Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sufficiency of Scripture Conference - Summary of Sessions 12 & 13 (12/12)

The Sufficiency of Scripture and Family Integration – Kevin Swanson
If you have ever seen, or heard, Kevin Swanson speak you know that he is passionate about whatever it is he talks about and this time was no exception.  He spoke on the family with a focus on education/discipleship.  He shared that how we educate our children will influence the nation.  It was not long ago, 1844, that the Supreme Court made a decision that argued against the establishment of the first secular school but today the fight is to do anything but educate in a secular school.

Kevin said that we may ask why faith is dying in the western world and shared that there are a number of answers.  One of he major causes is our educational system that is antagonistic to God.  Another cause is a dualism that exists among professing believers.  This dualism creates; a separation of faith and practice, separation of the spiritual and secular,  and a removal of the fear of God from all of life and in every subject.  Also faith is dying because people are separating equation and discipleship.

Kevin Swanson’s looked at the motives for education and how this greatly effects the way we educate our children.  Sadly most homeschoolers, professing believers included, motives for educating at home are to get their children to a good college so as to get a good job and make good money.  He spoke on how our motivation should be a focus on the character of the child and to prepare them for the correct city – The City of God and not The City of Man.  Often we just need to put aside “education” so that we can focus on what God desires and seek His word for direction.

In speaking on God’s word and education Kevin shared how the book of Proverbs is a whole book on education with a focus on character. We need to follow this lead and be focused on teaching our children wisdom and knowledge as God’s word reveals.  Proverbs 1:7 is the most important basic lesson on education as it speaks of knowledge beginning with the fear of God.  This type of starting point for education is not where secular schools begin but it is where Christians MUST start.  All subjects must be taught with the fear of God as the beginning and this relates to all subjects.

The natural conclusion from all of this is that the government school system cannot do what God calls for.  The conclusion that we should see from this talk is that if we are to rely on God’s word as sufficient for directing the discipleship of our family we cannot let others take this responsibility.  Not only are we to be responsible but we need to take charge of the discipleship of our children as directed by God’s word.

As usual Kevin Swanson made his point and made it emphatically.

The Sufficiency of Scripture for the importance of the Sabbath – Dan Horn

Dan Horn, an elder at Hope Baptist Church, spoke at one of the breakout sessions on the Christian Sabbath.  This is a subject that irks many as if one says the Sabbath is still commanded of us to keep today the usual cry is one of legalism.  But as Dan Horn shared it is not for us to decide this issue by feelings or culture but it needs to be discerned by the word of God itself.

Dan looked at the picture of the church as the bride of Christ and that the Sabbath is a call to spend time with our Husband.  That the church has by in large abandoned the Sabbath is a sign of effectively being divorced from God.  Dan shared also that we need to not confuse simply showing up for a couple hours on Sunday with observing the Sabbath.  Again, the Sabbath is about spending the day with our Husband as His bride the church.

Mr. Horn then dealt with what God is showing us in the Sabbath.  The focus of the Sabbath is not work and rest but the holiness of the day.  How we deal with work and rest are important but they are part of the Sabbath not its focus.  We need to also see that the Sabbath is a sign that God has sanctified us to Himself and points to God’s holiness.  He also shared how God sets the patterns for our days and God is the one that set it apart and thus so should we.  We should also see that the 4th commandment proclaims God’s sovereignty over time and the calendar.  From all of this we need to see the Sabbath as a blessing not a curse.

Dan Ford also shared that when we go into the world on the Sabbath we tell the world much about what we think of God, that God is not over all days but we are.  We need to remember every week Who and What God is and What God is over thus to keep it holy is to remember that it is a Holy day because of God.  Dan reminded us that it is not just about what we do or do not do but about what God has done.  Keeping the Sabbath tells the world we trust God to provide as well as telling people we trust God for all things and obey because He is God.

Dan did share some of the practical outworking of observing the Sabbath in speaking on how not to pollute the Sabbath.  One of these ways is to not work, to not do what could be done on another day.  However, works of mercy are valid on the Sabbath as the Sabbath is itself a sign of mercy.  One other aspect of observing the Sabbath is that of taking part in no buying and selling.  As a conclusion we need understand that to see the Sabbath as a punishment is to pollute it – we need to desire the Sabbath. 

I think this is one of the harder subjects to broach as it so often goes against natural desires.  We need to seek out God’s word for our desires so that they coincide with what God wants us to desire.  One of those areas is to observe the Sabbath as god calls us to observe it.  Dan has written a book on this subject: Sanctified By God: A Call to Keep the Christian Sabbath

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