Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

When you grow plants it requires the right amount of water, temperature, light and protection.  It is never one thing – but a series of elements which need to be present to grow and to bloom. The same is true the reformation.   We need a bold reformer that would preach the truth, but we also need civil magistrates that will protect and promote the true religion.

This year is the 500 anniversary of the reformation.  Particularly we remember Martin Luther’s great bold stand in 1517 nailing the 95 theses to the wall of Nuremburg. Rightly so, because this was a very important event – but what followed and surrounded this event made reformation possible.   
Let us consider a principle found in the scripture and that is that no great reformation has occurred in the Bible with the cooperation of the civil magistrate in the cause of reformation.   That is what has always accompanied great reformation is the government allowing, protecting and promoting the true religion. 

Let us consider several powerful examples comes from the Bible: 
  • the reformer King Hezekiah. Hezekiah carried out reforms to destroy false worship and returned the people back to obeying God’s Word.
  • When the repentant king of (a heathen king of a heathen nation) Nineveh called the nation to fasting, prayer, and humility before God.  
  • Nehemiah a governor, had the city gates closed against vendors on the Sabbath and drove away those which traded along the wall. 
In each of these reformations the civil magistrates was bold in advancing the faith.  Each one cooperated or was active in the reformation of the nation.  The same was true of Martin Luther's day.  

What was needful for the Reformation is that God placed Frederick II of Ernestine Saxony, commonly known as Frederick the Wise in power at the time of Luther’s troubles.   He stayed the hand of Rome by protecting him from assassination and provided a place for the reformation to flourish.  This is the difference of why John Hus (an reformer which pre-dated Luther by a hundred years) was martyred and why Martin Luther succeeded.

This is important part of what is missing in our day.   In these days we have cowardly civil magistrates which declare a false neutrality before God.  They stand before the people like Pontius Pilate declaring themselves neutral, and washing their hands.   The government can not, and should not be 'neutral'!  We are either for God for against God.   Since government is ordained by God (Romans 13:1) and called to kneel before Jesus (Psalm 2) they are a duty bound to profess, protect and advance the true religion in their sphere of influence.     

So on this 500th anniversary, please join me in praying that God would raise up bold Godly preachers but also Godly government leaders which will fear God more than man - and protect and advance the true religion in our day.   


~ BMH 



Monday, March 21, 2016

There are many misconceptions about the "establishment principle" owing to the fact that so many people fail to recognize that every civil government effectively supports some worldview.  For instance, the US government currently supports various and sundry educational institutions that fall within what the US government deems appropriate policy and philosophical stance. Typically today that policy and philosophical stance falls outside the religious stance of our American Pilgrim and Puritan forefathers, but instead is rooted in secular humanism.  The Reformation Party is hoping and praying that God might change hearts and minds to return back to that earlier religious persuasion.


In the meantime, there are still many things Reformation Party members can do within the current legal and constitutional confines we find ourselves in today.  We can seek to show how Biblical principles can successfully be applied to address political, social and economic problems.  Party members may especially find local politics amenable to such political activity, where great numbers and great sums of money are not requisite.

Qualified members of the Party can run for local political office, or help those who are running.  Generally this can take the form of running as an independent in local elections, as well as getting involved in initiatives related to certain specific issues.  (For one example of this see www.GeorgetownExaminer.com.)  As a member that has been engaging in this process, there are many things I have learned about the ins and outs of doing so.   I recommend first attending Board meetings of your local town council and/or public school.  Find out about office opportunities, and when the next election will take place.  Inquire about requirements of running for office.  Identify what local problems need to be solved, and assess what solutions are possible, based upon Biblical principles.  Determine how you would go about running for office and what your candidate platform would include.  Then work to implement your plan.  Finally and most importantly, pray that God would bless your efforts, and that He would use you to accomplish His will.

There are many misconceptions about the "establishment principle" owing to the fact that so many people fail to recognize that every civil government effectively supports some worldview.  For instance, the US government currently supports various and sundry educational institutions that fall within what the US government deems appropriate policy and philosophical stance. Typically today that policy and philosophical stance falls outside the religious stance of our American Pilgrim and Puritan forefathers, but instead is rooted in secular humanism.  The Reformation Party is hoping and praying that God might change hearts and minds to return back to that earlier religious persuasion.
In the meantime, there are still many things Reformation Party members can do within the current legal and constitutional confines we find ourselves in today.  We can seek to show how Biblical principles can successfully be applied to address political, social and economic problems.  Party members may especially find local politics amenable to such political activity, where great numbers and great sums of money are not requisite.
Qualified members of the Party can run for local political office, or help those who are running.  Generally this can take the form of running as an independent in local elections, as well as getting involved in initiatives related to certain specific issues.  (For one example of this see www.GeorgetownExaminer.com.)  As a member that has been engaging in this process, there are many things I have learned about the ins and outs of doing so.   I recommend first attending Board meetings of your local town council and/or public school.  Find out about office opportunities, and when the next election will take place.  Inquire about requirements of running for office.  Identify what local problems need to be solved, and assess what solutions are possible, based upon Biblical principles.  Determine how you would go about running for office and what your candidate platform would include.  Then work to implement your plan.  Finally and most importantly, pray that God would bless your efforts, and that He would use you to accomplish His will.

There are many misconceptions about the "establishment principle" owing to the fact that so many people fail to recognize that every civil government effectively supports some worldview.  For instance, the US government currently supports various and sundry educational institutions that fall within what the US government deems appropriate policy and philosophical stance.  Typically today that policy and philosophical stance falls outside the religious stance of our American Pilgrim and Puritan forefathers.  The Reformation Party is hoping and praying that God might change hearts and minds to return back to that earlier religious persuasion.


In the meantime, there are still many things Reformation Party members can do within the current legal and constitutional confines we find ourselves in today.  We can seek to show how Biblical principles can successfully be applied to address political, social and economic problems.  Party members may especially find local politics amenable to such political activity, where great numbers and great sums of money are not requisite.

Qualified members of the Party can run for local political office, or help those who are running.  Generally this can take the form of running as an independent in local elections, as well as getting involved in initiatives related to certain specific issues.  (For one example of this see www.GeorgetownExaminer.com.)  As a member that has been engaging in this process, there are many things I have learned about the ins and outs of doing so.   I recommend first attending Board meetings of your local town council and/or public school.  Find out about office opportunities, and when the next election will take place.  Inquire about requirements of running for office.  Identify what local problems need to be solved, and assess what solutions are possible, based upon Biblical principles.  Determine how you would go about running for office and what your candidate platform would include.  Then work to implement your plan.  Finally and most importantly, pray that God would bless your efforts, and that He would use you to accomplish His will.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

There are many misconceptions about the "establishment principle" owing to the fact that so many people fail to recognize that every civil government effectively supports some worldview.  For instance, the US government currently supports various and sundry educational institutions that fall within what the US government deems appropriate policy and philosophical stance. Typically today that policy and philosophical stance falls outside the religious stance of our American Pilgrim and Puritan forefathers, but instead is rooted in secular humanism.  The Reformation Party is hoping and praying that God might change hearts and minds to return back to that earlier religious persuasion.
In the meantime, there are still many things Reformation Party members can do within the current legal and constitutional confines we find ourselves in today.  We can seek to show how Biblical principles can successfully be applied to address political, social and economic problems.  Party members may especially find local politics amenable to such political activity, where great numbers and great sums of money are not requisite.
Qualified members of the Party can run for local political office, or help those who are running.  Generally this can take the form of running as an independent in local elections, as well as getting involved in initiatives related to certain specific issues.  (For one example of this see www.GeorgetownExaminer.com.)  As a member that has been engaging in this process, there are many things I have learned about the ins and outs of doing so.   I recommend first attending Board meetings of your local town council and/or public school.  Find out about office opportunities, and when the next election will take place.  Inquire about requirements of running for office.  Identify what local problems need to be solved, and assess what solutions are possible, based upon Biblical principles.  Determine how you would go about running for office and what your candidate platform would include.  Then work to implement your plan.  Finally and most importantly, pray that God would bless your efforts, and that He would use you to accomplish His will.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

An Open Letter Calling Churches to Fast

  It is well know that Supreme Court Judge Thomas has sent a clear signal that it's only amount of short time before the Supreme Court makes homosexual 'marriage' the law of the land.   The issue of marriage is out of the hands of the legislators and the people they represent, and is now in the hands of unelected, unaccountable judges.   Many major news's commentaries, believe this grievous ruling has already been decided and will be handed down between April/June 2015.   

I do not have to tell you all that this is a very serious issue.   Why because of homosexuality is an abomination to God?   Yes - in part – but there is more.  The allowance of homosexuality being the law of the land - is a clear marker (a sign) that God is at the tipping point of giving our nation 'over to a reprobate mind' as a judgment (Romans 1:28).   A reprobate mind as put by the Geneva Bible is: 'To a corrupt and perverse mind, by which it comes to pass that the conscience, having been removed by them, and they having almost no more remorse for sin, run headlong into all types of evil.'

Of course we desire that the Supreme Court to repent and change course 1800 degrees, however more importantly we need to get to the root of the problem.  The root of this 'reprobate mind' is that God has found us guilty of two main sins.  The first is that they 'they glorified him not as God' and 'neither were thankful', which point to the breaking of the 1st and 2nd commandment.   Not only do we need to pray that there is repentance (by the Supreme Court), but we need to pray bigger, much bigger.  We need to cry out to God for nationwide repentance of idolatry and a national turning to Jesus Christ, as the only mediator between God and man.   

 
In light of this, I urgently request all protestant denominations to declare an official day of humiliation, fasting and prayer.  I urgently request this because I am not fearful of personal persecution by the world.  Even though people have already lost their jobs – and the future looks even scarier with this ruling.   I urgently request this not because, I am fearful of the congregations being persecuted, even though a small rewriting of the tax code, could punish any congregation which stands against 'gay marriage.'    No, none of these things worry me.  My urgency is not because I fear what man can do for Jesus has said; "fear not them which kill the body" (Matt. 10:28a).  Instead, my urgency is founded upon what God would do if we fail to act, if fail to call upon the name of the Lord, in sackcloth and ashes, ".. but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matt. 10:28b).
 
What I am requesting is found in many places in the Bible (Moses, Samuel, David, Esther, Nehemiah, Ezra, Jesus, Paul), including a reference in the book of Joel:  

"Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD" Joel 1:14

 
John Calvin wrote on the importance of fasting in his Institutes of the Christian Religion:

"The remaining part of discipline, which is not, strictly speaking, included in the power of the keys, is when pastors, according to the necessity of the times, exhort the people either to fasting and solemn prayer, or to other exercises of humiliation, repentance, and faith, …We everywhere meet with examples in Sacred History, and it is unnecessary to collect them. In general, we must hold that whenever any religious controversy arises, which either a council or ecclesiastical tribunal behoves to decide; whenever a minister is to be chosen; whenever, in short, any matter of difficulty and great importance is under consideration: on the other hand, when manifestations of the divine anger appear, as pestilence, war, and famine, the sacred and salutary custom of all ages has been for pastors to exhort the people to public fasting and extraordinary prayer."

 
I have noted that in my church's liturgy under Christian Prayers – the first one listed is "A General Confession of Sins and Prayer before the Sermon and on Days of Fasting and Prayer" (page 169 in our Psalter).    Clearly the need to have this prayer in the liturgy means that in time past days of fasting was a far more common practice and has fallen out of use.   It is time to dust off this prayer and get on our knees before Almighty God. 
This time in our nation is sad, whereby our government are about to legalize sodomy as; acceptable, normal, and even protected.  Certainly, this is a time where a 'religious controversy' has arisen and 'manifestations of the divine anger appear'.   It is clear that Judge Thomas is giving us this warning, not so it softens the impact and the shock of the court's judgment.  He is given us this warning so we can act, and act quickly to seek to prevent this evil.    We can choose to do nothing, sit on our hands and wait for it to happen, or we can get in front of it and take this matter to the Lord in prayer and fasting, asking the Lord for deliverance.  

Brian H.


Update1:  Praise God this letter was sent (in part) to the Heritage Reformed Congregation Synod and a fast day was approved for the last week in May 2015.  Lord willing may other denominations also join this great need to call upon the name of the Lord.

Update2:  Praise God again, just received word that the RPCNA has also 'voted to join with the Heritage Reformed Congregations in recommending to its congregation a time of prayer and fasting during the last week of June'.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Impossibility of Neutrality

One of the major alleged positive points put forward by secularists for a secular civil society is that secularism is religiously neutral.  Once that's established, they usually go on to tell you why you're wrong and they're right about how civil government should be done.

I hope you caught the irony in that.  The fact is that religious- or worldview-neutrality is impossible, because any system of laws and public policies will inevitably reflect some people's worldview assumptions over those of others.  Ethics is nothing other than applied worldviews, and civil law is nothing other than publicly applied social ethics.  So long as there are multiple worldviews represented by those who live in the society (which will be the case in any society that contains more than a handful of people), the law will reflect some views and reject others.  Secularism is nothing other than the establishment of Agnosticism/Atheism as the official religion of the society, to the exclusion of other worldviews (other worldviews may be tolerated to some extent, but only at the sufferance of the values of the established worldview).

This basic argument for the impossibility of religious neutrality in civil law has been made lots of times and by many different kinds of people, though it has failed to gain a strong foothold in the general American psyche at least partly because the entire American project of "religious equality" is rooted in the idea of religious neutrality.  To admit that the latter is impossible is to give up on the mainstream idea of the former and thus to give up on something that is seen to be a part of America's core, unique identity.

Below I have provided links to an array of articles making the argument against the possibility of neutrality.  The articles represent the thinking of very different people with very different worldviews but who are united in having come to admit that neutrality is impossible and in their choice to speak out about that fact.  These articles can provide a place to dive in for those who wish to think about this issue with greater depth.

First of all, one the best mainstream academic authors I have come across in the modern day who points out the impossibility of neutrality is Steven D. Smith.  Smith is a University of San Diego law professor.

Here is a list of his books on amazon.com.  They are all excellent.

Here is an excellent article he has written entitled "The Paralyzing Paradox of Religious Neutrality."

Here are some more great articles on this subject:

Is Secularism Unprincipled? - by Ian Polluck.  Polluck is an Atheist, but one who recognizes the inherent hypocrisy of the secular project so often favored by modern American Atheists (though he advocates for it anyway even while recognizing its hypocrisy).

Down with Secularism! - by Richard Smyth, another Atheist who recognizes the non-neutrality of secularism.

Is God Unconstitutional? - by Phillip E. Johnson of Intelligent Design fame.  Johnson provides a very perceptive analysis of modern popular, legal, and academic cultures and how they are influenced by Naturalism (Agnosticism/Atheism) despite their claims to be worldview-neutral.  His book Reason in the Balance is a fantastic work along these lines as well.

I'll also add a couple of articles I have written on the subject on my blog:

The Impossibility of Neutrality

The Impossibility of Governmental Neutrality in Religious Matters

As I continue to think of more articles and books on this subject, I'll add them periodically to this list as updates.