Teddy Roosevelt remarked in 1914: “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” If that was true then, it is truer today – because of the curse of political correctness.
With a new year upon us, and the opportunity to turn over a new leaf, why not resolve to spend more time in the wonderful book God has given us – the Bible?
This is the book that has had unparalleled influence on so many great people in history. Many of our nation’s presidents made it a habit to read the Bible on a regular basis. It is part of what made them who they were.
Consider these sample opinions: Continue reading
Citizenship in America is an explosive topic these days, with angry voices shouting conflicting opinions of who qualifies. But there is a citizenship that is open to all, not in the United States, but in a land much more prosperous and beautiful. The freedoms and opportunities provided there are much greater than those in “the land of the free.” I’m speaking of Heaven. The Bible’s declaration is found in Philippians 3:20, ”Our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” This citizenship is already the possession of all Christ-followers. It is also available to anyone, regardless of country of origin or ethnic background.
People want better lives. They are not trekking hundreds of miles, or sailing across treacherous waters in dilapidated boats to gain access to communist countries. People naturally want more freedoms, not fewer ones. The “Heaven-bound” life is a much better life for at least two reasons. Continue reading
Pete Buttegieg has talked more explicitly about his claim to be a Christian than any candidate since Mike Huckabee. That’s a good thing if Buttegieg is actually a Christian, a very bad thing if he is not.
So we need to examine his bona fides, to assess the genuineness of his professed faith in Christ. A Christian, first of all, must by definition believe in Christ. I certainly may have missed it, but I have never heard Buttegieg talk about a personal relationship with Christ or even a passing acquaintance with him.
He certainly quotes Scripture – well, at least one Scripture, one of the few regressives actually know. “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35). Buttegieg said we’d never need to worry about this Scripture being followed if he makes it to the White House. Continue reading
Twenty-five years ago, D. James Kennedy and I came out with a book called What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? It ended up becoming a best seller.
The message is very simple: Because Jesus was born, look at all these incredible blessings we have throughout the world.
For instance, the Christian church created the phenomenon of the hospital and has created hospitals all over the world. Christianity has inspired some of the world’s greatest music and arts, and has expanded education from the elite to the masses – even creating the entity of the university.
Here are just a few examples of Christianity’s influence, fleshed out a bit:
Prior to the coming of Christ, human life on this planet was expendable. Even today, in parts of the world where the Gospel of Christ or Christianity has not penetrated, life is exceedingly cheap. Christianity bridged the gap between the Jews – who first received the divine revelation that man was made in God’s image – and the pagans, who attributed little value to human life. Meanwhile, as we in the post-Christian West continue to abandon our Judeo-Christian heritage, life is becoming cheap once again. Continue reading
There are a lot of ideas floating around as to the nature of God. Some descriptions sound like a grandfatherly teddy bear; others, a drill sergeant. Some believe He determines everything that happens, good and bad, while others accuse Him of not caring what happens. Many people believe in multiple gods, but others aren’t sure there even IS a God. However, the Bible teaches that there is one God and that He cares deeply about our lives.
While reading the Bible today, I came across God’s own description of His nature. He was speaking to Moses on Mt. Sinai at the time He was giving him the Ten Commandments. This autobiographical sketch is recorded in Exodus 34:6–7. God said, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”
Earlier, God had revealed Himself as the ONLY God, to be known as “I AM.” This name means He is self-existent, without beginning or end. No one created Him; He’s always existed. Here in Exodus 34 God provides a more complete picture of His personality. Continue reading
Moses plays a huge role in the early pages of the Bible. He courageously confronted Pharaoh when Israel was under bondage in Egypt. He was the leader of the children of Israel as they traveled through the wilderness for forty years. He had a special relationship with God, such that God spoke to him face-to-face, and not through dreams or visions. In spite of all this, when Moses struck a rock instead of speaking to it, God refused to let him enter the Promised Land. Have you ever questioned God’s decision?
If you aren’t familiar with the story, let me refer you to Numbers 20 in your Bible. In verse 8 God tells Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” But instead of speaking to it, verse 11 records that “Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.” The results were the same; water gushed out and people drank. So, what was the big deal? Continue reading
When we point out that neither Socialism nor Communism have ever worked, their supporters simply smile indulgently and say, “Well, that’s just because the right people haven’t tried it yet.”
On that count, they are just plain wrong. Communism (or Socialism, whichever term you prefer) had its purest test in the earliest days of American history, and was an abysmal, abject, utter failure. And it was tried by a small group of people who were committed to each other, devoted to God, and were hard-working and industrious. As William Bradford said, this was an experiment tried by “good and honest men.” If this crew couldn’t make it work, nobody’s ever going to make it work.
Our Pilgrim forefathers landed near Plymouth Rock in the fall of 1620. They had left England aiming for the Virginia colony, but were blown off course and landed in Massachusetts instead. Left on their own, they established their own form of government and their own economy. Continue reading
We value the people who help us cope with life through various types of therapy. Physical therapy can make the difference between our being housebound or active. Sometimes, our mind gets confused and we need a trained professional to help us gain perspective and think correctly.
During this Thanksgiving season, I am thinking about another kind of therapy that does not require a professional to help us. It needs our personal determination. Giving thanks – I like to call it “gratefulness” – is a form of therapy.
Martin Rinckart was a minister and songwriter during the 1600’s. “Now Thank We All Our God” is believed to have been written during or soon after the Thirty Years’ War. He was apparently one of the last surviving ministers in the city of Eilenburg, and he used his few personal resources to care for refugees and perform funerals. These words were sung as he gathered his family to give thanks for the scraps of food in their meager home: Continue reading
Two sisters, growing up in the same home. They loved one another. It never occurred to either one that the older daughter was somewhat plain and the younger was very attractive. They were tight friends — until one day their father made a decision that hurt them beyond words. On the day of the younger girl’s long-awaited wedding, her dad switched girls, and gave away his older daughter, instead. Can you imagine the disappointment and heartbreak of the younger girl? I’m sure the older girl was nervous and filled with anxiety, hoping her father’s deception wouldn’t be discovered during the wedding. And I can’t imagine the shock Jacob experienced the next morning when he awoke and found Leah beside him instead of Rachel.
Laban, the father, justified his deception by claiming it was not proper to give away a younger daughter in marriage before the older one. He tried to smooth over the whole affair by giving Rachel to Jacob a week later. I have no idea how Jacob could be fooled, but customs were so different then. This deception is recorded in Genesis 29-30 in your Bible for all to read. Customs may have been different, but the consequences are the same today. Two wives, both sisters, will result in years of tension in the home.
You detect some of this friction when Leah bears sons to Jacob. When her firstborn arrives, she says, “Surely, my husband will love me now.” When her second is born, she says, “The Lord has heard that I am not loved, so He gave me this one.” When her third son was born, she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me.” Sadly, as in many marriages, a woman hopes that a child will improve the marriage. It rarely does. In fact, it magnifies problems. It must have been obvious to Leah that Jacob favored her sister.
Rachel watched her older sister pump out babies, while she remained childless. Was she happy for her sister? No way! The Bible records that Rachel was “jealous of her sister.” Both sisters also had maids, so each of them suggested that Jacob have children through them, kind of like surrogates. Did that help to ease tensions? Nope.
Finally, Rachel, the one Jacob intended to marry in the first place, became pregnant and bore a son. She named him Joseph. He became his dad’s favorite, over the ten other sons. If you know anything about Joseph, the tensions between the mothers replicated into animosity among the siblings. The brothers hated Joseph for years, and eventually sold him into slavery.
What are some lessons? It’s better to have one wife and concentrate on pleasing her. Step-children will usually get along with one another when their parent and step-parent don’t show any favoritism. Children are never meant to be pawns and bear the responsibility of making things better between parents. Children often respond negatively when there is tension between the parents. But love between husband and wife provides a peaceful atmosphere in which children can thrive.
How are your relationships with your siblings? Are they up-to-date or has some offense or disappointment found fertile ground and grown into years of little or no contact? You’ve probably tried before to mend the wounds. Perhaps you have given up trying. If so, I want to encourage you to try again. Initiate contact. It may call for humility and compassion. It may not restore the level of closeness you once had, but it’s worth another attempt.
Telephone scams. A common one informs you that you’ve won a big prize. All you have to do to get it is to make a small payment on your credit card. After the person realizes they’ve been scammed, they admit, “I should never have fallen for it. I thought it sounded too good to be true.”
A friend told me of a different scam call that he recently received. The caller told him that his oldest grandson had been arrested for DUII while on a business trip. He needed $10,000 to bail him out of jail, and he didn’t want his wife to find out. This wasn’t too-good-to-be-true. It was too-bad-to-be-true. After a little investigation, my friend found out that his grandson had been home with his family the entire time. Continue reading