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

Sermon: Anatomy of Institutional Apostasy

Image Many denominations have departed from any semblance of Biblical faithfulness. From Heresy to Sectarianism to Denominationalism to full blown Humanism, the process of the institutional apostsy is explained.

Those who are faithful must learn from history, and heed the warnings to remain faithful to the standard, God’s word.

Audio

Sermon: Beware Lest Anyone Cheat You

The sermon is based on the text of Colossians 2:8. The philosophies of man may defraud us of that which has the greatest value. True value is found only in Christ, as He is the giver of our hope!

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Andra VS Elohim

ImageRecently I have been listening to Dr. Donald Kagan’s lectures on Ancient Greek history. Kagan is a professor at Yale University, and his university course is available both in audio and video on the internet.

In his lectures, he often references the similarities and differences between ancient Greek culture, and the Judeo/Christian ethic, both of which have been extremely influential to modern western culture.

From the Greeks we received democracy as a viable form of government. As a culture, their contributions to the world in the realms of philosophy, literature, language and literature are well documented. The Greek culture, though pervaded by their mythology, was nevertheless a very secular society. In other words, while they recognized and worshiped the gods of their mythology, they considered those gods to be only tangentially involved in their lives. As such, they trumpeted the potential and accomplishments of man. The gods were not the center of Greek culture; man was.

Continue reading » Andra VS Elohim

Sermon: Christianity Versus

openbibleChristianity is in direct opposition to the philosophies of men, including the Postmodern world, the Eastern/Mysticism World, the Atheistic World, the Agnostic World and the Scientific World.

Sermon PowerPoint: Click Here .

Sermon Audio: Click Here .

Podcast: Humanism in the Classroom

ipod

Podcast Number #14

Humanism is a real danger to the faith of our children. It is a direct attack upon God, that unfortunately takes place too often in what many consider to be the safest of places, the classroom. Christian parents, beware!

To listen to this Podcast, click here .

To subscribe to the podcast feed, click here .

‘God’ Isn’t Only Source of Morality

inthenews

OSAMA BIN LADEN’S quotation that “Islam is the only source of the rulings and laws” (editorial, Jan. 4) is frightening in its total rejection of the principle of separation of church and state. But we should not forget that his ideology is founded on the belief, which is central to most all deistic religions, that “God” is the only true source of morality and moral behavior.

That erroneous idea is a potentially dangerous source of rigidity and absolutism in moral thinking and behavior, and readily leads to efforts to impose one’s own group’s “true” morality on others, or to regard the “infidel other” as not worthy of the beneficence of that morality.

As is all too obvious these days, wars are fought under the self-righteous and self-justifying conviction that “God is on our side.”

The rational, secular view of morality is that it is generated only in human minds and is shaped over time in the real world by negotiating competing needs and shared benefits. There is no “Big Daddy” or “Big Mommy” up there, or out there, to tell us how to behave, or to punish us with natural disasters if we go astray. There is, however, good reason to believe that, along with murderous aggressivity, some fundamental altruistic urges have been built into the human genome by Darwinian evolution.

Given a framework of secular civil laws and enforcement, human compassion, conscience, and “the Golden Rule” of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” will take us a good long way.

RICHARD H. WOLFF
The Boston Globe

Analysis:

The Preceding opinion piece which appeared in the Boston Globe on January 10, proclaims the typical secularist attitude toward morality.

Continue reading » ‘God’ Isn’t Only Source of Morality

Your Morals – Or Mine?

inthenews[The following opinion piece, (edited for space) which appeared in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, written by columnist Matt Stone, establishes a typical flawed view of morality.]

Moralism represents the self-understanding of what constitutes decent and indecent behavior – each person one’s own judge and seeking respect in the appraisal of others.

Of course, the perception of “decent” or “indecent” behavior is fluid, allowing open-endedness for society to shape its own moral code: Whereas we abhor polygamy today, it was yawningly normal for Moses to have multiple wives. Dynamism, self-respect and the dignity of the individual are the cardinal tenets of moralism.

Continue reading » Your Morals – Or Mine?

U.S. Team Says N. Korea Suppresses Religion

inthenews

GENEVA (Reuters) – North Korea represses religion and has an official ideology that is a form of secular humanism, a U.S. government agency said on Thursday.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said interviews with North Korean refugees showed a pattern of arrest, imprisonment, torture and execution for public expressions of religion.

“Any reappearance of Christianity, possibly permeating from northern China to where many thousands of North Koreans fled from famine in the 1990s, is rigorously repressed,” USCIRF North Korean researcher David Hawk told a news conference.

Only two active churches, with one more to be built, and one Buddhist temple were known to exist – all in the capital, Pyongyang, and apparently serving the foreign diplomatic and business community there.

USIRC vice-chair Felice D. Gaer said a full report on the findings from interviews with some 30 ordinary North Koreans among some 6,000 who have escaped to South Korea since 2000 would be published later this year.

Analysis:

With all the attacks that are made against religion in general, and Christianity in particular, it is interesting to note that the country which is considered the most antagonistic to human rights claims to be a humanistic in philosophy.

Continue reading » U.S. Team Says N. Korea Suppresses Religion

Fossett Delighted with World Record Flight

inthenews

He’s set 62 world records, doing such things as flying around the world in a hot air balloon and transatlantic sailing. But becoming the first person to fly solo around the world without refueling is Steve Fossett’s favourite accomplishment yet.

“I worked on it for such a long time, and it involved a lot of people. It’s an airplane flight, and I want to be an accomplished pilot. So this is right up at the top as far as an achievement for me,” Fossett told CTV’s Canada AM Friday from Salina, Kansas.

It took the millionaire adventurer 67 hours to make the 37,000-kilometre trip around the world. He did it in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, a single-engine jet that’s been called “a fuel tank with room for one.” Its cockpit is two metres long and is equipped with 13 tanks that can carry nearly 2,500 kilograms of fuel.

CTV.ca News Staff

Analysis:

Fossett’s successful attempt to circumnavigate the world in 67 hours reminds me of another aviator who is at the forefront of many people’s mind due to the success of a recent Hollywood movie called The Aviator.

Continue reading » Fossett Delighted with World Record Flight

Secular Humanism In Our Schools

It is evident that Humanism has permeated every aspect of our society. The areas of danger are many, and it can be argued that the most insidious is the incorporation of Humanistic philosophy into the classroom. My children attend public schools. I don’t mind admitting to what I consider a quite justifiable fear for my children’s spiritual health. The Humanistic philosophy has infiltrated our public education, and is poisoning the minds of our children as many stand idly by. Continue reading » Secular Humanism In Our Schools

Morry Never Fully Understood

Just this past week I finished reading an interesting book, entitled Tuesdays with Morrie, written by Mitch Albom. The book developed from a series of conversations Albom had with his old college professor Morrie Schwartz, near the end of the man’s life. Schwartz suffered from ALS, a debilitating disease more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It leaves the mind intact, but progressively destroys the muscles, bringing paralysis, then death. The conversations were held over a period of fourteen weeks, with the author visiting his former teacher each Tuesday until his death.

The book begins in this way:

“The last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves. The class met on Tuesdays. It began after breakfast. The subject was the Meaning of Life. It was taught from experience.”

Albom held his old teacher in high regard, and the respect and tenderness he feels for the man is obvious throughout the book. Morrie Schwartz is in many respects an amazing man, and showed tremendous dignity and grace while dealing with his terminal illness.

Schwartz taught sociology at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. He was an engaging man, emphasizing love and kindness to his students and friends. He had a sweet smile, a gentle manner and was well respected.

There is much wisdom to be found in the book. Aphorisms (a concise statement of a principle) came naturally to Schwartz, and many pearls of wisdom are found in the book, including:

“Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do.”
“Accept the past as past, without denying it or discarding it.”
“Learn to forgive yourself and to forgive others.”
“Don’t assume it is too late to get involved.”
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”

Albom wrote a list of things he wanted to talk about with his old teacher, which constituted the curriculum of their last “class.” The list contained the following topics: Death, Fear, Aging, Greed, Marriage, Family, Society, Forgiveness, and a meaningful Life.

While the book was very interesting, and no doubt has given comfort and pleasure to many who have read it, I could not help but be saddened at what the book did not contain. There was at no time a discussion of what would come after life. The extent of the discussion dealt with our existence on earth, with no thought to preparation for the life to come.

Of course, the reason for this is obvious. These individuals came from a secular background. Though Schwartz was Jewish, it is obvious from the book that he had little interest in religious matters. The writer, too, had a secular background that indicated a humanistic rather than a spiritual focus.

The book reminded me of the writer of Ecclesiastes, who wrote of the end of lives lived only in respect to the present, with no thought of eternity. “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind” (1:14). While there is much wisdom to be found in Morrie’s philosophy of life, ultimately it is lacking in the most important area, a man’s standing with his Maker.

Late in the book, there is finally a reference to God. Less than a month before his death, the disease having ravaged his body, he gave a short television interview with Ted Koppel. After the interview, Albom notes a short exchange between the two:

Koppel was near tears. “You done good.”

“You think so?” Morrie rolled his eyes toward the ceiling. “I’m bargaining with Him up there now. I’m asking Him, ‘Do I get to be one of the angels?'”

It was the first time Morrie admitted to talking to God.

A final aphorism summed up the “Meaning of Life” according to Morrie Schwartz. In that last TV interview, when asked if he would like to say anything to the millions of watchers who he had touched, he said, “Be compassionate, and take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be a better place. ” Then the aphorism, “Love each other or die.”

While there is much wisdom to be found in those words, they ring hollow without the final consideration of eternity. The writer of Ecclesiastes understood it well, stating a principle that is inclusive of Morrie’s final words, but encompassing so much more. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

I wish that I could say that Tuesdays with Morrie was a comforting read, but it was not. Because Morrie and his student never discussed the most important thing, the book left me feeling only sad.