Back to Antioch + 9

 

 

“Don’t be a “new-translation addict.” Some dear souls feel that they could really understand the Bible if they could get hold of one more new version. Sometimes translations help a little, but it is amazing what some old-timers got out of it before the fad set in. The Holy Spirit made alive what no new shadings of Hebrew or Greek can reveal. A fresh experience with the Lord of the Emmaus Road will open the Scriptures to a weary disciple better than any new translator’s key.”

~Vance Havner

 

“Strengthen thy stakes.”

By Vance Havner

 

Lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.
Isaiah 54:2

If we are going to lengthen our cords we had better strengthen our stakes. The church today is intent on expanding borders and taking in more territory. That is good if along with it we strengthen what we have. Otherwise, we gain width at the expense of depth and become shallow. The Christian and the church need an intensive as well as an extensive ministry. Vast ingatherings of believers bring peril if we do not teach, indoctrinate, build up in the faith. To use A.J. Gordon’s illustration, the average church is often life a congested lung with only a few cells doing the breathing. There is usually a faithful nucleus surrounded by a mass of nominal Christians.

While we extend the borders of our tent, we had better check the center pole. We must fix the point of our compass properly before we describe our circles. We are in tremendous need of a ministry to strengthen our stakes that we may go further as we go deeper.

 

America’s Most Pressing Concern

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

Many concerns occupy the minds of those who are disturbed by what is happening to the United States: bloated deficits, oppressive taxation, alleged global warming, rampant crime, and the influx of intruders who do not share the values and worldview of Americans. What are the central issues and topics that the average American pinpoints as of greatest concern? What issues stir widespread social and political fervor? For example, in the recent election, what concerns were most important to Americans as they cast their votes? By far, the top issue among all party groups was the economy. Healthcare was #2, followed by the size and power of federal government (“Economy Top Issue…,” 2010). But make no mistake: “The economy in general and the specific economic problem of unemployment or lack of jobs far outpace all other issues when Americans are asked to name the most important problem facing the country” (“Economy, Jobs…,” 2010, emp. added).

Beyond the economy, contemplate for a moment a few of the other issues that occupy the concern of many Americans:

War in Iraq/Afghanistan

Illegal immigration

Federal deficit

Education

Environmental issues

Energy availability

Terrorism

Foreign affairs

Social security and Medicare


Many other issues might be listed, but these are sufficient to make the point: Most Americans are more concerned about physical and financial matters than spiritual matters. When one contemplates the multitude of pressing concerns, it is easy to feel “scattered” and overwhelmed as to (1) what the real problem is and (2) the antidote.

While these matters certainly merit the attention and due concern of citizens, the fact of the matter is that the Founders of our Republic pinpointed a much more critical, logically prior issue. Consider the forthright remarks of three:

In a letter written to fellow Founder and signer of the federal Constitution, James McHenry, on November 4, 1800, Declaration signer Charles Carroll of Carrollton declared:

[W]hat motive can be stronger than the belief, founded on revelation, that a virtuous life will be rewarded by a happy immortality? Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments (as quoted in Steiner, 1907, p. 475, emp. added).

Consider carefully the admonitions of Founder Noah Webster regarding the indispensable nature of Christianity to the existence of our Republic:

[O]ur citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion…. [T]he religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledged in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government…. [T]he Christian religion ought to be received, and maintained with firm and cordial support. It is the real source of all genuine republican principles…. The religion of Christ and his apostles, in its primitive simplicity and purity, unencumbered with the trappings of power and the pomp of ceremonies, is the surest basis of a republican government…. [T]hose who destroy the influence and authority of the Christian religion, sap the foundations of public order, of liberty, and of republican government…. (1832, pp. v,247,310-311, emp. added).The United States commenced their existence under circumstances wholly novel and unexampled in the history of nations. They commenced with civilization, with learning, with science, with constitutions of free government, and with that best gift of God to man, the Christian religion (as quoted in Scudder, 1881, p. 242, emp. added).

 

 

 

 

In his 1780 inaugural address as the governor of his home state of Massachusetts, Declaration signer John Hancock reminded his fellow citizens of the importance of Christianity to the perpetuation of the nation:

 

Sensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order and happiness of a state, I cannot but earnestly commend to you every measure for their support and encouragement…. A due observation of the Lord’s Day is not only important to internal religion, but greatly conducive to the order and benefit of civil society…. Manners, by which not only the freedom, but the very existence of the republics, are greatly affected, depend much upon the public institutions of religion and the good education of youth (as quoted in Brown, 1898, p. 269, emp. added).

There you have it. The Founders repeatedly articulated the #1 concern—the paramount, ultimate, most pressing issue facing the nation. Without this singular, critically important quality—if America does not get this one matter correct—the economy will be the least of our worries. Stated succinctly, that all-consuming, quintessential, premiere concern is: We the citizens, and our leaders, must reinstate acknowledgement of God and His religion (i.e., Christianity), and turn to Him in humble, penitent obedience. According to the Founders themselves, the God of the Bible was solely responsible for the establishment and perpetuation of the Republic. And that national recognition is the only thing that will preserve and sustain us, as it has done for over two centuries. Even if we could snap our fingers and fix all our economic woes instantaneously, without God’s favor we remain in deadly danger. Indeed, rather than fearing terrorists or economic depression, the time has come to reinstate a healthy, sober fear of God (Proverbs 1:7,29-33; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Hebrews 10:31; 12:29—see Miller, 2003; Miller, 2009).

Unless America can get this one, critical issue sorted out; unless a sizable percentage of Americans will go back to God, Christ, and the Bible, and recognize their foremost need of receiving divine favor; unless citizens can restore moral and sexual sanity to their behavior based on Christian principles, the country is destined to destruction. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). May God bless America.

REFERENCES


Abram Brown (1898), John Hancock: His Book (Boston, MA: Lee & Shepard Publishers).

“Economy, Jobs Easily Top Problems in Americans’ Minds” (2010), Gallup, September 21, http://www.gallup.com/poll/143135/Economy-Jobs-Easily-Top-Problems-Americans-Minds.aspx.’

“Economy Top Issue for Voters; Size of Gov’t. May Be More Pivotal” (2010), Gallup, October 26, http://www.gallup.com/poll/144029/Economy-Top-Issue-Voters-Size-Gov-May-Pivotal.aspx.

Miller, Dave (2003), “Who Believes in Hell Anymore?” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2258.

Miller, Dave (2009), “God’s Fierce Anger,”  http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2242.

Scudder, Horace (1881), Noah Webster (Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.).

Steiner, Bernard (1907), The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland, OH: Burrows Brothers).

Webster, Noah (1832), History of the United States (New Haven, CT: Durrie & Peck).

 



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We are happy to grant permission for items in the “America’s Culture War” section to be reproduced in their entirety, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) the author’s name must remain attached to the materials; (4) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (5) alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, quotations, etc. must be reproduced exactly as they appear in the original); (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken.

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The New Creation

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

 

In Romans 5:12 God tells us how we are all related to the first man, Adam:

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin… so death passed upon all men…”

This verse clearly indicates that every child born into the world since Adam has partaken of Adam’s sinful nature.

Parents sometimes wonder why their children act as they do. The answer is simple! Every child is related to rebellious Adam by physical birth, and soon rebels like Adam, whose offspring he is.

In Scripture we are told that God “commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

When you are in trouble and someone comes to your aid, are you not automatically drawn to that person? Should we not then be attracted to the One who cared so much for us that He “made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7,8)?

Through natural birth we partake of the sinful natures of our parents back to Adam, and frequently we even have the same physical features as our parents. How touching, then, to know that the Lord Jesus Christ took on Him “the likeness of men” (apart from sin) and, as the God-man, died for our sins upon the cross, where sinful men (people like us) nailed Him! As we recognize this and place our faith in Him, a spiritual birth takes place and we become the children of God (John 1:12). More than this, we become members of the Body of Christ, God’s new creation, for “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation” (II Corinthians 5:17). “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Does This Sound Like America?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

For those who are willing to learn from God, His Word provides insight on the ebb and flow of human civilization throughout world history. It records an uncanny pattern of the rise and fall of nations. Consider two passages of Holy Writ that sound eerily like America’s current condition. Both spoken to another nation, the first was written over three millennia ago:

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you (Deuteronomy 8:7-10).

Here is an excellent overview of the history of America and the circumstances enjoyed by Americans—from the Pilgrims in the 1600s, to the Founders in the 1700s, to the American populace for the first two centuries. But with the social ferment since the 1960s, the rest of the passage is now ominously apropos:

Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God…—then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth…. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them… (Deuteronomy 8:11-19a, emp. added).

This section also describes America’s current physical, moral, and spiritual direction. Large numbers of Americans are forgetting God, neglecting His commands and laws, even rejecting Him with a prideful attitude. This rejection is occurring even as the nation has enjoyed unparalleled financial prosperity—comfortable homes, clothes, cars, and an unbelievable variety of foods. How many Americans recognize the nation’s abundance as the gift of God? And what’s more, as the nation jettisons the moral and spiritual principles of the Bible, they are embracing other philosophies, ideologies, and religions. Consequently, the passage forthrightly declares what must come next:

I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 8:19b-20, emp. added).

A second passage from God’s inspired Word, written to Israel some 2,500 years ago, also images America’s condition:

You also multiplied their children as the stars of heaven, and brought them into the land which You had told their fathers to go in and possess. So the people went in and possessed the land; You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they wished. And they took strong cities and a rich land, and possessed houses full of all goods, cisterns already dug, vineyards, olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and grew fat, and delighted themselves in Your great goodness (Nehemiah 9:23-25, emp. added).

What better description of the history of America, beginning with the Pilgrims, who came to these shores largely to evade religious persecution that challenged their right to practice the Christian religion in accordance with their own interpretation of the Scriptures? For 200 years, America prospered and “grew fat” from prosperity and progress. Not all has been perfect (e.g., slavery, mistreatment of native Americans, etc.), but many Americans, until the 1960s, in general terms “delighted themselves in [God’s] great goodness.” But now what is happening?

Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against You, cast Your law behind their backs and killed Your prophets, who testified against them to turn them to Yourself; And they worked great provocations (Nehemiah 9:26, emp. added).

Observe: in the 1960s, the baby-boomer generation not only rebelled against the Christian teaching and Christian morality embodied in their World War II-generation parents, they commenced a relentless, intense assault on all who oppose them. Evolutionists, atheists, and humanists, who work feverishly to expel God from the country, vilify as ignoramuses and dimwits the Christians who resist them; those who work to enact sexual anarchy in the land by promoting same-sex marriage, denounce as homophobic hatemongers the Christians who resist them. The growing number of welfare recipients, who embrace the unchristian belief that their fellow citizens owe them a living, label their gainsayers as unloving, selfish, and lacking compassion. And the list goes on…. So what will be the end result? The passage continues:

Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies, who oppressed them (Nehemiah 9:27, emp. added).

It is obvious that America is following the same road to destruction that other nations in the past have followed. The question is: “Will Americans wake up and see their digression before it is too late?” The only hope of America is for a sizeable percentage of its citizenry to turn to God with a contrite heart and restore the Christian orientation that once characterized American civilization. As the passage points out: “And in the time of their trouble, when they cried to You, You heard from heaven; And according to Your abundant mercies You gave them deliverers who saved them from the hand of their enemies” (Nehemiah 9:27). In the words of the psalmist: “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18). “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit’” (Isaiah 57:15).

Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? and where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:1-2, emp. added).

Sadly, “they shrugged their shoulders, stiffened their necks, and would not hear” (Nehemiah 9:29). What will Americans do?

 



Copyright © 2008 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

We are happy to grant permission for items in the “America’s Culture War” section to be reproduced in their entirety, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) the author’s name must remain attached to the materials; (4) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (5) alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, quotations, etc. must be reproduced exactly as they appear in the original); (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken.

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The Faith Of Jesus Christ

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

 

“…the righteousness of God… by [the] faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe” (Romans 3:22).

Note, the Apostle Paul here does not refer to faith in Christ, but the faith of Christ. Nor does he refer to what Christ believed, but rather to His worthiness to be believed, His fidelity, His trustworthiness.

We must not forget that faith is a reciprocal matter; it is two-sided. One side is objective; it believes in another. The other is subjective; it is a trustworthy character. One refers to what a person does; the other to what he is. If I have faith in you, you should keep faith with me; you should be trustworthy.

Seven times in the Apostle Paul’s epistles he refers to “the faith of Christ” and each time his purpose is to emphasize our Lord’s worthiness of our complete confidence. That he does not refer to our faith in Christ is evident on the surface in each case. In the passage above he declares that the righteousness of God, which is “by the faith of Christ,” is conferred “upon all them that believe” (Here’s your faith in Him).

Similarly, in Galatians 3:22 he states that “the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise, by faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to “them that believe.” Here again, we believe because He is worthy of our confidence.

Again in Philippians 3:9, the Apostle expresses his desire for a righteousness not of his own, “but that which is through the faith of Christ” — and then adds: “the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Here’s man’s faith again! He has faith in Christ because Christ is completely faithful, completely worthy to be believed in. He paid the full penalty for our sins and is now in heaven dispensing the merits of Calvary — riches of grace, mercy and forgiveness.

But remember, “the faith of Christ” always precedes our faith in Christ. What good would it do us to believe in Him for salvation if He were not wholly to be relied upon for this? But He can be trusted “to save… to the uttermost [all] who come unto God by Him” (Hebrews 7:25). This is why Paul could say to the terrified jailor at Philippi:

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

 

Our Words Shape Our World

April 21, 2015

These are the regulations for any diseased person at the time of their ceremonial cleansing, when they are brought to the priest . . . ” — Leviticus 14:2

The Torah portion for this week is a double reading, Tazria-Metzora, from Leviticus 12:1—15:33. Tazria means “conceived,” and Metzora means ”diseased.” The Haftorah is from 2 Kings 7:3–20.

This week we read a double Torah portion, both of which deal with laws regarding a person who contracts the “skin-defiling disease,” often referred to in English as leprosy. The second of the two readings begins: “These are the regulations for any diseased person . . .” The Hebrew word for “diseased person” in the verse is metzorah. The Jewish sages dissect this word into two Hebrew words: motzi rah, which is translated as “He who spreads evil reports about others.” According to the sages, the root cause of the skin-defiling disease that the Bible devotes a considerable amount of time and space discussing is gossip.

In order to underscore the gravity of using our speech for evil purposes, the sages quote from the book of Amos: “He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind . . .” (4:13). On the latter part of this verse the sages explain that in each person’s hour of judgment, God will reveal even the casual words between people if they were inappropriate ones. Nothing is overlooked or forgotten.

However, what is the connection between the message about the importance of our words and the first part of the verse which recalls that God created the mountains and the wind?

A person, when he speaks badly, might think that his words are harmless. They will brush over and disappear like the wind. Our words are merely breath passing through; no harm done. However, in the verse from Hosea God pointed out that while He created the mighty mountains, He also created the deceptively powerful wind.

Wind can seem innocuous. You can’t see it or touch it. At times, it hardly seems to exist at all. Yet, when a strong wind blows, it can erode even the greatest mountain. In the same way, though our words may appear to have little power at all, in truth, they are as powerful as a blustery wind. Our words can topple the mighty and cause huge amounts of destruction.

Yet, let’s also remember that winds can lift a bird to soar. It is the force that supports an airplane allowing for the miracle of human flight. A gentle wind caresses our face on a warm spring day and brings cooling relief on a hot summer afternoon. It is also the means by which God parted the Red Sea.

Similarly, our words can lift people up. They can comfort others and provide a loving touch. Our words, when used properly, can even bring about miracles. Let’s contemplate the power of our words today. We can’t see them or touch them, but they are the force that can shape our world so choose them wisely.

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

 

Homosexuality and Public Education

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

Hardly a day goes by, it seems, that a story concerning homosexuality is not in the news. Hollywood and the mainstream media have been pushing for the acceptance of these God-condemned, unnatural, “shameful,” “vile passions” for several years (Romans 1:26-27; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Genesis 19:1-11; see Miller and Harrub, 2004), and have shown no signs of letting up. Whether it is highlighting the latest movie star who has “come out of the closet” or the latest artist who has spoken out on behalf of homosexual marriage (cf. “Miley Cyrus…,” 2011), much has been, and is being, done to immerse Americans in a sea of acceptance—the acceptance of a sin (homosexuality) that Americans once widely considered abominable (see Miller, 2008, pp. 82-85). Sadly, whereas in 1982 one in three Americans accepted “homosexuality as a lifestyle,” according to George Gallup, Jr. and D. Michael Lindsay, acceptance of homosexuality increased to nearly 50% by 1999 (p. 129).

One area in which gay rights activists have been most successful in promoting the homosexual agenda is in America’s public school system. Despite the presence of thousands of morally minded, Christian public school teachers (many of whom are family and friends), America’s education system is becoming more and more a “place of persuasion” for gay rights activists. The idea is: change the minds of students today, and you will change the direction of states tomorrow (see Harrub, 2006). Consider several examples over just the past four years of homosexual indoctrination, inundation, and toleration in the public school system.

Parker v. Hurley

In January 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed that public school teachers in Massachusetts have the constitutional right, not only to instruct their students regarding the alleged normalcy of homosexuality, but to do so without notifying parents (Parker v. Hurley, 2008). Circuit Judges Lynch, Stahl, and Howard ruled in favor of the Lexington, Massachusetts public school system, and upheld an earlier ruling of U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf, who believes “it is reasonable for public schools to attempt to teach understanding and respect for gays and lesbians” (Unruh, 2008), and to do so without teachers needing to consult parents. If first grade teachers in Massachusetts want to read books about Daddy’s Roommate or Jack and Jim to their six- and seven-year-olds, they not only have every legal right to do so, but are even encouraged by the state to promote such materials. According to both the judicial system and the Lexington, Massachusetts school system, if teachers want to read a book about a prince who rejects all of the princesses who wish to marry him, and instead, chooses to marry another prince (shown kissing on the last page of King and King), teachers are free to expose youth to such material. Parents can “quibble” and Christians can object, but such is the way of life in Massachusetts’ public schools. [NOTE: Amazingly, the plaintiffs in Parker v. Hurley were not even challenging the use of “nondiscrimination curriculum” (i.e., books that depict and celebrate homosexual marriages), but simply “the school district’s refusal to provide them [parents—EL] with prior notice and to allow for exemption from such instruction” (Parker v. Hurley, 2008, emp. added). But, since Massachusetts courts believe that reading books about men kissing and marrying men is not a “human sexuality issue” or “indoctrination,” parental notice is said to be unnecessary.]

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S “SAFE SCHOOLS” CZAR

In May 2009, President Obama appointed Kevin Jennings, “who has advocated promoting homosexuality in schools” (Lott, 2009), as director of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (i.e., “safe schools” czar). Jennings is the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which, as of 2009 had “over 40 chapters at schools nationwide. He has also published six books on gay rights and education” (Lott). Years earlier, in March 1995, Jennings explained in a speech titled “Winning the Culture War,” how the most effective way for gay activists to get a foot in the door of public schools was to repackage the gay movement as a safety issue.

If the Radical Right can succeed in portraying us as preying on children, we will lose. Their language—“promoting homosexuality” is one example—is laced with subtle and not-so-subtle innuendo that we are “after their kids.” We must learn from the abortion struggle, where the clever claiming of the term “pro-life” allowed those who opposed abortion on demand to frame the issue to their advantage, to make sure that we do not allow ourselves to be painted into a corner before the debate even begins.

In Massachusetts the effective reframing of this issue was the key to the success of the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. We immediately seized upon the opponent’s calling card—safety—and explained how homophobia represents a threat to students’ safety by creating a climate where violence, name-calling, health problems, and suicide are common. Titling our report “Making Schools Safe for Gay and Lesbian Youth,” we automatically threw our opponents onto the defensive and stole their best line of attack. This framing short-circuited their arguments and left them back-pedaling from day one. Finding the effective frame for your community is the key to victory. It must be linked to universal values that everyone in the community has in common (quoted in Camenker, n.d., emp. added).

Ironically, and sadly, 14 years after delivering this speech, Kevin Jennings became, not just Massachusetts’—but America’s—“safe schools” (i.e., “gay-agenda-driven”) czar.

NEA’s Outspoken Homosexual Agenda

In July 2009, the National Education Association (NEA), which claims to represent the interest of most of the 3.2 million public school teachers and administrators in the U.S. (“NEA Executive Director…,” 2010), held its annual convention in San Diego, California. At the convention, retiring General Counsel Bob Chanin delivered a speech in which he stated:

When I first came to NEA in the early ’60s it had few enemies…. It was the proverbial sleeping giant: a conservative, apolitical, do-nothing organization. But then,NEA began to change. It embraced collective bargaining. It supported teacher strikes. It established a political action committee. It spoke out for affirmative action, and it defended gay and lesbian rights…. So the bad news, or depending on your point of view, the good news, is that NEA and its affiliates will continue to be attacked by conservative and right-wing groups as long as we continue to be effective advocates for public education, for education employees, and for human and civil rights (“NEA Power,” 2009, emp. added).

Following these comments (for which Chanin received a loud ovation), he stated:

And that brings me to my final, and most important point, which is why, at least in my opinion, NEA and its affiliates are such effective advocates…. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them, the unions that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees (“NEA Power,” emp. added).

Sadly, at this same convention, the NEA, which the previous year gave $50 million to Barak Obama’s presidential campaign (Chagnon, 2009), voted by nearly a two-thirds majority “to throw their full support behind homosexual ‘marriage’ by committing to use its resources and political muscle to take down any legislation that hinders the homosexual movement” (Heck, 2009).

“Harvey Milk Day”

In October 2009, California passed a law that designated every May 22 as gay day, which public schools (K-12) are expected to celebrate. The day is officially called “Harvey Milk Day” in honor of Mr. Milk, a 1970s homosexual activist (Tran, 2009). California teachers and students are expected to commemorate the life of Milk, similar to how they celebrate the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr.

U.S. Secretary of Education

On June 7, 2011, President Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, spoke at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Youth Summit via video. Secretary Duncan stated:

I’m absolutely thrilled that Capital Pride Week is being kicked off with such an important and historic event…. My commitment to LGBT students is unequivocal and it goes back to when I first supported a charter school for LGBT students in Chicago…. I’m pleased to announce we are also releasing a new ‘Dear Colleague’ letter. It clarifies the rights of students to form clubs, such as gay-straight alliances, under the Equal Access Act…. Schools must treat all student-initiated clubs equally, including those of LGBT students. I’m so proud to have the department host this year’s first ever federal LGBT youth summit. We seek to promote a new and unprecedented level of commitment in protecting LGBT students (“Secretary Arne Duncan…,” 2011, emp. added).

It would be one thing for San Francisco’s Superintendent of Schools to come out with such unashamed, “unprecedented” support of LGBT conferences and school clubs, but Duncan is the U.S. Secretary of Education. With such outspoken support from President Obama’s Secretary of Education, and his former “safe schools” czar among many others, it should not be surprising that in 2011, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) reported that 4,000 student-lead “Gay-Straight Alliance” clubs were in existence (and registered with GLSEN) in schools across America (“About Gay…,” 2011). Astonishingly, about 1,000 of these clubs have sprung into existence in just the past three years (cf. Just the Facts…, 2008, p. 13).

New California Law

On July 14, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will “require public schools in the state [of California—EL] to teach students about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans” (“California Governor…,” 2011, emp. added). In their coverage of this story, CNN did just what homosexual activists want in regard to categorizing homosexual Americans: they implied that homosexuals should be placed in the same category as racial and ethnic groups. “California law,” wrote a CNN wire staff writer, “already requires state schools to teach about the contributions of Native Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Asian-Americans, among other groups” (“California Governor…”). So, they argue, why shouldn’t California teach homosexual history, too? California State Senator Mark Leno said regarding the new law: “Today we are making history in California by ensuring that our textbooks and instructional materials no longer exclude the contributions of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Americans” (“California Governor…”).

Can we not just teach history from a historical-accomplishment standpoint, rather than from the angle of who a person slept with? Exposing children (as young as five-year-olds) to the alleged normalcy of certain people’s “vile-passion” past is abominable (cf. Romans 1:26-27; Leviticus 18:22-28). One wonders what will happen to California teachers who refuse to teach “homosexual history.”

Pro-Homosexuals’ Pressure on Public School Officials

For years public school officials have been pressured by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and other organizations to discourage religious activities on school campuses. At the same time, superintendents, principals, and other school leaders around the country have been “increasingly pressured by pro-homosexual organizations to integrate homosexual education into school curricula. These organizations recommend promoting homosexuality as a normal, immutable trait that should be validated during childhood, as early as kindergarten” (“On the Promotion…,” 2011).

In January 2008, for example, a coalition, including the NEA and Interfaith Alliance, produced a 20-page pamphlet titled “Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth” and mailed it to every public school superintendent in the U.S. (“On the Promotion…”). The publication was not only endorsed by the NEA, but also by the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (Just the Facts…, 2008). The stated purpose of the pamphlet was to provide principals, educators, and school personnel “accurate information that will help you respond to a recent upsurge in promotion of efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy and religious ministries” (p. 2). Focus on the Family was one, if not the only, “religious ministry” specifically named. The liberal, gay-agenda-driven coalition who funded and endorsed the pamphlet wanted to warn educators of alleged false information that Focus on the Family had promoted in the media regarding the ability of and need for homosexuals to change their behavior. According to the coalition, “The promotion in schools of efforts to change sexual orientation by therapy or through religious ministries seems likely to exacerbate the risk of harassment, harm, and fear for these youth” (p. 4).

Throughout the booklet the so-called “Just the Facts Coalition” repeatedly expressed their views about the need for homosexuals to be accepted and protected by school officials, while strongly encouraging the silencing of any criticism of homosexuality. “[H]omosexuality,” they declared, “is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be ‘cured’” (p. 6, emp. added). Time and again, the coalition attempted to pressure educators to reject any and all promotion of the “homosexuality-is-sinful” stance.

[E]fforts to change sexual orientation through therapy have been adopted by some political and religious organizations and aggressively promoted to the public. However, such efforts have serious potential to harm young people because they present the view that the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth is a mental illness or disorder, and they often frame the inability to change one’s sexual orientation as a personal and moral failure (i.e., sin; p. 5, emp. added).

Ex-gay ministry and transformational ministry are terms used to describe efforts by some religious individuals and organizations to change sexual orientation through religious ministries. These individuals and organizations tend to have negative attitudes toward homosexuality that are based in their particular religious perspectives. In general, efforts to change sexual orientation through religious ministries take the approach that sexual orientation can be changed through repentance and faith. In addition, some individuals and groups who promote efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy are also associated with religious perspectives that take a negative attitude toward homosexuality…. Because ex-gay and transformational ministries usually characterize homosexuality as sinful or evil, promotion in schools of such ministries or of therapies associated with such ministries would likely exacerbate the risk of marginalization, harassment, harm, and fear experienced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual students (p. 10).

The coalition also made it a point to remind educators that “a public school counselor or teacher cannot proselytize to students or attempt to impose his or her religious beliefs about whether or not homosexuality is sinful” (p. 11, emp. added).

How sad it is that the day has come in America where teachers are told to keep silent about the very things that are destroying this country (cf. Miller, 2008 and 2010). One wonders if teachers can tell their students that any sexual relation outside of a lawful marriage is sinful? (Students desperately need to hear this biblical truth—Galatians 5:19-21; Hebrews 13:4). What about pedophilia or bestiality? Can teachers tell their students that anything is morally wrong? Can teachers inform their students that it is immoral to cheat or steal? What about lying or cursing? Must 21st-century teachers simply refrain from saying anything about sin in fear of hurting someone’s feelings? In the end, such weak, spineless, pathetic policies only hurt America’s youth and the nation as a whole. Unfortunately, the NEA and several other education associations felt that it was imperative to reach America’s 16,000 superintendents with their homosexually-slanted “Facts About Sexual Orientation.”

More Examples

It might be tempting for Christians in middle America to dismiss the homosexual agenda in public school systems as an east or west coast issue and not a middle-America problem. Though there are some more-conservative areas of the country where various school systems (thankfully) have been less impacted by homosexual activists, the fact is, the homosexual agenda is becoming more and more an issue in more and more places every year.

  • On April 25, 2006 (one day before GLSEN’s student-lead national Day of Silence, in which students attempt to remain silent all day in school “to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment”—“Day of Silence,” 2011), a questionnaire approved by two teachers in Port Washington, Wisconsin was handed out to nearly 400 students. The questionnaire, which was not authorized by the principal, asked teens several questions regarding their “heterosexuality,” including—“If you have never slept with someone of your same gender, then how do you know you wouldn’t prefer it?” (Kertscher, 2006). Thankfully, both the principal and the president of the local school board said that the survey was “inappropriate” and “will never go out again” (Kaufman, 2006).
  • Two years after the above-mentioned questionnaire was handed out in Port Washington, Wisconsin, World Net Daily columnist Drew Zahn reported that a similar questionnaire was administered about 150 miles away at Pecatonica High School in Blanchardville, Wisconsin. Some of the questions included the following: (1) Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of? (2) Is it possible that your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex? (3) Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Can’t you just be who you are and keep it quiet? (4) Considering the menace of overpopulation, how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual? (5) Would you want your child to be heterosexual, knowing the problems that s/he would face? (Zahn, 2008). Unfortunately, Pecatonica’s principal was not as remorseful as Port Washington’s. Principal Dave McSherry approved of the questionnaire and contended that it was “part of a comprehensive curriculum in critical thinking skills, preparing the students to make decisions on their own in college and beyond” (Zahn).
  • On November 7, 2008, a Carmel, Indiana bus driver lectured her student passengers about toleration. She then called one of the students “a stupid little bigot” for telling others that she could not have voted for Obama as president because she is against abortion and gay marriage (Cox, 2010). “I don’t want to hear one more word about anyone going to hell if they are gay…because it is none of your…business,” the driver stated. The bus’s surveillance video also caught the driver saying that she would “eat the girl alive.” According to the American Family Association, “when the girl’s father complained to the school about the bus driver’s actions, he was told that the behavior of the driver fell within the scope of her employment” (“School Bus Driver…,” 2010).
  • More recently, in August 2011, a school board in Florida suspended its 2010-11 Teacher of the Year over the following statement he made about homosexual marriage on his personal Facebook page: “I almost threw up…. Now they showed two guys kissing. If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool…. God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable?…. I will never accept it because God will never accept it. Romans chapter one” (as quoted in Padgett, 2011).
  • On September 20, 2011, a ninth-grade honors student in Fort Worth, Texas was given a disciplinary referral form, one day of in-school suspension, and two days of out-of-school suspension (Khalil, 2011). What was his offense? While in German class, “when conversation shifted to religion and homosexuality in Germany,” Dakota Ary said to a friend that “he was a Christian and ‘being a homosexual is wrong’” (Stames, 2011). This one statement, which was overheard by the teacher (who previously had posted a picture in the classroom of two men kissing), allegedly warranted a reprimand and three days of suspension. Thankfully, administrators dropped the suspension completely, but only after Dakota’s mother solicited the help of a constitutional attorney (Khalil).
  • A life-long educator and current church leader in the heart of the “Bible Belt,” recently informed us that his former principal actively sought to replace outgoing teachers, first and foremost, with lesbians.

As a former public school student, as a husband of a former public school teacher, and as a friend of many great past and present public school teachers and administers, it brings me no joy to underscore the negative impact that the homosexual agenda has had, and is having, in public school systems around the country. Nevertheless, Christians in America need to be aware of the many destructive steps homosexual activists are taking in public education.

What To Do

What can be done? First, the Church must lovingly and courageously teach on the sinfulness of homosexuality. Second, parents, especially those with children in public schools, must instruct their children in what the Bible teaches about homosexuality (and many other subjects). Young people are learning earlier and earlier in life about homosexuality from someone somewhere, perhaps even in their public school classrooms. [NOTE: One of the best ways you can teach your young children at home about this sensitive issue is by acquiring Apologetics Press’s book, Does God Love Michael’s Two Daddies? The book, written by Tennessee State Representative Sheila Butt, promotes God’s love for all individuals, while at the same time showing, in a loving way, that homosexuality is sinful (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Timothy 1:9-11), and not something to be “celebrated.”] Third, if you are a public school teacher, which is a very noble occupation, stand firm in your biblical beliefs and courageously refuse to do anything to lead your students to believe that homosexuality is “just an alternative lifestyle.” (Perhaps you could place Does God Love Michael’s Two Daddies? in your school library.) Also, refuse to join NEA, and let your superiors and colleagues know that as a Christian you are steadfastly opposed to NEA’s ungodly, homosexual agenda. (Alternative groups that provide liability insurance and legal services are available.) Finally, especially if you are in an area where homosexuality is being promoted as a good and wholesome alternative lifestyle, you may choose to do what a growing number of Christian parents are doing, and what renowned pro-family authors and speakers, such as Dr. James Dobson and Dr. Laura Schlessinger, have publicly urged parents to do—remove your children from public schools altogether (see Kupelian, 2005, p. 151-153). Due in large part to the deterioration of the government-run public school system, approximately 12% of students in the U.S. are now educated in private or home schools (“Fast Facts,” 2007). Though many great public school teachers are diligently working to educate and mentor young people in the noblest of ways, more and more Americans recognize the dire threat that so many liberal, agenda-driven public school workers pose to the moral values of millions of children across America.

REFERENCES

“About Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs)” (2011), GLSEN, http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/record/2342.html?state=what.

“California Governor Signs Bill Requiring Schools to Teach Gay History” (2011), CNN, http://articles.cnn.com/2011-07-14/us/california.LGBT.education_1_california-governor-signs-bill-gay-history-state-textbooks?_s=PM:US.

Camenker, Brian (no date), “The Homosexual Movement’s Lies and Deceptions to Get Massachusetts Tax Dollars for Their Programs in Public Schools,” http://www.article8.org/docs/gay_strategies/framing_the_issue.htm.

Chagnon, Pete (2009), “NEA to Consider Full Support of Homosexual ‘Marriage,’” http://www.onenewsnow.com/Education/Default.aspx?id=588006.

Cox, Gene (2010), “Carmel Bus Driver Calls Student ‘Stupid Little Bigot,’” May 25, http://www.fox59.com/news/wxin-bus-driver-offensive-comment-052510,0,1907683.story.

“Day of Silence” (2011), GLSEN, http://www.dayofsilence.org/.

“Fast Facts” (2007), National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=6.

Gallup, George, Jr. and D. Michael Lindsay (1999), Surveying the Religious Landscape: Trends in U.S. Beliefs (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing).

Harrub, Brad (2006), “Homosexuality in the Classroom,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1849#.

Heck, Peter (2009), “Christian Teachers—It’s Time to Fly!” http://www.onenewsnow.com/Education/Default.aspx?id=610828.

Just the Facts Coalition (2008),Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel (Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association), http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/just-the-facts.pdf.

Khalil, Cathryn (2011), “Student’s Homosexuality Comment Leads to Suspension,” September 22, http://www.cbs19.tv/story/15526115/students-homosexuality-comment-leads-to-suspension.

Kaufman, Gil (2006), “‘Heterosexual Questionnaire’ Spurs Debate at Wisconsin High School,” May 17, http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1531923/high-school-sexuality-survey-spurs-debate.jhtml.

Kertscher, Tom (2006), “The Survey Says What?” FrontPageMag, May 17, http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=4397.

Kupelian, David (2005), The Marketing of Evil (Nashville, TN: Cumberland House Publishing).

Lott, Maxim (2009), “Critics Assail Obama’s ‘Safe Schools’ Czar, Say He’s Wrong man for the Job,” Fox News, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/09/23/critics-assail-obamas-safe-schools-czar-say-hes-wrong-man-job/#ixzz1WjFhGbmW.

“Miley Cyrus Gets Inked in Support of Gay Marriage” (2011), Access Hollywood, July 31, http://www.accesshollywood.com/69/miley-cyrus-gets-new-tattoo-in-support-of-gay-marriage_article_51398.

Miller, Dave (2008), The Silencing of God: The Dismantling of America’s Christian Heritage (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Miller, Dave (2010), Christ and the Continental Congress: America’s Most Pressing Concern (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Miller, Dave and Brad Harrub (2004), “An Investigation of the Biblical Evidence Against Homosexuality,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/article/1401.

“NEA Executive Director John Wilson Responds to Misleading ‘Crossroads’ Ad” (2010), National Education Association, http://www.nea.org/home/42823.htm.

“NEA Power” (2009), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkLGvDQsvmY.

“On the Promotion of Homosexuality in the Schools” (2011), Facts About Youth, http://factsaboutyouth.com/posts/on-the-promotion-of-homosexuality-in-the-schools/.

Padgett, Tim (2011), “A Teacher is Back in Class After Anti-Gay Diatribe, But Did He Really Win?” Time, August 30, http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2091038,00.html#ixzz1WjUxZRHF.

Parker v. Hurley (2008), http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/getopn.pl?OPINION=07-1528.01A.

“School Bus Driver Lectures Girl on Gay Rights” (2010), AFA, http://www.afa.net/Blogs/BlogPost.aspx?id=2147494982.

“Secretary Arne Duncan Addresses the LGBT Youth Summit in Washington, D.C.” (2011), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA6JfpBHcH8.

Stames, Todd (2011), “Texas School Punishes Boy for Opposing Homosexuality,” Fox News, September 22, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/22/texas-school-punishes-boy-for-opposing-homosexuality/.

Tran, Mark (2009), “Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Law Establishing Harvey Milk Day,” October 13, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/13/schwarzenneger-law-harvey-milk-day.

Unruh, Bob (2008), “‘Gay’ Lessons Violate Civil Rights, Man Says,” WorldNetDaily.com, http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=57298.

Zahn, Drew (2008), “Teacher Forces Teens to Question Being ‘Straight,’” World Net Daily, http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=82529.

 



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What Shall We Do?

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

 

When John the Baptist appeared as Christ’s forerunner, God’s chosen people had lived under the law of Moses for fifteen hundred years but had not kept it. Hence John’s call to repentance and baptism for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4).

John was in earnest, too, for when the thoughtless multitude came to him to be baptized, he sent them back, saying: “Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance” (Luke 3:7,8).

Their lives were to be changed and they were to show it.  When the people asked: “What shall we do, then?” he told them to live for others rather than for self (Luke 3:10,11). When the tax collectors asked: “What shall we do?” he demanded that they stop cheating the tax payers and live honestly (Vers. 12,13). When the soldiers asked: “What shall we do?” he told them to forbear violence, false accusation and bribery (Ver. 14).

Clearly, righteousness was demanded under John’s message. His hearers were to repent, be baptized, and bring forth the fruits of true repentance. When our Lord appeared, He proclaimed the same message as John (Matthew 3:1,2; 4:17). A lawyer asked: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” and He replied: “What is written in the law?” When the lawyer recited the basic commands of the Law, our Lord answered: “This do and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:25-28). God was still demanding righteousness. They were all under the Law (Galatians 4:4,5; Matthew 23:1,2; etc.).

Some suppose this was all changed after Calvary by the so-called “great commission.” This is not so. When, at Pentecost, Peter’s hearers were convicted of their sins and asked “What shall we do?” Peter commanded them to “repent and be baptized… for the remission of sins” just as John had done (Mark 1:4; cf. Acts 2:38). He did not tell them that Christ had died for their sins.

Paul was the first to say: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested… [We] declare His righteousness for the remission of sins” (Romans 3:21-26). When the Gentile jailor fell on his knees and asked: “What must I do to be saved?” Paul replied: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:30,31). This is God’s message for sinners today, for “we have redemption through [Christ’s] blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

 

Satan And The Truth

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

“If any man be in Christ he is a new creation…” (II Corinthians 5:17).

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” (Ephesians 2:10).

“And ye are complete in Him…” (Colossians 2:10).

“In Christ!” What a glorious truth! What a high and holy position! No religious ceremony, neither circumcision nor baptism, needed to make us spiritually complete. God only asks now: “Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1).

Many Christians are satisfied with salvation through the blood of Christ, but God wants us to have much more than this. He wants us to have “the full assurance of understanding” (Colossians 2:2), to know the security, the blessedness, the glory of a position in Christ. He wants us to know “the exceeding riches of His grace” (Ephesians 2:7), and to enjoy “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

But Satan does not!

For proclaiming these glorious truths the Apostle Paul was bitterly opposed on every hand, even by some saved religious leaders of his day.

And Satan has not changed!

Proclaim this message today and “your adversary the devil” will soon be roused to action. He hates this message of grace which the glorified Lord revealed through Paul (Ephesians 3:1-3) and let us not be asleep to the fact that, as in Paul’s day, he will again seek to use even saved religious leaders, evangelical “big guns,” if he can, to oppose it, thus robbing Christ of His glory and believers of their blessings.

 

Back to Antioch

By Vance Havner

 

The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Acts 11:26

In this modern Babel we would do well to get back to Antioch again. Well might some “Jesus man” call us back to Christ Himself and the glorious privilege of being “just Christians.”

The traveler has been lost in the baggage. We are so cluttered with all the things that go with the Christian life that we can hardly identify the Christian. We become so identified with a fragment of the truth or a segment of the church that it is hard for people to think of us as representatives of Christ Himself.

Through the ages men have risen who sought to recapture the simplicity of New Testament Christianity. But the simple soon becomes complex, and they end with another denomination, the very thing they started out to get away from. There is a man, a movement, a machine, and a monument!

No, the solution does not lie in that direction. A man may continue in the same set-up, but he can transcend it and even restore to it the luster it once had by being a real New Testament Christian first of all.

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