Where Are The Christians?Written by Stephen Kingery
This article was written in 1993.
At my home congregation, we recently viewed video series called "Children At Risk" by Dr. James Dobson and Gary L. Bauer. There is a companion book by same title which is available at local Christian book stores. The subtitle is "The Battle for Hearts and Minds of Our Kids." I highly recommend this book and video series to anyone who has same concerns for our nation as I do. As I set there and listened to Dr. Dobson and Mr. Bauer talk about excesses which are so prevalent in our nation today, I kept asking myself, "Where are Christians?"
When I was growing up in Ohio in 50's, I can remember going to school as a first grader and listening to my teacher read a Bible story each morning. I know for sure that my first, second, third and fourth grade teachers read Bible stories each morning. We also recited Lord's prayer as part of our opening exercises. I can remember Thanksgiving programs, Christmas programs, and Easter programs all having Christian themes. I recall as a high school student in early 60's my English teacher reading from Bible as part of class. I became a teacher myself in 1969, and I too had students recite Lord's prayer in opening exercises. The United States Supreme Court decided that to have prayer in classroom was a violation of separation of church and state. And since then, things have gotten exceedingly worse. Today, in 1993, it is evident that humanists are determined to eradicate all evidence of Christian values and practice in both public education and government. Every time a new attack is made on church by humanists, I wonder, "Where are Christians?"
I recall when I was a youngster one never heard profanity on television. Nudity on television was simply unheard of. The television programs in 50's and early 60's were wholesome. Programs like "Leave It To Beaver," "Ozzie & Harriet," and "Mr. Ed" were norm. Now you can not turn on television without being exposed to profanity of grossest nature and nudity is commonplace. Extra martial affairs are promoted every day on "soaps." Violence of every kind is exhibited night after night on almost every channel. The talk shows which are on every evening exploit most bizarre subjects, all in name of educating public. Again, as I set in my family room and flip through channels with my remote control trying to find something decent to watch I wonder, "Where are Christians?"
When I was a teenager and learned what homosexual meant, it was something that was scorned as a perverted life style. I can recall how people would talk about various movie stars that were reported to be homosexual, and how terrible it was that a person that was looked up to by so many would live like that. I did not personally know anyone who was homosexual. Now it seems that homosexuality is not only openly accepted by "establishment," it seems as if it is being promoted daily. Program after program on television is designed to tell us that homosexual behavior is just an alternative life style. The President of United States is promoting homosexual behavior by attempting to force armed forces to openly accept homosexuals. "Gay Rights" groups are being treated by media and many in government as "good guys" while Christian opponents are painted as "bad guys." Whenever I get opportunity, as an educator, I speak out against homosexual behavior, and I find that these comments are received with contempt more and more often. Again I wonder, "Where are Christians?"
Pornography is known to cause serious psychological problems later in life when it is available to and used by children. Yet these books and films are extremely easy to get, even by children. Not only are women exploited in this perverse material, but children as well. It is truly a sick mind that will take innocent children and photograph them in this manner, and an equally sick mind that gets pleasure from seeing those photographs. Need we ask, "Where are Christians?"
Sex education is now being taught in almost every school district in United States. In many cases "education" that children are getting is promoting "safe sex" as appropriate way to guard against life-threatening diseases such as aids. Children in elementary school are being taught how to put condoms on. Condoms are being distributed in high schools all across America under guise of "protecting our youth." I have even heard that different methods of sexual activity are being taught. And if all this is not bad enough, our children are being taught that homosexual and bisexual conduct is normal and just an alternative to heterosexual conduct. Are you beginning to wonder, "Where are Christians?"
The Holy TrinityWritten by Stephen Kingery
Not too long ago, in an attempt to witness to several people via electronic mail through computer networks, I made a statement as to what constitutes my faith. As part of that statement, I said that I believe in Trinity: God Father, God Son and God Holy Spirit. One of people to whom I was trying to witness was of Jewish faith and he rejected concept of Trinity.
The Holy Trinity is fully supported in Scripture in both Old Testament and New Testament. In this article, I would like to share some of these Scriptures and how they proclaim existence of God in Three Persons.
The idea of Trinity is found early in Bible in Genesis 1:26, "Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over fish of sea, over birds of air, and over cattle, over all earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on earth.'" As we see here, God said "Let us make man in Our image. . ." indicating that we (man) are made in image of God and others. We know from reading Scripture that angels are different from us in many respects. The fact that angels do not have gender is one. Therefore, it is unlikely that God would have been referring to Himself and angels in this passage. The Bible does not speak of any other beings in heaven. The only conclusion that we can draw from use of plural pronoun "Our" is that God was referring to Himself along with at least one other being or person on a level with Him.
The plural pronoun "Us" is also used in Genesis 3:22a where Lord said, "Behold, man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil." Again indicating that there is more than one person in Godhead.
Those who reject idea of a Holy Trinity usually accept or have some belief in God. They just do not believe that Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are a part of God. Therefore let's take a look at Holy Spirit and preexistence of Christ.
The Holy Spirit
References to "Spirit of God" abound in Old Testament. "The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on face of deep. And Spirit of God was hovering over face of waters." (Genesis 1:2) The first occasion is in second verse of Genesis. We see here that God was at least two different persons – God Father and God Holy Spirit – at beginning of creation. Many other Scriptures refer to Holy Spirit in some manner. Here are just a few: "My Spirit" (Genesis 6:3), "Spirit of God" (Genesis 41:38), "Your Holy Spirit" (Psalms 51:11), "Spirit of Lord" (Isaiah 11:2), and "My Spirit who is upon you" (Isaiah 59:21). Throughout Old Testament we see these and many other references to Holy Spirit.
In New Testament we find that Holy Spirit is more fully explained, and we know in more detail purpose that Holy Spirit has in our lives. He is a comforter or helper for us, as Christians.
The Holy Spirit was there when Jesus was conceived in womb of Mary, "Now birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:18) The Holy Spirit was there when Jesus went up into wilderness to undergo temptations of devil, "Then Jesus was led up by Spirit into wilderness to be tempted by devil." (Matthew 4:1) The Holy Spirit was there when apostles needed guidance to preach gospel and write New Testament and do it without error, "For Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." (Luke 12:12)
Even though Holy Spirit was present and active in life and ministry of Jesus, this was not only purpose which Holy Spirit would have for us. The Holy Spirit would fulfill another very important role for God. Jesus taught disciples about purpose of Holy Spirit during His ministry. "‘He who believes in Me, as Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke concerning Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 7:38,39) "And I will pray Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever; Spirit of truth, whom world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." (John 14:16,17) "But Helper, Holy Spirit, whom Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you." (John 14:26) "But when Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from Father, Spirit of truth who proceeds from Father, He will testify of Me." (John 15:26) "Behold, I send Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." (Luke 24:49)