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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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To The Left Of Oz

goosestep_parade_in_warsawQuoting David Limbaugh:

“As one liberal academic administrator said in justifying his Draconian action in suppressing a Christian viewpoint, ‘We cannot tolerate the intolerable.’ This self-blinding, superior mindset explains how liberals can accuse conservatives of racism for their legitimate political differences with Barack Obama while demeaning, with racist epithets, Condoleezza Rice or Clarence Thomas. It’s how they can mock conservatives for being close-minded while unilaterally declaring the end to the debate on global warming because of a mythical consensus they have decreed. It’s how they can demand every vote count and exclude military ballots. It’s how they can glamorize Jimmy Carter for gallivanting to foreign countries to supervise ‘fair elections’ and pooh-pooh ACORN’s serial voter fraud in their own country. It’s how they can threaten the tax-exempt status of evangelical churches for preaching on values, even when the churches don’t endorse candidates, but fully support a liberal church’s direct electioneering for specific candidates. … It’s how they can oppose the death penalty for the guilty but protect the death penalty for the innocent unborn. … If you believe the left is tolerant, open-minded and democratic, you’re in for a rude awakening.”

A Different Christmas Greeting

Quoting Reverend F. Richard Garland:

In her wonderful little book, When the Heart Waits, Sue Monk Kidd tells of visiting a monastery sometime around Christmas. She recalls walking past a monk outside the church and greeting him with the traditional, “Merry Christmas.” To which the monk replied: “May Christ be born in you.” The words, over the years, became for her a discovery of what she calls “the real essence of transformation.”

Today, with our “politically correct,” economic-driven festivities around Christmas, we’re lucky if we get even a muttered “Happy Holidays,” let alone a “Merry Christmas.” “May Christ be born in you?” Fer-gidda-bow-dit! And, yet, it is a greeting, that, once you have heard it, sticks in the soul.

Any one who has ever had a baby come into his or her life knows that babies change things: bodies change, relationships change, routines change, ways of life change, futures change. To greet someone with the words, “May Christ be born in you,” is a prayer that he or she may be changed, transformed by the living presence of Christ. If that doesn’t get at the heart of what God was doing at Christmas, I don’t know what else does. . . .

Benjamin Rush: “The Wisest Rules For Just Conduct”

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Rush

The Gospel of Jesus Christ prescribes the wisest rules for just conduct in every situation of life. Happy they who are enabled to obey them in all situations! . . . My only hope of salvation is in the infinite transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the Cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins [Acts 22:16]. I rely exclusively upon it. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly! [Revelation 22:20] (Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Surgeon General of the Continental Army, Ratifier of the US Constitution)

A Christmas Card To Afflict The Comfortable

Pastor Charles R. Biggs has written a wonderful letter to accompany the following article: “An Uncomfortable Christmas Card for Unbelievers Comfortable at Christmas.” After you read this article, you may want to visit the web site where his “Christmas Card” is found. You may do so by clicking the link at the bottom of this article.

Each year at this time, I think about how I would like to remind my unbelieving friends and loved ones of the glorious gospel and hope found in Jesus Christ. Seasons like Christmas give us another great opportunity to make the good news of Jesus known to the whole world, and especially to those closest to us.

Sadly however, when Christmas comes and we gather with our unbelieving friends and family, we Christians look into the eyes of our unbelieving friends and family members excitedly telling them of how God has greatly blessed us, and what the true meaning of Christmas is about, only for these glad tidings to be received at best as a nice sentiment that spiritually falls flat in their response to us, or at worst it is received as divisive and ignorant, and a subject to be avoided in our Christmas conversation (for instance: “Happy Holidays!”).

This year I decided to write a letter to those friends and loved ones who love me, but who do not love Christ; this is a letter to friends and family who do not believe. I decided to write an uncomfortable Christmas card for unbelievers comfortable at Christmas.

No one should ever be too comfortable with the truths of Scripture any time of the year! I think it is important for the truths of Scripture to keep believers all uncomfortably ever-depending upon Jesus Christ alone for our righteousness throughout the year (one of the purposes of gospel preaching). I especially think it is good for unbelieving friends and relatives to be uncomfortable this time of year when we celebrate God becoming flesh in order to save those who believe. When unbelievers become comfortable this time of year, it is time to ask ourselves as the Church whether we are speaking and proclaiming the gospel in clear, pointed, penetrating ways as Jesus, John, and Paul preached it.

If you find this letter helpful, and would like to use it yourself in order to send to those whom you love and desire them to know Jesus, I invite you to use it as often as you would like, and to send it to as many as you would like.

Merry Christmas,
Pastor Biggs

Link to “An Uncomfortable Christmas Card for Unbelievers Comfortable at Christmas” here. . . .

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