Update

I spent Wednesday and Thursday in the hospital. I’ll most likely go back in next week for a longer period of time (I left against medical advice so I could vote, which I did this morning). Consequently, there will be no Saturday Sampler tomorrow. I’ll try to post a Sunday Hymn, but I can’t promise. Thank you for understanding.

So Yeah, Reformation Day Is Coming — And I Don’t Think Anyone Has Noticed

2020 has been (if you’ll allow me to state the obvious) a turbulent year. The alleged pandemic, protests that aren’t as peaceful as the media claims and the U.S. election that threatens to plunge our country into socialism all vie for our attention. Understandably, 1517 is the last thing on our minds.

Should it be?

Right now, we’re living in extremely serious times. I’ll admit that church history doesn’t capture my attention the way it did a year ago. Again, that’s fairly understandable, I suppose. But it’s also rather disconcerting.

Even more disconcerting is the fact that I haven’t seen many other Reformed bloggers writing about the Reformation this year. We’re busy writing about so many other issues. Important issues, certainly, and issues that definitely require attention. I by no means wish to shame anyone for addressing contemporary topics. 2020 demands as much.

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Join To Sing

Everyone loves singing. There’s something about it that liberates our spirits, making us feel as if we’re soaring on the music. What a glorious gift the Lord has given us!

Christians have an even deeper reason to appreciate this gift of singing because we have the privilege of singing praises to our God and King. And those who are blessed with the ability to gather with brothers and sisters in Christ understand the joy of mingling our voices with theirs to form a chorus of worship.

What a joy to know that, in eternity, our voices will join with all the redeemed to praise Jesus! Alleluia, Amen!

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Saturday Sampler: October 11 — October 17

Alisa Childers explains Biblical Judgment in a “Don’t Judge Me World in her guest post for Well Watered Women. Although some of her points have been stated often, she brings in fresh perspectives that strengthen the argument that judging is a Christian duty.

In The Mailbag: Can I share the gospel with my unsaved husband? Michelle Lesley uses both God’s Word and Biblical reasoning to address a common and heartbreaking problem affecting far too many Christian women. If your husband doesn’t know the Lord, I highly recommend this post.

Just as wives with unsaved husbands grieve, so do mothers whose children walk away from the faith. Leslie A, in this week’s post on Growing 4 Life, offers encouraging suggestions. You’ll find those suggestions in How Do We Keep from Losing Our Kids? I only wish she had included a caveat about God’s sovereignty in election. Nevertheless, her suggestions have tremendous value, and certainly would go a long way in leading a child to Christ.

I consider Elizabeth Prata to be the leading authority on Beth Moore. Her essay in The End Time, My first reaction to Beth Moore. 2011, traces Elizabeth’s concerns about this popular teacher, and touches on the pushback should received for speaking up. This is a valuable read — don’t neglect it!

God bless Melissa of Your Mom Has a Blog for writing For All My Fellow Phonies! I don’t know if she’s bugged my apartment, but her words really comfort me at a time when my sin discourages me. Maybe you’ll also be encouraged by her article.

Not all blog posts are pleasant to read, but sometimes the unpleasant ones help us understand the important issues of our day. For that reason, I recommend Two Dark Sides Of The Sexual Revolution by R. Scott Clark of The Heidelblog. Thankfully, his last paragraph extends hope and encouragement to people broken by sexual sin.

Flashback Friday: Limiting The Reformation To October

I originally wrote this article on October 18, 2018. Regretfully. I didn’t take heed to myself. Maybe I’ll get better about it.

Reformation

From November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017 I blogged every Tuesday about the Protestant Reformation in anticipation of its 500th anniversary. Whether or not readers appreciated that series,  I believed they needed to understand the Reformation’s ties to Biblical discernment. The 16th Century Reformers indeed set the standard for discernment ministry, so they have much to teach 21st Century evangelicals. And several of my Tuesday posts made that connection.

When October 31, 2017 had come and gone, I succumbed to the temptation to put the Reformation on the back burner in favor of writing articles that might attract more readers. I know — utter pragmatism!  The very thing I rail against when writing about Rick Warren and the Church Growth Movement, huh? But oh, those climbing stats felt good!

I assured myself that I would continue writing about the Reformation throughout the ensuing year. Maybe not every week. Certainly not on a rigid schedule! But I’d have frequent articles about Zwingli, Knox, the Council of Dort and Bloody Mary. I’d show my readers how the Reformers bravely stood against persecution for the sake of God’s Word, and how they used God’s Word to discern truth from error.

Yeah, well. Here we are in the second half of October 2018, and I realize how little I’ve written about the Reformation in the past eleven months.  The confetti from the celebration had been swept up, brand new controversies rocked evangelical circles and no one really cared what a silly German monk nailed to a Wittenberg church door on October 31, 1517. I guess I got caught up in Beth Moore’s letter to her brothers, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Woke Movement.

I’m not alone.

As October 31, 2018 approaches, a handful of Reformed bloggers have started spitting out the obligatory posts about the Protestant Reformation. I’m hopping on the sparsely populated bandwagon, as I do every October, which is probably better than nothing. But it shames me that a calendar had to nudge me into writing about it.

The Protestant Reformation was monumental in restoring the Word of God to the Church. After the First Century Apostolic era, it was the greatest move of God in the history of Christianity! Besides serving as a model for discernment ministry, it brought God’s Word back to His people, liberating us from an apostate religious system.

This Reformation shouldn’t be politely dusted off each October, only to be packed away in November to make room for Thanksgiving decorations. It should be joyfully proclaimed throughout the year, encouraging us to praise God for His mercy in the 16th Century and to emulate their zeal for the Bible. Hopefully I’ll do better at writing about it all during the coming year.

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Did The Proverbs 31 Woman Violate Titus 2?

Bible believing Christians should all agree that a wife’s first and overriding responsibility must be to her home and family. Paul’s words to Titus make this point abundantly clear.

 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. ~~Titus 2:3-5 (NASB)

A Christian wife and mother must subject her personal desires and aspirations to the needs of her husband and children. And yes, ladies, that self-sacrifice includes homeschooling children. At least during child-rearing years (and when circumstances allow), a mother should set her career aside in favor of her children.

As we look at the business ventures of the Proverbs 31 woman, therefore, let’s keep in mind that neither I nor the writer of that section of Proverbs would advocate for a woman to seek a career at the expense of her family.

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You’ll Never Find Assurance Apart From Christ

This week I had several severe episodes of anger. Usually, such behavior causes me to doubt that I was ever genuinely saved.

In one sense, our sins should lead us to examine ourselves. If we show absolutely no evidence that Christ is transforming us into His image, perhaps we really need to question our salvation.

But Satan often uses our occasional lapses into sin as an effort to discourage us. Once we attach salvation to our performance, we deny the very heart of the Gospel. Salvation comes exclusively from the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the cross.

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Saturday Sampler: October 4 — October 10

Mark Loughridge’s post for Gentle Reformation on The Myth of Self-Esteem wonderfully demonstrates the serious damage that teachings on self-esteem have inflicted on people. For decades, I’ve tried to warn people against this popular idea; it’s encouraging to see more Christians waking up to its dangers.

What does it mean that we’re made in the image of God? I don’t really know. But I appreciate Allen Nelson IV for writing about the Implications of the Imago Dei for Things Above Us.

Once again, Leslie A writes a convicting post in Growing 4 Life. Who Me? I’d Never Hold a Grudge… confronts the growing tendency — even among Christians — to be easily offended. You may squirm a bit as you read Leslie’s words, but I strongly encourage you to read them anyway. This is an area we all need to ponder.

We’ve all heard and read wonderful teachings on how people abuse Matthew 7:1, as well as how to correctly understand that verse. But in Judge Not? Robin Self of A Worthy Walk looks at various reasons that people misuse that verse. Her insight isn’t to be missed.

For a splendid example of church history deepening our understanding of theology, read Scott Hubbard’s Desiring God article, Calvinism in One Point. It reminds us how — and why — the TULIP anachronism developed. Even better, it cultivates our assurance that God indeed saves His elect.

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Assigning People To The Wrong Box

Have you ever noticed how people with strong opinions tend to push those who disagree with them into opposite extremes?

While the Patriarchy Movement actually covers a large spectrum of approaches to the Biblical roles of men and women, an extreme wing of the movement sees any sort of variation from wives being full-time homemakers as feminists. And, in trying to reason with them, sometimes I feel pushed into a feminist box.

Adherents of the extreme Patriarchy Movement insist that feminism has invaded the church. This feminism, according to them, manifests itself in women going to college and working outside the home. Apparently, such behavior violates Titus 2:5, which tells older women to teach younger women to be “workers at home.”

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