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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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Oklahoma Law Vs. Sharia Law

Picture of Billboard put up by the United Amer...

Opposition To Sharia Law

A Clinton-appointed U.S. District Judge (Vicki Miles-LaGrange) declares 70 percent of Oklahoma voters are wrong.  The state voted to adopt a constitutional amendment to prevent judges from considering international or Sharia law in their court decisions.

Muneer Awad, who is the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for Oklahoma, filed suit to block the adoption of the state constitutional amendment. He protests that the amendment “stigmatizes his religion.” Justice Miles-LaGrange seems to agree.

Awad claims that his last will and testament, which is based on Islamic law, would be made invalid by the Oklahoma amendment. Perhaps most Oklahomans are more interested in preventing “honor killings” and the stonings of women accused of adultery.

Contradictory laws which apply to one group of people but not to another create a society in chaos. Living in America means choosing to abide by American laws. The citizens of Oklahoma have every right to amend their state constitution to secure a consistent standard of justice.

Silent Sins

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysica...

John Donne

Quoting John Donne:

“Men perish with whispering sins–nay, with silent sins, sins that never tell the conscience that they are sins, as often with crying sins; and in hell there shall meet as many men that never thought what was sin, as that spent all their thoughts in the compassing of sin.”

Doing Good To The Poor

Benjamin Franklin

Quoting Ben Franklin:

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

Yard Sale Christians

Christ Driving the Moneychangers from the Temp...

Christ & The Money Changers

Christianity isn’t like going to a yard sale. It is not for people who want to pay the least for the most they can get. Christianity requires surrender. The true Christian must give every thing he has for this priceless pearl. Peter Janssens writes:

We live in a society that loves bargains. Everybody loves a bargain. It is a great feeling when you pay very little but you get a lot. Bargain hunters are everywhere. They go to garage sales. They search the classified, they wait for the sales in big stores, they use e-bay. And the basic mantra of the bargain hunter is, “What is the least amount I have to pay in order to get as many benefits as possible. How do I sacrifice a little and still get all the good stuff?” Everybody loves a bargain.

Now sometimes the bargain we are looking for isn’t always a material thing. Sometimes we search for bargains in or spiritual life. What I mean is this. There are times in our spiritual lives when we want all the blessings of heaven, but with the least amount of sacrifice possible. There are times when we lives our Christian lives are lived in such a way that we seem to be saying, “What is the least amount that I have to do and still receive all the good stuff of heaven?”

Now this kind of attitude is nothing new to our generation. This kind of attitude has been around for thousands of years, including the time when Jesus walked on this earth. . . .

As the Bible says, “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus.” (Luke 14:25) But numbers didn’t matter so much to Jesus. What mattered to him was commitment. And so Jesus stops in order to thin out the crowd. . . .

Now the first thing that Jesus says to the crowd in his attempt to thin them out is this, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life –he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

Well when we look at the history of this particular saying in the original language, to hate something is ”to give less priority too.” Actually Matthew captures the heart of this saying when he says, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37) So when Jesus says that we aught to hate those who are closest in relationship to us he is saying that we are to love him more than our most important relationships. That means we need to desire him more than we desire our spouses and our children.

But what does this mean? Well what it means is that more than anything else we need to pursue the character of Christ (his love, his forgiveness, his grace, his understanding, his joy, his gratitude, his servant attitude). It means that when we wake up in the morning, we need to make the pursuit of Christ and his character the number one item on our to do list. And to display that character in everything that I do: In my marriage, in my job, at my school, by business practices, my entertainment. Everything. Jesus says, if we do not love him more than life itself, we cannot be his disciple.

Continue reading. . . .

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