Modest Apparel

 

Connie W. Adams

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works” (1 Tim. 2:9 10).

I know of no more timely subject for an article or a sermon than this one. So many members of the church have imbibed the spirit of the world around them that very little difference is to be observed between those who profess to serve Christ and those who admittedly serve Satan. For that reason, the passage cited above needs periodic attention.

God’s Standard Not Provincial or Seasonal Add Media

While fashions may vary from country to country, God’s standard requiring decency, modesty and shamefastness is universal. Whatever is ostentatious or contributes to the lust of the eye is just as wrong in Florida or California as it is in Ohio. The fact that “Everyone is doing it” or “nobody thinks anything about it” does not change divine of law. Whatever is modest and demonstrates shamefastness is just as necessary in the summer as in winter.

 

The Context of Our Passage

In the context, what is said about modesty, shamefastness and sobriety is put in contrast to gaudy display which attracts undue attention to style or wealth. The particular demonstration of it was in the elaborate hairdos of some of the women then as they made a show of their expensive ornaments. There are yet sisters who are vain enough that they want to dress so as to be the envy of those who have less of this world’s goods. Such is immodest in the light of this passage.

Immodest apparel involves unseemliness of dress arising from a lack of self-respect and good judgment and betrays a weakness in the character. The same vanity that would prompt one woman to make a dazzling display of her wealth might also prompt another to attract attention to her body by publicly exposing it.

Three Words

  1. MODEST – (KOSMIOS) – “Orderly, well-arranged, decent, modest, is used in I Tim. 2:9 of the apparel with which Christian women are to adorn themselves; in I Tim. 3:2, of one of the qualifications essential for a bishop or overseer” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Vol. 3, p. 79). The term, then, concerns the inner orderliness and decency reflected in her dress and conduct.
  2. SHAMEFASTNESS (shamefacedness, KJV) – (AIDOS) – “A sense of shame, modesty, is used regarding the demeanor of women in the church, I Tim. 2:9” (Ibid, Vol. 4, p. 17). “Shamefastness is that modesty which is ‘fast’ or rooted in the character.” (Davies; Bible English, p. 12, Quoted in Vine’s.) This is the word rendered “reverence” in Heb. 12:28. There it refers to suitable awe and respect toward God. In our passage it refers to a woman’s own self-respect related to her reverence for God. Many of the fashions today tend to make people look grotesque and reflect a woeful want or self-respect. It seems that some vie to see who can look the most absurd, and the farthest from sanity or reason. Some are embarrassed over nothing. The ability to blush is a vanishing virtue with many.
  3. SOBRIETY – (SOPHROSUNE) “Soberness, sound judgment” (Vine, Vol. 4, p. 44-45) “That habitual inner self-government, with its constant reins on all the passions and desires, which would hinder the temptation to these from arising” (Trench). “Soundness of mind, self-control, sobriety” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, p. 613). Berry’s Interlinear translates the word with “discreetness.”

The true adornment of a woman professing godliness is her good works. The adornment of her body will be a reflection of the qualities of shamefastness and sobriety. The key word in this whole study is shamefastness. A woman who has this quality should have no difficulty determining what to wear to conform to decency. When once the sense of shame or modesty is gone, then one’s dress will not be that which “becometh women professing godliness.”

Problems and Prevalence of Immodesty

Jesus taught that a man can lust just by looking on a woman. (Mt. 5:28). Any man who does so will have to answer to God for his thoughts and deeds. But a woman who is dressed so as to naturally attract the lustful gaze must bear responsibility for her action as well. If a woman does not dress like a lady, she should not act surprised when someone treats her as something other than one. The brief attire worn by some women in public places, whether working in the yard, going to the shopping center, to a picnic, or to the beach attracts the notice of the male of the species. I believe that women know this. When a woman knows this, and yet parades her body before the gazing eyes of the public, then she has lost that inner feeling of modesty, decorum, and self-respect. When she becomes daring in her apparel, she violates this passage. She thus betrays a weakness in her character. If this is not true, then what do these words mean in I Tim. 2:9-10?

There are women who attend worship periods immodestly dressed. We have all seen the “clothes horse” who obviously delights in an extravagant display of finery. Such a one is immodest and needs to regain a sense of propriety. Then, there are those who attend with dresses too short on both ends. It is not my purpose to try and establish exactly what length a dress must be. But there are members who are all ‘too willing to be dominated by the latest fashion regardless of the question of modesty. The mini-skirt has made it so that a woman with any sense of shamefastness finds it difficult to sit as a lady should. In fact, I have seen women and girls attend services with dresses so short that it was difficult for them to stand modestly to say nothing of sitting with decency. It is true that the fashion people have made it difficult to find dresses that are not too short, but whatever happened to those old fashioned women who knew how to buy some material and operate a sewing machine?

Then we have members of the church who take off to the beaches in the summer to mix and mingle among the bikinis and other brief attire. If this is the place for godly people who have a sense of modesty and inner respect, then I have not comprehended much that I have read in the Bible. There is nothing wrong with sunshine, sand or water, but there is something wrong with those who will not seek to enjoy them away from the public gaze. “Oh, but nobody notices you.” Really? Then why do you want to be sure you have the latest attire? Is it really true that nobody at the beach ogles the girls and women? Stop kidding yourselves and others. You know better! My brethren (and sisters), when these conditions prevail, then something more than bare flesh is revealed – there is a loss of spirituality demonstrated which is crippling the progress of truth and right in our time. Truly modest women are precious items in a world gone mad with lust. Immodest women neither respect themselves nor are they truly respected by others.

TRUTH MAGAZINE XIII: 11, pp. 2-3
August 1969

 

Tolerance

Irven Lee

A word may have different meanings to different people. Some arguments over words grow out of the fact that the disputants do not mean the same thing when they use these words. For example, is tolerance a good word in religious matters? Many people think of intolerance as a most despicable trait, and they think of tolerance as a most wonderful trait.

Continue reading “Tolerance”

Modern Day Miracles

Edgar J. Dye

My purpose herein is three-fold. First, to define “miracle” as used in the New Testament. Second, to demonstrate my faith in and acceptance of the miraculous as found in the New Testament. And third, to refute the modern-day miracle-worker’s claims that miracles such as the baptism of the Holy Spirit, tongue-speaking, physical healing of the body, etc., do not occur today.

Continue reading “Modern Day Miracles”

The Family Table

J. Wiley Adams

The family meal is an occasion that can help to unify the family. Memories of pleasant times around the table for me are very pronounced. This is true whether I look back to my own boyhood days or whether I consider the matter in terms of my own family, children and grandchildren.

I grew up in different times that included the great depression and World War II. Breakfast was a main event at our house. Everyone had to work and thus everyone needed to eat a substantial meal. Diets and various food restrictions were unheard of. We all worked so hard nobody in the family was “fat.” Everyone came to the table at meal time and no one dared say “I don’t like” this, that, or the other which was on the table. We could not afford to be “picky” about our food. Whatever was on the table you were glad to have it, and you asked for more. You knew it had to last until the next mealtime. Eating between meals was not a well known practice in those days.

Continue reading “The Family Table”

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

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

Politics and The Pulpit

Al Diestelkamp

While I am personally highly committed to a certain political philosophy, and though I have been known to vigorously express my political beliefs in private discussions, I do not believe “the pulpit” is the proper arena for partisan issues. However, as our society changes, political issues arise that also involve moral and/or doctrinal principles. When that happens it is necessary to teach vigorously and without compromise what God has revealed on the subject. It is difficult to do this without leaving the impression that you are “campaigning” for a particular candidate or political party.

We Americans have been blessed by the fact that we are living in a country that has been influenced by God’s word. Many of our countrymen are working hard to minimize, or possibly eliminate, that influence on our lives and our laws. In doing so, they are challenging and attacking many God-given decrees and principles of truth

Powerful forces are at work to convince people that sins which are an abomination to God should be allowed and even encouraged. Though it has become a political issue, I am not guilty of preaching politics when I teach that homosexuality is wrong. God, long ago, made it a moral issue by describing homosexuality as a “perversion” (Rom. 1:27, NIV). His “righteous judgment” declared that “those who practice such things are worthy of death,” and even warned against the temptation to “approve of them who practice them” (Rom. 1:32).

Another moral matter that has become an equally volatile political issue is the practice of killing unborn babies. Using the euphemism, “Pro-Choice,” advocates of abortion are merely ratifying the actions of men like Pharaoh and Herod who killed babies shortly after they were born. They simply didn’t “do the job” before the babies were born. Had Planned Parenthood been on the job at the time, I sup-pose they would have offered Mary the option of removing the “fetus” in her womb. Even at the risk of being accused of preaching politics, the faithful gospel preacher must sound forth the truth that “hands that shed innocent blood” is listed as one of the things that the Lord hates (Prov. 6:17).

I am keenly aware of the danger, when preaching, of “stepping over the line” from moral and doctrinal matters into politics. I don’t want to do that! I remember back in 1960, when John F. Kennedy was seeking the presidency, that some gospel preachers used the pulpit and church bulletins to try to persuade people to vote for his opponent. I recently re-read articles written by some of our brethren back then, and though I understand the concerns they had,

I don’t believe it was sinful to vote for Kennedy. A vote for Kennedy was no more an endorsement of the errors of the Catholic faith than was a vote for Richard Nixon an endorsement of Quaker belief. However, the present situation is somewhat different. The issue then was whether or not Kennedy’s loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith would threaten our religious freedom. The issue today is whether by voting for a candidate we are lending endorsement to the evil that they propose.

Bottom line? I’m not going to tell you how to vote, but I am going to tell you that someday you will give an account of your vote to God (Rom. 14:12). What will your answer be?

Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 14 p. 8
July 15, 1993

Opposing Homosexuality Has a Price

Did you follow the news about the fourteen-year old student in Forth Worth (Western Hills High School) who was suspended because he said that he was a Christian and believed homosexuality was wrong?

According to FoxNews (Sept. 22), Dakota Ary’s teacher overheard the statement, which was only made to a friend behind him and not to the whole class, and said that because of the statement he would receive an “infraction.” School officials, on the assumption that “he may have offended someone,” gave Dakota, an honors student who also played football, a two-day suspension.

Ary’s statement was made in a German class. The teacher was discussing how homosexuality was accepted in Germany and should be accepted as a part of our culture.

After Dakota’s mother interceded, the two-day suspension was reduced to one day.

His mother contacted an attorney, and after the attorney spoke with school officials, everything was eventually dropped.

From reports, the teacher routinely brings up homosexuality in class, and is attempting to indoctrinate students to accept it as a part of culture. Opposition to his stance is not “tolerated,” as seen in his actions.

“Tolerance” for homosexuals does not mean allowing but disagreeing and saying so; to the politically correct, it means you cannot voice any objection whatsoever! In fact, you must believe that homosexuality and other kinds of perverted immoral practices are on an equal basis with a heterosexual marriage. If you do not accept it, you are branded as a “homophobe,” “intolerant,” “mindless bigot,” “religious right-wing extremist,” and other kind terms. “Tolerance” is king, except if a Christian is offended. His beliefs and practices can be stomped on with impunity, and the Christian can be punished for even voicing disagreement!

We had better wake up. We are farther along on the road to persecution for being Christians than many Christians are aware of or care to admit.

What can we do?

First, we can appreciate and support Bible warnings and teaching on these matters. We do not live in a vacuum. We are affected by our culture. Just as Paul did not preach on love and family relationships at Athens, but given their problems with idolatry and disbelief, he hammered away on those subjects (Acts 17) as he did at Corinth and other places (see letters to the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, et al.). While we need overall Bible teaching and a balanced spiritual diet, we must have preaching and teaching on these (im)moral matters that are diametrically opposed to God, belief in His word, and which dominate our news. If we don’t, young people in particular will become not only desensitized to its true character, but also be “turned off” by teaching on it. Homosexuality is one sin characteristic of a spiritually bankrupt society that God “gave up” (see Romans 1:26-27). We must hate these sins as God does, and uphold gospel teaching and preaching against it.

Second, teach those you know the truth on the subject. We must first know it ourselves. Conversations abound on this subject in work places, schools, athletic teams, and in homes. Don’t ignore it. Use these opportunities to speak the truth on this matter. Obviously, this can and should lead to what homosexuals, as well as all sinners, should do to be freed from sin – they need to know and obey the gospel (Mk. 16:15-16). Any sin separates us from God, whether it be homosexuality or any other violation of God’s will (James 2:10). Know specific passages and their contexts which discuss this subject (such as Gen. 19; Lev. 18:22-23; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; I Cor. 6:9-11; and any passage mentioning “fornication”). The word, “fornication,” describes any kind of sexual immorality. Contrary to President Obama’s statement a while back that Jesus never condemned homosexuality, every time Jesus condemned “fornication” He condemned homosexuality!!

Third, emphasize that teaching repentance shows love, not hate. Our politically correct society would have people believe that any voiced opposition to homosexual practices is “hate speech,” which incites “hate crimes” against homosexuals. The gospel and genuine Christians are not responsible for “hate crimes.” Further, telling anyone what God said on this subject or any other is not “hate speech” but Bible love! Two reasons why this is true follow:

  • First, physical violence is completely opposite to the teaching of Jesus and His gospel. He told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world, or else His servants would fight (John 18:36). Further, Jesus said “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). Physical violence is therefore outlawed by Christ.
  • Second, God through the gospel appeals to us (and we should to others) by reasoning – what is in our best interest spiritually and eternally – not by coercion or violence. The devil appeals to us on the basis of gratifying whatever physical desire we have now. God wants what is best for us here, and heaven in the hereafter. Therefore, the battle is over ideas – God’s versus the devil’s. Paul said, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

Fourth, don’t get involved in it yourself! Everyone has weaknesses. Some may have a weakness for and have been around alcohol when young. That becomes an obstacle to overcome. Studies show some common denominators that have influenced some to turn to homosexuality. These include a strong, overbearing mother and/or unhealthy relationship with one’s mother, an either weak or non-existent father figure, sexual abuse, female rejection, pornography that leads to more and “different” experiences, a feeling of non-acceptance from other males, and “recruitment” on the part of older homosexuals. These do not “make” one become a homosexual, but can influence one to experiment, then lead him to believe this is truly what he was “born” to be.

If the power of the gospel could change homosexuals who believed it (Rom. 1:16) in the ancient and immoral city of Corinth (see Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), homosexuals can change today. – p.a.o.

Are People Born Homosexual?

We are plagued with a society that is slowly endorsing homosexuality. It seems as though some entertainer, athlete, politician, or social figure “comes out of the closet” every week. We have reached the point where a person jeopardizes his career if he publicly condemns homosexuality. He is accused of being narrow-minded, self-centered, and homophobic.

The most popular argument made for the justification of homosexuality is that people are born gay. Many homosexuals claim they did not choose to be gay, and would change if they could, but they are physically and mentally incapable of doing so. That is a lie. What scientific proof is there that some babies are born homosexual and others heterosexual? What gene is present, or even absent, that determines some humans to be gay and others straight?

Continue reading “Are People Born Homosexual?”