Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Five Quotes From Isaac Backus

In preparing to teach my Colonial American History class tonight at Daymar College, I've been looking over Isaac Backus' An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty. Mention of Backus in class tonight will be brief, but he is a crucial figure in discussion of American church/state relations. For the purpose of this blog, I found the following five quotes by Backus to be particularly interesting.

Now 'tis well known that this glorious Head made no use of secular force in the first sitting up [sic] of the gospel church, when it might seem to be pecularly [sic] needful if ever;

Now who can hear Christ declare, that his kingdom is, "Not Of This World," and yet believe that this blending of church and state together can be pleasing to him? For though their laws call them "orthodox ministers," yet the grand test of their orthodoxy, is the major vote of the people, be they saints or sinners, believers or unbelievers.

The scheme we oppose evidently tends to destroy the purity and life of religion; for the inspired apostle assures us, that the church is espoused as a chaste virgin to Christ, and is obliged to be subject to him in every thing, as a true wife is to her husband. Now the most chaste domestic obedience, does not at all interfere with any lawful subjection to civil authority; but for a woman to admit [even] the highest ruler in a nation into her husband's place, would be adultery or whoredom (and how often are mens inventions about worship so called in the sacred oracles?). And does it not greatly concern us all, earnestly to search out and put away such evils, as we would desire to escape the awful judgments that such wickedness has brought on other nations! Especially if we consider that not only the purity, but also the very life and being of religion among us is concerned therein; for 'tis evident that Christ has given as plain laws to determine what the duty of people is to his ministers, as he has the duty of ministers to his people.

[B]ringing in an earthly power between Christ and his people has been the grand source of anti-christian abominations, and of settling men down in a form of godliness, while they deny the power thereof. Has not this earthly scheme prevailed so far in our land, as to cause many ministers, instead of taking heed to the ministry received from the Lord ; and instead of watching over souls as those who must give an account, rather to act as if they were not accountable to any higher power, than that of the men who support them ?— and on the other hand, how do many people behave as if they were more afraid of the collector's warrant, and of an earthly prison, than of Him who sends his ministers to preach his gospel[?]

[B]y the law of Christ every man, is not only allowed, but also required, to judge for himself, concerning the circumstantials as well as the essentials, of religion, and to act according to the full persuasion of bis own mind ; and he contracts guilt to his soul if he does the contrary, Rom. 14. 5, 23.

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