Agape Love

FeaturedAgape Love

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about Agape Love.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Before taking a closer look at Agape, let’s look at the four different words in the Bible for love:

  1. Eros: erotic love. This is not found in either the Old Testament or New Testament.
  2. Storge: empathy. This is in the Bible and has to deal with having empathy for someone.
  3. Philia or Phileo: friendship, having tender affection for someone or something. While this can include sexual it is usually in relationship to brotherly love. We get philanthropia, love of people, from it; also philanthropy, love of humanity.
  4. Agape: sacrificial love. Best example is God loves us no matter what!

The problem we have in today’s society is that while love is on the minds of people, even to the point of emphasizing God is love, it usually is speaking of Eros or, at best, Phileo. Simply put the unbelieving world doesn’t know the difference between the different types of love, so they bring God’s love down to what they understand thereby polluting it.
Agape love actually doesn’t have a definitive meaning. Sacrificial love probably comes the closest, but it still doesn’t catch the whole meaning. That is why when describing it we often need examples. The example above (John 3:16) shows sacrificial love and a whole lot more. How do you describe the kind of love it took for God the Son to suffer separation from God the Father for even a second? And He did it for us! Yes, it is Agape love at its best but it is impossible to define it with any more meaning in man’s tongue.
Yet we are commanded to have Agape love. In John 13:34 we are told to love one another, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” That is not talking about sexual love or even friendly love, but rather a sacrificial love for one another. We Christians are to be known by that kind of love with the added “especially of the household of faith.”
What doesn’t Agape love mean?”
As stated above it doesn’t mean sexual love. Nor does it mean brotherly love. Sometimes the world wants us to be more loving toward those who are gross sinners. They use Scripture that contains the Agape love as their basis. That is pure ignorance of the Word of God. God loves everyone but not their sins. And that is what we as Christians need to be: love the sinner but hate the sin. That’s hard to do because many people in the bondage of sin want you to “tolerate” their sin which the Bible condemns.
The fact of the matter is everyone was born a sinner. Each one of us is born with a natural bent toward sin of any type. God understands this, which is why it was necessary for Him to send His Son to pay the penalty for sin. But Christ’s sacrifice of His life and His Divine oneness with the Father isn’t a Get Out of Jail card enabling us to sin and then use the card when necessary. It is a Gift Card paid for by Jesus Christ. It has eternal value but cannot be used as an excuse for illicit activities.
So God wants us to show a sacrificial love toward everyone. We are to judge sin as He judges it, but we are to love the sinner with open arms restoring them as much as is possible. This is particularly true of our love for the brethren (other born again people).
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars Book One) and now Pauline A New Home (Book Two), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Upon This Rock

FeaturedUpon This Rock

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about Upon This Rock.
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:16-18 (emphasis added)
This passage generates a lot of comments, even disagreements. Part of the reason is because we humans have a way of zooming in on only one verse or may one or two words in that verse. For example, if you only look at verse 18 you might get the impression that Peter, which means stone, is the foundation or Rock of the church. Religious doctrine has been built on that erroneous belief.
The Bible teaches us to use all of Scripture to understand Scripture. Part of this is reading, studying, and applying verses in context. Now admittedly I could have actually added a few more verses and covered 16:13-19. The first few verses has Jesus asking the disciples who they thought He was, while verse 19 deals with the keys of heaven which He gave Peter and were used in the Book of Acts. But the passage beginning in verse 16 and ending with verse 18 gives us the necessary context to understand what is happening.
Jesus was doing a play on words. Peter had just expressed his, and the other disciples, belief that Jesus “art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus then uses Peter’s name (Petros or stone, little rock)  to underline the importance of what Peter had just confessed.
You could paraphrase Jesus’ words thus, Thou art a (Petros) little rock or pebble and upon this (Petra) huge rock I will build my church. In other words, Peter had the distinct honor to declare the gospel upon which the church would be built. No other man had up to that time made that declaration. His Messianic connection had been hinted at by Anna (Luke 2:36-38) and John the Baptist (John 1:29,36), but nothing about the church.
So why is that important?
Unfortunately a false doctrine rose up teaching that Peter is the foundation of the church. Aside from the fact that any man being the foundation makes for a rather weak foundation, it also is contrary to the teaching of Christ and the Apostles that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Foundation of the church.
Because it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, namely His death, burial, and resurrection that the believer’s eternal life rests upon. Jesus Christ shed His blood that we might have life! Later on in Scripture Christ is the Groom and the church is the Bride. It is an eternal connection. Moreover the gospel is the foundation of our salvation. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.
Notice He said “but by me.” We come to the Father by the blood of Jesus Christ and none other!
Nowhere are we told to worship mere man. Peter was a great man used of God, but he always was a man, while Jesus is the God/Man!
Is there anything else we can learn?
The last part of Jesus’ statement reads, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” We Christians all too often are defensive in our war with Satan. But Christ teaches that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the church. That’s an offensive, not defensive, statement. The Church Triumphant will eventually win the war, but right now it is pounding on the gates of Hell. Every time the gospel is heard by an unsaved person Hell trembles. Why? Because if that person turns to Christ for salvation, Hell has gotten a little less crowded. When the church is assailing the gates of Hell with the gospel it is doing its job, which is to win souls to Christ!
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Finding a Church

FeaturedFinding a Church

Today I am writing about Finding a Church.
Before I begin let me provide this snippet: Finding a good church involves a great many things but I am including only those I’m interested in.

  • Perhaps you just moved into a new area and need a church.
  • Perhaps you plan on moving into a new area and need a church.
  • Perhaps you just received Christ as your Savior (born again) and need a good church.
  • Perhaps you’re leaving your current church and need a good church.

There are myriads of reasons for leaving a church, but I am only looking at a few.
How Should I Look for a New Church?
Let’s look at the last item: leaving your church. There are a number of reasons for leaving a church, but the Biblical reason would be doctrine. And that requires soul searching. Why did you leave? What doctrinal issue was involved? If not a doctrinal issue then maybe you should reevaluate.
For the purposes of this blog I am making some assumptions. Namely, that you are a born again believer, that you either are or want to be a fundamentalist, that you want to grow.
What is a Fundamentalist?
A fundamentalist is a person who believes in the fundamentals or basics of Scripture. The following list covers most, if not all, of the fundamentals.
With those in mind here are some ideas: The Church should:

  • Believe the Bible to be the revealed Word of God, fully and verbally inspired of God.
  • Believe the Scriptures to be the inerrant, infallible Word of God, as found within the 66 books from Genesis to Revelation.
  • Believe God not only inspired every word, but also preserved them through the ages.
  • Believe the King James Version is the preserved Word of God for the English speaking people (Psalm 12:6-7; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
  • Believe in one God, who is eternal, self-existent, infinite, and immutable.
  • Believe He has one nature, one essence, and one substance, yet manifests Himself to man in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Timothy 1:17; James 1:17; 1 John 4:4).
  • Believe Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to be the one and only Saviour of mankind.
  • Believe Jesus Christ to be eternally God and to possess all the attributes of Deity.
  • Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born, that He was God incarnate, and that the purposes of the incarnation were to reveal God, to redeem men, and to rule over God’s Kingdom.
  • Believe He lived a perfect, sinless life, at the end of which He was offered for all mankind as a substitutionary sacrifice for man’s sin. This sacrifice was a just payment to God for the forgiveness of sin. It was activated by His death through the shedding of His blood on the cross and was accepted by God upon His resurrection.
  • Believe He ascended into Heaven after His resurrection to be seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting for the time of receiving His church at the Rapture, and returning seven years later to earth to rule and reign as King for 1,000 years (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 43:11; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1, 1:3, 14, 18, 29; Romans 3:19-25, 5:6-15; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 2:5, 3:16; Titus 2:10-15; Hebrews 7:26, 9:24-28; 1 Peter 1:19, 2:2; 1 John 1:3; Revelation 20:1-6).Believe the Holy Spirit of God is a person who has personality and all the attributes of Deity.
  • Believe all men were born with an inherited sin nature received from our common ancestor, Adam.
  • Believe that because of this nature, man is a sinner by choice, and he is totally incapable of reforming himself or ceasing from his sin by his own power.
  • Believe the only hope of deliverance for man is turning to Jesus Christ as the only Saviour.
  • Believe that only through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross can a man be delivered from his sin.
  • Believe that all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour are already condemned to an eternity in the Lake of Fire (Genesis 5:1-5; Acts 4:19, 16:31; Romans 3:10-23, 5:6-12, 6:23, 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Revelation 20:11-14).
  • Believe the local church is composed of members who have been saved and baptized according to the command of Christ, and have voluntarily united together for the purpose of worship, fellowship, service, and the Lord’s Table.
  • Believe all true believers will be taken up at the Rapture, just prior to the Tribulation (Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 1:15, 2:41-43, 11:15, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Ephesians 1:12-14, 5:25-30; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 3:4-15).
  • Believe in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures in their grammatical and historical context.
  • Believe in the pre-tribulation Rapture of the church saints, followed by the seven-year Tribulation.
  • Believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ to the earth and His literal rule for one thousand years. Following this one thousand years is a Great White Throne judgment and then the New Heaven and new earth (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-9; Revelation 19-22).

This is by no means considered to be an exhaustive list, but it does cover the fundamentals. You may disagree with some of these, which is your right. I have included Scripture references to support the items.
You mention the KJV Bible. Why?
Contrary to a lot of intellectual nonsense the King James Version is the only Bible today that is based on the Texus Receptus. The argument against the KJV is that there are “older” versions that are better. Since there are no originals in existence anymore it is impossible to tell which is older. That said, the King James Version is based on copies that can be traced right back to New Testament times. This is not true of many modern versions which can only be traced back to when they were found (at least one in a trash can).
How do I find out what a church believes?
Here are some ideas for that:

  • Church website – many, if not most, churches have a website where you can see their Statement of Faith
  • Tract Rack – When I visit a church I look at their tract rack, it is very revealing
  • Mission Board – another revealing source I check on when visiting a church
  • Friends – if your friends have visited the church they might be able to help
  • Sunday School teaching – you’ll learn a lot about the church’s beliefs and practices
  • Sermons – the preaching of God’s Word will always be revealing.

How often should I attend a church before making a decision?

  • I recommend at least three times. Sometimes it may take weeks to get a true picture.
  • A safe answer would be to attend as long as necessary to form a correct opinion.

What about Music?
Music can make or break a church. There are different views on the subject. One rule I would follow would be to stay away from churches which try to please everyone. These usually have Traditional and Contemporary music or services. A good question to ask is does the music honor God and lift up the name of Jesus. Does the music prepare the heart for the preaching?
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Ushering in the Church

FeaturedUshering in the Church

Today I am writing about Ushering in the church.
“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Psalm 84:10
This verse doesn’t make a doorkeeper (usher) sound very important. But it has been said that for some visitors to church the usher is the first person they meet and the last person they meet. What that means is that some people purposely come late, are met at the door and escorted to a seat. Then at the end of the service, perhaps during prayer, they are the first to leave. Again they see the usher.
Being an usher is actually a very important position. If you serve as an usher you are likely the first person a visitor sees. And that visitor forms an opinion about the church you represent. As an usher you may hand out greeting cards or take up the offering.
In other words you represent the church!
You don’t want people to have a bad impression of your church. So your appearance, speech, and actions need to be your very best. It may not be fair but that’s the way it is. Not only that, but how you treat them. Do you smile? Do you welcome them to the church? Do you offer to shake their hands?
These trivial words and actions aren’t so trivial when you consider you are being evaluated by the visitor. And if you mess up in any single item it has the potential of being blown out of proportion and causing the visitor to never return. Worse yet, it might prevent the visitor from listening to the preacher!
Unfortunately most Christians don’t appreciate ushering. If they were to rate jobs within the church on a 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), being an usher would rank near or at the bottom. Singing in the choir or performing in the music department is usually rated much higher. Yet neither of them have the potential impact upon a visitor like an usher. Now before you get irate I do acknowledge that those ministries are important as they can set the mood for the service to follow. But an usher meets people personally and they either make a positive or negative impact.
How should an Usher dress?
Really depends upon the pastor and deacons, but I would recommend suit, shirt, tie, polished shoes, and a smile. Down here in the south many churchgoers prefer the casual look. That is their prerogative, but it disqualifies them from ushering. Why?
It’s not all that complicated. Because they personally meet visitors and represent the church it is necessary to put forth their very best. It’s an old argument, “if God the Father gave His very best, Jesus Christ, then we should wear our very best,” but it is also true.
Should an Usher talk to visitors?
Obviously the answer is a yes. But I would add “not for very long.” A good usher tries to make the visitor feel welcome without taking up much time. For one thing the visitor could get insulted if you overdid the friendly bit. It’s a fine line, but you should keep your conversation brief.
What about joking with people, both members and visitors?
Be careful what you say. You could be talking to a friend that likes to joke around, but it is possible that a visitor might be offended by such joking.
When should the Ushering begin?
One of the hardest things to get ushers to realize is that ushering begins 10 – 15 minutes before the service starts. By then an usher should be at his station greeting people as they arrive. On Sunday morning I come over from Sunday School, where I’m a teacher’s assistant, and immediately begin my ushering duties. Because I’m the head usher those duties include making sure that all scheduled ushers are reminded of their duty or a substitute is selected.
Part of my ushering involves going about greeting people already there. And not just greeting visitors, but members as well. It is all part of making people feel welcome and a part of the service.
Are you looking for a place to serve in your church? Check out becoming an usher.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Insight: Death Ship to the Stars

FeaturedInsight: Death Ship to the Stars

Insights: Persecution
In Death Ship to the Stars you have persecution to a high degree. Is such persecution possible?
Our history is full of terrible persecutions!
Study your Bible and your history book and you will find that both Jew and Christian have endured more persecution than any other religious faith. The Jewish people have known persecution from the beginning. Sometimes it has been so terrible that the nation seemed on the brink of disappearing.
But God has delivered them time and again. In fact, it was God who allowed them to go through persecutions. Sometimes to discipline and sometimes to be a testimony. But God always delivered them. That includes WW2 where the Nazis slaughtered 6 million Jews, but God delivered them.
The Christian has also suffered persecution from the time of Christ forward. The church was baptized in its own blood. Thrown to wild animals, burned as torches, the person who believed in Christ was a constant target. In today’s world Christians have been specific targets abroad and increasingly in the United States.
Persecution is real!
Jews and Christians worship the same God yet they have been guilty of persecuting one another. The Jews persecute Christians because the Jew doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Christians persecute Jews because the crucifixion took place at the behest of certain Jews, yet Christ forgave them. Both are wrong!
Persecution is growing.
Hate groups and nations come and go. They persecute both Christian and Jew. Why? Because both the Jew and the Christian worship the One True God. That is an affront to the unbelieving people. So they persecute that which they do not understand or believe. ISIS came and attacked Christians, beheading them before all the world. But God has delivered Christians from this persecution and ISIS is being relegated to a smaller role as we speak.
But a cursory look around the world and you can readily see the rising of anti Semitism and Christianity. Sometimes together, more often separately. It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that a world wide persecution of both groups is coming.
For us Christians we need to pray for revival. As we turn back to God perhaps He will deliver us from yet another persecution. Here in America we have been largely free of violent persecution. Here we are blacklisted, ridiculed, and marginalized. However in the last decade we have seen more violence than we thought possible.
As I said, we need to pray for revival. A revival that begins with us and stretches forth. We also need to pray for the Jewish people who remain the apple of His eye.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

The Church and the Rapture

FeaturedThe Church and the Rapture

Today I am writing about the Church and Doctrine the Rapture of the Church.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thessalonians 4:16-17. (Emphasis added)
We get the word “rapture” from the Latin word for “caught up.” Some people say the word rapture isn’t in the Bible, but it is in its translated form. It has been taught from the beginning of the church that the Rapture is a Pre-Tribulation event. And from it comes another fundamental doctrine the Imminent Return of Christ. Historically speaking these are fundamental doctrines.
Today there is a growth of an old error that teaches a Post-Tribulation Rapture. Now I know some of you may embrace this doctrine or another one called the Mid-Tribulation doctrine. But these are not considered fundamental, but rather errors. While there are selected verses that can be made to support these non-fundamental beliefs the weight of scripture teaches a Pre-Tribulation rapture.
If you prefer one of the other beliefs, that is fine with me. But, please, don’t call it fundamental. And don’t call yourself a fundamentalist. The truth is you are not a fundamentalist if you abandon any fundamental belief such as:

  • Deity of Christ
  • The fallen nature of man
  • The need for a Savior
  • Christ being that Savior
  • The pre-tribulation Rapture
  • Hell
  • And others [not meant to be an exhaustive list]

The Imminent Return of Christ is not, to my knowledge, ever identified as a belief by name. However, if you read the letters of Paul and the other Apostles it is clear they looked to His return in their own lifetime. Throughout the history of the church, godly men and women have looked for the return of Christ in their own lifetime. And we today look for His return, maybe today while you are reading this blog.
Here’s another personal view: If the Rapture is not until after the Tribulation then why get saved now? Why not wait until the Anti-Christ appears and, recognizing that the time has come, then get saved? Preposterous? Yes, but human nature takes such a stance.
Man doesn’t want to face his eternal destiny so he puts it off. And, according to this belief, he still has at least 7 years before the Rapture takes places. So, like so many humans, he relaxes thinking he has time.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

The Church & America

The Church & America

Today I am writing about the Church and America.
In my last blog concerning the Church I defined the church. Today I want to take a look at the church and America. When I speak of the church I am not speaking of a particular denomination, but rather the Christian church as a whole.
From the very beginning when the Pilgrims came to America the church played a role. Most, if not all, had been persecuted for their faith. They saw America as their last chance to be able to worship God as they believed the Bible taught.
The Mayflower Compact
This document signed by the pilgrims starts out by saying, “In the name of God.” I counted four times that God is mentioned. Moreover there are references to “Defender of the Faith,” and “Christian faith.” It is a document that represents both their spiritual outlook and their commitment to the faith once delivered; a faith based on the Bible.
Declaration of Independence
This document authorizes our independence and the establishment of a constituted government and is bathed in references to God’s involvement. It begins with a prologue, if you will, that sets the stage by appealing to the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. But then follows the famous line, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator …” We have not always lived up to these words but God has honored them. With those few words we were aligning ourselves with God and His Word.
Has America always lived up to that commitment? No. But it doesn’t change the commitment. We even had to fight a Civil War to bring us into line with His will. But He has blessed us to this very day because of our forefather’s commitment even though we have in recent decades slipped!
He has sent mighty revivals that have altered our destiny. Our nation has been either honored or reviled for our faith, but He has remained true.
The Constitution
While this document does not contain references to Christianity the very first Amendment does: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” Please note it says Congress shall make no law. Up to that time nations around the world had national churches where citizenship required adherence to a particular religion. Here in America people were free to worship God how they wanted to. While Christianity was assumed, it was not mentioned thereby allowing other religions the same freedom.
The Jefferson Letter
This letter is not a law but a private letter from President Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists (American Baptist Assoc.) who expressed concern over the lack in their state constitution of explicit protection of religious liberty, and against a government establishment of religion. He assured them there was a wall between church and government. While many ‘experts’ claim this was to protect the citizens from establishing a state religion, already stated in Amendment 1, the history surrounding this letter shows that the wall was to protect all churches from government intrusion.
Our History
Throughout the history of the United States of America the Christian faith and thereby the Christian church has been a bedrock of strength. Many times we have faced crisis and turned back to God. In my life I remember 9/11. Throughout the nation people flocked to church, seeking God and praying to Him. Men and women, conservative and liberal sought God. Unfortunately it didn’t last long as within weeks the nation reverted to its worldly outlook. Even so many lives were saved and eternally changed!
President Trump
The President has claimed he is a Christian and there is no reason to doubt that. Does he have a checkered past? Yes. But God changes people and so far all the negatives we hear are about his past. Without a doubt he is a lightning rod  to those who favor elitism and the power of a central government. But God has and still is using him to turn the country around whether it be political or economical.
One thing is for sure, President Trump has gotten government out of the way of Christianity. We were headed for a secular nation influenced by violence and a disregard for Biblical faith to go against religious liberty. That violence is now blamed on him but a closer look shows that it comes from the left who cannot understand how they got left out in the cold. It’s just my opinion, but I believe the majority of Americans, whether Christian or not, believe that Christianity is what is right for America.
Revival
I quite often point out that the need in America is for revival. I need it and so does everyone else who claims the name of Jesus! Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence can bring about revival. That must come from each of us seeking God. Only He can bring revival.
Some people claim it is too late for revival. I respectfully disagree. Read the Old Testament. The Jewish people were at least as bad as we have become. They turned away from God and worshiped false gods. They also sacrificed their children to false gods. Therefore God brought judgment and revival came. Here, in the United States, we have turned our backs on God and substituted our own religion. I believe that in recent years we have entered a  period where God is showing His displeasure with the direction of our nation. It is not the final judgment, but rather now He may be giving us an opportunity to turn back to Him and once again be a Christian nation.
What will we do with that opportunity?
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

HAVE A HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

America’s Birthday

FeaturedAmerica’s Birthday

Today’s Issue: America’s Birthday
Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week we celebrate the 4th of July, our country’s birthday!
What do you think about when you hear the words, 4th of July?

  • Parades?
  • Speeches?
  • Fireworks?
  • Picnics?

All of these are great. But what about the sacrifices our ancestors made. Many lost their lives, while others lost their wealth and health. Much blood was spilled. For what?

  • Independence?
  • Freedom to worship God?
  • Freedom of Speech?
  • Freedom from taxation without representation?
  • Right to bear arms?
  • All of the above?

I favor the last, All of the above. All of these and much more are what these people made sacrifices for. Today we live in a world where much of this is taken for granted, abused, and often dismissed.
What about the Right to Bear Arms?
I’ve never belonged to the NRA nor do I plan on joining. But I believe strongly in the right to bear arms. I am also in favor of reasonable laws governing the ownership of guns. The key word there is reasonable. But reasonable seems to take a back seat as far as the anti-gun crowd is concerned. Their answer is for all of us to love one another. This coming from teens, most of whom have yet to learn what real love is. Hint: it is not the love that Hollywood peddles. And who will obey these laws? Not the criminals nor those bent on doing harm. Only law abiding citizens will. Which means the criminals will have an unarmed citizenry to prey upon.
What about Freedom to Worship God?
This country was founded by Christians, our Constitution is based on Biblical principles, the Preamble references Him, and the practice of our pioneers was to worship God. But today Christianity is becoming an abused child. While religions like Islam, which worship another god, have many rights and protections, Christianity is undergoing attacks. And unless we turn back to God it will only get worse.
What about Freedom of Speech?
Nowadays we live in a world governed by people who want to take away our right to disagree and express our own opinion. While the Liberal meltdown over the Trump election is a classic example of hatred and the effort to suppress those who support Trump, it is by far not the only one. Colleges and universities are now increasingly becoming institutions where freedom of speech is fast disappearing. Right now it is centering on conservative political stances and upon Bible believing Christians. But if not corrected it will get worse. Eventually we will have a dictatorship of thought.
What about Freedom from taxation without representation?
With a Congress that endlessly debates and does nothing, we are in effect experiencing taxation without representation. It is the home of the ‘swamp.’ There are too many Republicans and Democrats more interested in their own political agenda than they are in solving national problems. So are problems fester and become worse. It is a miracle that the Trump Administration has gotten so much done while dealing with a do-nothing Congress. And yet he has accomplished much.
(A little side note here: Some liberals have the audacity to say that the rebounding economy is a result of Obama’s tenure. His eight years in office did little for our economy which was inching along not on strong industrial growth, but on low paying jobs. You want to see when the economy took off look at the day after Trump’s election and since!)
Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to see America get back on track and “be great again,” you need to support Trump. You don’t have to like him, but right now his administration is the strongest thing going?
What about the Church?
The church is under attack from without and within. The Bible has been diluted, the message lost, and the people weakened. Don’t get me wrong! There are churches that stand for the Word of God, that preach salvation by no other name but Jesus, and that worship God faithfully. But they are disappearing. But the question is legitimate. Our real need is for revival!
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

The Church

FeaturedThe Church

Today I am writing about the Church.

In my last blog concerning the Persecuted Church I defined the church. Here is an excerpt:

When writing about the persecuted church it might be wise to take a step back and consider what church I am talking about. In this day and age the word church has become a huge umbrella that includes “Christians” that don’t really belong under that label.

So what is a Christian?

A Christian, biblically speaking, is a person who:

  • Has acknowledged he/she is a sinner
  • Knows he/she needs a Savior
  • Knows that Jesus Christ the Son of God died for his/her sin
  • Knows Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead 3 days/nights later
  • Has asked Jesus to save based on His shed blood and not his/her works
  • Accepts the Bible as the Word of God

This is a very tight definition on purpose. Although I believe that the KJV Bible is the only Bible for English speaking people, nowhere does the Bible indicate believing in the KJV is necessary for salvation. God gave us a simple plan of salvation and we should leave it that way.

That said, there are many people out there who claim to be Christian. Look at them carefully and you will find they are not Christians. Mr. Romney can protest all he wants but Mormons do not preach or teach about the same God as found in the Bible. Mormons are very religious and try to live a good life, but they are not Christians.

The same can be said about other faiths that claim to be Christians but depart from one or more of the points made above. And while I’m at it, not all humans are the children of God. All humans are the creation of God; He’s the Creator of all. But to be a child of God requires a definite act; i.e.., being Born Again.

Once you have defined the Christian then it is easy to find the church. It is not a denomination. It is that body of believers who are born again. Since baptism doesn’t save it wasn’t listed above, but most churches require baptism since it is the first command to a believer.

That is the excerpt. Now for a more complete definition of the church.

I said it is a body of believers who are born again.  It is also an institution authorized by the Holy Bible. Jesus Himself founded it (Matthew 16:18): “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

This does not make Peter anything; Christ was referring to the gospel which Peter declared (i.e., Jesus is the Christ). And in 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Jesus Christ is what the church is built upon not Peter. So far we have the church was founded by Christ, made up of believers who are born again, and is built upon the foundation of Christ Himself.

Back in Matthew 16:18 He calls it His church. So Christ is the foundation of the church and it is His church, which means that we are not at liberty to change his rules found throughout the New Testament, for its operation, doctrine, and structure. While it is possible for good men and women to differ on these things it must be acknowledged that the basis for interpretation is the Word itself.

So what is the church?

The church is a body of believers organized by the Lord Jesus, founded upon Him, and both organized and structured by Him as expressed in the Bible. Neither man nor government has the right to change God’s rules or to add to them. Government’s job is to get out of the way so that Christians can pray. If the government wants to govern all other religions, then so be it. But Christianity is under His Command.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship to the Stars I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

The Persecuted Church Part 4

FeaturedThe Persecuted Church Part 4

I’ve been writing about the persecuted church. Today I continue with Part 4.

When writing about the persecuted church it might be wise to take a step back and consider what church I am talking about. In this day and age the word church has become a huge umbrella that includes “Christians” that don’t really belong under that label.

So what is a Christian?

A Christian, Biblically speaking, is a person who:

  • Has acknowledged he/she is a sinner
  • Knows he/she needs a Savior
  • Knows that Jesus Christ the Son of God died for his/her sin
  • Knows Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead 3 days/nights later
  • Has asked Jesus to save based on His shed blood and not his/her works
  • Accepts the Bible as the Word of God

This is a very tight definition on purpose. Although I believe that the KJV Bible is the only Bible for English speaking people, nowhere does the Bible indicate believing in the KJV is necessary for salvation. God gave us a simple plan of salvation and we should leave it that way.

That said, there are many people out there who claim to be Christian. Look at them carefully and you will find they are not Christians. Mr. Romney can protest all he wants but Mormons do not preach or teach about the same God as found in the Bible. Mormons are very religious and try to live a good life, but they are not Christians.

The same can be said about other faiths that claim to be Christians but depart from one or more of the points made above. And while I’m at it, not all humans are the children of God. All humans are the creation of God; He’s the Creator of all. But to be a child of God requires a definite act; i.e.., being Born Again.

Once you have defined the Christian then it is easy to find the church. It is not a denomination. It is that body of believers who are born again. Since baptism doesn’t save it wasn’t listed above, but most churches require baptism since it is the first command to a believer.

I am going to all this bother because some of you may point to churches that are thriving and are not being persecuted. It’s possible that a church of true Christians hasn’t yet experienced persecution, but as mentioned in previous blogs persecution takes many forms and it may not be readily visible. But the pastors sense it!

It is also possible that a Christian church is not being persecuted yet because they try to “fit in” with the world. The job of the church is to tell the world about Christ being the answer to their sinful condition not to change the social/political world. It is the church’s job to warn of coming judgment not affect climate change or any other issue. That message brings condemnation from the self-righteous people who sound great but have bought into the world’s righteousness not God’s.

America has been spared the truly vile persecutions that have been seen around the world. Even European countries have started persecuting Christians. Why should we be surprised at that? Christians were persecuted there once before. Here, in America, we may still be enjoying the fruits of Christian churches that once shouted out the Word of God. But without revival I don’t see this lasting much longer.

It is a shame that Hollywood considers itself able to teach Christians about what is right and wrong. We need to get our doctrines from the Bible and not from the world. The Bible is the only absolute authority. And yes, there are still absolutes to be obeyed or followed.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.