2019 FUTURE OF CHRISTENDOM CONFERENCE: Advancing the Kingdom Through Enterprise

October 18-20, 2019 Lancaster Convention Center, Lancaster, PA

 

 

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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    Upcoming Events

    October 18-20

    Future of Christendom Conference: Advancing the Kingdom Through Enterprise

     

     

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    Highlights from 2018 Future of Christendom Conference

    Oliver Cromwell

      "Not only strike while the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking"

    Lessons from the Hatfields and McCoys

    One of my usual vacation activities is to read or study some topic connected with the geographical area of my vacation.  Since part of our family vacation always includes time spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the South, some past topics have included Mountain Music, Slavery, and the roots and background of NASCAR racing.  This year’s topic is the Hatfield and McCoy feud.  The book “The Hatfields and McCoys” by Otis K. Rice, published by The University Press of Kentucky, gives an account of the topic with some breadth and depth, considering not only the details of the feud itself, but also the cultural, political, geographical, and historical background of the topic.  Included are maps, pictures, and genealogical charts for reference.

    One of the things that I wanted to learn immediately was whether our popular, cartoon-like images of the feud were close to reality.  As with many historical events, the answer is “yes and no”.  The author shows that at the time, roughly 1863-1893, newspaper accounts (it was national news) were often either factually mixed up or embellished (surprise!). The flavor and substance of the actual events, however, are not too different than the impressions that I had accumulated over the years.  The historically accurate account is at least as violent and severe as the popular folklore version. 

    The background and causes of the feud were complex and varied, a combination of things as simple as the alleged theft of a hog, things as common as arguments over romantic relationships, and things as complex as election day politics.  Many involved were illiterate, yet some surprisingly well off due to hard work and common sense, along with large land holdings.  Conspicuously absent on both sides seems to be the presence of Jesus Christ in the hearts of the participants.  Interestingly, the leader of the Hatfield clan, Anderson (Devil Anse) Hatfield, became a Christian after the feuding, and several members of his clan went on to be doctors and lawyers, and one Governor of West Virginia.

    OK, where’s the lesson?  I’d like to focus on one point that stuck out and reminded me of today’s world.  The Kentucky State Senate was debating a bill to add six new units to the Kentucky State Guard to quell the feud (yes, it really was that big).  Several amendments were considered, one of which was to strike a provision for sending guns to the affected counties and inserting a statement that “six good school teachers and two evangelists be sent to said counties, to remain until the disturbances are quelled”.  The provision became academic, since the bill failed to pass in any form.

    Leaving aside arguments over the propriety of a state government becoming involved in education and evangelism, suppose that American Christians had more of this kind of thinking.  Suppose that, instead of clamoring for the use of our powerful military to decimate populations around the world, we had more desire to show the world the benefits of Christianity?  Of course, you could point out that we threw those benefits away ourselves throughout the 20th century as we hid in our churches…but can we really think that we can advance the cause of Christ at the end of a gun barrel?

    Let’s get back to the biblical use of our military for defense, and stop following the idiotic slogans drummed up by the political elite for a dumbed-down population like “they hate us because we’re free” and “better to fight them in Baghdad than in Boston”.  Nobody in Baghdad had their sights on Boston until we blew their city apart and killed countless innocent civilians.  What a godless policy.  Unjust aggression brought misery to the Hatfields and McCoys, and it will bring misery to us if we allow it to continue.

    ~ Jim Mogel

    My Initial Impression

    I work in the construction industry and in my role at work I must read all the contracts before they’re signed and returned to our clients.  It’s work to be done very carefully because if you miss a detail in the contract all the handshakes in the world are not going to fix the problem. 

    One of the ways the client can “stick” me is to be able to show that I have read and agreed to all the provisions of the document and the way they prove that is to require my initials on every page of the contract.  This is pretty conventional in the industry and I don’t give it much thought – at least I didn’t until last week when one of our clients returned a contract because I had forgotten to initial a page.

    Except it turns out that I hadn’t neglected to initial the page.  The omission was intentional because it was the signature page of the contract.  I had assumed that my signature would be evidence enough that I had looked at that page of the contract.  However, the clerk who received it is obviously under strict orders to see that every page is initialed and nothing was getting by him or her!

    So what?

    Humerous as this incident seems to me (I dutifully initialled the page) it has me thinking about God’s Law.  This clerk was following instructions down to the last jot and tittle.  Do I follow God’s instructions nearly as well?  Not a chance.

    But aren’t we under instruction to follow the Law?  Says Christ in Matthew 5, verse 18, “For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

    Now, as mentioned above, I read contracts very carefully to understand what is expected.  Reading Matt 5:18 just as carefully reveals very little wiggle room, or shall we say no wiggle room, for abiding by God’s commands.

    The law Christ is referring to is written.  It has jots and tittles, otherwise known as the dotting of i’s and crossing of t’s.  To be written and for Christ to be talking of it means we are necessarily dealing with Old Testament moral law.

    Second, we see that it was all to be fulfilled.  No extra verses laying out exceptions.  No expiration date (except heaven and earth pass).

    So, yes – we live under grace.  We no longer need to fulfill the law to obtain salvation from our sins.  But we still need to fulfill the law in obedience to God and Christ! 

    I resolve to be a good clerk.  I’ll initial every page of God’s covenant with me, i.e. read it at least as carefully as I read contracts.  But then by God’s grace and the prompting of the Holy Spirit I’ll follow the spirit and letter of the law because I want to and not because I’m “stuck.”

    ~ John Bingaman

    Hating Religiosity

    "I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies.

    Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept [them], nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.

    Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.”  -Amos 5:21-23

    Here’s a question: If you were living during the time that Amos made the above statement, how would you feel about Amos and his statement? And, if you believed that Amos really was a true prophet of God, what would you think of God?

    After all, isn’t worship what it’s really all about? Let’s see now, we’re offering burnt offerings, peace offerings (fat peace offerings, even!), we’re even playing and singing in some kind of a worship band.

    What could be wrong? After all, doesn’t all this ceremony make me feel like I have a relationship with God? The answer is in the next verse:

    “But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.” –Amos 5:24

    I recently received a newsletter from a man who has a ministry to political leaders—governors, staffers, state level elected officials, etc. He relates some reports that appear to be encouraging: Talk of expanding a prayer group in the New Jersey State Capitol; in Delaware, “God [has] arranged that [House and Senate Members] of both parties are gathering around the Person of Jesus”; and finally, in Pennsylvania, “Jesus in not only walking in the hallways of the state capitol, but there are men and women who have ears to hear and are doers of His word.”

    The newsletter goes on to talk of upcoming conferences, student outreaches, prayer breakfasts’, etc.

    Wow! Kind of makes me think that we may soon be able to

     “…lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (I Timothy 2: 2)

    But…somehow I’m not holding my breath. Why not be encouraged at all the “good” things that are happening?

    Because, as Amos demonstrates above, the ultimate test of true worship is not about our ceremonies. It is about our obedience.

    That obedience has public and private dimensions. Earlier, in verse 15, Amos said, “Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate.” That reference to “the gate” is clearly a reference to public obedience to the Law of God.

    Public obedience.

    Does the modern church have any clue what that could possibly mean? When our (hopefully) Christian legislators and staffers gather together at their prayer meetings and sharing sessions, do they even think about how they are to go about establishing “justice in the gate”?

    So far, I see no evidence of such. What I do see is increasing attacks on property owners, legitimate businesses, the church, and the family through hostile legislation that includes increased taxes and stifling regulation.

    Please, don’t even try to tell me that this is consistent with the Law of God as outlined in the scriptures. The Bible has plenty to say about public justice, but increased taxes and regulations are certainly not endorsed therein.

    I’m sure that staff members and legislators that attend these prayer sessions are often quite sincere. But according to Amos, worship that pleases God is far more about righteousness than about “relationship”; far more about justice than about phony protocol and peace between “members of both parties”.

    How can we think we can possibly lead a “quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” if we don’t work diligently to promote justice “in the gates”?

    When Amos talks about justice running down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream, he is talking about a very public demonstration of God’s Law in action.

    I’d like to be encouraged that certain (anonymous) government officials are getting together in non-public prayer meetings.

    But our Sovereign King and Lord is looking for public justice and righteousness. Until then, it’s all just an elaborate private ceremony.

     

    ~ Joel Saint

    The World According to Me!

    I read a lot of financial postings and there’s one that came to my inbox a little while ago that was completely dismissive of Christianity. 

    To be fair, the writer dismisses all religion as being ridiculous.  But he decided to “dis” Christianity in particular.  Our writer/atheist in point is financial guru, Doug Casey.  Casey is a very, very bright guy.  He’s extraordinarily well-read and more often than not he’s been right about stock market direction and asset classes to be invested in.  He calls himself a libertarian and does not like “utilitarians” or “pragmatists” because their philosophies are too fluid and situational.Doug Casey

    Now, I am tempted to try to argue with Casey on a point by point basis but many years ago, an older co-worker taught me that there’s no sense in discussing any of the down-stream matters if you disagree on the premises. 

    To illustrate, suppose someone presents the following argument: 

    • All men have blue eyes; 
    • John is a man; 
    • Therefore John has blue eyes.  

    There is no sense in discussing the shade of blue in John’s eyes when the premise of the argument is wrong.  There is no sense in refuting what Casey sees as those old worn out “contradictions” in the Bible or the genocidal tendencies of God when I disagree with the premise of his argument.

    The ethical system Casey espouses as ideal is a two-point program:

    • Do all that you say you’re going to do.
    • Don’t aggress against other people or their property.

     

    Actually, these are pretty good as far as they go.  They correspond to principles Christians recognize:

     

    • Let your yes be yes and your no be no.
    • Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

    But they don’t deal with the underlying problem that all extra-biblical ethical systems run into, which is:   SAYS WHO?

    Because Casey has decided that life has no meaning except what the individual makes of it, he feels free to pronounce his own rules for living as “sound” and producing “the greatest good for the greatest numbers.”  He even distills his two-points to a single composite:

    Do what you will, but be prepared to accept the consequences.

    Doesn’t this sound frighteningly close to “Might makes right?”

    For something to be true, for something to be “right,” it must be true and right outside of human opinion.  One plus one is two – it is not a social construct.  The universe exists – it is not an idea that a majority can agree on.

    Similarly, to be correct or true or right, morality and ethics must come from outside of man’s opinion.  It takes pronouncement from a perfect being to reveal perfect morals and perfect ethics. 

    For Casey to be “right,” Casey must be God – which is the premise of his argument – with which I disagree.

    I will posit another syllogism:

    • All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God;
    • John and Doug are men;
    • John and Doug have fallen short of the glory of God.

     

    P.S.  To read the interviews with Doug Casey click on the links below:

                Part 1:  http://www.caseyresearch.com/displayCwc.php?id=61

                Part 2:  http://www.caseyresearch.com/displayCwc.php?id=62

                Part 3:  http://www.caseyresearch.com/displayCwc.php?id=63

     

    ~ John Bingaman

    John Lofton To Visit MARS!

    We are pleased to announce that Mr. John Lofton will be speaking at our July 20th Biblical Worldview Lecture meeting! Many of you know of John from his co-hosting The American View radio program with Michael Peroutka (Yes, the Michael Peroutka that ran for president back in 2004 on the Constitution Party). Lofton was the Communications Director for  that campaign. In addition to being an advisor to the Presidential campaign of Pat Buchanan he also authored a monthly column on the Federal bureaucracy for Howard Phillips' "Conservative Caucus".

    Lofton gives speeches to just about anyone that will listen. Liberal or Conservative, it doesn't matter. From Liberty University to the Comedy Channel's "Daily Show", Lofton is always ready to share his unwavering faith in God and is never afraid to ask the pointed and difficult questions. Like the time he asked Jesse Jackson why he changed from pro-life to pro-choice (pro-death). Closer to home, Lofton interviewed Pastor Gerry Stoltzfoos who refused to pray when Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Keith McCall would not let him pray "... in the name of Jesus".

    Lofton, a "Recovering Republican" fled from the Republican = Good, Democrat = Bad mindset long ago; so when he makes statements like "Being a Republican is not a disease; it is a choice - a very bad choice, but a choice nonetheless" he is sure to raise some eyebrows!

    July's lecture, "Patriotism, Loyalty & Nationalism" is an interesting topic, indeed - and Lofton is just the guy to deliver it!

    We look forward to seeing you on the 20th of July.

    ~ Toby Grater