|Some Church Signs say it all!
The great George Whitfield, the British spirit-filled Methodist, who preached the Doctrines of Grace and Freedom in Christ up and down the Thirteen Colonies, leading thousands and thousands to Salvation and the famous Jonathan Edwards, were the catalysts. The numerous churches that benefited from these men's crusades and open air preaching, brought the message to villages and towns and even cities. This was actually the Christian fuel which energized the colonists and THEIR own preachers - the men who would later become known as the "Black Robe Regiment" (BRR). The BRR were the preachers of the American Revolution, who influenced their congregations (most of whom were in the rag-tag Continental Army) and their families into thinking that this cause of Freedom was in accordance with God's Will. Indeed, the British Red Coat Army was virulently anti-Christian in function and had no compunction about burning down a church or three if they got in their way during this American War of Independence.
There is a whole lot more about the rich Christian history and background of the American Experience from which we can learn. There are so many viewpoints on the US Constitution and its interpretation. However what matters most to us even more, is not just the historical aspect of the Great American Christian Experience but what God says.
Here is where the seeds of the movement to separate God from His people began in this country - with Paine and one of his fans, Jefferson. In fact, Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists, in response to the lack of protection on the Connecticut Constitution for religious liberty, which was used to promote the idea of "Separation of Church and State", which is now accepted.
Just like the created right to an abortion, the notion that Thomas Jefferson was promoting the "separation of Church and State" is an overreach derived from a poorly constructed sentence, exclusively extracted from his reply to the Danbury Baptists: "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature would "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State." What that letter implicitly implies is the government would not create a state religion as existed at the time in England, from whence the Baptists came. What the secularist, atheists and their sort used was the last portion of the sentence "building a wall of separation of Church and State".
Now there has been an extremely troubling mindset for decades, if not the last two centuries, which may have overflowed from one of the founding fathers himself. That man was Thomas Paine, the "conscience" of the American Revolution and drive for the freedom which created the greatest country which ever existed - the USA. After the War was over and the new Republic was in full swing, under President George Washington, the British-born Paine went over to France to fully indulge in his lifestyle - Atheism! His work "The Age of Reason" (1794) set Europe ablaze in furthering their rejection of the Gospel and Christianity and became popular with deists in the US like Thomas Jefferson, Ethan Allen and Benjamin Franklin - all heroes of the War of Independence. Jefferson and Franklin were not averse to religion in public life as they saw it as necessary for the public good. However, while the elites loved the atheists and his venom against Scripture and Jesus Christ (just as they do today), there was a backlash against Paine. He was called a "demi-human arch beast", "a loathsome reptile" and "an object of disgust, of abhorrence, of absolute loathing to every decent man except the President of the United States (Jefferson)". (Source: Wikipedia).
Charles Darwin took Thomas Paine's Age of Reason to heart and those in the evolution theory movement took his atheism to the extreme. Darwin's immediate family was so stunned that they created a story around this death that he died a Christian. Those in the secular humanist and atheist movement also took Jefferson's seemingly innocuous words to the extreme and are attempting to shut down any mention of Jesus in public life; the Bible and its moral/spiritual truths. It is always the case when a leadership movement in any sphere, conducts himself in an unworthy manner. His descendants and followers take it to the extreme of evil. Such was the case with King Solomon whose 1000 plus wives and concubines were mainly pagan and idol worshippers. Solomon's sons saw how he lived and worshipped the devil more than their father did, resulting in the Kingdom of Israel splitting into two with ten of the twelve tribes eventually being wiped off the earth, by the Assyrians in the 8th century BC.
It is against this backdrop which we find ourselves in the 21st Century. It is against the backdrop we get signs like the one above, where Christians and students of the Word of God - the Bible - know what is eventually coming down the pike. In a sense, this church sign pictured above is absolutely correct.
In the next post, we will examine what the Rapture is, is not and why this sign addresses a truth which many would rather sweep under the carpet.