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Monday, November 26, 2007
Central Market in downtown Lancaster
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"Contending For Sound Doctrine"
"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" (Acts 2:42). "Watch your life and doctrine closely" (1 Timothy 4:16).
I have a friend who is a science teacher in a Christian school. He shared of an encounter he had with a student in his class who expressed that the Biblical accounts describing Adam and Eve and the flood were not really true, but merely myths.
My friend expressed his belief that the Biblical record was indeed a reliable account and later received a call from the student's father. He identified himself as a PhD who taught Theology in a culturally Christian college. He stated that his child was merely reflecting his beliefs and was seeking to defend them. Thankfully my teacher friend was not swayed by his apostasy!
A major emphasis in 1 Timothy is the importance of maintaining sound doctrine. I have a tremendous burden when I see the slipping of sound doctrine, yet this has been a battle the true church has faced from its earliest years.
Too often, in the history of the church, apostasy begins in the church's educational system. Schools pride themselves in educational excellence and academic respectability. Professors are often hired based primarily upon their educational attainment, not their adherence to sound doctrine, particularly if their degrees are from "prestigious" colleges. After all, it looks good to have PhD's from Harvard, Yale or other elite schools on the faculty.
The daily text gives us a glimpse of life in the early church: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine." I believe as we dedicate our lives to Jesus we will also continue to devote ourselves steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine. I believe the Bible from cover to cover. I believe it is the authoritative, infallible, inerrant, wholly inspired Word of God. I sure don't understand all of it and some of the accounts are difficult to comprehend, but I attribute much of this difficulty to my own limited comprehension! Much understanding will take place at a later date, perhaps on the other side.
Today, wherever you are, whatever you do, keep contending for the apostolic doctrine. Hold fast to that which the Scripture teaches. Discern and resist the evil influences that would seek to discredit the teaching of God's Holy Word.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Your Word is eternal and it stands firm in the heavens. You give me understanding to learn your commands and the fortitude to apply these principles which is a life-changing process over my lifetime. You established Your Law to last forever though it is often mocked by modern philosophers and those who want to sway the truth to their own liking. Help us not to be intimidated by those who claim "more education" has made them wiser than the miraculous black and white truths delivered to us by the Holy Scriptures. Help us to carefully exegete the Word of God as we earnestly contend for the faith once and for all entrusted to the saints. Amen.
PS: I had a similar experience as my science teacher friend several years ago when I was at a training conference in Springfield, Missouri. I attended a special meeting where one of the speakers also had an interest in astronomy. In the course of his lecture he scornfully mocked the Biblical teaching concerning creation and bragged that he was able to persuade the entire class he taught at Evangel College as an adjunct professor in the reasonableness of "theistic" evolution. (In essence it means that the current teaching of evolution is correct, but God is somehow at work behind the scenes. In this view the teaching of the Bible concerning creation is essentially a myth.)
This is a critical issue facing the Church. So many worship at the shrine of academia. In fact my teacher friend conveyed that the professor seemed to assert that his having a PhD would settle the issue and place his beliefs in an authoritative position above any criticism from my teacher friend (who ironically had a degree from the same college the professor taught.)
I have a new blog that will have periodic postings but with longer articles. I named it "Clear Minded" based upon this Scripture text from 1 Peter 4:7, "The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray." I have posted my first article on the site, a message I wrote about ten years ago when I had an overseer role in Southeast Massachusetts. Read it here.
Today's photo is taken at Central Market in Lancaster, Pennsylvania which is the oldest publicly-owned, continuously-operating farmer's market in the country.
"I Believe" (Audio) Not necessarily my taste in music but an emphatic statement of faith that is surely related to today's message!
"I Believe" (Audio) Different song but same observation as above!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
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