Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity, by Larry Alex Taunton

“When our participants were asked to cite key influences in their conversion to atheism–people, books, seminars, etc. — we expected to hear frequent references to the names of the “New Atheists.” We did not. Not once. Instead, we heard vague references to videos they had watched on YouTube or website forums.”

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A Brief Outline of Genesis

The word (toledoth) Meaning: generations, or account provides a useful tool to align the text of Genesis. Within this structure all of these uses of [~toledoth] the text shows what happened next. this allows us to better understand the concepts and context of what each section contained.

  1. Genesis 2:4-4:26, the [~toledoth] of the heavens and the earth;
  2. Genesis 5:1-6:8, the [~toledoth] of Adam;
  3. Genesis 6:9-9:29, the [~toledoth] of Noah;
  4. Genesis 10:1-11:9, the [~toledoth] of the sons of Noah;
  5. Genesis 11:10-26, the [~toledoth] of the sons of Shem;
  6. Genesis 11:27-25:11, the [~toledoth] of Terah;
  7. Genesis 25:12-18, the [~toledoth] of Ishmael;
  8. Genesis 25:19-35:29, the [~toledoth] of Isaac;
  9. Genesis 36:1-37:1, the [~toledoth] of Esau;
  10. Genesis 37:2-50:26, the [~toledoth] of Jacob.

From:  Wilhelm Moller, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. II, (Chicago: Howard-Severance Company, 1916), p. 1202.

Boy Scouts of America Membership Policy

Boy Scouts from across America march with flags for the playing of the national anthem during the Boy Scouts of America 2010 National Scout Jamboree at Ft. AP Hill, Va.
Boy Scouts from across America march with flags for the playing of the national anthem during the Boy Scouts of America 2010 National Scout Jamboree at Ft. AP Hill, Va.

Boy Scouts of America Membership Standards Review

Effective January 1 2014 The BSA’s policy will now allow boys who wish to participate in Scouting regardless of “sexual orientation or preference”

As a boy I enjoyed Cub Scouts and a brief stint in Boy Scouts, my sons are in scouting where I presently serve as an Assistant  Scoutmaster, and an adult leader for my youngest’s pack. When scouting asked my opinion on the proposed change this year I wrote this to the “key three”:

I realize you may be receiving a very high level of comments regarding this particular subject but I hope you will take time to consider my comments. As a parent, former scout, and now an adult leader involved actively with both the local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, I am very troubled by the recent announcement concerning the review of the BSA’s national membership standards.

As a parent, the safety of the boys is paramount, the BSA expended considerable resources, time and effort not only creating the very best Youth Protection training, but also fighting the tough legal battle to allow the BSA to continue to follow those same principles it has held for 100 years. The allowance for openly gay, transgender, or otherwise described participants places the boys at great risk. Not only from pedophiles but also the more common and less discussed ephebophiles (adults who are sexually attracted to post-pubescent youths, generally aged 12 to 17.) With the door opened up you will have an increasing amount of leadership positions sought for this very goal and a decline in both the number of willing parents to volunteer, and more pointedly the scouts themselves will drop in number as their families wisely move them away from such dangers. Can you imagine the outcry if a single straight man was to lead a group of post pubescent teen girls?

As a scout leader, I applaud the shift back to localism that this seems to create, but the real chaos will occur when those troop attend council, state and national events, Will the staff at those venues be held to any standard at all, and if so what will it be. I will not be sending my boys to an outing where there will be active homosexuals in close contact with them. With it already being difficult to find boys willing to actively promote their participation in scouts at the high school age, this choice will further ostracize them and be one more obstacle to climb over.

Finally, as a Christian this choice goes against the simplicity of God’s design for man, if my voices matters please consider it opposed fully to this course of action

So now what. They tossed out the initial plan and came back with this “compromise”. Frankly it’s bad policy no matter how one feels about this issue. Whomever came up with the idea should really explain WHY they think this is good for the growth of scouting, it’s legacy and mission. It’s a change that does little to help any of the issues confronting scouting today, and really makes it more difficult on everyone.

In a practical way I don’t expect to see some massive rush of boys who wanted to be in scouts suddenly showing up and saying let me join in. Think it through, 70% of troops are charted by some from of “faith” based group, the adult leadership comes from that pool, and even in the other troops the BSA still requires all members to be Reverent and hold a faith in a higher power of some sort. Given that case, how many boys will want to join a group full of adults and boys who hold that their sexual desires are an unnatural abomination. Does the BSA somehow think that magically all the socially conservative adults that make up the core of scouting’s volunteers are just going to “change” with the wind. Do they really think that teen age boys are going to want to go camping with boys who find them “attractive”.

I get that some folks were concerned about the decline in scouting’s numbers, but this issue does nothing to solve it. We as a nation are becoming soft, kids would rather (on average) play video games, or watch TV than step into the wild. Culture tells them this EVERY day. Scouting done right means getting outside, and an electronic culture is killing the manhood of our youth one digital bit at a time. No policy change could have fixed this.

I don’t see this as a money issue either, with a dampened economy corporations will not be spilling cash back in the coffers anytime soon, (if ever) the Rabid Liberals will still hate the BSA until they allow adults who go against nature in as leaders. (really I just think they want to kill scouting altogether. If they wanted to make it better, they would just build their own group, fund it and make it “better” than the BSA.) If it was really a money issue, tack on $10 in membership dues, tell us why and we would have gladly paid it.

What then will I do…

Well for now I am staying with scouting, it still is the best framework around that allows me to teach leadership not only to my son’s but others as well. If asked by a boy or a parent what I think about Homosexual behavior my response will not have changed. I will still open the Bible turn to the New Testament and show them what the text says:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NASB)

(please note this comes not from the Law that was nailed to the Cross, but the one enacted by the blood of the savior so don’t fall for the trap that tries to present the lie that homosexual behavior is only condemned in the Old Testament)

Further, if someone asks how could I be a part of a group where they are okay with this abhorrent behavior… Well I still live in a nation that allows the murder of unborn children, calls fornication “cool” and makes it be “exciting” entertainment… I do so because Scouting is not the church, though populated by professed believers, it is not and can not be the church, Christ has but one, and he is the head of it, not some “key three” or a voting block at a rally.

I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;
I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world.
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler– not even to eat with such a one.
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? ~ 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 (NASB)

I choose to follow this course knowing that where illness is, a healer is needed. I will stay as long as my sons want to participate and the pack/troop will have me knowing who I am and what I believe.

“And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?”
But when He heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.” ~  Matthew 9:11-12 (NASB)

I Am A Christian

Sometimes when we look a the religious landscape around us we may be startled by the copious number of groups claiming to be following after Christ. I have often be queried and questioned along the lines of “what denomination are you”; “What do you believe” and other similar thoughts. As I write this I have been a Christian for almost 12 years. Looking back, I should have written something like this years ago. It might have helped both myself and members of my immediate family understand some of my faith a little clearer and staved off some of the misunderstandings that arise from time to time. I hope that as you read this, you will gain insight into the truth that is God’s Word.

The word Christian is used specifically in three bible passages:

•1 Peter 4:16

•“But if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name.”

•Acts 11:26

•“The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

•Acts 26:28

•“You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

In 1 Peter chapter 4, verses 15 -19, we find the following text:

As you read the text above you will note that a Christian as shown in the bible is one who:

  • Wears name glorifying God
  • Part of house of God
  • Has obeyed the gospel
  • Is “Righteous” – “Saved”
  • Acts “according to the will of God”
  • Involved in well-doing as defined by Creator

By way of contrast one would not be a Christian if they:

  • Wear a name glorifying one other than God
  • Not part of the house of God
  • Have not obeyed the gospel
  • “Ungodly” – “Sinner”
  • Acts contrary to the will of God
  • Involved in well-doing as defined by man

This simple text helps us understand that simply declaring yourself to be a Christian does not necessarily make it so. In the world about us we find many who would cling to the name Christian even though they have no part or parcel of the work of and for Christ. Dear reader ask your self the question, where do I find myself in the text of 1 Peter 4:15-19? Have I obeyed the Gospel? or am I still in rebellion to Christ?

Consider that if you were to follow after the ideal of many well intentioned folks and lean upon a creed book, or some other religious manual, they do not create Christians as shown in the bible, they create just what was indented by their authors, orthodox Baptists, Methodists, Catholics and the such-like as shown below.

The next text that we will look at is Acts chapter 11, verses 21-26

In this second text above you will note that a Christian as shown in the bible is one who:

  • Is a believer who has turned to the Lord
  • Is a member of the same church as in New Testament time
  • Is one who is added to the Lord
  • Is a disciple of Christ

Again, by way of contrast one would not be a Christian if they:

  • Are an unbeliever who has not turned to the Lord
  • Are a member of church not found in New Testament time
  • Are one who is added to human organization
  • Are a disciple of man

In Acts chapter 11 we find the import reference to the facts that disciples of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch. Note how the word was used. It describes them, the people the very ones of turned to the Lord. It was not used to denote a school, a home, or any such thing, it identifies whom they follow. To often do we find that the name of Christ has been sullied by it’s use in areas that He did not command! Dear reader, again ask your self the question, where do I find myself in the text of Acts 11:21-26? Have to the Lord? or am I running far from him?

The final primary text that we will look at is Acts chapter 26, verses 27-29

In this last text above you will note that a Christian as shown in the bible is one who:

  • Believes the preaching about Jesus
  • Is persuaded to become a follower of Christ
  • Obeys the same gospel obeyed by Paul

In this, the last of our three texts, Acts chapter 26, the apostle Paul is preaching to King Agrippa. The King asserts in response to Paul’s preaching that he could become a Christian. Paul Replied that he could and in so doing he would become such as Paul was. Looking back in the life of Paul we can note four Bible passages.

Acts 22:16

16’And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’

Dear reader, ask your self the question, Have I been baptized like the apostle Paul? if not then how can you claim to be a Christian?

Romans 6:3-11

3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin. 8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Dear reader, ask your self a question, Have I been baptized into Christ so I can be baptized into His Death? if not then how can you hope in the resurrection?

Acts 19:1-5

1And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, 2and he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Dear reader, ask your self a question, Have I been baptized as Christ commanded? Even though you may have been immersed, it does not mean your sins were washed away.

1 Corinthians 12:13
13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Dear reader, Finally ask your self this question, to whom am I joined. If you are baptized such as Paul was then you will be baptized into one body, Christ’s body!

The Stories That Tell the Old Testament Story by Ross Oldenkamp

Wanting an organized plan to teach our kids the Bible story in chronological fashion, and being dissatisfied with the topic lists I found online and in various Bible story books, I’ve taken great pains to compile an organized list of what I believe are the most significant stories that tell the Old Testament story. There are 93 in all, most of which do not span more than a chapter or two at a time). If you would like to have a copy so that you can help your kids to know from childhood the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make them wise for salvation…(2 Tim. 3:15), please let me know. Make it a New Year’s Resolution!

PDF File: Stories Telling OT History

Word File: Stories Telling OT History

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