• OVER 5,000 ARTICLES AND QUOTES PUBLISHED!
  • 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.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,394,245 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,272 other followers

  • July 2021
    M T W T F S S
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    262728293031  
  • Recommended Reading

As a People’s Morality Goes …

Americas Christian HistoryColumnist Selwyn Duke:

“Just as with religion, people bring their ideology with them. And unless you think you could talk a Muslim jihadist out of Islam, why suppose you could talk a socialist out of socialism? … As a people’s morality goes, so go its fortunes. You simply cannot be one kind of people but have another kind of government … And what has happened to our sense of virtue in America? So lost it is that even the word has been replaced with ‘values,’ that fixture of the atheistic literary style. For decades we have instilled children with leftism, nihilism, hedonism, relativism, and atheism through academia, the media, and popular culture; we have seduced them into sin and made them, as Ben Franklin wrote, ‘more corrupt and vicious, [so] they have more need of masters.’ For sure, masters will be one’s lot if he has not mastered himself. … There is a strong atheism-statism correlation the world over, which is why it’s no coincidence that ‘conservatives’ in heavily secular Western Europe are simpatico with our liberals. … Without the Christian right, there is no right at all.”

Continue reading here. . . .

Paganism

Paganism writes:

“Paganism is that view of life which finds the highest goal of human existence in the healthy and harmonious and joyous development of existing human faculties. Very different is the Christian ideal. Paganism is optimistic with regard to unaided human nature, whereas Christianity is the religion of the broken heart.” (Christianity and Liberalism)

Without God

Dostoevsky is credited with saying that “Without God, everything is permitted.” So without God, doing something immoral would be an illusion – even nonsense, or something merely unfashionable. All moral statements would be arbitrary. Atheists cannot escape the problem that without God, whoever has the most political power determines what is moral. As put by William Lane Craig, “Thus, if atheism is true, it becomes impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. Nor can one praise brotherhood, equality, or love as good.”

The New Holy Days

Christmas is rapidly becoming an entirely secular holiday. There is a revolution taking over the minds and hearts of Americans which is pushing Christianity out of Christmas. Dr. Benjamin Wiker writes:

Admit it. Christmastime has been taken over, co-opted and transformed into something entirely different. We all know it. We crab about it. We dread the coming of Christmas. We shudder to watch video snatches of vulgar mobs in Walmart on Black Friday crushing, slamming, pushing, cursing, and trampling each other for cell phones or big screen TVs.

Christmas does not bring peace to our earth. Stories on the internet report that almost half of us would rather we skipped the whole thing. By the time the very day of Christmas rolls around, we are dead sick of it, our only consolation being that we won’t have to hear “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” or “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” until…October? September? Perhaps it will be August next year.

How could this happen to the time that Christians had so carefully marked out for preparing the faithful to celebrate the birth of Christ, the incarnation of God, all that the soul longs for? How could this preparation time have been so thoroughly transformed that we are sick of Christmas on the very day of its arrival?

Again, we crab about it. But this year, we really need to think deeply about it because a whole lot, indeed everything, is at stake. . . .

Continue reading this article here. . . .

Cain and Able Were Brothers

No man believed so firmly in the philosophy of development and progress than H G Wells, the novelist. Wells was a scientific humanist who believed that the advance of knowledge, culture, and science would create an earthly paradise. When the Second World War broke out, he wrote his last book with this very significant title, Mind at the End of Its Tether. He simply did not understand what he considered to be the failure of human progress. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains:

This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:27-29 ESV)

I need not tell you that we are meeting together tonight in a time of great confusion, a time of grave and terrible crisis. Everybody is aware of this; you cannot read a paper, you cannot listen to a news bulletin without hearing of some added crisis, some new problem, and some fresh tragedy. The world is in an alarming state and condition. We are truly in an age of exceptional crisis. But I want to put to you that we are not only in a time and age of crisis, we are living in a time when all of us are being tested, and all of us have been sifted and examined and proved. What I mean by that is this, that the state of the world tonight is testing the outlook, the point of view, of every one of us who is in this congregation. Indeed of everybody that is in the world. Everybody has got some view of life, even the most thoughtless people, people who scarcely ever think at all, they have got a kind of philosophy and their philosophy is not to think. What is the use of thinking?’ they say. So they have got their point of view, their point of view is ‘Let us eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’. So I am saying that everybody’s point of view, everybody’s attitude towards life, is on trial at the moment. . . .

So I put that as my first question: Are you surprised at the fact that the world is as it is at this very moment? Or, let me phrase that in a slightly different way: Are you disappointed that the world is as it is? Not only surprised but disappointed, because again there are many people in the world who are grievously disappointed at the present state of affairs. And they are disappointed for this reason, that having adopted the kind of idealistic philosophy, or view of life, which was very popular in the last century – you know that idea that believed in evolution, or progress and development, the view which said that as the result of popular education which came in 1870 and all the marvelous scientific advances and discoveries, more travel, ability to mix with other nations – they were very confident that the twentieth century was going to be the golden century, the crowning century of all the centuries! Did not Tennyson write about the coming of the parliament of men and the federation of the world, of the days when men would beat their swords into ploughshares and war would be no more? War, we were told – and they taught this, not only the poets but the philosophers and the politicians – war, they said, was due to the fact that people did not know one another. . . . They had forgotten, you see, that Cain and Abel were brothers. . . . (“A Kingdom Which Cannot Be Shaken”)

OK to Bully Christians?

The White House anti-bullying spokesman is Dan Savage. Savage is the founder of a pro-LGTB anti-bullying campaign. On April 13th, he turned an anti-bullying speech at the National High School Journalism Conference into an all-out attack on Christians and Christianity. Almost 100 students walked out during Savage’s diatribe. Savage mocked the Bible and anyone who believes it. He also urged the students to ignore the “bull —-” taught by the Bible. He proceeded to then call the students who walked out during his speech “pansy-a—d.” Obviously, bullying Christians is acceptable to the White House.

Read more about this subject. . . .

Now, consider and contrast the above incident with the following quotation from Justice Joseph Story who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1845.

[I]t is impossible for those, who believe in the truth of Christianity, as a divine revelation, to doubt, that it is the especial duty of government to foster, and encourage it among all the citizens and subjects. This is a point wholly distinct from that of the right of private judgment in matters of religion, and of the freedom of public worship according to the dictates of one’s conscience. (From Justice Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, January 6, 1833)

[A] malicious intention . . . to vilify the Christian religion and the Scriptures. . . . would prove a nursery of vice, a school of preparation to qualify young men for the gallows and young women for the brothel. . . . Religion and morality . . . are the foundations of all governments. Without these restraints no free government could long exist. (Updegraph v. Commonwealth, 1824)

I find it amazing to see how far from our noble beginnings our government and people of this United States have fallen. Then again; it is always the disposition of the natural man to suppress the truth when it suits his own desires.

The Spirit of Truth and the Foolishness of Man

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:12-13 ESV)

Let us note here that all truth is from above. In other words, the truth comes down to us. It is not of our own making because God is Truth and He proclaims this truth to man. Jesus declares that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.

God, by His own counsel, has declared what is true. What He has spoken is flawlessly consistent with His unchangeable Holiness. Should we not desire to know Him and His Word ever more deeply? The vanity of man, however, has covered his mind with darkness. He refuses to acknowledge God as God or God’s Truth as true and therefore, brings the wrath of God down upon his thinking. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Romans 1:18 ESV)

The feeble attempts of Darwinian anti-science to prove a chain of development from the lowest forms of life to the highest is seriously flawed by its materialist cult-like philosophy. The progress they seek from the lowest animated matter to the highest form of life is full of gaps and gaffs. Missing links are hailed for their discovery and quietly forgotten when proved false. Darwinian pseudo-science continues in its duplicity, however, despite the facts and its critics. It is a futile attempt to portray man as ascending by his own nature to the throne of God. “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.” (Romans 1:21 ESV)

The modern church seeks to emphasize a man-centered religion through distorting the Bible as a self-help resource. Indeed, when I first became a Christian, the Bible was often presented to me in this way. I must admit that it was very appealing to my human nature. Who doesn’t want to believe the words of W. E. Henley, “I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul”? Yet, the Bible is not about self-help – it is all about grace, mercy, and love.

Man cannot elevate himself to the throne of God by his own works nor manipulate God through misused Biblical promises. Such ideas are cast down by God’s glory in sending a second Adam (Jesus Christ) to answer for the first Adam’s guilt upon the cross. Therefore, the cross sweeps aside the foolishness of those who claim to be wise and exchange “the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man. . . .” (Romans 1:23 ESV)

The Sexual Revolution

The following consists of excerpts from an excellent article by Michael Wagner which may be viewed in its entirety through the link below:

We all want different things. And because of our fallen natures, many of our wants are for things that will harm us and those around us—we lust after power, sex, other people’s possessions, even revenge. If everyone simply pursued their own desires, it’s hard to see how civilization could survive.

Fortunately for us, God has provided rules for living—the Ten Commandments—that restrict these desires so that they don’t harm others. The Law helps to make harmonious social life possible. Rules make civilization possible—no rules, no civilization.

But many today don’t like rules and this is especially true with regard to sexual behavior. So-called “Victorian” sexual morality has been accused of being the cause of psychological “hang-ups”; Biblical morality is seen as the source of much human suffering. The solution, in this view, can only be found in individual and societal sexual liberation. The “need” to break out of the confining and suffocating constraints of traditional morality was thus a major impetus to what has been called the “Sexual Revolution,” a significant social development in the Western countries whereby modern liberal views of sexual attitudes and behavior replaced the traditional norms of Western civilization. This revolution, and the attitudes and behaviors it promoted, has been embraced by the political, academic and media establishments, as well as many common citizens. It was the Sexual Revolution that led to the legalization of abortion and the widespread acceptance of divorce, promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality and cohabitation without marriage, basically a shopping list of many current social problems. . . .

With the spread of pornography, and at the same time a dramatic increase in the production of adult literature (i.e. immoral literature), came a basically simultaneous liberalization of obscenity laws, often through judicial interpretation. . . .

Divorce went from a necessary evil to a positive good almost overnight”. Promiscuous sex outside of marriage was seen as a major component of “freedom” by proponents of sexual liberation. And as one would expect, such behavior led to a large number of “unwanted pregnancies.”

What to do? Well, kill the babies, of course. The problem was that abortion was commonly restricted or even illegal in most jurisdictions.

Many states in the USA had laws against abortion, for example. So these laws needed to be overturned. The US Supreme Court obliged by striking down all abortion laws in that country in the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. . . .

According to this view of the world, Christianity is the killjoy of life. It compels people to restrain their natural sexual appetites, which can only legitimately be expressed within monogamous marriage. Supposedly this causes Christians to be “repressed,” leading to various social and psychological problems. Sexual liberation (that is, throwing off Christian moral restraint) leads to relaxed, well-adjusted people. And these people can freely enjoy the good things in life—you know, like promiscuity, pornography, divorce and abortion. Isn’t that appealing?

No. The rules stipulated in the Ten Commandments lead to the good life, not a so-called “liberation” from the Commandments. All people are sinful, and so all people experience problems in their lives, including Christians. But those problems cannot be alleviated by throwing away God’s rules for human living. Quite to the contrary, in fact. Biblical morality is a sure guide to the good life. The happiness promised by the Sexual Revolution is a fraud. Surely that should be apparent by now. (“NO RULES, NO CIVILIZATION: The Sexual Revolution left us free . . . to be Miserable”)

Copyright Michael Wagner 2008

Read this entire article from the April 2008 issue of Reformed Perspective magazine. . . .

One Step Follows Another

Quoting columnist Arnold Ahlert:

“We have become a nation where far too many people believe we can set the parameters of good and evil as we go along, and that we must all worship at the altar of non-judgmentalism. Yet the concept of non-judgmentalism is yet another progressive manipulation of the language: those who refuse to ascribe value to anything are not non-judgmental. They are amoral. Furthermore, a society with substantial numbers of amoral people is easily manipulable. But don’t take my word for it. There are more than a few people still alive with tattooed numbers on their arms who can attest to the depths that easily manipulated, ‘reasonable’ people can sink. Fanaticism rarely occurs in a vacuum. It proceeds from that which is initially perceived to be reasonable to utter depravity. From abortion to infanticide. From a classless society to the ninety-nine percent versus the one percent. From the so-called one percent to the ovens of Auschwitz and Dachau. One incrementally amoral step after another.”

UNC – Greensboro Wages War On Christian Club

From The Patriot Post:

At North Carolina-Greensboro (UNC-G), a dispute is headed to court. The university instituted a policy of supposed “tolerance” for leadership of student associations, so the Alliance Defense Fund is aiding a Christian club to take the school to court. In this case, it appears that the university specifically targeted “Make Up Your Own Mind,” a Christian organization, and insisted that non-Christians be permitted to serve as leaders because, the university says, the group is not affiliated with a church and therefore is not a religious organization.

Politics And God

Quoting David J. Theroux:

We live in an increasingly secularized world of massive and pervasive nation states in which traditional religion, especially Christianity, is ruled unwelcome and even a real danger on the basis of a purported history of intolerance and “religious violence.” This is found in most all “public” domains, including the institutions of education, business, government, welfare, transportation, parks and recreation, science, art, foreign affairs, economics, entertainment, and the media.

A secularized public square policed by government is viewed as providing a neutral, rational, free, and safe domain that keeps the “irrational” forces of religion from creating conflict and darkness. And we are told that real progress requires expanding this domain by pushing religion ever backward into remote corners of society where it has little or no influence. In short, modern America has become a secular theocracy with a civic religion of national politics (nationalism) occupying the public realm in which government has replaced God.

For the renowned Christian scholar and writer C.S. Lewis, such a view was fatally flawed morally, intellectually, and spiritually, producing the twentieth-century rise of the total state, total war, and mega-genocides. For Lewis, Christianity provided the one true and coherent worldview that applied to all human aspirations and endeavors: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” (The Weight of Glory)

Continue reading here. . . .

Religious Freedom Versus White House War Of Regulations

The church/state debate continues to heat up in spite of the recent unanimous 9-0 margin, when the Supreme Court overruled the idea that the federal government can tell a church who it must employ as a minister if the church violates anti-discrimination employment guidelines. The White House claimed that there is no special protection for clergy in our Constitution. However, the Supreme Court ruled that it “is hard to square with the text of the First Amendment itself, which gives special consideration to the rights of religious organizations. We cannot accept the remarkable view that the Religion Clauses have nothing to say about a religious organization’s freedom to select its own ministers.”

Now, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010, seeks to force Catholic universities, hospitals, and charities to give insurance to their employees covering contraception — even though this violates the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The policy says that Catholic hospitals can only invoke the “conscience clause” — and get an exemption on the new rules — if they turn away patients of other faiths. Catholic hospitals have never turned people away because of their religious beliefs. Instead of asking “”Are you hungry or sick?” The Church would be forced to ask “”Are you Catholic?”

Arlington (Va.) Bishop Paul Loverde called the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services order “a direct attack against religious liberty.” Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Mich., stated: “We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law.” This is not just a Catholic issue; there is growing concern in other denominations that this is an assault on religious freedom.

Let us take a look at what the First Amendment actually says:

I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

We often hear about “”a wall of separation” between church and state in America. However, this phrase cannot be found in either the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. The phrase occurs in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to an assembly of Baptists in Connecticut. The quote is usually used out of context.

The real purpose of the “Establishment Clause was to prohibit Congress from imposing a national religion upon the people; and to prohibit Congress (and the Federal government generally) from meddling with existing church-state relations in the several States. Thus the “Establishment Clause is linked directly to the “Free Exercise Clause. It was designed to promote religious freedom by forbidding Congress to prefer one Christian denomination over another Christian denomination.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment was not intended as a declaration of governmental hostility toward religion. The phrase “”prohibiting the free exercise thereof” was meant to keep Congress from ever meddling in the disputes among religious bodies or interfering with their mode of worship and seeking to regulate the many ministries of the church.

Since Thomas Jefferson quote is the source of much of the negative political view of religion as expressed by the political left in our country, we would do well to find out what else Jefferson had to say about the First Amendment Establishment Clause:

“In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government. (Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, 1805)

“[O]ur excellent Constitution . . . has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary. (Jefferson, Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1808)

“I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions . . . or exercises. (Jefferson, Letter to Samuel Millar, 1808)

It is clear that Jefferson believed the First Amendment did not allow the Federal Government to limit, restrict, regulate, or interfere with public religious practices and religious institutions. The intent of the First Amendment’s “establishment” clause was, according to Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, “. . . to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects.” This is confirmed by the preliminary draft of the First Amendment proposed by James Madison to the House of Representatives in 1789:

“The Civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.

President James Madison also appointed Joseph Story (1779-1845) as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Joseph Story continued on the bench for 34 years, until his death in 1845. Joseph Story wrote tremendously influential works, including: Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833; and A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States, 1840. The following are a few of Justice Story‘s quotes about the “Establishment Clause:

“Probably, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the Amendment to it now under consideration, the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship.

“Temporary delusions, prejudices, excitements, and objects have irresistible influence in mere questions of policy. And the policy of one age may ill suit the wishes or the policy of another. The constitution is not subject to such fluctuations. It is to have a fixed, uniform, permanent construction. It should be, so far at least as human infirmity will allow, not dependent upon the passions or parties of particular times, but the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.

“It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs, whether free government can be permanent, where the public worship of God, and the support of religion, constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in any assignable shape. . . .

But the duty of supporting religion, and especially the Christian religion, is very different from the right to force the consciences of other men, or to punish them for worshipping God in the manner, which, they believe, their accountability to him requires.

In the case of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we see clearly an attempt by Federal authorities to assault religious freedom by forcing the hospital ministry of the Catholic Church to violate it’s own moral teachings. I wonder which protestant denomination the government bureaucrats will be coming for next?

Dennis Prager On Morality

Dennis Prager

Quoting radio talk-show host Dennis Prager:

If moral standards are not rooted in God, they do not objectively exist. Good and evil are no more real than ‘yummy’ and ‘yucky.’ They are simply a matter of personal preference. One of the foremost liberal philosophers, Richard Rorty, an atheist, acknowledged that for the secular liberal, ‘There is no answer to the question, “Why not be cruel?”‘ With the death of Judeo-Christian-God-based standards, people have simply substituted feelings for those standards. Millions of American young people have been raised by parents and schools with ‘How do you feel about it?’ as the only guide to what they ought to do. The heart has replaced God and the Bible as a moral guide. … A vast number of American young people do not even ask whether an action is right or wrong. The question would strike them as foreign. Why? Because the question suggests that there is a right and wrong outside of themselves. And just as there is no God higher than them, there is no morality higher than them, either.”

Marvin L. Lubenow On Evolution And God

From the desk of Marvin L. Lubenow:

The real issue in the creation/evolution debate is not the existence of God. The real issue is the nature of God. To think of evolution as basically atheistic is to misunderstand the uniqueness of evolution. Evolution was not designed as a general attack against theism. It was designed as a specific attack against the God of the Bible, and the God of the Bible is clearly revealed through the doctrine of creation. Obviously, if a person is an atheist, it would be normal for him to also be an evolutionist. But evolution is as comfortable with theism as it is with atheism. An evolutionist is perfectly free to choose any god he wishes, as long as it is not the God of the Bible. The gods allowed by evolution are private, subjective, and artificial. They bother no one and make no absolute ethical demands. However, the God of the Bible is the Creator, Sustainer, Savior, and Judge. All are responsible to Him. He has an agenda that conflicts with that of the sinful humans. For man to be created in the image of God is very awesome. For God to be created in the image of man is very comfortable.

There Is No Philosophical Neutrality

Quoting Greg Bahnsen:

[T]he Christian and the unbeliever do not and cannot approach their differences with argumentative and or philosophical neutrality. Even though the Christian and non-Christian have the facts of the objective world in common, they have radically divergent interpretations of them. For the Christian, all facts are pre-interpreted by God, created by God and revelatory by God; they must be handled in such a way that glory is brought to God. But the non-Christian views these facts as meaningfully interpreted only by his own mind, as uncreated and free from God’s control, as ambiguous and contingent; he uses them to bring glory to man. Hence, the Christian and non-Christian have different interpretative schemes. (Bahnsen, Greg L. Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended. McDurmon, Joel (Ed.). Powder Springs, GA. American Vision; Covenant Media Press. 2008: Pg. 89-90)

%d bloggers like this: