Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Christian and Theologically Protestant? Or, sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Fenced Community

Christforums is a Protestant Christian forum, open to Bible-believing Christians such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Church of Christ members, Pentecostals, Anglicans. Methodists, Charismatics, or any other conservative, Nicene- derived Christian Church. We do not solicit cultists of any kind, including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Eastern Lightning, Falun Gong, Unification Church, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian Scientists or any other non-Nicene, non-Biblical heresy.
Register now

Christian Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  

Peace Personified

Recommended Posts

This article (some of which I’ve shared in my Sunday Bible study) is a good reminder how that all things godly are not to be sought from ourselves but from God within us (through His Spirit, in the life of Christ via the new nature). Discouragement can often result when we forget to wait on Him for it, which teaches us one of, or maybe the most important virtue—patience. I say this because I can see how our trust (faith) is tested the most (which strengthens faith) in the hardness of our trials.


I’ve learned that the more you believe God concerning Romans Eight Twenty Eight, the greater will be the strength of your faith before, during and after a trial. Similar to gold enduring the fire, it can only get stronger and purer each time!


When the trials come (big or not so big), you can know ahead of time, or at least before it passes (they always pass) that He has already caused it to benefit your good, esp. concerning the strengthening of your faith, and this is the only life in which it will be used! You may have heard it said that patience is merely a two-step method: Don’t sweat the little things, and everything is little things—with God!

BobH (NC)






Peace Personified


“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isa 26:3). The last time I was in Glasgow, a lady said to me after preaching, “I do not understand it. I have been seeking peace with God for many months, indeed for some years, and I cannot find it.” My answer was simply, “Peace with God is a thing that you will never find in yourself. God never produces it in any human heart.” “I do not know quite what you mean,” she said. “Well, suppose you had a garden,” I said, “and in that garden an old dead apple tree, and you tried to produce apples on that dead tree. You could not. But suppose a friend brings a basket of apples from a living tree, and gives them to you, it is a very different thing, is it not? In fact, peace is a thing you cannot grow in your garden, it is not produced in our hearts (our old heart – old nature—NC), but given by the Father to you” (via the new nature—NC).


The poor women said, “Why, then, I must go home and pray for it!” “No,” I said, “peace is preached to you, not prayed for*; God gives it to faith as distinctly as a person gives you a basket of apples.” He came and preached peace to you who were afar off” (Eph 2:17). Peace (this type—NC) is not something grown in the heart, but made by the Blood of the Lord Jesus’ Cross, and given to the believer. Are you without spot in the presence of your Father? Are you quite sure there never can be a cloud or spot upon you there? Unless you have got the Lord Jesus thus, you have not solid peace. “For He is our peace” (Eph 2:14).


The Lord of glory has finished the work given Him to do, and the Father has raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His own right hand. Was it not “for us”? Do you think He has peace with His Father? Look not at yourselves, but at Him. There is One seated in the unclouded presence of the Father, where cloud or shadow can never come; that One, the Beginning and Head of a new creation, crowned once with thorns, now with glory. Can sin and death have any more to say to Him? Do you not think He has peace? Assuredly, and “He is our peace.” If He is our peace, the peace that He has in the presence of the Father is ours, not as a thing apart from Himself, but His very Person in glory is the believer’s peace. The very One who is our peace is our life, and we are hid with Him in the Father (Col 3:3, 4). Heavenly peace for the earthly path.


I ask not if you feel at peace, but if He who suffered for your sins, the Just for the unjust, made peace and is peace? Joyfully you will answer that since the Cross no cloud can come between the Father and the Son of man, who glorified Him. I believe, and am sure; I know and enjoy it. The peace of the Lord Jesus has with His Father is my peace, and there is no other; for the peace He has with the Father is the peace He made and is for us. As to the past, we have perfect peace; as to the present, we have absolute favor; and as to the future, nothing short of the glory of God to hope for, and even now to rest in.


Instead of it being, as before, my sins between myself and the Lord Jesus, it is Himself who is now between me and my sins, and the One who has thus interposed has given me to know that in the doing of it He has brought me to Himself, and tuned my heart to His own peace. In the Person of my Lord I am clear, and carried beyond the judgement for ever; the power of death is annulled, of Satan finally broken. I raise, with joyful heart, a song of victory; for sin, and death, and judgement, that gnashed their teeth upon me, are behind me now.


- C Stanley





Poster’s Note:

*peace is preached to you, not prayed for: concerning the passage, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psa 122:6), it is my understanding that this is referring to seeking for the peace of Jerusalem in an earthly sense and not necessarily in a godly sense, i.e. “Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good” (vs 7-9).


I believe the article is referring to a godly peace that is from God which all believers have in their faith, which is a peace that is beyond comprehension (Phil 4:7), and which cannot be derived from our nature and therefore is given for us to “let (allow) the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Col 3:15).




Excerpt from MJS devotional for Aug. 25:

“Christians have a poor self-image simply because they are thinking and looking upon the condemned and crucified first-Adam life within, instead of being occupied with their glorified Last-Adam life above. “Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18).” - MJS



  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post


Child with Downs Syndrome..........hesitant at first, but then..........!!


(You can stop watching at the end of the link, or I think you can loop it.)

Edited by Winken
Post Deleted ???

Share this post

Link to post


Child with Downs Syndrome..........hesitant at first, but then..........!!


(You can stop watching at the end of the link, or I think you can loop it.)


Thanks for the sensitive video Wink!

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Topics

    • The Peace That Could Not Hold

      It was supposed to be the war to end all wars. After the armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (100 years ago Sunday on November 11, 1918), it would be known as the Great War. No one would have thought to call it World War I, because they could not fathom the even greater horrors to come just a few decades later in World War II. The peace of 1918 would not hold. Americans pay far closer attention to World War II, even though the country suffered more than 117,000 military deaths in two brief and bloody years from 1917 to 1918. Indeed, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive that ended 100 years ago Sunday was by far the deadliest battle in American history, surpassing both the Battle of the Bulge and also the Normandy Invasion in World War II. Neither America, nor any other antagonists that suffered even greater losses, would ever be the same after this terrible and utterly avoidable conflict. Philip Jenkins, distinguished professor of history for the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, has written an excellent book on the religious dimensions to this “holy war.” And we corresponded on the occasion of this somber anniversary to consider how the war shaped global Christianity, religious fervor, Christian theology, peace movements, and more. You can also listen to my earlier interview with Jenkins, “How World War I Became a Religious Crusade.” Did peace in Europe shape Western or even global Christianity in any lasting ways?  Well, if not the peace, the war absolutely did have such an impact, and particularly the events of 1918. The war destroyed ancient centers of Christianity in the Middle East, especially among the Armenians and Assyrians. At the same time, the suspension of missionary enterprises shifted the balance in Africa and Asia to native forms of faith. That movement was massively enhanced in 1918 by the influenza epidemic, which killed between 50 million and 100 million worldwide. That event showed the utter inability of Western missionaries and medics, and drove many ordinary people to seek help from healing churches, and from individual prophets and charismatic leaders. The great age of the African Independent Churches dates from this time. As to the West, I can hardly begin! Contrary to myth, the war did not destroy the faith of ordinary people, but it did drive thought and writing by theologians, above all by Karl Barth. Barth published the first edition of his commentary on Romans in 1919, but it was the second edition, published in 1922, that according to one Catholic observer, “burst like a bombshell on the playground of the European theologians.” The book was a frontal attack on the liberal conventions that had shaped mainstream theology since the Enlightenment. And that does not begin to talk about the great Catholic thinkers like Henri de Lubac, whose war experiences shaped their lives, and we see their lasting influence transforming the church in the Vatican Council of the 1960s. Dare I say that the Christian world we know today is the product of 1918? How did Christian pastors help their congregations cope with the aftermath of the deadliest conflict the world had ever known? Did their reactions vary between victor and vanquished, or even within countries on the same side? Your question about the diversity of responses is spot-on, but I would focus on one absolutely common theme that we might not think of so centrally today. Obviously priests and pastors had to help returning veterans, especially in a time of social and economic chaos, and open revolution in some countries. But what they had in common was that they all concentrated on the work of commemoration, which occupied so much effort over the next decade or so. That meant designing and building monuments of various kinds—monuments that are richly informative of popular religious interpretations of the war, with all their angels and knights. It also meant commemorative services and rituals, ensuring that the dead would always be remembered. That enterprise shaped for instance the scriptural readings used, and also the hymns. Those activities became a major part of what churches did for many years, and they helped bind ordinary believers to state churches where they existed. Often, too, the pastors and priests themselves had seen front-line services, many of them as chaplains. That whole work of remembrance is a big reason why we don’t see mass secularization after 1918, contrary to popular myth.  You single out the Germans as being particularly zealous in claiming God’s favor on their war effort. Did they repent or at least revise and rethink their views in light of their country’s defeat?  I certainly do not want to attach blame to any country for being uniquely bloodthirsty, though I would make a case that German political leaders (as opposed to ordinary people) should take much of the blame for the war itself. And they received the powerful support of the country’s religious leaders, especially in the Protestant churches. Far from repenting, most of those clerical leaders played a crucial role in developing the sinister “stab in the back” mythology, which provided such ammunition for the Nazis. One of Germany’s legendary Protestant preachers, Bruno Doehring, was a pioneering advocate of these ideas. As he said as early as 1918, God had not abandoned his people, rather our Volk had abandoned him, as sinister elites “treacherously desecrated the altar of the fatherland.” Although he did not single out Jews for blame, other Rightists would soon do so: The Jews stabbed Germany in the back! The famous Lutheran theologian Reinhold Seeberg composed an epitaph for a war monument that is at once a perfect example of Latin at its most precise and concise, and a chilling manifesto for the generation of 1940. Seeberg addressed the graduates of the University of Berlin killed in the war as Invictis Victi Victuri—to the unconquered, from the conquered, who will themselves conquer. And here is a bizarre note: Seeberg’s most famous theological pupil and disciple was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the legendary anti-Nazi martyr. Could the Second World War have been prevented by a different plan for peace in 1918? When people ask this question, the normal answer is to regret the harsh terms inflicted on Germany. For many reasons, I would disagree. What went wrong in 1918 is that the Allies permitted the German forces to end the war in a way that allowed them to pretend that this was an agreed peace, rather than an outright surrender by armed forces on the verge of total collapse. It also meant that Germany avoided actual combat on its territory, which would have brought home the lesson that they were really defeated and crushed, like in 1945. That allowed German leaders to cook up the “stab in the back” mythology, the whole lie about betrayal. Much of America’s self-identity stems from the Second World War. But how did peace leave America a different nation from the one that entered the war on the Allied side in 1917? Did that self-identity carry any particular religion overtones? The war was not so much a new departure, but a continuation of trends that had been much in evidence since the start of the century—roughly, the Progressive Era. These are not directly caused by the war or the peace, but the war provided a critical focus for ideas already in the atmosphere. Several points come to mind. White Protestants saw the moral crusade of the war as a pivotal moment to impose their ideology on the nation, which especially took the form of Prohibition, and all that meant for sexual ideology and moral purity. Prohibition was justified by the war effort, and it is a 1917 measure, although it does not begin until 1919. Women’s suffrage was part of the same ideological package, which was of course a wonderful example of social progress. The bad side is that it was often linked to an ugly kind of nativism and anti-immigrant sentiment. Not coincidentally, the Ku Klux Klan revival followed in the early 1920s. The other great religious effect was in the form of millenarian and apocalyptic ideas, following such events as the British capture of Jerusalem in 1917, and the Balfour Declaration promising the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. That made the 1920s a great era for apocalyptic and fundamentalist thought. What did peace mean for Christians living in the original homeland for Christianity? And what about in Russia? Between about 1915 and 1930, we are dealing with perhaps the greatest age of martyrdom and mass killing of Christians in history. That includes perhaps 1.5 million Armenians murdered, not to mention mass slaughter by the Bolsheviks in Russia. That all had two key consequences. One was the creation of Middle East that was more clearly Islamic, with far smaller Christian minorities. It also ended the long-familiar tripartite division of Christianity into the worlds of Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox. Although Orthodox believers and thinkers obviously survived, their influence and impact collapsed with the loss of Russia. For the first time, people began to think of Christianity as bipolar—Protestant and Catholic. When did the world begin to see this war as an avoidable mistake? Does that shift tell us anything about changing attitudes toward religion? That happens in different degrees in different countries. Despite what we may think from something like All Quiet on the Western Front, most Germans never regretted the fact of war, but they really regretted losing it. The great shift in Western countries happened in the early 1930s, with the growth of pacifist and leftist sentiment. From a religious point of view, the most important single work was Ray Abrams’s 1933 book Preachers Present Arms, a minor classic of American religious history. The book tries to describe how American clergy (especially mainliners) became such fire-breathing advocates of a literal holy war or crusade against Germany. Abrams himself was writing at a time when the antiwar reaction had set in with a vengeance, and he is incredulous that so many educated believers could have fallen for the view that the Great War was in any sense just. He saw the massive shift to pro-war sentiment as a naïve concession to cynical manipulation by Allied agents, in association with militarist forces within the U.S. government. For Abrams, American clergy gave way to “propagandism” and media-incited panic in a kind of mass hysteria reminiscent of the colonial-era witch hunts. Abrams’s book had a vast influence on later religious thought, certainly through the Vietnam years. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Hating ‘Them’ Is Easy. How Can Americans Live Together in Peace?

      America is in crisis: our “communities are collapsing, and people are feeling more isolated, adrift, and purposeless than ever before.” We are, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse argues in his latest book, Them: Why We Hate Each Other—and How to Heal, “literally dying of despair.” Massive economic and technological upheavals have increasingly isolated individuals, hollowing out the three “local tribes” that “give us true, meaningful identity—family, workplace, and neighborhood.” A media that preys on discord and polarization has rushed into the vacuum where “that hometown-gym-on-a-Friday-night feeling” once lived, sorting us into anti-tribes and factions, in which we’re “defined by what we’re against rather than what we’re for.” Partisan tribalism is “statistically higher than at any point since the Civil War,” as we “soothe our lonely souls with the balm of contempt” toward those we disagree with but do not understand. Sasse’s diagnosis of America’s social fragmentation is unsparing, and if “literally dying of despair” seems overwrought, Sasse is ready to supply the statistics to show he’s not making up these problems. He also supplies personal anecdotes to contextualize all that data and give readers a sense of the communal life that’s disappearing. Narrative of Decline Little in Sasse’s decline-narrative will be new for those who have read their Robert Putnam, Yuval Levin, or other contemporary imitators of Alexis de Tocqueville. It’s made up of quotes from classical sources, anecdotes, and data lamenting a bygone era. The social sciences do most of the heavy argumentative lifting here, which results in what Helen Andrews calls “bloodless moralism,” that is, “moral questions are treated as if they were, at the end of the day, merely empirical.” The form of argument itself may be indicative of the decline Sasse worries about: Without any kind of shared educational tradition, our public discourse hangs on assembling a bricolage of numbers and personal vignettes. Still, Sasse does an admirable job of tying the many threads of decline into a compelling narrative. Them is American bloodless moralism at its finest, which proves both useful and also good (if limited). As a sweeping narrative about American society, it has to overlook some details, and critics will find plenty to question—yet when many people have a sense that society is in upheaval, giving them a story to help them live better through it is an important task. Sasse is known for offering digestible civics lectures, which are often infused with an aspirational description of American life that borders on unhistorical romanticism. This aspirational Americanism and pleas for civility that animate Sasse’s public presence pervade Them. While the book might seem at points like a nostalgic lament, Sasse also has deep convictions about the resilience of American ideals and the American people. Sasse, we might say, is afflicted by these changes without being crushed, perplexed but not despairing. Despite the sweeping panoramic of Sasse’s story of decline, his prescriptions are surprisingly individualized: we need to change “habits of the heart” in order to set the conditions for social change. There’s a great deal of wisdom in Sasse’s counsel about setting limits on technology usage, and I was delighted beyond words to read a sitting senator advocate for buying a cemetery plot to acknowledge our bodiliness, mortality, and communal bonds. Role of the Church The sources of social fragmentation that beset us are so many that any response will be partial and fragmentary. Even so, Sasse says nothing about the church in either his narrative of decline or his prescriptions. It seems impossible to tell the story about decaying American civic life without including the demise of mainline Protestantism, which functioned as a (highly problematic) bulwark against America’s pluralism devolving into warring factions. But it also seems impossible to imagine a renewed sense of civic concern without it being connected, somehow, to a recommitted Christian community. It’s understandable that a sitting senator would be apologetic about even coming near to theological claims; people still are eager to decry “theocrats” in our midst. But if America’s problems are spiritual, the renewal must be equally so—and a spiritualized conviction about “America,” untethered from a more fundamental commitment to the kingdom of God, can only generate the kind of romanticized nationalism that will throttle the renewal Sasse seeks. Sasse’s diagnosis is helpful, if nothing else, for making churches alive to the task before us. And to take a cue from his odd commendation to buy a cemetery plot, churches might consider reviving the practice of church graveyards and burials for the indigent. Such practices might seem like lavish wastes of money, but they also bind the church to time and to the land in ways that remind the surrounding communities of their own mortality and limits. And if our churches, who have reasons to do this that no one else has, won’t bear witness to the body’s limits in this particular way, who will? Besides such eccentric responses, churches might read Sasse’s book with an eye toward countering the media-saturated “anti-tribes” by providing occasions for dialogue among competing outlooks that aren’t specifically tied to religious belief. Some churches in the mid-2000s gained notoriety for hosting dialogues inside of bars—which is precisely the kind of opportunity for ongoing friendly argument and persuasion that local communities need. Such practices seem impossibly irrelevant against the tidal wave of polarization, yet wasting time on the seemingly insignificant is precisely what Christianity does. Churches have an opportunity to unabashedly announce the message of the gospel and becomes centers for responsible and charitable civic pluralism, two tasks that are inherently complementary and urgently necessary. Additionally, if countering the “anti-tribes” requires deepened commitment to the value of the local church, then Christian communities might participate in their renewal by declining to make podcasts or services available to others who use them as substitutes for their own corporate worship experiences or local conversations. Loving Them Other responses by churches will doubtlessly be demanded, if they’re to play their part in renewing America’s civic life. Part of the burden of Sasse’s book is to point toward a path forward, but to leave it underdetermined. If the reversal of our social fragmentation is to occur, some experimentation might be necessary—and many failures will be inevitable. The story of America that Sasse tells is an imaginatively potent one: if a romanticized, aspirational Americanism has dangers, it also has the prospect of making us alive to what our communities might yet become. We need to pursue not simply a civil public discourse, but a limited peace that appreciates the goods we have in common. But that peace can only emerge as the byproduct of churches and individuals being faithful in a hundred smaller and more limited tasks. To that extent, Sasse’s emphasis on the “habits of the heart” is right. But those habits will only be formed by communities unafraid to embrace the weirdness that arises when we embrace practices that are overlooked and forgotten, which helped to form a world that is now passing away. And few communities should have that confidence like the church. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Peace through Strength

      How President Ronald Reagan dealt with the Berkeley protesters in 1969.    

      in Political Conservative News

    • 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Goes to Christian Congolese Doctor Who Helps Rape Victims

      The Norwegian Nobel Committee has selected two recipients for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, including Christian gynecologist Denis Mukwege, who has dedicated his life to caring for victims of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Leaders from Three Major Religions Call for “Peace Caravan” to Israel

      Jewish and Catholic leaders agreed with a plan devised by the secretary-general of the Muslim World League for leaders from the three Abrahamic religions to travel to Jerusalem in what he called a “peace caravan.” View the full article

      in Christian Current Events


Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.