From Where Comes Faith?

I recently read about some who are in discussions about the nature of the body Jesus received when he rose from the grave. The reasoning seemed to be that some could not believe he was truly risen unless they could establish that he had the exact same body, of the exact same nature as the one that was put to death. I have been involved in similar discussion in the past regarding the day of the week that Jesus was crucified. The reasoning behind that discussion seems to be, again, without knowing the exact day we cannot believe Jesus actually fulfilled the promises.

I have also noticed a number of folks get very excited about religious movies. A few years ago it was "The Passion", now it is "Heaven is Real" or "God is Not Dead." Some talk about how such movies help them better understand God, Jesus, and Heaven. Some even go so far as to say movies of this nature help strengthen their faith. I know of others who refer to various books or videos that are so important to keeping their faith in God strong.

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Clothed and in His Right Mind

These are the words of Luke 8:35 regarding the man who formerly "for a long time...had worn no clothes" (Luke 8:27). To any and all who have any degree of discernment it is painfully obvious that our nation, yea the world, has the on-going and growing problem of not knowing nor caring about what is descent and proper in the moral realm of virtue and modesty. It is therefore again timely that such a lesson on modesty be forthcoming. The apostle Peter who wrote, "Wherefore I shall be ready always to put you in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and are established in the truth which is with you. And I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance" (2 Peter 1:12-13). What disappoints this writer are the questions that Christians (who ought to know better) ask such as "Well, what is modest? What does society say? Did God ever tell us ‘how long is long'?" It is my observation that the majority of those who ask such questions are those who are bent on trying to justify their behavior and dress code which their common sense is really trying to tell them is contrary to God's standards. So long as Christians still ask such questions, it will continue to be necessary for us to address and teach what God says about these things.

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Are You a CEO Christian?

When I was attending one of the Florida College Lectures one of the presenters mentioned “C.E.O. Christians.” My immediate response was “What is that?” He went on to explain that a “C.E.O. Christian” is one that only darkens the doors of the church building on Christmas, Easter and Other Special Occasions. I had never heard it put that way before but I HAVE observed that situation. In a life in a previous religious group I had noticed that the building was REALLY full on Christmas and Easter. There were people in attendance that we never saw during the rest of the year.

In telling another preacher what I had heard he told me that he had 4 designations for Christians. F.F., F.F., C.E.O., and F.P.O. As we go through these see which category you fall in. Before we begin let me explain that this article is about how faithful a Christian we are and not attendance. That said, attendance may be the most obvious thing others can see that concerns whether you or I are faithful to God or not. I am going to explain in reverse order.

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Religion Driven by Emotionalism

e-mo-tion-al-ism [ih-moh-shuh-nl-iz-uhm] 

excessively emotional character: the emotionalism of sentimental fiction.

strong or excessive appeal to the emotions: the emotionalism of patriotic propaganda.

a tendency to display or respond with undue emotion, especially morbid emotion.

unwarranted expression or display of emotion.

(Dictionary.com)

Emotion is a strong force in the life of humans. It is even a needed force. We were not created to be Stoics. It is neither good nor healthy to try to completely suppress all emotion. Such would make life almost too dull to endure. But, while emotion is a great servant adding spice to our lives, it is a poor master. When emotion dominates a person’s life, he is being set up for a disaster. When there is a national or international crisis we want someone in charge who is controlled by the intellect rather than by emotions. There is no telling what will happen if they are dominated by emotion.

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“The Stranger”

In studying the Old Testament, we often come across references to "the stranger" in Israel. While we generally understand this to refer to a person who was not of the twelve tribes, a few references to the stranger are somewhat perplexing as we read our English Bibles. Sometimes distinctions are drawn that are difficult for us to understand. For example, Deuteronomy 14:21 contains a prohibition of Israelites eating anything that died of itself, but gives some unusual orders as to the disposal of such animals: "Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it to the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it to an alien: for thou art an holy people to the LORD thy God." (King James Version). What is the difference between a stranger and an alien?

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