Thursday, April 28, 2011

Business Owner: An "Excelent" Example

I wanted to share a part of my biblical concepts assignment this week. As a part of most of my classes, there are assignment like this to connect the biblical teaching in what ever area we are studying. So in my class “Business Law,” this week's example verses were given to connect with various business titles. Examples from scripture of managers, agents, entrepreneurs…you get the idea.

But for “Owner” the scriptural verse given was Colossians 4:1 “Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.”

Well, I baulked at that, and for a very good reason. We no longer have slavery in the Western world, and whether you are a business owner, manager, agent (Christian or not), to even think of equating your employees as “slaves” is wrong. That is occasional writings by the Apostle Paul and really, for examples, we can do SO much better.

So I offered this excellent example.

How about this! For a business owner use Proverbs 31:10-31 as the example.

This person who is described as a woman of strength (khayil = strength is the best fit) makes such a successful business all her employees are well fed (v.14) takes owner business capital to expand (v.16) profits are such that the company excels in charitable giving (v.20) and all the employees are paid well enough to have a comfortable life style (v.21) and her company is well diversified (v.24) and has great future goals (v. 25) And finally she is looked to for her wise advice in the business world (not to mention a great husband)…How’s that for a godly business owner!

Why look at scripture the same old way?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"He Has Risen"




And the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as he said..." Matthew 28:5-6


Photo: St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Atlanta GA..by the author.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

J.P. Moreland Quote

An extended quote from J.P. Moreland’s book Love Your God With All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul. (1997) Colorado Springs, Navpress. p 56-57


3. Scripture show the value of being qualified to minister from a position of influence…. Scripture shows people qualified to minister in God’s name in situations that required them to have intellectual skills in extrabiblical knowledge. In Daniel 1:3-4, 2:12-13, 5:7, we see Daniel and his friends in a position to influence Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, only because they showed “intelligence in every branch of wisdom.” These men had studied and learned Babylonian science, geometry, and literature. And because of this, they were prepared to serve when the occasion presented itself.

I remember being in a meeting with Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, shortly after Ronald Reagan had been elected president. Dr. Bright came into the meeting late because Reagan had called to ask him to confer with other evangelical leaders in order to suggest a list of qualified evangelicals to serve in his presidential cabinet. With sadness in his heart, Dr. Bright said that after numerous phone conversations with other evangelical leaders, they had concluded that there simply were not many evangelicals with the intellectual and professional excellence for such a high post. C. Everett Koop was all they could think of and, as we now know, Koop got the position of surgeon general. Had evangelicals valued the study of extrabiblical knowledge the way Daniel and his friends did, things may have turned out quite differently.

How, then, should this attitude toward extrabiblical intellectual training inform parents and youth groups when they prepare Christian teenagers to go to college and tell teens why college is important? According to various studies, increasing numbers of college freshmen, on the advice of parents, say their primary goal in going to college is to get a good job and ensure a secure financial future for themselves. This parallels a trend in the same students toward valuing a good job more than developing a meaningful philosophy of life. Given this view of a college education, it is clear why the level of our public discourse on topics central to the culture wars is so shallow, since it is precisely the humanities that train people to think carefully about these topics.

What is not so clear is why Christians, with a confidence in the providential care and provision of God, would follow the secular culture in adopting this approach to college. (p 56-57)



Why indeed?

Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or “With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:31-33

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Samaritan Woman

I’d like to point out a few things casual readers of scripture may miss when one reads through the passages in John chapter 4 and Jesus’ encounter with the “woman at the well.” Many lessons like to point out Jesus' teaching about the water of life, the “living water” or sermons that point out the fallenness of the woman and Jesus’ telling her the fact she had no husband…or that we need to worship God in Spirit and truth...you know, the assorted sermon illustrations all of which are good to remember as we meditate on scripture.


But now a question. Do we in our day and age get the point the Apostle John was making when writing this example of Jesus’ ministry? Do we in the 20th century understand the cultural significance of our Lord (as a Jewish man) sitting and speaking with a Samaritan woman in 1st century Palestine?

Let me help here.

First, most of us think we understand the “dislike” of the Samaritans by the Jews in the Roman territory of Palestine…but you need to understand that it was out-right hatred! The Rabbis of the time taught that it was ok to kill a Samaritan because you were killing a “heretic.” That about a hundred (or so) years prior there had been a Jewish raid that destroyed the Samaritan temple, and in retribution the Samaritans smuggled human bones into the Jerusalem Temple to deliberately defile it!

Dislike is a bit of an understatement!

And what about Samaritan women?

Jewish Rabbis taught that Samaritan women were considered “menstrual” from the cradle…another-words, Samaritan women were always unclean, and un-touchable…and everything that they touched was also unclean.


Now, am I beginning to help in your understanding of this passage? Do you see what an amazing point that St. John was making in writing of this example of Jesus’ earthly ministry? Do you realize that Jesus identified himself as the Messiah for the first time in his earthly ministry to a Samaritan woman!!!

And that this un-clean, un-loved, cast-off woman went and preached the Messiah to her entire town!

Now, what’s your excuse for not spreading the Gospel?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lamentations

395 c.1862

There is a Languor of the Life
More imminent than Pain-
‘Tis pain’s successor – When the Soul
Has suffered all it can –

A Drowsiness – diffuses –
A dimness like a Fog
Envelopes Consciousness –
As Mists – obliterate a Crag.

The Surgeon – does not blanch – at pain –
His Habit – is severe –
But tell him that it ceased to feel –
The Creature lying there –

And he will tell you – skill is late –
A Mightier than He –
Has ministered before Him –
There’s no Vitality.
[p. 188]

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson edt. by Thomas H. Johnson.

O Lord, the God of my salvation,
I have cried out by day and in the night before Thee.
Let my prayer come before Thee;
Incline Thine ear to my cry!
For my soul has had enough troubles,
And my life has drawn near to Sheol.
Psalm 88:1-3