Reforming the Church - Family Integrated Church Life Conference

We went to a conference done by NCFIC last Saturday. First there was a message by Scott Brown on "The Implications of the Sufficiency of Scripture." This talk was about how we should apply the sufficiency of scripture. Then after that there was a talk by my dad on "Dealing with a Culture at War Against Church and Family." This was about how we need to resist the influences of the culture. Then Mr. Tsantles gave a talk about "Establishing Biblical Church Life." He talked about his experience of coming to a family integrated church. Then Mr. Churchill gave a talk on "The Role of Fathers in Church and Family Life." This talk was about what a father needs to do.

After that we ate lunch. After lunch Steve Breagy gave a talk on "The Discipleship of Children." This talk is about how to disciple your children in the family and the church. Then my dad did a talk on "Applying the Regulative Principle of Worship." In this talk he went through our church service, and told how each thing our church does is from the Bible. Then Mr. Brown finished up by doing a talk on "The Family's Relationship to the Church." This talk was about how the church relates to the family and how the family relates to the church. I enjoyed the conference very much. I did not have a favorite because I liked them all. We forgot to bring the camera, so we do not have any pictures from it.

Character Qualtities of Lucy Buck

Rachel in front of Bel Air, Lucy Buck's House

During the Civil War, Lucy Buck lived in Front Royal, VA. She kept a journal, which contains a good description of the battle of Front Royal. Since there are few examples of godly characters today,we should look at what some of her character traits were, and also the biblical basis for those traits. We will discuss her love of family, bravery, and trust in God.
One of her character traits is her love of her family. This is a biblical trait to have, because the Bible says in John 13:35: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."1 One example of that in her journal is how much she enjoyed the letters from her brothers while they were fighting in the war, like when she wrote,
We were sitting by the candle in Grandma's room tonight when Father came from the office bringing a paper and two letters ... I was almost beside myself with joy at their arrival particularly when upon reading Irvie's we learned that he had been promoted to the rank of captain ... Dear boy! I hate the idea of his being exposed to the dangers conseqent upon active service and am so sorry he and Alvin will be seperated, but he has one kind Protector as Omnipotent to save on the field of battle as in the quiet of home, and as Alvin has gone onto Bragg's army ... I sincerely hope he may succeed for he richly deserves it to, I'm sure.2
This also shows her trust in the sovreignty of God as well as her love for her family. We see another example of this is when she wrote,
Father came in this evening bringing a letter from dear Irvie ... Poor fellow, he was in the late dreadful battle – how glad I am thatwe were unconscious of it till it was all over. He writes very despondingly and seems almost to wish himself back with Alvin whom he says has returned thither. He says our friends all escaped unhurt and almost as if by a miracle. The battle must have been much more deadly than we had thought for. Must write to him soon.3
This show that she was not only concerned for the safety of her brother, but also for her friends. From these examples we see how important her family was to her, and her love for her brother.
Another character trait we wll discuss is her bravery. God frequently reminds us in the Bible not to fear because he is our protector, such as in Deuteronomy 31:6:
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.4
Here we see why it is good to be brave and have courage. An example of Lucy Buck's courage and love of strangers is when after the battle of Front Royal happened she wrote,
We descended all of us to the basement for protection ... The house was exposed to a cross fire and we were all really in much more danger than we were at the time aware of – at any rate I could not bear the idea of being entombed ingloriously in the cellar while our deliverers were gallantly endangering their lives in our defense – it was not to be thought of for an instant – I must witness if not assist in the struggle. So Nellie and I went on the porch with a pitcher of water with the contents of which we refreshed our soldiers as they would ever and anon stop in their chase weary and thirsty ... I did not feel the least fear as the missiles of death screamed and shrieked around – the sound was rather pleasantly exhilarating and I watched the discharges with positive enjoyment – did not for one instant doubt our success in driving the varmints out.5
Here we see that she was not afraid even in times of great danger, but was ready to comfort the soldiers as much as she could.
The last trait we will discuss is her trust in God. This is a good character trait because God is our protector and defense, so we should trust in him like the Bible says in Psalms 5:11:
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. 6
We see how Lucy Buck exhibits this when she said,
Our army seemed to have melted away or were within the coils of a mighty serpent that must soon crush them – oh it was all disheartening enough! – and I have wondered how we ever struggled through such depths of gloom. But the day I trust has gone on our midnight, how it has all so changed I do not understand, but surely God has been with us. 'Tis he that arrested the tide of Union successes and nerved and inspired our men to such deeds of daring heroism. Oh! – may we never forget to whom we owe it all and weakly give to erring impotent man the need of thanksgiving and praise that belongs but to the Maker!7
Here we see that she is thankful for what God has done, and realizes that it could not have been done without his help. This is clearly an example of her belief in the sovreignty of God.
We have seen how Lucy Buck exhibits three specific charachter qualities which are love of family, bravery, and trust in God, through her words penned in Sad Earth, Sweet Heaven. These are important qualities to have because of their biblical basis, which we have also discussed. Young ladies should try to emmulate these qualities in their lives today.

1 John 13:35, KJV
2 Buck, Lucy Rebecca Sad Earth, Sweet Heaven (Buck Publishing Company, Birmingham, Alabama: 1993) p. 158-159
3 Ibid p. 171
4 Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV
5 Sad Earth Sweet Heaven, p. 79
6 Psalms 5:11 KJV
7 Sad Earth Sweet Heaven, p. 138

John Brown Video

To view in HD click here.

John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry

Today is the 150th anniversary of John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, which in many ways helped caused the Civil War. This week people are celebrating how he was a martyr who died to free the slaves. This is actually not true. Brown was a very evil man. Before the raid on Harper's Ferry, he stole what would now be about a million dollars, but he was so persuasive that he convinced the man he stole it from later to lend him money. He was also a lunatic. At one point while he was in Kansas, he took a group of people out during the night and went to all the cabins of the area and murdered in cold blood everyone who was for slavery. Also it just so happened that after that murder Brown and his sons had nice new saddles. There is lost more to say, but we don't have space here to tell all of it. My father did a great talk on our trip to the Shenandoah Valley last month, and sometime we will have them available for sale.

John Brown was encouraged to raid Harper's Ferry by the "Secret Six", a group of six prominent Bostonians who were abolitionists and Unitarians. The raid was not a very smart idea. He had 21 men, 16 white and 5 black. He chose Harper's Ferry because at that time it was a large arsenal and weapon factory where about 100,000 guns were stored. His plan was to get the weapons and leave, and then he excepted the slaves to flock to him from their plantations. First of all, he did not have any way to transport the 100,000 weapons. Secondly, if the slaves did come to him, it would just be a mob. Brown had never commanded more than 30 men, and the slaves probably did not know how to use the weapons. It would have been a bigger disaster than it was.

Inside the engine house

As to the actual raid, it went well to start with. He captured the arsenal, but then he made a big mistake by not leaving. The militia of the area gathered and attacked him. He ended up trapped in the fire engine house with only four men. The next day Col. Robert E. Lee and Lt. Jeb Stuart came up from Washington with 88 marines, and stormed the engine house at the point of the bayonet and captured it. John Brown and his men were tried for murder and slave insurrection and were convicted. They were hung on December 2nd. There is much interesting history about the raid which I studied before we went to the Shenandoah Valley.

It was very neat to be able to go to the site of the raid in September with the people from our church and see what actually happened there. Much of the town is the same as it was then, and it is a very neat location. Here are a few pictures.

Us in front of "John Brown's Fort"

The Bridge which Brown used to get to Harper's Ferry

The town

The original location of John Brown's Fort (it was moved)

The Potomac River. Harper's Ferry is here the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet

We are planning to produce a documentary on Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862 from the video of the tour, but we will see if it happens.

Blogging the Reformers: Queen Margaret de Navarre

The Book in her hand is probably a Bible

Margaret was born on April 11th, 1492. Her brother was Francis I, King of France. In 1525 she married Henry, King of Navarre. Navarre was a small country between Spain and France which is now part of France. She had influence over her brother, and she tried to move him toward the Reformation. She also defended and protected many Reformers. Margaret desired to reform the church, but she did not want to break with Rome. She was not perfect, but she was a Christian and God used her in the Reformation of France. She died in France on December 21st, 1549. D'Aubigne says of her, “Such was Margaret in the midst of the court; the goodness of the heart, the purity of her life, and the abundance of her works spoke eloquently to those about her of the beauty of Christ.” 1

1 J. H. Merle D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 2000) volume 1, book II, p. 419

Blogging the Reformers: William Farel

William Farel was born in 1489 in France. At the age of 20 he entered the Sorbonne in Paris. He became friends with Jacques Lefèvre, a Christian who desired to reform the church. He was saved in 1519, but within a year was forced to flee Paris. He preached at various cities, and then came to Geneva in 1532. He was very instrumental in the Reformation in Geneva, and many people were saved through his preaching. In 1536 he convinced John Calvin to stay and help him in Geneva rather than going into seclusion for study. He said, “May God curse your repose ! may God curse your studies, if in such a great necessity as ours you withdraw and refuse to give us help and support!”1 He was a very fiery, powerful and eloquent preacher. D'Aubigne said of him:

“His desire to enlighten his contemporaries was intense, his heart intrepid, his zeal indefatigable, and his ambition for God's glory without bounds. ... He was not a great writer ... but when he spoke he was almost without an equal. ... His much eloquence, his lively apostrophes, his bold remonstrances, his noble images, his action frank, expressive, and sometimes threatening, his voice that was often like thunder, and his fervent prayers, carried away his hearers.”2

1 J. H. Merle D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 2000) volume 3, book ix, p. 461

2 Ibid, volume 2, book v, p. 199-200

Blogging the Reformers: John Tausen

John Tausen was born in Denmark 1494. His father was a poor farmer, and John assisted him in his youth. He desired to study, and through hard work he was able to become a monk at the age of 19. He realized the errors of the Roman Catholic church through his study. In 1517 he was sent out to go attend the university of his choice, except Wittenberg where Luther was. Eventually he went to Wittenberg anyway. He was saved there and returned to Denmark in 1521.
Tausen was a gifted preacher, and preached the gospel to the monks and the people around him. At one time he was imprisoned and he preached to the people through the window of his prison cell. King Fredrick appointed him as the preacher in Copenhagen, the capital. There he preached, and many people were converted. He defended the Reformation ably in debates with the Catholics. After the death of Fredrick he was sentenced to death, but the people rioted and he was pardoned. Tausen was the leader of the Reformation in Denmark. He died in 1561.

Blogging the Reformers: King Fredrick I of Denmark

Fredrick was born on October 7th, 1451. He was a member of the House of Oldenburg. At that time the Scandinavians in the countries of Denmark, Sweden and Norway were under the same king. After Fredrick’s father, Christian I, died, Christian II, Fredrick's nephew became king. Christian II was not a Christian, though at times he pretended to be Protestant, he was just being a hypocrite. He was a very cruel king, and in 1523 he was forced to abdicate the throne by the nobles. His uncle Fredrick succeeded him. When Fredrick was younger he was a priest, but he realized that the Catholic theology was wrong and was converted to the Reformation. He was kind, tranquil, peaceful and prudent, and was not cruel like his nephew Christian. When he accepted the throne he had to promise that he would protect the Roman Church from heretics. He promised, but he did not arrest the Protestants, and allowed them to preach. With his encouragement and support, the Reformation prospered and many were converted through the preaching of John Tausen and others. Fredrick died on April 10th, 1533 at the age of sixty-two after reigning ten years. With his help the reformation was in the ascendancy in Scandinavia, even though the bishops still preserved their power.

How Theodore Roosevelt became Successful through Writing The Naval War of 1812

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt began writing The Naval War of 1812 while he was at Harvard in 1879. It was his first book, and he published it in 1881 after much study, just after being elected to the New York State Assembly. He was 23 years old at the time. This book quickly became the authoritative work on the subject, and Roosevelt became recognized as a historian. The writing of this book made people think he would be a good historian and eventually an elected official. There were several reasons for this, and today we will look at his unbiasedness, diligence and fame.

The Naval War of 1812 was the first relatively unbiased book on that subject. Previous accounts had been written, but they had been biased to their particular sides. Roosevelt says,
“It is to be regretted that most of the histories written on the subject, on either side of the Atlantic, should be of the 'hurrah' order of literature, with no attempt whatever to get at the truth, but merely to explain away the defeats or immensely exaggerate the victories suffered or gained by their own side.”1
Throughout the book Roosevelt shows how the previous accounts twist, ignore or intentionally change facts. He says that it does no good to tell history that is not true. One of the most important things we get from studying history is knowing and therefore being able to avoid the faults of those who came before. If we skip the mistakes of our particular side, then we defeat the purpose for studying history at all. It is important that all historians be as relatively unbiased as possible, and Roosevelt fits that criteria. It is also important for people who are running for office to be unbiased, because otherwise they would not judge justly between different persons or ideas. Being unbiased is one of the most important qualifications for an elected official.

USS. Constitution vs. HMS. Guerriere

As Roosevelt wrote The Naval War of 1812, he carefully researched all the previous accounts of the war. He also delved into the archives at Washington and searched through the ships' logs and letters of the captains. He did this so that he would be as sure as possible that his story was correct. It is important that history books be well researched so that they will correctly portray what happened. Roosevelt did this, and though some of his details have been proved wrong, he still was very accurate. Roosevelt’s method of analyzing the battles has influenced all works on naval history that came after. He compared the different strengths of ships and fleets to help decide whether the loser was defeated by greater strength, or their own cowardice or lack of training. He carefully studied the naval tactics, and made tables of the relative strengths. Roosevelt's book effected later scholars through his carefully researched facts and conclusions, and also through the methods that he used. One historian said, "Roosevelt’s study of the War of 1812 influenced all subsequent scholarship on the naval aspects of the War of 1812 and continues to be reprinted. More than a classic, it remains, after 120 years, a standard study of the war."2 Diligence and accuracy are important characteristics for elected officials because it is necessary that they work hard in their positions, and make sure that they know everything possible on certain issues.

Battle of Lake Erie

The third quality that we will consider is the prestige and fame that this book gave him. We have already seen how this book was so influential to other historians. By writing this book Roosevelt became a famous historian. When someone is running for political office it is very important that people recognize their name, and know something about them. Thereby they would be able to decide better whether or not to vote for them. By writing The Naval War of 1812, Roosevelt made himself more famous, and therefore advanced his chances to get elected.
After writing The Naval War of 1812, Theodore Roosevelt continued throughout his life to write history. He was also a soldier, rancher, statesman, and, most notably, President of the United States. His famous books on history, including The Naval War of 1812, helped him in politics. Besides giving him much of his income, they showed people some of the qualities that he had, which we have mentioned here, such as unbiasedness and diligence. Roosevelt's writing of The Naval War of 1812, greatly influenced both his political career, and future historical works.

1. Roosevelt, Theodore The Naval War of 1812 (New York: The Modern Library, 1999) p. 205

2. Crawford, Michael J.. "The Lasting Influence of Theodore Roosevelt’s 'Naval War of 1812'". International Journal of Naval History. Retrieved 2009-08-11.