Elders’ Message Board For May 5th

For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:13)

It is axiomatic that a local congregation cannot function or fulfill its work without having members who are willing to be involved and prepared to assume leadership roles. Westside is very blessed to currently have three capable and conscientious men serving the church as deacons. Dan Criswell manages the audio-visual equipment and oversees the financials, Ron Eggert coordinates the worship services and prepares the duty roster and Tom Steinkirchner is in charge of the church building’s care, upkeep and maintenance. The elders are very grateful for the cooperative spirit and dedication which these men display when working with us and carrying out their respective duties. Please remember our deacons in your prayers and with expressions of thanks and encouragement.

Song Worship Meeting – March 1-3

Friday eve.: 7:00-8:00

Tuning the Heart and Voice (1 hour): Here I introduce the spiritual and mechanical aspect of song worship. We must have the right attitude of heart but there are also other requirements to fulfill our need and command for singing and song worship

Saturday morn.: 10:00 – 11:30

Understanding Song Worship I (1.5 hours): Here we learn what it takes to sing with the spirit and understanding by studying both leading and following and the necessary elements of singing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs

Saturday afternoon: 1:00-2:30

Understanding Song Worship II (1.5 hours): A continuation of the above

Saturday eve.: 6:00 – 7:00

N.T. Song Worship is Unique (1 hour): We explore the characteristics of N.T. song worship and its unique qualities compared to the world around us. We also will coordinate our efforts in leading and following, with the leaders leading what they have practiced earlier

Sunday class: 9:30 – 10:15

True Worship: We explore the true nature of worship; how does it apply to the individual in relation to the collective

Sunday morn. assembly: 10:30 – 11:45

Tell Me the Story of Jesus: A sermon in Scripture and song including the L.S. demonstrating how song worship is a ministry of the Word

Sunday afternoon: 3:00 – 4:00

Song Worship Leading Applied (1 hour): Applying following and leading in preparation for the evening song worship

Sunday eve. assembly: 4:00 – 5:00

Sing to the Lord a New Song: What are all the ways we can sing a new song. Culminating song worship with the leaders.

The Role of the Father

With all the mixed messages our society is propagating I worry the role of the father is being lost. Now more than ever the Lord’s church and society need men who will accept and rise to the challenge this role presents. Make no mistake about it, this role is a challenge. I hope and pray more members of the church will take this role seriously and apply the same diligence to being a good father as they do to be good employees. My fear is too many men see the home as only a place to relax after work rather than understanding their responsibilities to their wives and children require so much more then just their ability to provide financially.

The following excerpt is from a book I am reading regarding the role of fathers. I thought this author summarized some of these other responsibilities rather well.

How do we intentionally, deliberately, consistently, and adequately prepare our sons for life? Maybe you’ve seen the startling statistics. We know about the sons who have run amuck. We see young men all around us who are crumbling and caving in to drugs, illicit sexual relationships, homosexuality, and bisexuality. We see young men who don’t know how to accept direction or respond appropriately to authority. We wonder, How will my son make it in life? In his work? In his marriage? Will he be a strong Christian or a church dropout? Will he be a careless spender or a financial success? If we’re honest, we know that most men who blow it fall apart in one major area of their life. Maybe it’s a secret attraction to pornography, gambling that gets out of hand, or a bad temper. Whatever it is, it’s that one fatal flaw that goes unchecked or underestimated that eventually pulls a man down. The challenge of preparing a son to be a man of responsibility and integrity is great.

There are seven core issues that every father can work on with his son to lay a foundation of healthy masculine character. They are preparing our sons to be:

  • devout disciples of Christ;
  • good citizens;
  • holders of worthy vocations;
  • responsible workers;
  • choosers of good friends;
  • able to enjoy life;
  • sexually chaste; understanding of male sexuality; avoiding the hazards of pornography;
  • and lovers of their wives; supporters of their marriages.

(1)

Here are a few statistics regarding the “average” father:

  • Average father spends 6 min/day with each of his children
  • Of that only 35 seconds is dedicated time
  • Only 4 of every 10 children live with a father.

I understand most of us are above the average. However, I would bet almost all of us believe there is room for improvement in both the quantity and quality of the time that we spend training our children. My encouragement here is to put forth that effort and consider not only what you tell them, but what you show them.

“…I want my children to know I make mistakes, that I am foolish, proud, and often inconsistent. But I will not tolerate that as an excuse for my hypocrisy. I ask them to help me change as children should, and to expect me to help them change [using] the methods expected of a parent. Others may look to the under-30 crowd for the wisdom to throw away the past and to say what will remain for future generations; others may let the offspring in the house determine the foods, the music, and the spending of the household, but I am going to stay the father. “ – Paul Harvey

Paul Harvey has it right. I make mistakes, I am inconsistent, but I will not let that be an excuse to quit trying or to silence my admonition for doing what is right.

I wanted to conclude with the words of Moses given him by inspiration.

Moses finished speaking all these words to all Israel, and he said to them: “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe — all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess.” Deut. 32:45-47

Yes you will be exhausted at the end of the day and will not feel like you have anything else to give. It will not seem like your efforts are bearing fruit. In many ways a good father requires everything we have to give and then some. As long as we’re on this earth, our responsibilities remain. We are assured that our faithful efforts will bear fruit. Despite what society or child rearing “experts” may try to propagate, raising children who are well-adjusted, intelligent, requires a mother and father. These roles which require us to rise to the challenges is not a vain thing, and it is a wonderful life. – tdk June 2012


(1) O’Donnell, Michael (2011-10-01). What a Son Needs From His Dad: How a Man Prepares His Sons for Life (Kindle Locations 149-168). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.

Suffering Is Relative?

suffering
suffering (Photo credit: muffinbasket)

The title for this article might seem somewhat out of place. I want to start off with the understanding suffering is real. There are many different kinds of suffering and I do not wish to minimize anyone’s suffering. What I would hope to do is to increase our understanding and maybe open our minds to a different viewpoint that should help us to keep suffering in its proper place.

I want to start off with a bold assertion. Setting aside physical pain, the majority of suffering is a comparison between where we are now and where we think we should be.

Imagine if you will an experiment. If you took 10 Young men from an impoverished country where every day is a struggle to survive along with 10 men from an upscale private school and sent them to live in the same building. In each room is a mattress, running water, and all their meals are provided for them, I have no doubt each group of men would see the identical facilities differently. Even though there is nothing different about their physical environments one of those two groups would be “suffering.” in this case it is easy to see the comparison to understand how one group would consider themselves to be suffering.

I want to develop this same idea a bit further. What about the family who loses a young child to an accidental death. Their suffering is real and their grief certainly understandable. Yet, their suffering is a comparison to where they are and where they would want to be, enjoying the life of their departed child.

Consider the below statements from the apostle Paul and notice the items in his list of suffering:

From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. – 2 Corinthians 11:24-28

I know we understand how difficult it was for Paul to suffer persecution for preaching the gospel of Christ. Notice however that he lists being beaten with rods right along with sleeplessness. He lists being stoned right next to being shipwrecked. He has perils of robbers with cold and nakedness. If he considered one type of suffering greater than another type of suffering I certainly do not see it. Suffering is suffering. Whether it’s physical pain that the doctors can do nothing about or the emotional pain of the loss of a child or a parent.

Our reaction to suffering, no matter what its source, should be the same.To pray to or God (Jas 5:13). To lean upon our faith. To remember our hope which is in Christ Jesus. To comfort one another that all suffering in this life is temporary.

The apostle Paul did believe in relative suffering. He makes two statements which clearly show he compared his suffering from what he currently was enduring to what he knew he would have to endure in the future.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.2 Cor 4:17,18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom 8:18

Evolution and Morality

By Jerry C. Ray

The worth of a doctrine can often be judged by observing its application in human thought and experience. No doctrine, no matter how attractive or plausible it may seem, is valuable if the consistent application of its principles results in the degradation and dissipation of humanity. After 100 years we can look at the fruits of evolution and see that by this principle it stands condemned.

Prof Jacques Barzun of Columbia University has pointed out the profound significance of the year 1859. In that year was sown the seed that has brought forth a terrible harvest. In that year Darwin published his Origin of the Species, Karl Marx published his Critique of Political Economy and Wagner published “Tristan and Isolde.” Darwin’s book destroyed man’s faith in God, Marx’s book destroyed man’s faith in the rights of private property, and Wagner’s opera gave the cultural background that was indispensable to make these revolutionary ideas both popular and palatable. (Evolution’ published by International Christian Crusade, Ontario, Canada, 14th edition, page 78).

What then are the fruits of evolution?

1. It tends to destroy faith in the Bible, Jesus and God. One cannot believe the Bible and what the Bible says of God and Christ and at the same time believe the theory of evolution. They are antithetical. Some individuals try to harmonize evolution and Christianity, but it is an impossible task.After William Jennings Bryan delivered a defense of the Biblical account of creation in the Wesley Memorial church in Atlanta about forty years ago, he talked with some students and others. A student from Emory University said to him, “Mr. Bryan, I can reconcile the Bible with the theory of evolution.” Mr. Bryan replied, “You have more sense than Darwin; he couldn’t.” The student then said, “All you have to do is to discard the first two chapters of Genesis.” Mr. Bryan, with eyes flashing, replied, “That would not be reconciliation; it would be mutilation.”

There is no place in the evolutionary theory for sin, the soul, salvation and a Savior.

2. It fosters militarism and imperils world peace. Darwin’s original thesis and the 20 or so different evolutionary theories of today that come from it teach the “survival of the fittest.” Progress comes through the killing off of the weak and the emergence of the stronger species. In the words of Prof. S. J. Holmes of the University of California: “Darwinism, consistently applied, w o u I d measure goodness in terms of survival value.”

Might makes right. The weak are destined to die. The stronger must conquer the weaker. This concept is not original. It is the old law of the jungle. It is a devolution to barbarism. But this is the consistent application of the evolutionary theory. The subtitle to Darwin’s book is: “The preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.”

There were wars before the evolutionary theory became popular. But the theory and its underlying philosophy gave plausibility to the insanity of war. Evolution is the cornerstone of the modern philosophy of militarism. Exponents claim that from an evolutionary standpoint war is both good and necessary, that it is the application of the natural law and is biologically normal and right to crush the weaker people of the earth.

Hitler drank deeply of this philosophy and it became the foundation for Nazism and his “super-race” concept. Bethman Von Hollweg saturnically justified the invasion of Belgium on the principle that the big animal eats the little one and the Belgian turtle was in the way of the German Dinosaur. Hitler said, “The whole of nature is a continuous struggle between strength and weakness, an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.”

George Bernard Shaw said, “Darwinism, a mechanical doctrine, destroyed religion, but gave us nothing in its place. It gave an air of science to moral and political opportunism and to struggle-for-life militarism.”

Communism is based upon dialectical materialism, whose foundation is evolution. Evolution is an inherent part of communism. Destroy this atheistic facet of communism and you lay the ax at the root of the tree of communist philosophy. If the existence of a Supreme Being and the moral accountability to the same be accepted, the unquestioned and undeviating loyalty to the Party is disturbed. The “end justifies the means” philosophy with its ruthlessness and violence suffers when the communist realizes there is a higher power to which man must give an account. This the party cannot tolerate in its conspiratorial conquest of the world.

3. It encourages atheism. Atheism is the logical results of evolution in the spiritual realm. “Evolution is atheism in thought and anarchy in conduct.”

Charles Smith, former president of the American Association for the advancement of Atheism, said, “Evolution is atheism.” Woolsey Teller, former vice-president of the same organization, has stated, “the God idea cannot be reconciled without knowledge of evolution.”

The influence of evolution can be illustrated in the life of Charles Darwin. Before embarking on his career as a naturalist he studied for the ministry for three years at Cambridge. At the time of his voyage on the Beagle, collecting his materials from which comes his book, he himself said he was “quite orthodox.” Nearly fifty years later, however, he wrote, “for myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any revelation” (Evolution, p. 82).

4. It encourages modernism. Modernism has developed due to the lack of faith in the truthfulness of the Bible and an obsession to worship at the altar of scientific theory. Every human philosophy that discredits the Bible is faced with the problem of explaining the origin of life. Evolution is their answer. Modernism is no different. Supernatural religion is set aside for evolutionary theory.

5. It injures public morals. It tends to break down all law, moral and spiritual, and to give free course to the worst passions of men, all under the guise of doing that that is normal and natural.

On May 21, 1924, in Chicago, Nathan F. Leopold, nineteen-year-old son of a wealthy box manufacturer, and Richard A. Loeb, eighteen year old son of the vice-president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., murdered Robert Franks, fourteen. Leopold was a graduate of the University of Chicago and Loeb of the University-of Michigan.

At their trial the following August these young men were defended by the celebrated criminal lawyer, Clarence Darrow. His eloquence is credited with saving their lives and his defense speech is considered one of the greatest in American judicial history.

His defense was (1) they were insane, of diseased mind, ( 2) they were victims of hereditary taint, (3) they were victims of evolutionary teaching. Below are quotations from Darrow’s closing argument (Famous Jury Speeches, pp. 992-1089).

“I know that one of two things happened to Richard Loeb; that this terrible crime was inherent in his organism, and came from some ancestor, or that it came through his education and his training after he was born.” ( 1050).

“I do not know what remote ancestors may have sent down the seed that corrupted him, and I do not know through how many ancestors it may have passed until it reached Dickie Loeb.

“All I know is that it is true, and there is not a biologist in the world who will not say that I am right.” (1050).

“If there is responsibility anywhere, it is back of him; somewhere in the infinite number of his ancestors, or in his surroundings, or in both. And I submit, your Honor that under every principle of natural justice, under every principle of conscience, of right, and of law, he should not be made responsible for the acts of someone else.” (1051).

Of Nathan Leopold, Darrow points out that he became enamoured of the philosopher, Nietzsche. Continuing, Darrow says:

“He wrote one book, ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ which was a criticism of all moral codes as the world understands them; a treatise holding that the intelligent man is beyond good and evil; that the laws for good and the laws for evil do not apply to those who approach the superman.” (1053).

Darrow continues and quotes Nietzsche:

” ‘The morality of the master class is irritating to the taste of the present day because of its fundamental principle that a man has obligation only to his equals; that he may act to all of lower rank and to all that are foreign, as he pleases.’

“In other words, man has no obligations; he may do with all other men and all other boys, and all society, as he pleases–the superman was a creation of Nietzsche, but it has permeated every college and university in the civilized world.” (1055).

“If this boy is to blame for this, where did he get it? Is there any blame attached because somebody took Nietzsche’s philosophy and fashioned his life on it? And there is no question in this case but what it is true. The university would be more to blame than he is. The scholars of the world would be more to blame than he is. The publishers of the world–and Nietzsche’s books are published by one of the biggest publishers in the world–are more to blame than he. Your Honor, it is hardly fair to hang a nineteen-year-old boy for the philosophy that he was taught at the university.” (1059).

Leopold, with his obsession of the superhuman, repeatedly said that Loeb was his idea of the superhuman. In a letter Leopold wrote:

“It may not have occurred to you why a mere mistake in judgment on your part should be treated as a crime when on the part of another it should not be so considered. Here are the reasons. In formulating a superman he is, on account of certain superior qualities inherent in him, exempted from ordinary laws that govern ordinary men. He is not liable for anything he may do . . .”(1067).

In 1925 Darrow defended John Thomas Scopes in the Dayton, Tenn. trial. State law forbade the teaching of the evolutionary theory. Scopes, the biology teacher at Rhea high school in Dayton, taught the evolutionary hypothesis. I have often wondered what Darrow’s feelings were in defending the teaching of evolution in the public schools after having defended Leopold’s crime on the grounds that he had been taught the evolutionary theory in the public schools.

6. It encourages racial prejudice. The White Citizens Council, Greenwood, Miss., distributes literature saturated with the evolutionary “survival of the fittest” and white supremacy justified by the law of the jungle.

One pamphlet is a reprint of a 1907 Saturday Evening Post article by Harris Dickson. Here are some quotes from the article:

“The negro should never have been trusted with the ballot. He is different from the white man. He is congenitally unqualified to exercise the most responsible duty of citizenship. He is physically, mentally, morally racially and eternally the white man’s inferior. There is nothing in the history of his race, nothing in his individual character, nothing in his achievements of the past or his promise for the future that entitles him to stand side by side with the white man at the ballot box.

“The inestimable privilege was thrust upon the Negro snatching him out of his twenty thousand barbaric years and placing him shoulder to shoulder with the heir of all the ages.”

“I maintain that so long as the African and Caucasian races coexist in the same society, the subordination of the African is its normal, necessary and proper condition, and that such subordination is the condition best calculated to promote the highest interest and the greatest happiness of both races, and, consequently, of the whole society–that the white is the supenor and the black the inferior, and that subordination, with or without law, will be the status of the African in this mixed society. Therefore, it is to the interest of both, and especially of the black race, that this status should be fixed, controlled and protected by law.”

“From the beginning of time the white races have never bowed to a superior, and have rarely brooked an equal. They have tolerated other peoples so long as those other peoples did not come into direct competition and conflict with them–so long as other races took nothing from the white man which the white man desired for himself. For instance, the white man needed the Indian’s land–and took it. The Indian resisted– and disappeared.”

Does this sound like something from Adolph Hitler? Many more quotations could be offered from various pamphlets; this is the warp and woof of the “justification” of racial discrimination put out by this organization.

The conclusion of the whole matter: Evolution stands indicted by its own corrupting influence.

Truth Magazine: IX, 2, pp. 2-4
November 1964

It is Our Hardships & Suffering Which Define Us

Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man) photographed...
Image via Wikipedia

Does the name Joseph Merrick sound familiar to you? How about the name Kerri Strug? You might not remember Joseph by his name but you have probably heard of the story of the Elephant Man because of the very rare but painful and disfiguring disease which he endured with great character and humility. Kerri was also not well known before her performance at the 1996 Olympics. However if you have ever seen the vault she performed on an injured ankle you will not likely ever forget it. She was an inspiration for many young athletes because her victory was only made sweeter by the hardship she endured.

Continue reading “It is Our Hardships & Suffering Which Define Us”

Humanism And The Government

With a presidential election looming over our heads, I thought this was a good piece of the influence of government on our lives and our culture. The entire article will not fit in the space for the bulletin. A link is provided from our website.


by Allan Turner

This special issue on secular humanism proves, if nothing else, that those who have been speaking and writing on this subject no longer sit as “lonely birds on the roof.” I am happy to share with you the fruit of my study of this subject. It is inevitable that any study of secular humanism would cause us to think about the influence it may be having on our government. I think you may find that it has had a much stronger influence than you had suspected.

When we think of the federal government, we normally think of a vast bureaucracy; so vast, in fact, that it is almost beyond comprehension. But, in reality, we are only talking about 537 elected and 9 appointed men and women. Surprised? Well, let’s count them: I president, I vice president, 100 senators, 435 representatives, and 9 Supreme Court justices. As ours is a democratic republic, these 546 people are the government; the vast bureaucracy, in theory, simply supports these 546 people in doing whatever it is government is supposed to do.

Traditionally, government (at least our government) has been thought to exist for the “common good” of the citizenry. Obviously, if government is to provide for the common good of the people, then it must have an opinion as to the substance of that common good. As secular humanism has become quite pervasive in our society, we should expect to see conflicts arising in government as it attempts to provide for the common good of a people who are sharply divided between a biblically based world view and a secular humanist world view. When we use the term “world view,” we are speaking of the grid through which we view the world. Naturally, there will be a sharp contrast between these two world views when the government attempts to legislate morality (i.e., homosexuality, abortion, marriage, divorce, capital punishment, pornography, infanticide, euthanasia, etc.)

It is my opinion that the conflict between these two world views is the most fundamental and decisive issue of our time. The issue is one quite common to New Testament Christians, who seek after the New Testament order, for it is one of authority: Is God still ruling in both the religious and secular affairs of man, or is man totally autonomous, answerable only to himself and the institutions he has created? These two alternatives underlie most of the major and minor conflicts of our day. Contrary to what some may think, secular humanism is not the “brand name of some organizationally identifiable movement. It is, rather, an ‘ideology’, i.e., an all-comprising, all-permeating world view, ethos and attitude. It is the antithesis to religion” (Klaus Bockmuehl, “Secularism and Theology”, Crux Magazine, June, 1983, p. 7).

Let us get, then, to the subject at hand. The first and last paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence speak of God. U.S. Supreme Court Justice, William O. Douglas, as recently as 1952, said: “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being” (Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306). 1 believe it is beyond dispute that our legal system in America has traditionally reflected biblically based principles. But this viewpoint is quickly changing. So quickly is the change occurring, that some have insisted that the “anti-God religion of Secular Humanism” is already the favored religion of the state (Claire Chambers, The Siecus Circle, Statement appearing on the flyleaf by Charles Rice, Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School).

Thinking of secular humanism as the official religion of this nation may not be as far-fetched as it may, at first, seem. In 1961 in the case of Torcaso v. Watkins, Justice Hugo L. Black observed: “Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others.” In this case the Court declared itself neutral of any religious influence when it said that “neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally aid all religions as against non-believers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs. “This newly found “neutrality,” or tightrope act, has forced the Court to pretend that the existing legal system is not subject to any religious influence.

In declaring themselves free from any religious influence, they have opted for the self-autonomous religion of secular humanism, and have discarded any notion of a Law above the law. On its face, this is a clear violation of The First Amendment, which prohibits the establishment of a state favored religion, if “religion” in the amendment means “ideological system,” as the secular humanists argue it does. Of course, the use of the term “religion” in the First Amendment has been explained by those who framed it as a prohibition against a national religion or the placing of any one religious sect, denomination, or tradition into a preferred legal status. And as recently as 1961 it was understood by the Court that way. This was articulated by Justice J. Frankfurter, who said “the immediate object of the First Amendment’s prohibition was the established church as it had been known in England and in most of the Colonies” [emphasis added] (McGowen v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420, 465). It is interesting to note that in the 1963 Schempp case, which outlawed the reading of the Bible, or its use as a religious document, in the public schools, the Court said that the use of the term “under God” could continue to be used in the schools as long as everyone understood that it actually has no “religious purpose or meaning.” The term “under God” in the pledge of allegiance, according to Justice William Brennan, “may merely recognize the historical fact that our Nation was believed to have been founded ‘under God… [emphasis added] (School District of Abington Township, Pa. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 303-04). At the beginning of this rather long paragraph we mentioned that the founding fathers recognized this nation’s dependence upon God. We have now arrived at a point in this nation’s existence where its historical founding “under God” is considered by the United States Supreme, Court as nothing more than an antiquated shibboleth to appease the masses.

The legislative branch of our government has been charged with policy making, the executive branch has been charged with carrying out those policies, and the judicial branch as been charged with making sure the other two branches do not go beyond the Constitution in creating and implementing those policies. Nowhere in the Constitution is the Supreme Court given the authority to make policy, but this has been occurring now for a generation (ever since Earl Warren became Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court). Instead of a democratic republic, for all practical purposes, we are a people ruled by judicial fiat. What some who sit on the Supreme Court seem to think is their right to carry on their own “Constitutional Convention,” we, the people, recognize as nothing less than tyranny.

To read the rest…Humanism And The Government

Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 14, pp. 428-430
July 19, 1984

Eulogy for Mom

In October 2000 a touching article appeared in the pages of truth magazine entitled “Eulogy for Mom”. I can only assume this was delivered by Lewis Willis at the funeral of his mother Wilhelmina Elizabeth Thompson Willis. With Mother’s Day approaching and some discourse occurring in the political arena regarding the value of stay-at-home moms, this piece is especially poignant. This article has several stories which tug at the heart strings, will make you smile, and remind us of the importance of this irreplaceable role both to the family and to society at large. there is a link at the bottom of this page to the entire article, which I will heartily recommend. In the interest of space, I had included some of the paragraphs below. – tdk Apr. 2012


…I thought for some time for a word or expression that would somewhat sum up the life of Mom. I finally settled on “family”; I think her family was the essence and substance of her life. Make absolutely no mistake about it, her first interest was God and the Church. But after that came her family. Anyone who knew her soon learned that her heart was centered on her children and grandchildren. Thus, I call to remembrance some memories about the Family.
Of course, the beginning of a family is the marriage. Mom and Dad had been happily married for 68 years when he died exactly one year ago to the day that Mom died, August 2. What an irony! She was never the same after Dad’s death. It is inevitable that such is the case. Two people who have been together so long do not function normally when one has gone. Theirs was a good marriage. If it experienced any major problems, I was never aware of them. Oh, there were the usual fusses and disagreements, but never did Dad abuse Mom in anyway, nor she him. She was the reason for his life! She loved and respected him, and they stood beside each other until the ravages of age separated them with his death. Mom’s failing health concerned him greatly and the changes brought by her decline he was never able to understand or accept. I am convinced that his confusion over nursing home living accelerated his death. You will remember he was hospitalized for the last time when, left alone the first night at a nursing home in Ft. Worth, he tried to get to Mom to comfort her in her distress. We would all have been surprised had he been indifferent toward her plight. But he never recovered from his anxiety over her condition.

There were times when discipline was required. Switches were the order of the day; she could use one better than most mothers. On a bare back, her switches seemed almost lethal. Psychologists and psychiatrists today, with all their psycho-babble, tell us how damaging discipline is for kids. However, I’ve now seen several generations of children who have been raised on their philosophy, and I prefer Mom’s child-raising philosophy more than theirs. I believe her approach worked better and I think my brothers and sisters share that same view. None of us was permanently damaged by her discipline.

…Mom’s love for the Lord and the church must also be remembered. She did something special which certainly none of us understood at the time. You see, until Cecil, and then Don, started preaching, Dad didn’t go to worship. She always took us to every worship . . . alone! I do not believe there was a family in the church more faithful than ours. During the critical, formative years of her children, she was determined they would know the Lord. That was the principle work of Mom. Dad was off somewhere else at worship time. He was usually working on one of his trucks all day, getting ready for Monday morning and his logging work.

The preaching of Mom’s sons has been far-reaching. In those days, she could never have imagined the impact her family would have on the church of the 20th and 21st centuries. From this small town of about 1000-1200 people, her boys have gone forth. We have preached in most parts of Texas, into many different places in Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Georgia, Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Hawaii, Alaska, and Wisconsin. Probably other states as well. We have preached in Eastern and Western Canada, in the Philippines, in Israel, Germany, and in Greece. We have had opportunity to teach many more through religious journals we have edited, articles we have written for publication, church bulletins we have edited, radio teaching we have done, published debates we have conducted, and books and tracts we have written. Who would ever have dreamed that a Mother living in a small East Texas town might touch the lives of so many, in such distant places, as Mom did through her sons? She put us in a place to be taught the Truth, and was determined we would know how important it is to teach and defend it. It is a tribute to Mom, for without her direction, such would never have happened.

Eulogy for Mom

The Emotional Suffering of Jesus

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” – John 13:27,28

Much has been written about the physical suffering of Jesus. I would like to focus on the emotional aspects of his suffering so that we might understand and hopefully help to comfort those who are dealing with these types of trials.
Continue reading “The Emotional Suffering of Jesus”

The Value of Gospel Meetings

The apostle Paul writes, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). The gospel message is the power that God has decided to use to work on the hearts and lives of men and women in order to draw them to Himself. But in order for the gospel to do any good, it must be preached (10:13-14).

The book of Acts demonstrates that the gospel was preached to those who were already Christians, as well as to those who were not, by preachers who traveled to various places. The Scriptures describe various preachers traveling and preaching for various congregations for short periods of time in order to reach the lost and build up the saved with the gospel of Christ (Acts 14:21-22; 15:36, 40-41; 20:6-7). An incredible amount of good was accomplished through the efforts of these churches and preachers as the saving message was spread. Many local churches and preachers engage in something similar today. We commonly refer to these modern efforts as “gospel meetings.” It seems that many brethren have grown weary of “gospel meetings.” Meetings are becoming shorter in length, less frequent in number, and are not as well attended as they used to be. Furthermore, for those that have not abandoned the practice of having gospel meetings altogether, there exists the danger of continuing to have meetings each year simply out of habit. In addition to these concerns, the question is sometimes raised as to whether or not there is really any value in having gospel meetings anymore. For these reasons, we would do well to give some much needed consideration to the subject of gospel meetings.

What is the value of a gospel meeting?

1. The value of reaching the lost with the gospel of Christ. Jesus is the only hope of salvation for the sinner (John 14:6; 8:24). In fact, the apostle Paul states that the Lord will one day come “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:8). In order for a lost sinner to obey the gospel he must first hear the gospel. Many of our religious friends regularly attend religious groups in which they hear the opinions and doctrines of men, rather than the gospel. They may never visit the services of a church that is serving as “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15) in their community on a Sunday morning due to obligations already in place. But they may be willing to come visit one of our services during a gospel meeting, since the gospel meeting presents opportunities in addition to our normal meeting times on Sunday. There are people all around us who are in dire need of hearing the gospel and, contrary to what many seem to believe, lost sinners do still attend gospel meetings when invited by members of the church. A gospel meeting is used as a valuable tool for evangelism when the lost are invited to hear the good news.

2. The value of spending more time together worshiping God. It is obvious that the early disciples of Christ spent as much time as possible together praising the Lord and studying His word (Acts 2:42, 46-47). Gospel meetings provide an opportunity to take time out of our busy schedules in order to spend some more time worshiping God and studying His word together. Are you interested in doing that? Gospel meetings provide those who have a sincere interest in spiritual things with a great opportunity to meet together more often in order to glorify God. Time spent stirring one another up to “love and good works” is valuable time (Heb. 10:24).

3. The value of edifying the members of the church. One of the primary responsibilities of each local church is to edify, or build up its members (Eph. 4:14-16; cf. 1 Cor. 14:26). Each local church of Christ is responsible for seeing to it that each of its members is built up and strengthened spiritually. Edification takes place when we worship together in spirit and truth and study God’s word together. Gospel meetings provide a great opportunity for edification as the members of the church gather each night to sing, pray, and listen to God’s word being taught. Those who are bored with gospel meetings, or who ignore gospel meetings are sure to discourage their brothers and sisters in Christ. Any time spent in the interest of edifying the saints is time that is spent in a valuable pursuit.

4. The value of learning and growing. The apostle Peter charges God’s people with the responsibility to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). A gospel meeting provides a great opportunity for the local church to hear a faithful man preach the word of God. While we may have the opportunity to hear eight or ten sermons in an average month, a gospel meeting may present the opportunity to hear that many lessons over the course of only one week. Do not forget that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). What value can be placed upon an opportunity to learn and grow by hearing the word of God proclaimed?

5. The value of putting spiritual things ahead of worldly matters. Jesus expects those who follow Him to seek the kingdom of God first in life (Matt. 6:33). A gospel meeting provides a unique opportunity to focus on spiritual matters and to put the kingdom of God ahead of other things. In many ways, a gospel meeting also exposes one’s priorities in life. We will prepare for social occasions, weddings, fun events, and holidays and circle them on our calendars so that we will be sure to set time aside for them even if it means booking time off of work. How many of us place the same emphasis on setting time aside to attend a gospel meeting? There is inestimable value in laying aside worldly matters in order to focus on things of eternal importance.

Conclusion

Gospel meetings are certainly not the only method by which the local church may seek to reach the lost and edify the saved. But at the same time, gospel meetings can be used as a very effective tool in accomplishing the Lord’s work once we recognize the potential value of such concentrated efforts to “proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). Don’t give up on gospel meetings!

David Dann

2108 Amherst Dr.

Lewisville, TX