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Showing posts from May, 2014

Old Words - New Meanings

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Students of languages find it fascinating to note how words change in meaning. The better dictionaries often track the history of an English word through the centuries. In giving an old definition, they rightly label it obsolete or archaic.
    Some words have special importance to Christians and we should be alert to their changing meanings. For example:
     Earlier, Bible-believing Christians were called Fundamentalists, a term specially scorned in Britain. In Latin America all Protestants are "Evangelicals." For the most part they are Bible-believing Christians, because without the Holy Spirit few expatriates had the stomach to take on Rome. Now most Evangelicals in Latin America are Pentecostal/Charismatic in doctrine.
    In North America perhaps forty years ago Evangelicals tried to enhance their PR image by going in for higher education and intellectualism. This maneuver has succeeded in eliminating some of the opprobrium. But the romance has meant that many lead…

THE DEADENING EFFECT OF RELIGIOUS MAKE-BELIEVE

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by A. W. Tozer
"Let...no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way." Romans 14:13


    The deadening effect of religious make-believe on the human mind is beyond all describing.     What can the effect be upon the spectators who live day after day among the professed Christians who habitually ignore the commandments of Christ and live after their own private notions of Christianity?     Truth sits forsaken and grieves until her professed followers come home for a brief visit, but she sees them depart again when the bills becomes due. They protest great and undying love for her but they will not let their love cost them anything!     Will not those who watch us from day to day conclude that the whole thing is false?     Will they not be forced to believe that the faith of Christ is an unreal and visionary thing which they are fully justified in rejecting?     Certainly the non-Christian is not too much to be blamed if he turns disgustedly away from the…

FAITH FOR THE WORK

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The religious world as a whole treats church work as a business. Money is solicited; pledges are taken and budgets are made up. Church workers are hired and may be fired. Polls and surveys are taken to discover what the public wants in a church service. Religion is a product to be sold. Success is then measured by how rapidly both building and congregation grow. A megachurch is viewed as the pinnacle of success.
    It is all a far cry from the simplicity of the New Testament. Jesus Himself modeled a life of simple faith in His Father. He never asked for money and lived a frugal life of dependence upon His God.. No one could accuse Jesus of greed or covetousness. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (II Cor. 8:9 NKJ). Those who believed in Him and His message opened their hearts and homes to Him and met His needs. What a beautiful life of faith it was!
    His disci…

How can I Know Right from Wrong?

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by Norman Crawford It is no longer true that everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. All mankind has been equipped by the Creator with a moral conscience, but this inner sense of “right” has been sorely obscured by sin and human philosophy. The heart of man is unchanged. A heart that is full of sin cannot be made more full. However, restraints are gone, and the line of separation between good and evil has almost disappeared. Sin and evil are not new, but at least in the past, the wrong was correctly labeled. Today men “call evil good, and good evil.” They “put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isa. 5:20). This mixture of light and darkness is the masterpiece of Satan (2 Thess. 2:7).
    Even genuine Christians are affected by this sad mixture of right and wrong. Almost anyone can identify as being evil such sins as “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strive, seditions, her…

Disappearing Jewels: Missing Mothers

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by Henry Hintermeister

TEARS welled up in Jenny's eyes. The 12-year-old  was holding the note she had found on the kitchen table. Her heart was still aching from the ridicule she had received from several girlfriends on the way home from school. She had been looking forward to telling her mother about it.
Hurt, she grabbed an apple from the wire fruit basket and headed for the family room. Jason, her younger brother, was already engrossed in a mid-afternoon movie on cable TV. She flopped herself down on the other end of the couch.
     This scenario, in multitudes of variations, is repeated in millions of American and Canadian homes each weekday afternoon as schools emit their educational cargo to trudge home to homes devoid of the reassuring presence of a mother.
     Let's face it. Mothers are pretty special. A warm TV is no substitute for a warm embrace from a concerned, compassionate and caring mother. It should be against the law for a child to come home from sch…

The Apple Tree Switch

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It was a few weeks after my mother’s funeral. The ache in my heart was still excruciating. I could hardly think of her without tears. I went about my work as a groceryboy in a mechanical sort of way. The owner of the store was away at lunch when the woman and her ill-mannered son arrived.
    She flounced in through the front door with her incorrigible offspring at her heels. He made straight for the peanut barrel. In those days, long before lettuce was sold by the pound or steaks were wrapped in cellophane, the grocery store was a homey sort of place that you could enter without an engraved calling card, and where you could stop without having to observe traffic signals as you pushed a chrome-trimmed baby carriage around. I went on about my work of sacking potatoes and left the woman and her son to their own devices.
    Suddenly, during a lull in my own operations, I heard a crunching sound. I looked over toward the peanut barrel. That eight-year-old Public Enemy was gobbling up peanu…