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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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Sam Storms On Addiction

Sam Storms

From the writings of Sam Storms:

Many people who fall into sinful addictions are people who were once terminally bored. The reason why addictions are so powerful is that they tap into that place in our hearts that was made for transcendent communion and spiritual romance. These addictive habits either dull and deaden our yearnings for a satisfaction we fear we’ll never find or they provide an alternative counterfeit fulfillment that we think will bring long-term happiness, counterfeits like cocaine, overeating, illicit affairs, busyness, efficiency, image, or obsession with physical beauty. They all find their power in the inescapable yearning of the human heart to be fascinated and pleased and enthralled. Our hearts will invariably lead us either to the fleeting pleasures of addiction or to God. (Copied from: Pleasures Evermore: The Life-Changing Power of Knowing God, © 2000, p. 51)

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Six Conditions That Make Anger Sinful!

Robert E. Speer

Quoting Robert E. Speer:

1. When, to favor a resentment or feud, we imagine an injury done to us.

2. When an injury done to us becomes, in our minds, greater than it really is.

3. When, without real injury, we feel resentment on account of pain or inconvenience.

4. When indignation rises too high, and overwhelms our ability to restrain.

5. When we gratify resentments by causing pain or harm out of revenge.

6. When we are so perplexed and angry at sin in our own lives that we readily project anger at the sin we find in others. (Christ and Life, Revell, 1901, p. 104)

Why Do People Think Like That?

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:21-27)

The above verses usually come to mind when I read posts such as The Patriot Post reported about the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) providing “Questions and Answers About Sex.” It is a link on their “Quick Guide to Healthy Living.” Basically, HHS tells parents not to worry about teen experimentation with sex.

The Patriot Post also reports that B4U-Act, a 501(c)(3) organization in Maryland that promotes services and resources for self-identified adults and adolescents who are sexually attracted to children, held a “scientific” symposium last week. The symposium proposed a new definition of pedophilia in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Some even pushed the idea that pedophilia should be decriminalized.

Then there was the Florida Teacher of the Year who was suspended for posting comments on Facebook objecting to New York’s legalization of same-sex marriage earlier this year. He cited “biblical principles” — specifically, “Romans chapter one” — for his opposition.

What is appropriate to say about all this in a nation that has turned its back on God? Pray that God will bring forth thousands “that have not bowed to Baal. . . .” (1 Kings 19:18)

tks: Patriot Post

Overcoming Spiritual Depression

Of the many books authored by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, his book on Spiritual Depression is one of my favorites. Recently, Granted Ministries has created a video to promote the publication of a new edition of this book. It is also a great introduction to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I hope you will watch the following video:

The 2011 edition of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ classic book is now in stock at mlj-usa.com. It also comes complete with a disc that contains 24 of Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermons on Spiritual Depression in MP3 format.

See mlj-usa.com. . . .

Sickness Or Sin?

There are many in the academic fields who advocate that sin does not exist and what we might call sin is predestined by our physical bodies. They view addiction as a problem of predispositioned chemicals and the architecture of the brain. Thus sin becomes treated as a sickness which an unlucky individual catches. He has no choice and is not responsible. Dr. Benjamin Wiker writes more on this subject:

Is gambling an addiction or a sinful habit? What about pornography? Overeating? Drinking? Shopping? Checking email? Texting? Watching television? Playing video games? Working? They’ve all been called addictions. Is that really what they are?

If we follow this line of reasoning out to its logical conclusion, then it would be logical to call all bad or destructive behavior, “addictive,” so that “addicts” of whatever kind are helpless victims of forces beyond their control. A woman gambles because she cannot help it. A man drinks because he cannot help it. A woman shops because she cannot help it. A man throws himself into internet pornography because he cannot help it. Addicts, helpless victims, one and all.

The obvious problem with this view is that it entirely destroys morality by denying the possibility of good, freely-chosen action. We should call them what they really are: sinful habits. Or we could use the more exact and compact word, vices. A sign of the correctness of this word is that “vice” contains the notion of addiction—a kind of helpless slavery—even while it affirms the presence of free will and moral culpability. . . .

Continue reading. . . .

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