Highest Law...conclusionWritten by Terry Dashner
Faith Fellowship Church…PO Box 1586…Broken Arrow, OK 74013…918-451-0270… Pastor Terry Dashner…
Higher Law series Lesson Three
“Evolution of Inalienable Rights”
“The Dawning of a New Day”
History is divided into three parts: ancient history, Middle Ages, and current Modern era. The greatest turn in history was Reformation in modern era of history. The Reformation birthed and nurtured science, art, and religion like no other period of history before it. I’m going to continue my topic on sacredness of human life as it evolved from heights of Reformation to its fall in present day America. Once again, I begin with teachings of John Calvin in late 16th century.
On July 10, 1509, John Calvin, destined to become one of most influential Protestant leaders of all time, was born in Noyon (nwa-yon), France. After studying law and liberal arts and mastering ancient classical books, Calvin became associated with a group of Renaissance French scholars who were very critical of Romanism. Sometime before 1534, Calvin later described, God “subdued…[his] heart to docility [obedience] by sudden conversion,” and Calvin was henceforth committed to Protestant faith. Calvin had opportunity to put many of his ideas into practice in city of Geneva, Switzerland. Exiled Protestants from all over Europe found refuge in Calvin’s Geneva. Future leaders of Reformation in other lands received training in basics of faith and practice, and Geneva became known as “Protestant Rome.” John Knox Scottish Reformation leader, who spent several years in exile in Geneva, called city “the most perfect school of Christ.”
At heart of Calvin’s system of theology is his strong belief in sovereignty of God. Calvin believed that God “predestines” all things according to His own will. Everything God does is for His glory, although finite man does not understand God’s ways. Calvin applied his teaching concerning sovereignty of God to everyday life in Geneva. He sought to build a Christian community based upon Word of God. Taking Bible, especially Old Testament, as his law book, Calvin made sure that city statutes conformed to scriptural teaching. He stressed independence of church and state, but he believed that both were subject to rule of God. He asserted that duty of state was to promote piety, punish evildoers, and assist church by providing an atmosphere that would encouraged godliness in lives of church members. The Geneva city council adopted his teaching issued orders forbidding dancing, drunkenness, and gambling, and requiring everyone to attend church services.
The Separatists of England adopted Calvin’s emphasis on rule of law. The Separatists of England became Pilgrims who journeyed to “New World.” The Mayflower Compact that was drafted in Boston Harbor by Pilgrims was a model of government rooted in ideas of Calvinism. Calvin’s rule of law was rooted in Old Testament of Bible. From Pilgrim’s Compact came foundation of America’s Constitution and Bill of Rights. There were other ideas that would seed Declaration of Independence and U. S. Constitution, which came from Age of Reason (18th century). For example, political reform was one of chief concerns of 18th century philosophes (social reformers of Enlightenment). John Lock, who certainly was not a friend to religion, advanced idea that men possess certain natural and inalienable rights—rights that can not be transferred or surrendered. Also, Montesquieu believed in political reform. He believed that government should be separated into three powers: executive, legislative, and judicial. Time and space does not allow me to mention others like Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, and their works of literature that were spawning new forms of government throughout world, namely England (Glorious Revolution), America (American Revolution), and France (Revolution).
Highest Law...lesson twoWritten by Terry Dashner
Faith Fellowship Church…PO Box 1586…Broken Arrow, OK 74013…918-451-0270…Pastor Terry Dashner…
Higher Law series Lesson Two
“Evolution of Inalienable Rights”
The Bible declares that man is created in image and likeness of God. The Bibles says that God used His own hands to form man out of clay; therefore, man is inexorably connected to earth. Maybe that’s why man is at his best when he’s outdoors, close to soil. Man is just more in tune with himself and scheme of things when his hands are in dirt. Man can listen to God. Man can hear God speak because God gave him a spirit with ears to hear. Man can see God’s beauty. Man sees God’s hand revealed in His creation; and looking at great expanse, man cries out to God because he needs, he’s made for God’s fellowship. Man is unique in created rank and file. He’s made to reflect God’s image.
Man is made like God so that he might care for his own. Man is caretaker to his wife and children because God is eternal caretaker. Man esteems, he honors his wife and children. And they respect him. God honors those who honor Him. Man seeks fulfillment and peace because God is Prince of Peace. Man is created in God’s image to be like Him, to find his peace in Him, to worship Him. Man is a special being in created order.
If this is true, then why is man so prone to evil? Man is a “fallen” creature. He has stooped to sin and unless he turns to his God for rescue, he plays opposite to a good and merciful Creator. Because man is made like God, he has potential to do “good” or with his free will (God is a free moral agent) choose to do evil. And it can be a destructive evil—killing, maiming, slandering, deceiving, hurting, fracturing, splintering, dividing, and conducting terrorism in name of a god.
Nonetheless, man and woman are God’s highest created beings, just under God. The Bible says, “When I consider your heavens, work of your fingers, moon and stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than heavenly beings [Or than God] and crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8: 4-5). Because humanity is so loved by God, He has gone to extremes to win humanity’s love. The greatest feat that God performed for man, in reason to rescue him, was allowing Jesus to redeem (purchase, ransom paid in full) man from sin. That’s what Calvary was all about. God is still rescuing men and women through Cross. Any one who cries out to Jesus for rescue, according to scripture, will be eternally saved.
“Where it all started”
I’ve chosen this reminder about uniqueness of humanity for one reason. I plan to write about lifting of human life to its rightful place of sanctity by outlining its history from Roman Empire (the sanctity of life was at its lowest ebb) to present day. I will endeavor to disclose sanctity of human life as it has progressed from its worst regard of infanticide in Rome, to its lifting by “inalienable rights” in Enlightenment, to its abortion by choice in present day America. As it has been said so it is true. When good men do nothing, evil men play havoc. Let’s begin.
Life was considered sacred to Jew. God instructed Israel to celebrate life, to protect it, to care for it. This does not seem to be case with a casual reading of Old Testament. It appears quite opposite. Israel is led in one brutal war after another. Carnage is everywhere present. But why did Israel fight? The Bible is clear on this point. God wanted a race of people, a nation to be His instrument of righteousness to world. He wanted a nation that was unique, unlike polytheistic and devil worshipping nations around them. It was imperative that Israel remained a nation of right standing with God and His law and order. God would one day bring His Son into