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3. Swallowing the Dragon's Flood

Jonathan Zirkle


Jonathan Zirkle

Evangelistic Trial Attorney; Serves as an adjunct faculty member at Weimar College teaching History



  • December 31, 2015
    1:45 PM
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This message was presented at the July seed twenty fifteen come from the cold. Chosen in Louisville Kentucky. For other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C Web dot org. Dillard. We thank you for this time that we can come together and to study your word and to study your work and in history. And how you care for your people or to be with us here now please let me just help me to speak the words that you would have me to speak. We pray this in Jesus' name amen. OK. Just a little bit of a recap this presentation is definitely. The second part of the presentation I gave earlier. But just to recap. We talked a little bit about the pegan Roman system. And how that that system was based upon public religion. It was based upon the system of politics Maximus. And the Pontifex Maximus job was to see to it that everyone worship their gods. Because if all of the gods were worship then the gods would be happy and if the gods are happy. Than the Empire would prosper. This was a system that was taken over by the emperors because it's not good to have competition between the church in the state. So the emperors took that title. And they ruled. They ruled the religious affairs. Through through that religious system. When the in prior failed. The bishop of Rome took up that title. In the. I guess I left a little piece out there that we talked about and that is the fact that when Constantine. Converted he was the Pontifex Maximus. And he maintained. Those Parag it is and control the church. Through that. And then the Bishop of Rome takes out up and models his activity. Basically on Constantine's. And then the other thing that we saw was the Magna Carta. And basically through all of what was going on with Magna Carta you can see how the pope used all kinds of political intrigue and all of his powers of interdict and. And the excommunication in people bowls and things like that to try to manipulate the British system. But in the end what we got was a constitution. And that constitution. Meant that the monarch. Had to abide by certain rules and put the power. With the British people. Instead of with the papacy. And then why Cliff came along. And he said you know what. That's exactly right. From a Biblical reason. And he he had to give up his. His offices because of that which gave him time to translate the Bible. And before it was all done. He had the church based on the Bible. And the Bible alone. And a biblical basis like a constitution. And so what you see now is is a gradual move away from Rome and. Anyway let's continue the story. So Martin Luther. Tobar thirty one fifteen seventeen. He puts his ninety five thesis on the wall. You know it's really interesting. How do we celebrate that today. Halloween. And why do we celebrated as hallowing. How low means holy and the part is. The evening. This is the evening before All Saints Day. It is Satan's birthday. And basically what you have here is you have the. The Catholic calendar is set in such a way that Halloween will fall on October thirty one. And so instead of celebrating. Reformation day we celebrate Halloween. But. Let's not let's not be defeatist on all of this what did Luther do. He put his ninety five pieces up. And what did he complain about he complained about the use of indulgences. He talked about the need for grace through. Repentance and genuine repentance not the confessional. He talked about papal blasphemy and papal wealth. That was the point of the ninety five pieces. I don't believe he had any desire to start a reformation he didn't know what he was doing. But it's no bald. And God used that. And the Reformation. Was on its way. I like to like to read something from the Bible if you will turn your Bibles to Revelation Chapter three. I just want to read. What God has to say about this time period. When you look at Revelation and chapters two and three you have the messages. The letters to the seven churches. And each one of these letters refers to a different period in time. And so if we look at the message to Sardis. This message is for the time period that we're talking about the time period of the Reformation and. So looking at Revelation Chapter three verses one to six. It says this in and to the angel of the church in Sardis right. These things say if he that hath the seven Spirits of God and the Seven Stars. I know that I work so that thou hast a name that the livest and are dead. This is a bad time to be. But he says this be watchful and strengthen the things which remain. That are ready to die for I've not found by works perfect before God. Remember therefore how the house. Received and heard and hold fast and repent. If therefore they not watch. I will come on the is a thief. And the not know what our I will come upon the. But listen to this the hast a few names even in started this which have not defiled their garments. And they still walk with me in white. For they are worthy. I believe that's talking about the the. The true Christians. Of the Reformation. He that overcome with. The name. The same shall be clothed in white rain mint. And I will not blot his name out of the book of life. But I will confess his name before my father. And before his angels. He that hath an ear. Let him hear what the Spirit say with one to the churches. So this is a time of weakness but it's also a time where there are those that are not spotted. Now. If you look at the Reformation. There's really two affirmations that are going on in exactly the same time. There's a magisterial Reformation. And there's a radical reformation. And you may not know. What's the difference between the two So let me tell you the magisterial Reformation. This includes the likes of Luther and Zwingli. Calvin and all these different people. And basically what you see in this part of the Reformation. Is a movement away from the papacy. And you see a lot of reforms in a lot of different doctors here so. So that's you know there's definitely a lot going on but what I want to focus on the. The thing that makes it different is magisterial Reformation moves away from the papacy. But has national churches. And so you take the Lutherans for instance. They're the national church. There is state church of the German people and Calvin was doing the same thing in Geneva. Also in Switzerland. So that's what's going on the radical reformation though. Was breaking off from the church state completely. No more church state relation at all. So let me try to tell the story of that a little bit. There's a key tax it will help us to see what they thought differently. Of each other if we go to Second Thessalonians. We've already read some of this. But second Thessalonians. Talks about a falling away. Fact we've read this so I'm not going to go ahead and read this. But when it talks about about a falling away we talk about that the word for falling away do you know what that is in the Greek. It's a up a stale. Apostasy. So there's this great apostasy. And basically what happened is that depending upon your theology whether you are magisterial reformer or a radical reform or. You had a different view is to when that falling away took place. If you were Luther Calvin or someone in the magisterial site someone who was going to establish his state church. You would see that happening. And probably Luther for instance thought it was Pope on a fist the third in six zero four E D and basically. That was when the pope said at one point. I am the head of all the churches I am the universal bishop. And so Luther looked at that date is going Lee looked at Hildebrand which is much later he was. He was a guy who was the champion of papal supremacy and basically. Hildebrand marks the high point for saying to the other kings in Europe you'll do exactly what what I say. And so that's what that's what doing Lee look for. But if you are a member of the radical Rafiq Reformation. You looked all the way back to the union of the church and state under Constantine. And so for them. The falling away. Was when the church and state. Joined together. And I truly believe if you look at Adventists the ology. This is the theology that we have the union of church and state is when you have the formation of the bomb a nation. So who are the who are the radical reformers who are these people. They go by the term. And of Baptists. Now. So you may have heard of Anabaptist there's some Anabaptists around. Today. I want you to think of them historically though. One of the things about religion in the history of religion in the Christian church when you see it is that the different denominations they have their high points they have their important moments. And today Anabaptists have kind of declined substantially. We see them in the Mennonites the Hutterites. There's others. But they're very small groups. I want you to to not necessarily think of them that way. We need to think of them. As far as what they were back in the Reformation. So. How did they get their name and a Baptists. Basically what's going on here they got their name because they believed in something called believers. Baptism. If you were a member of the magisterial church. The magisterial Reformation. And you had a state church. Well then you had infant baptism. And basically the day you're born within a few days you're taken to the church and you're baptized your spirit. There's a sprinkling and infant baptism takes place. And now you're a member. And therefore if you go to a place like like Germany for instance under the Lutherans. Everyone was a member. And there was another thing that was going on too and that is that you know. When Luther started he was obviously a Catholic walk and then it became Lutheranism and all these things. Well they didn't. The people of Germany didn't go around and say well you know what I'm not Catholic anymore I'm going to be a Lutheran I need to be baptized into Lutheran. Now know that didn't happen. You were baptized as a child when you were born. And that was good enough that counted for everything. But the Anabaptist didn't believe that they believed that the baptism was something that you did. When God. Converted you. When Jesus came into your life. Then. Then there was a conversion experience that that happened. And then you want to to join the true church. And by baptism that was the way into the true church. And this is precisely the way we think about tism. Today. Well. It's really interesting there's. And January seventeenth fifteen twenty five. There was a dispute over whether infant baptism or regular baptism should be. The rule for the church took place in in Switzerland. Zwingli was debating against three if the people that worked with him. Grable Mans and Barak. And basically Gravel had a a daughter. And he didn't want to baptize or. And they're trying to decide what do we do with this. And he said no no no no I'm not going to baptize my daughter. She was like a few months old. Is that we'll wait. And when she grows up if she wants to join the church. She can be baptized. Well. When it was all done a couple things came out of this. Number one is weighing only. Was debating in front of the town council. And it was the town council. That made the decision on the baptism. And it was just before that that they'd also debated upon the mass. And whether you have the masses mass in the Eucharist or whether you have communion is an ordinance. As well as we have it. And once again the town council made that decision. It wasn't selling only it wasn't the. It wasn't the the other pastors there. It was the town council. Now Swingle he said he said this he said if the town council makes the wrong decision then I'll preach against it but that was it. And in the reality is he didn't actually preach it. Against it so. January twenty one fifteen twenty five. We're talking less than ten years after the Reformation had gotten started. There was already starting to be splits. And so in the home of Felix Mans on a snowy cold night. There's an account of this it says this in it came to pass that they were together praying in great agony for they well knew that they would have to suffer on account of it. After the prayer George blah Iraq stood up and be sought Konrad gravel. For God's sake to baptize him with true Christian baptism upon his faith and knowledge. And when he knelt down with such a request and desire Conrad baptized him. Since at that time there was no ordained minister to perform such such work. But our rock then proceeded to baptize everyone else that was present. This was probably the most revolutionary act of the Reformation and the reason why I say that is because this truly symbolized a complete break. With the Roman papal system. A complete break with all church. It's. Church and State. October October that same year. Gravel was arrested. He was sentenced to life in prison. He escaped and died almost immediately thereafter a man's remember there was man's gravel and Barak man's He was popular with the masses. He lived a noble life he was an eloquent speaker he was educated. He was enthusiastic. For that reason if the Reformation was going to go forward. And by that I mean the magisterial Reformation mans had to go. And so. Man's was sentenced to death January five fifteen twenty seven. Just two years after the baptism. He was the first Protestant. To be martyred by Protestants. Wow. And why. Because he wanted to separate from the state church. Is interesting he wasn't burned at the stake. Fact a lot of these guys weren't Bert. At the stake. They wanted to have. They executed them by giving them the third baptism. You see they had the first baptism. When they were baptized as a child. The second baptism was the believers about tism. And the third baptism was one that they wouldn't arise from. So they took him. They bound him. They threw him in the lake. As he was being walked down to the lake. His mother shouted out. Remain true to Christ. Soon thereafter blower remember he was the third guy that was there. He was martyred by Catholics. So what did the Anabaptist believe in. They believed in believe his baptism. They wanted to have a church. Of committed the lever's not a state church where everybody is a member. They wanted freedom of consciousness. And one other thing they stood for. They didn't believe in predestination. What was their mission what was their purpose. These And about this were amazing people. They believe the when you think about what they were. What they were standing for. They truly believed that they stood in exactly the same position of the Apostles. And I believe they did. Europe was in such darkness. They needed this message. And so when they looked at the Great Commission. They looked at it just as if it was being freshly given to them that day. And so they would go across Europe preaching. Baptizing. And teaching. Gathering a church out of all nations. Because it wasn't a national church anymore right. They could go to all nations because they were having a church. Of true believers. They believed that the Church Militant was unable to serve two masters and this is one of the things that kept getting them into trouble. And for a long time. And they believed that a Christian. Could Only well. The sword of Christ which is the word. And so they were pacifists they wouldn't bear arms. They believed that the Lord's Supper. They didn't believe in the mass they believe the Lord's Supper was a memorial. It was a reminder of the cross and a reminder of Christ. Promise. Return. And so they cause an incredible. Problem. During the reign of Queen Mary. In in England she was known as Bloody Mary. It was thought that perhaps up to eighty percent of the people that she sent to the stake. Were And about this. Meanwhile. The Catholic Church. And to some extent sadly. The Reformation churches were adopting this philosophy. Here's their philosophy. Said this. This is by a Catholic lawyer living at the time. If a lay person believes in correctly. He's be read to be returned to the faith by instruction. And if he refuses to believe but it hears instead to his wicked error. Then he should be condemned as a heretic and burned. But in that event late Justice must come to the aid of the Holy Church. For one anyone is condemned as a heretic. By the examination conducted by the Holy Church. Than the Holy Church must leave him to lay justice. And the late Justice must then burn him. Seeing that the spiritual justice. Not put anyone to death. And so there you see this union of church and state where the church makes the determination. But the state performs the execution. And where we hopefully all know. There's another statement that they would make because a lot of times they would make deals with people like come and talk to us. And then before it was all done that person was bound and burned. And the reason why is because they believe faith is not to be kept with heretics. So is one more martyr I'd like to talk about right now is name is Michael. Service. If you heard of Michael Serveti this is see if you people here any doctors her Michael service. Any doctors at all shocks. I like to ask this question I was just talking to someone who's taking a a fellowship in pulmonary and I said. Have you heard of. Michael service. And she's like no. Michael Serveti she was a theologian a physician a cartographer a mathematician an astronomer a meteorologist. He knew the biblical languages but check this out. He was the first year peon to describe pulmonary circulation. Well. He started out as a Catholic and a Catholic monk. And he kept moving and is the Reformation move team moved right along with that. He became a Protestant. Eventually he became an anthem Baptist and he believed in believers. Baptism. And he disputed with Calvin on this by letter they went back and forth a lot. And he was pretty. You know one of the things that marks this area and you'll see. My final presentation I'll read you a little something. They weren't exactly politically correct in their going back and forth with each other well. So by nineteen to be one thousand by fifteen forty six. Calvin in a letter to feral ferals another one of the great reformers. Said that he would kill survived as if he had the opportunity. He had had it with him. Well. The service wrote a lot of his stuff in books and they got published and it went around Europe. And so he got to be kind of. Well known and Calvin was really upset about him and eventually at some point Calvin actually figured out where he was and where he was hiding and he knew who the printer was there was printing the book. And this was all in France. At the time. The French Inquisition the Catholic France an inquisition was going in full force. And so Calvin says. I'm going to send a letter to the French inquisitor. And he does. And he tells them where survive this is. Well Serveti is captured. But he escapes. And so he gets away. So. And that's in fifteen fifty three. Well. Sarette it's made a mistake. He disguised himself and he was on his way to another European country I can't remember where I was someplace in the east. And he passed through Geneva on his way. And he was found out there. And so Serveti this was found there Calvin is you know the leader of the Reformation in Geneva and he finds them there. And they had a trial for him. And it was an interesting thing Calvin's biggest. Detractors. In Geneva was a party called the Libertines. And the Libertines wanted a much more open free. Heard the. The term libertine you know that someone you. Doesn't want to obey rules and everything in Calvin was very much into rules well. When Service came through there they are like yeah we like to get rid of them too. And so Calvin got the libertine judges to to to hold court. And then he sent his people to testify against him. And so sad to say. He was found guilty of being a heretic and service was burned service is interesting because. Another thing about him is that he is the only person that we know of anyway. That was burned in effigy. Because the Catholic Inquisition burned him in effigy. And then to be burnt in reality. By the Protestant. Well. Service was well known and because of this. There was a big shock that went through Europe. Everybody was shocked that this would happen how could this possibly happen. How could you burn such an important guy mean this guy was really important. And what is the high pocket I mean look at the hypotheses and all of this. And so this actually turned out to be a very electrifying. For Europe. And this is when Europe said. Maybe we need to think about religious tolerance and freedom of conscience. Calvin responded to that and this is what he said. Whoever so maintain that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers and punishing them. Makes himself an accomplice in their crime and guilty as they are. There's no question here of man's authority. It is God who speaks and clear it is what law he will have kept in the church. Even to the end of the world. So Calvin really thought he'd done the right thing that God was with him. Wherefore does he demand of us. So extreme severity. If not to show us that do honor is not paid him. So long as we set not his service above every human consideration. So that we spare not kin nor blood of any and forget all humanity. When the matter is to combat for His glory. Wow. That is as Papal. Because still oh his steely Oh. Was a was a priest who worked with Calvin. A fellow reformer there a lesser individual. He didn't like this. And he voluntarily defrocked himself. He said a bunch of things here. He said One services fought with reasons and writings. He should have been repulsed by reasons and writings. He also said this a heretic won't read. A heretic that won't recant he said. Is telling the truth. Because he's saying what he believes. And it's for telling the truth. That he is burnt. He said this we can live together peacefully only when we control our intolerance. Even though there will always be differences of opinion from time to time. We can at any rate come to general understanding. Can love one another and can enter into the bonds of peace pending the day when we still attain. Unity of faith. So with all of these martyrs. You actually see the argument moving forward and religious liberty is moving forward. But what mass you had in Europe. What a mess. And so turn with me on your Bibles if you will to Revelation Chapter twelve. I love these texts. Revelation twelve. We're going to America. Guess who it's versus We're going to look at how about verse fourteen. And so the women were into the woman. Were given two wings of a great eagle. That she might fly into the wilderness and to her place where she is nursed for a time. Times and half a time from the face of the serpent. The wilderness where there's not people. You know in Europe they fled to the Alps. Places. Long way. The wild and seas were there. But listen in verse fifteen and the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped to the woman. And the earth. Opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood. Which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And I really believe that's referring to coming to America. So Columbus sailed in fourteen ninety two it's interesting that that happened right before the Reformation. God was getting the world ready for this. He had a plan. In sixteen zero seven the Virginia colony was founded. As the first British colony. It was founded for commercial reasons. And sixteen twenty the Mayflower left England. And it left with a group of pilgrims on it. And these pilgrims are what we call separatists. They weren't. They weren't and about this but they were separatists and they had many of the same attitudes of the Anabaptists that we've been talking about but basically they had a problem with the Church of England. Now is think about that for a second as we've gone through our story. Magna Carta creates the Church of England as its own separate thing. But these separatists come along and they say well we need to be separate from the Church of England so we're making that step again. Right. So they're on their way to Virginia because they make a deal that they can come and settle in Virginia. But they get blown off course and they wind up in Massachusetts. And from that we get the. The May fell. Mayflower Compact. Which is something that they kind of had to do at the last minute but it's interesting because they're there they're holding to the notion of constitutionalism. It's the same idea that goes forth from Magna Carta. Now. The Pilgrims came over they weren't prepared to be on their own. They were planning to go to Virginia so this was kind of a last minute deal. And it was interesting because at the very first. They were religious liberty as well. But there was a lot of pressure from England. And all the sudden they needed to act like true colony cook. CONUS. And so they decided to officially adopt a state church which was their separatist church. But the Pilgrims were small. There was only one hundred two of them. Their numbers never got higher than about three hundred. And so the big deal that happened in the United States as far as religion and immigration and everything like that is sixteen twenty eight in sixteen twenty eight The Puritans come over and they come to Massachusetts is as well. Now. The Puritans are interesting. We have to remember that at the time they came over every state had a church state. And by that I mean every country in Europe. They believed a religious liberty though and they said a lot about it but this is their version of religious liberty. Religious Liberty was the freedom to follow the dictates of God as defined by the church. The freedom to do that which is good just and honest. As defined by the church. So the Puritans they were subject to the state church they had that same problem going on and. Sadly they didn't believe in any diversity of opinion. I just like to tell you a little bit what life was like for the Puritans. It's just it just blows me away I just want to express this. If. If you had a fight going on with your wife. The court you could take you could take you to court. And the court would decide if she was scolding you too much. Or maybe you weren't living with her anymore and the court could order you to move back in. They had something that they called holy watching. And everyone was to watch everyone else. Inside the colony. To be sure that everyone was going with the rules. It's amazing the kinds of things. They wanted to base their laws on the Bible. And so you could actually look at their laws. And a rebellious child could be put to death because they found a text like that in the Old Testament but the best thing about that was that it never happened. It was a crime to court a girl without her parents' approval. And if they wouldn't give their approval you could go a judge and get approval. It was a crime for the parents not to allow their children to marry. And the parents were supposed to help secure a a marriage for their children parents were to see to it that their kids worked. You know. Napoleon had this to say and I really believe the parents and more on down to Poland's later obviously but. But I think they're really on the same page. This is what Napoleon says. Make the family responsible to its head. And the head to me. And I will keep order in France. This was definitely their thinking. They control every every aspect of life wages and prices were fixed they couldn't allow exports. You could be impressed in other words basically taken slave for a period of time. If they needed farm labor. I don't miss was part punished. They had limits on how much money you could spend on food because they didn't want people having a lavish amount of food and they'd have special special exceptions for holidays. Strangers were denied to settle you had to have permission to get there. Now. I want to explain this you can going to get a feeling for the times. What they were doing was no different than what was going on in England. Maybe a little more strict. Because they were trying to be Puritans. And they were. You know trying to purify the church. But it's the same basic thing. And so. So you could see the same thing in Europe. To member what Plato said. He said all religion was public. And that if anyone was caught having private religion well then they should be tapped to bring that to the public realm. I believe the this. That we're seeing the hangover from that kind of thinking that kind of thinking that it was in Plato's day. Brought into the papacy. And here to the Puritanism. There was Roger Ludlow he was the founder he was the lawyer for the founders of Massachusetts and Connecticut. And there came a time when the Massachusetts folks said they were going to elect a governor. He said if the people elect their governor. Then we should have no government. But every man might do what he pleased. He saw just the election of someone as the abolition of government. John Cotton who was a rival of Roger Williams said this If the people's be governors who shall be governed. As for monarchy and aristocracy. They are both of them clearly approved and directed in Scripture. So this is the picture that we have and early America but praise the Lord. It didn't last long. Roger Williams. This guy is amazing. As I was studying all this and just just to reread Roger Williams was like a breath of fresh air. I read. Roger Williams like Man I agree with this guy and yeah that's the way I'd say it. Oh wow that's where that idea came from. He's a good guy he was born in London in sixteen zero three. Studied to be a priest. Left the Anglican church to become a Puritan. And in sixteen thirty one immigrated to Boston. He was a separatist. He didn't want to be a part of a cheap church state. And this is what he did he denied that the magistrates had any authority in religious matters. He came up with another idea that I firmly believe and it's called the doctrine of two tables. And basically what it says is that the Ten Commandments are on two tables. There's the first four on one table. And the last six. On the second table. And the first four govern our relationship with God and the last six govern our relationship with man. Every good government. On Earth has to legislate. The last six. It just has to but no government on earth has any right to legislate. The first four. And we got that from Roger Williams. Well. The magistrates and Massachusetts couldn't deal with that. I mean you can imagine. He's really pushing it there. And so we went there and sixteen thirty six they held the trial and they said you need to leave. And so he went home and he couldn't keep his mouth shut. And so he was ordered exile the media. And you have a famous story of him going to Plymouth and having to spend the winter with the Indians. The Indians saved his life. So in sixteen thirty six. He founded. Rhode Island. And in sixteen sixty three he got permission to found Rhode Island. Rhode Island was open to a my Baptista Quakers and to other non-conformists it was not his kind of the ragtag place to be in the New World. But there was complete religious liberty. And probably more religious liberty there than we even have in some states today. When he was requesting the charter and sixteen sixty three. He said this. They were writing a letter to the crown it says this much on their hearts to hold forth. A lively experiment that a flourishing civil state may be best maintained with full liberty in religious concern Mintz. Sorry about the Harding glitch. But basically what he's saying is hey we want to try an experiment. And we think that we can live here in full liberty with no religious laws. So the charter was written in the King signed in this is what it said. No person within said colony. So be in any wise molested punished. Disquieted or called in question for any differences in opinion. In matters of religion. And do not actually disturb the civil piece of our said colony. You can believe whatever you want as long as you don't actually disturb the peace. That is fine. I want to I want to read you just a few things that Roger Williams wrote. He was the first guy to say that there should be a wall of separation between church and state. That's probably the most important thing we've got that he said. But going on there's other beautiful things here. He said the sovereign power of all civil authority is founded in the consent of the people. He was the guy that talked about consent. There's a corollary to that. If all of the civil power is by consent of the people. Then any religious power would also have to be by consent of the people. But it is impossible to consent to religious power. You can't you can't consent to have someone else make your religious decisions for you can you know. Religion has to by definition between HAVE TO has to be between you and God. And so for that reason he said this. No civil state or country. Can be truly called Christian. It's impossible. Although Christians be in it. Why because you can't give that part of who you are to the consent. So you can't have a Christian nation. The nation has to be independent of all things. Religious. Even if the nation is made up entirely of Christian people. Now you see the beauty in this it's the Christian principle. He learned this from his study and reading of the Bible and it's the Christian principle. That creates a nation. That isn't technically Christian. This will become very important. And that this concept you need to know. This is going to be critically important in the future in our country. As we move towards religious legislation. There's going to be a call to us being a Christian nation. But that is impossible. It cannot happen. He talked about which kings to look at in the Old Testament I think this is kind of interesting. He said. You can't use the covenant kings of Israel as is proper models because they have a special relationship with God a fee ocracy. But you could use good cover Nick kings like are to circuses. And as a reception. That's a model or never can as or as kind of a moral tale. Anyway. He said this. The enforcement of uniformity every lived in confounds the civil and the religious denies the principle of Christianity and civility. And the Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. When he said this about Jesus Christ coming in the flesh he was actually echoing the arguments that the Anabaptist made about keeping the state out of religion because they said that you deny Christ by forcing someone to have a religious Prince. A principle of any kind because Christ didn't come as. As someone to coerce people. He came to invite people. He said this. The magistrate might not punish the breach of the Sabbath. As it was a breach of the first table. He said this toleration for pegging ish. Jewish Turkish or anti-Christian consciousness and warships. He said we should tolerate all of these things. Talked about the parable of the tears. And how no one is to judge not even on the pagans or the heretics but God is the judge. And how Paul's writings explain how to use the word is the sort of truth. He also said that there was no right to levy church taxes you see everything was based on Church. Taxes. Another interesting thing that's a fairly little known fact. John Locke I don't know how many of you who are political scientists or not but John Locke was a political scientist who's influential in America and we give him a lot of credit for using his theories. For for separation of church and state and personal liberty that we have in our country. But he got these ideas from Roger Williams. The sad thing is Roger Williams probably marks. The high point of religious liberty. Certainly and Rhode Island at the time because by seven sixty two Rhode Island. Was prohibited Jews from entering into the colony. So didn't last forever. So you got Roger Williams is coming along he's doing a good thing. He's still got the Puritans that are are acting the way. They are. They didn't change just because Roger Williams here. But we're starting to get now down to the revolution. And how does that happen and what does that all mean. Well first of all the Puritans you can kind of see their kind of rigid people and they kind of think we know we've got to we've got to have everything in compassed an air of rethink should be embraced by law. How are you going to convince them to rebel against the king. Well it's interesting we should look at their political philosophy. They weren't. They weren't they weren't dummies. They did read their Bible. And this is what they believed that God created the covenant between ruler in subject and church. Very communal way of thinking. But they believe that that covenant was conditional. And therefore the covenant was also by consent. And if the king violated the divine contract then the people could withdraw their consent. And so that's how you talk. Appeared to into rebellion. Something else going on out everybody's Puritan. They don't all necessarily see that that thing going on I remember when you know. We still got that problem where the Puritans have that kind of public religion and everybody's on the. The same the same page together in everything. And it really was in their psyche. That's why you have things like the Scarlet Letter. They really did do stuff like that where if you were caught for adultery. You had to have papers and and different things like that that you would display on yourself when you walked around town. The Puritans were quick to excommunicate people. But I also think that we have a misconception of the Puritans I think. Today we kind of go like oh these people are terrible judgment all so the kind of stuff. Yes in some ways but they were very quick to parted. And if you look at their books they would excommunicate people from this. But you see I mean they excommunicated him this month and the next community a few more months later and a few more months later and they would forgive. The Puritans were actually very forgiving. But something came along that had to change the way people five in so in seventeen thirty. There was a big movement called The Great Awakening. It's a religious movement. You've heard of Jonathan F.. Edwards. George Whitfield. These are the kind of guys that were preaching these are the big movers in the Great Awakening. And what were they. They were I ten or preachers. So they go from. Place to place to place to place preaching and their preaching revival now being I ten or a preacher was a radical thing to do because because before this you were supposed to go and have a church. And you get a license to preach in that church if you didn't have a church she couldn't preach and enter and so these guys will get into trouble. There was there was a lot of trouble with this kind of stuff. The when they preached. They also preached an emotional message. It wasn't enough to have near a cent. You see if you looked at it what was going on with the church before in this most magisterial state. You were. If you were German and you were born in the right part of the country you were Lutheran. If you're born in the wrong part of the country you are Catholic. You didn't have to have anything other than just being born to be there. If you are going to be a Puritan you needed to have an intellectual assent. And then you were part of the community and you were just a part of the community and just had an intellectual assent to it all. But if the great awakening came along and said You have to have a choice. You have to choose. And there's this this this call. And it's much like the Anabaptists with the believers baptism right. So you can see how things are moving forward in the process of doing that you increase. Individual isn't. If you will turn with me to is equal. Fourteen fourteen. It says this those these three men no way. Daniel and job. Were in it they should deliver but their own souls by their right to sniff the say if the Lord God. Another words. Noah and Daniel and job. By their righteousness can't save anybody else. It's a personal thing. And that's what's going on during the Great Awakening. Another thing that's going on too is a God's using ordinary people. Because your don't have to have this fancy license. Ordinary people will go around and preach. We're moving away from that only system. So. All of this coalesce. You can convince the Puritans on the one hand. And you can also see the regular American person is becoming this individual who is now throwing off. The crown. Throwing off. Monarchy. All of these liberties. They're all. Because of religion. Now. We called our series Give me liberty or give me death. It's got a good ring to it doesn't it. That was instrumental in the course of the revolution was spoken by Patrick Henry. Patrick Henry was an attorney and he was known. And he became interested in religious liberty because he would go around. And there were these Baptist ministers who were preaching without licenses. And he was defending him. And that's how he got involved in this whole thing. Anyway. So Declaration of Independence comes. Talks about individual ism and talks back in sense of the governed. And then after that it takes a little time. And basically in seven hundred eighty nine we get the constitution so what's going on well in seven hundred seventy four. All but three of the colonies had established churches and they were all acting to some degree or another like the Puritans were in Massachusetts. Between seventy seventy four and seven hundred eighty nine three big states Virginia New York and New Jersey got rid of got rid of the stablished church. And in seven hundred eighty nine we get the US Constitution now. That's only six of them right. We got six of the colonies and there's thirteen. Why did we get the first amendment in there that says you know freedom of religion. If everybody's got this stablish church. Well here's the thing. The Constitution only govern the federal government. And when they pass that they knew that the church. That the states had that. And they weren't going to fight that fight. Right now we're going to fight the crown. And so it did not extend religious liberty to anybody in the in the States. But by seven hundred eighty nine. Virginia had it. They were the first the big states to go. And what went during their arguments where the arguments that covered just about every body. It's why every most of the other states went. Madison. Jefferson Patrick Henry. These were the big guys. And basically what it came down to. They were arguing about whether the state should pay for chaplains. On the state's dime and Jefferson and Madison said No way. And in the process they got rid of the whole thing. And so the constitution got to something called Republicanism. And loosely defined Republicanism is democratic ideals. Constitutionalism separation of church and state separation of powers but here's a big one that we forget so much. Moral virtue of citizenry. Moral virtue of citizenry. By seven hundred ninety seven. We had the Treaty of Tripoli. And there. We were making an agreement with the government in Tripoli. And this is what we said about ourselves. As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion. Remember what Roger Williams said. Exactly these guys knew that as it has an itself no character of entity against the laws religion or tranquility of Musselman says an old way of saying Muslim. And as the said states never entered into any war or active hostility against any Mohammad to a nation or Muhammad. It is declared by the parties that no pre-existing pretext. Arising from religious opinions. So ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. So we could get along. But we are not a Christian nation. So the final just a status meant to happened in Massachusetts. In eight hundred thirty three. And some of your asking like when did we get religious liberty well. In eight hundred thirty three was the first time the entire United States could say disestablishment was gone. But even then we didn't truly have full religious liberty and there's little vestiges laying around still today in the form of Sunday Blue laws and things like that were not to the high point. The Roger Williams head. So it's interesting to see how this actually kind of fell apart. For the for the established church. The whole thing. In Massachusetts is it really is kind of interesting I want to explain that. Basically in Massachusetts if you wanted to start a new town you could you had to go get permission. And then everybody had to build their house within five miles of a meeting house. You had to build a meeting house and in the Meeting House you had to staff it with the pastor. And somebody to teach the kids. And they had to teach the kids the catechumen. The catechism. Well. OK So let's say you want to start a town you can have a bunch of Baptists there where you can do the whole thing Baptists let's say you're going to be Anglican you do the whole thing Anglican. Well and then things start to grow you started to remodel also the kind of stuff and then they levy a tax. So that you could pay for that for that place to take care of it right. Well. Then all the sudden you'd start to shop denominations to figure out which one had the lowest tax. And it ended up between that and the great awakening everybody was Baptists. Well OK. So I turn into a big fight and pretty soon then the congregation would split and they were splitting in there angry with each other and they want to know who owned it. And this particular case was Unitarians versus Trinitarians. And the Unitarians where the judges of the Trinitarians where the established church and the. The judges were Unitarians and they took it no man that made a big thing it was like you know we've had plenty of this. But anyway I want to I want to read something. This is from. Lyman Beecher. This is actually talking about in Connecticut nine hundred eighteen. Before disestablishment he said this. So the democracy as it rose included nearly all the minor sex sex as he C.T.'s besides the Sabbath breakers rums selling tippling folk infidels and rough stuff generally and may dead set at us as of the standing order. So these are the people he sees wanting to take take the church out. But afterwards this is what happens he wasn't expecting to lose it right then and afterwards he says this for several days I suffered what no tongue can tell for the best thing that ever happened in the state of Connecticut. It cut the churches loose from dependence on state support. If through them wholly on their own resources and on God. They say ministers have lost their influence the fact is they gained by voluntary efforts societies missions and revivals. They exert a deeper influence than ever they could by cues and shoe buckles and cocked hats and golden headed. Canes. He was disestablished it was the best thing that ever happened. So how did we get religious liberty here. It didn't really come down. You know. The the the. The Bill of Rights. Only applied to the federal government into eight hundred sixty eight. In eight hundred sixty eight. After the Civil War. To give rights to the slaves we passed the fourteenth Amendment and this is what it says. No state shall make or enforce anyone would still a bridge. The privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Nor shall any state deprive any person of life liberty or property without due process of law nor deny. To any person within his jurisdiction the equal protection of laws. And they took that to mean all the laws. The ones that apply to the federal government and the ones that applied to the States. And that got this got us all. The the right for freedom of religion. Eight hundred sixty eight. Running out of time has a few other things I want to talk about but. But I just want to give you some food for thought and some things that we'll talk about in the next presentation. You have to understand what are the components of religious liberty. And I define them four ways. One is disestablishment of the church. We got that in eighteen thirty three. We had it in many states long before that religious removal of religious disabilities for office holders. We didn't take time to talk about that but the U.S. Constitution gave us that in sixty eight we got it and basically what the Constitution says is that if you want to hold office in the United States. No one can require you to take a religious oath. You know in the last oath disappeared in this country. One nine hundred sixty one. Maryland was doing it until nine hundred sixty one when the Supreme Court said now. The the Bill of Rights applies in that respect to. But here's some other things that we have to worry about decriminalization of religious activities. And we can get rid of it's church. That these this this state church. And we can get rid of religious disabilities but we've got to make it legal for you to practice your religion. This is going to be a perpetual problem. It has to by definition because new religions come up all the time with new things that they want to do. Another thing that's just kind of on the edge that's new and that's the removal of religious disabilities. Another words. Can I work for you can. Can you tell me I can't work for you because of my religion. It's religious discrimination in the workplace is the most common area. So these are the things that we have to watch out for. There's more to be done in the area of religious liberty. We're talking about America are you talking about the early days how can you not talk about Alexis to talk until. He was a French historian came over to the United States from France to see how we were doing it in eighteen thirty one he wanted to go back to France to explain how America was getting along. Because France was going through its own changes at that time towards democracy. And he made this observation about America he said this. The religious atmosphere of the country was the first thing that struck me on my arrival in the United States. He was astonished because in Europe religion and freedom marched in opposite directions. That's the story of the French Revolution is religion and freedom going in opposite directions. He found that all Americans thought that the quiet sway of religion over their country. Was because of the complete separation of church and state. What a beautiful observation. You Revelation thirteen eleven describes this. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb and speak as a dragon or in this little tiny phase of history. There's been six thousand years of history in this is little tiny phase when we've had religious liberty. That's when we've spoken as a lamb. Someday will speak as a dragon. I want to read this. Says from Ellen White says the lamb like horns indicate youth innocence in Gen gentleness fitly representing the character of the United States. When presented to the prophet is coming up in seven hundred ninety eight. Among the Christian exiles who first fled to America and saw an asylum for moral oppression and priestly intolerance were many who determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. Their views. Found place in the Declaration of Independence which sets forth the great truth that all men are created equal and endowed with and with the in a legal right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And the constitution guarantees to the people the right of self government providing the representatives elected by the popular vote so enact and administer the laws. Freedom of religious faith was also guaranteed. Every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism which is what we have here. And Protestantism. Became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and downtrodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought. Its shores and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth. John Turner at the Massachusetts ratifying Constitution where they ratified the U.S. Constitution said this. Without the prevalence of Christian piety and morals. The best republican constitution. Can never save us from slavery and ruin. And John Adams writing to his wife said this. Statesman may plan and speculate for liberty. But it is religion and morality alone. Which going to stablish the principles upon which freedom can see are upon which freedom can securely. Stand. We live. An important time and we are so blessed by the freedoms that we have. I appreciate you taking the time to be here I'd like to close with prayer. Dear Lord. We thank you so much for the religious liberty. The freedoms that we have here in this country. Or I pray that we would take these seriously. And let us make good use of the time for your glory or please go with us as we continue here at G Y C Please bless this conference we ask this in Jesus' name. In this message was recorded at the G Y C twenty fifteen conference cold. Chosen. They fall in love a Kentucky U.I. seen as supporting Ministry of a Seventh Day Adventist Church. Seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered in soul winning Christians. To download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C Web dot au or G.


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