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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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Students Unwilling To Make Judgments On Right And Wrong

The following article is taken from excerpts of Chuck Colson’s Moral Relativism and Education”:

Dr. Stephen Anderson teaches philosophy at A.B. Lucas Secondary School in Ontario, Canada. His students had just finished a unit on metaphysics and were about to start one on ethics.

To jump start the discussion and to “form a baseline from which they could begin to ask questions about the legitimacy of moral judgments of all kinds,” Anderson shared with them a gruesome photo of Bibi Aisha, a teenage wife of a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan. When Bibi tried to get away from her abusive husband, her family caught her, cut off her nose and ears, and left her to die in the mountains. Only Bibi didn’t die. Somehow she crawled to her grandfather’s house, and was saved in an American hospital.

Writing in Education Journal magazine, Anderson relates how he was sure that his students, “seeing the suffering of this poor girl of their own age, [they] would have a clear ethical reaction,” one they could talk about “more difficult cases.”

But their response shocked Anderson. “[He] expected strong aversion [to it], … but that’s not what I got. Instead, they became confused … afraid to make any moral judgment at all. They were unwilling to criticize,” as he said, “any situation originating in a different culture. They said, ‘Well, we might not like it, but maybe over there it’s okay.’”

Anderson calls their confusion and refusal to judge such child mutilation a moment of startling clarity, and indeed it is. He wonders if it stems not from too little education, but from too much multiculturalism and so-called “values education,” which is really just an excuse for moral relativism.

Anderson writes, “While we may hope some [students] are capable of bridging the gap between principled morality and this ethically vacuous relativism, it is evident that a good many are not. For them, the overriding message is ‘never judge, never criticize, never take a position.’” Anderson wonders whether in our current educational system, we’re not producing ethical paralytics? Well, if the horrifying example of the students’ reaction in this case is any indication, Anderson already knows the answer.

We would do well to ponder the words of Pope Benedict, who said on January first that neither justice nor peace is possible if we do not hold the Ten Commandments as expressions of objective truth. The Pope said that peace and justice are simply “words without content” unless founded on the bedrock of natural moral law, as expressed in the Decalogue, given to Moses more than 3,000 years ago.

To read more, click here. . . .

Charles H. Spurgeon On Purity of Heart and Life

“Blessed are the are pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

Purity, even purity of heart, is the main thing to be aimed at. We need to be made clean within through the Spirit and the Word, and then we shall be clean without by consecration and obedience. There is a close connection between the affections and the understanding: if we love evil we cannot understand that which is good. If the heart is foul, the eye will be dim. How can those men see a holy God who love unholy things?

What a privilege it is to see God here! A glimpse of Him is heaven below! In Christ Jesus the pure in heart behold the Father. We see Him, His truth, His love, His purpose, His sovereignty, His covenant character, yea, we see Himself in Christ. But this is only apprehended as sin is kept out of the heart. Only those who aim at godliness can cry, “Mine eyes are ever towards the LORD.” The desire of Moses, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory,” can only be fulfilled in us as we purify ourselves from all iniquity. We shall “see him as he is,” and “every one that hath this hope in him purifieth himself.” The enjoyment of present fellowship and the hope of the beatific vision are urgent motives for purity of heart and life. LORD, make us pure in heart that we may see Thee! (Faith’s Checkbook)

The Dark Times Of God’s People

O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me. (Psalm 38:9-10 ESV)

I love the Psalms. They touch on every human experience. In the verses of the Psalm above, David is pouring out the contents of his heart. He is guilt ridden under a sense of God’s displeasure. The Holy Spirit has brought David’s sins to the attention of his heart and mind. His heart is heavy because he has seen the darkness of his sins. What other feelings will we find in him? Are no sensations alive in his heart other than self-loathing? Here we find the difference between the remorse of the world that brings death and the remorse of God’s people that leads unto life eternal. Worldly sorrow does not seek the Lord for comfort or forgiveness. In contrast, the Christian seeks the light of God. However dark things may be, there is divine life in the soul which guides the Christian into God’s presence and grace.

We find David humbled by sin and shame. He is troubled by the workings of inward corruption. Light is revealing the hidden evils of his heart. In the midst of these circumstances, David cries to the Lord: “O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.” (Psalm 38:9-10 ESV)

Do you understand the deep conviction which comes from realizing your heart and mind and actions are under the eyes of an all-seeing holy God? This conviction only exists in the hearts of those who know the grace of God. The worldly man does not acknowledge an all-knowing God. He does not fear the Lord. David, on the other hand, knows that God is aware of his every thought. He calls out to God, “O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.” (Psalm 38:9-10 ESV) He understands that his heart is as an open book before God. There is nothing that God’s omniscient eyes fail to see.

David desires the Lord’s favor. The Holy Spirit is lifted in his soul as David seeks God’s grace and mercy. He desires to have a sense of God’s favor imparted into his own soul. David calls out to God: “all my longing is before you”. Thus the desires of his heart and all the longings of his soul are known by God. Consider the following verses:

[W]hich one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:9-11 ESV)

The Christian may expect that the darkness will become light as he continues to call out to God.

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