~~~~~~~~~~~Stokes, History of Baptists and Their Principles, The following description of their character, furnished by an enemy, will best prove what manner of men they were. Heretics are distinguished by their manners and their words, for they are sedate and modest in their manners. They have no pride in clothes, for they wear such as are neither costly nor mean. They do not carry on business, in order to avoid falsehoods, oaths, and frauds, but only live by labour, as workmen. Their teachers also are shoemakers, and weavers. They do not multiply riches, but are content with what is necessary; they are also temperate in meat and drink. They do not go to taverns, dances, or other vanities. They restrain themselves from anger, they are always at work, learning, or teaching, and so they pray but little.f34 and so they pray but little.f.They may also be known by the precision and. moderation of their language. They also abstain from scurrility and detraction, and levity in discourse, and lying, and swearing. Neither do they say verily, or truly, and the like; because they consider these as oaths.~~~~~~~
My husband read this the other night while he was teaching church history. I found it very interesting and convicting. I was wondering about what would it be like today if we were persecuted for our faith as we once were. How many of us would have such of a life that we could be pegged as a heretic, or would we look just like everybody else, act like everybody else and not be noticed? Then I thought a little more...........it doesn't matter about 'other people', it matters what *I* am doing. Would *I* be thought of as a Christian because I'm letting my little light shine?
Heretics were distinguished by their manners and their words. Hmmmmmmm, everything they did and everything they said. That painfully covers every outward action, doesn't it? If I lose my cool just every once in a while, momentarily, and not very often, I still have dirty water, right? What if I'm 'pretty ok' most of the time?
James 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
We can't afford to have our mannerisms be anything but right, people ARE watching us. A lady at Stop and Go just asked our son Daniel where he went to church..........now just how long has she been forming that question for him?
Sedate: uninfluenced by that which disturbs; quiet, calm...
Modest: placing a moderate or low estimate on one's own merits; not forward or boastful
Yes, being modest means more than just wearing a dress. To have a low estimate on our own merits may mean we don't insist on ourselves being the most important entity in the place. I need to turn, I need something that fits me just right, I was here first, I've been waiting longer than you, you aren't listening to me........on and on we can go. These things are easily justified in our minds so we can just keep having a high estimate of ourself. hmmmmmmmm, to be accused of being sedate, not to be bothered by things that disturb. Could I be accused of being sedate? ALL the time? At a sale when the price 'isn't right?', on the road behind somebody on their cell phone jabbering away, somebody cutting in front of me while I'm waiting for a snow-cone?
No pride in clothes, eh? Just how proud are we that we buy very little, brand new things? So, we don't shop at Dillard's or Sears and it gives us a complex. We MUST be humble because all of our stuff is old. I can't possibly be prideful in this second-hand stuff. Well, I can be and sometimes am. Pride is sneaky.
How do we consistently carry on our business? Are we known to be trusty? Are we 100% honest in all of our dealings, even if it hurts? We had a tax lady one time offer to do our taxes. She said she 'would' get us a return, she knew just how to do it. No thanks we said. An honest loophole is one thing, what she was going to do is another.
labour: that which requires effort for its accomplishment
So, being content with what we have, working in honest jobs and not trying to multiply riches, would be a mark of a heretic. Here we are with our garages and houses and yards full of 'stuff' and looking for more. We can point fingers at those that rent storage sheds for their overflow, but how many keepers, sheds and boxes of stuff do we have?
content: having the desires limited to that which one has; satisfied
temperate: moderate, not excessive, moderate in the indulgence of the appetites or passions, self controlled, restraint
Well, here again we have something that is easy to defend. How ***quick*** come the reasons to defend ourselves in this area. Needs and wants are not black and white, they are mostly gray and mostly lean towards needs. If we see something, we need to remember our flesh and how we tend to pamper and spoil our carcass. Our appetites for things are hardly ever checked, they are easily taken care of most of the time because nobody else around us does without, and we're sure not going to. The eye is NEVER full.
I don't have any desire to go to a tavern or a dance.......but what about other vanities? Well.
vanity: empty, idle, useless, a vain or futile thing
There was no such thing as TV when this was written. T=that V=vanity ????
We don't even have to leave our home to do this one.
Do we restrain ourselves from anger........do I???? With my kids, with my husband, with church members? with the dum-dum in the Suburban in front of me? With the lady at Jack-in-the-Box? Just what right do we have to snap at anybody? Even in private? Especially to the lost in public. (Not that it's ok to holler in private.) ...........how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
If somebody is looking on at our life, what do they mostly see? Are we busy with good things or is our life full of useless things. It, of course, is always a good thing to remember what we're here for. Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel......17 for therein is the righteousness of God revealed.......
******and so they pray but little.******* This made me smile when my husband read it.........this heretic is so busy doing good that he doesn't pray very much. They can't possibly have time to pray because of the way they live. :)
They may also be known by the precision and. moderation of their language. They also abstain from scurrility and detraction, and levity in discourse, and lying, and swearing. Neither do they say verily, or truly, and the like; because they consider these as oaths.
I guess this bears repeating............precision and moderation of language. For us today, this could mean lots. We hear commercials, memorize movies, unlovely songs, ditties, sayings, jokes........on and on it can go. It doesn't take much to sound worldly, we can repeat a quip from a movie and not even know where it came from....we just heard it and thought it was cute.
scurrility: buffoon, jester, quality or state of being scurrilous, low buffoonery, containing low indecency or abuse, obscenely jocular. Synonyms: abusive, gross, vile, vulgar, low, foulmouthed, indecent....
No oaths, either.
Do I fit enough of this description to be accused?