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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Can they hear you? Sunday Service 5/15/2005


Here is a telling quote from a travel log in Sweden, written by a nonbeliever who is vistiting people in Europe he admires, people who are aggressive and obnoxious for politics.

"Scandinavians tend to score the highest for irreligion in the Western World on public opinion polls. Nominally, Swedes belong to the State Church, and 1& 37; of their income is taxed to finance the Church. Any Swede can avoid the 1& 37; deduction simply by making a formal request to the government, but most don't bother. Henrik said that the government will probably privatize the Church within the next five years, but there are evidently people who are concerned that a private church might become aggressive and obnoxious."

Christ said "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." Matthew 5:13

It sounds like the government supported Scandinavian churches have lost their savour. They have been thrown out of the lives of their countrymen. The vast unbelieving majority think the churches only function is to be trodden under foot.

Read chapter 3 of Revelation. I'll give you just a taste of what is written to the church from verse 15 through 20: "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

With a history of state supported churches in Europe, the church is having little impact there. The Swedes are obviously comfortable with a tame church, and have no respect for it. A church supported by the government is weak, luke warm, without flavor or effectiveness. This is another great reason for separation of Church and state. (this download by Pufendorf was written in 1687, the argument for keeping the state out of the Church has a long history.)

If the Church chooses not to be free, if it accepts government financing and control, it is making itself a bond-slave to the political system. It can not be effective for God. SPUE.

Now to get personal:

As a Christian; what is your temperature?

Do you still add saltiness to the stew?

Are you a free Christian?

Lets look at Matthew 5:14-16, the verses after the one on salt. "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill can not be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Jesus Is Lord!


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