By Connie W. Adams
Do It for the Children
A southern Indiana county (just across the Ohio River from Louisville) has just voted on whether to allow riverboat gambling. The advertisement in favor of this has been intense. A Baptist preacher has led the flight against it and has been openly attacked by the pro-gambling forces as a religious fanatic, bigot and a few other choice terms. The pro-gambling people have made the usual arguments about tax revenue, jobs and helping the economy. But the strangest twist of all has been the campaign ploy to “do it for the children.” Ostensibly they are to benefit from added revenue for education.
This makes about as much sense as it would to promote riverboat prostitution or drugs. Think of all the jobs that would create. Why people would have not to slip around on the seamier side of town to find a prostitute or to get their drugs from some shady character on the street. They could enter the glittering world of the riverboat, obtain what they want, the county would profit from the taxes, schools could be helped and we could do it all “for the children.” If this is not an abuse of children, pray tell, what is? Gambling keeps bad company. Corruption of every sort surrounds it. It is not “for the children.” The promoters don’t give a hoot about the children. It feeds off the desire to get something for nothing, minimizes the virtue of honest work for honest pay and the whole thing is about greed. What is good “for the children” has nothing to do with it.
For a Season
Moses chose rather to “suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Deb. 11:25). The NASB reads “the passing pleasures of sin” as does the NKJV. But I like the old KJV rendition. What better describes the transitory nature of sin and its pleasure than “for a season”? As this is written, autumn has passed its peak in Kentucky. The brilliant artistry of the Almighty which dazzled the eye from early October has given way to the rains of late fall and several hard freezes. Leaves are falling and by the time you read this, the cold naked branches, once so gorgeously arrayed, will stretch their boney fingers toward heaven as if in supplication for the return of spring. Autumn is an exciting time. But it is a passing season. Before long the landscape will be draped in a dazzling carpet of white. But that too shall pass. Sin promises much but delivers misery and death. Whatever pleasure it provides is soon gone and we are left with its bitter aftertaste. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). The flush of its color, the excitement it offers, is only “for a season.”
Glad the Old Law Has Passed
Lowell Sallee was preaching on “Children Obey Your Parents” and read Exodus 21:15 and 17 to show how seriously God regarded smiting or cursing parents. In both cases the law of Moses mandated the death penalty. A nine-year-old boy listened intently and afterward commented to Lowell, “I’m sure glad we are not under the old law for I would have been dead for three years.”
While the law of Moses has been nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14-17), the New Testament still teaches “Children, obey your parents for this is right. Honor thy father and mother that it may be well with thee, for this is the first commandment with promise” (Eph. 6:1-2). This is a divine responsibility and the Child’s Rights Movement cannot set it aside. And it is not child abuse to teach our children this principle with enforcement when necessary. Respect for parents is the beginning place for respect for all authority, domestically, in the civil realm and in the spiritual domain.
Of late, necessary inference, as a means of establishing divine authority has come under at-tack from advocates of the “new hermeneutic.” But I have often marvelled at the force of some-thing I heard the late A.C. Grider say. He said that when we come to the word “therefore” in the text, we ought to see “what it is there for.” Peter drew such an inference in Acts 15:10. He had shown that God put no difference between Jew and Gentile when the gospel was itnroduced to both. In each case God poured out the Holy Spirit. Since God put no difference, Peter said, “Now there-fore, why tempt ye God to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples. . . .But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they” (Acts 15:10-1 1).
The Hebrew writer said, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we let them slip” (Heb. 2:1). What is “therefore” there for? The preceding chapter had shown that God speaks in these last days through his Son who is superior to both prophets and angels. Even the Father himself addressed him as “0 God.” His eternity was argued (“thy years shall not fail”) and his rank established in that the Father said to him, “Sit thou on my right hand.” Being so qualified as heaven’s spokesman “in these last days” “there-fore” we ought (obligation, moral imperative) to give earnest heed to what he said. Now do you see what “therefore” is there for? All you aspiring experts in hermeneutics who have been reading the likes of The Core Gospel, The Cruciform Church, and The Second Incarnation would do well to ponder brother Grider’s advice.
Guardian of Truth XXXVII, No. 23, p. 3-4
December 2, 1993