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2007 Issue 6

My heart I offer to You, O Lord - promptly and sincerely. Proverbs 23:26 & 1:7

The Protestant Reformation had not yet begun. Yet the Dark Ages of many centuries of ignorance were about to end. For the art of printing had recently been invented. So the available number of Bibles was now steadily increasing. And the deepening study of that book, was clearly exposing the corruption of the Deformed Church. Martin Luther was still an unconverted monk aged 26 when Jean Cauvin alias John Calvin first saw the light of day.

Calvin was born one of six children in the town of Noyon, within the province of Picardy, in the land of France. Soon after that, he was baptized in the local Roman Catholic cathedral. Both his first dwelling-place (today a small Protestant church!), as well as his first place of worship (still the Roman Catholic cathedral) deeply impressed me when I myself visited them in 1969.

“The consistent Christian gladly accepts all the diversities and differences which abound in the creation and in human society, realizing that all these have been created after their own kind, Genesis 1:24-32, and yet also recognizing that they all find their ultimate unity in the sovereign counsel and providence of Almighty God. Secular humanists on the other hand find such diversities and differences between individuals and races intolerable, since they are forced by their own apostasy from the living God to find the meaning and purpose of life within the narrowed down horizons of the material universe or in some absolutized aspect of the creation. Since it is only within the phenomenal world that perfection and salvation can be attained, [according to the humanists], then unity too must be achieved within the terms of this world at any cost, regardless of peoples most cherished feelings. Hence their apostate religious drive to achieve the forcible assimilation of races, churches, schools, etc. and to abolish all the differences which God has ordained. -- In short, secular humanists are determined to achieve unity at the expense of human freedom, diversity and difference. The white liberals of America have in fact absolutized their own ‘American way of life’ and they will not rest content until every one else in America has bowed down to the false gods they worship…”- Hebden-Taylor, “The Christian Understanding of Race Relations,” pp.11-12. And if the Christian community—red, yellow, black and white—does not fit into the humanist model for society, it will be discriminated against!

Home schooling is booming. Over the last few years more and more parents have been pulling their children out of public (government) schools and teaching them at home. And the vast majority of these families consist of conservative Christians.

This phenomenon is occurring in a number of counties throughout the world. For example, according to Dr. Brian Ray in his “Worldwide Guide to Home Schooling” (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002), Canada had somewhere between 50,000 and 95,000 students being home schooled during the 2000-2001 school year, Australia had 35,000 to 55,000 being home schooled, and in the following year, the USA had 1.6 to 2.0 million students being home schooled (pp. 7-8). These figures represent dramatic increases over the previous ten years.

Here it is again. More evidence from surveys what the Bible makes so plain: superficial, non-doctrinal, non-serious Christians sin pretty much like the world; but more serious, more doctrinally oriented Christians lead lives that are morally distinct. Two years ago Ron Sider flagged this in his book “The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World”?

Now a new book by Mark Regnerus called “Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers” gives the same bleak picture of so-called “evangelical teenagers” who sleep around as much as unbelievers. But again the book points out that “the 16% of American teenagers who say that their faith is ‘extremely important to their lives’ are living chastely” (Gene Veith, “Sex and the Evangelical Teen,” World, August 11, 2007, p. 9).

A patient will often tell me, in essence, that he is not happy with his body. His body has “betrayed” him or “let him down.” He doesn’t like what has happened, how he feels, how his body works, or the lifestyle he has. He compares his present activities to those he could do prior to his bodily problem.

The truth is that a person’s body will fail, sometimes sooner than later, with death the ultimate failure. It is a reality of living in our world. Bodies fail in any number of ways. The failure may be in the context of an acute illness or one that lingers. By definition, the acute problem (such as pneumonia or appendicitis) is readily treated, and the body is returned to a functional state that may not be much different than before the illness. However, sometimes the acute condition is an added burden to a body already heavy with problems. In that case the acute problem, even though successfully treated, may not result in greater function.

So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy. - Exodus 17:11f

The war isn’t over when the old soldiers die; it doesn’t expire with the day. When the righteous hands are heavy, who will help hold them high?