Thursday, November 26, 2009

Reformation Legacy

Today as we remember the first Thanksgiving, as Christians we need to also be grateful for the legacy of the Reformation. Without the Reformation, there never would have been a Pilgrim feast that day. Why? Because without the Reformation, those Pilgrims would not have been Separatists, people who believed the the Word of God held all authority over their life. Their belief was revolutionary!!! To think that a man, family, or body of believers could know God's Word and act upon it outside of THE CHURCH or THE STATE was not allowed or accepted. Yet once they had the Scriptures, (which in the Pilgrim's case was NOT the KJV but rather the Geneva Bible or perhaps Wycliffe's) in their own language, the Pilgrims as well as thousands upon thousands like them in all of Europe had the precious treasure of God's own words in their hands. (Remember Luther had translated the Scriptures into German).

This meant that all the centuries of religious leaders teaching for doctrines the commandments of men could be understood in light of Matthew 15. There Jesus confronted the Pharisees about how they were doing the exact same thing. The Pharisees were using man's traditions and customs passed down through generations and teaching them as doctrines of the faith. Christ in so many passages of the gospels made it clear that God's Word held all authority over man and his ideas about how to worship and obey Him. When ordinary people began to read God's Word and to know for themselves the love, grace, and forgiveness of their God and Saviour, they wanted free from the bondage of men's traditions and teachings that enslaved them to the Church or State. They understood that there was "...ONE mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus..."(1 Timothy 2:5) They understood that finally, they did not have to be good enough, richer, holier or do more penance to be saved or to worship God rightly. They were accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)

What men like Luther, Calvin, Knox and so many others did was establish once and for all that God's Word was the ultimate authority for our lives, not men or institutions. They taught that Scriptures did not negate rulers in the civil or ecclesiastical realm, but even those rulers had to subject themselves to God and to His Word. Kings, queens, cardinals, popes, and bishops all understood what the implications were and tried to suppress the Word being printed and the principles of it being taught. They murdered men, women,and children in their efforts at keeping the Word of God from the people and maintaining independent control of the masses.

The legacy of the Reformation is what brought Pilgrims, Puritans, Hugenots, and many many others to our shores. That is what makes it so that no ONE Church or denomination can honestly claim that they are the ONE TRUE CHURCH with the only way to heaven or salvation or holiness. God's Word is our truth and authority. All of us, no matter where we are doctrinally, in maturity, or in circumstances should read it, study it, learn it, and apply it to all of our life as God gives us grace. Submitting to what we find there in fear of God, not man. That is what we are remembering today as we give thanks, not just for today, but for generations of Christians before us and for generations after us to have the truth of God's Word to rule their lives.

"I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name." Psalm 138:2

----posted by Queen Lucy

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Biblical Economics Revisited

One of the reasons we home educate is so that we can teach our children to sift through the mass of cultural lies and THINK in a way that lines up with the Bible. The Bible is applicable to ALL areas of life, not just worship service on Sundays. There are answers in Scripture for all issues of life and civilization. Somehow it seems that Christians, even homeschoolers, have missed the boat on learning what the Bible says on the economy of a people or nation.

So, once again in my feeble effort to state what seems obvious to me, here goes: The government does not produce any wealth. It only, simply and clearly, consumes it or redistributes it. Bigger government, security from cradle to the grave is called fascism, socialism, communism, or more directly TYRANNY. Any attempt at creating a profitable venture by the government has been a HUGE failure. (See Glenn Beck's book "Arguing with Idiots" for an analysis of Amtrak or the U.S. Postal service)

Any time a Christian person (or anyone for that matter) takes money from the government that he or she did not earn by an honest day's labor, that person is breaking the commandment "Thou Shalt Not Steal". This include money for your child's education, food or formula, Social Security--above what you paid into the system, unemployment, cars, appliances, or putting in new windows in your house!!!! When a person does take this money, they might as well march on over to my house and demand that I pay for it for them. It would be more direct and truthful. But, instead, we hide behind the government's forcible stealing of our neighbor's labor to pay for what we do not want to work for ourselves. For those truly needy people, the church and its elders should tend to them, but only with accountability so that the church is not being fleeced either.

This does not mean, that you cannot work for the government, if God calls you to it. However, even that has to be considered carefully. Yet there again, the person should be putting in a hard day at work to earn the pay that had to be taken from tax payers and be a faithful servant in that position so that they can be fulfilling what God is requiring of them in that job.

We live CORAM DEO, before the face of God. We need to stop drinking at the spigot of government programs and handouts and greed and start paying the double duty of repentance. Homeschoolers of by gone days (like 20 years ago) used to understand this. We paid taxes for our neighbors to send their children to government schools and then paid for our own child's education within our home. Now other homeschooler's are making us pay for their computers and curriculum too. Enough already. Enough. Repentance is when we stop doing the wrong things and turn and do the right things. When we start doing unto others the way we would want them to do unto us. When we consider the other person's interests more important than our own. When we start to love our neighbor as Christ commanded.

---posted by Queen Lucy

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Conforming to His Death

For those struggling with difficult circumstances, this profound prayer from 17 year old Lady Jane Grey written before her beheading in 1554: (I read this in one of my favorite books by Elisabeth Elliot, "Keep a Quiet Heart", pp. 91-92)

"O merciful God, be Thou unto me
A strong Tower of defence,
I humbly entreat Thee.
Give me grace to await thy leisure,
And patiently to bear
What Thou doest to me;
Nothing doubting or mistrusting
Thy goodness towards me;
For Thou knowest what is good for me
Better than I do.
Therefore do with me in all things
What Thou wilt;
Only arm me, I beseech Thee,
With Thine armor,
That I may stand fast;
Above all things taking to me
The shield of faith;
Praying always that I may
Refer myself wholly to Thy will,
Abiding Thy pleasure, and comforting myself
In those troubles which it shall please Thee
To send me, seeing such troubles are
Profitable for me; and I am
Assuredly persuaded that all Thou doest
Cannot but be well; and unto Thee
Be all honor and glory. Amen."

-----posted by Queen Lucy