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Author Archives: Kenyn Cureton

 

Lost Episode for April 17

Born on April 17, 1741, Founding Father Samuel Chase was the son of an Anglican minister. Chase became an attorney, politician and jurist. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from Maryland. He also served as the Chief Justice of the State of Maryland (1791), and was appointed by George Washington as an Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court where he served until his death (1796-1811). A staunch Federalist, Chase was the target of impeachment by President Thomas Jefferson, but he was acquitted by the Senate. In the case of Runkel v. Winemiller (1799), Justice Chase gave the high court’s opinion: “Religion is of general and public concern, and on its support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people [Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:1-4]. By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty. The principles of the Christian religion cannot so diffused, and its doctrines generally propagated without places of public worship, and teachers and ministers, to explain the scriptures to the people, and to enforce an observance of the precepts of religion by their preaching and living [Rom. 10:13-15]. And the pastors, teachers and ministers of every denomination of Christians are equally entitled to the protection of the law, and to the enjoyment of their [...]

 

Lost Episode for April 16

On April 16, 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote an open letter from his jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in response to a statement made by eight Alabama clergymen critical of King’s non-violent protest efforts and calling him an “outsider” and a troublemaker. What follows is a part of Dr. King’s brilliant reply: “I am in Birmingham because injustice exists here. Just as the prophets of the 8th century B.C. left their villages and carried their ‘thus saith the Lord’ far afield, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own hometown. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid [Acts 16:9]. “Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds… “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights….One may well ask, ‘How can you advocate breaking some [...]

 

Lost Episode for April 15

On Saturday, April 15, 1775, John Hancock presided over the Second Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, meeting at the church in Concord. The assembly adopted a recommendation declaring a “Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer,” which included the following: “Whereas, it hath pleased the Righteous Sovereign of the universe, in just indignation against the sins of a people long blessed with inestimable privileges, civil and religious, to suffer the plots of wicked men… that we see the New England colonies reduced to the ungrateful alternative of a tame submission… to the will of a despotic minister, or of preparing themselves speedily to defend, at the hazard of life, the unalienable rights of themselves and posterity against the avowed hostilities of their parent state, who openly threaten to wrest them from their hands, by fire and sword; “In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to reflect, that whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments, or prepare to act a proper part under them when they come; at the same time, all confidence must be withheld from the means we use, and reposed only on that God, who rules in the armies of heaven [Psalm 84:12], and without whose blessing, the best human councils are but foolishness [1 Cor. 3:19], and all created power vanity [Isa. 40:17]. “It is the happiness of his church, that when the powers of earth and hell combine against it [Matt. 16:18], and those who should [...]

 

Lost Episode for April 14

On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln agreed to go with his wife Mary Todd to Ford’s Theatre for an evening out. Rev. N.W. Miner, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Springfield Illinois, who was close to the Lincolns, recalled his conversation with Mrs. Lincoln about that fateful night of the assassination: “Mrs. Lincoln informed me that he seemed to take no notice of what was going on in the theater from the time he entered it till the discharge of the fatal pistol. She said that the last day he lived was the happiest of his life. The very last moments of his conscious life were spent in conversation with her about his future plans and what he wanted to do when his term of office expired. He said he wanted to visit the Holy Land and see those places hallowed by the footprints of the Saviour. He was saying there was no city he so much desired to see as Jerusalem. And with the words half spoken on his tongue, the bullet of the assassin entered the brain, and the soul of the great and good President was carried by the angels to the New Jerusalem above.”* We all know how President Abraham Lincoln was killed by John Wilkes Booth, but very few know of Lincoln’s last wish was to visit the Holy Land after his second term. That is a lost episode in American history. Read and Reflect: Read 1 Peter 2:21 and reflect [...]

 

Lost Episode for April 13

Founding Father Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743. He was graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1762, was admitted to the bar in 1767, and was elected a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses (1768-79). He famously drafted the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He also served as Governor of Virginia (1779-81), as Secretary of State under George Washington (1789-93) and as Vice-President under John Adams (1797-1801). He became the third President of the United States (1801-09), approving the Louisiana Purchase and commissioning the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803). He became Rector of the newly formed University of Virginia (1819). In addition, he was an ambassador, an architect, educator, author and botanist. Despite Thomas Jefferson’s famous “wall of separation between church and state” metaphor, he was supportive of public expressions of biblical truth in general and the Christian religion in particular. As a member of the Virginia Legislature, Jefferson was one of the leading voices calling for a Day of Prayer on June 1, 1774. As a member of the Second Continental Congress, Jefferson not only drafted the Declaration, with its references to God, but he also revised Ben Franklin’s proposal for the Great Seal of the United States, calling for a depiction of the children of Israel in the wilderness, being led by a pillar of cloud by day. As Governor of Virginia in 1779, Jefferson introduced several bills in the state legislature: • A Bill Punishing Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath [...]

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