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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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From Inflation To Socialism

inflationQuoting Ben Shapiro:

“All of Obama’s economic policies thus far are designed to drive America into full embrace of socialism. His chief means for this transformation: inflation. He is attempting to inflate the currency through two primary means: intense deficit spending, and pushing up production costs through union subsidization. In order to make these measures politically palatable, he cites FDR as an example of good deficit spending; he cites the credit crunch as an excuse for inflationary monetary policy; and he recommends unionization in order to boost wages. It’s a beautiful strategy for purposefully trashing capitalism, all the while blaming capitalism for its own downfall. John Maynard Keynes, the liberal economist who championed government intervention during recessions, recognized Obama’s inflationary strategy for what it is: ‘Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency,’ said Keynes. ‘Lenin was certainly right. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.’ Obama pursues inflation — government devaluation of the currency — with the zeal of the newly converted. His deficit spending will be financed either through higher taxes or through inflation. Obama says he will push higher taxes — after all, he wants to appease the Chinese, who don’t want their U.S. securities paid off with inflated dollars. But covertly, Obama fully intends on inflating the currency to pay of the massive deficit he has shoved through Congress. … It’s the same tried and true policy that created the Great Depression.”

Read more. . . .

Pearls

Quoting Charles Spurgeon:

I wish, brothers and sisters, that we could all imitate “the pearl oyster”-A hurtful particle intrudes itself into its shell, and this vexes and grieves it. It cannot reject the evil, but what does it do but “cover” it with a precious substance extracted out of its own life, by which it turns the intruder into a pearl! Oh, that we could do so with the provocations we receive from our fellow Christians, so that pearls of patience, gentleness, and forgiveness might be bred within us by that which otherwise would have harmed us.

Elementary Thoughts: Selfishness – Part 4

principalWhen both of our children were old enough to go to school, my wife did begin to take on part-time work to supplement our income. The work she did was always organized around our girl’s school schedule. She took them to school and picked them up. She was available to drive on school field trips and volunteer in our daughters’ elementary school on a consistent basis. If one of our children was sick it was no problem, usually, for her to rearrange her schedule so the children were not pressured to attend school when they were really sick. There were also times when I took sick days from work to stay home with a sick daughter, but their mother deserves the credit for providing most of this care.

All the teachers knew us, and I believe this gave our children a wonderful sense of security and a feeling that school was a positive place to be. After our daughters entered secondary school, their mom took a full time job as a teacher’s assistant in our local school system. Later, she became full time Director of Children’s Ministry at our church. I can’t express my appreciation enough for her and all the sacrifices she made to help build a Christian home for our children. She has always had a full time job and profession as a Christian wife and mother at which she’s been tremendously successful. God truly gave me a Proverbs 31 lady for my wife and best friend.

When our first daughter became old enough to enter kindergarten, we faced the next big decision of our lives. Where would she go to school? I was a principal in the public schools and I knew there were many good schools with excellent programs she could attend. In spite of the excellent academic curriculum in these schools, however, we believed that an education, which emphasized Christian values and the belief that the Bible is the inspired word of God, should be our highest priority in selecting a school for our children. Therefore, we chose a private Christian school for our girls to attend.

This was not an easy decision to make. It put more financial strain on an already tight family budget. There were also my personal concerns about being a principal in the public school system, yet choosing to send my own children to a private school. I wondered how that would look to the people I worked for and to the parents in the school community I served. In spite of these and other concerns, we wanted our daughters to receive a Christian education.

Now, let me take this opportunity to give you some personal advice. If you believe that you are going to send your child to a Christian school, or any other private school for that matter, to escape and protect your child from the problems of the world, you are sadly mistaken. The Christian school my children attended had to deal with the same concerns and issues that are present in the public schools. I believe that most Christian schools do. Every parent with children in our daughters’ school was not a Christian. Some were about as far away as you can get from even approaching a Christian lifestyle. Many of the students did not attend church regularly. The difference that was important to us, however, was the basis on which these concerns, issues, and problems could be confronted. The school approached problems from a Christian worldview. There were no doubts, for instance, that when it came to issues of conduct and morality there were absolute standards, based on the Scriptures, which governed how problems should be solved. The teachers were committed Christians who were free to speak about their faith in Jesus Christ and serve as role models for our children. Christianity was taught purposefully and integrated throughout the curriculum. I believed, and still do, that this method of educating children instills within a child a permanent intellectual and spiritual framework of reference for moral values that are much more powerful and lasting than can be done through generic character education. This is why we chose a Christian education for our daughters.

If, however, you choose to send your children to a Christian school and you do not provide the same kind of consistent Christian environment at home, you should not be surprised if the effects on your child’s character are not as positive as you hoped they would be. A child cannot live between two worlds with radically different values. A child sees hypocrisy very clearly. It is, in my estimate, more important for a child that the home lay a consistent foundation of the way the Christian life should be lived than to place all your hopes in that being taken care of in a Christian school facility. Many outstanding Christian young people are graduating from our public schools, but their character is a product of the strength and consistency of the Christian values in their homes in the majority of cases. (Continued tomorrow)

May The Earth Be Filled With His Glory

sam-adamsSamuel Adams called on the State of Massachusetts to pray that . . .

The peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known and enjoyed throughout the whole family of mankind.

We may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid . . . [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.

With true contrition of heart to confess their sins to God and implore forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior.

House Judiciary Committee Approves Hate Crimes Act

In a vote of 15 to 12, the House Judiciary Committee Thursday advanced hate crimes legislation.

It adds gay, lesbian, and transgender people to the list of federally protected classes. But critics warn it could also criminalize preachers, who preach against homosexuality. . . .

Read more. . . .

Church Growth Anyone?

rcsproulFrom: The Desk of R. C. Sproul

The church growth movement has done an outstanding job in capturing the right words. Everybody opposed to churches growing raise your hands. Anybody out there not want to attract unbelievers to the church of Christ. . . .

Is the church growing because of the church growth movement? Yes and no. Individual churches are growing, but the church is standing still. Though church growth pundits desire to win the lost usually what happens is they lose the found. Church growth techniques create a giant game of evangelical musical chairs. . . .

The only seekers we tend to draw with seeker sensitive services are believers seeking a different church. By presenting a God who wants us to look at ourselves, who doesn’t judge and command, who has a wonderful set of insights on how to have a happy, healthy marriage we put God’s imprimatur on narcissism. There’s nothing evangelicals like more than to be told that God loves them just the way they are.

But why aren’t the seekers coming? They like pop music, so we give them pop music. They like stories so we give them dramas. They like anonymity, so we let them have it. They like convenience, so we’ll change their oil while they’re here (this by the way is being done). The problem is that we can do none of these things as well as the world can. . . .

The problem with this practical approach, apart from being unbiblical, is that it’s just not practical. In fact these two problems, that it’s unbiblical and impractical are really one problem. The church growth pundits counsel us to look to the experts for wisdom. They then provide mountains of demographic, sociological, marketing factoids. The experts are Madison Avenue pagans who may know a great deal about how to sell toothpaste, but know nothing about proclaiming the Good News. Are we left then to grope in the dark? If you can’t trust sociologists and pollsters, who can you trust? God.

We have in the Bible an example of church growth which has never been paralleled. We have the first evangelistic sermon ever preached. And it is recorded for us by the Holy Spirit, without error. Consider how Peter practiced church growth. First the Spirit descended at Pentecost. Do you suppose the unbelievers there were comfortable, at ease, in this strange situation? Did Peter try to mold and control this work of the Spirit?

Peter instead pointed the crowd to the Old Testament, to the prophecy of Joel. He gave evidence that God was with them. And then he gave a sermon. Did he preach on how Jesus could help you with your finances? Did he announce a new series on how to raise you children’s self-esteem? Peter’s sermon went something like this: “You all remember Jesus, the one with the miracle that you saw, the one God had sent, the one you crucified.” Wow. That was not very sensitive to the seekers.

Peter went on with more Old Testament evidence for Jesus. And then, perhaps for the sake of those seeker who arrived late to this service he concluded with the bombshell, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-this Jesus whom you crucified”(Acts 2:36). . . .

That, of course is not the message of choice among the experts. . . .

Luke then tells us that 3000 were saved.

The foolishness of the gospel routes the wisdom of the wise. Practically speaking the experts are failures. What they consider failure, on the other hand succeeds.

So what does this tell us about how to grow the church?

Read the entire article here. . . .

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