2014-05-23 Unity of the Spirit

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com


May 23, 2014

This is a letter to our friends –

Unity of the Spirit

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy if the vocation

wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one

another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

[Ephesians 4:1-3]

I received a response to my last blog post, “For your pastor”. The blog suggesting that churches invite candidates wishing the votes of their members to attend any Sunday worship service, then be invited forward to introduce themselves, answer a few questions, and ask for support.

It is my view that the church administration would be serving to educate its members as well as extend its positive influence into the local society. Here is the response I mentioned.

Sorry, but I don’t agree this should happen in the church. I don’t want to hear about elections, whose running, etc. in the pulpit. I think we need to be accountable citizens and look into this on our own. It is our reasonability as voters, and not have people try to sway us to their way of voting. I judge my voting by the Bible, and how the person responds to Godly teachings. When I’m in church on Sunday, and want to hear about my Lord, and his word.

This is a view I am sure is shared by many American church goers. Let us forebear one another and endeavor to find unity.

We agree: – We should be accountable citizens; — We should make our choices and judge character, according to Bible principles; — Sunday messages should focus upon the Lord and His word.

Before discussing differences, it is always best to meet on points of agreement. Then endeavor to expand that unity. Think of it as meeting in the middle of a love bridge.

The Bible has much to say about, “love thy neighbor” [Lev 19:18, Mat 19:19, Mat 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Rom 13:9, Gal 5:14, James 2:8] Christ summed up the whole Old and New Testament in the simple statement, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.” [Luke 10:27]

“Love God and love others.” Pretty simple instructions. To “love” is to be unselfish. (See John 3:16). Vertical (love God) and horizontal (love others).

In the Bible, God created and deals through only three human organizations: Family; Church; State (civil-government). “Family” is the building block of any society. “Church” is the vertical relationship between families and God. “State” is the horizontal relationship between families and families.

The Bible gives us rules for governing (i.e. directing, regulating, controlling, restraining) all three of these human organizations. As a matter of fact, I know of nothing God created that is not governed by a set of laws. The “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.

Dr. Jedidiah Morse* describes just such a time in our own history in the following excerpt from an Election Sermon delivered in Charlestown, April 25, 1799, from the Bible text, If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3). Our dangers are of two kinds, those which affect our religion, and those which affect our government. They are, however, so closely allied that they cannot, with propriety, be separated. The foundations which support the interests of Christianity, are also necessary to support a free and equal government like our own. In all those countries where there is little or no religion, or a very gross and corrupt one, as in Mahometan and Pagan countries, there you will find, with scarcely a single exception, arbitrary and tyrannical governments, gross ignorance and wickedness, and deplorable wretchedness among the people.

To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. I hold this to be a truth confirmed by experience. If so, it follows, that all efforts made to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them..[1]

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Ben Gilmore 1929-2023

On March 30, 2023 Ben Gilmore, the co-founder of ACHStudyGroups (co-founded with his wife Fran), went to be with the Lord in Glory.

A Memorial: https://www.mykeeper.com/profile/BenGilmore/