Who am I? What is my purpose? These resurfacing questions have been on the minds of people since the beginning of time. Yet, today the culture is taking it a step further and now questioning, what am I? Am I a boy or girl? Should we even be using those types of identifiers? Well, God spoke in the beginning that they were male and female, but today American society is trying to erase this natural revelation that has created civilizations since the beginning of time. Listen to Pastor Mark D. DeMoss and Deanna Huff, discuss the matter on your Talking Truth podcast today.
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What drives your ethics? How do you make right and wrong choices everyday? What standard states that those choices being made are right or wrong? Many people want to make ethics relative in stating there is no absolute truth, this challenges the ability to have right and wrong in our world. So, is there a set standard and what is it? Should it be the driving force in our decision making choices each day? Discuss the matter and more on your Talking Truth, with Pastor Mark D. DeMoss and Deanna Huff.
Ethics and morality tend to be words that are interchangeable, but should that be the case? Where do Ethics originate and how do ethics help the Christian to discern daily decisions in life. Pastor Mark D. DeMoss and Deanna Huff, discuss these questions and more, regarding the topic of ethics. Listen to your Talking Truth today.
In a world of immediate communication and video, often times we are able to identify the belief system of speakers all over the globe. What happens when we discover a teacher of the Bible seemingly espousing something inconsistent in God’s Word? Do we immediately make accusations by sending out e-mails, texts and phone calls, alarming people to the teaching? The answer could be yes, at times and no, at times. So, how do we exam the information and make an accurate decision, before we presuppose someone as a false teacher? Pastor Mark D. DeMoss and Deanna Huff discuss this matter on your Talking Truth.
In the media, across the country we are hearing of the horrific events taking place in the Middle East. ISIS, is a reoccurring name in the news and one with its roots soaked in evil. They are part of an extreme Jihadist Islamic group and warring with anyone who stands in their way, especially Israel. So, the question arises, should Christians stand with Israel? Should America stand with Israel? If so, why? What are the roots of the movement of ISIS and how does it affect the Church? With these questions, Pastor Mark D. DeMoss and Deanna Huff discuss the matter on Talking Truth.
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Recently, an article passed my desk titled, “American United (AU) Demands Arizona Charter School Stop Using Religious Texts In Government Class.” It was not so much the call for the school to dismiss a certain text book that caught my attention, but instead it was this idea of forgetting God. The AU, is stating that these books “push a Christian nation propaganda,” “declaring all men are created by God” and “it promotes God’s laws, purpose and order.” These words are a sharp contrast from original ideas in the founding of our nation and Ivy League schools that were established, such as Harvard (1638), Yale (1701), and Princeton (1746). Once while I was visiting Harvard, I read these words etched in the entry way to the Harvard Yard, “After God had carried us safely to New England, and we had built our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship, and settled the civil government; one of the next things we longed for, and looked after was to advance learning, and perpetuate it to posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches, when our present ministers shall lie in the dust.” So the questions arise, if we are pressed to leave behind the origin of our founders and the laws of God that have given objective truth, purpose and hope, then where will that leave morality and where is objective truth? How do we teach posterity ethics and what trajectory does it leave?
Hosea, the prophet of Israel found himself in a similar situation. It was the period between 755 and 722 BC, Israel had left the roots of knowing and following God. The prophet warned Israel that they would soon receive discipline, because they had forgotten God. Hosea proclaimed, “Hear the word of the LORD, people of Israel, for the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land: There is no truth, no faithful love, and no knowledge of God in the land! Cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery are rampant: one act of bloodshed follows another. For this reason the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes…”(Hosea 4:1-3). “Three of the six commandment violations are given in the exact root vocabulary of the Decalogue” (Ten Commandments) which are murder, stealing and lying. The people of Israel had forgotten God (Hosea 4:6) because they had not been receiving the law of the Lord. The priests and leaders of the land were rebuked, because they did not teach the people in the Word of God. This is a good warning for us as well, we know that a lack of teaching and training in the Bible will result in a land without God, which is a land without morals, knowledge, objective truth, purpose and hope.
“If human beings are left to our own devices and limited to our own wisdom, we will invent what model of “good character” seems right at the time. Without God there are no moral absolutes. Without moral absolutes, there is no authentic knowledge of right and wrong.” So, when someone encourages you to leave behind the laws of God or the origins that our founding fathers left etched in stone, respond with ready truth from Hosea in gentleness and love. Remind them we do not want to be a land left in languish, without morals and truth. God has given objective truth for the good of all mankind and the church should rise to the challenge of articulating the beauty of the view of God, in age where people have forgotten who He is. One of the greatest tragedies in Scripture is this, “and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10).
 Douglas Stuart, Word Biblical Commentary, Hosea – Jonah, Thomas Nelson pg. 76.
 R. Albert Mohler Jr., The Disappearance of God, Multinomah Books, CO. pg.18.
Have you ever been irritated by a continual warning sound? For example, when the fire alarm is constantly beeping because the battery is low? How about when the tornado sirens sound, but the tornado seems miles away? Or, when your alarm clock rings and you do not want to get up for work? These sounds are meant to serve as some type of warning, yet at times we neglect to take them very serious. In fact, once in my early twenties, I remember neglecting my alarm, only to find that my neglect caused me to miss my flight to a company gathering. Sometimes we become so desensitized to the warnings, we simply turn news station when a tornado is close, or we rip the fire alarm out of the wall only to cease the warning.
It seems that the people of Israel considered Ezekiel, more like an annoying noise, rather than a warning watchman. Ezekiel, was a prophet in the Old Testament that went into exile after the Babylonians took over Judah. He was a watchman, one who was sounding the warning bell to the nation of Israel, in order that they might repent. God had sent Ezekiel to speak His words, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak with you…. I am sending you to them… whether they listen or refuse to listen-for they are a rebellious house…. But you son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions. Don’t be afraid of their words or be discouraged by the look on their faces… But speak My words to them whether they listen or refuse to listen… (Ezekiel 2:1-7). The obedience of Ezekiel sounding the warning bell did not depend on whether the people listened, but instead on his love and relationship with God. He spoke truth, regardless of the response.
As Christians, we too ought to be sounding a warning bell to non-believers and believers. Wherever God has placed each Christian, is where one ought to be sounding the warning bell, winsomely speaking the Word of God in the lives around them. To the non-believer one ought to be sounding the warning bell that Christ is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father without Him. One also, ought to be speaking of His soon return and eternity. To the believer one ought to be discipling toward a Christian Worldview. Consider the following people who sounded warning bells for the good of God and others.
- Esther warned King Xerxes of the fate of her people, even though it could have cost her life.
- The 12 disciples tried to warn the world that sin separated us from God and Christ came to redeem, even though they were beaten and all but one martyred.
- GK Chesterton warned people of the effects of Modern thinking, even though some of the most academic thought his faith was foolish.
- Sir Winston Churchill warned of the deadly ideas of the Soviet Communist, even though it was challenging on too many levels to abbreviate.
- Amy Carmichael warned India of the abuse to the children among the false temple gods, even though it went against the beliefs of the nation.
- Chuck Colson warned Christians of the effects of a secular worldview, even though it was being embraced by the government and most schools.
These are just a snippet of the people sounding the warning bell.
What are you warning people about? Are you placed in the midst of people that need to know Christ as Savior? If you are a disciple of Christ, you are called to love God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Someone who loves his neighbor will share warnings with him of the things to come. Pray for your neighbors and others around you. Then share the gospel in humility and love, and let the Holy Spirit do His work. Go and make disciples, sound the warning bell that Christ is returning soon, “Yes, I am coming quickly” (Revelation 22:20).
Posted this week is the testimony of a student who knew all the right answers, but at the end of the day struggled with knowing if her salvation was genuine. Throughout life many can be challenged by these issues and every journey is different, but it is important that you “examine yourself in faith” as Paul instructed in 2 Corinthians 13:5. John stated “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). If you are struggling with feelings of doubt it could be growth in sanctification (growing in holiness) or realization of salvation (deliverance from the wrath of God by trusting in Christ as your Savior), either way read God’s Word daily, pray and seek out someone of leadership in your church to help you write out your testimony and solidify that you may know. Enjoy the sweet testimony of one who no longer doubts, but is being a witness to the one she knows.
The following is a testimony By Jacquelyn
Good Morning!! I am going to start off by telling y’all what I always said my testimony was…..until this past Sunday.
I am the 8th and last child in my family and was raised in a strong and faithful Christian home. I have been taught all the Christian values & morals my entire life, along with always being involved in church and attending CHA since I was in Kindergarten. I thought I had gotten saved when I was 5 years old because of a vague memory I had in my Sunday school class at church. I then got baptized when I was 9 because my sister was getting baptized and I thought I needed to as well since all Christians are supposed to do that in obedience to the Lord.
In 7th grade I started working the bus ministry at my church and was very very involved and dedicated to that ministry until we changed churches my Sophomore year. I had, for years, spent countless hours every single week going on church visitations to invite kids to church, who almost all came from broken, sad, poor homes and who didn’t have the opportunity to have a loving home like probably all of us have.
I had always worked Vacation Bible Schools at Church in the summers, worked Bible Clubs in local neighborhoods or apartment complexes and just did what I knew were good things to do. I’ve read my Bible independently since I was in about 6th grade, I think, because I knew it was good, right and what I was always encouraged daily to do by myself. I have read so much of the Bible and I thought I knew all the right answers and ways to what I was supposed to do, act and say.
For the past several months, maybe even the last year, I have really been heavily convicted and scared because I did not know at all where I would spend my eternity. I would like to say it was in heaven but I literally just did not know. Every time it was talked about at home, church or school I just had such an uneasy feeling about it. I had never in the last 17 ½ years had a true Peace about where I would spend eternity. If it was discussed I was quick to justify that I was a Christian by the vague memory when I was 5, how I was raised, my knowledge of the Bible, my faithful involvement at church and my mentality of ‘I know what I need to do and I know that I should try and please the Lord.’ The sad thing is I knew everything I needed to do and I believed the Bible to be true so why did I never ever in my life have a calm, true, peace about eternity?
`Well about a year ago I finally told my mom I had some doubts about my salvation and she was really shocked. She was concerned for me when I had admitted that little confession to her. She talked and prayed with me and told me the true fact that most, if not all, Christians will doubt their salvation at some point and that I should pray and read the Bible more to assure that I was a Christian. We talked for a while that night about it and she thought at that moment it was Satan deceiving me into thinking I wasn’t saved because he likes to do that to Gods children to make them doubt their assurance. I, again, took that and justified my salvation even though I wasn’t saved. The Peace that I craved so much still was not in me and I wanted it so bad.
For the next several months I told myself I was fine and that I had to be a Christian because all that I had done. I even led a little girl to the Lord the summer before at a Bible Club and I had done so much work for church, school and everything!
I was so deceived by Satan and so blind by my outward works and jobs that I would never admit to anyone that I wasn’t a Christian because it wasn’t in my character.
This past Sunday after the church service, our pastor talked a little more after the message was over and told the congregation that if we weren’t 100% sure, without a shadow of a doubt positive that we were a Christian, and that if we died that day we wouldn’t go to Heaven and spend eternity with Christ then we needed to talk to him or someone that day to get things figured out. And at that point the Holy Spirit was convicting me so much that I knew when I got home I needed to talk to my mom about it.
So the 5 minute ride home with my sister, Jessica, I was pretty quiet when she asked me some random questions because I was just so deep in thought and scared that I wouldn’t ever have a peace! We got home and changed and I went to the kitchen where my mom and I were eating a snack at the counter. Meanwhile, the battle in my head, soul, and heart to speak up and admit everything, was raging hard. I was so tempted to push it off and justify my salvation once again. It was so easy to be a coward and not admit what was going on. There also was the thought in the back of my head of what will my family, friends and teachers at school or church would think when they find out I haven’t been saved all along. My life has somewhat been a “normal” good Christian-type life, so why would I need to change what I’ve been doing if it all looks good to others and they think I am a Christian. My pride was obviously not wanting to be hurt by giving my life over to the Lord and admitting my wrong doings.
My mom left the kitchen and I followed her to her room a minute later where I let it all go. I had finally broken down and told her how I had absolutely no peace and didn’t know what I was doing and where I was going. I told her of a few verses that always convicted me, Matthew 7:21-23 being the one that had haunted me the most and gave me the most fear. It says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
She then got my dad and we talked to him for a while about what I had been going through. He then prayed for the situation and we talked some more about what was going on and what I needed to do. I knew I needed to settle it that moment so I prayed with my mom and dad sitting on the edge of their bed. And right then in that moment I put away all my selfish pride and shame of always putting it off and justifying it by outward works and I got saved!! As all 3 of us were balling as I was crying out to my Lord and Perfect Savior I felt the most amazing, sweetest, calmest and most relieving Peace that I have ever felt! In that moment I didn’t want anything but the Lord and his rich salvation in my life. Literally, nothing else mattered. I know now that I am a daughter of the One True Perfect Everlasting King and I have never felt so loved and at peace in my life. Words cannot describe what Gods Peace feels like and I know that I will never be plucked out of His hand. I am HIS for all of eternity!
I immediately wanted to tell anyone and everyone what had just happened to me! The selfishness, pride, shame and sin of my life wasn’t even a factor anymore! I just wanted to tell others about the true unspeakable joy and the peace that surpassed all understanding. I had never been so happy, excited and speechless by the feeling that only Christ could give me. I told all my siblings, called Blythe and more of my friends that day and Monday. The excitement and encouragement I have received from everyone that I have talked to has been overwhelming. I knew they would be happy for me when they found out, but that is such an understatement! I don’t know how to put into words how much my brother and sisters in Christ have encouraged and been a light to me.
Reading the Bible and doing my quiet time has been such a joy and Gods Word has become absolutely beautiful to me! I didn’t see how alive and how truly stunning His Word was before, but now I do.
Philippians is my all-time favorite book and I could read verse after verse that are all so amazing to me, but there are a couple verses I wanted to read to you about the righteousness of Faith through Christ.
Chapter 3 vs 7-11 “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
The Lord has blessed me beyond belief and I am so grateful for the amazing family he has placed me in and the wonderful school and church that I have the opportunity to grow in.
I know there may be some of you who might be in the same boat I was in, and you never have had the wonderful Peace that only Christ can give. I pray that if you haven’t had that, that you will please talk with your mom or dad, a teacher or just someone who you can talk to about this, because I promise you that it was absolutely worthless and invaluable to live 17 ½ years thinking I was a Christian. I plead with you, that today you will get it settled, because not everyone who says to Him on that day ‘Lord, Lord’ will get to spend their eternity with God. Thank you so much for allowing me to share God’s Grace in my life and I pray you have that same Peace that forever lives in me!
This testimony was given at Christian Heritage Academy.
Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx are voices echoing in the walls of non-Christian school systems, but schools in America did not begin with atheists and agnostics undergirding the education. There was a time in the eighteenth and nineteenth century that the Bible in general had the answers for life and the ethics to guide morality. Yet, today we have matter, self-helps and dictators which have reshaped the view of creation, man and the economic system regarding how one produces.
So what happened? Of course, there have been numerous books that delve into the depth of these three philosophies that are steering the education system today, yet here is a brief observation. Darwin sought to explain diversity among the species and their origins apart from a Creator. The result was his thesis On the Origin of the Species, written in 1859. It attracted much controversy and scientific attention, but “consequently, God was no longer necessary to explain the natural order. Science could get along quite well without God-or so Darwinian social scientists thought.”[i] It would not be long before America was challenged with teaching these European ideas which is seen during the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. Soon to follow would be the removal of a Creator from the class room and school books, which would be quickly replaced with the origin of matter. Man is no longer unique or here to be a steward of creation, but is now simply a higher order in the Animal Kingdom among the survival of the fittest.
Freud was another critic of the Christian belief and he “depicted religion as a psychological disorder that is common to humankind…. He assumed religion had no actual insight into the “way things are.”[ii] He is considered the father of Psychoanalysis and he contributed to shaping how one views childhood, personality and therapy. Psychology attributes many ideas in the area of id, ego and super ego to Freud. Ultimately, he considered the goal of all life to be death. Now many ascribe to working on their self-image, self-helps and building self-up. We have left behind the truth of the Bible declaring man is made in the image of God and marred by sin, until he is restored through Christ.
Lastly, Marx is voicing his opinion in the elementary, secondary, and academic halls of American society. At its basic definition, Marxism is a battle of class warfare in society where capitalism exists. “Students throughout the world are being taught as a basic principle that Capitalist system is evil and the creator of depression and war.”[iii] However, they are not recognizing the communist leaders and their effects, such as Russian leader Joseph Stalin who starved to death seven to ten million people. In addition, Chairman Mao of China, killed around sixty five million people and Che, who led in Castro’s takeover of Cuba, killing over fourteen thousand in the 1960’s. Yet, on the White House Christmas tree under our current president, Chairman Mao has been a household ornament.
There was a time when creation, God’s image, hard work and private property were good things, but now are despised. Opposing views are shouted down and silenced. It reminds me of the days of Jeremiah, when he declared “This is the nation that would not listen to the voice of the LORD their God and would not accept discipline. Truth has perished-it has disappeared from their mouths.” So, what is the solution to changing the tide of these secular prophets that have voices in the walls of education? It is to pray and stand in the counsel of the LORD, reviving the facts that God created the world and man is sinful. We should not be teaching people to love themselves more, but to love Christ more and to love others. The book of Jude states a believer should build himself up in the most holy faith. God has given us sixty-six books for life and godliness, it is time to stand in his counsel and speak truth in the public square. No longer can we exchange truth for lies, but instead speak Truth in meekness and fear. Truth will only perish from the public square, if Christians are silent.
The following is an excerpt from Mr. Aaron Ferguson on the meaning of “Separation of Church and State.” It is imperative for us to understand that “Separation of Church and State” was never meant to silence the Christian in the Public Square. Therefore, we must understand that “the people” will only have a voice if we use it. Enjoy the following article.
CHURCH & STATE
The Intent of the First Amendment
The Church and the State should encourage each other, but neither should ever control the other.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Why did our forefathers list this Amendment first in the Bill of Rights? Protecting their freedom of religion was top priority in their minds! In fact, it was the primary reason they came to America in the first place. However, while having the freedom to choose their religion was important, that right was second to having the liberty to exercise their beliefs in their homes, churches, schools, businesses, societies, and, yes, even in their governments. Religion, particularly Christianity, permeated every aspect of their public and private lives, and the people made certain to keep the government from prohibiting these fundamental rights.
NO ESTABLISHED RELIGION
“The Founders explained their purpose for writing the First Amendment; it was to prevent what they had experienced under British rule – the legal establishment, by the national government, of a single religious denomination in exclusion of all others (i.e. Catholic, Anglican, or any other). Frankly, the Founders believed that the Church and the State should remain independent (separate) from one another” (David Barton, Wall Builders). Since both are divine institutions, the Church should never rule the State (as with the Roman Catholic Church in medieval history), and the State should never rule the Church (as under the English monarchs).
Simply put, the Church and the State should always encourage each other but neither should ever control the other. The Church should encourage the State, because the State’s role is to protect the rights of the people; at the same time, the State should encourage the Church, for in the Church pastors develop the conscience and character of the people, by the teaching of Scripture and the power of the Gospel.
RELIGION & MORALITY
Our forebears understood that religion and morality are indispensible supports of our country. For liberty to last in America (or anywhere else), citizens must be able to govern themselves, live moral lives, and practice civic virtues. The best system of morality, they found, was in religion, particularly in Christianity.
The Founders also knew that if Americans ever became irreligious, they would quickly become immoral, and, if immoral, then, lawless and unable to govern themselves. A people unable to govern themselves must necessarily be controlled externally, by force; in that case, liberty is exchanged for slavery. Sadly, over the last 100 years, America has been secularized.
THE NEW SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
The Founders warnings and worst nightmares have come true. Perhaps the most twisted lie ever offered to the American people is that of the new interpretation of the separation of Church and State. “Though the First Amendment was meant to restrain the government, it has been twisted and turned on its head in order to restrain the people” (Barton) How so?
In 1801, a Baptist congregation (Danbury) was concerned that Congress was going to establish a national denomination, so they wrote a letter expressing their concerns to President Thomas Jefferson. He comforted the Danbury Baptists by writing that Congress could not do such a thing, as “there is a wall of separation between Church and State,” referring to the First Amendment. Establishing a national religion or denomination, then, would have been unconstitutional and, therefore, illegal.
The words “separation, church, or state” are not written in the First Amendment, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or any other founding document, yet, “Jefferson’s phrase has been used against people of faith ever since” (Barton). The First Amendment is no longer viewed as a friend, to allow freedom of religion; rather it has been transformed, in order to institute freedom from religion. “The First Amendment is now being used to prohibit the very religious activities that the Founders themselves encouraged under the same Amendment” (Barton).
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
Today, anti-Christian organizations (i.e. ACLU) have duped Americans into believing that our Founders would not have wanted religion to influence the halls of government; thus, all of our institutions, buildings, and ceremonies have been secularized. Though the Founders wrote, in the Northwest Ordinance (1787), that religion was necessary for good government and should be taught in our schools, our Christian heritage has been robbed, and it is no longer allowed in our public institutions. The Constitution won’t permit us, they say, to express our religious values in public arenas. Thus, the ACLU has been a wrecking force, eradicating the country of its Christian heritage.
Noah Webster warned us, “All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” We are experiencing “those miseries and evils” today, but we have allowed it to happen. We have wrongfully separated the Church from the State.
Aaron Ferguson, BiAY.org