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Archive for the ‘Marriage, home, family’ Category

Darwinism and Morality

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Until about fifty years ago in America, lasciviousness, adultery, and fornication were almost universally deemed reprehensible. Divorce was shameful, pornography was underground, and homosexuality was illegal. These elements are now on open display and enjoy wide approval—and participation.

Is our nation stronger or weaker because of these changes? Are families/homes more or less secure? Is the “misery index” for individuals greater or less? Do more or fewer people turn to chemical “solutions” for failure to find “purpose” in life? Are we experiencing more or fewer individual murders by abortion and mass murders? To ask is to answer.

Many “whys” might be suggested to explain the unarguable decline in national morals and ethics. Arguably, they all go back to a single taproot: Charles Darwin and his evolutionary hoax. Before his theories caught on in the 1870s, Western nations, though divided between Protestant and Catholic, were united in accepting the Biblical view of man as the apex of the creation of the Almighty, Self-existent God. Man had a purpose—to glorify God—and the Bible set forth man’s behavior that would do so.

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James 1:1–15—Testing Our Faith

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Introduction

Life is a testing ground, a time of probation. The tests, trials, and challenges come in many forms and from many sources. Some are easily recognized because they are so painful. Others may be difficult to recognize because they are not only painless, but they offer reward and/or produce pleasure.

We read no further than the second verse of the epistle of James before we learn that it is addressed to God’s people who are being tested and tried. Anyone who has lived as a Christian very long can readily identify with the experiences described and addressed in James 1; the tests to our faith seem to come quite frequently. In fact, one who strives to live faithfully will find that life is almost one temptation, test, trial, and tribulation after another, because one is a Christian.

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“Enemies of the Cross”

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In the mildest of his epistles (in terms of rebuke and correction), the apostle Paul nonetheless warned the Philippian saints of “enemies of the cross of Christ” (3:18–19), which he at one time was. He thereby vividly aligned those who lived contrary to the Gospel with the former Saul of Tarsus in his most zealous days of persecuting the Lord. Notably, Paul here made the cross the apex, summary, and symbol of Jesus’ earthly life and work (His purpose in coming, His doctrine, His church, et al.).

In this context the apostle specified three identifying marks of these enemies, who still thrive all about us:

  • “Whose God is the belly”—These are those who live only to satisfy fleshly appetites. They live by the philosophy, “If it feels good, do it.” The gross breakdown of sexual morality in our nation over the past half-century is a graphic manifestation of “belly-worship.” “Bibliolatry” also reveals itself in hedonisms ranging from road rage to alcohol consumption, drug addiction, gambling, and various criminal acts (some of which, politicians in the highest circles of power are guilty). As America has increasingly cast aside the Bible (and God with it), its righteous restraints of continence and self-control have increasingly vanished. “Belly-worship” is simply unmitigated selfishness, which is a good working definition of Secularism and Humanism.
  • “Whose glory is in their shame”Glory here refers to that of which men can justifiably be proud, thus things men ought to honor. The enemies of Calvary have turned things upside down, proudly parading behaviors which they should count disgraceful. No more apt description than this could be drafted of the homosexual practitioners and their defenders. In step with them are those who advocate removing all restraints in the entertainment media on nudity, sexual acts, and cesspool language. All who participate in and boast of any evil deed have thereby made themselves “enemies of the cross.”
  • “Who mind earthly things”—These live only for time, with little or no thought beyond (which is why their “bellies” are their god). Theirs is the old Epicurean credo: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Cor. 15:32). Humanism, its modern incarnation, denies the immortality of the soul, the Resurrection of the body, and the realm of spirits.

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Avoiding New Fads

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Introduction

The worldly, fashion-mad nature of humankind has changed little through the centuries. Luke provides an interesting description of the philosophers whom Paul encountered at Mars Hill in ancient Athens: “Now all the Athenians and the strangers sojourning there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear something new” (Acts 17:21).[1] The word new  in this passage comes from the root word kainos, which means “that which is unaccustomed or unused, not new in time, but new as to form or quality, of different nature from what is contrasted as old.”[2] This definition tells us that those Athenians were always looking for something different, new-fangled, novel, modern—some new gadget or fresh gimmick. In short, they were fad-mad!

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Billingslyism, a Response—Who Has Fallen From Grace?

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Introduction

In order to please God, the doctrine of Christ must ever control our desires. Conversely, men behave exceedingly dangerously when desire becomes the father of their doctrine. This very phenomenon is apparent in the several attempts that have been made in recent years to escape the restrictive nature of Jesus' words in Matthew 19:9 relating to marriage, divorce, and remarriage: “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”1 The attentive apostles obviously recognized the serious import of His words immediately, suggesting, “If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry” (v. 10).

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