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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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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. . . .

Part VIII: George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior

At the age sixteen, George Washington wrote out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility. These are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The rules have one major interest in common; a focus on other people rather than on our own self-interests which is so prevalent today. Some of his ideas may seem quaint to our modern minds but they are an excellent reminder of the importance of being a gentleman!

81 Be not curious to know the affairs of others, neither approach those that speak in private.

82 Undertake not what you cannot perform but be careful to keep your promise.

83 When you deliver a matter do it without passion and with discretion, however mean the person be you do it to.

84 When your superiors talk to anybody neither speak nor laugh.

85 In company of those of higher quality than yourself, speak not ’til you are asked a question, then stand upright, put off your hat and answer in few words.

86 In disputes, be not so desirous to overcome as not to give liberty to one to deliver his opinion and submit to the judgment of the major part, specially if they are judges of the dispute.

87 [damaged manuscript] as becomes a man grave, settled, and attentive [damaged manuscript] [predict not at every turn what others say.

88 Be not diverse in discourse; make not many digressions; nor repeat often the same manner of discourse.

89 Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.

90 Being set at meat scratch not, neither spit, cough, or blow your nose except there’s a necessity for it.

Our Security In The Unchanging Christ

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 ESV)

God has set a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness. On that day God will judge the secrets of men. Let the wicked flatter themselves that the idea of any coming to judgment is simply ridiculous. They have spoken lies. One day, however, when they see the Lamb of God whom they have scorned, they will cry out to the mountains and rocks to fall upon them.

The mercy of Christ is everlasting; His truth endures from generation to generation. The same gracious Savior that He was yesterday to our fathers, He is today to us. All want a part of the comfort offered, but without the hand of faith they wait in vain. There is no deficiency in Him; but is there none in you? Whatsoever Christ is, what are you? He forgave Mary Magdalene many sins; and so He will forgive you, if you can shed Mary’s tears. When any man shall prove to be such a sinner, He will not fail to be such a Savior.

Today He is yours, if today you will be His. What if dark death prevents tomorrow’s light? He was yesterday, so were you: He is today, so are you: He is tomorrow, but maybe you will not be. Time may change you, although it cannot change Him. He is not subject to natural change like you.

You have lost yesterday carelessly; you are losing today willfully and therefore you may lose eternal life and heaven inevitably. He that was yesterday the God of Abraham is today our God and He will forever be the God of our children.

Many parents worry about how their children will do when they are dead; yet they forget how God provided for them when they were children. Is the Lord’s arm shortened? Cannot this experience of His mercy to you, persuade you that He will not forsake your own children? Is not Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever?

There are untrusting parents who are so anxious for their children, that while they live they starve their bodies and hazard their souls to leave their children wealthy. In their folly, they fear leaving their children miserable; yet such parents take the only course to make them miserable; for they leave them not so much heirs to their goods as to their evils. The good man, on the other hand, is merciful, and shares what he has with the poor. Habits which the secular man thinks shall make his children poor. Trust Christ with your children; Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. Grace and peace are from Him who is, and was, and is to come; so glory and honor to Him, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.

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