Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving eve

"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."
John 15:18 - 19

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
1 Peter 4:12 - 13

There is a certain irony that, in the weeks before we celebrate Thanksgiving, a group of religious leaders thought it necessary to declare in writing certain basic truths, declaring their intention to uphold those truths even to the point, if needed, of civil disobedience.

Weren't the first pilgrims in search of a land where they could worship free of government interference? How far we've come in almost four hundred years; today, having firm moral and religious convictions may put you in direct violation of the laws of the land.

The Manhattan Declaration is a remarkable document; remarkable in the clarity with which it states fundamental truths common to several Christian faiths, and remarkable due to the necessity of reaffirming those truths. Take the time to read the entire seven page document; if you don't want to take the time, read William Murchison's quick take on the political implications of Christians who are willing to stand firmly on their principles. Note that his article is a bit out of date; as of two minutes ago, the number of signers of the declaration stands at 107,903.

In his first epistle, Peter addresses the subject of suffering unjustly, suffering simply because you are identified with Christ and all for which He stands. Peter reminds us that we shouldn't be surprised when this happens, as Christ Himself was the victim of the greatest injustice of all: dying to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world. If we are truly living our faith, suffering and persecution will come.

Lord willing, if enough committed Christians rise up, we can stem the tide of moral deterioration in this country - for a while. But if you believe in God's promises, you know that it would be a temporary stay. There will come a time when standing up for your faith will mean much worse than civil disobedience.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Revelation 6:9 - 10

May we have the courage to stand up for our convictions.

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