Vol. 12 Issue 3
In God We Trust
Selah Moment Reprint: Bishop Henry D. Hedgepeth, August 23, 2007
It is gravely interesting how founding principles turn into meaningless jargon when morals and values are distorted. How sad is the fact that in these United States the strength of its union has become a taboo subject of great scrutiny and denial. As we progress into new territories and experience global communication, we have devalued and in many instances even denied how we arrived at becoming a great nation. We have all but removed our visual reminder that gives strength to our bartering power and declares for all the world to see “In God We Trust”. Empty words that have shifted from their original recognition of the one true and living God. Redefining His sovereign rule, He has been replaced by gods of our choosing.
This practice has far reaching effects. It has turned us into an unruly people who establish their own acceptable standards of determining what is right. The love of power, money, and sex have driven us far from our Biblical beliefs that drove us to seek our freedom from the oppressive tyranny that ruled us. With a new mindset we redefine who we are willing to be and whose rule we are willing to obey. We walk with the masses rather than against their rebellion. We oppose order and standards of purity; we defy submission and obedience to God’s demand for holiness. Yet we make open declaration that we love God and embrace Christianity. How empty such shallow expressions must be to God as He sees our hearts that have become cold and hardened with pride and a haughty spirit. One wonders how long we will continue to barter our way through life with tender that declares our loyalty to a God we no longer believe in. One ponders how long we will tolerate Christ-like individuals who remind us who we were. One wonders how long it will be before the Holy Bible is even banned from society. While it is popular today to declare our commitment to God, as standards of conduct continue to shift toward ungodliness, true worshippers will be forced to stand apart at the risk of retribution. Will we continue to declare “In God We Trust”?
This newsletter takes a serious look at the demands of Christian boldness in light of the believer’s appreciation for the freedom Christ affords from enslavement to the bondage of sin.
It is our hope that you will find each article and reprint inspiring as they challenge our witness to the faith of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and conformity to Biblical principles.
Special thanks to Princeton University for granting reprint permission, to Elder William Robinson and our Presiding Prelate Apostle Grant, Sr. for their insightfulness and recognition of truth.
The Cost of My Freedom
As I stood at the lone tombstone placed in an isolated patch of earth, amid 1900 acres with its huge towering trees and age trodden dirt paths, I read the inscription placed on a commemorative plaque that identified the occupants of a mass grave. As I read the names of the half dozen or so slaves whose names were provided by a surviving family member, it quickly became apparent that those individuals placing the marker there had little regard for the worth of the lives buried there. The graves were unmarked with no display of care or tending to the site save the inscription that claimed to identify with fond memories the “upper middle class” who lived gracious lifestyles on its grounds having been served “faithfully by these negroes”. As I touched each name and lamented the price they paid for my freedom, I glanced back at the big house in which they labored as slaves and could momentarily see it in all of its glory. I revisited the inscriptions’ tribute and claim to the faithfulness of the slaves and considered my service to God.
Can one consider being loyal to avoid the risk of dismemberment or death as having given faithful service? Can one pondering escape with resentment for their master’s inhumane treatment and denial of the freedom afforded to members of the human race be viewed as commemorative service worthy of special tribute? Is a memorial erected to individuals who were cared so little for that their names were were not even known and their remains lie in unmarked overgrown graves be classified as a tribute? Was the plaque simply placed there longing for the good old days when one race of people held themselves superior to another and lived sumptuously at all cost or was it a shameful attempt at erasing injustice with such suggested claims that these slaves wanted to be enslaved?
As I reflected upon my former enslavement to sin, I reevaluated the cost of my liberty afforded by Christ. Bound by lustful passions and destructive behavior, I too faithfully served one who caused me live a life filled with hatred and ruled by lustful passions. Despite my efforts to free myself of my captor, his dominance and stronghold rendered me incapable of escape. I needed someone willing to break the bands of my enemy and pay the awful price of death to liberate me. Christ, the sinless sacrifice willingly paid for my freedom. He alone could become the ransom that was powerful enough to destroy the stronghold that held me prisoner. No matter how others call to memory my former state, Christ having purchased my freedom and changed my name, delivered me from the pains of death. As I walked away from the unattended site, a new appreciation birthed within me for my deliverance from the ruthlessness of my former life and renewed determination to honor with loving adoration and commemorative service the one whose bloody death bought my freedom.
Remarks of Dr. Robert P. George
Happening in the Nation
In Loving Memory
Deacon Daniel L. Justice, Sr.
September 24, 1927 – April 13, 2014
Deacon Justice gave his life to Christ at an early age and his faithful serve as a member at St. Joseph Holiness Church in Atlantic, VA over many years was marked by his commitment to his appointment as deacon. He leaves to cherish his memory his devoted wife of sixty five years, Mother Dorothy Justice and eleven children, fifteen grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and a host of other loving relatives who cherish his memory. The Nation of NFCOG and St. Joseph family with its pastor, Elder Marlene Brown will miss him as one of our senior fathers as we surround his family with prayer.
Lady Jaclyn C. Grant
NFCOG’s Uth4Christ Creative Arts Director celebrated her 1st successful year as studio owner of The Movement Arts Academy in St. Augustine, FL. Her love of teaching and directing shines through as she musically teaches children ranging from preschool through ages 13+ creative art through movement. The New Beginning family and Nation of NFCOG say “congratulations” for a job well done! Jaclyn looks forward to working with our youth during Uth4Christ 2014 Summer Camp at NAS Jax beginning August 1.