St. Paul describes the Roman culture, and any pre-Christian culture,
“(They) exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator….For this reason God gave them over to shameful lusts” (Romans 1:25-26). The art and literature of that time depict the defilement of sexual life. The Caesars provided group sex for entertainment. Adult men had sex with young boys. Pagan religious beliefs imposed no constraints on sensuality.
These practices are repulsive to us and illegal because of the Christian influence. In contrast, every time we see the dignity, beauty, and solemnity that accompanies a wedding ceremony, even in an era of high divorce rates, we do well to remember that this is the result of Christianity’s influence. Reject or neglect the clean heart which Christ gives and we will slouch back to the days of pre-Christian Rome.
Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, Arkansas, for the clean heart and right spirit God gives through Jesus Christ.
Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
Suppose the “Super Bowl” were a struggle to the death of the opposing team, sickly and deformed infants were drowned, and families with one girl would discard a second and a third baby girl. Such was a way of life in the pre-Christian pagan Roman Empire, as reported by Dr. Al Schmidt in his book How Christianity Transformed the World.
Recognizing that God gave special value to human life by creating man in His own image, and this value was reaffirmed when God redeemed fallen humanity with the ransom price of His Son through death on the cross, Christians rescued many children who had been abandoned to die. In their writings they called child abandonment murder and the making and administering of potions (pharmakeia often translated “witchcraft”) for contraception and abortion purposes as a work of the sinful flesh (Gal.
5:19-20). Under Christian influence the gladiatorial “games” where men killed their opponents to entertain the populace were finally banned.
The culture became pro-life.
Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, Texas, where human life is affirmed to be of great value. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
On January 22 the nation observes the landmark decision legalizing abortion, hailed by many as a mark of progress. In reality it is a return to the pre-Christian era when one historian notes “Roman marriage was no longer a sacred bond” and “unchastity the evil of our time.” Then as now abortion was commonly practiced to eliminate the evidence of sexual aberration.
A reason early Christians were hated is that they viewed the sexual life for marriage, the marriage bond sacred, and human life from the time of conception precious. This view of sex, marriage, and life shed light on the depravity of the world around them. “People love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Everyone practicing evil hates the light” (John 3:19-20).
Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, Arkansas, where the light of God’s Word exposes our evil, and where the light of Christ grants forgiveness and a new life. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.
With the election of a new president many people in the United States are anticipating change. Others cautiously question, “Will this change be for good or evil?”
It is “politically correct” to accuse Christianity for the many ills of this world such as the oppression of women, repression of science, and the pollution of this earth. The cry is for change. Dr. Al Schmidt presents the very opposite in his book, “How Christianity Changed the World.” He sets forth the case that Christianity changed the world for the better, how it gave value to human life, emancipated women, abolished slavery, created hospitals, established orphanages, founded schools, and inspired giving and relief work. He shows how the “noble pagan” of today is influenced by the Christian ethic. He would, for example, recoil at the thought of killing babies, but pre-Christian “noble pagans” did not so recoil.
As Biblical Christianity is slowly degenerating, however, there is a returning change: abortion is being accepted, marriage, family, sexual morality are degenerating, infanticide is being be accepted, and human bondage and totalitarianism will evolve.
Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, Arkansas, where the change for the better is affirmed, not by preaching change for this world, but by proclaiming Christ who first changes the heart.
Sunday Service time is 8:00 a.m.
The first two hundred years Christians suffered persecution. Many lost their lives, their property, and their position in life. Why? Because they refused to worship the gods of Rome. They refused to call Caesar Lord, declaring “Jesus Christ is Lord.” For this reason they were considered un-patriotic, and therefore hated by many of their fellow citizens. Yet they remained steadfast, boldly confessing the God who offered up His Son for sinful humanity that He may be Lord of all.
Increasingly this country is becoming like Rome, trying to include all religions under the one title “God” with the implication that it is not patriotic to refuse to join in the worship of this “God.” Are Christians today able to repeat publicly the words of Jesus Christ, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me”
(John 14:6)? Are we afraid in our time to say with the early Christians, “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:9) to whom every knee shall bow? Are we afraid to vacate the public square where the populace calls on this generic deity, “God bless America”?
Come to Peace Lutheran Church, 1506 E. 42nd St., Texarkana, Arkansas, where the Christmas message is affirmed every Sunday, “Glad tidings of great joy…to all people: To you… is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.