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Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:42 pm
by burnt
March 22, 1819: "Birth of Joseph P. Webster, American sacred music writer. During his lifetime, Webster composed over 1,000 pieces of music, including the still-popular hymn tune SWEET BY AND BY ("There's a Land That is Fairer Than Day")." (

March 23,1966: "Archbishop of Canterbury Arthur Michael Ramsey met and exchanged public greetings with Pope Paul VI in Rome. It was the first official meeting between heads of the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in over 400 years." (SLO)

March 24, 1980, a man who unblinkingly stood against a communist government's oppression of the people paid for his courage with his life - ... 30844.html

March 25, 1525: Conrad Grebel drew crowds in Switzerland - Why? A college professor told one of our classes that there don't seem to be many preachers of the Word who are willing to stand up and proclaim the truth in all its power and simplicity. He said that is such a preacher would appear, he would fill churches again because people have a hunger to hear truth. According to the following account, Conrad Grebel was such a preacher - ... 29934.html

March 26,1840: "Birth of George Smith, famed English Assyriologist. During several expeditions to the site of ancient Nineveh, (1873-74), Smith unearthed over 3,000 cuneiform tablets, including one which told the story of an ancient deluge, similar to Noah's Flood." (SLO)

March 27, 1840: "Scottish clergyman Robert Murray McCheyne wrote in a letter: 'No person can be a child of God without living in secret prayer; and no community of Christians can be in a lively condition without unity in prayer.' "(SLO)

Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:15 am
by burnt
March 29, 1847: "Birth of Winfield Scott Weeden, American sacred chorister and hymnwriter. During his life he led music and singing schools for the YMCA and Christian Endeavor. Of his several musical compositions, Weeden is best remembered today for the hymn, "I Surrender All." " (
Matthew 19: 27 "Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?"
Luke 14:33 "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."

March 30, 1917: "All imperial lands, as well as lands belonging to monasteries, were confiscated by the Russian provisional government." (SLO)

March 31, 1860 - was born a gypsy boy Rodney Smith - who later came to faith in Christ and traded his thieving ways for giving out the Gospel message... God works through whatever means He chooses! He is not restricted by our past or present failures, but His Spirit can redeem any and all who turn to Him. ... 30515.html

March 31,1958: "English apologist C. S. Lewis wrote in "Letters to an American Lady": 'What most often interrupts my own prayers is not great distractions but tiny ones things one will have to do or avoid in the course of the next hour.' " (SLO) Anyone who has set a time that they determined to spend in prayer knows what Lewis spoke of -that job on the list, the thing I forgot to do yesterday - they all have a way of forcing themselves into one's consciousness when trying to focus on conversing with the heavenly father.

And here is a quote from Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer that shows the importance of keeping our faith centered on God rather than a mere, fallible person -

March 31, 1976: 'You must not lose confidence in God because you lost confidence in your pastor. If our confidence in God had to depend upon our confidence in any human person, we would be on shifting sand.' " (SLO)

"Jesus did not commit Himself to them…, for He knew what was in man." (John 2:24-25)

This very significant teaching from Oswald Chambers speaks further to placing our trust in the right place -

April 1, 1872, the English working man lost a true hero and champion of their dignity and rights. After spending his whole life and being in bringing practical Christianity into every area of life, F.D. Maurice died. This excerpt summarizes his efforts -

"Maurice contended that society could only be transformed through the incarnation of Christ. Christians must become "socialists," that is, socially active, and socialists must become Christians. He was a founder and the chief voice of the Christian Socialists. ..." ( (Note the balance that he struck!) ... 30561.html

Jesus did not invent a constitution by which governments should administer welfare to the needy. Rather, He taught His followers that they are to be the means by which the needs of the underprivileged and the broken ones are to be met - "Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me..." (Matthew 25:40)

April 2, 1955: "British apologist C. S. Lewis wrote in "Letters to an American Lady": 'Fear is horrid, but there's no reason to be ashamed of it. Our Lord was afraid (dreadfully so) in Gethsemane. I always cling to that as a very comforting fact.' " (SLO)

Fear is a natural response to a threat - we all feel it at times. David, the shepherd boy evidently knew fear and wrote this "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1, ESV)

April 3, 1950: "Death of American hymnwriter Ira B. Wilson, 70. Associated with Lorenz Publishing in Dayton, Ohio for over 40 years, Wilson's most enduring sacred composition was "Make Me a Blessing" (aka "Out of the Highways and Byways of Life")." (SLO)

One can serve Christ and "be a blessing" regardless of location - in the heart of the city or the middle of the Heartland!

April 4,1687: "James II issued a Declaration of Indulgence allowing full liberty of worship in England. The document allowed peaceable meetings of nonconformists and forgave all penalties for ecclesiastical offenses." (SLO)

Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:36 am
by burnt
It was the greatest announcement - EVER!

"The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you..." (Matthew 28: 5-7a, NASB)


A Blessed Easter to all! May you see Him going ahead of you in the coming year.

Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:38 pm
by burnt
April 13, 1742: "...the world first heard the lovely overture, memorable arias and majestic choruses of the most famous oratorio ever written...George Frederick Handel's Messiah..."

There are few who have not heard at least bits of this masterpiece, especially the most famous part of all, the "Hallelujah Chorus" - ... 30238.html

Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:14 am
by burnt
April 19, 1529: "In Germany at the Diet of Spires (Speyer), a document signed by Lutheran leaders in fourteen cities lodged a "protest" which demanded a freedom of conscience and the right of minorities. Henceforth, the German Lutheran Reformers were known as "Protestants." " ( ... 29946.html

Interestingly, Luther, Zwingli and later, John Calvin among others, did not see the need to extend to the despised 'Anabaptists' the same liberty and freedom of conscience that the 'Protestants' requested from the civic/religious powers of the day. In fact, history remains strangely oblivious to the severe and beastly treatment to which the mainstream denominations subjected these quiet and peaceful disciples of Jesus Christ.

All they wanted was the freedom to demonstrate their faith in Jesus Christ through obedient living, rather than holding to a mere verbal profession as was the norm for much of the Christendom of their day.

April 20, 1826: "Birth of Erastus Johnson, American hymnwriter. A lifelong student of the Bible, Johnson, at age 47, penned the hymn, "O Sometimes the Shadows are Deep" (a.k.a. "The Rock That Is Higher Than I")." (SLO)

April 21, 1649: "The Toleration Act was passed by the Maryland Assembly. It protected Roman Catholics within the American colony against Protestant harassment, which had been rising as Oliver Cromwell's power in England increased." (SLO)

April 21,1828: "English churchman John Henry Newman wrote in a letter to his sister: 'May I be patient! It is so difficult to make real what one believes, and to make these trials, as they are intended, real blessings.'" (SLO)

I'm not sure that this lesson has ever been more real than in the past couple of weeks since I had my spine surgery. The doctor put strong limitations on my activities for 6 weeks - an especially difficult trial since the grass is now turning green, fences need repair, ground needs to be cultivated, general cleanup is beckoning - but the doctor is always each day is a test of patience and a lesson in depending on others to do what needs to be done.

I know it in my head, but to apply it to my will is the real challenge!

April 22: The date which is dedicated to the memory of the life and work of Origen. In spite of his faults, he was a man of profound influence of the life of the early church and many of his writings are still held in high regard today. The dates of his birth and death are not certain. ... 29622.html

April 23, 33: The possible date of Christ's resurrection from the grave! Without this event, the Christian faith is meaningless... ... 29555.html

April 24, 1944: "In deciding the legal case "United States v. Ballard," the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the general principle that "the truth of religious claims is not for secular authority to determine." " (SLO)

April 25, 1800: "Death of William Cowper, 69, English poet. A lifelong victim of depression, Cowper nevertheless left a great spiritual literary legacy, including three enduring hymns: "God Moves in a Mysterious Way," "Oh, For a Closer Walk with God" and "There is a Fountain." " (SLO)

Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:35 am
by burnt
April 28, 1789, began a violent chain of events that eventually led to the planting of the Christian faith on Pitcairn Island by an unlikely group of men - mutineers from the British ship, "Bounty". This island chain lies on a line between Australia and South America, somewhat closer to S.A.

That the Gospel should take hold in such an unlikely environment, and with such great effect, without the careful oversight of some foreign missionary agency or Sunday School program is a stunning testament to the power of the Living Word, directed by the same Holy Spirit that was given to us at Pentecost when our Lord ascended into heaven. When the deep spiritual need of some humans met the divine grace offered through Jesus Christ, it made a difference!

And the same is still true today.

"It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.” " (Romans 1:16, 17, The Message)

But further reading about the more recent, sad history of this island shows us that while God's grace is free and available to all who will receive it, this grace must be appropriated and maintained by each successive generation or it will become ineffective, leading a people back into the same sinful and ugly lifestyle as that from which they were once delivered. ... 30308.html

April 28, 1955: Barely more than 1 year after his first flight into New Guinea, a Canadian pilot, Albert Lewis, meets an untimely end while flying a solo mission into some challenging country. He risked and eventually lost his life taking the Gospel message to the unreached, but thousands of people came to know Jesus Christ as a result of his sacrificial work - ... 30809.html

April 30,1904: "Birth of John T. Benson, Jr, religious composer and former president of Heartwarming Music in Nashville. His best-known sacred composition was the hymn, "Love Lifted Me."" (

May 2,1949: "American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'The man who will not act until he knows all will never act at all.' " (

Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 7:41 am
by burnt
May 5, 1925: "High school biology teacher John T. Scopes, 24, was arrested for teaching the theory of evolution in his Dayton, Tennessee classroom." (

Since then, Biblical teaching and prayer have been banned from the public classroom while evolution is taught as the most likely theory for human existence or practically "fact".

More recently, prayer has been banished from the council chambers in our local municipality...the "progressives" are firmly in charge.

Or so it appears.

What happens when we reject the Creator and design? Bill Johnston, pastor at Bethel Pentecostal in California says this: "When you get rid of the Creator, you get rid of design. When you get rid of design, you get rid of purpose. When you get rid of purpose, you get rid of accountability."

"And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper..." (Romans 1:28, NASB)

May 5, 1950: "American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'The conflict of science and religion is fought between the errors of both camps.' "(SLO)

Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 3:34 pm
by Shortgrass
May 3, 2015: Shortgrass encouraged by being reminded of God's greatness in the past, and further encouraged by the thought that He is by no means done working in the lives of sinful men.

Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 9:37 pm
by Big Muddy rancher
Shortgrass wrote:May 3, 2015: Shortgrass encouraged by being reminded of God's greatness in the past, and further encouraged by the thought that He is by no means done working in the lives of sinful men.

That's good news :!: :D

Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Sun May 10, 2015 6:28 pm
by burnt
May 10, 1886; Birth of German theologian, Karl Barth. A "liberal" theologian in his younger day, he became convinced that faith and theology needed to accurately reflect the nature of God based strictly on a Biblical basis, not a merging of ideas of the popular religions of the day: "... averring that religions are man's attempt to reach God, whereas Christianity is God's reaching down to humans through Christ Jesus." (

In our practice, do we always make this distinction? It seems to be in our human nature to try to create and follow formulas about how to live a life of faith in Jesus Christ, rather than simply allowing Him to live through us by coming to Him in faith...

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:12, KJV) ... 30612.html

May 13, 1619: The execution of Johan Van Oldenbarneveldt, a Dutch statesman who, over the course of his notable lifetime, held many powerful positions in government. Most significantly, he helped Maurice, Prince of the Untied Netherlands, orchestrate Dutch independence from Spanish rule.

Yet in his later years, he became a victim of the suspicions of Maurice, a dictatorial leader who subscribed to Calvinist thought, when he felt that Oldenbarnveltd's Arminian and more Libertarian leanings presented a threat to his imperialistic objectives. This conflict spilled over all of the Netherlands to the point where riots broke out and the military was called in to quell the fighting factions, split along Calvinist and Arminian lines.

The Calvinists, who believed that all of life's events are predetermined or appointed by a sovereign God and leaving nothing to be determined by man's freewill, were determined to enforce their religious views with the help of the power of the state.

However, in an initiative consistent with his Arminian belief system, Johan Van Oldenbarneveldt wanted to see a separation between Church and state. Furthermore, he took actions to create a Province of Holland, a state which practically declared its independence from any imperial ties.

The following quote provides a tremendous insight into the connection between one's faith-base and political bent -"Politics often mirrors faith. Oldenbarnevelt, champion of man's spiritual freedom, favored a freer nation and a more liberal government. He was for state's rights. The strict Calvinists preferred a centralized government and fewer state's rights." (

The Calvinists provide a strange dichotomy here - if they truly believed that God is sovereign and rules unerringly over all of mankind's actions, why would they care whether or not people conformed to a particular set of rules or governance by any particular state? Would not any and all choices made by people automatically be a result of God's divine rule? Did their ensuing, heavy-handed actions not indicate the they believed that a sovereign God needed a bit of human help? :lol2:

Maurice objected strongly to the remarkable political achievements of the man who helped him reach power and overruled all of his actions. In an apparent act of jealous treachery, Maurice invited Oldenbarneveldt and his fellow officers to a meeting where he had them captured, thrown into captivity and eventually, after a mockery of a trial which didn't allow the victims to provide a fair defense, Oldenbarneveltd was executed. ... 30068.html

May 14, 1948: "After nineteen centuries of enforced exile, the Jewish people regained their homeland when the State of Israel was formally proclaimed in Tel Aviv. On this same date, the U.S. became the first world nation to recognize the newly-refounded state of Israel." (

May 14, 1950: "American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'To believe is to act as though a thing were so. Merely saying a thing is so is no proof of my believing it." (SLO)

May 15, 1816: "Birth of Sylvanus Dryden Phelps, U.S. Baptist clergyman and poet. His several writings included the hymn, "Savior, Thy Dying Love." " (SLO)

Another of my favorite hymns from over the years -

Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Sun May 17, 2015 7:40 pm
by burnt
May 17, 1527: "Michael Sattler tried for being Anabaptist" ( He was found guilty and condemned to torture and death. ... l-sattler/

May 21, 1527: The martyrdom of Michael Sattler - "On the morning of that day this noble man of God, in sight of horrible torture, prayed for his judges and persecutors and admonished the people to repentance. He endured the inhuman torture stipulated in the sentence. Then his mangled body was tied to a ladder. He prayed again for his persecutors while the ladder was placed upon the stake. He had promised his friends to give them a sign from the burning stake, to show that he remained steadfast to the end, enduring it all willingly for Christ. The fire having severed the cords wherewith he was bound, he lifted up his hand for a sign to them. Soon it was noticed that his spirit had taken its flight to be with Him whom he had steadfastly confessed under the most excruciating torture, a true hero of the faith." ( ... tml#mirror"

May 22, 1868: "Birth of William R. Newell, American clergyman and devotional writer. He published expository works on the Bible, and is remembered today as author of the hymn, "At Calvary" (a.k.a. "Years I Spent in Vanity and Pride")." (SLO)

I am glad for what happened at Calvary, that William Newell wrote the song and that this family sings it -

May 23, 1633: "By French edict, only Catholic settlers were permitted permanent residence within the country known as New France (called "Canada" today), thus ending 30 years of attempted colonization by Huguenots (Protestants)." (SLO)

Re: This week in Christian History

Posted: Sun May 31, 2015 4:37 am
by burnt
Sorry for missing last week - after nearly completing the posting for the week, I lost the material and did not get around to redoing it. The login troubles that I have with this site have taught me to prepare a word document which I can save and then copy and paste onto the site page…

May 31, 1579: Accidental Discovery of Roman Catacombs - “Forbidden to bury their dead in regular burial grounds, the Christians of Rome interred them in underground vaults used by the poor. Called catacombs, these were built outside the city…” (

This vast labyrinth of underground burial chambers stretched for hundreds of miles into the volcanic rock that formed the foundations of Rome.They were developed through the first 3 centuries of persecuted Christendom and now provide a treasure trove of historical insights into the lives and culture of those first Christians whose remains were interred in them.

[As an interesting side-note, there were three layers of strata laid down by volcanic activity and the Roman catacombs had their beginning in the second layer in a mixture of rock and earth. Below them, rock was quarried out to build Rome. The upper layer of strata was comprised of pozzolana which, when pulverized and mixed with lime in the correct proportions and then with water, formed concrete! Although discovered by the Greeks, it took Roman ingenuity to perfect this technology and put it to work in building an empire. Many ancient Roman structures still stand today, with underwater pier and cementworks being as sound as they were when constructed 2100 years ago. How will our concrete structures look even 100 years from now!?]

What becomes abundantly clear from the inscriptions or epitaphs on the graves is the transformation of the lives and relationships of those whose remains lay within. These words, etched into the stone tiles used to seal the burial chamber, speak of the love, purity and unity that characterized the earthly life of the believer. Some spoke of the changed social relationships between slave and owner, statesman and common person, all because of their shared love, faith and experience in one person - the Lord Jesus Christ.

These burial grounds lost their protected status after the fall of Rome to the Goths (circa 400) and eventually, through the Middle Ages, the catacombs were forgotten. However, after their rediscovery on this date in 1579, there began a serious exploration, cataloguing and eventual mapping of these seemingly endless and confusing tunnels, first by Antonio Bosio and then by hundreds of others who followed his footsteps down these “hallowed halls” through the centuries since then.
As a result of their dedication to studying the contents of the catacombs, we now have a much fuller and more accurate view of the personal lives of our early Christian predecessors and how they stood in contrast to the culture and conditions in which they lived. A contrast, the records show, which cost many of them their lives as they would not capitulate to the demands of a corrupt and viscous secular society. ... 30027.html

June 1, 1793: “Birth of Henry Francis Lyte, Scottish clergyman who wrote the hymns 'Abide with Me' and 'Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken.'” (

June 2, 597: “Augustine, missionary to England and first archbishop of Canterbury, baptized Saxon king Ethelbert. Afterward, the Christian faith spread rapidly among the Angles and Saxons.” (SLO) Ethelbert went on to become the first English king to develop a written law code. Eventually, this code extended protection to the Church and to the civil liberties of the people; especially noteworthy is the Code’s mention of women’s rights and those of servants and slaves.

Then this: June 3, 1647: The Puritan British Parliament bans Christmas and other holidays." (ChristianityToday)

June 4, 1820: Birth of Elvina M Hall, who wrote the words to the hymn “Jesus Paid it All” while the pastor prayed a particularly long prayer on Sunday morning…

June 5, 754: “English monk Boniface, missionary to Germany, dies with 50 other Christians in an attack by angry pagans. The missionary, famous for smashing pagan idols, also established a monastery at Fulda that is still the center of Roman Catholicism in Germany.” (CT)

Boniface is remembered for his legendary fearlessness in confronting the pagan beliefs of his day. Perhaps the most notable of his feats was when, in Lower Hessia (in west-central Germany), he felled a massive oak tree dedicated to the god Thor. With every blow of the axe, he is said to have preached the Gospel to the fearful onlookers. Finally, the tree crashed to the ground and Boniface used its wood to build a chapel. The locals, astounded that he was not struck dead by a lightning bolt, then believed that the God he proclaimed was the true God.

Yet his mission work was made challenging by the people’s relentless drift back into paganism, heretical beliefs and ungodly living. Is the work of the disciples of Christ any less challenging today? And is our faith based on the spectacular and miraculous, or is it grounded in the knowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord regardless of our circumstances? Only time and testing will tell... ... 29751.html

Nothing will...separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus... (Rom 8:39b)

June 6, 1844: English merchant George Williams founds the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) out of his London meetings for prayer and Bible reading. (CT)