Posts in Christian Living
Abortion, Birth Control, and the Issue of Life

From the first book of the Bible to the last book, God’s Word is concerned about the lives of His creation - not only the spiritual life and one’s relationship to God, but also the physical life and one’s relation to his fellow man (Genesis 1:26,27). Moses wrote to the Israelites in Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.” Again, in the law, God instructs man not to “shed innocent blood” (Deuteronomy 19:10). Jesus’ teachings and example stress the importance of life (Luke 9:56). When our Lord walked the streets of Palestine, He ministered to the lame, blind, downtrodden, and social outcasts, of whom the world thought it best if they had never been born. He showed that these individuals were human, created in His image. So it follows that Christ’s disciples, the people making up His church, would strive in all ways to live and teach as the Master does. Thus, on issues such as abortion, our hearts should break when we think of the millions of innocent lives that have been extinguished in the name of “choice” and “freedom”. Our stomachs should churn when we hear of programs such as Planned Parenthood cutting up and selling aborted baby parts (or even that such a foundation as Planned Parenthood exists). Many want to ride the fence of the abortion issue and appeal to the worst-case scenario (such as rape, incest, etc.) as a reason abortion should be acceptable. The facts are, however, that most cases of abortion are not the result of a woman who has been forced in some way. Most abortions occur from a woman who willingly had sex, but did not want the responsibility that comes with it ( https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3711005.pdf ). The legalization of abortion has promoted more individuals to live promiscuous lives and think it is morally acceptable because it is legal. Therein lies the problem with such sinful activity (such as legalization of homosexual “marriage”) due to the lack of knowledge of God’s Word among the populous.

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Are You Materialistic?

As Christians, we read such passages as Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” or Romans 12: 2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed…” and we hear them often in sermons or may even memorize them. However, are we really applying these Scriptures? Do we live out these words from God when deciding which new car/house/clothes to purchase; or when we complain about giving to the poor when each of our children have a cellphone; or when we begrudge the preacher who asks for a raise? We tell ourselves we are denying earthly pleasures and striving to serve God first, but often, our actions speak otherwise. This is unfortunate when we as Christians are supposed to be the light in this dark world. We have let worldliness seep into the church instead of making certain the church spreads out in the world. We should be the ones living differently so that the world may know that we have been crucified with Christ, rather than us thinking, dressing and acting just like everyone else does (Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1). One of the major problems (if not the greatest) in the Lord’s church today is worldliness. Most of our conflicts and struggles in the body of Christ can be traced back to a materialistic mindset. What each of us as Christians thinks affects our homes, our contacts, our congregations, and ultimately, our world (Romans 8:6-7).

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Attitude Of Thankfulness

A wise, older preacher once told me, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” The older I have gotten the more I understand this and the truer it has become. What we think in our minds and hearts affects our actions and lives. “Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Many days end (good or bad) depending on our mindset that day. Many situations could have turned out differently if an attitude check had preceded the event. The overall mindset we possess in life will ultimately determine where we end up. This applies in the physical realm with our careers and earthly endeavors, but also, more importantly, it applies in the spiritual realm – where we will be in eternity. So, what kind of attitude should a child of God exhibit? We should have an attitude of thankfulness. God’s Word stresses the importance of having a disposition of thanksgiving. Thankfulness is key to possessing and maintaining an overall attitude that is pleasing to God. Having gratitude as our foundation will help us to continue to appreciate the love God has shown toward us and not take His blessings for granted; it will helps us keep in remembrance the sacrifice Christ paid for us, thus “setting our minds on things above” (Colossians 3:2, 15; Ephesians 4:23-24). With thanksgiving at the center of our mind, we will have the attitude of the Psalmist (Psalms 100:4) and live a Spirit-filled life as commanded in the New Testament (Ephesians 5:15-21).

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Gossip: Let Your Speech Always Be With Grace

Why do we as human beings feel the need to always be speaking about something new or interesting and have itching ears that long to hear some alluring piece of information? Maybe that is a question for psychology, but it certainly plays a part in our spiritual walk on this earth as God’s people. One cannot go through a checkout aisle without seeing the gossip magazines the media produces on a daily basis. Maybe as Christians we are not concerned with that type of gossip as much as the everyday hearsay of a coworker, neighbor, or brother/sister in Christ. Many times we can get caught up in what others are saying about someone or a particular situation involving another, and even if we do not have all the facts, we feel compelled to give “our two cents” worth. How often do we stop before we speak and think, “Will this help the person or hinder them?” “If the person in question were here would I say this to their face?” “Am I trying to be sincerely helpful or unfairly judgmental?” In other words, before we join in a conversation about another person who is not present we need to firstly examine our own motives. How we use our tongues everyday reflects upon the church of which we are a part and the God whom we serve.

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Modesty: A Gentle and Quiet Spirit

What does it mean to be a modest woman? Is modesty just based on cultural and personal preferences? Is there a standard for modesty set forth in God’s Word? These questions and many more alike have been circulating the hot topic issues for years. In a society that often values beauty and sexuality above all else, it is no wonder that we are bombarded with advertisements and commercials for face creams that “take years off”, “sexy” models showing off “skinny” jeans, and lingerie ads that are pornographic at the most. Our culture has led the mindset of many women to believe “if you got it flaunt it”. This attitude affects every aspect of a woman’s life, and it is this author’s opinion that this prideful and selfish thinking has led to an increase in abortions, females viewing pornography, and more women in the church overstepping their God-given role. The purpose of this article is not to state opinions however, but to recognize that we (as a culture and as Christians) have a problem with modesty. Let us have an open heart as we examine what God’s Word says about this subject and a willing mind to change our thinking to be that of our Lord’s.

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Pornography and Purity

We all know there is a sexual revolution occurring in our world. One cannot go out in public or even watch television without seeing some product being sold in the name of sex. Sexual images, sensual movements, and poorly-clade individuals are literally everywhere. The Internet is no exception. One may be looking at totally innocent information on a site and suddenly an illicit picture pops up. Young children receive cell phones (most of which have the Internet) at very early ages and they learn how to use them sometimes better than their parents! This means that children are going to be exposed to pornographic images increasingly at earlier ages. In fact, the average age that boys first encounter pornography on the Internet is 11 years old - and that number is falling ( http://national.deseretnews.com ). Boys are not the only ones affected. The same source reported that more and more girls are increasingly viewing pornography. Some psychologists have suggested that children need to explore their sexuality and that viewing “soft porn” is not harmful to individuals. Unfortunately, many people have this mindset today. In this independent and subjective-truth-believing society, many will argue pornography can help in some situations (such as bring the passion back into a marriage); but God’s Word (objective truth) has something else to say on this topic (John 17:17). Let us explore some scriptural principles on this difficult-to-discuss subject and be honest with ourselves and with our God. The destiny of our souls depends on it!

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Are You Like Your Mother?

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)

 

As you may have guessed after reading the Scripture above, we will not be discussing the psychology behind the mother-daughter relationship. The word, “mother” in the title is in reference to the mother of us all – Eve (Genesis 3:20). You well remember how she was deceived and the consequences that followed (Genesis 3:1-6, 16). Deception is the topic at hand and it is an interesting one. We do not often ask ourselves whether or not we are involved in deception – either as the recipient or the contributor. The nature of deception lends itself toward such neglect of examination; for when we are deceived by someone, we very rarely “know what hit us” or else it would not be deception. As Christian women, when was the last time we asked ourselves if we are being deceived about a certain subject? Although much could be said from God’s Word about deceiving others (it is not looked upon favorably – Proverbs 24:28; Revelation 20:10), the content of this article will focus upon examining whether or not we, as God’s women, are the ones being deceived.

 
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Feminist or Femininity?

There has been a paradigm shift in our culture in the last century. A number of factors are responsible and a shift in worldviews resulted. The so-called women’s liberation movement changed along with many other social aspects. Europe and America went from women fighting for the vote in the first quarter of the century to fighting for the idea of equality for men and women on all fronts in the last half of the century. Women went from rallying in the streets while pushing their children in strollers to protesting in the streets while pulling their bras off to burn them. Women’s suffrage of the early 1900s is not the same movement as the women’s liberation of the late 1900s. Many may claim they have the same ideas that have just evolved over the years, improved even, but the mindsets behind the two movements are quite opposite. We could discuss all day the reasons behind such a change in beliefs and behaviors, but it really comes down to the abandonment of God’s Word and what it teaches on the roles of men and women.

 
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The Role of Women

The role of women in the Lord's church is a topic that seems to be resurfacing more and more in our society that pushes for equality on all fronts. For many years women have fought for equal rights in voting, the work place, and the community as a whole. Overall, these aspects are not wrong in and of themselves. It is a problem when we as the Lord's body allow our culture to influence the way we view God's Word and the application thereof. Some think men suppress or trample the talents of women when they are not allowed to preach in the assembly. This mindset is appealing to equality among the sexes and forgets what God has revealed in His Word. Is this subject an equality issue? The Word of God is clear that all humans are equal in God's sight (Genesis 1:26-28). Those who obey God are one in Christ no matter their background, their skin color, or their gender (Galatians 3:28). However, being equal before God as His created beings does not mean that men and women have the same function in His body. All Christians have a role in the kingdom. These functional roles are different and one is not more important than another. The roles of men, women, and children are all important and necessary for edifying and building up the church. All of us have the responsibility to work in our designated niche, if you will, and to make sure we are following God's will therein. For the purpose of this writing, we will study what God's Word says about a woman's role in His kingdom.

 
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