Today in Church History – EXPANDED

Separation or segregation was  a result of the the curse of Babel (Gen. 11:7-9) Pentecost (Acts 2:5-11) broke down the walls of separation and brought people together through the Holy Spirit. Treating people different showing favoritism (James 2:1:13) racism is a sin against God.

Today it seems that all one has to do is disagree with someone else’s opinion to be labeled a Bigot or Racist. We we be wise to remember the bible has a much different view. It condemns all forms of bigotry and racism, by declaring 1) All are created by God (Gen 1:27) 2) All are decedent from Adam and Eve (Gen 1:28) 3) All are created equal in God’s eye (Gal 3:28) 4) Christ died for the elect (1 John 2:2) regardless of race 5) All people are equal in Heaven (Rev 7:9).

As a true believer it is our duty to oppose racism and bigotry at every level. At the same time we must never be afraid to stand up and argue for righteousness no matter what we will be labeled.  – Mike

Birmingham Blast: Why Children?

Birmingham Blast: Why Children?

It was this day, Sunday, September 15, 1963. The place was 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The lesson for the day was, “The Love that Forgives,” based on Matthew 5:43, 44. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” A prayer was to accompany the lesson: “Dear God, we are sorry for the times we were unkind.”

The lesson would prove to be grimly appropriate. But it was never finished. At 9:22 A.M., before it could be completed, the church exploded.

Ten or fifteen sticks of dynamite planted under the back steps of the building erupted with terrific force. The explosion hurled yellow bricks through cars, shattered nearby businesses and smashed a fist of terror through the church. The rest rooms at the rear of the church absorbed the brunt of the blast. Nonetheless, the shock was sufficient to collapse the church rafters, shred pews and shatter windows. Members of this black congregation–wounded, bleeding, and blinded,–staggered into the street as rescue crews rushed to the scene. In place of hymns, screams and sobs and cries of protest filled the air.

An angry mob of blacks gathered. Black ministers called on them to pray for the men who had perpetrated this outrage. “We must have love in our hearts for these men.” But the anguish and bitterness of the moment spoke louder. The mob began to pelt rescue workers and police with stones as they dug into the rubble. Police fired over the head of the crowd to disperse them. Once again hatred prevailed.

Birmingham was no stranger to bombings. Since World War II, fifty had been directed against blacks. But none of the previous bombers had struck against churches. Or targeted children.

Today, children were missing. Fears turned to stark reality as the wreckage was peeled aside from what had been the rest room. One man uncovered the remains of his own granddaughter. Torn and mangled bodies came to light: little bodies, the bodies of four girls.

Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley died. Seventeen other people were wounded. The death toll could have been much higher. Four hundred people were in the church at the time. Christ could only have grieved. He taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and yet the very churches built in his name were segregated and subject to mindless violence as men battled for political control of a race-crazed city. One reporter noted that Christ’s head in a stained glass window was blown off.

Klansman Robert Chambliss was convicted of his part in the crime fourteen years after the blast. Two other conspirators, Tommy Blanton and Bobby Cherry were finally brought to justice in 2001 and 2002 respectively.

This Sunday: A Call2Fall for God’s People

June 25, 2019 – Tuesday / By FRC’s National Prayer Director, Pierre Bynum

As of the end of Calendar Year 2017 the Gallup group put out information from a survey stating the following:

Protestants continue to make up the largest religious group in Americatotaling 49% of U.S. adults interviewed as part of Gallup’s Daily tracking in 2017. Catholics are the next-largest group, at 23% of the population, with Mormons accounting for about 2%. This means that about three-quarters of Americans, overall, identify with a Christian faith.

With an estimated population of 326,971,407 can you imagine if just 10% of these folks participated! 32 and a half million people crying out to God, glory!

Samuel Huntington: Signer of the Declaration of Independence, president of Congress, judge and Governor of Connecticut – March 9, 1791

It becomes a people publicly to acknowledge the over-ruling hand of Divine Providence and their dependence upon the Supreme Being as their Creator and Merciful Preserver . . . and with becoming humility and sincere repentance to supplicate the pardon that we may obtain forgiveness through the merits and mediation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A Call2Fall for God’s People

Amid the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln called all Americans to a day of prayer, fasting, and “humili[ty].” The Prophet Joel, called Judah, the Southern Kingdom of a divided Israel, to a Solemn Assembly, saying: “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity” Joel 2:12-13. We need such times of prayer and repentance in America today — we have strayed so far from God and his ways.

As we all know, America’s problems and divisions are not political at their root — but spiritual. They can be resolved only when God’s people choose to honor God, believe, and obey Him.

The Call2Fall is a reminder of the Biblical Solemn Assembly, prolonged seasons of prayer, repentance, fasting and returning to God. It is a powerful token that God has honored by His presence in churches and homes, again and again. Amid our personal, cultural and national sins, it is a reminder of the kind of prayer we need every day. It is not a fancy program or a big show. It is a time for churches to set aside time during their Sunday services, for all the people who can, to bow their knees before the Lord in humility and unite in repentant prayer for our nation. God’s people have the answer. The Call2Fall Declaration, taken from 2 Chronicles 7:14, reads:

I will answer God’s call to fall on my knees in humility and seek His face in repentance so that He might forgive my sins and heal our land.

If your pastor has not planned a Call2Fall in your church, its not too late. Give him a call or send him a note pointing towww.Call2Fall.com.” Urge him to watch Tony Perkins’ short video (for the congregation) and Dr. Ronnie Floyd’s short video “for pastors only. Though the hour is late, your pastor and church can still join thousands of pastors and churches across America to observe the 11th Annual Call2Fall this Sunday, June 30th. If the church schedule simply cannot be adjusted, you can still network with believers across the land by taking time to humble yourself and pray — on your knees by yourself at home — or with your family, or friends. Given the great moral and spiritual need of our nation, let’s humble ourselves before the Lord, together, before we break out the picnic gear and fireworks, and like our Forefathers, acknowledge our dependence upon Almighty God, before we celebrate our Independence on the 4th of July!

From the website:

“The Call2Fall national prayer initiative is based on Scripture, from which we envision three essentials necessary for God’s blessing: a proper attitude, a prayerful action, and a promise-based anticipation.”

A Proper Attitude: Humility and Dependence Upon God

Why we do things is of great concern to God. God looks upon our hearts. We believe God requires genuine humility in His people before He intervenes on our behalf.  The foundational Scripture for the Call2Fall is 2 Chronicles 7:14:

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament comments upon the word “humble” (kana) in this text:

It denotes bringing a proud and recalcitrant people or spirit into subjection…Of the eighteen references to a spiritual submission, fifteen relate to the actions of a king in submitting himself and his nation to God (1 Kings 21:29, etc.). The emphasis is upon a proud and independent spirit abasing itself.  Two key references are in Lev. 26:41 and II Chron. 7:14 which indicate that so long as a person, or nation, is arrogant and self-sufficient, God can do nothing for them.

The Call2Fall must begin with an attitude of humility before God, a willing acknowledgment of our need for God’s mercy and grace.  If we remain self-sufficient in our attitudes, we cannot expect God to give us the help we so desperately need.

A Prayerful Action: Kneeling Together Before the Lord

The Call to Fall is a call for God’s people to publicly, corporately manifest humble, dependent hearts by bending our knees before Almighty God on July 3, 2016.   In Scripture, bending the knee is an act of humility, reverence and submission.  Some of God’s greatest leaders demonstrated their deep humility by bending their knees in prayer before Almighty God.

Abraham: Then Abraham fell on his face, and God talked with him… (Gen. 17:3)

Moses: Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. (Exod. 34:8)

Solomon:  Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread out his hands (for Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court; and he stood on it, knelt down on his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven). (2 Chron. 6:12-13)

The Psalmist:  Oh come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. (Psalm 95:6)

Elijah: And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel ; then he bowed down to the ground, and put his face between his knees. (1 Kings 18:42)

Ezra: At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God. (Ezra 9:5)

Daniel:  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home.  And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem , he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. (Daniel 6:10)

Peter: They caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break…When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”   (Luke 5:6, 8)

Paul: For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 3:14)  “And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayer with them all. (Acts 20:36)

A Promised-Based Anticipation: God will Answer

We believe that God Himself is the originator of the Call2Fall.  If we will do our part, we can surely anticipate that He will do His.  In fact, Scripture is filled with promises for those who humble themselves before the Lord:

[T]hen I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.” (2 Chron. 7:14-15)

Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions…And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road. (Ezra 8:21, 31b)

For You will save the humble people, but will bring down haughty looks. (Psalm 18:27)

The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way. (Psalm 25:9)

For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation. (Psalm 149:4)

Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble. (Prov. 3:34)

But on this one thing I will look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word. (Isaiah 66:2c)

Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice.  Seek righteousness, seek humility.  It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger. (Zeph. 2:3)

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10)

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. (1 Peter 5:5-6)

Religious Liberty

Four-Year Study Reveals Unexpected Views of Religious Liberty

Research Releases in Faith & Christianity • April 30, 2019

What role should religious belief play in public life? The question has taken on new dimensions as the issues have changed and as successive generations are less connected to Christianity, or to religion at all. Although religious liberty questions remain frequently and hotly contested in the political arena, Barna research shows that, at least among Protestant pastors, concern about religious freedom restrictions has actually declined.

One of the foremost challenges to careful thought concerning this question is that public awareness of religious liberty debates is mixed—even among clergy. How do pastors and the general public define terms related to religious freedom, and how do they view its fate in the United States? A recent Barna report, Faith Leadership in a Divided Culture, is the culmination of four years of research conducted in partnership with The Maclellan Foundation examining views of religious liberty among the general population and faith leaders in the United States—Christian and otherwise. We found that although faith leaders and the general public agree on a definition for religious freedom, they have evolving outlooks regarding its future…

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