Responsibility to God & Governments
Rev. Charles G. Finney was born on August 29, 1792. As an apprentice to become an attorney,
Finney read so many Scriptural references in Blackstone’s Law Commentaries that he bought a Bible,
began to study it, and eventually came to faith in Christ. Finney became a prominent leader in the
Second Great Awakening, known for his passionate appeals, altar calls and “anxious seat” for
In addition to his innovations as a revivalist, Charles Finney was also a pioneer in the area of
cultural reform. Charles Finney formed the Benevolent Empire, a network of volunteer organizations
founded to aid in solving social as well as spiritual problems. Among these were the: American Board of
Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1810; American Bible Society, 1816; American Sunday School
Union, 1817; American Tract Society, 1826; American Home Mission Society, 1826; and American
Temperance Society, 1826. The Benevolent Empire’s budget reportedly rivaled that of the Federal
Government in 1834. Finney’s Revival Lectures (1835) provided inspiration for George Williams who founded the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in 1844, and William Booth who founded The
Salvation Army in 1865.
An ardent abolitionist, Finney frequently denounced slavery from the pulpit. While President of Oberlin College, Finney led the school to become a station on the Underground Railroad to smuggle slaves to freedom and grant the first bachelors degree in America to a black woman, Mary Jane Patterson.
In his Revival Lectures, Charles Finney wrote: “The time has come for Christians to vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them… Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to their country as a part of their duty to God.” Finney concluded: “God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.”*
The life and ministry of Rev. Charles Finney, born on August 29, 1792, is another lost episode in American history.
Read and reflect: Read Matthew 22:21 and reflect on Jesus’ teaching about our responsibility to God and to government and how that thought is echoed in what Finney taught.
Prayer: Sovereign God, teach us how to use our influence for good in the realm of government. Fill us with the courage to get informed and involved in the great moral struggles of our day, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Source Citation: From Lecture XV in Charles G. Finney, Revival Lectures (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming Revell Co., 1970), 336-337.
http://www.watchmenpastors.org/lost-episode-for-august-29-2/ unfortunately this link is currently down...
The Question of Obedience ~ On this day the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776
Deacon/Lay Leader Joshua Justice 2 July 2017
As we prepare to celebrate the American War of Independence, we should tackle the difficult question; “if rebellion is wrong, was the American Revolution ok? Why or why not? Why should we, as Christians, care?” Romans 13 addresses this very situation. Politics, like so many other areas of life, impacts our ability to DO. (Jas 1:22) If you are a doer of the word, anything that can infringe on your ability to do impacts you. Thus, politics are important and inextricably linked to religion. Listen as Deacon Joshua clarifies the role of governments, kings, authorities, and rebellion vs true obedience, especially to a higher authority. Our response to any tough situation is "A Question of Obedience." sermon notes
From the Family Research Council Prayer Team, 6 December 2017
The Judeo-Christian worldview (is) the foundation for American law and culture...
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Christian historian Rod Gragg, a former journalist, is director of the Center for Military and Veterans Studies and adjunct professor at Coastal Carolina University. An award-winning author, he has written over 20 books highlighting Christianity's role in American history. These excerpts are from his By the Hand of Providence: How Faith Shaped the American Revolution:
In 1517... Martin Luther... sparked the Protestant Reformation by calling for the Church to return to key biblical doctrines... salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone rather than by faith and works... the authority of Scripture over church tradition and church leadership... [T]he Reformation flooded Western Europe with a Bible-centered revival -- and a political transformation. With emphasis on the authority of Scripture as the Higher Law, the Reformation persuaded countless commoners that every person, prince or pauper, was of equal value to God. It spread the belief that God's law, as revealed by Scripture, superseded man's law -- including the authority of princes, queens, and kings.
In England... the Reformation and its biblical doctrines took root and flourished. The first published English translation of the Bible gave the common people personal access to the Scriptures -- and the country was transformed. "The whole moral effect ... was simply amazing," English historian John Richard Green would later conclude. "The whole nation became a church."
By the early 1600s, many people in England weighed everything according to a biblical worldview -- including government. They cherished individual rights and a representative form of government -- the legacy of the canon law of Christianity and the English Constitution it had inspired. The English Reformation inspired even greater commitment to Higher Law and God-given rights of the individual. Most committed of all were the Puritans..., [who] desire[d] to "purify" the Church of England -- the official government denomination -- were not popular with English monarchs. Neither was the Puritan belief that all people were equal before God. King James I vowed to "harry them out of the land, or else do worse." His son and successor, King Charles I, permitted Anglican officials to persecute them. Puritan preaching was restricted, their books and tracts banned, and many Puritans were whipped, tortured, branded, or imprisoned. [Some] Puritans prayerfully chose to follow the Pilgrims to America. Between 1630 and 1640 -- in the "Great Migration" -- more than twenty thousand Puritans immigrated to Massachusetts Bay Colony, bringing with them the seeds of Bible-based liberty.
Although far from perfect, the Puritans' Massachusetts Bay Colony was based on biblical principles and became an influential model for other colonies. Many of the fundamental rights championed by America's founding fathers, such as representative self-government, regular elections, and respect for private property, were inspired by the Puritans. The Judeo-Christian worldview became the foundation for American law and culture, as expressed, for example, in the 1643 Articles of Confederation of the United Colonies of New England: "Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel in purity with peace. ..."At times, some Colonial Americans appeared to forget the persecution they and their ancestors had suffered in the Old World and repeated the same sins in the New World. But the New was not the Old, and religious intolerance would not last in the Bible-based culture of Colonial America -- too many colonists were unwilling to stand for it. Instead, gradually there arose an American tradition of religious tolerance, based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was advanced by such people of faith as Roger Williams in Rhode Island [Baptist], William Penn in Pennsylvania [Quaker], Cecilius Calvert [Catholic]in Maryland, and countless American colonists who rejected religious persecution. Colonial Americans eventually established laws that reflected biblical values and principles while allowing full freedom of faith and conscience for all. The foundation of American liberty was the Judeo-Christian worldview, and a keystone in that foundation was religious freedom. (Excerpted from By the Hand of Providence: How Faith Shaped the American Revolution by Rod Gragg.)
Psalm 11:3 asks: "If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
Today, people, bound and blinded by sin, labor to destroy these foundations.
Our job is to defend, protect, and repair these foundations, and preserve them for future generations.