Monday, October 24, 2011

Christians and Politics

 For family devotions we usually read an entry from This Day in Baptist History by David Cummins. This year, we have been going through the third edition of these daily devotionals. I've always loved history, so I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through these books. Tonight's entry, October 24, I thought was particularly outstanding! The scripture passage to go with today's entry was Romans 13(a great chapter of the Bible!), and the title was "Pray for Those in Public Places." I have never heard the issue of Christians and politics explained so clearly before. Being a bit of a political nut, I felt I had to share this entry. ;)  I hope you will find it as enlightening as I did! :)

October24 "Pray for Those in Public Places"
Romans 13
     Modern day Americans cannot conceive of the awful burden of paying Clergy Taxes to support pastors in churches they do not attend.  It is even more incongruous for Bible-believing Baptists to accept that plan.  Sincere Bible-believing Baptists all believe in tithing to their local church. On top of that, man, embracing the concept of Love Offerings and Faith Promise giving, give substantially more through their local churches.  This means that these give a minimum of 10% to their churches, and many, with a desire to support missionaries, give well in excess of that.  The Clergy Tax forced the Baptist believers to pay for services they did not want, and would even reject!  Yet this was the procedure throughout the young colonies in New England. 
     Apparently such laws with regard to religion were not made in the Colony of Vermont until 1797.  Then an act was passed for the support of the ministry.  The Substance of the law actually empowered the inhabitants of every town or parish that consisted of at least twenty-five voters, to collect taxes, to build meeting houses, and to hire and support religious teachers of such denomination as a majority of the population thought proper.
     Every person of "adult age, was, by said act, considered as being of the religious opinion and sentiment of such society, and liable to be taxed, after residing in said town or parish one year, unless he should, previous to the vote for raising taxes, &c. obtain, and produce, to be recorded in the Town Clerk's office in the said town, a certificate of this different belief, signed by some minister of the gospel, deacon, elder, moderator, or clerk of the church, congregation, sect or denomination, to which he belonged." 1
     A slight modification of this law was granted on November 3, 1801, but still the individual seeking exemption had to present a written declaration of his objection and intent.  Finally the legislature on October 24, 1807, repealed all the statutes on the subject of taxation aimed at supporting religious organizations. 
     It is interesting that this action of the legislature was championed by two Baptists who had entered into the political arena.  Aaron Leland was Speaker of the Lower House while Ezra Butler was an active member of the State Senate.  In the Lower House the bill was debated by a committee of the whole and Mr. Leland spoke to it.  Both he and Senator Butler zealously advocated the adoption of the rescinding bill. 
     Often times the participation of Baptists in the political arena has been questioned and debated in our circles.  Surely with tender consciences men ought to prayerfully seek to know the mind of God concerning His will for their lives.  From time to time in our national Baptist history, Baptist men have been used of God in political positions to accomplish His Divine Will. Romans 13 sets forth clearly the relationship of the believer to the law. 
     I do not believe that any God-called man to the ministry ought under any consideration leave his God called position to serve in a political role.  When Mr. Spurgeon's son wrote his father that he sensed God's call upon his life, Mr. Spurgeon is said to have responded, "Son, if God has called you to preach the Gospel, don't stoop to becoming the King of England." 
     On the other hand, as we have entered into the twenty-first century, we need godly men to become members of the House and Senate to stand solidly upon principles concerning homo-sexuality (same sex marriages), abortion, legalized prostitution, and the entire spectrum of issues of morality that will impact society.  Surely Messrs, Aaron Leland and Ezra Butler were in the right place at the right time. in the Old Testament the Lord positioned Joseph and Daniel in the very right place where they could have the greatest impact.  Let us pray for sincere, godly men who seek to serve our Republic in the political arena. 

David L. Cummins 
1.David Benedict, A General History of Baptist Denomination (Boston: Lincoln & Edmands, 1813), 1:351-352.

Taken from "This Day in Baptist History III" by David L. Cummins

A thought of my own: =)
The future moral condition of our society rests upon the law makers of this country. Many Christians think that we should have nothing to do with politics, and sadly, that thinking is prominent in Baptist circles, especially. I believe that this is one reason we have strayed so far from the morals of the Founding Fathers. If we as Christians leave issues like abortion, gay marriage and education (just to name a few) up to ungodly men in high places, then we will be left with a crumbling society and no moral foundation. Actually, we are already there and it is only getting worse. I think today's entry in This Day in Baptist History III hit the nail right on the head! Not only must we pray for godly men to rise up to this important task, but we must also pray for those already in authority, whether good or bad.
I Timothy 2:1-3
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;"

Monday, October 17, 2011

BCM Softball

Fraser and Judson played the consolation game first...
Jessica played catcher for a while! 
 She also batted when they were up. She's at first!
 Go Jess! :) 
 Jessica played catcher when Tyler was batting
 Del and Daniel
 Del and I
goforth fan club
 I think Jessica looks great in orange! 
She fits the Fraser fellowship so well! :) 

Fraser lost the consolation game. :( poor Fraser

Goforth getting read to play Taylor in the Championship game!

 Paul batting
 Paul pitching
 Luke batting
 Emily played 2nd base
 Julie batting

 D'Lacey batting

 Go Michelle!
 the entire Goforth fellowship ran a victory lap around all the bases
 thanking God for the victory. 
 Goforth fellowship's 10th Softball victory!

 Emily and Michelle
Anna and I at a previous game
 Anna, Jessica and I

Family Vacation (over Labor Day weekend)

sorry for the late posting...I've been quite busy lately...

riding the ferry...
 It was midnight when we went across, 
so we were able to explore the ferry a little since 
we were the only ones on it at the time. 
out of all the many times I've been on this ferry, 
I've never noticed this sign until this year...

at the cabin...Daniel found the toys right away. ;)
so glad that Hannah was able to get off of work to come with us! :) 
Daniel broke his thumb the week before, so to make him feel better 
I labeled it his "cool thumb." don't know if that worked very well...
the boys wanted to sleep outside on the porch that night, so 
they attempted to blow up this air mattress without a pump. 
maybe this wasn't such a good idea...
getting nowhere fast...
forget it...
(just to let you know, I made Nathan take this series of 
pictures. He never really attempted to blow it up 
without a pump in the first place. 
I just thought it would look funny) :) 
Josiah found a cot in the basement, and Nathan used the 
air-lacking mattress for extra padding besides a big lounge 
pillow he found. They did survive, by the way. :) 

 Enjoying a paddle boat ride the next day...
Daniel and I

 Jo and I
 this crop duster was flying over the neighboring field all morning
Daniel wanted to go swimming, but since his cast wasn't water proof,
we came up with a way for it to become water proof. 
It's called plastic wrap, plastic wal-mart bags, and duct tape!
(Children: Do NOT try this at home...) 

I just love the scenery out on the lake!!! :) 

weren't we supposed to be on vacation? 
not from technology I guess... ;)  
Nathan and Hannah

On Friday, we went to Bay Beach in Green Bay. 
My favorite ride was not open that day (sadly) but my 
siblings didn't mind because their new Roller Coaster
was open. I WAS NOT going to go on it, so I took 
Daniel down the slides a million times. :) 

Daniel, Hannah, and Josiah on the Carousel

the Swings...another one of my favorites. :) 
<3 twins... <3 
(I love being a twin...can't you tell?) ;)

Hannah and Daniel on the Scrambler
Mom and Josiah on the Scrambler
Jo and I!
Daniel in line for bumper cars...

Mom, Dad, and Jo
on the train...
Hannah and Daniel
Nate and I on the Scrambler...
I know this is a weird picture, but I thought it was kind of cool. 
Dad was trying to zoom in to get our faces, but got this 
instead. I think it's pretty unique... :) 
On the Ferris Wheel (another one I will not ride)
Jo and Hannah
Mom <3

we passed Lambeau Field on the way back! GO PACK! 

On Saturday Dad, Nathan, Josiah, and I drove to 
Ontario, WI for some canoeing on the Kickapoo River! 
We met up with Britney and Beau and they went with us. 
Mom, Hannah, and Daniel enjoyed a day at the cabin, 
and shopping some of the small stores in Adams-Friendship. 

lookout point
exhausted after a long day...
On Sunday, we went to the Baptist Church in Ontario. 
It is right next to a corn field (sounds like Mukwonago) ;) 
so Nathan got his picture taken with the corn since 
his summer job was corn pollination. ;) 
small country church...I love it... :) 
the Family! :) 
the town where we vacationed
we found this awesome John Deere tractor a couple minutes 
down the road from our cabin. 
It's HUGE!
I was thinking this might make a nice "BCMobile" ;) 
It's big enough for the carpool, that's for sure! 

nothin' runs like a Deere!

pictures of the cabin before we left for home.

we stopped in the Dells on the way home and 
visited some of their souvenir shops. 
I found some awesome shirts there!

thought this was funny!
the kids!
Daniel dropping pennies in the water fountain
Dad and Mom! <3
This is great...
this one too!
this one is too good! :) 
in this one shirt shop, there was this weird troll
that would sing and move. It was motion activated, so 
every time you walked by it, it would start singing 
this annoying song. Dad wanted to stand by it for 
perspectives' sake. Mom thought there was a 
little coincidence. ;) 
too true...

I actually bought this shirt! It was just too good to pass up. 
It was also the only shirt of it's kind there, and just my size! :) 
Mom thinks I'll make people mad with it, but I'm only 
exercising my 1st Amendment rights... ;) 
It was a great vacation over all! We wish it would have 
been a bit longer, but we're glad that we were able to 
get away for as long as we did. :) 
Can't wait till next year! :)