Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world - even our faith. 1 John 5:4
You may have seen this guy on a 2 dollar bill. 2nd President and 1st Vice President. Writing in a private letter to his wife, which he likely thought others would never see...
I confess I am not fond of the Presbyterian Meetings in this Town. I had rather go to our Church. We have better sermons, better prayers, better speakers, softer, sweeter musick, and genteeler company.
And I must confess, that the Episcopal Church is quite as disagreeable to my taste as the Presbyterian. They are both Slaves to the Domination of the Priesthood. I like the Congregational way best - next to that, the Independent.
John Adams to Abigail Adams, Oct. 9, 1774; Butterfield, Abigail and John, pp. 78-79. The first Vice President (1789-1797) and second President (1797-1801) of the United States.
Only a few decades ago, a Christian identity was so common among Americans that it could almost be taken for granted. As recently as the early 1990s, about 90% of U.S. adults identified as Christians. But today, about two-thirds of adults are Christians.6 The change in America’s religious composition is largely the result of large numbers of adults switching out of the religion in which they were raised to become religiously unaffiliated. Source: Pew Research Center
What will it take to reverse this trend?
Whence comes the whole paraphernalia of ordination as observed among some Dissenters? Since there is no special gift to bestow, why in any case the laying on of empty hands? Since we cannot pretend that mystic succession so vaunted by Ritualists, why are men styled "regularly ordained ministers"? A man who has preached for years is Mr. Brown, but after his ordination or recognition he develops into the Reverend Mr. Brown; what important change has he undergone? This comes before us in the form of addresses upon letters "Reverend Titus Smith, Mr. Spurgeon's College," or sometimes, "Reverend Timothy Jones, Spurgeon's Tabernacle." Rather odd, this! Here are reverend students of an unreverend preacher, the title being given to the one out of courtesy, and withheld from the other for the same reason. The Reverend Titus has met with a church which will insist upon an ordination, and he is ordained; but the President of his College, having never undergone such a process, nor even that imitation of it called a recognition, remains an unordained, unrecognized person to this day, and has not yet discovered the peculiar loss which he has sustained. We do not object to a recognition of the choice of the church by its neighbors and their ministers, on the contrary, we believe it to be a fraternal act, sanctioned by the very spirit of Christianity; but where it is supposed to be essential, is regarded as a ceremony, and is thought to be the crowning feature of the settlement, we demur.
"The Reverend Theophilus Robinson offered up the ordination prayer" has a Babylonish sound in our ears, and it is not much improved when it takes the form of "the recognition prayer." Is there, then, a ritual? Are we as much bound by an unwritten extempore liturgy as others by the Common Prayer? Must there always be "usual questions"? And why "usual"? Is there some legendary rule for the address to the church and the address to the pastor? Mark well, that we do not object to any one of these things, but we do question the propriety of stereotyping them, and speaking of the whole affair as if it were a matter to be gone about according to a certain pattern seen in the holy mount, or an order given forth in trust to the saints. We see germs of evil in the usual parlance, and therefore meet it with a Quo Warranto? Is not the divine call the real ordination to preach, and the call of the church the only ordination to the pastorate?` The church is competent under the guidance or the Holy Spirit her own work, and if she calls in her sister churches, let her tell them what she has done, in such terms that they will never infer that they are called upon to complete the work. The ordination prayer should be prayed in the church meeting, and there and then the work should be done; for other churches to recognize the act is well and fitting, but not if it be viewed as needful to the completion of the act itself. We have noticed many signs of an error in this direction.
The small matter which we have mentioned leads on to another which is by no means small, namely, the notion in some churches that only an ordained or recognized minister should preside at the Lord's table. Small is our patience with this unmitigated Popery, and yet it is by no means uncommon. Pulpits which are most efficiently supplied on other Sundays by men who are without pastoral charge must be vacated by them on the first Sunday of the month because the friends like a stated minister to administer the sacrament. This may not always be the language employed, but it often is and it is an unsanctified jargon, revealing the influence of priestcraft. Whence comes it? By what scripture can it be justified? "Breaking bread from house to house" does not read very like it. We suppose that the idea of a deacon leading the communion would horrify a great many, but why? If the church should request a venerable brother to conduct the service, a brother of eminent grace and prayerfulness, would the ordinance be any the less instructive or consoling because he was not in the ministry? Naturally enough the pastor, when there is one, leads the way by the respectful consent of all; but would fellowship with Jesus be more difficult, if he were out of the way, and an elder or deacon occupied his place? Our experience has never led us to bemoan, on the account of our people, that the communion was a maimed rite when a beloved deacon or elder has filled our chair. We love to have our brethren sitting with us at the table, breaking the bread as much as we do, and giving thanks aloud as we do, because we hope that by this visible sign men will see that "one is our Master, even Christ, and all we are brethren." Are we the less respected by our church officers for this? Do they take upon themselves lordly airs? Far from it. A more beloved and loving set of men never surrounded a pastor. We magnify our office in the best manner when we do not magnify it beyond the teaching of the Lord.
Who are we that our presence should render more valid, or more lawful, the remembrance of our Lord's death until he come? All things are to be done decently and in order, but that order does not necessitate a church's going without the Lord's Supper because there is no pastor or regular minister to be had. At least we fail to see any support for such an idea, except in the traditions of the fathers, and the sooner these are consigned to oblivion the better. We confess we do not admire the Plymouth fashion of passing round a lump of bread for all to peck at, like so many crows, or the plan of hawking a slice from hand to hand, for each one to break on his own account, for it is not a clean or decorous practice; and as it never would be tolerated at our own tables, it certainly ill becomes the table of the Lord: but even these odd ways are better, or at least less harmful, than the practice of a slated minister administering the elements, for "stated minister" is little more than "priest writ large" in the idea of weaker brethren; or if it be not so now, it soon may be so, and the sooner it is put an end to the better for posterity.
Even now we know of churches which have dispensed with the Lord's Supper week after week because the pastor was ill, there being, of course, no other brother in the whole community who had grace enough to preside at the table, or administer the sacrament, as some of the brotherhood call it. When matters have gone so far, it is surely time to speak out against such worship of men.
By one of those whimsical freaks of superstition for which there is no accounting, the benediction is in some regions almost as sacredly reserved for the minister as the absolution for the priest in Popish churches. We heard it remarked the other day as quite a singular thing that a non-ministerial brother, being in the chair at a religious meeting, had actually pronounced the benediction. We had not noticed the man's audacity, but evidently others had. Here was a mere layman thinking himself as able to invoke a blessing upon the assembly as the clerics around him! The brethren around us expressed their pleasure that he had done so, but even this showed that it was rather an innovation, very commendable, no doubt, in these days, but still an innovation. "Will you close the meeting?" has often been whispered in a minister's ear when some excellent Christian man has been in prayer, who might just as well as not have finished his supplication with the blessing, and so have dismissed the assembly. But that must not be, only ministers must take those sacred words upon their polluted lips! Fiddle-de-dee is the only word which will enable us to vent our feelings.
But we forbear, and change the subject. It is very natural that our friends should desire their minister to baptize them, and yet there is no reason why he should do so on account of his office. It does not appear from the Scriptures to have been an act peculiar to preachers; in fact, at least one of them, and he by no means the least, was not sent to baptize, but to preach the gospel. A vigorous Christian member of the church is far more in his place in the baptismal waters than his ailing, consumptive, or rheumatic pastor. Any objection urged against this assertion is another unconscious leaning to tradition, if not a relic of superstition. The usefulness of the ordinance does not depend upon the baptizer, but upon the the gracious meditation and earnest prayer of the person baptized: the good which he will receive will depend upon how far his whole soul is receptive of the divine influence, and in no sense, manner, or degree upon the agent of the baptism. We do not know what Paedobaptists think upon their ceremony, but we fear that the most of them must have the minister to do it, and would hardly like their infants to be left to the operation of an unordained man. If it be so, we do not so very much wonder at their belief, for as it is clear that no good arises to an infant from its own prayers or meditations during the ceremony, there is a natural tendency to look for some official importance in the performer of the rite; but yet we do not and cannot believe that our Paedobaptist friends have fallen so low as that; we make no charge, and hope we shall never have cause to do so. For Baptists to attach the smallest importance to the ordinance of baptism being administered either by a minister or a private member Would be to the last degree inconsistent, and yet we. are. not sure that the inconsistency is not to be found in many quarters. It behooves ministers to break down. in time every tendency to make us into necessary adjuncts of the ordinances, for this is one step towards making us priests.
Upon the same spirit as it crops up in reference to marriages and burials we need not remark. Neither of these things are in themselves our work, although, as they furnish us with excellent occasions for doing good, it is well for us to attend to them. At the same time here are two threads for the syrup of superstition to crystallize upon, and it will do so if not prevented.
The ignorant evidently attach some importance to reading or speaking over a corpse at a funeral, and do not regard the service as meant wholly for themselves, but as having some sort of relation to the departed. To have a gracious exhortation and prayer at home, and then lay the dear remains in the tomb in solemn silence, would be regarded as barbarity by many, and yet it would be no unseemly thing. To give the minister liberty to keep to the word of God and prayer, and release him from serving sepulchers, is according to apostolic precedent, and yet our churches would be grieved if it were carried out. When one of the Lord's disciples desired to postpone his evangelistic labors till he had buried his father, he was bidden to let the dead bury their dead; but such advice followed out now-a-days would bring down heavy censure upon the minister. Is this as it should be? Our calling is to preach the gospel and not to marry the living or bury the dead.
By what process have these things come to be an integral part of our ministry? Are they really the business of the ministers of Christ? It is not meet that we should needlessly grieve any by refusing to attend upon either of these occasions, but we must take heed that we do not feed the sickly sentimentalism which makes the preacher necessary to them. We must all have seen how soon a superstition springs up, and therefore we must be on our guard not to water the ill weed.
The duty of visiting the sick and dying is one which we do not wish to shirk, but may it not become another door for priestliness to enter? and, indeed, is it not so? The poor will hasten to our doors, and ask us to "come and Tray to their sick friends:" yes, those are the very words " Please, sir, would you come and pray to my husband?" Often have we heard the expression, "The clergyman has been in and prayed a prayer to him, sir." To the London poor ministers both in church and dissent are alike parsons or clergymen, and city missionaries are almost as good, and in their distress they very frequently send for one or another of us out of sheer superstition; not because they would learn the way of salvation, but because "having a good man in to pray to them" is the right thing to do for dying people. The like, or perhaps a worse superstition, leads to a high estimate of a burial service. Rattled over as it frequently is by cemetery chaplains, who have "one on and two more awaiting," the burial service cannot be of any use to the living, and must surely be performed for the sake of the dead.
Nobody says so among Protestants, but the idea is in the air and may by degrees condense into a belief, unless we are expressly earnest to prevent it. We shall continue to mingle with the devout men who carry our Stephens to the sepulcher, and we shall not fail to weep with them that weep but we will not allow the ignorant to imagine that we are there to perform some mystic rite.
These few remarks touch only upon ministers, and leave other matters for another equally brief chapter; but we cannot lay down the pen without asking why so many brethren still retain the title of Reverend? We are willing to reverence the aged pastor, and we did not hesitate to give that title to our beloved friend George Rogers, just in the same way as we use the term "the venerable Bede," or "the judicious Hooker," but we are not prepared to reverence every stripling who ascends the pulpit; and, moreover, if we thought it due to others to call them reverend, we should still want some reason for their calling themselves so. It seems rather odd to us that a man should print upon his visiting card the fact that he is a reverend person. Why does he not occasionally vary the term, and call himself estimable, amiable, talented, or beloved? Would this seem odd? Is there any valid objection to such a use of adjectives after the fashion is once set by employing the word reverend? If a man were to assume the title of reverend for the first time in history it would look ridiculous, if not presumptuous or profane. Why does not the Sunday-school teacher call himself "the Respectable John Jones" or the City Missionary dub himself "the Hardworking William Evans"? Why do we not, like members of secret orders and others, go in for Worthy Masterships and Past Grands, and the like?
I hope that we can reply that we do not care for such honors, and are content to leave them to men of the world, or to the use of those who think they can do some good thereby. It may be said that the title of reverend is only one of courtesy, but then so was the title of Rabbi among the Jews, yet the disciples were not to be called Rabbi. It is, at any rate, a suspicious circumstance that among mankind no class of persons should so commonly describe themselves by a pretentious title as the professed ministers of the lowly Jesus. Peter and Paul were right reverend men, but they would have been the last to have called themselves so. No sensible person does reverence us one jot the more because we assume the title. It certainly is in some cases a flagrant misnomer, and its main use seems to be the pestilent one of keeping up the unscriptural distinction of clergy and laity.
A lad fresh from college, who has just been placed in a pulpit, is the Reverend Smith, while his eminently godly grandfather, who has for fifty years walked with God, and is now ripe for heaven, has no such claim to reverence. A gentleman of ability, education, and eminent piety preaches in various places with much zeal and abundant success, but he is no reverend; while a man of meager gifts, whose principal success seems to lie in scattering the flock, wears the priestly prefix, having a name to be reverenced when he commands no esteem whatever. This may be a trifle, many no doubt so regard it; why, then, are they not prepared to abstain from it? The less the value of the epithet the less reason for continuing the use of it. It would be hard to say who has a right to it, for many use it who have not been pastors for years, and have not preached a sermon for many a day; what on earth are they to be reverenced for? Other men are always preaching and yet no one calls them reverend, but why not? The distribution of this wonderful honor is not fairly arranged. We suggest that, as the wife is to see that she reverence her husband, every married man has a degree of claim to the title of Rev., and the sooner all benedicts exercise the privilege, the sooner will the present clerical use of it pass out of fashion. We wonder when men first sought out this invention, and from whose original mind did the original sin emanate. We suspect that he lived in the Roman Row of Vanity Fair, although the Reverend John Bunyan does not mention him. One thing is pretty certain, he did not flourish in the days of the Reverend Paul, or the Reverend Apollos, or the Reverend Cephas.
From the Sword and Trowel Magazine, Volume 4, 1874 pages 111-117
Keywords: Spurgeon, ordination, religious titles, priestcraft
Why would a book such as this be mentioned on a Christian missions site? Because Jesus is the Lord of all things. In fact, his church has a political name: Kingdom. Part of his commission was to "teach all things." And yes, he had much to say about national righteousness as well as personal righteousness.
"Benjamin Franklin Morris' book has been out of print for over 100 years. If you can find an original copy, it's only because you have looked in the deep recesses of university libraries where the volume is likely collecting dust on dimly lit library shelves.
Organizations like the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have done their best to ignore the content of the massive compilation of original source material found in this book. If Americans ever become aware of the facts assembled by the author in this historic encyclopedia of knowledge, arguments for a secular founding of America will turn to dust.
Don't miss out on the fantastic wealth of information this 1000+ page book has in store. Your children and grandchildren are not being taught the truth of history in public school, and this book will correct that travesty! Christian Life and Character could very well be responsible for the rediscovering of the truth of America's foundation in Christianity. This book should be the cornerstone of any personal, professional, church or school library." From Amazon.
How do you get it? A free digital copy can be found at archive.org.
A print copy might be available on ebay or amazon. More likely, a new one can be found at American Vision.
Somewhere in America today, on a street corner or at a water fountain, two devout Christians run into each other. They sigh and discuss the news of the day. There is a long pause... One says to the other: "See, things are worse and worse - He's coming again soon." They nod their heads in agreement.
I have personally witnessed many of these conversations. Conversations which all end in the same way.
Truly, no man knows the day or the hour. Truly, there are passages in Scripture which appear to call for his soon return. The question is: "So, do we just give up and cease to work and pray that His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. And have we really come to understand the subject of future events?"
I see many Christians who have given up - so I must make this inquiry.
Allen challenged the missionary methods of his day. And wrote from his extensive experiences and travels. Considered to be a classic work on this subject. First appeared in 1927.
This is a must-read book. Ignorance concerning this matter is quite prevalent and the negative effects are vast.
A needed study of the most quoted passage in Scripture, by Scripture itself. Trust me, your hopes for this earth and the Kingdom of God will be elevated. In this world - Jesus and his gospel shall surely prevail. Never doubt it.
The author - is he competent to write such a book? Yes indeed, he is one of a few scholars who has compiled a complete concordance of the New Testament.
Thousands of years ago, the leaders of this world were "taking counsel together against the LORD and against his anointed." Psalm 2. This still occurs on a daily basis and is becoming a huge impediment for the cause of world missions. Thankfully not an impediment which cannot and will not be overcome.
This video is about "the rest of the story." Many Canadians heard the story - but according to the comments section where this video appeared, many of them were angered and claimed to have heard nothing bout the "rest of the story", as Paul Harvey used to say.
Video is courtesy of Sky News Australia.
Every atom and every empty space testifies to its creator. Almighty God created the earth for our good and his glory. And He put mankind in it and over it. Now he is allowing his church to share the good news of his grace and creativity. He could have sent angels to perform the task...
About 3 in 10 U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated. Self-identified Christians make up 63% of U.S. population in 2021, down from 75% a decade ago.
Therefore let us employ every means and method to reach them. And let those not 'professionally' involved in ministry step up to their task. As it Acts, let those scattered abroad go everywhere preaching the Good News.
Every problem is but an opportunity in disguise. Let's roll!
Haunting pictures... But their reward will be great!
Conversion of the world... now that's a phrase seldom heard. Much less seen on the cover of a book.
Our purpose is twofold. First, to encourage every Christian to involve themselves in sharing the good news with others. And secondly, to promote the the hope of promised victory regarding the future of God's Kingdom on the earth.
I posted this book in the category 'call and ordination' because neither is actually needed for this great work of leading others to the Living Water.
The site looks good.
I am trained in mobile and desktop apps if you need my assistance.
Once more, he who really has this high estimate of Jesus will think much of him, and as the thoughts are sure to run over at the mouth, he will talk much of him. Do we so? If Jesus is precious to you, you will not be able to keep your good news to yourself; you will be whispering it into your child’s ear; you will be telling it to your husband; you will be earnestly imparting it to your friend; without the charms of eloquence you will be more than eloquent; your heart will speak, and your eyes will flash as you talk of his sweet love. Every Christian here is either a missionary or an impostor.
Recollect that. You either try to spread abroad the kingdom of Christ, or else you do not love him at all. It cannot be that there is a high appreciation of Jesus and a totally silent tongue about him. Of course I do not mean by that, that those who use the pen are silent: they are not. And those who help others to use the tongue, or spread that which others have written, are doing their part well: but that man who says, “I believe in Jesus,” but does not think enough of Jesus ever to tell another about him, by mouth, or pen, or tract, is an impostor. You are either doing good, or you are not good yourself.
If you know Christ, you are as one that has found honey; thou wilt call others to taste of it; you are like the lepers who found the food which the Syrians had cast away: thou wilt go to Samaria and tell the hungry crowd that thou hast found Jesus, and art anxious that they should find him too. Be wise in your generation and speak of him in fitting ways and at fitting times and so in every place proclaim the fact that Jesus is most precious to your soul.
Charles H. Spurgeon, from the March 1873 Sword and Trowel
Evidences, they are called, have their place in persuading unbelievers. The evidence works hand in hand with the gift of faith. We see this over and over in the words of the apostles.
This joyful puppy is proof of a loving and caring Diety. Only God could create a self-replicating, bouncing companion like this. No one else comes close. God also knew that mankind would be living in a fallen world. So he gave us faithful pets to alleviate the loneliness.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1.
Would we not we give special attention to the last words of a friend? What if that friend was someone who had cheated death and rose from the grave? What if the Almighty Creator had given this friend all authority in heaven and in earth? What if this friend promised to accompany us every step of the way?
How will we respond?
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28.
After reading this I can better understand why I appreciate and am inspired by his writings. Spurgeon had an exalted view of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
It’s a simple story that can be summarized in just two sentences: Persecution threatened to wipe out Iran’s tiny church. Instead, the Iranian church has become the fastest growing in the world, and it is influencing the region for Christ.
Everyone loves a good story. As Christians, we especially love stories that tell us how, when all seems lost, God makes a way. One such story is about the Iranian church—and it’s one of the greatest stories in the world today. As simple as it is, such an amazing story is worth examining deeper.
The Iranian revolution of 1979 established a hard-line Islamic regime. Over the next two decades, Christians faced increasing opposition and persecution: All missionaries were kicked out, evangelism was outlawed, Bibles in Persian were banned and soon became scarce, and several pastors were killed. The church came under tremendous pressure. Many feared the small Iranian church would soon wither away and die.
But the exact opposite has happened. Despite continued hostility from the late 1970s until now, Iranians have become the Muslim people most open to the gospel in the Middle East.
How did this happen? Two factors have contributed to this openness. First, violence in the name of Islam has caused widespread disillusionment with the regime and led many Iranians to question their beliefs. Second, many Iranian Christians have continued to boldly and faithfully tell others about Christ, in the face of persecution.
As a result, more Iranians have become Christians in the last 20 years than in the previous 13 centuries put together since Islam came to Iran. In 1979, there were an estimated 500 Christians from a Muslim background in Iran. Today, there are hundreds of thousands—some say more than 1 million. Whatever the exact number, many Iranians are turning to Jesus as Lord and Savior.
More from this article which appeared several years ago.
William Carey (1761 - 1834) was a missionary to India who faced great opposition against his desire to go to India. Strangely and sadly this opposition came from other church people.
Carey became associated with a group of particular Baptists and acquainted with men like Andrew Fuller and John Ryland. Carey had a burning desire for the souls of men and wanted to go to India to spread the gospel. He argued that Jesus' Great Commission applied to all Christians of all times, and he castigated fellow believers of his day for ignoring it: “Multitudes sit at ease and give themselves no concern about the far greater part of their fellow sinners, who to this day, are lost in ignorance and idolatry.”
When Carey submitted the subject of world missions for discussion at a ministers' meeting, “Whether the command given to the apostles to teach all nations was not obligatory on all succeeding ministers to the end of the world, seeing that the accompanying promise was of equal extent.” Dr. Ryland shouted, "Young man, sit down: when God pleases to covert the heathen, He will do it without your aid or mine."
Amazing new STOL (short take-off and landing) aircraft provide access to remote corners of the earth, where eager people await the gospel. Food and medicines, too..
Some models can take off in just a few feet. A long runway is not necessary.
Source: Steve Henry
This is chapter 15 of an important book.
The most serious error in much of the current 'prophetic' teaching of today is the claim that the future of Christendom is to be read not in terms of revival and victory, but of growing impotence and apostasy, and that the only hope of the world is that the Lord will by His visible coming and reign complete the task which He has so plainly entrusted to the church...
This claim is pessimistic and defeatist. I hold it to be unscriptural. The language of the Great Commission is world-embracing... The duty of the church is to address herself to the achieving of this task in anticipation of her Lord's coming, and not expect Him to call her away to glory before her task in accomplished.
from the Foreword by O.T. Allis in a book entitled Israel and the New Covenant by Roderick Campbell
Psalm 86:9. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.
David was not a believer in the theory that the world will grow worse and worse and that the dispensation will wind up with general darkness, and idolatry. Earth's sun is to go down amid tenfold night if some of our prophetic brethren are to be believed. Not so do we expect, but we look for day when the dwellers in all lands shall learn righteousness, shall trust in the Saviour, shall worship Thee alone, O God, and shall glorify thy name.
The modern notion has greatly damped the zeal of the church for missions, and the sooner it is shown to be unscriptural the better for the cause of God. It neither consorts with prophecy, honours God, nor inspires the church with ardour. Far hence be it driven!
C.H. Spurgeon, 1869.
Hi friend. We will be launching this site soon. Come back later and join in.
Actually, feel free to participate without delay...
Well. Nothing has changed since the 1800's. Bad news still sells.
As for Spurgeon, look at the feather in his hand. He had to constantly dip his quill in the ink. Yet he still found time to accomplish many things.
Let us keep our eyes on the prize. If we live for Him - we shall reign with Him!
So good to see you, Dan.