DON’s ESSAYS updated 8./17/07 Out of Sight,Mind
Essays are valuable approaches in the course of study. We are delighted to present many of these from our friend of northeast Mississippi,Don. Let’s observe the scholarly approach as well as the balance of study of these topics:
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
Donald R. Fox
Several years ago I received a telephone call from an ole Army Buddy. His name is Paul Nelson and it was over thirty years since I heard from him. The call was about “finding me” as a former member of the 90th Transportation Company. This unit was an H-37 Helicopter Company. We were stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky and because of the “Berlin Crisis of the Cold War” we deployed to Illesheim, Germany as a “show of force”, the year was 1961. I was able to attend a few reunions of this excellent unit in the Fort Rucker, Alabama area after I was “found”.
I must admit that I became very emotional at Paul’s call saying they “remembered me and have been trying to locate me”. Is it not good to be remembered? A problem we all face, well many of us, is that people forget you when you or they move, re-locate, change jobs, etc. The expression “Out of sight, out of mind” is I believe very familiar with most of us and describes the situation clearly. Why is that so?
Reference Genesis 40, Joseph was placed in prison wrongfully. Joseph interprets the dreams of Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker who were also in jail. Pharaoh releases these two former servants. “And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and the chief baker among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand: but he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them. Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him. (Genesis 40:20-23) Notice that the butler forgets Joseph; he was “out of sight, out of mind”. Finally, with Pharaoh dreaming dreams the butler remembers Joseph. Joseph interprets Pharaoh dreams correctly and in the Provenience of God becomes a ruler over Egypt. (See Genesis 41:37-45)
With the above event out of the adventures life of Joseph we see that human frailties and negative character defects have always been with man. May our God never be “out of sight, out of mind”! “I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.” (Psalms 77:11) Out of sight, NEVER: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalms 19:14) Out of mind, NEVER: “â¦Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37)
NOTE: For an essay on this similar subject see: “Keep Your Word”.
Donald R. Fox
There is no doubt about it, I have strong, firm nonflexible beliefs and unchanging, fixed standards I hold fast to. Yet, I can still be in a tolerant person. I think it would be good to look at the definition of tolerant and tolerate. Webster defines tolerant in part as one that is “inclined to tolerate others beliefs, practices, etc, or favoring tolerance.” Webster also defines tolerate in part as, “to allow; permit; not interfere with; to recognize and respect (others beliefs, practices, etc.) without necessarily agreeing or sympathizing; to put up with; bear: as, he tolerates his brother-in-law.”
There are many things we do not agree on, however, we can “recognize and respect other beliefs without necessarily agreeing”. Thus, tolerance is practiced in a civilized society. However, lawlessness, crimes against society can not be tolerated. Murders, rape, etc., anything that interferes with “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” can not be allowed to thrive unchallenged in a society that is civilized. Often problems arise in the defining of troubles within a social order. Citizen’s and government dispute what is right or wrong. An example of such would be the debate on stem cell research, abortion issue, same sex marriage and other ethical issues.
For Christians there is biblical precedence, a superior law and guidance concerning what is “right and wrong” that goes beyond men “think so’s”. The guide for Christians is the Word of God, therefore the disputing of civil or man oriented religious laws/creeds are all put to naught. As an illustration, when confronted with a challenge of what law or authority to follow the Apostle Peter makes this affirmation, “â¦We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) The law of God is always superior and will supersede all other guidance/law.
Jesus showed great tolerance, understanding, yet he did not approve of sinful practice. Let us note two examples of our Lords interaction, toleration within a social structure with sinners, “And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his diciples; for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them. They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinner to repentance.” (Mark 2:15-17) The woman of Samaria is a wonderful interplay between Jesus and a sinner. “There cometh a women of Samaria to draw water. Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drinkâ¦Then saith the women of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? (for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.)” (John 4:7 and 9) “The antipathy between the Jews and Samaritans was so bitter that they were never wont to ask any hospitable rite. The women’s reply is not a refusal of the Lord’s request, but an expression of astonishment that a Jew should ask a favor of a Samaritan.” (Page 338, Note on the Gospel of John, The People’s New Testament Commentary, by B.W. Johnson)
By my Lords example of tolerance, understanding, compassion, can we not practice the same?
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalms 1:1-2)
Donald R. Fox
What drives people? What impulse causes people to act in a certain way? What is our motive? Some are driven by an evil impulse thus causing much pain and hurt to their fellowman. We have heard some say, “I want to be a good person.” That is their inner drive, to be good. Webster defines motive in part as: “some inner drive, impulse, intention, etc. that causes a person to do something or act in a certain way.”
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. (Lou Holtz)
How do we prepare ourselves to be good people? I strongly suggest and counsel that we obtain a correct inner drive, attitude, impulse, and motivation from God’s Word. Only the Word of God, the Bible, can we be sure and positive that right guidance is given.
The apostle Simon Peter gives rock solid sure instructions as he writes to his Christian brethren: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is the world through lust.” Gentle readers now observe in the next few verses how we are made better people. Man is not passive in the obtaining a correct drive, attitude, impulse and motivation that will guide him throughout his life. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.” Charity or love is the glue that binds all God given principles, which will ensure correct impulse, motivations. “For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:3-8)
1 John 2:29 “Every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”
Donald R. Fox
On 24 August 2005, NBC Nightly News had a segment concerning “knowledge of past events, history”. An interviewer asked teenagers and college age young people about events such as “The Depression Era and World War Two”, about people that lived before they were born, etc. The responses were very revealing; they did not have a clue about past events and peoples of previous times. Their almost canned comment was the now poplar slang, “What Ever!” The slang comment revealed more about their attitudes than just not knowing history. It brought to light, “Who cares” or “I could care less” disposition.
We wonder, what does the school systems teach about USA and World History. I am baffled! How could a high school graduate or college age student go through twelve plus years and not know events such as the Great Depression or World War Two Era? Very rarely I look at the “Jay Leno Show” because I am ready for bed, and other reasons. On a few occasions however, I remember his impromptu interviews with the “man/women on the street”. Jay would ask simple questions about history/people and as you may know, the stupid answers he gets. Yes, it’s amazing what people do not know about history.
“History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time, it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.” (Cicero, 106-43 BC)
“History despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
(Maya Angelou, 1928 – )
“I will never forget thy precepts, for with them thou hast quickened me.” (Psalms 119:93)
“My son, forget not my law: but let thine heart keep my commandments.” (Proverbs 3:1)
To remember is good! To remember and correct wrongs is very good!
RUMBLE SEAT RELIGION
Donald R. Fox
What in the world is a “rumble seat” some may ask. From Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia: “A rumble seat is an upholstered exterior seat which hinges or otherwise opens out from the rear deck of a pre-World War II automobile, and seats one or more passengers. Roadster, Coupe and Cabriolet body styles were offered with either a luggage compartment or a rumble seat in the deck. Models equipped with a rumble seat were often referred to as a sport coupe or sport roadster.” I wonder how many younger folks knew about this. Interesting isn’t it!
When I was just a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, New York we always used public transportation, trolley cars, subway and buses. It was extremely rare to have an opportunity to ride in an automobile. In the l930’s and the World War 2 years of the 1940’s cars were few on the road. We could play in the streets with hardly any cars interrupting our games, touch foot ball, stick ball and etc.
An old friend of my parents had a car. Not only that, his car had a ramble seat. We called him Uncle Joe. On a very few occasions we drove to his house and us kids squeezed into the rumble seat. We could laugh, yell and the grown-ups in the front were not bothered by the noise. A quick glance to the rear was all the adults needed to “check on us kids” as we continued to have noisy fun.
I thought of rumble seats over the years and about how some had rumble seat religion. You see, many like to put God in the rumble seat. They can look back symbolically through the rear view mirror of their life style and see in a figurative sense, God. But God is not disturbing them; they were insulated, detached from God and His Commandments. Yet, they still want to have the feeling of being religious, a connection. No commitment; just a quick glance was needed.
A few verses come to mind, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not things which I say? Whosoever, cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arouse, the stream beat vehemently upon the house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of the house was great.” (Luke 6:46-49)
“What doth if profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?” “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:14 and 17)
Our faith, yes duty to Almighty God must be active. Isolation, separation from our God will not work. God requires full obedience, active life In Christ Jesus.
In 1948 the distinguished British actor Ronald Colman (1891-1958) starred in a movie, screen play entitled “A Double Life”. Colman plays a stage actor who stars in the play, William Shakespeare’s tragedy, “Othello”. He becomes so involved in acting the part, that he begins to think and behave as “Othello” even off-stage. The more he plays the role, the more he takes on the rage, the character of “Othello”. He begins to lead a “double life”, his true self and the character he plays, “Othello”. Thus submitting, he gives in to his “double life”, driving him to murder and the loss of his mind.
Over the years we have observed people, many times proclaimed Christians that have put on a front, a mask. They are not what they seem. They lead “double lives”. They may be caught up in worldly vices, wicked hidden behaviors, dark sensual sins and such like that make them hypocrites. They put on the face of stability and integrity, sadly they are living a charade. We are afraid that there are more people leading “double lives” than we can envision. Do they lament over their predicament? I would think many do. To overcome such hypocrisies must be an ongoing inner struggle.
We have wondered about such things. Why hide your true self? Of course the answer is that most normal, rational, law-abiding people desire at least an outward appearance of respectability, a good reputation. Someone has said, “Reputation is what people think about you, character is what you really are”. Most of us desire to be thought of as “Class A Citizens”, great husbands, wives, parents, and on and on we could go.
Can one that is living a “double life” change, repent, clean up their lives? Of course one can, Thank God. Man can choose to lay aside those things that are the root cause for living a lie. “Wherefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking…” (1 Peter 2:1) The need is “to be conformed to the image of his Sonâ¦” (Romans 8:29) When we conform “to the image” of our Saviour, we “put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lustsâ¦” thus we “put on the new man,â¦” (See Ephesians 4:22-24)
Living a “double life” must be a fearful and worrying dilemma for one that is caught up in a life of lies and hypocrisies. To repent of this life-style is the only answer for a sane, normal useful life “in Christ”. (See Acts 2:37-38)
MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC
I am sure many young folks of this present generation, would consider me as just pure ole fashion. Many would certainly think I am naÃ¯ve, green and not understanding “their generation”. To be truthful with you they would be right, because I don’t understand much of the direction some are taking. Yes, with this essay I will really be “dating myself”, that’s OK with me.
Do you remember a very young and sweet Teresa Brewer singing her 1950 hit song, “Music, Music, Music”? Other great musical stars of that past era: The Andrew Sisters, Perry Coma, Frankie Laine, The Ames Brothers, The Mills Brothers, on and on we could go. Words and music of that generation was pleasant and melodious. Remember also the great movie musicals produced in beautiful vivid color? O a past era to be sure.
I touch on this subject because of the influx, flood of so called “music” called “Hip Hop”, gangster rap and other type “music”. I have a difficult time saying “music” to describe such ugly trash with words/lyrics that do not belong in a civilized society.
What a culture accepts as music is an indicator as to the civility of that society. What would “Hip Hop, Rap” point toward as to the mindset of our present era here in the USA? It certainly would not show politeness, courtesy or respect, would it? Another indicator would be books, movies and the like. Movies today for the greater part are pure trash.
NOTE: Because of the recent television news reporting of such type “words/music” that is used over the air waves/records/TV, etc. I thought I would send this out for your consideration.
I have addressed this subject before, see: “Mrs. Karo” on our Web Site.
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
JUSTICE CHESS GAME
From the old TV series of “Perry Mason” to the newer “Law and Order” and “CSI”, many of us have been fascinated with Criminal Justice and the workings of the Legal System. Law abiding citizens demand that criminals be punished for their crimes against society. I always enjoy the likable “Andy Griffith in Matlock”; his program always seemed to incorporate true justice.
As we observe these shows designed to entertain and inform us of the workings of the Criminal Justice System, something always stands out. The crime, murder is committed and the Police Investigators gather information/evidence to convict the criminal. Usually at this point in the television program a Policeman, an Investigator forgets or is careless and fails to “dot the i or cross the t”. With stern unwavering resolve the Judge throws out, denies the use of vital evidence because of some silly mistakes made by the Law Enforcement Investigators. Oh yes, everyone knows the criminal is as “guilty as sin”, “no doubt at all”, yet because of the mistakesâ¦the evidence is denied in court. A lesser charge may be the alternative or he/she may be freed to commit crimes again.
At this point my thought process says, “Where is the justice? Is this just a figurative chess game played by the legal system and those who participate in the trail?” The question arises, “What attorneys are the brainier, the cleverer as to the handling, out maneuver, and manipulation of the legal structure?” Is this justice? I think not! Note here; I am not an Attorney or even a student of Law, I do not have the answers. But It seems to me that sometimes these administrative mistakes, mishandling, carelessly overlooking of a “jot and tittle” on the part of the Police/Investigators need to be put aside and allow common sense Justice to prevail. With these fiction type shows geared to entertain we see many times in them the same type crimes played out in our real world society. Maybe a review, research and rewriting of some of our Laws, Legal Systems, Criminal Justice procedures may be in order?
Webster defines justice as: “the quality of being righteous; impartiality; fairness; the quality of being right or correct; sound reason; rewards or penalty as deserved; just deserts, etc.” When a deliberate, blatant criminal, bank robber, rapist, murdered goes “Scott free” because of an oversight, human error, mistakeâ¦ is this justice?
Yes, man made systems of justice may fail us, yet our God will not. “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:3) “Thus saith the Lord God; let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord God” (Ezekiel 45:9) “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.” (Proverbs 11:1) In my humble opinion no matter how we attempt to justify improper judgments due to human error in the mishandling of critical evidenceâ¦our God desires, demands true, righteous justice.
In my bookâ¦it is a shame to play “chess games with justice”. Too bad we as a society “wink” at so many moral/ethical “sins of men” such as fornication, drunkenness, and such like, yet with a microscope endeavor to find a blunder, a slipup, mistakes when we Investigate Violent Crimes Against Society, thus allow the criminal to “walk away, free”.
“Morality rests upon Law, Law is subject to the Authority of Morality: Law is the Basis of Morality, but yet Morality is the Standard of Law. Law is fixed for the moment, and Morality supposes its fixity: but Morality is a supreme and eternal Rule, which Law must recognize. Law must always attempt to conform to Morality”. (Page 331, Article 461, Vol 1, The Elements of Morality, By William Whewell, published 1857)
Why people put so much stock in the words, religious teachings of men, placing these “I believe this and that” above the “Word of God, the Bible” is beyond me. Yet, it has always been so, according to church history. Some people desire to hear something new and even strange, yes, beyond strange “the Athenians, and strangers which were there, spent their time in nothing else, but to tell or to hear some new thing.” (Acts 17:21) New or just plain crazy may be a good explanation what self-centered claimers of new revelations teach as Mormon Church dogma. It could be noted here that many religious bodies/cults teach weird doctrines, all of which are inventions of false teachers. (Study Galatians 1:6-9)
Briefly let us study together just a small portion, a slice of what exalted false prophets of Mormonism taught. Their writings still can be located in Mormon Church achieves. Notice the below incredible, fanciful quote: “The inhabitants of the moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the earth, being about 6 feet in height. They dress very much like the Quaker style and are quite general in style, or the fashion of dress. They live to be very old; coming generally, near a thousand years. This is the description of them as given by Joseph the Seer, (Mormon name for Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, DRF) and he could “see” whatever he asked the Father in the name of Jesus to see.” (Quotation from the Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, Vol. 2, page 166. A typed copy at the Utah State Historical Society is cited in Mormonism: Shadow or Reality? Authored and complied by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Utah Lighthouse Ministry)
Here we have the astonishing “Mormon Moon Men”. Wonder why our astronauts didn’t report seeing these folks dressed as Quakers? Guess also these “Moon Men” did not need oxygen.
But wait, when Joseph Smith died, his exalted place as head of the Mormon Church was taken up by Brigham Young. Brigham was just as outrageous to “tellâ¦something new”, why he said there are “inhabitants of the sun”. “Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the Moon…So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the Sun. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. XIII, page 271.) Just wondering if they need real thick fire repellent suits on the Sun? I guess also they could not dress like Quakers.
Friends, isn’t the above so very distressing? We know that on the whole, Mormons are good, law-abiding citizens, yet they have blindly accepted the frenzied, fanatic revelations of mere flesh and blood men. I pray that they will look for truth as revealed in the Bible, The Word of God (John 8:32) and reject these outrages ravings of men that have with great presume, dare glorifying themselves. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;..” (1 Timothy 4:1,2)
FACTORS THAT SAVE US
THINGS THAT SAVE
There are many things that enter into our salvation from sin. We cannot single out any one of them as being the only thing that saves us. We must take the sum of truth to arrive at the complete truth. “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, Oh God! How great is the sum of them!” (Psalms 139:17)
THINGS THAT SAVE
THE WORD OF GOD SAVES: “â¦.receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your soul.” (James 1:21) “And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you the inheritance among all them that are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32)
THINGS THAT SAVE
THE GOSPEL SAVES: “I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) “Moreover, I declare unto you the gospelâ¦by which also ye are savedâ¦” (I Corinthians:1-2) “Gospel: In the New Testament it denotes the good tidings of the Kingdom of God and of salvation through Christ,â¦” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)
THINGS THAT SAVE
GRACE SAVES: “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of Godâ¦” Eph.2:8. This simply says we are saved by grace, is unmerited favor. This would not make salvation without conditions but would show that conditions would not merit the salvation received.
THINGS THAT SAVE
MERCY SAVES: “Not by works or righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy hath He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)
THINGS THAT SAVE
CHRIST’S BLOOD SAVES: “â¦how much more shall the blood of Christâ¦purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” (Heb.9:14) “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Heb.9:22) That is, through the shedding of Christ’s blood we have remission of sin. Question: Where do we contact the blood of Jesus?
THINGS THAT SAVE
CHRIST’S LIFE SAVES: “For is when we were enemies; we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Rom. 5:10)
THINGS THAT SAVE
HEEDING THE DOCTRINE: “Take heed unto thyself and to the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou salt both save thyself and them that hear thee.” (1 Tim. 4:6)
THINGS THAT SAVE
FAITH SAVES: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him for they that come to God must believe that He is and that He is the rewarded of them that diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6)
“Sirs what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou salt be saved and thy house.” (Acts 16:30-31)
THINGS THAT SAVE
REPENTANCE SAVES: “I tell you nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3, 5)
“At the times of this ignorance God winked at but now commanded all men every where to repent.” (Acts 17:30)
THINGS THAT SAVE
CONFESSION OF FAITH SAVES: “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”
(Rom. 10) “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father which is in heaven.” (Mt. 10:32)
THINGS THAT SAVE
BAPTISM SAVES: “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us, (not the putting away the filth of the flesh but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3:21)
This did not say baptism is a figure but the saving of Noah and his family is a figure or type of our salvation. This simply says “baptism saves us.” Baptism washes away sins through the merits of the blood of Christ. See Mk. 16, Acts 2:38; 22:16.
THINGS THAT SAVE
WORKS SAVE: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified and not be faith onlyâ¦For as the body without the spirit is dead even so faith without works is dead.” (James 2:24, 26)
THINGS THAT SAVE
OBEDIENCE SAVES: “Though He were a Son yet learned He obedience through the things which he suffered and being made perfect he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” (Heb. 5:8, 9)
THINGS THAT SAVE
HOPE SAVES: “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope.” (Rom. 8:24)
THINGS THAT SAVE
We have listed a few of the factors that enter into our salvation from sin. With each factor we have given you plain understandable scriptures. We ask you to study and accept only what the Bible teaches. We have no right to single out any one factor and say we are saved by it alone. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)
(This series “Things That Save” used by permission of J.A. Thornton, Booneville, Mississippi, extracted from his tract “Some Things That Save”)
DONALD R. FOX
We live in perilous times. Jesus said, “And ye shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars;â¦” (Matthew 24:6). If you look at ancient or our own modern history, we will see in each age, it is the “Age of Anxiety”. Some worry about dying—but we will all die, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27). We worry about aging—but we all grow older each day. Some of us worry about things that will never happen.
“I have worried over a great many things in life, the most of which never happened.” (Mark Twain)
Fear of war, death overtakes many. We have little control over much that goes on in our world. In the last Century we had four major wars:
WW1 1917-1918 Killed: 116,708
WW2 1941-1945 Killed: 408,306
Korean 1950-1953 Killed: 54,246
Vietnam 1957-1975 Killed: 58,219
On September 11, 2001 we had “A Wake-Up Call From Hell”, (Former Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform Committee). Many of us worry and are fearful. What will happen next? All throughout history we humans have observed frightening times. Evil invites, compels good to act in response. Good will always prevail in the end. (See Revelation 17:14) Let us not faint nor “fear not, neither be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
According to the Jewish Historian, Josephus, the Roman Army, on August 10, AD 70, stormed Jerusalem. A great massacre of 1,100,00 perished and 100,000 survivors were sold into slavery.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing to fear, is fear itself”. James Fordyce said, “Henceforth the majesty of God revere; Fear Him, and you have nothing else to fear.” I would suppose that each generation could exclaim, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishnessâ¦” (A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens) Unfortunately, men do not learn from history, we still make the same mistakes and are guilty of the same type of sins for “there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Yes, we live in a trying, dangerous era. We must “Fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13) Be on guard, for “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil,” (Isaiah 5:20) Let us all live each day the best we can, doing God’s Will because “Today is the tomorrow you waited for yesterday.”
(NOTE: Some of the above thoughts gleamed from “Heart Diseases and Their Cures”, Chapter on “Overcoming Worry” by Wendell Winkler)
DONALD R. FOX
I had not thought about Dr. Antony Flew an Englishman, born February 23, 1923, in many a year. As I doing some research work concerning creation vs. evolution, I found several articles, information on Dr. Flew. As far as I know he is still alive. He is much respected in the Atheistic Community.
I first was introduced to Dr. Flew in 1976. He engaged Dr. Thomas Warren, a Christian, in a formal oral debate, September 20-23, 1976, in Denton, Texas. The proposition was: “Does God Exist?” This debate was well attended, recorded and later published in book form. In a way I appreciated Dr. Flew because he seemed to be an honest debater. As I looked at his biographic summary, books, articles, etc. I did not see any mention of his discussion with Dr. Thomas Warren, although I might have missed it. I really do not blame him for overlooking this debate because Dr. Warren “cleaned his plow” with logic, evidences and debating skills.
We all understand that we live in a very complex yet an orderly world. We further understand that chaos; the “big bang” could never bring about order. Dr. Flew recently said, “the apparent impossibility of providing a naturalistic theory of the origin from DNA of the first reproducing speciesâ¦ (In fact) the only reason which I have for beginning to think of believing in a First Cause god is the impossibility of providing a naturalistic account of the origin on the first reproducing organism.” (“Flew Considers Godâ¦Sort of” by Richard Carrier, October 10, 2004) However, a few months later, 29 December 2004, Dr. Flew “retracted” some of what he said concerning “believing in a First Cause god”. Dr. Flew is a “die hard” atheist and readily changes his mind. “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8)
During the Flew-Warren debate, Dr. Warren asked Dr. Flew “Was there ever a human baby born without a human mother?” Dr. Flew answered simply, “No”.
The first cause has always been a great atheistic problem. H. S. Lipson writes in “Physics Bulletin, vol. 31, May 1980, page 138 the following, “If living matter is not, then, caused by the interplay of atoms, natural forces and radiation, how has it come into being?…I think, however, that we must admit that the only acceptable explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject a theory that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it.”
Atheists will not recognize God yet the evidence stands for His existence! The first cause, an orderly universe, is a creation of God Almighty. Truly, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
INFORMATIONAL NOTE: If I remember correctly it was early 1976 when I received announcement of this upcoming discussion. When the time approached for the debate I decided to write letters to the Major Television Networks to advertise the event. In the letters sent, I basically stated that “If there is NO GOD, then we need to know this. If there IS A GOD then it behooves us to obey him.” I asked them to “cover the event”. None of the Networks I contacted responded in a positive fashion. I remember the CBS Evening News, with Walter Cronkite (News Anchor from 1962 to1981), “the most trusted man in America” responded by means of one of his assistance acknowledging my request, but stated “they did not think it newsworthy and would not cover it”. “So it goes!”
‘TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCE”
DONALD R. FOX
Ralph Edwards (1913-2005) was a pioneer radio and television broadcaster and game show host. He started his radio career at age of 15. He developed a radio show called “Truth or Consequence” in 1940. This game show ran a total of 38 years on both radio and television. It was extremely popular. Ralph would ask questions to the contestants, if the answers were wrong, they had to “pay the consequence” and perform a stunt, something silly, etc. Ralph used the familiar comment “Aren’t we devils?” during performance of the “consequence”. He was a jolly host and the audience loved him.
Did you know because of the popularity of the show a town re-named itself “Truth or Consequence”, located in New Mexico?
Truth is important! The words of Jesus still rings true, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32) For the many that choose a lifestyle of sinful behaviors, they must be ready to “pay the consequence”. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
The great problem and heartache is that so many innocent people have to “pay the consequence”, suffer the results of another’s sin. Sin such as adultery, divorce, with the broken homes it produces, fornication, hatred, envying, drunkenness, etc. all of which carry terrible consequences to the innocent. This is very sad; however, we must understand this awful truth. (For sins of the flesh see Galatians 5:19-21)
Sin can be forgiven, however, the consequence of sin remains to hurt all involved. What is the answer for those who have been crushed and hurt by the sins of others? Swiftly we answer, continue to do God’s Will! “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) In complying with God’s Way, the outcome, results, the consequence will be a Christ centered life. What more do we need?
Donald R. Fox
I am a student of church history, bear in mind, I said a student. We are indebted to many great and honorable historians that have studied languages and the tedious task of mastering research sources. One Church Historian I particularly respect is Philip Schaff (1819-1893). His “History of the Christian Church” in Eight Volumes is considered by many as his greatest work.
In Volume I, pages 22-27 of his “History of the Christian Church”, Mr. Schaff outlines the “Duty of the Historian”. Notice extracted from this section his intense desire to treat church history in an upright and honest manner. “The first duty of the historian, which comprehends all others, is fidelity and justice. He must reproduce the history itself, making it live again in his representation. His highest and only aim should be, like a witness, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and like a judge, to do full justice to every person and event which comes under his reviewâ¦ The historian, moreover, must make his work readable and interesting, without violating truth. Some parts of history are dull and wearisome; but upon the whole, the truth of history is “stranger than fiction.” It is God’s own epos. It needs no embellishmentâ¦ The historian must first lay aside all prejudice and party zeal, and proceed in the pure love of truthâ¦ But the historian of the church of Christ must in every thing be as true as possible to the objective factâ¦”
Reputable historians would never jeopardize, risk their scholarship on half truths, superfluities or misguiding conclusions to fit their preconceived religious beliefs and notions of historical events.
I am personally grateful for true historians and thankful for the many aids we have in our study of the Word of God. Shall we be able to say, with assurance: “My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.” (Psalms 119:167-168)
(John 8:32) “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Donald R. Fox
I was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I was an avid sandlot baseball player. Most of us boys were very loyal Brooklyn Dodger Baseball fans. What a great team and fun to watch. All us boys played for and were members of the PAL (Police Athletic League). We were given free baseball tickets to see the Dodgers. We spent many a day at ole Ebbets Field to watch our favorite team. What fun we had sitting high up in the left field “bleachers”. The players were colorful, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Don Newcombe, the whole lot of them, the “Boys of Summer”. For the Flatbush Avenue faithful the cry was always “wait till next year”. They were the lovable “Bums of Brooklyn”. We were loyal to our team. They won the World Series in 1955. The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles October 1957, an end to a great era of baseball at its best.
Christians must be loyal to our God, our Creator. To be loyal is to be faithful. A person of faith will be obedient to God thus salvation is promised. “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believethâ¦” (Romans 1:16) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God.” (Romans 5:1) Loyalty, faithfulness to our God, Country, Family, Friends and things that are good and just in the sight of God should be are aim.
Loyalty is good, however, sometimes misplaced. Many times Christians show a greater, undeserving loyalty toward civic clubs, secret organizations, political parties, family ties and etcetera more than they do to God Almighty. We know this is true because of the fruit they produce. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7)
A very early Christian, Polycarp of Smyrna (A.D. 65/70-155?) was loyal and faithful unto the end. (See Revelation 2:10) This steadfast Christian refused to revile our Saviour Jesus Christ. Before being burned as a Martyr he uttered these words, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?” (The Martyrdom of Polycarp, Page 41, Vol. 1, Ante-Nicene Fathers)
Let us all serve our Lord and Saviour with true loyalty, faithfulness.
BIOMETRICS: THE IRIS
Donald R. Fox
“The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder.” (Charles Darwin, A letter to a friend, 1860)
“I will praise thee: for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalms 193:14)
According to an article titled, “What is Iris Recognition Technology?” World Wide Web, wisegeek, January 24, 2007, “Iris recognition technology offers the highest accuracy in identifying individuals of any method available. This is because no two irises are alike â not between identical twins, or even between the left and right eye of the same person. Irises are also stable; unlike other identifying characteristics that can change with age, the pattern of one’s iris is fully formed by ten months of age and remains the same for the duration of their lifetime. Iris recognition technology is also accurate because it uses more than 240 points of reference in an iris pattern as a basis for a match. By comparison, fingerprints use about 60.”
Amazing! We humans have individual fingerprints, individual DNA Code, proved scientifically that the eye pupil, the iris is uniquely ours for life, along with our other identifying uniqueness. These identifying features of the human body are called Biometrics by the scientific community. All human identification features are uniquely yours and mine, now isn’t that astonishing?
How can anyone believe we evolved by sheer chance, starting with a “big bang” to an ole “slime pit” thus bringing “life” or something of this nature? Talk about “science fiction”! We have all these multiplied evidences of order, design, and the complete uniqueness of each human that ever lived on the “face of the earth”. The only logical answer is, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”…”So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:1, 27)
Yes, Mr. Darwin we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, so just “shudder” away.
***EXALTATION OF MEN
Donald R. Fox
In my judgment when we look at the history of mankind, one thing stands out. With overloaded ego’s bursting at the seams, the Nero’s, the Hitler’s, tyrants, dictators, up and down throughout history, we see the exaltation, elevation of men. With this adulation and the blind followers they create, come woes, tears and death, the by-product, consequence of exaltation men.
From the better understood, secular world and the adoration of men, we move to the lesser known spiritual world, the church of the Bible. With the multitude of churches and all claiming to follow the Bible it has become for many honest people a most confusing situation.
According to New Testament scriptures, each congregation of Christians in the First Century was governed by a plurality of elders and deacons. Further, each congregation of the Lord’s people, Christians were self-governing, independent of other congregations. Their source of authority and their guide was solely the Bible, the scriptures. Absent were creeds of men, “think so’s” and opinions of men. No higher ecumenical bodies were over these congregations. Divisions and exaltations were condemned (I Cor. 1:10).
It is Interesting to note that in early church history “exaltation of men” lead to the greatest change in original scriptural church government. It is clear and verifiable that “the apostolic churches had a plurality of elders or bishops. At first the elders of any particular congregation would select one of their number to preside at their meetings for the transaction of business, and in the course of time he came to be known as “The Bishop”. Little by little he came to feel his importance till he was exalted above his fellow elders.” “No change, perhaps, in the whole history of the changing forms of church government can be specified more destructive to the primitive constitution of the Church, or more destructive to its spiritual interests” “This entire perversion of the original view of the Christian Church,” says Neander, “was itself the origin of the whole system of the Roman Catholic religion—the germ from which sprang the popery of the Dark Ages.” (Chapter II, pages 54-55, The Church, The Falling Away, and The Restoration, by J.W. Shepherd) (Further reference, Chapters IX and X, “History of the Christian Church” by Philip Schaff, Volume 1)
Would it be nice and would it not make a “world of difference” if men heeded the words of our Savior Jesus Christ: “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-)
THE GOOD WAY
“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jeremiah 6:16)
Good is good, why would anyone want to walk in ways that are bad? Sadly too many have chosen the bad way. I just can not imagine anyone desiring the bad way over “the good way”. According to U.S. News & World Report Magazine, January 15th, 2007 edition, a feature article, titled “The New Math on Crime” on pages 38-39, stated “the 2006 murder totals from the 20 largest cities present a gloomy picture”. With the absent of figures, data from our sixth largest city Phoenix, Arizona the total murders from our nineteen other largest cities for 2006 was 4,152. This was a percent increase of 5.9 from 2005. That’s bad news, nothing good about it. Remember now this is 4,151 murders in just nineteen USA cities for the year 2006.
The answer why so many chose the bad way over “the good way” is clear, they have chosen sin, evilness. The “old paths” of rightness and God given morals, standards have been forsaken. Sinners, evil workers have abandoned that which is good for the heartaches of bad. Why chose an awful, terrible, and sometime violent filled lifestyle over the promise of “rest for your souls”? But alas the sinner states “we will not walk therein”, that is we will not serve God. It is insane to think of the decision to live the sin sick evil life that so many have chosen. As for me I choose “the good way”, (Joshua 24:15) “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, not sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalms 1:1)
Yes, good is good, however, let us remember that Satan, our enemy, adversary can and does use deception to make bad look good. So beware! “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8)
MONTANUS THE HERETIC
Donald R. Fox
Montanus was a false teacher, a heretic. His heresies were an apocalyptic type movement from late 2d century to early 3d century. It is believed that his false teachings, sect lasted until the 8th century. “It appears that Montanus claimed both to be a unique fulfillment of the work of the Paraclete promised by Jesus in John 14:26, and to be able to pass that power on to his adherents. He and his two principal followers (both women) were reported to speak in strange sounds with angels and sometimes with Jesus himself.” (The Earliest Christian Heretics, Edited by Arland J. Hultgren and Steven A. Haggmark, Chapter 15, page 127)
“Montanus introduced extreme asceticism. Celibacy was demanded of all Christians.” (A History of Heresy, David Christie-Murray, Chapter 4, page 33)
“Montanist prophets claimed direct ecstatic revelations from God to support their teachings on disciplinary questionsâ¦” (Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Everett Ferguson, Editor, Montanism, page 622)
False prophets, sham teachers, heretics abound. From the very early days of Christianity to present time these “claimers” come forth. Why do some desire to hear something new and that which is human driven? (See Galatians 1:6-9) Alas, the “claimers” are not new; they just rehash that which has been designated as heresy. From very early false prophets like Montanus to more modern deceivers such as Aimee McPherson to Jim Jones to the current crop of “fake healers” and so called “unknown tongue talkers”. They all have something in common; they all claim a direct link with the Holy Spirit apart from the written Word of God. In this they err greatly! Heresy is heresy, if it comes forth in the early days of Christianity or in our own present time.
The Word of God is our only standard and not the claims of mere men. (See 2 Timothy 3:16-17) “If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
KEEP YOUR WORD
Donald R. Fox
Why do people tell you “Yes, I will call you.” or “Yes, I will take care of that.” or something like that and never fulfill their promise? Have you ever run into a person, a couple on the street, at the mall, etc. you have not seem for years and years? At one time you were very close to this person or couple. You hug each other and try to catch up on news about each other during a brief visit. Before you depart from each other they ask for your address/telephone number and/or e-mail address. They say, I will call you very soon and we can meet for lunch, etc. sometime. You guessed it; you never hear any word from them.
Also, have you ever bought sometime or purchased a service with the promise, “We stand behind our product.” or “We will come by your house and fix it.” You guessed it again; you almost have to hire a Lawyer in order for them to fulfill their promises. We understand about “the squeaking wheel gets the oil” and that is too bad also. Sad that one has to get “ugly” to get the service promised and others that are more “sweet” go without.
I would suppose the above illustrations are all too common because it happens all the time, does it not? Why don’t we “keep our word”? Yes, many of us are guilty. We forget and we do not “keep our word”. It’s “out of sight, out of mind”.
NOTE: We are not addressing honest, human forgetfulness. We are discussing a flippant, frivolous and a casual attitude in regard to “your word”.
“Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.”
(Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862)
“Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.” (Marcus Antoninus, 121-180 AD)
If we cut away all the excuses why we do not “keep our word”, it all boils down to the simple fact,” we lied”. Ouch, that hurt! “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.” (Ephesians 4:25) Let us do what we say! If you have a tendency to forget, write it down. Do not “break your word”.
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36)
Donald R. Fox
Over the years I have pondered why it seems that some people do not show gratitude. Is it because they are not grateful for what has been done for them or the gift they received? Or is it that some do not recognize the need to express gratefulness? It may be that they are glad for what they received, a gift or good deed done for them and it just does not enter their mind to say thank you? It may be that some people are just self-centered or do not understand the need for such social graces coupled with other negative character traits. I will continue to ponder why the lack of gratitude in some!
What is so troubling about the lack of showing, expressing gratitude, is that many that are ingrates basically are good people, even Christian brethren, friends and relatives. This again raises the question, “Why can’t people express, show gratitude”?
Certainly the teachings of Jesus Christ are clear concerning gratefulness. What is the problem: lack of concern, lack of sensitivity, lack of upbringing, a self-centered person or another character flaw? Only the individual suffering from this blemish of character can answer the question, why don’t they show gratitude?
Alas, ingratitude has always been with mankind. Luke 17:12-18 “And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering, said, Where there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.”
One out of ten showed a grateful attitude. Guess the human race hasn’t changed too much!
Donald R. Fox (23 December 2006)
Government officials and other type employees working in highly classified areas that steal information for gain or just to “leak” to the News Media is almost a common every day event. This is Shameful! It is my strong personal view that the word “treason” needs to return with application and enforcement of the same to punish such untrustworthy people.
In the political arena such unsavory practice is the norm. Do anything to embarrass the opposite party or even an elected President. Get the information to the “news media” and who cares if the “leak” causes a breach in our National Security. How many times will it take to have another “leaked memo” before someone gets charged with an unlawful act or better yet “treason”? I recoil, cringe at such “leaks” because of a pattern that is in play. Frightening is it not?
To be trustworthy is a noble trait. To safeguard classified information entrusted to individuals and institutions must be uppermost in daily activities. When it comes to National Security for a person to break such trust is treasonous. Treason is defined as “betrayal of ones country”. If classified information is passes on, leaked that involved National Security to someone not authorized to know such data, the result could be disastrous. Too many have a loose, frivolous attitude toward such matters. Where has patriotism and loyalty gone? Shame on them!
Over fifty years ago my wife, Shirley was in the ole Women’s Army Corp (WAC). She was cleared for and worked in a “Top Secret” Army facility. Until this good day she will not discuss or divulge what she worked on. Now that is “trustworthy”, people like her are becoming a “rare breed”.
Men may fail us, but remember we can trust our God. “O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.” (Psalms 25:2) “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)
“Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.” Solon, 638-559 BC
PRESUMING TOO MUCH
Donald R. Fox (11 October 2005)
“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” (Psalms 19:13)
Many will say that “The Revelation of John”, the last book in the New Testament of Jesus Christ is the most difficult to master. With its highly figurative language and symbols there are numerous ideas concerning this book. You can listen to several preachers expounding this great book and hear several different views of it, all contradicting each other.
Stable Bible scholars have suggested that the main theme of “Revelation” is that God will always prevail and evil will always be defeated.
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14)
In my library I have a study book simply titled “Bible Studies”. The author was the colorful evangelist of past years, J.D. Tant, the “Texas Preacher” (1861-1941). In his “Bible Studies” he took his students through the New Testament in a three-year course. He furnished students of the Bible with over 4500 questions. In the introduction to his study book, J.D. Tant makes the following observation: “I do not examine Revelation in these lessons, as I am not well enough versed in that book to teach it.” Remarkable! Tant felt he would be presumptuous to teach it. How refreshing and how very honest!
The book of “Revelation” should be studied along with all other inspired books of the Bible. There are many hard to understand things in the Bible. We must continue to study and obey the precious Word of God. (See 2 Peter 3:14-18)
I thought I would bring this little slice of information to your attention. The next time you hear these frantic “Revelation” expounders, think about the ole stable preacher J.D. Tant and his desire not to be presumptuous.
JURORS AND THE BIBLE
Donald R. Fox (16 December 2006)
A local young woman in Northeast Mississippi, Kristi Fulgham, was convicted and sentences to death. She was pronounced guilty of murdering her husband in May 2003. “In Mississippi, anyone sentenced to death automatically begins a long appeal process.” Because a Bible was left in the room by a bailiff where the jurors deliberated, “Jackson attorney James Lappan, who represents Kristi Fulgham, immediately requested a mistrial. Circuit Judge Lee Howard denied Lappan’s request after asking the jury if the presence of the Bible affected their decision. All the jurors said it hadn’t.” (Reference article “Fulgham lawyer may focus on Bible” by Leesha Faulkner, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, December 12, 2006)
Attorney James Lappan was doing his job defending Kristi Fulgham and I have no problem with Mr. Lappan. However, is it not interesting that a Bible left in the juror room would damage the juror’s decision making process as it relates to what is right or wrong, guilt or innocent? Per the news article by Leesha Faulkner some in the legal profession say, “The presence of the text in the jury room may or may not have swayed jurors on the death penalty, experts say.” Professor John Berkoff, University of Pittsburgh School of Law stated, “It’s interesting to see all the problems this bailiff caused by doing such a silly thing as leaving a Bible with the jury.”
This is just another indicator of how far we have gone in the direction of a secular society, void of any references to God and the Word of God, the Bible.
My friends, the Bible will not cause “problems”. The problem is secularism and drifting away from our National motto “In God We Trust”. Truly, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105) The Bible will not damage judgment but will be “a light unto my path”. Instead of a “silly thing as leaving a Bible with the jury” this Nation, all of us as a people need to “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16)
MARK 16:9-20 INVESTIGATION of consistency of a champion debater, Ben M Bogard:
Donald R. Fox (9 December 2006)
Ben M. Bogard (1868-1951) was a champion debater for the Missionary Baptist Church. He participated in formal religious discussions from 1904 to 1948. Available records indicate that Mr. Bogard had 237 debates, both oral and written over his lifetime. Many of his debates are preserved in book form. Because of his creed/doctrine many of his discussions revolved around “The Plan of Salvation, The Church and General Calvinistic Teachings”.
In a written debate (January 20th to May 5th, 1914) with Joe S. Warlick, a member of the church of Christ, Mr. Bogard denied that Mark 16:9-20 was a genuine part of the New Testament. (Reference page 75, Bogard-Warlick Debate, Lambert Book House, Publishes).
Mr. Bogard debated N.B. Hardeman, a member of the church of Christ in 1938. In this oral discussion Mr. Bogard again denied that Mark 16:9-20 was genuine. (Reference Article “The Assault upon Mark 16:16”, by Wayne Jackson, The Christian Courier, published 22 Jan 03)
Yet, when Mr. Ben M. Bogard had an oral discussion, debate with the founder of the Four Square Gospel Church, Aimee Semple McPherson, in the City of North Little Rock, Arkansas, on May 22, 19