THANKS to everyone who has been taking care of teaching classes and preaching. This summer is a very busy one for the Claytons. We leave again on Wednesday to attend a family wedding in Colorado on our way to our Canyonlands Tour seminar in Arizona and Utah. Bill Gibson made reference to the fact that Jim Harasewicz had given a great sermon Sunday and while he did not say "finally got a good sermon" in commenting on how good it was, it is obvious that some great lessons are being given by those preparing talks when I am away. We appreciate everyone's willingness to serve and the fact that there is no loss of spiritual nourishment when I am away — John Clayton.
FAIR SIGN UP. The Cass County Fair is fast approaching, and we need to have people in our booth during the busy hours of the fair. A sign up sheet is in the lobby on a clipboard. Please sign up for as many times as you can so we have people there to greet and give special handouts to visitors. You do not have to know how to answer any questions, just know how to be friendly. Let us have two people for each time slot. Do it A.S.A.P. so we can know how many slots are still open.
ANSWERING FOUR BIG QUESTIONS
QUESTION 1 — WHO IS GOD?
A. Exodus 5:2
B. The creator of the "God particle"
1. Genesis 1:1 — Creator of timeC. Omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, eternal
a. Reshith in Hebrew2. The creator of space — heaven is shamayim.
b. Revelation 21:6 — time is linear.
a. Acts 17:283. Creator of matter/energy — God particle
a. My dirt story — bara in Hebrew
b. Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16-18
QUESTION 2 — WHO IS MY WIFE?
A. Contrast with misogynistic pagan view
1. "I decide where and how I am to be displayed"B. Bible puts woman equal with man.
2. In O.T. times prostitution was the only choice.
1. Genesis 1:27C. Debra Ruth Mary
2. Genesis 2:24 — Precedence over all other relationships
a. Not an impersonal coupling3. John 19:26; Acts 1:14
QUESTION 3 — WHAT IS THE LAW?
A. The need for order in our world
1. Comes from God's holinessB. Without God, there is no functional law
2. Genesis 3:1-5
C. Exodus 20:1-17
D. Romans 13:1-7
QUESTION 4 — WHO AM I?
A. Post-modern world — "you are not quite human"
1. Evolution says we're still developingB. Bible says we are all God's children
1. Galatians 3:26-29; Romans 4:16; Acts 17:26
IF YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN, HOW DO YOU ANSWER?
A. THERE IS NO GODARE THOSE THE ANSWERS YOU WANT TO LIVE AND DIE WITH?
B. MY SEX OBJECT, MY SERVANT
C. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
D. AN ANIMAL — A NAKED APE
THANK GOD YOU LIVE IN AMERICA
It is easy in this election year to get the idea that things in America are really bad. There is no question that there are problems in this country and that the political situation is deplorable in many ways. Cynthia and I just returned from a trip to Florida in which we participated in a workshop which is called"The Spiritual Growth Workshop." This was my fifth time at the workshop and Cindy's first. Karl was with us and we enjoyed meeting old friends and people we have worked with in the past. We heard wonderful lessons and learned about great works by our brethren going on all over the world.
The more you talk to people working in China, Russia, the Middle East, South America, Africa, and even Europe and Australia, the more you appreciate America. We can preach just about anything from the pulpit of this building and not fear being put in jail or fined by the government for what we said or who we ask not to speak. We can have a booth at the Cass County Fair and do not have to have its content approved by government censors.
In the days of the first century church Christians not only had the Roman government to fear, but even a bigger threat was the religious establishment. Jesus was crucified and Paul was arrested because they offended the religious leaders, not because they were in conflict with Rome. We heard speakers at the workshop who had been jailed and beaten for proclaiming the gospel of Christ in a country other than America. Issues of homosexuality, Islam, women's rights and roles in the church were discussed openly without fear of arrest.
Do not ever take for granted the fact that you can come here and worship without interference from the government or a religious group, including organized atheists. There are forces at work to take that freedom away, and we need to pray about it and thank God for what we have. I hope you took time on this Fourth of July to reflect on this blessing, and if not — do it today.