Monday, May 14, 2012

Memorials of Baptist Martyrs

Maria, of Monjou

     It has been always true, that they who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.  So was it with this eminelty pious woman.

     Having, according to the requirement of Scripture, on a profession of faith in Jesus, been baptized, and become a member of the body of Christ, and having for a long time conducted herself with holy consistency in the church and towards society in general, the hatred of the ungodly displayed itself.  The magistrate of Monjou had a great dislike to this poor widow, and at length cast her into prison.  There she lay confined for more than a year; and though she had to pass through many sufferings, she cheerfully bore them.  Constantly did she exhort the pious to walk in love, and abide firmly by the covenant of Jesus Christ.  She was herself always diligent to present her body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, that her soul might be built up as a spiritual house, well adorned inwardly with the word of God.

     The magistrate, in every possible way, tempted her for three days, but could not induce her to renounce her faith.  She firmly resolved to abide in Christ.  The magistrate entreated her to go to what she considered the erroneous church (Catholic Church); he even promised that if she would do so, he would release her, and give her support for a year.  However, she would not consent to his proposal, but said that she would abide with Christ, and was willing to resign her life for him.  She was therefore condemned to be drowned.

     When she went towards the water, she sang with a cheerful heart, and rejoiced that so happy an hour had arrived.  Thus, like her Lord, she went as a sheep to the slaughter.  She remembered the testimony of Scripture, "They shall kill you, and think they do God service."  Going along the road she said, "I have been the bride of an earthly bridegroom, but today I hope to be the bride of Christ, and with him to inherit his kingdom."

     When they approaced the water, one of the dissemblers said, "O Maria, repent, or it will not be well with you."  They kept her by the side of the water nearly three hours, hoping they might persuade her to recant, and to follow them; but her only reply was, "I abide by my God; proceed in the business for which you are come here.  The corn is in the straw, and it must be threshed.  In like manner the word of God has begun to work, and it must be perfected."  She then partially uncovered herself, and went cheerfully to death, saying, "O heavenly Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."  She was then driven into the water, where she died, witnessing to the truth of the gospel with her last breath, and greatly encouraging the believers in Christ who witnessed the affecting scene.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Are You Staying Pure For The Lord?

Just a quick question this afternoon.  Are you staying pure for the Lord?  Is your daily walk glorifying God?  The bible says in 1 John 3:1-3

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

         1.  Free from moral defilement; without spot; not sullied or tarnished; incorrupt; undebased by moral    turpitude; holy. 
         2.  Free from guilt; guiltless; innocent.

The world today would have us to be anything but pure!  Is what you are watching, listening to, reading, and thinking on pure? Or do you let your mind and heart meditate on the filthiness of this world.  Do you spend more time watching worldly movies or television shows (if we would just get into the pure word of God we would see that 99.99% of shows on televison are ungodly and do not glorify the Lord Jesus Christ), listening to worldly music (Contemporary "Christian" Music and Southern Gospel included), reading articles that make you depressed, mad, or stir up unrighteous thoughts?

I don't write this as one that would come across holier than thou, but to stir up our your minds and hearts to the things contained in the word of God.

2 Peter 1:12-18 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.


1. A feigned story or tale, intended to instruct or amuse; a fictitious narration intended to enforce some useful truth or precept.
2. Fiction in general; as, the story is all a fable.
3. An idle story; vicious or vulgar fictions.

I think most televison shows fall into the category of a fable and that most don't enforce the truth or precepts of the word of God.

Most of my Independent Baptist brethren would say that we should just throw the television out the window, but I don't totally agree with this type of mindset.  The television in and of itself is not wrong, it is a tool that can be used for both evil and good.  I know that there are individuals out there who have been convicted and even saved by what they saw and heard from a preacher on televison.  I say these things to stir up your minds and hearts and ask is what you are watching pure?

Here are a few statistics on the televison:
  • Estimated number of TV homes: 109.6 million
  • In a recent (03.20.05) Time Magazine Poll 53 percent of respondents said that they think the FCC should place stricter controls on broadcast-channel shows depicting sex and violence. 68 percent believe the entertainment industry has lost touch with viewers' moral standards. 66 percent said there is too much violence on open-air TV, 58 percent said too much cursing and 50 percent said there is too much sexual content on TV. 49 percent say FCC regulation should be extended to cover basic cable.
  • ABC's Desperate Housewives is the most popular broadcast-network television show with kids aged 9-12 according to Nielsen stats. It airs at 10/9. (Jan. 05)
  • According to Nielsen the top TV shows for 12-17 year old girls were: American Idol, The O.C., Will & Grace, and One Tree Hill. The top TV shows for 12-17 year old boys were: The Simpsons, Malcolm, and The O.C.
  • On December 10th, 2003, Fox failed to bleep the f-word and the s-word during the Billboard Music Awards.
    # of 2-11 yr olds Watching = Over 1 million
    # of 12-17 yr olds Watching = Over 1 Million
    These two groups comprised more than 20% of the total viewing audience.
  • Average time kids spend watching TV each day: 4 Hours
  • Children spend more time watching television than in any other activity except sleep. - Huston and Wright, University of Kansas.  "Television and Socialization of Young Children."
  • 54% of kids have a TV in their bedroom. - Ibid
  • 44% of kids say they watch something different when they're alone than with their parents (25% choose MTV)
  • 66% of children (ages 10 to 16) surveyed say that their peers are influenced by TV shows
  • 77% say there is too much sex before marriage on television
  • 65% say that shows like The Simpsons and Married… With Children encourage kids to disrespect parents.
  • Witnessing repeated violent acts can lead to desensitization and a lack of empathy for human suffering
  • Television alone is responsible for 10% of youth violence. - Leonard Eron, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Michigan
  • According to the American Psychiatric Association, "The debate is over… For the last three decades, the one predominant finding in research on the mass media is that exposure to media portrayals of violence increases aggressive behavior in children."
  • A majority of parents say they are "very" concerned about the amount of sex (60%) and violence (53%) their children are exposed to on TV. After being read arguments on both sides of the issue, nearly two-thirds of parents (63%) say they favor new regulations to limit the amount of sex and violence in TV shows during the early evening hours, when children are most likely to be watching (35% are opposed). - Kaiser Family Foundation, 9/23/04.
  • Basically, kids with higher exposure to sex on TV were almost twice as likely than kids with lower exposure to initiate sex. - Study Conducted by RAND and published in the September 2004 issue of Pediatrics.
  • "In a recent national survey conducted by Nielsen (4/29/04), 78% of American families who had recently been part of the Nielsen 'People Meter' panel wanted more shows 'without profanity or swear words
  • "In a national survey by Public Agenda ("Parents feel they're failing to teach values," USA TODAY, 10/30/02), 'about 90% [of parents] say TV programs are getting worse every year because of bad language and adult themes in shows that air from 8 to 10 p.m.'
  • Over 1000 studies - including a Surgeon General's special report in 1972 and a National Institute of Mental Health report 10 years later - attest to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children. Studies show that the more "real-life" the violence portrayed, the greater the likelihood that it will be "learned." - American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement, Volume 95, Number 6 - June 1995
  • By age 18, a U.S. youth will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence. - American Psychiatric Association
  • The average youth living in the U.S. watches television 25 hours a week and plays computer games an additional seven hours. - National Institute on Media and the Family, 1998 study
  • "Violence is like the nicotine in cigarettes.  The reason why the media has to pump ever more violence into us is because we've built up a tolerance.  In order to get the same high, we need ever-higher levels… The television industry has gained its market share through an addictive and toxic ingredient." - Lt. Col. David Grossman quoted in The Arizona Republic, May 27, 1999 by Tim Madigan, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, A18
  • "Not every child who watches a lot of violence or plays a lot of violent games will grow up to be violent.  Other forces must converge, as they did recently in Colorado.  But just as every cigarette increases the chance that someday you will get lung cancer, every exposure to violence increases the chances that some day a child will behave more violently than they otherwise would." - Ibid  Attributed to L. Rowell Huesmann of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • Television reaches children at a younger age and for more time than any other socializing institution except the family. - Ibid
  • Research has shown that "mindless" television or video games may idle and impoverish the development of the pre-frontal cortex, or that portion of the brain that is responsible for planning, organizing and sequencing behavior for self-control, moral judgment and attention. - American Academy of Pediatrics - Understanding TV's effects on the developing brain, Jane M. Healy, Ph.D.  (From May 1998 AAP News)
  • Children often behave differently after they've been watching violent programs on television.  Children who watched violent shows were more likely to strike out at playmates, argue, disobey authority and were less willing to wait for things that children who watched nonviolent programs. - American Psychological Association, Family and Relationships -Get the Facts: Children and Television Violence
  • Television Statistics
    According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.
    Approximate number of studies examining TV's effects on children: 4,000
    Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful
    conversation with their children: 3.5
    Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,680
    Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70
    Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children's TV watching: 73
    Percentage of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV
    and spending time with their fathers, preferred television: 54
    Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours
    Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500
  • 62% say that sex on TV shows and movies influences kids to have sex when they are too young
These statistics were taken from these websites:

These are just a few statistics that I found on televison viewing.  We wonder as a country why there is so much violence and why we can't control our children.  I think that this country is in trouble, we need to get back to the truth contained in God's holy word. I wasn't planning at the beginning of this post to talk about televison, but I believe this is the direction the Lord wanted me to go, may we all take heed to the truth of the word of God.

Do you hope that the Lord will return today?  If the Lord were to come back today, would you be ashamed at his coming or would you be found about the Father's business?