Editor’s Note:

This blog has been retired, but will continue to serve as an archive of my work.

Please visit me at Angela Wittman’s Blog: http://angelawittmansblog.wordpress.com/

Thank you!

In Christ Alone,

Angela Wittman

17 His name shall be forever: his name shall endure as long as the Sun: all nations shall bless him, and be blessed in him.

18 Blessed be the Lord God, even the God of Israel which only doeth wondrous things.

19 And blessed be his glorious Name forever: and let all the earth be filled with his glory. So be it, even so be it.

~Psalm 72, 1599 Geneva Bible

The Christian Wife’s Bible Study “God Remembered Abraham”

By Angela Wittman

Your Word...

Teach Sound Doctrine

But as for you, teach what accords with sound[a] doctrine. …  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. … 7Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. …

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. …

(Scriptures are from Titus, Chapter 2 -ESV)

A sister in Christ recently contacted me after reading Reblogged: A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism (with comments by Angela Wittman) which I had posted at Christian Heritage News and graciously offered to share the Bible Study she had written “God Remembered Abraham.” My initial impression is that this is a Bible Study written by a woman with a good grasp of the reformed faith, an excellent knowledge of Scripture and a firsthand,  personal understanding of the challenges experienced by a Christian woman married to an unbeliever – her much loved sister.

The author explains:

I began God Remembered Abraham in 1997 and completed it in 1998. At that time, two lovely friends read it and made edits to improve its readability and polish. I will mention no names since my sister desires to remain anonymous, so any mention of names is not possible at this time.

I also thank the staff of the Institute for Creation Research for all I have learned from their lectures and books.

The illustrations by Doré and others were found on the web, thanks to those who collected them. I created the diagrams and the maps, based on maps in my Bible.

Pastor David graciously read and accepted God Remembered Abraham when I used it as a Ladies’ Bible Study in his church. At that time I transformed it into a read-aloud document that included Q&A. That experience enabled me to refine it, thanks to the ladies of the study.

I thank my current Pastor for excellent teaching and continual encouragement in worship. His teaching influenced my final editing work in 2011 before it was published on SisterSite.org.

Although this Bible Study relates the importance of staying in a marriage to allow the Lord time to act, I know there are many women who love the Lord, yet who divorce for good reasons or bad, and my heart is with them. I hope that anyone reading God Remembered Abraham will find bright hope for the future in the loving arms of God— and will be encouraged in the practice of intercessory prayer.

(Source: http://www.sistersite.org/god-remembered-abraham/default.aspx)

biblewatercolorThis Bible Study consists of 12 chapters which includes appropriate Scripture, a contemporary story, prayer and meditation ideas, a section of the Westminster Confession of Faith and a section of  “Further Study” which is an in-depth continuation of the chapter with additional study helps.

I’m excited about the study God Remembered Abraham and plan to use it as a daily devotional; but I can also see where it could easily be used in a group setting or perhaps something more intimate with a few Christian friends who are in a similar situation and in need of Biblical wisdom and encouragement.*

 

victorianrose

* After getting farther along in this study, I have some theological concerns:

  • In chapter 6, Mandy becomes pregnant and is worried that her baby will be born with a health defect, but receives word from the Lord to stop worrying. I don’t believe in special revelation or words of knowledge from the Lord. My hope is that since this was written in the mid 1990’s, the author and Mandy have come to the understanding that how we “hear” from the Lord is through His Word which is perfect.
  • In the Afterward, the author writes: “I once was in a deep meditation, not caught up to the third heaven, yet somewhere near a place of Revelation. I had wakened from a dream in which the word “petition” had been spoken. I turned to a Psalm that I knew contained that word, and read it…

“In reverie, I began to remember the message in my dream. It was the idea that in response to petitions and intercessions, God acts. He does for one at the request of another. So though he will not force a man to believe, yet in answer to prayer he will overrule him, for prayer gives privilege.”

I have to disagree that people are still receiving divine revelation through dreams or by being caught up to the heavens. Once again, my hope is that down through the years, the author has changed her belief in these matters.

So, while being encouraged by the study, I am also concerned that some of the theology being presented might be harmful to new believers or help promote Charismatic practices.

Revised and updated: 7.23.2014

Reblogged: A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism (with comments by Angela Wittman)

Angela Wittman:

For my readers: I am reblogging this Catechism because I am a Christian wife whose husband has not yet confessed Christ and I have found the principles expressed in this catechism to have given me great peace and encouragement during my 30+ yrs. of marriage.

While my friends were divorcing, the good Lord gave me the patience and faith to stay in a difficult (at times) situation and trust Him with the outcome. Now my husband and I are closer than when we were first married and he has become more loving and gentle with me. Of course, if a wife is in an abusive situation, she should flee to safety, but if one is in a tolerable situation, hang in there and trust God. He will heal your broken heart and life. May His name be praised.

And for the Christian man who finds himself in a similar situation, here is a link to “A Christian Husband’s Marriage Catechism:”

http://reformedbaptistfellowship.org/2014/07/09/a-christian-husbands-marriage-catechism-2/

*After “reblogging” this article yesterday and expressing support for the Biblical principles it contains, I was challenged to provide Scripture and portions of the Westminster Confession of Faith that support points 11 and 12:

Q11. How good a husband is my husband to me?
A11. Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for him every day.

Q12. How good a wife am I to my husband?
A12. Much worse than I ought to be, and therefore I will confess my sins to God every day, asking forgiveness, and to my husband as needed, and continue in prayer for grace to grow into the excellent wife that God wants me to be, and that would be such a blessing to my husband.

My response was to look for Scriptures pertaining to humility, because I sincerely believe this is the message the author was trying to portray in these two specific points. When one is a Christian, there is a profound sense of one’s sin and we acknowledge that we deserve hell, but glory be to God, we have received grace and mercy instead. Of course this humble attitude can and will be exploited and hated by wicked men, but it is an outworking of our sanctification and is something true believers cannot help having.  One cannot delete portions of Scripture because wicked men will abuse and twist them. The Word of God or attitude of the believer is not the problem. The problem is the wicked men who are not truly regenerate – this is why church discipline is so important: The goats need to be exposed and removed from the assembly and their families need godly intervention for protection.

I also posted this section of the Westminster Confession of Faith:


Chapter XXIV Of Marriage and Divorce

I. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.[1]

II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife,[2] for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed;[3] and for preventing of uncleanness.[4]

III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent.[5] Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord.[6] And therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies.[7]

IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word.[8] Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.[9] The man may not marry any of his wife’s kindred, nearer in blood then he may of his own: nor the woman of her husband’s kindred, nearer in blood than of her own.[10]

V. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, gives just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract.[11] In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce and, after the divorce,[12] to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.[13]

VI. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments unduly to put asunder those whom God has joined together in marriage: yet, nothing but adultery, or such wilful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage:[14] wherein, a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case.[15]

Source: http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/index.html

Marriage is not to be entered into lightly, nor should it be with an unbeliever. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is abusive before marriage, it will only escalate after you’re legally tied to that person. It is best to walk away from an abuser – you can’t change them. And by all means possible, protect yourself and your children from abuse: Call the police and seek out a shelter where you will be sheltered and helped. If your church defends the abuser, then you should probably separate and look for a healthy church that will help you and your children. Frankly, if a man has beaten you, he is probably being unfaithful in the marriage bed as well. Seek proof and act accordingly, is my advice. Keep your conscience clear before God and seek His comfort and protection.

In conclusion, please know that I am the daughter of a woman who was so badly beaten by her first husband, a youth pastor, that she had to literally flee in the middle of the night, leaving her sons and belongings behind. It really was a matter of life and death for my mother and she suffered greatly when the church and even her own mother took the side of the abuser. Sadly, she became very bitter at the church in general and her mother in particular. I don’t believe those wounds ever healed before her death in 1995. I pray this doesn’t happen to any of God’s children.

May the good Lord send His mercy and grace to victims of domestic violence and may He deal with the wicked who parade as Christians, but in reality are ravenous wolves. In Lord Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

**For Scripture Proofs for the “Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism,” please see:

***And for Pastor Meadows final thoughts, please see:

Originally posted on Reformed Baptist Fellowship:

marriage

Providentially, many Christian wives are married to unbelieving husbands. This is a great trial for them, especially if the man is very ungodly. Pastoral counseling discovers that many of these sisters in the Lord are perplexed about how God wants them to relate to their husbands in such a case. I have prepared this brief catechism for some guidance, suggesting that she should memorize it and find supporting Scripture references for its counsel, with careful study of those passages.

I am convinced that even though these are basic biblical truths, many Christian wives would know more peace and confidence in their God-ordained role if they called them to mind every day for practical application in their marriages. Also, these truths should prove helpful even when the husband is a godly man.

May the Lord use this simple catechism to bless His precious daughters in difficult marriages.

D. Scott Meadows, Pastor

View original 610 more words

Tracing My Christian Heritage

By Angela Wittman

Dad and me.

Last week I went to visit my 79-year-old father who lives in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. He’s had a difficult time with his health the last few years and at one point I thought I would lose him. I remember how vulnerable he appeared to be after having difficult major surgery for an aortic aneurism. I also remember how the memories of the strong daddy I knew as a child came vividly flooding back to me as I saw my weak and frail dad in the ICU.  Praise the LORD! Dad had a wonderful surgeon with much skill and compassion, and soon he was moved to a regular room and eventually allowed to return home.

You can imagine how relieved I am to see my dad in good health and spirits with his loving wife, Peggy, my step-mother to care for him. Due to distance, I can’t physically help dad as much as I want to, but perhaps I can bring honor and peace to him by researching his side of the family tree. So, dear friends, please join me on this journey through time to trace our family’s Christian Heritage .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dedicated to my dad, Jesse C. Somers, with much love and respect.

Amazing Grace: The Gospel, Civil War, Secession and the Trail of Tears

Illustration from "The Circuit Rider: A Tale of the Heroic Age" by Edward Eggleston

Illustration from “The Circuit Rider: A Tale of the Heroic Age” by Edward Eggleston

“Yet still they look with glistening eye,
Till lo! a herald hastens nigh;
He comes the tale of woe to tell,
How he, their prop and glory fell;
How died he in a stranger’s room,
How strangers laid him in the tomb,
How spoke he with his latest breath,
And loved and blessed them all in death.
~ Final stanza of a hymn about the perils of the Circuit Rider by Samuel Wakefield

While researching Great Grandfather Henry Francis Somers, who I have been told was a traveling evangelist or circuit rider for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I came across these interesting vital statistics:

Henry F. Somers was born in Jackson County, Tennessee in June of 1860. This was approximately one year before the War Between the States and exactly one year before Tennessee voted to secede.

American_Civil_War_Montage

In the 1860 Jackson County, Tenn. Census his father is listed as Abe Summers (age 39 yrs.) and mother as Darcus (36 yrs.), siblings are recorded as:

Aner, 16 yrs. female
Archibald, 10 yrs. male
John, 14 yrs. male
Nancy 12 yrs. female

Another possible sibling could be Matthew A. Summers who is recorded as being born May 28, 1866 in Jackson County, Tenn.

I also found a John Summers in the 1840 Jackson County, Tenn. Census (Page 284, Line 29, Dist. 9) who could possibly be one of Abe’s relatives.

Further research has shown that Abe’s given name was Abraham, he was born in Tennessee (1820) and his wife Darcus is listed as being born in North Carolina in 1824. I pulled this information mostly from Census reports filed in both Jackson County, Tennessee and Butler County, Missouri where Henry F. Somers was listed as living in for both the 1900 and 1910 census.

Trail_of_tears_map_NPS

During the journey, it is said that the people would sing “Amazing Grace”, using its inspiration to improve morale. The traditional Christian hymn had previously been translated into Cherokee by the missionary Samuel Worcester with Cherokee assistance. The song has since become a sort of anthem for the Cherokee people. – Source: Cherokee Removal / Wikipedia

While researching Jackson County, Tenn., I discovered it had originally been “Indian Land,” which is an indication that the family story we come from a Cherokee heritage and that Henry was a full blooded Native American might very well be true. I suspect the “Summers” family assimilated into the white culture to avoid persecution. Oral family history claims that we descend from twin Cherokee brothers who were orphaned on the Trail of Tears (Could this be Abraham and possibly a brother?) The Cherokee tribal removal by the government began in that area in 1836 – 1839 (too soon for Henry F. to have been involved in the removal). It is said that the orphaned twins were adopted by a white family.

For an extensive history of the “Trail of Tears,” I recommend this excellent resource which is compiled and presented by a descendent of the noble Cherokee Tribe:

 

* This is just one small nugget of family treasure I’ve discovered. I plan to share a treasure trove of the Somers family His-Story here: http://somersfamilyheritage.wordpress.com/. Please feel free to join me on this wonderful adventure!

In the Name of the One and only Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray this work will bring honor and glory to the Henry Francis Somers family name. Amen.

Were the Solway Martyrs martyred for the Judicial Laws of Moses?

By Angela Wittman

solway-martyrs3“Were the Solway Martyrs martyred for the Judicial Laws of Moses?  No.  They were martyred for a very specific liturgical reason:  they would not say ‘God save the King.’  While it is true that they believed God was Lord over the State, the specific context dealt with God’s lordship over the Church.” – Jacob Aitken (Bayou Huguenot) in response to the article Covenanter Theonomy

I recently came across the article “Covenanter Theonomy” posted at the blog Theonomy Resources and while I agreed with the history presented of the Scottish Covenanters, I almost fell out of my chair when I perceived the author to be linking the “two Margarets” martyrdom to theonomy. So, out of respect for the memories of those two noble “Ladies of the Covenant” I feel compelled to present their story as history records.

First of all, let’s define the term “theonomy” as it is used today:

Theopedia defines theonomy asa view of Christian ethics associated with Christian Reconstructionism, most noted for its attempts to show how the ethical standards of the Old Testament are applicable to modern society, including the Standing Laws of the Old Testament, as well as its general ethical principles.”

Wikipedia defines it as: Theonomy, from theos (god) and nomos (law) is the idea, espoused by Christian Reconstructionists, that Mosaic law should be observed by modern societies.[1] Theonomists reject the traditional Reformed belief that the civil laws of the Mosaic Law are no longer applicable.[2] This idea is not to be confused with the idea of “theonomous ethics” proposed by Paul Tillich.[3]

As a former theonomist, I used a very broad definition in order to support my erroneous position that theonomy was historically a reformed position that could be proven by historical documents such as various Reformed Confessions, especially those from the 16th century. A vague definition of it just meaning “God’s Law” held up fine until I began actually reading and studying the Confessions of the 16th Century and compared them to today’s theonomic beliefs. I then discovered that there are different views of the law and just what is applicable for Christians. For example, are we discussing “General Equity” of the Law as stated in the Law of God, Chapter 19 of the Westminster Confession of Faith [emphasis mine.]:

I. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and all his posterity, to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience, promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.[1]

II. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables:[2] the first four commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.[3]

III. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits;[4] and partly, holding forth divers instructions of moral duties.[5] All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the New Testament.[6]

IV. To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging under any now, further than the general equity thereof may require.[7]

As you can see, a clear definition of what is meant by the term “theonomy” is imperative. It has been said that he who defines the terms wins the argument.

But what do historical accounts of the Solway Martyrs reveal were their last words as the two Margarets were drowning in the Solway Tide?  Was it the Judicial Law of Moses? I think not, their last words were of the love of Christ – their martyrdom was for religious liberty to Worship God in truth and without fear of persecution.

Here is an excerpt from “The Maiden Martyrs” posted at Electric Scotland [emphasis mine]:

A cruel sentence. What had they done to deserve such a doom? They had done much, in the estimation of ungodly despots. They had contended for the right to worship God in accordance with the dictates of their own conscience; they refused to subscribe to the doctrine that the authority of the Church was derived from the king. They even held the opposite doctrine, that the Lord Jesus Christ was the source of the Church’s authority; and this was regarded as treason by the king and his minions. Hence their cruel sentence. But what was accounted treason by the king of Britain was, they were persuaded, counted loyalty to the King of heaven, and they preferred his favor—they knew that it was life, and that his loving-kindness was better than life. Hence, with brave hearts they had gone to prison, as they felt, upon their Master’s service and now, with firm step, they march to the place of execution. The elder, Margaret McLaughlin, was first fastened to the stake farther down the beach than her younger companion, that her death, if she refused to retract, might have that effect upon her more youthful friend.

But their persecutors knew nothing about the power of principle, or the influence of the love of Christ on the hearts of Christians. Accordingly, when the tide was rising, she was besought to give up her principles and acknowledge the supremacy of the king; but she replied: “Unless with Christ’s dear servants we have a part, we have no part with him and then she encouraged herself, singing the old Psalm: “To thee I lift my soul, O God.” And Margaret Wilson, instead of being frightened by the sight of her fellow-sufferer’s death, was only emboldened to hold fast her profession. Said she, looking upon her dying friend: “What do I see but Christ in one of his members wrestling there? Think you that we are the sufferers? No, it is Christ in us; for he sends none a warfare upon their own charges.” Brave words from so young a martyr; but she was inured to suffering, for though now only eighteen years of age, she had for five long years been a wanderer from home and friends for the cause of her Master. Like the martyrs of old, she had wandered about in dens and caves of the earth the greater part of the time since her thirteenth year, that she might escape the wrath of the enemies of Christ and his truth, and she is not now likely to desert it; consequently, when the water had reached her face, and she had been loosed and asked to disavow the doctrine of Christ’s supremacy and acknowledge that of King James, she replied: “I will not—I am one of God’s children—let me alone.” Yes, she was a child of God, and nobly was she acting in her high position, and bright will be her crown in the kingdom above.

The account of The Maiden Martyrs at Electric Scotland concludes with these thoughts [emphasis mine]:

In Christian lands no king would now claim the prerogatives that were claimed by King James; and how much we are indebted to these humble martyrs for the increased religious liberty—aye, and civil liberty, too, for both will stand or fall together—which is now enjoyed in English-speaking Christian lands, we can not tell; but the seed thus sown and watered with blood was doubtless not in vain. And their story still teaches and inspires its readers with loftier purpose and increased determination to live and witness for Christ and his truth.

The book  “Scottish Heroines of the Faith” by Donald Beaton (1872) gives us more insight into the lives of the “two Margarets” [emphasis mine]:

Margaret Lachlison was the widow of John Milliken, carpenter, a tenant in the parish of Kirkinner, Galloway. In her petition to the Privy Council she says that she is ” about the age of three score [and] ten years,” though on her gravestone in the churchyard of Wigtown her age is given as sixty-three years. She lived a quiet life, but ” superior,” says Anderson, ” to most women of her station in religious knowledge; blameless in her deportment; and a pattern of virtue and piety.” But these virtues did not appeal to the ruling powers in Scotland at this time. Margaret Lachlison had been guilty of absenting herself from the services of the curate, and she had attended the services of the outed ministers. She had also given shelter to some of the persecuted. In the eyes of those in power this conduct was considered highly reprehensible and criminal, and the strong hand of the law arrested all further attentions that this good woman might be inclined to show to her persecuted countrymen. While engaged at family worship on the Lord s day in her own house she was apprehended and carried to prison, where ” she lay for a long time,” says Anderson, ” and was treated with great harshness, not being allowed a fire to warm her, nor a bed upon which to lie, nor even an adequate supply of food to satisfy the cravings of nature.” (pages 25 & 26)

When Margaret Lachlison and Margaret Wilson were apprehended they were asked to take the Abjuration Oath. This was an Oath abjuring the manifesto published by the Cameronians, entitled The Apologetic Declaration and admonitory Vindication of the True Presbyterians of the Church of Scotland, especially anent Intelligencers and Informers. The Cameronians in this manifesto gave expression to their adherence to their renunciation of Charles; they also warn all who may give information against them that they shall punish them according to their power and the degree of the offence committed. ” This step,” says Dr. MacCrie, ” we do not undertake to vindicate. … At the same time it is impossible to condemn them with great severity, when we reflect that they were cast out of the protection of law, driven out of the pale of society, and hunted like wild beasts in the woods and on the mountains, to which they had fled for shelter” {Review of the Tales of My Landlord], When asked to take this Oath, Margaret Lachlison, Margaret Wilson, and her young sister, Agnes, refused to do so. (page 27)

And we are told this about their last words and moments on this earth:

On the nth of May, Margaret Lachlison and her companion were led out of their prison to die on the Solway sands. The officials who were entrusted with the cruel deed drove two stakes into the sand one being further out towards the sea than the other. To the former Margaret Lachlison was fastened, in the hope that the dying struggles of the aged martyr might weaken the resolution of the brave young girl as the remorseless waves rolled on. The fate of the sufferers for conscience sake appealed powerfully to the people gathered on the banks, and every effort was made to win them from their stern resolution to die rather than disown what they believed to be the truth of God. As the waters of the Solway Firth came on and did their pitiless work, some of the bystanders directed Margaret s attention to her aged companion, asking at the same time what she thought of her now.

” What do I see,” came the reply, ” but Christ wrestling there ? Think ye that we are the sufferers ? No, it is Christ in us ; for He sends none a warfare on their own charges.” Then she opened her Bible and read aloud the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. And as she read those deeply comforting words with the light of eternity already shining upon the holy page, how unspeakably precious they must have been !

” Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? As it is written : For Thy sake we are killed all the day long ; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

Then she sang the 25th Psalm in the Scottish metrical version, beginning at the 7th verse :

My sins and faults of youth
Do Thou, O Lord, forget ;
After Thy mercy think on me,
And for Thy goodness great.

Ere the end came they pulled her out of the water, and, waiting until she was able to speak, they asked her if she would pray for King James. ” I wish the salvation of all,” she replied, ” and the damnation of none.” ” Dear Margaret,” pled one of the onlookers, “say God save the King. ” “God save him if He will,” she replied, ” for it is his salvation I desire.” (pages 27 & 28)

blue banner2For an even more detailed account of these two martyrs and the historical events leading up to their arrest and persecution, please see Ladies of the Covenant: Memoirs of Distinguished Scottish Female CharactersMargaret McLauchlan and Margaret Wilson, by Rev. James Anderson (1850).

In conclusion, my impression of the martyrdom of these two godly women is they were unfairly charged as being some sort of revolutionaries, but in all truthfulness they were pious, gentle women who lived the Gospel of Jesus Christ and died for His glory. They weren’t trying to turn the world upside down or dethrone the king. They were exemplary models of godly womanhood whose memories deserve to be honored and treated with the utmost respect. They should not be used as examples to make controversial ideological points.

Lord willing, my future installments in this series will explore the lives of Richard Cameron and Donald Cargill. We’ll also take a look at  “An Informatory Vindication” and other primary documents written by the Scottish Covenanters, and try to discern what exactly is meant by “Historic Theonomy” and if this is an accurate term to describe the beliefs of the Reformers regarding the Lordship of Jesus Christ over the nations.*

May the good Lord bless you and keep you walking in His truth and may we one day have sweet fellowship with the “two Margarets” as we give all glory to God and affirm we had “No King but Christ!” – Amen.

*Update: 4.01.2014 - After much thought and prayer, I’ve decided to let the historical accounts of the Covenanters speak for themselves. I’ve documented much information about them at the Reformed Christian Heritage Blog (http://reformedchristianheritage.wordpress.com/) and feel that further discussion is a waste of my time. I previously made the statement that  whoever defines the terms wins the argument, and the term “theonomy” has been so broadened and watered down by it’s adherents that they’ll soon have every confessing evangelical included in their definition. I think this is deceptive and can only hope and pray that they will feel convicted in their hearts to stop trying to make theonomy fit into Reformation history.

God’s truth will win out in the end.

In Christ alone, Angela Wittman

Scottish Covenanter Resources:

A Review of ‘Uniting Church and Family: Observations about the current family crisis’

By Angela Wittman81WwpxP66tL._SL1500_

Uniting Church and Family: Observations about the current family crisis by Shawn C. Mathis is a collection of published essays (estimated 112 pages, Kindle edition) about the family integrated church movement and what he calls “unsubstantiated” views expressed by some of the leaders in the homeschooling movement. Shawn Mathis is a homeschooling parent and pastors a reformed church, which gives him a unique perspective of these issues, plus a desire to see these things addressed in truth and with Christian love among those in disagreement. Pastor Mathis states in the introduction that this is a “work of love” and “the result of a homeschooling father who investigated the claims of homeschooling’s inherent superiority both in history and in academic testing.” And “it is the conclusion of a Presbyterian minister who evaluated the claims of homeschooling and family integrated church revivals.” The author goes on to say that it is his “hope and prayer” that this “effort will alleviate any false guilt” in families feeling pressured by “spurious claims” and that the end result will be changed minds or “rhetoric.” And if that fails, then perhaps a public discussion between opposing parties will begin.

Here is a list of the topics covered:

  • Integrated Family Church Movement
    • What is a Family Integrated Church?
    • Uniting Church and Family
    • A Weed in the Church: A Review
    • Review of the Christian Movie: Divided
    • Flagrant Misquote in the Movie Divided
    • Scott Brown and the “Regulative Principle of Discipleship”
    • Why I Cannot Sign the Family Integrated Church Confession
    • A Weak Gospel Creates Weak Families
  • Homeschooling
    • I Was Homeschooled
    • In Defense of Homeschooling
    • The Statistics of Homeschooling
    • A Story about Scholarship
    • Why Homeschoolers Need the Gospel
    • The Future of Homeschooling
    • Homeschool Apostates, Homeschoolers and Legalism
    • Colorado Homeschooling Organization Misquotes History
  • Lessons from History
    • An Outline of the History of Reformed Sunday School
    • A Short History of Christian Education
    • On Instruction and Parental Responsibility
    • On Sunday Schools
    • Presbyterian Education Resolutions, 1841
    • Preparing For School
    • Nobler Exercises of Teachers
    • Synod of Dordt: Uniting Family, School and Church

As a Reformed Christian wife, mother, grandmother and former public school board member, who saw first hand the anti-Christian bias displayed in the government school boardroom, I am a strong advocate of private Christian and homeschool education.  It really is true that the public schools believe the children are their property once they walk through the schoolhouse doors and that they know better than parents how to educate their children. But I also see where the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be eclipsed by Christian causes and movements such as homeschooling and building up the family, and how legalism can creep into well-intentioned efforts. I recommend this book to all Christians as it raises valid concerns about these popular movements affecting our homes and churches. I believe Pastor Mathis is sincere and diligent in presenting his concerns and this book will prove to be a valuable resource.

May the good Lord bless Pastor Mathis and those seeking His glory and may He bring them together in truth and love for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Amazon links for Uniting Church and Family:

A Change of Heart Regarding Theonomy

By Angela Wittman

For Christ's Crown and Covenant Header

Dear Friends,

For those who have received either my past newsletters or subscribed to my blogs: At the end of 2013, I retired the Christian Liberty newsletter and then directed readers to my new WordPress blog for subscription: Christian Heritage News .  I also deleted the blogs “Christian Liberty News” and “Reformed Christian Studies” because I had repented of pointing others to “bad” theology; and while they had some very good newsworthy posts, they also contained much theonomy. In fact, that was my main reason for creating the blogs in the first place.

Then after promoting theonomy and Christian Reconstruction for approximately a decade, I had a change of heart.  This wasn’t an overnight or sudden change, but one that gradually took place over a period of months as I began to study the Reformers, their work and the Reformed Confessions of the 16th Century. I began to realize that while I agreed with the “general equity” of God’s Law for civil government and agreed with the Reformers teaching of natural revelation and law, my views were no longer in sync with that of theonomy.  Here I had been telling folks for years that I subscribed to the Westminster Standards – yet I was ignoring its plain teaching on God’s Law:

Westminster Confession of Faith: Of the Law of God – Chapter XIX

Westminster_StandardsI. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and all his posterity, to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience, promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.[1]

II. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables:[2] the first four commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.[3]

III. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits;[4] and partly, holding forth divers instructions of moral duties.[5] All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the New Testament.[6]

IV. To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging under any now, further than the general equity thereof may require.[7]

V. The moral law does forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof;[8] and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it.[9] Neither does Christ, in the Gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.[10]

VI. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned;[11] yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly;[12] discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts and lives;[13] so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin,[14] together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of His obedience.[15] It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin:[16] and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law.[17] The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience,and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof:[18] although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works.[19] So as, a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourages to the one and deters from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law: and not under grace.[20]

VII. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it;[21] the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely, and cheerfully, which the will of God, revealed in the law, requires to be done.[22]

(Source: http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/ [emphasis mine])

My greatest desire is to bring glory to God and not help lead His people astray, so I plan to post mostly  historical and reformed articles, plus those relevant for the faithful church today at the new blogs: Christian Heritage News and Reformed Christian Heritage Studies.

My change of heart does not mean that I’ve given up or thrown in the towel in the “culture wars.” Instead it means I’ve fine tuned my understanding and methods of advancing the Gospel and seeking to see the Lord Jesus acknowledged as the Sovereign King of both Heaven and Earth. My theology has gotten more orthodox and its roots are deeper. If anything, this has caused me to look more deeply into the history, beliefs and work of the Scottish Covenanters, who I believe had a right view of Scripture and its implication for the nations. However, I’m still sorting things out while continuing to learn and I want to thank you all for the Christian love and patience shown to me in this matter.

I’ve assembled some links to resources which might be helpful for others who find themselves struggling with theonomy and God’s Law as outlined in the Westminster Confession and other historical reformed works:

1-covenanters-praying
My hope and prayer for God’s people is to have respect for each other with a sincere desire to grow together in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

No king but Jesus!

Revised 3.4.2014