• 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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  • August 2009
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

Can Morality Be Legislated?

George Grant

George Grant

Quoting George Grant:

When people say, “You Can’t Legislate Morality,” they are ignoring the very nature of legislation itself. Legislation is merely the codification and law of someone’s standard of morality. This is right and this is wrong. If you violate these standards, you will get in trouble. If you adhere to these standards you’ll be safe. The whole thing is a logical fallacy. If you can’t legislate morality, then you can’t legislate.

The Bible says: Thou shalt not steal. Whether we believe the Ten Commandments or not, in our culture we adhere to this absolute that taking someone else’s property is wrong. We didn’t come up with that idea ourselves. It is drawn out of the biblical standard that was the bulwark of our culture. The same thing is true with — Thou shalt not kill – it’s one of the Ten Commandments. It’s not something that the Supreme Court or the framers of the Constitution came up with.

Now there are those who say there are no moral absolutes. There are those humanists who say that man is the center of the universe. That man can decide all things. But that is not a workable philosophy. There always must be some absolute to which we adhere. We do it, whether we do it consciously or not in modern America even with all the assaults of the humanists. And when we stray from those standards it is inevitable that we get into trouble. It’s one of the reasons why there is so much confusion and disarray in our culture today. Nobody really knows what is right. Companies don’t know what standards to uphold in their hiring and firing practices. In the end if you don’t adhere to the Ten Commandments, you’re going to have a philosophy that is all over the map.

G.K Chesterton said: “If a man will not obey the Ten Commandments, he will be forced to obey the ten thousand commandments.” We live in a society with thousands of rules and regulations pouring in upon us, because we refuse to repair to that one simple straightforward standard, the standard God has given us in His law.

When the Founding Fathers drew on the biblical standard for absolutism in law, they made statements like, everyone of us has the God given right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In humanist societies like Nazi Germany, there is nowhere to draw the line between what is and what is not human, what is and what is not an appropriate action for a government to take, what is and what is not proper retribution. You wind up with concentration camps, medical experiments, the destruction and genocide of whole people groups. Ultimately, without absolute standards, we are left at the mercy of the strong, the powerful and the perverse.

Do Not Turn From Doing Good

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

It is not only that sin consists in doing evil, but in not doing the good that we know. (H. A. Ironside, 1876-1951, American Bible teacher, commentator, pastor)

Is Global Warming A Sub-Prime Science?

Other scientists are openly declaring global warming a non-issue, the political viability of which is on the decline. One such man is Philip Scott, Professor Emeritus of Biogeography at the University of London:

“With a world likely to cool during the next decade,” Scott said, “with a world economy set in austere mode, and with the new politics of China, India, Brazil and the rest, Big Global Warming’s boom days are surely coming to an end. ‘Global warming’ is sub-prime science, sub-prime economics and sub-prime politics, and it could well go down with the sub-prime mortgage.”

Stimulus Bill Funds Porn Art

The controversial National Endowment for the Arts is back in the news for its questionable use of your tax dollars. According to FOXNews.com, they have received millions from the economic stimulus bill and it is being used to fund nude simulated-sex dances, Saturday night “pervert” revues and the airing of pornographic horror films at art houses in San Francisco. FOXNews.com also reports:

More than 50 congressmen sent a letter blasting what they called “indecent” and “abhorrent” art projects funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the $787 billion economic stimulus bill. . . .

“These are funds intended to create permanent jobs, not to feed prurient interests,” wrote Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., in a letter signed by 50 colleagues in the House and fired off to Patrice Walker Powell, the acting chairman of the NEA. “I find it unconscionable that taxpayers are funding objectionable and obscene movies, plays and exhibitions.”

Continue reading. . . .

The Old Gospel

J. I. Packer

J. I. Packer

From: The Pen of J. I. Packer

The old gospel of Owen, first of all, contains no less full and free an offer of salvation than its modern counterpart. It presents ample grounds of faith (the sufficiency of Christ, and the promise of God), and cogent motives to faith (the sinner’s need, and the Creator’s command, which is also the Redeemer’s invitation). The new gospel gains nothing here by asserting universal redemption. The old gospel, certainly, has no room for the cheap sentimentalising which turns God’s free mercy to sinners into a constitutional softheartedness on His part which we can take for granted; nor will it countenance the degrading presentation of Christ as the baffled Saviour, balked in what he hoped to do by human unbelief; nor will it indulge in maudlin appeals to the unconverted to let Christ save them out of pity for His disappointment. The pitiable Saviour and the pathetic God of modern pulpits are unknown to the old gospel. The old gospel tells men that they need God, but not that God needs them (a modern falsehood); it does not exhort them to pity Christ, but announces that Christ has pitied them, though pity was the last thing they deserved. It never loses sight of the Divine majesty and sovereign power of the Christ whom it proclaims, but rejects flatly all representations of Him which would obscure His free omnipotence.

Does this mean, however, that the preacher of the old gospel is inhibited or confined in offering Christ to men and inviting them to receive Him? Not at all. In actual fact, just because he recognises that Divine mercy is sovereign and free, he is in a position to make far more of the offer of Christ in his preaching than is the expositor of the new gospel; for this offer is itself a far more wonderful thing on his principles than it can ever be in the eyes of those who regard love to all sinners as a necessity of God’s nature, and therefore a matter of course. To think that the holy Creator, who never needed man for His happiness and might justly have banished our fallen race for ever without mercy, should actually have chosen to redeem some of them! and that His own Son was willing to undergo death and descend into hell to save them! and that now from His throne He should speak to ungodly men as He does in the words of the gospel, urging upon them the command to repent and believe in the form of a compassionate invitation to pity themselves and choose life! These thoughts are the focal points round which the preaching of the old gospel revolves. It is all wonderful, just because none of it can be taken for granted. But perhaps the most wonderful thing of all – the holiest spot in all the holy ground of gospel truth – is the free invitation which “the Lord Christ ” (as Owen loves to call Him) issues repeatedly to guilty sinners to come to Him and find rest for their souls. It is the glory of these invitations that it is an omnipotent King who gives them, just as it is a chief part of the glory of the enthroned Christ that He condescends still to utter them. And it is the glory of the gospel ministry that the preacher goes to men as Christ’s ambassador, charged to deliver the King’s invitation personally to every sinner present and to summon them all to turn and live.

Continue reading. . . .

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