From Mark Copeland... "GIVE ME THE BIBLE" Why I Love The Bible

                          "GIVE ME THE BIBLE"

                          Why I Love The Bible


1. In this series ("Give Me The Bible"), thus far we have explored...
   a. The Problem Of Biblical Illiteracy
   b. Why I Read The Bible
   c. Why I Believe The Bible

2. But I don't just read and believe the Bible, I love the Bible...!
   a. It is my favorite book
   b. It is my constant companion when I travel
   c. I read it daily, with the goal of reading through it at least once
      each year

[Like the Psalmist, I love the Word of God (cf. Ps 119:97-104)  Why?
First of all, because...]


      1. Is God's plan for the redemption of man from sin
      2. Beginning with promises made in Genesis - Gen 3:15; 12:1-3;
      3. Fulfilled with the coming of Jesus Christ - Ac 3:25-26; Ga 3:16

      1. It tells us how we can be reconciled to God - Ro 5:8-11
      2. It reveals the gospel whereby we can be saved - Ro 1:16; 1Co 15:1-4
      3. A gospel with both commands and promises - Mk 16:15-16; Ac2:38-39; 3:19; 22:16
      4. Through the Word of God, I was given a new life in Christ - 1Pe2:22-23; 2Co 5:17
         a. Freedom from the guilt of sin by the blood of Christ- Ep 1:7
         b. Freedom from the power of sin by the Holy Spirit - Ro 8:11-14
         c. The opportunity to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus
            Christ - 2Pe 3:18
      5. As Jesus promised, I was given the opportunity for an abundant
         life! - Jn 10:10

[I became a Christian early in life (at 13 years of age).  For more than
45 years, I have sought to live as the Bible directs.  I therefore love
the Bible because of the benefits I receive as...]


      1. I was inspired by young role models in the Bible
         a. Joseph, who resisted temptation - Gen 39:9
         b. Daniel, who purposed in his heart to do what was right - Dan1:8
         c. Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego, with faith in the face of fire
            - Dan 3:16-18
         d. Timothy, who served as an example despite his youth  - 1Ti4:12
      2. I was given wise counsel from:
         a. Proverbs - encapsulating the wisdom of Solomon - Pr 1:1-4
         b. Ecclesiastes - the meaning of life and how to live it - Ec11:9-10; 12:1
         c. Jesus - regarding the proper priorities in life - Mt 6:33;16:26
         d. The apostles - showing me how to live for Christ - 1Co 11:1;2Pe 1:5-11
      3. With the Bible as my guide...
         a. I avoided many of the pitfalls that plague youth
            (immorality, materialism)
         b. I made good choices involving life (friends, marriage,
            family, work)
      4. And whenever I stumbled, the Bible...
         a. Offered me grace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ - 1Jn 1:9;
         b. Gave me encouragement to get back up, to press on - Php3:12-14

      1. I am inspired by aged role models in the Bible
         a. Moses, who at 80 accepted a new calling - Exo 7:7; cf. Psa90:10
         b. Joshua, who starting at 80 led Israel for 30 years - Josh 24:29
         c. Caleb, who said "Give me this mountain!" at age 85 - Josh14:6-12
         d. Daniel, who continued to serve God and man into his 90s
            - Dan 6:1-3,10
         e. Anna, who though 84 continued to serve God with prayers and
            fasting - Lk 2:36-38
         f. Paul the aged apostle, who continued to write letters and
            travel - Phm 1:9,21-22
      2. I continue to receive wise counsel from:
         a. Proverbs - always increasing in understanding - Pr 1:5-6
         b. Ecclesiastes - always reminding me what is important - Ec2:24-26; 9:9
         c. Jesus - always keeping my priorities straight - Lk 10:40-42;12:22-40
         d. The apostles - guiding my life as a disciple of Christ - Php4:4-9
      3. With the Bible as my guide...
         a. I can face the future with confidence - 2Co 4:16-18
         b. I can look forward to what the Lord will provide - 2Ti 4:6-8
      4. And as this life comes to an end, the Bible...
         a. Offers me the hope of the resurrection - 1Co 15:50-58
         b. Promises a heavenly city, a new heavens and earth - He13:14; 2Pe 3:13-14; Re 21:1-7


1. Yes, I love the Bible, because it...
   a. Introduced me to God and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ
   b. Taught me the way of salvation through an obedient faith In Jesus
   c. Guides me to experience abundant life now, and receive eternal
      life hereafter - Ps 119:105

2. And so I concur with sentiments expressed by two great men...

   "I believe that the one chief reason that I have been kept in happy
   useful service is that I have been a lover of Holy Scripture.  It has
   been my habit to read the Bible through four times a year; in a
   prayerful spirit, to apply it to my heart, and practice what I find
   there.  I have been for sixty-nine years a happy man; happy, happy,
   happy." - George Muller, who established orphanages in England

   "I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book
   that you can by reason and the balance by faith, and you will live
   and die a better man. It is the best Book which God has given to
   man." - Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States

Many people love the Bible.  Don't you?  I hope I have encouraged you to
truly love the Word of God...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

Noah's Ark—Not A "Rough" Draught by Kyle Butt, M.A.


Noah's Ark—Not A "Rough" Draught

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

When reading through the exciting story the Flood, it often is very easy to miss the importance of certain verses. For instances, Genesis 7:19-20 states: “And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” At first glance, it might just look like these verses are telling us that water covered every high mountain. But to those who are familiar with shipbuilding, this verse means much more than that.
As workmen construct a ship, designers must take into account its draught, which is the measurement of how far into the water the ship will sink when it is fully loaded. Were you to confer with shipbuilding guides, you would discover that the draught for large barge-type vessels generally is approximately one-half of their height. Since the ark was 30 cubits high, it would sink 15 cubits into the water. It therefore would need 15 cubits of water above the highest mountains in order for its bottom not to scrape against those mountaintops. Interestingly, God not only designed the perfect vessel for the trip, but also sent the correct amount of water to prevent that vessel from smashing into the top of a submerged mountain peak.
When the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible, He did not include information “just to take up space.” Each verse in the Bible is important for one reason or another. Let us all work hard to discover those reasons.

God's Just Destruction of the Canaanites by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


God's Just Destruction of the Canaanites

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In the 1930s and 40s, the Nazi regime committed state-sponsored genocide of so-called “inferior races.” Of the approximately nine million Jews who lived in Europe at the beginning of the 1930s, some six million of them were exterminated. The Nazis murdered approximately one million Jewish children, two million Jewish women, and three million Jewish men. The Jews were starved, gassed, and experimented on like animals. In addition, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime slaughtered another three million Poles, Soviets, gypsies, and people with disabilities (see “Holocaust,” 2011 for more information). Most sane people, including Christians and many atheists (e.g., Antony Flew, Wallace Matson), have interpreted the Nazis’ actions for what they were—cruel, callous, and nefarious.
Some 3,400 years before the Holocaust, the God of the Bible commanded the Israelites to “destroy all the inhabitants of the land” of Canaan (Joshua 9:24). They were to conquer, kill, and cast out the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites (Exodus 23:23; Deuteronomy 7:1-2; Joshua 3:10). After crossing the Jordan River, we learn in the book of Joshua that the Israelites “utterly destroyed all that was in the city [of Jericho], both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword…. [T]hey burned the city and all that was in it with fire” (Joshua 6:21,24). They also “utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai” (Joshua 8:26), killing 12,000 men and women, and hanging their king (8:25,29). In Makkedah and Libnah, the Israelites “let none remain” (Joshua 10:28,30). They struck Lachish “and all the people who were in it with the edge of the sword” (10:32). The Israelites then conquered Gezer, Eglon, Hebron, Debir, and Hazor (10:33-39; 11:1-1). “So all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua took and struck with the edge of the sword. He utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded” (Joshua 11:12).
God had the Israelites kill countless thousands, perhaps millions, of people throughout the land of Canaan. It was genocide in the sense that it was a planned, systematic, limited extermination of a number of nation states from a relatively small area in the Middle East (cf. “Genocide,” 2000; cf. also “Genocide,” 2012). But, it was not a war against a particular race (from the Greek genos) or ethnic group. Nor were the Israelites commanded to pursue and kill the Canaanite nations if they fled from Israel’s Promised Land. The Israelites were to drive out and dispossess the nations of their land (killing all who resisted the dispossession), but they were not instructed to annihilate a particular race or ethnic group from the face of the Earth.
Still, many find God’s commands to conquer and destroy the Canaanite nation states problematic. How could a loving God instruct one group of people to kill and conquer another group? America’s most well-known critic of Christianity in the late 1700s and early 1800s, Thomas Paine (one of only a handful of America’s Founding Fathers who did not claim to be a Christian), called the God of the Old Testament “the Mars of the Jews, the fighting God of Israel,” Who was “boisterous, contemptible, and vulgar” (Paine, 1807). Two centuries later, Richard Dawkins (arguably the most famous atheist in the world today), published his book The God Delusion, which soon became a New York Times bestseller. One of the most oft-quoted phrases from this work comes from page 31, where Dawkins called God, a “racist, infanticidal, genocidal…capriciously malevolent bully” (2006). According to one search engine, this quote (in part or in whole) is found on-line approximately one million times. The fact is, critics of the God of the Bible are fond of repeating the allegation that, because of His instruction to the Israelites to kill millions of people in their conquest of Canaan, the God of the Bible has (allegedly) shown Himself to be an unruly, shameful, offensive, genocidal, “evil monster” (Dawkins, p. 248; cf. Hitchens, 2007, p. 107).

Was God’s Campaign Against Canaan Immoral?

How could a supremely good (Mark 10:18), all-loving (1 John 4:8), perfectly holy God (Leviticus 11:44-45) order the Israelites to slay with swords myriads of human beings, letting “none remain” in Canaan? Is not such a planned, systematic extermination of nations equivalent to the murderous actions of the Nazis in the 1930s and 40s, as atheists and other critics of Christianity would have us believe? In truth, God’s actions in Israel’s conquest of Canaan were in perfect harmony with His supremely loving, merciful, righteous, just, and holy nature.

Punishing Evildoers is Not Unloving

Similar to how merciful parents, principals, policemen, and judges can justly administer punishment to rule-breakers and evildoers, so too can the all-knowing, all-loving Creator of the Universe. Loving parents and principals have administered corporal punishment appropriately to children for years (cf. Proverbs 13:24). Merciful policemen, who are constantly saving the lives of the innocent, have the authority (both from God and the government—Romans 13:1-4) to kill a wicked person who is murdering others. Just judges have the authority to sentence a depraved child rapist to death. Loving-kindness and corporal or capital punishment are not antithetical. Prior to conquering Canaan, God commanded the Israelites, saying,
You shall not hate your brother in your heart…. You shall not take vengeance nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself…. And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself (Leviticus 19:17-18,33-34; cf. Romans 13:9).
The faithful Jew was expected, as are Christians, to “not resist an evil person” (Matthew 5:39) but rather “go the extra mile” (Matthew 5:41) and “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39). “Love,” after all, “is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10; cf. Matthew 22:36-40). Interestingly, however, the Israelite was commanded to punish (even kill) lawbreakers. Just five chapters after commanding the individual Israelite to “not take vengeance,” but “love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18), God twice said that murderers would receive the death penalty (Leviticus 24:21,17).

The Wickedness of the Inhabitants of Canaan

The Canaanite nations were punished because of their extreme wickedness. God did not cast out the Canaanites for being a particular race or ethnic group. God did not send the Israelites into the land of Canaan to destroy a number of righteous nations. On the contrary, the Canaanite nations were horribly depraved. They practiced “abominable customs” (Leviticus 18:30) and did “detestable things” (Deuteronomy 18:9, NASB). They practiced idolatry, witchcraft, soothsaying, and sorcery. They attempted to cast spells upon people and call up the dead (Deuteronomy 18:10-11).
Their “cultic practice was barbarous and thoroughly licentious” (Unger, 1954, p. 175). Their “deities…had no moral character whatever,” which “must have brought out the worst traits in their devotees and entailed many of the most demoralizing practices of the time,” including sensuous nudity, orgiastic nature-worship, snake worship, and even child sacrifice (Unger, 1954, p. 175; cf. Albright, 1940, p. 214). As Moses wrote, the inhabitants of Canaan would “burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:30). The Canaanite nations were anything but “innocent.” In truth, “[t]hese Canaanite cults were utterly immoral, decadent, and corrupt, dangerously contaminating and thoroughly justifying the divine command to destroy their devotees” (Unger, 1988). They were so nefarious that God said they defiled the land and the land could stomach them no longer—“the land vomited out its inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:25). [NOTE: Israel was an imperfect nation (as all nations are), but God still used them to punish the Canaanites. God warned Israel before ever entering Canaan, however, that if they forsook His law, they, too, would be severely punished (Deuteronomy 28:15ff). In fact, similar to how God used the Israelites to bring judgment upon the inhabitants of Canaan in the time of Joshua, He used the pagan nations of Babylon and Assyria to judge and conquer Israel hundreds of years later.]

The Longsuffering of God

Unlike the foolish, impulsive, quick-tempered reactions of many men (Proverbs 14:29), the Lord is “slow to anger and great in mercy” (Psalm 145:8). He is “longsuffering…, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Immediately following a reminder to the Christians in Rome that the Old Testament was “written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope,” the apostle Paul referred to God as “the God of patience” (Romans 15:4-5). Throughout the Old Testament, the Bible writers portrayed God as longsuffering.
Though in Noah’s day, “the wickedness of man was great in the earth” and “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5), “the Divine longsuffering waited” (1 Peter 3:20). (It seems as though God delayed flooding the Earth for 120 years as His Spirit’s message of righteousness was preached to a wicked world—Genesis 6:3; 2 Peter 2:5.) In the days of Abraham, God ultimately decided to spare the iniquitous city of Sodom, not if 50 righteous people were found living therein, but only 10 righteous individuals.
And what about prior to God’s destruction of the Canaanite nations? Did God quickly decide to cast them out of the land? Did He respond to the peoples’ wickedness like an impulsive, reckless mad-man? Or was He, as the Bible repeatedly states and exemplifies, longsuffering? Indeed, God waited. He waited more than four centuries to bring judgment upon the inhabitants of Canaan. Although the Amorites were already a sinful people in Abraham’s day, God delayed in giving the descendants of the patriarch the Promised Land. He would wait until the Israelites had been in Egypt for hundreds of years, because at the time that God spoke with Abraham “the iniquity of the Amorites” was “not yet complete” (Genesis 15:16). [NOTE: “The Amorites were so numerous and powerful a tribe in Canaan that they are sometimes named for the whole of the ancient inhabitants, as they are here” (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, 1997).] In Abraham’s day, the inhabitants of Canaan were not so degenerate that God would bring judgment upon them. However, by the time of Joshua (more than 400 years later), the Canaanites’ iniquity was full, and God used the army of Israel to destroy them.
Yes, God is longsuffering, but His longsuffering is not an “eternal” suffering. His patience with impenitent sinners eventually ends. It ended for a wicked world in the days of Noah. It ended for Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Abraham. And it eventually ended for the inhabitants of Canaan, whom God justly destroyed.

What About the Innocent Children?

The children of Canaan were not guilty of their parents’ sins (cf. Ezekiel 18:20); they were sinless, innocent, precious human beings (cf. Matthew 18:3-5; see Butt, 2003). So how could God justly take the lives of children, any children, “who have no knowledge of good and evil” (Deuteronomy 1:39)? The fact is, as Dave Miller properly noted, “Including the children in the destruction of such populations actually spared them from a worse condition—that of being reared to be as wicked as their parents and thus face eternal punishment. All persons who die in childhood, according to the Bible, are ushered to Paradise and will ultimately reside in Heaven. Children who have parents who are evil must naturally suffer innocently while on Earth (e.g., Numbers 14:33)” (Miller, 2009). God, the Giver of life (Acts 17:25; Ecclesiastes 12:7), and only God has the right to take the life of His creation whenever He chooses (for the righteous purposes that He has). At times in history, God took the life of men out of righteous judgment. At other times (as in the case of children), it was taken for merciful reasons. [NOTE: For a superb, extensive discussion on the relationship between (1) the goodness of God, (2) the contradictory, hideousness of atheism, and (3) God bringing about the death of various infants throughout history, see Kyle Butt’s article “Is God Immoral for Killing Innocent Children?” (2009).]


Though the enemies of the God of the Bible are frequently heard criticizing Israel’s conquest of Canaan, the fact is, such a conquest was in complete harmony with God’s perfectly loving, holy, and righteous nature. After patiently waiting for hundreds of years, God eventually used the Israelites to bring judgment upon myriads of wicked Canaanites. Simultaneously, He spared their children a fate much worse than physical death—the horror of growing up in a reprehensible culture and becoming like their hedonistic parents—and immediately ushered them into a pain-free, marvelous place called Paradise (Luke 16:19-31; 23:43).


Albright, William F. (1940), From the Stone Age to Christianity (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins).
Butt, Kyle (2003), “Do Babies Go to Hell When They Die?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1201.
Butt, Kyle (2009), “Is God Immoral for Killing Innocent Children?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/article/260.
Dawkins, Richard (2006), The God Delusion (New York: Houghton Mifflin).
“Genocide” (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
“Genocide” (2012), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/genocide.
Hitchens, Christopher (2007), God is Not Great (New York: Twelve).
“Holocaust” (2011), Encyclopedia.com, http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Holocaust.aspx#1.
Jamieson, Robert, et al. (1997), Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Bible Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Miller, Dave (2009), “Did God Order the Killing of Babies?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=2810.
Paine, Thomas (1807), “Essay on Dream,” http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/paine/dream.htm.
Unger, Merrill F. (1954), Archaeology and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Unger, Merrill F. (1988), “Canaan,” The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

Congressman Broun and Creation by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


Congressman Broun and Creation

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

U.S. House Representative Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican, was attacked earlier this month for his strong stand for the biblical model of Creation as opposed to evolution. LiveScience.com painted Congressman Broun as ignorant of the scientific facts, which according to them, prove that the Universe could not be as young as Broun says it is (i.e., “about 9,000 years old,” Pappas, 2012).
According to geochemist Richard Carlson of the Carnegie Institution, the Earth and the rest of the solar system began to solidify between 4.567 and 4.568 billion years ago. What scientific evidence do Broun’s accusers point to in order to prove him wrong? According to LiveScience.com, “This age range is calculated using isotopes, or variants of chemical elements. For the purposes of dating the solar system, researchers use lead and uranium isotopes” (Pappas). The single piece of evidence used to convict Broun of error and substantiate an old Universe is isotope dating.
The problem with this “evidence” is that evolutionary dating methods, such as lead and uranium dating, are riddled with several false assumptions which cannot be conclusively substantiated. Three prominent examples are (1) no daughter element (e.g., lead) existed in the specimen at the beginning of its decay; (2) the specimen being examined constitutes a closed system; and (3) the nuclear decay rate of the elements being measured (e.g., uranium and lead) have remained constant throughout history. All three of these assumptions (and others) are unsustainable and rather presumptuous. In fact, they have been shown to be wrong in many cases, as we have often pointed out over the years at Apologetics Press. Ironically, the geologists intimately familiar with such dating techniques admit that “violations” of the assumptions “are not uncommon” (McDougall and Harrison, 1999, p. 11).
In reality, due to the nature of catastrophic events throughout history—events which violate the uniformitarian principles upon which evolution and its old-Universe contention hinge—the age of the Universe cannot be determined, except through divine revelation. Science simply cannot give a conclusive answer to the question regarding the age of the Earth. It can only yield theories that are based on certain unprovable (and suspect) assumptions. The Creationist contention—that the Earth is relatively young and most of its geologic features are the product of catastrophic events—is perfectly in keeping with the evidence, and in fact, fits the evidence better (cf. DeYoung, 2005). Bottom line: Congressman Broun’s viewpoint is in keeping with the evidence and reason. Bravo, Congressman, for standing up for the Bible and true science.


DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
McDougall, Ian and T. Mark Harrison (1999), Geochronology and Thermochronology by the 40Ar/39Ar Method (New York: Oxford University Press), second edition.
Pappas, Stephanie (2012), “Fact Check: What a 9,000-Year-Old Earth Really Looked Like,” LiveScience, http://www.livescience.com/23872-9000-year-old-earth-creationism.html.

Gambling, the Military, and Christian Ethics by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Gambling, the Military, and Christian Ethics

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Aaron Walsh had a bright and promising future. A Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army and a decorated Apache helicopter pilot, he had a lovely wife and two young children. When he joined the Army, however, he developed an addiction to gambling due to the presence of slot machines on overseas military posts. (The Department of Defense uses slot machine revenues to fund military recreation programs). In 2005, he went AWOL, only to be found sitting in front of a video slot machine on a military post in Seoul, South Korea. Unable to break his addiction, young Walsh lost his family and his career in the Army, and spent time homeless on the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2006, he returned to Maine in hopes of reconnecting with his wife and children, but his gambling addiction only continued. Sadly, on September 26, 2006, at the age of 34, Walsh went to Baxter State Park and killed himself with a gunshot to the head (Griffin, 2007). “[T]he way of the transgressor is hard” (Proverbs 13:15, ASV).
American civilization has declined to such an extent that most citizens today would be surprised to learn that, from the very beginning of our nation until about 50 years ago, the majority of Americans viewed gambling as immoral. In fact, the Founding Fathers forthrightly addressed the issue of gambling. The Continental Congress passed a resolution on October 12, 1778, declaring their condemnation of gambling:
Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness: Resolved, That it be, and it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several states, to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof, and for the suppressing theatrical entertainments, horse racing, gaming, and such other diversions as are productive of idleness, dissipation, and a general depravity of principles and manners (Journals..., 1823, 3:85, emp. added).
The laws of Connecticut included a prohibition against gambling:
Gaming is an amusement, the propensity of which is deeply implanted in human nature. Mankind in the most unpolished state of barbarism and in the most refined periods of luxury and dissipation, are attached to this practice with an unaccountable ardor and fondness. To describe the pernicious consequences of it, the ruin and desolation of private families, and the promotion of idleness and dissipation, belong to a treatise on ethics (as quoted in Swift, 1796, 2:351).
In a letter to Martha Jefferson in 1787, Thomas Jefferson commented on the degrading influence of gambling:
In a world which furnishes so many employments which are useful, so many which are amusing, it is our own fault if we ever know what ennui is, or if we are ever driven to the miserable resources of gaming, which corrupts our dispositions, and teaches us a habit of hostility against all mankind (as quoted in Forman, 1900, p. 266).
In his proposal for a revision of the laws in his home state of Virginia, Jefferson offered the following “Bill to Prevent Gaming,” which restricted the holding of public office to non-gamblers:
Any person who shall bet or play for money, or other goods, or who shall bet on the hands or sides of those who play at any game in a tavern, racefield, or other place of public resort, shall be deemed an infamous gambler, and shall not be eligible to any office of trust or honor within this state (1950, 2:306).
Ironically, as Commander-in-Chief of all U.S. military forces, George Washington frequently addressed the deleterious effect of gambling on the soldiers of the Continental Army he commanded. In General Orders issued on February 26, 1776, Washington admonished:
All officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers are positively forbid [sic] playing at cards, and other games of chance. At this time of public distress, men may find enough to do in the service of their God, and their Country, without abandoning themselves to vice and immorality (1931, 4:347, emp. added).
Courtesy Library of Congress: www.loc.gov
The majority view of America and its Founders from day one has been that gambling in its various forms is a vice that is destructive of the moral fabric of society—a view they gleaned from the Bible (see Miller and Butt, 2003). With uncanny anticipation, George Washington declared to his troops on May 8, 1777: “As few vices are attended with more pernicious consequences, in civil life; so there are none more fatal in a military one, than that of Gaming; which often brings disgrace and ruin upon officers, and injury and punishment upon the Soldiery” (8:28, emp. added). The death of Aaron Walsh is a tragic testimony to the truth of Washington’s declaration. If the military’s morality protocol from the beginning of our nation was still in effect, Aaron Walsh likely still would be alive, and his family would still have a father and husband. Even more tragically, if the Continental Congress was correct in its claim that “true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness,” then America is moving swiftly down a road that will result in “a general depravity of principles and manners” and the dissolution of “public liberty and happiness.”


Forman, S.E. (1900), The Life and Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Indianapolis, IN: Bowen-Merrill).
Griffin, Drew (2007), “Bill Would Ban Military Slot Machines,” CNN News, [On-line], URL: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/15/military.gambling/index.html.
Jefferson, Thomas (1950), The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).
Journals of the American Congress: From 1774 to 1788 (1823), (Washington, D.C.: Way and Gideon).
Miller, Dave and Kyle Butt (2003), “Christians, Gambling, and the Lottery,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2301.
Swift, Zephaniah (1796), A System of Laws of the State of Connecticut (Windham, CT: John Byrne).
Washington, George (1931), The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office).

From Jim McGuiggan... Enough about what WE'RE doing

Enough about what WE'RE doing

What Christians do must be personal—that is, our faith must be ours. Just the same, at their best, Christian attitudes, behaviour, worship and ordinances are more than personal responses to God—their existence and shape reflect God at work; they reflect his presence, heart and purposes.
Again, at their best, their treatment of each other and people in general, their confession, liturgy and ordinances, their hope and praise and scriptures are a conscious claim that they see themselves as "the body of Jesus Christ".
The Spirit of God through scripture and life shapes the church so that it profiles Jesus who is the image of the invisible God. This means that what we see is not only our human response but God's self-witness that what he purposed and is bringing to completion in Jesus Christ is underway and will be fulfilled.
This means that Christian existence, life and worship is not just about us; it's about God who has come to the human family in and as Jesus Christ.
What a sight we'd have seen from a high vantage point looking down into the wilderness where Israel was camped. There's a central large tent around which is a circle of tents and then outside those there are tents on all four sides of the central tent. There are twelve tribes in formation, three tribes at each point of the compass.
This is harmony and form in the wilderness—defying the chaos
This is a people in the wilderness—living as a community
This is personal response to God's leading—noting but defying hardship
This is a nation going through the wilderness—on their way home
This is God making his presence known in the wilderness—claiming Lordship
On their way home they tell people around them that they would like their help and company and: "If you come with us we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us." See Numbers 10:29-32.
So it was and so it is!

From Gary... Bible Reading August 25

Bible Reading  

August 25

The World English Bible

Aug. 25
Job 36-42
Job 36:1 Elihu also continued, and said,
Job 36:2 "Bear with me a little, and I will show you; for I still have something to say on God's behalf.
Job 36:3 I will get my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
Job 36:4 For truly my words are not false. One who is perfect in knowledge is with you.
Job 36:5 "Behold, God is mighty, and doesn't despise anyone. He is mighty in strength of understanding.
Job 36:6 He doesn't preserve the life of the wicked, but gives to the afflicted their right.
Job 36:7 He doesn't withdraw his eyes from the righteous, but with kings on the throne, he sets them forever, and they are exalted.
Job 36:8 If they are bound in fetters, and are taken in the cords of afflictions,
Job 36:9 then he shows them their work, and their transgressions, that they have behaved themselves proudly.
Job 36:10 He also opens their ears to instruction, and commands that they return from iniquity.
Job 36:11 If they listen and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.
Job 36:12 But if they don't listen, they shall perish by the sword; they shall die without knowledge.
Job 36:13 "But those who are godless in heart lay up anger. They don't cry for help when he binds them.
Job 36:14 They die in youth. Their life perishes among the unclean.
Job 36:15 He delivers the afflicted by their affliction, and opens their ear in oppression.
Job 36:16 Yes, he would have allured you out of distress, into a broad place, where there is no restriction. That which is set on your table would be full of fatness.
Job 36:17 "But you are full of the judgment of the wicked. Judgment and justice take hold of you.
Job 36:18 Don't let riches entice you to wrath, neither let the great size of a bribe turn you aside.
Job 36:19 Would your wealth sustain you in distress, or all the might of your strength?
Job 36:20 Don't desire the night, when people are cut off in their place.
Job 36:21 Take heed, don't regard iniquity; for you have chosen this rather than affliction.
Job 36:22 Behold, God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him?
Job 36:23 Who has prescribed his way for him? Or who can say, 'You have committed unrighteousness?'
Job 36:24 "Remember that you magnify his work, whereof men have sung.
Job 36:25 All men have looked thereon. Man sees it afar off.
Job 36:26 Behold, God is great, and we don't know him. The number of his years is unsearchable.
Job 36:27 For he draws up the drops of water, which distill in rain from his vapor,
Job 36:28 Which the skies pour down and which drop on man abundantly.
Job 36:29 Yes, can any understand the spreading of the clouds, and the thunderings of his pavilion?
Job 36:30 Behold, he spreads his light around him. He covers the bottom of the sea.
Job 36:31 For by these he judges the people. He gives food in abundance.
Job 36:32 He covers his hands with the lightning, and commands it to strike the mark.
Job 36:33 Its noise tells about him, and the livestock also concerning the storm that comes up.
Job 37:1 "Yes, at this my heart trembles, and is moved out of its place.
Job 37:2 Hear, oh, hear the noise of his voice, the sound that goes out of his mouth.
Job 37:3 He sends it forth under the whole sky, and his lightning to the ends of the earth.
Job 37:4 After it a voice roars. He thunders with the voice of his majesty. He doesn't hold back anything when his voice is heard.
Job 37:5 God thunders marvelously with his voice. He does great things, which we can't comprehend.
Job 37:6 For he says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth;' likewise to the shower of rain, and to the showers of his mighty rain.
Job 37:7 He seals up the hand of every man, that all men whom he has made may know it.
Job 37:8 Then the animals take cover, and remain in their dens.
Job 37:9 Out of its chamber comes the storm, and cold out of the north.
Job 37:10 By the breath of God, ice is given, and the breadth of the waters is frozen.
Job 37:11 Yes, he loads the thick cloud with moisture. He spreads abroad the cloud of his lightning.
Job 37:12 It is turned around by his guidance, that they may do whatever he commands them on the surface of the habitable world,
Job 37:13 Whether it is for correction, or for his land, or for loving kindness, that he causes it to come.
Job 37:14 "Listen to this, Job. Stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.
Job 37:15 Do you know how God controls them, and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
Job 37:16 Do you know the workings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge?
Job 37:17 You whose clothing is warm, when the earth is still by reason of the south wind?
Job 37:18 Can you, with him, spread out the sky, which is strong as a cast metal mirror?
Job 37:19 Teach us what we shall tell him, for we can't make our case by reason of darkness.
Job 37:20 Shall it be told him that I would speak? Or should a man wish that he were swallowed up?
Job 37:21 Now men don't see the light which is bright in the skies, but the wind passes, and clears them.
Job 37:22 Out of the north comes golden splendor. With God is awesome majesty.
Job 37:23 We can't reach the Almighty. He is exalted in power. In justice and great righteousness, he will not oppress.
Job 37:24 Therefore men revere him. He doesn't regard any who are wise of heart."
Job 38:1 Then Yahweh answered Job out of the whirlwind,
Job 38:2 "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Job 38:3 Brace yourself like a man, for I will question you, then you answer me!
Job 38:4 "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding.
Job 38:5 Who determined its measures, if you know? Or who stretched the line on it?
Job 38:6 Whereupon were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,
Job 38:7 when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Job 38:8 "Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth from the womb,
Job 38:9 when I made clouds its garment, and wrapped it in thick darkness,
Job 38:10 marked out for it my bound, set bars and doors,
Job 38:11 and said, 'Here you may come, but no further. Here your proud waves shall be stayed?'
Job 38:12 "Have you commanded the morning in your days, and caused the dawn to know its place;
Job 38:13 that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and shake the wicked out of it?
Job 38:14 It is changed as clay under the seal, and stands forth as a garment.
Job 38:15 From the wicked, their light is withheld. The high arm is broken.
Job 38:16 "Have you entered into the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in the recesses of the deep?
Job 38:17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?
Job 38:18 Have you comprehended the earth in its breadth? Declare, if you know it all.
Job 38:19 "What is the way to the dwelling of light? As for darkness, where is its place,
Job 38:20 that you should take it to its bound, that you should discern the paths to its house?
Job 38:21 Surely you know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!
Job 38:22 Have you entered the treasuries of the snow, or have you seen the treasures of the hail,
Job 38:23 which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
Job 38:24 By what way is the lightning distributed, or the east wind scattered on the earth?
Job 38:25 Who has cut a channel for the flood water, or the path for the thunderstorm;
Job 38:26 To cause it to rain on a land where no man is; on the wilderness, in which there is no man;
Job 38:27 to satisfy the waste and desolate ground, to cause the tender grass to spring forth?
Job 38:28 Does the rain have a father? Or who fathers the drops of dew?
Job 38:29 Out of whose womb came the ice? The gray frost of the sky, who has given birth to it?
Job 38:30 The waters become hard like stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen.
Job 38:31 "Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loosen the cords of Orion?
Job 38:32 Can you lead forth the constellations in their season? Or can you guide the Bear with her cubs?
Job 38:33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you establish its dominion over the earth?
Job 38:34 "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, That abundance of waters may cover you?
Job 38:35 Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go? Do they report to you, 'Here we are?'
Job 38:36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts? Or who has given understanding to the mind?
Job 38:37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can pour out the bottles of the sky,
Job 38:38 when the dust runs into a mass, and the clods of earth stick together?
Job 38:39 "Can you hunt the prey for the lioness, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
Job 38:40 when they crouch in their dens, and lie in wait in the thicket?
Job 38:41 Who provides for the raven his prey, when his young ones cry to God, and wander for lack of food?
Job 39:1 "Do you know the time when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears fawns?
Job 39:2 Can you number the months that they fulfill? Or do you know the time when they give birth?
Job 39:3 They bow themselves, they bring forth their young, they end their labor pains.
Job 39:4 Their young ones become strong. They grow up in the open field. They go forth, and don't return again.
Job 39:5 "Who has set the wild donkey free? Or who has loosened the bonds of the swift donkey,
Job 39:6 Whose home I have made the wilderness, and the salt land his dwelling place?
Job 39:7 He scorns the tumult of the city, neither does he hear the shouting of the driver.
Job 39:8 The range of the mountains is his pasture, He searches after every green thing.
Job 39:9 "Will the wild ox be content to serve you? Or will he stay by your feeding trough?
Job 39:10 Can you hold the wild ox in the furrow with his harness? Or will he till the valleys after you?
Job 39:11 Will you trust him, because his strength is great? Or will you leave to him your labor?
Job 39:12 Will you confide in him, that he will bring home your seed, and gather the grain of your threshing floor?
Job 39:13 "The wings of the ostrich wave proudly; but are they the feathers and plumage of love?
Job 39:14 For she leaves her eggs on the earth, warms them in the dust,
Job 39:15 and forgets that the foot may crush them, or that the wild animal may trample them.
Job 39:16 She deals harshly with her young ones, as if they were not hers. Though her labor is in vain, she is without fear,
Job 39:17 because God has deprived her of wisdom, neither has he imparted to her understanding.
Job 39:18 When she lifts up herself on high, she scorns the horse and his rider.
Job 39:19 "Have you given the horse might? Have you clothed his neck with a quivering mane?
Job 39:20 Have you made him to leap as a locust? The glory of his snorting is awesome.
Job 39:21 He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength. He goes out to meet the armed men.
Job 39:22 He mocks at fear, and is not dismayed, neither does he turn back from the sword.
Job 39:23 The quiver rattles against him, the flashing spear and the javelin.
Job 39:24 He eats up the ground with fierceness and rage, neither does he stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
Job 39:25 As often as the trumpet sounds he snorts, 'Aha!' He smells the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
Job 39:26 "Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars, and stretches her wings toward the south?
Job 39:27 Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up, and makes his nest on high?
Job 39:28 On the cliff he dwells, and makes his home, on the point of the cliff, and the stronghold.
Job 39:29 From there he spies out the prey. His eyes see it afar off.
Job 39:30 His young ones also suck up blood. Where the slain are, there he is."
Job 40:1 Moreover Yahweh answered Job,
Job 40:2 "Shall he who argues contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it."
Job 40:3 Then Job answered Yahweh,
Job 40:4 "Behold, I am of small account. What shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.
Job 40:5 I have spoken once, and I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further."
Job 40:6 Then Yahweh answered Job out of the whirlwind,
Job 40:7 "Now brace yourself like a man. I will question you, and you will answer me.
Job 40:8 Will you even annul my judgment? Will you condemn me, that you may be justified?
Job 40:9 Or do you have an arm like God? Can you thunder with a voice like him?
Job 40:10 "Now deck yourself with excellency and dignity. Array yourself with honor and majesty.
Job 40:11 Pour out the fury of your anger. Look at everyone who is proud, and bring him low.
Job 40:12 Look at everyone who is proud, and humble him. Crush the wicked in their place.
Job 40:13 Hide them in the dust together. Bind their faces in the hidden place.
Job 40:14 Then I will also admit to you that your own right hand can save you.
Job 40:15 "See now, behemoth, which I made as well as you. He eats grass as an ox.
Job 40:16 Look now, his strength is in his thighs. His force is in the muscles of his belly.
Job 40:17 He moves his tail like a cedar. The sinews of his thighs are knit together.
Job 40:18 His bones are like tubes of brass. His limbs are like bars of iron.
Job 40:19 He is the chief of the ways of God. He who made him gives him his sword.
Job 40:20 Surely the mountains produce food for him, where all the animals of the field play.
Job 40:21 He lies under the lotus trees, in the covert of the reed, and the marsh.
Job 40:22 The lotuses cover him with their shade. The willows of the brook surround him.
Job 40:23 Behold, if a river overflows, he doesn't tremble. He is confident, though the Jordan swells even to his mouth.
Job 40:24 Shall any take him when he is on the watch, or pierce through his nose with a snare?
Job 41:1 "Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook, or press down his tongue with a cord?
Job 41:2 Can you put a rope into his nose, or pierce his jaw through with a hook?
Job 41:3 Will he make many petitions to you, or will he speak soft words to you?
Job 41:4 Will he make a covenant with you, that you should take him for a servant forever?
Job 41:5 Will you play with him as with a bird? Or will you bind him for your girls?
Job 41:6 Will traders barter for him? Will they part him among the merchants?
Job 41:7 Can you fill his skin with barbed irons, or his head with fish spears?
Job 41:8 Lay your hand on him. Remember the battle, and do so no more.
Job 41:9 Behold, the hope of him is in vain. Won't one be cast down even at the sight of him?
Job 41:10 None is so fierce that he dare stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me?
Job 41:11 Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Everything under the heavens is mine.
Job 41:12 "I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, nor his mighty strength, nor his goodly frame.
Job 41:13 Who can strip off his outer garment? Who shall come within his jaws?
Job 41:14 Who can open the doors of his face? Around his teeth is terror.
Job 41:15 Strong scales are his pride, shut up together with a close seal.
Job 41:16 One is so near to another, that no air can come between them.
Job 41:17 They are joined one to another. They stick together, so that they can't be pulled apart.
Job 41:18 His sneezing flashes out light. His eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
Job 41:19 Out of his mouth go burning torches. Sparks of fire leap forth.
Job 41:20 Out of his nostrils a smoke goes, as of a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
Job 41:21 His breath kindles coals. A flame goes forth from his mouth.
Job 41:22 There is strength in his neck. Terror dances before him.
Job 41:23 The flakes of his flesh are joined together. They are firm on him. They can't be moved.
Job 41:24 His heart is as firm as a stone, yes, firm as the lower millstone.
Job 41:25 When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid. They retreat before his thrashing.
Job 41:26 If one attacks him with the sword, it can't prevail; nor the spear, the dart, nor the pointed shaft.
Job 41:27 He counts iron as straw; and brass as rotten wood.
Job 41:28 The arrow can't make him flee. Sling stones are like chaff to him.
Job 41:29 Clubs are counted as stubble. He laughs at the rushing of the javelin.
Job 41:30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
Job 41:31 He makes the deep to boil like a pot. He makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
Job 41:32 He makes a path shine after him. One would think the deep had white hair.
Job 41:33 On earth there is not his equal, that is made without fear.
Job 41:34 He sees everything that is high. He is king over all the sons of pride."
Job 42:1 Then Job answered Yahweh,
Job 42:2 "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be restrained.
Job 42:3 You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' therefore I have uttered that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I didn't know.
Job 42:4 You said, 'Listen, now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will answer me.'
Job 42:5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.
Job 42:6 Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
Job 42:7 It was so, that after Yahweh had spoken these words to Job, Yahweh said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is kindled against you, and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has.
Job 42:8 Now therefore, take to yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept him, that I not deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has."
Job 42:9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did what Yahweh commanded them, and Yahweh accepted Job.
Job 42:10 Yahweh turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends. Yahweh gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Job 42:11 Then came there to him all his brothers, and all his sisters, and all those who had been of his acquaintance before, and ate bread with him in his house. They comforted him, and consoled him concerning all the evil that Yahweh had brought on him. Everyone also gave him a piece of money, and everyone a ring of gold.
Job 42:12 So Yahweh blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand female donkeys.
Job 42:13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.
Job 42:14 He called the name of the first, Jemimah; and the name of the second, Keziah; and the name of the third, Keren Happuch.
Job 42:15 In all the land were no women found so beautiful as the daughters of Job. Their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.
Job 42:16 After this Job lived one hundred forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, to four generations.
Job 42:17 So Job died, being old and full of days.

Aug. 25
Romans 6

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 May it never be! We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer?
Rom 6:3 Or don't you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection;
Rom 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin.
Rom 6:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Rom 6:8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him;
Rom 6:9 knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no more has dominion over him!
Rom 6:10 For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God.
Rom 6:11 Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 6:12 Therefore don't let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
Rom 6:13 Neither present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Rom 6:14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be!
Rom 6:16 Don't you know that to whom you present yourselves as servants to obedience, his servants you are whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?
Rom 6:17 But thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto you were delivered.
Rom 6:18 Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness.
Rom 6:19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for as you presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to wickedness upon wickedness, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness for sanctification.
Rom 6:20 For when you were servants of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
Rom 6:21 What fruit then did you have at that time in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
Rom 6:22 But now, being made free from sin, and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification, and the result of eternal life.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.