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Mar
17

Who was the real St. Patrick?

Who was the real St. Patrick? Who was the real St. Patrick? You might be surprised at what you learn about this early Christian evangelist from the 5th Century. He wasn’t Irish. He was never officially declared a “Saint” by the Roman Catholic church. He experienced life as a slave for six years. He never chased any snakes (because Ireland never had snakes!). He did, however, convert to Christianity and became one of the first believers to take the gospel to Ireland. Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net.   “Kilbennan St. Benin’s Church Window St. Patrick Detail 2010 09 16” by Andreas F. Borchert. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia...
Mar
12

“Whatever Works is Right” — The Danger of Pragmatism

“Whatever Works is Right” — The Danger of Pragmatism Ideas have consequences. You and I are often unknowingly influenced by various philosophies and ideologies. A faulty worldview that subtly impacts the lives of many Christians is Pragmatism. The Process and the End Result Pragmatism is the belief that the end result is all that matters. The ends justify the means. It doesn’t matter how you get from point A to point B, as long as you get to point B. The method or form you use is of no importance, as long as you achieve your goal. Whatever works is the best choice. This idea may look good on the surface, but in reality it isn’t Biblical, and it doesn’t work. Pragmatism, as practiced by Christians, is built on at least two false assumptions. Fallacy #1 “We can use our own human reasoning to figure out what is best for us, and determine God’s will for our life.” We must remember that we are finite, and God is infinite. The fact is, unless we are given a direct instruction from God, in His Word, we cannot always know what God’s ultimate plans might be in any given situation. Oftentimes we deceive ourselves by choosing to believe that what we want for our lives is also what God wants. Fallacy #2 Secondly, Christian pragmatists wrongly assume: “God cares only about the end result and is uninterested in the process.” This is proven wrong time and again in Scripture. God is concerned with our making it to our final destination, but He also cares how we go about getting there. Pragmatism finds its way into the many decisions in our lives; business, marriage, parenting, church life, economics, education and more. Pragmatism Examined In Scripture, we see many examples of Pragmatism and its results. In 2 Sam. 6 and 1 Chron. 13, the Ark of the Covenant was taken by the Philistines. King David wanted to bring the Ark back to God’s people. The first act of Pragmatism was to assume that God didn’t care how they brought the Ark back, as long as it came back safely. A clue to their mentality is found in 1 Chron. 13:4, “the thing seemed right in the eyes of all the people.” Disregarding the specific Levitical instruction for the priests to carry the Ark, the people loaded it on an ox cart and led it along. Along the way, the oxen stumbled and the Ark appeared ready to fall. Uzzah pragmatically decided that the...
Mar
7

Was Jesus a Socialist?

Was Jesus a Socialist? I was asked to speak at a Christian conference in Ontario, Canada on the topic of “Biblical Economics.” The lecture was going along just fine until I mentioned that from a Biblical standpoint, the civil government was NOT to be involved in health care in any way. That’s when things got a bit hostile. People began yelling out objections in the middle of my presentation. We went back in forth for about five minutes in a kind of impromptu “open-forum” until I finally suggested we continue with the presentation and I’d stay after to answer questions. About 45 people crowded the stage afterward and in rapid succession endeavored to find any kind of defense whatsoever for my claim (that I had also made) that any form of Socialism (forced redistribution of wealth by the government), was immoral and contrary to Scripture. One lady exclaimed, “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t support universal government-funded healthcare. Everyone in my church supports it. Our pastors all support it! Heck, Jesus was a Socialist!” I often hear this claim that Jesus and the Apostles (and the rest of the early church) were all Socialists who supported living in a kind of Egalitarian Utopia where no one had private property, everything was held in common and all things were totally shared and equal. Thankfully, one of the great Economic experts in our day and age, Lawrence Reed, the President of the Foundation for Economic Education, has debunked this myth in a new FREE e-book / audiobook entitled, Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist?. I am very pleased to be able to share this resource with you, and I strongly encourage you to read it and share it with others. This would make a great family discussion with your children. Our goal at ChristianWorldview.net is to encourage you to think and live Biblically, and we are grateful for this excellent new tool to help us to “take every thought captive” as it relates to Economics and so-called, “Christian Socialism.” For more resources, please check out our Economics page.   Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for...
Mar
5

Classical Education: Is it a Good Idea?

Classical Education: Is it a Good Idea? This is a guest post by David & Shirley Quine (founders of Cornerstone Curriculum) on Classical Education: The Three Pillars of Classical Education Some time ago Shirley and I were in a conversation regarding Classical Education with a small group of Christian educators. We were told that this was the growing trend among Christian home school educators and that we should consider embracing it as well. Although we mostly listened, we asked a few questions in the discussion — especially, regarding the notion of Truth. We were shocked to be introduced to the three pillars of “truth” being embraced by Classical educators: Christianity – the Spiritual Pillar Greece – the Philosophical Pillar Rome – the Governmental Pillar We were told that the union of Greek and Roman thought with Christian truth is the basis of Classical Education and that it actually yields a much broader and more comprehensive understanding of truth. However, this wasn’t the Protestant Reformation idea of Truth Shirley and I had been taught by Dr. Francis Schaeffer in his writings and lectures. Rather, this was exactly the opposite. Dr Schaeffer wrote extensively that Protestant Christianity provides good and sufficient answers in all three spheres: Spiritual, Philosophical, and Governmental. He warned us of the dangers of mixing Greek and Roman ideas with Christian Truth. A person must ask “where does this mixing lead?” I continue seeking greater understanding of the goals and objectives of Classical Education. Just recently I found a graphic from a Catholic web site showing the three pillars of Classical Education which we were encouraged to embrace years before. I was shocked to see the close connection between Classical Education and Catholic teaching. Protestant Reformation teaching does not mix Greco-Roman thinking with Christian Truth. Paul, writing to Christians living in the city of Colossae which would have been under the influence of Greek and Roman thinking, states: Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. Colossians 2:6-8 PS. Teaching involves both curriculum (content) and instruction (the delivery). My greatest concern is not over the Trivium per se (although I do not...
Mar
3

Can You Say Shibboleth?

Can You Say Shibboleth? Did you know that 42,000 people were once killed because they couldn’t say this word (shibboleth) correctly? (Judges 12:1-7) While that may be interesting trivia, what in the world does it have to do with anything? Well, it seems to me that in our age, we have our own little shibboleths. We met a fellow not long ago at a farm supply store. He came over to us and started asking us questions about our religion. The questions usually follow a typical pattern: are you Amish? Mennonite? Quaker? Mormon? Catholic? Apostolic? Dutch? We informed him that we were Christians and, while he was intrigued, he seemed a bit skeptical. He informed us that he and his family were homeschoolers who had just moved to the area and were looking for “like-minded fellowship.” He asked to meet us at our home sometime, insisting that he wanted to know “where we stood on the Bible.” We invited him on a particular night and he and his wife arrived, without their children. Though we offered food and drink, he said he didn’t know if he or his family could share a meal with us since he didn’t know where we stood on the Bible. He proceeded to pull out a list of over thirty questions related to various doctrinal issues, and began to grill me on my “Biblical correctness.” While I hate this kind of thing with a passion, I decided to try, for the sake of a possible relationship, to answer his questions and hopefully get a chance to learn more about his family. One by one his questions were fired with a honed skill that I could tell had been developed over many events just like this one. His wife sat quietly, not saying anything and not looking at anything in particular except, perhaps, a general section of the floor. In between being interrogated I managed to learn that “because he has such a passion for the Word” he had effectively cut his family off from virtually every relationship they had. “Apostasy is running rampant in the Church today, and we won’t stand for it!” he declared. His wife still didn’t look up or change her expression. I made it to about question seven (after having been given a temporary pass on a couple because the verses I used to defend my beliefs were unfamiliar to him, and he needed a chance to study up to refute them), before I...

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© Israel Wayne.