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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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  • Recommended Reading

Pride

In the words of J. C. Ryle:

“Young men, do not be too confident in your own judgment. Stop being so sure that you are always right and others wrong. Don’t trust your own opinion, when you find it contrary to that of older men, and especially to that of your own parents. Age gives experience, and therefore deserves respect.”

Sin

From the pen of Joseph Alleine:

“Oh, better were it for you to die in a jail, in a ditch, in a dungeon, than to die in your sins. If death, as it will take away all your comforts, would take away all your sins too, it were some mitigation; but your sins will follow you when your friends leave you, and all your worldly enjoyments shake hands with you. Your sins will not die with you as a prisoner’s other debts will; but they will go to judgment with you there to be your accusers; and they will go to hell with you there to be your tormentors.”

The Spirit Of Religion And Freedom

From the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville:

The character of Anglo-American civilization…is the product…of two perfectly distinct elements that elsewhere have often made war with each other, but which, in America, they have succeeded in incorporating somehow into one another and combining marvelously. I mean to speak of the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom. (Democracy in America)

An Increase In Sin?

Christopher Love

 

 

From the desk of Christopher Love:

Many men, after a long conversion, see more of the workings of sin in their hearts than ever they did before or at their first conversion. Now, such men have not an increase of sin, but an increase of illumination and light. (Love, The Mortified Christian, 47)

Samuel Adams On Liberty And Happiness

 

Samuel Adams

 

 

Samuel Adams wrote the following in a letter to John Trumbull on October 16, 1778:

Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness.

Samuel Adams: “While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued!”

Samuel Adams

Quoting Samuel Adams:

A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. (Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779)

Samuel Adams On Ignorance

Samuel Adams

Quoting Samuel Adams:

No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders. (November 4, 1775: Samuel Adams letter to James Warren)

Are Our Youth Ministries Failing Our Families And The Church?

There are a growing number of people who suggest that today’s youth ministries should be disbanded. They believe the common practice of separating congregations by age for worship and Bible study is “unbiblical.” The National Center for Family Integrated Churches in association with LeClerc Brothers Motion Pictures is now stating their case in the documentary film, “Divided: Is Age-Segregated Ministry Multiplying or Dividing the Church?” See the following trailer:

The documentary follows a young Christian filmmaker on a quest to find answers to why his generation is increasingly turning away from attending church. Recent surveys have shown that as many as 85 percent of young people will leave the church and many never return. In the film, Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr. of Grace Family Church is interviewed:

Many feel that dividing children from adults at church is an unbiblical concept borrowed from humanistic philosophies. They believe that the adults should gather with the children for worship, which includes preaching. A Biblical example may be found in Deuteronomy 12 where Moses commands the parents to bring whole families to come and worship and sacrifice. Doug Phillips of Vision Forum is also interviewed:

“Divided” will be an uncomfortable eye-opening experience for many. Most youth ministries seek to “entertain” in order to attract youth to their ministry, so that they may teach them the Gospel. However, instead of “training them in the Gospel” they continue to be “entertained” in order to keep up attendance! The result of this strategy is evident when the children turn into adults. The adults want a preacher who entertains them.

The movie “Divided: Is Age-Segregated Ministry Multiplying or Dividing the Church?” may be seen for free at the following link until September 15th, 2011. This movie is a call to repentance and faithfulness. I encourage you to watch it and share it with your friends.

Watch “Divided” here for free until September 15th. . . .

Father’s Day!

“This is the most wonderful story of the love of a father outside the gift that God gave us with His son. . ..”

Read “FOR BEING FATHERS” here. . . .

How Do You Fix Life’s Problems?

Check out this article by Os Hillman:

Are You Horizontal or Vertical? (via YOU DECIDE)

Samuel Adams On Voting

Samuel Adams

Quoting Samuel Adams:

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. (The Writings of Samuel Adams, Cushing, ed., vol. 4)

Samuel Adams On The Men Needed To Fill The Seats Of Government

Samuel Adams

Quoting Samuel Adams:

“If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honor of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation.”

“Men Without Chests”

C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis made some interesting observations about the trends influencing modern manhood.  He considered such men to be stunted men, whose desires never rise above the belly and the groin.  These men conform to the soft despotism of the state and become willing slaves. They are men who do not care about the truth and thus they are malleable clay in the hands of those in political control.  Dr. Benjamin Wiker writes:

Lewis understood, with prophetic lucidity, that our ills today are largely the result of our ongoing attempt to escape from our own nature.

Such is the theme of his first chapter [The Abolition of Man], “Men without Chests.” In it, Lewis pillories a lamentable book (typical of his time and ours) that attempts to indoctrinate  mere schoolchildren with moral and intellectual relativism. The authors, whom he calls Gaius and Titius (in reality, Alec King and Martin Ketley), declare matter-of-factly that words don’t have any real connection to things, but are mere descriptions of our subjective feelings. . . .

For Lewis, these were fighting words, because they were words designed to usher in peace at any cost, even at the cost of truth, words designed to make chestless men who believed in nothing and hence would fight over nothing.

Here Lewis brilliantly ties together two modern trends: the emasculation of society and widespread intellectual and moral relativism. Both of these trends have one aim: to make men peaceful by removing the great sources of war (at least as some see things), the belief that there is truth, and that the truth is worth fighting for. Chestless men, men whose fighting spirit has been entirely quashed by relativism and the belief that manliness itself is one of the great sources of the world’s evil, are at least peaceful men. And for those who desire peace at any cost, the deformation of men and the destruction of the natural human desire for truth is a small price to pay. It is no accident that King and Ketley’s book was written between the two hideously destructive World Wars.

According to this view, we must, for our own survival and peaceful co-existence, escape from our own nature. Maleness must be left behind; it must have no place in our brave new world. Passionate truth-seeking is likewise a thing of our bloody past; it must have no place in our schools, our public discourse, or our media.

Continue reading. . . .

Is Government By An Elite Group Superior To Government For, By, And Of The People?

Tower of Babel

Quoting Ronald Reagan:

“The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom. In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.”

Demonizing The American Citizen

Quoting columnist Arnold Ahlert:

“Why has the left directed so much time and effort into demonizing ordinary Americans? Because the Tea Party’s three primary planks — limited government, fiscal responsibility and Constitutional fealty — represent the greatest threat to liberalism since its flowering in the 1960s. A smaller, fiscally responsible government dedicated to a Constitution expressly designed to limit the power of the state is the death knell for those dedicated to the idea their worldview must be imposed on Americans by an ever-expanding state. The left’s worst nightmare is an America comprised of largely self-sufficient, clear-thinking individuals left to their own devices.”

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