• 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 2010
    M T W T F S S
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Father Of Flight 93 Hero Believes Pennsylvania Memorial Is A Giant Outdoor Mosque!

While the debate on the “Ground Zero” continues to heat up, another 9/11 issue is entering the spotlight of public opinion as well. Many believe the National Park Service is building an outdoor mosque in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on the site of the Flight 93 Memorial. The video below provides the details:

There are several informative videos on the Flight 93 Mosque you must see at Creeping Sharia.

Keeping The Faith In College

A crowd of college students at the 2007 Pittsb...

As a Christian and an educator, I have always been very concerned about church-going teenagers who after high school graduation leave home for a college or university education which is quite often hostile to Christianity and the principles this country was founded on.  Recently, I have been happy to hear that a new resource has been developed to help high school graduates stay grounded in their Christian faith as they endure college

There are, unfortunately, many students who make shipwreck of their faith during their college years.  Often, this is related to the poverty of sound Christian teaching in our churches for this age group.  Our students are simply unprepared to defend their faith in an often critical classroom environment.  Enter college ministry veteran John Bryson, who is currently teaching pastor at Fellowship Memphis and who has helped develop a six-week video study called “College Ready”. The purpose of the video is to create a strategic tool for parents and youth ministries to equip students to do well in college.

Teaming up with Men’s Fraternity founder Robert Lewis to develop the series, Bryson points out that church history reveals that many revivals began with students on a college campus.  The prepared Christian college student may find his campus experiences an opportunity for great influence on others or if he possesses no sound foundation of the knowledge of Christ, he will certainly be subject to a potential crisis of faith.

Find out more about College Ready here. . . .

Paganizing Christianity

Christian Socialism

How can a Christian reconcile his obedience to God with living in a thoroughly pagan culture and political reality? Modern Europe is a prime example of a political culture that maintains some resemblance of tolerance toward Christian worship while it is legislating against Christian practices. Bojidar Marinov explains:

The history of Christianity in the last two decades in Europe reveals a new pattern in persecutions of faithful Christians by pagan authorities. In the past, Christians were persecuted on the basis of laws or whims of rulers that specifically forbade Christian worship or gatherings. Such was the case in the Roman Empire. Such was the case in Eastern Europe under the power of Communist governments; such is the case today in China or the Muslim world. . . .

In the last two decades the socialist governments in Europe are trying a different approach: While Christian worship on Sunday morning is kept legal, any practices for the rest of the week that are based on the convictions of Bible-believing Christians and the Biblical worldview are declared against the law. . . .

In many places in Europe it is against the law to act as a Christian in your everyday life, and that includes also the economic and political life of the nation. . . .

In this new reality, the question facing every conscientious Christian in countries like Germany, Sweden, France, and others, will be: “How do I resolve the fundamental contradiction between my life as a citizen under the laws of my country and my faith as a Christian under the laws of the almighty God Creator and His Son, Jesus Christ?” This is the same question so many Christian martyrs over the centuries had to answer. The difference today is that European Christians are not asked to reject their faith in Jesus Christ or die; they are asked to reject any consistent practical life based on that faith and accept the standards of the pagan State as normative for their life and action. “Your religion is OK,” say the European legislators, “as long as you act as pagans in practice.”

Continue reading. . . .

“Strange Fire” And Modern Novelties In Worship

Quoting Richard Owen Roberts:

In Leviticus ten the disturbing story is told of Nadab and Abihu who introduced ‘strange fire’ into the midst of the work of God. This incident occurred at the time of the inauguration of the Aaronic priesthood and at a time when fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering. Prompted by pride and lack of self-control, these brothers grievously offended the Lord with their ‘strange fire’ and were themselves consumed by fire from the same source that burned up the sacrifice.

‘Strange fire’ represents all those acts and activities of men in ministry that emanate from their own proud hearts and undisciplined spirits. The worship and service of God is under the control and authority of God Himself. The Scriptures guide and govern the entire life and ministry of the church. God has spoken and men are not at liberty to introduce their ideas and ways into His work. True men of God spend their primary time and energy finding and following God’s desires as He has revealed them in the Bible. Proud and undisciplined men think they do God service by introducing new ways and means into the life of the church. In recent years an almost unbelievable host of novelties have appeared. Many of them are now accepted as if they were a part of divine revelation.

Face this fact! Every arrogant act in the church and every undisciplined addition to its ways is a hindrance to revival. God may yet send His fire to consume these men, but how much better would it be for them to repent and return to the Lord now. (“Preaching That Hinders Revival”)

Opposing The Smallest Of Evils

Quoting James Madison:

“The people of the U.S. owe their Independence & their liberty, to the wisdom of descrying in the minute tax of 3 pence on tea, the magnitude of the evil comprised in the precedent. Let them exert the same wisdom, in watching against every evil lurking under plausible disguises, and growing up from small beginnings.”

Is A Biblical Tithe Really 25%?

John MacArthur

Tithing is only mentioned a couple of times in the New Testament as a historical reference. There is no place in the New Testament where Christians are given explicit directions concerning tithing.

Pastor, Bible teacher, and author, John MacArthur points out that in the Old Testament Jews were to give a “Levite’s Tithe each year of 10% of all they produced. Israel was a theocracy, that is, it was ruled by God through priests. There were thousands upon thousands of priests who served as government officials.

Levi was the priestly tribe and they owned nothing. They were supported by all the other tribes. When you gave your 10% each year, you gave it to the priestly government for the care of the nation. In addition, you gave another 10% every year to support the religious convocations of the nation that were held in Jerusalem. Then you paid another 10% every third year, which went to the poor and the widows. If you break it down, you are at about 23.3% per year. According to MacArthur:

[W]hen people today say, “We want to tithe now like they did in the Old Testament,” they can’t stop at 10%, they have got 23.3% to start with. In addition to that, you paid a half shekel temple tax every year, in addition to that, if you had a field, you had to harvest the field in a circle and leave the corners open for the poor. It was a profit-sharing plan. If you dropped a bail of hay off your wagon, on the way to the barn, you had to leave that for the poor. So you start adding that up and you are looking at about 25% of their income went to fund the national entity of the government. Now when you get into the New Testament, the Jews were still doing that, because they still had a nation, even though they were an occupied nation, they were still a nation. They were occupied by the Romans, but they weren’t run by the Romans. They had their own religious hierarchy, they had their own school systems, they had their own festivals, and all that stuff, and so they had to take care of that. They had their own priesthood; it all had to go on, that is why Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” in other words, pay the Romans what they asked, and render to God the things that are God’s. So just to clarify that at the very beginning, when you are talking about a tithe, you are talking about  “taxation. . . .”

Now you come to 2 Corinthians, chapter eight, and you learn how the church gave. The church knew there was a need so the church gave. How did they give? Well, it wasn’t 10%, it says, “The churches in Macedonia, 2Cor 8:1, gave abundantly out of deep poverty. It says that their deep poverty abounded to the riches of their liberality.” Here was a very poor church in Macedonia, very poor, but they gave generously, out of their hearts liberally. In fact, verse three says, they gave beyond their ability. They gave more than they should have given–more then they could of given, and the reason they did that was in verse five, because they first gave themselves. I mean when you give yourself then everything you have belongs to the Lord. So, Paul is saying to the Corinthians, “If you want a lesson in giving, look at these people–out of deep poverty they gave everything they had.” In fact, they gave more than they should have, but they did that because they had already given themselves to the Lord. Now you have the key motive in giving; what is the right motive in giving? It is not to get anything. It is in that whole hearted abandonment, “they gave everything. . . .”

Continue reading. . . .

The excerpt above is taken from a sermon John MacArthur preached at Grace Community Church, Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412. The sermon is available on cassette tape #GC 70-1, and is titled, “Bible Questions and Answers.”

The Basis Of This Nation’s Laws

Harry Truman

Quoting President Harry S. Truman:

“The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in the rights for anybody except the State.”

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