Juneteenth

By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

Today, June 19th, is called, “Juneteenth Day.”  This goes way back to 1865 in Texas.  The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect January 1st, 1863.  But, Afro-Americans in Texas had not been “officially” told about such a Proclamation.  It is known that many Blacks in Texas “knew” of Lincoln’s writ, and there appears to be evidence of suppression of this news, also.  Remember, there was no electricity, and many Texans wanted no part in Lincoln’s crusade.

The Civil War (April, 1861-May 1865) was over, but General Gordon Granger circulated the now famous “General Orders #3”, which stated that “slaves were free”.  From 1866 onwards, June 19th became a day of celebration, and of sad memorializing.  The Biden Administration has, as of the other day, effectively made it a “National Holiday” – which means for many, “I don’t have to go to work”.

The day, as stated, was already celebrated, and I have heard of it before through my studies of Afro-American history.  What’s happening with it today, however, does not reflect the roots of celebration and prayer to God that it originally had among united-in-vision Black Americans and White Americans. Something I’d like to see recovered.

One book that captures the tension among Black slaves together with White empathizers against “slavocrats” is, Let My People Go: The Story of the Underground Railroad and the Growth of the Abolition Movement, (Henrietta Buckmaster.  1992 [orig. 1941].  University of South Carolina Press).  Retelling the night before January 1st, 1863, New Years Eve, is one passage I will remember forever (pp. 301-305), and read to my son the other night (soon to be Political Science grad).  Churches filled with White and Black souls prayed and sang into the night, until the clock tower bells struck midnight.  Tears flowed together.  Knees kneeled together.  Nothing is worth having, if it’s not worth fighting for.  What is worth fighting for is measured by the degree of sacrifice that has to be made.  In this case it was freedomFreedom to speak, think, and proclaim as one wished, and according to conscience.  Not so in Texas.  Buckmaster related that in Georgia a White man was hanged for supporting Abolitionists (p. 282).  The year of 1860, when Lincoln became President, “Slaves and whites were arrested, beaten, and hanged together from Texas to Virginia” (p. 278).

Even though the Proclamation of Lincoln was hailed as a victory, James Weldon Johnson lamented that Frederick Douglas died (1895) a “disappointed man.  He had lived to see many of his highest hopes for his race fall to the ground” (James Weldon Johnson, Black Manhattan.  New York. 1930. Page 56).  Today, we live somewhat in a different climate.  Even though the idea of “biological races” is relatively new (see, The Stony Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation: Cain Hope Felder, Ed. Fortress Press. 1991. Pp. 127-ff.; Cornel West, Prophetic Fragments: Illumination of the Crisis in American Religion & Culture. Eerdmans. 1988.  Pp. 97-ff.), and largely developed from a secular, scientism (Linnaeus; Darwin; see also Darwin’s Plantation: Evolution’s Racist Roots, Ken Ham and A. Charles Ware. Master Books. 2009), racism has become radically politicized between the so-called Left and Right.  Gone are the plantations, Jim Crow laws, segregated schools, and the like.  True, we are living within the era of a mere generation ago that saw the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which, for the Black American is recent history, and my mother remembers traveling to the South from Indiana as a twenty-something year old in shock of seeing “Whites Only” signs in windows (in Indiana, segregation was felt, not spelt), my generation was born in the seventies.  We grew up together, played together, and snuck out Richard Pryor records together (Pryor would probably be banned today if he performed).  There was “we” and “together.”

I hear something profound in the words of Jesus when he said, “unless you believe like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18.3).  The key to understanding this statement is to be mature as an adult, but convinced as a child is when it comes to faith.  It applies to a lot of concerns.  Concerning “race”, when all that “other stuff” – what I call, “noise”, creeps into the mind about “those people”, think like a child, like “we” and “together”.  Today, however, these words cut both ways (and even this is not something new).  I do not need to quote citations that are tantamount to demonizing White folks simply on the basis of their color of skin, or culture.  I can.  My library is fairly large.  Lionel Lokos powerfully wrote, “As carefully as I can, I haltingly walk a racial tightrope that seems to get thinner and more fragile every year.”  As for the Left and the Right, “I consider the obsequious condescension of the former every bit as degrading as the blatant bigotry of the latter” (Lionel Lokos, House Divided: The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King.  Arlington House.  1968. Page 11).  That pretty much sums it up for me.  Celebrate “Juneteenth”.  Celebrate it along with and “together” with “we” in mind.  I plan on attending a “festival” for a couple of hours along with other human beings, and hear opinions that may or may not inspire me.  Don’t know unless I go.

Author: Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

Samuel M. Frost has gained the recognition of his family, peers, colleagues, church members, and local community as a teacher and leader.  Samuel was raised in the Foursquare Gospel tradition and continued in the rising Charismatic Movement of the early 1980’s.  While serving in local congregations he was admitted to Liberty Christian College in Pensacola, Florida where he lived on campus for four years earning his Bachelor’s of Theology degree.  It was there under the tutelage of Dr. Dow Robinson (Summer Institutes of Linguistics), and Dr. Frank Longino (Dallas Theological Seminary) that he was motivated to pursue a career in Theology.  Dr. Robinson wrote two books on Linguistics, Workbook on Phonological Analysis (SIL, 1970) and Manuel for Bilingual Dictionaries: Textbook (SIL, 1969).  It was under these teachers’ guidance that Frost entered into his Master’s studies, being granted a scholarship for Greek I and II at Pentecostal Theological Seminary, accredited, in Cleveland, Tennessee (adjunct of Lee University).  Frost completed his study under Dr. French Arrington, who used the text of J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners. Frost studied Hebrew for two years under Dr. Mark Futato (author, Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Eisenbrauns, 2003) and Dr. Bruce K. Waltke (author, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Eisenbrauns, 1990) at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida. With combined credits from PTS and RTS, Samuel completed his Master of Arts in Christian Studies and Master of Arts in Religion from Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland, Florida under the direct tutelage of Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, co-author of the well reviewed work, Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism (Whitefield Media, 2005) with Dr. Gary Crampton (and Foreword by the late, Dr. D. James Kennedy).  Dr. Talbot also oversaw Samuel’s Dissertation, From the First Adam to the Second and Last Adam (2012) earning him the Magister Theologiae (Th.M.) degree.  He also helped put together A Student’s Hebrew Primer for WTS and graded exams in Hebrew. Samuel’s studies lead him into an issue in the field of Eschatology where his scholarship and unique approach in Hermeneutics garnered him recognition.  Because of the controversial nature of some of his conclusions, scholars were sharp in their disagreement with him.  Frost’s initial work, Misplaced Hope: The Origins of First and Second Century Eschatology (2002, Second Edition, 2006 Bi-Millennial Publishing), sold over four thousand units.  While arguing for the Reformation understanding of sola Scriptura as defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith, Frost’s book launched a heavily footnoted argument for a total reassessment of the doctrine known as the Second Coming of Christ.  The conclusion was that the events of the war of the Jewish nation against their Roman overlords in 66-70 C.E. formed the New Testament authors’ eschatological outlook, and went no further than their own first century generation; a view otherwise known as “full” or "hyper" Preterism.  Internationally recognized Evangelical author and speaker Steve Wohlberg remarked, ‘On the “preterist” side today…we have such influential leaders as Gary DeMar, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., David Chilton, R.C. Sproul, Max King, James Stuart Russell, Samuel M. Frost, and John Noe.  To these scholars…the beast is not on the horizon, he’s dead” (Italics, his)” (End Time Delusions, Destiny Image Publishers, 2004, page 133).  It should be noted that only Noe, King and Frost supported the “full” Preterist position. Thomas Ice and co-author of the best selling Left Behind series, Tim LaHaye, quote Frost’s work, Misplaced Hope, as well in their book, The End Times Controversy: The Second Coming under Attack (Harvest House Publishers, 2003, page 40).  Dr. Jay E. Adams, who single handedly launched “a revolution” in Christian Counseling with his work, Competent to Counsel: An Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling, (1970, Zondervan), also wrote an analysis of Frost’s work in Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox? (Ministry Monographs for Modern Times, INS Publishing, 2004).  Dr. Charles E. Hill, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, wrote of Misplaced Hope that Frost, “attacks the problem of the early church in a much more thoroughgoing way than I have seen” (When Shall These Things Be? A Reformed Response to Hyper Preterism, Ed. Keith Mathison, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2003, ‘Eschatology in the Wake of Jerusalem’s Fall’ p. 110-ff.).  There were several other works as well that took the scholarship of Frost seriously, like Ergun Caner in The Return of Christ: A Premillennial Perspective, Eds., Steve W. Lemke and David L. Allen (B&H Publishing, 2011). Because of the controversial nature of Frost’s conclusions on these matters, it was difficult to find a denomination within the Church-at-Large to work in terms of pastoral ministry.  That situation changed when Samuel was called by a Bible study group in Saint Petersburg, Florida to found a congregation.  Christ Covenant Church was established in 2002 operating under the principles outlined by Presbyterian historian James Bannerman’s work, The Church of Christ: A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church (Banner of Truth Trust, 1974, original, 1869).  By-Laws and a Constitution were drawn up in the strictest manner for what was considered an “Independent” establishment of a Presbyterian Church, granted that a “call” was received and recognized by Presiding Elders duly ordained from existing and recognized denominations.  Two Elders, one ordained in the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Mike Delores), and another ordained in the Presbyterian Church of America (Dr. Kelly N. Birks, now deceased) tested and reviewed the call, ordaining Samuel on October 20th, 2002, the Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity.  Proper forms were submitted to Tallahassee, Florida with the stamp of a Notary Public Witness.  Christ Covenant Church (CCC) functioned as a local church for five years with a congregation as large as 30 members.  Frost was gaining recognition after Misplaced Hope had been published in January of that year, and conferences were hosted that included debates with another prominent "full" Preterist educator, Don K. Preston.  CCC hosted best-selling authors, Thomas Ice, and Mark Hitchcock from Dallas Theological Seminary; and Dr. James B. Jordan (Westminster Theological Seminary), well-known author/pastor in Reformed theological circles.  Frost was invited for the next several years to speak at over 25 conferences nation-wide, was featured in articles and an appearance on local news in Tampa for one of CCC’s conferences.  The Evangelical Theological Society also invited Samuel to speak at the Philadelphia conference (Frost is currently a Member of ETS as well as Society of Biblical Literature). During this time Samuel had submitted one more book, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection of the Dead (TruthVoice, 2008; repr. JaDon Publishing, 2010); and co-wrote, House Divided: A Reformed Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Vision International, 2010).  Frost also wrote several Forewords for up and coming authors who were influenced by his teaching materials, as well as cited many times in books, lectures and academic papers.  However, because of certain aspects of Hermeneutics and Frost’s undaunted commitment to scholarship (with always a strong emphasis on the personal nature of devotional living to Christ), several challenges to the "hyper" Preterist view he espoused finally gave way, largely due to the unwavering commitment to Samuel by the Dean of Whitefield Theological Seminary, Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, who continually challenged him.  In what shocked the "hyper" Preterist world, Samuel announced after the Summer of 2010 that he was in serious error, and departed the movement as a whole, along with Jason Bradfield, Assistant Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, Florida .  Christ Covenant Church had dissolved after 2007 while Samuel continued as a public speaker and writer, largely due to reasons that would unravel Frost’s commitment to "hyper" Preterism as a whole. The documentation of Frost’s departure was published by American Vision’s Founder, Gary DeMar, with a Foreword by Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry.  Why I Left Full Preterism (AV Publishing, 2012) quickly sold out its first run.  The book was later republished under the arm of Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry and is sold today (GoodBirth Ministries Publishing, 2019).  Dr. Keith Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida, endorsed the book as well.  Samuel has gone on to write, Daniel: Unplugged (Kindle/Amazon, 2019); The Parousia of the Son of Man (Lulu Publishing, 2019); God: As Bill Wilson Understood Him, A Theological Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous (Lulu Publishing, 2017).  He is also active as a certified Chaplain with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana, and enrolled with ICAADA (Indiana Counselor’s Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse) working directly under Dr. Dennis Greene, Founder of Christian Counseling and Addictions Services, Inc.  Frost’s passion is in the education of the local church on various issues and occasionally works Pastor Alan McCraine with the First Presbyterian Church in Lewisville, Indiana where he periodically is called upon to give the sermon.  He also is working with Redemption Life Bible Church with Pastor Tyler Jackson in New Castle, Indiana.  Samuel, with his wife, Kimberly, helped to establish Heaven’s Bread Basket food pantry that donates food items to local families in need once a month – a ministry of the Session of First Presbyterian Church. Samuel has four children, one step-son, ages sixteen to twenty-eight and has worked part time at Ace Hardware in New Castle, Indiana for over five years.  He has a solid reputation in the community, and has performed marriages and funerals.  He also sits on the Board of the Historical Preservation Committee in New Castle.

2 thoughts on “Juneteenth”

  1. While I applaud the abolition of slavery, one can’t help but wonder: Is the making of Juneteenth a national holiday really a ‘slick trick’ on the part of the left to replace July 4th with something more “PC?” Not trying to “start” anything here. Just wondering.. since Juneteenth and the 4th of July are only a couple weeks apart.

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  2. Brian,

    One may wonder. One may wonder, too, after reading two very serious Marxist adherents, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (Empire. Harvard University Press. 2000), that such a “recognition” by the Cultural Imperialists (i.e., the Biden Administration; Washington D.C.) is simply not a ploy. That is, “…imperial theory can adopt what is traditionally thought to be an anti-racist position and still maintain a strong principle of social separation” (page 192-193). In other words, the so called Civil Rights Act of ’64 was still cast within the larger White Elitist framework and oppression, merely “suggesting” that D.C. is no longer “racist” on the basis of “look at what laws we have passed”. Kind of like throwing a bone and saying, “now be a good person and be happy.”

    Liked by 1 person

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