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Friday, August 24, 2007

The Absence Is Not Bewailed As It Should Be

Again, I have a couple of quotes from Ryle's book, Holiness. The farther I progress into this book the more challenging it becomes. Some of it encourages my own convictions and some of it challenges my complacency. I am especially thankful for the latter.

The amazing thing about this book is that it's author lived in the latter part of the 19th century and yet the message is timeless and even more needed in this present generation of worldliness and compromise.

So.....for your thoughtful consideration:

"But to walk closely with God - to be really spiritually-minded - to behave like strangers and pilgrims - to be distinct from the world in employment of time, in conversation, in amusements, in dress - to bear a faithful witness for Christ in all places - to leave a savour of our Master in every society - to be prayerful, humble, unselfish, good-tempered, quiet, easily pleased, charitable, patient, meek - to be jealously afraid of all manner of sin, and tremblingly alive to our danger from the world - these, these are still rare things! They are not common among those who are called true Christians, and, worst of all, the absence of them is not felt and bewailed as it should be."

This next quote especially arrested my attention. I am increasingly convinced that worldliness is introduced into homes and churches via the youth. I just read this quote to my family and told them my assessment and my son asked, "So does that mean it is the youth's fault?" No, it is the Father's and Pastor's fault for having a "wishbone" where they ought to have a "backbone"!

Remember the Scripture tells us that childhood and youth are vanity. To allow them to set the agenda and the standards spell disaster. I have seen it more than once and it is tragic!

So.......for your thoughtful consideration:

"How many married people do well in religion to all appearance, until their children begin to grow up - and then they fall away! In the early years of their married life they seem to follow Christ diligently, and to witness a good confession. They regularly attend the preaching of the Gospel: they are fruitful in good works; they are never seen in vain and dissipated society (which we can now do in the privacy of our own front room via television/videos/dvd's). Their faith and practice are both sound, and walk hand in hand. But, alas, how often a spiritual blight comes over the household when a young family begins to grow up, and sons and daughters have to be brought forward in life. A leaven of worldliness begins to appear in their habits, dress, entertainments, and employment of time. They are no longer strict about the company they keep and the places they visit. Where is the decided line of separation which they once observed? Where is the unswerving abstinence from worldly amusements which once marked their course? It is all forgotten. It is all laid aside, like an old almanack. A change has come over them: the spirit of the world has taken possession of their hearts. They walk in the steps of Lots' wife. They look back."
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