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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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Redefining Marriage

One prominent dictionary company has decided to resolve the debate of whether the word “marriage” should apply to same-sex unions or be reserved for the institution that has held families together for millennia by rewriting the definition.

The new definition references “marriage” as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife. But the definition also includes “the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage.”

Man’s Dependence On God

Quoting Jonathan Edwards

A truly humble man is sensible of his natural distance from God; of his dependence on Him; of the insufficiency of his own power and wisdom; and that it is by God’s power that he is upheld and provided for, and that he needs God’s wisdom to lead and guide him, and His might to enable him to do what he ought to do for Him.

Elementary Thoughts: Selfishness – Part 3

principalLike so many other couples in our generation, when we received the news that our first child was actually on the way, my wife and I were not prepared. We were definitely not Christians. Therefore, we were totally unfamiliar with God’s plan for our lives concerning marriage or the parenting of children. We were excited, extremely positive, with supportive families standing behind us, and very naive. We began to plan for our first born with the unspoken assumption that nothing was going to change. We would still continue to pursue the same bad habits and old pleasures we always had.

For instance, it never occurred to us that we might lower our standard of living in order that my wife might quit work and stay home with our new daughter. Our first thoughts went immediately in the direction of obtaining suitable childcare. I thank God, now, that at the time we lived in the same city as my parents. My mother volunteered to provide day care for our daughter during her first important year of life.

The next year I was offered a position as principal of an elementary school in another city. Even though we were economically in much better condition, we were still unwilling to give up that second income. We were again blessed, however, to find a nursery operated by a Christian lady who truly loved children.

By the time my wife and I had our second child, our values and lifestyle had undergone a radical change. We had been introduced to Jesus Christ. We had come to believe, through the Scriptures and the teachings of our pastor, that we were not only responsible for the physical and emotional well being of our daughters but that it was very important for us to accept the responsibility of stewardship over our children’s spiritual lives as well. We believed, and still do, that this meant we must make every effort to rear our children in our own home during those early years when they would form so many of their attitudes and beliefs. We determined that my wife was going to stay home with our children. We committed to lowering our standard of living for the sake of a higher calling. We had come to believe that God intended for parents to be the primary caregivers of their children.

We may have appeared very bold, concerning that decision, to some of our friends. We were really scared to death that we were going to starve. That was many years ago. Obviously, we did not starve. In fact, we never missed a meal. We had to put aside our “want list” a lot, but most of the things we thought we wanted along the way really do not seem as important now. “Want lists” change with each season of life. One thing did not. We still believe that our decision for their mother to stay home with our girls was one of the very best decisions we ever made.

I realize that if you are a single parent you may not have the option to make the choice we did. It is a parent’s responsibility to work for an income and provide for his/her children. If you have to put your child in daycare while you work, don’t choose one simply as a matter of convenience because it is closer to home or cheaper. Choose a daycare that maintains high standards of care, cleanliness, and professionalism from a well-trained staff. You want to be assured that your child is going to receive the personal attention he/she needs and deserves. The daycare should have a vision and philosophy for caring for your child which is very similar to what you would want to provide in your home. You might also have a friend who has opted to stay home with his/her own child and would like to earn extra income by looking after another child of similar age. Whatever your decision, it should be made with careful consideration and a good deal of prayer. It is your responsibility and the consequences of your decision will have a significant impact on the life of your child. (Continued tomorrow)

The Link To Freedom

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams

Quoting John Quincy Adams:

The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the Divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made “bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” [Isaiah 52:10].

In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.

Al Gore Loses His Cool Over Climate Warming

Leaving A Church?

John MacArthur

John MacArthur

Quoting John MacArthur Jr.:

Question:

When should a person leave a church?

Answer:

Leaving a church is not something that should be done lightly. Too many people abandon churches for petty reasons. Disagreements over simple matters of preference are never a good reason to withdraw from a sound, Bible-believing church. Christians are commanded to respect, honor, and obey those whom God has placed in positions of leadership in the church (Heb.13:7, 17). However, there are times when it becomes necessary to leave a church for the sake of one’s own conscience, or out of a duty to obey God rather than men. Such circumstances would include:

• If heresy on some fundamental truth is being taught from the pulpit (Gal. 1:7-9).

• If the leaders of the church tolerate seriously errant doctrine from any who are given teaching authority in the fellowship (Rom. 16:17).

• If the church is characterized by a wanton disregard for Scripture, such as a refusal to discipline members who are sinning blatantly (1 Cor. 5:1-7).

• If unholy living is tolerated in the church (1 Cor. 5:9-11).

• If the church is seriously out of step with the biblical pattern for the church (2 Thess. 3:6, 14).

• If the church is marked by gross hypocrisy, giving lip service to biblical Christianity but refusing to acknowledge its true power (2 Tim. 3:5).

This is not to suggest that these are the only circumstances under which people are permitted to leave a church. There is certainly nothing wrong with moving one’s membership just because another church offers better teaching or more opportunities for growth and service. But those who transfer their membership for such reasons ought to take extreme care not to sow discord or division in the church they are leaving. And such moves ought to be made sparingly. Membership in a church is a commitment that ought to be taken seriously.

The “Question” above was asked of John MacArthur Jr., the pastor of Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California. Copyright 2001 by John MacArthur Jr., All Rights Reserved.

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