Archive for July, 2013

Called to be – Saints!

July 23, 2013

When I was age three and taking a much needed break from my Latin/Irish lessons from my teacher/seanmháthair [Grandmother I would never use the informal term grandma máthair mhór (maw her aWOR), and máthair Chríona (MAW her KHREE un na). These literally mean “old mother”, “great mother” and “mother of the heart.”] I would run outside and stand on the hill and call out to passers by ” My name is Denis O’Callghan, what is your nomenclature?. Education was what I was raised for and expected to become, Educated!

We never practiced the vernacular (the everyday language of people around us). I had to learn a new word to add to my vocabulary each day, I learned to love this exercise and to this day I still love to learn words, as you may have already guessed, I became a logophile ( a lover of words) at a very early age. William F. Buckley was one of my favorites to listen and learn. He would speak so that you would need a dictionary at your side just to understand his turn of a phrase. “A good debater is not necessarily an effective vote-getter: you can find a hole in your opponent’s argument through which you could drive a coach and four ringing jingle bells all the way, and thrill at the crystallization of a truth wrung out from a bloody dialogue – which, however, may warm only you and your muse, while the smiling paralogist ( one who uses reasoning that begs the question ) has in the meantime made votes by the tens of thousands.”

 

And as a result I became educated at an early age and continued on to learn throughout my life. Occasionally I am confronted by two different types of people. There are those who enquire how I became one of the scholarly academia to those I try to give a reasonable answer. Then of course we have to deal with the opposite group of individuals who make light of the educated and attempt to challenge education. We call them mumpsimus. Those who hold views stubbornly held in spite of clear evidence that it’s wrong. Those are the ones who try the patience of Job and remind us. ” And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (2 Timothy 2:24-25)

 

Men should strive to learn as much as they are able and if a degree becomes your goal then that is well and good. But It is my belief that the degree we should all strive after comes not after ones name but in front. That is SAINT and that is the degree that God seeks for all of His children.

 

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Would you believe?

July 23, 2013

Church leaders have long been interested in why so many drift away from faithful service to the Lord. Jesus summarized the matter in his parable of the sower. The causes he listed are: the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of wealth, distracted desires for worldly things, and carnal pleasure (Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:18; Luke 8:14).

This list could be expanded from numerous other texts (e.g., the ingestion of false teaching [cf. Romans 16:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Titus 3:10]), but for the moment this will suffice.

Several months ago, LifeWay Christian Resources, a Baptist-based group, did a survey of 469 adults who formerly were “church” people but had left their respective groups. The results of this study are interesting.

(1) Many of them “quit church” because they “simply got too busy.” Too busy to honor their Creator; too busy to serve him who died for them; too busy to go to heaven.

(2) Others faded away, they said, because “family and home responsibilities prevented” their continued connection with church. Is not serving God the most important family and home responsibility? Is putting food in a child’s mouth and clothes on his back more crucial than nurturing his soul toward heaven? The failure to sort out one’s prime obligations is one of the most significant gauges of spiritual foolishness.

(3) A considerable number complained that they had become disenchanted with church leaders or members. This is what one might call the PTB syndrome (“passing the buck”). Some do not like the elders’ decisions, others find the preaching boring, and there is the complaint that the deacons don’t minister to their needs.

There also is the common gripe that they are not being included in the church’s activities. Of course, they never volunteer for service and usually complain when asked to do something.

(4) Not a few charge that church members are judgmental and hypocritical, etc. Never mind that these are judging those whom they contend are judgmental. And they never boycott any place on the basis of hypocrisy except the church!

In more than a half-century of service to Christ, I cannot recall having seen a reprobate leave the fellowship of the church and take personal responsibility for his apostasy. He always plays the blame game: “It’s not my fault; they did it to me!” Such rationalizations are hypocritical subterfuge on the part of dishonest people who refuse to acknowledge their own problems.

(5) A small number claim they left the church because they lost faith in organized religion. One supposes they prefer disorganized religion. God does not condone confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), and one is not allowed to improvise his own worship and service system (John 4:24; 17:17). Such autocratic, self-focused individuals have not the slightest understanding of what genuine Christianity is.

Of course, there are cases where people genuinely lose faith. Perhaps they were never grounded or they were disappointed when their expectations of God were more idealistic than informed.

I am familiar with a man who matriculated through two Christian schools and then preached the gospel for a number of years on a foreign mission field. Eventually he “soured,” and now he works vociferously to oppose Christianity in every conceivable way he can, denying even that Jesus Christ ever lived. It most likely is the reality that he failed personally and now seeks to rationalize his apostasy by directing his wrath toward the Son of God.

Such loss of faith is never justified. Let the patriarch Job be your teacher! One should join the man who exclaimed, “[H]elp my unbelief” (Mark 9:24), and seek assistance.

(6) Some fall away because of changing circumstances in their lives. A divorce, for example, can devastate a person. He or she may feel an unjustified guilt because the marriage did not hold together. One may be immersed in shame because other families in the church seem stable.

(7) Others may experience a job move that sends them into an isolated area where there are no Christians. If one does not have the stability to survive in a community where there is no church, or if they cannot summon the courage to faithfully serve God alone, attempting to teach others, he or she would be far better off finding a new job that would facilitate Christian faithfulness. No job is worth the loss of one’s soul (Matthew 16:26).

The ultimate truth of the matter is this: there are no valid reasons for forsaking Christ—only lame excuses!  And Jesus made it very plain: excuses will carry no weight in the day of reckoning (see Luke 14:18ff).

drdenis

July 23, 2013

Dr Callaghan

Why people quit Church

July 19, 2013

Church leaders have long been interested in why so many drift away from faithful service to the Lord. Jesus summarized the matter in his parable of the sower. The causes he listed are: the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of wealth, distracted desires for worldly things, and carnal pleasure (Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:18; Luke 8:14).

This list could be expanded from numerous other texts (e.g., the ingestion of false teaching [cf. Romans 16:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Titus 3:10]), but for the moment this will suffice.

Several months ago, LifeWay Christian Resources, a Baptist-based group, did a survey of 469 adults who formerly were “church” people but had left their respective groups. The results of this study are interesting.

(1) Many of them “quit church” because they “simply got too busy.” Too busy to honor their Creator; too busy to serve him who died for them; too busy to go to heaven.

(2) Others faded away, they said, because “family and home responsibilities prevented” their continued connection with church. Is not serving God the most important family and home responsibility? Is putting food in a child’s mouth and clothes on his back more crucial than nurturing his soul toward heaven? The failure to sort out one’s prime obligations is one of the most significant gauges of spiritual foolishness.

(3) A considerable number complained that they had become disenchanted with church leaders or members. This is what one might call the PTB syndrome (“passing the buck”). Some do not like the elders’ decisions, others find the preaching boring, and there is the complaint that the deacons don’t minister to their needs.

There also is the common gripe that they are not being included in the church’s activities. Of course, they never volunteer for service and usually complain when asked to do something.

(4) Not a few charge that church members are judgmental and hypocritical, etc. Never mind that these are judging those whom they contend are judgmental. And they never boycott any place on the basis of hypocrisy except the church!

In more than a half-century of service to Christ, I cannot recall having seen a reprobate leave the fellowship of the church and take personal responsibility for his apostasy. He always plays the blame game: “It’s not my fault; they did it to me!” Such rationalizations are hypocritical subterfuge on the part of dishonest people who refuse to acknowledge their own problems.

(5) A small number claim they left the church because they lost faith in organized religion. One supposes they prefer disorganized religion. God does not condone confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), and one is not allowed to improvise his own worship and service system (John 4:24; 17:17). Such autocratic, self-focused individuals have not the slightest understanding of what genuine Christianity is.

Of course, there are cases where people genuinely lose faith. Perhaps they were never grounded or they were disappointed when their expectations of God were more idealistic than informed.

I am familiar with a man who matriculated through two Christian schools and then preached the gospel for a number of years on a foreign mission field. Eventually he “soured,” and now he works vociferously to oppose Christianity in every conceivable way he can, denying even that Jesus Christ ever lived. It most likely is the reality that he failed personally and now seeks to rationalize his apostasy by directing his wrath toward the Son of God.

Such loss of faith is never justified. Let the patriarch Job be your teacher! One should join the man who exclaimed, “[H]elp my unbelief” (Mark 9:24), and seek assistance.

(6) Some fall away because of changing circumstances in their lives. A divorce, for example, can devastate a person. He or she may feel an unjustified guilt because the marriage did not hold together. One may be immersed in shame because other families in the church seem stable.

(7) Others may experience a job move that sends them into an isolated area where there are no Christians. If one does not have the stability to survive in a community where there is no church, or if they cannot summon the courage to faithfully serve God alone, attempting to teach others, he or she would be far better off finding a new job that would facilitate Christian faithfulness. No job is worth the loss of one’s soul (Matthew 16:26).

The ultimate truth of the matter is this: there are no valid reasons for forsaking Christ—only lame excuses!  And Jesus made it very plain: excuses will carry no weight in the day of reckoning (see Luke 14:18ff).