Archive for the ‘courage’ Category

19:8 Dwight Handles Yale Radicals Wisely

Sunday, November 18th, 2012
timothy dwight

Dr. Timothy Dwight

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. Proverbs 19:8.

The United States has produced a number of educators who obtained wisdom as well as learning and saved not only their own souls, but those of their hearers. One of them was Dr. Timothy Dwight. An orthodox thinker, when he became president of Yale College he found the students largely apostate and Deistic in outlook.

These students of his first debate class asked for permission to argue the question “Are the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament the word of God?” Although direct challenges to the Bible were banned by the rules of the college, Dwight acceded to their request. Every student took the case against the Bible, leaving Dwight alone to defend it. He did so with vigor, marshalling facts and logic so persuasively that revival broke out.

(He also had the courage, in keeping with the charter purpose of Yale, to dismiss Deistic and skeptical professors.)

In his attitudes toward wisdom and truth, he was not a faint echo of his master Christ, who is the very incarnation of wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30).

11:21 Unholy Alliances

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.* Proverbs 11:21

Maryland National Guard unit battles union workers.

When for a few months I was compelled to belong to a union in order to hold a job, I read the union papers with interest. I found that unions had made unholy alliances with evil organizations for political power. Hand had joined in hand for evil. The union urged support of abortion, reverse discrimination, and homosexual “rights.” Not surprisingly union bedfellows included socialists, communists, and everyone opposed to free enterprise. Historically unions have advanced their power through mob violence. Those same coalitions and tactics are evident today. In nothing I read from the union did I get a hint that the authors and editors gave a moment’s consideration to God or to the eternal consequences of their advocacy issues. A naked materialism held sway.

There are unholy alliances on the other side, too, where materialism is often masked behind a facade of faith. Historically, the money interests have often colluded with unjust political structures and established religions. Such coaltions are also evil. The point is that when evil men join hand in hand, whatever their politics, they are wrong and will not go unpunished.

Jesus belonged to no coalition. Like the boldest of his followers ever since, he stood alone when it counted, not linking hands with evil-doers on any side. Unable to co-opt him, all factions united to kill him–the money interests, the religious establishment, the mob, and the tyrannical Roman government. Forty years later, the Jewish nation reaped the fruit of their choices in the destruction of their nation, their holy city, and their temple. But the righteous Jesus was resurrected from death to found the most noble institution the world has ever known.

*Some modern translations lose the concept of coalitions.

25:26 Giving Way to the Wicked

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring. Proverbs 25:26

Richard Wurmbrand tells that, fearing for their families and lives, many pastors in Romania publicly endorsed the atheistic Communists when they took power. Solomon would categorize them as fouled springs. By contrast, Wurmbrand spoke up for Christ and spent many years in prison where he was brutally tortured.

In his suffering this Lutheran pastor was like Christ his master. Jesus would not give way to false accusers. He neither endorsed untruth nor kowtowed to the men who gave him a kangaroo trial. Rather, he witnessed plainly to those who were about to crucify him. Consequently, he suffered all that the spite of men and demons could contrive against him. He was no polluted fountain.

28:23 Rebuke and Flattery

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Peter Cartwright, fearless evangelist.

He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward
Than he who flatters with the tongue.

Peter Cartwright, a frontier evangelist in 19th-century America, was noted for his boldness. He spoke fearlessly of the things of Christ to high and low. In one notable instance, he warned “Old Hickory,” General Andrew Jackson, future president of the United States, that unless he repented, he would be damned to hell just as surely as the lowliest slave who rejected Christ.

Another preacher apologized for Cartwright’s blunt words. Jackson retorted that Christ’s ministers ought to love everyone and fear no mortal man. He added that he wished he had thousands of officers with the courage of Cartwright.

Jesus, too, did not flatter with the tongue. When Peter tried to tell him he did not have to go to the cross, Jesus replied, “Get behind me, Satan! You do not have in mind the things of God.” That retort taught Peter—and us—a more memorable lesson than a thousand soft words would have done.