On This Day 451 Years Ago, French Huguenots Offered The First Protestant Prayer In North America

The first French settlement in the present-day United States was Fort Caroline on the banks of the St. John’s River in Florida.

It was founded by French Christians known as Huguenots, who came for religious freedom.

They were escaping the Wars of Religion which ravaged France for nearly a century.

Religious persecution increased against the Protestant Huguenots especially after the Massacre of Vassy on March 1, 1562, the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre on August 23-24, 1572, and the assassination of King Henry IV on May 4, 1610.

The next French King, Louis XIII, had as his chief minister Cardinal Richelieu, who consolidated state power, crushed dissent, confiscated lands, and laid the groundwork for the creation of an absolute monarchy in France.

Cardinal Richelieu destroyed the castles of the princes, dukes, and lesser aristocrats so they could not rebel.

Richelieu imposed burdensome taxes, censored the press, and had such a broad network of internal spies spying on citizens that it is considered the origin of the modern secret service.

Feared for having his political rivals arrested and executed, Cardinal Richelieu was portrayed as a power-hungry villain in Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers (1844).

Richelieu’s strengthening of France led to the eventual bankrupting and decline of the powerful Spanish-Austrian Habsburg Dynasty and Holy Roman Empire in Europe.

The French Christian Huguenots in Florida set a day of thanksgiving and offered the first Protestant prayer in North America on JUNE 30, 1564:

We sang a psalm of Thanksgiving unto God, beseeching Him that it would please Him to continue His accustomed goodness towards us.

Rep. Charles E. Bennett sponsored a bill, September 21, 1950, establishing the Fort Caroline National Memorial.

In 1989, Rep. Bennett recited the history:

The 425th anniversary of the beginning settlements by Europeans…renamed from Fort Caroline to San Mateo, to San Nicolas, to Cowford and finally to Jacksonville in 1822…

Three small ships carrying 300 Frenchmen led by Rene de Laudonniere anchored in the river known today as the St. Johns.

Bennett continued:

On June 30, 1564, construction of a triangular-shaped fort…was begun with the help of a local tribe of Timucuan Indians…

Home for this hardy group of Huguenots…their strong religious…motivations inspired them.

Rep. Bennett related the colony’s unfortunate end:

Fort Caroline existed but for a short time…

Spain…captured…the fort and…slaughtered most of its inhabitants in September of 1565.

The Spanish governor of Florida, Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, then founded St. Augustine, Fa., the first permanent settlement in North America.

The Pilgrims originally considered going to Guyana in South America, but the Fort Caroline massacre dissuaded them.

William Bradford wrote in Of Plymouth Plantation:

Some…had thoughts and were earnest for Guiana… Those for Guiana alleged that the country was rich, fruitful, and blessed with a perpetual spring…

Bradford added:

…but to this it was answered, that it was out of question…

If they should there live, and do well, the jealous Spaniard would never suffer them long, but would displant or overthrow them, as he did the FRENCH in FLORIDA.

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Judicial Tyranny And Dark Days In America

What should we do when laws are passed or upheld that go against our faith and conscience?

Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry in all 50 states, a historic decision striking down gay marriage bans and defying nature, biology, reason, and the Constitution.

First, the Obamacare ruling.

With the Supreme Court issuing its second major decision upholding abortion funding in Obamacare, we again have an opportunity to speak, act, or simply do nothing. Their decision in King v. Burwell says that millions of Americans can receive taxpayer subsidies allowing them to purchase health care plans under the [Un]Affordable Care Act.

Inconvenient pregnancy? No problem. American citizens will pay for your abortion. Next up: redefining God-ordained marriage as deviance or whatever you want it to be.

It doesn’t matter that the majority of people oppose Obamacare and homosexual behavior. We have surpassed the point in America where government power trumps the will of the people. Moreover, it was wrong of Supreme Court justices Ginsburg and Kagan not to recuse themselves from this case–seeing they gladly participated in same sex “marriage” ceremonies in the past.

Five progressive Supreme Court justices have now redefined marriage – the only definition of marriage known throughout history – completely ignoring 51 million American voters who have cast ballots in favor of biblical, natural marriage in state constitutional amendments.

In an 1820 letter to militia officer William Jarvis, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

You seem … to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy … Their power is the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control.

Jefferson was one of several who warned that the courts could gain power little by little, advancing like a thief “until all shall be usurped from the states.” We truly do not give America’s Framers and Founders enough credit for their wisdom and foresight.

More than 30 states have voted to ban same-sex marriage in recent years; but homosexual activists have won numerous court battles recently, including today’s daunting decision.

When something good, moral, and biblical is eliminated or removed, something bad, immoral, and unbiblical often replaces it. (Look at what has been ushered into government schools.)

Francis Schaeffer said:

We as Bible-believing evangelical Christians are locked in a battle. This is not a friendly gentleman’s discussion. It is a life and death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ.

Opposition is guaranteed. Most of us understand that living our faith in public will attract resistance, ridicule, and even hatred. If we remember our struggle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), we will not take it personally when people come against us.

Religious leaders in America should be bracing for a cultural and legal assault on churches, ministries, and religious schools. Non-profits holding to Christian values must prepare as well.

Our founders realized that if sinful men violated their God-given parameters as well as the constitutional limits of their office, government could become abusive. Since they established a system in which all three government branches were accountable to the people, they would be astonished today that the citizens the Constitution was written to protect have done little to resist the corruption, growth, and immorality of the United States government.

We are continuing to witness the consequences of Christians taking the path of least resistance. The world often interprets our silence as approval, so we must speak up about all sin as well as the need for repentance–and live the truth regarding marriage. We also must pray for a country that has turned its back on Almighty God, and for a lukewarm church in desperate need of revival.

The stakes have been raised. God is watching, and He knows those who are His.

For the Lord is our judge, The Lord is our lawgiver, The Lord is our king; He will save us. Isaiah 33:22

David Fiorazo is author of the new book, The Cost of Our Silence.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Why Homosexuality Is Not Like Other Sins

Homosexuality is not the only sin mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

It’s not the only sin mentioned, but it is different from all the rest–at least right now. At this moment in history, contrary to the other sins listed here, homosexuality is celebrated by our larger society with pioneering excitement. It’s seen as a good thing, as the new hallmark of progress.

To be sure, the masses increasingly make no bones about sin in general. Innumerable people are idolaters, not to mention those who are sexually immoral, or who commit adultery, or who steal and are greedy and get wasted and revile neighbors and swindle others. It happens all the time. And each of these unrepentant sins are the same in the sense of God’s judgment. They all deserve His wrath. And we’re constantly reminded that “such were some of you” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Concerning Popular Opinion

But as far as I know, none of those sins is applauded so aggressively by whole groups of people who advocate for their normalcy. Sexual immorality is no longer the tip of the spear for the progressive push. Adultery is still frowned upon by many. Accusations of greed will still smear a candidate’s political campaign. Thievery is still not openly embraced, and there are no official initiatives saying it’s okay to go take things that don’t belong to you. There’s no such thing as a drunk agenda yet. Most aren’t proud to choose a beverage over stability, and there aren’t any petitions that the government should abolish the driving restrictions of inebriated individuals. Reviling others still isn’t seen as the best way to win friends and influence people. Swindling, especially on a corporate level, usually gets someone thrown into jail. In fact, the infrastructure of the American economy depends upon, in some measure, our shared disdain for conniving scammers.

Perhaps excepting fornication, these sins are still seen in a pretty negative light. But not homosexual practice, not by those who are now speaking loudest and holding positions of prominence. According to the emerging consensus, homosexuality is different.

What to Be Against

As Christians, we believe with deepest sincerity that the embrace of homosexual practice, along with other sins, keeps people out of the kingdom of God. And if our society celebrates it, we can’t both be caring and not say anything. Too much is at stake. This means it is an oversimplification to say that Christians — or conservative evangelicals — are simply against homosexuality. We are against any sin that restrains people from everlasting joy in God–and homosexual practice just gets all the press because, at this cultural moment, it’s the main sin that is so freshly endorsed in our context by the powers that be. Let’s hope that if there’s some new cultural agenda promoting thievery — one that says it’s now our right to take whatever we want from others by whatever means — that Christians will speak out against it. The issue is sin. That’s what we’re against. And that’s what should make our voice so unique when we speak into this debate.

Some would like to see this whole issue of homosexuality divided into two camps: those who celebrate it and those who hate it. Both of these groups exist in our society. There are the growing numbers, under great societal pressure, who praise homosexuality. We might call them the left. And there are people who hate homosexuality, with the most bigoted rationale and apart from any Christian concern. We might call them the right.

Those Glorious Words

The current debate is plagued by this binary lens. Those on the left try to lump everyone who disagrees with them into that right side. If you don’t support, you hate. Meanwhile, those on the right see compromise and spinelessness in anyone who doesn’t get red-faced and militant. If you don’t hate, you support.

But true followers of Christ will walk neither path. We have something to say that no one else is saying, or can say.

Distancing ourselves from both the left and the right, we don’t celebrate homosexual practice. We acknowledge God’s clear revealed word that it is sin, and we don’t hate those who embrace homosexuality; we love them enough to not just collapse under the societal pressure. We speak the truth in love into this confusion, saying, simultaneously “That’s wrong” and “I love you.” We’re not the left; we say that this is wrong. And we’re not the right; we say that you’re loved. We speak good news, with those sweetest, deepest, most glorious words of the cross — the same words that God spoke us — “You’re wrong, and you’re loved.”

God tells us we’re wrong, that the wages of sin is death, that unrepentant rebellion means judgment, that our rescue required the cursed death of his Son (Romans 3:23; John 3:36; Galatians 3:13). And God tells us we’re loved, that even while we were sinners, Jesus died for us; that while we were unrighteous, Jesus suffered in our place; that though we were destined for wrath, Jesus welcomes us into glory (Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:1–7).

Where the Gospel Shines

You’re wrong and you’re loved — that’s the unique voice of the Christian. That’s what we say, speaking from our own experience, as Tim Keller so well puts it: “we’re far worse than we ever imagined, and far more loved than we could ever dream.”

That’s our message in this debate; when society’s elites despise us, when pop songs vilify us, and when no one else has the resources to say anything outside of two extremes, we have this incomparable opportunity to let the gospel shine, to reach out in grace: you’re wrong and you’re loved. We get to say this.

That’s why homosexuality is not like other sins.

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is the lead pastor of Cities Church in Minneapolis/St. Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their five children. He is co-editor of Designed for Joy: How the Gospel Impacts Men and Women, Identity and Practice.

This commentary was originally published at DesiringGod.org and is reprinted here with permission.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Supreme Court Provokes The Wrath Of God

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”  Galatians 6:7

“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.”  Psalm 145:8

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”  John 3:36

Certain people insist Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. The truth is he affirmed the entire Judeo-Christian Scripture, even foreseeing the writing of the New Testament. That ultimate moral authority prohibits all sexual behavior outside monogamous, heterosexual marriage. All such behavior is called sin, including fornication, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, polygamy, sodomy, and pedophilia. Therefore, Jesus calls homosexuality sin. Despite the Supreme Court, there is no denying this fact.

God in His wisdom says ‘yes’ to some things and ‘no’ to other things. He does so for our own good. Sin is a killer, a destroyer, the evil force, harmful in all its manifestations. Consequently, our loving heavenly Father says no to sin, urging us to shun it, even sending his Son to deal with it that we might live in health in this world, and forever in the next. The homosexual lifestyle is terribly unhealthy by any measure. Promoting it is not an act of love. Warning people about the temporal and eternal consequences is an act of love, the true path to liberty, contrary to what Obama stated.

A time comes when God’s patience will wear out, when people who actively promote sin are given over to their lusts, when judgment descends revealing His wrath. That time rapidly approaches.

Mere man cannot violate the laws of nature and of nature’s God without suffering terrible consequences.

When the state comes along forcing a sin agenda, it provokes both the wrath of God and the sentiment of the majority. The activist/legislative Supreme Court (violating the very Constitution the Justices are sword to uphold) affirmed same sex marriage in its ruling June 26. Think of it: the Supreme Court mocked God. Wrath and judgment will follow.

We did not learn during the last 30 years watching millions of people die from HIV/AIDS. In 2013 alone, 1.5 million men, women, and children died from HIV/AIDS. Europeans affirmed same sex marriage long ago, and now you see massive demonstrations in France and Italy against it, and growing opposition in Scandinavia. Still, we do not learn.

If trends continue, we will not learn in the next 30 years. Read about the judgment to come in Revelation.

Revelation 6

Revelation 16

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Priest Spit On At Gay Parade. His Loving Reaction Surprised Many…

#LoveWins

#LoveConquorsHate

#LoveIsLove

#WhatIsLoveBabyDontHurtMeDontHurtMeNoMore

Remember all the talk about how “love wins” and how we have to be tolerant of all the different things? Apparently, that doesn’t count if you’re a Priest walking down the street.

frmorris

To be fair, we have no proof of this incident. I know Father Jonathan, and he’s an incredibly friendly gentleman. Almost to the point of being annoyingly nice. So this is mere conjecture, but I’ve never known him to sound a false alarm.

Also, to be fair, Fr. Jonathan Morris is on Fox News and expresses opinions with which leftists disagree. If anything, it’s his fault for being out in public where leftists can see him and get triggered by his mere existence. What choice did they have? This is how they do.

Father Jonathan had a choice, and he chose love. Irony much?

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth