It is easy for those of us who have been graced with a knowledge and understanding of the law-word of God to forget how hell-bent and wrong-headed we were prior to receiving the gift of salvation. Depending how long we have walked the journey of faith and with it the sanctification that accompanies obedience, the walk of rebellion against God and our outright disobedience can become a distant memory. But we must recall what it was like to live apart from God because this is the greatest witness we have to those who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ—our own testimony to God’s love and forgiveness.
Sadly, that is not always the case with those numbered among the faithful. Rather than have a heart for the lost and the mire of sin they wallow in, there is a tendency to place a focus on identifying their sinfulness, forgetting but for God’s grace we would all still be in the horrible quagmire of our own sin. By merely pointing out what is wrong with a particular worldview a person holds, many feel that they have completed their Great Commission calling. They have fallen into the trap of seeing only the distance that separates them from others, rather than view the bridge provided by Jesus Himself. Our calling is to understand the premises behind false worldviews and determine how to penetrate them with God’s Word of promise and truth.
When we succumb to what makes us different (the godly vs. the ungodly), rather than what we have in common (a joint need for the salvific work of Jesus), we play into societal forces that win by default if they can get opposing groups to fight against one another. Therefore, skin color becomes a dividing line, or gender, or economic level, or even an opposing religious belief. If we take our eyes off our primary task—seeking and furthering the Kingdom of God—we can become pawns in someone else’s game. Continue reading
I remember when I first received a call from Jason (or whatever that particular person’s name was) informing me that I had problems with my computer. As it turned out, my computer had been acting up, although it was nothing serious. I was waiting for a good time to have it checked out. So, I was willing to talk with him until I discovered that he wanted me to give him control of my computer. As the expression goes, Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.
Periodically over the years, I have received calls from other “helpful Jasons” who are calling to assist me. In the past, I have had some fun with them, saying bizarre things that threw them off guard. Once, I thanked the caller profusely for helping me the previous day at no charge. I told him that it was nice that he had done all this for me for free! Continue reading
Recently I recounted my “birth story” to my grandson who asked about the day I was born. I had never shared this with him before, and I was delighted to see his reaction.
My general practitioner M.D. dad had not been at home for the trip to the hospital when my older brother and sister were born. Grandparents had done the duty for both births. When the time came for me to be born, not only was he at home, he was enjoying the New York Yankees playing the Brooklyn Dodgers in what resulted in an 11–7 victory for his Yanks. As he was spurring his team on to victory, my mom informed him that it “was time.” Continue reading
The breakdown of the family is a well-documented reality. But pundits, candidates, politicians, preachers, and educators alike continue to turn to statist solutions to the social ills of our day, failing to recognize that they result from a failure to abide by God’s architecture for society.
In God’s economy, the family is the primary institution that is to train individuals to become responsible participants in every sphere of life. Even among those who acknowledge the Biblical jurisdiction of the family, the sad reality is that very few have any practical concept as to how to turn things around, or even know where to begin. The book of Genesis is the necessary “starting point” (forgive the pun) in determining how this should play out in day-to-day life. With Genesis as our foundation, we can then proceed through the laws of the Pentateuch for our blueprint for social order. Only then can we hope to make any lasting difference beyond the walls of our homes. Continue reading
It is easy to become weighted down with all that is wrong in the world. A quick perusal of one’s Facebook feed, or catching an excerpt from network news, might convince someone that the only sane thing to do is run and hide. That is what happens when we walk by sight rather than faith. To combat this oh-so-frequent tendency, it is good to have regular reminders of the way things really are.
One such reminder came my way today as my husband and I were doing a devotional and prayer before he left for work. We use the series A Word in Season, by R.J. Rushdoony. These devotionals are not your run-of-the-mill niceties—they are high-octane fuel for meeting the challenges of the Christian life. The chapter reading for today was entitled “The Birth of Our Lord” and it was potent and timely for us. Here are some choice excerpts:
The accounts of our Lord’s birth give us the story of the world’s most glorious event and its greatest invasion. People today are ready to hear all kinds of nonsense about visitors from outer space and “star wars,” but the greatest invasion imaginable is a matter of indifference to them!
Today I received a complimentary copy of a parenting magazine in the mail. I don’t know why it was sent, as I definitely do not fit their marketing demographic — working moms who need help in “doing it all.” There are some articles for stay-at-home moms, but they are few in number.
This “back-to-school” issue had many facets, but an underlying theme in many articles was that the U.S. lags behind when it comes to support for working moms. Whatever helpful advice could be garnered from the articles dealing with healthy lunches, dropping off your child at school without tears, or battling with homework, was overshadowed by the appeal to statist solutions.
There was no mention at all of living life according to the standards of the Bible, and I couldn’t find one piece that even mentioned Christianity. In fact, laced throughout the various sections were ads for methods of “birth control” that showed contented women with just two children. What was being advertised as safe and effective is actually abortifacient in nature; these devices do not prevent pregnancy, rather, they hinder fetal implantation. Yet, the happy women portrayed looked like caring moms, seemingly unconcerned over the ethical and moral use of such devices. Continue reading
There is a temptation in the age of social media, ready internet access, and talk radio, to lose our focus when it comes to the Great Commission we have been given by the Lord. Depending on what is “trending” in cyberspace or the airwaves, we can get caught up in giving our opinion on the latest disaster, scandal, or incident of political unrest and assume we have done our part. In the end, our opinion does not matter; it is our allegiance to God’s law-word that will make the difference in solving the seemingly insurmountable problems of our day.
“What do you think about the latest shootings?”
“How are you going to vote with such abysmal choices?”
“What about the daily infringement on our rights by the government?”
My three children have a number of years between them. Six and a half years separates my first from my second; the third one came seven and half years later. People used to comment that with the age spread, I probably would not have too many occurrences of them not getting along. Wrong! Since we homeschooled, they had plenty of opportunity to get on each other’s nerves and irritate one another.
My husband and I resolved to apply Biblical law to the predictable outbursts of fighting and disagreement. However, first, we had to examine our own thinking to make sure that we were working out of a Biblical worldview rather than expediency. It would have been easy to yell at them and tell them to knock it off, but if we wanted to see godly change, we would have to apply godly discipline and instruction.
Here are a few of the Scripture passages we utilized along with a bit of commentary: Continue reading
The sin of Genesis 3:5 involved Adam and Eve failing to accept and live by God’s absolute standard in the design and proper use of the things He had created. As a result, all of us have been born with the propensity to want to have our will be done. The only way to maneuver successfully through the maze of life with other sinners is to have a standard that transcends us all. In other words, we can only thrive in life if we align ourselves to an absolute, unchanging standard. Thankfully, God has supplied us with such in His law-word, found within the pages of Scripture.
Today in the midst of going about my regular routine, I was able to see some humorous examples of this truth.
While I was working out at the gym, a woman walked into the workout area wearing headphones. It was obvious that she was listening to someone singing and she was wholeheartedly singing along. Unfortunately, she was oblivious to her off-key rendition of whatever duet she was attempting. She smiled and waved at those of us who were present, quite happy and satisfied with herself.
While it is totally acceptable to enjoy one’s workout, I’m fairly certain that if she could have heard herself, she might have adjusted any number of components. While not all of us are Grammy-worthy in our singing efforts, most of us do not enjoy discordant music. Here is a mundane, practical way to apply the directive to, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
I doubt many parents, upon looking at their newborn son or daughter, hope in their hearts that their child will grow up to be a fool. That would be as preposterous as desiring that their child have a catastrophic illness or debilitating injury. Parents tend to want the best for their children, and raising a fool does not fit into that category. Yet the very methods employed in raising their little darlings often result in what the Bible classifies as a fool.
The modern thinking regarding a fool signifies stupidity or silliness, and one who makes bad decisions. But, the Biblical perspective (with its considerable discussion about fools) is reflected in the third definition of Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
In scripture, fool is often used for a wicked or depraved person; one who acts contrary to sound wisdom in his moral deportment; one who follows his own inclinations, who prefers trifling and temporary pleasures to the service of God and eternal happiness. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God (Ps. 14:1).