We are a group of Christians who recognize that God, in His love, mercy, and infinite wisdom has not only provided the means of forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ, but has also provided, in the Old and New Testaments, all necessary directions and instructions for a just, happy, and productive society. Read more

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Ongoing
Biblical Worldview Lecture Series

March 17, 2015 (Reading) - Who, What, & Why Would Jesus Tax?

March 19, 2015 (Lehighton) - Who, What, & Why Would Jesus Tax?

April 21, 2015 (Reading) - Guest Speaker: Mr Charl van Wyk, Missionary and Author

Biblical Worldview Lecture Series
Wednesday
Jan142015

Will the Real Deist Please Stand Up?

One of the frustrations faced by many of us is the inability to persuade Christian leaders...particularly pastors...to engage the culture and society in which we live with the teachings and commands of God in scripture.  Not all pastors fit into this; let's not paint with too broad a brush, but certainly a large number of them.   It seems that to many, Christ is "Lord of all" except for that which He is not.  It's fine, they say, to apply scripture to being a good church member and personal holiness, good causes to be sure.  If you mention, however,  that God instituted civil government, and has biblical standards to which it is to comply, and that as His people it is OUR job to apply His Word to ALL of life...well, "uh-oh", you stepped into bad territory.  You see, in much of today's church Christ is "sort of" Lord of all.  Or, he's "Lord of a lot".  Or in today's narcissistic time He's Lord of "MY life".

How is it that, for instance, it is evil to teach children that they are NOT created by God, yet we have no obligation to biblically challenge those who use our tax money to do just that in public schools?  Why is it "acceptable" to point out within the comfort of church that abortion is murder, but unthinkable to arrange a protest at an abortion clinic? How is it that theft is wrong, but we are somehow detracting from the Gospel if we suggest that God does not give to government the authority  for unlimited confiscation of our property?  Is God silent on this?  If not, how can we claim to declare the whole counsel of God while shutting out entire areas of human existence from the application of His Word?

How is it that teaching on these subject is, in many churches, neglected or even forbidden, while people are re-learning for the twentieth time things that they learned in the new believers class thirty years ago?   One reason for this  is comfort.  We all have a tendency to stay in our "comfort zone".   It's comfortable to teach what we already know to people who already know it and agree with it.  It's not comfortable to tell elected officials that God condemns theft and that they are taking things to which they have no lawful claim.  Nor was it likely comfortable for John the Baptist to tell Herod about adultery.  Yet we have his example, and countless other examples throughout the Bible of people obediently speaking the truth...God's message... to those in authority.

A first cousin to comfort is laziness.  Few Bible colleges or seminaries, unfortunately, teach the application of scripture to culture and government in any depth.  Because of this, the teaching of these necessary scriptural truths (all scriptural truth is necessary) carries with it the extra load of studying and learning in order to teach.  Laziness is not the entire explanation either, though, because there are some pastors who, although ignorant in these areas themselves, have men in their congregations who have prayerfully studied these subjects for many years, who are forbidden to teach.  This points to even more reasons, including apathy, cowardice and disobedience.  Every case, every church, every pastor is different; these are just a range of possibilities.

Some pastors give theological reasons for a refusal to engage the culture.  Some of these are sincere but misguided, however after many years of observation I have concluded that many of these are simply the twisting of scripture to justify apathy, indifference, and the reasons outlined above. 

Many who see the need for instruction of our civil authorities in Godly government have had to study these things for themselves within the vacuum left by the churches.  In so doing, they inevitably develop an appreciation for the early history of America, including the colonial era founders.  Herein lies a tremendous irony.  The pietistic Christian leaders who expend much time and energy to dissuade Christians from applying God's Word to civil government are often the quickest to point out that "the founders were Deists".  They LOVE this claim, because it serves to bolster their rebellious  efforts to divorce the Bible from civil government.  And, like many such claims, it is often an exaggeration.  Some, but far from all the founders were Deists, and if you read quotes from many such as Franklin it seems that their Deism was tempered more than a little by a belief in an immanent God.   And the supreme irony of it all is that these leaders and pastors are themselves functioning, in the realm of civil government, as Deists.  They are willing to admit that God established civil government, yet stubbornly persist in insisting that we as Christians have no scriptural basis for engaging in its operations or activities, and that the scriptures have little or nothing to say about the functioning of government in our day.  I think that pastors who like to repeat the "founding fathers were Deists" claim would do well to examine themselves to see who are the real Deists.

~ Jim Mogel

Wednesday
Dec312014

Thank You From MARS!

On this last day of 2014 we at the Mid Atlantic Reformation Society wish to thank each of you who have been a part of our ministry in 2014..  Your attendance, participation and support have been a blessing to us and vital to our mission.  We hope that you have been encouraged to serve Christ in new and fresh ways, and also that your thinking has been sharpened and turned toward Jesus Christ more than ever.  Remember our motto: "Think and Reform"!  If you have been blessed as much as you have blessed us, it has indeed been a good year.

We thank God for His blessing upon us as individuals and on MARS as a ministry dedicated to His service.  Hopefully you have had a wonderful Christmas centered on the profound miracle of God  become man in the person of His Son Jesus Christ on that first Christmas. Now we wish you a very happy and productive New Year as we welcome 2015.  "2015"...what a powerful testimony to God's sovereignty that billions of people...believer and unbeliever alike...number the date to the birth of His Son!

We look forward to seeing you as the Third Tuesday lecture series resumes in January.  Also...we want to be of further service to you.  Please note that we are willing to "take the show on the road", so to speak.  If you have a group (church group or otherwise) that would benefit from any of the topics that we address, we are willing to present the same lectures at a time and place to be arranged to suit your group.  Let us know if we can be of service and we will work with you to arrange a suitable meeting.

Blessings,

Joel, Jim, John, Bob, Randy, Toby

Monday
Dec012014

A Review of The War on Christmas

The following is reprinted from Chalcedon web site with their permission.

 

A Review of The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse than You Thought

By Lee Duigon

[F]or Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. Matthew 2:13

Pretty soon the Christmas wars will be on again. We’ll see headlines about schools banning Christmas carols, towns banning Christmas trees, and department stores banning the words “Merry Christmas.” So this book by Fox News anchor John Gibson could hardly be more timely.
This is a book that will really tick you off. Even if you’re the kind of Christian who can’t abide “shopping mall Christmas” — Santa Claus, snowmen, reindeer, etc. — Gibson wants you to know that for those who direct the war on Christmas, there’s no difference between the popularized, secularized, beat-you-over-the-head-with-it commercial Christmas and the most profound religious understanding of the birth of Jesus Christ. To them, it’s all just “Christianity,” and according to Gibson, that’s what they’re out to purge from American public life.

The ungodly have never been more terrified of that baby in the manger, the Christ child, than they are today. They are truly the children of Herod, who sought to destroy the child to prevent Him from being king in Israel.

For today’s secularists, it’s very much about who shall be king in America: themselves or Jesus Christ.

Torn from the Headlines

Gibson is a newsman, not a sociologist. He tells his story in a series of actual news events from recent years.

  • Covington, Georgia, 2002: The word “Christmas” is banned from the school calendar.
  • Mustang, Oklahoma, 2004: School district bans annual Christmas pageant.
  • Baldwin City, Kansas, 2003: “Santa Claus visits” banned from schools.
  • Plano, Texas, 2001 and ongoing: School district bans the colors red and green.
  • Eugene, Oregon, 2000: Christmas trees banned from municipal offices.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana, 2003: Christmas trees banned from law school campus.
  • Maplewood, New Jersey, 2004: Schools ban instrumental-only versions of Christmas carols.

Each of these incidents rates its own chapter, in which Gibson explores in depth the reasons given for the ban, the public reaction to it, and its place in the larger campaign to ban Christmas altogether. He personally interviewed individuals involved on both sides of each local controversy. It’s a fine job of reporting.

Why Do They Do It?

“So Many Christians. So Few Lions.”

So read a bumper sticker Gibson saw on a car in Eugene, Oregon.

The “war,” he concludes, is “worse than you thought … because it’s really a war on Christianity,” born of “a desire … to push Christianity into a place … where it is hidden” (p. 163). But on the local level, Gibson found some other factors at work.

First is the fear of a lawsuit, often motivated by the actual threat of one, usually by the American Civil Liberties Union. The law permits the ACLU to recoup its costs from the towns and school districts it sues; so even if no punitive damages are assessed, the defendant still can’t afford to lose the lawsuit because these legal costs can run to millions of dollars.

This kind of outcome can literally ruin a small town or school district. In Covington, Georgia, and Baldwin City, Kansas, the ACLU’s threats made school officials cave in quickly.

Absent a threat, there is the fear of a lawsuit. In Mustang, Oklahoma, Christmas was banned from the schools — while “Kwanzaa,” a completely artificial “holiday” created by black militants a few years ago, was retained — because “lawsuit talk” was in the air, and school officials were afraid of losing their district’s insurance coverage. (As a former reporter who has sat in on such deliberations, I can safely say that very few things scare local officials as badly as the prospect of losing the town’s insurance coverage. It sets the stage for total financial ruin.)

Then there are those who hope to forestall even the possibility of a lawsuit by removing all potential provocation. Although Plano, Texas, is a vigorous Christian community, home to several mega-churches, school officials thought they were playing it safe by banning the colors red and green. Their zeal extended to forbidding students and staff to say “Merry Christmas,” changing “Christmas vacation” to “winter festival,” and calling the police when a little girl gave a friend a pencil with the name of Jesus on it.

Finally, there are local officials, like the ones in Eugene, Oregon, who really believe in promoting “diversity” by shutting down all public expressions of the Christian faith. And there are those — like the superintendent of schools in Maplewood, New Jersey, described by Gibson as “a serial Christmas killer” — who seem to have a fervent vocation for erasing signs of Christmas.

Although many of these officials profess to be Christians, and celebrate Christmas at one with their families, they are all, says Gibson, “amateur constitutional law practitioners who get way out ahead of the Supreme Court of the United States when it comes to banning Christmas” (p. 163).

Behind them all is a well-orchestrated campaign of disinformation and intimidation by the ACLU. A retired past president of the ACLU flatly denied this in an interview with Gibson, but current ACLU officers refused to talk to him. After examining the ACLU’s actions and language, Gibson chose not to believe the denials.

The Reaction

Sometimes, increasingly often, the Christmas bans backfire on officials and “all hell breaks loose” in the community (p. 87). In Eugene, public opposition was so strong that the Christmas tree ban had to be revoked, and the city manager went into early retirement.

More and more, Gibson notes, attorneys from Christian legal foundations are getting involved in these cases and either defeating the ACLU in court or convincing local officials that their actions go far beyond what the law requires. Groups like the Alliance Defense Fund, Liberty Legal Institute, and others are training attorneys specifically for this work.

Gibson devotes a chapter to introducing the reader to founders and attorneys from these groups, with interviews of nine of them. All blamed the war on Christmas on the ACLU. The ACLU often has a weak case, they say, but officials usually give in to threats and intimidation.

“Christmas is the new litmus test of the nation’s willingness to abide by its own Constitution,” Gibson writes. “[T]he counter-revolution is gearing up … The Christians are coming to retake their place in the public square, and the most natural battleground in this war is Christmas” (p. 186).

Well and good: we certainly don’t want secular pharisees telling us we can’t say “Merry Christmas.” We’re glad there are Christian lawyers who are ready and willing to take on the ACLU.

But what are so many Christian children doing in these secular schools in the first place? Gibson is aware of this question. In 1907, he writes, Jewish students — a large chunk of the school population — walked out on New York City’s public schools to protest the aggressively Protestant character of the curriculum. By 1908, the schools were non-sectarian, and the Jewish students returned.

If they could do it 100 years ago, Christians can do it today. Beyond a certain point, the public schools cannot afford to lose students.

It’s all very well to defend the Christmas tree, but we have an infinitely more important obligation to proclaim the Lordship of Christ. Just because secularists can’t tell the difference between Jesus Christ and Santa Claus doesn’t absolve us of our responsibilities.

We believe the answer to the corruption of the public schools is homeschooling and private Christian schools. What does it profit us if the schools allow red and green napkins but continue to teach our children, day in and day out, that our Christian beliefs are out-of-date, hateful, and wrong?

When our towns try to ban Christmas displays, we can treat that as a legal matter and probably win in court. But as long as we allow ourselves to be conned into believing that God’s Word does not apply to public life — that it’s something we must leave behind in our homes and in our churches when we go out to work, vote, or exercise public office ourselves — we will have shirked our duty and won nothing.

Lee Duigon is a Christian free-lance writer and contributing editor for Faith for All of Life. He has been a newspaper editor and reporter and is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels.


Thursday
Nov202014

God's Remnant Strategy...

The Mid-Atlantic Reformation Society Presents:

God's Remnant Strategy: Prophetic Success, Isaiah Style

Joel Saint presents a fascinating look at the job that God gave to the prophet Isaiah, with thought provoking applications for us, in our time.

Thursday, November 20

Beacon 443 Restaurant

35 E Blakeslee Blvd, Lehighton, PA 18235

 

Dinner at 6:00

Lecture at 7:00

 

Bring a friend!

Wednesday
Nov052014

Five Years! It is hard to believe!

Five years of OLD FASHIONED ELECTION DAY SERMONS.

Five years ago MARS started its first annual Election Day Sermon series in Reading

Pennsylvania. Interestingly, Pastor John Weaver was our first speaker inspiring us

to make this an annual event. This year, five years later, he returned to put some

real fire in our bellies.

Pastor Weaver and his wife Alice blessed us with their southern charm and

graciousness. Simply interacting with these two special servants of our Savior and

King made the evening worthwhile. But then John preached!

John told us about the Black Robed Regiment, Pastors who stood for freedom

and liberty during the war for independence. Pastors, who not only talked the

talk, but walked the walk. Basing his sermon on Hebrews 11:32-38 we heard of

fearless Pastors and congregations who when faced with tyranny and oppression

chose to stand and fight for liberty.

These men were not rebels (rebellion- can only be committed against lawful

authority). The Black Robed Regiment, who were pastors in submission to Biblical

authority, became resisters ( resistance- is an act toward unlawful authority)

These men put their personal lives on the line in order to glorify God and defend

their people against tyranny even unto death.

Pastor Weaver then asked the question that none of us wanted to hear... where

are such Pastors today? In an age which has become far more oppressive, in an

age when enslavement has become our lot, where are the men who will stand for

liberty?

Will it be said of us “of whom the world was not worthy” Hebrews 11:38

Who is on the Lord’s side?

~ Dr. Robert Salzman