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Archive for September, 2008

This week’s sermon was on the sacrament of baptism.  After preaching the sermon a thought occurred to me.  Some Christian circles are slow to acknowledge baptized children as Christians, visible members of the Body of Christ, and here I am not only talking about those who only baptize adults.  Biblically speaking, baptism is the initiation rite for the Christian, so the child who is baptized is initiated into the covenant people of God.  Yet, let’s look at other religions for a moment.  In the other major religions, when a child is born into a practicing family, they are thought to adopt the family’s religion.  A child born to Muslim parents is raised a Muslim; a Jew a Jew, and so on.  They are taught, “You are x, you are not y (others), so act like x.”  It would be absurd for the Muslim parent to “evangelize” the child and hope for the day the child really becomes a Muslim; they are a Muslim when born into the family, and to be anything else is abhorrent.  In my humble opinion, American Christians have something to learn from this.  Our children are not something other than a Christian, then become a Christian at profession.  They are baptized into Christ, thus Christian – unless they renounce their religion as an adult.  May we treat them as such.

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Yes, the Church is to be the primary means of caring for the poor.  Members are to cheerfully give to this cause.  In fact, a portion of the tithe was meant for this purpose.  Yet, things are complicated in a society where such a large portion of our income is taken from us by the government to fill their pockets, fight wars, and attempt to fulfill the task that the Church is called to do.  What complicates this more is that the Church in this environment can easily slip into an attitude of indifference toward the poor.  One could respond, “That is why I pay my taxes; let the government programs take care of them.”  Yet, as we look around it is clear that the almighty State is not living up to calling they have placed upon themselves (or that we might expect of them).  Maybe Malachi’s words should strike us at this point, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house (not the State treasury)…and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (3:10).

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I have a good friend who has recently moved to New Jersey and is now looking for a job.  He is a FCP Editor and Videographer.  So if you are someone from New Jersey and know of anyone who needs professional freelance work done in this field, or if you know of a company that is looking for jobs in this field please visit or forward his website on.  Or you can simply check out his site and see his work for future reference.

http://swebbvideo.wordpress.com

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Listening to a sermon can sometimes be a dull and even passive event.  Read what the Westminster Larger Catechism says is the duty of those who come under the preaching of the Word:

“It is required of those that hear the word preached, that they attend upon it with diligence, preparation, and prayer; examine what they hear by the scriptures; receive the truth with faith, love, meekness, and readiness of mind, as the word of God; meditate, and confer of it; hide it in their hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives.”

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The movement of Christian pietism has long tried to split the Church between true and false believers.  Canons of Dort point 1, article 16 clearly speaks to this (though it preceded the movement): (more…)

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The Church of course.  Yet, we live in a time when the church has come to the point of relying on the government to take care of those that we have been entrusted with to care for.  The Scriptures make it clear that God’s people were always to care for the poor, orphaned, widowed, etc, even to the point of saying, “However, there should be not poor among you…” (Deut. 15:4).  The care came through the tithes, gleaning laws, land other means.  This is seen in the New Testament through the early Christians selling their possessions for the relief of the poor and widowed in their midst (Acts 2:45, 4:32-37, the Pauline collection).  No where does Scripture tell us to trust government with the business that the people of God are supposed to do.  (Of course, there is much more that needs to be said on this topic, but this will do for now)

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