22 “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you. . . .” (1 Samuel 15:22-23, ESV)
“If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” – Augustine
“Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God.” – John Calvin
“And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail, in exclusion of religious principle.” – George Washington
“One desire has been the ruling passion of my life. One high motive has acted like a spur upon my mind and soul. And sooner should I seek escape from the sacred necessity that is laid upon me, let the breath of life fail me. It is this: That in spite of all worldly opposition, God’s holy ordinances shall be established again in the home, in the school and in the State for the good of the people; to carve as it were into the conscience of the nation the ordinances of the Lord, to which the Bible and Creation bear witness, until the nation pays homage again to God.” – Abraham Kuyper
The purpose of Samuel at Gilgal is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and encourage Christian discipleship by introducing you to many of the sermons and writings of outstanding preachers and Christian authors. Occasionally, I will contribute my own thoughts on various topics. Like Abraham Kuyper, I desire that “God’s holy ordinances” guide our worldview in the home, in educational institutions, and the governing of our country. I also will often turn to the historical writings of the Founding Fathers and many others who reflect in their worldview a Christian heritage. From time to time I will include other interesting topics. You are welcome to initiate a conversation by commenting.
My name is Samuel A. Cain. I was born in the South a few years after World War II. I was blessed with a wonderful mother and father who were great fans of “Gone With The Wind”. So, as a child, I was immersed into Southern Culture. Is it any wonder then that one of my areas of study in graduate school was the Antebellum South? If you ever wish to understand Southern Culture, you need to first read Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe.
Many of my childhood heroes were the generals of the Confederacy who fought in the War for Southern Independence. Many of my ancestors were soldiers of the Confederacy. Do not, however, confuse my love of history with the issue of slavery. I believe slavery is an abomination to God. Perhaps it was His wrath that was visited upon the South during that war and afterwards during Reconstruction by the Union. But, make no mistake, I am a loyal, patriotic American and I simply enjoy a wonderful Southern heritage that is a major part of who I am.
As I grew up, I attended a Southern Baptist Church and then a Methodist Church. As I got older, I began to make excuses for not attending church and eventually quit going to church altogether. I became sort of an agnostic and eventually turned to atheism.
While in college, I began to read the writings of Ayn Rand. She had a profound influence on my worldview and the proper role of government in the lives of free men and women. As a result of reading Rand’s books and articles, I was led to read Ludwig Von Mises’ writings on economics. He, Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mills helped to form my views in that area. (Warning to Christians: Ayn Rand’s writings often reflect her atheism)
I graduated with concentrations in History and Education. I also minored in Philosophy and Psychology. After graduation, I taught in the public schools for several years and attended graduate school at another university. I graduated with a degree in Education and Administration. In the mean time, I had married a wonderful lady, whom I love dearly, and our first child was on the way after five years of our marriage.
After working as a teacher and assistant principal, I was offered a position as a public school administrator which I eagerly accepted (I believed I could make a difference and also, frankly, needed the money.). It was during this time that our second child was born. It was also during this time that I was brought to my knees in order to reconsider the existence of God and the truth of the Bible.
After much inward turmoil, the guidance of friends, and reading the Bible and other Christian works – I received through grace and prayer Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord on a starry Christmas Eve, outside, standing near the wood pile of my wife’s parent’s home. I can honestly say that my life changed. I didn’t become perfect or have all my troubles vanish in a flash. But I experienced, for the first time, the love of God and there was a major paradigm shift in my thinking. I was filled with the desire to study the Word of God and to know Him.
The other thing, of course, was that we began going to church and my wife and I were baptized as a necessary part of the confession of our new found faith. It was some time after this that the pastor called and asked me to use my gift of teaching in an Adult Sunday School class. I reluctantly agreed and this served to motivate me to study the Scriptures even more deeply. Of course, I’m no R. C. Sproul, James Montgomery Boice, or John Piper – but I have tried to do my best to be a good Bible teacher to the adults who have attended my classes over the last 30 years.
After 31 years with the public schools, I retired. Since then I have been enjoying friends and family, reading mysteries and history, studying the Bible and the writings of various Christian authors, teaching Bible studies, editing this blog, and various other activities. I hope you will continue to drop by Samuel at Gilgal often as you seek to grow in Christ.
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