Nothing New Under the Sun

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (Eccl. 1:9).

thAs I read in the book of Nahum, the Old Testament prophet, this morning, I came across an interesting term to describe the nation of Assyria. Nahum 2:1 describes Assyria as “the scatterer.”

This reminded me of the official policy of deportation carried out by the Soviet Union during its reign of terror and oppression  beginning at the end of World War II. Large numbers of men, women, and children in the occupied nations of the Soviet sphere were torn from their families and homelands and sent to far-flung outposts of the Soviet empire. Many of the men were separated from their families and sent to prison camps.

In Nahum 3:1 we read, “Woe to the bloody city, all full of lies and plunder—no end to the prey!” This verse refers to the city of Ninevah, representative of Assyria. The lies involved are likely the dishonest diplomacy practiced by Assyria in its international affairs. This deceitful dealing is detailed in Isaiah 36:16-17. Such also was the diplomacy of the Soviet Union.

The Assyrian Empire ceased to exist in 612 BC, having been destroyed by joint forces of several of its neighboring nations. The Soviet Union was dissolved in January 1992, after its client nations decided that they had had enough.

There are two points to this little exercise in historical comparison. The first is that it is true that there is nothing new under the sun. Nations still act in manners which were practiced long ago, carrying out mass deportations to weaken defeated populations and carrying out diplomacy by deceit and at the point of a spear, gun, tank, or other weapon.

The second point is that no nation is so big, so important, so powerful that it cannot fall. The Soviet Union was thought of as “the other super power,” along with the United States. Today it is gone. But what of the United States? Is its time near an end?

2 Chronicles 7:12 teaches, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” The United States is awash in wicked ways. There is only one way to save it. A return to the worship of the one, holy God is required. God is gracious.

Wickedness is not new. It began in the garden of Eden. It grew exponentially. God always gave mankind the option to return to Him. After the first murder, chronicled in Genesis 4, sin grew and spread in the earth. But there were people who turned from the mayhem and turned to God. The last verse in that chapter tells us that “At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.”

It’s not too late for America. Turn to the LORD and call upon His Name.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Absolutely NO Children Allowed; We’re Worshiping Here

Perhaps you’ve read about this incident on FaceBook. It first appeared on January 21, 2015 at a blog called “Pajama Pages.”

Last Sunday morning, Connor Shaw, the former USC Gamecocks quarterback and current Cleveland Browns backup quarterback, tried to attend a NewSpring service with his family, but found that NewSpring’s “children bouncers” (their term) prohibited his children from entering the auditorium with him.

He wasn’t impressed, and said so on Twitter:300x300xDot_not_touch-300x300.png.pagespeed.ic.lwg19gt7nx

Me & my wife were told we can’t go to congregation with our daughter. Too young?!? Don’t think He would approve ‪@newspring Matthew18:1-3

(Read the entire piece here).

 

“New Spring” refers to New Spring Church, a multi-campus group in South Carolina, led by controversial pastor Perry Noble. This is not a post intended to bash Perry Noble or New Spring Church, although I certainly could spend some time on our differences. No, it is my intent to bash a heinous and unbiblical policy being followed (and forcefully, according to Pajama Pages.

 

It is contrary to God’s Word to forcibly separate worshiping families. Throughout God’s Word we see pictures of the generations worshiping together. Where were the children during the feeding of the 5,000? There were elders and children and those “nursing at the breast” at the sacred assembly we read about in Joel 2:15-16. No need for a full Biblical exposition. You can find that in Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship.

 

This separation of families is what was done in the Soviet Union and its satellites. This is a practice long-associated with cults. It should not be practiced in the church. A separate “cry room” may be necessary. A changing room for diapers and other issues is fine. Even a voluntary opportunity for families to spend some time apart.  It should be the goal of every congregation, however,  to foster an atmosphere in which families can worship together. It won’t always be easy. It won’t always be fun. In the end, however, it will be rewarding as we train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the LORD.