religion, christianity, articles
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Potpourri, September 1996


religion, articles, christianity

A Good Report

Disease Control

Kicking God Off His Throne

Marriage

Purpose of Same-sex Marriages

Enemies

Drug Use

Devil Made Me Do It

No Other Name

Intellectualism

Farrakkan Again

 

Abortion Courtesy of the Taxpayers

You love Your Kids, You Say?

 

We receive a flood of letters saying such things as: "What a wonderful magazine ... appreciate this excellent publication ... timely article on Promise Keepers ... enjoy the Firm Foundation ... the paper helps us know what is going on in the brotherhood ... please continue to uphold and contend for the truth of God." It goes on and on — a steady stream of encouraging words, which we appreciate and need. The magazine is moving forward in a fine way, but we need more subscribers (probably will never arrive at a point when this is not the case). Your continued help in gaining new readers is wanted and treasured.

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A Good Report

Anna Lee Zant of Westbrook, Texas reports that Mike Tackett is the local preacher and also films a television series. She describes him as "dynamic preacher, who is sound in the Scriptures, honest and hard working." She also says, "I have written this letter because I thought Christians everywhere should know this young man's work for God."

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Marriage

According to Black's Law Dictionary (1968), in marriage "a man and woman ... mutually engage with each other to live their whole lives together in the state of union which ought to exist between a husband and wife." That is in wonderful agreement with Bible teaching that the essentials of a marriage are: 1) a man and woman 2) in a state of union 3) for life. Jehovah said, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and they two shall become one flesh." Jesus added, "What God hath joined together let not man put asunder."

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Drug Use

Noted columnist, Cal Thomas, observes that Patsy Thomasson said, under sharp questioning by Sen. Richard Shelby, "That 11 White House staff members have been enrolled in a special random drug-testing program because of concerns about recent drug use."

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Intellectualism

Among the well-educated, the myth still circulates that religion is the preserve of the dim-witted, unlettered, and irrational. Yet, from Harvard to Berkeley, and among inquisitive people generally, there's a renewed interest in traditional religion. Why not? The intellectual world is littered with fake remedies and gods that failed, and the supply of substitutes for the Real Thing is running out.

Modernism lacks heart and soul. Liberals demand the right to pick and choose what to believe and do unfettered by a higher power. The liberal Protestant denominations that patented such quackery are now dying. Why? Because a religion that John Doe pastes together for himself lacks authority. It is not worth getting out of bed for on Sunday morning. Christianity made easy is a joke.

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Abortion Courtesy of the Taxpayers

The Senate recently approved (51-to-45) a measure sponsored by liberal Sen. Patty Murray to repeal a 1995 provision in the defense appropriations bill that banned abortions at overseas military hospitals. As opponent Sen. Dan Coats noted, the Murray provision would once again mandate taxpayers to pay for abortions (Human Events, June 28, 1996).

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Disease Control

Centers for Disease Control fostered homosexual activities and formed an alliance with powerful special interest groups to defeat resistance to permissive sex education in public schools. Over 1,000 people paid $20 a ticket to attend the annual soiree, "Great Balls of Fire." The festivity centered around a drag queen fashion show replete with "Butch" models parading up and down a runway in "Masculine vs. School Boy" attire. This is only one of many functions sponsored by CDC, which manages the Clinton Administration's "get-tough" on AIDS strategy (World and I magazine).

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Purpose of Same-sex Marriages

The debate over same-sex marriages is about more than matrimony. The homosexual community wants it to be the breakthrough moment which mainstreams their lifestyle.

In the May issue of OUT magazine, columnist Michelangelo Signorile says getting same sex marriage legally recognized is "the final tool with which to dismantle all sodomy statutes, get education about homosexuality and AIDS into public schools, and, in short, usher in a sea of change in how society views and treats us."

Signorile also sees the issue as a battleground of sorts writing that "[I]t's a stellar opportunity to take on the religious right on its own turf—the landscape of the family" (Washington Times, May 7, 1996).

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Devil Made Me Do It

Three teenagers' desire to meet Satan is offered as the motive in the murder of a 15-year-old California girl. The three devil-worshiping youths hoped the rape, torture, and killing of the girl would get them "a ticket to hell" (Commercial Appeal, May 5, 1996).

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Farrakkan Again

Louis Farrakkan thinks he is Elijah and that Elijah is Jesus, and that he (Farrakkan) is therefore Jesus. If that sounds convoluted, that is because it came from the Nation of Islam (Farrakkan's organization). HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros is reported to be rethinking the federal government subsidizing housing-project security guards from Farrakkan's outfit to the tune of $30 million dollars a year. The Nation of Islam is anti-white, and its bloodcurdling rhetoric is backed up by comic-book theology and its in-house murder of Malcolm X. The federal government should not shower favors on kooky groups.

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You love Your Kids, You Say?

Warren A. Nord (Religion and American Education: Rethinking a National Dilemma) expands the debate over religion and public education. Nord, a professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina, maintains that religion must be reintroduced into public schools if fairness and equity are to be extended to people of all beliefs.

Nord advocates taking religion seriously as part of the curriculum. He believes that the secularization of the modern world is the work of religious liberalism.

Nord gave an account of J. Gresham Machen, a professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary, testimony (Feb. 1926) on the intended Department of Education's planned goal — uniformity in education — that the intended program seemed not only misguided but the worst fate into which any country could fall. He explained that

standardization in some spheres is a good thing. It is a good thing in the making of automobiles; but just because it is a good thing in the making of cars it is a bad thing in the making of individuals.

Machen's greater concern was the notion that

the children of the State must be educated for the benefit of the State; that idiosyncrasies should be avoided, and the State should devise that method of education which will best promote the welfare of the State.

He had an eye on Nazi Germany and Communist Russia because both nations were advocating government control of education to guarantee the outcome —a mindless citizen who would give blind allegiance to any government program or proposal.

The Department of Education came into existence in 1979 and Nord's book shows how quickly it fulfilled Machen's worst fears. In examining one popular code, something called values clarification, Nord finds that "there is never any careful or systematic attempt to justify these values by an appeal to moral or religious thinking and theory."

Kenneth Strike has written that the advice given to students is to "construct the moral universe anew largely by consulting his or her feelings." God and the Bible are ruled out. When the authors of textbooks "wish to appeal to an authority in resolving some matter, they appeal to psychologists and social scientists, counselors and public opinion surveys." The dictum is: Just make up your own rules of conduct and code of ethics. This results in children having children and children killing other children.

American education has failed at its most basic level: Johnny can't think. The exclusion of religion, meaning the exclusion of a coherent and cohering moral overview, may be the central cause. "Unless religion is taught in school, without dismissive hostility or prejudice at lower levels, and with conviction in advanced college courses, American education will not merely remain at its present impasse," Nord suggests, "but will continue to deteriorate, drawing our children and our society down with it."

All the more reason for good, sound Bible school literature where the student can learn about God, creation, authority, and rules (laws). All the more reason to turn away from the Bible school literature produced by religious liberalism, so prevalent in modern society. All the more reason for insisting that the public schools acknowledge man's Almighty Maker and the moral perfection that will result.

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Kicking God Off His Throne

A book titled, God: A Biography, by Jack Miles, director of the Humanities Center at the Claremont Graduate School in California, is an example of how liberal thought discredits God, seeks to emasculate the

Bible, and discredit religion.

Miles uses his vivid imagination to read the motives of God and make Deity irrelevant. He follows the same tack as the unbelieving creators of the Jesus Seminar, which is to just "make it up" because you have no facts. Miles begins with God's creation of the universe and asks the startling new questions: "What did God get out of it? What if he needed something? What if he made man because he wanted an image to see and understand himself?"

God, in Miles' view, comes to know his own nature by his interactions with his creation. God is a glorified but invisible flower-child out looking for himself, and man is nothing more than a joke.

From analyzing God's motives, Miles creates a God in his own image—a very human God with limitations and foibles. Such nonsense is difficult to answer because it is made up from nothing ... God becomes a very insubstantial being with air for innards and air for skin.

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Enemies

Joel Belz, World magazine (Nov. 11, 1995) points out that David uses the word enemies about 93 times in the Psalms, but his enemies are not clearly identified. Were David's enemies those people who couldn't abide the fact that David was a man after God's own heart, and whose opposition to David was opposition to God himself?

If the Bible is ambiguous about who David's enemies were, we shouldn't be surprised if a similar ambiguity surrounds our own efforts to categorize people we aren't quite sure are enemies or allies.

The wimpish way out is to pretend there are no enemies at all. The Bible, of course, is never so naive. It always recognizes there are evil people who want to destroy good people, and there are serious God-haters intent on profaning all that is holy. The Bible informs us of the active opposition of an enemy "who prowls about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

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No Other Name

In a recent issue of the Chicago Tribune (thanks again to Earl Davis for a copy of the paper), Paul Galoway gives some surprising information. He informs us that the Church of England replaced the idea of a fire-and-brimstone afterlife with the concept of annihilation at death-"total non-being"—for those who reject God's love.

Dennis L. Okholm, Wheaton College declares:

[P]luralism is an issue that's making everyone re-think the Christian concept of salvation [only] through Jesus Christ. The old view was that Christianity is the one true religion and the only path to eternal salvation. This mean that anyone else—Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and indeed, followers of any other religious belief system, not to mention agnostics and atheists— were destined for hell no matter how moral, ethical or saintly they might be.

Okholm and Timothy R. Phillips, a fellows professor at Wheaton, have written a new book, More Than One Way? Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World" (Zondervan). Okholm and Phillips say, "Limiting salvation solely to Christians is a position that has been discarded or renounced by many scholars, clergy and ecclesiastical bodies, including the Roman Catholic Church and mainline Protestant denominations."

Well, anyhow, that is more consistent than those who deny the one body (church), one baptism and one faith in flavor of fellowship with denominations (a la Banowsky, Henderson, and ACU), but stopping short of embracing the honest atheist and sincere pagan.

When you leave the Bible as the only standard of authority and cease to insist upon absolute obedience to all of its stipulations, there is no place to stop short of accepting as saved all who are earnest and virtuous — even sincere and upright atheists (eventually the insincere and wicked will also be approved in favor of universalism — God is so loving).

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Feature Book: The Second Incarnation — A Pattern for Apostasy

by Curtis A. Cates

Paperback, 55 pages
$3.50 + shipping and taxes if applicable

Click here to order


Published September 1996