives: christianity

Think It Not Strange


 

Think It Not Strange

 

1 Peter 4:12-16

 

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf,” 1 Peter 4:16.

 

 

These days, many parents are rethinking whether or not they want their boys to play football. As new research comes to light about the long-term effects of a full contact sport like football, some parents are forbidding their children from participating in the game. What parents realize is that, in the game of football, there will be contact. Football is a sport in which the players are issued pads, helmets and mouthpieces, so, if a child plays, it is not a question of whether or not he may get hit, it is a question of how hard he will get hit and whether or not he will sustain any injuries. The question parents must answer is whether or not their child’s participation in and enjoyment of the sport will be worth the risk of injury.

 

When it comes to Christianity, you have to ask similar questions. In your pursuit of Christ and Christ-likeness, when you “put on” Christ—much like football gear—you are entering the arena of a full-contact movement. In today’s text, Peter reminds you not to be surprised when you encounter pain and persecution as a Christian, but instead to rejoice in the pain and celebrate that God has already won the victory. If your team is guaranteed to win, would the pain and injury associated with the game not be worth it? Christ has won and we are His, so by faith, we have won also. Glorify God in every difficulty.

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you glorify God in your pain today?

 

 

Mark Clements

 

 

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Revival


To many contemporary preachers and pastors, the word revival is anathama. Their mis-understanding of the word has caused them to revile the practice of old time Landmark Missionary Baptists and dis-continue the practice of having revivals. Bro. W.A. Dillard has nobly and exquisitely considered the the scriptures relating to, and the meaning of the word “revive.”

There is a true need for revival in this nation. It will come by prayer, passionate preaching, and repentance. The following is the article written so ably by Brother W.A. Dillard.

 

THINKING OF REVIVAL

Psalm 85:6: “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”
Isaiah 57:15: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
Hosea 14:7: “They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.”
Habakkuk 3:2: “O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

Please notice and ponder the word “revive” as it appears in the context of the several verses above. The English word “revive” is a composite of “re” plus “vive” literally meaning “again to live.” It does not convey a loss of life then acquiring it all over again, but the stirring of that which one already possesses to produce such joy, peace, and appreciation of it as to make it the number one priority of one’s days.
The one Hebrew word translated “revive” in each of the verses above is “Chayah.” It means to possess life in all its awareness and attendant activities; to know life in zeal, and a high level of awareness, especially in spiritual things. This is the same root word that God used in the Hebrew language to reveal his name to Moses which is translated “I am.” Exo. 3:14. He is the source of life; and where there is life, there is activity.
The churches of the Lord Jesus Christ stand in need of a revival of proper activity! They do not need a revival of socialism or of bigger, more comfortable facilities, but a revival of joy, hope, and peace that flows from the Holy Word. I do not mean an acquiescence to the Word, rather a personal acquaintance with it, and agreement with its contents. From this flows all things right and holy in human life; hence, in the churches.
So, what shall we say of “revival” meetings? They are not just an intensification of formal worship services, but a dedication of life to the will of God, and to the working of the Holy Spirit within. That dedication is absolutely individual. It does not come from the will or decisions of the pastor; nor of the will or the majority vote of the congregation. It must be within the heart of each of us. It is true repentance toward God, and from the indifference of a backslidden condition. It is to allow ourselves to be enveloped without reservation in the teachings and work God has given to us that will produce the type of person He wants here on earth now as well as to rule with Him in the age that is about to happen. God, please give us unreserved submission to you that we may indeed know revival!!!

 

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119 – April 29 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Ritualism to Reality in Christ

 

Dover Mills, Goochland County, VA – 1865

 

From the time of his youth, William Baskett purposed to know God.  William was born in 1741 in Goochland County Virginia.  As a youth, William envisioned the blessings of sincere Christianity, and he regularly attended public worship services, and because of his sincerity, he was allowed to participate in the communion service of the established state church (Anglican).  In time William saw himself as a guilty, undone sinner.  Great conviction gripped his heart and he continually examined God’s word.  Finally one night God brought the Scripture to mind: “He that trusts in the Lord shall never be confounded.” (Douay-Rheims bible) At that moment he trusted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and threw himself on the Lord’s grace.  He found immediate peace with God.  In the mean time  Elijah Craig and David Thompson, faithful Baptist preachers, had entered the area, and the Basketts were immersed upon their profession of faith.  Soon a small congregation was gathered, and the work of God grew, when in 1788 a revival in the area brought significant growth to the local church.  William Baskett was called to assume the pastorate of the Lyle’s Baptist Church.   After twenty -one years of an exemplary ministry, the amazing event of the home going of the Basketts took place.  On April 21, 1815, his life partner fell asleep in Jesus.  One week later on April 29, 1815, he preached his last sermon from the words: “We have no continuing city, but seek one to come.”  On the following day, William’s tranquil spirit took flight to Glory.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p.  248   –   249

 

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THE WHISPER OF LOVE


I cannot be sad if my Savior is near,
He bids all my sadness depart;
I cannot be lonely, if gently I hear
His whisper of love in my heart.

The whisper of love, soft whisper of love,
How oft, like the poor wandering dove,
I fly to the ark with my Savior to rest,
And hear His soft whisper of love.

I cannot be weary; the days are not long,
If onward I trustingly move;
And oft on my journey i pause in my song,
to hear the soft
whisper of love,

And when, from the path He has taught me to tread,
My footsteps forgetfully rove;
How kindly again to that path I am led,
And cheered by the whisper of love.

No voice in the world is so tenderly sweet,
No charm can my sorrow remove;
No accents in glory my joy would complete
Without the soft whisper of love.

Fanny Crosby

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THE GLOOM AND DOOM PEOPLE


Psalm 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

We have many people that predict gloom and doom today. They always speak of the rush to ruin. They search for hope in history and find no hope. Through education they attempt to find and answer to the corruption and immorality that has over taken our land. They have not found any answer in civilization which they had hoped in. They cast an eye to other nations, hoping that dialogue and interaction would be the answer they were seeking but found wrecked cathedrals and destroyed homes that had been built without a solid foundation. How shallow the hopes and dreams of so many seekers in this world today. The answer is the creator of the world. God has the answer written in the Book of books. Our hope is in the creator that laid the foundation for this world. This Book says, “My soul, hope thou in God. Our hope is based on the fact that He is reigning and moving on in His eternal purposes to an end that shall be fair as a perfect day.

There may be some few years ahead. For some the prospect is dark and frightening. There will be many questions that cannot be answered about the future. Will your health hold out? Will your abilities and powers to hold a job hold out or will that day come when you can no longer provide for wife and children? When our hope is in our own selves we have a weak foundation. This world may not get better but the assurance we have is the Lord will return. We will have a new heaven and a new earth that is righteously ruled by Jesus. That is why we look to God for our Joy and Hope.

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BABBLERS AND FOOLS


Ecc 10:11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.
12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.
14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

Fools words injure others and himself.
A fool betrays his own folly by his words.
A fool does not realize that with a few words he is found out to not know what he is talking about. A fool displays wisdom when he listens more than he speaks and thereby learns.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

Our words are to be words of God because our study has been directed to find the truth instead of satisfying our predetermined minds. Without a study plan we cannot find truth. Would you notice that the unlearned are call profane and vain babblers which increase to more ungodliness. Now Paul mentions two men that were apparently called Christians at one time but Paul in I Timothy 1:20 delivered Hymenawus unto satan.

Isa 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

We find truth when we compare scripture to scripture and principle to principle.

An example: Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This passage is salvation encapsulated in just a few words. Notice it is from God. It is given because of His great love for mankind. It is given through His Son. It is available to any that believe. The person that believes will not perish but is secure in God’s salvation.

Now we can build upon this. We will not take anything away or add to it. We will simply put meat on the bones.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Every person ever born is in need of a Savior because we all have sinned. This is implied in John 3:16, yet it is not expressly stated.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All of us are worthy of death because we all have sinned and have reaped the wages of sin.

Joh 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

A statement that was not understood by Nicodemus but was clarified by Jesus in verse six comparing the natural birth and delivery when our mothers water breaks to the flesh and the second birth as a spiritual birth. Therefore the gift that John 3:16 refers to is the new birth.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Here is the means. By Grace. Whose Grace? God’s Grace. Through faith. Faith in who or what? Faith that Jesus Christ was crucified for us and shed His blood for us that we might be cleansed of our sin. That faith must extend to His resurrection. If He were still in the grave, He would have died in vain. Notice that what is very plainly stated here is, there are not any works that will get us in heaven. Isaiah said “all our righteousnessess are as filthy rags.” We simply in our flesh cannot please God. This leaves out baptism, church membership and the Lord’s supper. Notice – believe, Grace, faith. These bring salvation.

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Repentance and confessing our sin to the Lord Jesus. With heart we believe and with the mouth confession is made.

John 3:16 has it all there but study of scripture; line upon line and precept upon precept makes it clear enough for a Nicodemus to understand and for children to trust upon the Lord unto salvation.

If you have never been born again but this has been clear enough for you to understand, leave a comment. You don’t have to reveal who you are unless you want to.

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362 – Dec. 28 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Krishna Pal preached the gospel among his people with great success.
 
December 28, 1800 – Krishna Pal, a Hindu from India, along with Felix, the son of William Carey, the pioneer missionary to that land was immersed and received believer’s baptism in the Ganges River before a great crowd, including the Governor of India. Krishna’s wife and daughter had also made a profession of faith in Christ but had faltered when they saw the large crowds. Dr. Carey had served for six years before he had seen his first convert and now it was Dr. John Thomas, his companion, who had faithfully served for 16 years to finally see some fruit from his labors. Krishna Pal, a carpenter, fell and broke his arm, and Dr. Thomas was called on to set it. After his work was done, he fervently preached the gospel to Krishna and his neighbors and set forth the folly of idolatry and set forth the great truths of Christianity. Krishna was moved to tears and sought further instruction and before long he openly renounced idolatry and the caste, professing faith in Jesus Christ. He in turn reached his wife and daughter and the three of them presented themselves for believer’s immersion. This news stirred up the natives and soon there was a mob of 2,000, who poured out vicious words upon him, and then dragged him to the magistrate, who immediately released him and commended him for the piety of his course, and commanded the mob to dispense. He even placed a guard at his house and offered armed protection during the baptism. For more than twenty years, Krishna Pal preached the gospel among his people with great success. He also composed a beautiful poem: “O Thou my soul, forget no more. The Friend who all thy misery bore; Let every idol be forgot, But, O my soul, forget Him not. Jesus for Thee a body takes; thy guilt assumes, thy fetters breaks, Discharging all thy dreadful debt: And canst thou e’er such love forget.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 544-45.

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Is America Becoming a Pagan Kingdom? 3


By Kelly OConnell  Monday, December 17, 2012

H. World Religion Polytheism Versus Monotheism
One of the great battles between ancient paganism and Christianity was the debate over whether a single, versus multiple deities existed. For example, one of the main reasons Christianity was sanctioned so harshly by the Romans was their insistence that God was of one nature. This disagreed with the state religious system which was pluralistic and committed to bringing in any non-novel foreign deities, already established elsewhere. Interestingly, the most important public policy in ancient Rome was Pax Deorum, or the Peace of the Gods—which directed the leaders to do anything humanly possible to avoid upsetting the gods so as to avoid human tragedy.
This battle was decisively settled when Constantine declared Christianity the state religion. After this such leaders as Emperor Theodosius declared pagan worship a capital offense, with offenders possibly executed. Yet, today in America the Christian church is reeling as multiple cases come down against Believers and church expressions of faith. Any statements seen as exclusive of any other religious traditions, including atheism are harshly put down as non-inclusive. So paganism has returned to America.
I. World Government & Tower of Babel
A fixation on a one-world government which would create a single law applied around the globe by a world court system, also delivering taxation and management of resouces and assets is not a new idea but ancient. The Tower of Babel in Genesis was an example of such an attempt to create a one-world society. This was rejected by Yahweh who caused languages to be multiplied to foment confusion to end the project. Therefore, a commitment to world government cannot be claimed biblical or modern, but merely pagan.
J. Education Goals
While the classical Triumvirate was developed by pagan thinkers, the average Roman did not have access to such first-class education. The vast majority of Romans were plebeians, the poorer class. Only upper class males were trained, with some notable middle class children such as Cicero who were able to advance beyond their class via hard work and genius.
The original American education czar, John Dewey, was certainly a progressive, and many feel a Marxist. His goal was to train children through experience, not via rote memory or immersion in classical texts as was the original American pedagogy. It is because of Dewey’s ideas that American education became a study in advanced mediocrity, turning out generations of students simply not equipped to debate, analyze arguments, or study texts with any precision. In other words, perfect pawns for the state, representing the ancient Roman description of a few elites directing the masses. Writes one educator,
A detailed examination of Dewey’s relationship to Marxism can explain a great deal about the form and content of modern schools. Dewey found Marxism useful, if not indispensable, in the formulation of his educational theories…
K. Belief in Universal Law
It is part of leftist modern political theory that there must be a body of world legislators and courts to standardize a global law, which presumes a viable world body of law fully applicable in any scenario or setting. This idea was in fact first declared by the ancient Roman Stoics who declared a law which applied universally, such as demanded now with the United Nations.
Yet the greatest theory of law in modern history, Anglo-American common law, is decidedly not a claim of universal jurisprudence but a regional canon based upon Natural Law & Rights. It proved so powerful its Constitution and Bill of Rights became the model for all universal rights theorists. Yet the problem with universal law regimes is that should they become corrupt, the entire world would become infected and tyrannical, without any potential respite except for armed insurrection.
L. Afterlife
The idea of a heaven and hell were not originally in the minds of the earliest Romans. Instead, a life inside the grave was imagined, explaining inclusion of various everyday implements, according to Numa Denis Fustel De Coulanges in The Ancient City. Instead, it was thought corpses still had some level of awareness in the grave. Only later was it conceived that underground spirits joined in a giant cavern where they resided together. But there was no belief that good people went to a heaven, whereas as the evil went to hell.
In modern America, belief in a Christian heaven and hell is increasingly unpopular with many believing just in heaven, whereas many others believe the “soul” is annihilated after death. This is no coincidence, but in an increasingly perverse and irreligious populace where many cling only to the barest outlines of Christianity, it is certain that those who abandon traditional morality also abandon orthodox theology on the afterlife.
M. Property Rights
One of the current fascinations in American society is the idea of wealth redistribution. This well-suits the welfare of ancient Rome and its grain dole. Further, despite the idea of private property, there was no well-established right of such. This is because the city, the most common authority in antiquity, was seen as representing the group, and no individual rights theory existed at this time. Therefore, the city could confiscate private property if it saw need to.
The medieval debate over private property between the Franciscans and the Pope was used by William of Ockham to argue that individuals had a non-negotiable right to property ownership. This became a foundational Natural Law and Rights argument. John Locke famously argued for a complete defense of private property, which along with the rule of law, made America’s prosperity possible. Yet, now we are on the verge of giving up even this fundamental right which will almost certainly lead to America collapsing economically.

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Is America Becoming a Pagan Kingdom? 2


By Kelly OConnell  Monday, December 17, 2012

III. Chief Doctrines of Reborn Paganism
A. Family
The modern family is in state of siege, on the verge of total destruction. In its place are various entities and unions, many fleeting in nature. Marriage itself as a sacred Christian union is a bygone concept. More interestingly, the very institutions which supported and fed into marriage by way of courtship and dating are today almost extinct. The practice of “hooking up,” being a preliminary sexual exploration before any level of commitment—has inverted the paradigm. The upshot is the old cornerstone of “True Love” being a fixation on a marriage of incorporeal love and total dedication versus all others—essentially unknown in the ancient world—has disappeared. The ancient world with its commonplace prostitution and use of slaves as unfettered sex objects without any rights—regardless of age, gender and used in any manner has been replaced by promiscuity and pornography.
B. Gay Marriage
While gay “marriage” is seen nowhere in ancient history, the seeds of homosexual unions are firmly planted in classical paganism. First, the Greeks were open to the potential for men to have homosexual relations. For example, in one of the most notorious developments in history, homosexual pedophilia was highly developed in ancient Greece. This cult of pederasty was ostensibly used for instruction. Further, homosexual acts by adults were noted in culture and the arts.
Romans also tolerated homosexuality, yet with a twist. Officially, homosexual acts between Roman citizens merited the death penalty. Yet, any sex acts done with a slave, even children, were totally acceptable. This was because slaves were not technically persons under the law. Yet, no ancient society ever allowed homosexuals the right to marry. Further, the Christian theology placing Christ’s relationship to the Church as an analogy to human marriage certainly meant that no straight reading of the Bible could ever condone such an idea. That America now legislates such actions is a powerful statement on our true pagan faith.
C. State Directed Religion
While the American Constitution famously defends the right for unfettered religious belief and expression, modern society is seriously pruning back free religious expression. What is taking its place is a kind of state-approved religious expression which focuses on certain pagan beliefs, such as the deification of nature, the planet (gaia) and the cosmos. Considered the most grievous crime against the modern mind is the prejudiced claim of an exclusive religion or God, especially one whom proscribes certain “sinful” behaviors. This rejection of the biblical code is an acceptance of the ancient pagan standards that tolerated any religion except an exclusive claim which rejected all others.
D. Command Economy
The ancient world had no comprehension of capitalism, its theories being outlined formally by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations. But it is true that the elements of informal capitalism have existed from time immemorial without being codified. In the ancient world, land was often owned by the government—such as in Egypt. In Rome, the government contracted for “corn,” or grain from which to feed the people. Often this was contracted in foreign climes like Africa. There was an artificial port named, appropriately enough, Portus built expressly in which to land craft laden with grain. The public policy of amassing grain for public use and setting its price, meant to ameliorate famine, was cura annonae, according to Tacitus. While inventive, the government’s direct control of agriculture on such large scale would neither be efficient, nor sustainable. That America is now creating a command economy of health care is a dire sign for the end of the world’s best private medical system.
E. Irrelevance of Private Morality Behind Public Success
In ancient Rome, citizens were not judged by their private lives as much by their achievement of success in two realms—military and politics. Wealth and great fame were also acknowledged. The concept of an admirable inner life was unknown to Romans, according to Florence Dupont in Daily Life in Ancient Rome, describing how Romans were not in the least introspective, but judged themselves exclusively by how others saw them. The goal in the Roman world was glory and a good name, achieved by battlefield bravery and political achievement in the senate and various magistracies.
What mattered in ancient Rome is similar to what is celebrated in modern America—military success, political achievement, overall renown, riches, and being part of a higher status family. But what used to be a fixation with Americans—being how people achieved success and what kind of person they were, how they treat friends, family, and strangers, let alone overall character—no longer matters.
F. Anti-Science
Scientific undertakings in America have become overly politicized and ends-directed until the outcomes of “independent” studies and experiments are now often wholly predictable and fixed. This is much like how ancient Rome used its collegia of priestly groups. For example, when the Romans had a monstra appear, being some kind of natural anomaly, like the birth of a two-headed calf, the senate investigated this by way of their priests. They might ask the Haruspices to investigate the nature of these phenomenon, who would do so by opening an animal and reading its liver. These would then report back to the senate their findings, but it would be up to the senate to decide what it all meant. So pagan politics dominated every other concern, just like today.
F. Nature Worship
One sees a decided development of worship of nature in the modern cult of Gaia, which portrays the earth as a kind of god. Such sentiments are not foreign to ancient societies, which often associated religion with such items as trees, aka sacred groves. For instance, one writer describes Earth First!
and love of trees and nature worship,
Some of today’s environmental movement is clearly a revival of ancient pagan nature worship, exemplified in this video of Earth First members crying out, speaking not only of but to trees, and referring to the forest as a “tabernacle.”
This attitude is plainly seen in the following passages from Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism With an Essay on Baal Worship, On The Assyrian Sacred “Grove”:
There is a word of the feminine gender occurring in the Hebrew twenty-four times, viz., Asherah or Asharah; plural, Asharth translated in the Septuagint and Latin vulgate, a tree, or “grove,” in which they have been followed by most modern versions, including the English. This supplies the void, for Asharah may be regarded as another name for the goddess Ashtoreth. What, then, was the Asharah? It was of wood, and of large size; the Jews were ordered to cut it down.
G. One-World Religious System
The dream of a one-world pagan religious system symbolized by the European godhead excepted Judaism and Christianity is alive today. The ancient religious system of Rome and Greece had analogs across the globe in various cultures, whether in Europe, the Indian subcontinent, or various other places. This world system is back via commands against exclusivity, or prohibitions against what were once considered sins. Defy this movement and risk jails or fines, just as ancient Roman authorities attempted to stamp out and kill Christianity for rejecting the state pantheon.

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334 – Nov. 30 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 John Gifford, a Baptist Pastor…led him to Christ
 November 30, 1628 – John Bunyan was born in the midst of the struggle between Christianity and infidelity. The year he was born was a great victory for freedom in the passing of the English Bill of Rights. The sum of the act was that “no man shall be taxed without the consent of Parliament, nor be arrested, imprisoned, or executed but by due course of law.” However, every attempt was made by the court (throne) to recover arbitrary power. To attain this power, horrible atrocities were perpetrated on people beyond description. Bunyan was born in the village of Elstow, one mile from Bedford. He was born into a family of Tinkers. Bunyan described them as being, “of that rank of the meanest and most despised of all the families in the land.”  At a time when very few were taught to read and write his father sent him to school where John learned both but soon forgot both utterly. He gave himself over to sin, principally lying, swearing, and profaning the Sabbath. He experienced agonies of conviction. He had several brushes with death such as drowning’s and snake bite. He also served in the army and fought in the battle of Leicester. He was spared any serious injuries although he took on the wicked habits of his peers. Bunyan married a very poor, but pious, woman. She encouraged him with two books. The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven, and the Practice of Piety, and through this he regained his ability to read. Her affectionate compassion became a blessing and his rugged heart was softened and he felt alarm for the Salvation of his soul. Another woman who was loose and ungodly rebuked him for his cursing and said that his oaths made her tremble. Some women talking about the New Birth took him to John Gifford, a Baptist Pastor who led him to Christ, and the rest is history.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins /Thompson/, pp. 499-500.

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