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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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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. . . .

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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)

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