Sermon of the week

One of the basic building blocks of civilization is the family. In fact, it was the family institute that God first created (cf. Genesis 1-2). You know, the first thing that the devil sought to destroy was the family unit. Satan’s attacks were against God’s design of the chain of authority; second, sibling rivalry; third, when Lamech took for himself two wives rather than one; fourth, man began to desire those of the same sex. The family always begins with mother and father. Deuteronomy 6:6 teaches that God’s precepts are to be in the heart of the parents first! If society is the product of the family and the family begins with the parents, then we as parents need to treasure up God’s precepts in our heart.

Parents are commanded to rear their children in the nurture and admonition of Lord (Ephesians 6:4), but this impossible if the parents do not know the Lord themselves! There was a commercial some time ago which pictured the child doing the exact same things as the parent. If the parent was abusive to their spouse so it showed the child doing the same. If the parent was intoxicated, smoking, yelling and cussing the child was doing the exact same things! As parents we need have a high calling from God. It is His will that we rear godly offspring (Malachi 2:15). Much of what we see in those parents who profess to know Christ is the opposite of what God expects from us. Many parents would rather pack the pews of the stadium than pack the pews of church house. There is nothing wrong with sports, I enjoy them myself, but if the sports or any activity obstructs or compromises our Christian obligations then something has got to give way. We cannot serve Living God and our worldly pursuits at the same time.

We need our children to see in us the manifestation of the gospel message. We need families gathering around the kitchen table and praying together, having real life conversations; our Christian world view affects our decisions in life. We need our children to see us loving each other, in prayer, studying the Scripture, mother’s respecting their husbands and husbands loving their wives. We need fathers like how God described Abraham in Genesis 18:19; fathers who will command their children and household in keeping the way of Lord. We need mothers like Hannah. Mothers that will, from the birth of their child, be given to prayer for their child and dedicate themselves to making their child a servant of the Lord. And so let us renew our resolve and say as Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

You have heard the old adage, “As it goes with family, so it goes with society.”

The several foundations mentioned afore are a must for any society to flourish. However, there is one foundation that undergirds all that was mentioned, the Biblical Foundation. Proverbs 29:18 declares, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.” The Bible is that revelation, ultimately. The Bible is God’s word. It is God breathed and authoritative. The Bible answers life’s most fundamental questions: the questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny.

The role of biblical religion in society is extremely important. Benjamin Franklin, in his letter to Ezra Stiles, affirmed a belief in one God, the Creator of the universe, that God governs by his providence, that He ought to be worshipped, that one’s most acceptable service to God is doing good to your neighbor, that the soul is immortal and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this one. Wow, Franklin expressed or implied that God exists and that He should be worshipped, that there is a moral standard by which to differentiate between right and wrong, that God holds mankind responsible for their actions,that the soul survives physical death and that all mankind will be judged for all that has been done in their bodies. These are basic tenets which run throughout sound biblical religion.

One of the greatest myths that has been preached is that there is to be a “separation of church of state.” This idea is nowhere to be found in the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment simply states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This articulates the freedom of religion, not the freedom from religion! Behind this amendment is the fact that, at the framing of the Constitution, each individual state had their own state religion. The religion established by the state of Connecticut and Massachusetts were the Congregational church; New Hampshire, New Jersey, and South Carolina were the Protestant faith; Delaware and Maryland were simply the Christian Faith. These are general designations, but what is seen is that there were various denominations represented through out the land at the time of the Constitution’s framing. Listen to North Carolina’s constitution: “That no person who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the Divine authority of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the state, shall be capable of holding any office, or place of trust or profit, in the civil department within this state.” (NC Constitution, sec. 32, 1776).

Ultimately, what we are saying is that society needs to be instructed in ways of true, pure and undefiled religion (James 1:26-27). We are certainly not saying that the individuals who made up America back then were flawless; that is obvious. For they proclaimed basic biblical truths but did not fully practice them. The revelation of God is perfect, converting the soul (Psalm 19:7). Any people would flourish if they held in the heart the greatest commands known to man: that is to love the Lord with our heart, mind, soul and strength and our neighbor as ourself. 

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