• 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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  • March 2010
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

We Need Real Men To Take Back Our Skies

Flight 93 Memorial

In the opinion of Gary DeMar:

Let’s say five “swarthy men” get up from their seats and begin to terrorize the passengers and shout threats while five more head for the cockpit. What are you going to do? How far are you willing to go to stop them? What if they threaten to kill a passenger? Have you ever been in a knife fight? Razors cut clean and deep. Could you overpower someone who doesn’t care if he dies and surely doesn’t care if you die? In simple terms, are you willing to fight to the death, either yours or (preferably) theirs? You have to be willing to die but put all your effort in staying alive. Without this, you can’t match the terrorists who have already made the commitment.

These decisions must be made before you ever get on another plane. This means you and I have to prepare for the possibility that the next flight we take might be taken over by radical Muslims. We can’t sit back and watch it happen. We know what’s going to happen if they succeed in taking control of the airplane. . . .

Remember, an airplane is close quarters. That’s to your advantage. The terrorists will be spread throughout the plane and will not be able to get to points of resistance quickly.

Pick an aisle seat, especially if you are traveling with your wife and children. Your positioning will allow you to move fast at the first sign of danger and to serve as a barrier to protect anyone traveling with you. You will also have a better line of sight. If you can, pick a seat in the front of the plane.

The best way to immobilize an attacker is by approaching him from behind. But this isn’t always possible. A frontal assault may be your only opportunity, but you’ll want to avoid being cut. This will mean protecting yourself long enough for someone else to get behind the terrorist. Wrap your jacket or shirt around your arm for protection. It wouldn’t hurt to carry a pair of stiff work gloves in your carry-on bag to protect your hands. A rolled-up in-flight magazine makes a good club. Put it to good use; it’s free. You’ll still need an effective counter weapon. Keys are good. Place your key ring in the palm of your hand. Make a fist over the keys with two keys protruding between your fingers. Thrust the magazine at your assailant’s weapon while you jab the keys repeatedly—using short driving strokes—in his eyes as you force him backward.

Here’s what you should do if you’re the guy who can get behind the terrorist. Use your belt as a garrote. With the ends of the belt gripped tightly in each hand, loop it around the attacker’s throat and pull back and down hard. Pull as if your life depended on it. You want to hurt him. If you are directly behind him, put your knee into the back of his knees or the small of his back and force him forward to his knees and then face-down in the aisle or in a seat. He’ll either drop his makeshift knife to grab at his throat or flail about to cut anyone in his perimeter. If he flails around, put all your pulling weight on the belt to collapse his wind pipe until he passes out. . . .

There are other self-defense measures, but these are the simplest to perform for the untrained. What else can you use for a weapon? In the right hands, a stout ballpoint pen can do plenty of damage if driven into the soft tissue just under the jaw . . . In the right hands, a stout ballpoint pen can do plenty of damage. There’s a scene in The Bourne Identity (2002) that will show you the best technique to use.

It’s time American men take charge. Your wife will love you for it, and you might even save some lives. There is a new battlefield . . . The terrorists have brought the fight to our homes. If we’re ever going to feel safe again without turning America into a police state, we’ve got to push political correctness aside and take real action.

Read more. . . .

The Marketing Of Jesus Christ

John MacArthur

Quoting John MacArthur:

Many in the church today believe that the only way to reach the world is to give the unchurched multitudes what they want. Hundreds of churches have followed precisely that theory, actually surveying unbelievers to learn what it would take to get them to attend.

Subtly the overriding goal is church attendance and worldly acceptability rather than a transformed life. Preaching the Word and boldly confronting sin are seen as archaic, ineffectual means of winning the world. After all, those things actually drive most people away. Why not entice people into the fold by offering what they want, creating a friendly, comfortable environment, and catering to the very desires that constitute their strongest urges? As if we might get them to accept Jesus by somehow making Him more likable or making His message less offensive.

That kind of thinking badly skews the mission of the church. The Great Commission is not a marketing manifesto. Evangelism does not require salesmen, but prophets. It is the Word of God, not any earthly enticement, that plants the seed for the new birth (1 Peter 1:23). We gain nothing but God’s displeasure if we seek to remove the offense of the cross.

Something is wrong with a philosophy that relegates God and His Word to a subordinate role in the church. It is clearly unbiblical to elevate entertainment over biblical preaching and worship in the church service. Sadly, some actually believe that their salesmanship can bring people into the kingdom more effectively than a sovereign God—a philosophy that has opened the door to worldliness in the church. (Adapted from Ashamed of the Gospel, pp. xviii-xix)

The Right Of Self-Government

Robert E. Lee

Quoting Robert E. Lee:

“Let each man resolve to be victorious, and that the right of self-government, liberty, and peace shall find him a defender.”

John A. Broadus On Spiritual Seasons

35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” (John 4)

John A. Broadus

In the words of John A. Broadus:

There are seasons in the spiritual sphere-sowing seasons and reaping seasons, just as there are in farming. “Say not ye,” said Jesus, “There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest?”-that is to say, it was four months from that time till the harvest. They sowed their wheat in December; they began to reap it in April. “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

In the spiritual sphere it was a harvest time then, and they were bidden to go forth and reap the harvest that waved white and perishing. We can see, as we look back, that the ends of all the ages had now come to that time; that the long course of providential preparation, dimly outlined in the Old Testament, had led to the state of Things that then prevailed; that the fullness of the times had come, when God sent forth his Son to teach men and to atone for men, and to rise again and come forth as their Saviour, and that his servants should go forth in his name. And the like has been true in many other seasons of Christianity; there have been great reaping times, when men have harvested the fruits which come from the seed scattered by others long before.

This principle is true In individual churches, that there are seasons of sowing and reaping. It has to be so. We sometimes say we do not believe in the revival idea; we think there ought to he revival in the church all the time. If you mean that we ought always to he seeking for spiritual fruits, always aiming at spiritual advancement, it is true. But if you mean that you expect that piety will go on with even current in the church, that there will be just as much sowing and reaping at any one time as at any other, then you will certainly be disappointed. That is not the law of human nature. That is not possible in the world. Periodicity pervades the universe. Periodicity controls the life of all individuals, shows itself in the operations of our minds. Periodicity necessarily appears in the spiritual sphere also. People have Their ups and downs. They ought to strive against falling low. They ought not to be content with growing cold. They ought to seek to maintain good health of body all the while, but it will not be always equally good; and good health of mind and soul all the time, but it ‘will not be always equally good. They ought to be seeking to reap a harvest of spiritual good among those around the mall the while; but they will have seasons which are rather of sowing, and other seasons which will be rather of reaping.

Oh! do you want to see a great season of harvest among your own congregation? And do you not know, brethren, as well as the preacher can tell you, what is necessary in order that you may see it? what are the conditions but deepened spiritual life in your own individual souls, stronger spiritual examples set forth in your lives, more earnest spirituality in your homes, a truer standard in your business and social relations to mankind, more of heartfelt prayer of God’s blessing, and more untiring and patient and persevering effort, in season and out of season, to bring others to seek their salvation? (Sermon: “Some Laws of Spiritual Work”)

The Greatest Threat…Spiritual Decay!

Lieutenant General R. L. Van Antwerp wrote the following paper in 1992 for the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Lieutenant General Van Antwerp served with the U.S. Army as Chief of Engineers and Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He writes:

This study examines the “real threat” to our national security– that we are no longer a “Nation Under God” and are no longer led by those who understand the spiritual dimension of leadership envisioned and demonstrated by our founding fathers. Our founding fathers knew and accepted their role as spiritual leaders and did their best to reflect that in the documents they produced. Most leaders today get caught up in the trap of “secular humanism” and neglect their responsibilities.

The Army of Northern Virginia under General Washington was clearly a reflection of the society it served. The society was God fearing, upright, enduring, and understood the need to be under authority–first God and then those appointed over them. Our society is sick with perversion, immorality, and a host of attitudes which were once unthinkable. Can an army from a sick society endure?

The importance of faith in combat is well documented. It links us to values worth fighting for, sacrificing for, dying for. Leaders must be capable of evaluating the moral and spiritual fitness of the soldiers they lead. Many are ill equipped to meet this need because of their lack of personal faith and spiritual training. In Southwest Asia, commanders discovered the importance of the “faith” dimension of combat readiness. They discovered that the “moral/spiritual” fibre of the soldier is a critically important part of being ready.

Leaders cannot ignore the soldier’s need for spiritual training and the need to see model spiritual leaders any more than they can ignore tough, demanding field training, leadership development, and leadership by example. This type of leadership is provided by those who have a strong personal faith, a leadership style based on Biblical Rrinciples, and have develooed the oro~er spiritual climate in their oraanization. The hope for our nation and the Army rests with today’s and tomorrow’s spiritual leaders.

Continue reading. . . .

Christianity And Conflict

Jay Adams

Quoting Jay Adams:

[W]henever you have contact with unbelief, there is likely to be contention. . . . [I]n every New Testament book, except Philemon, you find conflict of one sort or another. You see, it’s very difficult to present the truth without stepping on someone’s toes–especially liberal toes, when they have a habit of sticking their feet out trying to trip up genuine Christians by their attacks on the Word of God.

Who was ever in greater conflict than the Lord Jesus, unless it was Paul, the apostle? No, if you are confronting error and attempting to help others to be freed from it, sooner or later, you will run into conflict. We should never go looking for contention, but we shouldn’t be amazed when it comes as the result of faithfulness to the Lord Who came “not to send peace upon the earth, but sword.”

Ludwig von Mises On The Social System

Ludwig von Mises

Quoting economist Ludwig von Mises:

A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism: is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.

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