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The Christian Patriot- A LOST IDENTITY.  
May 25, 2020, 3:34 PM

The Christian Patriot- A LOST IDENTITY.  

by Grady Arnold

 

From 64 AD, when emperor Nero outlawed Christianity, until 313 AD when Constantine issued the edict of Milan, it was illegal to be a Christian. ILLEGAL!!!

Many of the Christians during that time were put to death in various ways.  Nero fed Christians to the lions in the Coliseum, tied them to posts, tarred them, and set them on fire to bring light to his gardens, and many other sadistic ways to kill Christians.

To become a Christian during this over TWO HUNDRED YEAR period meant that you were willing to put your life on the line, i.e., to die for your faith if need be.  To become a Christian could be a death sentence….and yet even under the threat of death, the numbers of Christians exploded!  On pain of death, people by the droves converted to Christianity.

Immediately after 313 AD, although active persecution began to die out, the Roman Catholic Church began to grow in power and influence. By the 1300’s, the Roman Catholic Church began to actively persecute those who later came to be known as Protestants.

John Wycliff was one who was persecuted for translating the New Testament into English.  He died in 1384 before the authorities could burn him, so years later because of their hatred for him they dug up his bones and burned them, to show their hatred for him.

William Tyndale was not so lucky.  Tyndale translated the Old and New Testaments into English, and was burned alive for his work in 1536. He was 42 years old.  In 2002, the BBC placed Tyndale as #26 of the 100 Greatest Britons. It is considered that the wording in the King James Bible is largely the work of Tyndale.

The Spanish Inquisition was born, and many Protestants were burned alive.  Foxes Book of Martyrs, written by John Foxe, was first published in 1563, and recorded the numerous Christian Martyrs up until that point.  The book was continually updated until 1838.

Here is a small sample of those who lost their lives; their names, their occupations, and when they were burned.

Thomas Watts…..line draper….burnt June 10 1555

John Ardely…….husbandman………burnt June 10 1555

Nicholas Chamberlain …..weaver…….burnt June 14 1555

John Bradford…….clergyman, prebendary of St. Paul’s Cathedral……burnt June 15 1555

Nicolas Hall…..bricklayer…….burnt July 12 1555

Maragret Polly…….widow………burnt July 17 1555

Dirrick Carver…….beer brewer…….burnt July 19 1555

 

This is a small sample.  They come form all walks of life, but with one thing in common, they were willing to die for their faith.  

When the Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower and landed on Plymouth Rock in 1621, seeking to escape the persecution that was rampant for Protestants in Europe, they sough to establish a new land where there would be religious freedom. 

It was said of a majority of household in the new land from the 1600’s to the 1800’s, that they had at least three books: the Bible, Pilgrim’s Progress, and Foxes Book of Martyrs. 

Foxes Book of Martyrs was considered crucial because it was a continual reminder that at any time governments can be tyrannical and that disobedience to the state may be necessary, even to the point of death.

At the beginning of America, the founding fathers left us two documents, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States with the Bill of Rights.  The Declaration of Independence stood out from all other governmental documents in the world, declaring that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” The Declaration declared that our rights come not from the state, but from God. 

The First Amendment of the Constitution promises the exercise of free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the right of peaceable assembly. 

It was for these ideals and rights set forth in the Declaration and Constitution that men and women have shed their blood, for the freedom that these documents are meant to outline as the birthright of every citizen. 

It is these rights, freedom of peaceable assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion that have been egregiously violated by some governors, mayors, and other governmental officials that is inexcusable. 

It is the heritage of the Christian for 2,000 years to not only be a good citizen, but if possible, the best citizen.

 It is also the Christian’s heritage that, when a governor, king, magistrate, or potentate of any type violate the Christians’ right to pray, teach doctrine of their own choosing, preach, sing, assemble, baptize, or have communion, that the faithful Christian rises in opposition to it, even to the point of forfeiting his or her own life.

It is further the heritage of ever American that our forefathers starting over 200 years ago, that we as AMERICANS are willing to risk our own lives for freedom.  Our soldiers from the Revolutionary War until this day on far flung battlefields have given their life and health for the freedom of America.

Many of our rights as enumerated in the U.S Constitution have been violated in the year 2020. 

Many churches have been forcibly closed, told not to sing, told not to have communion, and told that they cannot peaceably assemble.

While liquor stores are told they are essential, while countless small businesses are considered nonessential, and while convicted criminals are released while law abiding citizen are thrown in jail for trying to provide for their families, what are we to do?  The answer is that such overreach of the government must be opposed vigorously.

 BUT WHAT WILL CHRISTIANS AND AMERICANS BE WILLING TO DO?

This is only a test.  Greater infringements of our rights are ahead.  The question will be, what will we do?  Will we stand on the shoulders of the martyrs and the patriots, or will we seek peace at any price?

Patrick Henry challenged such apathy with these words:

“Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

 

May we find our lost Christian and patriot identity before it is too late.