"SHINE: Embracing, Connecting, Engaging, Transforming"
Pastor John Montgomery's Weekly Sermons:
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Morning Worship Service 10:15 am
PHASE 2 begins November 1, 2020
Dear Church Family,
Since the Governor of the State of Florida has removed many of the restrictions regarding the Covid-19 virus, for the safety of our members,
Cedar Creek Baptist Church will maintain the following guidelines:
1. Sit 6 feet apart from one another.
2. Refrain from the practice of handshaking and hugging.
3. No more than 2 people in the bathroom at a time.
4. Sanitize your hands as you enter the worship center.
Wearing a mask is optional.
Dr. John Montgomery, Pastor
October 25, 2019
“Why This Election is Crucial to our Future”
John W. Montgomery, DD
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance”. Psalm 33:12
Our country observed the tragic event that occurred on September 11, 2001. America was attacked and thousands of our fellow countrymen and women lost their lives.
Nineteen years later we find that America is under attack again. This attack is not with guns, missiles, or airplanes. It is an attack on the foundation of this great nation.
Psalm 11:3 asks – “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Top of Form
Bottom of Form
The foundation of this great nation is under attack. The upcoming Presidential election will determine our future. Before you cast your vote, I want you to consider the three pillars of the foundation of this country that has enabled America to flourish during its 244-year history. If any one of these pillars is destroyed, America will cease to exist as we know it. I believe each of these critical areas are at risk in this election.
Some of the thoughts I am sharing in this message came from Mike Huckabee and Steve Feazel’s book entitled “The Three C’s that Made America Great”. The Christian Faith, Capitalism and The Constitution.
As we examine these three pillars, you are going to learn what is at stake in the 2020 Presidential Election. I pray that you will give serious consideration to the importance of each of these pillars.
PILLAR #1 - The Christian Faith.
On November 9, 1620, a small ship ended its voyage of sixty-six days when they landed on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The 102 passengers had endured sickness and dangerous storms. Historically, we know them as the Pilgrims and their ship as the Mayflower. Why did these pilgrims cram themselves into a ship and endure the hardships of the voyage to a new land? They came for one reason: to live where they could freely practice their Christian faith.
To understand the full impact of the religious fervor held by the early colonist, we only need to review the charters of the colonies and the educational institutions they started.
The Charter for the Virginia colony contained these words -” The effect which we can desire or expect of this action is the conversion…of the people in those parts unto the true worship of God and Christian religion”
The Massachusetts Charter of 1629 stated - “Our said people…be so religiously, peaceable and civilly governed that their good life and orderly conversation may win and incite the natives of….that country to the knowledge and obedience of the only true God and Savior of mankind and the Christian faith, which…is the principle of this plantation (colony)”.
The 1662 North Carolina Colonial Charter said, “Being excited with a laudable and pious zeal for the propagation of the Christian faith.”
The first college founded in the colonies was Harvard located in the town of Cambridge. The purpose of the school was to train ministers. Harvard takes its name from a minister named John Harvard. A statue of him sitting in a chair with an open Bible on his lap is a permanent fixture in the college’s main yard.
One of the rules of Harvard was: “Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, (John 17:3), and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.” Harvard’s early motto was – “Truth for Christ and the Church”,
The second college founded in the colonies was the College of William and Mary. Thomas Jefferson is an alumnus of the college as well as George Washington. In 1792 the college rules stated that “the students shall attend prayers in chapel at the time appointed.”
The third college is Yale. Its concept was developed by ten ministers who all donated books for its library. It’s 1701 charter clearly states the purpose of the school: Wherein youth may be instructed in the arts and science who through the blessing of Almighty God may be fitted for public employment both in Church and Civil State.” The college rules in1787 stated, “All scholars are required to live a religious and blameless life according to the rules of God’s Word.”
If July 4, 1776 is regarded as the birthday of the United States of America, then Christianity is its mother. The spiritual phenomenon that swept the colonies was known as the Great Awakening. The Great Awakening was born in a series of revivals that took place from the mid-1730’s until 1743. Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield conducted the revivals. The Great Awakening emphasized that salvation is gained by repentance and being born again spiritually by faith.
The Great Awakening is credited by historians as the uniting factor that united the people of the colonies in a national moral consciousness. It was the bedrock foundation for the desire for liberty and the courage to pursue it.
In July 1776, the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to debate independence and voted to act. Thomas Jefferson was given the task of drafting the Declaration of Independence with the approval of John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.
The Declaration of Independence was the shot that was fired at Lexington that was heard around the world. The declaration declared - “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
No country seeking its place in the world ever dared to proclaim that all men had equal rights and that they came from God, the creator, and not the throne of a king or the seat of government. Liberty was seen by these founders as a gift for all men to embrace and was not at the disposal of tyrants. This was indeed revolutionary. Faith in God was regarded as an essential part of the nation’s foundation.
Christianity was one of the pillars that played a significant role in colonial America. It would continue to do so through the Revolutionary War and up to modern times.
Ronald Reagan said, “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
In the 2020 election, we have a clear choice. One political party embraces Christianity and the other has contempt for Christianity.
PILLIAR #2 – Capitalism, the Key to our Prosperity
More people have been lifted out of poverty by capitalism than any other economic system ever to appear in the history of the world. This is why the United States is a super-power that has blessed the rest of the world with its innovations and generosity when need has arisen.
It is hard to believe that anyone within our great nation would want to seek to bring about the demise of capitalism, but they exist in this election. One political party embraces capitalism, and the other party is quickly moving toward a socialistic form of government.
There is no economic system that is perfect. But that does not change the fact capitalism is the best hope any man or woman has to honestly acquire wealth and improve his or her standard of living.
Socialism promotes an intrusive government that seeks more and more control over the masses in order for its power to be maintained. This is an affront to freedom and a danger to capitalism. The liberal left wants to control the government and allow it to be the referee and major player. It will then be allowed to control the economy and in essence the lives of the people.
In the 2020 election, we have a clear choice. One political party embraces Capitalism and the other is quickly moving toward a socialistic form of government.
PILLIAR #3 – The Constitution of the United States
The Founding Fathers gave us the Constitution to restrain the reach and power of a strong centralized federal government. The founders’ intent is a major obstacle to the desires of the liberal who believe in and live for big government, so it is not a surprise that liberals would take aim at altering the Constitution in a major way or replacing it altogether. There are two ways the liberal left attacks the Constitution: one is to just ignore it and the other is to misinterpret it through the rulings of the Supreme Court.
Many recognize this election as all-important due to the knowledge that the next president will pick justices for the Supreme Court who will decide cases for the next 30 years, thus redirecting the country in the direction of their personal philosophies.
For too long these 9 justices have interrupted the Constitution in a manner to make up any law they desired. There are two different approaches to interpret the constitution.
First, interpreting the original intent. (legislative intent, legislative history). Justice Scalia called his judicial approach to the Constitution “originalism” or “textualism”. The idea of Originalism/Textualism is that the Constitution means no more or less than what it meant to those who originally wrote and ratified it.
The Constitutional principle is Judicial Restraint. They now supersede the president and the Congress in power. Such was never meant to be. This trend must be stopped by electing a president who will promote justices who believe in “strict constructionism,” that is, they just interpret the laws voted in by the people.
Second, interpreting the constitution as a living Constitution. Non-originalism allows the Constitution to evolve. A living Constitution is said to develop alongside the needs of a society, providing a more malleable tool for governments. The idea is associated with views that contemporaneous society should be considered when interpreting key constitutional phrases.
Here are a few rulings that have been handled down by the high court regarding religion that totally ignore our founder’s original intent:
. It is unconstitutional for students to start their school day with a nondenominational prayer. Engel v. Vitale 1962
. It is unconstitutional to require students to read the Bible in school. Abington School District v. Shemmp, 1963
. If a student prays over his lunch, it is unconstitutional for him to pray aloud. Reed v. Hoven, 1965
. It is unconstitutional for a war memorial to be erected in the shape of a cross. Lowe v. City of Eugene, 1969
. It is unconstitutional for a classroom library to contain books that deal with Christianity or for a teacher to be seen with a personal copy of the Bible at school. Roberts v. Madigan, 1990.
. It is unconstitutional for a kindergarten class to ask whose birthday is celebrated by Christmas. Florey v. Sioux Falls School District, 1980
Antonin Scalia said - “This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine…robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.” “A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.” [Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice, Dissent on Gay Marriage decision, 2015.]
Patrick Henry said, “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
Abraham Lincoln said, “We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts–not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
In the 2020 election, we have a clear choice. One political party interprets the Constitution by its original intent and the other who interprets the Constitution as a living document that changes with the times.
If these three pillars, or anyone of them are destroyed, our way of life will change forever. I fear that our liberties and freedoms are in jeopardy. America is at the Precipice. It is more crucial than ever that we get involved in our representative government. This may well be the most important election of our lifetime. This election will be a defining moment in America’s history. If we fail to vote, or refuse to acknowledge the importance of these three pillars that have made America the greatest nation on earth, the blood that has been shed by men and women throughout history will have been in vain.
As C. S. Lewis once said, “Now is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.”
Psalm 11:3 asks – “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Top of Form
Bottom of Form
An eleven-year old girl and her family traveled to Israel. The family planned to visit the historical and biblical sites that served as a basis for much of their Christian faith.
One of there last stops was to Yad Vashem, which commemorates one of the darkest eras of human history – the Nazi genocide against the Jewish people. The parents of the eleven old girl were not sure if she was ready for it, but they wanted her to understand the importance of standing up against evil. So, they decided to bring her.
Yad Vashem sits on Mount Herzl, often referred to as the Mount of Remembrance. Yad Vashem in Hebrew means, “a memorial and a name,” and its goal is to memorialize the Holocaust and in particular all the Jewish people who were killed and had no descendants left on earth to carry on their name.
As they walked through Yad Vashem the girl watched videos of Jewish families being marched to their death in gas chambers. She saw an exhibit featuring hundreds of pairs of shoes taken off the feet of Jewish children her age or younger and piled high to be burned.
The eleven-year old girl did not say a word as she walked through Yad Vashem. When they got to the end, there was a guest book for visitors to sign. The little girl took the pen and signed her name. When she came to the section for comments, she paused and then wrote these words, “Why didn’t somebody do something.”
The little girl understood that all it takes for evil to win is for good people to do nothing. That eleven-year old girl was Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and former candidate for President.
The Psalmist asks, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” On Top of Form
Bottom of Form
November 3rd you will have the opportunity to do something that will make a difference for our country, for the world and for your family. Vote on November 3rd for the party that will embrace the three C’s which have made the United States the greatest nation on earth – Christianity, Capitalism, and the Constitution.
Message Preached at
Cedar Creek Baptist Church
October 25, 2020
Sermon Notes is a Ministry of the Cedar Creek Baptist Church,
1372 Lane Avenue South, Jacksonville, Florida 32205,
904-781-9151 - Johnmontgomery@ccbaptist.org