This Sunday is the one when many churches in America conflate Patriotism and Christianity

I want to be very clear that i am patriotic and i am also a Christian. Let me explain what those two things are.

Patriotism

I believe that our nation as designed by the founding fathers with: separation of powers into three equal branches, a form of republican representation on both the state and federal levels, a structure enabling both individual state’s rights and also an overarching federal union of those states, and with rights for individual citizens as enumerated in our Bill of Rights (and for me, the most important of those rights: separation of church and state along with free speech and a free press), is a landmark and perhaps the best form of government yet designed by men. Certainly, our government and its branches sometimes do things i have a problem with, but our basic system is as sound as a system can be when it is made up of broken and sinful people.

Which brings us to: Christianity

I am a follower and disciple of Jesus. This means that i believe:
1. Jesus Christ is God’s son come in the flesh, both fully man and fully God.
2. My brokenness and my sin has been assuaged, cleansed and forgiven by the grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus on my behalf on the cross.
3. My goal is to both love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love others.

The problem

It is when we try to unify these two things that we are in grave danger. The worst thing to ever befall Christianity occurred when Constantine and Theodosius made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. They declared that all citizens were Christians whether they personally believed in Jesus (as i’ve listed above) or not. A state religion has no power to change the hearts and lives of individuals. It produces outward forms without inner substance. The danger in this is that people come to belive that they are followers of God based on where they live and not on what they believe or who they follow. The reformers in Europe continued this patter for several hundred years after the reformation, with most nations in Europe having state religions.

This is a false teaching and a tool of Satan which condemns men to separation from God based on a wrong belief of what a Christian is. Our nation has never been, based on our founding documents, a Christian nation. In fact, i believe that there is no such thing as a Christian nation and there can never be such a thing until God establishes His kingdom on earth. To follow Jesus, to truly believe, is not a national thing but an individual thing. A nation can have many true believers (Christians) and attempts can even be made to produce laws based on Christian principles, but that does not make a nation Christian. Individuals can be Christians, but nations are just groups of individuals who unite together under a common government. A nation or a government has no soul.

I’ve laid out my premises here, and i suspect many of my friends might agree in principle with what i have said. I also suspect many will not agree with the conclusions i will now draw.

1. Churches should not have the flag of a nation placed in prominence in the front of the church. The church and the Christians in the church owe allegiance to one kingdom: the kingdom of God.
2. Patriotic songs/hymns/programs have no place inside a church. Like me, Christians can be patriotic, and even serve in our government and armed forces, but the church is wrong to endorse or glorify any nation. Its allegiance is to God and His kingdom.
3. The Apostles Peter and John, when arrested and imprisoned as related in the book of Acts, proclaimed unequivocally to the religious leaders that followers of Jesus must obey (give allegiance to) God rather than to men.

You see, when my life on earth comes to an end and my time in eternity begins, my citizenship as an American will have no value at all, but my citizenship in God’s Kingdom will make all the difference.

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Epistles of John – Week 40 – 1 John 5:13-21

This week we conclude our 40 week study of The Epistles of John by looking at 1 John 5:13-21.

This post contains everything from week 40 of the Adult CE class at Eastside Community Church in Jacksonville, FL. This is from a series on the three Epistles of John (1 John, 2 John, 3 John) which has run weekly from January 2016 through May 2017. Links to all the previous lessons are at the bottom of this post.

You can view the presentation here.

Epistles of John - Week 40

 

You can listen to the audio of the lesson here:

 

You can download the PDF file for the presentation by clicking here:


102 Downloads

You can download the MP3 file by clicking here:


55 Downloads

Here are links to the previous lessons in the series on The Epistles of John.

Week 39 – Epistles of John – 1 John 5:6-12

Week 38 – Epistles of John – Faith vs Belief

Week 37 – Epistles of John – 1 John 4:20-5:3

Week 36 – Epistles of John – 1 John 4:7-19

Week 35 – Epistles of John – 1 John 4:1-6

Week 34 – Epistles of John – 1 John 3:11-24

Week 33 – Epistles of John – 1 John 3:4-10

Week 32 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:28-3:3

Week 31 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:22-28

Week 30 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:18-21

Week 29 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:15-17 Part 2

Week 28 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:15-17

Week 27 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:12-14

Week 26 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:7-11

Week 25 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:3-6

Week 24 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:2

Week 23 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:1-2

Week 22 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 21 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 20 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 19 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:8-10

Week 18 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:6-7

Week 17 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:5

Week 16 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:1-4

Week 15 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 14 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 13 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 12 – Epistles of John – 3 John 11-15

Week 11 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 10 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 9 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 8 – Epistles of John – 3 John 5-8

Week 7 – Epistles of John – 3 John 1-4

Week 6 – Epistles of John – 2 John 10-13

Week 5 – Epistles of John – 2 John 7-9

Week 4 – Epistles of John – 2 John 7-8

Week 3 – Epistles of John – 2 John 4-6

Week 2 – Epistles of John – 2 John 1-3

Week 1 – Epistles of John – Introduction

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Epistles of John – Week 39 – 1 John 5:6-12

In this week’s lesson we look at what The Water and The Blood are in 1 John 5:6-12.

This post contains everything from week 39 of the Adult CE class at Eastside Community Church in Jacksonville, FL. This is from a series on the three Epistles of John (1 John, 2 John, 3 John) which has run weekly from January 2016 and now is continuing into 2017. We will finish by the end of May 2017.

Below is the first part of the Presentation.

1 John 5.5-12

Below is the second part of the Presentation.

Epistles of John - Week 39

The audio of the lesson is here:

 

You can download the PDF file for the first part by clicking here:


93 Downloads

You can download the PDF file for the second part by clicking here:


89 Downloads

You can download the MP3 file by clicking here:


62 Downloads

Here are links to the previous lessons in the series on The Epistles of John.

Week 38 – Epistles of John – Faith vs Belief

Week 37 – Epistles of John – 1 John 4:20-5:3

Week 36 – Epistles of John – 1 John 4:7-19

Week 35 – Epistles of John – 1 John 4:1-6

Week 34 – Epistles of John – 1 John 3:11-24

Week 33 – Epistles of John – 1 John 3:4-10

Week 32 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:28-3:3

Week 31 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:22-28

Week 30 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:18-21

Week 29 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:15-17 Part 2

Week 28 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:15-17

Week 27 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:12-14

Week 26 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:7-11

Week 25 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:3-6

Week 24 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:2

Week 23 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:1-2

Week 22 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 21 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 20 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 19 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:8-10

Week 18 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:6-7

Week 17 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:5

Week 16 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:1-4

Week 15 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 14 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 13 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 12 – Epistles of John – 3 John 11-15

Week 11 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 10 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 9 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 8 – Epistles of John – 3 John 5-8

Week 7 – Epistles of John – 3 John 1-4

Week 6 – Epistles of John – 2 John 10-13

Week 5 – Epistles of John – 2 John 7-9

Week 4 – Epistles of John – 2 John 7-8

Week 3 – Epistles of John – 2 John 4-6

Week 2 – Epistles of John – 2 John 1-3

Week 1 – Epistles of John – Introduction

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Epistles of John – Week 38 – Faith vs Belief

This week’s lesson on the difference between Faith and Belief is one of the most important topics for any believer to understand. We also look at 1 John 5:4-5.

This post contains everything from week 38 of the Adult CE class at Eastside Community Church in Jacksonville, FL. This is from a series on the three Epistles of John (1 John, 2 John, 3 John) which has run weekly from January 2016 and now is continuing into 2017. We will finish by the end of May 2017.

Below is the first part of the Presentation.

Epistles of John - Week 38

 

Below is the second part of the Presentation.

Faith vs Belief

 

The audio of the lesson is here:

 

You can download the PDF file for the first part by clicking here:


93 Downloads

You can download the PDF file for the second part by clicking here:


92 Downloads

You can download the MP3 file by clicking here:


57 Downloads

Here are links to the previous lessons in the series on The Epistles of John.

Week 37 – Epistles of John – 1 John 4:20-5:3

Week 36 – Epistles of John – 1 John 4:7-19

Week 35 – Epistles of John – 1 John 4:1-6

Week 34 – Epistles of John – 1 John 3:11-24

Week 33 – Epistles of John – 1 John 3:4-10

Week 32 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:28-3:3

Week 31 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:22-28

Week 30 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:18-21

Week 29 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:15-17 Part 2

Week 28 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:15-17

Week 27 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:12-14

Week 26 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:7-11

Week 25 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:3-6

Week 24 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:2

Week 23 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:1-2

Week 22 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 21 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 20 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 19 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:8-10

Week 18 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:6-7

Week 17 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:5

Week 16 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:1-4

Week 15 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 14 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 13 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 12 – Epistles of John – 3 John 11-15

Week 11 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 10 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 9 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 8 – Epistles of John – 3 John 5-8

Week 7 – Epistles of John – 3 John 1-4

Week 6 – Epistles of John – 2 John 10-13

Week 5 – Epistles of John – 2 John 7-9

Week 4 – Epistles of John – 2 John 7-8

Week 3 – Epistles of John – 2 John 4-6

Week 2 – Epistles of John – 2 John 1-3

Week 1 – Epistles of John – Introduction

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Epistles of John – Week 37 – 1 John 4:20-5:3

This week we look at the essence of following God: Loving God and Loving Others and what commandments God has given to those who are followers of Jesus in 1 John 4:20-5:3.

This post contains everything from week 37 of the Adult CE class at Eastside Community Church in Jacksonville, FL. This is from a series on the three Epistles of John (1 John, 2 John, 3 John) which has run weekly from January 2016 and now is continuing into 2017. Our plan is to finish 1 John by the end of May 2017.

Below is the Presentation.

Epistles of John - Week 37

The audio of the lesson is here:

You can download the PDF file by clicking here:


77 Downloads

You can download the MP3 file by clicking here:


55 Downloads

Here are links to the previous lessons in the series on The Epistles of John.

Week 36 – Epistles of John – 1 John 4:7-19

Week 35 – Epistles of John – 1 John 4:1-6

Week 34 – Epistles of John – 1 John 3:11-24

Week 33 – Epistles of John – 1 John 3:4-10

Week 32 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:28-3:3

Week 31 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:22-28

Week 30 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:18-21

Week 29 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:15-17 Part 2

Week 28 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:15-17

Week 27 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:12-14

Week 26 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:7-11

Week 25 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:3-6

Week 24 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:2

Week 23 – Epistles of John – 1 John 2:1-2

Week 22 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 21 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 20 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:9

Week 19 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:8-10

Week 18 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:6-7

Week 17 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:5

Week 16 – Epistles of John – 1 John 1:1-4

Week 15 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 14 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 13 – Epistles of John – 1 John Introduction

Week 12 – Epistles of John – 3 John 11-15

Week 11 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 10 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 9 – Epistles of John – 3 John 9-10

Week 8 – Epistles of John – 3 John 5-8

Week 7 – Epistles of John – 3 John 1-4

Week 6 – Epistles of John – 2 John 10-13

Week 5 – Epistles of John – 2 John 7-9

Week 4 – Epistles of John – 2 John 7-8

Week 3 – Epistles of John – 2 John 4-6

Week 2 – Epistles of John – 2 John 1-3

Week 1 – Epistles of John – Introduction

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