What the Garden of Eden has to do with Your Calendar
God still loves His children and knows what is best for them. In His love, He has given us limitations. Limitations like our need for sleep. Or like the fact that the sun comes up and goes down in a regular cycle signaling the time for rest. Or that He explicitly set aside one day a week when no work was to be done, and even went so far as taking a day off Himself even though He was not tired so that we would do as He did. But in our rebellion, we refuse to honor those limits and justify our unwillingness to do so.
Most everyone knows the story, even if they don’t believe the story. In the beginning, there was only God. Nothing else. And then God spoke, and “nothing” became “everything”, including human beings.
Everything was good. Very good, in fact. All creation existed in perfect harmony, and at the center piece of everything was the crown jewel of creation. The man and the woman lived in perfect fellowship with God, walking without guilt, shame, or any other hindrance with Him. God gave His creation the twin gifts of freedom and constraint, all summarized in this simple statement:
You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die (Gen. 2:16-17).
The first people did not trust the Lord and His Word and chose their own way, and with that choice everything that was good and right and harmonious was corrupted. It is, of course, a well known story. Maybe the best known story. And at least for the Christian, it’s not only well known but essential because it is through this story that we find the answer to the question of what is really wrong with the world.
Yes, there are all kinds of answers to that question, depending on the person you ask and the particular issue at the forefront of a person’s mind, but those are all downstream answers. The upstream answer – the one at the source of the trouble – is sin. That’s what’s wrong with the world. And this moment in the garden is when it all started.
Knowing this story, then, is an essential part of knowing who we are and what is wrong with us.
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7 Encouragements in the Christian Struggle for PerseveranceBy John Musyimi — 6 months ago
God has not called us to endure for nothing. There are eternal rewards which accrue to our accounts based on our perseverance. “This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). One moment in glory there will make up for the hardship we endure here.
Growing up, I remember hearing an ad on the radio for tyres. The advertisers argued that these tyres had a peculiar quality about them. They could go on for long without wearing out, so it was claimed. These tyres had endurance.
To keep at something for decades is widely recognised as remarkable. Think of the reverential clapping that erupts when a husband and wife announce that they’ve been together for 30 years. Note also how one generation feels the need to remind the next one of how tough things were when they were growing up. “You’re soft,” they say, “in our day, we had to kill a lion with our bare hands and use its skin to make our shoes!”
Endurance, with its synonyms (perseverance, long-suffering, or patience) appears throughout the Bible as a Christian virtue. It is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Christians have a duty to endure. How, then, do we ready ourselves for it? Below I offer seven suggestions in the fight for perseverance.
1. Expect Hardship in Life
Jesus promised that there would be trials (John 16:33). So we shouldn’t be lulled into thinking that all will go swimmingly. This is the kind of mindset the whole Bible seeks to instill in us. It teaches that our first parents sinned and plunged the world into darkness. Toilsome labour became a part of human existence. Thus we function in a creation that has been “subjected to futility” (Romans 8:20).
We also have an enemy. The same one who acted to subvert God’s creation in tempting man to sin continues to resist us. He established a kingdom whose culture rigorously opposes all that is godly. Yes, the gates of hell will not prevail against us, but they do resist us. Therefore, forward spiritual progress of any kind requires overcoming a futility weaved into existence because of sin and a mighty foe who is against us. We must thus not be surprised by hardship.
2. Understand God’s Purposes in Hardship
By this, I don’t mean special insight into every instance of hardship. I mean developing a theology of what God seeks to do through it.
Consider Paul’s use of the word “knowing” as it relates to hardships. He writes: “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces hope” (Romans 5:3).
Lay Elders, An Important Book for You, As Defenders of TruthBy Helen Louise Herndon — 8 months ago
The sources to which “gay Christians” constantly appeal—secular psychology, sociological data, identity theory, and the personal experiences of people who identify as sexual minorities—are not sufficient to guide us into all truth…If the Bible is God’s holy, inerrant, and clear revelation, then it is the foundation of all that we should believe and do—regardless of anyone’s contrary personal experience.
“God has always saved the church, not by theological pacifists,but by sturdy defenders for the truth.” J. Gresham Machen
An abundance of books today addresses Christians. I just finished one—one I’m compelled to recommend every lay church elder be provided and required to read. Why emphasize “lay” elders? Throughout Church history, heresies or straying from God’s divine revelation came mainly through clerical leaders—not the laity. In Reformed Faith churches, lay elders may be the bulwark defending the church from vulnerability to straying. This is not intended to be anti-clerical—simply recognizing a historical reality that is unrelenting yet today. Sadly, reports coming out of trusted conservative seminaries indicate the threat exists; this article is not about that phenomenon. Rather it’s about a book promoting biblical analysis and discernment that elders need to be sensitive to and on guard against a present danger.
The book is Dangerous Affirmation: The Threat of “Gay Christianity written by M. D. Perkins. I received it courtesy of David H. Linden to whom the book is dedicated with these words: “. . . who . . . taught me that life is too short and Christ is too precious to remain silent when His church is under attack.” The author and to whom it’s dedicated are both “sturdy defenders for the truth.”
Anyone reading The Aquila Report and other Christian resources is aware a battle has come to the church via the LGBT activists and agenda. It’s not only related to sexual morality. It relates to a misnomer of Christian identity, i.e., “gay Christian” or “same-sex attracted Christian.” It’s tearing churches and denominations apart. Many congregations remain ignorant of how serious an issue it is. Members lack clear instruction via sermons, oral instruction, or published communications. If lay elders were informed and aware of the seriousness, perhaps congregations would become more instructed and discerning.
Packed with innumerable facts and biblical truths, justice cannot be attained in a simple review; but I’ll attempt to cite certain key points not to be ignored. First, an important lost principle. Much emphasis is directed on loving the sinner, making the sinner comfortable, welcoming the sinner in our churches and times of worship that the inordinate heinousness of certain dishonorable, indecent, shameful sexual desires, lusts, passions, and sexual acts are softened or ignored. It was Jesus’ Father who described all of the above with harsh terms. God’s love enters as a result of a lost sinner experiencing remorse, shame and sorrow for sin, confession, desiring to repent and cease from sin, and desiring deliverance and redemption. That’s true for all of us regardless of sinful propensities. Balancing truth with love and truth in love to all realizing how far from God’s holy character they are and what God hates is primary in receiving Christ’s atonement. We mustn’t get the cart before the horse.”
Now to some of the author’s revealing facts:
The sources to which “gay Christians” constantly appeal—secular psychology, sociological data, identity theory, and the personal experiences of people who identify as sexual minorities—are not sufficient to guide us into all truth. . . If the Bible is God’s holy, inerrant, and clear revelation, then it is the foundation of all that we should believe and do—regardless of anyone’s contrary personal experience.
. . . the purpose of Christian theology is to know God.
Gay celibate theology wants to essentialize homosexual temptation to the point it is left untouched by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Love and truth are redefined. The majesty of God is minimized and the holiness of God is outright blasphemed.
As Christians, our primary concern should be the character of God—and questioning the integrity of His Word is the first step toward impugning the character of God.
Romans 1 is the central text in understanding the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality. The passage mentions the desire/orientation (“dishonorable passions”) as well as the behavior (“committing shameless acts”) lesbianism (“for their women”) . . . and the connection of sexual lust and rejecting God (“God gave them up”).
This comes as a rebuke to anyone who claims their homosexuality is innate and immutable, which is why even “gay celibate Christians” resist this reading of 1 Corinthians 6:11.
Words matter, and God’s words matter more than any others.
It is not loving to call something good and right that the Bible labels an “abomination,” “dishonorable passion,” or “shameless act”
. . . same -sex attraction . . . it is a phrase that removes the moral framework that Paul embeds in the term dishonorable passions (Romans 1: 26)
Because homosexuality is wicked and defiling, Christians are right to be disgusted at its normalization and celebration (Isaiah 5:20)
If we look carefully, we see that the charge of homophobia is ultimately an attempt to replace the shame of homosexuality with the approval stamp of victimhood.
What if our attempts to adjust the worship of God to make people feel more comfortable at church are an offense to the One who established the church?
What’s most amazing to me about the “born gay” phenomenon is that the scientific evidence for it is thin as a reed, yet it doesn’t matter.
. . . but our temptations should not ultimately define us.
But the peace of Christ is available only to those who are surrendered to Christ by faith (Isaiah 26: 3)
False teachers always appeal to our senses, to our emotions, and to our base instincts. They minimize scripture, reframe it, change the emphasis, and twist it until it is forced to confess a lie.
Can the Christian faith and the LGBT movement really live in harmony? “For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
The aforementioned represents just some of the rich and vast coverage the author gives in order to grapple with the multitude of issues requiring attention for the sake of the church as well as the individual believers. There’s so much more to inform and instruct. Lay elders, encourage the godly men and women of the church to be “sturdy defenders for the truth” along with you.
“I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1: 3-4)
Helen Louise Herndon is a member of Central Presbyterian Church (EPC) in St. Louis, Missouri. She is freelance writer and served as a missionary to the Arab/Muslim world in France and North Africa.
Counter Wokecraft: An Executive SummaryBy Charles Pincourt — 1 year ago
The woke-relevant typology is necessary to identify with whom you might be able to work to challenge the Woke juggernaut, as well as to identify Woke advocates and enablers before they become too powerful. In short, the Critical Social Justice perspective has been promoted and supported by those who adhere to and understand it (the Woke), as well as those broadly sympathetic to the cause but who don’t actually understand it (the Woke-proximate).
The battle against wokeism, aka the Critical Social Justice perspective, is entering its third phase. The first phase involved sounding the alarm and drawing attention to this retrograde, caustic, atavistic, anti-modern, anti-liberal, anti-science and anti-scientific creed. The second phase whose end we are now approaching involved understanding, analyzing and describing to the public at large what characterizes the creed, where it comes from, its results and the extent to which it has captured our institutions. The third phase involves challenging the creed and recapturing our institutions. The beginning of this phase began in earnest in K-12 education with parents all across the US joining together to reclaim control over what their children are being taught. While doing so, lessons are being learned and shared. These experiments are essential to success. What has been missing is a unified presentation of the phenomenon, the strategies and tactics used to entrench it, and those that can be used to defend against it; in a word, a guide. The purpose of Counter Wokecraft is to play this role.
The focus of Counter Wokecraft is universities and academia. They are the focus since they are the origin of the Critical Social Justice perspective and its most avid and effective propagators. They are also the institutions with which I have the most experience and where I have observed the rapid advance of the doctrine in recent years. I believe that at this stage, the manual will be most useful to STEM disciplines defending against the Woke onslaught given the hegemony of the Critical Social Justice perspective in the fine arts, humanities and social sciences. Despite the focus on STEM disciplines in universities, I believe it can be easily adapted to other disciplines, milieux and institutions.
The manual itself comprises three parts: understanding Woke, the strategies and tactics of those advancing the Woke perspective (wokecraft), and how to protect against wokecraft.
Understanding Woke provides a description of the doctrine, its political project, as well as a woke-relevant typology of the different participants involved in making decisions at universities.
Understanding Critical Social Justice doctrine is essential to being able to defend against wokecraft for at least three reasons. The first is that the key axioms of the creed inform and help explain the strategies that are adopted to entrench and propagate it. The second is to help readers appreciate that while Wokeism appears to represent a bewildering number of different movements, the “movements” are all fundamentally rooted in a few axioms. Understanding the axioms therefore helps not only to demystify one particular movement, but all of them. Third, it is essential to prepare would-be dissidents to be able to respond to it.
The Woke political project needs to be understood since there is so much confusion around what the goal of the movement is. There are many reasons for this including the fact that so many advocates seem well-meaning, that its goals are intentionally obfuscated, and that many common words are confusingly re-appropriated to serve the Woke cause. In a nutshell, the Woke political project can be summarized as equity: the retributive redistribution of resources according to identity. The flow of the desired redistribution is from oppressor to oppressed identities, where identities are defined by skin color, primary sexual characteristics, sexual orientation, etc.