Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Beth Moore

Beth Moore is a well-known Bible teacher who writes Bible study materials and conducts seminars, primarily for women. There seems to be quite a bit of controversy over whether or not her teachings are doctrinally sound. I am not going to attempt to analyze any of her teachings or study materials, because I have no first-hand knowledge in that area. Many report that her materials are biblically correct. I can neither confirm nor dispute that, and I do not plan to read any of her materials or attend any of her meetings. However, I have viewed the DVD entitled “Be Still,” on which Beth Moore is one of several featured speakers. This DVD is clearly an endorsement of contemplative prayer and other emerging church practices.

Pastor Gary Johnson of Calvary Chapel in Hemet, California spent some time with his church’s Ladies Bible Study group and explained why they would no longer be using the Beth Moore series. He has stated that “I felt that it would be confusing to some to support her study while denouncing her embracing contemplative prayer and other practices of the emergent church." His address to the group of ladies is very enlightening and is an example of a pastor taking time to do a very important pastoral duty – that of protecting his flock from error.

Following is a link to a recording of his message to the women's group:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Words of Wisdom for God’s Servants

Keep about your work that God has given you. Do not flinch because the lion roars; do not fool away your time chasing the devil's rabbits. Do your work. Let liars lie, let corporations resolve, let the devil do his worst; but see to it that nothing hinders you from fulfilling the work that God has given you.

He has not commanded you to get rich. He has never bidden you defend your character. He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood about yourself which Satan and his servants may start to peddle. If you do those things, you will do nothing else; you will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.

Keep at your work. Let your aim be as steady as a star. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded, and rejected; you may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends, and despised and rejected of men. But see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being until at last you can say, "I have finished the work which You gave me to do." (Author unknown)

"For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10, NASB)

"Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are." (John Wooden)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rapture of the Church: Pre-Tribulational and Pre-Millennial

Wayne Livesay is my dad. He spent a number of years as a pastor, and he is a retired employee of the State of California Department of Corrections. During World War II, he flew twenty-nine bombing missions over Germany as a B-17 navigator. On his last mission, he was shot down and spent nine months as a prisoner of war before being liberated by General Patton’s Third Army. He is a real American hero, and he is one of my heroes. (Ron Livesay)

Rapture of the Church:
Pre-Tribulation and Pre-Millennial
by Wayne W. Livesay

Rapture – The catching up of believers by Christ at the time of His return is a derivation of the Latin "rapio" used to translate the Greek term "harpagesometha" in I Thessalonians 4:17.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thessalonians 4:13-17)

The return of the Lord Jesus Christ is a prophesied fact that keenly challenges the interest of Christendom all over the world. The greatest number of predictions in the Old Testament prophecy concerning Christ are connected with His second coming. Of the 27 books in the New Testament, all except four refer to it, and the Lord Jesus taught in clear language that He would again return.

Three basic events are connected with His return – The Rapture, the Great Tribulation, and the Millennial Kingdom. Although most would agree that these are coming realities, there is much controversy concerning the chronological order of their revelation. The pre-millennialists see the Rapture taking place prior to the Tribulation, mid-tribulationists place the home-going at the mid-point of the seven year Tribulation, while post-millennialists teach that the church will remain on earth during the entire tribulation period. All three advocate that the Millennial Kingdom will come into focus after the Tribulation.

Another group which gained popularity during the nineteenth century is known as amillennialists. They express the conviction that the Biblically prophesied Kingdom will never exist upon this earth.

The erroneous teaching of the mid-tribulationists and post-millennialists results from the fact that they refuse to accept the truth that the Great Tribulation is fulfillment of Jehovah's final chastisement of His earthly people, the nation of Israel. Nowhere in Scripture does the Lord speak of this time as a judgment against the church. The words of Christ in Matthew 24 as He sat upon the mount of Olives are entirely concerning Israel. When preachers today apply the words "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (verse 14), they openly pervert the Word of God as they profess to perform the miracles which accompany the Kingdom Gospel.

When the true Kingdom emissaries again come on the scene, they will be able to perform all the miracles assigned to them in Matthew 10:8. They will heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Although there are many impostors attempting to perform some facets of this commission, there are no empty graveyards to verify their authority.

The key to understanding the seven-year Tribulation period is an acceptance of Daniel 9:24-27 as a literal decree. These "weeks" are prophetically seventy weeks of years wherein God is providing Israel with national return, blessing, and final chastisement. Sixty-nine of those weeks are past, with the final week awaiting the wrath of God as outlined in chapters 4-18 of the Book of Revelation. The 69th week ended when Messiah was cut off (Christ crucified), and with the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Church Age began. This day of grace will close when the Holy Spirit leaves the scene and the Anti-Christ is revealed. (II Thessalonians. 2:7-8)

During the first part of Daniel's 70th week, this Man of Sin will confirm a covenant with Israel which will stand for 3½ years. Everything will give an outward picture of harmony, as Israel will restore the Temple worship and no outward persecution will take place. At the mid-point of the 70th week, the Anti-Christ will break the covenant and the period known as the "time of Jacob's trouble" will take place.

Added emphasis to the pre-tribulation Rapture is set forth in John's revelation from the Isle of Patmos. The seven churches mentioned were existing assemblies during the first century. These churches, from Ephesus to Laodicea, are distinct types of stages within the Church Age from the initial zeal of the first century to the lukewarm satisfaction of his present age. It is interesting to note that after revealing the final stage of church apostasy in Laodicea, no further mention is made concerning the church.

Instead, we see a perfect pictured of the Rapture in the first verse of chapter four, "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter."

This is comparable to Paul's words in I Corinthians 15:51-53 as the trumpet sounds to call the church to glory. Christ will certainly remove His bride from this earth before He pours out His wrath during the Tribulation period. This is the "blessed hope" of every believer as we constantly await His call.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is The Christian School Movement Selling its Christian Heritage For a Mess of Professional Pottage?

James M. Bramblet, my late father-in-law, was a retired Christian school administrator. The following article was certainly timely when it was written and is even more timely now. Those involved in Christian schools should heed this wisdom if Christian schools are to survive as viable ministries into the future. (Ron Livesay)

Is The Christian School Movement Selling its Christian Heritage
For a Mess of Professional Pottage? by James M. Bramblet, 1990

Those who have been associated with the Christian school movement over the past thirty or forty years cannot help but notice many changes. Christian schools were once socially suspect but have come to be much more accepted. Where once many pastors and Christians opposed Christian schools, now only a small minority does. Even government school agencies have resigned themselves to the inevitable existence of Christian education.

In almost every area the Christian school ministry has grown. Growth in numbers and size of schools has been often documented. Salaries of teachers and workers, though still not large, have been much improved over past years. School buildings, equipment, programs, Christian texts and numerous other things have also been upgraded since those early days.

The term often applied to these improvements is "professional." Since professionalism is the only standard by which the world judges Christian schools, we tend to pay more attention to these outward standards than to our spiritual condition. In the old days, when schools often teetered on the verge of extinction, they felt very dependent on the Lord's help. Prayer was more important than professionalism and faith was more important than money-raising schemes.

The Lord honored the prayers and faith of His children. Year after year, as teachers and administrators met at annual teacher's conferences, they compared notes as to what the Lord was doing in various schools, and the meeting ended in a time of prayer and praise. Always the participants came home rejoicing in the Lord and determined to trust Him for yet another year of Christian school service. Like the Church at Smyrna, they felt poor (Revelation 2:9), but spiritually they were rich. Today, like the Church at Laodicea, many Christian schools and Christian school organizations feel rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing (Revelation 3:17a). Could the Lord's evaluation of the modern day Christian school movement be similar to His evaluation of Laodicea (Revelation 3:17b)?

The Lord's instruction to the Church at Laodicea was "Be zealous, therefore, and repent." Is it possible to maintain professional gains and return to the strong Christian emphasis of years gone by? Not unless as much time, effort and concentration are exerted in building spiritual credibility as has been exerted in building professional credibility. If this is done, credibility with the world may suffer, but credibility with Christian supporters will be strengthened. Christian parents are not apt to sacrifice time and money to send their children to a private professional school, but they will for the sake of a truly Christian education.

To accomplish this change will require a change in the direction of leadership in the Christian school movement. Those who plan the programs and schedule the speakers for Christian school conferences need to make a concerted effort to return to a more spiritual emphasis. There was a time when the thinking was that those who wanted to learn the world's ideas about education could go to any secular college but that Christian truth about education was available only at our Christian school conferences. While some workshops are still strongly Christian in character, there is a growing tendency to promote many non-Christian things such as "assertive discipline," which is purely classroom control with no thought of repentance or Christian moral training. Some workshops even promote the anti-Christian doctrine of "self-esteem," which makes repentance and the New Birth unnecessary.

Even though there may be some value to our teachers in these materialistic presentations, to try to extract this value is like trying to extract good food from a garbage can – it always comes out with the aroma and flavor of the rest of the garbage. Likewise, what we extract from a humanistic potpourri always comes out with a distinctly humanistic flavor. Surely we Christians can develop our own educational meal from the pure milk and meat of God's Word! We need to return to the emphasis of a few years back when humanistic instruction was not tolerated, when there was more emphasis on prayer and less on candy sales, and when more faith and less political action was being exercised.

Another area of Christian school leadership that needs to be re-evaluated is the Christian accrediting or approval process for schools and colleges. This is an important function and has been one of the programs that have helped to upgrade our schools. In carrying out these evaluations, however, we need to be careful that we do not emphasize professional qualifications to the neglect of Christian graces. A perusal of the instruments being used for these evaluations indicates a tendency in that direction. One such instrument used by ACSI has thirty questions of which only six contain the word Christian or Biblical. It is true that the other questions can be answered from a Christian perspective, but the emphasis is not really in that direction. Such questions should force the institution to think through its Christian commitment.

The men and women who form the visiting teams are for the most part Biblically oriented to the educational process, but if the instrument does not specifically direct attention toward Christian truth, the team tends to neglect that subject. The result can be that the institution gets the impression that no one really cares whether it has chapel services, faculty and student prayer meetings, or Christian service assignments for students. Much emphasis is put on the scholastic qualifications of the faculty, but no one inquires as to when and how they were saved, whether they are called of God into the Christian school ministry, or whether they know what it means to walk by faith.

Accrediting teams need to examine their various commendations and recommendations to schools and see what percentage deal with the school's prayer life, faith, chapel services, Christian philosophy, etc., as opposed to finances, buildings, teacher training, and the like. The latter are important, but the former are indispensable in a Christian school and should occupy no less than half the space given to commendations and recommendations.

The primary area of Christian school leadership is that of school administrators and school boards. These are the people directly responsible to God to make sure the local Christian school provides Christian instruction and Christian discipline. The policy decisions made by these individuals will decide whether a school has a Christian atmosphere or a secular, humanistic atmosphere. The board, under the leadership of the administrator, has the final say concerning the selection of teachers, the screening of students, and the determination of the nature of the curriculum. These basic decisions are instrumental in determining whether a Christian school is Christian in reality or in name only.

One of the numerous decisions made by a board is establishing the qualifications of teachers. A recent (1989) Christian college graduate, prepared for teaching in a Christian school, sent letters of inquiry to a number of Christian schools. The letters he received in return reveal a startling contradiction in the policy of many schools. One letter states, "We have encouraged our teachers to work toward their ACSI credentials, but they must have Washington State certification." Since teachers have a limited amount of time and money for acquiring an education, they will naturally spend them on what is required rather than what is encouraged. They are requiring preparation in humanistic education but only encouraging preparation in Christian truth. How much better if they had said, "We encourage our teachers to have Washington State certificates, but they must have ACSI credentials."

Another letter has a very fine paragraph setting forth the Christian requirements. One of their statements is, "The approach is totally from a Biblical, not secular, viewpoint." In the next paragraph, however, they say, "Teachers must meet the certification standards of the State of Washington as an indication of professional training and competency." In other words, it's all right to talk about being Christian, but professional training and competency are based on secular, humanistic preparation.

A third school says their teachers must be, "Committed to our Christian philosophy of education." In almost the next sentence they say, "Our teachers are required to hold valid Washington State teaching credentials."

Apparently these boards and administrators do not see the contradiction between these two requirements. Do they expect applicants to spend four years getting a Christian education and another two to three years meeting the state's humanistic requirements? If not, then which of the two options is most likely to be neglected? Obviously it will be the one that is encouraged, not the one that is required. One also wonders if they really think that humanistic training will make their teachers either more professional or more competent? Does Christian training fail to make them professional or competent? Is not the real reason for these requirements to placate the state and to establish better credibility with the world?

Some strong Christian individuals have managed to overcome this pressure from the humanistic philosophy that has captured our state certification systems and become acceptably Christian in their classroom work. But the long-term effect of this dual policy in any Christian school, and in the Christian school movement, is a gradual undermining of Christian truth and Christian methods. We tend to become more and more "professional" and less and less "Christian." Those who have been in Christian school work for many years are vaguely aware that this is happening but often do not understand why. If the trend continues, the Christian school movement will go the way of other Christian endeavors such as the YMCA, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, etc. In view of the sacrifice that has gone into building Christian schools, this would be a tragedy. Already some Christian parents see so little difference between Christian and public education that they question the expense involved in sending their children to a Christian school.

The problem of keeping our Christian schools Christian is basic and complicated and will not be solved quickly or easily. Perhaps the best advice is that given by the Lord to the back-sliding Church of Laodicea, which He said was "Neither cold nor hot." His instructions were as follows:

“I counsel of thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; And white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore and repent” (Revelation 3:18-19).

"Be zealous therefore, and repent" is good advice to each of us, no matter what our part in the Christian school ministry.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Living Through World War II

by James M. Bramblet - 2006


Recently I was asked by a student to answer some questions about World War II. One of the questions was whether World War II was as bad as the current war in Iraq. I was flabbergasted that anyone would think there could be a comparison between the two wars. A few days later John Carlson, a conservative radio talk show host, said that an example of bigotry was the incarceration of the Japanese during World War II. Of course John wasn’t born when the incarceration took place but was basing his opinion on what he had read.

These two incidents caused me to realize that people who weren’t alive during the war do not really understand what went on. I decided that someone who lived during the war needs to write down what really happened and the feelings, fears and inconveniences that we all experienced. In a few years we will all be dead and people who come later will be expressing misleading opinions about what happened.

So in this paper I will attempt to tell it like it was even though I had a fairly easy time during the war. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor I was seventeen years old and a senior in high school, so I lived through the entire war. Nearly all the boys and young men that I knew spent time in the military and some of my best friends were killed. I was drafted and spent three years in the U.S. Navy.

Chapter One: Conditions Leading Up to the War

President Woodrow Wilson called World War I, “The war to end all wars.” Many people believed that and were opposed to us entering any more wars. During the time between the wars, support for the military waned and our defenses became weak. After all, if we fought a war to end wars why prepare for another one? Some knew better than this but the feeling was so strong in the country that it was difficult to get bills supporting the military through congress. Also since 1929 we had been spending nearly all our energies in trying to overcome the economic depression that gripped the country. Many felt that Europe was always going to have wars and that we should stay out of them.

In England there was a Prime Minister named Neville Chamberlain whose main purpose was to appease Hitler and other dictators by conferring with them and coming to mutual agreements. There was no television at that time, but I well remember a picture in the newspaper of Chamberlain waving a piece of paper which was a signed agreement with Hitler and proclaiming himself as “The man who brought peace to the world.” Of course Hitler took advantage of him and continued to take over country after country in Europe.

During this same time the Japanese had become militaristic and were taking over land in Asia and the Pacific Islands. Also Italy under dictator Mussolini, invaded Ethiopia and began to gain power in North Africa. In Spain the fascists under General Francisco Franco attempted to overthrow the democratic government. Democracy was being defeated all over the world but many Americans thought it would not affect the United States. President Roosevelt was aware of the danger but was afraid of public opinion and did not act as decisively as he should have. He tried to help democratic countries through “lend-lease,” a program of loaning money or materials to the warring nations that we favored, but wasn’t able to give direct aid because of his political fears.

It was at this time the Japanese, stealthily and without declaring war, in a surprise attack bombed Pearl Harbor and almost destroyed the entire Pacific Fleet.

Chapter Two: Conditions Immediately After Pearl Harbor

After the war was won and the United States became the super power that it now is, people don’t remember the situation we faced after our Pacific Fleet was decimated at Pearl Harbor. Our military was badly depleted and the country was still struggling with unemployment and other results of the great depression. Four days after Pearl Harbor, on December 11, l941, Germany and Italy declared war on the Unites States, and Congress declared war on them as well as Japan. America was now committed to global war even though we were poorly prepared for it.

As we looked out at the world, what we saw was indeed disturbing. The Axis powers, primarily Germany, had control of all of Europe except England, which was expected to fall at any time. Northern Africa was also under their control and even Latin America was strongly influenced.
In Asia, Japan had gained control of many countries as well as most of the islands of the Pacific. They were moving south toward Australia and north up the Aleutian Islands toward Alaska. Americans had the very real fear that we might lose the war and be taken over by ruthless dictators.

Both Germany and Japan used their citizens who happened to be living in the country they invaded to help them take over that country’s government. This was particularly true in Poland as well as elsewhere. If Japan should invade our West Coast, would Japanese citizens who lived there help them to conquer us? This idea seems ridiculous now, but it wasn’t then. It was in this climate that the Japanese were rounded up and put in internment camps. It probably was not the right thing to do, but it was not because of bigotry against the Japanese. I was never very sympathetic with Franklin Roosevelt’s policies, but one thing I can say for sure; he was not a bigot and neither were the men advising him! Our generation was probably not the greatest generation that ever lived, but neither were we bigots. We were simply trying to save our country and our way of life, which were both in grave danger.

IIt is impossible for anyone who was not alive at that time to imagine the changes that took place in the United States after war was declared. Young men were drafted into the military. Factories were changed over from building cars, refrigerators, or washing machines to building planes, tanks, trucks and other military necessities. Unemployment suddenly disappeared and there were jobs for everyone. Many women who had never before worked outside the home took jobs in factories. The war uprooted people from familiar settings, exposed them to new experiences, and changed the direction of their lives. Because access to many things such as rubber and coffee were no longer available because of Japanese control of the areas where they were produced and because the military was demanding so much, there were many shortages. The government rationed most things. It was difficult to buy tires unless you were a doctor. One had to apply to the government for a permit to purchase many things. To compare this dramatic change to the little wars we have had since is ludicrous and shows a total lack of historical perspective.

Daily we heard of hundreds and even thousands of our boys who were killed on the battlefield as well as on ships at sea. I grew up in a very small community, but I can still list numerous high school friends who never survived the war. This was true in communities all over the country. For the entire war there were over one million casualties with nearly 300,000 deaths in battle.

Chapter Three: Interrupted Lives – Education

Almost everyone’s life was interrupted in one way or another. In my case it was particularly noticeable in my education. Pearl Harbor was bombed right in the middle of my senior year in high school. After graduating in June of 1942, I decided to attend the Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon from which my two older brothers had graduated. In March of 1943 in the middle of the school year, President Franklin Roosevelt sent me a letter. He was quite insistent that my time as a student was to end and a career in the military service was to begin—by reporting immediately to the nearest draft office. My home was still officially Deary, Idaho even though my father had sold the farm after my mother’s death. The draft board office was in Moscow, Idaho where my oldest brother lived. I reported there in just a few days and soon found myself in Farragut, Idaho in basic training for the Navy. This was not a unique experience, as most of the young men in school were drafted one right after another.

The Bible institute was enjoyable for me. I was learning a great deal about the Bible and also enjoying the fellowship of other Christian young people. The change from life in the Bible Institute to life in the naval barracks was quite a shock. I was used to prayer meetings and discussion of Bible topics and how to win souls to Christ. The young men who were fresh recruits to the Navy were from normal families all over the country. There were a few who were really rough characters who swore, used God’s name in vain and used sexually explicit terms. Within just a few days it seemed as though everyone had picked up on those words. This made life pretty miserable for me, but I tried to maintain my Christian testimony and didn’t participate in the dirty stories and other sinful things that went on.

During basic training we were not allowed to leave the base so church attendance was impossible. The so-called Protestant services on base were so ritualistic that they didn’t seem like worship services to me. We were not free to just attend on our own, but those who chose to go were marched to the chapel and forced to all sit in a neat little row when we got there. I finally quit going and tried to find other Christians for fellowship but with little success.

Basic training was only six weeks long, and when it was over I applied for hospital corpsman school and was accepted. The school was right there at Farragut and again the time of duration was short. The war was in full swing and they were rushing us through to supply men for the ships that were newly built. We got all the training that hospital corpsmen needed, but rapidly. The joke was that if you dropped your pencil, you would miss an entire semester while picking it up.

When hospital corpsman school was finished I was sent to the Navy Hospital in Seattle as a corpsman. I was so unhappy with the lack of Christian fellowship that my prayer was that God would get me out of the Navy to go back to school. That didn’t seem like a proper prayer because we were in a war and it seemed selfish to want out of it. Instead my prayer became a request—that I could return to Bible school. In my mind that was impossible without getting out of the Navy but God knew better.

One of the duties available was working in the ward at night and sleeping during the day. Most people didn’t like this duty, but I applied for it with a sneaky little idea in the back of my mind. I knew Simpson Bible Institute was in Seattle because I had attended a Bible conference where one of their teachers was a speaker. This was in September when school was just starting, so I went down to Simpson and applied to attend during the morning hours. Three morning courses were available that allowed me to get back to the hospital in time for lunch, sleep all afternoon, eat my evening meal and get to the ward in plenty of time to begin duty at 9:00 p.m. Once all the patients were asleep, there wasn’t much for the night corpsman to do except wake people up occasionally for a shot or other medication. A study table was placed where the entire ward was in view and I spent my time studying and writing papers. This was over 60 years ago but I still remember some of the teachers. One was Dr. Arthur Petrie who taught doctrine and other Bible courses. Another was Mrs. Glocester who also taught Bible. Especially enjoyable was a course in Bible Geography taught by Mrs. Hawley. For many years thereafter I used the text and especially the maps that were included in the text. That year was an enjoyable time of my life and I thank God for arranging it for me. Simpson was a place of wonderful Christian fellowship and great Christian unity.

Life was really enjoyable again, but I knew it couldn’t last long. Corpsmen were trained, given a few weeks in a hospital, and then sent off to a ship or other permanent assignment. Even though the time might be short, why not enjoy it as long as possible. As it turned out, time went on and on and my name never seemed to come up for another assignment. People of low rank like me were not assigned by name, but the officer in charge simply asked for a certain number of corpsmen and a man in an office picked the ones who had been there the longest and sent in their names. This man found out I was going to school, decided it was a good thing to do and never put my name on the list. God uses mysterious ways to answer our prayers. This situation continued for the entire school year. Hitchhiking was my sole means of transportation between the hospital and the school. During the war people were encouraged to pick up service men so this wasn’t a problem. One person who gave me a ride a lot was Mike Martin who was a student at Simpson at that time and who later started The King’s Garden in Seattle. We became good friends.

While in the service there were numerous opportunities to advance my education. Basic training was educational as well as the training received to be a medical corpsman. When school was out in June, I applied for training as an x-ray technician and was accepted. This training was for five months, and during the war that seemed like a lifetime, so Vivian, my high school sweetheart, and I got married. How the war upset married life will be explained in the next chapter.

After becoming a certified Roentgenoligist Technologist (according to the diploma), my assignment was to a brand new ship, which immediately went to sea where I remained until the war ended. The ship was the USS Cleburne, a troop carrier. We had an extra large sick bay with two doctors and a dentist. My primary responsibility was the dark room and the portable x-ray machine. We were supposed to haul troops into battle, and when they went ashore, one doctor and half the corpsmen were to go ashore and set up a first aid station. Injured people were to be sent back to the ship where we would take care of them. Actually the war ended before we ever had to do this, but we were set up with an extra large staff of corpsmen and doctors. The result was that we had lots of spare time.

Since time was plentiful, I decided to take a correspondence course from Moody Bible Institute. My choice was The Schofield Bible Correspondence Course, which consisted of an in-depth study of the entire Bible plus a section on Bible doctrine. There were three textbooks and a large notebook full of lessons. Research had to be done to fill out the answers to detailed lessons. When finished, the lessons were mailed to Moody Bible Institute and someone there corrected my work and assigned a grade. Most of these lessons were done in the South Pacific where it was hot so some of the papers were stained with sweat from my arms. Necessary books for research were a Bible concordance, Bible dictionary, and some other books. The problem was--where to keep this stack of books? Every time we had an inspection they said they had to be removed. There was an empty drawer in the dark room large enough to hold them. The books were put in that drawer with a sign, “DO NOT OPEN IN THE LIGHT,” and from then on the problem was solved. My conscience bothered me for a little, about being deceptive, but not for very long. After all, David pretended to be crazy when he really wasn’t.

The interruption of my education was just a small example of what was happening all over the country. Young men were drafted out of college everywhere. After the war many went back to college under the G. I. Bill that gave us a free education, and the colleges that had been emptied were suddenly overflowing with veterans. I went back to Multnomah, graduated, and had enough G. I. Bill left to complete my education at the University of Idaho. There was a problem getting into the University because my father had sold the farm and moved to Pasco, Washington. My residency hadn’t been in the state since high school. They were finally persuaded that if Idaho wasn’t my home state, then I was a man without a state.

One interesting thing happened while enrolling at the University. I had used two years of my entitlement in finishing Bible school. With my previous credits it was going to take three years to finish college. As it turned out my entitlement would run out a week before I had gotten half way through the last semester. The law was that if a student was within one half semester of graduating, the government would carry him to the end. If he fell short of that, he would be dropped. Being a married man with two children, we really needed the help. The man at the university who advised veterans suggested registering a few days late each semester and that would gain me the extra days. This seemed a little dishonest to me but he assured me the government was not anxious to drop me, but that was the way the law was written. Following his advice my graduation took place in the spring of 1952. ALL of my G. I. Bill was used.

Chapter Four: Interrupted Lives – Marriage

Another area where people’s lives were interrupted was in their marriages. Vivian and I were married while in the service but it was even more stressful for those who were already married, often with children when drafted into military service. Wives were fearful their husband might be killed or badly injured. Husbands were concerned about who would protect their wives and children while they were away.

When it became certain that I would be around for five months while training to become an x-ray technician, Vivian and I decided to go ahead and get married. We had planned to wait until the war was over, but my mother had died and Vivian’s folks were separated so neither of us had a home. We decided to make our own. I rented a little upstairs apartment on Aurora Avenue in Seattle and Vivian had the furniture sent up from Vancouver. After the separation and divorce, Vivian’s mother gave us most of her furniture. The truckers put all the furniture in the apartment except Vivian’s piano, which they couldn’t get up the stairs. A number of my Navy friends helped me, and with ropes we were able to get it into our apartment. The owner of the building was amazed we were able to do it. My friends were all single and they were envious of the neat little home we were starting.

The weekend we were to be married, I hitchhiked from Seattle to Vancouver, Washington where Vivian was living. This was before there was a freeway so it was quite a trip on the two-lane highway. The man who had been Vivian and my pastor in Deary, Idaho when we were in high school, now was pastor of a church in Vancouver. Pastor and Mrs. Reynolds helped us a great deal in arranging the wedding. Travel was difficult during the war so the only relative that attended the wedding was Vivian’s father. Sunday morning (June 4, 1944) after church and while the congregation was still there Pastor Reynolds called us up to the front of the church and performed the ceremony. Vivian was 18 at the time and I was barely 20. Pastor Reynolds did a good job as next June (2006) we will celebrate our 62nd anniversary. Two days later (June 6) our troops stormed the beach at Normandy and invaded Europe.

That afternoon we boarded the train and returned to Seattle. Neither of us can remember how we got from the train station to our apartment but some how we made it. The next morning I hitchhiked to the hospital to continue my work. I wasn’t able to go back to the apartment until Tuesday evening because I was on duty every other night and every other weekend. In spite of this, we were a happily married couple for the next five months. Vivian had been a waitress and soon got a job in a restaurant. We also discovered that married men in the navy get a little more money than single men, so my meager salary went up some. The apartment was completely unfurnished so we had to buy a very small electric range. In June, July and August it was nice and warm but by September we were feeling the cold. We needed an oil stove but such things were rationed, so we had to go through the process of getting permission to buy one. We managed to get permission and bought a small oil heater. As I recall the new stove cost $40. Many food items, such as meat, were also rationed and we were issued stamps to get meat. Actually we were issued more than we needed. We had more steak in those days than we have ever had since.

At the end of the five months when my training to become an x-ray technician was finished, I was immediately assigned to a new ship that was under construction at San Pedro, California. They allowed me to go home and say “Goodbye” to Vivian but I had to be back by midnight. That evening was sad in our apartment. In those days Vivian was writing daily in her diary. She describes that evening very graphically. I hesitate to include what she said because it is so personal. Young couples like us were being torn apart all over the world by this war, so to tell you what it was like, here it is:

Mon. Nov. 20, 1944 – Jimmie came home at 2:30 with his shipping out orders. I cried a little when I wondered when I would see him again. We just wanted to be near one another. We went to the store together and bought some ice cream. We ate supper of sandwiches soup and salad. We undressed, set the alarm for eleven and lay on the bed and loved each other. We had prayer about 10:30 and Jimmie and I both cried. He left at eleven, he kissed me and kissed me. I cried after he left. I couldn’t sleep from thinking about him.

I had to leave the next morning on a ship bound for San Pedro. Vivian put our furniture in storage and went to live with her brother, Dean, who lived with his family in Van Nuys, California. My assigned ship was the USS Cleburne, which became my home for the next year. Vivian and I were able to get together very rarely from then until the end of the war. Vivian saved all the letters I wrote to her. In one of them I discovered the following poem that was written over sixty years ago.

My Empty Space

All my life theres been, it seems
A place within my breast,
That never filled but stayed quite bare.
Though full were all the rest.

And though I enjoyed my work and play,
And loved my family, dear.
Still this one lonely spot would stay.
To me it seemed quite queer.

For as I grew, the world took shape,
And things fell in their place.
Within I felt quite satisfied,
Except this one peculiar space.

I accepted Christ as Lord and King,
And He satisfied my soul.
Great happiness to me he’d bring,
And filled me-- all but this tiny hole.

And then one bright, sunny day,
The Lord gave me a wife.
I’d loved her now for many a day,
It seemed most all my life.

I took her home with me that night,
From then our love really grew.
And soon I found to my delight,
My space was growing shut too.

Soon my breast was full to the brim.
Such happiness I’d never known.
And all the praise we gave to Him,
When He, my wife and I met alone.

Then I received the Navy’s call.
They said to sea I had to go.
I left her standing in the hall.
My darling, how could I love her so?

But as I left I felt a pull,
And then a wrenching pain.
No longer was my breast so full,
My space was back again.

That sudden pain soon went away,
And left a nagging ache.
No matter what I do or say,
It’s there within the break.

Now all I do is look above.
Just look and hope and pray.
That God will give me back my love.
Then wait that blessed day.

While researching for this paper Vivian finally allowed me to read her diary after 60 years. On the back page I discovered that she also wrote poetry about me. Following is the poem she wrote.


Dear God, please take good care of him,
Wherever he may be.
Watch over him and comfort him,
And keep him safe for me.

Please give him strength and courage, God,
To bear the aching pain,
That he must feel for all things here,
He longs to see again.

Thank you, dear God, for love like ours
That reaches o’er the sea,
And thank you God, for keeping us
Together spiritually.

Please keep him trusting, loving me,
Until we meet again,
And tell him every night how much
I love him, God. Amen.

By the time my orders came to leave Seattle, Vivian was already pregnant. On March 28, 1945 our oldest son, Tim, (Timothy Lee Bramblet) was born in the hospital in Van Nuys, California. My ship had been at sea for several weeks and letters only arrived from Vivian when we came to shore. We docked in the Philippine Islands, and there was a stack of letters from Vivian. The top one said, “Timmie and I came home from the hospital today.” I heaved a sigh of relief and knew for the first time that my newborn was a boy. In those days there was no way to know the gender of a baby until he was born.

From then on I was even more anxious for the war to end. It finally did--on September 2, 1945. Our ship was at sea when the announcement came. President Harry Truman’s voice came over the loudspeaker and he announced the surrender of Japan. All the sailors cheered, and I found myself cheering right along with them. We had signed up for the duration and six months, but it was much sooner than that when servicemen began gradually to be discharged. A point system was developed based on how long you had been in the service and how long you had been overseas or on board ship. My time came on a certain day in December. Our ship was scheduled to make a trip to China just two days before that. As it turned out, the repairs on the ship took several days longer than expected, so about thirty of us in that category got out before it left. They sent me to Bremerton, Washington to be discharged.

When the war ended, the USS Cleburne and a number of other ships were anchored at Eniwetok. Eniwetok is simply a large circle of sandbars in the middle of the South Pacific. No one lives on the circle of islands so there was no place for us to go on liberty. The end of the war caused all our orders to be canceled until they figured out what we should do. We were left anchored there in that hot place for what seemed like a month. When a ship is at sea, its forward movement makes a strong breeze and even though the weather is hot, it is bearable. When a ship is not moving in hot weather, it is like a tin can floating on the water and gets hotter and hotter. This was a miserable time. Not only was it uncomfortable, but the war was over and we wanted to go home. A boat took those who wanted to go over to the sandbar where they stood around in the sun and drank beer. I didn’t go. When we finally got orders, it was to pick up troops in the Philippines and take them to Korea. We made several trips doing that.

One event that speeded the end of the war was the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and two days later another one on Nagasaki. The decision to drop these bombs was made by President Harry Truman, but before he died President Roosevelt had determined to do the same thing as soon as the bomb was ready. Later generations have criticized the President for this decision, but those of us involved in the war never have. The USS Cleburne was one of several ships that had been chosen to be a decoy south of Japan while the main fleet invaded Japan from the North. Almost certainly the decoy ships would have been sunk and we would not have survived. Also many thousands of sailors, marines and soldiers would have been killed in the invasion and following occupation. If those who do not remember the war want to criticize Harry Truman for his resolute decision, they have every right to do so. However, I would advise them to wait until people like me are in our graves because we don’t think you know what you are talking about and will tell you so. The terrible effects of the bomb were demonstrated so vividly that it has never been used again. Without Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it undoubtedly would have been.

I have used my own experience to try to explain the effects the war had on marriages. Those who were already married and had children had their lives much more disrupted than mine. This happened all over our country to thousands of married couples.

Chapter Five: Interrupted Lives – Moral Standards

I have already mentioned how when young men were thrown together in boot camp those who used blasphemous and sexually explicit language soon dominated. It seemed like everyone began to talk like that, although there were some who didn’t. This continued in every situation where I was assigned. I tried to find other Christians with whom I could fellowship.

Aboard ship I soon discovered that the dental technician was a strong Christian. His name was Walter McCoy. Walt and I became fast friends. We met every evening at a certain time for Bible study and prayer and invited others to join us. Since our ship was a troop carrier, we from time to time had large numbers of soldiers or marines aboard. When that happened we would leave a notice about our prayer meeting on various bulletin boards where they could be seen. We always had some Christian boys attend our prayer meeting. Sometimes there were as many as fifteen or twenty. Mostly they were the only Christian in their unit and were hungry for Christian fellowship. We had prayer, testimonies and Bible discussion, sometimes for hours on end.

When we didn’t have troops aboard, there were only about 400 in our ship’s company. That wasn’t enough to be assigned a chaplain so there was no organized service on Sunday. Walt and I decided to ask permission to conduct a Sunday service. The Executive Officer gave us permission, so we began having a service out on the deck. It was quite noisy with the wind in the super-structure of the ship, but the Lord gave me a strong voice so they were able to hear me. I did the preaching and Walt led the singing. When we had troops aboard, they usually had one or more chaplains who led the service. Mostly they ignored us except for one Nazarene chaplain who came to our prayer meeting and included us in the Sunday service. He congratulated us on what we were doing.

On April 12, 1945 President Roosevelt died. An order came out that every ship was to have a memorial service for him the next Sunday. Since we didn’t have a chaplain, the Executive Officer called Walt and me into his office and asked if we would do it. He had been ignoring what we preached, but this time he wanted to see my notes when I had developed a sermon. I prepared a sermon that compared Franklin Roosevelt with Moses. Roosevelt had led us through the war but was not allowed to see the end of it. Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt and for forty years in the wilderness but was not allowed to go into the land. Then I pointed out that only one leader had overcome death and come back to finish His work. That, of course, was the Lord Jesus Christ. I went on from there in my notes with an outline of the gospel.

When I was finished outlining the sermon, Walt and I went back into the Executive Officer’s office to show him our plans. He seemed like an old man to me but was probably about fifty. He was a large, athletic looking man who physically reminded me of my father. He sat at his desk, chewed his pipe, and carefully looked over my notes. He liked what he called “the first two paragraphs,” but he didn’t think the last part was necessary. He thought I could give a very good moral message about the life of Franklin Roosevelt without bringing in the last part about Christ. I told him I probably could. but I had dedicated my life to preach Christ and I couldn’t change and preach Roosevelt for even one day. He became a little offended and told me it wasn’t just about me but he had to think about everyone on the ship. At this point Walt intervened. He was afraid I was going to ruin our neat arrangement of having Sunday services. He assured the Executive Officer we would plan something more suitable. We planned a very short service with taps, prayers, songs and a eulogy. The officer thought it was fine and that’s what we did.

The effect of the moral breakdown during the war was especially brought to my attention when shortly after the end of the war we anchored at one of the cities in the Philippines. We had just come from Eniwetok and everyone was anxious to go ashore. The Japanese had only recently been driven out of the Philippines, and things were in terrible shape. All the buildings were in ruins and people were living wherever they could find a shelter. The first night half the ship’s company was allowed to go ashore. I had duty in the sick bay. About midnight when the sailors began to come back aboard, many of them came to sick bay to be treated to prevent venereal disease. The Navy provided prophylactic kits with condoms and antibiotic ointment for those planning to have sex with the local prostitutes. Those who came to sick bay were those who hadn’t taken the kits because they really hadn’t planned on it but got caught up in the excitement of the group. As soon as they went ashore, a throng of little boys who were advertising for their sisters and mothers met them.

I asked several of them why they did such a foolish thing and they tried to explain to me the power of the social pressure that was brought to bear. One young man was especially repentant. He sat with his head in his hands and wept. This was his first sexual experience and he felt bad that it had been so sordid. I was thankful to God that He had spared me from this and that my first experience was with my beautiful, virgin bride after we were married and that the word to describe it was sanctity not sordidness. The next day I asked one of the doctors if he thought any of them might get a venereal disease, and with a disgusted look on his face, he said they would be lucky if some of them didn’t get leprosy.

The next night the other half of the ship’s company went ashore and that included Walt and me. When we got ashore and were confronted by the little boys, we talked to two of them. We asked them about the missionaries that had been in the Philippines before the war. Of course they didn’t know, but very soon a grown man interrupted our conversation to see what we wanted. It was then we realized this whole operation was organized by adults in order to get money from the sailors.

The social pressure to have elicit sex that was present at that time in the military has now crept into our high schools, colleges and even down into middle schools. Any more the only sin is not using a condom. Parents need to be very specific in instructing their children on this subject as well as setting a good example for them. Those who refrain from sex until marriage, don’t get a venereal disease, don’t have babies out of wedlock, have a healthier attitude toward sex and have more successful marriages, as well as many other advantages. God created our bodies, and His commands are the only correct ones. Sexual temptation is very strong, and our young people need to hear this message in order to develop strong convictions on this subject.


The results of the war did not end when peace was declared. Vivian and I and little Timmie were soon together. Three more children came along and each became an important part of our little family. Sixty years later they each have their own homes, but Vivian and I are still together. As she said in her diary, “We just wanted to be near one another,” and we still do.

Just as I went back to college, so did thousands of other veterans, and the colleges became crowded. All those love-starved veterans also wanted the families they had been missing, and the result was a large crop of babies called the “Baby Boomers.” A few years later every community had to enlarge their elementary schools and then the high schools and then the colleges. Today this large crop of babies is about to turn 65 and will surely bankrupt Franklin Roosevelt’s social security plan. Just about everyone recognizes the problem, but most politicians lack the courage to do anything about it.

I trust these few words will cause those who were born after World War II to realize how the war effected everyone’s life. Every individual in this country and all over the world was effected and inconvenienced in some way. The dry presentation of historians somehow fails to communicate the personal feelings that were involved.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Biblical Mandate for Christian School Education

by Ron Livesay

The following is by no means exhaustive but is a listing of some of the Scriptures commonly used in support of Christian school educational philosophy.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1, NASB). The "real world" includes God, since He is the Creator. It is absurd, at best, to construct a world view that leaves Him out.

"And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up" (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, NASB). Education is the responsibility of parents, not the government. Parents must be sure their children attend schools which will build up, rather than tear down, that which has been taught in the home and at church.

"...and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (II Timothy 3:15, NASB). Christian teaching must start at an early age.

"Thus says the Lord, 'Do not learn the way of the nations...'" (Jeremiah 10:2, NASB). We are not here on the earth to become a part of the world's system. We are here to bring glory to God and serve Him in whatever way He chooses for us.

"See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ" (Colossians 2:8, NASB). There is great danger in exposing the mind to the philosophies of this world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why Christian Ministries Slide Down the Slippery Slope to Liberalism

by Ralph M. Petersen, 2008

Many Christian ministries, I’m sure, are started with good intentions for the right reasons. God’s love compels us to good works. But the problem with organized ministries is that they grow into businesses that become dependent on “customers.” With bigger facilities, special interest programs, large organizational structures, the multiplicity of professional staff, and large budgets, the financial concerns often become a matter of survival. After all, if the people stop coming, we lose our jobs and our facilities and we close our doors. That’s why it is so easy for all ministries, including churches, to lose sight of their God-centered purposes and succumb to the seduction of pragmatic marketing techniques.

That is the essence of the seeker sensitive movement in churches today and it affects para-church ministries as well, including Christian schools and residential facilities for the elderly. The movement is driven by a philosophy that focuses more attention to secular marketing strategies, business techniques, and surveys and polls than to New Testament instruction.

Now, regardless how much you may disagree with this premise or how angry you might become at the suggestion, if you are involved in a Christian ministry and want to be really honest about it, you must face the reality that there are at least four areas of concern that have a great impact your ministry.

First, you are probably more concerned about people’s felt needs than about their real, spiritual needs.

Second, you must be savvy about and engaged in modern methodologies of marketing. The consumers, students, members, or residents must be pleased, kept happy, or given what they want, or they will go elsewhere.

Third, the Gospel message will be diminished or distorted. The real, biblical Gospel is offensive, and people are not really interested in hearing the Truth about their sin, God’s holiness or the future implications of His wrath. They are more interested in their present comfort, their own selfish desires, and feeling good about themselves.

And finally, your doctrine will be downgraded. You might fool yourself by obscuring your precious doctrines in innocuous, non-threatening statements of faith for the purpose of being more inclusive and tolerant. But if you hold fast to sound, biblical doctrine, you will severely limit your customer base.

It is absolutely imperative for godly, pastoral leadership to guide, guard, and protect Christian ministries from the dangers of worldly philosophies. Your ministry's growth and success will be determined by your clever designs or by God's sovereign determination but not both.

“The fact is that while we may be able to market the church (or any other Christian ministry), we cannot market Christ, the Gospel, Christian character or meaning of life…Neither Christ nor His Truth can be marketed by appealing to consumer interest because the premise of all marketing is that the consumer’s need is sovereign, that the customer is always right, and this is precisely what the Gospel insists cannot be the case” (Dr. David Wells).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Few Thoughts About Christian Coaching

I have been involved in athletics ever since I began playing Little League baseball at the age of eleven. As an athlete, I was no world-beater. I was mediocre at best, but I certainly enjoyed my experiences with baseball, football, track, and basketball. Winning was never a habit of any of my teams, and losing became a reality I learned to accept as part of the game. I was never made to feel guilty over a loss. Instead, my coaches encouraged my teammates and me to continue to try hard and to do our best. On those occasions we were able to experience victory, it was a great thrill.

It was never my goal to become a coach. Rather, it was one of those things which seemingly just sort of happened, although there is no doubt the Lord had His hand in it. I began with flag football and also coached basketball and softball. Where I ultimately ended up was as coach of the junior high girls’ basketball team for a few years before taking over the varsity program when we added our high school grades. Since those early days as a coach, I have come to love the sport of basketball a great deal, and I count it a great privilege to have been a coach.

There are several truths which I, as a Christian coach, have come to understand. They are as follows:

1. One does not have to buy into the "win at all costs" philosophy in order to succeed as a coach. One very famous coach said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” This is utter nonsense. Winning is not everything, nor is it the only thing. I do not have to win on the scoreboard to be successful, to feel good about my team, or to believe that the Lord is faithful to me and to my team. Games are, after all, played for fun, and when the fun goes out of it, there is no point in continuing to play.

2. I have been entrusted with the care and instruction of a group of players who look to me for leadership and Godly example. It is my responsibility to treat my players as what they are — my brothers or sisters in the Lord. Even though I have authority over them and may even have to discipline them, I have absolutely no right to treat them with disrespect. It is wrong — yes, it is sin — to do anything or say anything to make them feel sub-human, when in reality, they are the objects of God’s love and grace. They are not dirt under my feet, and they deserve better than to be treated like it. If I do not treat them with respect, then I do not deserve their respect, nor do I deserve to be a coach.

3. As a Christian, I have an absolute responsibility to live a Godly life. This applies to me wherever I go and whatever I do. This includes the time I spend coaching. The Christian life is not something which can or should be left outside the gym when it comes time for a game. To attempt to do so is to be an utter hypocrite and to essentially deny the faith for a time. Practicing behavior which is unbecoming a Christian during the course of a game is nothing but sin. God cannot be pleased with such an inconsistency.

4. It is my duty to view officials as the God-appointed authorities over the game, since the Bible is very clear that all authority comes from God. If I am rebellious and argumentative toward them, I am, whether intentionally or not, teaching my players to rebel against authority and to gripe and complain when things in their lives do not go as they would have them go. This type of rebellion is ultimately nothing other than rebellion against God Himself, since to rebel against those He has placed in authority is to rebel against His right to do so. I have always taught my players two rules concerning officials: Rule #1 — The referee is always right. Rule #2 — If the referee is ever wrong, see Rule #1.

5. I need to see opposing coaches, players, and fans, not as my enemies, but merely as my opponents in a game. They are either my brothers and sisters in the Lord and should be treated as such, or they are lost sinners in need of the Savior, which necessitates a positive testimony on my part. Either way, irreparable harm can be done if I allow myself the luxury of acting foolishly as I coach a game.

The bottom line on all this is that coaching and playing athletics are to be done in such a manner as to bring glory to God. To do otherwise is to be disobedient to the Scriptures. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31, NASB).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Popular Opinion, Scientific "Facts," and the Word of God

by Ron Livesay, 1998

Bernard Ramm wrote "The Christian View of Science and Scripture" in 1954. This was during an era in which there was a general consensus among Christians, even intelligent and learned scholars, that science had “proven” the earth to be millions or even billions of years old and that humanity was likewise very old, at least several hundred thousand years. Christians, fearful of being branded as foolishly standing against proven scientific facts, came up with several different methods of trying to make the Bible fit with science. The gap theory, theistic evolution, the age-day theory, an old earth, a local flood, etc. were accepted as in harmony with science, regardless of the clear statements of Scripture. Even such intelligent men as Ramm succumbed to this way of thinking, thereby elevating the words of mere men to a status of far greater importance than the Word of the Living God, the Creator of the universe. Intelligence does not always equate to wisdom.

Since Ramm’s time, the work of such organizations as the Institute for Creation Research and the Creation Research Society have done mountains of research, much of which literally blows holes in the scientific “facts” which reigned from the time of Darwin and Lyell through the time of Ramm. For example, Ken Ham, a prominent creationist speaker, demonstrates in easy to understand language and logic how the flood far better explains the presence of fossils than any type of uniformitarian geology. He frequently says, “If the universal flood of Noah really happened, what would we expect to find? Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth. And what do we find? Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.” He also freely admits that creationists are biased, as are evolutionists. It is simply a matter of which bias is better to be biased with. Scientific “truth” is often dogma rather than fact, and it is frequently believed by faith, just as any other belief system is believed by faith. A scientist tipped his hand and illustrated graphically that science is not always very scientific, or even interested in observed data, when he said, “I don’t care if they find a big boat on top of Mount Ararat and parade it down Main Street. I still won’t believe there was a flood.” This aptly demonstrates the truth of Scripture, which instructs us to avoid “profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (I Timothy 6:20, KJV).

It is very encouraging to Christians, and it is very disconcerting to unbelievers, especially evolutionists, that the work of the ICR, the CRS, and other creationist organizations has so graphically illustrated the plausibility of the creation model and the utter bankruptcy of the evolution model. However, it is extremely urgent that Christians stand firm on the truthfulness of God’s Word, including a literal Genesis, lest their faith be undermined by human reasoning. There is no reason to fear that any discovery of science will ever contradict the Word of God. He is the author of all truth, including scientific facts. He does not contradict Himself, He does not lie, and He does not deceive us. He will not reveal one thing through His Word and another through what we call “nature.” While we should praise the Lord for the great work being done by the creationist organizations, it is imperative that we take God at His Word and believe Him, no matter what any scientist claims to have discovered. If any scientific “fact” does not square with Scripture, then it is not a fact at all, because, according to God the Son, God’s Word is truth. (See John 17:17) We believe He created the world in six days because He said He did. We believe there was no death before Adam’s sin because God tells us that death came about as the penalty for sin. We believe in Noah’s flood because God tells us about it.

We do not believe in creation because the ICR says so, but because God says so. Unbelievers will not come to the Lord simply because someone somehow “proves” that creation is true. The scientist who said Noah’s ark would not impress him illustrates that point. “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3, NASB).

The very crux of the matter is that we have no right to deny any part of God’s Word. There is a reason that the first eleven chapters of Genesis are under constant attack. Satan is not ignorant of the fact that if the foundational truths of the Gospel are destroyed, then the Gospel falls. “If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3, NASB). If there was death before Adam sinned, then death is not a penalty for sin, and the creation is not under the curse. If there is no penalty for sin, there is no need for a Savior. Man is off the hook. He answers to no one. Evolution is no more and no less than a silly story made up by those who want to rid themselves of God. The very first evolutionist was Satan Himself, who said, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14).

It is obvious that Bernard Ramm was a very intelligent and scholarly man. However, he allowed himself to be drawn into the popular thinking of his day rather than standing firm on the solid rock of God’s Holy Word.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I Know the Truth

by Dr. Stew Pid Mann

I am really getting sick and tired of people who believe things they can’t prove. It is really getting irritating. This is the 1990’s. People need to get in touch with their inner selves and rely on their own feelings instead of input from outside of themselves. They are so foolish to believe such nonsense.

Let me share three examples. First of all, it is really appalling that people who otherwise seem to have common sense will visit the area around Mount St. Helens, see all of the geological evidence, and conclude that such formations happened in a short time. Anyone with any brains can look at that and tell that it took millions of years. There are even some who claim to have witnessed it forming. What a bunch of liars. And those alleged pictures of the volcano erupting, the mud flows, and so forth. It’s as if no one realizes what can be done with trick photography and computer graphics these days. What a bunch of gullible people to believe in such stuff.

Second, there are the people who look at cars and believe the propaganda and advertising which claims they were manufactured in factories. How stupid can anyone be? I would never believe such a thing unless I were to go to Detroit, if such a place even exists, and see those factories for myself. Obviously, that won’t happen, since I refuse to waste perfectly good time and money on a trip to a mythical place in search of proof for mythical factories. It is as obvious as anything can be that cars were neither designed nor made. They all came from a common ancestor and have evolved to where they currently are today. How else can we explain that all cars have common parts such as engines, tires, windshields, and transmissions? Only evolution from a common ancestor can give a reasonable explanation for this.

Finally, there are people who actually believe that George Washington was a real man who really existed and really did things. They have faith in those outdated, unreliable historical records and eyewitness accounts. They base this belief totally on things outside of themselves rather than on their own feelings about the issue. In this day and age, it is very hard to deal with people like this who choose to live in the dark ages and who refuse to accept the current scientific wisdom. If George Washington really existed, where is the hard evidence? It is obvious that he was created by people who desperately wanted him to exist. I guess they had a need for someone to be the “Father of our Country.”

Don’t get me wrong. Everyone has a right to his own beliefs. I just wish someone would do something to stop these crazies from trying to pollute the minds of our kids.

(Dr. Stew Pid Mann is a Professor of Humanist Studies at Worldly University.)

Christian High School Athletics: A Balanced Perspective

by Ron Livesay, 1999

High school athletics can be a great rallying point for school spirit and unity. Athletic events are a great deal of fun for the participants, the rest of the student body, parents, and other spectators. School athletics can be a great force for either good or evil, depending on the underlying philosophy of the school and how that philosophy is practiced. When the good side of athletics is emphasized from a Christian perspective, then there can be many positive learning experiences for those involved.

However, as with anything good, there can certainly be a down side. It is imperative that we in Christian schools not do anything to allow the negative aspects of athletics to do harm to the testimony of the Gospel of Christ. If Christian high school athletics do not have a balanced perspective, there are frequently severe consequences for the students, for the reputation of the school, and for the testimony of the Gospel. What are some of the potential problems that sometimes become real problems in Christian high school athletics?

WIN AT ALL COSTS. There is all too often a great deal of stress on winning to the exclusion of everything else. Frequently, this emphasis comes more from coaches and parents than from the students themselves. Winning is sometimes elevated to supreme importance. A famous coach once said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” High school coaches who believe that their sport and their team are the most important things in the school and maybe even in the world sometimes parrot this warped philosophy. It is indicative of misplaced priorities and an out-of-focus view of life. T-shirts and bumper stickers often proclaim this philosophy with slogans such as “Second place is the first loser.” This kind of emphasis not only elevates “me” and “my team” to the highest level of importance, but it also ignores the potentially positive learning experience that can come from losing. No one ever died from losing a game, and the benefits of losing can sometimes outweigh the benefits of winning. I once heard a coach say to a group of ten through twelve-year-old boys on his baseball team, “There’s no such thing as a good loser.” This sounds like a great way to ruin the enjoyment of the game for children and young people. In reality, I believe it is really much more accurate to say, “No one can be a good winner until he learns to lose with grace and dignity.” It is important to learn to lose with class and to win with humility.

The athletic philosophy of our school flows naturally out of our educational philosophy. Therefore, the primary goal of our athletic program is to bring glory to God through encouraging our teams to perform to the best of the ability the Lord has given them. There are a number of other goals based on Biblical principles that flow naturally out of this primary goal. First of all, we want to teach respect for authority. Players need to respect coaches, while coaches, players, and fans need to respect officials. Second, we want to teach the principle of putting aside individual desires and goals for the good of the team. Third, we want to teach players to realize that often their true character will come out in the heat of competition, and that there are valuable lessons to be learned and adjustments to be made. If winning comes about as a result of aiming at these goals, that is great. If we lose, it is not the end of the world, and there is likely a valuable lesson to learn through it. Winning must never be allowed to become our primary goal.

As a basketball coach, I love the game and desire the best for my players. However, there are times when I have to say to those who would turn basketball into life, “It’s only basketball,” or, “It’s only a game.” Basketball is not life. No sport is life. Last season, one of my players came to practice in a T-shirt that said, “Christ is life. Everything else is basketball.” I have to appreciate the perspective that this slogan represents, in that it puts Christ first and foremost in the life of the Christian. While Christians may legitimately enjoy sports, they need to be kept in perspective and in a proper position of importance relative to those things that really matter. Jesus Christ is to be preeminent in all things, and everything else is to be secondary. “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything” (Colossians 1:18, NASB).

Sports are only one of the many things we do and enjoy, but in the grand scheme of things, they are not really very important, and the outcome of a game loses its significance rapidly. Emphasis on winning as the only thing that matters can result in several negatives. There can be a loss of the fun of playing sports. There can be a loss of the valuable learning experience that often results from losing a hard-fought game. Finally, there can be the creation of a great deal of undue pressure, which is not in any way needed by young people.

Being a teenager and a high school student in today’s world can be very stressful without any additional pressures. Involvement in athletics ought to be a stress-reliever, not a stress-producer. Sports are, after all, games, and games are to be played for fun. Quite often, if the adults would get out of the way, the young people involved in playing games would be able to have the fun the sports were designed to produce. If playing a game is not fun, and if nothing positive is happening because of playing that game, then the student should find something else more profitable to do with his or her time, regardless of any pressure applied by coaches. No one should feel compelled to play on a team. Sports are not for everyone.

SPORTSMANSHIP. If sports are not handled well by coaches and fans, those who participate can learn many wrong lessons, especially in the area of sportsmanship. Poor sportsmanship is demonstrated on a regular basis at high school games, and Christian high schools are not immune. It is quite interesting that some Christians seem to believe they can shed their Christianity at the door to the gym or gate to the playing field, just as one might take off a coat when entering a building. Christianity is not something we can “check at the door” and then pick up and put on again when we leave. A Christian does not cease to be a Christian during a game; therefore, appropriate behavior and decorum relative to Christian testimony must never be forgotten, no matter what the score, no matter the perceived quality of the officials, no matter the disappointment. If parents, coaches, and others, who ought to be teaching young people by example, choose to behave in an inappropriate manner relative to sportsmanship, we cannot help but teach them the wrong things. The Scripture says to “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4:5-6, NASB) If our speech and actions do not bring honor to our Savior, then the only alternative is that we are bringing Him dishonor.

One of the areas of greatest concern is the necessity of showing proper respect for officials, because this is an area where our school's testimony can be greatly harmed, and the effectiveness of our ministry can be hindered. Whether officials are good, bad, or average, they are, by definition, the legitimately appointed authority over the event. Therefore, there is never a biblically justifiable reason to place ourselves in a position of rebellion against that authority. In reality, to do so is to stand in rebellion against God Himself, since He is the one who gives all authority. “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Romans 13:1-2, NASB).

The Biblical principle of servants and masters applies most appropriately to the relationship we have to those who have been given authority over us, including athletic officials, even if some perceive them to be of poor quality. "Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable" (I Peter 2:18, NASB). As Christians, we need to realize that officials, opponents, and opposing fans are either our brothers or sisters in the Lord or lost sinners who need our Savior. Either way, they should be treated with respect. Our Christian testimony is of far greater importance than the outcome of any athletic contest.

ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS. All too often, students see sports as a ticket to a free ride in college. Overzealous parents and coaches can unintentionally do young people a great disservice by encouraging this kind of thinking, thereby setting them up for a big disappointment. When I first began coaching, I listened to some “gung-ho” coaches and fell into the trap of believing that it was in the best interests of my players to encourage some of them to pursue athletic scholarships. Now, several years of experience have demonstrated the fallacy of that thinking, and I do not feel good about having done that. The reality is that very few, if any, of our athletes have ever been the type colleges want - the biggest, strongest, fastest, and most skilled. For every Michael Jordan, Mark McGwire, or Lisa Leslie, there are hundreds of thousands of young athletes who aspire to such lofty achievements, but who lack the talent, physical strength, size, and/or work ethic to make it a reality. It is not at all uncommon for league MVP, All-Section type players to find they cannot make the team, let alone get a scholarship, at even a small college.

Our high school has existed since 1983, when we added the tenth grade. Our first graduation was in 1986. Of all our graduates, we are only aware of six, including both young men and young ladies, who have had any opportunity to be on a college team in any sport for even one season, and even fewer have received any scholarship money. Some have played a season or two of volleyball, some a season or two of basketball, and only one got a scholarship to a large university. Due to a number of factors, that student transferred to a small Christian college after the first semester and became the only one of our graduates to play sports throughout college. Those with experience in these matters have advised me that if a student is not being actively recruited by his or her junior year, it is not going to happen at all.

In view of the numbers of young athletes hoping for scholarships, and also in view of the very real possibility of injury at some point, depending on athletics for a college education is not far removed from depending on winning the lottery for retirement. In a very few cases it works out and is a positive experience, and that is great. For the vast majority of students, however, it is not a realistic option.

Even if a player is able to make a team, very few high school students are in any way prepared for the huge year-round time commitment required of college athletes. Studies have shown that high school sports have a very positive impact on academics. On the other hand, a college athlete with a scholarship is almost literally owned body, soul, and spirit by the coach, and being a student becomes secondary, at best. The graduation rates of athletes at many universities are appalling. Any student who is really serious about college is well-served by leaving athletics in high school and concentrating on studies in college. There is a time to leave the games behind and get on with real life.

Athletic scholarship money is very limited. Free rides are not a reality except at the highest levels of competition, and we are interested neither in promoting secular universities nor in encouraging our students to get into the rat race of big-time athletics. Generally, big money scholarships are only available at the large universities, and we are much more interested in promoting solid, Bible-believing Christian colleges than secular universities, which frequently are hotbeds of secular humanism, atheism, and evolution, all of which are designed to undermine the truth and the faith of young people. We would be denying everything we believe in if we were to actively encourage attendance at such institutions, especially if our motivation has to do with students going there to play sports rather than to meet legitimate educational needs. We do understand that, of necessity, some students may end up at such universities in order to get the major they need. It is our prayer that, if they do go there, they will have the strength to stand for the Lord and against the tide of modern, unbiblical thinking.

Small colleges frequently give their athletes very small scholarships, which are not very much when the costs of college and the time commitment are considered. The most generous sources of college money are the state grants and institutional scholarships for academics. The wisest thing a high school student can do relative to college scholarships is to get the best grades possible throughout high school and score as high as possible on the SAT or ACT. In short, our school seeks to provide a positive and enjoyable experience through sports, but we do not operate under the illusion that our athletes can use sports as a stepping stone to college or to fame and fortune. We need to be more tuned in to reality and common sense than that.

CONCLUSION. It is the desire of the faculty and athletic staff that young people participate in sports while they can, enjoy the experience, and learn some valuable Biblical principles in the process. This will only happen if we remain continually vigilant to keep athletics in proper perspective relative to the overall ministry and purpose of the school. “…. whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NASB). “…so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything” (Colossians 1:18, NASB).

Tale of The Blinded Man

by Ron Livesay

There once was a man who began to be very frustrated by his failing eyesight. At one time, he had perfect vision, but in recent months, things had started to appear more and more blurred. Some of his friends tried very hard to convince him to see an eye doctor, but he listened instead to another group of so-called "friends" who convinced him that eye doctors didn't know anything, and that the real answer was to be found inside of each individual.

He tried a number of medications, salves, and ointments recommended by his friends, but none of these things did any good at all. His eyes grew steadily worse until he was all but blind. As his eyes grew worse, so did his frustration level. He finally became desperate, but still he refused to see an eye doctor. By now he had become even more convinced that no eye doctor could possibly know the answer.

In his desperation, he concocted a mixture of several salves and ointments and applied it to his eyes. The sting was intense, but he hoped the pain would be worth it when his vision was restored. To his great disappointment and dismay, his eyes not only did not improve, they got much worse, and he finally just closed his eyes and assumed he was totally blind.

His blindness at first resulted in rage. He was especially angry with all of the eye doctors who had not helped him, even though he had never really sought their help. However, his rage eventually went away and was replaced by a relative degree of comfort in his situation. All the while, he refused to open his eyes, because he "knew" he would not be able to see, even if he did open them.

He soon developed a very interesting view of life. He concluded that being unable to see was a great way to live. He further concluded that since he could not see, he was now an expert on vision. Since he was unable to see, obviously no one else could see, either. As a matter of fact, since he had not seen an eye doctor recently, he was no longer sure if such a thing as an eye doctor even existed. Since he didn't know, obviously no one else could know, either.

Even though he once could see, he seemed to forget that fact, and he dismissed all efforts to convince him that vision was a reality, because he based all of his views on his own recent experiences. None of the people trying to convince him that they could see knew what they were talking about. How could they possibly know anything that he didn't know? Because of his unwise choices and flawed thinking, he closed his eyes, steadfastly refused to open them, and spent the rest of his life as a blind man, believing that everyone else was blind, as well.

Can Christians Witness in the Public School?

by James M. Bramblet

This is a message brought before the fall conference of The Northwest Fellowship of Christian Schools in 1958. It is as relevant today as it was then.

In trying to promote Christian schools, I've encountered many times an argument against them given by Christian people. They say we shouldn't take our Christian children and our Christian teachers out of the public schools because they should be there as a witness. I was concerned about this argument because it came from people who are good fundamental Christian people, whom I admire and respect.


After turning to God's Word, I found that it had something to say on the matter. I've found in God's Word that there are at least two ways in which this thinking is erroneous. First of all, from God's Word we find that children are not miniature adults. They do not react like adults. In I Corinthians 13:11, the Apostle Paul says, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things." This verse tells us that there is a difference in thinking and in understanding between a child and an adult. There is another verse that tells us exactly what this difference is. In Ephesians 4:14 it says, "That we be henceforth no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive."

What is the difference between a child and an older person then? A child is tossed about by every wind of doctrine; he is easily influenced. This is as God intended. He intended that we as parents should be the controlling influence over our children. That is why God's Word tells us that the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations.

Children in God's Word have been made subject to their parents. You can take a little child and you can teach him anything you want. You can teach him correctly or incorrectly but whatever you teach him he is going to believe. As the Scriptures tell us, they are tossed about by every wind of doctrine.

To say that these children should be a witness concerning Christ is foolish. They can't be, because God has created them in such a way that they desire to please the adults over them. Their desire is to please their parents and their desire is to please their teacher. The Lord said we should become as little children. He didn't mean we should throw a tantrum as little children sometimes do. No, He meant we should have the faith of a little child. We should receive truth as a little child does and not doubt as adults do. Children naturally will receive instruction, and when they go to school they go there to receive and not to give forth.

What happens when the principles that are given in school are contrary to those given at home? You and I as adults, if we were in the same situation, would see the conflict. Perhaps there would be a conflict within us until we decided which we were going to follow. But this is not so with the child. When at home they simply act the way their parents and brothers and sisters expect them to act. When they go to school they act the way their teachers and classmates expect them to act. If there's a conflict it doesn't bother them at all. Many parents do not find out until too late that the child who is acting the part of a Christian at home and at church is acting differently when away from these influences. The responsibility lies at the parents door, for the Scripture plainly teaches, "Fathers . . . bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" Ephesians 6:4.


There is still another error even worse than the first. According to Scripture a witness must be one who stands in separation from those to whom he is witnessing. The Scriptures make this very plain. In II Timothy 2:3-4 it says, "Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life."

Some year's back I was in the Navy during the war. They took us to Farragut, Idaho, a place separated from the rest of the world. They kept us there and would hardly let us associate with anyone from the outside. Maybe once every two or three weeks we would get a week-end to go into Spokane, but mostly we were kept out there by ourselves where they taught us the things they wanted us to know. Why did they do this? There was a war on and we had to be trained to fight the enemy.

Suppose someone had come along and said, "This is costing too much to maintain these army and navy training stations. Why don't we take our young men and send them to Japan to be trained and then we will bring them home and let them fight?" You would say, "How foolish! They wouldn't fight the enemy if they were trained by the enemy." Yet that is exactly what people are doing with their children. They send them in large numbers to unbelievers to be trained and then wonder why more of them don't turn out to be Christian soldiers. If we are to be good warriors we must separate ourselves, or as it says in Scripture, "Be not entangled with the affairs of this life."

In II Corinthians 6:14-17 it says, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing."

"Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers." How often we have used this in regard to marriage or in regard to business. Should the same principle not hold true regarding our schools? Anyone who has been in school recognizes the close relationship between classmates, between students and teachers, and between teachers and administrators. This is one of the reasons why it is difficult for a teacher or student to testify concerning the things of Christ. The basic thinking of administrators, teachers and students is in one direction. When you insert the Gospel it is going exactly the opposite way. It is contrary to that which is being taught and seems entirely out of place. For this reason the Scriptures demand that we stand in separation if our witness is to be effective.

There is one more passage I would like to bring to your attention. In Haggai 2:11-13 it says, "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying, If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No" (You see what he is asking, if you carry something holy and touch something else will it make that which we touch holy? The priest said, "No.") "Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean." This is the principle of spiritual uncleanness. If that which is holy touches something, does it make it holy? No! If that which is unclean touches something clean does it make it unclean? Yes! According to the principle of separation that we have here; if those who are unbelievers are present, do they make all unclean with their influence? Yes! If there are those present are believers do they make all holy? No!

The application to Christian education is obvious. Will your child influence others in school for Christ or will he be influence away from Christ? We know, both from Scripture and from practical experience, that the Christian is nearly always influenced away from the things of the Lord when he forsakes his separated position.


Many Christian people today seem to think that we should become involved with unbelievers in order to be a witness among them. We might call this way of thinking "witnessism" because it is taking the truth concerning Christians being witnesses and misusing it as an excuse for staying mixed up in the world. They tell us we must stay in the modernistic churches as a witness, we must stay in the public schools as a witness; but God's Word says, "Come out from among them and be ye separate."


We find in God's Word numerous illustrations showing that a witness must stand in a place of separation. One good example is Moses. If there was anyone in the Old Testament who had an opportunity to be a witness it was Moses. He was a young man with a good education and good training. He was a man with real ability. Since he was raised as the King of Egypt's daughter's son, had he chose to remain in Egypt he might some day have been the King of Egypt. Moses could have said, "Since I have all this training I should use it. I should stay here in Egypt and be a witness in the palace and perhaps all of Egypt will be won for God." But Moses knew better than that. He understood this basic principle of God's Word and so we read in Hebrews 11:24-27, "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible." Moses understood and practiced the principle of separation.

Yet Moses was concerned about his witness to Egypt. When he was in the wilderness and God suggested to Moses that the children of Israel be destroyed because of their disobedience, Moses immediately pled for his people, reminding God that to destroy them would be a poor testimony to the people of Egypt. Moses was concerned about Egypt, but he knew that in order to be an effective witness he had to stand in a separate place from the Egyptians. It would have been more comfortable for him and he could have thought of himself more highly as one of the princes of Egypt than in the wilderness with a little group of God's people. But Moses chose, knowing wherein God's will la according to God's revealed World.

It is just this very matter we face in convincing people of the necessity of Christian schools. I grant that Christian schools do not have the prestige that public schools have. They don't have as fine equipment, and the teachers aren't as well paid. But we stand for God's truth and we stand in separation from the world.

One of the compromises Pharaoh offered Moses was that the adults go and worship God but leave their children in Egypt. (Exodus 10:8-11). Moses refused this compromise. The same offer is being made to us today. Satan knew then and he knows now that if he can control the children for one generation he has won a great victory. He doesn't care what we older people do because if he can control the young ones, it will just be one generation till God's witness had perished from the earth.


There are also instances in God's Word of people who believed in witnessism; that is in mingling with the world in order to be a witness to them. One of these persons was Lot. Lot was the nephew of Abraham and came with Abraham to the land of Canaan. When Abraham and Lot separated, Lot chose the nice green plain where there were two large cities. He may have thought that if he moved down to Sodom and Gomorrah he could be a witness to the people there. He evidently had some training in God's Word for he knew he shouldn't move right in and live in Sodom. We read in Genesis 13:12 that he went down and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

In Genesis 14:12 we find that he has moved into Sodom. Possibly he found that living in a tent of ugly skins and a dirt floor it was difficult to be a witness because the people of Sodom with their fine homes looked down on him. Perhaps his wife visited the Sodomite women and came home and said, "We can't be a witness with our dirt floors and our old tent. We've got to have a house." In Genesis 14:12 we find that lot and his family moved right into Sodom.

The next time we meet Lot (Genesis 19:1) he not only is living in Sodom but he is holding office. He is sitting in the gates of Sodom, signifying a place of leadership. Now he is ready to be a witness. He is the chairman of the school board and his wife is the president of the P.T.A. But we don't read of him doing much witnessing. The truth of the matter is that he has so compromised with the people of Sodom that he can't witness to them. To be a witness to the world we must not be entangled with the affairs of the world. Lot got involved in Sodom, became one of the officers, and never was able to bear witness there.

It's nice to think we can go into some ungodly organization, become active in it and then be a great influence for God. The trouble is we just aren't strong enough to do this. What really happens is that they have an influence on us. If we are going to be a real witness we must stand in a place of separation.


Some people like to think that even though they can't say much about the things of the Lord in the public school they can still be a silent witness. Not long ago a returned missionary who had worked diligently on the foreign field to establish schools for his converts, told me how he had taken a job here at home in the public school. He said he realized that he wouldn't be able to say much there concerning the things of the Lord, but he intended to be a silent witness.

Just what is a "silent witness"? Those two words don't go together very well. If you are silent you aren't a witness, and if you are a witness you aren't silent. Let's suppose you have been accused of a terrible crime. The circumstances look as though you are guilty, but there are a group of people who know you aren't and can bear witness to this fact. During the trial the witnesses are brought up and they all turn out to be "silent witnesses." Obviously they would be of little value to you as long as they are silent. A silent witness is not a witness at all. God's Word says, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so" (Psalms 107:2).

Compare this silent witnessing with the people spoken of in Hebrews 11:33-38. "Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; of whom the world was not worthy. . ."


What kind of Christians have we become? Not long ago a Christian teacher who teaches in the public schools said to me, "Mr. Bramblet, I agree with your principles of teaching, but if I taught that way where I am I'd lose my job." Look again at the people in Hebrews 11; they not only gave up their jobs, they gave up their lives for the testimony of Christ. Yes, it's only in the Christian schools where we can teach according to God's Word! If we bear a real witness for Christ we don't have to worry about separation, for the world will separate us. If the Christian parents and teachers in the public schools really want to be a witness they can, but it will cost them something.

Suppose the teachers who are Christians would explain to their boards that they cannot teach evolution and the supremacy of man; that they cannot teach the truth and leave God and the Bible out. That would be a real witness. Yes, you might lose your jobs, but you still wouldn't have lost as much for Christ as the people in Hebrews 11.

Suppose the Christian parents, who have children in the public schools, would explain to their school boards that they will no longer tolerate teaching that leaves God out of the universe He created. I won't say that you would change the schools, but at least you would make known what God's people believe. Can't you see that you and your children aren't changing the public schools by staying quietly in them, but that rather the schools are changing you?


Believers in "witnessism" seem to think the Gospel can be slipped in when people aren't looking. This business of trying to slip in a little Christianity is not only unscriptural; it is unsuccessful. In Bible times the Gospel was declared publicly. Sometimes they whipped them and sometimes they put them in jail, but God's Word was declared. If modern Christians don't get back to a bold, separated testimony, the only Scriptural kind of testimony, we will never be able to free ourselves from the educational and spiritual bondage the world is thrusting upon us.


If we are to maintain God's testimony upon the earth, our children must be taught the basic principles of God's Word from their youth up. That doesn't mean just a devotional time in the family, and a half-hour in Sunday school class, and the rest of the time under the world's teaching. We can't bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord in that short a time.

It isn't a matter of trying to have Christian schools or hoping we can have Christian schools. Christian friends, we must have Christian training for our children or God's witness shall perish from the earth! Thank God, He knows this, and is raising up Christian schools all over our land. He is speaking to the hearts of Christian parents everywhere. He is calling young men and women into the Christian school ministry. Christians who oppose the Christian schools need be careful lest they find themselves fighting against God.