Work Vs. Welfare: America Needs to Be Working

I grew up with a good work ethic. My Dad was a farmer and his dad was a farmer. On my mom’s side her dad was a house painter. Now I’m a house painter. I can truthfully say, I’m most happy when I’m working.

I have been reading Beyond Biden, by Newt Gingrich. He has a few chapters on this subject of work and welfare. I will just give you the sections that I highlighted.

  • Historically, America has been on the side of earned freedom, and the heart of that is work.
  • We need to help poor people learn how to get a job, and to get better and better jobs.
  • Benjamin Franklin: “It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is a miserable man.”
  • The left (the socialists) wants to make poor people comfortable in poverty. They are willing to pay you more to do nothing than you can earn by going to work. Why? Because they want you to be dependent on the government. They want to control you.
  • Welfare teaches you to learn how to get money rather than how to earn money. They want you to find out all the ways that the government will pay you to stay home. They want you to find all the ways to get free money. Unfortunately, this welfare mentality creates a growing sickness of theft and corruption. For example, in the recent COVID bailout distributions in California, an estimated $31 billion was stolen from the unemployment compensation program.
  • Nationwide, during the COVID crisis $400 billion in tax dollars is now in the hands of criminals. But the sad thing about this is that they think they are just being smart or thrifty.
  • A culture that teaches people to get money without effort teaches a culture of indolence, poverty, and that looks for others to take care of them. But a culture of work leads to a constant search for learning and self-improvement.
  • Remember this adage? “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
  • When people come to expect something for nothing, it leads them to indolence. When they are used to getting something for nothing and have been reassured that they deserve the money just for being alive, many of them begin to believe it. Then they become aggressive in demanding money.

America is now on the brink of a decaying culture that demands to be taken care of without going to work.

Update: Time off, Reading, Writing, Publishing

It’s that time of year when I see muskrats on the lakes.

Time Off

I’m getting over a month off from my painting work. I’m loving it! I feel I deserve some days off after forty years in the business. Painting is hard work, especially those ceilings. Today I’m getting my hair cut and meeting with my son at Olive Garden to celebrate his birthday and just to see him.

Reading Beyond Biden

This book, by Newt Gingrich is quite good and well documented. He is so smart and really on top of things—for his age. It’s nice to have a book like this to get accurate information about what’s happening in America and what we need to do about it. I’m learning so much about wokeism and related subjects. Newt also Has a lot to say about getting people back to work and off of welfare. And you know, he did that when he was the Speaker.

My New Book:  The Tribulation

As is always the case, I learn so much by writing. I am really enjoying writing this book. I work on it every day—about forty-fiver minutes a day. In this book on the Tribulation, I am concentrating only on what I know to be true from the bible, and will focus on the Tribulation itself—that is, all the suffering of the seals, the trumpets, and the bowls. I am not going to worry about the order of things or to spend much time on things I don’t understand. I am just going to emphasize strongly those things that are clearly laid out in Scripture; and that the Tribulation is definitely coming soon for whose who are not saved!

Publishing

I’m a self-publisher and I suppose that’s the way it will stay. But I’ve been thinking lately that I need to make some changes. I love writing, but I hate all aspects of publishing; selling, marketing, all of it. So, I have been praying hard on it and looking over all my options. There are so many self-publishing companies I could use, or to do it myself. I’m feeling quite upset over it all and need to calm down and trust the Lord. He reminded me two days ago of a verse, Romans 8:32: “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.” A wonderful verse. God gave His Son to die for me. How will He not also give me all things. That is, God will certainly give me everything that He wants me to have, everything that is good—good for His purposes and also good for me. So, if I keep trusting Him and follow His will, He will set me up with whatever He wants me to do as far as all this publishing nonsense. Oh, I still have a bad attitude about it. Hopefully, He will change that too. 

The Meaning of Wokeism — 9 Points

A general description of woke, in Wikipedia, is “being alert to racial prejudice and discrimination. It later came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as sexism.

Perhaps a more specific definition more adapted from the left-wing movement is this: Wokeism is a movement to indoctrinate people into believing that white people are oppressors and that they need to “wake up” to that reality (from Beyond Biden).

I’m sure that if we were to interview ten different people on the street and ask them what wokeism is, that we would get ten different answers. Wokeism is a fairly new (or changing) concept and there is probably a lot of confusion about it. But we should know this: it is a concept and a movement that is Marxist, and it is being taught in our universities. And the movement is growing and it is evil and immoral; and it is against all that we know to be good, moral and right.

For this post I will take nine excerpts from chapter six of the book Beyond Biden, by Newt Gingrich on the topic of understanding wokeism. I am sure that Gingrich has done his homework on this subject—he has forty-six end notes on this chapter alone. Here goes…

What is wokeism?

  1. Wokeism is a toxic stew of left-wing philosophies that have merged into a self-perpetuating eruption of destructive nonsense flowing down from our universities into our K-12 classrooms, corporate boardrooms, and government centers. (Please read on.)
  2. The woke [those that believe in and teach wokeism] don’t care about truth, only about the advancement of their narrative.
  3. Critical theory teaches the woke (those that are just getting into this movement) that there is a hierarchy of oppression in the world. At the top sit straight, white Christian men. They have the most of what the woke call “privilege,” and because of that, their opinions should be dismissed.
  4. Anyone who expresses opinions that do not fit into the woke narrative is declared to have an inauthentic voice or having internalized oppression/racism.
  5. The woke believe racism pervades all of society, affects all our institutions and policies, and manifests itself in every single interaction we have as a people. As a result of this mindset, the woke see racism everywhere and feel compelled to “call it out” so it can be dismantled. (So, I suppose this is the basis for the rioting and what we call the great reset.)
  6. The idea of “whiteness” is a key concept for the woke and they want white people to become hyperaware of their racial identity. On this idea, a speaker of The Yale School of Medicine’s Department, Dr. Aruna Khilanani said, “White people are out of their minds and have been for a long time. She then bragged about cutting most white people out of her life. (This sound like Lori Lightfoot, the mayor of Chicago.) 
  7. Ibram Kendi stated explicitly that schools should be used as centers of indoctrination rather than education. He argues that teachers must teach their students anti-racist ideas. However, as an anti-racist scholar said, “I am white. White people can never be anything but oppressors…Being complicit with racism is something that we as white people just are.
  8. The woke define whiteness in purely negative terms and then force white people to identify with that negativity. This, said Newt Gingrich, is cultlike behavior and is the first step in brainwashing.
  9. Wokeism claims that American ideals (such as hard work and merit) are a lie since it is part of the white culture.

My Conclusion

You know, after pondering all this, the main idea I get from wokeism is that it is very childish and immature behavior. It is like what a group of misbehaved children would think of saying and doing to some other kids that they are mad at. They have no moral compass. They are just striking out, expressing their anger, saying: you got me so now I’m gonna get you. But the only real solution for all of us is to cry out to God for help. God alone will heal our wounds. He will give us a new heart and a new life so that we can all live together in harmony, black and white and brown together.

Beyond Biden: Overcoming Racism

I have been reading the book, Beyond Biden: Rebuilding the America we Love, by Newt Gingrich. I have to hand it to Newt for learning and understanding all the stuff he has put in his book, especially about wokeism and racism and critical race theory, etc. It is so complex to wade through it all. And it has its root in Marxism; and its goal is to destroy America. I feel so sorry for all the black people who are so taken in by it all. They have already gone through enough. Now it seems that they are forced to go through it all over again.

America is not a racist country. But we are now being told that everything in America is racist and that it all has to be torn down and “built back better.” This is why they are endeavoring to rewrite our language—because everything we say and do is embedded with racism. For example, the term hiking, baseball, Star Wars, specialty coffee, classical music, the candy industry; those terms they say are racist. And we have to get rid of them. I suppose they are thinking that if black people are not substantially involved in those things, the terms can’t be anything but racist. And so, anything where there has not been an equal involvement between blacks and whites is racist (but I’m sure there is more to it than that).

But for those who tear it all down, aren’t they also being racist? And if we do tear everything down and build it over, won’t all the new terms and ideas and culture be a new racism? Can man in his sinful nature get rid of the sin of racism? No! Only God who is perfect can do that. Man needs a new heart, a new self, which will come only through a conversion, only through redemption through Jesus Christ. He will redeem us from our old sinful racist nature. Then, for the first time we can know how to overcome racism and how to be whole. And then when we sin again, we can know where to go to find forgiveness.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things past away; behold, new things have come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

My Update: Work, Writing on Martyrs, Retirement

I think it’s time for another update. I’ll try to be positive, though I am having a few problems.

My Present Job

I’m a retired house painter, but I still do a little work. The job I am working on now is not going well. Actually, I thought I was finished, but when the owner got home (from a vacation) and looked it over, she was not pleased. I very rarely get complaints, but she had plenty. What went wrong?

Well, I’m not going to tell you everything, except to say that she let me know that I am not a perfect painter—as I sometimes think I am. I am feeling quite humbled. I have a lot to do over (second coats). I had Thanksgiving and today off, and Saturday I will try to finish up. My prayers this morning were three-fold: that I would do the work well; that my mind would be at peace and I will not worry about it; and that she (the owner) would settle down and not be so upset with me—to also be at peace.

Thanksgiving Day

My sister’s first husband invited me over to his house. He is a good friend, so I was excited to see him and his two kids, also to see some of his family I have never met. It was such a good time being together and making some new friends.

Reading and Writing about Christian Martyrs

I’ve been reading and blogging on Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. It’s been a struggle for two reasons: The reading is so difficult; the translation from that time period (about 1500) is not good. I will try to find a more modern translation. Also, though it is very inspiring to hear how the Martyrs believed and endured suffering, it is troubling to hear how evil things were in the Catholic church and how they were, and still are, so blinded by the devil.

I am also at the same time reading and writing about the coming Tribulation. I am now wondering if the Tribulation martyrdom will be a return of the same Catholic inquisition. I think it may be, but worse! I am so happy though, to know that when they die they will immediately be with the Lord and will be forever rejoicing with Him (as a few Revelation passaged tell us).

Old Age and Retirement

I don’t want to bore you or complain about things, but I do sense that my emotional make-up is breaking down. Maybe I should read a good book on retirement. I know that I need to learn how to relax more, etc. I don’t want to just sit and vegetate. But maybe there are some changes I need to make.

Well, that’s all for now in this update. I wish you all well—you who regularly follow my blog. And I will keep you all in my prayers.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: On William Tyndale

William Tyndale came around one hundred years after Wickliffe and Huss. But though there is no writing in this book on any martyrs in-between that time, we know that there were very many martyrs—thousands of them. The Roman church was relentless in killing true Christians. It was part of their Babylonian roots.

Well, Tyndale was brought up from a child in the University of Oxford, where Wickliffe taught. But he moved on to Cambridge and other schools to pursue more degrees. He became a master at translating the Scriptures, as Wickliffe was. And, it was not uncommon, wherever he abided, that priests of the church came against him, saying that his words were heresy. So, Tyndale, rather than fight, moved around from place to place seeking for places to do his translation work. He went to London and also to Germany—where he had good words and learning from Martin Luther.

Tyndale was constantly grieved that people everywhere did not have the Scriptures available to them in their mother tongue. So, it was his goal to translate the Scriptures for them, even though the evil church did the opposite. They wanted to hide the Scriptures from their eyes in order that they could delude and control the people. Some said that Tyndale’s translations were wrong, that there were thousands of heresies in it. Some said that it was not possible to translate the Scriptures correctly and that it was not lawful for the people to have them in their mother tongue, and that it would make them rebel against the church and the king.

There was one (and others also) that plotted against Tyndale. He would buy his translations, then would burn them. Another time the devil came against him so that he suffered shipwreck, in which he lost all his books, writings, copies, and money so that he had to begin his work all over again. Yet, there were some copies that survived, and Tyndale’s work became a key link in the translation of the Scriptures, even from the original manuscripts—so important.

At the end, he, being plotted against, was brought to prison in England. And by the emperor’s decree was tied to a stake and consumed with fire. As he began to be burned, he cried with a loud voice, “Lord! Open the king of England’s eyes.”

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: On John Huss

On about the same time period as Sir John Oldcastle and his brave martyrdom, was John Huss—about 1415. They were both faithful disciples of John Wickliffe, a brilliant professor at the University of Oxford in London. His bible commentaries are still popular to this day—and very reliable.

There is much more writing on John Huss than Oldcastle or even Wickliffe. I think it is because he seemed to argue more with the Pope and cardinals in presenting his innocence and the truth of his writing about the errors of the Catholic church. And the church, evil as it was in that day, was persistent against Huss and called him an “obstinate heretic.”

And Huss had procurators who fought for him and ended up being cast into prison and punished. Likewise, the Bohemians (where Huss was from) also fought for him and daily complained against the Pope in stopping the word of God from being preached.

But, as it happened, Pope John began to give “full remission of sins to all those who would war on his side to defend the church”—and in response, John Huss raged back and called the Pope Antichrist! So, there was a holy war, some on the side of the church and some on the side of Huss and his followers. Also, during this time Huss continued to write articles against the false doctrine of the Pope. These arguments were the same as were proclaimed by John Wickliffe and John Oldcastle.

Well, as it happened, two jolly fellows (“mad men”) who knew they would be rewarded by the Pope, gathered certain article against Huss and brought them to the Pope. Huss was therefore asked to come and defend himself; and surprisingly, he decided to come willingly to answer their charges. Well, from that time on he was shut up in the prison of the abbey. And the conditions were so bad that he became sick. It was written that during the day he had “fetters on his legs,”  and at night, “he was fastened up to a rack against the wall hard by his bed.”

And still, being sick he presented his arguments about the popish church, and also wrote a few books. And, as it was written, when he tried to present his case many mad men “spitefully mocked him,” and they overwhelmed his speech with “rude and barbarous noises” until Huss finally decided to be silent. Then they said, “Now he is dumb, now he is dumb: this is a sign that he doth agree with his errors.”

So, his judgment was delayed until the next day. And he, “accompanied with a great number of armed men,” was brought before a council to be judged (this reminds me of when Jesus was judged). Well, there were so many things that were done before they burned him; I won’t list everything, but just try to hit some of them.

  • It was ordered that all of Wickliffe’s books were to be taken and burned.
  • At one point Huss appealed unto the high judge Christ (he fought to the end!).
  • Huss all the while was derided and mocked by the council.
  • Huss said, “he wished his soul to be in the same place where John Wickliffe’s soul was.”
  • The council presented eleven articles from the books of John Huss and he was directed to give answers to them. And in every case, he gave them his answers, and he did not back down in the least. My comment: unlike Jesus who was silent, Huss was very vocal and wanted them to hear his case. In this respect he was much like Paul.
  • It was determined that with the answers Huss gave, he was branded a heretic and worthy to be punished. But they said that if he would recant and submit to them, they would lighten his punishment. But if he was determined to defend his articles, he would suffer “great hurt, detriment and peril.” Well, as expected, Huss did not give into them.
  • After the trial, in which they gave Huss every chance to answer what he had written and a chance to recant, they wrote out a lengthy condemnation. My comment: It is interesting that just as they were condemning John Huss by their lengthy trial, they  were condemning themselves before God. They were putting into history how they condemned a good man and how they were evil before God. They gave themselves no excuse for their own evil.
  • His trial was very similar to the trial of Jesus Christ. They made him put on priestly garments and then mocked him. They gave him a crown, not of thorns but of paper, which was written on it, “Now we commit thy soul unto the devil.”
  • Before his death he kneeled down, and lifted up his eyes to heaven and prayed, and also quoted certain Psalms.

The way of his death was like this:

  • They stripped him of his garments
  • They put his hands behind his back and tied them with wet ropes to a stake.
  • With a chain they tied his neck to the stake.
  • Under his feet they put straw, and from his feet to his neck he was enclosed with wood.
  • Before the fire was lit, he was given a chance to speak and renounce his errors. But it was written that he said, “with a cheerful mind and courage, I am ready to suffer death.”
  • When the fire was kindled, John Huss began singing loudly.
  • When his body was partly burned and all the wood was burned up, they made a new fire. They were determined to burn him up completely.
  • At the end, it was written that “with great diligence they gathered the ashes together and they cast them into the river Rhine.” They did not want any part of him to be left upon the earth.

But they were not able to abolish the story of John Huss out of the minds of the godly.

Sir John Oldcastle — from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

After John Wickliffe, the battle against the evil Pope of Rome, which they regarded as the great Antichrist of Europe, came to Sir John Oldcastle, knight, Lord Cobham, leader of the Lollards. The king at first supported him in his beliefs, but soon he gave into the church and insisted that Lord Cobham go to the Pope and be corrected.

So he submitted himself and was fully examined in what he and his brethren, the Lollards believed. And, as it was also with John Wickliffe, he spoke straight out boldly, even to call the Pope the Antichrist! So, he explained both how he believed and also how he did not believe in many of the doctrines of the Pope (the church at that time).

They required him to speak concerning four points: 1) On the sacraments; 2) on the need to join the Catholic church; 3) that the power of the Papacy was given to the church by St. Peter; and 4) on the requirement to go on a pilgrimage to view holy places, relics, and images, etc. To all these four points Lord Cobham gave them the wrong answer, but instead said that he saw no commandment of God in the Scriptures concerning any of those points. He also said, “I will no otherwise believe in these points than what I have told you here before. Do with me what you will.”

And with that answer the archbishop stood and read a bill of his condemnation. They charged that he was a heretic in his own person as well as a heretic of the church of Rome. They also denounced as many as were in favour of him and defended him.

To that condemnation Lord Cobham responded “with a most cheerful countenance:”

Though ye judge my body, which is but a wretched thing, yet am I certain and sure, that ye can do no harm to my soul, no more than could Satan unto the soul of Job.

Then, because of Lord Cobham’s good response, they feared that maybe they were too cruel in the eyes of the people and the king, so they gathered together to make him look bad. Well, after one false accusation did not work, they tried another. They set out to bring a pack of lies about him to the king and so to set the king against him. And it worked.

And so, the true Christians were betrayed both by the church of Rome and also by the king. And as it happened, the king ordered that all who read the Scriptures according to Wickliffe’s translation, would forfeit land, cattle, body, life and goods forever. And so, they were condemned as heretics and as enemies to the crown. And if they would not repent and recant, they would suffer death by hanging for treason against the king, and then be burned for heresy against God.

So, as it was, many of the Lollards did suffer cruel death. But many fled out of the land and to other countries. Lord Cobham also escaped and fled into Wales. But after four years they found him and brought him back to London. There he had his Arms bound behind him; and after he fell down upon his knees, he in prayer forgave his enemies; and then he stood and exhorted them in a godly manner to follow the laws of God. He was then hanged by the middle and also was consumed alive in fire. And all the while he was praising the name of God as long as his life lasted.

My Comments

As I thought about how the Papacy set out to make themselves look good and to make Lord Cobham look bad with lies, I thought about how this also happened at our Lord’s trial. It was the same. And it was by the same Pharisees. But it is also being done today. There are many evil doers like the Clinton’s and like the Obama’s and like the Biden’s. They are constantly telling lies in order to make themselves look good and others look bad. Yes, it is interesting how evil is repeated over and over again through the centuries. And it is so interesting how those in high positions take such great pains to plot their evil schemes. It was done many centuries ago, and it is still being done today. I think how President Trump was plotted against, saying that he was aided by Russia. And then, the latest and most damaging evil scheme is the voting fraud. And it seems that there is nothing stopping it—because there are so many ways that this evil is being done: by rigging the voting machines, by not counting votes, by duplicating votes, by counting the votes of the dead, by discarding ballots, etc.

And soon we will see true Christians being tormented and martyred just as was done in Rome and then by the church. Well, it is being done in some countries now by Muslims. But soon it will be done world-wide by the state and the church, by the Antichrist and also by the false church. Yes, as soon as the true church is taken up to God, these things will begin. I think this evil action is closer to us than we think.

John Wickliffe — from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

As mentioned in my last post on this subject, Constantine the Great stopped the persecutions for 1,000 years until John Wickliffe. However, it was through the doings of Constantine that the church became corrupted by the Romans as they successfully mixed the church with the evil Roman government (as they were corrupted by Babylonian influence by which much idolatry was introduced).

So it was, with this background, John Wickliffe came on the scene. This biblical scholar from England, the Lord raised up to detect and combat all the Pope’s false doctrine. Indeed, he had a challenge since the Pope managed to keep the true gospel and all of the bible out of the hands of the people. They did know the name of Christ, but they knew nothing of the apostle’s doctrine, such as justification by faith, the liberty of the Christian, the strength of sin, etc. Instead, the Pope’s main teaching was of ceremonies and traditions.

So it was, seemingly, that John Wickliffe alone took great pains to protest this false teaching of the Pope openly in the schools. And he was somewhat supported by the King—at least at first.

Oh, Wickliffe was a bold fellow, not afraid of the Papacy in the least. Here are a few points of Wickliffe’s sermons:

  • The holy eucharist is not the very body of Christ.
  • The church of Rome is not the head of all churches.
  • The Gospel is a rule sufficient of itself, without any other rule.
  • The Pope ought not to have prisons to punish transgressors.

Wickliffe, for his sermons, was commanded by the bishops to keep silence, but it was written that “he burst out afterward much more fiercely.” And he for his boldness got “the goodwill and favour of certain noblemen… [and] the common people.”

Then, in 1377, Pope Gregory, sent a letter (a bull) to the university of Oxford (where Wickliffe arrived from and taught at) and rebuked them for putting up with the teachings of Wickliffe. His words were quite fierce against Wickliffe: that he made “erroneous and false propositions…savoring even of heretical pravity, tending to weaken and overthrow the status of the whole church…” So, they were told, “By our authority you seize or cause to be seized the said John.” And then another letter was sent that he should be warned by public citation to appear before the Pope to be admonished.

Well, as it happened, by the miraculous grace of God, John Wickliffe managed to escape out of the bishops’ hands, by the aid one time of a great earthquake, and a second time by a lightning strike.

But yet, the Archbishop of Canterbury ordered a mandate against John Wickliffe that he was forbidden to preach “his heresies” against the church. But at the same time the chancellor in Oxford favoured Wickliffe and said that he was a good and innocent man. And so, it went like that back and forth.

Well, as it happened Wickliffe was secretly kept safe from the Pope and he died an old man. Yet he was declared a heretic and was cursed by the holy catholic church. And they set out to find his body and to burn his bones, but they could not find him; so they burned the bones of another man instead and said it was John Wickliffe.

Wickliffe became the father and leader of all those true Christians who would follow him. And though he was not martyred, all that followed him were martyred, as the Popes became more and more evil and not willing that any would escape from their grasp.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: Ignatius and Blandina

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: About Ignatius and Blandina

Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch after Peter, was sent to Rome to be devoured by wild beasts. But before he arrived “he wrote to the church of Rome not to try to deliver him lest they should deprive him of that which he longed and hoped for.” He said,

‘I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Christ Jesus!’ And even when he was sentenced to be thrown to the beasts, such was the burning desire that he had to suffer, that he spake, what time he heard the lions roaring, saying, ‘I am the wheat of Christ: I am going to be ground with teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found pure bread.’

A noble woman, Blandina, it was said,

Was endued with so much fortitude that those who successively tortured her from morning to night were quite worn out with fatigue, owned themselves conquered and exhausted of their whole apparatus of tortures, and were amazed to see her still breathing whilst her body was torn and laid open. The blessed woman recovered fresh vigor in the act of confession…

Blandina, suspended from a stake, was exposed as food to the wild beasts; she was seen suspended in the form of a cross and employed in vehement supplication. The sight inspired her fellow-combatants with much alacrity, while they beheld with their bodily eyes, in the person of their sister, the figure of Him who was crucified for them. None of the beasts at that time touched her: [so]she was taken down from the stake and thrown again into prison. Weak and contemptible as she might be deemed, yet when clothed with Christ, the mighty and invincible champion, she became victorious over the enemy…

After she had endured stripes, the tearing of the beasts, and the iron chair, she was enclosed in a net, and thrown to a bull; and having been tossed some time by the animal…

It was written that she was “rejoicing and triumphing in her exit, as if invited to a marriage supper.”

There were many more martyrs with wonderful stories of great strength in their faith, who rejoiced greatly in their suffering for Christ. A few names are these: Lawrence, Alban of England and Romanus who sang songs as he was whipped.

When Constantine came to power (A.D. 306-337), he stopped the persecutions and for the next one-thousand years there were no more martyrs until the time of John Wickliffe. This you may think was wonderful news, however, it was terribly detrimental to the church, as I will point out next time.