• 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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Their Bigotry Is Showing

gayfistFrom: The Desk of Gary Bauer

The “tolerant” Left is continuing its attack on Pastor Rick Warren for having been invited to pray at Barack Obama’s inauguration. This is ironic in many respects. For one, many conservative evangelicals have been skeptical of Warren in recent years and do not see him as a “culture warrior.” Few would compare him to Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. And while his church has been at the vanguard of caring for the victims of AIDS, Warren is being denounced by the militant homosexual rights movement as a Nazi and a bigot. Warren’s compassion for those suffering with AIDS seems meaningless to them. He stood up to their demands to redefine marriage and defended the truth of the scriptures. And for that he is being vilified. This is an instructive lesson for those Christians who believe pro-family activists just need to change our tone. They are wrong. The only thing that will satisfy the anti-religious bigots on the Left is if men and women of faith surrender our values and embrace their worldview.

The Left is turning its outrage against Obama as well. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) called Warren’s invitation “a serious mistake” and mocked Obama’s talk of “post-partisan change,” saying, “…to be honest, when he talks about being post-partisan … I suffer from post-partisan depression.” Frank added, “I believe that he overestimates his ability to get people to put aside fundamental differences.” Mark your calendars, my friends. This may be the only time you see me agreeing with Barney Frank. On this point, he’s right.

No politician is going to “unite” Americans on the fundamental cultural and values issues that divide us. Either unborn children are fully human, with the inalienable right to life, or they are the equivalent of Styrofoam cups to be discarded at whim. Either marriage will remain what it always has been or it will be redefined in a radical way that says children do not need mothers and fathers. We will either teach our children that faith played an important part in the foundation of our nation or we will teach them that the Founding Fathers were liars or misguided fools when they said our rights come from our Creator. Either we will muster the courage to defend civilization against the evil of Islamofascism or we will deny we are at war, blame ourselves and try to reason with Holocaust deniers. These are some of the fundamental differences that divide us. Barney Frank has no intention of giving up. Neither do I, and I pray you don’t either.

A New Year’s Blessing From Charles H. Spurgeon

“But the God of all grace who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

The minister of Christ is intended to execute two offices for the people of his charge. He is to speak for God to them, and for them to God. The pastor hath not fulfilled the whole of his sacred commission when he hath declared the whole counsel of God. He hath then done but half. The other part is that which is to be performed in secret, when he carrieth upon his breast, like the priest of old, the wants, the sins, the trials of his people, and pleads with God for them. The daily duty of the Christian pastor is as much to pray for his people, as to exhort, instruct, and console. There are, however, special seasons when the minister of Christ finds himself constrained to pronounce an unusual benediction over his people. When one year of trial has gone and another year of mercy has commenced, we may be allowed to express our sincere congratulations that God has spared us, and our earnest invocations of a thousand blessings upon the heads of those whom God has committed to our pastoral charge.

I have this morning taken this text as a new year’s blessing. You are aware that a minister of the Church of England always supplies me with the motto for the new year. He prays much before he selects the text, and I know that it is his prayer for you all to-day. He constantly favors me with this motto, and I always think it my duty to preach from it, and then desire my people to remember it through the year as a staff of support in their time of trouble, as some sweet morsel, a wafer made with honey, a portion of angel’s food, which they may roll under their tongue, and carry in their memory till the year ends, and then begin with another sweet text. What larger benediction could my aged friend have chosen, standing as he is to-day in his pulpit, and lifting up holy hands to preach to the people in a quiet village church – what larger blessing could he implore for the thousands of Israel than that which in his name I pronounce upon you this day: – “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.” (Sermon, 0292)

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