FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER SEVEN – Part 16
Religious Liberty Condemned as Heresy During Thyatira Stage
QUOTE FOR THE WEEK:
“In the nature of things there is no rightful room
for the domination of others in the life and affairs of the soul of the individual person.”
ALONZO TREVOR JONES, “Individuality of Religion”
What do others think and say is “the most sacred” of: (a) human rights (b) the Bill of Rights currentlyguaranteed by the U.S. Constitution? How about you?
It is “the right to vote,” according to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chair of the DNC and other party heavyweights. On the other hand, it is “the right to life” says the terminally-ill (R) Sen. John McCain, referencing the hot-button issue of abortion or “right to life” championed by the RCC and the politically-active Family Research Council, etc.
As well-intentioned and as good as they are, each, unfortunately, falls far wide of the mark. Then, what is it?
Condensing the prominent points of the intents and writings of the Founding Fathers, Alonzo Trevor Jones succinctly defined what the fundamental law of Religious Liberty means:
“RELIGION is ‘the duty which we owe to our Creator, and ‘the manner of discharging it.’
LIBERTY is ‘the state of being exempt from the domination of others, or from restricting circumstances. In ethics and philosophy, the power in any rational agent to make his choices and decide his conduct from himself, spontaneously and voluntarily, in accordance with reasons or motives.
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, therefore, is man’s exemption from the domination of others, or from restricting circumstances: man’s freedom to make his choices and decide his conduct for himself, spontaneously and voluntarily: in his duty to his Creator, and in the manner of discharging that duty.”- A.T. Jones, Introduction, “Individuality of Religion.”
If we are to heed the Biblical injunction to be “even more diligent to make your calling and election sure” (2 Pet. 1: 10), we must, now, in the remaining hours of probation, exert every effort by God’s grace and wisdom, imparted by the Holy Spirit, to know for sure that we are walking “the straight and narrow way where few are found,” and not in the “broad and easy way where most are found that “leads to perdition” while the former leads to life eternal.”
Drifting Dangerously and Living for the Moment Permanently
Remember: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,”— not the “liberty” to think, act, and live as we please and indulge self but to be emancipated from the shackles of thralldom to sin as willing slaves of Satan and unsanctified desires and tastes, to do God’s will expressed in the Decalogue and worship Him and Him alone, as He has shown us how. This is the primordial principle enfolded in the bosom of the First Amendment.
The real enemies of freedom and liberty are “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” They are the ones vigilantly and tirelessly exerting every means to distract us from being vigilant of preserving the most sacred, divinely-endowed human right of individuality in religion, employing any and all means available or manufactured by their dictum “the end justifies the means.” This is why it appears they are succeeding; but God is intervening, as He has through all the past centuries. We are adrift with the current and are dreamily “living for the moment” of “virtuality” not reality, instead of keeping it alive by conscientious practice and intelligent, non-violent, apolitical discourse and messaging, showing that history repeats itself unless we learn from it.
Unwarned, under-informed, or worse, misinformed, many “jump into conclusions of the compelling moment” and then carelessly leave it that way, slothful in the task of verifying things. There is dreadful dearth of antitypical Bereans today (Acts 17: 10. 11). John Locke wisely observed: “Men see a little, presume a great deal, and so jump to the conclusion.” Many thus jump to their death, physically and spiritually.
Commenting on Hebrews 2: 14, “ . . . lest at any time we should let them slip,” M. L. Andreasen says:
“Lest at any time we should let them slip,” is more literally, “Lest we be floated past them,” or “drift away from them.”
“The picture is that of a boat’s being carried along with the current, the occupants unaware of the fact that they are drifting. Before they realize it they are nearing the cataract, far past the old landmarks, and danger is at hand, and possible destruction.
“Drifting is one of the easiest and pleasant means of locomotion, but it is also a most treacherous and dangerous one. No effort is needed to drift, and as one glides down the river toward sure death, the feeling is one of well-being and contentment, with accompanying delightful drowsiness. The down ward movement is hardly perceptible, for as the boat moves down the river it seems to remain motionless. The water moves with the boat and appearances are deceitful. Unless one awakens in time, the danger is very real.”
“This was the condition of the [early] church to which the author [apostle Paul] was writing. They were drifting spiritually, and did not sense their danger. Slowly they were nearing the precipice, and soon it would be too late.’ ‘The Book of Hebrews,’ ‘The Humanity of Jesus,’ Synopsis of Chap. 2, pp. 81, 82. Review & Herald Publishing Asso., Washington, D.C.: 1948.
If you haven’t noticed yet, again, there is a progressive trending towards controversies and heated debates that are increasingly religious in content and substance. It would also be well to be reminded by J .G. C. Munchin, who wrote:
“In political discussion heat is in inverse proportion to knowledge.” – “The Growth of Freedom in the Balkan Peninsula.”
Another way this is self-evident is described by Brian Miller, Contributor, Forbes.com, in his article on the Opinion page titled “The Phony War Over Religious Freedom,” Oct. 7, 2017. Photo caption says: “Washington, D.C.- March 23: Supporters of Little Sisters of the Poor, attend a rally in front of the US Supreme Court, March 23, 2016 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images). Brian Miller wrote:
“When we cut through the rhetoric surrounding our nation’s heated controversies about the First Amendment we often find that controversy was entirely avoidable. Exhibit A is the infamous HHS mandate issued under the Obama administration that spawned two Supreme Court cases in its short five year existence. The mandate required employers to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives to their employees even if the employers had a religious objection to paying for such devices.
“On Friday, the Trump Administration issued new guidelines that are broadly protective of the employer’s religious freedom. The news was received with hysterics, but the real impact is not so extravagant as some would have you believe. In fact, we ignore the partisan hyperbole and focus on the facts, it becomes undeniable that we can both protect women’s rights and religious freedom.” For details, seehttps://www.forbes.com/sites/brianmiller/2017/10/07/the-phony-war-over-religious -freedom/#76eef2fb75e2.
How did and does the Papacy Regard Freedom of Conscience and Separation of Church and State as Embodied in the First Amendment of the American Constitution?
Religious liberty first, then civil liberty. The former is fundamental; the latter dependent on the former. That is just inherently natural in the true liberties God gave man in the beginning, which, in its purity, was the foundation of American exceptionalism and the secret of her prosperity and success until something happened in recent history.
In case the reader—regardless of shade or stripe of beliefs— is not aware of the following, we quote official Catholic documents clearly revealing their church teachings on the following. From Facts of Faith by Christian Edwardson:
“Pope Leo XIII, in an encyclical letter, Immortale Dei, Nov. 1, 1885, outlines ‘the Christian constitution of states,’ by saying that ‘the state’ should profess the Catholic religion, and that the Roman pontiffs should have ‘the power of making laws.’ ‘And assuredly all ought to hold that it was not without a singular disposition of God’s providence that this power of the Church [of Rome] was provided with a civil sovereignty as the surest safeguard of her independence.’
“He says of the Middle Ages: ‘Then church and state were happily united.’ ‘The Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII,’ pp. 113, 114, 119. Benziger Bros. 1903.
‘Sad it is to call to mind how the harmful and lamentable rage for innovation which rose to a climax in the sixteenth century, . . . spread amongst all classes of society. From this source, as from a fountain-head, burst forth all those later tenets of unbridled license . . . Among these principles the main one lays down that as all men are alike by race and by nature . . . that each one is free to think on every subject just as he may choose . . . . In a society grounded upon such maxims, all government is nothing more nor less than the will of the people. . . . And it is a part of this theory . . . that everyone is to be free to follow whatever religion he prefers, or none at all if he disapprove of all . . .
‘Now when the state rests on foundations like those just named—and for the time being they are greatly in favor—it readily appears into what and how unrightful a position the Church is driven . . . They administer the civil power . . . defiantly put aside the most sacred decrees of the Church . . . ..
“The theory ‘that the church be separated from the state,’ Pope Leo further calls a ‘fatal error,’ ‘a great folly, a sheer injustice,’ and ‘shameless liberty.’ —Id. pp. 124, 125.
“Among the many authorities that could be cited, we have chosen that of Pope Leo XIII, because he is not a medieval, but a modern, exponent of papal doctrines, which no Roman Catholic would deny. Anyone familiar with the phraseology of the Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution cannot help but see in the expression of Pope Leo a declared opposition to the fundamental principles upon which our government is founded.”- Christian Edwardson, Facts of Faith, pp. 256, 257, 258.
Source: American Freedom and Catholic Power by Paul Blanshard, chap. 7 “Sex, Birth Control and Eugenics,” The Beacon Press. Boston: 1949, pp. 132-139. That we, and the author of this book may not be unfairly accused of being prejudiced “anti-catholic,” we first quote a small portion of his “Personal Prologue: The Duty to Speak”:
“Probably no phase of our life is in greater need of candid discussion than the relationship of the Roman Catholic Church to American institutions, and certainly no important factor in our life has been more consistently neglected by responsible writers. . . . The policy of mutual silence about religious differences is a reasonable policy in matters of personal faith; but when it comes to matters of political, medical and educational principles, silence may be directly contrary to public welfare. When a church enters the arena of controversial social policy and attempts to control the judgment of its own people (and other people) on foreign affairs, social hygiene, public education and modern science, it must be reckoned with as an organ of political and cultural power. In is in that sense that I [Paul Blanshard] shall discuss Catholic power in this book. It is an institutional and political problem. It is a matter of use and abuse of power by an organization that is not only a church but a state within a state, and a state above a state.”
(To be continued next week)