Recommended Reading From Spiritual Habits Week 1

 
These are in no particular order and cover a variety of areas to help us grow in our Christian lives:
 
Crazy Love (Francis Chan)
 
Embracing Obscurity (Anonymous)
 
His Needs, Her Needs (Harley) 
 
Insanity of God (Nik Ripken)
 
Radical (David Platt)
 
The Christian Family (Larry Christenson)
 
Love Does (Bob Goff)
 
Not a Fan (Kyle Idleman)
 
Adventures in Saying Yes (Carl Medearis)
 
Bringing Up Boys / Bringing Up Girls (James Dobson)
 
The Pursuit of God (A.W. Tozer)
 
You and Me Forever (Francis Chan)
 
Boundaries (Cloud and Townsend)
 
Seven, A Mutiny Against Excess (Jen Hatmaker)
 


Blog Post

Worship Guide Article Week of 7.2.17

 

Last week we looked at the roots of atheistic thought in America and this week right in front of us our two world views collided, literally! In Arkansas on Tuesday a new 6-foot-tall stone monument of the Ten Commandments was placed in a small ceremony on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol. Less than 24 hours later, the monument came crumbling down after a Dodge Dart plowed into it. The violence was captured in a Facebook Live video by the man charged with ramming the monument, Michael Tate Reed. In the video, Reed can be heard yelling, “Oh, my goodness — freedom!” as his car slams into the 6,000 pound granite slab. This is the second time Mr. Reed has driven his car into a Ten Commandments monument the first one in Oklahoma in 2014. Senator Jason Rapert, who in 2015 sponsored the Ten Commandments Monument Display Act, which called for erecting the monument on the Capitol grounds in Little Rock, citing a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said the Ten Commandments monument on state grounds in Texas did not violate the 1st Amendment. “Governor Asa Hutchinson said, “resorting to property destruction is never the answer to a policy disagreement. Very troubling that a Capitol monument is destroyed.”

 

The Ten Commandments’ monument which was donated by and an outside organization and not erected with state funding had pending litigation against its placement by the ACLU. “I didn’t want it there, and I still definitely don’t want it there,” Anne Orsi, president of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, said Wednesday. “With that being said, I don’t agree with the monument’s destruction…. There needs to be more discussion on the issue.” One thing scholars, lawyers, theologians and proponents on both sides agree upon is this battle will rage on especially in the political climate in the US right now.

 

The commandments are one of the oldest records of its kind historically and are the foundation of almost every nation and within every person. Both sides agree there must be civil order, we can’t go around killing people, there needs to be truth, we shouldn’t steal other people’s stuff. It is intriguing that placing historical monuments with the guiding laws of civilization is such a divisive issue, but Satan is the author of division. Atheism is indeed on the rise, bestselling books, regular articles, and airtime for the proponents of Atheism like Stpehen Hawking, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Bill Nye the Science guy are reaching millions of people every year. Never has Atheism in its current forms reached such a large variety of people world-wide as it is right now. They have a missional plan and they are following it to the “T”. They are getting a lot of attention and as Jesus followers we must give them our attention so that we may be prepared, because kids are learning it in school from the youngest age. We didn’t even have a word for “atheism” until the 1600’s and now people can define Atheism more accurately than they can “Christianity”. How can we fight the good fight and push back lovingly against this challenge? First, we must realize we have an issue which will not go away in our culture and it is coming and has come to an address near you. Secondly, we must engage society, we must individually and as a community of believer’s in individual churches and our churches together get involved. In fact, let’s pray and contact our legislators about one way of combatting this problem which just passed in Kentucky. Once again Kentucky Governor Matt Blevins is on point! He officially signed House Bill 128, which was passed in April, at the state’s Capitol on Tuesday. The bill grants schools the ability to establish elective social studies courses on the Hebrew scriptures and New Testament of the Bible. An elective course in public school on the Bible!

 

The bill requires the course cover biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives which are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, oratory, debate and the development of public policy, like the Constitution and human rights.” Of course, the ACLU is ready, Kate Miller said, “We and our allies will work diligently with students and their parents to make sure they know they understand their rights under the U.S. and Kentucky Constitutions. We will encourage students to document instances where they feel their rights have been violated.” The Bible can be taught in public schools, Miller said, “but only for its historical, cultural or literary value and never in a devotional, celebratory or doctrinal manner, or in such a way that encourages acceptance of the Bible as a religious document.” No problem! All you have to do is present the historical context and say what the Bible says it says, it will not return void! What an awesome idea! If the right people teach that class like some I can think of in our community who know their Bible and have a gift for teaching and make it the class everyone wants to take what an impact we could have! Let’s start by contacting our representatives today!

In reality, it is the conviction behind the commandments which drives the debate… the conviction there is one true God because this statement drives everything. When you take the thesis statements of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, He created them male and female, I am the Lord God you shall have no other God before Me,” and Jesus saying, “I am the only way, the only truth and the only life no one come to the Father except through me;” you have the focus of the major attacks against the Bible and Christianity. Atheism’s primary attacks are against creation with evolution, the natural, logical and God given family, the law of God which points out sin, and the exclusivity of Jesus which says there is only one way to believe.