Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Have You Ever Asked, “What Does God Think?”

What does God Think

The United Church of Canada has been in the news of late, as the institution is trying to figure out what to do with one of its pastors. Gretta Vosper was ordained by that church in 1993. She has been, for a number of years, an avowed atheist! She has declared that it is time for the Christian church to give up on “the idolatry of a theistic god.” While some in the denomination wish for her to remain a pastor, others are not so sure. I wonder if anyone ever thought to consult the Bible to find out what God thinks?

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1).

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The Bible View of Sexuality

Bible and Sexuality

We live in a promiscuous society. According to a 2008 survey reported by the Guttmacher Institute, 90% of single women between the ages of 20 and 44 are sexually experienced. 70% identified themselves as currently sexually active. Among teenagers for the past 15 years, the percentage of teenagers (15-19) who have had sex has remained fairly constant (44% of girls, 49% of boys, Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention).

It should not be surprising that some churches are changing their teaching regarding premarital sex. One example of this is a recently published book by Bromleigh McCleneghan, a married mother of three, and “associate pastor for ministry with families” at the Union Church of Hinsdale in Illinois. The title of her book is, “Good Christian Sex”, with the subtitle, “Why Chastity Isn’t the Only Option—And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex.”

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Sermon: The Wicked Bible Redux

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In 1631, an edition of the KJV was published with an error in Exodus 20:14, reading, “Thou shalt commit adultery.” This edition is known as the “Wicked Bible.” In our time, the “Wicked Bible” has returned as men disregard what the Bible actually says.

Audio

Powerpoint Slides

When Should You Have Sex?

ImageToday it is typical for couples in a monogamous relationship to engage in sexual activity as a part of that relationship. This has been so for some time, and it has even led to a change in the meaning of words. For example, no longer is a person single until he is married. He is single until he is in a monogamous relationship. Commitment is not seen in the positive answer to the question, “Will you marry me?”, but in the question, “Do you want to live with me?” A person is considered to be a cheater, not if they have had an extramarital affair, but if they have committed fornication with a person other than their “partner.” The list goes on and on.

To illustrate, I recently did an internet search of the question, “When should I have sex?” Though many sites cautioned against quick “hookups”, the reality is that many, especially in their 20’s, have sexual relations within the first couple of dates. In the advice I found online, the idea of limiting sex to a marital relationship was completely absent.

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The Damage Done by Adultery

I recently came across a fine article written by Rusty Miller, which appeared in the June 2003 issue of Abundant Life Magazine. The article was titled “Adultery’s Consequences”, and noted the damage that the sin of adultery wreaks upon society, the church, children, marriage and the soul. The article was a bit longer than the space allotted here, so I would like to take the main points, and concisely summarize them.

Teaching such as this is needed because of the frequency of the sin. It is certainly a societal problem, but how many times have we seen Christian families devastated by the sin of adultery? We wonder how a man or woman could behave in such a treacherous way. Lives and souls are destroyed by sexual infidelity. Consider the following:

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Sermon: A Covenant with My Eyes

In Job 31:1, a “covenant” with the eyes is mentioned. By application, we submit that we should not look upon the darkness of sin, or lustful sights that might lead to adultery, alcohol use or the observance of irreverent things.

Audio

Powerpoint Slides

Sermon: MDR: One, and Only One Exception

The sermon establishes what the Bible teaches regarding an aspect of the marriage, divorce and remarriage question. Most often people try to loose where God has not, but recently arguments have been made asserting there is no scriptural exception to God’s law regarding the permanency of the marriage relationship. What does the Bible teach?

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

In The News: A Philandering Tiger

inthenewsJust about everyone knows who Tiger Woods is. He is the most famous golfer, and perhaps the most famous athlete in the world. He has also become one of the most infamous athletes due to being a serial philanderer.

Numerous women have been linked to him. Despite initial denials it was obvious that he had been unfaithful to his wife on numerous occasions with multiple mistresses. When denials proved futile, he finally admitted his infidelity, and has taken a sabbatical from golf to try to save his marriage, and regain the trust of his wife.

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Sermon: Strange Things

The King James translation supplies the term “strange” to reference profane or immoral things. The lesson relates four uses of the term for discussion: Strange Gods, Strange Fire, Strange Woman and Strange Doctrines.

Sermon PowerPoint: Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

In The News: Can A Christian Be President

inthenewsThe question of our title is similar to other questions that have been asked. Can a Christian be a lawyer? Or, can a Christian tend bar?

Those questions speak of the morality of the two occupations. While I believe that a Christian could certainly practice law, there are certain types of lawyers who seem, if they do their job successfully, to violate Christian morality.

However, when I ask the question, “Can a Christian be President?” I am not so concerned with the ethics of the job; rather, I am referring to the electability of a Christian. I am convinced that one who truly holds to the teachings of Jesus Christ would be considered an extremist, and would have no chance of being elected to the highest office in America.

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In The News: Scandal and Immorality

inthenewsIt is apparent that we are living during a time of immorality and ungodliness. Worldliness has always held sway with the majority, but we are certainly in a cycle of excessiveness.

In Genesis 6:5-6 we are informed of an ungodly time, much like our own. “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” That is not to say that there are only 8 righteous souls on the earth (the number spared in the flood). However, the evil nature of society is certainly similar to that of old.

The pagan society of Paul’s day was similar. Paul stated that “although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21). Their foolishness led them to all types of debauchery, and Paul maintained that those who practice such things are “worthy of death” (vs. 32).

This past week I typed in the word “scandal” into an internet search engine, and came up with a sampling of the pervasive ungodliness that exists in our world today.

  • An NBA referee (Tim Donaghy) is being investigated by the FBI for both betting on and fixing NBA games in order to appease gangsters because of his gambling debts. The scandal is perhaps the most disturbing in decades in professional sports.
  • Some British politicians are presently embroiled in a scandal involving unethical campaign financing schemes.
  • A Catholic Cardinal in Los Angeles apologized last week to the hundreds of people affected by the sex scandal that has rocked the Catholic church. The church in L.A. is scheduled to pay $660,000,000 in reparations to victims.
  • Louisiana Senator David Vitter spent last week in seclusion after a raid on a prostitution ring in Washington D.C. turned up his phone number. He has acknowledged what he calls “a serious sin.”
  • In China a scandal surfaced last month after about 400 distraught parents posted a plea on the Internet about their children who had been sold into slavery in China’s northern Shanxi province and neighbouring Henan. It is estimated that over 1,000 people, many of them children, have been victimized by these crimes.

These are only representative of the literally hundreds of scandals that have been reported on in the news the past several weeks. They show a lack of integrity, conviction and morality that exists in the world today. Sex, gambling, corruption and man’s inhumanity to man are the norm rather than the exception. In fact, such are so common that it is probable most of the examples above are unfamiliar to most of the readers of this article.

In the face of such ungodliness, Christians are admonished by the Holy Spirit to, “become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I [Paul] may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain” (Phil. 2:15-16).

In The News: Harry Potter Strips

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has got some parents steaming over his racy new stage play role.

One of the publicity photos for the play shows a topless and buffed Radcliffe being hugged by a naked woman. Another shows him leaning against bales of hay as he stares up at the topless woman. A third has him posing in front of a white horse.

The pictures have been released ahead of the opening of Equus, a controversial Peter Shaffer play showing at London’s Gielgud Theatre from next month.

Radcliffe,17, plays a troubled stablehand who one night blinds six horses with a hoofpick.

He features in numerous nude scenes with co-star Joanna Christie, the woman in the publicity shots.

The UK’s Daily Mail reports that Harry Potter fan sites have received emails from concerned parents…

…The play’s producer, David Pugh, told the Daily Mail that Radcliffe had been rehearsing the nude scenes with Christie for more than a week and had overcome his initial shyness.

The young actor’s spokeswoman, Vanessa Davies, said: “Daniel does not want to step away from Harry Potter but he does want to show he is a rounded actor capable of very different and diverse roles.”

“He has tremendous support from Harry Potter fans,” she said.

Jano Gibson
Sunday Morning Herald

Analysis:

It is shameful that the young actor who plays Harry Potter feels that to prove his ability as an actor he must appear in nude scenes on stage, and scenes depicting sexuality. In fact, it is sad that any 17 year old would do so, and likewise a sad commentary that such a move is lauded as “brave” and “daring.”

While it is a bit presumptuous for Radcliffe’s publicist to claim that he has “tremendous support from Harry Potter fans” (many are shocked and dismayed at what he is doing), nevertheless it is true that others are taken with his lewd turn. In fact, many fans admire the publicity photographs released for the play. One female fan said, “When I saw it I couldn’t breathe for a moment … I like it … They’re awesome!”

This is just another example that in the midst of our ungodly society, sex sells. Of course, the Bible has something to say about such ungodliness. “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

While the world is characterized by such ungodliness, the Christian should be clear of it. Both in his personal life and conduct, and in his approval of the same. Remember the apostle Paul’s condemnation of the ungodly in Romans 1, “Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them (vs. 31). We must be sure not to approve of that which God clearly and forcefully condemns. Think about it!

Podcast: Redefining Adultery

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Podcast Number 32

The denominational world (and some brethren) seek to redefine and minimize the sin of adultery. In so doing, they exhibit a laxness in their attitude toward this heinous sin.

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