Category Archives: Teaching

Is it ever ok to Scream at God

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Are Jehovah’s Witnesses followers of Christ

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They give us hope and the winner ( s ) is

The world needs hope. Which is why I’m glad WORLD Magazine has announced the winner of its Hope Awards!

During the summer, I told you about the finalists for WORLD Magazine’s Hope Awards for Effective Compassion—Christian organizations that make a positive difference in their communities without receiving government funds. We now have a winner, so let’s end the suspense—the envelope, please! And the winner is … all of us!

Well, actually, after tallying the record number of votes from readers, WORLD selected Delta Streets Academy in Greenwood, Mississippi. DSA, which began just five years ago, has 55 students, all black and all male, in grades 7 through 11. The school aims “to equip the young men who walk through our doors daily with the gospel of Christ, and the skills needed to live a life that honors God.”

In 2008, Thomas McMillin Howard, 32, known as T. Mac, moved to the Mississippi Delta and taught math at the local public high school. T Mac found the students floundering academically. A third were dropping out; the ones who remained treated their school responsibilities as a joke. Eventually, he decided the at-risk young men needed a disciplined approach grounded in the Christian faith. So in 2012, T Mac left the public school and opened Delta Streets Academy, which began as an after-school and summer program for young men from at-risk neighborhoods.

The discipline is obvious. According to WORLD, “[Students] must tuck in their shirts, complete homework, and act respectfully toward adults and each other. They have a mandatory study hall period during the day and access to tutors after hours. And DSA is reluctantly willing to lose students who refuse discipline.”

The Christian element is more subtle, but no less real. DSA, which for now is housed in the downtown First Baptist Church, seeks to “weave the Gospel of Jesus Christ into all areas of the school believing that glorifying God and enjoying Him forever is the foundation upon which all else is built.” Imagine that.

A minister from another Greenwood church tells The Christian Science Monitor that T Mac wants white churches and civic groups to help heal the community’s racial tensions “in a society still recovering from segregation…. He’s a window into a world that many [white] Christians in Greenwood didn’t know existed.”

Says Marvin Olasky, the editor-in-chief of the WORLD News Group, “I’ve visited DSA twice and been hugely impressed by the way this Christian school educates African-American young men intellectually and spiritually. It’s our 100th national or regional winner over the past 12 years, so Christian compassion is alive and well.”

And that is just the tip of the compassion iceberg, according to journalist Warren Cole Smith. “Those of us involved in ministry or in our local churches know that if the great work of Christian ministries and local churches went away, there would be a giant sucking sound in civil society,” Warren says. “However, most churches and Christian ministries do their work quietly, with little fanfare, so—according to a Pew study—many Americans don’t understand that . . . Christians are more generous with both time and money than their secular neighbors, and that without this generosity, America would be in deep trouble.”

But not if the other Hope Awards regional winners—and countless other organizations offering compassionate ministry—have anything to say about it. These are Navajo Ministries in New Mexico, Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Montana, Village of Hope in Zambia, and New Life Home in New Hampshire.

 

In their great book, Restoring All Things, my friends Warren Cole Smith and John Stonestreet ask a great question: “What is good in our culture that we can promote, protect, and celebrate?” It’s safe to say that WORLD’s Hope Awards are a small but significant answer—and we are all winners because of them

How the mormons view Jesus compared to what the Bible teaches

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Happy Labor Day from the late Chuck Colson

Happy Labor Day! As you enjoy your day off from work, let’s hear what Chuck Colson had to think about the dignity of work.

Eric Metaxas: Do we work to live, or live to work? I’d imagine that most of us would say we work to live: to pay the bills and support ourselves and our families. Many of us would admit that we work for the weekend—so we can do the things we really like to do, like take vacations, enjoy our hobbies and spend time with friends and family.

But I can almost hear Chuck Colson saying, “Hold on a minute, work is a gift from God.”

For Chuck Colson work was as much a part of life as breathing. From the Marine Corps to his law practice, from Capitol Hill to the Nixon White House, and especially ministering in the prisons and teaching Christian worldview, Chuck was a tireless, passionate worker for God and the causes he believed in so deeply.

In fact, although he was a few decades older than most of us on his staff, there were times we simply couldn’t keep up. This was a man, after all, who would show up at the office after the weekend and say, “Thank God it’s Monday!” And long after many men his age had retired, Chuck vowed he would work til the day he died. And for all intents and purposes, that’s exactly what he did.

So this Labor Day, I thought it would be good to hear from Chuck on his view of work itself. Here he is now, from a BreakPoint commentary called “Working Class Heroes,” which aired back in 2002.

Chuck: I for one am happy to join the celebration of working-class heroes, especially today. Christians have a special reason to celebrate Labor Day, which honors the fundamental dignity of workers, for we worship a God Who labored to make the world, and Who created human beings in His image to be workers. When God made Adam and Eve, He gave them work to do: cultivating and caring for the earth.

In the ancient world, the Greeks and Romans looked upon manual work as a curse, something for lower classes and slaves. But Christianity changed all that. Christians viewed work as a high calling, a calling to be co-workers with God in unfolding the rich potential of His creation.

This high view of work can be traced throughout the history of the Church. In the Middle Ages, the guild movement grew out of the Church. It set standards for good workmanship and encouraged members to take satisfaction in the results of their labor. The guilds became the forerunner of the modern labor movement.

Later, during the Reformation, Martin Luther preached that all work should be done to the glory of God. Whether ministering the gospel or scrubbing floors, any honest work is pleasing to the Lord. And out of this conviction grew the Protestant work ethic.

Christians were also active on behalf of workers in the early days of the industrial revolution, when factories were “dark satanic mills,” to borrow a phrase from Sir William Blake. Work in factories and coal mines in those days was hard and dangerous. Children were practically slaves, sometimes even chained to the machines.

Then John Wesley came preaching and teaching the gospel throughout England. He came not to the upper classes, but to the laboring classes—to men whose faces were black with coal dust and women whose dresses were patched and faded.

John Wesley preached to them, and in the process, he pricked the conscience of the whole nation.

Two of Wesley’s disciples, William Wilberforce and Lord Shaftesbury, were inspired to work for legislation that would clean up abuses in the workplace. At their urging, the British parliament passed child-labor laws, safety laws, and minimum-wage laws.

Here in America we’ve lost the Christian connection with the labor movement. But in many countries that tradition still remains.

But this Labor Day, remember that all labor derives its true dignity as a reflection of the Creator. And that whatever we do, in word or deed, we should do all to the glory of God.

Eric: It’s always great to hear from Chuck. Now before I leave you today I want to ask you to please pray for the residents of Houston. And do what you can to support Christian organizations like Samaritan’s Purse that are providing aid and relief.

Cal Thomas won’t condemn President Trump even though some are trying to get him to ( he is right )

SOME FELLOW BELIEVERS ARE URGING ME TO CONDEMN PRESIDENT TRUMP. I CAN CRITICIZE POLICIES AND LANGUAGE I MAY NOT LIKE, BUT I REFUSE TO CONDEMN HIM. I AM PRAYING FOR HIM THAT GOD WILL MAKE OF HIM WHAT GOD WANTS. ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY BELONG TO THE FATHER AND HE PUTS PEOPLE IN POWER FOR HIS PURPOSES – FROM SAUL, TO CLINTON, OBAMA, BUSH AND TRUMP. ANYONE DISAGREE? IF NOT, PRAY FOR THE PRESIDENT. I’M CAL THOMAS IN WASHINGTON.

( Billy’s thoughts – Right on brother Cal. Read the rest of this commentary right here or listen to the audio.)

Submitting ( Thought on the Bible )

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What should be the Christian attitude to authorities in our lives.
Hi: I’m Billy David Dickson with a thought on the Bible.
It tells us in Romans chapter 13, check it out, all authority has been established by the Lord. It doesn’t matter if the leader is a parent, a teacher, your pastor, or a government leader.
So how should we respond to our leaders.
First off we are to respect them. If we don’t honor our leaders we are really showing disrespect to God. Because God is the one which has given them power.Those folks who don’t honor Donald Trump as President, or did not honor Barack Obama as President are really not honoring the Lord. Now it is ok to disagree with a leader, but we must do it in respectful way.
Then we should pray for our leaders. It doesn’t matter if you voted for a leader, or not.
There might come a time when we have to disobey a leader. Just like Peter when he was told not to preach Jesus, he said, “we must obey God rather than man.” If by obeying a leader we would be disobeying the law of God we must submit to the Lord. Now we should not just not disobey a leader, or a law because we don’t agree with him, or it. They must be in conflict with God. There is also a difference between something being allowed, and you being forced to do something. In Germany when Hitler was in power every follower of Jesus should have disobeyed him, and helped the Jewish citizens of that nation. We may even have to not follow the teaching of a spiritual leader. Awhile back the leader of a church said Jewish people don’t need Jesus. Every true believer in that church should keep sharing Christ with others including with Jewish folks.The Bible makes it clear there is salvation in no other name, but Jesus Christ.
That is a thought on the Bible.
Until next time,
I’m Billy David Dickson

All Rights Reserved, 2017
This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Billy or read more commentary on https://billydteacher.wordpress.com/.

Once upon a time believers outlawed Christmas ( they were right, and they were wrong

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50 years ago her life was changed

Fifty years ago, everything changed for her. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

On the same weekend in 2012 that Chuck Colson fell ill and ultimately went home to the be with the Lord, we recognized Joni Eareckson Tada as a modern-day William Wilberforce.

And recently, in an interview with Christianity Today, Joni looked back on fifty years since a diving accident left her bound to a wheelchair, recalling how she discovered a depth of trust in Christ she never knew before, and embraced the higher priorities of God than just healing our bodies.

In the decades since her accident, Joni has created and has led one of the most effective ministries on behalf of those with disabilities. She’s helped draft historic legislation, opened hearts and minds, and inspired millions with her painting and singing.

She’s also become a fierce opponent of the culture of death, fighting assisted suicide and euthanasia, which devalue and destroy lives made in God’s image. Thank God for Joni Eareckson Tada, and may she continue to prove His power is made perfect in our weakness.

North Korea, Nukes, and President Trump The Prudential and Moral Considerations of a Just War

BreakPoint: North Korea, Nukes, and President Trump
The Prudential and Moral Considerations of a Just War

by: John Stonestreet & G. Shane Morris

The war rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S. turned nuclear this week, literally. Thankfully, Christians have thought about these things before.

U.S. intelligence now believes that North Korea—currently under the rule of a despicable, evil, irrational dictatorship—has capability to mount a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Kim Jong Un has said he’ll never give up his pursuit of nuclear weapons, and just this week, he threatened attacks on the U.S. mainland and the
U. S. territory of Guam.

In response, President Trump warned that if these threats continue, North Korea will face “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Rhetoric aside, the President does face a very grave dilemma: how to prevent North Korea from following through on its threats. The prudential and moral considerations here are colossal. He and our entire national security team need our prayers.

What he doesn’t need is bad advice. One evangelical advisor made headlines saying that the president had been anointed by God to “take out” Kim Jong Un by “by any means possible.”

“By any means possible” is a Machiavellian response, not a Christian one. And I know Chuck Colson would have said so too.

Chuck, a former Marine Captain and advisor to President Nixon, was no pacifist. But he was a disciplined Christian thinker who talked frequently about “just war theory.” He knew the rich wisdom about war from those who had gone before was an antidote to hyper-emotional reactionism.

To give you a taste, here’s Chuck, from 2009:

Chuck Colson: For nearly two millennia, Christian thinkers starting with Augustine… have developed what is known as the just war theory. For a war to be seen as just, it must meet several conditions. It must be waged by legitimate authority. The cause itself must be just, as well as the intention behind going to war. War must be a last resort, waged by means proportional to the threat. We must not target non-combatants, and we must have a reasonable chance of success.

John: Let’s unpack this criteria. First, the intent of the war has to be just. Is preventing an irrational dictatorship from using nuclear weapons a just cause? Yes, but it raises other questions. Is a preemptive strike morally just? Chuck felt so in certain cases and he cited Christian precedent. But in the years after the preemptive invasion of Iraq, he admitted that hindsight showed the intelligence leading to the attack was faulty. So U. S. intelligence must be correct about the status of North Korea’s capabilities.

Second, for a war to be just, there must be a reasonable chance of success. That means success must be achievable, and it must be defined. In this case, is it the toppling of Kim Jong Un, or just removing his capability of producing and delivering nuclear weapons?

Third, is war a last resort? Are all other avenues closed? This is almost always the final hinge on which a just decision swings.

Fourth, we must not target non-combatants. A U. S. attack on North Korea should focus on their leadership and nuclear facilities. But we must also consider civilian cost to our allies. If North Korea has time to retaliate against an attack, experts warn of hundreds of thousands if not millions of South Korean, perhaps even Japanese, civilian casualties.

Fifth, is our response proportional to the threat? “Fire and fury like the world has never seen” is a vague answer to that question. Are we talking cruise missiles here, or tactical nuclear weapons?

As Chuck said back in 2009, these are tough questions for any leader. And he knew, having served in the White House at the side of a president.

So Christian, we must pray to the God of history and nations for wisdom for our leaders and for a just end to the evil regime in North Korea. And, in our words, whether we’re advising the President or own children about this situation, we must be thoughtful and morally considerate, not emotionally reactive.