Tag Archives: spirituality

You shouldn’t talk about religion publicly – 2 of 5




It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others; or their case, by change if circumstances, become his own. It behooves him, too, in his own case, to give no example of concession, betraying the common right of independent opinion, by answering questions of faith, which the laws have left between God and himself.


Source: To Doctor Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803

Koch & Peden’s Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson

P. 519 – 522

Patrick Lee’s Explanation

In Part 1, Jefferson explained why he kept his religious views private. Here, he encouraged everyone who valued their right to think for themselves to support that same privacy for others. Why? Because the Constitution prohibited government support of or opposition to an individual’s religious preferences, leaving those choices “between God and himself.”


Since the law protected “the common right of independent opinion,” he urged others not to betray that protection. The erosion of that right for one person could become the starting point for erosion of that right for others. Making private views public by “answering questions of faith” could pry open a door that the Constitution said should remain locked.


This post is part of a series of five, all taken from the same letter:

1. Why I don’t talk about religion publicy

2. You shouldn’t talk about religion publicly

3. Although I don’t talk about religion publicly

4. Jesus did talk about religion publicly

5. What made Jesus different


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Author: William Andrew Dillard


Parson to Person

Church and state is an entirely different thing to religion and state. However, the unscriptural doctrine of universal, invisible church has been in place in the religious world so long (since the Protestant Reformation) that most people, and especially those in government do not know the difference. Additionally, terrible things happen when the government shows favoritism to a literal, visible church or denomination of churches. Furthermore, tax favoritism toward churches has motivated less than honorable men to use such laws to create organizations for fiduciary benefits to themselves. They will tell those under the blinders of their charade to send their money to God, and, Oh, yes, here is his address. With increasing, tax free funds they build their little empire of multiple mansions, yatchs, and airplanes. The increased number and variety of such religious organizations succeed in further blurring the perceptible lines between church and religion. So, one may ask if there really is an important difference, and if so, just how does a New Testament church originate?

Having the prerequisites of personal salvation and John’s baptism, men and women may covenant together to carry out the terms of the Great Commission, ideally under the express will of an established New Testament church that is able to oversee, comfort, and encourage the new congregation. This is succession. It is the New Testament pattern. It is the only pattern acceptable to New Testament churches in their missionary efforts that lead to church succession. Some in the theological world may “guffhaw” at the idea of church succession, but that is their problem. Jesus promised it; historians confirm it, and the meaning of the Word of God is found faulty and meaningless if it is not so. So soon will the bride of Christ who has sailed through bloody seas without mercy from the emmisaries of Satan be welcomed and rewarded by its soon coming king.

Of course, there are those who would be quick to levy the charge of “legalism” to such rigid thinking, but legalism it is not. It is understanding the New Testament pattern while also understanding that Jesus did not give anyone the authority or pronounce any blessings on those who would change the Word of God to fit their own human thinking to placate a sinful world.

On a personal level, let it be known that it is a terrible thing for an eternity-bound image of Almighty God to trust his eternal state to the thinking of others fully as much of a sinner as he, instead of the pure light of the Word. If I were a blind man, I would not want to trust the safety of my travel or the arrival to my proper destination to another blind man.


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The Korean War


The Korean War started June 25, 1950

American Minute with Bill Federer


“FREEDOM IS NOT FREE” is the inscription on the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.


The Korean War started JUNE 25, 1950.


Communist North Korea invaded South Korea, killing thousands.


Outnumbered South Korean and American troops, as part of a UN “police” action, fought courageously against the Communist Chinese and North Korean troops, who were supplied with arms and MIG fighters from the Soviet Union.


General Douglas MacArthur, who led the United Nations Command from 1950 to 1951, made a daring landing of troops at Inchon, deep behind North Korean lines, and recaptured the city of Seoul.


General Douglas MacArthur warned in a speech to the Salvation Army, December 12, 1951, stating:


History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline.


There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”


With temperatures sometimes forty degrees below zero, and Washington politicians limiting the use of air power against the Communists, there were nearly 140,000 American casualties in:


the defense of the Pusan Perimeter and Taego;


the landing at Inchon and the freeing of Seoul;


the capture of Pyongyang;


the Yalu River where nearly a million Communist Chinese soldiers invaded;


the Battles of Changjin Reservoir, Old Baldy, White Horse Mountain, Heartbreak Ridge, Pork Chop Hill, T-Bone Hill, and Siberia Hill.


President Harry S Truman stated while lighting the National Christmas Tree, December 24, 1952:


“Tonight, our hearts turn first of all to our brave men and women in Korea. They are fighting and suffering and even dying that we may preserve the chance of peace in the world…


And as we go about our business of trying to achieve peace in the world, let us remember always to try to act and live in the spirit of the Prince of Peace. He bore in His heart no hate and no malice – nothing but love for all mankind.


We should try as nearly as we can to follow His example. We believe that all men are truly the children of God…


As we pray for our loved ones far from home – as we pray for our men and women in Korea, and all our service men and women wherever they are – let us also pray for our enemies.


Let us pray that the spirit of God shall enter their lives and prevail in their lands…Through Jesus Christ the world will yet be a better and a fairer place.”


President Dwight Eisenhower’s son, John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower, served in Korea during the war. First Lady Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower stated in a conversation at the Doud home regarding him:


“He has a mission to fulfill and God will see to it that nothing will happen to him till he fulfills it.”


Fighting in Korea was halted July 27, 1953, with the signing of an armistice at Panmunjom.


At the College of William and Mary, May 15, 1953, Dwight Eisenhower stated:


“It is necessary that we earnestly seek out and uproot any traces of communism.”


Dwight Eisenhower stated December 24, 1953, lighting the National Christmas Tree:


“The world still stands divided in two antagonistic parts. Prayer places freedom and communism in opposition one to the other.


The Communist can find no reserve of strength in prayer because his doctrine of materialism and statism denies the dignity of man and consequently the existence of God.


But in America…religious faith is the foundation of free government, so is prayer an indispensable part of that faith…The founders of this, our country, came first to these shores in search of freedom…to live…beyond the yoke of tyranny.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.


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The Kind of Christian I Am!




By – William Andrew Dillard


Among those who are dedicated followers of Christ Jesus, even extending to those who might be classified as nominal Christians, there is a common desire oft expressed and somewhat diligently sought. It is to be a truly spiritual disciple. Accordingly, men turn to the devices of flesh in the pursuit of greater levels of spirituality. Those things do indeed generate a considerable amount of religious activity: greater offerings, more determination to wear a clean mind and abandon common carnal thinking and doing. Many such activities may be commendable, but it is also possible that in spite of some laudable activity, spirituality is being sought in all the wrong places.
Are you thinking with me about this?
God’s people should be aware of a certain passage of scripture, and they should put its suggested activity into action. I refer to I Corinthians 14:12, “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” What a marvelously simple, but profound idea. Look at it more closely:
1. “Zealous” means to be boiling hot as in an obsessive pursuit.
2. “Spiritual gifts” means the possession of recognized spirituality so bestowed by the Lord.
3. “Seek” means to earnestly diligently search.
4. “Excel” means to do excellently, far above the average.
5. “Edify” means to build up, to enhance reputation.
6. “Church” means the saved, baptized, called out assembly of the Lord Jesus Christ.
With an understanding of the meaning of the terms of this precious verse of scripture, we may restate it in amplified terms in the following manner: “Even so ye (you, plural) are boiling hot in desire and pursuit of spiritual gifts that you and others identify as coming from God, earnestly, diligently search out ways and means to do much more than the average disciple to build up the reputation of the called out assembly of Jesus (the church) as a spiritual institution in the community.” What a wonderful, practical way our Lord has chosen to elevate one’s spirituality. Every church member ought to be so engaged. I believe this to the core of my soul because that is the kind of Christian I am!



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Discerning Signs


He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:2, 3).


Trivial Pursuit was a popular game 20 years ago. To win that game you had to know a lot of unimportant and relatively insignificant facts about history, literature, science and a few other categories. Amazingly, the one with the greatest grasp of the most irrelevant facts was considered the smartest.


The Pharisees of old, and some religious leaders today, similarly miss the point by amassing great knowledge of the irrelevant while ignoring the important. Jesus said the Pharisees and Saducees could discern signs of weather but did not have a clue to the signs of the times.


Lyrics from a popular song in the 60’s are true: “The signs of the times are everywhere.” In all of history, if there was ever a time to be biblical and discerning of human events, it is today. This is the day to study Daniel, Revelation, Ezekiel, Zechariah, 2 Thessalonians and 2 Peter.  I am not talking about setting dates but about discerning the signs of the times.


Don’t exalt the trivial and miss the imperative. Seek to be discerning in our times.





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141 — May 21- This Day in Baptist History Past


A Good Man with a Good Testimony


 1st Meeting House


They accepted (exemptions) in prosperity, what their Baptist forebears refused under persecution


Elisha Callender was as it is written of Enoch: “. . . . he had this testimony, that he pleased God”


The Baptist Church in Boston built a new church edifice in 1680, and in 1683 John Emblem from England became their pastor; after serving them for fifteen years, he died in 1699, when Ellis Callender succeeded him. He was followed by Elisha Callender and Jeremiah Condy, until Samuel Stillman took charge in I665. By the time that the second Callender became pastor, the spirituality of the Baptists had so commended them to the respect of the better portion of the community that the three principal clergymen in Boston, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather and John Webb, not only consented to be present at his ordination, but Mr. Mather most cheerfully preached the ordination sermon, May 21st, 1718.


And what was as noble as it was remarkable, he had the manliness to select as his subject, ‘Good Men United!’ In the face of the whole colony he condemned ‘the wretched notion of wholesale severities’ These he called ‘cruel wrath,’ and said roundly: ‘New England also has, in some former times, done something of this aspect, which would not now be so well approved of, in which, if the brethren in whose house we are now convened met with any thing too unbrotherly, they now with satisfaction hear us expressing our dislike of every thing that has looked like persecution in the days that have passed over us.


Spiritual prosperity attended Callender’s ministry as pastor of the church in Boston. Scarcely did a month pass without some professions of faith. In his twentieth year of ministry, he was cut down by death.


In 1729, because of the testimony of men like Elisha Callender, that the bitterness of the General Court of Massachusetts was so far relaxed against Baptists as to exempt them from paying the parish ministerial taxes if they alleged a scruple of conscience in the matter.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (E. Wayne Thompson and David L. Cummins) pp. 207-208







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God give me joy in the common things:

In the dawn that lures, the eve that sings.


In the new grass sparkling after rain,

In the late wind’s wild and weird refrain;


In the springtime’s spacious field of gold

In the precious light by winter doled.


God give me joy in the love of friends,

In their dear home talk as summer ends;


In the songs of children, unrestrained;

In the sober wisdom age has gained.


God give me joy in the tasks that press,

In the memories that burn and bless;


In the thought that life has love to spend,

In the faith that God’s at journey’s end.


God give me hope for each day that springs,

God give me joy in the common things!


Thomas Curtis Clark

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J.R. GRAVES Life, Times and Teachings 8


Hitherto, his life was what may be termed undefined. His purpose was to make a living, improve his mind, and support his mother; but there comes a period in every man’s history which affects the course and color of its life-stream. The current rushes on headlong until some obstruction, some opening, some opposition meets it. It dashes over the rocks or flows around them and becomes a brilliant cascade or quiet rivulet, perchance a stagnant pool; or with gathered accession and impetus, a widely sweeping current. It is an epoch – a crisis – in the individual’s It may be ambition or love or business or bereavement or temptation, or the voiceless breath of God’s Spirit upon the inmost soul. Thought is awakened, the mind is directed in upon itself, and life in all its stern realities is disclosed as never before. Life is before him, a lone sea to be navigated for himself, a long voyage, and he must choose his course.

Carlyle has with facile pen described this soul crisis in his “Sartor Resartus,” but in this book is no voiceful expression from the living Word; no inspiring breath from the Holy Spirit; no smile of love from the Lord Jesus; no cloudless dawn upon the soul, wrapping the whole being in light and clothing every natural gift and power with a beauty and a radiance not of earth. God’s call to the ministry of his own blessed Word and Spirit is, indeed, a crisis whose record will endure when sun and stars have gone out. Blessed is he who has received and heard and obeyed and fulfilled that call, who has met God alone, and goes forth with a message given him.

Young Graves had met God and joyfully surrendered to him, and God gave him his life message to his own generation.

He resigned his school and returned to his mother’s home in Ohio. He gave his time to thought, to study and to prayer. For some months which he said were the happiest of his life and the most important, he studied for the ministry, “making the Bible the man of his counsel and Paul his instructor in theology and logic.”

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J.R. GRAVES Life, Times, and Teachings 5


Young Graves, as has been said, was left fatherless in his infancy, being the youngest of three children. A mother of energy, piety, and integrity, with an unswerving faith, gave character to the boy. At the age of fifteen the light dawned upon his inmost soul and disclosed to him his guilt and helplessness. His conviction was deep, his struggle was intense, and his surrender and trust in the atoning work of Christ was full and complete and joyful. He was baptized and joined the North Springfield Baptist Church, Vermont.

He had to make his own way and earn his own living from his early youth. Perceiving that it was impossible for him to take a college course, he began teaching. He was then but eighteen years of age, an age when boys are usually undecided as to their future and in need of paternal direction and support, but this fatherless youth struck out for himself and, with the aid of an older brother, Z.C. Graves, supported his mother and gained character as a promising school teacher.

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The Pastor’s Son

Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at the church, the
Pastor and his eleven year old son would go out into their town and hand out
Gospel Tracts.

This particular Sunday afternoon, as it came time for the Pastor and
his son to go to the streets with their tracts, it was very cold outside, as
well as pouring rain.

The boy bundled up in his warmest and driest clothes and said, ‘OK,
dad, I’m ready.’

His Pastor dad asked, ‘Ready for what?’

‘Dad, it’s time we gather our tracts together and go out.’

Dad responds, ‘Son, it’s very cold outside and it’s pouring rain.’

The boy gives his dad a surprised look, asking, ‘But Dad, aren’t
people still going to Hell, even though it’s raining?’

Dad answers, ‘Son, I am not going out in this weather.’

Despondently, the boy asks, ‘Dad, can I go? Please?’

His father hesitated for a moment then said, ‘Son, you can go. Here
are the tracts, be careful son..’

‘Thanks Dad!’

And with that, he was off and out into the rain.. This eleven year
old boy walked the streets of the town going door to door and handing
everybody he met in the street a Gospel Tract .

After two hours of walking in the rain, he was soaking, bone-chilled
wet and down to his VERY LAST TRACT. He stopped on a corner and looked for
someone to hand a tract to, but the streets were totally deserted.

Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the
sidewalk to the front door and rang the doorbell. He rang the bell, but
nobody answered.

He rang it again and again, but still no one answered. He waited but
still no answer.

Finally, this eleven year old trooper turned to leave, but something
stopped him.

Again, he turned to the door and rang the bell and knocked loudly on
the door with his fist. He waited, something holding him there on the front

He rang again and this time the door slowly opened.

Standing in the doorway was a very sad-looking elderly lady. She
softly asked, ‘What can I do for you, son?’ With radiant eyes and a smile
that lit up her world, this little boy said, ‘Ma’am, I’m sorry if I
disturbed you, but I just want to tell you that * JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU
* and I came to give you my very last Gospel Tract which will tell you all
about JESUS and His great LOVE.’

With that, he handed her his last tract and turned to leave.

She called to him as he departed. ‘Thank you, son! And God Bless

Well, the following Sunday morning in church Pastor Dad was in the
pulpit.  As the service began, he asked, ‘Does anybody have testimony or
want to say anything?’

Slowly, in the back row of the church, an elderly lady stood to her

As she began to speak, a look of glorious radiance came from her
face, ‘No one in this church knows me. I’ve never been here before.  You
see, before last Sunday I was not a Christian. My husband passed on some
time ago, leaving me totally alone in this world. Last Sunday, being a
particularly cold and rainy day, it was even more so in my heart that I came
to the end of the line where I no longer had any hope or will to live.

So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the
attic of my home. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof, then
stood on the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my neck.
Standing on that chair, so lonely and broken-hearted I was about to leap
off, when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled me. I
thought, ‘I’ll wait a minute, and whoever it is will go away.’

I waited and waited, but the ringing doorbell seemed to get louder
and more insistent, and then the person ringing also started knocking

I thought to myself again, ‘Who on earth could this be? Nobody ever
rings my bell or comes to see me.’ I loosened the rope from my neck and
started for the front door, all the while the bell rang louder and louder.

When I opened the door and looked I could hardly believe my eyes,
for there on my front porch was the most radiant and angelic little boy I
had ever seen in my life. His SMILE, oh, I could never describe it to you!

The words that came from his mouth caused my heart that had long
been dead, TO LEAP TO LIFE as he exclaimed with a cherub-like voice, ‘Ma’am,
I just came to tell you that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU .’ Then he gave me
Gospel Tract that I now hold in my hand..

As the little angel disappeared back out into the cold and rain, I
closed my door and read slowly every word of this Gospel Tract. Then I went
up to my attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn’t be needing them anymore.

You see– -I am now a Happy Child of the KING. Since the address of
your church was on the back of this Gospel Tract, I have come here to
personally say THANK YOU to God’s little angel who came just in the nick of
time and by
so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in hell..’

There was not a dry eye in the church. And as shouts of praise and
honor to THE KING resounded off the very rafters of the building, Pastor Dad
descended from the pulpit to the front pew where the little angel was

He took his son in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably.

Probably no church has had a more glorious moment, and probably this
universe has never seen a Papa that was more filled with love & honor for
his son…. Except for One.

Please share this wonderful message…

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