"As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." Proverbs 26:11
A while back I spoke out against Ashland Seminary for bringing William Young, author of the radically unorthodox book The Shack, to town for a seminar. That didn't stop them from further endorsing the heresies and raking in a ton of money through the event.
Some said that the seminary was simply open to examining different views. If the were willing to bring in conservative and orthodox people, particularly of a Reformed bent, I might be willing to accept that. However, no such thing has been done.
Now the seminary is revealing their colors in even more vivid detail. They have opened their doors yet again to Mr. Young and are promoting another seminar with him as the featured speaker.
They are proving they are not simply wanting to examine other views. They have an agenda to oppose that which is orthodox, and favor those doctrines of demons which are built on emotional blather.
Pastors in town would do well to warn their congregations and personally stay away from their degree programs. Students of the seminary would do well to transfer away as soon as possible or start coming to churches like Providence that will see to it that they are trained in the historic faith that was once for all delivered up to the saints.
For some reason there is a tendency in Evangelicalism to flatten sin. Too often I hear people say that all sin is sin and it is all equally bad.
It is true that even the least sin is infinitely heinous in the eyes of God and can keep you from entering heaven. Yet Scripture tells us that there are some sins that are more heinous in the eyes of God.
The Bible tells us that some sins are by nature worse than others. For instance, there are certain sins that God calls an "abomination." These are designated with this term because they are particularly offensive nature, superseding the level of other sins.
In the book of Ezekiel we can even see that God differentiates between abominations. In Ezekiel 8:6-15 the Lord shows Ezekiel a series of particularly wicked acts that the Jews are committing. After viewing each the Lord says to Ezekiel, "But I will show you greater abominations that they do." In other words, "Ezekiel, you think that was bad? You haven't seen anything yet! Just wait till you get a load of this!"
Another way of looking at sin is by way of what we call increased aggravation. When you have a cut on your lip, that can hurt. But you can increase the pain if you eat something salty. In other words, you aggravate the cut, thus making it more sore.
The same is true when it comes to our sin. We can make our sins more aggravating to God in several different ways. For instance, the book of Galatians tells us that there was a time when Jewish Christians would not eat or socialize with the Gentile Christians. This was bad. But when Peter joined in the segregation, it is said that Paul denounced Peter to his face. In other words, Peter's sin was particularly egregious because he was an apostle and leader within the church. He not only should have known better, he set a terrible example for the people to follow.
We could think of several other examples of of how we can increase the aggravation of our sin. It is enough for now to simply understand that the wickedness of sin may increase with a given circumstance.
We come before you this morning acknowledging that we are poor wretches bent on every kind of evil. And we do beg you to forgive us our sin and pardon the abundance of our iniquity.
Indeed, O God, it has been a double offense. For we know that we have transgressed your law not only by doing what we ought not to have done, but by having not done what we ought to do.
And we admit that the latter has been more devious than the first. Would we have time to worry and feel anxious if we had been busy fearing you and basking in the immensity of your splendor? If we had dutifully sought to admire you and delight ourselves in the riches of our God, we never would have chased the idols of our hearts or been overly consumed with the pleasures of this world.
But since we have not been engaged with our duty, we have committed a double error. And were you to leave us in our sin and open the books against us on the last day, we acknowledge that there would not be a library big enough to hold the volumes that would be needed to keep such records.
And that is why we seek your mercy and pray that you would uproot the vile inclinations of our soul. We come to you holding only to the cross of Christ and the promise you make in the gospel. We know that only his merit can satisfy your scrupulous inspection and make us presentable before your face.
So God, we ask that you would be faithful to your word and turn our hearts towards your face. Accept us in your grace. For this we pray in Jesus’ name.
I saw the Mormon bikes in the neighborhood, so I went for a walk to find them. I have the recording of the conversation we had below (~6 minutes). I wasn't able to get into the substance of my challenge because they were eager to get to another appointment.
I did find it interesting that they barely could get past my initial question. I set up the challenge by asking, "Do you serve the greatest god?" If you listen, you can almost hear the puzzled look on their faces.
This is a pic of my desk each Lord's Day. I am greatly blessed to be able to stand here and deliver the Word of God to the people of Providence Church. They are a kindly congregation who eagerly listen and are ready to take the truth of Scripture to heart.
I love this pic too because it expresses something of the church itself. It is a massive piece of furniture, expressing the congregation's focus on the whole counsel of God. It is something of an antique too, representing their desire for the old paths and not new fads & falsehoods.
Lastly, you can see a cup ring in the polish. Since I don't take water when I speak (for fear of spilling it mainly!), I think that is symbolic of the men who stood here before me. We are where we are as a congregation because faithful men had led the congregation in years past.
“The education of children for God is the most important business done on earth. It is the one business for which the earth exists. To it all politics, all war, all literature, all money-making, ought to be subordinated; and every parent especially ought to feel, every hour of the day, that, next to making his own calling and election sure, this is the end for which he is kept alive by God - this is his task on earth." -- Robert Lewis Dabney (1820-1898)
With the increasing secularization of the public school system it is becoming all the more imperative that parents take seriously their role in raising their children. One of the most important is seeing their children raised in the fear of God. One of the best ways to ensure your children are properly discipled is through home education.
If you would like to learn more about home education, please feel free to email me. Or, if you would like to connect with other homeschool families in the area check out these links:
Providence Church Ashland/Richland Homeschool Network
If you leave your child at the Kroc Center here in Ashland be aware that your kid could be at risk.
The Salvation Army hosted the gay lesbian anti-bullying summit at their Kroc Center facility. They therefore endorse the acceptance of lesbians, gays, and transgenders as normal sexuality. That means your kid may very well be left under the oversight of a pervert they hired. At the very least your child will likely be taught that such a lifestyle is acceptable.
These people have no desire to stand for God and his law. They are exactly the opposite of what they claim to be. They are the Reprobation Army and servants of Satan. So long as they tolerate sinful patterns and shameful deeds they offer no hope of salvation.
What's more, they will see no problem putting your children in the care of a sodomite. He or she might be alone with your child. He or she might be asked to accompany your child to the bathroom. That kind of person might be watching your child running around in his/her swimsuit at the spray park.
You must realize that your child may not be safe there by himself/herself. If you choose to take your child there, be sure to accompany them at all times.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.