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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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In Less Than 100 Days Freedom Is Almost Gone

obamachanges1From: The Desk of Derek Broes

Over the past three months we have witnessed some truly amazing movements by the Obama administration. He has proposed more spending than all Presidents in history combined; he has trampled the Constitution by allowing the Treasury to take on a dictator style infringement on private companies, and now the democratically lead Congress has proposed the “Pay for Performance Act” which passed Thursday with even some Republican Congressman voted for it.

This bill essentially allows the Treasury to define “fair pay” for all employees, at any level. Worse, the Treasury would like to be able to take over any company it deemed as important enough to take over regardless of whether or not it had accepted bailout funds. Worse still, the Serve Act proposes to make volunteering for the government mandatory (with pay, of course). Last time I looked, working for pay was called A JOB.

The scariest part of the bill is that while you’re serving as a “volunteer,” you’re prohibited from participating in worship and church activities, political rallies and being involved in a union. In short, your essential freedoms are gone. I keep hearing about Obama being a socialist but, I have to disagree. Based on these measures he appears more like a person pursuing Communism or Fascism.

Continue reading. . . .
SEC. 125. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.

(a) Prohibited Activities.-A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not engage in the following activities:

(7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.

The entire list is oppressive:

(1) Attempting to influence legislation.
(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.
(3) Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing.
(4) Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements.
(5) Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office.
(6) Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials.

There are more. Basically you have to give up all your constitutional rights.

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God In Every Relationship Of Life

sword_imageQuoting Clarence Bouma:

[Calvinism] calls for a Christian witness in every realm of life. A witness in the home, in the church, in the school, in the state, and in every other social sphere. Calvinists have always been deeply aware of an ethical task. To them gospel preaching and social reform are not mutually exclusive, whatever Fundamentalists on the one hand and Modernists on the other, may have made of them. To live for the glory of God in every relationship of life, to be a soldier for the King, to battle for the Lord, to crown Christ King in every legitimate realm of human endeavor -this belongs to the very essence of being a true, full-orbed Christian, and it is the Calvinist-the true Calvinist, not his caricature-who stands committed to this task. (“The Relevance of Calvinism for Today”)

Let Me Think. . . .

obama-logic

One-Sided “Mutual Respect”?

islamwilldominateQuoting Gary Bauer:

Speaking in Turkey today [04/06/09], President Obama once again “reached out” to the Muslim world. His speech was broadcast live throughout the Middle East by Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyia. Here is an excerpt:

“Let me say this as clearly as I can. The United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. …America’s relationship with the Muslim world cannot and will not be based on opposition to Al Qaeda. We seek broad engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect. …We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better, including my own country. The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country — I know, because I am one of them.”

There was a lot in his remarks about what America will do and little in the way of the president’s expectations of the Muslim world. The president clearly placed the burden of reform on the United States, not the world’s Islamic states. Does this president have “mutual respect” for regimes that seek a second Holocaust and which persecute religious and other minorities? How many Muslim nations allow women to vote and hold public office? It’s ludicrous to suggest that our only problem with Islam is Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is a big problem, but isn’t the only problem. Has the president heard of Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad? Is the president aware of the madrasses and mosques all over the world that preach the jihadist philosophy telling Muslims that their duty to Allah requires them to kill the infidel?

I assume the president is familiar with the 2007 Pew Global Survey of Muslim attitudes, which found significant levels of support of homicide bombings among Muslims throughout the world – 70% in the Palestinian territories (Why create another terrorist state?), 23% in Jordan (a supposedly moderate Muslim nation), 16% in Turkey and 10% in Indonesia (the world’s most populous Muslim nation). The common denominator is radical Islam. Thankfully, not every Muslim is a terrorist. But virtually every terrorist that the United States has to worry about today is a Muslim. For the president to downplay that is not only irresponsible, it confuses our own citizens and makes it more likely that there will be another 9/11.

When Everything Depends On Everything

Quoting George Will:

“The president’s confidence in his capacities is undermining confidence in his judgment. His way of correcting what he called the Bush administration’s ‘misplaced priorities’ has been to have no priorities. Mature political leaders know that to govern is to choose — to choose what to do and thereby to choose what cannot be done. The administration insists that it really does have a single priority: Everything depends on fixing the economy. But it also says that everything depends on everything: Economic revival requires enactment of the entire liberal wish list of recent decades.”

What’s So Important About Your Church?

church-website-templateMoreThanCake.org reports:

I spent some time browsing the website of a popular and large church. They had a link for, “first time visitors” and so naturally I went there first. As I viewed the content of these pages, I asked myself the following, “if I were new to Christianity, what would I learn about these people who claim to follow Jesus?”

The first thing I noticed is that they gave a history of their church-that looked interesting. It was well organized by giving key dates that served as milestones in their history. But with each milestone came the recognition that everything was about numbers and a building. Every milestone was about how many people showed up on a Sunday, how much property they were able to buy, and how much money they had raised to build a building. The website even gave a nicely crafted bar chart so visitors could track just how big and prosperous the church had grown. What was the most important message to their first time visitors, “we have grown really big and now we have a really expensive building on some prime property. We can entertain you!”

The next article for the “first time visitor” was a video showcasing their 2006 year in review. I watched this video as this church displayed everything they thought was important for the first time visitor to see. What did I see? I saw a lot of fun events; people eating food, people dressed up like chickens running across the “stage” during services, and generally people having fun. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, but what bothered me is what I did not see. I did not see one person in prayer, I did not see one person serving the needs of others, I did not see anything that looked liked a missions project, I did not see one single baptism, I saw no one taking communion, I saw nothing that emphasized the teaching of God’s Word or the making of disciples… in short, I did not see anything about Jesus. What was the most important message to their first time visitors, “we are a really fun group that will make you feel good about yourself. We can entertain you!”

The reason I don’t care to reveal the name of this particular church is because, quite frankly, I am more concerned that it does not become the name of my church. . . .

Continue reading. . . .

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