Weatherford Democrat

July 10, 2014

TISCIONE: Who are we?


Weatherford Democrat

WEATHERFORD —

By REV. LOU TISCIONE

I pray that you had a blessed celebration of our independence. We all have the Lord God to thank for the freedom we enjoy. 

Thank the Lord for sending us men of vision. Their vision was of a nation in which the people would be free to serve the god of the Bible.

One such man was John Winthrop, an English Puritan of the 17th Century. A portion of his famous speech on the Arabella follows:  The date was 1630 and the full title is, “A Model of Christian Charity.”

I encourage you to read his words spoken in thanksgiving to the sovereign God.

“… We are entered into covenant with Him (God) for this work. We have taken out a commission. The Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles. We have professed to enterprise these and those accounts, upon these and those ends. We have hereupon besought Him of favor and blessing. 

Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this covenant and sealed our commission, and will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dissembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, and be revenged of such a people, and make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant.  

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love with mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities for the supply of others’ necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when 10 of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, “may the Lord make it like that of New England.” 

For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, and all professors for God’s sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.  And to shut this discourse with that exhortation of Moses [see Deuteronomy 30:11-20]…  But if our hearts shall turn away, so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced, and worship other Gods, our pleasure and profits, and serve them; it is propounded unto us this day, we shall surely perish out of the good land whither we pass over this vast sea to possess it.  

Therefore let us choose life, that we and our seed may live by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him, for He is our life and our prosperity.” 

Are we living up to these commitments? You be the judge, for this is what our founding fathers intended.

u

Rev. Tiscione is the pastor of Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA).