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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Finding The Way Of The Cross

What do you see when you look upon the cross on which our Savior died? Do you see the cross as a mere ornament that symbolizes Christianity? Is it a lucky charm to wear around your neck to ward off evil? Perhaps it is just a reminder of your self-assurance as a modern Christian who is determined to live his best life now.

Has the mere sight or thought of the cross ever brought you to your knees? Does it impress upon your thoughts that there is no salvation and no eternal life except in the cross of Jesus Christ? The Apostle Paul shared his thoughts on this issue with the Galatians: “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (6:14) Understanding the centrality of the cross leads to a life of holiness.

Alexander MacLaren wrote, “The cross is the center of the world’s history. The incarnation of Christ and the crucifixion of our Lord are the pivot round which all the events of the ages revolve. The testimony of Christ was the spirit of prophecy, and the growing power of Jesus is the spirit of history.” The cross is like the sails of a ship that bring you into safe harbor. It is Jacob’s ladder to heaven.

Christ descended from heaven to bear our sins on the cross. In that regard, we are instructed in Phillipians to “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (2:5-8) Would you follow Jesus? He said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)

Charles H. Spurgeon noted that, “There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross-bearers here below.” The Christian renounces himself as the object and center of his life. God, not self, must be the center of his life. Suffering is no longer a deterrent to following Christ. This is the way of the cross; that we must follow Him.

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,

Save in the death of Christ my God!

All the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down!

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

(by Isaac Watts)

Ministry Fined $23,000 For Gay Discrimination

Christian Horizons, one of Canada’s largest Christian ministries caring for the disabled, was fined $23,000 recently by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The alleged crime was discriminating against a former homosexual employee. Because of its Christian foundation, Christian Horizons ministry requires its employees to sign “morality statements” vowing to abstain from immoral behavior. This includes pornography, pre-marital, extra-marital, and homosexual activity as a condition of employment.

The former employee claimed she was pressured to quit her job after entering a homosexual relationship. She claimed discrimination even though she was violating her work contract. A single adjudicator, representing the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, ruled against Christian Horizons and ordered the organization to pay the former employee $23,000 in fines plus two years wages and benefits.

The adjudicator also ordered that the organization abandon its Christian principles barring homosexual behavior. He then issued mandates that will require all Horizons’ employees to attend a homosexual oriented “human rights training program.”

This anti-Christian decision in Canada is the same immoral rationale that’s fueling the U.S. Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) debate. ENDA would mandate employer tolerance of all forms of sexual orientation in hiring, firing, and promotion. Christian-oriented businesses and organizations may have only limited religious protection.

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