The Iron Pen #86
"...graven with an iron pen and lead..." Job
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
God & Country
The greatest civilians, who equally contend for the rights of
individuals and the energies of government, are in the habit of
enumerating certain rights of which the citizens cannot be deprived, but
by despotic tyranny. Nations that are wise, form their constitutions of
government as charters of rights retained, and of powers granted. Indeed
there are some rights which may or may not be surrendered, and the quantum
of sacrifice depends upon the exigence (urgency) of the time and the
object to be obtained. But, there are other rights which individuals
possess, so inalienable in their nature that they cannot be surrendered.
The tyrant himself cannot acquire them, nor can individuals grant them. Of
this description the rights of conscience and private judgment (opinion).
Elder John Leland 1754-1841
A Baptist Preacher and the First Amendment
During the summer of 2001 my family and I took a trip to Virginia and
North Carolina to do family tree research and visit some historic
locations. As we were traveling "the Constitution Route" on highway 20 in
Virginia, I came across an interesting monument about seven miles east of
Orange. On it was the embossed head of John Leland, the influential
Baptist preacher and champion of religious liberty. It is believed that
the monument marks the location where James Madison and John Leland met to
discuss Madisonís candidacy for Virginia delegate to the Convention to
ratify the Federal Constitution. At that meeting, Leland pressed Madison
concerning his stand on religious freedom and individual rights. Madison
promised Leland if he was elected, he would do all in his power to see
that religious freedom and individual freedom would be incorporated into
the Constitution by amendment. Elder John Leland and hence the Orange
Baptists did throw their support behind James Madison who was elected. As
expected, he voted in favor of ratification of the Constitution. Then,
true to his word, he drafted and introduced twelve amendments to the
Constitution. Article III of Madisonís proposed Bill of Rights reads,
"Congress shall make no laws establishing articles of Faith, or mode of
worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging
freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably
to assemble and to petition to the government for redress of grievances."
The members of the convention condensed Madisonís proposed third article.
In fact, they changed it to the First Amendment which reads; "Congress
shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the
press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition
the government for a redress of grievances."
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Elder John Leland stood in the gap so we could have the benefit the
religious freedom we enjoy today. We should be busy using that freedom to
advance the cause of Christ in our day!
Walk Your Talk
We are not only to renounce evil, but to manifest the truth. We tell
people the world is vain; let our lives manifest that it is so. We tell
them that our home is above and that all these things are transitory. Does
our dwelling look like it? O to live consistent lives! James Hudson
Follow The Right Examples!
We are living in an increasingly reprobate culture and
one of the key characteristics that a culture is reprobate is the
proliferation or increase of people who refuse to forgive. Testimony of
this truth is found in Romans 1:28-32. The key word I point you to
is implacable found in verse 31. This is a translation of
the Greek word aspondos, which means, one who is unappeasable,
irreconcilable and or relentless. The word describes someone who refuses
to lay aside enmity and bad feelings or consider terms of reconciliation.
Hence it is describing someone who will not forgive! Refusing to
reconcile, refusing to forgive, refusing to lay aside bad feeling is a
mark of reprobation. The New Testament directs believers to forgive!
Why? Because Christ has forgiven us! Ephesians 4:32 "And be ye kind
one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for
Christ's sake hath forgiven you." I remind you that Christ himself
practiced what He preached (Luke 23:24) as did the first New Testament
martyr, Stephen (Acts 7:59-60). Therefore, we must not surrender to the
spirit of the age, but follow the New Testament examples. DLB