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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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Will You Listen To God Or Man?

4:18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’ –

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4)

Sarah Palin Does Not Believe God Told Her To Go To War With Iraq!

Can you believe it? The Associated Press came up with this headline about a talk Governor Sarah Palin gave at her church: “Palin: Iraq War ‘A Task That Is From God.'”

What Governor Palin actually asked the congregation to do was: “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

Sorry – even though the liberal media wanted this to play like Palin was hearing messages from God about the Iraq war, plainly this is not the case. The press has a history of trying to make Christian politicians into people they can claim are hearing voices and feel secretly compelled to start the battle of Armageddon so that Christ will be forced to return. The press does not understand that Christians can’t force an agenda on God.

Instead, they should be focusing on Iran and its President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad’s religious beliefs lead him to desire to “wipe Israel off the map” and “pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam.” With nuclear weaponry at hand, he believes that if he went to war with the West – it would usher in the 12th Imam – who will save the world and restore Islam to supremacy.

Palin is simply and clearly praying that we’re doing the right thing in Iraq. She is praying that we are following God’s plan; that we are on His side. This is a very rational statement for a woman of faith. She is concerned about the lives of our troops. She certainly isn’t saying she received an order from heaven to drop the big one on Iraq. Of course, this is the fiction the media proclaims on a regular basis to demean the intelligence of Christians.

I, personally, would suggest that we all join Governor Palin in praying for our troops, that our leaders would do what is right in God’s eyes, and the conflicts would end soon.

The Mind In The Service Of God By Charles H. Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon was seriously concerned about theological truth during his lifetime. He saw serious inconsistencies in the application of church doctrine in his day. He declared to his congregation that they were accountable for believing in sound doctrine, and warned them against false teaching. The American church would do well to study carefully his words today:

In the first place, every deviation from truth is a sin. It is not simply a sin for me to do a wrong act, but it is a sin for me to believe a wrong doctrine. Lately [some pastors] have absolved us all from obeying God in our judgments; they have told us point blank, many of them, in their drawing-rooms, and some of them in the pulpit, that we shall never be asked in the Day of Judgment what we believed. We have been told that for our acts we shall be responsible, but for our faith we [will not be responsible], or something very much like it; they have told us plainly, that the God who made us, although he has authority over our hands, our feet, our eyes and our lips, hath but little authority over our judgments; they have told us, that if we make ever such blunders in divinity, they are no sins, so long as we can live right lives.

But is that true? No; the whole man is bound to serve God; and if God gives me a judgment, I am bound to employ that judgment in his service; and if that judgment receive an untruth, it has received stolen goods, and I have sinned as much as if I put forth my hand to take my neighbor’s goods. There may be degrees in the sin. If it be a sin of ignorance, it is nevertheless a sin; but it is not so heinous as a sin of negligence, which I fear it is with many.

[If a certain doctrine is true], I am committing a sin before Almighty God, if I do not receive it; and if it be not true, then I sin in embracing what is not scriptural. Error in doctrine is as much a sin as error in practice.

Remember, too, that error in doctrine is not only a sin, but a sin which has a great tendency to increase. When a man once in his life believes a wrong thing, it is [incredible] how quickly he believes another wrong thing. Once open the door to a false doctrine – Satan says it is but a little one – yes, but he only puts the little one in like the small end of the wedge, and he means to drive in a larger one; and he will say it is only a little more, and a little more, and a little more.

The most damnable heretics who ever perverted the faith of God erred by littles and littles; those who have gone the widest from truth have only gone so by degrees. Take care, Christians, if you commit one error, you cannot tell how many more you will commit.

“Hold fast the form of sound words,” (that is what the apostle Paul commanded Timothy) because error in doctrine almost inevitably leads to error in practice. When a man believes wrongly, he will soon act wrongly. Faith has a great influence on our conduct. As a man’s faith, so is he. If you begin to [hold to] erroneous doctrines, they soon have an effect on your practice. Keep fast to the bulwarks of your fathers’ faith. If you do not, the enemy will make sad havoc with you. “Hold fast the form of sound words which was delivered unto you.”

Sarah Palin: What Is A Woman’s Place In Politics?

The liberal media and even some Christians question the role of a conservative woman in political office. Gary DeMar, in his article “Should Sarah Palin be in Politics?” shares some thoughts on this from a Christian perspective. He writes:

Nearly all the articles I’ve read on why Palin should not be in politics make reference to Deborah and why she can’t be a favorable example under certain conditions. I disagree. First, God Himself establishes Deborah as a judge. When the people “cried out to the Lord,” Judge Deborah was the answer to their prayers (Judges 4:2-3).

Second, Judges 4:4 God is making a point. . . The point of the chapter is to make it clear that a woman is judging Israel. When the Bible offers such detail, we need to pay close attention to the message.

Third, there is no condemnation of Deborah. In fact, we learn that the place where she judged is eventually named after her: “the palm tree of Deborah” (4:5). . . .

Fourth, contrary to one blog I read, Deborah is a true judge in Israel. She certainly did not force herself into office. Her authority was legitimate and recognized by the people, so much so that she could call on Barak to muster the troops to defend Israel against Jabin king of Canaan (4:6-7). . . .

Fifth, if God had disapproved of Deborah as a judge, it seems to me that Israel would have lost the battle with Jabin. . . .

There is no doubt that the judgeship of Deborah is out of the ordinary, but the period of the judges is not a normal period in Israel’s history. The men are weak, as Barak’s response indicates (4:8), and the people were generally unrighteous with every man doing “what was right in his own eyes” (17:6). . . .

Why did Sarah Palin run to head the PTA? Where were the worthy men? Why did she run for mayor of Wasilla? Where were the worthy men? How did she beat an incumbent governor in the primary and go on to win the governorship? Where were the worthy men in this long election process? It seems to me that Sarah Palin got fed up and decided to do something about what was happening to her children’s school, her city, and her state. Sarah Palin’s candidacy is an indictment on the many men who have compromised their principles.

Read this entire article at American Vision. . . .

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