O God, our sovereign and our shepherd,
comfort us with your protecting presence
and your angels of goodness and love,
that we also may come home
and dwell with him in your house for ever.

Abide with us, Lord, for it is evening,
and day is drawing to a close.
Abide with us and with your Saints,
in the evening of the day,
in the evening of life,
in the evening of the world;
abide with us and with all your faithful ones, O Lord,
in time and in eternity. Amen.

Please help me with these feelings of worthlessness. Open my eyes to see me as You see me. Remind me that I am precious in your sight and that You are refining me into something amazing to advance your kingdom. Let me know that You are with me in every trial and that I am not as helpless and worthless as I may feel right now. Help me to see Your plan and purpose in this season. In Your name I pray. Amen.

Background

A question came to my mind a few years ago, so I finally allocated time to write a blog entry about it. The question was, "Is it time for Christians to pull their children out of secular government schools?" This can be a hot topic of whether or not Christians should be involved with government (public) schools. Even though it is a hot topic for some, I think it is an important question to consider and to discuss. Merely pushing it under a rug and hoping it goes away is not the best response. This article includes a bit of my thoughts on the question from a particular viewpoint.

Various polls have been conducted to determine the reasons why people leave the Church. A recent Pew Research poll was conducted of why young people leave the Church. Many of the reasons given could have been answered with additional reading and studying. The cause of young people being unaware of answers to challenges of their faith could be, as some believe, due to a lack of Apologetical teaching in the Church environment. The avatars of secularism, as is there job, will attack religion, yet if the Church is not providing apologetical teaching and instruction, then when those of faith, who have limited knowledge and understanding when dealing with secularism, may walk away with secular reasonings that are answerable. Part of the failure to teach apologetics is that teachers and leaders in the church have not risen to the need of task at hand. If the church wants to keep their young people, then the intellectual challenges must be answered.

Many disbelieve in God for a variety of reasons. The French existentialist Jean-Paul Sarte and Albert Camus were at the forefront of modern atheism and some suggest more atheist than the new atheists. These two, and others, strongly disbelieved and argued against God. They were, some claim, more serious at their craft than the modern new atheism. They were not merely playing with atheism but rather sought to the bottom of it.

Not a week goes by without a report of censorship with popular social media Companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others. With Facebook and other Social Media outlets censoring the content of its users, many are searching for a Facebook alternative.

I have been looking around for Facebook alternatives for a several months now. I have also been watching where other YouTube content creators are going as well as watching trends for alternatives. Here are two alternatives for Facebook that many Facebookers and YouTubers are increasingly embracing and that I often see as suggested alternatives in Social Media comments.

The Importance of Early Church History

Beginning of the Church

The Church is a physical entity and has a definite beginning. The Church was founded upon Christ Jesus, “and on this rock I will build My church, (Matt. 16:18).” The start of the church began at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and empowered them, 

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance, (Acts 2:1-4).” 

From the beginning of Christ's church it had three important characteristics:

This is Part II of a series of articles. Part I can be read here.

 

Holy Tradition

The Four Attributes of Holy Tradition

Holy Tradition can be defined by stating that the historical New Testament Church has always believed in a tradition that includes the following four attributes:

  • Apostolic teaching, that which Jesus Christ delivered to His apostles: “according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my [Paul’s] trust, (1 Timothy 1:11).”

  • The Church, which Jesus established (Matthew 16:18) in the first century at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4)--the Church being the keeper of apostolic teaching (1 Timothy 3:15).

  • Church Fathers, who are the successors of the apostles (2 Timothy 2:2), authors and interpreters of oral and written teachings, holders of councils (and providers of the creeds), and canon of Scripture canonization. 

  • Scripture (the Bible), which emerged from the life of the early Church and was completed late in the fourth century. 

This is Part III of a series of articles. Part II can be read here.

 

Holy Scripture

The Canon of Scripture

The New Testament scriptures exist as the first century writings by the apostles, by Jude, and by Luke that describe and record what Jesus taught and instructed them and what they faithfully delivered to the early Church’s converts. These writings function to preserve some of the written apostolic teachings, which early Church Fathers were able to interpret based upon what they had also been taught by Jesus’ disciples through oral traditions. This was the method used by the early Church Fathers: the Church Fathers instructed the faithful through the use of oral and written apostolic teachings. 

This is Part IV of a series of articles. Part III can be read here.

 

Afterwords

The previous three Sessions contain the bulk and the core aspects of my discovery of the Early Church. Indeed this is a short writing regarding the early history of the Church. Yet from this point forward it is a lot easier in determining which Christian tradition is closest to the tradition of the Apostles and of the early church fathers: any tradition that lacks or denies these apects of the early church is removed from the prospective list and considered a schism.

It seems in today's world that to have conviction may cause someone to be labeled as a hateful person. Yet merely because someone has a conviction on an issue, does not indicate such a person is hateful.

I saw a video online of a guy, known as the Bald Explorer, in England. In the video, and others of his that I watched thereafter, he visited several old and mostly rural churches that appear to be falling into disrepair and nearly abandoned. He contemplated what could be done in order to help reinvigorate such churches.