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Many Christians are still locked into the conviction that the Bible speaks to a very narrow slice of life. Of course, all Christians believe that the Bible has some very specific things to say about prayer, Bible reading, worship, and evangelism. But many Christians are not convinced that the Bible has some very definite things to say about civil government, the judicial system, economics, indebtedness, the punishment of criminals, foreign affairs, care for the poor, journalism, science, medicine, business, education, taxation, inflation, property, terrorism, war, peace negotiations, military defense, ethical issues like abortion and homosexuality, environmental concerns, inheritance, investments, building safety, banking, child discipline, pollution, marriage, contracts, and many other worldview issues.
All Christians must remove their blinders and widen their scope of ministry to include the world. This will mean the development and implementation of a comprehensive biblical worldview. Put simply, a worldview is the way you and I look at things. How did we get here? How did the world get here? How does it run? Who or what runs it? What laws govern us and the world? What role if any do we have in the government of the world? What does God think of the world? How does He want it to run? Who has He put in charge of the world? What are His plans for the world? Basically, the Christian's worldview should be the same as God's worldview, the creature thinking the thoughts of the Creator.1 Is God's view of the world comprehensive? Is He concerned about every nook and cranny of creation? Did He give His life for the "world"? Is He Lord of "all things"? To all of these questions we would answer "Yes!" Then, why should Christians limit their scope of the world? Why should Christians have a lower view of the world than God does? Why should humanists have a higher view of the world than we do? George Grant writes:
The Bible does not minimize the importance of economics. The Garden of Eden makes mention of gold and precious stones:
"The gold of that land is good." Genesis 2:11-12.
Jesus used money as a teaching device in many of His parables. John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church, Panorama City, California, said that
16 out of 38 of Christ's parables deal with money; more is said in the New Testament about money than heaven and hell combined; five times more is said about money than prayer; and while there are 500 plus verses on both prayer and faith, there are over 2,000 verses dealing with money and possessions.
One of the criteria for leadership in the church is based on how a man uses money (1 Tim. 3:3). This includes management of his own household (v. 4). As Christians we have no biblical warrant to avoid the topic of money, investments, savings, and inheritance. A case could be made that an elder who does not have money to manage is not a good candidate for the office. And what applies to church government should apply as well to civil government. One of the reasons our economy is in a mess is that most of the men and women holding office have never owned a business. Economics is a biblical word rich with meaning.
The word economy comes from oeconomia, a combination of two Greek words, oikos (house) plus nomos (law, rule). The root meaning of the word, is the frugal or economic management or government of a family or the concerns of a household. The study of economics (household management) now includes larger units than the household: the business firm and its complex relationships with suppliers, customers, and other firms with which it competes; and even the conglomerate mass of such relationships within entire nations, and even between nations.
Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 declares that God's will for us is that we
[p]ray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks.
To pray unceasingly does not mean spending twenty-four hours daily in prayer. >b>Rather, it means being open continually to God, sharing our thoughts and hopes with Him in mental prayer, and so on. It means, as we face a problem, praying, in a sentence, "Lord, help me with this problem"; or, "Give me patience as I talk with this trying person"; or, "Thank you for seeing me through that mess," and similar prayers.
O. Hallesby years ago wrote, "We cannot breathe in the early morning in such a way that it will be sufficient until noon. Likewise, we cannot pray in the morning so as to suffice until noon."
Continual sentence prayers are simply Christian breathing. They keep us alive and strong.
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
There's an old saying: "The ship in the sea is alright. The sea in the ship is all wrong. The Church in the world is alright. The world in the church is all wrong."
Everything you and I believe as Christians flies in the face of our post-modern culture. We believe in a God who has made His existence known to everyone (Romans 1:18-22) despite the strong denials of man. We believe in a God who has communicated to us in clear terms in a book called the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). We believe in absolutes, for we believe in a God who is Truth Himself, and who tells us what is right and what is wrong. We believe in the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:16, 17) who said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by Me." John 14:6. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the way to God and the only way to God, and we deny that He is merely a way, a truth and a life, and one of the ways to God. Understand that we do not say this because we believe our opinion is greater than someone else's, but because Christ Himself said this about Himself, and we believe His claims are valid, trustworthy and true... We believe too that if Christ is not THE way to God, then He is a liar, and not even one of the ways to God. Jesus Christ is either who He claimed to be, or else He is a fraud, or perhaps a lunatic. But what He could never be is merely one of the ways to God. If we take His words with any seriousness at all, then we have to admit that His own claims deny this very possibility.
By Mark R. Rushdoony
Some Christians shun the Christmas tree as inappropriate or even ungodly because of its long association with pagan usage. This writer sees the Christmas tree as a Biblically sound tradition that represents a significant victory for Christendom over paganism.
The origins of many of our traditions are often obscured by centuries or millennia of customs from a multitude of sources. There is usually not one history of such practices, but rather a complex set of many histories that blend into a modem usage. The Christmas tree is one such custom. Some believe it to be a very pagan symbol inappropriate for a Christian celebration. Others see it as an important part of Christmas celebration. Both views, in fact, can be correct. The tree has a long history of use in both pagan and Christian representations of life. These conflicting representations are, in fact, represented in Scripture itself.
God represented the great eternal and moral issues before Adam and Eve by means of two trees. One tree was called the "tree of life" and was in the midst of the Garden of Eden. In a manner decreed by God that we cannot understand, this tree physically gave life to Adam and Eve and was fully accessible to them. It was, in effect, a sign of God's covenant of life with Adam and Eve. The only other named tree was called "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." This was the only tree forbidden to our first parents.
There is an old proverb which says, "We would all be rich, if we didn't have to eat." This is simply another way of saying that we all have priorities, and we make our choices in terms of them.
Some men choose to be miserly on food, clothing, and shelter, because they value money so highly. They may like their family, but they love money more, and so they sacrifice everything to accumulate money. Others sacrifice for their children, and everything else takes second place in their lives.
Many other examples could be cited, but we can summarize it thus: we are always making choices, consciously or unconsciously, in terms of what we prize or love the most. Our choices reveal our faith.
by Lee Duigon » Bio
Radio evangelist Chuck Baldwin, WorldNetDaily, and Whistleblower magazine have recently revisited findings by Christian opinion researcher George Barna that only 9% of born-again Christians have a Biblical perspective on life. "The problem with America's Christianity today is that, for the most part, it doesn't exist!" Baldwin said, in a June 1 broadcast.
We should revisit these figures too. They first appeared in a Barna Update December 1, 2003: "A Biblical Worldview Has a Radical Effect on a Person's Life."1
Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. Revelation 2:25
Jesus asked, "when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8 Sometimes, as we look around us, we wonder if He will. There are so many - individuals, congregations, denominations - who haven't held fast anything, but have piece by piece or wholesale given away the most precious truths in the universe, exchanging the Word of God for a bowl of weak, watery, unsatisfying something.
Jesus has called us to hold fast what we have. We don't know everything about God's will, His plan, His purpose, or His activity, but what we do know, we are to cling to. We have His Word - I could reach out my hand from my chair right now, and touch or pick up 15 separate copies of the Bible, plus what's on my computer - and we are to hold fast to it. And this isn't merely the physical printed Book. As wonderful as it is to be able to own 15 copies of the Bible (there are places in the world where a single copy, or a single book of the Bible, has to suffice for an entire congregation), it's not enough to own them, or even read and study them. Someone who's drowning in Bibles, yet lets what it says slip through the fingers of his mind as water slips through the fingers of his hands, might as well never have seen a Bible in his life.
Appearances can deceive.
Over the weekend I watched one of those DIY shows. A young woman purchased a cute, completely refurbished bungalow. After a few months the surface restorations began to crumble because the previous owner merely covered over serious, costly-to-repair problems.
As a first-time owner, she was overwhelmed and tempted to walk away. But the house had a solid foundation and structure. Experienced professionals peeled away the shiny appearance, exposed the systemic issues, and repaired them properly.
The show reminded me of a story. An architect visited the Wexner Art Center at Ohio State University. The building design reflects a post-modern view of reality. Pillars support nothing. Staircases go nowhere. The idea is that there’s no pattern—to the building or to life.
As the guide explained the designer’s vision, the architect asked, “I wonder if they designed the foundation the same way.”
“Of course not,” replied the guide, “the building would collapse.”
Maybe Christmas is a bit like that. As we get lost in the lights and tinsel, the gifts and expectations, we forget that appearances can deceive.
Maybe we decide the whole thing’s a sham. It’s all wrapping paper and commercialism, and when you strip that away there’s nothing worthwhile. So we toss aside the whole notion and walk away.
We know there are a lot of broken, miserable, angry, sad, frustrated, married couples who are not living their marriage in the "ways of the Lord". Every day they trudge in their daily routine barely able to take another day. When we are going through such issues in our marriage, such as being married to an abusive alcoholic, or married to a unfaithful man or woman we only see as clear as our feelings will let us see. This is not enough to repair damage done to the marriage.
We have to go beyond our feelings and emotions and try to understand what is happening in our marriage so we can do something about it in the spiritual way and not through how we are feeling about it. It's difficult to do but it is what NEEDS to be done. If we continue in our own perspective by "how we are feeling" we truly do not grow spiritually and we stay within our own private little world of emotions.
This is where wisdom comes into the picture. As scripture says, we have to throw off everything that hinders us or lay aside every weight that is keeping us from seeing clearly so we can win the race; this includes how we are feeling, which may be ill will and resentment towards our spiritually sick spouse and other loved ones. Feelings are ok to have, we need to experience our feelings, but we also need to recognize when our feelings become stumbling blocks in our growth with God.
- …let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1