Human Rights? Only If God Exists…

Just came across a discussion of human rights and belief in god. Nietzsche and others have said that if God is dead, any and all morality of love and human rights is baseless. Other philosophers have said that, if a moral argument is to be valid, it must be based on something outside the utility of the argument itself.

Who’s to say the weak should not be gobbled up by the strong? That’s the way it is in nature; that’s the reality of life…except in the minds of human beings. In fact, not all cultures even hold to the same beliefs concerning human rights.

What grounds do you have to argue that each individual has inherent rights? It can only come from a belief in a God of peace, justice, and love and that the world is fallen, broken, and needs to be redeemed.

SufferingAnimals

Trials of Lottie Moon

This month, as we focus on our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, we often overlook the trials Lottie faced in her life. From loss of wealth to giving up the man she loved, her life was full of heartache. Yet she changed our view of missions and impacted northern China in a way that is still felt today. I remember reading somewhere: Life is not about avoiding the storms but learning to dance in the rain.

lottine.jpg  (NT Photo-oconee-1299)

In our Sunday morning Bible Study yesterday, we were discussing Peter’s venture of walking on water outside the boat in the midst of a storm. Usually, we think of this in terms of our Lord’s chiding him for his lack of faith. However, as one lady observed, everyone goes through storms in his/her life. The question is, will we have the faith to get out of the boat at our savior’s call; or will we stay put and avoid what might be learned?

Lottie Moon said, “[No] trouble comes upon us unless it is needed…we ought to be just as thankful for sorrows as for joys.” We should listen to her words and not be afraid to get out of the boat.

See more at “The Courage of Your Faith.” The Courage of Your Faith consists of 12 short stories from our history and 12 Bible Studies on issues as relevant today as they were in the past. Each study includes supplemental information and a Power Point slide presentation.

Have People Whispered as They Pass You?

When Sandy and I had the opportunity to visit Beijing, China, in 2009, how could we not take a side trip to Tengchow, in the Shantung province, where Lotti Moon was a missionary! The residents probably looked at us in much the same way as they did Lotti in the 1870’s. However, while we stayed but a day, she made that province her home.

As our cab driver drives us from the airport to Lotti’s church (his church), he shares with us his testimony. In his visor, he carries a tract. On the seat beside him sits a Bible. In the glove compartment is a hymnal. Bro. Wong listens to Christian tapes and sings in the church choir. He asks us to pray for his daughter who faces university level decisions that will impact her future…which we do. When we ask him if people in Tengchow still know who Lotti Moon was, he replies that EVERYONE in Tengchow knows her. He continues to talk of her as if she is an active member of their church.

As of 2009, Lotti’s church in Tengchow had 1000 members. This growing fellowship required construction of a new building next to the original. The pastor was at a conference where ministers from the area addressed how to handle the volume of converts. By some estimates China is experiencing 400000 converts each week. This equals their birthrate. Twelve thousand people are entering the ministry each year which presents an education issue.

Lotti Moon is still having quite an impact in Tengchow; her story is one of service, commitment, sacrifice, and exhortation to greater involvement in missions.

You can view and download pictures of our trip and Lotti’s life. This is web page in Power Point format. The PPT file can be downloaded. A shorter version can be found here.

Facts About Lottie Moon – Part 2

This information is continued from last month and comes from The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering on www.COYFaith.com. Each “fact” can be used as a comment in a church’s bulletin leading up to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

4)  Lottie was absent from chapel twenty six times during the last two quarters at Albemarle.She enjoyed exciting her friends. With a full name of Charlotte Diggs Moon, she often reminded them that the middle initial of D stood for Deville. They were concerned for her soul.

One night in December of 1858, the barking of a dog prevented sleep as her mind raced with thoughts of eternity. The next evening she attended a prayer and inquiry meeting to scoff at her friends. Instead of poking fun, she returned home and prayed till the sun rose. The next night she formally gave her life to Christ and was baptized on December 22.

Week 5:  Lottie Moon’s life became intertwined with the aftermath of the Civil War. Her mother had converted all the family currency into Confederate bonds…which were worthless after the war. With the poor and homeless everywhere in the south, Lottie took on the role of teacher and helped start a school. She did her best to bring relief to others as well as to her mother, who faced the prospect of losing Viewmont. One of Lottie’s quotes later in life was, “Sorrow has but done its legitimate work.” Is it possible that character cannot receive its “fullest and most beautiful development until it has passed through the fiery furnace of affliction?” [Nettles, Tom, The Baptists, Volume 2, Christian Focus Publications, Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-shire, IV20ITW,Scotland, pg 366]

Week 6:  She had to choose between the man she loved and the God she loved. As a student atAlbemarle, she met Crawford Toy, perhaps the youngest instructor there. He taught Lottie Hebrew and English grammar. Through the years, they developed a close friendship.Some letters imply that marriage was even considered. Crawford planned to become a missionary. At which point, Lottie planned to either move toJapanwith him if that was his appointment, or he would join her inChina. He became a professor at aSouthern Baptist seminary until such time as he entered the mission field. But Crawford came under fire at the seminary because of his liberal beliefs. When two of his students, who had been appointed as missionaries toChina, had their appointments revoked because of their beliefs, Lottie realized that Crawford would never become a missionary.She had to choose between remaining on the field inChinaor joining Crawford at a university in theStates. Lottie was later asked whether she had ever been in love. Her reply: “Yes, but God had first claim on my life, and since the two conflicted, there could be no question about the results.”

Week 7:  People in China still know who Lottie Moon was and the work she did. When we visited Tengchow in theShantung province, our cab driver, who is a member of the church where she served, told us everyone in that area of China knows Lottie Moon, whether they are Christian or not. When they spoke to us of Lottie, they referred to her as if she were still alive and active in the church. The pastor of that church could not meet with us because he was attending a pastor’s conference where the problem of converts was being addressed. With 400,000 conversions each week inChina(a number equal to the birthrate), and thousands seeking to enter the ministry, the Church there is facing the wonderful problem of how to address issues related to phenomenal growth. Lottie’s impact and legacy continue even today.

See more at “The Courage of Your Faith,” this month featuring “The Missionaries.” The “The Courage of Your Faith” consists of 12 short stories from our history and 12 Bible Studies on issues as relevant today as they were in the past. Each study includes supplemental information and a Power Point slide presentation.

All documents can be downloaded at no charge.  If you are planning on giving a Nook or a Kindle for a Christmas gift, why not download the stories for free as part of the gift. By Christmas, a compilation of the stories into one eBook will be available for a small charge at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as The Courage of Your Faith. Have fun and let me know what you think.

Facts About Lottie Moon – Part 1

Did You Know…

1) Lottie Moon was a real person and considered by some to be the most educated woman in the south. Her parents had high expectations of their children. A tutor was employed in the home for languages and classical literature. Lottie’s sister Orianna became the first female medical doctor south of the Mason/Dixon line. Lottie attended Albemarle Female Institute, the women’s counterpart to the University of Virginia. In 1861, she was one of the first women in the South to receive a master’s degree. Lottie spoke 6 languages fluently. At 15, while attending Albemarle Female Institute, she wrote the following which is included as an example of her critical thinking.

“Literature has acquainted man with himself and the nature of things surrounding him. It has made us to know our history. The circumstances of his creation and the advancement of the race, up to his own existence, are not lost in oblivion, but preserved with almost perfect accuracy by those nations blessed with literature. Without it, age would succeed to age without gaining knowledge. Love, like the rays of light, would vary in its import as it passed from hand to hand, and one generation could not be enriched by the acquisitions of its predecessor. But literature does exist and the present age, like the posterity of an ancient family, revels in the riches entailed by its ancestors.” [Nettles, Tom, The Baptists, Volume 2, Christian Focus Publications, Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-shire, IV20 ITW, Scotland, pg 364]

2)  Lottie Moon’s sister Edmonia was the first unmarried woman to be appointed as a missionary; and, at her urging, Lottie applied for an appointment as well.  The next year she joined her sister in Tengchow, China, in the Shantung province. Throughout her career, Lottie wrote numerous letters home, urging Southern Baptists to greater missions involvement and support. One of those correspondences triggered the first Southern Baptist Christmas offering for international missions. The receipts were enough to send three new missionaries to China. In 1918, the Woman’s Missionary Union named the annual Christmas offering for international missions after the woman who had urged them to start it.

3) Lottie Moon grew up in antebellum Virginia. Their plantation was named Viewmont. Her family owned 52 slaves. In her younger years, she approved of the institution of slavery. Viewmont still exists north of Scottsville. The original homestead had two huge fireplaces. These still can be seen in the home that currently exists on that site.  After a short time in China, she wrote a letter with the comment that ”…living among the heathen makes one stupid.” The belief in the superiority of the white race was still playing at her mind. However, within a few years, that changed. She began dressing like the Chinese and loved the people.

See more at “The Courage of Your Faith,” (www.coyfaith.com). The “The Courage of Your Faith” consists of 12 short stories from Baptist history and 12 Bible Studies on issues as relevant today as they were in the past. Each study includes supplemental information and a Power Point slide presentation.

All documents can be downloaded at no charge.