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Mar
17

Who was the real St. Patrick?

Who was the real St. Patrick? Who was the real St. Patrick? You might be surprised at what you learn about this early Christian evangelist from the 5th Century. He wasn’t Irish. He was never officially declared a “Saint” by the Roman Catholic church. He experienced life as a slave for six years. He never chased any snakes (because Ireland never had snakes!). He did, however, convert to Christianity and became one of the first believers to take the gospel to Ireland. Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net.   “Kilbennan St. Benin’s Church Window St. Patrick Detail 2010 09 16” by Andreas F. Borchert. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia...
Jul
13

Two Ways American Christians have Impoverished Themselves

The reporter asked the man on the street, “What you think about the rampant Ignorance and Apathy of our day?” To which the man replied, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” It is one thing when you have something important taken from you by force. We call that tyranny. It is another when you voluntarily throw it away because you don’t value it. The ignorant and apathetic American Church in the 21st Century has voluntarily impoverished itself by disconnecting from two important influences that would help her become more mature and informed. 1. We are almost completely ignorant of Church History. The Postmodern American church acts as though we are the first generation of Christians to ever walk God’s sod. We feel that we must continually reinvent the wheel of theology, worship and practice. Seldom do we stop to consider that nearly all of the major issues of the Christian life have already been explored, pondered, taught, debated and revisited over and over again since the early church. It is quite clear that many Christians throughout time have gotten the wrong answers to many of life’s probing theological questions, but many also got them right. We would do well to listen to the conversations of those who have gone before us. When you understand where you have come from (as The Church) you can far better understand how you should live today. American Christianity has a fixation with the new and novel. Whatever is contemporary, hip, novel and trendy is deemed admirable. This calls to mind the old adage, “Anything that is true isn’t new.” Yes, culture is constantly emerging, and we need to be able to communicate a timeless message to those who, in Ravi Zacharias‘ words, “Hear with their eyes and think with their emotions.” Style and form need some license to be a bit fluid and relative. However, we are in grave danger of the Medium becoming the Message, and the true meaning of our words being swallowed up by the noise and busyness of our presentation. 2. We fail to draw from the strengths of the International Church. I think there is something intrinsically arrogant about being an American. We are born being told that we are the best, the greatest, the smartest, the most powerful, the wealthiest (okay, we WERE the wealthiest), and the coolest people on earth. Because of the effectiveness of the modern missionary movement, which was largely launched from Great Britain, Holland and...
May
24

Play the Man! – Hugh Latimer (Christian Martyr)

Hugh Latimer was an English Reformer who lived from 1485 to 1555. Martin Luther posted his 95 Thesis in 1517 and John Calvin wrote his Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1555. Latimer was originally a Roman Catholic priest who was educated at Cambridge. Being a staunch Papist, Latimer initially debated the “new” doctrines of Justification by Faith (in particular the teachings of Philipp Melanchthon) until he was confronted by Thomas Bilney, a new convert who sought him out and shared his testimony with the priest. Latimer accepted the Reformed Doctrines that day and never looked back. Latimer later joined a group of reformers including Bilney and Robert Barnes who met regularly at the White Horse Tavern. Latimer became a faithful expositor of the Holy Scriptures. With evangelistic fervor he taught: “Catch thou hold of our Saviour, believe in Him, be assured in thy heart that He with His suffering took away thy sins.” Mary Tutor was on the throne of England from 1553-1558. She was the eldest daughter of Henry VIII and only surviving child of Catherine of Aragon. As the fourth crowned monarch of the Tudor dynasty, she returned England to Roman Catholicism after succeeding her short-lived Protestant half brother, Edward VI. “Bloody Mary” (as she became known), was bringing a reign of terror on all in England who accepted the Protestant faith. In all she had nearly she had almost 300 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian Persecutions. Latimer and Nicholas Ridley were burned at the stake at Oxford in 1555, with Thomas Cranmer watching. He too would give his life the following year. As Latimer was dying, he encouraged his friend by yelling from the flames: “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England as I trust shall never be put out!” England was never again under the Pope. Now known as the Oxford Martyrs — these men are commemorated in Oxford by the Victorian Martyrs’ Memorial which is located near the actual execution site which is marked by a cross in Broad Street, (then the ditch outside the city’s North Gate). The Latimer room in Clare College, Cambridge is named after him. Hugh Latimer, a late-comer to the truth, was faithful until death. My questions to you is, “Are you willing to play the man and offer your candle as a light for...
Apr
29

Royal Wedding Hymn (Guide Me — Story Behind the Song)

Sung by Prince William, Catherine (Kate) Middleton, the Royal Family, and all of the wedding guests (okay, most of them just kind of moved their lips) you might like to know the history and legacy of this once popular hymn: Encouraged by the Welsh Methodists to update their hymnal, William Williams Pantycelyn (1719-1791, an aspiring hymn writer penned his most famous song “Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer” which first appeared in 1745 in a Welsh hymnal, published by Wiliiams in Bristol, England, named “Hallelujah. Williams, the “Sweet Singer of Wales,” produced about 800 hymns. S.W. Duffield claimed that Williams, an avid revivalist Methodist preacher, did for Wales what Wesley and Watts did for England. “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” or “Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer” originally consisted of five six-line stanzas and was entitled in Welsh “Arglwydd, arwain trwy’r anialwch” (in English, Lord, Lead Me Through the Wilderness). The hymn is usually sung to John Hughes‘ Cwm Rhondda. This song, known as the Welsh rugby hymn, has been translated into seventy-five languages. It is so loved in Wales that it is considered an unofficial national anthem. In 1771, Peter Williams (no relation to William Williams) translated stanzas 1, 3 and 5 into English and published them in his Hymns on Various Subjects, 1771. A year later, William Williams, or possibly his son, John Williams, translated another English version, using Peter Williams’ first stanza, then translating stanzas 3 and 4, and adding a new stanza as verse 4. He published it a pamphlet with these words: “A favorite hymn sung by Lady Huntingdon’s Young Collegians. Printed by the desire of many Christian friends. Lord, give it Thy blessing!” Most hymnals only use the first three stanzas of this translation. The hymn can be heard sung in Welsh in John Ford’s Academy-Award-winning film of 1941, How Green Was My Valley and was sung at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. Lyrics: Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah, [or Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer…] Pilgrim through this barren land. I am weak, but Thou art mighty; Hold me with Thy powerful hand. Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven, Feed me till I want no more; Feed me till I want no more. Open now the crystal fountain, Whence the healing stream doth flow; Let the fire and cloudy pillar Lead me all my journey through. Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer, Be Thou still my...

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© Israel Wayne.