• 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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The Age Of Historical And Constitutional Illiteracy

original-intentFrom: The Pen of columnist Austin Hill

“And then there is the stark reality that we live in an era of what I call ‘historical and Constitutional illiteracy.’ Most Americans, I am convinced, know very little about world history or American history, and the lessons entailed therein. Likewise, I’m pretty certain that most Americans have no clue about the Constitutional limits on the powers of the government, and the idea that there should be any limits at all on the Executive Branch is unthinkable. In many ways, it’s a sad state of affairs. Americans are scared and want their President to be an omniscient, omnipotent savior, and the man we elected knows with certainty that he is that savior. Yet it’s comforting to know that, in many ways, some of the founders of our nation understood human nature so remarkably well that they could have predicted a day when future generations would want not a President, but a messiah, and a day when a President fancied himself as such. Such wisdom is yours for the reading in ‘The Federalist Papers,’ that old compilation of some 85 newspaper editorials that argued for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, published in 1787 and 1788. While make the case for limiting the power of government, and establishing ‘checks and balances’ between government’s various ‘departments,’ James Madison eloquently wrote in ‘The Federalist Number 51:’ ‘It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government….’ It would seem that Madison the philosopher (who went on to become our Fourth President of the United States) was quite certain that those who govern will never be ‘angels’ (he would probably also concur that a President will never amount to a messiah). Madison also seems to indicate that those who govern will naturally begin to think a bit too highly of themselves, and will have difficulty with ‘self-restraint.’ The good news, even in this brief passage of Madison’s writings, is that ‘the people’ – – those of us who are ‘the governed’ – – can still function as the force that prohibits government from spiraling out of control. Certainly, we are still ‘free enough’ today to speak out, to allow our voices to be heard, and to freely exchange ideas about our country and its government — even if those ideas are contrary to the edicts of a dead-certain Command-In-Chief. The question is not ‘can we,’ but ‘will we’ function as that balancing force against a government that is spiraling out of control? Madison and the other founders set the course. Will we follow their lead?”

Truth Or Relationships?

rcsproulQuoting R. C. Sproul:

When the truth of the gospel is compromised or negotiated, the church ceases to be evangelical. We live in a time of crisis with respect to truth, where many churches see doctrine merely as something that divides. Therefore, they stress relationships over truth. That is a false distinction, as a commitment to truth is a commitment that should manifest itself in vital, living relationships. Relationships can never be a substitute for embracing the truth of God. So the either/or fallacy of doctrine or relationship cannot be maintained under careful biblical scrutiny.

What Is The Condition Of The American Clergy?

Despite the fact that there are many evangelical pulpits in the United States, we can hardly say these have produced a large number of Christian evangelicals in these modern times. Rather, much of evangelicalism is now dominated by men pleasing pastors who care more for being in tune with the culture than the Bible. People who go to hell these days do not do so for lack of ministers. As Lachlan Mackenzie once said:

“The clergy are likely to become soon as plentiful as the locust of Egypt, and which of them is the greatest plague of the two, time and experience of the Church will discover.”

Modern preachers exalt a positive self-affirming morality which is totally dry of supernatural Christianity. Original sin is discarded. The need to be born again is forgotten. The perfection and power of Jesus Christ to save is considered an irrelevant myth. The return of the Pelagian (heresy) gospel of self help is evident everywhere.

Now we find the true Gospel of grace scorned as offensive to the modern highly evolved mind and culture. The call to Christ has become the call to prosperous living. Many of America’s citizens have never heard the preaching of an uncompromised Christianity and most have never read the Bible at all. The numbers remaining uncalled to the kingdom of God must be truly astounding.

Thank God that the ministry is not equally dead everywhere. God has many servants who have not bent their knees to Baal. They have not abandoned the Bible for the praise of men. If we aspire to attain the noble heights of establishing a Christian America once again, we must have an earnest Holy Spirit revival among America’s clergy. Pray for your pastor as you never have before.

General George Patton On Mohammed



Quoting General George S. Patton:

“It seems to me a certainty that the fatalistic teachings of Mohammed and the utter degradation of the Arab women are the outstanding causes for the arrested development of the Arab. He is exactly as he was around the year 700, while we have been developing.”

Massacre In Iran

Free IranAn Iranian woman has given harrowing details of what she says was a massacre of protesters in Tehran’s Baharestan Square on Wednesday.

Reports this morning suggest thousands of police and pro-government militia used guns, clubs and teargas to suppress a large opposition rally in the square.

Speaking to CNN, the unnamed woman said it was a “massacre”. . . .

The woman said the attackers started beating people on a pedestrian bridge heading to the square, with some people being thrown over the side.

“They beat a woman so savagely that she was drenched in blood, and her husband who was watching the scene, he just fainted.

“I also saw [the security forces] shooting young people.

“This was a massacre. They were trying to beat people so that they would die. They were cursing… they were beating old men. . . .”

CNN said another source inside Tehran had described people being “shot like animals”.

The witness went on: “In the previous days they are killing students with axes, they put the axe through the heart of young men, and it’s so devastating I don’t know how to describe it.”

Read more. . . .

The Bishop Who Does Not Believe In God

agnostic churchFrom: The Pen of Albert Mohler

Richard Holloway is a Bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church. There seems to be on obvious problem — he doesn’t believe in God. In the Scottish Episcopal Church, that must not be a problem.

Bishop Holloway served for years as Bishop of Edinburgh and primate of the Scottish church. The Scottish Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion — the Scottish sister church of the Church of England. During his years as Bishop of Edinburgh Holloway regularly offended the faithful, promoting one heresy or scandalous teaching after another.

In 2000 he took early retirement, but did not resign his ordination or consecration. He remains a bishop, even as he has become an agnostic.

As the Sydney Morning Herald [Australia] reports:

Holloway, contrary to popular belief, has not left the Episcopal Church, as Scottish Anglicanism is known. He may have taken early retirement as Bishop of Edinburgh but the writer remains an ordained priest and consecrated bishop, who still preaches from the pulpit, performs baptisms and weddings and even presides at communion.

That last word astonished even the secular press. The paper explained:

That he still presides at communion – indeed, as recently as three weeks ago – raises the thorny question of how an agnostic, unconvinced about the divinity of Jesus, can consecrate the bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ. Surely, it becomes a mere gesture? “It very much depends on the interpretation you put on it,” he explains.

The obvious question is this — How can any church retain a minister who denies belief in God? That astonishing question points to what so many Christians have not yet seen. There is no shortage of churches and ministers whose theology is heretical and, as evidenced by Bishop Holloway, even agnostic.

Nevertheless, there are churches and denominations that are all too willing to allow a minister to remain and to serve even if doctrine is reduced to what the paper calls “mere gesture.”

Continue reading. . . .

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