Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Giants Will Fall

Davidslaysgoliath  David did not set out to be a great champion of Jehovah. While his three brothers set out to follow Saul, David went back to his father in Jerusalem to feed the sheep (I Sam. 17:13-15). However, such was the heart of David for the Lord that, when, having been sent by his father to bring food to his brethren, he heard the boasting heathen Philistine Goliath and asked who is this Philistine that “he should defy the armies of the living God” (v. 26).

It was not because he wanted to see the battle or because he was mischievous as he was accused of by his frightened brethren (v. 28). He was genuinely disturbed that no one of God’s people were willing–or had the courage–to stand up to the heathen blasphemer. Because there was no one there to fill the gap, David willingly and humbly offered himself to face the giant of Gath. He did so based upon his faith in God’s power to deliver him, a faith based upon his experience with God’s providential care.

Saul had warned David that he was but a youth but Goliath was a man of war from his youth (v. 33). David’s faith stood fast: “Let no man’s heart fail because of him” (v. 32). David tried and cast off Saul’s armor. He could not be something he was not (v.39). David went out with what he knew and took five smooth stones and a sling to face the giant (v. 40). Goliath had disdain for David boasted of what he would do after he had cursed him (vv. 33,34). David simply said “Thou camest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I came to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts…” (v. 45).

How many today in the Lord’s church are like Saul, Eliab, Abinadab, Shammah, and the rest of Israel? How many are afraid to confront the Goliath’s of our time? How many are there like David who, loving the Lord and His Truth, are willing to face the seemingly unbeatable foes? If we trust in the Lord, as David did, we have no cause for alarm. If we come in the name of the Lord, the giants will fall.

Eric L. Padgett

Christ or Culture?

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:17-24).

[Sunday morning’s sermon will find us talking about the poison of a profane tongue. One element of that lesson will focus on the popular media’s influence upon our lives. This blog is a supplement to that sermon.]

There can be no question that media influences our culture. As culture expert Dr. Robert Thompson has stated, “Once prime-time television decides to absorb something, it becomes a stamp of normalcy.  It’s no longer controversial.  It’s no longer a big deal.  It makes it a casual, accepted sort of thing.” (The Blue Tube: Foul Language on Prime Time Network TV). Not only television programs, but movies, music, magazines, the internet, influential newspapers, and the like, are all sources of influence that bear upon the way we view the world. But does the media possess any more power to influence us any more than any other influence in our lives?

There is no doubt that many in the media have an agenda and attempt to shape the way certain segments of society view issues and other segments of society. It has been substantiated by numerous studies that there is a liberal bias in the media (“Media Bias”). But we are human beings, created in the image of God and are, therefore, full of complex mental processes. Our beliefs are also shaped by our families and family relationships, by our religious beliefs, by our politics, by the style of fashion we see another wearing, by the social group in which we move, by our own desires, and by a host of other factors. In short, the media is one influence among many; certainly it is not the only defining one. Because each individual is intellectually, morally, and volitionally free, we are ultimately shaped by our own desires and responses to these stimuli.

This is not to say that there is not a large segment of society that is overly or easily influenced by the media. When one is given a steady dose of a particular, slanted viewpoint embedded in the implication that if you do not believe this then you are out of the mainstream, or are somehow to be marginalized, then it becomes easy for those who desire to be “mainstream” but who do not think critically to be swayed in their thinking. The media is a powerful influence, to be sure, but it’s power and influence is severely assuaged by active, critical analysis (i.e., good ol’ common horse sense).

This is why we are implored to “study to shew ourselves approved unto God” (II Tim. 2:15). This is why God commands us to “prove all things, hold fast that which is good” (I Thess. 5:21). This is why we are to “try the spirits whether they are of God” (I John 4:1). This is why God invites us to “reason” with Him (Is. 1:18). The only influence that should have full sway in our lives is the will of God (Acts 5:29). We should make certain that we recognize the forces of culture that work against living the Christian life and shun them completely (I John 2:15-17).

Eric L. Padgett

A Good Father

“The greatest gift I ever had came from God, I call him Dad”


The Bible teaches that several factors go into making a good father.

First, a good father Forges the character of his children. Prov. 22:6 states that if we train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it. The idea is to dedicate the child to the Lord, just as the temple was dedicated to the Lord (I Kings 8:63; II Chron. 7:5). The only way for this to be accomplished is for the father, himself, to be dedicated to the Lord. A father once told me, near tears, that he could not understand why his child was unfaithful because he, the father, did not drink, swear, hurt anyone, etc. But it takes so much more than merely not doing things as a parent. A good father will bring his children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:1-3). A good father forges, molds, and shapes the character of his children.

Second, a good father Administers proper discipline. One of the hardest things for a parent to do is to discipline a child. The old saying, “This hurts me more than it does you” may seem trite or quaint but it is literally true for a good parent. A father who loves his children does everything in his power to keep his children from harm and so it may seem counter-intuitive to discipline them, but this is sometimes necessary. The Bible teaches that the rod of correction will harm them much less than some evil way they might live (Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13,14). Eli failed this test as a father because he chose not to restrain his children even though they had made themselves vile (I Sam. 3:13). Because of this, God said he was going to perform a thing upon Eli’s house which would cause the ears of those who heard it to tingle (I Sam. 3:11-14).

Third, a good father Teaches his children about God. The children of Israel were to teach God’s word “diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates” (Deut. 6:7-9). Every waking moment was to be spent in teaching their children about God’s will. They were to make every word a lesson and every deed an illustration. Their faith was not to be superficial, not intermittent, not only when it was convenient. It was to be real, consistent and tangible. When fathers do not live this way, apostasy is only a generation away (Jud. 2:10).

Fourth, a good father Hearkens unto his child’s needs. Sometime parents do not listen to their children’s cries or do not know how to recognize them. Many children have done something reckless and even deadly because the parents could not recognize a desperate cry for help. Jesus said even an evil father knows how to give good things to a child that requests it (Matt. 7:9-11). Many times fathers project onto their sons what they wanted for themselves, maybe forcing them into a life they would not choose. This is sad when it happens and only alienates father and son later in life. But a good father will listen to his children, not just giving them anything they want, but listen to understand what they truly need. A man who does not provide for his house is worse than an infidel (I Tim. 5:8).

Fifth, a good father Entreats God in prayer on behalf of his children. The Bible says Job went to God often for his children. “It was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually” (Job 1:5). How powerful it is when a family prayers to God together! How powerful it is for children to see their father on his knees in prayer to God, with tears, for their spiritual and physical welfare. The old saying is true: The family that prays together stays together.

Finally, a good father Rejoices in his children. A good father recognizes that children are a gift from God (Psalm 127). To be responsible for the souls and lives of such precious little children, to see them grow into adulthood, to see them reflect all the love and attention given them through the years is a blessing, indeed. A father who does not care, who is not concerned about the fruit of his loins, who has no emotional connection with his children is a worse than a travesty. In our culture, when marriage is profaned and on the decline, when men father many children by many different women, when homosexuality is being promoted as normal, it is no wonder that children are left without fathers. But a man of true character will rejoice in his children.

I am so thankful for may own Dad who has taught me so much about life and who has given me so much of himself. He is my hero, my guide, my friend, my Dad.

Eric L. Padgett

We Ought To Obey God Rather Than Men

mattbirkfamily  Not being much of a pro-sports fan, I had never heard of Matt Birk until just recently and still do not know much about him. The entry on him in Wikipedia indicates he is a very talented offensive lineman and center for the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens respectively who has won many awards, including the 2012 Super Bowl Championship. He began the HIKE Foundation in 2002. HIKE stands for hope, inspiration, knowledge and education. The HIKE Foundation “was established to impact the lives of at-risk children by providing interactive programs and resources needed to guide a child through the key educational transitions between elementary, middle, high school and college.” He is also the father of six children.

The reason I bring him up is because he has received some notice in the news lately because he refused to attend a meeting at the White House celebrating the Raven’s 2012 Super Bowl win. He explained why: “I wasn’t there. I would say this, I would say that I have great respect for the office of the presidency, but about five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech and he said, ‘God bless Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year. I am Catholic, I am active in the pro-life movement and I just felt like I couldn’t deal with that. I couldn’t endorse that in any way.”

Now, while I do not in any way support Catholicism, I do respect and commend Birk for standing up life. For this president to say publicly “God bless Planned Parenthood” is simply abhorrent. For those who believe in God and in His revealed will for man, the Bible, this is simply not an issue that is negotiable. Life is sacred. Even the Founders recognized this when they enshrined in our Declaration of Independence these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is truly more than tragic that this country now allows the murder of so many innocent children.

Birk has also been outspoken on other issues, as well. He has spoken and written for the defense of marriage and against homosexual marriage.

As I wrote earlier, I had not heard of Matt Birk until recently, but I am glad he has stood his ground on this important principle. I hope he does not now apologize for his stand as so many have done in the past. I doubt if he will. More Christians should find and exhibit the same kind of courage. We need men like the apostles who, when this government says “Don’t preach Jesus” will stand up and say “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 4:18-5:29).

Eric L. Padgett